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.
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.