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community news, issues, arts, people, events

Your vote helped Piha Surf Lifesaving get more rescue equipment. Who will you vote for next?

Voting opens Tuesday 22 October. Visit

2 52405 The Million Fringe OCTOBER 2019 Opens Press 186x270_V2.indd Dollar Mission 4_Voting


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Our place: Fresh Finds Market, Bowls, Titirangi Potters.............. 4 EcoMatters develops positive Chinese connection...................... 5 SOS for more volunteer fire fighters............................................ 6 Submissions on water treatment plant being reviewed............... 7 Open Studios Waitākere 2019...................................................... 8 Feature: local government elections.................................. 10 – 13


Feature: desirable destinations.................................................. 14 Places to go: Events listing................................................. 16 – 17 On Sober Reflection; Toby goes green....................................... 18 Bandstanding: Bertine Louise Bruinsma..................................... 19 Art and about with Naomi McCleary.................................. 20 – 21


‘New’ social rendezvous has long history.......................... 22 – 23 Rich source of information......................................................... 24 Westory: Who was Doris Morgan?............................................. 25 At the Libraries; Property law is changing.................................. 26 Naturally West: Eelias contemplates life beyond Whatipu......... 27 Sustainable solutions: Join the Refillution.................................. 28 Walking west; Weather by the moon......................................... 29


Live @ the lounge...................................................................... 30 Advertisers’ Directory................................................................. 31 On our cover:

The final event in this year’s Going West Writers Festival was Waituhituhi: Lines in the sand. Participants collaborated to craft a poem (below) the words of which were then written into the black sands of North Piha Beach within an artwork developed by beach tagger David Walter Hilliam. Photos by Rick Mayne (cover) and Bevis England (below). For more see page 20. 21,000 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.

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

Editor: Bevis England 817 8024, 027 494 0700


Features: Moira Kennedy 021 723 153

Writers and contributors: Jade Reidy, David Thiele, Naomi McCleary, Susannah Bridges, Fiona Drummond and Michael Andrew. Every issue of The Fringe (and the Titirangi Tatler before it) since April 2011 is on-line at Like us on Facebook ( FringeWest) to hear when each issue is available and get other updates. please support our advertisers – they support us

Advertising deadline for November 2019: October 17 The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


our place

“Let’s Meet, Eat, and Repeat Community!” The crowds came out and so did the sun after what seemed like weeks of rain for New Lynn’s inaugural Fresh Finds market last month. Gina Thomas and partner Shane Radcliffe opened their Rampant Coffee shop a year ago in the brick heritage building that used to house a post office in Totara Avenue, and took a punt on trying to bring life to a quiet part of New Lynn. And it worked, with about 40 stalls including local and ethnic food offerings, locally-made arts and crafts, plants, music, a troupe of young dancers from New Lynn’s Danza Studios, clothing and health and beauty products. “We were worried the area was dying,” says Gina. “Sometimes we felt there were more road signs than people and we wanted to create a true feeling of community while showcasing a wide range of quality local products. “I’m thrilled at the number of people who approached us on the day and want to take a stall Top: Fresh Finds Market, at the next event. They seemed impressed with attracting new stall holders. the quality of the stalls and the positive vibe the Below: Local Jill Farrell spins 100 percent rare breed sheep wool. event created, and want to be part of it. It’s very Photos by Rick Mayne. exciting,” she says. Gina and Shane are planning to repeat the Fresh Finds Market success on October 12 at the New Lynn Community Centre, 9am-2pm.

The Titirangi RSA Bowling Club opened its summer season on September 7. Contrary to all the forecasts the weather stayed fine and it turned into a fun day for everyone. After a couple of very casual games and a few drinks, lunch was enjoyed by all and everyone received a prize. To join the club and ‘add a bit of enjoyment to life’, call Eileen on 827 9195.

Titirangi Potters is to change the format of its annual exhibition this year. An ambitious new Ceramic Films & Forms event has been planned for October 11 and 12. Works by Titirangi Potters will be on display in Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House as part of a free exhibition and visitors also can stay and watch a number of short films and documentaries in the theatre (also free). The loop of short films will run from 10.30am all day on both days, starting at half past the hour. In addition, for those who want more inspiration, there will be two film nights with feature-length documentaries. Tickets for these will be $12. Titirangi Potters is collaborating with Robin Kewell from Flicks and also has support from the Waitākere Ranges Local Board for this inaugural event. Ceramic Films & Forms; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House; October 11 and 12. 10am-4pm – free exhibition and film loop. Feature film nights: 7pm (doors open at 6pm), $12. Visit titirangipotters. com for more information. (Photo by Emma Baker Photography.)

Got something to say? Let The Fringe know: Email or write to PO Box 60-469, Titirangi

Just walking the dogs. Late afternoon, Piha beach. Photo by Lisa Simonsen. (The Fringe welcomes submissions from local writers and photographers – although we can’t use everything we receive.)


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

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EcoMatters develops positive Chinese connection New Lynn-based EcoMatters Environment Trust is to sign an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Chinese prefecture of Quzhou. The agreement will see the two organisations collaborating on programmes involving sustainable urban communities. Such programmes are run in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme. The agreement came about following a visit to EcoMatters in June by a delegation from the area, including the Party Secretary for Quzhou. They were keen to learn more about social and ecological aspects of community development in New Zealand. It was a positive visit to the Olympic Place site. “Our gardens were flourishing. The Bike Hub was going, the nursery was humming and lots of people in the community were all over the place,” says EcoMatters CEO, Damon Birchfield. “Everyone had a great time and the delegates really enjoyed it. There were lots of smiles.” The delegation members were particularly interested in looking at Waitākere’s community-led approach to environmental engagement and in the history of Waitākere as an ‘eco city.’ “I think this might have been the first time the delegates had seen something like EcoMatters,” says Damon. “The concept of the community being involved in environmental action was unusual for them. It’s not the norm there. “China is investing massively in renewables and green technologies. They know they have environmental challenges and seem keen to support anything that will bring about better ecological outcomes.” Soon after the delegation’s visit, Damon was invited to China on an environmental and cultural exchange to visit some of the villages in the Quzhou area in which they’re trying to embed eco-approaches to community building. While there he attended a conference launching the Bay Cities Innovation Initiative with representatives from New York, Japan, San Francisco and Dubai seeking ways to develop clean and sustainable industries. “China is enormous and the scale is overwhelming.

One thing is clear – one of the advantages of their system, where they don’t have electoral cycles, means they can do very comprehensive planning. They don’t have to worry about certain outcomes within certain time frames. “I was very impressed by the amount of structure planning they were doing. It’s very comprehensive in terms of new developments. They’re trying to understand how to build pride and an identity in villages, keeping them economic and vibrant because they’re competing with the big cities like Shanghai and Beijing which are very attractive to young Chinese. Many of those young people have gone to cities from small villages,” he says. While Damon thinks a community-led approach to the environment is not likely to work in China, the country has resources for their communities. “They can afford to build meeting places, afford to buy land and build gardens and have the community participate in managing those kinds of hubs and centres. “In little villages there’s still lots of self sufficiency and in big new developments very little machinery is used. Much of the work is done by hand. The scale is astonishing. But it’s people power with so much being done without machinery. “Quzhou wants to make people feel proud to live there, and proud of their engagement with the land, to ensure the land is cared for. “I think it’s an area in which New Zealand has a unique insight. With our small population and scarce government resources, we’re quite used to working as communities to do things,” Damon says. “That’s possibly an exportable commodity or knowledge base that we probably undervalue. “My trip was a great opportunity to build relationships. I’m very positive about the MOU and the potential to work together in the future.” – Moira Kennedy

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Damon Birchfield addressing a conference in China.

A Chinese waste and recycling station.

The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


our place

SOS for more volunteer fire-fighters those are significant fire hazards.” The call has gone out for volunteers to sign on as The average stay as a volunteer in the brigade is 10 fire-fighters at local brigades amid concerns of future years and for many who participate, there are not only shortages. the challenges the role brings but the personal growth Laingholm Chief Fire Officer, Graeme Booth who has and skills on offer. been with the service for 45 years, says baby boomers “It’s almost like Outward Bound. Volunteering adds are “falling off the end”, and with generation X-ers to your self-esteem and you learn so much. We invest (1965 – 1979) moving in to senior positions, there’s a in volunteers’ ongoing training which will help so many need to fill the 16 – 35 year-old bracket. in their general day-to-day life.” “If we don’t do that, we’re going to be in real trouble Joining age is 18 (16 or 17 with parental permission) providing a service down the line.” and a number of training courses are available. Graeme There are 11,600 volunteer fire-fighters in New says you don’t need special skills to begin with, just Zealand with West Auckland largely a volunteer enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. enclave. The Titirangi brigade has paid staff during “It’s a big commitment. The alarm can go off at any business hours but is serviced by volunteers outside Graeme Booth: ‘the camaraderie time and we expect the volunteers to respond, even those times. Laingholm and Waiatarua are staffed is wonderful’. by volunteers only and all three could do with another two or three when they’re involved with doing every possible human activity. You members on their teams. (Although the volunteer-run brigades at might return home at 6am after being on a job all night and then have Huia and Piha are presently fully-staffed, they would also welcome to go to work a few hours later. “And you need to be in pretty good physical shape. In many ways approaches from possible volunteers.) “It’s not all about fighting fires,” says Graeme. “Half the brigade at we’ve been our own worst enemies by creating a macho image with Laingholm are trained as medical responders (to the basic ambulance the fire-fighter calendars and racing up the Sky Tower.” He insists it’s not necessary to look like those featured in the stage) as it’s a long way for St John to go. We deal with everything from kids with broken arms to full-on cardiac arrests, motor vehicle crashes, calendars but a reasonable standard of fitness is needed. “It feels absolutely amazing when you get home from a call-out emergency chemical spillages, fire safety initiatives and people of all involving helping people, saving houses or lives and bringing peace to ages falling down and getting badly hurt.” He says the number of fires has gone down dramatically in recent wild confusion in emergencies. And the camaraderie is wonderful and years due to better public education and better building codes but not just in your own station. Visit other countries, call into a fire station and you’re guaranteed to be greeted with open arms.” there’s still a significant threat from bush fires. For more information phone 817 5475 email graeme.booth@gmail. “In my opinion, the greatest danger in the Waitākeres are bush fires in summer. It’s said that native bush doesn’t burn but people don’t com. realise that the land from the Manukau Heads to Anawhata was milled – Moira Kennedy in the early days. It’s regenerating with manuka, kanuka and gorse and

Running for good

Lily Buttrick (also known as Rachel Elizabeth, pictured right with her mother) will be running the 2019 Auckland Marathon on October 20 to raise money for Hospice West Auckland. “We first met Hospice when my Mum was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer,” says Lily. “You never think it’s going to happen to you and then it does, and we are so incredibly grateful for all the support Hospice gives us. I wanted to give something back to help other people who

can use these services in the future” “I simply say to people ‘this is what I’m doing, and this is how it helps people in the community. You can get healthy, you can do something to help your community, you can do something for humanity, and I think this is a worthwhile cause to get behind. Just get out there and have fun,” says Lily. To support Lily and help raise funds for Hospice West Auckland visit:

WE’RE PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY Whether it’s planning a funeral for someone close to you, or preplanning your own service, we are here to offer compassion, guidance and support.

