Drive to lure Aucklanders to move here

Latest data from QV's house price index shows the average house price in Auckland is over triple the average in Dunedin City.
Latest data from QV's house price index shows the average house price in Auckland is over triple the average in Dunedin City.

Dunedin is about to begin an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at getting Aucklanders to up sticks and move south.

The effort comes as the latest data from QV's house price index shows the average house price in Auckland has reached $931,807, more than three times the average in Dunedin City of $306,614.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said the ‘‘big marketing push'' involved running a substantial supplement in The New Zealand Herald in the next couple of weeks highlighting the benefits of the Dunedin lifestyle.

‘‘We think we have got a pretty compelling proposition when you look at the cost of housing, the time it takes to drive to work and the educational opportunities ...'' Mr Christie said.

Apart from aiming to get Aucklanders to make a permanent move south, the campaign would highlight the study and holiday opportunities in the city.

‘‘We know there are a lot of Aucklanders that are keen to visit Dunedin for short breaks and the domestic tourism market for us is quite a substantial one.''

Increasing the number of tourists from Auckland was part of a wider campaign aimed at raising capacity and improving flight schedules on the Auckland-to-Dunedin route.

Southern Wide Real Estate is among the companies to advertise in the supplement. Its managing director, John Faulks, said the ‘‘huge gap'' between house prices in Auckland and Dunedin meant it was the right time to encourage people to move south.

‘‘I mean, if you wanted to release some capital, live in a lovely place, why wouldn't you look at moving to Dunedin?'' Mr Faulks said. Dunedin and the wider Otago region offered a much better lifestyle than the ‘‘rat race'' of Auckland, he said.

‘‘You are not held up in traffic, you have a lot easier access to good schools for your kids and a great medical facility.‘‘Dunedin's infrastructure for the size of the city is outstanding,'' Mr Faulks said.

Interest was growing from Aucklanders keen to either move to Dunedin or invest in property in the city, he said.

Software company ADInstruments is another local firm that is advertising in the supplement. Its chief marketing officer, Julie Curphey, said the company was keen to push the idea there were opportunities for careers with internationally renowned technology firms in Dunedin.

‘‘You don't have to be based in Auckland to have those opportunities,'' Ms Curphey said.

She hoped the overall advertising push would show highly-skilled Aucklanders they would not be harming their careers by moving to the city, she said.

Mr Christie said the supplement, expected to be about 32 pages, had cost Enterprise Dunedin, a Dunedin City Council entity, ‘‘relatively little'' and was made possible because of strong support from local businesses, which had helped pay for it by buying advertising.

He could not recall there being such a ‘‘comprehensive'' marketing push aimed at getting Aucklanders to come to Dunedin.

‘‘We do run regular features in different publications, but not as substantial as this one is.''

The supplement would reach people beyond Auckland as the

The New Zealand Herald was well-read in other parts of the North Island.

Enterprise Dunedin would measure how successful the supplement had been, including by looking at demand for Auckland-to-Dunedin flights.

‘‘If it's successful, we will look to do more in other centres as well,'' Mr Christie said.

-vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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