Spectrum 076. Te Puia diary
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Spectrum was a long-running weekly radio documentary series which captured the essence of New Zealand from 1972 to 2016. Alwyn Owen and Jack Perkins produced the series for many years, creating a valuable library of New Zealand oral history.
Jack Perkins accompanies 32 children aged 10–12 from Wellington’s Karori West School, as they travel to Te Puia Springs, 60 miles north of Gisborne to learn first-hand what country life is like. Some have never been on a train before and, along with two teachers and two parents, they embark on their 13 hour, train, railcar and bus journey.
Jack lets the children describe their journey, expectations and experiences.
Tuesday 13th, the children go to Te Puia Springs School and are greeted with a song. One thought the school would be smaller, it has three classrooms. Te Puia has a population of around 300 people, 2 stores and a big hotel owned by Mr Racus [?] who showed them the hot springs out the back. A visit to Tikitiki church evokes a lot of discussion.
Wednesday 14th. A visit to the hospital where they were split up into groups lead by Dr Richards, Mrs Suva and Miss Barber. One group goes to the old ladies ward where Sister Porata tells them about becoming a nurse. Lunch at Mr William’s farm at Puketiti was followed by lamb tail docking, discussions about sheep and pigs and then up to the top of Puketiti hill for the views. It rained that night.
Thursday, still raining and the children are all a bit tired. Down at the school, Jack asks them if it was a holiday or educational, did they learn anything about the people, are the children different? The children explained what they found surprising about the Māori way of life and that money did not seem important.
Narrated by Rachel Hancock, Diana Perry and Jane Pankhurst, pupils of Karori West School.
Produced by Jack Perkins.