Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | February 12, 2010


View of Auckland Downtown from the Harbour Bridge. My office is in Downtown

There is a big glass window in front of my workstation in office. From there I can view Auckland’s downtown. It is distracting when I work on my computer but it is soothing as well. I can see the sky tower and lifts going up and down the tower, the skyscrapers, the busy street and the harbour bridge, the boats on the harbour, beautiful water, aeroplanes, helicopters, hills and also lot of trees far away.

Corporate people who have been to places like New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Frankfurt etc. do not like the Auckland skyline. I have many such colleagues who come to my workstation and complain that Auckland skyline represents how backward New Zealand has remained compared to other developed nations. I smile at them because Aucklanders or generally people living in New Zealand don’t realise that how privileged they are that they can still feel the freshness offered by nature in the middle of their busiest city. I am sure Auckland as well as New Zealand has tremendous room for development. Personally I do not think that the economic policy followed by the Government is quite sound, but I wish economic prosperity does not come at the cost of nature. Personally, a concrete jungle never excites me and neither does tall buildings, therefore I don’t mind New Zealand to be as it is as long as we are here.

Just when I was reflecting upon these thoughts while looking out of my window, a good colleague of mine informed me that he has decided to quit his job. He has been doing quite well in the Consulting industry, he is never stressed and he is younger to me, so I asked him the reason for his sudden decision keeping these facts in mind. He said that he has decided to make a lifestyle change and help in his family business. I asked him what the family business is all about. He informed me, it is a small nursery that his mother runs in the South Island. I could not believe that at the age of 28, he would more or less give up his career in Economics and plant flowers. He said he would do that as it would give him peace. He is a good friend of mine too and my respect for him went up a notch higher. He is a Buddhist and does not believe in destiny but I think destiny does a play a little part otherwise my parents would have had a nursery too in New Zealand. I may have one, someday. I wish him well.



  1. The sort of people who lament the Auckland sort of skyline are the ones – by the millions – who are working night and day to turn the world into the kind of ugly man-made desert portrayed in movies like Mad Max, Blade Runner and Wall-E. Asked whether I would like to live in Manhattan or Auckland, I wouldn’t take half a second to make my choice! Try this link:

    Your young friend is the sort of person I envy, and I don’t envy people easily. I wish him well, too. I myself had the privilege of meeting a man in Arizona who, in middle-age, had sold off a thriving big-city law practice to become a rose-farmer…

  2. Wow. Maybe Auckland does not have as many high rise buildings as New York but it looks pretty and the water is such a brilliant blue….there must be many beautiful boats and yachts docked right?

    As for your friend…I have seen such things in movies or have read about such people in books but have never met such a person…it must take a lot of courage and soul searching to do something like that!

  3. As a Chicago native, I fail to see anything backward about New Zealand and/or Auckland’s skyline. It’s a wonderful city with just the right skyline – and it’s not hard to escape the concrete and get to an amazing countryside.

    Big buildings do not a great city make. Big attitudes do not a great country make. You enjoy that view, my friend. You seem to really appreciate living in New Zealand, and don’t let anyone convince you that you shouldn’t be happy t there.

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