Gordonton folk making news!

Vaccination wisdom from three brilliant whaea
Whaea Ngāpare Hopa, whaea Kathy Caldwell and whaea Meri Barber (Photo: The Spinoff; Annette Taylor, supplied, supplied; Image: Tina Tiller)

Gordonton locals are making news in New Zealand.  Number 8 Network has a look, starting with our very own Dr Ngapare Hopa.  Pare, along with two other much-admired whaea, shared her wisdom on the Covid-19 vaccine on The Spinoff.

(Number 8 Network was chuffed to see they used our photo too!)

“This is a mauiui that can’t be taken for granted,” whaea Ngapare Hopa (Waikato-Tainui) told Charlotte Muru-Lanning.

Whaea Ngapare still lives in her parents’ house in Gordonton.

And it’s those close links to the past that underscore the importance of vaccinations, she said.

Whaea Ngāpare was born in 1935, just 17 years after the Spanish Flu pandemic in which over 2,160 Māori died, a rate around eight times higher than that of Pākehā. “We didn’t talk to my parents about it much because it was so painful.”

“We ought to make sure we’ve learnt from that history,” she says. Ka mua, ka muri, walking backwards into the future.

As we’ve seen, and continue to see overseas, Indigenous peoples have suffered disproportionately from Covid-19 illnesses and deaths. That means we need to do whatever we can to protect our people, she says.

And while the Covid-19 vaccine isn’t traditional rongoā, “it’s a new kind of bug, so we need to rethink,” she says.

“I know some of our people are hoha,” she says. “But this is a very different type of flu – this is a really pernicious one, it’s got a different face and a different wero.”


Photo of Pare Hopa
Pare Hopa in her Gordonton home. Pic: N8N

The article also insights from Whaea Kathy Caldwell (Ngatiwai),Whangarei, and Whaea Meri Barber (Ngatiwai), Helena Bay, Northland.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

To read the earlier profile on Pare on Number 8 Network and Home Range magazine, click here.


And Ian and Marian Riddell of Clandon Daffodils have appeared on Country Calendar, with an article on the Stuff website.

Clandon Daffodils
Ian picks some perfect blooms. Pic: Annette Taylor

IT HAS been a tough year for flower growers, with Covid-19 restrictions limiting sales opportunities, they told Times reporter Melenie Parkes.

The couple own Clandon Daffodils in Gordonton, Waikato where they grow around 150 varieties for commercial purposes and pick about 80,000 bunches – each comprising 10 stems – every year. They have a farm shop where they sell some of their flowers but most of their sales come from the flower market in Auckland.

With the country’s biggest city in lockdown, Ian says they have had to think up new ways to move their time-sensitive crop.

“We were able to hook into a few supermarkets around the Waikato and diversify our customers. And another thing that happened was that the people – local people from around here – really supported us by buying at our shop, which made a huge difference,” he says.

The Riddells also sell daffodil bulbs through their website.


To read the article in the Waikato Times, click here.  This also features a clip from Country Calendar.

And finally, a Hamilton company is making goat’s cheese using milk from a Puketaha farm, reports Denise Irving in the Waikato Times.


Small is beautiful at Cilantro Cheese, a Hamilton company that is less well-known than some of the bigger names among Waikato cheesemakers.

But open a packet of Cilantro’s fresh chevre and any comparisons of size and profile melt away: the chevre is bright, tangy, creamy, and delicious, with maybe just a hint of lemon. It is Cilantro’s flagship goat’s cheese…


Something to try!  Read the story in the Waikato Times here.

Share this page:


Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: