Let me introduce you to Chris.
Chris picked 2 of us up from our waterfall based backpackers in Whangerai to head to to the coast and dive Poor Knights Island. And this is the beauty of Kiwi people, en route he stopped to show us through gaps in the hedge, avocado farms, the north island Pohutukawa trees known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, citrus farms and a kiwi orchard. It turns out that Chris used to work for the Department of Agriculture, he spent time in Brazil testing their levels of minerals, and now, between ferrying holiday makers to the Tutukaka Coast, he works as an official regulator of kiwi fruit pre export. As is drove us out to sea, he talked us through the world of kiwi fruit or Chinese Gooseberry as it was originally called, the old gold variety and the new gold crop created for export, the classic green and the soon to be released red. It was, in a geeky way fascinating. I asked Chris a lot of questions. He also gave me some insight on his brother’s avocado farm and ongoing trouble with his ride on mower. Kiwis are just bloody nice, nice to the point of 1950’s innocence, they are proud of their island and they want to let you in on it, so much so they offer up their homes, transport, knowledge, time and like the 65 year old woman in my hostel, her unopened Camembert, ham, butter and olives, a trip up to her house in Tauranga and her son, all within the time it takes to eat a Royal Gala. They welcome you in, trust you, give you the time and go out their way to help, it’s a time before we ended up with days like this.
On the way back, Chris picked us up and presented us each with 5 golden kiwi, 3 old and 2 new variety, to be ripened and enjoyed as only a kiwi, fruit and human, should.