The city of Auckland, or colloquially known as Akarana, is the largest urban area in New Zealand. The city is located up north of the North Island, bordered by the Hauraki Gulf on the east, the Hunua Ranges to the southeast, the Manukau Harbor to the southwest and the Watakere Ranges to the west. Located on an isthmus, the city center is the connection between the Manukau and the Waitamata harbors. The city is comprised of the Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore and Auckland districts. Auckland, the city center, is a metropolitan city and has become a haven for people seeking employment, education and recreation.
The city’s population number 1.3 million people and is composed of Europeans, Maori, Pacific Islanders, Asians, Middle Eastern nationals, Latin Americans and Africans. All these people from all corners of the country and the world have come to Auckland.
Auckland is one of the most modern and richest cities in the world. It has enjoyed a high standard of living, among the highest, in the world. Its economy is based on a strong financial sector with a highly developed manufacturing as well as creative sector. There are also large commercial centers with great activity as the high disposable income of its populace allows high consumer exchange for its local economy. The city has been placed fourth overall in the 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
All may seem rosy for those wanting to live in Auckland as they look in from afar. As it is for all individuals seeking to immigrate, you need to do lot of research before deciding on moving to Auckland or to any place for that matter. For those that choose to move to New Zealand, there are many others who choose to leave it. Unknown to many, there are 1,000 people who leave New Zealand seeking greener pastures elsewhere. They may have their reasons to leave so you need to find out what they are lest they affect your stay while in Auckland, New Zealand.
Residential Places in Auckland
There are many housing options in New Zealand and these range from exclusive gated prime properties to public housing. The residential areas are scattered in a wide area around the city, with the suburbs closest to the Central Business District considered as the prime properties in the area. The suburbs of Arch Hill and Balmoral are those prime properties and with that command higher than average prices for its homes. These prime locations have period residences from the 1920’s to the 1930’s.
Another prime location just five kilometers from the city center is the suburb of Epsom. The homes in this area are of 1920’s to 1930’s California design bungalows. Also located in the suburb is the Alexandra Park Raceway, one of the foremost tracks in New Zealand.
The suburbs of Auckland
There are large residential suburbs in Auckland with choices ranging from state owned housing in the lower income areas to waterfront mansions and estates. The first on the list is Avondale which is located to the west of the city center. In this suburb, the most affluent is the gated park known as Hollyfield Park. Aside from this community, there are also many apartments, town homes and bungalows. Also located nearby is Blockhouse Bay, just about 11 kms away from the city center. Another affluent suburb is Allerslie, just 7kms from the city center. This suburb also is home to Ellerslie Racecourse and Ellerslie Convention Center. Freeman’s Bay is another good location with choices between heritage homes or apartment complexes or town homes. If you wish to find residences near the shopping districts, you can choose between K-Rd and Ponsonby Road. Also nearby is Kohimarama located on the coast east of the city center. This suburb provides a great view overlooking Auckland Harbor.
Hospitals and Universities of Auckland
A number of New Zealand’s best educational facilities are located in Auckland. The oldest one is the University of Auckland and the institution offers programs from law, arts, business, education, engineering and the sciences. There is also a program that allows students to obtain multiple degrees at a shorter period of time. The university has trained many of the foremost individuals of New Zealand becoming politicians, government servants, justices and scholars for the country.
Another respected institution is the Auckland University of Technology. The university was established in 2000 and is New Zealand’s university. The university is located on two campuses, namely Wellesley in Auckland and at Akoranga at North Shore. There is also a technology park in Penrose also under the supervision of the university. AUT offers both graduate and undergraduate programs alongside diplomas and certificates across a number of disciplines such as engineering, applied sciences, social science, medicine, business, languages and tourism. AUT in 2006 has a student population of 22,000 with over twelve percent of them foreign students.
The other universities in Auckland are Massey University, New Zealand’s largest higher educational institution, the Manukau Institute of Technology. MIT is in partnership with UOA and the polytechnic university, Unitec New Zealand.
The city of Auckland also has a number of primary and secondary schools, with a spattering of private schools. Located in Auckland are New Zealand’s largest full time high schools, namely Rangitoto College, Avondale College and Massey High School. St. Peter’s College is also located in Auckland and is New Zealand’s biggest Catholic school.
Because of its modernity and affluence, New Zealand has established one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The medical treatment and medications is currently being subsidized by the government for the population of New Zealand. Comparatively, non-residents or working permit holders are required to pay for the cost of hospitalization. Another noted aspect of the healthcare facilities in New Zealand is the same quality of service and equipment between private and public hospitals. The Auckland City Hospital is the largest in the country, with a 710 bed capacity with specialized services for particular hospitals such as the Starship Children’s Health for children’s care, Green Lane Clinical Center for cardio-thoracic care and the National Women’s Hospital for neo natal, maternity and gynecological services.
Commercial Establishments in Auckland
As one of the more affluent cities in the country, Auckland also plays host to a number of shopping malls and department stores. The most modern is the Atrium on Elliot, a four level structure with specialty stores spas with a number of cafes and restaurants. Another must go mall is the Botany Town Center, a sprawling three level shopping complex housing 150 specialty stores, spas and many restaurants and cafes. The Town Center also is the newest with many innovations such as Mother’s Room, Shop Mobility programs together with sectioned parking. Other notable malls include the Stoffels Department Store and Smith and Caughey’s. Most of the best stores are located on Queens Street and High Street, with many shops and boutiques which sell foreign and local designer brands.
Restaurants are one of the regular fixtures on Auckland streets. The most popular ones include the Java Room on Parnell Road with its Indonesian cuisine, Kamo on K-Rd offering Pacific Rim and Mediterranean cuisine, Merchant Mezze Bar on Queens Road for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, Antoine’s on Parnell Road for French cuisine, Hammerhead’s Seafood Restaurant on Okahu Bay for fresh seafood, Sake Bar Rikka Japanese on Victoria Park Market for Nippon cuisine, Toto Italian Restaurant on Nelson for Italian fare among the many. Most of the best and most popular restaurants are located on High Street, Karangahape Road, Ponsinby Road, Parnell Road and Queens Street.
Service Establishments of Auckland
The biggest telephone service company in the country is Telecom New Zealand Ltd. It is also the second largest mobile network provider and is provided by its subsidiary Telecom Mobile. Internet connection, either by ADSL or dial-up, is provided by another subsidiary of the company through its subsidiary Xtra. There are other mobile phone companies in the country, namely Vodafone, comworth Systems, Digital Mobile, Telstraclear, DECE Mobile World Ltd and First Mobile.
As for electricity supply, there is Powerco and UnitedNetworks that provide consumer direct electrical power and also gas needs. Another company is Mercury Energy.
The New Zealand Police Force is tasked to oversee law enforcement and public safety in the company. To cover their beat so to speak, the city is divided into areas for wider coverage. To the north are the areas of Herne Bay and Freeman’s Bay, to the south is St. Onehunga, to the east is Heliers and to the west is Avondale. There are also the counties in the Manukau District which are covered under this system of security governance.
Embassies in Auckland
While the capital city of New Zealand is Wellington, there are many foreign consulates located in Auckland. The consulate of Austria is located on Milford Street, the Consulate of Barbados in Albay, the Consulate of Belgium in Newmarket, the Canadian Consulate- Trade Office, the General Consulate of Croatia in Edmonton, the Consulate of the Czech Republic at Queen Street, the Consulate of El Salvador on Manukau Road, the Korea Trade Center, the Consulate of Poland, the Consulate of Spain in Papakura, the General Consulate of the United Kingdom on Queen Street and the General Consulate of the United States of America on Custom Street.