Weekend In Whangarei and please stay John Campbell

Last weekend I didn’t just get to run up and down hills, there was also an overnight stay in Whangarei.  For those who don’t know it is New Zealand’s northernmost city and home to about 54 000 people.  It is also the place where my McConnell ancestors first settled in the 1860’s.  Can I just say that if I was leaving Glasgow to start a new life, I also would be looking for a place that was nice and warm.  So I commend their efforts.

I have been visiting Whangarei off and on for the last 40 years and I have to say on this trip I was really impressed.  I have always loved Whangarei anyway, but I don’t think anyone could have really accused it of being that exciting or vibrant a place.  I think that it probably has always struggled with being the main service town for one of the poorest regions in New Zealand.  Well now it looks like some effort and money is being spent on the old girl and she looks and feels a lot better for it.

We went along the Town Basin walkway on Sunday morning, I thoroughly recommend it.  Here are some of the photos I took.  I think they convey better than I can with words how lovely it was.Canopy Bridge


WakaEel trap sculpture IMG_2461 IMG_2459 IMG_2460

Well done Whangarei, looking forward to seeing what you have got up to when I next visit.  But please just bite the bullet and go ahead with the Hunderdtwasser Art Gallery.  Yes it will cost money and you will have detractors but you won’t regret it once it is done.

While discussing biting the bullet, the powers that be at Media Works have decided to bite the bullet and get rid of the Campbell Live show and replace it with something else that will score better ratings and make them and their share holders more money.  Which as a private company they are perfectly entitled to do.  But it stinks and sucks and lots of other bad words.  It makes me so incredibly cross.  In this country that seems to be becoming more about almighty dollar and crushing the poor, weak and unfortunate so you can get what you want,  Campbell Live seemed to be one of those shows that still gave a damn.  It wasn’t perfect.  Sometimes I would turn it off, and no I didn’t watch it all the time.  But did I follow what was being covered on Facebook and check in regularly – absolutely.  Will I watch or engage with it’s replacement, absolutely not. Will Media Works care, of course not

I did read two excellent pieces about the issue and I thought they were worth sharing.  Brian Edwards and Simon Wilson are able to express what in Natty speak just comes out as raving gibberish.  Well worth a read.



I actually didn’t realise I had a big girlie crush on John Campbell until I heard that the show was going to be cancelled.  I actually got teary, and Brett did tell me I had to stop tweeting and generally social mediaing it up about how sad and upset I was.  Apparently a problem shared isn’t a problem halved it is just a problem freaking annoying everyone else.  But honestly I never signed up for a world where Paul Henry and Mike Hoskings are going to be my go to guys for the news.  Anyway Billie and I did our bit, I signed the petition and we took our photo in front of Mr JC on Friday night.  And after all if that doesn’t melt Julie Christies cold heart nothing will (not holding my breath actually)

Billie and Me and John

However the week has not all been a disaster.  The Warriors had a great win, and Manu Vatuvei got to celebrate playing his 200th game for the Warriors with 2 tries.  Amazing achievement Manu.

Now Dragons please make this middle aged lady who has suffered a heart break this week, very happy with a win over the Doggies,





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