Rural Living April-May 2024

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April/May 24

Wildeye: A Female Gaze into Nature

Now – May 25, Franklin Arts Centre, 12 Massey Ave, Pukekohe Robbi Carvalho explores a deep connection between female diversity and nature in this thought-provoking exhibition. Showcasing acrylic and ink paintings, ceramics and jewellery as well as collaborative installations, this multidisciplinary artist seeks to enlighten and inspire. Search ‘FranklinArtsCentre’ on Facebook for details.

ANZAC Day commemorations

April 25, times and locations vary

In addition to major services in Papakura and Pukekohe, other Franklin towns will also host our heroes once again on ANZAC Day. War veterans, police, firefighters and others who lay their lives on the line for us will be honoured during these poignant ceremonies. For full details regarding local services see

Easter Handicap

April 20, from 11am, Ellerslie Racecourse, 100 Ascot Ave, Remuera

With his hopping done for another year, the Easter Bunny will finally have the chance to down tools and enjoy a veritable carnival of thoroughbred racing. Once again, the Easter Handicap will see some fine four-legged champions in action. Visit for details.

Antique & Collectors Fair

April 27-28, 10am-4pm, RSA Hall, Edinburgh St, Pukekohe

It’s unlikely ‘hunters and collectors’ will find the ‘Holy Grail’ at Pukekohe RSA but they may just discover a treasure or two. From jewellery, coins, medals and stamps to homewares, furniture and much more, this fair promises to set the right tune for collectors of many kinds. More information is accessible via

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Inner Bloom, Robbi Carvalho

PLEASE NOTE: information regarding times & dates of these events was correct at the time this issue went to print. However, readers are advised to check events online for updates.

The Great Piratical Rumbustification

April 30 – May 4, times vary, Due Drop Events Centre, 770 Great South Rd, Manukau

Margaret Mahy’s delightful ‘shanty’ about a crew of restless seadogs bursts onto the local stage as part of an Auckland tour. Casting o at Due Drop, this Tim Bray production sees a youngster’s party quickly become a swashbuckling a air. See for details.

Ladies Night Out with WolfPack

May 4, 7-10pm, Waiuku Cossie Club, Victoria Ave, Waiuku

Abs-olutely an act many locals will be thrilled to see on the local stage, WolfPack Revue is well used to having audiences howl! A strictly R18 a air, this live show sees some remarkable men present their remarkable physiques. If this description isn’t clear enough, this may not be the right entertainment for you! Details via

Four Flat Whites in Italy

May 2-18, Backstage Theatre, Victoria Ave, Waiuku

What could be more romantic than touring Italy? When Adrian and Alison head o on the trip of a lifetime the couple gets a little more than they bargained for as ‘two’s company’ becomes ‘four’s a crowd’ in this chucklesome comedy by the iconic Roger Hall. For more information visit

Autumn at All Souls

May 5-26, from 7pm, All Souls Church, North Rd, Clevedon

A quartet of concerts, which begins with a quintet from Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, seeks to inspire all souls at All Souls. Setting the tune, Ensemble Aaru shares its talents on May 5 followed by Next O ramp (May 12), Auckland Chamber Music (May 19) and Shindig (May 26). Search ‘sanctuary St James’ on Facebook for details. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 3


When our ANZACs were deposited on a rocky outcrop in the Aegean Sea, the British Empire sought to control the narrative. When the USA went all the way with LBJ to a distant corner of Asia, the Stars and Stripes newspaper was expected to tell this war story unfettered. Fortunately, in both these cases and more, the media didn’t quite get the message. Instead, it delivered unbiased accounts of conflicts that changed our world.

Recently, an American-owned broadcaster culled its news team and New Zealand’s state-backed TVNZ confirmed it would fire (if not shoot) its messengers. Their crime was the failure to make an acceptable profit. Businesses are not social services, but the news always has been.

When the US Government first issued radio then TV licences, broadcasters had to include news in return for use of public-owned airwaves. Why? Because, in a healthy democracy, news reported by


Through his day job, Tony Walker from Walkers Pest Control o ers sure fire solutions. However, he also has lofty aims when it comes to his work with the Papakura Army Cadets. Ahead of ANZAC Day, we spoke with this local training o cer to learn more about the programme and his mission to help turn young lives around with military precision. To read more see pages 8-9.

independent professionals who can disseminate information is essential so that ‘we the people’ may know the truth. This is even more important when everyone is, through social media, a broadcaster in their own right.

From the public purse, we fund (in total or in part) education, housing, healthcare, transport and emergency services as well as sport and the arts. In all these cases, direct profit is not the objective. Instead, they deliver wider societal benefits while being administered by state funded managers, also known as politicians.

Government investment in media is not government control. This notion is ‘fake news’. A former Times Media paperboy may sign cheques from the public purse, but it doesn’t mean all those who receive them will bend the knee. Nurses don’t, teachers don’t, police don’t and neither do credible, professional journalists.

The media has become the message of late, but we’ve been focused on placing locals in our frame. Ahead

of ANZAC Day and Mother’s Day, we posed questions to Tony Walker (Papakura Cadet Force) and a straightshooting local mum who’s not all she… ‘seams’. And, as usual, we’ve included news, events, recipes and more to keep the home fires burning.

As we look ahead to another ANZAC Day, lest we forget those straight-shooting journalists (past and present) who have been in the firing line, literally or figuratively. Otherwise, truth may well fall victim to business just as surely as it is (if left unchecked) the first casualty of war.

to Drury/Karaka and Clevedon to Waiuku. It is also available from businesses throughout the district's regional townships, including their key community of Pukekohe.

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Sales: Kelly Cooke DDI 09 271 8026 Art Director: Clare McGillivray DDI 09 271 8067 Design: Claire Robertson Publisher: Brian Neben 151 King Street, Pukekohe, Auckland PO Box 38 232 Howick, Auckland 2145 DISCLAIMER: Articles published in Rural Living do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers or editor. All material is provided as a general information service only. Times Media Ltd does not assume or accept any responsibility for, and shall not be liable for, the accuracy or appropriate application of any information in this magazine. All the material in this magazine has the protection of international copyright. All rights reserved. No content may be reproduced without the prior written consent of Times Media Ltd. Settling In design build SOUTH EAST FRANKLIN R uaw a o O M g W R ng O C ur W h g d B o W g Tan w Ka O Po W k M O G M Op T Ko hanga O e Puke aw a Rang W es M h W d gh W a am am T ko k Tau anganu Te Kauw ha a M ereme e k L Waikare W W B h W M k N B P S W A W B M b G h y W a k e g K M V W a uku Tu kau P k k h P p M a u ew a A U CKLA N D D 16 Orua Bay Waitemata Harbour Huia R okorua ake w W h e C T a m a k i Str a it m R e W roa Rive W a u e W t k W d W t t d G f W d Albe -Eden-Rosk Wa d Or ake Wa d H k W d Wh W d – Pick-up points in Pukekohe, Waiuku, Tuakau, Pokeno, Drury, Ardmore, Clevedon – Home delivery areas Distribution A TIMES MEDIA PUBLICATION Rural Living is a FREE monthly lifestyle magazine delivered to RD 1,2,3 and 4 rural lifestyle properties in the greater Franklin district and beyond – Pokeno
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Ladies’ Day is set to send o the 2023-24 thoroughbred racing season at Pukekohe Park with good cheer – and cheers. This free event (June 19, details at features the exclusive Lindauer Ladies’ Lunch. While tickets make a great Mother’s Day gift, we have a double pass (valued at $220) to give away.

Keen on a voyage of discovery? Even if adventure entertainment is ‘all Greek’ to you, the Odyssey Sensory Maze can still deliver an epic experience. Including an underwater room, miner’s cave, enchanted forest, mirror maze and even a doom room, this attraction is intended to push our perceptions to the limit. We have FIVE double passes up for grabs.


Classics of various eras make up the setlist for this wide-ranging show, on June 16 at Manukau’s Due Drop Events Centre. Featuring such hot pop stars of their day as Mozart and Bach, this engaging performance also stars works by more modern composers from films such as Harry Potter and more, ensuring it’s suited to all ages. Further information is available online at We have double passes to give away to THREE lucky winners.


Focused on women on the rural frontier in 19th Century New Zealand, this book reveals that ‘women’s work’ can be wild indeed! Drawing on diaries and memoirs, Robert Peden reveals the lives of some of the rural pioneers who forged a nation. An ideal gift for Mother’s Day, we have a copy of this inspiring book for one lucky reader.

Robert Peden: Nailed Boots and Crinoline Gowns | RRP $40 | Fraser Books

6 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

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8 — Rural Living — April/May 2024
Tony Walker (NZCF) WITH Tony Walker Photo Wayne Martin

Paerata’s Tony Walker has not said farewell to arms. In addition to running Walkers Pest Control, he is also ensuring young locals (aged 13-18) focus their e orts productively through the Papakura Army Cadet unit. Ahead of ANZAC Day, we discussed his role as the unit’s training o cer… over the gate.

What part does the cadet unit play in ANZAC Day services locally?

The Papakura cadets support both the Franklin and Papakura RSAs throughout the year. Leading up to ANZAC Day, we are involved in Poppy Day. On ANZAC Day, the unit provides cadets and o cers for both the dawn and civic parades as cenotaph guards and flag bearers.

What does your role with the NZCF involve?

As training o cer, I set the training programme for the unit on a term-by-term basis. The training programme is set out by New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF) for the entire organisation (broken down by the di erent corps, Army, Navy and Air) with lesson guidelines for each starting from the basics through to the five-year cadets.

How long have you served with the cadets? Did you have a prior military background?

I have been involved since 2011 when my grandson joined. Since then, four of my grandchildren have gone through the ranks. I was commissioned into the NZCF and attached to the Army Cadet Corps as an o cer in 2013. I find it rewarding to see cadets grow and develop over time into fine young adults with good values.

I joined the NZ Army in 1971 as a regular force cadet, part

of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), aged 16. I joined the Territorials in 1972 and was attached to the 3rd Auckland Regiment until 1975.

How many cadets in the Papakura unit and how old are they? Is membership growing?

We have 30 cadets, which is comparable to the last few years since covid, but the numbers are climbing again. Young people are wanting to be more active, and some use this as a stepping stone into the armed forces, giving them a taste of the service life. The cadet age range is from 13-18 years. At 18 they can stay as an adult cadet until they’re 19 then they have a choice of leaving, staying on as civilian instructors, or advancing towards becoming an o cer.

What does the training involve overall?

