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Established: OCTOBER 1989


APRIL 2020

Be kind. Be safe. Stay home. ponsonbynews.co.nz

Hello neighbour.

Coming soon to Grey Lynn, and online now 254 Richmond road bauhaus.co.nz @bauhaus_nz

THE EXTRAORDINARY IN THE ORDINARY Through the art of careful listening and observation we see the complexity within the simple act of learning. A child’s response to the play of light upon the floor, to a leaf fluttering gracefully from a tree to the projected image of a butterfly, to viewing the world through the lens of a camera... These doors of wonder and awe are open to us if we as teachers pause and truly see what is unfolding in front of us.

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Apartment Living in the new normal Apartment Living has increased significantly in Ponsonby and the inner city over the last decade.


The benefits are numerous and as we go into a period of social distancing, apartment living continues to offer advantages - P58.


EDITOR/PUBLISHER: MARTIN LEACH martinleach@xtra.co.nz or martin@ponsonbynews.co.nz


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PONSONBY NEWS is published monthly, excluding January by: ALCHEMY MEDIA LIMITED, P.O. BOX 47-282 Ponsonby, Auckland 1144, T: 09 378 8553 or 09 361 3356, www.ponsonbynews.co.nz PONSONBY NEWS is printed on paper sourced from sustainable, well managed forests and manufactured under the environmental management system ISO 14001. Our hand-delivered copies are flow wrapped in eco-friendly, degradable plastic. PRINTED BY WEBSTAR, AUCKLAND. ISSN 1177-3987

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GRAPHIC DESIGNER: ARNA MARTIN arna@cocodesign.co.nz ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Within New Zealand $49. By cheque or postal order in NZ$. Please note: we do not hold back issues of Ponsonby News. Our archive is all online as pdfs. Please visit www.ponsonbynews.co.nz The entire content of this publication is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechaal, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the prior permission, in writing, of the copyright owner. Colour transparencies and manuscripts submitted are sent at the owner’s risk; neither the publisher nor its agents accept any responsibility for loss or damage. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, the publisher can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may occur.



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WE LOVE OUR LIBRARY AND COMMUNITY CENTRE We live close to the library (Leys Institute) and it’s such a gorgeous landmark that perhaps we have taken for granted. We are genuinely concerned as there has been no work commencing with regards to ‘earthquake’ measures. There is no obvious start or progress. So, was there a threat to safety? We had anticipated the beginnings of construction at some point but so far we have seen nothing. We have recently heard the possibility of Auckland Council changing the purpose of our precious landmark/ library/ community building. Could you possibly explain further? Jane Peck Larson, Ponsonby

EMPTY SEATS ON BUSES When I am out in Ponsonby Road and the city, I note periods of many empty buses travelling around on our congested roads. Airlines realised years ago that empty seats in big planes are economic bad news. Empty seats on buses belching toxic fumes are also bad news on two environmental counts: excessive unnecessary use of petroleum products and poisoning of the air and environment. Recently, I was at some traffic lights in Grafton Road and noticed four buses with as many people in them. It was a Sunday afternoon and such a scenario is to be expected. Two of the buses were double- deckers. It’s a no brainer that we need big buses at peak times, but I wonder if there are other models and public-private partnerships that could better manage the off-peak ‘down-time’ periods of bus use. A model that can use far smaller vans and cars for such periods might better serve our world and our environment. They could also offer 24/7 coverage on demand. This isn’t revolutionary. I note that, in Timaru, public transport now picks up some people at their homes. This would be a major plus for our elderly and disabled as well. Having smaller vans for such periods could easily make such things feasible.

WESTERN SPRINGS FOREST PINE REMOVAL – MOTION FAILED At the Waitemata Local Board Public Meeting 17 March 2020, Paul Chalmers presented to the board that he had been asked to log this forest in the 80s. The method he would have used, cutting the trees at the base to fall, would have ‘made a hell of a mess’. Now, arborists abseiling trees and roping off sections, are able to take down the trees in pieces. The WLB are investigating an alternate way of removing the pines by ‘sectional felling’. Christmas 2018, Auckland Council declared that ‘13 emergency pines’ needed to be removed. In a consultation between Community Facilities and Treescape, and West View Road residents and arborists (including abseiling arborist Johno Smith), both sides determined that these trees could be removed by ‘sectional felling’ and that from a safety perspective were not under any urgency. All trees are still standing, even after a number of storms. This controlled method is less invasive so will cause less damage to the 70-year-old natives beneath. These sections can either be removed or left to rot in the forest. Saving most of the native understorey would therefore only require some specimen planting. There would no longer be a hillside of silt to run off into the stream and endanger the native eels. The proposed road would be unnecessary. So the overall cost is likely to be lower. This method is much friendlier on the ecosystem. The independent Arboricultural Expert’s ‘Tree by Tree Assessment’ determined that the canopy pines are 94% safe, meaning that only a dozen trees actually need either branches cut off or to be removed. It would be a shame to not spend this time to further investigate saving the canopy for its value as a nursery for the natives and bird habitat in the tall trees. So many birds would not be able to live in this inner city forest until some of the understorey grows taller. It will be beyond our lifetimes before natives like kauri can reach those heights. With management, these senescent trees could provide that habitat for another 30 years. What this means, is that the clock may not be set back 70 years, but the forest is not saved, yet! Gael Baldock, Westmere

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Why not contract out such periods to private providers using approved mini buses and vans, a kind of bus Uber service. It could be done through an app with Auckland Transport and cover off-peak periods. Pickup could be done at homes and at bus stops by fitfor-purpose small vans. If there was a large groups, you could go through an app to let a provider know, so such situations could be catered for. If we are going to be serious about minimising our carbon footprint, caring for our world and offering purpose driven, capacity-specific public transport, all options need to be on the table. Perhaps an innovative, flexible mix and match, public and private model bus/shuttle service using new media technologies is the way to go. Apart from saving the environmental damage, it would save us all holding our breath as empty diesel buses thunder by on a Sunday afternoon. Russell Hoban, Ponsonby

Sayings of the month Below are a couple of quotes from Professor Jonathan Boston of Victoria University in his recently published book ‘Transforming the Welfare State’. Currently, New Zealand has no shortage of societal ills. There are significant rates of hardship, homelessness and financial stress. Ethnic disparities run deep. Rates of mental ill-health and substance abuse are worryingly high. And there are pronounced levels of income and wealth inequality. For many people, the welfare state is not delivering an adequate income, accessible public services or a hopeful and secure future. A society where many children go hungry, begging is commonplace, socio-economic disadvantages are entrenched and many millennials face being worse off than their baby-boomer parents is far from good. Boston goes on: The current Government is committed to an ‘overhaul of the welfare system’ with the aim of lifting families out of poverty and ensuring that ‘everyone has a standard of living... that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities’. These words echo the goals enunciated by the founders of the country’s welfare state in the late 1930s, says Boston. PN (JOHN ELLIOTT) F



photography: Connor Crawford

Jay Platt, Andrea Kahukiwa, Martin Leach, Melissa Paynter & Gwynne Davenport

Covid 19 is sweeping the world and countries are dealing with it in different ways. China seems to have slowed it right down - hopefully a second wave won’t emerge. Italy, Spain, and the USA are seeing a daily escalation, still apparently out of control. Ponsonby News applauds our government for its decisive shut down, despite the heartache it will cause, and the accompanying economic fallout. We urge everyone to play their part and follow government directions to the letter. Check the www.covid19.govt.nz website and find out what government assistance you are eligible for. It’s good to see a new group spring up, Friends of Leys Institute, to coordinate action to prevent permanent closure, or sale, or demolition. We know from messages we have received that our readers are strongly behind such a project.

separations instead of marriages. As Jacinda keeps saying kia kaha, be kind to each other, and we’ll get through this together. Ponsonby News will do everything we can to support businesses who have closed for the lockdown, and their staff. We hope it will be temporary and the governments messages work well and most businesses can be up and running before too long.

It is excellent news that the old Ponsonby Post Office clock will be restored. Our councilor Pippa Coom is behind the move.

Good News, your favourite Bread and Butter bakery products are soon to be available online with lots of goodness for contactless delivery to locals. Check our Ponsonby News website, and social media pages for the latest details to find out what incredible local businesses are doing to serve the community during the lockdown.

Many wedding plans have been badly disrupted by the corona shut down. Hopefully isolation during a protracted shut down will not precipitate

This issue can only be published online. Be safe, be kind and remember love is the key. (MARTIN LEACH) F PN


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David Hartnell: One minute interview with Karen Kay Karen Kay is the agent to many of New Zealand’s celebrities and actors. She has been in the business for 30 years, 27 of those years in Freemans Bay. Karen is one of the nicest people in show business and one of the most respected. Tell us about Karen Kay Management? KKM is one of New Zealand’s leading actors’ agencies. We represent actors, voices, writers, speakers and mc’s. We look for work opportunities, organising auditions and negotiating our clients’ fees and contracts and a lot of moral support along the way. What was your childhood like? I am lucky, as I had a wonderful childhood and great education. I was brought up in show business through the music industry. As a teenager, I had horses and loved riding through the UK countryside. I was sent to finishing school in Switzerland to learn French, though I’m not sure I spent too much time learning the language! It was lots of fun. I was born in Malaysia and we lived in various countries – now I am lucky enough to be in New Zealand. Complete the sentence: I will die happy... I will die happy anytime as I’ve led a really varied and great life. Still a lot more life to go. As long as family is happy, I am. Some grandkids would make life extra awesome. Who do you think is the most annoying celebrity today? As a theatrical agent, that has to be a ‘no comment’! Which TV series would you never miss? Any David Attenborough series. Don’t judge me – I am a Coronation Street addict and have been for many years. I visited the set, which was a fantastic experience. The actors on that show are very good and natural with their performances. I like Scandinavian series and support local, home-grown drama, of course. I have been working with actors on Shortland Street since episode one. What’s on your bucket list? I’m happy to say I’ve done so much in my life, want for nothing and have a beautiful family. What more can one hope for? Travelling is always on my bucket list though. You’re most treasured passion? My family, animals and collecting antique clockwork tin toys and other interesting collectibles. I have a good collection of Sir Edmund Hillary memorabilia.

though, I’d choose Karenmello as I love caramel. Or Crunchy K – a peanut butter caramel/chocolate extravaganza. Something that you really disapprove of? Disrespect for our natural environment, and disloyalty. Your biggest disappointment? Getting diabetes. What motivates you? Getting up every morning and seeing what excitement will happen during the day. The love of my family and getting our clients work. Give your teenaged self some advice? Don’t let shyness hold you back, don’t be so sensitive and, most importantly, don’t make assumptions about what people are thinking – 98%-plus of the time assumptions are wrong. Which item of clothing can’t you live without? My jeans and my loose linen dresses. What are you insecure about? What people think of me and my figure.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? My size and weight. With diabetes and coeliac disease, it’s hard.

Tell us something very few people know about you? I’ve met Mother Teresa and was invited to Buckingham Palace.

How would you like to be remembered? For helping others. For making a difference. I founded Variety The Children’s Charity, which has raised over $23 million so far to help disadvantaged and special needs kids and I also support other charities such as The Aunties. I hope my role in founding Karen Kay Management will be remembered as having helped a lot of performers to achieve their hopes and dreams. Let’s hope it celebrates its 50th anniversary and beyond.

What gizmo can you simply not live without? My diabetes blood sugar monitor.

What do you love most about your age? Maturity brings experience and not so many worries. It brings a greater feeling of self confidence. Make the most of every year. If your life was an ice cream, what would it be called? As a diabetic, I wouldn’t have an ice cream named after me. I guess,

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Are you a handshake or a hug kind of person? Hug, most definitely. Your all time favourite movie and why? There are a few. The Sound of Music, Cinema Paradiso (the director’s cut) are two of the top ones. The first is a big childhood memory and the second is a wonderful Italian film which no one should miss. If you could change one law or policy in New Zealand, what would it be? Give more power to protect our environment. PN (DAVID HARTNELL MNZM) F


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Re s i d e n t i a l / Co m m e rc i a l / R u ra l / P ro p e r t y S e r v i ce s


Ponsonby U3A: April 2020 The well-attended March meeting of Ponsonby U3A was the last meeting before the committee decided to cancel future meetings until the Covid-19 crisis has passed. Professor Alison Jones, School of Maori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland, was invited back to the March meeting to continue her fascinating talk given last June on early Maori/ Pakeha relationships. She specialises in the history of the first school in New Zealand and the Maori/Pakeha relationships that established it. Her talk, entitled ‘Tuai: A traveller in two worlds’, revealed the extraordinary story of one of the earliest Maori travellers who visited England with a companion in 1818. Tuai was the most written-about Maori person in the early 19th Century. He was a key figure in the history of Pakeha arrival in New Zealand, but until now not a lot has been known about him. Alison Jones and Kuni Kara Jenkins’ Book Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds, won the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for the Best Illustrated Non-fiction Book. Alison Jones talked about the research behind the book and gave an account of Tuai’s extraordinary life, which tragically ended at the young age of 26. U3A member Kathy Walker is a member of the Marvellous Players theatre group that won the Taurima Vibes (Grassroots) Award at the Auckland Fringe Festival. They performed a dramatized version of the Katherine Mansfield story, The Doll’s House. Their success was happily celebrated by U3A members, a number of whom attended their first performance at the Fringe Festival held at the Garnet Station Tiny Theatre. Congratulations Kathy and all members of the Marvellous Players. Ponsonby U3A meets on the second Friday morning of the month at the St Columba Centre in Vermont Stret, Ponsonby. There are

two speakers at the monthly meeting – an invited guest speaker and a much-anticipated 10-minute talk by a member. The backbone of the U3A movements is said to be the special interest groups, of which Ponsonby has 24, covering a wide range of topics for learning and leisure. They meet between the monthly meetings, mainly in members’ homes, except for the Gallery Visiting and Public Art groups, Ramblers visiting places of interest, Petanque and Green Fingers. There are two speakers at the monthly meeting – an invited guest speaker and a 10-minute speaker from the U3A membership. U3A offers lifelong learning, interesting speakers from every walk of life, friendship and fun. It provides an antidote to loneliness, boredom and lack of purpose. When U3A meetings start again after the Covid-19 crisis has passed, visitors are welcome to attend a U3A meeting to see if it is for them. Across the Auckland region there are 26 U3A groups with a total membership of 3500. Once a year a U3A Network Day is held for which tickets are keenly sought. The speaker for the 2020 Network Day will be well- known writer Steve Braunias, along with six 15-minute presentations from U3A members from across the region. The Network Day will be held in August. Another function of the Network Committee, of which Ponsonby U3A member Collene Roche is secretary, is to instigate the setting up of new groups in the Auckland area. It is planned that the next group will be set up on PN Waiheke Island. (PHILIPPA TAIT) F PLEASE NOTE: At this stage it is unknown when Ponsonby U3A will next meet due to the Covid-19 crisis. Members will be advised when it is deemed to be safe to do so. ENQUIRIES: Christine Hart, President Ponsonby U3A. M: 027 289 5514, www.u3a.nz

