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Author Gordon McLauchlan speaking in Tamahere

Gordon McLauchlan, author and social commentator, will inform and entertain with insights on New Zealanders (the Passionless People of his famous book title) in Tamahere on Sunday, July 2.

Best known as a cultural critic and a social historian, the popular and prolific writer’s latest book is Great Tales from Rural New Zealand.

He has written a number of best-sellers including The Passionless People, a social commentary on New Zealanders (1976), and The Farming of New Zealand, a history of NZ agriculture (1981).

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Hot Topics

New date for centre start

Construction of Tamahere’s commercial hub looks set to start in mid September, a much delayed beginning for a centre that was at one time expected to be reality by now.

Resource consent has now been issued for the boutique shopping centre to be built by Fosters Develop on the corner of Devine Rd and Wiremu Tamihana Drive, the Tamahere Community Committee heard recently at its monthly meeting.

Getting firm commitments from prospective tenants had been slower than expected and as a result construction may be a staged process, the committee was told.

WDC debates water company

The Waikato District Council is in informal discussions with Watercare Services and Waikato-Tainui on potentially forming a company to manage the district’s water and wastewater services.

Mayor Allan Sanson said talks were at an early stage with other options to manage water services still on the table.

The council already works with Watercare in Pokeno and Tuakau.

SH1 goes middle of the road

State Highway 1 through Tamahere central is festooned with orange cones as tarsealing of the former median strip is carried out between the Airport Rd turn off and Bollard Rd.

This will allow traffic to be shifted from the road proper while trees are felled, phone and electricity cables are relocated, and the connection to the expressway constructed.

Some of the many cones will be replaced with permanent ‘SafeHits’.

Inorganic collection on its way

The annual inorganic refuse collection is on in Tamahere from May 22 to 27.

It will again be a case of putting refuse and recyling at the kerb the day before the week of the collection – Sunday, May 21.

Only properties that have refuse and recycling picked up weekly are entitled to the kerbside inorganic collection.

Support for Tamahere ANZAC Day

A proposal to commemorate Anzac Day locally, in Tamahere, in years to come is gaining support.

The Tamahere Lions Club and Tamahere councillor Aksel Bech are two who have backed the idea after it was raised here last week.

The proponents of the idea, St Stephen’s Tamahere Vicar Ellen Bernstein and Waikato Green Party candidate and Tamahere resident Philippa Stevenson, are delighted.

ANZAC Day in Tamahere?

Is it time for the Tamahere community to commemorate ANZAC Day in Tamahere?

Tamahere men who fought and died in World War I number 27, as recorded on the roll of honour displayed in the Tamahere Community Centre (pictured). Twenty-one served in World War II.

The question of whether Tamahere could hold a dedicated ANZAC commemoration service arose in a chance conversation on this year’s ANZAC Day between two locals who are now seeking more views.

Local Events

Author Gordon McLauchlan speaking in Tamahere

Gordon McLauchlan, author and social commentator, will inform and entertain with insights on New Zealanders (the Passionless People of his famous book title) in Tamahere on Sunday, July 2.

Best known as a cultural critic and a social historian, the popular and prolific writer’s latest book is Great Tales from Rural New Zealand.

He has written a number of best-sellers including The Passionless People, a social commentary on New Zealanders (1976), and The Farming of New Zealand, a history of NZ agriculture (1981).

TCC members beautify grounds

Tamahere Community Committee members have been digging in for a good cause this week in the interests of a lovely and leafy environment.

Committee members including deputy chair Sue Robertson and Leo Koppens, pictured, planted around 160 trees and shrubs to screen an unsightly industrial site from the new recreation reserve.

Also pitching in to beautify the reserve with kahikatea and ribbonwood trees were TCC members Ro Edge and Graham McAdam, and local Keith Robertson.

Local People

Steel menagerie on display

Tamahere sculptor Marti Wong sits in the high-backed, regal-looking throne and his hand automatically alights on the head of the dog sitting obediently at his feet.

The dog is cool to his touch. So is the throne. And a menagerie of animals ranging around them both.

Wong, the sculptor in steel of creatures both commonplace and mythological, has again been amassing a collection which will be exhibited from Thursday, June 1 at Hamilton’s Soul Gallery.

Staying off the beaten track

A Matangi couple have launched a website to take holidaymakers off the beaten track and into rural accommodation.

The premise is simple. There’s a wealth of beautiful spots on private land in New Zealand, and land owners could share this with holidaymakers for a fee.

“Not everyone wants to holiday with a thousand other people at one of the hot spots,” said founder Michele Connell.

Our Patch

Rare bellbird pair in Tamahere

A pair of bellbirds or korimako in a Tamahere garden are raising hopes that the native birds’ numbers are rising in the Waikato after a decades-long absence.

Sanctuary Lane resident Dynes Fulton, the Waikato district deputy mayor, first observed the pair – a male and a female – about a month ago and the once rare sighting has now become a daily occurrence.

Male korimako are more often seen on their own so the presence of the female has raised the exciting prospect that the pair might mate in breeding season later in the year.

Tree Church open to view

An open day at the unique Tree Church in Ohaupo this month will be the Ohaupo community’s first fundraising effort for a proposed $1.2 million sport and recreation centre.

The captivating Tree Church garden (pictured), a labour of love for owner Barry Cox, will be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, April 22.

Food, coffee and live music will add to the occasion in the internationally renowned garden, for which tickets are available on Eventfinder and at the Te Awamutu i-Site.

Local History

Icepak site sale disappoints

The sale this week of the former Icepak site has failed to sever links with its tragic past.

The derelict site in central Tamahere was bought by one of the architects of the tragedy that cost the life of a firefighter in 2008, former Icepak director Wayne Grattan.

Grattan, who was personally fined $30,000 for his part in the death of firefighter Derek Lovell and injury to seven others, paid $865,000 for the former coolstore site where the disaster played out eight years ago.

Mystery flows on

The National Agricultural Fieldays are three weeks away and again sparking interest in the mystery that gave their venue its name – Mystery Creek.

Explaining the mystery has become a hardy annual for writers filling publications in the lead up to the Fieldays, this year on from June 15 to 18.

Tamahere Forum has already fielded a request for an explanation of the mystery which, according to the Cambridge Museum, has grown more mysterious over the years.