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ISSUE 161, JULY 2017

community news, issues, arts, people, events


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contents

Community protests start......................................................... 4 Bagging it! Local initiative to ditch plastic bags....................... 5 They said it: elections and winter.........................................6-7 On your bike!............................................................................ 8

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Art and about with Naomi McCleary.................................10-11 A love of books....................................................................... 11 Places to go: Events listing................................................12-13 Bandstanding: John Goudge – ‘all performance is drama’..... 14 Feature: education............................................................16-17 Rare petrels get helping hand................................................ 18 Walking West with Mick Andrew............................................ 20

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Words on wine with Lindsay Nash.......................................... 21 Live @ the lounge.................................................................. 22 Advertisers directory.............................................................. 23 On our cover: Meg Liptrot and Brent Bielby are part of the team at Ecomatters Environmental Trust making cycling for fun, transport and commuting more accessible for local residents. For more see page 8. Photo by Moira Kennedy.

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www.fringemedia.co.nz 20,600 copies delivered free to letter boxes, post boxes, libraries and selected outlets throughout Titirangi, Glen Eden, Green Bay, New Lynn, Kelston, Konini, Wood Bay, French Bay, South Titirangi, Waima, Woodlands Park, Laingholm, Parau, Cornwallis, Huia and Oratia.

HeatherMeg Sampson introducing her recently completed mural to Local Board members, community representatives and members of the public. The mural is in Bakery Lane, connecting West Coast Road with Glen Mall in Glen Eden.

We love Volunteers!

The newest Hospice West Auckland op shop on Captain Scott Road opposite Glen Mall in Glen Eden has got off to a great start. Like all Hospice op shops, it offers great bargains on for pre-loved items and helps to support Hospice’s mission of providing compassionate care to the people of West Auckland at no-charge. And like all Hospice op shops, the Glen Eden store requires a pool of new volunteers. If you would like to join the team of over 470 volunteers who ensure Hospice West Auckland’s six stores continue to successfully raise funds to support Hospice’s work contact Maggie Roberts in the store, phone 869 3809 or register online at http://hwa.org.nz/get-involved/registration. Every issue of The Fringe (and the Titirangi Tatler before it) since April 2011 is on-line at www.fringemedia.co.nz. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ FringeWest) to hear when each issue is available and get other updates.

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Published by: Fringe Media Ltd, PO Box 60-469, Titirangi, Auckland 0642

Editor: Bevis England 817 8024, 027 494 0700 bevis@fringemedia.co.nz

Advertising: Ed King

817 3627, 021 296 7703 ed@fringemedia.co.nz

Features: Moira Kennedy 817 2204, 021 723 153 moira@fringemedia.co.nz

Writers: Jade Reidy, George Shiers. Contributors: David Thiele, Lindsay Nash, Naomi McCleary, Susannah Bridges, Phoebe Falconer, Mick Andrew.

Advertising deadline for August: July 12.

The Fringe JULY 2017

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our place

Community protests start

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Watercare’s decision (in late May) to site a new water treatment plant on land adjacent to the existing plant at Waima has provoked a mixture of relief, acceptance and determined resistance. While Oratia residents breathed a sigh of relief when Watercare directors decided not to go ahead with the new $300 million water treatment in Parker Road, the decision to site the plant on land in Manuka Road, Waima has angered many local residents. The decision was widely anticipated – the land had been designated for this purpose 40 years ago – but residents still turned out in their hundreds to a large demonstration shortly after the decision, followed by a public meeting on June 14 at Woodlands Park School. The perception of inadequate consultation had left residents with too many unanswered questions. Concerns being expressed range from the effects of a prolonged period of construction within a suburban, greenbelt community, loss of native vegetation and wildlife and no clarity on what will happen to the two defunct treatment plants – the old Nihotupu filter station and the current Huia Treatment Plant. Spokesperson for the Titirangi Protection Group, Simon Kitson, is appealing for a re-think. “We want to go back to square one and look at alternative engineering solutions. We need more smaller plants that have less impact on communities,” he says. “There should be a limit on how long designations can remain in place. Things change, communities change.” The group (www.facebook.com/groups/TitirangiPG) has so far generated over 2,000 signatures for its petition. Other local groups are more willing to accept the decision and focus on what comes next. Dr Mels Barton, who chairs the Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers group and was a member of Watercare’s short-list consultation group, believes working together is the solution. “We’re confident that Watercare’s engineers are quite capable of designing a plant that protects what’s precious,” she says. “We want to see an independent ecological survey of the entire site so that nothing is missed.” Huia Cornwallis Ratepayers and Residents group secretary Erina Tamepo says the community can take heart from the Huia foreshore re-design, where consultation was initially weighted heavily in favour of the council’s desired outcome of a managed retreat. “After the community pushed back, a group of local representatives spent a year working with the council on a win-win solution that’s now going through the final stage of consenting,” she says. “It was hard work but I reckon others could follow this example.” Watercare will be applying for a resource consent later this year. Infrastructure planning manager Mark Bourne said that site stability also needs investigation but he does not expect it to be a problem because the current plant was built on similar land 90 years ago. – Jade Reidy advertise with the fringe & reach 70,000+ readers


our place

Bagging it! Local initiative to ditch plastic bags Love Titirangi? We do too. That's the catchphrase of a group of passionate locals who want to see the Village free of plastic bags from July 2. Kate Speakman spotted the concept of Boomerang Bags on an Australian Facebook site and contacted friend Karen Swainson to see what she thought about doing something similar locally. Good idea they agreed and a meeting at a local cafe attracted nearly 20 people who also felt positively about ridding their Village of plastic bags. That was a couple of months ago and with a 'let's do this' attitude, Kate and Karen set about turning the idea into action. "It's easy to have a good idea," says Kate. "But it's not so easy to get it off the ground. Karen’s background is in project management and operations so she knows how to make things happen!" The pair rustled up a staunch group of friends, family, workmates, school students, community groups and neighbours to sew an initial 2000 reusable and washable bags made from t-shirts, sheets, pillow cases and other fabrics that can fit the bill as shopping bags. But it's not just been about bringing together sewing bees for a good cause. The women knew early on they'd need support from Village businesses so they put together an information pack, created a Love Titirangi logo to brand the bags, sought funding from EcoMatters Environmental Trust and others and created a small team to personally visit the local businesses. "They've been so supportive, positive and enthusiastic," says Karen. With July being World Plastic Free month, all the stops were pulled out for the Titirangi launch on July 2 with music, entertainment, prizes, branded bags on sale in local businesses (including SuperValue) and bins of reusable fabric bags around the Village for people to take for free and use when shopping. Again. And again. And again. "This is going to be a long-term project," says Karen. "Our initial focus is Titirangi and plastic bags but in the future we hope to take on other things that hopefully will increase awareness about our global pollution epidemic." New Zealanders use around 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags every year with an average use of 20 minutes each. They then stay in the environment for up to 500 years before decaying. They clog

