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A job for the Missus?

By Trevor Ammundsen

The bills have been pouring in lately, rates, insurance, annual donation request from the WRC, a never-ending list of demands. Our cash resources have been stretched and a few sleepless nights have been spent trying to come up with a solution. I was getting nowhere with this until I heard that DOC was looking at giving someone the rights to manage access to Cathedral Cove. That could be a winner I thought, set the missus on a stool selling tickets. How hard can this be?

First step was to ring DOC to see what was involved in getting this position. I gave them a call and once the receptionist had gained an understanding of what I wanted she said she would put me through to Miss Willows who oversaw this. The extension duly got answered with a bright and breezy. “Whispering speaking, how can I help?”. Couldn’t help but notice the Greens influence was creeping into DOC in a significant way, but I didn’t let this impede me and I set about describing why I was calling.

I asked about the opportunity to manage access to Cathedral Cove and stated that we had an interest in taking this option up. Whispering developed a slight change in her voice as she informed me, we would have to be part of an Iwi to qualify. It would be easy to take such a retort as a negative or even racist comment, but I was up to this. “Of course,” I responded, “I am from the Chatham Islands so identify with Moriori, is that ok?”. Whispering seemed a bit taken aback by this and asked me if there were any Moriori left? I responded by informing her that the last full-blooded Moriori died in 1936, but there were plenty of mixed blood left. “Much like the Maori population,” I added.

Whispering then tapped on her phone for a minute, later explaining she was verifying my story on Google. Having done so she suddenly became more helpful and asked what help I needed. I explained to her that I had plans to set up a small shed with the missus in it to sell tickets, build some toilet facilities and arrange transport for those who needed and could afford it. We discussed this for a while and she mentioned we would need to submit a professional proposal detailing funding, effect on birdlife, Pohutakawa planting to be done, any effects on local businesses and so on.

The discussion continued and it became apparent my vision might not be broad enough as we would need a Café, souvenir sales and ethical Moriori artifacts for sale. I gulped at this and told Miss Willows that this was probably going to be over my budget. “Not a problem” was the response “the taxpayers will back you with a $3.5 million grant; you will be fine”. This good news brought a smile to my face, but I needed to know more so I asked a few questions about term of contract, apparently not determined, penalties for not adhering to submitted plan, apparently none. As I received further information from Whispering, a cunning plan formed in my mind.

Costs could be cut down immensely by having an honesty box linked up to a stock yard drafting gate. This would mean we did not need a permanent presence on site so the missus would only need to call out to the site when her chardonnay account needed replenishing. Tourists could bring their own sausage rolls so no need for any flash cafes or facilities. Our running costs would be slashed.

“Can I submit a proposal requiring a smaller grant?” I asked, “I think I can do this for $2 million”. Whispering responded in a shocked voice that nobody ever took less money than was offered and questioned how seriously DOC would consider my proposal should I do something so odd. Bidding Whispering Willows adieu, I hung up the phone and considered the matter.

It seemed my plan was achievable but presented two challenges. Firstly, would my bold plan to take a smaller grant be a winner or a loser? Secondly, how was I going to explain to the missus that she had to dig a couple of long drops at the beach.

 |  The Informer  | 

By Trevor Ammundsen

The bills have been pouring in lately, rates, insurance, annual donation request from the WRC, a never-ending list of demands. Our cash resources have been stretched and a few sleepless nights have been spent trying to come up with a solution. I was getting nowhere with this until I heard that DOC was looking at giving someone the rights to manage access to Cathedral Cove. That could be a winner I thought, set the missus on a stool selling tickets. How hard can this be?

First step was to ring DOC to see what was involved in getting this position. I gave them a call and once the receptionist had gained an understanding of what I wanted she said she would put me through to Miss Willows who oversaw this. The extension duly got answered with a bright and breezy. “Whispering speaking, how can I help?”. Couldn’t help but notice the Greens influence was creeping into DOC in a significant way, but I didn’t let this impede me and I set about describing why I was calling.

I asked about the opportunity to manage access to Cathedral Cove and stated that we had an interest in taking this option up. Whispering developed a slight change in her voice as she informed me, we would have to be part of an Iwi to qualify. It would be easy to take such a retort as a negative or even racist comment, but I was up to this. “Of course,” I responded, “I am from the Chatham Islands so identify with Moriori, is that ok?”. Whispering seemed a bit taken aback by this and asked me if there were any Moriori left? I responded by informing her that the last full-blooded Moriori died in 1936, but there were plenty of mixed blood left. “Much like the Maori population,” I added.

Whispering then tapped on her phone for a minute, later explaining she was verifying my story on Google. Having done so she suddenly became more helpful and asked what help I needed. I explained to her that I had plans to set up a small shed with the missus in it to sell tickets, build some toilet facilities and arrange transport for those who needed and could afford it. We discussed this for a while and she mentioned we would need to submit a professional proposal detailing funding, effect on birdlife, Pohutakawa planting to be done, any effects on local businesses and so on.

The discussion continued and it became apparent my vision might not be broad enough as we would need a Café, souvenir sales and ethical Moriori artifacts for sale. I gulped at this and told Miss Willows that this was probably going to be over my budget. “Not a problem” was the response “the taxpayers will back you with a $3.5 million grant; you will be fine”. This good news brought a smile to my face, but I needed to know more so I asked a few questions about term of contract, apparently not determined, penalties for not adhering to submitted plan, apparently none. As I received further information from Whispering, a cunning plan formed in my mind.

Costs could be cut down immensely by having an honesty box linked up to a stock yard drafting gate. This would mean we did not need a permanent presence on site so the missus would only need to call out to the site when her chardonnay account needed replenishing. Tourists could bring their own sausage rolls so no need for any flash cafes or facilities. Our running costs would be slashed.

“Can I submit a proposal requiring a smaller grant?” I asked, “I think I can do this for $2 million”. Whispering responded in a shocked voice that nobody ever took less money than was offered and questioned how seriously DOC would consider my proposal should I do something so odd. Bidding Whispering Willows adieu, I hung up the phone and considered the matter.

It seemed my plan was achievable but presented two challenges. Firstly, would my bold plan to take a smaller grant be a winner or a loser? Secondly, how was I going to explain to the missus that she had to dig a couple of long drops at the beach.