Ken Ring: Auckland weather diary, April 2020 – weather by the moon April is expected to be much drier, sunnier and warmer than average, with less than half the April rain average expected. The first week may see little or no rain, the middle two weeks may be wet and the last week may be dry. Heaviest falls are at or near the 10th. The full moon on the 8th will be the closest to earth in its orbit for the year. Expect rough weather in the gulf; choppy seas and destructive tides. Afternoon temperatures should remain in the 20s up to the 11th, and some cooler nights may be noticed after the 12th. Atmospheric pressures could be highest around the 21st, with the monthly average about 1019mbs. Wind directions are expected to average from the southwest. For fishermen, the highest kingtides (for the whole year) may be around 9th, with a lesser kingtide on the 26th. The best fishing bitetimes (in the east) are at dusk on 7th-9th and 22nd-24th, and in the west at around 12 noon on those days. Chances are also good in the east for 12 noon of 1st-3rd, 13th-16th, and 29th-30th, and in the west around dusk on those days. For gardeners, the 3rd-7th and the 30th are the best sowing days, with the waxing moon ascending. The best pruning days are the 15th22nd; with waning moon descending. For longer shelf-life, choose lower water-table days of 2nd and 17th on which to harvest. Allow 24-hour error for all forecasting. F PN

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For future weather for any date, see www.predictweather.com



Greater support needed for struggling Auckland businesses Auckland Council’s economic development agency, ATEED, must continue to lift their level of response and further support our local businesses facing significant financial pressure due to the impact of COVID-19, Waitemata Local Board Member and Business Support Specialist Sarah Trotman says. “These are in unparalleled times. Many of our local businesses are struggling to stay afloat and working extremely hard to keep workers employed. Now, more than ever, we need tangible support from council to help our businesses navigate through this period of uncertainty. I’ve called the ATEED business support line (09 365 0510) and been impressed by the competency of the first point of contact at ATEED for struggling businesses. They are backed up by competent business advisors but it would be good to see them proactively reaching out to Auckland businesses.

“In addition to connecting with proven business support organisations like the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, the Employers’ Manufacturers’ Association and local business associations, I encourage all Auckland businesses to fill out ATEED’s quick survey that seeks input and feedback about the ways council can offer practical support.”

“As Economic Development portfolio holder for the Local Board, I’ve been meeting businesses across the Waitemata area. Stress has increased to unbelievable and, at times, unmanageable levels and anxiety is on the rise. Our CBD businesses in particular are fighting immense pressure, not only from COVID-19, but also the significant impact of the City Rail Link construction. Put simply, they cannot take any more pressure.

Trotman reminds business owners of the valuable business mentoring organisation that she helped to build www.businessmentors.org.nz “Business Mentors has supported over 70,000 businesses since 1991. Business owners don’t have to go through the challenges of COVID-19 alone.

“Whether its staff wellbeing, cashflow, supply chain, inability to travel to global markets or the rapidly changing market conditions, business owners need advice, support and resources to mitigate any long-lasting impacts. What we rebuild once COVID-19 has done its damage will be the making, or breaking, of our city’s economy. Make no mistake, the economic impacts of COVID-19 will far outweigh those of the GFC and the 1987 crash, part of our role is to help business owners open their eyes to potential long-term impacts.

Visit: www.aucklandnz.com/business-and-investment/news/ covid-19

“We must go early and we must go hard. Our priority right now should be about saving businesses, which in turn saves jobs and relieves pressure on our communities.” For the most up-to-date Government response information please visit www.covid19.govt.nz If you are an Auckland-based business owner who wants to talk to someone, call the ATEED team on T: 09 365 0510. F PN

Amazing switch to NZ virtual healthcare during covid-19 work lockdown Into the second week of coronavirus lockdown, New Zealand’s primary care doctors, nurses and staff are putting in an amazing effort to switch to phone and online health consultations in such a very short timeframe, a leading New Zealand IT health expert says. GP clinics across the country have moved quickly to ensure continuity of care by providing the majority of their consultations online or over the phone meaning that patients don’t have to physically go into the clinic unless they absolutely have to, NZ Health IT chief executive Scott Arrol says. “These are extraordinary times and it requires special measures to make sure we grab this opportunity during the lockdown to help control this virus. “The tireless work by everyone involved both at the frontline and behind the scenes to make virtual healthcare happen is incredible. “This is clearly an absolute necessity for the Kiwi healthcare system and also means an adjustment is needed from the public, so they know what to expect when doing an online consultation with their doctor or nurse. Being prepared ahead of the consultation will help.” Arrol says that there are a number of online resources available to the public so they can better understand what to expect and recommends NZ Telehealth and Health Navigator as excellent publicly available sites to learn more.

“Most people are already used to connecting with friends and family by phone, text, social media, email and video apps plus the GP’s patient management systems provide options for them to connect safely and securely in a virtual way with their patients. “It doesn’t mean that patients won’t be able to be physically examined by their doctor. When doing a virtual consultation, the GP will make the call on whether the patient should come into the clinic or not. “The clinicians involved will always put their patients’ health first and we should view this move to virtual healthcare as just another way to engage with the health system, not only during the pandemic but into the future as well,” he says. The dedicated Healthline COVID-19 support number is 0800 358 5453. NZHIT is the key go-to health tech organisation representing the health IT industry sector and has many members with digital solutions that enable the delivery of virtual healthcare. F PN PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



‘Friends in Need’ A free COVID-19 community initiative called ‘Friends in Need’ has launched to support the elderly and vulnerable through the COVID-19 restrictions. COVID-19 has rapidly changed life for all New Zealanders. Now the country is at Level 4 restrictions, which means that everyone is required to stay at home (unless they are providing “essential services”). This means that people are the most isolated they have ever been, which is profoundly impacting our elderly and vulnerable neighbours, especially those living alone. As the COVID-19 situation was rapidly evolving last weekend, Auckland-based sisters Rachel Paris and Bridget Snelling set up ‘Friends in Need’ to provide this group with comfort and connection during the Coronavirus pandemic. “Our parents are both community healthcare workers and Dad’s still the doctor for a local rest home,” says Rachel Paris. He was explaining to us how they had to close to visitors, even at Level 2 restrictions, and we were heartbroken for all those people. We also have elderly neighbours who are all alone in their homes through this time.” Anyone feeling lonely, isolated or without support due to COVID-19 can sign-up to ‘Friends In Need’ and be matched with a volunteer in their neighbourhood. Their volunteer will call them daily to check on their wellbeing and may also be able to pick up essential supplies, such as food and medicines, on their behalf. Bridget Snelling says, “Like many of you, we’ve been worried that the elderly and vulnerable will feel increasingly isolated, anxious and alone. Level 4 restrictions, while completely necessary, are hard on all of us, but especially those who don’t have immediate support. We’re expecting these to be mainly elderly people, but we’ve had a couple of younger people reach out who live alone and don’t necessarily have a friend to check in on them every day. We’re saying to volunteers, make a daily phone call to start with, so if you get matched with someone call them every day, check in how they’re doing. Then pick up essential supplies for them, if you can.”

The Government has confirmed that at this stage, volunteers are permitted to pick up essential items for in need people, but must leave those supplies at a gate or on a doorstep to be collected, rather than taken inside. ‘Friends in Need’ is a free community-led service relying entirely on volunteers who will be doing their best to help. It is committed to following Ministry of Health guidelines and Government advice and if volunteers do offer to provide support beyond check-in phone-calls, they are required to maintain 2m social distancing and only travel to pick up and drop off essential supplies. “We’re all in this together and ‘Friends in Need’ gives us all a way to help our community feel comforted and supported. We want them to know there are people out who care and it’s as easy as a phone call a day, so please reach out,” says Bridget Snelling. While the initiative is currently focussed on Auckland, the overwhelming support from around New Zealand means that Friends in Need will expand to be nationwide. Those who would like to receive help can reach out in several ways: register online at www.friendsinneed-auckland.com, text Inneed to 3255 followed by their name, email address (if they have one) and suburb, or call 021 064 7625. Those who wish to volunteer to help PN should register online at www.friendsinneed-auckland.com. F

New Zealand’s Largest Fleet of Sanitising Crew’s ready to respond Wash Rite and its 25 franchises with its 75 crews located in every major city and town within New Zealand is readied to depart with one hour’s notice to sanitise and disinfect exterior areas required by local and federal authorities. Wash Rite is working closely with most regional and city councils as well as the Ministry of Health to compile a list of sites that require sanitising before they can re opened to the public. Wash Rite has been offering its services for FREE to kindy’s, prepschools, schools and councils since Monday 16 March and will continue to do so. Wash Rite has one of the largest stock holdings of one of the key sanitising agents Sodium Hypo-Chloride within New Zealand and are willing to make it available for sanitising to the community.

Troy Hillard, Managing Director of The Rite Group, The owner of the Wash Rite franchise group is extremely proud of the Wash Rite franchise’s for offering their products and service’s to the community for free in this time of need. It really highlights the Wash Rite Moto “Service First, Quality Alway’s” Wash Rite encourage any local of federal agency in need of sanitising services to contact Wash Rite to enquire about our free services to help tackle the COVID-19 virus. F PN E: troy@washrite.co.nz T: 0800 101 216. Mob: 0275 101 527. www.washrite.co.nz

Wash Rite is also in the process of rolling our this free sanitising service through its Australian franchise network to tackle COVID-19 within Australia as well as New Zealand.

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Stay safe

for those we love #iloveponsonby PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



It’s a team effort... we couldn’t do it without our contributors CLARE CALDWELL


Clare (Claudie) Caldwell is a creative arts therapist and freelance artist. She also runs a voluntary art and art therapy programme at Auckland City Mission.

I have a keen interest in nutritional medicine and how it may be used to support people with chronic illnesses.



I am a working artist and photographer with a colourful and rhythmic perspective. I enjoy shooting the front covers of Ponsonby News.

I am the founder of Ponsonby News and write for the magazine. My career has included politics, education and publishing. My interests include the environment, the economy and social justice.





For the last 53 years I’ve been a freelance entertainment journalist and author. I’ve lived in the Grey Lynn area for nearly three decades; I have met and interviewed some amazing people.

Writer/researcher/coach. Writing and the sea are my happy places. I bow down to natural medicine and animals. My philosophy: love and kindness.


I work as a booker, promoter and festival programmer. Active in all areas of the music community; folk music is my specialty.

My yearly NZ Weather Almanacs began in 1999. During the tragic 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, my work created international interest. I currently live in Ponsonby.

I’ve been a freelance writer for a year now, and what I love most are the wonderful people I’ve meet along the way. #best job.


I’m the local Member of Parliament for Auckland Central including Waiheke and Great Barrier Island. National Party spokesperson for Education and Sport and Recreation.





More than a nature photographer, I am a storyteller, a visual narrator and environmentalist who seeks out bird stories begging to be told.

I am Councillor for Waitemata- and Gulf ward on Auckland Council. Formerly, Chair WaitemataLocal Board.



I am a veteran writer and editor and run two websites – Witchdoctor and Doctor Feelgood – focusing on my interests in music, technology, and the wellbeing of the planet and its denizens.

A freelance writer and copywriter for almost 20 years, I have written for publications all over the world and couldn’t imagine myself in any other job.

Journalist and published author, I have had a career involving both wine writing and hosting boutique wine tours in the Auckland region.

I have had a wanderlust for travel ever since I was old enough to own a passport. Since I discovered cruising, I have become unstoppable.

Join us on Sundays at 2pm... for our weekly service including demonstrations of clairvoyance and afternoon tea.


14 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020


Kerry Lee: It seems that nothing ever moves slowly in the life of Hohepa Rutene At the age of 24, his list of achievements is something to really be admired. But Hohepa, or ‘Hops’ as he’s sometimes known, wasn’t always the accomplished businessman that he is today. His story begins in Masterton, a small town in the Wairarapa region of the North Island. While attending boarding school, he discovered his passion for cutting other people’s hair and, at the age of 17, became an apprentice hairdresser. Three and a half years later, he decided that the time was right to make a move to Wellington, where he soon found himself working alongside former Maori All Black’s captain Brendon Blake at his barbershop known as the Blade and Boar. A year later, when Brendon felt that it was time to move on, Hohepa saw a golden opportunity and, with the help of his father, became the Blade and Boar’s new owner in 2017 at the age of just 21. Fast forward to 2020 and the Blade and Boar has expanded into three different locations in the North Island. Ponsonby, Wellington and, lastly, the Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s waterfront, in 2018. He’s also released what he hopes to be the first of many hair care product’s called Micky Day, with 10% of all proceeds going to Movember, a charity set up to help men fight prostate cancer, depression and mental health.

“I’ve always liked Movember; it’s done a lot for the men’s community. We’ve done an event with the organisers before – a world record competition in haircutting. They ran the whole thing and they were just awesome.”

New Zealand has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world, and it was something that really hit close to home when Hohepa was younger and still living in Masterton.

After all he’s been through and after everything he’s accomplished, calling him a success story would be a bit of an understatement. However, despite all his achievements, Hohepa’s still a very humble and down to earth individual. When I asked him what inspired him and what his secret was to reaching his goals, he explained that he was always a bit of a yes man who always tried to put himself out there and try new things.

“Growing up in the Wairarapa, we had quite a high suicide rate. I lost a good friend to it and I suffer from a bit of anxiety myself. It’s a big thing and a lot of guys find it hard to talk about it.

