Moving West makes sense

The West Coast is an amazing place to visit, and it's an even better place to live, work and do business. Come join us and have an untamed natural wilderness for a backyard!

The Kiwi dream is alive and well.

The days of buying a first home with a quarter-acre section may seem a long way out of reach for city-dwellers in Auckland. With median house prices over a million dollars the dream of getting on the property ladder must feel exactly like that – a dream.

No wonder around 13,000 people left Auckland in 2020 for the regions. Many of them have found welcoming and supportive communities in the bustling small towns that dot the landscape on the West Coast of the South Island.

No concrete jungle. No traffic jams. No motorway congestion. These are just some of the advantages of living on the West Coast. And then there’s the wonderful natural landscape, high speed internet, close proximity to two airports and excellent roads ensuring those who live and work here are easily connected to clients and customers around the globe.

Indeed Westport has similar sunshine hours to Auckland and that’s just as well given the plethora of outdoor pursuits the region has to offer – from hiking and cycling to fishing, hunting, water skiing and boating. The West Coast offers a backyard of exciting weekend activities, and you’ll have more time and money to enjoy it.

Yes Auckland incomes may be high compared to most parts of the country, but that comes with far more financial pressure. Auckland house prices are over 15 times that of annual earnings, compare that to the West Coast where the median house price hovers around $250,000 - just over four times average annual earnings. If you buy on the Coast your mortgage will be smaller, you’ll be debt free faster and have more disposable income to spend on what you want in life.

The Coast welcomes businesses.

The digital age means the days of needing an office in a big city are long gone. Today West Coast businesses are busy leveraging digital technologies to be competitive in international markets.

“Business opportunities are aplenty here. In addition to the new industries digital technologies are enabling, the region has thriving sectors in manufacturing and agribusiness, and so much more,” says Development West Coast (DWC) chief executive Heath Milne..

If you want a clean start in a new location and the opportunity to start up a new business of your own, the business services on offer from regional development organisation Development West Coast are here to support you.

The employment market is also buoyant. This means business owners are always on the lookout for skilled staff.


Leave the traffic and bring the family.

Aucklanders on average waste 80 hours annually stuck in traffic jams - essentially two unpaid working weeks a year. On the Coast, where traffic jams are unheard of, that extra time could be spent with your family enjoying the untamed natural wilderness on your doorstep.

The Coast is the perfect place to bring up children. You’ll not only be able to spend more time with them but also have more disposable income to spend on their upbringing. They’ll grow up surrounded by grass rather than asphalt, and the sound of birds instead of traffic.

And education is a key focus on the Coast. Good high schools in Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika provide the region’s young adults with stepping stones to a profitable working life, and the Greymouth-based Tai Poutini Polytechnic offers a wide range of technical study options.

Family at Lake Brunner

Innovation rules.

The West Coast business community has always been pioneering, leveraging the latest technologies to open up new opportunities, whether that was during the gold rush of the 1800s or the present world of immersive digital technologies .

There is a unique balance on the West Coast however. The acute awareness of being future-focused is matched with the appreciation of the region’s rich history. Living and working on the West Coast, it is difficult to ignore the stories of the founding fathers - true pioneers and trail blazers. The resilient nature of Coasters transcends the generations, making for a community of hard workers. And they are a friendly bunch, just pop into one of the region’s many cafes for a coffee and a yarn, and it won’t be too long before you’ll feel at home.

That’s why a recent opinion survey by DWC found 70 per cent of local businesses rated quality of life here as an advantage over any other region in New Zealand.

Time for a change? Why don’t you join us!

Garth Wilson Jade

Auckland vs West Coast

Where would you rather be?

Mean annual earnings Auckland West Coast $69,833 $58,201 Median house price Auckland West Coast $1,164,440 $250,024 Land Area Auckland West Coast 4,894 km2 23,276 km2 Population Auckland West Coast 1,717,500 32,400 Average weekly rent Auckland West Coast $537 $261 $537 $261 Average annual sunshine hours Auckland West Coast 2263 hrs 2,220 hrs Average time spent annuallystuck in traffic jams Auckland West Coast 85 hrs 0 hrs
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