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Vol 4 Issue 3, Autumn 2013

Active living in later life


Grandparenting tips FROM THE BABY WHISPERER



A question of money: SHARING FINANCES IN LATER LIFE $4.95 | Free to all RVA member village residents


New Summerhouse at Pacific Coast

Gold Coast living without leaving home The official opening of the new Summerhouse at Pacific Coast Village signals future growth for the development.


he Bay of Plenty turned on a beautiful summer’s day for the opening of Pacific Coast Village’s new Summerhouse in November. Current and prospective residents and curious others gathered in the sunshine to watch Judy Bailey chair the event and Tauranga City mayor Stuart Crosby cut the ribbon for the striking addition to the village. The new Summerhouse, designed by Sumich Chaplin Architects, marks a significant step in the growth of the village, which is the result of a partnership between the land owners, The Mangatawa Papamoa Incorporated, and New Zealand private company Retirement Assets Limited. Retirement Assets is also involved with other village developments in Christchurch and Auckland. “We wanted the design of the building to reflect a quintessential South Pacific beach house – something that might be built in Australia but better!” says director Graham Wilkinson.“What we are trying to do here is

to build the first real beachside retirement village, a kind of ‘Gold Coast without leaving home’,” he says. Situated opposite a stretch of stunning coastline between Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, Wilkinson’s vision for Pacific Coast certainly seems achievable. Through collaboration with local iwi, plans are well advanced to build a boardwalk across the sand dunes, allowing residents easy access to the beach. The proximity to the beach is a major draw card for many residents. Prospective resident Sue Hatchwell says living by the beach is a big attraction. The proposed boardwalk will be “a wonderful addition” to the village, she says. Hatchwell believes the communal facilities are also an important consideration when deciding where to live. In addition to the new Summerhouse, which will provide a social hub for residents, an international size bowling green will commence in the New Year, followed by an

Many attended the opening

Why don’t you pop in and visit the Team at Pacific Coast Village for a free, no obligation tour of the villas and facilities.

Showhome Open Daily For more information contact Mike Flattery on 07 572 3029 or 021 552 769 or email

indoor swimming pool and gym. Wilkinson paints an idyllic picture of retired living at Pacific Coast. “Residents will be able to enjoy a walk on the beach in the morning, a game of bowls in the afternoon, and a quick few laps in the pool before a BBQ at the Summerhouse,” he says. Eventually, the village will also include an aged care facility. The current residents are spritely and independent, and the need for a care facility on site hardly seems a priority. Yet, Wilkinson maintains this is an important component for retirement villages. “At Auckland, we have started with aged care due to the catchment of the village, while down here in Tauranga, we are doing it the other way around.” Joan McFetridge, a new resident of Pacific Coast, agrees. She acknowledges that while the need for aged care is not a factor now, in the future, it will be good to have direct access to a facility that provides the care she may need. Originally from Wellington, McFetridge and her husband looked at many villages throughout the North Island before settling on Pacific Coast. They recently moved into their new villa and are thrilled with their decision. “We love it,” she says. The McFetridge couple occupy one of the first stage villas on the site with several more under construction as units are built generally to order. The attention to detail and focus on quality is apparent in the design and interiors of the villas, which sell from $450,000. With its gleaming new Summerhouse ready for residents to enjoy, and more facilities set to follow suit, Pacific Coast Village looks primed to take off.

Pacific Coast Village—a resort style village located directly across the road from the white sand beach and magnificent Pacific Ocean between Mt Maunganui and Papamoa.


THE TEAM Editor-in-chief: Shane Cummings Advertising: Belle Hanrahan Production manager: Barbara la Grange General manager/publisher: (APN Educational Media) Bronwen Wilkins Writers: Leigh Bramwell, Jim Eyers, Ken Eagle, Gaye Philpott, Peter Gooding, Dr Joe Kosterich, Eion Scarrow, Trevor Wilson Stock images: Thinkstock Phone 04 471 1600 Fax 04 471 1080 Web page/best-of-times.aspx Twitter @BestofTimesNZ

Published by APN Educational Media, a division of APN National Publishing NZ Limited. Level 1, Saatchi & Saatchi Building, 101-103 Courtenay Place, PO Box 200, Wellington ISSN: 1179-3252 Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. Errors and omissions Whilst the publishers have attempted to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this publication, no responsibility can be accepted by the publishers for any errors or omissions. Terms and conditions 1. Entry into our competitions confirms your acceptance of our terms and conditions. 2. Entry is open to New Zealand residents only. 3. B  est of Times takes no responsibility for lost, stolen, misdirected or incomplete entries. The publisher’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 4. By accepting this prize the winner consents to the publisher using his/her details for promotional use. 5. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. 6. All entries become the property of the publisher.


Desk duty – Cantabria Home, Manager awards, and Festival of Choirs

3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16

Grandparenting – Spanning the generational divide Travel – A few days in the Scottish Highlands Life and times – Strong support for women Pets – Dog days: having a best friend in the village Travel – Travelling with Trixie Entertainment – Legends on the road Relationships – A question of money Finance – Mistakes impending retirees make Gardening – Frost protection for your plants Health – Rethinking prostate cancer screening Giveaways and fun History – Remembering the heroes of Crete

FROM THE EDITOR I’VE ALWAYS LOVED DOGS. When I was a wee lad, my mother kept two enormous Great Danes. They were easily taller than I was and a real handful! Since then, only two dogs have held a special place in my heart. The first was my family’s Labrador cross, Amber, who promptly became my grandfather’s faithful canine companion in my teenage years. Later, it was Sahma, a keenly intelligent and loving poodle who was like my third stepdaughter. Years after her death at the ripe old doggy age of 17, I still think of her that way. Like Amber did with my grandfather, as Sahma grew to maturity, she favoured the more sedate company of my wife and I over the high energy of our teenage girls. I have no doubt this pattern has been repeated across thousands of New Zealand families: the family pet, originally bought for Little Miss or Young Master, sees a more senior member of the family as the alpha of their pack. I’m no ‘dog whisperer’, but it’s clear to me that animals, and especially dogs, value stable, predictable companionship. Which brings me to this issue’s feature story. Best of Times has gone to the dogs! Pets as therapy is a long-established concept, particular as it applies to seniors. Removing all the highfalutin notions of healing and whatnot, pets can cure broken hearts, provide companionship for the solitary, safeguard the vulnerable, and are generally excellent company. When we pack up our life and move onto the next exciting stage by taking up residence in a retirement village, it makes sense to bring a beloved family pet with you. Here at Best of Times, we don’t often see or hear about pets in villages, so we did a little digging to discover what was involved in keeping a pet in a village (and what the barriers were). We also interviewed some dog owners and talked to the SPCA about breeds suitable for the village lifestyle. Flick over to page 6. I’m sure the recommendations will surprise you. We also look at the specifics of travelling with your pet around New Zealand and abroad (see page 8). We’ve only scratched the surface on pets in villages, so if you have a furry companion (feline or canine), send me a digital pic. I’d love to see them, and if we get enough of them, I might even publish the best ones in the next issue! – Regards, Shane Cummings (

Become a columnist for Best of Times Best of Times magazine, which is circulated to every resident in RVA-member retirement villages across New Zealand, is interested in ‘villager’ columnists. If you are a village resident with a background of expertise in careers advice, medicine, finance, sport, the arts, or similar, and you would like to write an occasional ‘expert’ column in Best of Times to benefit the readers, then please get in touch with the editor by email: or by writing to him at Editor, Best of Times, APN Educational Media, PO Box 200, Wellington 6140. Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 1


Nominate your village manager for an award!

