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New Quiz – 40 Years Since the Death of Elvis

 It’s 40 years since the death of Elvis Presley and to commemorate this we have made Elvis the subject of our latest quiz.

There are 10 questions that ask you to identify what particular film a screen shot is from and 10 questions about missing words from song lyrics. Each question provides multiple choice answers.

As usual we provide the answers at the end. The quiz is able to be taken as many times as you like.

The public domain clips below may provide some clues!

To take the quiz go to the Fortnightly Quiz page or use this link.

Blue Suede Shoes

Treat Me Nice

King Creole

Jailhouse Rock


Te Waihou Planting – Despite the Rain

Yesterday there was plenty of activity at the top end of the Te Waihou Walkway as adults and students undertook bank planting.

The South Waikato District Council and Farm Source were assisting this operation that carried on despite persistent rain.

Students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Hiringa as well as other schools were helping with the planting.

Those present were addressed by Takarihi Temarama before planting began and the SWDC outlined safety procedures for the day.

Small groups at a time were then pulled to the other side in a small craft – (see the short video).

After the planting, those helping enjoyed a BBQ and snacks.


Music at the Bowl?

Two music making installations have been added to the children’s playground in Overdale Street. This may lead to some band on the run with maybe a little swing for good measure.

Budding musicians can sound off in preparation for the Putaruru bowl perhaps?

Other pieces have also been renewed as well as the addition of a new safety layer around the equipment and some revamped edging.

The fence line along the railway boundary to the playground was also being tidied yesterday.

Sadly, it hasn’t taken long for tagging to occur on some playground equipment.

Putaruru Growth Plan Nears Next Stage

The Putaruru Growth Planning project has moved into the next stage which will focus on a proposed zoning change under the District Plan.

“Interest and support for the Putaruru Growth Plan has been exceptionally positive and Council has been extremely fortunate to have the support, guidance and enthusiasm from Putaruru Moving Forward (PMF),” said Mayor Jenny Shattock. “We need to remember that 1,300 sections are not going to be available tomorrow however a District Plan review looking to re-zone land for additional housing has started already.”

The District Plan change process needs to occur in line with the Resource Management Act and that process may take up to a year.

“The Growth Plan looks out 30 years and if all areas identified for re-zoning go ahead we could be looking at around 1,300 sections over the next three decades or more, said Sam Marshall, Council’s Community Group Manager. “The rate of development is dependent on factors like market demand and Council’s ability to service new development with infrastructure.”

“The key aim of growth planning is to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the future development of townships and that the District Plan caters for this growth,” he continued.

A group of passionate people are driving this project through PMF, believing that growth for Putaruru is a must.

“The success of this project is a result of engagement and cooperation between those involved,” said PMF Chair Stu Edmeades. “The relationship PMF shares with Councillors and staff has ensured a complete union with one goal in mind. We are very fortunate in having a supportive community that is passionate for progress to be made, as not only will it give first home buyers an opportunity to settle in a caring community but will also attract high end housing along with business.”

The South Waikato Investment Trust is keen to see the growth plan move forward to foster continued economic growth aligned to population growth.

“The South Waikato District has several advantages for businesses looking to establish or expand here,” said Francis Pauwels of the SWIF Trust. “These include location on SH1, proximity to ports, the expressway, rail links and access to a reliable workforce that can afford to live here.”

According to the Trust realising our location advantages is a three-fold strategy – ensure there is ‘ready to go’ zoned industrial and commercial land,  ensure there is ample zoned and ready land for residential housing and actively market the business advantages.

“Businesses and people are being squeezed out of Auckland due to high rental costs and difficulty in finding workers so it is an opportune time to promote our location advantages,” continued Mr Pauwels.

To read the summary report of the community engagement sessions, click here.

Thank you!

For the last 6 weeks the on-line Prattler operated from Ireland and Paris by means of a small laptop, a camera and varying internet access circumstances – but, we are now back in town, unpacked and will be regularly on-line again from Tuesday.

A big thinks to those that kept you up to date by sending images and text about the local scene. So, Matt, Stu, Sheryl, two Sue’s, thank you for the local news, Simone for additional mural information and Kelly and Debbie for the detailed Tritons rugby success coverage.

Along the way a power outage froze the laptop and a new system had to be installed as a result of which email contact had to be re-arranged.

One night it took one and a half hours to upload 4 pictures to the on-line Prattler, but luckily this wasn’t always the case.

Hopefully the local video, pictures and text we shared from Ireland and Paris were of interest.

