The roof rat is the most common rat in Auckland. This is not surprising as the roof rat flourishes in temperate environments. In the USA, they are common in warmer states e.g. Florida and uncommon in colder states e.g. New York.
Roof rats or "roofies" are medium sized rats, slender and very good at jumping and climbing. Before humans they lived in trees. But along came warm dry houses that touched their trees, and given they opportunity they decided to move in.
Roofies are found in ceiling spaces commonly, but frequent under houses and in walls as well.
As they are shy they just as keen to avoid you as you them! They are however a risk for damage and can chew pipes resulting in significant damage. All rats can potentially carry fatal and incurable diseases.