The niche things I won’t miss about the swamp called Auckland

The niche things I won’t miss about the swamp called Auckland
The niche things I won’t miss about the swamp called Auckland

Opinion: It’s been about a half-decade since I made the move to the big city, Auckland, and settled in a little flat that basked in the shadow of the SkyTower.

Having grown up in Wellington and studied in Christchurch, I’ve now managed to live in the three major cities of Aotearoa.

This, I feel, gives me the license to take some parting shots in Auckland as I head back to the capital.

Is it a coping mechanism? Possibly. But here’s the list anyway:

No swimming at the waterfront:

When it’s 26 degrees and the humidity makes you feel like you’re swimming in a pool of sweat anyway, nothing would hit the spot like being able to take a dip in the ocean without having to suffer driving over the Harbor Bridge to get to Takapuna .

Now, before someone pipes up about that little section in Wynard Quarter – that feels more like a public bath than going for a swim.

Surely the city could sacrifice some super yacht spots in favor of a section of water where locals and tourists can go for a swim to cool off.


This picture is not of me, as I can’t do a backflip – but kids do enjoy the swimmable section in the Wynyard Quarter (file photo)

The concrete island outside Greenlane KFC:

Who decided that it was a good idea to put a camouflaged obstacle right outside a drive-thru?

Me, my Mazda Demio and my flat tire have a bone to pick with you.

Having gone through a low-day, there was one joy that could’ve turned it all around – ordering way too much food at KFC and eating it in front of the TV.

Instead, I had to do battle with the concrete kerb in the middle of the median flush and eat it parked on the side of the road while I waited for AA to come save me.

1-0 concrete island.


About 28,000 homes in New Zealand are always damp and always have visible mold, a report says.

Deceptively damp flats:

Because it’s so warm, even throughout winter, I never really thought (until it was too late) that I would have to worry about pretty serious mold in my house.

Despite getting a couple of Damp Rid’s, including the ones that hang in the closet with your clothes, it was a constant battle to keep mold off the ceilings.

Moving things out of the house, there was mold on some shirts, wooden furniture, hats – even the back of a mirror.

I was tempted to pitch to Auckland Zoo that they didn’t need $62 million for a man-made swamp forest – they could’ve just used a house built in Onehunga in the 1960’s.

Quick-fire round:

  • Severe lack of cheese scones
  • AT HOP cards top-up not being instant (many a bus were missed in my early days)
  • Sewage on the beaches far too often
  • Bus lane fines (sometimes you go the wrong way up Queen St and are stuck with a $150 fine)
  • That one time a group of drunk teens spent over an hour making leaf angels outside my apartment on some random Tuesday night (there were a lot of leaves)

The cliches: hot af, hard to get around, expensive:

Yeah, look there’s no escaping the traffic, or the lack of decent public transportation, or the fact that the cost of living crisis is causing prices of everything to spike.

They’re too well documented to hate. It’s not fun.

I’ll miss it though, quirks and all. Haere rā Tamaki Mākaurau

Got any Wellington stories? Email [email protected]

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