My 3 boys and I

August 5, 2008

My School Days

Filed under: Home and Family,My Thoughts,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 4:22 pm

My friend Melissa wrote about her schooling years and they inspired me to blog about mine.

Mt Wellington Kindergarten

In 1974 I started attending Kindy. It was just the road from where we lived so it was nice and handy. I LOVED kindy. Maybe this was one of the reasons I always wanted to be a kindy teacher. I remember they had an old petrol tank which we could pretend we were getting petrol for our tricycles from. I use to love riding the tricycles around and around the large, sloping in places pathway around the sandpit.

This was a great preschool and start to my educational life. The kindy is still running today. My daughter attended this kindy as Im sure other 2 generations of children did.

Right next door to the kindy was a school. Which was neat most left to attend this school.

Syliva Park School

I attended this school from age 5 to 14 years of age. It was a full primary (intermediate school was included) and somewhere along the way I was kept back a year. I liked the fact that it was a full primary as one didnt have to go anywhere else between primary school and high school.

We did however go to a near by college for technology once a week when we were in Form 1 and 2 – when I was 12 to 14 years of age. We would do sewing, cooking, woodwork (which I especially enjoyed) and metal work.

I had Miss Wolfe as my first teacher. She was old and lovely. Unfortunity she retired and was replaced by Mrs Maitland.

I remember the morning assembly when I must have been 7 or 8. When Mrs Maitland called me out of the assembly and I had to go up in front of all the other children in the junior school (the 5 to 8 year olds). She put her pointy finger-nailed finger under my chin and pushed my head far back upon which she then proceeded to growl at me for the fact that someone else was stealing my lunch. Yes someone else was stealing my lunch and I was the one getting told off!!! I had to put my lunch in her desk drawer for a while after that.

Another teacher I liked was the teacher I had in Form 1 and 2 Mrs Ford. She was an older teacher too. I found her to be very caring. At the end of Form 1 we were on a school bus going on a trip and my wish to be in her class was granted. I told the Form 2 teacher that I wouldnt be in his class. I was pleased. I had never had a male teacher and while he seemed nice enough I was pleased I wasnt in his class. He was a bit strict and would strap the naughty boys. You could hear in my classroom and that was enough for me!!!

I was caught holding hands with a boy in Mrs Ford’s class though. We were asked if we had too do that in class and made to write out lines. The boy got the ultimate payback on me though. At the social ball (when wed practise for weeks then have a dance one evening) it was the girls pick. I picked him. We had to make up a dance and he choose to dance like an Egyptian. Everyone was looking at us and we had to dance right across the dance floor like this

I was highly embarrassed and left him alone after that.

I’d love to find out where my teacher I had in standard 2? called Miss Peta Kingston(e) is? She may have been a student teacher I had her for 1 year she was tall, and had long brown hair and she liked the band Fleetwood Mac. I have always wondered where she ended up she was an awesome teacher, whom I’ve never forgotten.

I was teased unmercifully right through primary school. I enjoyed being in the classroom more than out in the play yard. I was an average student. Outside at play time and lunchtime I would hang around the trees trying to shut myself away from the cruelty. I would seek refuge in the library when it was open. I had no friends and very little self esteem. In class I was happy especially when the headmaster came to visit our class. I would sit up straight, smiling and do my lessons. He would always comment about his smiley friend – me. In the last couple of years I have come to realize that this might have been one of the reasons the children treated me so badly. I dont know why I had to be the one they picked on. I wish I had known.

Penrose High School

By the time i got to High School I was a loner. Why bother to make friends when they would sooner or later end up picking on me or leaving me out. I preferred my own company.

I remember having an argument with the dean of my school house, Mr Bettridge He was also the head of science. I was in the end of the 4th form and there was no way I was taking science in the 5th form. I didnt like it. Didnt understand and couldnt remember things like the periodic table. Nor did I care what he thought. I think it made him look good to have most of the 5th formers in our school house doing science.

5th Form was a special year at school.  People would sit there School Certificate and this helped getting a job after one left school.  I just passed in my subjects of English, Maths, Typing, Geography and Home Economics.  I wish Id taken wood work but my parents didnt think it would be of any use.  I was also about the only girl whom took it in the 3rd and 4th forms. I dont know how most of the subjects have been of any use.  Maths at high school level was like a second language.  I was a slow typer and Ive never used what I learnt in Geography.

Id always done well in English.  I always LOVED English.  So much so that the year I left school and started working I did a night class.  I got my 6th Form certificate in English.