the oceans, kill and injure marine mammals and birds and enter our food chain when fish swallow them. "For Love Titirangi the ultimate would be that single use plastic bags don't feature in the Village at all. The sewing of bags by volunteers in the community will be ongoing. Yes, we will lose bags and they'll be left in cars but people can only have so many forgotten bags in their car before they return them and they'll be back in circulation," Kate Kate Speakman and Karen Swainson getting down to business in their fight says. Titirangi is showing Westie against plastic bags in Titirangi Village. leadership with its reusable bags but more than 300 communities have taken on the Boomerang Bags concept in Australia with volunteers from all walks of life getting together, starting conversations, making friends and upcycling materials in a bid to shift society's throwaway mentality to a more sustainable revolution of re-use. Check out Love Titirangi on facebook or email karen_knighton@ hotmail.com, phone 021 651 889. Launch event: July 2, 11am outside SuperValue. – Moira Kennedy

Call for levy on single plastic bag use

Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin mayors are calling for a mandatory national levy on single use plastic bags. "We have to stop dumping hundreds of millions of nonbiodegradable plastic bags into landfill every year," says Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff. “We know that a small charge on single-use bags drastically changes consumer behaviours. If Government doesn't want to apply the charge itself, then it should empower Councils to do so," he says.

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they said it DAVID THIELE asks a random group of locals what they think is important in election year and what they think of winter. His questions were: 1. What qualities should a 'great' prime minister have? 2. If you were a government minister, what portfolio would you hold? 3. Do you think central government should influence Auckland’s house prices or let the market dictate? 4. Do you enjoy four seasons or would you rather spend the colder months in the northern hemisphere? 5. What's your favourite winter meal? BRIDGET 1. I think experience bringing up children, although Helen Clark was an exception. They should have worked with a wide range of people. Had business experience at a ground level, not just corporate. 2. Minister of the economy. We need a strong economy. Can you tell who I vote for? 3. I think a bit of both. Controls in place to keep it real. 4. I’ve travelled a lot and have lost the travel lust. I’m quite happy with the colder weather. 5. A huge platter. Nuts, fruit, guacamole, dips, maybe chorizo.

CHRIS 1. Business savvy and leadership. They must have studied politics. 2. Minister of Social Development. 3. For me, trying to become a first home buyer, it’s really hard. Maybe there could be a subsidy. Houses need to be more affordable so central and local government need to work together. 4. I enjoy New Zealand. I like the seasons. I’m a cold person. I especially love winter. 5. A roast. Probably beef. All the trimmings, kumara, yams, etc. and a good gravy. The sticky bits left in the pan plus some gravy premix. JASON 1. A great prime minister needs to be a true leader with a sense of humour and empathy for people. 2. Minister of Human Affairs. If that doesn’t exist, I’d create it. 3. Government should introduce a capital gains tax and put that money into other areas. 4. I would quite like to bugger off to Europe but I’m happy with four seasons in one day. FRINGEADLTD.pdf 15/11/16 16:33 5. A good Thai curry with1crustaceans.

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they said it WAKA 1. More socialist than capitalist. 2. Minister of the environment. I’ve just been through Europe and looked at their practices. They have a true guardianship of the land. They really look after the land. 3. Such a complex issue. We need a shift in our current thinking. Change our opinions on tenure and ownership. 4. I love my seasons. They’re not long enough. 5. Slow cooked winter vegetables. Slow cooked lamb. In fact, slow cooked everything, and the little secret, balsamic. JOEL 1. Integrity. Fairness. Selflessness. A degree in philosophy and ethics. Some well informed policy. 2. Minister of Education. 3. Yes, to a point. It should be regulated. 4. Yes, I enjoy four seasons. 5. Roast chicken. My Mum’s stuffing with homemade gravy and vegetables.

ANDREA 1. I guess a great knowledge of everything that’s going on. A feel for the everyday folk. Open to other people’s views. 2. Minister of the people. 3. The government should make changes. Perhaps adjusting finances into other places. 4. Summer all the time, all year round. No question. 5. To me, I love finger food but also big slabs of red meat. Red wine and lots of beer. A good wholesome meal. JILLIAN 1. They must have gone to university. Studied philosophy. Have people skills. 2. Minister of Environmental Planning. Integrity. A clear understanding of my people. 3. As a politician, I would ensure that the housing supply is unlimited. It’s our thinking that needs to be creative. There’s always a creative solution. 4. I love to experience four seasons. 5. Roast vegetables plus lots of soup and great breads.

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our place

On Your Bike! Just three months down the track from opening, the team at EcoMatters' Love Your Bike hub in New Lynn is spinning its wheels at the project's immediate success. The hub aims to encourage the community of West Auckland to experience the thrill and fun of cycling and it's been a long time in the making says co-ordinator Meg Liptrot. "We'd talked about it for years and had bikes we'd rescued from the waste stream fixed and stored at the Sustainable Living Centre. EcoMatters staff would ride them around the velodrome beside our base in Olympic Place at lunchtime for a bit of exercise and we kept discussing how to best share them with the community," she says. When social enterprise group Ridecycle in Whangarei got in touch looking for an Auckland base, the timing was right for EcoMatters to move into top gear and get things going locally. Funding came from the Whau Local Board, local businesses and suppliers, and the Waitakere Ranges Local Board supported a Pop Up Love Your Bike initiative to encourage the greater Westie community to get involved. The concept came to fruition in April with the opening of the hub – a container with one half modified as a bike workshop and the other for local cyclists and friends to use as meeting spot to drink coffee, talk cycling and tinker with bikes. Qualified engineer and enthusiastic cyclist Brent Bielby has taken on the role of resident bike mechanic and ambassador. He and bike guru Josca teach others basic bike maintenance including inflating tyres and repairing punctures, configuring bikes for optimum comfort, tuning and adjusting brakes and gears and maintaining bike chains. "There's also free 24/7 access to a bike maintenance stand outside

