Getting Away from It All on the Coromandel

The New Zealand way of life, our “fondness for corrugated iron” and how we hang our laundry out to dry, are some Antipodean oddities which charmed a visiting American who was shown around Bill Johnston’s (pictured) remote station overlooking Te Kouma Harbour on the Coromandel Peninsula.

“When he retired, Johnston traded the security and conveniences of municipal utility services for a fabulous view of Te Kouma Harbour,” Gloria Salavarria explains. “His custom-built dream home is a long way down a gravel road – accessible by 4-wheel-drive and not just any 4-wheel-drive but one with good brakes as his house sits at the bottom of a steep incline with no room for brake failure.

“The hillside on which Bill lives is rocky and the soil is scarce but Bill works hard on reclaiming his land from the scrub bush and he uses his own compost to create a basic kitchen garden for himself.

“One of the striking things an American will notice when visiting New Zealand is the Kiwi’s fondness for corrugated iron sheeting. It is their roofing material of choice –has been from the very beginning when Europeans first settled the islands. New Zealanders are so fond of corrugated, they use it in their sign making, and some even sheathe their entire house in it. Corrugated is to New Zealand what adobe clay is to Arizona, New Mexico and parts of southern California.”

Original article by Gloria Salavarria, The Elkhart Truth, March 12, 2014.

Photo by Gloria Salavarria.


Tags: Bill Johnston  Coromandel Peninsula  corrugated iron  Elkhart Truth (The)  Te Kouma Harbour  

Revival for Moriori Pushed Close to Cultural Death

Revival for Moriori Pushed Close to Cultural Death

On the windswept coast of Chatham Island stands a statue of a thick-jowled, cheerful man, his gaze fixed on the endless sea stretched before him, Pete McKenzie writes for The New…