This book tells the story of Gavin Benney's life as a rural policeman in charge of the Hikurangi police district for over 20 years. It is also the story of the Hikurangi district, its people and how it has changed in that time. Police have unparalleled access to all levels of society, they see us in the raw and deal with the dark side of life, the side that those of us in safe, comfortable positions do not want to know about. Gavin dealt with crimes of murder, violence, drugs, thefts, petty vandalism and also with accidents from the horrific to the bizarre and the funny. This is a story of New Zealand rural life.
A graduate in horticulture from Massey College in the 1960s, Catherine Ballard has been involved in horticulture, including writing, all her life. In 2006 David Ling published her biography of internationally recognised plant collector and hybridizer, Oswald Blumhardt - New Zealand Plant Pioneer. In 2010 she self-published Stone Wall Country - Stone Walls of Whangarei District. She has lived in Northland most of her life, farming and growing plants. Her father was a country GP and police doctor from whom she heard many police stories, which fired her enthusiasm for this project.
Introduction 7; Chapter One Raw Recruit 9; Chapter Two Sole Charge 27; Chapter Three On Call 41; Chapter Four Drugs, Raids and Busts 55; Chapter Five Domestics 75; Chapter Six Hikurangi Township 83; Chapter Seven Rural Crime 93; Chapter Eight Coastal 107; Chapter Nine Firearms and Violence 125; Chapter Ten Strange Characters 139; Chapter Eleven Wrap up 147; Postscript 159