I find it interesting that the previous reviewer puts so much emphasis on the fact that there were not many guests in the hostel at that time; amazingly enough the amount of guests depends on the amount of people coming to karamea at any given time and to put down a hostel for having few guests in a not particularly busy time of year is completely ridiculous. If you want a place with hundreds of guests then I suggest you check out Auckland next time.
Anne72Leeds also claims that there "seems to be no one paid to clean". You're right, nobody IS paid to clean. The entire hostel is run by WWOOFers and anybody who had actually taken time to get to know the team instead of looking for faults in the place she might've come to understand that the business is, being relatively new, trying to find its feet and cannot afford to pay for industrial equipment to clean the place every day. Rongo does what it can with the help that comes through and for most guests that seems to be just fine. Funnily enough, very few of the guests have a problem with the rooms or bathrooms. I suggest that next time Anne looks for budget accommodation she should keep in mind the fact that, well, she's looking for budget accommodation and lower her ridiculously high standards. There are high-end motels for the likes of her.
I also suggest that Anne looks into WWOOF and what it's about before she starts making bold claims about the owner finding work for people without a visa.
Rongo is a relaxing place for people to unwind out of the way of busy cities and towns. It is run by volunteers who put their heart and soul into trying to make the place run as efficiently as possible. Fair enough, that's where there's some room for error because not all volunteers have the same standards of cleanliness, but this is not Paul's fault at all, it's just a part of WWOOF. The vast majority of people who I've seen go through Rongo (and I've spent about six months here) have been incredibly satisfied with their stay and loved the atmosphere. It is not the Hilton, and if it was there wouldn't be nearly as much character to the place. It's more than a backpacker's, it's also a budding centre of artistic excellence and part of the LivingInPeace project. When you actually bother to look at the bigger picture and see what Paul, Brian and the WWOOFers are actually trying to do, it's more difficult to pick trivial little faults with the place.
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