Cattle and homes

This field is on the way to my local burger place.

Photo by me. These guys all ran down to the fence to say Hi.

The family homes behind the cattle will cost you around one million NZ dollars. That’s USD$716,870 at today’s rate. They’re a couple of years old. The new builds are $1.25 million. You can still squeak into a 2-bedroom terrace apartment for $565K (USD$405K), though.

The median New Zealand income is $45,000 p.a.

I wonder what the cattle think.

When I was a kid this is what my neighborhood was like: a farm that had been carved up for housing. Except the houses cost $60,000 – about 3.5 year’s average salary.

On the other side of the main road stood open fields and horses. One kid rode his pony to school. A gully was left uncleared; too steep for cheap building. Of course that’s where we all played. It was an exotic wild jungle to us. The cutty grass sliced our palms, and we carried home triumphant toitoi.

By the time I finished high school the gully was gone too.

toitoi grass mangawhai cliff walk Thomas Sobek flickr.jpg
Toitoi, Mangawhai cliff walk, Northland. Photo by Thomas Sobek on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Licence.

I moved here two years ago. Back then when I went to get a burger it was along shiny new asphalt roads leading nowhere much. I had to drive cautiously to avoid a flock of geese. They’d spent their lives wandering open farmland, and suddenly a main thoroughfare cut through their patch.

The geese were still there in March. Now they’re gone – all but two. They haunt the shoulder of the highway onramp, bedraggled gray bundles of feathers, hissing at commuters starting their long morning drive into the city.



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