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our west JUNE 2017

John Puleitu and Levi Hohua from Zeal Education Trust receive their Million Dollar Mission cheque with The Trusts elected member Margi Watson. Also check out the plan to fix New Lynn’s culvert, Auckland Council asks for your input and the Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation has some important announcements, including an exciting new scholarship. Our West is brought to you by The Trusts. For more information on The Trusts, visit our website www.thetrusts.co.nz find us on facebook or email us at info@thetrusts.co.nz


Music therapy opens up wonderful new opportunities

ABOVE: Music sessions at Raukatauri.

There are many ways of treating disabling conditions and helping people with disabilities to live successful lives, and music is one of them.

speech, memory, behaviour, and concentration; and grow selfconfidence, self-awareness and social skills.

It seems that the ability to respond to sound and music is an inborn quality in all human beings irrespective of ability or disability and can bring significant benefits to children and adults with physical, intellectual, behavioural, developmental and emotional issues.

With the $50,000 RMTC is now able to guarantee the sustainability of twelve months of music therapy programmes in four West Auckland schools, two groups of West Auckland adults with special needs and music therapy sessions at the Titirangi Community Centre two days a week.

Accordingly, the value of the $50,575 earned by Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre (RMTC) in The Trusts Million Dollar Mission, cannot be calculated in dollars but in the lives it will help to enrich now and for many years into the future.

Executive Director Carol White says “twelve months is sufficient time for many of the children we work with to reach current goals and begin working on new ones.”

Established in March 2004 the RMTC was named for Hineraukatauri, daughter of singer and songwriter Hinewehi Mohi. Hineraukatauri has severe cerebral palsy. Hinewehi discovered that Hineraukatauri found a way to express herself through music therapy, leading to the centre which today offer therapies to help with developmental disorders such as autism, Rett Syndrome and Angelman Syndrome, learning disabilities, communication disorders, emotional and behavioural issues, intellectual and physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down Syndrome, dyspraxia and even Alzheimer’s disease. Through music therapy, people of all ages can improve motor skills,

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Ms White says participation in the Million Dollar Mission has “increased our profile on our facebook page and website and thus raised the awareness of the centre and the work we do to a wider and possibly younger audience too. We have also had two enquiries from people who would like to volunteer at the centre after seeing the Facebook posts during the campaign. “The simplicity of the campaign and the fact that people were not being asked to donate money or to help with an event, made it easier to secure support. It also provided a great platform to add a competitive element and communicate on a regular basis with our supporters,” Carol says.

UPDATES


Helping displaced West Auckland youth a real priority

Zeal’s youth facility near West Wave is well known in Henderson but this youth oriented organisation isn’t so well known for its work with young people on West Auckland’s streets, particularly the ‘hot spots’ for trouble and crime.

centre. The team also connects disengaged and disaffected young people to support services and also to Zeal’s youth facility where they can be encouraged to take part in one of the many programmes and activities, or just hang-out in a safe environment.

Since January this year, Zeal’s Street Youth Work (SYW) team and partners carried out 2,135 face-to-face interactions with young people. Some of these youths had ‘fallen through the cracks’ in the system, with the use of alcohol, synthetic drugs and cannabis, along with loitering, vandalism, fighting and petty crime being prevalent issues in their lives.

But the trouble hot spots are constantly moving, often away from Henderson town centre to adjacent suburbs. By collaborating with youth agencies Ranui 135, Glen Eden Baptists Youth and Generation Ignite, Zeal has been able to gain greater reach, more flexibility, responsiveness and enhanced the effectiveness of their work.

Zeal was last month presented with the $50,000 it earned in The Trusts’ Million Dollar Mission to help fund its work on our streets.

Their consistent presence on West Auckland’s streets means it is often the young person who now seeks out these youth workers. By building familiarity and trust, the team gets to hear young people’s stories, and are better able to meet their needs.

Zeal recognizes that the most vulnerable young people, often homeless, burdened with huge emotional or health issues and active in crime, can slip through the net of many agencies. These call for ‘high-demand’ relationships which usually involve deeper, intrinsic links with whanau and family. It is these young people who Zeal reaches out to, they are committed to working as part of a multi-agency approach to help these youths find a sense of belonging and get back on track. The SYW initiative is aimed at enhancing the personal safety of West Auckland’s young people leading to positive social outcomes as well as creating a stronger social infrastructure in the area. Through the provision of a consistent presence of youth workers in the streets, young people feel safe and connected leading to an improvement in their pro-social behaviour. Ultimately, overall community safety is improved, ensuring a better environment for everyone living in or visiting West Auckland. The initiative also has the added benefit of connecting youth to supportive youth agencies in West Auckland. With this type of coordinated approach, the youth sector works together to reduce antisocial behaviour, under aged drinking and increase youth engagement in pro-social activities. Working in pairs, Zeal’s Street Youth Work team members are often out during late afternoons and evenings, meeting with young people in a social, friendly way, but always mindful of the need to minimise social harms including drug and alcohol use, street bullying, isolation, loitering and petty crime. Trained through Zeal, the SYW team works collaboratively with other youth services providing guidance to young people, offering constructive activities, alternatives to loitering or causing disturbances in the town

