Local Opinion

Words matter

I am sitting in Tenerife, a volcanic island with a very volcanically active past, chatting with linguist Dr Hannah Little from the UK about how people perceive risk. A linguist specialises in how our use…

Tamihana and utu

Tarapipipi Te Waharoa was born in 1805 into a world where the principle of utu was first and foremost in how his people lived.  I should note here that the most well-known consequence of utu…

Social times and farm work

The Punga Maru Stud, a splendidly equipped pig farm close to Te Awamutu comprised 75 acres and was situated in a well-sheltered and well-drained valley in a bend of the Mangapiko stream. Remarkable increases had…

Helping community thrive

When I was a child, my parents would often host a party on a Saturday night. Guests would arrive with a flagon and a plate to share. Non-alcoholic punch was always on offer. Singing dancing…

Time to go

I am about 18,000 km way from home alongside a lava flow that destroyed communities in 2021. Here in La Palma, in the Canary Islands off the coast of northern Africa, I am hearing very…

The shooting of Jeremiah Donovan

“You had better go away, or I’ll shoot you”, threatened Jeremiah Donovan when Corporal Hammerton attempted to get the man to rejoin an escort convoy on its way from Paterangi to Te Rore. Each morning…

Our long term plan

Following 18 months of serious investment of staff time and energy, working alongside elected members and our communities, Ōtorohanga District Council can take pride in adopting our district’s Long-Term Plan for 2024-2034. The plan is…

Love thy neighbour

I love how “small town” Te Awamutu feels, especially when I read the local newspaper. I find it encouraging that we have a few constables who care so much about our town and the people…

Flood and fear of famine

A record rainfall swelled the Waikato and Waipā Rivers to their highest levels since the last big flood in 1875. The Waikato River, already higher than usual due to snow water coming down from the higher reaches,…

The hard questions

In a BBC article, a colleague, Professor Matthew Watson, is warning of the dangers of tourism at Fuego – a twin volcano which erupted with deadly consequences in Guatemala in 2018. Watson stopped taking student…

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