Hopefully you’ll regard this as a ‘keeper’ issue of BayBuzz Digest.

We devoted several pages to the Top 100 Buzzmakers of 2010 … a heap of heroes. If you agree with each and every selection of this list, I’ll be shocked. I’m surprised myself at some of people on it, given that I’ve had my differences with some of them! But I am satisfied that every person on this list is having significant impact here in the Bay. And that, at the end of the day, is the key factor.

A number of people in this year’s Top 100 are on the list, it could be said, “because of their jobs” – for example, the local body chief executives and some of the corporate CEOs. We didn’t put them on the list last year, thinking … their influence resides in the position and not the person. Or, they’re paid for what they do; they’re not volunteers. But the reality is, these folks have huge influence over the well-being of the region, and as individuals their performance is extremely important … and so they should be recognized, at least once!

The other reason to take exception is that you might believe there are others equally or more deserving. That’s fine. Nominate them next year!

Thanks to dozens of nominations from BayBuzz readers, we have 51 new faces on this year’s list. To the 51 Buzzmakers of 2009 who were ‘bumped’, don’t take it personally. Your accomplishments are undiminished, but fresh faces sell newspapers! Also, to allow space for newbies, we’ve created a ‘Legends’ category for a few individuals who nominators think have contributed enough already to be on our list forever.

We’ve also devoted a lot of space in this issue to apples. After all, we are the fruitbowl of New Zealand, and soon (some remain cynical) will be selling apples in Australia. Has Nirvana arrived?

While hopefully giving you more insight into the workings of the apple trade, Apples: A Growing Business? aims as much to raise a broader issue … when we think about opportunities to ‘grow the Bay’, which exactly are the industries that can really drive such growth?

I devoted over thirty hours of research and interviewing to getting a sense of the Bay’s apple future, and still only scratched the surface. I come away thinking that only the efforts of the most determined and fit will enable this industry to hang on to its current – and important – place in the Bay’s economy. Some might prosper, but a ‘growth’ industry it is not.

So what is the Bay’s future? Several articles address that.

We’ve reproduced three ‘future scenarios’ recently developed by the HB Regional Council. They are presented as stories told in three very different voices – a young woman and her farmer father, a young Maori acquiring his first property, and the voice of a river. You can decide if any of them speak compellingly to you.

Graeme Norton, executive director of 3R, a successful Bay company all about sustainability and product stewardship, offers a Hawke’s Bay Vision 2050 of his own. It’s shaped by his international experience on NZ’s Business Council for Sustainable Development, which includes many of the country’s leading companies. His is an optimistic vision, but today he finds New Zealand and its businesses lagging behind many other countries and multinationals in ‘getting’ sustainability.

Stefan Olsen, writing our regular Thinking Smart feature, talks about two companies – Ozone Technologies and lunchonline.co.nz – who represent the kind of enterprises that might prosper in a Hawke’s Bay focused on utilizing intellectual capital … that is, exploiting our creativity and brainpower, versus our physical resources.

And finally, one other look to the future. BayBuzz humorist Brendan Webb brings us up to date in his fourth episode on the exploits of the Bay’s foremost empire-builder, Lawrencus Amalgamaticus Yulus. This episode appears to have a certain finality to it. But like J.K. Rowling talking about her Harry Potter series, Brendan assures me he would never say ‘never’ to further developments in this intriguing epic.

Enjoy! And have a great holiday and summer. BayBuzz Digest will return in February.

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