They encourage the positive connections the young person already has, including their connection to other service providers. In addition, they have been able to intervene and de-escalate situations by applying their youth work training, and where necessary, refer situations onto the Police. Young people interacting with the team has undoubtedly increased youth and public safety. A consistent presence in the afternoon directly contributes to a safer Henderson. The team have succeeded in: •D  eterring under-aged youth from anti-social behaviour and/or substance abuse by offering viable alternatives: hanging-out, learning programmes and music events at Zeal’s youth facility •D  e-escalating situations that could have otherwise become violent •G  uiding young people to engage with the Police when they have been attacked •A  ssisting vulnerable young people in getting home safely •R  eferring young people to appropriate support services From January to May 2017, Zeal workers have interacted 2135 times with youth on the street; some 267 were playing truant, another 249 were referred to welfare support agencies, and 190 were intercepted in relation to some kind of offending.

UPDATES


$45,000 for a new special purpose vehicle In fact, Family Action addresses the family violence issue from many directions at once. It enables women to escape from situations, but there is counselling and a range of other services to help avoid bad situations, or to recover after escaping. Perhaps even more important long term, the group also offers courses, especially for young men and women, that endeavour to prevent abusive situations in the first place or to “nip them in the bud” if they do develop. But it doesn’t stop at the front line. Still more services help people to turn their lives around. These include such programmes as Women in Action (Wahine Toa) and Change Works.

Family Action: Christine Healey (Admin Manager) and Michelle Clayton (CEO) with The Trusts elected members Janet Clews and Steve Tollestrup.

Family Action in West Auckland earned themselves $45,000 in The Trusts Million Dollar Mission and will be buying a fit-for-purpose vehicle for their womens’ refuge operations. Fit-for-purpose means it will enable women and children to make a quick getaway if necessary, from an abusive, violent or even dangerous situation. Quick getaway or otherwise, the vehicle will be able to take the women, their children and the bags and belongings, including some large furniture, they will need for their immediate future in a safe haven that isn’t home. It will also be able to transport them to appointments and eventually help them settle into a new home The new vehicle will free up Family Action’s existing vehicle which will be used to transport young people, male and female, who are attending “Moving On From Violence Groups”.

Change Works for Teenage Girls (Living Without Violence For Young Women), run by women, is for girls and young women aged 14 to 17 years. It is designed to help them develop responsibility, self-reliance, emotional maturity and respectful relationships with themselves, their families and their community. Its counterpart, Living Without Violence for Young Men and Youth to Manhood, are run by men and designed to help youths in the same age bracket, to understand and deal with the transition from childhood to responsible and constructive manhood that doesn’t involve anger or violence. A Family Action spokeswoman said that what was even better than raising the $45,000 and the benefits that will bring, was the huge promotional benefit the organisation obtained from participating in The Trusts Million Dollar Mission and obtaining 9,000 votes of support.

UPDATES

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Cnr Great North Road & Totara Ave, New Lynn Phone 09 826 0060


The plan to fix New Lynn's culvert is agreed New Lynn’s open for business! That’s the message from the New Lynn Business Association and Whau Local Board as plans are agreed for the long term solution for New Lynn following the catastrophic storms of March and April. Future plans for the culvert under Great North Road, New Lynn involve rehabilitating the existing culvert while adding a lot more capacity by constructing a large new rectangular shaped culvert just above the existing culvert. Since mid-April Great North Road has been open to traffic and pedestrians, ensuring the community can access the town centre’s shops and businesses. As work continues to complete the new culvert, the council remains focused on the town centre remaining open for business. Whau Local Board Chair Tracy Mulholland says the board and the business community thank the New Lynn community for its patience and support during what has been a difficult time. “New Lynn’s community has shown resilience through an incredibly testing time. The agreed plan for the double culvert is the best economic solution as it will allow traffic and pedestrians continued access into our town centre and will see minimal disruption to traffic while the project is completed. It will also cause the least environmental impact. I hope this news brings comfort and reassurance to local businesses and residents,” she said

ABOVE: Aftermath of New Lynn storm events. Photo Morphum Environmental and Auckland Council.

