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Idealog—in the ideas business

Calling for a ceasefire on the senseless Auckland hate

Last Friday night I rounded up a bunch of victims, ahem, friends, and took off to the DOC lodge at Fletcher Bay in the Coromandel for the long weekend. We left a bit late and the road is terrifying – narrow, gravel, with an abundance of wildlife to run over – so it was a long trip and we arrived just before midnight. We arrived, in fact, to a very grumpy camp manager.

The rest of our party was already there, so we could theoretically have just gone to bed without disturbing Camp Lady. But the DOC website stated the lodge would provide bedding, which was mysteriously absent, so off we went to see her and procure some.

Our fault for being so late, I suppose, and not nice for her to be woken up.

“Where have you come from?” she asked.

“Just down from Auckland,” I said.

“Oh,” she sniggered. “Thank you.”

I had a moment then where I wondered if I’d heard wrong, or if she’d heard me wrong, or if the mushroom risotto I had for dinner had been of the magical variety and I was perchance undergoing a hallucination.

“I’m sorry?” I asked. (Politely.) “From Auckland, 'thank you'?”

“Yes,” she spat. “I hate Auckland. Why else do you think I would live here?”

Suitably chastised, we took our bedding and our mushrooms and retired for the night.

I spend a lot of time out of Auckland – often in the wilderness in the South Island, tramping. I meet a lot of non-Aucklanders from all over the country and I’ve got to say I’m more than just a little bit over this notion of hating Auckland(ers) just for the sake of it.

If someone from outside Auckland came to the city and we asked where they were from, we wouldn’t be so openly rude. We might not know where Duntroon or Nightcaps or Gummies Bush was, but we wouldn’t hate them for where they came from. A non-Aucklander wouldn’t generally encounter this unwarranted open derision. They might find our driving quite appalling and Mission Bay's Sunday morning Lycra Army a little risqué, but they wouldn't be spat at simply due to their choice of domicile.

It’s a topic that inspired me to pen our cover story 'Finding Auckland's mojo' for Idealog #37. Why? Well, Auckland is our only international city. It’s home to more than 60 percent of the country’s top 200 companies. It’s got nearly a third of New Zealand’s business sites and again, nearly a third of paid employees. Half of us live within a few hours’ drive of Queen Street.

So if you’re going to hate Aucklanders, that’s a lot of Kiwis – yes, other New Zealanders – to hate. That’s half the country against the other half. That’s a country divided. And at the risk of sounding like a half-baked politician delivering a wet-blanket state-of-the-nation speech, a country divided is not a country that can ultimately succeed.

Moreover, the Auckland hate is now getting a little tired. Perhaps it was funny back in the late 90s when communication was a little more fragmented. Now, it’s somewhat irrelevant.

It’s also bad etiquette. It’s rude, childish, and shows that a person was dragged up, not brought up.

It’s time that Aucklanders starting pushing back on this unwarranted lack of manners. So if you're one of the repeat offenders, next time you’re rude to an Aucklander just for the sake of it, be warned: you might not get the apologetic, bowing-and-scraping ‘sorry for existing’ response you expected.

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It is a country divided and it will not succeed unless we do acknowledge that It really is Auckland vs The rest of the country based on current policy.
Our economy is set on a course that requires Auckland House prices to be maintained no matter what. So if that means
1. A High Dollar
2. No restrictions on people offshore buying property
3. Open immigration
4. Vast numbers of New Zealanders having to leave the country
5. A hollowing out of manufacturing

Then we will do whatever it takes to keep Auckland Real Estate high- one of the most expensive cities in the world

Government will do anything it takes to make sure money flows into housing in Auckland. Meanwhile we are under investing in our Children, our infrastructure and our exporting capacity.

We do all of this because Auckland is so large in comparison to the rest of NZ and Auckland is where the votes are.

You make excellent points for debate Plan B, but I'm not convinced that justifies rudeness to individuals based on their home location, but rather a grown-up (political?) dissection of these issues.

