Did you know that Piopio was the first school and community in all of New Zealand to have a school bus service?
I discovered this for the first time myself exploring the online archives at the National Library, where I came across the following photo, now framed and on the wall in the Cottage at Struan Farm. It was meant to have been taken somewhere in Paemako, not far from where we are.
Recently the Piopio College Trust initiated the "1924 School Bus Project," the objective of which is to build a roadworthy replica of the first school bus that ran to Piopio District High School in 1924. A 1921 Model T truck has been acquired, upon which a passenger compartment will be constructed. Once completed, the bus will be housed in a secure display in Piopio, to be liberated onto the road to carry passengers on special occasions.
The NZ Ministry of Eduction has contributed to the fundraising efforts by making an initial donation, but private fundraising efforts continue to obtain sufficient funds for the costs of the vehicle purchase, construction, garage, etc.
If you'd like to contribute to this fantastic local cause, please contact the Piopio College Trust (or me and I will get details for you).