10 October 2008

New Plymouth awarded top NZ city

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New Plymouth has beaten Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland to be named this year's top city in New Zealand.

While Christchurch came in second, and Wellington and Auckland were placed at equal third, New Plymouth was announced the Top Town in New Zealand by the North and South Magazine.

The town has recently also been named the only New Zealand finalist in the Whole City Award in the International Awards for Liveable Communities.

The New Plymouth Mayor Peter Tennent said in a press release he is very proud of his town’s international achievements and acknowledgements.

"Being judged the top community in New Zealand by North and South is a huge accolade.  Those of us that live here have never been in any doubt of how fantastic this place is, but it is wonderful to have independent judging attesting just that.  The best place to live in the best country in the world is pretty special!" Mr Tennent said.

The Editor of North and South magazine Virginia Larson said New Plymouth excelled in all areas of the judging criteria, including climate, environment, economy, lifestyle, affordable housing, employment opportunities, economic growth and facilities.

"Since we last ran our Top Town Competition in 2000, New Plymouth has rapidly developed its art and cultural offerings – such as Puke Ariki, concerts and events like WOMAD, and major sporting events like the ITU Triathlon World Cup, Davis Cup, rugby and cricket fixtures," said Ms Larson. 

The magazine sent a questionnaire to more than 40 cities and used information from Statistics New Zealand, NIWA, Quotable Value and BERL to make their decision.

"It’s because of our heritage of innovation and determination that we have ground-breaking facilities, extensive parks and reserves, a magnificent programme of events and festivals, and a very strong local economy – which combined with our fantastic landscape makes for a lifestyle that’s unequalled anywhere. We truly are blessed!" added Mr Tennent.

New Zealand has topped the world in seven different surveys listing the most ideal places to live and the worldwide quality of living standards.

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 someone’s 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.

According to the Mail Online, around 30,000 Brits move to New Zealand every year under the New Zealand skilled migration program.

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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