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ISSUE 203, MAY 2021

community news, issues, arts, people, events


Wabi sabi alive and well on Titirangi’s fringe.........................................3


Special place; special people..................................................................4 Charities brace for surge in demand ahead of winter............................5 Neighbours fighting to save a local reserve...........................................6 Celebration time at Whatipu..................................................................7 A Village icon with a history...........................................................8 – 9 Art and about with Naomi McCleary....................................................10 Places to go: Events listing...........................................................12 – 13 At the libraries......................................................................................14


World class holistic care.......................................................................15 Bandstanding: Fiona McEwen......................................................16 – 17 Local Bike Hubs win national transport award.....................................18


The monarch butterfly man – Tom Skeates..........................................19 Naturually west: Monitoring the monarchs.........................................20 Sustainable solutions: recycling polystyrene; Weather by the moon..........................................................................21 Live @ the lounge................................................................................22 Advertisers’ Directory...........................................................................23

On our cover: It’s Our Place: fishermen at Whatipu. What does our place look like where you are? Take a quick pic and email it to info@fringemedia.co.nz. (Photo by John Chapman.)

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


It’s Our Place!


Features: Moira Kennedy

Community organisations, sports clubs, craft clubs and other non-commercial organisations are welcome to post their news and updates on The Fringe’s web site, FREE.

021 723 153 moira@fringemedia.co.nz

Email your updates and information to info@fringemedia.co.nz See Our Place at www.fringemedia.co.nz

Every issue of The Fringe (and the Titirangi Tatler before it) since April 2011 is on-line at www.fringemedia.co.nz. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ FringeWest) to hear when each issue is available and get other updates.


The Fringe MAY 2021

Writers and contributors: David Thiele, Naomi McCleary, Susannah Bridges, Fiona Drummond, Michael Andrew, Zoe Hawkins and Kerry Engelbrecht.

Advertising deadline for June 2021: May 14.

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places to go

Wabi sabi alive and well on Titirangi’s fringe To many of us Japan seems like a nation built on orderly perfection but it has also long held a philosophy of ‘wabi sabi’ which is all about embracing the beauty of imperfection. Titirangi couple Beverley and Julian Cole found their own wabi sabi when they bought Haresnape House in Otitori Bay Road in the 1990s and have developed a deep love of Japanese architecture as a result. Brick-by-brick, stone-by-stone and rock-by-rock the home was built bit-by-bit by renowned architect, environmentalist and former Waitākere City Councillor, Bill Haresnape. It took him three years from 1955 – 58 and was inspired by Californian architects of the era, including Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed more than 1,000 structures over a creative period spanning 70 years. He had a strong belief in designing in harmony with humanity and the environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. He often spoke about his admiration for Japanese design with buildings that were structurally honest, beautiful and functional. It was the aesthetic that captured Wright. Wright was Haresnape’s architectural hero so it follows that the home he built on the ridge of Titirangi featured the Japanese influence of flat designs captured in clean lines, abstract forms and the elegant patterns that so captivated the American. With an engineering and tool-making background, Julian says he knew nothing about architecture when he first arrived at the Titirangi property. People said it was very similar to Frank Lloyd Wright’s style and that led Bev and Julian down a steep research path, visiting some of Wright’s work in the States and Japan. Back home, research into their 278sq.m Japanesestyle home and four-hectare property began. They were stunned to discover that Bill Haresnape collected stones from the Bombay and Bethells quarries by hand each week, bringing them by trailer for the family to help him build the walls using a hand mixer. Beams were brought in by car with Bill’s wife, Val, driving the vehicle while he clung onto the roof of the car and held them on. The driveway just couldn’t accommodate a truck. “When Bill said he’d built it brick-by-brick, he meant it. He really had. When I first walked up the drive, I was just blown away by the scale of the place. Mrs Haresnape said she’d hammered all the nails into the floor,” Julian says. “The home is so amazingly built, it’s still fairly maintenance free. All the aluminium sheet cladding is as good as new. I just do things as needed. The main thing is to keep the kauri leaves swept up!” In 2009 the home won an Auckland Architecture Award in the Enduring Architecture category with judges calling it a jewel in the Titirangi bush, displaying “sophisticated internationalism.” Architects still visit – and others too – and the couple welcome them. Beverley says she felt like she’d come home when she first moved in. “I seemed to have a relationship with the property. I loved the ambience, the views, the birds, just everything about it. Every window is a different picture and the Manukau Harbour is so fabulous to look at. “We always say to each other that Bill built it of the land and everything becomes one with nature. I fell in love with it the moment I first stood on the doorstep.” Many of the plantings in the garden are original to the

house. “Bill never cut anything down. The trees were nearly coming in the windows when he died [in 1991],” Julian says. “I think we’re caretakers and when we pass this on, we’d like it to go to someone who understands it and preserves it as it is. Bill wasn’t a carpenter but he built an honest construction,” Julian says. “It’s fantastic to live here and it’s my kind of perfection – wabi sabi. We appreciate the little imperfections, the signs that show wear and tear, the materials that have been recycled. We feel lucky to live here every day.” Beverley agrees. “We’re conscious of everything we do and like to keep the Japanese style – the indoor-outdoor flow, stepping stones, raked gravel and scoria, the rare king ferns. “We’re still researching things Japanese and learning something every day,” says Julian, leading to one of the changes he’s made on the property – a proper Japanese bath house he’s built. Bit-by-bit. – Moira Kennedy

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Julian and Beverley Cole: owners of their beloved Haresnape House.

Julian Cole in his self-built Japanese bath house.

Got something to say or know of a great story idea? Let The Fringe know... Email info@fringemedia.co.nz or write to PO Box 60-469, Titirangi The Fringe MAY 2021


our place

Special place; special people

Above: Louise Doyle, principal of Oaklynn Specialist School: “I love our community.” Below: Students and friends enjoying the activities at a recent Whānau Day.


The Fringe MAY 2021

Everyone gives you welcoming smiles when you arrive at Oaklynn Specialist School. From the low-key entrance to the office complex they say ‘Hello’ and ask if they can guide you into a carpark. There’s the occasional burst of exuberant laughter suggesting it’s a fun place, yet there’s a sense of calm too. Tucked into a leafy spot at the end of a New Lynn cul de sac, Oaklynn has been a special place since the 1960s providing individualised programmes for West Auckland students with intellectual and physical disabilities and other complex needs such as autism and ADHD. It provides a service of community learning for 5 – 21 year olds, from primary levels to tertiary education, and it holds student learning and wellbeing at the heart of everything. Louise Doyle has been at the school for 30 years and her love for her organisation and her job is palpable. She has been the principal for 13 years and when she started, there was a student roll of 45 with nine teachers. Today there are 180 students across 10 sites: the base school, eight satellite schools (Arahoe, New Lynn and Chaucer Primaries, Glen Avon, Green Bay Intermediate and High schools, St Leonard’s Road Primary and Avondale Intermediate) and a tertiary unit for 18 – 21 year olds at the New Lynn Community Business Centre where the students use the local community as their ‘classroom’, accessing local facilities like the library, gym, mall and businesses for work experience. “I love our community,” says Louise. “I’ve always loved working with complex and interesting students and how I could support their learning and how to understand them. I love helping people find their niche and getting the best out of them.” From nine teachers, Louise’s team in the central west area has grown to 40 teachers, an outreach team

covering local schools from Laingholm to Waterview, a team of therapists and 70 – 80 teacher aides. Their roles cover a range of services including speech, language, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, vision impairment and drama. Louise says parents are very involved in the work Oaklynn is doing. “They make the choice to have their child in a specialist school but if they want to choose a different option or want to go back to mainstream, we ensure we support what they believe is best for their child.” The needs for families can change over the years and meetings at key points are important. “At five or six they may want their child to read, write or talk; when the youngster is 11 or 14 they might want him or her to have friends, a buddy, peer groups just like them. Some students may stay in the same class with the same teacher for three or four years.” Louise says learning success is very much on an individual basis. “You can’t make comparisons, one person to another. Individual gains are often around the fundamentals of being a human being. It may be independence, social skills, making friends, holding a conversation or getting on with adults. “An example of that may be an 18-year old who has a playdate with other students for the first time, or a 14-year old having their first sleepover. It may be students having friends they can text or message.” Staff wellbeing is crucial too. “Everyone in the organisation is working to support the learning and wellbeing of our students. For that to be optimised, the adults also have to be well so for us it’s about ensuring our staff feel happy and safe in their workplace, that they’re fulfilled and feel they have the skills and resilience to do the job. “Once the teacher and the team are swimming, the kids are fine.” Louise says Oaklynn has always been good at what it does. “We’ve always wanted to be an outward-looking organisation and a centre of expertise and knowledge. Little by little we’ve achieved that. “We’re very involved in our community of learning with local schools, and we offer a lot not just to our students but to those working in wrap-around services and the community at large. We’ve become valued and appreciated as a centre of expertise,” she says. “I love the growth we’ve made over the years and I can see a lot more we can do.” – Moira Kennedy

