Well that sounds exactly like Dublin on the whole, with better weather but worse bacon.
Better food in general but the bacon is a bit of a downer alright. It's also much
more relaxed and friendly in the city centre than Dublin, the level of random violence, fighting, pissing, puking, junkies, aggression and general menace on a night out in pretty much any Irish town simply wouldn't be tolerated here. That alone makes a big difference to general quality of life. Much stronger tenancy laws. Infinitely better management/work practices, pretty much every single boss I ever had in Ireland over nearly 25 years working there was an exploitative c*nt.
I've probably mentioned before one of the major pluses for me is that Kiwis are refreshingly straightforward and honest. They say precisely what they mean. Whereas half the conversations you have in Ireland are enigmas wrapped in riddles of oblique references, veiled hints and convoluted side-steps. Used to drive me demented, but hey that's just me.
As to why the houses are shit...well this was one reason https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaky_homes_crisis
Kiwis also seem to have this bonkers attitude that houses are somehow supposed
to be cold and damp and miserable and us effete Europeans with our nonsensical crazy talk about central heating, insulation and double-glazing need to man up already. So wherever two or more ex-pats are gathered in one place, the conversation will inevitably get round to incredulous curses at Kiwis and their attitudes to housing build quality.
They've just passed a law recently that whenever a tenant moves out of a rented property the landlord MUST get the property up to scratch with respect to stuff like leaks, draught-proofing, damp, wall and ceiling insulation and so on before re-renting it. That should improve the situation considerably over the next few years but right now it's still pretty bad.