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Plenty turns two, there are some strange goings on at the big lake, some strangely arousing goings on in Rotorua, Tamati Coffey talks te reo, Ross Murray provides graphic content, a Phoenix rises in Kawerau, and Plenty meets more than its fair share of characters in this, the Perfect Ten.

culture :: media :: art :: food


ISSUE 10 plenty.co.nz

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WhakapÄ mai

Editor/Kaiwhakatika Tuhinga




ISSN 2463-7351



Plenty Magazine is published by Plenty Limited. Copyright 2018 by Plenty Limited. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without the prior consent of the publisher. Plenty accepts no responsibility for the return or usage of unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Opinions expressed in Plenty Magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Plenty Limited.






ON THE COVER: As a homage to some of our

first imagery way back in Plenty 01. we set out to revisit our ‘Couch on a Beach’ shot with our new and improved ‘Lounge Suite on a Lake’ version. Special thanks to Lindy Sweet Pea Antiques of Taupō for helping us make it happen.


Illustrations by the very talented Katrin Kadelke. katrinkadelke.de


They say that your very first birthday is much like your very last: you don’t really know what’s going on or who anyone is, and you probably just wanna nap for a bit. That’s pretty much how our whole first year at Plenty was; we were finding out how to crawl, dozey from burning the midnight oil, and figuring out who was who in the Bay of Plenty. And we dribbled a bit.

And now, as we celebrate our second anniversary, we fully intend to live up to what any parent will know as the Terrible Twos. Yep, we’re going to play with our food, torment the cat, and pisspronouce our worms, but we’re also going to take some wobbly steps in new directions.

For a start we’ll be fully

We caught up with

Rotorua’s Coffin Club in Plenty 06 and are pleasantly surprised to inform you that their Y2K compatible and gluten free. story is currently being turned into – wait for it (and oh, We may contain traces of nuts, but go on then, drum roll please!) – a musical. Yup, a Coffin that’ll be the writers, there’s not Club musical. It makes perfect sense to Plenty and we’ll much we can do about that. Oh OK, be there on opening night. Come to think of it, a few of come on, who are we trying to kid: we’re the people we’ve featured in the last two years would just going to keep on doing what we’ve make great musicals. The fabulous Maketū Sisters done in the last two years – bringing you obviously (and they could play themselves), NZ’s the best of the Bay, the stories that matter, Top Model Dani Hayes (ditto – we ask you, who without the BS and the fluff. Just take a look else could do it?!), and the wonderful, colourful at this issue if you don’t believe us. and delightfully scented folks at The BonBon Regular readers (Hi Mum!) may notice that we Factory, but we’d have to bring back Smell-oput on a little weight over the summer. Those Vision for that one. Maurice Lees the creator extra mince pies (you again Mum) at the big of Bread Asylum – and the Bay’s best bread family doo have seen us fill out more pages, but – and his partner, the artist formerly and hey, this issue is still ‘The Perfect Ten’ so we currently known as Helene, already live won’t be hitting the gym or switching to lowwithin a form of theatre so they would carb cocktails anytime soon. We’re happy where be an easy one, as would Rotorua’s we are, and man we’re living truth that muscle Swamp Thing, because, like, they weighs more than fat! are already a band. And yes, you read that right – welcome to Number 10. It’s been a blast getting here. The highs, the lows, the late nights and early starts, this labour of love outside of our day jobs has all been worth it because we’ve met some awesome people along the way.

Then there were the folks that just inspired us. Jacinda Ardern, Nándor Tánczos, filmmaker Ainsley Gardiner, Sir Michael Cullen, Tak Mutu, the Kiwi Trust – ah the Creative people like the one and only Harlem list goes on and on Shine, the beachcombing carver we ran into in and you can get our very first issue. We loved his story of turning on over to plenty. driftwood into art and letting the waves take co.nz and read all it where they would from Ōhope Beach. So did about them in the BBC who picked up on that story. Or James our online back Rolleston, the Ōpōtiki local with the ready smile issues. made famous in Taika Waititi’s Boy – we’ll be bringing you more on him and the rollercoaster ride he’s been on in our next issue – and Brad Kora who has been creating the soundtrack to a lot of our lives recently. The former has a new movie in theatres real soon, and the latter has an awesome new LAB album out right now.


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We also got to work with some wonderful people. Our irregular writer


Lonnie Berg introduced us to regular contributor Jennie Michie, who turned out to be a really irregular person whose name we regularly misspelt; and the award winning Katee Shanks not only put up with us but introduced us to the aforementioned Dani Hayes, who was on our cover and then shot one of our covers. Confused? Welcome to our world sunshine. The elusive Bob Sacamano came out of Western Bay retirement, and Kay Boreham refused to be dazed or confused no matter what we threw at her, our ad man Chris Mulcahy performed magic, Suzanne with a Z led our distribution team, our long suffering accountant somehow managed to make it balance, ace photographer Shelby Hyslop caught our moments, and the wonderful peeps at Brebner Print proved there is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. There is one in cliché, incidentally, but that is neither here nor there. We’d like to thank them all and everyone else who has helped us make it this far. And to everyone who predicted our early demise, we’d just like to say we were never angry, we were just disappointed. Just like the Department of Conservation was when we put non-native pampas on the cover of 02 instead of native toi toi (yeah whatever, we’ll let it go when you do!).

Everyone who said that print is dead turned out to be an angry man with a fork in a world of soup, and we’d also like to remind you at this juncture (great word by the way – you should try to use it more often), that you can not only subscribe and get the future before everyone else, but you can also be like a complete nerd and collect the whole set of Plenty’s past by ordering back issues before they are all gone. Like we said, get on over to plenty.co.nz and, like, go wild.



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James Rolleston talks acting and Ōpōtiki, Greg Malcolm talks to Lonnie Berg, Harlem Shine talks about things that wash up - and away - at Ōhope, Plenty gets a word in edgeways with Bread Asylum, and Anne Thorp tells it like it is.

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Fr e e Mag az i ne


The Maketū Sisters talk roots and rising to fame, Plenty clears up some unfinished business in Manawahe, goes truffle hunting in Kutarere, and sorts the wood from the trees in Rotorua, while Jenny Michie gets serious with Sir Michael Cullen, the A&P Show returns, and Hamish Pettengell looks back on Whakaari.

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Fr e e Mag az i ne

Issue 01 plenty.co.nz

Issue 04 plenty.co.nz


Jacinda Adern recalls being the only leftie in the village, Lonnie Berg goes up in the world with Volcanic Hills and Hamish Pettengell up in the air with early aviation, No. 3 looks at becoming No. 1, Katee Shanks talks fashion and fame with Danielle Hayes, and Annabelle White says keep it simple.

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ISSUE 07 plenty.co.nz


Glenn Smith talks radio and Kay Boreham interviews artist Jamie Boynton, we meet the multi-talented Mr Anthony Clyde, Plenty dwells on an affair to remember in Kawerau, Lonnie Berg juggles her beverages, and we talk to two – yes, two! – Sam Clarks.

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Free Ma ga zi n e

Issue 02 plenty.co.nz


Plenty corners the market in paper planes while Sulata Ghosh goes in search of the Bay’s best eats, we read the tea leaves with Noble and Savage and brew up with Mata Beer, Jenny Michie phones home, and there is a night to remember at Tarawera.

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Free Magazine

Plenty culture :: media :: art :: food

Issue 05 plenty.co.nz

Ainsley Gardiner is making movies and Swamp Thing are making waves, Darryl Church turns 21 while Plenty goes to Katikati, we learn how to say Nándor Tánczos properly, and Sulata gets cooking and we finally get fashionable in the foothills of Manawahe.


07 08

ISSUE 08 plenty.co.nz


The John McKay Trio raise the roof and Matatā reclaims the All Blacks, Plenty goes organic in Edgecumbe and Kay Boreham talks to Sir Wira Gardener, Jennie Michie is the new Lonnie Berg and war is declared to save the kiwi.

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Free Ma ga zi n e


Issue 03 plenty.co.nz


Brad Kora talks music and brotherly love, Chris Roberts talks tourism while Ōpōtiki keeps it real, Plenty finds high-quality, affordable underground furniture with the Coffin Club, and the search is on for dinosaurs in Te Urewera.

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ISSUE 06 plenty.co.nz


Katee J Shanks hitches a ride with the Modern Māori Quartet and Jennie Michie meets Lynley Dodd, Anton Steel builds it so they will come and Adrienne Whitewood has a design for life, while Plenty goes electric, turns Japanese, gets into hot water, and hits the beach in Ōhope.

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ISSUE 09 plenty.co.nz

P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8




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ANY A BEER COMPANY has played the Kiwi-As card, from the frankly painful attempts of large, often foreign-owned corporations painting themselves as the real deal (usually while simultaneously dumbing-down the national character), to the equally annoying and all-toclever attempts of hipsters the nation over, who throw on a Swandri, try to get down with the common man (never the, er, common woman), and then paint it ironic. Into this swirl of story-boarded histories and implausibly perfect campaign faces, there comes the Lakeman, bringing a story of beer, DIY brewing ingenuity, pride, um, farming, ambition and much more in the form of a large hairy creature that haunts Lake TaupĹ?. This is a story like no other, and you Auckland ad men can eat ya heart out, because this is Lakeman Brewery, the most Kiwi-As beermaking adventure ever.

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Credit Jorge Perrito Rory Donovan – Cleaning the Mash Tun after digging out the mash.

Rory Donovan (Head Brewer) Elissa Cooper, James Cooper and Jimmy Dale


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nd in the most Kiwi of scenarios Plenty chases the founders of Lakeman down the coast where they are holidaying, camping out of phone and internet range on a long weekend of sun, sand and family. When they finally do return to their Taupō base and rejoin the world, our call manages to interrupt brewery founder James Cooper at work. “I’ve just been out dagging sheep,” he says apologetically, “and I’ve got to clean up and run a couple of kegs to the brewery. Can I call you back in five?” How many other master brewers can count dagging in their skill set. Far too few we suspect. James was – and still is truth be told – a farmer when someone handed him a Coopers beer because he shared the surname. He was struck by how cool it would be to have a beer bearing your name, but also a bit peeved that some Aussies had taken his. After a bit of brainstorming with partner Elissa they decided to launch a beer of their own, and as they were keen on their Big Lake location and on being a bit different from the myriad of other craft brewers about, they came up with Lakeman. Complete with large hairy creature. To say that they took a pretty Kiwi approach to the idea is putting it mildly. “We had no training, no experience, nothing,” James says. “We did a lot of Googling, we did a lot of asking around and picking the brains of people. And when you start something like this it’s a Kiwi thing for people to just help out.” Something that came through from all of those people who helped out was the importance of keeping it local: Kiwi water, Kiwi malt and Kiwi hops, and that is probably the main reason that Lakeman’s brews are proving so popular. These are robust, no nonsense beers – Taupō Thunder, Hairy Hop, Wild Man – pale ales short on flowery adjectives and big on taste. “The guiding principle was that we wanted our beers to taste like Kiwi beers,” says James. “So we never considered anything except Kiwi ingredients, from the hops to the water.” And the latter, we should point out, comes from a bore on the Cooper farm. Next to the brewery. But don’t worry, it’s a deep bore.

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Credit Jorge Perrito Dean Howells, winner of the pie eating contest with 12.5 mince and cheese pastry wonders in ten minutes. Dean is on the right, in the hat.

