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Plenty culture :: media :: art :: food ahurea ao pāpāho toi kai

It’s fun in the sun as Craig Phillips talks about pirates and the creative process, Matt Mortimer goes back to the future with a Rotorua supercar, we learn about the good oil, Alexandra Pickles meets writer Lee Murray, and Plenty gets the word on the street about burgers and cheese, while the humble kūmara prepares to enter the limelight.







Elements in this issue of Plenty



























Plenty brings you the very best of the Bay. Kei a Plenty ngÄ tino o te rohe.

























BUILDING THE DREAM 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.






Editorial ISSUE NO. 13

Plenty culture :: media :: art :: food ahurea ao pāpāho toi kai

It’s fun in the sun as Craig Phillips talks about pirates and the creative process, Matt Mortimer goes back to the future with a Rotorua supercar, we learn about the good oil, Alexandra Pickles meets writer Lee Murray, and Plenty gets the word on the street about burgers and cheese, while the humble kūmara prepares to enter the limelight.




Name: Plenty Magazine Age: Nearly three years, or exactly 13 issues (which is 68 in dog years). Appearance: Papery. And perfectly bound. Any other distinguishing characteristics? No tatts if that’s what you mean, but we are quite aromatic. And kinda fancy and sophisticated, while also being flirty and available, if you know what we mean. Not really, no, so what’s this all about? It’s the editorial for Plenty’s superduper spring/summer issue. You remember, we discussed this at the meeting, about how it was going to be our best one yet, we’d spell everyone’s names right, and meet deadlines. You should know this, you work here. I don’t go to those meetings. No one goes to those meetings. And if I work here why don’t I get paid? Isn’t work defined as something you get paid to do? Well that’s the dictionary sense, if you want to get all Webster and shit. But you know what they say aye, if you do what you love, then you’ll never really work again! Or, you’ll actually just kind of work all the time... Well, yes. But look, it’s a judgment call, and back to business, we have an editorial to write. Haven’t we done this before? Yes. Well spotted. We’ve done it more than a dozen times before, one for each mag, which is not bad considering they said we wouldn’t last six months. And yet here we are nudging three years in the kidneys and each issue has brought our readers the best of the Bay, the stories of us instead of the dross in the mainstream media. And the point is that each editorial has been a witty encapsulation of the zeitgeist of that issue and the common themes contained within it. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8

Oh. The editorial with the cat was hella funny. We should just do that again. The cat one in Plenty 08 was popular yes, granted – hey why did you use italics there? – but we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again. Everyone else does. And italics are awesome. Well yes, you raise a good point, everyone else does tend to keep flogging the same deceased horse, but we’re part of the rebirth of the print medium, we champion independent journalism, quality design in the internet age, and we’re on a whole new frontier of, you know, publishing and, um, media stuff. So go on, encapsulate your zeitgeist then. Well – enough with the italics! – if I had to put it in a word, that word would be people. Nice. We’re done. I hadn’t finished. This issue has shown us that it’s all about people, and in the Bay of Plenty we have some really awesome people. They’re creative, they dedicate themselves to great causes, they’re passionate, and they have vision. And when you have vision and passion, you can get all sorts of cool stuff happening, stuff that inspires and stuff that literally changes people’s lives, stuff that makes things better for us all, because we’re all in this together. And if you have a read through the pages that follow, you’ll see a bit of what they’ve got on the go around the Bay. So no cat meme then? No.

ANDY TAYLOR Editor/Kaiwhakatika Tuhinga SARAH LANE Designer/Kaiwhakatauira

Got something to tell us? Whakapā mai ISSN 2463-7351



Plenty in print: never low on charge, content, or coverage

Print – helping you party like it’s MCDXXXIX A lot was going on in 1439, or as we like to remember it, MCDXXXIX. The Council of Florence moved to, well, Florence, Pope Pius III was born, and Johannes Gutenberg blacksmith, goldsmith, and soon to be publisher - invented moveable type and started the printing revolution. Since then print has played a key role in the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment, not to mention bringing you love letters, treasure maps and parking tickets. And though a lot has changed since Mr Gutenberg’s day, just as he kicked back after a hard day at the Enlightenment with a good book, you too can lie back on the couch with the cat and peruse the fruits of his labour in Plenty 13. Johannes you were a good bugger, and you can be a good bugger too by joining the Plenty family.

Become a part of the story and subscribe to the next four issues.

Illustration by the very talented




P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


PLENTY Was there anything that triggered your interest and did you have any particular influences. CP As a kid I was very interested in mythology, Arthurian legends, myths and magic and fairy tales. Everything I gravitated to was escapist in nature.

I used to copy the illustrations I found in mythology books, and later found Tintin and Asterix, and later still, Marvel comics and Conan the Barbarian – a character that I was obsessed with as a tween. Conan comics led me to fantasy art and the likes of Frank Frazetta. I think my art now is a mix of all those inspirations, whether you can see it or not. Aesthetically I use a clean line and flat colour like the Tintin and Asterix comics, but in terms of content, a bit of fantasy and Frazetta and mythology always finds its way into my personal work.

PLENTY Have you always been an independent illustrator? Or have there been side jobs along the way? CP I have always been an independent illustrator. I studied graphic design and worked as a designer and art director for magazines and advertising for several years, until I broke away into freelance illustration in 2000. I’ve been a freelance illustrator ever since.

PLENTY You’re very involved in the business side of your work. Can you tell us a little about that? Is that something you chose to do or do you think it is something every creator has to come to terms with these days? CP I have been represented by Shannon Associates since 2000. They have always looked after billing, contracts, client liaison etc. However, at this point in my career I am intent on writing and illustrating my own books and graphic novels – and that is a completely different kettle of fish. At first I was slightly hesitant to write my own books, in the sense that I now have to embrace a completely different way of running my business. Now I need to be more visible, I need to work harder to get my work seen, I need to stay on top of grants, festivals, networking and so on. I need to find funds for printing and run Kickstarter campaigns. Luckily, I have Wildling Books copublisher Bex Lipp at the helm, who has a lot of experience and talent for managing this end of the business.

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I NEVER WORKED HARDER AND LONGER AT ANY JOB THAN I HAVE AT ILLUSTRATION. BUT I LOVE IT, SO WOULD NOT SWAP IT FOR ANYTHING.” Could you describe a typical day? Is being an independent illustrator all a bed of roses or is it endless cups of coffee and a wastepaper basket overflowing with abandoned drafts? And how many refines are a part of the illustration process. PLENTY

CP Every day and every job is different. With illustration, you need to expect the unexpected. There is not a lot of consistency, as every client is different, and every job unique. Some clients make a lot of edits, some clients make next to no edits. Some jobs are highly rendered and complex and others are simple. It really does change all the time! As to whether it is a bed of roses, it is actually a lot of late nights and time at the drawing table. I can honestly say I never worked harder and longer at any job than I have at illustration. But I love it, so would not swap it for anything.


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PLENTY What are your main tools for creation - pen and paper then digitise or straight on screen? CP I have tried many varied approaches over the years. My go-to is always ink on paper with digital colour. I prefer to work in a graphic manner, with minimal fuss and render. I enjoy the immediacy of ink on paper and of flat colouring. For colouring I use Adobe Photoshop. Over the last few years I have absolutely LOVED working with coloured pencil for my sketches; it’s very relaxing, and takes the art right back to basics. I’d like to incorporate that into my final illustrations.

What are your views on the digital versus print question? Do you prefer one or the other and do you design with one in mind? PLENTY

CP I am a print person. Maybe I am a little old fashioned, but I prefer things on paper. I prefer art that is created on paper, and art that is printed on paper. Sometimes, pixels can seem a little empty to me. I like to see paint and fingerprints and dirt. When I design, it is always with the end goal that any particular project or piece will ultimately find its way onto paper.

PLENTY Where do you get your inspiration from? You have your own children so do you look to them for ideas? CP I am still very much inspired by the same myths and magic and books that I was inspired by as a kid; those early inspirations never leave you. Turn of the century illustrators like Arthur Rakham, Gustaf Tenggren, Kay Nielson and Edmund Dulac are dear to my heart. Herge and Uderzo will always be an inspiration. Japanese woodblock prints have found their way into some of my line. Geniuses like Claire Wending and Heinrich Klee inspire me to study anatomy and practice drawing every day. 1900s American comic strip creator Windsor McCay is hugely inspiring when it comes to making comics. And my children absolutely inspire me. I listen to their ideas which often find a way into my work. I have some new books I am working on now with Wildling Books that are very inspired by our children’s input. Kids come up with the most wonderfully pure ideas!

PLENTY You’ve worked on some very noteworthy and varied projects, from Foo Fighters posters to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, can you tell us how these came about? And what were the challenges, compared to your own works?


CP The Neil Gaiman American Gods project was a wonderful job. Working on a Neil Gaiman book was on my bucket list, and so I leapt at the chance. That project was great; very smooth going with little to no changes, and quick approvals. It came via my agent and Harper Collins.


The rock posters came by a poster publisher in Australia, and were also great assignments, although they all went through a number of changes. Projects like posters and book covers often go through more changes than internals, as they are essentially a selling point for an event or product and publishers want to make sure it is as perfect as possible. The difference between personal and commercial work is that, with your own work, you make all the creative decisions. Sometimes client changes can push a project in a better direction. Once upon a time I found that I was very indecisive and insecure with my personal work. What to draw? How to execute? Why am I even doing this? But with experience I know now exactly what I want and need to do; I can just get on with it, and the freedom is wonderful.

PLENTY Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts: Ten Tales from the Deep Dark Woods has picked up numerous awards – how does it feel to be acclaimed?! CP Oh, it was surreal, actually. When they announced Giants as the recipient of the NZ Book Awards: Russell Clark Award for Illustration I was stunned. The awards were a nice way to round off what was an intense project: So many hours and so little sleep. It was a true labour of love and it was humbling to see it acknowledged like it was. The acknowledgements and media has also given me and co-publisher Bex Lipp a great platform from which to create more works and liaise with distributors and book sellers.

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Why different stories from around the world - why not focus on New Zealand or what you grew up with? PLENTY

CP Personally, I love the fairy tales from Europe. Especially the tales of trolls and the like from Sweden, and the Eastern European gods and creepy characters that haunt old woods. I put my favourites into the book. I’d love to do a book based on New Zealand stories, but I would certainly want and need to collaborate in order to do that.

PLENTY You have an incredible ability to create very different styles of artwork - are you able to attribute that to anything specific? And does this cause any issues as it’s not always clearly ‘you’? CP I have worked in lots of different styles over the years, both in order to find my own ‘voice’, but also to adapt to a client brief. I am of the opinion now, 20 years in, that one should certainly try to cultivate a style that can be immediately identifiable as your own. But this cannot be forced; it takes time. Eventually you will unconsciously sift through all your influences and your own voice finds its way onto the paper. The work that I feel is really ‘me’ are my comics, and my more graphic work, such as Odin and Thor.

Is there any particular style or theme that is a secret favourite at the moment does this flow through your projects? PLENTY

CP Line and flat colour is what I like to do. I also enjoy using a brush pen and ink, and dry brush now; it has rekindled my love for inking. You can see that in commissions like The Cave Witch and The Elf King.


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PLENTY You’ve mentioned that you do workshops for kids, how does it feel to inspire others - to be that person that a future artist may mention? CP I love it! Especially when they are enthusiastic and attentive and I can see their work improve. It also helps me to improve. Teaching others is the best way to improve your own work. Also, it gets me out of my studio. Through teaching I have found that the most important aspect of making art is the sharing.

PLENTY Illustrations, writing - what’s next? Animation? Can we expect to see a movie version of The Adventures of Jack Scratch, filmed on Lake Taupō, starring Johnny Depp? Several of the Plenty crew have raised this question and are available for supporting roles as pirates. CP Oh, that would be nice! Forget Johnny Depp; I’d want my dream team of Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement and Rhys Dharby to be in any animation! Maybe Jack Scratch will find its way to moving pictures.

