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.
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.
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.
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.
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.