After five years in serious production, Lakeman is now a serious contender. But James is quick to admit that the craft beer industry is changing in New Zealand. “There are 200 craft brewers out there,” he notes, “and that is a lot. Can the market support that many? I don’t know. There are going to be some interesting times ahead for the industry, and I think there will be a few sharp corners, but I think it will all come down to the quality of your brew – Kiwis know their beer, let’s face it, you can’t fool them – and I guess also how innovative you can be about capturing the market.” Outside of tired and monotonous billboard campaigns, how do you capture the market? How about sticking one of your staff in an extremely hot Lakeman suit for events – James admits its whoever draws the short straw on the day that get’s that one – and running events like their recent inaugural pie eating competition. In what must be another finalist for the “Best Idea Ever”, Lakeman organised a ten-minute challenge for who could literally eat all the pies. A hardy crew of carnivores and wannabes, seasoned professionals and, um, a Welshman wandering past, fronted up on the day and the grand prize in the event went to the Welshman with a very credible and not-recommended-by-the-NZ-HeartFoundation 12.5 mince and cheese pastry wonders in ten minutes. All conducted at a craft bar; it may have been won by a Welshman, but it still makes you proud to be a Kiwi. Lakeman are currently working on solidifying their Kiwi distribution network – and you can help them with that by asking for it by name at your local supplier – but they also have big things on the horizon like a tasting room. Oh, and the pie eating competition is going to be an annual event, so get in training people – we need to wrestle this back from Wales. At least we can rest assured that no one is ever going to wrestle the Lakeman out of its roots.


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Boaty McBoat Face... Knot Going... Chores... Fair Weather Friend... Mum’s To Do List... Queen Anne’s Revenge... it’s not just a tradition going back hundreds of years, naming a boat can be fun! Which is great because all boats over 4m on Bay of Plenty waterways now need to be clearly marked with a name or number.

hundreds of those on the water. By naming, we should be able to narrow it down and find an owner or the craft faster. That difference could save lives.

It is all about identification. It’s hard to find out if there is a person missing or deal with any other concern when a report relates to “a 6m Extreme” or a “4.5m Stabicraft” as there are

There are a few rules about the name (size, colour, readability) and which craft need to be named in the Bay of Plenty Navigation Safety Bylaw.

Read more about it at www.boprc.govt.nz/navbylaw


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To anyone of a certain age, the work of Ross Murray will strike a certain chord. I’m not saying you have to be old – because you don’t, and he certainly isn’t – but you do have to know what a peeling corrugated iron awning looks like, how a MK II Cortina up on blocks is a multi-layered narrative in itself, and recognize the uniquely warmtoned and saturated colours of Kiwiana.

All of these things – and much, much more – populate the world of Ross Murray. The Mount Maunganui-based illustrator’s work has graced everything from tea towels (that most Kiwi of mediums) to advertising campaigns, limited edition prints, Lonely Planet publications and Rolling Stone magazine. Since leaving Auckland in 2006, he has become an internationally sought after illustrator and has helped to redefine and update illustration in Aotearoa. All of which is not bad for a boy from Otakiri.



is story starts in the maternity ward of Whakatāne Hospital, like his father and grandfather before him, but while the Murrays have been farming the Rangitāiki Plains for over a hundred years, Ross chose a very different path. “I’ve always been interested in drawing, and it was always what I thought I’d do,” he says. “But I never thought I’d be lucky enough to make a living from it. I studied graphic design at AUT and majored in illustration, and I guess I just had some lucky breaks along the way. It’s a cultural thing – as Kiwis we often start out trying to do everything and then refine what we’re good at and want to do most. Slowly you find your place. At least that’s how it worked for me.” His stint in advertising in Auckland was enough for him to get his head around the industry, meet some people that he still works with now, and learn that it was not where he wanted to spend his life. “I worked in an enormous open plan office amongst people with even more enormous egos,” he says, “and I really couldn’t handle that side of it. And somewhere along the line we (meaning his girlfriend) were sitting in traffic, as you do in Auckland, and just thought that there had to be something else.” So many have thought about it, but Ross and his wife actually did it, escaping the rat race and decamping to a remote house in the woods in the Coromandel for a change of pace and a change of life. That idyll lasted three years, during which time they had their first of two daughters and also found time for Ross to establish himself as a freelance illustrator, before returning to the Bay and the convenience of an urban existence. This time it was the Mount, which has now been home for . . . how long? “Um, six? Seven? Eight years? Life becomes a time warp once you have kids,” he says. His studio in Pilot Bay is also a bit of a warp in the time/space continuum itself, plastered


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with a vibrant mishmash of his own art, that of some of his heroes, and the work of his children, together with a vinyl turntable – a surprisingly low-key, hi-tech work space, and a beer fridge. And on a sweltering hot Saturday afternoon, it’s the latter that Plenty is happiest to be welcomed too. And seriously, look around these pages, what better way to kick off this conversation than over a cold one. “I’ve always been a bit fascinated by the idea of nostalgia and the way we look back on the past,” Ross Murray says. “How we hold on to these remembered scenes from our past that still resonate so strongly. For me a lot of these things were rooted in small town New Zealand and involved cars and old shops and signage. I’m still fascinated by how strong a visual identity corporate branding actually had in those days – despite the fact that we think this is a modern thing – and how it has influenced our thoughts on nostalgia.” It’s important to note at this point that Ross Murray doesn’t wear rose-tinted spectacles, and harken to a happy, she’ll-beright version of New Zealand and the Long White Cloud that never really existed. “You have to remember that everything back then was often not that great. Things were often mended and make-do and a bit shabby. Peeling weather board villas. Shitty old BBQs. Those folding chairs that kind of almost collapsed around you. There’s something quite lovely about how we accepted it all, I guess because our consumer society hadn’t reached critical mass and there wasn’t the broad range of alternatives we have now. It felt like there was just one kind of

everything – and they were really quite crappy – but because of that we maintained them and kept them around. And over time those things became icons. For better or worse.” Is our nostalgia a result of our current times being so dire that we need to harken back to an imagined golden age? “I don’t know,” he says, genuinely mulling the idea. “Culture changes at such an increased pace these days, it’s so much harder to grab a hold of the time and see what it is. So maybe the thing about past eras is that they did have such a strong aesthetic and identity. Maybe that’s what people find so appealing. And maybe things today are less uniform – which is almost certainly a good thing! But it makes looking at nostalgia even more interesting, because how will our time be remembered? What will the icons of our current summers’ be? What objects will occupy our collective memories of this era? That’s harder to pin down.” The latest project on his desk is an adaptation of one of his comics – or graphic novels for you beardy hipsters out there – dealing not with nostalgia but the far less popular topic of anxiety. This work is vastly removed from his reimagined Kiwiana and new takes on travel posters, but it does share the same graphic dynamic. “It’s a topic that I have some deeply personal experience with. A lot of creative people are, um, tormented in some way,” he says with what can only be described as a knowing laugh, “and I guess that torment leads to good art. Often a piece of art exists because its creator was really struggling with something and the art becomes a vital way of dealing with it. So this project is an opportunity to work on something that means a little more to me than most things. When it’s deeply personal there is a lot of catharsis that comes along with that. I think I’m probably lucky to be able to, y’know, draw pictures about all my woes!”


And for those of us who are still at the stick figure level of illustration, it’s kinda nice knowing that Ross Murray is there to also draw our woes, as well as to bring our past into the present. Complete with peeling paint and Cortinas on blocks.


An Interview with



My mountain is Makatiti


My lake is Okataina



Te Arawa is my canoe Ngāti Tarāwhai is my iwi Ngāti Hinemihi is my subtribe Hinemihi is the name of our meeting house Hinewai is the name of our dining room Te Paparere-a-Rātōrua is the name of our marae My name is Tamati Coffey


e was a genuine small screen star with a bundle of shows and appearances under his belt, he won Dancing with the Stars in 2009, and last year he took on his most important role to date – as Labour’s new MP for Waiariki. Plenty sent Jenny Michie home to her Mum’s place on Lake Rotorua to talk with Tamati about his journey so far, what’s next for the region, and te reo Māori.

“I didn’t think that I’d study politics but having got there it turned out that it was a natural fit...”

I must confess when I first met Tamati back in 2013 I had never heard of him. The earlier TV shows that made him a household name were largely for kids and I have never watched breakfast television in my life. And now, when I might watch a show like Moving Out (being a ‘provincial immigrant’ myself) I no longer own a TV. Instead I binge watch on-line like the young folk do. But when I got the chance to hang out with Tamati on the election campaign trail back in 2014 it became crystal clear that I was sadly out of touch. He was, in fact, a bone fide Kiwi celebrity. On top of that he’s the new Labour MP for Waiariki. And he’s damn fine looking. In fact, he may now be insufferable. Turns out, I found he’s hard working, humble, focussed and with a smile like sunshine in a glade of heaven. But don’t just take my word for it. Judge for yourself; here he is straight from a long day at the annual Poukai to meet the Māori King Tūheitia Paki at Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko. First let’s establish his whakapapa. Tamati is of Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Te Ātiawa, Ngāi Te Rangi and Te Arawa descent. But he was raised…

“I don’t want that peacefulness to just be a sometimes thing.

I want that to be my everyday.”


TC I grew up in Lower Hutt. Dad’s from Wellington but has whakapapa back to Taranaki and Tolaga Bay. Mum ended up in Wellington because she got a bit fed up with Rotorua, where she grew up. She jumped a bus and ended up in Lower Hutt and met my Dad and fell in love. PLENTY

Were you an academic youngster?

TC I was never a naturally brainy kid but I tried really hard for the knowledge that I managed to acquire. There were those kids who were naturally gifted and talented and who got Bs even when they weren’t trying. I got Bs for trying. PLENTY After all that effort, did you go straight from seventh form to university?

Life is short and you need to

TC No, I took a year off. I spent six months working in a CD store on Lambton Quay and then half way through that year I jumped on a bus and found myself in Auckland. I started an Arts degree but it was the political stuff that I really liked. I didn’t think that I’d study politics but having got there it turned out that it was a natural fit and four years later walked away with a BA Hons in Politics.


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get ticking things off In my Honours Year I got an internship at the Auckland Regional Council working in the Iwi Relations Unit and towards the end of my internship I was asked by a friend to audition to be a kids’ TV presenter. I did it as a favour, not thinking that was something that I wanted to do. I went to the audition and promptly put it out of my mind but two weeks later I got the call. I did a second audition and then I got a phone call from Jason Gunn who said we’d really like you to come on board as our What Now presenter. Which blew my mind as I was about to start my Masters, so then I had to go and talk to my university supervisor and say, ‘Well you know I’ve been working really hard, but I now have to put all this on the back burner and be a TV presenter for a little while, but I’ll come back to this in the future’. PLENTY

How long were you a presenter for?

TC I started when I was 24 and finished when I was 34. I did What Now and then became the weatherman on TVNZ’s Breakfast Show. I was on Breakfast right to the end but along the way I did other things: an Intrepid Journey in the Middle East in the middle of summer and Dancing with the Stars, which I won in 2009.

PLENTY Ah I see why you’re so famous. If I’d paid more attention to popular culture I would have know who you were back in 2013. TC I also raised $260,000 through people calling in and voting for my charity, which was Rainbow Youth. That was the most they’d ever had in their bank account!

I’m still on my te reo journey. There were a

PLENTY When did you discover you were a Rainbow Youth – though you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. It’s none of our business.

few days last year where

TC Nah, it’s not confronting in the slightest. When I was 15 I had the conversation with Mum and Dad, that I was a little bit different. Their response was it’s just a phase, wait it out and see what happens. That was quite a liberating moment for me. I felt I was able to be myself a bit more and I ditched a whole lot of the old friends and got a bunch of new friends. I don’t think your life starts as a gay person until you’ve actually come out. Until then you’re just kind of living this lie.

all in Māori.

every hui I attended were

You lift your game in that environment.

that list before times runs out. PLENTY Well that’s that then. So there you were 10 years into a show biz career…. TC You know, TV was only ever something I just fell into. I’d had lots of fun and met lots of people and travelled to different places and did cool stuff but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Life is short and you need to get ticking things off that list before times runs out. I decided 10 years was a good time to call it quits and to go and find something else to do. I was also getting a bit hōhā with Auckland. We would often find ourselves coming to Rotorua to see Mum and Dad. From our very busy lives up in Auckland, we would get here, close the doors, pull the curtains, have a bottle of wine and then just crash for pretty much the whole weekend; we were that exhausted. By the time we had caught up on sleep and were in our happy, calm place it was time to drive back to Auckland and get back into it again. You have enough of those trips and you start thinking I don’t want that peacefulness to just be a sometimes thing. I want that to be my everyday.

