Whether they admit it or not, all Kiwis belong to a tribe. They view other tribes with a mixture of suspicion, envy, amusement and derision, sometimes without even realising they're part of it. Jane Phare looks at 10 Tribes of Auckland.
1. uRAFs (Ultra-Rich And Famous)
This tribe have walk-in wardrobes the size of living rooms - big enough for a chaise, a champagne fridge and a yoga mat.
They have an SUV in the six-car garage but it won't be a common Range Rover Sport or Porsche Cayenne. More likely a Lamborghini Urus or Bentley Bentayga is needed to help navigate the way to Coatesville or the airport.
Or they'll pop to Huka Lodge for the weekend in the new Aston Martin Vantage (think Anne Batley Burton #realhousewivesofauckland #keepingupwiththechampagnelady #savethepussies).
Their daughters are beautiful, their sons good-looking, the result of carefully selected gene pools. The girls pout on Instagram in exotic locations, shocking their secretly proud fathers. Is that a butterfly tattoo on her butt?
uRAF women get extensions on their hair, their eyelashes, their nails and their lips. They'll have cosmetic surgery eventually but in the meantime Botox and "non-invasive" procedures will do. For a casual look they wear Tiffany diamond bracelets and white Gucci sneakers.
uRAFs buy $2000-plus dogs that end in "doodle" and then pay for doggie daycare, dog groomers, dog walkers. Managing it all is a nightmare.
They live in architecturally designed (preferably Sumich Chaplin, or Fearon Hay) homes with immaculate interiors and huge vases of fresh flowers. They use caterers or, rather, chefs for dinner parties and cleaners to mop up the mess.
They use lots of power in the winter: heated floors (including the garage), heated towel rails in all the ensuites, and garden floodlights. The whole property lights up like a cruise liner at night when they're having a do.
They meet friends for long lunches at Soul Bar and, who knows, they could spot someone famous.
They do lots of heli-stuff: heli-skiing, heli-fishing, heli-touring, heli-adventures. They have Louis Vuitton luggage (lifetime guarantee, and they plan to live long lives) and they think Postie Plus is a post office with extras.
They go on exotic overseas trips during the school term: safaris, pheasant shooting in Europe, the Monaco Grand Prix. They bemoan the masses in the Koru Club.
Sometimes they take their entitled teenagers with them but the kids would rather be hanging out with mates in Auckland, drinking RTDs and ordering Uber Eats. It won't be until they're older that they'll start posting from First Class and appreciating the mastery of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (think Max Key).
Favourite pastime: Admiring the tank of exotic tropical fish. The Cavoodle fell out of favour after peeing on the hand-knotted silk rug.
2. Golden SODs (Spending Our Dosh)
Harmless and gleeful, this well-heeled, retired tribe keep their SuperGold cards tucked safely next to the Platinum Visa.
They occasionally babysit the adorable grandchildren - but not too often because they're busy, busy.
The women belong to walking groups who wear puffer jackets and Skechers, easier than Nikes which have fiddly laces. They finish off with a flat white and a gossip.
They have their hair cut and coloured every few weeks; they'd never dream of getting artificial nails. They know how to glaze $200 hams without looking up the recipe.
They have "help with the garden" and feel guilty complaining about the cleaners but, really, they dripped Exit Mould on the grey Baksana bathmat and ruined it.
The men are trying to be retired but can't resist getting onto the body corporate committee. They're chuffed when they're offered a pro-bono position on a board. They wear spiffy Paul Smith shirts, tucked in.
Golden SODs are enthusiastic adopters of iPhones. They've never been on a Lime scooter.
They travel ... a lot. Up the front, of course. One of their high-achieving children is bound to live in London. They've booked a Rhine cruise for next year where they'll make friends with "fabulous people".
When they're not overseas they go to "the beach" – their holiday home at Hahei, Pauanui or Omaha (the new end).
They go on adventures with other Golden SODs – the Milford Track (luxury option) or to see the Gibbs Farm sculptures. They invite the same crowd to "the beach".
They shop at Farro and buy halloumi when their vegetarian daughter-in-law comes to dinner. They still use custard powder when no one's looking. They've tried to like kale.
They buy $6000 e-bikes and use their GoldCards to travel free on the Waiheke ferry. And isn't the "Super" a lark? Pays for lunch at Cable Bay. The Otago Rail Trail is on their e-bike bucket list.
They play golf at Royal Auckland Golf Club even though it's a fag to drive to Ōtāhuhu. Millbrook's a favourite in the South Island.
Favourite pastime: Watching A Place to Call Home (in mourning now that it's ended. Looking forward to the new Downton Abbey movie).
3. iLOWs (I Live On Waiheke)
A delicious mix of sub-tribes rub along together on this jewel of the Hauraki Gulf.
The commuters: They form cliques on the ferry, and moan about the length of the queues and the cost of the commute.
They do their make-up on board in the mornings, eat homemade muesli and drink from keep cups. On their way home they eat McDonald's, or drink wine. On the last sailing of the night they're likely to be loud and just a little drunk.
