President’s Ramble – June 2018

A year ago I wrote that “I am hoping that my plea for more articles on your first encounters with a Peugeot has resulted in Jeanette having a few month’s articles in her armoury. If not please send your contributions to our editor – Jeanette – at now. She will still be eagerly awaiting them.” Frankly I have seen few, and would love some of you to add to this series. Please consider the request and add to what has been an enjoyable but disjointed series.

After writing last month’s 5008 review, I then got curious about the Lexus marque and its release. As a result of that I now realise that when I reflected at the end I was reflecting through rose-tinted glasses. Not about either vehicle but about my own age, I wrote “I examined it as much as a teenage boy can from the outside.” Unfortunately for me I have since done the maths, I must have been 20; in my mind I was 17 to 19 years old. Age unfortunately plays havoc with the memory at times!

Last month, again I have been travelling a lot, and spent a week in Paengaroa again. I am glad to say that the cuisine at The Trading Post is till up to standard and beyond. Best Pizza I have ever had – definitely a cut above the rest and the seafood broth also passed all taste buds expectations. Unfortunately it was so good that the tastebuds were still expecting it well after I had finished! Lesley – the waitress there also makes a very good Gin, Lime and Lemonade. If you are spending time in the Bay of Plenty and want a location for dinner and a location change for a night I can definitely recommend driving out to Paengaroa. Make sure you book first, especially over summer, as they are often booked out on weekends.

Whilst staying in Paengaroa I have been subcontracted to another archaeologist, and we have been working on a number of farms on behalf of a variety of clients. All of them have been in the process of what appears to be the current Labour-led government policy of decreasing the bovine population of New Zealand. All have been relatively recent purchases, by three different kiwifruit orchard companies, of dairy farms, and all are looking to significantly earthwork the land flat or into gentle straight slopes to develop Kiwifruit Orchards (all of them Gold rather than Green fruit I believe). Some of these locations are a number of kms inland on steep and high hills. I have found it incredible just how far away from the sea – think tens of kms – that sea views are available – and yet none of these views are available from the roads. From some of these locations, as well as from driving down the local roads, a new appreciation can be gained of just how much of the Bay of Plenty is already covered in kiwifruit orchards. The traditional citrus, avocados and dairy farms appear to be disappearing at an increasing rate as the kiwifruit industry expands. Kiwifruit is often more intensive than dairy will ever be and requires more labour most of the year. I imagine that we will find that employment opportunities, increased need for housing, eateries and support industries will continue to grow and the Bay of Plenty economy will continue to boom in years to come. Assuming that there isn’t a collapse in the industry caused by food fashion changing or some disease.

We have all being suffering recently from the rapid rise in fuel prices. Of interest to me was that I travelled through Morrinsville during my week away in the B.O.P., filled up on both the Monday and Friday. On the Monday the BP and Caltex were 3 cents a litre more expensive than the Gull. Come Friday the Caltex was still 3 cents more expensive than the Gull; the BP however was 16c more than the Gull.

Morrinsville gets a lot of through traffic between Hamilton and the B.O.P., and granted that as the Gull is situated on a lesser used route towards Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, it is therefore not in the sight of a the majority of travellers and possibly some of the locals as well. I can see why the BP doesn’t need to compete directly with it, but one does have to question how the BP can expect to continue when it is close to opposite the Caltex on the main drag! It often appears to me that BP is a price leader when it comes to raising the prices of fuel. That combined with recent media revelations about them trying to hike prices in the general Horowhenua region recently makes me question how much longer do they expect to last in the New Zealand market? Especially when it appears we will soon see a dominance of Electric Vehicles in the new car market, and presumably the New Zealand vehicle fleet overall.

Thanks for reading my thoughts,

Brent 

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