The Fringe, May 2022

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ISSUE 214, MAY 2022

community news, issues, arts, people, events

Safer streets for Konini Primary as part of Vibrant Streets project

Celebrating five years of the New Lynn bike hub

A project to help provide safer streets around Konini Primary School in Glen Eden is set to go ahead as part of the new Auckland Council Vibrant Streets programme. Vibrant Streets is a $3million, three-year programme to be delivered by Auckland Transport as part of its climate action package and is aligned to Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan, which seeks to improve active modes access and infrastructure as a part of reducing transport emissions. Waitākere Ranges Local Board applied to the programme in partnership with Konini School, aiming to deliver on aspects of the school transport plan that could include wayfinding options, possible pop-up cycleways and safer crossing points.

It has been five years since the trailblazing opening of the very first EcoMatters bike hub in New Lynn, a project supported by Whau Local Board, with no signs of the hub slowing down.

Community support

Chair Saffron Toms says that it would not have been possible without the community’s support. “This is well supported by the Konini community which is highly engaged and supportive in finding ways to make the area safer. “This project will look at ways to increase the number of students walking or cycling to school, reduce the number of vehicles at the school gate, and the number of car trips to the school by the community. “The board is delighted that the project has been included in the Vibrant Streets programme and are looking forward to continue working with the community to develop the project and help provide safer options for children getting to and from Konini School. “We are hopeful that a successful project here can lead to other projects in other parts of our board area that will improve street safety around schools and encourage more children to walk or cycle to and from school.”

The hub provides a range of services to help keep bikes running, including free access to tools and advice on basic bike maintenance, restored secondhand bikes for sale, parts and accessories, safe cycling advice and guidance and more. Since opening in 2017, the New Lynn hub has been followed by the Henderson and Glen Innes hubs, which have hosted more than 30,000 visitors, helped fix and restore more than 10,000 bikes and redistributed more than 2,000 bikes back into the community. The success of the model has been recognised regionally and nationally, with the Bike Hubs winning awards from both Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport. Whau Local Board Chair, Kay Thomas, says that the hub has shown there is a real appetite for cycling in the area. “We are so thrilled that the bike hub has continued to go from strength to strength,” says Kay. “Five years is a fantastic milestone that has gone by in the blink of an eye. We know there is a real appetite for cycling in Whau, and the success of the hub underlines that fact. “Many congratulations to EcoMatters for the mahi and vision to make the hub a reality, it really has become a much-loved part of our community.” EcoMatters Environment Trust CEO Carla Gee says the hub has been transformational. “Our Bike Hubs are pretty special places,” she says. “They are very rooted in their communities, offering advice on safe cycling routes and running local guided bike rides. “The original plan was driven by one of our longestserving team members Meg Liptrot and thanks to great support, became a reality that we know has, in some cases, truly changed people’s lives,” she says. Advertisement


The Fringe MAY 2022

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Full district hospital for Waitākere

Art and about with Naomi McCleary ....... 10 – 11

encounters hurdle .................................................. 4 Water treatment plant appeal delayed by Covid .................................................. 6 Letter: From a tramper .......................................... 7 Exciting times for fomer trolley boy...................... 8

Bandstanding: “I never knew there was so much beautiful music ...” ....................... 16 At the libraries....................................................... 17 Sustainable solutions ............................................ 20 Naturally West: Some rarer trees

Mother’s Day .......................................................... 9

in our neighbourhood ......................................... 21

Better cycling options in the Whau ................... 14

Live @ the lounge ............................................... 22

Letter: Have we favoured Tītīrangi? .................. 15

Advertisers’ Directory........................................... 23

The irrational emergency ............................... 18-19

Grow a piece of art history Kauri is one of the most important species in the Waitākere Ranges and now, after effective biosecurity management, careful quarantine growing conditions and an eye on Aotearoa New Zealand’s priceless art history, Kauri Ora will launch this month. Kauri Ora is a collaborative project co-presented by McCahon House, The Kauri Project, Auckland Botanic Gardens and Auckland Council Biosecurity with the support of Te Kawerau ā Maki. It has resulted in the growing of 300 kauri saplings, saved from the ravages of kauri dieback disease on Colin McCahon’s famous property in Tītīrangi. The grounds of McCahon House are home to mature kauri, many of which are immortalised in Colin McCahon’s art. In 2010, the kauri tested positive for kauri dieback and two were felled immediately. Seeds were later harvested from the 27 remaining trees by arborists from BioSense who collected cones from the tree tops. Viable seeds were then selected and potted by expert staff at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Now, these special saplings are being offered to the public for a limited fundraiser to raise funds for McCahon House and The Kauri Project. “It’s wonderful to have been able to harvest seeds from the very kauri trees McCahon painted and loved,” says Vivienne Stone, director of the McCahon House Trust, which maintains the French Bay property. Saplings will be available to purchase at a free public community event Kauri Ora, May 5-8, Allpress Studio, 8 Drake street, Freemans Bay. The trees are $100 each and can be couriered elsewhere around Aotearoa New Zealand. Cover photo by Bevis England.

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

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10 Delivered free to letter boxes, post boxes, libraries and selected outlets throughout Tītīrangi, Glen Eden, Green Bay, New Lynn, Konini, Wood Bay, French Bay, Waima, Woodlands Park, Laingholm, Parau, Cornwallis, Huia, Oratia, and beyond.

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

Editor: Bevis England 817 8024, 027 494 0700


Writers and contributors: Moira Kennedy, David Thiele, Naomi McCleary, Susannah Bridges, Fiona Drummond, Jade Reidy, Zoe Hawkins, Marlo Schorr-Kon, Jill Poulston, John Goudge.

Advertising deadline for June 2022: May 13. The Fringe MAY 2022


Our place

Full district hospital for Waitākere encounters hurdle The imminent restructure of the health system is behind a controversial Government decision to push out the planned programme of upgrading Waitākere Hospital. When the Waitematā District Health Board applied for funding for Stage 1 of the programme, the Ministry of Health’s Capital Investment Committee (CIC) advised that it could not recommend progression of the business case and passed it onto the board of the newly formed national entity, New Zealand Health. Waitematā DHB was told it would have to wait until a Northern Region Capital Roadmap was completed and the CIC noted that the case for Waitematā had not been identified by the Northern Region DHBs as a priority for Budget 2022 funding (covering the financial years 2022/23 and 2023/24). The Ministry’s push-back has caused considerable community dismay. Local NGO Waitākere Health Link is circulating a petition calling for Waitākere Hospital to be a priority which had 3800 signatures at the time of writing. The group hopes to present the petition at a public meeting planned for this month. It has long been recognised that Waitākere needs a full acute hospital. Back in the 1990s Waitākere City Council passed resolutions calling for a full public hospital to be in place by 2002 and an action committee was formed. Nearly 30 years later, progress has been painfully slow. The Waitematā DHB serves the largest population of any in the country, nearing 630,000. Reaching from Te Hana in Rodney to the Manukau Harbour, over a third of this population lives in West Auckland which also has pockets of deprivation in places like Glen Eden, Henderson and New Lynn. With land in this locality less expensive than many parts of Auckland, the West is also seeing an upsurge in intensification. Despite the population and demographic pressures, Waitematā DHB does a good job at providing health care. It has the highest life expectancy of any DHB in the country and the lowest cancer rates in the country. However, while the northern part of the DHB’s territory is served by North Shore Hospital, which offers most services, residents in the West are offered a limited range of services at Waitākere Hospital and must travel to North Shore for others. Waitākere has 285 beds but North Shore has 680. Waitākere Hospital has only 1.2 beds per 1000 population, less than places like Palmerston North and Hawke’s Bay. Built in the 1950s, with an initial focus on geriatric and support


The Fringe MAY 2022

services, Waitākere Hospital is a sprawling labyrinth of wards, theatres and offices. Funding from Helen Clark’s government in 2000 enabled a new 24/7 Emergency Department – which saw nearly 60,000 people in 2019, as many as North Shore ED – as well as a surgical unit, coronary care beds and other improvements. In 2021, funding of $60 million was approved by the Ministry for a new 30-bed inpatient ward and 6-bed ICU. This funding is still secure, with construction due to start in 2023. The ward and ICU are part of a site master plan which would replace or refurbish existing buildings and build new facilities enabling an expanded scope of services to the community. The whole programme was to be completed by 2040. It is the business case for this forward programme of work which has been stalled by the CIC – an external committee that advises the Minister of Health and Finance on capital investment – meaning it cannot be considered for budget funding until 2024/25. The Waitematā DHB has described the response from the Ministry as a “set-back”, and Waitematā DHB’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Jonathon Christiansen notes that “with existing facilities now at capacity, it is important that improvements to the hospital campus remain an urgent focus.” Whether community activism and Board advocacy can bring about a change of heart remains to be seen. By the end of June Waitematā DHB will cease to exist, with the four northern boards rolled into one, led by a Governmentappointed board rather than a mix of elected and appointed board members. The fear is that this massive restructure, including the establishment of both national and Māori commissioning agencies, will sideline what appear to be less urgent projects, and in the midst of a pandemic, where we are headed appears extremely uncertain. “There is no certainty that the rest of the plan for Waitākere Hospital will be funded once placed in a much larger pot of national priorities,” says Health Link chair, Linda Cooper. “That is the community's concern. That our needs will not be met to the same standard enjoyed by other parts of Auckland and the rest of the country.” – Sandra Coney

Sandra Coney has been a member of the Waitematā District Health Board since 2010 and is currently chair of the Hospital Advisory Committee. She has written this in her personal capacity. The petition is available at Advertise with The Fringe – It’s who we are.

Titirangi theatre comes alive! Flicks and TFM (Titirangi Festival of Music) are celebrating New Zealand Music Month in May. Each weekend will have something going on so make your bookings now. The programme is online at but here are some of the highlights: Friday May 6, 10.30am, 1pm, 6pm and 8-15pm: Flicks presents: Human's Music by filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand and composer Armand Amar, a film that is truly universal, a celebration of what it is to be human, one species, without dwelling on religion, politics, or race. Saturday May 7, 2pm: TFM presents a matinee concert of Chris Priestley’s Unsung Heroes, a New Zealand historical journey in music.

let this seasoned line up take you on a journey from Billie Holiday to Django Rienhardt and from there into unexpected places. Friday May 13, 5.30 and 8.15pm: Flicks presents Aline (M), a work of fiction inspired by the life of Celine Dion. This extraordinary film follows the usual biopic trajectory, with an added faintly ridiculous sense of humour. Friday May 20, 6pm and 8.15pm: Flicks presents Long Promised Road. Join The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson on an intimate journey through his legendary career as he reminisces with Rolling Stone editor and longtime friend Jason Fine: featuring a new song, Right Where I Belong, written and performed by Wilson and Jim James, and interviews with Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Jonas, Linda Perry, Jim James, Gustavo Dudamel and Al Jardine. Saturday May 21, TFM presents The Nukes in a concert to celebrate the release of a new video Elephants are on the moon, with special guests Gin and Kronic.

Chris Priestley, singer, songwriter and historian, has recorded eight albums, three of which were nominated for New Zealand Tūī awards. He is joined by Peter Elliott, Cameron Bennett, Nigel Gavin and Sonia Wilson to recount this engaging historical journey through Aotearoa’s past. Saturday May 7, 8pm: TFM presents Croque Madame, a night of exotic Hot Club/Gypsy Jazz swing. Vocalist Evy Vermeire, who trained at the Royal Conservatory in Belgium, is joined by guitarist Phillip Beatson (Twistin’ the Swing), Philadelphia bassist Dave Schaevitz and multi-instrumentalist Doug Robertson. With a repertoire of songs spanning a variety of languages

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The Nukes have played festivals and toured in New Zealand and Australia for over a dozen years. In that time they’ve released three albums of original ukulele music. Join them as they work towards the release of a new album Homespun in June. This will be a night of great ukulele music, laughter and entertainment. May 27/28: Keep an eye out on TFM’s website for details of events on the last weekend in May. All tickets can be purchased on Eventfinda or Tickets for Flicks events are also available on the door if not sold out (text bookings to 0210 222 5558).

The Fringe MAY 2022


Our place

Water treatment plant appeal delayed by Covid Opposition to Watercare’s plan to build a new water treatment plant in Waima is not going away any time soon writes JOHN GOUDGE. Tītīrangi Protection Group’s (TPG) appeal to the Environment Court against the granting of a resource consent for the project has been delayed by Covid. The appeal parties are required by the court to first go to mediation, but the pandemic put things on hold. Watercare, wholly owned by Auckland Council, was granted the consent by five independent commissioners in June 2021. The plan is to build an upgraded water treatment plant, including two reservoirs, necessitating clearing about 3.5 hectares of native bush on the 15.2 hectare site. Some 469 submissions opposed the resource consent, citing concerns over ‘deforestation’ in the designated Significant Ecological Area, the impact on local flora and fauna, the spread of kauri dieback, and the risk of flooding events. Those opposed to the resource consent include some of Council’s own experts, such as Murray Fea, senior plant pathogens advisor. Carol Bergquist, senior ecologist for Council, changed her initial overall conclusion of “the proposal is considered acceptable,” to “I cannot support the application.” The subsequent appeal by TPG lists 25 ‘reasons for appeal,’ including claiming the proposal is contrary to the Auckland Unitary Plan, and the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Act. TPG chairperson Megan Fitter says recent storms are a wake-up call about the impact of water run-off during more regular ‘weather events.’ She has particular concern for those households on Manuka Road that would be below the site. Fellow TPG campaigner Belynda Groot says it’s time for Watercare to revisit the proposal, especially since more is now known about the threat of kauri dieback. Watercare says further kauri dieback sampling is being done below the proposed plant, and within the wider Waima catchment. Previous testing commissioned as part of the resource consent process was, according to Watercare’s website, “the most comprehensive sampling for kauri dieback that has been undertaken in Aotearoa.” It revealed widespread kauri dieback.

BioSense staff conduct kauri dieback sampling for Watercare close to the proposed replacement Huia Water Treatment Plant


The Fringe MAY 2022

Titirangi Protection Group chairperson Megan Fitter (left), and spokesperson Belynda Groot (right) survey the site proposed for the new water treatment plant in Waima.

