An interesting TRM Fishing Report – that has nothing at all to do with fishing…
Inmates have been asking about TRM’s airport taxi. Since they closed the Rotorua airport for international flights, more tourist anglers – aka TRM inmates, mainly from West Island – fly in to Taupo airport only to discover there is no bus service to Turangi (Trout Fishing Capital of the World) located about 45 km south. Some have had to get a bus to Taupo (5 km north) and then hire a taxi to Turangi costing over $100. So TRM had to do something about it.
Turangi’s economy (resident population under 3,000) cannot support a taxi service. We have a taxi stand – image on right below – but no taxi. In the spirit of most regional NZ towns, if you want something done you have to do it yourself.
As TRM have targeted these West Island anglers clubs for several years we needed to provide for this lack of transport. These West Island fishos are very important in TRM’s annual occupancy analysis and definitely feature in any ‘preferred’ list ahead of other tourist groups. Why? They usually stay one or two weeks at a time and keep returning again and again. So they are definitely worth looking after and deserve a welcome taxi shuttle from the airport, rather than just letting them find their own way – i.e. hitch hiking?.
i.e. Last season a TRM regular fishy inmate from Sydney hired a guide for one week. Sadly the guide, who usually worked out of another ‘lodge’, would not manage to meet him or return him to the airport. The tourist thought that quite extraordinary?. TRM will never recommend that guide again.
So it was with sad examples like that in mind that TRM needed to organise our own vehicle suitable for use as an airport taxi. This was a big decision – like choosing a new rod…
So TRM’s management (read SWMBO) were in this dilemma to replace the loyal but tired 28 year old Mercedes (only 460,000 km) – see images on right – with another more appropriate shuttle service vehicle. After driving the Merc. for the last twenty years TRM needed something of a similar traditional style, or possibly even better?
The search for a replacement started late 2016 when SWMBO broke down (petrol pump died) and returned perched up in the cab of the tow wagon. Not a good look, so I realised it was time to start looking seriously for a suitable reliable affordable replacement. Management’s specification was very limiting. She didn’t mind which vehicle it was as long as it was blue. Women!
Previously, starting 50 years ago, all our cars have been blue, including a Morris Minor, Mini, Cortina, Falcon, Pajero, Mercedes, so She was confident She had experienced which were the most reliable – any blue ones… In recent years we have chosen larger cars in the interests of Her safety. She is crash prone – quite normal behaviour with power freaks.
So over a period of several months She considered all manner of 4WD or AWD chariots. Obviously in this fishy location some sort of RV would be the most practical. But they all looked much the same. And She hated diesel.
Her demands were for something safe and sensible with more classical style for a TRM taxi. Whichever vehicle was chosen needed to be suitably substantial with a cavernous sized boot/trunk to fit a full family load (or Her shopping?) in style – albeit in a somewhat mature taxi – with all their fishing gear. TRM’s fishos’ specification was as expected – something cool and classy and distinctive rather than just another 4WD RV… There are so many to choose from these days, so many choices. The problem was we liked them all. The TRM budget controller (read SWMBO) would only allow an older second hand model but they are all so affordable. Such good value. We could possibly afford a cheap new Asian tonka toy but preferred something more substantial, spacious and traditional, to qualify as a taxi, that resembled a limo. After all, it was representing TRM… But She could not decide which blue was best.
So after several months of indecision Her laundry assistant had to take the decision-making process away from Her and nervously took the plunge. To replace the tired 28 year old he bought, sight unseen, as is where is, a 30 year old vintage classic called BENY. Much more fun! (She only probed once, trying to understand man’s deeper psychological impulse, as to why we needed something so huge and powerful? When I suggested it was for “pulling the birds” She lost her voice.)
We hope you will like it. After three months She is still adjusting to it, refusing to drive it (How wonderful is that?) as it is far too big for Her to navigate into most parking places. If you look closely at the colour (apparently called “Oyster”?) you might smell a faint blue tinge. We had to compromise on 4WD, but BENY has other compensating features such as 6.75 litre V8 with a turbo charger.
She knows nothing about engines and miles per gallon but does understand the benefits of GST refunds and 50% (yes, that is fifty percent) depreciation allowance on diminishing value for taxis. It was not difficult to convince Her it was a prudent ‘investment’? She loves BENY’s finish – it feels more like a stately home than a taxi.
At first She went all quiet about my inspired choice but Her confidence has been restored by the photo of Ian Muntz (from Melbourne) posing at Lake O. about 3 months ago – pinched from his facebook page… after he hijacked it. Another inmate has booked it for his wedding in Turangi in 2018. Now I might have to buy one of those chauffeur’s caps or join the golf club?
So next time you stay at TRM and need a real taxi….
Last image on right to qualify this story as a fishing report – is Mark Tomsett from Waihi Beach. He rrives at 4 pm yesterday and was back in half an hour with his Rainbow Jack after the first one broke off.