THE UNEXPECTED DELIGHT OF CANTABRIA In the journey of life, there are many different stages. From the moment we open our eyes as a baby to the time when we close them for the last time, it is an exciting journey to be enjoyed. We are children doing childish things, and then we are teenagers and young adults. We make our own home and we fill it with our own children – or not, depending on circumstances. That first home is special as it was where adult life really began – and then the time comes to move on. It is heart-wrenching, but a new life beckons. We had a lifestyle block in South Africa with horses and cows and chickens, and it was home for 40 wonderful years. We moved to a suburban house and were surprised to feel the relief of no longer having farm animals to care for. Seven years later, we emigrated to New Zealand, and what a marvelous time it has been in this beautiful country. We made our home here, which was special to me as it was the place that my husband chose and loved – and also the place where he died. However, one day I looked at all the familiar places of my home and knew that it was not going to be suitable for an 80-year-old on her own. I chose Cantabria Home and Hospital, and what a fantastic choice it was! Here I have made some really great friends who have made me feel totally at home. As we are all in our 80s, we instinctively know that this is a time to be treasured, and we make the most of every opportunity to help each other and to enjoy interesting activities together. We each have privacy in our own units but we never feel lonely as there is always someone with whom we can chat or share a pot of tea or even a glass of wine! The staff did as much as they possibly could to help me settle in, and I soon discovered the indoor pool and the gym, which are also places in which to socialise. At Christmas time, we all enjoyed the lavish parties that were put on, made more enjoyable because we were each allowed to bring a guest. At these parties, the staff were all there to wait on us and help those that needed it, with absolute dedication. At Cantabria, there is a daycare facility and many activities, including indoor bowls and hand craft, which we also enjoy. I worked in retirement villages and homes in South Africa, so I always knew that I would end my days somewhere where there were people round me. However, Cantabria has far outshone anything I had ever imagined. I am so grateful to all the people who have helped me to settle in and look forward to enjoying every minute of the last stage of my journey. Heather Hayward 2 Best of Times

Does your manager deserve to be recognised for their tireless hard work? Nominations are now open for the INsite/RVA Manager of the Year Award. Does your manager have what it takes? Winning the award carries significant value and enhances the reputation of the winning village. Past Managers of the Year have reported their village profile grew in their local market and their resident waiting lists increased. It’s a win for everyone – manager, staff, and residents. Last year’s INsite/RVA Manager of the Year Award winner, Diana Triplow, general manager of Mary Doyle Lifecare in Havelock North, said “My residents kept asking me to enter this competition, so I finally did.” After winning the award, she said she felt “like I’m at the top of my game.” Your manager could be recognised for her or his hard work too, but you need to nominate them! The winner will receive $2000, free entry to the 2014 RVA conference and gala dinner, $500 donation to their village’s residents’ Christmas function (or similar), and media coverage for the manager, village, and residents. Resident nomination forms can be downloaded from and For more information, email RVA Association Manager Mr Ed Thomas:

Festival of Choirs

Time is marching on towards the first deadline for our Festival of Choirs – 31 May 2013 – when we need to have the registrations for the Festival in the RVA’s offices in Wellington. The festival is all about the joys and benefits of singing together. It celebrates active ageing and music-making; it’s not about competing and winning! If your village has a choir that can sing in three parts (soprano, alto, and tenor/bass) and can make the trip to Wellington in September, we want to hear from you. There’s no minimum or maximum choir size (although we’re not expecting many choirs with more than 30 people). If your village choir enjoys singing together, that’s the only qualification you need! Of course, if your own village doesn’t have a choir, think about making up a choir from residents in other villages in the area. Singers in choirs entering the festival must all be retirement village residents, but they don’t have to be residents of the same village. The key dates to remember are: »» 31 May 2013 - Registration forms and a video, DVD, or tape of the choir singing required in the RVA’s Wellington office. »» Festival dates - Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 September 2013 in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre. The sponsors, Bay Audiology, has sent a DVD to villages explaining what the festival is about, along with profiles of four village choirs with differing degrees of experience and expertise. If you haven’t seen this, ask your village manager for a copy, and if they don’t have one, contact me at and we’ll make sure you get a copy. We’ve arranged billets with some Wellington villages for out-of-town choirs to assist with travel costs, and we also know that at least one Auckland village has been fundraising for several months and has well over $2,000. All choirs will need to sing the set piece, Sing, Sing, Sing, especially composed for the Festival by our Musical Director Dr Julie Jackson-Gough. Copies of the music can be obtained from Julie on There is a small royalty fee and villages are responsible for making sufficient copies for all the singers. Remember : it’s only 102 days until the 31 May deadline for registrations! They’ll pass quickly enough so if you’re interested in being there you’ll need to act now! As a final incentive, the world-famous World of Wearable Arts show starts in Wellington the day after our Festival, on Thursday 26 September 2013. Some people may want to stay on for that! John Collyns, RVA Executive Director


Grandparenting advice: spanning the generational divide Advice given to new mothers seems to be turned on its head every decade, bringing parents and grandparents into conflict. SHANE CUMMINGS spoke with celebrity ‘baby whisperer’ Sharlene Poole about grandparenting in the 21st century.


ou might have seen her on TVNZ’s Good Morning show as their resident baby expert.You may have read her recently published book, Baby Whispering (Penguin). But Sharlene Poole is more than a celebrity columnist. She started her career by studying Early Childhood Education, and then went on to supervise a daycare and pre-school before journeying to places such as India, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, and Japan as a British maternity nurse. “My role when I go into families is the ‘everybody’ hat because I’m an aunty, a grandmother, the supportive figure, but also the professional. I used to work 24 hours a day, six days a week for the first eight weeks of a baby’s life, and I was lucky enough to travel around the world doing this. When I was going to places like Bali and India, I realised just how important the “A mature, experienced role model or supportive figure during your early months and years of parenting is an unbelievable gift and resource. The role of the grandparent, for example, is something we often forget to give credit to.” – Baby Whispering

Sharlene Poole

role of grandparent was,” Sharlene says. She believes New Zealand, like much of the Western world, has a lack of extended family support – particularly in Pa- kehafamilies – which may widen the divide between parents and grandparents. “I educate my Mum and say ‘having a grandparent role model for grandchildren is fantastic’. I used to be a pre-school teacher, so I know they really love having that older figure who is in love with them but is detached and can step away. It is very good to be open-minded when receiving advice from the previous generation because they have had children before.” Her world travels have opened her eyes on how different cultures approach the dynamic of grandparenting and how they differ from the New Zealand norm. “In India, when I went for a baby’s sixweek check, 90 per cent of the babies were held by the grandmothers. I was fascinated by this. I sat with one grandmother and asked whether her grandchild lived with her. She said yes and asked if I did the baby’s routine, and I said yes, and then she asked the age at which I start. I said I did a slow progression from three weeks onwards until the baby was fully into a routine and settled at six months of age. “She said they didn’t do any of that in India. The grandmothers led everything for the first six months, and then the mothers started doing the routine. Indian grandmothers are so involved in raising babies.” Sharlene is an advocate of the ‘supportive older person’ model, even if that person is not a grandparent by blood, and talks about this concept in her book. “Because so much of my generation don’t necessarily live near our parents, grandparents often don’t have an active role in their grandchildren’s lives. That’s why I discuss in the book the concept of the ‘supportive figure’. “I have said to a lot of my clients ‘I bet you there is a lady next door, on your

street, or in your community who would love to play a grandparent role and support you. They could take the baby for a walk, bake some muffins, or do the washing because they don’t get to do that for their own grandchild.” Even when grandchildren are close at hand, the generational divide can be a challenge for grandparents looking to take an active hand in helping with the grandkids. “Grandmothers will say to me that they don’t know how to help because everything they say and do is wrong. I say there is no right or wrong way. However, there are things that are different from when my generation were babies in terms of health and well-being but not when it comes to fundamental care and love.” Knowing when to step in or butt out is a difficult and emotional decision that even an expert like Sharlene wrangles with, let alone well-intentioned grandparents. “It is so hard not to intervene. If my friends and family are struggling but they don’t ask for my help, I have to zip it. It is really hard.”

