Auckland: City of a Thousand Fails

If you ever consider moving to Auckland or going there for a visit – don’t.

It’s a place lacking any sort of personality or vibe, a wasteland of sorts. As the most populated city in New Zealand, it is the engine room in terms of tax revenue for the government. Yet the city lacks all forms of basic public infrastructure like proper roads, hospitals and GPs, public transport, retailers, housing for all of the people living there.

A popular public attraction in Auckland is an old silo - yes, an old silo.
A popular public attraction in Auckland is a collection of old silos, which occasionally play host to various events inside of them. Grim.

There are pleasant pockets – like Orakei and Remuera – the leafy, affluent suburbs. To live there in a decent 2 bedroom house you are looking at about 2 million NZD to purchase or $700 per week in rent.

Yet to live anywhere else, i.e. not in the wealthy pockets will set you back a cool 1.5 million NZD to purchase a small, cold and poorly maintained home in an outer suburb, requiring a commute of over 1 hour to get into the city centre each day. A journey that would take only 15 minutes if there wasn’t a traffic issue.

A Canadian man was recently busted trying to transport $8m worth of meth into Auckland
A Canadian man was recently busted trying to transport $8m worth of meth into Auckland

If instead you choose to settle in the city to avoid the commute, you can expect to get a broom cupboard-sized apartment in the stinky, overpopulated city centre for over $600 NZD per week for a studio.

For the wealthy, who freely keep their money hidden in offshore tax havens, there are big fences to separate oneself from the dirty rabble outside. But there are plenty of people who enjoy flashing their wealth in Auckland with lamborghinis hermetically sealed against the rabble outside, as the sleek black cobra silently passes by thousands of homeless people who gather in front of Coach and Gucci on Queen St.

For those who are underemployed, the future is Dickensian and bleak.  

Auckland traffic on Grafton road
The everyday Auckland commute is an hour plus to get from point A to point B, often it is faster walking.

After living there for nearly five years and abandoning the city with relief, I do have some insights into this place. I used to live in one of the more wealthier suburbs- but still, the endless traffic, smog, poor public services – like public transport, roads, hospitals, shopping centres made it intolerable for us to stay there.

The eye-watering cost of living and the lack of decent restaurants and cafes was more than enough reason to leave and never return – unless work brings me back. I need to check my privelege as I say that. I have the resources and the choice to be able to abandon ship and look for a more sane place to live. Many others in Auckland don’t. There is a strange dichotomy of people in Auckland – there is a flashy rich types and those that struggle financially. I sat somewhere uncomfortably in the middle, as I wasn’t wealthy but I still had a job and was comfortable enough to live. Yet it feels as though the middle-class doesn’t exist there – only an underclass and the extremely wealthy.

Customer service by Auckland transport in a nutshell
Customer service by Auckland transport in a nutshell

Here are some reasons why Auckland is The City of a Thousand Fails. I will continue to add more fails as they come to light.

Human excrement flows onto Auckland’s beaches

Measles outbreak in Auckland

Auckland traffic second worst in Oceania

Greedy real estate developers

 Astronomically high rents

Massive meth problem

The domino effect of the housing crisis- huge homelessness problems

Auckland: A COD Car Oriented Development  

BTW: wealthy pockets in Auckland are like a white rhino or mirage – inaccessible and hypothetical at best to the majority

In summary…Auckland is the most depressing city to live and to visit in the western developed world…avoid it if you ever go to New Zealand.


7 thoughts on “Auckland: City of a Thousand Fails

  1. So depressing! Maybe a lot of cities are like that? Crowded, traffic-bursting, expensive to live in, strewn with homeless? Maybe I need to go revisit my homeland …

    1. Wellington isn’t like that, or at least so far from what I have seen it’s not. But I may be living in a bubble of delusion right now and not realise it!! Also a possibility. And aren’t all of our minds strange unweildy beasts that can construct fictions. If I compare Wellington and Auckland, the former is a far more pretty city and the contrast is really apparent after living in both places. Auckland has very little to offer in the way of lifestyle, personality, income equity, things to do, infrastructure, decent food. It does though have better weather than Wellington and has pretty great summers…that is something I will miss! No place is perfect I should add. Nancy I would go back there if you want to reconnect with your roots, but the south Auckland you knew in the 70’s is completely different now to what it was. Mum and Dad were shocked.

  2. So you’re saying it’s not a bad choice if you’re into meth, measles and swimming in shit? Is that about right? lol Brutal assessment. I spent a couple of years there mid 90s and was happy enough to leave. lacked a cohesive personality. Too big and sprawling.

    1. The whole lacking of a cohesive personality or spirit is still present. It might sound like I am shitting all over Auckland and perhaps people will feel sorry for it, but I am just trying to be brutally honest because so many people flock to this place when they migrate to NZ and god only knows why. I can be a bit damning and harsh sometimes LOL! I do speak from experience of five years of living there and escaping, so at least that is something.

    2. How is Hong Kong if you compare to Auckland as I thought Hong Kong was a big and sprawling mega city? It seems like you really like it there, which makes me curious to go one day.

      1. It actually feels pretty small and compact. Much of the land here is mountainous and unliveable which adds to the character of the place. I do like it yeah but clearly some disagree!

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