Who we are

Tom Belford … I’m a transplanted American, living with my wife and daughter (plus married son and wife) in Hawke’s Bay since January 2005. Have a lifestyle block along the Tuki Tuki with a growing menagerie of animals. In the states, I worked chiefly in Washington in politics and public advocacy, developing strategies to raise funds and promote a wide range of causes, including the environment, women’s rights, human rights, government accountability, civil liberties, international relief, etc. Served in the Carter White House and worked for Ted Turner in his pre-billionaire days, which should date me a bit! Fancy myself to be knowledgeable about marketing and new media. Write a blog for political/cause marketers called The Agitator.

Mark Story … I’m a Bay lad, born and bred in one of the country’s oldest inland towns – Waipawa, Central Hawke’s Bay. After drinking my way through two universities I emerged not only with a buggered liver, but with a couple of degrees in the Arts and Business (the latter as penance for the former), a wife, mountainous student debt and the ultimate educational payoff – the realisation I knew nothing. Five years in the windy capital and we (spawner and four spawn) returned to the salutary mores of Hawke’s Bay, where we now try our best to raise our kids on the ‘dirt raised, sun grown’ model. Despite four years in journalism here in the Bay, it’s creative writing – poetry in particular – that’s always been my ‘thing’. If I have any mojo left in my 34 years I attribute it to the Kiwi mystic and poet, James K. Baxter – to whom I’m hopelessly reverential.

Our mission

Rattling cages, having fun, bringing more accountability to public affairs, offering a different voice to Hawke’s Bay, providing a forum for the citizens of HB to sound off. We hope to cross-pollinate ideas and information about life in HB … create a buzz and occasionally sting.

Office Hours

Tom and/or Mark can be often be found loitering in one or another Hawke’s Bay cafe … just look for a table displaying the BayBuzz bumblebee logo and sit down for a chat.

We are eager to hear your ideas on what Baybuzz should write about — news, gossip, weird stuff. It just needs to relate to Hawke’s Bay. We assume you’ll disagree with us from time to time, and we want to hear from you then too!

Should you be too shy to educate or berate us face-to-face, you can email us at:


Name Suppression Policy

Unlike we the authors, our wives have friendships throughout Hawke’s Bay (indeed the world) that they would like to preserve. They have threatened us with loss of conjugal visits if — by naming names — we destroy those friendships or otherwise seriously jeopardize their ability to walk around Hawke’s Bay undetested. Therefore, while we will occasionally — rarely, we hope — use name suppression, when we do resort to this distasteful practice, be assured that it is against our will.