Watercare’s stakeholder media liaison advisor Maxine Clayton says the resource consent granted last year includes more than 170 conditions, including stringent conditions to prevent any transfer of kauri dieback. The plan would see no mature kauri being removed, but several young ‘rickers’ will be taken out. Meetings with a ‘community liaison group’ which includes the TPG led to changes to the initial plan, including altering the position of one of the reservoirs to avoid the ‘kauri knoll’ stand of kauri. Mitigation and compensation measures required by the consent include setting up a Waima Biodiversity Trust to facilitate pest and weed management in the area. Watercare’s research reports say this could lead to an improvement of biodiversity in some areas. Maxine says a Waima Biodiversity Management Plan is being prepared in conjunction with Te Kawarau ā Maki, and preliminary work is being done to determine the extent of the weed and pest problem. Work is also underway to establish the Biodiversity Trust, which will have a $5 million one-off grant from Watercare. “We’re currently waiting for Covid alert settings to change so that face-to-face hui can take place. Watercare also intends to talk with all the appeal parties who’ve requested one-onone conversations,” Maxine says. TPG chairperson Megan Fitter argues the Waima site is too environmentally significant, and the land too steep to construct a large-scale plant. Weed and pest control plans were “not enough.” If mediation fails, Fitter says they’ll continue the appeal to the Environment Court, and further. Watercare’s projected $350 million proposal would replace the current water treatment plant built in 1928, which supplies up to 20 per cent of Auckland’s water. The site, on the corner of Manuka Rd and Woodlands Park Rd, would process up to 140 million litres a day, 30 million litres more than the current plant can handle. Watercare’s costs so far for reports, environmental studies, initial plans, hearings and resource consent applications are around $7.5 million, including legal fees. Advertise with The Fringe – It’s who we are.


From a tramper ... Dr Richard Winkworth’s column in the November 2021 issue of The Fringe still rings true, particularly when it refers to the need for communication – and patience – while science finds an answer to kauri dieback. Communication is a two-way street. In 2015, Auckland tramping and track running clubs and meet-up groups set themselves up as the Auckland Track Users Forum (ATUF), hoping to be part of Council’s team of volunteers mustered to prevent the spread of dieback. However, ATUF was disenfranchised in December 2017 when Council’s biosecurity team alleged to the Council’s Environment and Community Committee that trampers spread dieback. The Committee then adopted a Council staff option for track reopening as well as permanent track closures and application of what staff called ‘precautionary’ and ‘adaptive management approaches’, all of which remain unexplained, as does the science that informed these. ATUF is still struggling to understand how track upgrades exceeding DOC’s Great Walk standards where there are few or no kauri can be considered ‘precautionary’. From the moment of the E&C Committee’s resolutions, ATUF were held at arm’s length by the Council as if its members were never regional park stakeholders.

Sure enough, the latest draft of the Waitākere Regional Parks Management Plan lists conservation and service groups as key stakeholders, but not track users – puzzling as tramping and bush running in the Waitākere Ranges have been around for 100 years and not as amusement or entertainment but to ‘re-create’ physically and mentally in every sense of these words. The Parks Management plan also implies that the Waitākere Ranges track network will be ‘reshaped’ by a panel of expert consultants – not by the trampers and track runners who know the demand for backcountry tracks. Obviously, it’s not only the lack of publicly shared science applied in Auckland’s kauri lands that’s a concern, but its politics. Auckland’s regional park track users were the Auckland Regional Council’s staunchest ally. We volunteered to fight pests. We maintained tracks. We supported the Auckland Regional Parks concept ever since its inception in 1963. We contributed to ARC’s democratically developed regional park management plans knowing we would be heard. And we walked for more than 100 years on the ara through the Great Forest of Tiriwa. More openness and collaboration is desperately needed. – Norm Judd

Merger of West Auckland Law Firms

We are pleased to announce the merger of David J Brown & Associates (lawyers in Titirangi) with Thomas & Co Lawyers Limited (lawyers in New Lynn). Thomas & Co already incorporates the practice of Ray Ganda (Titirangi Law Centre) from a merger in 2017. The original principals of the three practices, Ray, David and Don, have many years of experience working in West Auckland. The David J Brown & Associates team – Paula Fletcher, Legal Executive, Jaimee KirbyBrown, Lawyer and Danielle Norrie, Lawyer - join the merged team to continue to assist all their existing clients as well as the clients of the merged practices. See the “Our Team” tab on the website for the whole team. Our focus on service for our community and clients is behind the merger. The directors and staff of the combined practices can now offer an even wider range of skills and resources. This means we can meet your every legal requirement. There is always someone available 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 under the “Contact” tab on our website. We have lift access and are also handy to the bus/train interchange. This means that visiting our office is easy and convenient.

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The Fringe MAY 2022


Our place

Exciting times for former trolley boy and that won’t change. We’ll Green Bay’s first major even build on that and when refurbishment in 52 years is the new store opens, we’ll have underway with New World a hostess showing everyone undergoing building work where everything is so there’s that will see it almost double no confusion for our regulars.” in size. Jamie moved from Pakuranga The store continues to trade to take over Green Bay New as usual with the big unveil of World. (He and his wife the new space taking place in Jennifer now live in Glen Eden November. Owner-operator and she has opened a gym in Jamie Brear bought the store Blockhouse Bay.) He’s been in 18 months ago and since then the supermarket industry since it’s been full-on activity with he was 15. everything involved with a “I was a trolley boy, after major building project. Refurbishment of Green Bay New World in Godley Road will school and part-time. During “It will still have the family feel see the store nearly double in size. it’s always had. It’s a community store and won’t be as big as that time I was promoted to checkout operator, then checkout supervisor. When I left school, I was going to have a gap year New World in New Lynn,” Jamie says. What will change is the shopping experience. While the and then go to university. But the supermarket made me a friendly ambience will stay, the whole look will be different good offer and I’ve never looked back,” Jamie says. He’s worked all over in a range of supermarkets since, with big changes to the products on offer. “We’ll have a full-service deli and bakery, which we don’t always thinking he’d like to own his own store at some point. currently have, and there will be doughnuts and specialty In 2016 that opportunity came when a manager nominated sandwiches, sushi, muffins, croissants and lots of really cool him to an owner-operator programme, followed by seven lunch and dinner options. We may even have some breakfast months in Waiuku before taking up the reins in Green Bay. “Retail wasn’t the original plan,” says Jamie. “I love the things,” Jamie says. “We’ll have more staff and aim to increase our meat options outdoors and sport and as people continue their passion with food. Premium options planned to be a PE teacher could include wagyu beef and I even have plans to make and then these other sausages in-store in the future. But I need to make sure we opportunities came along. “Every day is different in don’t run before we walk. That’s further down the track.” The store entry will change too, to a welcoming foyer on retail. I love the fast pace of the corner adjoining the main carpark and street parking. “It the environment, that there’s will be flatter and easier for access, and right next to disabled so much variety and it’s parking. We gain two carparks only, but that’s always going always busy. “This is a huge investment to be an issue we deal with.” Constantly front-of-mind with Jamie are his staff and but they’re exciting times. We have a diverse community customers. “The team, some of whom have been here more than 30 and we aim to cater across years, really welcomed me. When they saw my passion, the board for a mixed Jamie Brear: “A huge investment but exciting times.” enthusiasm and hands-on approach, they responded really demographic. “It’s about creating a modern new supermarket that’s a bit well. “The customers are awesome. Everyone wanted to introduce more eco-friendly too. We’ll have new trolleys (each made themselves. In my first week, when I was out in the shop from 152 recycled milk bottles and 30 per cent lighter), and filling shelves, people were always asking if I was the new a different freezer system that uses less power. We’re taking owner, telling me all about themselves and how long they’d it to a different level of environmental friendliness.” “I absolutely care about my local community and myself shopped here. And they’d tell me about previous owners from years ago. It was a great experience and everyone was and the Aussie Butcher sponsored various events at local schools last year. They’ve been difficult times but when so welcoming,” Jamie says. “We get told all the time how good our staff are and there’s you’re part of a community, you give back where and when no question about that. They’re long-standing and loyal and you can.” it’s so important for us to have that personal touch here. Our – Moira Kennedy staff know our customers and our customers know our staff


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Mother’s Day

What “mothering” means to me I’m very fortunate to be the daughter of a wonderful mother, and the mother of three beautiful daughters. We celebrate Mother’s Day every year, but in a low key way: a cup of coffee in bed and perhaps a new magazine to read or flowers from the garden. In our family, Mother’s Day has always been about honouring mothering, and pampering mum just a little. This Mother’s Day will be sad for me though, because it will be my first without my own mother who passed away recently. I do think it’s important to remember that “mothering” comes in many forms. I would like to acknowledge that Mother’s Day can be difficult for those who would have liked to be a mum, but who have been unable to have children. Being a mum is about providing care and guidance, but it is also about leadership and being a great role model.

For me, being a mother has meant trying to raise my daughters to be caring, independent and thinking young women. I’ve also helped them to learn how to cook, kick a ball, analyse information, and make a good argument, along with some traditional crafts like knitting and gardening. I hope that if I had sons too, I would have taught them exactly the same things. My challenge to you is to do a small act of kindness for someone you know who does a great job of caring or leading, whether it’s for their children, or for other people in their community, or for the environment. Make them a cup of coffee, pick a flower from the garden for them and just say a word of praise and thanks. It will make their day. – Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn

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Mum’s Winter Warming Indulgence Revitalise her with the luxurious ‘Sensations Oriental’ body treatment from Sothys. The mind is calmed and skin is softer, more nourished and delicately perfumed with the healing extracts of amber and myrrh.

A heavenly 1 ½ hours for just $193 Gift comes boxed with a beautiful rose and myrrh soap and the exfoliating stone is taken home after the treatment. Call in or visit our website for more Mother’s Day gifts and treatment ideas.

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The Fringe 17/03/22 MAY 2022 9 5:46 PM

Art & About with Naomi McCleary

Yet another ‘Edge of Heaven’ Corban Estate. It’s tucked into the edge of Henderson. The open parkland is bounded by the Opanuku stream, looped around secret glades, perfect for picnics and quiet contemplation. The buildings are the remnants of the Corban Winery. The most prominent of these from the road is the old Still Building; a tall, narrow column three stories high where wine stills were once housed. Apparently this, in its untouched state, is of huge heritage significance. The Corban family homestead, wine cellar and an adjacent building always referred to as ‘the Garage’, are clustered close to the rail line. Further down the slope are large tin sheds from where wine was dispatched, and a rambling building called ‘the Drystore’. The names hint at the many layers of history that track the birth of the wine industry in Aotearoa. In this moment of time the whole estate is going through a process for category 1 listing with Heritage New Zealand. I’m interested, and gratified, that this listing is on the whole estate, not just the buildings – and appropriately so, as the site is redolent with family, cultural and industrial history. 2022 marks 20 years of the Corban Estate as an arts and cultural hub; a legacy of the Waitākere Council dynasty. And what a time to try to celebrate! But celebrate it will, in inventive and possibly unusual ways. After all, the place is home to a bunch of creative thinkers; ideas rise like yeast! In this cluster of heritage buildings, a largely unseen world of arts and culture, in the widest sense of the word, thrives and grows, serving a huge community both local and regional. The homestead has been converted into galleries with top-notch exhibitions and a gallery shop. In the tin sheds a beautiful theatre is in the process of being built. It will be home to Te Pou, the only Māori-led theatre in Aotearoa. The Pacifica Arts Centre has its own compound where the Pacific Mamas are the stars of a wide-reaching community cultural programme. The Drystore building is, literally, a rabbit-warren of individual artist studios (19 at last count), the Coffee Studio café, a base for the Kakano Youth Arts Collective, offices for the internationally-acclaimed Atamira Dance Company and Red Leap Theatre, refugee arts company Mixit and the entire Corban Estate Arts Centre (CEAC) schools education team (7,000 children a year pre-Covid). On any day of the week, there is a quiet but persistent hum of creativity going on all over the estate. But here’s the kicker: As if Covid-19 wasn’t enough, the CEAC team, under new director Luana Walker, has to survive this winter while the busiest building, the Drystore, is emptied for seismic strengthening. Post-Christchurch, all councils are legally required to bring their heritage real estate up to a certain level of seismic resilience. There’s no choice about this and the CEAC community is realistic about Auckland Council’s obligation in this regard. There’s been plenty of warning and planning has been underway for some months, but the reality, as the deadline approaches, is


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challenging to say the least. Iindividuals, organisations and activities are being shifted around the estate; the intention being to keep this vibrant community together and nurtured. It’s an art form in its own right. What CEAC wants you to know is that life on the estate may not be quite as usual over the next few months, but it will be a happening thing; rich, creative, super-innovative and perhaps surprising. The café will relocate to the veranda of the lower homestead and there will still be great coffee and food. A few portacoms may appear and traffic will be redirected. The Pacific Mamas will almost certainly welcome some displaced artists and activities. The homestead galleries and shop will not be affected. The message is – keep visiting. Help CEAC not just survive, but thrive though this winter. Out the other side will be a sound building with a few other upgrades that will make life more comfortable. Further down the track there will be a pedestrian and cycleway bridge linking Henderson Valley Road and the estate and, more importantly, a direct line of connection with the railway station. This is a part of the Henderson revitalisation under Eke Panuku Development Auckland – and it can’t come soon enough. One bright spot in the very tired main street is the newly opened Kakano Gallery run by the talented Kakano Youth Arts Collective. Very much worth a visit. Work is racing out the door! So, 2022 will be another chapter, and a year to remember, in the ongoing saga of the Corban Estate. Winter walks and gallery visits. See you there! Visit for more.

Artist of the Month:

Is architecture an art? I’ve had many a conversation around this, especially in the Waitākere City Council days when artists were routinely assigned to city architectural projects. More than one leading architect challenged that practice on the grounds that they were the keepers of the three-dimensional form and did not need the ‘interference’ of professional artists. I do subscribe to the notion that architecture is an art; and one that runs the gamut from the mundane to the sublime – as do the visual arts. Advertise with The Fringe – It’s who we are.

Art & About with Naomi McCleary

You may not have heard of Graeme Burgess, an architect who has had a profound impact on our ’hood; a heritage architect whose ‘art’ is the protection of buildings, sites and stories with a tireless passion and commitment. Let me number the local ones; McCahon House, Corban Estate, Maurice Shadbolt House. Graeme starts with a Conservation Plan; an in-depth study of the history, social, cultural and physical, of each place. This becomes the blueprint for protection and can be used to both allow sensitive adaptations and prevent heritage vandalism. Graeme will go to bat over a major restoration, but equally to protect a view shaft or a piece of signage. Currently he is working with Council on Corban’s Drystore project (left) and the slow but steady work towards a writers’ residency in Maurice Shadbolt’s house. But who is the Graeme Burgess that I meet with on a regular basis to further these projects? I’d call him a renaissance man. He brings a richness of language and storytelling to the table – and he can draw like an angel. Graeme is never seen without a slightly battered box of coloured pencils and a blank notebook. They are not your standard pencils; all are in a colour spectrum that is soft and subtle. He is constantly drawing as he talks. I own wonderful illustrated maps of the Corban Estate that read like a legend of the past and

This behaviour must change Five years ago, Council proposed a ‘soft option’ approach for Huia Domain’s failing seawall. This involved removing the seawall, toilets and playground and allowing wave and storm action to encroach as it wished – a “managed retreat”.

