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Thread: Christchurch or Wellington?

  1. #1
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    Default Christchurch or Wellington?

    hi guys,


    I need your thoughts on where to best to live being a migrant.

    what are the pros and cons living in each region?

    any inputs are welcome and highly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Hi autumn,

    Wow what a question! Wellington and Christchurch are VERY different to one another. Outside of Auckland, these are by far the two biggest urban areas in the country. I could write a 5 page report on the pros and cons of the two cities, but I’ll try to keep it brief:

    Wellington, being made up of 4 separate cities and two large districts (Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa), has around 470,000 people, making the whole area larger than Christchurch. Wellington has a greater variety of technical and skilled professional jobs, as well as public sector jobs (being the capital city). There are people from a large variety of ethnic groups that call Wellington home, so plenty of multiculturalism and diversity around the populace, which makes it an exciting place. Wellington has a MUCH better nightlife and clubbing scene (due to the earthquakes in Christchurch damaging the central city) as well as a more bustling feel to it than Christchurch. The region has an abundance of different living options and prices, from purely rural in the Wairarapa or fully inner-city urban in central Wellington, to everything in-between – hillside living, seaside living, it has it all.

    Unfortunately, since the area is made up of separate cities and districts, the different cities/districts are distinctly separated from each other, with few ways between them. As a result, traffic is extremely heavy on the arterial routes between cities, and the place can be a traffic nightmare (although not as bad as Auckland or many overseas cities, bad for NZ standards). It can take a long time to get around the place, and the business and retail areas can be quite a distance depending on where you live. All of the cities and districts in Wellington have somewhat different pros and cons in themselves – I could write a whole topic on them!!

    Christchurch has around 350,000 people in it, with around 45,000 in the surrounding towns within reasonable commuting time. Considering it is predominantly flat and has an excellent road network, the city is very easy to get around. Everything in Christchurch is within about a 30min drive from anywhere in the city (except in peak traffic times, in which only a few roads get badly congested). The city has every type of living option, from inner city to hillside, to next to the beach, to just general suburban living, to rural and semi-rural. Everything is more compact across Christchurch, with shopping areas much better spread out (and being easier to access), commuting being easier etc.

    Since the earthquakes, unfortunately the city centre has been extensively damaged, which means that nightlife is practically non-existent in Christchurch There is no real large city centre hub anymore, but there are many different suburban hubs around where many of the central city businesses have relocated to. Christchurch has very few cons in itself – it is an excellent all-around city in NZ. Wellington city is more expensive to live in than Christchurch on average, but Wellington’s surrounding cities and districts (Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Porirua) are cheaper than Christchurch on average.

    I can’t say which would be better for you – it depends on what you most value in life. Both are excellent places to live, both have an abundance of work available, both have an abundance of beautiful parks (both suburban and regional), shops, beaches, walking and hiking trails etc. Both have good schools and not so good schools. Both have cheap areas to live and expensive areas. Both cities have amazingly affluent suburbs (by NZ standards) and poor suburbs (by NZ standards) and everything in-between. Both cities have universities and large hospitals, as well as higher percentages of educated people (by NZ standards). Both cities are quite far from other large cities and urban areas, as well as popular tourist attractions (although Christchurch is only about 90 minutes from the Southern Alps for skiing and adventure etc.)

    I could go on and on, but I think this is more than sufficient for a brief summary!! If you need any more specific information about either city, please feel free to ask. I hope this helps
    Ansistent

  3. #3
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    Sorry to double post, I thought I'd do a quick, easy to read version of the pros and cons:

    Christchurch pros:
    - Predominantly flat - much easier to get around overall
    - Much better and cheaper bus network
    - Warmer in summer: Better and more predictable climate year-long as well as being less windy
    - More "beautiful" and quiet than Wellington; with the stunning Port Hills backdrop and Hagley Park in the centre, as well as plenty of beaches
    - Shops are spread out more efficiently around the city - Free parking at all shopping areas outside the CBD
    - Extremely well-rounded city, especially pre-quakes - the quakes have taken the CBD out of action and parts of the east-side of the city by the river but the rest of the city is functioning well
    - Much closer to more tourist attractions (especially the Southern Alps and Hanmer Springs)
    - Christchurch gets slightly more international events, such as concerts, than Wellington
    - Slightly more bang for your buck housing and lifestyle options than Wellington on an identical income

