Still the champion
Paihia man Rei Rei Morgan successfully defended the title he won last year at the kina-sucking contest at Saturday’s It! Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival, finishing his quota almost before his rivals had started. The pie-eating and oyster-shucking events were won by Alex Ward (Kerikeri) and Shaun Hylton-Cave (Whanga¯rei), while an Aucklander received a prize for a selfinflicted oyster-eating injury. People celebrate milestone birthdays in all sorts of ways, but Auckland man a Rangi Turner is probably unique.
There was no celebration with friends and family when he turned 50 on Tuesday. Instead he climbed aboard his bike at Cape Reinga and pointed it in the direction of Bluff.
Rangi, who suffered a heart attack 12 months ago, said he was riding the length of the country, under the Man Up flag, to raise awareness of and funds for Mike King’s Key to Life suicide prevention programme, Totara Hospice in the Waikato, the Cancer Society in the Bay of Plenty and Man Up in Manurewa, with his wife as his support crew.
A companion who had planned to ride with him had had to pull out, he said, and arrangements for a camper van had fallen through, so the couple would be camping in a tent over the two and a half to three weeks he expected to be on the road.
He can be followed on the Facebook page Rangi’s ride for charity, while donations can be paid into the Kiwibank account 38-9016-0225715-02.
Icame from a family of 11, and we fought like cats and dogs. When I was little I had to go outside and pick up a bag of firewood before I was allowed my dinner. My dad left when I was seven, and mum threw a pot of mashed potatoes over his head. We loved our mum. We all still do.
I came here from Taranaki 30 years ago. I’m Te Rarawa now. I used to come up from Auckland just for the 90 Mile fishing competition. We had an ice cream parlour in Otara. I asked the Mrs if we should sell the shop and move north. We sold it in three weeks and moved up in 1987.
I love it up here, not the scallywags, or the gangs… but it’s the people. I love them. I sell them all of their watercress. I donate some money to the intermediate school for what I do. I have committed myself to that school. I give lots of watercress to the marae when there is a tangi. I started off charging them, but then I knew that wasn’t right. Aroha mai.
When I’m not here, I’ll be out picking fresh watercress every day. I have five farmers who let me pick on their land. It clears the waterways and frees the water. This is what I do. It’s a living.
I’m retired, but I don’t want to be wasting away. I’d rather be doing something.