Although it seemed obvious the culvert was blocked, the reason why was not so obvious. Council and contractors had to make the area safe before they could investigate. This included removing the undermined end of the commercial block, a task made lengthier and more difficult by the need to first remove asbestos. Workers had still not gained access to the blocked culvert in April when a second massive storm hit the area and caused a re-run of the original scenario. Immediately afterwards, with yet another storm threatening, council contractors installed an interim pipe above the blocked culvert and beneath the road surface. The massive third storm didn’t eventuate and it was possible to re-open three lanes in Great North Road while actual causes and a permanent repair were investigated. The original culvert is operational again and has been fitted with a larger inlet. Agreement on rehabilitating the original culvert and installing the new one above it, was reached with involvement from the local community through the Auckland Council and New Lynn Business Association working group. The group comprises members from the Whau Local Board, New Lynn Business Association and council staff, ensuring the New Lynn community has a voice as work proceeds towards a long-term solution for Great North Road. It will regularly meet to discuss the ongoing work around the New Lynn town centre and on the design and build phases of a long-term solution and keep the community informed.

This follows the major wash outs that occurred during major storm events in March and April after the original culvert, that has been in service for some 70 years, was blocked during an exceptional storm.

With the plan agreed, the design, consenting and construction processes will follow soon. The project is expected to take six to 12 months to complete.

Denied an outlet, the heavily swollen Rewarewa Stream built up on the western side of the road until it finally burst over the road and washed out a significant area of stream bank on the downstream side.

The exact cause the blockage in the culvert is still being investigated. However once it had blocked, the council’s response was to install a second pipe to channel stream flow and place five water pumps on the upstream side for several weeks to conduct the penned up water safely past the blockage via the new pipe.

The washout took away part of the foundations of a building which then had to be demolished.

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Auckland Council asks for your input and direction Henderson-Massey, Waitakere Ranges and Whau local boards have written draft plans to set what they believe is the vision and direction for these areas for the next three years and now they’re asking, “Have we got it right?” For those wanting to have their say, you have until 30 June to do so. The full draft local board plans can be found online at shapeauckland.co.nz. They are also available at libraries, service centres and local board offices. Local board plans are strategic documents created every three years that represent how the communities’ see their needs and the actions they want taken to develop their areas. They also influence how local boards provide input into Auckland Council’s regional strategies and plans, such as the 10-year budget, and the way in which local boards work with other organisations. The chairs of the three West local boards say the chance to set the overall direction of local board work comes only once every three years, which is why it’s so important for locals to have their say now.

Henderson-Massey “In our draft plan, just a few of the things we propose include expanding our walking and cycling path network, investing in our parks and working with Panuku Development Auckland on high-quality intensification in Henderson,” says Henderson-Massey Local Board Chair Shane Henderson.

“There are thousands of projects we could do, but we have to prioritise. We would love to know your thoughts on what we have right, or where you think we should refocus. Thank you in advance for your feedback.”

Wait kere Ranges Wait kere Ranges Local Board Chair Greg Presland says “Some of our priorities include getting Glen Eden fit for the future, working to protect the Wait kere Ranges Heritage Area and supporting arts, culture and heritage in our communities.” “We will have to make decisions on what to fund given the resources we have, so please let us know what is important to you.”

Whau Whau Local Board Chair Tracy Mulholland says “Our board has a lot we want to accomplish. Some of our proposals include building a new community facility in Avondale, continuing to develop the Te Whau Pathway, working to protect and enhance our natural environment, encouraging local economic development and enabling local community arts activities.” “We need to know what you think are the most important priorities for our area. Please read our draft plan and then make sure your voice is heard by giving us your feedback.” After consultation closes on 30 June, local boards will review all feedback and use it to help shape the final local board plans, which will be adopted by October 2017.

Huia Bay, Manukau Harbour. Photo © Neil Hunt

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A stellar line-up of New Zealand literary giants The evolutionary wheel of the now 21 year old Going West Festival has taken another turn this year with the appointment of Laingholm’s Diane Blomfield as producer, with the popular event confirmed to run from the 8th to 10th of September. At the time of writing, organisation was still at a very early stage, however a stellar line-up of writers had already confirmed their participation, and will be announced next month. Others participants are still being canvassed. It looks like 2017 will be one of the strongest event ever for this Titirangi icon, which is the only literary festival in the country (and therefore, the world) to focus on and celebrate only New Zealand writers and their works. Going West has long promoted the Poetry Slam and also Word-Up for young people at the Corban Estate. New Lynn’s Te Pou theatre will provide performances and masterclasses focussing on the work of Maori playwrights. Massive Company is running youth theatre workshops in Glen Eden; there is an expanded NZ film season and a literary walk programme in Henderson. Diane Blomfield, who has over 15 years experience engaging audiences in the Arts and Museum sector, takes the iconic celebration of New Zealand books and Writers into its second year under the co-directorship of Nicola Strawbridge and Mark Easterbrook. The event has always had a theme and the organisers are this year pondering the possibilities. Diane muses “The world changes, fast. We are seeing immense cultural and political shifts playing out around the world. Closer to home, the New Zealand we think we know is shifting too. So much sits in a state of metamorphosis, the cocoon still concealing what the caterpillar will become. Old rules keep crumbling. Losses shake us to the core. Unexpected successes happen. New writers hover on this brink. The whole world seems poised on the cusp of … something.”

