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Pink Ribbon Breakfast Morning

The Wooden Farmer and Steinies Hairmasters hosted a Pink Ribbon Breakfast this morning at The Wooden Farmer from 7:00am til 9:30am.

For each attending, $10 was donated to Breast Cancer.

Shortly after 8:00 there was spirited bidding for a number of items on auction.

The Wooden Farmer had many pink balloon groups hanging, the staff were all dressed for the theme as well as those attending.

SeniorNet AGM

The AGM of SeniorNet was held  yesterday at the Putaruru Hotel and after the formal business of Warren Anderson’s Chairman’s Report and Secretary Sheryn Hamley’s Annual Report, those present were addressed by the guest speaker, Grant Sidaway, employed by the Federation as its Executive Officer to manage the organisation at a National level.

Grant Sidaway addressing the SeniorNet AGM.

One aspect of Grant’s talk focused on what he described as the attributes of a tech-dependent world. These attributes were posed as questions.

  • we no longer plan?

  • we’re constantly socializing?

  • best friends don’t meet in person but still remain close?

  • we don’t focus on remembering details?

  • there will always be an expert on hand with information we need?

  • access to information makes us independent?

  • but… we depend on others to share their information to help us?

  • so… actually we are more dependent on each other?

Grant then went on talk about what it means to be digitally competent. There are many frameworks that discuss this concept. Those Grant presented were:

  • getting connected

  • managing information

  • communicating

  • transacting

  • creating

  • problem solving

  • staying safe

These concepts are fairly common in educational discussions throughout New Zealand and there are many variations of them around the world.

Some discussion then took place around the question: is the world a better place with social media?

Following a brief questions section, the SeniorNet AGM was then closed.


Pink Putaruru

Pink Street for the day.

A number of Putaruru Business used the anti-bullying pink theme today to colourful effect.

We catch up with some of the shops in this photographic collection.

Raukawa sausage sizzle.
Anne in the pink…
Unichem Pharmacy…
Hair Affair were in the Pink mood.
The Fresh Start look…
The Pink River Trails.

Pink Cheese?
Van Dyks Pink welcome…

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, mobilising their whole school, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

Pink Shirt Day aims to create schools, workplaces and communities where all people feel safe, valued and respected.


Shop Painting Continues

The exterior painting of Putaruru shop frontages continues.

Recently it was Putaruru Fruit and Veges that received its planned make-over from the painting team working with Putaruru Moving Forward. It looks smart with its clean white and blue colours.

Putaruru Fruit and Veg was one of the original concept images floated at the beginning of the town make-over projects.

Budget Predictions from Musical Sources

We present a few budget comments today that have musical foundations – to set the score right and stave off the blues.


If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street;
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat;
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat;
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
[The Beatles]


What did you learn in school today
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our Government must be strong;
It’s always right and never wrong;
Our leaders are the finest men
And we elect them again and again. [Pete Seeger]


Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long [Jackson Brown]



Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half to seem ’em [Joni Mitchell]


So welcome home, see I made a space for you now
Welcome home from the bottom of our heart
Welcome home from the bottom of our hearts
Keep it coming now keep it coming now
You’ll find most of us here with our hearts wide open [Dave Dobbyn]

Debt Reduction:

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball [ABBA]

The last word goes to our Finance Minister;

Will it get a big tick?

Just a dream, just a dream
All our plans and our all schemes [Jimmy Clanton]

We’ll stop at this point, but feel free to offer more suggestions about the budget today – from a musical point of view.

Tirau News: Lions Make Presentations and New Planter Boxes

Tirau Lions had their monthly dinner meeting this week at The Tirau Golf Club and hosted Hinuera and Cambridge Lions. The Tirau Fire Brigade and Putaruru/Tirau St John were presented with a Cheque for $7,000 each after the Tirau Lions Golf tournament was held in February and raised $14,000.

Jim Phillips, Andrew Main and Shelley Flintoff.

Shelley Flintoft from St John and Jim Phillips from the Tirau Fire Brigade accepted the cheques from Club member Andrew Main and spoke of the work that they are involved in.

