Give your classic timepiece a contemporary twist with these stylish black and blue watches

Giving the classic watch a contemporary twist, hints of deep navy, black and sapphire tones are splashed across dials and woven seamlessly through straps. 

Left to right: Breguet Classique 7137 watch from Partridge Jewellers, Bvlgari Aluminium watch from Partridge Jewellers, Breguet Marine 5517 watch from Partridge Jewellers.

Coveted


From classic one-pieces to brilliant bikinis, shop our swimwear edit to suit every style this summer

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite clothing alterations, as voted by you

Lighten up with these men’s summer wardrobe essentials in weightless fabrics and uplifting shades

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best new bar openings of 2020

While we have certainly been blessed with more than our fair share of great new restaurant and cafe openings this year, it would be remiss of us to overlook the amount of excellent bars and pubs that have cropped up to broaden our watering hole horizons. From cosy wine bars to rip roarin’ gastropubs, these are the best new places to grab a drink — and more often than not some delicious food too.

Beau

Beau
Three Lamps welcomed cosy wine bar Beau in February, and it’s been a welcome fixture of the area ever since. With a regularly changing drinks list and food menu that centres on appealing sharing plates, Beau’s welcoming ambience and sunny rear courtyard make it a pleasure to visit each and every time.

Ghost Donkey

Ghost Donkey
The opening of Commercial Bay saw an injection of dynamic hospitality offerings to downtown Auckland, and Ghost Donkey joined the fray with its own distinct personality. Championing mezcal and tequila, plus tasty and inventive Mexican-style bar food, Ghost Donkey’s recognisable sparkling red space is the scene of many a memorable night.

Liquorette

Liquorette
Inspired by New York and LA’s ubiquitous bodegas, superettes and liquor stores, late night-licensed Liquorette promises to show New Zealanders how to embrace the irreverent side of seriously good cocktails, and is ready and waiting to slake the thirst of visitors to Commercial Bay’s Harbour Eats food hall.

Boxer

Boxer
Anyone that’s dined at Pasture knows how singularly special and memorable it is, and in July the multi-award-winning restaurant welcomed Boxer, an 11-seat chef-run bar concept. Within its serene, Japanese-inspired, blonde-wooded space, Boxer is anything but a run-of-the-mill bar, specialising in boundary-pushing drinks and food that makes for an ultra-special experience.

Captain’s Bar

Captain’s Bar
Amidst the recently-opened Park Hyatt Auckland’s extensive hospitality offering is Captain’s Bar, a polished, decadent space that we’d gladly while away a few hours winding down from a long day’s work. With its dark leather couches, wooden walls and impressive granite fireplace, Captain’s Bar concocts classic cocktails with a local twist that draw on an extensive list of fortified spirits — the main focus being rum, of which there are 60 varieties on offer.

Hotel Ponsonby

Hotel Ponsonby
The neighbourhood’s newcomer, from the hospitality maestro behind Lilian and Honey Bones, Hotel Ponsonby has set up shop in the iconic Post Office building. Harnessing the spirit of gastropubs in Sydney and London, Hotel Ponsonby has fast become the sort of go-to meeting place where friends, families, groups and couples come together amidst a convivial, relaxed atmosphere. 

Sumthin Dumplin

Midnight Gardener
If you find yourself in Ponsonby with a craving for a cold drink and some hot dumplings, we’ve got just the place for you. Earlier this year, Midnight Gardener brought popular inner-city dumpling spot Sumthin Dumplin to the suburb for visitors to enjoy in a relaxed and down-to-earth beer garden setting. Named for the corner site it occupies which used to hold the Ponsonby Rd Garden Centre, Midnight Gardener boasts a casual and comfortable backyard vibe, the ideal setting for those looking to while away an evening with friends over a few beers.

Churly’s Brew Pub & Eatery

Churly’s Brew Pub & Eatery
Fans of Behemoth Brewing Company’s prolific New Zealand-made craft beers will be pleased to know the brewing company has a new home in Mount Eden, and it also serves excellent food. Named Churly’s Brew Pub & Eatery, this pub sets itself apart from others in the city through its philosophy of making nearly everything onsite, from the A Lady Butcher meats cured in-house (founder Hannah Miller Childs is a co-owner) to a brewery currently in construction for Behemoth’s famous beers.

