The Coro­man­del Eco Dream

NZ Today - - LETTERS -

Greet­ing Sarah Bradley and Tony Hay­cock, I would just like to pass on my re­gards to Steve Hale who wrote Coro­man­del - Liv­ing the Eco Dream in the #52 is­sue (Oct/Nov 2013).

Not so sure about this eco dream bit: It’s damn hard work be­ing a kindly friend to ‘mother na­ture’!

I would like to gen­tly cor­rect just a cou­ple of things in Steve’s nicely flow­ing ar­ti­cle.

Plans for a lo­cal su­per­mar­ket mod­erni­sa­tion and ex­pan­sion have not been scut­tled; Food­stuffs’ new en­larged Four Square store is go­ing ahead de­spite quite a lot of ob­jec­tion. The prob­lem is sim­ply that this is to be on the wrong side of the main street caus­ing traf­fic night­mares at the west end of our down­town due to re­stricted ac­cess from State High­way 25, the main road from Thames. Other­wise it will be an as­set to the en­tire district. Were it to be lo­cated on the south side of Wharf road, presently a jumble of park­ing, garages etc, ac­cess off SH 25 would be di­rect.

I came to live in Coro­man­del from Auck­land in 1961 at age 26, af­ter hav­ing grad­u­ated from AUC, to try teach­ing. That it not was a dis­as­ter is com­mon knowl­edge; I used teach­ing as an ex­cuse to get es­tab­lished in the district in or­der to be­come a full-time stoneware pot­ter, the first ’Kiwi-born’ one ever to do so. (The late Mirek Smisek of Nel­son, a Czech, beat me by a few years). Driv­ing Creek Pot­ter­ies, sup­ported by the rail­way is the long­est sur­viv­ing hand­craft pot­tery stu­dio/work­shop in the coun­try, an­other thing that makes Coro­man­del Town dis­tinc­tive.

Dur­ing our in­ter­view (when was it please?) I made Steve a cup in my stu­dio us­ing an old im­mer­sion heater in one of my mugs. Now­days you can­not buy the good old quick im­mer­sion heater – I source my collection from sec­ond­hand shops. They’re mar­vel­lous, a cup of boil­ing wa­ter in two min­utes! And, what’s more, the mug or teapot gets heated gen­tly and evenly with­out the ther­mal shock that hap­pens to a pot when boil­ing wa­ter from a jug is poured in. So… a finely made stoneware teapot will last a life­time us­ing an im­mer­sion heater. Trou­ble is, people for­get to turn them off, the wa­ter boils away then the thing would glow red hot and set the kitchen bench and then the house on fire! It’s never hap­pened to me. Pre­sum­ably this is why they are banned.

Also please, could I in­ter­est you in the sub­ject of road ver­sus rail in this coun­try, hop­ing that it is not too so­ciopo­lit­i­cal for you to delve into, yet a very im­por­tant is­sue for this com­ing elec­tion. As an en­er­getic rail ad­vo­cate, rather than a ‘rail­fan’, I have done much writ­ing on this theme in­clud­ing its ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment.

And… you can tell Steve that this left­hander has no in­ter­est in rugby what­so­ever or com­pet­i­tive sports in gen­eral

PS. I must have a crack at the work ‘quirky’ on page 50, cen­tre col­umn. Steve de­scribes my rail­way as quirky. Well ac­tu­ally it is a very se­ri­ous ex­am­ple of civil en­gi­neer­ing which re­cently re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate of recog­ni­tion by IPENZ (In­sti­tute of Pro­fes­sional En­gi­neer­ing NZ). Cheer Barry Brick­ell ED. Hi Barry and thanks for your let­ter. Con­grat­u­la­tions on the cer­tifi­cate from IPENZ. As a travel mag­a­zine we are un­likely to write an ar­ti­cle which de­bates rail ver­sus road, how­ever, I did do a story on the amaz­ing golf cart rail ride be­tween Tau­marunui and New Ply­mouth, so we are big fans of rail jour­neys here at NZTODAY.

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