Kawerau – what happens when towns die

Kawerau – what happens when towns die

Kawerau, a place where as a child I would spend my holidays with my mother and her new husband. 6 hours by bus from Auckland I would travel with my two younger siblings at the age of 8 years old. There was no worries back then as the bus driver would keep an eye on us and help us change buses at Hamilton and Rotorua.

 

After many attempts of running away and hitch hiking the 265km to Kawerau as a youngster at the age of 13 I was able to live with my mum in this small East Coast timber processing town.

KAWERAU LOGGERS
Logging Trucks

Back in the 80’s Kawerau was bustling as the two major industries thrived. Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill employed almost everyone in town and if you weren’t (like my new Stepfather) you worked across the road at Caxton Paper Products a tissue mill making toilet paper.

Kawerau was an awesome town to grow up, we had a skating rink, geothermal heated town pool and where I spent most of my time the BMX track. I even learnt to weld here, being taken to work by an old girlfriend’s father and being hidden down the back of the workshop to learn the basics.

Kawerau Thermal Pools

Unlike the schools of surrounding towns Kawerau High School had no pool, instead we had the Tarawera River flanking the school grounds. The walking track around the river stretched out for 2km upstream to the Golf Course.

Kawerau was carefully planned and in the whole town there were only two crossroad intersections to reduce traffic congestion and potential accidents.

The towns peak time was the 80’s and since then it’s just declined, the mills have become more automated and the dreams of our fathers of “Uncle Tasman” taking on the next generation dwindled and died. It was only a few years ago Tasman pulled out of the town leaving a town of the 8000 people with no mainstay income. Shops started closing down and now the Town Square is almost derelict.

Now the town grows problems of most poor towns, crime moved in and now the gangs rent the houses and harvest their crops hidden deep in the surrounding pine forests. The beneficiaries have little hope of ever getting employment. There seems to be little hope of the town ever recovering and with the economy of New Zealand in a recession it will be years until we see any growth in the houses we own here. Walking around the Town Square it’s hard to believe that during the early 80’s Kawerau was “Top Town ” in New Zealand 2 years in a row in a local community challenge that was televised and instilled great pride.

Now Kawerau’s brag is that it has one of the largest Police Stations per head of population of any provincial town in New Zealand.

Kawerau GangsOne thing that I’ve learn’t as an owner of 2 houses in the town and from the decline and demise of Kawerau is that I don’t put all my hopes on one dream. In business diversify and don’t depend on one income. when the big boys go, you need to have a plan B, and in Kawerau’s case I believe that the locals thought the good times would never end.

Amidst the despair, the spirit of the locals is still there, sure there are trouble makers in the town and that to some extent is common in all small low socio-economic communities. Kawerau struggles to find an identity that gives it a good light in the mainstream media.

But no matter what happens to Kawerau in the future, those of us who grew up there in the 80’s know that Kawerau was and and always will be the place of driving our parents cars, teen love, first dates, BMX, Roller Skates and White Water Rivers and the Edgecume Earthquake.

 

Emails:

This Blog has raised some interesting feedback, some of which have come via email:

Hi there,
I have been reading what you are saying about our lovely town and have twice tried to write to you from the site but twice lost all I wrote…it just isn’t working.
Anyway, I have lived in Kawerau since 1971 and will also retire here. The town is standing well, not relying on mills any more, not to say industry has gone. Carter Holt Harvey Pulp is committed to at least 25 more years here, AIE machine shop here is one of the biggest in NZ, SCA just moved packaging plant here from Te Rapa, and lots more industry is being explored.
I see you have rentals…we have several here, are caring for them well, and very pleased with our investments.
The town centre is not derelict at all…it is beautiful, even with lots of empty shops, which are seen in all places. Yes, we have a lot of beneficiaries, some not good but many are great people. There are a lot of retired people moving here and loving it. The house prices dropped when there was bad press and a lot of people moved out. That is why we do not appreciate bad press when we are presently doing a great job attracting people here.
I could go on and on, my friend, and will continue you for you if you so wish.
Kind regards from the prettiest and friendliest little town in NZ  🙂
Janet Fookes

 

Hey Wayne,

I have just read your piece on Kawerau and loved it (from just up the road in Noosa!).  I have tried to post a comment but keep receiving an error message.

This is what I wrote:

Thanks for a beautifully written piece that so clearly describes my childhood there in the 70’s and early 80’s.  Having spent 11 years there (from 1-12), there is no other town or city that I have spent longer in to date.  Kawerau, in my memories, is a quaint little town where we walked and biked everywhere.  We played out in the cul de sac until late at night with our friends and rode the main road to the pony club and back on bikes laden with sadles, bridles, brushes and horse feed with lights on our bikes guiding the way.  We too whiled away many hours at the skating rink, pool and BMX track, all within cooee of each other.  I have been planning a road trip back to NZ to retrace my steps, with Kawerau being the most important place on the list.  A lot happened to my family in that little town and I literally want to walk where I used to walk with my siblings and friends.  I am worried about what I might find… Kawerau did a good deal to shape me and the person I am now and has always featured so fondly in my childhood memories.  I am saddened in advance and wish I had more photos of that great little place I used to call home.  

