Why should we care about Auckland?

The face of Auckland is changing quickly and to understand what’s unique about Auckland and what underpins the city and its people, MediaWorks and Ogilvy partnered to commission a broad-reaching study with Fresh Focus.

Through exploring the the richness of Auckland, its people and communities – we sought to really understand what is going on below the surface of our largest city

  • How Aucklander’s lives and attitudes differ from the rest of the country?

    • What are some of the challenges facing businesses in Auckland?

    • How can businesses and brands best connect with the “new Auckland”?


This story was about understanding more deeply the powerhouse that is Auckland and how it’s driving New Zealand's population and economic expansion.

Auckland contributes $93.5 billion dollars to the NZ economy every year, and over two-thirds of New Zealand’s top 200 companies are based in Auckland. Growth in Auckland is significantly outpacing the rest of the country.  With record migration currently at more than 72,000 per year, and half of all migrants settling in Auckland, Auckland is growing by more than 700 people every single week, from migration alone.

A third of New Zealanders live in Auckland currently, but in just 25 years time Auckland is expected to house half of the entire population – roughly 2.3 million people.

To put that into context, that’s an extra 600,000 people (more than the combined population of Christchurch and Wellington cities).  In today’s setting, they will require 180,000 extra homes and put 300,000 extra vehicles on our already jammed roads.



Auckland is not only our largest and most diverse city, but 40% of Aucklanders were in fact born overseas. It’s a relatively new population.  Around half of these “new Aucklanders” have been here less than 10 years and three quarters for less than 20 years.

Over half of new migrants to the country settle in Auckland, which is a magnet for resource – whether it be human talent, business, investment, visitors and students, they are all attracted to what Auckland has to offer.



Aucklanders are more affluent.  The average household income in Auckland is $115,000 – 20% higher than the national average.

One third of households in Auckland enjoy a household income exceeding $100,000 per year, compared to just 18% of households outside of Auckland.

While a third of New Zealand’s households are in Auckland, six out of ten households with an annual income exceeding $200,000 are in Auckland.

And Aucklanders spend more…

Auckland households spend on average $1600 per week, that’s more than $300 more per household per week than an average NZ household. Even after housing expenses are accounted for, Aucklanders spend more across almost every category.

On a household equivalent basis, Aucklanders spend an extra $7 billion per year:

  • $1.2 billion more on food

  • $260 million more on clothing

  • $700 million more on transportation

  • $200 million more on entertainment

… significantly more in almost every category.

On a household for household basis, Aucklanders spend an extra $130m every week. Consumer confidence is at a three year high, driven strongly ahead by buoyancy in the Auckland market

Nichola Quail