PLENTY Let’s introduce your partner Tim Smith at this point. He was a music teacher at the time. When did you and Tim meet? TC We met in 2007 at the big gay bar on K’ Road called Family and it was as romantic as him slipping me his number and then me calling him! We were wed in a civil union in 2011. But we didn’t come straight to Rotorua. First we went to England to where Tim’s family were and I wanted to feel a bit of his life as we’d lived my life for so long. His family lives just out of Liverpool and we lived with his Mum for about eight months and travelled round England on cheap flights. And then I got the call to host a second series of NZ’s Got Talent, which is something I’d wanted to do and we came back for that but we decided we didn’t want to live in Auckland. We came back to Rotorua and Tim and I bought our own house in 2013. And then it really was a case of now what are we going to do? I was still getting offers from Auckland to work and Tim had an offer too so he went and visited a couple of schools in Auckland and I visited a couple of production companies and we got together at the end of the day and as we were driving out of Auckland we got stuck in traffic for two hours, as you do, and that just reinforced it for us that we didn’t want to be in Auckland anymore… jobs or no jobs! P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


Having resolved that, we needed to figure out a way to live in Rotorua and still pay the bills. As it was coming up to a general election I started thinking, what if? What if I actually stood? Tim was into the idea so I stood in 2014 for the general seat of Rotorua. I didn’t win but we ran a solid campaign that I was proud of. After the election Tim and I found ourselves again staring at the drawing board because we hadn’t thought about Plan B. We’d been so focussed on the election we threw everything at it. Then in trying to figure out ‘what’s next’ we found ourselves on Eat Streat at the Brew Bar and looking at this little place for lease. One of the things I didn’t much like about Rotorua at the time was there didn’t seem to be many cool bars I could go to that had an atmosphere, maybe some live music or quality customer service. So we thought, why don’t we create it? We opened our bar Ponsonby Rd in March 2015 and it still ticks all the boxes and fills that gap in the market. We became a Living Wage employer and also decided to employ local young people only. The results were amazing! If other businesses knew the impact of paying people a living wage everyone would be doing it. The turn around we’ve seen from the staff has been outstanding; from the gung-ho attitude to the ability to just jump between tasks. Because they know that we pay over and above everyone else in town they commit to their jobs and we can push them a bit harder too and they’re good with it and constantly rise to the occasion.


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PLENTY Ponsonby Rd was opened after you lost the Rotorua seat in the 2014 election. How did you come to stand for Waiariki in 2017? TC I had lots of conversations with my whānau and the general consensus was that I stood for the wrong seat because they were all on the Māori roll and they couldn’t vote for me. And truth be told I couldn’t vote for myself in 2014 because I was on the Māori roll! Having the buy-in of my whānau to stand for Waiariki meant a ready and willing rent-a-crowd! They were with me throughout the whole time and they learnt how to be an awesome campaign team. Come election night, we were able to stand on our Marae, Hinemihi in Ngapuna and celebrate the effort. I always knew it was going to be close because, despite Te Ururoa Flavell being a minister and the co-leader of the Māori Party, when I was on the trail and talking to Māori voters they were telling me they were looking for somebody new, he’d been in the job for 12 years and if he couldn’t make the kind of changes they were looking for after 12 years, when would he? They didn’t see him as their champion anymore and they weren’t happy with the Māori Party siding with National. I didn’t think I’d win it, but I knew it was going to be close and I would have been happy to come within 1000 votes. But when the results came in I was leading the whole way and it was hard not to get too excited because you don’t want to count your chickens too early. It wasn’t until I saw Te Ururoa giving his concession speech that the penny finally dropped and I looked at my whānau around me and I was amazed and relieved and excited and nervous as hell!

PLENTY Let’s talk about the region. What do you want to do and more importantly, as the MP for Waiariki what can you do? TC I got up today at the poukai and I gave them my (bared to the bone) 3-point plan for the region. In my first term I want a realistic plan about building houses here in the Waiariki, because no matter where I go in the electorate people are all talking about housing. We’re talking emergency housing options, stopping the selling off and also building new state houses. I’m really interested in trying to get Māori building on Māori land. We want family houses and we want one and two bedroom units for our kaumātua to live in. And then economic opportunities around the region. In the electorate there are so many opportunities, especially for Māori because we’re moving into this post-settlement phase, there are lots of Māori who want to do cool things but haven’t got access to ‘the knowledge’. The aquaculture development in Ōpōtiki is always front and centre and I will keep putting that at the top of the list. I’m a bit sceptical of the water-bottling proposal in Murupara, which they’re saying will create 260 jobs. I’ve met with the Iwi and said go carefully, do your due diligence, ask questions and keep your eyes open, and I’m happy to sit on the sidelines until I can be of some use. There are also opportunities for Māori tourism around the Bay that are untapped. In forestry we’re going to have to plant those billion trees but then we need the infrastructure to turn them into housing or furniture even. The mills that are still operating have big concerns about the supply of logs; you can only have a plant operating if you have a good, constant supply. And we haven’t even talked about horticulture, where there are huge opportunities. And finally number three is rangatahi, our young people. In Parliament you can get so consumed with high level stuff that you can forget that what we are doing there is meant to be making life better for the kids of today because they are going to be inheriting the decisions we make today. I’m hugely concerned about our youth suicide rate. We need to provide our young people with a bit more hope and give them people to talk to. PLENTY And te reo Māori. You’re a big fan of making it part of daily life, and you’ve taken some flak for that. TC I’ve been on my Te Reo journey since university. Prior to going to Uni I had the attitude that, oh yeah, I’ll learn it one day. I grew up in an English-speaking household, despite both parents being Māori, so at University I did introductory papers. When I got into television, save for the occasional Māori Language Week, there was no real need for me to speak te reo so I didn’t.

In Parliament you can get so consumed with high level stuff that you can forget that what we are doing is meant to be making life better for

the kids of today are going to be inheriting the decisions we make I did some classes but it was a bit haphazard and it wasn’t until I moved back to Rotorua that I thought, OK I need to tackle this. I enrolled in weekly night classes and the year before last I committed to doing a full time immersion Māori language course, He Kainga Mo Te Reo. Knowing I was standing for the Māori seat, obviously there’s a higher expectation. But I’ve never shied away from the fact that I’m learning and I kind of think that I’m doing OK. There are a lot of Māori out there who are still waiting for ‘that day’ when they decide they’re going to pick it up. But one of the things I realised while being on the Waiariki campaign trail was that I wasn’t going to be able to hold myself up on the marae so I approached a couple of the kaumātua from Te Arawa and asked them to manaaki me through the process and help me on my journey. I was fortunate enough to be given a big shining YES from Dr Ken Kennedy who has been amazing and has travelled with me to all these marae across the Waiariki electorate and was able to step in to cover off the kawa (protocol) and tikanga (rules) and be my voice on the paepae. I’m still on my te reo journey. There were a few days last year where every hui I attended were all in Māori. You lift your game in that environment. My goal is to be able to express myself in Māori as well as I can in English. But the deeper you go, the deeper you realise the hole is. There is always somebody better skilled than you and always someone worse off than you and once you resign yourself to that fact it gets a lot more comfortable. The other night my nephew was around at our house and because his te reo Māori is good, I found my own skills improved. It was a lovely moment where we were just able to sit there and korero. I’m always looking for more opportunities like that. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8







Tarawera High School opens new school facilities. MĀORI TELEVISION

Turning a new page: Tarawera High School. ARCHITECTURE NOW

Staff at Tarawera High School are supporting rangatahi to reach their potential by using innovative approaches to improve outcomes for students. EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE

Creating a new school culture in Kawerau. RADIO NEW ZEALAND

Tarawera High School implements innovative learning spaces. EDUCATION GAZETTE

Tarawera High School students hit new heights. ROTORUA DAILY POST


HOSE HEADLINES HERALD THE TARAWERA HIGH SCHOOL OF TODAY, but stripping things bare, it’s been one hell of a road to get there. Because this school is a Phoenix, rising from the ashes of an educational institution drowning in debt, laden with controversy, largely unsupported and often spurned. The reputation it gained as a drug-riddled, weaponheavy school with high teen-pregnancy rates and students committing suicide was starkly at odds with its early days. Kawerau College, as it was then known, was once at the heart of a flourishing new town, purpose-built to harness geothermal energy for timber production. Students enjoyed decades of accolades and accomplishments as individuals and teams set about succeeding on national and international platforms. Then, in 1986, the Tasman Mill came within a hair’s breadth of closure, and the town began its decline. In parallel with the country’s economic downturn, the gloss of the college started to lose its lustre and the reputation of the school started the slippery slope toward what would eventually result in closure.


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Kawerau’s then continuous population decline dictated a drop in student numbers at the college and at its feeder schools. In 2009, when Kawerau had 1250 students in six schools and a schooling network that had more than 950 spare seats for students, the government began consultation with the Kawerau community about the future of education in the town. As a result of this it was agreed to merge three primary schools, establish a Year 1-6 kura, and close both Kawerau Intermediate and Kawerau College, the latter of which was struggling with a crippling financial deficit of around half a million dollars. A new Year 7-13 school would take the place of both. In spite of protests, a petition, a hikoi to Parliament and a court injunction, 2012 saw this go ahead and, in 2013, Tarawera High School opened its doors for the first time. But before both the Intermediate and the College closed, a woman by the name of Helen Tuhoro had taught at both. She had come to Kawerau Intermediate as a third-year teacher after completing the first two years of her career in her home town of Napier. And nobody, including Helen herself, could have then foreseen the part she would play in the rise of a school and the reinvention of a community. I have to admit what I knew of Helen initially came as a result of listening to others. I’d heard she was a tough lady, the person bad kids got sent to for discipline. I’d listened to a sector of Kawerau who believed she had no place returning to teach in the place she still lived; I’d also been told she wouldn’t cut the mustard as a principal in Kawerau. Bollocks. I’ve learned Helen is tough, but it’s because she cares. She possibly cares too much for kids labelled as coming from low socio-economic areas, kids from Ktown, Texas, Tane, the Valley, kids she wants nothing more than for them to succeed – to be the best they can be. She cares for her colleagues too, she loves Kawerau, and she has all the time in the world for you if you need her to have time. Otherwise she’s a pretty busy lady. And she has successfully established a great secondary school in Kawerau. In 2012 Helen was teaching at Trident High School in Whakatāne. She had been there for 13 years, leaving the deputy principal’s role at Kawerau College to take up the position. She spent ten years at the College and seven at Kawerau Intermediate before that, and while at Trident she remembers being saddened by all of the negativity surrounding Kawerau’s only secondary institute.

