After noticing Sir Bob still featuring on TV1 prime time on 23 June after all these years, most famous for bopping a TV journalist on the Tongariro rive rin 1985, TRM just have to repeat previous reports featuring him:
Recently TRM was trying to record all the most famous anglers on the Tongariro River. These included all manner of “celebrities” (?) from the Queen Mother to the Queen to her Son Charles to American President to Zane Grey to the original Bob Jones of Tokaanu Pub fame over 100 years ago. And you can guess who won – Sir Bob. He did more for the promotion of trout fishing on the Tongariro River in about 1985 than all the others combined. How? By bopping the nosey rude TV journalist. TRM’s version of the story is as follows:
Without doubt the most well known Tongariro trout angler in recent years is the successful property magnate, Bob Jones (Now Sir Robert Jones). Before he built his own home on Taupahi Road he was a regular “inmate” at TRM. He earned his fame (or notoriety?) in a most unusual but more memorable manner.
In his successful attempt to unseat the existing Prime Minister in July 1985, Bob Jones formed his own party. Then after splitting the vote during the election, he announced to the astonished nation that the third most popular party was taking an eighteen month recess. Anxiously seeking comment, TVNZ chartered a helicopter to track down Jones who was seeking privacy and tranquility fishing in the remote parts of the lower Tongariro River. After searching his property from the air they followed the course of the river down towards the delta where he was identified wading in the river. After circling him they landed close to where he was casting and completely ruined the peace and quiet that Bob Jones was seeking.
This was a memorable moment in Turangi’s short history. Bob Jones established his popularity and notoriety amongst anglers forever with his reaction. Before the TV journalist could interview him he was filmed charging out of the bushes and after throwing his rod aside he attacked and punched the TV interviewer/journalist followed by the cameraman also being thumped for good measure. Great footage.
Naturally, it was the top of the news on the TV that night. The punch-up with a blood-spattered journalist suffering a broken nose trying to report back was repeated many times afterwards. Kiwis love a good stoush. Eventually, the matter ended up in Court where Bob Jones was fined $1,000 for assault. His fame increased forever among Tongariro anglers and the public when he asked the Magistrate if he paid $2,000, could he punch him again?
From TRM library of reports:
NZ’s version of Donald Trump?…
Continuing the series of anglers own reports on the Tongariro River, but with a ‘twist’ to enhance your Easter Sunday reading enjoyment…
TRM has taken this opportunity to introduce Bob Jones (particularly for Australian readers who may be unaware of his contribution to Tongariro angling folk lore) as he is one of the enduring controversial characters who made more headlines for the Tongariro River than most other TRM inmates combined. As such he deserves his own special report, but as he has never stayed at TRM he was not asked…
Nevertheless TRM acknowledge his considerable contribution to the colourful history of the river keeping many anglers entertained and amused for the last 30 years – in particular from the following incident:
In July 1985 New Zealand Party leader Bob Jones and president Malcolm McDonald surprised many by announcing the nation’s then-third most popular party was taking an 18 month recess. TVNZ went searching for comment, and after chartering a helicopter, found Jones fishing on the Tongariro Delta, near Turangi.
Jones was not amused; he infamously punched reporter Rod Vaughan, arguing later he would fight any charges in court, since the journalists had subjected him to intolerable harassment.
When fined $1000, Jones asked the judge if he paid $2000, could he please do it again?
So how could SWMBO not include him in these stories on the Tongariro…?!!!
He still features regularly. In last week’s ‘Herald on Sunday’ – in the editorial & comment page 38 – their columnist Rodney Hide wrote:
“New Zealanders shouldn’t struggle to understand the phenomenon that is Donald Trump etc…. – think Bob Jones.” He goes on to say, “Jones is a successful and flamboyant businessman. He entered the 1984 election with his freshly hatched New Zealand Party to win 12 percent of the votes. He came from nowhere, won no seats, defeated National and propelled Labour into office, which proceeded to implement his New Zealand Party’s free market policies.”