ABOVE: Diane Blomfield

founder Murray Gray and his partner Naomi McCleary. Naomi, herself a major figure in the arts world, had been a driving force in recent years and remains on the Going West Trust in a mentoring role. In Naomi’s view, what makes Going West special is that it is not abstract, it is not a lecture series; it is real, it is live and audience and writers are actually in conversation. Historically, the immediacy of being immersed with the people who created the stories and the ideas and the sharing that this generates, develops a life of its own. It generates emotions, laughter, tears, debate and even the spawning of new ideas within the collective energy. It is hard to imagine that anyone is unmoved or even unchanged by it all. This is what happens in Titirangi every September. In fine weather sunlight floods into the Titirangi Memorial Hall hall and people spill out for breaks, food, drinks and conversation. In inclement weather the hall is warm and cosy and a good place to enjoy fantastic catering and excellent rubbing shoulders with some of the giants of New Zealand literature. Inheriting all this is Diane Blomfield, the new producer with very large shoes to fill but everyone has complete faith she will not only rise to the challenge but will help to take Going West to a new plateau. Diane was a lead creator for the inaugural Kids Festival and education programme at Corban Estate Arts Centre, the LATE and Kai to Pie World on Your Plate programmes at Auckland Museum, and the recent Anne McCahon exhibition and publication for McCahon House. She was involved in the Waitakere’s signature Trash to Fashion show and was also Programme Director for climate change arts science event °TEMP. Diane moved to Laingholm in 1988 with her partner Ashley Turner, where they have raised three creative children.

For more information: www.goingwestfest.co.nz

Nicola and Mark began the new era last year when they took sole responsibility for organising the event after 19 years of stewardship by its

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proud sponsor

Don Oliver announces Harry O'Rourke Memorial Scholarship for para-athletes ABOVE: Gabrielle Fa’amausili, Gold Sponsorship 2016

A new Harry O’Rourke Memorial Award for an outstanding athlete with a disability has been announced by the Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation, as one of several initiatives that will take it the organisation to a new level in the coming years.

A life-long Judoka, Harry was both a black belt as a fighter and one of the sport’s top administrators internationally. He was inspired through his careers by the courage and achievements of our para-athletes. After his death early last year his wife Jackie advised that, at Harry’s request, she wanted to see a Don Oliver Scholarship for an outstanding para-athlete added to the annual scholarships. The couple felt strongly that this should be created not only as a memorial to Harry, but also because athletes with disabilities should have the same opportunities as those without. Coincidentally, the Foundation has this year received its first application from an athlete with a disability, wanting to be considered for a scholarship. Harry O’Rourke MNZM, JP

In the meantime applications are open and the closing date will be extended from the advertised end of May to the end of June. Youngsters wanting to apply must be aged between 14 and 21, both birthdays inclusive, pre elite, with a strong record of success and a reputation with their coach/ club/teacher as being someone likely to succeed. They must live in West Auckland. Full details are on the application form which can is available from www.donoliver.org.nz Trustees are busy creating the annual Awards dinner which will be held at The Trusts Arena on 20th September, and adding to the scholarships on offer, the new Harry O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship. Harry O’Rourke was a trustee of the DOYSF for several years after he retired from a lifetime of service to Local Government, culminating with a decade as the CEO of Waitakere City Council.

“We have always been open to applications from para-athletes but hitherto we’ve not been good at highlighting that fact,” said Dai Bindoff, DOYSF chairman. “We did intend to introduce the memorial scholarship this year anyway and therefore, the application we have received is very timely.” Bindoff said that all applicants would be judged according to their achievements and not on their disability or otherwise. Outstanding paraathletes who would anyway qualify for a scholarship would become candidates for the Harry O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship. “We don’t intend this to be a soft option whereby you get a scholarship because you have a disability. Our demanding selectors judge everyone who applies on whether they have had the results and have the skill and personal x-factor to reach the very top of their chosen sport, with the potential to succeed on the world stage.” “This means that para-athlete applicants will be selected first against the same criteria as the athletes without a disability. That will say both to them and the world that they have been chosen strictly on merit, which is what they want and expect and is fair to all,” Bindoff said.


TOP LEFT: Michael Mincham, Silver Sponsorship 2016. TOP RIGHT: Peter Bethell, Bronze Sponsorship 2016 with Simon Wickham CEO The Trusts. ABOVE: 2015 Dinner Celebration

Bindoff said trustees Colleen Acton, Stefan Crooks, Angela Hurst and Marc and Steve Oliver had had an exceptionally busy year reinvigorating the Foundation.

truly glittering event in the West’s social calendar so that we pay due honour to the fantastic young people who, year after year, show us the depth of world class talent in our community, ” he said.

