Is this the scariest job in the country?

About 328m above Auckland City a man sits, legs dangling, wringing his wrists from the long climb.

From up here you can see as far as the Bombay Hills on a clear day, and if you fell you wouldn't hit the ground for eight seconds.

It's a view very few New Zealanders get to see. Henry McKenna is one of them, one of five riggers who work for Sky City. They clean the windows, check the weather stations and every New Year's Eve the team secure the fireworks which will be launched out over Auckland's CBD from the 61st floor, 220m up, on the roof of the Sky Deck.

It's up here that Newshub sat down with Mr McKenna for a chat. This level is usually closed to the public - there are no windows or railings, just clear blue sky and terrifying drop to the streets below.

Mr McKenna has worked on the Sky Tower for four-and-a-half years. His role is a departure from his previous job in a factory putting protective coating on aluminium.

"I needed to challenge myself and take on a new journey, so I saw this job, applied, four-and-a-half years later I'm here loving it."

He's part of an exclusive club, privy to one of the best views in the country.

"Once you're standing on top of the tallest man-made structure in the southern hemisphere, it's just an amazing experience and a memory you'll never forget."

skytower view
Newshub gave the team a GoPro to wear while they went about their business. Photo credit: Newshub.

If the Sky Tower somehow came crashing to the ground intact, you would have to walk the length of two-and-a-half rugby fields to get round it. It's almost double the height of its closest CBD competitor - the Vero Centre.

The riggers who work at the top are so high, they can look down on the blades of helicopters hovering over Auckland city.

"You get used to it, but in the back of your mind you always have a respect for heights and your work surroundings," says Mr McKenna.

They often work out in the open, be that up the mast or abseiling to clean windows, heading inside to safety if wind speeds gust more than 30km/h. Still, it's a job that takes nerves of steel.

"I used to feel nervous, but once you're trained and given the best equipment to work with you feel more confident in what you're doing when working up at heights."

Newshub gave the team a GoPro to wear while they went about their business, the footage we got back will make you sweat.

Watch the video.

Newshub.

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