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Janella Munns has done her final delivery for Splinta’s Firewood after eight years in business. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Final load for Splintas Firewood

Janella Munns will miss the smell of macrocarpa and freshly cut pine at Christmas.
She’ll miss proving to people that a female can back a trailer down a driveway.
And though she’ll miss the customers who know her as the woman who brings warmth over winter, the physical work of the job has meant it’s time for Janella to close up shop.
After eight years, Splinta’s Firewood is coming to an end.
“It’s been really physical,” she told The Profile during her final delivery. “Along the way we’ve made things easier, but I guess it comes back to the Kenny Rogers song… you’ve got to know when to call it.”
The business all began after she made a passing comment to her husband about feeling the cold, which in turn saw him buy her a wood splitter.
Over time, they ended up supplying kindling and boxed wood to stores throughout the Hauraki-Coromandel, as well as wood chips and smoking blocks.
She amassed around 600 tonnes of logs per year, which was “about 55 to 60 truck and trailer units a year,” she said.
“We supplied into DOC, so my wood actually flew into the Pinnacles Hut and the Waitawheta Hut in the Kaimas. I’ve literally driven through basements and out the other side, I’ve taken clotheslines down so I can park where [customers] want it. I can honestly say, hand on heart, there is not a driveway I have not been able to get up.”
Janella did have Splinta’s on the market for roughly six months and, while there were a few interested parties, she said some backed away after seeing the size of the business.
Now the whole Splinta’s range and its wood deliveries have come to an end where it started – at Annette and Alistair Buchanan’s house in Paeroa, Janella’s first customers.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” she said. “I want to say a massive thank you for all the support, all the honest customers… the ones I’ve never met, and the ones I’ve had cups of tea with.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to know that people are going to be warm in winter.”