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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow Local knowledge - what's on the minds of small-town Kiwis
Local knowledge - what's on the minds of small-town Kiwis PDF Print
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Nicola Shepheard, The New Zealand Herald   
Sunday, 19 October 2008

Diver Natasha Kerr lives in Ngunguru with her partner and their 11-month-old son Bailey. Photo / Herald on Sunday

An hour or so north up SH1 on the Tutukaka coast, small town living by the sea draws Aucklanders such as Chris Leeper. Leeper has gone fishing for good at 56 after working 80-hour weeks running a furniture polishing business in West Auckland. He loves the low crime - his Auckland neighbours had their home cleaned out twice by burglars.

"The burglaries up here are someone takes a push bike." He motions northward, "Crime up here is basically growing marijuana and supplying the Auckland market."

Auckland-raised Natasha Kerr, 30, has just bought a house in Ngunguru with her American partner. She's a diver, he works at the Tutukaka marina. They came for a season and ended up staying. It's a good place for their 11-month old son, Bailey to grow up.

"The school is right on the beach. When pods of dolphins come into the estuary the kids go down to look and play in the water."

Again, it's a community thing: a developer plans to build houses along the sandspit; the locals aren't having it.

A yellow sticker implores Save the Sandspit on the bumper of ex-Aucklanders Vanda and Mike Knowles' car. Again, it's a community thing: a developer plans to build houses along the sandspit; the locals aren't having it. Mike hands Vanda, a relief teacher, an ice cream.

"Can you believe anyone would want to do that?" she asks, already sure of the answer, gesturing towards the pristine gold and blue.

Full story...


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