“There was a period where there was a lot of animosity toward the school, which I found sad as there had been some real highs,” she said. “Chris Day, in particular, was a fantastic principal who took the school a long way in a short time.” Helen was deputy principal to principal Day and he comes up in conversation a lot. He was her mentor, sounding board and friend. “Chris made some fantastic differences within the school and even when you look at the kids who went there during Chris’s tenure, some amazing people came out of Kawerau College.” It was Day she turned to when the principal’s job of a then unnamed school was advertised. “Chris was working for the Ministry of Education by then and we were still in contact. He was working through quite a bit of Kawerau stuff at Ministry level, with marches to Parliament, financial issues and all the stuff that was in the papers, and I recall thinking, what better person to deal with it all than a former principal of the college.” It was Day that gave Helen the inspiration to apply for the role. “We had a couple of conversations and he said maybe it’s your time. I went into the application process knowing Chris would have my back.” Sadly, and untimely for all, Chris Day lost his short battle with cancer in 2013. “It was a very sad time and quite difficult for me as, whenever I had thought of myself in the chair Chris had literally once sat in, I had believed if anything went wrong or if I didn’t know what to do I could always get on the phone and give him a call.” When she applied for the position, Helen said she really had no idea whether she would stand a chance. Two male principals from Kawerau, among others, also applied for the role. In her corner, and very vocal in his support, was Kawerau mayor Malcolm Campbell, who led a small group absolutely convinced Helen was the right person for the job. “I think, from his viewpoint, there needed to be a tough line drawn in the sand with the school. Malcolm didn’t believe a softly-softly, touchy-feely approach would be the right one, he knew there needed to be some hard-hitting done, but it had to be done by someone who understood the dynamics of Kawerau and its families.” When Helen learned she had been appointed principal, she knew it was to a school that didn’t exist. It had no name, no school number, no uniform, no teachers as the Kawerau College and Intermediate teachers had been made redundant, and no students as they had yet to enrol.

Principal Helen Tuhoro with Te Rima King, student representative on the Board of Trustees 2018.

“I was appointed in October of 2012 and myself and deputy principal Julie Mees operated from a tin shed at the mill until December of the same year.” The first of their challenges was negotiating the Novapay debacle while filling 42 teaching positions. When interviewing for these, Helen took the time to tell those applying exactly what a decile one school was. “People who came from around New Zealand and even other parts of the world were told, and they were like yeah, yeah – we’ve dealt with difficult kids before. “But it wasn’t only difficult kids we were dealing with. We also had to deal with the consequences of the previous years. Intermediate kids came with a fight for your rights attitude as they’d been fighting to retain the school for the six months prior to its closure. So when they came to us and things didn’t go their way it was fight, fight, fight.” She admits some of the international teachers told her they had Googled the school before applying and got results that include “kids with guns”, “teen pregnancy”, “high drug use” and “high suicide”. “Some of them wondered what they were coming to, but we had one couple come out from the UK and they’re still with us.” And she also employed two first-year teachers, both Kawerau girls, who are also still teaching at Tarawera High School. “They knew the town, they knew the families, which gave them both a really good start.” Tarawera High School has now just turned five and, as part of the celebrations, long-service awards were presented to the teachers that have been there, or “hung in there”, since the school’s inception, Helen laughs. “Of the 40 current staff in the school, 21 received the long-service award. So over half have stuck with us – no mean feat when some we hired in the beginning didn’t make it past the first term.” P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


Mrs Helen Tuhoro, Principal

Ms Stacey Morrison with students Kiarah-Rose Puutu and Minardi Puru


HEN EVENTUALLY able to move from the tin shed into the school, Helen found the premises to be almost “gutted” of textbooks. A lot of what had been left was very old and people had helped themselves to what was there. “Ultimately this wasn’t such a bad thing as it gave us the opportunity to make the curriculum our own. Really though, the teachers only arrived five days before the kids, some from other countries, and it was like, okay, so what are we going to teach?” “It was nothing like, here’s the curriculum, it was like come on people, let’s put this together – use your years of experience, use what you know – and let’s do this.” At that stage, three bus loads of students left Kawerau every day to attend school in Whakatāne. They all paid to go there. And there’s only one that goes now. “Back then a lot of people wanted to wait and see. New school, new staff, and new curriculum – we were being sussed out and people wanted to see what would eventuate before enrolling their children. But we’re slowly winning families back.” Attendance in the early stages sat at 56%, but why would you want to come to school if you’re sitting there bored all day, Helen asks. There were four expulsions once Helen took the helm, mostly drug dealers using the school roll as clientele, and 22 suspensions in the first term of the year. Dust ups between students saw four or five fights broken up each day. That first year, she says, was so very, very tough. When she thinks back, she says she honestly doesn’t know how they got through some days. And then, at the end of the year, Tarawera High School NCEA results came out. A total of just 36 percent of students passed Level 1. “I remember thinking, what am I doing, why am I even here. That first year was so


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hard and then you get these horrendous results, I had no idea what to do.” So she started again, and in 2014, after changing things from being about text book learning to about being authentic, there was a dramatic improvement in end-of-year results. “Instead of biology from a book, we’ve got a river so why are we not studying about the life cycle of a trout from the banks of that river. When it came to chemistry, we went to the mill to see what they do. For math we went rock climbing – and to the kids it made sense.” 2015 proved to be another difficult year at Tarawera High School, but it was nothing to do with either teachers or students. The much-anticipated, new school build began and the River Road site turned into a construction zone with classes. “There was the old school and the new school and one heck of a mess in between. There was noise, there was confusion – some days it took 10 minutes to get from one class to the other. Teaching and working across the two sites was stressful and it showed in results at the conclusion of that year.” 2015 also saw Helen having to dig deep within herself after losing a student to suicide. In 2010 and 2011, Kawerau went through a dark time in what was later labelled the town’s ‘suicide cluster.’ Five of the town’s youth aged between 16 and 20 took their lives over an 18 month period. At a later coronial inquest it was determined it was not a cluster, but that there were similarities involving the backgrounds of those involved. “That was one of my things – I didn’t want to lose any kids to suicide. When it happened, I was devastated. It was a time we reflected as a school – what did we miss, what didn’t we see, what support could have been put in place. But you just don’t see it coming.”

Results in 2015, naturally, took a dip, but in 2016 the new school opened and immediately the students took ownership of their environment. “Because they were right in the middle as classrooms rose around them, they claimed them as their own. It’s been neat watching them look after the furniture, make sure there is no vandalism and keep things tidy.” The new school was built using a “bold and innovative” approach. At the design stage local kaumatua advisor Sonny Rua talked to architects RTA Studios about the school “turning a new page – a new beginning, starting afresh but acknowledging the past”. Also discussed, according to the architects, were the Tarawera River and Putauaki. One of the results is two cavernous “houses or commons” that contain three learning spaces apiece – each of the spaces caters for 90 students so effectively there can be 270 students in one classroom at a time. Covered outdoor teaching spaces are around these two homes. “Before the new school was built some of our teachers firmly believed they wouldn’t have a problem teaching in big open spaces, but the reality was very different. Especially for those who shut the door, said these are my kids, these are my walls to put stuff on and if somebody enters my space I will know. The reality was 75 kids and three teachers working in one big space. “I walk through the commons these days and people don’t even know I’m there.” Helen says it’s a good thing watching students manage themselves as, these days, employers don’t necessarily want teachers to teach the skills, say from a chemistry or physics point of view – of knowing certain formulas. They want to know their employees will get to work on time, will be able to form good relationships with other people, that they can participate, that they can problem solve – the types of things so they can manage themselves. 2016 exam results were amazing, and 2017 produced much of the same; clearly, things had changed. “We’re establishing an ethos at the school. Tarawera is now attracting teachers who realise our way is not the traditional way and that’s I guess where I come in. If a teacher is a little creative and wants to do things a little differently, I give them that freedom. “You walk in that door and say, okay I’ve come to teach at Tarawera High School. I’m going to say what do you have to offer, not this is how we do things here.” When NCEA was first designed, according to Helen, many traditional schools had most of their curriculum set in concrete. When they transitioned from the old School C to NCEA, they simply made NCEA fit the former School C. “Whereas we were new and decided there’s a whole lot more cool things you can do with

NCEA, there are credits for real-life, authentic learning, and that’s what makes it fun and engaging for kids. “Last year I was blown away with the number of students prepared to jump in vans and go help at Edgecumbe after the town flooded. One student organised a mufti day to collect pet food for displaced animals. That’s the sort of thing we’re growing a lot more of now – that citizenship and giving back to the community.” “There are standard things like when the Defence Academy and the combined choirs go to the local ANZAC Day service. Having that older generation see that there’s a new generation coming through who respect the past and want to be part of it, that’s giving the community the idea that some of these kids are alright, that they’re quite respectful.”

Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te raNgātiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu. Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations. Tarawera High School now has the Tarawera Drive programme. “We have always worked closely with our local police and they told us that, in almost every case, the first offence for a young person in Kawerau was a driving offence. They asked us what we could do about it. “So we got sponsorship from Manna Support, and Autozone in Whakatāne gave us a great deal on a Suzuki Swift. Our sports co-ordinator was a qualified driving instructor and now every kid in 2017 who has sat their learners or restricted, has passed. It’s paid for – we get Lion Foundation funding – the first time, but if they fail the students pay the next time round. They don’t often fail.” “Another of the things we are doing at the school is trying to build resilience. There didn’t always seem to be a lot of hope so when things got really tough for a kid, it was understandable that they asked themselves what the point of it all was.” In December the school’s teen parent unit came on site after operating from a house in Kawerau since its inception five years ago. At the opening, the unit’s first baby, born in February 2013, cut the ribbon to the new building. Her mother is about to begin her second year at Waikato University where she is studying Political Science. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8



ELEN SAYS if there’s a dust up at the school now, it’s maybe once a term, not several times a day.

“This has all been possible because I’ve had a really good team of people around me, there is no way I could have done it myself. Principals are only as good as the staff and the DPs under them and I can say confidently if I walked out tomorrow things would just keep going – and that’s what I want.”


and often weekends when I try and support sports teams and other extra-curricular events. I’m lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband who, through his own shift-work, isn’t always aware I’m still at school,” she laughs. “You have to have that tolerance.” She says, no matter what happens, all she wants is positivity for the kids.

“One of the things I’m doing now is looking at a different way of leading. The style of management or leadership that was needed five years ago is not needed now. The cracking of the whip still needs to be there in as much as the kids need expectations and boundaries and know there will be consequences if they cross the line - but it’s now more visionary.”

“I know where they’re coming from, their homes and their families, and no matter what that is like – the best or the worst – I want those kids to be able to come to school and be happy and have hope. I want Tarawera High School to be a really cool place and for every kid to know there are a whole lot of adults who care about them. I’d actually go as far as saying love them.”

“Life is just so unknown. When I went to school you were going to be a secretary, nurse or a teacher, and that was the job you stayed in for your life. These kids now – we have them for seven years – who knows what the world will be like when they leave us.”

She says to be able to walk out of her office at the end of the day, under the beautiful canopy and see kids’ high-fiving and saying see-ya, their laughter, their smiles, their happiness, that’s all she wants. If they’ve learned something during the day then that’s a bonus.

Although she admits her time at the helm has taken its toll, Helen says she has no regrets since filling in that initial application form. “It’s a long day from 7am to 7pm [or later], five days a week,

“And if they’ve got to the end of the day without learning a thing but they’re happy that’s okay, because they’ll be back the next day. And we’ll have another shot at them then.”

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Kapa haka group Te Kaungā Whārangi in front of Whare Tapere building.


Strangely Arousing

Since meeting at Rotorua’s Western Heights High School they’ve offered free shots to anyone who came to their shows naked, they’ve managed to make Naz from the Bachelor NZ cringe 27 times in their latest video, and they’ve survived every band’s nightmare: the tour van dying in Palmerston North. Along the way they’ve also released an outstanding EP and an even better album, so Plenty caught up with the famous five to find out if anything can stand in the way of the unstoppable force that is Strangely Arousing? P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8



The music world has always excelled at throwing up some humdinger monikers – Toad the Wet Sprocket and Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts, we’re looking at you! – but there is really something slightly alarming about Strangely Arousing. But then this is not a band that plays by the book; ska, reggae, funk, rock and roots have all been thrown into their mix, to produce what they like to call ‘trans genre’, and their shows remind you why live music is so essential. They are, in short, the real deal.

