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Auckland

Overview

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and principle retail and commercial centre. It is situated at the southern end of the Auckland Peninsula between two harbours, The Waitemata to the east and The Manakau to the west.

The population growth rate of the city has been above the national average over the last decade and today the city is home to nearly 10 per cent of New Zealand's total population with approximately 370,000 inhabitants.

Economy

Auckland is the largest single regional economy in New Zealand and the city of Auckland contributes nearly half of its GDP. According to the city government, growth of the city's economy was 4.6 per cent during the year ending March 2002, outstripping both the regional and national growth rates during this period. Since then, the city's economy has continued to perform well with growth averaging approximately 5 per cent up to December 2002.

According to the Business Demographic Survey produced by Statistics New Zealand, property and business services are some of the city's most important industries accounting for approximately 28 per cent of the economy. Many business and financial firms have been attracted to Auckland from other parts of New Zealand and abroad including names such as Cisco, Citibank, IBM, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft and Price Waterhouse. Other important industries include wholesaling, manufacturing and communications, while the primary sector accounts for approximately 12 per cent of the city's economy.

The port of Auckland also plays a vital role in the success of the region's economy. Ports of Auckland, the company responsible for running the port, has estimated that approximately 33 per cent of jobs in the Auckland region are provided by companies that rely on trade through the port.

Standard Of Living

Auckland benefits from a pleasant climate with average daytime temperatures ranging from 15oC/60oF in winter to 26oC/80oF in Summer. The city is one of New Zealand's premier centres for the arts and entertainment and is home to the country's leading art gallery. There are numerous places of interest, including museums, galleries, an aquarium and the Auckland zoo, as well as bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping areas and a thriving nightlife. There are also a variety of parks in the city and several beautiful beeches are within easy reach.

Unfortunately, as figures released by the Auckland Regional Council show, the city suffers from high levels of air pollution. The city's levels of carbon monoxide are worse than those of cities such as London, Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong, while Auckland's nitrogen dioxide levels are increasing.

Infrastructure

Auckland International Airport is located in the suburb of Mangere just 21 kilometres (14 miles) south of the city centre and is New Zealand's busiest airport. In the year ending june 2002 the airport catered for approximately 9 million passengers and nearly 190,000 tonnes of cargo. There are direct flights connecting the airport with destinations throughout the world including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the US. Flight times from Auckland to Sydney are approximately 3 hours, while London, New York and Tokyo can be reached in about 24 hours, 19 hours and 14 hours respectively.

Ports of Auckland is the country's largest and busiest port operation and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides shipping links to 160 ports in 73 countries and is responsible for approximately 45 per cent of New Zealand's total container trade. Each year Ports of Auckland handles 560,000 containers and 4.2 million tonnes of breakbulk cargo and, in 2000, it was responsible for 27 per cent of New Zealand's exports and 65 per cent of imports.

Public transport in Auckland has been undergoing significant development in recent years to combat the increase in congestion. One such development is the new Britomart transport interchange, which is due for completion in 2003. The interchange will connect, bus, rail and ferry passengers and provide direct access to the Central Business District from all points in the Auckland region.

Workforce

Economic growth coupled with an influx of workers has lead to high employment growth in the Auckland region in recent years. Figures from the Household Labour Force Survey show that in December 2001 Auckland's labour force was approximately 603,000 and there were a further 308,000 people of working age not active in the workforce. The unemployment rate in the region has also been falling and, according to New Zealand's Department of Labour, has decreased from 5.1 per cent in 2001 to 4.9 per cent in 2002.

According to figures produced by Statistics New Zealand from the 2001 census, some 16 per cent of Auckland's labour force have a Bachelors degree or higher, 9 per cent have advanced qualifications and a further 29 per cent had vocational qualifications.

Business Costs

Office rent in Auckland is very competitively priced. According to a report published in January 2002 by one of the world's leading real estate advisory companies, DTZ, average office occupancy costs in Auckland are just $12.30 per square foot per annum. This compares to figures of $74.80 for Hong Kong, $42.50 for Singapore, $33.10 for Sydney , $22.30 for Melbourne and $13.40 for Kuala Lumpur.
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