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our place

Charities brace for surge in demand ahead of winter Charities are bracing for an expected surge in demand as the onset of winter, and growing fears recent legislative changes may increase rents, place additional stress on families. To help address the increase in need, The Trusts (a social enterprise that derives its funding from its hospitality and retail operations) is committing over $1 million to charities and local groups over the next 12 months. The Trusts say the pandemic has changed the face of need in New Zealand and their model is being adapted to ensure charitable organisations can continue to provide structured support where it is most needed. Allan Pollard, The Trusts CEO, says Christmas, the start of the school year and winter are the three most difficult times of the year for families managing their budgets. “For many Kiwi families, the arrival of winter signals a new round of financial pressure that they are often ill-equipped to bear. “The cost of new clothing, bedding and just staying warm over winter will see many families having to make choices that may risk compromising their health – whether it is through changing their nutritional intake or even sacrificing a visit to the doctor. “At the same time, the spectre of potential rent increases as a result of changes in our legal environment creates uncertainty and stress. “While some tenants may have the option to move house if their rent is increased, for many even the expense of shifting house creates another cost they

simply cannot afford. “Sadly it is some of the most vulnerable in our community that live continuously on the threshold of financial hardship – struggling from week to week,” he says. Allan says the Your West Support Fund will offer funding of up to $20,000 for each community cause that applies and meets their criteria. The first round of funding will open in July, with a second-round planned for February-March next year. “In addition to helping local charities continue their work at the coal face, we recognise that there are other segments of the community that could benefit from additional financial support. “We want to provide a model that is as as flexible as possible at a time when need has evolved and so many more in our community are turning to charities for support,” he says. Allan says in addition to the Your West Support Fund, The Trusts will also open expressions of interest for major grants later in the year. He says this is expected to see hundreds of thousands of dollars provided in grants and sponsorships for community projects. Charities, schools, and community groups that support the West Auckland region and are interested in applying for funding through the Your West Support Fund or the major grants expressions of interest should contact The Trusts for more information.

Does your charitable organisation need assistance? How could The Fringe help you? Get in touch by email (info@ fringemedia.co.nz).

A voice for the Ranges Westie artist and conservationist John Edgar recently died. I first met John over 20 years ago. He was at the forefront of many environmental groups and was the long term leader of the Waitākere Ranges Protection Society. He had a deep and abiding love for the Waitākere Ranges. John had a keen scientific brain as well as immense artistic talent. He devised a process that allowed his partner, Anne Robinson, another exceptionally gifted artist, to construct extraordinary glass pieces and cool them safely. His organisation prompted the then Commissioner for the Environment Morgan Williams to conclude that the Waitākere Ranges was facing death by a thousand cuts and that the only protection was legislative change. He cajoled, urged, pleaded and eventually persuaded Waitākere Council to submit the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Bill to Parliament which was passed into law in 2008. After it passed I had the opportunity to present John with a framed copy of the Act. John had this wonderful response about “in case of emergency break glass”.

Since that time I have had regular contact with John. Emails from him tended to appear at 7am. Clearly the first thing he did every day was address issues concerning the protection of the Waitākere Ranges. As the issues appeared he was at the forefront of advocacy for action and change. As an example he championed action about kauri dieback. His positions were always science based. His greatest strength was his ability to nurture and grow a diverse network of talented people and get them to contribute to the protection of the Waitākere Ranges. A funny thing has happened about the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act. Originally the proposal was very contentious. Nowadays the vast majority of Westies cherish living in the Heritage Area and support action to maintain it. John will be missed. The Waitākere Ranges are in much better shape because of him. Greg Presland | Local Board Chair Waitākere Ranges Local Board

021 998 411 Greg.presland@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz Advertisement

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The Fringe MAY 2021


our place

Neighbours fighting to save a local reserve The Whau Local Board is hoping to meet Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee (PACE) this month to present their objection to the council’s plans to rezone a small local reserve into a mixed housing zone and eventually sell it off as part of its ‘resource recycling’.

PACE deals with strategy and policy decision-making that relates to social, community and cultural activities. Davern Lane, off Hutchinson Avenue in New Lynn, is a cul de sac of 12 privately owned homes. It includes a 300 metre square reserve, listed as Number 13, where the neighbours gather to chat or socialise and where their children can safely and freely play in the grassy area surrounded by native trees including two mature pōhutukawa, tītoki and other native plants and trees. In February this year, the residents became aware of the council’s proposed plans and formed an incorporated society, paying from their own pockets to hire a lawyer and planner to protest the rezoning. Spokesperson Lisa Kachappilly says a lot of people in the lane are doing a lot of hard work to save the reserve and they had to move quickly to get their submissions (which closed last month) lodged. The residents were told the reserve is one of a number across Auckland that could be rezoned and sold off to raise funds after budget shortages resulting from Covid-19.

Your local MP Dr Deborah Russell MP for New Lynn New Lynn Electorate Office 09 820 6245 newlynn.mp@parliament.govt.nz 1885 Great North Rd, Avondale, Auckland

The Whau Local Board has lodged a Notice of Motion objecting to the revocation of the reserve status and subsequent sale by Auckland Council’s governing body. Proposed by chair Kay Thomas and seconded by member Jessica Rose, it passed unanimously. The motion says that as well as providing for passive and active recreation, the Davern Lane reserve fosters social cohesion and wellbeing within the community. It says the Whau area is undergoing a significant increase in density and intensification in the surrounding streets means existing green spaces need to be retained. Board members visited the site and Kay Thomas says they were surprised at the size of the mature pōhutukawa and younger trees on the reserve which would most likely be felled should the site be sold, noting the sensitivity around the removal of native trees in the Whau area. Lisa says the reserve is very much part of their community. “That small patch of land really matters to us. If it was rezoned and sold, we could end up with three houses or apartments there. Three levels would be allowed for, there would be increased traffic and it wouldn’t be safe for children playing. It would be an eyesore. Most importantly the greenness would be gone. “I understand the need for housing but think there are better ways of doing it than using this small patch. I am hopeful the council will hear the voice of reason and leave it as it is so we can all enjoy it.” – Moira Kennedy

Lisa Kachappilly: “That small patch of land really matters to us.”

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The Fringe MAY 2021

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our place

Celebration time at Whatipu

“There were no roads. Everything was taken in by boat or bush track,” Bruce says. Today the collection of historic buildings at the lodge continues to attract guests and holidaymakers and the area is renowned for its wild beauty and historic sites. The 150th celebrations were postponed last year due to Covid-19 but are going ahead this month -- Saturday, May 22 at 1pm. They will involve walks and talks led by local identities followed by afternoon tea. It is a dog-free zone. For catering purposes, RSVP to Bruce Harvey on 817 3651 or email him at brutrix@xtra.co.nz

‘There were no roads. Everything was taken in by boat or bush track.’

– Moira Kennedy

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Entries are now open for the 2021 Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards Keep New Zealand Beautiful has launched the 2021 Beautiful Awards. The Beautiful Awards are run annually by the not-for-profit organisation to provide a benchmark for environmental excellence. The awards acknowledge schools, individuals, communities, towns and cities who are working hard across Aotearoa to keep New Zealand beautiful. Keep New Zealand Beautiful is a charitable organisation that has been encouraging New Zealanders to ‘Be a Tidy Kiwi' and 'Do the Right Thing’ since 1967. There are 13 different awards across four categories: Individuals, Community, Places and Towns & Cities. They celebrate individuals such as the Young Legends and Tidy Kiwis of New Zealand, as well as the champions of community environmental initiatives, the Most Beautiful Small and Large Town and City, the Most Sustainable School, Best Street and even the Best Loo in New Zealand! Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson says the awards are a fantastic opportunity for communities to showcase the beautification and sustainability initiatives being achieved across Aotearoa, and to reward and recognise New Zealand’s champions of environmental excellence. Nominations and submissions to the Beautiful Awards opened last month and will close on August 4, 2021. Winners will be announced on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at Auckland Zoo. For more information about the awards and how to enter, please visit knzb.org.nz.

