As editor of BayBuzz I get dozens of media releases and emails each week about stuff happening in Hawke’s Bay … usually balanced across the good, the bad and the ugly.

But lately it’s gotten lop-sided. What is puzzling me these days is an amazing surge in good news!

Despite the imminent collapse of the global economy (on which many HB livelihoods depend as an exporting region), the undiminished risk that Covid-19 might still slip through our border barricades and knock us back, and the psychological stress this must place to some degree on us all, Hawke’s Bay seems to be thriving and teeming with confidence.

Car sales are booming.

Artwork is selling.

Charity fundraisers are back on track.

Restaurants are fully booked … “never had a busier winter” said one email I received today.

All sorts of business ‘good news’ is floating about — it seems like more companies are re-grouping and expanding than folding.

The housing market is vibrant.

And am I imagining it, or are there an abnormal number (for winter) of camper vans cruising around the district?

Councils have more Government money washing over them than they know what to do with, with more on the way.

Take the Hastings District Council — housing projects underway, theatre district progressing, roading and cycleway improvements all over the place.

On the bad news side, some farmers are still contending with the effects of drought, we’re still determined to pave over the region’s productive soils, and some nutter has decided to take another whack at lowering speed limits.

But even with those issues, it all seems too good to be true.

Are we all delusional?

Is this the calm before the storm — are we in the eye of the cyclone?

Is it some law of psychological relativity — where we subconsciously compare our placid state of affairs to the awful social tragedies unfolding in the rest of the world and feel an untraceable but welcome surge of relief?

Contrary to Winston Peters’ warnings, is there actually fairy dust that’s protecting us?

Or do people with bad news just not contact BayBuzz? [That’s never been an issue in the past!]

Help me out readers … is this ‘Hawke’s Bay as Green of Eden’ the true picture?

What am I missing?

Should I just be happy?

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  1. It’s great there appears to be plenty of optimism and happiness in the bay. Unfortunately as a volunteer at Citizens Advice Bureau I can report an upsurge in social and emotional problems since the Covid outbreak. We are busier than ever dealing with mental health issues, housing, employment and hardship. I am sure many other agencies will be experiencing similar increases. As a result of this we are short of volunteers and as always require more funding.

  2. Well, here was me, all happy and positive and optimistic … until I saw that YouTube clip! Tut tut tut Tom, Fake News! That’s NOT Bob Marley, that’s Bobby McFerrin!

    1. Well spotted Jamie. However the intention was noble. Folks familiar with the McFerrin music video will realise why I couldn’t use it, given the context of the article; but the song itself totally suits the article. Didn’t think twice that Marley would have covered it (apart from the fact that he was dead when it was written!). Mea culpa.

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