Gastronomy


Giveaway: Celebrate every moment with G.H. Mumm and win a milestone-worthy meal with a bottle of Grand Cordon Rosé

Looking for the perfect summery dessert centrepiece? Try a magnificent gelato cake from Island Gelato Company

Green Door Pizza, a deliciously authentic new pizzeria, opens in Commercial Bay

Musician Neil Finn shares his thoughts on making music, Fleetwood Mac and coming home

Neil Finn OBE is a golden thread in the fabric of New Zealand’s musical legacy. Not only a national treasure, he’s an international music icon with a career that spans over four decades, the evolution of which shows no signs of waning. From Split Enz to Crowded House, his solo projects, collaborating with his talented family and, of course, playing with Fleetwood Mac, the 62-year-old’s luminous career has seen myriad variations.

The latest iteration sees a new chapter for beloved band Crowded House, with the announcement of a ten-date, nation-wide New Zealand tour in March 2021, and the release of the group’s first new music in over a decade. Having returned to the homeland from Los Angeles with his family, Finn will be joined by fellow Crowded House founding member Nick Seymour for the tour, as well as producer and keyboardist Mitchell Froom, and Finn’s sons – guitarist and singer Liam Finn and drummer Elroy Finn.

A true visionary, and a creative dedicated to his craft in every new iteration, Neil Finn shares learnings from his years spent delving deep into the “mystery of music”, and gives some insight into the man behind the melodies.

There’s something about being away from your normal environment that’s quite healthy for making music I think. You have less distractions from the layers of interactions you have with the world.

The deep mystery of music is endlessly fascinating, and I’m super grateful for being able to do it. Success is having been able to do it for all these years, and have songs go out and travel, and get deep into people’s psyches. It’s just the best feeling ever, and the most motivating feeling ever, because there’s no manual for it. I know how to keep doing it, I know how to put the mechanics of it together and to create good environments for myself, there are certain little tricks you learn, but you really have no clue where the ideas come from, and how they form, and which ones will go on to have a big life. You try and attach yourself equally to all the things that make you feel something, and that’s what makes it a great mystery.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is “just make another one, if you don’t like the one you’ve just done.” That was given to me when I was trying to paint. I’ve dabbled in a bit of painting, I don’t really have the dedication to it to say I’m a painter, but a friend of mine is really good and we went away to the beach together to paint. Three days in he’d done about ten, and I was still working on the corner of mine, and he said “Neil, just let it go — do another one.” 

I think that applies equally to music as well. Don’t labour over it — do your best with it but I have a tendency to, perhaps, overthink and examine things, and try and find every piece of advantage I can. And I would defend that to some degree, but also there’s a danger that you end up overpolishing and going too far. So, just make another one. 

Performing live in front of a huge audience is thrilling, and strangely a huge audience is in some ways not as scary as a small audience. And I know other musicians have said a similar thing, because you’re more personally reacting to people in a small room, you can see them and sense them and a big audience does become like an ocean to play to. But it’s thrilling, to walk out at a festival and have a big rousing roar going up, it makes you really want to reach the back of the space.

It’s bizarre to think that we’re going to tour and we’re going to play Spark Arena, because people can’t even play 100-seater rooms in LA at the moment. All going well, if we end up doing it, it’ll be a joyous, celebratory feeling.

My family would describe me as a guy with a lot of energy, and a lot of feeling for his family. I think we are a really strong family and we relate to each other really well, and that’s the wider family as well — we were just at my sister’s 70th birthday party, and it was about as lively-a party as you can imagine.

My bandmates would describe me as pretty driven and kind of blunt, probably. And even now — I’m not the most artful person in communication, but once you know that and you don’t get offended, then it’s fine. I don’t think I’m mean, it’s just I’m very focused on getting things figured out, and if there’s something that’s not working, pushing and pushing to get it right. So I think they are used to me being very driven and I’ll work long hours, beyond sometimes the point where something is hopeless, to try and drag it back into the realm.

Some days it’s all inspiration, it just flows. But some days, you just have to turn up.

