Look Who's Talking: South Auckland is a great place to grow up
Louise Parker, 18, is a student and theatre performer who lives in Wattle Downs.
1. Give me three words that come to mind when I say 'South Auckland'?
Home, this is where I have grown up. I have made my friends here and started doing theatre here. I am happy living in South Auckland.
2. How long have you lived here and where are you originally from?
I moved from England when I was 6 years old and have been in South Auckland ever since.
3. What do you like least and how can we fix it?
I don't like how South Auckland is viewed by many people. Its reputation isn't good. When people hear I live in the South it shocks them. It's a great place to live with many areas to grow up in. Yes there are many places I feel unsafe in South Auckland due to its reputation but I have never had any problems.
4. Where's the best place to buy dinner in the South?
I am a takeaway girl. I am always running around from university to rehearsals so I am usually at McDonald's. But on a nice night out I really enjoy The Good Home in Takanini.
5. And who does the best fish 'n' chips?
Definitely Moor Park takeaways in Wattle Downs.
6. Who is the Kiwi you admire most - and why?
My best friend Sam, she is the type of person who's up for anything and any adventures. Always walking around barefoot. She is a goofball and knows just how to cheer me up when I'm feeling down.
7. If I were Auckland's mayor I'd . . .
Make sure everyone could have a meal to eat every night. Poverty is an ongoing problem but surely there is enough food to go around.
8. What's one piece of wisdom you'd like to pass on to others, particularly young people?
Take leaps. Dare greatly. Do what you love and experience everything. Work hard in school and just try your best.
9. What's one trial or struggle that you've overcome?
Auditions have always been a struggle for me. Auditions for theatre and the auditions to get into my dance studies degree at the University of Auckland. I am a stress ball and always filled with nerves. My mind always tells me I can't do it. But then I do and everything is a little easier every time.
10. When I've got a free few hours I like to...
I haven't had any free hours lately. Especially this month. I have gone from university straight to rehearsals most days. I enjoy being busy. It definitely gets to me sometimes when I make myself too busy but theatre and university have been the best part of my 2017 and I wouldn't change a thing.
11. The spot in South Auckland I'd recommend to tourists is...
Come and see Sweet Charity which is on at Spotlight Theatre, Papatoetoe from October 28 to November 11. It's a great night out full of dancing, singing and acting.