“Take every opportunity that comes your way, give it a go and don’t be afraid PN to fail. If it doesn’t succeed, keep going.” (KERRY LEE) F www.boarandblade.co.nz

And to try Micky Day for yourself, order it at www.mickyday.com And for more information about Movember, and what you can do to support them, please visit www.nz.movember.com




Board members Alex Bonham, Richard Northey, Julie Sandilands at Myers Park Medley

Richard Northey: Waitemata Local Board Chair The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the work and daily lives of us all. For the Waitemata Local Board, it means more work for both board members and board staff but most of this work will now be done from our homes. I can still be contacted readily on 021 534 546 or richard.northey @aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and the staff at waitematalocalboard@ aucklandcouncil.govt.nz We are already having board members and staff joining meetings by Skype and we are exploring options on how public can safely input into our board meetings. Our April board meeting will be moved to the Town Hall reception room with a larger meeting room to contain all interested members of the public but at a socially safe distance from each other. We will concentrate on urgent and vital business so some issues may need to be delayed until the COVID-19 crisis is over. Please be kind, understanding and patient with us, as we now all need to be with each other. The Waitemata Local Board members continue to receive messages from members of the public concerned about the sudden closure of the Leys Institute Library and Gymnasium. I and the other board members are strongly opposed to demolishing or selling the buildings. The board made an urgent decision just before Christmas to lease premises for the library at 14 Jervois Road for three years. It was planned to open the Little Leys Library on 31 March. However, following the Mayor’s announcement on the temporary closure of libraries, pools, recreation centres and major venues in response to COVID-19, the Little Leys Library will now open when all other libraries re-open. The council is ensuring the old buildings are cleaned and maintained, graffiti is removed, clear signage is provided about the situation and where the alternative services are provided. We very much hope that these buildings can be restored to their former glory and to public use.

Our March Waitemata Local Board meeting considered a report on the proposed Western Springs Native Bush Restoration Project. Some members wanted to make sure that the method and timing of removing the remaining century-old pines was the right one, so the board sought more information about that. We are agreed that we want to restore the area to be a healthy, native bush park and with restored public access and use. The board meeting endorsed council’s proposed Auckland Climate Action framework. We added support for local composting systems, requested priority for water management and retention issues and making the scheduling and retention of notable trees easier. We strongly supported Western Springs College’s application for funding to build an additional indoor sports court for public use. Afterwards, our transport spokesperson Graeme Gunthorp and I took part in a public meeting about traffic issues in Collingwood Street and Freemans Bay. We urged Auckland Transport to act on these issues as soon as possible. We made a submission on council’s CCO review urging that most of the roles of the CCOs be returned to Auckland Council and Local Boards and to improve transparency and democratic accountability. (RICHARD NORTHEY) F PN Contact Richard Northey, Chair of the Waitemata Local Board, northeyr@xtra.co.nz, facebook.com/waitemata

We have been engaging actively with the community about our proposed budget and seeking early input into the drafting of the Local Board Plan. We talked to lots of people at our successful Myers Park Medley event at Uptown Sounds in Basque Park, a youth hui called Seeding Our Future, the Central City Network, our Beating the Bounds event where board members walked and chatted with residents the whole length of the board area, and a Climate Change workshop. We held formal hearings on the Annual Budget with community groups on 3 March. As well as progressing the Ponsonby Park Project, we are keen to support community action on the climate heating emergency, combatting homelessness, parks development, cleaning up streams and environmental enhancement and contribute to mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

16 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

Beating the Bounds



Nikki Kaye: It’s a tough time for New Zealand The decision to do everything possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 is the right one. The decisions announced by the Prime Minister are essentially about saving thousands of lives, so as difficult as they are, they are essential. The tough reality for many people is disruption, change and financial challenges. I know some of you may have important questions such as who can operate as an essential businesses, whether you qualify for additional support, how your children will keep learning or how you ensure the bills are paid. We will need to be more creative and caring that ever before. You can find key information about assistance available here: www.covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/ IRD website for details of COVID-19 Tax Relief: www.ird.govt.nz/covid19 Work and Income website for Wage Subsidy, Income Support, and Leave Payments: www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html#null My office will be available to answer your questions by emailing me at nikki.kaye@parliament.govt.nz or calling the office on 09 378 2088. I am also available to you via my social media accounts on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. My office is primarily operating in a virtual environment. My plan over this period is to work harder than ever before to be accessible online or via phone. I hope to have virtual constituency appointments and virtual public meetings. I will be working to make sure that residents of Auckland Central get the essential services it needs and I am liaising with key agencies, your local board and civil defence during this period. I want to acknowledge all the key people in our community that are stepping up to serve you in areas such as education, health, police, transport and food and logistics. I love our little country and we will get through this. Take care out PN there. Kia Kaha. (NIKKI KAYE) F Authorised by Nikki Kaye MP for Auckland Central, Parliament Buildings, Wellington www.nikkikaye.co.nz

My office is here for you. Contact me anytime. 09 378 2088 • nikki.kaye@parliament.govt.nz

• • • • • • • •

Healthine’s COVID-19 number - 0800 358 5453 453 NZ’s free counselling helpline - phone or textt 17377 Need to talk? Ministry of Social Development - 0800 559 009 Inland Revenue - 0800 775 247 Auckland Council - 09 301 0101 Healthine’s non-coronavirus number - 0800 611 116 IRD for details of COVID-19 Tax Relief www.ird.govt.nz/covid19 Work and Income for Wage Subsidy, Income e Support, and Leave Payments - www.workandincome.govt.nz/ e.govt.nz/ products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html tml

Hon Nikki Kaye MP for Auckland Central Authorised by Nikki Kaye MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.




Pippa Coom: Be kind, stay home, save lives Auckland Council responds to the COVID-19 crisis There is no rule book for responding to the COVID-19 crisis. It is an unprecedented situation that is evolving every day. First and foremost, Council is taking the advice of the Ministry of Health, which is leading New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. At the time of writing we have moved quickly from Alert Level 2 into Alert Level 4 and a State of Emergency has been declared. Lockdown has been put in place and we are getting to grips with the unknown new “normal.” Everyone has to do their part to save lives. Essential Council services continue including storm water infrastructure repair and maintenance and water treatment, animal welfare management, biosecurity and hazard monitoring. As of 24 March 2020, Auckland’s kerbside rubbish and recycling are considered essential services and will continue as usual. The inorganic collection has been postponed. Wet wipes and other hygiene products, should be bagged and placed in rubbish bins never down the toilet. Over 300 Council facilities have closed including recreation centres, pools, community centres. Auckland Libraries e-lending services like audiobooks, video streaming services and learning databases like Lynda.com continue to be available for free and will be extended. Library fines for overdue books have been suspended and gym memberships are on hold. Our parks and reserves are always open for recreation, but be mindful to keep physical distances. Please keep children off equipment as playgrounds are closed. More COVID-19 information can be found on the front page of the Auckland Council website. Road maintenance undertaken by Auckland Transport is considered an essential service so will continue during the lockdown. However, this is being limited to only that maintenance required to keep the network safe and operational during this period.

It’s important our communities come together to support each other. I really appreciate one of my neighbours taking the initiative to ensure we all have each other’s contact information so she was able to set up a street WhatsApp chat group. As the homeless and other vulnerable groups will be particularly impacted, homeless agencies are working very closely with Council to ensure accommodation is provided with showers, food, and other amenities available in ways that manage the risk. Auckland Council has unanimously approved emergency measures to ensure effective governance of the city while it is in lockdown. A temporary ‘supercommittee’ has been established made up of the whole Governing Body to assume the functions and power of all committees except for the Audit and Risk Committee. Meetings will occur weekly by audio-visual link. We also agreed to establish a COVID-19 contingency fund of $22.5 million for any urgent expenditure required to respond to the pandemic or its impacts. The number one priority at the moment is public health. In the next month or so we’ll have a better idea of the impact on Council finances, what additional support can be provided and ability to deliver projects that are in the pipeline as we move to finalise the PN Annual Budget 20/21 by 1 July. (PIPPA COOM) F I’m working from home and can be contacted at pippa.coom@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or on 021 926 618.

Parks like Grey Lynn remain open for fresh air and local walks

18 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Grey Lynn Business Association: Everything you need is here At Grey Lynn Business Association, we want to make sure we’re here to serve our members during this testing time, meeting the challenges ahead. With every major threat there is always opportunity. Covid-19 is changing everybody’s worlds. Here at the Grey Lynn Business Assocation, we’re working on effective ways to respond to this. Shop local, eat local, spend local This is a simple message – we ask everyone to buy local to support Grey Lynn businesses through Covid-19. Your team at Grey Lynn Business Assocation is working on a whole range of ways to support businesses in our community. Importantly, if you need to access the Government’s business assistance package, it’s open to businesses employing less than 21 people, the self-employed and contractors. Compare how you were trading last year at the same time and if down by greater than 30% apply for assistance. For the self-employed and contractors this can be difficult but Government will take a view on cancelled forward contracts and consider that as part of 30% downturn. More information is available on www.workandincome.govt.nz. Targeted turnaround date for payment is 5 days. Remember there’s also support for those in lock-down isolation and a number of tax changes. Within the next couple of weeks, we will be talking to our members and businesses within Grey Lynn to find out what the challenges are, further assistance needed and opportunities available. We’ll also be leveraging different platforms to speak to people. Social Media First up, we’re creating a new platform from our Facebook page. This will provide a noticeboard for our members – and the greater local community – where you can keep connected and informed about what’s going on locally day-by-day. We hope you’ll use our noticeboard, especially in these times of isolation, to communicate and share, to remind people what is in their backyard. Everything you need is here locally and businesses can use this noticeboard to

stimulate sales and promote great deals. Check out our Facebook page which will have an instant response mechanism. What’s happening Secondly, we are launching a new format e-newsletter for our members. We invite you to take advantage of this What’s On & What’s Happening forum and welcome your feedback on how this letter can be more useful and dynamic for members. Meanwhile, we’ll be keeping you posted on our monthly activities and the exciting happenings we’ll be leading on. B2B communications Using enterprise video communications, we are looking at how we can continue B2B networking to bring to you highly specialised advice on business survival in a Covid-19 world, and virtual social interaction. We know it can be very isolating working from home and potentially it’s going to get a lot more isolating but we’re absolutely committed to continue the network and communications. This will be available as a first step to our members. Looking forward When we’ve got Covid-19 behind us, we’ll be launching our new look that we believe reflects our Grey Lynn ethos and values and monthly updates on all the new initiatives we’ve got coming up this year. Health and wellbeing Did you know the greater Grey Lynn area is the biggest hub in Auckland for health and wellbeing services – gyms, counsellors, massage, homeopaths, osteopaths, yoga and Pilates studios, dieticians and health experts? And don’t forget we are the plantbased capital of the city, with the largest hub of vegan, vegetarian, organic restaurants, cafes and shops in Auckland. And tune into our Facebook page to connect, share and have a platform to promote your business. For more information, email info@glba.co.nz F PN



Shoe Repairs

Photo Printing Framing

Key Cutting Shoe Care Products Photo Printing / Framing Knife Sharpening

09 376 3289 / www.onestepahead.co.nz 287 Ponsonby Road / Three Lamps (next to Salta Café) / e: onestepahead@xtra.co.nz PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



The Old Post Office clock update When climbing the Old Post Office tower to replace the flag on top of the dome, the flag team has to go up through the clock room, past the magnificent old clock mechanism. Until last month this lay silent, dusty and still. In 1913, the Ponsonby residents funded half of the cost of their Post Office clock. Sadly, after over 100 years of good service, the mechanism was in need of some TLC.

few horologists in New Zealand with the expertise to get the old girl working again. Michael Cryns was our man, being familiar with the Old Post Office clock along with the Town Hall, central library and Civic Theatre clocks. The Old Post Office clocks’s accuracy is determined by a gently swinging pendulum and a finely balanced escapement.

Now that a flag replacement routine has been established, the team turned their attention to getting the clock restarted, encouraged by calls from Ponsonby locals wishing to see the clock working again. In recent years, the clock had lost accuracy and the regular winding routine had lapsed, so eventually it was set to midday and stopped.

The clock is wound by winching heavy weights to the top of the tower every two weeks. The only concession to modern times is an electric motor driving the winch. Having given it a good clean, Michael declared the clock in good shape apart from a worn escapement and a sticky cog or two.

The flag team sought approval and permission to fix the clock which involved council, the landlord, and current tenants. This was achieved with the assistance of our local councilor Pippa Coom and goodwill and support all round. The next step was to track down one of the

Having made new escapement parts in his workshop, the time came to restart the clock in early March. With a bit of fine tuning the Old Post Office clock should be on time next time you look up. The next task is to build a protective cover for the working parts. Once complete, the Old Ponsonby Post Office clock should be good for another century of service. (CHARLES SCOONES, POST OFFICE TOWER, FLAG MINDER AND CLOCK-WINDING APPRENTICE) F PN

Lucia Mataia: News from the Leys... We are so excited to be in our new space – Leys Institute Little Library (see our address below). We have missed our community over the last few months and we look forward to seeing you all. However, if you are not quite well, we will still be here when you get better. If you are home alone, we have many wonderful library services free online with your library card. Did you know we have movies and documentaries on Beamafilm and Overdrive? As well as e-books, e-audio books and databases. Visit www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz Book Chats recommends This month’s suggestions provide a couple of different perspectives on crime. Our first two suggestions are crime novels. Antti Tuomainen is a Finnish writer known as the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ and his latest Little Siberia has been described as his best yet. Next up, is The Whisper Man by Alex North. This is a fast-paced thriller about a missing

child. The last recommendation is something entirely different. In 1969, American academic, poet and writer Maggie Nelson’s aunt was murdered. In 2004 Nelson’s mother received a call that a suspect was to be trialled for her aunt’s death. The Red Parts is Nelson’s memoir of the trial. Not only is this a personal, honest account of the trial but it also looks at society’s obsession with murder. The Book Chat venue has moved from Mary’s Cafe to the Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Terrace in the Gluepot room. Book Chat is held on the 4th Thursday of each month. The next gathering PN is Thursday 23 April, 10.00am – 11.00am. All welcome. F

LEYS INSTITUTE LITTLE LIBRARY, 14 Jervois Road, www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz

20 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



John Elliott: Late night, bad behaviour near Ponsonby Road Antisocial behaviour late at night is upsetting residents who live close to Ponsonby Road. Last year, Harry’s Bar was ordered to stop supplying alcohol after locals reported drunken behaviour around the bar and in side streets. Residents told of witnessing patrons urinating, defecating, having sex, vomiting and leaving offensive material lying around including condoms and drug paraphernalia. The noise and disorder kept children awake and terrified residents. According to locals, hordes of young people descend on Ponsonby just before midnight. They ‘pre-load’ in cars parked in side streets like Collingwood Street. And then hit the bars. They’d return to the cars when bars like Harry’s closed at 3am and fight, argue, urinate and vomit until after 4am. Ponsonby News has previously had complaints of similar antisocial behaviour around the Brown Street reserve, with residents citing similar disgusting goings-on.

