Friday, September 26, 2008


Gisborne is Richard's home town. It is a port city for the export of logs, meat, wool and other produce such as apples and Kiwi fruit. No matter where you look there is something associated with the coast (beautiful beaches) or Maoris and their culture. From the hills behind the city there is a great view of the city, port and Poverty Bay. The bay is misnamed. When Captain James Cook planted the British flag on the local beach in 1769 to claim New Zealand for Great Britain he was repelled by the Maoris who have him nothing - hence the name Poverty Bay. However, that name has proved to be wrong as the surrounding hinterland is so productive with its crops and fruit, as well as sheep and cattle farms.

In a central park stands a big wooden carving symbolizing the prow of a ship. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand in about 1250 AD. They came in carved canoes from somewhere in the mid Pacific Ocean. One of the seven canoes landed near Gisborne. They named New Zealand, "Aotearoa" (the land of the long white cloud).

Wainui Beach is a few kms. to the north. It is one of the many beaches lining the East Coast of NZ. New Zealand has such clear blue skies. There is no haze or smog to cloud the view. For that reason NZ has a lot of problems with skin cancer as the sun burns so much quicker in such a clean environment.

About 30 kms. south of Gisborne a popular picnic spot in the summer is Rere Falls.

Waikanae Beach, Gisborne's main beach, is popular all the year round, but especially in the summer as tourists come in big numbers to enjoy its safe beach.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wairoa (East Coast of NZ)

Wairoa is a town of 5,000 on the north side of Hawkes Bay on the East Coast of New Zealand. To the north of Hawkes Bay is Mahia Peninsula and at the easterly end of the peninsula was this lighthouse which served shipping for over 80 years until about 1960 when it was brought to Wairoa and became the town's "landmark." Wairoa serves a farming community mainly sheep and cropping. We spent last Sunday with the folk at the Lahore Street Assembly which is one of our commending churches and we had a great time of fellowship.

Monday being a glorious day (picture perfect blue) with no clouds in the sky we decided to take a picnic lunch to Mahia which brought back memories of holidays on the beaches when we would go fishing and and for walks along the beach.

With our good friends and hosts, Garfield and Rachel Sproul, walking on Mahia Beach.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Lake Taupo and mountains

Being Sunday, we started the day by going to the Community Bible Church in the morning for their Lord's Supper. As we were driving to the meeting, along the lake, we were awed by the beauty of Lake Taupo with the snow capped mountains in the background. Three mountain peaks can be seen: Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu. Ruapehu is an active volcano and periodically erupts. Ruapehu also brings back memories as I did my army service some 45 years ago on the slopes of the mountain at Waiouru Military Camp.

We had a good time of fellowship at the Community Bible Church, one of two Brethren Assemblies in Taupo. I was also asked to bring a message this morning. Their numbers were down today with some sick and others out of town. The C.B.C. has faithfully prayed for us and supported our work over many years, so it is good to return and have fellowship with such special people.

We have five more days at Lake Taupo before we move on to Wairoa and Gisborne on the East Coast.