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Winter warmers feature


May 16, 2018 | Hibiscusmatters |



One shed not enough

Not just one shed, but three are needed to display Simon Cressey’s impressive collection of American memorabilia. Hundreds of items from the 1930s-60s, many related to the car industry, have been brought back to his Hatfields Beach home over 10 years. This has involved a number of trips to the highways and byways of the United States to attend swap meets. Some of the meets can cover 20 hectares and run for several days and it’s often the people you meet there that can lead to some of the best finds. “You see so much more of America that way,” Simon says. “Someone tells you to come to their home and see their collection, and away you go.” Simon’s collection includes quirky items such as mannequins dressed as Elvis, an American gangster and Marilyn Monroe, and a slightly deranged looking, original Texaco mechanic mannequin. Among his most prized pieces are a genuine 1915 Ford sign and a large Coke bung – originally used for advertising at gas stations – made of enameled metal and in mint condition. A shelf is lined with swing pot jugs, which were used for motor oil and have a tilted nozzle so the oil doesn’t dribble

Simon Cressey has three garages filled with American memorabilia.

when it’s poured. Coke branded chilly bins, made of aluminium or steel, include a pull out container at the top for sandwiches and enough space for many glass coke bottles. There are also several galvanised steel water coolers

which, when packed with ice, keep water cool for days. It’s this quality of design and clever thinking that appeals to Simon. “They made good stuff, and it was made to work well and last,” he says.

Items in Simon’s shed include mennequins, a 1915 Ford sign and a Coke bung.




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Winter warmers feature

| Hibiscusmatters | May 16, 2018


His shed and her shed

Dean Morris of Whangaparaoa always wanted a ‘man cave’ to set up as a music room where he can play vinyl records and friends could come and chill out and recently he got one. He also delivered on his promise to his wife Sarah that he would put together a retreat for her where she could share a glass of bubbles with friends and relax. Sarah’s shed contains many books as well as her CD collection. Dean designed both the spaces and says he spends a lot of time in his. “I’ll get home from work and rather than do jobs around the house, I’ll go in there and put on a record and crack a beer,” he says. The couple held a ‘grand opening’ of

Drop into the Hibiscus Men’s Shed in Stanmore Bay and you will see a hive of activity as members work on a wide range of projects this winter. These include a ball tower for a kindergarten, refurbishment of coffee tables and creation of a bowling ball trolley in the shape of a caravan. The men are also making a range of end-grain chopping boards, toy trucks and cat scarers that they will sell at Browns Bay market. Members also refurbish tools – including recently a table saw and planer – and sell them online. Of key importance is the tea and coffee room, where conversation hums along while the men enjoy refreshments and simultaneously sort piles of nuts, bolts and screws.

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Sarah’s space recently. “I believe that as a couple it’s still important to have your own separate spaces if you can,” Dean says.

Next month, an innovative live family show, featuring large scale, glow in the dark puppets will be presented at Centrestage Theatre in Orewa (HM May 2). The show, Heaven and Earth, by Little Green Man Productions, is based on the legends of Matariki and is on from June 18-22. Tickets are available from Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa, phone 426 5570. Hibiscus Matters has a double pass to Heaven and Earth to give away. To go in the draw, message us on Facebook, or write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and post to Heaven and Earth, Hibiscus Matters, Unit G, Tamariki Plaza, Tamariki Ave, Orewa 0931. Entries close Friday, June 1.

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Winter warmers feature

May 16, 2018 | Hibiscusmatters |



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The Austrian oil seed pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) is an heirloom pumpkin with large dark green seeds (pepitas) which can be eaten raw or seasoned lightly and roasted.

Community gardening The challenge of our time is to create and maintain sustainable communities, and to that end we now have a Seed Savers group here on Whangaparaoa Peninsula with monthly meetings held at Whangaparaoa Library. The next meeting will be held on May 24 at 10am and will include a seed sowing demonstration. You are welcome to attend if you would like to join the group and learn about seeds in your local area, seed collecting and cleaning, and share experience with others. Seed savers help to perpetuate and promote genetic diversity within food crops and there is an emphasis on heirloom vegetables, which are grown from seeds handed down from one generation to the next. This is important because we have lost at least 90 percent of our vegetable cultivars since the 1920s. Seed saving allows us to get a wider variety of plants that are not available commercially and also grow vegetables that are adapted to conditions in our gardens that are full of the vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy diet. Many gardeners hate seeing fresh fruit go to waste when many people are unable to afford food for their families. Community Fruit Harvesting is a charity that picks unwanted fruit from backyards and orchards. Last year 420 volunteers picked 26,411kg of fruit which was donated to those in need. The organisation has a local area coordinator for the Hibiscus Coast. Val lives in Wainui and as well as picking, she is also a preserver. If you would like to get involved either as a picker, or donating the fruit from your backyard trees, just email me (address above) and I will pass your details on to Val. Together we can make a big difference – one fruit tree at a time. And while we are talking about challenges, the local community garden in Manly needs your help. It is time to dig the kumeras and replant for the winter. But we need a small group of committed people who will come along every week and keep the garden producing. We would meet on a Saturday morning about 10am in winter and earlier in the summer. For new gardeners I will run workshops. We are also looking for someone with computer skills to keep everyone up to date with a weekly newsletter. So, if you are keen to plant and harvest seasonal vegetables just let me know via the email address above.

