10 Years Ago
By Andrew Frame

Ten years ago millions of people were getting ready. Some were stocking up on canned goods, survival equipment and looking for the nearest bunker to hole up in for when the millennium bug struck and wiped out civilization as we knew it. Many more were preparing to “party like it was 1999” because, well, it was. The artist formerly known as “Prince” was thinking “Told you so!”

It was a year that would change New Zealand media forever. 1999 saw the beginnings of a world wide, musical, “reality” revolution. We called it “Pop Stars” and it would give us our very own girl-band, “True Bliss”. The concept would evolve and mutate into various incarnations, the most prominent being the “Idol” franchise. From where on we would call it “Oh no, not this #$%@ again!”

Hawke’s Bay saw its own little media revolution in 1999, as Napier’s long running “Daily Telegraph” and the “Herald Tribune” in Hastings merged to become the “Hawke’s Bay Today” on May 3rd. Local journalism would never be the same.

I tracked down my old diary for 1999 a few weeks ago. I was sad, single and unemployed for the better part of the year. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable reading. It was also remarkably odd reading decade old thoughts and I barely recognised the person writing it at times … and not just because my handwriting is terminally illegible.

What a difference a decade has made. The “noughties” have been very kind to me. I’m happily married, have a well paying long term job and get to write, which I love, each week. I even have fans apparently. Life ticks along quite happily.

It’s been a decade where “terrorism” and “tsunami” burned and washed their ways into the world’s lexicon. The internet made further intrusions into everyday life as people email, blog, Tweet, Facebook and Myspace their every thought, travel and bowel movement to the world at large. Media and governments have changed; sadly not always for the best (can you say “Bush”, “Iraq” and “Fox”?).

Hawke’s Bay too has changed. Although it’s not always so noticeable with our laid back way of life. We gained more wineries and tourists; we lost Marineland, Nelson Park and a fair chunk of the Clifton and Haumoana waterfront.

I’m looking forward to 2010 and the following decade — “The Teens”. I’m hoping it will bring sunshine, coffee and chocolate; greater local media focus and depth (Newstalk ZB just got eliminated from my Christmas card list); and a wider appreciation of what truly makes Hawke’s Bay just what it is.

While I’m on the topic of years, I discovered a New Zealand-based calendar for 2010 produced by the Bay’s own Marilyn Scott that I think is very cool.

The Aotearoa Calendar 2010 focuses on New Zealand dates and events, rather than so many of the overseas variety that have events of little interest or significance to Kiwis, such as “Groundhog Day”, “Flag Day”, and “Pi Day” (yes, as in the mathematical symbol for “three and a bit”).

Examples of some dates are:

  • March 1 = Bikini Day (gets my vote over “Red Nose Day” or “Blue Jeans Day”!) marks the 1954 anniversary of the “Castle Bravo” nuclear bomb test at Bikini Atoll
  • June 8 = ‘NZ Nuclear Free Zone Act’ passed on this day in 1987
  • July 10 = Marks the 1985 sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland
  • October 28 = NZ’s first Labor Day in 1890
  • November 5 = Parihaka Day. Marking one of New Zealand’s most significant non-violent protests in 1881.

To get one of these calendars, which sell for $25 each, you can contact Marilyn Scott through her website: www.calendarNZ.co.nz or via email at info@calendarNZ.co.nz

Once again, thank you for reading. Have a safe and happy Hawke’s Bay New Year, and I’ll write you again in 2010 … as we launch into the “Teens”.


From the editor: One more date to note. Catch This Way of Life at the Black Barn Open Air Cinema on January 5. Produced by local filmmakers Tom Burstyn and Barbara Sumner Burstyn, and recently selected for the prestigious Berlin Film Festival …

“The film portrays the intimate life of the Karena family. In their early 30’s, Peter and Colleen have six kids and 50 horses. We follow them up into the Ruahine ranges and down to their hidden beach camp. Against these isolated backdrops we explore family relationships, their connection to nature, their keen survival skills and their absolute intimacy with each other and their horses.”

Read the full synopsis of This Way of Life here.

Join the Conversation


  1. Ah yes, West Shore. Beloved and I had a picnic there on Boxing Day by the beach. And when I say “by the beach” I mean we were on one side of a 4m high shingle stopbank, while the beach was on the other side, slightly out of view.
    We hadn’t been out to Haumoana and Clifton for quite some time, so went for a drive a couple of months ago. I was genuinely shocked just how much the erosion had eaten away towards the road.
    I’m waiting to see how long it takes some bright-spark estate agent to use the now almost literal term “indoor-outdoor flow” when marketing a property there before they get beaten with their own ‘for sale’ sign.

  2. nice to see the erosion of our Cape Coast being acknowledged…I spoke to Lawrence the other day about the 'Managed Retreat' plan…ie , where do we retreat to? Apparently I'm over thinking it…they're going to sit back and watch while the 4 Square Clifton Road corner gets washed away…then they'll bulldoze everything in a one km radius (nicely gutting the community).

    (…while Napier builds a beach wall at Westshore no doubt.)

    So we don't retreat so much as just…go.

    Great Plan.

    One would've thought a few stategically piled Akmons would be a bit more civilised.

  3. Tena Koe, nga mihi mahana,

    Isnt it great to have some time out from, what seems like the never ending teduim of beauracratic complaisance and hoops and loops that most of us have to jump through to satisfy the allocation of our own taxpayers money, we are the most heavily taxed country in the world.

    Registered Charities now have to provide annual financial

    reports, to satisfy the charities Commission and the Govt that accountabilty has been acheived and maintained.

    This is fair enough, but where is the same from the GOVT and Govt agencies, where is the accountabilty for our taxpayers money

    and where is the real opportunity to affect major decisions that effect everyone of us on a day to day basis.

    Its a new decade, time to make the significant changes in the governance of the country, whats good for the goose is also good for the gander, where are the annual reports, and why is that major decisions are still being made without a majority of public consent, such as new taxes or the raising of existing ones.

    Hey hello thats just the way it is, we cant change it.?

    We need to change it asap, not by endless rounds of select committees, but by demanding that our hard earned taxes are being spent on innovation and new sustainable Industries.

    Kawea Ake te Wero, lets step up to the challenge by demanding accountablity and better processes of inclusive decision making.

    The other option is not an option.

    Rosscoe Brown

  4. …and here I am in Auck. scanning the real estate online and thinking " Hmm, cruisey lifestyle living out Te Awanga way wouldn't be so bad" and now if find it's all just shifting ,whispering sands…or should that be gravel.

    Oh well..back to the drawing board..thanks for the pointer , Dick !

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