The hip-hop musicians of this New Zealand band from Auckland have Samoan roots. They sing in both English and Samoan.
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008)
Probably the world’s best-known personality from New Zealand is Sir Edmund Hillary, who was born in Tuakau near Auckland in 1919. He and the Nepalese Tensing Norgay (1914-1986) were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest (8,850 m) on May 29, 1953 at 11:30 local time. In addition to numerous other honors, Sir Hillary represented New Zealand as ambassador to India from 1985 to 1989. Until shortly before his death he was in Nepal again to take care of the aid projects he initiated there. He was an honorary citizen of Nepal. There is also a portrait in his honor on the 5 dollar bills of New Zealand. Hillary was buried on January 22, 2008 in the Anglican St. Mary’s Church in Auckland as part of a state funeral. The ice ax lay on his coffin, that he and Norgay had used when they climbed Everest. The Prime Minister of New Zealand – Helen Clark – paid tribute to Hillary with the following words: “He was our hero, he brought glory to our country. Most of all, he was our beloved Sir Ed for what he represented: the determination to overcome all odds”.
John Key (born 1961 in Auckland)
The former investment banker from the right-wing liberal National Party achieved around 45% of the votes in the election on November 8, 2008, replacing Helen Clark as Prime Minister. Key’s mother Ruth emigrated in 1939 as a Jew from Vienna, first to London and later to New Zealand. Key completed an economics degree in the city of Christchurch on the South Island and then went to Harvard in the USA. Back in New Zealand he worked for a trust company, and around 1995 he moved to an investment bank in Singapore as head of foreign exchange trading. In 2001, through intervention by the National Party, John Key was persuaded to return to New Zealand, where he soon entered parliament and in 2006 took over the chairmanship of the party.
Auckland: Recommended trips
Devonport is a sleepy little town across from downtown Auckland. The ferry takes about 10 minutes. Here you can climb the Victoria Mountain through the main street with its many cafes, second-hand bookshops and galleries, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city center and Rangitoto. If you want to spend a day at the beach, you can either jump into the water directly at the ferry dock or walk about 20 minutes to Cheltenham Beach, which is across from Rangitoto and is very popular.
is a beach on the west coast of Auckland, similar to Piha. However, you can take a walk to a black sand dune on the way to the beach.
The island is about an hour’s drive north of Auckland. The University of Auckland marine biologists have their research facilities here. The islands themselves are a marine reserve where angling and fishing is prohibited. The fish population is correspondingly diverse. You can snorkel very well right from the beach in the channel between the mainland and the island.
Matakana Wine Country
About 1 hour drive north of Auckland. There are several wineries with restaurants in the area.
Muriwai is a beach on the west coast of Auckland, about 40 minutes’ drive from the city center. Here you can surf or drive along the beach in an off-road vehicle. The current is usually quite strong, which is why you should only swim in the guarded part. There is a colony of sea birds right by the water, which you can walk very close to. On the way to Muriwau you pass many wineries.
Piha is the surfing beach in the west of the city, about 40 minutes away by car. The current is usually quite strong, which is why you should only swim in the guarded part.
The Victoria Theater
The cinema is the oldest surviving cinema in the southern hemisphere. It is run by an association that has made it its business to protect the cinema from investors. On weekends you can watch movies and sometimes theatrical performances here. The current program can be viewed on the association’s website: www.thevic.co.nz
Tiritiri Matangi Island
The entire island is operated as a bird sanctuary by the DOC (Department of Conservation). One can visit the island from Auckland within a day trip by ferry. Information can be found at: www.fullers.co.nz