It covers fieldcraft, service knowledge of the NZDF and NZCF, leadership, bushcraft, fitness, map reading, firearm safety and marksmanship. This develops cadets’ self-confidence, personal management and discipline. They can also attend courses held at unit, area and national level.

What are the requirements for firearm use?

They use .22 bolt action rifles, but cadets must undertake lessons on firearm safety and pass a handling

test – if they don’t pass, they do not progress to the next level until they do. Cadets are trained by o cers who have completed the required NZCF courses and hold current qualifications.

How much classroom work is undertaken?

Cadets have one period each night of classwork. Taught by either a senior cadet or an o cer, it is usually theory based and we put it into practice when we go into the field. Some history of the NZDF and NZCF is also taught.

What other skills or characteristics do cadets gain?

The training helps them develop self-worth, discipline, loyalty to those around them, teamwork, time management and problem solving. It also improves their dress standards and bearing.

Have former cadets found themselves better prepared when joining the NZDF? How about when pursuing other careers?

Because of the training, they’re better prepared. They are equipped with an understanding of what the life entails from a training perspective and able to help others. From the feedback we’ve had, cadets find the training to be beneficial in their life going forward, with their appearance, bearing and general demeanour. Parents also comment that the cadets stand out against others their age and their demeanour is di erent in the way that they hold themselves and talk.

If you could invite any three people (living or dead) to dinner, who and why?

I would invite Spike Milligan, Terry Pratchett, and JRR Tolkien for a night of engaging (although a little insane!) literary discussions. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 9

By day, Lynne Pussell can be found seated at a sewing machine, surrounded by garments in the heart of Pukekohe’s King Street. Come the weekend, she’ll likely head for the bush, paddock or firing range with rifle, shotgun or pistol in hand.

To many customers Lynne might seem an unlikely sharpshooter. She’s best known for her skill with needle and thread – shortening hemlines and easing seams. So, who would recognise ‘Legend Lynne’ wearing a Western style shirt, Stetson and cowboy boots packing twin holsters on her hips – loaded of course with two .38 Cattleman Uberti pistols?

When competing in Western style pistol shooting, her longtime hobby, Lynne is required to use three guns, (a rifle, a shotgun and a pistol) all while dressed as if heading to the O.K. Corral or behind the bar at a local saloon.

Last year, (as in the past) she came home with a holster full of medals including a first at the Chisholm Trans-Tasman Championship in Queensland and a first in her age group at the North Island champs.

“Growing up on a farm near the Mamaku Ranges I was always around guns. Rabbit shooting with my brothers was a given, but I never thought that one day I’d be into deer stalking, duck shooting and cowboy


Who’d think a pistol-packing mama would also sew the finest of seams? As HELEN PERRY discovered, straightshooting Lynette (Lynne) Pussell is a crack shot.

action competitions [the usual name for Texas pistol shooting].”

It wasn’t until marrying Merv in 1972 that Lynne’s interest in hunting was fully aroused.

“Merv is Drury born and bred and a keen hunter all his life. Subsequently, I became involved too. However, after we married, we had five years in Papua New Guinea where he was tied up with roading projects.

“Then, on returning to New Zealand and buying land in Drury, the birth of our daughter meant hunting was o my agenda. My priority became caring for Estelle who was born with a form of cerebral palsy.”

Given every opportunity to make the most of life, Estelle went through Brownies, Guides and Rangers and, like her mum, is at ease both indoors (helping in the alteration business) and outdoors.

Volunteering as a guide leader during Estelle’s formative years, Lynne says it wasn’t until the 1990s that she had more time to concentrate on hunting.

“Once I started, there’s hardly been a season that Merv and I haven’t followed the roar (deer hunting) or been set up in our camouflaged hut for duck shooting.”

Taking only what they need, Lynne says she keeps her freezer well stocked and friends always

appreciate a bird for the table.

“I can cook duck every which way, but the casseroled breast is pretty darn good. We love it!”

While duck shooting sites can be close to home, Lynne and Merv go further afield for deer. A favourite haunt is the Ureweras, where they are choppered in.

“These days we do a bit more sitting than we did in the past; we may be there to hunt but I love the bush for many reasons and want to see it preserved,” says Lynne.

“We know deer are a real pest, damaging our forests and tussock lands so, as hunters, we do our bit for the environment by keeping numbers down, although I’m just as likely to take time to admire surrounding flora and fauna; I can’t get enough of it all!”

Nevertheless, there was a time when Lynne could be found sitting in the car while Merv was hunting.

“Ducks were one thing, but before the ‘90s I didn’t hunt deer. It wasn’t until a local farmer suggested I give it a go and enter the ballot to stalk Sambar [deer]. I’m a woman who likes a challenge, so I thought ‘why

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not?’ Then, to my surprise and trepidation, my name came up and I was into it big time.”

The ‘big time’ meant loads of target practice and blowing her weekly budget on a 270 Ruger, which Lynne still uses today. She also received a phone call from a Whanganui ranger.

“He told me that: ‘under no circumstance was a woman allowed to shoot a balloted block – sorry for the inconvenience.’ I wasn’t taking that lying down and assured him I was going in regardless.” In Lynne went!

“However, as a newbie I did ask for Merv to follow behind –usually only one person is allowed in. Thankfully, permission was granted because it was wet and black when we arrived on site.

“We set o at dawn and I was lucky to find fresh tracks and a hind. Taking the shot was hard as I had to fight my natural instinct to preserve this magnificent life, but I took the shot and it went home. The elation was beyond words, and I’ve been hunting ever since.”

With deer and duck firmly in

her sights, a failed attempt to interest Estelle in air rifles resulted in Lynne’s chance encounter with Western pistol shooting, which is also known to many as cowboy action shooting.

“While at the [now defunct] Papakura Sporting Pistol Club, Estelle decided air rifles weren’t for her, but when I came across pistol shooting, I took to it straight away. I loved the costumes too; they fitted perfectly with my dressmaking career.”

Thus, was born ‘Legend Lynne’ (shooters all adopt a cowboy moniker – Merv is known as Short Shot). Both are members of the Taupo Pistol Shooting Club and compete nationally as well as in Australia.

“I’ll never be world champion,” admits Lynne. “But I do love the competition and all the camaraderie. What’s more, making the top three many times has been very satisfying.

“Importantly, there’s still plenty of shooting left in me and, for now, I’m intent on relishing every moment spent in the ‘Wild West’.


Lynette Pussell (aka Legend Lynne) won her first gold medal (western-style shooting) in New Zealand at the North Island Cowboy Action Champs. It came after bagging a first in the Ladies’ Silver Senior section some six years ago.

All competitors were required to use three firearms – Lynn’s being twin Cattleman Uberti pistols, a lever action rifle and a double barrel shotgun. Since then, she has gone from strength to strength.

Cowboy action shooting is now one of the fastest growing sports in the world, but when Lynne took it up women were in the minority as competitors.

“These days it attracts not only women but young people, too,” she says. “It’s a great outdoor sport and, unlike hunting, it doesn’t require any killing, which suits a lot of participants.

“Safety is the first priority, but it also requires dexterity and finding new strengths. For some youngsters struggling at school, shooting (in general) can provide a di erent, but useful, skill set and, in my mind, it can be healthier than sitting hunched over a computer or phone for hours. What’s more, this particular code is fun with friends and dressing up all part of the action.”

With numerous cowboy action clubs across the country, members can shoot in age group competitions or in specialist categories. Scoring is according to elapsed time and target accuracy and members can be very competitive. However, Lynne says some just like to shoot with authentic replicas of the old guns.

“That’s not to say it isn’t a fastpaced sport – ‘cowboy action’ says it all,” she adds. “The really competitive types shoot very fast indeed; you can expect to see smoke and black powder! It’s challenging and it’s fun.” Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 11
Photo Wayne Martin Dressed to kill: Legend Lynne Pussell in full western shooting garb

AGRITECH & AGRISCIENCE: schools of thought

While farming itself is one of the most significant breakthroughs in human history, perfecting this practice is an ongoing project, as recent research proves.



There’s no substitute for a mother’s love, a Massey University researcher contends. A pilot study is investigating if leaving calves with their mothers until they are weaned, as opposed to being reared by people, should be the preferred option for dairy farmers.

“The biggest impacts so far are fast calf growth rates and imitation of cow behaviours by calves that stay with their dams – we saw a lot of play, nursing and grooming from dams and ‘aunties’, potentially enhancing animal welfare,” the university’s Dr Natalia Martín says. “This change to calf rearing has the potential to positively influence the dairy industry.”

Aside from growth rates, researchers are comparing other aspects of the two


methods. Although this research is still in its infancy, it appears the option to keep calves with their mums not only holds water, it may produce more milk.

“There are changes in milk production when a dairy cow is suckling a calf as well as providing milk for human consumption. The farmer’s income will decrease while calves are being reared, but nursing cows are producing the same, or even more, milk than their counterparts who are not rearing a calf,” Dr Martin adds. “We are also investigating if rearing a calf at foot impacts cow reproductive performance as this is the most important factor a ecting profitability.”

To read more, search ‘research news’ at


An ill wind has been blowing across farms. However, with a little Irish assistance, DairyNZ is hoping to put a Cork in it. In partnership with University College Cork and other Irish industry groups, the Waikatobased dairy researcher is aiming to discover better methods for reducing methane emissions.

“The joint programme strengthens our connection with Ireland and enables NZ to

leverage research,” principal scientist, Dr Jane Kay, explains. “This programme sees our worldleading scientists working with farmers, research organisations and companies to develop workable, scalable mitigation solutions, which can be adopted on-farm to reduce emissions in a sustainable and viable way.”

Search ‘less methane on farms’ at for additional information.


Used to deliver pizzas and wage war, drones are proving versatile in many other applications including biosecurity, as recent research reveals.

“We must be prepared with a number of solutions… to ensure we are ahead of the game and move from a reactive to a proactive biosecurity system,” Dr Desi Ramoo from Better Border Biosecurity (B3) contends.

A multi-partner joint venture, B3 has been taking research spearheaded by Scion (a crown research institute) to new heights. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being operated in field research into aerial spraying of pest species. UAVs have a lesser carbon footprint than helicopters while flying slower and closer to targets to enable more precise application.

Studies into the use of UAVs for spraying pests began in March 2021 and operations have since seen them scrambled to thwart the fall armyworm. As the technology driving the drones improves, so have results with regards to thwarting pests with the potential to devastate our primary industries more quickly, cheaply and e ectively, Scion expects.

For more information search ‘UAVs’ at

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By the time an insidious livestock disease becomes established it can be di cult to manage.

As Dr Abigail Lane (BVM&S) advises, spotting the warning signs can dramatically reduce harm.

