Picnics a rare pleasure for mayor

20:23, Jan 03 2014
 New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd
NGAMOTU MAYOR: A family picnic of fish and chips at Ngamotu Beach is New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd’s favourite Taranaki holiday spot. Unfortunately, an insanely busy schedule makes it hard to squeeze in a visit.

The argument is ongoing and one he can never win.

"We often have big family debates," says New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd between appointments in his office.

"Because I'm a fish and chips man. But my wife, luckily, is the food police and says we have to have a picnic. And that means cold chicken, coleslaw, some buns. You make your own."

The location of the family picnics varies but it's usually either Ngamotu Beach or just down the road at Back Beach, Mr Judd's favourite spots.

"I love going down to Ngamotu Beach with the kids and watching the boats come and go. I sometimes go fishing there with my son, off the breakwater. It's great fun casting it out and reeling it in. We haven't caught anything yet but those are great memories," he says.

There are other memories. Sprinting down the sand dune at Back Beach and up the stairs to do it all again. These days once is enough and then it's time to watch the paragliders floating on the sea breezes that push up from the cliffs.


"Then we go for a swim. Though I haven't swum for the last couple of years. Basically, it's too cold as I get older. I just go in up to my knees these days."

For Christmas, Mr Judd and family travelled to Wellington, a central meeting point for his brothers and sisters. Then after that it was back home.

It's a much needed break. Mayor for just over two months, Mr Judd lately struggles to find time for picnics or even knee-deep swimming these days.

His official diary is so full time between appointments has been pushed out altogether. Just getting from one meeting to the next makes him late, no matter how early he starts.

Even at home on holiday he says there will be work that must be done.

"There is a list of jobs for me to do. A long list. The hedge has gone to seed since I started so I have to do something about that," he says.

"But that's good. It's a change and so relaxing too. We always try and do all the jobs in the morning. Then we have our fun in the afternoon."

Taranaki Daily News