365 days of gratitude


We’ve been eating our way through a long weekend.

It started on Thursday with lunch at Minaret Station for a friend’s birthday (will post about that in the next few days).

On Friday we dined at Jacks Point with international chefs and media who are in New Zealand as part of Alliance Group’s Antipocurean tour (more of that in a future post too).

Yesterday we celebrated a friend’s 77th birthday at the Hawea pub and today we caught up with friends for lunch at Riverstone Kitchen.

Fine food, good friends and other friendly people – I’m grateful for them all.


Queenstown Lakes most affluent



If affluence counts then Queenstown Lakes is the jewel in New Zealand’s crown.

This was the finding of Stephen Hart in a study commissioned by the ASB.

We looked at the average sale prices of residential homes in over 70 territorial authorities from all over New Zealand.  We then took the top 20 highest priced places and dug beneath the surface to see how they stacked up in the affluence stakes.

We didn’t just consider house prices; we also examined:

* Households earning more than $100,000 a year.

* Homes least likely to be in deprived areas.

* Percentage of residents who have a degree.

* Lowest unemployment rates.

* Residents who are Chief Executives, General Managers or Legislators.

Points were awarded based on performance across each of these criteria, then added up to create a league table of New Zealand’s Most Affluent Places.

And the winner was Queenstown Lakes. 

That’s not just the town of Queenstown, it’s the whole district which includes Arrowtown, Wanaka and Hawea and all the land in between including farms, ski fields and wineries.

Queenstown Lakes scored well against all of the set criteria, especially in terms of jobs; its unemployment rate of 1.7% was lower than any of the other contenders.

All places have some degree of socioeconomic deprivation, it’s measured in deciles with 1 being the least deprived and 10 being the most deprived.  On average 30% of New Zealanders live in deciles 1 to 3.  Not so in Queenstown where more than two-thirds of residents live in the top three deciles.

Back on the jobs front; Queenstowners are a well qualified bunch with 19% possessing a Bachelor’s degree or higher, the fourth highest in the country.  Queenstown also came fourth in terms of its percentage of population who are in the top occupation category of Chief Executive, General Managers and Legislators, only surpassed by Rodney District, Auckland and North Shore Cities.

It’s hard to know which is the cause and which is the effect but higher property prices can only be afforded by people on higher incomes and people on higher incomes can afford higher prices.

The top 20 most affluent places were: 


Queenstown Lakes District


North Shore City


Wellington City


Auckland City


Rodney District


Selwyn District


Franklin District


Porirua District


Manuaku District


Tauranga District


Tasman District


Central Otago District


Waitakere City


Kapiti Coast District


Thames Coromandel District


South Wairarapa District


Lower Hutt City


Taupo City


Christchurch City


Nelson City

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