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Best of Auckland — Culture

Things to see and do!

Best of Auckland — Culture

Aug 1, 2022 City Life

Read on below for Metro’s favourites or jump across to:

Food and Drink


277 Broadway, Newmarket

Bright, new and shiny in the brightest, newest and shiniest mall in Tāmaki, Event Cinemas Newmarket makes it less painful to part with your hard-earned $23 ($27 in a recliner). The screens and sound are quality, the seats roomy, and the boutique cinemas are a somewhat- affordable luxury. If you can swing it, we enjoy a quiet mid-week movie and a sneaky seat transfer to the recliners.



44 Lorne St, Central city

With a comfy worn-in community feel, Academy puts on great programmes with both nostalgic throwbacks and thoughtful curation, plus offers a on-demand service for bad pandemic times.




The winner of Celebrity Treasure Island 2021, the winner of lockdown (see: his Instagram reels), and the winner of our hearts (yuck, but true), 2021 was Chris Parker’s year. He’s started popping up everywhere, but editor Henry Oliver’s profile of Parker dived deep into the year he’s had and all the years leading up to it, from Christchurch Boys High School to Toi Whakaari and beyond.

We asked Chris Parker who he thought was the best comedian:

“Guy Montgomery is by no means a new kid on the block, however in 2021 I saw something click in Guy. Every gig I saw him perform in, from his monthly sell out at Friedas to his iconic gala set about News to his lockdown Spelling Bees online, Guy has always left his audience in stitches. There’s something to be said for a new exciting voice in comedy, of course they are always going to stand out and be someone to talk about, but I think there’s also something to be said for an established comedian, who every year sets a higher standard for themselves, grows and somehow creates a new standard for funny. Guy is the epitome of a class act and a true inspiration to the entire comedy scene here in Tāmaki Makaurau.”




Diggy Dupé (and his dog Kazu) tirelessly runs it straight for Central Auckland, Balenciaga shades and all. Building on the success of his 2020 album That’s Me, That’s Team, Diggy Dupé teamed up with Troy Kingi and Choice Vaughn to deliver the triumphant album for The Panthers television show last year.




*chef’s kiss emoji*



Lower Greys Avenue, Central city

Mainly through the mahi of its director, Cat Ruka, Basement has been a clear industry leader through the last couple of years as the arts navigated the various lockdowns, alert levels and restrictions that would choke its livelihood.




‘Pivot’ — an obscenity amongst many live arts organisations in this city — is something that many organisations have done over the past two years to varied levels of success. Silo Theatre, rather than taking the easy route of the bad quality live stream, actually considered us audiences by giving us Mauri Tau and Break Bread, two of the only internet-enabled shows that should be paid for.


We asked Best Stylist Sammy Salsa who he thinks should win this category, and here’s who he put up:


“Jeremy makes effortlessly-cool look, well, cool! Whether he’s paired a pair of sneakers with a tailored coat or you catch him on his more dapper days, nonetheless he always looks immaculate and refined.



Okay, I know it’s part of her job to look stylish, because her career is literally to make others look incredible, but dressing yourself every- day and looking swagged out isn’t easy. Sarah always looks so chic and well put together. She brings ‘joy’ to fashion.”



420 Titirangi Rd, Titirangi

Best public gallery has been a hard one to land on this year. Given disrupted exhibition schedules, halted international invitations and the intellectual impacts of a pandemic it has not been a great time for exhibition making all round. But over the past 12 months Te Uru, nestled in the hills and lush greenery of Titirangi, has boasted a great programme. In some ways it’s a bit unfair as the Te Uru programme is supported with exhibitions by the McCahon House residents who tend to be our best mid-career artists of any given year, but what can you do? Special mention also to Objectspace and Te Tuhi!



64 Rosebank Rd, Avondale

Home of the very-hard-to-get Sione Monu clouds. Just off the main drag in Avondale, Moana Fresh sits with its spam-pink gallery window and blue and silver wall of tinsel. Co-founded by artists Vaimaila Urale and Ahilapalapa Rands, Moana Fresh supports Māori and Pacific artists, growing a whole new body of art collectors in the process.



Wellesley St East, Central city

A 10-metre-high waka made of 595 iridescent crystals shooting high into the sky. What more do we need to say?

