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The State
of the City

Benchmarking Tāmaki Makaurau
Auckland’s international performance

The State of the City

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Quarterly Updates

Quarterly Update | April 2024

This Update shows that Auckland’s fresh air, university ranking, and outdoor activities appear as international strengths, however the city’s higher cost of living, weaker prosperity, and lower levels of happiness present challenges.

While the report shows progress in some areas, it reinforces that greater collective effort, particular around Auckland’s lower ranked areas of innovation and knowledge are needed to address Auckland’s larger and more systemic challenges.

Quarterly Update | November 2023

This update offers a snapshot of how Auckland is tracking based on recently published indicators, information on just some of the progress underway and insights on future action needed.

While the report notes progress in areas where change is easier, greater collective effort is needed to address Auckland’s more systemic challenges.

Auckland’s first international benchmark

The State of the City – Benchmarking Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s international performance 2023 is the first of its kind for a New Zealand city. It’s a comprehensive report initiated by Committee for Auckland in partnership with Deloitte and Tātaki Auckland Unlimited to be undertaken annually.

Prepared by UK-based urban intelligence firm The Business of Cities, The State of the City benchmarks Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s performance against peer cities around the world and looks at Auckland as a region – the area governed by Auckland Council. The New Zealand Government’s Auckland Policy Office and Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures at Auckland University are insight partners in the State of the City report.

Key Findings

  • For those who access them, Auckland retains many of its easy-going lifestyle advantages.
  • Auckland is also making more steps than others to translate its accumulated diversity into a fairer city.
  • However, the threats to liveability have become more obvious with concerns about housing affordability and safety becoming chronic.
  • Also, Auckland risks getting stuck in an economy that fails to deliver the promise of broad-based prosperity.

Focus Areas

The drivers of city performance make it clear that if Auckland is to improve its position there must be a greater focus on:

  • Consistent infrastructure investment and credible plans to deliver it to service Auckland’s growth. Reducing the city’s transport deficit needs reliable funding, long-term planning and coordination with government.
  • Collaboration to develop a network of distinctive places. Auckland’s private and public leadership can reinvent the city centre and other locations to be magnetic, innovative and inclusive, and create opportunities especially for Māori and Pacific peoples.
  • The conditions for attracting more businesses, investment and talent into Auckland’s innovation economy. To support the city’s high value industries, Auckland needs strong outreach and visibility in international markets.

Report Comments

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Auckland

Launches the State of the City and speaks to Auckland’s importance both nationally and internationally. 

“I’ll be working very hard to see how the findings of this benchmarking report can sharpen the decision-making on what actions will make the biggest difference to Auckland now and in the future.”

Dr Tim Moonen

Co Founder and Managing Director, The Business of Cities

Summarises the report and provides insights on its contents. 

“This benchmarking report provides a platform for a mature conversation about what kind of city Auckland really is and where it wants to go in future.” 

Mark Melvin

Committee for Melbourne

Discusses Melbourne’s own benchmarking process and how the city has benefited. 

The report has “generated a lot of interest in the business community and a lot of interest at government level…it’s really helped enhance Melbourne’s international reputation”. 

About the Study

Over the past decade, Auckland has ranked well on global liveability measures, drawing visitors, businesses, and investments from around the world. But reduced connectivity, innovation and skills challenges, and a slower pandemic recovery compared to other parts of the world, have tested our resilience. Now, more than ever, we must ask ourselves what Auckland needs to do to improve competitiveness, well-being, and resilience all of which contribute to New Zealand’s prosperity.

For the first time, The State of the City: Benchmarking Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s international performance sheds light on the significance of Auckland’s position in the world, as competition intensifies for talent, investment, and visitors. It celebrates our strengths in the natural environment, destination appeal and diversity, while also pinpointing areas where improvement is needed, such as innovation, opportunity, and knowledge.

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