Auckland one of world's top three cities
Tuesday 4 Dec 2012 3:34 p.m.
New Zealand's big smoke has retained its ranking in the 2012 Quality of Living Survey, which examines hundreds of cities worldwide
It sprawls across volcanoes, houses are unaffordable and it will soon boast a 15-storey brothel - welcome to Auckland, the world's third most liveable city.
New Zealand's biggest city has retained its ranking in the 2012 Quality of Living Survey rating cities on their living standards and working conditions for overseas workers. Auckland was also rated third in the world in 2011.
The Austrian capital of Vienna is still the best place to live with the Swiss city of Zurich in second.
While thousands of Kiwis may be ditching these shores for Australia, the city of Auckland outranks Sydney (10th), Melbourne (17th), Perth (21st), Canberra (26th), Adelaide (29th) and Brisbane (37th).
Wellington in 13th place does better than all of its trans-Tasman cousins bar Sydney in the ranking of 221 cities over 39 criteria, by global human resources consultant Mercer.
"New Zealand continues to present itself as an attractive destination for skilled workers due to our world class schooling, public services and high living standards," said Mercer NZ head Martin Lewington.
"The consistently high quality of living ranking of our cities ensures New Zealand continues to offer multi-national organisations an appealing destination to set up a regional hub into new Asian markets."
Mercer annually rates cities around the world in 10 categories, including political and socio-economic environment, medical and health, education, transport and housing.
Mr Lewington says global organisations rely on the annual report to protect the well-being and security of employees placed overseas.
But Auckland (43rd) and Wellington (48th), slipped back into the pack when it came to assessing infrastructure based on electricity supply, water availability, phone and mail services, public transport, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports.
The city with the lowest quality of living in the survey is still Baghdad while Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, ravaged by an earthquake in January 2010, has the worst infrastructure.