Hibiscus Matters June 1, 2012

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  • Waiwera to Silverdale including Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Orewa

    1 June 2012Your LOCAL Community Newspaper

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    Visit Hibiscus Matters online at www.localmatters.co.nz

    Inside this issueLocal folkpage 8

    Ball seasonpages 16 to 19

    Childcare featurepages 26 to 28

    continued page 2

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    A final public planting session taking place this week at Raroa Reserve in Stanmore Bay marks the start of a new phase in the management of the reserve and the end of years of spadework for volunteers.In the nine years that Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird volunteers have managed the 1ha site, it has been transformed from a paddock covered in kikuyu to a bush reserve with large plantings of manuka, flax, kowhai, cabbage trees and other native plants that are frequently visited by tuis and other birds. A site has also been allocated for skinks.More than 10,000 plants have gone in since the Department of Conservation, which owns the land in Stanmore Bay Rd, handed the site to Forest & Bird volunteers to manage in 2003.

    Volunteers are looking forward to the final public planting at Raroa Reserve that will take place this week. Pictured at Raroa are, from left, Evelyn Goxhaj, Peter Pearce, Orlando and Sotir Goxhaj and Anne Tearney.

    Final planting marks turning point for Raroa

    Auckland Transport stopped short of deleting funding for the Penlink Rd from Whangaparaoa to Redvale from its 10-year-plan but came close with significant deferrals to the project.

    Penlink funding takes a hit as Council budget cut to boneLocal board members and Rodney MP Mark Mitchell flew into action last month when it appeared, from

    comments made by Transport chief executive David Warburton, that Auckland Transport planned to

    remove Penlink from its draft plan.However the Auckland Transport

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 20122

    Penlink funding from page 1

    Raroa planting from page 1

    Hibiscusmatters

    Views expressed in Hibiscus Matters are not necessarily endorsed by the publishers. All rights reserved. Reproduction without editors permission is prohibited.

    is a locally owned publication, circulated to more than 18,505 homes and businesses twice a month.

    Enquiries: ph 427 8188 fax 427 8186 Unit G, Tamariki Plaza, Cammish Lane, Orewa, 0931 [email protected] www.localmatters.co.nzEditor: Terry Moore ph 427 8187 [email protected]: Monica Gregory ph 427 8188 [email protected]/classifieds: Lorry McCarthy ph 427 8188 [email protected]: Ashleigh Lynn ph 427 8188 [email protected]

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    Most of the money for plants has come from the former Rodney District Council, via the Heritage Fund.Among the most dedicated planters has been Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird vice chair Peter Pearce, who has been managing the project since 2006. Peter has spent countless hours working on the site, including clearing weed species. He says the long-term plan for Raroa, which is part of the Northwest Wildlink (see story p9), is that it be a managed bush park.He says Forest & Bird will continue to manage the site for DOC, and that on-going trapping of rats and weed control is an important part of that process. He is hoping that the community will step up and assist.Forest & Bird will always take an interest in it, but we are a small volunteer force and need more input from neighbours and local residents.

    My goal was to do the planting and its satisfying to see what has been achieved here, but I also need to focus on other projects in the area.Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird chair Pauline Smith agrees, saying although the community planting day on Queens Birthday Weekend when around 200 plants will go in is the final one, there is a lot of work that local residents can do on an on-going basis to assist with the management of Raroa.Its for neighbours and the community who enjoy having this reserve to step up and help us to keep it well maintained, she says. The final public planting takes place on June 2 (Queens Birthday Weekend), at the reserve, at 53 Stanmore Bay Rd (behind the Girl Guide headquarters), 10am-12 noon.Anyone who can assist in the on-going maintenance work should contact Peter on 424 7697.

    board, at its meeting on May 21, erred on the side of caution, tinkering with the Penlink figures but not deferring it in its entirety.Its final budget was approved by Auckland Council last week (May 23).The most notable changes to the draft include the removal of $34.7 million of funding for the widening of Whangaparaoa Rd from Vipond Rd to Arklow Lane, which was previously budgeted for 2019/22.In addition, a large portion of the funding for the building of the toll road itself (just over $28 million) has been budgeted for 2021/22 with just $10.5 million spread over the 2018-21 period.Money for the realignment of East Coast Rd, which was budgeted for 2018-20 has been put back to 2020/21 and reduced from $6.3 million to $5 million.Councillor Wayne Walker says the $10.5 million allocated for the toll road in the 2018-21 period may be simply in order to keep contributions alive. Public transport is the big winner in the

    budget, which locally includes money for Stage 2 of the Park n Ride in 2013/14 and a town centre, bus-to-bus on-road interchange in Silverdale North (2013/14), providing connections to Orewa and Whangaparaoa.The widening of Whangaparaoa Rd from Hibiscus Coast Highway to Red Beach is budgeted for 2013/14 and 2014/15.The 10-year plan will be reassessed in three years.Cr Walker says the critical thing with Penlink is to ensure that the three sources of funding from a private partner, Council and central Government are in alignment, and that this looks increasingly difficult to achieve.Cr Michael Goudie says while what has happened to Penlink may seem like death by 1000 cuts, if a private partner comes up with the money, the public funds can be brought forward.The roading environment will also be different with improvements in public transport over the next few years, so lets wait and see, he says.

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    The spirit of adventure is alive and well in Joel Davies of Whangaparaoa, who recently became the first Whangaparaoa College student to receive a gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.Among the most memorable times for Joel during his bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh challenges was having to paddle down the Weiti River in heavy rain, learning to do tricks on a mountain bike without getting injured, spending time aboard the Spirit of Adventure and riding large waves in a sea kayak. The Duke of Edinburgh gold takes three to four years to complete and is designed to teach young people the value of outdoor experiences as well as helping to establish values and skills that will stand them in good stead

    throughout their lives.As well as physical challenges, gold award winners must also complete a service, which, for Joel, involved working with a church youth group as well as providing the sound and lighting for school productions.The gold award was presented by the Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at Government House in April.Joel earned the award as a Year 13 student at the college, and has since gone on to study boat building at Unitec and take up employment as a core builder.A number of students are involved with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme at the college, and two more have earned a gold, which will be presented next year.

    Communities will pay the price of a reduction in Development Contributions for reserves that is proposed under Auckland Councils draft policy.

    Council proposes cuts to reserve contributionsThe draft policy proposes to significantly reduce the amount developers are required to pay, in an effort to facilitate growth, however Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt fears that by doing so, it will not generate sufficient revenue to mitigate the effect of development on existing communities.The draft policy is part of Councils draft Long Term Plan and Auckland mayor Len Brown recently stated in a public meeting in Manly that it would make development more affordable, which was key to Council achieving its compact city growth strategy.Development contributions are used to fund reserves, network and community infrastructure and it is the portion used to fund reserves where major cuts are proposed. The rate of contributions for community facilities, roading, sewerage and water supply are not expected to reduce.Mrs Parfitt says the policy suggests collecting a figure of around 1.9

    percent of the propertys value as a Development Contribution for reserves in the Hibiscus & Bays area. Under the Local Government Act, Councils can collect as much as 7.5 percent and Mrs Parfitt says this was the type of figure commonly collected under the former Rodney District and North Shore City Councils for reserves.She says both the former Councils had their Development Contributions policies tested in the courts and they held up.Mrs Parfitt says the draft policy is also too prescriptive, without the flexibility for Councils to work with developers to achieve a good result for the community, as she says happened under the Development Agreement process in residential subdivisions like Millwater and Kensington Park.A further issue is that the catchment area in which contributions made on the Hibiscus Coast can be spent includes the whole of Northwest Auckland.

