If Kaitaia woman Eileen Reed had a fairy godmother, she would be asking her to restore Kaitaia's taxi service.

Mrs Reed, 77, has a car in her garage, but her health problems mean she can't drive it. She depends upon her home help to get out of the house on Thursdays, an hour or two once a week to do everything she needs to do in town, from shopping and banking to seeing her doctor and collecting prescriptions.

The rest of the week she spends at home, with the support of a carer for one hour each week day.

Her predicament worsened last month when her home help began a five-week holiday. A friend's daughter took over, but was still only able to get her out of the house on Thursdays.


Mrs Reed said she wasn't only thinking of herself, however. She believed there were many elderly and/or disabled people in Kaitaia who did not have vehicles of their own, or were unable to drive, and who had depended on the service once provided by Edith and the late Bob Dunmore.

Mrs Dunmore wound up Kaitaia Taxis on January 31 last year, after her husband died. The business had provided the family with a good living, she said, and would do so for anyone who wished to take over.

The family had decided not to sell the business, but she was sure that someone would move to fill the gap, although the life of a taxi driver was a demanding one.

"We got a good life out of it, but now that Bob has gone we feel that we've given enough. It's time to give someone else a go," she said.

"It would make a good living for someone younger, a couple perhaps. Someone will pick it up."

No one did, and Mrs Reed, who has a daughter in Melbourne and a son in Whang─ürei, sincerely wishes someone had.

It would not be feasible for Driving Miss Daisy in Kerikeri to expand to Kaitaia and Age Concern, which had provided vouchers when the taxi service was operating, was unable to help, she said. She was now pinning her hopes on the Far North District Council. She had written to mayor John Carter, who had passed her plea on to Te Hiku Community Board.

"I really hope someone can help," she added.


"The way things are now, if I don't or can't do it on a Thursday I don't do it at all."