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No One Cares

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, December 18th, 2021 - 71 comments
Categories: covid-19, Deep stuff, health, uncategorized - Tags:

I had reason to visit Waitara in Taranaki recently, and I don’t want to sound like there’s a different world still operating …

… but the fish and chip shop people weren’t wearing masks, I passed three guys burning the street with dirt-bikes and no helmets and famously lank and long hair, random fireworks lit up from the beach down the road, I got to be entertained at some dude’s house with videos of their own front lawn with four neighbourhood drivers doing their own personal demolition derby with the cars that now decorated his back yard ready for stripping, most sections had a combination of shipping container or dead implement or dying shed or other decaying structure …

… that is to say, outside the world inhabited by those who get on planes for work or leisure around the country, outside the ambit of besuited John Campbell’s morning show and Radio New Zealand’s blow-by-blow technically-driven anxiety, outside of Auckland and the other metro areas, well away from protests uniting hippies and evangelicals and Act-supporting Maori, there are plenty of New Zealanders leading their lives as if COVID barely exists, and will likely continue to do so.

Waitara is a town with a big Maori presence, a meatworks, a barely used rail line, a few social amenities, really low employment, wages by the hour, and comparatively low rents and house prices. It could stand in for most of Taranaki and indeed most of our western coast settlements.

I have a sneaking suspicion that yet another round of anxiety from the Attack of the Greek Alphabet will mean only that the good folk of Waitara World will at some point get another jab and just party hard, work harder, and keep doing endless dirtbike hillfarm scrambles and driftwood bonfires on the beach. The great swirling constellation of bureaucratic contests, political polls, and slightly famous people endlessly commenting on what other slightly famous people said was a wee bit whatever.

No one is denying the existence or morbidity of COVID, but whatever New Zealand is, it was certainly still alive in Waitara are highly likely to stay around.

71 comments on “No One Cares ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    smiley I've actually been surprised since I retired back to my old hometown (NP) by how much less obviously Maori Waitara has become since I grew up here as a child in the 1950s. Your experience seems fairly typical of the heartland but there's actually plenty of pakeha living in Waitara now.

    I go there around once a month. I support their local economy in a small way by donating clothes & books to their three op-shops & buying from them too. There's a Bin Inn in Waitara whereas NP doesn't have one. I get various healthy foods from there from time to time.

    The Waitara river is always significantly bigger than our biggest too – has a large flow even in summer when the Waiwakaiho gets low. I often wondered why the local tribe doesn't run a steamboat up it for tourists like on the Whanganui river.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      I doubt the Waitara river has the mana and history of the Whanganui which had its paddle steamers for a long time and went well up the river. The existing one is restored 'real boat' and tourists go for authenticity too – which is part of the Earnslaw success on Whakatipu.

    • Gezza 1.2

      It’s actually correctly spelt Waiwhakaiho River – that river in New Plymouth – these days, Dennis.

      Wai = water, whakaiho = to cut (hair, wool etc)

      I grew up in Fitzroy, 5 minutes walk away from the mouth of the Waiwhakaiho – where there’s now that very iconic whalebone-looking bridge as part of New Plymouth’s famous coastal walkway.

      I spent many a happy Huckleberry Finn-type hour playing on its banks or jumping across the rocks in places where it was deep & there were roaring rapids.

      Ko Taranaki te maunga
      Ko Waiwhakaiho te awa
      Ko Fitzroy te kainga
      Ko Gezza toku ingoa


      There’s an excellent documentary on this awa here, looking at how, among other things, local iwi & famers & other users of the river are working to restore it to pristine condition.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        jumping across the rocks in places where it was deep & there were roaring rapids

        smiley You’ve definitely got that adventurous westie spirit I was describing!

        I often reflect, when driving over the Waiwhakaiho Bridge, on my wee self standing on the side of it with all the other primers waving our flags at the Queen when she came here with her new husband in the early/mid 1950s.