I'd argue though that there are plenty of Aucklanders (voters) who don't want high house prices at all. Not everybody is in the housing market to speculate for profit.

Youch, that's a gripey attitude (from that lady). I've often seen people get jokingly critical of Aucklanders, but not in such a serious way. Not being from Auckland though I've never been a target.

Give it a go, Mike. I mean, don't actually move here, but start telling people you're from Auckland. Just for the experience.

I get it a lot. Last year I spent a lazy week tramping the St James Walkway in Canterbury and met legions of people from the region. The vast majority were friendly … until they found out I was from Auckland.

With the exception of one lovely couple, who decided to walk all the way out on New Year's Eve, and hence gave me the rest of their whisky and a joint, and instructed me: 'Enjoy yourself'.

Heh, no thanks. I feel as if I get enough resentment by being from Wellington. (Mostly from people who'd rather say 'Wellington' than 'government'.) A chap in Takaka once took it upon himself to tell me about everything I was doing wrong with the country. :)

I'm in Melbourne for partner employment reasons just now, though. I read in your article that Auckland dominates New Zealand like no other city in the world, but to me it doesn't seem so far off how Melbourne dominates Victoria. Sometimes here it's as if population centres are defined by how far from it they are, and the entire State seems to be set up for generating resources to feed the economic centre.

I think what's happened is that there are some people in Auckland, a certain type, that have similar attributes which give all of them a bad name. Superficial, shallow, arrogant and self-centred for example. It's not like everyone there is like that, but there's enough of that attitude for people to pick up on it and then tar the whole city with that brush.

Sort of like the 'Christchurch is snobby' mentality.

I can't believe that lady was so rude to you. She must have had a really bad experience to feel that way. I'm from the UK and have been here for nearly 10 years now (Christchurch) and still don't really understand the 'them' and 'us' mentality as I haven't experienced it myself. We have a bit of the same thing in the UK with the North and South divide, the Welsh and the English, the Scottish and the English. It's kind of like it's a custom and people don't know why they criticise others from another area/country but they just do because that's what everyone else is doing!

It doesn't excuse rude behaviour, but the I think some the ambient resentment also comes from the way so much business, industry and media has contracted into Auckland over the past few decades, and the way in which this is causing people to lose their own local identities that they once had.

eg. When I was much younger, every centre had its own regional television, radio and newspapers that were full of local personalities and information. The nationwide TV1 had at least one prime-time slot each night when the local studios would broadcast their own local news and current affairs programmes. There are exceptions, but most of this major news, print and radio is now owned, based and operated out of Auckland, even if it has the occasional satellite visit to or broadcast from elsewhere. Commercially the changes since are more efficient and (perhaps) necessary, but when non-Auckland issues make the news, it's tougher to see your own back yard without an impression that it's being portrayed through the eyes of an organisation that has no experience or claim to be able to understand the place being reported on.

Once again this is no excuse to be rude, but it's a reason for some people to feel resentment about what the country's becoming compared with what it was for them in the past.

When I met other New Zealanders travelling around Europe, they'd immediately ask where in the country I was from — and then turn icy. Australians were astronomically friendlier. In the end my friend and I started telling Kiwis we were from Kaukapakapa (true in her case) which provoked a much friendlier reception. What is this, intermediate school?

Media consolidation is definitely a problem – for example, large media companies pushing all its subediting resources into one big pool. It helps in terms of economic efficiencies, but it does result in some shameful errors (albeit hilarious ones) that could be avoided with appropriate local knowledge.

The first time I encountered Auckland hate was in my first year in Dunedin as a student. I'll never forget someone I'd just met putting their hand up to my face and walking away when they found out where I was from. (Which was Orewa, back then not even part of Auckland! But close enough to be tainted by proximity.)

You get the same dynamic with Australia. Kiwis like to think that we are competitive with Australia and that Aussies hate us.

In fact, they don't give us a second's thought. Why should they - we're not terribly relevant. I find most Australians regard NZ very highly and find our competitive spirit a little quaint.

