Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s goal to create the world’s most liveable city has suffered a blow after an international strategy guru rated Wellington ahead of the Queen City, reports the NZ Herald.
“We doubt that Auckland is the most liveable city in the country, no less the world,” says Hong Kong-based Professor Michael Enright.
“We’d put Wellington first in New Zealand and pre-earthquake Christchurch second, sorry,” he said in the Auckland chapter of a report on New Zealand’s competitiveness.
“Wellington is an incredibly liveable city and we’ve got to be so careful not to spoil it,” says Mayor Wade-Brown. “This week’s Quality of Life survey showed 93 percent of residents think Wellington is a great place to live, and today Professor Enright ranked Wellington first for liveability in New Zealand in his major report on New Zealand’s competitiveness.
“A strong economy is more than just the movement of objects. A strong economy flows from people loving where they live, so we must strive to continuously enhance liveability.”
Auckland, Professor Enright said, lacked entertainment and cultural facilities, still depended on cars to get around and needed to move the container port off the most important piece of land in New Zealand for an iconic building. “While foreign impressions of Auckland are positive, very few foreigners can name a single thing that is distinctive about the city,” said his report.
Some of his strongest criticism was directed at the Auckland CBD, calling the $45 million upgrade of the Aotea Centre a “concrete jungle” and bemoaning the lack of a world-class entertainment or nightlife district, like a Times Square.
“Queen St, which should be the Champs Elysees, the Fifth Ave of Auckland, is deteriorating … there is limited outdoor cafe culture near the city centre.”
Professor Enright said Auckland’s first priority should be a mass transit system, including the city rail loop, followed by revitalising the CBD – calling the $45 million upgraded Aotea Square a “concrete jungle” – and an end to urban sprawl in favour of an “overall denser Auckland”.
The report, New Zealand’s Competitiveness: competitiveness at the leading edge, was sponsored by the Government and an Auckland Council body, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed).