Otaki Mail February 2020

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Established in 1892

PO Box 109 Ōtaki   otakimail@xtra.co.nz   www.otakimail.co.nz   06 364 5500   February 2020

Lavender P4

Benefit concert a great success


The “Love Thy Neighbour” benefit concert, held at the Ōtaki Racecourse on 25 January, proved a great success. Although the figures had not been finalised when the Ōtaki Mail went to press, one of the organisers, James Blake, said he anticipated that the concert would have raised $10,000 that will all go towards the Australian bushfire relief. Close to 1,200 people came through the gates, Mr Blake said. “That’s pretty good for just three weeks’ planning.” Three weeks before the concert, Mr Blake

met Anamia King, who lives in Ōtaki. The bushfires were raging in Australia. “Within an hour of meeting Anamia for the first time we had the event confirmed,” said Mr King – who has a long history in the event industry. In the three weeks it took to put the event together “my biggest surprise was the community support. “We have had an amazing response from the community who have sponsored this event. Every single place we spoke to gave us everything we needed or gave money.” The concert featured 16 line-ups, including

some big name artists such as Toni Huata. Toni has performed in London, Europe, Canada, Australia, the Pacific and New Zealand. She also performed in support to The Neville Brothers in the United States. Another top act was X Factor finalist Talitha Blake. Her performance probably attracted the biggest audience response. Local acts were also involved, including the young Te Horo band Dragon Scale, who also attracted a very positive audience response. As well as the bands and soloists, the concert featured such attractions as bouncy castles, face painting, a race car simulator, food and merchandise stalls. ...continued page 2

Maoriland Film Festival P7

Kite Festival P9

Picture above: Renowned international artist Toni Huata performing at the “Love Thy Neighbour” concert at the Ōtaki Racecourse

New Anglican Ministers P11


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020 ....continued from front page

“Love Thy Neighbour” was a success, Ms King says, “but it wouldn’t have been without the help of everybody – the artists, vendors, key staff and sponsors.

“We would like to thank the following people and businesses who supported the concert:

The Honour Role of sponsors: Ōtaki Māori Racing Club, Raukawa Marae, Marlan Trading, Ōtaki Meats, Penray Gardens, Rawiri Barriball, Raewyn’s Restaurant, Fresh Pork, Tani Sciascia-Murray, Benniks Poultry HORI Shop, Penray Gardens, Huia Marae, Matau Marae, Steven McHattie’s Simulator Car, Kohatu, Katera Rikihana-Tukerangi, MenzShed Ōtaki, Action Personnel, Genoese Foods, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, All Area Scaffolding, Jimmy Atutahi, Raukawa and Whanganui a Tara District Maori Wardens, Oz Bread Shop,

Make sure your lawyer knows where you are BY FLEUR HOBSON What could go wrong? The house we are buying is all set to go. Everything is signed and agreed. We can safely go on our long-awaited trip to Norfolk Island. So the buyers of a property thought. Well something did go wrong. The house was not occupied and one especially cold and frosty night the water pipes froze. The ice burst the pipes, sending water into the house. The wallpaper was ruined, the ceilings were a mess, and the carpets were soaking. Susie Mills Law was acting for the buyers, and as soon as we found out about the damage, we tried contacting them. We tried their phone, which kept going to answerphone. We tried both their mobiles, but got the answerphones there too. We

even tried emailing, but there was no reply. We did not know at that time that they had gone overseas. We were left with a decision to make. Would the buyers still want the property, and – if so – will they want to give the sellers time to fix the problem, or will they want a written guarantee the seller will cover the costs? All this happened two days before the deal was set to be final, known as settlement date. The hours ticked by, and we had still heard nothing. Fortunately, when we contacted the seller’s lawyer, they agreed that they would either fix the problem or give a written guarantee they would cover the costs, depending on what the buyer wanted. They also agreed that it could wait up to a

week after settlement date. So we took the risk, even though we had no rights to make a decision, and agreed to wait until after settlement, on condition the buyer could exercise a right on whether or not they would go ahead with the sale. When the buyers did return, it turned out they wanted the property, and were quite happy to fix it themselves. So the price they had to pay was reduced to cover the cost of the fix. What if the other party had not been so agreeable, however. We would, then, have been left in a fix. This highlights two highly important things you should look at if you are out of the country, or out of contact, and you are either buying or selling a house, or property or a business. The first is to keep in touch with your

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lawyer in some way during the period leading up to settlement. The second is that if you are not able to find a way to keep in touch with your lawyer, that you sign a “limited power of attorney for property”, giving your lawyer the ability to make decisions on issues that may arise. In some cases, the integrity of your deposit may depend on this (you don’t want to simply lose thousands of dollars), and in some cases a successful outcome for you will depend on your lawyer having written authority to act. If you are looking to buy or sell a property or a business, we would be only too happy to help you. Contact Fleur or Susie at Susie Mills Law, 364 7190, 282 Mill Road – opposite Farmlands.

Ōtaki Mail is produced by Lloyd, Ann & Penny at 176 Waerenga Road. Printed by Beacon Print. Delivered to every house (urban and rural) at the end of every month. If your paper doesn't arrive, please tell us and we'll sort it. For news, please tell us on 06 364 5500 or by email at otakimail@xtra.co.nz

Ōtaki Mail – February 2020


Ōtaki Mail – Month 20XX


What’s ON

Ōtaki Trots Ōtaki Maori racecourse, 2 Feb 10am Ōtaki Kite Festival 8 & 9 Feb. Ōtaki Beach Marine Parade Pulse v Firebirds 9 Feb 9.30 am Nga Purapura Tasman Road Horowhenua Breathe Easy Support Group. 4th Thurs 10am Cosmopolitan Club Oxford St Levin. Residents from Ōtaki with respiratory problems welcome. • GWRC’s annual Gravel Grab at the Ōtaki River Sat 21 March 10am-2pm. • Mahara Gallery Events. 15 December - 16 February In one piece, Michelle Walton (Backhouse) Mahara marks 25 years, Robin Rogerson, Mary Zohrab & Bob Gibbs • Sunday 2 February, 4-5:30pm Friends of Mahara - a special event, discussion about the early years of Mahara and future plans for the gallery. This event is open to anyone who is interested. Koha appreciated. • 20 February - 12 April 2020 Amokura, Erena Baker & Rewiti Arapere Let’s NOT celebrate Cook, Robyn Kahukiwa Opening: Thursday 20 February, 5pm. All welcome. • Energise Ōtaki Seminar “Future Transport Fuels” 12 Feb. 6 pm Gertrude Atmore Supper room • Ōtaki Car Show, Ōtaki Racecourse. Sun 1 March, Gates open 9am. Show 10am-2pm Fundraiser for Ōtaki Fire Brigade. Gold coin donation to view. $10 to enter your car. All make & model cars. Hosted by the Kapiti-Horowhenua Zephyr & Zodiac Car Club. Mike 0275926573 • Maoriland Film Festival March 18-22 Mãoriland Hub Main St • Maoriland Nga Korero o Kapiti Feb 4-18 Community exhibition Maoriland Hub • • • •

Regular Events

• Ōtaki Women’s Community Club Market. SH1 every Sunday 9– 3 • Waitohu Dune Care Group Mondays, north Ōtaki Beach 9-11 • Te Horo Market Te Horo Hall, first Sunday of the month. 10am – 12.30 • The Hope Cafe 19 Aotaki St Thurs 3-5 Creative workshops for the non- arty • Te Horo-Ōtaki Ukulele group, te Horo Hall. First and third Friday 10:30-12 From beginners to experienced, all welcome. ph. 364 3335. deeandtim@gmail.com • Ōtaki Library Books and Bickies 2nd Fri of the month 10.30-11.30 • Budget Advice Service. Citizen’s Advice Bureau Ōtaki. Trained Financial Mentors. 06 364 8664 or 0800 367222, or call into 65A Main Street


Colliding Worlds Summer is the time when different worlds collide. When the wants and needs of our community collide with each other and when the needs and safety of our birds collide with the human species. Summer is the time when we all want to go to the beach. Families to take the time to rest and play. People to walk their dogs. Motor bike kids to ride the dunes and race along the shoreline. And birds come to nest, to sit on their eggs, to rear their young. These birds are often endangered. Over the decades, we humans have been tolerant of those who despoil the peace and tranquillity of our collective playground. Often, we are in despair at what we collectively or individually do to protect it, not only for our children, older people and dogs but importantly for the survival of our endangered birdlife. I have watched boy racers drive heedlessly up and down the beach disregarding the people and dogs walking, the kids playing nearby. As they swoop up from behind the dunes to crash down on the other side there is no way of knowing what damage they are about to do to the Dotterel or the Pied Stilt fighting for survival. It’s an illegal activity to drive carelessly on our beaches but we collectively allow it. The police with limited resources are unable to be down there all the time. We walkers, swimmers and beach watchers remain impotent, unable or unprepared to stop the destruction of our environment from bikers at play as they speed along. All we can do to protect our bird life, our endangered species and our native flora is to be vigilant and when we see a mother sitting protectively on her nest exposed to the dangers of flying wheels to barricade that spot. This is what one worried resident did over the holiday season. Special thanks to her for her efforts, to the mayor for sending a team down and to the Waitohu Stream Care group who daily work to ensure out native birds and our dunes are safe. And the sad update on the endangered pied stilt from Sue McIntosh: ‘Nest abandoned. On a more cheerful side there is one viable Oyster chick on the south side and initially two on the north side. As far as we locals are aware this is a first. Now they just need the opportunity to grow up in peace.’ Now is the time for input in the review of the Beach By-laws. Get your pens out and your activism fired up. Now’s the time to protect our beach - our taonga. Report to KCDC any signs of nesting birds and respect the barriers put up to protect the birds. They are there to ensure the survival of at least a few of the chicks. And people who like to drive on the beach perhaps they could stick to the hard packed sand during the breeding season.

Thumbs up• • • • •

Te Horo Firefighters helping out in Australia Protecting our nesting birds on the beach The man who bolted the community fridges safely to the fence Kelly Fox for creating the Traffic Updates Facebook page Gorge’s new wall graphic, expertly painted by Theo Arraj

Thumbs down

• Cars and Bikes destroying the peace and endangering our native wildlife at the beach • The cretins who wilfully vandalised the community pantry


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020 Upper Hutt and Wainuiomata. In recent years the call outs have been more regular “with the drier, hotter seasons,” and from areas as far away as Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa. Te Horo Country Market The monthly community market is on Sunday, 2 February, 10.00 am to 12.30 pm at Te Horo Hall. More than thirty stalls, many selling items locally grown and produced including the fruit, veggies and free range eggs at the Seasonal Surplus Stall. Drinks and Nibbles Join neighbours and other locals at the monthly get together at Te Horo Hall, Friday 7 February, 5.30 pm. All welcome – BYO drink and a plate of nibbles to share.

BY VIVIENNE BAILEY Te Horo’s fresh A2 raw milk If a glass of fresh, A2 raw milk is your thing, then Faith Farm Fresh, State Highway One, Te Horo is the place to go – just look out for the black and white Friesian cow on top of the red shed. The recent opening was busy, and way beyond the Faith family’s excited expectations. Stacey Faith tells me there were around 30 customers waiting for the early evening, “soft opening, we couldn’t wait,” and many were neighbours and locals. “We’ve had wonderful community and local business support for the venture,” she says. “Elevate Otaki created a video, and a local sign-writing business designed the logo.” The smart-looking, red and white self-service vending machines hail from Italy, an acquisition based on the help and advice Stacey and family received from Arran Farm in Feilding, and Richard Houston, Village Milk, Nelson, but “we’ve tried to keep with New Zealand businesses the whole way through.” There is also a focus on sustainability with the use of recyclable glass bottles, although “people can bring their own clean, plastic bottles or alternatively, buy a glass bottle ($4) from Faith Farm Fresh.” Stacey believes much of her client base will be sourced from the now-closed MannaMilk in Manakau, although their own concept was “mulled around” about three years previously, only becoming serious a year ago. “Providing fresh, raw milk seems like a continuation of what our family have always done – drink milk straight from the cow – it’s how we were brought up.” This fourth generation dairy farm

(established 1914) and their A2 herd of Friesian cows are providing unprocessed (unpasteurised), fresh milk ($2.50 a litre) every day, from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm from the Faith Farm Fresh shed. A2 milk is a variety of cows’ milk that mostly lacks a form of B-casein proteins called A1, and instead has predominately the A2 form. (pics on next page) A bunch of Te Horo lavender Lavender Creek Farm in Settlement Road has been Te Horo’s centre for summer lavender picking for many decades. This year, as part of ongoing fundraising for the Mirek Smisek Ceramic Centre, there is ‘Pick your own lavender,’ where lavender lovers can pick a bunch to take away. “I recommend about fifty stems for a nice, take home bunch,” said farm owner, Susi White. “We’ve had a really good response to the ‘pick your own bunch’ concept, and have raised $3,000 since the December start.” ‘Heroes in our midst Once again Te Horo’s volunteer firemen have stepped up. Chief Fire Officer, Bryan Sutton and his deputy, Steve Borrell from the Te Horo Rural Voluntary Fire Service have been battling bush fires, this time across the Tasman, in the once-in-a-lifetime fires across Australia. Both experienced firefighters (notching up 50 years’ experience between them) the conditions in Australia were “so bad we wondered if we were making a difference.” The pair (as part of a four man crew) were in Nelson fighting wildfires at almost the same time last year (where Steve said the fires were the worst he’d seen), and the team from Te Horo are regularly called on for specialist training to support major rural fires in the wider Wellington district such as Porirua,

Susi holds 50 stems of Lavender Creek Farm lavender, the perfect bunch size


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

A Te Horo Beach Christmas

Ōtaki Summer Camp 2020



A positive community spirit (and a festive vibe) was in the air for Te Horo Beach’s traditional Christmas beach party and celebration. “We had a wonderful turnout of new and old locals, with some folk visiting family,” explained Louise Hinton, party organiser. “This is my seventh year putting on this event for the community, with the support of the friends of Te Horo Beach, who pay for prizes, sausages and bread, and the popular bouncy castle.” More than 25 children attended the Christmas party, many entering into the fun by participating in activities such as the egg’n spoon race, three legged race

and the interesting weetbix eating challenge (race). Carols were sung by grown-ups and children and Santa arrived in true Te Horo style (on a quad bike). “It was great to connect with other families who may have moved into the area. But this event, and the Teddy Bears Picnic, wouldn’t be possible without the support of the friends of Te Horo Beach.” For anyone interested in keeping up with Te Horo Beach activities and events (and supporting each other at the beach) check out their Facebook page: Te Horo Beach friends and family. New members are welcome. Further information from Louise: 021 1205 2574 or louisehinton76@gmail.com

A good turnout for The Horo Beach’s Christmas celebration

It’s not easy racing on three legs!

Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend, perform and volunteer at the annual Ōtaki Summer Camp that has been running for three years now here on our back doorstep, literally. This year the camp was held on the organic Catholic Worker farm hidden away just outside the Ōtaki township and hosted over 200 people (loosely) aged 17 to 30 with an interest in politics, justice, equality and the environment. Most people expect young people to be bored and disinterested by the idea of watching parliament TV and taking part in the local elections. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the passion and fire in the hearts of those young people who were ready to discuss and network with likeminded teens just like me. The camp was enriched by having guest speakers such as; Russel Norman (former co-leader of Green Party) talk on Social Change, Tina Ngata (blogger and social activist) talk on Decolonisation, teenagers from School Strike 4 Climate and many more panels, poetry, music and theatre including our very own ‘Othello’. Unlike other guest speakers at various camps, Ōtaki Summer Camp has a special way of holding these important discussions as it’s not an information transfer then goodbye, onto the next speaker. The speakers share their korero and then the whole camp is split off into groups of about 10 people with a group facilitator who is helping the discussions

flow. The groups are encouraged to listen and converse different ideas and viewpoints with each other. They are then are invited back for a question and answer session with the guest speaker to further review any unanswered questions. This method was loved by so many of the campers and gives great opportunity for natural and healthy debate amongst well educated sources. At the same time it allows some people who may be less confident in different kaupapa to learn more, and people loved the gentle and encouraging feel of the whole process. On Sunday we took part in various guided bush walks up Ōtaki Gorge with options of tramping, exploring the rivers, a bush walk or swimming. These were all followed by various talks on stream ecology or forest ecology. With a completely vegan menu the various vegetable gardens around the farm had plenty of use and at the end of camp we ended up with only half a rubbish bag of landfill waste left over. Yes, only HALF a bag over the course of 3 days feeding 200+ people. The course of the weekend was immersed in Māori tikanga and began and ended with both a powhiri and poroporoaki which allowed the tapu of all the important korero and kaupapa that discussed over the weekend be lifted. I feel so incredibly full and fired up to start the important year of 2020 with a few steps forward. I want to encourage any young people who feel drawn to these kaupapa or want to learn a little more to join us next year at Ōtaki Summer Camp 2021!

photo credits Louise Hinton

Stacey’s giant leap of faith into the emerging market of A2 milk. Fresh raw milk is allowed to be sold at the farm gate. MPI are currently prosecuting suppliers who are not able to do that. Stacey’s milk is the only local source while MPI’s intransigence obtains.

Stacey Faith and the visually striking A2 milk stand

Three wise men at the summer camp: Nicky Hager, Ron Findlay & Adrian Leason


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020 By Ann Chapman Live well, get well, stay well

Keeping You Informed Staff Matters

The Ōtaki Medical Centre farewells NP Donna Mason who is leaving us at the end of March after a year with us and will be returning to Palmerston North. In the meantime we have gained the services of a general practitioner from Denmark who is expected to arrive between April and May when all his travel arrangements are completed. He will be with us for an undetermined time. The new GP will be working more sessions and as a consequence will be seeing more patients. More appointments is an issue raised several times including at the recent community forums hosted by Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki. We will continue to look for additional doctors and/or a Nurse practitioners, but the international market is tight. We want to have six doctors and two nurse practitioners in total available to serve the community, an increase on the four doctors and two nurse practitioners we currently have working at our centre. We also have six practice nurses available. Saturday Emergency Clinics On Saturdays between 9am and 12 midday we provide an emergency clinic, where we have one doctor available. In a normal session of that length a practitioner would normally be able to see about twelve patients. This is a walk-in clinic and should not be used for non-

emergencies. This issue was discussed at the recent community forums as well where members of the community explained that they couldn’t come during the week because of work commitments. Good health is a priority for both the centre and for individuals, however there is an impossible clash with the ability of the doctor to provide safe effective care in emergencies, and people not finding the time to attend to their needs during regular working hours. This contributes to an overflow of patients attending reducing the availability of the doctor to see those patients that are most in need. An emergency is when you are suffering from chest pain, acute or severe pain, shortness of breath, signs of meningococcal disease such as a headache, dizziness and rash, lacerations, seizures or head injuries, sudden loss of vision, heavy bleeding, or a floppy baby. Any of these conditions should be seen immediately but for more regular requirements please make arrangement to come during weekdays. The centre is working to capacity, as hard and fast as it safely can.

Slip Slop Slap : Skin Cancer Awareness

Talking Health From MidCentral BY JENNY WARREN Kia ora Ōtaki community! Firstly I want to wish you all a very happy new year and best wishes for a safe and healthy 2020! The new MidCentral Health Board had their first meeting on December 17, 2019 and it was encouraging to see the energy and commitment the new Board members bring with the ultimate aim of achieving MidCentral’s vision of “Quality living, Healthy lives, Well communities”. Late last year I also met with Adrian Gregory, Chair of the Ōtaki Health and wellbeing advisory group where he shared with me the background of the work done to date and some of the vision for the future.

I have taken time over the summer break to familiarize myself with the MidCentral DHB Governance manual so I am well placed to honor my commitment to both the Minister of Health and the communities I serve as a Board member. I very much look forward to keeping in touch with the Ōtaki community throughout the year and have my first formal engagement in Ōtaki when I attend the Community Board meeting on 10 March. I hope to bring the MidCentral Board Chair Brendan Duffy along to this meeting as well as it is a great opportunity to hear some of the successes and challenges being faced locally. Ngā mihi nui, Jenny.

February is usually our hottest and sunniest month and when we’re outside working or playing. It’s the time to be aware of the dangers of sunburn and the damage it does. The more you damage the skin the greater the chances are of developing skin cancers. New Zealand and Australia have the highest incidence of skin cancers in the world. Most of us have normal spots on our skin. It is important to get to know your skin so that you can notice any changes. Finding skin cancer as early as possible is the key to successful treatment. You need to see your doctor if you have a mole, freckle or spot that: • is new or changing • does not heal • that looks different from others around it • has changed in size, thickness, shape, colour or has started to bleed. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, It spreads rapidly and is harder to cure than non-melanoma cancers. Early identification means better quicker and more effective treatment.

Risk factors are: • skin colour (light versus medium or dark skin) • hair colour (red or blond hair versus black hair) • skin type (burn easily, never tan) • skin damage due to sunburn. • a personal history of melanoma • family history of melanoma in a first-degree relative (parent, brother or sister, child). This risk is higher if more than one relative had a melanoma, if they were young at the time or if one relative had more than one melanoma • large number of moles on your skin (more than 50 moles) • atypical (dysplastic) ‘funny looking’ moles on your skin By the time you read this the Medical Centre will have had its mole check day but if you have concerns about any changes in a mole or blemish, go see them straight away. The quicker they are on to a diagnosis the greater the chances are of survival.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Māoriland Film Festival announces opening & closing films for 2020 Māoriland Film Festival is excited to announce the Opening and Closing night films for the 7th annual International Indigenous Film Festival. Māoriland Film Festival 2020 will take place from March 18 - 22 in Ōtaki. Opening the festival on March 18 is The Legend of Baron To’a, a Kiwi-sized blockbuster, with a lot of heart and all of the hallmarks of New Zealand storytelling and talent. Fritz, a displaced Tongan man, has returned to the cul-de-sac of his youth to sell the family home. When his late father’s priceless championship belt is stolen by a ruthless gang, Fritz must reconnect with his father’s legacy to defeat the barbaric gang kingpin and get the title back. It is the directorial debut of Kiel McNaughton and is produced by Kerry Warkia (Producers of previous festival hits Vai and Waru). McNaughton’s vision was to create a film that could work in a single location and still be an actionpacked drama. “I set a challenge to our Heads of Departments (HOD’s) on the first day of pre-production for us to make a film that was as close to a Hollywood blockbuster as possible - without the gunfights, explosions and car chases. All of the HOD’s really ran with that concept, and everyone became focused on how we could make this film feel as big as possible, but still recognisably Kiwi.”

On Sunday, March 22 the Closing Night Film will be the New Zealand premiere of The Sun Above Me Never Sets by firsttime feature director Lyubov Borisova. Hailing from the Sakha region of Eastern Russia, return audiences may remember the freezing cold climes of Bonfire (2018) and Toyon Kyyl (The Lord Eagle) (2019). Both beautiful and humorous, The Sun Above Me Never Sets is an intergenerational story that celebrates the impossibilities within a wish. Altan gets a job on a desolate island. Unsure and alone, Altan discovers he has a neighbour, the elderly Baibal, who has a special request. Baibal is ready for death and asks the boy to bury him near his wife’s grave when he dies. Everyday Altan does everything to make the old man look forward to living another

The Sun Above Me Never Sets

beautiful day. MFF2020 festival director Libby Hakaraia said the programme is packed with New Zealand and Southern Hemisphere premieres of shorts, features and documentary films that show the exceptional storytelling of Indigenous peoples from across the globe. Many of the films have won multiple awards at film festivals. Over 120 films are screening at MFF2020 from 18-22nd March Including films from Taiwan, South America and from Indigenous nations in the Northern Hemisphere as well as from Aotearoa and the Pacific.

The Legend of Baron To’a

Rangatahi filmmakers forge new connections in Taiwan and Finland


Through Our Lens is a Māoriland Charitable Trust kaupapa. This January the Māoriland rangatahi initiative Through Our Lens traveled to Taiwan and Finland with young filmmakers from across Aotearoa. Māoriland rangatahi co-ordinator Aree Kapa and Maddy de Young gives a first hand account of this groundbreaking adventure. In a city full of lights, vehicles and staunch cyclists who would ring their bell at you if you were standing in the bike lane, we felt safe and somewhat at home in Taipei. Our first few days were spent exploring and trying foods we thought we’d never try. Kaea Hakaraia-Hosking (Otaki), Rakaea Te Rangi Trotman (Rotorua), Ngahiwi Pickering (Hokianga) and Aydriannah Tuiali’i (Hokianga) formed our roopu of Māori filmmakers who were to facilitate workshops in Kasavakan and Dulan. They were supported by myself and Libby Hakaraia and Matilda Poasa. Kasavakan is in the south of Taiwan in the Taitung region and the tribal homeland of the Pinuyumayan tribe. The manaakitanga was extensive with homemade traditional kai brought to the house we were staying in for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were visited by many from the community in the four days we stayed there. The elders felt like our own kuia and kaumatua with their constant banter and eagerness to share their stories. We made a film with these elders based on one of their tūpuna stories. We also collaborated to write a song in both Kasavakan and Māori and to shoot a film to go with this song. Our second workshop was held in Dulan, a short 15 minute drive down the coast to the land of the Amis tribe. It was mindblowing that we’d only driven down the road and yet the people there spoke a completely different language. In Dulan we wove our own bottle holders, made tapa cloth and beaded bracelets with some of the locals from the community. There were two films made in Dulan; one about the traditional Amis attire and the other about their harvesting tradition

called Micekiw. Both films are rich with culture and native language. We spent our final day back where our trip began, roaming the Taipei City roads, at the underground market and filling up on sushi train before our early morning flights the next day. Within the Māori and Moana communities it is known that there are strong ancestral connections between Taiwan and Aotearoa. This was echoed in the languages and sense of familiarity we found in the communities we visited. In Dulan words like pōtae (hat) was putay and rima (five) was lima. But more surprising - to us at least - was their knowledge of the wider Indigenous world. When we said that our next trip was to carry on to Sápmi, they knew exactly who we were talking about. In Taipei, Libby and Aree said goodbye to Matilda, Kaea, Ngahiwi, Aydriannah and Rakaea. Back in Aotearoa, Maddy Hakaraia de Young - Māoriland’s Kaiwhakahau Hōtaka was preparing the next roopu, consisting of Ōtaki’s Oriwa Hakaraia, Kate Rennie Penese (Hokianga), Luke Moss (Te Kuīti) and Ngato Zharnaye Livingstone (Whangarei). Inari, our destination is located in Sápmi - the Sámi lands that occupy the northernmost reaches of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Western Russia. In the lead up to our departure, we were filled with trepidation as we watched the weather reports of -30 to -40 degrees!!! For the majority of our group this would be the farthest they have ever been from home travelling first to Hong Kong, then to Frankfurt, on to Helsinki, then Ivalo and finally Inari in far Northern Finland. Driving from Ivalo to Inari was surreal we cruised down pitch-black roads as snow fell outside glimmering in the headlights, it felt as if we were about to jump into hyperspace. In the light of the morning, stepping out into the snow was akin to wandering into a Hotel Wonderland - a cinema-scape too beautiful and unknown to be true. Inari is also synonymous with the Northern Lights. Our Through Our Lens workshop was part of Skábmagovat, the annual international Sámi film festival. We made three films

Kaea Hakaraia-Hosking and Ngahiwi Pickering with the stars of their film in Kasavakan

over two days with ten rangatahi Sámi ranging in age from 11 to 25. The festival starts tonight and we’re excited to be showing the NATIVE Slam films made during Māoriland Film Festival 2019 and Bub - our first professional rangatahi short, made by Oriwa Hakaraia and Te Mahara Tamehana in 2019. Bub is screening at the snow cinema , a large open air cinema carved out of ice where the audience sits on reindeer pelts watching the films on a large ice screen!! It has been a dream of Māoriland to bring our rangatahi to Sápmi for filmmaking workshops connecting the next generation of Indigenous storytellers through film. This is part of our rangatahi strategy including the E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking workshops in NZ to the Māoriland festival team of Ngā Pakiaka and the pathway to paid professional creative work. In April Through Our Lens will travel to Kahnawake, Canada, Greenland in August and Hawai’i.

