The Fringe, June 2020

Page 1

ISSUE 193, JUNE 2020

community news, issues, arts, people, events


The Fringe JUNE 2020

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Barista sings again – and the coffee keeps coming................................4 Laughter is the best medicine................................................................5 Clubhouse rebuild to start soon; Consent hearings to resume..............6 “... people do care, the good guys still exist ...”.....................................7 Keeping it local: local news and looking forward............................... 8-9


Art and about with Naomi McCleary.............................................. 10-11 Places to go: Events listing...........................................................12 – 13 Bandstanding: Zyia-Li Teh and the BayLynn Youth Band......................14 Library life in lockdown; Titirangi Theatre............................................15 Working to feed those who need help.................................................16 Where is work on our tracks up to?.....................................................17 Getting ready to burst forth along the Whau......................................18 Sustainable solutions: ‘Foodscaping’ for your winter soup kitchen.....19 Naturally West: A charm of finches; Weather by the moon................20


Living in the Waitākere ranges.............................................................21 Live @ the lounge................................................................................22 Advertisers’ Directory...........................................................................23

On our cover: Lower Nihopotu Dam (viewed from Arataki Visitor Centre) hasn’t been this low for almost 30 years. It is not surprising that water restrictions are now in place (see page 5). Photo by Bevis England.


Get your art on! The Upstairs Gallery, in collaboration with The Fringe, is organising a children’s art competition with the winner getting their artwork on the magazine’s cover. With all the nasty viruses that are around children from ages 3 to 14 are invited to show their love with art! Get your paints, pens, pastels, pencils or electronic pens out and let your imagination run wild. Draw us a picture that shows how you would make everyone in your family, school, or favourite art gallery aware, safe and healthy. The 10 finalists will be exhibited in the Gallery with one design being chosen as the front cover for the July issue of The Fringe! Your design must be A4 size (210mm wide and 297mm high) and handed into the gallery no later than June 10. Please remember to tell us your name, age and school or kindergarten.

Got something to say or know of a great story idea? Let The Fringe know... Email or write to PO Box 60-469, Titirangi 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 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: David Thiele, Naomi McCleary, Susannah Bridges, Fiona Drummond and Michael Andrew.

Advertising deadline for July 2020: June 12. The Fringe JUNE 2020



Barista sings again – and the coffee keeps coming

Have your say on Auckland’s Emergency Budget 2020/2021.

But the economic impact of COVID-19 means together we need to make some tough decisions about Auckland’s budget; like the rates we pay and what we spend our money on. Auckland’s Emergency Budget proposal is now open for your feedback from midday 29 May until midnight Friday 19 June. To find out more go to or call 09 301 0101.

Toget her we can r. recover stronge


It was a tough day for Thomas Rapana when he regularly engages with the local homeless closed the doors of The Base café in Titirangi community, offering support, companionship and Village, just as Covid19 Level 4 approached. He’d job opportunities. This fund-raiser is a chance to worked in the Village for 26 years, first at the give something back to Thomas.” Hardware Café, then Park Road Kitchen and Customers and local business people responded. finally his own gig at The Base. Online they called Thomas a ‘truly nice, genuine But the man known as the ‘singing barista’ man’, ‘the life and soul of Titirangi coffee’, and ‘a wasn’t going to be down and beaten for long. Titirangi legend’. They thanked him for the ‘joy He’s just opened Thomas’ Coffee in the space and positivity’ he’d given to the Village over the left vacant when the popular Park Road Kitchen years. permanently closed its doors due to Covid-19. The Originally from Whangarei, Thomas has lived Kitchen’s landlord has offered the space to Thomas mostly in Auckland since he was 16, except for a for 12 weeks. time in Sydney. He started working in hospitality at “He wanted to keep the place active until he age 15 and says he doesn’t know why his singing does renovations in a couple of months’ time,” on the job happened. says Thomas. It was a light at the end of a “It just started as an expression of me at work. very dark tunnel for Thomas who is now doing I love music and when I started at the Hardware takeaway coffee from the space between 5.30am Café 26 years ago, the owners at the time, Brent and midday, Monday to Friday. and Theresa Gore, just let me sing,” he says. Thomas admits he was ‘staring down the barrel’ Thomas Rapana: ‘a Titirangi legend’ “It wasn’t received in a great fashion at first and of financial issues in March and was worried about the expected quiet there were some moments with customers. Brent and Theresa were times during the coming winter months. “Covid-19 put the nail in the amazing and just let me be myself and it’s gone from there.” coffin,” he says. “But I also needed to slow down, to stop. I was doing Thomas says whenever he is around music, he can’t stop himself 85 hours a week.” singing, but when he’s at home, he’s a different person. He went home, but in only a matter of days a customer and friend, “I’m very quiet. I live by myself and have had silence in my home for Kathleen Lafferty, set up a Givealittle page to raise funds for him to set the last 17 years. After working and singing all day long, I just want up a coffee truck in the community. quiet. The silence is my kind of meditation I guess. I read a lot. That’s “Thomas is well known and loved for his positive and friendly my way of coming down from the day. I’m in bed by half past seven, up attitude,” Kathleen wrote on social media. “What everyone doesn’t by a quarter to five.” realise is that Thomas also spends time helping those less fortunate, During lockdown, Thomas says he’d wake up early as usual and lie in particularly those who find themselves living on the streets. He bed for a few hours wondering where the money was going to come from to pay the bills and how he could earn a living again. But it is back to early starts now and back into a space where he can sing while doing what he loves best, in a Village he treasures, with people he loves. “People are special in the Village. Titirangi is unique. People that used to come here with their parents years ago are all in their twenties now and coming with their own kids. They all know me and say hello in the street. It’s a beautiful thing. A beautiful place. The people are just wonderful.” The Givealittle page (help-Thomas-set-up-a-community-coffee-truck) Auckland Council is focused on continuing to help our will continue until the end of June. “It will cost about $30,000 to set communities and businesses recover, and providing the up a truck and that may well be the next move in my life, after winter.” essential services Aucklanders rely on. – Moira Kennedy Henry Atkinson, philanthropist, conservationist and lobbyist, donated much of the land that Titirangi Village now occupies. He also gifted the water catchment areas of the Waitākere Ranges to the city. He is still concerned for the health and wellbeing of the community and is seen here reminding us to remain careful over the possible spread of Covid19, Titirangi-style. Photo courtesy of Karen McCarthy.


The Fringe JUNE 2020

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what we did in lockdown

Laughter is the best medicine Award-winning illustrator and cartoonist, and Titirangi local Anna Crichton amused herself and her Twitter followers by posting a series of cartoons every day during lockdown. Here are just a few of them. (There are others elsewhere in this magazine.) To see more of them find Anna on Twitter: #COVID19nz #StayAtHome #cartoon #lockdown #cartoonandcomicarts #lifeunderlockdown

Water restrictions are in place Auckland is experiencing a severe drought that is affecting our water supply. In response, Auckland Council has imposed mandatory water restrictions that will apply until further notice. What is restricted? Residential water users cannot use 5 outdoor hoses or water blasters. Additional water restrictions have 5 been put in place for commercial businesses.

Who is affected? These restrictions apply to all of Watercare’s Auckland metropolitan customers (including those in Pukekohe, Patumahoe, Clarks Beach, Glenbrook Beach, and all other metropolitan areas from Waiwera to Drury and Huia Village).

