On a wet weekend all our inmates are hiding inside tying flies or resting, waiting in anticipation for the inevitable fresh spawning run to follow the rain. That is all except three brave ladies from West Island who have to make the most of the conditions while they are here. Meanwhile, with too much leisure time, our concentration has been diverted by the inmates’ comments about the wonderful village we live in.
At present TRM have five fishos from West Island and others include a couple of fishing guides from that other island down south. SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the Manager of everything at TRM) enjoys hearing their opinions as they continually remind us of just how precious our little village is, but more alarmingly, how under-sold it is in fishy tourist terms. They are constant reminders of how lucky our anglers are to have such a robust wild fishery available all year round. But to survive in the future it needs more recognition.
These inmates are mature, they have travelled all over the world and can draw on many other successful precedents, so She listens carefully and takes particular notice to learn from them more than the usual flighty school holiday tourists. The one thing they have remarked on so often, is they cannot understand why the trout fishing potential is not promoted better? Accordingly, in Her usual sneaky female way, SWMBO has given this some thought by applying dangerous female intuition and logic.
As a result, She has now decided on a new promotional strategy plan for Toe-paw Council which we will share with you and other fishos first to ask for feedback. This is how the Government operates too. They determine a new policy and direction and then ask for public opinion to show their transparency and caring attitude, not that they intend to change their policy direction. You understand…
Sadly, after many years without any real effective targetted promotion of trout fishing – apart from more recent valiant efforts by DGLT (Destination Great Lake Taupo are the tourist promotions office for the council who strangely have not asked SWMBO – yet) we cannot rely on those who managed the fishery or the council or government for help. We need to do it ourselves. The following is Her new exciting recipe to “Make Turangi Great Again”… It is stupefyingly so simple.
To prove Her theory works, we understand we need to convince you with a suitable precedent of another world-famous tourist town that recreated itself by adopting a similar rebranding strategy. Surfers Paradise. Did you know that once upon a time this was a tiny inconsequential sleepy village called Elston. To generate future tourism progress they ambitiously renamed it “Surfers Paradise”. It was that simple. All the other towns along the east coast were forgotten – Surfers Paradise became world-famous, like Australia’s version of Florida.
SWMBO is not suggesting that our pleasant riverside hamlet will end up dominated by glitzy high-rise condos. The change will better reflect the location advantages of why we live here, the essential element that residents enjoy. You also need to be aware that the town boundaries of Turangi cannot expand the way that other coastal towns (i.e. like Mt. Maunganui) have as all the surrounding land is multiple owned by Maori tribes and not for sale. It is effectively land-locked. As such, any solution is restricted to within existing boundaries.
Turangi was developed by the Government Ministry of Works about fifty years ago as a permanent town primarily to provide housing for employees involved in the massive hydro electric scheme. At the time it was state-of-the-art urban design. It must have been extremely successful to have lasted this long without hardly any changes. Indeed, it did not need any changes.
When tourists enquire about the town SWMBO usually advises them it was originally an “Edward Gibbon Wakefield settlement” to try to give it a place in history. Tourists particularly cherish the mature English deciduous trees that provide a leafy residential setting more reminiscent of a town in Sussex than NZ. When they fall for that, She then suggests the landscaping architect was “Capability Brown”. That enhances the historic confusion and the “wow” factor even more. Then it is easier for Her to convince tourist inmates from West Island to appreciate the many curved streets surrounding the parks and town centre as a smaller version of Canberra. All the streets are linked by walkways and parks to provide an almost perfect relaxed spacious suburban environment. The house sites averaged over 1000m2 or quarter of an acre in 1960’s jargon. Turangi was the genuine original half-gallon quarter-acre paradise. Then She reinforces their image of residential perfection by advising it was even the first town in NZ with underground power reticulation. (Sadly, some of the very essential character of the town has been destroyed recently by Toe-paw Council removing over ninety of the original trees but that is another story. We will try to confine this report to the more exciting “renaming” issue.)
Renaming streets and towns is not new. Originally, historically, the fishing village was restricted to the eastern side of SH1 and was known as “Taupahi”. It was renamed by the MOW in the 1960’s as “Turangi”. Accordingly, it has experienced name changes in the recent past without any obvious problems. Nevertheless, with any renaming proposal, we do need to be “culturally sensitive” of more recent changes to street names and town names, from British names to Maori names. Immediately outside TRM the road between SH1 and Taupahi Road has been renamed Piri Road. Many other local street names were also changed. So SWMBO’s initiative follows recent established precedents.
Therefore to avoid stepping on toes or creating any friction, the existing “new” town to the west of SH1 will remain “Turangi” and only the old fishing village east of SH1 will henceforth be rebranded “Trout-fishing Paradise”.
This is in keeping with the signage over many years proclaiming it as the “Trout Fishing Capital of the World”. OK? SWMBO looks forward to your feedback…