Mahurangi Matters_Issue 422_31 January 2022

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Blues abandon Warkworth game

Fears over fireworks

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Arts trail still on track page 17

January 31, 2022

Your locally-owned Community Newspaper


Laite Fine cradles a photo of her parents.

Tongan eruption shakes Warkworth family A Warkworth woman, who was making a video call to her mother in Tonga while the islands were being battered by a volcanic eruption and tsunami, was left with an agonising wait for news of her family. When Laite Fine saw news on social media that an eruption and tsunami had struck, she made the call to check on her family late on Saturday afternoon, January 15.

She managed to make contact but discovered that it was dark in the village of Ahau, on the main island of Tongatapu, where her family lives, even though it was only around 5.30pm. Power had been cut and her mother was obliged to find a torch so that her daughter could see her on her mobile phone. Her mother Ofa Tautuiaki told her that what

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sounded like heavy rainfall was actually ash falling from the volcano. Ofa was worried for Laite’s father who had gone out to buy petrol in a bid to transport family members to safety. He had left about half-an-hour earlier, without taking his cell phone, and should have quickly returned. Ofa said she could hear the erupting

volcano and it sounded like shooting – “bang, bang, bang”. Also, people were running around outside urging residents to get away. Laite encouraged her mother to stay calm, suggesting her father was still likely to be on his way home. It was then that Laite was abruptly cut continued on page 2

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Contact us January 31, 2022 – Issue 422 17 Neville Street, Warkworth, 0941 PO Box 701, Warkworth 0941 ph 09 425 9068 mahurangimatters

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Tongan eruption shakes Warkworth family off as Tonga’s communications systems collapsed. Laite was left not knowing the fate of her missing father Sila or the rest of her family for days. She says she initially understood that a satellite station for international calls to Tonga was close to the volcano and out of action. Parts and tools to repair it would need to come from Papua New Guinea, which could take two weeks. But later she learned via Tongan media in New Zealand that the Digicel mobile phone network had been partially restored just days after the disaster, and Laite’s mother happened to have a Digicel phone. She was told reception was poor, but it was worth a try. That led Laite to embark on a phone marathon that saw her trying to place a call every time she had a spare moment, day and night, over several days, but each time

she got a busy signal. She estimates she would have attempted hundreds of calls in a bid to get news. “I kept asking God, please I need to hear from Dad. I need to hear what’s happening,” Laite says. Contact was eventually made by Laite’s sister, who also lives in New Zealand. The line was bad and the conversation quickly cut short. But her sister was able to tell Laite that their family was safe and that it was her “missing” father who had answered the call. A few days later, Laite was also able to call Tonga and speak to her nephew, who explained that when her father had failed to buy petrol in Ahau, he had attempted to get it at a neighbouring village, also without success, which explained his delay in getting home. Laite’s father returned to his family’s house

from page 1

concluding that the darkness and congested roads made escape impossible anyway. Sila is a church pastor and said to his family, “Let’s just stay here and pray.” Laite believes that hers may have been the only family who remained in Ahau. The village is bordered by coastline on two sides and the tsunami struck the village on both of them, washing away several homes. Other homes were buried by material spewing from the volcano and subsequently collapsed. But Laite’s parents’ home remained largely unscathed, and she has heard of no deaths in the village. Laite has since learned that her other relatives on the islands of Ha’apai are also safe. “I was asking God’s protection on all of them the whole time, and my prayer has been answered,” she says.

Morning shoppers show generosity to Tonga

Rattling the bucket for Tonga in Warkworth and Matakana proved to be a rewarding morning for members of Warkworth Lions on January 22. In four hours, club members collected just under $2500. Past president Peter Henderson says the collection wasn’t a hard sell. He said there was a lot of empathy for Tonga and people were keen to make a donation – some gave as much as $50 on the spot. “We’re now getting in touch with the Vava’u Lahi Lions Club in Tonga to decide whether we transfer the money directly or use it to purchase items they need and then ship them over,” Peter says. “Either way, they will receive 100 per cent of the funds donated.” Tonga is part of Lions District 202K, which stretches from Te Kauwhata to Kaitaia and includes Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa and Fiji. The Warkworth club will continue to fundraise for Tonga over coming weeks. Anyone who would like to make a donation can deposit it directly into the club’s bank account with the reference ‘Tonga’. The account number is: 02-0480-0015374-000

Lions club member Tony Walton accepts a donation from Tim and Jacob Hamer, of Kerikeri.

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The field has now been closed, but it is a case of ‘too little, too late’.

Council’s drought mitigation policy drowns Super Rugby fun day Dry weather, overuse and a lack of irrigation and maintenance by Auckland Council are all being blamed for the poor state of the fields at the Warkworth Showgrounds, which forced the cancellation of the muchanticipated Blues versus Hurricanes preseason game. The two Super Rugby sides were due to play in Warkworth on February 5 and Mahurangi Rugby Club had organised a ‘Footy Fest’ around the event. This included a sponsors’ lunch, junior matches, a kids zone and live music. As well as the Blues and the Canes line-up, 10 All Blacks were expected to attend. However, Blues management pulled the plug on the event on January 20 citing the condition of the field as the reason. Chief executive Andrew Hore said the risk of injury was too high with the game only two weeks before the start of the Super Rugby Pacific season. “We checked the ground before Christmas but it has deteriorated in the hot summer conditions and there is too much risk for a professional Super Rugby match. The health and welfare of our players is absolutely paramount,” Mr Hore said. Mahurangi Rugby Club chair Charmaine Gravatt says she was devastated when she heard the news.

She says Council was made aware of the event last August and the club and Council had ‘touched base’ several times before Christmas. “When we hosted a similar day in 2018, the field was in perfect condition – we didn’t think the fields would be an issue,” she says. While the club leases the clubrooms, the upkeep of the fields is a Council responsibility. Currently, all three rugby fields are substandard. There are patches of dust and ruts, and weeds growing where the grass should be. Charmaine says when lockdown restrictions were eased, the fields were being used by a lot of groups that wouldn’t normally train there. This included crossfit classes and golfers. “The club understands that it is a public field, but we were hosting an international event, so we feel Council should have taken the precaution of closing the fields, not to mention maintaining and irrigating the pitch. “In a way I feel like I’ve let the community down,” she says. “Since Covid arrived, people have been doing it tough. We thought we were giving them something to look forward to and it would have been a great day.

“A lot of time and effort was put in by volunteers, and the club will definitely be out of pocket.” A similar day in 2018 attracted around 3000 spectators. Council’s regional sports facilities manager, Scott Malcolm, apologised for the inconvenience caused by the state of the field. “We will do all we can to get this asset back to its full potential as soon as possible and ensure it is ready for the start of the winter rugby season,” he says. Mr Malcom says the deterioration was the result of a number of factors, including significantly reduced irrigation as result of drought mitigation measures, no rain and two days of unauthorised use on the field earlier this week. “In regard to the irrigation restrictions that we have had in place, at the start of the year our supplier was approached by Watercare and asked to reduce our water use to help replenish the water levels in the Warkworth reservoir. “As a result, the decision was made to cease irrigation at Shoesmith Reserve, and for fields two and three at the showgrounds. Irrigation for field one was reduced from four times a week to once a week. “On January 24, we were given the go

Grass cover on the rutted fields is patchy and there is even paspalum and thistles growing in some places.

ahead to reintroduce irrigation on the fields at a reduced frequency, before returning to normal levels this weekend.” Mr Malcom added that the normal maintenance schedule was to mow and line mark the ground once a week, and the fields were usually irrigated four times a week when there were no restrictions in place. “Under normal circumstances, field one would have been suitable for this type of match. Unfortunately, the drought conditions have severely impacted the condition of the field.” The Blues/Hurricanes game on February 5 has tentatively been shifted to Onewa Domain in Takapuna.

Woodcocks retail centre expansion approved A shopping centre complex on 4.2 hectares of land next to Mitre 10 Mega in Warkworth has been given the green light. Developer Glen Inger has confirmed the project, known as Kowhai Falls, has been granted a resource consent and the centre will be built in stages over “the next few years”. The centre will include The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery and Noel Leeming under one roof, covering 6500 square metres – larger than a rugby field. Mr Inger says that as a consequence, The Warehouse in Snells Beach will close. The following three blocks, or stages, will add up to about 15,500sqm of mixed

retail space and several hundred customer carparks. Mr Inger says the project has many sustainable features including a low carbon footprint and low whole-oflife energy efficiencies. It will include a large solar system, car charging stations, huge insulation levels to all walls, roof and under-slab insulation, the latest in energy management with high spec air conditioning, and the latest LED lighting. “Then the main structure will be a first, with a full NZ laminated timber superstructure instead of steel, which equates to 95 per cent less carbon than steel,” he says. “This will be The Warehouse Group’s most efficient building.”

Mr Inger, who grew up in Port Albert and attend Rodney College, adds that it will be a long term family build-and-hold project. Commenting on the loss of two major stores from Warkworth’s town centre, and The Warehouse in Snells Beach, One Mahurangi manager Murray Chapman says there are two ways to look at it. “The first is to be mortified that the stores are moving, but the second is to see it as an opportunity to attract more boutique-type retail shops to the town,” he says. “It’s time to think hard about what sort of shopping experience we want people to have when they come to Warkworth and to look at trying to attract destination-type stores to the town.”

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From left, unhappy horse owners John Toon, Lisa Tickle and Katie Daniel with Sahara, Riley and Hannah.

Plea to end noisy New Year fireworks in rural area Horse owners living close to Omaha Flats are calling for an end to a major firework display that has been staged at Sculptureum on New Year’s Eve for the last two years. They say the loud explosions and flashes from the professional pyrotechnics are terrifying for horses, livestock and pets, and can cause animals to bolt through fences, causing injury and damage. John Toon keeps horses and cattle on his Leigh Road property and has spent the last two New Year’s Eves trying to restrain and calm frightened horses while the fireworks went off less than a kilometre away. He said the first time in 2020 was completely without warning and he and his partner had to scramble out of bed to tend to their animals. “The ensuing 15 minutes was chaos,” he said. “We complained, but they were most unapologetic, and said they were going to do them every year.” This year, Mr Toon posted on local social media pages a warning that the event was happening again, which garnered a strong response from more than a dozen other neighbours and horse owners, worried about animals being traumatised or injured.

Several posters said Sculptureum was the wrong place for such large fireworks and some said they wouldn’t be returning to the sculpture gardens and its restaurants in future. “There’s no place for fireworks in a farming area,” Mr Toon said. “As a concession, they dropped out the huge bass ‘bombs’ this year, but to be honest, it’s the bangs that are more like machine gun fire that cause the problems. It’s eight minutes of hell for our horses.” Anthony Grant, the Auckland barrister who created Sculptureum in 2017, said last week that he and staff were happy to work with the wider community regarding their concerns, but at this stage the fireworks were intended to be an annual event. “We wish to be a valuable and welcome member of the Matakana community and from the outset of our plans for the New Year’s Eve function in 2020, we worked with the owners of Matakana Country Park, who are our nearest and most considerable horse-owning neighbours, to adjust our plans for the celebration and mitigate its impacts,” he said. When asked if Sculptureum would

Snells fishing comp stays on in Red A $2000 Hunting & Fishing voucher sponsored by Mason Contractors will be the top prize in the Salty Dog Inn’s annual fishing competition on Saturday, February 5. The Snells Beach pub’s social club contest allows land or boat-based fishing from 3am to 4pm on the day, but entry tickets must be paid for and collected from the Salty Dog between 5.30pm and 7pm on Friday, February 4. Tickets cost $30 for club members, $35 for non-members and $15 for under-14s, with all proceeds going to the Kawau Coastguard. The event is a measure and catch photo competition with categories for snapper, kingfish and kahawai, as well as for female and junior anglers. Fish photos must be emailed to the judges by 4pm. There will be a prizegiving at the Salty Dog from 6pm, featuring a sausage sizzle, live music and spot prizes. Info: Call Vera on 027 499 0050 or email Bazz at to register

consider using silent fireworks or a light/ drone display instead of loud professional fireworks, he expressed concern that they might not be as impressive. “While we are open to solution-based discussions and ideas regarding the NYE display, we would want to be able to create the same atmosphere and celebratory effect as occurs with fireworks. At this stage, we believe that a light/drone event would be considerably more expensive and not as impressive,” Mr Grant said. He added that if local residents were calling for a ban on all fireworks in rural areas, that was a political issue of national significance that should be taken up with

the Government. And he claimed that, with up to a third of Auckland’s future growth set to occur in the Warkworth area in coming years, Matakana was fast becoming urbanised anyway. “That growth is proceeding visibly every week and, within a few years, Warkworth and its surrounding areas – including Matakana – will constitute one of the most populous urban centres in New Zealand,” he said. “The Matakana area is ceasing to be a rural area.” Mr Grant added that Matakana Country Park regularly hosted “some of the biggest and loudest rock concerts in the country, with up to 10,000 people at a time”.

Funding boost for Fight the Tip Opponents fighting Waste Management’s plans to develop a major regional landfill in the Dome Valley were awarded $24,500 towards legal fees by the Ministry of the Environment last month. Fight the Tip: Tiaki te Whenua had originally applied for the maximum possible grant of $50,000, but the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund advisory panel said a significant number of applications for grants had meant that the funding round had to be rationed. “Had this rationing not taken place, the group would have been awarded up to $35,000,” the panel said, adding that the group may be able to apply for further funding in future. The $24,500 grant comes in addition to more than $67,000 so far donated by Fight the Tip supporters, including $50,000 from an anonymous donor last August. Legal costs to fight the resource consent case in the Environment Court in June are

estimated at more than $200,000. Fight the Tip executive Michelle Carmichael said she was pleased with the Ministry’s decision. “I think we did well to get that and yes, we will definitely be applying for further funds later,” she said. “This highlights the importance of groups such as ours to take part in resource consent and environmental advocacy areas. “This government-endorsed funding is further proof that we are not an activist nimby protest group, we are a collective of concerned citizens who care enough about the long term environmental effects that this and potentially other landfills in New Zealand pose, to try to make a difference.” Ms Carmichael said she was particularly pleased that the advisory panel’s report said the group’s case had potential to create useful case law and that it raised nationally and regionally important issues affecting the environment.



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The collapsed tower was a two-kilometre walk from the nearest road.

Vandals cause comms chaos after downing cell tower It could take months before full mobile phone coverage is restored to Kaiwaka and the surrounding areas following the deliberate destruction of a Spark cellphone tower earlier this month. Vandals unscrewed the supporting bolts and guywires on the 36-metre tall tower off Tain Road, south of Maungaturoto, on January 2, causing it to collapse and damaging the structure beyond repair. Spark and Skinny customers across a wide area have since experienced lengthy breaks in coverage or intermittent service, and the provider has been deluged with complaints, despite installing temporary portable replacements at the earliest opportunity. A spokesperson said the company was “incredibly disappointed” that someone had attacked a critical piece of infrastructure, leaving many people and businesses without mobile and wireless broadband, but said there was unfortunately no quick way of fixing it. “We would like to assure the affected community that we are doing everything we can to get services restored. Unfortunately, getting mobile towers up and running, whether temporary or permanent, is incredibly complex and can take some time – especially when it’s been taken down unexpectedly – so we are grateful for their patience and understanding while we work through this.” Spark said the sabotaged tower was a particularly tall one, so while the company urgently installed a Cell-site On Wheels (COW) as soon as police investigations allowed, the signal from the shorter aerial was unable to reach as many customers. “A second temporary site was deployed on Friday, January 21 to improve coverage

further while we work to rebuild our permanent tower,” the spokesperson added. “We are currently monitoring to see if any customers are not being serviced by this second site and if so, what more we can do to get them connected. “Unfortunately, we now need to carry out a full rebuild of our cell site, which is being prioritised.” However, the spokesperson could not say exactly how long this would take, only that Spark expected it to be completed “within the next few months”. “We know how important it is to stay connected, so we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this may have caused. We will be automatically providing a credit to impacted wireless broadband and wireless landline customers, and we encourage mobile customers to get in touch with us directly to discuss their options.” Meanwhile, Northland Police officers are investigating a second comms tower being targeted and damaged, this time in Waipu on Tuesday, January 18, and belonging to a different provider. Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Rob Huys said they were keen to hear from anyone who could help them with their inquiries into the attacks. “Both incidents are concerning to Police and are being treated with urgency,” he said. “We are following a number of lines of enquiry, but would ask anyone with information on either of these incidents to contact police on 105, quoting file number 220104/9808.” Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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One of the more controversial proposals is a suggestion that 21 coastal and island parks, including seven in Mahurangi, become part of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and transfer from Council control to a new co-governance body.

