Look who's got influence

Last updated 08:22 12/11/2012

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Fisheries company boss Peter Talley is the most influential person in the top of the south.

Apparently he doesn't say much, but people shut up and listen carefully when he does.

Nelson MP Nick Smith is the second most influential person, followed by Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio and Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.

Peter Yealands is the first Marlborough name on the list, at No 5, followed by the Marris family at No 7 and mayor Alistair Sowman at No 10. Running on down the list are Rangitane manager Richard Bradley at No 15, followed by winery owners Jane Hunter (19), Ivan Sutherland (23) and Allan Scott (24), then me at No 40 and Greens MP Steffan Browning at No 45.

Yes, me at 40 on the list of 50. Apparently the smaller a community, the more influential the local paper is in creating debate and leading opinion.

Read it and believe it.

All right, so you want to know what great seat of research has put out this list of learned, successful and significant personages so you can judge how seriously to take these rankings. It's none other than Nelson-based magazine Wild Tomato, in its November issue.

It's a bit of a hoot really.

Most of the people on the list are significant, rich and influential. Trade Me founder Sam Morgan's in there and people such as Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer and Goodman family patriarch Sir Patrick Goodman.

But there are names missing I thought would be on a list like this, such as Andrew Besley, the power behind the throne at the Marlborough District Council, APL Property owner Luke van Velthoven and Port Marlborough chief executive Ian McNabb - men who seem to have a tonne of influence over things happening.

These lists are not new, and are more a talking point than a piece of worthy journalism, although the Wild Tomato people declare it is going to be an annual thing.

They admit the list, and the rankings, are subjective and they loosely set out the criteria as someone having local, national or international influence, and personal qualities of influence - that is, movers and shakers.

Which begs the question why I would be in there. I have so much sway that my repeated call to turn Market St into a car-free zone is repeatedly ignored and my short-lived campaign for a new bridge over the Opawa River in Grove Rd was never taken seriously.

So if anyone thinks they should be on the list for 2013, I'm sure there will be a spot going at No 40.

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- The Marlborough Express

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