Category Archives: Auckland News

Auckland Named Number 3 As Best Place to Live in the World

Auckland has just been named number 3 in the World for `best place to live in the World’ according to a Mercer study.

It says; “Auckland in New Zealand was the highest ranking English-speaking city in the survey, in third place, followed by Vancouver in fifth. Australian cities also perform very highly in the survey, with Sydney 10th and Melbourne 15th. 

Here is the top 100 `best places to live’ in the world

Source: Mercer quality of living city survey

Rank 2015 City Country
1 Vienna Austria
2 Zurich Switzerland
3 Auckland New Zealand
4 Munich Germany
5 Vancouver Canada
6 Dusseldorf Germany
7 Frankfurt Germany
8 Geneva Switzerland
9 Copenhagen Denmark
10 Sydney Australia
11 Amsterdam Netherlands
12 Wellington New Zealand
13 Berlin Germany
14 Bern Switzerland
15 Toronto Canada
15 Melbourne Australia
17 Ottawa Canada
18 Hamburg Germany
19 Luxembourg Luxembourg
19 Stockholm Sweden
21 Brussels Belgium
21 Perth Australia
23 Montreal Canada
24 Stuttgart Germany
24 Nurnberg Germany
26 Singapore Singapore
27 Adelaide Australia
28 San Francisco US
28 Canberra Australia
30 Helsinki Finland
30 Oslo Norway
32 Calgary Canada
33 Dublin Ireland
34 Boston US
35 Honolulu US
36 Brisbane Australia
37 Paris France
38 Lyon France
39 Barcelona Spain
39 London UK
41 Milan Italy
42 Lisbon Portugal
43 Chicago US
44 New York US
44 Tokyo Japan
46 Seattle US
46 Kobe Japan
46 Edinburgh UK
49 Los Angeles US
49 Yokohama Japan
51 Washington DC US
52 Madrid Spain
53 Birmingham UK
53 Rome Italy
55 Glasgow UK
56 Pittsburgh US
57 Philadelphia US
58 Osaka Japan
59 Aberdeen UK
60 Leipzig Germany
61 Minneapolis US
62 Nagoya Japan
63 Dallas US
64 Belfast UK
65 Houston US
66 Miami US
67 Atlanta US
68 St. Louis US
69 Prague Czech Republic
70 Detroit US
70 Hong Kong Hong Kong
72 Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe
73 Seoul South Korea
74 San Juan Puerto Rico
75 Dubai United Arab Emirates
76 Ljubljana Slovenia
77 Budapest Hungary
78 Montevideo Uruguay
79 Vilnius Lithuania
79 Warsaw Poland
81 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
82 Bratislava Slovakia
83 Port Louis Mauritius
84 Taipei Taiwan
85 Durban South Africa
86 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
87 Athens Greece
88 Limassol Cyprus
89 Tallinn Estonia
90 Riga Latvia
91 Busan South Korea
92 Cape Town South Africa
93 Buenos Aires Argentina
94 Santiago Chile
95 Johannesburg South Africa
96 Panama City Panama
97 Victoria Seychelles
98 Zagreb Croatia
99 Wroclaw Poland
100 Taichung Taiwan

Auckland's Housing Affordability Under the Spotlight

Auckland’s housing affordability is currently under Auckland Council’s spotlight.  

Auckland Council will set a goal to bring down the ratio of median home purchase price-to-median household income to five-to-one by 2030. The ratio is currently almost 10-to-one. 

The new goal was a key recommendation made in the report Housing Supply, Choice and Affordability. The report was presented to the council’s Auckland Development Committee on 15 October 2015.

The committee agreed, in principle, to include the target in the forthcoming refresh of the Auckland Plan. It noted that the council needs to continue to work in partnership with the government if this housing affordability target were to be met. 

The committee also agreed to commission further analysis and advice on the issue of housing affordability in consultation with government agencies, to be completed in February 2016.

Chris Parker, Auckland Council chief economist and author of the report, welcomed the decision and the council’s ongoing commitment to tackling this issue. 

“Including the target to reduce the price to income ratio down to five-to-one in the Auckland Plan is a really positive step towards making housing more affordable,” Mr Parker says. 

“It will help shape and focus our thinking moving forward. It will provide us with a tangible, achievable goal to frame up the decisions the council needs to make to create the world’s most liveable city including affordable housing.”

Auckland Development Committee chair, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, says that the decision was very easy for the committee to make.