Grandmothers vs mothers – tips for a smooth relationship

1. Understand the differences Realise things are different and the mother is told a lot of conflicting information. Respect the fact that a lot is going on in the mother’s mind, so she may inadvertently lash out at or block out the person they’re closest to – often the baby’s grandparent. 2. Be there and listen. Offer suggestions at a quiet time when the mother is not stressed – perhaps while doing the folding or sharing a cup of tea. 3. Be patient. Once the mother is through the hard times at the beginning, the conflicting advice diminishes, and she is over the sleep deprivation, she will have bonded with the baby. That is when your role as grandparent will increase.Your time will come, but it might not be in the first three months. That is when babysitting etc. will kick in and you will have a more active role in the future of the child. Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 3


A few days in the

Scottish Highlands

PETER GOODING recalls highlights of when he took an impromptu detour through the Scottish high country, well away from the popular tourist haunts.



Weekend Getaway to the Chateau Auckland to National Park by train, overnight at Chateau Tongariro

11th & 12th May 2013

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20th September 2013

Taranaki Rhododendron Festival 5 & 6 day itineraries visiting Taranaki’s Garden Festival

November 2013

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4 Best of Times



y wife spent the Second World War years as a child in Scotland. On a trip to Britain, we had few days up our sleeve before needing to return home. After visiting her former home, we found ourselves at Fort William, the main town of the western highlands of Scotland. Fort William, with a population of about 12,000, is a town with somewhat of a frontier look about it. Accommodation is well catered for, with a dozen hotels and a wide variety of bed and breakfast venues. It was September, and the starkness of the place was noticeable, but there seemed plenty of people around in tramping gear as well as many mountain bikers. The 1,344 metre Ben Nevis mountain, highest in the British Isles, was just up the road and was the obvious attraction. Not being climbers or mountain bikers, we looked for other pursuits. The Jacobite Railway steam train provides a 135km (84 mile) westward round trip to Mallaig – a busy fishing port with ferry services to Skye and the Small Isles. West Coast Railways, which operates this service, provided the steam engine and carriages for the Harry Potter films. The journey is notorious for its gradient and tight curves, which contribute to the fabulous scenery, as well as crossing the twenty-one-arch Glenfinnan viaduct. There is a daily morning service from mid-May to late October leaving Fort William at 10.15am, which returns at 4pm after a 1 hour and 45 minute stopover at Mallaig for a leisurely walk around. From early June until late August, there is an afternoon service leaving at 2.30pm and returning at 8.24pm. The standard fare in 2013 is NZD$33, with a first class fare of NZD$56 available. We drove out of Fort William and came to Spean Bridge, a pleasant small village where a sign directed us to a Commando War Memorial 2kms away. We have seen some magnificent war memorials in various parts of the world but this resolute 5.2 metre tall and proud-looking monument of three figures in commando uniforms made an unwavering statement. The memorial was located in moorland, brightened by adjacent areas of knee-high purple heather seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It was a solitary sight 13kms from Fort William, with just an accompanying car park. In the summer of 1940 when Britain’s fortunes were at their lowest ebb and the country was under threat of invasion from Germany, Winston Churchill ordered the raising of an elite force to make surprise raids on enemy held coast lines of occupied Europe. In 1942, the Commando Basic Training Unit was established in the Scottish Highlands near Achnacarry. Commando soldiers from the British Army, Royal Marines, and Allied armies underwent their tough training in this area. The Commando motto of “United We Conquer” exemplified their high standard of military training, self discipline, physical endeavour, initiative, bravery, and courage. Their exploits were legendary, but many made the ultimate sacrifice. Winston Churchill said “We may feel sure that


Strong support for women SARAH DUNN looks at three organisations run by women volunteers.

nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them when shall their glory fade.” The inscription on the monument is “In memory of the Officers and Men of the Commandos who died in the Second World War, 1939–1945. This country was their training ground.” The Queen Mother unveiled the monument in 1952. It is a very sobering place to stand and reflect. We found a restaurant and facilities just five minutes up the road, as well as a museum at Achnacarry Castle, 10kms away. Just to the north of Fort William is the Caledonian Canal in the north east, which cuts across 100kms to Inverness in the south west and provides a safe passage for boats, thus avoiding the route round the north coast via Cape Wrath and Pentland Firth. The tow path alongside the canal provides an excellent walking and mountain bike track. There are 29 locks, of which we visited two sites, namely Neptune’s Ladder (eight locks) at Benavie, just outside Fort William, and Fort Augustus (five locks) about halfway along the canal. They are excellent places to see the use of the multi-lock system that allows boats to travel the total distance. We continued to Inverness and found the scenery alone worth the trip. We visited many captivating places, including Loch Ness, which is part of the canal. We also visited the Battle of Culloden site, where the Jacobite Rebellion and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s aspirations to the throne were defeated, but that is another story.

Take advantage of the Highlands »» Bring a camera. The scenery is photogenic and breathtaking. »» Keep a diary, as there are many historic sites of lochs, castles, uprisings, massacres, inter clan disagreements, etc. Notes will help you recall the numerous things you saw after you have returned home. »» Have some warm clothing handy as the weather can change quickly. »» Engage the locals in conversation. They are very friendly, and you can learn a great deal about the area that may not be covered in tourist publications.

Rural Women NZ began in 1925 as a rural advocacy group run by farmers’ wives. Meeting in Wellington while their husbands attended the Farmer’s Union conference, the founding members were concerned at the lack of support for women living in rural environments. They organised a web of home and nursing help that has since grown into government contractor Access Homehealth. While membership peaked in the 1970s, communications manager Jackie Edkins says Rural Women NZ’s older members are very loyal and some have celebrated their 100th birthday. “They’ve seen us grow from small beginnings into a large charitable organisation,” she said. Rural Women NZ provided funds for a Spitfire fighter plane during WWII, first flown by the son of a Levin member, and has since funded projects such as medical research into leptospirosis and breast cancer. They have raised more than $130,000 selling black and red “Aftersocks” to benefit the efforts to rebuild Christchurch. The Maori Women’s Welfare League was founded in 1951 in response to under-representation of women in policy making. It primarily works to support Ma-ori children and families, aiming to promote fellowship between Ma-ori and Pa-keha-ā. Membership is open to non-Ma-ori volunteers. General manager Jacqui te Kani says their older members lend a hand by using traditional skills like sewing, knitting, preserving, and gardening to help young Ma-ori families in need. Elders also pass on their knowledge by giving cooking demonstrations and supervising community gardens. “[Many] like to stay voluntary so they can please themselves and nobody can dictate what they do,” says Ms te Kani. She spoke of one elderly woman who has knitted over 300 woolly hats for the league with donated wool. The hats are distributed to Christchurch and to children on the league’s parenting programme. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is the oldest continuing non-sectarian women’s organisation in the world. The New Zealand branch was formed in 1885 by Mary Clement Leavitt, an American, and later involved famous suffragette Kate Sheppard. The union encourages New Zealanders to refrain from drinking alcohol, and is also against tobacco and other harmful drugs. National president Rita Wert attributes the energy and enthusiasm of the union’s many older members to clean living, saying the over-70s participate in all kinds of charitable work whenever they are able. Members approaching frailty are encouraged to help by praying at home. The WCTU was influential in securing the vote for New Zealand women in 1893 and shepherding in other laws promoting sobriety and protecting workers’ rights. Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 5


