Tag Archives: Vin Donnelly

Living In A Westport Down Under

The “06880” tagline is “Where Westport Meets the World.”

You can’t get much further from Westport in this world than New Zealand.

But wait! What about Westport, New Zealand?

Vin Donnelly

Vin Donnelly counts as a very alert “06880” reader. The other day he was in China — also very far from Westport.

He was on business, missing his Westport greatly. Searching online for something hometown-related, he stumbled on our hometown.

Hey, any port in a storm.

Vin’s Westport is also on the coast, on South Island.

And a river runs through it.

But that’s not where the similarities end. For a while, Vin said, he thought “06880” was a blog about his Westport.

For example, the local paper is called…the Westport News

Recent headlines include:

  • “Fitness centre tops 400 members”
  • “Bakers battle for perfect pie”
  • “10 drink drivers in court” (They ranged in age from 20 to 75. One was “almost three times the legal limit.” Click here for details.)

Downtown Westport. The tall building on the left is the Municipal Chambers. I could not tell whether the stores on the right are chains, or mums-and-pops.

Westport is also — according to a New Zealand website — “home to world-class painters, sculptors, potters, wood carvers and other artists.”

Galleries, studios, workshops and craft co-operatives dot the area. Artists use high-quality, locally sourced tree burls for wood turning.

For all I know, there was even a Fine Arts Festival in the other Westport last weekend. On second thought, I doubt it. It’s mid-winter.

Vin asked me about life in our Westport. He’s never been to the US. The only Americans he knows are those he picks up as they hitchhike around New Zealand.

Another connection! I pick up hitchhikers too. Although the last one was back in the Carter administration.

So, for all those wanting to see more of Westport, New Zealand — whether here in “06880” or, like Vin himself, stuck in China — here are a few more photos.

Westport’s beach. This was taken early in the day, before the New Yorkers arrived.

We have hills. They have cliffs.

Westport, New Zealand has a bit more open space than Westport, Connecticut.