Hating Auckland

A model of good town planning.

A model of good town planning.

Auckland. City of JAFAs (which we are reliably informed stands for ‘Joy! Another friendly Aucklander!’). A temperate climate, plenty of nice beaches, 2 harbours, and just enough going on to feel like you’re not quite dying in the cultural doldrums of the world.

So why, then, does everybody in New Zealand, even, sometimes, those who live in the city, hate Auckland so much?

An easy answer would be to pin it on the familiar global trend towards resenting the bigger guy. Scotland hates England. England hates London. Everyone hates America (although a little less so now, after they voted in that basketball player as President). Usually this outward display of distaste is a thin veil for deeply-rooted jealousy. Like Revenge of the Nerds or Mean Girls, the dorks always hate the cool kids, until one of the cheerleaders invites a dork to the prom, and suddenly years of bitter resentment melt away in the sweet, sweet gush of acceptance.

But easy answers didn’t pioneer all those millions of acres of Otago farmland, mate, so, as Kiwis, we are compelled to look for more unnecessarily long-winded answers. Preferably ones that don’t disrespect the Treaty of Waitangi, and can be easily interpreted, artistically, in a tattoo.

Some place the root of this ill-feeling squarely on Aucklanders themselves – for being brash, hustle & bustle city types, who are obsessed only with the rat race, congested roads & making money by exploiting those hard working, Real Zealanders south of the Bombay Hills, who toil away in our 3 backbone industries of Dairy Farming, Bungee Jumping, and Swandri Manufacturing.

The irony of this explanation is that, by most international standards, Auckland is practically a seaside holiday town. And an off-season one at that. People move to Auckland for the quiet life. And it’s (inverted commas) Rat Race consists of two well fed and heavily sedated mice on lilos breezing around a sunny puddle, with no clearly defined course markers or finishing line.

Still, it’s all relative. Just because you could fit all of New Zealand inside an average-sized apartment building in Hong Kong, doesn’t stop residents complaining about those with the bigger rooms. But as an answer, it is still very pedestrian. If it was a sport, it would be Mahjong, and Kiwis prefer something downhill without brakes that requires a safety parachute.

So perhaps the explanation can be found in the very Kiwi need for constant reassurance. Immigrant anxiety. Never quite convinced that moving to the most isolated country on earth was the right thing to do, Kiwis need to be forever reminded of how awesome it is (or, even better, noticed by the rest of the world). Bagging Auckland is a natural extension of this. If, many years ago, you left Auckland to, say, grow oranges in Keri Keri, or open a Dreadlock Hair Salon & Dub Music Cafe in Wellington, then constantly reminding yourself, your partner, friends, collegues, radio talk-back, newspaper editorials, visiting tourists, and the Internet, that Auckland & Aucklanders suck, will help revive any wavering confidence in your current life choices.

Or at the very least, it will make you a great many non-Aucklander friends.

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29 Comments

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  11. Dunedin Boi

    The reason why we don’t like Aucklanders is because they tend to be unfriendly or unsociable in general. In the rest of New Zealand we like being folksy and love to make friendly conversation when we can. In Auckland even asking for directions is difficult, some of them don’t even take notice of you. Islanders/Maori throughout New Zealand think Auckland Islanders/Maoris are trouble makers and an embarrassment to their race. Auckland also has a lot Indian Immigrants who bring along their notorious habits (jumping lines, class oriented etc…). Aucklanders have absolutely no knowledge of working on farms and suck at rugby (Auckland Blues came last this season). The only thing Aucklanders seem to know is cars and clothes. This is in general, some Aucklanders are okay.

  12. sacredsage

    nice o here from all the kiwi’s here now to here from an amereican that everyone hates but at least we have a basketball player living up to his name … anyway are you sure your insecurity isn’t related to trampling gia and mori law anyway … i figure auckland the name is a joke to keep the insecurity going i mean aukland REALLY _uckland that joke would make anywon insecure …

    maybe if you REALLY took off on the earth based tech like the awesome breeding reefs that are happening on the islands there and really take the mori’s on as ruling council and started thinking about the future of the kids and the air and the water instead of your next party … maybe you might feel more secure.

  13. Ingolfson

    I’m an immigrant to Auckland from overseas, who has never doubted his choice, and I still found this absolutely hilarious!

  14. BeNZ

    Robbie dean sucks and so do the wallabies.

  15. koritzopani

    LOL. This is so random.
    Auckland has its pros and cons. So does Wellington (and Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill…) Just get over it.

  16. elmo

    Auck is awsome, no doubt bout it so, fuck of all u auckland haters

  17. BeNZ

    Interesting that 1/3 of kiwis live in Auckland. I like it here.

  18. BeNZ

    you can hate Auckland all you want but compared to all the cities in the world…..

    http://www.mercer.com/qualityofliving

    • truekiwijoker

      LOL the fact you guys are making such a big hoo-har about that silly survey underlines the defensive denial complex you’re in. Do you think this was even noticed in any other city? do you think this means the rest of the world even has a clue where Auckland is?

      Exactly how was this poll conducted? did people who’d lived in other great cities and who could compare make up the survey’s population?

      • laurence

        Yes and I’m sure if the poll represented your views no matter how skewered, it wouldnt be the silly survey you say it was.
        Look you hicks should just forget about this,accept Auckland dominance like everyone else and make sure your payments are in on time.

  19. TrueKIwiJoker

    Sounds to me like you need to get south of the Bombay hills a bit more often. You’ll realise there’s no jealousy and that the true Kiwis are well aware that Auckland’s delusion of being an international city is laughable.

    *No proper commuter rail network.
    *A big ugly needle 15 years behind the times that at least 20 better cities have. Sydney also has a sky tower and they don’t even talk about it.
    *A really piss poor dead city centre and sprawling soulless suburbia.
    *Backward suburban attitudes and narrow-minded jokes of people.
    *No proper urban planning, just the sprawling disfuntioning result of real estate speculators and automobile traders running the city.
    *Clueless insecure people deluding themselves about their status rather than doing something about it.

    Auckland has all the ugly sides of the Kiwi character and few of the good ones. Best summed up by Paul Henry, a pretentious clueless moron who doesn’t realise what a hick he really is. Loveable in the sense we can laugh at him.

    • laurence

      quote”a pretentious clueless moron who doesn’t realise what a hick he really is. Loveable in the sense we can laugh at him.”

      Nice try but to Aucklanders the rest of New Zealand is too small and will therefor always lack credibility, so isnt this your problem.

  20. guy

    i want to be one of the mice, so dearly.

    hang on, i am aren’t i?
    i’m one of the metaphorical mice!
    awesome.

    fuck you cantabs.

    *Puts shades back on and sips on $20 cocktail*

  21. Elora

    LOL, ‘Joy! Another friendly Aucklander!’

    Keep dreaming. Haha.

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