Book Review:- “The Clarence – People and Places of Waiau-toa” by Tim Fulton, published by Bateman Books. Price $79.99
Review by Tony Orman
The Clarence River rises from Lake Tennyson high in the backcountry west of Hanmer Springs. The river then runs for more than 200 kms through high country tussock flats, then into rugged gorges and at times, crazy loops in its course before entering the sea at the village of Clarence, an hours drive south of Blenheim. Rural journalist Tim Fulton has written a grand book on the valley. Even if you don’t personally know the Clarence valley, it’s a compelling read.
Tim Fulton grew up around farming in Canterbury’s Waimakariri district which instilled a good grounding of rural life, people and issues.
Tim’s name may be familiar as editor of the New Zealand Farmers Weekly for 10 years and he also had an insight into politics working on the Parliamentary press gallery as well as working for the NZ Farmer and Straight Furrow.
As an author he’s had three books published – a family memoir Straight off the Tussock (2005), Kiwi Farmers Guide to Life (Bateman Books June 2021) and The Clarence – People and Places of Waiau Toa, to be released October 2022.
“Everything about the Clarence is daunting,” he writes.
That’s accentuated by the dominating outline of New Zealand’s tallest mountain outside of the Southern Alps, commonly known as Tappy but more exactly Tapuae-o-Uenuku. The book is basically in four parts comprising in total 250 pages, is very well illustrated with some frequently stunning photos and makes for an intriguing insight into the high country farmers.
This is a beautifully presented book by the publishers and written from the heart showing the author’s strong empathy with the land, mountains, a mighty river and high country people.
Thank you very much for your generous review of The Clarence. Much appreciated, regards Tim