Oh, and if you need any help with your facebook page in terms of increasing the functionality and building your audience, let me know!  I build and manage FB pages for small business.  

All the best with your travels. 

 


Jo Chambers
(another-well-travelled-kiwi-from-Kawerau)

8 Replies to “Kawerau – what happens when towns die”

  1. What a pity about this town I was there in the late 70s and went to school there remember getting six strikes on the hand for swinging my feel in assembly perhaps that’s what the youth needs today

  2. I wrote this post a long time back and it seems to have hit a nerve. In the time since writing Kawerau has undergone a self awareness and is slowly awakening. There’s been a few positive reports and it’s now becoming a place to seek better priced housing for retirees as houses in major city and urban centre’s have skyrocketed in the last few years. Who knows Kawerau may be the Phoenix that rises from the ashes of its past.

  3. Kawerau continues to grow stronger with articles and show stands promoting it under the banner “Kawerau Proud”. We have welcomed at least 100 new residents in the last 6-12 months, with morning teas and welcoming packages! Kia kaha, Kawerau.

    1. Glad to see a revival in the town that I shared so many memories in Janet. We still have a vested interest in what happens in Kawerau as we own a couple of properties there.

    1. Hey Thanks for the positive spin Trevor, would love to see Kawerau rise up again to the great town is once was. It has all the infrastructure there, it just need people with a vision to make it happen. It was only last night that I was looking at house prices. Sure the housing market in Kawerau has gone through the floor. If only the government would offer a decent package for first home buyers …. who knows Kawerau may just have a lifeline. I still own two houses in the town, nothing would please me more than growth…

    2. Be good to see Kawerau become a place of retirement. I had all the facilities once. I wonder if they can be revived and used again. The old hospital could be a palliative care unit. Reopen the town hall as a cafe and movie theater.

  4. If seem I hit a nerve when writing this blog… Here are some of the comments place on a facebook page that I subscribe to:

    https://www.facebook.com/standup.kawerau

    Attiya Samina Tautoko that hard out! The materialistic physicality of the town may diminish i.e. the closing of businesses therefore job losses, BUT the spirit of the town will remain, even though that too may change. Have faith. Kawerau is definitely not dying
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 9:17am · Edited

    Dino Ngaheu Kawerau cmmunity need 2 have meetings, Suggections on what 2 do with in our town, Something where people from out of town would come 2,
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 9:13am via mobile

    Stand Up Kawerau We have got local body elections coming up now, and central government elections coming up next year. Start writing letters to the editors, posting suggestions on here, and letting the councillors and mp’s know what we want! They can’t deliver want they dont know… We have whanau all around the world, at least this way those who can’t get here can contribute too
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 9:15am

    Jade Huriwhenua Kingi born and breed Kawerau go hard stay hard
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:16am

    Andrea Boyde It’s the perfect place for outdoor activities. Maybe actively advertise overseas for marathons, hiking events, fishing, hunting, kayaking etc etc. The possibilities are endless.
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 9:17am

    Jaytala KauriRose Growing up in Northland, soooo many factories shut, glass works, Bendon, meat works/Moerewa, e.t.c… it did utterly GUT communities to becoming just a shell, it was really horrible to see what it did to towns and families. None were the same again but what some did was hold together as a community, it was more about being artist and using the tourism angles up Northland, which probably could be done here? Kawerau just needs the right angle. I can remember how many business shut just before Christmas and all the people forced off their land via the banks, every area has it’s bad times.
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:21am · Edited

    Natasha Callan there is plenty to do in this little town, the trouble makers are only bored because they are too lazy to get off of their backsides and actually make it happen. We have a Youth Hall in which they are more than welcome to hang out instead of causing trouble, the skate park, swimming pools, river, etc etc. There are plenty of courses they could enroll in to upskill themselves around town. Gees if I caused as much trouble as some of these trouble makers cause, she would kick my arse from here to kingdom come. There is no excuse for the crime that happens, but as many of us locals know it is mainly a small group of young adults/teenagers that do it.
    Like · Reply · 7 · June 3 at 9:20am

    Sean Stevenson it had a good run. everyone will be in perth soon anyway
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:20am

    Attiya Samina I won’t be….
    Like · 5 · June 3 at 9:21am

    Jaytala KauriRose The grass is not always greener, besides there are groups startin up in Aussie that are pretty anti invasion.
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 9:23am
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    Courtney Adams Kawerau is an awesome place to live, its not dying at all. I miss living there
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:21am