Ska, reggae, funk, rock and roots have all been thrown into their mix, to produce what they like to call

‘trans genre’

Lukas Wharekura, Shaun Loper, Oliver Prendergast, Forrest Thorp and Liam Rolfe (who is, incidentally, the only one who appears to have formed a lasting relationship with a barber) started playing together at Rotorua’s Western Heights High School and did the usual talent quests and school competitions. The name, according to Lukas, comes down to good old high school immaturity, but they have no intention of changing it. “A few people think the name is kinda odd,” he says, “but we love it. It’s about not taking things too seriously.” When school was out they decided, however, to take things waaaaay more seriously and make the band their day job. First they relocated to Auckland, where they all shared a flat together (which must have made band meetings fairly easy to organise), set about making the most of the free practice space that came with university studies, and started a seemingly endless round of gigging.

“Touring has always been a big part of this band,” says Forrest, “and there is always that aspect of having to pay your dues. We once played a pub in Ngatea to literally no one but the bar manager! But now we are on to more serious gigs like Rhythm & Vines and a whole new audience, and we would never have got there without doing the grind.” And the infamous ‘free shots if you show up naked’ promo? “I don’t actually recall anyone taking up the offer,” says Liam. “But then they may have just been arrested on the way to the gig. If that’s the case, get in touch – we’ll still give you the shot!” Between the tours they have recorded a sell-out six-track EP – called, wait for it, Extended Play – and followed that up with a full album that they toured extensively last winter. The EP and album show a band constantly honing and developing their sound and song writing, with their first single, Kupenga, mixing Te Reo with their trademark horns and stomping rhythm section, and their latest, Groove Shooter, featuring slinky bass, hella wicked vocals and, um, a video with Naz from The Bachelor. In the latter the boys turn the tables and compete for a rose, while asking inappropriate questions about porn, jumping into a swimming pool, and drinking cask wine (nice plug for the They don’t take celebrated Country blue box there guys; let’s face it, it’s part of our social fabric). Both videos themselves are on Youtube; if you haven’t seen them you are missing out. And you can pick up the new album via their Facebook page – so get on over there and do yourself another favour. seriously “Kupenga was written by Lukas for the SmokeFree Pacifica Beats competition,” Forrest says, “and when we got through that we recorded it and it really went off. People appreciated how it crossed a few borders, and pushed a few boundaries. As a piece of music and in the story it tells it’s kinda unique in some ways, and it’s encouraged us to incorporate Te Reo in some future work too.”


but they take what they do very seriously indeed, and they intend to move mountains.

Great food, excellent coffee, and the best sweet treats in the Bay. We also have plenty of gluten free options, and we do catering. Café Coco Open Monday - Saturday 10 Richardson St, Whakatane P. 07 308 8337

“The whole Naz thing was an idea of Shaun’s. He’s really great at ‘out the gate’ ideas, and we never thought we’d get it to happen but he convinced us all and so we thought we’d give it a go. Matiu, who directed the Kupenga video, had worked on The Bachelor and so we worked on a script and somehow it all came together.” And was the star the difficult, conniving femme fatale everyone expects her to be? “Naz was great to work with, a really lovely person and not at all how she is portrayed in the media,” Forrest says. “It only took a day to make, and it was a pretty ambitious idea to be done in a day, but she was great and very supportive of the whole concept. I just remember that pool being so cold. It was described as being luke-warm but it was freezing. But we had a great group of people on that project and it makes all the difference. With positive, creative people on board you can move mountains.” And that pretty much sums up Strangely Arousing. They don’t take themselves seriously but they take what they do very seriously indeed, and they intend to move mountains. Spending time with Strangely Arousing is like being in a great unscripted Kiwi sitcom. Five guys from Vegas taking on a music industry in flux with nothing but attitude, ambition and kickass songs; they may be making it up as they go along, but so far they are winning on their own terms, and that is pretty cool in this day and we’ll drink to that. Pass the box.

Spending time with Strangely Arousing

is like being in a great unscripted Kiwi sitcom...

Everything under the sun Native ConnectionNZ

We don’t just think Whakatāne is a great place to live, we also think it’s a great place to do business that you love. Our lifestyle offers the perfect platform to get innovative and build the career you’ve dreamed of. Here we highlight two new businesses who are following their dreams and call Whakatāne home.

Lightning Hub

Three Whakatāne entrepreneurs are following in the footsteps of bigger city counterparts with the opening of Lightning Hub, a co-working shared space and innovation hub in the Whakatāne CBD. Lightning Hub co-creators, Matthew Davis, Briton Williams and Tristan Vine, have a passion for innovation and supporting good ventures within the community. The three directors bring a wealth of different experiences and talent, like to think big and get things done. The trio are entrepreneurs themselves, owning a number of businesses between them, including Ake Innovation, Ake Accounting and Manawa Ora. Tristan says Lightning Hub is for start-ups and businesses who are looking for a creative, fun and flexible environment to work in, relax, collaborate and build business relationships. “Unlike working in isolation from home, remotely or being tied to expensive lease options, Lightning Hub provides a vibrant, likeminded community where good business is done and ideas are sparked to life.” Shared office spaces have become popular in larger centres, offering startups, tech companies, entrepreneurs and businesses that are scaling up, a space with desks, offices, meeting rooms and the opportunity to network and socialize with other small businesses.

The entrepreneurs identified the need for such a space in Whakatāne, as more people move to the area for lifestyle reasons and set up their own businesses. Tristan says, “Lightning Hub will act as a facilitator to encourage and support education, innovative business ideas and sustainability. We want to help people who have an idea but may not know how to get it off the ground, or who to work with to get started. We are able to work one-on-one and will also be running seminars and workshops around business strategy and innovation, covering case studies of local inspiring businesses, assisting with marketing, IT-solutions and networking, and identifying funding channels. There will be a strong Māori and tikanga focus too. Our local iwi have an awesome amount of entrepreneurial flare, talent and history. We want to harness this entrepreneurial spirit.” All three directors say starting out in business does not come without its challenges. However, Tristan says with the biggest challenges come opportunities. “Overcoming challenges enables you to fine-tune your idea and business model. Building relationships and creating the right alliances is crucial and being able to articulate your vision and to be passionate about it.” Briton follows on by saying you have to push back the knock backs, as you will get them. “You really have to hustle hard. We were told our idea was good but ‘lofty’. Instead of giving up, we hustled, became clearer about our business model, pushed hard and never gave up.” Matthew says they also have a passion for the Whakatāne district and its potential.

Lightning Hub opens early March 2018 and is located upstairs at 193-195 The Strand, Whakatāne. For more information, visit lightninghub.co.nz

“It’s a great district and provincial New Zealand offers something you can’t get in the big cities – the lifestyle and untapped opportunities.”

Mata Beer

Mata Beer (Aotearoa Breweries) is a family-run, award-winning business which has recently relocated its brewery from Kawerau to Whakatāne and opened a tasting room. Mata Beer (Aotearoa Breweries) is a family-run, award-winning business which has recently relocated its brewery from Kawerau to Whakatāne and opened a tasting room. Tammy Viitakangas is the head brewer and is supported by her family team Mum Gloria, Dad Jouni, Uncle Esko and Uncle Timo. They have a love of great beer (obviously) and are passionate about creating innovative ‘Kiwi-ana’ beers, using New Zealand malts and hops and other local flavours such as mānuka and feijoa. After developing a love of home brewing over 14 years ago, Tammy and her family purchased a second-hand brewery and the Mata Beer brand was born. Tammy says starting a business was something she always wanted to do. “I had a background in food manufacturing – large food and pharmaceutical companies – so I was always going to go along those lines. I fell in love with beer while travelling through Belgium. I was blown away, I had no idea beer had such a

wide and interesting array of styles and flavours. I then started home brewing and decided it would be cool to start up a small brewery. “At the time there wasn’t much of a craft beer scene in New Zealand, and no one was really focusing on celebrating the wonderful ingredients we have available on our doorstep. We wanted Mata to have a strong Eastern Bay connection and identity,” she says. Following growth in the business, the team began searching for a new building suitable for a brewery and to fulfill their dream of having a tasting room. “There was no local brewery in Whakatāne and it has a bigger local population with a growing tourism industry. Our latest beer is +64 Pale Ale which has White Island imagery and leverages off the tourism focus on White Island.” Whakatāne proved to be a good move; visitors to the tasting room now have a chance to experience the home of Mata Beer and the people behind the brand. The tasting area has a view through to the brewery where

the action happens and people from out of town can take home the experience with them. Like anyone running their own business, Tammy says it comes with plenty of challenges as well as rewards. “Business is tough, but if it’s something you’re truly passionate about, you’ll no longer dread Monday mornings and you don’t just have a job, it’s your adventure.” The Mata Beer tasting room is family friendly and open for both on premise and take home sales. Platters, pizza and other meals are available to match with their range of beers. A range of non-alcoholic drinks, cider and wine are also available.

17 Gateway Crescent, Whakatāne Tasting room opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 12pm- 6pm, Fridays & Saturdays 12pm-8pm matabeer.nz


Business Development Advisor Kelly.Thorn@whakatane.govt.nz If you’re thinking about starting up or growing your business in Whakatāne, get in touch with Kelly today.



r o m crafting figurines

FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS Helene Lees interviews sculptor George Andrews, Alexandra Pickles rides shotgun


P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


out of South West African clay as a child, to now sharing the passion of sculpting with his son, George Andrews is a treasure of the local sculptural alumni. Helene Lees met with George to talk blu-tack, commissions, wabi sabi and potatoes. PLENTY At the beginning of your career, what was it about clay that drew your attention over other materials? GA It came from my childhood on the farm in South West Africa, which is now Namibia. In the rainy season, we had a huge big dam that would fill up and as the water receded, you’d get a very fine clay around the edges of the dam. We used to make horses and donkey carts and people. We just played with the clay. My sisters say I’ve never really grown up – I’m still just playing with clay.

George next to one of his works, a bust of Camille Malfroy in the Government Gardens, Rotorua

PLENTY You have an undying sense of excitement and enthusiasm for creating and talking about art. What part do you enjoy most? The conceiving of ideas or turning them into a reality? GA It’s the process really. The ideas are great, but it’s processdriven, so it’s about being able to be light enough on your feet to be able to change. And being perceptive enough to pick up things that are happening during the process. Being receptive to that, rather than demanding what you want and working to a finished product. So I’m always in that realm where it’s exploratory. Which sometimes works against you, because things can go wrong. I don’t pre-conceive too much, or strictly decide where I’m going. I can do that though – bronze forces you to do that too, I guess. PLENTY Where do your ideas come from? Do they morph from something you’ve already done, or do they come from other influences? GA

I think what happens with a lot of us is you have an area that you work within, and for me, I use what I’ve got in my vicinity. If I’ve got clay, I work with clay. If I‘ve got wax, I work with wax. A lot of the clay and wax works are very expressive. You push on them, and things happen, you know? I think that stems from how I worked with clay as a kid. You start somewhere, and it just evolves, and the process takes over. But unless you’re a brilliant genius, if you wake everyday thinking, “I have to be creative,” it puts a lot of pressure on you. And that’s the beauty of bronze - it disciplines you; it keeps you on track. Clay can be exciting, but it can be a little bit chaotic.


So you usually just start off with a lump of clay?


Yeah, but it can also be a drawing. Drawing is a great stepping stone to get you going.