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waste of resources. Additionally, this new project should meet Council Carbon Reduction targets. I suspect transporting this sand (maybe 200 loads, traveling 160km each trip, using around 0.5 litres of diesel per km, 16,000 litres in total) will be seen as unacceptable fossil fuel consumption. I asked: “Why aren’t we using our own sand?” (pointing at the Manukau Harbour heads). I explained my vision of using one barge and long reach digger and working the high tides. I was told shifting sand would require Resource and Iwi consent. I reminded attendees Iwi had given their blessing to shift sand before and added that mother nature shifts thousands of tonnes every time strong westerlies blow. Here’s the kicker, Council obviously buys processed commercial grade sand to dump back into the ocean just to sidestep its own Resource Consent requirements. And to hell with reducing their carbon emissions, that’s just for the rest of us to do. Council sees themselves as leaders of best practices, but they’re not. They’re inflexible, slow and wasteful. And for Aucklanders to get good benefits and good value this behaviour must change. – Ken Turner WestWards

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Locals refused to lose their Domain. So, Council flipped its soft option over, pushed seawards with rock groins to manage currents and wave action and carted in thousands of tonnes of sand to raise the beach. This has worked so well there is now two metres of grass growing on the seaward side of the old wall. Now the seawall in Fosters Bay (next beach along) is failing. During a site meeting with Council and the coastal engineering specialist who designed the Domain solution, I pushed for the same approach. This got limited support, because of high cost. So why is this soft option now so costly? In short, because it will take a lot more sand. And that sand came from Helensville’s commercial sand plant – dredged from the sea, washed in fresh water, sieved, graded and trucked to Huia, an extraordinary

a possible future. Recently he drew for me the problem with a gutter on one of the Corban’s buildings which had resulted in a major internal flood. As he continued to illustrate the solution, which told me so much more than words, he topped it up with a small blue duck floating on the rain-soaked roof. I got it in one! We don’t have a great track record in Aotearoa for Graeme Burgess: renaissance man. preserving our heritage. It is made more difficult by the fact that so many buildings are made of wood and challenging and expensive to preserve and maintain. So often Graeme’s world reads like a battle ground. But for all his gentle demeanor, I have seen the warrior inside. * The writer is currently the chair of the Waitakere Arts and Cultural Development Trust which governs the Corban Estate Arts Centre.



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Our place

Better cycling options in the Whau Cycling to New Lynn from Tītīrangi or Green Bay will become significantly safer and more relaxing once a new priority route becomes a reality. The Whau Local Board has revised its Local Path Plan (previously known as Greenways), which now identifies nine priority routes to connect people with town centres, schools and parks. Route 8 is called Whakaputanga, shown in blue on the map (right). Parts of the lower sections are already completed, with a separated path along Seabrook and Rankin avenues. The key actions in New Lynn are to extend connections on sections of Seabrook Ave and make improvements along Parker Ave. On the upper section from Tītīrangi Village, the key issues were on sections of Golf Road and finding a solution to getting cyclists off Tītīrangi Road, which is steep and has poor visibility. The first planned connection off Tītīrangi Road will see cyclists turning into Ava Ave, and onto a new local path alongside Golf Road Domain. This connection also avoids the last steep section of Golf Road and gets cyclists closer to the local path on Highland Ave, which leads down to the valley route towards Glen Eden. Safety is the number one priority, says Whau Local Board chair Kay Thomas, and the steep sections of this route pose challenges as cyclists and cars gather speed. Of particular concern, especially for inexperienced cyclists, Kay points out, is the high-speed corner of South Lynn Road and Golf Road. “Council staff are working hard to make it safe,” she says.

Although Golf Road has challenges, it is one of Auckland Transport’s priorities for future safe cycling development, listed in their Future Connect plans, hence its inclusion. “We’re aware that of all the nine routes in the plan, this one needs the most advocacy [with Auckland Council],” says Kay, “but we discussed the route at length and settled on the most reasonable, preferred one.” The perennial issue for completing all the connections along Whakaputanga is funding. There is unlikely to be any budget for the main connections to take place in 2022 or early 2023, and costs have risen sharply with global supply chain issues. In the meantime, the local board is hoping to get small but essential steps under way. “Even if we can make some minor interventions on key corners to improve road safety and provide more road for cyclists and cars to share it will be a great start,” says Kay. The council is proposing to adopt a climate action targeted rate in its June budget. The rate will prioritise low emission public transport vehicles, increased bus services, walking and cycling initiatives and improving tree canopy cover but, as Kay remarks, competition for the $574 million (over 10 years) will be stiff. Projects must prove they will have regional benefit.

To find out more about all the priority routes, go to https://

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Have we favoured Tītīrangi? Election year is upon us. Stand by as candidates bombard you with negative takes on Council. Like the article in the last Fringe where there were complaints that the local board had done too much for Tītīrangi and not enough for Glen Eden. Have we done too much for Tītīrangi? I am proud about our involvement in promotion of the arts, advocacy for the Shadbolt House Writer's residency, the redevelopment of Lopdell House and the construction of Te Uru. But this is not a competition and communities should not be set against each other. The board has focussed heavily on Glen Eden and much of our activity is focussed in Glen Eden. Work on implementing our Greenways Plan is concentrated on the area. The safety programme is now approaching completion and we have had a significant role in advising on the programme and communicating local concerns to Auckland Transport. And if it was not for the budgetary pressures brought on by a once-

in-a-hundred-year pandemic, our plan for a town square would be well advanced. As for the criticism that we are all about making sure everyone is being looked after and being kind this is one criticism that I will gladly wear. The shame is that Council and the local board play important roles in shaping and guiding our community and there should be a debate about their direction. But this needs to be a serious respectful conversation. It is election year. Beware of candidates bearing tales of woe. – Greg Presland, Future West co-ordinator

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Bandstanding: music in the West with Mario Schorr-kon

“I never knew there was so much beautiful music ...” Tītīrangi resident Frances Gore has been teaching singing to audiences and students around West Auckland for the last 15 years. And while entertaining others with the sound of her voice, she’s been discovering some new sounds herself. “Musical artist Lyra Pramuk is rocking my world at the moment. She's been described as a 'futuristic folk musician'. I love the way she's drawn her background of classical training into pop and contemporary club culture. She’s certainly one to watch.” Frances began singing in church. “Sister Raymond's accurate ear trained me to never sing out of pitch. A single raised eyebrow was enough to affect instant autotune. My earliest memory was singing along to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with my older siblings. I loved singing at Mass and at school, and I'm sure my friends and I drove other bus commuters crazy while we let loose vocally travelling home”. It was a school production of Wind in the Willows that introduced Frances to singing in public. “I was a guitar playing animal. Back then I had all the confidence of youth. I've since, as an adult, had to master performance, but I like to think this has made me a more understanding teacher. Adult beginners are the bravest folk I know.” Frances herself was taught by another Frances (Gerbic), also based in Tītīrangi. Frances (the elder) inspired Frances (the younger) to pursue teaching. “Frances, who is also an amazing piano teacher, guided me, helped me find teachers, and dragged me through five grades of theory in one year. She encouraged me to carry on, learn some piano too, and after grade 8, to start to teach a small number of students.” Frances now teaches a range of students, from age 9 through to adults. “Some work on ABRSM (Royal Schools Of Music) exams with me, others Trinity College Rock and Pop. Some