Licencing Committee. Get the information to us before a renewal is applied for.” We asked if law changes were needed. Senior Sergeant Morgan said no, but he would like earlier closing times. Many bars can trade until 3 or 4am, after which much of the bad behaviour occurs. “There are four objections to behaviour in the Ponsonby area already being dealt with,” Morgan said. Police are often very busy in the early hours of the morning dealing with violent offending and sexual assaults. They can’t be everywhere, but they do rely on public reporting of incidents and they do police hot spots.

We talked to Senior Sergeant Morgan de la Rue, and Auckland Council’s Alcohol Licensing Manager, Peter Knight, about the problem.

Peter and Morgan both reiterated the harm which alcohol is causing in our community. Most admissions to A & E on Friday and Saturday nights are alcohol related. More security cameras down side streets off Ponsonby Road may be helpful, but bars must take responsibility for allowing customers to go outside to vomit against a tree, urinate or fornicate and then return to the bar.

Peter Knight told us that when a business applies for an on-licence, off-licence, club licence, new or renewed licence, they are required to publicly notify it in the newspaper and online. Businesses are also required to display their licences on their premises.

Locals must be aware when problematic premises are up for licence renewals and attend hearings and object if they have observed bad behaviour. No liquor is allowed to be drunk or carried in public in the vicinity of Ponsonby Road.

“Business owners have a legal and moral responsibility to the surrounding community to operate in a respectful manner,” Peter said. “If people are unsure what steps to take, they can visit our website or call us for advice.

Both Peter and Morgan acknowledged that Ponsonby Road presents a problem because there are residents in homes very close to Ponsonby Road. A certain tolerance is necessary, for the convenience of close proximity to shops, cafes and bars, but the tolerance needs to be reciprocal. Drunken teenagers at 3am wouldn’t know tolerance if it hit them in the face.

“Often, the community knows their community better than police,” added Peter. It was community participation in the Harry’s licencing application which led them to lose their licence. Harry’s vowed to seek the licence again, applied, but then failed to turn up. Harry’s licence is thus permanently revoked. “It is important,” Peter Knight told Ponsonby News, “for local groups and individuals to speak up and provide evidence if there are issues they can take to the District

Police and residents both want the same thing – a happy and tolerant community in which to live, work and play. Senior Sergeant de la Rue: “Don’t simply put up with it. Be proactive PN and report trouble.” We can do better. (JOHN ELLIOTT) F




John Elliott: Stuff gets it wrong – Western Springs pine trees not saved yet A report by Stuff last month proclaimed that a four to three vote at the Waitemata Local Board meeting had saved the Western Springs pines ‘from the axe’. Auckland Council has secured a resource consent to fell all 200 senescent pines from the forest. (Senescent means old – at 81, I know the word well and I’m not wanting to be chopped down, but I am self-isolating!).

I’m on record as a submitter to the resource consent application. I supported the application, but listed a number of caveats about how the plan should be carried out. Some of my reservations are still a worry to me.

Local Board Chair, Richard Northey confirmed that consent is in place for five years and the final decision on the fate of the pines has only been deferred while further advice is sought from council officers. “The decision is probably two to three months away now,” Northey told Ponsonby News.

Further consultation seems vital if local people are to have confidence in local democracy. The board has so far placed too much confidence in council officers’ judgements. Not enough outside expertise has been engaged.

The motion passed called for further information about ‘sectional removals’, rather than wholesale felling. Another motion by Sarah Trotman to conduct a health and safety check of each tree by experts was defeated by three votes to four. Trotman told Ponsonby News she was disappointed that her motion of an independent tree risk assessment was turned down. She also thinks the replanting may be unsuccessful and that the $750,000 budget may be inadequate. Trotman is not alone on the board with a number of reservations about the plans for demolition. Other new board members Alex Bonham and Kerin Leoni supported further consultation, as did Adriana Christie. Only Board Chair Richard Northey, Graeme Gunthorpe and Julie Sandilands were ready to proceed with wholesale felling. Environmental activist Steve Abel said he was “stoked – we can now have a community plan,” he said. Abel’s group says any trees that are an immediate safety threat should be removed on a staggered basis as the replacement native vegetation takes hold. However, the board will still make the final decision. The final vote could go either way. There seem to be three members firmly opposed to an immediate complete fell, and three members keen to proceed to carry out the resource consent and cut down the entire 200-plus trees. One member appears to be a swing voter and could be the queen maker.

22 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

I propose the setting up of a series of citizens’ assemblies to thoroughly canvas public opinion on various issues. The fate of the Western Springs forest could be the first of these. These would call on outside experts to brief the citizens and enable people to weigh up council advice against counter arguments. A consensus would be reached and I predict most outliers would fall into line with majority thinking. The board could then make its final decision, which would be very controversial if it went against the majority thinking of the citizens’ assembly. This process has worked well in other countries, including the UK. As more and more trees are chopped down in Auckland at a time of desperate climate change, it does seem profligate to chop down another 200 mature trees. I suspect some protagonists are hiding behind health and safety as their reason for demolition. If that is correct, then safety issues must be seriously investigated further. No one wants to put the public at risk of being hit by a falling tree, but a huge pile of logs hindering replanting of natives would be a pity, especially if further checks indicate that there is still a lot of life left in many of those old trees. Even some of us seniors suffering from senescence might live many more years. Still, this is not a trivial decision and should not be trivialised by flippant comments. Let’s do the research and get it right. As an old advert says – good things take time. PN (JOHN ELLIOTT) F



John Elliott: St Mary’s Bay Association concerned about Leys The St Mary’s Bay Association is a proactive group always anxious to address issues of concern in their suburb. I spoke recently to their Chair, David Abbott. He told me about his residents’ worry that Leys Institute Library has been suddenly closed. Many thousands of our Ponsonby News readers are concerned too, but the iconic Leys buildings are a central feature of the St Mary’s Bay landscape and residents like to call it their own. They use it very well too. “The bottom line for us,” said David Abbott, “is that this building must be preserved. It is an important part of Ponsonby’s history and of Auckland’s heritage. Furthermore, the Deed of Gift under which it was given to the city must be honoured.” The St Mary’s Bay Association understands the council’s need to consider health and safety matters, but concern over seismic resilience of the building is not new – it has been the subject of reports for some years. What is new, the association says, is that the latest report has made a dramatically different assessment from previous reports. Abbott told Ponsonby News that “my community members who have read that report believe some of its conclusions are overly cautious

and that effective and affordable measures are available to meet immediate health and safety needs pending discussions on more comprehensive long-term measures.” The SMBA want an informed community discussion. “We have lost too much of our heritage and too many of our services,” Abbott told us. “Leys must remain. It is not for the developers’ knacker’s yard.” All groups in the greater Ponsonby area are ready to work with the Waitemata Local Board and the council to ensure the long-term viability of Leys. I told David Abbott that St Mary’s Bay is not alone in demanding urgent restoration of our iconic building. Thousands of Ponsonby News readers will be up in arms if the council was to propose demolition or a sale to a developer. (JOHN ELLIOTT) F PN

Friends of Leys Institute established Following on from the successful community protest outside the Leys Institute Library and Gymnasium on 26 February, a Friends of Leys Institute group has been established. On the day of the protest, 126 people signed up on the spot and more are joining every day as the word has spread. It was so heartening to see the crowd of over 150 people spontaneously gathering, with quite short notice, to show their support for these much loved buildings and their important community facilities. A huge thanks must go to Kitch Cuthbert, of the Leys Library Book Chat group, for initiating the protest and arranging for the signs and banner. Thanks also to Ponsonby News for sending photographer Connor Crawford to snap the wonderful shot of the protest crowd outside the library and allowing us to use the photo. There is now a Facebook page: Friends of Leys Institute (separate from the Leys Institute Library Facebook page). We would love to have Ponsonby News readers as ‘followers’ and to ‘like’ the posts. Local residents’ associations, St Marys Bay Association, Freemans Bay Residents’ Association, Herne Bay Residents’ Association and Western Bays Residents’ Association, have all encouraged their membership to join ‘Friends of Leys Institute’. The associations are all working collectively to engage with the Waitemata Local Board on the future of the Leys.

At the protest on 26 February it was good to hear Local Board Chair Richard Northey stating the local board’s support for the buildings. And in her Councillor’s Report to the 17 March local board meeting, our councillor Pippa Coom stated: “I am absolutely committed to the restoration of the building and the return of library services. My role is to work with the local board to ensure the project secures what is likely to be a considerable budget from the governing body.” ‘Friends of Leys Institute’ welcomes the support of both the local board and our councillor for the buildings. It is acknowledged that the likely substantial budget for seismic strengthening will need to come from Auckland Council. However, Auckland Council has known for years of the necessary strengthening and, although multiple reports have been done since 2000, no works have yet been done. To show your support for the Leys Institute to the local board, you can email local board members (their email contacts are on the council website on the Waitemata Local Board page). F PN

www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/about-auckland-council/how-auckland-council-works/local-boards/all-local-boards/ waitemata-local-board/Pages/contact-waitemata-local-board.aspx You can contact councillor Pippa Coom at Pippa.Coom@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz You can join ‘Friends of Leys Institute”’by emailing co-ordinator Helen Geary at heleng@maxnet.co.nz PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



John Elliott: Auckland Central battle gets more intense The battle to win the Auckland Central Electorate in September just got more complicated with the entry into the race of 2017 Labour candidate Helen White. That means three outstanding women have already been nominated. Current National MP Nikki Kaye, high- profile Green MP Chloe Swarbrick and now Helen White.

against Nikki Kaye, so as not to split the centre-left vote. She thought it unrealistic in central and not the right thing to do anyway. “The Greens will get 5%,” she is sure.

I have already talked to Swarbrick and told readers about her enthusiasm. She thinks she can win. I will talk again soon to Kaye, who recently told me she has lost none of her desire to represent Auckland Central again next term.

The huge gap between the rich and the poor is New Zealand’s biggest problem, White believes. With health and the environment following close behind. “Under National, we were returning to the Victorian state, where the state walked over people in the street.

I was impressed with Helen White during the last election. She was new to the scene, but as a sole barrister, she had met and represented many of the people she seeks to represent as MP. She is also a genuine local, born and bred in Freemans Bay.

“Now,” bemoans Helen, “Bridges wants to cut a hundred regulations. Red tape, he says.” Helen White is incredulous at Bridges’ suggestion. “We’ve had a major leaky building crisis, social housing abandoned by National (there is no housing crisis they cried before the last election), chronic third-world diseases among our poor and underprivileged, mould on hospital walls – and he wants to cut maybe dozens of regulations.”

So, is she on a wild goose chase trying to unseat the popular Kaye? She doesn’t think so. Boundary changes last time cost her many left-leaning voters in Grey Lynn and Westmere. “On paper, this gave National about a 3000 lead,” she told me. “We cut that to 1500 on election day,” she said proudly. I asked White how she felt, as next on the Labour list, to be sitting waiting for the call that a Labour MP was standing down. “I have an exciting and engaging job,” she said. “I haven’t been waiting with baited breath for that call.” The joy Helen White had connecting with the community she’d grown up with was a great feeling. She feels even more strongly this time around. “I have deepened those connections,” she said. Many of her 2016 campaign team are back helping. They are aiming to exceed the 170 volunteers Labour had on the ground last election. “Winning the electorate seat would be wonderful,” Helen enthused. “I’m confident that the constituency work would be similar to what I do every day now in my law business.” We talked about issues. Helen White is very concerned about New Zealander’s access to justice. “There is a disconnect and an alienation that is alarming,” White believes. Adequate housing is a huge problem and it flows on to health, education and mental health issues. “We’ve made a good start under Jacinda Ardern,” says White. “New Zealand is one of the few Western countries with a progressive government and it’s been a joy.” With a number of dramatic and scary events, Ardern has reacted with courage and good judgement. I asked Helen White if Labour and the Greens should have reached an agreement in Auckland Central to stand only one candidate

Helen White is hoping there will be some vigorous public debates during the lead up to the election so policy proposals can be strongly debated. She thinks it might inspire more people to vote – whoever they do vote for. She has no problem arguing the toss with Chloe and Nikki. “We are three strong people,” she believes, “but very different people with different ideas and philosophies.” I‘ve known Helen’s parents, Peter and Carol, longer than I’ve know her. I worked with lawyer Peter on the Ponsonby Business Association and knew Carol through her principalship of Selwyn College. They are excellent Freemans Bay locals and rightly proud of Helen. I think Helen is a far more confident and, potentially, more able politician now than she was three years ago. She is on top of the issues, knows decisively where she stands on those issues and can argue the case for change. She is vibrant, personable and infectiously enthusiastic. Her enthusiasm should easily transfer to voters. She will also be a formidable debater during this election campaign. I think it unlikely she can win Auckland Central but she’ll give it a good shake and snap up every possible Labour Party vote she can. For that reason, I hope the Labour Party heirarchy give her a list place high enough for her to enter Parliament. She will be a decided asset and representative of the centre left. All three women (Nikki, Chloe and Helen) will probably make it into Parliament, but it is understandable that a local born and bred central girl would love to be the resident MP with the office and the PN status that brings. (JOHN ELLIOTT) F

Adopt your street – community and COVID-19 Would you like to do something practical to help right now? Grey Lynn 2030 are encouraging Grey Lynn to look outward during this uncertain time and help ensure that everyone is being looked after. There are already streets in Grey Lynn that have received a small note in their letterboxes from a neighbour reaching out and volunteering to be street liaison – you can volunteer on your street. Maybe, start a Street WhatsApp group, create a list of elderly or people who might need a bit of help, connecting them with others on your street who have put their hands up and are in a position to help. Let’s connect and support each other.

