Auckland - it's the city the rest of New Zealand loves to hate. Or at least they used to.

A recent Herald on Sunday-commissioned poll found around 45 per cent believed Aucklanders held themselves in higher regard than other New Zealanders. But just as many disagreed with the statement - or just didn't care.

Jason Hill, tourism manager at Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed), said the results from the Key Research poll were positive.

"If you had conducted a poll like that 15-20 years ago the numbers would have been a lot higher.


"Attitudes towards Auckland are changing and more people from outside Auckland are choosing to live here."

Hill believed the more people were exposed to Aucklanders the more positive they felt. He said visits to Auckland for the Rugby World Cup broke down a lot of negative perceptions.

"People came here and had a great time. They might have partied in the city centre and had a trip to a vineyard and just spent some time."

Proud Aucklander and former All Black Sir John Kirwan wanted to see the rest of New Zealand support the city and said Aucklanders should be proud to say where they lived.

He wore a Jafa T-shirt with pride and said it stood for "Just Another Fantastic Aucklander" - rather than the derogatory phrase sometimes used.