Auckland is not Harare

This morning’s Herald reports “Auckland ranked fifth, Wellington 12th best city in world to live.” Surprised?

Well you would be if your only source of information were various right-wing blogs and talkback shows. They’re frantically trying to create a bizarre narrative where impoverished NZers are fleeing a corrupt and undemocratic regime in its dying days. Substitute the Tasman for the Zimbabwean border.

I don’t normally give surveys by global consulting firms that much credence, but there’s something in them. The various surveys showing NZ’s as one of the least regulated economies in the world are sorely needed antidotes to the incessant bleating of business lobbyists here about how over-regulated we are.

This one serves to balance the doomsayers. As the Herald writes:

They’re the very things we love to complain about, but public transport, a top-notch health service and attractive rental accommodation make New Zealand’s cities among the best places in the world to live…

Auckland and Wellington both received perfect scores for housing, with surveyors commenting on their attractive rental properties and prestigious residential districts. They tied at 10th in the world for personal safety.

Sorry capital-dwellers, I can’t resist noting also that, “Auckland’s ‘excellent’ range of restaurants won a special mention.”

As if to underscore the point, a couple of Tuis have just landed on the tree outside my window. Native birds are said to be returning to the cities. Leafy Mt Eden is no exception. For a moment my heart sings.

We have been falling behind in economic terms. We are disadvantaged by our isolation at the bottom of the world, small population, terrain, and the secular decline in commodity prices (until very recently). To do as well as other economies we need to work harder and smarter.

Still, it’s nice to know that New Zealand is still a great place to live.

[The folk at the Standard agree.]

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3 Responses to “Auckland is not Harare”

  1. Lovin’ our corner of the world at The Standard 2.01 Says:

    […] [Update: Jafapete chips in here.] […]

  2. Sconehead Says:

    It’s not Harre (as in Laila) either, though Radio NZ would have us believe otherwise.

    It is a beautiful city, as anyone who has done the coast-to-coast walk will know.

  3. Sconehead Says:

    Auckland isn’t Harrare. Nor is Harare.

    [Ouch! Must have been the Tui.]

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