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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 11 (February 1, 1936)

The Old Reliable

The Old Reliable.

At an Agricultural and Pastoral Show held at Little River, Banks Peninsula, the other day, there was a class for bullock-teams, and it was fortunate for some of the shining new motor-cars there that the good old bullockie and his team are not yet extinct. The show ground was so boggy, churned up by the hundreds of cars, that some of the largest and most costly automobiles stuck fast when their drivers were leaving at the end of the day. So one of the bullock-waggon teams went to their assistance and hauled them out. I hope the photographer did not miss that spectacle. Banks Peninsula is one of those places where the “cow-horses,” as the soldiers used to call them in the Waikato war days, are still of use in the haulage work in the hills and on rough roads. The old bush days have gone, but a few of the old hands survive, and it is pleasing to know that even at this time of day they are called upon on occasion to come to the rescue of modern inventions.

In some of our North Island bush backblocks the “kau-mahi,” as the Maori calls the working-bullock, is as useful as ever, in spite of all the down-to-date haulage by machine. And there is one thing in particular on which the bullockie has cause to pride himself. His team never can be accused of dangerous speed; he never dashes through a populous district at fifty or sixty miles an hour; he does not fill the hospitals and the cemeteries with victims of his craze for violent travel.