NEW ZEALAND TODAY

New Zealand

Auckland

 

LIVING IN NEW ZEALAND

While writing my series of nine New Zealand  books, I undertook a great deal of research which revealed important information I was previously unaware of. Although some of this information didn’t end up in my travel books, it did give me the idea to discuss what I learned in other articles. That’s where these blogs come in.

 

THE LARGEST CITY

Auckland is by far the largest city in New Zealand with almost a third of the country’s entire population living within its urban sprawl. Auckland is also the city where the majority of new immigrants want to settle. At the time of writing, Auckland is home to 1.4 million people.  It is the largest Polynesian city in the world with 336.000 Maori and Pacific Islanders living mainly in the southern suburbs.  With the increasing number of immigrants flooding into the city, Asians, mainly Chinese followed by Indian, Filipino then Korean, Japanese, Cambodian and Vietnamese, now total 430.000. 30% of this group are in the 20 to 34 age group. The Asian population is very noticeable in the city’s main shopping streets where large numbers can be seen shopping and socializing Having two of the country’s major universities next door to each other in the CBD only adds to the overwhelmingly large number of young people in the central city.

 

ISSUES IN AUCKLAND

With the city continuing to grow by 25.000 people yearly, a housing shortage has arisen and the city’s house prices are amongst the highest in the world. This is having an adverse impact on those looking for accommodation as rents soar. At the time of writing, a three bedroom house commands a weekly rent of $440.00 in the inner suburbs with some as high as $650.00 in the city’s most affluent areas. Auckland also has major traffic problems. This is currently being exacerbated by the construction of an underground train system, causing major disruptions to traffic in the CBD. The construction of  a couple of huge office tower blocks only add to the traffic holdups around the business district. A six lane, 4.5 kilometre tunnel will open next year to ease travel across Auckland  and it is hoped the new subway system will at least help make movement around the CBD a little easier.

 

THE PLACE TO BE

With the uncertain times the world is experiencing, New Zealand has become a favoured destination for those seeking safety and a less stressful life. With the influx of new citizens, the nearby cities of Hamilton and Tauranga are also experiencing rapid growth. Hamilton is just a 90 minute drive south and Tauranga is two and a half hours drive away.  Needless to say, property prices in these two cities have also risen sharply in the past year. New Zealand’s total population has jumped to 4.500.000, small by international standards, but when you consider vast areas of the country are uninhabited because of the mountainous terrain, there is congestion in the main urban areas, with bumper to bumper traffic during rush hours in the largest North Island cities.

NEW ZEALAND ICONS

New Zealand is famous internationally for two things, the All Blacks Rugby Team and the spectacular ‘Middle Earth’ scenery. It is also known for the laid back Kiwi lifestyle and the easy access to the great outdoors, especially for those living in the South Island. Unfortunately, this country also has issues that are not so pleasant to discuss but I plan to do this in future blogs as I hold a spotlight on New Zealand.