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A celebration to mark the building of Whatipu Lodge 150 years ago will be held later this month. At the heart of Auckland’s milling industry from the mid-1860s, the renowned Gibbons family built a mill in Whatipu Valley and in 1870 Nicholas Gibbons built the lodge for mill workers. They lived there during the week, returning to their families – mostly in Huia – on Sundays. Local historian, 90-year old Bruce Harvey, says he warmly remembers holidays at wild and remote Whatipu as a child. His mother, Laura Gibbons was born there. “It was a great retreat for our family and as kids we just loved it, fishing and swimming. They were wonderful days.” Before Laura’s marriage to John/Jack Harvey (Bruce’s father), he would ride from his work as the manager at Rayner’s farm in Piha, to see her, often playing the accordion in the famous giant cave where a dance floor had been built about 1899 for the regular dance parties that attracted crowds from far and wide.

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A Village icon with a history Back in 1924 the establishment now known as Tobys Restaurant & Bar, on the corner of what is now Park and South Titirangi Roads, first opened its doors. Starting out as Park Drive Kiosk it became the Tea Kiosk, Park Kiosk, Reekies, Ye Olde Toby Jugge, The Toby Jug Restaurant, Arlingtons, Toby Jug, The Jug, Toby’s and then, until 2020, Park Road Kitchen.

Ye Olde Toby Jugge in 1958 c. Ref: WA-46143. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. / records/32054452

located at the site of today’s Lopdell House. Both tearooms profited from the opportunity to cater to the visitors to Mr Peat’s Treasure House (a kauri gum and natural artefacts museum and now housing the Titirangi Theatre wardrobe) and Titirangi’s natural attractions, including Exhibition Drive and Atkinson Park, both of which had opened prior to 1920. Hotel Titirangi, now Lopdell House, would have drawn more visitors to Titirangi, albeit for less than 10 years from opening in 1930 to the start of the Second World War, when the hotel’s days came to an end. In the 1930s the kiosk was taken over by the Reckies and a store was added. The name displayed on the roof was Park Kiosk & Store with Reekies (with an e, not a c – was this a typo?) on the side of the building. The building was L-shaped having a confectionery/ice cream counter in one corner with the remainder as a tea room, and a grocery shop bordering Park Road. During the Second World War and later, Reekies was the monthly meeting and social venue for the RSA, before they secured their own premises, with indoor In the days before the alignment of the present bowls played weekly on a Monday night and functions Titirangi Road, people approached Titirangi through welcoming and farewelling their members. It was also a Park Road and stopped at the corner before going back stronghold of the National Party in those days and local up South Titirangi Road, then known as School Road. Trevor Pollard recalls a handsome young man called The construction of the early building was significant Winston Peters in the midst. in that the walls were just one layer of kauri planking Trevor also recalled a builder friend Jock Aitken would thick, with the studs on the outside. There were two ties catch the last bus from town after Home Guard duty in across the roof that held the walls together, not unlike Army Headquarters in Rutland Street to the Titirangi a cardboard box construction, the sides of which were Hotel. After some shared imbibing there Jock would held by two cords. assist Mr Reckie, in an inebriated state, down School When Mabel Jones was the proprietress of the Road to his home. Mr Reckie would grab tight on Jock’s original Park Drive Kiosk, an advertisement extolled arm on the gravel road. When approaching the front “The Delights of a Cup of Tea at the Park Kiosk and door, Jock would stand him against it, knock on the door the services included Morning Teas, Hot Luncheons, and then take to his heels as he knew Mrs Reckie would Afternoon Teas and Parties Catered for”. have it in for him, throwing stones and abusing him for A 2003 Western Leader article written by ‘J.J.’ related getting her husband drunk. He knew from experience how, Titirangi school children had to pass the Kiosk to that she was a pretty good shot. and from school. With no money to spend on sweets After the Reckies, Mr and Mrs Kemp, (former hotel from Mabel’s lolly counter, a cunning plan was needed. proprietors from Kent, England) took over and changed J.J. rallied Sunday school friends to combine the pennies the name to Ye Olde Toby Jugge Shoppe. The Kemps given to them for the Sunday school plate at the church, procured a large toby jug that still took pride of place and spend them at Mabel’s. This became a regular some 30 years later. The Kemps became disillusioned Sunday occurrence and although J.J. suspected that with New Zealand’s licensing laws, which prevented Mabel was on to them, she never refused their pennies. them from transforming the kiosk into the type of first Through the 1920s and 30s the Park Drive Kiosk class restaurant they were16:33 accustomed to in Great FRINGEADLTD.pdf 1 15/11/16 was in competition with the Bishop’s tearooms, then Britain, so they sold out to the son of the timber

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merchant, Sam White, who owned it for a short time. In 1960 The Toby Jug Restaurant was run by Rod and Eileen Campbell and was open from 10am six days a week with dancing every Saturday for a 5/- cover charge. The dance band was the Trixonaires, which also played live on a Sunday night for a family audience. Red McCabe recalls this was his first band in 1959 and was comprised him on lead guitar, Jim McCabe on rhythm guitar, Heather Lawrence on piano and Neil Spackman on drums. It had taken three years work by the Campbells to change the kiosk into a restaurant and it was one of the first three restaurants in Auckland to gain a wine licence. At this time a restaurant had to prove they were serving at least 350 meals per week, a lot in those days. The Jug was watched by police and health inspectors and despite this, the owners had no alternative but to allow people to bring their own wine illegally, so it is interesting that one of the main reasons they were granted the licence, was due to the good behaviour record of the restaurant. The restaurant and ballroom were used for private functions, firm socials and wedding receptions. Trevor and Fay Pollard, local residents of Opou Road today, had their wedding reception at the venue and Trevor recalls his mum losing her teeth over the verandah that night! The Pollards recently celebrated their 61st anniversary at the current Tobys. Trevor recalls Bernard and Elva Barber running the grocery store part of Toby’s up until the late 1960s when the New World opened in the village in a more central location for passing traffic. In 1969, 25 year old Robert Massey and his wife Sue had taken over and brought back Sunday trading which must have been discontinued during or after the Campbell’s time running the restaurant. Massey appears to have had a grand sense of style and outfitted resident singer Ngaire Wilson to coordinate with the waitresses’ long side-split dresses made in aqua, green and violet printed silk. The waiters sported white, frilled shirts with silk cummerbunds. Massey also implemented a walk-in deep freeze and cool rooms for food and wine. The sound system was upgraded with six new twin speakers and a gold plated D1000 microphone. He was frustrated by the seven month wait for his application to sell spirits, only for it to be turned down. By 1970 Massey had implemented a full wedding

consultancy service including photography, wedding gowns, millinery, flowers, hair styling, wedding cakes and reception. He also promoted it as a conference venue for ‘businessmen’. Massey had recently employed an Italian chef who came directly from the Intercontinental Hotel and rated the Toby Jug as the best kitchen he had worked in, being “clean, light and well equipped”.

A 1973 Toby Jug menu found on Trade Me had an extensive menu with 12 steak dishes in the grills section, including a Toby Jug Buster (“for Hungry Bachelors and Neglected Husbands”) of fillet steak, wiener schnitzel and grilled ham and egg for a mere $4.25, the second most expensive item on the menu after the $4.95 lobster mornay. In 1974 the Toby Jug celebrated its 50th birthday by engaging Charlie Browns’ Organised Percussion, a top New Zealand band, to play six nights a week. Advertising at this time showed it was a fully licensed restaurant, open Monday to Friday for lunches and dinners with dine and dance Saturday nights. Toby’s has had various other owners over the years and most recently Park Road Kitchen was a successful day-time cafe managed by Pien Wise for around five years with Thomas Rapana, Titirangi’s singing barista – who had been at the Village’s Hardware Café for many years – making the coffees.

Guests enjoying the new Toby’s restaurant © www. thehospoguy.co.nz

Continued on page 11 >>

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The Fringe MAY 2021


art & about with naomi mccleary

John Edgar: ONZM – 1950 to 2021 For the second time in as many months, I feel compelled to talk about the loss of one of Waitākere’s great artists. John Edgar, friend and colleague in equal measure, died on Easter Saturday. Where to begin? Others will talk about his deep commitment to the protection of our treasured rain forest and his pivotal role in fighting for, and achieving, protection in law of the Waitākere Heritage area. This was an abiding passion and one he played out with calm but fierce determination. I would like to salute John Edgar the artist; one of the most inspired and skilled sculptors in Aotearoa and indeed in the world. His mastery of working in hard stone and his skill in splitting and inserting contrasting layers of stone or glass created a signature body of work that was instantly recognisable. His work was so seamlessly executed that one’s first, momentary, response was that the inserts were ‘real’; that granite pierced by glass or contrasting stone was a natural phenomenon. The scale of his work ranged from medals to small table sculptures through to monumental public artworks. Each piece was exquisitely wrought; the small pieces beautiful in the hand, the major works arresting and dramatic. In 1986 John travelled with his friend Murray Gray as a guest of the Chinese government to examine sources of jade in Central Asia. It was an astonishing trip into the foothills of the Himalayas; into areas that had previously been inaccessible to foreigners. John had long produced beautiful work in New Zealand pounamu and many people wear his classic pendants. But as time went by he became more aware of the rarity and sacredness of pounamu and used it with great discretion. In his words: For thirty years I have been trying to make good sense in my art. I have attempted to imbue my work with both the essence of the mountain, the river and the vast array of knowledge that is available to us in the 21st century. It’s a difficult task to teach a stone

T h e

N ZS t u d i o P o t t e r y ma r k e t Sunday May 2

New Lynn Community Centre, 48 Totara Ave, New Lynn

9am to 1pm

Gold coin entry, Early entry $5 (8 to 9 am)

Parking available at the back of the centre and McRae Way parking building Free entry to Te Toi Uku Crown Lynn & Clayworks Museum, a 5 minute walk away. For more info 827 7349 facebook.com/tetoiuku


The Fringe MAY 2021

to talk. But if you listen carefully you might just catch a word or two. His contribution to the wider arts community was significant. In 1998 he was invited to become a founding member of the trust set up to develop a community arts precinct on the Corban Estate and he served on that trust continuously, latterly as deputy chair, until late last year. Arts governance is a largely unsung and unseen arena of work and responsibility. John saw the possibility of the place; open parkland, heritage buildings and the potential to support a complex of John Edgar: ‘teaching stone to talk’. galleries, artists studios, education programmes, and performance groups. As the years went by, fueled by a constantly changing social and economic climate, he became particularly interested in the work with at-risk groups. He was a flag-bearer for accessibility. He loved the success stories; where young lives were transformed by creative experiences in a nurturing environment. In 2000 John was awarded a millennium medal and in 2006 was inaugurated as a Waitākere Arts Laureate. These were formal recognitions of his status as an artist and his contribution to the culture of the city. In the late 1990s John was invited to participate in a new and growing practice of arts/design collaborations; a way of harvesting the creativity of artists from the ground up rather than asking them to decorate completed structures. Waitākere is laced with waterways and John was engaged to work with an engineer to design a bridge, the second of a series of footbridges. He grabbed the opportunity by the throat. Working from the notion that early Maori often used kauri logs as crossings, John created a beautiful “kauri’ bridge in Falls Park, Henderson. His concept drawings were inspired, his understanding of the mechanics of bridge design clear and his detailing impeccable, down to bespoke lighting and a trail of very ‘Edgar’ medals inserted across the bridge platform. He more than once told me how much he liked ‘his bridge’. Later, when the new council building was completed, John was commissioned to create two signature pieces for the precinct; a metres high obelisk and a large circular sphere, both in granite spliced with red and cream stone. Although that site is now part of a development, John’s work will remain, as will his legacy of service to the arts community of the west.

Stop Press 1: There will be a live Going West Festival this year – Covid permitting. To minimise the risk of a lockdown and to maximise the promise, the festival will be split into monthly events based around the Lopdell Precinct. Think the familiar weekend divided by five. It’s a fresh way to spread the love. Stop Press 2: Te Pou Theatre is up and running. The main whare is fully functional. There will be a short season of productions before the builders return to complete the front, and back, of house. Stop Press 3: The extraordinary illustrative work of Titirangi resident Anna Crichton will be on display at Te Uru until mid-May. Over many years she has enhanced both New Zealand and overseas publications with her award-winning sharply drawn cartoons, caricatures and illustrations. Wildly political in content they are nevertheless often arrestingly beautiful.

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history >>

A Village icon with a history Continued from page 9

Park Road Kitchen closed in 2020 although Thomas returned to find a home in the left wing of the Tobys building, where he continues to offer coffee and sweet treats as Thomas’ Cup. With the closure of Park Road Kitchen, Peter Brown and Mike Simpkins decided to refurbish and refresh the venue and were inspired to celebrate both the building’s colourful heritage and some of their own. They spent around four and a half months on the renovation, stabilising the original kauri floor, soundproofing and rewiring the ceiling and reviving the Tudor look, complete with a new bar. There are antiquities dotted around the room, including a collection of toby jugs and articles dropped in by locals keen to share their memories of Toby’s in their lifetimes. Peter Brown, a Titirangi local, was familiar with the venue as a gathering place for functions and as an eating establishment through many years. His own family heritage has been incorporated into the new look Tobys with an exclusive beverage on tap, Mr Brown’s Gold Top Lager, a tribute to Peter’s Dad, Arthur Brown, who brewed the beer for the Sunshine Brewery in Gisborne back in the 1960s. Amelia Brown, Peter’s daughter, staged a surprise display for Tobys’ opening, referencing her grandfather’s background. (The beer is still brewed by the same brewery.) Mike Simpkins, born in Waiatarua, had his engagement party at Toby Jug Restaurant back in 1994. Mike has an extensive background in hospitality in various locations including Helensville at Number 8 restaurant, running

corporate themed functions in downtown Auckland and developing the Pumphouse at Unitec. His wife Annette owns and operates Kumeu Valley Estate, a wedding venue in Waimauku. Mike’s mum Marianne Simpkins who lives in Swanson had always had an interest in local history, and took it upon herself to research all she could about the restaurant’s past, unearthing several advertisements and articles from the Western Leader and NZ Herald from the 1960s and 70s. Mike highly values his staff and involves them in all the decision making. He is pleased to have hired local people, some of whom had lost previous jobs due to the Covid pandemic. In just three years, it will be time to celebrate Toby’s 100th anniversary, an impressive achievement for an historic establishment. – Fiona Drummond

Above: A beer with a history ... Below: Toby’s as it is today. Photo by Bevis England.

Where is our integrated public transport network?

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because of Covid (it’s always Covid’s fault) operational savings are needed so they could not reinstate the express service. But surprisingly they can afford to increase bus schedules around the suburbs. But if money is the driving factor, then this makes no sense. It is common to see great big buses with only a handful of passengers, especially around our outer suburbs. When the bus is empty, how it’s fuelled is virtually irrelevant. It’s just a $1.75M waste. When the size of the vehicle is inappropriate for the type of roads it is travelling it’s just a different form of congestion. A classic example of this is the size of buses AT has servicing the Laingholm community: they literally get stuck on the corners. If Council and Auckland Transport want people to partner in a shared vision of mass public transport into the future, then they need to demonstrate coherent planning that integrates demand, convenience, and vehicle type. Oh ... and open dialogue. My information request came back with virtually all financial data redacted. There is one good note, however. We can confirm AT will not be installing 134 parking metres in New Lynn where many bus and train users park. – Ken Turner and Michelle Clayton, WestWards


If Council and Auckland Transport are serious about getting people on public transport, then they need to make their services better than the comparable alternatives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a single $1.75M super-sexy hydrogen bus or 29 commonplace shuttle buses, it isn’t public transport nor is it saving anything until the public fills them up. Patronage of the New Lynn to CBD express bus service had been growing as people began appreciating, they could be chauffeured to town while calmly reading, writing on their tablet, or talking to other familiar faces. And on a good day quicker than by car. But AT’s recent removal of their peak hour Express Bus service has added 20 to 30 minutes commuting time from Glen Eden, Titirangi and Laingholm to and from the city. What made the express service faster was that after a slow circuit around the suburbs once the 152x, 171x and 172x arrived back at New Lynn they would proceed directly on to the city without any further stops. A big encumbrance now is having to connect and swap buses at New Lynn. Moreover, timetable changes are leading to missed connections, as one frustrated commuter told me, (Murphy’s Law – your connecting bus is just pulling out as your city bus pulls in) causing another 20-30 minute wait. Board members challenged Auckland Transport to reinstate this express service. AT explained that

The Fringe MAY 2021


places to go



– 9, ‘Amui ‘I Mu‘a – Ancient Futures: Dagmar Vaikalafi Dyck, Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi; The Wallace Arts Centre, Pah Homestead. 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough.


– 18, Outside the Match Box. Children aged 3 to 16 create an artwork out of a match box; Upstairs Gallery, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 4278.


– 23, Wayward works, a solo exhibition by local illustrator Anna Crichton; Learning Centre Gallery, Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8070.


