Known for having people rolling in the aisles with laughter, South African-born comedian Urzila Carlson's laugh-a-minute repertoire cracks so many New Zealanders up. This year, she's taking a starring role this year at the 2015 International Comedy Festival but when she's not on stage, the West Auckland local loves nothing more than kicking back in her hood. We caught up with Urzila to find out what she loves in her local and why she's proud to be a Westie...
 
1) What's a favourite place you used to visit as a child that still holds special memories?
 
I used to go swimming at the Lake in Benoni where I grew up and to this day it’s still a special place in my heart, but sadly only in my heart because I don’t live in Benoni anymore and according to friends, due to pollution and crime, NOBODY is swimming in middle lake anymore!

 
2) As a local, what establishment in your area couldn't you live without and why? 
I could not go without Oratia Farmers Market. I think there should be more farmers markets all over the country, encouraging people to grow their own produce and hand-make things and we can all enjoy lazy Sundays! 

 
3) What's your favourite thing to do in your local?

We have lovely parks in West Auckland and I love going to them with my daughter and just watch her run around while I sit in the sun or ride my scooter around the walk ways. West Auckland rocks!
 
4) Where do you like to go in Auckland?
West Auckland all the way, we have the best beaches, wineries and people.
 
5) What places to do you like to drink, eat and play and why?
West
 
6) What are some of the specific dishes you like to order and why?
I always go for safe choices. I prefer fish and chips or even spaghetti bolognese, if I’m in the mood and in the right restaurant. I don’t go out for food very often because we love to cook at home.
 
7) What do you love most about your local area that you live in?
The people. My neighbourhood feels old school. Neighbours still care about each other, will mow each others berms and take the bins in if you know someone else is away. It’s a good place to live with a family.
 
8) What's your insider tip?
Get out and enjoy our parks, lovely views and walks in the Waitakere Ranges and beaches. Get involved in West Auckland!
 
9) If there was one comment you'd like to make about living in NZ what would it be?
It’s a fantastic place to live.
 
10) What does loving local mean to you?
 If you love it and support it, it will grow.
 
Urzila Carlson performs MAN UP at Auckland’s SKYCITY Theatre on May 15 and 16, as part of the 2015 NZ International Comedy Festival. Visit www.comedyfestival.co.nz for more info.