We’ll take that as a maybe and keep practising our Ah-haaaahs. What is next on your horizon? PLENTY

CP Wildling Books is a new label created by myself and social media guru and entrepreneur Bex Lipp to create graphic novels for children. Bex was recently the winner of Next Magazine’s 2018 Her Own Boss award, and our first series is The Adventures of Jack Scratch which is available from book sellers in NZ and Australia and has been picked up by Scholastic Book Club. Book two will hit the shelves early 2019. We will also publish more world tales building on the Award winning Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, and we have several more titles in the works. Very exciting times here. PLENTY


KIA TŪPATO! WARNING! STOP CATFISH SPREADING TO OUR OTHER LAKES. Catfish are an unwanted pest threatening

Catfish have already made it into Lake

to ruin the renowned Rotorua lakes and

Rotoiti and if they spread to our other

tributaries. They prey on trout, native fish,

lakes, it could be devastating.

and they also lower water quality by


churning up mud.

B E F O R E YO U L E A V E 1

Re move a l l we e d s f ro m your b oat , tra il e r an d g e a r.


E mp t y a ny b a l la st or l ake wate r yo u m ay b e c a r r y in g .


Do n ’ t l e ave yo u r tra i le r in t h e water, c at fi s h l ove h i di n g in th e m.



drunken angler 10

P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8

The early bird gets the worm The late, great Anthony Bourdain wrote that you

have to be a romantic to invest yourself and your time in cheese. And it’s certainly true that the craft of the cheese maker means early mornings, long hours, and hard labour; it also requires the patience of a saint and the dedication of a monk, and it has none of the fashionable glamour or financial gain of wine making. So Bourdain was probably right – you have to be a bit of a romantic to be a cheese maker. Which means the man behind Tauranga’s DreamCheese is a hopeless romantic. He’s called Lorenzo (yes, just Lorenzo) and he doesn’t just make cheese, he makes traditional Italian cheese, the old school way, by hand, and sells it the traditional old school way, in markets throughout the Bay, advising each customer on what a particular cheese brings to their table. But that’s not the most important part; nope, the most important part is that this handmade cheese is, as they say in Italy, bloody amazing. It’s a million miles from the mass produced protein we’ve all come to accept, and in the narrative of Kiwi cuisine that has seen us discover sundried tomatoes and pulled pork (let’s just not mention the crimes committed during the balsamic vinegar craze), surely it’s time we discovered real, handmade cheese.

Lorenzo: cheese maker, romantic

Lorenzo hails from Monferrato in Piedmont, in the north-west of Italy, but moved to the Bay for a change of pace. “Italy is a lovely place to visit, a fantastic place to be in on holiday, but it is a hard place to live in and to run a business in,” he says. His business was a sizable restaurant, and he was heavily involved in everything from the kitchen to the front of house, so it’s no wonder he wanted a change of gear.

fore you ed between 40-60 days be ag lly ua us is it d an ly, Ita ma’z in in red wine, not so much ed ag y all This is a cheese we call ‘to on iti ad tr is It you are at with it. mpletely. even begin to know where from the outside world co ay aw it als se ne wi e th e like say for the flavour but becaus within its own universe, un s en pp ha se ee ch is th in at. Everything that happens e things that come with th th all d an air e th th wi ts camembert that reac

ine cheese – w a is is th e us ca be er gl An n bodied red wine, Me, I call this cheese Drunke llfu ly al re a ith w d ye jo en to be it is not for the kitchen, it is eese for wine and fishing stories. a ch some friends and the ocean, ay with just are optional – you can get aw e, the friends and the ocean But you know, with this chees d a good red wine in the other! you, the cheese in one hand, an

P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


" You have to be a roma "I wanted to get back to the very basics,

the basics of the kitchen and the table, and I chose cheese because it is a living thing, it is something that has been around for generations and yet is never the same from one day to another,” he says. “I wanted to learn the real, traditional methods, so I went to an older cheese maker in Piedmont whose children didn’t want to carry on the tradition and I watched him and I learnt from him and I followed everything he did. Some of it was like a religious ritual and some of it was recipe and some of it was intuition and some of it was like a chemistry experiment. And after all that time and struggle, the biggest compliment he ever gave me was to say, ‘You know, you’re not too bad.’ That was as good as it got!” Well, we’re making the call that Lorenzo’s cheese is literally as good as it gets. If you’ve ever bought a cheese platter from the supermarket and struggled to tell the difference between the feta and the chevre let alone the camembert and the brie then you are in for a revelation. Handmade cheeses have remarkably deep flavours – some fresh, tangy, and crisp, others rich, strong or subtle – and variations in texture that are a million miles from commercially produced cheeses. “The cheese you buy in a Kiwi supermarket is no different from the cheese you buy in an Italian supermarket,” Lorenzo says. “You get convenience and you get a cheese that is made to a price and with an eye on the clock, and that is fine for many people. But when I make cheese I want it to be something special, so forget about time, just concentrate on making a cheese that is really spectacular. And the thing with cheese is that it is alive, it is changing all the time and even when you make a mistake it can be something magical.”


Everyone in New Zealand knows mozzarella – well, Scamorza is like a better-behaved brother of mozzarella.

the same, The process to make them is la you but when you knead mozzarel , and for roll your hands at 90 degrees doesn’t sound scamorza at 75 degrees – it way the curds like much but it changes the moisture. This makes stretch, so scamorza has less rmigiana, where you use it perfect for, say, eggplant pa th mozzarella you would tomatoes and eggplant and wi uce! Scamorza has less end up with soup not pasta sa perfect consistency to moisture, so you can get the t mozzarella can’t match. your sauce, and a flavour tha oke it in rosemary – For my scamorza, I also cold sm because. . . well, because. just rosemary, no chemicals – se. Taste it and you see why becau

y 12

P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


antic to invest yourself, like most k il m le o h mw r than fro ional ricotta is very e h t a r , y e wh adit made from xture and taste. Tr ad to live up in the e s e e h c l e a t erds who h much a tradition y distinct Ricotta is d this gives it a ver or two, so the sheph ake it, then it lasts l n il cheeses, a t it only lasts a day at it in herbs and b f the moisture. It st o o u c b e , u smooth oved som thing extra I think. hat if yo m t e r t d u n o a d it e r hills figu use you have sealed ut also a little some erbs are longer beca xture and richness, b h e h t d n e a t , t s r has tha i mixed for two hou

otta c i r y od old Kiw ion, m o e g k d a n Ib a s e binat n spic some Caju not a traditional com orks, herbs: it’s hink it really t was it is but I t a great cheese to ea in the and makes d wine, or to use le. o with a go hen it has aged a litt kitchen w

a t t o c Ri

The really magical part is that all this doesn't cost the earth.

For the same price as a factory made - and suitably waxy - double-cream brie you can pick up a Lorenzo original that will show you what you’ve been doing wrong with your life all these years. “I don’t have a lot of overheads, all I have is milk and my hands, and I didn’t start making cheese to become a millionaire. I started making cheese because I wanted to make really fantastic cheese.”

Job done, you romantic fool. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


Reward your senses along Whakatāne’s

Ngā Tapuwae o Toi walkway

Spectacular scenery to rival any of New Zealand’s great walks

WHAKATĀNE VISITOR CENTRE Corner of Quay Street and Kakahoroa Drive, Whakatāne P. 0800 942 528 E.

Ngā Tapuwae o Toi (Footprints of Toi) walkway, connecting Whakatāne township and Ōhope Beach, offers a diverse natural landscape and spectacular scenery to rival any of New Zealand’s great walks. The 16 kilometre loop is achievable as a half-day walk, or enjoy in sections suitable for the whole family. The trail includes pa sites of major historic significance, diverse native forest, spectacular pōhutukawa stands, unsurpassed coastal views, seabird colonies and native birds in abundance - including over 300 wild kiwi. The trail passes through Ōtarawairere Bay - the hidden jewel of Whakatāne and Ōhope. Pōhutukawa trees loom over a sandy beach of crushed seashells, and the warm waters of the Pacific lap quietly against the shore. KG Kayaks offer guided tours following the coastal section of Ngā Tapuwae o Toi. Departing from the Whakatāne Heads or West End at Ōhope Beach, take in the spectacular scenery and stop for morning tea in one of the secluded bays. If you choose to walk the trail, Whakatāne and Ōhope’s best cafes are just a short stroll from two of the trail’s entry points. A return bus service between Whakatāne and Ōhope is available for those wishing to walk one way. To explore further visit the Whakatāne i-SITE or online at and whakatastic


more than Just the finish line A challenging journey of discovery that will change lives forever – including yours.

BREATH-TAKING TRAIL, a bucket-list adventure and changing the world one step at a time – not many events in New Zealand have it all, but this unique event happening in beautiful Bay of Plenty is hard to match. “We are excited to be back in the Bay of Plenty again next year, bringing the ultimate team endurance event to one of the most stunning regions in the country,” says Lizzie Quill, Oxfam’s Fundraising Events Manager. Oxfam Trailwalker is the charity’s biggest annual fundraising event, where teams of four walk or run 50 or 100 kilometres to raise money to help fight poverty in the Pacific and around the world. The trail cuts through expansive native bush, rolling farmland, stunning coastlines and even a river crossing by jet boat – with the Whakatāne and Ōhope landscapes pulling out all the stops once again on a brand-new trail for Oxfam Trailwalker 2019. Trailwalker tests a range of skills: team work, stamina, endurance, navigation, and self-discipline. It offers a chance to make new friends, to get out, get fit, and to raise money to help some of the most vulnerable people living in poverty around the world.

P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8

HOW DOES IT FEEL? THE BLISTERS AND THE ‘BUZZ’ Oxfam Trailwalker is an undeniably tough challenge. But from the time you start putting your team together, through training and fundraising, to crossing the line, yours will be a unique and unforgettable journey. It will make a difference to the way you feel about yourself, your team mates, support crew, and maybe even life itself! And most importantly, the money raised will make a huge difference to people all over the world. People who are working their way out of poverty.

HOW DID IT ALL START? The first Trailwalker was set up in 1981 by the legendary elite Queen’s Gurkha Signals Regiment in Hong Kong, as a military exercise to test teamwork, endurance and determination. Oxfam Trailwalker New Zealand debuted in 2006. It has since grown into the charity’s biggest fundraising event. Today, Oxfam Trailwalker takes place in 10 countries around the world including Australia, Belgium, England, France, India, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Hong Kong and South Korea. In New Zealand alone, over 12,000 participants have lined up at the start line and together raised over $10 million.

HOW IT WORKS As well as a ‘wow’ factor and a sense of profound, lifechanging personal achievement, the Oxfam team will look after you and your team mates on every step of your Trailwalker journey with heaps of materials, advice, support and facilities. Before the event, there is a whole suite of fundraising and training materials on hand to ensure participants arrive to the start line well prepared for the challenge.

TRAINING Most people can complete Oxfam Trailwalker, but training for it is essential. Even if you are physically fit already, you need to build up mental stamina, too. Everyone is different – you need to learn about yourself and your needs before the event. How often do you need to drink, how tiredness affects you, which footwear you prefer, and so on. Training with your team will help you to set your pace, and to work out your roles within the team, and how best to support each other.

THE DIFFERENCE YOU WILL MAKE Half the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge is fundraising – to bring about lasting change in peoples’ lives. Teams must raise a minimum amount to enter Oxfam Trailwalker, but there are resources available to help you on your way. The money raised will help lift people out of poverty across the globe and challenge the mechanisms that keep them in poverty. Oxfam works with local communities in more than 90 countries to alleviate poverty and demand justice.


During the event, there are checkpoints set up along the trail where you can meet your support crew, receive emergency first aid, and even podiatry and osteopathy support from our volunteers.

“The connection to the community in Whakatāne is really strong. The welcoming atmosphere surrounding the event each year has been absolutely wonderful and we are delighted to be a part of it again,” says Quill.

A team’s support crew is critical to their success – they are the ones who supply walkers with food, water, a fresh change of clothes or socks, and other essentials. They play a massive part in boosting morale with motivation and words of encouragement when the going gets tough.