    It is fundamental that the money collected here should be spent within this local board area, or at least in a far smaller catchment area than is proposed.She says the draft plan will benefit property owners, who will pay considerably less to Council.If I subdivided my property I would pay $10,000 less under the proposed policy than I would have under North Shore City Council, however whether thats in the wider communitys interest is questionable, she says.Companies behind larger scale developments also stand to gain from the policy and Hopper Developments managing director Leigh Hopper says any reduction in Development Contributions recognises that developers were previously paying too much, and also reflects Councils need to fund its plan for rapid growth.The charges were climbing to unjustifiable heights and presenting an impediment to growth, Mr Hopper says. The Auckland Plan

    Joel Davies receives his gold Duke of Edinburgh award from Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae.

    Whangaparaoa College celebrates its first gold award

    calls for 70 percent growth in higher density redevelopment, which has a higher cost of infrastructure than greenfield development. I suspect this is presenting an obstacle to achieving the Plans aspirations.However, he says the main thing that developers want is a robust and equitable scheme as he has seen a lot of abuse in the way contributions are calculated and spent by previous Councils.In practice, Development Contributions have contributed to more bureaucracy, with the costs exceeding the benefits of the scheme, he says. Mrs Parfitt says she understands that Auckland Council are reconsidering their draft policy in light of concerns raised by the local board. She says other local boards in the region also expressed concerns about the reserve contribution proposals.The draft Development Contributions Plan will be adopted as part of Long Term Plan by June 30 and the new contributions take effect from July 1.

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 20124

    FeedbackHibiscus Matters welcomes readers contributions to Feedback. Preference will be given to letters of 150 words or less, and the editor reserves the right to edit letters to meet space limitations. Unsigned letters, personal attacks or defamatory remarks will not be published. Contributions can be emailed to [email protected] or posted to Unit G, Tamariki Plaza, Cammish Lane, Orewa.

    See Viewpoint p7

    Bus service neededIn support of Glynne Cockertons letter (HM May 2) regarding Silverdale Park and Ride which has been promised for the last 10 years, I recently made a submission to Auckland Transport and then went to the hearing to speak further on it. My main request was for a bus service through west Orewa, as we do not have any bus route at all from Centreway Road to the northern motorway, with a large Maygrove housing estate, many new streets, and two retirement villages in the area. The Millwater Estate is now being developed, from Silverdale to the Orewa off ramp. Many existing residents are elderly, especially in Evelyn Page and Maygrove Villages, and may not have driving licences. It is a huge area, too far for frail elderly

    to walk to banks, postshop, medical practices, pharmacies, supermarkets and cafes. There was a trial of a bus service many years ago, which failed through lack of patronage, but the demographics have now changed dramatically. My submission requested a circular route from Orewa up through Maygrove, along the northern motorway to Silverdale and link to buses from Park and Ride, and on to Albany and the City. Those who support this plan should write to Auckland Transport and say so. I am sure the buses and the Park and Ride station would be very well used by many of our residents. Mayor Len Brown wants trains all over and around the city for which we pay extra rates, while we dont even have a bus.Jill Jeffs, Orewa

    Drama praisedI would like to share my enjoyment of Centrestages recent production of The Woman in Black. I am not a fan of musicals, so was very pleased to see this type of drama being presented by our local theatre. The two actors carried the production very well the acting was superb and as good as Ive seen in much larger theatres. I hope there will be more of this to come at Centrestage.Sam Newman, Orewa

    CONGRATULATIONS to Cameron Matthews and Mary Copeland, both of Manly, who each won a copy of Jane Comers book Short Cut to Nirvana. Thanks to all who entered.

    The handover of State Highway 17 (Hibiscus Coast Highway) from the NZ Transport Agency to Auckland Council, which was originally to have occurred once the Northern Gateway toll Rd was opened in January 2009, has been deferred again.

    Highway handover is held over once more

    Power cuts frustratingA little wind, some rain, and what do you get power cuts on the Peninsular again. Maybe Vector could explain why this happens despite assurances that the supply should be uninterrupted except in 1 in 100 year events? Do I take it that the weather we had around 6pm on May 14 was the 1 in 100 event? Vector how would you feel during a power cut looking at Gulf Harbour or Orewa lit up like power is going out of fashion? The only ones without power are those who continually suffer cuts due to your lack of efficiency. I feel sorry for contractors who are called out in all weather when a fault happens all because you wont invest in putting the cables underground as you have done on the majority of Whangaparaoa Rd.C Forster, Whangaparaoa (abridged)Vectors external relations manager Sandy Hodge replies: The outage of May 14 was a result of a tree contacting the powerline. The strike occurred at 6.10pm, and all customers were back on by 8.04pm. More often than not, third party incidents such as these are the cause of outages in this area. Its a timely reminder that trees near lines should be trimmed back, ideally before the start of winter. The undergrounding issue is complex. Funds were held through the Waitemata Electricity Trust, and used for undergrounding lines across the old Rodney. The Trust funds were needed as undergrounding can rarely be justified from an economic perspective. The programme ceased in 2005 after the Rodney, North Shore and Waitakere District Councils withdrew all capital from the Trust. Vector has committed to spending $13.2 million a year on undergrounding power lines in urban parts of the former Auckland, Manukau and Papakura areas. (abridged)

    In December last year, the Transport Agency advised that the handover was likely to coincide with the start of the next financial year on July 1, however a spokesperson advised recently that no date has yet been finalised and the

    Agency is hopeful it will occur in the next three months. Once the highway is transferred to Auckland Council as the landowner and Auckland Transport for management and maintenance,

    Silverdale business owners and residents, and the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, are hoping that there will be progress on work that will improve safety and connectivity in Silverdale.

    For more letters and feedback visit our website www.localmatters.co.nz

    Rates package approvedAucklanders residential rate increases will be capped at 10 percent and business rate increases phased in over three years following Governments acceptance of Auckland Councils rates relief package. The move is expected to affect 125,000 households that would have faced double digit rate rises.

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    The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board made a strongly worded submission to Auckland Council on the Private Plan Change that would re-zone Peninsula Golf Club in Red Beach and allow for medium density residential development there.

    Board submission highlights plan change inadequacies

    In a move that Local Board chair Julia Parfitt describes as unusual, the local board retained the services of planning consultant David Wren, who Mrs Parfitt says also worked on the Millwater plan change, to assist with preparing the submission.The rules that set up Auckland Council mean that local boards cannot make a submission on a resource consent application, or Council-instigated plan change, but can make submissions on a Private Plan Change.However, the board cannot appeal the commissioners decision.Mrs Parfitt says the boards submission highlighted the inadequacies of the plan change and how we can achieve a better outcome for the community.As well as concerns about the removal of mature trees that are of value to the community, although not protected under the District Plan, the local board said that the development may have adverse effects on the environment, especially on downstream communities, as well as affecting social infrastructure such as schools and community facilities. The board also raised the issue of possible soil contamination on the site, and asked that any contamination be fully remedied prior to development.Among the other points raised by the local board were:

    y That the board supports the overall proposed Master Plan approach to the development and considers that the internal layout will provide for good residential environments.

    y That pedestrian access be provided to Whangaparaoa Rd and the southern portion of Red Beach Rd. This would require some property purchase.

    y That traffic modelling in the proposal relies on the provision of certain roading infrastructure, namely the south facing ramps to the Northern motorway at Wainui Rd, the north bridge from Millwater to Orewa West and Penlink. There appears to be no provision in the modelling for the eventuality that such infrastructure may not be provided or will be provided late and it is apparent that the modelling relies on the Silverdale North infrastructure being implemented. The local board are concerned that the plan change will have significant adverse effects on the roading network if this infrastructure is not provided.

    y That staging of the proposed development, similar to what is in place in Millwater, is likely to be required.

