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Proud to be an Aucklander: John Banks

Everybody loves to hate on the JAFA. But is Auckland finally starting to find its feet? This week, we chat to a few people who are Aucklanders by birth, choice or both – and proud of it.

John Banks

I grew up in ... East Street, off Karangahape Road and behind George Courts in Newton, Auckland

I'm a proud JAFA because ... I am a former mayor, and now represent the people of Epsom in Parliament

The one thing I'd change about the city is … the completion of the Auckland Harbour Bridge as it was first proposed by the great mayor of Auckland, Sir John Allum, with more lanes and access for pedestrians and cyclists

My favourite hidden gem is ... Mt Remuera (Hobson) in the Epsom electorate

The best coffee can be found ... in two places – Frasers Café and Espresso Bar in the heart of Mt Eden Village, and inside Browns on Remuera Road at Browns Espresso Bar

Wynyard Quarter is ... great, because my council built the Marine Events Centre and encouraged ASB to move their head office to this precinct. These are two great buildings from where business can thrive and urban development can succeed

And the RWC was ... an outstanding success as it showcased Auckland and presented New Zealand to the world as a great place to visit

Auckland traffic makes me ... glad that I promoted roads, roads, and roads in my first mayoralty, and integrated public transport in my second term as mayor

Auckland in three words is ... City of opportunity

John Banks is leader of the Act party and former Auckland mayor.