Aucklanders seeing the light

06/07/2016

Auckland is no longer so attractive:

Highly skilled workers don’t want to move to Auckland, and the city’s workers are fleeing to the regions in search of a better life, a survey has found.

Employers say decreased productivity, increased sickness and difficulties finding staff are the results of Auckland’s housing crisis, according to a survey by recruitment agency Frog Recruitment. . . 

Spokeswoman Jane Kennelly said the majority of managers surveyed had serious concerns about the impact Auckland’s high cost of living had on their ability to retain staff, and on employees’ performance. . . 

“Employers reported that housing affordability, renting and the impact of those issues on performance was a very common conversation held around the water cooler,” said Ms Kennelly.

Managers also had trouble attracting new skilled workers from outside Auckland.

“Many won’t or can’t come to Auckland as they know they won’t be able to afford to live here, which impacts on skill levels within companies,” she said,

“Conversely, we are losing highly skilled Aucklanders to other regions in the country to pursue a better work-life balance.”

The survey revealed workplace morale was being sorely tested as frustrated employees arrived at work stressed from traffic delays, and increased dependence on public transport often made workers late to work.

About two-thirds of employers surveyed had introduced measures to mitigate the problem such as flexible start times outside traffic rush hours, remote work arrangements or commuting allowances.

Aucklanders moving out and people from other places not wanting to move in are inevitable reactions to the city’s problems which include ridiculously high property costs and traffic congestion.

Individuals are making the sensible choice to live and work where fewer people, lower costs and less time commuting lead to a better quality of life and allow wages and salaries to go further.

Some Auckland businesses are seeing the light too. Scotts Brewing moved from Auckland to Oamaru three years ago and is thriving.

People finding Auckland less attractive might not be good for companies struggling to recruit and retain staff there. But it will be playing a part, albeit small,  in reducing the demand for housing and  most other parts of the country where the city refugees choose to live will welcome a population boost.

 

 


Things to do in Oamaru – historic precinct

14/01/2015

When the farm consultant bringing a group of Australian farmers to North Otago was discussing the proposed itinerary it included a look at irrigation infrastructure.

I suggested that some of the party might like an alternative.

I was right.

The whole party had been to whisky tasting on Monday night  and four of the women were keen to return to discover more of the charms of Oamaru’s historic precinct.

We parked by Oamaru Steam and Rail’s Harbourside Station and walked the few metres to admire the train outside Steampunk HQ.

Our next stop was the Grainstore Gallery:

The Grainstore Gallery is quite unlike any other you will find anywhere. A simply astonishing array of original artworks amidst a unique and magnificent ambience. Most of the works are created on site by owner and artist in residence, Donna Demente. Her work is famous throughout NZ for its mysterious richness and eerie presence, focussing on the glances and gazes of her portrait subjects (some masked) which loom large like illuminated echoes of the Renaissance, Romantic and Religious iconography of yesteryear.

There is also plenty of ephemera and minutiae to enable you to take home a small souvenir of your experience of this majestic interior. . .

 From there we walked to the end of Harbour Street, admiring Ian Anderson’s Oamaru stone carvings en route  and popped into Housekeepers Design for retail therapy and coffee before meandering back up Harbour Street.

Lavish Soap, home of the goat milks and flaxseed ointment which I swear by to counter eczema,  was our next stop before a long browse and several purchases at Lazy Cat Pottery Art and Café.

We were too early for Birdlands Wine and Scotts Breweing and Oasis, resisted the lure of the Harbour Street Bakery and Adventure Books but were waylaid by Presence.

An hour simply wasn’t long enough – we had to miss Slightly Foxed, the Woolstore Complex,  the inside of Steampunk HQ and several other attractions including the newly opened Galley café and the steampunk playground.

Victorian Oamaru is a good place to start when looking at what to see and do in and near the historic precinct.

 Events include the regular Sunday Farmers Market, the Oamaru Harbour Regatta on Waitangi Day, February 6th; the Harbour Street Jazz Festival from Friday March 20th to Sunday 22nd and the annual Victorian Heritage Celebrations in November.

P.S.

This is part of a series of posts of things to see and do in Oamaru and the wider  Waitaki hinterland.

You’re welcome to add your thoughts on the area or your own part of the country/world.

 


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