Trumpet: The Don Plots Social Media Comeback

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

Former POTUS Donald Trump is planning a comeback from the social media wilderness to which he was cast after being banned from FaceBook/Twitter/Instagram et al. for repeated indiscretions, violations of posting protocols and for allegedly inciting a red-neck insurrection on Capitol Hill at the end of his White House reign.

Exclusion from social media platforms that gave Trump a voice, effectively silenced him by eliminating his principal means of addressing his followers who were hungry for short, punchy chunks of misinformation, vitriol and rhetoric.

At his prime, Trump had 88 million Twitter followers who were regularly enlightened by random snippets of thought posted from the comfort of his “smart” phone to his enthusiastic MAGA audience. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American president has been silenced,” Trump claimed by e-mail.

The social media sanctions applied to Trump have muted his voice and given the world a welcome rest from his persistent bullying of opponents, bombastic misinformation and self-aggrandisement. However, this respite may soon end as The Don prepares for a significant comeback to social media by launching his own platform to circumvent the current and any future attempts to dumb the great man further.

Tentatively known as “Trumpet,” Trump’s planned social media service will open new doors for The Don and his followers. “Trumpet will be the greatest ever,” said Trump in a signed press release received in the mail yesterday. “It’ll be more fabulous than FaceBook, more tremendous than Twitter, Tik-Tok and Tumblr, less fake than FOX and more “IN” than Instagram,” he added.

The governors will definitely be off any Trump posts from a network he owns and controls, not being one for self-censorship, social etiquette, accepted norms, nor verifiable facts. First amendment rights will likely be tested, stretched and plumbed as he trumpets his mind to all and sundry from the safety of his own platform.

Trumpet will, of course, be the “best,” “greatest,” and will cast a dark shade over all other “loser” services. Here is a list of things Trump states he is best at: 

Building walls… “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.” 

Creating jobs... “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that, believe me.” 

Being a defender and a champion… “I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion, believe me.” 

Helping women… “I cherish women. I want to help women. I’m going to be able to do things for women that no other candidate would be able to do.” 

Not being anti-Semitic… “I am the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life.” 

Not being racist... “I am the least racist person, the least racist person that you’ve ever seen, the least.” 

Having words... “I know words; I have the best words.” 

Handling bad stories… “I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody, as long as it’s true.” 

Understanding debt... “I’m the king of debt. I understand debt better than probably anybody. I know how to deal with debt so well. I love debt.” 

Breaking the glass ceiling… “I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women more than anybody in the construction industry.” 

Beating China at things... “When was the last time anybody saw [the US] beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.” 

Golf courses… “Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him, I actually would say. I have the best courses in the world, so I’d say, you know what, if he wants to.” 

Social Media Services…” I’m the KING of social media…Trumpet will be bigger, better faster, smoother, louder, punchier, fatter, simpler, fancier, stronger, bitchier and more slanderous than anything ever before.” 

Trump followed up with more back patting…”I went from VERY successful businessman, to top TV Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that,” He said.

  • I am the most successful person ever to run for president. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me. I have the best words. I am the most fabulous whiner.
  • I am the best builder. Nobody builds walls better than me. I build the best product. Nobody can build a wall like Trump.
  • I’ve always had people say, “Donald, you have the most beautiful hands.” I have the steadiest hands. I have a very good brain.
  • Somebody made the statement that Donald Trump has built or owns the greatest collection of golf courses, ever, in the history of golf. And I believe that is 100 percent true. I have the best courses in the world.
  • I went to one of the best schools.
  • On trade, there’s nobody more conservative than me.
  • I’m the most conservative when it comes to military, when it comes to the border, when it comes to security, when it comes to illegal immigration: all of these things.
  • I think I’m the most conservative person there is. I am the only one who can fix our southern border. There is nobody more against Obamacare than me.
  • I could fix TV talk shows that are doing poorly. There is tremendous talent out there waiting to be tapped, and nobody sees it!
  • I am the worst thing that ever happened to ISIS.
  • I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created. Nobody knows jobs like I do. I will create jobs like no one else!
  • Nobody has more respect for women than I do.
  • No one has done more for people with disabilities than me.

After making numerous unsuccessful attempts to circumvent his tweeting ban regain his status at the Twitter podium, he concluded that going it alone was the only way to reclaim his social media mantle.

Should Trumpet achieve Trumps self-promotional aspirations, he is apparently planning a full orchestra of self-aggrandising mechanisms, including “Saxophone,” a mobile communications service, “Euphonium,” which will be dedicated to creating euphemisms and “Drum” an advertising and promotional instrument.

A jubilant Trump said in a postcard from Mar-a-Lago, Florida,” I’m totally excited to have this opportunity to again lead the world with my big brain and my little fingers via social media and this time, I will be able to say exactly what I want without pesky censorship or stupid rules and regulations.”

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Go ON Max Gawn

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

As captain of the All Australian Football team and Melbourne Football Club, one of the teams competing for this year’s AFL Grand Final, Big Maxie Gawn is having his best year EVER!.

Max Gawn Leads the Demons into Battle  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images).

Born in Australia to West Coasters from Greymouth, Max spent some of his childhood in Greymouth and at now 6’10” (208 cm) and 108 kgs (about 17 stone), had he stayed on the West Coast of the South Island, his now red and blue #11 guernsey would likely be All Black number 4 or 5.

In AFL, being selected for the All-Australian team is a high accolade and Max Gawn was made captain of the team this year after previously being selected four times. All-Australian captain is the gold medal of AFL and is secondary only to the Brownlow Medal for the fairest and best player of the year.

2021 All-Australian Football Team Captain Max Gawn (centre) Flanked by Fellow Demon Guns Mid-fielders Christian Petracca (left) and Clayton Oliver.