Adult cattle, sheep, and goats at more than two years of age are all at risk of developing Johne’s disease, or mycobacterium avian subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). Primarily affecting animals’ intestines, it damages the lining of the gut, which reduces their ability to absorb nutrients and may cause diarrhoea.

Johnes is contracted by ingesting the bacteria from faecal contamination at a young age, affecting lambs or kids suckling on contaminated teats, or overstocked animals. There is also evidence of transmission via colostrum, however it’s important to note that this risk doesn’t negate the importance

of provision of colostrum to lambs, kids and calves. Animals can become infected or pick up the disease up to 6-8 months of age, but won’t become ill until older (more like 18 months or older).

Infected animals often appear clinically normal, despite shedding high levels of bacteria into the environment for an extended period, before they start to show clinical signs. So, by the time a clinical case is identi ed, it is usually just the tip of the iceberg! Because the bacteria can live in the environment for up to 18 months, and animals shed MAP over time, pasture contamination builds up. This results in increased exposure leading to even more clinical cases.

The main clinical signs include scours, lethargy, weight loss, decreased milk yield and hair loss. The predominant feature is production loss or ill thrift and not necessarily scouring. We often see early mortality and reduced rates of lambing, rearing, and nishing.

• Regular testing: depending on the risk status, regular blood or faecal sampling helps assess the disease status of a ock/group. Decisions can then be made regarding the breeding or removal of infected animals. As the tests for Johne’s are not perfect, yearly testing is needed to help check its spread

• Reducing exposure: clean paddocks and extensive grazing along with good paddock rotation will reduce the burden of MAP on pasture and animals’ levels of exposure. Those aged under six months old are the focus when it comes preventing access to infected faeces.

 Faecal egg counts: these should be taken every four weeks during autumn and confirm if alpaca, goats and sheep (under two years old) need drenching. Look out for pale conjunctiva (anaemia) during

Although vaccination is employed overseas it is not an option here due to concerns with TB. and rearing,

Controlling this insidious disease is based on two key principles:

warm, wet weather, especially after a little rain, and be sure to use a multi-agent oral drench

 Red mites: check and treat chook houses for deadly red mites which thrive during warmer weather. As they are nocturnal, running a finger along the undersides of perches at night is the best

method for detecting red mites. Treat these infestations with Exzolt

 Facial Eczema: as spore counts are still fluctuating, it pays to check with your vet for up-to-date local counts. Protect sheep, alpaca and cattle (under two years) from FE with zinc boluses or oral zinc oxide, as required Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 13
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RURAL ROOTS feed future

Home-grown produce topped the tables recently at the Kai Franklin Chef’s Table where local restaurants showcased culinary skills. HELEN PERRY was among the guests in attendance at the former Youth Centre on Roulston Street.

For those doubting that the food bowl of New Zealand is right here in Franklin then Kai Franklin’s recent Chef’s Table, held in the heart of Pukekohe, confirmed what most locals know –that the best produce comes from the best soil.

The farm-to-table event, hosted by acclaimed Auckland chef and restaurateur, Ben Bayly, was a credit to those local restaurants whose chefs curated a decadent, four-course menu showcasing ingredients from Franklin growers and producers.

After tasting mouth-watering canapes by The Daily Goods, delicious duck dumplings from SuMei, and Seddon 64’s amazing dessert, as well as the smoked beef cheek with green papaya salad from Blue Ox Babe, it was easy to think: ‘more please!’

With chefs using an array of locally produced artisan ingredients, the

menu hit the right spot with guests. It was also a timely reminder of how valuable our local soils are and how much we should value creatives making the most of them.

The event also served up music from local musicians with the highlight being two outstanding pieces from international artists, Dominic Lee (cellist) and Raymond Chan (pianist). The applause was deafening.

This feast of local tastes and talent was co-ordinated by The Kitchen Project with students from Pukekohe High School stepping up as wait sta . Supported by the Pukekohe Business Association, Franklin Local Board and Eke Panuku, it was a memorable culinary treat which will, surely, linger

Fostering culinary skills and talents, while assisting budding, local food and beverage businesses, The Kitchen Project has plans to host training courses in Pukekohe. Visit for additional information.

long. With a second event in the pipeline, many in attendance were already planning to reserve a place at the next chef’s table.

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May the fourth be with you!

The o cial opening day of game bird season, May 4 is expected to see hunters hit their maimai in… force. However, as Richie Cosgrove from Fish & Game advises, hunters best brush up on their paperwork before taking aim.

“Fish & Game encourages all hunters to grab their licences as soon as possible, as part of ensuring they’re ready for the exciting season ahead,” he says. “By purchasing a game bird licence hunters not only gain access to some of the best hunting opportunities in the world, they also contribute directly to conservation, management of birds and protection of their rare wetland habitats.”

While a game bird licence is not needed to hunt on private land,

hunters still need to adhere to other regulations and, of course, ensure they have explicit permission from the land owner. Firearm licences must also be in order and hunters should ensure they are up to date with safety advice.


Hunters keen to continue to bag a bird or two, can help those who band more than just a few too!

“We’ve been banding waterfowl for more than 30 years because it’s important we have a good understanding of numbers and harvest rates so we can sustainably manage hunting,” Fish & Games’s Corina Jordan explains. “We need hunters to report bands so we can collect data.”

Each year, Fish & Game bands

approximately 3500 birds in the Auckland and Waikato regions alone. Hunters who report banded birds (by calling 0800 bird band) gain entry into a prize draw for their e orts.


In a result ‘Towgood’ to be false, a well-aimed shot has been chosen for this year’s Game Bird Habitat collector stamp. David Towgood’s mallard drake image (pictured above) will aid fundraising e orts and protect native wildlife and habitats.

More information (including safety tips, season information (by species) and bag limits) is all accessible via

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For the most part, news cannot be served in bite-sized pieces. However, in e orts to serve readers a balanced diet of news (is there any such thing?), we’ve included the following matter-of-fact morsels to chew over.


In e orts to discover the recipe for success when it comes to growing top produce, acclaimed chef, Ben Bayly, paid a flying (and filming) visit to Franklin recently.

Featuring in the latest season of A New Zealand Food Story, Martyn Callaghan (Balle Brothers) helped Ben get to the root of what makes Pukekohe onions a top crop while the chef also visited The Longkeeper Inn. This episode and others are accessible on demand via TVNZ+.


Once a hub for a local, rural community, Ardmore Hall could be destined for a date with the bulldozer. Built in 1899 and donated to council by local residents during the Second World War, it has been closed since being was ravaged by fire in 2021.

Locals have petitioned for the property (which includes neighbouring Bell Field) to be gifted back to the community. However, after working through options since 2022, Franklin Local Board recently confirmed that the property will be sold with proceeds expected to help improve other facilities in the area.

Hopes remain that the hall will continue to benefit the community but new owners will determine its fate.

For additional information search ‘Ardmore Hall’ at Our Auckland, via


The grassroots movement behind infamous tractor protests has not been known to sit on the fence. And yet, Groundswell now appears to be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach.

“The many urban folk who look favourably on farming and the tractor protests will be confused [but] protesting about a government before they’ve had the chance to go wrong will backfire,” Groundswell’s Bryce McKenzie asserts. “If we were to make a fuss now, those politicians who would rather drag their heels on reform can write o the Groundswell movement as people who grumble no matter the weather.”


A significant decision has met with significant support from a major primary industry group now that Significant Natural Areas (SNA) rules have been ‘suspended’.

“These unworkable rules were universally despised by farmers, and we’re pleased to see the back of them,” Federated Farmers’ Mark Hooper asserts. “Farmers opposed these rules because they infringed on our property rights and added endless layers of

unnecessary complexity, compliance and cost.”

Devised by the previous government, SNA regulations were intended to aid in the protection of native plants and wildlife, however they only provided “very little environmental gain,” Mr Hooper contends.

“They risked driving perverse outcomes where farmers choose to plant exotic species instead of natives,” he explains. “Biodiversity rules shouldn’t create barriers for people who want to protect and enhance native vegetation on their farms. Farmers would be less likely to do this if they fear it will create a rod for their own backs.”

Associate Environment Minister (and former Federated Farmers president), Andrew Hoggard, later confirmed the suspension only relates to the creation of new SNAs pending a review and ongoing work into Resource Management Act reforms.


High interest rates, low prices and red tape may have been weighing farmers down but there has also been a positive shift in the rural mood, Federated Farmers’ Wayne Langford reveals.

“I wouldn’t say farmers are feeling more confident, just less unconfident. Confidence is no longer going backwards, but it’s still in the gutter.”

Mr Langford’s comments follow the release of the latest Farm Confidence Survey. It reveals spirits have lifted from their lowest point in the survey’s 15 year history. The survey reflects past attitudes but also predicts more positive signs ahead, he suggests.

“Inflation is slowing, interest rates have (hopefully) peaked, and commodity prices seem to have stabilised. We’ve also seen a change of government with a real commitment to roll back some of the more impractical and expensive regulation.”

To view the survey search ‘farm confidence’ at

18 — Rural Living — April/May 2024
Photo Makoto Takaoka



A lot can be accomplished in 100 days and some of it might just withstand the test of time! Now that much ado regarding the new government’s endeavours within its first 100 days is behind us, the real work begins. Among those with noses at the grindstone has been our Minister of Agriculture (and more), Todd McClay, as these summations of reports from his o ce reveal.


A $20 million partnership could save farmers $332 million per year by helping to prevent the spread of facial eczema (FE), Mr McClay expects.

“FE can reduce growth rates, fertility and production in livestock while significantly impacting animal health. This programme will provide farmers with tools so they can get on with the job, providing the safe, quality food New Zealand is known for.”

Also involving farmers as well as Beef + Lamb NZ and other primary sector groups, the scheme is intended to help farmers better prevent, detect and treat FE, a serious disease impacting animals including cattle, sheep, deer and goats.

A recently announced FE breeding value for dairy cows, orchestrated by the Livestock Improvement Corporation, will also aid the fight against FE, Mr McClay added.


Politicians are passing the buck again but this time it’s liable to be welcomed by farmers. Investing $3.3 million (bucks) in local water catchment projects will assist farmers and growers in making the most of the most essential resource of all, our Minister of Agriculture expects.

“Catchment groups led by farmers and other members of rural communities are doing significant work across the country,” Mr McClay announced recently. “[They] deliver significant prosperity and it’s vital their ongoing e orts to improve land management practices and water quality are supported.”