“We have added three fantastic new trustees who increase our capabilities enormously and give us confidence that we can step up to a whole new level in the next few years,” he said

“This year we’re also honoured to have former Waitakere Mayor Sir Bob Harvey assisting us with the organisation of the dinner.” Sir Bob was a founder trustee of the DOYSF 20 years ago and is now an Ambassador.

Stefan Crooks, Angela Hurst and Mike Ocego have joined the DOYSF board. Stefan Crooks is the owner and CEO of Westie Pies (a DOFSY gold sponsor) among other food businesses and has been the driving force behind the revitalisation of the suburbs rugby and their home ground. Angela Hurst is marketing manager of The Trusts and the principal architect of the Million Dollar Mission. The Trusts is Associate Sponsor of the DOYSF. Mike Ocego is operations manager at The Trusts Arena.

“For some years now we’ve also been running a series of workshops designed to help young Westie athletes prepare better for their sporting futures: subjects include how to get picked, nutrition, performance development, being drug free, Confidence in a Crowd and so on,” Bindoff said.

“These trustees give us a much enhanced capability in a number of fields, especially fund raising and sponsor engagement, the website and social media and the organisation of various events that we run. In due course we expect the team to be further strengthened with the return of Alan Parry who is on sabbatical in the UK,” Bindoff said. “DOYSF events include the Awards dinner which we endeavour to make a

“We have a very exciting initiative under development as this story goes to press, which we believe will make these workshops even more meaningful and absolutely invaluable. They will be open to all young West Auckland sports people and not just scholars,” he said. Finally the Foundation is investigating options to provide all West Auckland secondary schools with a Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation Honours Board to give the names of all students who have been Don Oliver Scholars, many of whom have gone on to the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, several have become world champions and others have been achievers internationally.

Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation Awards Dinner Date: 20th September Location: The Trusts Arena Scholarship Applications Close 30 June 2017

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Meet the Mystics: Michaela Sokolich-Beatson

It’s been a breakthrough season for SkyCity Mystics defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson in the ANZ Premiership, having formed a solid partnership with Silver Fern legend Anna Harrison in the Mystics’ defensive wall. “Anna is the best person to learn off, she is so full of knowledge and she has a very good way of explaining things. Sometimes she thinks she is being confusing, but she’s actually not. I wouldn’t want to be in the circle with anyone else, she’s awesome” says the 20-year old from the Hibiscus Coast. The former Whangaparaoa College student played in the New Zealand Secondary Schools team in 2015 and earlier this year she was selected in the New Zealand Under 21 squad. She has aspirations to make the team for the Netball World Youth Cup in Gaborone, Botswana in early July. Sokolich-Beatson says making the squad for the World Youth Cup is her main goal, amongst several. “As well as making Under 21’s, I also really want to get another contract for next year’s ANZ Premiership. That’s a massive goal for me because Under 21’s is only one thing, but to get another contract would mean a another whole year of netball.” Sokolich-Beatson has had a lot of court time during the 2017 ANZ Premiership. She can’t quite believe how fast the season has gone so far, and she’s been loving every moment of it. “I’ve learnt so much this year and I’m really enjoying myself. I think I have made a lot of improvements because I am able to implement what I have been learning at training and putting it into a game situation. Getting the chance to do that means I am really getting the opportunity to improve more.”

proud sponsor

The SkyCity Mystics defender still lives on the Hibiscus Coast and she is juggling her netball commitments with a Bachelor of Physical Education at the University of Auckland. She will graduate in 2020. Outside of netball, Sokolich-Beatson enjoys hanging out with friends and her dogs. She also plays tag over the summer. “I absolutely love playing tag. I play for the Raiders on the Hibiscus Coast and it’s good to do a sport that’s not netball. It’s nice to just have a break because during the year netball is life, so when I get the chance to play another sport for fun with my friends, I really enjoy that.” In her family, she has Mum and Dad, Keith and AJ, her oldest brother Sam, 28, who lives in Sydney and her other brother James who is 22. Her other great loves are her dogs. Marla is a border collie crossed with a huntaway and Bella, who is her boyfriend’s Rottweiler. Sokolich-Beatson said she loves being the baby of the family. “I’m the youngest and the only girl so I am the favourite, but my brothers are very protective. I do feel like I am James’ older sibling sometimes though. The amount of time I have protected him is more than he has protected me.”

STATS: Date of Birth: 02/10/1996 Height: 184cm Position: Wing Defence/Goal Defence


icons of the

west

Sir David Lewis DCNZM

Doctor David Henry Lewis of Waitakere, medical practitioner, adventurer, researcher, scientist, author, mountaineer and sailor was made a Distinguished Companion of The New Zealand Order Of Merit in 2001, becoming Sir David, knighted for services to yachting and exploration. Those words do not do justice to this extraordinary adventurer, explorer and long time resident of Herald Island.