And to keep TRM’s readers informed (?) is Jones’ opinion on the Government’s current water claim?…………
……….. For example, the Mighty River Power company’s principal assets are eight hydro electric generators on the Waikato River. In 1840, the river provided eels and transport for Maori villagers in the vicinity. But today, like everyone else, Maori buy their food from supermarkets and have substituted cars for canoes. To argue that the river was vested to them in 1840 and claim water usage money is simply opportunistic twisting of the original objective. If that proposition had validity, why is it only now being raised? Why have they not claimed against the power company hitherto?
The answer is blackmail, specifically that via the threat of delay through litigation of the Government’s sale plans, this action could secure taxpayer millions in yet another bogus settlement.
His solution to the constant blackmail?
The Waitangi Treaty is redundant. It need not be formally annulled but like many other outdated laws, be simply ignored as a historic relic. Claims such as illicit land seizures can be dealt with by the courts.
(Photo on right of Bob Jones cautiously navigating across Veras Pool below Tongariro Lodge)
For TRM’s Australian fishos we add an appendix – an obituary from Metro Magazine – as the opening paragraph refers to trout fishing on the Tongariro…
First published in Metro, November 2013.
Illustration by Daron Parton.
Sir Robert Jones, the world’s oldest man, is dead. He was 194.
A shy fellow, Jones was happiest alone in the Tongariro River tickling trout, emerging from time to time to present his cherished beliefs about sunglasses, grey shoes, cellphones and unattractive feminists.
For more than a century and a half he wrote a column for the FoxNZ Herald; a record bested only by the fictional “Shelley Bridgeman” character.
Born middle-aged, Jones was teased at school for wearing a smoking jacket and pipe, but the taunts fell away as his capacity for a left hook developed. By the age of 17 he had read every book ever written — twice — and owned 5700 investment properties.
Sunning himself in the warm glow of his success, he resolved to spend the remaining years of his life dabbling in property and sharing his wisdom with his fellow man. Women were also welcome to listen.
He became a talkback host, a columnist, an author, a commentator, a knight of the realm, a brawler with TV reporters.
Decades came, decades went. Politicians came, politicians went. New Zealand, once prosperous, grew poor. Foot and mouth disease liquidated the country’s 200 million dairy cows.
Through it all, one constant remained: Sir Bob Jones and his opinions on sunglasses, grey shoes, cellphones and unattractive feminists. His popularity never ebbed. For every old curmudgeon who breathed his last in a retirement home, another dudebro would pick up a newspaper for the first time and chuckle at Jones’ dyspeptic musings.
Nothing, it seemed, would ever change. But in Jones’ 12th decade it did, a little. He decided his true calling was the law.
The courtroom had long been his second home — a boxing ring of a softer kind — and he enjoyed the company of barristers. He admired their arrogance. He admired their bravado. He admired their talent for going about their business fortified by wine.
By the time he was 142 he was sitting in the Wellington High Court.
Although he had to be carried to and from the courthouse in a litter, and a factotum was required to lift his papers and hold his hand steady for signatures, his pronouncements from the bench were invariably those of a much older man, as they had ever been.
Legal scholars called his florid and discursive judgments the best sport since Lord Denning. “Ten days ago,” one judgment began, “the sky fell in Auckland, judging by the hysterical over-the-top reaction.”
Radio hosts stood by each morning to find out “who Bob’s going to stick it to today”.
“You’re not some kind of feminist girl are you?” he would ask witnesses, “because you sound like a very silly one.”
“Life is full of risks, which is why we buy insurance, wear seat belts, lock our doors, don’t holiday in Somalia or, as plainly needs to be said, walk alone through dark parks at night,” he would invariably remind assault victims.
His Friday afternoon sentencing sessions became a Wellington tradition. Spectators would eat popcorn as Sir Robert rasped: “You will now reside at our expense in prison for 70 years where hopefully some awful fate will befall you. Take his cellphone away, but let him keep his grey shoelaces.”
Sir Robert will be buried at his holiday home on Mars.
