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Wa i n u i • M a k o r o r i • T a t a p o u r i • S p o n g e B a y


ISSUE 2/SUMMER/2008-2009

| norfolk pines to stay | the bob rasby story | boardroom summer slam | our people, our beach

A surfing way of life

| the season of the orca

SUMMER Issue: 52 pages of news, views and infor mation BeachLife | 1

GET READY GET THRU Wainui & Makorori Beach Tsunami Plans DISTANT TSUNAMIS

LOCAL TSUNAMI (The Worst Case) A local tsunami may be caused by a major earthquake (similar to December 2008) or one that goes on for longer than a minute. Local tsunami are generated very close to New Zealand. This type of tsunami is very dangerous because we may only have a few minutes warning and damage could be quite significant in specific areas. A landslide in the Hikurangi Trench or a large earthquake from an offshore fault could cause a local tsunami THERE WILL BE NO TIME FOR AN OFFICIAL WARNING! If a Tsunami is generated it will probably arrive 20-30 minutes after the earthquake. If you observe the sea recede suddenly you have about 3-5 minutes to get to higher ground. EVERY HOUSEHOLD SHOULD HAVE IT’S OWN EVACUATION PLAN AND PRE-PLANNED ROUTE TO HIGHER GROUND You need a pre-planned escape route. Preferably one that does not require a vehicle. Include elderly neighbours in your plan. You need to know exactly how to walk quickly from your house to the nearest hill you can easily climb. Once you are high enough to view the ocean and the incoming wave you are probably safe and will have time to climb higher as necessary. At night you will hear the wave. If you live longer that 3 minutes walk away from the nearest hill, if you have young children or you are elderly you may need to plan to take your car to where you can easily climb a hill. When the first wave comes ashore it will have slowed to walking speed on steep slopes. A second wave may move faster and potentially go further inland on top of the first. Prepare an emergency “getaway kit” with things you need if you have to leave the house in a hurry. Have a torch and a battery radio. Before returning you should wait for an official all clear, but generally one hour after the earthquake is considered “all clear”. Wainui School has it’s own evacuation plan during school hours Keep listening to the radio for updates (Classic Hits 90.9 or More FM 98.9).

Distant tsunami are generated from a long way away, such as from across the Pacific in Chile. In this case, we will have more than three hours warning time (in most cases up to 11 hours) for New Zealand. THERE WILL BE WARNINGS FOR THESE EVENTS! If a Tsunami is generated from a distant Pacific location there is usually many hours (about 11 hours in most cases) to prepare for the event. There will be a declared Civil Defence Emergency if evacuations are necessary. Only the most low lying areas of Wainui will need to be evacuated. You can check where these areas are on the GDC website Civil Defence pages at ( If unsure you can ring the District Council. Makorori Beach will be totally evacuated – so there is no map. POLICE, FIRE AND CIVIL DEFENCE PERSONAL WILL INITIATE THE EVACUATION BY DOOR KNOCKING. THERE WILL BE NO NEED TO PANIC. You should plan to go to stay with friends or family outside of the evacuation areas. There will be an official evacuation HQ at Te Poho O Rawiri marae. You may have to stay away from your home for up to 24 hours. Listen to the local radio stations (Classic Hits 90.9 or More FM 98.9) for information. If information on the radio conflicts with that given directly to you by Police or Civil Defence, obey the latter. Make a plan with your family, and include elderly neighbours, before such an emergency. Make sure that everyone knows where they go if the call comes to evacuate. NOTE: In the event of a local tsunami event Wainui and Makorori residents should avoid driving if at all possible. With only 20-30 minutes to get to high ground the highway will become jammed if all households try to drive to Makorori Hill or Winifred Street. Take pets if possible but don’t waste time trying to gather precious items. Saving lives is the priority! • The 1947 local tsunami event was caused by an earthquake that went on for over a minute but the shaking was hardly noticed at the beach. Prolonged shaking earthquakes are potentially the most dangerous for generating big waves.

There will be no official warnings given for a localised tsunami. It is your responsibility to get yourself and family to safety.

CIVIL DEFENCE COMMUNITY EMERGENCY MANAGERS: Ray Veal — 54 Moana Road — 867 6017 Michael Willock — 18a Sirrah Street — 868 1083 Paul Ericson — 14 Moana Road — 867 9141 Richard Busby — Makorori Station — 868 9027

2 | BeachLife



Delivered free to every home from Sponge Bay to Makorori. Published four times a year. .................................. Published and printed by Gray Clapham Design Arts .................................. EDITORIAL MANAGER Gray Clapham 90 Moana Road Wainui Beach Gisborne Phone 868 0240 Fax 867 7010 ALL LETTERS, ARTICLES & CORRESPONDENCE TO .................................. ADVERTISING Gray Clapham Phone 868 0240 Fax 867 7010 .................................. Extra copies available at $5.00 All issues will be archived after publication on the website Cover: Surfing photo by the editor, orca photo by Tom Grimson, old surfies from John Logan’s collection.

contents views and opinions

4 Intro: Editor’s comments and a preview of the issue. what’s up

5 Council rejects idea of a community representative group and calls seperate area meetings. Wainui dad imports excellent sunscreen. B&B gets star rating. Protest stops removal of the Norfolks. Sponge Bay Estate site work completed. Election results show Wainui’s “green” leanings. Sharron Stevenson promotes septic tank-friendly cleaning products. Isabella Vita’s vision for the future wins art competition.

beach party

12 Look out, the paparazzi are about. BeachLife brings you shocking and scandalous photos from the local party scene. Yeah right.

our ocean

14 The Season of the Orca: Amazing photographs by Tom Grimson and a look back at the visits from the orca pods.

beach life

16 Summer concerts in Jack Richard’s garden. Rogan Houghton’s love for surf photography. Local lads record pop music CD. All about the Okitu Store. Soccer successes. Skateboard kids. Three generations at local school. Saren’s wedding.

beach babes

22 They just keep on coming! Introducing nine new residents with more on the horizon. beach focus

24 The Surfing Way of Life: An exploration of the surf culture and the history that defines life at our beaches. Plus lots of old photos.

34 The Bob Rasby Story: Once at the forefront of the world’s surfboard industry our Bob has been knocked down, but he’s not out.

our kids

36 Luke Morrell is the art director for leading world surf and skate label. Tommy Dalton is taking his surfboard shaping skills to a global level. Amanda Foubister is Miss Fitness Australasia.

our people

39 The Ballad of Frankie and Laurie: Two nice Americans who love the Wainui way of life.

our surf Historical photographs and assistance courtesy Tairāwhiti Museum

40 Wave Rave with Kelly Ryan: Surf stories, results and what the groms are up to. All BeachLife pages can be viewed online at BeachLife | 3

intro Well, here we are, the second issue of BeachLife, the big summer issue. So far I have had nothing but congratulations and support for the concept of this community publication which premiered three months ago. It’s a great deal of fun to produce and provides heaps of satisfaction. And thanks to all our voluntary subscribers! I do know who you are. Appreciated. This magazine is “hand-made” in my basement garage on a very good, but second hand Fuji Xerox digital printer. First I print all the colour pages (11.5 hours), then the black and white sections (17.5 hours). And that’s not counting the printer malfunctions, ink replacements and visits from the Fuji Xerox technician. I then gather the pages together and fold them into booklets, one at a time (6 hours). I take them all in to Printing House and they staple and guillotine-trim them off for me (thanks Grant!). It takes them a full day just to do that bit. So after all that printing, folding and stapling – not to mention the weeks of interviewing, photographing and hours of writing – this is the second issue of our community lifestyle magazine. I’ve decided to make “surf” the theme of the issue. Because surf is vital to so many people here at the beach and has a large influence on everything we do. The twin beaches of Wainui and Makorori are wave making machines. They are world famous. There is nearly always a swell breaking of some kind along our sandy shores and it is consistently better than average, often superb. We do in fact live in a surfer’s mecca. So this issue explores that premise along with the social and historical implications surfing has on our local culture and lifestyle. The state of surfing nostalgia in which this issue may languish is being reflected in a Gisborne surfers’ reunion being organised over Easter weekend of 2009. There is talk of up to 300 old surfies congregating in Gisborne for a weekend of reminiscing, partying and hopefully some surfing. The organisers are Victor Jacobs (868 9987) and Gail Patty (868 6680) who are focusing the reunion around 50 years of surfing in Gisborne. There should be more information publicised as things get rolling and a website is imminent. If you’re not connected to surfing and find this issue is a bit over the top in the surfing direction, don’t fear that we’ve turned BeachLife into a “surfing magazine”. Other areas of historical and social importance will get similar focus in future issues. The Gisborne District Council recently rejected a well thought out proposal to set up an election of a “community representative group” from nominated Wainui Beach residents who would liaise between the community and the council, mainly on the issue of the management of our septic tank systems. It was quite a slap in the face for the people who had been assisting council officers, at council request, to come up with a democratic way this communitycouncil collaboration concept could be achieved. The council is now embarking on a totally different concept by staging area-by-area, issue-by-issue meetings as a way of consulting with us. I guess if you want to keep up with what’s happening in the community as a whole, you will now have to attend all three area meetings. Will you need some sort of ID to prove you come from a defined area to be allowed to speak? The wisdom of the council’s decision to divide the community in this way will be evaluated in the goodness of time. So, for now, the Norfolk pines are to stay. Only prompt action by local residents, backed by the mayor and two councillors, halted contractors cutting down the three large pines over the Whales 4 | BeachLife

Publisher’s Comments | by Gray Clapham

Grave. This unusual protest by the council’s own representatives has led to a turnaround in the council’s own reserve management plan, saving these majestic trees from the chop. There are three schools of thought on the Norfolk pines. There are those that see them as “exotic pests” that have no place in a New Zealand coastal dune ecosystem; those that see them as iconic of Wainui Beach adding to the character of the foreshore; and those that just hate cutting down any kind of mature tree. Until the reserve plan is reviewed in perhaps 10 or 15 years time, the second and third schools are having it their way. The incident has set a precedent that shows that council policy that has been signed and sealed can still be overturned in the face of all the consultation, planning and voting. The real estate market is of great interest at the moment. Recently houses along Wairere Road and in Ocean Park have sold for prices ranging from the high $400s to mid $500s. These were houses you would have expected to have fetched prices in the high $600s or $700s not that many months ago. The downward adjustment of the real estate market is now a firm reality and we are already living in a new era of property valuation. We all have to wake up to the fact that the boom is over – we once were millionaires, but not any longer. What’s struck me as I have gone about meeting young families with new babies around the community is that they just about all own their own homes here, and so many of them are the children of Wainui parents. That’s so great. That’s what we were mostly worried about in the time of inflated property prices – and then the spectre of a huge rates increase to cover reticulation – that our kids could not afford to live here. So this new era of more realistic property price expectancies should be welcomed for that reason. In this issue we also look back on an amazing thing that happened here at the beaches in late winter and early spring. The visits by several groups or pods of orca. Many of us saw the pods go by, sometimes just metres off the beach. They swam right by, brushing the wetsuited legs of stunned surfers, surfing the inshore waves, dolphining along the coastline in large, determined groups. In my research I was shocked to learn these orca are a few of the total New Zealand population of about 200 individuals. We review some of the eye-witness accounts and do a bit of background research on the species. Not to mention Tom Grimson’s stunning photos! And – nine more babies! That’s on top of nine in the last issue and still more on the way for the next issue. (Oops, I just heard Tim and Phoebe Gander have had their baby as we print.) That’s 19 new children born at the beach in the last year, that we know of. I was not surprised to read somewhere that New Zealand is going through a mini-baby boom with the most babies born in a nine month period since 1962. I am becoming an expert at baby photography. Plus more stories about what “our kids” are up to. I love writing these stories. I apologise for calling you a “kid” if you are nearly 30 years old – it was the best catchline I could think of that sums up how proud we are of not only our own children, but also our neighbours’, who are out in the world making a solid go of it. Plus this issue looks at the lives of some of our “big kids” too. At first I worried if would I be able to find enough to write about to sustain a publication like this. I started the first issue with a long list of story ideas, and two issues later I have hardly made a dent in it as new ideas crop up. Don’t be shy to call with your ideas. Call too if you want a special occasion or party photo taken. GC

Puzzled by Council decision to reject community group I was a little puzzled after the council meeting that rejected the representative community group idea. It seemed to me that there was an almost wilful misinterpretation of the intent of the initiative. The locals who helped with the proposal were there because we had been asked and because we were willing to be involved. After the June decision not to go ahead with the reticulation proposal, Council wanted to engage in a ‘collaborative’ manner with the community to work out the issues of water quality monitoring and other generally sustainable methods of continuing with on site waste water management. Many councillors seemed to think that the election of five (or thereabouts) members of the Wainui community represented some threat to the established democratic process and that mainstream views could be hijacked by these people whoever they were. I don’t see how that holds water given the weight of community opinion that came out in the submission process. That is, people wanted to continue with on site disposal. The election of a smallish group was thought to be a more practical way of working and ‘consulting’ than the larger forums of public meetings. It was also seen as more efficient as staff would not be continually be in the role of educators in bringing people up to speed with complex issues as they arose. It seems to me that pressure had been applied to some councillors by some residents who are unhappy with the June decision. The suggestion that elected community representatives could somehow subvert the democratic process is rather ironic I think, given this apparent ‘rear guard’ action. ANDREW DONALDSON

Wayne’s Waste PHONE 867 3606 MOBILE 027 434 0924

views and opinions Send you views and opinions to

Councillor explains rejection of Wainui community group concept Opposition to the Council paper on the concept of an elected Wainui committee arose from a variety of perspectives. On enquiring of the chief executive if anyone from the pro-reticulation side of the debate had been part of his consultation group he advised, “No.” So there was concern that only one perspective had been considered. The draft terms of reference for the establishment suggested that five members could be elected via a process overseen by a JP. There are a raft of issues here. How would a voters roll be established? Would it be residents? If so, for how long? Ratepayers or both? Cost of establishing the roll, keeping it up to date and all that that entails. The council paper advised that in addition to staff assistance it was proposed that council provides ongoing ‘administrative resources.’ The very real cost to the ratepayer concerns us. Once one such committee is legitimised there would be no reason why other areas should not have the same. All this has to be paid for via rates. Rates are a growing burden and it is the responsible councillors who make an effort to keep some control on expenditure. Some councillors have considerable experience of communities having meetings and taking an interest in various matters affecting their community. Different issues interest various members of our communities and they are entitled to respond accordingly. There is absolutely nothing stopping any group of residents have a meeting with councillors and staff on any subject at any time. It does not need five elected people to enable it to happen When it was agreed not to proceed with reticulation, primarily based on the cost, there was a view that the Lloyd George Road-Murphy Road area, often referred to as ‘Old Wainui’, should have the opportunity to have discussions on reticulation as it affected them and potentially find a solution. The generally held view is that that sort of approach enables those directly affected to be involved directly with their issue, What happens in Old Wainui is less relevant to Moana Road for example – and the reverse. So we are not opposed to a “new era of consultation”, this was just not a well thought option in my view, and that of most of my council colleagues. Hence the 10-3 vote against the paper, not against consultation. Pat Seymour, Chair Policy and Environment Committee, GDC

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what’s up THE GISBORNE DISTRICT COUNCIL HAS knocked back the concept of an elected Wainui Beach Community Group – instead the council is now planning seperate area-byarea community meetings. In the wake of the overturning of the sewerage reticulation concept council officers had been asked to “prepare a proposal for how a collaborative approach could be given effect.” After the overwhelming number of againstsubmissions which sunk the reticulation proposal, it was believed the council’s standard consultation process had not worked in this instance. When the idea of a Wainui Beach representative group was first discussed, right from the outset everyone involved voiced concerns about “obtaining a mandate from the people.” In preparing the plan council officers proposed stringent terms of reference regarding representation. Nominees for representation could have come from any side of the reticulation debate and could have included Tangata Whenua, if nominated and then elected. Right up until the council meeting Wainui residents involved in advising on the plan felt really proud and positive of what they had achieved. It was with real shock that they listened to the majority of councillors reject the proposal presented. The Gisborne Herald reported it succinctly: “A bid to set up a mandated group of five to represent the Wainui, Okitu and Sponge Bay communities was tossed out by the District Council.” Only Craig Bauld, Brian Wilson and Alan

Council calls area meetings after rejection of community group idea Council officers presented a plan for the establishment of a “Wainui Beach Community Group” – comprising an elected group of community members and an appointed Councillor. The purpose of the group would have been to assist the Council to collaborate with the community to develop alternatives and identify solutions for management of wastewater and other environmental and planning issues. Councillors voted 10-3 to reject the mandating proposal. Instead the first round of area-by-area community consultation meetings have been set.

Hall voted in support of the recommendation. Councillor Gary Hope said that although the community had suggested this, he was worried that the most prominent people in the debate would dominate the issue and the views of small minorities might not be represented. Kathy Sheldrake said it would still be hard to ensure such a group was truly representative. She also had concerns over the administrative costs. Pat Seymour said Wainui was a big area with various pockets where there were specific issues. She did not believe five people could cover all these things, or (represent) non-residential ratepayers. She believed the council would be abdicating its own responsibility to consult with a wider group by setting up a small group. In a response to an approach for an explanation of her stance, Councillor Pat Seymour, told BeachLife her opposition arose from a variety of perspectives. Her primary concerns were that no person on the “pro-

reticulation” side of the debate had been consulted. She also felt an elected group was unnecessary as there was nothing to stop any group of residents having meetings with GDC officers and councillors. Her response is printed in full as a letter back on page 5. GDC chief executive Lindsay McKenzie says while the “particular proposal” was not supported by council, the Council did agree to meet with the community on an area-byarea basis and on an issue-by-issue basis. He says staff have met to see what needs to be done to implement the (latest) council decisions and have proposed a round of community meetings on December 10, 11 and 15 at various Wainui meeting locations. “We intend to use these meetings to get the collaboration underway with the community that was contemplated when the decision was taken not to reticulate.” A notice with agendas for the community meetings is advertised below.

Wastewater Management Community Meetings with GDC The community is invited to attend a meeting to discuss future planning and environmental directions with a focus on wastewater management. Council will be holding three area based meetings: 1. OKITU: Surf Club WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER 5.30pm – 7.00pm 2. WAINUI: Wainui School Hall THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER 7.00pm – 8.30pm 3. LLOYD GEORGE ROAD AREA: Wainui Tennis Club – Cleary Road MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 5.30pm – 7.00pm Agenda: • Debrief on recent reticulation and planning proposals and decisions (GDC presentation) • Where to from here for sustainable wastewater management (GDC presentation) • How can GDC and the community work together for sustainable wastewater management (group discussion) • Other Wainui environmental and planning issues (open forum) For further information contact Kim Smith. Phone 867 2049 Extn 8751 Email: If you cannot attend a meeting and would like a copy of the minutes contact the above.

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Wainui dad imports world’s best rated sunscreen As a Wainui father, Cliff Blumfield got sick of nagging his kids to remember to reapply their sunscreen. “Giving the kid’s a tube of sunscreen to take to school doesn’t necessarily mean they will remember to use it, “he says. “I had originally come across this really effective imported sunscreen which I got from Pro Dive in Auckland. It lived up to its promise of lasting for at least 8 hours and its claim of being the world’s number-one rated sunscreen. “My children used it and I now make sure my grandchildren use it,” says the owner of Wainui Dive and the Cylinder Testing Laboratory based in Carnarvon Street. About 12 months ago Cliff’s began importing the favoured SPF44 sunscreen direct from the USA-based manufacturers of the SolRx range. Running a retail dive and instruction business, it made sense that he stock the product. The strength of the SolRx sunscreen products lie in the company’s ongoing testing and publishing of its own results. Waterproof and sweatproof tests, using a panel of humans with various skin types, have been conducted periodically since 1991. SolRx’s SPF ratings are assigned based on results after 8 consecutive hours on the skin, 6 hours of which are in the water in twelve x 30 minute immersions. SolRx sunscreen has been proven to be still 97% -100% effective after this rigid 8 hour test scenario. The basic sunscreen comes in tubes of two sizes. The large 180ml tube is $34 and the smaller 60ml “Sports pack” is $14.

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what’s up?

Protest action stays execution of Norfolk pines It was only 11th hour protest action instigated by an observant resident that saved the three mature Norfolk pines at “Whales” from succumbing to the contractors chainsaws. No one was quick enough to stop two similar 40-foot pines being cut down in the Okitu Lagoon Reserve earlier. Gail Martin saw the contractors arrive at “Whales” from her kitchen window on Wednesday morning, October 22, and twigged that GDC reserve management plan policy to remove the “exotic trees” was about to be implemented. She and husband John were able to halt the felling while urgent calls were put out to councillors Pat Seymour, Andy Cranston and the mayor Meng Foon. Mrs Seymour was able to phone Council chief executive Lindsay McKenzie and appealed to him to call off the job. The group then assembled for a picture by the Gisborne Herald which was published under the headline: “Protest To Save Wainui Pines.” The protest action has led to a halt on any further moves to remove the Norfolks until such time as the WD Lysnar Reserve Management Plan can be reviewed. That is not expected to happen for at least 10 to 15 years. Wainui resident and councillor Andy Cranston says there are some straggly pines along the reserve which really don’t offer too much in the way of beauty but it is becoming accepted that the Norfolks should be seen in a different light. He says he was not aware through the consultation process of any strong formal objections or submissions specifically against the Norfolks’ removal: “I guess the optimistic or practical side of us all figured the discussion was largely about those trees which really should be removed as opposed to a burnt earth policy.” Pat Seymour, Chair GDC policy and environment committee, says: “At the time (of submissions) I was opposed to the removal of the pines – but that was a minority view – and the draft was adopted with the planned removal of the Norfolk Pines included. Subsequently there has been renewed interest in the protection of significant trees in this community. The loss of sea views is one of the major reasons sited by those keen to see removal.” BeachLife asked if this issue revealed a fault in the consultation and planning process. How was it that the mayor and two councillors joined 11th hour resident protest action to halt what was in fact the implementation of agreed Council policy that had evolved out of the usual consultation process? Andy Cranston says: “The fault in the consultation process is

8 | BeachLife

simply that those who the consultation goes against can have difficulties in accepting the decisions. It doesn’t matter whether we go 50:50, 60:40 or 70:30 – there are always going to be those who are unhappy with outcomes and pass this on as being “unconsulted”. “ If we have to get to 100 percent acceptance, then nothing would get done because we would be held up forever. Although I am personally against the trees’ removal, there are those for it, and the reserve management plan was largely accepted. Personally I was pleased that something could be done at the 11th hour and that part of the plan is being reassessed.” Does this mean that other recommendations in the WD Lysnar Reserve Management Plan could also be vetoed by protest action if they are not popular at the time of implementation? Andy Cranston: “There is that danger but it is a public right to protest and put their views. To get to a veto situation would require a very strong case and as it turned out the case for the saving of the Norfolks was deemed to have merit.” Pat Seymour: “ Possibly, with the wisdom of new information or changed circumstances, but it would not be a simple as a ‘not popular’ idea. Generally a ‘not popular’ idea should not get included in a management plan. You would be amazed how many people are telling us, councillors and staff, that they did not know of the management plan consultation.” There is recommendation in the Plan to fence off the reserve with bollard type fencing and defined car park entrances etc. This also appears to be not a popular idea? Andy Cranston: “I am aware of the unpopularity of the bollards and fencing in some quarters and am in two minds. Part of the case for the bollards is “hoon related” as the only way to stop them denigrating our beautiful reserve is to keep them off it. “But it does go further because even an element of legal use is damaging. You know yourself just how much of our beautiful reserve is driven over and parked on. This is now happening extensively right along the length of the reserve and I even do it myself – because I can. “The closer to the edge the better for viewing etc. This is simply not good conservation practice! It seems fair that we lessen the effects by restricting some of the current access ways. We need to ask: Do we need vehicle access through the entire reserve at 150 metre intervals so vehicles can drive all over the entire area and continue to have these negative environmental impacts?”

Housing development in final stages Site development at the Sponge Bay Estate housing subdivision is nearing completion with the installation of all services and the streets about to be sealed as we went to print. Project manager, Trevor Burrows, says all of the major construction is expected to be completed by Christmas and – depending on the issuing of the 224 certificate by GDC and the issuing of titles – section owners will be able to start building in March. Final landscaping and beautification will include fencing and planting along the Sponge Bay Road boundary. The one hectare reserve in the centre of the development is to be planted in clusters of native trees and park seating will be installed. A planted berm is to be created along the State Highway 35 boundary with space allowed for the future construction of a cycleway-walking path linking Gisborne and Wainui Beach by the district council. The development is 12 hectares and contains 95 building sites. The names of the streets have yet to be finalised. Asked about what sort of housing we can expect to see in Sponge Bay Estate, Trevor says the covenants are reasonably relaxed: “However there is a limitation on the use of brick (not to exceed 50%) and some other building materials. We expect to see the design of the houses to fit in with today’s modern lifestyles. There will definitely be no acceptance of removable dwellings.” Towards mid December there will be an enquiries office on site where further information will be freely available. Any sales enquiries or questions can be directed to Trevor Burrows, phone 021 736 919.

Thanks for the show of support Wainui Winter Olympic hopefuL Mike King wants to thanks those in the community who chipped in to help him with his training costs in North America via the BeachLife voluntary subscription idea. “Thanks to all the local residents who have paid a voluntary subscription to this great community magazine and supported my Olympic dream. Bobsleigh costs approximately $17,000 per year for every athlete so all the financial support I can get helps, “he says. “As you read this I will be in North America taking part in six events throughout October through to the end of December. It’s a great feeling coming from a small town and knowing that there are a lot of local residents and friends behind me.” “All the support that I have been getting – whether it is food from Charcoal Chicken, Powerade from Coke or verbal support from local residents – is something special that a lot of the guys in my team from the large cities (Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin) don’t get. In fact they often cheekily comment, ‘Geez, I wish I lived in Gisborne’. All the best with the second issue and I will be thinking about the Wainui surf and sun while surrounded by snow and sub-zero temperatures over the next few months.” BeachLife would also like to thank those who got the idea of the voluntary subscription, that not only helped Mike a little way with his costs but also guaranteed the continuation of the magazine. It was also a way of gauging support for the idea of the magazine and we thank all those who took the time to write a cheque or go online and send in the money.

what’s up? Wainui “Greenies” help Labour’s demise Most of us voted for National in the recent General Election. Historically Wainui is a National stronghold. Given our demographics the final local tally was probably predictable, but there was a notable increase in votes for the Green Party. Out of 732 votes cast at the Wainui School Polling Place way over half, 408, voted for National. Up 56 votes from 2005. 148 voted for Labour and 116 for the Green Party, up 69 votes from 2005. Labour was down 55. The Green vote was up from 47 in 2005. The Green swing was obviously away from Labour who received 203 votes in 2005. 25 voted for ACT (compared to just 3 in 2005), 4 for Jim Anderton, 13 for NZ First and 5 for United Future. 6 went for the Maori Party. Interestingly, only one person voted for the Legalise Cannabis option. Those locals who voted for Winston Peters and NZ First in 2005, weren’t swayed by the Owen Glenn Affair. NZ First at 14 votes this year was actually up one from the last election.

2008 Green

National Labour

If you missed the opportunity to subscribe, hey we’ll still be happy to receive your cheque for $30.00. Post to BeachLife, PO Box 969, Gisborne.

Check out the website If you want your friends or family overseas to read the stories in BeachLife, tell them about the online version of the magazine at (don’t forget the hyphen, someone already has beachlife).

2005 Green



A great way to advertise. Local people are catching onto the idea of using BeachLife magazine to advertise within the beach community. The magazine has staying power and everyone reads it thoroughly. Advertisers in the first issue all say they have got results. Business profiles, houses for sale, goods and services. CONTACT BEACHLIFE ADVERTISING: Phone 868 0240 or

Graphs created from votes cast in the Wainui School Polling Place in both 2005 and 2008.

BeachLife | 9

what’s up?

Sharron finds her particular shade of “green”

Sharron says one of the many positive It has been a year of learning for outcomes from her involvement with the Wairere Road’s Sharron Stevenson. reticulation issue is that she is now more “Learning about the workings of local and “green”. central government; long She says she has a term community pans greater awareness of and the environment. the environment and in Words like sustainability, particular what works and collaboration, what doesn’t in septic or consultation, became on site systems. part of my vocabulary this Following on from year,” she says. Council decision not to “ I toiled my way reticulate, Sharron felt through mountains of she needed to do her bit reports, documents, to be environmentally submissions, plans and responsible and to help data – sometimes in ensure onsite systems the small hours of the were “working the way morning! I spoke at they were designed council meetings, emailed and not contributing councillors and prepared to the pollution of the submissions. environment”. “I met neighbours I “I wanted to find a never really knew and range of eco-friendly made new friends in ECO-CLEANING: Products available products we could use. our community. I learnt from Sharron Stevenson, 54 Wairere Not only that, but I wanted how effective a group Road, phone 867 5595. them to be New Zealand of people can be with made and I wanted to find the best!” the same vision and how vitally important “I believe the B_E_E (Beauty Engineered effective communication is.”

forever) range is the best. They have independent accreditation of the highest standard – Environmental choice NZ – who look at every ingredient put into every product. B_E_E is the only household cleaning range to carry this world-leading eco-label. “I am excited to be able to bring them to our community and have been receiving positive feedback.” Sharron says feedback has included comments like: “I have used them before and I really like them; My son has bad eczema and the washing powder dosen’t irritate him like other powders; I used to buy these products when I lived in Auckland. Thank you for bringing B_E_E to us; I just love these. I’ll be back for more; The whitener took away a really bad stain – fantastic; I got 30! washes out of the Laundry Powder; This is great – so convenient to pop in when I pick up the kids from school”. Sharron says: “Personally it just feels good to know I am not putting harmful chemicals and substances in my septic system. I believe our community can be a showcase for a sustainable – there’s that word again – environment and I am proud to be a part of it.”

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Isabella’s future vision ISABELLA VITA OF PARE STREET HAS A VISION FOR THE future of Gisborne. Her painting of what Gisborne might look like in 2018 was selected as the winning entry in a Gisborne-wide schools’ art competition to find a cover for the Gisborne District Council’s 10 Year Community Plan. The competition theme was: “Gisborne growing up – what will Gisborne be like in 10 years time.” The competition was open to local primary, intermediate and secondary schools with the aim of recognising and using the artistic talents of local youth. Considerable effort was put in to entries with roads, high rise buildings, the town clock, Maori culture and beach people being recurring themes. The awards night was celebrated on October 11 with students and their families, the mayor and councillors. There were awards presented in primary, intermediate and secondary schools categories but 12 year old Isabella, a Year 7 student at Campion College was chosen as the overall winner. Isabella, who received $200 for herself and $100 for her art department at school, says her design for the future was all about things she would like to be able to do in Gisborne. Her concept was of a beachside community with a rock climbing facility, a bowling alley, a water park, a burger bar and, not surprisingly when you know her dad Mike Vita, a soccer field right by the beach. The design also included a safe walkway and cycling path along side the road where people used both cars and public transport to get around. High-rise apartment dwellings, one with a penthouse, owned by Isabella looked out over the beach.