The tradies: They wear tight shorts and steel-capped boots, and secretly aspire to own a new Holden or Ford ute. But the island's e-forces, plus the outrageous price of fuel, are too great. Lately the tradies have been purring into PlaceMakers in second-hand Nissan LEAFs and roping timber onto a roof rack. No kidding.
They are (still) saving the world, one compost heap at a time. They buy organic at the Ostend markets or grow their own ... veges that is. They have worm farms, wear colourful clothes and ride electric bikes.
They re-cover their armchairs in checked wool blankets. They keep chooks, but quietly give them away when the exploding rooster population starts going off at 4am.
The Onetangi beach walkers:
They roar down to Onetangi in their Range Rovers (if they don't own a place right on the beach) and trudge determinedly up and down with the Labrador or the Labradoodle.
It's stressful being an $800-an-hour barrister. There are so many of them it's like the Northern Club with a sandy floor. There's bound to be a judge in the mix.
They own property that used to be worth six-figures and now has an extra zero on the end. The really, really wealthy ones chopper in ( think Graeme Hart, Ross Prendergast and Mark Wyborn).
The not-quite-so-wealthy move between each other's holiday homes, drinking wine that's vintage rather than just gone off. Or they do Sunday lunch at one of the many fine wineries. Sometimes they see dolphins from their lounge windows.
Favourite pastime for iLOWs: feeling sorry for the Mainlanders
4. iSEGs (Intellectual Smug Eco-Gurus)
They sniff at anyone who doesn't own at least three keep cups, or can't spell, pronounce or cook quinoa. They're gluten-intolerant, but have never been tested. They're considering going vegan but would miss having eggs benny at brunch.
They've cut out sugar but haven't quite managed to give up wine. That's different.
They're easy adopters of health fads - green smoothies, turmeric, chia and hemp seeds, raw protein balls.
They eat whole food rather than just food. They make dinner guests chew their way through Paleo puddings.
They leave the stalks on strawberries and use flowers as garnish. The men know how to cook; they wear a hemp tea towel over their shoulder in the open-plan kitchen to prove it.
They use words like "sustainable" frequently and then fly to Nepal to trek up to Everest Base Camp. Bugger the carbon footprint. The experience was "holistic," much like India last year.
They talk knowingly about books they know no one else has read, and watch obscure sub-titled films at foreign film festivals just to notch one up.
They always go to the Auckland Writers Festival and are on the art-show circuit.
They're thinking of doing a Masters or a PhD, just because. They're judgemental, impatient, not ones for small talk. They own a pet-rescue dog.
They pride themselves on being "woke", and live cheek-by-jowl in cold south-facing villas worth a fortune in places like Grey Lynn and Ponsonby with other woke-minded iSEGs.
But they don't talk about property prices at dinner parties because that's about as crass as holding your knife like a pen.
They don't use spray-on deodorant. They'll get an electric car when the price comes down and there are enough charging points. They don't really wonder what happens to the batteries afterwards. In the meantime, they sometimes ride electric scooters - wearing a tie but no helmet.
If they had their time again they would definitely not use disposable nappies. Thank God the kids are at uni now, doing double degrees.
Favourite pastime: Scoffing at programmes like Married at First Sight NZ while denying they ever watch reality TV.
5. The laughing Pasifikas
This cheerful South Auckland-based tribe are church-going, rugby-loving and musical. They do community better than the Palagis in the eastern suburbs and North Shore.
They load up their vans and seven-seaters and drive - to Sunday service, to aunty's for a birthday lunch, to uncle's to watch the rugby. They rarely do things alone. They call people they're not related to "cousin" or "uncle".
Weddings and funerals are the big ones – at least 400 people turn up, some of whom know the happy couple or the deceased.
They don't have a lot of money because they fork out to help pay for the weddings and funerals - or church, or to send back home, or buy roast pigs for the umu. A weekend barbecue can attract 50 plus.
They thank God for everything and used the word "blessed" a lot. They love their children and teach them to say grace at meal times, and before rugby games.
There used to be a bit of rivalry between Tongans and Samoans but inter-marriage and cheering for the same school team have smoothed things over.
Now the Samoans don't mind when their Tongan mates sneak over at night to decorate their people movers with red-and-white flags when the Tongan rugby league team are in town.
They laugh a lot when they're together. More like a giggle (think Laughing Samoans' Tofiga Fepulea'i, and actor Oscar Kightley). They are born to sing, and harmonise like angels.
They learn to play the guitar and keyboard through osmosis – uncles and older cousins teaching younger ones. Lessons on YouTube are quite handy, too.
They have an advantage at sports games. A Palagi kid will average one or two supporters on the sideline, Pasifika kids will have at least eight – and they'll be vocal.
They love watching sport, either the pros on TV or their kids playing rugby, rugby league or netball. They're really looking forward to the Rugby World Cup. They want their sons to be All Blacks or a starry league player, and their daughters to be a Silver Fern.
Favourite pastime: Sharing roast pig in the backyard umu (with taro, raw fish and shellfish) with heaps of family.
6. MEMs (Making Ends Meet)
MEMs are born to juggle – kids, money, time. There's never enough of the last two and, in hindsight, perhaps too many of the first.
