The vil­lage that ‘has it all’

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BAIN

‘‘It's a bit of a cliche to say, but this is what God­zone is all about.’’ Pat Coles

It might be a bit wide eyed, but peo­ple liv­ing in a small Waikato vil­lage think they have it all.

Be­ing stuck in rush hour traffic like many just isn’t for them.

They can usu­ally get home from Cam­bridge’s town cen­tre, in peak hour traffic, and be en­joy­ing their first glass of red wine in seven min­utes.

Nes­tled into the hill­side, Maun­gakawa Vil­lage has be­come a haven with stunning ru­ral views and has the feel like the hit 1980s show Cheers, where you can es­cape the world and ev­ery­one knows your name.

Pat and Marie Coles have lived in the vil­lage for 14 years and seen it grow from 10 houses to 100.

It’s mainly fam­i­lies that have made the small vil­lage home, and Pat said all the chil­dren were known to ev­ery­one.

‘‘It’s a bit of a cliche to say, but this is what God­zone is all about.’’

The vil­lage of­fers the Coles the es­cape they both need from their busy ca­reers.

Pat is in­volved in the fuel ad­di­tive busi­ness and Marie works in the travel in­dus­try.

‘‘Ev­ery home is the hub of the com­mu­nity.’’

Spe­cial times are usu­ally held down the road at the lo­cal politi­cian’s house, and any so­cial de­ci­sions - like the an­nual street party - are made over an­other glass of red wine.

The streets usu­ally come alive over the week­end as a pa­rade of sports­peo­ple make their way up the hill and through the vil­lage as part of their train­ing regime.

‘‘We’re used to them and they usu­ally give us a wave as they pass through.’’

New­com­ers to Maun­gakawa are made wel­come as Aus­tralians Narelle and Grant Hug­gins found out.

‘‘They try to rag us about the Wal­la­bies but we’re from the AFL strong­hold of Vic­to­ria so it falls on deaf ears,’’ Narelle said.

A de­ci­sion was made to up­date the town sign and Narelle, be­ing an artist, vol­un­teered her time to help.

She de­scribes her sign as a ‘‘naive in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a sen­ti­men­tal col­lec­tion of the life­style of the vil­lage’’.

Nearly the en­tire com­mu­nity turned out for the un­veil­ing of the sign, cov­ered by a blue tarp from some­one’s chook shed.

‘‘We were in­ter­ested but re­ally it was just an­other rea­son for ev­ery­one to get to­gether,’’ Pat said.

‘‘Af­ter all that’s what a vil­lage does.’’

MIKE BAIN/FAIRFAX NZ SUPPLIED

Left: Maun­gakawa res­i­dents Pat and Marie Coles have watched their vil­lage grow but the sense of com­mu­nity re­mains. Be­low: Fam­i­lies from The Maun­gakawa Vil­lage turned out for the un­veil­ing of their new sign.

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