For rangatahi wanting to get involved in this kaupapa, the best way is to attend E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Film Workshops commencing in May for 2020. The incredible films made in Taiwan and Finland will premiere in March at Māoriland Film Festival 2020. We hope to see you there. Through our Lens is a Māoriland initiative connecting the next generation of Indigenous storytellers through film. It was launched in 2017 as a new way to both empower our young people and forge new relationships within our Indigenous world. Fourteen Rangatahi Māori were selected from across Aotearoa to lead filmmaking workshops in Samoa, Hawai’i, Tahiti and Rarotonga making ten films in total. We decided to begin in the Pacific - Te Moananui a Kiwa to reforge our ancestral links with the peoples of those lands. In 2018 we then returned to Rarotonga and Aitutaki further strengthening those connections.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ōtaki to be a hotly contested political prize

Now this is crazily scary!


clipboard with a petition asking for the freeway that’s cutting a path through The parliamentary electorate of Ōtaki Ōtaki to continue being built and to covers the upper Kapiti Coast and extend to just north of Levin. If the Horowhenua Districts, and it undoubtedly numbers of voters I witnessed queueing contains a representative sample of the up to sign the document means problems and concerns which confront something, it appears the freeway our nation. As we count down to a extension is an almost universal General Election later this year, prepare aspiration of Horowhenua District people. to be bombarded with conflicting Tim Costley is an interesting character, messages from the various party far from the run of the mill political candidates. Ōtaki has always been hotly candidates. He is young; just about to turn contested. For years was a fairly safe 40 and holds a senior rank (Wing Labour seat. Commander) in the RNZAF. After almost The departure of Labour’s Darren Hughes 20 years in the service, he is a highlysaw a sea-change in voter sentiment. Our qualified pilot of fixed-wing aircraft and long-serving National MP for Ōtaki, helicopters. He is also a veteran of NZDF Nathan Guy, has already signalled his deployments in East Timor, Afghanistan forthcoming retirement and a return to his and New Guinea. Currently, Tim Costley family farming business. is based at Ohakea, where he instructs This opens up the prospect of a very trainee airmen on the disciplines and interesting and varied field of contenders, protocols of service flying. Tim and his seeking to claim their place on the green wife Emma, (she’s a social worker at leather “benches” of the Parliamentary Arohanui Hospice) and his daughters Debating Chamber. Who it might be, and (aged 10, 8 and 6 years-old) are house where they will sit, is in the lap of the hunting. They will be moving from gods. Palmerston North to somewhere (as yet undecided) in Kapiti. He is well aware of As we don’t yet have an election date, the population explosion in our region most parties are busy selecting their and has discovered finding a suitable candidates; and prospective candidates family home in the electorate, requires are burnishing their qualifications and juggling family life with his service preparing for the democratic contest career and his budding political ahead. With MMP governing the electoral aspirations… and many open home process, we will likely have a plethora of options from Labour, National, The Green viewings. Party, NZ First and ACT. They are already Running for office is not encouraged by represented in the existing Parliament. the New Zealand Defence Force. The But it’s almost certain there will others armed services are strictly apolitical and standing for new and “special interest” actively discourage members from political groups. debating in public, the merits of government policies or otherwise The National Party (Her Majesty’s Loyal involving themselves in controversy. This Opposition) in the current Parliament, means as soon as the election date has have got out of the blocks early, been announced and Parliament goes into announcing candidates for those seats recess, Tim Costley will take leave of which will become vacant and for others absence. Should he fail in his bid for where they will battle it out with sitting office, continuing his service career or Labour members. They, along with other becoming a commercial pilot will be parties, will also have the MMP benefit of options open for him. “list seats” which are awarded proportionally, when the total of all I asked Mr Costley about his decision to “Party votes” are counted. The days of the stand for Parliament and his awareness of old, “first past the post’ system which the downsides of life in “the bear-pit” of favoured just the two main parties are the debating chamber. Apart from needing long gone. Now it is almost inevitable a thick hide to cope with the rigours of that coalitions must be formed with political debate, there is also the effect on minority parties, to get the “magic” total the politicians’ family lives. Privacy is of 61 seats, which allows a government to sacrificed and spouses and children often be formed. take “the back seat” to the demands of a public life which involves long days and nights of parliamentary business, debates, select-committee membership and travel. Even when the Parliament is not in session, there are electoral matters to be dealt with and constituents’ “clinics” and local matters to consider. The Costley family are a pretty resilient bunch. Tim has missed a few children’s birthdays and anniversaries while he has been deployed overseas or flying various missions in New Zealand where Air Force involvement was required. Before he put up his hand for National Party candidate selection, he and wife Emma spent time pondering the particular sacrifices which will be demanded if he succeeds in winning Ōtaki. Outside his family life and career commitments, Mr Costley is a keen member of his local church. He is Chairman of the board of trustees at his kids’ school. Ten years ago, he founded a charity, The Missing Wingman Trust. This was set up to assist current and past RNZAF service personnel and their families in times of tragedy, distress and Tim Costley dwarfs a passer-by as he seeks need. Tim Costley is still its guiding light.

BY LLOYD CHAPMAN Ōtaki Beach couple Barry and Vanessa Meiring came to New Zealand from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa over a decade ago with their two daughters. They work in Wellington: Barry works in high-level security, Vanessa in IT. So, now that their children have flown the nest, how do they celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary? Something brave, or even silly? Well, they’ve exceeded expectations, and gone for something totally lunatic: The Mongol Rally. The rally, now in its seventeenth year begins in England, covers 26 countries (see map), and finishes seven weeks later in Siberia. There are no prizes for winning, and you have to drive an under-powered old dunger! At the end of the rally, they have to donate what remains of the vehicle to be scrapped, to raise money for underprivileged Mongolian children. The Meirings will travel 21,000km averaging 500km a day. Driving at night is considered unwise, because of the often appalling condition of the roads. There are 350 teams entered, six from NZ. The rally starts in July, finishes in September. All entrants are restricted to a car of no more than 1200cc.

The vehicle

Barry and Vanessa have chosen a Malaysian Perodua, better known to us as a Daihatsu Move (pictured) It has a mighty 3 cylinder engine, and cost them just £380 on Ebay. Other entrants will typically drive VW Polos, Nissan Micras,

minis or other nondescript small cars. The rally cost per entrant is likely to exceed $20,000. The Meirings are undaunted by scary bits from websites of previous entrants: ‘Do not drive at night: millions of potholes and ditches to fall into’. ‘The rally doesn’t start until you get to Mongolia, that’s when your car will break down for sure’. Vanessa reckons the scariest bit will be the dreaded D915 in Turkey, The Death Road, reckoned on being one of the scariest roads on the planet: ’66 miles of 26 hairpins, going from sea level to 7,600m. This road has humbled many egos.’ Sage advice on bribery suggests entrants take a fistful of American dollars, the universal currency. Some of the central European authorities have been known to expect discreet incentives to expedite easy progress. The rally has a focus on fundraising. Each entrant pays a thousand pounds to enter, which goes to support the Cool Earth charity. In addition, Barry and Vanessa are raising funds for NZ Age Concern, a charity that is often overlooked, but worthy of support in their opinion. Their target is to exceed $4,000, with your support it will be more. Their website: www.meiringstomongolia2020.com tells about the crazy venture. To donate, go to www.givealittle.com and find the Meirings to Mongolia page where you can help them realise their dream. The Ōtaki Mail is sponsoring the Meirings in their mad venture. Barry and Vanessa have promised regular updates on their mad venture. We will report on the outcome when they arrive back in September.

signatures for his expressway petition

The new guy (pardon the pun) replacing Nathan Guy, is a standout character. At 195 centimetres (6 Feet 4 ½ inches) Tim Costley, towers head and shoulders above most of the voters he is trying to woo and win. When I caught up with him in Levin, he was wielding a

The Candidate profile on Tim Costley is the first of a series we will be running on our Ōtaki electoral choices as we advance to the 2020 General Election. Mongol Rally: the proposed route: 26 countries (25 if Iran is being difficult)


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ōtaki's eighth kite festival promises to be the biggest and best 2020 is the eighth annual Ōtaki Kite Festival, which has grown to be the Kāpiti Coast’s biggest visitor event. Up to 20,000 people are expected at the festival, coming from around the country and overseas. The festival is a free event, so visitors can bring the whole family to browse the stalls, go for a swim, watch the spectacular kites and entertainment, ride the kite buggy, buy some kites or bring their own kites to fly.


Several hundred metres of the beach is cordoned off for the show kites. Kites of all shapes and sizes fill the sky each day (weather permitting). Kite enthusiasts from throughout the country and overseas will be flying within the cordon. Among them are Peter Lynn Kites, an Ashburton kite maker famous for its huge show kites, often created in the shape of whales, fish, animals and mythical creatures. Flyers from Australia include Robert Brasington with his large original single platform designs, Tony Rice with his wonderful kite flying eco stories and the Phoenix Kite Collective, which will have several dazzling demonstrations of stunt kites flying to music with accompanying commentary. This year Ōtaki is part of the NZ Kite Tour; a group of international flyers from Germany, The Netherlands, England and China are travelling the country. They promise a range of large show kites not seen in this part of the world before. The public is invited to bring their own kites to fly on the beach, which has plenty of free space outside of the cordon. Kites

and festival merchandise are for sale at the information tent. There are great vantage points on the grassed area overlooking the beach and plenty of beach space to wander outside the flying cordons. People are welcome to bring deckchairs and there is plenty of space to picnic.


A wide variety of food trucks, coffee carts and craft stalls will be set up along the area overlooking the beach; something for everyone and every budget.


While the focus is obviously on the fantastic kites in the air there are also kites down on the sand for young children to interact with. There’s also the Harcourts Big Dig; an opportunity each day for children to dig to discover a great prize. The weekend’s entertainment will include local professional musicians, Taiko drummers and a demonstration by the Ōtaki Surf Life Saving Club (Sunday).

Phoenix Kite Collective

The Phoenix Kite Collective from Queensland will be flying stunt kites to music in three performances each day - how do they not end up in a tangled

mess on the sand! See phoenixkitecollective.com

Ōtaki Beach

The beach is one of New Zealand’s best, with expansive stretches of sand that make it the perfect venue for kite flying. Visitors can swim in the sea, safely overseen by surf lifeguards who patrol the beach and keep a lookout from the surf club building. It also has good fishing and safe boat launching. The beach is bounded by the Ōtaki River to the south and Waitohu Stream to the north.

Getting there

Turn west at the BP roundabout on SH1 and continue directly through Ōtaki township to the beach. Free parking is available at the beach, but it will be busy. Please take care with children if you need to cross the road. Coming from the south; look for the signs immediately after the bridge to bypass the main highway traffic through the shops.

The Festival Organisers

The Ōtaki Kite Festival is organised by the Ōtaki Promotions Group Inc, a voluntary organisation, and has one paid part-time coordinator. Kāpiti Coast District Council supports the kite festival

through the Major Events Fund. Other funding financial assistance comes from Wellington Community Trust, New Zealand Community Trust and Creative Communities. Funds raised from festival activities - merchandise sales and stall charges - are invested back into the community through OPG activities (Ōtaki Community Expo, business network meetings etc).

Social Media

Catch all the latest updates on our social media channels Facebook: Ōtaki Kite Festival Twitter and Instagram: otakikite

Programme 10 - 10.30 10.30--11 11 - noon 11.30 - noon 11.45 - noon noon - 12.30 12.30 - 1.30 1 - 1.30 1.30 - 2 2 - .2.30 3.30 - 4 5pm

Karakia Taiko Drummers (Saturday) Harcourt's Big Dig Phoenix Collective Ōtaki Surf Lifesaving demonstration (Sunday) Tui-Tahere-Katene and James Stent (Saturday) Kapa Haka (Ōtaki College) Sunday Rokkaku Business Challenge Taiko Drummers (Saturday) Phoenix Collective Seven Wonders - Fleetwood Mac tribute band Phoenix Collective close


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

ABC - Authors’ Book Corner - Kim Hunt Musical Muse - Carylann Martin BY ANN CHAPMAN Another Ōtaki local is set to release her latest book. Kim Hunt who has lived in Ōtaki since 2004 has had a lifelong relationship with the town. She holidayed here with her parents and siblings as a child. Now she and her mother are back here and loving our rich cultural community. She lived in Australia for 25 years, the setting of her novel, The Beautiful Dead, completing two degrees while there. The first was a BA in Communications from UTS in Sydney, where you could choose to major in a variety of mediums including TV and Film. She chose writing. ‘It’s a portable skill,’ she says. ‘All you need is a pen and paper and time. None of which costs much, unlike the expense of making a movie.’ ‘My first tutor was very encouraging and supportive. I was on my way.’ Her second degree, was a Master of Letters in Creative Writing at The University of Sydney. Her novel, published by Bloodhound Books, was picked up after her first inquiry. She has been published in various anthologies and written in the literary journals Overland and Southerly. And along the way she has had many lives as a band roadie, a DJ, a tiler, horticulturist and women’s refuge worker. In between time she is restoring a 1976 Triumph car.

‘The Beautiful Dead’ is a fine book. I read it in two days and tells the story of an amateur sleuth, hunting down the murderer of a friend. Kim is comfortable in the Australian outback which is why the setting seems real to the reader. Cal, her central character is a ‘can-do’ ranger in the outback, not sociable but a loner. She finds a body, a man she’s known in the past. She becomes a suspect and then a sleuth to prove her innocence. Her personal history follows her. And she finds love in an unlikely place. Does she prevail in her quest and in her new love? To find out you’ll have to read the book. Published by Bloodhound Books in soft cover and ebook formats and for release this month. Available from Amazon. Price 99p ebook, £8.99 paperback.

Energise Ōtaki’s Seminar Series 2020 First Topic: Future Transport Fuels 2020 is the third year that Energise Ōtaki is running a seminar series celebrating local solutions to energy or energy related environmental challenges. All are welcome to attend, and you are also welcome to stay on for general discussion of projects being undertaken or supported by Energise Ōtaki. The 2020 Seminar Series starts on Wednesday February 12, at 6pm and the special topic will be Future Transport Fuels, presented by local resident Simon Arnold, CEO of New Zealand’s National Energy Research Institute. Transport affects all of us. Over 50% of New Zealand’s fossil fuel use is in transport, and while we are lucky to have considerable room to expand our clean electricity generation to service Electric Vehicles (EVs), batteries have their limitations when it comes to long haul land, sea, and air. Aotearoa’s physical isolation makes us particularly exposed in sea and air. Simon will outline the main future fuel options: reducing emissions from fossil fuels, clean hydrogen, better batteries and charging, and biofuels – gas and liquid. But none of these options are clear cut in New Zealand, and all will probably cost more. Simon will share what we need to be doing now to help move forward in the various modes - highlighting often overlooked and very promising opportunities from the demand side. In April there will be a presentation of research that is being undertaken by Nufuels Ltd., an Ōtaki based clean

energy business, looking at the potential for an integrated waste to energy system for waste at the Ōtaki Transfer Station. It includes extraction of energy from plastics and tyres and conversion to useful fuels (such as electricity generation), gas production from food waste and some residual organic wastes, battery storage (alongside solar energy production at the solar farm), an energy management system, and possible delivery of thermal energy to surrounding businesses. It involves looking at energy balances and the overall economics of such an approach. You are invited to come to both these interesting discussions the 2nd Wednesday of February and April, at 6pm at the Gertrude Atmore Supper Room. If you have any questions, please email Sara on info@energise.otaki.net.nz. After the discussion Energise Ōtaki will have updates from volunteers and the committee about current Ōtaki projects such as the Ōtaki Curtain Bank, Ōtaki Bike Space, etc. All welcome and encouraged to attend – we would love to see you there. Dates for Your Calendar: ● Wednesday, 12 February, 6pm – 7pm : Simon Arnold, Future Transport Fuels ● Wednesday, 8 April, 6pm – 7pm: Regen, an Integrated Waste to Energy Project for the Ōtaki Transfer Station.