0800 222 155


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

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our place

Submissions on Huia Water Treatment Plant being reviewed Auckland Council is reviewing submissions received in relation to Watercare’s proposed replacement Huia Water Treatment Plant and is expected to announce a hearing date shortly. The resource consents cover earthworks, stream works and vegetation removal. According to Watercare’s planning team, more than 500 submissions were received by the September 2 deadline. Approximately a quarter of these indicated they’d like to give evidence in written form. Of those wanting to submit evidence in person the majority come from the Waima and Woodlands Park areas, near the proposed site of the new plant. Watercare’s head of infrastructure servicing and consents, Mark Bourne says great efforts were made to inform the community well before the deadline. “In June, we posted newsletters about how to make a submission to 909 households in the surrounding district. At the same time, information was posted on the Watercare website. “Auckland Council also sent out 80 letters to properties and stakeholders directly affected, as well as advertising in the New Zealand Herald and on the Council website,” Mark says. The current plant supplies 20% of Auckland’s water (to around 300,000 people). The replacement plant will be built on Watercareowned land already designated for water purposes. The main plant will be located adjacent to the current facility in Woodlands Park Road

with a water reservoir being built on land opposite the plant. A second reservoir will be built on the existing plant site, once it has ceased operation and the new facility is up and running. The area has been extensively surveyed by ecologists and there are no known kauri of any size within the proposed plant’s footprint. This work has been peer reviewed by Shona Myers, an independent ecologist chosen by the Huia Water Treatment Plant Replacement Project Community Liaison Group. Several mature kauri are located on the border of the proposed site for the new reservoir but ecologists have said these trees will not be affected by construction as the new pipe linking the reservoir to the plant will be drilled underground, at a depth well away from roots. Watercare will also be working to ensure that all construction work takes place in accordance with Auckland Council’s kauri protection hygiene protocols – both those applicable at the commencement of the project and those that may come into effect later due to the extensive research that is been carried out on the disease. In addition, adverse effects on any existing trees through compaction, physical damage, spillage of lubricants and fuels or discharge of waste emissions from vehicles on site will be avoided. If necessary, the root zones of nearby trees will be covered with suitable protective overlays.

As we go to press the entrants in Oratia District School’s Trash 2 Fashion 2019 show are doing their final preparations. Approximately 200 children have been involved in designing, performing, film making or creating performance puppets for the show which took place over two nights in late September, organised by teacher Kerensa MacKinnon. There were four categories in the show: At the Bottom of the Garden and Kaitiaki – Guardian of Aotearoa which used natural materials, and Junkyard Superheroes and Steampunk Flight which used man-made and recyclable materials. Grace Hepburn’s Queen Fairy (left) and Kowhai L’hopital’s Waiatarua Garden Fairy were entered in the At the Bottom of the Garden category, Blake Reardon’s Junkyard Protector was in the Junkyard Superhero section while Alex Reddington’s Rocket Man was one of the Steampunk Flight entries.


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The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


places to go

Open Studios Waitākere 2019 The Waitākere Ranges area is home to many celebrated artists and artisans and the popular and inspiring Open Studio weekend on November 9 – 10 is your opportunity to meet some of them. It’s an opportunity for artists resident in the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area to open their studios to the public over one weekend and provides the public with a unique opportunity to visit the artists in their own studios, purchase artworks and learn about the creative process. Renee Tanner, who organises the event, says the event remains very popular. “We had more than 1000 visitors last year, and we are hoping to once again increase that with the variety and scale of artists involved. “We have more than 80 sculptors, painters, jewellers, illustrators, ceramic artists and photographers all set to open their doors to the public, with many offering limited editions and one-off pieces especially for the event. “To help visitors get around all the 40-plus studios, there’s an Open Studios Map, brochure, and mobile App, and the Open Studios Bus Tour visits a wide range of studios and includes a packed lunch. However you want to get involved we’ve got the bases covered,” says Renee. Artists participating again this year include painter and Beijing Biennale contributor Liam Downes, renowned painters Dean Buchanan and Charlotte Graham, ceramic artists Ted Kindleysides and Renee Boyd, and illustrator Anna Crichton. New artists joining the event include jeweller Julia Marin, ceramic artist Kate McIntyre, sculptor Derek March, photographer Ted Scott, multi-media artists Sefton Rani and Mandy Patmore. Titirangi painter and ceramic artist Verity Kindlaysides describes her upbringing and practice: My artistic practice began working at my parents’ studio in Huia. Both my parents have been practicing artists, so I grew up in and around their studio and immersed in an artistic way of life. As a result, I always had access to materials and was able to experiment with various techniques and processes from an early age. My art practice has always been a way of life and a vocation that at times borders on obsession. I have had two stints living and working in London and have studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, The Slade School of Fine Art and Royal Drawing School in London. All of these experiences have contributed to my current art practice. As well as the artists’ studio visits, there will be associated events happening over the weekend including a Raku firing demonstration at the Titirangi Potters Club


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

followed by an opportunity for visitors to give it a go. Wood Bay Studio will be presenting a pottery throwing demonstration, while at Te Henga Studios the many resident artists have a full programme of creative activities and events for visitors to take part in. At Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, visitors can watch or participate in a poster screen-printing workshop. This year, TST (The Spreading Tree) Studio will showcase a variety of art forms including calligraphy, drawing, photography, ceramic and bonsai art. Participating artists include Helen G. Wong (award-winning calligrapher), Alice Ng (photographer and installation artist), Shu De Teo (bonsai artist) and others. Visitors will enjoy drop-in workshops and activities and a demonstration of the artists’ practice. They may also purchase artworks. A highlight prior to the event each year is the Open Studios Exhibition, which features artwork from participating artists and provides a good starting point for visitors to get a preview and help them determine which artists and studios they’d like to visit over the weekend. “This year the exhibition is held at Arataki Visitor Centre,” says Renee, “and we’re very grateful to Arataki for offering to host the exhibition for the entire month, November 2 – 30. It’s going to be a really great month to celebrate our Waitākere Ranges resident artists.” Full event details, including the mobile App can be found online at, or by picking up an event brochure at your local library, gallery or café. Social media: @openstudioswaitakere on Facebook and Instagram. Photos show Derek March in his studio, an illustration by Anna Crichton and Moa’s by Ted Kindlaysides.

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The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


local government elections

It’s important to have your say ...

For more information about voting in this years local government elections, contact the electoral officer on 09 973 5212, email info@ or visit https://www. elections/informationfor-voters/Pages/default. aspx

The mayor, councillors, local board members, licensing trust board members and district health board members all make decisions that will impact many aspects of your life. ​There is no level of government in New Zealand that is more directly involved in your local community than your council. It delivers many services around Auckland, including libraries, rubbish collection, regional and local parks, community centres, water distribution and public transport. Voting in the local elections is important if you are interested in things like: • the quality of water from your tap and at your local beaches, • making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians, • play spaces for children in your local parks, • what cultural and sporting events are taking place near you, • the rates you pay and the services and assets they pay for, • bus timetables, • checking that buildings are built properly, • restaurant health and alcohol licences, • public art, and • rules about where you can walk your dog.

How to vote in the local elections

Before you vote, spend some time researching who you want to vote for. You will find information about all the candidates in your area by entering your address on the Who you can vote for web page: https://www.

• • • • • •


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019 If you were enrolled to vote before Friday August 16, 2019, you should already have received a voting paper in the mail. Once you have filled in your voting paper, you should put it in the pre-paid envelope provided and post it back. You can also put your envelope in the ballot box at any Auckland Council library. See Where to drop off your voting paper (https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt. nz/elections/information-for-voters/Pages/where-todrop-off-your-voting-papers.aspx) to find places to vote closest to you. Voting papers should be posted by Tuesday October 8 to make sure it reaches the electoral office in time. If you miss this date, you can still vote by putting your envelope into one of the ballot boxes before noon on Saturday October 12. If you have not already received your voting papers this may be because you are not currently enrolled to vote. If you voted in previous local or parliamentary elections, you should still be enrolled but if you have moved recently, you may need to update your details. To find out if you are enrolled, or to find out how to enrol, visit the Electoral Commission website (https://www.

Special voting

You will need to cast a special vote if: • you were not enrolled to vote by August 16, 2019 but you qualify as an elector,

Making Regional decisions with the West at Heart Getting a fair share of your rates $$$ spent in Waitakere I will Champion our local communities Keeping up the push for reliable, safe and frequent public transport Protecting our environment and improving beach and stream water quality I support a review of Auckland Transport

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local government elections

• you did not receive your voting papers, or • your voting papers are damaged or spoiled. See the Where to cast a special vote web page ( information-for-voters/Pages/where-cast-special-vote. aspx) for more information.

Assisted voting

You can arrange for a trained election official to come and help you fill in your voting paper if you are blind or vision-impaired, or would otherwise find it difficult to complete the voting paper. You can make an appointment to cast your assisted vote by calling the electoral officer on 0800 922 822.

How voting works

There are two ways you will cast your votes in the election, as there are two different electoral systems being used. First Past the Post (FPP): In FPP, voters select their preferred candidate by ticking the box, and the candidate who gets the most votes wins. The mayor, councillors, local board members and licensing trust board members are all elected this way. Single Transferable Voting (STV): In STV, voters rank the candidates in order of preference by writing a number next to their name on the voting paper. You can rank all the candidates, or only some of them. The district health board members are elected this way. To understand how the votes are counted in STV, see the Department of Internal Affairs website, http://www.

The Candidates

MAYORAL CANDIDATES Tricia CHEEL – STOP Trashing Our Planet Michael COOTE – Independent David John FEIST – LiftNZ Genevieve FORDE Phil GOFF – Independent Alezix HENETI Jannaha HENRY John HONG – Independent Ted JOHNSTON Susanna KRUGER – Justice for Families Craig LORD – Independent Brendan Bruce MADDERN – Independent Thanh Binh NGUYEN – Independent

Phil O’CONNOR – Christians Against Abortion Tom SAINSBURY – Independent Glen SNELGAR – Old Skool Tadhg Tim STOPFORD – The Hemp Foundation John TAMIHERE Peter VAUGHAN Annalucia VERMUNT – Communist League Wayne YOUNG – Virtual Homeless Community WAITĀKERE WARD COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES Peter CHAN – Independent Tricia CHEEL – STOP Trashing Our Planet Linda COOPER – Independent Michael COOTE – Independent Shane HENDERSON – Labour Party Greg PRESLAND – Labour Party Paul TALYANCICH – Independent Dillon TOOTH – Independent WHAU WARD COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES Ross CLOW – Labour Party Paul DAVIE – Community Independents Anne DEGIA-PALA – Independent Jessamine FRASER – Green Party Tracy MULHOLLAND – C&R - Communities and Residents LOCAL BOARD CANDIDATES Waitākere Ranges Local Board Mark ALLEN – Future West Angus CATHCART – WestWards Michelle CLAYTON – Westwards-Independent Sandra CONEY – Future West Dave DEMPSTER – WestWards Tony HARTNETT – Independent Neil HENDERSON – Future West Cheryl KELLY – Westwards-Independent Linda POTAUAINE – Westwards Greg PRESLAND – Future West Mark ROBERTS – Future West Christine SHEPHERD – Independent Saffron TOMS – Future West Ken TURNER – Westwards Michelle WINEERA – Independent Whau Local Board Fasitua AMOSA – Labour Party Aadil BASHA Ami CHAND – Labour Party Kathryn DAVIE – Community Independents Paul DAVIE – Community Independents

Continued on page 12 >>



GLEN EDEN Authorised by J. Clews, 11A Oates Road, Glen Eden.

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The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


local government elections >>

The Candidates Continued from page 11

Wayne DAVIS – Independent Alston D’SILVA – C&R - Communities and Residents Moses FALEOLO – C&R - Communities and Residents Catherine FARMER – Labour Party Jessamine FRASER – Green Party Warwick FREDERIKSON – Independent Jitesh GANATRA – C&R - Communities and Residents Te’evā MATĀFAI – Labour Party Sandra PATERSON – C&R - Communities and Residents Warren PIPER – Independent Anne RILEY – C&R - Communities and Residents Jessica ROSE – Green Party Reuben SHADBOLT – Independent John SUBRITZKY – C&R - Communities and Residents Kay THOMAS – Labour Party Uesifili UNASA – Labour Party Sara WATSON – C&R - Communities and Residents Lawrence WATT – Green Party Howie YIN – Independent Susan ZHU – Labour Party WAITEMATĀ DISTRICT HEALTH BOARD CANDIDATES Max ABBOTT – Health Board Action Uzra Casuri BALOUCH Edward BENSON-COOPER – Independent Nathan BILLING John BOTTOMLEY Claire BUCKLEY – Independent Chris CARTER – Independent Zahra CHAMPION Tricia CHEEL – STOP Trashing Our Planet Lynne COLEMAN – Independent

By the time you’re reading this edition of The Fringe, if you have not already done so, there are only 10 days left to vote. (Voting closes at noon Saturday 12). I would like to take this last opportunity to encourage those of you still to vote to give your Waitakere Ranges Local Board votes to myself and the WestWards team. A strong WestWards team on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board will bring three years of putting people first and prioritise social infrastructure objectives. We will be the conduit between you, the public, and the council, we will be your voice and act on your concerns. We have a lot of issues facing our communities, some contentious – town centre upgrades, public transport, passenger trains to Waitakere, public safety, the unitary plan, the closure of tracks, kauri dieback, water quality – and finite resources to address them. WestWards will demand every dollar is spent wisely. When the discussions surrounding public issues are hidden, it is counterproductive to a good outcome and leads to individuals feeling irrelevant


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

Sandra CONEY – Independent Warren William FLAUNTY – Health Board Action Richard GIRDWOOD – Independent Monina HERNANDEZ – Labour Party Jono HOOGERBRUG Mark JONES – Labour Party Jim LAMBERTON – Independent Mark LE FEVRE Brian NEESON – Independent Allison ROE – Independent Pete TASHKOFF Lindsay WAUGH – Labour Party Wendy WHITTAKER – Independent LICENSING TRUST CANDIDATES Portage Licensing Trust - Ward 2 (New Lynn) Wayne DAVIS – Independent Pam NUTTALL – Labour Party Leanne TAYLOR – Labour Party Portage Licensing Trust - Ward 3 (Glen Eden) Janet CLEWS – Independent Neil HENDERSON – Future West Noel WATSON – Trusts Action Group Portage Licensing Trust - Ward 4 (Titirangi/Green Bay) Andreas BODENSTEIN – Independent Ross CLOW – Labour Party Ben GOODALE – Trusts Action Group Mark ROBERTS – Future West Portage Licensing Trust - Ward 5 (Kelston West) Ami CHAND – Labour Party Waitākere Licensing Trust - Ward 3 (Waitākere) Mark ALLEN – Future West Heather TANGUAY – Independent

within their own communities. This should not be so! WestWards will not be debating draft minutes, decisions will not already be pre-determined, people will not be shut out. A strong WestWards team on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board will table the following ‘Notice of Motion’: That the Waitakere Ranges Local Board resolves to a) Open all Board Workshops to the Public b) Fund live media coverage of monthly Local Board Business Meetings via a ‘podcast’ service. Auckland Council’s Community Services Department recently made significant changes to maintenance contracts for our communities’ streetscapes and open spaces, promising increased maintenance and better outcome levels. WestWards board members will hold Auckland Council accountable and demand our rate money is spent locally. WestWards will put people first and prioritise social infrastructure objectives.

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local government elections

“Please vote for builders not naysayers” I have worked collegiately to build a business, which is now returning more funding to our community than ever before, handles the sale of liquor responsibly and plans for the future. I believe most people recognise the value The Trusts bring to the community. Having led Portage Trust through difficult times when no one else would, I have an intimate knowledge of the rationale behind the development of West Auckland Trust Services, which has strengthened The Trusts position with greater professional expertise and advice available. I am committed to keeping Portage Trust on its positive track and will not jeopardise its future. I support the investment policy of building a capital fund to deliver returns to the community in perpetuity. Having served Glen Eden at local government and Trust level and as a Justice of the Peace, I believe most people here are the salt of the earth. I have loved my role in planning and implementing positive change. While some changes can be negative, the work The Trusts has accomplished in assisting major projects with Council, schools, sports clubs, environmental, art and cultural groups, is something I am proud to have been able to foster. Please vote for builders not naysayers. – Janet Clews NOTE: In the interests of open debate, The Fringe offered editorial space in this and the last two issues to every candidate who was interested in reaching our readers. Not everyone took up the offer.

PiperforWhau Authorised by: W Piper, 2/164A Titirangi Road, New Lynn, Auckland

Vote Vote Vote Shane Henderson Shane Henderson Greg ShanePresland Henderson Greg Presland Presland forGreg Waitākere Ward for Waitākere Ward for Waitākere Ward

Authorised by D Collins, 2/213 Waitematā Dr, Rānui Authorised by D Collins, 2/213 Waitematā Dr, Rānui Authorised by D Collins, 2/213 Waitematā Dr, Rānui

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The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


feature: desirable destinations


Cruising is an easy, relaxing and great value way to holiday


Ocean cruising is booming. Get on-board and see what all the fuss is about during New Zealand’s annual Choose Cruise Month in October. According to the latest figures from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) more New Zealanders than ever before are cruising, with ocean cruise passenger numbers growing by nine percent in 2017 to a record high of 98,000. Over the past 10 years, New Zealand ocean cruise passenger numbers have risen by an average of 15% a year. With such an amazing variety of cruising options being offered both domestically and internationally, New Zealanders are spoiled for choice when it comes to ocean cruising. While the most popular ocean cruises for Kiwis are around the South Pacific, Australia or local itineraries out of Auckland, we’re seeing more cruises around South East Asia capturing the imagination of New Zealand holidaymakers. With an increasing number of cruise ships based in the region throughout the year, offering trans-Tasman and South Pacific itineraries, cruising in local waters to the destinations of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific accounted for two thirds of New Zealand cruise passengers in 2017. The South Pacific continued to hold the most allure for Kiwi cruisers, attracting almost a third of the nation’s total ocean cruise passengers. Local cruising around New Zealand remained in second place with almost a quarter of all passengers, while Australia experienced the strongest growth with passenger numbers rising 113%, accounting for 13% of total New Zealand passengers.

The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

Whether it’s a week-long journey up the Queensland coast or a longer exploration around the South Pacific, ocean cruising is an easy, relaxing and great value way to holiday. Contact the award winning team of travel and cruise experts at helloworld Travel Henderson to choose your next cruise holiday.

Hello Early Birds

October and November are the best months to plan your 2020 European holiday when the airlines release their early Europe airfare deals. Cruise and tour companies also offer earlybird specials. A Europe holiday takes planning, so start now, research and gather information. We can assist you with this planning stage to ensure you book your dream European holiday.

Hello Europe Cruise

Cruising ticks all the boxes for a great holiday. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a solo sojourn or an all-in family holiday, it’s hard to beat the value and ease of a cruising holiday. Accommodation, transport, main meals and a range of on-board activities and entertainment are included in the fare. For some, the best part is visitng an array of destinations without the need for costly airfares and you only have to unpack once as the world comes to you. Helloworld Travel Henderson have just received copies of their Hello Europe Cruising 2020 brochure. Email or phone 839 0371 for your copy.

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The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


places to go


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 Readers: While we take care to ensure listings are correct, errors may occur. Check with the contact person wherever possible.

october w – 20, A way through, Colin McCahon’s epic 1970

mural Gate III makes its first Auckland appearance since being commissioned by Auckland City Art Gallery; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w – 27, Paneke, Tony Brown explores and depicts his sense of Māoritanga; Corban Estate Arts Centre. Phone 838 4455. w – 27, The Marketplace of Feelings, nine artists explore the spectrum of human emotions; Corban Estate Arts Centre. Phone 838 4455. w – 27, Glass sculpture by Sofia Athineou; West Coast Gallery, Piha. Phone 812 8029. www.westcoastgallery. w – November 17, twenty-four-seven, considering the relationship between labour and time; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w – December 1, Moana Currents: dressing Aotearoa now, Moana and Māori influences on Aotearoa style, curated by Doris de Pont and Dan Ahwa; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8087. w 2, Flicks presents 1 Giant Leap (M), fund raiser for ETHNO 2020; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road; 7.30pm; $14/$12. Text 0210 222 5558 for bookings.

w 4, West Auckland Men’s Rebus Club; Kelston

Community Centre, Corner Great North and Awaroa Roads; 9.30-11.30am. Phone Roger 834 7945. w 4, Flicks presents Sometimes, Always, Never (M) starring Bill Nighy; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road 10.30am, 6pm and 8.15pm; $14/$12/$10. Text 0210 222 5558 for bookings. w 6, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732. w 8, West Auckland Historical Society Family History Group; Henderson Central Library West Auckland Research Centre; 10-11.30am. Phone Gary Snow 832 5098, 021 618 434 or email w 9, Film event: Generation Zapped, Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Rd; 7pm; $20 (earlybird), bookings at Phone Laurie Ross 818 0696. w 11, Ladies’ Probus Club; St John’s Hall, Te Atatū South; 9.45am-Noon. Phone Betty 09 832 0484. w 11 and 12, Titirangi Potters Association, two days and evenings of films; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road. Full details and trailers at www. w 12, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents A Celebration of Folk Music, including the Annual General Meeting; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 8pm; $10, members $7, Under 18s free. Text Cathy on 021 207 7289 for more. w 13, West Lynn Garden Spring Festival, bring a picnic or enjoy our sausage sizzle, refreshments available and plants for sale; 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn; 10am-3pm. Gold coin donation. Phone 837 7434.

w 15, SeniorNet West Auckland, speaker, morning

tea and chatting about computers; Kelston Community Centre; 10am. Phone June 021 179 3635. w 16, Ben Paris, the Bat Man, shares his passion for bats (pekapeka); St Michael’s Church, Corban Estate Arts Centre; 7pm. Phone 838 4455. w 17, Waitakere Forest & Bird Meeting: Big Blue Waitakere Report with Cat Davis and Damian Young from Morphum Environmental, non members welcome, supper afterwards; Kelston Community Centre, corner Awaroa and Great North Roads; 7:30pm; koha appreciated. Phone Liz 027 476 2732 or email w 18 Flicks presents The Biggest Little Farm (PG), from the 2019 NZ Film Festival; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road; 10.15am, 6pm and 8.15pm; $14/$12/$10. Text 0210 222 5558 for bookings. w 19, Lions Club Book Sale; New Lynn Friendship Club Hall, 3063 Great North Road, New Lynn; 8am-4pm. Phone Mary 027 487 0639. w 19, Flicks presents SHOW ME SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL; Titirangi Theatre, 418 Titirangi Road; 7.30pm; $14/$12/$8. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558. Full details and trailers at w 22, Titirangi U3A, discussions, speakers; West Lynn Garden, 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn; 1pm; gold coin. Contact 817 5519 or w 22, Green Bay Community House AGM; 1 Barron Drive, Green Bay; 6.30pm. Please RSVP by Friday October 18. Email or phone 827 3300 w 23, West Auckland Historical Society meeting: The steam ferry Toroa – an update; Waitakere Gardens Meeting Room, Henderson; 7pm. Phone 836 5917.









213 – 215 Woodlands Park Road, Titirangi, Auckland 0604 Phone: 09 817 8495 or 09 817 6188






*Offers valid from 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019 or while stocks last.



The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

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places to go

november w November 1, West Auckland Men’s Rebus Club;

Kelston Community Centre, Corner Great North and Awaroa Roads; 9.30-11.30am. Phone Roger 834 7945. w November 2, Kids Market, by kids, for kids; Green Bay Community House, 1 Barron Drive, Green Bay; 10am-1pm. or email w November 2, Iona Church Fair, check out the bargains and enjoy the fun, wet or fine; 38 Donovan Street, Blockhouse Bay. Phone Robert Findlay 027 625 9342. w November 3, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732. 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, visit:

l WHERE IT’S AT: • Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 10am–4.30pm daily. 838 4455. • EcoMatters Environment Trust, 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn; Wednesday – Sunday 10am-2pm. 826 4276, info@ecomatters. • Flicks cinema, Lopdell House Theatre. 818 2489, • Kelston Community Centre, corner of Awaroa and Great North Roads, Kelston. • McCahon House Museum, 67 Otitori Bay Rd; Wednesday – Sunday, 1-4pm, except public holidays. 817 6148, mccahon@ • Playhouse Theatre, 15 Glendale Road, Glen Eden. 818 5751. • Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi; 10am–4.30pm daily. 817 8087, info@ • Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House Theatre; Titirangi. 817 5812, infoline 817 5951, • Upstairs Gallery, Level 1, Lopdell House; 10am–4.30pm daily. 817 4278, www. • West Coast Gallery, Seaview Road, Piha; Wednesday – Sunday, 10am–4pm. 812 8029,


Visit some of Waitākere’s most celebrated artists including sculptors, painters, jewellers, illustrators, ceramic artists and photographers. With over 80 artists involved, and 40 studios from Piha to Glen Eden, Titirangi to Te Henga, it’s an inspiring weekend out and about. Take a self-guided tour at your own pace with our Open Studios Map and mobile App, or jump on an Open Studios Bus Tour. For more information visit or find us on Facebook and Instagram. Proudly supported by




Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 November 10am–4pm


20 OCTOBER 2019

Sunday 20 October, 10am-3.30pm Titirangi War Memorial Hall Enjoy the rich heritage of the west at this one-day conference. Speakers include Graeme Murdoch, Isaac McIver, and Robyn Mason. Register at or emailing by 11 October as places are limited. Image: Doris Morgan on Tom Pearce’s Rex Acme Speed King at Waiatarua, on the way to Piha, circa 1935. Private Collection.


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Ceramco Park Function Centre, Glendale Road, Kaurilands; 10-11.30am. Phone Brian Holt 838 5857. w 25, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents Folk Jam, musicians (and audience) welcome to join the circle; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 8pm; $10, members $7, Under 18s free. Text Cathy on 021 207 7289 for more. w 27, Titirangi Village Market: art, craft, produce and music; Titirangi War Memorial Hall; 10am-2pm. Contact Tess on or phone 022 631 9436.


w 25, The Combined Probus Club of Glen Eden;

west life

On Sober Reflection In the June Fringe, I wrote a column on my experience of having a major stroke and the ‘miracle’ of a clot retrieval procedure. I no longer describe it in those terms. The miracle lies in the skill of a neurosurgical team and the research that sits behind that. My reason for ‘going public’ then was simply to contribute to a wider understanding of what a stroke may look like and the need for fast response. So I reiterate; face droop, arm limp or not functioning, speech slurred or absent – call 111. I wrote in June: ‘What is left? A degree of shock and tiredness, which is improving every day.’ That now seems somewhat glib. Although there are no visible symptoms after a successful clot retrieval, a significant brain injury has occurred and recovery is complex and frustrating. I liken the stroke to my body experiencing a totally unpredicted earthquake with a huge fault-line opening up. Clot retrieval closes the fault-line but the landscape is subtly changed and unfamiliar. They talk about ‘radical acceptance.’ I liked the ‘radical’ bit; not so hot on ‘acceptance! Thus I have had to spend much of the last few months learning to ‘sit lightly’ with the inescapable fact that I have experienced a brain injury and that cannot be changed. I’m comfortable that my intellect is intact, and I have been able to continue to do the work I

love, but self-care has had to be prioritised to a degree that I am unused to. My sense of mortality is heightened and time seems very precious. The old saw of living every day as if it were your last has taken on new resonance. Which leads me to ponder some wider issues around aging. In my 40s and 50s I can recall saying to family and friends that if I ever started to go on at length, as did elderly relatives, about my bodily deterioration, to just shoot me. Hip replacements, hearts, lungs, bladder and bowels – all part of what we unkindly referred to as the ‘organ recital’ – never to their faces, but insensitive nevertheless. Now that I am in that cohort, I understand. I am intensely interested in how my peers embrace or struggle with aging. To be able to share the vicissitudes of the aging body is a bonding experience. These almost ritual exchanges are just the overture to the more important conversations to follow, but they are a vital part of dealing with the process which we now know for real is ‘not for sissies.’ Humour helps; we say that ‘we are in the drop zone’, and we truly are, and laughing helps soften the harsher realities. There’s a wonderful documentary called Iris; celebrating the life of New York style doyen, Iris Apfel. When asked by her interviewer what it was like to be in her late 90s, her drawled reply was: “Well, you wake up in the morning, and if you’ve got two of them, one of them’s hurting”. Loved her for that, but more for her irrepressible engagement with life; her eccentricity and joyous irreverence. Look her

up; she’s a tonic. The way age falls upon us is unpredictable; unfair even. Why does one dear friend have so much to contend with while another is still in fine fettle? It’s not a level playing field for sure. Perhaps the art is to share the tenderness and understanding that age brings, knowing that this can be a lonely part of the journey and that holding out a hand has meaning. Our young are carrying the burden of climate change and the frightening impacts are already so apparent. We, the older generation, share that deep concern, but know that we are unlikely to be here to see it play out. There is a grief that I sit with when I look at my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their future is difficult to comprehend. I feel enormous gratitude for the fate that placed me here through the ‘golden years’; a kiwi childhood and a life of possibility and hope. So what’s the answer? For me it is to fully embrace the love of my family, my friends, to engage with younger people, to know when to work and when to let go, to grapple with the changing politics of the world, to occasionally bring the wisdom of years to the table. Eating well and exercising is a given; the discipline to do so not always so easy. Finding one’s ‘happy place’ – my garden or a good movie with a hot coffee in hand – is a place of easy solace. Gratitude is a notion that’s thrown around too easily; but it is where I get to when all is taken into account. – Naomi McCleary

A West Auckland company, Huhtamaki, designed and made the iconic red, white and blue cup featuring Toby the Giraffe, ‘The Longest Drink in Town’, seen in dairies and takeaways across New Zealand. Huhtamaki, a global company established in 1920 and based in Finland, has custom designed and manufactured food service products in New Zealand since 1939 when the original business was started as Carton Specialties. They are now based on Keeling Road, Henderson. Toby’s long neck is only equalled by his longevity. The cup is believed to have been first produced in the late 1970s in a pink and orange colourway, and was later refreshed by artist Murray Smith, to the blue and red colourway which has remained since. Long considered to be true Kiwiana, Toby the Giraffe is now more popular than he’s ever been – featuring in a variety of merchandise as well as a range of milkshake syrups, produced by Delmaine. Now Huhtamaki have given Toby a mid-life makeover. Like a lot of us, he is older and greener, but he is also now only available as a compostable cup (when disposed of in an appropriate composting facility). Although the best solution is still to use your own reusable cup, compostable cups can help to reduce landfill waste – if our diaries, cafés and other outlets offer composting bins for consumers. – Fiona Drummond


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

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bandstanding: music in the west with susannah bridges

Finding inspiration and connection in playing with others Born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Bertine Louise Bruinsma originally wanted to be a Spanish dancer but became drawn to the piano. “My father and his father played keyboard. My grandfather had an old ‘traporgel’, one of those little organs that you pump by pressing pedals under your feet, like the mechanism of an old sewing machine, and that is what first attracted me to play.” Bertine asked to learn piano at a young age. “I played mostly classical music, with my siblings. My sister plays flute, one brother played cornet and my younger brother did cello and then jazz piano.” In her teens Bertine started to like popular music; Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles. “But I often didn’t understand the lyrics even though we learned English in school. Now I love so many styles of music that it is probably a bit silly as I spread myself thinly but it is what fascinates me. Classical, Latin and Spanish, Renaissance.” Bertine studied Musicology at the University of Amsterdam, and also has a Bachelor’s degree (hons) in Environmental Science. “As a teenager I felt this was needed and I wanted to help. I have a business called ‘ownworld’ that I worked through to design the Environmental Choice NZ website and other IT projects. I’m also now a representative for the Green Party, and on the National Council of Women.” No wonder she describes herself as “a bit of a whole-brain, like Leonardo da Vinci.” The dancing was not forgotten however. Bertine did jazz dance as a child, ballroom as a teen and took up Latin dancing whilst still in Amsterdam. “Many people from Suriname and the Antilles were there at the time, and I loved how the women would just get up and dance by themselves. I love dance, particularly partner dances. “I’ve written a song called Rain, set to Libertango music. I am hoping that some tango dancers will dance to it when I next play it.” Her connection to Latin dancing and music eventually led to the band Sabor Piquante that played the Auckland dance scene around 2007. “I was a singer and keyboardist. Then in the 2010s I took up the ukulele as a portable versatile summer instrument. So much fun to sing to!” In terms of original compositions Bertine says she is mostly a lyricist. “I have written poems since I was a child, and done singing since my university years. People think that Holland is a great country but the culture was quite oppressive to women, especially in the strict reformed circles that my dad came from. This was quite confusing emotionally

and resulted in damage to some women around me. I write lyrics and perform songs to do with these feelings. The feelings can be so strong that I just have to try to express it in some way. “I can’t quite remember how I wrote Rain, the climate song, but climate action and our future was all I was thinking about when that song was born.” Bertine finds inspiration and connection in playing with other people. “I am always looking for collaborations. Playing piano duets offers a whole range of sounds and rhythms, like an orchestra, or even better! My friend Rewa Vowles is always getting people together to play music and arrangements in various settings. She runs the Ad-hoc Auckland Chamber Music Meet-up Group. This February I performed Shostakovich’s Concertino for Two Pianos with her in a house concert held in her home. She has two pianos in her lounge – and consequently no couch or dining table! It is a haunting piece in which you can feel all the beautiful old tradition and repression present in Russia. “It amazes me as I work on a piece of music and it becomes a part of me and then I don’t realise how special it is for the audience who are hearing it all come to life.” Although it was her father who began teaching Bertine piano, there was a much longer line of teachers on her mother’s side, leading Bertine into teaching herself. “I had a little music shop in the centre of Amsterdam where I taught and also had little acoustic music sessions, Renaissance, classical and jazz. I want to support and inspire pupil’s of any age to learn and enjoy music that they like with just the right balance of discipline and freedom”. Arriving in Auckland in 1998, Glendowie and St Heliers were home for a time, but in 2016 Bertine thought about moving to the country. A dream told her otherwise – Titirangi. She then met Lawrence (now her partner) and co-incidentally a friend invited Bertine to flat with her. And yes, both were living in Titirangi. She’s been a resident ever since. She still has a studio in Glendowie and one now in Titirangi too, and also teaches in other venues around the city. She has a gig coming up at Café 121 in Ponsonby on November 13, playing the Spanish music that she loves – no cover charge. Find out more at https://www. or UCBzxmukVd4JS-87XwpejGJw.

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The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


art & about with naomi mccleary

Tell me a Story Out west we are spoiled for choice. Titirangi hosts festivals that are uniquely ‘of this place’ and has a splendid contemporary gallery in Te Uru, the community Upstairs Gallery in Lopdell House, the McCahon Museum and residency in French Bay and an 84-seat theatre in Lopdell House, home to both live theatre and Flicks cinema. Further afield we have the Corban Estate Arts Centre, the Ambrico Ceramics Museum and a vibrant community arts scene in Avondale. We even have a tiny lesbian museum in New Lynn (the Charlotte Museum). This little cultural icon deserves more profile and support. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. The festival line-ups are diverse: the Titirangi Festival of Music, Going West Writers Festival and the West Auckland Heritage Conference. Glow seems to be emerging as a pre-Christmas celebration also. Going West is wrapping up as I write. It has been a mix of the familiar and the new – and successful because of that. The writers weekend hosted some big names who, as always, delivered in spades. Witi Ihimaera, Alan Duff, Elizabeth Knox, Dylan Horrocks, Apirana Taylor, Elspeth Sandys, Kirsten Warner, Carl Shuker and Sir Bob Harvey to name but a few. But as always, some lesser names shone. A multi-cultural group of women writers read work that responded to items in the Auckland Museum’s documentary heritage collection. It was surprising and at times heartbreaking. New was the festival HUB, which stayed open throughout the week as a drop-in for waiata practice, workshops, play readings and films. This is a stayer. The world première of Ghost Trees by Gary Stalker played throughout the week at Arataki; a dissertation on grief

and the loss of kauri to die-back. A children’s’ play at Te Pou on Corban Estate grew in response to youthful audience participation. The Poetry Slam has found its new and natural home at the Hollywood in Avondale. There was ‘poetry on trains’ and more poetry and sand scribing at North Piha. The importance of Going West, and its focus on New Zealand writing, was emphatically expressed by Harriet Allen of Penguin Random House Publishers. We have brilliant fiction writers who need to be more widely read. Non-fiction is a given; we do that brilliantly also. Next year is the 25th anniversary of Going West. Watch this space. So to the West Auckland Heritage Conference. Don’t be put off by the word ‘conference’. This isn’t a day for nerdy experts; it’s a chance for us all to step out of the ‘now’ and immerse ourselves in the stories of the past – the how and why of what brings us to today – the personalities, the adventures, the disasters, the struggles. The day unfolds with some keynote presentations; a setting of the tone. This year it will be Graeme Murdoch with stories of early Māori ancestral journeys as remembered in local traditions and place names. This will be followed by local historian Robyn Mason with the story of the mysterious Henry Swan. She will be separating fact from fantasy in this account of the solicitor-sailor who for 40 years lived aboard his yacht, the Awatea, and was known as the ‘hermit of Henderson Creek.’ Then to a shipwreck! Isaac McIvor and Larry Paul will explore the story of a New Zealand-built schooner, the Daring, wrecked at North Muriwai in 1863, and the project to preserve this nationally significant piece of maritime heritage. After lunch, things get challenging as you have to

Sand scribing at North Piha: a detail of the final result, below. Photo by David Walter Hilliam who also developed the overall artwork. Other photos by Bevis England.


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art & about with naomi mccleary

make choices. There are three clusters of 30 minute presentations – each with three sessions. You can’t hear them all and they all sound fascinating. It’s a great problem to have to solve. I know I will agonise between stories about Colin McCahon, the architect of Lopdell House (William Bloomfield) and those that lie in Waikumete Cemetery. Then there are the things I know nothing about. Who were Piha’s kauri bushmen, who was the Reverend David Hamilton, or, indeed, Bill Beveridge – ‘Mr Waitākere.’ Somehow, each year, I manage to make those choices and the afternoon unfolds wonderfully. It will finish with a response from a great local poet, Sam Sampson, to the text painted by McCahon on the bar in Maurice Shadbolt’s studio in Arataki Road. ‘As there is a constant flow of light we are born into a pure land’. How better could one encapsulate all that we love about the west.

Right: Automobile Association signpost outside the Hotel Titirangi, 1930s. Photographer: George Haydock. J. T. Diamond Collection, JTD10A-02541. Auckland Libraries Collections.

Below left: View of Auckland Tramping Club members on a launch off Onehunga, 1942. Photographer: Isabel Hooker. J. T. Diamond Collection, JTD-19k-03087. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections JTD-19K-03087.

The details: Sunday October 20, Titirangi War Memorial Hall, 10am-3.30pm, $20 (includes lunch and afternoon tea), bookings at For more information, phone Sharon Davies, 09 813 9150. Note that bookings are essential. This will sell out. The West Auckland Heritage Conference is organised and funded by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board with support from the Whau Local Board.

Support this McCahon Museum and Residency fund-raiser – the perfect Christmas present. Harcourts Blue Fern Realty Ltd, Licensed Agent REAA 2008

09 813 1633


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Unit 1/141 West Coast Rd, Glen Eden The Fringe OCTOBER 2019


our place

‘New’ social rendezvous has long history

The Titirangi Coffee House, Titirangi shops 1973, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 786-A001-1.

Peter Smeele, designer and craftsman. The image above, along with the scans below and on the facing page are taken from the New Lynn News of February 26, 1959. With thanks to Research West.

The charm of a beautiful room ... the romance of a Continental atmosphere ... the thrill of sweeping Manukau views, framed in the glory of New Zealand’s native bush ... they all await you at … Titirangi Coffee House, the home of … DELICIOUS CONA COFFEE” In February 1959, with some poetic licence and great excitement, the Titirangi Coffee House (now The Base) opened in the ‘Titirangi Shopping Centre.’ Established by Tony and Betty Worley, the interior design was by local interior designer/craftsman and Dutch immigrant Peter Smeele at a time when coffee houses were a very new concept in Auckland. To have a purposedesigned one in Titirangi, still something of an outpost at this time, made the Worleys visionaries and the locals immensely proud. It was Peter’s vision to install the full-length window at the rear of the building, described in an article in the New Lynn News as “undoubtedly the building’s outstanding feature”, and an example that others would follow in the brick shopping block built by Lewis & Lewis, local Laingholm building contractors at the time. Analysing the colour plan sketch of the coffee house rendered by Peter Smeele in 1958, it’s modern simplicity would be relevant today; the yellow/orange/blue colour scheme invited you through the door and drew the eye to the Manukau Harbour picture window. Much of the furniture including the mahogany counter, edged Formica tables, and bar stools were meticulously made in Peter’s workshop. The shop was open from around 9am until 11.30pm Tuesdays to Fridays, 9pm on Sundays and Mondays, 11.30pm Tuesday to Friday and 1am on Saturdays. New Social Rendevous [sic.] Fills a Long Felt Need

Repeated comments by Titirangi residents on the need for a coffee house in the area, backed by his own observations as a resident of West Lynn Road, Titirangi, for the past ten years, encouraged Mr Tony Worley and his wife Betty to embark on the coffee house project. And already the effort put in to provide Titirangi with a really first class attraction is reaping its reward – many people in


The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

the area having already become “regulars” at Titirangi’s new social rendezvous. Says Mr Worley: “With the rise of the coffee bar in town it would have been foolish to have provided anything second rate in Titirangi just because it is a suburb. People certainly seem to appreciate what we have done, and this is a great encouragement to us.” Aim [sic.] of the coffee house is two fold: To provide a pleasant resting and meeting place for the local womenfolk doing their daily shopping, also to cater for the many hundreds of people, particularly from the western suburbs who picnic at beaches in the Titirangi area and have frequently commented in the past about the lack of an eating place in the centre of Titirangi. The Worleys are keen to ensure that the standard of the fare they provide does not fall behind the excellence of the building’s appointments and decorations and that the price throughout is reasonable. Mr Worley is justifiably proud of his Cona-made coffee which he explains, comes in contact with no metal parts in the making and preserving the truest of flavours. In addition, the coffee is bought twice a week and ground in small quantities at a time, so that there is no danger of it deteriorating through long storage. The dainty cakes and savouries supplied are of top quality- made to genuine Continental recipes by one of Auckland’s leading Continental pastrycooks. Great emphasis has also been laid on hygiene and the Hi-Flo steriliser unit, which completely eliminates any trace of bacteria on the crockery used, has the full backing of Health Department officials. [Mr Worley] and his wife have provided an amenity which has been a long felt want. There is little doubt that Titirangi folk will back their judgement and reward the Worleys’ enterprise to the full.