Recognised as one of the great navigators of all time, Sir David was named National Geographic Society’s explorer of the decade. He was one of only five sailors to be made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation since its formation in 1947, as well as receiving the Institute’s Gold Medal. He was awarded the Blue Water Medal, the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Chichester Trophy for single hand sailing and other acknowledgements including many from New Zealand. He was also awarded an honorary MSc by Leeds University for his research into the impact of fatigue and solitude. Described by the late Sir Peter Blake as an “adventurer second to none”, Sir David was recognised as one of history’s great seafaring navigators. He ranked alongside the internationally renowned Thor Heyerdahl for his explorations of the Pacific using traditional Polynesian navigation methods. Not content with even that epic adventure in exploration, he went on as a research-fellow of Australia National University and Director of the Polar Research Institute to undertake research into human endurance in cold climates. His most famous solo voyage was in his boat Icebird, in which he circumnavigated Antarctica capsizing three times in the process. Former Waitakere Mayor Sir Bob Harvey recalled that “he paddled down the Waitemata Harbour with him as he departed on his ill-fated voyage to the Caroline Islands, to return a sacred navigational barnacle that had been given by the Caroline Islanders to Captain William Bligh” (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame). However “Both his boat and the barnacle ended a very brief voyage after striking a rock off Great Barrier. The barnacle was retrieved but not the case of wine the city had donated to him.” He wrote extensively, publishing 12 books and many scholarly articles including many for The Journal of the Polynesian Society. Sir David was born in Plymouth, England and raised in England, New Zealand and Rarotonga. He was educated at Rarotonga’s Titekaveka village school, apparently developing his life-long fascination with Polynesia and Polynesian identity and culture. His was an adventurous youth, and he grew into a short and tough man with a buccaneering approach to life and an iron will that was undoubtedly necessary to surviving his lifelong adventures and misadventures. He was also a political radical who leaned strongly towards social justice.

KEY STATS: Date of Birth: 1917 Death: 23 October 2002 Made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his various academic, adventure, sailing and anthropological endeavours 12

He tackled mountaineering and skiing in New Zealand and made a multihundred mile kayak journey before travelling in 1938 back to the University of Leeds, where he studied to be a doctor. During the Second World War as a Medical Officer in the British Army’s famous Parachute Battalion, he saw action in France shortly after the D-Day landings and in early 1945 was posted to Cairo and Palestine. After his release from the army he spent two years as port doctor in Port Royal and its local leper colony and then settled in London in 1948 with his wife and two children opening a medical practice in East Ham.


After the failure of his first marriage, he entered the first single-handed transatlantic race in 1960 in 25-foot Cardinal Vertue. Despite being dismasted he finished third and described the adventure in the book, ‘The Ship Would Not Travel Due West.’ With the taste for salt water sailing now well established he decided to make the first ever circumnavigation of the world by multihull and built the ocean cruising catamaran Rehu Moana. But he was not yet done with singlehanded racing. After a voyage into the north Atlantic, he returned to Britain in time for the 1964 single-handed trans-Atlantic race. This complete, he rejoined his second wife wife Fiona and two daughters in the US and together they circumnavigated via the Strait of Magellan and the Cape of Good Hope, as per his book. Daughters of the Wind. Returning to England, Lewis sold the Rehu Moana and in 1967 bought Isbjorn, a ketch-rigged fishing boat. With a research grant from the Australian National University and with Fiona, two daughters and 19-yearold son Barry as crew, he set out for the Pacific again to study traditional navigation techniques. He was initiated into the secrets of Polynesian navigational lore, and wrote of it in his books ‘We, the Navigators and The Voyaging Stars.’ It was this that gave rise to the revival in traditional Polynesian canoe building and voyaging, demonstrating to the world that pre-European Polynesians were true navigators. They sailed the Pacific, knew where they were going, how to get there and how to return. They were explorers and traders they settled Pacific Islands by deliberate intent and were not just blown there by accident. In 1976, he was also a crew member on the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s first experimental voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti on Hokule’a. In 1972 however, he set his sights on Antarctica and embarked on one of the great epic voyages around that frozen continent. Leaving Sydney on 19 October 1972 he battled 60-foot waves and hurricane force winds. The first of several capsizes smashed his mast and self-steering gear and 2,500 miles away from his first stop, the American research station at Palmer, water began to leak into Icebird. He set up a jury rig and fought on with frostbitten hands bailing continuously and he eventually managed to set up a jury rig. He reached the Americans in six weeks and another capsize later and there he had to leave his brave little yacht for repairs. The following summer he resumed the journey only to encounter more of the same, losing the mast in another capsize. Setting another jury rig, he abandoned the voyage and sailed for Cape Town and safety. After his Ice Bird voyage he continued to lead sailing expeditions into the Antarctic through the Oceanic Research Foundation he helped set up. In late 2000, aged 83, Dr Lewis fitted out a new yacht, Leander, and sailed up the east coast of Australia. In his last several years his eyesight failed and he went blind before dying of a stroke in Queensland on 23 October 2002.