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the hub that includes tools and a pump so you can rock up anytime it suits you to pump up your tyres and tune your gears," Brent says. "There are a lot of people in the community who have a bike sitting in the garage but they don't ride it as the tyres are flat or the gears or brakes aren't working properly. We'll show you how to do those things and Meg Liptrot and Brent Bielby at the Love get you back in the saddle. Your Bike hub: “A fun place to be.” "We're not a full service bike maintenance space," says Brent, "but we have a really good relationship with local bike stores. They know we're not competing with them and we refer cyclists whose bikes require more complex attention to them. It's all about all of us getting more people into biking." If you'd like to give cycling a go and don 't have the funds the Love Your Bike hub can help there too. "We ask that you invest some time and we’ll help you do up a bike you can then take home. You'll learn skills and end up with a nicely recovered second-hand bike that you'll feel some ownership for. We'll all work on it together," says Brent. "Or you can give us a donation and get a nice bike in return." "It's all about community interaction," says Meg. "If anyone knows someone who is struggling and needs a bike for transport, we may be able to help. We're about giving back, interacting and helping." Volunteers with or without cycling and bike knowledge are welcome at the hub too. "They can upskill themselves or share their skills with others and there are plans afoot to develop a bike library, lending bikes out, leisure rides and map provision. There's even organic coffee, natural drinks and ice blocks, and an upcycled bike that can whip you up a smoothie," says Meg. Brent says the hub is like his spiritual retreat. "I come from a corporate culture which was removed from the interface with the community. I love coming to the hub, talking with people, tinkering with bikes. It's definitely a fun place and it's lovely to be part of it." Based at 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn, the Love Your Bike hub is open Thursday – Sunday, 9am-1pm. Email: bikehub@ecomatters.org.nz – Moira Kennedy

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The Fringe JULY 2017

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art & about with naomi mccleary

One life at a time - - I was deeply moved by a recent Good Sorts segment on TV1 featuring one Adriaan Beddie, a young expatriate from South Africa, now resident in Christchurch, who is teaching disabled adults to dance, one by one. The poignant image of a large man with Parkinsons waltzing freely, despite his shaking hands, will stay with me for a long time. It reminded me that, for all the rhetoric from policy makers and politicians, lives are actually transformed at the coal-face by creative people who, with passion, work ‘up close and personal’ with individuals carrying the burden of disability or disadvantage. The arts are rich in possibility for people who are at risk through ill-health, or education or economic deprivation. Nothing expresses this more generously than the programme which plays out daily, weekly, monthly at the Corban Estate Arts Centre. Programmes introducing the visual arts to young people who have struggled to fit into main stream education, or, at the other end of the spectrum, the homeless, rub alongside performance work with refugee and ethnic communities. The beauty of this creative hub is that it is also home to a vibrant visual arts and performance culture which creates an environment of aspiration; a place where participants can see the best and observe positive role models. Martin Sutcliffe, Director of the Corban Estate Arts Centre, in his own words: Unfortunately many young people seem lost in this often bizarre and turbulent world they find themselves in. At Corban Estate we aim to offer anyone a chance to find a steadier path, using arts as an outlet for feelings and frustrations, while developing a greater ability

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to focus and commit to projects, supported by new skills. Our Kakano Youth Arts Collective works with vulnerable young people to build their inner strength and confidence through artmaking. The Let’s Talk About It series of events offers young people a platform to sing, rap, recite their poetry and recount their stories about struggling with life’s challenges which Sapati Apa delivers her spoken word have dealt blows to their piece about the tensions between her mental health. While these Samoan and Palagi identities at Let’s events take us on a journey Talk About It. into lives of addiction, anger, self-harm and attempted suicide, we are buoyed up at the relief expressed in sharing these very human challenges and inspired by young people’s courage and wisdom. When we engage with individuals from backgrounds of homelessness, with all the desperation and disturbing mental illnesses that often come with that, we witness the longer term effects of experiencing such relentless hardships throughout their lives. Yet as they enthusiastically explain what the carving or painting they are working on means, we recognise some of the warmest and most welcoming hosts you could meet. Taking a wider view of culture, one that includes all the richness of food and festival and domestic crafts that define body and soul, I am reminded of the Garden to Table programme that is teaching our school children the skills of growing and cooking food. Community gardens, some of which thrive out West, are another conduit to re-affirming the value and the joy of growing and harvesting. Could such programmes be expanded into other at-risk communities? My completely personal view is that Corban Estate, with its long horticultural and pioneer history, might be a place where this could happen. Likewise, every grandmother who teaches a young person to knit or crochet, is creating a counter balance to the online world. Our primary school teachers are observing a decline in young children’s ability to juxtapose thumb and index finger, a skill not required for spending excessive hours on ‘devices’, but essential for using scissors or threading a needle. Enough said!

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art & about with naomi mccleary

people

A love of books Obituary: Lois McIvor

In November 2016 The Fringe featured Lois McIvor as ‘Artist of the Month’. Lois has recently passed away at the grand age of 87 years. Much of what I wrote last year is worth repeating. Lois bestrode the Titirangi arts scene for 35 years, from 1953 to 1988. A colourful and imposing figure with a commanding presence and matching voice, she was an influential teacher and a passionate artist. She lived in Wood Bay and painted and exhibited throughout her professional life with complete and utter focus and commitment. To hold to that self-belief and determination throughout her life as a woman artist, in a society and time which continued to prioritise and elevate the work of male artists, is a story of both tenacity and passion. She was, significantly, a founding member of the Association of Women Artists. Over 1955 and 1956 Lois attended Summer School at the Auckland Art Gallery under the tutelage of Colin McCahon, who was to become a mentor and friend. When asked by Lois what should she paint, he replied ‘paint the light’. Her work is a glowing evidence of just that. She will be remembered for her luminous and evocative landscapes inspired by the Waitakere Ranges and the Manukau Harbour. As one of her many students during the 70s and 80s, I experienced her unique teaching style – a mixture of intense encouragement and scolding in equal measure. She would sail into the room dressed in her favourite purples and blues, a wild halo of black curls, claiming often that her job was to stop us when a work was finished and before it was ruined. A painting class with Lois was a smorgasbord of humour, philosophy, politics and pronouncements on love, life and the universe. She will be long remembered.