– 23, How should we talk to one another? Ana Iti (Te Rarawa) presents an exhibition that looks at the writing of Māori woman authors, and the journey of language learning; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8070.


– 30, Creative Felt by Christine Robson; West Coast Gallery, Seaview Road, Piha; Thursday/Friday 11am-3pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-4pm; Phone 812 8029 www,westcoastgallery.co.nz.


– 30, Cats, Dogs and Madonna, Mangere-based artist AashaSamara Nimo’s explores her experience of living with her grandmother, Nannan, through an innovative installation of treasured objects and film photography. Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson. Phone 838 4455. www. ceac.org.nz.

w Event organisers:

Do you have an upcoming event you’d like listed in The Fringe? Send the details, including a contact person and number, to info@ fringemedia.co.nz.




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

– 30, Blossom, Bloom, Blooming. Inspired by her grandmother’s collection of flowers, Debbie Harris uses ceramics, textiles and mixed media to consider the garden and an object-based installation as likeminded systems of composition. Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson. Phone 838 4455. www. ceac.org.nz. – 30, Stretches and Bends. Influenced by Kantian philosophical ideas on how compositional elements of painting can engage the mind in an aesthetic play, Krystie Wade’s suite of abstract landscape paintings draw the viewer into an imaginative space. Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson. Phone 838 4455. – 30, Fading to the sky, works by Steve Carr and Christian Lamont; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8070.


– 30, Ka mua, ka muri, Shannon Te Ao explores experiences of time, history and song; Te Uru, 420 Titirangi Road. Phone 817 8070.


2, The Crown Lynn Collectors Market and The New Zealand Studio Pottery Market; New Lynn Community Centre, 48 Totara Avenue, New Lynn; 9am-1pm; gold coin entry. Phone 827 7349.


2, Pest Free Waitākere Ranges Association Hui, open to everyone with an interest in biodiversity in the ranges; Arataki Visitor Centre, Scenic Drive; 10am-12.30pm. Phone Michelle 027 499 4596.


w 2, Live music at Pukeko Café with Bevis England (and surprise guests); Kiwi Valley Farm Park, Henderson Valley Road; 12.30-3.30pm. 2, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732.


7, Flicks presents From the Vine (PG, drama/comedy). Returning to his childhood home in Italy, an executive and a few locals try to reinvigorate an old vineyard to produce wine; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House; 10.30am, 6pm, 8.15pm; Tickets $15, $12, or $10 from eventfinda.co.nz and on door. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558.


8, Community Collage. All ages are welcome to drop in and contribute to a creative community collage; Titirangi Community House, 500 South Titirangi Road; 10am – 4pm. naomiazoulay.com


8, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents Butter Wouldn’t Melt, floor singers in the first half; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 8pm; $12, $8 for members, under 18 free. www. titirangilivemusic.co.nz or text Cathy on 021 207 7289.


9, Mother’s Day with Maggie Cocco & The San Detroit Band (Every mother gets a free glass of bubbles.); Piha RSA, 3 Beach Valley Road, Piha; 4-6pm.



The Fringe MAY 2021

11, 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@ snofam.co.nz.


14, West Auckland Men’s Rebus Club, guest speaker and morning tea; Friendship Hall, 3063 Great North Road, New Lynn; 10am-12noon. Phone Laurie 820 2234.


14, 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.


16, Matuku Link Working Bee: planting, potting, protecting; 111 Bethells Road, Bethells/Te Henga; 10am-1pm.


17, Henderson Falls Combined Friendship Club – fun, friendship and fellowship with monthly speakers and frequent outings; Henderson Bowling Club, 2/20 Alderman Drive, Henderson; 10am-noon. Contact Fern 416 0004 or 027 472 0378.


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


w 20, Waitākere Forest and Bird presents The life of Pilot Whales in New Zealand with Catherine Meyer, University of Auckland; Kelston Community Centre, corner Awaroa and Great North Roads; 7.30pm; koha appreciated. Phone Liz 027 476 2732 or email lizanstey@hotmail. com. 21, Flicks presents Litigante (M). A new release from Colombia, Litigante is a tangled family drama, anchored by a pair of strong performances by non-professional actors Gómez and Sanin; Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House; 10.30am, 6pm, 8.15pm; Tickets $15, $12, or $10 from eventfinda.co.nz and on door. Text bookings to 0210 222 5558.


25, Titirangi U3A – meet interesting people 60-years and older; West Lynn Garden, 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn; 1pm. Contact 818 8809, 027 699 5480 or heathertanguay@slingshot.co.nz.


28, Glen Eden Combined Probus Club welcomes retirees for morning tea and guest speakers; Ceramco Park Function Centre, 120 Glendale Road, Kaurilands; 9.45am. Phone Brian Holt 838 5857.


28, Titirangi Folk Music Club presents Friday Folk, an informal gathering of musicians and singers; Titirangi Beach Hall, bottom of Titirangi Beach Road; 8pm; $5. www.titirangilivemusic.co.nz or text Cathy on 021 207 7289.


w 30, Titirangi Village Market: art, craft, produce and music; Titirangi War Memorial Hall; 10am-2pm. Contact Tess on tvm. manager@gmail.com or phone 022 631 9436.

june w June 4 – July 18, Give a Kid a Blanket - Documented. Bernie Harfleet and Donna Turtle Sarten document a grassroots response to help kids and families living in cold and damp conditions in Aotearoa. Now in its sixth year, this social art project takes a creative approach to local challenges by bringing communities together and offering practical support. (Donations of new and excellent preloved blankets are welcome at the gallery.); Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson. Phone 838 4455. www. ceac.org.nz. June 4 – July 18, Hiwa i te Rangi. Penny Howard (Te Mahurehure, Ngāpuhi, Irish and Scottish) explores narratives about finding her own cultural identity and a longing for whānau, whakapapa and tūrangawaewae within her Māori and European ancestry; Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson. Phone 838 4455. www. ceac.org.nz


June 6, Pony Rides, Huia Road Horse Club; 436B Huia Road, Laingholm; 3-4pm; $5 per child per ride. Phone 027 499 1732.


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places to go



• Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson; 10am-4.30pm daily. 838 4455, www.ceac.org.nz.

• EcoMatters Environment Trust, 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn; Wednesday – Sunday, 10am-2pm. 826 4276, info@ecomatters.org.nz.

• Flicks cinema, Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House. 818 2489, www.flickscinema.weebly.com. • 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@mccahonhouse.org.nz.

• 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.portageceramicstrust.org.nz.

• Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi; Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-4.30pm. 817 8087, info@teuru.org.nz.

• Titirangi Theatre, Titirangi Theatre, Lopdell House; Titirangi. 817 5812, infoline 817 5951, www.titirangitheatre.co.nz.

• Upstairs Gallery, Level 1, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road; Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-4pm, except public holidays. 817 4278, www.upstairs.org.nz.

• West Coast Gallery, Seaview Road, Piha; Thursday/Friday, 11am-3pm; Saturday/Sunday, 10am-4pm. 812 8029, www.westcoastgallery.co.nz.

There is so much happening in and around our community, including many weekly events, that we can’t fit everything into these listings. To find out more about whatever you are interested in, visit:



tobys.co.nz or Ph 09 242 1450

Yo u r L o c a l s i n c e 1 9 2 4

Cut Lights Available now Te Uru 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi

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Every mother will receive a free glass of bubbles!

The Fringe MAY 2021


places to go

At the libraries


Titirangi Library

Friday, May 7, 11am-12pm: The Titirangi Creatives group hopes to inspire your art practice with this chance to meet other creative people in the community, work on a theme for a month at home, and meet back together in a supportive environment. Thursday, May 13, 11am-12pm: Glenda Northey discusses the marvellous story of Benson, a sheep on the run out on the West Coast. A true lock-down tale, her talk also gives insights into local history and the publishing process. Copies of the book will be available for purchase on the day, $25, cash sales only. Tuesday, May 25, 11am-12pm: The change in weather means many of our charities need donations of warm goodies. The library’s Crafters for Charity group is a chance to meet others over a cuppa and create some much-needed winter warmers. Calling all knitters, quilters and toy-makers – the library has patterns available to get you started.

Titirangi Library is supporting the New Zealand Book Awards 2021 for children and young adults with the return of the Hell Pizza reading challenge. Read seven books, tell the library about them and receive a stamp on your pizza wheel. Completed pizza wheels can be redeemed for a free 333 kids pizza. Pizza wheels are available at Titirangi Library now.