Again, thank you to the above news providers. Remember that everyone is able to contribute to the on-line Prattler with text and pictures – see information about this on its website.

Look out for us as we resume our news beat and free on-line service tomorrow, but for now a final image from Paris.

9:30 at night as the sun sets on Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine flows on…

Library and SWDC Service Centre Looking Good


How it looked back in March…

With repairs and all the outside now painted this building is now looking very smart. Congratulations to the South Waikato District Council on this substantial up-grade and also their use of the colours that reflect the PiP overall town painting scheme.

Not so good however is the mess being made by trucks using  the fuel stop adjacent to the Honda shop. Drivers, please respect our town.

Never a Bored Walk…

Today has been one of walking, pausing, purchasing and viewing – oh and some great food as well.

Having just returned to our room we won’t be able to process and share all of this immediately.

A few images from today follow, without explanation – plenty of time for that when we get home.

Shoes and boots are made for walking and soon we will have to walk out on Paris as we start preparing for the flights home.


Notre-Dame, Hugo and the Hunchback…

Notre-Dame Cathedral is real, but the classic film version of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo, (with Charles Laughton as the hunch back), is silent black and white cinema at its best. Looking at the outside of Notre-Dame today reminded me of the first time I saw the Laughton version and marvelled at the intensity, honesty and humanity of the interpretation.

A few selected quotations form the original Victor Hugo novel follow –  each is worthy of considered reflection.

The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation’s effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius…

I tell you, monsieur, it’s the end of the world. The students’ behaviour has never been so outrageous. It’s all these damnable modern inventions that are the ruin of everything. 

Paris, viewed from the towers of Notre Dame in the cool dawn of a summer morning, is a delectable and a magnificent sight; and the Paris of that period must have been eminently so.

But what he loved most of all in the maternal building; what awakened his soul and made it spread its poor wings, otherwise so miserably folded up in its prison; what even gave him at times a feeling of happiness, were the bells.

And today we heard them…

Prattler Paris Welcome a Blast!

Dublin Airport – get out all computers for inspection. Check.

Pass security. Check.

Plane leaves on time for France. Check.

Arrive after a very smooth fight, (a lady pilot at the controls), at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Check.

Bags have all arrived. Check. We beat a man who is still waiting for bags after repeating half a dozen times to his wife when they were being processed in Ireland that he did not touch the tickets .

Head for the taxi cab exit. Check.


A gendarme indicates vous arrêtez.

We are motioned to move back. Gendarme with machine guns as well as airport security arrive. More gendarme, trucks, flashing lights, sirens. It is indicated we hold our fingers to our ears. Pause.

BOOM. An unattended bag is blown up. The debris is cleared. Looks like there was no bomb in the bag but any designer clothing inside is now shredded, or maybe cheese has been extremely processed.

We then get a friendly wave forward and the on the spot Prattler reporters move on to a taxi after traffic around this particular exit once again, is on the move.

The Grim Reaper was averted…

Hi from France. Our welcome was a blast.

Soon we will be out and about in the city. Maybe a noir coffee awaits and dancing in the streets…

So near, so far so fair…

“Thought is the thought of thought,” said James Joyce. The image above seems designed for thinking.

As the Prattler team prepare to train, then fly out of Ireland, the image hides and reveals many of the experiences and thoughts so far.

Meanings are human associations, so for now this post pauses here, not with a bang but a whimper.


All Blacks Exclusive Contract Plan

Key lock combinations mooted…

With provincial and national rugby rivalry being quite intense, it’s not surprising to learn that a new system of contractional arrangements is being considered at both levels in New Zealand.

This all comes about because of perceived player commitment. In the past, putting on the black silver fern jersey was the motivation, but today, career prospects, money, travel, sponsorship, family and media influences can all come into play, (in both halves).

This new trial initiative is based on the locked in love principal where commitment is publically locked in, both symbolically and actually.

How did this all come about? It seems that gaining access to certain privileges often came about because of class and money. To keep yourself in, you needed to keep others out.

Slowly this bridge was closed and in various countries today we see evidence of this publicly celebrated. One example in Ireland is Dublin city’s Ha’penny Bridge where padlocks attached to the bridge are used to publicly declare commitment, (even though the Dublin City Council has asked for this practice to stop). Would the Rugby Union dare?

In New Zealand, the idea has been picked up and there is a drive to tackle this silver fern issue – a move backed by famous unnamed locks from the past.