To learn more about these restrictions, please visit please support our advertisers – they support us

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our place

Clubhouse rebuild to start soon

Consent hearings to resume

The Karekare Surf Club has announced that after 15 years of planning and five years of consent hearings, construction of its new clubhouse is due to commence this autumn. It has been a long process raising the funds for the building, designed by local architect Richard Priest. The new clubhouse will be built on the site that the club owns and, with the help of Auckland Council, a new access way will link the clubhouse building and the Karekare public carpark. The $3.3 million rebuild can now start and is a major project for the club which is celebrating 85 years on the beach with over 100 young and experienced lifeguards, many of whom have been raised in the local community. Club President, Sir Bob Harvey says, "this is a special event for the Karekare beach area and the local community. This wonderful new asset will last us through the century ahead. It will be a state-of-the-art lifeguarding hub and community resource centre for all to share." Waitākere Ranges councillor Linda Cooper echoes Sir Bob’s delight: “I am very pleased and proud that Auckland Council funding through the Surf 10:20 project has helped Karekare Surf Club realise its long-held goal. I am excited to see the project come to fruition.” The Karekare car park will have limited car parking for the summer of 2020-21 and signage will be placed on Lone Kauri Road, West Coast Road, Piha Road and Scenic Drive warning visitors of this. The club apologises for the inconvenience while the new clubhouse is being built. The project will take approximately 18 months and it is intended that the clubhouse will be opened in November 2021.

The hearings for the Huia water treatment plant consent application were due to resume this month, writes FIONA DRUMMOND. They were adjourned in March following eight days of evidence and submissions. Various groups including the Titirangi Protection Group, Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Association, Forest & Bird, The Tree Council, Waitākere Ranges Protection Society and the Department of Conservation presented at the hearing, covering social impacts, problems with the proposed mitigation and trust structure and the ecological impacts – including the possible spread of kauri dieback. The submissions gave the hearing commissioners an insight into the effects that the project could have on Waima, and across the Auckland region. Commissioners were left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling in the community. Mels Barton of the Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Association believes that the hearing has changed tack from a discussion about the severity of the effects that will be generated and the adequacy of the compensation package, to a critical discussion about whether it should be in this location at all due to the risk of spreading kauri dieback. “Huge thanks must go to expert witnesses Dr Nick Waipara, Jack Craw and Shona Myers, along with the experts from Auckland Council and DoC,” says Mels. Prior to the hearing being adjourned the commissioners had directed the kauri dieback experts to plan a sampling regime to determine whether kauri dieback was present on the proposed site or the surrounding land. They also directed Watercare to undertake the agreed sampling regime. “This is a huge development and we are immensely proud of all the work that has been done by everyone to get to this stage,” says Mels. “Kauri dieback has always been a massive issue for this site as far as we are concerned.” Paul Jones of Watercare has since reported that it is engaging Biosense to carry out sampling of the site. Once this sampling has been undertaken the appropriate methodology to carry out work on the site will be drafted. Sampling was to take place during May and the experts were to meet again to discuss the results before making recommendations to the commissioners this month.

letter Dear Editor, I’m a ratepayer on Scenic Drive who for 22 years has dealt with burn outs being done up and down our road. (It’s treated as a drift track regularly.) Recently however, the yobbos took it up a notch and ploughed up the triangle island between Scenic Drive and Woodlands Park Road. This isn’t the first time this patch of grass has been used for 4x4 adventures and I would like locals to be on the look out for those responsible. The vehicle I saw was an older 4x4 with a spare wheel on the back. I suspect it was a Pajero, late 80s or early 90s model. Damage to public property like this costs thousands to fix and I encourage anyone who sees this damage being done to take the vehicle details and report it to the authorities. Kind regards, Name withheld

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P O Box 120 Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, New Zealand Telephone: 812-8180 – Facsimile 812-8182 – Mobile 0220 818-010 Email:

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what we did in lockdown

“... people do care, the good guys still exist ...” Local artist Victoria McNaughton has been painting the teddies she has found on her walks around Titirangi, including the line up behind the windscreen of the truck belonging to local arborist, Tree Culture. “Every day I have walked my dog around our Titirangi bubble and the teddies I have seen touched my heart when they all came out,” says Victoria. “To me these teddies are a visual representation of the kindness that we are surrounded by, a visual reminder that community spirit is alive and well. People do care, the good guys still exist, they’re just a bit quieter. “I sent my teddies to the Upstairs Gallery, which is a major supporter of all creatives in and around our community, for use in their We send you our Art initiative which saw many artworks being displayed on the walls of Waitemata DHB premises. “All of my paintings are reverse painted on upcycled glass and windows. Reverse painting dates back to the Byzantine Empire. The artist paints in reverse order and in mirror image on the back of the glass to be viewed from the front. “Fingers crossed we progress through our lockdown levels successfully. I will miss the teddies though.” Victoria McNaughton, Pane in the Arts,

Rare Titirangi Village Retail Leasing Opportunity

Phone Adrian – 021 530 908 please support our advertisers – they support us

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keeping it local

The Fringe wants to help our business community recover from the stresses of lockdown and makes space on these pages available for our advertisers and non-commercial community organisations, at no charge. To be included in our next issue, email info@fringemedia. before June 12.

The Value of Self Care

Managing rentals

“My beauty therapist might as well be my best friend,” is the refrain of many of our Tonic Spa clients. The sheer joy in the voices and faces of our clients as they made their first ventures out of strict isolation and back into our salon acted as a strong reminder of the role we play in these new ‘social bubbles’. The nature of our work necessitates interactions with our customers, but the substance of such interactions runs far deeper than the job descriptions. In a private and relaxed environment, many people feel comfortable opening up to the good listening ear of a beauty therapist. These meaningful conversations make social barriers and apprehensions disappear. We now happily carry the stresses of the recent isolation, fears of contracting Covid-19 and worries about job security together with our clients. ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’, as the saying goes. When you pamper yourself with beauty therapy, you are not only pampering your body but also your mind and spirit. In saying that, the release of burdening thoughts is only half the reason why beauty therapy benefits emotional health. Research suggests that beauty treatments such as massages and facials can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Emotional stress can manifest in physical ways. Aching bodies, acute skin sensitivities and skin break-out are all evidence of this. Moods can be lifted with the experiences of beauty therapy, and the act of caring for your appearance can supply a healthy boost to your self-esteem. Such effects persist even when you are doing something as simple as getting your eyebrows tidied. The rewards of taking care of yourself and giving yourself some special attention are multifaceted and plentiful. From our many years of experience treating the same clients, we have built connections with each and every one of your familiar faces. We are happy and humbled to invite all of you back and we can’t wait to take care of you again. For our new clients – rest assured that we have more than enough capacity to take care of you too. Welcome to the Tonic Spa family.

Managing a rental property, even in normal times, can be both time consuming and stressful. Add to this Covid-19 and it is easy to understand why more investors are moving towards having a professional property manager. On the ground, we have found that the rental market has been resilient with strong demand for rentals in the area. With all the time spent at home during lockdown, many have decided they want to move post lockdown and with many New Zealanders returning home now is a great time to be selling or looking for tenants. We have noticed a trend of short-term rentals or Air BnB rentals switching to long term tenants. This is understandable given the strict border controls which have had a significant impact on the tourism industry and the demand for short term accommodation. Some of our landlords have commented that renting to long term tenants has meant less wear and tear on their properties and more stable income. Barfoot & Thompson are proud to be locally owned and operated. If you are interested in what your rental might achieve or want to discuss any real estate needs, pop into your nearest branch, or contact one of our friendly team.

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.



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New GM for Waitākere Resort

What goes around ...

Duncan Mackenzie (left) has been appointed general manager at Waitākere Resort & Spa and took over the reins from longterm managing director and owner Reg Nevill-Jackson as we entered lockdown. Duncan has an extensive hotel background, most recently as General Manager at Heritage Hanmer Springs. His New Zealand hotel experience ranges across most aspects of hotel operations, experience which Capstone Hotels’ Managing Director Clare Davies believes will stand him in good stead. “Waitākere Resort & Spa is a boutique 26-room property with a strong conference market as well as leisure and a local focus. It’s the kind of property which requires a hands-on management approach and we are delighted to have Duncan’s depth of experience and enthusiasm on board to help us drive the hotel to the next level,” says Clare Waitākere Resort & Spa is located on Scenic Drive, a short drive from Titirangi. The family-owned property is now managed by New Zealand owned company, Capstone Hotels & Resorts who work with 14 properties located throughout New Zealand along with a number of activity operators.

