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Manuka Honey. The Maori treasure

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Norman Parata in Ruatoria posing in a beekeeper’s suit in front of his family’s marae. Norman is a prime example of the downs in this small coastal city’s population. Chronic unemployment or uninteresting jobs such as sheep shearing and forestry plunge the men into alcoholism and depression.<br />
Norman, 39 years old, grew up in Ruatoria until his parents’ separation when he left for Gisborne. He quit school at 15 years old and began working as a sheep shearer, then a lumberjack. Later he set up as an organic farmer, until 2002. For five years he sold his vegetables in Wellington. Single, 3 children aged 17, 16 and 7 by a woman who lived with him for 13 years.