Putaruru has a bridge and is also moving forward so let’s get in behind this before we are shown the red card – yellow is just aiming for second best, let’s go for it totally rather than a 10 minute sin-binning. After all, what’s love got to do with it – get in behind Steve!

Locking in team commitment…

Spike Milligan and the Holy Cross Abbey?

To have space where you can sit and think peacefully is not a luxury but an important part of reflection and looking forward. This may be in your home, public or private place. As the Goon Show character Eccles, (spoken by Spike Milligan), famously said: “sometimes I sits and sometimes I sits and thinks!

So what has this to do with The Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary?

The Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary is a restored Cistercian monastery in Holycross. The abbey takes its name from a relic of the True Cross or Holy rood.

It was one of the principle places of pilgrimage in Ireland for over 800 years. Pilgrims visited from all over Europe to view the relic of the True Cross or ‘holy rood.’

With the Reformation, it became a rallying-point for the dispossessed and victims of religious persecution.

Following the Cromwellian War, Holy Cross Abbey fell into ruins. Local people used the roofless ruins as a burial place after 1740. It became a scheduled national monument in 1880, “to be preserved and not used as a place of worship.”

And the link between Eccles and Holy Cross? There are not many places left in Ireland where you can sit or contemplate in the very same cloisters used by the monks 800 years ago.

River Trails May be Looking at New Transport Options

We cannot confirm this tip but it maybe that the local Waikato River Trials organisation, always on the lookout for marketing options, may be acquiring a variety of new self transport machinery.

After stewing over this decision and not wanting to put the wool, er, over anyones eyes, we understand that amongst the transport methods being considered are devices similar to those we picture.


Hopefully this on-line Prattler reveal will prompt locals to donate similar items, or suggest others that may be beneficial to River Trail users.



Past, Present, Future…

Most New Zealand locations are not that far away from the coast and in Ireland this is a similar story. The slideshow starts in Cork, remembers the Titanic, stops at an old church site along the way, reaches a costal village, then arrives in Dublin.

James K Baxter uses the beach and sand hills of New Zealand as a metaphor for exploration – walking along the seasidesandstones is a popular pastime anywhere.

We enjoy the healing powers of the water but some of these images also remind us that the sea provides and also takes away – “they said it was so watertight that it would never sink…

The final shots provide the pre-production stage of the musical Once that is all about the power of music and the universal invitation to follow your dreams.

Dreams are free but the follow through may be a long and winding road. Cue the Irish poet WB Yeats:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

And that path may best be the unknown one as Robert Frost wrote:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.

This clip, (taken from where we sat), shows the cast in an on-stage warmup before the start of Once – no filming of the show though!




Connections: Location, Inspiration, Origins…

Life, land and literature are closely related. Today, a real Irish location, (Sandy Cove), is visited and its links to arguably the most famous 2oth century novel are briefly opened.

If you identify the novel from these opening lines before the end of the passage is reached – rejoice. If not, its never wrong to be a late bloomer.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

 Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest.

He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding country and the awaking mountains.

He was raving all night about a black panther, Stephen said. Where is his guncase?

A woful lunatic, Mulligan said. Were you in a funk?

I was, Stephen said with energy and growing fear. Out here in the dark with a man I don’t know raving and moaning to himself about shooting a black panther. You saved men from drowning. I’m not a hero, however. If he stays on here I am off.

He mounted to the parapet again and gazed out over Dublin bay, his fair oakpale hair stirring slightly.

God, he said quietly. Isn’t the sea what Algy calls it: a grey sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea.

Stephen stood up and went over to the parapet. Leaning on it he looked down on the water and on the mailboat clearing the harbour mouth of Kingstown.

They halted, looking towards the blunt cape of Bray Head that lay on the water like the snout of a sleeping whale. Stephen freed his arm quietly.

He walked off quickly round the parapet. Stephen stood at his post, gazing over the calm sea towards the headland. Sea and headland now grew dim. Pulses were beating in his eyes, veiling their sight, and he felt the fever of his cheeks.

The Prattler has featured Putaruru writers from time to time, all of whom take inspiration from life around them. Interestingly, author James Joyce wrote most of his ground breaking Ulysses while not living in Ireland, but its structure describes a day in Dublin as lived by the characters. During the novel, Joyce not only uses almost every writing style up to the time of publication but ends with the invention of a new one – stream of consciousness, that was to impact on writing for ever.

[Editor: These photos were taken at the exact location that James Joyce lived in briefly and where he wrote the opening lines of Ulysses. The text is exact but some lines and character exchanges have been omitted from this post.]