The ReCreators are an upcycling collective which delivers community skillsbased workshops for children and adults. With the objective of building towards a ‘circular economy’, the collective has also developed a range of low-carbon, zero-waste, DIY upcycled sewing kits and are designing other scalable repurposed products. Their mission is to teach people the skills needed to reuse and repurpose what might otherwise be thrown away – whether it be woodworking, design, sewing, painting and more. Upcycled art classes take place in a number of locations around West Auckland. They are facilitated by local zero-waste artists who aim to inspire their community to shift the focus from ‘new’ to ‘upcycled’ products. If you are looking for a sustainable gift, you can support this grassroots collective by purchasing a Gift Card (for workshops or products) or one of their educational DIY kits. For more information visit

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art & about with naomi mccleary

I’ve been thinking - - -

Te Pou Theatre can bring their Front Yard Festivals to isolated people throughout Auckland.

The art of performance; music, theatre, dance, makes an easier transition to the online world than other art forms – and we are in an avalanche of creative performance on that ‘global stage’. But I’m agonising over what the future holds for live theatre. The magic that flows between performers and an audience is ancient, restorative, enriching. To be cocooned in a theatre in the strange intimacy of strangers; a full house; a snatched couple of hours in an alternate world – there’s nothing like it. I can’t think of a theatre that’s built for ‘social distancing’ or that can survive on the 40% occupancy that may be prescribed. There are two magnificent independent theatres already under threat of closure: the 100 year old Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch (restored at huge cost to its former glory following the earthquake) and Q Theatre in Auckland. Both have fund-raising campaigns underway, just to be able to keep the doors open for an unknown future but with a promise that they will find a way to keep the magic alive. Google them and support them. On a more cheerful front, it’s heartwarming to see Te Pou Theatre in Henderson stepping out into the unknown and uncertain with Front Yard Festival, a creative new way to bring live performance to the most vulnerable in our communities – particularly our elders, koroua and kuia. Well-known actors Tainui Tukiwaho and Jarod Rawiri have curated two travelling performance groups to take uplifting 10-minute music and storytelling shows to the front yards of isolated people throughout Auckland. “This year we may not be able to bring kaumātua safely to our theatre so the innovative idea of Front Yard Festivals was born out of the restrictive circumstances of Covid-19,” says Amber Curreen, who is producing the new programme. “These travelling shows also mean we can provide opportunities for artists to create and perform during this challenging time for the arts sector.” Te Pou are currently performing at aged care facilities, organisations and private homes – especially with vulnerable people who are ill or immunocompromised, to share the joy of performance and face to face interaction, while catering specifically for their needs around health and safety. The season concludes on May 29 and late bookings may be possible on info@ Keep an eye on Te Pou for more theatrical innovation.

I’ve wanted for a long time to write about Donna Turtle Sarten and Bernie Harfleet. It’s challenging, because here are two remarkable and complex individuals; artists who live and work in the world of social/political arts practice. Proud Westies, they are unrelentingly fierce, passionate and compassionate. Their work deals with the hard stuff: war, poverty, abuse, depression and anxiety. Nothing seems to frighten them – or maybe everything frightens them and this is what drives them? Their artworks are distinguished by deep research and impeccable workmanship. They are most often stunningly beautiful and this adds to the power of the messaging. Over many years there are three exhibitions that have stayed with me, in fact haunted me. With all the fragility of memory, I remember the gallery at Corban Estate transformed into a ‘war machine’; a nightmare maze of tubes and tunnels spewing out thousands of tiny ceramic bodies, heaped in cascades over the floor. This was no generalisation: the number of ceramic figures exactly referenced the number of civilians who had died in Iraq. I recall another large wall with a grid of ceramic kiwis, again precisely mounted on spikes that cast shadows, each representing an abused child in our fair land. And again, an unflinching exhibition of photographs documenting the slow journey towards death for Bernie’s father Noel and Donna’s mother Noeleen; controversial, but done with love and a clear eye. Donna and Bernie have work in all the big outdoor sculpture shows and it is absolutely worth going online to explore the courage and beauty of their engagement with all the hard issues of our time. Which brings me to Give a Kid a Blanket. Here is social practice literally taken to an art form! Give a Kid a Blanket started in 2015 as a Community Activated Art Action. With the help of the community of kindness that has gathered around the project, they collect blankets and other items of warmth and care and gift them to kids and their families through service providers – including police, public health nurses and social and community workers. In that first year they collected and gifted 1273 blankets. In the winter of 2019 they gifted over 31,000 blankets and over 15,000 items of warmth. In total, over 5 winters they have given out 60,000 blankets and 40,000 thousand other ‘warmers,’ including jackets, socks, beanies, hot-water bottles, new pillows and

available from Te Uru Gallery, sale price ends soon

Linda Cooper

Councillor for Waitakere Please feel free to contact me with issues or ideas 021 629 533 Embossed Lights 10

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warm clothing items. Currently, just over 9,100 people are following the project through Facebook. Collecting for winter 2020 runs from May 30 till July 19. In Bernie’s words: “Over June and July we accept new and pre-loved blankets, duvets, bedding and sleeping bags, as well as other items of warmth. “These items can be dropped off to one of the many collection points across Auckland. A list is on the dedicated Facebook page. Give-a-Kid-a-Blanket-161245310990058/. In the case of schools, we collect directly from the school. “Items are taken back to a warehouse space where they are checked and stored. “Public health nurses, social workers, health workers and police provide client need lists, and these lists are then filled. Recipients remain anonymous. Lists simply state age and gender of children, how many adults in the home and, importantly, what their sleeping arrangements are. Few of the children we give to sleep in a single bed. We also give blankets to the adults in the house, providing for all in a home. We cover over 700kms each week. “Two things worth noting are that we never focus on those receiving items. We find this is often used in a victimising way by some charities. Really anyone’s circumstances can change. We focus on the kindness from community that fuels the project and celebrate the work of the front line workers we deal with. The other thing is while with the growth of the project it has been lost to most, for us this is still part of our social art

practice, a community activated art action.” This year there is a ‘Give a Little’ page to support the costs of running the project. org/give-a-kid-a-blanket With what is predicted to be an even harder winter for many kids, with families in New Zealand facing the winter cold in cars, garages, sleep outs and damp cold housing, Give a Kid a Blanket hopes to be able to help more families keep warm this winter. If you would like to be a part of this project please e-mail Donna and Bernie at

Give a Kid as Blanket hopes to be able to help more families keep warm this winter.

Challenges shouldn’t limit our horizons

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Addressing the triple transport conflict between rail, road and pedestrians in the middle of the town centre is essential, and this property offers mediumterm relief while we wait for our rail line through Glen Eden to be trenched below road level, which will happen one day. 300 West Coast Road could facilitate a major rethink of Glen Eden’s constricted traffic flows (see map), as well as add much needed car parking for both shoppers and city rail commuters. I’m not a traffic engineer, it’s not even my idea, it was suggested to me by one of the Glen Eden Playhouse Theatre trustees, but I think it has much merit and shows the visionary thinking which is made easier when options are apparent. Council often speaks of the savings in repurposing stuff, which is impossible when you no longer own it. Life always has challenges but we must not let them limit our horizons. I think increasing rates (above the level proposed pre-Covid) is counter-productive in the larger scheme of things and so have put my cost saving preferences as 1 Cut costs and 2 Defer capital expenditure, based on a 50/50 split. – Ken Turner, WestWards

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As part of Auckland Council’s emergency budget deliberations board members were given a list of options for offsetting predicted income losses and asked which were most acceptable, and if members preferred a mixed option approach then what percentage they saw each option contributing to overall savings of around 6%. The options were 1 Cut costs, 2 Defer capital expenditure, 3 Sell stuff and 4 Increase rates. My immediate reaction was to eliminate option three: selling stuff. I’ve seen council take this option numerous times before and it usually backfires. Moreover, apart from the poor return from selling in bad economic circumstances, selling assets (particularly land) robs our communities of long-term opportunities and visionary scope. Before our present Covid-19 circumstances Panuku Developments (council’s property CCO) was looking to sell 300 West Coast Road (the old Glen Eden Borough Council Works depot), arguing this property was obsolete and no longer needed. I felt this was short-sighted thinking, and still do despite councils worsening financial situation. I think there is huge value in retaining this property, it could be strategic in alleviating Glen Eden’s biggest problem: traffic.


