Pupils' folk song finds favour

Children from Five Forks school yesterday outed Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae as a fan of 1960s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, after Sir Jerry could not resist singing along to their rendition of Leaving on a Jet Plane at the opening of the North Otago A&P Show.

Sir Jerry, who officially opened the 150th North Otago A&P show, was treated to three songs performed in his honour by all 38 pupils from the rural school, and principal Cate Bole said the children had been ''quite excited'' to perform for the Governor-General.

Mrs Bole said the pupils, who sang and played the ukulele, had been learning to play for only a year.

Sir Jerry said he had ''especially enjoyed'' their rendition of Leaving on a Jet Plane.

He said it was the first time he had attended an A&P Show as Governor-General, and added that he was ''really pleased'' that his first show was in North Otago.

''Most New Zealanders have a connection to the rural sector and it's shows like this one that showcase what New Zealand is all about.''

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

New Zealand's future

Taking nothing away from Sir Jerry's comment, the sad reality is that a fair percentage of this class will be doing exactly as the song's title states - much to the deprivation of future NZ.