        Looking from it nowadays I notice huge blocks of concrete amidst the natural boulders, washed a distance down towards the river mouth. Seems a remnant of a prior bridge?

        • Gezza

          Those blocks have been there for donkeys' years, Dennis. I never thought about whether they were the remainder of a previous bridge, but they might also have been dropped in to help form a weir. The flow there may have been really strong.

          It's easy to access those blocks and boulders. That was one of my favourite places to jump the boulders & rapids, below that Fitzroy bridge. Maybe an 8 minute bike ride from my old home to the Fitzroy pub, scramble down a track at the side of the bridge abutments, and you're at the riverside, then just a jump onto the boulders.

          There's a power of water flowing over those boulders and blocks. I've always been incredibly attracted to waterways, for some reason. I spent a lot of time down there, either jumping around the rocks, or just sitting there, contemplating the power of the water at some point where it was really deep & running fast. It often had a very deep, spellbinding greeny-turquoise blue colour.

          • Gezza

            Reminiscing this way reminds me that – while I may be looking back thru rose-coloured glasses at the best part of my teen years – life was so much simpler and more laid back – for nearly everybody – back then, in the 60s and 70s.

            If there was any racial tension, it wasn't all that evident. Native-born people were Kiwis (some Pākehā & some Māori) and we Pākehā were as proud of the exploits of 28 Māori Battalion as Māori were.

            We young Pākehā were somewhat ignorant about our colonial history, though, which we tended to think of as having "civilized" the warlike Māori and that it had been beneficial to them. We were blissfully unaware that many Māori were still living marae-based lives that were a whole cultural world away from the Pākehā ways of urban and town living.

            • Dennis Frank

              True for me too Gezza. I didn't become conscious of racism in some of my peers until 1964 in Wanganui, in conversation with some kid at school who put down the other guy we were talking about "he's just a Maori".

              Struck me as odd & I thought about it, realising I'd never say that, and made the conscious decision to resist such bias in future. I mentally estimated, after thinking of prior similar sentiments, that only around one in five or six people had that bias. However one can't measure tacit bias (never gets verbalised).

              • Gezza

                Thinking more about it, Dennis, there was a lot of casual racism, among Pākehā, when no Māori were present. Particularly at my Catholic private school, where there were few if any Māori.

                At my (intermediate/secondary school – Fungi Dungi) with a roll of 300, we had ONE Māori pupil the whole of the 6 years that I attended. When the first one left, another one replaced him. And he was the only pupil to ever actually punch a teacher, for which he was expelled. He wasn’t in my (brainy, languages & sciences) class, I never found out what it was over, but you didn’t insult Rangi* & get away with it.

                The way that casual racism was expressed was in jokes. E.g. “Why do seagulls have wings?” I’m sure you’ll remember the punchline.

                But in my neighbourhood, Pete, a Māori neighbour, played guitar & I took my first guitar over to his place where he taught me how to play House of The Rising Sun & Hey Joe.

                As I developed my interest in contemporary music, there were often plenty of Māori guitarists & bass players of similar age me & my best mate Paddy (also a guitarist) came into contact with.

                *Not his real name

    • miravox 1.3

      Agree with this. When I moved to New Plymouth, was not the high Māori population in Waitara – for someone who spends a fair bit of time in Waikato and BoP, the town seems pretty usual – but how white New Plymouth is.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        how white New Plymouth is

        Less evident nowadays. I see plenty of Maori about town, at local beaches, at the NP op shops, and when doing suburban street walks.

        But yes, when I was a kid here the contrast between here & Waitara was stark. Colonial society seems very slow fading, but it is less omni-present than it was.

      • joe90 1.3.2

        Everything from Mokau to Maxwell was seized by the crown. Māori were relegated to reserves.

        There is nowhere in this entire area that the land is not confiscated.

        • Dennis Frank


          But not reservations. The art of being incrementally progressive. You can see where the Labour Party learnt it, eh?