    Christchurch cons:
    - Colder winters
    - Less "bustling" and vibrant than Wellington - doesn't have the same vitality as Wellington
    - Slightly less diverse urban area than Wellington's - although still very diverse for NZ standards and more than sufficient

    Wellington pros:
    - Much more vibrant city centre (even pre-quakes), significantly more nightlife
    - More opportunities work-wise for "professionals" jobs, and top-tier managerial roles, as many head offices and government departments are located in Wellington
    - More overall diversity of people and suburbs, not just within Wellington itself, but due to the many different cities and districts around it
    - The CBD is next to Wellington Harbour, so one could work in the CBD and visit the waterfront during lunch-breaks etc.
    - Many hillside suburbs that offer views of Wellington Harbour and/or city views, however many houses are on very steep hills and roads leading to them may be narrow and steep
    - More bars/restaurants, more eccentric shopping overall than Christchurch
    - Has a train network, as well as bus network, which allows commuting by train an option for those living outside Wellington City

    Wellington cons:
    - Very windy for NZ standards, especially in Wellington itself, both on the hills and by the waterfront. Not as bad in the other Wellington region cities though
    - Commuting from any of the other cities/districts into Wellington is a nightmare - travelling by car around Wellington can be very stressful as well due to a very poor road layout and lack of ways around suburbs etc., especially compared to Christchurch's excellent road layout
    - Colder summers, more rainfall, more unpredictable weather overall. Many suburbs in Wellington are very exposed to the elements
    - Very isolated from tourist destinations and the rest of NZ being at the bottom of the North Island
    - Shops are not well located or dispersed very well across the cities, with each city (including Wellington) lacking something that another city has. Christchurch has pretty much everything within easy reach without having to travel long distances
    - Feels like a somewhat "flawed" region, due to the poor road network and dispersion of shops, combined with the traffic issues and lack of easy escape from the region for weekend getaways etc.

    Christchurch is more well-rounded and has less flaws and cons than Wellington, but Wellington feels more high risk, high reward, with much more vibrancy and diversity overall. Both are excellent places to live and work in NZ. Christchurch feels more spacious and quiet, Wellington City feels more dense and compact (even though Christchurch is much more compact overall when factoring in the other Wellington regional cities). Again sorry for the double post, just wanted to add a bit more information in a more concise manner. Again feel free to ask for anything at all more specific, I am more than happy to help you

    Ansistent

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ansistent View Post
    Hi autumn,

    Christchurch has around 350,000 people in it, with around 45,000 in the surrounding towns within reasonable commuting time. Considering it is predominantly flat and has an excellent road network, the city is very easy to get around. Everything in Christchurch is within about a 30min drive from anywhere in the city (except in peak traffic times, in which only a few roads get badly congested).
    Ansistent
    You must be joking! That may have been true before the earthquakes but the traffic is a nightmare now. The queue from the north is 20km long by 0630 each morning and a simple trip across town can take an hour. Many roads are still closed (five years after the quakes!) and the remaining ones heavily congested.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylesdw View Post
    You must be joking! That may have been true before the earthquakes but the traffic is a nightmare now. The queue from the north is 20km long by 0630 each morning and a simple trip across town can take an hour. Many roads are still closed (five years after the quakes!) and the remaining ones heavily congested.
    I did state that during peak times, certain roads get badly congested. In particular the two routes in from the north (Main Nth Road and Marshland Roads), as well as the southern motorway and certain roads around the south (such as Blenheim Road/Riccarton Road/Moorhouse Ave/Brougham Street). The traffic on most roads on a general trip around town during the day is generally fine and flowing, not badly congested. The earthquakes have closed many east-side roads by the river and CBD roads (as I mentioned) as well as certain other roads around the place as roadworks commence. I wouldn't say Christchurch traffic is as bad as Wellington city's on average. Travelling from New Brighton to Hornby, for example, would take around 30-35 mins during the day.

    Thanks,
    Ansistent

  6. #6
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    wow! thank you very much Ansistent for taking time explaining to me the pros and cons between Christchurch and Wellington.
    I've learned a lot. very enlightening.

    it's really hard to decide where to move..

    by the way, one thing im worried about Christchurch is the earthquake..the possibility of what happened last 2010 and 2011 to happen again..
    one thing that makes me hesitant in ChCh is the safety issues. what can you say about this?