You Shop We Deliver

New Lynn Library

Mondays in May, 3.30-4.30pm: Kids Knitting – visit the library and learn to knit with its expert knitters. For kids aged 8 and older. Tuesdays in May, 4-5pm: How Tuesday – join library staff for an afternoon of crafting and creation. For kids aged 5 and older. Weekly from May 4 (alternating between the library and a local park), 10-11am: Te Reo Playgroup – a communityled playgroup for whānau who are raising their tamariki to speak Te Reo Māori. Check Facebook (https://www. facebook.com/events/797331380851888/) to find out what’s on when. Thursday, May 6, 11.30am: Rongoā workshop – providing a peek into the world of Rongoā Rākau (traditional Māori healing), faciltated by Emma Haslam (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Haua). Fortnightly from May 11, 10-11am: Huinga Kōrero – a te reo Māori conversation group. Join other locals to practise conversing in te reo Māori in a relaxed setting, with fellow learners of all levels. This group also welcomes fluent speakers. We are all learning – kaua e whakamā (don’t be shy!). This is not a class! Friday May 28, 4-5pm: Lego Build Session – design, build and create with Lego. For kids aged 5 and older. Wednesday, May 19, 11am: The Booklovers Club – a chance to meet new friends who are also passionate about reading and discuss the library’s latest finds. Wednesday, May 19, 2-4pm: Family History Dropin Workshop – visit the library to meet family history expert librarian Brent Giblin. He is available to help you make the most of the online family history resources available through Auckland Libraries. New Lynn Library is also organising many New Zealand Music Month events for May so keep an eye on the library’s Facebook page. We are still waiting on the musicians and artists to confirm dates.

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Shopping delivered to your door

Titirangi Supermarket 429 Titirangi Rd, Auckland, 0604

Owned & Operated by Locals


The Fringe MAY 2021

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World-class holistic care

Hospice West Auckland has been providing palliative care in West Auckland since 1987, making the lives of thousands of terminally ill people a little bit more comfortable. “Alongside our specialist nurses and doctors, we have a social care team that helps people live well in the last few months of their life,” says Barbara Williams, Hospice CEO. “We want to offer the best possible care to our patients and families; care that addresses mind and spirit too.” Hospice West Auckland’s Social Care Team visits patients and families in their home, but also offers its services at Hospice House on Te Atatu Peninsula. All services come at no cost to patients or their families. To find out more get in touch on (09) 834 9755.

Hospice West Auckland’s Social Care Team consists of (from top left to bottom right): grief counsellor Maxine Chapman, arts therapist Kathrin Marks, massage and aromatherapists Natasha Kotlarevsky and Bryce Hatton, music therapist Libby Johns, and spiritual advisor Zain Ali.

Cedric Siriwardana is on top of the world ACG Sunderland’s Cedric Siriwardana was delighted to receive the Top in World award for IGCSE Combined Science in the 2020 Cambridge International exams. The Year 10 student was sitting the paper 12 months earlier than his peers. “I was definitely surprised with this result,” says Cedric. “I knew I’d achieved quite high, but I never imagined I had done that well.” IGCSE papers are designed for Year 11 students, and Cedric attributes his early success to a blend of natural curiosity, hard work and inspirational teaching – a winning combination. “I’ve always been fascinated with science and how our world works. I’m not sure why. It could be that science answers many of the questions I’ve been forming over my life. “I studied quite a bit, and my teacher Ms Davies was extremely helpful. She is an incredibly passionate and talented teacher.” The outstanding result has given Cedric a clear benchmark and strengthened his desire to achieve, not just for himself but also for those who have supported him. “I’m appreciative of everyone who has helped me, particularly my family, friends and teachers. I see my Cambridge IGCSE results as motivation to achieve just as well or better for future exams. “I love being an ACG Sunderland student. I like the close-knit environment of being in a small school – it makes for a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where we’re more familiar with our peers than we would be in a larger institution.”

Preschool | Primary | College

Open Day Saturday 8 May 1pm - 4pm sunderland.acgedu.com

To find out more about ACG Sunderland, join their next Open Day on Saturday May 8 or visit sunderland.acgedu.com

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The Fringe MAY 2021


bandstanding: music in the west with susannah bridges

‘It’s great to be getting back into music ...’

Fiona McEwen: finding her feet again as a performer.

Fiona McEwen returned to New Zealand last year after an eight-year stint in Brisbane and has been restarting some of the things she left behind in 2012, including the monthly Elevation Brasserie Open Mic Night, kicking off again high on Scenic Drive. “The main reason I went to Brisbane was that my daughter had moved there in 2010 and had two children. I decided to relocate there to be able to help her. I was hoping to get a well-paid job and save up to do some world travel, but found it quite challenging to get satisfactory employment there so I haven’t managed to reach that goal – yet! I also wanted a change of scenery and I did enjoy feeling like I was on an eight-year ‘working holiday’, meeting lots of interesting people. I discovered a wealth of amazing Australian music and saw as many live, original acts as I possibly could. “I decided to move back to Auckland after the Covid pandemic struck, and I don’t regret my choice, although I do miss the friends I made and the warm climate! It was also disappointing from a musical point of view as I’d been rehearsing for several months with a slide guitarist and had just done my first-ever Australian gig about a week before Brisbane went into lockdown. “Having come back with only a couple of suitcases and boxes and two guitars, I’ve been enjoying buying items of furniture and all the things one needs to set up a home again.

“It’s also great to be getting back into music and organising events. I have an amazing network of supporters, musicians and fellow songwriters here who really encourage me to continue with my music.” Growing up in a musical family with a classical composer and pianist Dad, Fiona learnt an array of instruments at school. “My interest in the guitar started when I was about 14, when my father began teaching himself to play, so I would pick it up and try to play too. When I was about 22 I fell in love with an accomplished reggae musician who asked me to sing backing vocals in his band. We went on tour around the South Island in a show called Pacific Roadshow and it was then that I really began learning to play the guitar and writing songs.” Motherhood kept Fiona from advancing these skills until 2004 “when I started busking regularly around Auckland, which led to me gaining confidence in performing. I also co-founded a songwriters group with Wendy Morris, which really kickstarted my songwriting.” Fiona discovered open mic nights in 2005 and started performing regularly at several different ones in Auckland City and West Auckland. She then put her own act together and was a featured artist at a number of singer/songwriter showcases, as well as performing at many markets, cafés, folk clubs and festivals. From 2006 to 2009, she had a band called The FM Band, together with partner Steve Terry, and Phil Toms of Herbs on bass guitar. “We played exclusively my music, and Steve and I also performed as a duo. In 2009 we went on to form an acoustic folk/pop group called Deep River, which was also a collaboration with Wendy Morris. We played at many events, including the Titirangi Festival of Music, the Packing Shed Gallery and Café in Oratia, The Auckland Folk Festival, as well as of course the Elevation Open Mic Nights.” Now just finding her feet again as a performer, Fiona has recently performed at a couple of events and open mics, and is looking for a lead guitarist to perform with or to form another band.

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, www.thomas.co.nz, 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 MAY 2021

2nd Floor, 3 Totara Avenue, New Lynn (09) 827 5907 www.thomas.co.nz advertise with the fringe & reach 70,000+ readers

www.sozocoffee.co.nz www.catherinetunks.com

213 – 215 Woodlands Park Road, Titirangi, Auckland 0604 Phone: 09 817 8495 or 09 817 6188 www.kenturnermotors.co.nz

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The Fringe MAY 2021



“My main aim now is to record my music, rather than perform publicly. So my goal for 2021 is to set up a home studio and record as many of my songs as possible. My son is an electronic music composer and producer who has been living in Australia for over 10 years but is coming back to live in New Zealand soon, so I’m sure he will be a big help in achieving my goal.” Fiona is also experienced in event organisation and management, including a series of Performance Café events at Corban Estate in 2005, a role on the management committee of the Titirangi Festival of Music, stage management for the Prana Festival and running the original Elevation Open Mic Night from 2009 to 2011. “The Elevation nights were always well supported, even on the coldest, rainiest nights in the winter. We had a huge variety of acts who would come and perform, ranging from teenagers to local musicians and poets and even some really well-known acts like The Nukes.” The impetus to restart the Elevation gig came from friend Paula Feather who knew the current management and mentioned to them that Fiona used to run the event there. “They asked if I would like to run one again and I jumped at the chance because I just love giving up-andcoming artists an opportunity to perform alongside more seasoned musicians and to host a real community event that has such a local flavour.” Paula, also a singer-songwriter, hosts the night as MC while Fiona’s focus is the set up and the sound. “PA, mics, stands and leads are provided. We have free entry, food and drinks specials, as well as prizes for the performers. At our last event we had singer/ songwriters, a band of teenage girls, a Japanese rock band and an electronic DJ performing!” Fiona is optimistic for the event’s future. “It’s a great place to make musical connections and try out new songs in public. We’re also keen to keep the focus on local West Auckland acts as much as possible.” Pre-bookings for performers at the next Open Mic Night are being taken now and all are welcome – Friday May 21, 6.30 to 9pm. To book a performance spot email elevationopenmic@hotmail.com. And if you want to check out the action you might want to book a table – the April event was a full house. Go to elevationbrasserie.co.nz, or Facebook for more details.

