Hutch and friends provide substantial and on-going support
When the editor asked his neighbour, legendary earthmoving contractor Mick Berger, about creating a marquee site at the Mahurangi West Hall, he also asked him who might be approached to do the engineering design:
Hutch? Is that his name?
Yeah. Hutchinson Consultants.
Well, what’s his first name?
Aw, I don’t know, Hutch…
was all Mickey offered.
While the editor did ascertain, before phoning him, that ‘Hutch’ was one Ian Hutchinson, He needn’t have worried overly—the minute Mick Berger’s name was mentioned, and what was proposed, Hutch said:
We can help you with that, and we won’t need to charge you. And phone Rick O’Flaherty at Buckton Consultants and get him to do a topotopographical plan, and tell him he’s not charging you. And phone Bernie O’Connor and get her to do the resource consent, and tell her she’s not charging you.
Scribbling down phone numbers, the editor’s slow mind tried desperately to reconcile everything, least of all a woman called Bernie?
This, of course, was Burnette O’Conner of O’Connor Planning Consultants.
It wasn’t long before a site meeting was held at the Mahurangi West Hall. The enthusiasm these professionals had for each other’s competencies, and for the project, was massively encouraging. It is one thing to beg favours of people for community and heritage causes, but for these busy souls to be quite so generous with their professional services… well, it just made the editor very glad he’d taken along copies of Jade River: A History of the Mahurangi as a small token of Friends of the Mahurangi’s appreciation.
Postscript The editor was glad that he didn’t know in 2005, when first calling him, that Ian Hutchinson’s firm had already made a major contribution to the Mahurangi West Hall. It was back in 2000, when there were plans for extensive development of the hall property. It wasn’t until working on the conservation plan for the hall that it was realised the community was double-dipping. Those who know that prince among men, Hutch, will not be surprised to hear he never mentioned the fact.