As I continue my Splice journey, exploring the high-rise forests, the leafy parks, the sparkling waters and the history of Auckland’s Central City I never cease to be surprised and excited by the diverse, cosmopolitan city I have moved to.
As a still-new addition to both Auckland and the Splice team, I walk Queen Street and its adjoining lanes and arcades, enjoying the smorgasbord of languages, faces and races. High end ‘label’ shops at one end contrast with small Asian businesses at the other, their street signs in exotic foreign languages adding variety and colour. Aotea Square regularly surprises with anything from rock music to chess, while Myers Park provides a hidden haven of tranquil peace in the midst of the busy-ness.
Colourful ‘K’ Road adds yet another flavour to the central city. Its wonderful original buildings are the first noticeable contrast to modern Queen Street. Creativity is obvious in the variety of colourful shops and cafes, the off-beat vibe reminiscent of popular bohemian areas in other international cities I’ve visited - areas that every city must value and preserve. The impending night-life, whether to be experienced or not, adds an edginess that is accepted as part of K Road culture.
In such an incredibly diverse and unique slice of New Zealand the challenges are many and varied. What do we really know of our neighbours who live in those high rise apartment buildings or those who make their home on the street? What do they know of each other? What are their stories and what brought them to this place?
One of the greatest challenges in such a diverse community, is how to enable its residents, whether old, young, local or migrant, to feel ‘at home’ and connected to their central city neighbourhood.
Making these connections is what Splice is all about.
- Sandy Ritchie