“We encourage any locals who are thinking about taking part to take the plunge and sign up for the adventure of a lifetime. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure your Oxfam Trailwalker experience is unforgettable.

Support crew will also hold on to the bulk of the team’s food, water and equipment and provide all the supplies needed so participants can travel light on the trail.

“Although it may seem daunting on paper, anyone with the right attitude can do it – and with the cause behind you as a motivating factor, you’ll know you are walking for something bigger.”

Oxfam Trailwalker is being held on 23-24 March, 2019 in Whakatāne. Teams of four walk 50 kilometres in 18 hours or 100 kilometres in 36 hours to raise money for Oxfam’s work fighting poverty in the Pacific and all over the world. You can be part of this incredible challenge by registering at P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8



h t u r T le b a v e li The Unbe xes, and Tall Tales in the Bay - A History of Myths, Ho


ies across some stor time we’ve come at th in d an , ty en e the star ted Pl ical), Harlem Shin ree years since we (soon to be a mus ub It’s been nearly th Cl n ffi Co e Th rua’s u (sadly od to be tr ue: Roto pirates of Kawera that seemed too go and the television ), ng ro st g in go l til But we also came of Ōhope beach (s name just a few. to ) TV wandering carver ity al re s noble kind of s’ tales, hoaxes, a different, far les n legends, old wive ba ur ; now replaced by ue tr be to e Sea re too good and byways of th ies that really we on the highways across a few stor few a en se ’ve we will – ey are actually ll them what you just so bad that th e ar e m so t utter bollock s – ca bu , r ples of fake news ought we’d ask ou t are just bad exam guy (or gal) we th xt ne e th Area Plenty. Mos as h uc is ll stor y as m icular order, here cause we love a ta far. So, in no part so d quite good. And be ar he ’d ey th of bullshit ute the best bits Bay.™ writers to contrib Stories From The No Way Bro’ Odd h Na h ea ‘Y ve Fi Plenty’s Top

Nazis in Ngongotaha IN 1941, a certain Sydney Gordon Ross was released from Waikeria Prison after serving a sentence for impersonating a clergyman and dodgy dealings in the motor trade. While inside he had befriended a bent former Bobby from the United Kingdom and they had used their time behind bars to cook up quite a plan. So instead of going clean once he was free he took the train to Wellington where he managed to convince first the Minister of National Service Robert Semple and then Prime Minister Peter Fraser that Nazis had landed by submarine in the Bay of Plenty and were holed up in Ngongotaha while plotting the overthrow of the New Zealand government. They had chosen that location because their leader suffered from ill health, and Ngongotaha was well known as the ‘Sunny side of the hill’ so, well, it seemed entirely plausible. It was of course complete fabrication, but a stellar performance from Ross and a government spooked by the advancing Axis powers and similar scares across the Tasman saw a newly arrived carpet salesman from the UK – a Major Kenneth Folkes – appointed the head of a fledgling secret service and Ross given funds and carte blanche to help - ROSS AND REMMERS track down the fascist infiltrators. Ross ran with the ball, Folkes nearly took control of the country under an obscure law, and the whole ruse ran for weeks before some good old-fashioned policing in Rotorua led to a raid on the Nazis stronghold: it turned out to be occupied by a dry cleaner and three nurses. It would be tempting to say that you can’t make this stuff up, but Sydney Gordon Ross did just that. You can read the full story in Plenty 08, though the greatest mystery of what became known as The Folkes Affair is why it has never been made into a movie. - Andy Taylor


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The Goatman cometh KEEPING THINGS CLOSE TO NGONGOTAHA, let’s all hear it for the Mamaku cryptid. A cryptid, as you all know, is a creature or animal whose existence is disputed, and they pop up all over the world: the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasquatch and, yup the Mamaku cryptid, AKA Goatman. He (and in theory there must be a she as this story has supposedly been around for hundreds of years so there must be, y’know, a breeding pair at least) has been reported as taking various forms, from goat-like creature to a large hairy humanoid form walking upright, and there have been sightings reported as far north as the Coromandel and as far south as the Desert Road; a doubting Thomas would discount the former as manifestations of stoned Thames hippies and the latter as drunk squaddies from Waiouru military camp, so that leaves the most plausible sighting as those from around the Mamaku area and into the top of Lake Rotorua. Which is our rohe. Reports from the Bay say the creatures are very tall and very smelly (quiet at the back!), and often appear at night as hitch hikers, but views differ as to whether the Goatman is good or bad, with some believing it to be a guardian spirit and others something of a warning. There have been reports from Taupō and Turangi that the creature appears quite human and is given away only by the clip clop of its hooves when it runs to take up an offered ride. Like all good urban myths there are anecdotal reports from people who know people whose cousin’s ex actually saw one, and of course there are a few websites with unsubstantiated quotes and vague references to Māori lore. But as far as I’m concerned it’s just another reason not to pick up hitchhikers at night. As if you needed another reason. -Sarah Lane P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


Rocky buys Whale, Hugh loves Vegas IN THE INTERESTS OF CLARITY – and there is precious little of it in this article my dears – let me just say that we are talking about Sylvester Stallone and not Rocky Balboa (who is, y’know, fictional) buying Motohourā (Whale Island). And Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner was supposedly not going to that Vegas but Rotovegas, as certain Philistines called Rotorua in the 80s. Right, now that’s taken care of, on with the bullshit.

was supposedly eyeing up Ngongotaha (yeesh), Stallone liked the look of Motohourā. It was at the height of Rocky fandom when Stallone seemed capable of anything, and it’s thought that his interest in a couple of Caribbean Islands laid the foundation for the story, but what actually triggered the rumour that it was a goer remains unclear. Whatever it was – and if you can recall then for the love of God get in touch – it had soon grown into him buying the The story of Sylvester Stallone buying the island to build a casino. As Hollywood stars pristine little jewel just off the coast of do. Speculation was rife in Whakatāne as to Whakatāne first reared its implausible head in the the various job prospects that would be on early 80s. Apparently Sly, and the locals took to offer, and the rumour lasted a summer before calling him Sly cos we’d soon be neighbours, was everyone realised it was ridiculous and agreed after a South Pacific getaway and just as Hitler never to mention it again.

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THE HEF STORY, on the other hand, is well, kinda a thing. It started in 2009 when it was reported in The Herald and Dominion Post that Hugh Hefner was considering buying the Rotorua Museum and turning it into – drum roll please – a Playboy mansion. The Hef had chosen Rotorua after research by the University of Naples found that sulphur in the air was good for, um, men’s vitality, and a spokesperson for a local tourism marketing organisation said that while the Playboy Holiday Mansion development would likely raise a few eyebrows in the community, he expected the long-term tourism benefits to be huge. It certainly did raise a few eyebrows,

and a few objections, by those who failed to see the longterm benefits – and who had also failed to see the date when the newspaper ‘stories’ ran. Because while the detail about sulphur and men’s stuff is apparently true (which explains a few things), the rest was shenanigans, an April Fool’s prank aimed at getting some free media coverage for a campaign to big up the town. It certainly achieved that, with multiple outlets picking up the story, and the less media savvy around the Bay were still asking when The Hef was due to arrive for weeks after. - Lonnie Berg

A Romanov in Rotorua THE LEGEND OF ‘The Lady of the Heather’ has been intriguing kiwis for years. She was supposedly a Scottish princess kidnapped from France and abandoned on Campbell Island so that she could never retake the throne. The story goes that she lived at Camp Cove, and though she died as a lonely castaway, the heather she brought from Scotland still grows there. It’s an improbable story, but no less believable than that of the Bay’s own lonely castaway. Sarka Ulitsa first appeared in Rotorua in the late 1890s together with a Czech immigrant called Rolyat Werdna, who was known locally as her manservant. He was by most accounts a fairly backward individual who spoke English poorly, but he was the only contact Ulitsa had with the locals as she rarely came out in public. By 1907, despite having no visible means of support, Ulitsa had purchased a sizable mansion in what would become Springfield in Rotorua, and if that wasn’t enough to start tongues wagging then Werdna’s habit of becoming inebriated at the Rotorua Hotel certainly did: he would invariably stand vodka at the bar for whoever cared to join him, run up a huge tab and pay it not in pounds but silver. Then, in 1910, Ulitsa approached the First Colonial Bank on Eruera Street and inquired about leasing all of their safe deposit boxes; when this request was declined she flew

into a rage and broke into what one witness described as “a stream of vitriolic Russian.” There was talk in polite society of the Romanovs and a fortune in silver, and the rumour mill hit overdrive when a plumber called to the mansion reported seeing a shrine to Czar Nicholas and Ulitsa supposedly tried to buy Whakarewarewa with “a cart full of silver.” The town fathers were alarmed, but before anything was done Ulitsa vanished. Just after news of the Russian Revolution had reached Rotorua, a single-seater biplane landed in Te Ngae and witnesses said Ulitsa had flown out in it alone, with the pilot and Werdna heading east on horseback. So much for the facts, but the myth had just begun. A local coachman said he had been hired by Werdna to transport crates to the Blue Lake, and Werdna – in his last vodka binge before Ulitsa’s flight – swore he would be back “when the throne was restored” and he’d not just buy drinks “but the entire town”. Who was Sarka Ulitsa? We’ll probably we’ll never know. Did her fortune end up in the Lake? And if so did Werdna ever make it back? We’ll probably never know that either. Maybe, just maybe, the Ulitsa millions are still out there. - Bob Sacamano P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


The Wishing Tree

you’ll pass the Wishing Tree. The DRIVE FROM ROTORUA TO WHAKATĀNE along SH30 and your respects at the tree, leave pay and stop should story goes that when travelling this road you weather for your trip. It’s a good and journey safe a something green or offer something to ensure one ever seemed to remember why. story that’s been around as long as we can remember, but no


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Many people know that the route is called Hongi’s Track – in reference to the Ngāpuhi warrior who moved war canoes along it fromz in 1823 so as to surprise Te Arawa – but it is also known as Hinehopu’s Trail, and for some people the Wishing Tree is known as Hinehopu’s Tree or the Sacred Matai. Hinehopu’s connection to the track dates back to the 1600s, when according to legend she was, as the daughter of a noblewoman, hidden in the base of the tree when a hostile war party was approaching. Later, she met her husband Pikao near the Wishing Tree and when they chose to be joined as husband and wife they chose it as the spot for the ceremony. As if young lovers meeting under a matai and war canoes being dragged through bush weren’t enough drama for such a serenely beautiful spot, in the 1970s and 80s a suitably B Movie legend grew up around the Wishing Tree. Stories that were sworn to be true (admittedly in pubs and at parties) spoke of someone – always alone – driving through Hongi’s Track at night and seeing an old woman either walking or hitchhiking on the side of the road. If they picked her up, she

invariably vanished from the front seat in the blink of an eye, or – more worryingly – if they failed to pick her up she would suddenly appear in the back seat and rear view mirror just as they cleared the forest and approached the lake. A screech of brakes and the flinging open of the back door to confront the vision always found nothing. In the forty or more years since we first heard the story about the old woman on the track we’ve never heard a halfway feasible theory about where it comes from. No one has ever claimed it as a reference to Māori legend, or to anything more recent along the lines of there being some old lady who used to walk that track or perhaps someone killed around there. Hey, it was the 70s, scary movies played late on Sunday night and the headlights of your car didn’t seem quite so bright as they do now. So probably it was just a load of rubbish. But if you are travelling along Hongi’s track, stop a while and make an offering at the Wishing Tree. It’s a lovely place, the air is cold and rich, and there aren’t many cars around. And if it’s twilight or no light, then tell us you aren’t back in the car quick and praying you don’t see anyone on the side of that road! - The Winsley Twins

Baker’s bird; how the Heron took flight



often spend their time trawling the interweb, drooling over pictures of sports cars from around the globe – Italy has the Ferrari, Germany has the Porsche, and Rotorua, well Rotorua has the Heron. Okay. Rotorua-based luxury sports car? Been inhaling a bit too much burnt rubber into the old double-barrel intake have we?! Nope. This is a true story. As all of us around the Bay know, in the mid-eighties, we were all wearing pastel colours and watching Miami Vice on TV. The women wore shoulder pads and too much eye make-up, and most wanted to be like Diane


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from Cheers. And the men were about cars; watching a talking car called KITT on Knight Rider, and the General Lee off Dukes of Hazard that left the ground far too often to be believable. For us back home, owning Magnum PI’s Ferrari wasn’t an option, so while sporting a dirty big mo and some oversized aviators we were working on older model Holdens, Fords and the like which were abundant. But why, you may ask, would anyone think of making their own supercar? Enter Ross Baker. With a plan. Unlike the plans we all talk about after necking one too many lagers, Ross followed through and set about producing his own line of cars, initially with racing in mind, and the story of one of these in particular caught our eye: the Lotus-esque Heron MJ1.


