Motueka looking sharp on TV

ALASTAIR PAULIN
Last updated 09:23 04/07/2013
Seven Sharp Motueka
ALASTAIR PAULIN/FAIRFAX NZ

SHARP BUT IN TUNE: Cameraman Dalwyn Reisima, left, and Seven Sharp reporter Jehan Casinader filming Aly Cook performing at the Motueka Quay for a segment promoting Motueka as NZ's sharpest town.

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Video: Motueka on Seven Sharp

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Motueka's national exposure as one of New Zealand's sharpest towns is a "gift from heaven" according to the woman who kickstarted the campaign.

It is one of five towns featured on Seven Sharp this week, with the winner of a public vote becoming the location for an episode of the TV One current affairs show.

Motueka was first off the blocks, with the segment filmed last Thursday being aired last Monday night.

The show had asked for nominations and Kaiteriteri woman Terri Everett responded. After her nomination gathered steam with Facebook "likes", Motueka became one of the five contenders.

The other nominees are Okaihau, Ohakune, Oamaru, and Te Anau.

Monday's three-minute segment included stunning aerial shots, the snow-capped Kahurangis, cafe and organic produce store TOAD Hall, fly fishing, and a man working on his laptop while sitting on the town's foreshore.

The scenes were part of a story highlighting that Motueka was a fertile area attracting people for the lifestyle and was less isolated thanks to the internet.

"People who live here make a conscious choice to live here. We're getting a whole heap of young people who work in IT and industries that need the internet to survive, so as we get faster broadband, which we are, then you get younger people coming in and bringing their businesses with them," said Tara Forde, filmed at the community gardens.

She highlighted the strong community spirit of the town, shown by the large number of volunteers.

"I want Motueka to be the volunteer capital of New Zealand."

Terri pointed out that a lot of people, like her and her husband who came on their honeymoon 20 years ago, visited as tourists first and then moved to Motueka.

She also addressed the town's reputation, saying it had been "renowned as a hippy town - but I think we've all grown up a bit".

Terri had worked with reporter Jehan Casinader to develop the segment's storyline of Motueka being "out on a limb but part of the world" thanks to the internet.

She had been amazed by the viral activity on Seven Sharp's Facebook page, with the Motueka segment liked by more than 1100 people at press time, far outstripping other items, and hundreds of people chiming in with their stories about loving Motueka.

"We have to be in the running to win because of the response on Facebook and that marries so nicely with what the story was about. It was a gift from heaven to be given this opportunity - that I happened to be sitting down eating my dinner and watching Seven Sharp," she said.

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- Nelson

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