The Fringe MAY 2022

are working towards auditions for shows or gigging around town. I teach a wide range of singing styles from the likes of Blindspott, Led Zeppelin, contemporary styles, music theatre, classical music and also art song – voice with piano accompaniment.” Frances believes anyone can learn to sing but it does take patience and practice. Aside from singing, Frances also plays guitar and a bit of piano. She also loves to dance, “especially salsa”! “My favourite thing about singing is that while I grew up loving contemporary music and jazz, (and I still do) I never knew there was so much beautiful music to learn and sing until I really pursued it. Some Fauré and Mahler songs simply transport you to a different place, no matter what is happening around you. I've been blessed to teach exceptional and talented students who are always introducing me to new music and inspire me with their own compositions and journeys. It's very fulfilling to help them find, grow and develop their own individual voices.” Frances is preparing for an upcoming vocal performance herself. “I'm working on two songs, Sea Slumber Song by Elgar and Hubert Parry's From A City Window, for an Auckland Lieder Group concert in May. It’s a special concert, because it's the first time I've 'sung out' since the lockdown last August. “I'm hoping to get my students out there performing again, now that Covid is less restrictive, and I want to get some of them session time in a recording studio so that more listeners can hear and enjoy the hard work they have put into their singing”. You can check out more about Frances and what she does on Insta - @mintagenz

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At the libraries

A gradual return to normal Tītīrangi Library’s regular book chat groups are meeting again. Join in one of these small get-togethers to meet other readers and discuss their latest books. The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month (Tuesday May 3), 2.15-3.15pm or the first Saturday of the month (Saturday May 7), 2-3pm. The charity crafters group is also back, meeting on the last Tuesday of each month (Tuesday May 31), 11am-12pm to share knowledge and ‘create with a purpose’. The library will also have a collection of vintage Star Wars toys on display in May. The library’s popular preschool music sessions will continue in Term 2 in the Tītīrangi War Memorial Hall. Rhyme Time (songs, movement, and finger rhymes for pre-schoolers) is on Tuesdays, 10.30-11.00am and Wriggle & Rhyme (a programme that promotes active movement and brain development for babies and toddlers aged two years and under) is on Fridays, 9.30-10.00am. Please bring a blanket. Raewynn Robertson from Research West is to present Royal Visits to New Zealand, photographs of royal visits dating from 1869 to the 1980s, at Tītīrangi Library, Wednesday June 1, 11.30am-12.30pm. Registrations preferred to titirangi.

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The Glen Eden Library is also getting back to normal and the team is looking forward to welcoming more visitors. The ‘Job Café’ team for job seeking support and the monthly ‘Book Chat’ sessions should return from May onwards. In addition, Term 2 will see the return of children’s sessions such as the school holiday programmes, ‘Wriggle and Rhyme’, ‘Rhyme Time”, and as well as pop up ‘maker space’ and ‘craft’ sessions. The library’s school holiday programmes include: • Kids Movie Luca – Tuesday April 19, 2-4pm; Macramé and Braiding workshop for ages 5+ – Wednesday April 20, 10am-12pm (register at • Making Upside Down Winter Ice-cream for Birds, ages 5+– Friday April 22, 11am-12pm • Make Your Own Stamp & Printing, ages 5+ – Tuesday April 26, 10am-12pm (register at • Kids Movie Inside Out – Wednesday April 27, 2-4pm • Make a Fart (science and craft workshop) – Friday April 29, 2-4pm (register at The library also has give-away science and craft packs for children to work on from home during the holidays. For more visit the library’s Facebook page https://www.facebook. com/GlenEdenLibrary

The Fringe MAY 2022



The irrational emergency I was 10 years old when it all changed. Now, I can see it was an emergency, but then, even though a Danish kid of my age, Greta, was calling it that, no-one believed her. Our family had ordinary lives – well, they were ordinary then, anyway. I suppose you would call them extraordinary now, because no-one lives like that anymore. I went to school each day, much as children in the Safe Sections do now, but we could see other’s faces, just like they can in the Wilderness; I’ve seen them on TV, and it makes me long for the days of my childhood, when we were all so free. Except they have to home school, because there aren’t enough teachers prepared to work in unvaccinated areas. In the old days, we could go to the movies and big folk festivals – the Auckland one at the end of January was huge. I used to play the flute – we were allowed to meet in pubs and play in small groups with other Irish music players – it was great. We took it so much for granted. But even Greta did not foresee what would happen with the pandemic, and nor did anyone else for that matter. As you know now, lots of people got sick, and we all stayed at home for weeks on end so if we got the virus we wouldn’t infect anyone else. Then we got the vaccine, and thought that would be the end of it. Yeah right. The virus kept mutating, and each time it did, we said that one will wipe out the others and then it will be like the flu, and on it went. At that time, everyone was living in the same zone. About 95% of the country was vaccinated by then, but that left 250,000 people exposed to the virus, which was enough to keep it circulating. They had lots of reasons (I do not use the word advisedly) – some called it an experiment, while others said the virus was just a flu, and it didn’t need a vaccine. Of course, not everyone wanted their kids vaccinated – there is always a lot of distrust in the government and statistics. There were big protests around the world, including here. Thousands camped for weeks on parliament’s lawns, and others stomped around the cities complaining of the limits on their freedoms. We had a Labour government at the time, and theyFRINGEADLTD.pdf had been pretty successful at keeping us safe until 1 15/11/16 16:33 Omicron arrived. People were over it, and patience was

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

running out, so they blamed the government, who lost the next election to a smooth-talking right winger, and the rest is history. He followed the lead of America and Australia, lifting the restrictions on unvaccinated people, and the virus went wild, sweeping through the schools and universities, mutating as it went. The vaccinated folk did better, but the problem was that they were largely asymptomatic, so when they got infected, they merrily passed it on to the unvaccinated, and the hospitals started filling up. Supply problems hit the supermarkets, because the truckies got sick and couldn’t make their deliveries, and everything ground to a halt in mid2022 – not just here, but all over the so-called civilised world. People went mad trying to get away from unvaccinated and potentially infected friends and neighbours. They put signs on their gates banning unvaccinated people from entering their properties, and little enclaves started to form of vaccinated people. Then another smooth-talking right winger, went into business doing up some empty rest homes for families. A lot of old people had died of the virus, and vaccinated people were looking for somewhere away from the great unvaxxed. By that time, China and America were actively chucking the unvaxxed of the cities, and building walls around them so they couldn’t get back in. In Canada and here, the Safe








