Pioneering Reminiscences of Old Wairoa
A Deal in Bunny
A Deal in Bunny.
Here in this historic building there met a jovial company one night, all men bearing good records, including George Burton, of the Land and Survey Department, and later the first chairman of the Wairoa County Council, with Messrs, Cable and Drummond, owners of the Kiwi Estate, reaching almost from Wairoa to Waihua, a distance of thirteen miles. John Bonifant, of Whakaki, was also there, and the late Sergeant-major J. H. Smyth, who held a roving commission in "Fraser's Fighting Fifty." One of the party, Mr. Drummond, I think it was, began descanting on the great sport he had had in Southland shooting rabbits. The big hearts of the party grieved very much for Wairoa's misfortune, in that it knew not "bunny," and there and then they subscribed the sum of £20, and ordered as much of the bunny tribe as the current coin of the realm put in the pool would purchase. In due course "the varmint," as one Wairoa resident later called him, arrived at The Spit, as the port of Napier was called at the time. The Wairoa bar was very bad at this period, and communication by sea was cut off for some six months, and "bunny" languished in an old shed for many moons, and by the time the bar was opened by favour of Jupiter Pluvius, and Tapuae, the Greek and Maori gods respectively, and aided by a rattling big flood, the consignment was dead and buried; so for once, "bad-bar" was a good thing for Wairoa. We just missed a direct rabbit invasion, though we got "the varmints" later on from our neighbours to the south.