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.

At the time of going to press we cannot be certain that any of these events will be able to take place and there could be online or virtual options for many of them. Please check with organisers.

Edmonton Rd, Te Atatu South; 1.30pm; members and friends welcome. Phone Mate Marinovich, 818 6488 or 021 754 217. 13, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents Aro in Concert, floor singers in first half; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 8pm; $12 or $8 for members; or text Cathy on 021 207 7289.


16, SeniorNet West Auckland, speaker, morning tea and chatting about computers; Kelston Community Centre; 10am. Phone June 021 179 3635.


12, Ladies’ Probus Club, fellowship, fun, speakers, and a monthly day trip; St John’s Hall, Te Atatū South; 9.45am-Noon. Phone Betty 09 832 0484.


20, Lions Club Book Club Hall, 3063 Great North Road, New Lynn; 8am-4pm. Sale; New Lynn Friendship Phone Mary 027 487 0639.


june w

– June 14, Split Level View Finder: Theo Schoon and New Zealand art, the first comprehensive Theo Schoon exhibition in decades; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi; Phone 817 8087.



– July 5, Listening, twitching. Nicola Farquhar’s work examines what it is to be human in a time of ecological crisis; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi. Phone 817 8087.


w – July 5, 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea, a series of performances by New York-based artist Sarah Cameron Sunde; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi; Phone 817 8087.


– July 19, Beginning, Ending, Transformation, Margaret Chapman, Vicki Bradley and Phil Weight celebrate historical connections and the relationships between people and their cultures through the mediums of textile and wood; Corban Estate Arts Centre. Phone 838 4455.


– July 19, Give a Kid a Blanket - Documented, West Auckland artists Bernie Harfleet and Donna Turtle Sarten document this social art project. Now in its sixth year, this project takes a creative approach to local challenges by bringing people together and offering practical support; Corban Estate Arts Centre. Phone 838 4455.


6 – July 5, Walking About: Walking about in fog by Layne Waerea and Lana Lopesi. Begins at your front door and is shared online. Visit for more information.


7, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732.


5, West Auckland Men’s Rebus Club, guest speaker and morning tea; Kelston Community Centre, Corner Great North and Awaroa Roads; 9.30-11.30am. Phone Roger 834 7945.

21, Walking About: The Public Stand by Becca Wood. Meet at the bottom of Racecourse Parade, Avondale at 3pm. Visit nz for more information. 26, The Combined Probus Club of Glen Eden, fellowship, speakers, monthly trips; Ceramco Park Function Centre, 120 Glendale Road, Kaurilands; 10-11.30am. Phone Brian Holt 838 5857. 26, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents Friday Folk and Jam, an informal singaround; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 7.30pm; $5. or text Cathy on 021 207 7289.

w 28, Titirangi Village Market: art, craft, produce and music; Titirangi War Memorial Hall; 10am-2pm. Contact Tess on tvm. or phone 022 631 9436.

july July 3, West Auckland Men’s Rebus Club, guest speaker and morning tea; Kelston Community Centre, Corner Great North and Awaroa Roads; 9.30-11.30am. Phone Roger 834 7945.


July 5, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732.


July 10, Ladies’ Probus Club, fellowship, fun, speakers, and a monthly day trip; St John’s Hall, Te Atatū South; 9.45am-Noon. Phone Betty 09 832 0484.




9, West Auckland Historical Society Family History Group meeting; Henderson Central Library West Auckland Research Centre; 10-11.30am. Phone Gary Snow 832 5098, 021 618 434 or email gary@



July 11, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents Ronel Hunter, floor singers in first half; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 8pm; $12 or $8 for members; or text Cathy on 021 207 7289. July 14, Walking About: Rangi Matariki by Pīta Turei. Meet at Rangimatariki, Rosebank Domain, 126 Patiki Rd, Avondale, walk to Motu Manawa across the mud flats; 6am. Visit for more information.

11, Waitakere Grey Power Annual General Meeting with guest FRINGEADLTD.pdf speaker TBA; at 1.30pm at Te Atatu South Community Centre 247



Te Mara Kahuku


We are open once again following the Covid-19 lockdown. West Lynn relies heavily on volunteers to keep our outdoor and indoor events running. Could you give some of your time to help? Volunteering in our friendly natural environment can be a rewarding experience. All are welcome to our Annual General Meeting, June 28th at 2pm, at 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn. If you could help us please come along or if you have questions call Margaret 833 9643.


The Fringe JUNE 2020



P R E S L A N D a n d C O LT D

and Butterfly House

West Lynn Garden needs people like you.






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0 9 8 1 8 1 071 m y l a w y e r . c o . n z



Presland and Co provide a variety of legal services including conveyancing, family law, criminal law, wills & estates.

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places to go

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, Flicks cinema, Lopdell House Theatre. 818 2489, Kelston Community Centre, corner of Awaroa and Great North Roads, Kelston. McCahon House Museum, 67 Otitori Bay Road, Titirangi; Wednesday – Sunday 1-4pm, except public holidays. 817 6148, mccahon@ Playhouse Theatre, 15 Glendale Road, Glen Eden. 818 5751. Te Toi Uku – Clay Works, 8 Ambrico Place, New Lynn; Tuesday –Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-3pm. Phone 827 7349, www. Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi; 10am–4.30pm daily. 817 8087, Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House Theatre; Titirangi. 817 5812, infoline 817 5951, www. Upstairs Gallery, Level 1, Lopdell House; 10am–4.30pm daily. 817 4278, nz. West Coast Gallery, Seaview Road, Piha; Wednesday – Sunday, 10am–4pm. 812 8029, www.

Council to consult on emergency budget this month This month Auckland Council is consulting on its proposed emergency budget – its response to the financial impacts of Covid-19. Consultation will focus on options for average general rate increases of 2.5 percent (the equivalent of around $1.35 per week) or 3.5 percent (the equivalent of around $1.83 per week) among a suite of other measures aimed at offering support to all ratepayers, including businesses, facing hardship due to the impacts of Covid-19. Waitākere ward councillor and deputy chair of the council’s finance committee, Shane Henderson, says that this is one of the most significant budgets in years. “The impacts of Covid-19 on the council’s budget cannot be underestimated,” he says. “There will be stark choices to make in light of a significantly reduced income and most likely a global recession. We need to balance helping our residents and businesses with continuing to provide essential services and stimulating economic recovery by building a better Auckland. “This consultation gives Aucklanders a voice on the way we choose to go. It won’t be easy but I must emphasise the importance of having your say.” Visit for more information.

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, visit:

Coming up in In the July issue of The Fringe we plan to feature our education sector. Lockdown has challenged our schools and students and we are now entering the season of open days and enrolments for 2021. July will also see the start of the election campaign ahead of the General Election in September. We will be offering all parties the opportunity to present their key policies and their candidates. The Fringe is well aware of the problems being faced by local businesses as a result of Covid-19 and the associated lockdown. The Fringe is committed to supporting our local businesses and community organisations. How can we and our community help you? Let The Fringe know and we’ll do our best to spread the word ... And if you have services or offers that could help in these trying times, let us know. Let’s work together to overcome this pandemic’s challenges.

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The Fringe JUNE 2020


bandstanding: music in the west with susannah bridges

Zyia-Li Teh and the BayLynn Youth Band As a youngster Zyia-Li Teh found practising Big Band, Auckland Youth Orchestra and Auckland the piano a chore so when high school Wind Orchestra – Zyia-Li also played in a couple of gave her the opportunity to branch out, covers bands and did the odd musical before heading she thought she’d give the saxophone a try. off overseas for adventures in Europe and teaching She was soon obsessed and there followed in London. “Since arriving back in New Zealand at a progression to viola, trumpet, clarinet the end of 2018, I have found myself in more music and drums. Some days at school were directing and ensemble conducting roles than I did spent mostly in the music department. before I left. Last year, I was the musical director “I did all sorts of lessons and rehearsals. I for St Peter’s College’s production of Jesus Christ still play the clarinet and saxophone today. Superstar, and this year, if all goes to plan, I’ll be Plus the skills I picked up on the other musical director for their production of Chess.” instruments have become very handy and Zyia-Li has had little time for original writing or vital to my career as a music teacher.” composition since going into teaching full-time and It helped that Zyia-Li’s teacher was Bernie has enough on her plate transcribing and arranging Allen (QSM), a leading figure in Auckland’s for school ensembles, including one that she started 1950s and 60s jazz and rock’n’roll scene, – the BayLynn Youth Band. musical director for TV shows C’mon and “The band started when I was the music specialist Happen Inn and composer of countless at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate. Bernie Allen [see film and TV scores, including the iconic above] is a constant sounding board for many of my Goodnight Kiwi theme. Bernie also knew crazy ideas and in my third or fourth year of teaching, that a creative life is not always lucrative, Zyia-Li Teh: ‘the band has been my baby’. I approached him with my concerns over the number and advised young Zyia-Li of this as she embarked on her post high of ex-students who had decided to stop playing their instruments school journey. when they moved to secondary school. We agreed that there weren't “I started my first teaching job with the KBB Music Programme, many opportunities for students to play and perform in ensembles teaching brass and woodwind instruments at various primary schools and that there is the added pressure of most school ensembles being in Auckland, then branching out to teaching privately and at other competitive with not all students able to participate or given the after-school programmes.” After obtaining a degree in music, a diploma opportunity to do so. The transition from intermediate school to high in education followed leading to a job at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate. school can also be a challenge for many students. Many would have “With the support of my colleagues I found my passion and ‘mojo’ for missed the sign up notice, or sometimes they’re too shy and lack the teaching and music education.” confidence to participate in the high school ensembles.” A past member of numerous ensembles in Auckland – The Queen City The BayLynn Youth Band was set up to solve some of these problems. “When we started, the majority of the band members were either current or ex-Blockhouse Bay Intermediate students. It was already a comfortable and known environment for them and I was able to encourage and support them where needed.” With an open door policy that allows ex-band members to rejoin the ensemble at any time, the band has become more of a family than a band. “We have a unique and indescribable way of supporting each other and everyone’s always welcoming and helpful towards our new members.” The current BLYB is made up of students from a much wider spread than Blockhouse Bay and the age range is from nine years up to university students. The band is generally managed by a committee of committed parents, chaired by Glen Eden local Lucy Perin, meaning that Zyia-Li can focus on the music, rehearsals and performances. With the support of other top professionals like Merv Thomas and Bruce King, the BLYB rehearses every Wednesday evening during the It’s great to be back school term. They would usually have at least one performance a term and we want to say at a local retirement village or organise a concert for family, friends and “Thank you” with a the community. special celebration With the Covid-19 lockdown and rehearsals and performances on facial just for our hold, Zyia-Li had to find ways to keep the band engaged, make music and connect, resulting in a successful video montage of all the band local customers. members playing the same piece individually at home, and a series of Boost your skin workshops focusing on music theory and improvisation skills. “Running seven sessions each week has been quite a project. The band is and with The Citrus has been my baby for years and the members are like my family. Being Vitamin Facial around them brightens my day and brings a smile to my heart. “We are always open to new members, so if you or your child would 45 minutes like to know more or become part of the band, please get in touch via for just $89 email: We’d also love to hear about Valid until June 30 possible performance opportunities.” You can follow the BayLynn Youth Band and check for upcoming performances on their website,, and on Ph : 0 9 8 1 7 - 9 9 3 7 www.t on icspa Facebook,

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our place

Library life in lockdown From all of us at Glen Eden Community Library, kia ora koutou to our Glen Eden community. Over nine weeks ago, we went from smiles and open doors to a very quick shutdown as our communities, cities and nation went into lockdown. Everything changed for us over night and it seems some things will remain different from now on. Your library team has been busy staying connected both with each other and also engaging and interacting with you in the community via our social platforms. Our library is one of 55 Auckland libraries across our city and we all quickly adapted to doing things digitally and seeing how we could still offer services and resources to our library membership whānau. For family and children there were virtual story times from our library staff as well as some famous faces. Our teams collated hundreds of cool and mostly free ways to keep children entertained, informed and learning while their classrooms were off limits. These sessions and online activities proved very popular for families, with positive feedback around the Easter and ANZAC Day craft resources and the New Zealand Music Month celebrations in particular. For students and adults there were study links and databases to support learning, handy resources for tackling home renovations and new hobbies, as well such online learning platforms such as which provides free and easily accessible tutorials on everything from art to architecture. Our eCollections proved extra popular with our readers including an extensive online collection of eMagazines, eBooks and eAudio books to read and listen to while the libraries were closed. On top of all that, our library crew was upskilling on new things such as their te reo language, digital competencies and converting children’s services to a new online platform, to try and enhance future events and sessions for you all. It’s the same love of supporting people and enabling communities to thrive that still drives everything we do, and we look forward to seeing you all again soon. – Dave Tucker, manager Glen Eden Community Library and your library team.

There is a Chinese curse along the lines of, ‘May you live in interesting times’. Well, we are certainly doing that. It has been a quiet time at the theatre, with understandably small audiences for what was an excellent production of A Skull in Connemara. An extended bout of ill health has forced our longtime director Liz Watkinson to withdraw from her plan to stage Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for us this year. Level 2 permitting, we now plan to bring forward our production of Waiting for God, to be staged in August. For further information on auditions for cast and crew, phone director Bob Lack on 027 498 9926. In other good news, our pantomime, planned to hit the boards in November, is proceeding at a great rate. We have permission to use the songs we want, the script is finished, the director and designer appointed, and there are plenty of “Look behind you!”s and “Oh yes he did”, “Oh no he didn’t”s to keep panto aficionados entertained. And it is such a Titirangicentric script, maybe we should call it a Panto-rangi, instead of Jack and the Giant Kauri Tree…. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has forced the temporary closure of the theatre wardrobe for hireage of costumes. We plan to reopen when Level 2 restrictions drop to Level 1, so any risk of contamination of costumes is at least much reduced. Please don’t forget to keep an eye on our website for news and updates. – Phoebe Falconer

Towards a gradual recovery I trust that everyone is getting used to level 2 of the Covid lockdown arrangements and the further liberties that it brings. In some ways I enjoyed level 4. The lack of traffic, the improvement in air quality and the return of wildlife to the bush surrounding my home in Titirangi was noticeable and I hope that in the future we continue to aspire to improving the environment a permanent goal for our area. Businesses are now waking from their slumber. It is noticeable that a few have closed their doors permanently and despite the best intentions of the Government and the generosity of the wage subsidy, unemployment will increase and more businesses will close. Already we are seeing the effects. Requests for food parcels have surged. Auckland Council’s Emergency Management has delivered tens of thousands of food parcels throughout the region. Locally Vision West is also supplying food parcels to those in need. And suddenly, instead of being a well connected part of the world, New Zealand is now an isolated country with its previously high levels of immigration and tourism now slowing to a trickle and forecast population growth rates declining significantly.

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Change is inevitable. And the need to have strong resilient communities has never been more apparent. As I write, local facilities are being readied for reopening. The Glen Eden Library was to reopen on the 20th of May. The Titirangi Library will take longer before it is reopened but I hope will reopen soon. The Titirangi War Memorial Hall is also to be reopened in the near future although the Ceramco Centre will not be reopened in the meantime. The local board will continue to meet digitally. I am hopeful that we will be able to live-stream our meetings. Deputations and a digital public forum are available and approaches are welcome. If you have any questions or requests do not hesitate to contact me or any of the board members or staff. Greg Presland | Local Board Chair Waitākere Ranges Local Board Mobile: 021 998 411 Email:

The Fringe JUNE 2020


our place

Working to feed those who need help

VisionWest volunteers helping with food distribution.