A New Monthly Series Featuring Ōtaki Musicians BY ANN CHAPMAN

I caught up with Carylann in her motor home on a blustery Ōtaki Beach, fresh from the Marton Country Music Festival. She’s been part of Ōtaki’s music scene since her son was at Te Horo School in 1993. He’s now about to be married after proposing to his girlfriend on stage after her latest performance at Marton. She’s a Taranaki girl, born in Stratford, and grew up in Opunake. Music has always been an important part of her. She remembers playing on her Nan’s piano as a toddler, but it wasn’t till she was about nine that she had any formal lessons. Her early life was dominated by music and dance. She won many scholarships for ballet and tap. The sight, in a piano shop, of a green piano accordion in a purple velvet case, on the way to a dance scholarship inspired her interest in yet another instrument - she already had a ukelele, guitar and piano! Her mother bought it for her as a birthday present and she taught herself to play it. By age 17 she was teaching dance; ballet, tap, and modern jazz, performing and touring with a dance theatre group, but a turning point came when her dad died of motor neurone disease when she was 18. She left Taranaki and ended up in Queenstown. While working in a bar where she occasionally played the piano, musician Reg McTaggart said, ‘Come and play in my band.’ She did, and played with ‘Kawarau County’ all over the lower South Island starting her musical career in earnest. It was she said, ‘My spiritual awakening as a person and musician.’ She left after four years because she wanted to grow as a musician, came back to her roots in Taranaki and joined up with the original band Banana Republic and moved to Auckland with them. Her nomadic feet starting itching again. She yearned to be able to write her own music but before she could get to London she needed a teacher for theory. After three months she passed grade eight – no mean feat for a musical illiterate. Her London years were spent learning at the feet of David Hamilton a classical musician. She got married, had a son and taught dance while there. She moved back to Raumati in 1989 and thence to Ōtaki where she has been based ever since albeit moving around New Zealand from gig to gig in her motor home. Te Horo School Her son went to Te Horo School and as a school mum Carylann started singing with the juniors and then with the whole school, also teaching the keyboard and choreographing school productions. She was there for 15 years building up the musical ability of hundreds of kids, and teaching them the joys of music. Ōtaki College Performing Arts Department She attended a meeting called in 2004 by then Principal John Kane who wanted to establish a department of performing arts. She helped establish it and became their first teacher. It encompasses all the performing arts, music, drama and dance. She has taught singing at Ōtaki since 1999 as well as teaching at Waiopehu College. Ōtaki Music Centre. Twelve years ago she took over managing the Ōtaki Music Centre (a partly government funded programme) with three tutors. Every year in February they take registrations; over 100 children apply, but not all can be accommodated. Year 7 & 8 students are prioritised as it’s their last chance to learn music before college. The centre delivers 75 lessons per week and the students work towards a concert at the end of Term 3. Lessons are affordable at just $50 a year per class and the kids learn ukulele, guitar, drums, keyboard and voice.

There will be notices in the February school newsletters with details of the registration day at Ōtaki College on February 25th. Travelling Road Show Seven years ago she sold her house and bought a mobile home. She describes herself as an itinerant teacher and teaches singing and keyboard. Her gypsy lifestyle means she’s free to travel to gigs all over the country, to all the major country and blues festivals. She feels safe in her home and loves the freedom of her lifestyle. It is an efficient way for her to practice her craft. Her little home is self-sufficient and has room enough for her to store her keyboard, accordions, and all the other accoutrements of modern living. Lindale Studio She is involved with the recording studio at Lindale, Audiosuite, where she records her albums with Ross McDermott who is a sound engineer, a talented instrumentalist and producer. She has just recorded her fourth CD called True Stories. This includes a song about her grandfather who she only recently found out played the mandolin. It is available via her website at www.carylann.nz She is often joined by other local musicians and was a member of the band Henpicked with Dean Murray, Anje Glindemann and Kirsten London. Over six years Henpicked produced three albums, music videos, TV and festival performances, live on RNZ. She has been earning her living from music for over 30 years and has won two Gold Guitar Awards. One was with the band Legal Tender for ‘Best Group’, and the other she won for the ‘Traditional Section’. Currently Carylann performs solo, in a duo with Paul Schreuder, and with ‘The Gypsies’. Her music is refreshing, country bluesy and fun. She is one of Ōtaki’s musical treasures.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Take What You Need, Share What You Can – Ōtaki’s Free Food Pantry BY ANN CHAPMAN Some newcomers to Ōtaki are making their mark already. Fresh from Foxton, last September they decided to continue a community initiative they were involved with up there. Karen and David Higgie along with Kerryanne Miller have started a community food pantry at 22 County Road. They were volunteers for Te Awahou Kai in Foxton and the Ōtaki pantry is modelled on that. The kaupapa is simple – kindness, Manaakaitanga. When they first arrived here they were bored and needed something to do and they considered that the value of kindness was important to them and so with the help of their landlord who donated a fridge along with a second one from Foxton’s Te Awahou Kai, they started stocking up the pantry. The free food pantry has been up and running successfully for seven weeks now and in the main has been well received and respected by users. People come and people go. They may donate or they may take depending what their need is. It’s been raided, where everything went and vandalised where tomato sauce has been tipped over everything but in the main people have respected the kaupapa.

And now this

It is used for when there is a need and not for supplying the weekly grocery requirements. One donor, Shevington Farm, supplied them with 21 trays of eggs with a five week expiry date. ‘That has been invaluable, and we thank them for their generosity.’ When people donate bulk items we break them down into meal size portions.. We keep supplies of bags, everything is packaged. We have a heat sealer for plastic bags, and we wear latex gloves when handling food. I have a Food Safety Certificate, so everything is clean and tidy.’ ‘We use fridges so there is no risk of food contamination. Critters can’t get at the food.’ ‘It’s a pity that there is a need,’ says Karen. ‘We are delighted that we along with the community can help those in need.’ Nothing goes to waste. Any veges which wilt get given to their breeding Guinea pigs. ‘Turnover is pretty quick though. We restock it about three times a day.’ ‘And we’re here to stay, no matter what. If the panty gets raided or vandalised we’ll just pick ourselves up and carry on.’

To everyone’s disgust, some idiots overturned the fridges one night. Fortunately, goodwill prevailed, and a neighbour has now secured the fridges so this can’t happen again. The Ōtaki Mail applauds the kindness of Karen and David Higgie and Kerryanne Miller. The thoughtless idiots who spoilt this wonderful gesture should be ashamed of themselves

A Very Modern Ministry BY MARGARET ANDREWS Reverends Simon and Jessica Falconer, who live in the Ōtaki vicarage now share their time between two parishes. In a new approach for the Anglican Church, the parishes of Ōtaki and Levin will share the ministry of co-ministers. They both lead worship services at the various churches around the parishes, conducting weddings and funerals, when called upon and assisting with the numerous weekly events, visitors and people at the door. In Ōtaki, Simon is very popular with the weekly preschool mainly music programme. “I love mainly music - the young parents, and the love shown to the children by the older women who lead the programme, and who provide the home baked morning teas. I love weddings and funerals, people talk about earlier times and happenings.” He was a member of the Life Point Church in Wellington, which offered internships opportunities for learning and studying the bible. “God spoke to me there. I ran Simon and Jessica Falconer, away to Auckland for a year co-ministers, in All Saints Church Ōtaki with Eli and and then went back to the same Sam. church,” he said. “I had a real She is currently completing St John’s call for this Kapiti area. In 2017 three College papers and will become a deacon young men were killed in a car crash. The in the Anglican Church in November older of the two brothers was one of my 2021 and be ordained a priest a year later. employees. I took the funeral service for the brothers and this confirmed my calling Simon became a deacon in 2018 and worked St Paul ‘s Church Waiwhetu, to the ministry.” Lower Hutt until moving to Ōtaki in Much of his practical education for September last year. He was ordained a ministry, he said, came through running priest in November. He is completing his his own business. “To be a good three year St John’s College paper, too. communicator you need to be a people Besides caring for their two sons, Sam 10 person; the idea is to get people to work and Eli eight, and two labradoodles, with you and to work with other people.” Jessica is a published children’s author, After 20 years in IT and computer work it her first book about a girl child’s was time to answer the call to the church. “meltdown” at school on finding she was He’d left school at 16, tried a few early the only one not invited to a birthday work endeavours then finally completed a party and how to cope with emotions and “bridging” course at Wellington College a feelings. year later. This was followed by a two The church is changing, numbers are year IT (Information Technology) course down, income is also, and many parishes which gave him his first job in the cannot afford to pay a full time stipend. Ministry of Health. The two parishes of Ōtaki and Levin have “I was more ready for it by then joined together to co-fund the role. “We, (education and learning) and did well,” he the church, are no longer at the centre of said. He also worked for TelstraClear and life in any sized community. We live in a Syease - a database company, before secular age, but people are still asking the starting his own fulltime business in 2011, same old, same old questions, about faith looking after applications and computer and church. support for companies. “We built this up “Wellington Diocese is an exciting place and today have 13 staff and a good to be. We have an exciting bishop and management team, it ticks along, and this plenty of challenges with elderly allows Jessica and me to work for the congregations and limited finances. I church.” think , we’re developing reality Jessica took a different pathway, studied, communities, where loneliness is a big gained her law degree and worked as a problem for many elderly. The church has lawyer. She was the “party girl”. One day to rediscover hospitality. The early a workmate invited her to come and listen churches were hospitable to interchurch to her sing at her church. “I had a and interclass - all age groups and transforming encounter which led me into everyone the same. If we keep on talking faith about 16 years ago. I dropped about our differences we will just go partying and later met Simon at Ngatiawa, around in circles. Christianity has a and we were married three years later,” fantastic philosophy, which is true.” she said.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Festival of Pots and Garden Art BY VIVIENNE BAILEY AND MARGARET ANDREWS Summer finally arrived in Otaki, perfectly timed for the opening of the Festival of Pots and Garden Art. Blue skies and hot temperatures greeted hordes of visitors to Otaki Pottery Club’s 11th festival held at Anam Cara, Rangiuru Road. “It’s been incredibly busy. The opening night saw three times the amount of artwork sold, well up from previous years,” said Rod Graham, long-time member of Otaki Pottery Club. The four hectares of well-maintained, English-style gardens were a perfect foil for the array of local and national artwork exhibited (although many works were also displayed in Anam Cara’s Conference Centre). Guest artists included Debbie Pointon, Bruce Walford and Fiona Tunnicliffe. The nine day fundraising festival also featured a range of demonstrations (sculpture, wheel and hand pottery, blacksmithing, woodworking) which drew interested crowds, and provided an opportunity for potters and artists to showcase their skills.

The Guardians created by Linda Fookes Savell, will enhance any corner of your garden, while the Peacock Birdbaths will add colour and bird life too.

Two of Ōtaki potter, Rod Graham’s brilliant blue watercatchers and Pamella Annsouth’s Frodo Planter wall pot, were among the many exhibits available for purchase.

Chris Dunn is a Wellington-based ceramic artist creating high-fired ceramics decorated with a mosaic of glazes, under-glaze and lustre. His artwork also includes pit-fired ceramics with colours from seaweed, corn, leaves, banana skins, salt and materials that reflect the diversity of New Zealand’s natural environment.

Opening the festival, Irene Mackle, pictured above with husband Ray, was guest speaker on behalf of Philipp Family Foundation. She talked of Robin Philipp’s interest in education. His Foundation has given nearly $60,000 dollars to build two classrooms at the pottery club’s new centre at the Ōtaki Maori Racing Club; where the pottery club will be moving over the next few months. The classrooms are primarily for teaching the many different clay arts. “There are so many skills and talents exhibited … you can see here the talents of the people,” Irene said at the festival’s evening opening ceremony. “Thank you so much for bringing such joy to everyone, I declare this festival open,”

Manawatu-based guest artist Bruce Walford is an accomplished ceramic and design artist. Born in South Africa, he studied under world-renowned ceramicist, Federico Fabbrini. Establishing studios and practising his craft in Florence, Edinburgh, Cape Town and Noosa, Bruce revels in the creative freedom ceramics allows to produce fresh, free-form, asymmetrical statement pieces and tableware. Paper clay is a favourite medium to work with, and his work often includes variations on a boat theme – from waka to elaborate house-boats.

Ōtaki-based potter Margaret Hunt at work on her wheel

Debbie Pointon from Paraparaumu, multi-media artist and guest exhibitor, stands alongside her Theatre of Dreams, an “art doll assemblage” created from an old wall clock case. She describes herself as a multi-disciplinary artist as her pieces cover painting, pottery, clay, sculpture, printmaking. For accents she uses gold leaf highlights on her clay work and silver highlights on her paintings. “The work I do is not ‘contained’. I don’t have boundaries and use various techniques,” she said. Over the last five years she has begun working on box art – taking boxes of all shapes and sizes including old second-hand wall clocks, clock cases, and creates a story around them. “I love what I do, love the challenges of the multi-media – it kind of evolves - because I can call on these other skills to complete what I’m working on.” She admits she is no good at repeating her works, so there’s no two identical pieces. She driven by challenge and learning new techniques. “It’s about art – it has a big part to play in peoples’ mental health.” When not working in her studio, she’s working with clients in the forensic and psychiatric rehabilitation services, using different mediums and styles.

Warren Baillie shows a group of interested spectators his blacksmithing skills.

Another Bruce Walford piece

Guardians of the Garden’ by Wanganuibased Helen Hunt. “Every Guardian is a unique individual designed to keep cheerful watch over your garden.”

Award winning ceramic artist, Fiona Tunnicliffe has been a full time potter for 30 years, making animals in various forms. Her pieces are enhanced by the textures, patterns, text and relief work she applies to the sculptures’ coat and shape.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Gardening with Garden tasks for February Flower garden

Continue picking your roses, dead heading when necessary, and keep a look out for pests and diseases – hot, humid weather encourages both so you may need to spray. Keep well watered in preparation for winter pruning. Early summer bulbs such as anemone, ranunculus, tulips and daffodils arrive in garden centres and stores this month and can be planted out in both flower beds, work through some blood and bone before planting, or in pots. If the tops have died away on your gladioli it’s time to lift them and clean off soil. To keep bulbs in good condition for the following season store in a dry place and dust with Flowers of Sulphur to control mildew and mites. As perennials finish flowering remove spent flowers to encourage further blooming. Sow seeds of alyssum, wallflower, candytuft, arcotis, stock, dianthus, larkspur, snapdragon, nigelia, honesty, bellis, godetia, linaria, pansy, nemesia, cornflower, lobelia, scabiosa, polyanthus, aquilegia and lupin. Plant out in the garden and in containers – cornflower, linaria, alyssum, wallflower, viola, lupin, sweet pea, pansy, stock and primula.

Fruit and vegetable garden

Pick your fruit and veg every day to encourage late production, especially peas, beans, eggplant, cucumbers and courgettes (before they turn into marrows), and water if conditions are dry.

Sweet corn is ready for harvesting when tassels start to dry. Keep planting for crops of late summer lettuce and herbs. It’s too late to plant tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers and peppers unless you have a greenhouse. Remove and compost any plants that have finished producing or have become diseased. Continue to keep citrus well watered. Trim leaves away from grapes to expose fruit to sun for ripening – use bird netting to protect from birds. Continue picking mid season pip and stone fruit, berries and citrus. Sow seeds of winter vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beetroot, winter lettuce, brussel sprouts, spinach, carrots, leeks and silverbeet. Plant out seedlings of leeks, cabbage, celery, spinach, cauliflower, silver beet and brussel sprouts.


Keep lawns well watered in preparation for autumn re-sowing.

Second thoughts

Check container plants constantly – they dry out rapidly and will quickly succumb under such conditions. Regular watering, at least three times a week, is essential for the survival of your potted plants – vigilance pays off.