BEACH LIFESTYLE: Isabella Vita’s artistic concept of Gisborne ten years from now will be featured on the cover of the Council’s community plan.

Wainui Beach’s reliable water supply DRIVER/OPERATIONS MANAGER: As a Wainui Beach homeowner, Greg Judd of Judd Water Supplies knows the importance of a reliable, clean source of household water for those times when the tanks run dry.

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BeachLife | 11

beach party

Popular local identity and Gisborne accountant, Richard “Dicko” Coates, celebrated his 60th birthday recently with a large gathering at his Murphy Road home. It was a great opportunity for a family photograph. From left: brother-in-law Sean McCormick, Dicko, daughter Charlotte, sister Tessa McCormick, wife Prudence, his mother Joan Coates, nephew Alistair, brother Graeme Coates, niece Debbie and daughter Georgina.

Noel and Alison, the Amor Bendalls, threw a great party at their home at the top of Wheatstone Road to celebrate Noel’s 50th recently.

All smiles at Noel Amor’s birthday bash were Michelle Nyholt, Pete Anderson and Ian Francis

Mountain Warrior Shane Cameron met up with old mate Karl Geiseler at Noel’s party. 12 | BeachLife

BeachLife can’t gate crash all your parties! If you have a special occasion, send photos to

beach party

All Thai-ed up at the Tsunami Bar Thai Night Banquet were Yvonne Beaufoy, Darleen Funston, Bronwyn Kay, Cindy Prosor and Ingrid Spence.

Also taking part in the Thai food menu occasion – where the Tsunami Bar hired chef’s from Gisborne’s Thai Sunshine Restaurant to cook on premises for the night – were Sandra Ellmers, Margaret Winter, Buster Taylor and Diane Ritchie.

Making up a group to enjoy the Tsunami Bar Thai Night were Christine Gunness, Murray McLeod, Maxine Francois, Fleur and Pete Anderson.

Sisters Bianca and Ashlee Destounis at the Tsunami Bar Thai occasion.

BeachLife | 13

our ocean YOUR WAVE: The large female orca which dropped in on Jaydah Martin-Fitzharris at Wainui Beach.

The season of the orca It really was an amazing thing. For several weeks pods of orca frolicked in the seas off Pouawa, Tatapouri, Makorori and Wainui. At times they were way out in the bay, surging north and then surging back south in large groups. At other times they were right in close. On several occasions they surfed beneath the waves sending stunned surfers scrambling for the beach. What were they doing here, where did they come from, and where have they gone? Photographs by Tom Grimson. WHILE MOST PEOPLE FELT THE HUGE SEA MAMMALS, OFTEN known as “killer whales”, posed no immediate harm to humans, young surfer girl Jayda Martin-Fitzharris got the fright of her life when a huge black and white orca came within touching distance as she was taking part in a surfing contest at the “Lone Pine” break in midOctober. “It was really scary,” she told the Gisborne Herald. “I turned around and there was this big black fin, it was just behind my board.” Watching from the shore, Boardriders Club organiser Heather Kohn of Lloyd George Road, said two orca, one a baby, appeared to chase Jayda as she started yelling and paddling fast towards the shore. Over the weeks orca were sighted numerous times around the beaches. Paul Dixon of Wairere Road says he had three orca encounters this year. The first was last summer off the Wainui surf club when he spotted an estimated 2-metre high fin about 10 metres away. “It was coming straight for me and I paddled in so fast the clubbies asked if I wanted to compete for them in the next paddle board race,” he says. The second encounter was the one many people witnessed at “Schools” in October: “I was out body surfing and I looked over and saw this huge male orca surfing a wave. He was really going for it. It was so cool.” Paul says even though he tried to control it, fascination turned to fear on both occasions and his final reaction was to flee the perceived danger. He vowed the next time he would stay and make contact. He got his chance a few days later when a mother and baby came by. He spotted the two dorsal fins and strummed his fingers along 14 | BeachLife

the ribs of his surf mat, making a high-pitched noise. Immediately the baby veered away from the mother and came straight over to him. It submerged beneath his surf mat leaving big water boils on each side before veering back to join its mother. Paul says he could see the “daddy” orca out the back keeping an eye on things. Ben Cowper has posted a really good video on You Tube of at least three orca swimming around not far behind a crowd of surfers at Makorori Point on October 18. Just when we thought they had disappeared wave ski rider Nigel Bryant accidently videoed a pod of orca passing by Lone Pine in late November when he set up a remote video to film himself in training. The zoological name for these creatures is Orcinus orca. This is thought to be derived from the Latin word orcus, meaning “demon dolphin”. There are also many different common names for the species. The Society for Marine Mammalogy lists the English names killer whale and orca as the most common. Department of Conservation spokesman Jamie Quirk said it was normal for orca to frequent East Coast beaches around OctoberNovember. It is believed the mothers come here to teach their young how to feed on stingray, he was reported in the Gisborne Herald. “If you sit and watch them, you will notice the pod break into groups. Two will act like sheep dogs, working a certain part of the coast and shepherd the stingray into an area of the reef, at which point they will all join in on the feeding frenzy,” he said. “Gisborne people are very lucky to see a unique marine mammal come so close to shore. And New Zealand orca are the only species of orca in the world that feed on stingray.” “They will move through pretty quickly. They set themselves up

in residence in the area between northern Hawke’s Bay, Mahia right through the East Cape,” Mr Quirk said. Fully grown orca can reach six metres in length. The males are easily identified by their large, triangular dorsal fin, while female orcas have a curved fin. Juvenile orcas can be spotted swimming about the fins of the adults. While there has been no record of orca attacking people or mistaking them for other sea creatures, Mr Quirk recommended that surfers or swimmers who found themselves in the company of orca exercise a degree of caution. “They live in the sea all their lives, so they are much more aware of humans being there than we are of them. But they are wild animals so we must treat them with respect.” Scientist and orca researcher Ingrid Visser based at Tutukaka in Northland is New Zealand’s knowledge-base about orca. In a New Zealand Geographic feature story recently she said her studies indicated that there were fewer than 200 orca individuals living permanently around the New Zealand coastline. “Three groups appear to exist—one that inhabits the waters of the North Island, a second in the South Island, and a third that roams the entire area. Given this small population estimate, DOC has changed the status of orca from “common” to “nationally critical”— its highest threat ranking. This is because, although orca are found in other parts of the world, those around New Zealand are unique, with their own distinct dialects, hunting methods and other cultural characteristics. “There is still much about them of which we remain ignorant, such as how stable their groups are, but we have certainly come to realise that they are special and deserving of our respect and protection,” Ingrid Visser says. She says there isn’t a single verified record of an attack by wild orca on people anywhere in the world, although captive orca have

killed several people. A few New Zealander divers have tales of close encounters with orca, during which their fins were nibbled and tugged. Such activity appears to be more an expression of curiosity or a bit of fun (for the orca, not necessarily for the diver) than testing for taste. It is possible that this high degree of interaction with humans has evolved the unique nature of New Zealand orca hunting culture. Culture can be defined as traditions transmitted and reinforced by members of a group. Orca culture is often unique to a small geographic location, not unlike human tribal culture. New Zealand orca employ several different hunting methods, but most are aimed at catching the same kind of prey— rays and sharks. New Zealand orca were the first to be recognised as specialising in hunting this type of prey, and they remain the only orca that use these particular methods.

NEW ZEALAND ORCA FACT FILE: • 117 individual orca have been photo-identified in New Zealand waters. The population estimate ranges between 65 and 167. • Some individual animals have been known to travel up to 170 km per day on average. The largest known range of a NZ orca is 4200 kms. • Orca are most frequently seen in the Bay of Plenty/East Cape/Hawke’s Bay region in June, and often from October to December. • NZ orca feed on a variety of prey, the most common being rays (long-tailed and short-tailed stingrays, eagle rays, and torpedo rays), but also sharks (blue, mako, basking, and school sharks), a variety of fin-fish (yellow-fin tuna, bluenose grouper, kahawai, and sunfish), and a blue penguin on one occasion. • NZ orca have also been observed attacking and consuming other cetacean species (common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, dusky dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales, humpback whales, and southern right whales).

ORCWARD SITUATION: Duncan Gordon (left) and Willy Brown (right) meet one of the daddy orcas at Makorori Centre.

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BeachLife | 15

beach life Concert series in Tiromoana gardens An exciting series of summer concerts for the forthcoming season, featuring musicians from New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom and Europe will be hosted at the home and garden of Jack Richards at 41 Winifred Street this summer. Here is a preview of what is to come.

December 18th | Simon Tedeschi returns: US and Australian based virtuoso classical and jazz pianist returns for another breathtaking performance from both the classical and jazz repertoire.

January 10th | Emerging piano star Nicholas Young: 17 year old Nicholas Young from Sydney gives his first New Zealand recital.

January 17th | Soprano Anna Pierard, Tenor Jose Aparicio, accompanied by David Harper. UK and Spain-based Anna and Jose will give a recital that includes operatic arias and selections from Spanish operetta.

January 31st | Student recital by Taleim Edwards and Paul Romero – saxophone and piano Taleim and Paul are from Gisborne and will perform a selection of pieces for saxopone and piano, and will also play solo pieces.

February 7th: VENUE | Introducing Polish-Australian piano virtuoso Wotjek Wisniewski This will be the young Australian-based pianist’s first recital in New Zealand. Wotjek has received glowing

GOLF TOURNAMENT WINNERS: The Ray White Gisborne #1 team won the Gisborne Real Estate Golf Tournament with a four shot lead from the next best team the Gisborne Herald recently. All team members are Wainuians. From left: Peter Rouse, organiser Bruce Third, Maxine Francois, Christine and Kim Gunness. The Ray White #2 team of Peter Ritchie, Phil Allan, Brent Rasby and the Editor took fourth place. reviews for his interpretation of the classical piano repertoire, which will be the feature of his Gisborne recital.

February 14th: VENUE: | Margaret Medlyn soprano accompanied by Bruce Greenfield. New Zealand diva Margaret Medlyn has been busy on the opera stage in new Zealand throughout 2008, and thrilled us with her concert at Tiromoana last summer. Tickets for all concerts are $25 (donated to the Gisborne Music Competition). Performances will start at 7.30 and will be followed by a light complementary supper where you can meet the performers. You are welcome to come along earlier to enjoy the garden. You can reserve tickets by emailing:

or phone 868 6443.

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beach life

A life-long passion for surf photography He’s as iconic around Wainui Beach as the Norfolk pines these days. Rogan Houghton and his furry friend Precious are always about when the surf is up and pumping. Surf photography is a passion Rogey has had since a youngster when he first tried taking surfing pictures with his Kodak Instamatic while on surf trips with big brother Brett. He grew up on Auckland’s North Shore but is another local who now calls Wainui Beach home. Now aged 41, Rogey left school on the dot of turning 15. “I left school real quick, I was out of there like a shot,” he says. A scant education left Rogey with reading and writing problems but this year he has completed a three-year adult literacy course at Tairawhiti Polytechnic which he says has given him a real boost. Rogan also has a turned-out left eye which has possibly held him back a bit and must make it hard work to focus his camera for hours on end when the surf’s running high. His first decent SLR camera set up was a Minolta X300 with a 300mm Sigma lens which he bought in his early 20s. Big brother Brett had moved down to Gisborne to live, so Rogan spent a lot of time down here. About 15 years ago when Budge Berge was running New Zealand Surfing magazine with CPL (Craig Levers) as chief photographer, they appreciated Rogan’s enthusiasm and helped him out a bit. CPL pointed Rogan in the direction of a great set of second-hand surf photography gear that was going cheap. He ended up with a Canon F1 body with 800mm, 600mm and 400mm lenses. His photos weren’t up to full page treatment, so they gave him a double-page spread of smaller images which they called “The Rogey Files”. The Rogey Files #2 and #3 followed in later years. He also had other photographs published in regular reader’s photo pages during CPL’s editorship. The editor also gave Rogan a boost when I ran one of his surfing pictures, a photo of Clint Daly, in my first calendar published over a decade ago. Rogey always stuck to the standards required by surf magazines which meant he had to spend a lot of money on slide film and professional processing. A single roll of processed slide film could cost as much as $100. Every now and then CPL would send Rogey the odd spare roll of Velvia to help him out.

DUNE WATCH: Surfing photographer Rogan Houghton and his dog “Precious” keep their eyes peeled for the next big set. of spring, good waves and bright light he is working hard chasing those great pictures. Rogan says he loves the satisfaction of photographing other surfers. “I don’t surf big waves, but I love being behind the camera, it’s almost the same sensation as being out there.”

So it was a relief when digital photography came of age recently and about 12 months ago Rogey bought his first digital SLR Canon. He can now fit hundreds of images on a single 2gig flash card. Sticking to the rules, Rogey is shooting both JPEG and Raw mode, which is what the magazines require should he get that elusive “money shot”.

It’s great to see Rogan out there, perched in the dunes with his best-friend “Precious”, a tiny little Maltese Bichon who travels with him everywhere, even on the back of his motorbike. Rogan may not be one of the world’s best-known surfing paparazzi, but when Maz Quinn is pulling in to an overhead barrel at the Chalet on a late afternoon mid-week, it’s Rogan who’s behind the lens, motordrive whirring, capturing the fleeting moment of surfing brilliance in a mass of digital pixels.

His chances have improved lately with the purchase of a decent 300mm digital Canon lens ex Logan Murray and with the arrival

His images might not get published in Surfer’s Journal – yet – but at least he’s out there, giving it a go. Keep it up Rogey.

