Share your tips/recommendations for visit to Auckland

Meda has been invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 annual conference of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology, so we’re heading for Auckland, NZ, at the end of this month.

Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 November 2012

2012 ANZSOC Auckland Conference – The University of Auckland

The twenty-fifth (25th) annual ANZSOC conference will be held in Auckland, New Zealand from 27 November to 29 November 2012 at the University of Auckland.

Delegates from Australia, New Zealand, and beyond are expected to attend the conference. A one-day postgraduate conference will be held on 26 November at the Auckland University of Technology.

Auckland is a vibrant, metropolitan city with easy access to vistas of breathtaking beauty. Additional information about tourism can be found here.

The first keynote speakers are Professor William Chambliss from George Washington University in Washington, DC and Professor Meda Chesney-Lind from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii.

Neither of us has ever been to New Zealand, so we’re not at all sure what to expect.

Our hotel is in downtown Auckland, apparently within walking distance of the University of Auckland campus where the conference is being held.

We’re only there for a week, and the conference will keep Meda busy much of that time, but hopefully we’ll get a day or two at least partially free.

If you’ve been to Auckland, let me know any recommendations of places to eat, things to do, places you wouldn’t miss, etc.

I have been in touch with a cousin in Auckland, who I’ve never met and only recently “discovered”…our grandfathers were brothers. This is on my dad’s side. If the weather is good, she’s offered a bit of a sail in Auckland harbor, which sounds like a good way to enjoy a view of the city. Beyond that, we’re just beginning to read a bit about the city.

So any and all suggestions would be appreciated!

14 responses to “Share your tips/recommendations for visit to Auckland

  1. Just a thought…aside from the normal ideas, you might check in physical ideas also. That is a LONG flight and it will do awful things to your circulation. Not sure of the time change situation but with only a weeks travel you might add that to the mix.

    Have an awesome time!

  2. You will love it! I was only there for a very short time but it is different enough to really challenge how we do things here. They have no pennies, I know that sounds funny but what you see something costs is what you pay. It is a very cosmopolitan city like San Francisco or Vancouver BC. Really, really cool. It has a great airport, very well designed. If you are lucky enough to fly on Air New Zealand, you will be on one of the Worlds finest airlines. Everybody speaks “the Queen’s English” sometimes it is like another language, but you will love it. The sail will be a real feature of the trip.

  3. I’ve been to New Zealand at least a dozen times. Auckland is known as the “City of Sails” so you must get onto the harbour to enjoy the view. A simple way to do that is visit the Viaduct and take a ferry to Devonport. Devonport is a lovely corner of Auckland. You must also see how Aotearoa is so similar to Hawaii since its in Polynesia that you must be introduced to their native culture. Visit a marae. Finally, I would also recommend visiting the local wineries. There are day tours you can arrange once you’re there. Good luck.

  4. The marae at the university. Contact Rangimarie Rawiri c/- M?ori Studies
    Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87938

    The Auckland War Memorial Museum, Maori Hall on the first floor (stunning); the third floor hall on the NZ wars (which outsiders know little of); and on the same floor the very sober memorial to all the New Zealanders lost in wars since WW I. They gave a lot of young men for the Empire. Also a recreation of an Auckland street in the 19th century. (good for rainy day)

    Tiritirimatangi Island, an all day trip, is the inspiration for much of Hawaii’s conservation efforts. Penguins, wekas (flightless birds), and wetas (giant crickets), plus some of the world’s rarest birds. This was overgrazed farmland, now going back to forest thanks to tens of thousands of kiwis (the people). It also has real kiwis but they are nocturnal so you’d have to stay overnight which can be arranged but you probably don’t have time, even if inclined.

    And pohutukawa trees! Southern relatives of our ohia. They are everywhere and will be in flower

    And I love the Auckland docks, the grungier parts and the ferry port, not so much the yuppified yacht harbor.

    One Tree Hill or Maungakiekie –a large Maori pa or defensive position

    Just walking the streets is fun but it can be windy and cold and wet and going home always seems to be uphill!

    Enjoy. But remember Auckland is to NZ what Honolulu is to Hawaii

  5. And I hope you like Lord of the Rings, as NZ will be in full on Middle Earth hysteria. Premiere (in Wellington, not Auckland, fortunately for you) is November 28.

  6. Russel Yamashita

    The Belgian Beer Cafe has a great menu and a huge selection of belgian beers that you never see here in Hawaii. My favorite is the steamed mussels in celery, onion and garlic. All the seafood is locally caught or raised in NZ. It is in downtown and probably near your hotel. See menu:

    As for wines, you could spend a couple of weeks just visiting winerys and sampling wines we never see here from both North and South Islands.

    Beer is also unique and there are a number of brands we never see here like Speights, DB, MAC and Montieth’s. Steinlarger is viewed in the same manner old Primo beer was, nothing special.

  7. I agree with Russel on the Belgian Beer Cafe where they also claim “best fish and chips in Auckland.” Have a basic kiwi meat pie somewhere. By all means get out on the water. Ferry to Devonport, walk the shops, pop into a cafe or a pub. Ferry to Waiheke Island if you have time. Great wines produced locally there. If you want a straightforward American cup of coffee, try ask for “Americano.” Popular is “flat white,” sort of foamy milk over espresso. Not my cup of tea.

