06 October 2008

NZ tops the charts for best place to live

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New Zealand has topped the charts in seven different surveys listing the most ideal places to live.

According to the Mail Online, around 30,000 Brits move to New Zealand every year under the New Zealand skilled migration program, and it has been attributed to the glowing reports New Zealand has had from worldwide quality of living surveys.

The recent 2008 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey by Mercer ranked New Zealand a gold award, while Transparency International voted it the least corrupt country on earth, reports themovechannel.com.

According to Alliance and Leicester International, New Zealand has one of the lowest average property prices and low costs of food, fuel and drink, making the country rate top for quality and cost of living.  It also ranks favourably for its tax rates, low crime rate, generous annual leave and working hours.  The tax on businesses is much less than their Australian counterparts and the OECD average; in Australia the total tax rate as a percentage of the profits is 50.3 per cent, which is 14.7 per cent higher than New Zealand businesses.

The Mercer Human Resource Consulting survey voted Auckland the fifth best city to live in the world, which puts it at the highest ranking for the Asia-Pacific region in this survey. 

Following Hong Kong and Singapore, New Zealand remains ranked number three in the world for economic freedom by the Canada-based Fraser Institute, reports the National Business Review.  The Economic Freedom of the World report is based on research and listing provided by independent institutions in 75 nations and territories, and uses 42 different measures to create an index based on personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property.

The research shows that countries with more economic freedom have better quality of life, enjoy higher levels of prosperity, have greater individual freedom and longer life spans.

Minister for Small Business Clayton Cosgrove announced during September New Zealand has remained the second best country in the world for ease of doing business and the top APEC member, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2009 survey.

"The average number of days to start a business in the OECD is 13.4 days while in New Zealand it takes approximately one hour. This is thanks to the cooperation between the Companies Office and Inland Revenue which means new businesses can be given their GST number at the same time as incorporating their company online - a major time saver for small businesses," the Minister said.

The long-time running Australian travel show Getaway has also labelled New Zealand ‘Country of the Year 2008’, because its diverse nature as a travel destination, natural beauty, thriving Indigenous and modern cultures, gourmet food and wine and wealth of unique travel experiences make it a world-class travel destination.

"It's great that our international visitors are recognising the diversity and uniqueness of New Zealand as a tourism destination. This award shows that our tourism industry is delivering a high-quality experience to visitors," Mr O’Connor said in his statement.

New Zealand also recently won Best Holiday Destination Worldwide by readers of the British Daily Telegraph and the UK’s Conde Nast Award for higher-end travel.

Simon Ripton, Acting Managing Director of Alliance and Leicester International, told the movechannel.com that although the surveys show New Zealand wins worldwide acclamation for its quality of living, it might be some peoples "idea of hell". 

"That said, New Zealand does on average appear to offer a high quality of life at a reasonable cost - attributes that many people value in their country of residence.  Its strong cultural links to the UK also make it highly attractive to many UK movers," added Mr Ripton.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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