BeachLife | 17

our people beach life

Recording brings on memories of joy and innocense

If you remember The Innocent Dingos and can go as far back as Country Joy, then you’ll be keen to listen to a CD of songs recently produced by Wainui jam band Big Water. Pete Stewart and Trevor Herk (that’s them circa 1980 above second right and second left) are Gisborne’s elder statesmen of rock and roll. Over the decades since the 1970s Trev has provided the bass line to numerous live performing bands around the town and Peter has added his dexterous lead breaks to an equal number. For several years now Pete’s lounge at his home on the corner of Oneroa and the Highway has been the venue of legendary Thursday night expression sessions and the Big Water CD is a creative coming of age of those late night jams. Formerly known as the Borderline Trio, Bigwater came about when Lincoln Wright (drummer) joined the long established Thursday night musical excursions. Trevor and Pete are long established Gisborne musicians that have played in several local bands together, including the celebrated Innocent Dingos from the River Bar heyday of the early ‘80s. Lincoln Wright is a well-known DJ, (the Missing Link) with a CV from Wellington that includes The Hairy Lollies and Gamut. Initially they explored a collection of mainly covers and a few original songs, but after a while originals replaced all the covers. Pete puts this down to his going through an especially creative song writing binge in recent times. Don’t expect any head banging, plaster cracking mayhem from these musicians. As Pete says, they are lyric-based pop songs. Sensible, easy to listen to, with catchy melodies. The sound quality 18 | BeachLife

LOST INNOCENSE: Fresh-faced Trev and Pete in the 1980s bar band “Innocent Dingos” with Shane Bollingford, Tim Stewart and Andy Schollum. Photo by Gray Clapham 1980s. is as good as you would expect from an amateur recording studio, but crank it up and you’ve got some great sounds. All the better with the understanding it’s organic, home-grown, Wainui Beach-born music to boot. Trevor Herk, the always unassuming bassist these days lives up the Lysnar Street valley and is a well respected music teacher at Lytton High School. Think back to the mid 1970s when the band Country Joy held the fort at the DB Gisborne Lounge Bar and you can picture Trev thumping out the bass notes to Long Train Running, Cocaine and other anthems of that era. You have to also picture the band’s drummer, Pare Street’s Paul Conole, hammering away at the rear as well. Those were the days. If you have an interest in local music the first Bigwater CD is a must for your collection. Keep listening and the songs grow on you, and soon you think you’re listening to pop songs you’ve known all your life. Oh, and hey, Bigwater? That’s Wainui, the English translation thereof. And, at $15 available from Peter and Trev and at the Wainui Store, this is perfect Christmas present material. There are 11 tracks on the CD. Since recording this initial sampling of some of their originals Bigwater has become in demand for live performances and are already working on a follow up CD. Bigwater are: Pete Stewart, guitar & vocals; Trevor Herk, bass & vocals; Lincoln B. Wright, drums & backing vocals. Recorded and engineered by Trevor Herk. Bigwater have an online Blog at GC

beach life

Okitu Store has just about everything The good old Okitu Store – aka Seaquinns Ltd – might look shabby on the outside but it’s what’s on the inside that really counts! Built way back in the ‘50s the Okitu Store has serviced many people from all walks of life, has had many changes of ownership, and the normal ups and downs of the retail and fast food world, however the Okitu Store still stands as strong today as the foundations on which it is built. Maryanne Egan and Gary Quinn ditched their educational careers and stressful government influenced jobs and purchased the Okitu Store in December 2006, two years on they still consider it to be the best career choice they’ve both made and compliment each others strengths and weaknesses – making a great duo! Maryanne is born and bred in Gisborne with affiliations to Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Rongomaiwahine, Whangara and Ngati Porou. From a family of eight, one of her fondest childhood memories was travelling all the way from Makaraka to the Okitu Store every Sunday for an ice-cream treat. In summer they would camp out at Tatapouri and Pouawa and come to the store every second day for ice for the chilly bin. Her childhood dream was to one day own the Okitu Store so she could have ice-cream whenever she wanted – while her dream has come true she doesn’t eat as much ice-cream anymore – even though they are still the best ice-creams in town! In her spare time Maryanne runs the Coastguard Radio Watch from the shop, keeping a watchful ear and eye on those that love the sea but may get into trouble and leads an active sporting role with her two daughters Kimberley and Karyn. Gary has lived in Wainui for over 18 years and is passionate about surfing. So of course the Okitu Store offers everything in the surfing line from surfboard and wetsuit rentals, leg ropes, surf wax, surf combs, wax bombs, Surfer’s Skin sunscreen (as worn by Maz Quinn!), sometimes a quick surf lesson and in the holidays the young grommets may get the extra pleasure of bumping into Maz, Jay and Holly when they come home and chill out with the family. With their mutual passion being the sea Maryanne and Gary have the prime location for a retail business that provides almost everything. Where else can you get the beautiful beach straight outside the front door, a new funky playground for the kids across the road to play on, picnic tables to sit in the sun and eat icecreams, chat and relax with a magazine, a surfboard to hire and test out your skills straight across the road. All topped off with fresh hot coffee and a locally-made pie to warm you up afterwards or maybe

IN ICE CREAM HEAVEN: Shop owners Maryanne Egan and Gary Quinn outside their Okitu Store – the place to be beside the sea. some hot food or takeaways to eat under the pohutukawa trees or on the grassed area. Of course when there are no waves to surf you might want to try your luck fishing with the variety of fish bait and fishing supplies available and ice to keep it chilled. And then perhaps relax on the deck in the evenings watching the sunset with one of the many wines or ales on sale in hand. Parking is never a problem whether it be truck and trailers, harvesters, motorhomes, motorbikes or horses – we’ve seen and had them all with room to spare. While the hours maybe long, the winter mornings chilly and the summer days crazy – it’s all worth it. The key to our success is good communication, being organised, great family support, efficient service, good staff, teamwork, fresh and plentiful supplies. Plus a good rapport with suppliers, good old fashion manners and service with a smile. It’s also important to take time out and have quality family time to reenergize. Where to from here – well watch this space as 2009 will see some further development and more exciting things on offer!

Okitu Store is open seven days:

Summer Hours: • Monday – Saturday 7.00am – 8.00pm • Sunday 7.30am – 8.00pm Winter Hours: • Monday – Saturday 7.00am – 7.00pm • Sunday 7.30am – 7.00pm Takeaways and hot food are available all day within shop opening hours. Phone orders welcome on 06 867 7013 .

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beach life

DEMONS RULE: The mighty Wainui Demons Walker Realty football team won both the Poverty Bay Soccer 2nd Division Competition and then the 2nd Division Cup Knockout Round to complete an extremely successful 2008 season. Back Row: Hugh Higgins, Gary Smith, Clay Parker, Vince Ford, Steve Sutherland, Mike Evans, Jay Papworth, Warren Muir, Craig Scott, Andrew Reid, Brett Parker. Front Row: Richard Page, John Hill, Brent Strong, Karl Geiseler, Ben Drummond, Trev Williams, Adam Dawson, Aaron Welsh. Dion Williams (on ground).

SCHOOL SUCCESS: The Wainui Beach School A Grade Soccer team won the Gisborne Primary School A Grade competition for only the third time since 1965 (last time was 1995). They were undefeated throughout the season with only one draw and scored 116 goals for and only 10 against. Back Row: Joel Robinson (Assistant Coach), Jonty Low, Isaiah Grace, Josh Meade, Jack Virtue, Charlie Scott, Rory Faulkner, Tewai Coulston, Cassidy Teaia, Josh Cook, Craig Scott (Coach). Front Row: Kosta Atsalis, Hamish Robinson, Jarram Brouwer, Rangi Mitchell, Layne Nalder.

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In the last issue of BeachLife we reported that Wainui School opened in 1964. Very quick on the phone was Jean Webster (pictured left) to correct that date to 1962. Mrs Webster, now aged 89, was one of the three first day teachers way back then and Sandy Gibson (right) was one of the first day pupils who was taught by Mrs Webster. When Sandy’s grand daughter Ella Sutherland started at Wainui School in September this year she became the third generation of the Gibson family to attend the school. Ella’s mum, and Sandy’s daughter, De-Arne Sutherland went to Wainui School from 1983. While there are other families who have this generational association with the school we thought it would be a nice way of acknowledging Mrs Webster’s alertness in correcting the actual date the school opened. Liesje Bartie rounds off the story as she first taught at the school in 1963, was De-Arne’s teacher in the early ‘80s and is this year teaching Ella. Mrs Webster came from Ilminster School where she was also a first day teacher with the new headmaster Lou Thompson and the third teacher Huri Callaghan.

beach life

Wainui School kids get to try out a lot of outdoor activities and recently BeachLife dropped in on a skateboard coaching session. Above: Jack Dixon-Smith gets into the groove.


Charlie Klavs may turn down dad’s offer of the builder’s apron and embark on a career as a professional skateboarder.

PROUD DAD Bob Rasby made the trip up to Wellsford recently to be on hand to give away his daughter Saren Rasby on the occasion of her marriage to Daniel Heywood. The couple were married on the beach at Pakiri, north of Auckland. Brother Brent with wife Helena and baby Perle are also pictured. A good sized crew of Wainui friends went north for the wedding.

Skateboard tutor Karn Payne gets Angus Hayward going off the ramp.

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beach babes

Local graphic artist Rees Morley couldn’t have drawn up a better looking baby boy than Mac Morley, with no small part played in the design concept by Cathy. Mac arrived on Tuesday, October 14, weighing 9lb 2oz.

Born Sunday, September 7 Tilly Lisla Lovelock was a perfect 81lb Fathers Day present for Jimmy from Georgina. Georgina owns Talking Heads salon and James is the former Tsunami Bar head chef, now operating his gardening and landscaping business, Lawn and Garden Services.

Tigher Hill (4) is stoked to have a little brother, Ziggy Hill, who arrived on Monday, June 26. His parents are John and Naome Hill and they live in Douglas Street. 22 | BeachLife

Charlie Campbell Whitfield introduced himself to his parents Amy and David and sister Olivia on Halloween Night, Friday, October 31, weighing in at a strapping 11lb 3oz.

beach babes Charlie Keepa missed being in the Beach Babe parade last issue and is now already one-year-old. She is the lovely daughter of Sonia and Cody Keepa of Murphy Road, born on October 27, 2007. Brother Jack is 41/2.

A brother for 21/2 year old Amelia and a boy for Kris and Rhonda, Hunter Mark Clapham, arrived at the beach on Thursday, September 25, at 7lb 5oz.

A baby sister for Harry and George and a daughter for Andy and Georgina, Meg Allan turned up in Murphy Road on Tuesday, July 22, at 6lb 14oz.

It was a sister act this year with Jade and Gina having babies at just about the same time this spring. That’s Jade and Damon Gunness on the left with China, born August 27 at 7lb 8oz. And Chea on the right with Gina Robinson and Michael Ferguson, born October 1 at 8lb 12oz. Chea’s big sister Mia is 3.

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beach focus

A surfing way of life

An exploration of the surf culture that defines the beaches of Wainui and Makorori We live in a surfer’s mecca. That’s no exaggerated, tourism industry claim. The twin beaches of Makorori and Wainui are world famous for the consistency and quality of surf. A huge proportion of people who live in our community would define themselves as “surfers”. The activity of surfing, and the culture that parallels the sport, continues to have a huge influence on the social and political dynamic of our community. So many of our residents came here primarily to be close to the breaking surf and there has evolved a sense of an “extended surfing family”. This almost tribal sense of belonging has become more entrenched as a second and even a third generation of “locals” grows up to populate our surf breaks. In this article we look at the history of surfing at our beaches and philosophize on the effects the surfing way of life has on how we view ourselves. In researching the history of surfing in Gisborne all roads lead to one name – Kevin Pritchard. A local high school boy and a Midway surf clubby, he and a group of contemporaries can claim to be the first Gisborne surfers of the modern era – and the first to surf the waves at Wainui and Makorori beaches. Folklore dictates that Pritchard was the first person ever to paddle out and catch a wave at Makorori Point and also Tuamotu Island. Now 68, living at Papamoa, Kevin can’t remember the exact date. It was probably 1961: “I was out there with a few others, but I know I was the first to paddle out and ride a wave that day. The others then joined me. I think I was with Dave Swann, Darryl Heighway, Peter Goodwin, John Logan. “We were looking for new places to surf. We would go out to Sponge Bay and Wainui looking for decent shaped waves. That’s how we first got to Makorori. We used to surf Wainui a bit, but if Makorori was rideable it was better because we could get longer rides.” It was only a year or so earlier in 1959 that Gisborne was

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introduced to surfing waves on stand up boards – as opposed to riding them on paddle skis – when a group of Piha clubbies brought what they called “zip boards” to a life saving carnival at Waikanae Beach. Early surfer John Logan who was there at the time and now lives overlooking Wainui Beach in Wairere Road says: “Some guys from Piha brought these fibreglass boards down here, we called them “zip boards”. We had only ever ridden waves on surf skis but these guys were standing up on boards and riding sideways, across the waves.” The “zip boards” were probably the very early surfboards made by pioneer Piha boardmaker Peter Byers, who had been inspired by watching visiting Americans Bing Copeland and Rick Stoner surf Piha in the late ‘50s. Logan says the sport in Gisborne developed slowly from there and it was probably a year later that a tight group sat warily watching the waves at Makorori before Kevin Pritchard plucked up the courage to be first to venture out over the rocks to the Point. Peter “Goody” Goodwin, who was there that day, was the junior

member of the gang. He says Pritchard was the big guy, the leader of the pack. He would surf any size wave. On big days he would jump off the Gisborne breakwater, paddle across to Midway Beach and catch huge waves out by the “one mile buoy”. Kevin Pritchard says: “Once we discovered Makorori we would always try to get out there. We used to spend all day, summer and winter, hanging out at Makorori. We didn’t have wet suits, maybe football jerseys in winter, and you would come out of the water blue with cold. We kept a fire going most of the time.” John Logan says: “My little Ford Anglia worked pretty hard in those days transporting five or so guys out to Makorori stacked high with 10 foot long boards.” One of the earliest surfers, Terry Byrne, remembers: “We used to place great store on getting up before dawn, roaring out to Makorori in Dave Burn’s old car with Denzil Owen, Glen Sutton. We’d drive over Makorori Hill at sunrise and see these perfect lines coming through and there’d be mass hysteria to get out amongst them. Surfing became a total way of life for us. “We’d stay there all day, even in winter, standing around the fire, passing round the odd bottle of wine. We’d always be cold and shivering but always keen to go out again.” In isolation this embryonic group of watermen were laying the foundations of a way of life and a code of behaviour that was to later become a unique lifestyle with a global following, it was the beginning of “surf culture” as it is known today. An event that subtly changed the direction of surfing locally was the arrival in town in 1961 of the Bruce Brown surf movie “Surfing Hollow Days”. For the first time the locals saw the state of surfing as it was in California and a certain Malibu-cool style crept into the local scene. It also shifted surfing a step away from the hitherto surf life saving culture it had evolved from. Peter Goodwin was possibly the first local surfer to interpret the messages filtering in from California and Australia. John Logan says: “Goody was the first of us to start moving his board around the

wave, perfecting what was then called ‘hot-dogging’.” The arrival of a wave of Australians with their flamboyant surfing styles and equally flamboyant social behaviour continued to fracture the early symbiosis between surf life saving and surfing. “Wild behaviour” became de rigueur, along with the radical new concept of “dropping out” to totally devote ones life to surfing. The Australians also introduced new moves and new surfboard shapes. All of the above was eagerly soaked up by the Gisborne locals. One of the most influential early Aussies in the Gisborne scene was surfboard maker Bob Davie who arrived from Sydney via Auckland around 1964 with side-kick Bob “Arab” Steel. They liked the Gisborne lifestyle and the consistently good waves “up the coast”, and here Davie established the now legendary Bob Davie Surfboards. The man they later called the inventor of the shortboard, Bob McTavish, visited around this time and spent a few months shaping boards at the Stanley Road factory. In the book “Gone Surfing: The Golden Days of Surfing in New Zealand” former New Zealand champion surfer, Alan Byrne says: “Bob was really important for surfing in New Zealand. He attracted a steady flow of top board builders and surfers to Gisborne such as Russell Hughes, Bob McTavish and Keith Paull.” Bob McTavish told BeachLife: “I shaped for Bob Davie for three months in 1966. We surfed everywhere. The best were Pipeline, The Island, Makas, Mahia. My memories of that time are the pubs with the Maoris, huge flagons of beer, local wines and wonderful happy people. Surf, surf, surf and surf – and a new surfbreak around every corner. Unbeatable.” Bob Davie departed from here to set up shop at Mount Maunganui in 1966, but he and the young shapers he attracted left behind a legacy of board making know-how and established Gisborne as a mecca for surfers from around the world. Around this time another Australian, Nigel Dwyer, turned up in town. He and his car load Cronulla mates showed the locals how to surf and how to party Aussie style. He also did some

THE PIONEERS: John Logan, Peter Goodwin, Darryl Heighway, David Swann and Kevin Pritchard with the boards stacked on John’s Ford Anglia in 1962.