May is New Zealand Music month and Sozo Coffee House (Shetland Street, Glen Eden) is keeping local original New Zealand music live, presenting Catherine Tunks (left) in an intimate one-off concert. Cat's genre-defying blend of gospel, blues, country, folk and roots, along with a few originals, will make up a great programme for a Saturday afternoon. A number of special guests could also be turning up to make this 70s, San Francisco coffee house style event buzz. The concert is on Saturday May 15, 4-6pm and tickets are $15 from Sozo.

our place

Local Bike Hubs win national transport award The EcoMatters Bike Hubs were thrilled to win the ‘Shifting the Dial’ Award at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s On the Go Awards in Ōtepoti (Dunedin) recently.

Staff and volunteers at the new Lynn Bike Hub are keen to help you get on your bike.

Developed by Auckland’s EcoMatters Environment Trust and located in New Lynn, Henderson and Glen Innes, the Bike Hubs are community-led spaces where people can access free advice and support with cycling and caring for their bikes, as well as restored secondhand bikes and parts. “It’s a true honour to be receiving this award. The Bike Hubs have proven to be an incredibly fulfilling way to





encourage more people to get on their bikes and enjoy the health and environmental benefits of cycling. We’re grateful to our enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers for their dedication to creating these welcoming spaces for people from all walks of life,” says Brent Bielby, EcoMatters Bike Hubs team leader. The pilot Hub opened in New Lynn in 2017 and proved to be so successful that the two other Bike Hubs opened shortly after, with plans to develop more in the future. The Bike Hubs had almost 9000 visitors last year, and fixed and restored almost 3000 bikes, despite the disruptions of closures during Covid-related lockdowns. “Especially in such a difficult year, we do need to thank our communities for their amazing support. Whether it’s the smile on your face when you ride off after fixing your bike, donating an old bike to us, or volunteering to help, it’s what keeps us going on this amazing ride,” says Brent. The EcoMatters Bike Hubs are funded by the Henderson-Massey, Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Whau local boards, Auckland Transport, Tāmaki Regeneration, Panuku Development Auckland, Mike Greer Homes, and the Lottery Grants Board. “We believe the Bike Hub model could play a valuable role in many communities across New Zealand, and would be happy to talk to others to support similar initiatives in their neighbourhoods,” says Brent. In late 2020, the Bike Hubs also won the Superior Grassroots Action category in the Auckland TravelWise Choices awards.

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The monarch butterfly man – Titirangi’s Tom Skeates

From his corrugated iron hut in the bush a couple of kilometres from Titirangi Village, Tom Skeates bred and released hundreds of amber-winged monarch butterflies. He was responsible for a great surge in their numbers around New Zealand and his enthusiasm was infectious. Retiring to Titirangi in 1930, Tom saw his first monarch butterfly eggs at his brother Albert’s house, on the underside of a plant imported from South America. He was instantly fascinated by the entire process: the eggs, the bright green caterpillar that hatched, the awkward metamorphosis of the chrysalis and then, finally, the emergence of the butterfly itself. He began to study the lifecycle and threw himself into increasing the numbers of the butterfly. In the summer of 1935-36, after collecting larvae and pupae from around Titirangi, he liberated his first monarchs. In the following 10 years until his death, he travelled around Auckland schools releasing monarchs to the delight of school children. He mailed chrysalises and swan plants to schools he could not visit. And he did much to increase both the public and scientists’ store of understanding about the butterflies. He showed, for instance, that they could live for weeks and were capable of flying hundreds of kilometres. In 2014 Waitākere City Council paid tribute to some of the West’s settlers with a set of large artworks. One (reproduced, right) was dedicated to Tom. Jacqui Knight, secretary and trustee of Moths and Butterflies of New Zealand Trust, wrote in the Autumn 2015 issue of Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand, “We know that the first monarchs were reported in New Zealand in the 1840s, and that they flew/blew here. But few people know about Tom Skeates, who in the early 1900s worked so hard to ensure that the monarch was here to stay .... He bred monarchs inside his house, using both swan plant and asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed or bloodflower). His house was as eccentric as Tom himself. It was built in a grove of tall native timber and in fact built around one particular tree. Sadly, the house was pulled down some years ago and all evidence of this treasure has been lost. As Tom bred more and more monarchs he would pack the butterflies into purpose-built boxes, carefully padded, and take them by bus to various parts of the city to release. “Tom’s knowledge was extensive, and he was willing

to share it. For many years, from about 1929, he learned about the monarch and contributed articles to newspapers and school journals .… He visited schools and parks and released monarchs in the Auckland Domain and Albert Park.” Caryl Hamer, a child neighbour at the time recalled, “Our family lived across the road from Tom Skeates. He and my mother were great friends.” Tom used to invite Caryl and her sister over to watch the monarchs wriggle their way out of their chrysalises. “He always let us use the thick grassy slopes behind his house to romp and roll down. He also bought a section full of native trees up the road, making a series of wandering paths through it, with rough wooden seats where you could sit and listen to the fantails or watch the fat kereru balancing on the high branches. There was a wooden sign on the gate with ‘Paradise Regained’ on it.” Patron of the Moths and Butterflies of New Zealand Trust, Sir Bob Harvey also has a soft spot for butterflies: “The monarch was in my life as a young boy in the very heart of Auckland. At school the windows were festooned with chrysalises which we had carefully tied with cotton thread and hung on the windows .... we would have had 100 or more monarchs waiting to hatch. Releasing them was a great pleasure”. It is special to recall that Tom Skeates, a local man was so influential in the establishment of the monarch butterfly population in New Zealand. – Fiona Drummond

Legends of the West, the legend of Tom Skeates (1874 - 1945), Illustrated by Jared Kahi. © Auckland Council.

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naturally west with fiona drummond

Monitoring the monarchs

Margaret Newcombe heading to the Titirangi Post Shop to post off tags.

Margaret Newcombe’s first involvement with monarch butterflies was when her children were at kindergarten. A caterpillar hitched a ride home on her toddler’s clothing and then escaped the rubbish bin twice. Margaret was amazed by the tenacity of this small creature. A friend gave her tips on rearing caterpillars and it was the beginning of a 40 year interest. “I had heard about Tom Skeates (see page 19) who started this whole idea of conserving monarch butterflies and was delighted to discover that he lived just along the road from us. “In the early days I used to take branches from swan plants in the district to bring home to feed hungry caterpillars, and I protected them from wasps. In recent years I have grown a few swan plants in pots. “My eldest daughter enrolled me in the Moths and Butterflies of New Zealaned Trust soon after it started and persuaded me to attend an early conference. Jacqui Knight, the driving force behind the Trust, coerced me into helping a little – assisting at publicity stands or plant sales. In 2019 I was ‘promoted’ to assigning and sending out tags to monarch enthusiasts all over New Zealand.” Hundreds of others around New Zealand share Margaret’s interest in monarchs, and the MBNZ website has helpful information on how to tag butterflies. The programme helps monitor monarch’s winter behaviour, where they go, and how many sites there are. Monarch butterflies are known as an ‘indicator species’, today’s ‘canaries of the coal mines’, as they are easy to see and not afraid of humans. The tagging programme helps the trust to protect monarchs and measure the environment changes which affect all insects. This is one way in which citizens can participate in a real science project. Most people tag monarchs they see emerge from the chrysalis, but wild monarchs can also be tagged in the autumn months.

Jacqui Knight says monarchs are threatened mainly by wasps and the South African praying mantis (which is also killing off the native praying mantises). Whether or not monarchs have a good season is largely influenced by the local wasp population. Identifying (and removing) wasp nests and planting more swan plants and nectar plants will help monarch populations. Jacqui says the MBNZ Trust depends on hardworking volunteers like Margaret. For more information visit https://wwwnzbutterflies.org.nz. For information abnout tagging visit https://www.nzbutterflies.org.nz/ introduction-to-research/taggingtransects/.