          And I guess the reason they weren't put into concentration camps is that the settler govt deemed Maori incapable of concentrating… wink

          • joe90

            I doubt an area the size of a couple of footy fields next to a dairy factory constituted a reservation.

        • miravox

          This statue of Frederic Alonzo Carrington standing proud in central New Plymouth says it all really. What's not said or seen so prominently, are the faces, current and past, of Māori in Ngamotu itself.

          "Would it not be wise, just, and human for Government to take control of this land; to reserve all that is requisite for the use of the natives, and, with the proceeds derived from the sale of the remainder, construct roads, without which we cannot civilize these people, erect suitable buildings, and aid them in all that is desirable in husbandry and other matters (sic)."

          Minds are changing, but it's a slow process. Some of the conversations I've overheard, or casually been included in (because I'm white I must think the same as the talker, of course) have been shocking.

        • Gezza

          For the information of others, that video DOES play in Vimeo if you click "Watch on Vimeo". It's 2 & 1/2 hours long. I've watched & hour of it, & will watch the rest later. I've got things to do around Pookden Manor on a gorgeous sunny day here. Fascinatingly detailed history of Taranaki land confiscations & the grossly unjust settler govt treatment of Parihaka resisters.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Strictly speaking the confiscated land is this outlined in blue in this historical map.


          • Gezza

            I note that, even in that map, the explanation states:

            It does not show smaller parcels of land outside these boundaries that were also confiscated.

            One wonders if a map & an accounting of all the smaller parcels outside these main confiscated areas was made, how much extra that adds up to?

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Works the other way too. One iwi I know about had sold a lot of their land just a month before it was confiscated ! For the enormous sum for its time of £5000

  2. Maurice 2

    Ah! The horrors of liberty and freedom – lost in so many urbane places!

  3. alwyn 3

    Here speaks a man from the big city who probably still thinks that Helen Clark is still PM.

    Are they a 'feral,' 'in-bred.'', 'Kentucky-like lynch mob' who 'made nasty comments about Labour on placards.'?


    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Inland Waikato is where you're more likely to encounter hillbillies & ferals. Pukekawa, for instance. Crewe murders. Bill Birch a pseudo-civilised version from nearby Maramarua, where locals forever race Aucks down the highway despite the 90k signs.

      Westies tend to be more adventurous. We got the wild Tasman in our blood…

    • Clarke Gregory 3.2

      Why on earth would he think that?

      Way to project your feelings, I guess.

      If anything I got that the writer was actually more critical of the urban

      beltway-dwellers than the ruralites

  4. vto 4

    its like that in a place west i frequent

    middle finger cocked at the norms

    laughing and yelling

    not for them the cafes and euro wagons

    or wellington rules

  5. gsays 5

    Not so much 'No One Cares' but I made a similar observation yesty while enjoying a late lunch at Halcombe.

    While we were there, fully one of ten customers scanned in. All customers wore masks inside the shop, while only the one of four workers were masked.

    Maybe it is a symptom of living life in the real world, rather than the cyber existence, a rural/urban difference or being part of a tighter knit community than a lot of city folk experience.

  6. kejo 6

    OH Ad, Going on my experiences in the third world many years ago I,m inclined to think you just came across the real world. You and I are blessed. The third world IS the real world for most people

  7. RedLogix 7

    I guess Waitara is one of those places that would be the US analog of a 'flyover state'. In the 90's I had one customer there – the meat works on the river- that was at the northern limit of my territory on this coast. But the town itself was one of those place I might have coffee and a refuel and that was it. It never touched me, nor I it.

    There are towns like this scattered about regional NZ. My daughter used to deliver into Marton and she described it as a scene out of a Morrieson novel, locked in a time warp of it's own slightly creepy, dysfunctional failed dream, kind of clapped out but comfortable. Her customers all variants on eccentric, ranging from amusing to 'phone the depot before entering property'.

