Being the northernmost of New Zealand’s 16 local government regions, we are the closest region to the equator so Northland offers its residents and visitors the warmest climate in the country. From anywhere in our beautiful region the coast is only a 40 minute drive and in some parts you can drive between the West and East coast in that time.
We really have the best of both worlds being in Whangarei where we are in a great position to be the centre of all the arts in the region and where we have the privilege of supporting the Creative Sector in the winterless North.
In April 2020, when the country was in lockdown, it was a time of much creativity and facebook sharing, and in particular I noted a joyful video from Taranaki called ‘Step Up Taranaki,’ which was a dance video to the music of the energetic Poi E, and used to showcase Taranaki to the world as a great place to live work and play! We needed that same creativity and positivity here!
Early 2020 was a tumultuous time for Northland. We had endured droughts and then flood and then of course Covid. At the time there was much uncertainty about the future. We were facing the unknown, and so I was inspired to write a song to offer hope and encouragement to Northlanders while also showcasing our resilience and local pride.
It seemed important to share a message of unity through the land. We had all heard the Prime Minister talk of us being “at War” against the virus, and so thoughts and feelings of a bygone era were filtering through my mind, as I sat down to write words of encouragement to share. Those words needed a tune, and thus was born ‘Beating Hearts Northland,’ using notes tinkered about on the piano, and then began the great collaboration. Because you never truly do anything just on your own!