Katie Holland is the Rotorua Daily Post deputy editor

Editorial: Beach buy shows the power of NZ people

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The privately owned beach is open for anyone to use, but a fundraiser fears that may not always be the case. Photo / Supplied
The privately owned beach is open for anyone to use, but a fundraiser fears that may not always be the case. Photo / Supplied

You've got to love people power.

A crowdfunding campaign to buy an Abel Tasman beach — described by its owner as "the best beach on the planet" — has reached its $2 million target.

The money will be used to place a tender on the 7ha beach, and if the tender is accepted the beach will be gifted to the Department of Conservation, or a suitable trust.

I have to admit when I first saw the Givealittle page shared on Facebook I dismissed it as a nice idea, but a pipe dream.

It would be a fairy tale ending if they manage to pull it off and buy the beach, but even if they don't, all those "naive" people who contributed should be proud that instead of sitting back and complaining, they got off their butts and tried to make a difference.
Katie Holland

Firstly, that ordinary people would care enough to cough up cold, hard cash for a piece of land they may never get to set foot on. And second that it would ever raise enough to be in with a real shot.

Indications are I was wrong on both counts. Which is awesome.

Even more awesome, although perhaps not for others interested in buying the beach, is that Givealittle went to the trouble of getting legal advice so it could freeze the published tally at $2 million — meaning competitors won't know exactly how much the final amount raised was.

Millionaire Gareth Morgan may have described the campaign as "naive", and if the beach truly is the best beach in the world (or close to it) it seems likely someone will be prepared to stump up more than $2million for it.

But I for one am cheering on the little guys — it was an idea that captured the imagination of a lot of people. So they picked up the idea and ran with it.

It would be a fairy tale ending if they manage to pull it off and buy the beach, but even if they don't, all those "naive" people who contributed should be proud that instead of sitting back and complaining, they got off their butts and tried to make a difference.

I swore I wouldn't write about Valentine's Day but it's a bit hard to ignore today.

There seems to be two distinct camps when it comes to this once-American but now all-pervading "holiday". There are those who embrace it wholeheartedly, complete with red roses, presents and over-the-top romantic gestures. Then there are those who are fiercely anti-Valentine's — the "why should romance be only limited to one day" or the "it's all a commercial money-making rip-off" types. Many float between the two ends of the scale depending on their romantic status on February 14. And I reckon, secretly, some of the the most ardent Valentine's Day haters are secretly hoping for a little love.

I'm somewhere in the middle. Sure, no one should need a special day to do something nice for the one they love. But some people could do with a little push, and hey, in a world with so much doom and gloom, where's the harm in spreading a little love?

Just remember it's the thought that counts, even if that thought is a last-minute hand-written card or box of choccies from the service station.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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