Yep, BayBuzz magazine is back!

Actually, because of the generous efforts of our BayBuzz team, donating a heap of work over the past few months, we never went away.

Within a week of Level 4 lockdown, we launched our much-expanded online service, The Buzz. Substantially more BayBuzz coverage — on all aspects of our community and local issues — is now delivered on a timelier basis. The same range of topics as BayBuzz magazine, delivered in more ‘bite-sized’ doses.

The second reason we’re back is because of the early help of some key Sponsors willing to support our ‘recovery’. Their support reflects the high importance they place on healthy, well-informed debate in a vibrant community – and BayBuzz’s contribution to nurturing that debate – even if our coverage and analysis rattles some cages, including theirs. They appreciate the need for quality local journalism.

BayBuzz will always be independent-minded. I am certain – indeed hopeful – that each reader of our re-launch July/August edition – and each advertiser – will find something to disagree with!

The focus of our Jul/Aug BayBuzz is Recovery.

For individuals, recovery could mean altering lifestyles or workstyles, getting re-trained or re-employed, receiving deferred health care, or overcoming serious hardship.

For businesses, as you will read, Hawke’s Bay’s enterprises run the entire gamut, from those permanently shuttered or drastically compromised to those who have actually thrived. But it’s likely that no HB business will be immune to the effects yet to fully play out as nations and economies less fortunate or less competent in dealing with coronavirus suffer the consequences.

For councils and other public bodies, recovery will mean a fresh re-juggling of finances and priorities, struggling to minimise burdens on ratepayers, yet benefitting from millions in government (i.e. taxpayer) spending stimulus flowing to HB … to be used wisely (for long-term benefit and sustainability), or not.

All of the in’s and out’s of these changes, challenges and opportunities are explored in this Recovery edition of BayBuzz.

  • How well have our businesses and councils coped and what are the futures they foresee?
  • What gaps or weaknesses did coronavirus expose in our health care delivery
  • Did our social ‘safety net’ work for the most disadvantaged?
  • How have different sectors like hospitality, education, sport and our arts community managed through the various stages of lockdown?
  • While our focus has been on coronavirus, what’s been happening – inexorably – to our environment? Nature doesn’t wait.
  • In all of these cases, what next?

You’ll find suggestions for building on the core strengths of our region, like food production. But other voices reject the entire premise that more ‘growth’ as conventionally pursued is desirable; instead, they see such growth and the systems that support it as the core problem.

All change comes down to individuals – how each one of us views the need for it, and how comfortable each of us is (or is not) with its pace, scale and disruption. Is the surgery required cosmetic or radical? And possibly, whether we are by nature optimistic or pessimistic, risk-takers or security-minded.

At a national level, this year we’ll make choices about the Government, cannabis and End of Life Choice. And in the region, fundamental policy choices around water quality and management, and whether we have a serious role to play on climate change.

At a personal level, our choices might be about learning new skills, ‘down-sizing’ our consumption, rebelling against the system, or deciding that ‘business as usual’ works just fine.

Wherever you wind up, hopefully Baybuzz will provoke your thinking.

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