On Friday I dropped into the Pier Restaurant at Paihia for a beer. It's situated right at the end of the Ferry wharf out over the water. Great location and great service (here endith the commercial) .... anyway, got taking to 'Mine Host' and she passed me the cruise liner schedule for the year. The first ship of the season came in on Thursday with another 95 to follow up from 76 last year. Those 20 additional ships, averaging 2,000 passengers each, and if every person were to spend just say $50 at the Village Green Market and at our many bars and cafes that's an additional $2m into the Paihia/Russell economy already looking up.
BTW, Daryl (the owner) also has Daryl's Dinner Cruises at http://www.dinnercruise.co.nz and owns the 'White Ferry' which competes with Fullers on the Paihia to Russell run. He's looking to sell off these two enterprises to concentrate on the Pier. If you're interested I'm sure I can get you a really good deal ... I digress.
Saturday afternoon/evening Pam and I were down at the home of 'Hone' and Leone Carter at the Waipapakauri Ramp (at 90 mile beach) helping them to celebrate his smashing victory over Wayne Brown (incumbent) in the race for the Far North mayoralty. John employed all his skills fashioned over two decades in national politics to run an old style campaign which blew his opponents way. He travelled 10,000k and shook 6,000 hands and helped little old ladies cross the road (whether they wanted to or not) and romped to victory scoring over a 1,000 votes more than the total number recorded for the other six mayoral candidates. His victory over Brown (his closest challenger) was so complete that he (Brown) came within a handful of votes of losing his deposit.
The Council got a shake-up too with four new councillors elected. Of interest the new Council is now 50/50 male/female. I wish them well.
But the icing on the cake for me was the news that Denise Krum defeated Richard Northey for a seat on the Auckland City Council. Northey was a long serving Labour Councillor and ex MP. His defeat will be felt by Len Brown. I have known Denise for close on 30 years and have watched her mature into a formidable campaigner who walks the walk over taking the talk. She will bring a strong voice coupled with her innate good sense to the Council table.
Last night was a brilliant time for The Veteran and Mrs Veteran. Off to Wellington tomorrow to the RSA National Council meeting. Could be an interesting few days.