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NZ leads world in balanced lifestyle

New Zealand has come out at the top of a list of countries offering the best options for a balanced lifestyle, and Wairarapa locals are not surprised.

Condé Nast Traveller magazine this week published the results of an international study on countries that hit the right note when it comes to a healthy life-work balance.

New Zealand topped the table, with Spain second, France third, and Australia fourth. Other countries making the top 10 were [in order] Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Brazil.

The publication featured research done by Remote, a global HR platform whose study analysed the work culture of 60 countries with the highest gross domestic product.

Factors reviewed included statutory annual leave, minimum statutory sick pay, paid maternity leave, minimum wage, the healthcare system, the happiness index, and average hours worked per week.

A Masterton District Council spokesperson said New Zealand in general and the Wairarapa region in particular offer residents a wide range of benefits.

“We offer the best of rural provincial living. It’s no surprise that people want to come to New Zealand, and certainly no surprise that Masterton District is attracting newcomers from other countries, as well as other parts of New Zealand, to live and conduct business.

“We are well-connected to the capital, but with the beautiful coast and stunning Tararuas at our doorstep,” the spokeperson said.

Ben Milne of Property Brokers South Wairarapa agreed.

“Wellington commuters who can work from both home and the office are a major demographic here,” he said.

“Remote working has been a top drawcard for buyers looking to come to the region.”

Condé Nast listed the reasons New Zealand beat the others to first place.

“Kiwis enjoy a generous annual leave allowance and a high minimum wage, while new mothers benefit from 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. With this in mind, it’s little surprise that the country is as popular a destination as ever among Brits looking to carve out a new life overseas.

“After all, where better to relocate to than the country full of those incredible ‘Lord of the Ring’s backdrops.”

The publication said Australia also scored high for its “year-round sunshine, friendly faces, beaches and laid back culture”.

“While some visit for a few years on a gap year-style break or sabbatical, many others stick around, enticed by a decent minimum wage, a high happiness index ranking, and all the benefits that the funded healthcare system brings.”

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