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HOT DOGGER: Peter Goodwin was the young stylemaster of the ‘60s pictured here surfing Pines.

revolution – at the same time absorbing a new lifestyle message glassing for Bob Davie before leaving to establish Del Surfboards filtering in from California. Local surfers, as did their contemporaries in New Plymouth after the 1965 nationals. Davie says Dwyer was around the world, grew their hair long and warped the surfing responsible for surfing being taken more seriously around Gisborne. lifestyle into a blend of California cool and Haight Ashbury mind In April of 1968 two Australians turned up at the Makorori who expansion. This was most-often a pseudo-cosmic charade which were to have a huge impact on the evolution of local surfing. advocated smoking marijuana and taking other psych-altering Ben Hutchings and Bob Rasby – who had met in Byron Bay in ‘66 drugs, along with excessive alcohol consumption. and had learned to make boards at Ken Adler’s San Juan surf shop Most of the fathers, and many grand-fathers, of today’s grommets – had earlier tossed a coin on the south side of the Bombay Hills to would have to admit to some degree of subscription to this decide whether to go east to Gisborne or west to New Plymouth. psychedelic club. At one time during this period a tribe of local and “Within a day of that fateful toss we were sitting under Makorori foreign surfers set up a feral hill at end of the old dirt track “I thought: Where are we? What is this place? Does anybody camp in the trees hidden from with a light north-west wind else surf here? Just a magic feeling. That little stretch of Highway 35 at Makorori Point and 6-foot plus north swell,” coastline from Stock Route to North Makorori — for atmosphere and lived a semi-communal says Hutchings. “Centre, Red and vibe, matches anywhere in the world on its given day.” lifestyle close to the waves. Bus and the Point were all BEN HUTCHINGS The effect the large amounts of going off. It was mid week, only marijuana, first grown around two surfers out, Glen Sutton Gisborne and later imported from Asia, had on the local surfing and Geoff Logan. community is a story worthy of a separate feature. But not today. “I thought: Where are we? What is this place? Does anybody else To be fair, not all surfers indulged in this psychedelic binge surf here? Just a magic feeling. That little stretch of coastline from beyond peer-pressure experimentation. While many “dropped out” Stock Route to North Makorori — for atmosphere and vibe, matches and others were inspired to travel to exotic locations where the anywhere in the world on its given day. drugs were more accessible, there was a hard-core who continued “I paddled over to the Inside Island with Russell Jones one day. to view surfing as an athletic sport and saw the need to hone their There was a massive south swell, a light north-east wind, lines to the waterskills and train for physical fitness. horizon. I looked at Russ and said this place will do me!” Several like Chris Ransley, Ron Amann, Glen Sutton, Bob Rasby, Both Benny and Bob, in different stages, ended up staying in Benny Hutchings, Owen Williams, Brett Papworth were highly Gisborne for decades. Ben started a surfboard factory, they married successful at both surfing and surf life saving. Hutchings, from a local girls, had families here, saw in the era of the shortboard and proud Bondi Beach surf life saving family, was mainly responsible stamped their marks permanently on the local surf culture. Bob for the blending of surfing and surf life saving in this region. Today Rasby’s story is told in more detail on page 38. and a generation on, family names like Sutton and Hutchings are still In this way the world discovered Gisborne, and the ever-breaking synonymous with achievement in the dual arenas. waves at Wainui and Makorori beaches. And Gisborne discovered surfing at the same time. This was “Surf City”. For a time the town embraced the concept. Radio 2ZG became “Surf City Radio”, even the local car boys named themselves the “Surf City Hot Rod Club”. As Hutchings and Jim Croskery and then Bob Rasby started shaping and glassing the first of thousands of locally-made surfboards, out of the city’s high schools emerged a new echelon of local surfers who were hell-bent on following the surfing way of life. They were a hungry market for the designs of the shortboard

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In this era, most of the surf crowd were “townies”. Young men from Gisborne suburban families. There weren’t many young families living at Wainui and Makorori. Most of the beach homes were operated as holiday baches by farming families from the Gisborne hill country, or were the residential choice of newly retired couples, most-often farmers or vaguely bohemian town-folk attracted to a beachcomber existence by the coast.

However there was a handful of young families living here and many of the local Wainui kids first gravitated to the Wainui surf life saving club and then on to surfing. Brett Papworth, Owen, Darryl and Billy Williams, the Dudson boys, Gerald Monk, the Gibsons, the Stevensons, Vance Gillgren and Dave McCullough at Makorori and others were the truly indigenous local surfers. The surfer population of Wainui today is largely the result of a melting pot of these original locals mixed with Gisborne surfers who moved out to the beach and a large handful of New Zealand and overseas surfers who came from far and wide to surf here and never left. Many of today’s Wainui and Makorori families are the results of inter-marriages between these groups. A number of Australian surf visitors married local girls and produced talented surfing offspring. Kim Gunness was enticed here from Woolongong in the mid ‘70s after running into travelling Gisborne surfer Wayne Fairlie at the beach there one day. He turned up in Gisborne in 1976, boarded with a local couple and went surfing until his savings ran out. His first job was picking kumaras. Today he is a successful businessman, cunning golfer and the father and grandfather to two generations of Wainui born children. Both Damon and Ainsley have lined their parents’ mantelpieces with surfing trophies. Bob Rasby’s son Brent has done much the same. Another Australian to make his mark in Gisborne, who is now a long time Makorori resident, is Greg “Red” Robertson, formerly of Manly Beach, who arrived in town after a rugby league trip to Auckland with $5 in his pocket in March of 1970. A day seagulling on the Gisborne wharf with Ivan Paterson, Mark “Crunch” Salisbury and Doug Stewart was all the introduction he needed to the local scene. Greg later went to work at Surfboards Gisborne as a sander and glasser. 38 years, a marriage, two kids and a few careers later, Greg still surfs, works in real estate, plays golf and owns a house overlooking Makorori Beach. While the Aussies were finding a life to their liking here so too were New Zealand surfers from all over the country. Through the ‘70s and early ‘80s came nomad surfers like Dave Timbs, Sam Tanner, Bob Hansen, Trevor Herk, Spring Thompson and Gary McCormick – to name a few – who found Wainui Beach, parked up their house trucks, Kombi vans and Holden station wagons and found it impossible to leave. Dave Timbs came to Gisborne after graduating from Wellington teachers’ college in 1971 and out to the beach in 1972: “I rented a house in Lysnar Street, had long hair, a 1946 Austin 10, tie-dyed wall hangings, a vegetarian diet, 10 percent body fat and few inhibitions. I remember one of my first images here was going to the movies and there was this girl dressed in a wrap-around sarong and bikini top. I thought any city where people dress like that in the main street has to be my type of town. “All of this combined with a surfing culture made up of diverse characters living beyond their vocational, racial and gender roles

COLD OLD DAYS: Keeping warm by the fire on Makorori Beach mid ‘60s. who, the most of the time, loved sharing a surf session together. And now my children return home with total appreciation for this Wainui lifestyle – they get it also.” Ivan Paterson pulled in from Palmerston North in the late ‘60s with his side kick Allan “Gabby” Gabbott and quickly merged in with the local surf culture. Forty years later “Big Ivan” is yet to go home. He now commands a sea view in Wairere Road and, at a recent 60-years-old, is a prominent Wainui and Gisborne identity, still getting himself out into the line-up on the good days. The title of first-ever-pension-aged-surfer must go to 65-yearold Ray “Salty Dog” Hawthorne, who also blew in from Palmerston North in 1970 to check the surf. Ray came up in his Hillman Minx, looked up Ivan, moved in with Doug, Chocka and Red for a few days, bought a Bob Rasby shape from the fledgling Surfboards Gisborne, and also refused to go home. Apart from a few stints in Aussie, Ray has lived and surfed in Gisborne for nearly 40 years, ten of them in his flat along Moana Road, which he now shares with Anne his new bride of six months. Ray is quite proud of his status as the oldest-Wainui-surfer-still-surfing, but defers to Eddy Rare as probably the oldest Gisborne surfer.

TRIBAL COUNCIL: Typical of a summer afternoon gathering in the early ‘70s at Red and Doug’s flat in Redmond Street.

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MEMORIES BY GERALD MONK My first memories of Wainui beach were in 1958. I sat on the beach directly opposite the old single storey surf clubhouse with my family while the billy boiled on the small fire by the Okitu creek. The sand dune we sat on was close to where our small railway cottage was erected after being transported on the back of the truck and became the home that I lived in on and off from 1960 to 1991. At first it was the surf life savers who dominated the beach. The four man canoe and heavy 10-15ft surf skis were the only surfing craft I saw in the ocean back then. My first board was gifted to me by one of the local clubbies in 1963. I think the board was a Condercraft built in Gisborne. It was fiberglass 8ft long with a plywood interchangeable skeg. The board had a V bottom with the widest section of the board at the tail – almost like the shape of an arrow with a flaming pattern painted on the nose. There were now quite a few boards on the beach in the early 1960s. I don’t remember seeing a lot of skill being demonstrated. Most of us rode the board directly into the beach in the white water. No fancy carving moves on those boards. One of the saddest memories I have at that time was having that flaming board stolen. I really only got to ride it for that 1963-64 summer. Around 1966 there were a lot more people surfing. I was riding a Del 9’6.” There were some tremendously skilled surfers then. I remember being transfixed watching Alan Bryne and his older brother Terry really carving up the waves outside the clubhouse at Wainui. Lots of nose riding on the boards back then. I hung out with Gary Stevenson (Makorori) and admired his older brother Johnny, a really hot surfer then. (Johnny was tragically killed in a plane crash in Fiji at a very young age. We had some phenomenal experiences surfing Makorori Point. A crowded day was more than eight or nine people at the point. There were plenty of waves to go round. In the late 1960s we would be gallivanting around in my little yellow mini. I was riding an Atlas Woods 8’6” then and it was quite a sight to have six 8 to 9ft boards piled high on that mini. Then we were surfing with Gary Stevenson, (Makorori) Charlie Mills and his sister Rachel (Makorori), Darryl Williams (Wainui), Tony and Peter Gledhill, Sandy and Boyd McGregor, the Gillgrens. We had some huge days at Makorori Centre, the Corner (North Makorori) and on rare days, the Makorori Reef, where we were almost always out on our own. • Gerald Monk now lives in San Diego, lecturing in psychology at The Sand Diego State University. He still surfs.

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Another import is Noel Craft, GREAT SHAPE: Ray Dalton and teacher and beekeeper out surfboard design from the late ‘70s. of Auckland, who was drawn back to Gisborne by the surf after a trip down here in the mid ‘70s. He flatted for a while with another immigrant, Richard Gordon. Met partner Ness, bought an old beach house in Pare Street and, 30-plus years and three children later, is still here and is very much a respected local veteran. Graham Breckell, presently Tourism Eastland’s chief executive, now a long-time Wainui resident, first came here surfing from Auckland as a teenager in the 1960s. He returned for good in 1984 by manipulating a transfer within Radio New Zealand to take on a job as sales manager at Gisborne’s station 2ZG. He is one of Wainui’s most enthusiastic over-50 surfers. Doug Stewart first came to Gisborne in 1967 to surf. He left Auckland permanently to live here in 1970. In 1974 he did a bit of shaping and general factory work for Benny and Bob at Surfboards Gisborne, shaped a while for Ray Dalton at Gisborne Surfing Co, and then in 1981 went into partnership with Ralph Blake at New Wave Surfboards. Along the way he married Pam and had children Sonya and Blair. They moved to Murphy Road in 1992. Son Blair took out the open New Zealand surfing title in 2003 and had success competing internationally. Doug and Ralph sold New Wave to Larry in 1987 and he now has a business using his board making skills creating innovative parts for the aviation industry. Another import who has left his mark is Ray Dalton who came up from Invercargill via Kaikoura 40 years ago in 1968. Ray met Gail (at the DB Gisborne Hotel) and together the Dalton’s have created their own legacy within the Wainui surf culture. Ray honed his boardmaking skills at Surfboards Gisborne, eventually buying Des Delaney’s Natural Flight business which he renamed Gisborne Surfing Co. A house in Wairere Road, a period at Mahia, a couple of years in Australia, a couple of children, a house in Pare Street, the Hot Buttered Surfboard agency, another trip to Australia, the tin shed in Grey Street, and then 18 years ago, the shift out to Wainui again and the origins of The Boardroom. Over the years Ray has established a reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading custom board makers, a job he has now passed on to son Tommy. (See Tommy Dalton’s story on page 37.) During this era many Gisborne-born surfers were also deciding Wainui Beach was the place to live. This writer included. First we found houses to rent and later were able to buy. Many is the story of the old beach house bought in 1980 for $30,000 which was recently priced at well over half a million – from surf bum to millionaire property owner is a familiar story. Such is the saga of Brent “Simmo” Simpson of Douglas Street, now a successful business man, still a grey-haired denizen of the waves, but once a long-haired poster-boy for the ‘70s pot-fueled, drop-out-and-go-surfing cult. One of Gisborne’s late ‘60s schoolboy surf pack who left for Aussie in the early ‘70s, he returned from a Gold Coast-northern New South Wales lifestyle when son Dane was born in a caravan park near Angourie in 1979. He and wife Jill bought a section in Douglas Street with money saved in Australia. Brent became a meat inspector at the freezing works, was made redundant when it closed and today they own Charcoal Chicken and have invested in property. Brent epitomises the modern middle-aged surfer with a brand new 10’ 2” Donald Takayama longboard

hanging in the garage and a head crammed full of knowledge on all things to do with surfing. Son Dane carries on the surfing tradition. Also in the category of long-time Gisborne locals with similar credentials, who are now Wainui residents, can be included Paul Conole, Chris Ransley, Bill Brown, Cliff Marriott, Ron Amann, Wayne Spence, Pete Stewart, Bernie Martin, Dick Calcott, Ian Francis, Pete Anderson, Dave Drummond, Scott Dobbie, Bob Quirk, Grant Goldsmith. Not to forget John Logan and my brother Mark Clapham, who were part of that crew from the very early ‘60s. Ron Amann says: “I first came out surfing here when I was still at school, LOCALS ONLY: Brett Papworth, Bernie Martin, Steve Gibbs and Dick Calcott on a ‘70s road trip. cadging a ride with older guys. I lived on local girl Storm, had kids and is now a respected local barrister and the beach in Salisbury Road at the time but a long-time resident of Wairere Road. the “coast”, as we called it, had a huge attraction. I surfed with Billy Others who have similar stories are Mike Neil, “Crunch” Salisbury, Goodwin, Roger Brown, Chris Ransley, Nigel Mountford – we were Richard Gordon, Steve Hathaway, Mike Beach, Craig “Bondy” always amping to get out to Makorori. It was more consistent, the Morton, Ray Morgan, Neil Walker, Brett Houghton, Darryl Ufton, waves seemed bigger, all that open coastline.” Simon Parkin, John “Scooter” Scott, Luke Porter, Ian Cook, Grant Ron made it to the beach permanently in 1990, buying a house “Piney” Wales. Most of these “imports” came here on surf trips, right on the beach in Pare Street: “Even though I could have stayed either never went home or returned later for good, and many married on at Roberts Road, for me it was the search for clean water. That’s local girls and now have children that are first generation “locals”. the thing about Wainui Beach; the clean, clear water.” The point is, if it wasn’t for the surf, they wouldn’t be here – and our Another echelon of Wainui immigrants arrived in the early ‘80s. community would not be populated with so many interesting and This wave included young men like Brian Campbell of Moana Road, colourful characters. artist, who came up from Invercargill, discovered Wainui Beach and While most surfing beach residents today are imports, there are never left. And Phil Dreifuss, lawyer, ex-Whakatane, who came here also the “true locals”. Kids who grew up at the beach like Jody, in 1986 after trying New Plymouth for five years, partnered up with