My sons have inherited slightly obsessive tendencies from me. We’re all obsessing about different things — Liam’s got a real ability to get inside the way things are fitting together sonically. I appreciate that but to me it’s more about the arrangement of the song. I’ll trim a bar out here, change a line there, adjust the melody.

The art of it is getting to a point where it seems effortless.

Joining a band, not as the front and centre-piece but as an intrinsic part of it, as I did recently with Fleetwood Mac, was really different for me. My brother and I shared that role in Split Enz obviously, but it was really good for me to have that feeling of what it’s like to come in and be the supporting person, so I do feel that gave me a really good perspective.

It also reinvigorated my feeling for my own band, for Crowded House. Fleetwood Mac are remarkable, and have had so many incarnations yet managed to make definitive statements at various points. Crowded House also has a really long and strong history, and playing with Fleetwood made me feel really good about that, because it didn’t feel like a nostalgia-fest, they felt new and vital and fresh. I’ve recognised that in some of the shows we’ve done in the last few years with Crowded House. There’s a whole new audience that has grown up with the songs, and it feels like a really alive, vital thing, especially now that we’ve got new music as well.

A goal I have that I’m yet to realise is finding a way to be useful to the planet, and the broader community outside of music. I do think music is useful, and I think songs and music are very important, so I don’t mind obsessing about it. But I do feel sometimes that there are a lot of things going on out there that it would be nice to feel that I’m more involved with and more able to use some experience to leave things a little better, even at a community level. I’m a bit transient, doing what I do, and I sometimes feel like I’m leaving communities, while people I admire are doing amazing things within their communities, and I’m drifting a little bit. It would be nice to find something to connect with a little more permanently. 

The weird mystery of songs is they just travel through the ages in ways you’d have never expected. And the strangest songs, like ‘Sweet Caroline’ is a rugby anthem. How did that happen? It doesn’t have anything to do with rugby, it’s so weird. But it’s kind of great as well.

Home is where my family is. We’re able to be in LA and feel at home, and be here and feel at home, but that’s just the way it works for us. But, New Zealand is home, ultimately. Nothing will ever replace that. I went for a swim at Piha the day after we got back, and it was freezing, but it was the most anchoring thing. Standing in that environment and having the hills and the black sand and the water… There’s something that’s ancient and essential and elemental that is just home about this place. 

Culture


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Kingfish, Atlantic Scallops, Big Eye Tuna Crudo from Ostro

From scampi to scallops, these are simply the best seafood-centric dishes to seek out this summer

When it comes to summer dining, we think you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than Aotearoa’s abundant offering of kai moana, and the local chefs who do brilliant things with it. To help guide your craving, we’ve honed in on some of the best seafood dishes to seek out this summer.

Kingfish, Atlantic Scallops, Big Eye Tuna Crudo from Ostro
The freshest catch sings with citrus fruits, fennel, capers and shallots. This dish is summer on a plate.

Smoked Scallops Grilled on Lava Stone from La Marée
These fragrant morsels see balsamic, beetroot, lemon caviar and horopito join expertly-grilled scallops in each harmoniously complex bite.

Scampi Corndogs from Ahi
Everything tastes better in batter, including juicy, impressively-sized scampi. This dish is worth ordering for the dipping sauce alone.

Paua Risotto from Onemata
Amidst an array of dishes that showcase the best of Aotearoa’s ingredients, this risotto is a stand-out with miso butter, shiitake mushroom and onsen egg complementing the delicate paua.

Buttermilk Blue Cod Wings from Kingi
Roll up your sleeves and tuck into a plate of these tasty wings — crunchy on the outside, moist and flaky on the inside, the only bad part is when it’s over.

Fiordland Crayfish Eclairs from Onslow
Creamy lobster, air-light eclair and a hint of basil combine for a bite-sized delight that is incredibly moreish.