PLENTY There comes a point where you can easily overwork something though, doesn’t there? GA Oh yeah, that’s a biggie. If I’m working from measurements, then I tend to get something that’s a bit ‘chocolate boxey’ and lifeless. I remember when I was at the South Australian School of Art and had Milton Moon as my tutor and we were making pots, and he said, “Don’t make pretty pots… but what’s the point in making pretty things? Make it gutsy. Make it energetic.” It can be hard to get that balance right; it’s a fine line between energetic and lifeless. PLENTY I believe the term for an overworked piece is a ‘potato’? GA

[He laughs as if he’s just heard a Christmas cracker joke] Yes, that’s right. It’s a wonderful term actually. It was brought to Waiariki at the time by a Canadian sculptor who was artist in residence. It’s fairly derogatory, but it was well-loved. It was a term that was used by students, and it stops you from being too bloody precious about everything you’re doing. I’ve called people’s work potatoes, and people have called my work potatoes. It’s a good term.


A lot of your work is made big and made bronze. Is that one of your favourite mediums to work with?

GA It’s very demanding. In the sense that it’s a tough taskmaster. It takes a lot of work. It’s a great opposite to working with clay. It’s costly. And if you miss any part in the process, then you’ve got to go back. But the finished result is great. It’s process-driven. PLENTY

Your work is leaning towards the wabi sabi aesthetic. Can you explain what the attraction is?

GA I think it’s just the transience of everything. Of ageing and weathering, and in your own self. Getting older, your eyes aren’t what they used to be etcetera. So it’s about being receptive to that, and seeing the nice things about that process. Rusted steel, and things like that. And not being precious about it. The immediacy of clay spoils you a bit. If you spend hours on a piece of stone or bronze, you’re loathe to bin it, whereas clay can be a lot more sacrificial; you can start again. PLENTY

You were a tutor at Waiariki and a lot of students benefitted from your knowledge, but what did you get out of that experience?

GA I give huge appreciation to Waiariki for allowing me to do some of the things that health and safety regulations wouldn’t permit these days. But we did it, and it worked. Pare Aratema was the head of our school and I remember her saying to me once, “Well you know what you’re doing, don’t you?” And I probably didn’t. She had the confidence in me. As did Ross Hemera, who was a head of department, and he had the same belief in what I was doing, which was huge. I learnt a lot from the students. A lot of their work weren’t potatoes, you know? I had students where you just had to make sure the materials were there, the processes were in place, the kiln was available, and then you just kept out of the way. PLENTY

When did you decide to become a full-time selfemployed sculptor?

GA I don’t know whether I’ve ever made that decision. I’ve done so many other things… I’ve done prints, I’ve done paint and I’ve done a lot of clay. A friend once told me not to do bronze, “Just stick with clay because you’re spreading yourself out too much.” Whereas I think I’ve always been spread out in many ways. I love the idea of saying, “I’m a sculptor,” but I still question what I am myself sometimes. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


PLENTY I’ve seen some of your 2D drawings and at times you superimpose on to your 3D work. How does that process unfold?

PLENTY If an emerging artist came to you for advice, what is the best wisdom you could give them?

GA It was wonderful, but it was accidental. It was a Saturday afternoon, it was raining outside and I was lying on the couch and I had the paper beside me. My son Gareth was about five or six at the time, and he was rolling blu-tack on to the paper and lifting it up and showing me as it lifted the image off of it. Anyway, what I ended up doing was playing with the photocopier that the graphic design students used. The copiers were a bit more accessible back then, and what I’d do is run the image through and about half way through the process of copying I’d open up the machine and get the printed image out before it was heat-set. The tutor would get shitty with me about it, but the service technician said it wasn’t wrecking it. I used this process on pots and porcelain, but I’d finish the heat-setting process once it was on the surface and it would etch in and come up in shallow relief. It’s an exciting process. I still haven’t quite figured it all out yet.

GA That’s a tricky one. It’s hard if you’re emerging, especially in New Zealand. Within larger populations you have more accessibility to resources, and more people in that headspace. There are more people to talk to, to sell to. We’re a bit narrower here, but maybe we’ll develop; or we’ll just figure it out within that narrower space.


Has being born in what is now Namibia had an impact on your work?

GA Well I was there until I was 14, and I went to boarding school at age six. When I think about my kids’ upbringing, I had a real rollercoaster in comparison. We would be at boarding school and only get home during the holidays. The train or bus ride that was exciting, but not so when returning to school. That’s the emotional rollercoaster. So I think my kids had a lot more stable upbringing, but I have really fond memories of my childhood. I wouldn’t have given it away for anything. I think it influenced my work. Also with figures I tend to elongate. I’m relatively short and my perception of the African people I remember were all tall. Maybe it’s just in response to being short?! PLENTY

Do you enjoy the commissions?

GA I’ve never been super confident in what I do. I’ve always had big doubts, about everything, and I guess that’s just in my make up. So I’ve always been a bit hesitant about them. I get the commissions, but they’re not easy. It’s a bit of a fight for me. PLENTY Gareth, your son, is now also making a name for himself as a sculptor. How old was he when he thought what Dad was doing was pretty cool and wanted to get in on it as well?


Do you have a favourite piece you’ve created?

GA I have a pot from way, way back. I love it. I used an etching process. It’s an ancient, weathered pot that I mistreat really. It sits within my bronze area and it pulls my eye. There are some things that I just get over looking at, but not this pot – it pulls me. PLENTY

How do you see the future of artists and art practices in New Zealand?

GA Because I’m in Rotorua, I see Māori artists all the time, there is a lot happening. I’m excited about the new bronze casting unit they have set up here at Te Puia. I came through the renaissance of the Māori culture as I was teaching, and at the time they were very guarded and protective of their artistic practices, but now they’re a lot more open to sharing their knowledge and practices. I think it’s wonderful, and so important. I consider myself to be dated, when I look at galleries now. I did my training in the 70s and the Vietnam War was on, and people were puzzled why they paid taxes for exhibitions of bricks in a square (conceptual art etc). So times Running in the family; one of change, you know? George’s pottery works, top, and an PLENTY

What are your aspirations for the future?

GA It’s a funny thing I notice sometimes; I often feel like I’m just starting. I feel a sense that I’m in a new space. I’ve done some things with white cement, and I guess it’s like using the photocopier, there are things that morph and evolve. I like it. I feel like I’m starting on a new path there.


I don’t think he did! He’s a total puzzle. At home, if I ever wanted an opinion on art or anything to do with aesthetics I would always ask Jen [my daughter]. He was usually off doing sport and then he’d come home and say, “Bloody artists,” you know? So it’s been a bit of a revelation for me, only in the last three or so years that he’s got involved in clay. He’s got things together. I’m up and down and busy, whereas he’s quiet and measured. He’s got a good temperament. The antithesis of me really. He has a more intellectual approach to his work, whereas I’m more gestural and noisy. I try to keep out of his way and avoid giving him advice. He has an exhibition on at the moment at the Helium Gallery in Rotorua.


P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


Final thoughts?

GA I guess, it’s that concept of holding things under your bed. You can’t grow and develop when you’re holding on to everything. If you share and problem solve together, then we all benefit. And you’ve got to enjoy it. There might be money in it, but it’s vitally important that you enjoy it.

installation piece by his son Gareth, which was recently exhibited at Helium Gallery in Rotorua.

Publication designs that speak volumes. Publication design and print built on extraordinary relationships, experience and value. NATURE KNOWS

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07 308 0095 | info@lawcreative.co.nz | lawcreative.co.nz

The problem with history is that it’s stuck in the past. And so much of our approach to our history is also stuck in our past; we look always to accepted and popular tales or valour and daring-do, but the history of Aotearoa is a multi-layered thing that is open to interpretation, and the truth is that besides the fact that it can’t be changed, it is also something that has to be more popularly explored; the good, the bad and the ugly have made us what we are, so live with it. And maybe love it – it’s not just history, it’s ‘ourstory’.


Tom Adamson (left) and Wiremu Mutu, circa 1865. Adamson was a prime example of the Pākehā–Māori that Trevor Bentley, below, has written extensively on.

Your average Kiwi can tell you more about Churchill and George Washington than Te Kooti and Governor Grey, which is a weird thing when you consider where we are at in 2018. And that is why we need people like Trevor Bentley. The Pāpāmoa-based writer has produced some of the most intriguing works of history to be published in the last ten years, and they offer a fantastic insight into the formative years of our country – and also some ripping yarns. In Pākehā-Māori he explores the largely overlooked tales of early Europeans who ‘went native’ and divorced themselves from their own cultures to live and work amongst Māori, fight along-side Māori, and essentially become Māori. Tribal Guns and Tribal Gunners brought to life an equally unknown aspect of our early history, highlighting the role Māori artillerymen played in the conflicts of the 1800s; these involved not just musket and taiaha, but long and punishing bombardments that tested both sides in their ability to dish it out, withstand it – plus also pay for it. And in Cannibal Jack, he told the tale of the extraordinary and wonderfully curious character Jacky Marmon, who jumped ship to join Hongi Hika and fight in the Musket Wars. There are movies in all these books, and it’s a shame that our most famous filmmakers look to fiction for inspiration. They should look to people like Trevor. Born and raised in Auckland, Trevor Bentley graduated with a BA and MA (Hons) from Auckland University and then taught secondary school history and English – a role that would pretty much prepare you for anything. A Masters and Doctorate would follow. So how did this man who lists his interests as coffee, captives and cannon initially become so interested in our history? “As a child I was very interested in New Zealand military history, as I often visited Auckland War Museum with my family,” he says. “My father was in the NZ Airforce in WWII, and my grandfather was a Gallipoli veteran. But my own interest in pre-Treaty NZ history began in my early teens when I read Fred Maning’s Old NZ, which describes his life as a trader Pākehā-Māori at Hokianga during the 1830s. I realised then what an exciting, colourful and turbulent history we have as a country, and I have never stopped visiting museums and reading about Pākehā-Māori interaction in pre-Treaty NZ ever since.”


P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8

“The great enemies of history are rats, fires, and female relatives; the first two destroy it, the last one edits out the good bits from family histories!”

Barnett Burns, another prominent Pākehā-Māori. An English sailor, trader, and showman, he became one of the first Europeans to receive a full tā moko facial tattoo. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


“A Maori cannon lies buried

somewhere on the hill above Whakatane,

and another at Opotiki...

They are still out there, waiting to be found.”

Reading about our history, but also writing it; and the beauty of Trevor Bentley’s work really is in the writing. His books are not about dates and data, but people – and the incredible stories they have. “You have to let your characters speak. I want them to tell their own stories and not get in the way,” he says. And again, the great thing about New Zealand is there are so many stories to be told. Around 1995 Trevor combined his love of history with an extended surfcasting tour of Northland together with his two sons. It was a fortuitous trip, because it provided the trigger for Tribal Guns and Tribal Gunners. “I began to notice how many cannon I saw on local marae and urupa, and I began interviewing people about them. Research revealed 165 purepo, or great guns, in the possession of 120 rangatira during the 1800s, and these were used in ceremonies and for offensive and defensive warfare. These weapons were incredibly expensive, and whole industries were created to raise money to purchase them. I wouldn’t call it an arms race, but the roles these cannon played were of great importance, and the fact that the surviving ones were now a little overlooked intrigued me.” Even more intriguing is the fact that some of these cannon may still be out there. Tribal guns were taonga, treasures, fired by a succession of famous ancestors, so during the British invasions and land confiscations, the Thames tribes – for example – buried eight cannon and only two have been unearthed. Ngāti Maniapoto buried two when the British invaded and they remain buried to this day. Waingaro buried two and only one was unearthed, a monstrous 20 pounder that sits on Waingaro Marae. As Tribal Guns and Tribal Gunners makes clear, the story of these weapons is by no means over. “James Cowan, who was one of New Zealand’s most widely read non-fiction writers for the first 40 years of the 20th Century, said a Māori cannon lies buried somewhere on the hill above Whakatāne, and another at Ōpōtiki, and given the size and weight of these guns it is highly unlikely they are on someone’s mantelpiece! No, they are still out there, waiting to be found.” And a lot of our history is just that – out there and waiting to be found. In addition to online research and combing archives, Trevor also get’s seriously old school when gathering information for his books. “Advertisements in local papers, or letters to the editor can bring up some great sources. My next book is entitled ‘White Slaves, Māori Masters: The Forgotten Story of New Zealand’s White Slaves,’ and I’m keen to hear of anyone who has some information on this.