    Auckland Council is collating all the submissions made on the proposed Plan Change, which had to be in by May 18, and estimates it has received around 600 submissions.

    Transport submissions heardA total of 930 people made written submissions on the Auckland Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP). The RLTP 2012-2015 lists all the planned transport activities for the next three years and is used to prioritise applications for government funding through the NZ Transport Agency. There were 250 submissions on public transport. There was support for extending public transport to newly developing areas like Orewa West and for extensions to the ferry network. The Hearings Panel made recommendations to Auckland Transport regarding changes to the draft programme, including reducing the construction period for the Albany Highway project.

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    Interest in the compulsory introduction of one-to-one digital devices at Orewa College brought around 250 educational and IT industry professionals from throughout the country to the college for a conference last month.

    Around 100 people attended each of the three public information days held at Warkworth and Puhoi last month to consider the new SH1 route from Puhoi to Warkworth.NZ Transport Agency project manager Mieszko Iwaskow says key issues that emerged included Puhoi residents desire for access to the new highway and timing and co-ordination of

    various improvements in Warkworth. Other queries arose about noise, operational aspects and tolling, a question that he says the Agency has not yet got an answer to.He says over the next year the Transport Agency will work with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport as it develops plans and resource consent applications to take

    the project to the next level.It is currently in the process of setting up a planning alliance for the process with lead consultants SKM and GHD, supported by specialist sub-contractors and consultants.Misezko says the community will be kept informed. He expects that planning and consenting documents will be lodged by the middle of next year.

    More than 200 people attended a conference at Orewa College.

    Orewa College spreads the word about digital devices

    The conference bristled with technology, with devices in most peoples hands, speeches delivered using iPads and delegates from Christchurch receiving a live feed.Deputy principal Mark Quigley says the conference was a way of dealing with the many enquiries that have come into the school since the introduction of iPads was first mooted last year.The one-day Bring Your Own Device conference covered the process of introducing the devices, which were compulsory for Year 9 students commencing last term, including workshops on technical issues, how the devices have influenced teaching in different subject areas and staff professional development. Among those attending were Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye and NZ First MP Tracey Martin, who

    are both on the Government select committee that is currently enquiring into digital learning, and Rodney MP Mark Mitchell.In her opening address, Ms Kaye said she called for the select committee enquiry because NZ is on the cusp of a transformation in its schools.She says the select committee, which is supported by all parties, is looking at many aspects of technology in schools, including how it can be used to lift educational achievement.Principal Kate Shevland said in NZ we cannot expect Government to provide the devices, and that owning the device enabled the student to use it to its full potential. However, she said as part of its planned broadband rollout, Government should consider providing low (or no) interest loans so that the gap between the haves and the have-

    nots can be closed and the full potential for ICT in schools can be unleashed.She said in the US, where she recently visited a number of schools, the use of smart phones increased 70 percent from 200510, and by the middle of next year, mobile devices are expected to outnumber laptops. Ms Shevland expects a similar trend in NZ, which she says will have a big impact on education at every level.She says feedback on the conference was very positive, including the Twitter

    stream that was generated. People particularly enjoyed the students question and answer panel that was set up during the lunch break.A series of school visits will take place, starting this month, for people who were on the waiting list for the conference. We plan to hold another conference next year and have invited other schools to share their experience so we can put together a day that has presenters from several schools, Ms Shevland says.

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    Auckland faces a balancing act during the next 30 years. Our population will increase by one million people. We will need 400,000 new homes. We cant ignore Aucklands inevitable growth. And with the need to build more than 10,000 new dwellings each year for the next three decades, we cant demand it doesnt happen near our communities. We need to manage our growth carefully and well. We also need to protect Aucklands unique natural environment and the quality of living for our residents. To do that, we need to pursue a greater range of quality housing options for people of different ages and stages in life. Quality housing is central to the concept of the compact city well-built, warm, affordable dwellings of different styles and sizes. Quality homes well-served by an integrated transport system and other essential infrastructure, which are sensitive to the natural and built environments they sit in. Aucklands setting is unique. Our stunning coastlines edge a region which more than 70 per cent rural, including open green space, rural villages and beachside towns. The Auckland Plan, launched this week, guards our rural communities and spaces by containing between 6070 percent of new housing within the current urban area. The rest will be in new greenfield developments, satellite towns like Warkworth, rural and coastal towns. This does not mean towering apartment blocks along our coastlines or marching across our hillsides. High-rise apartments nine storeys or more will be limited to the city centre and metropolitan centres like Takapuna. There is a vast range of liveable options between the traditional detached house on the quarter-acre section and enormous residential towers. Well-planned neighbourhoods will offer a mix of housing types from quality terraced houses, compact homes for retired people not keen to maintain large houses and gardens, smaller family homes as family sizes continue to shrink, and low-rise apartments for the growing number of one and two-people households, centred around common green space, with easy access to workplaces and amenities. Auckland Council will meet the challenge of our housing shortage. Faster and simpler planning and consent processes, and reduced development contributions for higher density dwellings are among our plans. The upcoming Auckland Unitary Plan will be the regulatory tool by which we realise the vision of the Auckland Plan, and manage our development. It will form the rulebook that guides our property owners and developers, and helps us protect Aucklands liveability.

    Viewpointwith Len Brown, Auckland Mayor

    Aucklands livability in the balance

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    In his twenties, Jim Jobbins built a fair number of houses on the Hibiscus Coast, but these days hes more likely to be found in a protective suit in his Manly garden, attending to the needs of his bees. He says only people who are old, mad or peculiar keep bees, especially in their suburban backyards, and he is happy to number himself among that elite fraternity. Not one to do things by halves, Jims original two hives quickly became more than 10, and at times he has harvested 500kg of honey in a summer, much of which he uses to raise money for the community. He spoke to Terry Moore.

    localfolk Jim Jobbins Local identity

    Seven or eight years ago I took over two beehives from a friend who couldnt take them when he moved to Blenheim because at that time the South Island did not have varroa mite and we did. To learn about beekeeping, I got a book called Beekeeping in NZ from a neighbour. As far as Council went, beekeeping in a built up area was fairly unregulated and the only rules seemed to be that you didnt kill anyone, such as children walking past the property. I learned on the job, because if you make a mistake it is instantly very painful. You get stung all the time. My hand used to swell up to half its size again, and although stings still hurt, I dont get that reaction any more. Although honey is sweet, its also very acidic and a lot of the pain from a sting is because of the acid. The acid also makes honey quite corrosive thats why dentists dont like you to eat too much of it. Its basically evaporated plant nectar and chemically similar to cane sugar.