Likewise, Aucklanders, generally speaking, are quite respectful of the rest of NZ. It's the rest of NZ that needs to grow up.

I'm from Kapiti Coast & my husband is from Hawkes Bay - but I'm proud to say to people that I'm from Auckland, it is my chosen home at the moment and I always find it really nice when people don't pass judgment (as it happens less than the opposite). It would be nice if people asked where I'm from because they are interested - rather than to decided if they will like me or not.
If I was a angry person, maybe I would pass on the reaction to my 5 & 3.5yr old, after all - they are born & breed Aucklanders as opposed to their 'immigrant' parents.

I agree with Bob, there's definitely a type of Aucklander that creates the stereotypes that generates distain.

I'm from Dunedin but have lived in Auckland for 6 years. The type of Aucklander that grots me is the Remuera soccer mums in their big 4 wheel drive trucks (why they need them in the middle of the city I have no idea).

Pretty much Megan Nicol from the Sunday magazine, completely middle class, right wing and lacking in self awareness.

there's definitely a type of Aucklander that creates the stereotypes that generates distain.”

John Banks probably didn't help for Auckland's public relations in front of the rest of the country in recent times. Many places have people like him, but he happened to be very prominent throughout NZ as Auckland's elected mayor.

I think that that type of person, or in this case 'type of Aucklander' are spread far and wide right around NZ.

John Banks is definitely the archetypical Jafa!

And it's true, they probably are all over the country, but there are that's just the image that Auckland portrays, more than anywhere else. Maybe cos of the media.

But even in Auckland they have their niche stereotypes, it's a natural human thing, like the Westie Outrageous fortune types, North Shore 'go girls.' And the Ponsonby Sally Ridge types.

These are all real stereotypes that exist and the media perpetuates, which exaggerates the rest of NZ perception that all people from these places are like this. It's not fair, but it's human nature.

Well, Auckland is our only international city.”

How do you figure? Are you talking about access via port (air or sea)? Are you talking about your ethnic demographics? Something else?

I don't hate Auckland or Aucklanders, but I'm not sure statements like this will endear you to the rest of the country, which is filled with multinationals, multiple direct international access points, and multiple international award winning achievements.

New Zealand's tall poppy culture (good or bad) doesn't really take well to statements of grandeur and exclusivity—especially unqualified ones. You might want to think about that when you say “hating Auckland(ers) just for the sake of it.”

Good story Hazel.

The attitude is a throw back to the 80s. When it was perceived that all Aucklanders were 'yuppies' by people who'd never been there. I remember it was really ingrained. I was reminded recently of what we southerners called thse who came from Auckland to study at Otago…BPs, which stands for 'Beautiful People' I'm sure a few of them got a hard time until they burnt a few couches…

If I was woken up at midnight to sort out your bedding I would be pissed too, maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself

It's a bitter little pill for some people to swallow isn't it, to be told that their love of hating Aucklanders is actually just plain bad manners. Looking at you there Matt.

The scariest time we had as Aucklanders (we had only just moved there from Kapiti) was whilst on holiday in Queenstown. We decided to go on a boat cruise on the lake, once out on the water the skipper asked if there were any Aucklanders on board, at that time we had not quite got used to being part of Auckland and did not respond and no one else called out either. Fortunately for us, as his next statement for all to hear was 'Good, we'd shoot them all of them anyhow and chuck their bodies overboard!' The cruise was full of overseas and local visitors who all looked somewhat perplexed and two of us remained very quiet throughout and very relieved when we returned to shore.

I had this a lot. I moved to Southland and couldn't get work in 4 years. “Jafa”.
One interviewee said, so you're from Akld, me sick of it by then, said, no I'm from Wyndham (where we had moved to). He then said, oh I didn't realise you were originally from down here, my opinion of you has gone up considerably.
95% of them have never been to Akld.

If you think telling people you live in Auckland is hard, try telling an Aucklander that you live in South Auckland.

