This story – a conversation with Taku Parai – was a long time in coming. I’d been asking Taku to tell us about the suburb in which I live for some time and I finally got him to sit down and talk with me. The ending stops suddenly because his phone rang – he’s a busy man.
Because he really just talks it took a long time to edit, as do many of these local histories. But they are worth the effort for their value.
I spent quite a while looking online for images and was grateful for the Alexander Turnbull Library’s collection and their willingness to share. The local museum, Pataka also has a wealth of images and so it became difficult to decide which to use. When I failed to find appropriate old images I went out and about and took some of my own. On some I used the black and white option to make them fit with the other images a little more, but the piece where he talks about the long summer months seemed appropriate for colour and the shot of the Takapu Valley is so beautiful it deserved the same colour retention.
I was also aided by input from friends who looked closely at the story and made useful suggestions – for example contextualising the story with my own voice.
I’m hoping this works. I think it does.