“During the

five interracial wars of the

1800s, Maori and

Pakeha seized and

enslaved each other with


equal enthusiasm.”

P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8

During the five interracial wars of the 1800s, Māori and Pākehā seized and enslaved each other with equal enthusiasm, and several hundred shipwrecked and runaway sailors and convicts were seized by Māori, as well as some missionaries, traders and shore whalers before the Treaty. There were rituals of enslavement, markers of servitude, work roles, food, dress, shelter, assimilation, slave trading – it’s a fascinating side of our past and again, one that is not widely known. So I’m keen to hear of anyone who has a family story about this. “The famous English historian A. J. P. Taylor said the great enemies of history are rats, fires, and female relatives; the first two destroy it, the last one edits out the good bits from family histories! It’s important we leave in everything, the larrikins, the characters, the stuff we shouldn’t talk about. And I think we are becoming less fearful of our past now, we are happier to talk about what went on. But like everything with history, it is vanishing before our eyes, so we have to have these conversations now.” If you have something for Trevor, Plenty will put you in touch.


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Call in at the villa at 9 Simpkins Street, Whakatane, or give them a call on 07 308 5279

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A Life Less Ordinary

But in the immortal words of his father-in-law (who was also a pilot) upon learning Denis was to become his sonin-law, “flying is like a disease and Denis has one of the worst cases I have ever seen.”


“She’d come out of his isolation room grumbling, slam the door, and then collapse against the wall. She’d given everything she had to Denis because, at that point, that’s what was keeping him going – this rage he had.

Growing up in Gisborne I was never sure whether the tall tales that circulated about helicopter pilot Denis Hartley were kosher or had grown exponentially with repetition. I mean we were talking about a man who survived a plane crash, was shot at by Rastafarians in Ruatoria and flew his chopper sideways in a cyclone to save lives. I’ve since learned it was all true, and then some.


Prophetic much? Hartley, who with his wife Jacqueline has been Ōhopebased for the past two decades, still loves the freedom of the sky and has recently been recognised for all he has achieved. He has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to aviation and rescue services, an honour he says is as much humbling as it is a surprise. “I just do what I do, every day, so for it to be thought of as something special is a little bewildering.” Although most of his escapades came as a result of his time living on the rugged East Coast of the North Island, Hartley started his flight training in 1957 on the back of a Māori Education Foundation grant. His first job was as a top dressing pilot in Taihape but his path took an almighty shift when, in 1968, Hartley was top dressing in a fairly new type of aircraft that had already been involved in two fatal incidents when he went down in the hills surrounding Hawkes Bay. He was airlifted out by chopper and spent 18 months recovering in hospital. “When I was in hospital I was angry, especially at one of the sisters who gave me a hard time.” Wife Jacqueline laughs when Hartley says this. “She didn’t actually give him that much of a hard time. But she was a bit of a dragon and he was terrified of her. The only person in the world I’ve seen him be scared of.”

“I’d be sitting there mortified. But she came up to me one day and said he’d reached a hump. It’s your job to hold his hand, she said, but it’s my job to push him over this.” And get over it he did. According to Denis getting back up in the sky was what made the angry go away. But instead of planes he chose helicopters. His first rescue, 45 years ago and in Hawkes Bay, saw the patient attached to the outside of the skid of the helicopter with the doctor leaning out the door administering medical attention. In 1975 Hartley began some short-term contract work in Ruatoria for HeliSpray, a business the Hartley’s eventually took over in 1987. He made a more permanent move a decade later.

A man who survived a plane crash, was shot at by Rastafarians in Ruatoria and flew his chopper sideways in a cyclone to save lives. The East Coast settlement of Ruatoria has had its fair share of drama, and in the mid 1980’s to mid 1990s, was in the grip of a Rastafarian uprising by a few locals. During those years they burned down houses, the police station, woolsheds, churches and a marae. They even kidnapped a cop. As written by author Angus Gillies in his trilogy of the times Ngāti Dread, the “rastas” were in a trance of prophecies, visions and pot. “I got shot more than once, one of the times I was carrying out some logging work and I’d say one of these chaps obviously thought I was a little too close to his crop,” Hartley laughs now. “We were seen as vigilantes up there which was a little ironic.” Nevertheless, Denis loved the place. Initially he lived there by himself while Jacqueline remained in Hawkes Bay so their two eldest children could finish their schooling and their youngest Lorreen started boarding school. When she joined her husband, the pair lived in a rented home until it was sold, and they then bought a small farm. In 1988 Cyclone Bola hit the area and brought about low cloud, heavy rain and road closures.

“I got shot more than once,. I’d say one of the chaps obviously thought I was a little too close to his crop”

On day one the Ruatoria Civil Defence team asked Hartley to begin rescues. “There were people on the tops of cars immersed in floodwater, there were people on the tops of houses and there were people who needed immediate medical treatment after sustaining injury during the cyclone. Flying in cyclonic wind and driving rain, Hartley admits he had to fly his chopper sideways and look through the open door to find people. “The wind was so strong and the rain so heavy, the only way I could fly was sideways. You couldn’t see through the windscreen so I had to take the doors off and look through the side of the helicopter. We were flying very, very low, about 200300 feet off the ground, looking for people.” Flying continuously was always going to create fuel issues. With low stock, no fuel deliveries available and people still needing to be rescued, Hartley turned to an old friend. “The HMNZS Monowai was stationed off the East Cape, riding out the cyclone, and they offered their helicopter fuel as they didn’t have a chopper on board.” Familiar with the vessel through previous work, he was permitted to land to re-fuel. “Landing on a pitching deck in a cyclone was certainly exciting, especially when the deck was, at times, pitched at such an angle it gave the illusion the helicopter was going to slide into the sea.” However, standard procedure meant the Monowai crew immediately roped the helicopter skids to the deck. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


“flying is like a disease and Denis has one of the worst cases I have ever seen”

Denis Hartley, India bound. gisborneherald.co.nz

Ask Hartley if that was the most hair-raising of his flying experiences and he laughs. “It was one of them.” The second he mentions was as a result of being called to a car crash near Tokoroa. “It was the middle of the night and, in those days, we didn’t have the equipment we do now. Back then if you were flying at night you were literally flying blind. It’s a bit like driving a car at night with the lights on and then turning them off.”

ZK-CVE c/n 709 The crash in which Pilot Dennis Hartley was saved from serious burns because he was wearing an pure woollen jersey knitted for him by his wife. Ardmore, Auckland 6 January 1968 Peter Lewis rnzaf.proboards.com East Cape Rescue Trust heliwing.com

“I got to the scene was told from the ground crew that he had to drop through live wires before landing. Not only did I have to do that, then I had to go back up through them again.” It was just after Cyclone Bola when Hartley was asked to speak on Radio Ngāti Porou, Ruatoria’s radio station, about his Bola experience and the part the helicopter had played in the disaster. “By the end of his time on air people in the local community, and from as far away as the Chatham Islands, had spontaneously donated $6,300 and as a result the Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust (EHRT) was established.”

He is to become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to aviation and rescue services 46

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The trust equipped Community First-Response Rescue Squads throughout the East Cape region with equipment including the jaws-of-life, stretchers and other emergency supplies. Hartley also donated his time toward training first-responder staff, from Ōpōtiki through to Gisborne, in the use of the equipment. Hartley also established the East Coast Search and Rescue Association and the Tokomaru Bay – East Cape Marine Communications. But it has always been precision flying that has been Hartley’s passion. Establishing the company Heliwing® in 1988 to carry out multi-function tasks including cargo-lifting, live-line insulator washing and electrical live-line maintenance and construction. Hartley went on to pioneer live-line human sling, maintenance and insulator washing by helicopter, and went on to introduce the procedure to China and India. Heliwing® now have maintenance contracts in both countries but most of the work is in China.

Heliwing® conducting a platform live-line earthwire repair on powerlines in Tauranga.

He laughs loudly when I suggest that, when in a helicopter, the last thing you want to be anywhere near is live lines. Nowadays Hartley does a lot more overseas lecturing about the systems Heliwing® uses while his son Wayne is the company’s main pilot alongside Kiwi pilot Geoff Keighley. “As the helicopters sometimes need to precision-hover less than a metre from 750,000 live volts, I can only use highly experienced pilots.” As a flight instructor and flight examiner Hartley has trained numerous pilots in New Zealand, China, Taiwan and India. And it turns out that legendary status I thought he had acquired once he became a pilot may have, in fact, come about even earlier than that. As a 14-year-old Hartley was awarded the Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for Bravery after diving 30 metres into a flooded river to save a passenger in a car crash. And although his family threw a three-day party when it became public knowledge their father was to be included in the New Year Honours, to them he is just dad.

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Youngest daughter Lorreen says while her dad may have done lots of exciting and possibly even on-the-edge-of-dangerous things as a pilot, they never once doubted his ability. “For us helicopters were a way of life and dad simply flew them. Nowadays I can say, I know my Dad is one of the best helicopter pilots in New Zealand, and that is something to be proud of.” But ask the man himself and he’ll tell you flying is all about the feeling of freedom. “There is nothing more incredible than being up in the air on a crisp, early morning – it doesn’t get any better.”


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Summertime, and the living is easy. Well, actually, it can be a nightmare. Hot and sticky with friends and whÄ nau coming out of the woodwork, and that mad rush to fit all the fun into your allotted burst of holiday freedom. It’s almost a relief when autumn rolls around and things get back to normal.

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Autumn is also a great time to get back into the kitchen. You no longer have to cook for a small army of visitors and their finicky, foodie ways, and you have finally finished off the bloody Christmas ham, but there is still the bounty of the Bay to be sliced, diced and generally made magic in the kitchen. So for some autumnal splendor we turned to the simply splendid folks at Whakatāne’s Fishermans Wharf restaurant for inspiration. They’ve been combining the best local produce – veggies, fish, and carnivorous delights – into world-class dishes in a world-beating setting for a few years now, so who better than Tom Mcguire and his team to spill some trade secrets. “Autumn is a fantastic time for food,” Tom says, “I love that end-of-summer excess in the garden... too many courgettes, tomatoes everywhere, the last of the figs, beetroot and carrots. It’s a great time for produce. I chuckle a bit at the farm-to-table movement that is all the rage in America at the moment, when that is pretty much what us Kiwis enjoy all the time isn’t it? And I love it that our head chef Joel doesn’t torture any of it, he treats it with respect and lets the flavours speak for them selves. Slow roasting, smoking, veggies tossed on the grill, things like that. They take a tiny bit longer, but hey, have a glass of wine already, and more importantly the added depth of flavour is worth the wait.” Fishermans Wharf now have a smoke shack and harbour side alfresco dining space, but you don’t need a weaponsgrade setup like them to get your smokin’ on. Humans have been smoking foods for thousands of years (Joel a little less so), mostly for its preservative properties, and everyone remembers smoked fish pie from their childhood.