Gawn was working as a pizza chef for Dominos when selected by the Melbourne Football Club as pick #34 in the 2009 draft. He became a stalwart of the team and now its ultimate leader becoming captain in 2020. This year, BIG Maxie has led his team to the Grand Final for the first time since 2000 with a spectacular individual performance in the preliminary final against Geelong kicking five goals. The club hasn’t won the premiership for 57 years.

Pizza Chef Max Gawn Celebrates his Selection for the Melbourne Football Club with his Kiwi Parents.

Ironically, due to COVID lockdown and quarantine restrictions, the AFL Grand Final will be played in Perth, Western Australia and not Melbourne’s home ground the MCG, so many Demon’s fans will not be able to travel to WA to support their team against another Melbourne-based team, the Western Bulldogs.

Melbourne fans have had a long wait for their team to take home the ultimate prize of the premiership cup, maybe this is the year for the Demons to rise under the leadership of Gawn and bring the flag home to Melbourne this weekend (COVID travel restrictions permitting!)

Long-Suffering Melbourne Fan Anticipating a Flag

AFL Premiership Winners

YearPremiership teamRunner-up
2019RichmondGWS Giants
2018West CoastCollingwood
2016Western BulldogsSydney Swans
2015HawthornWest Coast
2014HawthornSydney Swans
2013HawthornFremantle Dockers
2012Sydney SwansHawthorn
2010CollingwoodSt Kilda
2009GeelongSt Kilda
2007GeelongPort Adelaide
2006West CoastSydney Swans
2005Sydney SwansWest Coast
2004Port AdelaideBrisbane Lions
2003Brisbane LionsCollingwood
2002Brisbane LionsCollingwood
2001Brisbane LionsEssendon
1999North MelbourneCarlton
1998AdelaideNorth Melbourne
1997AdelaideSt Kilda
1996North MelbourneSydney Swans
1994West CoastGeelong
1992West CoastGeelong
1991HawthornWest Coast
1978HawthornNorth Melbourne
1977North MelbourneCollingwood
1976HawthornNorth Melbourne
1975North MelbourneHawthorn
1974RichmondNorth Melbourne
1971HawthornSt Kilda
1966St KildaCollingwood
1965EssendonSt Kilda
1950EssendonNorth Melbourne
1945CarltonSouth Melbourne
1936CollingwoodSouth Melbourne
1935CollingwoodSouth Melbourne
1934RichmondSouth Melbourne
1933South MelbourneRichmond
1918South MelbourneCollingwood
1914CarltonSouth Melbourne
1913FitzroySt Kilda
1912EssendonSouth Melbourne
1909South MelbourneCarlton
1907CarltonSouth Melbourne
1899FitzroySouth Melbourne
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In for a Penny, Out with a Pounding

Off the Top of My Head 

Book Review: “The Last Front Line: Building the Paparoa Great Walk” by Brendan O’Dwyer 

By Paul Murray 

It’s a long way from Tipperary to the wilds of the Paparoa National Park on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. However, Irishman Brendan O’Dwyer found himself with an opportunity to work with a team of hardy backwoodsmen to tame a chunk of wilderness to allow the general public to experience its wonders by creating the first purpose-built Great Walk/Ride track in New Zealand.   

Once the job was done, O’Dwyer decided to write a book about the trials, triumphs, tribulations and tragedy that he encountered in a place that perhaps only Maori hunters and his intrepid forbears may have experienced fossicking for gold in the rush of the 1860s.  

His book, “The Last Front Line: Building the Paparoa Great Walk” was recently released at a book launch in Punakaiki on December 5, 2020, and has proved a popular Christmas stocking filler selling out quickly up and down the Coast.  This is understandable as the very personal, blokey account of the almost three-year endeavour to tame the bush and allow access for trampers and mountain bikers to enjoy is a bloody good read indeed.   

The Paparoa Track is a 55-kilometre purpose-built walking/mountain biking track over the Paparoa Ranges between Blackball and Punakaiki. The track was conceived as a memorial to the 29 miners who tragically lost their lives in the Pike River mine explosion on November 19, 2010. Their bodies remain deep underground to this day with all attempts at retrieving their remains have been thwarted by logistical challenges that have, thus far, been determined too dangerous to overcome. The track will be a lasting tribute to the tragic loss of life of the miners and may help to overcome the grief of the families of those lost. The Paparoa Track will connect with the Pike 29 Memorial Track, which is currently under construction and will include an information centre that chronicles the incident and provides a lasting reminder of the inherent danger of coal mining and the bravery of those who work the seams.  

The $12 million project was authorised under the National government in 2016 and construction work was managed by the WestReef Environmental Projects team based in Westport.   

The story begins with our protagonist as an enthusiastic greenhorn determined to earn his stripes among the hardy and hardened bushmen he joined to help get the job done. In the process, the experience developed into a rite of passage where a boy became a man and gained the confidence only adventure, experience and hardship can muster. The labour of love became a love of labour, and the tale is about the camaraderie developed among the men thrown together in a challenging environment and unusual circumstances to achieve a common goal.   

O’Dwyer makes occasional reference throughout the book to the quandary he felt about damaging the bush and unsettling the balance of nature to achieve the goal of completing the track. He has numerous interactions with nature and the wildlife living within it and details his love and appreciation of the natural wonderland that became his “office” for two years. Also recounted is the fierce power of nature and exposure to the elements. He and the lads endured numerous storms, floods, gales and had to tolerate almost constant rain on their quest to construct the track and the associated facilities. However, the team soldiered on regardless and, despite many setbacks, including the loss of a couple of diggers and other equipment, a broken arm and several near-death experiences, they never gave up and turned adversity into motivation, thinking only of the endpoint.   

Along the way, O’Dwyer makes mistakes, learns a lot, gets a promotion, becomes an accomplished digger operator, manages to name two sections of the track after his children Odin and Quillyn and develops a genuine love and great respect for the Paparoa Ranges. He emerges from the adventure with a sure sense of pride at having been involved in a project that will leave a legacy for future generations of New Zealanders and international visitors to enjoy the scenery in some comfort without the hardships of the pioneers.   

The book is also an autobiographical account of O’Dwyer’s childhood, coming up hard in penury in the bogs of rural Ireland. It was here he inherited a work ethic that gained him acceptance into the team that triumphed over inclement weather, bureaucracy, moral dilemmas and geographical and geological barriers and considerable adversity to establish New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk/Ride; the Paparoa and Pike29 Memorial Track.   

For more information about the Paparoa/Pike 29 Memorial Track:

Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Brendan O'Dwyer, DOC, Environment, Historical, Karamea, Mining, Mountain Biking, MTB, Nature, New Zealand, Paparoa, Paul Murray, South Island, Tourism, Tramping, Travel, West Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Karamea Property Report 2019

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

After almost two years as a land agent here in Karamea at the top of the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, I have learnt a lot about property, our region and the intricacies of contract law, LIM reports, titles, easements and a raft of other complicated legal implications involved in the transfer of a property from seller to buyer.

I’ve approached the real estate business as a professional service rather than a sales job and attempt to help my clients through a property-purchase process to make it as smooth, transparent and stress-free as possible. As a property purchase is, for many people, one of their most significant investment decisions, it’s essential to get it right, and I enjoy helping people through the process.

I’m pleased to report I have found buyers for over 40 properties since I started with Property Brokers and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and learning experience and the satisfaction of helping my clients sell their properties and welcoming new people into our region.


Karamea has a robust demand for rental properties as well, and I’m finding quite a bit of interest in the market from investors looking to get their money out of the banks and into property where the perception is that their returns will be higher and their cash safer.

The Buller region has the best rental returns in the country as property here can be purchased much cheaper relative to other areas. According to, the average price of a three-bedroom home in the Buller region is currently $205,794, and average rent in the region is $280 p.w., which provides a rental yield of around 7.5%. This is an attractive return on investment, particularly when the long-term capital gain potential is also considered, but be prepared to invest for more than five years for a rental property to avoid paying capital gains tax when the property is sold.


New Government Valuations (GVs) will be publicly available around the middle of January next year, so it will be interesting to see which way they go. I suspect (speculatively) that GVs in our region will increase as properties have been selling well for prices significantly higher than the current GVs. This indicates strong demand in the market and buyers are prepared to pay over and above GV to secure property in this emerging and attractive region.

Rateable valuations, government valuations and capital valuations are fundamentally the same thing. The valuations are an attempt by the government to standardise the valuation process across the country to give buyers, owners and sellers confidence in the capital value of land and buildings. These valuations are calculated by local authorities and also used to assign rates for the property. That said, GVs in the Karamea region were generally higher in 2008 than they are now, and I’m yet to hear of anyone who has had their rates decrease!

Prospective buyers use GVs as a gauge of a property’s value, and people often ask why the GV is lower than the asking price. Government valuers assess property value based on general factors for the region that don’t include such considerations as improvements to the property, the condition of land and buildings, chattels, renovations, views, aspect, location etc.

Property owners in Karamea have been quite frustrated by the lower GVs assigned to their properties in recent valuations, which have been linked to the economic malaise being experiences in Westport and other Buller districts resulting from the closure of Stockton and Reefton mines, Holcim Cement moving to Timaru, which impacted on Buller Electricity and Westport Harbour as Holcim was their largest client.

In addition, the dairy industry also simultaneously went udders up, and another of the region’s main economic drivers suffered a downturn. The loss of jobs in the Buller that resulted from these events led to a sharp drop in Westport property values and the GVs in the Karamea region also declined by association.

As our local economy is mostly independent of Westport, I consider the downturn is of little relevance properties in our region given its excellent location, quality and appeal. I explain this to prospective buyers to assure them that asking prices for local properties are justified.

As GVs are only calculated every three years, they can be very inaccurate as the market can change quite quickly, and the GVs can be left behind as the market progresses. People often say, “A property is only worth what the market will pay for it,” and this is very true. Buyers and what they are prepared to pay for a property determine actual property values. My role is to find that magic figure between buyers and sellers that is acceptable to both parties, and I’m pleased to be able to say that the prices achieved for my vendors have been well above GV in most cases.

Average House Price October 2019 v October 2016 (Source
August/September/October, 2019 sales figures for the Buller District: (Source:

If you are interested in an assessment of the current market value of your property, please give me a call, and I will do a free appraisal for you based on recent sales of comparable properties and other market developments.

It will be interesting to see what the new GVs for our region will be when they are released. I suspect they will begin to tick up again on the back of robust property sales in the region, but I hope our rates don’t follow suit!

Thank you to everyone in the Karamea community for their support and encouragement. I’m really enjoying my new role, and if I can be of assistance to any readers, who are thinking of buying or selling property in the Karamea region, if you have any questions or need some information relating to property, please contact me anytime.

Posted in Advertising, Buller District Council, Community, Economics, Karamea, Paul Murray, Property, Property Brokers, Real Estate, South Island, Uncategorized, West Coast | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Artists Plan New “ArtofNature” Exhibition for Tokyo


Original ArtofNature Montage Image by Paul Murray ©

Off the Top of my Head

By Paul Murray

This photograph really started something.

It was taken on the Heaphy Track in the Kahurangi National Park at the top of the South Island of New Zealand in 2005.

Paul jpg

Paul Murray

I’ve always been interested in the concept of photography as art and try to incorporate a metaphor in my abstract nature images to increase their artistic merit and suggest something other than what is.

In this image, I see an exponential staircase that represents a person’s passage through life. There are some triumphs, trials and tribulations, some challenges and pitfalls, but overall, progress is made.

The photograph is a mix of straight lines that creates a curve, much like a natural Spirograph and it occurred to me that the image could present a completely different feel when rotated and viewed from another perspective. From this, I also saw potential for a new image to be created by rotating, inverting, mirroring and flipping the image and rejoining it to create a kaleidoscopic montage.

I lacked the requisite graphic design skills necessary to realise my idea, so I asked my Belgian artist friend Arnaud “PsoMan” Vanderkerken, who is also a computer graphic specialist, for help.

tumblr_static_avatarArnaud was staying with us in Karamea, New Zealand as a resident artist at the LivingInPeace Project and was painting and developing his artistic style. I asked him if he was able to take my photo and combine it different ways to create a series of new images. He took the project on and we collaborated on the “Exhibition of One Photograph” whereby we used a single abstract nature photo to create a series of entirely new artworks.

Technological advances in software and app development have enabled me to create my own images and I have developed an idea of a new body of work called “ArtofNature Montages.” I am now able to take my abstract nature images and create simple montages and plan to exhibit these in Tokyo.


Since our collaboration in 2006, PsoMan has been travelling the world brightening walls, buildings, public spaces with his incredible murals. He has been prolific and established himself as an internationally renowned artist. His style is easily recognisable, unique, original and brilliant.


I would like to again collaborate with Psoman for a Tokyo exhibition to recognise his contribution to my artistic evolution and to showcase his talent as a muralist and graphic designer. We’d like to share my ArtofNature Montages and Psoman’s Murals with the people of Japan. In order to achieve this, we need your help and financial support. Please join our crowd-funding campaign to raise the necessary money to host the show. We promise a mind-blowing display of artistic excellence, see you there!


Posted in Art, Artist, Artist-in-residency programme, Belgium, Heaphy Track, Japan, Kahurangi National Park, Karamea, LivinginPeace Project, Nature, New Zealand, Paul Murray, Photography, Resident artist, South Island, Uncategorized, West Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Opportunity Knocks in Paradise

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray 

In the Spring of 2006, German traveller Lena Fischbach happened across a remote Marlborough Sounds lodge, met Kiwi journeyman Mike MacMillan and ended up with two kids living in Karamea at the top of the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

Together, they have made a life for themselves and their young family by establishing two businesses; Nature aHead Hairdressing is Lena’s contribution to the family coffers and Mike set up Baker’s Creek Automotive, a successful company that provides mechanical repair services to people living in the Karamea region. The workshop is Warrant of Fitness (WOF) accredited, and this is an essential service for Karamea people to keep their vehicles roadworthy and compliant. It also provides a steady year-round cash flow for the business.

Lena Nature aHead

Lena Fischbach at Nature aHead at The Cross in Karamea

Lena Nature aHead II

Hairstylist Lena trained with Vidal Sassoon in Germany and keeps the ladies of Karamea in the latest style and the men looking tidy, while Mike ensures their vehicles, tractors, farm equipment and are all warranted and well maintained. He also provides a light engineering service that is of great benefit for the local community, who would otherwise have to travel out of the district for such work.


Kohaihai River mouth at the entrance to the Heaphy Track, Karamea. 

Together they set up a dream lifestyle that allowed them to live in a place they consider to be “paradise” and earn a good living to provide for their family. They enjoy the peace and quiet, the fresh air, the birdsong, the clean rivers, the forests and beaches, the many scenic attractions like the Oparara Basin and Heaphy Track in the Karamea region, which is western the gateway to the Kahurangi National Park. Mike loves fishing and Lena is always on the tennis court, mountain biking or hiking on the Heaphy Track or surfing at Little Wanganui.

Their kids Trevor (8) and Tilly (7) attend Karamea Area School and are actively involved in extracurricular activities like kapa haka, Irish dancing, hula-hooping, exploring the forest trails, swimming in the river, fishing and motorbike riding on the beach.


L-R: Trevor, Lena, Tilly and Mike

Mike sustained a back injury in 2014 that has seriously impaired his ability to run his business, and he has regrettably decided to sell it to focus on healing and overcoming his injury. This provides a great opportunity for someone keen on living in a wonderful location, to have a great quality of life and a means of earning a good living by providing an important community service. This is a chance to take the reins on an established business that has real growth potential that enables the owner to live in the paradise that is Karamea. “I love the challenge of the business, but I’m not able to keep doing it and I wouldn’t be selling it if I didn’t have to,” said Mike. It’s a great opportunity for someone and I’d love to pass it on and keep it growing,” said Mike.


Trevor Mike and “Max” at Baker’s Creek Automotive

“My business is satisfying, it’s everything I wanted as a person and as a mechanic, it’s productive, profitable and the work is diverse, which keeps it interesting, but I’ve, unfortunately, come to a point where I am unable to continue,” said Mike. “The business is integral to the community, and I want it to continue. I’m happy to assist a new owner to get established in any way I can…I just can’t be in the front row, I am physically unable to continue,” he added.

Baker’s Creek Automotive is housed in a modern purpose-built workshop on that could be leased or purchased and comes with full plant and equipment necessary to immediately take over the shops many existing clients and have an immediate income. The workshop is on 1.62 hectares of land that includes about an acre of pasture land, a couple of acres of native bush and a large carpark for customers’ vehicles awaiting repair. It is located about four kilometres from the Karamea township on Oparara Road and is easily accessible and the grounds low maintenance. It includes office space and lunch room and will soon be connected to mains power.


Baker’s Creek Automotive


The Workshop


Karamea is the warmest, driest region on the West Coast. It is located about 100 kilometres north of Westport and is the Western gateway to the Kahurangi National Park, the Heaphy Track and the Oparara Basin. The community of about 600 people consists of farmers, horticulturalists, tourism operators, people with Internet-based vocations and retirees all of whom have a need for automotive and mechanical services. It’s also a wonderful place to raise a family.

“The kids are not inside, behind a fence or on digital devices, they’re out and about running around, playing on the beach, at the river. It’s such an awesome place for the kids, we’ve got a great school, a great community and we love seeing our two growing up with independence and freedom,” said Lena. “After eight years here, I still love it. I get up in the morning and go for a walk, listen to the birds and the sound of the river and sea and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.”

Business ownership options include; lease, lease-to-buy and outright purchase of the property, buildings, stock, plant, and equipment. For someone with a broad understanding of mechanical machinations, sufficient experience and with a burning desire to run your own business and live in a fantastic community surrounded by good people and spectacular scenery, great hunting, fishing, mountain biking, and a nice warm climate…This is for you.

IMG_8586 (1)

Tropical Nikau Palms are a feature of the Karamea landscape

One of the challenges of living in paradise anywhere in the world is to be able to support yourself and your family financially. Karamea is certainly a paradise and Baker’s Creek Automotive is the means for a qualified mechanic/engineer to be able to live and work in the region and the opportunity to take on and grow a business that is already established and viable.

Opportunity is knocking, all you have to do is open the door.

Please contact Property Brokers Agent Paul Murray if you have any questions, require more information or to arrange an inspection of the property, plant, equipment and the Karamea region.

Paul Murray

Ph: 0272-56-9967



Property Details:


Rating Valuation

Capital Value: $158,000
Valuation Date: 1 Sep 2016
Land Value: $112,000
Valuation Reference: 18780/10315
Improvements: $46,000
Legal Information

LOT 14 DP 351316
Title: 214775

Bakers Creek Automotive Plant & Equipment Schedule:

2 x 4-tonne Hoists (1 new)

17CFM New Compressor

Strata 255 Welder (new)


Office and Smoko Room Equip

Tyre Changer & Wheel Balancer


Jacks & Drill Press

Vices & Bench Grinders

Petrol Water-Blaster (new)

40A Plasma Cutter (new)

Beam Setter & Brake Meter

Gas Plant & Sundries

Drop Saw

Pressure Testers, Tap & Die Sets, Reamers

Brake Tool Equip, PortAPower, Axle Stands

Press, Grease Guns, Drum Pumps, Jacks

Light Stands, Ramps, 40 L Sand Blaster

Shelving and Storage Containers

Diesel Workshop Heater

3x Spray Guns, Protective Gear, Bolt Cutters, Clamps

Air Hoses, Regulators, Battery Load Tester

Jumper Leads H/D, Fire Extinguishers

Gas/Arc Welding Consumables

Tig Consumables


12/24 Cebora: Jump Start/Battery Charger

Engine Stand

Back-Up Diesel Generator

Transmission Jack

Electric Water-Blaster

Grinding Equip & Associated Consumables

Numerous Air Tools

WOF Certification


Stock: Filters (various), Bearings, Seals, Gaskets, Heater Hose, Sealants, Paint, Fluids & Oils, Steel Plate, Clamps, Nuts & Bolts, Connectors, Wire, Lights, Tyres & Consumables.

Property Information and Ownership Options:

RE: ECO INVESTMENTS LIMITED (“ECO”) – Sale of Business: Baker Creek Auto Ltd

To Whom It May Concern

Bakers Creek Auto Ltd is currently operating at the premises of Lot 14 Sunset Heights Karamea, title number 214775. There is no formal agreement to lease in place. The current owner of the land (“ECO”) wishes to provide to the potential business purchasers some certainty in respect of ongoing arrangements by providing the following options:

Option 1: Purchase the business and enter into a formal standard ADSL lease with the owner of the land for a term of 3 years with two further rights of renewal of 3 years each, an annual rent of $17,182.61 plus GST and outgoings with rent reviews on each renewal date.

Option 2: Purchase the business and enter into a sale and purchase agreement for the land with a 20% deposit payable and vendor finance for the balance, ie vendor mortgage on terms to be agreed

Option 3: Outright purchase of the land and buildings for the price of $235,000.00 plus GST (if any)




Posted in Business, Children, Community, Economics, Environment, Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park, Karamea, Marriage, Money, Mountain Biking, Nature, New Zealand, Oparara Basin, Oparara Valley Track, Paul Murray, South Island, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ArtofNature Montages By Paul Murray

Off the Top of my Head

By Paul Murray

Based in the remote rural township of Karamea at the top of the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Paul Murray creates montages from abstract photographs by mirroring, flipping and inverting the images to showcase the art inherent in nature.

Instagram: @pauljohnmurray


To purchase any of these images, please e-mail Paul Murray:

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Photographic Art Purchase

ArtofNature Montages By Paul Murray Based in Sunny Karamea at the top of the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, I create montages from my abstract photographs by mirroring, flipping and inverting the images to showcase the art inherent in nature. Instagram: @pauljohnmurray #artofnaturemontage






The History of ArtofNature Photography

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

I accidentally became famous for photography. Here’s the incredible story…Around the time digital cameras were becoming a thing, I was working as a photo-journalist at the Yomiuri Shimbun (the largest newspaper in Japan and possibly the world) and had access to some pretty fancy camera gear as part of my work…The Yomiuri had all the latest Nikon cameras and the new digital gadgets as well. I bought myself a very expensive macro lens that fit onto the Yomiuri camera I was using at the time…It was an F100 film camera…a very good one. I took it on holiday to New Zealand with me in the late 90s. I was very much into photography as art at the time (and still am) and started taking abstract nature photos of the colours, textures, patterns designs and shapes of nature up close. In addition, I tried to incorporate a metaphor into the images to increase their artistic merit…and I did this for personal self-gratification…It was a hobby, and I enjoyed it very much. When I returned to Japan, all my friends wanted to see my holiday photos from New Zealand.

