Kaitaia - A bit like Hotel California

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Kaitaia - You can check out any time you like but ...
Kaitaia - You can check out any time you like but ...

Debby White loves Kaitaia. She once worked at the Waipapakauri Hotel, "one of the greatest pubs there".

And, she says, it's a bit like Hotel California: "U can check out anytime but u can never leave."

Debby was one of hundreds to respond to New Zealand Calling's shining of a spotlight on Kaitaia via Facebook last week, in the wake of some "negative press" of late.

"We have decided to try a spotlight on a New Zealand town and see what sort of reaction we get, and see if we get enough interest to do more in the future, and have decided to start at the top for our trial," NZ Calling said.

The response was extraordinary.

Jonathan Pirini: "Kaitaia is the sort of town where your electrician rings you up when he finds out from the plasterer that your wife is very sick to pass on his best wishes. It is the sort of place where you drop in for a cuppa and end up staying for dinner. Kaitaia is the sort of town where you can see all your friends from different parts of your life at the one supermarket, because there is only one ..."

"In Kaitaia, like Kiwis internationally, our young people punch well above their weight in terms of musical talent. A lifestyle second to none at a price that anyone can afford with people who care enough to help."

Mark Tan said he had travelled the world and visited every continent on the planet, and Kaitaia and its surrounds surpassed them all for one reason - heart.

"The people here are kind, caring, and have a superb sense of humour," he said.

"We look out for each other, care and go the extra mile, dropping off food when needed, dropping off a hug when needed, and having friends and family visit uninvited and it simply doesn't matter ... Deepest and richest history in the nation. More fish 'n chips for your money than should be allowed. Zero pollution. People who wave at you when you drive past ...

"PS: Typing this whilst sitting in my ute on 90 Mile Beach, surrounded by seagulls and the sound of crashing waves. Ahhhh ... "

Dion Masters was a kindred spirit: "Reading this at 8pm in the dark by the fire with the longline out on 90 Mile Beach. No place I'd rather be."

Di Rose: "Not forgetting the amazing things achieved by the children who were educated at Kaitaia College after attending small rural community-oriented schools, the kids who are pharmacists, actors, musicians, business owners, teachers, leaders of our current community. Let's not forget the ones who ... work hard for minimum wage and still retain their dignity."

Lucy Victory-Cooke: "I'm an import and (have) been in Kaitaia for just over three years now. There's nowhere else quite like it, it's a pretty special place. I'm proud to live here and work alongside some of the most brave and kind-hearted people I've ever met. I love Kaitaia!"

Peta Wilkinson: "Kaitaia has produced some amazing people both past, present, and will continue into the future. Leaders in areas of sports, science, business, medicine, music, art and everything in between. For that there is a lot of be proud of. And Kaitaia made that. And those people."

Richard Fox-Champkins: " ... I write this on the train into NY ... our family lived in Kaitaia for seven years, our middle daughter Christiana was born there, so we will always have a special connection ... Though we have lived in London and New York over the last 12 years we remember Kaitaia and Far North extremely fondly and don't rule out returning ... "

Fiona Kehely: "Shhh. We don't want everyone here! That's Kaitaia's point of difference, it's still too far from Auckland for mass migration. The most amazing area full of the most amazing people. Thank you Northland."

- Northland Age

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