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Another Gisborne Christmas fit for ?a Prime Minister

Opinion Piece

Rain may have brought to an end a Gisborne Christmas fit for a ?Prime Minister but there is plenty to look forward to as the district moves towards New Year’s Eve and beyond.

Jacinda Ardern chose the right spot for the first Christmas in her new role, and took the opportunity to show her considerable people skills by giving Santa a hand in Treble Court.

She was just one of thousands enjoying the break here in weather that was classic Christmas — warm and slightly overcast.

The weather has taken a turn for the worse (or best, if you are a gardener or farmer) in the lead-up to New Year, with the first cruise ship of the season, the Golden Princess, forced to divert while those attending the annual rodeo today faced a wet ride.

Christmas marks the family stage of the great New Zealand holiday break, with the focus now moving towards entertainment as Rhythm and Vines starts on Friday to be followed in the new year by East Coast Vibes and many other events.

Mercifully the district has so far been spared any serious vehicle accidents as New Zealand’s alarming holiday road toll continued to mount, starting the day at seven.

There was little Christmas spirit for New Zealand singer Lorde who decided to cancel a planned show in Israel. It drew a barb from Emmy-winning actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who called her a bigot, while social media ran hot with support and condemnation in what appeared to be fairly equal measure.

In reality Lorde is only 21 and her management should have foreseen that these decisions were going to create a furore. They could have saved embarrassment by dropping Russia from the itinerary as well, although where would you stop?

The Holy Land was also on the mind of Pope Francis, who called for a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while in her 60th televised Christmas message Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to the victims of terror attacks in Manchester and London. Despite everything, the real message of Christmas goes on.