It was rewarding to hear that the money they received stays in our community and is used either to purchase new equipment or help fund their invaluable service to us.


New Planters

New planter boxes have been set up at the top of the hill in Tirau, kindly supplied by Notting Hill.

These are now planted up and look very smart.

More about the Draft Putaruru Growth Area Options

Yesterday this site received the greatest number of reads to date. We appreciate that.

Firstly, general maps of Option Area 6. See the overview plan here.

Option 6 Map. The photo locations are indicated by name above and by red dot below.
3D Map Option 6 with photo locations marked by a red dot.

Today we bring you images from 4 locations in option 6 on the Draft Putaruru Growth Area Plan. These images are indicative only.

Totara Street 1
Totara Street 2
Nola Street 1
Nola Street 2
Kennedy Drive 1
Kennedy Drive 2
Kennedy Drive 3
Maple Drive 1
Maple Drive 2
Maple Drive 3

And yes there was another frost this morning, but this cleared earlier than the one yesterday.

Read the other posts about this topic and remember that you can comment from here.

Draft Putaruru Growth Area Options

Following the positive public meeting recently, a revised discussion version of the plan, (May 12th, 2017) has been released by the South Waikato District Council.

We all have an opportunity to provide feedback to the SWD Council before 4pm on Monday, 5th of May.

Today we show roadside taken images of two of the areas indicated in the plan. These photos are indicative only.

The first is taken from the end of Ruru Crescent looking across towards Sholsan Street while the next looks back from Sholsan towards Ruru. The draft plan refers to this as area 8a.

Taken from Ruru Crescent.
Taken from Ruru Crescent.


Taken from Sholson Street.

Our next image is taken from the Scott and Overdale Road intersection and looks back across the land identified as 1 on the draft plan.


Land area 1 from Scott and Overdale Roads.

The establishment of new housing areas is a vital step towards ensuring the growth of Putaruru. Many who presently work in and around Putaruru have to reside outside the area because there is virtually no housing available.

The Putaruru Choir Warms us in May

Mary Heberley conducts the Putaruru Choir.

Sunday afternoon saw the Putaruru Choir presenting a variety concert at St Aidan’s Church. The conductor was Mary Heberley and the pianist, Irene McIvor.

There were also guest artists from the Harmony Chorus, Hamilton and local John McLean.

The opening bracket reflected back on Easter and included an Easter Parade complete with bonnets while Mary was the soloist on The Stranger of Galilee.

A variety bracket included the ever popular Chorus of the Jewish Slaves, (NabuccoHebrew Slaves Chorus), while the audience joined in with the choir’s rendition of Grandfather Clock.

The final bracket featured songs from the musical Fiddler on the RoofIf I was a Rich Man had John McLean as soloist and he also paired up with Fiona Scanlon to sing Do You Love Me?

John McLean
John McLean and Fiona Scanlon

Sabbath Prayer featured soloist Donna Phillips. Carole Fitzgerald added keyboard to some of these Fiddler on the Roof selections.

Donna Phillips

There was a cozy appreciative audience including adults and children for this variety concert – let’s hope they perform again for us soon.


Putaruru Growth Plan: Have Your Say

The South Waikato District Council and Putaruru Moving Forward are working together on a Putaruru Growth Plan to help alleviate the lack of housing and land available for building.

This plan is open for further comment until Monday 5 June at 4pm.

You can give feedback by completing the online survey here or emailing

The on-line Prattler will comment further on this plan early next week.

More Cleaning Up!

Yes – more cleaning up goes on around town. This time, trees are being cleared from land near the Northern Entrance to Putaruru around Woodsy Engineering Ltd.

Did you read The Last Leaf short story linked on yesterdays post? It’s been around for a while now, but has the usual O Henry twist.


Leaves Come

It’s certainly leaf season at the moment and added to that, pockets of strong wind have altered the view in some areas.

Fences have acted like leaf catchers in many parts of town and some trees have given way to strong wind blasts.