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school-aged grommets who are surfing’s bright future. There is also at Wainui Beach an underlayer of transplanted American’s who have quietly slipped into the Wainui lifestyle. Laurie Lauttman bought a house in Murphy Road in 1980 after hitching her way across the Pacific to New Zealand from California. Long time friend and fellow Californian Frank Russell came to stay in 1991. Laurie was a founding member of Women On Waves and Frank runs a successful surf coaching business. (See page 41.) Another, enigmatic, California-Wainui commuter is Rick Hodgson, who owns a beach house here and has been coming to Wainui most summers since the early ‘70s. He may be partly responsible for the dramatic escalation in property prices here post September 11, 2001 as he was persuasive in bringing a number of prospective, fellow Californian surfer family, NAPPY DAZE: Brent Simpson and Dane, Ray Dalton and Tommy, 1980. property buyers to our shores fleeing the fear of the jihad and Bush-era foreign policy. Californian surf nomad Mike Holmquist Dion and Daniel Williams, Phil and David Collier, dad Kevin and found himself down at Mahia in late 1972, making the odd trip up to Jared Ferris, Carl Ferris, Darryl Moleta, Peter Ritchie, Phil Allan, the Gisborne to surf: “I thought it was the Promised Land!” Lewin brothers, Jake Stevens, the Atsalis brothers, the Quirks, the Mike bought his first Wainui Beach property in 1979, a little Drummonds, Dane Simpson, Jae and Sam Mills, Jay Papworth, bach across from the surf in Moana Road for $21,000, now owned Ben Cowper, Damon and Brendon Meade, Bobby Hansen, Ben by Chrisse Robertson. He later met his partner Fiona Cummings and Drew Galbraith, Hamish Simpson, Jimmy Walker, Dion Brown, and they bought the old Gibson family’s Wairere Road beachfront James Tanner, Josh Colbert, Choppy O’Leary, Shannon Dowsing, property in 1981. “Old Lex Gibson said he knew we were the buyers Luke Morrell, the Quinns, Damon and Ainsley Gunness, Brent Rasby, the moment we walked up from the beach, turned around and Owen McMillan, Tommy and Honey Dalton, Jaimée Clapham, Amber admired the view of the surf. Hardly checked the house out at all!” Dunn – the first and second generations of local grommets. And of Now 58-years-old Mike has been a teacher at St Mary’s primary course, “Teddy” Colbert, who may not have been born at Wainui school for the last 15 years. Like the all the others he has been able but has lived here for nearly 20 years. Add into the mix a middle to design a life around his obsession with the surf, venturing out generation who themselves are now parents at the beach like everyday and passing on the passion to his 17-year-old son Mats. Kelly and Caroline Ryan, Scott and Craig Willson, Mike Ferguson, In recent years there has been a steady arrival at Wainui of surfers Brent Rasby, Damon Gunness, Rees Morley, Cody Keepa, Andy from other parts of the world. Brazilians are finding the beaches and McCulloch, Salvatore Zame, Scott Pitkethley and others. the lifestyle here to their liking. Several surfers have moved over from Then we could fill a page with the new generation of today’s

SIGNATURE CUTBACK: The stylemaster of the ‘80s was Stefan “Teddy” Colbert pictured here at Stockroute.

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the UK, have bought houses and are having families. If there is one family that epitomises the way surfing has evolved into a way of life in this community, it has to be the Quinns. The two Quinn boys, Jae and Maz, are both full-time surfing professionals earning an enviable living purely from the surf industry. Dad Garry Quinn was one of those Wellingtonians that came north in the early ‘70s looking for warmer water and better waves. He returned to stay for good in 1977 with wife Phillipa and their eight month old baby boy, Maz. They worked and saved hard and were able to buy a house in Murphy Road in 1990. A decade later the entire family was totally involved in surfing and had amassed an unprecedented array of surfing titles and triumphs. While Garry served as KIDS’ STUFF: Anna Spence and Blair Stewart epitomise president and later executive office for Surf New Zealand, how local children are born to the culture. Maz became this country’s biggest-ever celebrity surfer with four New Zealand open titles and a place on the beach with a certain high school principal who said, ‘look at all those World Championship Tour. Second son Jae had been the World useless surfers out there waiting or their next free ride’.” Junior surfing champion and is the current New Zealand open as well However, a sea-change was coming. In the late ‘80s and into as longboard title holder. Daughter Holly had been the New Zealand ‘90s there came to surfing a move away from the anarcho-cosmic women’s champion (2002) and second in the world juniors. attitude that had been running strong for a very long time. A neoMaz now works as a world travelling surf ambassador for conservatism, based on family values, crept in with the renaissance Quiksilver, Jae has a similar role with Volcom and up until recently of surfing “clubs” and competitions. This new competitive era was Holly was head designer for Volcom. embraced by many surfing families living at Wainui Beach with Dad Garry still maintains a surfing lifestyle, currently owner of the young children keen to go surfing and surf competitively. Okitu Store: “Surfing pervades everything everyone does here. Our In the new millennium it became obvious that most surfer kids lives are designed around the waves. Up and down the beach there were inheriting their parents’ waterskills and then some. Many kids are people from all walks of life – doctors, lawyers, business owners, were surfing almost as soon as they could stand up. Surfing became tradesmen, unemployed – all organising their lives around the need a children’s sports option. The Gisborne Boardriders Club was to go surfing.” reenergized and very quickly warped from seedy, late night booze Garry also agrees with the extended family concept where the kids cult into a family barbeque revival. from surfing families have all grown up together, look out for each Surfing quickly become an acceptable, and sought after, way other, share mainly the same philosophies and often marry each of life – and a viable business. Many people at Wainui are today other. involved in the surf industry in some way or other. Brother and sister Blair and Sonya Stewart own Sequence Surf Shop; the O’Leary’s With the kids growing up there was change in the wind own New Wave Surfboards; district councillor Andy Cranston makes at Wainui Beach. From the early ‘70s right through to the mid-’80s surfboards; Tommy Dalton makes surfboards; Teddy Colbert and surfing was generally considered an “alternative” sport and the Craig “Bondy” Morton have a fledgling surf business; Logan Murray lifestyle surrounding it was most-often viewed by those who weren’t is a world renown surfing photographer. Several locals give surfing involved in it as rebellious, underground, unproductive – the pursuit lessons or hire out boards. of society’s drop outs. As Noel Craft says: “One day I was at the Photographer Logan Murray came to Wainui Beach in 1997 and

279 gladstone ro a d phone 868 936 4 BeachLife | 31

built a house across from the surf in Wairere Road. In his book “The Surf Photography of Logan Murray” he says: “Wainui is a sandy beach with a wide swell window, clean water and great lighting. As good a location as any in New Zealand for a surf photographer. Wainui exudes a relaxed nuance of Kiwi surf culture which I enjoy and feel comfortable in.” That kind of sums where we are at, history-wise. Surfing is now a benign blend of everything good about being at the beach. The kids are surfing, the grand-dads are surfing, the mums are surfing, everyone’s surfing. As McTavish said earlier– surf, surf, surf and surf. The revival of the longboard has allowed surfers to continue surfing past their body’s former use-by dates. As we speak standup and paddle surfboards are making their appearance. It’s very colourful and very healthy. And it’s still free. No one has yet come up with a concept to charge people for the use of the waves. The beaches and the waves belong to all of us. So why are these two particular beaches – of all the beaches, coves and bays on the coastline of New Zealand – so “surf special”? Why have so many people been drawn here from all points of the compass and never been able to leave? The answer lies in the regularity of storm generated ocean swells and the prevailing wind direction in Gisborne. We have two surfing arenas side-by-side, each providing rideable waves in a variety of geophysical, weather and swell direction scenarios. Makorori is primarily a series of reef breaks. Makorori Point is a permanent reef structure, affected by the build up of sand along its edge. Surf quality depends on the direction of the swell, but it is a fairly predictable and constant option. Swells break on the point of the reef then slide along its shallow edge creating a surfable, breaking shoulder. It is the longest and often most gentle wave in the area. It can also be the most perfect when all factors are aligned. The rest of the popular breaks at Makorori are also created by permanent rock and reef structures, all dependent on random sand movement, but are generally consistent and permanent breaks. Wainui Beach is a different scenario. Along its four kilometre sandy length are several named surf breaks, but the conditions that create them are random. Just off the beach in the wave breaking zone the sand is constantly moving, constantly shifting and shaping transient sandbanks. The sandbanks are shaped by the direction of offshore currents cutting channels in the sand. The currents are determined by the prevailing wind and swell directions. The currents, channels and sandbanks determine, randomly, where rideable surfing waves break. However, the shape of the bay, and undersea rock outcrops, makes certain places more likely to form good sand banks than others. Over the years places like the Stock Route, the beach access near the school, the Pines car park, the Chalet car park and the area by the whales grave have proved the most consistent and have been given colloquial place names that first became the jargon of the surfing crowd, but are now recognised as local place names generally. The demanding nature of the beach breaks at Wainui – most often providing short, steep, cylindrical waves – has made it a nursery for many of New Zealand’s top competitive surfers who have diced with these fast breaking peaks from childhoodd. The other two important factors, in creating Wainui Beach as a internationally renown surfing location, are it’s orientation and the prevailing wind. Wainui’s geographic position facing due east means that the bay is like a huge radar dish, attracting swell from due north right around the compass to due south. A 180° wave window! Swells generated by Antarctic storms arrive here, so too do waves created by tropical cyclones near Fiji. The cream on the cake is the local prevailing wind direction – the offshore north-westerly. The same wind that brings cold Tasman rain and rough conditions from 32 | BeachLife

Auckland down to Wellington, blows itself dry over the Raukumara Ranges, absorbs the warmth of the Poverty Bay flats, fans out over Wainui and Makorori Beaches, brushing the incoming ocean swells smooth and glassy, clean and steep. The only bugbear in this perfect surfing scenario is the equal prevalence of summer sea breezes turning the wind around each morning as the land heats up, sucking the cool ocean air back inland. This is why surfers place so much importance on getting up early and surfing the optimum conditions before the arrival of the mid morning sea breeze. The up and down of the surf is the pulse of life here at the beach. What is really interesting, and allows for anthropological theorising, is that most surfers understand how all these influences work and are constantly in tune with them on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The surf community has an acute sensitivity to wind and sea change, constantly assessing visual weather clues and observing swell patterns and directions. This intuitive understanding of geography, hydrography and weather patterns is an inbuilt skill being handed down through the generations. A shift in the wind, the hint of a new swell or a degree drop in temperature are all mentally noted the length of the beach. The concept of surfing communities developing as modern “tribes” is well documented. So it can he postulated that Wainui and Makorori surfers have evolved as a distinct “coastal tribe” – with many unique customs and legends, as well as a certain local dialect and a library of local knowledge. Part of that local knowledge is the understanding of a fundamental code of ethics that surfers obey intuitively. This subconscious adherence to an unwritten “law” is common at popular surfing beaches world-wide and – coupled with an imported CalifornianHawaiian-Gold Coast cultural and historic viewpoint – has a large control over social behaviour and interpersonal customs at Wainui and Makorori. Behaviours that come into play include a surfer’s sense of “territorial occupation” which determines how he views other “locals” compared to visiting surfers from outside his territory. There is also an understood order of social dominance (pecking order) which is based on historic and current displays of wave riding skill, dedication to surfing and the ability to master big surf conditions. Having just completed a Bachelor of Social Science degree at Waikato University, local second-generation surfer, Robson Timbs, has recently prepared an interesting assignment entitled: “The Construction of Surfing Space: Case Study on Wainui Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand”. In this thesis he explores the “social geography” of the local surf culture. He says informal “laws and rules of surfing” are very much part of the “geographic space” of Wainui Beach. Out in the water Wainui surfers can distinguish insiders (locals) from outsiders (visitors). Visitors are easily spotted but they are generally made to feel included here. But this welcome is, however, dependent on their behaviour. As long as visitors adhere to the known “laws” of behaviour they will be included. However, anyone who comes in with a “bad attitude” will certainly get a “bad vibe” in return. “The good thing is that most of the local surfers know that these people are not going to be here for good, they are only here for that day, or that swell, then they are moving on again. As long as the unwritten rules of behaviour are acknowledged, outsiders are welcome at Wainui Beach,” Robson’s report quotes. He also notes that, while at many other surf locations social barriers and notions of exclusion and inclusion may be apparent between riders of different surf craft and surfers from various

TROPHY TEAM: Local surfers pose at Mount Maunganui after winning the 1967 Quane Trophy. From left – John Robinson, Greg Warren, Chris Ransley, Denzil Owen, Mark Jones, Glen Sutton, Billy Goodwin, Terry Burns, Peter Goodwin and Des Atkins. Peter Goodwin Photo. locations on the beach, most people he interviewed were not aware of hostility based on choice of surf craft or favoured location. An interviewee was quoted: “I am amazed at the lack of hostility amongst the short boarders, long boarders, knee boarders, body boarders. I rarely have experienced any animosity amongst these surfing groups at all.” Robson also says the presence of “surfing gangs” at Wainui Beach has not lead to conflict, unlike similar situations at Australian beaches. Groupings such as the Okitu Assassins and the Stock Route Mafia (SRM) and Town Syndicate are more social groupings, minor sub-tribes of the whole surfing community and the concept of “local gangs” is most-often tongue-in-cheek and more a send-up of the Aussie culture they derive from. Summing up the social vibe of the surf culture at Wainui-Makorori Robson’s assignment says that despite the presence of surfers of a variety of skills and ages, Wainui Beach surfers seem to promote commonality over difference. “There are the young guys, the older crowd, the established professional surfers, a couple of knee boarders, a small body boarding crowd, low-key local surfers who surf as good as the pros; but everyone has minimal egos, mostly are friendly, forthcoming folk.” So, that’s BeachLife’s take on the local “surf culture”. It has been an interesting research journey and, while I knew the culture ran deep, I am amazed at just how entrenched surfing now is in our community. This was one of the concerns some of us had when “reticulation” threatened to hike up our rates and make it difficult for ordinary,

original locals and young families to continue living here. Noel Craft said someone jokingly once told him: “If you want to know where the best real estate is in a town these days, just follow the surfers home.” The real estate boom we went through until just recently did rattle us all up a bit. While it was great to know your old beach shack was suddenly worth “millions”, it was disconcerting to know your kids might never afford to live here. But looking around – and as our Beach Babes pages are evidence of – there are a good number of Wainui kids who have grown up, had their own kids and now have their own homes at the beach, raising families and continuing the surfing way of life. Long may it run! NATIONALS HONOURS BOARD: Wainui Beach surfers have held the New Zealand open surfing championship title for seven of the last twelve years. Maz Quinn (1996, 2000, 2004, 2006); Damon Gunness (2002); Blair Stewart (2003) and Jae Quinn (2008). Jae Quinn is the current longboard champion (2008), U18 champion (1999), U16 champion (1999), U14 champion (1996, 1997); Brent Rasby was longboard champion (1999); Jared Ferris was bodyboard champion (2007), Luke Porter is the current kneeboard champion (2008); Damon Gunness is the current senior champion (2008), U16 champion (1993, 1994), U18 champion (1994); Holly Quinn was the women’s champion (2002) and junior champion (2000); originally from Wainui Beach Lisa Hurunui was women’s champion (2000, 2001) and junior champion (1998); Bobby Hansen was U18 champion (2001), U16 champion (2000), U14 champion (1998, 1999); Maz Quinn U16 champion (1992); Chris Ransley was junior champion (1969). Although not from Wainui but for the record Ben Hutchings won the open championship at Wainui Beach in 1975.

