Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Auckland third-best city for quality of living

City judged third in world for fourth time in survey on quality of living.
Auckland came third in three previous Quality of Living surveys. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Auckland came third in three previous Quality of Living surveys. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Auckland has been ranked the world's third-best city for quality of living for the fourth time.

The City of Sails came third in three previous Quality of Living surveys by recruitment consultancy Mercer, last year, in 2014, and in 2012.

The survey ranks 230 cities on factors such as culture and environment, political stability, safety, housing, education, and ease of doing business.

Austrian capital Vienna was the top-ranked city globally, followed by Zurich in Switzerland. The cities have held their rankings since the survey began in 2010.

Wellington ranked 12th for the third time, and Sydney was Australia's top-ranked city at 10. Melbourne was the next-highest Australian city, ranked at 15.

Vancouver was North America's highest-ranking city, in 5th place, and Singapore was the highest ranking Asian city, coming in 26th place.

Mercer mobility leader Lorraine Jennings said New Zealand cities had several attractive qualities.

"New Zealand cities illustrate a stable infrastructure, increased availability of housing on the city fringe and lifestyle choices that are particularly appealing to the younger generation.

"This is all good news in terms of New Zealand-based companies attracting international talent."

Safety was a key determinant of quality of life, according to Mercer.

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"Heightened domestic and global security threats, population displacement resulting from violence and social unrest in key business centres around the world are all adding to the complex challenge facing multinational companies."

Luxembourg topped the list for personal safety, followed by Bern, Helsinki and Zurich, which all tied for second place.

Auckland and Wellington were ninth equal for personal safety.

Meanwhile, Baghdad was rated the world's least safe city, ahead of Damascus, the second-least safe city.

Baghdad was also rated the lowest for quality of life overall. Bangui in the Central African Republic was the second lowest-ranked city for quality of life.

Only a handful of cities in the Middle East and Africa made the top 100 for overall quality of life. Dubai was the highest ranking city in the region, at 75.

Welcome stranger

Pau Penafiel  moved to Auckland from the Philippines six years ago and works as a neonatal nurse at Auckland City Hospital. Photo / Supplied
Pau Penafiel moved to Auckland from the Philippines six years ago and works as a neonatal nurse at Auckland City Hospital. Photo / Supplied

Neonatal nurse Pau Penafiel, 29, moved to Auckland from the Philippines six years ago for a better lifestyle.

"The employment opportunities and pay is a lot better than in the Philippines, and the cost of living is comparatively better," she said.

"I find Aucklanders friendly and generally culturally-wise, and welcoming."

Ms Penafiel is living in a three-bedroom flat in Royal Oak. She doesn't think she will be able to afford to enter the housing market anytime soon, but is quite happy in her flat.

"I like to get out and do some sightseeing around Auckland when I'm not working. I love good food so I like trying a new restaurant every now and then, and I enjoy hot yoga."

Ms Penafiel came to Auckland, rather than another part of New Zealand, figuring there would be opportunities in the country's biggest city.

- NZ Herald

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