CHB Mail, Tuesday, 14 October 2003

Waipawa Duck derided

COULD this be the beginning of the end of Waipawa’s much maligned duck?

On Friday October 10 Radio Pacific held the results of a nationwide poll to find out what are those Achilles heels in your town?

Show host Paul Henry said, When the results came in, the Waipawa duck kept popping up at an alarming rate. And I have to say, when I saw pictures of it I had to agree it is the worst town fiasco in the country. And what makes it worse is the hideous plinth it is sitting on.

Paul declared “It wins hands down as the most offensive ornament in the whole of New Zealand.”

When it was made known to Paul Henry that we hold an annual plastic duck race down the Waipawa River, he howled saying, :The unbelievable torment you poor people are put through, is it not enough you have to endure the duck?”

Mayor Tim Gilbertson responded by saying, “On behalf of Waipawa and the wider community, I am deeply offended.

It just goes to show how insensitive people can be.

Admittedly the Duck is no Rodiní (sculptor the thinker) but it is still our duck and we are proud of it.”

Speaking to half a dozen Waipawa residents about Paul Henry’s comments the general consensus is, all but two thought the duck was awful but they did add that they were used to it now.

All did ask what did it have to do with Waipawa?

Jan Gosling who was asked by the Chamber of Commerce to make the duck says, “I received the call out of the blue to make the two metre high duck to help promote the duck race.

Contrary to popular belief the duck wasn’t my idea, I just made it.”

:The duck was to sit on the deck of a ute and driven around, but the duck wouldn’t fit and it weighed about 400kgs. So the Chamber of Commerce decided to make a stand on which it rests and place it where it stands today.

As to the dissenters of the duck, well the younger people of Waipawa have a lot more attachment to the duck and it was made to bring a smile to the faces of a very depressed Waipawa at the time.

ìI had a lot of fun making the duck and I certainly do not regret it. The duck was made to promote the Waipawa duck race so it was made with a sense of humour.”

Love it or hate it, this two metre high duck is now nationally a much talked about duck.