Wellington beats Edinburgh and Melbourne to be named best place in the world to live
Everyone who has ever been to Wellington knows what the slogan "you can't beat Wellington on a good day" really means.
It is because the capital is as famous for its hairdo-destroying gales as it is for its cafe scene – but its die-hard residents love it anyway.
Now it seems the world agrees.
Wellington has topped the rankings in a new report about where you can find the best quality of life in the world.
The capital has beaten competition from the likes of Sydney, Melbourne, New York, London – and Auckland – to take the top ranking in a report by Deutsche Bank in Germany.
Scottish capital Edinburgh – often compared to Wellington for its culture, walkability and, ahem, weather – rated second-best.
Wellington might not have the sweltering hot summers, luxury fashion shopping meccas, or centuries-old architecture of some of the world's desirable cities. But its residents' purchasing power, its low crime rate and pollution, healthcare options, cost of living, house prices, commuting time, and climate puts ahead of the rest, according to Deutsche Bank.
Given the recent debate about housing affordability in Wellington, some may be surprised we ranked favourably, but the survey points out it works on "averages".
"As we said earlier, this is all highly subjective, and one person's long commute may be another person's chance to catch up on Netflix."
One area in which Wellington and Auckland – which ranked at No 13 – fall short is the "bad habit" index.
Anyone who likes a wild night out in Courtenay Place will be nodding their heads in recognition at the survey's observation that cigarettes and beer are not cheap in New Zealand. It was rated the most expensive for both, along with Australia and Singapore.
The survey also rated cities on factors such as cost of living, pollution, climate and house prices.
Wellington's highest scores came in pollution, where it ranked ahead of everyone else for air quality. It came in second for traffic commute time, third for property price-to-income ratio, and sixth for purchasing power.
Acting Wellington Mayor Paul Eagle said those living in the city knew it was the best spot on Earth.
"Now the rest of the world is hearing about it as well," he said. "The international survey is a big endorsement that we're on the right track here in Wellington."
Resident Courtney Durr said: "I've been to quite a few cities around the world and I always have such a good feeling coming home and flying into Wellington.
"I love the culture, and the health and wellness community. I'm also an entrepreneur, so it's great place to connect with small businesses and friendly people."
Asher Regan, of Te Aro, said he loved how compact the city was, how easy it was to get around, and its excellent mountain biking tracks.
"I love it, I have lived here all my life, pretty much."
Overseas stints had not been enough to draw him away from the capital, although he admitted it was expensive. "But if you can afford it, it's great."
Graptus Henderson has lived in Wellington for just a week, but he was happy to have made the move from Melbourne.
"It's got a real vibe … there are all these hills around that are refreshing to look at.
"It's got a good feel, everybody's so friendly."
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (Wreda) chief executive Chris Whelan said such ratings were worthwhile for the region, as they were used to leverage the city's tourism and talent-luring marketing campaigns.
"In a world economy where high-value, innovation-led, weightless exports are a focus for growth and investment, distance is no longer a tyrant," he said.
"Talent is the new oil, and talented people are more open to relocating for opportunity than ever. Quality of life becomes a critical factor in determining who develops, attracts and retains the best of the best."
1. Wellington, New Zealand
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
3. Vienna, Austria
4. Melbourne, Australia
5. Zurich, Switzerland
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
7. Ottawa, Canada
8. Boston, United States
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
10. Sydney, Australia
WELLINGTON'S OTHER ACCOLADES
* Lonely Planet's best destination to drink beer 2017
* One of National Geographic's top six food cities 2017
* The British Daily Telegraph's second cleanest capital 2017
* The Daily Telegraph's second cleanest air quality 2017
* The Guardian's windiest city in the world 2015
* Sixth in Rough Guide's top ten city destinations for 2015
* Mercer's 12th best place in the world to live for international workers 2014
* Lonely Planet's fourth best city to travel in 2010