Auckland College of Education

Fast forward many years, a marriage, a separation, 2 children, being a solo mum for  6 years and having home schooled one of them for 2 and 1/2 years.  I started going to teachers training college when I was 32.  I had always wanted to be a teacher.  I loved preschoolers.  I won a scholarship for the first years fees (which I ended up   spending kind of when I decided to go part time for the last year).

I aced (got full marks) in maths.  This surprised everybody including myself.  I never understood maths at high school.  However, I believe having a lecturer whom made maths fun and interactive was the key.  Shiree Babbington was a fabulous easy to get on with tutor.

I still felt left out amongst my class mates somewhat.  Lunchtimes would see me alone some of the time.  I didnt really bond with any of the others that closely.

I loved going out on the field.  To daycare centres and kindergartens and doing on the job training.  In the first year and 2nd year we went twice for 2 weeks at a time.  In the last year we did a month.  I learnt a lot in these practicums.

I LOVED going to university.  I felt it gave me a lot more self confidence. I believe Auckland College of Education was and is the best teachers school in New Zealand.  It has since joined the Auckland University this happen the year I left.  I did 6 months by correspondence down here in the Bay.  After 3 and 1/2 years I gained my bachelor in Early Childhood Education.  Something that people do ask me these days is if I feel I have wasted these years now I am home schooling.  I dont think I have.  I believe the time at Uni gave me a deeper understanding of children.  I always knew Id be a teacher (even from a very early age) I just never thought Id be a home schooling teacher but I enjoy it.  I also think its important that my student makes something of his life.  I dont think this would have happened had he been left at school.

July 18, 2008

New Zealand and My Home Part 5

Filed under: Home and Family,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 2:08 pm

The Great 1931 Earthquake

On Tuesday February 3rd 1931 New Zealands greatest natural disaster struck Hawkes Bay. At 10.47am when people were going about thier usual Tuesday morning business, an earthquake of magnitude Richter 7.8 struck. The ground heaved upwards. Raising 2230 hectares to sea level, swayed and then, 30 seconds later, there was a downward movement and violent shaking. This terrifying experience lasted for two and a half minutes. The centre of Napier was almost totally destroyed. Fires quickly broke out. In chemist shops there were gas burners that were kept on permanently to seal prescriptions. They ripped though the city destroying 11 blocks of the central city. Eventually they died out. These fires burnt for 36 hours. Fires also began in Hastings, however they were able to be put out more quickly.

People that could fled outside. Some were hit by pieces of falling stonework. Buildings collapsed, trapping others. Damage in Hastings was also devastating, although the fires were contained. Wairoa and the smaller towns to the south as far as Dannevirke were affected. There were 258 deaths, 162 in Napier, 93 in Hastings and 3 in Wairoa along with many injuries.. Twelve nurses were killed when the newly built Nurses’ Home in Napier collapsed. Seventeen people died in a department store in Hastings. Fifteen people died in an old peoples home near Taradale.

Thankfully the navy ship HMS Veronica was docked in Napier harbour when the quake hit. The ship radioed Auckland for help. Help came quickly in the form of two more navy ships. These ships carried extra men, doctors and nurses from Auckland Hospital, and supplies. This was the only way New Zealand learnt what had taken place. All other communications were down. Sailors went into the city to join the rescue effort. With the aid of the Red Cross, New Zealand Defence Forces and the Salvation Army a food depot, many dressing stations and a camp were set up around the city, in parks. The camps provided food and water (which has brought in by lorries) and a place to stay. Many people were too afraid to reenter their homes for days. Some stayed at the camps, others stayed on the beach, while others slept in their backyards. Palmerston North offered places to stay too.

Within days an organization called the Earthquake Relief Committee was formed. They accessed the damage to houses, had them repaired and urged the home owners to return to their houses. The money came from a New Zealand wide appeal. In all 3,229 houses had to be repaired or rebuilt.

The sailors also set about restoring the water supply. Serious sickness was prevented by good medical care and when people were forbidden to flush their toilets. The sewers had to be reconnected. They had to bury their waste. Until a service began to take it away. While this was all this was happening there were about 150 aftershocks in the 24 hours after the main shock. Over the next two weeks, there would be 525 such aftershocks.

Within 3 weeks businesses and retail shopping began to operate again. The Government gave a loan to them. A couple of make shift shopping centres were set up. The rebuilding of Napier and Hastings was costly. However, the benefit was two modern cities. As the land had been raised (in the earthquake) there was now the land to do so.

wonderful (if you can call it that) photos are here – do take a look

more reading here

most of my info was found here

Post Script:- What these people must have gone though. I would have shattered under all this. I have been though a few minor quakes and I do not like them. Mr Wonderful would have his hands full looking after me.

