“I think to be a man in Auckland in 2017 is to be part of a community that includes men, it includes women, it includes people of different ethnicity, people of different religious backgrounds or non-religious backgrounds, people from all parts of the world. It’s part of a total community.
Well, looking back over the years, I think that some groups were perhaps seen as though they were more important than other groups, but with a greater range of people coming into New Zealand, greater range of thoughts and experiences, I think that idea is slowly, inevitably going away.
I like to think one always resolves problems in a positive way. I think that is really the goal if there’s a problem and you sit down with someone else and try to resolve it, and if you can resolve that positively then it’s resolved. If it’s not resolved positively, then frankly it’s not resolved. I think it’s just a matter of managing people when you’re the manager, just making sure that they are all together.
My wife and I went overseas last year on an extended tour, and I think particularly in New York I felt out of place, because of the hustle and bustle of everyone rushing here and there, and you just basically felt that if you didn’t watch where you were going, you’d be liable to be pushed over, run over, or something like that. So I think that’s probably the time when I felt most uncomfortable.
We don’t have any children and we don’t have any grandchildren therefore. But I think one or two days ago a little kid wondered around, I smiled at him, he smiled at me; that’s it.
I was born here on the North Shore. I grew up here, went to Birkenhead Primary, Westlake Boys’ and I spent most of my time working for variance of the Auckland City Council, Waitemata City as a librarian, and ended up managing a team of 12, and I’ve only just retired.
I can now come and go as I want, whereas previously I had to be constrained by making sure that everything was ticking over and I just couldn’t walk out the door when I wanted to, but I think I prepared for it quite well, and I’ve taken up things that I wasn’t able to do when I was working.
I don’t think there’s any one great memory. I think there’s a whole lot of life experiences that we all have. There’s a whole series of them; being successful in the work situation and relationships. Those sorts of things, they were all important things, that’s at the micro level. At the macro level would probably be seeing some of the big changes that have gone in the world over the last several years; some of the good, some of the bad. I think in some ways history is not necessarily progress; history sometimes is a circle that you get good things, then you get bad things, then you get good things.”