But thoughts of the last leaf remind us of a great O Henry short story – if you haven’t come across this before, take a few minutes to engage with and learn the outcome of a painters work.

Use this link to read the short story. The Last Leaf


Can-Am is Now Open…

Can-am is situated next to Phil’s Motorcycle Centre by the main roundabout in Tirau Street, Putaruru. Recently the whole shop area has been painted and fitted out, including the outside yard.

The shop and servicing department are all open now and Kolver Liebenberg manages both of these businesses.

Through a Lens Darkly

Oraka Stream

Yes – we know it’s a wet one today but at the moment there is no flooding within the Putaruru urban area, but some streams are rising and paddocks gathering water.

Buckland Street.

If you have any other images, please send them through, as indicated, in the righthand sidebar.

Te Waihou Walkway entrance.


Putaruru Housing Meeting: Fantastic Turnout

This is an informal report of the South Waikato District Council and Putaruru Moving Forward hosted open public session on the Proposed Putaruru Growth Plan held last night at The Plaza.

Very large numbers turned out for this session, so many so that the venue was quickly changed from the Plaza side room to the main theatre.

We have to report straight away that this was a very supportive Putaruru community meeting and the crowd mood was of over-all positivity.

Because the draft plan has its release withheld to May 19, no images accompany this report of the public meeting.

Mayor Jenny Shattock welcomed everyone to the meeting, followed by PiP Chairman Stu Edmeades who reiterated that the council was 100% behind moving Putaruru forward.

Sam Marshall from the SWDC then introduced his role and spoke about the reversal of 20 years of population decline in the area.

Kobus Mentz from urbansim+, leader of numerous New Zealand and International re-developments, then outlined the draft housing plan for Putaruru.

Kobus shared the target land areas available here and acknowledged that not all of these land owners want to develop their land at the moment. When asked, “will we get all the land owners to sell,” he replied, “probably yes, but we don’t want to die not tying.”

Another audience question concerned another rail crossing further north crossing Overdale Road.

This was replied to along the lines that because of costs, this will probably not happen.

A question about land rezoning was given the positive council reply that this is all possible on a case by case basis.

There was general discussion about Putaruru being bypassed by a new State Highway. This seems to have shifted ground in thinking recently because what was previously denied is now being seen as a 10 -15 year possibility. One audience member suggested shifting the whole of Putaruru south near to where a possible new highway might emerge.

Audience concern was voiced about old houses being transported in a haphazard fashion to parts of Putaruru. Council representatives thought that this could be addressed through the District Plan.

Kobus was asked about population growth – what age groups were looking, what families were coming and was the push towards quality rather than quantity? He answered that quality can come in different sizes. It’s up to us to remind builders of the many good options available – covenants can be placed on the land if necessary.

As far as Council was concerned, Sam Marshall would like to see one sub-division underway with new houses.

It was pointed out that there is a national trend emerging with people from Auckland purchasing housing in the likes of Cambridge, which then saw those that had sold looking in places like Putaruru to re-house – a ripple effect that is positive for us.

The notion of creating an environment where people can live and work arose several times because at the moment there are a lot of project development workers and managers having to live outside of Putaruru. CEO Craig Hobbes spoke about future proofing the town now and in the years ahead.

Another point raised during the evening was the fact that there was often land-banking with no thought of immediate release for building.

There was a concern expressed about houses being too small, to which Kobis replied, “small can be beautiful.

The only minus from the audience point of view came from a ‘reply’ by a council officer about a possible time frame for such proposals to occur. His ramble completely missed the question and it fell upon Craig Hobbs to refocus an answer with an, “about 1 year,” reply.

This informal report of the evening again reiterates the fact that this was an extremely positive night – we can’t wait to see it all getting started.

If we are allowed to share the draft plans when they are released on May 19, we will do so promptly on this site.

Putaruru Tyres Donates Sports Balls to Local Schools

Matt Corrin pictured with St Marys pupils.