If you really want to know the reason real New Zealanders don't like Aucklanders, just read above.
The arrogance of thinking it is alright to turn up at a remote DOC lodge at midnight and expect to be able to knock up an underpaid custodian to look after you might give you a hint.
Or the sneering way the Aucklanders above refer to smaller towns.
Or go on-line and read mainstream media's reporting of stories that happen in rural areas, and see that Auckland reporters cannot even be arsed to actually find out where these rural places are. That is a very endearing trait that those of us in the boondocks enjoy very much.
Or watch Auckland “comedians” whose idea of funny is to endlessly bag Hamilton, Invercargill, Palmerston North - in fact, anywhere that is not Auckland.
The main problem here is not that the rest of New Zealand hates Aucklanders. It is that Aucklanders are appallingly unaware of the rest of New Zealand, and are not just unaware of their ignorance but rather glory in it.
I am reminded of the old sketch about “knowing one's place”, whereby everyone in society knows their social standing. “I am from Auckland and I look down on everyone (especially camp custodians in the Coromandel.” “I am from Hamilton, and I look down on people from Rotorua.” “I am from Rotorua and I look down on people from Whakatane.” And on it goes.
But the really funny thing about all this?
“I am from New York, and where the hell is Auckland? Is it somewhere near Hobbiton?”

I understand the frustration of being immediately hated on sight for no good reason, but I think it's a little presumptuous to think it only happens to Aucklanders, and outside of Auckland - also worth noting that the majority of anecdotes have been set in the South Island. Calling a whole island small minded or rude is a generalisation, much like the one you're fighting against as a Jafa.

I also doubt that pointing out the ways in which a certain city is better than the rest of the country is going to help much. Yes Auckkand has the MOST of everything, but it doesn't have ALL of everything. The remainder is just as worthy as the rest.

As a 'mainlander' living in Auckland, I was the butt off all sorts of South Island jokes. I also witnessed others being hated on sight due to radical racial profiling. 'Asian driver!' ring any bells? Not so fun being tarred and feathered because of a few bad eggs, is it?

Maybe also consider that the rest of the country is made up of significantly smaller cities and towns that still make eye contact and greet strangers walking past in the street, even with just a smile. Good manners, no? Haven't had that in Auckland recently. It's probably a little disconcerting to visit Auckland, be overwhelmed by the size (10x the size of Invercargill? 3x the size of Dunedin?), not know where to go, and swap a smile for confusion on the street.

Yes it sucks to be discriminated against due to a crappy stereotype, and it shouldn't happen. Maybe we should all give a brief thought to 'where there 's smoke, there's fire.' Instead of grumbling about being hated, go out if your way to change the perception. Then maybe we can all give peace a chance.

Perhaps it has more to do with the attitude of many (but by all means not all) Aucklanders, who travel to other parts of the country and proceed to traipse about like they own the place because they have spent a few dollars. Incessantly complain that the roading, cafe's, accommodation, shopping etc are not to their standard and generally wonder why we “small town folk” don't fall at their feet graciously thanking them for gracing us with their presence. Don't get me started on those of you who take your Audi's and BMW's down dirt roads at a rate of 20kph so you don't get them dirty and then get huffy at people who pass you because we actually have somewhere to be (just because you're on holiday doesn't mean everybody around you is too). I grew up in Auckland and know many good travellers who genuinely appreciate the country and display good manners….. There is a vastly growing number however who don't.

The DOC Camp Managers at Fletchers Bay are legendary for their rudeness and hostility. I am unaware of any other place on the peninsula that would make you wish you were back in Auckland but amazingly year after year the Fletchers Bay Junta pull it off. In stark contrast there is the beautiful Port Jackson just 10 mins down the coast road that until a few years ago was managed by Bill & Ann, in the big green bus. Sadly Bill passed away at Port Jackson in Dec 2011 after returning with Ann to holiday there. They will both be missed at Port Jackson. Thanks for the great times Bill & Ann.