    Places that are by definition on the margins, yet less complicated. The Mayor of Ballarat who we got to know well, was a Maori girl from one such town. We connected because we had some knowledge of her home in common, and while her wistfulness for whanau and place to stand was palpable, she also knew it was a place she could now only ever visit. There was no going back.

    Urban modernity demands a price for it's benefits. Perhaps the most costly is the complexity of our lives. We feel the relief from it when we go to the bach, or camping, tramping, hunting, sailing or just get our of town to visit family living in a place like Reefton or Waitara. Yet us urbans can only visit.

    "Attack of the Greek Alphabet" – gave both of us a good laugh this morning. Thanks heart

    • Kiwijoker 7.1

      Hey I grew up in Martin and would like it to be understood thAt it is a centre for fine arts and rigerous intilllectual discourse not to mention the vibrant cafe culture. My doctor assured me tha my knuckle calluses will fade in time.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Welcome to the provinces ADVANTAGE–leave your golf club behind if you check out the main drag at night perhaps.

    Taranaki has a violent history of colonial land grabs that haunts the place to this day. This account is good primer to what occurred.

    The people of larger centres and the hinterlands both miss out if they stick to their patch exclusively. There is a lot more behind the visitors surface takes on what life is like in tinpot towns. I like the “real” (north of Kaeo bridge) Far North myself after 25 years, and 27 in Auckland before that. But the reality is unwarranted vehicles with cash strapped unlicensed drivers are unlikely to get much of an urban experience!

    • Gezza 8.1

      Being born and raised in New Plymouth (Ngamotu) Taranaki, when I go back home in Summer I like to occasionally just go for a drive along the South coast and round the mountain for the day, passing through all the small towns & villages that got left behind in the neoliberal gutting of the many small meatworks and dairy factories that sustained a nice, relaxed, marae-based & kai moana-supplemented lifestyle for many local Māori until then.

      There's a lot of history to imbibe in south Taranaki too, including Parihaka. But also, the unwarranted vehicles and cash-strapped beneficiaries.

      • miravox 8.1.1

        ^^ This.

        Taranaki has one of the highest regional GDP's per capita. It's glaringly obvious when driving around, the places that are left out.

        • Gezza

          In my youth they were all laid-back but well-kept & generally thriving small town communities when they had their local meatworks & dairy factories in full operation. The workforces were all unionised, so pay rates & working conditions (including long meal & tea breaks) were generally pretty good.

          One wonders what they’d be like now if the neoliberal globalist juggernaut set rolling by Roger Douglas hadn’t devastated those industries & their workforces.

          Taranaki has a good grid system of roads all round the mountain that were originally put in place to get the meat & dairy industry product to the factories & to Ngamotu Port in New Plymouth. I often wonder if many of those small closed down factories could be repurposed for other more modern – or craft-based industries using natural products – such as growing & processing flax into string & cord & rope & sacking again?

          Only problem is at certain times of the day the roads seem to be clogged up with bloody Fonterra milk tankers, travelling one after the other in convoy, on roads with two few passing lanes, & those passing lanes that there are not long enuf to get you past more than one tanker & its trailer(s).

          • Gezza

            🙄 *too few

          • Janet

            Intrigued to read the reminiscences of Taranaki. I too came from what is now South Taranaki. The pa was five miles down the road . I saw it melt away from a busy place to nothing now but the meeting house. The nearby cheese factory was gone before I was 20 – so we can’t blame Rogernomics for that because most of the small diary factories all over Taranaki were gone before he came along. The diary industry went from small factories to an occasional large factory while the freezing works – like Patea – went from large to more smaller ones ! My family farmed on freehold land but they leased ( 99yr lease) another block of land on the Waitotara river and this was called West Coast maori lease. I suspect now that might be what happened to a lot of the “confiscated “ land. Many farms in that confiscated zone are actually West Coast leases, not freehold .