    Natasha Callan The parents need to be held responsible for the actions of the youths and the older ones need to be held responsible for there own actions. Get them in with some of the local mob that is actually helping to clean up Kawerau. give them something to take pride in
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 9:22am

    Irene Mercep not everybody survives in aussie sean as seen on a recent doco here in nz and that means even those that “had” good jobs economic times make it harder on them because they are the ones made redundant and living on the street, not sure there are many living on the street in kawerau….. wtg kawerau nows your time to act with the pen.. its mightier then the sword….. and good luck for the town meeting…. much aroha from me….
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 9:37am · Edited

    Lorri Anne Adams True. I knew someone from Whakaz that went over to Perth last year, raving on about how she was going to be “living the dream” – back 6 months later with her tail between her legs, it’s not as green over there as it’s being painted.
    Like · 1 · June 3 at 10:03am

    Irene Mercep natasha the youth/and older ones are to be held accountable for their poor choices with the parents standing there looking on… new learning curve
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 9:23am · Edited

    Natasha Callan im meaning like the under 15s with that statement. the ones that the courts wont touch. The parents should be held responsible for neglect or bad peranting or something. if they took more interest in the childrens activities most of this could be stopped
    Like · 1 · June 3 at 9:24am

    Irene Mercep oh i understood what you meant but i have said a while back they need to have someone int he courts that give 6 lashes of the cane to them ones in front of parents etc… maybe the message be driven home ….. they do this overseas…and the crime rate is zilch… would that possibly work here i think so because it didnt harm any of us that got the strap or cane even at school….. we are better citizens and talk to the tough guyz they were tough growing up but theyre better citizens now….
    Like · 3 · June 3 at 9:27am
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    Cindy Sorensen I loved growing up in Kawerau!
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 3 at 9:24am

    Irene Mercep my sister has lived there for years with her family and bought her children up there, i have been there several times… theres plenty to do and see if you wanna get out and about love the scenery there
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 9:31am

    Cindy Sorensen i pass through every so often to show my kids and hubby where i grew up….its such a beautiful town but not sure i would feel safe walking around the streets like i used to when i was young which is sad!
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 9:33am
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    Nicole Avae Williams how can u say a parent is neglecting their child because of a choice he/she makes not all are like that….
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:31am via mobile

    Natasha Callan not all are neglectful, just the ones of the like of the group that causes trouble. they would rather spend time boozing and smoking it up. some of them have no idea where their children are or what they are doing. I dont mean to say to mollycoddle the children, just take a genuine interest in them and what they are doing
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 9:35am

    Irene Mercep we know this nicole but it gobsmacks me when these kids push the bounderies and the good parents are at a loss on what to do…. something needs to be put in place to help everyone
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:32am

    Irene Mercep dont think onesided on anything there are no bounderies all should benefit for a safer community and those that cause the grief need reeling in and re programming with a hands on education for both the parents and kids side by side…. this was what paula bennifit and a couple of others were supposedly be doing in this town….
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:34am

    Nicole Avae Williams it would be nice to stop all the blame and as a community find ways of keeping kids occupied. just saying
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 9:36am via mobile

    Attiya Samina creating employment for the youth of Kawerau…..
    Like · June 3 at 9:37am

    Jaytala KauriRose Kawerau has a HUGE amount of things for kids to do, but not all kids actually WANT to do anything.
    Like · 3 · June 3 at 9:38am

    Natasha Callan we have activities available to them, the youth center for example, the swimming pools is another, the skate park, bmx track etc etc, all of these as far as i know are free
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:38am

    Dino Ngaheu Well thats what pulling a community meeting is about is helping our KAWERAU TAMARIKI’S not rubbishing them, They our future, They’ll be the 1z saying the same thing’s we are in 20years if we as a WHOLE dont do anything about it, Smacking is banned i never hit my kidz and never will, They need guideness, We, Us, Can help them so lets stop harassing these poor kids and help instead, Lift there spirits up mate thats what they need, A helping hand, If parents cant we can, Cause we are KAWERAU kiaora
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 9:38am via mobile

    Tioke-Wilson Whanau As long as whoever lives there, loves it then it will never die and there are so many of Kaweraus whanau that absolutely ‘LOVE IT’ so it will live on. So many people are working on making our town thrive, get on the band wagon people and enjoy the ride, yippy kai-yay!
    Like · Reply · 12 · June 3 at 9:39am

    Camilla Karehana Unfortunately change in every place is inevitable. I see a lovely community trying to adapt and cope with the economic change which has deeply affected it, as for youth crime, it is one of the symptoms of poverty and generational cultural displacement.
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 3 at 9:39am via mobile

