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From the Editor

Ben Hoyt
Unicycle against Eiffel Tower backdrop

It’s now been over five months since Franci and I moved from Masterton to Christchurch.

Christchurch certainly lives up to its reputation as New Zealand’s Garden City. 150 years ago, early European settlers bemoaned how drab the area was. Being people of action, they decided to do something about it. Around 1860, they set aside five hundred acres for a large central park and planted oak and chestnut trees around the perimeter. Hagley Park was born. And thanks to constant upkeep and improvement, we now have a stunning tree-filled area right next-door to the central business district.

Despite being only ten minutes’ walk from the Park, our move has certainly meant more city than garden. But we’ve brought it upon ourselves. There’s work, play, music, movies, books, friends, family, church – and of course, like hundreds of other city-dwellers, we said yes to it all.

Does it have to be this way? Is it simply the fact that there’s so much available, and it’s hard to say no? Or is there something else about the city that draws people into its busy pace? Why do so many urbanites secretly (or not so secretly) want to find a nice place in the country? Another interesting question: why is Paradise called the Garden of Eden, but Heaven is a city – the New Jerusalem?

Originally this issue’s theme was going to be “urban versus rural”, but we soon decided it shouldn’t really be a fight, and we hope the magazine begins to show why.

Once again, we welcome your feedback. We’d love to hear if reading the magazine pushes you over some brink and you decide to move into or away from the country. If you’d like to contribute or subscribe, visit our website or contact us.

So have a good urban-and-rural read. Happy 2007!

Issue #5 contributors

  • Jon Addison
  • Janette Bartlett
  • Phillip Capper
  • Ken Douglas
  • Lauretta Duinkerke
  • Deborah Evans
  • Liana Havelaar
  • Bryan Hoyt
  • Bevan Hoyt
  • Lois Hoyt
  • Hughes Leglise-Bataille
  • Andrew Nugteren
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Hans Snoek
  • Tim Sterne
  • Aaron Stewart
  • R. S. Thomas
  • Beau Wade