Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 6 September 2012 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 4 | 6 September, 2012
On Monday Kids Restore New
Zealand ambassador Ruud
Kleinpaste, aka “the bugman”,
was in Fiordland with trustee Di
Paton, visiting the various schools
and hearing more about the work
they have been doing.
Ms Paton said they were blown
away by the engagement shown
by all of the students and were
thrilled, on behalf of the trust, to
be able to commit to the project
for at least another two years.
“We think they’re doing a fantastic
job,” she said. “We decided we’d
give a significant amount of
money to this one because they’re
doing really good work.”
While there is a strong
educational focus, through the
Kids Restore New Zealand project,
schools are asked to work with
their community to identify a real
environmental need and provide
leadership in a project beyond the
Ms Paton said the Kepler project
not only ticked all those boxes
but had resulted in all of the
educational providers in the
area sharing a common goal,
meaning children from pre-school
to college level were learning
together, developing skills, values
and knowledge that ensured they
would be good guardians of the
environment for life.
Kepler funding extended
Ian Steel wasn’t too fussed when
offered the job of delivery truck
driver in 1972. Growing up in Ohai,
his first truck driving job was with
Ohai Freight Service which he did
between 1960 and 1965 before
meeting his future wife Janice and
moving to Invercargill.
The Steels returned to the area
in 1970 when they shifted to
Nightcaps after receiving a phone
call offering him a job driving an
open tip truck. Mr Steel was quite
content with his job so when,
two years later, his boss asked
him if he would be the delivery
truck driver, Mr Steel was quick
to decline. However he was roped
into doing the job for a few weeks
just while his boss tried to find a
He remained the delivery truck
driver until May 2012.
Mr Steel’s daily run began with
driving into Invercargill to collect
the day’s freight. He then came
back to Waianiwa to start his
deliveries that ended in Ohai.
Depending on what he had to
deliver, at worst the trip could be
up to 120km.
Mr Steel amusedly recalled a
few interesting deliveries. Once
he, and some other men, had to
deliver a baby grand piano to a
place with lots of narrow stairs and
tiny doorways. It took a long time
and was very trying for Mr Steel’s
He has also delivered a real, dead,
stuffed, ACTUAL baby elephant!
One rather problematic situation
arose when Mr Steel was
delivering a young goat as well as
a bouquet of roses. The end result
was not pretty... ahem.
One time he was waiting at a
depot and watching a big sand
truck unload. Somehow the truck
tipped over, also knocking over
the little toilet building. After the
dust settled a man climbed out
of the fallen building. He looked
a bit confused but was otherwise
unhurt and Mr Steel said it was
the funniest thing he ever saw –
and no-one had even known he
was in there!
Mr Steel reckoned he hadn’t
had many accidents on the job.
Although once he did fall off the
back of the truck and crack a rib.
On his old run Mr Steel had many
shops and businesses to deliver
to. This consisted of four garages,
four milk bars, two butchers, one
bakery, five pubs, three drapers,
(two in Ohai), two post offices,
a couple of fish and chip shops
and a bank in both Ohai and
Nowadays the run comprises just
four pubs, three garages and one
dairy along with farm supplies,
private parcels and Avon orders.
Mr Steel said that back in the old
days Valentine’s Day used to be
a big hit and he’d have tons of
stuff to deliver. But in recent years
Valentine’s Day had become no
different to any other day. And
on top of that every time a shop
closed it meant less work for Mr
During his 40-year reign our
delivery man has used 10 or
eleven different trucks, two brand
new. Mr Steel had his last truck for
12 years. He and his truck even
featured in a TSL calendar.
Together Mr and Mrs Steel raised
four children and now have 10
grandchildren. Part of their family
lives in Australia and the Steels
have just returned from Australia
where they have been visiting with
their most recently born grandson.
The Steels have now moved
to Christchurch where they’re
enjoying their retirement, new
house and gardens.
He may get a job later on but
assured me it won’t be driving
Driver reflects on 40 years of deliveries
Ohai’s Ian Steel who retired this year
after 40 years on the local freight run
where he’s seen huge change in rural
Retired Ohai freight truck driver Ian Steel reckons he’s pretty much seen it all
in 40 years on the job.
After 40 years delivering the Ohai freight, Ian Steel has pretty much seen it all.
Recently retired and relocated to Christchurch, Mr Steel shared his memories with 13-year-old
Ohai resident Petra HannanVoice.
(Continued from Page 1)
The arrival of the rhododendron
flowering season has seen the
Department of Conservation in
Te Anau flooded with calls from
residents concerned about sick
native birds in their gardens.
Ranger Leigh Marshall said
rhododendrons were poisonous
to birds but they were oblivious to
this and at this time of year there
was not a lot of other nectar for
them to feed on.
“It doesn’t always kill them but it
usually knocks them out, they get
pretty sick,” she said. “They either
get hypothermia – they can’t keep
themselves warm anymore – or
get gobbled by a cat.”
Good Samaritans were bringing
sick birds in to DOC but she
said people could take steps at
home to help the birds out. She
recommended that anyone who
came across a sick bird put it into
a cardboard box with a lid and
keep it in a water heater cupboard
or similar warm place overnight.
It was best to also put a small
dish or saucer of water mixed with
sugar in the box.
“They usually recover by the next
day so they can be released,
ideally where they were found.”
If, after doing this, the bird didn’t
recover and it was a native, people
were welcome to bring it to the
Te Anau Wildlife Centre, Miss
Rhododendrons were likely to
for birds until
Sick birds cause concern in Fiordland gardens
an attractive, yet toxic,
source of nectar for
birds during spring.
Independent operator so delivery to a Northern Southland butcher of your choice
New 4X4 truck
for killing cattle
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