Editorial: Bay needs good old downpour

By Andrew Austin


It is amazing how many times in the past month I have heard people of my vintage and older say how this summer has been like the summers of their youth.

As a fairly recent immigrant to Hawke's Bay, I would not know much about that, but I agree that it has been a real corker. The early mornings have sometimes had a bit of a nip to them, but it soon warms up into long hot days.

The downside of no rain is that we now have drought conditions. Te Mata Peak - my favourite landmark as I drive home each night - is as brown as I have ever seen it in the 11 months I have lived in Hawke's Bay.

The brief burst of rain last week was a welcome relief to farmers and gardeners, but farmers are getting a bit concerned. Dry conditions soon begin to affect the balance sheet.

A photograph doing the rounds on twitter at the moment is the best illustration of how dry Hawke's Bay is. We have published this photo on our front page today because it is spectacular and also makes you realise how parched our countryside is. The photo was taken by Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. In his caption for the photograph, Commander Hadfield simply says: "Napier on Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

Rugged land, farms, rivers, city and the sea."

Even though our land is dry, the photograph still gives a good idea of the beautiful place we call home.

But back to rain and whether or not there is any in the foreseeable future. Metservice says there is but it will be "hit and miss". Not good for farmers, but good news for the rest of us is that temperatures will continue to be relatively high despite the rain showers.

After the summer we have had, I am sure not many of us would begrudge the farmers having a bit of rain. It is all very well having long hot summers, but we are a food-producing region and we do not need our production compromised.

Let the sun shine for a little bit longer and then let it rain.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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