NZ best place in the world to live
09 Oct 2008
New Zealand has been given the thumbs up by British migrants as the best place in the world to live.
Last month New Zealand was named top destination in a survey by Condé Nast Traveller, and now scores number one in a poll by UK savings bank Alliance & Leicester International.
It says Britons seeking a balance of the best quality of life and the lowest cost of living should look to New Zealand.
Low cost of living & cheap houses
The score was based on low costs for food, drink and fuel in New Zealand, as well as desirable property prices which average just over £105,000 or NZ$302,200.
The list of 14 destinations put Italy as the second most popular destination followed by Australia, Portugal, Dubai, Spain, South Africa, UK, Florida, Singapore, Canada, France, Hong Kong and then New York.
Alliance & Leicester also said New Zealand had one of the most favourable tax regimes with the highest band at 39 percent - lower than neighbouring Australia at 50 percent, and France (48 percent).
New Zealand's perceived low crime rate, high internet connectivity and consistently mild weather, favourable working hours and generous annual leave, put it at the top of the bank's quality of life scorecard.
Australia also scored well on this section, coming in at second place - compared to ninth in the cost of living scale.
While rated the second cheapest for the cost of living, South Africa did worse on quality of life, because of high levels of property crime, the highest rate of murder, a very low level of internet connectivity and a long working week (45 hours).
New York with a working week over 40 hours, just 10 days annual leave and relatively high crime rates offered the lowest quality of life.
Strong cultural links
New Zealand's strong cultural links to the UK also made it highly attractive to many UK migrants.
"It's like Britain, but with better scenery and weather, and it's got the best wine in the world," said Lyn Hughes, editor-in-chief of Wanderlust magazine.
She said she also enjoyed the New Zealand people's open, accepting attitude and said the country benefited from a sense of space and serenity that few spots in Western Europe could match.
New Zealand has a twentieth of the population of the UK in a land of about the same size.
Australians in NZ
And new figures just released by Australian Immigration show that of the 75,000 people who left permanently in the past year, the largest group moved to New Zealand.
About 14,000 Australians intended to make New Zealand their new home, while the next biggest group migrated to Britain.
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