Look, Sarah, I was only driving at 20kph because the car was loaded up with dive tanks and snacks and it was bottoming out on the gravel road. And then one of my passengers got all Angry Pants at me for not running over a possum, but rather honking the horn at it. I mean, I ask you! Have you ever? I have never. Ever!

I never forget the front page of the NZHerald when the Auckland Blues Played Otago. It showed two little children from the south holding a banner with the words “we hate Auckland” written on it. I will never forget working in Gore for two months and encountering intense daily racism. I notice nearly every time I talk to someone from the South Island I receive some casual and disparaging comments about Auckland, as if criticizing someone's hometown in the case of Auckland is perfectly natural. I even went on a work trip to the South Island and the PR handler couldn't help themselves from attacking Auckland - even though I'm a journalist and offending journalists is rule 1 for PR people. I acknowledged to that person that Auckland has problems, but that all towns have problems and I know which set I'd rather live with; a bit of traffic and high rent and property prices, yeah, but a rich, culturally diverse, coastal big-little city with a vibrant night life, arts and events scene. Every Friday at the moment hundreds of us come together and enjoy watching classic films outside on an unused silo in Silo Park. The community spirit was crackling. Do I spare a thought for Invercargill or Dunedin? No. I never think about those places. At all. I'm too busy enjoying my life in Auckland. Maybe if the people down there were having such a good time they wouldn't give so much energy to attacking Auckland.

Pretty sure Auckland's population doesn't constitute half of the country.

Hazel, that situation is pretty understandable, especially going up hill. It's Mr Audi and BMW etc on flat dirt roads who need to learn how to pull over… I wont hold my breath though because Mr Audi and BMW rarely notice anything outside of their bubble of extreme importance.

As for the Possums…. I'd be right there with Angry Pants saying “get it!! Get it!!!!

And really…. To all of us…. Who cares if somebody we don't know decides they don't like us because of where we live? Be it Auckland, Southland, Australia…. Even “Ponsy Pants Wellington” (I have a very specific reason for this declaration and I do not expect anyone to agree with it) I'm sure, given half the chance, they would all be able to find a valid reason to dislike us anyway… So who cares?? :)

Completely agree with your comments.
I live in Christchurch and grew up in Taranaki my whanau hailing from Auckland (since the 1850s), North of England and Scotland.
HOWEVER, I do get sick of hearing the region south of the Bombay hills sneeringly referred to as “the provinces”! This does Aucklanders no favours and is “openly rude… It’s also bad etiquette. It’s rude, childish….”.
New Zealand is too small to harbour such prejudices, in fact we are just a large village by global standards and Auckland just a small city.
Looking forward to my next visit there!

Indeed there is some animosity towards Auckland and Aucklanders. While spending endless summers in the Coromandel and describing to new acquaintances that I came from a small town 'south of Auckland' was often met with a sigh of dissatisfaction. Changing my tune to 'north of Hamilton' gained a much friendlier response. Traveling overseas also procured similar responses, including from some people who had merely visited NZ. However, I noticed the same stigma attached to cities like London and Paris from their fellow countrymen. Perhaps its the underdog mentality or tallpoppy syndrome.

BMW is German for 'Right Of Way', you know! Just like those bumper stickers: 'Give way to Holdens'.

I do think we should care, though – how will we look as a country in, say, 20 years' time if we keep up the prejudices? Not just as a cultural tenet but also in terms of policy?

Auckland has its problems and yes, there are indeed various reasons why the rest of the country might resent it. However, those debates are better conducted in an environment and a channel conducive to an outcome, rather than manifesting themselves as unwarranted rudeness on an individual (social) level.

I'm a rare breed. A person that was actually born and raised in Auckland. One time I had to go down to a certain tertiary institution in Southland for a bit of contract work….oh my god. Open hostility within moments of introducing myself. Constant hourly remarks about my hometown. Wtf - why would someones place of residence bother them so much.

To be fair, this isn't unique to NZ. Other countries get this stuff as well but I tend to find it's usually the poorly travelled insular type of people that have this self-defeating attitude.