    Irene Mercep dino there are those that set the guidelines for their kids but kids will be kids think they a bullet and bomb proof and will go over and past the bounderies…thats where they need to be guided not to go…..
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:40am

    Dino Ngaheu Things they like 2 do is a start, Asking them what they want 2 do, Hunting, Fishing, Day trips outtings, Etc
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:40am via mobile

    Jaytala KauriRose As a community we shouldn’t single out one issue. Kids might mean moral help but businesses need help too maybe if they saw a couple of businesses do well then they could see their future is going to be not just the dole cue.
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:41am

    Irene Mercep what a bout a bunch of adults starting up a weekend of events like taking them kayaking walking/ Mt tawawera now i dont think that is free but it would be great if someone could organise that and make it free give them something to learn
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:42am

    Reece Hepi find a way to attract people coming from rotorua to whakatane and vice versa into town instead of by passing it there are now signs attracting people to it.
    Like · Reply · 6 · June 3 at 9:42am

    Natasha Callan Signs out by the loop road intersections, and not just when you enter the town would be great, especially when we have like the kayaking camps, or woodskills
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 9:46am

    Irene Mercep maybe do what they did years ago in auckland where they got the guyz that were on work release gangs and improve the town perhaps that can be done with those that are on the dole to improve what needs to be done something the council can look at…then when you drive past this you know who made that look better….. they did this for years then it stopped change of government… like this one ….
    Like · June 3 at 9:52am
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    Irene Mercep there are two sawmill towns that are suffering at the hands of displaced youth or just plain stupid and nawdy people by the choices they make… for what a thrill…. well guess they dont like obeying the law….time spent to change a few mind sets…. about the choices they make and show what the consequences are… theres the youth juvenile facility just out of rotorua …. havent heard to much about that but have encounted a mentor to those that come out of those facilities and say that some still come out with a worse attitude then they went in…. so do you think they work…. perhaps what you as a community are looking at for guideance with kids and adults…that need help maybe the answer and you guyz become the role model… which would be awesome as well…
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:46am · Edited

    Irene Mercep i lived a long time there my parents were there for nearly 50years
    Like · June 3 at 9:47am

    Irene Mercep i still have family there now.
    Like · June 3 at 9:48am

    Jaytala KauriRose Since kids seems to be the main issue people want to support, what about the kids ideas? They do often have some neat ideas. Can’t they do some painting of buildings? or something …….
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:48am · Edited

    Attiya Samina I think the purpose of youth council is a great way for the kids to be heard…..
    Like · 1 · June 3 at 9:57am

    Irene Mercep but attiya it will be the same kids that do this all the time not the ones that are aimed at, thats the problem there are a lot of kids dont like what other kids do…. it happens i have seen youth councils disintergrate because of this…. guidance with adults to try it all…
    Like · June 3 at 9:59am
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    Irene Mercep the kids ideas are always taken in i know this but then it gets abused so what do you do….guess its a few in the miniority, its about also making the town safer also for everyone not just the kids or other kids…and the stopping of assaults and theft…..
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:49am

    Dino Ngaheu Iv just moved back 2 kawerau after 17year’s and we took our kids up 2 tarawera falls, Putauaki, Man they loved it and even though they been there before but they still love going up there, Even me lol
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:52am via mobile

    Irene Mercep yep i do to when im down there…. theres a walk that goes over that ridge to the doc area on the other side…. mind the day the family walked from the where we picniced on the doc side did the walk back to the falls, we drove round and walked down to meet them… theres enough areas for biking as well…
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:54am

    Irene Mercep my sis and bro inlaw kyaked from there somewhere to where we were on lake tawawera, to the jetty where we stay, as my daughter and a couple of her friends tend this place and keep it tidy, and do matience, they also take kids on school trips there…. its a good learning place was meant to mentor youth….
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:56am

    Stand Up Kawerau There are youth problems all around the country; just as there were when we were the youth. Our town is no better and no worse than every other town… lets come back to growing our town… loving us as a tourism – we have started on the adventure tourism… what else?
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 9:58am

    Frances Smith kawerau is a beatuiful town to visit. i have great memoories of kawerau, i had memories of swimming at some pool when i was young , apon seeing this photo of this pool added up this was the pool i had memories of. Memories are made of good times.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:59am

    Phill Tioke Its not the kids youth crime is bad but alot of other places have it aswell dosent mean its on the brink of extinction its not about the. Kids the adults need to band together and come up with a strategic plan to generate revenue kawerau tourisim could give back to the town and generate jobs and attract more business 20 mins from a beach 10 mins to a lake a beautiful river running through it a mountain and forest to wake upto i i would say your sitting on a tourist goldmine but thats just my opinion
    Like · Reply · 10 · June 3 at 10:00am via mobile

