Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Maketu Fish ‘n Chips


Fish and chips a very popular meal here in New Zealand and it forms part of the fabric that gives us the Kiwi identification. But have we ever stopped to questioned ourselves does it belong to us, and if not where did it originate and how did it get here? Most of us will be surprised and learn that Fish and Chips originated in the United Kingdom as far back as 1858. It comprised of battered fish, that is cooked by a process of deep-frying and is accompanied by deep-fried 'slab-cut' potato called chips. There is however debate, but popular opinion associates the meal with the United Kingdom where it remains as popular then as it is today.

Community Development

Countries like New Zealand, Australia and Canada were colonised by the British people during the mid 19th century, and brought with them their customs and preferences including their like for fish and chips. Here they quickly established fish markets and as the markets grew in city centres the smaller fish shop grew in numbers and are found in many rural settlements scattered across New Zealand. Patronage of these small markets by local residents soon found cooking as alternative money earning income stream. A sense of local ownership and identity soon became the talk and the word spread that we have the “best fish and chips” Families travelled specially to these settlements to buy fish and chips and enjoy the local hospitality.

A Greater Menu Selection


‘Maketu Fish ‘n Chip Shop’ with permission by Robin White

Maketu for  over two generations has kept a reputation of cooking the best fish and chips in the Bay for the best tasting and freshness of fish. This is attributed to a well known local family the Tapsell’s and as proprietors they handed the good will of the business to next in line. The Maketu Fisheries Shop changed many times and so did it’s menu. The selection offered, includes battered fresh mussels, oysters, prawns, sausages, spring rolls, kiwi burgers, kumara chips with sour cream and even deep-fried chocolate. The process of deep-frying has taken on change as well, for the health conscious minded customer can now ask for their meal to be cooked in oils.

Take-Away the News

Kiwi’s are patriotic and support all things Kiwi like Watties. One will say you cannot have Fish and Chips unless you have it with Watties Tomato sauce. Kiwi’s have a fascination for Watties and like Fish and Chips we begin to own it with our Watties products from Tomato to Tartar sauce’s. Here in Maketu they will throw in the slice of lemon wedges on request.

Take-away your Fish and Chips and find a spot on the sandy beach or on the grassy knoll, unwrap what is a New Zealand icon and enjoy. Take the time to read the news articles and reflect you never know what you get.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Learning to Deal with Wastewater:

Sewerage engineering practice operates within a paradigm in the sense that the engineering community reached a consensus earlier last century that a narrow range of treatment options would form the basis of its subsequent practice. This consensus prevents serious consideration of alternative technologies and constrains innovative research at a time when the paradigm is no longer adequate in a changing environment where sustainability is crucial. A technological revolution is required but is unlikely to emerge from within the sewerage engineering community unless that community recognises that their existing paradigm is inadequate to the needs of the community and the broader environment.
For the past decade Western Bay District Council engineers have been accused of choosing a sewage treatment solution from a small range of technologies that are consistent with the water-carriage of the sewage (in pipes) to a waterway for disposal. Conventional treatment methods are classified into stages. The preliminary stages involve grit removal and the screening of gross solids from the sewage. Primary treatment removes some suspended solids from the sewage by sedimentation in tanks. Secondary treatment utilises micro-organisms to break down organic matter, mainly with biological filters or activated sludge treatment. All of these processes had been invented and were in use as early as 1920.
Yet today alternative sewage treatment technologies that have proved to be effective in the past have largely been dropped from the engineer's code of practice despite their public appeal. Sewage irrigation and other forms of sewage farming were successfully used in the nineteenth century and remnants of those early farms still operate today in the 21st Century such as the Werribee sewage farm in Melbourne. For the most part though, these technologies have been abandoned as victims of a wastewater paradigm.
Engineers and health inspectors alike within this paradigm are also becoming increasingly dissatisfied with conventional primary and secondary treatment methods. Secondary treatment plants are expensive to build, operate and maintain. They are land intensive which is a problem and communities like Maketu are forced to install secondary treatment on prime real estate near estuaries and ocean outfalls. They also create a large amount of bi-product called sludge which is difficult and costly to deal with. The problem is exacerbated by the tendency for viruses and heavy metals to concentrate in the sludge making alternative disposal forms like incineration and reuse as fertiliser potentially hazardous.
It can be argued that the debate of this wastewater paradigm from last century is outdated and a new paradigm is emerging as the debate is polarised. In a recently published article in Te Puke Times March 23, 2011 community leaders of Maketu have once again demonstrated a united position objecting to council’s application for resource consent for a reticulation sewage scheme yet agree doing nothing is not an option. What did they do? they provided council and engineering staff an alternative a ‘bio-filtro’ as a win/win option.
It is not my intention to take sides but Mayor Ross Paterson is quoted as saying “council investigated an alternative wastewater treatment method recently suggested by some Maketu residents but it was not convinced it would satisfy resource consent conditions”. So after a 12 year journey Western Bay District Council made a decision to construct a $16.3 million sewage system for Maketu and Little Waihi based on an outdated paradigm.