AUCKLAND has beaten Sydney in a poll measuring the quality of living standards in cities around the world.
New Zealand’s harbour city came third globally after Vienna and Zurich. Sydney, in 10th place, was the highest ranking Australian city.
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The Kiwi capital Wellington, in 12th position, outranked Melbourne which was still ranked highly in 15th place.
Personal safety was one of the major factors considered in the survey by global human resources company Mercer.
The company produces an annual list of cities from its worldwide quality of living survey to help multinational companies and other employers work out how much to pay their employees when moving them overseas.
The study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment.
Mercer said New Zealand and Australia have some of the highest quality of living worldwide.
By personal safety standards alone, Pacific cities also rank highly, with Auckland and Wellington sharing 9th place and Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney sharing 25th place, the survey found.
Leading world capitals such as London and Paris were well down in the rankings partly due to their exposure to terror attacks.
Vienna, Austria has consistently topped the rankings for overall quality of living while Singapore is the highest ranked Asian city and Vancouver is number one in North America. San Francisco is the highest ranked city in the US.
War torn and politically unstable cities came in the bottom 10 with Baghdad coming last.