  7. #7
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    From what it seems, Christchurch's earthquake activity is effectively back to normal. The shaking has stopped and there has been no large earthquakes for some time. Nearly everywhere in New Zealand has an earthquake risk, and I don't believe Christchurch's risk to be any greater than anywhere else now (it's already had it's big shakes) so safety in that area shouldn't be an issue in Christchurch more than anywhere else. Many roads are still damaged around the city (particularly on the east side), but most of the roads that are damaged tend to just be bumpy and uneven (uncomfortable being a passenger in the back seat of a car!!), with the odd road closure around due to maintenance. All arterial routes around the city are functioning as normal (except the CBD).

    If you have any other queries or want more specific information about anything, please feel free to ask. I'm happy to help

    Ansistent

  8. #8
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    Hi Ansistent,

    Thanks again for the information. As of now, I'm leaning towards Wellington because of what you said about "Wellington has a greater variety of technical and skilled professional jobs, as well as public sector jobs (being the capital city)." I am an Industrial Engineer and my partner has work experience in logistics so I'm thinking, Welly would offer more job opportunities for us. Also, I think that I can transfer to nearby regions easily from Wellington since it's located on the North Island where most regions are located compared to the south island, am I right?

    And if I choose Wellington, what particular city would you suggest?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by autumn View Post
    Hi Ansistent,

    Thanks again for the information. As of now, I'm leaning towards Wellington because of what you said about "Wellington has a greater variety of technical and skilled professional jobs, as well as public sector jobs (being the capital city)." I am an Industrial Engineer and my partner has work experience in logistics so I'm thinking, Welly would offer more job opportunities for us. Also, I think that I can transfer to nearby regions easily from Wellington since it's located on the North Island where most regions are located compared to the south island, am I right?

    And if I choose Wellington, what particular city would you suggest?
    Hi autumn,

    As I stated, Wellington City has a higher proportion of workers in “professionals” jobs than Christchurch (with public administration/safety and professional/scientific/technical services being the top industry fields in the city). If you’re an industrial engineer and your partner works in logistics, Christchurch actually has significantly more vacancies than Wellington in these two areas at the moment at least! Both cities have adequate job opportunities in the fields you are looking to work in, so I don’t think that it is too relevant an issue.

    The four Wellington cities are very different to one another (although Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt are relatively similar) so where you’d live will depend on what is available within your price range, and what you’re looking for in life. All four cities have their pros and cons, but all four are good cities and offer different lifestyle choices just within them. Do you want to be close to beaches/parks/natural attractions? Do you want to be close to shopping areas or city centres? Do you want somewhere more quiet and laid back? Maybe somewhere rural? It’s hard to recommend the best city in the Wellington area for you (or the best suburb within the cities) without knowing what you most value and/or your price range. All four cities have some beautiful suburbs (with expensive housing and higher socio-economic status) and also some much less desirable suburbs. All four have more than adequate shopping for your everyday needs (supermarkets/retail stores/restaurants etc.) I don’t really want to say which city I like the most, since what I prefer may be different to what you prefer, or someone else etc. The more info you provide here, the more I’ll be able to narrow it down for you

    The Wellington region, being in the North Island, does allow you to travel by car or train around the North Island easily, however it is right at the bottom of the island – taking about 90 minutes in good conditions to travel by car from central Wellington out of the region into the Manawatu. It is about 2 hours from Palmerston North, 4 hours from Napier/Hastings, 4 and a half hours from Taupo, 7 and a half hours from Auckland etc. Compared to other North Island cities, Wellington’s cities are pretty far from most others and also far from most general tourist attractions as well (Mt. Ruapehu for skiing is about 4 hours away by car as well).

    These three websites – www.seek.co.nz, www.trademe.co.nz and nz.indeed.com contain the most job vacancies on the internet to look at. They might help to give you a good reference to what jobs are available in which city. The more information you provide, the more I’ll be able to help and the more specific the information can be. It’s really hard to tell you exactly what will be best for you and your family without knowing your situation and/or what you’re looking for in regards to where to live I hope all of this information helps and I am happy to assist you further if you need anything else.

    Thanks,
    Ansistent
    Last edited by Ansistent; 7th January 2016 at 07:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    Hi Ansistent,

    Thanks again. =)

    To narrow it down:
    1. has lower cost of living
    2. with good job opportunities
    3. close to natural attractions/beaches/parks
    4. has a city feel
    5. friendly environment

    basically, here's what I looking at..i know it's like asking for everything in one place but even just close to my wishlist. =)

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