    Nyree Ngaheu Tourist Goldmine Cousin, not to mention the Green Energy capabilities, Norske Skoog in conjunction with the koretake Government could pull this off, why they dont see the benefits, I will never know, YOU SUCK EGGS PRIME MINIDA!
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 11:43am

    Irene Mercep dont those adventur tourisims start in rotorua and go through the bay of plenty?? which includes water rafting kayaking, walking, tramping etc…..
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 10:01am

    Phill Tioke Y are you still going on about the kids the kids have a voice yes but its only a percentage of who make kawerau you give a kid a choice they will say need more activities need more stuff at the skate park want more trips thats not gonna help kawerau you need to come with a plan to make money before you can spend money
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 3 at 10:12am via mobile

    Dino Ngaheu Well lets make it happen kawerau lets make a stand before ALL this blows in the wind,
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 10:13am via mobile

    Irene Mercep do more things like activities gold coin donation and get business’s to get on board as well…
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 10:16am

    Irene Mercep get the local butcher or if you have mad butcher donate sausages let the kids run sausage sizzle…. thats a start…. have skate board comps in the skateboard park, gold coin entry get someone to donate a trophy…make it a 6 monthly thing something like that…
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 10:19am

    Irene Mercep do outdoor movies (bloody cold down there at present lol) but something like that even in a hall somewhere…..
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 10:20am

    Sherryl Phillips the businesses already donate a lot to fundraisers. Kawerau is a good town and no worse than anywhere else.
    Like · Reply · 6 · June 3 at 10:22am

    Irene Mercep or even so… see through the sports people to get celebs to come there im sure it can be done perhaps organise things through that avenue….
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 10:22am

    Camilla Karehana hmmm i do not see education on here, most valuable tool to give nga tamariki and one of the core issues behind lack of job choices and lack of vision for their future. stronger community support for that and helping parents to see how education will benefit their kids and offer some support for them too. Parents are neat when it comes to sports back home im confident they will tautoko education aswell
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 10:26am via mobile

    Stand Up Kawerau Already happening Irene Mercep, Jordaan Tuitama of KawerauYouth MentoringProgramme, and Kawerau Youthcouncil and other agencies have already organised a lot of high profile visitors to encourage sports. Jordaan has weekly basketball based activities for the youth; Ricky Paul does a lot with music and the youth centre.
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 10:26am

    Irene Mercep thats kool…. thanks for letting me know… was just hadnt seen anything about these things all good ont hat one…
    Like · June 3 at 10:28am

    Phill Tioke Yea thats nice and all but i dont think thats the problem irene a dying town means that it has lost a substantial amount of business which means it needs a radical strategic plan to turn the town around so sausage sizzle is a good start but people need to wear your money making caps by the way what is happenin with the forest headquaters at the top of the steps
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 10:27am via mobile

    Attiya Samina I agree Phill, there needs to be some kind of strong financial commitment and sometimes that means going outside of community to do that.
    Like · 3 · June 3 at 10:31am

    Irene Mercep the town is not dyi8ng phill lol its still functioning with the mill etc…. and people are still living there they havent turned the lights out yet….. pulling together will turn it round… it wont happen overnight i know this….
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 10:30am · Edited

    Camilla Karehana Stimulating the economy is tricky, and tbh Norske skog corporate governance has no regard to social responsibility , the damage is done and the time to contest the way local workers were ignored has past. A plan to stimulate business structure is great question to put forward to our local electorate, and Kawerau council and ask what is being done. Who is our closest National MP? that is there area of specialty, and why many voted them in.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 10:38am via mobile

    Stand Up Kawerau Todd McClay MP – and would be good to hear from him. I have recently attended a hui where the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment were presenting some research but be good to have wider distribution of thoughts…
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 10:42am

    Phill Tioke I know its not dying but to the rest of the country kawerau is in the spotlight as a dying town i was there a month ago and my town was still alive and kicking but somthing needs to happen before it does remember this only my opinion so i dont mean to offend anyone
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 3 at 10:38am via mobile

    Camilla Karehana Thats great! Lots of facilities that could be utilised and local resources that have the potential to generate wealth (geothermal) and just to add on to my education rant computer programming in school would do wonders for the kids , its technology , its the future its relevant to their generation and there is a massive demand due to lack of qualified programmers . “end rant”
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 10:49am via mobile

    Nyree Ngaheu Kia ora Stand Up Kawerau!! To all the whanau who are moving into a positive future for our town, let us link arms We see the message in front of us so clearly, STAND UP!!!!! Kawerau is only lost to those who dont love her, to those I say, SIT DOWN or GET OUT!!! Let us remember the message it is simple but clear, STAND UP FOR KAWERAU, United & Strong. I have lived happily in Australia for almost 16 years & am currently preparing to bring my children back to NZ to live. Money will NEVER REPLACE Whanau, Whenua & Te Reo Maori…… Tihei Mauri Ora, Bleh!!!!!
    Like · Reply · 5 · June 3 at 11:32am