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Winter warmers feature

| Hibiscusmatters | May 16, 2018

Bright ideas for solar power

Solar panels should significantly reduce the amount that Whangaparaoa College spends on power.

College invests in solar power A large bank of 150 solar panels was installed on a roof at Whangaparaoa College over the recent school holidays and the college is confident that the significant investment in this technology will pay off. The panels cost $95,000, which came from funds given to the college by the Ministry of Education. The funds were compensation for the sale of land alongside the school, at Grandview Road, which is currently being prepared for housing. The money was tagged to be used for the property itself, rather than for educative purposes. Principal James Thomas says he had to convince the Ministry that solar panels were a suitable use of the funds – “I put in an argument they couldn’t

refuse,” he says. The rest of the money was put into an upgrade of the school’s café. Mr Thomas says that solar system could reduce the school’s annual power bill of around $75,000 by $8000-$10,000 – paying for itself in around 10 years. As well as those savings, he says, the panels provide an opportunity for students to learn about sustainability and new technology. The system will be up and running once an electrical inspection has taken place. Students will then be able to access information online as to how much power is being generated, and there may also be a physical display in a prominent location that shows the readout of power gained, in real time.

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The uptake of solar reduces New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions in the near term. • The price of solar panels has been falling for many years and if it doesn’t stack up for you now, it may make more financial sense in the future. • The circumstances that affect how much value you get from solar can change over the life of the system (eg you may choose to sell your house, or retire and therefore use more electricity during the day). It is not always easy to foresee these changes when considering solar. • There are likely to be changes to New Zealand’s electricity pricing mechanisms over time that may reduce the financial value a household gets from solar (see the Electricity Authority website for more detail). • The amount of electricity generated by a solar panel reduces over time, so check panel warranty details before you invest. • There may be additional costs to install solar that are not included in an advertised price. • For safety reasons, grid-tied solar electricity systems do not operate during power cuts. • The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) recommends using the energy calculator, found on their website, before going solar. The interest charged on money borrowed to buy solar, or interest lost on savings used, has a significant impact on the financial viability of a solar system. The solar calculator can help you assess this. Source: • You may need a resource consent to install solar panels – for example if your home is in a heritage zone, or if panels on the roof affect height to boundary restrictions. • You will not need a building consent if you fix solar panels to your roof or on a frame next to your building but if you plan to install them as your roof cladding, you will need to apply for building consent. Source: • Solarview, a free web-based tool from NIWA, tells you how much sunlight your home receives at different times of the year. This helps you work out whether solar power is a viable option for your energy needs. Input your address, which direction your roof faces, and its angle. The software already knows the terrain around your home and factors any hills and valleys into the data. Source:

Efficiency first

Improving your home’s energy efficiency is generally much cheaper than installing a solar system, and can give similar or greater reductions to your power bill without needing to change how you use energy. Some of the best ways to improve energy efficiency in your home are: improving insulation, installing more efficient forms of heating, such as replacing plug-in electric heaters with efficient heat pumps or central heating systems; replacing incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps with LEDs; upgrading to more efficient appliances that have the Energy Star mark. Source: (resourced by


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Winter warmers feature

May 16, 2018 | Hibiscusmatters |


Winter warmth appeal Twin sisters Aspen and Keira Burridge, 14, of Warkworth are gearing up to help turn local towns and villages into a winter wonderland for the new Mahurangi Festival of Lights.

Mahurangi lights up winter night Plans to light up the dark days of winter with a new regional weekend festival in mid-July are taking shape and gaining momentum, according to organiser Murray Chapman. The Mahurangi Festival of Lights will include a range of events and attractions in local towns and villages, from laser shows and light displays to ice skating and real snow to play in. Shops and businesses will light up their premises and Mr Chapman and his committee are hoping that homes throughout the region will enter into the spirit of the event by lighting up their properties, too. “We’d love the whole area to get involved, the more the merrier,” he says. “I’d like to see lights on trees, on buildings, all over the place. “Nothing really happens here in winter, so it would be lovely to have people from out of town come here to look at all the lights and get involved, and it would be nice just to bring a smile to people’s faces.”