Q+A with Reuben Paterson

What inspired Guide Kaiārahi?
I whakapapa to Ngāti Rangitihi, and my father was born in Matatā. We are of the Te Arawa waka, synonymous with the maunga Tarawera, and of course the great eruption and destruction of the Pink and White Terraces in Lake Rotomahana of 1886.

My inspiration began here, in the great story that relates to a forewarning of the Tarawera eruption in the sighting of a phantom war canoe on 31 May 1886. This apparition was described by Guide Sophia as a war canoe filled with 13 men, and a mystery that can either be explained as a vision, or the optical illusion called the spectre of the Brocken, or maybe a combination of the two?

Named after a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany where these are frequently seen, the Brocken illusion occurs when the sun is low in the sky and projects the image of an object
onto nearby water vapour — cloud or mist — usually at a slightly lower angle from the object or person. Details are not visible on the image, and its shadowy outline can be distorted by the movement of the water droplets. A rainbow is nearly always seen around the spectre. When the reflected object moves, the spectre moves with it.

The title Guide Kaiārahi points to this notion of guidance and being escorted. What are we being guided by? Where are we being escorted to?

This crystal waka stands vertical and tall like a needle in a compass guiding us upwards and navigating out of the water. Waka were vessels for paddling groups, so we are all traversing this art work together. Standing vertical those pae manu (seats) become the railings of a ladder to help us access what is above us, or what may seem beyond us. These are the questions when you are with the waka; where are you being guided to, who will escort you, and who will help get you there? We can only arrive somewhere by traversing to it, and waka are our navigational journeys that are guided by stars. At night, the waka crystals throw light orbs and rainbows within the gallery forecourt, to also help us navigate to our place.

Part of what makes Guide Kaiārahi (and much of your other work!) so spectacular is both scale and sparkle. How practically did you go about making a work of such magnitude?

Translating an idea into an art practice takes so many talented and caring craftsmen, curators, and even guides — and the list reads long like credits to a film. I worked very closely with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Edmiston Trust and with UAP [Urban Art Projects] in Brisbane to bring this work to life, but the artist still has the very important role of directing and deciding every detail.

What are you thinking about at the moment? What can audiences look forward to next?

Guide Kaiārahi is now my escort into creating more sculptures which I’m working on with UAP at the moment. I also have The Golden Bearing, a four-and-half-metre golden glitter tree opening at Dunedin Public Art Gallery on 14 May, curated by Lucy Hammonds, and a solo exhibition at Page Galleries Wellington in October.




Basically the only Auckland TikToker that ever comes up on our FYP (For You page), Waugh is a hospo worker who riffs on the general ennui of millennial life in the city, a topic that, despite our description, undoubtedly spans generations. We think we’ve seen this man cry (or fake cry, TikTok is performance art after all) more often than anyone we know in real life.




Why listen to a political podcast and a comedy podcast where you could better use your commute (whether that’s still into work or from your bedroom to the kitchen) to listen to both at the same time? And this isn’t one of those comedian- buddies-talk-about-things-they-know-nothing- about shows (some of which, admittedly, can be good), rather it’s three Auckland-based political-types who know heaps, have their ears to the ground, have actual non-ubiquitous views on things while not letting those views get in the way when they shouldn’t. And all three of them happen to be funny and entertaining in their own way, without getting too buddy-buddy about it.



Motions Rd, Western Springs

Ramesh, Khela, Tashi and Dalha — we don’t know which is which, but we love these guys! Like the otters close by, they always seem to be having a good time. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re cute as all hell.


This feature was published in Metro 434
Available here in print and pdf.


Latest issue shadow

Metro N°442 is Out Now.

In the Autumn 2024 issue of Metro we celebrate the best of Tāmaki Makaurau — 100 great things about life in Auckland, including our favourite florist, furniture store, cocktail, basketball court, tree, make-out spot, influencer, and psychic. The issue also includes the Metro Wine Awards, the battle over music technology company Serato, the end of The Pantograph Punch, the Billy Apple archives, a visit to Armenia, viral indie musician Lontalius, the state of fine dining, and the time we bombed West Auckland to kill a moth. Plus restaurants, movies, politics, astrology, and more.

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