Focus on European plums The hardy plum is an attractive tree and the most easily grown of our stone fruits, fruiting well even with a lack of attention, and providing sufficient fruit for you and your neighbours – as well as the local bird population. Synonymous with our long summer holidays, most plum varieties stem from two species, the Japanese plum, ‘Prunus salicuna’ and the European, ‘P. domestica.’ European plums have a long history of cultivation, and include the small, tart-tasting damson (English plum), a great jam-making plum and superb for chutneys and pickles, bottling, desserts and damson gin. The ovalshaped fruit has blue-black skin and yellow-green flesh - they can be eaten straight from the tree if left until just about to fall. Although plums grow best in fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of additional compost, they will happily tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. An annual dressing of dolomite lime is of great benefit, especially on heavy soils. Growth habits vary between the two species – the Japanese plum is a slightly larger, more pendulous tree than its cousin, which has an upright habit and flowers later in the season. The European plum is not so vigorous and more thought and care is required when developing their framework, but thereafter pruning consists of shortening leading laterals by about 60cm and removing all inward-facing and crossing shoots. Their fruit is generally smaller and more variable in colour, like the little greengage, a versatile wee plum that “tastes like pure nectar.” Great-tasting straight from the tree, the fruit is also good for jam and desserts. ‘Reine Claude de Bavay’ is a self-fertile greengage plum widely grown in France, but is in fact a heritage plum from Belgium, dating back to 1832. The attractive green fruit is full of flavour and highly aromatic. Worth the wait is the late-cropping ‘Coe’s Golden Drop,’ a golden, deliciously-flavoured fruit that prefers a sunny,

sheltered position to do really well – it can be pollinated with greengage or ‘Reine Claude de Bavay.’ An early-eating European plum, ‘Angela Burdett,’ is a small to medium-sized, dark purple fruit with rich, sweet, yellow-green flesh. Mostly self-fertile it can be planted with a greengage to improve pollination.



Whether you eat them straight from your tree, or in sauces, bottled, frozen, in jams or jellies, plums are a good source of healthpromoting minerals, such as iron, fluoride and potassium, and contain vitamins A, C and B – they’re also a favourite with children. If you have room in your garden for a few trees (dwarf cultivars are often available), then you can enjoy fresh plums from Christmas until the end of March.


European plum


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

the Ōtaki Mail

BY VIVIENNE BAILEY viv.bailey@xtra.co.nz

Flamboyant summer colour

Nature’s beauty products Most of us understand the health benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables – all those wonderful antioxidants, valuable vitamins and minerals, and nutrients such as co enzyme 10, selenium, potassium and zinc. However, not many of us realise fruit, and vegetables such as the humble spud, can be used as inexpensive, healthy beauty products.

slice and gently slide it over the affected area – the cooling effect feels wonderful on hot, burning skin. Malic acid is also found in strawberries, and when combined with baking soda, the fruit can reputedly be used as a natural tooth-cleanser, buffing away wine and coffee stains (be careful not to use too often though – the acid could damage the enamel on your teeth – and you may need to floss to get rid of strawberry seeds).

Potato juice contains bleaching agents, and a rest for 20 minutes or so with cotton wool balls soaked in the juice will help alleviate dark circles under the eyes. Cucumber has a wide range of uses. The juice from this grated vegetable is useful, applied to the eyes in the same way as potato. It helps to shrink dilated blood vessels and reduce the appearance of puffy eyes. Cucumbers are also loaded with lots of nutrients like water, potassium, sulfate and vitamins A and C that sooth skin conditions such as sunburn. And for something different – try rubbing a slice of cucumber along your bathroom’s misted-up mirror – it’s thought to eliminate fog and “provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.”

Mashed banana is one of the first foods we introduce to baby – it’s loaded with vitamin A and potassium, but it serves double duty for grown-ups. The natural oils in a mashed overripe banana work perfectly as a skin softener, while the vitamin A helps heal damage on cracked, dry skin. All those nutrients in bananas are also good news for your hair - they improve the condition and elasticity, preventing split ends and breakages.

Eating a slice of watermelon is sweetly cooling on a hot summer’s day, but it’s also believed to prevent sunburn from peeling. Watermelon is filled with malic acid, which stops skin from peeling and promotes healing. Put a few slices in the fridge, let them cool down, then take a

Finally, for a useful garden tip (that really works): don’t throw away those bits of banana skin – simply place underneath your favourite rose bush – the skins will quickly decompose and supply the soil and plant with a boost of health-giving nutriment.

Canna lilies certainly aren’t the quiet, demure residents of our summer gardens. Instead, they flash bold foliage and blowsy, gaudy flowers through many parts of the country, particularly those with consistently warm summers. They’re members of the huge ginger family, which also includes bananas, heliconias, marantas and strelitzias (bird of paradise) – all pretty free-flowering, flamboyant characters. Cannas are generally trouble-free – you can even ignore them, but if you take trouble over them, you’ll be rewarded (they will respond enthusiastically to a mulch of compost). Most like a rich, moist soil, and regular attention to grooming keeps them looking good. Remove spent stems at ground level as soon as flowers finish because they start to die at that stage, and clumps begin to look tatty and unattractive. Foliage becomes brown and withered in winter and the plant dies down. This is the time to cut the entire clump back to ground level, although in colder areas frost does much of this job. It’s also the time to divide and replant any overcrowded clumps, usually done every two to three years, depending on the vigour of your variety.

Although most canna breeding has been aimed at creating spectacular, large flowers, some have been bred for dramatically coloured foliage, such as the brightly-striped ‘Tropicanna,’ and the red-flowering ‘Australia’ with its matching rich, brown-red leaves. Some gardeners dismiss cannas for being too large and greedy for space, but there are also low growing varieties like ‘Tropical White’ a mere 30cm, pretty ‘China Pink’ grows to 50cm high and cheerful, scarlet and gold ‘Queen Charlotte’ grows to only about 1m. There’s also a dwarf hybrid ‘Eric’ which has bronze foliage and soft pink flowers. It grows to 30cm, but can also be used as a ground cover. If you want dramatic height, try varieties like the nodding canna (Canna iridiflora ‘Ehemannii’), with pendulous, bell-like, watermelon-pink flowers, growing to 2.5m tall, or the striking ‘Pfitzer’s Stadt Fellbach’ – 3m from base to flower tip, with large, loose heads of apricot-pink shading to cream-yellow at the flower centre. For another 3m giant there’s ‘Grande’, grown for its bold, red-green leaves.


Watermelon Salad: a Taste of Summer

For a taste of summer that’s easy, fills you with delight try this. It’s our go-to recipe for summer. It’s quick to make, easy on the eye and delicious. Any quantities to suit of: • avocado • watermelon • red onion • feta. Chop up and mix together then season with salt and black pepper, pour over some Kapiti Olive Oil & lemon juice and mix again. Eat as a side dish or even as a main.

Queen Charlotte

Cannas are ravenous feeders, and like all the ginger family, are greedy growers that enjoy heavy feeding in spring and summer to ensure the clump remains vigorous and at its most attractive (growers recommended digging out your clump every three years and starting again elsewhere from small pieces because the soil will be exhausted).

Tropicana gold


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Pied Stilt doesn’t know where to nest, but KCDC knows how to help BY LLOYD CHAPMAN Penny Kerr-Hislop was exercising her dogs on Ōtaki beach, near the Waitohu stream, when she came upon a pied stilt, nesting in the sand. Cellphone at the ready, she rang the Ōtaki Mail: “who do I call to protect this poor bird?” I phoned Belinda our beach correspondent, only to find she was on holiday in Australia. Her advice: “call Sue McIntosh, she’s a beach guardian.” Meanwhile a text to K Gurunathan, set KCDC staff in motion. Next morning, Lloyd, Sue and Penny met KCDC Ops manager Tony Martin at the beach. Tony lives nearby, and within minutes had dug holes and installed a

temporary post barrier to protect the nesting Pied Stilt. White tape stretched between posts, and a sign erected by Sue McIntosh completed the impromptu protection for the bird. Sadly it was in vain, and a week later the nest was vacant, the eggs gone. Thanks everyone, it was a valiant attempt to look after our wildlife. The Pied Stilt is a dainty wading bird with very long legs. They inhabit wetlands and salt marshes, nesting on the banks of streams or on the beach. While not endangered, the Pied Stilt is another interesting inhabitant of the beach. Full credit to KCDC for their help.

Tont Martin's impromptu fence to protest the nesting Pied Stilt (inset)

Banded dotterel make a comeback While some of our precious native coastal birds are declining, a survey of 460 kilometres of coastline highlights how banded dotterel are thriving in the Wellington region. Greater Wellington Regional Council have gathered the results of a region-wide coastal bird survey carried out in 2017-18 which shows patterns in the distribution and abundance of coastal birds in our region. The survey, mandated by Maritime New Zealand, saw Wildlife Management International’s Nikki MacArthur and Samantha Ray walk the region’s coastline. With the help of the Department of Conservation and the Greater Wellington Harbours Team, surveys were also done around the off-shore islands. Greater Wellington Senior Environmental Scientist Roger Uys says things are looking up for the banded dotterel. “While the species is nationally and regionally vulnerable, a total of 346 adult banded dotterels were counted during this survey, occupying 58 of the 460 one kilometre sections of coastline surveyed.” Roger says a number of estuaries and river mouths supported local concentrations of banded dotterels including the Waitohu and Ōtaki Estuaries on the west coast, and the Opouawe and Waihingaia River mouths on the east coast. “Local concentrations were also encountered along several stretches of relatively wide shingle or sandy beach, including the Wellington south coast, Fitzroy Bay, Onoke Spit and Riversdale

Beach.” Recent surveys have shown that 344 banded dotterels occupy braided river habitats in the Wairarapa, while a further 38-45 occupy the lower Ōtaki River. “By combining the results of three recent surveys, we can estimate the Wellington region supports a breeding population of 728 banded dotterels.” Sixty-nine bird species were identified during this survey, 51 of which are native or endemic to New Zealand with 25 of those ranked as either Nationally Threatened or At Risk under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair Penny Gaylor says there are some simple things people could do to help prevent the loss of our precious coastal birds. “This includes not driving on beaches in significant bird areas, and supporting predator control across the region. “There was recently an incident at the northern end of Ōtaki beach where a nest was disturbed by people on motorbikes – as a consequence of this, there were three eggs lost. “The report provides Council with an abundance of valuable information and will now be used to review the schedule of Coastal Habitats of Significance for Indigenous Birds in the Natural Resources Plan, as well as to plan and prepare for the risk of marine oil spill,” Cr Gaylor says. The survey has provided a better idea of sensitive areas along the coastline and if there is a significant oil spill, Council will know what sort of wildlife is in each area and where the biggest risks are. Roger says the survey did not pick up on penguin numbers so that is now his next focus. “We are working with local penguin experts and the Department of Conservation to try identify where penguins occur in the region. There are potentially 700 to 1000 penguins around our coastline and we would like to get a better idea of their location and numbers.”

Hut builders on-site in Ōtaki BY BELINDA MCLEAN

with one more to go after Ōtaki, at Paekākāriki community garden. A local writer is associated with each hut. Niko said they are especially excited by the gift of a short story from Ōtaki writer Renée inspired by their driftwood hut. “it’s about a young teen female protagonist—it will be out online in early February, and I can’t wait, it’s such a great story,” said Niko. Kemi and Niko were commissioned in early November by the NZ Arts Festival to undertake the project, called the Urban Hut Club. This leads on from earlier commissions as part of Wellington City Council’s summer art programme, Huts of Wellingtown and Miniature Hikes, where seven miniature huts were built in out-of-the-way wild spots round the city. The Arts Festival is from February 21 till March 15 and will publish a map on its website with specific locations of the huts. More details are at @urbanhutclub on Instagram, or sign up for Kemi and Nico’s newsletter at keminiko.us3. list-manage.com.

Beach-goers to the north of Ōtaki Beach will have been intrigued by a small hut evolving in the dunes over three days at the end of January. It’s the creation of hut-builders Niko Leyden and Kemi Whitwell, who jointly go by the name Kemi Niko & Co. The “Co” stands not for company but for “connective”—their art seeks to make connections and invite public participation. They’ve been building public art-work since 2012, putting installations in outdoor spaces to attract and involve communities. “Our Ōtaki hut is inspired by the tradition of driftwood huts,” said Niko. “We’re extending on that, adding a bit more shelter and experimenting with joinery. We plan to have a weatherproof centre core and will invite oithers to add to it, so the hut will take on its own life. We’ll just put it out there and see how people respond.” The Ōtaki hut is the fourth of five the pair are building on the Kāpiti Coast, all out of salvaged materials, with a sixth “roaming” hut on the back of a trailer. On January 20, when the Ōtaki Mail spoke to them, Niko and Kemi had just finished a long, hot day working on the Paraparaumu hut at Kaitawa reserve. This is a nest-inspired hut of hazel-rods, made with helpers including Kemi’s mother, master-weaver Debbie. Each hut has its own personality, with the creators taking their cues from the ambience of the sites, the materials available, the different writers involved and the people in the reserve groups they have spoken to. The other completed huts Niko, Kemi & daughter Rhea discuss Ōtaki are at Whareroa Farm and Hemi Matenga, Beach hut sites with Lyndsay Knowles,

Chair of Waitohu Dune & Streamcare Group

Learn to build a pizza oven BY FRANK NEILL When the upcoming workshop on how to build a pizza oven takes place in Ōtaki, it will give people an insight into much more than just pizza making. People will certainly learn how to make an outstanding pizza oven at the event, to be held at 35 Ngaio Street, Ōtaki Beach, on Saturday 29 February from 9am to 4pm. They will also receive an introduction into people friendly and environmentally friendly earth building techniques – those used to create such homes as cob cottages, mud brick houses and straw bale homes, to name just a few. The pizza oven building workshop is being run by Ōtaki resident Tom Beauchamp and Blue Forsyth from Foxton. Tom and Blue are both members of the Earth Building Association of New Zealand, an organisation promoting the art and science of earth and natural building. The pizza oven they will build on 29 February will use the same techniques that have been used for centuries now to create houses in many parts of the world. “The more people that have some knowledge about it and are keen to learn, the more we will be able to make our homes not only environmentally friendly, but they

will be healthier as well,” Blue says. Natural earth building techniques have a very much smaller carbon footprint than New Zealand’s more common building techniques, such as timber frame and weatherboard or brick. They also do not cost as much to heat, because they use products with a high thermal mass, and so retain the heat better. And thirdly, there are not the toxins that come off earth built homes, vapours such as formaldehyde. And that is just one of many toxic chemicals that homes commonly put into the air that we breathe. In contrast, homes built using earth building techniques have very little negative impact from toxins. “There are not too many materials on the planet as benign as earth,” Blue notes. “And when you talk about the carbon footprint, earth building is what we should be building,” Tom adds. The money raised will go towards paying for newly updated standards for earth building, which were introduced just before Christmas and which cost many thousands of dollars. With just 200 members, that is a high burden for the Earth Building Association of New Zealand, so it came up with the idea of running workshops to help pay the costs of the new standards. “We were desperate to keep the standards, because people wanted to proceed with earth building without the local council saying ‘no, you can’t do that’,” Blue says. The workshop costs $75. More information from Tom at 012 121 1321, or naturalbuildingotaki@gmail.com.