    Brian Simpson Every time I go back the town is alittle more hollow… people are doing less apart from the good people trying to get Kawerau back on the map…. but to do small things only delays the end… something big needs to find its way there to stay something good for the people of Kawerau… not all this gang bullshit that plagues the town as it has done for far too long…. yes I left never to live there again but I still come back to see mates and whanau… but the shear prospect of trying to get the best for my kids keeps me away.. I feel sorry for all those good people trying to make a change for the good of the town and people when there are so many fuck witts that seem desperate to stuff it all up..
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 11:36am via mobile

    Owen Edward Anderson Reading all of this says to me that people are looking at the symptoms rather then the cause…as a fairly frequent visitor to your truly amazing town it would seem to me that in the event of your so called major industry moving out then you need to move something in, you have stunning resources about you, both natural and human, maybe you need to think of making your home a destination with your special (maybe even call it ‘niche’) brand of down home hospitality being your major driver. Maybe you need to take a good look at what you’ve got and work to those strengths and not what you haven’t got or are losing. You already have positive national and international exposure strength in your own home grown celebrities, top models, olympic gold medalists and entertainers, that I am aware of, and probably a lot more if you look. You also have positive past recognition as being the top town in NZ. These home grown assets could assist in your moving forward on the winds of change without having to bring outsiders in. As mentioned earlier in other comments, with a natural playground at your doorstep what say you to becoming a major summer playground and event hosts, and then some! (whilst you wont want to become Queenstown as such, and why would you, I am using this as an analogy in terms of activity to where you could go future to save your town)…..As a start (if not already done or being done) maybe draw up a campaign with a catchphrase to ignite interest to positively promote Kawerau as a town as well as a destination and a blue print for your future, (an example to look to could be “The Absolutely Positively Wellington” campaign, of an ilk) However, one thing I am sure of due to the socially strong and heartfelt comments posted here is that you people have the drive, conviction, tenacity and creativity, and most importantly community to drive your wonderful town to the future. So be it! Oh, and thank you all for your wonderful energy and hospitality whenever I visit…..O
    Like · Reply · 8 · June 3 at 11:46am

    Stand Up Kawerau Thank you for your feedback Owen Edward Anderson… and glad you enjoy your visits to our home town
    Like · June 3 at 11:48am

    Owen Edward Anderson Actually “Stand Up Kawerau” is your campaign! Sing it loud and proud. Go forth and enjoy! O
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 11:54am

    Nyree Ngaheu Amen to that Loud & Proud, United & Strong.
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 12:19pm via mobile

    Nicole Avae Williams im so interested in helping make a brighter future for our town and community and our children….
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 12:23pm via mobile

    Phill Tioke Thats it reece what does the town have to offer the world???
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 12:28pm via mobile

    Brian Simpson To attract the tourist the the town will need better accomodation, river activities, forest tours / camps / regular mountain bike / mx races, moutain trek tours just to name a few of the possible things that could help… its true there is so many possibilites for this beautiful township… just need to get the no hope mafia wanna be’s out to help the first sight image of the town… no tourist wants to roll into town and see patched up muppets owning the place and little american gang clowns pulling their too staunch bullshit… but to do all of those things the town needs to radically change for the good
    Unlike · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 1:00pm via mobile

    Paulette O’Brien Tourism man!! Tap into all the natural resources we have here (Tarawera falls, hunting and fishing experiences, bush stays and tours, the maunga, the beaches and rivers,) we have practically everything queenstown has just no big investors or visionaries, and then build some styley accommodation and a restaurant to please the tourists and visitors (they have nowhere nice to drink, eat or stay here) employ locals in the industry. Clean up the streets of all the little hood rats that seem to be quadrupling by the day, lingering around the town centre like a zombie apocalypse, they’re grosss and uninviting as just waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting innocent!! visitors will at least then feel safe to even stop and get out of their cars to spend money. People dont want to come stay in Kawerau even though we are smack bang jn the middle of some of the most amazing things nature has to offer, they stay in whakatane and rotorua because their just soooo much nicer!! Hmmmm I’m typing this on the go so I may hav more to add later???
    Unlike · Reply · 12 · June 3 at 1:00pm via mobile

    Tracey Tangitu …and Ngatituwharetoa can build tourist accommodation where BUTT’s used to be and use it as an hospitality training centre at the same time
    Like · 2 · June 5 at 8:52am

    Camilla Karehana there were two issues we were discussing 1. how to look at moving forward after the down full in economy and 2 . what can be done to enrich the children and prevent future crisis in terms of crime. Tarawera falls is pretty special and is there any way to recreate geothermal pools in a public capacity (like the savages) , can our maunga provide tramping routes like the nationsl parks do? just some ideas
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 1:02pm via mobile

