Country Life

Friday 4 September 2015, with Carol Stiles, Susan Murray, Cosmo Kentish-Barnes & Duncan Smith

Tools to Take Home

IMG(Above) Alphose Metmet and Willy George with some of the tools that will be sent home to Vanuatu. (Below) John David and Tevita Sepeti Tafau have been raising money to help buy supplies to rebuild their communities.

Katikati locals are about to fill a second shipping container with building materials and household goods and send it to Vanuatu to support RSE workers and their families whose homes were damaged and lives disrupted by Cyclone Pam.

When the Cyclone ravaged the islands in March, 35 Ni Vanuatu were employed by Aongatete Coolstores to work in the kiwifruit industry.  

The packhouse manager Clive Exelby says more were due to arrive in time for the kiwifruit season.

He says those workers had to make the tough decision whether to come to New Zealand to earn money for the re-build or to stay to comfort and help their families. Most decided to come.

Clive Exelby says the community soon swung into action. Roofing iron and timber were donated or bought at significantly reduced rates, and the word went out for tools.

He says the many retired people who live in Katikati were delighted to clear out their garages and workshops and donate tools to the people of Vanuatu

John David and his wife Miriam came from Vanuatu to work for Aongatete Coolstores soon after the cyclone, leaving their five children in the care of other family members. Their house was damaged and still needs to be fixed.  

John says he really appreciates how the community has rallied behind the workers. Its support means the money he has earned in New Zealand can go to his children's education rather than into repairing his house.

"Lots of us come for school fee. That's the main thing that we are here for. Back home it's hard to get money..but  we are here lucky. We get the money enough for the family and for the school fee."


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Fossick in Fairlie

fossickA vacant shop on Fairlie’s Main Street has been turned it into a quirky natural history museum.

Macgregor Willis (above) a 16-year-old year student at Mackenzie College took over the hairdressing salon, refurbished it will tables and cabinets and now its home to his impressive collection of fossils.

His passion began several years ago when his father started taking him to a popular fossil collecting area near Waipara in North Canterbury called Glen Afric. Macgregor says “We’d often come back with a couple of backpacks full of rocks and now we have this!

More recently he has found fossils near Oamaru and in the Limestone rocks along the banks of the Pareora River. There is also a small collection of fossils from his grandfather. One is of fossilised leaves in basalt.
“This is from a Glossopteris tree. This came from Antarctica when it actually grew plants and is probably the most valuable bit in here”.


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Searching Te Urewera

IMGOver the past 50 years farmer Dave Withers (above) has taken part in hundreds of search and rescue missions in the Urewera National Park. There were no radios in the early days and it would often take longer to find the rescue teams to tell them the search was over than to track down the missing person.

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Regional Wrap


wrap picManawatu is awash and farmers have had enough. Southland farmers are also looking longingly for the sun.

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