Kaikoura 2012 – the year in review
In the last of the 2012 year in review, Emma Dangerfield looks back over the final four months of the year, September to December.
A petition against the proposed new civic building which will house the library, museum and council offices was started by concerned resident John Taggart in September. Mr Taggart was concerned that the community had not been adequately consulted over the project, and he called for it to be stopped and reconsidered. Mr Taggart was also worried about the cost of the project and its implications for the ratepayer some light entertainment in the form of a textbook ‘‘cat-up-a-tree’’ story. Two-year-old tabby Libby was stuck up the tree for three days before being rescued by the Kaikoura volunteer fire brigade.
The Kaikoura police team was up to full force by September with the arrival of the last new constable, Mark Addison, from Hawera.
In conservation news, a large area of the Waiman River Reserve was given an opportunity to flourish thanks to a collaboration between Environment Canterbury, Forest and Bird and a local farmer. A number of native trees including kahikatea, red beech and rimu were planted among a kanuka forest by a group of volunteers, and the area has been fenced off to stock-proof it and allow the planting to grow.
Local schoolchildren also played a part in looking after their surroundings in September for the Sir Peter Blake annual beach clean. Among items retrieved from around Kaikoura were a large number of tyres, furniture and a television set.
September in Kaikoura will with any luck become synonymous with classic car event the Kaikoura Hop. Organiser Doug O’Callahan pulled out all the stops for the 2012 event which, in just its second year, attracted a staggering 500 classic cars, their owners, friends, family and car fanatics.
And on the same weekend, Kaikoura’s very own bird, the huttons shearwater, was welcomed home with a street party, with an official ceremony, street parade, stalls and much more.
For some of Kaikoura’s teenagers the last week of September will have been spent recovering from the gruelling pace of the year’s Cactus programme, which culminated in the longest day on September 23. For more than two months they had been put through the ordeal of early mornings, drill and discipline, before they rose to the greatest challenge of all, pushing themselves to their limits to complete the course before graduating in front of their proud parents.
Te Aomihia Te Huia began to get her name and voice out there when she entered the wildcard section of the New Zealand’s Got Talent competition.
This was just the first step to Te Ao performing out and about in the community and she is now gearing up for an audition on the upcoming X-Factor New Zealand show.
The first weekend of October was, of course, Seafest, and things seemed to go off with minimal disruption and disorder this time. Police praised the behaviour of the vast majority of revellers, their only point of contention being the number of drink-drivers still out on the roads.
But the sad news of a burnt out van, found at Meatworks, containing a body, brought the community back down to earth two days later. The van turned out to be that of surfer Adam Toleman, whose remains were located inside the vehicle. Adam, 28, had lived in Kaikoura on and off for about four years, and had many friends in the area. He was farewelled later in October by friends and family with a beachside memorial. The local surfing fraternity paddled Adam’s younger brother out to scatter his ashes.
The community also said goodbye to Doug O’Callahan, who moved up to Wellington to pastures new after candidly talking about his struggles running a business in Kaikoura. Doug, who ran his Photo and Frame business in West End for more than 20 years, was the inspiration behind the hugely successful Kaikoura Hop event and has vowed to return each year to keep this going.
Kaikoura Raceday, at the end of October, was its usual mix of glamour and sunshine, with the weather turning on its charm to produce a great day’s racing and socialising.
On-course turnover was up on the previous year, signalling a possible sign of things to come for the economy.
In racing, the crowds flocked to see favourite I Can Doosit romp home to claim his 15th victory on end.
The beautiful McGovern sisters impressed again in the Best Dressed competition, but this year’s deserved winner was another local lady, Polly Ruawai.