Soaking up the city of sails   3 Oct 2005

There has never been a better time to move to New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland. Summer is coming and the Auckland City Council is launching a new strategy in a bid to bring the city’s streets, parks and harbour alive.

High on its successes in entertaining the thousands of British Lions fans who descended on the city, Auckland City Council has brought out a new events strategy aimed supporting events that enliven the city.

"Great events reflect great cities – they make people feel they’re part of a city they can be proud of," Mayor Dick Hubbard said at the events strategy’s launch last week.

"Our aim is to promote Auckland nationally and internationally as a sophisticated and vibrant city with a soul. Events are about celebrating what’s best about our city – celebrating diverse cultures, ethnicity, creativity, accessible harbours and beaches, and the ability to get outdoors and active.

"We want Aucklanders to live in a lively and interesting city and enjoy what’s happening in their streets, parks and squares. And we hope that these events will help people see their city in a more positive way," Hubbard said.

The strategy has been developed in association with key events professionals and is built around four main themes:

• Maritime events because the harbours are so important to Auckland;

• Cultural and ethnic events that reflect Auckland’s diverse community, such as Pasifika Festival and the Lantern Festival;

• Events that build on and support the creative and artistic skills in the city;

• Outdoors and sporting events that reflect Auckland’s environment and lifestyles.

"Auckland City’s new events strategy is the first of its kind in New Zealand and this initiative is shared by only a few other cities around the world," Hubbard said.

Auckland City Council’s Chief Executive David Rankin says Auckland is, and intends to remain, New Zealand’s pre-eminent place of business, employment and high calibre sporting competition.

Auckland is New Zealand’s most cosmopolitan centre, housing 181 different ethnic groups, while one in three people were born overseas. This is similar to New Zealand’s national figures of around 16 per cent born overseas. Of these, 38 per cent were born in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

The Council itself is the largest in New Zealand and is determined to propel its city into the ranks of the world’s greatest.

"By some rankings we’re there," Rankin said. "Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s recent Overall Quality of Life ranking puts us eighth equal, ahead of Dublin at 22nd and Singapore at 34th. London, by the way was 39th."

Auckland sees talent as one of the essential prerequisites for success in competition. It is recruiting in the UK now, with its Human Resources Manager Mike Richardson visiting job fairs in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

He says it has never been a better time to look at extending your career with a move to Auckland.

"New Zealand’s big cities had six consecutive years of 3 or 4 per cent national economic growth, much of it concentrated in the Auckland region. Growth is served with a progressive programme of council works and services. These present marvellous opportunities for professionals in every field."

Richardson is proud to call himself one the hundreds of thousands who love Auckland and its unique environment. He is keen to talk to those thinking of joining him in what has to be the world’s youngest top ranking city.

• For more information contact Mark Richardson on 00 64 27 448 5414.

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