Mabel Bush

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80 Years ago, Mabel Bush was described as a terrible place to be in. It still is.

Mabel Bush is a small community in the Southland region of New Zealand's South Island. The community has an estimated population of 127 people (give or take a 100). This is due to the constant threat of the inland revenue officers doing random checks of tax records which results in most of the towns population going bush. The main building in the area is the Mabel Bush Hall, which consists of the hall and tennis courts. The Hall is mainly used for parties, graffiti practice and community events, such as 'Swingers Night' on Thursday evenings during the winter.

The official slogan of Mabel Bush is, 'The Town Of Growth.' A claim which is in accordance with its crime rate as well as the residents' unsightly complexions.


The surrounding area is predominantly farmland. Much talked about attributes of the region include lush meadows of stinging nettles and potholes that only a seasoned Spelunker can navigate. The name Mabel Bush is quite misconcieving considering there is only about two hectares of actual bush, in fact the town is often joked about amongst travellers' circles as being a reclusive getaway where you will be "undisturbed by large numbers of people and trees." The original name 'maybe bush' was gifted to it by the chinese settlers who arrived during the goldrush, they were told there 'maybe' gold present there, upon finding none there they decided to breed amongst themselves, setting up a small farming village. All residents today are actually descended from these Asian prospecters. Maori, of course, always have their own version of events and according to folklore Mabel was the goddess of disagreement so the town name can be translated as 'no bush.'

You could not describe the area as flat,nor could you describe it as hilly some residents have been heard to describe it as a happy medium. Most non-residents describe it as an unhappy hole.

The closest city is Invercargill, which is around twenty kilometres away. Invercargill was once described by a Mick Jagger as "The Arsehole of the world" and Kiwi rock band Shihad reiterated this and called it, "The Acne on the face of the world." And there are several villages not so nearby, such as Auckland to the north, Scotts Gap to the west, Ohai to the southwest, Apia to the east and Tokanui if you walk further down into the hole.

The nearest large waterway is the Makarewa River. The exact contents of locally made, 200 proof fertilizer is a viciously guarded secret (which the government is looking into) but the runoff from whatever is in it has made the Makarewa strongly Alkaline and it had a dull radioactive green hue when glanced at night. This river is sometimes used by anglers, -not to be confused with angels, who wouldn't be caught dead (well, deader) bathing in it- as it holds a large amount of small to medium albeit drunk catfish and the odd shark or washed up corpse depending on how far downstream you travel, you usually have to reach the sea before you see any sharks.


The local wildlife is largely consisted of farm animals. The major stocklife includes sheep,beef,dairy and deer. Pigs are considered to be the symbol of Mabel Bush. They are used extensively in Mabel Bush for their Meat, Milk, Hide and (when the neighbours aren't looking) companionship. Because of these farms there are obviously dogs, which are used not only to herd the livestock on the farms but to guard from the nearby tribe of "Gorons". which sometimes pass through conducting rituals known as "Drag trains" in what can only be described as "souped up Lawnmowers".

There is also a large avian contingency which includes most common New Zealand birdlife, and a few Australian birds with the likes of spur winged wombats, Australian dingulls and many ocelot (fish that simply can't swim away from the area fast enough and so grow legs and run)

There are many pets.Including the obvious pet dogs and pet cats. There are also animals such as goats and horses, which are both sadly violated by frisky locals though the former can get their revenge and on occasion it is them who are the ones doing the violating. Strangely not a single complaint has been heard.


Mabel Bush has a temperate sub-antarctic climate similar to that of the Auckland Islands. The mean daily temperature ranges from -52°C in July to -51.5°C in January. The yearly mean temperature is -51.75°C. Rainfall averages 6000 mm annually, and measurable snowfall is daily during the months from June to April. During May it rains cats and dogs, much to the local chinese shops delight, strangely coi-incendentally all beef chow mein is half price during the month of May also. It is the cloudiest centre of New Zealand with 2 hours of sunshine per annum.

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