It has beautiful beaches, a warm climate and a multicultural population that has fostered an eclectic mix of food, music and the arts. Is Auckland, a remote post in the South Pacific, really the most livable city in the world?
A poll the Economist Intelligence Unit, released this week, ranked the city of New Zealand above Vienna, Melbourne and other previous winners, thanks to its successful removal of Covid-19.
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, also ranked fourth, with four cities in Australia taking the top 10.
The survey compared 140 cities around the world in terms of stability, health, culture, infrastructure and other factors.
“Thanks to the harsh blockade of New Zealand, society was reopened and citizens in cities like Auckland and Wellington had a lifestyle that looked similar to the pre-pandemic way of life,” said Upasana Dutt, head of global livability at EIU.
The awards surprised some New Zealanders who pointed to the port city housing crisis, traffic jams and low wages. Auckland was there recently classified Demographics make it the fourth least affordable city in the world.
European and Canadian cities were included in the Economist rankings because of the increased stress on health caused by the second wave of Covid-19 cases and the need to reduce social exclusion.
Compared to the many people who lived in European or North American cities over the past year, Auckland’s 1.7 million people have experienced a charming life. In February, it was the “city of the crows” America’s Cup sailboat race, spectators, on the other hand, attend rugby matches, concerts and leisure events throughout the year.
Schools have remained open early decision of the authorities the closure of the country’s borders and the imposition of social exclusion restrictions reduced the number of infections in New Zealand to less than 2,700 cases, resulting in only 26 deaths.
Friday marked 104 days The latest case of Covid-19 community transmission was reported on February 28th.
Not surprisingly, there are more than 40,000 New Zealanders returned from abroad since the pandemic last year, this trend has pushed the nation’s population to more than 5m last year.
“I always planned to go home, it’s part of the kiwi mentality to go abroad and gather and return the experience,” said Jane Henley, who left her job at the World Bank in Washington when the pandemic began to return to Auckland. scatter.
Henley said he returned home earlier than he thought in part because of concerns about U.S. gun laws. But he has few regrets, citing Auckland’s friendly culture, access to nature and a relaxed attitude.
But Henley, an expert in sustainable construction programs, acknowledged that Auckland faced major challenges, including traffic congestion, expensive housing and relatively low wages.
“House prices are similar in London or New York, or at least equivalent to wages. But wages are much lower than they should be compared to the price of housing, ”he said.
Housing prices in Auckland rose 21% by the end of May, and the average home price is NZ $ 1.3 million (US $ 934,000), according to QV, the New Zealand appraisal and property services company.
New Zealand is dealing with a severe housing shortages, with about 22,000 people on social housing waiting lists, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pledged in the 2017 election to address both the housing crisis and inequality.
“It’s true that we have a two-tier city,” said Jan Rutledge, Deuckland’s director of emergency housing at Auckland.
“This is a beautiful city for those with secure housing and employment, but they have a very big challenge for those who don’t.”
The success of Covid-19 in New Zealand has boosted the economy, and is projected to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2021. Unemployment is 4.7%.
The pandemic has also boosted the growth of film production in the country as projects and international stars seek safe conditions and a life without closure.
James Cameron is filming multiple Avatar the sequels continue to work in New Zealand and Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series, as the government provides border exemptions for crucial workers to travel to the country. International film productions will generate $ 730 million in spending this year, according to the New Zealand Film Commission.
Canadian Cameron and his wife Amis told Auckland audiences this week that they lived in New Zealand all the time and “loved it.”
The film director said the last four years have been “absolute hell” in the U.S. during Trump’s presidency.
New Zealand has shown the world a different way, Cameron added. “It’s a sense of mutual duty, that you’re a member of a team, that you’re going to sacrifice for each other.”