Mahurangi West

Atiu Creek

Mahurangi East

Chance to submit on Council’s plan for regional parks Residents and ratepayers are being invited to comment on a new draft management plan that sets out proposals and policies for Auckland’s 28 regional parks over the next decade. The 460-page plan looks at overall concerns and challenges, such as climate change and population growth, and includes a chapter on each individual park and its specific needs and attractions. They include the eight regional parks in the Mahurangi region – Ātiu Creek, Mahurangi East, Mahurangi West, Pakiri, Scandrett, Tāwharanui, Te Ārai and Te Muri.

“The draft plan outlines how to maximise the opportunities presented by our regional parks, and manage the challenges across some 41,000 hectares of public open space,” the draft says. “It covers all aspects of land and visitor management and sets out Council’s intentions in respect to partnerships and relationships with mana whenua and diverse stakeholders.” With Auckland’s population forecast to grow by nearly 16 per cent, from 1.66 million people in 2020 to over 1.9 million by 2031, Council says regional parks will continue to see an increase in visitor numbers and demand for facilities.

The most popular parks, which include Tāwharanui and Te Ārai, are already facing significant pressure. “At peak times during summer, the facilities are beyond capacity as people flock to the beaches for a day out,” the plan says. “With this popularity can come frustrations, such queuing to get a car park, limited toilet facilities, and infrastructure that doesn’t cater for all types of needs. “In the future, as the region’s population continues to grow, Council will carefully consider where the acquisition of new parkland is required to give more people the opportunity to experience the natural

outdoor settings provided by regional parks.” Improvement options for individual parks include better access of all types, extended tracks, new or upgraded toilets, improved camping facilities and prohibiting potentially harmful activities – see panel for local examples. Feedback and submissions on the draft park plan can be made until March 4.

Info: https://akhaveyoursay. or email regionalparksplanreview@aucklandcouncil.

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Regional wish list

Te Muri

– some possible options for local parks

Central’s Tips February 2022

Ātiu Creek


The fruit and vegetable garden

Increase visitor use of park • opportunity to extend mountain bike tracks and develop additional walking tracks • potential to host more large-scale outdoor events, such as music festivals, multi-sport or horse riding events

Consider increasing disability access to and around buildings in park • develop educational experiences for children to learn about park’s history • seal and upgrade access road and provide passing bays • develop lookout site above Mullet Point

• Thin out fruit developing in clusters on young citrus, apple, and pear trees. This ensures the final fruit are a good size and that healthy plant growth occurs as well

Mahurangi East


New regional park, following purchase of 92ha in 2019 in addition to established parkland • development of public access plan to provide pedestrian, cycle and vehicle access in future • potential opportunity for camping and mountain biking, and bach accommodation in existing dwelling

Upgrade and replace aging park infrastructure • maintain and, in future, seal road through park • advocate to prohibit fishing in the Jones Bay lagoon • investigate development of dedicated campground for certified self-contained vehicles • establish underwater marine trail

Mahurangi West

Provide safer access to beach at Te Ārai Point • upgrade toilet and picnic facilities • provide better shade and visitor information • scope locations for automatic gates on Pacific, Te Ārai Point and Forestry Roads • investigate banning powered boats from Tomarata Lake and dogs from entire park

Investigate options for additional camping on hill above current campground and return Sullivan’s Bay to recreational use • upgrade Mita Bay toilet facilities • develop certified self-contained vehicle campground to keep vehicles away from foreshore

Pakiri Improve public access to parkland, via Pakiri River Road or M Greenwood Road • strengthen relationships with mana whenua to name park, and identify and protect cultural heritage • develop walking and off-road cycling trails

Te Ārai

Te Muri Investigate constructing footbridge or boardwalk across Te Muri Stream for pedestrian, cycle and service vehicle access • continue to advocate for upgrade to State Highway 1 and Hungry Creek Road intersection to provide safe access • develop main arrival area with parking and toilets

• Pick summer fruit: blueberries, raspberries, apricots and peaches regularly. If necessary, cover with bird netting • Get ready for autumn vegetables – directly sow beetroot, carrots and parsnip from now on • Layer thick mulch around your fruit trees – from citrus to apples, pears and plums, they need access to moisture in the soil for growing fruit. Same goes for feijoas, passionfruit and tamarillos • Turn the compost heap and keep it moist - dry compost doesn’t break down well • Green looper caterpillars hatch quickly in the heat and start to decimate tomatoes, lettuces and any summer brassica plants. Control with an organic spray such as Bugtrol or Derris Dust to stop them ruining crops • Place pea straw or plastic under pumpkins and melons, to avoid them rotting if they’re sitting on damp ground

The ornamental garden • Planning a late summer celebration? Modern roses should be cut back 8-10 weeks before the date. Deep watering, fertiliser and a layer of mulch is helpful to encourage growth and flowers • Cut back the tired foliage of shrubs and perennials. Some, such as daisies and lavenders, will re-bloom in autumn. A liquid feed and they’re on their way • Seek out some different shrubs for the garden – luculias for fragrant flowers, the native Hibiscus trionum for its unusual colour and abutilons (Chinese lantern bushes) with their bright flowers • Mow lawns on a high setting to prevent stressing grass during the hotter months

Warkworth School welcomes everyone back for 2022 Term 1 commences at 9:00am on Tuesday, 8 February 2022. Open Day - Thursday 3 February 2022 - new students and their families can meet the teachers and explore their new learning environment. New enrolments can be taken on the Open Day and also on Wednesday 2 February and Friday 5 February. To make an appointment time to enrol on either of these days, email Warkworth School uniforms can be purchased online at Back-to-School stationery packs can be purchased online at Please see the school website for more information.

Summer project? Sorted. For all your paving, aggregates, planting soil and mulch, head to Central Landscapes and we’ll help with the products you need.

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January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


WeSay Every penny counts

The generous response Kiwis have shown collectively and individually to Tonga is the sort of good news story we need at the moment. As the pandemic continues to roll on, Covid is taking its toll on our lives in more ways than we could have envisaged two years ago. It is no longer just a health issue – it’s affecting our personal finances, children’s education, lifestyles, employment, relationships … the list goes on. But the fact that we can put all this to one side for a minute to dig into our wallets to help our Pacific neighbours is something of which we should be proud. When Warkworth Lions Club members took to local streets to collect donations for the island kingdom, now covered in layers of ash from the underwater volcano Hunga TongaHunga Ha’apai, they were moved by people’s generosity. As club member Peter Henderson put it, “It wasn’t a hard sell at all”. As a nation, we had last week given around $3 million in aid in the form of drinking water, food, engineering equipment and tools to clear debris left by the tsunami. But the dollars and cents dropped into the Lion’s buckets are no less significant. They represent personal compassion and humanitarianism. As with the Christchurch earthquake, there is a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ feeling when natural catastrophes of the scale seen in Tonga strike. These disasters don’t discriminate between rich or poor, creed or colour – they can happen anywhere, at any time and to anyone. We know there are people in our communities who have family and friends in Tonga. It must have been a harrowing time waiting for communications to be restored so they could ask that first vital question, “Is everyone okay?” We hope the donations from Mahurangi and the nation go some way to show that they are not alone and that others around them care. To donate to Warkworth Lions’ Tonga appeal, see story on page 2. Alternatively, the Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee can be reached through its Facebook page and NZ Red Cross is also accepting donations.

Book giveaway winners The winner of The Unflinching Ash by Angela Armstrong was Robyn Henry. Congratulations, Robyn. Thank you to everyone who entered our summer reading competition and congratulations to the winners – Shed Couture, Anita Thompson; Who Lived There?, Ted Haughey; and In the Company of Gardeners, Barbara Long.

See story page 3


Contributions to Your opinion and Off the record are welcome, to submit email:

Information office closure

Mystery man’s photo revealed

On January 7, I tried to visit the Warkworth information office at 2.30 pm only to discover this area information centre is only open from 10am to 2pm at the height of the holiday and visitor season. Hardly appropriate. I used to work there as a volunteer when the centre was open all day, every day, except Christmas Day. We were always full of visitors. Has this service ceased to function or are people just not interested in providing the service despite the fact they are being paid? Or are the powers that be just ignorant of the need for this service? I checked the website which declared that the i-site was open 10am to 2pm on Saturday, but when I arrived there on Saturday, the office was closed.

A letter to Mahurangi Matters recalling an old bearded man who used to sit under a pepper tree in front of the Warkworth Pub in the 1940s has unearthed his photograph. Maureen Young first wrote to Mahurangi Matters about the man whom she remembers being fascinated by as a child (MM Dec 6). She recalled that he would have a beer in one hand and a pipe in the other and wore a pink woollen singlet. In a subsequent letter (MM Dec 20), Maureen was able to add more details. The man was an Estonian named Eugene Busche, better known as “Bob”. He squatted in a derelict old house on the Nelson Lawrie farm neat Scotts Landing. Mahurangi Matters reader Ron Smalley spotted the letter and realised he had a photo of Eugene in his possession. He says neither he nor his wife, Betty, knew anything at

Trisha Pieterse, Snells Beach One Mahurangi Business Assn manager Murray Chapman replies: I am sorry that the Information Centre was not open when you called in. The centre has changed quite a lot since you were a volunteer and is not an i-site anymore. The centre receives no funding from Council and operates on the capacity of volunteers and one part-time, paid employee under the management of One Mahurangi Business Association. I made the decision to keep the Centre closed over that time as our paid staff member was ill and we had an acute shortage of volunteers. This, coupled with the fact that there are no overseas visitors around, means the number of visitors coming through has been limited. The Warkworth Information Centre does not have its own website but the centre’s listing on Google and on the One Mahurangi website lists its correct opening hours, which are Mon to Fri, from 10am to 4pm. It is possible that you went to the Trip Advisor website which hadn’t updated our hours. We have asked them to rectify this. We simply did not have the capacity to be open during the time you visited, but regret that you were misinformed by an external website.

all about Bob, but Betty had bought the framed photograph when she saw it at a jumble sale. Ron says the man’s face really appealed to her. “You can read his character in it,” he says. A note taped to the back of the photo frame reads: “Eugene “Bob” Bush [sic]. Estonian – cook off Russian Ship. Lived by Mahurangi River.

Great Debate deferred The Kowhai Festival Great Debate is the latest casualty of the current Covid-19 Red setting. The annual debate, organised by Warkworth Toastmasters, is normally held during the Kowhai Festival, but was shifted to February 26 because of last year’s lockdown. Club spokesperson Murray Chapman says the decision was taken to err on the side of caution. “Even if we get half the omicron cases they are predicting, it would be too much of a

risk,” he says. “Particularly given the age of our audience.” This is the third year that Covid has forced the debate’s cancellation. It is run as a fundraiser for hospice and normally attracts around 300 people. The last cheque Toastmasters handed over amounted to $7800. The moots this year were to have been ‘Should Warkworth be renamed South Matakana?’ and ‘Married men live longer’. Murray has set a new tentative date of July 2.

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Beware election-time rants on rates We’re about to enter Auckland Council’s continue for the coming year. This means Annual Budget consultation process, and there are now fewer staff in key areas such as this brings the often passionate debate about compliance, planning and consenting. The what the level of rates should be. Because this effects of this can now be seen, and this is is an election year, you can expect the debate not a great outcome for our community. to be slightly sharper. This often leads to While Council must constantly be looking short, snappy, headline-grabbing statements to work more efficiently and give value for where complex issues are condensed down money to ratepayers, increasingly elusive to one line of text and difficult decisions are cost savings are a drop in the bucket to presented as simple binary ones. accomplish what is needed. Remember Boris’s Brexit Bus? It proclaimed Adding to this problem is our rapidly growing that the UK was sending £350 million to population, which is tipped to hit 2 million the EU each week, and this could be used residents in about eight years. We are not to fund their health system, the NHS. This investing enough each year in new facilities, was a great political stunt. Unfortunately, parks and transport infrastructure to meet it wasn’t entirely correct or what has happened post-Brexit. We can only go on We have a similar annual debate about sweating assets for so long rates. Some say there should be a zero per cent increase, some say rates need to before we start seeing serious be higher. Many politicians make firm issues with some of our key political promises about what level of rates they will or won’t support. These promises infrastructure. are often made without knowing the financial position the Council will be in when the decisions need to be made. This demand. Every time Council has approved is against a backdrop of no ratepayer being a Regional Land Transport Plan, the list of happy to have annual increases for a variety unfunded projects increases. The value of or perfectly legitimate reasons. these projects is now billions of dollars. Putting off spending in these areas of our So, we find ourselves in a challenging core business comes at a cost. Not only situation. By now, everyone will know that Council faces significant challenges with are the assets we have slowly worsening, its budget due to Covid-19. But in a way, some need to be replaced and some likely our current situation may be one that was expanded and improved to meet the needs of more residents. going to happen anyway. For years, Council staff have been quietly pointing out to As seductive as the low or zero rates politicians that there needs to be more message may be, there will, inevitably, money invested in repairs, maintenance be a reckoning. Councillors and local PRESSURE FRIENDLY and renewals of our existing assets – fromNO boards have warned for |years about the roads to community halls and libraries. We consequences of delaying the hard decisions can only go on sweating assets for so long around the required levels of investment. before we start seeing serious issues with We will all ultimately end up having to some of our key infrastructure. pay STOCK for this, eitherCLEARANCE with significant rates We also have been cutting spending to keep increases or through general taxes to within the Covid-19 driven constraints government if they need to come in and MATTRESS AND BASE bail out Council. on our budgets and this is proposed to


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Auckland’s northern sprawl prompts new Bayleys appointments A swathe of development opportunities along Auckland’s northern corridor has resulted in Bayleys Realty Group recruiting three senior commercial brokers who specialise in this area. Ben Clare, Graeme Perigo and Alex Perigo have joined Bayleys’ Silverdale office as the agency expands its coverage north of Auckland. Together, they bring more than two decades of combined experience in the industry with nearly $1.5 billion in concluded real estate sales and leases. The long-time Hibiscus Coast residents were previously with Barfoot and Thompson. Bayleys’ national director of commercial and industrial Ryan Johnson says the addition of the three brokers to its northern Auckland operations reflects a strategic commitment to this region which has been identified as a key location for development to cater for Auckland’s continuing population growth. “Auckland’s northern reaches have been earmarked as a major growth corridor in the coming years, with a sustained pipeline of works either underway or planned across the Silverdale, Whangaparāoa, Orewa and Wainui locales,” he says. In the 10 years to 2016, the North Shore economy grew at a rate more than double the national average, soaking up most available development land and prompting investors and developers to look north beyond Albany to areas where serious potential for expansion exists, Graeme Perigo says. “The ongoing development of significant master-planned communities at Millwater and Milldale close to State Highway 1 underscores the demand for additional housing infrastructure, along with commercial and industrial precincts to support continued residential growth. “Silverdale has become one of Auckland’s key growth nodes, transitioning into a hub for the northern corridor with upgraded bus and motorway connections. Retail continues to grow, and national ‘big box’ retailers are staking their claim, demonstrated by the likes of Rebel Sport and Briscoes opening new stores,” he adds. Ben Clare says both Auckland Council and central government have

recognised the potential of Silverdale, Whangaparāoa Peninsula, Wainui and the Dairy Flat areas to support residential, commercial, and industrial expansion over the next five to 10 years. The Penlink project on which construction is soon to commence is a good example of this. It will deliver a new seven-kilometre, twolane highway that connects State Highway 1 to the Whangaparāoa Peninsula. Penlink will provide an alternate access route to the peninsula as well as local road connections at Whangaparāoa Road, the Stillwater Township and East Coast Road. Looking to the new year, the team expects continuing strong demand for industrial premises will increase the redevelopment and upgrading of existing industrial buildings across Silverdale. In addition, continued retail expansion will support growing residential activity on both sides of the motorway. “Large future urban landholdings will be also identified for development to accommodate Auckland’s growing population, especially as borders reopen and migration returns,” Clare says. Mark Macky, director of Bayleys in the North which has 11 offices, covering from Silverdale to the Far North, says the addition of three leading commercial brokers in Silverdale will enhance the range of services able to be offered to clients, it will also complement continuing growth in Bayleys’ residential, lifestyle and rural sales force in the area.

