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Average house price Mar 2014
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Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. It’s also the largest Polynesian city in the world and the most multi-cultural, with over 180 different ethnic groups. All of which adds up to one big, bustling, cosmopolitan and vibrant place. Auckland is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities, ranking third in the 2014 Quality of Living survey conducted annually by the global HR consultants Mercer. It’s held that slot since 2012. A similar survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Auckland 10th of 140 cities.

The region is a food-lovers’ paradise, bustling with trendy cafes, ethnic eateries and award-winning restaurants. Being located between two harbours, fresh seafood is an Auckland speciality, and the region also features a range of vineyards and olive groves.

Aucklanders can choose between a sophisticated urban lifestyle, living in the suburbs or moving a short distance to the countryside to live on a lifestyle block surrounded by farmland and native bush.

Over 1.4 million people live in Auckland – around a third of New Zealand’s population. It’s the region of choice for over half of new migrants. They’re drawn here by Auckland’s job opportunities, good climate, stunning natural environment with beautiful harbours, beaches, and parks and its vibrant, cosmopolitan centre.


Auckland is the nation’s economic powerhouse, accounting for 35% of New Zealand’s economic output, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) and 33% of New Zealand’s paid employment.

The industries that employ the most people In the Auckland region are business services (such as legal and accounting, marketing and management services), food and beverage manufacturing, health, hospitality, telecommunication services, building construction, machinery and motor vehicle wholesaling.

Auckland is also the most educated city in New Zealand, with 37% of the adult population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.


Almost half of New Zealand lives and works in or near greater Auckland, so there are jobs in most industries.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) produces a number of economic activity reports useful for understanding business and job markets and opportunities. ATEED, (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), is a regional body that promotes tourism, major events, business and industry sector development and activities to attract investment. The Auckland Chamber of Commerce has a range of job search support programmes.

MBIE ATEED Chamber of Commerce


Auckland has a range of information and support services available for migrants. In 2010 Auckland’s four official cities became one supercity, managed by Auckland Council. This new structure is ensuring a unified approach to services, making it easier to get things done. But local areas still have their own personality – so consider a visit to the local library, shopping and community centres to get a feel for that local flavour.

Immigration New Zealand offers a free information service for all new migrants available throughout the country.If you have questions about life in New Zealand, you can call the Immigration New Zealand contact centre on

Freephone: 0800 776 948 (NZ fixed landline only)
From overseas or a mobile phone: +64 9 969 0591
Email: newmigrantinfo@mbie.govt.nz

Population 2013
Born outside NZ
Average house price Mar 2014
Median wage

New Zealand’s capital city, built on dramatic hills surrounding one of the southern hemisphere’s largest deep water ports. In 2011 Lonely Planet called it the world’s “coolest little capital”. Wellington is approximately 8½ hours from Auckland by road, about an hour by air. Its location at the centre of New Zealand won Wellington the role of capital in 1865. Today, Parliament and the Beehive building alongside it are national icons.

Wellington City is wedged between steep hills and the sea. Rugged mountain ranges (the Rimutakas and the Tararuas) loom beyond the harbour. Lack of flat land – much of what there is has been reclaimed – has created a compact, vibrant central business district. Lower and Upper Hutt are relatively flat, being built on a fertile plain. Porirua has a coastal feel to it.


Wellington is cosmopolitan: only Auckland is more ethnically diverse. Average salaries and education levels are high, supporting a thriving artistic and cultural community with many galleries, museums, theatres and festivals. The city is known for fine restaurants and its café culture – it has more cafes per head than New York.

Wellington region’s hills and town belt offer great walking, tramping and mountain biking. Hutt River is popular with kayakers while in summer swimmers can choose peaceful inner harbour beaches or more exciting coastal surf.

Accommodation options range from hip urban apartments to spacious suburban homes, seaside villages and rural lifestyle blocks – many people commute in from Upper Hutt, Wairarapa and the Kapiti Coast.


As capital, Wellington is home to many national institutions and government agencies. In recent years it’s developed thriving digital technology and film industries – Lord of the Rings was completed at the Weta studio Peter Jackson has established here. Tertiary education and research are other important contributors to the local economy.


The Wellington region is the seat of New Zealand’s government, with related national administrative functions and international connections, and with strengths in knowledge-intensive business services.

The region contributes 13.5 per cent of national GDP, provides 11.5 per cent of national employment and is home to 11 per cent of New Zealand’s population.

The Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce provides a programme matching skilled newcomers with employers looking for skills for their business. The programme also assists skilled newcomers with career pathway development and provides referrals to specialist assistance.

Wellington Skilled Newcomers Matching Programme

Population 2013
Born outside NZ
Average house price Mar 2014
Median wage

One of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas of the world, the Waikato is home to New Zealand’s famous dairy and thoroughbred horse racing industries and base for many agri-businesses and research institutes. The area was named after New Zealand’s longest river.

Hamilton’s proximity to the ports of both Auckland and Tauranga, access to two international airports (Auckland and Hamilton) and strategic location on the road and rail networks provide significant opportunities for export and import.

Before European settlement, the Waikato was heavily populated by Māori. Today, Hamilton is diverse, home to over 80 ethnic groups. It is also a relatively ‘young city’ with around half its residents under 30 years old.


Waikato district offers, relaxed, peaceful living. The rural tranquillity and views of farmland and bush are making it increasingly popular for lifestyle living.

In contrast, Hamilton City is vibrant and diverse. It features some of the most spectacular gardens in the country, one of our largest aquatic centres, an internationally recognised zoo, world class sport and event facilities plus an extensive network of walkways and cycle ways linking with the Waikato River.

There is a lively social scene with many cafes, bars and restaurants and the city hosts a number of hallmark events including Balloons of Waikato and the Gallagher Great Race. On the coast, Raglan is a mecca for surfers, and along the river fishing and boating are popular.


Dairying and agricultural bio-technology drive the Waikato’s economy, supported by thoroughbred horse breeding and training, forestry and coal mining.

Fonterra, the world leading dairy products supplier, is based here and Hamilton hosts the National Agricultural Fieldays, the largest agricultural tradeshow in the Southern Hemisphere.

Many of New Zealand’s leading agri-science research facilities are based in the Waikato and R&D is a key contributor to the economy. The electric fence and aerial top dressing are just two of the innovations to come from the region.

Education is another important sector, including a major University, a teacher’s college, technical institute hospital and nurse training.


The Waikato region is a medium-sized economy with a strong primary production and agri-manufacturing focus.Although the economy is based on dairy, meat and other foods along with forestry, agritech and geothermal energy, the biggest employers are the health and education, business and finance, and wholesale and retail trade sectors.

Hamilton Multicultural Services (HMS) Trust runs a migrant employment project, funded through the Ministry for Social Development.
Check out their website for more details.

Migrant employment project

Population 2013
Born outside NZ
Average house price Mar 2014
Median wage

Canterbury’s largest city, Christchurch is on an exciting journey to build the world’s newest city for the 21st Century and beyond. In 2011 the area suffered severe earthquakes that damaged hundreds of buildings in CBD and thousands of residential houses, but the rebuild is creating many new opportunities.

Canterbury’s proximity to ski fields and mountains also make the region a popular choice with outdoors enthusiasts and those seeking a lifestyle balance. As the local tourism promotion puts it (and it’s true) “you can ski, snowboard, bungy jump, hike, jet boat, fish, mountain bike, raft, surf, swim, golf, see whales, dolphins and seals, visit wineries and gardens, shop, and so much more, all within two hours of Christchurch.”


Canterbury has a thriving economy, with one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the OECD. The region’s Gross Domestic Product continues to increase, largely driven by the booming construction sector.

Christchurch is also New Zealand’s second largest region for technology businesses and boasts some of Australasia’s most innovative and successful software, hardware and electronics companies. These include a combination of local firms such as Jade Software, Tait Communications and SLI Systems, plus globally head-quartered multi-nationals such as Hewlett Packard, Allied Telesis and Sungard.

Canterbury is a world-renowned food growing region, producing amongst other things, meat products, seafood, dairy food and wine for domestic consumption and export. Non-food products are also important such as seeds and forage crops.

Tourism is also an important export income earner for Christchurch. The city has traditionally been seen as the gateway for tourism in the South Island. The city’s international airport is second only to Auckland in terms of international arrivals and departures.


Along with Auckland, Canterbury leads New Zealand for growth in employment. In 2013 over 19,000 new jobs were added, representing 5.9% growth. This growth was strongest in retail, accommodation and construction.

The strong economy in Canterbury has seen unemployment fall to just 2.8 percent in the June 2014 quarter, this is the lowest level since 2008. With such a strong labour market, the region is attracting national and international job seekers across all sectors, particularly construction, high-value manufacturing and IT.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC) provides a programme connecting Canterbury employers with newcomers’ skills. Checkout their website for more details

Connecting newcomer skills and employers

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