Shout Out!

Save the date: Going West Books & Writers Festival – 8th, 9th and 10th September

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This month sees fresh faces at our local libraries, after the region’s entire library staff went through a lengthy process to reapply for their jobs. JADE REIDY meets a local librarian who decided not to. Erica Clarke has been Titirangi Library’s children’s librarian for the past 13 years. She is one of 74 librarians who decided to take voluntary redundancy. On her last morning (in late May) with “the babies” in the library’s Wriggle and Rhyme programme, she was surrounded by a chaotic whirl of around 70 parents and little ones, all sad to see her go. “It’s been an amazing job. I’ve loved every minute of it,” she says. Erica Clarke: still sees a future in “Although I don’t have children books. myself, I like tuning into kid’s energy, their enquiring minds and making a difference in their lives.” Erica has always loved books. At the same time as she began working as manager of Evergreen Books in Devonport in 2005, she and her sister bought a house at Titirangi Beach. “I commuted for two years, which was a bit mad, even then,” she recalls. “My Mum saw an ad in the Western Leader for a children’s librarian, and that’s how I got started.” Erica’s teaching qualifications have come in handy doing outreach programmes in local kindergartens and schools. The summer reading programme enabled her to make deep connections with local families. “Back when we were Waitakere, the summer programme included the kids making a visit to the library four times to talk about the books they were reading. I got to know them well.” While children’s programmes excel at bringing people into the libraries – and always will, Erica believes, the libraries are continuing to look for ways to “crack” the teenage market. They have run a teen job hunters’ programme that brought in local employers. Continued on page 20 >>

The Fringe JULY 2017

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places to go

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN IN THE WEST...

Event organisers: Do you have an upcoming event you'd like listed in The Fringe? Send the details, including a contact person and number, to info@fringemedia.co.nz. Readers: While we take care to ensure listings are correct, errors may occur. Check with the contact person wherever possible.

july w – 1, LOPDELL FILM FESTIVAL , a three-day festival

of new and classic movies for all ages; visit flickscinema. weebly.com or lopdellprecinct.org.nz for full details. Phone 818 2583. w – 2, Matariki, paintings by Dean Buchanan; West Coast Gallery, Piha; Open Wed – Sun, 10am-4pm. Phone 812 8029. www.westcoastgallery.co.nz. w – 16, The Delicate Balance of Wobbling Stars – Maureen Lander explores Matariki; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 7 days, 10am-4.30pm; Free. 838 4455 or www.ceac.org.nz. w – 16, Tūrangawaewae – a place to stand – An exhibition of photographic and video portraiture by artists Rona Ngahuia Osborne and Dan Mace; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 7 days, 10am-4.30pm; Free. 838 4455 or www.ceac.org.nz. w – 23, Watching Windows: a network of artists negotiate the physical and digital interplay of light and space; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w – 24, Aspects of Glass, jewellery by Chris Charteris and Emily Siddell; Small Space, Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087.

w – August 2, Relative Reciprocity, works by Lonnie

Hutchinson and Reuben Paterson exploring the recurring aesthetic, political and spiritual use of light and darkness; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w – August 20, Theatre of the Mind, a collection of 75 black and white images by Roger Ballen; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w 1, Winter Storytelling, interactive crafts, song & dance; St Francis Church, corner Park and Titirangi Beach Roads; 1.30-3.30pm. Phone Margaret 817 1330. w 2, French Market; French Bay Yacht Club, bottom of Otitori Bay Road. Phone 817 7609 or visit www.frenchbay. org.nz. w 2, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732. w 2, My name is Moana featuring Moana Maniapoto joined by sister Trina, Pitch Black’s Paddy Free and Karlos Tunks Saunders in a heartfelt tribute to ‘moana’ – the ocean; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell Precinct; 7pm; bookings at www.eventfinda.co.nz or email toitoimusi@gmail.com. w 7, Flicks presents Lion (PG); Lopdell House Theatre; 10.30am, 5.30pm and 8.15pm; Tickets from www. eventfinda.co.nz and on door. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558. w 8, Saturday Gallery Club: learn how to make creative portraits with props and objects; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 10.30am-12 noon; Free. 838 4455 or www.ceac.org.nz. w 8, Flicks presents Mountain Film Festival (G), a selection of action-packed, award-winning films and lucky

seat number prizes; Lopdell House Theatre; 10am, 1pm, and 4pm; followed by feature film Chasing Ice at 8.15pm; Tickets from www.eventfinda.co.nz and on door. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558. w 8, Titirangi Poets presents Michael Lipschutz, who read with the Beats in San Franscisco in the 1960s, Harry Cording, well-known poet and artist who goes under the title of Harry the Dead Poet and Terry Downey, aka the Taxi Driver Poet; Titirangi Library; 2-4pm. Phone 817 6915. w 8, Titirangi Folk Music Club Concert with The Committeements, familiar faces doing unfamiliar stuff. Floor singers in the first half; Titirangi Beach Hall, Titirangi Beach Road, Titirangi; 8pm; $8, members $5, under 18 free. Phone Tricia 818 5659 or Ian 813 2305. w 8 – August 6, It’s the Little Things, Mixed media botanicals and still life by Leah Wilson; West Coast Gallery, Piha; Open Wed – Sun, 10am-4pm. Phone 812 8029. www.westcoastgallery.co.nz w 9, Craft fair with gifts, tea and coffee, food; West Lynn Garden & Butterfly House, 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn; 10am-3pm. Phone Mary 834 6870. w 11, West Auckland Historical Society Family History Group meeting; Henderson Central Library Research Centre; 10-11.30am. Phone Gary Snow 832 5098, 021 618 434 or email gary.snow@ihug.co.nz. w 14, Flicks presents Bastille Day: Croissants, coffee and two French films; Lopdell House Theatre; In Harmony (PG) shows at 10.30am and 6pm and A Bag of Marbles (PG) shows at 1.30pm and 8.15pm; Tickets from www. eventfinda.co.nz and on door. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558. w 15, Film night: Florian Habicht’s debut feature, Woodenhead (2003), preceded by Roger Ballen’s short

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places to go Contact maggie.u3a.titirangi@gmail.com.

w 28, Titirangi Folk Music Friends on Friday. Share your

music with a small friendly group; Titirangi Beach Hall, Titirangi Beach Road, Titirangi; 8pm; $3, under 18 free. Phone Rosemary 814 8897 or Margaret 818 1434. w 28 – September 14, Flex, tactile bronze forms by Hannah Valentine; Small Space, Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w 30, Titirangi Village Market, art, craft, produce and music; Titirangi War Memorial Hall, 500 South Titirangi Road; 10am-2pm. Contact Tess on tvm.manager@gmail. com or phone 022 631 9436.

