Every morning I wake up to a chorus of native birds in song. Sometimes, just sometimes I take that for granted. I don’t know about you, but I consider small-town living in this part of the world to be a privilege, but admittedly, every now and then I need reminding of that.
Much has been said about what the future holds for our piece of paradise but as another year draws to a close and we look ahead to 2017 and beyond, what is it about this place that keeps us here and many others coming back for more?
We have the best of both worlds. Geographically, we’re lost in the seclusion of native bush and beaches yet we’re just a stone’s throw away from our country’s most major city. We may be growing but there is something so special about being able to walk down the street and recognise the majority of people that you pass. Or how easy it is for the weekly grocery shop to turn into an hour-long outing because catch-ups are aplenty.
For as much as we have begun planning where we want to head and what we want to be known for, the canvas we have to work with from Pūhoi to Waipu, is simply like no other. A place where you still see locally owned butchers and boutiques lining the streets, but now with world-leaders in technology, design, manufacturing, food growing and exporting, just around the corner.
What all those who call north-eastern Rodney home and the people behind these businesses have in common is their passion for place, and their belief and determination for development of the area to be world-class. So let’s create a destination. A world-class destination, and not world-class in the clichéd sense, but actually world-class. An area that lights people’s faces up at its first mention, because they feel they ‘know that place’. Much more than just a lunch stopover on a road trip north but a must-see if you’re ever in Auckland. A combination of a rich history, natural landscape and good people.
So, whatever your plans are for the year ahead, take a minute now to pause and look around you. I’m sure you’ll see, as I do, that something this spectacular deserves to be shared. Let’s take ownership and see that the spirit and these surroundings are best preserved for years to come.
Written by Tessa Berger