“Every councillor knows there are real challenges ahead of us in tackling Auckland’s very serious housing issue. The target is something real to keep us focused and, by setting a goal, we can continue to make every effort and use every lever to make homes more affordable.”

You can read full the report here. 

Auckland Council Maintains a Strong Credit rating

Strong credit rating reaffirmed for Auckland Council

Despite some strong criticism in some quarters, Auckland Council has retained its strong credit rating from international agency Moody’s Investors Service.

The agency has this week reaffirmed council’s stable Aa2 credit rating. This reflects the council’s ability to service its debt obligations, Group Chief Financial Officer Sue Tindal says.

But the council is not without its challenges, which Ms Tindal acknowledges.

“Auckland is experiencing its biggest population boost in more than 12 years and as a council we need to grow too,” she says.

“In the last year alone, 43,000 people decided to call Auckland home and, in response, we’ve seen demand for our services increase.

“Moody’s reaffirming our credit rating of a stable Aa2 is good news for Auckland and Aucklanders, but our work does not stop here.”

The council has a busy year ahead, with consultation on the 2016/17 Annual Plan beginning in 2016. This will be guided by the council’s Long-term Plan, which allows the city to establish clear borrowing and investment policies and provides a clear strategy for the next 10 years, Ms Tindal says.

Since 2010, when the eight former councils were amalgamated into one, Auckland’s total population has increased by 132,000 people.

In the last year alone, increased work volumes in consenting areas saw building consents up 6 per cent, building inspections rise 5 per cent, and resource consents increase 5.5 per cent. Bringing services in-house has also resulted in savings, such as in animal management, which produced a net saving of about $800,000 a year.

“Our financial strategy sets limits on the council’s borrowing to maintain debt at a sustainable level,” Ms Tindal says. “While total group debt is projected to reach $11.6 billion by 2025, it will still remain at a prudent level in comparison to our annual income of $5.4 billion, by 2025.”

The council considers this increase in debt to be appropriate on the basis that it is primarily driven by investment in new assets and the benefit of the expenditure is spread over time, thereby promoting inter-generational equity – costs are shared with those that benefit from the assets, she says.

 

Click here to read more 

New Double Decker Buses Arrive in East Auckland

East Aucklanders are the first to get the benefit of a new fleet of double decker buses, being rolled out from Wednesday 4 November.

Until now their use has been restricted to the Northern Busway, but on 4 November the first double-decker bus went into service in the Botany area.

Improved service

The first trip departed Botany Shopping Centre travelling to Britomart along the 500 Route. The service is being operated for Auckland Transport by Howick & Eastern Buses Ltd.

Sheryll Otway from Howick & Eastern says the company is very proud of this new addition to its fleet. 

“These buses have improved seating, USB charging points and in time will have on-board WiFi and infotainment systems.”

Auckland Transport General Manager AT Metro Mark Lambert says over the next few months double-deckers will become a regular sight in Auckland.

“Howick & Eastern will have their 15 running to the east, Ritchies will eventually have 15 crossing the harbour bridge and NZ Bus has plans for 23 buses. It’s an exciting time for bus users in Auckland.”

More Aucklanders taking the bus

Bus services in Auckland totalled 60.2 million passenger boardings for the 12 months to September, an annual increase of 5.7 per cent. 

 

Click here to view a video of the new double decker buses

Government to Work with Council on Improving Aucklands Transport System

At last …. the Government and Auckland Council have agreed to work together to identify a preferred approach for developing Aucklands transport system over the next 30 years.

This project involves officials from the Ministry of Transport, Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, the NZ Transport Agency, the Treasury and the State Services Commission working together over the next year to test options for how Auckland’s transport system could develop.

Officials will recommend a preferred approach to the Government and Auckland Councillors for their consideration.  

For more information, and to view the project terms of reference, see the Ministry of Transport website.

Reducing Erosion on Auckland's Coasts

Auckland Council is carrying out studies to aim at reducing erosion on Auckland’s coasts.

 

“The coasts of New Zealand were once clothed in native vegetation”,says an environmental spokesperson at Auckland Council .

 

“The plant communities would have ranged from highly salt-tolerant species, typical of estuaries, dunes and rocky cliffs, to hardy ferns, shrubs and trees, typical of coastal broad-leaf forest.” 

 

“Coastal forests, clifftops, banks and dunes are some of New Zealand’s most threatened ecosystems.