T U R N I N G B A C K T H E C L O C K To get under the skin of this story we need to turn the clock back to well before the eighties began. Ross Baker moved to Rotorua as a wee lad and began building trolleys soon after, starting each masterpiece on a Saturday morning and finishing it on a Sunday arvo, with the wood, steel and rope he found strewn about the place. As you do. He was lucky enough to later power these works of art with a Villiers motor from Dad’s lawnmower, in addition to the steering wheel, brakes, lights and horn that were all donated from the local rubbish tip.


Ross Baker’s Heron MJ1 Prototype outside Polynesian Pools in Rotorua

Fast forward a few years and his need for speed was realised when Baker hit the ripe old age of 19 and he and his brother Tony (who had been a mechanic in the Air Force) opened a workshop on Old Taupō Road in 1960. Ross Baker followed in his brothers’ footsteps, earning his ‘A-Grade’ mechanic certificate under the guidance of his brother; at the time, the Apprenticeship Board required apprentices to be working for someone else, not for themselves, but permission was sought and received which set the wheels in motion. It was during these years that Ross first dabbled in building a kit car – someone else’s – when he put a Mistral together. These were vehicles originally from England that a New Zealand company in Christchurch, Elmsly and Flockton, took moulds of and sold fibreglass bodies and steel-tube chassis for. Over time, Baker built his Mistral up from having the recommended Ford Ten engine to a Humber 80 engine and wider wheels and tyres. The adage of a big engine in a small car paid dividends as he thrashed it about on hill climb events and the like, always managing a Top 3 finish.

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As Kiwi’s, we love this. You know most people would settle for a bog-standard, drive your mum to town, regular Joe standard one – but there’s something to be said about taking it a step further. But remember this was before the days of cars needing certification; imagine trying to get something like this over the line now!

Heron MJ1 prototypes

It is also important, and downright imperative, to note here in the land of the long white cloud that we still produce kit cars of different persuasions, all made pretty damn well to be fair. But you’ve probably gathered by now that this isn’t another cereal-box shaped Trekka (seriously, look it up) from the sixties, that although was fit for purpose, was dog ugly.



1983 Motor show with the first three Herons on display


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In 1962, Baker decided it was time to do a different kind of DIY and design and build his own racing car. With an Applied Mechanics course from his secondary schooling in New Plymouth, Baker understood the details of building a space frame chassis, and inspired by the Lotus 23B sports car and a very good book called Racing and Sports Car Chassis Design he set to work. As Baker tells it, the book explained roll centres, anti-dive, centres of gravity and a hundred other things to be considered when building a sports car – who needs wind tunnels and rolling roads?! – and he put in many long hours designing and drawing before he started any fabrication. Like many visionary designers, Baker seems to have had the uncanny knack of seeing the finished design in his head before he set pen to paper, and when you don’t have the luxury of an automotive design team and workshop at your fingertips this really is where the rubber meets the road in the process, just as much as rolling your sleeves up does.


1963 Heron MK1 Sports Racing Car - Based on the Lotus 23B Sports racing car. Design Ross Baker, built by Ross Baker and Bob Gee

1967 Heron MK4 GT Sports Racing Car - replica of the Ford GT MK4 Sports racing car. Design Ross Baker, built by Ross Baker, Bob Gee and Chris Cooke

L O S I N G A L T I T U D E Rather than being simply a one-off race car though, Baker dreamed of having his own production car, and not another kit car. He developed a partnership with a company called Summit Automotive and the concept moved from a vehicle semi-made up for the customer to a car with a Fiat 2-litre engine, married up with Skoda running gear and a full fibreglass composite monocoque body. The front windscreen of choice was actually a rear one – out of a Ford Escort Sport – married to a Holden Camira dashboard set-up and some leather interior added to make a grand total of approximately 740kg ready to go. The MJ1 Heron was truly starting to take flight. Summit came and went however, with the introduction of the Fiat engine not being a great fit. Essentially it led to excessive vibration at higher RPMS, so Baker fitted a fifth gear to give the Heron longer legs (sorry) in the form of overdrive. The costs of these mods simply didn’t make the business costeffective however, and being a man who didn’t want to compromise build quality, Baker purchased the moulds back from Summit and they parted ways. Ross Baker went on to build many more variations, mostly in the form of race cars, and while the Heron may have been relatively short lived, the result of Baker’s labours is a thing of beauty. From the stunning lines to the all important eye for detail, a Heron is no kit car. Instead, each one is a tightly engineered and carefully crafted sports car that is the real deal. They look great, they go great, and they make all the right noises.

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? We had to see one of these up close and personal, and in true Plenty style we trawled around until we stumbled across a beautiful example of one in Taupō. The owner, retired secondary teacher Bryce Gliddon, is a top bloke and proud Heron owner. His yellow MJ1 carries a menacing low look about it, as all of the aforementioned pieces come together to sit on some machined rims with Halliday performance centred wheels. The original Fiat imported ‘crate’ engines are great, but as Bryce explains he has a couple of points of interest (and in fact difference) on his car.

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“Mine has the Fiat 2-litre engine with twin 45mm Webers on it and has Alquati cams,” he says. For those not in the know, that’s 45mm carburettors, which are a thing of beauty to any old school petrol-head. Alquati, on the other hand, is not so well known, an Italian manufacturer who used to supply engine components to a reasonably successful sportscar brand in the Fiat whānau, namely Ferrari, as well as other brands too, like Lancia and Alfa Romeo. There is so much more to this story. Ross is still designing cars today in his seventies, with a project taking shape on a Commodore chassis, made with his grandkids in mind. He’s kicking back in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia now, and we reckon this is one hell of a cool way to spend your retirement. As remarkable as a Rotorua-based sportscar is, it’s all the more remarkable for the fact that it still looks just as great 30+ years on. This is an awesome story that should play a bigger part in our history, but after seeing the mighty Heron with our own eyes, we would have excused you if you just looked at the pictures!


Telling our


I PERHAPS HADN’T PAID FULL ATTENTION when I was invited to write this article. I thought the brief was to interview a children’s book author, and I conjured up images of talkative ladybirds and whimsical trees. Then I saw the titles Hounds of the Underworld and Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse and I was a tad baffled as to how these fit into the kid’s book arena. But as it turned out, author and Tauranga resident, Lee Murray is in fact a Jack-of-all-literary-trades and her audience is as varied as her imagination. Adult horror, light-hearted comedy, chick-lit, teen adventure – she’s been there, done that and written the book (and short stories, essays, blogs, anthologies and articles). What a treat it was to talk to a local, yet internationally-acclaimed author and get an insight into fiction writing in the current age.

And there it was; Lee’s name next to

Stephen bloody King.

And it wasn’t just a ‘tino pai - well done’ sticker, it was for ‘Superior Achievement in a Novel’.

Admittedly, I’d never heard of Lee before this, so I was as shocked as you will be to see her list of literary accolades and accomplishments. Lee holds more Sir Julius Vogel Awards in the professional categories than any other writer, with 10 awards won over seven categories since 2011. Sir Julius Vogel Awards? Old Juls was our Prime Minister back in the 1800s and he wrote what was probably the first full-length science fiction novel by a New Zealander. So the awards honour various endeavours in the science fiction, fantasy and horror fields, and Lee has won a bunch. Now the ominous-sounding titles are starting to make sense to me, and I’m curious as to how such a sweet-sounding woman can illicit these dark tales from the reaches of her imagination. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


Lee Murray is in fact a Jack-of-allliterary-trades and her audience is as varied as her imagination. With her husband working as a scientist in Wisconsin at the time, and young children to raise, Lee turned her hand to writing a story for her daughter who was homesick for New Zealand. “It was a creative outlet for me, and a way of using my brain,” says Lee, who also has a background in science. “And I wrote it to ‘wish us home’ I guess.” What resulted was children’s adventure novel Battle of the Birds which was not only Lee’s first novel, but the winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best youth novel in 2012. This book, as with her subsequent titles, features the landscapes of New Zealand and the cultural elements that are unique to Aotearoa. “One thing I’ve found is there’s a huge amount of interest in New Zealand’s folklore, and stories and our landscapes, and that whole concept of our land as ancestors,” says Lee. “When you think of thrillers and horrors, they’re all set in America, or the Middle East. But people have read those stories, and they want to be transported and taken somewhere different. For a lot of readers, New Zealand is somewhere completely different, so if they can’t get on a plane, they can open a book and discover some of our fabulous landscapes,” Lee notes. “The first book was set in the Urewera ranges with its dramatic, sweeping, gorgeous mist-covered forest, and the second book is set in Fiordland, with its rugged, dynamic and fascinating beauty.

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Background image from her book ‘Into the Mist’.

The third book, which is yet to be released, is set in the central plateau, and well (she laughs knowingly), there’s just so much on offer in the New Zealand geography, isn’t there? It’s such a great place to escape and the readers love that.” Chuffed to be interviewing an actual author, I finally get to ask that question that I seem to ask myself every time I delve into a semi-realistic novel (usually a crime thriller) – How much research goes into a single novel? “Oh hours,” she begins. “You know what it’s like (Oh my gosh, she thinks I’m an actual writer – gasps audibly but away from the receiver). You get stuck into National Geographic or you’re on the Net and you follow the papers that lead on from articles and you get so carried away with the research, that it can suck up so much time,” explains Lee. “But in saying that, it’s often when you get sucked into those articles or if you’re interviewing someone, that you actually find the vital thread that you’ll weave into your story plot.” Lee notes another great thing about being a New Zealand writer is that New Zealanders are always so eager to help each other out. “I’ll go to an expert and try and extract what I wouldn’t ordinarily know, and they love to tell you about their work,” she says. “I needed some help with understanding soldiers, so I got put in contact with someone from the New Zealand Defence Force who’s right up there with weapons research, and he’s given me some fabulous help… but I will have to kill you if I tell you any more than that.” She laughs loudly with an undertone of nervousness (I know she’s not joking). “It’s fiction, but it needs to be believable, so there’s a lot that goes into making it so.” So, with a couple of science degrees under her belt but no formal background in writing, I was curious as to how one transitions into writing. “I did some courses, undertook a mentorship, and joined some writers’ groups and workshops,” says Lee. “And I sent my work out to other writers to look for plot holes and get their feedback on the style and tone to keep making continuous improvements, and you end up learning fast.” I remind her that she has the awards and accolades to verify that she’s legitimately made it in the writing world and she responds with gratitude and the reminder that, “Yes, there are rules. But once you know them, then you can use them, and then you can break them.” I like her.

“There’s a huge amount of interest in New Zealand’s folklore, and stories and our landscapes, and that whole concept of our landscape as ancestors”

Lee moves on to discuss the trends in writing and notes that times have changed, and our ever-constant need for instantaneity abounds. “In the old days, you could afford a four-page description of the moors if you were writing Wuthering Heights, for example but we don’t have time for lengthy descriptions any more. Readers are time poor now – they might be reading on their daily commute or in the half hour before they go to sleep, so you really have to start in the action,” Lee points out. “They want to know who your character is and why they should care. So writing styles have changed. We’re less about the narrated voice and more about getting into the head of the character and feeling what the character feels. In the same way music trends change, so do writing trends.”

