Despite Aucklanders’ inability to go a single lull in conversation without bringing up their commute time, they’re not even close to having the worst traffic in the country.
That honour would go to Tauranga. In a 2022 Quality of Life survey done by NielsenIQ, a ridonculous 77% of Tauranga locals view traffic congestion as “a big problem” with a further 20% labelling it as “a bit of a problem”.
Compare that to Auckland, the stereotypical ‘poor traffic’ city in Aotearoa, where the numbers are 40% and 39%, respectively. Dunedin was actually in second place, with just over half of respondents seeing the traffic problem as "big".
Some Tauranga locals talked to Stuff about the traffic and jeepers creepers they’re mad, frustrated, and even hopeless.
“It’s worse than Auckland,” said Glenn Wilson. “Ludicrous. If you want to get somewhere you have to leave the night before.”
“It’s having a massive impact on people’s businesses, lives and health. Everyone is fed up.”
Ebony Kahukura, a teacher, is sitting in her car for two hours on the way to the school she works, and she’s had enough. Instead, she’s choosing to sell her house.
“This will be at a loss to me as the rent will not cover mortgage payments and rentals in town are dearer than here and the houses of poorer quality,” she said. “To be honest it's sh*t.”
“I made a huge sacrifice to get myself and my kids out here, bought an electric car to help balance out the travel cost and while it's a beautiful community, the traffic is just too much for my kids.”
I literally had no idea it was that bad. When I think of Tauranga I see the Mount and regrettable decisions made at year 11 New Year's, not hour-long traffic jams.