    Paulette O’Brien Oh I just saw your comment owie!!
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 1:03pm via mobile

    Reece Hepi Your First step Kawerau would be to change the reputation you have with the rest of the country. Because no one wants to go to Kawerau at the moment. There is nothing attractive about it to bring in people, and where there are people there is money.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 1:16pm

    Janet Fookes We know and are doing just that, thanks
    Like · June 3 at 6:24pm

    Tracey Tangitu The town looked priddy well loaded with visitors at the Long Weekend. Kawerau is a venue for many events that attract people from out of town.
    Like · 2 · June 5 at 8:56am

    Natasha Priestley Far from dying! The mill is not everything in our town! Allied Industrial Engineering Limited (AIE) has been in Kawerau since 94 and employs over 60 staff. AIE supports the local community, events and employs local people. Just look at the website to see what they do, http://www.aie.co.nz …..building power stations is just one of the many types of work this small town does! Useless ummmm NO!

    Heavy Engineering with AIE – Allied Industrial Engineering – Kawerau Bay Of Plenty – NZ
    http://www.aie.co.nz
    Allied Industrial Engineering(AIE)is a heavy mechanical engineering service comp…See More
    Like · Reply · 7 · June 3 at 3:54pm via mobile

    Janet Fookes Wow, AIE not only are a huge and successful company, they support lots of little old Kawerau’s great events! Thanks very much Allied Industrial Engineering Ltd!
    Like · 1 · June 4 at 8:18am

    Emma Jackson So who has checked out the latest issue of our little local rag The Echo? Something big planned for early next year….. and if it is supported by this crazy lovable town and its people it really will put Kaweray on the map, and bring people in from far and wide to participate and see what Kawerau is really all about, not articles written about ts demise… maybe even offer the youth something to aspire to….. watch that space :0)
    Like · Reply · 6 · June 3 at 4:00pm

    Camilla Karehana is the echo available online?
    Like · June 3 at 4:15pm

    Emma Jackson Not sure Camilla, but most food places etc in town have copies, its free.
    Like · June 3 at 4:40pm
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    Selwyn Paraha to the whanau o K town and to those who like to diss K town and, who have never even been there, keep your surmising to yourselves. I have spent some years livin in The Mount and now in Welcome Bay and I can tell you that the livin ova in these places is not all its raged up to be. there are people here livin on the side of the main roads coz they cant find affordable accommodation and that after working 56 hours per week at minimum wage. come to Tauranga city around 7am and see the number of homeless checkin out the gutters for ciggy butts and checking rubbish bins for eats. On a brighter side, here in Tauranga, you need money to live coz they spray all the watercress spots, and all orchards are now being sprayed with some pretty toxic stuff so puha is struggling to hang on. so ova here you gotta buy pretty much everything, if that is what is calld livin, give me K town. kia kaha whanau, I think peepz use the media to show off their ignorance. and what luvly pics of my moko at Aucks Animal Farm.
    Like · Reply · 6 · June 3 at 5:23pm

    Ange Hooper Kawerau was when i was growing up and when our kids were growing up a little paradise, i left with the 2 teenagers in 1994 for Auckland. Have since remarried and have an 11 yr old. We decided to return to Kawerau this year, it still is a little paradise, everyone is friendly, living is stress free, i am so happy to be home, there is nowhere else i would choose to be.
    Like · Reply · 4 · June 3 at 6:02pm

    Janet Fookes Great, Ange. I agree, Kawerau is still the great town it used to be 40 years ago. People are seeing it from afar and don’t really know the efforts going in to improve job situation, community relationships and attractiveness to more residents. The best thing people can do is come live here …and I highly reommend it.
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 3 at 6:18pm

    Janet Fookes Oops, i am still learning how to use FB I must say standupKawerau that was great spotting finding and posting that article about Kawerau. I have just written to them, letting them know just how wrong they are. We are hard out promoting Kawerau in so many ways and don’t need that kind of rubbish. Thanks so much for all you great postings.
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 6:54pm via mobile

    Shannon Andrew dead or not, i love coming back from the the hustle and bustle of the city, thats the beauty of it. Great down time for me.
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 6:55pm via mobile

    Janet Fookes (it ain’t dead:-) ) yes, Shannon, Kawerau is so lovely to return to after busy, crowded and relatively treeless Papamoa every fortnight.
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 7:07pm

    Jaytala KauriRose Question: Is Kawerau actually willing to step out of the NZ norm of placing everyone within a stereotype?
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 7:35pm

    Jaytala KauriRose Admin… there are polls on FB that you can make, there are people that can’t always get to meetings or that don’t want to be around yuk woof humans so please with all the people talking at the mo start making polls get % start making the stats for online
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 7:38pm

    Irene Mercep polls doent do anything and im not an admin…. just get on and do the real things that count.;…
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 7:40pm

