I’m in Blenheim, having a toilet and internet stop (not simultaneously). It’s the last major town before Picton, and in a couple of hours I will sail from there back to Wellington. Tomorrow will be my last full day in New Zealand, and I fly back on Friday.
I’ve had a great (though very whistle-stop) tour of the South Island, and I will no doubt rave about how fantastic this country is when I get home, catch up with myself, and upload some photos.
However in the meantime, I think I need to get a rant off my chest – New Zealand needs to rename a whole heap of stuff.
Take the most northerly and southerly provinces: they’re called, wait for it, Northland and Southland. There’s even an area in Southland referred to as Northern Southland. I mean come on, surely New Zealanders can be more imaginative than this. How about calling them the Pointy Bit and the Flat Bit, respectively?
And then there’s the two main components of New Zealand – the blandly-named North Island and South Island. A poor show from the early settlers, and their descendents should have a go at thinking up better names. There are, for example, several Kiwi double-acts that you could rename the islands after – Lemon and Paeroa; League and Union; or Fush and Chups.
Or perhaps even Edmund and Hilary, to commemorate the recent death of apparently the most famous New Zealander.
Not that I knew “Sir Ed” was a New Zealander until I got here and found his mug on the five dollar notes (something else that needs a new name – how about calling the currency the Kiwi?).
To be honest, the only famous New Zealanders I could have named before coming here are Helen Clark, the Prime Minister, and the Celtic player Chris Killen (who even then wouldn’t be all that well known over here I guess).
In fact, I reckon I could name more famous Belgians than famous New Zealanders.
Anyway. Best hit the road again. One last stretch of driving to go…