Friday, 8 October 2010


Palmerston North has been in the news a bit as it has had a bad rap for being a boring no account city. Thing is there is a lot to be said for provincial towns.

Take Masterton for instance. It's your quintiessential provincial retail and commercial hub.

It may not have lots of choice, but you normally get at least one of everything and they have to be good or they don't survive. So for instance, there is one really good sushi shop that would rival anything in the big smoke. And Strada's coffee and cakes are as good as anywhere in NZ.

And we have discovered that they also have one really good newspaper that is like the community newspapers of old. The Wairarapa News. Surprisingly its part of the Fairfax stable.Surprising, because we thought that this paper was so good of its type that it must be owned and loved by some locals. But being run and loved by some locals seems to be doing the trick.

Now there is also the Wairarapa Times Age , but there seems to be a lot less stories in it and its just doesn't seem to hit the mark like the Wairarapa News does.

However the Age does break some interesting stuff as this story shows. Bigotry and prejudice doesn't just rely on the colour of ones skin, it seems.

The Wairarapa News is delivered free, has a high advertising content and there are three or four interesting stories about issues that are close to the hearts of the residents and the rest of the paper is peppered with advertisements and stories about what is on. The community stuff that makes places like the Wairarapa so good to live in. A real good smattering of local politics, happenings and sport.

Like the fact that there are cheese making courses coming up. Or that there is a talk at the local Geological society looking at the two Wairarapa earthquakes of 1942 when the area was all shook up by two 7+ quakes a couple of months apart.

There are always lots of faces in the paper too. Sure, the photography is not world class but if you get to see the Doris you know from down the street being lauded for some community deed then you feel connected to your community.

And every Wednesday we really look forward to the Wairarapa News. Its a bloody good wee paper that does  its community proud and is a wonderful reflection of the province it serves.

And there is something  refreshing about reading news which is not based on the cult of celebrity.

We were already in love with the Wairarapa but apprehensive when we moved here permanently about 6 weeks ago but as every day goes past, that growing feeling of connection just keeps getting stronger.

And as we make the daily journey on the train into Wellington with the suns first filtering light bathing the valley we just spend the next 8 hours waiting to get back home.

Life is good.

No comments: