Cooking Recipes:  Includes traditional Kiwi cooking recipies, the most famous ones, Pavlova and Punakaiki pancakes. Later I'll add some of my mums recipies when she's not lookin.  

Life in the Gorge:  A hilerious book about a young townie trying to make a go at farming in the depression. Written by LesMarriott it recounts his experiences while living in the Otaki Gorge at a time in New Zealand's history when making a bob was very difficult. Included is a chapter from the book, that describe his money making pig farming venture.  For more about the Author and the book.

Les Marriott.jpg (9209 bytes)Les Marriott finished his electrical apprenticeship in the first year of the Depression, only to find electricians more plentiful than jobs. It was the start of the sugarbag years, and prospects for a young man in need of a job were bleak. But Les had a little cash, a rifle, a dog-and a lot of courage. When he heard of a chance to lease a 1000-acre block in the Otaki Gorge (north of Wellington) for a pound a week he jumped at it. He bought an ancient (even for those days) Model T truck from the milkman for fifteen pounds, and with five pounds in his pocket and a glorious vision of himself as a land baron the raw young townie set off for the gorge. For the next few years his 'homestead' was a one-room tin shack, where at times the fleas would turn you over in bed to get at the other side. The living was hard, but freedom, independence and the rugged beauty of the bush-clad landscape were some of the many compensations. Also on the plus side were the humour and ingenuity of the old bushmen, good health, and 'mateship'. In the stories he tells in 'Life in the Gorge', Les Marriott doesn't dwell on the suffering and hardship, though there was plenty of that too. Readers will be delighted by this author's laconic style as he recounts hilarious anecdotes, many about doomed get-rich-quick schemes, such as a disastrous venture into pig farming, an attempt at rabbit-breeding which was stymied from the start, and an unfortunate episode to do with making brushes out of horsehair. He draws wonderfully funny thumbnail portraits of such characters as rugged old Cyrus, the blasphemous bushman; Gentleman Mac, the Scottish remittance man; old Sole, the short-tempered farmer carrying out his horrendous vendetta against a marauding cow, and a host of others. Forced from his Otaki Gorge farm by a devastating cyclone, Les Marriott left, very reluctantly, for New Plymouth to help his father set up an electrical contracting business. From there he went to Taumarunui, still in the same business. But the lure of the land was stronger, so he went back, until World War Two broke out and he joined the Air Force. After he was demobbed he took over his present farm at Umewera, just to the north of the Hokianga Harbour in Northland. The stories he tells in 'Life in the Gorge' generated such a tremendous response from listeners all around New Zealand when they were broadcast on Radio New Zealand's 'Rural Fare' that they were later repeated on 'Greenbelt'.                           

For Links on NZ Culture:  


Topp Twins

A Blokes Haven

Threats to Kiwis 

Exchange student