Mahurangi Matters – 7 November 2022 – Off the Record

Talk to the foot …

This handsome young fella made it abundantly clear he was no fan of the paparazzi during the recent release of more than 220 giant wētāpunga at Tāwharanui Regional Park. As soon as a camera lens got a mite too close for his liking, he went into classic wētāpunga defence mode by lifting his huge back leg towards the perceived threat, before adding a few guttural rasping noises for good measure. But that’s about as aggressive as these gentle giants get, as they rely mainly on camouflage and their spiky exoskeleton for defence against animal and bird predators. As non-aggressive as they might be, however, they do also manage a nice line in creeping the heck out of most homo sapien observers.

Another busy day at Warkworth’s $3.7 million community transport hub, built with funds from the Rodney targeted transport rate and officially opened in June.