Auckland is the only city in the Southern Hemisphere in the top five.
Wellington rated 12th, behind Sydney at 10th. Vienna and Zurich were rated first and second respectively.
This was the same rank for Auckland in the 2014 survey.
Auckland Council has a stated goal of Auckland becoming the worlds most liveable city, so holding third ranking in the Mercer survey is one independent indicator of progress towards this goal.
Why are surveys and results such as these important to infrastructure management?
As we have highlighted many times on this blog (and will continue to do so), New Zealand is very highly ranked in a number of international surveys across quality of life, prosperity, safety, stable democracy, lack of corruption etc.
Our cities also rank very highly for quality of life, and liveability.
When international migrants are looking where to settle, and they do have choices, they look at this type of information, and make their decisions.
New Zealand is a very desirable destination in world terms for migrants. Resulting from this, as a country we are seeing a relatively high level of migration, with the past 12 months in particular having high inward migration numbers.
High migration, particularly for Auckland where so many migrants settle, creates a growth dynamic. This growth then impacts on demand for housing, infrastructure and other services.
Future growth planning is developed in Council infrastructure asset management plans, and long term plans.
Growth is a major issue for Auckland, and to a lesser extent Christchurch/Canterbury, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga.
Inward migration numbers and trends can vary from year to year, and this is something infrastructure managers need to keep tracking to ensure that the planning reflects the reality, and changes in demand for infrastructure.
The multi-decade trends are for continued migration, and managing the infrastructure impacts of this will be a good ongoing challenge for infrastructure managers.
The good news is that skilled migrants bring a wide range of benefits for New Zealand’s society and economy, which in-turn forms a virtuous cycle, and will assist in New Zealand continuing to attract very high international rankings in key indicators.