I am writing in respect of my father, Puna Kumeroa, who sadly lost his battle with cancer on February 8, and to his fellow drivers who paid him the ultimate convoy tribute past Taiporohenui marae on the day of his farewell.
My father loved driving trucks and the camaraderie he shared at Fonterra Whareroa Transport, hoping one day to return to his truck and his friends. He could still hear the tankers on South Rd from his room where he rested. My whanau has been linked with the dairy industry for many years through dairy farming and the freezing works, and we continue that relationship with Fonterra.
As a former Whareroa employee I have seen many times the struggle and debate between company and union, company and whanau and even union and whanau. However, at a site like Whareroa there are times when all three work in synergy and you can achieve something truly amazing, as we saw the day of my father's tangi.
My mother and I are humbled by the effort of so many people who organised the drive-by in honour of a man who was a quiet achiever and did not like any fuss.
To the many people and friends who made this happen, me te mihi nui mo a koutou manaakitanga, thank you for your kindness towards our whanau during this difficult time.
Dennington, Victoria, Australia
Taranaki Daily News