    Jaytala KauriRose I know humans don’t give a F, but for meetings it might be nice to raise some facts and numbers, during meetings where people take notes on everything stats matter.
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 7:42pm

    Janet Fookes Hi, Jaytala. Sorry but I’m not quite sure what you mean….
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 8:01pm

    Jaytala KauriRose Many have said in this or in the past threads that online opinions don’t matter. But it might be time for some kind of organisation of thoughts. In stead of people just puttin points across they maybe should be noted, as during the meetings only certain voices are heard.
    Like · 2 · June 3 at 8:06pm · Edited

    Attiya Samina The focus has to be community voices are of paramount importance and I think thats a good idea Jaytala, to compile a summary of comments generated from these discussions. Would be a big job for one person. The administrator of this page Im sure would be doing something like this anyway??????????
    Like · June 3 at 8:15pm
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    Janet Fookes Yes, I think so, but they don”t get a chance to express it, and are more focussed on finding food. It isn’t fair but it’s a huge debate as to how such social injustice has arisen. I am just focussed on whether I can help in the environment I am in.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 8:47pm via mobile

    Jaytala KauriRose TRY POSITIVE, uplifting thoughts. Others opinions are NOT to dam those peoples as the don’t fit into NZ culture so stop trying to over talk them as some hear are not just stating the facts for themselves but for others that they hear from. I know my voice does not count but it doesn’t mean I can’t type it if I want to.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 8:58pm

    Nicole Avae Williams is it just me or am i the only one who thinks most of your comments are abit rude???just wondering
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:06pm via mobile

    Janet Fookes I think all opinions count, but FB is a hard place to have a conversation, aye?
    Like · June 3 at 9:10pm

    Nicole Avae Williams u are referring to people as humans and breeding u make the people of our town sound like animals..and wats a yuk woof human?
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:09pm via mobile

    Nicole Avae Williams if i am the only one who thinks that thn so be it.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:11pm via mobile

    Jaytala KauriRose If you have had a good life with people that is wonderful and it should be welcomed and greeted with warmth……… but not all of us have had a good life with humans.
    Like · 1 · June 3 at 9:13pm

    Camilla Karehana haha I think Jaytala has a certain way of looking at things, one that i don’t understand myself but still a valid one anyway
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:15pm

    Camilla Karehana oh i see the “if you cant feedem dont breedem” comment. meh amateur opinion
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:17pm

    Camilla Karehana ih
    Like · June 3 at 9:21pm

    Camilla Karehana meh i respect your right to your opinion but remember your opinion does not have the right to make people feel discriminated against or extremely offended. single mums would be offended by your comment
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:20pm

    Nicole Avae Williams agree and those with large families. and like u say everyone has an opinion and these are ours.
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:24pm via mobile

    Phill Tioke What started as a fight for our town has turned into negative argument amongst eachother and with saying that this is why things dont move foward and takes steps back come on people every opinion counts yes but if its a negative opinion then you need to have a positive solution with it everyone can name faults but this is about a solution so kia kaha jaytala sorry mankind has been bad to you but this isnt the place to clear the air
    Like · Reply · 3 · June 3 at 9:26pm via mobile

    Janet Fookes Couples might too…
    Like · Reply · June 3 at 9:26pm

    Nicole Avae Williams at the end of the day me and my family love living bak home theres really no place like it so gudnight people of kawerau
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 3 at 9:28pm via mobile

    Janet Fookes Goodnight Nicole in good old Kawerau
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 3 at 9:33pm

    Jaytala KauriRose Sorry if I offended people by posts. BUT if we were to have a town meeting that all groups of this town were heard people are going to hear things they might not like. I am not anti single mums & the term I used “breeders” does not mean parents. I didnt even view the conversation as arguing or negative but have deleted posts as sorry for being rude or offensive. I hear the saying “if u cant afford to feedem dont breedem” all the time so didnt think anyone would take that in a negative way. How to get everyone to feel they can talk up in this town without feeling they shouldn’t?
    Like · Reply · June 4 at 4:32am via mobile

    Stand Up Kawerau Jaytala; I have just caught up on the conversation this morning. Thank you for your courage in the above comment – I have obviously missed some of the posts but did think some of your posts from earlier in the discussion had valid points. This is a forum for raising points, and is being monitored by council, and hopefully mp’s – goodness knows they have been tagged in enough! Please do keep with the constructive comments – we all know there are problems but it is time to focus on the future and move forward, and your earlier posts reflected that. Thank you for contributing
    Like · 2 · June 4 at 4:36am

    Camilla Karehana i also see you have deleted some of your comments. the one where you said you like to stir it up and see the aftermath. you are what is called a troll (the internet kind in case you weren’t sure)
    Like · 1 · June 4 at 1:16pm

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