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Grey Lynn 2030 will keep a register of streets that have a confirmed adoption and those that need adopting.Email infogreylynn2030@ gmail.com if you have adopted your street or just need some support or help to run with this initiative. What is Grey Lynn 2030? It is part of the international, grassroots Transition Movement working towards the vision of a self-reliant, positive, resilient, vibrant, connected and sustainable community. F PN www.greylynn2030.co.nz PUBLISHED FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH (except January)


Ponsonby Park – April Update Unfortunately, yet understandably, the Ponsonby Park project has been temporarily delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak. The next step was to obtain approval for the remaining funds at the Finance and Performance Committee meeting, scheduled for Thursday 19 March. However, the published agenda was set aside in order to address the implications of the CoVID-19 outbreak instead. We understand and fully support the urgent need to plan an effective response to protect our community. At the time of writing, it is unclear when the scheduled agenda items will be progressed, but we are advised that it will be soon. In other news, we are pleased to report that the long-awaited, new noticeboard, that replaces our ‘homemade’ temporary one, has been installed on-site at 254 Ponsonby Road. Not only do we now have an efficient and weatherproof noticeboard for the Ponsonby Park updates, but also, the tired old wall that fronts Ponsonby Road has also been upgraded. The streetscape of Ponsonby Road is now much improved by this work having been completed. We extend our thanks to Roscoe Webb and his team for seeing this through. We would also like to thank LandLAB for providing the new visuals of their Park+ New Build concept design (above). We have updated our Facebook pages with the visuals and they are also on display in the on-site noticeboard for everyone to view. After all – a picture is worth a thousand words.

We’re pleased to report that the indicative timeline for the development of Ponsonby Park is still on track. The next stages are: April - May 2020 Detailed design process begins with the appointment of the design company June - July 2020 Consultation with Mana Whenua and Community related to final design details August 2020 Construction tender Late 2020 Construction starts Ponsonby Park will be a place of diversity and inclusion, where EVERYONE is welcome and it will ‘buzz with the sound of people’. It will be an urban oasis that will be good for the people, good for the environment and good for Auckland. We’re excited to know that this beautiful civic space will soon be available for all of our residents, visitors and local businesses to access and enjoy. Ponsonby Park – bring it on! (JENNIFER WARD) F PN




Kerry Lee: Moonstruck Dad Originally from India, Tanmoy and his wife Madhumita immigrated to New Zealand in 2008, with their son Rudra being born two years later. Unfortunately, when they left India for their new lives, they left behind an entire support network made up of a close-knit family comprised of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Tanmoy became concerned that by living in New Zealand, his son was growing up cut off from the support that he would have had, had he been born in India. Like all nine-year-olds, Rudra’s curiosity is insatiable and, like all children, he began asking his parents more and more questions about the critical issues that he saw around him. Wanting to bond more with his son, but not wanting him to rely just on social media or the Internet for his answers, the two of them set up Moonstruck Dad, a YouTube channe starring a nameless father and son trying to answer some of the questions that other kids Rudra’s age might have. “To satisfy Rudra’s curiosity, we started this YouTube channel to give his creativity a bit of an outlet.”

to everyday life, to why it’s important to be resilient in the face of defeat. To their surprise, Moonstruck Dad started becoming something of a hit, with even a teacher as far afield as Japan translating one of the videos and showing it to his own students. And if that weren’t enough, international authors including Australia’s Lian Tanner, a writer famous for her work in child fiction, encouraged Tanmoy and Rudra’s efforts. As a result, they recently wrote and illustrated their first book titled ‘Moonstruck Dad, Monster Hunting’ starring the father and son duo. In fact, when Tanmoy asked us to see if we’d be interested in writing about them, their book had already been downloaded a whopping 400 times and had been voted #1 scariest story by Amazon.

While Tanmoy doesn’t have a tremendous fondness for technology, he soon discovered that YouTube gave them a platform to reach out to other people and share their ideas.

When I asked Tanmoy about Moonstruck Dad’s success and why he thought it had become such a hit, he told me he had a feeling that most parents wanted to engage more with their kids, but for whatever reason might not be able to approach particular topics with them. He thought that maybe the Moonstruck Dad videos were helping to spark discussions between parents and their children.

The result was a series of one to two-minute videos that tackled questions and problems that kids around the seven to nine age group might be wondering about. These range from why maths is essential

“If people can be inspired to talk to their kids about things like bullying, or things like inclusiveness, I feel that we could have a better community and a better world.” (KERRY LEE) F PN

To find the Moonstruck Dad YouTube video channel, visit www.youtube.com/c/tanmoychakrabarti And for more information about their new book, please visit www.amazon.com/dp/B08532NDWB/ You can email them at: E: moonstruckdad@gmail.com

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Deirdre Thurston: On My Mind... De-cluttering I was walking my imaginary dog along the beach last week. At the moment, he’s a russet-coloured toy poodle with the sweetest round, brown eyes, named Juno. Juno adores the beach, although a few of the larger shells can set him aquiver with fright. One of the good things about Juno being so tiny is that he can pop into the post office or chemist with me and everyone just thinks I have a dust bunny at my heels. This may change soon. I might become less enamoured of those pleading eyes and decide I need a different dog. A Husky, maybe. With piercing blue eyes and no fear of shells at all. While I was Googling Huskies, a friend called with big news: “I’ve done it!” Pregnancy was out of the question. Had she eloped with her imaginary lover? No. She’s putting her house on the market. No one can say she’s not a woman of action, having only been talking about it for five years. I was delighted for her new future. New plans, meaning a massive surge of adrenalin and happy, happy, joy, joy, pheramones. That is, until the ‘pre on the market flurry’ morphs quickly into the ‘pre on the market slump’. As with everything in life, you have to take the good with the bad. And, clearing out 15 years of one’s life in a home is not only cathartic, it is also absolute hell. Never mind, we were going to de-clutter. Maria Condo…pfft. We were going to expose her for the amateur she is. In hindsight, clearly she is a stronger woman than us, but my friend and her team gave it our all. How do we amass so much ‘stuff’? Why do we keep every birthday card anyone’s ever given us tucked away in shoeboxes stuffed in cupboards (talk about dust bunnies)? And why, why do we think we need nine sets of sheets – now with a faint yellowy hue and imbued with musty, mothball odour, for single beds we don’t own? In tackling my friend’s linen cupboard, I was taken back to my past house moves. Similar situation –cards, unused sheets, duvet covers. Clothes I’d never wear. Ditto shoes. I’d de-cluttered extensively. And I haven’t missed a single thing I got rid of. Actually, not entirely true – I did miss my husband a bit. Anyway, my friend’s boxes, no matter how precious, had to go. We sat down to sort the contents. Depending on whose point of view you take, it went well. Our first mistake was opening a bottle of wine. Our second was drinking it. Because, after a couple of wines, all those old photos of people you don’t recognise and appear to belong to another tribe altogether, all those six boxes of weensy pink shells (Juno would approve) and giant, stripy ones (Juno’s nightmare), simply couldn’t be ditched. We discussed a jaunt to the beach to scatter the shells, but which beach? And would we be messing with nature’s delicate balance on that beach? The only sensible thing to do – wipe off the thick layers of dust on the boxes and stack them on the floor by the linen cupboard, where, for a couple of hours, we’d pretend they weren’t going back in the cupboard.

I did manage to fill two rubbish bags and a couple of cartons with linen for the SPCA. Hopefully cats and dogs don’t mind mothball odour. Next, her bedroom. “How do you sleep in here?” “I don’t. I sleep in the spare room,” she answered, obviously thinking it quite normal. Within seconds it was clear we needed dust masks. Unfortunately, the dust masks she found had so much ingrained dust in them, we, coughing and eyes streaming, chucked them into the bin. Never buy a bed without a base. Too much can fit underneath. I pulled out boxes of broken china, more shells, old magazines. It was a biological health hazard under there. We couldn’t breathe and I swear the dust bunnies were more like dust dinosaurs. I moved onto that one drawer we all have for bits and bobs. A screwdriver, rusty nail, small tube of glue you used once and will never be able to use again, a real estate agent’s note pad, wine bottle corks, old Sellotape you cant find an end to, dead batteries, a pen that doesn’t work – the necessities of life. Turfing all that flotsam and jetsam that anchors us down cleanses our spirits. Once we had cleared the house of some of my friend’s ‘anchors’, scrubbed and polished, prettied the garden up, her smile widened and she walked two feet off the ground, giddy with possibility. Until she got sideswiped with early onset seller’s remorse. You begin to berate yourself for not de-cluttering sooner, for letting ‘stuff’ creep into every corner. Then you fall in love with your home again and wonder why you are selling. As my friend’s feet hit the clean floor, her giddiness dispersed and she thanked her lucky stars she had kept the damn shells. The only thing to do was breathe deep and open another bottle of wine. I patted her on the back as she threw the cork into the rubbish. PN (DEIRDRE THURSTON) F PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Landmark Ponsonby church seeks a new owner An historic church, which has been a prominent landmark on Ponsonby Road for the past 138 years, is set for a change of use following a decision to put the property on the market. St John’s Church, plus two adjoining buildings and the 2462 sq m land they are located on at 229A Ponsonby Road, are being offered for sale with vacant possession by the Auckland Samoan Parish of the Methodist Church of New Zealand.

on 30 April, 1882. It became the founding church of New Zealand’s first Methodist Samoan parish around 50 years ago.

Bayleys Real Estate has been appointed to tender the property, closing Wednesday 15 April, unless sold prior.

“With the inflow of Pacific Islanders to Auckland’s inner city suburbs, particularly Ponsonby and Grey Lynn, from the 1960s, the district synod of the Methodist Church saw the need for a centre that met the social and cultural needs of its Samoan members.

Alan Haydock, director of Bayleys Auckland city and fringe division, says the church has catered for the changing community needs of Ponsonby and its surrounding residents since it held its first service

St John’s Church became the headquarters of an Auckland Samoan fellowship and two further substantial extensions were added to the side and rear of the church in the 1970s and 1980s,” says Haydock.

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Haydock says the original church located on the property’s Ponsonby Road frontage has heritage protection and will remain one of the suburb’s enduring landmarks. It has an Historic Place Category B classification. However, the substantial, rectangular-shaped site, which also has frontage onto Arthur Street at the rear, and its two different Auckland Unitary Plan zonings, offers plenty of add value opportunities for the next owner, he says. “The rear portion of the site adjoining Arthur Street, a quiet, predominantly upmarket housing street, has a residential zoning. The land’s elevated, north-easterly aspect could lend itself to one or possibly two large dwellings on Arthur Street which would provide sweeping CBD and harbour views from their upper levels. “The front part of the property on Ponsonby Road, on which the church is located, has a Town Centre zoning which permits a wide range of commercial, community as well as residential uses.” The Heritage New Zealand website describes the church as a fine example of a timber ecclesiastical building in the Gothic Revival style: “St John’s Church has high aesthetic importance for its visual aspect and its contribution to the streetscape of Ponsonby Road, and as a valued Auckland landmark. It is also aesthetically significant for its ornate interior.”


“The reality is that most of the church’s congregation are now based in South Auckland. This, in combination with the substantial increase in underlying land values along Ponsonby Road, has resulted in their decision to sell. The proceeds will be reinvested in providing continuing services for Samoan parishioners closer to where most of them live.”

has been used for a play centre and Sunday School rooms. Damien Bullick says both the added buildings are in need of refurbishment and modernisation but could be adapted for a variety of uses. Alternatively, council consent could be sought to demolish them and use the land for other purposes. There is also undeveloped land along the southern side of the property which currently provides outdoor parking for approximately 24 cars. St John’s Church was one of several places of worship built during the late 19th Century to serve the growing and varied religious needs of the expanding suburb of Ponsonby. Ponsonby’s 1874 population of 1640 had more than doubled by 1881, and was to double again by 1886. This was the result of a speculative surge of house building on Auckland’s suburban fringe, which occurred during a lengthy economic boom in the 1870s and early 1880s. In 1876, members of the Methodist (also known as Wesleyan) faith took steps to provide a place of worship in Ponsonby and part of the present St John’s site was purchased and a small weatherboard chapel opened for worship on November 11, 1877. A year later, a gallery was built to provide more seating but within another three years the building was too small and another property adjoining the chapel was bought to allow for expansion. Plans were prepared for a large new church seating 550 people and the foundation stone of the current structure was laid on 2 November, 1881.

“St John’s Church has high

aesthetic importance for its visual aspect and its contribution to the streetscape of Ponsonby Road, and as a valued Auckland landmark. It is also aesthetically significant for its ornate interior.”

The original church is a rectangular building of approximately 300 sq m and has a gable roof, with Marseilles-pattern, clay roof tiles. Along each side of the building are a series of Gothic windows, some of which contain stained-glass panels. The interior still has its original tongue and groove, timber-lined ceiling and walls plus ornate timber roof trusses decorated with Gothic quatrefoil motifs. The trusses are supported on elegant brackets and corbels. The church has a 12.8m stud height at peak, lowering to six metres along the side walls.

Costing £2240, the new building was constructed by James Heron, a foundation trustee of the church, to the design of Edward Bartley, a notable late 19th Century architect who designed a variety of ecclesiastical and other landmark buildings around Auckland.

Prominent local figures involved as foundation trustees of St John’s included Joseph Liston Wilson, proprietor of the New Zealand Herald, and George Winstone, co-founder of Winstone Brothers’ haulage and quarrying firm. Nationally, the Methodist denomination grew in strength during the 1880s, peaking just after the turn of the 20th Century, at which time an estimated one in ten New Zealanders was Methodist. During this period, St John’s Church was the centre of the religious, cultural and social life of its members and prior to World War One, even had its own cricket team.

“This is stunning, character space which would appeal to either an owner/occupier or add value investor keen to preserve and enhance an important part of Auckland’s history,” Haydock says. “It could be of interest to another church or community group but it is now becoming increasingly common for churches to be converted into alternative commercial or residential uses.”

Modifications were made to the church interior in the early 1900s, including the accommodation of a pipe organ and the creation of vestries at the eastern end of the church in 1903. As well as work undertaken to strengthen the church tower and sheath the spire in copper, electric lighting was also installed. Lighting is now provided by 12 chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

Possible commercial activities could include a gallery, restaurant, theatre or events centre or character office or retail space, he says. The Town Centre zoning also permits residential use, although this or any other change of use would require council consent.

Like other churches in the older suburbs of New Zealand’s larger cities, St John’s suffered a substantial decrease in its congregation following the Second World War before undergoing a revival in the latter quarter of the 20th Century when it became a Samoan Methodist parish.