 

Coastal forests have been reduced by over 90 per cent from their original extent, and less than 10 per cent of New Zealand’s sand dunes remain unmodified.

 

Good vegetation cover on land bordering the sea can help coastal ecosystems by:

  • providing habitats for native birds and animals
  • preventing erosion of soil and sand by wind and water
  • shading out invasive weeds
  • preserving the natural character of our coastal environment.

Coastal planting requires an ongoing commitment to weed management until the plants have successfully establish. You need to remove weeds from around plants for 2-3 years, or until the native plants are high enough to over-top the weeds and crowd them out.”

 

For planting advice, see Auckland Council’s series of coastal planting guides:

Record Number of Cruise Ships Visiting Auckland

This summer tour operators are expecting a record number of cruise ships visiting Auckland .

Auckland’s bumper cruise ship season kicked off on 8 October with the arrival of Princess Cruises’ mega-liner Diamond Princess.

About a quarter of a million cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Auckland this season, a third more than last season. Cruise ship activity is forecast to earn Auckland’s economy $250 million this season, and contribute up to $540 million to the national economy.

Auckland receives significant economic return from the provisioning and refuelling of cruise ships, as well as money spent by crew and passengers during exchanges and stops in Auckland.

Mayor Len Brown says cruise ship visits into Auckland have more than doubled in the past 10 years.

“It’s great to see the cruise sector thriving, and that this is set to continue in the coming seasons with even more ships and passengers,” he says.     

Auckland’s cruise ships: quick facts

  • Cruise ships are expected to bring $250 million to Auckland’s economy this season.
  • GDP returns from cruise ships are increasing: last season, cruise ships were worth $190 million to the Auckland economy, up almost a fifth on the previous season.
  • 30 cruise ships will visit Auckland in the next eight months.
  • Cruise ships are the third-biggest market for the tourism industry.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas will become the largest ship ever to dock in New Zealand when it arrives in Auckland in December 2016
  • The 116,000-tonne Diamond Princess arrived in Auckland harbour on 8 October, bringing 2670 guests who spent a day exploring Auckland.

Auckland Art Week

Now it its sixth year, Art Week is a celebration of Auckland’s thriving art scene 

Where: Auckland-wide 

When:  From Saturday 10 October 2015, 9.00am – Sunday 18 October 2015, 5.00pm.

Artweek spans only 10 days a year and is unique among art festivals in its mission to bring attention to the existing network of amazing art we have around us year-round.

 

Artweek’s events aim to look in to every corner of the art world in Auckland, with events that not only encourage viewers to get to more galleries, but to also consider the processes of artists themselves, and also learn more about the role of curators, writers, and collectors.

 

This year’s events are spread over an unprecedented 10 Auckland neighbourhoods, each with their own flavour.

 

Check the programme on the Auckland Council website for any costs or booking requirements.

 

Click here to watch a video showing some of what is happening

 

 

Auckland City Litter Laws

The Auckland City Litter Laws are administered and enforced by Auckland Council.

They say that we are all responsible under the Resource Management Act 1991 for avoiding, reducing or remedying negative impacts on the environment, caused by our actions.

They say; “We may issue an infringement notice, or environmental fine, when a person or organisation breaches the act in any of the following ways:

  • breach of resource consent conditions
  • breach of district plan rules
  • breach of an abatement notice
  • deposit of litter.

If you receive an environmental infringement notice, you must pay your fee or fine within 28 days of the date the infringement notice was issued, unless you write to us with information about the infringement notice.

 

If you haven’t written to us or paid your fee, we may lodge your infringement with the Department of Courts. We have the authority to seek payment from you for the fine, plus extra costs.”

 

To find out how to pay your fee or fine, enter the property address where the infringement was issued in the search field below:

The ASB Auckland Marathon Coming Soon

The ASB Auckland Marathon is an experience that’s more than just a race. It conjures many visions: getting active for your personal fitness goal or with your mates as a team; thousands serpentining their way across Auckland; running over the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge; the trail through the CBD and along the waterfront taking in the spectacular harbour views.

You’re invited to join in the fun on Sunday, 1 November 2015.

The ASB Auckland Marathon is a festival of events with options for everyone, including the ASB Auckland Marathon, Half Marathon, 12K Traverse, Heart Foundation 5K Challenge and the Kids Marathon.

Entries for all events are still open.

Click here to visit the Auckland marathon website to enter or for more information.