Waikato workers the happiest in the country

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 11:39 18/03/2014

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Wellington is the New Zealand city most workers would like to shift to, but it is Waikato where they are the happiest.

Independent research, commissioned by Trade Me, surveyed more than 1200 people about their job satisfaction, where they would consider relocating to for a new opportunity, and what makes them switch jobs.

Australia was the top destination people wanted to move to, followed by Wellington and the Bay of Plenty.

The West Coast and "other" South Island locations were at the bottom of the pile, with only 4 per cent of people admitting they would consider moving there.

While the capital was a popular destination, Waikato was the main centre where workers were the happiest, with 82 per cent either loving or really liking their job.

Christchurch was second with 71 per cent, followed by Wellington (62) and Auckland (61).

Job satisfaction was also high in smaller regions such as Hawke's Bay and Taranaki at 83 per cent, but Southland was the opposite, with an equal percentage of people hating and loving their jobs.

The research also revealed a clear winner when it came to the type of job with the happiest workers.

People in agriculture, fishing and forestry were the most content, with 83 per cent claiming they loved or really liked their jobs.

Those in banking, finance and insurance and government work were also happy, while at the other end only 33 per cent of people in science and technology jobs had high satisfaction.

And the workers who love their jobs the most are also those in agriculture, fishing and forestry.

Paremata-based fisherman Keven Saunders said he was not surprised by the results.

He has been plying the waters for more than 30 years, and said it was rare for him to head out to work and not look forward to it, despite the long hours that could stretch from 5am to 9pm.

"I love being outside, playing around with boats, fishing, and all sorts of man things."

The only downside he could think of was working weekends, which could keep him away from his family.

Trade Me head of jobs Peter Osborne said the research showed that, for every person who hated their job, there were about 10 others who enjoyed theirs.

While money proved to be the main reason people would look for a new job, this was often a reflection of economy. "With high interest rates and cost of living, money becomes more important.

"But when people get to a comfortable position, it drops off. People would prefer to be happy as long as they can pay the bills."

Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Raewyn Bleakley said the capital's compactness, vibrancy and cost of living made it a great place to live, work and play.

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"We have a vibrancy that's the envy of many other cities - and that's business-wise as well as our events programme, our cuisine, and our night scene." F

BY THE NUMBERS

What regions would you consider working in outside your own?

Australia 20 per cent

Wellington 18 per cent

Bay of Plenty 14 per cent

Auckland 13 per cent

Waikato 10 per cent

Hawke's Bay 10 per cent

Canterbury 10 per cent

Tasman/Nelson 9 per cent

Other country 9 per cent

Northland 8 per cent

Otago 8 per cent

Marlborough 7 per cent

Gisborne 6 per cent

Taranaki 6 per cent

Manawatu/Whanganui 5 per cent

Other North Island 5 per cent

Southland 5 per cent

West Coast 4 per cent

Other South Island 4 per cent

Source: Trade Me Jobs 

- Waikato

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