– New Lynn News February 26, 1959.

After Tony Worley died, Bob and Jean Connon bought the coffee house and ran it from 1964 to 1969, it was known as The Coffee Kiln over this time. Jean ran the coffee shop with a helper in the daytime and Bob ran it with another man at night, following his working day as an engineer for the NZ Post & Telegraph. Their opening hours were similar to the Worley’s. Windmill Kona coffee was still popular but the Connons heard about some premium coffee available from Jack Singleton, a coffee roaster who opened New Zealand’s first coffee house in Lambton Quay, Wellington. They brought Jack’s French Maid coffee brand (including around a dozen different blends) up by rail and sold both ground and bean pack options in the shop. There was a growing demand for strong Italian coffee and the Connons offered a different blend every day, including Jamaican, Brazilian, Columbian and more. Such was the reputation of the coffee house that people from other parts of Auckland would travel over regularly to enjoy the coffee and the view. The Wellington coffee supplier also provided the Connons with flapjacks in Kiwi flavours such as tamarillo and feijoa which were popular, served heated with icecream. Other cakes were sourced from Eves Pantry and the pies and savouries came from Glen Eden while Jean made sandwiches and baked scones and more. Black and white television had been introduced in the Worley’s time and a set was installed in the basement area and was a huge drawcard for the coffee shop. Bob Connon opened up the downstairs basement area which was carpeted with 10 tables bolted to the wall and a small dance floor. Unfortunately the basement area had become a hang-out for the local Hells Angels

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motorcycle gang prior to the Connons taking over and their behaviour was turning away good customers. Bob gave them an ultimatum of “No swearing, no drinking and no bad behaviour” which proved to be short lived. One night when Bob attempted to remove one of the group, the man swung at him to which Bob replied with a strategic kick that sent the man flailing down the stairs. The police duly arrived and although the Hells Angel group wanted Bob charged with assault, the police maintained they had seen what had happened. A few months later Bob received information from the police that the Hells Angel boss, Moose, was armed and on his way to the coffee house and that Bob should consider closing up shop. Bob, not one to be intimidated, ignored the suggestion. Fortunately the police apprehended the armed Moose in Godley Road. He was charged and imprisoned for three years. According to Bob, there was nowhere else in West Auckland at the time that a gang like the Hells Angels could stop without being swiftly moved on by a Ministry of Transport officer – who would magically appear, no doubt alerted by locals. The Avondale police looked out for the Connons, as they liked nothing better than to spend time in the coffee shop themselves. When Bob had the outdoor music speaker reinstated, it doubled as a microphone. The police would park right outside the coffee house so that if a message came over their car mic, it would interfere with the coffee house one and they would know it was time to head back to work. Bob worked with David Brooke-Taylor of the Glen Eden HiFi Radio Shop to install a 10-record turntable changer and in the 1960s they played country and western music continuously, notably Jim Reeves. In 1967, Bob had to ban the motorcycle gang from the shop after a particularly bad incident where he had to remove 23 of them from the shop after more illegal drinking and obscene language. The group rebellions came to a head in May of that year when, as reported in The New Zealand Herald, locals called the police on 50 youth who were drunk and disorderly in the village. Seven policemen and two dogs battled the youths with batons while bottles were employed by the youths. Four arrests were made. Despite the rough element, the Connons loved their time in Titirangi and the vast majority of their clientele gave them no problems. By 1969, the Connons felt they needed to spend more time with their three children and a buyer was found for the coffee shop. There would be 19 owners over the next 20 years of the coffee shop’s life until once again the Connons resolved to make it good again and bought back the shop, spending from 1989 to 1993 running it with Bob still working a day job, this time in real estate. This time they sourced soy and wholemeal bread for their sandwiches from their long established family bakery business in Kingsland, run by Bob’s cousins. An exhibition space for the many local artists was provided in the basement lounge, as to exhibit at Lopdell House then was the prerogative of paid up members of the Auckland Society of Arts. There were

exhibitions every two to three weeks in the coffee lounge with a wine and cheese opening on the Friday night, the Connons took 10% of the sales and were booked up 18 months ahead. The Titirangi Coffee House has changed hands a number of times since the Connons finally sold it in 1993. It’s been The Fringe Café, Café Boss and da Vinci’s and is now operating as The Base, jointly owned by Tom Reilly and Thomas Rapana, the singing barista of Hardware Café and Park Road Kitchen fame. And, with the help of local artist Heathermeg Sampson, the café is also rediscovering its role as an exhibition space for local artists. Now free of the hoodlums of the 1960s, the space seems lighter, brighter, funkier; the outdoor area more inviting. Art adorns the walls and the café has been given a Titirangi vibe, with live lunchtime music and a plan to open evenings with music and food from 5pm to late (just like the good old days). And just like the good old days, The Base continues a proud tradition of serving great coffee and providing a meeting place for mums, dads, dogs and children – and visitors to the Waitākere Ranges. – Fiona Drummond

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Peter Smeele’s sketch of the interior of the original Titirangi Coffee House. (© Peter Smeele)

The Fringe OCTOBER 2019



Rich source of information Who are you going to turn to if you’re looking for information on West Auckland or its population, if you are on the hunt for old family photos, archives or hard-to-find information for a family or school research project? There is a very good chance the answer is Raewynn Robertson, Senior Librarian Local History, Research West, who has been in the West Auckland library system for more than 40 years. She’s not only a whiz at answering obscure requests (ask any local journalist, student or researcher), she has a great memory, particularly for numbers. “I’m a Westie girl and I love the West. I was born and bred in Te Atatū, went to local schools, got married and raised my family in the area. I’ve been in West libraries all that time,” she says. Her first job was at Te Atatū Library and then Massey. “I started as a junior library assistant on January 8, 1979, became a mobile librarian, and worked as an adult services librarian, creating displays. I’ve trained new library staff, became a project librarian working for managers weeding collections, and managed stocktaking for all Waitākere libraries.” She took on her current role at Research West, one of four heritage research units within Auckland Council libraries, in 2001 and

Raewynn Robertson: “no such thing as an average day”.

says the role developed as it went along – there are now eight people in Research West. “There’s no such thing as an average day,” says Raewynn. “Anything can happen. Our first and utmost priority is the customers, dealing in person or by phone or email with them, doing family history research, helping with school projects or working on exhibitions.” One of those is Historic Titirangi, a series of 500 photos Raewynn will present at Titirangi Library this month (Wednesday 16 October, 11am) with follow-up questions and answers. “Over the years, a lot of information has just all stuck. I’m really familiar with collections and have thousands of photos I’m familiar with. For an exhibition, I get an idea in my head and then go with it. I write all my ideas on paper, jot things down and then just work through the process to create it. “My passion is photographs. Working with photographs is a dream. I just love it. I’m not wonderful with family history but we have specialist people here to deal with that. I don’t profess to know everything but what our team is very good at is finding ways to find information. I love the process of working through all the research to make sure we’re delivering the best information we can.” Raewynn says she’s been an insomniac all her life. “I don’t sleep at night. My mother used to despair because I’d be up at three in

the morning playing in my cot. I taught myself to read when I was four because I didn’t like being read to. I get three or four hours sleep a night and that’s normal for me.” So is Raewynn’s life just about research and reading? “Most of my hobbies involve books but I also like to do very complicated knitting, shawls with very difficult Celtic patterns. I love the Shetland lace patterns.” She has also played the harp for a number of years and she and her husband enjoy excursions in their camper van to regional parks or places by the sea. “I find it really peaceful to just sit and read. I’m not interested in social media. No, no, no. Absolutely not. And I don’t do e-books. They don’t smell or feel right. There’s such satisfaction in being able to turn a page. I love well-written murder mysteries.” A couple of days off and Raewynn’s back to her ‘day job’ at Research West. “We are such a rich source of information and can tap into all that. As a group, we’ve developed information that is really important to the West and I love the way we’re managing that and how we’re trying to make people aware of the material we have – the archive collections, photographs and oral histories and one of my key roles is to get that stuff out there, to community groups, schools and anyone else who seeks information.” Raewynn says the public can help the research unit by donating material. “Don’t throw those old photos out; think about donating them to the libraries as they’re all part of our heritage. “Everything is assessed and we’re not afraid of opening up very large crates of information or photos. We may assess it as being better going to another institution, but don’t throw it away. If you’re a member of a group or society, and want to know where to put your archives, think about the libraries. “Places like floral and garden circles or folk museums are rich in information. The archives are those people being who and what they are and those archives are very valuable. Donate them to us.” For more informaiton, email Library. – Moira Kennedy

$1 Million charitable initiative offers support to promote diversity The Million Dollar Mission is part of The Trusts West Auckland – a social enterprise which returns profits from the retail sale of alcohol, its hospitality business and investments back into the community. More than 100 charities, schools, clubs and other local organisations have received $3 million in donations from the Trusts online platform since 2016. This year applications were sought from a wide range of local organisations to ensure a level of diversity among the funding recipients which reflects the demographic profile of West Auckland. Additional support was offered to some groups to help them complete their application. Public voting to select which projects will receive funding opens on October 22. For more information visit


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Who was Doris Morgan? The Doris Morgan astride the Rex-Acme Speed King motorcycle who graced the cover of last month’s Fringe is my mother, and there’s a story behind the photo. You can see in the background the rustic gate with Rua Te Whenua on it. That is a high point of the Waitākere Ranges near Waiatarua and my mother is on her way to Piha. But why is she looking so challenging, so ‘Don’t mess with me!’ The gleaming motor cycle was owned by my father Tom Pearce who bought it off a competitive speedway champion called Alf Way. Alf and my father were early members of the Piha Surf Club. Dad also took the photo, though it would have been Mum’s camera. Dad was usually a rotten photographer so it is a miracle this one came out so crisp and in focus. I presumed Dad would have posed Mum on the bike as it was his pride and joy and I couldn’t imagine he would have ever let her ride it. This was the 1930s and the road to Piha was very windy, roughly formed, and often very muddy. Dad was a rugby prop, in the All Black squad, captain of the Piha surf boat, a wrestler, and basically liked to be in charge so when I came across this photo in the family album, I put to Mum that Dad let her sit on the bike solely for the photo. “No,” she said. She used to ride it to Piha with Tom on the pillion. Of course, in his way, Dad spent the whole trip telling her how to ride the bike and issuing instructions. On this occasion he’d accused her of stalling the bike and she said she would have walked off and left him there but it was too far back to Auckland. That explains the ‘look’. Mum and Dad were not married at the time and she used to stay in a beach-front bach with the other surf club girlfriends while the men slept in the clubhouse. They met when both worked in the Public Trust Office in Auckland. Mum was a very good secretary and she taught shorthand-typing at night school. She saved up

her earnings and that’s how she bought a seven-acre piece of land at Piha from the Rayner Estate. You could pay it off over five years without any interest. They spent their honeymoon there in a car-case bach that Dad and his surfclub friends hauled up the hill, there being no road into her land at the time. Dad was lucky Mum loved Piha. She said the sea was like champagne. Many a man at Piha has found his girlfriend or wife did not like the wild coast. My mother was an outdoors type and an excellent sportswoman playing hockey, athletics and tennis, and she was a good swimmer. Once when Mum was going to have a swim after work with another suitor from the office, Dad confronted her in the street and stole her togs. She was fearless and competitive. When the Piha surf boat rowed around to remote, cliff-locked Mercer Bay, Mum swam into the beach through the surf. You can also see from the photo she was good looking, with dark sultry looks, and a stylish dresser: gloves, lisle stockings, scarf, cloche hat with perky bow, but no goggles. She made most of her clothes herself, and when we were kids, she sewed, knitted and smocked. She kept a treadle sewing machine at Piha and used it until it was stolen by a burglar – a burglar you had to admire for lugging the heavy thing up the drive. Doris Pearce died in 2005 aged 93. She came out to Piha till the end and actually went into her final coma in her bed at the bach. She loved nothing better than to sit on the verandah smoking a cigarillo, listening to the surf. We buried her at Waikumete with a little bag full of black Piha sand. – Sandra Coney