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Speaking of trends, I point out that one of Lee’s pending releases covers the zombie apocalypse phenomenon and she says it was a lot of fun to write. “It has been written with 12-year-olds in mind, but it has a sub-text for adults so both audiences should find it entertaining.” As I ponder what a challenge it must be to achieve essentially two storylines in one, she simultaneously acknowledges that it’s quite a skill to write like this. She’s cool. Lee’s latest releases are the second books in two series, one of which she co-authors with friend and colleague Dan Rabarts. The first titles in each, Into the Mist and Hounds of the Underworld, Lee’s latest releases are a series of books which are co-authored with friend and colleague Dan Rabarts. Into the Mist and Hounds of the Underworld won the aforementioned Sir Julius Vogel Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy in the Best Novel category in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and were both long-listed for the International Bram Stoker Award for horror fiction. Both books are set in New Zealand with local themes. Their sequels Into the Sounds (Severed Press) and Teeth of the Wolf (Raw Dog Screaming Press) have only just been released. I had to Google the Bram Stoker Awards longlist of course, and there it was; Lee’s name next to Stephen bloody King. And it wasn’t just a ‘tino pai well done’ sticker, it was for ‘Superior Achievement in a Novel’.

“It’s fiction, but it needs to be believable, so there’s a lot that goes into making it so.”

Co-authoring sort of rolls off the tongue, but when I think about trying to write anything in conjunction with anyone else, my mind baffles at the complexities of how one (or two, as it were) might achieve that. Lee explains that she and Dan come from different backgrounds and both draw on their knowledge and skills to develop the dark fiction series that keeps a foot in the supernatural. Lee draws on her scientific background and Dan calls upon his Māori heritage and background in security. “In life, as well as on the page, we have a kind of brother/sister relationship, and we take care of a character each,” Lee explains. “We’ve made a point of not over-editing in order to keep the distinct voice of each character.” So what does Lee do in her spare time? She’s an assessor, mentor, and selector with the New Zealand Society of Authors. She’s the Programme Director of New Zealand’s upcoming science fiction and fantasy convention – GeyserCon – which will be held in Rotorua in 2019, a precursor to WorldCon 2020. Lee is the co-founder of Young New Zealand Writers, which is a group of volunteers who, for the past eight years, have offered writing competitions, publication opportunities, workshops, and mentoring to New Zealand secondary school writers. Lee is also a regular presenter at conferences at both national and international level and a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Horror Writers Association as well as local groups such as SpecFicNZ and Tauranga Writers. So why haven’t we heard of Lee Murray? This was a question we mused on throughout our interview in various forms, and the distinct lack of New Zealand publishing houses is a key player in that. Could it be the lack of exposure? Is it our apathy for fiction? We’re not sure. But I know I’m about to delve head first into a Lee Murray novel because I’m just a little bit proud that one of our own has made it, and I don’t want to miss out. I ended our discussion by asking Lee why she thought it was so important that New Zealand writers are on the map, and her tone became concerned and impassioned. “Because there is nobody who can tell our story now,” she states. “I don’t know if that makes sense? But this moment will be lost if we have no writers getting their work out there. Our writers record history, they reflect what’s happening. They reveal our perspectives and our feelings, right now, in this moment. Stories are much like a piece of art or music in the way they mark a place in time. So I tell students and writers to express how they feel, because there’s nobody else who can tell your story.”

“Yes, there are rules. But once you know them, then you can use them, and then you can break them.”


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Call us on 07 308 5576 7 Domain Road, Whakatane


The Good Oil If you’re nothing like us, you’ll be thinking spring cleaning. But all joking aside, it is that time of year when it’s worth thinking about flinging open the windows, spinning some Sinatra and getting your house in order. It’s therapeutic, it means you can finally throw that awesome dinner party you’ve been thinking about, and it’s good for you – blow away the dust, banish the mould, and let in the light. Plus, you always find stuff when you tidy up. Keys! Coins! Earrings and undergarments. But here’s the thing: it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the stuff we use to clean our homes may be just as bad for us as the grime we’re working to get rid of. We’re all concerned about the additives being put into our food, and it’s about time we started to be a bit more aware of the chemicals to be found in the everyday household cleaners we use. There is a reason things like bleach and aerosol cleaners do such a great job, and that is because they are caustic and toxic – do we really need this stuff floating through the air of our homes – and,

equally important, should we be pouring hundreds of thousands of litres of it down our drains every year. It all ends up in the ocean sooner or later, and as an island nation that isn’t good. So, in an effort to find a healthier alternative, Plenty sat down with Nicola Dobson, mother, graphic designer and essential oil guru, to see if essential oils might be the answer. This also meant we could put off actually cleaning and play with some really great smelling little bottles of stuff. It was win-win.

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Find out mor e on facebook at



First up,

it’s important to understand what essential oils are. For many of us, they are those things that annoying hippies bore you about at parties, but in reality it’s a lot more interesting. The first recorded usage of essential oils dates from around 1100AD, but they were probably in use before that, and many are to be found in modern ointments and balms. Most are distilled, some are pressed, and others chemically extracted, but either way it is essential (see what we did there!) that your oils are good quality.

“Always ensure you are using 100% pure essential oils that go through rigorous independent testing. My trusted brand is dōTERRA as they use quality ingredients and have great quality control.” Dobson says. “If we are going to be breathing in and applying these oils to our bodies, we need to know they are free from adulteration and contamination. Unfortunately, a large part of the essential oil industry is pretty dirty, so you need to find a company that is open and transparent about their quality and testing. Do your research and find a good brand, because essential oils can replace most of the chemicals you have around the house with safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives – you’ll wonder why you didn’t switch sooner.” So what can the good oils do around your home? Here are six of the best to get you thinking.


Fresh, clean and uplifting, a scent with antiseptic and antibacterial properties that makes it the super oil for cleaning surfaces in your home. Add a few drops into a bucket of water next time you’re mopping; freshen up your clothes with a few drops in your machine during its wash cycle; and keep your wooden furniture happy with a natural wood polish by mixing a few drops of lemon mixed in with olive oil. Lemon essential oil is also the bomb for removing sticky residue from stickers, labels, gum and other well, sticky gunk - just a few drops and it will help rub it off, which makes it great for removing labels from containers before repurposing them. And last but not least, make your own powerful multipurpose cleaner easily in under 2 mins: ¼ cup white vinegar + 1 ¾ cups of water and then 15 drops of lemon and 15 drops of Lavender essential oils. Add all into spray bottle. Shake thoroughly and voilà!

Eucalyptus & Wild Orange Tea tree Another great citrus essential oil that is uplifting and invigorating: combine a few drops with lemon oil in a spray bottle to help degrease areas in the kitchen, and for really stubborn grease stains make a paste with baking soda and soak overnight; add a few drops in your rubbish bin to keep odors at bay, or place a few drops on a wooden peg and clip to your car air vents for a sweet and uplifting scent to freshen up your car for those summer road trips; and add a few drops in your oil diffuser for an uplifting and energized spring and summer vibe.


AKA Melaleuca

Used for centuries for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, tea tree and eucalyptus oils are great to fight off mildew and mould in your home. They are both great air and surface sanitizers: add 8-10 drops in a spray bottle with water for a great bathroom cleaner perfect for those damp spot areas where mould and mildew can take over; combine 10 drops of tea tree oil, with ½ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of vinegar to clean your toilet; washing machine smelling musty? Add a few drops to your laundry detergent to help remove that musty smell; and add a few drops of tea tree to your shampoo to help ward off lice and ease dandruff.

This invigorating and energizing essential oil has many uses. It is a refreshing oil which pairs well with lavender, lemon and rosemary; add peppermint oil to baking soda and store in an open container for a deodorizer - this can be used as a room deodorizer or a small container in your fridge to keep it smelling fresh and yummy; bug, bugs, bugs – use peppermint to stop ants in their tracks! Add a few drops and place it in their path and also wipe around areas where they often invade; diffuse in the air for an uplifting and energizing scent – great for 3:30pm-itis or to help you refocus on the task at hand; and for sore muscles massage peppermint oil with a carrier oil (to help prevent skin sensitivity) on those trouble areas such as back, shoulders or knees. Peppermint has a cool effect so can be quite soothing - just don’t rub near your eyes!


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son Essential oils are great, but remember that neither us no r Nic are med ical profession so if you have als a serious ailm ent or if, y’know, pain persists, stop whatever you’ve been do ing for god’s go see your G sake and P.


Lavender is a fresh, clean and relaxing scent that helps to create a calm atmosphere in your home. Perfect for after spring cleaning! It also has antibacterial properties and is super versatile – it’s the queen of essential oils: when putting on crisp fresh sheets mix up 10 drops of lavender essential oil in a small spray bottle and fill with water, shake thoroughly and spritz a light mist onto pillows and sheets; add a few drops in your bath with some Epsom salts to relax body and mind after all this cleaning; massage onto the soles of your feet with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or almond oil before bed to promote restful sleep; diffuse to create a calming atmosphere for yourself and family (perfect for after school with those energized kids); combine lavender with lemon and peppermint for allergy support, a drop of each and inhale in cupped hands; and if you’ve had too much sun lavender oil works wonders for minor burns and sunburnt skin – just add a drop into a small spray bottle with water and spritz onto your skin or combine with aloe and a few drops of peppermint for cooling relief.


Phone 07 312 4616 31 West End Rd, Ohope

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Mauganui’s Totara Street venue while we were working on our last issue that we decided to go and see what the big deal was. Turns out it is a very big deal, with the live venue breathing new life into the Bay’s music scene – hosting everyone from high school bands to Tiki Taane – and the attached Mauao Performing Arts Centre giving our next generation of performers the space and guidance to make it big – think TV Fame, but without the legwarmers, bad hair and questionable plotlines. And as if that isn’t enough, they are now upping the ante. But more of that later, let’s start at the beginning. The Mauao Performing Arts Centre is the brainchild of Aaron Saxon and Ross Shilling, two friends who had been around the music scene for a few years and saw the need for a location where they could make a fair bit of noise while teaching drums, bass, guitar, drama classes, kids’ choirs, you name it.


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Ross Shilling, Shannon Gray and Jay Munro.

“IT’S A GREAT FOUNDED IN 2010, the Centre is a bit of a rabbit SPACE, SAFE AND warren – and I mean that in the SUPPORTIVE, BUT nicest possible way – with five THERE IS ALSO SO teaching studios, a staged theatre MUCH BENEFIT space, editing suites and several TO BE HAD FROM practice spaces. There is some work going on to create a recording space, and LEARNING A CRAFT you get the feeling that there always will be! FROM SOMEONE This is a moving feast. WHO IS SKILLED AND PASSIONATE But it’s also a pretty special one. “There is a lot of really great talent in the community, and ABOUT GIVING the Centre is really about creating a hub where BACK TO THE the community can come together and share COMMUNITY.”

that talent,” says Jay Munro, who joined the crew about five years ago. “It’s a great space, safe and supportive, but there is also so much benefit to be had from learning a craft from someone who is skilled and passionate about giving back to the community. And it’s a really diverse place too, with everyone from high school bands to touring bands, special needs workshops and school holiday programmes.”

The emphasis is on fun, but it’s also a serious learning environment, with all students working towards the end of term concerts (we told you it was like Fame!) that happen four times a year. “Teaching and practice are obviously essential,” Jay says, “but there is nothing like getting up on stage to really bring everything into focus. And that is where having the big venue right next door really comes into its own.” Ah yes, the big venue right next door. Totara St can hold about 400 people and much like the centre it came about when the team saw that something was missing in the community. They felt that having a really primo live venue was important, and the result is that you can literally walk in the front door of the Performing Arts Centre, pass through the various teaching and editing spaces, and then walk out onto a huge stage with full lighting and a serious sound system that has been graced by touring and international bands. It is, in short, muso heaven.