Oysters from Depot
It’s hard to choose just one thing from Depot’s excellent raw bar, which includes the likes of clams, kingfish and our must-try — oysters. Take your pick from three local varieties (or try them all). Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Gastronomy


Giveaway: Celebrate every moment with G.H. Mumm and win a milestone-worthy meal with a bottle of Grand Cordon Rosé

Looking for the perfect summery dessert centrepiece? Try a magnificent gelato cake from Island Gelato Company

Green Door Pizza, a deliciously authentic new pizzeria, opens in Commercial Bay

An exciting new apartment complex has arrived in Kingsland, offering the ultimate in sophisticated city-fringe living

A new, prime apartment complex has now been completed in Kingsland, and it’s presenting home buyers with a lot to love. NXN (pronounced ‘Nixon’) is positioned on the north-facing slopes of Nixon Park, and features 73 design-led contemporary residences — the majority of which have uninterrupted views over the park to the verdant slopes of Arch Hill Reserve. Unable to be built on, Nixon Park will remain a stunning outlook for many years to come.

With Templeton Group in charge of development, concept design by A Studio Architects and project architects Beca responsible for design development and delivery, NXN’s overall design has been set out to make each of the living spaces feel more personal, with several lifts creating ‘boutique buildings’ within the larger building. With an elegant urban plaza providing a multi-use space for residents to enjoy, this development offers sophisticated, international-style living on the doorstep of one of Auckland’s most lively neighbourhoods.

Thoughtful design makes these one, two and three bedroom apartments intuitive and user-friendly, with open plan living and dining areas, and no detail spared throughout the high quality fittings. Expansive balconies with a mixed-use of flooring materials such as wood, tiles and astro turf, and the building’s north-facing aspect means most of the apartments boast warm, light-filled rooms.

NXN Kingsland

Two levels of below-street-level car parking only add to the appeal, with additional generous storage lockers also available on unit titles for residents of NXN. Along with ample room for side-by-side parking, secure bike racks mean cyclists need not fret.

Kingsland is well known for its lively and eclectic mix of eateries and bars, shops and independent businesses, as well the train station and one of New Zealand’s most well known sporting venues: Eden Park. All this is within mere minutes’ walk from NXN. This location, coupled with its thoughtful, timeless and sophisticated design has solidified this development as one that any resident is sure to be delighted to wake up in, spend time in and return home to at the end of every day.

Design


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Celebrate rosé season with this summer’s most sippable drop

‘Tis the prime time to toast the sunny season with a glass of gloriously pink rosé, and we can’t think of one we’d rather drink more right now than the sensationally sippable Butterworth Regatta Rosé.

Inspired by decorated sailor Brad Butterworth’s fond memories of sailing in Southern France, this Martinborough-grown Pinot Noir rosé is fresh and dry with hints of strawberries, cream and watermelon.

While the Butterworth family is, of course, renowned for its sailing prowess, their turn as the new custodians of Julicher Vineyard is not out of the blue.

With viticultural heritage dating back to the founding days of the New Zealand wine industry, the late wine visionary Romeo Bragato described the family’s wine production as ‘equal, and very likely superior, to any wine imported into the country’ during the late 1880s and early 1900s, and the original 1890’s vineyard property is still in the family today.

Planted in the soils of Te Muna, all Butterworth Estate wines are produced onsite, and made with a light touch by winemaker and biotechnologist Martin Bell. The Regatta Rosé is made from two sites, the Butterworth Julicher homeblock on Te Muna Road and Jock’s Block on the Martinborough Terraces, from hand tended, handpicked grapes that were selected for the wine based on their superior flavour.

Gastronomy


Giveaway: Celebrate every moment with G.H. Mumm and win a milestone-worthy meal with a bottle of Grand Cordon Rosé

Looking for the perfect summery dessert centrepiece? Try a magnificent gelato cake from Island Gelato Company

Green Door Pizza, a deliciously authentic new pizzeria, opens in Commercial Bay

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best restaurant reinventions of 2020

Alongside the excellent restaurant and cafe openings that injected new energy into Auckland’s hospitality scene in 2020, this year also saw several beloved eateries master the art of reinvention and re-enter the dining landscape better than ever with new locations, menus and interiors. Refreshed and revitalised, these are the best restaurant reinventions of the year.

Euro

Euro
Coinciding with its 21st anniversary this year, this iconic waterfront eatery is entering an exciting new era to meet the evolving tastes of contemporary Auckland with a fresh and seasonal menu.

