CAPTION: You can’t slag off a place you havent been.
After all the kerfuffle about Heather du Plessis-Allan and her long distance snipe against “rotting” Ngaruawahia her role should be extended at TV3. The co-host of TV3’s Story will be on tonight recounting her belated trip to the Waikato Town she slagged off recently in The Herald On Sunday, riling locals. TV3 has found a way to make a positive out of negative attack on a small town – some of whose residents might be regular viewers. Lets face it, the “rotting” comment was to draw attention to herself. The problem in my mind was that du Plessis-Allan was rubbishing something she knew nothing about. She said it because she does not know small town New Zealand. Maybe du Plessis-Allan should take a role as a travel writer for places she has not been.
She can write off a town from a distance. If locals get riled up like Ngaruawahia did, Story can follow up with a visit and and item that reports in glowing terms. Imagine if we all took that approach.
- Tauranga. du Plessi- Allan night think: Gods Waiting Room. I reckon. Terrible drivers. Bethlehem, Ha! Thats a funny name. Nice apartments at The Mount, Wasn’t Winston Peters born here?
- Hamilton: Its nothing but a big cow town. How soon could I get down there and back to Auckland? Do we still have to pass through Ngaruawahia? Yuck.
- Northland: Who knew there were so many Maori In New Zealand? Good beaches.
- Christchurch: The sooner they clean all this mess up the better. Too much building stuff going on.
- Greymouth: I couldn’t find a good risotto anywhere.
Fair do’s. The column in the Herald on Sunday was opinion and opinion columns are meant to get a reaction. It was not Story’s fault. Maybe news hosts need to keep half baked opinions to themselves. It was just slack for someone who is meant to be a current affairs star to call a town “rotting.” Ngaruawahia is the centre of the Kingitanga.
Its got its problems, but so do Ponsonby and Oriental Bay. Story will have a good old laugh about it tonight and du Plessis-Allan will be chastened, But it was bad. Maori cultural leader Tainui Stephens lived there for 12 years and sums up the views for many of us who have lived in small New Zealand towns. For me it was Putaruru, Thames and Whakatane.
“When yet another television mediocrity decides to hurl a smart-arsed remark as evidence of personality, I am bemused at what it reveals of their character. I am also intrigued when city dwellers scorn those who live in small towns” Stephens told The Spinoff.
As the Spinoff said in its headline: Blindness to the Beauty of Ngaruawahia is Blindness to the Beauty of New Zealand.