Wellington 22.–25.3.2010


With my four research interview recordings and huge amount of other observations I came from Taihape to Wellington. Wellington is a typical city with buildings where people live above and below each other: they are called blocks of flats.





The conditions for university students in Wellington are excellent.




For a boot throwographer Wellington rises expectations. In addition to giving his name to this city, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington gave his name to the Wellington or Wellie or Welly gumboot which is used by every herman in Britain.


But I have not seen any gumboot in Wellington. Anyhow, the conditions for boot throwing are good. Today the wind was so strong that I could have thrown at least 100 m, at least when measured with feet.




In Wellington and New Zealand in general sports grounds are large. Cricket field, for example, is circular and its diameter is approximately 150 m. It would be an ideal ground for boot-throwing.





The attitude to life among Wellington people resembles that of boot throwographers. Forwards!




I thank my travel mates, Anita, Eckehart, Eeva, Jari and Pirjo, and our hostesses and hosts in Taihape for their nice company and all kind of help!


To these words and photos Boot Throwographer ends his New Zealand travelogue. See you!



The Gumboot Day 20.3.2010 in Taihape, NZ


In the morning of the Gumboot Day the Finnish-German boot commandos had a chance put forward their mission to boot the world on a national NZ tv channel, in the Onenews of Tv1, see:







The Gumboot Day offered all kinds of activities and attractions  – to put it shortly: ‘Kiwi relaxation’ – for example:


… Music …




… Fun for kids …





… Comedy …





… Shearing …




… Stalls …




… And, of course, gumboot throwing …







The Finnish team won the team competition with $ prizes, so the analysis of an unknown boot wizard came true: ‘Money is not a problem – only, but minor, is how to use it’.





Compared with Finnish rural towns and places Taihape’s townscape is unexpected. The town centre is densely built, shops side by side. It is incredible that in a town of under 2 000 inhabitants there are shops and services for almost all needs. The backbone of Taihape centre is the State Highway 1, the main road of the North Island of New Zealand which passes through the town centre.












Today I was honoured to interview Michael, a farmer and the Professor of Gumboot Throwology.



After that I consulted the organizers of the Gumboot Day’s boot-throwing competition in setting up the throwing sectors.





Tully Golden Gumboot Festival




The day went by giving an interview concerned with our visit in Taihape for Peak FM radio and doing interviews connected with my research project. In the evening we visited Elisabeth’s house on the hill – stunning views over the town!




It is always a pleasure to learn something new. Today I realized, that a town called Tully in Australia has a quite similar gumboot event as Taihape, see http://www.tullygumbootfestival.com/ . Taihapians know their Tullian friends and the other way round. New possibilities for booting the world?!

Arrival to Taihape





Early in the morning the Finnish-German expedition jumped on the Overlander train and started their journey to Taihape which is located 230 km north of the capital city, Wellington. The terrain in New Zealand is largely hilly.




However, some tens of kilometers to the north of Wellington there are quite large, flat agricultural areas with fields and farm houses, like in Ostrobothnia (only thing that is missing are the birches). Animal husbandry and breeding in New Zealand is largely based on grazing, and you can see sheep and cattle even on quite steep slopes. I wonder whether the hills are beautiful just because the sheep and cattle barber them clean.



When approaching Taihape the terrain gets hilly again and it is possible to see marks of tectonic movements.



Taihape welcomed us with sun and sunny smiles on faces of our hostess Elizabeth and her two friends, who took us to our accommodation place – Safari Motel.



On the way to the motel Terry showed us the old, permanent Gumboot throwing lane which is not in use in this year’s Gumboot Day.




After signing in to the motel we walked to the town centre for a lunch and for shopping food from the local supermarket. On the way we saw the monumental gumboot statue, the symbol of Taihape – the Gumboot Capital of the World. Obviously, we had to take some pictures…




The time and getting used to it is interesting in New Zealand. The current date and time in New Zealand come to Finland after eleven hours from this time on. For example, when I wake up in the morning here in NZ, in Finland my wife and three children are going to sleep for my previous night. I come mad when I think about it. There are challenges in getting used to the change of the sleep pattern: you wake up at 4 at night, and then you are tired in the afternoon, so you have to take a nap.








In the morning of 17 March we had a chance to test brand new New Zealand gumboots, Skellerup Perth (sizes Men 7 & Women and Youth 5); they were very nice and soft to take a grip with a bare hand. Eeva made huge throws, but I threw Siili a bit longer than the Perth gumboot.






A long way to NZ


Bangkok Ok! Although demonstrations caused delays to the timetables of the flights.




The metropolis of Sydney was passed so quickly that there was no time for taking photos.


Wellington, all things ok! The only problem was that my suitcase got lost during the trip. Thank you, Oneworld partners!




Tomorrow morning we are going to leave Wellington for a while and start the Overlander train trip towards Taihape.



Helsinki Airport


Airport is a good place to concretely sense the contemporaneousness of all spaces and places of the globe (see Massey 2005). In three hours I am going to leave my mother-country, wife and three lovely children for almost two weeks. Feeling homesickness already, but I think I will soon have also something else to think when my feet get loose of the Finnish ground.






Massey, D. (2005). For space. Sage, London.

Visit to Taihape, New Zealand – the Gumboot Capital of the World


In my research work I am currently engaged in a research titled ‘Development and utilization of cultural events in the countryside’.  The aim of the research is to analyze the cultural, economical, social and psychological meanings of rural events in the local, regional, national and international contexts.  The practical aim is to bring out good practices in the cultural, social, economical and regional utilization of rural events. The research case events have been selected so that five cases are from Finland, one from Norway, two from Scotland and one from New Zealand. As part of the research project I am happy to visit and investigate – together with my Finnish and German boot-thrower friends Anita, Eeva, Eckehard, Jari and Pirjo – the Gumboot Day, organized on the 20th of March 2010 in Taihape, New Zealand.


Since the 1990s boot throwing has been successfully ‘exported’ from Finland abroad, and the main event is the Boot Throwing World Championships which is annually organized in different countries. New Zealand has its own tradition of gumboot throwing, which, so far, has developed largely unconnected with that of the Finnish origin. The town of Taihape in the North Island of New Zealand has even declared itself the ‘Gumboot Capital of the World’, and it organizes annually a Gumboot Day which is a promotional community festival the aim of which is to stop the travellers to see what Taihape has to offer. The comparison of two rubber boot cultures that have dissimilar histories and that are located at opposite sides of the globe, will be an interesting case from viewpoint of the idea of global countryside (see Woods 2007: 503) .




Woods, M. (2007). Engaging the global countryside: globalization, hybridity and the reconstitution of rural place. Progress in Human Geography 31: 4, 485–507.