I was reluctant to show them as the images were not at all like most people’s holiday photos…They were obscure, abstract, macro nature photos…I’d taken them for myself, and I didn’t think anyone else would really find them interesting or even good (I have no formal training as a photographer or artist). Anyway, I finally showed a few friends my photos from New Zealand, and they went nuts….They were VERY complimentary and even suggested I do an exhibition…”Mmmmmm….” I said…”Come and see Paul’s holiday photos”…I mean who’s going to come right?” I really didn’t think the photos were worthy of such attention. Them a friend with a fancy cafe restaurant said she’d fund an exhibition at her establishment…I thought…OK, I’ll give it a go…I had nothing to lose, so I selected 100 photos and had them enlarged to A4 size, I then mounted them on black A3 board and we put them up around the cafe. We were pretty happy with the way it looked and the photos worked well as a display at the cafe/restaurant…They really brought an interesting new dynamic to the place.

We had made a postcard featuring one of the images and sent it out to all the cafe customer database and invited all our friends and asked them to bring their friends. On opening day, I was sitting with my cafe-owner friend wondering if anyone would come…What happened was amazing…So many people came, we had to close the restaurant as the waiting staff couldn’t move…for four days! We had to get a guard for the door and only let about 40 people in at a time…People were lined up outside for about 2 1/2 blocks waiting to get in and see the show…This attracted quite a lot of media attention and journalists started to request interviews with “the artist.” I ended up in Japanese photo magazines, newspapers and even did a radio interview…From that, famous Japanese photographers started to come and ask difficult questions about shutter speeds and aperture settings etc…The show was an unprecedented success, we had it up for one month and sold every photo…some of the images sold numerous times…and OK, I didn’t have high prices on the works (I basically doubled the unit cost of presenting the photos, so they were selling for about ¥5,000 each).

After the success of my “ArtofNature” show, I was offered other exhibitions, two in Ginza! I also exhibited my work in Omotesando, Shibuya, Ichikawa and later Kamakura, Zushi and Hayama.

Why was the show so successful? I’ve thought about this a LOT…Japanese people have an inherent appreciation of the natural aesthetic…Nature is in your art, music, poetry, literature and an appreciation of nature is held dear by all Japanese…Even though most Japanese people live in large urban environments ironically devoid of nature…I think my abstract nature images present a sharp contrast between people’s daily lives of concrete, steel, asphalt, glass, chrome and plastic…and appeal to the inner appreciation of nature all Japanese have. My images enable people to momentarily lose themselves in the beauty of nature and forget the tensions, stresses, complications, and challenges of their respective lives and smile a little inside, remember that nature is wonderful and beautiful and that their problems are insignificant when confronted with such natural beauty. Japanese people actually got the idea of the incorporated metaphor as well…They understood my artistic endeavour…(I showed the same photos in Christchurch, New Zealand some years later and there was absolutely NO interest whatsoever…The contrast wasn’t there…People living in New Zealand have much more contact with nature in their daily lives and don’t really have the cultural appreciation of nature Japanese people have.

My next show was titled “Contemplative Observation,” and it was displayed at Las Chicas in Omotesando. I set a stringent set of criteria for the show…I had three rolls of 36-exposure slide film (courtesy of The Yomiuri Shimbun!) and gave myself one hour to shoot each roll of film. Each image was to be taken in urban Tokyo…A little plant growing out of a crack in the pavement, the patterns on a leaf, the flower on a pot plant in front of someone’s house etc. Also, I was to show every image, sight unseen…meaning I was going to display all the images without having seen them myself (this turned out to be one of the most stressful things I have ever done).

It was physically, mentally and emotionally draining to concentrate so hard for 1 hour and take 36 images…I had to make sure every shot was a winner and had just under two minutes per shot in which to do this. It required intense concentration, and I was also working so I did one roll of film per month for three months…All the photos were taken in urban/suburban Tokyo.

I then got myself a carousel projector and developed the slides, loaded the project tor and took it to Las Chicas where about 200 people were waiting to see the new work…(Remember I hadn’t yet seen them myself)…I was beside myself with stress and thought to myself “My God…I’ll be exposed for the artistic fraud I am…This will be the end of my foray into photography…” So, I closed my eyes and pressed the start button on the projector not really knowing what was going to happen and if the images were any good or not…So 108 slides were beamed onto the wall in the courtyard at Las Chicas in front of 200 of my “fans,” and I was quietly dying…

Well…Again the show was an incredible success…People didn’t believe I’d taken the images in Japan let alone urban Tokyo, some thought they were taken in the botanical gardens of some exotic country…The idea of the show was to show urban-dwelling Tokyoites that there is natural beauty all around, but we don’t see or take the time to appreciate it. We leave our homes, walk to our jobs in a mental tunnel that excludes everything around us…We see, but we don’t observe…My exhibition showed the little things that we all walk right by without appreciating every day…Again Japanese people actually GOT the concept of the exhibition and really understood the point I was trying to make…Another great success. (I’ll never do that again though…too stressful!)

I then did an exhibition in Ginza called “Cryptic Triptychs,” which featured three images framed together to create a little story. This was also successful and the exhibition well attended.

Anyway, I basically became tired of exhibiting my work…and living up to the expectations of others. I was no longer really enjoying photography and the cathartic process I experienced in taking photos…so I quit!

