Northern News : May 27th 2015
YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Iwi radio rises from ashes By SARAH HARRIS RADIO Tautoko is back in action after being burnt to the ground. Its resilient team was broadcasting from a caravan a day after the May 18 fire, station manager Cyril Chapman says. He says the community is devastated by the fire. ‘‘It’s been 30 years in the making, yet it took two hours for the whole building and all the love to be burnt down.’’ Kaitaia chief fire officer Colin Kitchen says fire services were called out to a roaring blaze about 7pm. They couldn’t save the Mangamuka station but stopped it spreading to an adjoining dairy. Three fire engines, two water tankers and 20 firefighters attended from Okaihau, Kohukohu, Kaitaia and Kaikohe. The flames reached high- voltage power lines and brought a cable down across the road disrupting supply to more than 200 properties. Legalise Cannabis Party activist and Mangamuka resident Maki Herbert saw Radio presenters Gerran Thompson and Reuben Epiha get back on the air waves from the caravan. the flames from her balcony. ‘‘By the time we got down it was totally ablaze. There was nothing anybody could do.’’ Fire risk management officer Michael Champtaloup says the fire started from a server room with lots of electrical equipment such as computers, an air conditioner and a multi board. ‘‘The whole building is pretty much destroyed. They may have discovered the fire sooner if they had smoke alarms. ‘‘It was a very fast fire. It’s an old wooden building, there was a lot of fire loading [material to burn] so it spread very quickly.’’ Chapman says staff will use the disaster as a positive turning point to improve what they’ve been doing. The first broadcast after the fire was done ‘‘dinosaur style’’ with no internet, phone lines or email. Only a charred skeleton remains of Radio Tautoko’s original building. The station first went to air in 1988 backed by Te Whare Awhina o te Iwi Community Trust. It got a makeover in 2009 with a new recording facility, on air studio and building upgrade. ‘‘We started out pitching a tent in 1987,’’ Chapman says. ‘‘We had a dream to pro- vide a community facility for our people to promote te reo but also to be able to tell our story.’’ Chapman says the build- ing and its contents were insured. Staff plan to set up in an old cafe donated by the Harris whanau. They’ll stay there for a few months while they organise their rebuild. Chapman says they’ve been overwhelmed with support from far and wide. Maori radio stations donated equipment so they could resume broadcasting and people are already organising fundraising events, he says. Herbert says the station is a hub for the community and hopes it will be rebuilt. ‘‘You just deal with the hazard, then the next day you get up and get on with it. ‘‘It’s like a phoenix, it’ll rise from the fire. It’ll come back bigger, brighter and better.’’ Friendly local icon is fondly remembered By SARAH HARRIS A Far North icon has been remembered for his generosity after he was killed in a tragic car accident in South Hokianga. Daniel Naera, 57, from Opononi, died when his car slipped off a bridge on Hooks And Hall Rd, off State Highway 12 just north of the Waimamaku township on May 14 around 8.45pm, Rawene Senior Constable Jeff Cramp says. He is believed to have drowned when his car became wedged upside down. ‘‘Baby brother’’ Leonard Naera has nothing but kind Kerikeri’s Latest Showhome Come and see what we can build for you Far North Office: (09) 407 3441 0800 42 45 46 www.gjgardner.co.nz GJ-SH-76-FN0215-2MCL ever met instantly liked him. ‘‘He never said a bad word about anybody, because of that no-one ever said a bad word about him. ‘‘He was one of those people no matter what the world dishes out he always maintained a happy disposition.’’ Daniel Naera never said a bad word about anybody. words for his sibling. ‘‘He’s one of the most generous people you would ever meet. Everybody he Cramp says Naera, an electrician and member of the Coastguard, was driving a Ford Explorer. ‘‘For some reason he’s miscued the bridge, he ended up straddling it and dropping off. ‘‘He’s jumped a kerb and rolled into a flooded waterway. The vehicle remained submerged under the bridge with just the wheels and carriage exposed.’’ The bridge doesn’t have any railing, just a small lip. Cramp says Naera was a well-loved member of the community. ‘‘He comes from a very large family, very well known personality. He’s very friendly, the ‘take his shirt off his back for anybody’ type of guy.’’ Cramp says a resident heard the wheels scraping as the car left the bridge and went to investigate. Farmers and the Omapere Fire Brigade used two tractors to pull the car from the river. By that time SHOWHOME Corner of Ranui Ave and Martha Clarke Lane, Ranui Gardens OPEN Monday–Friday 11.00am–5.00pm Saturday 9.00am–12.00pm Come and visit the team at our showhome today. To find out more about this great showhome phone Katie Aukett (021) 373 773 or Dave Smith (021) 272 2982 it was around 9.30pm and Naera had already died. ‘‘We won’t know until we get the medical reports as to whether there was any other underlying reason,’’ Cramp says. ‘‘The weather was ter- rible, the river was flooded. ‘‘It was raining and there’s a gravel road leading on to the bridge.’’ Cramp says the man had been visiting a cousin to talk about a death of a relative who died overseas. He’d only been there an hour when he decided to leave because he knew the bridge goes under water during floods. Leonard says Naera is known to give strangers that ‘‘he didn’t know from a bar of soap’’ a beer and fresh snapper if he got talking to them. Naera was one of eight siblings with four brothers and three sisters. He also had five children aged 22 to 32 and seven grandchildren. Leonard says his two big passions in life were fishing and music. Naera played guitar in his father’s band with some other uncles when he was younger. ‘‘It was a real family band and they would play regularly at a hotel in Auckland,’’ he says. G.J. Gardner Homes are acknowledged for their innovative design concepts. Our designers are continually coming up with fresh ideas and creative living plans. Here’s your chance to view our latest ideas incorporated into our stunning new designer showhome. 3 2 2 2 Floor Area 215m2 Design innovation is just one more reason why more people choose to build with G.J. Gardner Homes every year than any other builder.
May 20th 2015