The first of two additions to the church building was undertaken in 1977 and comprised an extension of approximately 340 sq m along the northern side of the church to accommodate a Methodist Samoan community and cultural centre. This has a Polynesian flavour with a brick exterior and wooden flooring plus large wooden beams in the lounge areas. It also incorporates a substantial kitchen plus toilets and an upstairs classroom area with an adjoining open deck. A concrete block building of approximately 600 sq m with a separate entrance was added at the rear of the church in 1989. This contains a large community hall with a multi-room basement below which

Bullick says the property’s high-profile location in a central part of bustling Ponsonby Road means it is well positioned for the next chapter in its long life. “It’s very rare for a property of this size to come up for sale along Ponsonby Road. It brings with it a range of options, including occupying or leasing the existing buildings, residential conversion or the development of new buildings. There are many opportunities worth exploring here.” F PN PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Liz Wheadon: The Glengarry team visit Central Otago In late January, four of the Glengarry team, including me, our Victoria Park Site Manager, Zane Winskill, Fine Wine Sales Consultant, Regan McCaffery and Product/Marketing Assistant, Anthony Sorensen, headed to Central Otago for three days of pinot noir immersion. The Central Otago pinot noir celebration, now in its 14th year, has been an event that we have regularly attended. In doing so we have been proud to watch this impressive region grow, learn about itself and evolve into the world pinot noir powerhouse that it is.

the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Station. Despite having been to Central Otago many times, this was my first time on the TSS Earnslaw and what an experience it was. Highly recommend this to everyone – it’s not the tourist trap you may think it is.

On day one we left Auckland super early, arriving in Queenstown in time to board an 11am bus and head for the shores of Lake Wanaka and Rippon Winery. Taking the long way around, with winemaker and local history legend Matt Dicey on the microphone, we were treated to a visual update of the region around ownership changes, new plantings and all the comings and goings.

Day three of our pinot noir immersion took us to Bannockburn. First stop, Carrick Winery and a rose tasting. Oh, how things have changed. In the early years of this celebration, rose was frowned upon and whites were served behind closed doors. The region has grown up and it’s more diverse and exciting than it’s ever been.

Once at Rippon, the afternoon started with a series of poets exploring a sense of place and belonging. From there, a series of sub-regional tastings set the tone for the event, which set out to highlight a sense of place through exploring not only Central Otago, but its sub regions. Day one then concluded with a trip to the Cardrona Hotel to taste another collection of white wines from the region and taste local fare. Back over the Crown Range and an early night for most. Except, unfortunately, for one of the buses that did not quite make the Crown Range turns with ample application and became stuck! Day two started with a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline, where a formal tasting was held. This gave the team an opportunity to try wines from forty of the region’s producers, with the focus of this pinot noir tasting being current vintage and the opportunity to explore aged wines. As we headed to this, I challenged the team to come up with their ‘top 12’ wines for the tasting. It’s the collation of the resulting four lists, which had remarkable similarity, that forms the collection featured in our April Wineletter. From there, we were treated to lunch at Peregrine with the talented New Zealand chef, Monique Fiso. Monique’s focus is on foraging and indigenous ingredients. One such example served at lunch was kamo kamo, a native squash, which took me back to days up north when my mother cooked this. Our evening took us across Lake Wakatipu on

We were then divided into groups. Whilst locomotive transport was provided for some in the group, for the four of us it was electric bikes – well, for me and Regan, that is. Zane and Anthony’s bikes lost power and they actually had to cycle. We rode our bikes up and down Bannockburn and talked wine, the region and viticulture. The final part of the event – lunch under a marquee at Mount Edward’s place in Bannockburn. Lunch was a BYO affair. We all shared wines from around the world, benchmarking and talking about the great wines of the world. Oh so important. Reflecting on the event, the wines and the people, I start first with the latter. This is a region full of generous souls that are so proud of what they do and eager to share it. Every time we go there, we are welcomed with open arms and it feels like going home. Having been at most of the celebrations in the history of this event, I reflected on the first ones when I’d have been comfortable with a selection of the wines on the shelves at Glengarry. Now, all of the wines tasted are at the level that we’d love to have them in our stores. The difficulty being, where to put them all. What also hit home now more than ever is the difference in the sub regions and that the winemakers are doing all they can to enhance that and not mute it. Letting the vineyards speak for themselves. Check out the collection of wines the team have selected – what an impressive PN range. (LIZ WHEADON) F www.glengarry.co.nz

Central Otago Pinot Noir

The team visit and pick their favorite wines from Central Otago


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Budgeting expert says vulnerable people suffering from Countdown removing regular specials amidst Covid-19 lockdown Budgeting Expert Jennifer McIvor says anecdotal feedback from her followers overwhelmingly supports the fact that Countdown’s decision to remove the regular specials during the Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand is causing vulnerable people to suffer. Jennifer McIvor, who runs budgeting-focused online business Creating Wealth NZ, has a following on Instagram, where she regularly engages with budgeting advice, meal planning and tips for saving. McIvor says the anecdotal evidence from her followers is clear – Countdown’s decision to remove specials on essential items, at a time where people are suffering already, is having a drastic impact on household budgets. “I’m hearing stories of Countdown’s prices even being considered above average, from followers all over the country,� she says. “In my own household, my husband did our grocery shop yesterday, and paid $29.19 for 1.3 kilos of chicken thighs, which on special would normally cost us $23.40�. She says more needs to be done to regulate pricing, to ensure Countdown isn’t unfairly making additional profits during the lockdown. “During the lockdown, supermarkets have increased demand from customers who would usually purchase from bakeries, cafes, restaurants, takeaway outlets and liquor stores. No one has the option but to purchase from supermarkets right now, so they have the monopoly in the food industry,� she says. “Although Countdown has already commented on their current policy of not offering specials / discounts, (as seen in this Stuff article), they seem to be the only supermarket chain with this policy. It also seems Countdown is possibly taking it further, with higher than usual prices for everyday items.� Jennifer says she is shocked that the chain is hiding behind the excuses of increased demand and staff having to change promotion tickets, when they are almost certainly receiving increased profits due to more people having to shop there.

“Have their costs from their suppliers increased? Possibly, but I doubt it. We know for sure their demand has increased. They’re potentially making much higher than normal profits, and it is extremely unfair to be taking advantage at a time like this.� McIvor says Countdown’s policy is taking advantage of the most vulnerable, and unfortunately in some cases, consumers have no choice but to shop at Countdown. “I know of some situations where Countdown is the only option in their town, so they have no choice but to pay these higher than normal prices� she says. “At a time where some people’s incomes have reduced drastically or stopped altogether, their food bills are increasing, and it’s not good enough.� Jennifer says the Government is encouraging consumers to come forward with examples, and she’d like to see Countdown play fair. “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has encouraged people to send copies of their receipts to herself and the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Fa’afoi, and I encourage people to get behind this and start showing the Government what is happening.� McIvor adds that while she understands Covid-19 is an unprecedented situation, she would like to see Countdown put people over profit. “I understand that this Covid-19 situation has changed how we shop, and everyone is being affected, but Countdown should not be taking advantage of PN the vulnerable and profiteering from such a disastrous situation.� F


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Chocolates, hot cross buns and indulgent treats Easter is just around the corner and we are hopping into the spirit of it! At Sabato we take pride in bringing in some of the finest brands of confectionery in the world. Come along on a journey with us and experience fine French chocolate by Valrhona. Known as the Rolls-Royce of chocolate, their eggs are bound to be a lovely highlight this Easter. Create a delicious nest on your table with Valrhona’s gorgeous speckled gull eggs. Available in a pack with both salted butter caramel and rich praline- you’ll find it hard to choose your favourite! Venchi has been a pioneer in Italian confectionery, providing us with the highest quality of Gianduja and revolutionising the confectionery world. Celebrate Easter with their delicious treats such as their hollow Easter bunnies. Made with quality dark, milk or white chocolate and with colourful packaging, they are ideal for kids, or adults alike. Or indulge in Venchi’s nougatine eggs- delectable mini dark chocolate eggs with nougatine chips wrapped in foil that everyone will enjoy. Bring your festive table to life with our range of Easter homeware. With colourful dinnerware by Rachel Carley, quality French drinkware by La Rochére and adorable bunny tea towels and serviettes by Michel Design Works, with Sabato you can truly immerse yourself into the spirit of Easter. Visit our website to shop online. Delivery and no-contact pickup options are available. F PN SABATO, 57 Normanby Road, Mt Eden, T: 09 630 8751, www.sabato.co.nz

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Faces at Grey Lynn Farmers Market Ruth and her partner Dave are the curators of delicious and healthy teas. They sell The Tea Thief teas at the market on Sunday mornings. You and Dave are both English, did you come to New Zealand together? No – we met in an American acting class here in Auckland and became friends. Then, in 2015, we were both cast in the film ‘Not for Children’. We got married in the film and we’ve been together ever since. Have you been involved in the film industry long? Yes! My degree was in creative visual arts. I used to work as a prop maker in the UK working for Aardman Animations on Chicken Run, then on Star Wars in Australia. I also worked on the Sydney Olympics. I’m now mostly seen in front of the camera or on stage along with Dave with our love of acting. But you are no longer making props? No – I used to do model making and painting but I didn’t like the chemicals that I was working with so I moved into stand-by props and then art direction, including a stint on Shortland Street. More recently, I have been producing events, including a shire-inspired event with Weta Workshop, and creating a giant tree at Sylvia Park. So how did you get into tea? I’ve always loved tea. When Dave and I got together, our collection grew as we experimented and we bought more interesting teas. Our inspiration for the business was sparked when we were on honeymoon in Greece and were looking for caffeine-free tea. We found Greek Mountain tea and were hooked. What was it about Greek Mountain tea? The ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, hailed Greek Mountain tea for its benefits to the immune system and the respiratory system. It has amazing health benefits – it is anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and beneficial for blood pressure. There are scientific studies to support all the claims and I cite them on our website so that people can read the source information. What about your other teas? Our teas are sourced from all over the world and either have proven health benefits or have been used for centuries as herbal remedies. They are all organic or wild harvested and from sustainable sources. We want to provide teas that are beneficial for people who drink the tea and for those who are involved in the supply chain.

What role has the Grey Lynn Farmers Market played in your business? At the moment this is our only shop front, but it is more than that. We attended the market’s business incubator course run by Rebekah Hay (founder of Hakanoa Handmade Drinks), and then we came to the market to do some testing with customers. It really helped us refine our product ideas. And where did the name come from? We played with lots of names. In Cockney rhyming slang ‘tea leaf’ is ‘thief’. And it is also a nod to the infamous Robert Fortune who was sent by the British East India Company to steal tea plants from Imperial China in the mid-1800s. But, of course, our commitment to ethical relationships with our providers is the antithesis of what Robert Fortune did. F PN www.theteathief.co www.glfm.co.nz

Sunday mornings at the Grey Lynn Community Centre 510 Richmond Road PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020




Gary Steel: Vegan menus everywhere we look As I write, there’s panic in the streets and in supermarkets, but there’s never been a better time for plant-based denizens to eat out. The number of restaurants offering vegan menus has grown exponentially in the past few months, so in the next few columns, I’ll be visiting as many as I can and passing my verdicts on to you, dear readers. Hey, it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it! I was sad about the closure of venerable Thai eateries Sawadee and Mai Thai, both of which started out in an era of little choice and diversity in Auckland. Happily for us, Thai restaurants are plentiful in 2020 and, better still, some of them offer genuine vegetarian and vegan options. In the past, even seemingly ‘vegetarian’ items had fish in their sauces. Oh, how things have changed. Herne Bay Thai Cuisine (38 Jervois Road) is a small but perfectly formed new restaurant in the shops just around the corner and along the road a bit from Three Lamps. It’s a family business that prides itself on fresh, authentic ingredients and owner Nae explained that a separate vegan menu is in preparation. I took her recommendation and ordered a tofu larb, which reportedly contains a vast array of veggies and herbs and packs a real red pepper punch! I’m a seasoned spice freak but it made my eyes water (just a little) so, if you’re spice averse, ask them to tone it down. It was sensational. My experience at Herne Bay Thai Cuisine was superb, so I’m looking forward to trying more from the forthcoming menu. In the meantime, just ask and they’ll convert nearly any meat-containing item into a completely vegan counterpart. Their Facebook page describes them as ‘Athletic Thai food home cook recipe’, and while I lack athletic prowess at the best of times, I sure felt good after I ate there. Then there’s Chu Thai at 244 Ponsonby Road, the site of several previous Thai restaurants over the years. They have an extensive vegetarian/vegan menu and, on my one visit (to date), I was knocked out by what I can only describe as a flavour festival. I ordered a larb grilled tofu skin and my head just about lifted off its axis with the taste sensation. My friend tried out the green curry.

Chu Thai

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Once again, the flavour was heavenly. Some have commented that they’ve found the dishes here to be a little sweet (a criticism I often hear of Thai food) but I’d happily forgo dessert for just a touch of sugar in my main. Once again, I’m itching to sample other items from the menu when time and finances allow. Just for something completely different, I checked out one of India’s largest vegetarian eating franchises, now open at 51 Hobson Street. Saravanaa Bhavan has a colourful history (check it out online: the founder was recently convicted of murder!) but is hugely successful and comes with a great reputation for generous and tasty South Indian food. Although they don’t have a separate vegan menu, they will gracefully convert many of the items to suit and I got a massive thali that put to shame many of the other exponents of this wonderful ‘sampling’ tray around Auckland. Once again, several return visits are mandatory. Last but not least, is Romulus & Remus right at the top of Richmond Road, where the Jafa cafe operated its business for a number of years. They’ve created a wonderful atmosphere for an Italian restaurant with a difference, and optional vegetarian and vegan menus are available. On my first visit I felt like a fairly light dinner and opted for a vegan pizza, which turned out to be stunning. Devoid of any overtly cheese-like substances, its simplicity made it what it was – delicious. Sometimes just the right mix of veg, perfectly prepared and placed and, of course, a scrumptious crispy base, is all the tastebuds and stomach require. More next month! But in the meantime, please, get out there and support your local. If everyone stays at home throughout this Coronavirus crisis, then there may not be very many eating places left to go to when you emerge from your lairs. (GARY STEEL) F PN Gary Steel is an Auckland-based journalist who runs entertainment site for grownups, www.witchdoctor.co.nz. He can be contacted via beautmusic@gmail.com

Herne Bay Thai



Gin lovers, locally grown juniper is coming! After a huge nationwide hunt for Juniperus communis led by Juno Gin in 2019, researchers at Massey University have taken big steps toward supporting the creation of New Zealand’s first commercial juniper crops. Juniper forms the base botanical to any gin and, for the many craft gin distillers in New Zealand, has to be imported from the Northern Hemisphere. “We are great believers in sourcing local whenever we can,” explains Jo James who founded Juno Gin with husband Dave. “It’s kinder on the planet and typically produces wonderful flavour profiles unique to that location. So, obviously, we’re excited that one day soon we will have locally grown juniper that speaks to Aotearoa’s uniqueness.” “The work that Massey is doing is fantastic,” says Dave. “Not only have they positively identified 39 plants that all show tremendous promise, but they are also understanding the genetic make-up of those plants so that we have the genesis of future crops that are healthy and rich in flavour. One exciting piece of work is the effect of terroir on flavour and chemical composition.”

