When I woke up this morning I was greeted with a gift that kept on giving all day long.

It didn't come gift wrapped but I was rapt to receive it, especially when it was totally unexpected.

It was an extra hour.

A whole 60 minutes of free time to do with whatever I wanted - with no strings attached.


We all know the Juju Lips Jagger song Time Waits for No One, and the older you get the more precious the commodity of time becomes. Well believe me, kids, as soon as you hit the sunset side of 60 this song really kicks in.

So when I was given an hour, as I was this morning, I was more excited than a Chiefs fan watching the Number 15 jersey cross the line - again. Where, why and what would I do with my one-hour gift, were questions running through my mind faster than the amazing McKenzie kid as he scooted through the Brumbies back line.

I could go into work and write another funding application to keep us going on the oily rag that has been so tightly squeezed it smells more like pain than petrol.

Or I could go down to the marae and help clean up after an amazing audience we all shared with our Maori King Tuheitia on Saturday, in a celebration known as Poukai.

Poukai is a special occasion originally set up to support the widowed, bereaved and the poor in the time of King Tawhiao, and these gatherings continue to this day.

Every year, the families of each marae know exactly how their poukai are run, and are on hand to help feed 500 as they did like a well-drilled team of caterers, asking for nothing more than a smile of satisfaction from their whanau.

The gatherings are also a time to discuss important issues for the people, and the korero at Tutereinga Marae was as tasty as the kai itself.

Or I could sit and study the new Health and Safety Act coming into play today.

It's serious stuff, and some school principals and trustees are locking their homes up in trusts just in case they are taken to the cleaners if their fiduciary responsibilities are found wanting.

Up and down the land of the long contract, trustees are studying up on what this new piece of legislation means - and not just to them, but to those they are guardians of.

Common sense is the name of the game and by the time I sit through six presentations on the six boards I sit on, hopefully I won't be one of the 600 to 900 people who kick it prematurely from an occupational disease.

Mind you, I get to be called an officer instead of a director and that's about as close as I will ever get to wearing a uniform, so my one extra hour studying the Act could be well worthwhile.

And then there are the things I really enjoy when it comes to indulging in them, courtesy of the clock that clicked back an hour this morning.

Another re-run of Taika and Tupac would be high on the list of one-hour leisure and pleasure pastimes. If you haven't seen this classic Kiwi backyard yarn, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is based on Barry Crump's novel Wild Pork and Watercress.

The film tells the story of a young Maori boy and his uncle, who go on the run when social welfare threatens to place the boy in foster care.

This is a story that strikes a chord with those of us who work in the social service sector, and it is a Taikanui piece of movie magic that offers a sorbet of cinematic escapism where the goodies and the baddies are really on the same side.

A bit like toilets and life in a juxtapositional kind of way. There are inside ones and outside ones to choose from, as there is in this movie, and both serve the same purpose with different experiences along the way.

Perhaps my puku could benefit with the extra hour? I could walk an extra mile around Mauao or forage for a feed of my next-door neighbour's feijoas - before they are all knocked off by kids on their way to school tomorrow.

The options are endless, unlike time itself when it waits for no one.

Now is the hour to say "haere mai" to the extra hour we have all been gifted.

How long it sticks around for is up to our body clocks.

I guess I have just spent my free hour on working out just what it was I wanted to do with it. "Bugger!" as Barry Crump so famously said to Scotty, who made a cameo appearance in the Taika and Tupac movie.

Oh well, k'ete pai (such is life). There will be another one arriving first thing in the morning.

- broblack@xtra.co.nz

-Tommy Wilson is a Tauranga author and writer.