Blue Forsyth (left) and Tom Beauchamp preparing materials for the upcoming pizza oven workshop in Ōtaki. Schematic plans above


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ngati Raukawa at National Maori Basketball tournament BY PENNY GAYLOR The local Ngati Raukawa Basketball Club have returned from the National Maori Basketball tournament with a sweep of medals and enthusiasm. This year 20 teams travelled to Rotorua for the annual event, with over 200 players from the Ōtaki based club

playing. Among the numerous achievements were the Under 9 and Under 11 boys picking up gold medals, the Under 19 girls and mixed competitive teams picking up silver medals, while the clubs second under 19 girls team bringing home a hard fought bronze medal.

U19 Wāhine Mā - Bronze Medalist U19 Wāhine Grade

Thanks to the generous sponsors

Paxman Taurima

Jamal Mikaio (Hawkes Bay Hawkes - NBL) - Tāne A Grade

Clubs members stayed at Devonwood Motel and Tarukenga Marae. Club organisers Ariana Reweti and Paxman Taurima gave a huge thank you to all the volunteer coaches and managers, and also this year's tournament sponsors, All Area Scaffolding, Te

U15 kōtiro

U9 tama - Gold medalist

U11 tama - Gold Medalist

Wānanga O Raukawa, Gardner Homes, and Concrete Doctors. The National tournament is the largest basketball tournament in New Zealand and the highlight event of the year for most players in the club. The tournament had 241 teams and close to 2,500 players coming together from around the country.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

HUHA -- Helping the Neighbours Help Animals smiles on the local’s faces as they got down to work. Initial distrust, scepticism and previous experiences of previous helpers “just packing up and shooting through” when the going got tough, were forgotten. The disorganised state of affairs after the fire was made apparent, as the HUHA team noticed that the woman running the shelter spent a great deal of time answering a phone in her apron pocket. It was ringing almost continuously with people reporting even more animals requiring help. Our team had already been talking to Vets Beyond Borders (BBV). It is part of an international network which HUHA tapped into. They had numerous qualified Vets wanting and waiting to assist, but with no clear lines of communication on the ground, not much was happening. HUHA set to work to co-ordinate what they believe will be a lasting legacy of their mission -- a well-structured chain of resources, providing swift help for the locals and animals. Sadly, two services that HUHA also identified that as being greatly needed are for licenced shooters and tranquilliser-

BY PHIL WALLINGTON With the bushfires raging across Australia and the reports of several millions of wild creatures, farm animals and domestic pets killed, injured or displaced by the disaster; HUHA – Helping U (you) Help Animals, swung into gear with an international rescue mission to help out across the Tasman. Most kiwis are aware of the good work done by HUHA in New Zealand. But when they arrived in Sydney on January 13th. the Aussies had never heard of them. The emergency response team of 10 volunteers, with specialised skills, was led by HUHA’s founder and driving force, Carolyn Press-McKenzie. She was surprised but not deterred, when they encountered some initial distrust and disbelief from the overworked and overwhelmed Australians. They also

found a state of chaos, which was not being improved by the well-meaning, but disorganized, response from many locals. And the arrival of other overseas volunteers was only adding to the confusion. HUHA started building trust by arriving fully equipped. It was a relief that they would not be adding further strain on already stretched animal rescue and veterinary services. The Kiwis also quickly identified the need for some organisational leadership to eliminate wasteful duplication. HUHA was first on the scene, but soon were joined by other animal rescue groups from Germany and UK. Carolyn Press-McKenzie says they all are benefiting from the plans the New Zealanders began putting in place, soon after they got their feet on the ground. HUHA workers included vets, vet nurses and builders. They brought with them ample supplies and equipment. They even had a kiwi chef to cook for the team and to feed the hungry locals. The NSW

Wildlife council, an umbrella group for animal rescues, directed them to an animal shelter on the south coast about 2.45 hours southy of Sydney. There, they found a family run operation, which was barely coping with the influx of scores of injured and scorched kangaroos and wallabies being bought in for attention. Luckily, the couple and their two sons had “flagged down” a passing mobile vet, who advised and helped them treat some scorched joeys, evicted from the safety of mother’s pouch. The HUHA vets got to work urgently, as the itinerant Aussie vet had returned to his regular employment. The HUHA contingent was well aware of the limited resources left available in the wake of the catastrophe. They brought their own campervan for the team and the cook soon made himself very welcome, as he prepared and plated a pile of tasty vegan meals. While the rest of the crew unpacked their supplies the carpenters and builders began scoping the family’s sanctuary property. There was plenty to rebuild and to repair and there were

Carolyn: watch out for those jaws!

dart gun users. They are needed for the severely injured adult Roos, that can’t be handled safely and to humanely, knock down those with treatable injuries. In New Zealand, HUHA has a “no-kill” policy, which means unwanted animals and those difficult to re-home are not “put to sleep” as a matter of course. Euthanasia is the very last resort for creatures too far gone to be saved. Unlike some other animal welfare groups, HUHA does not simply rely on members of the public observing and reporting on animal cruelty and maltreatment. It is proactive and will send out rescuers to collect distressed, maltreated and injured animals.

As you read this, the (2-week) HUHA emergency Mission to Australia will have just finished. It’s hoped that the compassionate and practical work they put in on the ground, leaves a tangible legacy their wake. It goes without saying, the spirit of kiwi enterprise and ingenuity demonstrated has already strengthened the bonds of kinship that bind so many of us across the distance.

Viki with a baby kangaroo

Most New Zealanders, certainly those in the lower North Island and in Ōtaki, will know of HUHA. Since HUHA was founded by Carolyn Press-McKenzie, more than a decade ago, it has rescued and rehabilitated many animals in need, from ex-circus monkeys to stray dogs. It also provides advice and support for pet owners. HUHA is the incarnation of a life-long, personal ambition of Ms. Press-McKenzie, to help all animals and to raise awareness of their needs. For years, she was also a talented animal-wrangler, training a range of four-legged creatures and birds for major and cameo roles in films and on various TV programmes. In recent times, her passion and drive has created the unique organization which now boasts its own veterinary practice, opportunity shops (including the one on SH1 in Ōtaki) and several animal shelters. HUHA latest project is an ambitious one, building from scratch, a new shelter complex on 63.5 hectares (157 acres) next to the big electricity transformers on Hayward’s Hill. If you wish to help HUHA and the humane treatment of animals… there is a givealittle page: givealittle HUHA rebuild. To contact HUHA: contact.huha@gmail. com There is a facebook page: https://www. facebook.com/HELPREBUILDHUHA/ pics from HUHA via Facebook


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ōtaki Gears Up for Waka Ama World Championships Sprint

Photo credits: Bex Cowan

BY TE KIIRA OSBORNE Te Rangahuia Henare, pictured left, will be part of an Ōtaki Waka Hoe squad which beat huge odds to qualify for the 2020 IVF World Elite and Club Sprint Championships. The event is being held in Hilo, Hawaii from August 15-23. OWH had two teams who qualifed from last week’s national Championships at Lake Karāpiro, our J16 team Aumangea and J19 women Koroki. Henare will look to continue her dominance in the J16 women’s single in which she has won the Hoetonga regional title and national gold medal for her age group and now has her eye on a podium finish in Hilo. Henare will also line up in the talented Aumangea team for the Under 16 women's 500m and 1000m races, alongside Kaia Pollock, Georgia Ropiti, Phoenix Schwalger, Charlize Seng Maru and Pounamu MacKay. They secured a fourth placing in both races at last week’s national competition – finishing well within the top six cut-off to qualify for World championship spots. Korokī is the team who will represent Ōtaki in the Under 19 women’s 500m. Jasmine Ratapu, Wikitoria Doyle, Miah Cooper, Hinerau Henare-Taiapa, Isabella Parkinson and Fern Thompson are hugely experienced waka ama performers; snatching a ferociously contested bronze medal in the discipline at the recent National Championships. Marcus Thompson will lead the Adaptive challenge after enjoying another outstanding year. The 2018 Māori Sportsperson with a Disability winner claimed another gold medal at the 2020 National Championships at Karāpiro. Thompson and Jacque Courtier earned places in the New Zealand Elite Adaptive contingent. Ōtaki Waka Hoe Trust Head Coach Ngahuia Henare said: “The World

Championships are the pinnacle event for waka ama athletes all over the globe, presenting an opportunity for young people in our community to compete at the highest levels without having to move away from their families and homes.” “This year we will be calling on everyone to support our athletes as we work to raise the funds required to access the training and performance specialists who are now part and parcel of the bigger waka ama world champion club campaigns. "We look forward to seeing our representatives test themselves on the water. We know they will represent Ōtaki and our code with everything they have in them,” said Ngahuia. Ōtaki’s Korokī 500m team, pictured below in action during the Nationals at Lake Karapiro. The club stayed at Rawhitiroa Marae.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Supporting Global Bees PENNY KERR-HISLOP It’s a heady time for beekeepers in New Zealand. Helicopters are being sent out to the remote hills behind Whanganui, Taupo and Rotorua to bring in the hives for honey extraction. One commercial concern had 4,000 hives to bring in by ‘copter last weekend from its Taupo sites alone and breaths will be bated waiting to see if the liquid Manuka gold has flowed. Like any primary industry, there are flow on effects if the harvest is poor or if the payouts are low. The scale of investment into Manuka extraction has been enormous and the industry has taken two big hits recently. One has been the new quality assurance legislation that has indirectly led to Australia muscling in on the Manuka market as they are not required to certify their Manuka in the same way as us. The other hit is the loss of a large part of the Chinese market through the contamination of our honey with synthetics by an Auckland businessman rendering our NZ product less than trustworthy. Our biggest Manuka trading partner is now the United States. These are two external hits that haven’t helped the normal boom or bust flowering cycles of the Manuka plant. So, we see the corporatisation of beekeeping with smaller concerns being subsumed by the big players. The hive numbers are huge, the infrastructure enormous, and the race is on to make the investment pay. Such is the pressure on the industry that they must maintain a very high quality of queens. These dames are expected to bust their britches and lay from the get-go at the start of spring. Two to three thousand eggs a day and don’t you dare stop, let alone slow down. The hives need to expand at a rate of knots and be split and split and then sent out to forage for the liquid gold. Repositioned in the manuka hills.

Penny’s piece

Congratulations to Max Lutz who was voted to be the new Chair of the Community Liaison Group for the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway project. Having worked along side Max for the past 12 years in his role as Chair of the Friends of the Ōtaki River , I know he’s a good pick to get things done. And I’m pleased to have now been invited on to the Group. Given there is only 17 months left until the Expressway is completed and opened, the window of opportunity is narrowing to get some community input in to some of the ‘finishing’ elements, especially

So, how do you “requeen” 10,000 hives each year or two with quality queens? The answer is that you employ your own queen breeder who produces the best possible quality mated queens for the hives. But in order to keep the “herd” strong and productive, the queen rearers need new genetic stock. Just like in dairy farming you get your herd inseminated or buy a new bull every few years, so it is with our queens. And this is one way to do it. High in the Mountain Province in the Philippines is a small village called Bila, Bauko. The people of this village are rice farmers. Clambering up and down the steepest rice terraces in the world, these

fiercely independent, strong people raise their kids to work hard. Each family has a few plots scattered across the terraces. A visit to each plot would be the equivalent to climbing to Kime hut and back before breakfast. These terraces a one of the wonders of the modern world. Breathtaking. So, after a childhood of pounding rice, and climbing the terraces, a young woman left her mountain home and went to Baguio City to study beekeeping. There she met her husband and together they now work for and manage the beekeeping side of a very large commercial concern in the North Island. Mary Ann does the queen breeding and her husband Santi, does the field work. Mary Ann came to Ōtaki recently to learn how to instrumentally inseminate queen bees with Southern Sun Queen Bees who

appear to be the only trainers in New Zealand at the time of writing. Her reasons were, as described above – to introduce new genetic material into her stock and, to try to beat the vagaries of Spring weather which can influence the natural mating rates for queens. She works under high pressure and is being funded by her company to learn this new skill. Her determination and toughness showed through as she persevered through two days of intensive training. It is not an easy skill to learn but by the end of the two days, Mary Ann was able to collect drone semen and inseminate a queen with the correct amount and under strict sterile conditions. Now all she has to do is practise, practise, practise for about 10,000 hours.

Benaue Rice Terraces, Philippines

Mary Ann learning the trade

Patience is a virtue

public access and linkages. GWRC has got a New Year Sale on farming packages of Dung Beetles on offer through our discounted programme with Dung Beetle Innovations. For a limited time only - 50% off dung beetle packages is available to ANY farmer in the Wellington region until 7th February 2020. Dung beetles are a natural answer to rebalancing the environmental impact of livestock. They tunnel through soil and bury livestock dung, which aerates soil, improves the nutrient cycle and helps manage water absorption and dispersion. Get in touch with Shaun to grab this huge discount we’re offering: shaun@ dungbeetles.co.nz (just mention you’re

based in the Wellington region). Learn more at www.gw.govt.nz/dung-beetles If you’ve got some garden projects coming up mark in your diary GWRC’s annual Gravel Grab at the Ōtaki River which is on Saturday 21 March from 10am to 2pm. Bring along a trailer and some buckets and we will help you to get the rocks directly in your trailer for no cost. There will also be an area where you can pick your own rocks to put straight into your boot. These rocks are available for you to take to help us manage the flood risk of the river so it’s a win-win for everyone!

Out and about with Shell As part of the Ōtaki Community Board, I have been given the opportunity to write an occasional monthly column for the Ōtaki Mail, along with other members of the board. I hope to not only let Ōtaki know what is going on at Council but also put a spotlight on people in our community. Ōtaki and Te Horo exists on volunteer groups, without whom so much would not happen in and around Ōtaki. The work they do is worthy of highlighting. I had the absolute privilege at the start of December to attend the Ōtaki Players production of Grease. A production directed by the amazing Frances Tull, a woman who volunteers her time and gift of music to so many kids in Ōtaki, and who’s enthusiasm for teaching music makes kids fall in love with not only music, but with her. The cast included many Ōtaki, Te Horo,

Manakau and Kapiti kids of a wide range of ages. Wow, how well they did, absolutely outstanding. I have to commend the Ōtaki Players for doing kids-only productions, not a task for the faint hearted. The opportunity and experience this offers our kids in the Ōtaki area, to experience all aspects of theatre, is invaluable. The Ōtaki Players have been active in Ōtaki for nearly 80 years, originally doing productions in the Memorial hall, and moving to the Civic Theatre building on Main street in 1991. They have been a dedicated and hard working group of volunteers, delivering local, accessible theatre productions at a great price, right on our doorstep. How lucky we are to have them in our midst. Currently the Civic building is needing

much TLC by our council. Repairs and maintenance have largely been done by the Ōtaki Players themselves with money fundraised by their productions. KCDC who own the Civic Theatre, which is in need of work being done to the building, not least a disabled toilet facility. Their tenants shouldn’t have to fund their repairs. Work by KCDC has been held up by Earthquake assessment issues, however, at our November Community board meeting I raised these issues and asked that the Civic building be put on our Action list so it does not fall off the radar. Ōtaki needs to retain this building, and our wonderful Ōtaki Players Assn. It is a place not only for our Players Assn, but for others who use the building on occasion such as the Maoriland. The Ōtaki Players have a full year of production booked for 2020, a huge

Penny Gaylor Wellingron Regional Council 027 664 8869

commitment for those involved, so let’s support their efforts with our patronage.

