Apologies for the light blogging over the last few days, I've been on the road with 2 funerals and an Economic Development roadtrip to Palmerston North.
Its made me reflect on the value of the roadtrip, far from being a burden I think they are really valuable opportunities to get re-grounded in whats really going on around the place.
My first observation is that the lower North Island regional economy is looking pretty good, the farms are green and lush and the towns are all busy. You can see UFB activity going on all over the place and state highway cellular coverage is now pretty reliable.
Its also important to see the real productive NZ economy in action, the Fonterra trucks driving in convoy, the roading developments and the generally good state of the vehicle fleet.
You can now get good coffee pretty much everywhere and there's less of the feeling of small town despair that you got a decade or so ago.
I'm constantly amazed at the booming 'cone fairy' industry where you see 3 or 4 trucks and their crews diligently protecting one council working in his ute picking up rubbish or overseeing one roadside mower.
I saw the spirit of kiwi innovation at Primowireless in Inglewood, and yesterday I sat in on an inspiring discussion at what will hopefully be the genesis of a 'western seaboard' economic development agenda stretching from Whanganui to Porirua.
I've heard from several sourcesabout the Keynesian economic benefit of starting the Kapiti Expressway and seen the plans that 'Kapiti Landing' have to take advantage of that as well as our long awaited and much needed Transmission Gully motorway.
We want to make sure that all these things are 'digital by default' and that we really are setting up NZ's brighter future.
I think I'm going to try and get out more often, you should try it sometime.