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Sections developed more organically, if you’ll excuse the misuse of the word. Business people from Hamilton put up the big fence just north of the Bombay Hills, coast to coast from Clevedon to Papakura, to keep infected people away from the rest of us. Air New Zealand stopped flying unvaccinated people, and the ferries wouldn’t move them, so they all got stuck where they were. A lot of them in the South Island moved to Invercargill, because the mayor offered up their schools and hospitals to unvaccinated people. In the North Island, the vaccinated folk started moving south, and the unvaxxed started moving north, and we gradually split up. A lot of vaccinated people stayed in Auckland, moving into the old rest homes, which increased in size to include “safe” supermarkets, doctors, hospitals etc., and eventually, instead of the vaccinated being in gated communities, we took over so much space that the unvaccinated areas started to be called the “Wilderness,” and people built fences around them, so they felt safe. The antimask people didn’t wear masks and goggles, so they weren’t welcome anywhere, and the rest of us wore the ones you wear now, the government supply ones. I moved from Piha when it all came to a head – it made me nervous living in the Wilderness, so I bought a cottage in Tauranga in what used to an old people’s home. Kind of ironic really, seeing I am over 80 now, but it’s nice living amongst other vaccinated people. The shops, the banks, everywhere feels safe now, which it didn’t in the Wilderness. My daughter, Susie, is terrified of needles, so she stayed in Auckland. I don’t think she will ever get vaccinated, and she won’t wear a mask because it makes her anxious, having something on her face. She says there’s a lot of sickness in the Wilderness, and the hospitals struggle to keep up. She’s over 50 now, on a waiting list to get her hip replaced, but it probably won’t happen, and she can’t go private, as she can’t get health insurance. She says there’s plenty of work in Auckland, and houses have been cheap there since the market crashed in late 2022, but I wouldn’t want to live there, with pockets of Wilderness amongst the safe areas. Just like the Berlin Wall, only not

separated by political ideology, but by education and reason. I blame the education system. Once governments realised so many families in Asia and Saudi Arabia wanted their kids to learn English, they started selling education to foreign students, so it became a commodity. The local kids couldn’t afford it, and anyway, everything had to adjust so the second language speakers could keep up, and a bachelor’s degree became the new School Certificate. Only you had to pay for it. People misunderstand statistics and the stuff they read on the internet. Did you know that everyone who died last year in Auckland had been drinking water, and most of them had been eating bread as well? Bread and water are so dangerous. Back in 2022 I once read that of 50 people in hospital, just four were unvaccinated. So why get vaccinated, when most of the people in hospital have been vaccinated? But 46 out of millions of vaccinated people, is not the same as four out of 250,000 unvaccinated people. Just think. If that last 250,000 people had got vaccinated, with the big moat around New Zealand, we could have closed our borders, stamped out the virus, and survived. I wouldn’t have been able to see my family in Australia and Canada again, but I can’t see them now anyway, since international travel stopped in 2025. Of course education didn’t help everyone – my doctor was an antivaxxer and got struck off for telling people vaccinations are dangerous. But education might help people who distrust the government and vaccinations – how can they live in a world where vaccinations are a ticket to freedom? Education is not a commodity, it’s a human right. Everything is on the internet, so you don’t need to learn facts, but you have to know how to read them. I’m leaving my savings to the Effing Good Fund (Education For Free) to help kids study statistics, or ethics, or philosophy, but not business, they can learn that on the job. Of course they’ll have to get vaccinated to access the universities, because there aren’t enough educated people living in the Wilderness. – Jill Poulston, April 2075 (Illustration by award winning illustrator, Anna Crichton.)

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Sustainable solutions with Fiona Drummond

Sustainability in action, part 2 Last month, we highlighted the West Auckland Resource Centre, one of several local organisations that are embracing the ‘Six Rs’ of sustainability and providing local people with opportunities to learn a new skill, or share their own skills or resources. Two more such organisations are The Upcycle Collective and New Lynn’s Repair Café. The Upcycle Collective is a network of local creators linked to a ‘collect + connect’ initiative, created to reduce fashion waste in our community. LucyMae of LucyMaedCreations is the creative upcycler/designer behind the collective which has around 70 members on its Facebook page. The collective connects upcyclist creators, and also connects them to materials. Lucy-Mae initially formed Fashion Rebellion Aotearoa, in association with Extinction Rebellion (https:// and The Upcycle Collective was formed to be its creative/productive/business arm under the Fashion Rebellion umbrella. The motivation was to protest against the fashion industry’s impact on climate and environmental issues, as well as providing creative solutions. The collective is establishing a New Lynn space providing upcyclers access to fabrics and trims. At this stage they are still getting up and running and sorting through the materials they already have in hand. They would like help to sort boxes and suitcases of fabric and sewing material and also welcome donations of fabric and trims. The collective is involved in the Fridays For Future campaign (the global youth-led climate activist movement), upcycling green garments with graffiti climate change messages for this year’s Earth Day and beyond. Army khaki or camouflage fabrics and denim as well as jackets and other clothing in these fabrics for upcycling are welcomed.

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If you are able to offer resources or time to the collective, message them on Facebook or email tucaotearoa@gmail. com. ( groups/1329218727501254) The Repair Café happens in the New Lynn Community Centre on the fourth Saturday of every month, 11am to 2 pm (https://repaircafe. A Repair Café is an event where volunteer specialists offer assistance to people who bring their loved broken or damaged items (small appliances, bicycles, clothing, small furniture, toys and more) to be fixed for free, saving money and reducing the amount of material that ends up in landfill. Repair cafés are an international movement which began in the Netherlands in 2009. Martine Postma, a Dutch environmentalist and journalist concerned with sustainability, had noticed how many things people threw away instead of trying to fix them and decided to do something about it. A local project in Amsterdam became the world’s first Repair Café. Repair cafés reached New Zealand in 2016 when significant government funding led to 18 Repair Cafés taking place over an 18 month period. The funding dried up and Covid-19 meant very few Repair Cafés took place in 2020. Now, Doughnut Economics Advocates New Zealand (DEANZ), who had joined Martine’s Repair Café Foundation in 2021, are working to revitalise the Repair café movement in New Zealand. They have established four new cafés in Auckland including New Lynn and Te Atatu South. You can join your local Repair Café team as a repairer, organiser or helper. Or to start your own Repair Café, DEANZ (a charitable trust) can provide free advice and practical support.

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Naturally West with Fiona Drummond

Some rarer trees in our neighbourhood I asked Professor Gillman (known for AUT’s NZ Trees app) to suggest a tree he would like to see in this column and he suggested monoao – Halocarpus Kirkii, a coniferous native. Monoao (right) is an at-risk northern species associated with kauri forest, and relatively rare in our local area despite the proliferation of kauri. In mature kauri forest monoao is most usually found in groups of 10 or fewer trees along ridge lines, in swampy hollows or at gully heads. The species appears to thrive on disturbance and is at its most abundant on the margins of kauri and gumland vegetation sites originating from past fires, gum digging and/or kauri logging. Although it was undoubtedly logged when suitable trees were found, monoao has never been common and its distribution today is still highly fragmented and sporadic in what are otherwise largely intact tracts of its preferred habitat, kauri forest. Conifer experts believe that this species is naturally sparse because it requires frequent disturbance to regenerate. So mature forest is not a suitable habitat and monoao is most commonly found in secondary regrowth bordering older, intact, kauri dominated remnants. My son and partner have a mature monoao bordering their Scenic Drive property and there are some growing in a reserve on Kellys Road in Oratia, where there are both older and regenerating young trees. Geoff Davidson, previous owner of Oratia Native Plant Nursery, did manage to propagate some for sale some years back, but warns they are difficult to establish. Propagation is best from fresh seed but is often fickle and even wellestablished plants are prone to sudden collapse. Monoao is a beautiful tree whose mixed juvenile/adult foliage is particularly attractive. In good conditions it can be quite fast growing and usually forms a bushy tree up to

