As a Tauranga resident who has recently arrived back in Tauranga off a cruise ship I now know why so few tourists elect to take the shuttle into Tauranga CBD and opt to go to Rotorua, Matamata or Mount Maunganui, much smaller towns who understand the value of tourism.
We arrived on New Year's Day, as did another cruise ship. One would think the potential of having 4000-plus visitors visit our city on one day would inspire our local officials, shopkeepers, community groups and clubs to show a little initiative, even if it is a public holiday.
One thing we can be sure of is those visitors that did choose to visit Tauranga's CBD will be telling all their friends and family not to bother.
The shuttle experience: an ordinary bus that cost $15 for the return trip. The shuttle's route into Tauranga CBD after leaving State Highway 2 is Dive Crescent, appropriately named, The Strand, which housed a number of homeless with their mattress in shop doorways, and then finally The Strand reclamation where visitors disembarked.
Prior to disembarking to a gorse-covered railway fence, the visitors were advised that as it was a public holiday only a few shops were open. We only saw one. What a huge let-down from the rundown entrance to a deserted CBD! If Tauranga can't do better than this then we don't deserve the tourist dollar.
Theresa May can make Brexit happen
Nothing has altered for UK's Theresa May by the recent overwhelming no vote in the House of Commons.
The Western media's rubbish assessment of this initial "no" vote shows them up as gullible as ever.
To declare - "there is chaos; there is no leadership" - is nth degree nonsense.
Such media assessment demonstrates a complete lack of ability - maybe naïve arrogance - to understand the art of negotiation; of what Theresa May is having to cope with (apart from her own party's herd of wildly differing dissident, headless MPs).
The combined European political over-quick response (clearly, but not cleverly, very pre-planned and orchestrated) to the UK's "no" vote, provides the clue and confirms my admiration for her skills. She is clearly the lady for the occasion, a trait through the ages that Brits are masters at achieving.
I'm convinced. Her original plan is maintained. Achieve Brexit as the original 2016 referendum directed, doing so in the most frugal, basic manner: a "no deal" basis probably being best.
The European political machine will ultimately crack and fly to pieces at the eleventh hour, delivering to the UK a most satisfactory Brexit "divorce".