Shelly Warwick Ōtaki Community Board 021 949 214


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Media Muse

“RNZ Concert is now on a summer schedule which includes reduced news bulletins,” was the taxpayer-funded public radio broadcaster’s response to my query early last month about the disappearance of Concert FM’s 6pm news bulletin and weather forecast. Normal programming was to resume on Monday 20 January. Until then, news bulletins would be restricted to the mornings, on the hour at 7am, 8am and 9am. “In the event of major breaking news, RNZ Concert will respond with increased news coverage,” it said. Harry and Meagan “stepping back” from royal duties was treated as “breaking news” by television networks. On Concert FM, though, “we interrupt Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata in F minor for this announcement from the Palace via The Sun newspaper” is not a news flash that you’re ever likely to hear — if only because there will be no-one on hand in the studio to break into the pre-recorded programme. News media respond in different ways to the summer holiday period. Their management and senior editorial staff join other professional classes in taking at least six weeks and up to two months off, leaving behind skeleton crews of interns and bob-a-job pensioners. Politicians, top-level executives and all their communications armies also take long summer vacations, drastically reducing the supply of what they call news and IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS. Newspapers adjust by printing fewer pages, at the very time when people have more free time to read them and do the puzzles which, along with death notices, remain a strong selling point. Television could cut the length of news

By Manakau’s Tom Frewen

bulletins, but not without losing the revenue from the advertising aimed at the large audiences that tune in every evening for the news, sport and weather. Instead, networks try to save money by reducing the number of newsreaders. They do this routinely in the weekends when, for reasons best explained by accountants, news items on Saturdays and Sundays are not so urgent or complicated as to require two readers. This is not to say that television news readers have only half a brain, even if that may be true for many of them gifted with compensatory good quality teeth and hair. Just when you’ve adjusted to having one reader starting and finishing their own sentences, a return to tandem reading is like going back to work at the end of the holidays. Suddenly, two newsreaders seem like one news reader too many. Radio can reduce the number of bulletins and shorten them. But radio always needs at least one news reader because, um, it’s radio. While no news might be good news, this is one situation where silence, or “dead air” as it’s called in the radio biz, is definitely not golden. And that is why the thinking behind RNZ Concert’s decision to drop news bulletins from its summer schedule is a bit of a mystery. Hourly news bulletins are still being compiled and read on RNZ National. Putting them on RNZ Concert requires someone to flick a switch and do a little bit of continuity. A warm body in the studio, not doing a lot apart from maintaining that critical connection with the audience that is the essence of broadcasting, something that is rapidly being lost in RNZ’s “transformational change” to become “Aotearoa’s public service multi-media broadcaster”. On the surface, the decision to drop news

bulletins on Concert FM during summer might seem like a sensible cost saving. But, as RNZ’s latest annual report reveals, far from being short of cash, the taxpayerfunded radio network is rolling in it. Total government funding in the 2018-19 financial year was a record $43.4 million, up 11.3% on the previous year’s $38.9 million and more than double the $20.1 million of 20 years ago. Despite that increase in revenue, RNZ incurred — or, as the report has it, “achieved” — a deficit of $465,000, way below a budgeted surplus of $17,000. The deficit resulted from expenditure blowing out $449,000 above budget. The cost of covering the March 15 Christchurch mosque attacks is blamed, along with extra spending on travel and computer software. But there were also new “people-intensive initiatives”, more digital journalists and “resource” for the product and development team. Senior management did especially well. The number of staff on annual pay of $100,000-plus rose to 55 in 2019, up å May 2014, holds an important clue to the absence of summertime news bulletins on Concert FM. “Our preferred method of content delivery — radio — is in long-term decline.” He could not have been wronger. Six years on, of the three mainstream forms of news and entertainment media, radio is by far the strongest while sales of newspapers and magazines slide and television channels become just another part of the internet. His mistake is in thinking in terms of “content delivery” as if he was in the freight forwarding industry. Music is content, but it has to go in through your ears whereas words and pictures take the long way round through your eyes.

Kãpiti Island news BY DANIELLE BARRETT Kapiti Island visitor numbers are soaring now that the swimming season is here and preparations have begun for the annual Kapiti to Mainland swim. 2019 marked the biggest year ever for Kapiti Island Nature Tours. Recent media attention focussed on the (now defunct) Statistics New Zealand Accommodation survey from September 2019 which highlighted a 22% year on year increase in visitors to the Kapiti region. This spike was largely driven by Kiwis exploring their own backyard. For Kapiti Island Nature Tours the visitor growth is coming mostly from domestic travellers - over 80% of the 1,400 manuhiri (visitors) hosted in December 2019 came from Aotearoa. As Summer reaches it’s peak more of these manuhiri are packing their swimming togs and adding a dip in the ocean to cool off as part of their island experience. The flourishing marine reserve means the underwater landscape is as interesting and varied as that on the island itself. Seeing so many people enjoying the water brings to mind the incredible story of Kahe Te

Rau-o-te-rangi whose feat inspired the annual island to mainland swim. Kahe had been part of the well-known migration from Kawhia to Kapiti led by Te Rauparaha. In the 1820’s she lived in the pa at Waiorua Bay. Kahe was a strong rangatira (leader) who would go on to become one of five female signatories of te Tiriti o te Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi). She was known for her swimming ability. This was put to the test one night when Kahe saw a war party paddling slowly toward the island under the cover of darkness. It was essential that Ngāti Toa on the mainland were warned but a canoe would have likely been spotted by the advancing warriors. Bravely, Kahe decided to swim across the channel, with her child strapped to her back. To avoid detection she swam south along the island before turning toward the mainland and swimming approximately 11km to land near Te Uruhi near the mouth of the Waikanae River. Her warning was successful and the war party was defeated. Today the stretch of sea between the island and mainland is called Rau-o-te-rangi Channel.

Kahe Te Rau-o-te-rangi image credit: Kenakena school

Since 1963 there has been a challenging annual swim which takes a much more direct route from Waiorua Bay to Paraparaumu Beach. This year’s event will be on March 14th. Swimmers who would like to try their hand at the 5.6km swim from Kapiti Island to the mainland are required to be accompanied by a support boat, and wear a wetsuit! More information can be found on on the Raumati Raptors swim club website: raptors.nz

When Concert FM played its recorded announcements about the latest news and weather being available on RNZ’s website, it was telling listeners to stop LISTENING to the radio and turn on their computers or phones or whatever and READ the news for themselves off a screen. Believing radio to be in decline, Thompson failed to grasp that, unlike the computer, a radio is a device that you keep turned on, often just for the company. “Audience preferences, expectations and needs continue to change . . “ Thompson writes in the annual report. Wrong again. In the six years that he’s been in the job, the combined weekly cumulative audiences for National and Concert have remained close to 700,000 listeners with Concert steadily attracting around 170,000. Likewise, the combined audience for the two 6pm television news bulletins remains steady at around 800,000, the country’s single biggest audience and therefore the most important for politicians and advertisers. RNZ describes itself as “the nation’s leading media organisation”. No, that’s got to be TVNZ. The power of any medium lies in the size of its audience and the fourth Labour government decided 30 years ago that New Zealand’s most powerful medium would be commercial television. What we’re dealing with now is the current Labour-led government’s futile attempts to turn RNZ into a noncommercial channel on the internet — a deluded venture in which Concert FM could become an early victim.


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ōtaki - Education Town a learning eco-system

Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Wānanga o Raukawa Ko te manu e kai ana te mātauranga nōnā te ao Can you picture yourself, or your children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, wife, husband, siblings etc. in a photograph like these? If you can then we encourage you to come and study at Te Wānanga o Raukawa. These photos are of some of our 2019 graduates, from poupou (certificate) to tāhūhū (masters) level, who achieved their dreams and

goals of success in their chosen endeavours. You can choose from a wide range of offerings designed to see the world through Māori eyes, reflect kaupapa tuku iho (inherited values) and develop skilled contributors to the health and wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi. By visiting our website you will get information about programme offerings and content, start and finish dates, scholarships

available, services, other sites where we run our programmes as well as historical and general information about us. Please feel welcome to call on us at any time (see details below). We will also be out and about at a variety of locales including Paekakariki, Levin and Foxton on Waitangi Day; Te Rā o te Raukura in the Hutt Valley and the Ōtaki Kite Festival. We would be very happy to have a chat.

Visit us at 144 Tasman Road, Ōtaki Phone us at 0800 WĀNANGA Visit our website at www.wananga.com Email us at tetomonga@twor-otaki.ac.nz

Our people are our wealth

Poutāhu Whakaakoranga graduates (post-graduate diploma)

Hinerangi and Murray Ropata Poupou Pakari Tinana graduates (certificate)

Tāhuhu Whakaakoranga graduates (masters)

Kirsty Bennett-Ogden Poutāhu Whakaakoranga graduate (post-graduate diploma)

Poutuarongo Whakaakoranga graduates

Poutuarongo Reo graduates

Tiakina te Whenua Manga Poutarongo Kawa Oranga (degree)


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ōtaki College News

January 2020 From the Principal Andy Fraser


Ngā mihi o te Tau Hou, Happy New Year A very warm welcome to all our current students and whānau. We trust that you have had a fantastic holiday and look forward to your return to the 2020 school year. To all our new enrolments, we are looking forward to meeting and greeting you at the College pōwhiri on Monday 3rd February. We hope that this will be the commencement of a strong and positive relationship during your time at Ōtaki College. All parents and whānau should feel free to contact us at any time should you require further information about the school start-up details and/or any support you may require in the future. Ngā mihi, Andy Fraser, Principal

Embarking on the Tertiary Education Waka BY PHILLY KINGSFORD-BROWN Anyone who has been on the journey of graduating high school and getting ready to embark into tertiary education knows how scary and daunting it can be. I know I’ve been there. But there are a few things you can do to help ensure that your first experience within tertiary education is a great one. To help better understand the journey into tertiary education I will reference 5 mātāpono that correspond with tips that I wish I had known before starting university. Rangatiratanga- What I didn’t know before I started University was that a lot of the work you do at university is self directed, meaning your education provider will provide you with all the knowledge and resources that you need, but at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to be on top of all your work and studies. You are your own teacher and your the only one that determines the outcome of your input. He kai kei aku ringa, there is food at the end of my hands. Manaakitanga- Caring for yourself is important always, but when studying you can easily become overwhelmed and forget to do simple things like eat foods that are beneficial to you or even get fresh air. Maintaining your Whare Tapawhā, The four cornerstones of Māori health, is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while studying. Being mindful that all four sides of your whare are uplifted and well. For example; • Te taha tinana/physical wellbeing- ensuring that your getting enough exercise • Te taha wairua/spiritual wellbeing- ensuring that your taking time to reflect • Te taha whānau/family wellbeing- maintaining healthy relationships • Te taha hinengaro/emotional and mental wellbeing- monitoring stress levels and workload.

Whanaungatanga- Talk to people! It’s more than likely that the people that you meet in the first couple days are in the same boat as you, just as nervous and excited. These are also the people that you are going to be spending the next couple of years with so make those connections! Pukengatanga- Identify and use the skills you have and have fun with them! This is one I had to learn the hard way. I was trying so hard to do what everyone else was doing and kept wondering why I was failing. It was because I hadn’t

identified what my skills were! When you discover what you love and what you’re good at, you can use those skills to your advantage and have fun while completing your work at the same time. Ūkaipotanga- Most importantly, do not forget where you come from! What I found especially difficult during my first year of university, was maintaining my identity as a tangata Māori. Sometimes it is quite hard for other people to understand how important our Māoritanga is to us and how it resonates in our everyday life. So my advice to you is to

uplift your Māoritanga in everything you do and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Because at the end of the day, you are studying because you have chosen to study, and that in itself is such an amazing achievement. “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Lastly, have fun! These are some of the most exciting years of your life! Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!

Positive outcome regarding my first year at Massey University

Late last year, I wrote an article for the Ōtaki Mail regarding my first year of study at Massey University in Wellington. I mentioned that I was shocked at the lack of Māori Representation and culture within the campus and throughout the course material. Since then Massey has responded by offering a new course, called Kāpunipuni Māori- Māori Knowledge Internship, that aims to provide an understanding of tikanga Māori within the context of Te Ūpoko o te Ika/Wellington Region. “The course offers an enhanced understanding of the relationships of people and the environment, Māori philosophies and Māori cultural situations.” My outlook towards my second year at Massey University has since changed due to the establishment of this new course. I feel heartened by Massey’s response and am excited by the possibilities that this course could potentially offer me and other students in terms of maintaining and sustaining our Māori identity through our course work. If the nimbleness of Massey’s response to my concerns is any indication of their commitment to meeting their students needs, then the future looks bright. “Ma pango ma whero ka oti ai te mahi.”


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Harness Racing at Ōtaki February 2nd The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club holds its annual harness race meeting at the Ōtaki Maori Race course on Sunday 2nd February 2020. Gates open 10am, first race held just after ‘noon’. The only harness racing to take place in the Wellington Region annually. North Island GRASS track racing at its very best on a near perfect sole of grass, after an extensive grass resewing programme and track drainage work undertaken by the Ōtaki Maori Racing Club in recent years. A feature on Sunday February 2nd is the recently reintroduced Wellington Trotting Cup , standing start 3,000 metres. For the first time ever, to be competed for by ‘Trotting gaited’ harness horses. This time honoured event once raced for by open class pacers at Hutt Park. The Taranaki Kidz Kartz will be in attendance with some very competitive races between these young people, the future of our industry. Patrons are encouraged to be on course to participate in the All-Up Place Competition with a $500 prize up for grabs, for 5 place selections in a row with a $20 entry

Another feature race on this Sunday Inter Island Summer Festival Race day, February 2nd is the $12,000 Ōtaki Cup run over 3,000 metres from a standing start for the pacers. This year featuring locally owned horse ‘The Kapiti Express’ , a Syndicated horse raced by many members and supporters of the Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club. Taranaki Kidz Kartz will provide free sulky rides, along with plenty of other free activities for the children , including a Bouncy Castle, Face painting , fun run events, treasure hunts, pony rides and much more. Oncourse entertainment will include live music and ‘Flash Dancing’ displays. A family fun Community event, Harness racing not to be missed on the Kapiti Coast. Competitive stakes, very competitive racing on a near-perfect Grass Track surface. Come early, bring a picnic basket, enjoy an afternoon in the sun on the grassed area on one of the most picturesque race courses in New Zealand.

The House of Hope’s sad demise

Uncle Drew (no. 5) will be be racing, trained by Otaki’s Wendy Devenport

Citizens Advice Bureau Welcomes 2020 With Enthusiasm and Optimism We hope everyone has had a wonderful festive holiday and a relaxing start to the New Year. Citizens Advice Bureau in Ōtaki is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. You will read and hear more about this in the coming months as we look forward to sharing our 40th year with everyone in the community in Ōtaki. Meanwhile, we have resumed our services after the season’s holiday break and you are welcome to see us at our office and/or call/email us. We are here to help. If you have issues regarding: • your neighbours, trees, noise • goods and services from dealers or traders • matters relating to family relationship • legal matters • landlord and tenancy • employment • immigration or anything that you need information and assistance with, you are welcome to ask us.

