Stand up and be proud
OPINION: Bloggers and pundits take aim and ask, is Blenheim dying? Jokes about the big lights of Blenheim are abound. We’ve all heard them. If you listen to the naysayers, we’ve tried it all before, nothing works. So what, time to just throw in the towel?
I’m not sure what it even means to say Blenheim is dying? Marlborough’s near 50,000 heartbeats are working, growing, living, and playing in this place we call home. As long as they are, there is hope.
Marlborough is a globally recognised brand. Menus across the world boast our region’s wine. Our seafood is second to none and were pretty much the definition of a picturesque landscape. Just ask Sir Peter Jackson. Plus all the sunshine.
Heard of Sir Earnest Rutherford and William Pickering? Just two of the long list of amazing Marlburians. We have businesses, markets, festivals, world class facilities like the ASB Theatre. Our restaurants receive national acclaim as they keep our arts, food, and culture the envy of much of the country.
Sounds quite lively for a dying town. Despite these, and many other accomplishments, we continue to entertain that Blenheim, and Marlborough as a whole, is nothing that special, and never will be.
‘‘Despite being vibrant and explorative people, we downplay ourselves as insignificant and backward.’’
What if the missing ingredient is pride and belief in ourselves? What if it feels like we always fail because we ignore all the times we succeed?
A positive mental attitude is key to success, ask any athlete. So why the cloud of negativity?
Is this a dreary self-fulfilling prophecy? Who wants to achieve when nobody will acknowledge our achievements?
Despite our successes of our region, we treat them as second-class. Despite the cutting-edge accomplishments of our businesses, we joke we’re stuck in the dark ages. Despite being vibrant and explorative people, we downplay ourselves as insignificant and backward.
We’re willing to try almost anything. Why won’t we try recognising our strengths and accomplishments? What if everyone became a hype-person for Marlborough?
We must stop telling our students that their hometown is a hindrance to their futures. We must stop telling our people that Marlborough is dead.
This isn’t to say that we don’t have our share of problems. But we also have our share of solutions and leaders ready to roll up the sleeves and invest the time to make them work. If we start to celebrate our people’s achievements and contributions, more will be willing to step up.
So I challenge my fellow Marlburians. Let’s put a lid on the pessimism. Don’t open your mouth with a problem unless your ready to seek solutions. Choose not to finger point, but instead look for hope.
Find a way to be an ambassador, and get on board with the good, exciting things our region is doing. Even if you’re chatting to someone at the gas station, that’s your moment. Do your bit to make Marlborough better for the next generation.
The future of Marlborough is still an open book. Choose optimism, what do we have to lose after all?
Marlborough Chamber of Commerce general manager Hans Neilson.