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film Outland (2015) and his music video for I Fink U Freeky by South African group Die Antwoord; Lopdell House Theatre; 7.30pm; Bookings at Eventfinda. Phone 817 8087 w 20, Waitakere Forest & Bird talk: Dr Wilma Blom on what makes BioBlitz an effective citizen science tool; Kelston Community Centre, corner Awaroa and Great North Roads; 7.30pm; koha appreciated. Phone Liz 027 476 2732 or email lizanstey@hotmail.com. w 21, Flicks presents This Beautiful Fantastic (PG); Lopdell House Theatre; 10.30am, 6pm and 8-15pm; Tickets from www.eventfinda.co.nz and on door. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558. w 21 – September 3, 16 years later, refugee artist Sakina Ewazi shares memories of living at sea; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 7 days, 10am-4.30pm; Free. 838 4455 or www.ceac.org.nz. w 21 – September 3, Concrete is as Concrete Doesn’t, a video installation by John Vea; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 7 days, 10am-4.30pm; Free. 838 4455 or www.ceac.org.nz. w 21 – September 3, The 45th Landlord, American artists respond to the election of Donald Trump; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 7 days, 10am-4.30pm; Free. 838 4455 or www.ceac.org.nz. w 24, It’s Rainin’ Men! Music from The Beatles, The Temptations, Simon & Garfunkel, The Platters, Bobby Darin, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra and more; Operatunity, Te Atatu Baptist Church, 448 Old Te Atatu Road; 11am; Bookings on 0508 266 237 or www.operatunity.co.nz. w 25, Titirangi U3A with a range of activities including study groups, discussions, speakers and more; West Lynn Garden, 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn; 1.30pm; gold coin.

august w August 6, French Market; French Bay Yacht Club, bottom of Otitori Bay Road. Phone 817 7609 or visit www. frenchbay.org.nz. w August 6, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732. w August 12 – September 17, The Burning Ground – paintings by John Madden remembering the 29 miners at Pike River; West Coast Gallery, Piha; Open Wed – Sun, 10am-4pm. Phone 812 8029. www.westcoastgallery. co.nz There is so much happening in and around our community, including many weekly events, that we can’t fit everything into these listings. To find out more about whatever you are interested in, from Air Scouts to yoga and almost everything in between, visit:

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bandstanding – music in the west with susannah bridges

‘All performance is drama of some kind.’ Without a doubt John Goudge is a man of many hats. Matt Reece we make up Theatre and music practitioner he performs with three Ionosphere.” bands and is also a drama tutor, actor, director and Citing classical music writer. He has more than 60 theatre productions under as his biggest inspiration, his belt, including rather a lot of Shakespeare. John says “I love music of John’s involvement with music began at the same all kinds really, although time as his life really. “My mother Marie is a fine opera nothing too middle of and musical theatre singer who trained under Sister the road, and I write in Mary Leo. I learnt piano and trumpet, played with whatever style appeals orchestras and the brass band in New Lynn, acted in to me at the time. school musicals and played in student bands. Show and Dylan, Bowie, Young, church music abounded in the house and, later, two Floyd, Stevie Wonder, older sisters introduced Bowie, Neil Young, Roxy Music, Joy Division, New Order, punk and new wave. As a teenager I was fascinated with John Goudge in Guja mode. Blondie, to name a few. Joy Division bass lines and took up guitar and played the bottom two I’m playing with electronic music at the moment too. I’ve always been strings. I taught myself to play the rest of the strings over the next influenced by Jean Michel Jarre, early electronica and psy trance.” few years!” John says there’s no separation for him between music and The first performance of his original songs was a concert at theatre. “All performance is drama of some kind. I try to use my Titirangi Theatre in 1993 “and I’ve been writing and performing music theatre training to best channel my musical stories to the audience. ever since,” says John. Or sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right energy to be Currently there are three musical projects on the go – The John entertaining. From a songwriting point of view, I am often inspired Goudge Band which performs John’s originals, Guja which covers by stage-shows I am involved with. Quite often a song comes out funky classics from the 70s and 80s (complete with 70s outfits and of them. I have a couple of Shakespeare inspired songs and these I lots of fun) and Ionosphere, a world-fusion dance band that blends recorded for my 2010 album Fool Circle”. ethnic instruments with dance beats. “Ionosphere is giving me my A new album is now under consideration and along with his electro-fusion buzz at the moment,” John says. “My percussionist partner Kathy, John is planning a trip to Italy and France “where we mate Johnny Conga shares a love of ethnic music and together with plan to soak up the arts and sounds as well as take a short visit to theatres in London.” Amongst John’s local performance highlights are “some awesome moments at the TItirangi Festival of Music over the years – I’ve had a great time singing with the Titirangi Allstars and going a bit nuts with an afro wig on. Playing guitar wearing a sombrero, with Pio singing Feliz Navidad at the Waitakere Christmas Festival was also a hoot!” From childhood days in Blockhouse Bay John has moved progressively further west ever since, residing now in Waiatarua. In Rimu Glade Studio, his performance space, John tutors private students in acting and singing. “The forest, the sea, the coastal sentries, the angry skies and the brilliant green against black sands. These have always drawn me to the west”. For band bookings and info contact John on 021 232 9822, goudgedrama@gmail.com or look him up on Facebook. Check out his album Fool Circle at johngoudge.bandcamp.com.

