The Vote

September 9th, 2014

Days of all days, years of all years, I’ll be away for the first time during New Zealand’s Voting Day: 20 September. Yet, half a world away in the UK, I’ll be there when Scotland votes for its referendum of Independence: 18 September. History in the making this week.

It’s an interesting political environment at the moment in New Zealand: lots of dirty politics, interesting ‘he says, she says’ emails being hacked and revealed, opinion polls, party debates and minor parties gaining momentum if not controversy, and policies struggling to be heard above the noise.

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My new New Zealand passport has arrived. It was the easiest thing I’ve done all year – painless, seamless and arrived 5 working days before I expected it.

So far so good on the road-trip front!

I have to wave goodbye to my old passport of course. It holds ten years worth of travel, stories and customs’ stamps, and it does come with some sadness to file it in my bottom drawer. However…

new zealand passport

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Some say you should never go abroad until you’ve seen your own country.  Have you seen your own country Kiwis?

It’s very tempting to whisk away on a cheap airfare to Bali or a long weekend to Melbourne. The prices are often cheaper than domestic flights any day of the week. This is seriously unfortunate for the average Kiwi as the chances of really exploring their own country before they travel are rapidly depleting due to the lure of cheaper overseas alternatives.

Fiordland

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While the International Air Show held in New Zealand this January can’t be described as the most impressive that I’ve attended, legendary ‘Jetman’ aka Yves Rossy stole the show hands down (or should I say, wings out).

With a sky of acrobatic WWII Robins in full formation, this Swiss pilot flew with the best of them, literally.

Jetman Yves Rossy flying in New Zealand 2013

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Rodeos complete with bucking broncos, bull riders, barrel racing and steer wrestling may seem an odd choice of entertainment for a city girl, but every summer I am drawn to the sheer fascination of the sights and sounds of the New Zealand Rodeo circuit.

For me, it’s a celebration of all things simple and a day in the sun to celebrate the year ahead.  When at home, my self-imposed family tradition for the past several years is to attend the 2013 New Year’s Day Warkworth Rodeo.  It’s a small ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ rural township north of Auckland.  While rural life is a big part of New Zealand culture, particularly with mustering stations and a thriving dairy industry,  seldom does rural and city mix.

Warkworth Rodeo 2013

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