Dog days

having a best friend in the village

Moving into a retirement village doesn’t need to mean rehoming your much-loved dog. LEIGH BRAMWELL tickled some canine companions under the chin while talking to their owners about the benefits of having a furry best friend.


hen Robert Baylis was told that, in princple, he could bring his dog Bronson to the retirement villa he was looking at buying, the 62 year old was delighted. A dog lover since childhood, he’d rarely been without a dog and the idea of re-homing Bronson was completely unacceptable. The retirement villa did have rules, of course, and Robert wasn’t entirely confident that Bronson, a somewhat staunch-looking Staffordshire cross, would obey them. “He had a tendency to bark at anyone who walked past the house, and even though he’s as tame as a kitten and a real old love, he looks a bit fierce,” Robert admits. “I knew that one of the requirements was that the neighbours had to agree to him, so I was worried about that.” Robert enlisted the help of a dog trainer to cure Bronson of his barking habit, as well as a couple of other naughty traits, but he had to think outside the square in terms of introducing his best friend to the neighbours to get the seal of approval. “I didn’t think the combination of his name and his appearance was ideal, so I told them his name was Winnie, and I tied a nice, bright scarf around his neck,” he laughs. “He looked bloody silly but it did the trick.” Robert’s village is not alone in requiring a certain standard of behaviour from residents’ pets – and the residents themselves, for that matter. Barking is always a concern and most villages warn that should it become an issue, the dog may have to go. Cats are rarely problematic, although one retirement village manager quoted the case of an extremely vocal Siamese who “never shut up day or night and drove us all mad”. The Selwyn Foundation, which runs retirement villages in the Waikato, Northland, and Auckland, makes it clear that residents must seek approval for pets in writing first. It’s likely to be granted provided the residents live in a villa or a ground floor apartment and the neighbours agree. Management also likes to know at the outset who will care for the pet if and when the owner can’t, and requires agreement up front on what will happen 6 Best of Times

Pets as therapy

Cats are rarely problematic, although one retirement village manager quoted the case of an extremely vocal Siamese who “never shut up day or night and drove us all mad”. if the neighbours subsequently complain about the pet. Rules like these are a safeguard for the pets as well as owners and other residents. Dogs, cats, birds, and other pets are welcome at the Pakuranga Park Village in Auckland, where village manager Martin Oettli says they offer company, companionship, activity, exercise, responsibility and joy to residents. “Unfortunately, because our apartments do not have individual access to the outside, cats and dogs are not allowed in apartments,” he explains. The issue is a little more complex at rest homes, but some do allow pets, although dogs are often excluded. Often the issue is decided on an individual basis, taking into account the type of pet, the suitability of the facility, and the owner’s ability to take care of it.

Some rest homes even have their own pet, which means residents can still have access to a dog or cat without actually owning one. The dog at Whare Aroha in Rotorua is considered a very important member of the team, and at Carter House in Te Puke, the resident dog Trixie is part of the residents’ therapy. Pets as therapy is not a new idea but it has gathered a lot of traction over the past decade. Numerous studies have been done and indications are that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and fewer medical problems than the general population. A Michigan study showed people who owned and walked their dogs were 34 per cent more likely to meet the official benchmarks on physical activity. Sir Bob Kerridge, president of the Royal New Zealand SPCA and founder and chairman of the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, is vocal on the subject, confirming that pets do their owners a power of good. “The therapeutic value of animals is undeniable. We see it when we visit the elderly in rest homes to provide that therapy when people are not able to have an animal. Dogs are the most popular visitors as they are so expressive,” he says. He also firmly believes there is a raft of reasons why we should own dogs in our twilight years. They’re intelligent, great listeners, sensitive to emotions, and responsive. They also attract other human company, working as great icebreakers and conversation starters. Outreach Therapy Pets is a joint initiative between St John and SPCA Auckland that involves volunteers and their pets visiting rest homes, hospitals, and other health services. Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to promote emotional wellbeing in hospitals and rest homes. Other organisations also work in this area. Canine Friends Pet Therapy is a New Zealand-wide network of people who share their friendly, well-behaved dogs with patients in hospitals and residents in rest homes and hospices. There’s enormous value in a furry head laid on a knee, the touch of a dog’s silky coat, someone to listen, and reminders of happier times.


Best breeds for seniors

Most dog lovers have a favourite breed, but not all are suitable for those in their later years. Opinions on what is the best breed for seniors vary enormously, but these suggestions come from those in the know.

SPCA special

By rehoming a dog from the SPCA, you have the advantage of a great deal of knowledge about the dog’s personality. Staff will have observed all the dogs over a period of time and are expert at putting you together with the right pet for your personality and circumstances. When you choose a bitser, you can have the best of a number of breeds.



Many of those who have rehomed a retired racing greyhound are surprised at how affectionate this breed is. A greyhound will happily rest its head on your lap and be stroked all day – no wonder they make great therapy dogs. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t have a great exercise requirement. Other advantages are their short, soft, sweet smelling coat, calm, placid non-aggressive nature, and disinclination to bark a lot

With her beguiling eyes and sweet temperament, five year old Maggie (pictured) has to be one of the most popular residents at the Pakuranga Park Retirement Village. She’s also probably the youngest. You sense that this little Bichon Frise knows her owners, Bevan and Shirley Congdon, would not have made the move to their smart villa without her. One of our country’s greatest all-round cricketers, Bevan (75) and his wife Shirley (71) both came from Motueka, and two years ago, they made their retirement move to Pakuranga Park Village, choosing a villa with a good-sized garden for Maggie. Both are adamant they wouldn’t have made the move without her. The little dog loves going for walks around the village with Bevan, and she’s a real favourite with the other residents. “She’s never created any problems,” says Shirley. The couple, who have two daughters and four grandchildren, have always enjoyed having dogs as pets, and they’re delighted to have the company of Maggie in their retirement. “She’s part of our family,” they say.

Cocker spaniel

Easy to train with a great temperament, the cocker spaniel can fit into just about any lifestyle. It’s an intelligent breed that has no problem spending time on its own but is also social and gets on well with other dogs and people. Its low exercise requirement makes it a good choice for seniors, but a disadvantage for some may be that weekly brushing is the bare minimum required to keep its wonderful coat in good trim.

Enjoy the Good Life at Acacia Cove A New Zealand-owned and operated lifestyle village situated on the beautiful Wattle Downs Peninsula. We currently have a 102sqm, 2-bedroom apartment available with a large deck overlooking our full-size bowling green. The apartment has 2 WCs, a separate computer area and an amazing top-of-the-range kitchen. Contact: Bruce Cullington Ph: 09 268 8522 email: Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 7


Travelling with Trixie Sometimes, a holiday isn’t complete without bringing along Rex or little Trixie – particularly when you take off for an extended period and you’d prefer not to put them in a kennel or cattery. Here are some pointers for travelling with your pet. On the road again

The most likely scenario where you would travel with your favourite furry friend is when you’re driving or caravanning around New Zealand. Local holidays are cheaper, so you can go for a longer jaunt or visit relatives. Remember this important mantra: “Hydration, Medication, and Tummy Elation”. Make sure you bring along more than enough water, medicines, and food for your pet, particularly in case you experience unexpected delays. Dry food travels best. When it comes to water, make sure you bring it in a plastic bottle – that way, you can refill it at any tap or water fountain along the way. A pet kit (containing stuff like wipes, paper towels, and pen light) is handy in case of ‘little accidents’ or illness. Commercial animal medical kits are available from vets and specialist stores. Inside the car, free-roaming animals can be a pain. Imagine your Siamese climbing onto your shoulder while you’re driving? Pets can also become carsick or have accidents, so tether your pet in a comfy crate or harness


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– and not by the collar (which is a choking hazard) – in the backseat. It will be safer that way in case of a crash.

