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Central city lures in rural dweller

Life in Auckland's central city

Published: 24 July 2019

Auckland’s city centre is the beating heart of the region's economy and is rapidly increasing with the number of residents growing to more than 55,000. Our Auckland talks to residents about what it’s like to live in the central city.

Antony Phillips’ rural roots are strong, but his desire to own property in Auckland’s central city is stronger.

The Heritage New Zealand outreach advisor is busy saving a deposit for his own apartment in a rapidly developing and growing downtown.

“What’s happening now in the city is exciting,” the Queen Street tenant says.

“The central city will be a better place and more attractive than ever before.”

Antony moved to Auckland 15 years ago, but admits he still considers Hawkes Bay his "home".

“For some years I commuted between Hawkes Bay and Auckland and I spent equal amounts of time in both places. These days, however, most of my time is spent here.”

With a Maori heritage (Ngati Kahungunu and Te Arawa), Antony says he enjoys his rural community and origins but loves his metropolitan life in the city.

“I love living in the city,” he smiles.

His favourite central city areas are Fryberg Square, Vulcan Lane and Silo Park. He also loves to spend time down the waterfront and says he’s excited to see the Auckland Council’s downtown development come to life.

“We have an amazing waterfront with easy access. Making it pedestrian-friendly with more green spaces will only improve what’s already there.”

His enthusiasm for the central city led him to joining the City Central Residents Group (CCRG).

“The stories linked to our unique heritage places in the city inspire me. I’m also inspired by the people who choose to live in the city centre which adds to the rich diversity of our community.

“I’m passionate about helping create a more liveable, vibrant, safer, greener city centre that is more people-centric and a place where worker and residents, community and commerce can all co-exist.”

He is also quick to point out there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to noise.

“Having a jack-hammer going off at 4am is not good for anyone. The city is our home and we don’t get to leave it at 5pm. There needs to be more consideration for residents around this.”

A lack of infrastructure to properly handle recyclables is also a bit of a bug-bear for Anthony, however these things only make his commitment to the city stronger.

“These issues strengthen his resolve rather than put me off.”

In his spare time, Antony loves cooking and spending time with friends – of whom nearly all live in the city. They meet often for dinner or drinks.

Antony says the best-kept secret in the city is his favourite restaurant – Amano (opposite Waitemata Harbour).

“They have the best pasta around,” he smiles.

Getting around is no issue for Antony, who prefers to save money by walking and taking public transport.

“I live near my work and not having to commute saves me time and money.  Saving time and money is far more valuable to me.”

Read more: Future Auckland

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