Tim cel­e­brates life at school

Tim Coul­ing, 54, fa­ther, grand­fa­ther, hus­band, prin­ci­pal at Okai­hau Pri­mary School.

The Bay Chronicle - - CONVERSATIONS - What do you like best about the Far North? How long have you lived here and where are you orig­i­nally from? What do you like least and how can we fix it? What’s your favourite eatery? Your high­light of the week? Who is the Kiwi you most ad­mire? The spot i

It’s the peo­ple, I re­ally like the peo­ple. I find the peo­ple in the Far North are very friendly, and very wel­com­ing, in such a wide va­ri­ety of set­tings. There are so many tal­ented peo­ple up here hid­den away and you don’t know about them, in lit­tle com­mu­ni­ties like this or any­where.

I’ve lived in Kerik­eri and Okai­hau since 1979, so I’m al­most a lo­cal. Prior to that, I did my early school­ing in Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast, near Welling­ton.

I think the worst thing is the roads, be­cause if they fix the roads, that could help fix em­ploy­ment, be­cause it seems our main in­dus­tries are too lim­ited. Ei­ther farm­ing or forestry for peo­ple leav­ing school to go into. When you travel south of Auck­land, you re­alise what roads should be like and then the South Is­land is in­cred­i­ble. The other thing with our tal­ented peo­ple - I’ve al­ways said the lo­cal rugby tal­ent is the best I’ve seen, but un­for­tu­nately, I think al­co­hol and drugs have made a huge im­pact not only on sports but on our whole so­ci­ety up here.

At home, I love Lynne’s cook­ing, but if we are go­ing to go out for some­thing to eat we would go to the Cafe Cinema with Mats. We thor­oughly en­joy his food.

The fun times at school, and see­ing those eyes that light up in the chil­dren here at Okai­hau Pri­mary. I en­joy go­ing to taek­wondo, I’m train­ing to­wards my fifth dan. Also see­ing the kids and be­ing with my fam­ily.

One of them is Taek­wondo Mas­ter Paul McPhail from Auck­land, be­cause of his ded­i­ca­tion to a mar­tial art from when he was 13. Now he is one of the world lead­ers, and co-lead­ing an or­gan­i­sa­tion with 4000 mem­bers in NZ, which is al­ways ranked in the top three in the world in taek­wondo. And a few of those world champs have come from up here - both of my daugh­ters have won medals at world champs, and it has taken us all over the world. Also how he has dealt with ad­ver­sity in his own life. My wife Lynne, is such a tal­ented lady. She has worked for a long time with chil­dren with spe­cial needs, and is now work­ing with the deaf com­mu­nity teach­ing her­self sign lan­guage, and she is a taek­wondo widow, since I’m away about 10 hours a week.

I re­ally like In­let Rd, it takes you down to some beau­ti­ful beaches, and you can launch a boat de­pend­ing on the tide, not that I have any time to go fish­ing.

Search out all those amaz­ing peo­ple who are do­ing in­cred­i­ble things in the Far North and make sure their sto­ries are told and high­lighted. There are some amaz­ing peo­ple, like the ones who live com­pletely off the grid. I think it is im­por­tant those sto­ries are shared.

Work on the fam­ily farm, and work­ing away by my­self what­ever it is, it takes my mind space away from school and ev­ery­thing. It’s thor­oughly en­joy­able. I would also like to spend time with my grand­daugh­ter Lily.

LOOK WHO’S TALK­ING Tim Coul­ing says the best thing about the Far North is the friendly, wel­com­ing peo­ple.

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