The news caption for photo on right reads “Wealthy property speculator and developer, Bob Jones, responds to an anti-tour demonstrator before starring in a National Party fund-raising night.
Last, nothing at all to do with fishing the Tongariro but just to amuse you, (?) a NZ Herald article.
As wage parity is in the news at the moment with SWMBO, Jones’ comments on women’s rights etc. are timely?
Bob Jones: Female directorships – careful what you wish for
Tuesday Apr 8, 2014
In the early 1960s, to widespread disbelief, a woman lawyer hung out her shingle in Lower Hutt. I recall with colleagues gazing awestruck at this madness. Who would possibly use her? we asked. “I will,” promptly asserted an industrial building investor mate, noted for his extreme eccentricity, and so he did, but no one else followed and she soon vanished.
Women have come a long way since in New Zealand, rated last month by the Economist in the top five nations in its glass ceiling index. Prime ministers, Cabinet ministers, the chief justice, judges, the Ombudsman, government departmental heads, bishops, boxers and bulldozer drivers, mayors, company CEOs and entrepreneurs, doctors, editors, farmers, commercial pilots, governors-general, soldiers, ambassadors, professors; there’s no field where they don’t play an equal part and no one notices gender any more.
Moreover, this is particularly praiseworthy given women’s innate irrationality handicap, such as driving in the right-hand lane or pushing golf carts before them, despite their being designed for pulling.
And as for law, women now outnumber male graduates and are also progressing splendidly in equality terms with law’s flipside, namely crime.
Despite some recent strong performances they still lag behind men on the murdering front but make them mere pikers in the theft as a servant stakes. Scarcely a week passes without another mid-40s divorcee company manager or accountant before the courts, having nicked a few million from her employer.
All of this has been achieved in a relatively short time. Half a century ago, women were married at about 20, thereafter fulfilling their prescribed role as mothers and home-makers. Two decades later, with the children gone, they often devolved into dullard appendages to their husbands.
Here’s an example. Back then my girlfriend and I (she was the only female I ever saw fishing) would walk to the Tongariro River’s large Major Jones pool parking lot, cross the swing bridge and head upriver seeking pools to ourselves. In the parking lot would be up to a dozen cars containing middle-aged and older wives of the anglers working the Major Jones pool out of sight down the river.
There they sat, immobile, not reading, not talking, instead just staring blankly ahead, awaiting their husbands’ return, often as much as eight hours later. We called them the clumps. Such non-participating lethargy is inconceivable today.
My initial puzzlement about women’s lib after it arose in the 1960s, abruptly ended when I read Frank Sargeson’s 1969 novel The Joy of the Worm, which awoke me to women’s plight, epitomised by those Tongariro clumps.
Now feminists in Britain, Australia and New Zealand are again on the warpath, agitating to overcome what they describe as the last male bastion, namely public company directorships. They should think again, for it’s a most ignoble and parasitical ambition.
The importance of public companies is grossly exaggerated, as they comprise only a small part of the economy. Remove the top five and the remainder are insignificant in the overall scheme of things.
Public company boards of directors are required by law, but for all their prescribed roles of policy-setting and watchdog shareholder protection, history repeatedly shows they’re utterly ineffectual. So, too, with the many dozens of government boards, which merely provide sinecures for political mates. Having been on both public and government boards I know what a total waste of time they are and now won’t have a bar of them.
The reality is that executives run companies and make policy decisions and the directors are simply Christmas tree decorations. “A Lord on the Board”, sneered the British entrepreneur Tiny Rowlands decades back, mocking the image value of public company boards, but nothing has changed since.
In his 1980s heyday, Ron Brierley controlled dozens of public company boards here and abroad. He refused to pay non-executive outside directors, first because they contributed absolutely nothing and second, because there was always a queue of useless public figure sad-sacks, the male equivalents of yesteryear’s Tongariro clumps, incapable of ever starting a business themselves, who viewed directorships as prestigious – God only knows why.
In recent years some honest men of good repute who accepted finance company directorship baubles found themselves facing criminal trials because of an ill-considered law, namely strict liability.
