Editorial: We're lucky ones

By Craig Cooper

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Northland's summer climate could drive a sober man to drink, an optimist to the dark world of pessimism.

Just when you think it's going to be fine, it rains. Just when the sky clears, a cloud will sneak into your peripheral vision.

But just when I begin to wallow in a lament of our climatic idiosyncrasies, a ray of sunny logic will break through, and remind me why Northlanders put up with the weather here.

You see, after spending some time in Surfers Paradise recently, I marvelled at the consistency of the climate.

"How great it would be," I thought, "if summer was like this back home."

Clear skies, hot and dry. It's a climate that makes you feel good.

However, look around Surfers Paradise, and the climate and beaches are all they have. It's a soul-less town, great to play in, and if you're rich or semi-retired, sure I can see the attraction. But it seems shallow, lacking heart.

Northland?

Long, narrow, rugged, with ever-changing weather affected by our close proximity to the ocean, on two coasts.

But how boring a region we would be with long stretches of white sand the length of one coast. Instead, we have Ruakaka, 90 Mile Beach, Bayleys Beach - stretches of sand untainted by progress defined by who can build the biggest skyscraper.

We have Matapouri, one of the world's best beaches, and a bay that is an artist's palate of seemingly endless shades of oceanic blue. The Bay of Islands, forests, lakes. World-class diving spots. And a Maori culture that shaped the nation.

Northland, I believe, is the place people should aspire to visit, to escape places like Surfers Paradise. And as kaitiaki (caretakers) of that place, we should feel privileged that we live here. Something I will remind myself of, next time it rains.

- Northern Advocate

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