Iraq to Atiamuri: the Beezneez
You certainly couldn’t say British expats Nigel and Helen Naylor are boring and the same can be said about the changes they’re making at the Beezneez Lodge in Atiamuri.
Nigel, who works as a nurse in Rotorua Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, and Helen, who worked for seven years as the clinical nurse specialist at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, brought the Lodge of State Highway One, roughly 16 minutes south of Tokoroa, just over a year ago.
Since then the couple, who meet in the Territorial Army (now called the Army Reserve) while serving in Iraq, have been clearing extensive bramble and dumped rubbish from surrounding farmland.
The idea is to make it easier to access a stream running through the property which is home to trout, eel, and fresh water crayfish to allow visitors to enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
They are also in the process of setting up a cafe at the front of the lodge, which also has its own bar and games room to encourage people to stop and see what’s on offer.
But perhaps the most noticeable change is the introduction of so many different animals which Helen hopes locals will come and learn about.
That includes several milking goats, horses, ducks, dogs, chickens, and of course Graham the turkey and his girlfriend Icecream.
‘‘Everything has got a name, they are so cool. I just want that real homely feeling and hope the goats will have babies because then we can have local kids coming in to have a go at bottle feeding them,’’ she said.
The couple, who moved to New Zealand 13 years ago, said they plan to stay for the rest of their lives.
‘‘We lived in Papakura and although we have lots of friends up there when we came down here we fell in love with the place. We are both nurses and at the end of the day we have done it for the lifestyle, ‘‘she said.
She said it has been a work in progress but things are starting to come together.
‘‘Everyone goes on about Iraq and asks what we saw. Yes I have seen gun shot and shrapnel injuries but sickness and diarrhoea was the worst of it, ‘‘she said.
‘‘We are more than that though and this is just an amazing spot.
‘‘I think people coming past don’t realise what is actually here.’’ Moko Rangitoheriri’s killers have lodged appeals against their jail terms for killing the toddler.
Both David Haerewa and Tania Shailer lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal last week.
Haerewa and his partner Shailer, pleaded guilty to Moko Rangitoheriri’s manslaughter and were sentenced to 17 years in prison in June. It is thought to be the longest prison term ever handed out for a manslaughter charge.
Arama Ngapo-lipscombe, lawyer for Moko’s mother Nicola Dally-paki, said she was upset by Sahiler’s appeal.
‘‘My client is absolutely devastated that the woman who killed her baby would put the family, including the children of Shailer and Haerewa, through another painstaking event,’’ Ngapo-lipscombe said.
Moko’s death was caused by the systematic torture unleashed on him by Shailer, and her partner, Haerewa.
Moko was kicked, thrown, dropped face first on the floor, bitten, stomped on, had faeces rubbed on his face and was denied medical care.
The abuse only came to light on August 10, 2015, when Shailer called for an ambulance after Moko became unresponsive. He died hours later.
His injuries included facial and neck contusions and abrasions; human bite marks on the left cheek, right cheek and arms; lacerations to his chin, neck, ears and lip; haemorrhages to both eyes; and multiple abrasions and contusions over the skin of his chest and abdomen. His bowel was also ruptured, causing infections, making him very weak.
Haerewa and Shailer supported each other’s attacks on Moko and the ‘‘culture of violence’’ that occurred within the home, the summary of facts says.
The viciousness increased over time. Shailer was observed by a witness biting Moko and Haerewa admitted to continually attacking Moko. He said it became routine to pick on Moko and he didn’t want him around.
A date is yet to be set for Haerewa’s appeal.
Sisters Pauline and Helen Naylor are excited about the opportunities of the Beezneez Lodge in Atiamuri.