Ironically, the cutting of trade ties has strengthened trade ties, our Minister for Trade confirmed. The

recent ratification of a new free trade agreement with the EU (EUFTA) will cut duties and tari s from May 1, which should result in prosperous times for our primary industries.

“The EU is an important and likeminded international partner for New Zealand. This FTA provides a platform to further grow our trade relationship and deepen business connections,” Mr McClay said.

The agreement is expected to boost GDP (up to $1.4 billion annually) and increase exports by up to $1.8 billion per year by 2035.

“For Kiwi fruit exporters, tari removals will generate an average annual savings of up to $16,000 per grower this year, while Onions NZ expects to see annual industry savings of $6.5 million,” Mr McClay added.

Beef, sheep meat, butter and cheese earnings are also tipped to grow by ‘hundreds of millions of dollars per year’, he expects. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 19

Plaudits a-plenty…

Locals and others in the primary industries have been on a roll (and on the honour roll) recently, or looking ahead at contests/rewards to come, including:


Champagne corks and milk bottle tops were popping locally shortly after our last issue went to print. Among the winners was newly crowned Auckland/ Hauraki Dairy Industry

Awards Trainee of the Year

Emma Williamson from Paparimu.

what works to get the best benefits from the farm,” she says. “Farming isn’t a job for me, it’s a passion that drives me during the hard times. I make myself look out from the hills and think how lucky I am to have space and see the sunrise every morning.”

“I entered the dairy industry in 2020 and see myself using all the new research in the future, improving the quality of milking and discovering

Second in charge of a 274ha dairy farm, Emma won $6,500 in prizes and two merit awards. For a full list of winners from Auckland/Hauraki region and other regions nationwide, visit the

20 — Rural Living — April/May 2024 THINKING OF SELLING? The market is moving and properties are selling. Wondering what yours is worth? Winton is offering free, no obligation property appraisals. Text Winton on 022 127 9177 to arrange yours. Winton Bebbington 022 127 9177 Southern Corridor Realty Ltd Licensed (REAA 2008) KC16158-v4
Emma Williamson


As this issue went to print, competitors in Young Farmer of the Year Northern regionals were poised to compete and determine who will go on to the grand final in July. For results visit


He may be a superstar but his rider, Charli Sabine from Pukekohe, was rising right along with her mount (named Hesasuperstar) at the 2024 Horse of the Year competition in Hawkes Bay. The pair secured the category B crown during the Pony Show Hunter of the Year event. Of course, many a horse and rider topped various tables during this series – see for details.


Pollok’s Michael Johnson is (most likely) Paris bound due to securing silver at the Shooting Para Sport World Cup. Both Michael and his teammate, Greg Reid (Wairarapa), have earned spots in the New Zealand Paralympic Games team as a result of their performances at the


Two top choppers secured top honours at this year’s Rural Sports Awards. While Anne Paterson (Queensland) was named NZ Rural Sportswoman of the Year, Taumarunui’s Jack Jordan ensured a double for timbersports by claiming the men’s title.

In addition to the sports awards, competitors from across the country tested their mettle across a wide range of disciplines (from gumboot and cowpat throwing to shearing, dog trials and other rural pursuits) during the 2024 Rural Games in Palmerston North. A full list of winners across all awards categories is available online at

competition in New Delhi. Selectors will have the final say, but it looks as though these athletes are right on target to achieve their aims. Visit and see our Sep-Oct 2023 e-edition, accessible via, to read more.


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Gidday folks. It still feels too warm to be talking autumn pest control, but if we’re a smidge early then everyone will be prepped and ready to go as soon as the temperature drops. Our main targets for winter are possums and rodents. I covered rodents last month, so now all your rat bait stations and traps up and running, it’s time to move on to possums.

The autumn-spring control season is based on dealing with possums during breeding – reducing their numbers before their young are born - and further control immediately prior to spring to a ord the best possible conditions for breeding bush birds next summer.

This approach is well timed to coincide with a reduction in the amount of naturally available food items during winter, thus making baits and lures more attractive and e ective. Pulsing control e orts also reduces both the level of e ort required and the associated costs.

I’ve used the following prescription for possums for many years and, although there are always new alternatives, this method continues to deliver results and it’s most easily applied even by people with no pest control experience at all.


Philproof Mini Bait stations should be placed at 100 metre spacings around bush fringes and boundaries, or at the rate of two per hectare in the bush. They can be nailed to the bases of trees or attached side-on at head height. I favour setting them as high as possible as this removes all risk of access by pets and stock.

When a attaching station side on, a second nail through the centre hole at the base keeps it level and allows for easy refilling. Simply lift the base o the lower nail, tilt the station at a 45-degree angle and pour the bait straight into the mouth of the station.


Fill each station with 500gms of Pesto Possum pellets – cutting down a plastic bottle to make a cup makes this very easy. However, as with any other toxin, follow all manufacturers guidelines for safe and e cient use.

The annual filling regime is based on

intervals commencing early autumn and three times again at one-month intervals concluding mid spring. This equates to six fills over two pulses, or 3kg of bait per station per year. Removing uneaten bait will help you calculate what your property requires and leaves the stations empty, clean and tidy until next season.


For optimum results, use a ‘blaze’ of scented flour as a lure. Add a small amount of cinnamon and icing sugar, aniseed (or anything else that smells great) to the required amount of flour. Smear a handful of this tasty stu in a line leading to the mouth of the station each time you fill them.

For bait stations and bait see

However, if you need some help getting your bait stations set up, simply contact me via

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Iwas sitting at home when writing this column with the wind roaring and the rain coming down. I am lucky it is still warm but the promise of worse weather around the corner isn’t welcome.

As you can guess, I do not like the winter at all – some do, not me. I don’t like the cold, the need for heating and all the clothes one has to wear, including boots rather than jandals, which I love. Anyway, there’s nothing I can do to stop the winter rolling in other than hibernate.

Recently, before the weather took a turn for the worse, my daughter and her husband took us on a tiki tour of some of the places we used to visit when we lived on Runciman Road.

I just couldn’t believe how quickly Drury, in particular, is changing. With all the developments everywhere, it’s mind blowing! Close to the Karaka Hall, opposite Paddock to Pantry, there’s a huge roundabout with so many properties being built nearby.

Usually, when we visit Pukekohe, we head up Karaka Road past Paerata.

It’s great to have so many new houses being built – bringing in more new locals – but there doesn’t seem to be much improvement when it comes to the roads. They were bad when we lived near there so how they’ll be able to cope with all the extra tra c, I can’t quite imagine.

For the first time in years, we drove along Runciman Road. I haven’t wanted to drive past our old home since we left, as we miss it so much, and I now wish we still hadn’t. I am so glad we couldn’t see the state of house because across the property trees were falling down, my gardens that I’d loved so much were gone and even Brian’s paddocks (about which he was so obsessive) had become completely neglected.

It was so sad considering the work and love we’d put into the property for twenty-five years. Each to their

own, I suppose, and it was a lesson well learnt: don’t look back!

Although it had its sour notes, we finished our nostalgia trip on a high with lunch at the Red Shed Palazzo. I haven’t been there since Kristina and Paul Smith sold it a few years ago. We were really thrilled to find the atmosphere and the food was still very good and Brian was able to enjoy his favourite lamb’s fry and bacon. Back at home, I’m thankful that we’ve recently found something to keep us entertained. We have started watching a few new TV series, including Apples Never Fall starring Sam Neill. Well-acted and sort of fun, it held us in suspense right until the finish, and it’s one of the best programmes we have watched in a while. With winter setting in, we will have to find some more shows to keep us entertained.

If you have a lifestyle or country property in the Franklin region and are ready to move on from it, I’m here to help you make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 23
Reay Neben is the publisher of Rural Living CITY LASS
One of Brian Neben’s Pukekohe East paddocks in its ‘hayday’.
021 647 192
Ian Buchanan country and lifestyle specialist

Around the towns


Throughout Franklin, memorials feature names of people who sacrificed in service of our country. Franklin’s Society of Genealogists branch and Tuakau Museum are hoping to share their stories.

“We’re embarking on an ambitious project to write a short story on each of the men and women,” the museum’s Sandra Brasell explains. “If you can supply any information, we would love to hear from you.”

Supplied photos and memorabilia will be treated with the utmost care and returned to their owners after they have been documented, she adds. In addition, assistance will be provided (including through workshops) to any locals who are keen to research

and write their own stories.

For details email Tuakau Museum at


on the Papakura-Pukekohe section only began in 2022.

Services were expected to resume before the end of this year, but buses will now continue to carry the load a little longer in e orts to speed completion of the overall project.

“People are looking forward to the trains starting up again but waiting a little longer will avoid major inconvenience later. To start these services only to have to stop them again would be more frustrating and create unnecessary disruption,” Mr Gordon adds. “It just makes sense [so], when services resume people will no longer have to change trains at Papakura, which will make their journeys easier.”

Visit for further information and updates.


Making ends meet during a ‘cost of living crisis’ isn’t easy, but those who would go to brazen and extreme measures best be warned.

Most of Auckland’s local boards are on board with plans to remove approximately 30 per cent of public bins from across the region. Although some have called foul on the move, indicating that it will increase costs overall due to littering, it appears that Franklin has opted to retain its receptacles around our towns, at least in the short term.

“We aren’t necessarily opposed to the concept of less bins,” Franklin Local Board Chair, Angela Fulljames, explains.

“While fly tipping is a problem and I suspect it will continue regardless of [whether] bins are removed or not. We had concerns about removing bins too quickly having unintended consequences, so we wanted to make a decision based on an informed assessment… it’s part of discussions [as to] whether we can reach the 30% target.”

In addition to Franklin, Papakura and a few other areas won’t be scrapping bins for the time being, but the option remains open to follow suit should the move prove beneficial elsewhere. The plan is aimed at removing ‘underutilised’ bins, rather than those in more frequent use, and it is expected to save Auckland Council approximately $1.4 million per annum.

approximately $1.4 million per annum.

“[O enders] walked through the self-checkout [at a Pukekohe supermarket in late March] without paying, while also threatening a member of the public who had confronted them during the incident,” Inspector Joe Hunter (Counties Manukau Police) explains. “They loaded the stolen meat into a vehicle and drove away.”


Trains may not always run on time, but KiwiRail is optimistic a reshu ing of its timetable will see upgrades reach their final destination as early as mid-January.

The vehicle was later stopped, three men were apprehended and meat valued at $750 was recovered. The incident follows a separate theft whereby $1000 of meat was stolen from a Pokeno supermarket – charges have since been laid.

“The electrification work will be completed on time but [we will] keep the [Papakura-Pukekohe] line closed to commuter trains for a little longer so our major Rail Network Rebuild (RNR) can be carried out,” KiwiRail’s David Gordon confirms.

