Auckland and Wellington in the top most desirable places in the world

The cities were judged on how well they provide access to facilities such as health services, education and transport, and on other factors such as environment and level of personal safety.  Backed by their access to world-renowned tourist adventures, untouched natural surroundings, laid-back lifestyle and welcoming climates, the two cities easily secured their positions in the top 20 most liveable places in the world, and are more than inviting to New Zealand immigrants.

Wellington is also the only city in New Zealand to attract more international visitors this year than in previous years, according to Statistics New Zealand.  This year, the windy city saw a growth in the number of international guests climbing by eight per cent.  At the same time, the rest of New Zealand suffered a loss of four per cent of international holiday-makers. 

Yesterday, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and the Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand, George Hickton, unveiled a model of the new world-class visitor and education centre at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.  The centre is due to open in 2009, and is set to be one of the capital’s biggest tourist attractions. 

"The Centre will be the first facility of its kind in New Zealand; a must-see destination for anyone interested in New Zealand’s natural history and a major tourist draw-card for the capital. It is one of the biggest tourism attraction developments in Wellington since Te Papa opened 10 years ago," a spokesman for the sanctuary said.

According to Tim Cossar, Chief Executive of Positively Wellington, if the new centre can attract 30,000 visitors to stay another night in Wellington, an extra NZD$4.5 million will be spent directly into Wellington’s economy on a yearly basis. 

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