13


ABOVE: The polar bear on fibreglass at Yellowknife airport.

Westies making a difference in North West Canada West Aucklanders get everywhere. Former West Auckland inventor, creative genius and philanthropist, Bruce Elliott has spent the last twenty-five years making a difference in and around Yellowknife in the North West Territories of Canada. It’s 40 below up there in winter and Yellowknife is the base for the Ice Road Truckers who haul vast cargoes on roads built on frozen lakes. In fact, until recently, the icon of the truckers, Alex Debogorski, lived literally across the road from Bruce. Now thinking of retirement, Elliott will leave a huge hole. He has brought work, training and skills, initiative, new technologies, world-leading inventions and above all, a restless, creative, energy constantly producing new ideas. Chief among his legacies will be a revolution in how the people get their energy. While there is still much to do to complete this revolution, his work has paved the way for others to make this city and the far flung territories around it, self-reliant and more economically vibrant. But even as pioneering the energy revolution comes to an end, the mind is turning to tourism ventures. They include an interactive theatre in Yellowknife. Another is to make tourism videos. This will entail cruising the great rivers and lakes in a huge catamaran using it as the base from which to explore and film the towns and hinterland.

14

And it’s something of a West Auckland double act. West Aucklander David Ainsworth has regularly been on call to write business cases and proposals for Bruce’s energy ventures. Sometimes this is done in Canada but mostly sitting at his West Auckland desk. To date these documents have been for the energy business but they’re now moving on to film concepts and scripts.

The energy projects pioneered by Bruce have the capacity to revolutionise the life and fortunes of the peoples of both the North West Territories and more recently for the Yukon. Yellowknife is 850 km north of Edmonton. North again are “the Barren Lands” and where these end and the polar ice begins, is impossible to tell in winter. With gold and diamonds in abundance, NWT is a land of glaciated rock, water and ice and great and ancient beauty. It is stripped of soil in many places and yet there are vast forests. Summer is warm but not enough to melt all the winter ice. Daylight lasts almost all day and the trees pack a year’s growth into four months. Winter creates the ice bridges across the great frozen lakes, that enable the ice-roads to cut hundreds of kilometres off the long drive to the north. Frozen it may be, but thousands of human beings live up here. Some are miners and related professionals, mostly the people are members of the “Bands” as the tribes of the First Nations are called. The Bruce and David double act goes back to the 1980s when they were building a revolutionary small boat Bruce had designed. The business


TOP LEFT: Downtown Yellowknife. ABOVE: Yellowknife’s Houseboat Bay.

got caught in the aftermath of the 1987 sharemarket crash and so Bruce headed for the US, to resurrect the business. After numerous adventures, he met and married Sandra in Canada. She suggested they head for Yellowknife located on the banks of the huge Great Slave Lake. Yellowknife is a modern city of about 20,000 residents and a huge floating population. Like Waitakere, it is dedicated to being an Eco-City. Indeed, Waitakere may have been an inspiration. Here the dauntless couple set up the first new business the city had seen for a while. Over much of the high latitudes, there is neither reticulated water supply nor sewerage systems; every house has a water tank and a sewage tank. When Bruce and Sandra arrived, these tanks were hauled in from the south and even the US. They set up Fiberglass North to make these tanks, bringing local wealth and work. Fibreglass North, was soon producing fibreglass solutions to a wide range of applications, including public artworks. At the airport terminal you encounter a polar bear chasing a seal across an imitation ice flow. The bear was once real and the skin is the product of a superb local taxidermy studio. It is wrapped around a fibreglass sculpture produced by Bruce. In the streets decorative ravens sitting atop light standards, are also Bruce’s art.

Having a market for the dead trees would create logging businesses for the “Bands”. Converting the wood to pellet-fuel would be another business. Supplying the fuel and sourcing, installing and running the boilers to burn the new fuel, would be yet another enterprise. Gasification offered even better benefits as it also offered the opportunity to use burnable rubbish, as well as tree wood, as a fuel. Once again the money spent and earned by the businesses would stay in the north, adding to the local economy. Having recently celebrated his 70th birthday back home in Auckland, Bruce now spends less time in the north and Sandra none at all, preferring the warmth and comfort of their home on Vancouver Island. But the pioneering work is done and he’s content to let others follow through. He’ll be on hand as always as the ‘go to guy’ to consult on energy but the focus is now on completing the big catamaran that’s been slowly taking shape in Yellowknife. At 24 metres long and 10 metres across the bridge deck, this boat will soon be forming the platform for a whole new tourism business, again with the West Auckland connection, while the restless creative mind dreams up yet more new ideas.