The Butterfly House, West Lynn Gardens

Located at 73 Parker Avenue, New Lynn, West Lynn Gardens is home to the fascinating Butterfly House. From December through to April hundreds of Monarch butterflies can be seen, with lots of eggs, chrysalises and caterpillars highlighting the full life cycle of the monarch. School parties, family groups and individuals are welcomed during the garden’s open hours, 10am to 4pm daily. (Visiting the butterfly house is included in the $3 garden entry fee and bookings are essential for groups of 10 or more.) The creation of the butterfly house on February 1, 1996 was first mooted in 1989 when an entomologist visited the garden and thought it would be an ideal place to house a sanctuary and breeding place for butterflies. The concept was revisited in 1994 by a butterfly enthusiast, and the West Lynn Garden Trust committee began planning for the house, with funding forthcoming from the Portage Licensing Trust.


Find-A-Pest is a new app that provides simple ways to report potential pests, weeds, and a range of animal pests. It is an opportunity to join other New Zealanders contributing to biosecurity. Observations are made by directly with your smart phone camera or via factsheets available in the app. The app can be downloaded from https://www. findapest.nz.

In order to “stand apart from the increasingly cluttered digital inboxes and social media feeds” that increasingly seem to plague our lives, businesses need to be seen in quality print publications with a proven reach. The June issue of The Fringe will reach tens of thousands of local readers and businesses and offers unparalleled value for those who take business promotion seriously. Editorial space and discount rates are available to advertisers (conditions apply). The booking deadline for advertising and editorial submissions in our June issue is May 14 with artwork due by May 18. Please get in touch as soon as possible. Contact us at info@fringemedia.co.nz.


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sustainable solutions with fiona drummond

Recycling Polystyrene

Polystyrene is one of the most difficult items to dispose of. It is bulky, kerbside recycling schemes mostly don’t accept it and it therefore becomes landfill. However, Mitre 10 and Expol have partnered to tackle this waste and it can now be recycled through one of Expol’s EPS residential polystyrene recycling ‘cubes’ at selected Mitre 10 stores. Expol, a Kiwi-owned and operated business, manufactures a range of solid insulation and lightweight polystyrene construction solutions and uses recycled EPS polystyrene to make a range of products, including Tuff Pods, QuickDrain UnderFloor, ThermaSlab Sheet and StyroDrain which is made of 100% recycled content. The company diverts over 350 tonnes of EPS polystyrene from landfill a year. Grant Fraser, Mitre 10’s sustainability lead says the

Free Healthy Homes Workshops

partnership is an example of the company’s sustainability policy. “By working with our suppliers to reduce packaging waste and implementing recycling solutions to help our customers live more sustainably, we’re contributing to a more sustainable future for our people and communities,” he says. The Mitre 10/Expol polystyrene recycling trial began in August 2019 at Mitre 10 MEGA New Lynn and there are now 16 stores offering the free service. Since the trial began, it has recycled approximately 830 cubic metres of EPS polystyrene – around 30 rubbish trucks full. There are recycling centres for residential use only at Lincoln Road and New Lynn Mitre 10 stores. Contributions of more than a 240L rubbish bin (per person) need to be managed directly through Expol. The company also operates a collection service for the building industry. Call 0800 86 33 73 ext. 521. Note: There are two types of polystyrene (Plastic ID code 6) and the recycling centres are only for expanded polystyrene, the product that is made of little beads and used to protect fragile goods. Extruded polystyrene, which looks like a foam, is smooth in texture and often used for take-away food packaging, must still go to landfill.

weather by the moon Ken Ring’s predictions for May

Community groups who want to help their members keep their homes healthy, warm and dry can request a free Healthy Homes on a Budget workshop from EcoMatters Environment Trust. The 90-minute workshops provide tips on how to save money on power and water bills, and how to keep homes healthy, comfortable and dry, by minimising health risks such as mould. There’s something for everyone, whether they are flatting, renting or home owners. (There are energy-saving prizes up for grabs.) Healthy Homes on a Budget workshops are supported by Henderson-Massey, Waitākere Ranges and Whau local boards. To find out more, email homes@ ecomatters.org.nz

May should be drier, sunnier and warmer than normal. The first week may be the cloudiest and warmest, the second week the wettest overall, and the third the driest and coolest. The last week should see the most sunshine. The wettest days are at the beginning of the month and around mid-month. Winds will average from the southeast. Atmospheric pressures may be highest around the 9th and 10th and again around the 26th. The month may average a high 1021mbs. For fishermen, there are unusually high tides around the 27th. The best fishing bite-times in the West are at noon on the 9th – 12th and 24th – 26th. Chances are also good for dusk on the 2nd – 4th, 17th – 19th, and 31st. For gardeners, pruning is best between the 3rd – 11th (waning moon descending), and sowing is best between 17th – 25th (waxing moon ascending). For preserving and longer shelf-life, pick crops or flowers on neap tide days on 6th and 20th. Allow 24 hour error for all forecasts. For future weather for any date, visit www.predictweather.com. © Ken Ring 2021.

(Photo: EcoMatters Environment Trust.)

Linda Cooper Linda Cooper

Councillor for Waitākere Councillor for Waitākere Please feel free to

Please feel free to contact me with contact me with issuesissues or ideas or ideas

021 629 533

021 629 533 linda.cooper@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz linda.cooper@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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The Fringe MAY 2021


live @ the lounge

... luck is the wage of sin ...

Yeah gidday. Lizard here. We both got the giggles and Mr Watson frowned and The other day I was going for a stroll around Parrs Park said it was a bit early in the morning for him to have a with Plumless and Mopey Jesus when a bloke with a beer. snotty little poodle on a lead came up to us. “Incidentally,” he said turning to leave. “Have you ever “Well hello Adrienne. Fancy running into you. I never been in contact with that unfortunate friend Johnny took you for the outdoors type?” Kingston? Such a waste. If you don’t know him Lizard, “Hello Mr Watson. My names now Mopey Jesus. Not the poor child was using heroin before he turned 13.” Adrienne.” I said,”It’s amazing isn’t it? How quickly they shoot up “Aah. As they so often say: It’s never the bravest rabbit these days.” that hides behind the fox.” Mopey Jesus gave me a jab in the ribs, our secret ‘let’s “What? Oh, this is my mate Lizard. Lizard, this is my get out of here’ signal. old English teacher, Mr Watson.” “Nice to see you again Mr Watson. Stay lucky.” “English teacher? I thought you were "Luck is the wage of sin, Adrienne.” born in New Zealand?” And off he walked with his dumb little “Seventies music. “Now Lizard,” said Mr Watson. dog. At first I was “There may only be 26 letters in the “Blimey. He was a dry drink mate,” alphabet but there’s many a subtle I said. afraid. Then I nuance. Very easy for one to trip over “Yeah mate,” said Mopey.” He was was petrified.” one’s tongue.” even worse at school. As boring as all I agreed with him saying he wasn’t that seventies music they thrashed on kidding bro. the radio back then.” I told him how my doctor had told me that I had to “True bro. Seventies music. At first I was afraid. Then lose weight. I’d asked her how and she had said that I I was petrified.” had to stop eating everything fatty. I’d said, what, like We both got the giggles again and Mopey Jesus asked pies and stuff? Get this: she said “No Lizard, you have to if I’d seen the state of his stupid dog. “I thought the stop eating everything, Fatty.” Hahaha. hairy little bugger was gonna ask me what school I’d I then asked Mr Watson why he was an English attended.” bloke, teaching English to blokes that could already “Classic bro. Classic. Now let’s go get that beer. I think speak English? He said, “Well I guess that’s an irony. you deserve one. My shout mate.” Something I have found Kiwis rarely get.” “Cheers Lizard. Man, I sure don’t miss school.” I said I found it an irony that the Poms have a paper “Me neither Adrienne.” called The Sun. I deserved that punch in the arm. He’s a keeper is Mopey Jesus was looking a bit embarrassed and I Mopey Jesus. A real beaut. could see the poor bugger was desperate to impress his Later, Lizard. stupid old English teacher so I suggested we all pop off to the Razza for a quiet one. Mopey said, “I once bought an alcoholic ginger beer. He wasn’t impressed.”

Proud to be a Westie T-shirts

Leave a gift to nature. Bequests can be made to “Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc”. For more information on how to make a bequest contact: Fundraising Manager, Forest & Bird PO Box 631, Wellington Freephone: 0800 200 064



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The following advertisers support us and our community by making this publication possible. They deserve our gratitude and support. EDUCATION & CHILDCARE

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