Yesterday Matt Corrin from Putaruru Tyres distributed a ute load of sports balls to St Mary School, Putaruru. Other local schools will also receive a quantity of balls – there are about 400 balls to give out in this area!

TRS, (Tyre and Wheel Limited), has arranged for this ball drop in association with Putaruru Tyres.

The ute is nearly emptied!

This NZ scheme is called the Balls in Schools initiative.

Putaruru College: Letter of Congratulations

[This is a copy of a letter sent by the Hon Hekia Parata, Minister of Education, to the Principal and BOT of Putaruru College.]

I was delighted to learn of the improvement in students’ NCEA achievement results at Putaruru College. I want to personally congratulate you and your fellow school leaders on continuing to build on last year’s achievement results.

I understand provisional NZQA results show that students at Putaruru College have achieved significant improvement in NCEA levels 1, 2, and 3 over the past two years. This is an excellent outcome, and one I am sure you are proud of. I was especially pleased to note your Maori and Pasifika students’ results also improved significantly.

Success such as this reflects a combination of great teaching, strong leadership and hard work from everybody associated with the school, including the Board of Trustees, school staff and all leaders, students,  families and whanau. It also reflects the dediciatcation and focus of the school on all students, particularly those that might be of risk of not achieving to such a high level.

The Government wants all students and young people to have every opportunity to succeed in their study and future employment. We know achieving NCEA quallftcations, particularly at NCEA Level 2, is one of the foundational steps in making available the widest possible range of opportunities for future success.

I would like to thank you and your colleagues for the dedication you bring to your roles. It is because of the great work you do in supporting our school leaders and teachers, and their commitment and professionalism, that we are seeing progress such as this in our schools.

New NZ Music Month inspired Quiz


Our new New Zealand Music Month inspired quiz is on-line now.

Simply go to the Fortnightly Quiz Page on this site.

Good luck!

Tread Carefully if Vito Comes to Putaruru…

What will Mona Lisa Vito have to say?

Unique tracking devices have found that the maker of these tread revealing impressions has had a brain shift from the normal position to the right foot.

These latest sightings came to the attention of the now famous Mona Lisa Vito whose original claim to fame was before Judge Chamberlain Haller in 1992. We quote Vito:

When the left tyre mark goes up on the curb and the right tyre mark stays flat and even? Well, the ‘64 Skylark had a solid rear axle, so when the left tyre would go up on the curb, the right tyre would tilt out and ride along its edge. But that didn’t happen here. The tyre mark stayed flat and even. This car had an independent rear suspension. Now, in the ‘60s, there were only two other cars made in America that had positraction, and independent rear suspension, and enough power to make these marks. One was the Corvette, which could never be confused with the Buick Skylark. The other had the same body length, height, width, weight, wheel base, and wheel track as the ’64 Skylark, and that was the 1963 Pontiac Tempest.”

We’ll keep you informed as to whether or not Vito is brought here to examine the markings, in which case we should all tread carefully.

Tire marks

The Modern Maori Quartet in Putaruru

The Modern Maori Quartet, (MMQ) – James Tito, Matariki Whatarau, Maaka Pohatu and Francis Kora were live on stage at the Plaza Theatre, Putaruru on Saturday night, performing their cabaret style show to a large supportive audience.

Maaka Pohatu

The show revisited classic Maori groups from the past and also included a ‘garage party’ session – except as the group remarked, we had paid for this! Also included were original songs from the MMQ’s That’s Us, debut original album due out in September this year.

Francis Kora

“It’s always a humbling experience going back to our grassroots. Growing up just down the road, it’s awesome to have the opportunity to come and perform for the community which helped raised me,” Matariki said.

Matariki Whatarau

He still has fond memories of his time in Tokoroa where he spent 11 years of his life. “I played for the Tokoroa Pirates and most Saturdays we’d make the drive to Putaruru and play the different Putaruru clubs on freezing cold mornings.”

James Tito

“Being Maori there was always the marae down the road which was the centre of our universe but then there was the massive population of Cook Islanders, Samoans, Tongans and other cultures that heavily influenced me and my view of the world.”