            • Blazer

              So if it was not 'Rogernomics,Thatcherism or Reaganism…that caused the demise of smaller business's …why do you think it happened?

              • Janet

                The small diary factories were just that, small , and they usually only produced one product . With transport improving milk was able to be moved to bigger factories which in the beginning produced three or four products Finally we have the mega factories , like the one at Hawera, that can produce many products rapidly switching from one to another as demand arises.

                The big freezing works were getting old and new meat processing companies emerged specializing in further processing the meat rather than just whole carcases. Silver Fern Farms at Waitotara started back in the 1970s I think and now has 14 different meat works over NZ.

                • Blazer

                  Progress eh!.I think Silver Fern Farms is foreign owned these days.

                  As they say ,literally millions of sheep (shorn) in NZ…and 5 million of them,think they're …human.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  Silver Fern is just a branding name applied to a combination of two of the old large freezing works groups.

                  In the years before and after the turn of century the works were everywhere, as of course the stock had to be driven there as flocks by road and export to ports was via railway line

                  Good examples, now gone , were at Paki Paki just at edge of Heretaunga Plains a few miles south of Hastings ( wrecked by earthquake and not rebuilt). One at Woodville beside the rail junction and in South Island at Spring Creek next to the Wairau river just north of Blenheim – this later was relocated to Picton where the log loading port now is ( by then stock could be railed in which allowed consolidation of smaller works).
                  So the closing or ‘relocation’ of freezing works happened from the post WW1 period to the 1950s as well, long before Patea or others become the posterchild)

                  I was born in a freezing works house …gone now but the works is going strong

            • Gezza

              That's interesting Janet. That surprised me, that the small dairy factories were already closing down before Rogernomics. I'll have to remember that in future.

              Also that you say the freezing works went from large operations to smaller ones. As your family were farming in the area your info sounds solid. Are there still small freezing works in operation there now?

              I haven't travelled around the mountain for quite a while, been stuck in Welly for various reasons.

            • RedLogix

              The diary industry went from small factories to an occasional large factory while the freezing works – like Patea – went from large to more smaller ones !

              That's an interesting observation and I think I can supply part of the answer. I was very close to the critical transformation that happened to the NZ Dairy industry that happened in the mid to late 80's. A small handful of very technical people (I could still name 4 or 5 of them) realised they could use the relatively new automation systems – PLC systems – that were becoming much more powerful and cost effective to automate the dairy process. They pretty much pioneered this transformation in this industry worldwide, and the immediate consequence was that large plants had a huge cost and quality advantage over the smaller ones.

              A general rule of thumb in the process industry world is that liquids are far easier to handle than solids. For this reason milk was far more amenable to automation than solid products like meat. This is why for instance by 2000 there were only three significant dairy plants in the Lower North Is.

              By contrast while there was significant penetration of automation into the meat industry at about the same period – it was largely confined to the services side of the operation, things like refrigeration, chain controls and packaging. The handling of the meat remained a manual operation for quite a long time until probably about the 2000's. For this reason the old large plants such as the big AFFCO's hung on for much longer.

              Then around that decade the meat market shifted away from the bulk frozen commodity that had dominated for a century, toward more specialised higher value chilled cuts. At the same time automation had progressed so that handling discrete items like meat products became a more tractable and affordable – thus it was the new smaller players in the industry that adopted this technology early. At least part of this will be cultural, the trad meat works were always very conservative organisations and they were typically much slower than their equivalents in the dairy industry to innovate.

              This is at least the technical background to why automation had two quite different impacts on the two industries – one aggregated into a handful of highly efficient mega plants, while the other diversified into multiple smaller specialised operators. It won't be the whole story, but it's the view I had of it from the inside.

              • Blazer

                Yes Rogernomics took off in the 80's…I believe Janet is confused in her timelines.

                As for the liquid/solid angle,my understanding is the bulk of liquid milk is dried =milk powder=solid.

