Island Life by David Slack

A date with Rachel

If you haven't had a go yet at winning an iPod, you still have a shot. I've carefully considered the requests for more time, looked at the size of the database so far, and decided that keeping the contest open until the end of January would be a good idea.

To recap: you just have to click here, nominate a memorable moment from New Zealand's history, and you're in the draw. The full details are in the post immediately below this one.

The response has been excellent, thanks, but if it's going to grow into a groaning database, we'll need a lot more yet. I'd also like to maintain the momentum, so here's what I'm going to do to keep it interesting. Everyone's in the draw to win the iPod at the end of January, but you can also go on winning after that. From February on, until people get sick of it, or the judge decides it's all got to be too much of a hassle, there'll be a prize for the best contribution of the week.

In the meantime, let's have a look at some of the good ones so far.

Blair Mulholland has boldly, but nevertheless correctly, assumed that the judge is a good sort who harbours no ill feelings, and offers the breaking of enemy lines by New Zealand troops in Operation Supercharge at El Alamein.

Chris Hobbs nominates Hillary conquering Everest because

It's a first. It can't be topped. And he also fu*ked over the Brits to do it, which is definately worth brownie points in my book

Henry Hollis suggests the visit by Mary Leavitt in 1885

She was a delegate from the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the USA, to New Zealand influencing Kate Sheppard to became a founding member of the New Zealand Women's Christian Temperance Union. Ultimately this led to Women receiving the vote decades before the US or Britain.

Stephen Walker likes Split Enz' last gig in Auckland at the Logan Campbell Centre because it was the

End of an era, really. It was great, we got stoned. What more can I say?

Anton Allen nominates, perhaps with a slight absence of respect, Two students killed drunkenly riding down Baldwin St in a wheelie bin, and speaking of absence of respect, Richie Dyer thinks we should record the day Paul Holmes called Kofi Annan a "cheeky darkie."

Matt McPhail (no relation?) points out that on Thursday, July 07, 1977 the first episode of A Week of it was broadcast on South Pacific Television.

Peter Johnston and Mike Stead clearly expect the judge to suspend his prejudice and seething contempt for a swaggering monopoly and, well, fair enough too, by nominating, respectively:
Telecom launches its Internet service, Xtra and Telecom's Launch of Mobile Broadband

All good stuff, and just a hint of the rich variety to the contributions. Well-known or obscure, they're equally welcome, and I thank you for them all.

But there's one aspect of our history that hasn't yet been mentioned in the contributions, and I'd like to make an express invitation to a lonely soul who is a regular visitor to our pages.

Web statistics can tell you only so much, but here's what we know. Each day somewhere in New Zealand - Otago perhaps - someone fires up his PC and surfs over to Google.

Who knows what's been happening in his day. He - if indeed it is a he - may be looking for a little light relief after a hard day of work at, I don't know: his abalone farm perhaps? I can't tell you for certain. It's all surmise.

What I can tell you is that with hands perhaps a little trembling and palms perhaps a little sweaty he taps the same phrase each day into Google and waits for the answer. 250 times this month alone, he has selected one particular search result, and surfed on in to Public Address. 250 times he has probably been disappointed.

I don't think we really have what he's looking for. The words he enters again and again, and the words which sit perpetually near the top of our log of search terms for Public Address, alongside "Russell" and "Brown" and "Hard" and "News", are: "Rachel" and "Hunter".

How disappointing it must be to come up, if I might put it that way, empty handed.

Well, perhaps at last we can offer some return on the investment. What's a database of memorable New Zealand moments without mention of Glenfield's most celebrated citizen? Where were you when you first saw her in that Trumpet ad? Were you at Swenson's the day she scooped her first ice cream? What was the first time - and stand by for a blatant Google pitch here - a magazine was published offering pictures of a nude Rachel Hunter?

Well mystery surfer, welcome back, and yes, it's true, you could win an iPod. Just click here, fill out a memorable moment in New Zealand history - featuring, or not - as you prefer, Rachel Hunter, and stand by. We hate to see anyone leaving here unsatisfied. Let's hope we can share the love a little wider this Christmas.