Friday, December 23, 2011

Capital Cool

The last week, I've been in Wellington seeing family and ACT colleagues in the Capital of Cool. While Wellington seems to be populated with urban lefty hipster types studying a BA at Vitcotria University to most people in Auckland; I have personally lived there for 7 years and visit the city frequently with most of my family still based there, and I know it is an awesome city, just awesome in a different way to Auckland. That aside, Wellington is our political seat, and I have spotted several politicians out and about town, including Metiria Turei (Green 1), Phil Twyford (Labour 33, Te Atatū), David Parker (Labour, 4), Denise Roche (Green 11) , and Andrew Williams (NZF 3). Yes Andrew Williams, the Clown of Campbells Bay. He was spotted outside Tap Haus on Dixon Street. We were tempted to wind him up.

Along with seeing politicians, I saw the Occupy Wellington protest still existing up by the Michael Fowler Center, where the same man who pulled his pants down in an Epsom electorate debate was wading in a fountain near the protest camp. We were impressed to see he had traveled such a distance to cause political nonsense. While the opposite of nonsense, was the opening of parliament by the Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, with a military welcome, with a colleague from Palmerston North staying in Trentham being involved. 

The weather at first was crap, even for Wellington, but got better over the days. Gave plenty of opportunity to check out neat food and coffee places in the city though, with my recommendations being;
  • Memphis Belle - Awesome little café on Te Aro Park where the baristas are experts, best coffee in the city by far.
  • Great India - The best thing about this is their $12 lunches, with exquisite curries and a great restaurant atmosphere, not to mention outstanding service.
  • Tap Haus - It's on Dixon Street, and it's got a huge variety of imported and craft beers for the connoisseur, as expensive as it is!
  • Karaka Café - In the new building near the boat club, it's Māori themed, serving hāngi alongside beers and coffees, but the views of the city are great and good location across the road from the library.

Wellington's railway system has always been far superior to Auckland's, though much more expensive to ride, and I did get the opportunity to use the new trains that have been installed, which were immaculately clean and quiet, and the safety messages over the intercom almost trick you into thinking you're on an airplane.

But it wasn't all play and no work, my time in Wellington was well spent catching up with Wellington colleagues post-election, discussing plans and ideas of where to move forward for the 2014 election and beyond. Big thanks to everyone that was involved, including ACT on Campus Wellington president Sam Bonner, and a happy birthday to Amanda Richardson!!

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