The Harbour Bridge cycling lane can’t come fast enough for semi-retired Rudi Lange.
For Rudi, an avid biker and beekeeper, being able to ride over the bridge is at the top of his future wishlist.
Since moving to New Zealand from Germany in the early sixties, Rudi has seen big changes in Tāmaki Makaurau and says improvements to transport is the most exciting aspect of the city now.
“We’ve seen a big improvement in the rail system over the last thirty years, and in recent times buses and other transport options have become more developed and more frequent.”
Rudi says the construction of City Rail Link is a great move and believes the disruption is necessary for Auckland’s long-term future.
“You have to make a mess before you can clean up”, he says.
He thinks more effort is needed to develop more transport options.
“We need more bike lanes in the city, so we don’t have to depend on public transport. We need fewer cars. Many more people are going to be calling Auckland home over the next thirty years. More houses mean more cars, and roads aren’t getting any bigger.
“I think as cities are redesigned and developed we will see an abundance of electric cars and electric bikes on our roads in the future.
“We have seen and are seeing now big developments of apartments in Auckland city too, which has surprised me. I think in the future if you live in the city and work in the city you won’t need a car at all.”
Designing a city for everyone is something else Rudi believes will elevate Tāmaki Makaurau even further.
“Our city needs to be accessible and safe - Auckland should be a place that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their age or mobility.”
While the city is transforming at a rapid rate, some long-held traditions are standing the test of time. One of Rudi’s fondest memories is taking his children to the Santa Parade in town.
“Now I go with my daughter and the grandchildren - it’s great to enjoy the multicultural Santa experience. This is the kind of vibe I hope the city still has in thirty years.
He says being able to get to know other cultures and learn about them through cultural events is critical.
“Learning about, getting along and integrating with other cultures and races is really important to the survival and growth of Auckland and our country as a whole – it’s why events and cultural festivals matter.
“A diverse city is an interesting city to live in!”
And his final request? “Look after the old people - they built this country!”