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Auckland, Really?!

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by Mark Smith

4 months ago

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Why is it that I always seem to work with Kiwis? What sort of magical sway do people from the land of the long white cloud seem to have over me? Is it their laid back style, strong work ethic or is it more sinister? As a rugby fan, am I secretly trying to find out the rugby secrets that seem to be shared at birth with every New Zealander?

In 2017, Shannon Barlow, a Kiwi who I have worked with since 2007 in Sydney, was managing the very successful people2people office in Sydney’s northern suburbs based in Chatswood. Shannon had built a strong team with a unique and productive culture and had broken long standing office performance records in February 2017. When Shannon asked to see me a few weeks ago, I was expecting her to hit me up for a pay rise or suggest another celebration event to reward the team. What I didn’t expect was Auckland.

Auckland, really!?

Like many Kiwis, Shannon had decided to head back across the ditch and move home. New Zealand was doing well, the family were closer and then there was Auckland……really?!

Shannon had shared the euphemism JAFA with me previously, so I knew that there was an ‘us and them’ culture in NZ. This is where everyone outside of Auckland, has a thing about Auckland, but and it’s a big but, there are reasons why so many New Zealanders choose Auckland. Here are a few that Shannon shared with me;

You can create a great career in NZ’s biggest city

You can have work life balance and visit Waiheke Island and other places that are naturally wonderful and only a simple day trip away.

The food is great. Fresh and the restaurants are world class.

The harbour – get out on a boat.

The people are great and from all over the planet.

Sport, sport, so much sport.

It was pretty obvious that Shannon had made up her mind and it was a no brainer for me and also people2people, to take the leap and start our Auckland office with Shannon; one of the many Kiwis in my working life, at the helm. I can’t wait to visit regularly. 

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