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feature: education

Community of learning initiative has potential “Sharing our professional expertise across the nearly 7,500 young learners in our area enriches the whole community.” Green Bay High School principal Morag Hutchinson is talking about an Education Ministry initiative – known locally as the Kotuitui Kahui Ako: Community of Learning – which sees local schools and their teachers, across all levels, working collaboratively in the sharing of knowledge. Local schools include Arahoe, Fruitvale, Green Bay High, Kaurilands, Central West

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Morag says it works by Auckland team, Green Bay, teachers coming together Konini, Laingholm Primary, from all the different sectors Titirangi Primary, Glen Eden to share their research Intermediate, Woodlands Park inquiries and enjoy animated and Oaklynn. discussions into those pieces These schools are now of the puzzle. “It makes my encouraged to develop heart sing,” she says. learning communities which In time the network will follow students from primary result in stronger professional through to secondary school. practice shared across the “It means a group of learning community, improved schools share their students transitions for learners and along their learning pathway Green Bay High principal improved links with early and start conversations at Morag Hutchinson. principals’ level,” says Morag who is lead childhood educators and tertiary institutions, principal for a two year period before the while allowing each school in the community to retain its uniqueness. role is handed to another principal. “It won’t solve every educational problem “It makes sense for our local educators to have a shared language about what overnight but by approaching it with good learning looks like. And it’s also about a powerful sense of curiosity, we can be talking to each other about where we see assured we are doing the very best. “Good quality research is always built on the challenges in student outcomes in our other good research and there’s a lot of that community. “At the start of the year we re-framed the going on in our community,” says Morag. vision of the COL as a powerful educational “This is a puzzle of many small pieces and research and development network, focused we’ll be making sure that all of those pieces will be shared with all of our community. on meeting local learning needs. “Nothing stands still in education and if “We wanted to move away from the language of challenge and deficit and instead we, the professionals, aren’t learning, then assert our professional responsibility to be how can we ask that of our students?” It’s networking at its best and only for learners ourselves. As educators we must always be curious and engaged in the puzzle people within our local community, Morag of what works best for learning, but to do it says. “We are lucky in our community because with a focus on the whole learning pathway in our own community. It’s very exciting,” there are high levels of educational trust among us. We’re already very collegial and she says. The key research tool is inquiry: What’s want to take that to the next level and be going on for the learners? How do the genuinely collaborative about what matters educators know? Why does it matter? In the most to all of us – student outcomes. “It’s exciting, challenging and good fun,” few months since the COL was set up locally, 42 inquiries have started into learner needs she says. – Moira Kennedy across the Kotuitui Network.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES AT YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY HOUSE THIS WINTER 09/11/2016 20:34

July 10th – July 21st Arts, Crafts, Trips, Games, Fun, Learning and Outdoor Activities. For full details contact:

Glen Eden Community House, Phone 09 818 2198, osc@glenedencommunityhouse.co.nz, www.glenedencommunityhouse.co.nz Titirangi Community House, Phone 09 817 7448, admin@titirangihouse.co.nz, www.titirangihouse.co.nz These programmes are approved for the OSCAR subsidy – School Holiday Programme Subsidies are now available from Work and Income New Zealand for working and studying parents. WINZ forms are available from the Community House office on enrolment.

16

The Fringe JULY 2017

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feature: education

World domination on the agenda for Avondale students? Seven Avondale College students are champing at the bit to be let loose on the global stage at the worldwide Microsoft Office Specialist Championships being held at the end of this month in Anaheim, California. Christopher Tang, Rita Zhong and Ed Allison (pictured left) along with Sebastian Thomas, Evan Ng and Shrey Tailor dominated the national finals in Wellington last month and will represent Australasia in the event which tests

Titirangi Teens Develop International Relations Over the next few months groups of Titirangi children will be heading overseas thanks to programmes run by CISV International a global organisation founded in 1950. CISV is dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding. CISV New Zealand holds local minicamps and events for all age groups, aiming to develop confidence, leadership skills, an understanding and respect for cultural diversity, teamwork and creative problem solving skills. This year’s educational focus is Human Rights. In July, 14 year olds Monique Schumann, Katie van der Plas, Jason Syron, Conaill Reddy and leader Mackenzie Round (pictured left) will leaving Titirangi for Portugal. There they will attend a 3 week CISV International Camp where they will focus on learning skills to be leaders in their own local chapters. “The delegation has been preparing for our big adventure by spending three weekends together” says Katie. “The weekends have been jam-packed with activity planning and getting to know each other. We are so excited and grateful for the opportunity to travel to Portugal in July. I hope to make global friendships and develop my leadership skills.” They will spend the New Zealand winter in the Portuguese sun surrounded by delegations from nine different countries, learning from each other and becoming active global citizens. Continued on page 21 >>

the students’ skills in Microsoft Office applications and attracted 1.3 million entrants worldwide (including 40 New Zealand schools). They’ll be accompanied by Jayden Cooke who competed and won a bronze medal in the competition while a student at Avondale College. Avondale College director of innovation, Paul McClean says the success of the students is special as the year 9 and 10 students have not sat the Adobe or Microsoft courses. “They are seriously responsive to immersive learning. They’ve shown incredible resourcefulness, agility and determination,” he says. “These students are the youngest and most high-performing group ever and have yet to be coached in any way for their tests. Their potential for success at the international level is exciting.”

Open Day

Saturday 29 July 9.30am – 2.00pm

Your local high school is flourishing. We serve the families in the Titirangi and Green Bay area and are committed to continuing to provide high quality public education in our community. Principal, Morag Hutchinson, will speak in the auditorium at 10:00am and 12:30pm. There will be guided tours throughout the school between 9:30am and 2:00pm. www.greenbayhigh.school.nz