Travelling further afield

Both the Bluebridge and Interislander Cook Strait ferries allow pets to be taken on the crossing. The important thing to note is that if you leave your pet in your car, you will not be able to check on him or her during the voyage. However, car-bound pets don’t incur any additional costs, and the cruise is only three hours. If you’re willing to pay more for your canine ($15 for the Interislander), dedicated dog kennels are available. If you’re flying domestically, Air New Zealand allows cats, dogs, and small caged birds to travel as checked in baggage (one cage per traveller). Pets that weigh more than 32kg don’t qualify as checked in baggage on services with a flight number in the range of 2000-2999. For other flights, including international flights, your pet must travel as cargo. Different countries have specific regulations about incoming pets, so research this carefully before you book your flights!

Pet-friendly accommodation and travel

»» Pets Can Come Too: »» AA Guide to pet-friendly accommodation in New Zealand: »» Wotif accommodation guide: »» Air New Zealand pet guidelines:


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Reluctant legends on the road Best of Times has interviewed plenty of music legends before – most recently, John Rowles and Peter Posa – but when two New Zealand icons, Eddie Low and Dennis Marsh, announced their joint tour of the country, editor SHANE CUMMINGS couldn’t resist the chance to chat with them.


egend’ is not a title that sits well with Eddie Low or Dennis Marsh, but they reluctantly accept it – and other hokey catchphrases – as part of that necessary evil of touring: marketing. Eddie has been described as a ‘voice in a million’, a quote recycled from his old manager Joe Brown, who used to run the Miss New Zealand shows in the 1960s, and used on his album Crying Time. “After ‘voice in a million’, it got worse,” Eddie recollects. “On my next album, I was called ‘the golden voice’.” Dennis and Eddie both laugh about the ‘legend’ tag. “People might say (tongue-in-cheek), this is the long-awaited tour of two New Zealand top legends.” Dennis says. The tour will see Dennis and Eddie visit most of the major towns on the North Island throughout April, although Eddie says, “By the time it’s finished, they’ll have to push me around in my wheelchair!” Their tour is hot on the heels of their recent albums from Sony Music. Eddie’s is Icons, which is his unique spin on classic standards from the 60s and 70s. Dennis’s is Sounds of the Pacific, which he says doesn’t stray too far from his country roots. “I didn’t want to go too far out of the square, but using the ukulele and a bit of steel guitar changes the whole sound of a country album, and I think we managed to do that.” Rather than talk up their own albums, they critique each other’s. Eddie is already a convert to the Pacific sound Dennis is channelling: “I’ve listened to Dennis’s album a few times, and it’s the type of music that you can sit down with a guitar and comfortably sing along to.” “On Eddie’s album, he is singing songs made famous by other people, but Eddie does the job as good, if not better in some cases,” Dennis says. Being veteran entertainers, both men have plenty of tales to spin, although there is a sense that what happens on the road stays on the road. Eddie was happy to share one story: “We were doing the Miss New Zealand shows, and one time we were in Greymouth and went to Miss West Coast’s place. All the girls were inside with Mum having sandwiches and a cup of tea, but the band and I were in the garage with her dad.The girls had a curfew and took the bus back to town but we said we’d stay late and get cabs.The taxis stopped at 1 o’clock, so we started to walk back into town. “It was still a long way into town when we saw lights in the distance, getting closer and closer – and I hope nobody in Greymouth reads this – but those lights were a big factory, with all these pushbikes out the front …” Eddie leaves the rest unsaid. Dennis’s tour story is more inspirational than incriminating. “I was waiting to perform at a show when the power went off.The two acts in front of me relied on the power, but I got up on a table with just my guitar and no microphone and finished the show. I don’t think people were aware that I could do that sort of thing.” “That’s happened to me, too,” Eddie chimes in. “In those days, you had a meter box for the power.You had to

Eddie Low (left) and Dennis Marsh put a shilling in to run the power. Half way through a show, the power went off, so everyone was running around in the dark looking for a shilling to get the power back on.” These days, when they’re not on the road, their pursuits are a bit more sedate. Dennis belongs to the Maraetai Fishing Club in Auckland, and his favourite fishing spot is just 10 minutes from there, where he reels in plenty of snapper. Being vision impaired, Eddie has an unusual hobby: golf. He jokes that somebody once asked him, ‘how do you play blind golf?’. He said “you put a blindfold on the ball.” “I’ve only been back in New Zealand for the past five years, as I was living in Australia. I belonged to VIGS (Vision Impaired Golfers Society). I’ve played golf all around the world – Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada, and Australia, of course. New Zealand is the only country that doesn’t have a vision impaired golf society, so I haven’t had a game since I’ve been back.” Not surprisingly, the pair turn to music for relaxation. “I’m probably one of the biggest Elvis Presley fans in the world.When I want to relax, I listen to Elvis’s gospel music or Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night, which is my favourite album,” Eddie says. “Just like Eddie, I’ve got everything Elvis has done, too. I believed if I was half as good as him, I’d get somewhere. I’m not half as good as him yet, so I haven’t gotten somewhere!” Dennis says in a show of modesty. Picking up on the self-deprecating tone, Eddie adds: “If I’m having trouble going to sleep, I’ll put on one of my records, and I’ll be asleep in no time!” Fortunately, Dennis saves the interview, ending on a positive – and hopefully prophetic – note for the impending tour: “If I can make someone laugh, cry, or sing along with me, I think my job is done.” Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 9


A question

of money Back in the day when we went to the altar full of trust and optimism, sorting out how to handle the household money wasn’t much of an issue. But three or four decades and perhaps a couple of marriages later, we’re not so laissez faire, as LEIGH BRAMWELL discovered.


hen I got married the first time, my husband and I had similar amounts of money in the bank. We threw it all into a joint account and it worked just fine. Even when we divorced a dozen years later, the property settlement was straightforward. Such was not the case the second time around, but we won’t go there. And now, third time around, we’re back to square one – a joint account, although with a separate account each for our ‘pocket money’. But we’re a rare breed. Many couples in their fifties, sixties, and beyond have financial arrangements that are complicated, even litigious and sometimes just downright strange. William and Jenny have just rolled over into their sixties. They’ve been married 30 years and from day one, they’ve had separate money. No, not just separate personal accounts – separate current accounts, savings, investments, everything. “William had a lot of family money when we married, and I didn’t feel I had any entitlement to that, so we maintained separate finances,” Jenny says. “I had a good job, so we just kicked in our share for rent, food, and bills and it’s been that way ever since.” Since those days, Jenny has accumulated substantial savings, and now she and William enjoy comparing notes on their various share parcels and other investments. “It’s not a competition, but there is an element of ‘oh, didn’t you do well’ in it,” she says. Recently, Jenny had a decent win with some shares and enjoyed the opportunity to treat them both to a holiday. “I wanted us to go to Africa, and it was great to be able to say ‘hey, I’m paying for this’.” They’ve organised their wills in a similar 10 Best of Times