10 metres tall within about as many years. Fully grown it can reach 25 metres with a trunk up to a metre thick. When seen from a distance, it resembles a small kauri in its overall appearance. It can usually be distinguished by its juvenile foliage, which often remains on the lower branches until the tree grows to approximately 10 metres tall. The pale reddish-brown wood is strong and durable with grey-brown bark that separates off in thick, irregular flakes. The species name Kirkii comes from Thomas Kirk (1828-1898): botanist, naturalist, teacher, and author of an early book about New Zealand trees. Monoao is also the Maori name of another native New Zealand podocarp, Monoao Colensoi or Westland pine and a New Zealand dracophyllum shrub also shares this name. Another local tree found in the Konini/Tawini Road vicinity but not common elsewhere in the Waitākeres is tawhairaunui or Nothofagus Truncata, the hard beech (right), one of five species of beech trees in New Zealand. Though not widespread locally, this species has a ‘Not Threatened’ conservation status and grows up to 30m tall in lowland and lower montane forest from the north of the North Island to Marlborough and south Westland. The species is mostly found in mixed broadleaf-conifer forests and with other beech species; forming localised stands on favourable sites within the forest, mostly on ridge crests, knolls, and steep slopes of a warm northerly aspect. Its common name derives from the fact that the timber has a high silica content, making it tough and difficult to saw. Photos © Len Gillman.

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The Fringe MAY 2022


Live @ the lounge

The juice is always worth the squeeze Yeah gidday. Lizard here. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Shaz’s mother Barbara to you before. Barbs had been living on the Gold Coast with Teddy, husband number five, for the past 20 years. Unfortunately Teddy died earlier this year from Covid complications. A bummer I’m sure, but he was 97. Oh, and a heavy ‘social’ Bundaberg Rum drinker. And loved his cigars. So Barbs sadly sold their Burleigh Heads beachfront condominium, tearfully moved on the rag-top Rolls, and was gutted to part with the Riviera 70 launch sweetly named Feelin Nauti. Cashed-up and broken-hearted she rang Shaz to say she’s heading home. Well not literally home, that would be Putaruru Heights. No, back West to live with us. On the way to the aiport to pick her up, Shaz got me to stop at the bottle store to score a bottle of Chartreuse (“Mum’s fave”) so we were a bit late. Sure enough, there she was already in the 20-second drop-off zone. What a sight, standing in the tallest heels I’d ever seen and stretched into a leopard-print halter thingy that was losing the fight to contain what I guessed were two of the heaviest boobs this side of the centre pages of the magazines Dad hid in the wardrobe back in the 70s. Her electric silver bouffant hairdo matched that of the Bewitched mother. A seven-piece set of matching luggage was lined up along the footpath. Shaz was out of Whitevan before I’d come to a stop. Her and her Mum, long black cigarette holder still in hand, ran and jumped and embraced and squealed and yelled and swung each other around. Why doesn’t a loud, cool soundtrack burst forth at times like these? They climbed into Whitevan as I loaded the suitcases into the back. I slammed the tail door and off we went. “Jesus, Lizard. Has this dunger got aircon?” I swear

Whitevan coughed. “As soon as I stepped off the plane, bloody Auckland's heat wrapped itself around me and began to squeeze. It doesn’t even pretend to be gentle.” “Mum!” “What? I’m sure Lizard's heard a lady swear before. But sorry to use the Lord's name. It’s just that since Teddy left I’ve felt like an i without the dot.” Well, that was over a week ago and Shaz and Barb have really flashed up the old immobile mobile home. Amazing what velvet will hide. “It’s good to be out of the Gold Coast,” Barbs said one night while sipping her third chartreuse through a straw then following it with a whiskey chaser. “On the GC there are too many old farts limping through the last laps of their pension. Sure, I’ve been married a couple of times but I sure do miss my Teddy bear. We’d even turned into Buddhists last year.” “I don’t think you can just turn into a Buddhist,” I said. “Oh Lizard. You’ve always been more wallpaper than wall.” “Mum! Lizard’s actually very spiritual. He goes out to his shed every night to meditate.” “Medicate more like. Only joking. So Mr Deep, what do you meditate about? Death? Please, enlighten me.” “Well,” I replied. “I reckon ‘Death' is where life gets really interesting. And believe me, from where I’m standing, looking over the Manukau, I’ve got a primo view of the ticking clock." "So death wins?" asked Barbs. "Every single game." "So why do we play?" Shaz said, “The juice was worth the squeeze.” Barbs whispered, "You guys aren’t ever going to leave West Auckland.” "I’ll drink to that.” I said. And we did. Quite a few. – Later, Lizard.

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Your local board team – experience and commitment Future West has and completing now selected the the local board's candidates we Greenways plan. hope will guide the Mark Roberts Waitākere Ranges is again seeking Local Board area for election. He is the next three years. a Chartered Firstly we Accountant and acknowledge Commercial Pilot. Saffron Toms who He is an active has decided after volunteer with Pest three terms not to Free Waitākere seek re-election Ranges Alliance, this year. She has South Tītīrangi The Waitākere Ranges Local Board Future West team for the next served the board Neighbourhood conscientiously and three years is (left to right) Sandra Coney, Jessamine Fraser, Greg Network, Little with dedication and Presland, Liz Maney, Mark Allen and Mark Roberts. Muddy Creek we are sure that in the future she will once again Restoration Project, and Kauri Rescue. Mark is occupy a leadership role. In the meantime we also a Trustee of the Portage Licensing Trust and wish her well as she prioritises her young family. Director of West Auckland Trusts Services Limited. Of the current local board members, Sandra The new candidates are Liz Maney and Coney, Mark Allen and Greg Presland will again Jessamine Fraser. seek election. Liz was previously the Principal of Woodlands Sandra is well known in the west. She has served Park School well known for its enviroschools as an ARC Councillor, Waitākere Ward Councillor focus. In 2016 she was awarded a Kiwibank and for the last three terms has been either chair Local Hero Award for her work with children. of or member of the local board. Her priorities She is a member of the ADHB Clinical Ethics for the board are protecting the environment, Advisory Group and their Consumer Experiences supporting local communities, more parks, good Council. Her considerable practical skills in urban design, the arts and heritage. She has a working with communities, local businesses and lifetime’s experience working on women's and central government afford her the clarity of vision health issues as well as local West history. necessary to deliver transformational change. Mark was raised in Laingholm and lives in Jessamine brings her expertise in housing and Te Henga. He has 35 years local government urban form to the local board. She is an architect experience and brings a solid knowledge of and recognises the importance of working with Council's internal workings. He is passionate our environment and local communities to build a about strengthening community resilience, future resilient future. A resident of Glen Eden, Jessamine proofing our infrastructure and providing public sees the potential for flourishing communities and active transport options. across the West, with good public and active Greg has been on the local board since transport options, parks, healthy ecosystems, and inception. He was previously a Waitākere City local art. Councillor and along with Sandra had significant We are all committed to strengthening local involvement in the project that resulted in the communities, protecting the environment, making passing of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage sure our beaches are swimmable, respecting the Area Act. He has practiced law out west for 35 Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area, supporting the years and brings those skills to a job that can arts and making sure that the voice of the West is be technically very demanding. His areas of heard from within Council. interest are transport especially implementing



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