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The Fringe JULY 2017

LOVE YOUR LAND

When the Trusts gave away a million dollars recently, environmental activists at Cornwallis were delighted at their $12,000 slice of the pie. The small group of residents had already begun a campaign to make Cornwallis predator-free. “We got motivated after seeing the effort local rangers and university researchers were putting in to protecting the colony of grey-faced petrels on Puponga Point,” says resident Alex Duncan. “The settlement was struggling when it was re-discovered a few years ago but now we feel positive that a refuge is being established here that can act as a staging post in the birds’ general migration pattern.” Cornwallis residents check a conventional trap. [For more on the ‘hoopy bird’ see page seven of the June 2016 issue of The Fringe, https://issuu.com/fringemedia8/docs/1606.] The group got on board with the Trust’s Million Dollar Mission through Save Cornwallis Old Wharf (SCOW), an incorporated society that worked to replace the old Cornwallis Wharf nearly 20 years ago. SCOW’s project was selected as one of 30 finalists among all the community groups in West Auckland that applied and was one of only two environmental projects chosen, receiving nearly $12,000 as a result of the community votes it received. “We were overwhelmed by the support we received through the voting process,” says Alex. “It was really heartening.” The group is using their funds to purchase Good Nature A24 traps, which humanely kill stoats and rats. These New Zealand-designed, state-of-the-art traps are self-resetting, but cost nearly $190 each. The group has 20 traps in place on the seaward side of the Memorial Track at Puponga Point, with about 40 more on the way. The pest control lines have GPS-determined locations recorded for each trap. This allows the group to gather data such as how many ‘strikes’ each trap achieves. Through Trap NZ, members of the group check traps and record results live using phone apps. A single ‘test’ trap in the field for five months recorded nearly 30 hits. “Our current focus is to blanket new traps on the rugged terrain in the extremities of Puponga Point, which are home to the most vulnerable birds and native species,” says Alex. “The next phase, when funding allows, will be the rest of the Cornwallis peninsula, including traps that target possums. “We see it as a one to two-year project to rid the peninsula of pests. The wider goal is to link the peninsula into other predator-free areas such as Ark in the Park and Whatipu,” he says. Alex expects that the benefits of the project will be apparent to people who walk the tracks and make their way through the native bush to the beach in an increasing abundance of bird life. The shyer and less vocal native fauna such as skinks, praying mantis and weta will also have a chance to re-establish themselves. To keep up to date, join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ CornwallisPeninsula – Jade Reidy advertise with the fringe & reach 70,000+ readers


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The Fringe JULY 2017

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walking west with mick andrew

Exploring New Zealand’s top swimming hole If there were awards for scenic beauty, Karekare Falls would certainly make the shortlist. It has become increasingly popular with tourists, wedding parties and locals. Located 10 minutes walk from the main car park at Karekare, the falls stand 20 metres high in a picturesque clearing of pohutakawa, nikau and taraire. Rather than tumbling off the cliff, the water at the top streams down in long misty threads. Photo by Neil Arnold. Halfway down it hits the rock and then distributes through forked formations into the pool. Perhaps because it sits in the shade – the autumn sun not rising high enough to reach the clearing – the falling water has a silvery colour and takes on the look of forked lightning. Despite its usual popularity, I am the only one here this morning. There is a tranquil aura about the place. Nothing makes a movement or sound except the hissing waterfall, as if it were the main act, centre stage in an amphitheatre of trees. A green and golden bell frog sits still on a rock watching the show, and I sit next to it and take it all in. Unfortunately, evidence of growing visitor numbers can be seen in the form of litter carelessly discarded around the clearing – an ominous portent. Last year, Waikato’s Putaruru Spring deteriorated rapidly as a result of high visitor numbers after it was promoted as a top swimming spot and New Zealand’s best-kept secret. Swimming in the spring has now been banned. To the right of the clearing, Taraire Track – so called because it

traverses one of the largest groves of taraire in the country – rises up the hill behind the waterfall. As I climb, the bush opens up windows to the west: the estuary snaking it’s way past the surf club and the houses of Karekare sitting nestled like tree huts in the bush. Boots quickly prove useful as the track morphs into a muddy ditch. Once past that, however, it flattens out and meanders through the taraire grove, interspersed with kauri. It then crosses Company Stream, the source of the Karekare Falls, before climbing steeply once more. Near the summit, the trail connects with La-trobe Track. The route up to Lone Kauri Road has been blocked due to kauri conservation efforts so I instead follow La-trobe back down to Karekare Road. The hour-long loop finishes five minutes from the main car park. I head back for another spell under the waterfall and join a pair of sightseers, one of whom has not seen it before. We chat about the waterfall and I ask her what she thinks of it. “It’s amazing!” she replies. “Sometimes I need to come to a place like this.” We discuss whether an attraction like this is best promoted or kept a secret. “I think there needs to be a balance,” she says. “You can’t have too many people turning up.” Looking up at that glowing water cascading into the palm-lined pool, it’s easy to see how popular a place like this can become. But it’s just as easy to appreciate how quickly the scales can tilt. >> A

love of books, continued from page 11

The evolving format of children’s books has helped young readers who struggle with words. The shorter chapters, the introduction of quirky cartoons and the ever-higher quality of illustrations in general, has been a good thing, she believes. The rise of book series, following the Harry Potter phenomenon, has also created a resurgence in children’s literature, and Erica was constantly asked for advice on what to read next. With the ongoing digital focus, librarians have had to learn new skills to deal with ebooks. The introduction of a graphic novel section has also been a great idea. “It has grown into the most well-used section and is popular with boys,” Erica explains. “I think it’s a boy brain thing. They seem to connect with the busy graphics.” The library restructure has not resulted in any library closures or reductions in opening hours. The overall number of librarians has reduced, though, since a freeze on hiring in 2016 saw 100 jobs disestablished. Librarians have been able to apply for a job in any of the region’s 55 libraries. A feature of their new roles will be to revolve through all the libraries in their local board area. Erica has no immediate intention of leaving the area. “I still see my future being in books but the picture hasn’t crystallised yet,” she says. “It’s going to be hard, when I go into the library, to stop myself from tidying up the kid’s section and choosing what to display!” Local libraries will be running a winter school holiday programme with the theme of What Lies Beneath. Activities at Titirangi include stories, songs and craft activities on July 12 and 19 from 10.30am. The library will also host the New Zealand Black Stacks on July 20 from 3.30pm. Check Facebook.com/TitirangiLibrary for more details.

