Auckland, the rest of us love you. We really do. But we're tired of talking about you. We've discussed your house prices ad nauseam and, yes, they are crazy. We've talked about your traffic jams, and yes, you need to fix that. But you're not fixing it so there's only one thing to do — leave.
This isn't a joke. You should actually move out of Auckland. From where I sit — in a reasonably priced apartment watching Wellington's free-flowing traffic — it's a no-brainer.
I spent last weekend in New Plymouth. You wouldn't believe the interesting wee towns you pass through to get there. But the journey is a little sad. It seems Poi E didn't save Patea from the freezing works closure after all. The song got old and the young left town. That explains all the boarded-up shop windows, hiding underneath their sagging corrugated iron verandas on the main street.
But we can save Patea and get you Aucklanders into affordable houses if you'll just move there. Simple.
As to property, I found a real standout. It's the town's old Post and Telegraph Office, It's selling as a home.
Back in 1923, they bothered to put a little emblem with the King's initials and the date up on the facade. They put ornamental carry-on around the windows. They built arches over the doors.
Inside, you've got two stairwells — they're probably grand old wooden ones — to take you upstairs to the three bedrooms and big living area. From there you can see right around the countryside, all the way to the sea. Out the back, the kids can play on an Olympic stadium of grass. And how much for this mini Downton Abbey? $270,000. Negotiable, in case you think that's too steep.
Now, the job thing in Patea is a little difficult. Nothing comes up on online job sites. But you Aucklanders are used to spending half your lives in your car. Hawera is just 20 minutes down the road. Plenty of jobs there.
You could manage a plant for Fonterra, become a painter or take the job ANZ advertises as an "assistant manager of business baking". That's probably a head office spelling mistake. Don't let that reinforce your "country hick" stereotypes.
Leaving the city is a big call to make but a few years ago, Statistics New Zealand looked at people moving to the country, and people moving to the city, and how happy they were.
Only a third of the people who moved to the city were satisfied. But the country people were stoked. Half of them thought it was the right call.
The past couple of weeks have taught us that there are other people apart from Aucklanders who have problems.
Turns out those guys north of you are not asking for much, just two lanes on their bridges. And no, that's not two lanes in each direction. Just two lanes so two cars heading in opposite directions can use the bridge at the same time.
The trouble is, there's not enough of them in Northland to make enough noise.
If just a few of you Aucklanders moved there instead of Patea maybe it would get loud enough. You guys are camped on a little isthmus, fighting for a place to live when there's a whole country out there needing you to come and save it.
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