Non Solo Pizza

Non Solo Pizza
Unveiling a brand new look in August, this Parnell institution has been entirely transformed by Paul Izzard and his award-winning team, complete with an updated modern Italian menu.

Cafe Hanoi

Cafe Hanoi
This beloved Britomart Vietnamese restaurant marked a decade in business this year with a move to new digs around the corner. With a larger dining space and private dining room, plus an overhauled menu, Cafe Hanoi has even more to offer to its devoted patrons.

The Crab Shack

The Crab Shack
Just in time for summer, The Crab Shack has scuttled into a new location on Princes Wharf, enticing us all with its daily deals and new crustacean-focused menu.

Azabu at Mission Bay

Azabu at Mission Bay
Capitalising on its prime Mission Bay location, Azabu has finally delivered its much-loved Peruvian Japanese Nikkei-fare to the Eastern Suburbs.

Lobster & Wagyu

Lobster & Wagyu
An evolution of Lobster & Tap, this new eatery can be found on the Seafarers rooftop, where premium Wagyu beef dishes have joined the famed lobster rolls.

Woodpecker Hill

The Golden Nest at Woodpecker Hill
Taking things in a new direction with a bold interior change and innovative new menu, The Golden Nest is a must for fun, fresh fare and zesty cocktails.

Gastronomy


Giveaway: Celebrate every moment with G.H. Mumm and win a milestone-worthy meal with a bottle of Grand Cordon Rosé

Looking for the perfect summery dessert centrepiece? Try a magnificent gelato cake from Island Gelato Company

Green Door Pizza, a deliciously authentic new pizzeria, opens in Commercial Bay
Te Matuku Oysters from The Lodge Bar & Dining

Treat your tastebuds to the most deliciously innovative dishes around town

While there’s something to be said for sticking to the classics, part of what makes dining out in this town such a delight is the amount of clever chefs pushing the boundaries with their menus. We’re always up for trying something new, or an inventive take on an old favourite, and if you’re the same then take our advice and sample these innovative dishes from some of the best eateries in Auckland.

Te Matuku Oysters from The Lodge Bar & Dining
Te Matuku oysters are accompanied by textures of tamarillo for an utterly delectable morsel that is anything but predictable. 

Tahr Tartare from Ahi
A runaway favourite among Ahi’s enthusiastic patrons, this inventive snack sees premium tahr joined by wild garlic and fermented hot sauce on finger sized choux pastries.

Stinging Nettle Butter Stuffed Milk Bun from Culprit
This innovative take on garlic bread is made with a pillowy Japanese milk bun, stuffed with stinging nettle and garlic butter. Steamed to order, these beauties are crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.

Wagyu Beef Laal Maas Croquette from Cassia
The perfect way to start any feast at Cassia, this clever interpretation takes the flavours of Rajasthan’s rich laal maas curry and transform it into a moreish croquette.

Wagyu Sando from Lobster & Wagyu
All hail the arrival of so many fantastic sandos on our shores. Lobster & Wagyu‘s fresh version of the moreish Japanese street food features black origin Wagyu sirloin served with mustard and spicy pickles.

Carrot Nachos from Ghost Donkey
Transforming the popular Mexican dish into something almost healthy, Ghost Donkey‘s nachos are topped with carrot chilli, mezcal pickled carrots, carrot habanero hot sauce and, of course, melted cheese.

Gastronomy


Giveaway: Celebrate every moment with G.H. Mumm and win a milestone-worthy meal with a bottle of Grand Cordon Rosé

Looking for the perfect summery dessert centrepiece? Try a magnificent gelato cake from Island Gelato Company

Green Door Pizza, a deliciously authentic new pizzeria, opens in Commercial Bay

Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s America’s Cup regatta

Kicking off what is set to be an exciting summer of racing, the Prada America’s Cup World Series Auckland (Prada ACWS) and the Prada Christmas Race takes place from the 17th until the 20th of December, providing the first chance for all teams to race each other on the new AC75s boats, ahead of the Challenger Selection Series. 

Starting on Thursday 17th December (and carrying on across the weekend until Saturday 19th December), teams will race each other for the Prada ACWS, marking the very first race of this America’s Cup cycle. With four races per day of Round Robin competition (where all four teams will race each other), it’s the perfect opportunity to get your first taste of the action. On Sunday 20th December, the Prada Christmas Race takes place, where knock out stages will see two semifinals followed by two finals.

