I'm asked every now and then to compare Hawke's Bay to other regions I have lived in.
Well, compared, to Northland and Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay stands out because of its local economy.
It has solid, strong economic pillars that are subject to market fluctuations, but are not exposed to "boom and bust" perils.
Horticulture is obviously strong here. So is viticulture. We have a strong agriculture sector as well. The local property market is strong. There is construction happening.
Napier Port is eyeing expansion.
The tourism sector is growing. Retail spending is buoyant.
Take the 9000 people who landed in Napier yesterday, off the cruise ships berthed at Napier Port.
The great thing about the tourism sector is that it is cream on top of everything else.
And when a boom and bust industry like forestry comes along with its "wall of wood', it's a boon rather than a boom, because it's not an industry that the region lives or dies by.
But it's an industry that has been able to establish and flourish because of the security provided by the other solid performers.
We are not without our challenges, there are social and employment issues.
Annual budgets for orchardists are frequently set around paying an hourly rate to pickers that is not attractive to locals, but brings Pacific Island workers to the region.
And still there are shortages. In general though, strong economies provide jobs, and attract investment.
It also shouldn't mean that we go to the back of the line for Provincial Growth Fund opportunities. Yes, there are regions worse off than Hawke's Bay that need PGF help more than we do.
However, there is a strong argument that we deserve funding for new opportunity and business to flourish, built around the solid base we have.
There are massive tech opportunities in the region, and we will keep pushing tourism.
The future is bright in the bay and I don't mean the climate.