NZ cities good value for expats

New Zealand and Australian cities offer best value for money for expatriates in the Asia Pacific, according to a survey by an international investment firm.

Mercer's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2010 found that eight trans-Tasman cities, including Auckland and Wellington, were competitive destinations for global workers compared to other Asian cities in the region.

New Zealand's capital was 163rd in the survey of the most expensive cities for expatriates, and Auckland came in at 149th.

Sydney ranked 24th, with Melbourne 33rd, Brisbane 55th, Perth 60th and Canberra 74th.

These rankings were favourable compared to Tokyo's second place, Osaka 6th, Hong Kong eighth, Singapore 11th and Beijing 16th.

Luanda, the capital of Angola in southwestern Africa, was ranked the most expensive city for expatriates in the survey of 214 cities across five continents.

Mercer senior associate Anthony Shippard said firms had to evaluate quality of living standards when considering true ''value of living'' in individual cities.

''If we take into account the results of Mercer's 2010 Quality of Living survey earlier this year, it found that Australian and New Zealand cities rank among the world's top 36 cities for overall quality of living,'' Mr Shippard said.

''Combining the cost of living findings with overall quality of living standards reinforces the need for multinational organisations to regularly review multiple external factors and data shifts when determining their expatriate management programs.''

The survey was based on the comparative cost of more than 200 items including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

New York City is the base for the index and all cities are compared against the US city.