We are from Invercargill. But before those who haven’t sampled the delights of the cultural centre of the South make derisory comments, let’s take a closer look at the place we call home.
Yes, we do have Tim Shadbolt as Mayor. He’s New Zealand’s longest serving Mayor, has a smile that radiates warmth and possibly smells a little of formaldehyde. That whiff of embalming fluid may or may not be behind the conspiracy theory (which we’ve just made up) that the local Council is actually controlled by a shadowy illuminati who simply rolls Shadbolt out at events in the style of ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’. True or not, he has been excellent for the region and we would fully support preserving him Damien Hirst style a la ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’. He could be put on display in the centre of the CBD and would quickly become a tourist attraction, making sure old Tim continues to garner attention for the region. You’re welcome for the idea Great South.
Speaking of the CBD...it’s embarking on a $240 million rejuvenation project. Over the next few years, the CBD will go through an amazing rebirth. A new retail centre, dining options and an eclectic mix of big name brand stores and boutique wonders will be there to be explored. By 2022, we’ll see our small slice of paradise boast big options for entertainment and fun. And here’s the thing - Invercargill is a good place to eat, shop and socialise now...and it’s only going to get better. You already have award winning cafes and some wonderful independent shops that provide an unusual and welcome non-corporate backbone to the place.
You’ll Want To Spend A Penny
This is because Invercargill has a character that is its own and unique. This is no paint-by-numbers, generic, could be any-big-city-in-the-world type of place. Things are a little different down here and that different is good. And one place that is very unique and different is Bill Richardson Transport World. The largest private collection in the world, over 15,000sqm is needed to house and display the hundreds of vehicles you get to explore. We should mention the toilets too. No, this is not a joke. That place has the best toilets. It honestly does, we’re not taking the p@^#. That’s their job.
In Decent Company
When it comes to industry, Southland fares pretty well too. This is home to a number of cool companies making some cool stuff. Take a look at Stabicraft, who design and manufacture aluminium boats for sports, fishing and fun. Some of Southlands finest companies are pretty successful too. HWR is the largest privately owned NZ transport company yet you’d never know it. They are approachable, nice and treat people very well. Call that Southern Values if you will. We’ll circle back to these values shortly. E Hayes & Sons is arguably the coolest DIY Store in New Zealand. Why? Well, not only can you still buy individual screws like was possible back in the day...but the shop also doubles as a museum. Inside you’ll find Burt Munro’s original World's Fastest Indian motorcycle. Which you can view...for free. There’s a whole heap of other bikes in there too. Finally, Invercagill is also home to the strange sounding Atticus Road, a business and marketing consultancy. They do some good stuff and have been known to write...erm...blogs.
The Southern Way
Back to those Southern Values. You’ll not be able to get a definitive list from Google but they exist (that’s right young Jedi's...some things can exist without being on page 1 of Google). So what are they? It’s when people are friendly, honest and will do a deal on a handshake. This is the kind of place where you get some work done on your house and a handwritten invoice is posted to you a month later. It’s a place where trust is a currency and strangers nod to each other in the street.
Invercargill. It’s a friendly place. It’s an easy going place. It’s our home.