                • RedLogix

                  Dry powders are quite easy to handle, they generally behave like liquids within certain constraints.

                  • ghostwhowalksnz

                    Yes. But its a liquid first and transported as such.

                    • RedLogix

                      Not sure what you're getting at here.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Milk is a liquid at the farm and those dairy companies drive tanker trucks long distances to the modern large factories. Even for a while liquid milk trains carried it even further

                • Janet

                  The dairy factory at Whareroa, three kilometres south of Hawera in South Taranaki, is the world's largest dairy processing complex on one site. Operations began on the site in August 1973 at this factory. The local cheese factory near our farm opened in 1917 and closed in 1960. The milk was then transported to Waverley or Whenuakura until Whareroa opened.

                  The Waitotara Meatworks opened in 1987 and was later bought by Silver Ferns.

                  • RedLogix

                    The dairy factory at Whareroa, three kilometres south of Hawera in South Taranaki, is the world's largest dairy processing complex on one site.

                    Yes this was the site I had in mind when I wrote the comment above. I spent a fair chunk of the 90's delivering into their automation systems.

    • swordfish 8.2


      Taranaki has a violent history of colonial land grabs that haunts the place to this day.

      Indeed it does … no argument from me there … but dwarfed by the brutal violence & constant ethnic cleansing of the Musket Wars … the genocidal inter-tribal warfare that dare not speak its name among polite Professional Middle Class Pakeha society … least of all among Ageing Woke Hippies utilizing highly paternalistic, sanitized & romanticised renditions of Māori history to advertise their "unusually refined moral sensibilities".

      Three decades of horrendous massacres, at least 20k dead (vs about 2k in the New Zealand Wars), tens of thousands enslaved, really brutal torture, cannibalism, massive upheaval, iwi massacred, others permanently driven from their nga rohe.

      The sheer brutality of Te Rauparaha & his Taranaki Iwi allies is fucking jaw-dropping.

      • Gezza 8.2.1

        Auē! Ae, i puta tera, engari kaore he Maori e hiahia ki te korero mo tena.

        (Yes, that happened, but no Maori wants to talk about it.)

      • Dennis Frank 8.2.2

        Anyone who prefers a Maori historian view of it see here for Angela Ballara & Paul Moon:



        Sample from review…

        Ballara’s analysis of the causes of war, of the relationship between war and tikanga, of the causes of peace (which is an essential element in understanding conflict), and the techniques of peacemaking is superb. The deep understanding of utu, the reciprocity that stems from it, and the complexity of its functioning in the early nineteenth century is informative and compelling.

        The consciousness Maori had of a ‘balance’ to be maintained in dealing with dispute and conflict is vitally important. Ballara’s analysis of the causes of conflict offers insights even into the fighting of the 1850s and 1860s, where close analysis of the evidence can show important parallels, for example Te Kooti’s attack on Mohaka in 1869 in response to Ngati Pahuwera opposition to him the year before.

        For readers who don't like in-depth, here's the overview:


        • Gezza

          Mana is so important to Māori that a taua (war party) could sometimes be formed to go and avenge an insult to a hapu iwi’s mana over something like a commoner from another hapu sleeping with one of their nga Puhi (a high-born virgin of the ariki class, who might have been promised in marriage to cement good relations with another iwi).

          If they were lucky more blood than the offender’s might not be spilt if the offending hapu conceded to a muru – letting the offended hapu’s taua take whatever nga taonga they wanted from te kainga, without complaint, thus restoring the balance of mana.

          The whole powhiri (welcome) ceremony at nga marae is actually built around the need to ensure your manuhiri have not arrived with concealed hostile intent to attack & restore mana following an event where they were warred on & lost sometimes a decade or more in the past.

          I’ve seen some claim the European-favoured handshake has actually evolved from a similar background. You are presenting your hand to show you don’t have a weapon, or if you have, that you don’t intend to use it.

