Small town Kiwi poet stamping mark in London returning home to share 'spoken word vibe'

A poet from a small Hawke's Bay town is stamping his mark in the world of performing poetry. 

Ben Fagan's sell-out book of poems, 'Some Traveller', tells the story of his big OE in London, where he now headlines for spoken poetry nights. 

Despite having removed himself from the town of Whakatu, he still wanders the streets of London in jandals and gets excited at the supermarket when he sees a bottle of Jacob's Creek wine.

Fagan says he hated poetry at high school but has since realised that there are very few outlets for honest and genuine art for teengaers. 

"Poetry can be great therapy. You can say whatever you want basically and it's a really great way to express yourself."

He says he will return to New Zealand to hopefully get the country on the "spoken word vibe".

We find out why the successful spoken-word headliner is heading home. Source: 1 NEWS

Hundreds present at commemoration of Maori battalion in West Coast town

Hundreds gathered in the West Coast town of Reefton yesterday to commemorate the 28th Maori battalion. 

The ceremony marked the week that the battalion returned home to Wellington in 1946 from the WWll battlegrounds of Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy.

Ex-servicemen marched into the city centre for a powhiri hosted by local iwi and community leaders, who are working to keep their history alive. 

Tony Groves of the Reefton RSA considered it an honour to welcome the local iwi Ngati Waiwai into their doors for the first time. 

Although the few surviving servicemen from the battalion could not attend the ceremony, there were still special moments for their families to honour them. 

"I feel very proud," said Greg Wood, whose father served as one of the 3,500 men to serve New Zealand over the course of the war.

Hundreds came to Reefton today to take part in the commemoration. Source: 1 NEWS


Southland firefighters join to battle Gore plant blaze

Firefighters from across Southland are currently battling a blaze at Dongwha New Zealand’s plant near Gore.

A fire spokesperson told 1 NEWS a fire started in one of the dryer cyclones at the Southland factory just before 8am.

A total of 11 units are at the scene with firefighters from Mataura, Gore, Edendale, Wyndham and Invercargill all in attendance.

Fire generic
File picture. Source: 1 NEWS