So is it Hawke's Bay or Manawatu?

I know I sometimes get a bit confused, it's a sign of too much going on in my head, not old age, really. But the most confusing aspect of living here in Dannevirke for most of us is not knowing where we belong. Yes, we know it's the Tararua District, but who else knows that?

Not it seems the people advertising property in Dannevirke and calling it a small town in the Manawatu. Nor the people who say yes, that's in Southern Hawke's Bay.

Then there are those with a bob each way saying "over there, down there, through the gorge". But even through the gorge is getting hard to swallow for those who have to make the trek over the Saddle Rd because the gorge remains closed.


We're in with the Manawatu for our health and regional council, but at least one MP wants to change that, he wants us aligned with Waiarapa.

Confusion reigns on our anniversary weekend too. People in Hawke's Bay celebrate in October and Dannevirke has a market day festival to co-incide, but we're not in Hawke's Bay, we're with Wellington and our anniversary weekend is in January.

Some people who like to have their holiday cake and eat it too and manage to take time out for both dates.

When it comes to general elections we're lumped into the vast Waiararapa electorate and locally there have been murmurings of Eketahuna divorcing Tararua and having a match made in heaven or hell with Waiarapa.

Last week my son was playing in the national indoor bowling championships and was asked about the club he represents. Rua Roa wasn't on anyone's radar in Taupo. But to add to the confusion, when asked what bowling centre he plays for, his answer, Bush/Ruahine, left most scratching their heads.

Loyalty is a funny thing, I know people in Pongaroa often refer to living in northern Waiarapa but I guess as long as they keep paying their rates to Tararua, it isn't a worry.
But it seems in all the tag lines for our area, Tararua is the one few people know.

The story has been told that when regions in New Zealand were being divided up, our district was the last, it seems no one knew what to do with us.

Peter Elworthy was in charge of the great New Zealand carve up and he's now gone down in folklore as deciding on our district's name after looking out his bathroom window in Manawatu and seeing the Tararua ranges in the distance.


True or false, we live in Tararua country and should be shouting it to the world.