Nevertheless, in prostituting themselves through accepting these free-ride pretend roles, they in part deserved their fate.
During one of those trials, at day’s end, the prosecuting QC, a lessee in my building, turned up and flopped into an armchair muttering his disbelief. The following exchange had occurred. “You accepted the chairmanship of a company engaged in property development finance?”
“Do you know anything about property development?”
Women should think again about directorships, for far from trailing men, it’s greatly to their credit that so few are debasing themselves in this way.
And another report from another local angler who fished with Bob Jones nack then:…
“The Tongariro is part of my soul and I am a lucky man.”
(Photos above and below right of Graham coaching young ladies at the Trout Centre)
“My name is Graeme Duff, a resident of Wellington and a keen trout fisherman, who has owned a holiday home in Herekiekie Street at Turangi for nearly 35 years.
I was introduced to trout fishing by my father in the 1950’s on the rivers near New Plymouth where I was born and raised.
(Photo on right of Wanganui River below the confluence with Whakapapa River and below is the old railway line access from Kakahi to the Whakapapa River))
My interest in trout fishing was heightened when my Dad and three of his mates bought a small fishing hut on the Whakapapa River at Kakahi – a little cabin which we visited two or three times a year.
That cabin named Whaka Lodge by the owners still stands today, some sixty years on, on the banks of the Whakapapa.
This interest as a young lad waned as the attraction and appeal of other sports developed in my teenage years, but in the mid 1970’s, when I was a resident in Hamilton, I was invited on a number of weekends to visit Turangi and once again explore the magic of the trout and the fly rod.
In those days two families came down, the children were certainly pre schoolers, we stayed at the Creel Lodge (T.R.M. was always fully booked!!!), and from memory paid about $15 a night for family accommodation.
Our visits from Hamilton to Turangi became more regular and in the late 1970’s I started a wonderful annual tradition of 10 days in Turangi in the middle of winter fishing with my mates.
We rented baches from acquaintances and as a result of renting the Herekiekie Street bach of Ashley Heydon from Taranaki, we purchased the next door bach from a Palmerston North family in 1982. The boy’s annual fishing trips continued for some 20+ years but were generously supplemented by numerous family holidays both summer and winter.
I have now fished the Tongariro River for close on 40 years and every one of those 40 years has contained indelible memories of fish caught, fish lost, great camaraderie, outstanding fishery, declining fishery, recovering fishery. The beauty of the river and its wild life inhabitants, the changing seasons, some enormous floods (February 1999 and February 2004 come to mind), and the joys of relearning the river after it had been rearranged by these floods.
In my early days the standout pools for us were the Boulder, the Breakaway (or Harry’s Rock as it was often known), the Never Fail, the Megan’s and the Reed. Being so much younger and more competitive in those days 90% of our fishing was with the nymph, a technique shown to me by Garry Kemsley one morning at the Never Fail Pool in about 1978. It became my pool of choice because from my experience it lived up to its name 52 weeks of the year.
On right is the original anglers access footbridge across the Poutu before SH1 was realigned.)
The Boulder was another pool that held wonderful memories. We went there for years, the best of those years which were before the road around the prison was opened in 1982. We would park the car on State Highway 1 by the Poutu Stream, walk into the Boulder with a pack on our back,always corned beef sandwiches, a thermos of hot tomato soup a good slab of chocolate and a beer or two for lunchtime.
We would be there at 6 a.m. and arrive back at the car 12 hours later more often than not carrying at least six fish. It was a wonderful pool, forever producing fish and on many occasions held up to 9 rods.
On other occasions, particularly during mid week you and your mates had the pool to yourselves and a wonderful day of sport was had by all.
(Photo of Blue Pool above on right, Bob Jones crossing Vera’s Pool below right))
“An interesting and amusing memory was a very productive mid week day back in 1982 with Bob (now Sir Bob) and Anne Jones.
I had met Bob through business and we were both going to Hamilton to watch Wellington lift the Ranfurly Shield from Waikato.
