2AWA: Wellingtonian of the year?
What do you love the most about our city, and who has helped create that? Is it the hospitality scene? Sports? Music and comedy? The Silicon Welly scene? These people all have been instrumental in making our city as fun as it is. Now give them some love in return!
Damn I’m proud you’re from Wellington:
Superheroes after the jump…
A. Remiro Bresolin
Remiro is no longer with us, and Il Casino has been closed down, but the legacy of the restaurant pioneer lives on in Boulot, and Scopa, and his fantastic sons who continue to deliver hospitality of the very highest standard. Without Remiro, dining out in Wellington would be a very different thing indeed.
B. Jerry Collins and Tana Umaga
While this was a big and disappointing year for the All Blacks two of Wellington’s best shone like large muscular diamonds. Jerry Collins is a perpetual motion machine. He needs rugby like a junkie needs their fix. He recently played for an English amateur club team while he was on holiday (and he was only asked to come and watch). By the way, that means he took his boots on holiday with him. But just to go that extra mile Jerry stuck around and coached the under-14 team!
Then there’s Tana Umaga. The Mother Theresa of rugby players. For all the talk of him being a spear-tackling dirty player no one can say anything bad about him off the field. It started a few years ago with a cameo in a fire safety ad and now he’s the face of the Ministry of Education’s drive to involve parents in their children’s education. Tana even used the speech he gave to the crowd after his 100th and final game for Wellington to highlight New Zealand’s problem with child abuse. Frickin’ Legend!
C. Terry Serepisos for the Phoenix
Despite his awful building ideas Mr Serepisos saw an opening. The Auckland-based Knights (formerly the Kingz) were losing their franchise but New Zealand was still a good enough market for the Australian League (and they needed us to fulfill their FIFA obligations). Up stepped Terry and a bag with a big dollar sign on it and we got…the Phoenix!
Not the best name, or logo but I bet you were surprised to find out how many soccer football fans there were in Wellington. They are the ones you’ll see around wearing the Phoenix merchandise. AND Terry is bringing hype-machine David Beckham and the LA Galaxy (sounds like a band) to Wellington for an exhibition match. Talk about good advertising for the city. Well done Mr Serepisos! Now about those buildings…
D. Jemaine and Bret aka. Flight of the Conchords
They’re drily funny, and kind of anti-cool, in a way only we Kiwis thought we could understand. But no: now the whole western hemisphere is raving about them. Who knew Americans would get jokes about how Australians are different to New Zealanders? And you know that FoTC are big when you spot their quotes and catchphrases appearing randomly around the interweb, even on ESPN! We can haz Jemaine and Bret over grammatically tortured felines any day.
Why, it’s just a matter of time before someone writes some FoTC Bret and Jemaine “slash” fan fiction – no wait, that’s already happened! So we love them (but maybe not that way), not least because even though they’re big in Texas, they still come home.
E. Mike Brown
There’s one place in New Zealand where you can find the creme de la creme of the internet world, and every person working in ICT wants to be there – Webstock. We didn’t have it this year, but February 11 is already circled in red (metaphorically of course, we’re all using Google Calendars) on everyone’s diary. Mike and the team at Webstock have their fingers in many pies, from FullCodePress (build a website in 24 hours for charity) to big-upping BarCampWellington, and we salute them for contributing so much to the NZ internet world – all from little old Wellington.