Hawkes Bay Today, Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Will homeless duck quack under strain?

your ears Pawa.

Yes, you’ve got the bright yellow gormless stare down pat. And yes, you’ve lorded over Waipawa’s main street for almost a decade.

But the powers that be (Central Hawkes Bay District Council) have decided you’re no longer, ahem, appropriate.
Passé they say. Grotesque. You’re banned from council land – to the river, they decree.

Your owners, the local Chamber of Commerce, are rather flustered by the decision.

Stephen Jenkinson says it’s just not right to perch you, Pawa, out of sight in the scraggly riverside grass. He’s worried you’ll meet the same fate as the wrecked picnic tables and graffitied skate bowl.

And he loves you dearly.

“Waipawa without the duck is like Don Brash without his calculator. Like Helen Clark without airbrushing.”

A website set up by your creator, Jan Gosling, records every scrap of information written about you. It’s had over 30,000 visitors – you’re a very popular duck, online at least.

So the nice Mr Jenkinson is on the lookout for a new home for you. A shop front verandah, perhaps, or maybe some telecom-owned land.

And, he says, a meeting next week will decide your fate.

Typifying the split opinion, one visitor logged in this entry to his online travel diary:

“One thing that I don’t like about Waipawa is that it has a huge statue of a yellow duck that was obviously modelled on the yellow bathtub toy. This statue sits on a plinth right in the centre of town. There is no escaping it.

“Lisa, my partner, loves ‘Pawa’ (for that is the duck’s name) and glorifies it. She believes that the duck is Waipawa’s chance of fame in the realms of large town icons.”