The Better NZ Trust in Thames

Strat Peters, Sam Peters, Dee West, Steve West, Margaret Wood, Ken Wood, John Leenman

For those of you who aren’t aware, my name is Dee West, and I write most of the blogs you’ll see on the Trust Website.

I’ve lived in New Zealand for more than 20 years now, and I started my life here in Thames as an exchange student when I was 16 years old.

Thames is a beautiful, sleepy little gateway town that leads to the Coromandel peninsula.  Beach towns, firth towns, excellent food, an eclectic mix of people and communities, and a real sense of connection between local businesses and residents are just the start of what makes Thames a magical place.


While in Thames I visited both of my “Kiwi Families” who took me under their wing in the 1990’s.  Both of these families are inextricably linked to me and my entire family for eternity.  They are the family I chose, and who chose me.

We had an amazing dinner cooked by my Thames “Dad” Strat Peters.  Very early the next morning we took a drive far up into the Kauaeranga Valley.  I do not get to see my beloved Thames families nearly as much as I would like, so this was a huge treat for me.  It was also very special being able to introduce my new, and very dear friend Chelsea to a huge part of my life and my past.

IMG_0225The truly majestic Kauaeranga Valley at dawn.
IMG_0229Strat grows and presses some of the best Olive Oil I have ever tasted!
IMG_0236Steve shows my Thames Mum and Dad his cool toy (a drone for filming)
IMG_0224It was a huge honour to be able share a part of my life with Chelsea! The Woods and Peters absolutely adored her, as we all do!
IMG_2108Strat Peters, Sam Peters, Dee West, Steve West, Margaret Wood, Ken Wood

Charge Net NZ are working hard to install a fast charger alongside Powerco in Thames.  The station is due to be up and running in the very near future, and this will open up the Coromandel to EV owners from around the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland.

We had a wonderful time in Thames, and look forward to a flourishing relationship with this wonderful town and all the people who pass through it, well into the future.

The day was a huge success, and we owe that success to a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers, who have been led and buoyed by the one, the only, John Leenman.  John has been championing sustainably efforts since he was knee high to a grasshopper.  Aside from owning a full electric Nissan Leaf himself, he organises regular outreach events for EV enthusiasts, attends events across the entire North Island, and in his spare time plants trees and makes us all laugh and feel confident and enthusiastic about the work we are doing together, with his kind words and comments on social media.

John, thank you, to you and all of your amazing Thames team!


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