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| Mahurangimatters | January 31, 2022

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Vale John Cowpland

12 June 1948 - 17 December 2021

he Wellsford community lost a valued volunteer, friend and community stalwart last month, when former Chief Fire Officer John Cowpland died suddenly on December 17. As well as more than 40 years with the fire brigade, John was instrumental in establishing the Wellsford St John ambulance service, and was known to all as someone who would always pitch in, could turn his hand to anything, and enjoyed a beer and a yarn. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1948, where he trained as a fitter and turner and worked in engineering. In 1971, he married Anne and they travelled to New Zealand for their honeymoon – they never went back. John first worked in Wellington, installing lifts in residential buildings, then moved north to Marsden Point oil refinery as a fitter on the storage tanks, and then to Rawene, where he was site engineer at the local hospital. It was in Rawene that he first volunteered for the fire brigade, and was quick to transfer to the Wellsford crew when he, Anne and their young son moved to the town in 1980. Following a tragic callout to a drowning at Tomarata Lakes, John decided to do something about the lack of a local ambulance service and he was key in setting up a Wellsford first response unit. He was a member of the local Jaycees service club, which housed the first ambulance until John and a group of other volunteers physically built the ambulance station in Rodney Street. He also crewed the ambulance for many years, until the late 1990s.

But it was the Wellsford Volunteer Fire Brigade that was his real passion. He became Senior Station Officer in 1989, was awarded the Flamank/Andrew Attendance Trophy in 1993, his gold star for 25 years’ service in 2001 and was made Chief Fire Officer in 2013, a position he held until he retired in 2019. While with the Wellsford crew, he also won the snooker pairs competition, the Winston Hart two-man run and the brigade ‘Stirrers Shovel’ twice, in 1991 and 2000 – which colleagues said was perhaps not enough “for a stirrer of John’s calibre”. His son Paul said the fire station was almost his second home, and he was always on hand, whether it was for fire calls, fundraising, working bees, or just a beer. Over the years, John ran his own business, Manx Engineering, worked for Izards, made saw blades and outdoor furniture, sold real estate and, most recently, was a valued local handyman. He had a great sense of humour, which he often employed to make a point, and he was no stranger to good banter and a bit of a wind-up. He also liked fishing and boating, though rarely had time to do it, and loved working with wood, making wooden bowls and furniture. But mostly he enjoyed helping people and never hesitated to help someone out. His son Paul said he was solid, dependable, welcoming and generous. “He had no trouble letting you know what he thought or if you were wrong, but he didn’t hold a grudge and he could admit he might not have been 100 per cent correct on occasion,” he said. “People tell me he was a really good boss and a great friend. And he always did what he said he would do.” John is survived by his partner Roxanne; his son Paul and daughter-in-law Patrece; his brother Dave and sisters Anne and Susan; and grandchildren Samantha and Jessica. A public memorial will take place at the Wellsford fire station when restrictions allow.


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Last Stubbs butcher calls it quits – ending 100year run in Warkworth Bruce Stubbs hung up his butcher’s apron for the final time this month – 100 years after his grandfather established Stubbs Butchery, which went on to become an institution in Warkworth. Bruce, 68, remembers his grandfather Herbert as a staunch individual of the old school. In the afternoons, he would wander across the road to the Warkworth Hotel for a beer. He had a chair outside where he could sit and keep a watchful eye on his sons running the shop, one of whom was Bruce’s father, Bert. Bruce says if anybody happened to be sitting in “Herbert’s chair” when his grandfather arrived, the barman would politely ask the offender to move. Bruce’s father Bert went on to fight in Italy during World War II but when he returned (minus a leg) he continued to work in the shop, serving there for 60 years. Bruce got his own taste for butchery while still at school. Back then, his uncle Ken Stubbs was responsible for making the sausages, but when he was on holiday Bruce was roped in to do the job. He enjoyed the work and completed a butchery apprenticeship with Foodtown in Auckland. Bruce did not care much for Auckland and soon returned to Warkworth. “The day my apprenticeship finished, I was back home that night,” Bruce says. In those days, the butchery also had an abattoir on Hill Street, another aspect of

Outside Stubbs butcher’s shop in 1931. From left, Bruce’s dad Bert, uncle Joe, aunty Dot, aunty Ellie, uncle Ken and grandad Herbert. It is suspected thieves stole the plaque for its scrap metal value.

Plaque stolen from Parry Kauri Park

Bruce Stubbs wields his knife for the final time.

the trade that Bruce enjoyed. “My uncle Jim was the slaughterman and I used to love helping him with the killing. On a single day we would do a couple of bodies of beef, around 15 lambs and a couple of pigs,” he says. Bruce set up his own butcher’s shop in Snells Beach, which he ran for more than a decade but eventually returned to Warkworth where he worked for his brother Donald. Donald sold the shop in 1999, but Bruce continued working as a butcher at Warkworth New World, where he has been for the last 20 years. The former Stubbs shop is now home to Warkworth Butchery, but the Stubbs name can still be seen on the tiling under

the window. Bruce says he has been happy enough at New World, but does miss the personal contact of the small shop. “I liked that one-on-one with the customer, especially back in the day when I knew them all,” he says. Bruce now plans to help his son Blake establish an electrical business in the area. He says he’s not at all disappointed that his son has failed to continue the Stubbs butchery tradition for a fourth generation. Indeed, he thinks his son has made a good choice. “Especially in this area with so much building going on. There’s plenty of work for electricians and plumbers and all that sort of thing around here,” he says.

Auckland Council will seek to have a new memorial plaque manufactured after one was stolen from Parry Kauri Park. The plaque commemorated the passing of Stuart McKinney, a descendant of Rev Robert McKinny, who formerly owned the land where Parry Kauri Park is located. All the plaques were removed during the first stage of construction of a deck and boardwalk at the park, which was completed last month. Members of The Kauri and Native Bushmen’s Association – dedicated to making improvements at the park – believed the plaque had been lost in the process and began making enquiries with Warkworth Museum and Mahurangi Matters to see if anybody might remember the exact wording on the plaque and if a photograph was available so that a replacement could be made. But Council spokesperson Darren Kalka says the plaque had in fact been reinstalled, but was stolen one day later. “We suspect it was for scrap metal because it was made from brass,” Mr Kalka says. Fortunately, a photograph of the plaque was taken before it was removed during construction works. Council plans to use the photograph to reinstall a replica plaque with stronger lugs so that it is more difficult to remove in future.

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Careless summers For some New Zealanders, summer means a trip to the bach at the beach. Sometimes the “bach” is a whole house, more flash than those many other Kiwis call home. Perched in scenic locations that were once wildlife refuges or fragile landforms like sandspits, beaches or scenic headlands, these settlements can sit almost empty in winter and are full to overflowing when the holidays hit. People escape their suburban lives, spend hot hours stuck in traffic to join the seasonal community in a substitute suburbia in a beachside location. Sleepy seaside villages become heaving towns. They come complete with boats, jets skis, sea doughnuts, boards, fins and snorkel or scuba gear. They may bring the Christmas tree and gifts, family friends and the pet dog. People build sand castles, swing in pohutukawa trees, take shade where they can find it. We might envy the next person’s boat, body or bach. We might even envy other people’s apparent private beaches. We might wish we had a beach to ourselves – or delight in the children playing in the shallows or in other cultures adopting Kiwi ways of summer. Bikinis, Speedos (undies?) and other togs are paraded in states of usually unacceptable undress. Sunburn and sand are de rigueur. Double cab utes are driven along the sand to make picnicking easier, to launch boats, to avoid car separation anxiety disorder. There are parties and campfires on the beach. As night falls or the tide ebbs or the season ends, the remains of the sunny day are left. Footprints in the sand, plastic wrappers,

odd jandals, socks, undies and togs. There are fishing lines, old hooks and nets. Fish “frames” (skeletons after the fish have been filleted), as well as whole undersized fish lie to waste. Birds peck over cold fish and chip wrappers, bins spill their rubbish. Nature is left with the haunting memory of peoples’ happy summer day. We pack up our belongings, lug them over the dunes, or to the nearby car, empty sand from our clothes, collect a special leaf or

Bikinis, speedos and other togs are paraded in states of usually unacceptable undress. shell as a memento from the day. We nurse our sunburn (“but I applied sunscreen!”), we look forward to the next trip to the beach – tomorrow? Beaches are profoundly who we are and what we do in summer. But are we kind to these fragile, beautiful habitats, homes to liminal species on the edge? Will our sandspits survive development? Will our starry night skies behold the same universal wonder with stray light from streets and housing? Will the penguins, oyster catchers, dotterels and gulls withstand the pressure – the rubbish, the food depletion, the entanglement in discarded fishing lines and legal set nets? Will our fish stocks survive the intense fishing effort? Will places of beauty and solace, peace and quiet, ever be the same as they were in our memories of those summer days?

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Cattle continue to have unfettered access to the banks of the Hoteo River. Photo, Richard Griffiths.

Healthy Waters defends Hoteo riparian protection efforts Authorities have moved to give assurances that the Hoteo River remains a key focus for sediment reduction initiatives following a blistering attack on progress by a Mahurangi Matters reader. Richard Griffiths paddled down the river for the first time in nearly 20 years last month and says he was sorely disappointed to see “no improvement in riparian protection whatsoever”. “Virtually the entire river above Atuanui (Mount Auckland) remains unfenced with both cattle and sheep having unfettered access to its banks,” he says. “The upshot of this is ongoing erosion and sedimentation of the river and harbour.” The criticism comes despite the launch of the $2 million Hoteo Sediment Reduction Project by Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters Department and the Ministry for the Environment in 2018. The aim of the project is to stop thousands of tonnes of sediment flowing down the Hoteo River and polluting the Kaipara Harbour. Project manager Sarah Nolan says the river is the largest in the Auckland region and so far work has focused on a Hoteo tributary – the Kourawhero Stream – which suffers from the worst levels of bank erosion in the catchment. She says various erosion control measures have been demonstrated, including riparian fencing and planting, along the Kourawhero and where it joins the Hoteo. She says this work has been done in partnership with mana whenua, the community and private landowners. Auckland Council Healthy Waters general manager Craig Mcilroy adds that the Healthy Waters team has installed water quality monitoring devices ahead of further erosion control measures to see how effective they are at reducing sediment. But Mr Mcilroy admits Healthy Waters is still seeing the effects of 100 years of deforestation and it could be decades before streams adjust to restoration efforts. “It’s a long journey to repair 100 years of damage, but we

have made a start and are monitoring what we can while we start to drive long-term change,” he says. Mr Mcilroy says so far the project has protected around 20 hectares of riparian corridor with 7km of fencing. “While numbers like these are great, a catchment-wide approach needs to be taken in order to see the magnitude of change we are hoping for,” he says. He says it needs to be appreciated that fencing is expensive. To install 20km of fencing can easily cost upwards of $1 million. Meanwhile, the Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR)

programme, set up in August last year to administer $100 million of Government money allocated to clean up the Kaipara Harbour, says the Hoteo River is a high priority. KMR spokesperson Ben Hope says KMR field advisors work with landowners to develop plans to protect waterways through fencing and planting, with KMR funding half the costs of the work through grants.

Grants for interested landowners became available from September last year. Information on how to apply for them is available on the KMR website,

Consultation open on marine reserve proposal The Department of Conservation (DoC) is calling for submissions on the proposed Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve, off the north-west coastline of Waiheke Island. The proposal covers 2350 ha, spanning from Hakaimango Point to Matiatia Point. The application was submitted by the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf and is dedicated to the memory of two former Mahurangi residents – the late Dr Roger Grace and the late Dr Bill Ballantine. In its application, the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf states that despite Parliament’s recognition of the national significance of the Hauraki Gulf, its gazetting of the Hauraki Gulf as a marine park and its statutory commitment to ‘protect and enhance in perpetuity’ its environment in 2000, the gulf has had very little protection. The group adds that DoC’s Conservation Management Strategy also recognises the threats to the gulf but, again, very little has been done to protect and enhance marine ecosystems and the ‘life-supporting capacity’ of the gulf, especially by government agencies and regional councils (including Auckland Council), despite obvious indications of environmental decline. If successful, the new reserve would be the first in the Hauraki Gulf since Tawharanui was upgraded by the former

If the new reserve is gazetted, it will be the first new reserve since Tawharanui. The map shows the proposed boundaries.

Auckland Regional Council, from a marine protected area to a full marine reserve, in 2010. Currently, less than half of one per cent of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is in protected no-take marine reserves. This equates to a total of just 3961ha being fully protected in the park, which covers more than 1.2 million hectares. Submissions on the proposal close on March 20. Info:

January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |



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Pathway out of Covid? The most common question posed by the public about the Covid pandemic is this: when and how will it end? An increasing number of international experts are asking an important and related question: Is the Omicron variant a pathway out of the pandemic? It is too early to give a definitive answer to these questions because the flow of data emerging from Omicron across various countries experiencing the variant is still preliminary. However, some early indications are promising. This new variant includes 50 mutations or genetic changes, some of which help the virus to spread more quickly, while others help the virus to evade antibodies. Regarding the transmission or contagiousness of Omicron (as observed in overseas countries impacted so far), new cases have been found to double every two to four days, which is much faster than the Delta variant. Some experts even say that Omicron is as contagious as measles. How much does the Pfizer vaccine protect against an Omicron infection? Full Pfizer vaccination plus a booster provides strong protection against Omicron. For example, two doses of Pfizer vaccine reduce hospitalisation rates caused by Omicron by 70 per cent. Although two doses without a booster is less protective, it is still far safer than being unvaccinated. How bad will a Covid case caused by Omicron be? The good news is that a lower percentage of Omicron infections are leading to hospitalisation when compared to Delta infections. Overall, the key point is that Omicron is much more transmissible, but significantly less lethal than Delta. Current New South Wales experience indicates that the increase in new cases and the associated number of hospitalisation cases arising from Omicron is rising rapidly. However, closer examination of this NSW hospitalisation data, following the surge in Omicron cases, indicates that only 5.3 per cent involve ICU and 2.2 per cent involve ICU ventilation. Omicron, while very

contagious, is not making many patients seriously ill. The promising aspect of these observations is that in an increasing number of Omicron-affected countries, the rapid rise in new cases was followed by a relatively rapid decline. Scotland, England, Portugal, South Africa and others have reported such rapid passing of the Omicron wave. This has raised the possibility that Omicron is a pathway to the end of the pandemic. The virus is a tiny entity that seeks to live forever by reproducing itself. When reproducing itself, it can adjust its DNA genetics, firstly to achieve greater capacity to bind to human receptor cells and, secondly, to penetrate and attack the human respiratory system.

The promising aspect of these observations is that in an increasing number of Omicron-affected countries, the rapid rise in new cases was followed by a relatively rapid decline. It is now possible that these ongoing adjustments (mutations) have led to a virus variant (Omicron) that is strongly bonding to human receptor cells and hence very contagious, but less able to damage the human host. Perhaps the next variant after Omicron will be even further down this path of being more transmissible but less lethal. At some stage in this evolutionary pathway, the Covid virus will resemble influenza. It will be contracted by almost everyone in the community but will cause only mild symptoms, which may or may not require annual vaccination. Scientists refer to this endgame as being an “endemic virus”, something which the community accepts as an enduring and tolerable part of its normal environment.

Crash information sought

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal crash involving two vehicles near Uretiti just before Christmas. The incident occurred around 12pm on December 23 on State Highway 1, Uretiti. Two occupants died as a result of the crash. Police are trying to piece together the events that occurred leading up to the accident. Anyone who saw the crash is urged to contact police on 105, quoting file number 211223/3317.

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Chance to see artists at work on regional trail Lovers of arts and crafts should hit the road in February, as nearly 40 artists will be throwing open their doors over two weekends for the third annual Mahurangi Artists’ Studio Trail. This year’s event encompasses more than 25 homes, studios and galleries in communities over a wide area, including Mahurangi West, Warkworth, Wellsford, Leigh, Omaha, Tawharanui, Matakana and Snells Beach. Artists and craftspeople will be displaying their work for sale, giving talks and demonstrations and, in a few cases, inviting visitors to join in and have a go themselves. Entry is free and there will be something to appeal to every age and taste, with a diverse range of works incorporating painting, printmaking, glass, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, drawing, photography, silk screen, leather and wood carving, among others. Have-a-go sessions will be run at five venues around the district, with a range of activities for all ages. These include screen printing with Talia Russell at Mahurangi West, creating in clay with Blair Fraser in Sandspit and contributing to a community mural project with a group of five artists exhibiting at the Old Masonic Hall in Warkworth. The trail will be open throughout Waitangi weekend, from February 6 to 8, and also on the following weekend, February 12 and 13. It was originally scheduled for Labour Weekend, but was postponed due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions at the time. Now, masks must be warn at all venues. Trail map brochures are available online or from local information centres and businesses, and all venues will be clearly marked with bunting and signage. The trail is organised by the Mahurangi Artist Network in a bid to encourage people to explore the region while visiting artists to see their creativity in action and hear about their techniques and inspiration.