Food charities and support services already under pressure during Covid-19 are bracing for a surge in demand as more and more local residents face increased financial pressure. Brook Turner, head of community service development at VisionWest Community Trust, says they have seen the number of families they support in West Auckland tripling since the beginning of Level 4. He expects this to grow by an additional 700 families in the West Auckland region alone. “There is a perfect storm coming and it will be a once-in-a-generation kind of moment,” says Brook. “We’ve got to walk with people, give them employment opportunities, set up community enterprises. We will need public, private and non-profit partnerships that help build a new economy, support a co-ordinated food system and offer a significant response to those in poverty.” VisionWest provides support to those in need, with those receiving food also volunteering at the organisation. “Our whole approach to kai is that it is a great connector and food is a basic human right like shelter. Without those things your whole world is in disarray,” says Brook. VisionWest has received a $100,000 grant from The Trusts to help them cope with the additional demand for food. Fair Food, a charity which collects and distributes surplus food from retailers and manufacturers, also received a $100,000 grant from The Trusts. Veronica Shale, executive director, says as more hospitality businesses struggle, there is a flow-on effect for suppliers. Food wastage and scarcity are the results. “The issue is how do we divert this food that’s not needed anymore away from the landfill and back into the supply chain so organisations like us can help get it to those who need it. “In month one of lockdown we rescued over 121 tonnes of surplus nutritional food, which equates to over 348,000 meals. Fair Food offers a pragmatic solution to tackle food waste and food insecurity, nourishing our communities in need – and this need will be ongoing for some time,” says Veronica.

Veronica says while they’re grateful for the support of The Trusts, businesses and the community need to work together efficiently to redistribute surplus food. “What I'm saying is if you are a food grower, or manufacturer there are food rescues all around New Zealand that would gladly distribute the food and there are people out there that really need it,” she says. Matt Williams, acting CEO of The Trusts says they are working with a range of community organisations who have had their usual source of funding disrupted during the lockdown. “There is a growing need from charities who have been cut off from their normal supply of resources which is impacting on their ability to support members of our community. “We want to encourage other corporates to reach out to these groups and find a way to help them, whether through financial support or even lending warehouse space and logistical support,” he says. In parallel developments local pātaka kai (food pantries) are reopening with innovative ideas to increase low stocks and facing demand that is higher than ever before. The Glen Eden pātaka group have launched a $10 for 10 Cans scheme: for every donation of $10 organisers will buy 10 cans of food to put in the pātaka for people in need. On the group’s social media pages they’re also featuring recipes that are wholesome and low cost. Glen Eden Residents’ Association spokesperson, Heather Tanguay, says since Covid-19 lockdown and a reopening of pātaka across our area under Level 2, there has been a bigger need in the community than ever before. Even before lockdown Heather had noticed that many people were under very high pressure. That was then. “The need now is unbelievable. We’ve never seen anything like the demand we have now,” Heather says. “Many people have never been in this situation before and it’s a very strange thing for them to go to pātaka to help feed their families. A number of people coming to us have previously been supporters of the pātaka and now they have to come themselves. It’s a very emotional time for so many,” Heather says. To help visit, https:// or the Glen Eden pātaka kai group on Facebook groups/300858340699327/.

Your Local MPs Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Dr Deborah Russell

Kelston Electorate Office

New Lynn Electorate Office

MP for Kelston

200C West Coast Road, Glen Eden 09 818 4131 /CarmelSepuloniLabour @CarmelSepuloni

MP for New Lynn

1885 Great North Rd, Avondale 09 820 6245 /DeborahRussellLabour @beefaerie

Authorised by Carmel Sepuloni MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington


The Fringe JUNE 2020

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Where is work on our tracks up to? As your Waitākere ward councillor I receive many queries and suggestions about local and regional issues. A recent email from a Titirangi resident asked about progress on track upgrades and while most of his queries were about local tracks under delegation to the Waitākere Ranges Local Board, this response from the Auckland Council programme manager responsible for the implementation of the local parks kauri dieback mitigation programme also applies in part to the regional park tracks. I hope you will find this helpful in understanding the rationale and progress on the track network upgrades. – Councillor Linda Cooper, Waitākere ward councillor and chair of the regulatory committee. 021 629 533. It is indeed taking a while to reopen Titirangi’s local tracks but we need to get it right to save the remaining kauri or we could end up closing the tracks indefinitely. Kauri dieback disease has been spreading throughout Auckland’s forest for several years and Council set up a targeted rate in 2018 to fund a programme to stem the spread and contain the disease. Kauri dieback can be spread by people carrying a pinhead of soil from an infected area into a healthy kauri area. The kauri dieback spore can also be transmitted through water movement. Once a kauri is infected with the disease, it cannot be cured and will eventually die. Since there is no cure, we need to undertake measures to protect and save our kauri trees by preventing the spread of the disease. A large number of tracks were inspected to identify the measure we need to take. Tracks with kauri were closed temporarily to protect kauri while we worked through installing mitigation measures so the majority of the tracks could be reopened. We have over 100 track projects in local parks were we need to implement measures to protect kauri. The mitigation options do include indefinite closures where the kauri dieback disease is rampant and needs containment. We are also changing the track alignment where possible to divert people away from kauri and constructing boardwalks and new track profiles that are elevated to create a barrier between walkers and the soil surface. The mitigation programme will take several years to complete due to the volume of work across Auckland. The demand for quality track contractors is extremely high which is placing pressure on our delivery schedules

as the regional parks teams, DoC, the Tupuna Maunga Authority and the northern and Coromandel local authorities are all vying for companies to upgrade their tracks. We do have a time frame to meet as set down by the Ministry of Primary Industries and although not mandatory yet, we were aiming for all the local parks works to be completed by mid 2022. Our priorities are to mitigate and reopen tracks that have high use, provide commuter and school access, where we can and have protected kauri and where there is low demand for time consuming consents. The Waitākere Ranges Local Board has supported our work programme and there is only one track (Mahoe Walkway) where the high levels of kauri dieback present has led to its indefinite closure. The possible movement of infected soil by walkers posed a high risk to healthy kauri elsewhere. There are two tracks under review, Okewa Reserve and Tinopai Reserve, and discussion will shortly be held with the board on the options at these sites. All other tracks will be reopened once the mitigation works are complete. Bill Haresnape Track has taken some time as the design and consent process for the proposed staircases has been lengthy. We have a large number of projects underway across Auckland and we are endeavouring to open up the closed tracks as quickly as we can. Covid-19 did slow us down over a very dry period but the contractors are back working on a number of the local tracks.

Protecting our healthy kauri has to be a priority.

– Grant C Jennings, manager kauri dieback and tracks specialist.

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

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our place

Getting ready to burst forth along the Whau The Whau River Catchment Trust is on the lookout for new people to join its volunteer teams now that we have moved into Level 2, and plans are afoot for “a cracking 2020 WRCT planting season,” according to its ecological restoration coordinator, Sandra Maclean. “Work with the WRCT team has been ongoing behind the scenes, getting ready to get back out there,” says Sandra. “Perhaps people have been thinking more locally since lockdown. They’ve been out walking, taking note of what’s going on in their communities, and in some ways being more engaged with their environment.”

The Whau River Catchment Trust is looking for help for weeding, planting and monitoring. (Photo taken before current social distancing guidelines came into force.)

