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Posted inAccountabilityHB councilsHDCNCCPoliticsThe BuzzTom's Blog

Why amalgamation is already dead, unless …

Mayor Yule, meet Mayor Arnott. As much as you claim you and other local elected leaders have linked arms to put amalgamation on the agenda, consider this … You indeed put it on the agenda. And it was considered perfunctorily, then declared dead on arrival (unless you’re talking Hastings and, maybe, CHB). Evidence? Read this […]

Posted inSocial

Hungry Amidst Abundance

Known for our huge range of delicious, fresh foods, Hawke’s Bay is the envy of the country in summer, when the region’s abundant berries, stone fruit, and a multitude of other crops burst into season.  Yet behind this abundance lies a dark truth — a growing number of local children and their families are going […]

Posted inEnvironment

Who speaks for the fish?

The dizzying statistics of biodiversity loss offer a parable.  Ninety percent of the world’s seabirds (including those in New Zealand) are threatened with extinction – creatures that have existed on our planet for 100 million years, in the most exquisitely evolved, finely balanced mastery between ocean, air and land.  With the latest technologies and tracking […]

Posted inEnvironment

Wings and Wildlife – January

January’s Wings and Wildlife community newsletter, prepared by Jessica Maxwell, is now available for download here. This edition features two stunning destinations close to Taradale – Sugar Loaf and Otatara Pā and showcases the stunning work of three talented local artists — Nicola Forster, Gillian Receveur and Heather Denison.  Meanwhile, volunteers are filling up a new […]

Posted inCommunity

The apricot tree

Back in the days before houses were built here in Toop Street, there was an apricot orchard.  Today, only one tree remains; a venerable old tree, hollow-centred where the core has rotted. Miraculously, it has regenerated the cambium layer allowing it to survive and even send up healthy new branches.  It fruits rather erratically. One […]

Posted inBusiness/Economy

What’s new?! A round-up of our favourite new foodies & foodie news

Hands Down Brad Minton, Will Innes and Henry Lyons are the trio behind Fokl, a multi-disciplinary research consultancy based in Napier, and along with John Chisolm up in Auckland, they’ve cooked up Hands Down – an authentic corn tortilla factory tucked in behind Mr D and Monica Loves in central Napier.  The tortillas are delicious […]

Posted inBiz trends

Behind the counter

Hawke’s Bay’s food sector is massive. From orchards, farms and vineyards, to processors and packhouses, to markets (in our neighbourhoods and overseas), to restaurants, cafes and bars … and through to the Port. ‘Farm to plate’ is the shorthand term.  Much of this activity takes place ‘behind the counter’, involving an army of players with […]

Posted inBusiness/Economy

The empty fruit bowl?

The labour shortage in Hawke’s Bay’s primary sector has been well documented. It’s a conversation that has generated hundreds of column inches lately, and rightly so.  At the time of writing, industry leaders, while welcoming the government’s announcement that 2,000 RSE workers will be allowed into the country in early 2021, are mindful that the […]

Posted inTourism & Hospitality

Food fashionistas

The idea that we have an authentic national ‘cuisine’, for want of a better word, is delusional.  Those that hold to the delusion are the sorts that also contend that we are more ingenious than other peoples. What nonsense!  Both ingenuity and national culinary dishes are born from the same mother – absence of alternatives. […]

Posted inOpinion

Food for thought

If ever a person had the ability to make tenuous links, it would be me. There are so many books about food: What to eat? How to eat it? Is it right for your blood type? Will it give you a condition hitherto unknown to medicine?  In the era of over thinking I’ve decided not […]

Posted inEnvironment

Unpacking the food packaging dilemma

The food packaging industry is under increasing pressure to become more sustainable, but change will come at a substantial cost to businesses and consumers, and poor choices could have unintended negative consequences. Therefore, it’s important that decisions are made with a holistic, evidence-led approach, not as a knee-jerk reaction to public pressure. It’s challenging, but […]

Posted inBusiness/Economy

Hunger games: reinventing meat

How do you like your steak? Farm raised and medium rare … reconstituted veges, pulses, nuts and seeds shaped to look like the real thing … or fermentation factory replicas cultured in a giant petri dish? Welcome to the protein revolution – mass-produced food from bio-labs for the protein poor, plant-based alternatives for vegans and […]

Posted inBusiness/Economy


To me, the word that describes the quality we as individuals and as New Zealand will most need in 2021 is resilience. According to Oxford: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. And according to Cambridge in a bit more personal context: The ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened. […]

Posted inEvents

Nest Fest

 January 9Black Barn Back for instalment number 3, Nest Fest is a boutique independent music festival which offers a terrific party in the Havelock Hills, while also promoting and celebrating sustainability and global love. Just the ticket for the post-New Year period. This year’s line-up includes Silicon, MELODOWNZ, Wax Mustang, King Sweeties and loads more. […]

Posted inEvents


 January 23Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds NZ’s biggest band is back on tour. This summer they’re bringing more top Aotearoa talent with them, with different line-ups for each concert. Here in Hastings they’ll be joined by Shapeshifter, Kings, Maimoa and Nouri. Bound to sell out, so get in quick!

Posted inEvents

Botanic Beats

 January 14Napier Botanical Gardens Picnic party! Napier’s very chilled out and family-friendly free summer concert in the Botanical Gardens is a tonic. Project Prima Volta headline, and there’s food and coffee available for purchase throughout.

Posted inBusiness/EconomyHB councilsHB RecoverySpending

Business Hawke’s Bay … jilted girlfriend?

Business Hawke’s Bay today announced that the organisation is considering closing its doors. The reason given: inadequate financial support from the region’s five councils. Leaders of the five councils who presently fund BizHB to the tune of a (some would say) paltry $300k per year responded with hardly a sniffle, suggesting that what BizHB might […]

Posted inThe Buzz

Meet Napier City Council’s new CEO

NCC today announced its new chief executive, Dr Stephanie (Steph) Rotarangi, who will begin in February, assuming an uneventful managed isolation, as she is a Kiwi returning from Victoria, Australia. She has heaps of high-level crisis management experience, indicating a significant degree of political sensibility. That will stand her in good stead in Napier! Without […]