Redevelopment of Napier

In the ensuring years Napier become one of New Zealand’s first underground power and telephone lined city. It also enjoyed a major rebuild. Guidelines were created to make sure that new buildings were safer. Napier become the Art Deco city of New Zealand. Drawing many tourists to our city.

In 1934 James Wattie (later Sir James) established a small cannery, which was to grow into a giant.

click on the logo to learn more about this company. Most New Zealanders will have some of this produced food in their kitchens.

Following the Second World War the baby boom, immigration and the successful regional economy based on farming and fruit brought a population growth to the Bay.

1954 was a busy year

The Queen and Prince Phillip visited Napier.

Also a statue of Pania of the Reef was unveiled. This was a gift for the city of Napier.

Lastly of notable interest here is that a fertilizer company began production. Whenever we pass this site. We close the windows of the car. I must confess that I did have a craving for this place when I was preggy with Our Little Man. I tend to get smelly cravings when Im preggy. When I was preggy when I was in Auckland I craved KFC but could only afford to sniff which I did often 🙂

The 1960s

Housing in my surburb in the Hawkes Bay began in the mid-1960s. The local pools were also built. This is where we go as home schoolers now on a Friday afternoon. In 1964 Marineland of New Zealand was opened.

Up until 1968 this beautiful area was tennis courts. They were moved to another location.

In the 1970s maybe 80s I came to Napier on holiday with my parents and sister. We stayed at Kennedy Park Motor Camp. Little did I then know that this is where I would end up living most happily of all the places I have been in New Zealand. Little did I know then that it would be where I would be with my 3 boys 🙂

Tomorrow I will wrap this series of New Zealand and My Home. Showing you around my home 🙂

July 17, 2008

New Zealand and My Home Part 4

Filed under: Home and Family,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 3:58 pm

Where I am Now

The Hawkes Bay

Throughout the years the Hawkes Bay has changed a lot. This was mostly caused by the 1931 earthquake. This earthquake caused the largest loss of life and most extensive damage of any quake in New Zealand’s recorded history. More about that tomorrow though.

Maori arrived in the Hawkes Bay. They settled in the river valleys and along the coast where food was plentiful. They arrived by canoe, travelling down the coast from the north. They lived well here. By the sixteenth century there was a large tribe living here.

Captain James Cook and his crew upon the Endeavour discovered the Hawke’s Bay in October 1769. He named the bay after Sir Edward Hawke, First Lord of the Admiralty.

Whalers and flax traders arrived in the early 1800s, and a few Europeans came and went. The first permanent resident was Austrian botanist and nurseryman Frederick Sturm. He set up a plant nursery here in 1865.

In June 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi arrived in Hawkes Bay for signing.

In 1844 the missionary William Colenso. Who was also a botanist, printer and politician, arrived to establish his mission station at Waitangi, south of Napier. Today one of the high schools in Napier is named after Mr Colenso.

The first grape vines were brought and grown in the Bay in 1851. They were for French Catholic missionaries. Today there are 229 vineyards in the Hawkes Bay. Our area of New Zealand is responsible for some of the best wine in New Zealand.

In 1848 James Northwood and Henry Tiffen leased 50,000 acres of land for grazing sheep. One of the areas they set this farm up was where Mr Wonderful was born and raised until they moved into one of the twin cities of the Hawkes Bay. In 1849 Henrys brother Fred herded 3000 sheep up to this farm from Wellington.

Donald McLean was able to gain much land in the area. He was able to work closely alongside the Maori peoples to gain this land. He was made Land Commissioner to prevent uncontrolled purchasing and leasing of Maori land. In 1863 he was elected Superintendent of the Hawke’s Bay Province. From 1866 to 1876 he virtually ran the province. Due to being well respected in the area and his knowledge about the way Maori people did things lead to him being the Government Agent on the East Coast in 1868. Over the years till a month before his death he was also Native Minister and Defence Minister.

By the 1870s, grand homesteads were being built for farmers. There they were able to where live in the manner to which they were use to. They probably were able to afford these grand houses because of the great farming that could be had in this country.

Most of the new settlers however, were more of the working class people. They were arriving in great numbers. They were taking jobs on sheep-stations and settling in the towns which were being established

clicking on the map should give you a more closer look

The Hawkes Bay has 2 major cities.