The next day the three of us ventured to the Boulder Pool. These were the days before the road was opened and we parked on State Highway 1.
On the walk in I noticed that the Breakaway Pool (or Harry’s Rock) was unoccupied so I said to the Jones that I would have a fish there before joining them at the Boulder. I did so and some hour or so later as I pushed through the undergrowth I heard – “How many have you got???!!!”
My response to Bob was that I had landed three fish which I had killed and buried to be collected on the walk out later in the day. My response was immediately met with a joyous – “I am two ahead of you”, which indicated to me that an active and competitive day lay ahead!!!
We had a most enjoyable and productive day with Bob wet lining (which was the only way he fished in those days) and me nymphing. I took my time and spent plenty of time on the bank but the introduced competition required me to respond every time Bob landed a fish, which he did on numerous occasions.
The Boulder Pool was fishing on that particular day like it could 30 odd years ago and a long cast with a nymph to land behind the huge boulder, that the pool got its name from, guaranteed a fish every time.
In the end Bob had to concede defeat which he did with the amusing comment – “Anne I have been fishing for 30 bloody years and I have been facing the wrong way (!!!).”
Now to the Murdoch story –
“As mentioned earlier the 10 day mid winter fishing trips were legendary and most of these were spent in the company of my good friend from New Plymouth, Bruce Hutchings.
In about 1978 we were in the midst of one of these annual trips when the persistent rain for several hours even tested the keenest of young fisherman.
In mid afternoon we decided to call it a day but thought that before we returned to our accommodation in Kuratau we would drop in for a thirst quencher at the local Turangi hotel.
The way that we were dressed, and the fact that we were drenched, necessitated the public bar where we were made most welcome to a table with some locals.
Another local joined us an hour or so later and was simply introduced as Keith.
As keen sports followers we knew exactly who it was and some hours later when the effects of our thirst quenchers had well and truly taken effort my mate said to Keith – “I remember when Alistair Scown whacked you in a Taranaki/Otago match.
Keith Murdoch with a smile on his face, and the modesty of a great rugby player and All Black simply replied – “I don’t recall that but I think it unlikely”(!!!).
As I said this is the late 1970’s when the media of NZ was still searching for Keith Murdoch who had never been found after he left the All Black tour of Great Britain in 1972.”
I continued to nymph fish as my predominant form for many years but I have returned to wet lining in the last 10 years – as my family say I am showing my age, but nymphing has never offered the exhilarating experience of the fisherman nearly having the rod pulled from his hand by the aggressive take of a fit strong 6lb rainbow hitting a wet fly.
I have owned the holiday home in Herekiekie Street now since its purchase in 1982 but we pulled down the original black bach in 1997 and built a new more comfortable family holiday place which still stands today.
I say still stands because on the night of 29th February 2004 there was some real doubt – the property was inundated when the river burst its banks around the area of the Tongariro Lodge, but 9 months later it was rebuilt, reoccupied and the wonderful memories continued (almost) uninterrupted.
(The photo below on right is the boys in the rain at the Cattle Rustlers, circa 2005. Me on the left, Bruce Hutchings in the middle and John Paul from Auckland on the right. Of interest but not in the story is the fact that we were all mates at New Plymouth Boys High School in the early and mid 1960’s so it goes to show the camaraderie of fishing!!!)
My years on the Tongariro and particularly in Herekiekie Street has given me the opportunity to meet, socialize with, and fish with many characters. They included Reg Crane and Ray Legg who both owned No.1 Herekiekie Street at different times, street guardian Les Wilson, and well known Wellington businessmen Max Downes and Donald Budge. My fishing mates include Chris Young from Taupo, John Paul from Auckland both who are now Herekiekie Street holiday home owners, and Bruce Hutchings from New Plymouth.
I could go on and on about the 40 years but I think the fact that I still go back, still fish, still catch the odd one, and am now enthusiastically joined by the third generation of our family spells volumes for the area and the river. It is part of my soul and I am a lucky man.”