WRCT is especially keen to connect with new groups this month, and while we are under Level 2. These groups will be asked to take on the job of planting thousands of trees along the river on the Rosebank Peninsula from next month and running to October. The trees will consolidate earlier plantings to help keep them secure from weed incursions. “Rosebank is a long site, along an industrial coast, and it’s a big area,” says Sandra. “We want to do restoration right along there and while we’ve done about a third of the area, there’s still lots to do,” she says. “This year many of our planting activities are likely to

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involve some site preparation before we start planting, as we’re behind on that front. “There’ll be a mix of activities and we’re keen to hear from new volunteers – and groups – so we can get right into it come July. Groups provide a decent body of people and you get a lot of work done that way. Everything will be well managed on-site with social distancing. “Our current volunteers are terrific but we want to widen our net and engage new people and not just the converted,” says Sandra. In the meantime, WRCT has thousands of young trees at their base in Blockhouse Bay that need to be potted up into larger pots in preparation for the site planting next month. At the same time the Te Whau Biodiversity Survey 2020 continues and WRCTs Justine Newnham is encouraging more locals to take part by taking photos of animals and plants in their backyard or local park using the iNaturalist App. The aim is to establish what species are living in the area and which are not. The data collected from the app will create a baseline that can be compared with other surveys. Last year more than 1,000 people took part in the survey. Justine would like to double that number this year. “The results will give us a good picture of what’s in the neighbourhood. They could tell us if we need more plants to help the native birds, what native species are lacking and whether introduced species are inhibiting native species. If they are we can deal with them. “The app is amazing and pops out all the answers for us. It’s so easy. Put in the location and a GPS reading comes up with information about the plant or animal species,” Justine says. “You can have a lot of fun doing it and it helps people learn more about nature and what’s in their neighbourhood. And the more we know about nature, the more we can become involved in nourishing the environment we live in.” For more information: Sandra Maclean: 021 295 0303, Justine Newnham: 627 3372, – Moira Kennedy

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The Fringe JUNE 2020

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sustainable solutions with fiona drummond

‘Foodscaping’ for your winter soup kitchen Katrina Wolff is a Titirangi local, a keen gardener and a biodynamic composting enthusiast. She defines foodscaping as bringing flowers, herbs and structural elements into the vegetable garden and blurring the lines between what gets planted for show and what is purely functional. Katrina works part-time for Kai Whau and shares gardening advice online through her business Blue Borage. She has recently run weekly gardening workshops at the Green Bay Community House supported by the Whau Local Board. She also likes to help clients design their kitchen gardens by working around each person’s cooking preferences and household rhythms. I asked Katrina what changes she’d noted over lockdown. “I’m getting a few requests from people eager to start growing more of their own food at home. This is perhaps one of the few blessings of the Covid-19 crisis, and I think it’s also an opportunity to build gardening communities. “People are planting crops for neighbours and swapping their surplus. This is the sort of environment where urban farming could take off. Our food system needs to be more resilient, more local, and our experienced gardeners could be stepping into new careers as we embrace a circular economy.” Katrina is also part of an online community reviving the kitchen garden – check out Some of the vegetables I’ve planted for winter are onions, leeks, spring onions, beetroot, carrot, turnip, daikon, radish, Asian greens like pak choi, bok choi and hakusai, cabbages, broccoli, celery and garlic. Here are some tips for the beginner gardener: • Start small: salad greens and herbs in containers are so satisfying. • Microgreens are quick and easy, and will make you feel more confident about growing other food from seed later, in spring. • Take a good look at your soil: refine your composting, start a worm farm, or increase your worm farm production. Learn to use the worm castings. I love the moment when people come to realise that composting is alchemy – literally turning a waste product into black gold. • Plan how your garden could include more edibles. The trend overseas is for more and more food to be grown in urban centres, with composting a natural

adjunct to places like cafés, libraries, shared office spaces and conference centres. Workplaces are starting to install impressive edible gardens for use by staff and customers. These public gardens can then become ideal teaching spaces where people like me can drop in for a talk or demonstration. Could West Auckland gardens become ever more sustainable, circular, and edible? I can recommend Katrina’s blog on planting a winter soup garden on the Sunnysunday site, blog /how-to-grow-yourwinter-food, which includes a planting list, how to create a new low cost, no dig garden along with some yummy soup Katrina about to set off for a gardening workshop. Photo by Katrina Wolff. recipes.

Towards a more sustainable budget

In these challenging times, maintaining a sustainable family budget is increasingly important, and difficult. A local organisation, Moneyhub NZ, has created a useful website to help you find comprehensive, objective and free information to enable you to make the best financial decisions. Their latest resource, is a guide that helps to reduce home expenditure by highlighting 20 ways householders fritter away their earnings including subscriptions, power, insurance, credit card interest and finance arrangements. Moneyhub founder Christopher Walsh believes that anyone actioning at least three suggestions from the list could easily save $3000 to $8000 per year. Insurance was one area where households could make large savings Christopher believes. He cautions about under-insuring, but says shopping around could save $1500 a year on life, house and car insurance. Overdrafts, mortgages and personal loans were also areas where savings were possible, according to Moneyhub. People often have good intentions of reviewing their financial plans but don’t get around to it. Now could be the ideal time to do some research to find the best deals.

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naturally west with fiona drummond

A charm of finches

A goldfinch enjoying thistle seed.

A fledgling chaffinch chick being fed by an adult male. Photo by Alex Scott.

Exhibition Drive was a lifesaver for many Titirangi locals during lockdown with lots of people taking the opportunity to run, ride and walk the route (within their family bubbles) during Level 4 and Level 3. Some of the birds enjoyed over this time have been the European goldfinch and, in smaller numbers, the European chaffinch. Taking morning exercise, I often encounter a flock of up to 10 browsing goldfinches. Frightened skywards, they continue to flit along in front of me, groundward, then skyward, and this undulating flight game continues for a little while along the track, sometimes just one bird, sometimes more. The goldfinch is a bright little bird, and its distinctive red face and yellow wing flash make it easily identifiable. Though New Zealand has no native finches, these foreigners are no threat to our native species, as they mainly eat the seeds of introduced weeds, especially thistles. Only kākāriki (parakeets) eat small seeds, and mostly in forest habitats where finches are not prevalent. Goldfinches are partial to strawberries too but are generally considered neutral or beneficial to the rural economy where flocks of them are not unusual. Finches are more recent arrivals to the Drive, and we feel a bit privileged as they are more typically an open country bird than a bush one. This could be why they are common on the track, where there are many grasses

and weeds with seed heads that they enjoy. They will also supplement their seed diet with small invertebrates in the breeding season. Their endearing tinkly song has given rise to the collective noun of a ‘charm’ of finches. Across the country goldfinches are thriving, in large part due to prolific breeding: it is not unusual for a pair to produce two clutches, each up to six chicks in a season. We like to think that their presence here is in part due to the increased pest control efforts of the Waima to Laingholm Pest Free Group along the Drive, where both possums and rats are being trapped. The European chaffinch is a more naturally coloured little bird, easily identified by its white wing flashes in flight. It is the most common and widespread of New Zealand’s introduced finches and found in a wide range of habitats. Unlike the goldfinch, the chaffinch is more social across bird species and is often seen feeding with sparrows and silvereyes around bird feeders, on lawns and in parks. They are more likely to have just one clutch of eggs per season. Chaffinches also feed on seeds on the ground, and in trees such as pines and native beeches. Insects are located by searching the branches and foliage of trees and shrubs, taken from the ground or caught by hawking, especially around rivers and streams. The European greenfinch is the largest and most stockily built of New Zealand’s introduced finches. A heavy bill allows the bird to crack larger seeds than other An adult female greenfinch. species can manage, Photo by Les Feasey. including those from a number of crops, making them a pest in some districts. Unlike their cousins, flocks of greenfinches can be a serious pest to ripening brassica seed crops, especially rapeseed and radish, as well as cereal, linseed crops and some fruits. Greenfinches can breed when less than a year old, and can rear up to three broods in a season, with five chicks in a brood, so they are widespread around the country, though less prolific in our leafy neighbourhood.

weather by the moon Ken Ring’s predictions for June June may be wetter, cloudier and warmer than normal, with no dry spells lasting more than three days. The first week may see most rain, the second week is second wettest, and the third week brings the lightest rain. The fourth week contains about four dry but cloudy days. The heaviest falls may be around the 7th/8th and 29th, and the driest days may be the 19th, 24th, and 27th. The sunniest days may be the 6th and 26th but will also see light showers. The average afternoon and overnight temperatures may feel 2° warmer than the norm. Atmospheric pressures may average about 1011mbs. Wind directions may average from the southwest.


