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Through the Portal

Let’s hope we can be great again

Gazing idly at the sea the other day while sipping an appropriate refreshment I couldn’t help but reflect on the summer, after all it has been significantly better than last year, and the promise is for more fine summer days to follow.
 |  Trevor Ammundsen  | 
Crowd at bayjam

We, like many, entertained waves of family visitors over the Christmas and New Year period. We were pleased to see them enjoy the beach and the various attractions Whitianga has to offer. In January we were pleased to see them go but look forward to them returning. This is one of life’s paradoxes.

We hired one of the tour operators to take us and various Kids and Grandies out on the bay for a look at the coast and of course Cathedral Cove.

An extremely enjoyable tour that was enjoyed by all. What amazed me though was the amount of people that were visiting Cathedral Cove, there were hundreds, arriving by boat, by kayak, by foot over the rocks. The Cove was humming, and I didn’t see one person with a big bump on their head from this extremely dangerous area that DOC are protecting us from. I asked Ken, our skipper, about how the summer was going for him, and he replied that he was very pleased with how things were going. It seems DOC has done the Tour Boat Operators a favour, but this was of course at the expense of others.

I have since talked to a few in the hospitality industry and it appears that it has been a very good summer for all I spoke to. Not quite as good as the top years just before Covid but approaching that level. It is great to have a positive vibe coming from the business community once more and I couldn’t help but wonder how this turn of our fortunes has come about.

The weather helps, but it is not the sole reason. NZTA certainly helped by building the bridge on SH 25A in record time but their mates at DOC had the opposite effect. Other entities had effects but nothing hugely positive that I can recall, although the Regional Council once again towed the diving platform out to Brophy’s Beach (this is the one benefit that I have identified that our community receives from WRC). Then of course it dawned on me; the main reason why we have had such a good summer is because of us, our community.

It is the community showing confidence; by such acts as the Ferry Company adding another ferry to the fleet to provide tourist runs to Cathedral Cove and up the estuary; by such acts as a couple of new restaurants opening just in time for Christmas and by such acts as the MBBA hiring PR people to promote the region.

It is in the community showing attitude; by such acts as somebody clambering up poles to hang welcoming flags that had been purchased by people who just wanted to support the community, no public money involved; by such acts as new residents such as the Filipino community actively supporting our pre-Christmas festivals and parades and by such acts as the Carol Singers touring around, courtesy of Phil and Michelle, to entertain us in the suburbs.

And of course, it is the commitment of those in the community that ensure things happen. Someone must organise the Christmas Tree and the Christmas Parade. Someone must organise Bayjam to replace the hole left by Greenstone selecting Hamilton as a venue this year. We cannot forget those who support it all, that is us, our community. We should take a bow as well.

Of course, the Community Board would be involved, wouldn’t they? It seemed logical to mention them, but I cannot find anything to mention them about. Come to think about it, a few weeks ago a Whangamata Community Councillor wrote that he thought their Community Council was a waste of time, no power, and no money. Is Whitianga’s just the same?

Sadly, it appears this may be the case but if this is incorrect maybe the Community Council could give us a report. I do not wish to denigrate them, but for this report I could find no evidence of a contribution from that quarter.

Seems to me it is all down to us, and we are doing a pretty good job, but we can do better. Join in people, either with an organisation or club, or just by solitary effort. Its time to drive Whitianga’s greatness to another level; so, in the words of John F Kennedy – Ask not what your community does for you, ask what you can do for your community.