In addition to countering supermarket sweeps, police have also been cracking down on o enders not prepared to give up their arms.

Although electric trains first ran on the Auckland network a decade ago, electrification

A recent check of a Queen Street (Waiuku) property uncovered a haul including methamphetamine, stolen goods, weapons, more than 600 rounds of ammunition and firearms parts. A 38-year-old man is facing the consequences of charges including burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm and receiving stolen property.

24 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

Wed 24 April

10AM - 2PM

Pukekohe Town Square & 1 Roulston

Mini Golf

Dinosaur Exhibition

Science Experiments

Circus Workshop

Magic Show

Arts & Crafts

Outdoor Games

Harold The Giraffe

Police Dress Ups

Recycled Play

+ ANZAC activities! Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 25


“My 125 is a weapon; I love that bike!”

A local Smith is ‘jonesing’ for a win. Shortly before one of the biggest races of Reuben Smith’s life so far, JON RAWLINSON managed to catch up with this up-and-coming rider to learn more about his penchant for the podium.

ISmith –I’m a his of your mind. Accidents aren’t on happen

neglected to ask Reuben Smith to confirm his middle name, but it may as well be ‘danger’. Considering the inherent dangers in motocross, it’s not unknown for riders to spend as much time in a doctor’s o ce as on the back of a bike – well, nearly! So, when wishing Reuben good luck, it’s best not to suggest he ‘break a leg’.

“No, you probably shouldn’t say that to a motocross rider!” he laughs.

“My mum would be the best one to ask about how many times I’ve been to the hospital or doctor, and I’m sure she’d have a pretty big list. I haven’t broken too many bones and don’t have a lot of crashes, but I’ve come o second best often enough.”

The risks of motorsport in general hit home earlier this year when a teenage rally driver and his co-driver were killed during a race in Northland.

“I saw something about that, it’s tragic,” says Reuben. “There are often bad accidents in motocross as well, but you have to put them to the back of your mind. Accidents aren’t on purpose and they happen when we’re out there having the time of our lives.”

An impressive performance in the NZ Motocross Championship (NZMX)

26 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

has confirmed Reuben is one to watch – something many of his competitors tend to do, from the back while eating his dust! His round three run (March 23) at the Harrisville MX track involved some treacherous conditions, but Reuben emerged to extend his lead in the 125cc class.

“I could practically race that track [Harrisville] with my eyes closed, I’ve done so many laps there. There is a home track advantage, but you never want to take that for granted,” he says. “Because you train so hard, it’s a pretty good feeling when you have a great weekend on the bike. It’s an amazing sense of achievement. I’m probably more drawn in by the adrenalin than winning – every time I get out there, I’m in the moment and having so much fun and that’s all that really matters. You have so many steps to get there that winning is like the cherry on top.”

As this issue of Rural Living was being printed, the 17-year-old was focused on the final round of the NZMX on April 13. Due to the standings, the New Plymouth event will prove a decider. Regardless of the result, however, it’s clear this resolute rider shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

“I just want to keep going, be consistent and come out on top at the end. You never want to lose but it does help keep me motivated to work harder and try to come back again.”

Perhaps most impressive, and most worrying for his rivals, is that Reuben has been competing in just his first full series as a senior. This former Drury School and Hauraki Plains College student has already been top of his (125cc) class and is on the road to becoming a master.

“When I’m not winning, they [older riders] can be quite nice. It’s not fun to be beaten by anyone but it might rip the bandaid o a bit when it’s by someone younger,” he laughs. “It’s all

good, all part of the sport and everyone’s been really friendly and helpful.”

Having the right pair of wheels underneath him and in working order is also invaluable.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be racing with the CML KTM Racing Team and I have a great manager, Karl [Brabant], who builds awesome bikes – my 125 is a weapon; I love that bike!”

Although his skills have been honed on home tracks, this (often airborne) Kiwi has now jumped the ditch. Based in Melbourne, Reuben is also competing in the fiercely contested ProMX Motocross Championship. His prospects look good, but he has another career plan in the ‘pipeline’ should his racing career go… down the drain.

“I started a drain laying apprenticeship after I left school, but now that I’m competing in Australia, I might be able to go ahead and make a living from motocross, which would be

amazing,” he confirms.

His fellow seniors, particularly his teammates, may also help ensure Reuben doesn’t need dig in rather than rip up the dirt in the near future, but he says his most ardent supporter is his father, an accomplished rider in his own right, Nigel Smith.

“I got my first bike for my fifth birthday and I’ve been riding ever since. My family has a lifestyle block, with 10 acres [near Paparata], with a little motocross track. It’s definitely been useful being able to train whenever I’ve needed to,” Reuben adds. “My younger brother, Cooper, also competes, and Dad won quite a few titles and raced overseas. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am now – he taught me almost everything I know.”

For Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 27
Photos Andy McGechan, final results from this year’s NZMX champs visit Reuben Smith

Welcome to Conmara Estate

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Discover Conmara Estate, a remarkable 56 lot residential development nestled within the vibrant and growing rural community of Clevedon. Set amidst the picturesque landscapes of horse and farming country, Conmara Estate offers a unique opportunity to experience the charm of countryside living while enjoying the convenience of modern amenities.

Connected by scenic bridle and walking paths, Conmara Estate merges with the natural beauty of Clevedon. Immerse yourself as you explore the pathways, meandering along the banks of the Wairoa River and Taitaia Stream. Situated just a short 20-minute drive from the Manurewa Motorway Access, Conmara Estate provides seamless connectivity to the bustling city centre, placing urban conveniences within easy reach while allowing you to retreat to the serenity of Clevedon. Map

56 Sites

Ranging from 500m 2 to 1200m 2 | Titles due approx January 2025

28 — Rural Living — April/May 2024
Key Register your interest at KC16276 1. Beachlands 2. Maraetai 3. Duders Regional Park 4. Clevedon School 5. Hallertau Brewery 6. Auckland Polo Grounds 7. Future Supermarket/ Commercial Development 8. Clevedon Village 9. Metlifecare 10. Conmara Future Development 11. Clevedon Sports Club 12. Farmers Market & Showgrounds Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 29 KC16293


With work underway and titles expected from January, Clevedon’s Conmara Estate has ‘lots’ to o er, as developer CAMERON ROSS reveals.

Situated just a 20-minute drive from the Southern Motorway, Manurewa, Conmara Estate provides seamless connectivity to the bustling city centre, placing urban conveniences within easy reach while allowing residents to retreat to the serenity of Clevedon.

Conmara Estate provides an enviable lifestyle surrounded by an array of local attractions and amenities. For example, Clevedon School is only a delightful 10-minute walk away, o ering quality education on your doorstep.

Connected by scenic bridle and walking paths, this new community merges with the natural beauty of its surroundings. Immerse yourself as you explore the pathways, meandering along the banks of the Wairoa River and Taitaia Stream.

Explore the bustling Clevedon Market, conveniently connected by horse bridal and walking paths, where you can find an array of fresh produce, artisanal crafts and much more.

Adjacent to the market, Clevedon Showgrounds beckons by hosting a multitude of events and activities throughout the year.

Take a leisurely stroll to Clevedon Village, a charming destination that captures the essence of smalltown charm, with its boutique shops, inviting

cafes and delectable restaurants. The village’s vibrant culinary scene awaits, with popular destinations such as Clevedon Café, Hallertau, Vin Alto and The Farmhouse, among many others.

In addition, residents can indulge their artistic side at the nearby Riverhaven Artland & Sculpture Park or embark on a refreshing bush walk at Camp Sladdin, while boating enthusiasts will delight in their proximity to Maeratai, Kawakawa Bay and the Brooklands Boating Club.

At Conmara Estate, we are proud Clevedon locals for more than 30 years, deeply connected to the community’s history, values and aspirations. As a fifth-generation south Auckland family business, our local roots run deep, ensuring a profound understanding of the region’s unique character.

With a wealth of experience in subdivisions, our past projects –such as Mahia Park in Manurewa, Harbourside in Karaka and Pararekau Island in Karaka – all speak to our

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Looking ahead, the future of Conmara Estate shines bright, with the forthcoming development featuring more than 160 sections (approximately), including larger rural lots as well as a supermarket and other retail outlets all designed to cater to the needs of local residents.

Furthermore, our commitment extends beyond residential development as we boast a proven track record in industrial and commercial projects. With this extensive experience and expertise, we can ensure that our developments not only meet the highest standards but also contribute to the economic vitality of our region.

Join us at Conmara Estate and embrace a lifestyle that seamlessly combines rural living with modern convenience. For more information visit – we look forward to welcoming you home!

30 — Rural Living — April/May 2024
1 2 3 4 3 37 38 39 40 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 52 53 54 55 5 57 50 8 59 60 1 62 63 64 66 700 16 8 9 20 22 25 26 27 28 30 32 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 800 801 N LA4 Conmara Masterplan 11 10 23 Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 31 DY1177


If life is a journey, creativity is rarely the path most travelled. However, many an adventurous spirit (and the bodies they were attached to!) sought to expand their minds during the Clevedon Art Trail’s recent Open Studio event. Among them was our very own artiste, photographer Wayne Martin. See to view our full gallery online.

32 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

Talk to us today about your new home possibilities, and work alongside our expert team to craft a home that perfectly aligns with your preferences and lifestyle. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 33
Matthew Woodward | | 021 0245 1308 Angela Whiting | | 021 818 500
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Jennian Homes Franklin

2 Buddle Road, Paerata Rise

P 09 238 6156 E

34 — Rural Living — April/May 2024



As a young doctor, John Gillies came face to face with the brutal impact of the war in Vietnam, an experience he now shares in print. Inspired by artists capturing previous conflicts, John also turned his dexterous hands to another use, as revealed through his evocative images presented in this book. Revealing tragedy as well as triumphs of the human spirit, Portrait of a War Artist will help ensure we won’t forget.

John Gillies: Portrait of a War Artist

| RRP $37.99 | Quentin Wilson Publishing


An award-winning Auckland author, Leonie Agnew, is back with a riproaring, rural story, ideal for children aged eight years and up. With his country school set to close, what’s Lucas’ mum (who works long hours at a local poultry processing plant) to do if he has to travel two hours to school? Perhaps staging an alien visit may provide the answer!

Leonie Agnew: Take Me to Your Leader | RRP $22 | Pu n


Featuring first-hand accounts, this book (revised and updated in time for ANZAC Day) focuses on stories of New Zealanders at war from the 19th Century to the present day. Along with Buddy Mikaere, Nigel Prickett, Laurie Barber and Rose Young, Chris Pugsley presents an eye-opening book documenting sacrifice and service.