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But in the last few years smoking has been recognized as a great way to zing out the flavour of not only fish and flesh but shellfish and veggies too. “Smoking is really just slow cooking with the seasoning floated in via the smoke and combined with different rubs,” Tom says, “so you can let your imagination go with whatever is in season.” So maybe have that glass of wine before you set to work to free up your culinary imagination; we know, it’s a margin call . . . For the gory details, we’ll let head chef Joel Robertson do the talking, with two great autumn stunners and a dessert to get your mouth watering. And note that there are no weird and wonderful rare earth elements in these babies – just great local produce and simple seasoning – and no artery clogging sauces either – just awesome flavours plucked from the Plenty palate. Take it away Joel. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


SMOKED AND GRILLED AUTUMN VEGETABLE SALAD WITH CUMIN AND MARINATED FETA “For these simple seasonal dishes gather your favourite autumn root vegetables, such as kumara, beetroot, and if you can get your hands on them, add some heirloom purple or red carrots. Drizzle some good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs - straight from the garden is best - then throw them in the oven until they are nicely caramelized. Serve with crusty bread – it’s as simple as that.”

MANUKA SMOKED SEAFOOD PLATTER, WITH SALMON, MUSSELS AND KAHAWAI “If you’re feeling like some kaimoana, smoked fish offers an earthy and simple texture. Make sure you use good quality manuka chips for the best flavour, especially if you’re using salmon. Pair with local mussels, steamed - we love using sweet chilli and garlic for ours - and always compliment it with a punchy sauce. We’ve made a horseradish cream, which is simply fresh grated horseradish, sour cream, a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chives.”

BUSH HONEY PANNA COTTA WITH ROAST FIGS “This time of year also offers the best figs from local suppliers. At Fishermans Wharf we roast ours until they are soft and gooey (about ten minutes), pairing them with a bush honey panna cotta - drizzle honey over the top before serving and you have a great tasting and simple dessert that is also pretty healthy.” The joy of all this is that is practically does itself – no long and involved recipes with hundreds of ingredients. Keep it simple, and let the great natural flavours sing. You swing in a hammock and lunch just about takes cares of itself.

And of course you can always just go and see how the professional do it. You can find Fishermans Wharf at Port Ōhope, on Facebook and at 07-312 4017




aw and order didn’t come naturally to the good old, bad old days of colonial Bay of Plenty, but as Di Logan and Francis Young of the Western Bay Museum show, there was never a dull moment in policing the region, whether it was absconding prisoners, waterboarding school teachers, or murder most foul. Prior to 1865 there was little need for policing in the Bay. The few Europeans residing here would settle any disputes amongst themselves, one way or another, and Māori pursued their own forms of justice; any serious disturbances were dealt with by a detail of British soldiers sent from Auckland to restore order. But after the battles of Gate Pā and Te Ranga, many enlisted men took up the parcels of land (confiscated from Māori) that they had been allocated, or sold their allocation on to others, and so the beginnings

of European settlement became established and soon accelerated as special settlements, such as those at Katikati and Te Puke, were founded. The growing population meant growing social pressures, and to address this outposts of the Armed Constabulary were established in 1869 in Tauranga and Maketū, which were the principal settlements in the Western Bay of Plenty, and then at Ōpōtiki, Rotorua and Taupō. The constabularies had both European and Māori officers - for example, Retereti Tapihana (Tapsell), who had been in the earlier Native Constabulary, and Jonas Abrams, the first Pākehā policeman in Maketū - and in these early days justice was mostly meted out on the spot; anyone who had to be detained was sent to Auckland.


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One of the constabulary’s earliest callouts came in 1874 when they were summoned to Katikati to apprehend a certain Denis Foley, who had attacked his wife Jane (a heroine of Gate Pā 10 years earlier) after a particularly heavy drinking session with his Irish cohorts. Denis had accused Jane of ‘bewitching’ him, slashed her badly with a billhook, and broke her arm. It was clearly an absurd accusation caused, some said, by delirium tremens brought on by the drinking, and the accused was judged to be mentally deranged and sent to the delightfully named Whau Lunatic Asylum in Auckland (it would later become more popularly known as Carrington Hospital). When he was released after several years Jane took out a protection order against him, but eventually – and remarkably! – they reconciled and had three more children.


By the early 1880s the authorities had constructed police stations in Whakatāne, Te Teko, Tauranga, Maketū and Katikati, (with the jail cells in Maketū and Katikati surviving to this day). Resident magistrates were also appointed in Ōpōtiki, Tauranga and Taupō to serve the outlying districts, and courthouses were built in the larger settlements so that crimes could be heard swiftly and in the localities in which they occurred. Swift justice was a deterrent and for the most part the cases brought to the courts were for public drunkenness, petty thieving, and squabbles between neighbours over boundaries and wandering stock. Little, it might be argued, has changed.

Durham Light Infantry


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Murder most foul It was not until 1892 that the first murder by a European in Tauranga was documented and a gruesome story it was indeed. Duncan Munro was the stepson of a Mr. Bodell (who had recently served as Mayor of Tauranga) and worked in his business. He suffered from ‘fits’ from a young age, and with time these grew more severe. After these attacks he would be overcome by strong religious mania and roam the streets singing hymns and exhorting passersby to follow Jesus. In 1885 he met Grace Freeman and they became engaged; perhaps he could have a normal life if he met the right woman, and the young lady must have thought so for they married soon after. When their third son, Alexander, was born Monro broke a kerosene lamp over the baby’s head trying to “anoint him with oil”, and while the child wasn’t badly hurt it was enough for the nurse in attendance to declare Monro to be a dangerous lunatic; a doctor was called and he duly wrote out a certificate of insanity. Munro was taken to Auckland under police guard, and the initial diagnosis was confirmed by two more physicians before he too was confined at the Whau Lunatic Asylum. Most people in Tauranga believed he was sane however, and his mother was able to obtain his release after six months as he seemed much improved. He returned to his family, but Mr. Bodell would no longer risk having him in the business, so he was given odd jobs to do and for a time all was well. Gradually his condition worsened again however, and when his fits were bad the family would confine him to the back bedroom. In the meantime, one more child was born, daughter Lillian, in 1891. On Monday 8th February 1892, Monro had another fit. He was taken to his mother’s house, where he seemed to recover quickly, and asked to go home; Mrs. Bodell herself checked on him and as she was satisfied all was well she left the house.

Early the next morning, the milkman’s daughter could not raise anyone when she delivered milk to the back door, so she fetched her father, James McRoberts, who saw Munro on the beach below the house in his nightshirt. The back door of the house was locked, but the front unlatched so McRoberts went in; he immediately saw blood on the floor and what appeared to be dead bodies strewn about, the furniture in disarray and the household’s clocks smashed. McRoberts asked the next-door neighbour to fetch the police and the doctor, informed Mr. Bodell of what had happened and then, with a dedication to duty and dairy we can only marvel at today, he went back to his milk round. The local doctor came quickly and found Grace lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor with her eldest son George beside her; their heads had apparently been smashed in with a smoothing iron and a rolling pin. In the front room, Alexander was lying in a cot and son John and Lillian the youngest were together on the bed, all of them bludgeoned and bloody. The children all died within a few hours of being found, except for Alexander, who recovered from his wounds. Grace lingered on for six days before she too succumbed without fully regaining consciousness; she was only 30 years old, and the children all under six. No more is known of what happened to poor Alexander, but his father had wandered along the beach into town, where he was promptly arrested. He became agitated and claimed that God had ordered him to kill his wife and children, and following an inquest he was then taken to Auckland and placed in, yes you guessed it, the Whau Lunatic Asylum. At his trial a month later, Duncan Munro was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to the asylum for the rest of his life.

Katikati Jail

In the line of duty The Bay of Plenty didn’t loom large in the minds of authorities in those days, and virtually no high-ranking or well-trained constables were deployed here, so the few figures of authority that were tasked with keeping the peace were often out of their depth. In 1880, for example, Waterford – or what we now know as Katikati – was an Irish town, newly settled by pioneers from Ulster, who were by most accounts a lively bunch. The town’s first constable was 34 year-old Adam McCluskey, himself an Irishman, who had just arrived from Wanganui and who was tasked to keep the unruly lot under control. The police station and lock-up he was to be in charge of hadn’t been completed, so he was on the back foot from the start. He also never quite got to grips with local Māori, who continually put one across him, nor the settlers, who regarded him as incompetent. Perhaps they were right: one Māori prisoner ran off while still handcuffed, so McCluskey – naturally – gave the key to the handcuffs to another Māori so he could remove the cuffs and bring them, the key, and the prisoner back to face the music. Unsurprisingly, neither of the men showed up and McCluskey had a full day’s ride into Tauranga to fetch a replacement pair of handcuffs. Maintaining law and order was also hard work when the making of moonshine whiskey was regarded as a natural extension of farming and cases heard in the law court were considered to be a spectator sport. For the miscreants of Waterford, a spell in the dreaded lock-up was the penalty for running foul of the law, and it was a cramped, damp, dark, and cold place with no bed to make the confinement any easier. Not a place you would want to spend much time in, but if you are in Katikati you can find it behind the Western Bay Museum if you do want to take a brief walk on the wild side. In 1883, no doubt much to his relief, McCluskey was transferred to Maketū, where he went with his wife Annie and his family of seven children. But things didn’t get any easier when Te Ropiha, a prisoner McCluskey was escorting to the cells, escaped into the swamp alongside the estuary; he was rearrested at a Te Puke flax mill two days later and this time a red-faced McCluskey conveyed him safely to the cells. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


The reckoning of Miss Chapman The felons incarcerated in the Katikati lock-up were not only adults however. In 1904, two brothers aged six and eight raided their school in Athenree and stole Christmas gifts bought by their teacher, a Miss Chapman, for her pupils. Penknives, pencils, pens and erasers were pilfered along with 30 maps that had been hand painted by the children in the class. The teacher was horrified at the theft and the general disorder the schoolroom had been left in, and when one of the maps was discovered in the possession of the two boys they owned up to having taken the articles. Miss Chapman begged the culprits to tell her where they had hidden the loot, but they remained silent and in response she caned the boys at intervals during the morning. Still they refused to give any information as to the whereabouts of the missing articles, so she then threatened to send for the constable, but this too failed to intimidate them. The teacher, in desperation, resorted to what was described then as ‘the cold water process,’ but which is more commonly known today by a different term: waterboarding. Contemporary reports note that Miss Chapman, ‘seized one of the lads by his ankles, up-ending him over a bucket of cold water, then plunging his head into it. This experiment was repeated time and time again but the choking, spluttering lad remained obstinate. Thus the whole morning was occupied in thrashing, ducking and threatening.’ And you thought you had it hard at your school. Finally, the boys said they would take the teacher to the place where they had hidden the stash, but then proceeded to lead her a merry dance, tramping through scrub for half a mile before she realised they were on a wild goose chase. Once back at the school a furious Miss Chapman organised the whole student body into a search party, hunting for the stolen items until five o’clock that evening, but the missing property was still not recovered. Needless to say the mother of the two boys also administered severe thrashings when they got home, but to no avail and so the following day they


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appeared at court before Mr. George Vesey Stewart J.P. Still nothing was forthcoming, and so they were put in the lock-up until 8 o’clock that night, a damp, dark fate one would think would produce results if anything could. But it didn’t, and the Christmas gifts were forever lost.


Just what ultimately became of those two boys has also been lost to time, and while their thieving is to be condemned they should at least be credited for their determination; in a feat worthy of the French Resistance they held out under extreme duress, an experience that surely steeled them for later life. And hopefully everyone had a merry Christmas anyway. The hapless McCluskey ended up being stationed at Te Puke for five years before serving as a prison warden in Auckland and dying in 1910, and Denis Foley was finally claimed by the drink in 1900, drowning in the Uretara River one night on his way home from the pub. And what became of Miss Chapman, the wonderful, waterboarding school teacher of Katikati. One can’t help but wonder if she didn’t go on to greater things.

Profile for Plenty Magazine

Plenty 10 2018 Feb  

The Best of the Bay

Plenty 10 2018 Feb  

The Best of the Bay