Auckland And Wellington continue to be recognised as two of the best cities in the world to work and live in.

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 24 April 2006

The two New Zealand cities have seen their ranking jump in the annual World-wide Quality of Living Survey, with Auckland moving up three places from 8th to 5th and Wellington improving two places to come in at 12th.

The news is a great boost for Immigration New Zealand chiefs who have been working hard to attract migrant workers to help alleviate the country’s burgeoning skills shortage problem, particularly in the IT and healthcare industries.

Undertaken by Mercer Human Resources Consulting, the survey covers more than 350 cities and rankings are based on 39 criteria such as political, social, environmental, personal safety, health, education and public services.

Amongst the criteria New Zealand scored particularly high was its environmental performance. It came top of only six countries to achieve a benchmark of 85% or better for meeting a range of critical environmental goals ranging from clean drinking water and low ozone levels to sustainable fisheries and low greenhouse emissions.

The success of the blockbuster movie trilogy Lord of The Rings, directed and produced by Wellington born Peter Jackson, has also been recognized as having helped to showcase the country’s natural beauty to potential new immigrants.

The Hollywood connection has helped generate 3 times as many applications from U.S. workers since the introduction of the Skilled Migrant Category in 2004, making it easier for skilled immigrants to achieve temporary or permanent residency in the country.

The Lord of The Rings success story is also credited for giving birth to a whole new tourism sub-industry that provides tours of locations used in filming.

Anyone who is interested in emigrating to New Zealand should visit the New Zealand Visa Bureau web site and complete the Online Assessment to see if they meet the basic requirements.