Chris Pugsley: Kiwis in Conflict –A History of New Zealand at War | RRP $59.99 | Bateman Books


Super Terrific Extra Parents (also known as STEP mums) have numerous tough tasks on their hands. Based on her own experiences as a stepmother of two young girls, Gina Bartlett presents a story (best suited to readers aged 7-12 years) that’s replete with hilarious adventures and misadventures she encountered when joining a new family.

Gina Bartlett: Lulu La Ru Steps up as a Step-Mum | RRP $19.99 | Moxie Press


Following the downfall of the Empire of Japan during the Second World War, this sobering book tells the story of war crimes, many inflicted on prisoners of war. However, it also explores the tightrope involved when negotiating a fine line between justice and punishment, especially precarious when the latter can fuel flames rather than extinguish them.

Gary J Bass: Judgement at Tokyo

| RRP $47.99 | Macmillan


Reflecting on the nature of things we can’t (or don’t tend to) perceive, this charming tale focuses on an apple tree as it wonders why it has been left alone with no apparent purpose. Pondering the impact we have on the world, this cleverly written book delivers an inspiring story for children and adults too.

Steven Moe, Cricket McCormick (illustrator) & song by Matthew Goldsworthy: The Apple Tree | RRP $20 | Seeds Press Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 35


As this issue went to print, all eyes were focused on the Super Rugby Aupiki Grand Final (April 13) with our mighty Chiefs Manawa up against the Blues Women. As these photos (from a raucous roundrobin clash at Auckland’s Bell Park) show, both squads boast veritable Nikes in the making! To view our full gallery of photos, by Wayne Martin, visit

36 — Rural Living — April/May 2024 Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 37 KC16309


While some aircraft from NZ Warbirds will again take to the skies to dip their wings on ANZAC Day, these graceful veterans were out in full force during March’s Warbirds on Parade at Ardmore Airport. Among the crowd was a straightshooting photographer, Mark Je els, who was on hand to land these images. To view more photos visit

38 — Rural Living — April/May 2024 Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 39 Vintage Persian Handknotted Large Size Wool Floor Rugs Over 20 to choose from, 300cm x 380cm approx size Were up to $4550 Now all $1985 2 seater (4 only) 1250cm W Was $3895 Now $995 Were $135 Now $75 Were $1450 Now $480 Were $695 Now $175 Were $1695 Now $595 Was $3895 Now $1250 1 seater (4 only) 65cm W Was $1995 Now $550 Teak verandah/outdoor seating* Floral Large Accent Cushions Feather Inner, 6 colour variations 65cm x 65cm Rustic Metal Bank Cabinets (4 only, seconds) Useful glazed doors & 2 drawers 92cm H x 65cm D x 80cm W Monterey Bevelled Mirrors* *Deleted Range Light or Dark Stain 80cm x 105cm, can be hung both ways Classic Deco Style Velvet Accent Chairs* Beige Toning Contemporary Black ETU TV Cabinet* (3 only) 190cm W x 60cm H x 45cm D *Deleted Range *Deleted Range 232 Great South Road, Drury, Auckland (Next to Drury Meats) Mon-Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm Sat 9:00am-11:30, 12:00-4:00pm FAMOUS AUTUMN SALE UP TO 65% off *Deleted Range 7 only Ph: 09 378 6451 VINTAGE & INDUSTRIAL INSPIRED FURNITURE & HOMEWARES KC16311


When her friends moved from Taupo to Geraldine, south of Christchurch, it presented an ideal opportunity for HELEN PERRY to check out this charming township, one she had long wished to visit.

Two days in Geraldine just wasn’t enough! It’s one of the loveliest towns I’ve seen in New Zealand and, if it could be relocated to somewhere between the Bombay Hills and the Bay of Plenty, I would move there in a flash. South Island winters are too cold for me, so Geraldine is now one of my favourite summer destinations and I am already planning an extended return trip.

Together with friends, I enjoyed the chance to see all that Geraldine o ered. Unfortunately, as we visited on Waitangi Day (something we didn’t take

into account prior), many shops were closed, including picturesque Mia Flora Cafe, which is set amongst cottage gardens with eclectic décor beckoning – next time for sure. However, the Farm Shop and Cafe on the outskirts of town was open and busy – thumbs up for its huge inflatable multi-slide to keep youngsters happy.

We dined at the Village Inn located in the heart of town. A warm, sunny evening saw the central outdoor area packed; we enjoyed the atmosphere and hearty pub grub.

We also unearthed several retail

gems, in particular Tievoli (‘I love it’ when spelled backwards), The Cheese Company, The Vintage Car and Machinery Museum (my husband was in his element there!) and the restored Post O ce (now a shop and art gallery), all of which were impressive.

Just a short walk from town, we poked our noses into the stunning Talbot Forest Reserve while Barkers Foodstore and Eatery was also a ‘must visit’. Famous throughout NZ, the shop’s huge range of condiments, sauces, marinades and more made me keen to sample and purchase.

40 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

Travelling with hand luggage alone meant I was limited as to what I could carry. However, because I paid for extra weight, I managed to pack in several jars of Barkers’ preserves. I also learned I could order online, with a nominal shipping fee – yes, I’m already on it!

Throughout this pretty village, numerous boutiques o ered gorgeous homewares, art, crafts, jewellery, specialty foods, designer clothing and more. What’s more, it was remarkable to find so many buildings and places of historic interest all within cooee of each other, including the museum

(formerly the Town Board O ce) cinema, The Vicarage, churches, the restored ANZ building (now a beauty clinic) plus more than one veteran automobile venue.

Then there’s the recently opened Military Museum which has a mindboggling array of rare vehicles, machinery, weaponry and even a large Vietnam War display among others. This interactive museum is a wonderful addition, especially as visitors can take a seat in some vehicles and touch many of the items.

I could wa e on and on about

Geraldine’s attributes, such as the abundance of laden fruit trees ripe for the picking. Instead, I would strongly recommend readers visit when South Island wanderings are in the pipeline. Remember Geraldine is also the gateway to Mount Aoraki (Mt Cook) and a region of stunning lakes, walkways and small historic towns (such as Temuka, Fairlie and Burkes Pass) all within the vicinity

There’s plenty more to explore, summer and winter – Geraldine o ers scenic touring at its best and it’s not to be missed! Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 41
The Old Post O ce Military Museum



Ideal on wet or dry hair, the Lady Jayne GemTip Mini Brush (RRP $9.99) is designed to fit into handbags or schoolbags so we can manage our manes on the go. Featuring a flexible base, which curves to suit the shape of our heads, it also boasts soft nylon bristles to help remove tangles and reduce breakage while its dual-length tips gently massage our scalps.


There’s much to be said for new Revlon ColorStay Limitless Matte Liquid Lipstick. Employing a lightweight formula delivering a budgefree matte finish, it’s Infused with triple hyaluronic acid and upcycled cranberry extract. This lip-smackingly good cosmetic (RRP $30) is well suited to even the most sensitive lips providing lasting colour for up to 24 hours.


Moisturising and conditioning, Honest Skincare’s Castor Oil Hair Wrap has us covered. While its ricinoleic acid in castor oil is intended to stimulate hair growth and improve thickness, it’s also designed to deal with scalp issues such as dandru . What’s more, this wrap is available in a starter kit (RRP $60) including a handy wash bag for honestly good value for money.

42 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

HEALTH: veg’!

Prices for fresh produce rose slightly over the past year (according to Stats NZ), and eating out has become expensive, but eating out of the garden is still an a ordable option.

Whether we dig deep at home or just a little deeper at the checkout, adding more of what’s good for us can make a big di erence, especially as we head into autumn and winter, John Murphy from Vegetables NZ advises.

“Everyone can improve their health by adding one more vegetable a day to their diet, no matter how many they’re currently eating,” he says. “That’s the beauty of [the Add One More Vegetable] initiative its simplicity.”

Straight-forward it may be, but the

campaign (developed with the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust) grows from abundant scientific roots. Findings from a recent Otago University report conclude that if all New Zealanders added just one more vegetable (75g) to their menus each day, it could result in savings to our health system of more than $830 million over our current population’s lifetime.

Unless Kiwis rise to the occasion, however, our health system will feel the impact, nutritionist Julie North warns.

“Perceived value, lack of time to prepare, lack of skills, dislike and concern about waste can all present barriers,” she adds. “Yet vegetables are so important for our good health, and there are many a ordable varieties available all through the year. With endless ways to add vegetables in so many snacks and meals.”

Visit for more further information about Add One More Vegetable, including cooking tips and recipes. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 43 Could you have Varicose Veins? CONTACT US FOR UPCOMING PUKEKOHE CLINIC DATES Delphi Clinic has two clinic locations: Pukekohe (Seddon Medical Building, 13 Hall Street) and Remuera. We are covered by all major insurance companies including Southern Cross, AIA, NIB, Partners Life, Accuro, Unimed and more. Do you have any of the following symptoms? Restless legs • Heavy, achy or tired legs • Night cramps • Leg ulcers • Poor leg wound healing • Darkening leg and calf skin • Leg discomfort after sitting or standing for a long time • Itchy legs • Spider veins • Ankle swelling • Varicose veins • Past history of DVT You may be su ering from varicose vein disease For referrals/enquiries email Phone 021795744 Dr Zach Kidman MBChB; BA; RNZCGP Fellow of Australasian College of Phlebology KC16313 e Denture and Denture Implant Clinics 11 West St, Pukekohe – 09 238 0095 1B Broadway, Papakura – 09 296 1219 3/208 Gt Sth Rd, Papatoetoe – 09 277 2233 Email KC16229 We make it... we fit it... we fix it... • Full Dentures • Acrylic Dentures • Metal Dentures • Flexible Dentures • Denture Relines • Denture Repairs • Mouth Guards Full dental laboratory services with no dentist appointmentsorreferralsrequired!

All's Fare


Don’t say it with flowers, say it with Roses this Mother’s Day! Thanks to a new, limited edition version of Cadbury’s classic Roses assortment, mums from all walks of life are in for a sweet surprise on May 12 wrapped up in this pretty, pink packaging designed by Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole.


From tempting tipples to tasty treats, life can be ‘fare’ enough, thanks to these new (and recent) additions to shelves.


There’s a plethora of books written about wine; however, we need not be well read to be, well, red! After a fruitful harvest, Brown Brothers is serving up some fruity flavours indeed with their 2023 Dolcetto & Syrah and Cienna sure to top many a table come Mother’s Day. Available from supermarkets and liquor stores (RRP $17.99 per 750ml bottle), these fruity reds pair well with a wide range of mains and desserts.


