Formerly New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and MP for the Northland Electorate of New Zealand.
JOHN CARTER - MAYOR OF THE FAR NORTH DISTRICT OF NEW ZEALAND
Moving forward together
Thursday 6 March 2014
Fun under the sun
Living long enough to celebrate your 100th birthday is an extraordinary achievement for a person. It is no less an achievement when an organisation notches up 100 birthdays, particularly when it is run by volunteers. It was a privilege and a pleasure to attend the North Hokianga Agricultural & Pastoral Association's 100th show at Broadwood last month. I congratulate association President Wayne Semenoff and his team for putting on another great show this year and I wish the association the longevity of the Bay of Islands A & P Association which held its 171st show last November.
The annual A & P shows at Kaitaia, Waimate North, Kaikohe and Broadwood are just a few of the events on the Far North social calendar. In fact, there aren't many weekends between Labour Weekend to Easter when there isn't a wine and food festival, fishing contest, fun run, raft race or school fair happening somewhere. These volunteer-run events bring people together, define who we are and add to the quality of life in the district. They also make a significant contribution to our economies. The annual Captain Morgan Snapper Bonanza, which gets underway at Te Oneroa-a-Tohe/Ninety Mile Beach the week after next, attracts hundreds of people to the district who collectively spend an estimated $2 million at local businesses. That is one of the reasons why the Far North District Council and Te Hiku Community Board have financially supported the Bonanza since the inaugural contest in 2011. I commend district councillor Dave Collard and Kaitaia businessmen Brian Archibald and John Stewart for organising the contest which gives people the chance to become a fishing legend on what is arguably New Zealand's most famous beach.
The council supports other events through the community grants scheme, which is administered by community boards, and many events are held on reserves owned and maintained by the council. It was great to see the Kerikeri Domain used again for the annual Ocean and Orchard Festival and Be Free Talent Quest last month. The Ocean and Orchard Festival gives people another reason to visit the Far North and I congratulate the Kerikeri Business Association for organising this world-class wine and food festival. I also thank Tony Harrison and Be Free for staging another family music festival to promote freedom from drugs and alcohol. I was delighted to endorse Be Free's community grant application for this event and I commend the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board for granting Be Free $5000 to offset equipment hire costs.
There are few forces more powerful than people working together to achieve a common goal and there are few things more sought after than 'the good life'. We are fortunate to live in a country where cooperation is possible and where people enjoy a level of prosperity most of the world's population can only dream of. We have a lot to be thankful for when we have fun under the sun.