Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Auckland most hostile city - by a country mile

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said other polls had rated the city highly for friendliness. Photo / Greg Bowker
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said other polls had rated the city highly for friendliness. Photo / Greg Bowker

It's the city many past the Bombay Hills love to hate and now Auckland has topped a poll to find the least friendly places in New Zealand.

The city led the online poll by Yahoo NZ Travel with 50 per cent of the 4231 votes.

Hamilton was second on 18 per cent. Dunedin (only 3 per cent) was considered the most friendly city.

But Auckland Mayor Len Brown dismissed the city's unpopularity rating and said he was not fazed by the results - other polls had rated Auckland tops for friendliness.

"In a scientific survey carried out in the wake of Rugby World Cup, 92 per cent of people commented on the friendliness of Aucklanders," Mr Brown said. "That's the Auckland I know and love."

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett also rejected the survey results.

"We are the commercial capital, it is busier and bigger, it probably has a sense of perhaps being less personal than the smaller centres," Mr Barnett said.

"But if we look at the Rugby World Cup and the real cosmopolitan effect that we had here in Auckland, and the fun and the partying, you'd be asking where the hell did they do their survey?"

Auckland Council member Sir John Walker said VIP visitors he met during the World Cup were impressed by Aucklanders' friendliness during the tournament.

"People say, 'We had a great time and want to go back for their friendliness'," he said.

Former Hamilton city councillor and TV presenter Kay Gregory said her city's second-place finish was more Hamilton-bashing by people who didn't know the city.

"I've always said that the people who say that have not been here. It's the thing to do is to bash Hamilton."

Mrs Gregory, who spent one term as a Hamilton councillor, said the city was underrated and it was typical that Hamilton and Auckland had been singled out.

"I've worked with a lot of people who have had to move to Hamilton for a couple of years for work who said, 'Oh not Hamilton,' and they've got here and never left because they have discovered people are really friendly."

Hamilton was a little but "happy city ... We're not as stressed as some places".

Dunedin Mayor Dan Cull was not surprised by his city's rating.

"I would have expected that," he said.

The unscientific online poll was conducted over a week late last month

Cold towns

Unfriendly cities (percentage of voters)50 per cent said Auckland

18 per cent
said Hamilton

13 per cent
said Christchurch

8 per cent
said Wellingon

3 per cent
said Dunedin

- NZ Herald

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