If you are a visitor or new to this community and you just want to find more information about anything, feel free to see or call us. We are real people in an independent nationwide organisation who you can talk to with the assurance of confidentiality. Your calls will be answered in seconds – no voice mail waiting during our office hours from 9am – 3pm, Monday to Friday. Our services are free and non-judgemental. Citizens Advice Bureau provides you with information and advice that will point and guide you in the right direction. Know your rights to empower you to make the best possible choices of solutions and decisions. We also have trained financial mentors who work one-onone with clients to assist them with management of their financial affairs. See you in 2020.

Te Pou Whakawhirinaki o Ōtaki Our advice is free and confidential. We have the information to help you with your problems, or can point you in call, email or see us

We are next to the We are swing parknext by to thethe Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm swing park by the Memorial Hall 65a Main Street, Ōtaki Village Memorial Hall tel 06 364 8664 or 0800 367 222

web www.cab.org.nz

email otaki@cab.org.nz

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Health, Human Rights Personal Problems Transport issues Consumer Rights

Free 20-minute Solicitor's Appointment Foodbank donations — drop in Rooms available for hire at reasonable rates


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Kia ora from the Ōtaki Public Library – Te Wharepukapuka o Ōtaki

Librarian’s Pick / Tiriata

James Cook : the story behind the man who mapped the world by Peter Fitzsimons. The name Captain James Cook is one of the most recognisable in our history - an almost mythic figure. But who was the real James Cook? This Yorkshire farm boy would go on to become the foremost mariner, navigator and cartographer of his era, and to personally map a third of the globe. Leading a crew of men into uncharted territories, Cook would face the best and worst of humanity as he took himself and his crew to the edge of the known world - and beyond. With his masterful storytelling talent, Peter FitzSimons brings James Cook to life. Focusing on his most iconic expedition, the voyage of the Endeavour, FitzSimons contrasts Cook against another figure who looms large in Australasian history: Joseph Banks, the aristocratic botanist. Now, 240 years after James Cook’s death, FitzSimons reveals what kind of man James was at heart. His strengths, his weaknesses, his passions and pursuits, failures and successes.

Die alone by Simon Kernick The new high-octane thriller from bestselling author Simon Kernick. Alastair Sheridan has it all. Wealth, good looks, a beautiful wife and children and, in the chaotic world of British politics, a real chance of becoming Prime Minister. But Alastair also has a secret. He’s a serial killer with a taste for young women. Protected and abetted by some very powerful individuals -only a handful of people know what kind of monster he is, and disgraced detective Ray Mason is one of them. Awaiting trial for murder, Ray is unexpectedly broken free by armed men and given an offer: assassinate Alastair Sheridan and begin a new life abroad with a new identity. The men claim to be from MI6. Ray knows they are not who they say they are, and that their real motives are far darker…

Legendary Authors and The Clothes They Wore

Iced in Paradise : a Leilani Santiago Hawai’i mystery

by Terry Newman

by Naomi Hirahara

I’ve been dipping in and out book all week. It’s great. It looks at the fashion choices of 50 legendary writers as varied as Patti Smith, Maya Angelou; Truman Capote; Hunter S. Thompson and Mark Twain. Not only do you find out more about those literary figures, you get to see some amazing vintage photographs and the connection between people’s wardrobes and their viewpoints/ personalities. My own favourite author - Edith Wharton - I discovered wore the finest of everything and usually accessorized with a hat and a dog. Very fitting for somebody known for stories about New York’s upper-class. Mark Twain, of course, rocked his white suits (winter, spring, summer or fall). And Nancy Mitford – the eldest of the infamous Mitford sisters – dressed the part of a classic English eccentric (think Miss Marple with a twist). Verdict: A bookish book with stylish pics.

After five years in Seattle, Leilani Santiago is back in her birthplace, the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. Leilani wants to help her family with their business, Santiago Shave Ice. But when Leilani goes to work one morning, she stumbles across a dead body, a young pro surfer who was being coached by her estranged father. As her father soon becomes the No. 1 murder suspect, Leilani must find the real killer and somehow safeguard her ill mother, little sisters, and grandmother while also preserving a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Seattle. Featuring family loyalties, surfing, and a distinct Hawaiian lifestyle, this characterdriven, atmospheric mystery may appeal to readers looking for cosy mysteries with a difference. Author Naomi Hirahira is currently a writer of both fiction and non-fiction works and the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series.

Yes it’s that time of year. The grass seed season. We regularly see dogs with grass seed problems. Just last week one dog had two grass seeds that had worked their way into his ear canal, causing acute pain, and requiring sedation for removal. Another dog had numerous seeds tangled in her coat especially around the armpits and feet. We ended up removing about 50 seeds, most of which had worked their way into the skin and were beginning to burrow underneath. So what is it with grass seeds that make them such a problem? It’s partly to do with their shape, like an arrowhead, with a sharp point. But also to do with the small barbs along the seed’s length that allow them to travel forward but not backward. As the dog moves through the long grass, seeds attach to the coat. As the animal moves, the seeds slowly work

their way forwards, penetrating the skin and then burrowing subcutaneously at which time they are no longer visible. Often a weepy sore is the only clue of what is happening internally. Seeds will travel under the skin for some distance and have been known to enter the chest and abdomen. But more commonly we find them in places where the fur coat is long, like the feet, armpits and inner thighs and occasionally also in the ears or the eyes. Needless to say they are very painful, lead to suppurating sores and are expensive to treat. Prevention as always is best. Keep fur short in those danger areas. Carefully check your dog all over every night in case he has picked up a seed. And of course avoid walking in areas with long grass.

if you take your dog in long grass, you need to be careful


Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Handy folk to know Health Womens Health 364 6367 AA 0800 229 6757 Arthritis 364 6883 Ambulance Shuttle 368 6369 06 367 8065 Cancer Support Stroke 364 5213 Plunket 364 7261 Helplines Mental Health Crisis 0800 653 357 Depression helpline 0800 111 757 Healthline 0800 611 116 Lifeline 0800 543 354 0800 727 666 Samaritans Victim Support 0800 842 846 Youthline 0800 376 633 Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787 797 Community Citizens Advice 364 8664 Budgeting 364 6579 Foodbank 364 0051 Menzshed 364 8303 364 8754 Community Club Timebank 362 6313 Birthright 364 5558 Cobwebs 021 160 2710 Community Patrol 027 230 8836 364 6464 Amicus Pottery 364 8053 Mainly Music 364 7099 Genealogy 364 7263 Bridge 364 7771 364 6886 Museum Historical 364 6543 Let’s Sing 364 8731 Ōtaki Players 364 6491 RSA 364 6221 06 927 9010 Rotary Lions 364 8871 Environment FOTOR 364 8918 Transition Towns 364 5573 Waitohu Stream Care 364 0641 Energise Ōtaki 364 6140 Older People Age Concern 0800 243 266 Kids Scouting 364 8949 364 3411 Toy Library Marriage celebrants Colleen Logue 027 688 6098 027 664 8869 Penny Gaylor Roofer Ryan Roofing 027 243 6451 Taxi Ōtaki Shuttles 364 6001 Vets Ōtaki Animal Health 364 7089 Windows Window & Door Repairs 364 8886

Auto Central Auto Services 368 2037 Otaki Collision Repairs 364 7495 SRS Auto Engineering 364 3322 Builders Dean Hoddle 364 3322mput Concrete Work Bevan Concrete 0800 427522 Rasmac Contractors 0274 443 041 Koastal Kerb 027 554 0003 Estate Agents First National 364 8350 Harcourts 364 5284 Professionals 364 7720 Tall Poppies 0274 792 772 06 920 2001 Property Brokers Funeral Directors Harvey Bowler 368 2954 368 8108 I.C. Mark Ltd Kapiti Coast Funeral 04 298 5168 Waikanae Funeral 04 293 6844 Gardeni services GeesGarden services 04 3393 880 Insurance Inpro 364 6123 Nurseries 100&1 364 7084 Talisman 364 5893 364 2142 Te Horo Garden Centre Watsons Garden Centre 364 8758 Kapiti Coast District Council General Inquiries 364 9301 0800 486 486 Toll Free Ōtaki Library 364 9317 Ōtaki Swimming Pool 364 5542 Lawyer Susie Mills Law 364 7190 Locksmith Ōtaki Locksmith 021 073 5955 Mowers Mower & Engineering 364 5411 Plumbing About Plumbing 364 5586 Henderson Plumbing 364 5252 Ryan Plumbing & Gas 027 243 6451 Rest Homes Ocean View 364 7399 Enliven 0508 365483 Computers TechMan 022 315 7018 Sports Clubs To come, (when you let us know!) Storage Otaki Secure Storage 0800 364 632

Ōtaki Mail – February 2020



Ōtaki Mail – February 2020

Ōtaki Surf Lifesaving Surf Club News BY NIKKI LUNDIE We hope you’ve all had a great start to the year and have managed to take time to relax and spend quality time with family and friends soaking up some sunshine and splashing in the waves. 2020 has started off very uneventfully on our beach, and that’s exactly how we like it! Whilst the weather has been a bit up and down, the crowds on Ōtaki beach have been very well behaved; children have been well-supervised; and our regional and weekend volunteer patrols have performed a number of preventative actions that have all contributed to an incident-free summer so far. Let’s keep up the good work Ōtaki! We’re hoping if you have been down to

the beach over the summer you will have noticed our very colorful story/ information boards that adorn the outside of the building on the south side. These have been conceptualised and designed by one of our own volunteer lifeguards who runs a local graphic design business. We’d like to publicly thank the amazing local businesses that took care of the printing and materials costs for their wonderful generosity and support. These businesses include Nel Design, Ōtaki New World, Lions Club of Ōtaki, River Bank Engineering and Professionals Real Estate. The purpose of the boards is two-fold – to educate and inform. The Ōtaki Surf Lifesaving Club has a rich history, which

Ōtaki Titans win 11 ribbons

we think the public will be interested in. We also live on a particularly rugged stretch of coastline that presents a number of challenges to visitors to our beach, including rips and holes. For this reason we thought it was important to convey the surf safety guidelines as set out by Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, as well as some key steps to survive getting caught in a rip. Finally, not many people are aware that we are a charity. Unlike other essential services, we receive no direct government funding. Over the years, thousands of people have been given a second chance at life, thanks to our surf lifeguards, but this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous sponsors.

Ōtaki wins T20 cricket title BY FRANK NEILL Ōtaki are the Horowhenua Kapiti Presidents grade T20 cricket champions, having won the title for three successive years. But this year’s victory came only after a nail biting finish. Playing the final at Haruatai Park on 25 January, the home team edged ahead of the other finalist, Paraparaumu, on the second to last ball of the match. After Paraparaumu was all out for 76 in 16.2 overs, it looked as though Ōtaki would cruise to victory, but that was not to be. Paraparaumu bowled and fielded outstandingly to keep the contest tight through to the final over of the match. The fact that the home team had a low total to chase was thanks to four bowlers. Declan Prentice, the youngest member of the team at 13 years old, took four wickets and conceded 13 runs in his four overs. Cody Royal took two wickets for 6 runs off three overs, Kere Strawbridge two wickets for 11 runs off three overs and Inder Singh two wickets for 11 runs off two overs.

Two of these players, Kere and Inder, have captained the victorious team. Fraser Imrie proved the best with the bat for Ōtaki, scoring 23 not out. Although wickets were falling at the other end, Fraser kept playing a patient game, helping Ōtaki to cross the line. The Presidents grade T20 competition has now been in place for four seasons. Since Paraparaumu took the inaugural title, Ōtaki has kept a stranglehold on the trophy. This year they had to fight hard to win. Not only did they end up with a very narrow victory in the final, they also faced a must win situation a week earlier, when they faced another Paraparaumu team at Waikanae. With three teams tied for the lead at that point only a victory would see Ōtaki assured of a place in the final. Ōtaki won comfortably. After scoring 149 for three wickets, they bowled Paraparaumu out for 109. The Ōtaki Presidents will now look to winning the one day competition for the sixth successive year. They currently lead this contest, which will culminate in a final in late March.

The three top performing Ōtaki Titans at Swimming Wellington’s 12 and under Junior Championships (from left) Riley Cohen, Nevaeh Gardner and Kupa Gardner. BY FRANK NEILL Ōtaki Titans came away with 11 ribbons when they competed in Swimming Wellington’s 12 and under Junior Championships. Nevaeh Gardner swam outstandingly at the event, held at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre on 15 and 16 December. Nevaeh qualified in 11 events and swam a personal best time in each event she contested. Her best result was a fourth placing in the 50 metres backstroke. She finished fifth in three more events: the 50 metres butterfly, 100 metres butterfly and 200 metres backstroke. Six more top 10 finishes saw her come away with 10 ribbons. Nevaeh finished sixth in the 100 metres backstroke, seventh in the 50 metres freestyle, eighth in the 100 metres individual medley, ninth in the 100 metres freestyle and 50 metres breaststroke and tenth in the 200 metres individual medley. The Ōtaki Titans other ribbon came when Kupa Gardner finished eighth in the 100 metres backstroke. Following the Wellington Championships, the club held its prizegiving, where three trophies were presented.

Riley Cohen won the trophy for most improved swimmer. Jazz Aungiers won the trophy for best team spirit. Neveah Gardner won the trophy for the most personal best times. Other results from Swimming Wellington’s Junior Championships were: Kupa Gardner: 100 metres individual medley 12th, 50 metres breaststroke 13th, 50 metres backstroke 15th and 50 metres freestyle 19th. Riley Cohen: 50 metres butterfly 12th, 200 metres freestyle 13th, 50 metres freestyle and 100 metres backstroke and 100 metres breaststroke 15th, 50 metres backstroke 19th, 100 metres freestyle 20th and 100 metres individual medley 21st. Ajia McNaught: 100 metres backstroke 29th, 50 metres backstroke 33rd and 50 metres freestyle 38th. Nevaeh Lawton: 50 metres freestyle 41st. Ōtaki Titans will feature in three upcoming events – the Manawatu Age Group Championships in Palmerston North on 1 and 2 February, the Manawatu Open Championships in Palmerston North from 28 February to 1 March and the NZ Junior Festival held in Wellington on 13 March.

The victorious Ōtaki Presidents team (from left) Michael Papps, Nathan Wood, Greg Selby, Fraser Imrie, Kere Strawbridge, Lucas Whiting, Declan Prentice (front), Inder Singh, Tom Beauchamp, Sam Whitt and Cody Royal.

Nathan Wood scores more runs to help take his team to the final of the T20

Kere Strawbridge sends down another delivery to help his team to victory

Ōtaki Mail – a community newspaper produced monthly by Ann, Lloyd & Penny, from 176 Waerenga Road, Ōtaki. Printed by Beacon Print, Whakatane. If you have any news, or don't receive your paper by the end of the month, please let us know by phoning 364 5500.