way. When one partner dies, the house is left to the other, along with a specific amount of cash, but each has made separate bequests to the children and grandchildren of their first marriages and to charities of their choice. “This has worked really well for us, but I don’t think it would work if one partner had far less savings and less income than the other,” William says, “and it certainly wouldn’t work if one person was reluctant and felt they’d been forced into it. We discussed it all honestly and clearly at the beginning.” The most common mistake people make in organising their money when going into a new relationships is failing to do just that, according to Deborah Hollings QC. “Many find it tricky to talk about money issues when they’re in the throes of falling in love …” Hollings is a leading trust litigation and relationship property lawyer. She specialises in equity and is the author of the handbook on domestic property and estate law, For Richer For Poorer. She believes before any couple starts living together in a de facto relationship, both parties need to get legal advice so they

will know what to do if the relationship ends by separation or a death. Hollings warns that those with property (or about to invest in property) need to fully understand the ramifications of becoming joint partners in a house or business, establishing a joint bank account, or having money invested on their behalf. It’s inaccurate to assume that because people are older and have had previous marriages that they know what they are doing. Just because a relationship is established later in life does not mean it will last the distance. Annie wishes she had been more aware of those issues when she entered her current relationship. She had close to a million dollars invested, while her partner had a parcel of valuable land in Wellington, but no cash. He raised a mortgage and built a house on the land, which is owned by his family trust, but when his business failed four years ago, it fell to Annie to cover the mortgage and all the other household expenses. That’s still ongoing, and she’s concerned that if they ever split, she will have no access to a share of the property and will not be reimbursed for her contribution. Sorting out trust beneficiaries and wills

FINANCE to accommodate children from previous marriages has proved impossible and they are at an impasse. Stephan Clark, a senior business analyst at Gareth Morgan Investments, says how you look to protect your family’s finances will always depend on the risks being faced. Trusts are a common way to help protect assets against types of legal and financial risks, as well as help ensure the assets being protected are used for the purposes you have intended. “To make sure you actually get the protection trusts offer, careful planning and advice from lawyers and accountants is normally needed. They can also make the process simpler and keep the trust properly maintained and easier to manage.” Relationship counsellor Maggie Bowen says simplicity and honesty are key to being able to organise money in late-in-life relationships. “So many people get enmeshed in all kinds of complex arrangements and often one or both of them gets really anxious about it,” she says. “But often a unique, rather than text-book, approach is the best thing for the relationship.” An example of this is Russell (72) and his partner, who live in an upmarket retirement village in Auckland. He moved from the South Island to be with her, and he paid cash for the house. However because she did not want to be an inequal partner in the relationship, she insisted they raise a mortgage on the house equivalent to her share of the purchase price, and she is solely responsible for those repayments. “I could have just paid the money to Russell like rent, but that would not have felt right,” she says. Having an arrangement that felt right was also important to Sarah, who after moving to a remote country station area to live with her new partner, realised she would be unable to continue her career. To compensate her for that, he offered to reimburse her $300 a week, as well as paying all the food and household bills. Fifteen years down the track, she now regards that as ‘pocket money’ and spends most of it on the garden. “And I put some of it aside for my own personal rainy day,” she adds. Not a bad idea, says Deborah Hollings. “I think squirreling away nuts is very important, especially to help through the initial period of a break-up.” NB. Some names have been changed.

For further information, go to: »» »» »» Individual law firms also have useful information and case studies on their websites.

Mistakes impending retirees make ALAN CLARKE ticks off the list of common mistakes people make in the lead-up to and early years of retirement. Retiring too soon

Too many people think they have to stop at age 65 – without checking just how much cash flow they will need in retirement. If their cash reserves are just not enough, they would be better working a little longer. Working two years longer means you can save for two more years, probably enough for an extra two years in retirement. Also, by working the additional two years, your retirement funds only have to last only, say, 22 years instead of 24. Two more years of work can put you four or even five years ahead in retirement!

Spending too much

This is pretty obvious – do your homework and budgeting. However, you may plan to gradually spend your money and “die broke” (which is often easier said than done). Be smart and find independent advice to help you monitor how fast you are spending your money. Then if you ’live too long’, hopefully you won’t have to live out your golden years in poverty.  My father lived to be 100, so you never know (he was prudent and found a good balance between living and spending).

A pauper in a castle

It is not much good owning a $500,000 house and having only $50,000 in the bank to supplement your (rather lean) Government super of $26,000 pa. Don’t get to retirement living in a castle with too little cash to supplement your super.

Worrying too much

The news media will drag you into the mire. Turn the news off and get out and about.

Hand outs to the kids

Love them or not, they have may have 25 to 40 years of working life in front of them. You don’t. Be careful to keep most of your money for yourself.

Not getting advice

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Get advice. $150 to $200 of financial advice is peanuts compared to what it might do for you.

Looking for utopia

Utopia does not exist, yet I have seen people move up to seven times in five years looking for it. Imagine the moving costs, real estate agents fees, or the cost of new carpet, curtains, a kitchen, or a new fence. This is all money down the drain. If somewhere else appeals (including the location of a great new retirement village), camp/house sit/rent in the area for a while and try it out, which is cheaper in the long run in case you are wrong.

Local holidays

There are dozens of free things you can do in New Zealand with an ordinary car and an inexpensive caravan. Be adventurous, go on the road, and enjoy it all. We have a beautiful country.

Being an ‘expert’

Beware of some apparently wonderful companies. The costs can be too high. After all, someone has to pay for their big buildings and glossy brochures – and it will be you. Also beware of commission salesman (and big organisations) and others who make brokerage for telling you to buy this, sell that, buy this, sell that. They are looking to generate income for themselves, and their ‘advice’ may be good for their pocket/profits, but it may not be good for you. No one can pick the hot investments. If you diversify properly, you will make good money in good times and survive the bad times pretty well too.

Alan Clarke is the author of Retire Richer, a practical guide for everyone age 25 to 85. Alan is an authorised financial adviser (AFA) and his disclosure statement is available on request and free of charge. Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 11

GARDENING is the simplest method, and application at the recommended strength for each crop provides frost protection at no extra cost because of normal use by growers in fungous control. However, don’t rush out and spray your tender plants with Champion Copper and expect protection the same night. The chemical needs three or four days to kill the bacteria. A normal winter application rate is to keep all new growth covered with the spray material, and this should be done every 14–18 days. The rate to use this copper compound is 10g in 5 litres of water.

Frost protection

for your precious plants Not many gardeners know how frost works on our precious plants. EION SCARROW explains frost damage and what can be done to prevent it.


t has always been a battle to combat the ravages of frost on our plants, and with autumn upon us, it’s time to do something about. Thanks to scientists in the USA, minute bacteria that live on the surface of leaves and stems have been identified as being responsible for the formation of frost crystals.

The science behind frost damage

Frost injury occurs when ice crystals intrude into plant tissue. Once these ice crystals form either on the surface of the plant or within its tissues, they spread.The degree of frost sensitivity of plants depends, in part, on their ability to restrict the propagation of ice crystals with their tissues. Frost sensitive plants are characterised by their inability to restrict ice propagation within their tissues and keep it out of their cells. No reasonable frost protection techniques can preserve frost sensitive plants during extended periods of extreme cold. All new techniques have limits below which they become less effective. Ice crystals form by a process called ‘nucleation’. A minute particle of some material acts as a catalyst and triggers the formation of a tiny ice crystal, which then grows. Any material that serves as a catalyst is called a ‘nucleating agent’. In the range of temperatures where most nucleating agents must be present, researchers have found that three bacteria that grow on most plants have the ability to nucleate the ice crystals that cause frost damage. Researchers tried all sorts of experiments with the object of getting rid of these little creatures using antibiotics, bactericides, 12 Best of Times

insecticides etc. with varying degrees of success. These bacteria, now known as ‘INA’ (ice nucleation activity) bacteria are present in enormous numbers. By counting these bacteria, scientists found on 1g of plant leaf on almond trees, that the population ran between 100 and 1000 per gram. As the weather cooled in autumn, the INA bacteria population was approaching 10 million and the total population was approaching 20 million. Other crops showed the same numbers. Distilled water freezes at a much lower temperature than ordinary water, which is contaminated in some form or another.The excreta of the bacteria contaminate the dew (which is pure) that forms on leaves.

