Ruatuna, the Coates family home at the northern end of the Kaipara Habour, is a lasting tribute to Gordon Coates. Once labelled the ‘Jazz Premier’ in reference to his genial progressivism and breezy manner, Aotearoa New Zealand’s prime minister of the mid 1920s, was also a man of real substance, born to a pioneering Northland farming family and raised on an isolated rural property to be industrious, practical and self-reliant.
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Photo: Darryl Ward