Outside The Square

Chris Hyde is a journalist and a Manawatu outsider. Follow his journey as he navigates a land of strange weather and bucketheads, students and strange spellingz.

A uniquely Palmy plaguez

10:31am 26 Aug 2013

I watched Rock of Ages the other night. It was not the most memorable or the most fulfilling two hours of my life.

But there's one flavourless quote among the train wreck, mentioned by the manager of the main character - an aspiring rockstar who's being forced into a hip-hop/pop career - which caught my ear.

"Look, names that end in 'Z' are very popular among the 14-21 audience," the manager says when quizzed by the aspiring rockstar as to why his stage name had to have 'Z' in it. Lotz of Potz

"We did a whole focus group on this. Numbers don't lie."

It's a quote, which the audience is meant to understand is sarcastic. Sure, the manager believes it, but no-one else does.

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A waterfall to be seen, not touched

01:24pm 05 Aug 2013

On private land just south of Tokomaru what is believed to be the second tallest waterfall in the North Island.falls

The Maungaharakeikei Falls are thought to be between 60 and 100m high, but no-one's really sure.

If you want to get close enough to them to measure them, you'll need a certain kind of gumption.

It's not that they are hard to find. In fact they're clearly visible from State Highway 57.

Travel south from Tokomaru towards Shannon and there is a bridge about two kms down that goes over the tiny, but aptly named, Waterfall Creek.

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Ginger crunch and donuts

11:50am 15 Jul 2013

I miss Couplands.

So far I've yet to find a bakery in Palmerston North that is as cheap, has as much range, and is asCouplands delicious as Couplands.

They're a South Island-based chain bakery and some of their stores are the size of a small supermarket.

They have donuts that melt in the mouth. Sandwiches and rolls that filled many and innings break in the cricket. Then there's the family mince pies. And the ginger crunch. I'm a healthy guy.

I don't go to school to eat my lunch but it's an important part of the day when I'm working.

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The Rangitikei's got talent

11:06am 03 Jul 2013

If there was a competition to decide the best river to flow through the Manawatu district, I'd vote for the Rangitikei.

The Manawatu is powerful and it's got a pretty inspiring gorge but even though it is named after a Maori warrior's reaction to it (his heart stood still), it doesn't do the same for me.

Admittedly, it's only the beginning of July - and having never wintered over in Palmerston North I've yet to see it in full flow/flood, so that could change.

The Mangahao is also neat, and the Pohangina's journey through Totara Reserve is a serious gem.

But even though it's not incredible as it passes under SH1 near Bulls, as you get up towards Hunterville, the Rangitikei cliffsRangitikei takes it to another level. It's just all about those cliffs.

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How to show Manawatu off

02:30pm 25 Jun 2013

Recently I had to take off my "I'm new" hat and instead of discovering Palmy's mysteries, I had to share them with someone else.

With my cousin in town for a long weekend, I played the part of Manawatu tour guide, showing her Esplanade treearound the places I find most interesting in my new home.

With dreary winter weather outside, we hit up the rugby museum and Te Manawa, before a break in the rain gave us time to walk the river, The Esplanade and along the lagoon to Caccia Birch.

They're all fantastic, even on a cloudy winter's day as the photo beside, that I took in The Esplanade, shows.

But that was about it for Palmy.

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