From 30 March, Juno’s Autumn 2020 Gin will be available for purchase at www.junogin.co.nz as a cocktail pack that includes tonic and recipe card so that people can enjoy delicious cocktails in the comfort of their own home over Easter Weekend.

The first seedlings are currently growing at Massey University’s Palmerston North laboratories and Cedar Lodge Nurseries in New Plymouth. From here they will go into test crops in the North Island and also in the South Island through Lincoln University – becoming the parent stock for the industry. “Seeing these young plants grow is an exciting milestone for the project,” says Jo. “And we do have to pass on a huge and heartfelt thank you to all those Kiwis, including the media, who helped us spread the word and look for juniper in backyards and gardens. Thank you!” Juniper is said to enjoy New Zealand’s temperate climate and requires well-draining soil. “Our dream is that we’ll see juniper develop as an industry in its own right here in New Zealand,” says Dave. “Imagine farms with shelter belts of juniper and small plots of land converted into juniper orchards. If for no one else, we know this would be a welcome sight for gin lovers across the country!” Juno Gin was established in 2017 and runs its distillery from New Plymouth where they make use of pure mountain water and the many local growers of botanicals. Each quarter they release a seasonal gin that captures the uniqueness of that season in New Zealand. Their autumn 2020 Gin, to be released Easter weekend at a virtual event, will feature Taranaki oranges, mountain horopito and mairehau. For more information on the Great New Zealand Juniper Hunt and if you think you’ve discovered a Juniperus communis, please visit www.junogin.co.nz/juniper-hunt PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Phil Parker: Wines for self-isolation What a difference a month makes. Last time I was writing this column, I was ending a very successful tourist season, with nearly 100% of my clients being inbound tourists, almost all from the US. But, in the last week, cancellations have been rolling in daily and I’m running out of Twink to erase dates on my desk calendar. I’ll try to refocus on the domestic market but essentially my core income is on hold until the pandemic is over. Lord knows when that will be. Anyway, if official advice recommends that we stay home, then we may as well enjoy a few wines from the cellar and order in some replacements. Here is a selection of very distinctive and complex wines that I’ve been lucky enough to sample in the last month. Invite your besties over, bump elbows and enjoy a few fab wines. And don’t forget to support your local wine tour operator! Man O’ War Gravestone Waiheke Sauvignon/Semillon - $31.99 Ironically, I grabbed this from my local Pt Chevalier organic wine store, after a long day, thinking it was a pinot gris. Duh. I’m not a huge fan of sauvignon blanc. Which would be a bit like saying Winston Peters is not a huge fan of the SFO. But this is a really interesting wine with a 85% sauv blanc/ 15% semillon blend. Very grassy and flinty on the nose, it’s a bone dry but rich palate of gooseberry, a bit of green bell pepper, ripe, fresh-picked blackcurrant and citrus mandarin tangy finish. Available: Pt Chevalier Organic Wines, Glengarry. Bogle Phantom Clarksburg Chardonnay California 2016 - $30 Disclaimer: I have always liked buttery, oaky chardonnays. The shift in New Zealand toward flinty and ‘reductive’, ie, stinky-blockeddrain-style chardonnay, in my opinion, has been a huge mistake by New Zealand chardonnay producers and wine judges. It has alienated many traditional New Zealand chard fans and opened a

huge opportunity for Californian producers such as Bogle who deliver bang for buck rich, ripe and generous buttery chardonnays starting at about $20. Phantom is a reserve style from Bogle, a tad more restrained than the standard label. Notes of toffee, toast and a hint of vanilla with a lengthy palate of roasted peach, butterscotch and ripe grapefruit. Available: Pt Chevalier Organic Wines, Herne Bay Cellars. Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018 - $37.99 A soft and slinky feminine take on the Central pinot style that can veer from light and delicate to muscular and inky black. This wine is seamless and fragrant, with aromas of pot pourri, ripe boysenberry and a whiff of oaky spice. In the mouth it has hints of raspberry, blackberry ,mushroom, a hint of spice and a lengthy finish with 13.5% alcohol. Glorious pinot from a consistently great producer. Available: Glengarry. Vidal Legacy Hawkes Bay Syrah 2016 - $75 Part of the Villa Maria group, the Vidal label is based in Hawkes Bay, and winemaker is the renowned Hugh Chrichton. This syrah was grown in the Gimblett Gravels red metal soils and is a great example of one of New Zealand’s premium, red-growing regions. Inky and dark garnet red, it has aromas of dark berry fruits and spicy earthiness. Soft and full-bodied in the mouth, this is a ripe and generous red with complex flavours of dark chocolate, plum, cassis and peppery spice. Available: Vino Fino, Vidal Estate, Good Wine Co. (PHIL PARKER) F PN

FINE WINE & FOOD TOURS “No. 4 Auckland Food & Drink” – TripAdvisor Your host, Phil Parker wine writer. Boutique tours for small and large groups.

E: phil.parker@xtra.co.nz

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210 SYMONDS STREET T: 09 377 1911 www.sidatthefrenchcafe.co.nz sidatthefrenchcafe

PROGRESSIVE INDIAN DINING SIDART, Level 1, Three Lamps Plaza, 283 Ponsonby Road T: 360 2122 www.sidart.co.nz


When you dine with us, the focus is on freshly prepared classic dishes, featuring an excellent range of pasta, seafood, meats and our pizza classics.

CONTEMPORARY INDIAN DINING 5 Fort Lane, CBD T: 09 379 9702 cassiarestaurant.co.nz

We also offer our pasta dishes to takeaway, phone for details or check our website for the menu. 263 PONSONBY RD, THREE LAMPS, 09 361 1556 www.gustoitaliano.co.nz




Ponsonby News Readers are everywhere...

A train trip is always a great time to catch up on Ponsonby News. Here, Wayne and Karen Foster are sharing the latest stories with the conductor on the Train To Nowhere in the Terra del Fuego National Park at the bottom of SOUTH AMERICA.

Ross Thorby is on a cruise in PANAMA and ended up, through a weird coincidence, playing dominoes with the late General Noriega’s personal chef. “I didn’t manage to have my Ponsonby News with me, but does the online version count?” We say of course it does! Dear readers, please keep sending us your holiday snaps reading your favourite magazine, we love getting them! Photos need to be in high resolution (300dpi), so please email them to info@ponsonbynews.co.nz without reducing the size.

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Ross Thorby: The Great Bait and Switch There was nothing particularly unusual about March 26 1954, that marked it as anything particularly auspicious. On the surface it was just another drab and overcast day in Australia’s southern state of Victoria. The only bright spot for Mr and Mrs Palmer that dull day would be the birth of their son, Clive. Clive Palmer would go on to found a mining company in Western Australia where he would make a very sizeable fortune. Clive Palmer, who once listed litigation as amongst his hobbies, spent his mining career embroiled in legal stoushes ranging from, but not limited to, a disastrous venture into Australian ‘footie’, tussles with journalists and scrapes with the Chinese government. Nothing in his past at the time had indicated that he had a deep interest in anything maritime, or even, for that matter, history, but then he did something completely out of the box – even for him. He announced he was building a new Titanic. Lauded at the time and reported here in November 2013, it was, at the time, to be an exact replica of the original – albeit with the addition of more lifeboats. Palmer’s Titanic 2 would reportedly furnish each stateroom with a full wardrobe of costumes so that the guests would all be able to participate fully in the re-creation of one of maritime history’s most infamous maiden voyages. Well, hopefully not fully re-created, Clive intended on using his ship more than once. At the time of his announcement in 2012, he garnered worldwide attention for his project, particularly with the claim that the keel had already been laid in China and it would be completed by 2016. The Chinese shipyard would go on to deny any such contract had ever been signed and the fact that China had never built a cruise ship that size increased the incredulity of his sceptics. Coincidently, on the tidal wave of his attention-grabbing headlines, he announced that he was entering Australian politics. Now, the cynics amongst us would question the timing of his political announcement and the fact that over the next few years, Palmer would put out Titanic press releases coinciding with his political campaign milestones, such as his election to the Australian Federal Parliament in 2013 and the subsequent problems he experienced in that seat. Over the years, these Titanic 2 press releases related various changes to the original White Star design – a different hull, more decks, a disco, a helipad, balconies in the funnels and that her maiden voyage would begin in Dubai. The list went on so much so that any similarity with the original Titanic blueprint, apart from its four funnels and a hull, was hard to see. This was all from a politician who once mooted creating a real Jurassic Park on his golf course at Coolum (reportedly abandoned and derelict) and also claimed that Barak Obama and the CIA were trying to close down his mining operation – the source of his apparent billion dollar wealth. He also, at one time, announced he was building a new Zeppelin airship... read the ‘Hindenburg’… I see a pattern emerging. The ill-fated Hindenburg was possibly the world’s most dangerous dirigible, whose destruction in a fiery heap one spring day, signalled the end of an era and the beginning of a move toward commercial aircraft, which, incidentally, was the beginning of the end of the traditional ocean-going liners later in the 1960s.

Funnily enough, while the smoke and mirrors and bait and switch game of ‘look over there’, problems with his mining company’s finances and political predicaments ballooned virtually unnoticed. In April 2016, the administrators for Palmer’s now closed nickel refining company, Queensland Nickel, alleged that almost $6 million had been taken from that company to pay for the development and marketing of the Titanic 2. Administrators indicated that they were seeking to recover this money. Things had gone thankfully quiet on the Palmer front until recently when, lo and behold, an announcement was made that the Titanic 2 is back on track with a new launch date of 2022. The cynics amongst us would prick their ears up – watch this space. The game of smoke and mirrors has restarted. I bet, right now, Clive Palmer’s next business move is germinating somewhere, somehow while our attention is being diverted elsewhere. Everyone grab a seat in the lifeboat while you can. I sense that there are icebergs about. (ROSS THORBY) F PN




How do we plan our travel in a time of uncertainty? At helloworld Travel, we are being kept up to date with the latest health advisories and developments across the globe, so we are in a strong position to offer advice and support around your pending or new travel plans. We at helloworld Travel have a wealth of experience at navigating through events that have a global impact and that’s why we are called The Travel Professionals and more importantly, your Travel Professional. Many of our key airline, cruise ship and land tour operator partners are or have already introduced temporary flexible policies around cancellations/rebookings and/or surety for you to make changes with any new bookings. In addition, our preferred insurance partner, Allianz, has updated its cover to now accept travel claims for Coronavirus whilst travelling anywhere worldwide. Of course, many of our customers still want to travel but just need reassuring around insurance protection and funds as well as deposit protection. We can advise you on these matters and whether you can postpone your travel plans versus an outright cancellation. In the end, the consumer will be the winner, with a wide range of travel deals available. New Zealanders are resilient, intrepid travellers. The team at helloworld Travel look forward to providing you with our renowned professional service to get you on your way to your next adventure wherever and whenever you decide is right for you. F PN Mary Buckley , Managing Director

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Hello Dream Cruise After a successful inaugural season circumnavigating New Zealand, Dream Explorer has announced her return in November 2020 for another summer with some fresh new itineraries. Dream cruises are suitable for all ages of travellers and a great option for firsttime cruisers, or those looking for a good value, close to home, cruise holiday. If you are looking for a Pacific holiday for your group of extended family and/ or friends travelling together, then look no further. Here are some of our thoughts after we experienced this cruise over the New Year’s holiday with family and friends: The entertainment on board was fantastic! There was an illusionist who also doubled as a magician on another night. One night was a ballroom dance extravaganza, which was great. They had a show one night which was a mix of dancing, acrobatics (ropes / hoops from ceiling), strong men doing crazy stuff. The finale was a fabulous dance number. The shows were full of great music, laser lights and incredible backdrops. I was very impressed and so were our friends and family who travelled with us. The atmosphere on the New Year’s cruise was fun. With so many Kiwis onboard, the whole place felt like a big summer barbecue. Everyone having a few drinks, dancing, having fun. It probably helped that there is one main lounge onboard – deck 12 forward – and this is where everything happens. It makes for a great atmosphere as it is full of people having a good time. Not rowdy or anything – just comings and goings all day/night. There is another lounge of sorts in front of reception down on deck 7 and they do lots of trivia quizzes and game shows down there. They also had a duo singing in there. This was a very popular spot in the middle of the ship. On one side was a cafe

serving coffee and cakes; beside that, they had the excursions desk and box office for events. On the other side was a thoroughfare to the rest of deck 7, so it was a busy place. There are plenty of restaurant options onboard. Three are included: an international buffet, Chinese restaurant and fine dining. So, something for everyone. There are additional options that you can pay extra for if you want further variety. So, step aboard Dream Explorer to experience a delightful mix of Eastern and Western cultures while visiting a variety of ports around New Zealand. Contact the Cruise Professionals at helloworld Travel Ponsonby for a copy of the new itinerary options available for the 2020/21 Dream Explorer season.



