Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | October 7, 2009

Life returns to normal

Were the past three days a dream?

It was cold and windy start to a Wednesday that was followed by three of the most stressful days of my year. And I wasn’t even within the cordon!

We had a gunman loose in my community (my house was just outside the cordon) and for the first few hours we had no idea who he was or who he’d shot.

After he was captured yesterday, today has been so normal it’s not funny.

The kids and I popped down the road for a coffee with a neighbour, we played in the front yard and the paddocks down below the house, I mowed the lawns…. very normal.

I also had my every-so-often chat with Jamie Mackay on The Farming Show – centred around the events of the week.  we talked about the animal health issues that were caused by farmers not being able to get inside the cordon for milking, but as I said yesterday, I have nothing but praise for the Armed Offenders Squad members and police officers that were out there in atrocious weather for three days.

Someone has asked me why everyone was calling it Butcher’s Creek, which doesn’t appear on google earth. The actual gully that the gunman crashed in was just a gully with a bridge over the start of the Manawatu River. Butcher’s Creek is a little creek on the Norsewood side of the gully, which unsurprisingly once upon a time had a butchery on it. 

So if you are ever driving between Dannevirke and Waipukurau, watch out on the northern side of Norsewood for a bridge in the middle of a paddock with no road. That, officially, is Butcher’s Creek (there’s no road because of a major deviation in the highway’s recent history).



  1. RKT sympathy with the drama you have all endured and thankfully the ending was successful for you residents.
    I can empathise with the feeling of helplessness caused by the vacuum of info as it developed and sometimes just sketchy but accurate info can be so reassuring.
    Recently our firstborn flew into CHCH from Canberra for a long weekend of skiing in the Cragieburn range fields. Arrival at midnight on Thursday, ski somewhere Friday then do an off piste clinic Sat and Sun at Cragieburn field.
    At about 4 pm on the Friday we became aware of the tragic death of an Australian visitor in an avalanche in that area and alarm bells went off. Eventually at about 6.30 that the victim was male came as additional info and the relief that tiny bit of info made . Didn’t make it any better for the unfortunate victim but reducing the pool of possibles for us by adding the sex was for us a total release from what we feared.
    As I said living in a potentially serious situation can so easily be made more acceptable by additional accurate info being made available and that was not what you all lived with.

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