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Jay says. “Since we swung the doors open in 2015 it’s been a pretty steep learning curve. We were all new to running a venue of this capacity, but the community and performers have been great, and we’ve had artists from all genres and types of musical backgrounds on our stage.” The success has also propelled Totara St itself onto centre stage, with numerous local musicians citing it as being instrumental in helping to kick start a local music scene that had been in something of a decline for several years. Not content with that little trick, the Totara St crew are now going to throw even more into the mix in the form of Chur!Coal BBQ & Eatery. They have just sent out their mobile food truck for its first outing to Mystery Creek for three days, and Jay says that too was a bit of a learning curve. “It was a mad rush to pull it off but we ended up coming away with the Best Food Vendor prize, so we couldn’t have hoped for a better first mission. Chur!Coal BBQ & Eatery will be housed upstairs at Totara St. Behind the top bar will sit a large offset smoker and a separate charcoal grill. The cuisine will be a unique fusion of flavours from around the globe, cooked using New Zealand native embers. With a focus of smokey slow cooked eats and charcoal grilled delicacies, Chur!Coal BBQ & Eatery will be cooking up a storm at Totara St and available to cater external events using their mobile unit.” So yeah, what’s going on in Totara St is a bit of a big deal. They’ve got their heart in the right place, and we think we’re going to be hearing a lot more from them in the future.



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Invasive species have become a major problem in the Bay of Plenty, and while the debate rages about how best to deal with this issue, one Whakatāne couple have hit upon a novel and possibly perfect solution: let’s eat them!

When Mawera Karetai and Dave Barrett met 14 or so years ago, neither of them anticipated Mawera would go on to become a leader in poison-free pest management, specialising in controlling pest bird species on farms. Nor did Mawera see herself becoming an educator, teaching people about wild and gathered food. And yet, this has become her life. In the past, pest bird species were poisoned as a means of controlling the population, because just five peafowl or turkey will eat as much grass in one day as a sheep. And some of the farms the couple have worked with have had up to 3000 birds, so it’s a serious problem. “Working with our volunteers, we hunt the birds at night, from their roosts, take them away from the farm, hand pluck the feathers, take the meat for food and the frames are fed to pigs. There is no waste in our process and the need for another poison is eliminated from our environment. The birds don’t suffer and there are no safety issues with our processes. We don’t charge for managing the pests because we make our money from selling the feathers.” Feathergirl, their retail brand, it is unique in that their feathers are sourced in New Zealand from a pest species, and so their customers become part of that story and the Feathergirl story becomes part of their branding. But while the feathers pay the bills, Mawera’s passion is wild food. In a regular week, dinner will be a mix of peafowl, turkey, venison, goat, hare and rabbit. And that is the norm for an increasing number of families. “Each year our volunteer numbers increase for a number of reasons. Some people want to learn to hunt for meat. Some want to hunt for fitness and comradery. Others want to contribute to our environmental goals. But whatever the motivation, it’s great to see people out harvesting kai from the natural environment.” Most of the species they hunt were introduced as food, and if we continue to see them like that, then the numbers can be managed. But if we see them simply as a problem-causing pest, then we tend to throw poison at these species, which creates more problems. “Our natural environment needs champions,” Mawera says, “and until we take that approach, we are continuing to put pressure on native and endemic species that are struggling”. So, with summer here and everyone looking for something special to lay out for friends and whanau, Mawera and Dave have come up with a couple of special wild food recipes that you can try at home. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


Mustard Rabbit Rabbits were introduced to New Zealand in the 1800s as a source of food, sport and fur. Sadly, like all things introduced to NZ, over the years they grew in size and numbers to become a serious pest, but on the plus side they are delicious!

1 large rabbit (cut into serving sized pieces) ½ cup dijon mustard 1 tblsp wholegrain mustard Salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 Tblsp butter 6 button, sliced mushrooms

1. Liberally coat rabbit pieces with Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.



Rabbit has a similar texture to free range chicken and has a very delicate flavour. High in protein and B12 but low in cholesterol and sodium, rabbit is also really good for you, too. For some reason, perhaps because it is widely viewed as a pest, rabbit has been one of the most underrated meats in recent years, but it is slowly coming back into fashion.

1 small onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped ½ cup good dry white wine (if it is not good enough to drink, it is also not good enough to cook with) A bouquet of bay leaf, fresh thyme and sage ½ cup crème fraîche 2 Tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley

2. Heat 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear rabbit pieces, turning frequently, until rabbit is very crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter. 3. Reduce heat to medium and melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter in pan. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 8 –10 minutes. 4, Add wine to pan and scrape up any browned bits. Return rabbit pieces to the skillet, along with Bay Seasoning. Cover and cook until rabbit is tender, about 35 minutes. 5. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraîche, whole grain mustard and parsley. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

Wallaby Casserole Wallabies have been in the news over the last couple of weeks – and not because of the rugby. Dama wallabies, introduced in the 1850s-60s, have flourished and were listed on the Noxious Animals list in the mid-1950s. That means they cannot be kept as pets or farmed, and they eat our native forests - so let’s eat them! The age of the wallaby meat determines the way I cook it. A young animal has a sweet and delicate


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flavour, while the older animal can be a little tough and gamey. The tail meat can make delicious steak or casserole, and the legs lend themselves to a slow cook, as you would for shanks. Wallaby meat is not only tasty, it is also good for you. It is very lean and is a good source of Omega-3, and is rich in iron, zinc and the vitamin B family. Unfortunately, you can’t easily obtain it from a store – you need to know a hunter who can get some for you.

500 gms of diced wallaby tail and legs of wallaby 100 ml good oil 1 celery stalk, chopped 1 large carrot, peeled, chopped 1 onion, chopped 5 garlic cloves, smashed 1 Tsp celery seeds 2 bay leaves

1. Preheat oven to 180°C, coat meat in flour.



75 g plain flour

1 Tsp dried thyme 2 Tsp peppercorns 2 sprigs each oregano and rosemary (1tsp dried) 400 g can chopped tomatoes 850 ml can tomato juice 500 ml (2 cups) red wine 250 ml (1 cup) good beef stock 2 Tbsp tomato paste

2. Heat oil in a large, heavybased frying pan over high heat and brown meat, turning, for three minutes. Remove meat from pan and place in a casserole dish. 3. Clean frying pan and return to high heat with some oil. Add vegetables, onion, garlic, spices and herbs, and cook, stirring, for three minutes. 4. Stir in tomatoes, juice, wine, stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, then carefully pour over meat. 5. Cover and transfer pan to oven. Bake for 2.5 hours. Stir after each hour and add water if necessary.

painting 20 9 and molly drawing morpeth canaday award exhibition opens

exhibition closes

16th february

7th april


2017 molly morpeth canaday award – painting and drawing

te koputu a te whanaga a toi whakatāne www. library molly and morpeth exhibition canaday centre

Summer t i mand e the

grilling is easy



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Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime: jandals, sunburn, ice cream, BBQs. Road trips, old friends, new places, BBQs. Errors of judgment at your work do, questionable fashion choices, BBQs. And as far as we’re concerned, in the Bay of Plenty, BBQs means burgers, burgers, burgers. Your Aussie mates can toss as many raw prawns on the barbie as they bloody please Sport, but nothing beats a proper Kiwi burger made in the shade: flame grilled beef pattie made from grass fed Kiwi cow, crisp lettuce, crunchy onion, fresh tomato, a selection of sauces and a crispy (buttered!) bun to make it mobile for that short trip from the plate to your mouth. Yes friends and neighbours, it’s summertime, the grilling is easy, and a well-made burger is a thing to behold. And because the sun is out and all the Bay’s best produce is begging to be put to good use, we’re here to help you take your appreciation for the humble hamburger and the classic cheeseburger to a new level, and along the way we’re going to – quite frankly – blow your mind with a vegan pulled pork burger. Yup you read that right, vegan pulled pork, so keep right on reading for all this and more.

Everything you wanted to know about burgers but were too afraid to ask.

Burger-licious: Vegan Pulled-Pork BBQ Jackfruit with vegan coleslaw (right) and The Flying Beast, panko crumbed chicken breast, streaky bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli and bourbon BBQ sauce (rear) with spicy wings to boot. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


Now, when we say we,

what we really mean is the good folks at The Wagon, the funkiest burger joint this side of paradise. Brought to you by Kathy Potter and Tom Johnson, who are behind Ōhope Beach’s Mexican oasis Cadera, The Wagon hasn’t been open for long on Whakatāne’s main drag (that’s The Strand to you sunshine) but it has already made a name for itself. Seeing as they had only recently launched Cadera, branching out into burger land was not really part of the game plan. “We never actually set out to start a burger place,” Kathy Potter says, “it just sort of happened. A lot of fish and chip shops do good burgers, but what we felt was missing was a good quality, old school burger place that also kind of took things to the next level. So we sat down with our head chef Sammy and he said, “Easy!” so when an opportunity came up on the Strand we took it.” And if you’re in the neighbourhood we highly recommend you take the opportunity to pop in because you won’t be disappointed; but in the meantime, to help you get your burger on at your crib this summer, here is the gospel according to the burger masters at The Wagon.

“The secret to a great burger is that you have to remember it is the sum of its parts,” says Potter. “Use a good quality beef pattie, fresh veggies, proper burger buns, and think about spending a little time to make a real sauce and you are going to have a really great burger. At The Wagon we make our own patties and use beef mince with just 5% fat content and we add flavor right from the get-go with herbs and spices. The difference in taste from a home made beef pattie and one you get from the supermarket is huge. And we have such good produce here in the Bay that crispy, crunchy lettuce is easy to find and it really adds so much flavour and texture. Same with the tomato and onion, and definitely with the bread – we use a sesame or a sourdough – lightly toasted and lightly buttered for lots of taste and texture.” Ok, so those are the ground rules, now let’s look to some specifics. “Nothing beats a flame grilled pattie,” says Potter. “Get the grill good and hot and it only takes a few minutes on each side. For a really tender, juicy chicken burger we flavour the chicken with spices, coat it in panko breadcrumbs and then fry it – and match that up with swiss cheese and a bourbon and BBQ sauce.” Real blokes look away now, because here is what all you vegans have been waiting for. The vegan pulled pork burger actually involves jackfruit, a popular cooking fruit used in Asia, Africa and the Americas in both ripe and unripe forms, instead of the real pig deal, and it has been hailed as a miracle fruit for its nutrition value. We think that any fruit that can be made to taste like pork is a miracle and the vitamins are just an added bonus.


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“The vegan pulled pork burger has really been on-trend lately, but you really don’t have to be a vegan to love this one! Our chef Sammy is pretty old school and he was surprised at how popular it’s been. By the time the jackfruit has been marinated and seasoned it pulls – and tastes – just like pork, so whether you are a vegan or just trying to cut down on your meat intake it is a great option for the BBQ. And that is the great thing with burgers – you can make them your own, adding whatever you want.”

Hey and if it’s guilt-free goodness you want then The Wagon has another bolt of brilliance for your summer menu: try crumbed and deep fried cauliflower bites with a roast capsicum sauce as a great alternative to their usual French fries, kumara chips or onion rings – they are delicious, light and low in carbs. In fact, the cauli option is such a noble thing that you’ll deserve a treat, and if you happen to be at The Wagon then make it a Good George craft beer. We don’t often go outside our rohe here at Plenty, but when we do we feel quite at home in the warm embrace of the greatest thing to come out of The Tron since. . . um, answers on a postcard please.

“Good George is what we drink at home,” Kathy says, “and our paths kinda crossed by chance, so it seemed fitting that they were a part of The Wagon. They are a great company – big enough to be doing some great things, but small enough to still really care about how they make beer and how they do business: old school but with a great fresh feel, and that just seemed a perfect fit for what we wanted to do at The Wagon.” Good George is on Tap at The Wagon and good grief if you need more inspiration than what you’ve just read to jazz up your summer BBQ then get down there.

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Birds of a feather


The Kererū has been crowned Bird of the Year 2018. And that’s cool. That’s just absolutely fine. But when someone living beyond our shores asks me who I am, or where I come from, I’m never going to say “I’m a Kererū” because, let’s face it, I’m a proud Kiwi.