  8. Super-long flight, as JB mentioned. Make sure you folks get hydrated over the next few days leading up to your flight – and don’t be shy about standing, stretching, and walking around in the cabin if the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign isn’t illuminated. Both can help stave off DVT (deep-vein thrombosis), as can light-weight compression socks (Longs, etc.)

    I don’t remember much about Auckland (other than it’s a decent-sized city) but NZ is a beautiful country. (I was on the South Island for ~4 months almost 20 years ago – gorgeous!)

    Weather now is rather chilly – much like San Francisco: ~64-48F, and rainy (this week). Bundle up & have a nice time! 🙂

  9. I’d recommend a day trip up to Rotorua…much to see both cultural and geological. Worth a google to see if it would appeal to you.

  10. I forgot to mention, they have excellent salami’s that are very tasty. Variants range from very spicy to very garlicly. You can find them at any supermarket. In fact, there is a supermarket near downtown that you can walk to or take a short cab ride to, kind of like a Safeway, without the strange pricing.

  11. compare and decide

    Perhaps you could turn your trip into a mini-research project, comparing the two societies, especially in terms of the policies that generate so much discussion on this blog (e.g., energy policy, transportation, government openness, corporate control, etc.).

    Let’s talk about creativity.

    Here’s a list of American cities in terms of creativity. Honolulu is ranked among the ten least creative mid-sized cities in the United States.

    Tiny, isolated, provincial New Zealand, in contrast, wins more awards for creativity than any other society. Here’s a humorous (and creative) video explaining why this is.

    More seriously, here is the urban planner Richard Florida explaining what helps to make a community creative.

    It turns out that what matters most for a city’s metabolism—and, ultimately, for its economic growth—isn’t density itself but how much people mix with each other. And there isn’t just one formula for that. It can happen in the pedestrian-oriented sidewalk culture of New York and London but also—to the chagrin of many urbanists—in the car-dependent sprawl of a suburban nerdistan like Silicon Valley. That region, as Jonah Lehrer has pointed out, manages to emulate the functions of bigger, denser cities by encouraging the clustering of talent and enterprise and fostering a high level of information-sharing.

    What is New Zealand doing right and Honolulu doing wrong in terms of creativity?

    • compare and decide

      Here’s a list of most creative countries:

      1. Sweden
      2. United States
      3. Finland
      4. Denmark
      5. Australia
      6. New Zealand
      7. Canada
      8. Norway
      9. Singapore
      10. Netherlands
      11. Belgium
      12. Ireland
      13. United Kingdom
      14. Switzerland
      15. France
      16. Germany

      At number six, New Zealand acquits itself quite well. But the criteria is rather narrow:

      “Each country is given a Global Creativity Index (GCI), which is based on three human factors: How technologically savvy are they? How capable is their workforce? And how open are they to new ideas?”

      In contrast, a prominent feature that defines a creative place for the urban planner Richard Florida is social tolerance, which the above metric did not include. But Florida focuses on cities, which have established reputations for such social tolerance (e.g., San Francisco), whereas an entire country would have too broad a range of attitudes to generalize.

      Hawaii is famously tolerant racially, but it is nevertheless a culturally conservative place with a small-town ethos. What might exist in Hawaii is a multi-ethnic society in which each ethnic group is culturally conservative, and tolerant of other culturally conservative ethnic groups, but not necessarily of creativity.

      So you gotta ask yourself … how would Honolulu react to the Techno Viking?

      This is one of the most famous videos on YouTube filmed by an artist of an annual parade in Berlin. From the wiki:

      The 4-minute video shot by experimental video artist Matthias Fritsch at the Fuckparade on 8 July 2000 begins with the title “Kneecam No. 1” and shows a bare-chested man wearing a Thor’s hammer pendant grabbing the arms of and pointing his finger at another man who has just shoved a woman, drinking from a bottle of water offered to him inverted by another man, then dancing down Rosenthaler Straße to techno music. Fritsch intended it to raise questions of whether the action was real or staged.

      It’s actually pretty mild stuff. And the Techno Viking is one cool dude. Nevertheless, I wonder if Honolulu can handle the Techno Viking.

      So if we exclude the question of Honolulu’s social tolerance, let’s look at the narrow criteria from above.

      1. How technologically savvy is Hawaii?
      2. How capable is Hawaii’s workforce?
      3. And how open is Hawaii to new ideas?

      • compare and decide

        Here’s an index of countries in terms of their state of democracy in 2011, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit of the magazine The Economist.

        1 Norway
        2 Iceland
        3 Denmark
        4 Sweden
        5 New Zealand
        6 Australia
        7 Switzerland
        8 Canada
        9 Finland
        10 Netherlands
        11 Luxembourg
        12 Ireland
        13 Austria
        14 Germany
        15 Malta
        16 Czech Republic
        17 Uruguay
        18 United Kingdom
        19 United States
        20 Costa Rica
        21 Japan
        22 South Korea
        23 Belgium
        24 Mauritius
        25 Spain

        New Zealand ranks at fifth (5), well above the US at nineteen (19).