Do you have an old family photo or a brief historical anecdote you'd like to share with The Fringe community? Westory is a new section of The Fringe, acknowledging and celebrating the people and families who have helped make the West what it is today. Contributions are welcome by email to

They are lovely to look at with their rainbow coloured plumage, but they don’t belong here. The rainbow lorikeet (right) is an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and they have been illegally released in Titirangi. Originally brought to New Zealand from Australia as a captive cage bird, the Department of Conservation is concerned about competition with native honeyeaters and the possible threat to significant conservation refuges such as Tiritiri Matangi Island and Little Barrier Island. It competes with tuis, bellbirds and wood pigeons for food and with kakariki, kaka and hihi for nest sites. They are prolific breeders, sometimes raising 3 clutches in a season. please contact 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) if you see a lorikeet. (Captured birds will not be killed, but passed on to commercial aviculturists with secure captive facilities.)


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places to go


At the Library

Property law is changing

Titirangi Library is planning an action-packed October, starting with school holiday events. Tuesday October 1, 10-11am: A top-secret mission for children. Wednesday October 2, 10-11am: Mini Makers return for more preschool science, art and technology fun. Friday October 4, 10-11am: Don’t be late for a very important date as the Library celebrates Mad Hatter Day with games and craft activities Saturday October 5, 11am-12pm: The book launch of Saving Thandi by Kate S Richards. This sequel to Trainsurfer features Kate’s trademark blend of adventure, mystery and action. Book reading, book sales and signing, activities and give-aways. Tuesday October 8, 10-11am: A craft activity to celebrate Diwali: visit the Library and create a Diya – a Diwali light pinch pot. Thursday October 10, 10am-1pm: As part of the Auckland Heritage Festival the Library will host the West Auckland Woodturners Guild demonstrating wood turning, alongside vintage kids’ activities – heritage games, crafts and a vintage photo booth.

More than 40 years have passed since our law for dividing property on separation was set out. New Zealand has changed. People are living longer, the length of relationships and when in life they occur, and expectations and perceptions of what is fair when we separate have all changed. The Law Commission has recommended a range of changes to make the law fairer for partners dividing their property. The key recommendations include: • Changing how the family home is to be shared. Currently, the home that partners live in is considered to be “relationship property” and is divided equally on separation. The Law Commission has said if it was already owned by one partner before the relationship began, or received it as a gift or inheritance separately, then only the amount the home has increased in value during the relationship should be shared. • Granting a court greater power to share trust property when a trust holds property that was produced, preserved or enhanced by the relationship. • A proposal for Family Income Sharing Arrangements which would order some people to share their income with their partners for a certain period after separation to ensure that any economic advantages and disavdantages are shared more fairly. This is dependent on the length of relationship and could last up to 5 years after separation. • Giving greater consideration and priority to children’s best interests when considering relationship property matters, including granting greater rights to occupy the family home immediately following separation and postponing the vesting of relationship property if doing so would cause undue hardship for any minor or dependent child. The Commission’s full report contains 140 recommendations which are currently being considered by Government. It is important to consider how these changes may impact you and your property to avoid unintended property consequences.

For adults the Library celebrates Auckland Heritage Month and is running its own mental health and well-being festival: Saturday October 12, 11am-12pm: Dr Pooja presents a holistic approach to mental well-being based on yoga, mindfulness, eastern naturopathy and Ayurveda. Monday October 14, 10.30-11.30am: Seniors Dance with Sue MacRae – a fun introduction to the benefits of dance, including better balance and muscle strength as well as strengthened memory and positive social effects. Meet at the library, class will then move to the hall. Wednesday October 16, 11am-12pm: Raewynn Robertson presents some historic images of Titirangi from the Library’s research collection, guaranteed to be an informative session. Friday October 18, 10.30-11.30am: Sit-Walk-Dance meditation with Kerry-Ann Stanton. A simple and accessible practice to restore body, mind and soul. Meet at the library, class will then move to the hall. Tuesday October 22, 11.30am-12.30pm: Local clinical nutritionist Elise Bridler highlights key nutritional factors that impact mental health including the link with digestion and the microbiome. This will be repeated on Saturday November 2, 11am-12pm. Wednesday October 23, 11am-12pm: Kara-Leah Grant discusses her latest book Sex, Drugs and (mostly) Yoga, her own story describing how mental illness became a doorway into greater wholeness. Tuesday October 29, 12-1pm: A heritage talk by Dora Green and Sylvia La Trobe about West Auckland conductor, composer and arranger Gabrielle (Gay) Blazer, and her posthumously produced CD The Waitakere Suite. Learn more about Gay’s life and talents, with the opportunity to hear excerpts of the Suite. No registrations required. Phone 817 0011 for more information.

– John Gandy, Litigation Director, Thomas & Co Lawyers Ltd.

Proudly Supporting our Local Community The merged practices of Thomas & Co Lawyers Ltd and Titirangi Law Centre are able to meet your every legal requirement. Ray Ganda and Don Thomas have many years of experience working in the Titirangi and New Lynn areas. Now, along with the Directors and staff of the combined practices, a wider range of skills and resources is offered. See our website,, for more details of our history and personnel. We continue to maintain and improve our level of service for our community and clients. There is always someone here with the necessary knowledge and experience to assist with any legal matters that might arise. Give us a call, or come in and visit us. We welcome enquiries and are happy to answer any questions. Details of our office location and on-site parking can be found on our website. We have lift access and are also handy to the Bus/ Train Interchange. Visiting our offices is convenient and easy.



The Fringe OCTOBER 2019

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naturally west with fiona drummond

Eelias the eel contemplates life beyond Whatipu Secreted in the wetland waterways of Whatipu lives Eelias the longfin eel (tuna kūwharuwharu). Named by a previous manager of Whatipu Lodge, Wayne McKenzie, Eelias has been resident in Whatipu for around 60 years, but became known to Wayne when he arrived to run the lodge in 2013. “There are at least four eels I would feed in the Gibbons Stream in the Lodge grounds,” Wayne says. “Fortunately Eelias tends to remove herself during the heat of summer to a deeper part of the stream where the water is cooler. There was a time when I didn’t see her for four months and thought she must have taken off to Tonga or been taken. I was thrilled to see her again.” Wayne had been visiting Whatipu some 20 years prior to taking over management of the lodge. “In the late 1990s I did see a very large eel up the end of Whatipu Stream that would poke its head out of the water for feeding. It could feel the approaching footsteps.” Marnie Hunter and Alison Anderson were the lodge managers from 2001 to 2012 and eels were definitely part of their time at Whatipu. “We saw them regularly around the camp ground, in the streams, in the paddock occasionally washed up against the fence lines after a flood and twice jammed in the hydro outlet nozzle. “We met, many times, an enormous eel which lived in the pool below the waterfall. Our closest encounter with it was when we were sitting at the poolside having a picnic. We held out a cold sausage, assuming the eel would take a bite off the end but, to our alarm it rose from the water, opened its mouth and seized the whole large sausage in one gulp. Fingers removed just in time! After that we always swam in the pool with our boots on. “We also once had a day tramper arrive at the end of his tramp, carrying a big eel. He said he had stepped on it in the wetland, flicked it up and killed it and wanted to gift it to us to eat. We didn’t want it at all but a local tradesman doing work at the lodge was more than happy to take it home.” Mary and Neil Roberts, Whatipu Lodge operators, from 1984 to 2000 also recorded their memories of some large eels resident there. “There were two very big ones up the valley and we used to take bread with us whenever we went up to see them,” Neil wrote. “If you tapped the rock they would appear and gobbled the bread up quickly.

“We had a group of scouts staying in the lodge. Mary took them eeling one evening and they caught a 34-pounder. Mary had a rule: eels were either released or eaten. They decided to eat this big one so we got the smoke house going and it was beautiful. “A company from Brigham’s Creek who caught and exported live eels asked us if they could put some nets in the stream. They had a great haul and were very pleased with the result but they only did it once.” Today, longfin eels and all freshwater fish are protected at Whatipu and in all parkland and, due to their declining status, the large eels in particular need protection as they are key to the next generation. Of the 16 species of temperate freshwater eels worldwide, New Zealand’s endemic longfin eels are the largest and longest-lived. They are classified as At Risk: Declining. Eelias’s age has been estimated to be around 60 based on her impressive 1.5 metre length and it is conceivable that she could live to be a centenarian. It is known that longfin eels leave New Zealand to spawn in an unidentified location in the vast area between Tonga and New Caledonia. This migration comes towards the upper end of their lives, anywhere between 11-34 years of age for males and between 27-61 for females. The statistics indicate that Eelias’s time is nigh. Her ultimate decision to leave the tranquility of the Whatipu wetlands for the hidden dangers of the Pacific Ocean will only be determined by the natural world, based on Eelias’s instinctive urges and desire for travel. Should Eelias choose an OE, she will be returning to end her life in a place where she started life as a tiny glass eel, some 2500 kilometres away. FRINGEADLTD.pdf 1 15/11/16

Anne Maree Gardens, Rest Home & Hospital

Continued on page 30 >>

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Eelias the Whatipu eel, c. Jacqui Geuz




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sustainable solutions

Join the Refillution

Sign up six refill locations for your free RefillNZ drinking bottle.