This business grew and was soon supplemented by a storage company, a large ship-building shed devoted to a one-off catamaran, and finally Arctic Green Energy (AGE). AGE grew out of the fact that diesel for generating electricity and fuel oil for boilers, hauled across vast distances, has traditionally been used throughout most of the north. The cost however means the Government spending around $20 million a year in subsidies to make electricity affordable. To Bruce this was crazy. Modern advances in boiler and gasification technology means wood can be used in the place of fossil fuels, with minimal environmental impact. And there are vast forests belonging to the ‘Bands’ and summer wildfires that kill off enough trees to provide locally produced wood-fuel.

ABOVE: Bruce Elliott with the pellet boiler Arctic Green Energy uses to heat the North Slave Correctional Facility. The boiler was the first in Yellowknife and opened the eyes of the city and territorial government to the possibilities of biomass fuel, from 2012. 15


ABOVE: John Trail.

John Trail, Wine & Spirit Ambassador We’ve often said that at The Trusts we don’t just sell products. Even more important to our success, is that we provide world class service. World class service means we bring knowledge to the process of selecting our products and we share knowledge with customers to assist them in their choices, hopefully in the process giving them a superior experience both in our stores and when they consume the product. That’s why we employ people like Wine & Spirit Ambassador, John Trail. At 50, John has literally spent almost a lifetime learning to know and love wine (and more recently, spirits) and now has professional experiences and broad knowledge up there with the best. As John tells it, he first fell in love with the wine as a youngster allowed a small glass with the Sunday roast. “I was hooked. I loved the flavour, the sensation of acid in my mouth, even though I had no idea why.” Wine is the natural accompaniment to food; it aids digestion and in the marriage of food and wine each changes the flavour of the other. Years later, to save money to go on his OE, John worked nights as a bar steward at Paekakariki’s (almost) iconic Fisherman’s Table restaurant. As the name suggests, the focus is on fish and the location is on the seafront. It was John’s first step into his career in wine and the beginning of a journey in experience and knowledge. “I soon realised we sold very little red wine. Enquiring further I learned why and that food and wine matching is not an accident, but almost a science. In the UK, he worked in the beer dominated world of pubs but took every opportunity to travel to the continent and taste some wine. Returning to New Zealand, John joined his sister and father in investing in a wine shop. It was another step up; to sell wine you must know wine.“I loved recommending wines to customers. Getting their feedback. What they liked, what they didn’t and most importantly, why. “After 5 years, I went to Corbans Wines, one of the big five New Zealand

16

wine companies at the time. My job was travelling New Zealand, selling wine, tasting wine, meeting the vineyard workers and the winemakers. “Among other things I ran the Corbans Wine and Food Challenge, in which restaurateurs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch competed be the best at pairing a three course menu with our wines. It attracted some of the big names in the industry including Paul Hoather from the White House in Wellington and Simon Gault, Judith Tabron and Jean-Cristophe Varnier from Auckland. Corbans was merged into Montana and ultimately Pernod Ricard where, as a bonus, John also entered the equally sophisticated world of knowing and understanding spirits; single malt scotch, cognac, rum and gin. “I wound up in education, my dream job. Standing up in front of people all over New Zealand and Australia and talking about my favourite subject, wine and teaching and learning about spirits and cocktails.” Needless to say, John took the opportunity to learn Australian wine from the great winemakers and shared with them, his knowledge about New Zealand Wines. This was a cunning ploy in the drive to “sell our number one wine export, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and then helping Kiwis to sell Australia’s number one wine export, Barossa Valley Shiraz”. Nine years ago John chose to re-enter retail in West Auckland with The Trusts. First managing the Central Park Drive store and most recently the big Village Wine & Spirits store at West Harbour. “I like all wine but particularly I love Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah/Shiraz. Chardonnay grows everywhere in the world and is a wine that reflects both the region in which it is grown and the effort and the skill of the winemaker. Region and vinters deliver a diverse range of styles from the very light unwooded styles, to the big, bold and buttery styles from Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne. “Pinot Noir loves a cooler climate. Martinborough, Marlborough, North Canterbury, Central Otago, the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Oregon in the US and Burgundy in France, all feature in my drinking choices. Shiraz from the Barossa Valley and Syrah from the Hawke’s Bay are very different in style, but I love them both. “So, if you would like to know a little more about the expansive selection we have at The Trusts, pop into Village Wine & Spirits West Harbour. I would be delighted to share circa 50 years of wine and spirits knowledge to make sure you get exactly the right wine or spirit for your occasion.”


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Our West June 2017  

In this month's issue of Our West you can learn about three of the Million Dollar Mission recipients, news from the Don Oliver Youth Sport F...

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