Editorial: Thanks for coming to our place

As the Rugby World Cup campaign draws to close there’s much reflecting on the good, and not so good outcomes.
It gave us an excuse to party and boy could we all do with that. few years’ recession and the slow and rocky stop/start climb out of it means for many of us that we are working harder than ever and often for diminished returns. Pike River and Christchurch’s devastation shattered fragile equilibrium even further.
So thanks ABs for giving us the chance to whoop and holler, get carried along on the tide of excitement and anticipation and feel great about being Kiwi. I’m writing this just few days before the final and assuming, like everyone else, that our boys will win. The French will have to pull something very sneaky out of the hat to upset this team that, despite the plague of injuries, has proved its depth.
And thanks RWC for giving us the chance to strut our stuff on the world food and hospitality stage. Hopefully we have now kissed goodbye to the cultural cringe that had us in the past trying to match up to European ideal of haute cuisine. We have carved out an identity in fashion and film and it’s starting to happen with food. We don’t have to compare our cheese with that we can import, or describe our food and cuisine style as being based on that of other cultures.
It’s our food – no apologies; just as it’s our ‘place’.
I was perplexed to be told not so long ago by the incoming head of Tourism NZ that ‘New Zealand will never get tourists coming for the food and wine’; but rather they come for the scenery and experiences. That may well be the case initially but recommendations and repeat business will drive visitors here for the food, the wine, the culture. We need to start really valuing that ourselves.
Mediaweb has been involved with the Taste New Zealand festival taking place, as I write, at Auckland’s Victoria Park. And what feast it is. Opening day delivered diabolical weather turning the park into quagmire and no-one seemed to mind. In fact all the stalls were packed with people sheltering from the rain and ordering dishes while they waited out one of the frequent deluges.
We announced our inaugural ‘premier’ Taste of New Zealand Awards or TONZAs, at the festival, recognising establishments that deliver food and experiences that are ‘fine expressions’ of the local product, resources and culture. You can find out more about this initiative to promote and celebrate our regional cuisine at www.tonza.co.nz.

This spot will be occupied by the musings of another come next issue. I’m delighted to welcome Ruth Le Pla to the managing editorship of NZ Management magazine. Ruth is reprising the role – having given up the editorship in 2007 to pursue freelance career which she did very successfully for several years. We’ve enticed her back with some new challenges and I look forward to the thoughtful and intelligent perspective she will bring to the role.

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