The Manawatu seems to now define itself as The Place With The Wind Turbines. The turbines feature in the logo of the Manawatu District Council, on the cover of the latest phonebook, and the Manawatu rugby team are called the Turbos, complete with stylised wind turbine blades in their logo. I don’t know what’s going to happen to the region’s identity when other turbines are build around New Zealand.
I drove out to the viewing platform at Ashurst and… viewed the turbines. Is this what power companies mean that such turbines bring tourism benefits? I went for a drive up among the turbines in the hill, but even that was a bit boring.
Then I discovered that on the other side of the Manawatu Gorge is the little village of Mangatainoka, home of the Tui brewery, mate, so I set off there.
I missed the turn off at Woodville (yes, there appears to be a town in New Zealand called Woodville), and ended up driving all the way to Dannevirke.
Dannevirke, if you believe the town’s self-image, was founded by Vikings. Well, I suppose if Stratford can turn its Taranakiness into a Shakespearean wonderland, Dannevirke can pretend that its Danish and Norweigian settlers were Vikings.
So I finally made it to Mangatainoka, and indeed there was the Tui brewery. I visited the gift shop and bought a “Yeah, right” fridge magnet set, with which I can subvert the dominant paradigm and make things like “Chicks dig projectile vomiting. Yeah, right.” Interestingly, the set comes with only two pieces of punctuation – two exclamation marks, but i dont see whats wrong with that!!
After that I headed back to Palmy, and drove out to Massey University. It’s possibly the prettiest university setting – lush woodland. I also drove around the previously mentioned Savage Crescent (twice!), which is an equally pretty state housing suburb.
The film festival is on here, and I saw “Who killed the electric car?”. Most of the audience seemed to be lefties – who snickered every time George Bush said anything, regardless of whether it was snickerworthy – and beardy scientist-looking fellows, the sort who could probably build an electric car in an afternoon. The film made me feel a bit guilty for driving around in my rental car, but, uh, I’m stick with it for a few more days.