For such a small place, Kiwitea has a lot going on. Full of friendly neighbours, who all like to help each other in time of need, or feel comfortable enough to ask for help as required. Such as when one of the neighbours phoned our SIL Robert with a dead sheep problem. No worries – Robert drove his tractor (with a digger bucket attached to the front) to the neighbours farm, dug a big hole to take the dead sheep, and covered it all in. Now that’s a friendly neighbour for you – can’t imagine a townie asking his neighbour to help bury a dog!
There is a pretty little church just up the road. St Agnes’ Church, Kiwitea was built on land donated by Mr C Levett in 1889, for the sum of sixty four pounds and ten shillings. The first service was held in July 1890, and in 1895 the Chancel was added and the size of the Vestry increased. The many old headstones in the grave yard tell the story of the early settlers to this area.
Local farmers often make use of the “long acre” beside the road, and we noticed several fine looking young Jersey bulls being grazed. They looked up quizzically as the car stopped and a strange person got out to take their photo. The long acre or long paddock is a traditional term for wide grassy road verges. Rural roads are often separated from adjoining paddocks by a hedge or fence and a wide grass verge. Farmers often add portable fencing and use this extra ground to feed their livestock.
It’s hay making time again and many of the local farms have their hay all neatly packaged ready to feed out next winter. Like this one, a huge pile, all stacked up, presumably waiting to be moved into a hay barn. Or maybe it will stay where it is, to be used when needed, a bale or two at a time.
As we farewelled Kiwitea we travelled past a very strange collection on a fence. When travelling we have seen fences decorated with all manner of things, from jandals to hub caps. But never with a collection like this of sorry looking soft toys which have been left out in all weathers. The water logged teddies and dolls have taken on quite a sinister look, we feel, as they sit all saggy and slumped on top of the fence. The overgrown lawn in front of the fence adds to the feeling of desolation. It would be enough to give a youngster nightmares!