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Shaping a life The Bob Rasby story From that day on Ben Two years ago Bob Hutchings and Bob Rasby Rasby was sitting at his started a friendship, and desk at work. The next became team, that would thing he knew he was eventually have a huge lying on the floor. He had impact on the surf culture suffered a stroke. It was a of Gisborne in years to cruel blow. He has been come. left partially paralysed and Bob followed Benny forced to use a mobility down the coast a bit to scooter to get around for Ballina where they both the past two years. He got jobs building fishing hates it. And when you find trawlers at the Ballina out what a large life he has Shipping and Engineering led, you can understand. company. Benny was Bob, also known as finishing off a plumber’s “Razza”, is Wainui Beach’s apprenticeship and Bob surfing royalty. He has was able to continue with the credentials. He’s Bob his fitting and turning. the Shaper. He worked They rented a couple with McTavish. He made of beach shacks with no hot surfboards for Lopez and “Bob’s lively spirit was captivating and his willingness to be water near the point surf Brewer. He was part of the taught the stuff we were doing shapewise was admirable. Not break at Lennox Heads on shortboard revolution. He got saying he was a total follower, he stood up for his own ideas the coast road between Byron around in his day. and theories. His craftmanship was excellent, probably better and Ballina. For eight months It all began in the Brisbane than mine in those days.” BOB MCTAVISH they lived a spartan existence suburb of Rosalie where Bob surfing Lennox, travelling to was born in 1947. It was a long Ballina to work. Then it was back to Ballina where they moved in to a way to the beach but Bob had an uncle who owned one of the first big flash house overlooking the surf with local surfboard maker Ken motels to be built down the coast at the blossoming new tourist Adler who owned the San Juan label. It was here both surfers got town of Surfer’s Paradise. Two-storied. One of the tallest buildings their early grounding in the board making business. on the strip. When Ben finished his apprenticeship a year later they caught a “I used to get down there every weekend I could. I hated being in train to Sydney and then flew over to Auckland with two brand new the city. I would go down to the surf club at Surfer’s beach and rent a San Juan surfboards in their baggage. After buying a cheap 1948 “surf-o-plane”, a kind of air mattress. vintage Vauxhall, they strapped the boards on to the bare roof, and “Then one day just after I had turned 15 my mum said, ‘Bob, I’m headed south. At a fork in the road they tossed a coin and turned going to buy you a surfboard’. So we drove down to South Brisbane east instead of west and ended up in Gisborne early one Saturday to Joe Larkin’s Surf Shop. I was a kid, a total kook. But for 34 morning in April of 1968. pounds and 10 shillings mum bought me a 9’6” surfboard. Joe lent At Mo Currie’s Gisborne Service Station they were given us some roof racks to get it home.” directions to the beach by two local surfers, Denzil Owen and Glen From his first job as a fitter and turner’s apprentice at Queensland Sutton and, after a quick stop for fresh fruit at the Lee Brothers fruit Government Print, Bob saved up and bought his first car. An FJ shop in Peel Street, headed out to Makorori Beach. Holden. Every Friday afternoon he escaped Brisbane and went south Benny remembers that first surf morning at Makorori, but Bob to hang out surfing the beaches around Coolangatta. remembers more vividly the afternoon spent over the hill at the In 1966, 18-years old, he chucked in his apprenticeship and Tatapouri Hotel: “It was absolutely crowded. I’d never seen anything escaped Brisbane for good. He decided the Gold Coast was getting like it. We met some Auckland guys there and ended up staying in too crowded so he and a mate moved on down to Byron Bay and their flat in Salisbury Road and then later moved into a Roberts Road shacked up in a rented tent in the Byron Bay camping ground. flat.” He later moved in to a guest house run by Mrs Bertolli, an Italian Bob stayed the winter in Gisborne, working at the bottling factory matriarch who had 18 children. in Palmerston Road, surfing and partying-up with the locals and At Byron Bay’s main beach one day he asked someone who was other transient surfers hanging out in the Waikanae Beach vicinity. the red-headed guy out in the water carving it up? “Ben stayed on in Gisborne and I went back to Byron to find we “That’s Bondi Benny,” he was told. 34 | BeachLife

no one to shape them. So I ended up staying to help out.” had missed the best-ever winter of surf at Lennox Heads. A group Bob stayed longer than he planned and never made that trip back of hot Hawaiians had been there and had brought with them a whole to Hawaii. He married local girl Cathy Priestly at the end of ‘72, had pile of boards that were different shapes than what we were all riding his first child Saren and later son Brent, and went into a business at the time. partnership with Ben as part-owner of Surfboards Gisborne. “I made some paper templates from these boards and posted So Gisborne accidently scored one of the top surfboard shapers them over to Ben back in Gisborne. It was with these designs that he of the time in the middle of the shortboard revolution, someone who started Surfboards Gisborne.” had been working with the likes of Brewer and McTavish who were While Ben was making a life in Gisborne, having married Glen redirecting the future of surfing through innovative redesign. Sutton’s sister, Bob started shaping boards for their old mate Kenny Bob stayed on, shaping hundreds of surfboards, until the end of Adler at San Juan. At the end of ‘69 he flew out to Hawaii where he Surfboards Gisborne when they sold out to Des Delaney in 1978. In stayed for three months. that time he gave encouragement to younger guys keen on shaping In Honolulu he caught up with friend Dick Hoole (who later made like Ray Dalton and Doug Stewart, who went on to have their own the famous surf movie Tubular Swells with Jack McCoy in 1975) board making businesses in Gisborne. who had been the manager at San Juan back in Byron who told Bob With his young family Bob rented a house at Kaiti Beach and went they were looking for a shaper at Surfboards Hawaii. Dick rang up to work at the freezing works with his fitting and turning skills. With Dick Brewer at Surfboards Hawaii who said, “tell him to bring round Benny as the inspiration again, Bob got involved in the Midway Surf one of his boards and we’ll check him out.” At the time Hoole was Life Saving Club which he says, working at the Dewey Weber “was one of the best things I ever surf shop in Honolulu recently did, really something special.” opened by Randy Rarick. In 1985 he got a job with the Bob didn’t have anything Housing Corporation and when decent to show off so Dick his marriage broke up in 1986 arranged for Bob to quickly he moved out to rent a beach shape up a board at Dewey house in Pare Street. Here he Weber. Dick glassed the board got in with the local crew of Kim and when it was ready they Gunness, Bernie Martin, Mark chucked it on the car and drove Barker, Ian Francis and started an over for the job interview. It affair with the game of golf, aided was Gerry Lopez who checked and abetted by good mate Peter out Bob’s board and said: Goodwin. He bought a house and “Yep, you’re the guy.’” So Bob moved to Douglas Street for a got the job of making Gerry while but missed the closeness of Lopez and Dick Brewer labelled his Pare Street buddies. He sold surfboards for the retail trade. up and was able to buy the Pare With this on his resumé SHAPING UP: Bob (left) with Ron Amann and Benny Hutchings at the Street house he had previously Bob flew out to California House of Surfboards Gisborne circa 1971. been renting. a few months later with an It was at the Poverty Bay golf introduction to San Diego course in 2002, on the second green, that he suffered a severe boardmaker Don Hansen, who had earlier taught Ken Adler to shape. heart attack which resulted in a five-way bypass heart operation. Here he worked at a large factory in one of eight shaping bays This slowed Bob down a fair bit and while he couldn’t really surf turning out up to 10 boards a day, five days a week – with 30 illegal any more, he got back into golf, went back to work at the Housing Mexicans doing the glassing. Corporation, and generally got on with things. Then it was back to Byron Bay for ‘70 where he lived and worked Then, on November 15, 2006 a blood clot went walkabout in his for a few months with Bob McTavish who was working out of Adler’s brain. He has learned to walk again, but with difficulty and needs San Juan shop. the scooter for the trip down to the Tsunami Bar to catch up with his “Bob’s lively spirit was captivating and his willingness to be taught mates Pete, Peter, Goody, Gunner, Griff, Fred, Kelly, Scott and the the stuff we were doing shapewise was admirable. Not saying he rest of the Tree Hut Club. His left arm and hand are next to useless, was a total follower, he stood up for his own ideas and theories. His but he is going to physiotherapy three times a week and looking to craftsmanship was excellent, probably better than mine in those the day he can hold a golf club again. days,” says McTavish, the man often credited with inventing the Bob is generally embarrassed about having this article written shortboard. about him and I have been worried he would ask me not to print “We were in the middle of the reduction process. The Plastic it at the last minute. Just when I thought he was going to pull the Machine era had passed, as had the Trackers, and we were shaping plug he said to me: “I’ve been thinking about what all this really stuff for Lennox with pointed noses and friendly squashtails. Lengths means and at the end of it all there is a message for parents and under seven feet. their kids. When mum took me down to Joe Larkin’s and bought me “Bob took over from me shaping the boards at San Juan when that surfboard it changed my life. It got me out of hanging around I took off to California for a while. He was a clean happy honest in the city where I was bound to have got into trouble. Suddenly I shaper. A really good guy to be around.” had a surfboard and it was mine and it gave me a whole new life – In September of ‘71 Bob decided to return to Hawaii but came Rainbow Bay, Kirra Point. So I say to parent’s, buy them that first back via Gisborne first to see how his mate Benny was doing with surfboard, get them into the surf. It’s got to be good for them. And his Surfboards Gisborne operation. “When I called in to the factory in Disraeli Street Ben’s shaper it’s got to be good for the surfboard industry too.” Jimmy Croskery had just left, and Ben had hundreds or orders and

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our kids

BeachLife runs regular stories about the success of our kids, at home and abroad. Send suggestions to

Luke Morrell is the head of the art department at Volcom – one of the world’s leading youth culture clothing labels I was actually born in Australia, but don’t hold that against me. Fortunately for my sisters and I, my parents realised that maybe raising a family in Adelaide – the murder capital of Australia – wasn’t a good idea. So at the age of three we were shipped out and moved to Gisborne. (Well done Mum and Dad.) It wasn’t until my last year of primary school that I was introduced to surfing when we moved to Wainui Beach. This was the most influential move for me. Not only because I was introduced to the full brunt of the surfing culture, but also because this was when Mum and Dad began to take their artistic hobby seriously. Our home was one big art class, which I embraced with much enthusiasm. Because these two new worlds – art and surfing – were being introduced to me at the same time, I found many similarities between the two. They seemed to inter-twine with each other. I started getting into the clothing, the art, the magazines, the videos and the music of the surf culture.

EYE FOR ART: Wainui local Luke Morrell has a top job as art department manager with top world surf label Volcom based in Sydney.

Artistic passion lands job with leading surf label across marketing, product and catalogues and photo shoots.

I still remember all the ads I pulled out of the magazines and put on my wall. I always dreamed of one day creating surf advertisements like those. But at this stage I was more interested in surfing and causing all sorts of mischief around the neighbourhood with the likes of the Two Jays and the Nalders. (Sorry to owners of all the roofs of our surrounding neighbours.)

We are one of the major competitors to Billabong and Quiksilver. Volcom embraces every aspect of the surf, skate, snow culture and is the leader of its field. Getting here proves that if you believe in doing something and don’t get knocked down by others beliefs – plus throw in a lot of hard work and persistence – you can make it happen.

It wasn’t until high school (GBHS) that I began to take my art more seriously. I think it wasn’t only my parents influence, but also my teachers. I was fortunate enough to have three very talented teachers who realised my potential and pushed me – Dick Calcott, Lee Morgan and Karl Johnson. It was there that I knew that arts was going to be my chosen career path.

As well as producing art for our seasonal art pools, designing advertisements and coming up with ways to keep Volcom fresh and innovative and leaders of our field – I’ve recently been working with Ozzie Wright on creating “Featured Artist” product packages using Ozzie’s artwork that we will be selectively offering to retailers.

After high school, I then got accepted into Massey University, school of design, fine arts and music, where I studied design and fine arts and after four long years majored in a bachelor of design.

It’s a pretty good job. I’m surrounded by many talented and creative people and every day is a challenge, which is part of the fun. We constantly have to think of ways to be different within this retail climate. My goals for the future are to keep learning and pushing myself and to keep looking for inspiration from all the unlikely places.

I remember in my final year I did a whole surf themed project and commenting on my presentation one of the teachers said: “This is the only time you’re going to be able to do anything to do with surf. It’s not like that in the real world.” What did he know. I now work for the surf, skate and snow clothing brand Volcom as the art department manager, where I get to work on all projects

36 | BeachLife

I live in Manly and do most of my lunch time surfs at Curl Curl Beach and North Steyne. I’m lucky enough to live and work five minutes from the beach.