Talia Russell at Mahurangi East.

Philippa Stichbury in Pohuehue.

For more information on participating artists, venues and a trail map, visit www.mahurangiartistnetwork. com/2021-artists-and-venues or MahurangiArtistsTrail/

Blair Fraser at Sandspit.

Paul McRae in Wellsford.

Ian Anderson in Warkworth.





Welfe Bowyer in Snells Beach.



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Nothing runs smoothly in Four Flat Whites. From left Judy (Julia Mitchell), Adrian (Dave Morgan), Alison (Lee-Anne Scarth) and Harry (Frank Webb).

Four Flat Whites finally ready to play Warkworth Town Hall


Covid disruptions forced Warkworth Theatre Group to cancel its productions of Four Flat Whites in Italy last year, but it was determined to push ahead with staging the Roger Hall play this year. Actors have continued to polish their performances over the summer break and the show will be on at the Warkworth Town Hall from February 11 to 19. Four Flat Whites tells the story of two Kiwi couples embarking on a long-awaited tour of Italy armed with a Lonely Planet guide and an Italian phrase book. Things go awry when librarians Adrian (Dave Morgan) and Alison (Lee-Anne Scarth) lose their original travelling companions and they are replaced by new neighbours Harry (Frank Webb) and Judy (Julia Mitchell).

Along the way, they encounter a series of cultural clashes with the locals including a centurian (John Wilkins), gondolier (James Addis), count (Tony Ormond) hotel clerk (Susan Howard), dress shop assistant (Kerrie Cleverdon) and contessa (Cathy Phelps). Warkworth resident Tony Ormond is the only change from the original cast. He replaces John Burton who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. Tony got his start in acting at the Howick Little Theatre about 30 years ago and has been performing ever since. He last played General Von Schmelling in Warkworth Theatre Group’s production of ’Allo ’Allo.

For performance times and bookings, visit

Scenes like this, taken at last year’s Matakana Opera Picnic, will be rare this year as events are cancelled under the Red setting.

Opera picnic cancelled Organisers of the Matakana Opera Picnic got lucky last year and held their concert just hours before the country went in to lockdown. But this year, they haven’t been so fortunate. The Covid-19 Red setting, with its restrictions on audience numbers, has forced the Auckland Opera Studio to cancel this year’s event, which was to have been held on Saturday, February 26. The planned programme featured some of the country’s rising opera stars and would have been one of the last opportunities to


hear several of these singers before they head overseas to resume their international careers. An Auckland Opera Studio spokesperson says they are devastated to cancel this popular and much-anticipated event. The studio is hoping to present smaller concerts over the weekend of February 26 and 27 at their studio in Auckland.

Anyone interested should keep an eye on the website for details:

11th – 12th FEB and 16th - 19th FEB 7pm & 13th and 19th FEB 2pm @ Warkworth Town Hall Tickets available from: and Mahurangi Matters.


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The median age for Kiwis marrying for the first time is 29 years for women and 30 for men. In 1971, when marriage rates peaked, the median age was 20 years for women and 23 years for men. This makes this tale something of a rarity. Susanna Burton, of Snells Beach, tells it in her own words …

Sometimes love takes its time I wanted to move out of Auckland (as many do!) and loved this area. Friends and family live here so it seemed a natural choice, but it took several years before I found exactly the right house. I couldn’t have asked for better neighbours, especially Owen Thompson. Owen was amazingly helpful as I renovated, painted and dug the garden. He was an older man and retired. I liked to think that he needed a project and my moving in provided one. I knew he was older than me but his strength and energy belied his age. What I didn’t know was that he had prayed and asked if there was another woman for him, as his wife Janet had died two years earlier. He received a clear vision that I was petite and that I had never been married, which isn’t so common in people in their sixties. When he saw me walk up the shared drive to the auction, he recalls that his heart fluttered and he thought I might be the one. And so he did three months ‘hard labour’ to help me, and I got to see his kindness and youthful strength. He never told me about his vision until I had said ‘yes’ to his marriage proposal, as he didn’t want me to be influenced. What’s amazing is

that this all happened just three months after I had moved in and yet I knew clearly that it was right. The proposal happened while my deaf mother sewed at my machine, fully unaware what was happening behind her back. It was such a delight to be married before she passed away and she walked me down the aisle aged 96 and looked just wonderful. As a wedding photographer of 23 years, nothing prepared me for the cheering and laughter as I walked into the church. I may be biased, but I have never seen such a response to a bride, which made me wonder if it was it because I was 69 or was it Etta James singing “At Last”? We married last June, just in time before lockdown, and 200 family and friends came to celebrate with us. Photos were taken by my niece Emily Raffills, who trained in my photography business and who is an excellent portrait and wedding photographer in her own right. It is a delight to live close to her family at Scotts Landing and now Owen’s grown up family. Mahurangi was definitely the right choice for me.

jo hn@jo hnc roc kett. c o. nz 021 311 272 mi ke@michael j ohnj ewel l ery. c om 021 336 723

Love blossomed late for Susanna Burton, pictured on her wedding day with Owen Thompson.

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Congratulations to Robyn Kellian, of Warkworth, who is a recipient of a gift basket from Chocolate Brown. Robyn was nominated by Murray Chapman, who wrote:

Robyn is an essential member of the Festival of Lights committee and last year put in enormous hours in the build-up to the festival and during the running of it. Without her input, an event like this would not be possible. As I had a head injury, Robyn stepped up and ran the meetings for me. We would not have had the biggest event in Mahurangi last year if it wasn’t for her and the rest of the team.

Know someone who deserves a big “thank you” for their community spirit? Tell us and they will receive acknowledgement in Mahurangi Matters and an amazing hamper from Chocolate Brown, 6 Mill Lane, Warkworth. Send your nominations to editor@ (subject line: Sweet Appreciation) or post to: Sweet Appreciation, Mahurangi Matters, PO Box 701, Warkworth. Kindly refrain from nominating members of your own family.

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As Valentine’s Day rolls around again, let’s see just how much you really know about love and romance. 1. 2.

Who gave up a crown for love and in what year? Cupid is the Roman name for the god of love; what name does he have in Greek mythology? 3. Who is credited with writing the first Valentine message? 4. How many roses are sent for Valentine’s Day each year? a) One million b) Six million c) 50 million 5. Who came up with the idea of the Valentine’s Day heart-shaped chocolate box? 6. On average, how many marriage proposals are there each Valentine’s Day? 7. What’s the one day that women are supposedly able to ask a man to marry them? 8. What great Shakespearian tragedy follows the story of two starcrossed lovers, and what were the names of their feuding families? 9. What popular website debuted on Valentine’s Day? 10. What notorious gangster orchestrated the St. Valentine’s Day massacre? 11. What emperor called for St. Valentine’s execution? 12. What fruit was once known as a “love apple” for its alleged aphrodisiac properties?

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Valentine’s Day quiz answers 1. Edward VIII abdicated as King of England on December 10, 1936 when he was prevented from marrying a divorcee, Wallis Simpson. 2. Eros, who was the mischievous god of love, a minion and constant companion of the goddess Aphrodite. 3. Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote Farewell to Love in the 15th century while a prisoner in the Tower of London after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt. It was written in French and was addressed to his wife. Here is the English translation: I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine, Since for me you were born too soon, And I for you was born too late. God forgives he who has estranged Me from you for the whole year. I am already, etc. My very gentle, etc. Well might I have suspected, Having such a destiny, Thus would have happened this day, How much that Love would have commanded. I am already, etc. 4. c) An estimated 50 million roses are sent each Valentine’s Day. 5. Richard Cadbury, who was the second son of the Quaker John Cadbury, founder of Cadbury cocoa and the chocolate company. Richard and his brother George took over the family business in 1861 and Richard commercialised the connection between romance and confectionery when the company produced a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day 1868. 6. 220,000. Although it may seem a bit of a cliché to choose Valentine’s Day, it is still one of the most popular days of the year to pop the question.

7. February 29, known as Bachelor’s Day. The origins of this outdated tradition are pretty hazy with one theory that it gave women the chance to nab a lad who was being too slow to ask the question himself. Obviously, February 29 only appears every four years in a Leap Year so there was some constraint over women getting carried away. According to custom, women who were planning a proposal had to wear breeches or a scarlet petticoat. Presumably this was so any man who saw their partner in this attire could leg it before the woman had chance to get on one knee. 8. Romeo and Juliet was written early in William Shakespeare’s career and is one of his most popular, and most performed, plays. The two families were Montague and Capulet. 9. The video sharing platform YouTube was launched on February 14, 2005, by three former PayPal employees. They subsequently sold to Google in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion. 10. Alphonse Gabriel Capone, Al Capone, sometimes known by the nickname Scarface. His seven year reign as a Chicago crime boss ended when he went to prison at the age of 33. In the St Valentine’s Day Massacre, seven gang rivals were murdered in broad daylight. 11. By some accounts, St Valentine was a Roman priest and physician who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Christians by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus around 270. St Valentine is the patron saint of lovers, epileptics and beekeepers. 12. The tomato. Botanically, the tomato is a fruit. The French called the tomato the pomme d’amour, or the Love Apple, for their belief that the exotic tomato had aphrodisiac powers. The Aztecs, who were the first to cultivate it in Peru and Ecuador, called it ‘tomatl’.

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feature health & fitness New manager in Morpeth Street After 18 years, Women’s Centre Rodney has a new face at the helm, following the departure last year of long-term manager Colleen Julian for a new role. She’s not going far, however, having moved just a few hundred metres around the corner in Warkworth to be a family support worker with Homebuilders. Colleen says that after so many years of steering the women’s centre to its current position of running a broad range of courses, services and support groups, she’s ready to get back out into the community at a more grass roots level. “I just wanted to work with a bigger team and expand my expertise to be working with families, rather than only women,” she said. “I’ve known the Homebuilders team for years. I was solely responsible for a lot at the women’s centre, so it’s a change from doing so much admin to be working more in the community and making more of a difference.” Colleen’s replacement as manager at the Morpeth Street centre is Jo Nicholson, who moved to Snells Beach a year ago to enjoy semi-retirement with her husband Dale, but couldn’t resist applying when she saw the vacancy. Jo spent 12 years with Te Whānau ō Waipareira family support organisation in Henderson, specialising in social transformation and workforce development, and she remains on the boards of Social Value Aotearoa and Social Value International, organisations that focus on what is important to people and communities, and telling the story of how change affects them. “Seeing how busy everybody was last lockdown, I thought I should be

contributing, though I didn’t know how. Then an ad for this popped up, so I threw my CV out there just to see, I met the board and team and thought our visions aligned.” Jo was appointed just before Christmas and is now raring to get started on a new year of activities at the centre – Covid restrictions permitting. “During Covid, we just kept in touch with people,” she says. “Now, the next phase is working through while we’re in Red, looking at ways of supporting our existing women and the wider community of women who may not be aware that we’re here. “We’re reconnecting and reigniting the women’s centre.” She is especially keen to encourage women to simply drop in to the centre for a coffee and a chat, especially during a time when many may be feeling anxious or isolated. “Connection is a huge thing for people. We’d love people to call in for a chat and a cup of tea. Or if you’ve got an idea, come in and talk about it,” she says. “The women’s centre is like a hub, or a hive of ideas, where we can connect and work alongside each other and existing community services.” Jo says a walking group will be starting soon, as well as popular centre activities such as courses, counselling and legal advice. “We’re looking at all sorts of ways to alleviate stress and improve mental wellbeing,” she says. “We’re not all about women at the bottom of the cliff … it’s about journeys and how we help women to flourish. It’s about connecting people with the community and tailoring solutions to fit.” Jo says absolutely all women are welcome

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Hospice celebrates art success Artists and art lovers can take a bow following the annual mARTakana exhibition for North Harbour Hospice Warkworth Wellsford, held at Matakana Primary School, from January 21 to 23. The event raised just over $21,000 that will be used for hospice care in the community. More than 350 artworks were in the show and in total, sales reached just over $45,000. Hospice community fundraiser Natalie Taylor says a lot of new artists submitted work this year. “Maybe people got more creative during lockdown,” she says. “We are just so pleased we managed to

get this event over the line, as it has been a tough two years for fundraising, and continues to be so. “We’re also very glad that we managed to hold the event before we went into the Red setting on Sunday night.” Natalie thanked the community for its support and made special mention of sponsors, artists, local businesses, the people who came and bought art, and “our fabulous hospice volunteers”, who were on hand throughout the exhibition, as well as setting up and packing up before and afterwards. “We couldn’t do it without them. It was a very successful event.”

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Members of Warkworth Riders at the new section of track. From left, Heather Johnstone and her grandsons Mark McBain, 8, and Cliff McBain, 5, Simon Hempseed, 70, Denis Horner, 71, and John Winkie, 80.

Community volunteers fix hazardous bike trail hill A lethal corner on the Matakana to Omaha cycle trail has been fixed after community biking enthusiasts decided something must be done. The problematic section of track lay between Takatu Road and Jones Road. Cyclists approaching from Matakana were faced with a downhill slope with a one in four gradient that ended in a near 90-degree turn on gravel. Over the years, numerous riders have fallen

off, suffering broken limbs and even one broken neck. Cyclist Heather Johnstone says she was obliged to walk her bike up or down the hill and around the corner, fearing she would do herself a serious injury if she attempted to ride it. That led her to “volunteer” her husband Malcolm, who had access to appropriate earthmoving equipment such as diggers and rollers to change the layout of the trail

to soften the corner and reduce the steep gradient. Heather says approval to make the changes was secured relatively quickly from Auckland Council, possibly because the Johnstones agreed to fund all the work. Members of Warkworth Riders volunteered their labour to help carve out the new section of track. Work started just before Christmas and was finished before the New Year. In addition to the track, the volunteers also

installed weed matting along the sides of the track and intend to do some planting in the autumn to improve the track’s visual appeal. Warkworth Riders spokesperson Denis Horner says the advent of ebikes made the changes even more important. Ebike riders were often obliged to push their heavy bikes up the hill and their weight made them even more of a liability if they attempted to ride them downhill.

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Phoebe Clegg, Family Support Worker


Parenting through stress The last two years have caused change both good and bad for everyone. But however this has affected you, it has undoubtedly been stressful, particularly for families who have been juggling work, parenting, schooling and the isolation from extended family, community and social groups. This will naturally have caused some changes to the way they have been able to manage that stress. Why? Because so much change and uncertainty makes us feel unsafe, which causes the brain to respond by switching into survival mode, commonly known as ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze’. This triggers the nervous system to either become hyperaware or shut down. So, we may find ourselves yelling at each other, having a short fuse, struggling to go to sleep or stay asleep, feeling ‘on edge’, having trouble remembering things, or being unmotivated. As uncomfortable as these feelings and behaviours may be, they are a very natural response to extended periods of stress. However, having a dysregulated nervous system for long periods of time becomes unhelpful, and can lead to illness and general lessening of quality of life and relationships. So, what can you do about it? Firstly, it is important to acknowledge what

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Homebuilders you are feeling. Simply saying to yourself, “I’m feeling angry” has a powerful calming effect. This also works well if you can voice it to others around you. For instance, “I’m feeling very frustrated right now and need to take two minutes away to calm down.” The same is true for dealing with your children’s ‘big feelings’. Try naming what they are feeling: “I can see you are very upset right now.” When we are having big feelings, we aren’t capable of logical thought. This is especially true for kids, so stop trying to rationalise with them, meet the emotion first, help them calm down and then talk about it. Secondly, take time to practice things that calm you and your family. For instance, having a quiet space in the house, maybe it’s a chair or a corner that is set up to be the place any of you can go to have some down time. Try changing the scenery, get out of the house for a walk together if tension is running high; bring in humour, be silly; move your body, dance to music or even just listen to music that makes you feel good; and finally, put down the devices and do something together once a week, give each other attention and connect. For more information or support, contact Homebuilders via the facebook page or call: 09 425 7048. Television presenters Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells were only too happy to paint one of the Pēpi tails at the project’s launch.