        Where would Hawaii stand if it were on this index of democracy? One might assume that Hawaii would be ranked in terms of its democratic processes at the level similar to where it would be ranked in terms of education and creativity, since these indices align for so many other countries. However, this is not always the case; Asian societies that rank high in education and democracy don’t always rank high in terms of creativity (e.g., Japan and South Korea rank low in creativity, but high in education and democracy). Hawaii might be like that.

        The seven countries that were on all three lists of countries ranking high in creativity, education and democracy are:

        the US,
        New Zealand,
        the UK,
        Australia and
        Ireland (in no particular order).

        The only regularity that I perceive in these three indexes relating to creativity, education and democracy are somewhat of a correlation of excellence to 1) cold weather, 2) the English language, and maybe 3) Protestantism.

        Again, democracy and education would be expected to correlate strongly with creativity. After all, as Richard Florida pointed out, creativity is related to the ability of people to mix with one another and discuss their ideas, be it in the city or the suburbs. Democracy fosters that kind of mixing, and education fosters ideas.

        But how much do people in Hawaii mix?

        To some degree it might be a clique-based society. For example, look at Manoa, perhaps one of the most educated communities on Oahu. However, the appeal of Manoa life may not be so much mixing in a rich environment, but withdrawing womb-like from the rest of Oahu. (Someone once told me that he took a political science class at UHM, and on the last day of class the professor played a record with a song about Manoa that had a refrain that went “Here we are in Manoa, living in our little cubicles. We go off to work and class, and then we rush back into our little cubicles….”)

        Also, what ideas do people in Hawaii have to share? Recipes? On the other hand, how could New Zealand be much different? Hawaii is relatively provincial, but so is New Zealand.

        And so is Sweden, supposedly the most creative society. Here’s a video by an American libertarian group, ReasonTV, trying to explain why it is that ‘socialistic’ Sweden is so creative and prosperous. (One of the ironies of this ranking of democracies is that almost all of the countries that scored highest in the rankings were northern European countries known for their progressive, even socialist politics — even though The Economist, which made the rankings, is a market-oriented publication.)

        ReasonTV’s interpretation is that Sweden is NOT that socialistic, that Sweden is experimental and pragmatic, and that public policy in Sweden engages in all sorts of experimentation, both market-oriented and state-based. Moreover, Sweden’s smallness and ethnic homogeneity help it to be experimental, and responsive in a way that the US could never be (at least at a national level). Perhaps because of Hawaii’s ethnic heterogeneity, there is a dampening of communication and responsiveness. This also might affect Hawaii’s democracy, so we end up with more sign-waving than with knowledgeable discussion and debate. As for education, there are so many Swedish students going to HPU who would not get a college education back in Sweden’s more elitist public educational system. On the one hand, the Swedes might have higher educational standards than Americans in general and Hawaii in particular have; on the other hand, the US and Hawaii offer more options for higher education (for better or worse).

        Lots of questions raised here….

        Creativity, education and democracy. Please tell us what they seem like at a glance in New Zealand.

  12. At least three New Zealand students are currently playing intercollegiate sports for the University of Hawai`i. One of them, men’s basketball player Isaac Fotu, has become an instant fan favorite.

    Perhaps Meda can contact Assistant Athletic Director Carl Clapp to make arrangements for the three of you to meet up to talk about your trip.

    Here’s his bio:

    Prep: A 2011 graduate of Rangitoto College in North Shore City, Auckland, New Zealand…a standout in both volleyball and basketball for Rangitoto…named the school’s 2011 Sportsman of the Year…called up to the New Zealand senior national team at age 17…believed to be one of the youngest members ever on the “Tall Blacks” national squad… competed for his country in the Boris Stankovic Cup in Guangzhou, China, a tournament ultimately won by the Kiwis…also competed with the national team in Turkey and
    Macedonia…named one of the top five players at the Nike All-Asia Camp in the summer of 2011…played club basketball for Harbour
    Basketball, leading the U19 boys squad to back-to-back national runner-up finishes…also earned a spot on the New Zealand Breakers
    developmental team…won a title for New Zealand at the 3-on-3 World Youth Basketball Championship in Rimini, Italy…hit the game-winning shot against Bulgaria in the finals to help New Zealand capture its first world title in a FIBA-sanctioned event.

    Personal: Born in York, England…major is undecided…has two younger brothers and two younger sisters…is of Tongan and English
    descent…his father played professional rugby in England….parents are Manu and Jenny Fotu of Torbay, Auckland, New Zealand.

    “Isaac is a huge addition to this year’s recruiting class. A skilled power forward with great natural ability and strength, Isaac has the potential to help us immediately. When I fi rst got this job, we emphasized recruiting the Asia-Pacific rim.

    Hailing from New Zealand and of Tongan descent, Isaac is a perfect fit for the University of Hawai‘i and we are thrilled to have him join us.”

    -Coach Gib Arnold

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