Events take place from July 13 to 15 and will include a dinner in Matakana with a 3-D projection, light and music show on Friday, July 13, and professional laser shows, food trucks and buskers in Warkworth on the night of Saturday, July 14. In addition, there will be a skating rink and snow play at Lucy Moore Park, the Kowhai Coast Lions will be creating an artistic River Of Light display in Warkworth Museum’s op shop in Baxter Street, and Leigh Wharf will be illuminated over the water. Mr Chapman is still hoping to get light displays and events up and running in Snells Beach, Point Wells, Omaha Beach and anywhere else that wants to get involved. “We need to get people in this area working together to brighten up the region and to promote ourselves as a region,” he says. Anyone with ideas, enthusiasm or expertise is encouraged to contact Murray Chapman on 0274 966 550 or

Rodney Women’s Centre is asking for donations of clean blankets and warm bedding for the annual Give a Kid a Blanket appeal. The centre in Morpeth Street, Warkworth is a nominated drop-off point for the Auckland-wide scheme, which has been running every winter since 2015. As well as new and pre-loved blankets, the initiative also collects duvets, sleeping bags, baby sleep sacks, pyjamas, pillows and new hot water bottles, before redistributing them to families in need throughout June and July. Rodney Women’s Centre manager Colleen Julian says they will be collecting items until mid-July, and will also be taking details of families who would like to receive blankets, too. The first Give a Kid a Blanket in 2015 had 26 drop-off points and gave out 1273 blankets. By last winter, the scheme was up to 56 drop-off points and 2789 blankets. Colleen says the women’s centre has plenty of space for any donated blankets and other items, but they would appreciate donations of big plastic bins with “click” lids to store them in before they are collected for redistribution. In addition, pick-ups are available in the Wellsford area for anyone who is unable to get into Warkworth to drop blankets off – call Kate on 0212 788 881. Info: Rodney Women’s Centre, phone 09 425 7261.

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Winter warmers feature

| Hibiscusmatters | May 16, 2018

Music film festival returns An eclectic line-up of movies will hit the big screen at the Warkworth Town Hall over Queen’s Birthday weekend, June 1 to 3, for the second Sounds on Screen Festival. Following on the success of last year’s inaugural event, organiser Urs Bauer says he has taken some risks with this year’s movie line-up. Instead of filling the programme with safe documentaries about well-known artists, there will be films about Swiss yodelling, throat singing and some silent movies from 1924 including the three winning films from the most recent International Youth Silent Film Festival NZ regional competition. “It will be interesting to see how local audiences respond to the international flavour of the programme with more ‘out-of-the-box’ films,” Urs says. Ten musical documentary films will be shown over the three-day festival opening on the Friday evening with Rocksteady – the Roots of Reggae, which is described as a musical journey through Jamaica’s golden age of music. The festival will include the New Zealand premiere of Joe Cocker – Mad Dog With Soul and several films will be accompanied by added extras such as director’s talks and musical items. “There’s something on the programme to appeal to a range of ages and interests.” More than 600 people attended last year’s festival, providing Urs with

The audience will get a taste of the Swiss Alps when the Swiss Kiwi Yodelling Group performs in the Warkworth Town Hall next month.

Yodellers take Warkworth stage Travelling Cinema Company managing director Urs Bauer is ready to roll out this year’s musical film festival programme.

plenty of positive feedback on the quality of the sound and films. “We hope those who enjoyed last year’s movies will come along again this year and will bring their friends and family. The beanbags, bar and snack bar will be back, and there are discounts for group bookings.” Info:

A special performance by the Swiss Kiwi Yodelling Group will be the curtain raiser to the film Die Wiesenberger – No Business Like Show Business (2012), which will be screened at the Warkworth Town Hall on June 3. The award-winning documentary tells the story of a group of Swiss mountain yodellers, who find themselves thrust into the limelight when their CD wins double gold. While they try to remain authentic, they are caught between their traditions and show business.

Film festival organiser Urs Bauer says the documentary is engaging on many levels. He says it is interesting to watch how familiar personalities clash and how the conflict is finally resolved. The Auckland-based Kiwi Yodellers have been performing for more than 30 years. They mainly perform Swiss folk songs, but their repertoire also includes Pokarekare ana! Die Wiesenberger screens as part of the three-day Sounds on Screen music film festival (see left).