Arguably the best action will be viewed from a boat on the water. But if that’s not an option, we suggest heading down to the official America’s Cup Village where you’ll find TV screens broadcasting the live action, or hitting up one of the many waterfront locations such as Viaduct Harbour, Euro on Princes Wharf , Commercial Bay’s The Poni Room and Saxon + Parole, or securing a spot on the Seafarers’ Rooftop new spot Lobster & Wagyu to get a front-row view of the boats as they pass through the channel.

THE TEAMS
Emirates Team New Zealand 
The ascent of Emirates Team New Zealand to three-time America’s Cup champions is a story that speaks to our David and Goliath sporting traditions. Sir Peter Blake’s Team New Zealand was the first to give the black fern gravitas on the water, paving the way for the team today, a young, hungry, highly-skilled bunch led by Skipper and Helmsman Peter Burling. Backed by CEO Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand is innovative and determined, and has already proven itself a force to be reckoned with. 

American Magic
Formed in 2017 by two lauded racing programmes, Bella Mente Racing and Quantum Racing alongside the prestigious New York Yacht Club, this team is hoping to recapture some of the magic that has weaved through America’s storied history with its namesake trophy. Led by Skipper and Executive Director Terry Hutchinson and Boat Captain Tyson Lamond, American Magic is promising to put up a significant effort in its second AC75, Patriot, recently launched in Auckland.

Ineos Team UK
Putting forward a stacked team, Britain will take to the waters in its AC75 Brittania for Royal Yacht Squadron Racing. Backed by Ineos CEO, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and led by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie alongside Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott in the role of tactician, Team Ineos UK is certainly one to watch. Combined, they have 16 America’s Cup wins and eight Olympic medals between them, a significant degree of experience that could see the Cup handed to Britain for the first time. 

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team 
Leading the challenger charge, from revered Italian sailing club Il Circolo della Vela Sicilia, is the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, backed by the CEO of Prada Group, Patrizio Bertelli. At the helm, Skipper Max Sirena brings a wealth of experience (this is his seventh America’s Cup) while on the crew, the talented Jimmy Spithill is adding some serious grunt. Originally from Australia, Spithill was the youngest skipper ever to win an America’s Cup when he did so with Oracle Team USA. His drive, paired with Luna Rossa’s pedigree is sure to prove a potent combination.  

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Decorated sailor Brad Butterworth on his stellar career, working for the Swiss and which team he thinks will win the next America’s Cup

Any Kiwi who watched with interest as Sir Peter Blake’s Black Magic won and then defended the America’s Cup in 1995 and 2000 will know who Brad Butterworth is. The same people probably also remember the controversy he and a contingent of his teammates caused when they left Team New Zealand for Switzerland, going on to compete for Alinghi, and taking the America’s Cup from their former team’s hands. But there’s more to Brad Butterworth than what most people know.

Quiet but observant and undeniably shrewd, the four-time America’s Cup winner, Hall of Fame inductee and multiple World Champion is a passionate advocate for sailing, both here and overseas. In fact, having left school early to be a sail-maker at 16, Butterworth’s life has been largely defined by his love for the sport. He’s currently back in New Zealand for the upcoming America’s Cup, having been hired by the Challenger of Record, Prada, to manage relations between the Italians and the Kiwi organisers.

Here, Butterworth talks about how other people see him, Team New Zealand’s chances of winning the America’s Cup and who he’d love to meet.

I think people’s perception of me is that I’m a bit mischievous. But the truth is, regardless of what team or country I’m representing, I really put everything I’ve got into making a success of it.

I’d like to be known for helping to continue to see the sport of sailing thrive here in New Zealand at every level. It’s great to see junior sailing so popular right now, and Covid has had a great impact on getting older sailors back out on the water. I’d love to have some responsibility for continuing this passion for sailing in New Zealanders.

People would be surprised to know that I love the mountains, I love mountain biking especially in the summer in Switzerland.

