So here we are. Summer, like a beautiful bride, has showed up just in time and just as the going got good the good have to go back to work. Bugger.

So what's on my radar for 2015?

I have two concerns, but not fears, for the New Year (well, two-and-a-half if we count the nightmare of another Hori Ngahere/George Jeb Bush standing for president in 2016). Hopefully I have learned to harness these fears by the old Aboriginal proverb "we fear most what we understand least", and the more knowledge and learning I apply to my fears, the easier they are to understand and transform into concerns.

The first is the "hack era" of the cyberage we live in.


We have had an entree with the Dotcom and Dirty Politics debacle but the main course to take us off course is in a holding pattern right now up in the sky and on our highways.

Hacking, in my opinion, will have a huge influence on the future safety of travel, both domestically and internationally. I have always held strong to the belief that terrorism will be controlled by computers, and the ability to hack into in-flight computers and modern automobile computers will change the way we travel.

This may have already happened with the missing and yet to be found Malaysian Air MH370 jet.

Let's hope the geeks stay ahead of the guerrillas and what we have seen North Korea do with Hollywood does not become par for the counter terrorism-course.

Secondly, the inconvenient truth about orchard sprays and agri-chemical will be addressed openly and honestly and the "Spray of Plenty" can return to being the organic kai capital of Aotearoa, as it once was.

If we keep saturating our whenua (land) with copper-based sprays at the rate of more than 300 tonnes per year, it will eventually enter our water table, our waterways and then our harbour and the invoice for this may be too high a price to pay for tomorrow's generation.

"Don't panic, go organic", could be the catchcry to save us from ourselves on this one.

If these are the brickbats, then the bouquets for 2015 balance the ledgers and keep life on an even keel to make some sort of sense out of what we human beings are doing to each other and the planet.


There is a lot to be learned from the New Year honours list and from the type of people who influence others to implement change.

Two recipients who have what I consider mana - given the definition of this much bandied about word is "the ability to make things happen for the benefit of others" - received deserved recognition.

The first is Dame Tariana Turia who walked her talk and many Maori followed, to a seat at the table of decision-making, where previously a tokenistic "koha" from cabinet was downloaded to iwi and hapu.

History will show she has cemented a relationship between National and the Maori Party that many believe was the best deal on the table - and she took it.

The other is local philanthropist and rich-lister Paul Adams.

While it is easy to put Paul in the money category, given he has a few quid, I would prefer to know him as a man of much mana who sees the heart of a person's needs and not their pocket.

Paul has stood quietly in the background and fronted up with what he knows as much as what he has, and it is his knowledge that Tauranga could and should engage with at every opportunity.

We are at a crossroads here in Tauranga Moana where the innovative thinking of visionaries needs to be listened to if we are to harness the "plentiness" of our Bay.

The world is waking up like a dawn chorus and singing the praises of what we have here in the safe anchorage of Tauranga, and we need to get breakfast ready for them.

So, for my two bobs' worth of brickbats and bouquets, yings and yangs, goods and bads, happy and sads, kapai and kaka, it's time to get the motors running, fill the tanks with mana and get out on the highway of life here in Tauranga.

We were born to be wildly successful.

And along the way when help is needed, give it to the needy and not the greedy.

For me, I want to be a lot more empathetic and less sympathetic and hopefully this year will be the year I learn to play a tune on my daughter's ukulele, taught by the master Captain Carrus.


Tommy Wilson is a best-selling author and local writer