"You haven't seen green till you see New Zealand."
That's a quote from Nigel Olsson, Elton John's drummer in a phone interview with Hawke's Bay Today last week.
I wonder what he would have thought of the clean, green image if he had seen the state of the Mission the morning after the Phil Collins concert on Waitangi Day.
What an absolute disgrace.
I didn't go but was told by someone who did that exiting the concert was terrible because of all the things dumped on the ground.
They said you couldn't see what you were stumbling over as people left their rubbish behind and headed home.
They managed to carry it in there, so there really is no excuse for leaving it behind.
By all accounts the concert was a huge success despite the rain. People raved about how fantastic Collins was.
It was such a shame that many of those singing his praises couldn't be bothered to clean up after themselves.
The photos published in Hawke's Bay Today and online of rubbish left strewn across the beautiful landscape say it all.
I was astounded. It really is unbelievable that in a time when plastic bags have been ditched from supermarkets, people are urged to reuse and recycle and the media is full of images of our oceans awash with garbage that so many people in one place thought it was okay to dump their rubbish.
I really don't care if the rubbish bins were overflowing. That is no excuse.
If the rubbish bin was overflowing in your home you would be responsible and do something about it.
Most people takes bags with snacks and drinks in, so how hard is it to put your rubbish back in a bag?
St John's College take charge of the clean-up every year, using it as a fundraiser. They certainly earn their money.
Yes some things such as phones, bank cards, jewellery, purses and wallets are obviously accidental. The rest is laziness.
It's exciting news that Elton John will be playing at the 2020 Mission Concert. Everyone I have spoken to about it wants to get their hands on some tickets.
No doubt it will be a sellout.
Let's see if we can show Nigel Olsson that we are indeed clean and green in Hawke's Bay.
* Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.