By Pam Ferla
When NZ Post courier driver, Allen Wright, drove past a bunch of happy teens jumping off Tairua’s Pepe Bridge on a hot day recently, he decided to join in and cool down. But he did not know the keys to Tairua’s mail box would slip out of his shorts and in to the sea while he was having fun.
“So when I went to clear the Tairua mail box I realised – oh shit – my keys are at the bottom of the ocean,” says this very youthful 61 year-old. “And that’s why for weeks the mail box had a sign across it asking people to drop their mail in to the nearby Lotto shop. As Allen explained, those keys were not your ordinary kind of keys that you could replace at the hardware shop. It took about three weeks and cost $100 for a new set. Lisa at Tairua Lotto and Stationers says, “Allen is a character”.
There have been a few other challenges for Allen and other courier drivers over the past few weeks, including numerous road closures around the Coromandel as well as flooding. Photos show the extent of the flooding he drove through when travelling down the highway from Whitianga. Recent hold-ups on the state highway have meant there was not always enough time for Allen’s usual two daily courier runs. Allen admits that sometimes he is like a big kid and has jumped off a few other bridges for fun over the years, sometimes with his son, James. He has also loved white-water rafting. “I used to jump off the rail bridge at Ngaruawahia, but now there’s a fence and you can’t do it. I have also jumped into the water at the America’s Cup Village.”
Allen was glad his fancy cell phone was not in his pocket when he clambered on to Tairua’s Pepe Bridge for that plunge. He has been doing the courier run to Tairua and Pauanui for New Zealand Post for five years. It is based in Paeroa and he gets up before 4.00am to start work. At weekends, he is an Uber driver in Hamilton, where he lives. He has a dry sense of humour and when asked his surname said “Wright, and I don’t always get it right.” And he’s right about that!
Caption: Courier driver Allen Wright lost his keys in the water at Tairua’s Pepe Bridge.