Southland Experiance

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June 2nd 2016
Published: June 7th 2016
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It's been a while since we've had a proper break. This ones only short but should be a lot of fun. We're heading to Southland at the bottom of of the country, one of the few parts of New Zealand we haven't been to!

Three reasons:

No1: Main reason - We're huge NBL Basketball fans and Final Four is being held in Invercargill this year. The top four basketball teams in NZ are coming together battle it out to determine the top dog (number uno, the big kahuna) for 2016! Our team the mighty Wellington Saints are shooting for title number 9. It's the first time the event has been held in the deep south so it will be a huge B'ball weekend down there. The Wellington Saints and Southland Sharks are joined by regular season league winners (although slightly shakey/flakey) Canterbury Rams and the star stubbed but inconsistent Super City (Auckland) Rangers for the most even Final Four tournament I can remember. Semi Finals Friday night Canterbury Rams (1) v Super City Rangers (4) and the big one Wellington Saints (2) v Southland Sharks (3) - will the home crowd get the Sharks home, lets hope not!

No2: I lost a bet! Losing a bet didn't actually mean I had to visit Ivercargill ("sorry fella you've lost the bet and your punishment is to spend a weekend in Invercargill"-no, no it wasn't like that at all. Honestly!) but the stars all aligned nicely for me to deliver on the bet in person! By way of explanation I manage the Fairfax Wellington Community papers and we have have a great relationship with the Fairfax Invercargill (Southland Times) team. In a small way I've mentored their (now) Sales Manager Jody Thrupp for a while and we get on really well. We recently had a major national promotion run through Fairfax media (Market Share+) and our targets were similar. Simple challenge, first to target wins and loser has to send a gift basket to the winner. We lost - by 81 cents over $105,000 - gutting! The trip gives me the opportunity to catch up with Jody and the Invercargill team and present basket in person. Looking forward to it.

No3: Opportunity for Jeanette and I to take a few extra days and explore a region we've never been to. With nothing factual to base this opinion on, my totally uneducated view would be: Southland is at the bottom of the civilized world, the closest place in the country/world (OK slight exaggeration) to Antarctica - think cold! It's the middle of winter think VERY cold! On the positive side it is supposed to be a place of incredible natural beauty, the people are really friendly - and speak with a distinct southern accent - roll their rrr's. All in all there's and a slower more relaxed pace of life. Invercargill itself has a pretty average rep, but keen to see for myself, with my glass half full lens I'm sure it will be fine!


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