    I have 11 hives at the moment and have had as many as 14. In spring, I spend quite a bit of time breeding new queens. The key to a successful hive is grafting new queens, and really nothing else matters. If you leave the bees to do this themselves, they tend to develop a pauper queen which is not a very good layer. You need a queen that will make 1500 babies per day producing her own weight in babies every day. Beekeepers select queens from day-old larvae, which look like an immobile maggot, curved in a c shape. The grafting process takes a bit of experience, and a $4 grafting tool, which is like a little shovel. The larvae sits in a bed of royal jelly and you put it in a Queen Cell Cup the size of your little finger and leave it in a hive that does not have a queen. Worker bees feed the queen rich food and she becomes much bigger and stronger; that diet also ensures that her female organs fully develop. Eventually the queen kills all the other females, but not the workers. Bee society is incredibly complex, with

    a lot of unusual sexual practices. The male bees are fairly useless all they do is sit around expecting to be fed and thinking about sex, but they are neccessary in spring. A virgin queen needs to mate with 15 to 20 male bees in mid-flight over several days, killing each husband as she does so. Only then will she return to the hive permanently to begin laying eggs, and she will never fly again unless the hive swarms. If you have a good queen, you get floods of honey. My best hive can produce 120 tubs of honey (about 60kg) in a season. In a good year Ive had 1000 tubs (500kg) in a season, and that takes some effort to use up. We donate a lot of it to reward volunteers and give it to people like the bowls ladies. We also raised $700 for Whangaparaoa School at last years gala by selling honey. At one stage I was selling live hives on Trade Me and they were usually beginner beekeepers, so I directed them to the right books and off they would go with a boot full of bees. I also talk to local primary schools and theyve visited the hives to study them.

    The first varroa mite in NZ was found locally, in Blackridge Rd in Dairy Flat, around 15-20 years ago. It is very dangerous three quarters of the worlds food crops have bees somewhere in the pollinating process, and varroa mite is going to wipe them out. They look like a speck of blood, about 1mm across; they suck the blood from the bees and lay their eggs in the bee larvae. They were probably already in my hives when I got them and last year we lost six of our hives while we were away sailing. Varroa has gone from domestic hives into the wild honeybee population and is destroying it. Wild bees used to do a lot of the pollination, but now theyre pretty much gone. Bumble bees and native bees are not affected by varroa, but they are not present in large numbers whereas a healthy honeybee hive might have 50,000 bees in it at the height of the season. We are containing varroa,

    using approved chemicals, but to wipe it out would require poisons so powerful they would kill the bees as well. The chemicals knock out about 99 percent of varroa, but populations soon build up again. Around five years ago I qualified as disease inspector, because I felt a sense of responsibility to assist in our biosecurity. I inspect hives locally and in Warkworth and Auckland for American Foul Brood, which is a deadly bacteria; if I find this, MAF is notified, the hive has to be burned and the bees killed. Im also inspecting for pests and diseases we dont have yet such as European Foul Brood and Small Hive Beetle. Thankfully I havent found anything yet.

    My background is in chemical engineering, but I started my working life as a builder and built quite a few homes here on the Coast. I also built my own 40 Bob Stewart ocean going yacht in the backyard and launched it in 1987. When I was building homes, 40 years ago, there was a building boom and huge inflation, so land prices rocketed. There were a lot of people making money from property. I started a real estate company 25 years ago because building was hard physical work and I needed a change. Selling real estate keeps you in touch with a lot of interesting people. We keep it low key and give our clients honey. It also gave my wife Jenny and I the freedom to do more sailing and

    we could up-sticks and escape the NZ winter, sailing to the Pacific Islands, Malaysia or Borneo and getting off the beaten track. This is the first winter weve had in 20 years, and were starting to notice the cold.

    By December, the kanuka forest is in bloom and the hives I leave with friends in Wainui and Waiwera are going well. I prefer the heavy, dark chocolately bush honey which is mainly manuka, that comes from those hives whereas the hives in my Manly backyard produce light, white honey that comes mainly from pohutukawa flowers. By February I am probably spending one whole day a week extracting honey its a messy job. I have an electrical extractor now, which saves manually spinning the honey. You cut the wax top off the honeycomb with a hot knife and spin each frame in the extractor, which is the size of a large rubbish tin. The honey is filtered and then you eat it: you cant add anything, or its not honey. When I first started, it was a bit like home brew and a few jars exploded because it started fermenting, so it was a learning process. Beekeeping gets you out in the natural environment and there are also a lot of social organisations for beekeepers, although I dont have time for that because if Im not working with the bees, Im diving, fishing, selling real estate or spending time with my family.

  • Hibiscusmatters 1 June 2012 | 9

    GULF HARBOUR TO TIRITIRI MATANGI ISLANDTIMETABLEOperates Weds/Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun & Public Holidays (excl. Christmas Day)

    Departs Gulf Harbour Arrives back at Gulf Harbour

    9.50am 4.00pm

    FARES Ferry Guided Walk

    Adult $49.00 $5.00

    Senior $44.00 $5.00

    Child (5-15yrs) $24.50 $2.50

    Family (2ad+2ch) $125.00

    Bookings are essential to avoid disappointment.

    Check in on the day of your trip is 30 minutes prior departure.

    Timetables and fares are correct at time of printing. 360 Discovery reserves the right to change fares and departures without notice.

    GULF HARBOUR TO AUCKLAND CITYTIMETABLE

    Departs: Gulf Harbour Departs: Auckland City (Pier 4)

    Mon - Fri 7.00am Mon - Fri 4.40pmMon - Fri 7.30am Mon Fri 5.35pm* Wed - Sun 3.50pm * Wed Sun 9.00amFARES Adult Child Student Ferry One Way $13.70 $8.20 $8.20

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    10 Trip Concession $123.00 $73.80 $80.0040 Trip Concession $301.50 N/A N/AOne Month Concession** $234.00 N/A N/A

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    Green scenewith SOSSI chair Allan Parkerwww.sossi.org.nz

    Recently I heard that the regional parks lead the way in pest control and restoration of native vegetation. Shakespear, Tawharanui and the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park go a step further and provide sanctuary for native wildlife. The regional parks are very popular and an investment for future generations to enjoy. They give meaning to the words clean and green and make a significant contribution to the outdoor lifestyle enjoyed by Aucklanders. Looking outside of the regional parks what is the future of the Auckland as a place to live? Will it be the green Auckland described in the recently adopted Council 30 year plan? Will we become the most liveable city in the world by 2040? The vision is prosperity, jobs and opportunity a region that grows at 5 percent GDP annually. The plan is to embrace another million people and attract more business with the focus on growing upwards instead of outwards. The promise is for significant improvement in every facet of the economy, social and cultural life and all supported by a clean and green environment. However the plan also talks about the global sense of urgency to address the environmental problems of the world. It recognises that our vision for the future could be frustrated by a worldwide shortage of fossil fuels. The rapid growth of Auckland over the 50 years has been enabled by liquid fuel made from oil and we will need more of it for future growth. But what if global oil production starts to fall, demand outstrips supply and oil prices continue to rise? I find it hard to imagine the transport network full of cars, trucks, buses and aircraft running on solar power or vegetable oil any time in the foreseeable future. There is much less energy embodied in a litre of ethanol than a litre of petrol. The fact is that our alternative fuels are deficient in various ways compared to the ease and abundance and convenience of the fossil fuels. On one hand we have the promise of more people and jobs and on the other hand we are starting to appreciate that the world has picked all the low hanging fruit when it comes to fossil fuels and what is left is expensive to retrieve. A time is going to arrive when the cost of growth will outweigh the benefits and Auckland may not be able to maintain its growing population in the style that we currently enjoy. What will we give up to sustain life and our environment in spite of the limits to growth caused by a global shortage of fossil fuels?

