Here's an extended version of Jaq Tweedie's Q&A. The Gull Club is out now, available at Unity Books Auckland, and Time Out Books Mt Eden.
What do you like best about the City?
I like that the City is built on a series of hills. Sure, you have to walk up hills all the time but you’re rewarded with great views everywhere.
How long have you lived here and where are you originally from?
I grew up in Milford. As a teenager I would walk to the crest of Forrest Hill Rd by Westlake Boys every day and just stare longingly at the city. I moved to town as soon as I could.
What do you like least and how can we fix it?
I’ve always thought there should be a rail link going through Auckland city. I hear that’s being fixed, but Sir Dove Myer Robinson’s been standing around the Square in his shirtsleeves shouting about it for years now, so we’ll see.
Where’s the best place to buy dinner in the city?
My favourite place is called Genzui but I’m not telling you where it is, it’s that good. All the food in this city is excellent. Just go anywhere with an A certificate, you’ll be fine.
Who does the best fish n chips?
Who cares? Why would you eat fish and chips when there’s every cuisine in the world on offer? I guess you could go to Tony’s for fish and chips, but if you go Tony’s and don’t have a steak, you’ve wasted your time.
Who is the Kiwi you admire most and why?
Helen Clark. If I have to explain why to you, I don’t want to talk to you at all. You may go.
If I was Auckland’s mayor I would...
… walk up and down Queen Street every morning, smiling at the peasants and thinking a great deal of myself, like John Banks used to do. But I can do that anyway without being mayor.
When I’ve got a few hours free I like to...
…read books. When I run out of books to read I go to the Auckland Library and look at the bronze bust of Shakespeare they have there. It’s very detailed.
The spot in the city I’d recommend most to tourists is...
Albert Park. It’s sunny and quiet and cool with lots of sculptures and gardens and trees and lawns and a fountain and a bandstand. Of course you have to walk up a hill to get there…