I still love photography and take a LOT of photos and love the idea of photography as art. Fifteen years later, I’m ready now to exhibit again and have the idea of a collaborative exhibition with Belgian Artist Arnaud “PsoMan” Vanderkerkin to expand the concept of the “Exhibition of One Photo” he assisted with in 2012, and present a show in Tokyo in 2019.

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Karamean Foodies Visit Tasman Artisans On Quest for Gastronomic Enlightenment

Off the Top of My Head

By Paul Murray

A group of eight Karameans travelled to the Tasman region on September 26 and 27, 2018,  to visit artisan food processing and production facilities in Nelson and Upper Moutere with the view to establishing similar enterprises in the Karamea region.

The idea is to leverage off our special location and unique growing environment to create a range of value-added processed food products grown here and marketed under a “Karamea” brand to create local employment, improve our economy, promote our region and enhance the resilience of our community in the process.

The tour was coordinated by Nick Dalgety, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Partnerships Nelson, the group visited cafes, the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), Little Beauties feijoa and kiwifruit processing plant, the Moutere Artisans group, Peckhams Cidery and Orchard and Thorvald Cheese to gather information and ideas, make contacts and to seek inspiration from what others are doing.

Also on the trip were Development West Coast (DWC) Business Development Manager, Helen Wilson, David Stedfast from Gloriavale Christian Community and Jane Lancaster, a food production consultant from CatalystCatalyst and Dr Joanna Fountain, Senior Lecturer in Tourism at Lincoln University.

The tour began at Deville Café where owner Geoff McLean talked us through the pitfalls and peaks of the café business and discussed how he sources and selects food products like Dobbo’s Manuka Smoked Hot Sauce (made in Westport by Dobbo) for his café, which has been operating for 15 years. Geoff shared his knowledge and experience freely and with considerable candour and served us up a pretty damn good coffee as well.



Geoff Maclean Shares his experience of operating a cafe in Nelson for the past 15 years with the group from Karamea and the greater West Coast. 




Dobbo’s Hot Sauce…Made in Westport



Deville Cafe Staff…Waiting to clean tables after the customers leave….

Just around the corner was the Bridge Street collective where we met with the manager Christine Donaldson, who spoke about the collective power of collaboration and cooperation in getting businesses connected and sharing their respective skills for mutual benefit. She also discussed the process of establishing a weekly market that showcases local produce and artisan products and enables producers to access customers in a cost-effective and fashion that also allows customers to meet the producers and processors of the goods on offer at the market.

Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the provenance of their food and seeking quality products made by people passionate about their fare rather than mass-produced industrial brands and are prepared to pay a premium price of products of a high standard. The need for such products to be of premium quality was a consistent theme discussed by the presenters. The products need to be top notch to stand out in the market, create word-of-mouth promotion and encourage repeat purchases and brand loyalty from consumers.

Then it was back to school with a stop at NMIT where we met with chefs and educators who briefly outlined food-safety compliance, gave us a tour of their facilities and information about the courses and programmes they offer to do with food, food handling, processing, packaging and marketing. We then had a lovely lunch prepared and delivered to the table by hospitality students at the institute as robust discussion about food continued over lunch.

Nick 1 NMIT

We purchased some ingredients from the market and returned to Nick Dalgety’s home near the Botanical Gardens to make pizza and cook them on his backyard pizza oven. This was also an excellent opportunity for further discussion and brainstorming about the potential for Karamea to have its own brand and range of products that add value to our raw produce and enable a higher return to the growers and food processors living in Karamea by selling our products into more affluent urban gourmet food markets.

The next day, we headed for Moutere. Our first stop was a fruit processing facility that makes Little Beauties dried feijoa, and golden kiwifruit slices dipped in chocolate…We had to sample quite a lot of these for the purpose of product research and quality assurance…Everyone agreed, the products were superb and very delicious!

Owner/Manager Tristan Wasney gave us a frank and detailed talk about the challenges of establishing such a venture and the costs and challenges involved in both producing the product and then getting it to market. We were also able to have a look at the way food handling is done on a commercial scale and also the process of preparing and packaging the final product.


The Old Moutere Post Office was the next stop. There we met with Andrew Sutherland who discussed the establishment of the Moutere Artisans, a collective of artists, food producers and craftspeople who market their wares and fares at the repurposed Old Post Office, which now has a retail shop, café and gallery that displays and sells locally made products instead of stamps and envelopes.

Cameron Woods dropped by during Andrew’s presentation and invited us for lunch at his business Tasteology at the Kahurangi Estate winery cellar door where we were treated to a fine food meal of locally produced cheese, meats, preserves and bread, well matched with wines from the Kahurangi Estate range.


Peckham’s Cidery and Orchard was our next stop, there we met owners Alex and Caroline Peckham and toured both the orchard and the cidery and had a look at the process of making, bottling and labelling their cider and how to package and market the product. Alex openly discussed the challenges of establishing an artisan brand and competing with inferior mass-produced products that are no match in quality but are cheaper on the market. He offered several means of overcoming market resistance to price and shared his frustrations about competing in a market that is somewhat price focussed. The Peckham’s Cider range is an excellent example of a quality product that is far superior to other mass-produced ciders on the market, and we had to sample quite a few cans to be sure of this.


The award-winning Thorvald Cheese was our last stop, and we caught up with our old friend Franzis Kaner, the head cheesemaker at Thorvald. Franzis walked us through the facility and showed us how their sheep’s milk cheese and yoghurt is made, the food safety procedures, quality control and the process of ageing and then packaging and marketing the products. Considerable sampling of the various cheeses was also necessary at this facility, and all agreed, their range was exceptionally good!

The participants were all very impressed, inspired and motivated by the people we met and the facilities we visited and plan to also travel to Canterbury later in the year to visit more food-processors and make additional contacts with people who may be able to assist with the process of establishing similar enterprises here in Karamea.