Napier the port city in the Hawkes Bay was named after Sir Charles Napier, the hero of the Battle of Meeanee in the Indian province of Scinde.  Early Napier consisted of an oblong mass of hills almost entirely surrounded by water. The town flourished and became a well established commercial centre with a growing port, servicing a wide area. And Hastings – named after , India’s first Governor-General.

Sir Charles Napier and  Warren Hastings

The British Army came to Napier in 1858 as both local Maori and settlers were concerned about fighting between Maori chiefs.

In 1858 Hawkes Bay gained independence from Wellington Province2, and until the abolition of provincial government in 1876 was governed by the Hawkes Bay Provincial Council from its building at the foot of Shakespeare Road in Napier.

I feel that the Hawkes Bay in someways is still isolated from other parts of the North Island. I havent traveled very far in the last 3.5 years. To go north one has a few options but we tend to go along the Napier Taupo road. In the early days this was worst though. The Ruahine and Kaweka ranges formed a barrier to the west. Horse drawn coach services were available but the journey to Taupo took two full days. It now only takes a matter of hours.

Travel to Wellington became much easier after railway construction started in Napier in 1872, reaching Hastings in 1874 and Takapau in 1877. It wasnt until 1887 that Woodville was reached, and the line was connected to Palmerston North via the difficult Manawatu Gorge in 1891. The northern line was not commenced until 1912 but did no reach Gisborne until 1942.

A hydro electric power station that is still functioning today was built in 1892. John Chambers built it at Mokapeka Station. (page 4 and 5 of this document) This power station is probably the oldest operational one in the world.

1912 saw the first cars in the Bay. There were also swimming baths, theatres, parks, electric lighting systems being built in Napier and Hastings, and a tram service in Napier.

Of course the area also had older important places already like a hospital and many schools.

Info sourced mainly from here

July 16, 2008

New Zealand and My Home Part 3

Filed under: Home and Family,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 10:44 am

Christchurch and Back Again

We visited these places. We went on the tram.

A beautiful city really. I couldnt see that at the time I was in an abusive relationship. My Home Schooler was born here. Christchurch is in the South Island of New Zealand. It is known as the garden city of New Zealand. One of the places I remember well is Ferrymead I have always loved historical places so this place was right up my alley.

Christchurch city is located midway down the East Coast of the South Island, just north of Banks Peninsula.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city. Christchurch is a flat city. It has a population of just under 360,000. I liked the weather better here than Auckland. The average Summer temperature is 17″C (62.6″F) in Winter its mostly 9″C(48.2″F). Auckland has a higher humidity level than Christchurch. The cold is also different its much easier to take. It snowed once in the suburbs when I lived there. We woke up my daughter (who wasnt impressed it was late at night LOL) to have a look. Its not everyday that I as a New Zealander have experienced snow in my back yard. In fact that might have been the only time. Some New Zealanders particularly South Islanders do experience this every winter. Not me though 🙂

We went to Lyttleton a few times. One of the family lived there. Getting there was interesting. You had to go through a tunnel. It was a port town so there were boats to see upon exiting the tunnel.

Another place that I discovered years before living there. One of my aunties lived in Christchurch when I was a girl. When I was 10 years old I went on my first airplane flight alone. While I was staying with her on this holiday we went to Orana Wildlife Park. When we went we went through the lion park part of this wonderful zoo. Things have changed over the years. As you will see by clicking on the link.

These are some of photos from that holiday in 1980

When my Home Schooler was a year old we escaped to a Womens Refuge and came home to Auckland.

We lived in Auckland for another 7 years. Again in Mt Wellington. I was a Christian solo mum. When my son was 5 I home schooled my daughter for 2.5 years. Then I went to Auckland College of Education and got my bachelor of teaching early childhood.

July 15, 2008

New Zealand and My Home Part 2

Filed under: Home and Family,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 10:38 am

I have lived in 2 of New Zealand’s major cities.

Auckland

I was born 38 year ago in the city of Auckland. Auckland is called the city of sails and quite rightfully so. As I told you yesterday one is able to get to the sea within hours and this is particularly so if you live in Auckland.

Auckland is a sprawling city reaching from Wellsford (we use to have access to a holiday house near here when I was a child) to the Bombay Hills.

I was born in National Womans Hospital and grew up in Mt Wellington.

Mt Wellington is in East Auckland. Auckland has active 50 volcanoes. They have never blown up in my life time though. Mt Wellington has under gone many changes since I was a girl. There is a huge mall there now.