The Women’s Centre is here to help and support all women in our community. We know there are unique challenges for everyone at the moment and we are here to help navigate them. We will be open every day 9.30 – 2.30 so please feel free to pop in for a chat or just to ‘take a moment’ in our safe space. Vaccine passes are required in the centre and we have a peaceful garden space where we can welcome all women. We also have online support options for anyone who would prefer this. Give us a call and we will find an option that works for you. Personal Development Group Online via ZOOM Monday 21 February for 10 weeks, 10am - 12pm. FREE An empowering support group for women offering resources to face life’s challenges and encouraging mindfulness & inner growth in a caring & confidential environment. The course will be run online via Zoom for Term One. Facilitated by

Heidi Downey

Young Mum’s Education Programme Thursday 10 February for 10 weeks, 10am - 12.30pm. FREE Vaccine Pass Required For mothers up to 24 years. Make friends and explore strategies for raising healthy, happy children. Childcare & morning tea provided. Facilitator: Sarah Woolford

Clay Workshop -

Saturday 5 March, 10am - 2.30pm. $70 Artists Studio Warkworth Vaccine Pass Required A one-day workshop at artist’s studio. The class will start with an introduction to clay, making pinch pots, joining them. Followed by creating, decorating and texturing another sculpture using your new skills. Make something beautiful to take home. Tutor: Emma Zhang

Gelli Printing on Fabric -

Wednesday 9 March, 9.30am - 2.30pm. $65 Artists Studio Takatu Vaccine Pass Required Upcycle your old clothes or special fabrics with cool designs using a mono-printing technique called Gelli Printing! Using a soft gelli pad and fabric ink, get creative with colours, designs and compositions and have fun while upgrading your wardrobe. Tutor: Helene Carpenter

Outdoor Art Adventure -

Wednesday 23 March, 9.30am - 2.30pm. $55 Meeting place TBC Take a leisurely walk on the Matakana Cycle Trail and do some drawing and geli printing as you go. Get creative with nature. This activity would be open to all women. Tutor: Helene Carpenter

Harakeke/Flax Weaving Workshop -

Wednesday 23 February, 10am - 2pm $65 at the Women’s Centre Vaccine Pass Required Learn basic flax weaving skills from an experienced local weaver and create a waikawa basket. Students are also introduced to the customs (tikanga) around working with flax. Tutor: Britta Conrad

Walk and Talk - Guided Waking Group

Are you interested in a walking group leaving from the centre? Enjoy some exercise and have friendship and support and a cup of tea after the walk. Currently taking expressions of interest. Date and time TBC.

FREE Cervical Screening

For women aged between 20 and 69 who are due for a smear test. Appointments are at the Women’s Centre with a specialist female smear taker. Also support with contraception. Part of the national cervical screening programme. Clinic date TBC. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and website.

FREE Legal Clinic

9.30am – 10.30am every third Friday. Bookings essential. 11 February, 4 March, 25 March. Book online or call us to make a booking. Vaccine pass required for in person appointments but phone appointments are available.

FREE Counselling for Women (Phone or Online)

Six sessions available. Please call the Centre to discuss an appointment. 09 425 7261

FREE Lunchtime Lectures -

Keep an eye on the Website and Facebook Pages.

Volunteers -

We are keen for volunteers to help us at the centre. Why not see if you can be involved. Not sure if we offer a service for you? Come and see us or call us anytime and see what we can do.

Whale of a tale for schools Two local schools are involved in a combined art and marine conservation experience called Whale Tales, which runs until April. The project involves bringing a pod of uniquely designed and painted whale tail sculptures to Tāmaki Makaurau – forming a free, family-friendly public art trail around Auckland’s streets and parks. It will feature 80 Big Broos (large tail sculptures) and 80 Pēpi (mini tail sculptures). The tails – inspired by the endangered Bryde’s whale – will tell the “tales” of the Hauraki Gulf ’s moana and how everyone has a part to play in maintaining a healthy ocean. Warkworth Primary and Matakana Primary are involved in making a mini tail

each. These will be launched on the trail in the middle of next month and when the trail ends, the tails will be returned to the schools. The large tails will be auctioned to raise funds for World Wildlife Fund NZ’s work to protect and restore the Hauraki Gulf/ Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui-à-Toi. The project is a joint imitative of the WWF, Harcourts and Auckland Unlimited. The Warkworth School tail will be at Harcourts Warkworth and is sponsored by Harcourts. The Matakana School tail will be at Matakana Cinemas and is sponsored by Plume.

Trail maps are available at https:// or at Harcourts in Warkworth.

Bookings essential: Contact us on 09 425 7261 or 0800 2DROPIN (0800 237 674) Email: • Book online at: • Follow us on Facebook 10 Morpeth Street, Warkworth • OPEN 9.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


Council extends need for vax passports until June at least Even before the country moved to the Red setting on January 24, Auckland Council decided to extend the need for vaccine passes at all its staffed facilities and community events until the end of June at least. Mayor Phil Goff said although it wasn’t an easy decision, it was taken to keep Council staff, customers and the wider community safe. “Summer is a popular time for events, and we want to ensure everyone attending our council-run events is safe. Requiring vaccine passes reduces the risk in situations where gathering sizes mean social distancing is not practical or is not an effective control,” he said. “Council’s top priority remains the safety of people on its premises, and to reduce the chances of the spread of Covid-19 within them.” However, Council’s parks, arts, community and events committee chair Councillor Alf Filipaina stressed that people without vaccination passes would still be able to access Council services. “This extension will allow us to continue to develop and implement alternative service options for customers who do not have a vaccine pass,” he said. “Some services may be delivered to unvaccinated customers in a different way than before, but we will ensure these are still accessible to everyone, such as our libraries’ highly popular Wi-Fi, digital and

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‘Click-and-Collect’ services.” Council will review its position monthly in a bid to remain adaptable to any changes in government health policy or risk levels, as well as work to align its staff and contractor vaccination policies currently being developed. “This alignment will allow for a unified long-term approach across the organisation.”

Vaccine passes required Gyms/fitness functions Learn to swim programmes (over 12s) Recreation/leisure centres Pools and aquatic centres Holiday parks Libraries Arts facilities Council-run events Community centres Animal shelters Service centres Cemetery offices (alternative arrangements can be made) Visitor centres – Arataki, Botanic Gardens Tipping Point (Waitākere) recycling centre

Vaccine passes not required Baches, camping sites and lodges (regional parks) Community venues for hire Cemeteries (excluding offices) Waste transfer stations

The new club kicks off its first four-week beginners course this Friday.

Finding reel Scots fitness One way to get fit without knowing it is to take up Scottish Country Dancing. The Warkworth Silver Oaks Club, a new daytime club ‘for the young at heart’, is keen to recruit new members. Teacher Elaine Goldthorpe says as well as being a good fitness exercise, Scottish dancing is very sociable. “People don’t need a partner to join,” she says. “We all swap partners so we get to know each other.” Elaine is qualified through the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and has been teaching dancing for more than 40 years. She says the brain has four recognised essential needs to keep healthy – mental exercise, physical exercise, social contact and healthy eating. “Scottish Country Dancing challenges us with patterns and formations, it is great physical exercise and it is definitely very

sociable. We leave the healthy eating to the dancer!” The club welcomes all ages, whether they have two left feet or not. Elaine says Scottish dancing is an ideal form of exercise for relaxing before collecting children from school, home schooling fitness or keeping fit during retirement. There is a weekly fee of $5, which includes a cup of coffee. Dancers start with a fourweek course and need to wear soft soled, flat shoes. If they decide to join after the course, there is an annual fee of $10. Vaccination passes will need to be shown on the first visit. The club is meeting in the Warkworth Hotel Upper Room on Fridays, from 1pm to 3pm. The four-week beginners course starts on February 4 and will include an introduction to shapes, types of dance and basic figures. Info: Contact Elaine on 027 432 0032 or

Driving Miss Daisy is now available in Warkworth

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Nutrition Nicole Wilson, Registered nutritionist

Get SMART in 2022 How many times have you come to the start of a new year and set yourself some resolutions, only to find that before long they have gone completely out the window? Well, you’re not alone in this. A big reason for why this happens is that the resolution is a bit vague – the focus is on a general goal rather than the steps to achieve the outcome such as “eating healthier and exercising more”. So when life starts getting back to its usual rhythm, after the holiday season is over, the resolution gets lost in all the everyday things that you usually contend with. Making significant, long-lasting change is hard. So how do you stick to your resolutions then? Can it be done? Yes, but you have to make your goals realistic and have a plan to make it happen. A good way to set goals is to use the SMART framework: Specific – What do you want to accomplish and what will you do to achieve it? Measureable – How will you track of your changes? Achievable – Is the goal actually achievable? Yes, it is great to challenge yourself, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed and give up. Relevant – Why is the goal important to you? What are the benefits of achieving it? Make your goal meaningful. Time-bound – what is your goal timeframe? An end-date helps to provide motivation and keeps you focused. If you haven’t achieved your goal in the timeframe, take time to consider why.

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TESTING FOR ALLERGIES AND TOXINS: Maybe it was unrealistic or your goal was unachievable, or maybe there were some unexpected barriers that got in your way. The SMART framework allows you to set boundaries and defines the steps that you’ll need to take. It will also allow you to see what resources or support you might need to help you to reach your goal. Maybe you need a personal trainer or exercise partner to help keep you motivated, or a nutritionist to help you tweak your diet. Some examples of SMART goals are: • “exercise more” becomes “walk with a friend after work for 20 minutes, three times a week”. • “eat healthy” becomes “I will add one extra serve of green vegetables to dinner three times this week”. • “buy lunch less often” becomes “I will pack my lunch twice this week”. Once you achieve these initial goals, you can build on your successes and tweak your goals accordingly. For instance, if you successfully added extra green vegetables three times in a week, increase it to five or even seven times. When setting your SMART goals, focus on positive actions rather than looking to what you should avoid or limit. Look to where you can add in healthy foods or more movement, rather than putting the focus on what you should take out. If you have set yourself the general “eat healthy and exercise more” resolution, maybe you can have a go at SMARTening it up.

DETECT HIDDEN HEALTH THREATS WITH A MARVEL HEALTH SCAN Getting to the root cause of any disease, especially chronic diseases, requires examining the entire body since all organs and systems are interconnected and function as a whole.

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And then, there are environmental factors. Sensitivity to natural foods and food additives in processed foods can cause digestive symptoms such as chronic stomach pain, bloating, or constipation. Nutrients play a crucial role in keeping our systems healthy and preventing diseases. Magnesium deficiency is a common cause of chronic constipation. It is not always the case that a symptom will originate from an associating organ or system of the body. The Marvel Health Scan is unique. It examines the entire body to

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The new space beside the Warkworth Library is the venue for a ukulele picnic this month.

Ukulele pickers’ picnic A ukulele picnic will be held at Puawai/ Kowhai, the newly-developed outdoor area between Warkworth Library and the Old Masonic Hall, on Tuesday February 1, starting at 1.30pm. Organiser Dianne Morgan says all “ages and stages” are welcome to come along with friends and family for a picnic outside. The event is free. Dianne will sing songs from her ukulele classes, plus covers. “Bring your ukulele along to join in with a song or two and use the new terraced seating to have a ‘spaced out’ picnic or just pop along during the afternoon,” she says.

On the following Tuesday, February 8, Dianne will host a Jade River Ukes Open Day at Warkworth Town Hall starting at 1.30pm. There will be sessions for all stages of proficiency from beginners to expert, for both children and adults. Anyone attending must show a vaccine pass upon entry and must have a mask. Dianne says seating will be spaced and there will be good ventilation. Regular classes are held on Tuesday afternoons at the Old Masonic Hall and cost $10 an hour.

Info: or phone 021 039 4939.

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Monday to Thursday 6am - 7pm Friday 6am - 2pm Saturday 8am - 12pm 24/7 Access available outside these hours for members

• Ladies only area • Group fitness classes • Ongoing free programs and reassessments with all our memberships • Huge range of classes • Suitable for all fitness levels • Get fit and have fun doing it! See our website for more information.

09 425 9159 25 Glenmore Dr, Warkworth 0910


Richard Holden has gone from a reluctant Tai Chi pupil to a dedicated teacher.

Tai Chi habit spans decades When Richard Holden was a 22-year-old, he thought that Tai Chi looked incredibly boring. But after being persuaded by his landlord to attend a class, he soon found himself going on a regular basis. “I certainly didn’t get into it with my first class,” he says. “Tai Chi wasn’t something that I expected to enjoy. I just went along out of politeness, but it wasn’t long before I appreciated that it was a good way to get rid of the stress of the day.” Richard developed a regular Tai Chi habit that has kept him in good physical and mental shape for the last 40 years. “Tai Chi gently works intrinsic muscles that help with posture, balance and body alignment. It helps to develop deep breathing and it helps develop mindfulness. It’s certainly benefited my life.”

Richard has been generous with his Tai Chi skills, taking many classes in Auckland and, most recently, in Warkworth and at the Summerset Retirement Village, and in Orewa at the Maygrove Retirement Village. The classes have been disrupted by lockdowns, but he is looking forward to getting back into a routine this year. He also takes free classes at the Mangawhai Parkview Waters Community Centre on Saturdays at 9am. “This is just as much for me as for anyone else who attends. Tai Chi is easier to do in a group – I’m not sure why, maybe because you can feel a part of something bigger than yourself. “There is very little talking, but moving together seems to promote a feeling of community and unity.”

PUBLIC OPEN DAY Sunday 6 February 1.00 – 4.00 pm

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Suffering a prolapse was a catalyst for Lou Forward, right, to help others.

One woman’s health journey benefits many more


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plenty of injuries in the past.” Lou was determined to rehabilitate and recover. She says that thankfully, the research and approach to recovery of POP has come a long way in the last few years. She worked with a number of specialists in New Zealand, but none who supported her active lifestyle goals. She reached out to two international experts who specialised in corrective exercise for core dysfunction. “They gave me hope and I started working towards a strong and confident body again.” This was the catalyst for Lou to find out much more about core dysfunction and female specific health and fitness. It was a journey of self-discovery where she also discovered her passion for female health. Describing herself as a ‘knowledge junkie’, Lou has completed more than 20 health and fitness courses specialising in female health from corrective exercise, training and holistic health approaches for the many stages of life such as pregnancy, post-partum and menopause, nutrition, movement coaching and holistic health. She is continually learning and loves to share her knowledge and skills with other women. As well as her boutique fitness studio ForwardFIT in Mangawhai, she has set up online fitness programmes, runs workshops for other physical trainers and more general workshops for people who want to know more about women’s physical health and well-being. “I worked as a chartered accountant for over a decade, but always had a passion for health and fitness. Suffering my POP was the catalyst for me to make my career change. I love helping women to achieve their health and fitness goals. I want to help women to do the things they love to do and enjoy their lives to their absolute fullest. Being healthy and happy is where it’s at.”





It is estimated that about 50 per cent of women have some degree of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and about 12 per cent of these cases require surgery. While it is more common in older women, it can happen to younger women after having a baby. For Mangawhai gym owner Lou Forward, her own diagnosis and recovery led to a passion for female health and fitness. “I’ve never been particularly good at any specific sport, but I’ve always been able to participate in any physical activity that I have wanted to,” Lou says. “It has always been about movement and being able to say ‘Yes’ to any physical opportunity or adventure that came my way.” But this changed overnight when Lou suffered what appeared to be a completely random prolapse when she was in her thirties. “I was living a very active life at the time, and the prolapse occurred while I was working out in my home gym. Initially that was the end of my active lifestyle, to one in which I felt completely vulnerable and broken. I couldn’t walk down the hall, play with my kids or do any physical activities without feeling like I was going to fall apart. The fear I felt after suffering from POP was massive. You can feel really isolated and alone.” Lou sought help but, at that stage, there was no discussion about improving her symptoms, just management options. This meant she was not able to live the life she wanted to live it. “I was told to limit my sports to gentle exercise which included walking and very low impact bike riding on flat ground. This was from the train of thought that these activities would limit my intra-abdominal pressure and reduce the likelihood of my prolapse getting worse. “This was not a very appealing or practical lifestyle for me, being an active mum of two young energetic boys. I knew from previous experiences and study that the body does not stay static and I had recovered from










January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


Dream disposal – the Lawrie Road drop-off area is now completely sealed.