    Green Auckland a pipe dream?

    An expansion of wildlife corridors in Rodney was promoted to the Rodney Local Board at its meeting on May 14.

    Linking corridors promoted

    The North-West Wildlink is an example of the efforts of many

    having an impact across the region.

    Forest and Bird representative Nick Beverage and Raroa Reserve volunteer Peter Pearce told the board that the North-West Wildlink, which was launched in 2006, had created a green corridor linking habitats and communities from the Waitakere Ranges to islands in the Hauraki Gulf.As well as utilising parks and reserves, and private land, it umbrellaed some large projects such as the Raroa Reserve at Whangaparaoa, Lucas Creek/Paremoremo, Tuff Crater at Northcote, Twin Streams in Waitakere, state highway plantings, and Art in the Park.Mr Beverage said the wildlink initiative was showing people in

    Auckland the value of biodiversity in rural and urban areas.Its time to extend these wildlinks further afield and the plan is to eventually link to Hunua in the south, he said.The key aims of the project were: y Improve the areas ecological health and connect native habitats,

    y Increase meaningful community participation in environmental care,

    y Strengthen collaborative efforts and communication between agencies, groups and individuals.

    Work to date has involved planting, weed eradication and waterway clean-ups. Info: www.forestandbird.org.nz

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 201210

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    Debate has raged in recent months over the weed control policy for roadsides and parks on the Hibiscus Coast, partly in response to concerns raised on the North Shore that chemical spraying was taking place contrary to the practice adopted by the former North Shore City Council.

    Auckland Transport promises review of spray policyEnquiries by Hibiscus Matters have confirmed that the policies of the former Rodney District Council remain in place locally, until a planned Auckland Transport review of the legacy councils policies takes place.Auckland Transport spokesperson Wally Thomas says that the review will include working with Auckland Councils parks department and the NZ Transport Agency to ensure a consistent approach region-wide where possible.However, he says it is possible that sub-regional or local preferences may be able to be accommodated, hence there will be continuing consultation on this issue with local boards.There is no time-line around this

    review at the moment.In the meantime the policies of the legacy councils apply, but Mr Thomas understanding of the former Councils policy only serves to further confuse the issue. Mr Thomas says that the former Councils stated policy was the use of Glyphosate in rural areas and the Hot Water method in urban areas, which differs not only from recent statements by Auckland Transport officers (some of whom spoke of using predominantly weedeaters, while others said Glyphosate was permitted on the Coast), but also from what was stated when issues about the former Councils spray policy arose during 2008 and 09. At that time the former Council

    advised Hibiscus Matters that its policy was to use Glyphosate Rodney-wide and the coconut-based Hitman in areas on its No Spray register. Its trials of the organic herbicide Biosafe were aborted in March 2010 and hot water trials were never introduced.Hibiscus & Bays local board member John Watson, who is championing the cause of non-chemical weed control methods, says the statement that hot water was the former Councils policy is patently untrue and contrary to claims from Hibiscus Coast residents that Glyphosate is still being sprayed along the roadside. When a formal complaint was made by a member of the public

    to the Mayors office as a result of this spraying, a response came from Auckland Transport chief operations officer Greg Edmonds that the current contract allows the contractor to use chemical herbicides such as Roundup on the Hibiscus Coast.Mr Watson says that while public pressure has forced Auckland Transport to revert to the hot water system on part of the North Shore, it is paying no heed to concerns on the Coast.Auckland Transport has failed to front at any local board meeting to explain their various flip flops on policy, Mr Watson says. The predominant attitude seems to be indifference.

    Public service broadcasting will take a hit at the end of this month when National pulls the plug on funding for TVNZ 7.Meetings are being held throughout NZ to protest the decision, which will take off air the station that has run programmes such as Backbenchers, Media Watch and The Court Report.Save TVNZ7 campaigner Myles Thomas says NZ is saturated with commercial media.We need TV that is intelligent, original, distinctively Kiwi and not based solely upon selling products.

    Rodney MP Mark Mitchell says funding for TVNZ 7 was always for a set time-period only.Around $84 million of contestable funding is available through NZ on Air to help produce quality NZ television programmes, across a range of genres and channels, he says. There was never any suggestion that Government funding would continue beyond the contracted period. Given the current fiscal environment, there is no extra money available for broadcasting.The Governments focus is on rebuilding Christchurch, growing the

    economy and helping families. Asked if he was concerned that NZ, along with Mexico, would soon be the only two countries in the OECD without Public Service TV, Mr Mitchell said the world was changing rapidly and people were beginning to choose personalised content from multiple sources, such as mobile phones and laptops, to watch programmes at their own convenience.The Governments view on broadcasting is that public money should be channelled into making programmes, not the platform on

    which they are delivered. Last year, the Government spent $220 million across all forms of broadcasting. TVNZ7 was launched to encourage NZ homes towards digital television and were well on target to achieving that.Mr Thomas said Mr Mitchell was misinformed if he thought NZ On Air funded anything but mainstream programmes, aimed at getting the highest audience rating possible.Only public service TV reflects NZ in all its un-ratings driven glory.List MP Tracey Martin says NZ First opposes the closure of TVNZ 7.

    Rodney MP says demise of public service TV inevitable

  • Hibiscusmatters 1 June 2012 | 11

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    Life on the edgewith Lindsey [email protected]

    Busy, tired, stressed? Whenever I feel down, I know where to find a close-to-home cure. A walk in Orewas Eaves Bush always has the power to soothe the inner me. Its good for the outer me too; doing the tracks fast is a great workout. But mostly, I like walking there at ease, just soaking up the peace and quiet. Co-leader of the Eaves Bush Appreciation Group Spencer Drinkwater says its the most spectacular kauri forest north of the Waitakeres. A band of locals about 50-strong, the Eaves Bush Appreciation Group works with the Lions Club and the Hibiscus Coast Forest and Bird Society to keep the reserve gorgeous for the rest of us to enjoy. I remember when the paths were just a mix of gravel and leaf litter. Years ago my kids liked looking out through the window cut in the trunk of the big hollow kauri close to the banks of the Nukumea Stream. Back then you could step inside it, but we know better now. Kauri hate having their roots trampled on, so two years ago volunteers completed a handsome elevated boardwalk, complete with a seat, so that visitors can admire the ancient beauty while doing no harm. Its about 800 years old now, that tree. Imagine that. In its sapling years the Crusades were still going strong, Genghis Khan was gathering his hordes, English barons were drawing up the Magna Carta and the first Maori settlers were arriving on New Zealands shores. Up the hill is a slightly younger specimen, estimated at 550 years old and nicknamed DB after botanist David Bellamy who visited a few years ago and hugged its trunk. Theyre wondrous trees, but my favourite spot is the long nikau grove at the foot of the hill. Its an easy, winding stroll along the boardwalk. A long time ago there was a kind of shrine in that glade, marked by a few plastic flowers. It looked out of place and I always wondered what it was. I once saw a quiet group of people standing there and it felt like I should tiptoe past. The flowers are long gone, but it still feels almost sacred a special place in which to enjoy the rustle of the canopy and the song of fantails, kereru and tui. The birds are only there because of predator control efforts, with volunteers monitoring about 50 bait stations to keep opossums and rats at bay. Helpful locals tidy the tracks after storms and battle the advance of weeds. The need is constant. If you want to help, the society meets at the reserve with gumboots and spades on the first Saturday of each month. Theyd love to have you join them. For more info, call Don Turner 426 4761.