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words on wine with lindsay nash Travel is the best education they say. The biggest lesson from our recent time overseas came not in wine but in the beauty of a pint of Guinness. “A half of Guinness,” I said in the pub our first night in Dublin. “Are you ill?” the barman asked. Lesson learned. I tried a handle of Guinness in a local bar the other day. It didn’t taste the same. I’ll keep my Guinness drinking for Ireland. We did drink wine, however, during our boat trip down the Danube on the cruise ship Vivaldi – quite liberal amounts as drinks were included in the tour price. The tour was operated by a French company. The food was superb and the wine of reasonable quality, all from the Languedoc-Roussillon area, the biggest exporting district in the country. You’ll find them on New Zealand shelves labelled Pay d’Oc It was interesting to see New Zealand wines in overseas shops, entirely sauvignon blanc, Villa Maria and Oyster Bay, at prices around NZ$15. Wine drinkers we talked to had no knowledge of our pinot noir or chardonnay, possibly because our export lines in these grapes are not competitive in price. Now home again, it’s time for some winter warmers. I’ve long been familiar with the Australian Yalumba label. It certainly is good value, especially when on special at about $10. The 2015 Y Series South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich dark red, with a fresh berryish aroma and a full bodied flavour. There’s a touch of the chocolate I look for in a cabernet Early orthodontic assessment sauvignon, a rounded blackberry taste and a gentle tannin finish. Dr Nitin Raniga a wise I also tried the 2015 Y series South Australian Shiraz Viognier, another bargain priced red. investment Orthodontist Dr Nitin Raniga, local member of the New Zealand Association of The label promises exotic, opulent flavours and you won’t be disappointed. It is dark Orthodontists purple (NZAO), BDSsays (Otago), (Otago), the best ageDCInDent for your child to see a specialist is as soonMOrth as you notice a problem. “If you’re concerned, RSCEd, MRACDS (Orth) in the glass with an aroma that rewards encouragement. Decant, or pour it from glass to shouldn’t wait until you definitely your child has all their adult teeth, and you don’t need6 a referral from a dentist Exminster St, or dental therapist.” glass a few times and an intoxicating, black current aroma swirls up, leading to a surprisingly An orthodontist is a registered dentist who has gone on to complete an Bay education in specialist additional 2-3 years ofBlockhouse fulltime postgraduate university orthodontics. of the NZAO are trained in the appropriate use of weighty wine. It’s a rich plummy flavour with earthy undertones, beautifully balanced with All members Auckland 0600 the full range of available orthodontic appliances, and undertake continual study and professional development to stay on top of the latest trends and unobtrusive acid and tannins, and a smooth finish. Great value. Phone (09) 627 3555 improvements in orthodontic treatment. Dr Raniga says early treatment by a specialist can reduce or occasionally nitin@aucklandortho.co.nz If you enjoy tempranillo, look for the 2013 Ederra Rioja Crianza, (about $15). It’s not a big eliminate the need for more extensive treatment at a later age. “Orthodontists spend a great deal of their post graduate training studying facial growth and www.aucklandortho.co.nz wine, but there’s a pleasant whiff of berries in the aroma with quite a light body, adevelopment,” fruity says Dr Raniga. There is much less stigma around wearing braces and orthodontic appliances, compared flavour and a suitably balanced finish. But value for money it’s hard to beat South American with what parents may recall from their childhood. “Teenagers will actually reds, I’m familiar with Septima wines from Argentina, but I hadn’t tried their Losown Pasos nag Mum and Dad for an appointment. Our children know the value of a beautiful, functional smile that will last them a lifetime, and they’re willing to Malbec. Their 2016 vintage (special at $10) is a youthful vibrant purple in appearance with put the work in now. If that’s not a wise investment, I don’t know what is.” To ensure you’re receiving specialist advice, always look for the NZAO typical plum and spice flavours and a touch of oak in the finish. It’s logo. For more information go to www.orthodontists.org.nz. great company by the glowing wood fire. It’s good to be home.

The Sixes

>> Titirangi Teens Develop continued from page 17

International Relations,

Klipsch Heritage Series Dr Nitin Raniga BDS (Otago)

Children leave the camp with friends from all around the world, an inner confidence and a realization that wherever they are from or whatever they look like, people are all the same. There are opportunities for children to attend upcoming camps. Children aged around 11 can attend a village camp in South America, and there are ‘Step-Up’ camps available for older children. For more information about CISV New Zealand and future opportunities visit www.cisvnz.org or email admin@nz.cisv.org.

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live @ the lounge Yeah gidday. Lizard here. I hope your firewood collecting is going unnoticed. Well, Star, Shaz’s sister, seems to have made herself right at my home and lives by the saying ‘never a dull moment’. Gone are the dreadlocks replaced with a basic-training blond buzz cut dipped in pink. Still trying to blend in, she combines this with camo pants. Her plans of going back to Australia have been put on hold while she, in her words, sorts out the inequalities that I seem so comfortable to ignore. What got her all fired up began a few days ago when we were stripping an unused picket fence beside the Titirangi roundabout for firewood. Star noticed a banner saying something like ‘Fresh Water… Not in my backyard’. She immediately dropped her end of a very burnable gate and said we needed to find some free wi-fi and get organised. Moving on a few days and Star is now actively involved with mental health, animal cruelty, no mining, no taxes and eating only what you find. We only drink fair trade black coffee without child obesitycreating sugar and eat two minute noodles I found in a bin behind the real estate office. She gave away the telly because that discriminates against women and sold my electric razor because it could lead to gambling. We now do the business in a half-finished organic toilet. (Unfortunately, she hasn't finished the good half. Whew, what a pong.) Even Plumbless Walker, the dog, is now a bald vegetarian. Why bald? Star shaved him then tried to spin his fur to make him a warm blanket for winter. He now spends most of his time next-door. In a moment of madness, when I thought Star was asleep, I quietly said to Shaz that, even though the protest groups Star is involved

Proud

with mean well, do they realistically think that a few passionate folk knitting a revolt and holding hands with a bloke wearing a t-shirt that says I love Nigeria can really make any difference? After all, the powers that be are in it for a good time, not a long time. Well, Star leapt to her feet and, in no uncertain terms, pointed out my ignorance. She began by saying that as the world’s waters rise above our chins, our kids are being beaten to death by alienated, culturallyignored parents living on pathetic handouts while being constantly exposed to cheap liquor sold by the man to keep them sedated and blaming terrorists for low church numbers. She got so worked up a lentil flew out of her nose. I bravely continued and said 'you'll never make a difference. It's like Gallieth running from an earthworm.' I thought that was quite clever and might shut her up. Wrong. Star asked if I'd heard of the five billion dollar, super aircraft carrier appropriately named The USS Reagan? Built to repel the world’s toughest attacks it weighs 97,000 tonnes and has a crew of over 6000. ‘Nothing can stop it,’ she said and continued 'this ultimate weapon of mass distraction, while in Australia, popped into Brisbane harbour and sucked up a few thousand jellyfish into its intakes. This unorganised, brainless, boneless single- celled blob of jelly shut the giant down.’ World’s strongest weapon, nil, blob of brainless jello, one. I had to concede that she had a point. Single voices combined do make one hell of a choir. Still, my constant moaning for a piece of topside or even gravy beef seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Viva la revolution. Later, if I'm allowed out, Lizard.

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1707  

The Fringe (formerly Titirangi Tatler), a community magazine serving West Auckland.