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Winter warmers feature

May 16, 2018 | Hibiscusmatters |

Stamp collecting down but not out Stamp collecting has become an increasingly niche interest as volumes of posted mail decline, but a local club is still flying the flag for dedicated collectors. Past president of the Hibiscus Coast Stamp Club, Royce Norton, remembers when a church hall was needed to accommodate meetings of the club’s more than 300 members. “It used to be all of the kids,” Royce says. “Before all these devices came about, collecting stamps used to be something every family did up here.” Currently around a dozen regular collectors come to trade, sell and buy stamps at the club’s monthly meetings. Guest collectors and speakers attend and members travel together to the annual Hamilton Stamp Fair. Royce began collecting stamps as a boy but gave up in his teens. His interest rekindled when, at the age of 30, he was recovering from a tonsillectomy. He has sets of health stamps from 1929 to 2016 – they were first issued in 1929 to support NZ health camps and were released annually, even through World War II and the Great Depression. NZ Post stopped issuing the health stamps last year, due to declining sales. “Almost every New Zealand collector has health stamps,” Royce says. “I even have a pair of ‘smiling boys’ from the

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Royce Norton’s stamp includes some rarities.


1931 issue, probably one of the most well known health stamps.” A set of ‘smiling boys’ is now valued at around $950 in mint condition. Royce’s main interest is in stamps from the Pacific Islands and other Commonwealth countries. Some people collect stamps that feature particular subjects, such as flowers or birds, and Royce has some of these catalogued in his collection too – including a selection of nudes, butterflies and dinosaurs of NZ. While he considers electronic forms of entertainment signaled the beginning of the end for stamp clubs, it is not the end of collecting, as there is a lot of activity online with stamps traded and discussed. The Hibiscus Coast Stamp Club meets every month at the Methodist Church Hall, 945 Whangaparaoa Road. Info: phone L. Conolly, 427 6344.

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Winter warmers feature

| Hibiscusmatters | May 16, 2018

First count for estuary waders For the first time, Orewa Estuary’s birdlife will form part of a national count of wading birds. The count has been conducted around the country by The Ornithological Society of NZ for around 50 years, providing valuable information that is shared with scientists and the public, increasing knowledge about shorebirds. Wading birds on Orewa Estuary will be counted by volunteers, led by Richard Chambers of Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird, and the data will then be fed into the national bird count. Richard says the information will also be valuable locally. As residential development takes place all around the estuary, the bird count can be used in submissions related to the effects on the environment including issues such as siltation. Richard says that it will require people to observe, using telescopes and binoculars, what is in the main flocks of wading birds on the sand islands in the estuary and record that data on paper or an emailed sheet. Volunteers will also go around other parts of the estuary to see what scattered birds – non-waders, such as herons, geese or spoonbills – are present.

Above, the reef heron is relatively rare and sightings on Orewa Estuary have excited bird watchers. Right, pied shags are frequently seen on the estuary. Photos, Martin Sanders

He says few people realise just how much bird activity there is on the estuary – this included a flock of around 200 godwits, before they left for Alaska in March. “Also, banded rails are being seen more often, even before pest control has really begun, which shows the value of the estuary margins and mangrove forest,” Richard says. The count will take place on June 10. Anyone interested in taking part can meet outside Estuary

Arts Centre, at 3pm. The group will then walk along towards Crocodile Island. Anyone taking part will need to bring binoculars and/or a camera. If the weather on June 10 is bad, the date will be shifted to June 24, also at 3pm. So that migratory birds, such as the godwits and pied oystercatchers, are included, there will be another count undertaken at the estuary after those birds return in November.

Volunteers needed as Weiti riverbank planting continues Planting season is beginning with a weekend of work alongside the Weiti River in Silverdale. The Community Planting Day, on May 26 and 27, has been organised by Auckland Council. Two groups – Illuminate Church and the World Mission Church – have made a commitment to assist with the planting, but anyone is welcome to come and help put native plants in the ground. A barbecue, portaloo and drinking water will be provided, as well as spades – but you are welcome

to bring your own. All the plants will already be laid out, ready for planting. Council’s biodiversity advisor, Chris Bindon, says that the planting is a continuation of the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board’s initiative, which saw several plantings take place on the Weiti River last year. “We are working towards the ecological restoration and improved health of the Weiti River environment and encourage involvement and support from the local community,” Chris says.

Council’s biodiversity team will be there with information about native wildlife and ecological restoration. Planting will start near the end of Titan Place, Silverdale which is where volunteer planters should meet. The planting runs from 9am to 12 noon on both days. Wear closed in shoes or boots. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied and supervised by an adult. Planting goes ahead regardless of weather conditions.

Hibiscus Matters Winter feature 18  

Hibiscus Matters Winter feature 18

Hibiscus Matters Winter feature 18  

Hibiscus Matters Winter feature 18