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For fishermen, the highest king tide may be around the 6th, with a lesser king tide on the 23rd. The best fishing bite-times in the west are around noon on the 5th-7th and 20th-22nd, (and in the east at dusk on those days). Chances are also good in the west for dusk of the 12th-15th, and 27th-29th, (and in the east around noon on those days). For gardeners, the 1st-5th and the 23rd-30th are the best sowing days (waxing moon ascending). The best pruning days are the 9th-20th (waning moon descending). For longer shelf-life for crops, harvest on the 15th which is neap day. Allow 24 hour error for all forecasting. For future weather for any date, visit © Ken Ring 2020.

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Living in the Waitākere ranges Part one in a series by the South Titirangi Neighbourhood Network, supported by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board, about living in the Waitākere Ranges and their foothills. Titirangi is unique in the world. A natural suburban environment on the very edge of a large city. It wasn’t always this way. The Waitākere Ranges have a rich Māori history and are of great cultural significance to Māori. Local iwi Te Kawerau ā Maki and Ngāti Whātua hold mana whenua over the area. European settlement in the Titirangi area started in the 1830s. Over the following decades, the land was at times burned, logged and turned to pasture for crops and farming. Even wine making was once attempted on some of the southern slopes. But, perhaps fortunately, South Titirangi wasn’t suitable for farming and in the recent past focus has shifted to regeneration and biodiversity: letting nature reclaim the slopes around the established homes and developed spaces, and then later a move to protecting and enhancing it, bringing the area much closer to its original state and establishing habitats for populations of birds, and even fish life in our streams and waterways.

The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area In 2008, the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Act was introduced and 27,700ha of public and private land including the Waitākere Ranges, foothills and coastal areas were incorporated within the heritage area. The Act recognises the significance of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area and promotes the protection and enhancement of its heritage features. The heritage features (section 7 of the Act) include terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the different natural landforms and landscapes of the heritage area. Living in the West you are likely to notice an emphasis on the preservation and protection of native bush that stems, in large part, from the existence of this legislation, but also from a desire among many people who live here to protect and nurture our special natural environment.

Trees and shrubs need …. • Fertile soil • Leaf litter retains moisture in the ground and provides food and habitat for insects • Pests and weeds removed • Lots of birds, insects, lizards, worms, fungi and bacteria • Puriri, karaka, nikau and kohekohe are signs of fertile soils Small creatures like skinks, geckos and insects need …. • Rotten wood, loose rocks and soft ground to live, eat, burrow • Trees or bushes for cover, food and shelter • No mice, rats or cats Birds need • Insects, fish, crustaceans, berries, seeds and nectar • Connected bush cover • Perching, roosting sites • Secret places for their nests • Loose bark, soft ground, rotten branches for insect food to live in • No rats, possums, mice or mustelids (stoats/ferrets) People need …. • Light: people need sunlight. Skylights let light into bush-surrounded properties • Gravel or semi-turfed driveways to reduce flooding and erosion • Inspiration from a close relationship with nature

South Titirangi Neighbourhood Network is working towards a weed and pest free South Titirangi peninsula. To find out more, find them on Facebook, or visit www.

Living in nature: A privilege and a responsibility There are many reasons that we might decide to live in the Waitākere Ranges. Proximity to a more natural world is high on the list. Just as it’s a privilege to live here, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come with living in a natural area. In practical terms, this can include how we subdivide and develop our land, finding ways to retain trees instead of cutting them down, respecting kauri dieback protocols, preventing invasive weeds that can kill the bush from becoming established or spreading, and participating in animal pest control programmes on your property.

If the world around us is healthy, so are we.

Here are some of the elements that help achieve a healthy balance. Streams need …. • Shade from a continuous edge of overhanging plants • Clean water low in silt, nutrients and pollution

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Mopey follows the signs ... Yeah gidday. Lizard here. Well, what a day, week, month or even year! Clap, clap, clap, clap. No sooner had Level 2 been announced when life threw up a curve ball, but as usual it all ended well. Check this out ... You see, several weeks back, during the beginnings of lockdown, I’d plonked the caravan and a few essentials on a piece of vacant land. Shaz, the kids and a few mates set up camp there. Turned out it wasn’t quite vacant as such. More like Waima Reserve. Now that every busybody and their snivellers were once again outdoors, we’d been getting the evils. Added to all that drama, we’d bolted a viewing pod to the roof of the caravan, which became as leaky as, so it was time to find somewhere dry to park over winter. There was only me, Shaz and Mopey Jesus left on site anyway. I’ll let Mopey finish the story. Over to you, Mopey. Hello. As addressed so eloquently by Lizard, I’m Mopey Jesus. The aforementioned has been of a sullen disposition since the departure of friends and family. I tried to console him by stating that if a bird has feathers it flies, but as we all know, Lizard is more inclined to seek merriment than the solace of prudence. When our paths first crossed my initial thoughts were, now there’s a man that could make coffee nervous. Over the passing weeks, however, I’ve discovered both he and the munificent Shaz to be very entertaining. A wiser man once said, a friend is never known until a man hath need. And let’s be quite frank, Lizard is far from wanting in the needs department. Still, where to from here I pondered. I sought direction. Guidance. A Sign. As I gazed up into a resplendent kowhai I spied a kotere perched in studied watch. Odd to be so far inland I thought, his disproportionate beak pointing north. So it was that I grabbed a couple of walking apples, said my goodbyes to Lizard and Shaz and headed north to the unknown. Even halfway up the hill, I could still hear Lizard’s booming baritone using language that would drive the devil from hell. Something about, the more you buggers stir the turd, the more it will stink, or words to that effect.


After a few hours I happened past the entrance to Gordons’ Nursery where an old acquaintance yelled to me from across the road. A friend had moved to a sex retreat in Thames and left behind a jacket, too good to discard, and he enquired if it might be to my liking. It very much was. Another hour passed. I put my left hand deep into my new side pocket to warm my fingers. To my surprise, it revealed a book about the The History of Whoo. Wow. This, as we all know, embodies regal beauty through the use of traditional Korean royal beauty secrets. On the inside cover was a hand-written inscription: If found, please return to J.A.Watson, Copsey Place. I knew that area. It’s off Rosebank Road. So that was there I headed. Why not? As I banged on the heavy steel door of the Copsey Place warehouse, a man approached from the adjoining building. “No one’s there. Hasn’t been for yonks,” he said. I produced the book and enquired if he knew a J.A.Watson. “Absolutely. Neighbours for years. Long since dead I’m afraid. His son moved in and gave the business a go for a while but he was one of those blokes who could piss out more than he drank, If you get my drift? Sold up and buggered off to Australia. Next was a Yanky film company. They went bust. Then a politician’s husband stored huge slabs of swamp kauri for a while but they shot off late one night. Bit suss.” “So, no one actually owns it?” I asked. “Guess not. I’m afraid some little shits will start a P-lab.” Just then, the sinking sun shone between the office buildings across the street, illuminating a giant cross on the front of J.A.Watson’s warehouse. “Would you look at that,” said the neighbour. In the late evening light I could just make out the letters on a placard above the door which read, Mana Ltd. “What’s that?” I asked. “Oh that. Just a sign,” he said. Later that night, Lizard, Shaz, Whitevan, Plumbless, myself and the caravan moved in. This Covid business just might be the new beginning we all seek. Ruia taitea, kia tu ko taikaka anake. Scatter the sapwood, let only the heartwood remain. be continued. Later, Mopey Jesus.


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