The MEM alarm goes off at 6am: make breakfast, make the kids' lunches, make the adult lunches, feed the dog, put the washing on, drop the kids off at school, go to work.
There they fume at co-workers who leave tea bags and unwashed pasta bowls in the sink.
They toast their cheese-and-tomato sandwiches in the Panini toaster and stick strictly to the $5 limit for the staff Secret Santa. They NEVER buy sushi from the place across the road.
They smugly calculate their co-workers are spending $50 a week on coffees when the work kitchen has a perfectly good instant machine. That's $2600 they've saved in a year, enough to re-carpet the bedrooms.
Their kids don't like juice or fizzy because they've never had it. They go to the local school holiday programmes but one got "expelled" for calling a boy "fatty" so that's a nuisance.
The morning off work to attend a family healing conference was a nuisance too. And who invented teacher-only days?
Guilt is their middle name. They vow to take time off for next year's cross country and athletics day, and remember to tell the parents about Grandparents' Day.
The women don't need to read Dr Libby's Rushing Woman's Syndrome to know they've got it. Weekends consist of the kids' sports games, house work, play dates and visits to the Warehouse, Dress Smart or Number One Shoes to spend Prezzy cards they've been saving since Christmas.
MEMs enter competitions, lots of them. Tickets to concerts, trips overseas, a shopping trolley full of groceries, anything. They religiously fill in the online "tell us how we did today" supermarket survey in the vain hope that they'll win the $500 gift card one day.
They keep the 10c a litre fuel discount receipts and wash their own cars, a saving of $15 each time.
During the holidays they tell friends that Auckland's lovely when there's no school traffic so they're staying put. But Fiji also doesn't have much traffic so they stop "liking" Facebook posts by friends who are there.
They're wary of long, boozy lunches with shared bills. They ALWAYS end up subsidising someone else's cocktails. Instead they leave early and tell the waiter EXACTLY what they had.
Favourite pastime: sleeping
7. The blenders
The word "step" crops up a lot in ultra-blended families. So does "half" sister or brother
(think American mockumentary Modern Family).
Like cells dividing in a lab, the original parents divide and regroup, have more children, and then divide and regroup again, until no one is quite sure who to invite for Christmas or how they're going to seat 26 people around the table.
Blenders deserve a New Year's honour for juggling the intricacies of step children, step parents, angry exes, who's going where for the holidays, and who's paying for what.
When the first grandchild arrives there's a first-in, first-served auction for the naming rights: not the baby's, but what the child will call each of the six sets of grandparents.
Favourite pastime: Pretending the high-achieving step children are their own
8. FIMs (Fluent In Māori)
A special tribe, this one. In danger of extinction, they are the envy of those who long to speak te reo Māori. TV presenters like Jack Tame and Petra Bagust (and her mum Judi) have already nailed it. They jumped aboard the reo waka early, leaving the rest of Aotearoa in their wake.
Now there are long waiting lists of people suffering from te reo envy wanting lessons. For the oldies, learning Māori is the new Sudoku. The reason doesn't really matter.
Look how far this tribe has pulled and pushed since 20 years ago when Hinewehi Mohi threw back her head at Twickenham and sang God Defend New Zealand in te reo at the Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Back then, the 70,000-strong crowd gasped a collective "What the...?"
We laugh and shake our heads in disbelief at this story while we celebrate Te wiki o te reo Māori, Māori Language Week. But 1999 wasn't all that long ago.
Mihi FIMs. There are plenty more eager to join you.
Favourite pastime: Speaking te reo Māori and being understood
9. OSPs (Over Sharing Parents)
From the moment the balloons pop to reveal the sex of their embryo, OSPs and their Osp-spring are the centre of their universe.
They share everything – scans, baby shopping, adorable outfits, the nursery. When the Osp-spring is born, Facebook and Instagram explode.
OSPs post 56 photos to cover each minute milestone – first breath, first feed, first smile, first crawl, first word. These all need to be "liked".
First parties are elaborate, intricately planned and themed. Guests need to adhere to the theme; so does the birthday cake.
This is repeated each year of the Osp-spring's life. Not a moment is missed or not shared. Some of it is recorded in slow motion.
On quiet days, OSPs tearfully post a vast selection of remember-when memories. These, too, need to admired. Facebook needs to come up with an automatic "like" setting.
When the last Osp-spring leaves home, a gloom falls over the household. OSPs cannot see the point of life. But then a thought occurs ... there'll be grandchildren one day.
Favourite pastime: Sorting through photos and videos to find ones they forgot to post .
10. The Gym Nation
This tribe live, breathe and ooze fitness. Their e-diaries are based around visits to the gym or boxing boot camp. They get up (too) early and panic if they leave their water bottle behind. They know how to calorie count.
They go to training gyms like F45, owned by sporty people like All Black Aaron Smith and his fiance Teagan Voykovich. They will go for a run rather than join their mates at a bar.
They are the second generation of all-day active wearers. Nike, Adidas and Lululemon are favourites.
Favourite pastime: Looking in the mirror and knowing it was all worth it