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Growing number of Kiwis eye up Ōtautahi Christchurch

An ongoing survey tracking peoples’ perception of Ōtautahi Christchurch shows an increasing number of Kiwis are seeing New Zealand’s second largest city as a tempting place to live or visit. 

The survey, commissioned by ChristchurchNZ, gauges the perceptions of people outside of the city, including their willingness to travel or move to Christchurch. 

Joanna Norris, ChristchurchNZ CEO, said the research is essential to the city’s ability to understand how perceptions of Christchurch have shifted across New Zealand. 

The region requires an additional 70,000 workers over the next 15 years to fill vacancies created by an aging population. We’re competing not just nationally, but globally, for talent,” Norris said. 

If we want to maintain and grow our market share of the national economy then we need to work hard to attract people and their whānau to the city - understanding what drives behaviours and perceptions is key.” 

Joanna Norris on the Port Hills

If we want to maintain and grow our market share of the national economy then we need to work hard to attract people and their whānau to the city.

Joanna Norris, ChristchurchNZ CEO

Visiting Christchurch 

Approximately one in five (18 per cent) participants reported being likely to visit Christchurch for leisure in the next 12 months, with many likely to come from Auckland.  

Relocating to Christchurch

When respondents were asked if they were open to relocating in the next five years, Christchurch emerged as a much more attractive destination than Auckland and Wellington.  

Of all respondents, 20 per cent said they were open to a relocation to Christchurch within the next five years – up from 15 per cent in May/July 2020.  

The most important factors people consider when relocating are the cost of living, housing affordability, housing quality and ease of getting around – all areas in which Christchurch outperformed both Auckland and Wellington. 

Christchurch scored slightly lower than the other main centres on availability of relevant employment, another key factor in relocation. 

Other factors which positively influence the decision to relocate include proximity to nature and being a good place to raise a family – where Christchurch once again ranked well in peoples’ perceptions. 


The research was conducted on behalf of ChristchurchNZ by market research agency, Research First. 

Overall, the research shows that perceptions of Christchurch are positive, with intentions to visit and consideration to relocate here both on the rise, said Ann Thompson, Research Director at Research First. 

People are certainly attracted by the affordability of quality housing along with the quality lifestyle. Furthermore, Christchurch locals are advocating for their city, both as a place to spend time and to live, more than they were six months ago. 

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