In our little Village we started the shift away from single use plastic bags*, we introduced the cup-cycling* concept, we’ve promoted BYO reusable containers for takeaways* and we’re cleaning up the chickens. So ‘What’s next?’ asks FIONA DRUMMOND. The time has come to address the disgrace that is plastic water bottles, the cause of one-third of all plastic pollution in the sea. A Refillution is needed. When was it that people decided it was OK to buy water in a bottle? We don’t live in a third world country where the water might be suspect so why do people pay for water in a bottle? Convenience, laziness and forgetfulness are three likely reasons. Many people believe bottled water not only tastes better, but is better and safer than tap water. In reality tap water is often more tightly regulated. Shockingly, a recent global study of bottled water brands found tiny plastic particles (microplastics) in over 90 percent of samples. Let’s face it, if you have a few empty bottles at home and even just one at work, why would you want to waste money on water, or risk ingesting microplastics! You’re not even buying a taste sensation, water is water after all! Kiwis consume an average of 168 plastic bottles each year per person. Just one-third are recycled meaning 526 million water bottles end up as landfill or litter. By refilling even a third of the staggering 773 million bottles consumed annually, 247 million bottles could be diverted from landfill. The trouble is that when a fad like bottled water takes hold it becomes a social norm for those born into the plastic generation. They may not even question the

commodity that is bottled water; it’s always been there from their perspective. The solution is a Refillution. The concept is simple and global; find your local public places with access to drinking water and ask them to subscribe to RefillNZ’s database, and voilà, you have gained status as a RefillNZ Ambassador. It could be the local RSA, cafés, the library, schools, pools, dentists, a community house, a petrol station ... any business could qualify. The extra foot traffic generated will likely bring extra custom their way. Titirangi has been a bit slow on this one: the closest water venues I found on the Refillution map were the Arataki Visitor Centre on Scenic Drive and a water fountain in Sandy’s Parade at Laingholm Beach. The RefillNZ website is working to increase participation in the scheme by encouraging members of the public to sign up local cafés or bars and sharing a photo on their Instagram or Facebook page. Once you have signed up six sites, you can earn a free reusable RefillNZ stainless steel water bottle, an appropriately sustainable reward. This is a practical and achievable action for sustainability-minded children who want to help the environment. And who can say no to an earnest little environmentalist, right? We need to consciously consider the impact of all the plastic waste we are creating. We should always carry our own drink bottle and use the RefillNZ website’s map when needing water. Save money, save New Zealand, save the planet; start a Refillution now! *Waste reduction initiatives of the Love Titirangi group

Refillution Action • • •

• •

Always have a drink bottle in your car Know places to fill up your bottle from the RefillNZ map Don’t buy energy drinks for your child for sports on the weekend, use the powdered versions and have them make their drinks up the night before Ensure your children don’t buy bottled water or other plastic-bottled drinks Get your children involved enlisting RefillNZ providers

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walking west with mick andrew

Black sand and blistered feet at Lake Wainamu The soles of my feet start tingling as we near the Lake Wainamu car park. A visit here as kids would usually involve us frantically sprinting barefoot across the scorching sand dunes, stepping on our towels and elusive shadows to get to the fresh water oasis. Although the sensation is nostalgic, I’m not too keen to experience it this time round and decide to put shoes on as we park the car off Bethells Road, about two minutes drive from the beach. We start the two-hour round trip around the lake by following the sandy path next to the Waiti Stream before the iconic dunes emerge before us like a glacier of black sand. The council has attempted to designate a legitimate “route” around the edge of the dunes. However, this being the West Coast, the sand and water make their own rules and we find that clambering through the long grass and wading through the stream is the only way forward. After 20 minutes or so the stream starts to dogleg around the dunes so we decide to mount the massive pile of sand and cut a direct path to the lake. It is a fascinating, ancient landscape on the top; a vast plain of shifting black sand, the result of 4,500 years of coastal erosion and accretion, enveloped on all sides by walls of native bush with yellow kowhai in bloom. The wind is strong and swift and my eyes water as if I were in a desert sand storm; for a moment I forget I am still officially in Auckland. Then the lake appears at the far end of the valley. As a teenager in Massey in the early 2000s the lake was the place to be – the ultimate after-school hangout spot and playground that seemed to capture everything special and remote about the west. Other Auckland kids may have had town, or the malls, or Mt Eden. We had the lake. We walk the along the water’s edge and enter the bush on the western side, following a well-formed gravel track up the shore. It’s a proper path now, not the ramshackle dirt track that we used to scamper along to the big pohutakawa, with its rope swing and its huge branches great for back-flipping into the water. The tree is still there, but the jumping branch has been cut down, probably as a council-mandated safety precaution or to reduce the loitering and littering at the spot.

We continue along the track, which winds in and out of the native scrub and into muddy patches surrounded by gorse and grass before following it round its southern end near large fields of raupō. At the headwaters of the lake, Wainamu Stream pours clear blue water over a series of stunning waterfalls. Here a pouwhenua has been constructed as a symbol of the mana whenua of Te Wao nui a Tiriwa – The Waitākere Ranges. We continue along a gravel path on the other side of the lake for the next 20 minutes, eventually emerging adjacent to the farms at the front of the lake from where it is just a 30-minute walk over the dunes back to the car park. I gaze across the shimmering landscape, which despite the constant shifting and changing sands, appears just as I remember it in childhood memories. The only change is a new jetty that has been built where an old, rickety one once groaned dangerously under the weight of a dozen teenagers. It is empty now, but no doubt it will be heaving with kids once again when summer returns to the lake.

The rope swing at the old Lake Wainamu jumping tree.

west auckland weather by the moon Ken Ring’s predictions for October A drier than average, sunnier and warmer October is expected for West Auckland. The first week sees some showery days but the second week may be mostly sunny. The third week brings the most rain, with the last week being not quite as wet. The rainiest time may be the 17th-23rd, and the driest may be the 5th-14th. A little more than half the October average (80mm) is anticipated. The warmest day may be the 31st, and the 10th may be the coolest night. Maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to average 20°C (slightly above normal) and 9°C (slightly below normal). The barometer average may be 1020 mbs. The average relative humidity may be 84% and average wind direction may be southwesterly.

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For fishermen, the highest (king) tide is on the 1st, with a lesser kingtide on the 15th. The best fishing bite-times in the west are at noon on the 13th-16th, and 27th-30th. Chances are also good for dusk in the west on the 5th-8th and 20th-22nd. For gardeners, the best sowing intervals are the 1st-4th and 28th-31st, when the waxing moon is ascending. The best pruning time is the 14th-19th when the waning moon is descending. If harvesting for longer shelf-life, choose the lower water-table (neap) days of the 7th and 23rd. Allow 24 hour error for all forecasting. For future weather for any date, visit © Ken Ring 2019.

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live @ the lounge Yeah gidday. Lizard here. Once again, as I look out the louvres of the caravan, the kowhai tree in the middle of the paddock is chocka with tui. You beauty, it’s spring. Before Shaz rode off on my bike to her cleaning job I’d asked her to set the alarm for 11am because I had quite a full day planned and didn’t want to oversleep. I’d had that bike Shaz was on since I was 12. My best mate Manu and I found it leaning up against ‘old man’ Glamazina’s shed at the back of his orchard. We asked if we could keep it and ‘OMG’, as we called him, said yep, and added we could keep all the apples under our jerseys as well, so long as Manu’s mum gave him a piece of her delicious apple crumble. Deal. Manu is still my best mate and still lives over the back fence. Years ago our dads had knocked out a few palings so it’s real easy to pop next door. Even my old dog Plumless spends more time there than at home. Maybe because Manu is always having a pork bone boil-up that smells better than a wet sack drying in the sun. When we were kids we would pretend to be Apache Indians. We even pricked out fingers with a drawing pin and became blood brothers. Manu’s dad, Rawiri, said that this means Manu is no longer a full Māori now he has a bit of pakeha blood in him. When we asked mum if this was true, she said we should be careful. “Remember what happened to Sleeping Beauty, or was it Snow White?” Manu said that his dad didn’t like snow. “Why ever not?” asked mum. Manu said, “Dad says because it’s white and settles on our land.” Both Rawini and Dad are long since gone. They are still next to each other, but at Waitākere Cemetery. Manu and I often pay them a visit. The last time we did, we cleaned up the grass a bit and then lay back for a rest and so Manu could top up his medicinal weed. “Remember when that bloke came to Sunday School and the minister said the bloke reckoned he had healing hands and you said you needed help with your hearing and he put his hands on your head and mumbled something and then asked if that had sorted out your hearing? And you said, ‘how would I know. The hearings not ’til next week.’ Man, that was hard case eh?” We stopped going to church years ago, ever since Rawini got Sky TV and he and dad could watch footy on Sundays. Manu and me still do. I asked him why he never sang the anthem in Māori because he speaks Māori real good. He said his dad struggled with the words, ‘God of nations at thy feet’. We thought about this for a while then Manu said, “Maybe if the god they refer to is Ranginui, Father Sky.” I said, “I think Martin Stewart is the father of Sky?” We both had a giggle. I said I quite liked the bit about guarding Pacific’s triple star from the shafts of strife and war. “True that”, said Manu. “But if you really want to hear some praises heard afar, then pull my finger.” As usual, we went home with our arms over each others shoulders, our dogs trotting along behind with their tongues out and their tails up. There truly is a wonderful promise in the air when the spring sun’s warmth first hits your back. Have a beaut. Go for a stroll. Watch some sport or go to church. What ever rocks your waka. As dad always said, “Tin of cocoa for sure.”


Eelias the eel, continued from page 27

NIWA freshwater ecologists are trying to learn more about longfin eel migration by satellite tagging mature eels in the Waikato River to reveal exactly where the spawning grounds are located. All freshwater eel species breed only once, at the end of their life. It takes them three-four months, swimming an average of 24 kilometres a day to complete their 2500-kilometre migration. They then spawn and die. Their eggs hatch into leaf-shaped larvae that float back to New Zealand on ocean currents. Arriving in astounding numbers in spring, the larvae transform into slender, transparent ‘glass’ eels which soon turn into grey-brown elvers (young eels) and begin migrating upstream. Waterfalls don’t stop them: elvers can climb 40-metre obstacles using a combination of surface tension and friction. Once at their final destination, the elvers begin the serious business of growing to breeding size. Tuna are of great significance to Māori. They were a significant mahinga kai (food source). They are also used by some iwi as an indicator of water and habitat quality. There exist many stories, artefacts, and songs dedicated to eels, which reinforces their importance to Māori. There are over 100 different tribal names for freshwater eels based on the variations in their characteristics, as shown by the extensive mātauranga (knowledge/science) in existence. This knowledge has come from intensive observation and interaction to determine the life cycle, habitat needs and migration patterns, and guides Māori as to the sustainable take of a population. Eeling would also occur at special times according to a range of environmental indicators and lunar cycles. Māori have customary rights to take eels for events such as hui and tangi, as well as rights to 20% of the commercial take. However some iwi and hapū, deeply concerned by the dwindling eel numbers, have stopped, or significantly minimised, the harvesting of eels.

Later, Lizard.

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