NZ#5 - Local phrases

NZ#5 Some explanations and some photos

Sure, you remember that dags are the little collections in the sheep’s fur around his bum! Well, someone has to pick out all those little things before the wool is any good to sell. Luckily, he can do his work after the sheep has been sheared! While still on the North Island near Aucklund, we had breakfast with an interesting gentleman whose job was as a “trig post painter”. A metal post in the ground marks the boundaries of property here in NZ and is also often used by surveyors. The post is covered with a wooden or metal pointed lid and then painted to protect the lid from the elements. Someone has to maintain those little lids. This fellow had a quad bike to get to the trig posts – often in very difficult places to reach – did his painting and then took a Polaroid picture in order to collect payment for his efforts.

Photo #1 is a Trig Post somewhere in the middle of SI. Abseiling can best be described as rappelling off the rocks. On the North Island in the area of Waitomo Caves, the adventure tours use abseiling. When we first read about the cabbage tree, we could not imagine what it looks like. We were definitely not ready to find that it is a type of palm tree, misnamed by the sailors under Captain Cook. A long drop is the term used here for an outdoor privy where no flushing is involved.

Toi Toi is a beautiful graceful (both of these emotions felt by Jane) plant with huge feathery projections. It has several colors from a near-white to tan and copper. Photo #2 shows the toi toi by the village in Kaikoura.

A shelter-belt is a huge hedge formed by trees, bamboo or bushes. Its purpose is to break the wind in a paddock, a grove or a vineyard. It can function well in this purpose as the belt is allowed to grow very tall. In itself this would be significant; however, the fact that they are trimmed vertically to those heights of 45’ or more is amazing. We are told that there are machines with large extendable cutting arms that take care of this chore. Wish we had seen one of those in action! A bach is a family’s vacation home…usually small and very basic, it allows the family to get away from the large city and out to nature. The only guess we can make about the derivation of the word is from “bach –elor pad”.

A fly over is an overpass.

The third photo was taken on the Southern Scenic Route of Porpoise Bay. The last message will contain various bits of information for those folks who are thinking about a trip to NZ.

Jane and Sander