Tom shapes up to best in the world Tom Dalton really couldn’t have been anything else but a really good surfboard maker. Growing up, playing LOST AND FOUND: Shaper Tommy Dalton has earned a place in the world around dad Ray’s surf factory, watching and listening to all surfboard making hierarchy. the talk about surf and surfboards, learning to surf as soon as he could walk – he really didn’t have much option. Born in a caravan at Byron Bay in 1979 while Ray and Gail were building a house on their section by the beach at Suffolk Park, Tommy is a true child of the late ‘70s northern New South Wales and Gisborne surf cultures. Tom, now 28, and a new dad himself, has these days well and truly taken over from where “Aardee” left off and has gone on some from there. Tom is one of New Zealand’s most respected surfboard shapers and that reputation is also gaining recognition internationally. A business relationship and close friendship with Matt Biolas, the founder of Lost Enterprises, has given the Wainui local a global perspective of the surfing industry. Earlier Ray had latched on to the alternative Lost marketing concept, hand-shaping franchised Lost custom designs for the New Zealand market. Biolas came out to Gisborne in 2000 to check out what was happening at the Wainui factory, did some shaping and took a liking to young Tommy. He invited Tom back to California where he went to work shaping at the Lost factory in San Clemente. This was a huge boost for Tom to be working alongside the world’s best shapers at one of the world’s top-three surfboard making companies. In a recent issue of Kiwi Surf magazine Tom was quoted: “It was like I had qualified for the WCT of shaping. Arriving at my first day at work I realised that this was what I really wanted to do. This was my dream.” At the end of that two month stint Tom had shaped 400plus boards for Lost. What he would expect to make in a whole year before Christmas the latest in surfboard technologies Lost Firewire. in New Zealand. In the Kiwi Surf article Matt Biolas summed up Tommy Dalton: When he got back home dad saw it was time to hand over the reins “Tommy’s a great guy. He immersed himself into my family and we of the family surf business, moving aside to let Tom do the full-time surf a lot together, have a lot of fun. He’s driven to keep up with the shaping and generally take over The Boardroom with partner Hayley. times and grow his business. I am sure we will work together for a Tom went back to the States the following year again at the long time ahead.” invitation of Biolas and went to work six days a week pumping out literally hundreds of boards for many of America’s leading surfers, earning more and more respect and trust from the Lost boss. In 2004 he agreed to go to work at Lost’s European based factory in Spain where he shaped all the Lost boards for shops throughout Europe and for the entire Lost team in Europe. It was in Spain that he proposed to girlfriend Hayley and they were married the very next summer on the sand at Makorori Beach. Since then he’s been making the trip to San Clemente every northern summer, except last year, while Hayley was pregnant with Jett. It’s an amazing and fruitful relationship for the local boardmaker, being befriended and trusted by one of the world’s leading shapers and surf brand entrepreneurs, being able to keep in touch with innovations and new designs, making boards for the world’s leading surfers (Cory and Che Lopez, Chris Ward, Shane Bechan, Aaron Cormican). All this experience, knowledge and insight is brought back home to the shaping bay and surf shop in his Mum and Dad’s front yard. Here he and Hayley retail custom and off-the -shelf surfboards incorporating a range of international labels such as STD, Lost, MR, P 867 1684 W Chilli, Placebo Fexlite’s and Ray Dalton Longboards – and coming

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our kids

Amanda’s double life leads to body building fame Amanda Foubister is a stunt worker, a health fitness consultant and the current Miss Fitness Australasia LitTle Amanda Foubister has LIVED a HUGE life since her school girl days at Wainui Beach in the 1980s. Today she is the current 2008 Miss Australasia Fitness Champion, a title she won first time up in 2007 after 10 years in the movie industry as a stunt performer. She is a sales and marketing executive for a sports nutrition company, writes training programmes for New Zealand Fitness Magazine and has plans to go professional on the world body building circuit. Amanda, now aged 31, came to Wainui at the age of 8 with her parents Vi and Allen Foubister from Auckland when they bought the Chalet Rendezvous from Malcolm McArthur in 1985. Her passion in those days was horse riding, particularly with friends Amanda Ritchie and Katie Ellmers, a pursuit that was to be a great asset later on in the stunt industry. In 1996 she went to Brazil as an AFS student and in 1999 she was in the New Zealand team at the world trampoline championships in South Africa. Amanda left Gisborne around 1999 for Auckland where she registered with an acting agency but ended up being persuaded to take on stunt actor work because of her gymnastic skills. “I’ve been paid to dress up and fall off horses for the last ten years,” she said while home recently for a Body For Life seminar. Amanda gained her experience on the Zena: Warrior Princess series where she says she was killed at least twice each episode, usually after “running around in a leather bikini waving a sword”. After Zena, Amanda went freelance as a self-employed stunt professional working on a number of US-made television movies and performing stunt scenes in local dramas like Shortland Street. She spent a year on Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as Miranda Otto’s stunt double in her role as Eowyn, the Shieldmaiden of Rohan. She also worked on Narnia: The Lion,The Witch and the Wardrobe, and was briefly Naomi Watts second unit stunt double on King Kong.

TWICE AUSTRALASIAN CHAMPION: Ten years as a movie stunt performer has led former local girl Amanda Foubister into the international world of competitive body building and fitness. 38 | BeachLife

All this stunt work required a lot of time spent in the gym working on fitness and strength, which led to entering the 2007 Miss Australasia Fitness contest, which she won, and then successfully defended in April this year. Her plan is to go to America early next year to compete in the 2009 Third Arnold Amateur IFBB International Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships, which is a stepping stone up to the world of professional body building and fitness. This means over two hours in the gym, six days a week, with the aim of peaking for the Arnold Schwarzenegger promoted amateur title in March. Amanda is still based in Auckland, working for EAS Sports Supplements and taking on occasional stunt work. Back home Amanda had time to catch up with her mum, Vi, and step-dad, Denis Irwin, out at the Colosseum.

our people

Frank Russell and Laurie Lautmann are American-born New Zealand citizens and long-time residents of Wainui Beach. This is their story as told by Laurie.

The Ballad of Frankie and Laurie Frank CAME TO NEW ZEALAND on a surf trip in ‘75 and he never really went home. Meanwhile I was hitching my way across the Pacific Ocean on sailboats, arriving into Auckland on a passenger liner in ‘78. I met up with Frank in Auckland. We had earlier gone out with each other back in California. Frank and I knocked around New Zealand for a bit, but eventually went our separate ways. Frank settled in Taranaki and I took off for Australia. Australia was okay but New Zealand had me hooked. Next time I returned I bought a Morris Minor in Auckland and made a beeline for Gisborne. I had first visited here with a couple of Canadians who I had met in Auckland back in `78. I fell in love with the place, especially the beaches. I had travelled quite a bit and was perhaps getting a bit weary, Gisborne felt just right for a place to unpack and stay put. My first home in Gisborne was the YHA youth hostel for a month. That would have been in 1979. I bought the house on Murphy Road in 1980. The best thing I ever did. The house was not being lived in when purchased. I don’t know much of its history other than it belonged to a Mrs Midge McDonald. I was 25 years old, knew nothing about how to buy a house. All I knew was that my goal of living on the beach was coming true. I had a variety of jobs here and I was coming and going a bit between here and California. A year here, a year there. In New Zealand I taught myself how to build lead-light windows and then during a home stint I got a job at a Southern California art glass studio where I finetuned my skills. Back in New Zealand, 1989, I launched my own business, Shoreline Glass. I was distributing bevelled glass, glass jewels, bits and pieces to the trade. All mail order, all from the house. Perfect business. In 1991 Women On Waves started up, inviting all women of any age to learn how to surf. Pivotal. I had been wanting to learn how to surf since I was about twelve. Seventeen years later and I am still surfing with many of the same women that were there in ‘91 Meanwhile Frank is over in Taranaki being a surfer, a dairy farmer and a basketball coach. Frank came over to Gisborne in 1991 for yes – you guessed it – another surf trip. He looked me up and again – never went home. He coached the Rising Suns for about six years. A year or two at the YMCA as programme director and then it was full time in the PE department at GBHS. 2002 was the first year for his Surfing With Frank business. He now teaches part time at GBHS and during the summer months he is nothing more than a blur between surf lessons. For the past six years we have been going to mainland Mexico during the New Zealand winters to surf. California now holds very little interest for either of us, especially as our parents have since passed away. We are both New Zealand citizens. Wainui Beach is a huge part of what makes our lives as good as they are. We wake up to the most beautiful beach every morning. We walk it, we surf it. We spend endless hours just looking at it. Frank and I have a saying: “ It’s a good day when you don’t have to get into your car to turn left off Murphy Road.”

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Fitzharris, Korbin Hutchings and Whakatane surfer Madison Hi again beach residents and local surfers welcome Atkins made the two-day journey down to the fridge for a very to Wave Rave #2. I can’t believe how much surfing news has been successful surf trip and competition. generated between the spring issue of BeachLife and now. I would World traveller Gabe Marriott who has been surfing in Hawaii like to thank all the people who have kept me informed and up to and Australia but had never before set foot in the South Island date with the gossip on the beach. Spring sprung early, and then took off for a few weeks when a cold snap had us burning the last of our firewood and in some cases furniture. Summer has now well and truly arrived with hot days and nights and an ever-so-slowly increasing water temperature. So far, fingers crossed, surf conditions have been pretty good with consistent small swells from all directions. There have been nice sandbars, especially along Wainui’s northern end with the absence of the dreaded gutter. Plenty of offshore winds have kept everyone happy. For the first time ever I had no regrets when I called for a water delivery truck as even the driest decade won’t see me spend $30,000 on water cartage. LET’S GO SURFING: The Boardroom’s Summer Slam was a huge success with nearly 300 new and Michael Fitzharris took a van load prospective young surfers turning up for a day of competition, coaching and general fun. of Wainui resident grommets south of now understands the quote, “don’t leave home till you’ve seen the the capital in October for a bit of a road trip and a competition in country”. She was in awe of the scenery and waves commenting Dunedin. Reno and Gabe Marriott, Hannah and Jacob Kohn, that it really wasn’t as cold as she expected? She is now planning on Adam Grimson, Johnny Hicks, Chloe Shutt, Jayda Martinapplying to study at the University of Dunedin. Good on her. Local ripper and owner of Gisborne Surf School Sam Johnson has been accepted into Police College in Wellington and has since left to begin the intensive six month training schedule that will see him return to Gisborne with an exciting new career ahead of him. Once trained, Sam would have to be regarded as one of the best surfing cops in the country. My money will be on Sam doing the double – longboard and shortboard titles at the Police Surfing Champs next year. Although Nigel Henstock and Scott Pitkethley, may have something to say about that. If you were down at Northern Makorori on Sunday the 23rd of November you would be forgiven for thinking the Gisborne A&P Show had returned. For the second year running The Boardroom in association with Sequence Surf Shop and Primo ran the Summer Slam grommet competition which brought over 400 people to Makorori Beach. KIDS ON TOUR: Local surf grommets had a ball thanks to Mike Fitzharris on a recent surf Divisions included a girls, primary, intermediate and trip to take part in a competition in Dunedin.


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secondary. With over $8000 worth of prizes and giveaways the event attracted a huge crowd of around 280 frothing kids and teenagers, all amping to get into the surf and score their share of the loot. Local surfboard maker Tommy Dalton, organiser and owner of The Boardroom arranged for a group of high profile Gisborne surfers to help run things and keep the 15 boy and girl heats rolling through. Frank Russell was there, he runs the very successful Surfing with Frank business and gave free surf lessons all day. The Hooks Brothers, Darren and Shane, along with Ben Cowper and Ben Wellington LET’S GO SURFING A BIT MORE: The Boardroom’s Summer Slam saw northern Makorori Beach alive with were there helping Frank by providing young surfers taking part in the coaching and competitions. extra man power and boards. There were Jet Ski rides with Ainsley Gunness and Sam Willis, sandcastle competitions and Mahia’s wiped away when their wives assured them that this was really only magician of surfing, and one of the sharpest surfers in the country, a test drive and they couldn’t take it home. Winners of each division at the Grand Slam received $100 cash and a trophy. Korbin Hutchings took out the primary division, Adam Grimson was the winner of the intermediates, Adam Cranston won the secondary division and Jayda MartinFitzharris won the girls division. All present became instant winners after their heats with spot prizes galore, free sausages courtesy of Pak‘N’Save, free drinks courtesy of Primo, free gift vouchers courtesy of Sequence Surf Shop, two free underwater digital cameras courtesy of Mitchells Cameras and the biggie, two free Lost surfboards from The Boardroom. One local boy, who attends Lytton High, Kurt Geiseler walked away with one of the boards and an excited Jack Freschini took the other. I left the beach exhausted and in awe of what the organisers, sponsors, parents and teachers had achieved. If ten THANKS MATE: Jack Freschini takes a firm grip of Tommy Dalton’s congratulatory handshake and his percent of the kids who took part carry on new Lost surfboard, one of two presented from The Boardroom. with the sport then Gisborne surfing has a Richard Christie was on hand signing posters and giving out spot bright future. prizes. Tommy D had a huge range of his surfboards lying around on I mentioned in the last article that the New Zealand Surfing Team the beach so even the kids without boards could get involved. was travelling to Portugal to compete in the 2008 ISA World Surfing Some really large kids even got to sample Tommy’s latest MR Games in October and two Wainui boys were in the team. Maz Fishes and Placebo boards. Excited and hopeful looks were soon Quinn finished 17th in the Open Men’s. The best result of our three


Learn to surf lessons: Surfboards and wetsuits provided. No more than 4 students per coach. Male, female, 8 to 80 years of age. Give it a go, you'll have a blast. Surf Tours & Surf Guiding: Gisborne, Raglan, Taranaki. Sit back and relax while we get you to the best waves for the conditions. Wetsuit and surfboard hire available.

Wainui Beach | Ph & Fax 06 867 0823 | Cell 021 119 0971

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Open Men’s surfers. Jarred Ferris finished 22nd in the Men’s Bodyboard – also the best result out of the two New Zealand men bodyboarders. The New Zealand team finished a reputable 10th place overall. The New Zealand team finished 12th at the last event in 2006. James Fowell, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris and Johnny Hicks all won titles in their divisions at the 2008 Maori Nationals held in Taranaki recently. Jayda actually won the Open Women’s title and at the tender age of 13 that’s got to be a special achievement for her. Bobby Hansen smashed all-comers winning the first of the new seasons SNZ Corona Crown Series Surfing Competition held at Makorori early in November. Bobby KURT’S KUTBACK: Is that a drop-knee cutback? Kurt Barker shows real balance and style in the has finished his WQS campaign for 2008 in last Gisborne Boardriders Club contest for the season. the late 60s. Bobby is the highest rated New small waves that pumped in during Jaredthe Ferris. Zealand surfer in the world at the moment. If you have been driving, cycling or even with a fresh coat of paint, new logos and lighting. running to work lately you would be pleased to see the completion Add to this a new batch of STD, LOST, Ray Dalton Longboards of the road works along the highway around The Boardroom. It’s all and MR Fishes there are no excuses for Girlfriends and Wives to be smoothed out now, grass seed down, waiting for a bit of rain. I’m not buying their boys undies and socks for Christmas. actually sure what was going on there but workers were kept busy If its Epoxy boards your after Tommy has Placebo, and Chilli for months digging and filling in holes, cutting down trees etc. Flexlite which are high performance epoxy boards. Anyway, Tommy Dalton who took over The Boardroom business Even better, and easily able to fit into board bag shaped Christmas from his Father Ray Dalton five years ago decided to celebrate the stocking are the new Lost Firewire boards with Parabolic rails new look and renovate the whole shop. coming soon. These are the latest in epoxy technology and will be Drop by and you will see the showroom has been doubled in size only available at The Boardroom, Wainui.

TOM GRIMSON PHOTO PUMPED: Duncan Milne cranks one off the top during the Boardriders lastest comp.

You can have a sneaky look at these missiles on Finally I have to say a happy birthday to Dave Collier of Douglas Street, my neighbour and fellow White Fence warrior. But its his wife Lisa Collier who gets the Top Lady award this month for organising a brand new, custom-made surfboard for her husband’s birthday. It bought a tear to my eye when I saw her down at the surf shop earlier in the month and she made me promise not to tell him about it. How romantic, Lisa is certainly committed to the longevity and quality of their relationship and I encourage other Wainui women to do the same this Christmas. He will love it for you, sorry – I mean, love you for it. KR


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Wainui resident Cliff Blumfield imports the World’s very best sunscreen. “Put it on the kids before school, just once a day and that’s it. No forgetting to take the tube. No more nagging.” Available only at:


The Way It Was

FLASHBACK: The derelict ruins of the Tuahine Point lighthouse we now view as part of the iconic view out from Wainui Beach was in fact the third lighthouse built at the tip of the Tuahine headland. Two earlier lighthouses were erected on the rocks nearby. The first built in 1905 was completely destroyed by fire just two months after its commissioning. A new cast iron structure came into service in 1909 and just a year later was severely eroded by landslides and declared unsafe. The concrete tower and lighthouse pictured above was built in 1911. Picnic excursions to the lighthouse were highly fashionable in the early 1900s. This lighthouse was turned off in the 1950s when it was replaced with a new electric system sited on top of the headland.

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BeachLife #2  
BeachLife #2  

Issue 2 of BeachLife magazine