In the new spirit of pan-Hawke’s Bay collaboration and diplomatic solidarity, Mayors Lawrence Yule and Bill Dalton today unveiled a new ceremony that will occur daily at the border crossing between Napier and Hastings … that is, the Expressway bridge over the Tutaekuri River.
Here is a video recording of the new ceremony. As you will see, the ceremony is especially popular with Hawke’s Bay’s Indian and Pakistani communities. However, while the new ceremony is intended to symbolise regional harmony and goodwill, BayBuzz understands that local Maori leaders are fuming over a lack of consultation on the matter, contending that a daily haka would be far more appropriate than “fascist goose-stepping”, as one Maori spokesman put it.
Personally I think the costumes are a bit over the top, but BayBuzz is informed a compromise was reached after Mayor Yule objected that the use of straw hats and striped blazers, as proposed by Mayor Dalton, was “too Napier”.
The initial ceremony was delayed by one day after the Napier contingent, led by former Napier Deputy Mayor Kathie Furlong, mistakenly showed up on Tuesday at the Ngaruroro River.
Commuters are warned that the bridge will be closed from 6pm to 6am Monday through Saturday, and all day Sunday.