    A reserve to be treasured

    Fish release goes swimminglyA pilot study that aims to restore native trout (giant kokopu) into streams on the Hibiscus Coast is now in its second phase. Thirty fish were released into Nukumea Stream in Orewa in December 2009, and NIWA is pleased with the results so far. Dr Paul Franklin of NIWA says the automatic monitoring gear has been removed from the stream. The fish will be surveyed twice annually for the next couple of years, at which time a decision will be made on a full-scale release. This would see up to 1000 more native kokopu, a whitebait species, released in the stream and the project extended to other streams in the region as part of the environmental mitigation programme for the Northern Gateway Toll Rd.

    For more columns of community interest www.localmatters.co.nz

    The British hairdressing scene is the strongest and most exciting in the world, and in the top 12, Project X Artistic Team Wella UK Regional Finalist 2011 - Aaron Brewer, International Hair Stylist is now here at Rodney Wayne, Whangaparaoa. With a total of 13 years of Hairdressing in the UK, Aaron started out his training with Toni and Guy in the UK as professional male groomer and has also worked for Tigi as an educator. He was in the top 12 UK regional finalists for Wella Professionals Trend Vision UK 2011, a finalist in Loreal Colour Trophy 2011 representing the Project X Team and has appeared in UK top magazines such as Professional Hairdresser and The Fellowship for British hairdressing magazine.

    He most enjoyed working on several fashion shows in London and Paris giving him an insight into the latest fashions and trends gaining wider experience working alongside Zoe Irwin who styles hairdos for Lady Gaga and Beyonce Knowles as well as working alongside many of the top hairdressers. Aarons passion for Hair styling is based on his belief and principal that Hair should be effortless, Versatile and Beautiful Aaron styles hair based on the individuals lifestyle, dressing, face shape, skin tone, and most importantly he gives his clients the image they like to have. As well as giving his client that perfect hair style, Aaron offers the necessary advice and consultation in managing your hair which he believes should be without effort. Meet the Rodney Wayne team and Aaron Brewer in person in the salon for a Hair Demonstration on Saturday, 9th June from 10am to 12pm.

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  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 201212

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    Kinetics diagnostic and integrated approach to healthcare has proved so successful that the company has expanded, opening a new clinic in Whangaparaoa Rd last month.Owner Elaine Jones, who opened Kinetics Orewa clinic in 2006 with her partner Rob Knight, says a number of their clients were travelling from Whangaparaoa, so it made sense to find a more convenient location as they looked to expand their services.A bach on the 632 Whangaparaoa Rd site has been replaced with a modern building moved from Hobsonville airbase, creating a modern, bright and welcoming space.Emma Pescott, a musculo-skeletal physiotherapist who has worked for Kinetics for three years is consulting at the clinic.Kinetics is a physical rehabilitation clinic, staffed with physiotherapists and a number of specialists including a clinical exercise therapist who is also trained in nutrition, a cardiac rehabilitation instructor and an orthotist who analyses biomechanical dysfunction and designs customised orthotics, as well as fitting orthopaedic braces.Both Kinetics clinics have gyms to help with specific exercise prescriptions, and provide one-on-one instruction.One of their specialist areas is helping with clients rehabilitation from surgical orthopaedic procedures such as hip and knee replacements and ligament surgery.Elaine, a trained physiotherapist who now focuses on managing the business, says the clinic is seeing a growing number of patients who have had shoulder

    Physiotherapist Emma Pescott (left) and Kinetics owner Elaine Jones.

    Kinetics Whangaparaoa

    or spinal surgery, both of which have become more common since the growth in the use of computers in the workplace and at schools.She says injuries to the rotator cuff are an example of this, because people do not use their arms overhead much (for example as children do when using jungle gyms) and so reduce their range of motion, making a shoulder injury more likely to occur.In addition, she says surgeons are seeing patients in need of spinal surgery at a younger age, with many in their 30s and 40s.Part of this is a decline in core strength, which comes from our sedentary lifestyles, Elaine says. Core strength is so important to the balance in your body.Demand at Kinetics Whangaparaoa clinic is already keeping Emma fully booked, and an additional physiotherapist is soon to join her.

    The need for infrastructure to keep up with the demands caused by development on the Hibiscus Coast was a key concern aired by the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board at a meeting with the governing body on May 18.Local board chair Julia Parfitt says the board is unhappy with the way the local board area planning process is going, and can see difficulties that are likely to be caused by more intensification in the region.Challenges will arise because the area is being targeted for a lot of new growth, yet, in Auckland Councils draft Long Term Plan, there is very little investment in infrastructure proposed for our area, Mrs Parfitt says.She says the board told the meeting, which was attended by the full Council and all the Local Board chairs, it was vital that any growth be matched by infrastructure upgrades.The Councils final Long Term Plan will be presented to the governing body meeting on June 28 for adoption.

    Local board raises infrastructure issues

    Consent system a work in progressNon-notified resource consents, which were removed from Auckland Councils website last October, are likely to remain hidden from public view for at least 18 months, according to Councils resource consents manager Heather Harris. She says that Council is working on a programme across the legacy systems that provides a common system for Resource Consents. These changes will be implemented over 18 months to two years and will enable Council to have a set of data that can be made available to the public, she says.

  • Hibiscusmatters 1 June 2012 | 13

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    Auckland Councils latest employment initiative aims to connect young people with employment, tertiary education and training opportunities.

    Scheme aims to improve employment prospectsThe Youth Connections Across Auckland project is based on principles from a successful youth employment scheme set up in Otorohanga and will be tailored for the specific needs of each participating local board area.Project manager Delwyn Corin says that the scheme will compliment the work of central Government departments and work with local youth service providers, education providers, health and housing agencies and groups. It follows on from the Youth Transitions schemes that operated in Waitakere, Auckland city and Manukau in recent years, which are changing to put more emphasis on at-risk youth.The Youth Connections Across Auckland scheme involves 10 local boards, but so far only six have obtained funding to run it; with $1.35 million of funding confirmed to date.The money is coming from philanthropic organisations, such as the Tindall Foundation and the Auckland Airport Community Trust, as well as from Councils operating expenditure budget.

    The Tindall Foundation is funding four local board areas, to the tune of $670,000, the Auckland Airport Community Trust is funding the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, putting in $230,000, and Auckland Council is funding the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board as well as paying for research and resources ($450,000).Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt says the board is keen to implement the scheme in Silverdale, which she says will create an employment hub there. The Board is talking to a potential funder as well as taking a close look at how the scheme works in Otorohanga.We have the support of Council and their partners to take this further, Mrs Parfitt says.She says in Otorohanga, the scheme ensures that every school leaver has an exit strategy, which is followed up with former students. Audits and surveys of local businesses are also part of the plan, providing information as to local employment needs. The scheme also tries to fill the gaps in local training opportunities.

