Why I Love the Shore - Murray Deaker
The voice of sports radio, Murray Deaker is a veteran sports broadcaster and one of the Shore’s proudest residents. He can be heard on both Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport on Sunday afternoons covering all live sport over the winter period, hosting his famous Deaker on Sunday show, as well as Sports Talk on weeknights. He also hosts the popular TV show Deaker on Sport on Sky. “Deaks” spoke to Channel Magazine to tell our readers what makes him such a proud “Shoreian” and what he loves most about living here…
Channel Mag: How long have you lived on the Shore? Where were you before? What was it that brought you to the Shore?
Murray Deaker: I’ve been here properly since late 1979/’80 when I became Deputy Principal of Takapuna Grammar after I first moved to the Hibiscus Coast in 1975. Before that I spent four years in Auckland, one year in Christchurch and the first 26 years of my life were in Dunedin.
CM What’s your favourite Shore restaurant and why?
MD I’ve got two. I enjoy going to the Spencer on Byron restaurant. I think that it has won a lot of awards and it’s often underestimated by people who have this view that because it’s attached to a hotel, it won’t be top class, but I think it’s brilliant. The other restaurant I go to the on Shore is Al Forno on Anzac Avenue. I go for a good Italian, and particularly because Maria has got a lot of personality, the atmosphere is fantastic, it’s noisy and there are a lot of laughs there. It’s really enjoyable.
CM Saturday morning North Shore style?
MD Well for many years Saturday morning for me was one of the hardest times of the week because I was getting ready for 12 hours on-air talking sport every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, so I was basically reading the paper, looking at the web and doing things like that. The last three years though I’ve only been working Sunday afternoons so Saturday morning I go watch the grandchildren playing soccer or cricket, but unfortunately they live over on the other side so it’s a trip across the bridge.
CM What’s your favourite Shore beach and why?
MD Unquestionably Takapuna Beach. I live on it. When I was deputy head master of Takapuna Grammar and running the foundation for alcohol and drug education, I used to walk the beach a lot. I’d swim it during summer; in fact I wouldn’t mind a dollar for every time I’ve jogged up and down it, that’s for sure.
Eventually one day I saw there were going to be apartments built right on it – The Sands – and I thought that’s me. So I started hovering around that building site, checking where the sun was, how long it was going to be there – I think I was just about arrested for loitering. We were the first people to move into The Sands in 1997. I can remember the time well because they hadn’t quite finished it but because I was accompanying the All Blacks as a commentator, the guys who were doing the development let me in early. Sharon said to me “you’re not going away unless you get the shift done first”, so we did the shift and there’s no question the only way I’m going to move out of here is in a box.
CM Where do you go to relax on the Shore?
MD Basically home. We live on Takapuna Beach – that and Devonport Domain are my two favourite places on the North Shore. I just love sitting and looking at the waves. I haven’t yet captured the pace of my son when he came to visit from America: One morning I went in to work and when I came back he was sitting on the same position on our deck and I said to him what have you done today? He said “I’ve watched the tide come in and out”. There are days when I certainly do a bit of that.
CM What’s the Shore’s best kept secret?
MD I think that I would be one of the very few people that would be opposed to more bridges going in or tunnels and things. I don’t want that bunch from the other side to come across in any bigger numbers. I like it’s privacy, I like the fact that you’re basically on holiday here all the time. I feel as though I’m on holiday here on the North Shore and when I cross the bridge I’m moving to the dark side. This basically is the Promised Land. The fact that you’re so close to all the sport you ever want to go to, all the shows that you want to go to – you’re living in a seaside resort and I think Takapuna beach is the best liveable beach in the world.
CM Have you ever found anywhere else in the world that reminds you of the Shore and if so, how?
MD Yes one place, it’s called Alameda and it’s in the San Francisco Bay. My oldest son lives there; he went to Stanford University to do a PHD and now works at Yahoo and is living in Alameda, which they call The Island. When I first went over there I said to him “mate this is unbelievable, here you are living a jumbo jet journey away from Auckland and you’re living in Devonport”. It’s exactly the same scene: people riding bikes around the place, people walking dogs, kids playing sport, people enjoying life and all with that self-satisfied look on their faces: “hey, we’re in the Promised Land”.
CM Finally, what do you love most about the city you call home?
MD I like it’s intimacy, I like the fact that when I walk from home to the bank I know most of the faces that I go past, I like the fact that I feel safe, that there’s very pleasant people around me, I like the fact that most of us live extremely healthy – we’re into good sport and good recreation. I like the fact that you can go less than 100 meters off the beach and catch a good fish – where else in the world can you do that? I just like the fact that it’s laid back and it’s different