Woolies has gone Woppy! Kiwi cookie company, Molly Woppy, has launched a new artisan range and Woolworths has been quick to snap it up. This handcrafted collection (RRP $7.99) includes a wide variety of flavours, from Cranberry Dark Choccy Chunk and Zingy Ginger Delight to Gluten-Free Sticky Date Walnut & Chia and many more.

Choosing the right wine can be tricky and it’s not just a matter of good taste. But why spend hours sampling and spitting out perfectly good wine when a new AI platform can help us cut to the chase? Delivering access to a vast level of expertise by virtue of a ‘virtual sommelier’ VinoVoss can also even ensure our own preferences, food matches and the like are taken into account. See for more information.

44 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

Browse our extensive line up of brands and flavours guaranteed to delight any Gin drinker. We pre-taste every gin we stock. Loads more Gintastic deals online! Rural Living — April/May 2024 — Fast Nationwide Delivery | Cellar Door - 42 Lunn Ave, Mt Wellington Prices valid until 30 April 2024 unless sold out prior. Gin bottles are 700ml unless otherwise stated. Fine Wine Delivery supports the sensible service and consumption of alcohol. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years April Deals Gin tastic EXCLUSIVE OFFER Gin 133 Blue Alchemy Exclusive small batch colour changing Gin. $64.99 Island Gin Distilled on Great Barrier Island with Manuka & Bush Honey Botanicals $93.99 Papa Salt Coastal Gin New Gin from Aussie it-girl, Margot Robbie! $79.99 Pickering’s Gin Highly awarded, batch produced London Dry Gin $57.99 A masterclass in Gin with over 24 International awards! $87.99 Martin Miller’s Gin Reefton’s ‘Little Biddy’ NZ Botanical Gin Kiwi Gin distilled from the rainforest of NZ’s West Coast! $77.99 Twelfth Hour Dry Gin Small batch Gin distilled with Kaffir lime $68.99 Awildian Coromandel Dry Gin Winner of Best Gin in NZ at the 2022 World Gin Awards! $99.99 Citadelle Rouge Gin New from Citadelle. Fruity, flavourful & fresh $84.99 KC16260

‘Gaulty’ secrets

After already sharing some of the secrets of a MasterChef, we simply had to come back for seconds! For more heartwarming recipes visit



 6 Chicken marylands (leg quarters)

 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

 1 large onion, diced

 2 stalks celery, diced

 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped and smashed

 8 Ka r lime leaves

 Zest from a lemon

 Zest and juice from a orange

 A small handful of basil leaves

 3 bay leaves

 150g liquid honey

 1 tbsp turmeric

 1 tsp smoked paprika

 500ml orange juice

 500ml chicken stock

 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Trim any excess fat from the chicken marylands. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Brown both sides of the chicken in batches, ensuring not to crowd the pan. Transfer the browned chicken to a roasting dish, evenly spaced and skin-side up.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, onion, and garlic, and sauté (stir-fry) for five minutes. Add the lemongrass, ka r lime leaves, lemon zest, basil, and bay leaves to the saucepan and cook for an additional five minutes. Stir in the honey, turmeric, smoked paprika, orange juice, chicken stock, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Pour the hot sauce over the chicken marylands in the roasting dish, ensuring that the chicken is

completely submerged. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and allow the chicken to cool in the roasting dish. Once the dish reaches room temperature, carefully remove the chicken and clean away any herb or vegetable residue clinging to the chicken.

Strain the remaining liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan and reduce it by two-thirds or until achieving your desired consistency. If necessary, mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a tablespoon of water and whisk it into the sauce to thicken. Adjust the seasoning if needed.

Just before serving, return the chicken to the, now-reduced, sauce and heat them through. Serve the chicken straight from the hot sauce over a warm couscous salad and garnish with ka r lime leaves.

46 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

Sure as... eggs!


 6 eggs

 200g cheese

 200g onion

 200g zucchini

 150g red capsicum

 200g bacon

 ¼ cup chopped parsley

 2 pinches black pepper

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Chop bacon and dry fry gently with the onion (finely chopped) in a pan. Stir frequently, cooking until the bacon is cooked and the onions have softened.

Grate the cheese and zucchini into a mixing bowl along with diced capsicum before adding the cooked bacon and onion. Add the eggs, a handful of chopped parsley and black pepper mixing well to combine.

Grease a mini mu n tin with a little cooking oil and, using a jug or ladle, fill the holes with the mixture to just below the rim. Bake for about 20 minutes or until egg has set.

Allow bundles to cool before tipping them out onto a tray or plate. They can be frozen for up to three months – simply defrost as required for lunchboxes or picnics.


 1 large onion

 1 clove garlic

 120g bacon or chorizo

 2-3 large potatoes, cooked

 Olive oil

 4 eggs

 ½ bunch fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, dice the cooked potato and finely chop the parsley.

Gently fry the onion and garlic with a little oil in an oven proof pan until the onion is soft. Add chorizo or bacon and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for five minutes before cracking the eggs on top.

Place the pan to the oven and bake for eight minutes or until the egg white is set but the yolks are still runny.

Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and fresh, chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Hatching plans to entertain or simply serve up a better brekkie? Either way, NZ Eggs is ready to lend a hand –see for more recipes. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 47

French toast sandwiches

Easy like Sunday mornings, this recipe will have mum saying ‘ooh la la!’ this Mother’s Day. Simple to prepare (ideal for children and dads who aren’t dab hands in the kitchen!) French toast is a versatile dish with sweet and savoury options making it the perfect breakfast in bed.

 3 eggs

 1/4 tsp salt

 4 slices thick white bread

 Cooking oil


 1 tbsp fresh orange juice

 1/4 tsp grated orange rind

 1/4 cup strawberry jam

 Fresh strawberries

 Icing sugar

 Maple syrup


 1 tbsp milk

 A dash of pepper

 1/2 tsp paprika

 Bacon or ham

 Dijon mustard


Sweet: Spread jam on two of the slices of bread topped with the other two. Trim crusts and cut each sandwich into three even strips.

Whisk eggs, orange juice, orange rind and salt in a small bowl. Dip both sides of the sandwiches in egg mixture until it has all been absorbed. Add a little cooking oil to a large non-stick pan and heat. Cook

sandwiches for two minutes on each side or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve with extra jam, fresh strawberries and maple syrup on the side.

Savoury: Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Trim crusts and soak bread in egg mixture. Fry bacon or ham (filling) until crispy and brown. Set filling

aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Fry bread slices for two minutes or until golden brown on both sides.

Spread Dijon mustard on two slices of the French toast and add filling before topping with the remaining slices. Cut each sandwich in half (or thirds) and serve with extra mustard on the side.

48 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

Pâté en croute (PÂTÉ IN PASTRY)

A glorious addition to a bu et spread, lunch or picnic, this traditional French dish comes from the pen of acclaimed food writer, Ginette Mathiot. Featuring in her recently released book, Classic French Recipes, it has topped French tables for centuries.

Preparation time: 1½ hours, plus resting time

Cooking time: 1½ hours

Serves: 6

Pie dough (shortcrust pastry):

 4¼ cups (500g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting

 scant 1 cup (200g) chilled butter, diced, plus extra for greasing

 2 tsp salt

 2/3 cup (150ml) ice-cold water, to bind the dough


 200g thin bacon slices (rashers)

 1½-2½ cups (400g) stu ng of your choice

 300g ham, sliced

 300g veal, cut into strips

 1 egg yolk, whisked, to glaze

 salt and pepper


To make the pie dough (shortcrust pastry), place the flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre, and add the butter and salt. Rub together with your fingers until the mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture. Add enough ice-cold water to just bring the dough together, mixing with your hands. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead well for five minutes until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a ball shape,

then place in a clean bowl. Cover and allow it to rest for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Grease a 32 by 8.5 by 8.5cm pâté dish or terrine with butter. Roll out two-thirds of the dough and use it to line the dish, leaving 2cm of dough above the rim.

To assemble the filling, place a layer of bacon slices (rashers) at the bottom, then a layer of stu ng, a little of the ham, then a layer of the veal, seasoning each layer well with pepper. Continue making layers until


A treasure trove of French flair, Classic French Recipes features more than 170 dishes drawn from three generations of cooking skills.

Ginette Mathiot: Classic French Recipes | RRP $80 | Phaidon Press

you have used all the ingredients. Roll out the remaining dough to create a lid slightly larger than the dish and use to cover the filling. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal. Brush with the whisked egg yolk to glaze and make a hole in the centre of the lid, keep it open during cooking with a small funnel made of cardboard. Bake in the oven for 1½ hours, or until deep golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 49


After a traditionally slow start to the year, the transition into March has seen an upbeat mood return to the real estate market. While a seasonal upswing in properties listed for sale is usually expected during summer, the volume in both the rural/lifestyle and residential sectors was unprecedented with our company stock hitting their highest levels for 13 years.

Although high stock levels are usually expected to lead to some downward price pressures, this is not the case with homes sold in February and into March achieving slightly higher prices. In fact, government policy should also encourage more

landlord/investors to purchase property, assisting in keeping an upward pressure on prices.

Coming o the back of a stock shortage, and with policy changes to interest deductibility and the brightline test, there has been a return of prospective first homeowners to the market. There is no doubt that current stock levels are proving exciting for them, delivering extraordinary choice.

As we have seen before, broad trends in the residential market inevitably flow through to the rural and lifestyle sectors. In this regard, the last couple of months has resulted in a major upswing in the number of properties listed, along with a much stronger sales performance in March compared to February.

As we move into autumn, the

number of days taken to sell may increase as the buyer pool is not as multi-dimensional as it is more residential. Because buyers will have the opportunity to pick and choose, they may move on quickly to other selections. For this reason, sellers will need astute advice about preparing properties, as well as market feedback and other guidance from professional salespeople, helping them stand out from the crowd.

Auctions continue to match buyers with their perfect properties, either at auction or shortly afterward. In both cases, the process delivers solid overviews of sales opportunities. Although obtaining fair market prices will be attainable the chance to secure them may be short lived, so be prepared and ready to act!

50 — Rural Living — April/May 2024

One for the ‘diggers’

When our diggers returned home and turned their swords into ploughshares, they grew flowers (including poppies) and cultivated vegetables, digging gardens rather than trenches. To this day, poppies remain powerful symbols of new life growing from the darkest of places.

Since Canada’s Dr John McCrae published his haunting poem In Flanders Fields in 1915, the Flanders poppy (Papaver rhoeas) has become synonymous with the ANZAC legend.

So, although they usually bloom from late spring until early summer, April is a most fitting time to explore their properties and origins.

Poppies belong to a large family of flowers, Papaveraceae. With four to six petals, they range in colour and feature various markings.

While most species are grown for their ornamental value, some are used in foods and (especially with regards to the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum) they form the basis for medications.

Dating back many centuries, poppies have long been considered symbols of sleep, peace and death due, in part, to drowsiness experienced from the ingestion of opiates and the blood red blooms of certain varieties.

Early Greeks and Romans o ered poppies to the dead and images of these flowers are commonly

found inscribed on tombstones as representations of eternal sleep.

Seeds for some types of poppy are available from New Zealand garden centres or online. However, as they don’t fare well during summer in our region, it pays to plan ahead with seeds best sown in August or September. And yet, they can be planted in autumn provided they have enough time to become established before the first frosts set in. Full growing guides are available from local garden centres.

Whether as laurels of victory, symbols of hope, life (or death) and growth, or simply to brighten Kiwi gardens, this humble flower has become one tall poppy that’s unlikely to ever be cut down. Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 51
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While many mums are sure to receive pretty blossoms come Mother’s Day, earning brownie points with a mother-in-law isn’t a bad idea either. However, should she know a little about plants, a certain selection might be best avoided or we’ll never hear the end of it!

Also known as the snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) has an unflattering name With white or yellow borders and upright leaves, these long-legged ladies are no shrinking violets, and as they’re able to grow up to 60cm in height, they can brighten some shadier places in the home.

Incredibly easy to get along with –no jokes, we wouldn’t dare! – these house proud houseplants prefer dry soil and air, thriving indoors with minimal care. Ideally, mother-in-law’s

tongue favours temperatures between 15-25 degrees Celsius in bright areas, although away from direct sunlight, or partial shade. As their leaves store moisture, these succulents require little water and sagging leaves indicate soil is too wet rather than too dry.

It must be noted that this plant is poisonous if ingested and even handling them can cause skin irritation – make of that what you will! But this too can come in handy as the plant’s venomous character actually develops as a consequence of its ability to absorb toxins from the air.

Available from garden centres, mother-in-law’s tongue can also be easily propagated from cuttings.

All factors considered, this snake isn’t such a bad old stick to have around, so maybe one’s partner’s mum may be content to receive it as a gift after all… maybe!

Start your home transformation and create that dream space today. We work with you from concept to completion using our simple 3 steps Let’s start the conversation and book your free consult.

52 — Rural Living — April/May 2024
Mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)



Buying property is a significant investment and a life-changing decision. It requires careful planning, research, and consideration. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes during the property buying process that can lead to financial loss, frustration, and missed opportunities. Let’s have a look at some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying property and provide valuable insights on how to avoid them.


One of the most common mistakes people make is failing to establish a realistic budget and financial plan before embarking on the property-buying journey. It’s crucial to determine how much you can a ord, taking into account your current income, expenses, and long-term financial goals. Setting a budget will help you focus your search on properties that align with your financial capabilities and avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a property that is beyond your means.


Another significant mistake is not conducting thorough research on the property and its surrounding area. It’s vital to gather information on factors such as the neighbourhood, amenities, local market trends, and potential growth prospects. Researching the property’s history, including any legal or structural issues, can save you from costly surprises later. Take advantage of online resources, visit the area in person, and consult with local real estate professionals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the property you are considering.


Inspections help uncover hidden problems like structural issues, plumbing or electrical faults, or pest infestations. Engaging qualified professionals to thoroughly inspect the property can save you from expensive repairs and renovations in the future. Additionally, conducting due diligence on legal aspects, zoning regulations, and any pending permits can help you avoid potential legal disputes or restrictions.


Making emotional decisions based on aesthetics or personal preferences can lead to regret later on. Falling in love with a property without considering practical aspects such as location, size, and long-term suitability can be detrimental. It’s important to approach property buying with a rational mindset, considering factors like future plans, potential resale value, and the property’s ability to meet your needs in the long run.


di erence. Failing to develop negotiation skills or not conducting proper market research can result in overpaying for a property or missing out on favourable deals. Take the time to understand the current market conditions, comparable sales, and recent trends. Be prepared to negotiate e ectively to secure the best possible deal within your budget. Leave it to the professionals like Victoria and Jo-Ann –they are the best at what they do.

Many buyers make the mistake of skipping or rushing through property inspections and due diligence processes.

Relying solely on personal judgement and disregarding expert advice is a common mistake when purchasing property. Real estate professionals, such as real estate agents, lawyers, and financial advisors, possess valuable knowledge and experience that can guide you through the process. Seek their assistance, ask questions, and carefully consider their recommendations. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls.


Negotiating the purchase price and terms is a crucial aspect of property buying and where using a great agent will make the world of

Buying property can be an exciting yet challenging endeavour. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can enhance your chances of finding your next property. Remember to plan your finances diligently, conduct thorough research, perform inspections and due diligence, make rational decisions, seek professional advice, and develop negotiation skills. With careful consideration and informed decision-making, you can make the right choices and find a property perfect for you.

Working with great agents like Jo-Ann and Victoria from Team Town and Country are also the key to successfully navigating the journey from sale to sold. KAT5307-v76
Day-Townsend & Victoria Day
TOWNSEND, 021 1696 056 (Jo-Ann), 021 238 7475 (Victoria)
Southern Corridor Realty Licensed Agent REAA 2008
PUKEKAWA, 7 Punga Punga Road PAPAKURA, 41 Arimu Road


ROCKING IT! Although rocking chairs may seem more at home in retirement homes, they can make ideal additions to nurseries too. The perfect perch for nursing mums, the Cuddle rocking chair is being embraced worldwide by those who know that a little motion can work wonders with emotional youngsters.

Available with a matching ottoman, this functional and relaxing chair is designed to assist in building a warm, soothing connection between parents and other new additions to their households. However, they can make great gifts for rocking mums who simply need to take a load o and relax.

Created by Portugal-based Circu, these rocking rocking chairs can be ordered online and delivered to New Zealand – see for details. In the meantime, while mums are waiting for delivery (in one way or another!) of their Cuddle, they all deserve a hug this Mother’s Day!

54 — Rural Living — April/May 2024 DIRECTORY OUT OF EUROPE The Bespoke Living Room 027 537 5252 128 Stan Wright Road Karaka Add a touch of class to your home Visit this hidden gem in Karaka
Your locally owned and family operated store We are here to assist you through your next flooring project from start to finish Services we offer: • Free measure and quote • Insurance work • Supply and installation • Floor preparation Carpet Laminate Q-Card nance available on purchases $1000 and over. Terms & conditions apply. 16d Wrightston Way Pukekohe Mega Centre Ph: 09 2382 954 E: pukekohe@ KC16294 Hours Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm, Saturday 9am-3pm www. Vinyl Garage Carpet Domestic and Commercial Keith, Cody & Sandie Ralph Freephone: 0508 CIFLOOR | 0508 2435667 KAT6566-v2 Family business for more than 35 years • Wholesale Direct • On the floor prices will not be beaten • Free no-obligation measure & quote • In home sample service CARPET, VINYL, LAMINATE AND MORE Rural Living — April/May 2024 — 55 Home of the Wagener Fairburn, Leon, Sparky CA & RU, Butler Multi, CookTop Wagener & Pipi NE W Z E A L A N D M A DE He’s built of solid 5mm steel, has a stovetop cooking surface, optional top rails and wetback. Ph 09 408 2469 THE CUTE WEE FIRE WITH A BIG HEART SparkyWAGENER KC16306 COLOUR OPTIONS AVAILABLE DIRECTORY PH 09 237 0050 40 Crosbie Rd, Pukekohe Water Pumps KC15696 • House Pumps • Farm Pumps CP1136-V2 Caring for you with warmth, honesty and compassion Phone 0800 276 420 or 09 527 0266 DY0633 Ph 0800 276 420 | 23a Tironui Rd, Takanini Caring for you with warmth, honesty and compassion KC15943 Paul Voorburg | 021 029 05733 BAYLEYS REAL ESTATE LTD, PUKEKOHE, LICENSED UNDER THE REA ACT 2008 YOUR LIFESTYLE PROPERTY EXPERT PAUL VOORBURG Looking to buy or sell? Call me today ALTOGETHER BETTER Phone 09 238 4047 or 021 987402 601 Buckland Rd, RD2, Pukekohe Experienced Operator 35 years+ Craig Nicholson Earthmoving & General Cartage • Tree Removal • Drainage • Roading • Stopbanks • Building sites • Demolition • Horse arenas • Metal/sand/ slag supplied • General cartage • 1.7 to 26 tonne diggers • Rollers • Tip trucks & trailers • D65 Bulldozer & scoop • Low loader • Grader • Excavations • Dams 18 Elliot St, Papakura Phone: 09 298 7767 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm; Sat 8.30am-2.30pm KAT5297 FOR THE BEST ADVICE & FRIENDLY SERVICE CALL US FOR ALL YOUR FARMING SUPPLY NEEDS PROFARM RURAL & LIFESTYLE SETH ROBERTS Phone 021 765 629 Email Bulk Water Delivery • Tank Cleaning UV Systems & Water Filters Water Testing Commercial & Residential No job too big or too small KC16187 SST SERVICES 21E Ryan Pl, Manukau p: 09 294 7611 e: e: John: 0274 923 669 Robbie: 0274 967 430 SEPTIC TANK AND GREASE TRAP CLEANING KAT15714 53 Reid Rd, Glenbrook | Ph 021 049-0138 or 09 238 7145 We stock a comprehensive range of Poultry Feed & Treats, Health Supplements, Pest & Parasite controls, Feeders & Drinkers, Heating Plates, Incubators, Coops, Pine Shavings & more! POL Brown Shavers available Email thechookyardnz Shop hours: Tues to Fri, 12pm-6pm; Sat, 10am–5pm; Sun & Mon, closed Plates, Incubators, Coops, Pine Shavings & more! Quality poultry equipment for all breeds and sizes. Made in Europe KC16017-v2 M: 021 171 9653 E: CUSTOM DESIGNED CURTAINS BLINDS SHUTTERS Contact Jodie for a free measure and quote ANDREW BAYLY MP for Port Waikato Port Waikato Electorate Office 7 Wesley Street, Pukekohe 09 238 5977 AndrewBaylyMP Authorised by Andrew Bayly, Parliament Buildings, Wgtn. KC16210
56 — Rural Living — April/May 2024 KC116197-v4

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