When over two thirds of the population don't live in Auckland only a self important Aucklander would think they make up half the population of New Zealand - said everyone who hates Aucklanders.

Auckland is our only international city. “

Pardon? What do you mean?

What's the problem about some Aucklanders not knowing where Duntroon is? How many in Duntroon know the difference between Helensville and Henderson? It is normal for people anywhere to be more aware of their own localities than distant localities. It is no excuse for disliking somebody.

I think this is hilarious, you are so self righteous on your soap box, I have yet to meet an immigrant (40% of the nation) who likes a kiwi. Initially you are considered polite but from that initial interaction it deasends into cold, two faced, petty, standoffish and racist (no we are not going home, this is now home, we just don't bother socialising with you) so as we watch you divide an conquer amongst your selfs, once again our suspicion of your idiotic immaturity is confirmed. Thanks for the further insight.

This is a tangent but…. on the possum thing, aiming to run them over is good for a joke (I own a t-shirt which boasts about it), but beyond the joke it's nothing but a driving hazard. This is especially the case on country roads where there's a higher risk of causing an accident if you try to swerve.

By the time you're seeing possums on the road you can bet they're everywhere, and to make any significant difference to the possum problem, it's necessary to get possums to a tiny proportion of what they reach without intervention. Risking the safety of one or possibly two car-loads of people to flatten a possum does nothing more than make the neighbouring possums fatter.

I love how these comments evolve. We start on Auckland, we progress to fat possums. Awesome sauce.

The continuing saga of Jafa's vs Gimps…
(Genetically Impaired Morons from the Provinces)… yawn.

I grew up on a Farm in rural NZ, but have lived over half my life in our beautiful city. It's taken almost that amount of time to grow to love it, but I have.

I think the whole cohesiveness of the Supercity amalgamation and the Auckland Plan have galvanized the city from a squabbling bunch of urban fiefdoms and created a sense of a great urban future.

If you studied the demographics of the Auckland population, I think it would align with my 30yrs of experiential study from living in almost every corner of Auckland… Otahuhu, Parnell, Torbay, Beachlands, East Tamaki, Greenlane, Pakuranga, Newton, Epsom, Remuera, Glen Eden, Laingholm, Avondale, Mt Eden, I'm sure you would find the following:

That very few are born and bred Aucklanders. The vast majority of Pakeha and Maori Aucklanders I have met including the supposedly superficial and reviled Ponsonby cafe latte sippers have relocated from the Provinces!

Moronic “Jafa hate” is an ironic form of self-loathing from the provinces, it's a case of “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

Josh, do you mean the 1997 Auckland/Canterbury game when a young boy was holding a sign saying “I hate you Auckland”?

Or was there an independent Otago incident that was widely public?

Sorry, 2001 according to that Herald article I linked. (I'd read 1997 elsewhere.)

Auckland is our only international city”

Yes… Please explain this.

It's funny watching everyone get into a tizzy over some of the statements here. 'Please explain” ha ha! The idea of Wellington or Dunedin or Christchurch as an international city is laughable. Sorry but it is.

..The idea of Wellington or Dunedin or Christchurch as an international city is laughable…”

OK, but exactly what does “international” mean?
To me it means “overseas”…

Paris, now there's an international city. London, lived there once too.

I'm not in a “tizzy”, whatever that means, I just don't like meaningless jargon used in the place of facts and would like to know exactly what is meant by “international”…

Anyone who hates Auckland or Aucklander's has never lived or spent much time in Auckland.
I've been in Auckland for the past 2 years (born and bread in Taranaki, 4 years Hamilton, 2 years in Christchurch, 10 in London while I toured a large part of the world) and Auckland is by far one of the nicest cities in the world.
Had some reservations before coming here to live, but sure don't regret it now.
Also, I don't think many Aucklander's care at all what the rest of NZ thinks of them. I'm guessing it's either ignorance or jealousy that causes a negative reaction to Aucklander's from south of the Bombay hills.

