Thirty Seven Days On North Island 10

31 January 20

Posted at 8:48

31st January 2020. Today as suggested yesterday it was quite clear this morning so we went back up Mt Teranaki with an objective of photographing with the drone. By the time we got there clouds were swirling around the mountain in what we were told were 75mph gales at the summit. We went to a viewing point near the visitor centre at 1000m and got some drone pics but all had varying amounts of cloud swirling around. I was content though. We went into the centre had a coffee and looked at the literature then noticed out of a door that the mountain was totally clear. We went out the door, past three rangers having a coffee break at some tables to a patch of short grass where I took this shot with my Nikon.Mount TaranakiMount Taranaki


I then set the drone up and it took off. Within a minute or two one of the rangers came over and announced the use of drones is prohibited in the national park. I quickly took some pics with it, apologised and expressed my ignorance and said it would return to home base immediately. The ranger was a nice guy, he explained the reasons for the ban and we discussed various aspects of the changing use of drones and drone technology. He was totally cool and quite apologetic. When we departed he said thanks for your understanding and I hope you got some good shots! I did but I’ve not downloaded them yet.


We left New Plymouth today to drive about 250km to Hamilton for an overnight stay before going up North to Russell tomorrow (about another 500km). The first 150km plus out of New Plymouth was though some magnificent scenery but no towns or villages. That is until you arrive at Mokau. Mokau consists of a motel, a butchers, two cafes, a museum an art gallery and a jail! Along with a few houses. Mokau is on the estuary of a river and is famous for whitebait. Well I say famous, there are a lot of whitebait fishing platforms on the river, the history of whitebait fishing is recorded in detail in the museum and the two cafes and no doubt the motel have endless variations of whitebait on the menu. For such a small place the museum is amazing, it’s as though every ones goods and chattles have been left to the museum for the past couple of centuries. The jail is in effect part of the museum, it is a single cell with a bed and a ball and chain although photos of it in use show a massive steel ring with about eight manacles on it so the cell held more than one prisoner.Mokau Jail

Mokau Jail

Today being the 31st January means it is the day the UK leaves the EU, in fact as we are 13 hours ahead here we will have left in about three hours time. It has been interesting here to get a totally new and different perspective on Brexit.

When we were in Napier I chatted with an elderly busker, brilliant musician, when he realised I was English (I called him ‘mate’ so initially he assumed I was an Aussie) he announced in a loud voice “1973 was such a sad and upsetting time”. 1973 I thought what on earth happened that year? Well we got married is all I could think of but why would that upset and sadden a Kiwi busker? Of course he may not have been a busker then but he can’t have had any sort of desires for Marilyn that I had dashed by our betrothal, could he?

“ We lost our trading agreement with the UK overnight, took us years to recover, in fact we never really have.” He said with a heavy heart. “Hopefully us and the Aussies can agree new trading arrangements when you are out of the common market, we cannot do enough to support you.” Last week in New Plymouth we met a couple who farm at Palmerston North and we heard a similar story. When the UK joined the EC (EU) the dairy industry in NZ crashed and if fact the country only survived because a dispensation was made for frozen NZ lamb to be sold to the UK. Australian famers had the same experience. Although both countries joined Asian trading markets apparently it has never been the same and the pain still runs deep. So in this part of the world Brexit is offering some hope.

After these surprising conversations I though about it. After WW2 the UK encouraged unskilled people without a bright outlook to make a new life in Oz and New Zealand. In fact I remember as a child in the fifties when folk could emigrate (by ship) for just £10 and have an opportunity to totally change their lives and life prospects. Well many did, thousands in fact and many of those who emigrated ended up in the farming industry often developing their own farms from scratch. The business model for this was a trading agreement with the UK. So imagine having worked your socks of for twenty years and established a lifestyle and business from scratch for the ‘Mother country’ to cut the umbilical chord overnight. Wow! I’ve never seen this side of the coin before.


On the subject of leaving the EU if you have not seen it already take a look at