Over The Moon: International Award Winners – 2017

Sue proudly displays the award medal.

The International Cheese Awards at Nantwich, England, is the biggest cheese show in the world. This was its 120th year.

There were a total of 5685 entries from over 50 different countries, including the UK, Europe, the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. 

Over 250 expert judges were involved with tasting and testing all the entries.

And Over the Moon won the Best New Zealand Cheese Outright Award, (The Reefer 90s Award).

The impressive Best New Zealand Cheese, (a black truffle brie), trophy.

And where is Over the Moon cheese produced? Right here in Putaruru!

Congratulations team – that’s just the right motivation to have a taste right now.

To Market To Market – but not to buy a fat pig!

We are all familiar with the concept of markets so our personally shot video today shares ‘The Milk Market’ which operates in Limerick, Ireland.

A major difference is that number of cakes and the like are all on open display and not covered in any way. We of course did some tasting of the huge variety and range, especially of meats and cheese.

Sadly we aren’t bringing any  of this food home – but we did enjoy it on your behalf!

2017 Business Awards Voting

It’s getting near closing time for your 2017 Putaruru Business Awards voting so this is a friendly reminder to make your choices now.

The Business Award categories this year are:

1 Professional

2 Retail

3 Non-retail

4 Trades and Manufacturing

5 Rural

6 Food and Hospitality

7 Manufacturing, Industrial and Logistics

Voting  categories:

Best Person
1  Who gives the best and most consistent service in Putaruru?

2  Where does this person work?

Best Business
1  Which business in Putaruru gives the best and most consistent service?


You can download this form and hand it in at the PiP Office, 2 Overdale Street or complete your survey on-line at:

Bunratty Castle – Heritage Preserved

Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, is said to be the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland.

It was restored to its former medieval splendour in 1954, and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art, capturing the mood of those times.

Bunratty Castle is built on an ancient historical site, a Viking trade camp from 970. The castle standing today is the fourth of this defensive building to stand on the site.

Robert De Muscegros, a Norman, built the first defensive fortress, (an earthen mound with a strong wooden tower on top) in 1250. His lands were later granted to Thomas De Clare who built the first stone castle on the site. About this time Bunratty became a large town of about 1,000 inhabitants.

In 1318 Richard De Clare, son of Thomas was killed in a battle between the Irish and the Normans. His followers were routed and the castle and town were completely destroyed. The castle was restored for the King of England but was laid waste in 1332 by the Irish Chieftains of Thomond. It lay in ruins for 21 years until it was rebuilt by Sir Thomas Rokeby, but was once again attacked by the Irish and the castle remained in Irish hands thereafter.

The MacNamara family built the present structure around 1425 but by 1475 it had became the stronghold of the O’Briens, the largest clan in North Munster. They ruled the territory of North Munster and lived in great splendor. The castle was surrounded by beautiful gardens and it was reputed to have a herd of 3,000 deer.

Under Henry VIII’s ‘surrender and re-grant’ scheme, the O’Brien’s were granted the title ‘Earls of Thomond’ and they agreed to profess loyalty to the King of England. The reign of the O’Briens came to an end with the arrival of the Cromwellian troops and the castle and its grounds were surrendered.

Bunratty Castle and its lands were granted to various Plantation families, (the confiscation of land by the English crown and the colonisation of this land with settlers from Great Britain). These Plantation families left the castle in 1804 allowing it to fall into disrepair.

Bunratty returned to its former splendor when Viscount Lord Gort purchased it in 1954. Extensive restoration work began with the help of the Office of Public Works, the Irish Tourist Board and Shannon Development.

How does this relate to Putaruru today?

In Putaruru we have no ancient past like Bunratty to preserve, but we should ask the question, “what are we doing about the preservation of our present buildings?” Do these have features that are deserving of  being maintained for the future? Do property owners concern themselves with this type of question, or is the “take, use and leave” occupation we mentioned in a previous post?

The Prattler from Ireland: St John’s Castle

King John’s Castle in Limerick serves as a great interactive tourist attraction today even though the castle was started in about 1212 and took decades to complete.

800 years ago the courtyard would have been bustling with people getting on with their daily lives.

The castle has been through many turbulent times and most of the castles and other important buildings were destroyed by the English in an attempt to gain control of Ireland in centuries past.

But the Irish are still here and events of the past can be recalled by respecting the present through the artefacts that are now preserved.

The on-line Prattler has filmed this video for you and will post other related items over the next few weeks.