Refuse centre to reopen after revamp delay Four months after it closed for a $2.4 million upgrade, the refuse and recycling centre at Lawrie Road, Snells Beach is set to reopen this Thursday, February 3. The first stage of the Government-funded refurbishment was originally due to take just six weeks and operator Mahurangi Wastebusters had been hopeful that it would be back up and running for the peak summer season. However, the works ended up taking an extra two months. Site owner Auckland Council did not say exactly what had caused the overrun, but said it was actually a bonus, as it had allowed more work to be carried out than originally scheduled. “Although the works ran later than expected, we were able to take advantage of the site not being occupied and completed additional works, including surfacing that was phased as a Stage Two item,” a spokesperson said. “The advantage of doing this means that when Mahurangi Wastebusters re-establish on site, they do not have to pack down again for works and can continue delivering their services to the community.” Wastebusters director Matthew Luxon agreed, saying that instead of just being able to accept general and green waste at this stage, they could now take their full range of waste items. “We’re able to open with all the services we

previously offered,” he said. “We’ll be able to get the drop off happening again, which is awesome.” The only thing that won’t be operating is Mahu Mall, the site shop selling reusable items. A new shop is being built at the far end of the property as part of the Stage Two works, which are due to be finished by midwinter. However, reusable items will still be accepted and either stored or sent to Wastebusters’ Rusty Station shop in Station Road, Wellsford, which opens from 9am to 3pm every Wednesday. Lawrie Road’s drop-off area has been completely upgraded, with new bin areas, barriers and a fully sealed surface, which Mr Luxon said was incredible. “We used to have Lake Lawrie in the winter and dust in the summer, but now it’s absolutely fantastic for customers and staff,” he said. While Lawrie Road has been closed, Wastebusters’ Wellsford centre at Rustybrook Road has been picking up the slack by opening from Tuesday to Sunday. However, once Lawrie Road reopens, both sites will open at the following times: • Lawrie Road: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8.30am to 4pm • Rustybrook Road: Wednesday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm

Info: or

Proud sponsor of the Wells ford Gol f Course


items that can be dropped off at the Lawrie and Rustybrook Road centres:

Batteries (household) Cans E-waste

Batteries (vehicle) Cardboard

Fire extinguishers

Fluorescent tubes and bulbs Food waste

Gas bottles

General waste Glass Oil heaters

Metal Paper

Plastic #1

Plastic #2


Reusable items Timber (reuse)

Silage wrap Timber (recycling)

Tyres See website for rubbish disposal pricing:

Do you know what your home is worth? Call Tania to book a time for a free current market appraisal.

Your local : Tania Bennett... 30

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OneMahurangi Murray Chapman, Manager

Forward thinking in ‘22 As 2021 fades into the background, I have a question to ask: Are you looking forward to 2022? The reason I ask is because a few people I have spoken to have said they are not sure if it is worth planning ahead, because if it is going to be a year like the last two, then they will have to cancel everything again. I can understand this feeling to some extent, but as the old saying goes, “If you are standing still, you are going backwards.” While you are not planning and promoting, and your competitors are, then you are going backwards. Last year, we had to cancel the Kowhai Festival, the Santa Parade, and a number of other events, but we kept planning for them up until the last moment. We continued to plan for the Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights, and we managed to hold that event and have thousands of people in town for it. We weren’t able to host a Santa Parade in 2021, but what we did was put Santa in his sleigh with Mrs Claus and a chubby Elf throwing lollies from the back. We took them around the neighbourhood streets of Warkworth, Snells Beach, Matakana and Point Wells. This year’s Christmas, even if we are lucky enough to host a Santa Parade, we will take Santa around the towns again. It proved to be popular so we look forward to building on the success of this and will have Santa route maps published ahead of time this year.

This year the Kowhai Festival, Santa Parade, Winter Festival committees and the One Mahurangi team will be starting to meet and plan with the view that we will have a full calendar of events taking place throughout the year for the community. What do you have planned for this year? Do you have a plan B in case what you have planned can’t happen on that date? Can it happen on another date? I know how difficult it can be if you are planning around a product or new service

… keep that momentum going, even if you have to cancel. launch, but now is the time to start putting in place plans to keep that momentum going, even if you have to cancel. Start looking at what teasers you can put out on social media or in your newsletters to keep your customers connected to your plans. Many local businesses have adopted or progressed their online presence during this pandemic, and I would encourage you to keep this business model developing should another lockdown be sprung on us again. As we head into 2022, the question remains: Will you plan with cautious optimism or will you sit and wait, and as they say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”?

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January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


A saucy smile from a young man called Harry at the Tapora fun day.



Hats and hot dogs were on the menu.

Mums and dads ran the egg and spoon.


call us today 09 423 8061

Kids and adults tugged together.

Fun in the sun raises ’copter funds Families from Tapora celebrated the new year in style with a charity fun day at Birds Beach on January 2 to raise funds for the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter. The annual event included games and races for children and adults, plus sausage sizzles, raffles, a tug-of-war, water slide and balloons, a silent auction and a lolly scramble. There was also local merchandise on sale, with specially made Tapora caps and stubby holders, as well as calendars with images by Wellsford photographer Shawn Stevens. Perfect weather and a good turnout resulted in $3555 being raised for the rescue helicopter, which was considerably

more than organiser Maggie Hunt’s original target. “How great is that for a little community?” she said afterwards. “We were pretty proud of our efforts! Everyone had an awesome time.” Maggie said the success was largely due to generous local sponsors donating vouchers, goods and cash, including PGG Wrightson’s Scott Tapp, New World Warkworth and Brian and Lesley Turner. “Everything we needed was sponsored by somebody – lollipops, lollies, sausages, juicies. It was so wonderful to see and for such a great cause,” she said.

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Countryliving Julie Cotton

Hunting down koi Sliding into 2022 with a banger for you, guys. By a banger, I mean I haven’t done anything this bizarre for a while, but they do say stranger things happen. Take for instance “bow and arrow koi carp hunting”. Apparently, it’s actually a thing, so I set about to investigate this strange activity. Most of us may have travelled north before and seen the roadside signs “Report koi”, but strangely enough in my weird imagination I had always seen these signs as some sort of lost pet goldfish hotline. A type of register for obese goldfish that ate one too many cans of fish food, outgrew their little glass bowls and somehow made it into a stream. But as it turns out my imagination had fooled me again. I met up with father and son adventure duo Lee and Gage Laughton in Helensville, and after a quick coffee, we set off to find a waterway where these koi were flourishing and proceeded to hunt them down. Now, before anyone tries to fill my inbox berating me with animal cruelty emails, heed this message. While they may shine like tinsel in our waterways, make no mistake, these are a foul, imported menace that are decimating our waterways. Basically, they are opportunistic environmental thieves, eroding our riverbanks and destroying our native plant and fish habitats. A large female can lay a catastrophic one million eggs in spawning season, so let’s sharpen those arrows and watch these men do a valuable service to our country. The day was hot, like really hot, and the grass along the riverbanks was thigh-high and riddled with thorny blackberry. It was at this point that I cursed myself for wearing shorts. The men were carrying

While they may shine like tinsel in our waterways, make no mistake these are a foul, imported menace that are decimating our waterways.

Gage Laughton lugs a huge monster from the water.

54lb compound bows and fishing arrows. These have this strange contraption on the bow that looks like a fishing reel full of string, and the end of the string is attached to the arrow. This allows the arrow to be reeled back in. Gage has killer vision for koi and spots something in the water from afar. Bang! It was game on, and they bolted through the grass along the riverbed with me puffing along behind. Standing still, Gage draws his bow and within five seconds has the fish in his line of sight. Got it! First shot straight through the ribs. He reels it in. By this stage I’m just freaking with excitement. Gage crawls down the riverbank and lugs this huge monster up from the water. He

removes his arrow, and I go in for a closer look. Ewww, it’s ugly up close. It has these big whisker things poking out of its cheeks and is covered in this kanky slime stuff. The lads tell me they can’t even get eels to eat them, and given eels eat anything that thought makes me gag. Anyway, we don’t have time to waste on just catching one of these jerks, we need to get as many as possible. Off we go again, moving through the long grass and blackberry with the sun belting down on us, sweating like you would not believe. The skillset and pinpoint accuracy required to shoot a moving target in muddied water from on top of a bank was utterly

fascinating to me, so I thought I would give it a go. We crept up on a school of three fish feeding near the surface and the lads gave me a quick rundown. Seemed simple enough, I thought. However, I had never tried to draw back a 54lb bow. Gawd, I just didn’t want to be a failure in front of them, but sadly I was. I tried my absolute hardest to pull it back, over and over again I tried – teeth gritted together, legs firmly planted (even trying to pretend I was giving birth), but alas I just did not have the upper body strength to get the bow string over the pulley. This failure led me to the realisation that I was never going to cut it as the female version of the next Robin Hood, so I resigned myself to being the third wheel. We trudged along that riverbank for hours and culled out heaps, all the while feeling very gratified that we were doing something amazingly positive for our waterways. Finally, content with our haul, we packed up and headed into town where we did what any selfrespecting koi bow and arrow hunters would do. I grabbed my freezer bag from the car, ran into Countdown, purchased a bag of ice, a few beers, a cooked chook, buns and coleslaw, and we sat under a nice big tree in the park. A couple of icy cold beers, a simple meal, and achievements discussed with virtual strangers – oh how I learned and loved that day. So, the way I see it is these are the rudest fish I have ever met. Nothing seems to eat them, they breed like cockroaches, and they destroy our waterways, so let’s just get rid of them. Lee and Gage are our good sorts, busy doing good things for our environment, while others just seem to just talk about it.

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January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


Beach break for farmers

Emissions pricing event for farmers in Wellsford Local farmers, growers and landowners can learn more about alternative proposals to the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at a roadshow in Wellsford next month. Dairy NZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and Federated Farmers are organising the event to explain the two new emissions pricing options developed by the He Waka Eke Noa partnership, or joint action plan on primary sector emissions. Farmers are being asked to submit their thoughts before the recommendations go to the Government in April and a series of

roadshows is part of the formal engagement process to answer questions and gather feedback. The two alternatives have been developed after the farming sector convinced the Government not to bring agriculture into the EMS in 2019. Instead, they agreed to work together to establish a separate regulatory framework to measure, manage and reduce on-farm agriculture greenhouse gas emissions and enable farmers to adapt to climate change, with a view to introducing it in 2025. By that time, He Waka Eke Noa aims to ensure all farmers are including

climate change mitigation and adaptation in their farm business and environment plans, calculating their net greenhouse gas emissions and being incentivised to take action on climate change through an appropriate pricing mechanism. The Wellsford roadshow will be held on Thursday, February 17 at the town’s Memorial RSA in Olympus Road, from 7pm to 9pm. There will also be an option to provide feedback online and a series of webinars.

Local farmers are reminded that they have the chance to get off the land and into the sea this summer, thanks to weekly Surfing for Farmers events at Waipu Cove. The first session on January 13 was a great success, attracting 26 farmers onto the beach and into the waves, which organiser Ryan Baxter said was more than he expected. The learn-to-surf programme was launched three years ago to encourage farmers to step away from their business, while getting fresh air, exercise and spending time with other farmers, rural families and industry professionals. The sessions are free of charge, wetsuits and surfboards are provided, and there is a free barbecue afterwards. The programme runs for eight weeks, until mid-March, and all are welcome any time. Info: Ryan Baxter on 027 285 9075 or Calvin Ball on 027 223 2894, or Surfing for Farmers on Facebook

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Farmers invited to mental health talk

Farmers have the opportunity to join a free lunchtime discussion on resilience and mental wellbeing with Dr Tom Mulholland on February 8. For the past 30 years, Dr Mulholland has worked clinically in hospitals, surf camps and on Russian icebreakers, and was the first ambassador for Farmstrong. As an emergency medicine hospital doctor and rural GP, he has been touring NZ since 2014 in his retro Chevy ambulance trying to keep people out of hospital in rural areas. He is the founder of the Healthy Thinking Institute, has written two internationally bestselling books, and founded the Kynd

wellness app used by companies such as PGG Wrightson. His aim is to get 10,000 farmers to measure, monitor and manage their health and wellbeing risk using the app. People who tune in to the discussion will get a chance to ask questions and the event will be emceed by television journalist Matt Chisholm. The talk is the third in a series organised by Federated Farmers, the Dairy Women’s Network and DairyNZ. Earlier talks featured Dr Lucy Hone and Dr Paul Wood, and follow-up workshops will be hosted by the Dairy Women’s Network and DairyNZ.

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Steep fall in farm sales There were 256 fewer farm sales (-46.6%) for the three months ended December 2021 than for the three months ended December 2020, according to data released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). Overall, there were 293 farm sales in the last three months of the year, compared to 361 farm sales in the three months to November 2021 (-18.8%) and 549 farm sales for the three months ended December 2020. A total of 1831 farms were sold last year, 235 more than were sold in 2020, with 84% more dairy farms, 23% less dairy support, seven per cent more grazing farms, 10% more finishing farms and 15% less arable farms sold over the same period. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to last December was $37,980 compared to $27,320 recorded for same period in 2020 (+39%). The median price per hectare increased 0.7% compared to November 2021. One region (Otago with +six sales) recorded an increase in the number of farm sales for the three months to December compared to 2020. Manawatu-Whanganui (-46 sales) and Waikato (-45 sales) recorded the biggest decreases in sales. Compared to the three months ended November 2021, no regions recorded an increase in sales. REINZ rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke says easing sales volumes, compared to

similar periods over the last three years, impacted all categories. “Logic would suggest that due to the very strong forecast for the dairy pay-out for the 2021/22 season, and particularly strong prices for beef, lamb and horticultural products, fewer rural properties have been available for sale, as landowners have retained properties in order to capitalise on the current high product returns,” he says. “Nevertheless, the total volume of farm sales for the 2021 calendar year increased considerably from 2020, again reinforcing the strong demand for continuing investment in rural land that, in itself, being a reflection of confidence in the agricultural sector. “On a balancing note, however, while the banking sector is currently more amenable to backing soundly structured lending proposals, the inexorable grind of increasing costs, the shortage of quality labour and supply chain difficulties are well recognised constraints that continue to challenge the rural industry.”

Northland/ Auckland

A light spread of dairy farm sales but a good increase in sales of finishing and grazing properties throughout Northland and the Rodney district to the north of Auckland city. Prices remain at a constant level.

Book promotes trees for bees

A handbook offering practical guidance on how to plant strategically to feed bees is available free to New Zealand farmers. The document brings together knowledge from 10 years of field and laboratory research by the New Zealand Trees for Bees Research Trust. “It’s a useful tool to assist farmers support the bees, and incorporate into their on-farm planting for biodiversity and other environmental benefits that customers are demanding,” Trees for Bees farm planting adviser and trustee Dr Angus McPherson says. “We show farmers how to incorporate a low-maintenance bee forage planting plan into planting they’re already establishing to increase production and improve their farmland.” The handbook is available free to download from the Trees for Bees website:

& Pets&Vets Corner Pet of the Month

Tilly’s tangle with the fence When the vet on call was woken early one morning, she quickly set off to assist with a horse that had been found stuck in a fence. On arrival, the lovely Tilly was being slowly walked down to the wash bay. Under a light sedation she was assessed and cleaned up. Multiple small wounds to her face and body were seen, as well as extensive damage to the skin of both back legs. Tilly was lucky, there was no damage to the joints or tendons of either leg, and she tolerated a stitch up and bandaging well. She is now under the best care, and undergoing her bandage changes and rehabilitation like the champion she is. All the best in your recovery Tilly! Vets: Roger Dunn BVSc, Jon Makin BVSc, Danny Cash BVSc, Justine Miller BVSc, Chelsea Gill BVSc, Sam Eaton BVSc, Jackie Nicholls BVSc, Neil Warnock BVM&S


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feature rugby More women players wanted for upcoming club push Calling all budding female rugby players – Mahurangi Rugby Club is gearing up to form new teams ahead of a plan by North Harbour Rugby to kick-start women’s rugby at club level next year. Club chair Charmaine Gravatt says there is a wealth of young talent coming through the ranks and Mahurangi aims to be ready. For the past two years, women’s club participation has been confined to an Albany Barbarians squad made up of players from all the North Harbour teams, including three players from Mahurangi – Jessie Courtenay-Malupo, Moana Courtenay and Tenaija Fletcher. All three played for North Harbour and Fletcher will be playing for the Blues this season. North Harbour women’s rugby manager Anna Peterson says it’s important to get the female game back at individual club level to encourage more of such talent. “We’ve done a lot of work around getting women’s rugby back in the clubs, so women can wear their club colours and get used to being in the clubs and, just as importantly, the men get used to women being in the clubs,” she said. “We’re looking at options of a 10-a-side tournament, and we already have five clubs lined up, including Mahurangi,” she says. “They’ve done a great job with women’s rugby, so we’re looking at how we can support them and how we kick-start that.” Peterson says North Harbour still hasn’t finalised when the 10s tournament will take place, though immediately postseason seems more likely than pre-season.

