At the start of 2017, I left the UK for a new life in New Zealand, having spent the previous five years at Transport for London (TfL).
Auckland has more in common with Durham than you’d think Both are university cities. Both are characterised by their domestic architecture: Durham has its terraces in brick and slate, pouring up the hills from the viaduct. Auckland has its timber workers’ cottages and inter-war villas, with verandas and stained glass. Durham has lost three railway stations; Auckland almost lost its entire rail network. Some aspects are quite different, though. There are more tower cranes in Auckland than any American city. Major changes can happen quickly here – this makes for a very engaging professional environment. Auckland also has two harbours and more boats per capita than any other city.
It’s quite a treat to live in a city where, during the summer you can finish work at 5pm, cycle five minutes to the marina and be sailing not long afterwards. Drop me a line if you’re ever passing through!
— George Weeks (2003 to 2006)