Auckland is being left behind by some of the world's biggest cities, according to a report released today.
A City of Opportunity, compiled by global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), looked at four areas that needed the most work in Auckland. They were transportation and infrastructure, technology readiness, demographics and liveability and economic clout.
PwC's Cities of Opportunity 2015 global report, in its seventh edition, analysed 30 cities around the world and covered three main dimensions - tools for a changing world, economics and quality of life. There were a total of 10 categories within those dimensions and another 59 topics overall covered within those.
Auckland and Amsterdam were added into this year's global report as a snapshot, allowing the two cities to see how they would fare in an international context.
Since Auckland was last compared in this way in 2012, it has flat lined as other cities have advanced, meaning the Auckland ranking on average has dropped by two to three positions.
In the transportation and infrastructure category Auckland ranked 30th, coming third to last in front of Johannesburg and Nairobi.
Auckland's public transport systems, mass transit coverage, cost of public transport, licensed taxis, major construction activity, and housing were taken into account for this category.
Singapore topped the list, while Toronto and Buenos Aires were second and third.
The City of Sails ranked 16th, half way down the pack, for technology readiness.
The winner was Stockholm and runners-up were Amsterdam and London.
This category took into account internet access in schools, broadband quality, digital economy, and software development and multi-media design.
For demographics and liveability Auckland came 13th with Sydney winning this category and London and Berlin coming second and third.
Cultural vibrancy, quality of living, working age population, traffic congestion, ease of commute, and relocation attractiveness were looked at for the category.
Auckland came 25th for economic clout, which measured the number of Global 500 headquarters, financial and business services employment, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), productivity, and the rate of real GDP growth.
London was first, New York second, and Beijing third.
But Hazem Galal, PwC's global leader of the city and local government, said it was not all bad.
In some of the 59 topics, Auckland had improved, he said, including housing and quality of living.
"In terms of some of the positive things that Auckland continues to have, I think the quality of life and its ability to attract talent from the rest of the country and the ability to provide ease of doing business is something the city continues to demonstrate, which is important."
Egon de Haas, PwC's global director of government and public services, said another area that had improved was Auckland's broadband quality.
"With the importance of the digital economy these days and the technology readiness of cities, the national broadband project that was implemented here helped the city of Auckland to also improve itself against other cities."
Mr Galal said the report showed there were some areas Auckland needed to develop if it wanted to climb the list. "I think the Auckland story is not always told outside to the rest of the world."
He said the current Auckland mayor and Council management team were starting to improve this, but more needed to be done.
"It's important to start thinking - with the shift of economic power being from Atlantic to Pacific centric - that rather than Auckland being at the end or edge of the world, how it can reposition itself to be at the centre of that shift."
Another "slightly alarming" indicator was the demographics of Auckland's working population, he said.
"[It] is becoming more of an aging population, so how do you make sure that the city continues to be a young city and you attract the best talent, not only from the country but from the whole region and potentially the rest of the world."
He said one way of doing this was making transport more affordable because that was one area where Auckland was not performing well.
"As Auckland becomes more of a metropolitan region I think [transport] becomes even more important to improve..."
Auckland will now feature in a similar report for the Asia-Pacific region, which will be finalised within the next few months. PwC's Cities of Opportunity report first started in 2007 in partnership with New York city which, post 9/11, felt it was losing its competiveness and wanted to start benchmarking itself against the rest of the world.
In the report, each of the 59 variables are equally weighted when measuring the score of a city. Each city is ranked from 1 to 32 for each of the variables - the ranking corresponding to the score given for that variable. These variable scores are then added together to find the overall score - and ranking - of the indicator category. The city with the lowest score is ranked first.
In response to the report, Auckland Mayor Len Brown said tonight that the transport and infrastructure category reinforced what Aucklanders tell him every day - "fix transport".
"That's why we introduced the interim transport levy, why we need a transport accord with the government and why the City Rail Link needs to be built now. It's gratifying to see improvements in our rankings for housing and quality of life."