“The club rugby season is not long this year because we have the delayed Rugby World Cup this year, so we need to fit a season in up to the cup. There’s a lot of rugby to juggle.” Fiona Mann, from Warkworth, is currently a co-coach for the Albany Barbarians and will be running women’s training and team-building sessions at Mahurangi from July or August. She is urging anyone who is interested in playing the game in the meantime to attend Barbarian training sessions, which start at 6pm on February 1 at the Marist University Rugby Club grounds, next to North Harbour Stadium in Albany, and then run every Tuesday and Thursday at the same time. Mann says anyone over 16 is welcome to train and experience is not important, as there are two development 10s teams, as well as the Premier 15 side. “We’ve got three players at the moment, but I really believe there’s so much more raw untouched talent in Mahurangi,” she says. “If we can get four to six girls down and playing for Albany, it’s going to be very exciting for Mahurangi next year. I’m so excited about it.” Charmaine Gravatt agrees. “We’ve got a lot of talented girls coming up through the ranks. When Harbour brings it back to the clubs, we want to have a team,” she says. “We have got such great players in our area that we owe it to them to have a women’s team.”

Info: Fiona Mann on 027 365 0671

Right, Mahurangi wants to build on its already strong base of female talent, which include, from left, Jessie Courtenay-Malupo, Moana Courtenay and Tenaija Fletcher.

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Training has already started for some teams.

Optimism only option for upcoming rugby season Despite the forecast that 2022 is likely to be another disruptive year for sports clubs, local rugby clubs are remaining optimistic. “We’re working on the premise that we will have a rugby season,” Mahurangi Club chairperson Charmaine Gravatt says. “North Harbour is requiring all players, coaches and managers to be double vaccinated so this will impact on small clubs like ours.” Nevertheless, the club plans to enter a Premier side, as well as an Under 21 team this season and is also keen to field an Under 85kg team, but this will depend on players, as well as coaches, stepping forward. Senior coach is Nick Makea, assisted by Bruce Gravatt and manager, Mike Rodden. Charmaine says the side has a lot of potential and the club is looking for a big year from them. Junior Makapelu is playing in the North Harbour side in the curtain raiser to the Blues/Hurricanes game on the weekend and Tane Pendergrast also made the North Harbour development side last year, but unfortunately wasn’t available for the game. Standout players for Mahu Prems last year were props Keith Sikulu and Gideon Dolan. “Both the 21s and the Prems had a very competitive year and were supported by a great coach and management team, and though the scores did not always reflect it, there was always exciting footy to watch.” The U21s have already started training and will be coached by Warren Jennings, assisted by Paul Mackinnon and Paul Leslie. About 300 juniors played under the Mahurangi colours last year and it is hoped this level of interest will be sustained. Registration days will be held on February 24 and 26. “What we want is a full and competitive

season,” Charmaine says. “We have a great Mahurangi rugby family and on club days, there’s a great vibe.” Anyone interested in joining the club should contact Haden Kose on 021 0451 186.

Wellsford Wellsford Rugby Club president Mike Fletcher says Wellsford suffered last season from being in Auckland’s lockdown because it plays in the Northland competition. “We missed a few games and finished eighth out of 10 teams,” he says. “We struggled with numbers but did pick up some additional players when Tomarata folded.” Head coach this year will be Stu Oldfield, assisted by Matthew Wright and Heath Colthurst. Wellsford will field both Premier and Premiers Senior Reserve teams, and hopes to resurrect an Under 18s team, which plays under the name Kaipara Wolves. “We normally field an Under 18s that plays against Otamatea and Dargaville teams, but with everything else that was going on last season it didn’t happen.” Training for the Prems started this month with a good turnout of about 18 players to the first session. Lock Sean Sweetman is returning to the fold after being out last year due to injury. “We could probably do with a couple more front rowers and a lock, and we could be a bit light in the midfield, although it is on the cards that Rene Ranger will be back.” The competition starts at the end of next month, and whether or not there will be the usual Mahurangi versus Wellsford preseason match is still to be confirmed. Fletcher says the juniors will start at the end of the second school term. Info: Premiers & U18, Stu Oldfield 021 423 778; juniors Rachel 021 886 466.





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feature rugby


SCOREBOARD THE scorEBoArD ToTalspan Rodney pRoud sponsoRs of


A roundupof of sports activities and eventsin in THe the district a Roundup spoRTs acTiviTies disTRicT Junior cricket Rodney Cricket will run two six-week junior cricket courses starting in February – one at Kaipara Flats and the other in Mangawhai. The courses are for boys and girls in Years 1-8. The Kaipara Flats course will be held at Bourne Dean Domain, starting on Friday February 18, at 5.30pm. The Mangawhai course will be held at the Mangawhai Domain, starting on Monday February 14, also at 5.30pm. All welcome. To register interest, email Recliner Rockers The Recliner Rockers gig, due to be held at the Puhoi Sports Club on February 12, has been postponed until further notice due to the red traffic light setting. A new date will be set once NZ moves to the orange setting. Kaipara Flats Sports AGM The Kaipara Flats Sports club will hold its annual general meeting on Monday, February 28 at 7.30pm. Vaccine passes required to attend. Rugby director Haden Kose, left, with new coach Nick Makea.

Hawks’ saviour takes premier helm at Mahurangi RFC An experienced player and coach with an impressive track record on and off the field has been appointed to lead the coaching staff at Mahurangi Rugby Club, following Phillip Schmidt’s decision to step down after a year. New premier coach Nick Makea played regularly for Tasman, Buller and West Coast, where he started coaching four years ago, before he and his family moved to Mangawhai in 2017. After a year coaching his son’s school side, he joined the Otamatea Hawks as premier coach, where he managed to completely turn the team around, taking them from the bottom of the division in 2019 to winning the South Zone championship in 2020. He says that had been hard because country rugby always struggles with numbers, but his focus on fitness and team culture paid off. “It wasn’t too bad; the last year I was there, we didn’t lose a game,” he says. Makea is no stranger to Mahurangi rugby, having coached the sevens team in 2020 and the U14s team at Mahu College for the last two years. He was due to coach sevens again and the U21s last year, but lockdowns put paid to that. Director of rugby Haden Kose says it is good to get someone so experienced, who lives locally, as the new premier coach. “He has a really substantial rugby CV and he’s met a lot of the guys in our team, when he played in one of our final games last

season,” he says. “That was instrumental in him saying yes. He seemed to really gel with the team culture and what we stand for.” Makea agrees, saying a good team culture is vital for success. “Culture is massive for me,” he says. “To create a good place where you’ve got happy people running round field just for the love of the game – that’s the best thing you can do. A good culture brings good performances.” Makea is also a fitness trainer and runs mentoring programmes for local youth, so Mahu players can expect some good workouts this season and perhaps a new approach. “This is a new beginning, maybe a new way of thinking. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I’ll bring the ideas I have and I might be able to bring some new energy to the team and community,” he says. “We need that to get some wins.” However, more players are urgently needed and Makea and Kose are keen to see as many people as possible at the grounds for training, which starts on Tuesday, February 1 at 6.30pm, and runs at the same time every Tuesday and Thursday. “As well as Nick, we’ve got Bruce Gravatt as assistant coach still and Mike Rodden back as manager,” Kose says. “We’re really excited for the season and keen to work with local players.”

Ricki Herbert Football Academy The Warkworth Football Club is hosting the Ricki Herbert Football Academy for nine weeks from Monday, February 14 until Monday, April 11. There are classes for children aged seven to 11, or ages 12 to 15. The academy offers kids the chance to develop their football skills and form friendships. More information on the Warkworth Football Facebook page, or register via Matakana Pony Club The Matakana Pony Club is hosting a show jumping day on Sunday, February 6 at 10am. Rugs and prizes up for grabs. To register visit All riders, spectators and support people over the age of 12 must provide a vaccine certificate to attend. For more details visit Matakana Branch Pony Club on Facebook. Matakana Tennis Social round robin tennis is back at the Matakana Tennis Club on Matakana Valley Rd. The first get-together was held on January 27 and organisers say they are looking to play on a regular basis, either weekly or fortnightly depending on the level of interest. Each round takes 15 minutes and participants are encouraged to BYO drinks, snacks and chair. Free for members; nonmembers $5. Dates and times will be posted on the club’s FB page Matakana Tennis Club. Jackman postponement Organisers of the annual Jackman Waterman Classic for qualified

ToTalspan Rodney lifeguards say the event, which was postponed last year, is unlikely to be run again until perhaps the end of this year. The uncertainties 229 sTaTe HigHway 1during the current traffic light settings was given as the reason. The event is a 12km open ocean paddle race that starts at Waipu Cove and waRkwoRTH ends at Mangawhai Heads. pHone 09 422 3149 List sports news FREE by emailing


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KEY DATES - Registration Thursday 24 Feb 2022 4pm-7pm • Saturday 26 Feb 10am-1pm Free Mahurangi Rugby Cap with all paid registrations. Contact: juniorsecretary Mahurangi Senior Rugby - Trainings have started on Tuesday-Thursday 6pm. All players Welcome. Contact: Director of Rugby, Hayden Kose 021 045 1186, January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


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Set nets cause concern This holiday season has seen a rise in set netting at local bays – at Hatfields Beach five were put out on a single day this month. Local resident Neil Henson has been observing the issue for 14 years. He says this summer the numbers have blown up – something he puts down to population growth. “The amount of people living in new subdivisions all over the region has put pressure on recreation resources,” he says. “There are higher concentrations of all sorts of activities on the beach – including boating, swimming and fishing.” Neil wants to make more people aware of the problem as he hopes the community will support Council imposing a set net control at Hatfields. He is currently gathering information via Facebook and talking with Local Board members. Residents of Matakatia put their case for set net controls last year – this is currently being investigated by Council, and Neil says he wishes Hatfields had joined that push. “I don’t want Hatfields to be the unregulated one. It has to be addressed for safety reasons. The nets mean you can’t swim the length of the beach, and small boats can’t sail across either.” Neil asks locals to post comments and photos on the Facebook page Stop Set Netting – the information collected can be used when approaching Council for regulation of the practice. Anyone who sees issues with set nets at local beaches can call Auckland Council’s helpline (see above) or MPI, email or phone 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476224), as these nets often catch undersized fish and seabirds, or fall short of Fisheries Act rules.

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Local and Reliable 42

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| Mahurangimatters | January 31, 2022


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January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |



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| Mahurangimatters | January 31, 2022

LIBERTY SHUTTLES TOURS NZ & AIRPORT DIRECT • Events - golf, fishing and more • Other options on request • Discount for group bookings Neale Stevens (owner operator) 0800 99 55 11 | 09 420 5366 or 021 447 455 |

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Classifieds AERIALS




KIWI ROOTS Palm & Tree Maintenance, Removal,

ROBERT B L TOD 04/02/2017 Daily, Weekly, Yearly we miss you. Love Pam & Family

Freeview Installs, Satellite Dish, UHF Aerial. Installation & Repairs. Ph Dave 09 422 7227 or 027 458 5457 APPLIANCE REPAIRS

A SMART REPAIR Service for F&P smartdrive washers, F&P/ Simpson dryers. Prompt service 021 168 7349. DRIVEWAYS MAINTENANCE Grading, rolling & metalling for rural Driveways. No job too BIG or small. Ph Trevor 021 0225 5606 DVDS & VIDEOS


V I D E O S TRANSFERRED to DVD/hard drive. Phone or txt Tetotara Video 021 777 385. HAIRDRESSING

Mulching, Stump Grinding and Hedge work. Free quotes. Phone 020 4027 6200. WATER FILTERS - Underbench, Whole house, UV & water spotting, Work Guaranteed. Ph Steve 021 278 7427 healthy@ WATER PUMPS - No water? Old cast iron pump? Sales Service & Installation. Work Guaranteed. Ph Steve 021 278 7427 WINDOW CLEANING/ HOUSEWASH/GUTTER CLEANING Local professional service. Ph Pat 022-646-5849. The deadline for classified advertising for our February 14 2022 paper is February 9. Send classified advertising enquiries to

MOBILE HAIRDRESSER Working around the greater Warkworth Region. Enjoy getting your haircut in the comfort of your home. Call Rebecca 021 0825 8242

PUBLIC NOTICES RINGS FOUND Two rings found Snells Beach car park on December 26 or 27. Would like to return to owner. Please call Lin 09 425 6736 to describe and claim. CHURCH NOTICES

5 Pulham Road, Warkworth Phone 425 8861 Sunday Services 9am & 10.30am


Driller’s Assistant Required

Window Cleaning, Soft Bio House Wash, Gutter Clean, All Exterior Cleaning, Water Blasting, Roof Treatment, Local Professional service. Ph Pat 022-646-5849

Temporary and Permanent positions available Kiwi Welldrillers NZ Ltd based in Warkworth, covers the Far North to Bombay are looking for staff. No experience is required, training will be provided. These positions are based on a 5 day week. When required must be prepared to work longer hours and may be required to stay away from home during the week. Pay negotiable. The successful candidate will: Be Physically fit and healthy, Reliable with a good work ethic and positive attitude • Honest and punctual and have the ability to think outside the box • A Class 2 or 4HT License is preferred but not a deal breaker • Mechanically minded an advantage • Welding skills an advantage. Contact Cory Jamieson 027 533 7689,




Blue Skies Cleaning

Or need your Freeview box tuned for the new channels? TV repairs, microwave oven repairs, Freeview installations. Ph Paul 09 422 0500 or 027 29 222 04

WARKWORTH SHEETMETALS Ltd has a vacancy for an experienced Sheetmetal Fabricator skilled in all aspects of the trade, who takes pride in producing quality workmanship. The work is varied and interesting. Excellent rates and prospects apply for suitable candidate. Phone Malcolm 09 425 7366 (work hours), email: or call in 27 Woodcocks Road, Warkworth

Sudoku the numbers game


8 6 3 1



6 7 8

2 6 4

9 7 2 3 5


6 8





SOLUTION page 44

Public consultation will happen when the Bill reaches the Select Committee stage.

Big year ahead for Three Waters Bill This year will be a key one for the Government’s Three Waters reforms and will include a further opportunity for the public to have its say on the controversial plan. The reforms take the responsibility for water services away from councils, instead creating four publicly owned entities to manage the nation’s drinking, waste and stormwater. In Auckland, it means that instead of water services being operated by CCO Watercare and the Healthy Waters division of Council, Auckland’s water services will be merged with those of the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara District. The reforms have met staunch opposition from a number of quarters, including most councils. Government says the changes are because the cost of maintaining, renewing and upgrading water infrastructure has become impossible for communities. This has the potential to impact public health and environmental outcomes. It is promising economies and efficiencies of scale – spreading infrastructure costs across larger populations and over longer periods of time has the potential to make water services more affordable for households, the Government says. The Water Services Entities Bill, which will legislate the formation

of the new entities, will proceed through the parliamentary processes this year. Public consultation will happen when it reaches the Select Committee stage. Auckland ratepayers have already had their first opportunity to comment, when Council sought the public’s views on Three Waters via a survey. The details of that feedback are yet to be collated and released publicly, but around 3500 responses were received.

Working group Towards the end of last year, the Government established a working group comprised of local government and iwi to consider the concerns raised by local government – Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith are on this working group The group is considering a draft of the Bill and will report back to Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta by February 28 so that Ministers can consider its recommendations before the Bill is introduced. A Department of Internal Affairs spokesperson says a number of changes have already been made to the original proposal in response to council feedback. The draft bill is at www.dia.govt. nz/diawebsite.nsf/Files/ThreeWaters-Reform-2021/$file/WaterServices-Entities-Bill-v15.0.pdf

January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


A flowering moth plant laden with immature seed pods.

Call to action on moth plant spread

Riley has been sharing her passion for marine life since she was 12.