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 201214

    www.worried.co.nzDennis Gates Lawyer & Notary Public, 747 Whangaparaoa Rd, Ph 424 7475

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    Legal eaglewith Dennis [email protected]

    Are you thinking of buying a cross-leased property? Most times there are no problems, however that style of ownership can have issues. The origins of cross-leasing can be traced back to the classic quarter acre section. Once desirable, it gradually became unpopular. As modern living offered more options for entertainment and the cost of living meant both husband and wife needed to work, the time and effort of maintaining a large section became a burden. Add to that an increased demand for land for housing and a solution was needed that overcame town planning restrictions on subdivision. Cross-leasing was the result, and in effect it allowed two or more people to share the original quarter acre site.It is in essence a contract between the parties that allows for exclusive use rights of part of the section and the ability to construct and occupy a home. Therein lies the source of the problems that may arise. Typically the leases will require agreement by the parties on issues such as painting, use of the property, shared facilities and the like. A common feature in this area is a shared water bore. Another is a shared driveway. As with any contract, disputes can arise and if there is no dispute resolution in the lease then it may result in court action. Of course that can occur with any property and neighbour disputes; however cross lease titles will have an outline (foot print) of the house recorded on the title and this is the source of most problems. If the footprint is altered by way of an extension to the house then a new plan is required. Often owners only become aware of this when they sell. The buyer will check the title and if it doesnt match what is actually on site then the buyer will demand the vendor corrects the plan. To do that requires a survey of the house, consent of any mortgagee, the other lessees co-operation and new leases. Therefore, if you are selling, its important to get the title checked before putting the property on the market. As mentioned earlier most titles have no problems. If there is an issue, by checking first, the steps to fix any problem can be done without the pressure of a sale in the balance and deadlines to meet. One option to permanently overcome these issues now is to change the titles to freehold.

    Cross lease concerns

    New deputy for Local BoardThe role of deputy chair of the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board was taken over by David Cooper last month. The change followed the resignation of previous incumbent Gary Holmes as part of an agreed six-monthly review of the chair and deputy chair roles. Julia Parfitt retains the role of chair. Hibiscus member John Kirikiri was also nominated as deputy, but lost on a coin toss.

    Hobbs Wharf sale still on holdThe proposed purchase of the failed Hobbs Wharf development in Gulf Harbour has now been before the Overseas Investment Office for almost a year. NZ-based company Top Harbour Ltd, which has five directors including Terry Lee of Auckland, three based in Shanghai, China and one in Hong Kong, want to purchase the 31.78ha development from Gulf Corporation receivers Grant Thornton and applied for approval from the Overseas Investment Office last June. Overseas Investment Office manager Annelies McClure says the office is continuing to assess the application and cannot be specific about when a decision will be made.

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    Startled looks from passers-by greeted groups of teens carrying furniture around Orewa, and getting covered in sand and mud in the process, as part of a Youth Week activity last month.

    Couch Run competitors throw caution to the wind, taking furniture into Orewa Estuary, and onto the beach. More photos www.localmatters.co.nz

    No time to rest on Orewas crazy couch run

    Four teams of 13-18-year-olds took part in the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centres couch run on May 19, carrying large chairs and couches on a series of 10 challenges. The tasks included taking a photo of the team holding the couch up in water, burying a member of the team in the sand, taking a photo of a policeman on the couch and giving someone a ride across the road on the couch.Organiser Anthony Wraith says participants enjoyed the experience so much that the Youth Centre hopes to hold another couch run next year, perhaps in summer.He says although he estimated teams would take two-three hours to complete the10 challenges, the first team home Jaydens team won in less than 55 minutes.Second place went to the Size Doesnt Matter team and the Mighty Marphin Power Ranges received a participation prize. The Tributes team won the best photo competition.

    The annual Top Art exhibition is currently on tour, featuring work produced by New Zealands top secondary school art students for their Level 3 NCEA exams last year.Among the work on display is the Year 13 portfolio of Orewa College student Harry Falkiner, whose design work focused on branding for a fictional clothing company. His work on a logo, t-shirts and website were so effective that when Harry took it to show Novelli Apparel in Albany at the end of last year, he was immediately offered a job as a junior graphic designer.The Top Art exhibition, featuring a selection of 60 of the top Visual Arts portfolios from students who gained Excellence in NZEA is an opportunity for students and teachers to view the high standard of art produced in schools and for the public to see the high quality art being created in schools. The art is divided into two exhibitions, which are touring the country, visiting 33 different venues throughout the country, until September.For more info, visit www.topart.govt.nz

    Harry Falkiner

    Top art display

    Tracy Gu of Whangaparaoa College has won first place at the Auckland Secondary School Art Competition with her painting entitled Embrace. Tracy was chosen from 40 student finalists representing 13 schools from the Auckland region. She also received a cash prize of $1000 towards further arts studies. She received the award from Auckland Mayor Len Brown during The Original Art Sale Gala Charity Event on May 17 at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre. Tracy Gu is pictured at The Original Art Sale with her artwork.

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 201216

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    Comedancing

    Ball arrangements now onlineThe internet and social media are having an increasing impact on the organisation of school balls. Websites dedicated to helping Cinderella get to the ball include Cindabella.com/nz, Kiwiprom.com and schoolball.co.nz, all of which provide ideas, and fashion tips for teens (mainly teenage girls). Some of these sites also promise growth on the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. Local students say pre-and-post-ball parties are often arranged through Facebook, by sending an electronic invitation. Many students prefer this method because is means students can see on the Facebook page who is going to the party. Mobile phones too are changing the way young people prepare for their ball, as its now common for girls to take photos of ballgowns and email them to friends or put them on Facebook as part of the decision making process. Facebook and Twitter also provide a forum for discussing ball preparations and generating excitement.

    Students from Whangaparaoa College enjoy last years ball. Photo, Daryl Brown.

    Future of the college ball a cause for debate in NZCollege balls have been a traditional rite of passage for Kiwi teenagers for decades generally marking the first time that girls get into a glamorous gown and attend a dance with a partner dressed in formal attire. The atmosphere sets out to be sophisticated and civilised, however in recent years the school ball in NZ has become associated with problems such as excessive drinking and drug use, as well as similar issues at the parties held before and after the balls, requiring schools to adapt their approach and, in some cases, tighten up on the rules. This, coupled with the fact that 17 and 18-year-olds are already socially active, has lead to suggestions that the school ball is an outdated concept that should be consigned to history.Hibiscus Matters put this suggestion to a group of students at local colleges and found that while most believe the ball is still relevant to them, and enjoyable, others think it could be replaced by an end of year ball held as a graduation party for Year 13 students.Aspects that the students identified as bringing balls up to date included the entertainment, which also means todays music is played, rather than slow dance tunes from days gone by, and the fact they can attend as a group

    of friends rather than as couples if they prefer. The girls said while they love the idea of wearing a long, traditional ball gown, they find them impractical when it comes to running about and dancing freely.Several commented that students dont have to attend the ball in order to go to a pre-or-post-ball party, and some prefer simply to attend the parties.While this may, in part, be due to the parties lack of formality, it could also be because the ball has become expensive and not all students can afford to attend.The students said alcohol was mainly an issue if it was smuggled into the ball, and that bags were searched on entry, but that at some pre-ball parties, responsible drinking was permitted in the company of adults.Most students said they like the ball for its atmosphere, and for the professional photographs, which they consider will have sentimental value. They also said that it is fun to share the evening with their entire year group.Overall, the students described the ball as a reward for all their hard work at school, saying they look forward to it all year so it seems the school ball tradition is safe for a few years yet, on the Hibiscus Coast at least.

