New Zealand is often touted as the lush green oasis of the world. Home to some of the most beautiful coastlines and greenery on the planet, it gives the impression of an idyllic place to work and play. New Zealand’s most populous city, Auckland, boasts the perfect balance of the abundant nature Aotearoa is known for and has its own bustling city life and culture. With a booming job market, a COVID-19 free status, and friendly locals, Auckland has been ranked the most livable city in the world. Thinking of moving to Auckland? Have a read below of some interesting facts.
The Job Market
Out of anywhere to relocate to New Zealand for career opportunities, Auckland continues to be the number one choice. Auckland has an urban population of 1,470,100 (in a country of 5 million) and accounts for 40% of the country's gross domestic product. Job growth has increased dramatically since Covid restrictions began to ease, with a 115% rise in advertised opportunities from June 2020 to June 2021. Construction continues to be one of Auckland’s rapidly growing industries, grossing $16.6 billion in GDP in 2020 and employing over 85,000 workers.
Auckland has experienced a housing boom/crisis since 2011, meaning that the need for construction workers continues to be in high demand. Construction is the second largest industry in Auckland and continues to advance. Major infrastructure projects include Auckland Airport and the City Rail Link. It is predicted that the construction industry is set to grow up to 70% over the next ten years.
Auckland is also the main hub for New Zealand’s technology industry, including creative, health and financial technologies. Over the last decade, the technology sector has seen an 80% growth, a $12.1 billion revenue increase in 2019, and employs a whopping 68,000 people within Auckland. 60% of New Zealand’s top tech companies are located in Auckland, including Google, Rex Bionics and Salesforce. The average salary for an IT graduate is $70k.
The film and television industry was granted a $230 million Government boost in 2020 and employed roughly 20,000 local jobs. Auckland is home to 11 major film studios and sound screens. In 2020, the film television industry grew 15.6% and showcased evidence of continued growth.
- Software Developer - an average of around $75,000, but can grow up to $100k.
- Project Admin - depending on skill and company, you’re looking between $55k-70k
- Carpenters - anywhere between $25-50 an hour, often on a casual or hourly basis.
Auckland is set out into five major sectors - North Shore, West, East, South and CBD/city fringe. Each suburb has its own unique culture and way of life - the West is known for its stunning black sand beaches and the CBD for its Instagram-worthy oyster bars overlooking the harbour. Auckland is a city built atop a valley of volcanoes. Many of these are now lookouts or walking tracks, so the city is quite hilly. In fact, Queen Street is basically one large 3km slope from the bottom of Britomart to the top, at Karangahape Road.
But is Auckland for You?
Auckland is otherwise known as the City of Sails, and the importance of its coastline cannot be underestimated. Beach and boat life are all important factors in many Aucklanders lives. While it is home to many heritage buildings and cultural events, it’s not considered the cultural capital of New Zealand - that crown goes to Wellington. For those moving to New Zealand searching for a slower pace of life or a small-town community feel, Auckland will probably not deliver in that sense, as it is the most urban and populous city in New Zealand. However, if you are after that quintessential balance between metropolitan life and access to the sprawling outdoors, then Auckland will tick all those boxes for you.
- It offers the best of both worlds: city-living while never being more than half an hour away from a beach or forest hike.
- Auckland is home to many of New Zealand’s iconic events: America’s World Cup, the Lantern Festival, the New Zealand International Film Festival and more.
- The cost of living is very high, especially compared to the rest of New Zealand.
- Auckland is also known for having ‘four seasons in one day’ - blistering sun in the morning and then raining all afternoon.
Unfortunately, the Auckland housing market is in a dire undersupply, and it is the sellers and landlord market. The average sale price as of May 2021 was $1.35 million. Regarding renting, the reported average monthly rent for a city/city fringe apartment is $1,943, and $1,678 for the suburbs, as of August 2021. If you’re wanting to move to Auckland as a young professional, flatting with others is likely the best way to go, and even then, it can be a struggle to find a decent place around.
Public transport leaves a lot to be desired in Auckland and is somewhat expensive, at roughly $4 for a one-way ticket. The city relies most heavily on its network of buses and also the few ferry and train lines. However, these PT routes are mainly insufficient outside of the CBD, and most people choose to drive to work every day. Due to that, traffic also continues to be consistently heavy during peak hours, and most locals would recommend new job seekers to look for roles mainly in their local vicinity or the CBD to save the long-suffering commute times. Driving can also be an expensive choice, with petrol rarely under $2 a litre.
Relocation costs to Auckland vary greatly depending on where you’re coming from. If you are a single person from another region in Auckland and can fit all your belongings in the back of your car, your only expense will be the bond for your apartment and the gas to get here. Average movers costs are about $150+ per hour for moving from somewhere in the North Island. If you’re relocating from the South Island to Auckland, hiring a container for your furniture could put you out $2,500+, and that price would only increase if you were moving from somewhere further away, such as Australia.
If you are an ex-pat relocating to Auckland, you will need to apply and obtain a visa. Different student and working visas are an option if you’re eligible. Still, the most common visa for someone planning to move and find employment would be the Working Holiday visa. This applies to those 18-35 and allows you to stay 12 months, or up to 23 months if moving from the United Kingdom or Canada. It costs around $250 to apply, and you will also have to show you have sufficient funds for your trip and return ticket home.
Does the idea of days spent in the city and sunsets on the beach appeal to you? You’ll never regret moving to Auckland.