A Champion method of frost protection

Cupric hydroxide – or as we know it, Champion Copper – was the most effective in killing these INA bacteria and much less costly in its application as compared with normal frost protection methods such as heaters, wind machines, sprinklers, fog generators, insulating blankets, helicopters, etc. These methods all rely on controlling the air temperature around the plant. Antibiotics worked well against the INA bacteria, but are costly and tend to select and encourage resistant strains of bacteria. Environmental groups discourage the use of antibiotics. Champion Copper is already being used as a fungicide, so no extra equipment needs to be bought. Cupric hydroxide is the only pesticide in the USA registered for frost protection. Champion Copper

Other frost protection

There is another way to protect crops from frost, especially when spraying may be difficult or you do not wish to spray. This is a material called Frost Cloth crop cover. It is used to cover your crop or precious trees with a non‑woven polypropylene weighing only 17g per metre. Many growers use it to cover their grape vines as protection against wasps and birds. It also protects against rabbits, hares, and all insects such as caterpillars and aphids. Many commercial growers will find this material excellent as protection for carrots against the carrot rust fly. The frost protection potential of this material is amazing. By providing a microclimate and raising soil temperatures by up to 4 degrees Celsius, it should give you the protection you need. This material is so lightweight it will not damage even the most wispy of plants, and if, for example, you place this cover over a row of emerging carrot seedlings, they will lift the cover as they grow. Frost Cloth is an amazing material. It comes in large rolls but most retail outlets can sell it in metre lengths. It lasts for years if you take care of it. For longevity, ensure it is thoroughly dry before rolling and storing. Recently there has been a huge development in frost protection called Thermo Max. Hort Research has tested this material and it showed a 50 per cent increase in fruit set at -2 degrees C. Thermo Max works by increasing the phosphorus metabolism of the plant. This provides an internal warming effect, which is not just useful to protect against frost, but it also reduces the general effects of cold on fruit set. Thermo Max promotes slightly earlier growth in the spring and can extend the growing season, in some cases by several weeks. Commercial growers have often found the test results conservative. Complete protection against –20 C frost can be achieved, along with significant gains down to –4 C. Note: Thermo Max should not be used on leaf vegetables. Now get out there and protect your plants!



prostate cancer screening

DR JOE KOSTERICH dispels misconceptions about getting your prostate checked and suggests when it is right to seek your doctor’s advice.


lways be wary of a call to do a “simple blood test”. There is no such thing. While taking blood out of a vein is simple, the results are never simple, and a “simple blood test” can start a chain of events that is far from simple. After looking at data over 20 years, the US Preventative Services Taskforce (USPTF) last year formalised its previous advice that there was no benefit for routine Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing on healthy men. On the surface this sounds counterintuitive. Surely finding more cancer early means saving lives? However, the facts do not show that the routine PSA screening does this. 1. The test is not diagnostic of prostate cancer and can be raised for other reasons. The inventor of the test described it as a “toss of a coin”. It was originally devised as a tracking test for established cancer. 2. Many men will die with – not of – prostate cancer. Some 70 per cent of 70-year-olds have prostate cancer cells on autopsy. Even for men aged between 40 and 60, the figure is 33 per cent. 3. This highlights the point that we do not actually know what an abnormal test result means! 4. In turn, a raised PSA generally leads to further invasive procedures such as a biopsy. A biopsy comes with risks of bleeding and infection, and even then, the results may be vague. 5. Thus, this leads to the treatment of many cancers, which if left alone, may not shorten life or impair function. The problem is that we do not know which type of cancer is which. All this might be justifiable if there was a significant likelihood of men undergoing testing having a good chance of living longer than those who do not undergo testing. Previous large European trials have not shown this to be the case, and the USPTF figures show the following: »» For every 1000 men having routine testing, one man will have life saving surgery. »» For every 3000 men having routine testing, one will die prematurely due to complications of treatment. »» For every 1000 men tested, up to 43 will suffer serious harm. Some 30–40 will become impotent or incontinent or both. Two will have a serious cardiovascular event (like a heart attack) due to treatment, and another may get a blood clot in the leg or lungs. For every three lives “saved”, one will be lost and over 100 will suffer serious complications! The recommendations will attract criticism, much of which will come from those who earn a living treating and testing for prostate cancer and their representative organisations. Some will put a political spin on this and call it “rationing”. This is complete nonsense as nobody is barred from having the test. Ideas in medicine change. We no longer use leeches. The PSA as

a screening test was never actually trialled to see if it was beneficial. Now with hindsight we can see that it is not. Worse than that, more men are harmed than helped.

When to get screened

So what is the average person to make of this? Firstly there is a difference between men getting screened when they have no symptoms and no reason to have a test done and appropriate diagnostic testing. This is where symptoms are present and tests are done to assist diagnosis. Men with urinary tract symptoms such as blood in the urine, difficulty passing urine, or change in bladder pattern (e.g. going more often or at night when you did not do previously) should consult their doctor. Men with a history of prostate cancer in the family (especially where the cancer occurred under the age of 60) should also chat with their doctor about testing. These situations are quite different to doing a test just because you are male and have reached a certain age. The other important thing is to understand both the benefits and risks of testing –much like you would discuss the risks and benefits of any proposed surgery or even medication prescribed. That way you can make an informed decision as to what is best for you. Each man and his family must make a decision about testing based on his individual circumstances. One day there may be a way of accurately detecting prostate cancers that would be a threat to life – without the collateral damage. Until then, beware of any talk of “simple blood tests”. Reference:

More helpful advice from Dr Joe can be found at Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 13


Win free stuff! Write your preferred giveaway, your name and address on the back of an envelope and post to: Best of Times Giveaways, PO Box 200, Wellington 6140. Or email: Closing date: 30 April 2013


Ron Palenski returns with a fascinating and accessible account of New Zealand’s role in the Battle for Crete during the Second World War. Both sides wanted it for strategic reasons, but only one would win. Could a decorated New Zealander lead the Allies to success? For the story behind the heroes in the book, read the interview with author Ron Palenksi on page 16.


In Six Years by Harlen Coben, six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for … but she is not Natalie. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel.


Suzanne Prentice’s first complete career retrospective is a must-have! All 22 songs were personally selected by Suzanne and handpicked from the many Gold and Platinum albums she’s released over the past four decades. The track listing includes five brand new recordings of her most famous hits and the song that launched Suzanne’s career – “Funny Face”.

14 Best of Times

Add a gingery zing to your cool drinks with Buderim Ginger Premium Cordial Mixers. Just add soda water to Ginger Refresher to make ginger beer or sip on a Lemon Lime & Bitters, which contains genuine aromatic bitters. Keep an eye out for the new look bottles, on shelf now. Each prize pack includes a stylish Buderim mug and stubby holder and is valued at $50.


Fantasy elements combine with realism in Felix and the Red Rats by James Norcliffe. When David’s uncle comes to visit, he sets off a bizarre series of events. Things become complicated when the pet rats turn bright red. Young readers will want to solve the confusing conundrum of the red rats.


Created from authentic recipes, the Exotic Food range have delicious Thai stir-fry sauces, curry pastes, and noodle products that are ideal for all the family. Dip into the taste of Thai with a prize pack that includes a bundle of these culinary delights.



