Woman praises Toko­roa

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

When Mata­mata’s Scar­lett Mor­gana-rose Nis­bett saw smoke com­ing out of her ve­hi­cle while pass­ing through a strange town at night she was un­der­stand­ably wor­ried.

Nis­bett was on her way to Tai­hape when she de­cided to stop in Toko­roa for din­ner.

It was then that she saw smoke bil­low­ing out from un­der her bon­net.

‘‘I was think­ing what am I go­ing to do? I have in­sur­ance but I don’t have road­side as­sist and I didn’t know any­one in town,’’ she said.

With lit­tle knowl­edge about me­chan­ics, and her part­ner al­ready well away down the line, Nis­bett felt very alone. But not for long. T he hos­pi­tal­ity of Toko­roa’s com­mu­nity soon saw to that.

‘‘These two young teenage boys were busk­ing and they just grabbed all their coins and came run­ning over and said ‘miss are you al­right, do you need any help?’,’’ she said.

‘‘I said ‘I don’t know what’s hap­pen­ing’.

‘‘I was in shock, I thought it was go­ing to blow up.

‘‘They opened up the bon­net and seemed to have a fairly good idea of what was go­ing on.

‘‘We waited un­til it cooled down and then one of them went to a shop and got a bucket so we could put wa­ter in the ra­di­a­tor.’’

She said a lo­cal lady called Lisa also pulled over and later on a man.

‘‘I have driven through Toko­roa be­fore and thought it is not a bad place but from what oth­ers say it gets a bad rep­u­ta­tion so I was sur­prised by the amount of peo­ple who of­fered to help,’’ she said.

‘‘I was so ap­pre­cia­tive of what the peo­ple in Toko­roa did for me,’’ she said.

She said de­spite the two teenagers look­ing for jobs they re­fused pay­ment for their help.

The gen­eros­ity didn’t end there ei­ther as Lisa, who or­gan­ised a lo­cal tow­ing com­pany to take Nis­bett’s ve­hi­cle to a me­chanic so it would be safe for the night, also drove her home. All the way to Mata­mata.

‘‘She had just come back from Auck­land but said she would drive me home and she wouldn’t take any money for gas,’’ she said.

‘‘Words can not ex­press the grat­i­tude I feel.’’ The South Waikato’s fu­ture was a big part of Taupo MP Louise Up­ston’s post-bud­get fo­rum in Toko­roa on Thurs­day night.

Around 20 peo­ple gath­ered for the talk hosted by the Toko­roa Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion at the South Waikato Sports and Events Cen­tre and a range of top­i­cal ques­tions were put to the MP.

One par­tic­i­pant asked why in­stead of the gov­ern­ment pay­ing state house ten­ants an in­cen­tive to move out of Auck­land it isn’t in­stead of­fer­ing it to po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers in ar­eas like the South Waikato.

Up­ston said she could see the pos­i­tives of the idea but felt there could be a neg­a­tive im­pact on lo­cals look­ing for work.

‘‘If we are con­vinced we have searched amongst our lo­cal pop­u­la­tion and can’t fill that job then ab­so­lutely that model may work. But we need to be mak­ing sure we are look­ing af­ter our own first be­fore at­tempt­ing to bring in oth­ers who may also re­quire ad­di­tional sup­port,’’ she said.

Another par­tic­i­pant asked why the gov­ern­ment al­lowed for­eign­ers to take jobs when many New Zealan­ders were strug­gling to find work?

Up­ston said the main rea­son was be­cause there are skill short­ages within cer­tain pro­fes­sions in New Zealand.

Chang­ing the neg­a­tive view many non-lo­cals have of Toko­roa was another hot topic.

Up­ston said now was per­fect timing to re­brand.

‘‘If you think about the Waikato Ex­press­way peo­ple will leave Auck­land and the first towns they will hit are Ti­rau, Pu­taruru and Toko­roa,’’ she said.

‘‘We have al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced the im­pact of the Taupo by­pass and this dis­trict needs to make sure it is ab­so­lutely grab­bing this op­por­tu­nity with two hands.’’

‘‘I do think we have a sales job to do be­cause there is a re­ally big op­por­tu­nity of un­cov­er­ing what we know and what oth­ers need to know,’’ she said.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A Mata­mata woman was over­whelmed by the help she re­ceived from peo­ple in Toko­roa af­ter smoke started com­ing out of her bon­net. Pic­tured is one of the teenagers who helped.

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