Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Many moons ago, our then SI family, embarked on a three week safari through the NI, caravan in tow and a whole island to explore.

On the fourth day traveling up Hwy 3, saw a big sign pointing East from Stratford to Taumaranui where dear old Uncle Bob and Auntie Helen had lived, since for ever.
Bob was proprietor, editor, chief reporter, office manager, ceo and publisher of The Taumaranui Press.

The whole trip was a follow the mood adventure with the only target date, the NZ Pony Club Champs at Gisborne in week three.
 So on a spur of the moment decision, it was resolved to take that wide road, tarsealed with a white line, to Taumaranui, totally  unaware that the yellow line on the Shell road map indicated it was a state highway in name only.
The wide two lane, morphed into a single lane sealed, to shingle (metal on moving to Masterton some four years later) then one lane shingle complete with a grass strip in the center after Tahora around half way to Taumaranui.

Large rigs could be heard well off, so on hearing them coming a wider bit of road was selected and a pause to allow the rig to pass then moving on when relative silence returned.

Whangamomona was a welcome relief, the pub had beer, a gin and tonic for swmbo and sarsaparilla for the spawn, and people, not many admittedly.
On to visit Uncle Bob and Auntie Helen, and one of Bob's early questions related to our chosen route, on learning, through Wanga, much surprise, a long pause then an admission the last time he had been there was to cover a political meeting with PM  Bill Massey "over fifty years earlier".

If you are still reading this, it has been to set a stage for a Hatfield and McCoy drama  unfolding in a Court in Taranaki.
Mr and Mrs Lifestyler moved to the remote ( assuming things haven't changed a lot for the better in 40 years) Tahora, where Mrs L planned to open a "chrystal Shop".
Mr Farmer and the Lifestylers as neighbours, started out mates but as so often happens, a clash of culture began and degenerated to where it is now in court with any chance of justice being delivered  probably around the low zeroes.
It will come down to dress sense, personality, image, quality of brief, quality of evidence and possible bias from a judge who in all liklyhood will have absolutely no idea of how what he/she is hearing, actually stacks up to reality.

On the published evidence I have read, no one hurt so far, a bit of posturing, groping, shouting, swearing, verbal threats and abuse and alleged grubby miming following use of the descriptive, "wanker".

Random FAQs,
 Why would anyone move to a hamlet 75 miles from town for lifestyle?
 How many buyers will appear in a Crystal Shop (I am assuming they are wearable, not ingestable or  inhaleable), at Tahora?
 Has Tahora had a significant improvement in its fortunes since c 1975?
 Why didn't Plod and the Courts just tell them both to mature and perhaps one or both parties move on?
 Has a 'reality tv show' set something up here?
 Is Mr Farmer's main crop smokeable and is Mrs L's  stock a different crystal than that I am assuming?
 Is this worthy of wider notice?

It has been a while and things change but my memories of a very ordinary road, endless "Scenic Reserves" and although I am sorry to admit it, Tahora has been lost to the mists of time for me, but a shop???
 I just might have remembered that as we all remember Wanga as an oasis in a people desert.

Meanwhile something, possibly judicially important is waiting for this "biggest thing for Tahora in fifty years" to play out.
Something to add to the GDP of The Naki I guess.

1 comment:

Paranormal said...

You didn't mention the tunnels that appear to be hewn out of clay and propped up with timber from what you can only imagine as the late 1800's.

I was working weekends on our property in Taupo in 2006 (repairs after the roof blew off) and needed to make it to Wellington for Monday morning work. This was the time when the whole of New Zealand seemed to be covered in snow. One Sunday evening I made it to the start of the desert road too late, then found the National Park road was shut at Taumaranui, so down the forgotten Highway to Stratford in the dark and pouring rain. The road hasn't changed from your memory.