Each venture we visited, the speaker received a lovely gift set of True Blue Organics products from Hamish and Margaret Macbeth’s business, which demonstrates well that Karamea can produce a quality value-added product and establish a viable business here. Thanks to Hamish and Margaret (and Ema Franken for preparing the gift boxes).

The more food we can produce and process here, the more people we can employ, the more responsible we will become for our own food and financial security and the more resilient we will be in the event of a civil-defence event that takes the road out. If Karamea is able to produce its own food and have a supply of processed and preserved food in stock to cater to the needs of the local population, the better we will cope with such an eventuality.

Thank you also to Nick Dalgety from MPI for coordinating the tour, Helen Wilson from DWC for assisting. Both DPI and DWC contributed financially to defray the cost to participants of the trip, thank you for that also.

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Posted in Agriculture, Business, Community, Community-Led Development, Economics, Environmentally Responsible Business, Karamea, New Zealand, Paul Murray, Social Enterprise, South Island, Sustainability, Uncategorized, West Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Karamea Radio Moves to “The Cross”…

…But it’s Broadcast as Usual for New Rongo Radio


Off the Top of My Head

By DJ Crap

DSC_0072.JPGAfter almost 14 years at Rongo Dinner Bed & Breakfast, Karamea Community Radio 107.5 FM will move into its new studio at “The Cross“ (formerly “The Bush Lounge”) on July 22.

With few interruptions, never any annoying advertisements, often considerable humour, occasional interviews and always awesome tunes, the community transmitter has been radiating out of its temporary custodial home at Rongo 24/7/365 since September 2004.


Late last year, local celebrity and bon vivant Brendan O’Dwyer, discussed with the owner of The Cross Tony Ibbotson and Rongo owner Paul Murray the idea of relocating the Karamea Radio transmitter to The Cross to make the station more easily accessible and public.

All concerned thought this to be a grand proposal and soon plans were afoot to erect an aerial and build a new radio studio. The Karamea Army then went to work, materials appeared, skills were shared, and rapid progress was made.

The new studio looks out into the evolving Vinnie’s Café and will provide his customers with an exciting accompaniment to their food and beverages. Lena at Nature Ahead will have tunes to groove to while she makes her customers more beautiful, Paul’s Property Brokers clients will hear Karamea in action and the staff and customers at the 4-Square Hardware and Info Centre will be dancing in the aisles!

The radio station has promoted Karamea and has reached over 100,000 people around the world. The exploits of “The Lisp,” “EMANON,” “NONAME, “Staunch Steve,” Big Man” and others on their on-air adventure “The Chronicles of Sputnik Follie” (think the Goon Show meets Red Dwarf) has been syndicated on a station in New York City. The world has also reached back. The “Nuphoria” radio show by DJ Marcellus Nealy comes to us from Tokyo and has thoroughly explored the “Art & Science of the Groove,” DJ Travis “Blind Dog” Taylor shares his broad blues experience with us from Adelaide, South Australia…and DJ “Raven Tuhua” keeps us mellow with psybient sounds from Westport and Wellington.

Other notable DJs over the years include DJs “Obewan” and “Echo” whose “Echoes of a Jedi” show is a mid-week staple for loyal listeners, the “Bigga than Bateman” show, DJ T, DJ “Dusty Roads” with his “Saturday Night Hoedown,” Brian “Big Man” Thomson with “Mondayitis,” “Sunday Drive,” “The Comedy Show” and of course “DJ Crap & The Big Man Blues Show.” Brian has been a stalwart of the station, and to him, we owe much credit for the evolution of Karamea Radio. Tristan “DJ Who?” Lockerbie has willingly shared his technical know-how to keep the radio broadcasting, the equipment functioning and the station improving.

From the former Karamea Radio crew at Rongo, Brian, Tristan and Paul, it has been a pleasure and an honour to have had the opportunity to look after 107.5 FM for on behalf of the community and take the radio from its humble beginnings to its current status and now proudly pass the baton on to the next team of runners. We look forward to the station progressing further and becoming an even more valuable community asset…Long may the station continue to brighten the lives of the people who a lucky enough to enjoy life in Karamea, visiting music lovers and channel’s many listeners around the world. Thank you all for listening to Karamea Radio over the years, stay tuned to 107.5 FM…It’s soon going to be better than ever!

For Rongolians, fear not, for the radio studio at Rongo will live on. Radio is very much part of Rongo life, so Rongo Radio will soon be available…For more information, please join Rongo Radio’s Facebook Page:


Owner of The Cross, Tony Ibbotson was unavailable for comment at the time of publication, but if you see him when he gets back from a well-deserved break, please thank him for his continuing vision and belief in the community, and the opportunities provided us by The Cross. Also to Brendan O’Dwyer, who is a driving force behind the evolution of The Cross.

To Listen to Karamea Radio Online, Please Visit:

Radio Station Farewell PARTY at Rongo July 21, 3-10 pm

Dear Listeners: To celebrate 14 years of Radio at Rongo, please bring your five best songs along to play at the farewell party on July 21 from 3:00-10:00 p.m. at Rongo. We will record the show and add it to the archive of Karamea Radio history.

Sausage sizzle to raise money for the new station: Bangers in Bread $5

Karamea Radio fans, see if you can find yourself in the collection of Karamea Radio memories below……

These images are from the fun we’ve had with people from all over New Zealand and the world…May the new Karamea custodians keep the good times rolling and Long Live Karamea Radio 107.5 FM!

All the images are in some way connected to Karamea Radio 107.5 FM and will remain stored in the archives, which will be added to as the story continues to unfold….Stay tuned to 107.5 FM and thanks for listening!