One of the most important things I have learned is the power of listening first before you talk or respond. People probably think I’m quiet and reserved, but really I’m just taking it all in before I react. I’m never the first to talk in any situation. I think this is a particularly important trait for young people to take on board when dealing with older, wiser people. 

People gave me a lot of grief when I left New Zealand to work with Alinghi, but what no one realises was that I had already spent a huge amount of time training and working internationally with the likes of Dennis Conner, prior to sailing for New Zealand. 

My father taught me to sail on Panmure Basin when I was five years old. At 16 I left school to become a sail-maker. I was really fortunate to go on and work for great sailors like Dennis Conner and others that taught me the skills that helped me later on when I joined the New Zealand team.

My entire family moved to Switzerland in 2001 because of the job I secured with Alinghi. After that we just stayed on, because the kids were settled in school, and we really just have the most amazing life there. But I am still very much personally invested in New Zealand with business, so we return every year over the summer to Waiheke.

When I was young I really had no idea what to do as a career, so I just stuck with the sport that I loved, and it turned into a career, which is a pretty cool thing.

I perform at my best when I work with people I like and respect and that are extremely intelligent. That has been the key to the success of any team I have been part of, whether it was Team New Zealand (1995 to 2000), or the Alinghi team (2003 to 2010), or even now with my involvement with Prada — we always make sure we have plenty of team members that are smarter than us.

I’d love to collaborate with Toto Wolf and his F1 team. I think when there is that much money invested, and it’s all so technical, it would be a wonderful learning experience on how they operate at such an extremely high calibre of teamwork.

I live by a rule of conduct where actuals have to exceed expectations.

Sailing is a sport like no other, that pits man against the elements. It’s utterly intoxicating.

The America’s Cup is hard to win, as it should be for such a trophy. But reducing the conquest or quality of teams by limiting participation through excessive costs (while it might make the conquest easier) is limiting the attraction and achievement.

I’m old fashioned and ultimately I’d love to see an America’s Cup regatta that had boats racing back in the water [as opposed to foiling above the water as they currently do]. 

When I left New Zealand after the 2000 Cup to work for Ernesto Bertarelli’s team Alinghi, it was a really exciting time for me. Starting fresh and being able to work with some of the most incredible people in our field from all over the world was an amazing experience. When you work in that kind of environment you are exposed to so much more. Having the opportunity to learn about business from someone as successful as Bertarelli, through just listening and observing, was so motivating, and something I am incredibly grateful for. 

I’d love to meet Sam Neill. I’ve always thought he’s an amazing New Zealander. I bet he’s got some great stories to share. Also the fact that he owns a vineyard, makes me feel like we would have a lot in common.

People always assume that I’m unapproachable. Because I’m quiet and thinking, I guess I can come across as aloof. But I really do like people.

I am very humbled by the help and support I have received over the years, from family, colleagues and the public, even lately I’ve been humbled by the respect that I have.

I definitely think the Kiwis will win this America’s Cup, those young guys [Peter Burling and Blair Tuke] are really special sailors. 

My family would describe me as mischievous, and fourth in line after the dog. I intend to come back and have the dog’s life. It’s living the dream.

My colleagues would describe me as a team player, who’s maybe a little devious but reliable, I hope. When we were back working with Sir Michael Fay on Black Magic, he got us to all do these psychological tests, I scored extremely highly in the shrewd department, so I think you could say I am very good at finding the twist in order to achieve success.

As I get older I’m definitely becoming more risk orientated. With experience comes an ability to understand the outcomes of taking risks that will pay off. 

I am a hopeless fisherman, but I love it.

Peter Blake’s death at the hands of pirates in Brazil, had a huge impact on me and my mates. He was so influential to so many of us, not everyone got to sail with him, but he was an amazing seaman who taught us all seamanship. He wasn’t into the tactics, but as far as building a team, everyone working with Pete was working for a common goal. He was just such a likeable guy. So to have someone so pivotal in your life die so tragically was hard to deal with. 

I find owning a vineyard [in Martinborough] a real adventure and commitment. We have been so fortunate to have inherited such very good people, so the wine is really special. 

I am humbled by what Kiwis achieve and how we are viewed globally as being very honest, capable and down to earth, I hope as a nation we can continue to uphold our reputation and perception. 

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