Small mindedness is experienced everywhere, I am born and bred South Islander, lived in Auckland, loved it, have great friends there, would probably live there again except I would have to work too hard to maintain the lifestyle I have here… Some things that rankle me though, our roads are shit and Auckland gets more and more motorways that we pay for in our petrol prices, the last election was totally Aucklandcentric and the less said about Epsom electorate the better..
I wonder if has to do with the Auckland rugby team that won everything in the 80s and everyone got a bit jealous…

Interesting read.
I have lived all over NZ. And everywhere that I have lived had the 'dorkland' // 'jafa' attitude as a common thread.

I have recently moved to Auckland and have to say I have been more welcomed here than anywhere else in NZ.

I'm loving it. The people & opportunities here are eye opening & enchanting. Go the big little city. Go you good thing.

AlanJ, it's something I had in my head from an interview with Alex Swny (initially I thought it was Connal Townsend but have checked in the story I linked to above and it was in fact Alex). Now at any moment Whale Oil is going to pop up and call me a 'repeater'! It is a subjective judgment and a red herring to the argument, but what's in my head is the notion of Auckland competing on a world stage (in terms of luring events, conferences, business here if – and only if – we have the infrastructure to do so, and I'm not convinced we really do).

In fact Alex Swny said Auckland is our only *chance* to have an international city, so I'm doing him an injustice in 'repeating' him.

Think: London, New York, Paris, Sydney, Auckland
Or: London, New York, Paris, Brisbane, Dunedin (ooooh, meanie, picking on Dunedin! As much as I love the place)
Or: London, New York, Paris, Sydney, Twizel (I want this on a T-shirt)

I really love small towns in NZ and only mentioned Duntroon, Nightcaps and Gummies Bush because the names are fantastic.

Anyway, 'international' is subjective and regardless of how 'good' or 'bad' Auckland is, the point I wanted to make was that the debates around this shouldn't manifest themselves in uncalled-for rudeness to people based on where they come from. If an Aucklander is rude and arrogant to you, by all means dish it out. But if their only sin is saying 'Auckland' in response to 'Where are you from', I think it's senseless to be rude.

Jerry, strategic voting aside, every election is going to be heavily influenced by Auckland. I'm not sure of the last time a government was elected without winning over the majority of Auckland voters, but I bet it was a loooong long time ago.

So Hazel, are you saying that you used the term “international city” without knowing what it means?

Look, Donald, speak first, think later. It's the hallmark of New Zealand journalism.

But think of the possums!

Kelly, Sally Ridge is sooo North Shore.

I too am fed up with the comments - to the point that I actively choose not to holiday or spend money south of the Bombay's if I can avoid it. I have traveled all over New Zealand, and lived in Christchurch and Wellington, and find that most Auckland haters have rarely visited let alone lived here.

Thanks for the explainaton Hazel. I once saw a tee with “London, New York, Paris… Waitara” brilliant!

I think that we do ourselves a dis-service if we strive to become like other international cities- we need to focus on our own identity.
People travel here to see our much-touted “green” open spaces etc.
All kiwis should be made to live in one of those places for a few months: they would gain an appreciation of how precious our space is here- beaches you don't have to pay to sit on for instance.
Cheers from the country town of Christchurch (New Zealand).

So there we Aucklanders were, travelling in the South Island (you know fueling their economy, as we do), when our car broke down in Haast. At the local garage, the mechanic said, “we're you folks from?”, happily we replied “Auckland.” He grunts “Whad ya wanna live there for?” And I proudly said, “I love it! oh and it has the best schools, the best hospitals, the best parks, great beaches all around, best restaurants, cafes, jobs oh, and great friendly people!.”… My husband sniggered behind my back ” Whad ya wanna live in Haast for?”
Of course, we nice Aucklanders wouldn't dream of saying that to anyone's face!
Come on folks, Aucklanders are New Zealanders, and there are many different types of New Zealanders. Can we just celebrate our diversity and quirky differences?

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