Dave Armstrong Waimate

Dave Armstrong's Waimate was the winning story in the fiction category of the 2008 Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing.


At Waimate there are three large houses, where the missionary gentlemen, Messrs. Williams, Davies, and Clarke, reside; and near them are the huts of the native labourers … I cannot attempt to describe all I saw; there were large gardens, with every fruit and vegetable which England produces; and many belonging to a warmer clime.

Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, December 1835

They were only schoolteachers – and not very well-paid ones. Dad was never made head of the school’s science department because he was “too bolshie” and Mum could only teach part-time because she had to be there when I arrived home from primary school. But despite their modest incomes, they insisted we had a full three-week camping holiday every year.


Read Waimate reproduced in full in the New Zealand Listener.