I love the small world friendliness of New Zealand, where the population is small enough that wherever you go you are likely to run into someone you know!
I was down in Dunedin, 760kms south of here, earlier this week at the Queen and Adam Lambert concert (which was fantastic!). While waiting for the family to join me outside an old friend pushed his way through the crowd to me to say hello, neither of us realised the other was in the region!
Then, I had to go over to Wellington for a few hours on Wednesday, the only practical way to get there is to fly – it might only take 25 minutes but there is a stormy Cook Strait lies between the two islands. I flew over in the morning with Air New Zealand, went in to Wellington for free using my Gold Super card on the bus, did my business and headed back to the airport, only to find there had been a booking mix up (my fault!) and my return to Nelson was for the following day and there were no available seats on any remaining flights that day.
I wandered over to another carrier to see if they had any availability that would get me home for tea, when I spotted someone I met at a tourism promotion a week earlier walking past. We stopped to say ‘Hello’ and it turned out she was there with a team to set up the soon to start Originair service between Wellington and Nelson. As soon as she heard my story she checked with her team and offered me a seat on their unscheduled return flight later that afternoon, for free.
OriginAir are a Nelson based start-up airline that has been operating a Nelson to Palmerston North route for about a year, and are now starting a Nelson Wellington operation, which will be warmly welcomed. Small, friendly and keen to offer a better quality service for less, I can thoroughly recommend this airline to anyone wanting to travel between Nelson, Palmerston North or Wellington. I am going to watch their growth with interest and expect to see some useful routes being added in the months to come.
As you can see, this small world effect extends to businesses too, which is one reason why this small country way down near Antarctica is such a great place to live and work.