Auckland Being Left Behind Other World Cities? Well Who Would Have Thought #AKLPols

Latest PwC Cities of Opportunity Report not flash reading

We are meant to be striding towards the Auckland Plan’s goal of “The World’s Most Liveable City” right? Well it seems we might be going actually tad backwards in that goal.

Last night an Auckland Council sponsored Auckland Conversations event was held discussing “Auckland: City of Opportunity – Reaching Sustainable Competitive Advantage.” Once the video link and the 2015 PwC Cities of Opportunity Report are available I will post them here into the blog.

But in short it says while Auckland is improving in some areas overall we have flat-lined compared to other advanced cities (that is our competitors). Meaning? We have gone backwards and slipped down two or three rankings in the overall rankings slot.

From the NZ Herald:

Does Auckland need to catch up?

Auckland is being left behind by some of the world’s biggest cities, according to a report released today.

A City of Opportunity, compiled by global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), looked at four areas that needed the most work in Auckland. They were transportation and infrastructure, technology readiness, demographics and liveability and economic clout.

PwC’s Cities of Opportunity 2015 global report, in its seventh edition, analysed 30 cities around the world and covered three main dimensions – tools for a changing world, economics and quality of life. There were a total of 10 categories within those dimensions and another 59 topics overall covered within those.

Auckland and Amsterdam were added into this year’s global report as a snapshot, allowing the two cities to see how they would fare in an international context.

Since Auckland was last compared in this way in 2012, it has flat lined as other cities have advanced, meaning the Auckland ranking on average has dropped by two to three positions.

Auckland’s public transport systems, mass transit coverage, cost of public transport, licensed taxis, major construction activity, and housing were taken into account for this category.

Singapore topped the list, while Toronto and Buenos Aires were second and third.
The City of Sails ranked 16th, half way down the pack, for technology readiness.

The winner was Stockholm and runners-up were Amsterdam and London.

………In some of the 59 topics, Auckland had improved, he said, including housing and quality of living.

“In terms of some of the positive things that Auckland continues to have, I think the quality of life and its ability to attract talent from the rest of the country and the ability to provide ease of doing business is something the city continues to demonstrate, which is important.”

Egon de Haas, PwC’s global director of government and public services, said another area that had improved was Auckland’s broadband quality.

“With the importance of the digital economy these days and the technology readiness of cities, the national broadband project that was implemented here helped the city of Auckland to also improve itself against other cities.”

Mr Galal said the report showed there were some areas Auckland needed to develop if it wanted to climb the list. “I think the Auckland story is not always told outside to the rest of the world.”

He said the current Auckland mayor and Council management team were starting to improve this, but more needed to be done.

“It’s important to start thinking – with the shift of economic power being from Atlantic to Pacific centric – that rather than Auckland being at the end or edge of the world, how it can reposition itself to be at the centre of that shift.”

………He said one way of doing this was making transport more affordable because that was one area where Auckland was not performing well.

“As Auckland becomes more of a metropolitan region I think [transport] becomes even more important to improve…”

…….In response to the report, Auckland Mayor Len Brown said tonight that the transport and infrastructure category reinforced what Aucklanders tell him every day – “fix transport”.

“That’s why we introduced the interim transport levy, why we need a transport accord with the government and why the City Rail Link needs to be built now. It’s gratifying to see improvements in our rankings for housing and quality of life.”


Source and full article:

So the four things we are lagging in are:

  1. Transportation and infrastructure,
  2. Technology readiness,
  3. Demographics,
  4.  Liveability and economic clout

While we are good at:

  1. Quality of life
  2. Attracting talent
  3. Ease of doing business
Source: NZTA
Source: NZTA

So we have “attractors” all here and ready to go (what we are good at) but the “bones” that make up a City are again sorely lacking. This is going to be a given with Conservative politics not investing (and still not even in 2015) in transport and infrastructure needed to sustain an international city like Auckland.

The message to Central Governments (both National and Labour) is that Auckland is the gateway to the world even for dairy products. If Auckland can not competed to the point we slip behind our advanced cousins as the PwC report basically shows then we as a nation don’t reach our full potential.

However, Auckland (the people) and Auckland Council are need to take some responsibility as well. We are not a village or some small town we are an international city competing against other international cities (not other New Zealand cities) so you need to remember this. Our planning (and this is where Council becomes too timid as the Unitary Plan grinds its way through) needs to be hauled over and evaluated on whether we want to plan for a village in the Pacific or plan for an international city of the World.

So what to do?

Seems we need some “Change Agents” to jolt Auckland forward on the four things we are lagging on.

More on that on Monday

Oh and the Official Cash Rate falling at the rate as it is might be good for my mortgage repayments but it does send warnings that the Economy including Auckland’s is starting to stall.

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