I am very curious to see what kind of reader reaction we get to this edition of BayBuzz. 

We’re offering some content that is likely to stir folks up and maybe elevate some blood pressure. But then, that’s what BayBuzz is supposed to do. Some would say even more so now that as editor I’m ‘unencumbered’ by elective office. 

As you’ve seen, our cover feature is on Napier’s cruise ship experience. Is it good (or not) for Napier retailers? Is it an energizer, or a seasonal pain in the butt for locals trying to go about their day-to-day activities? Is cruising a villainous industry, spewing tonnes of greenhouse gases, or a great way to give overseas visitors a taste of our region that lures them back for real visits? Bridget Freeman-Rock reports. 

Then there’s batteries … the new plastic. Now essential to most of the tools and appliances of our daily lives. We can’t live without them. But do we fully appreciate their dark side? And what are we prepared to do about that? Keith Newman investigates. 

And how about shattering some food myths? Phyllis Tichinin takes that on, offering kind words for cattle and red meat. A better choice than synthetic meats of still unexamined safety. Forget feeding the world, she says. Hawke’s Bay’s (and NZ’s) market is the affluent overseas consumer who will pay for a food story about safe and sustainable premium food products. Get used to ‘HB … breadbasket for the rich’. 

Speaking of red meat, consider that it might actually be good for you. In my health column, I report on the battle that is raging anew amongst the nutrition experts. Don’t toss out your BBQ just yet! 

[In fact, go to page 20 and check out our terrific Christmas promotion, courtesy of donations from Fourth Element, The Organic Farm Butchery, Gourmet Direct and Bareknuckle BBQ. No better time to give the gift of BayBuzz … and lick your own chops as well!] 

While we’re talking meat, check out Matt Miller’s column on StockX, a Hawke’s Bay firm that’s changing the way NZ’s livestock is bought and sold. 

Seems like a heap of meaty stuff. 

But back to the brainfood. 

Paul Paynter challenges us once again. This time he questions all the hoopla around fighting global warming. Not because he’s a denier; rather, because he thinks we should focus on some problem where we can actually make a difference. I should note right now that Paul and I disagree, as BayBuzz’s ongoing global warming update, The Heat Is On!, illustrates. 

Not unrelated, Pat Turley looks at trends over the past 15 years in coastal property values. Sea rise or not, the seaside still attracts, although with slower-growing values. 

And Keith Newman looks at what it takes to be a ‘smart city’ these days, and how our local governments are trying to be leading edge, without overdoing the ‘Big Brother’ bit. 

We can’t forget politics. The recent elections have had their most dramatic effect in Napier, handing the city a brand new mayor. Our Napier columnist Andrew Frame and I interviewed Kirsten Wise days after her election; Andrew previews what to expect. And I offer a broader overview of how our local political landscape has changed (or not) as a result of October’s vote. 

Finally, Lizzie Russell and Bridget Freeman-Rock curate a great collection of inspiration in our culture and lifestyle section. The thrill of gliding over Bridge Pā. The evolution of Keirunga Gardens in Havelock North. The conundrum posed by books. Ahuriri’s wine, food and music magnet, The Urban Winery. And Bistronomy’s quest for sustainable food sourcing. 

Before I leave you, I do have one other request (see below), in addition to my appeal that you consider gifting BayBuzz (and the goodies that come with it). 

Tom Belford


Tell us… 

Our Summer edition (January/ February) will be looking ahead … 20/20. What’s in store as Hawke’s Bay enters a new decade? As we plan our content, we’d like to hear your thoughts – who do you think will be making a difference, which person or issue deserves more attention, what changes are you expecting (or hoping for), what hallowed HB institutions need a shake-up? 

You are always welcome to send your advice and ideas ‘ free form’ to editors@baybuzz.co.nz. But to make it easier, we’re also conducting an online reader survey. Here’s your link to the survey: https://bit.ly/33YniMj Either way, I and the rest of the BayBuzz team hope to hear from you. 

Meantime we all wish you a very Happy Christmas and splendid New Year! 

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