Loves a new perspective
Brent Strathdee-Pehi, 41, teacher and musician, lives in Kaikohe.
What do you like best about the Far North?
The access to great beaches, the laid-back lifestyle, hot summer and space. The Far North is pretty sparsely populated so going somewhere remote and peaceful is super easy.
How long have you lived here and where are you originally from?
I’ve lived here for five years, I’m originally from both
Auckland and the South Island but have lived all over Aotearoa.
I grew up moving a lot and have lived in as wide a variety of setting as you’re likely to find in NZ, including a tent.
What do you like least and how can we fix it?
The socio-economic struggles that create perceived differences between communities.
Yes there are have’s and havenots, but our similarities far outweigh our differences no matter who we are or where we’re from.
I think we could acknowledge and celebrate these things more.
What’s your favourite eatery?
‘‘I'm constantly reminded of how beautiful the region is, even areas we may not typically think of as attractive can surprise you when seen from the air.’’
My wife Sarah’s Asian cooking is really good so I’ll roll with that option any day. I travel regularly in South-East Asia for both leisure and visiting (my Dad lives in Thailand much of each year) and have definitely developed tastebuds for their kai.
Your highlight of the week? Jamming and singing with my students at school. Music has been a major thing most of my life and I’m still often in wonderment that I get to do it as a job.
Who is the Kiwi you most admire?
I admire many people for many reasons at different times, but right now I have great admiration for Northlander Will Flavell - a young multilingual (English, Maori, Japanese, Samoan) teacher, academic and Auckland councillor who works hard for the betterment of his West Auckland community.
I’m working on being multilingual myself and he is a great example of that . He’s a positive role model for young Ma¯ ori and people in general. Did I mention he’s a Northlander?
The spot in Northland I’d recommend is?
Kai Iwi Lakes - it’s an awesome summer spot, a unique place that is off the beaten track yet still accessible.
If I were Far North mayor I’d...
Put expertise and funding into developing better signage design, business areas and basic aesthetics for our small towns and country stops. We have such a beautiful natural region, yet so many towns, shops and stops look run down or ill suited to their natural environment.
I’m no graphic designer but do business and product advertising signs have to stick out like a sore thumb while bearing no qualities that suit the look of the place? I’m sure we can do better.
When I’ve got a few free hours, I like to...
Shoot and edit videos with my drone.
It’s great to see things from a different perspective and I’m constantly reminded of how beautiful the region is, even areas we may not typically think of as attractive can surprise you when seen from the air.