Auckland has 2 outer Islands that people can stay on. Both can be reached easily by ferry. I use to have a friend whom lived on Waiheke Island. It is the 3rd most populated island after the North and South Islands. It is a beautiful Island. The other is Great Barrier Island. This Island is more for trampers and the adventurous. There is one other island that I wish to highlight. This is a dormant volcano. Although people cant stay here (without special permission) it is a great place for a day trip. Rangitoto Island can be seen from many places within Auckland.

Auckland is a melting pot to many different cultures and countries in the world. Over the years it has attracted people from European countries such as Hungary, Holland and Yugoslavia. Today, Auckland is the world’s largest Polynesian city. Around 63% of its residents are of European descent, 11% are Maori, 13% are of Pacific Island descent and there is a growing Asian population of around 12%. In the city centre, Auckland’s growing popularity as an international education destination has seen an explosion of ethnic restaurants and shops. (http://www.aucklandnz.com/VisitorInformation/StoryofAuckland/ArticleDisplay.aspx?Section=Story&SubGroup=Style_of_Life)

Auckland is a busy city teaming with many restaurants, wineries, theatres, shops, shops and more shops. A casino, a zoo and many other interesting places. It is home to Sky City, Auckland Museum, Auckland Domain and Wintergardens, Albert and Cornwall parks, Parnell Rose Garden, Auckland Botanical Gardens, and the National Maritime Museum.

North, South, East and West of Auckland city itself there are vast areas sandy beaches, parks, walkways, lush rainforests, rolling green rural landscapes, lakes, waterfalls and country villages.

I was a Plunket baby. In those days the mother was visited much more than she is today and you would also go to the clinic and they would make sure baby was growing up well.

When I was born my father was an electrician and they were provided a house to live in. I have seen the land it was once on its quite grassy now. It was a little cottage. Probably only 2 bedrooms as we had to move when my sister was born. It was right next to some power line towers. At least one of the towers was on our section.

overheadtower.jpg

Next door to us lived a friend of Mum’s. From what I gather this lady got German Measles when Mum was pregnant with me. I could have been born like Muzz whose mother did get it when she was pregnant with him. Muzz has an 80% hearing loss and is blind in one eye. Anyway Mum was fortunate she didnt get it and I was born without any medical conditions. Anyway this lady had a little boy called Guy and Guy and I use to play with each other all the time.

Here we are I was 7 months old.

dsc02391.jpg

When I was a child I lived in a house on the corner of a highway and a side street. We had a large backyard where I use to love playing but more about that later. My father collected cactus so outside the lounge window was a homemade glasshouse full of cactus. I would have a smaller glasshouse beside it in later childhood years. We had a 3 bedroom wooden house. I had my own bedroom. It wasnt very big but it was mine. In later years we would enlarge it and I would get a full length mirror on my wardrobe door.

Before the house extension the kitchen had black and white lino squares which I use try to walk on without touching the lines. On the corner of the sink bench was a rubber stopper which dad put there to prevent us kids getting hurt when and if we got near the sharp edge of the bench. We also had a large built in porch. It was like a room and was very handy in the winter time. I remember fainting there once when I was sick.

We also had a rumpus room by the garage. This is where I would play for many long hours at being a radio DJ. I was allowed to decorate the room with my posters, I had a small table on which sat my radio/cassette player. This is where I would read my girly magazines and drool over the likes of Michael J Fox, John Stamos and Tom Cruise.

Going back to the large backyard we had I use to spend many long summer hours climbing the climbing tree. Or playing that I was a warrior with a pretend spear. We (my sister and I) were also expected to help wash the family car. We also helped picking up the hedge clippings until I finally managed to convince my parents that they irritated my sinuses. Then I was allowed to stay inside while my sister had continue helping dad.

It was a special treat we felt to be allowed to ride our bikes up and down our road. My parents had a rule (which I apply to my own children to this day) that we werent allowed outside the gate. So to be able to ride our bikes (sometimes make believe horses) outside the gate and down as far as the school entrance was a real privilege.

If you would like to read more about my childhood memories read my other posts in this blog.

When I was 17 I wanted to go flatting but got my own caravan instead. It was parked on my parents back yard. I was pretty much self sufficient there. I LOVED my little home. I cooked my own meals. Studied – I liked English so much that I went back and did a night class in English. Entertained friends. By day I worked in a plant nursery. Getting plants ready to send to the shops which would sell them. When I was 19 I met my first husband.