Snells marine champion a real woman of influence

A local environmental activist, educator and broadcaster is among the finalists in the 2021 Women of Influence awards, which will be announced on February 10. Riley Hathaway, of Snells Beach, is one of four young women in the Young Leader category of the national awards and was nominated for her work in establishing and developing Young Ocean Explorers (YOE), a movement that educates and inspires young people to love and care for the marine environment. Riley says it was a surprise to be nominated as a Woman of Influence, which has hundreds of nominees in 10 different categories and is judged by a panel led by former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartright. Last year’s supreme winner was microbiologist and science commentator Dr Siouxsie Wiles. “It was kind of crazy when I heard, just thinking about all the amazing things

women are doing in Aotearoa, and I was kind of like ‘Me?’,” she says. The awards dinner in Auckland had already been postponed from October until February 10, but with the recent move into the Red traffic light setting, organisers have had to cancel the event, which Riley says is disappointing. “I was really looking forward to meeting all the other girls and women,” she says. “I’ve been in contact with the other people in my category and I was excited, but hopefully we will all get to meet up some time.” Covid-19 has also caused problems for YOE, with Riley unable to go into schools to talk to students for long periods. However, she has set up a web-based learning platform that can be used by teachers and students, and she is continuing to make new films that can be accessed online.

Info: and

Want Your D L House O Wed Fri

Thu Sat

4:16am 3:41am 9:51am 10:46am 4:21pm Tide Tide 4:48pm 10:24pm Times Times 11:08pm

Fishing Fishing Guide Guide Moon Moon

4:35am 0.4 2.7 5:04am 10:45am 1.0 11:33am 3.5 5:14pm 2.7 5:36pm 0.5 11:14pm 1.2 11:54pm 3.3

6:40am 7:16am 8:29pm 5:39pm

Sun Sun

3:43am 8:36am 4:06pm 9:01pm

4:29am 9:26am 4:52pm 9:52pm

6:44am 7:13am 8:26pm 5:41pm

Best Best At At


10:18am 5:14am 10:45pm 5:36pm

11:11am 5:57am 11:38pm 6:19pm

1.0 3.0 2.9 0.9 0.7 3.1 3.1 0.8

Feb Aug 99

1:29am 2:12am 7:51am 8:17am 1:47pm 2:39pm 8:11pm 8:41pm

6:45am 7:12am 8:25pm 5:42pm

Best Best At At


Wed Mon

Feb Aug 88

12:04pm 6:40am 7:02pm

2:12am 3:04am 8:35am 9:12am 2:29pm 3:28pm 8:53pm 9:33pm

6:46am 7:11am 8:24pm 5:43pm

Best Best At At


0.9 2.9 3.0 1.0 0.6 2.9 3.2 0.9

Thu Tue

Feb Aug 10 10

12:29am 7:24am 12:55pm 7:47pm

2:56am 0.8 4:02am 2.8 9:18am 3.1 10:10am 1.2 3:11pm 0.6 4:21pm 2.8 9:36pm 3.3 10:29pm 1.0

6:47am 7:10am 8:23pm 5:44pm

Best Best At At


Wed Fri

Feb Aug 11 11

8:10am 1:20am 8:34pm 1:44pm

3:40am 0.7 5:02am 2.7 10:02am 3.2 11:07am 1.2 3:54pm 0.5 5:17pm 2.7 10:21pm 3.3 11:27pm 1.1

6:48am 7:09am 8:22pm 5:44pm

Best Best At At


Thu Sat

Feb Aug 12 12

8:58am 2:09am 9:22pm 2:32pm

4:26am 0.6 5:59am 2.7 10:47am 3.2 12:00pm 1.2 4:40pm 0.5 6:13pm 2.7 3.3 11:07pm 1.1

6:49am 7:08am 8:21pm 5:45pm

Best Best At At


Sun Fri

Feb Aug 13 13

9:47am 2:56am 10:13pm 3:20pm

5:12am 0.6 12:21am 2.8 3.2 11:34am 6:50am 1.2 5:29pm 0.5 12:49pm 2.7 3.3 11:56pm 7:07pm

6:50am 7:07am 8:20pm 5:46pm

Best Best At At


Mon Sat

Feb Aug 14 14

10:38am 3:43am 11:04pm 4:07pm

6:01am 0.6 1:10am 1.0 3.2 12:24pm 7:36am 2.8 6:22pm 0.6 1:35pm 1.2 3.3 7:55pm 2.7

6:51am 7:05am 8:19pm 5:47pm

Best Best At At


Tue Sun

Feb Aug 15 15

11:29am 4:31am 11:55pm 4:56pm

0.6 12:47am 1:53am 1.0 6:53am 3.1 8:18am 2.9 1:20pm 0.7 2:18pm 1.1 7:21pm 2.8 8:40pm

6:52am 7:04am 8:18pm 5:48pm

Best Best At At


Wed Mon

Feb Aug 16 16

12:20pm 5:21am 5:47pm

1:42am 2:35am 7:50am 8:58am 2:22pm 3:00pm 8:25pm 9:22pm

6:53am 7:03am 8:17pm 5:48pm

Best Best At At


3.2 0.9 0.6 3.0 3.1 1.0 0.8 2.9

Thu Tue

12:45am 6:14am 1:09pm 6:41pm

Feb Aug 18 18

2:41am 3.1 3:14am 0.8 8:53am 0.7 9:38am 3.1 3:28pm 3.0 3:41pm 0.9 9:30pm 0.8 10:02pm 3.0

6:54am 7:02am 8:16pm 5:49pm

Best Best At At


Wed Fri

Feb Aug 17 17

1:33am 7:10am 1:57pm 7:39pm

3:45am 3.0 3:54am 0.7 9:58am 0.7 10:18am 3.2 4:33pm 3.0 4:22pm 0.8 10:33pm 0.9 10:43pm 3.1

6:55am 7:01am 8:14pm 5:50pm

Best Best At At


Thu Sat

Feb Aug 19 19

2:20am 8:09am 2:43pm 8:40pm

Sun Fri

Feb Aug 20 20

4:50am 3.0 4:35am 0.6 11:02am 0.7 11:00am 3.3 5:34pm 3.1 5:04pm 0.7 11:32pm 0.8 11:24pm 3.2

6:56am 6:59am 8:13pm 5:51pm

Best Best At At


3:06am 9:11am 3:28pm 9:42pm

3.0 0.6 0.7 3.3 3.2 0.6 0.7 3.2

6:57am 6:58am 8:12pm 5:52pm

Best Best At At



Best Best At At


10:12am 3:51am 10:42pm 4:14pm

First New First Full Quarter Moon Quarter Moon Rise Rise 9:30am 3:42am Rise Rise10:35am 4:39am Rise Rise11:37am 5:33am Rise Rise12:38pm 6:23am Rise Rise 1:38pm 7:07am Set Rise12:21am 7:47am Set Rise12:52am 8:21am Set Rise 1:28am 8:52am Set Rise 2:08am 9:21am Set Rise 2:56am 9:50am Set Rise 10:20am 3:49am Set Rise 10:52am 4:47am Set Set 12:54am 5:49am Set Set 6:52am 2:05am Set Set 7:56am 3:16am Set Set 8:59am 4:22am Set Set 10:04am 5:22am 1:28pm Set 2:13pm Set 3:05pm Set 4:03pm Set 5:05pm Rise 6:10pm Rise 7:16pm Rise 8:23pm Rise 9:29pm Rise 6:21pm Rise 7:07pm Rise 7:47pm Rise 8:22pm Rise 8:53pm Rise 1:01pm Rise 2:00pm Rise 3:06pm Set Set 10:35pm Set 11:02pm Set 11:28pm Set 11:53pm Set 2:38pm Set 3:37pm Set 4:35pm Set 5:30pm Set 10:36pm Set 11:44pm Rise 11:28am Rise 12:11pm Rise 9:22pm Rise 9:49pm Rise10:16pm *Not *Not for for navigational navigational purposes. purposes.

Mick Fay 46

Tue Sun

Feb Aug 77

6:42am 7:14am 8:27pm 5:40pm


Ray White SeaSea Watch Auckland Area Watch

12:01am 3.2 1.1 12:45am 1:25am 5:28am 0.6 2.7 12:39am 2.7 5:50am 0.5 7:06am 6:18am 0.8 2.8 7:25am 11:35am 3.3 0.9 6:37am 1.0 12:20pm 3.4 1:05pm 0.8 1:52pm 6:03pm 0.6 2.9 12:21pm 1:06pm 3.2 2.8 6:22pm 0.5 7:29pm 6:47pm 3.0 7:53pm 7:07pm 0.7 1.1 3.3

Best Best At At


Mon Sat

Feb Aug 66

6:41am 7:15am 8:28pm 5:40pm

Best Best At At


Sun Fri

Feb Aug 55

More information about how to control moth plant and other pest plants and animals can be found on both the Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council websites.

Don’t Delay call Mick Fay today! 021 544 769


Feb Aug 44

flower and immature seed pods and its best to tackle the plant now as it is easy to see, before the pods ripen and burst over the next few months. If pulled or dug out before the pods mature it is not necessary to remove the vine or pods from the tree it is climbing up. Councillor Craw says the seeds are poisonous to humans, and the pods and stems also contain a milky sap which is a skin irritant, making gloves a recommended option when handling moth plant. “Options to control moth plant include spraying or removing them by hand and collection of mature seed pods, the latter which unfortunately can be quite labourintensive.” Cr Craw says if caught early enough, small moth plant seedlings can simply be pulled out. However, the roots of large plants should be cut out at least five centimetres underground or herbicide used to control the plant.

People are being urged to tackle the perennial invasive moth plant as soon as possible before its kapok-like seed pods mature, then burst and infest new areas. The plant, which is native to South America, is an issue because it’s a tough, fast-growing vine that can rapidly climb and smother native and exotic trees. It grows equally well creeping over the ground, shading out low vegetation such as regenerating seedlings. Moth plant is one of Auckland’s and Northland’s worst weeds, and as well as a common pest along roadsides, forest edges and coastal sites, it is also a problem in urban reserves and gardens, where it can grow up to 10 metres tall. The plant has easy-to-see prolific white flowers in January about 25mm across that turn into large hanging kapok-type pods, each of which splits open to release hundreds of seeds with silky threads that are carried by the wind to new sites. Northland Regional Council’s biosecurity and biodiversity working party chair Jack Craw says that at this time of the year, moth plant vines are often heavy with


Good Good Fishing Fishing


Fair Fair Fishing Fishing


Not Not So So Good Good

Graphic Graphic supplied supplied by by OceanFun OceanFun Publishing Publishing Ltd. Ltd.

Licensee Agent Snells Beach 021 544 769 E. W.

| Mahurangimatters | January 31, 2022

Support the advertisers who support Mahurangi Matters

What’s on See for a full list of upcoming events

February 4&5

Kawau Bay Artists Exhibition, Warkworth Town Hall, 10am-3pm. Free entry.


CANCELLED Blues vs Hurricanes pre-season match, Mahurangi Rugby Club. Info: (see story p3)


Salty Dog Inn fishing competition. Entry by ticket, which must be collected by 7pm, Friday, Feb 4. All proceeds to Kawau Lifeboat. Info: Vera on 027 499 0050 (see brief p4)


Music of India, Absurdistan Hall, Kaiwaka, 4pm. Featuring the Madhur family musicians and dancers with special guest Jon Sanders. Tickets $20. Vaccine pass required.


CANCELLED Waitangi Celebration at the Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marae.


Tamahunga Trappers Open Day, 1-4pm, Matakana Village Hall.


POSTPONED Warkworth RSA Fishing Competition


CANCELLED Summer Classic, Ascension Wine Estate, Matakana, 3-11pm. Electronic music festival with DJ Kanine and others. Limited tickets from $110.


Mahurangi Artists’ Trail, free art trail, various venues. Info: www. (see story p17)


CANCELLED Albi & The Wolves, Leigh Sawmill Cafe


Four Flat Whites in Italy by Roger Hall, Warkworth Theatre Group, Warkworth Town Hall. Two mismatched couples struggle to get on during an OE. Info and tickets: (see story p18)


POSTPONED Recliner Rockers at Puhoi Sports Club

SUPER SAUSAGE SIZZLE Saturday 26th February, 10am - 2pm next to Warkworth Butchery.

12&13 Mahurangi Artists’ Trail, free art trail, various venues. Must have a vaccine pass. Info: (see story p17)

Proudly supporting


ON HOLD Jim Sorenson’s fundraising bike ride, New World Warkworth, 10am-4pm


ON HOLD Warkworth RSA auction, raising money for a new lift, 7pm


CANCELLED Summer Serenade – Jazz in the Garden, Couldrey House, Wenderholm Regional Park


CANCELLED Matakana Opera Picnic, cnr Ward and Matakana Valley Roads, 5.30pm (see story p18)


CANCELLED Great Debate, Warkworth Town Hall (see story p8)

Rotary New Zealand World Community Service


Puhoi Market, Puhoi Pub grounds, 9am-1pm. WE ARE BACK! Live folk-based music from King and Power, plus many new stalls with produce, crafts and food. Registered Charity CC26860

List your event by emailing the details to

Is there more to Life...?

Tonga Volcano Eruption and Tsunami Appeal The effects of the Volcano Eruption and Tsunami on January 15th will be far-reaching, impacting the Tonga community for months, possibly years to come. We will be supporting The Rotary Club of Nuku’alofa and trusted partners in Tonga. It would appear from limited reports that the greatest impact is access to potable water, followed by land rehabilitation and the urgent need to restore livelihoods. There are currently 538 prepositioned Rotary Emergency Response Kits (ERKs) in Tonga available for distribution. There is need for more.

• • •

Donation options: EFTPOS facility at Barfoot & Thompson, Warkworth - directly linked to the Rotary Foundation BNZ Account RNZWCS Limited bank account: 03 1702 0192208 01, placing 555 in the reference field or through the website by CREDIT CARD by pressing the DONATE NOW button under Disaster Relief Givealittle at

Ask. Learn. Discuss.

Alpha Course Info:

Coast & Country January 31, 2022 | Mahurangimatters |


Fun project starts model boat-building craze What started as a fun project for an Omaha man to make a model of his own racing yacht has inspired dozens more to make their own boats and form a club. Now the North Omaha Point Institute of Senior Sailors (NO P*SS) meets to race their vessels every Tuesday afternoon at a lake at the Omaha Beach Golf Course. It all began about five years ago when retired pharmacist Cam Duncan decided to make a model of his Noelex 22 trailer yacht. Cam had never attempted such a feat before, but he carefully measured his boat and reduced the dimensions to make a model about 1/12 the size of the original. He then created a skeleton of the Noelex 22 to serve as a mould for his model. This was surrounded by glued strips of cedar planking to create the model itself. The mould was later withdrawn from the back of the model’s stern. Cam was delighted with the result and soon got requests from his wife to build another and later, from his two granddaughters. Some friends also became interested and were eager to build their own boats using Cam’s moulds and under his supervision. The craze spread through word-of-mouth leading to the construction of more than 40 boats and the formation of NO P*SS. Cam says many club members have never sailed a yacht before, let alone built one, but all learn woodwork skills and helming tactics. Cam says one modeller was originally no good with his hands and could not even put a flat-pack kitset together, but he eventually learned to cut straight lines of cedar with a bandsaw. “He was getting quite competent towards the end of the build and really fussy, insisting on closely matching all the planks on the deck,” he says. “Then he went on to varnish it and did a fabulous job.” The models are made from recycled timber and sail offcuts. The cost of glue and paint for each model is about $20 and a remote control to operate the sails and rudder costs about $120. This means the entire model need only cost about $140, though Cam says some modellers have splashed out on modifications of their own, including professionally made sails. NO P*SS member David Stone describes the group as a mixed-gender bunch of jovial, friendly locals. “Helming skills vary, but anyone can compete regardless of sailing experience,” he says.

Close tacking duels are common.

Cam Duncan, far right, has inspired dozens of model makers.

Launching boats on race day.

The medical professionals were all courteous, polite, patient and had a good sense of humour. The service from the time I booked to going home was excellent. I felt I had their absolute attention. There was no obvious wait time and the documentation process was easy to follow. To have a facility like this so close to home is fantastic! Greg Allen-Baines Warkworth resident

My advice is to ask your GP if you can have it done locally. Or ring Rodney Surgical direct.

The best surgeons offering you day care surgeries right here in Warkworth. Ask your GP if your day care surgery can be done at Rodney Surgical. • 09 425 1190 48 | Mahurangimatters | January 31, 2022