‘I have really enjoyed the new release Puketiti Station by Bee Dawson for a number of reasons. Not only was I delighted at the format, described as a paperback but in fact a really nice flexi-cover with dust-jacket, it made me recall the beautiful area in which Puketiti is situated.
As a teenager and relatively fresh from an upbringing in the Orient, I was invited to give a hand at shearing time, on what must have been the neighbouring Takapau Station, where my older sister’s boyfriend worked. Full of excitement and anticipation, I was soon to learn the true meaning of hard work! After a 10 minute instruction on how to pick up, throw and check a fleece, I became an expert “rousie” who took a very personal pride in my work, particularly when told by the gang boss that the Maori shearing boys thought “that skinny Pakeha girl can sure work!”
I do remember through the haze of perpetual exhaustion, the lovely and then, remote spot in Te Puia Springs where we stayed and where I experienced the wonderful hospitality and warmth of the local people. Little things like fresh maori bread, bareback horse-riding on the beach at Waipiro Bay, watching the local boys bring in kina and going up to the marae for my very first hangi!
A book has surely done its job when you enjoy it and it also makes you smile!’