        • swordfish


          Anyone who prefers a Maori historian view of it see here for Angela Ballara & Paul Moon


          (1) Not sure there is "a Māori view" … Angela Ballara & Paul Moon are vastly different historians with often contrasting interpretations of the past.
          [that's assuming Moon considers himself Māori in the first place]

          (2) As someone who took History as far as Honours level … I'm particularly wary of Presentist Historiography exhibiting a clear contemporary political agenda … Ballara's work sometimes fell into that category, unsurprising given her ethno-national ideological commitments.

          (3) If anyone continues to nurse anger & grievance over what happened it's the descendents of the Iwi who were massacred, enslaved or cleansed from their land. Arguably the most important outcome of the Musket Wars was the bitter legacy of inter-hapū and -iwi mistrust stemming from the extreme violence. The constant use of treachery as a battlefield tactic (once again … Te Rauparaha was exemplary in that respect), coupled with the enslavement of so many, left a long legacy of mistrust, Māori remaining wary of – & often antagonistic towards – other iwi outside their rohe.

          It’s only Establishment Woke Pakeha [who, of course, disproportionately inherited the wealth from Colonisation] & seek redemption through paternalistic romanticism … and Māori activist-pseudo-scholars with their own self-interested political agenda … who attempt to sanitise & downplay the horror of that three decade genocide.

      • DS 8.2.3

        Taranaki also has a fascinating history of being relatively sympathetic to Chinese migrants, at a time when the rest of New Zealand treated them like garbage,

        (The Taranaki Dairy Industry owes a fair bit to a 19th century Chinese merchant, who exported tree-fungus to China for medicines, and who reinvested the money in Dairy).

  9. Bill 9

    Even Queenstown businesses care enough to not care…(spin the notion of 'care' as you will)

    • kejo 9.1

      Me thinks the key word there isn,t ‘care’, it,s ‘spin’.

      • Bill 9.1.1

        Sure. They care about their back pockets. They're businesses.

      • weka 9.1.2

        Actually looking at that range of people the values they are talking about are consistent with those subcultures pre-covid. Some are no doubt also making intentional business decisions, but mostly I don't find what they are saying or doing surprising in the least. It's the same all over NZ in that alt/counter culture, Queenstown people just have the resources to make a flash vid about it.

        What interests me is what's going to happen when covid kills some of them or gives some of them long covid. Not assuming they all aren't vaccinated, but that there is a naivety about how much natural healing will protect them and ignorance of how much protection they will be getting from Queenstown's very high vax rate, and their lifestyle.

        Also possible that the rate of covid harm will be so low that it will be easy to write off as something else.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      "Even Queenstown businesses…

      What does that imply?

    • Anne 9.3

      Be nice if they thought about the rest of the community other than themselves though wouldn't it.

      • Shanreagh 9.3.1

        Yes, pretty sick making really. I mean masking/social distancing is a relatively benign way of keeping ourselves safe. I would not have a massage from someone who is not vaccinated or taking minimum precautions such as masking.

    • Blazer 9.4

      'authenticity'!-has anyone got a..bucket.

      Boult mayor of Queenstown wanted the Govt to give QTown a special exemption re the ban on overseas ..buyers.

      Come to Queenstown,try a craft beer =only $24 a glass…but wait there's more…we are applying to NZ On Air for a grant to make…'The Real Housewives of..Queenstown'…OMG…all done ..in the best..possible..taste.

  10. georgecom 10

    to slightly misquote that guy from Austria, "by the end of summer Waitara will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead"

  11. PB 11

    I had the misfortune to live in Hawera for a while. In my experience the most insular, most racist, town in New Zealand. And, to boot, the farmers I dealt with had the shortest memories or possibly the most active wilful disregard for colonisation in our fair country. I am pleased to hear that money is going in to 'restoring' Parihaka it is a story that every kiwi kid needs to hear growing up.

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