For years we’ve been enamoured by the small flightless bird, and Kiwi is a term of endearment for the people of New Zealand. So, for this year we’ll let the Kererū have the limelight safe in the knowledge it was the Kiwi that stole our hearts and brought us together as a nation over a hundred years ago. Until the First World War, the Kiwi represented the country and not the people, but by 1917 the terms “En Zedders and Māorilanders” had been supplanted by Kiwi, and the name stuck. The distinct short and stocky bird is, of course, unique to New Zealand – but so are many others. You could argue it’s not as beautiful as the Tui, or as handsome as the Kea, or as popular as the Kererū (like whatever), but our love affair with the Kiwi continues with hundreds of people throughout the country volunteering to ensure the little bird’s survival. And while there are pockets of New Zealand native bush where Kiwi numbers are increasing thanks to human intervention, it was the wisdom of a Whakatāne native that trademarked the town as the Kiwi Capital of the World. Which is a big call - is it a deserved title? You betcha according to Whakatāne Kiwi Trust chairman John Pullar. Pullar is a craggy dude, a little rough around the edges, who often wears purple Converse shoes with a suit. He readily admits he is not a “greenie” or a “tree hugger”, but he is an ideas man and you need one of those when you’re trying to find money to keep any trust going. “I’ve always admired the passion of all those involved with the Kiwi Trust, and I believe in what they do 100 percent,” Pullar says. “I also believe the Kiwi Capital of the World crown is deserved in that we literally do have Kiwi living in the backyards of a number of residents, as well as in our forests and reserves. The town is basically an unfenced sanctuary.”


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Te Teko Texas Rangers with Rayonier Matariki Forests The story begins in 1999, when eight North Island brown kiwi were found unexpectedly in the Ōhope Scenic Reserve. These adult birds were the last of their local population because without pest control 95 percent of their chicks were being killed in their first few months of life. Without intervention, this kiwi population, unique to the Whakatāne area, would have been lost forever. The discovery of these kiwi prompted the development of the Whakatāne Kiwi Project, a partnership between the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (then Environment Bay of Plenty) and the Department of Conservation, in conjunction with Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa. Since then, the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust and the Whakatāne District Council have also become partners in the project. The Kiwi Capital of the World now boasts a Kiwi population in excess of 300 birds. By Christmas there will be an extra ten in the mix and their survival is pretty much guaranteed: made of bronze, they make up the Kiwi Wandering Project – the latest undertaking by the Trust. Kiwi Wandering aims to connect locals and visitors to the kiwi capital while also educating, advocating and providing another “to do” in Whakatāne.

Whakatāne Kiwi Trust chairman John Pullar

Each kiwi is life-sized and life-like. Artist Liz Grant, who created them, has a degree in zoology and specialises in accurate bronze casting, and the bronze kiwi will ‘wander’ through Whakatāne’s town centre, past the i-SITE, and along the river to the new Wairaka Centennial Park and Playground.

The Kiwi Capital of the World now boasts a Kiwi population in excess of 300 birds.

The Kiwi Trust has developed a scavenger hunt document to help guide families and school groups along the ‘Kiwi Wandering’ trail. The trail will be wheelchair and family friendly to ensure that even if people aren’t able to go into the bush they will still be able to interact with Whakatāne kiwi.

Once mooted by Department of Conservation community ranger and “ideas man” Neil Hutton (although Hutton believes the idea of something similar may have been suggested by Whakatāne Mayor Tony Bonne some years back), Pullar did what he does and asked for money to fund the project.

The Whakatāne Kiwi Trust also supports the Omataroa Kiwi Project. Omataroa has recently formed a partnership with Rayonier Matariki Forests and, in conjunction with students at Te Kura o Te Teko School, are also doing their bit to ensure the survival of Kiwi in the Worlds Kiwi Capital.

“The Whakatāne-Ōhope Community Board kicked off funding with a $25,000 donation after we pitched the idea to them. Requests to Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Ltd, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Department of Conservation, and Air Chathams, each funded a further $5000 (the cost of each kiwi) were met positively and the Wandering Project grew legs. The Kiwi Trust also paid $5000.”

The Omataroa Kiwi Project, a kiwi conservation initiative developed by the trustees of Omataroa Rangitāiki 2 Trust, has worked for the last decade to protect the Eastern Brown Kiwi in the Puhikoko Reserve (approximately 500 hectares of native bush) and the wider 7,700 hectares within Eastern Bay of Plenty’s Omataroa Forest. The land is owned by the Trust.

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Neil Robert Hutton Photography

In collaboration with Rayonier Matariki Forests, who manage the production forest within Omataroa, the Te Teko Texas Rangers initiative was developed to provide a fantastic opportunity for senior students (aged 11 and 12) at Te Teko School to learn about kiwi conservation and the wider biodiversity of Omataroa Forest through an outdoor educational programme. Ian Tarei of Omataroa Kaitiaki, who has been involved with Omataroa Kiwi Project since its inception, is on board to deliver the programme.

The educational framework will see “Rangers” visit the forest to learn about their land, the different flora and fauna and the importance of protecting them, along with lessons on predator control, kiwi health checks and egg lifts. Te Kura o Te Teko School principal Tony Holland says it has been an incredible opportunity for the children to build skills and knowledge as future guardians of the land, resources and taonga.

For this year we’ll let the Kererū have the limelight safe in the knowledge it was the Kiwi that stole our hearts and brought us together as a nation. So, while the Kiwi Capital of the World has featured a cast of thousands in its making, everyone is welcome to come and play their part in carrying it forward. It’s our national bird after all. So watch your back Kererū – your cute, chubby little schtick won’t work forever in the Bird of the Year sweepstakes.

With coverage in 98.5% of places Kiwis live and work, we’ve got you covered Come and see us today at your local 2degrees store and we’ll help you keep connected. Tauranga


83 Devonport Road

Cnr Maunganui & Girven Road



1166-1170 Amohau Street

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You’re going to be hearing a lot about Kai Rotorua in the coming years. They have big plans for a food hub, a seed bank, a café and more, all built around the dream of reconnecting whanau with the land. And to make that dream a reality they have turned to the humble kumara. When Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea says that this is a story with a million moving parts, he isn’t joking. Having worked in television and the telecommunications world, when he chose to retire Te Rangikaheke decided to come home, back to Rotorua, but he hasn’t exactly been taking it easy. Instead, as volunteer facilitator at Kai Rotorua he and Jasmin Jackson founder, have had a very busy year that culminated this month with more than 150 volunteers gathering at Te Puea near the RotoruaWhakatāne turnoff to plant 3500 kumara seedlings. The volunteers were students from Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupō, they had a bit of help from Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick, and as the saying goes, many hands make light work. “3,500 tipu (seedlings) is a lot,” says Te Rangikaheke, “but when you have people with passion and vision, you can achieve a lot. The planting was done in about an hour and a half. And then we had a cup of tea, some kai time to talk and socialize.” P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


Passion, vision and cups of tea will feature a fair bit in this story, but before we go there, let’s go back a ways to kind of where this all began. Though there are different traditions relating to the introduction of the kumara to Aotearoa, Te Arawa tradition speaks of their female ancestor Whakaotirangi tasked with its safe passage on Te Arawa waka that landed at Maketu more than 800 years ago. Thus the whakatauki, “te kete rokiroki o Whakaotirangi”. “The secure food basket of Whakaotirangi”. The first kumara plantation was made there, at Kiokio and from little Maketū a legacy was set in motion as the kumara became a staple diet of Te Arawa and an important trading food before and after the arrival of Europeans; its cultivation became something of an art form, and it’s fair to say that

without the kumara New Zealand would be a very different place. Te Rangikaheke’s father was born on Mokoia Island, which was well known for growing kumara, but he never felt a part of that tradition. Until recently. “Strangely, one of the first jobs I worked on in television was a story on kumara for Country Calendar, but I never, ever thought I would pick up on something like that in my own life. But one day about six years ago we were sitting around talking over a cup of tea and I said, ‘You know, I think I might do a bit of gardening,’ and right on cue in walked Bernie Hornfeck, who is a bit of an icon in Rotorua, and we went to one of my marae, Waiohewa at Rangiteaorere – and our mahi and journey began”. Te Rangikaheke soon became involved with the Rotorua Local Food Network, a programme launched by Healthy Families Rotorua, and Rotorua Lakes Council where he began helping others to get gardening. Then, just over a year ago, Jasmin Jackson, Te Rangikaheke and a number of others decided it was time to take things even further and Kai Rotorua was incorporated. “The vision we have for Kai Rotorua,” says Jackson, “is that it will promote a more resilient, well-nourished, well-connected community. We want to reconnect whānau with Papatūānuku (mother earth), and teach people to create sustainable food sources.”


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“The vision we have for Kai Rotorua is that it will promote a more resilient, well-nourished, well-connected community. We want to reconnect whānau with Papatūānuku (mother earth), and teach people to create sustainable food sources.”

Top: Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea - Project Lead, Food Hub - Kai Rotorua committee member with Jasmin Jackson Founder, Kai Rotorua and committee member Below: Scenes from the Te Puea planting day And that is where the kumara comes in. “Community gardens are great,” says Te Rangikaheke, “but they tend to come and go. It’s hard to keep some continuity. So what we wanted to do was create a narrative, a story that people would want to be a part of, something that they would want to build into their own journey. And the kumara loomed large on our horizon. It’s pretty hard to feel connected to a carrot, but the kumara has a history. Our people connected with it back in the day journeying to South America and returning with it to Hawaiki then on here to Aotearoa. It is in our tribal narratives, our moteatea (song poetry) our whakapapa. And it has been a constant source of nutrition throughout our history, for both Māori and Pākehā, and it connects us to the land.” “There is also a whakataukī [proverb] that says, ‘Kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka - the kumara never speaks of its own sweetness,’ and that reminds us we need to stay humble, but also that we need to speak up for the humble kumara. And that’s what Kai Rotorua is going to do.” They are doing much more than just speaking up. “When we first decided we wanted to create a food hub, we thought about using shipping containers,” says Te Rangikaheke, “but Scion (the Crown research institute in Rotorua) heard about our plans and we are now looking at a living building that will incorporate a seed bank, a café, a commercial kitchen, and a kumara bank, which will be an interactive miniature museum telling the story of the arrival of the kumara here to Rotorua. We are also partnering with Rotorua Lakes Council and Toi Ohomai, so there are a million moving parts to this story, but it is going to be an exciting journey.” That journey has included a two day deep-dive workshop in August with facilitator Jerome Partington of Jasmax Architects that involved mixing and mingling with a room filled with professionals and experts in the building industry, getting to grips with the complexities of the Living Building Challenge, a concept created in 2006 that seeks to promote sustainable buildings and building practices. Living Buildings can be found in Tāneatua, at Tūhoe’s Te Kura Whare, but it was the village complex in Ruatahuna that most inspired Te Rangikaheke. “A general store, a café, radio station, art gallery, administration, service station, three chalets, and a laundromat. Driving the 1.5 hours from Rotorua through Murupara, past Minginui and along an awful bloody gravel road, then out of nowhere the amazing township of Ruatahuna. I have been there on numerous occasions, but it was different this time. I took several students from John Paul College and we were amazed.

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The entire complex made from natural materials and certified products. But what stood out is how the natural flow of the environment has been incorporated into the buildings providing that real sense of oneness with nature”. And if Kai Rotorua are adamant that their building has to be sustainable, they are also very serious about making sure their business model will go the distance. “Each part of the Food Hub – whether it is the café, the seed bank or the kitchen – has to have a sustainable business model,” says Te Rangikaheke. “Kai Rotorua has to have independent income streams if it is to last, we can’t constantly look to grants for funding. We will be working with corporate sponsors, but we want those to be partnerships. So while we are teaming up with Scion and Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, we are also working with groups like Rotary as well as Rotorua Boys High. So we are really seeking to develop capability. This is about shared values incorporating public and private funding, and though there are a lot of people involved in this project, that’s what it’s all about – He tangata, He tangata, He tangata.” It is people. And the people at Kai Rotorua are making something really special a reality.


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“When you have people with passion and vision, you can achieve a lot.”