    Comedancing

  • Hibiscusmatters 1 June 2012 | 17

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    Feminine, floaty and feeling like a princess is how teenage girls are hoping to glide off to their school balls this season.The princess/Grecian look dresses popularised by stars such as Taylor Swift, which were to the fore at proms in the USA last year, are now finding favour here according to local ball gown retailers.Jus Jazz owner Lyn Smith says the trends locally also reflect the ball themes chosen by the colleges, as well as movies such as Water for Elephants. She says there is demand for flowing, one-shoulder Grecian style, full-length ballgowns as well as 1920s and 30s vintage looks this year.When it comes to colour, European style tie-dye fabric is popular this season. This technique creates a subtle blend of colours that softly fuse together.Deep rich colours such as purple, plum and dark blue are still on trend, but those going for a Grecian, goddess style gown are looking for pastels as well.Lyn keeps a register at Jus Jazz in the Whangaparaoa Plaza, so that the

    Grecian gowns find favour

    girls who purchase a ballgown can be confident no-one else at their ball will be wearing the same dress.

    European tie-dye fabric is a trend for this seasons ball gowns. This elegant gown is from Jus Jazz in The Plaza, Whangaparaoa.

    For some overseas ballgoers, limousines are passe. For students of John Kyrle High School in the UK, the desire to arrive in style at their school ball saw them opt for some off-kilter modes of transport. Among the unusual rides there was a fire truck, an ice-cream van, wheelbarrows and a digger.

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 201218

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    Comedancing

    Most boys wont tell you this, but they do put a fair bit of effort into how they look at the school ball.Brad Horton of His Place in Orewa and Orewa Menswears Tim Green say boys make sure they tidy themselves up before the ball, getting a good haircut and appropriate formal wear.

    Tim says apart from one teenage boy who wanted to purchase a toga for a Grecian themed ball, most are keen to dress up.Kids change their whole demeanour when they dress up for the ball, and some find they like that look and come back to the shop later for more formal wear like a nice shirt, he says.Some buy a suit, rather than hiring one, if they are going to two or three balls or moving from school into an office job.Tim says this season the lapels are slimmer, and long ties are more popular than bow ties. The tie colour is matched with the partners dress, or, to play it safe, some opt for black. He says black shirts worn with a white or red tie is also popular with the boys.Brad Horton says the boys who come to him for a haircut before the school ball often opt to shapen up their sideburns, and box out their fringe. He recommends a good neck trim and selection of a nice styling product.Currently styles similar to those worn by English boy band One Direction, or Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams are in favour, as well as the Federation cuts (similar to a short back and sides with a long fringe) and the Skux (a blended in mohawk).

    Formal wear in style for boys

    Teenage boys, with their mothers in tow, will be beating a path to Flowers by Joanne in Orewa to arrange corsages for their dates as ball season approaches. It seems that, while corsages date back to ancient Grecian weddings, they remain popular especially for this years school balls.The colours of the flowers and trimmings vary according to preference. White is a safe choice but other hues can used to match ball dresses and accessories. Structural foliage such as succulents and grasses are fashionable, though some opt for the more traditional light and airy gypsophila (babys breath).Corsages need to be pre-ordered as they are intricate and can take 25-30 minutes to make. The trend for strapless and spaghetti strap styles of

    Corsages adding floral flair

    dress is one reason that florists are finding wrist corsages more popular this season, rather than the ones pinned on the shoulder. However, girls can also wear corsages in their hair, on their purse or even around their neck.

  • Hibiscusmatters 1 June 2012 | 19

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    ComedancingGetting a group of friends together to share transport to the school ball is popular not only because it provides a social atmosphere, but because of the expense of hiring vehicles.All the local college balls are held at venues in Auckland, so getting there in style can be expensive. Party buses, including double deckers and luxury coaches, are popular for larger groups (2530 plus) and cost in the vicinity of $25-$30 per person. Groups of a dozen or so may find their budget can stretch to hiring a luxury stretch limousine or Hummerzine ($45-$55 per person). A funky alternative, but still with a touch of luxury, is a pair of refurbished Kombi vans that have been available for hire from Kombined Experience in Auckland since 2010.The restoration of the Kombis includes

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    a leather interior and the latest audio-visual systems with iPod connections. The cost for a minimum of six passengers is $45 per person.Most ball transportation is hired based on a one location pick up, and one-way hire, as students generally organise separate (and often more basic) transport to get them from the ball to the after-ball party.

    Ball buzz beginsLocal colleges are abuzz with pre-ball activity, although for some of them the ball is still two months away. Orewa Colleges ball is the first of the season, to be held on June 9 at the Pullman Hotel in central Auckland. The theme is night in Olympia. Kingsway Schools ball will be held at The Spencer on Byron Hotel in Takapuna on June 16 and has a vintage carnival theme. Wentworth College will hold its ball on August 3 at the Old Elephant House at Auckland Zoo. There is no theme for Wentworths ball this year, but the organisers are going all-out to decorate the venue, using lots of fairy lights. Whangaparaoa Colleges ball is on August 4 at the Rendezvous Hotel in Auckland, and has a carnival theme.

  • | Hibiscusmatters 1 June 201220

    A show of Songs & Stories about AnimalsWinnie the Pooh may appear!

    Hibiscus Coast Singers present

    Director - Norman FirthPiano - Prue Bell

    Sat June 16, 7.30pm Sun June 17, 2.30pm

    Red Beach Methodist Church, 76 Red Beach Rd

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    Tickets available from Orewa Menswear, choir members or at the door

    Enquiries Phone Teri 428 5623

    Red Beach Methodist Church, 76 Red Beach Rd

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    Enquiries Phone Teri 428 5623

    Songs about birds, beasts and even insects will feature in the Hibiscus Coast Singers concert, called Animal Crackers this month.Musical director Norman Firth has chosen American choral composer Eric Whitacres take on verses by poet Ogden Nash about animals as

    the centrepiece of the programme. In addition, a suite of songs about birds by NZ composer David Hamilton will be performed. The programme also includes madrigals, a 16th Century Italian song about a cricket (El Grillo) and American folk songs. Funds from the show, which takes

    place on June 16 and 17, will assist a group from the choir to go to Beijing next month for an International Choral Competition. Hibiscus Coast Singers present Animal Crackers Red Beach Methodist Church , 76 Red Beach Road June 16, 7.30pm and June 17, 2.30pm.

    A theatre company based on the North Shore is bringing a production to Orewa for the first time this month, and may do more if it is successful.

    Modern Millie musical comes to Centrestage TheatreThe North Shore Music Theatre, which has a reputation for high quality musical productions including a season of Miss Saigon at the Civic Theatre in Auckland last year, is bringing Thoroughly Modern Millie to Centrestage for a two-week season, June 923.The cast of 23 includes a number of Hibiscus