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Oamaru resident Neil Norman takes delivery of a bag of groceries from his granddaughter Aisha Pozzobon (17) last Thursday.

Mr Norman remembers a similar quarantine during a polio epidemic in his childhood. He was the youngest of three siblings on a farm at Wanaka and their mother was a strict disciplinarian when giving them their school lessons at home.

But the option of helping their father on the farm was no less daunting, as the children were expected to work hard there, too, Mr Norman said.

His father became something of a local celebrity when he did not have a suitable horse to ride on rabbit control operations, so he put a saddle on a quiet cow.

A photographer from the glossy magazine Auckland Weekly visited to photograph the sight.