What constitutes a turning point? In his new book, leading historian Paul Moon has chosen 20 pivotal events that have shaped the course of New Zealand history over the years. Each event is described as a discrete story and illustrated with photographs drawn from the archives, and Moon outlines how New Zealand history has changed as a result.



CocoWater is rich in Electrolytes and 100% Natural. It is Gluten and Fat Free, and is made from fresh green coconuts, each bottle is the equivalent of two coconuts. Cocowater is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals and contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The prize pack includes each of these great flavours: Pure Coconut Water, Coconut Water & Mango, and Coconut Water & Pineapple.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella tells the story of Lottie, who is tired of longterm boyfriends Lan who don’tMemory want to commit to © Lovatts Pu marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. Will Lottie and Ben have a wedding night to remember … or one to forget?























A man took his elderly father to a rest home to check it out. He sat his father down on a sofa in the main aisle way and went to talk with the administrators. The senior then started to tilt slowly toward the left. A doctor came by and said, “Let me help you.” The doctor piled several pillows on the left side of the old man so he would stay upright. The older man started to tilt slowly to the right. An orderly noticed and put several more pillows on his right side to keep him upright. The man started to lean forward when a nurse came by and piled several pillows in front of him. About this time, the son returned. “Well, Dad, isn’t this a nice place?” The old man replied, “I guess it’s OK, but they won’t let me fart.”






DOWN 1. Style of bowling infamously employed by the England cricket team under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine (8) 2. Graffiti that became popular among US servicemen during World War II - ... was here! (6) 3. TV comedy series that starred Don Adams as Agent 86 (3,5)

4. During the 1960s London’s East End was terrorised by Ronnie and Reggie, the notorious ... twins (4) 5. Australian actor who played Crocodile Dundee, Paul ... (5) 6. When the Queen visited India in 1997, many locals demanded the return of this famous ‘stolen’ diamond (3-1-4) 7. Arlo Guthrie told us, “You can get anything you want at ... Restaurant” (5’1) 14. According to Benny Hill, “he drove the fastest milkcart in the West” (5) 17. Singer/songwriter who was born Robert Zimmerman in 1941 (3,5) 18. After his release from prison Nelson Mandela gave his first public speech from the balcony of ... City Hall (4,4) 19. Walt Disney’s Dumbo was a flying one (8) 21. It became the 49th state of the US in 1959 (6) 23. Johnny Tillotson told us his girl was ... In Motion (6) 24. British golfer who won the last of his six Majors in 1996, Nick ... (5) 26. In 1988 this World Fair was staged in Brisbane (4)


ACROSS 8. Hanna-Barbera’s famous cartoon resident of Jellystone Park who first appeared in The Huckleberry Hound Show (4,4) 9. In the historical movies Becket and The Lion In Winter, Henry II was played by Peter ... (1’5) 10. Mediterranean island nation, cause of much bitterness between Turkey and Greece (6) 11. Marilyn Monroe’s billowing white dress was in a scene from the 1955 comedy, The Seven ... (4,4) 12. Ukulele-playing weirdo who rose to fame after appearances on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, ... Tim (4) 13. In 1968 Charlton Heston found himself on the Planet Of The ... (4) 15. The prototype of this hand-held computer device was developed in 1963 (5) 16. Lionel Jefferies directed The Railway Children, the film version of the children’s novel by Edith ... (6) 18. US president, elected to office in 1977 (6) 20. Character first played by Sylvester Stallone in First Blood (5) 22. The Beatles’ second movie (4!) 23. In The Avengers Diana Rigg was the fictional spy, Mrs Emma ... (4) 25. Bette Davies and Joan Crawford were sisters in the 1962 thriller, What Ever Happened To ...? (4,4) 27. In 1965 this band were “talkin’ ‘bout My Generation” ne 639(3,3) 28. Swedish actress Britt ... married Peter Sellers in 1964 uzzles(6) 29. Graham Greene’s novel about a fugitive priest in Mexico, The ... The Glory (5,3)








Memory Lane 639 © Lovatts Puzzles



An old woman saved a fairy’s life. To repay this, the fairy promised to grant the woman three wishes. For the first wish, the old lady asked to become young and beautiful. Poof! She became young and beautiful. For the second wish, the newly young lady asked to be richest woman in the world. Poof! She was the richest woman in the world. For the last wish, she pointed at the cat she had kept for years. She asked that he be turned into the most handsome man on earth. After all, he had been her best friend for so many years. Poof! The fairy turned the cat into the most handsome man on earth. The woman and the fairy said their goodbyes. After the fairy left, the handsome man strolled over to her and asked, “Now, aren’t you sorry you had me neutered?” Vol 4 Issue 3 Autumn 2013 15


Remembering the

heroes of Crete The battle for control of Crete in the Second World War helped forged New Zealand’s identity as an emerging nation. Although it was a defeat for our men, the Kiwis made the Axis pay in blood. Dr Ron Palenksi, author of the book Men of Valour, spoke with SHANE CUMMINGS about the importance of this pivotal battle.


on’s book summarises the battle and its ramifications: “The man in charge of hanging on to the Greek Island of Crete was Bernard (‘Tiny’) Freyberg, the New Zealand Division commander. With him was a ragtag army of New Zealand, Australian, British, and Greek soldiers. They had to withstand the mightiest airborne invasion the world had seen. “Wearily, both sides fought almost to a standstill. It was a German victory but their losses were almost as many as those of the Allies. The New Zealanders got away thanks to the Royal Navy or on boats begged, borrowed, or stolen; many never got away at all. Beaten and bedraggled, the men made their way back to Egypt. They’d fought for the first time as a New Zealand division under the overall command of a New Zealander and had been beaten by German forces at their most powerful.” The importance of Crete for New Zealanders cannot be understated. “In essence, it was the Gallipoli of the Second World War. It was a similar region geographically, New Zealanders were in a place they didn’t want to be, and they lost. The difference on this occasion, and what made it more significant for New Zealand was the overall Allied commander on the island was Bernard Freyberg, who was a New Zealander. It was the first time the whole New Zealand division fought together,” Ron said. So which famous loss had a greater effect on the Kiwi psyche? “I would put it on a par with Gallipoli, which was the first time New Zealanders fought in a World War, but at Gallipoli, New Zealand was only a small part. “The defeat at Crete in World War 2 unquestionably brought the Kiwis together in spirit. What happened on Crete moulded the New Zealand division for the rest of the war.”


Lest we forget

Ron’s other books How We Saw the War and Kiwi Battlefields have positioned him as one of New Zealand’s most important authors of military history. Ron knows most of the battlefields of World War 1 and 2 inside out, and he recommended a few places to visit for Kiwis looking to connect with the sacrifices of our men during those wars. “Any New Zealander (or Australian) has to see the war cemeteries in France and Belgium. It is part of who we are. Only by going to those cemeteries can you see the scale of warfare in the First World War. It is a very moving experience, but it makes you very proud of who you are. “I would avoid Gallipoli on ANZAC Day because it is just another Oktoberfest or running of the bulls.” As for Crete, Ron has not been there himself, but a trip to Athens a few years ago highlighted the extent of the bond between Greeks and Kiwis. “I was sitting with a bunch of older Greeks. As soon as they realised I was from New Zealand, they were all over me because of the reputation New Zealand soldiers had gained in Greece and Crete in 1941. Even now, people visiting Crete come home now and talk about the friendly reception they get because they are New Zealanders. New Zealanders are seen as the saviours of the island.”


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Best of Times - Autumn 2013  

Magazine for over 55s