When I was 20 we moved to Onehunga (another suburb in Auckland). We lived in a old but nice house. I remember the rooms were big!!! I had my (estranged) daughter there.

We found things hard. We moved back to Mt Wellington. I separated from her father when she was 1 years old. For a while I lived with my parents then I found a nice little flat nearby.

Tomorrow I will write about the 2nd major town I lived in called Christchurch. This is where My Home Schooler was born.

July 14, 2008

New Zealand and My Home – Part 1

Filed under: Home and Family,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 6:24 pm

I was asked by one of my bloggie friends to write about this topic

New Zealand

Aotearoa (Maori name) meaning The Land of the Long White Cloud.

I have lived here all my life. In fact I have never traveled out of New Zealand. They (not sure who – it was an ad if my memory serves me right) reckoned you should see your own country before going over seas. I can say I have done that. As a child my family would go on holidays. Also when I was 17 I went with St Johns Ambulance Cadets of which I belonged and toured most of the South Island in campervans. It was a whirlwind trip and I would advice travelers to take much longer.

Speaking of traveling unlike some of my readers we road users here in New Zealand drive on the left side of the road.

Although I am not a sporty person New Zealand is a rugby playing country. It is our national sport. Our New Zealand is called The All Blacks.

clicking on the picture above will take you to more info about the All Blacks

If you came to New Zealand I doubt there would be many homes where The Edmonds Cookbook wouldnt be part of the kitchen cook book library. New Zealand woman like to cook and some men are quite good at it too.

While we are talking about food. Chocolate is dear to my heart and New Zealand makes a marshmallow covered in chocolate fish. The traditional pudding is the Pav(lova) which is sometimes accompanied by Ice cream made here in New Zealand at Tip Top. Tip Top is situated in Auckland and they have ice cream factory tours of which My Home Schooler and I have been on.

Dinner is the main meal of the day here in New Zealand. We like a lot of New Zealanders try to have this evening meal around the table together. Although we sometimes vary our dinners most consist of meat accompnied by Watties Tomato sauce, potato, carrots and peas.

This may or may not be followed by pudding. Some families finish their meal with fruit maybe kiwifruit. While kiwifruit is a Chinese fruit New Zealanders have selectively bred it and it has become an egg-sized fruit with green or gold flesh.

Although New Zealanders have many and varied jobs. Due to the good land and favorable weather conditions New Zealand is known as the worlds biggest farm. There are in fact 10 sheep per person here in New Zealand. We export a lot of our sheep meat. Our sheep also yield excellent wool. This is shorn twice a year and we have a special way to shear our sheep which has been copied throughout the world. As we are a farming nation we of course have farmers whom wear gumboots. As do a lot of other New Zealanders particularly in the winter time.

As well as sheep we also farm a lot of cattle. We have millions of cattle. Our cattle are able to feed on grass all year round. We export 90-95% of all milk produced. As well as farming in the traditional sense we also have lots of orchards.

We grow a large variety of different fruits such as avocados, feijoas, kiwifruit, tamarillos and passionfruit in Northland and the Bay of Plenty. In Auckland, the Waikato, the Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury, Otago and Southland we produce apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries and berryfruits – blackcurrants, boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Citrus is grown commercially mainly in Northland and the Bay of Plenty. Apples and pears for export are grown mainly in the Hawke’s Bay and Nelson regions. (http://www.aatravel.co.nz/about-newzealand/editorial.php?pagename=farming)

You may have noticed in the All Blacks picture above the Silver Fern. We have forests in which they grow. I think one of the reasons New Zealand is so picturesque is because we have been able to hold on to some of our native forests.

Our native and becoming extinct bird once flourished in these forests too. We are actually nicknamed after this special bird. The kiwi.

As well as the forests and farms New Zealand is a island or set of islands (3) in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is made up of the North island, the South Island and Stewart Island. Thus you are never more than a couple of hours away from the sea. In fact all the major cities are on the coast line. New Zealand has its Summer in December to February and is quite common then to see people wearing jandals then and maybe sipping on a L&P. This is a New Zealand soft drink. New Zealand summers are beautiful with the temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees C (68 to 76 degrees F) depending on where one lives.

While we are talking about the weather the winter isnt too bad either. New Zealand has its Winter between June to August. Some parts of New Zealand dont even see snow. The lowest temperature is 1 degrees C up to 7 degrees C (34 to 45 degress F) again depending on where one is.

To understand more about New Zealands weather go here.

I shall endeavor to write more tomorrow

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