Auckland and Queenstown like to think they are the jewels in the crown, but our largest industry – tourism – began right here in the Bay more than a hundred years ago. And as visitors move beyond bungee and begin to discover culture, there’s good reason to believe its future lies here too. Plenty heads to the city formerly known as Rotovegas to explore the building of a dream and the making of a destination, and asks where to next for ‘the darling industry’.


FROM LITTLE THINGS . . . Prior to the 1870s, soldiers and whalers were the only foreign visitors to these shores, but once the New Zealand Wars had subsided a veritable Who’s Who of Victorian times began to arrive. In 1870, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, popped in while touring his mum Victoria’s empire and waxed lyrical on the Pink and White Terraces, and the writers Anthony Trollope and Mark Twain came not long after and wrote glowingly of the wonders to be found at the bottom of the world. Artists followed, and soon New Zealand had the beginnings of a brand: a haunting beauty built on an unspoilt wilderness, devoid of the savage beasts and poisonous

industrialisation to be found elsewhere. In many ways, we’ve been singing from that hymn book ever since. The first tourists were well-to-do Europeans who had the means to travel the globe for months, either to broaden their horizons or to seek the health benefits of a better climate. New Zealand ticked both these boxes, with Māori culture intriguing visitors and our varied climate offering something for everyone. And with the arrival of steamships and the Suez Canal, visitors could get here in four weeks instead of the traditional six months in a leaky boat. Suddenly, it seemed, New Zealand was on everyone’s bucket list.

1936 New Zealand Government Tourist Department P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


The Union Steam Ship Company, once the biggest shipping company in the southern hemisphere, recommended that a grand tour of New Zealand should begin with a steamer (naturally) from Melbourne to Bluff, a journey to Milford Sound and Mt Cook to play at being intrepid explorers, then and almost certainly a perilous crossing to Wellington before a steamboat took them up the Whanganui River. By the time visitors reached Taupō they were ready for the relatively short coach ride into Rotorua - ‘The Hot Lakes District’ - and the world-famous Terraces. After their rough and ready journey through the wilds of Kiwiland, the hot spas, hotels, proper luncheons, clean sheets - and the delicious sense of danger that hot mud and geysers added made this the climax of the trip.

Soon visitors were skipping the intrepid explorer part and heading straight for the snow of the central plateau and the springs of the lake district. Almost overnight locals and entrepreneurs recognised that they were on to something: hotels sprang up quickly and clamoured for custom – an 1870s proclamation from the Rotorua Hotel employed full caps and italics to tell punters it was “THE HOUSE PAR EXCELLENCE FOR FAMILIES, LADIES, INVALIDS and TOURISTS” adding “BILLIARDS!” at the end for good measure – and local iwi were quick to join in, offering guided tours, performances and glimpses into traditional life. Coach services boomed, with the likes of Cobb and Co running regular services between Tauranga, Taupō, Rotorua and Auckland as well as regular excursions from the booming settlement of Ohinemutu to places like Okere, Tikitere, Waiotapu and Rotoiti to name a few. The pioneering Thomas Cook travel agency began running regular trips to Rotorua, and in 1885 the Auckland railway authorities began selling packages that took visitors down the main trunk line to Oxford (now known as Tirau) and then on by coach to Rotorua. Tauranga hoteliers, who had benefited greatly from the steamer Clansman bringing Rotorua-bound tourists from Auckland, dispatched an agent to the big smoke to tout Tauranga as the gateway to the Bay; ‘the plain unvarnished truth,’ he told would-be tourists, is ‘that they would be idiots to prefer the dust and tedious discomfort of the railway to the pleasure trip by the Clansman.’ Many, given the growing speed and convenience of rail, chose to be idiots, and when a direct rail link arrived in 1894 their number grew; within five years there were five large hotels in Rotorua and eight boarding houses, and the number of bathers in the springs had doubled. Even the eruption of Mount


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The Railways and Rotorua formed an early - and enduring - alliance. Tarawera in 1886, which obliterated the Pink and White Terraces and killed 120 people, failed to scare visitors off. Quite the opposite: the frisson of danger to be found in ‘Geyserland’ has always been part of its attraction, as the Buried Village of Te Wairoa proves to this day. A boom was underway to be sure, but these early years of tourism were not without hiccups. Some visitors seemed to think that the costs they’d incurred in getting to the Bay covered the price of admission to pools and attractions – local iwi, who administered those attractions, were understandably unconvinced – and tensions simmered between Māori and pakeha developers. In addition, at the end of the 1880s criticism began to appear condemning Rotorua as a place of ‘decadence’ and – gasp – ‘immorality and debauchery.’ This may have been partly driven by a local clergyman’s distaste for Europeans joining Māori in the pastime of getting naked in the hot springs, but nevertheless it seems that tourism in New Zealand has been seen as a positive and negative influence since its inception.


role of Māori culture and iwi in the tourism industry of that time was unquestioned, but then – as now – just how this was to be finessed was unclear. In the early 1900s however, the way forward for Clearly there was money to be made, and the piecemeal Rotorua seemed perfectly clear. The government approach of privately owned hotels, local guides, and wanted to focus its tourism investment, and Rotorua regional coach services was about to be challenged. was the natural candidate. In 1902, the English Central government had been quick to recognise physician Dr Arthur Wohlmann was appointed the importance of tourism and the part that Rotorua balneologist (aka hotspring geek) and set about using spas based on a European model could play in this, so it the skills he had acquired at Bath back in Blighty to looked to purchase a block of land close to the lake for transform the ramshackle town into a modern spa hotels. Local iwi Te Arawa was just as reluctant to sell resort: he wrote a treatise on the attributes of the to Wellington as it was to private developers however, waters, he recommended the wide avenues be softened and things stalled until Chief Judge of the Native with trees and the power lines tidied up, he researched Land Court F.D. Fenton negotiated a compromise in which paint pigments would withstand the sulphur so 1880 that would see land leased from iwi and used to that buildings could be painted in bright colours, and develop tourism by the government. This, the Fenton when Donne secured £15,000 in government funding Agreement, meant central government extended its he set about designing new pavilions and bathhouses control over much of the town; it was not to replace the existing structures, without contention at the time and it has one of which he said resembled remained so to this day, but for better or a pigsty. The ultimate cost of the worse it was instrumental in the creation new buildings would more than of the city of Rotorua that we now know. double amid public outcry (some In 1901 things were further things never change), but when formalised under government leadership the roof fell in on one bath and with the creation of the Department of a stairway collapsed on another, Tourist and Health Resorts, the first the project forged ahead. In governmental tourism department in the 1908, the imposing Tudor-style world. Its launch coincided with a visit to building - that still serves as a New Zealand by the Duke and Duchess symbol of Rotorua today - was of Cornwall and York, and with Rotorua opened. being the only scenic resort on the itinerary We had built it, but would Thomas Donne, the first Superintendent they come? The importance of of the Department, decided to make an publicity in attracting overseas impression. A grand tour of the various tourists was recognised, but baths was arranged with their health funds were limited so there Travellers’ guide to Rotorua is a benefits extolled, the town was lit at night was a certain DIY approach to booklet published by Australia and by new fangled electric lights, and several promotion in the early years. New Zealand Bank Limited, 1956. thousand representatives from local and In the 1920s the Railways Held at the Alexander Turnbull Library. neighbouring iwi put on a performance. Department not only encouraged Donne, and the Department, would spend Kiwis to travel domestically but the next ten years perfecting their two-pronged vision of also led the way in overseas publicity. The stylishly Rotorua - a modern health spa town and a showcase for modern posters they produced were displayed in the Māori culture – and in many ways this would establish a windows of the New Zealand High Commission in template for all that would follow. London and were sent to schools and festivals across Its initial implementation was well-meaning but the United Kingdom. They also circulated their posters clumsy to say the least however. As Margaret McClure in the United States and Canada and produced large writes in The Wonder Country – Making New Zealand hand-coloured photographs – some featuring the longTourism, “From the beginnings of tourism in New gone Pink and White Terraces! – that were exhibited in Zealand, Māori culture has been one of the greatest department stores (the Instagram of their day). attractions, but the question of who should control The first advertising campaign specific to this its presentation has been bitterly contested. Māori region was initiated in 1933 when the railways and other themselves were more often expected to be figures in government departments teamed up with the borough a landscape than entrepreneurial participants in the council to print 5000 colour posters, a booklet stressing the business of tourism.” A heavily stylised vision of Māori health aspects of Rotorua and a national print advertising would feature in advertising campaigns for decades, and campaign. It had considerable success, but in 1939 events many visitors wanted to see a romantic vision of the past in Europe overtook everything and Kiwis were consumed rather than a glimpse of where Māori were headed. The with far less appealing travel arrangements. P L E N T Y. C O . N Z // N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8


WELCOME TO THE MOTEL FROM CALIFORNIA The 1950s saw a return to normality and also what is probably the single most important development in domestic tourism this century – the arrival of the humble motel. The ‘hotel for motorists’ concept seems to have had its beginnings in San Diego, California, in the 1930s, and in Rotorua W.L. (Jack) Bradshaw, the proprietor of the Sydney Cottage Hostel, saw merit in the concept in the late 1940s; when he got wind of the audacious plan to turn Fenton Street into a ‘boulevard’ he changed the name of his establishment to the Boulevard Motel. The sign writer he commissioned was convinced ‘Motel’ was a typo and pushed for ‘Hotel’, before finally relenting with a begrudging, “Well, nobody will know what it means!” People most certainly soon learnt what it meant, and Kiwis embraced it with a passion. Motels required far fewer staff than hotels, so they were cheaper to stay at, and they were less daunting to many typical New Zealanders than the large government administered hotels like The Chateau or The Hermitage. They also had simple kitchen facilities, so families on a budget – and in the 60s every family was – could save a little by preparing some meals in their rooms. A boom in car ownership at the same time saw Kiwi families hitting

the road for their holidays in record numbers, and the cheap and cheerful motel was instrumental in shifting the domestic tourist industry into overdrive as loading up the family Ford or Morris with a chilly bin and thermos became a rite of passage. The importance of this domestic market was highlighted in December 1965 when a tourism seminar in Rotorua led to the formation of a regional committee to promote the ‘Tourist Diamond’ of the Bay of PlentyTaupō area within New Zealand. The committee proved so successful that by 1968, with some support from the National Airways Corporation, a group promoting the ‘Diamond’ embarked on a highly successful national tour that took them as far south as Invercargill. The sky seemed to be the limit, and yet in the 70s and 80s the industry began to stumble. Cheap air travel meant Kiwis were discovering Sydney and Fiji and turning their backs on domestic locations, while the mystical East and other exotic destinations were poaching our overseas visitors. Central government had passed most of its tourism interests to the private sector, and these remained firmly stuck in the past; for many, the New Zealand tourist experience was no longer a brave new world, but a quaint anachronism.

A NEW CENTURY The early development of tourism in New Zealand had largely been made possible by the opening up of roads and railways, but those roads and rails also opened up the country to farming. And while the tourism industry lost its way, agriculture found its feet – and seemingly insatiable markets. As Margaret McClure continues in The Wonder Country, “After the government’s early confidence in tourism’s potential, the industry rarely held a high profile among politicians or the public. For decades it was ‘the Cinderella industry’ or, more kindly, ‘the darling industry’, a frivolous, inconsequential business on the edges of economic life, flirting in the wings while the real work of agriculture took centre stage.” Our two largest industries have continually jostled for pole position in the overseas earnings sweepstakes, with tourism pulling ahead in the late 90s before slipping back around 2010, but even when it led it still seemed to be flirting in the wings. Until now perhaps. As emerging economies around 1925 Lithograph. Issued by the New Zealand the world expand and produce millions of new middle class Government Publicity Office. travellers, there have never been so many people keen to come and see our piece of paradise. And at the same time, as our dairy markets falter and there is growing concern about the environmental impact of farming, it seems agriculture is facing the perfect storm. Will herding tourists prove any more environmentally sustainable than herding cows, or will the tourism industry prove just as damaging as dairy? And are we really seeing a groundshift for the darling industry, or just another brief star turn before returning to the wings? Only time will tell, but there is nowhere better than the Bay to see how the story unfolds.


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