Auckland has ranked poorly as a city to raise a family, mainly because of its sky-high housing costs and poor transport.
A study by German-based relocation company Movinga ranked Auckland 94th out of 145 family-friendly cities despite scoring well on air quality, educational achievement for adolescents, and safety. High cost of living, poor mobility, and unaffordable housing may have been to blame, especially as the city is considered to be more expensive for families than London and New York.
Wellington ranked 38th because it was considered safer and more affordable, while Christchurch ranked 52 because of its lower living and housing costs.
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Auckland Mayor Phil Goff questioned the international study’s results – insisting that it defies all evidence showing Auckland’s growing popularity.
“In some ways, Auckland speaks for itself,” Goff told NZ Herald. “The growth in Auckland over the last decade shows just how popular a destination this city is for other people to come and live.”
He noted that Mercer, a more established survey, consistently ranked the city as the third best city in the world for quality of life – although the survey considers all factors, including political and social stability, rather than specifically addressing a city’s family friendliness.
He admitted that Auckland faced major transport and housing problems, which affected family life. However, he believed that both areas were improving.
The Movinga study's authors explained that people's perception of their home city changed once they had families, including focusing on affordable childcare and activities for children.