Happy to be here - West Auckland

We’re feeling ready for the weekend and have taken on Auckland’s west side in today’s blog. AMI NorthWest is one of the three AMI stores that are open on Saturday and we chat to store manager Erica about weekend activities, what makes her stay with AMI even after over 12 years of being in our team, and why travelling is important to her.

Hi Erica! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in AMI?

I came to NZ in 2002 from Guangzhou, China, as a student at Waikato University with a double major in Marketing and Public Relations. I speak Mandarin, Cantonese and English. I am a morning gym person, a coffee lover, a foodie and have two rabbits at home.

I love taking photos! I especially love street photography because it always tells a story. I love capturing everyday, unpredictable moments. I’m passionate about travelling and like to spend my holidays on the road every year. Travel helps me think differently, give me new perspectives, and I get so inspired from exploring the world a bit more.

I am the manager in West Auckland and lead the teams at AMI New Lynn and AMI NorthWest. I also work closely with local dealers, communities and community patrols who also have same purpose as us - to make our customer‘s’ world a safer place. I see my role as something that adapts to what my team, our customers and communities need.

You’ve been with us since you finished University… what is it about AMI that you love/makes you stay with us?

No matter what journey AMI has been through, our purpose of being right here to look after our customer and make differences to people’s life has never changed. The various opportunities are also a big part of it. When I feel it’s time to move outside of my comfort zone or try something different, there are always opportunities within the company to do so. I’ve also been lucky to work for two great managers, Timo and Julia, who have always make me feel supported, encouraged and inspired. They understand who I am and what my working style is. When you strongly believe in something, you feel great being part of it.

What’s your favourite weekend activity?

Visiting the farmers market is one of my favourite things to do. I have this thing where I must go to the local farmers market in almost every city I visit. I find lots of seasonal fruit & vegetables there, especially those you can’t easily find in local supermarkets. It’s nice to talk to the stall owners and learn from the growers themselves who are much more willing to tell you everything about their products. I like the vibrancy of the farmers market. It just makes you feel life is so beautiful. The Catalina Bay Farmers market (Hobsonville Point), La Cigale French Market, Avondale Sunday market, Clevedon farmers market and Mt Albert market are all great markets to visit.

What do you like about being in the west side?

It’s very diverse and inclusive in West Auckland! I think the community welcomes all kinds of people no matter what culture, nationality, or religion they are. There are also very strong community networks here and people really look after each other. Community patrols are a good example. There are more than 10 different community patrols who look after different areas of West Auckland, and the vehicles are driven on patrol by police accredited volunteers who all look to stop crime by patrolling at night and are committed to make the community safer. Also the native rainforest and the black sand beaches here are so beautiful.

Favourite spots in the area?

Lake Wainamu with the giant dune is my most favourite, Muriwai beach and its gannets, Te Uru Waitakere Gallery, Hobsonville Points waterfront/market and public arts, and the walking tracks in Waitakere Range are also the great spots I really love.

West Auckland, I am Happy to Be Here!