The Sapphire Room


SETTING THE SCENE FOR YOUR BIG DAY When I got married, one of the first things decided on was the venue. It had to be close to the CBD for visitors from overseas who had already completed a significant trek, and as well-known for its fare as its festive atmosphere. This is where the beautiful Mantell’s on Mount Eden Road stepped in and fitted the bill perfectly – and it’s still doing the same for so many couples today. It has often been said that any truly memorable event starts with the space – not only is it the first thing your guests will see when they arrive, but the atmosphere you choose will be a direct reflection of what you like and love. It will also serve as the backdrop for many of your wedding photos, so you really want to choose a space that you’ll love to look at for years to come. Season is also a significant consideration – if you’re looking for hot, sunny days and an outdoor location, you really have to plan in advance, especially if you’re looking to secure an in-demand wedding venue on popular weekends. You can save a substantial amount by having an off-peak or winter wedding, just make sure the venue you select has a great indoor vibe, or that you have a rainy day plan in place if not. If you’re in the market for a special venue for your big day, here’s a selection of some of the best that Auckland has to offer: Auckland Museum Auckland Museum bills itself as ‘the city’s most prestigious venue’, and you have to admit that it does make quite the impressive backdrop! With its striking neo-classical architecture and majestic columns, the museum provides an elegant scene in which to set your wedding ceremony and reception, and superb photo opportunities

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are a given. You can hold your wedding within the splendour of the marbled Grand Foyer with its dramatic columns and spectacular stained-glass ceiling soaring three floors above. Or wow your guests in the Event Centre, with its stunning copper dome and breathtaking, 360-degree views across the city. www.aucklandmuseum.com Mantell’s Mount Eden Located in the heart of Mount Eden Village, inside a building once used by the Auckland telephone exchange, Mantell’s really is something special. And despite it making such an architectural statement, it is surprisingly easy to tailor to your personal style and works at any time of year. The interior, with its high ceilings and chandeliers, is just one of its many charms — there’s also the beautiful outdoor courtyard, reminiscent of a villa in Tuscany with its hidden corners, carefully considered landscaping and fireplace. Owner Annette Mantell (who ran the acclaimed French Cafe for 16 years), ensures that the fare on offer is fine dining standard and plentiful, which was key for my own wedding where I definitely didn’t want people to go hungry. www.mantells.co.nz


The Sapphire Room at Ponsonby Central Masquerade balls, weddings, private parties, conferences, art exhibitions, awards dinners, markets, Bar Mitzvahs and fashion shows – it’s safe to say that at Ponsonby Central’s Sapphire Room, they’ve seen it all. With its high ceilings and air of industrial chic, it is a venue that can be dressed for any occasion, whether small and intimate or stylish and grand. The perfect venue for an intimate urban wedding, the recycled wooden floors give The Sapphire Room the feel of a cool urban loft and you can choose from one or two rooms depending on the size of your guest list. The main area is divided by giant, barn-style sliding doors into two significantly sized rooms, with one featuring a huge kitchen bench that doubles as a bar complete with bar stools. There is also a hidden room which can serve as a cloakroom, hair and makeup room, as a place to tuck away any technical equipment or as a quiet retreat away from the party.

The stairs leading to the Sapphire Room




Kajal Sewambar & Jason Debande marry at Mudbrick, photo by Art of Moment


www.mudbrick.co.nz Orphans Kitchen Ponsonby favourite Orphans Kitchen is another great wedding venue that I hadn’t previously known was available as such until I started asking around, and I’ve heard only amazing things. A truly unique space – the restaurant is inside a narrow Victorian villa built in 1912 – it has white washed walls, long, rustic, macrocarpa dining tables and a winding stairway to the second story, making it perfectly suited

to those who are after an intimate city wedding with style. As well as truly inspired cuisine, they have three separate dining spaces to choose from: a private dining room, courtyard and main dining room. www.orphanskitchen.co.nz Augustus Bistro Helmed by the same team as Mudbrick, but at a much closer to our neighbourhood locale, Augustus Bistro is situated in the historic Ponsonby Post Office building and is the perfect spot to relax and celebrate your wedding day. The private outdoor courtyard is seated, planted and has a beautiful awning for sun cover, making it a great place for your ceremony, arrival drinks, canapés, mixing and mingling and boasts a beautiful outdoor fireplace. The elegant garden room and dining areas are adorned with thriving indoor plants, including huge indoor palms, hanging baskets, high ceilings and indulgent fabrics that provide the perfect backdrop for celebrations. They can seat up to 95 people for a wedding comfortably, or 150 for canapé-style standing reception. (HELENE RAVLICH) F PN www.augustusbistro.co.nz

A wedding at Augustus, photo by Jesse and Jessie

Moochi Swim

Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant Located on gorgeous Waiheke Island, Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant has been chosen as the perfect ‘destination’ wedding location by thousands of couples over the years – and with good reason. Truly picturesque and again lending a Tuscany-meets-Aotearoa vibe, Mudbrick is found nestled amongst manicured, aromatic potager gardens and acres of established vines. The first thing your guests will see are breathtaking views across the Hauraki Gulf, and you can choose from several spots around the property for your ceremony depending on what you’d like your chosen backdrop to be. It goes without saying that the vineyard’s Gold Medal award-winning wines are there to be enjoyed, whilst the fare on offer features freshly picked, seasonal produce straight from the gardens.

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DESIGN YOUR DREAMS… “The finest engagement and wedding rings produced in New Zealand.” That’s how jeweller Nick Nielson describes his business Polished Diamonds. Using Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology, he can create the ultimate engagement, wedding, and ‘just-because’ rings. Clients can bring in their own ideas from photos, Pinterest, etc. or choose from 20,000 internationally certified, conflict free, diamonds and two and a half thousand ring designs. With over 30 different diamond cutters and precious gems dealers from all over the world, no budget is too little or too large. They’re here to provide exceptional jewellery with excellent quality and customer service no matter how much you have to spend, and there isn’t anything they can’t create. “No ring is produced more accurate than what we produce as we work to 0.01mm – which is less than a human hair,” says Nick. “Precision is everything in this business and the difference between exceptional and average. If you want your great-grandmother’s 1930s diamond ring replicated, a design from a magazine or the perfect wedding ring to match your engagement ring, we can show you exactly how it will look. CAD renderings of your concept take only 3 days, and the ring will be completed and to you in just 10 to 15 days - backed by our lifetime guarantee.” Polished Diamonds also offers full jewellery services like resizing, insurance valuations, repairs, and re-designs, along with FREE Inspection and Ultra-Sonic cleaning. Explore all possibilities by contacting him directly at nick@polisheddiamonds.com, view the brand new website at www.polisheddiamonds.co.nz, or come into the exquisite showroom at 269 Ponsonby Road for a more personal experience.

269 Ponsonby Road • Ph: 0800 233 299 • www.polisheddiamonds.co.nz PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Heidi Padain: Entertainment in your garden I often think that I am quite lucky because I can predominantly work from home. However, working from home does have its challenges. When I first started working from home, admittedly, there had been far too many days when I didn’t quite make it out of my pyjamas. And don’t even get me started on all the new ways I found to procrastinate, most of which involved food. So, in light of the current challenges most of us are facing right now, I have a few words of advice. If you suddenly find yourself spending a lot more time at home, you will be grateful for technology, but therein lies the trap. It’s so hard to step away from because it helps you feel connected. There are additional ways to feel a connection. Connect with nature. Set up your routine with limited amounts of time staring into your devices. Incorporate either a daily walk at your local park or spend time in your garden. The calming effects of the natural environment are particularly beneficial for easing stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Also, and we all know this, getting out into the light helps boost our immunity. I have a personal assistant, but I don’t talk to her much these days. For years, she at least pretended to look interested. Now that her sight and hearing has diminished, this geriatric little dog has taken up excessive snoring inbetween meals. Meanwhile, I have taken up talking to the birds. Yes, I realise that comes across as somewhat bonkers, but it works for me. I am of the firm belief that as soon as you make eye contact

with most creatures, you should acknowledge them with a sound. I find it puts birds at ease. I have a kereru who visits daily. This large, colourful character is so relaxed here listening to my crazy banter. He often yawns, puffs up and takes a snooze. I quite like calling to the fantails. Their call is one of the easiest sounds to mimic. Fantails are often followed around by waxeyes and warblers. This is because fantails are usually the first to spot a swarm of little insects. I mimicked the sound of the fantail and managed to attract several grey warblers. This is how I managed to capture a great photo of one of them. So, I encourage you to use any additional time you have at home to get outside and connect with nature. Stay safe, stay sane and go talk to the birds. If you get some strange looks from your neighbours, it’s probably because they read my column, too, and you’ve been calling back and forth to one another. It’s all good. I’m happy to take the blame. (HEIDI PADAIN) F PN

To see some of Heidi’s other photographic work, go to www.flickr.com and type Heidi Padain into the search box, or, you can contact Heidi by email hidihi@xtra.co.nz, or look her up on Facebook - Heidi Padain Photography.

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How stress is impacting you right now and five simple action steps to nurture your immunity Things are obviously a little different at the moment in these uncertain times. It’s hard to know how to be – both within ourselves and with each other. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed right now, that is very much okay. Everyone around you probably is as well – we certainly are! While we can’t just eliminate stress from our lives completely, and we’re not suggesting that you do, there is a lot we can do to manage the impact stress has on our body and mind. You can’t control the waves, but you can learn how to surf. So, what’s the link between stress and nutrients? Stress, especially chronic stress, has a significant physiological response within the body. When your body engages in ‘flight or fight’ response, it demands more energy production in an attempt to cope, which in turn requires more nutrients. Ultimately this can leave us feeling emotionally drained, with depleted nutrient stores and energy levels. Not helpful, right? FIVE SIMPLE ACTION STEPS YOU CAN ADD TO YOUR WELLNESS ROUTINE Nurturing our own immune system and those of the people around us, is how we create health and defend ourselves against becoming unwell. 1. Manage your stress with mindfulness Finding a way to stay grounded and balanced (a little wobbly is fine too) will help support our overall health and nourish our immune system.

B vitamins are crucial for helping your body cope with the physiological and hormonal changes that accompany stress. Other key nutrients to support stress are magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron and potassium. BePure One, a high quality, high-strength multi, paired with BePure Three, a high quality, sustainably sourced fish oil, provide the baseline nutrients to support your immune system. We think of these key nutrients as soldiers that form your first line of defence. 3. Get your eight hours a night It’s while we’re sleeping that our body gets a chance to focus on restorative and regenerative practices – processing the day that’s just been and gearing us up for the one ahead. Eight hours of deep sleep a night also puts you in a better position to undertake your daily routine of eating wholesome meals, staying hydrated and moving your body.

We like daily mindfulness practices like journaling, belly breathing, legs up the wall, meditation or yoga — anything that gives you space to process life’s difficult moments.

4. Hygiene and social distancing In addition to preparing our body and supporting our immunity, we also want to reduce our risk of catching any illness (preventing sickness). Washing our hands regularly, avoiding touching our faces and social distancing are all constructive in reducing the spread of infection.

2. Support your body with essential nutrients Every single process and function in the body is powered by nutrients, this includes the workings of our immune system.

5. Kindness and compassion Because, above all else, together we can choose how we react to and interact with others.

During this time, our online store will remain open, however any orders placed will be dispatched after the lockdown has been lifted. If you want to get your hands on BePure product to support you and your family, some of our wonderful stockists around the country are still open and have got you covered! Find your nearest stockist: https://www.bepure.co.nz/pages/bepure-stockists




Tadhg Stopford: Cannabis an ‘essential service’ for COVID-19 in the US Jacinda Ardern has shown great leadership over COVID-19, but we need to help her out. There is more we can do to protect our people, while also strengthening our economy. How? Because industrial hemp is full of our body’s own medicine (Google ‘endocannabinoids and G Protein Coupled Receptors’). That’s why, in the US, many Californian counties have recognised cannabis as an essential product for health and the sale of cannabis as an ‘essential service’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s a worry that MedSafe (our ‘health regulator’) is funded by levies on the industry it regulates. This potential conflict of interest might explain its anti-competitive position.

I think it is unacceptable (and anti-competitive) that our Ministry of Health makes Kiwi farmers compost their legally grown hemp flowers.

Iindustrial hemp and cannabis are perhaps the single most valuable plant medicine ever discovered. A fact recognised by the British Crown in its massive ‘Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report’ of 1893-94 (3281 pages).

Because, used correctly as a food supplement, hemp/cannabis can improve our ability to maintain health, bone density, immune response, mental function, pain modulation and more. All without getting ‘high’. But Jacinda doesn’t seem to know this, and our Government is building a private monopoly cannabis industry based on a pharmaceutical model. This means that private profits are being put ahead of the public’s health and our farming sector. Hemp is massive competition to many standard, sometimes harmful, and expensive medicines. Italy is a great example – legal hemp cut pharmaceutical sales by 11% there, without education, subsidy or medical provision. Is this why MedSafe refuses to abide by the 2006 Hemp Regulations? Is this why MedSafe won’t let licensed farmers sell us ‘any product derived from industrial hemp’, despite the regulations that were so painfully crafted?

Hemp flowers could replace over eight hundred billion dollars of Big Pharma’s annual profits. Is that why it’s forbidden to us? 5000 years of recorded history tell us that it is safe and valuable, while 100 years of lies have taught us that industrial hemp is a dangerous narcotic. Is industrial hemp safe or dangerous? It is safe. So, if it’s safe, why can’t you grow it and why can’t our legal licensed farmers sell it to you? Who benefits? Email Jacinda now (jacinda.ardern@parliament.govt.nz) and tell her to allow New Zealand’s hundreds of hemp farmers to sell their hemp flowers to you and me NOW. We deserve access to all beneficial treatments, not just those that further enrich a $1.7 trillion industry. (TADHG STOPFORD) F PN



Enquire via GreatHempNZ@gmail.com or see us at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market

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John Appleton: The Human Appendix Many of us have had appendicitis which resulted in the removal of the appendix in an operation known as an appendectomy. I didn’t have appendicitis but had my own appendix removed during another abdominal surgical procedure. I was told later that the appendix doesn’t perform any useful function and that I was better off without it. The appendix is a closed-ended, pouch-like, narrow tube that attaches to the cecum (the first part of the colon where the small intestine joins the large intestine) like a worm. The anatomical name for the appendix, vermiform appendix, means worm-like appendage. Being approximately 5-10 cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide, it’s not a large part of our anatomy. The human appendix has long mystified doctors who have wondered about the necessity of this tiny organ. In fact, the function of the human appendix has been a matter for debate for many years, with healthcare professionals believing it had no good reason to be there. A doctor may have decided to remove your appendix, without your permission because of this long-held belief. In my case, I did not have appendicitis and thus there wasn’t a real reason to remove it. Of course, if your appendix becomes inflamed and infected it can be life threatening and then it does become necessary to have it removed to save your life. I don’t have New Zealand’s statistics, but according to the ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ in the US, 300 to 400 Americans die and about 321,000 are hospitalised for appendicitis attacks each year. The appendix is present in many primates and, in our distant past, may have been an aid in the digestion of cellulose when we had a more plant-based diet. Charles Darwin was a proponent of this theory. The appendix is often considered to be a vestige of evolutionary development despite evidence to the contrary. It has thus been regarded as a vestigial organ (a nonfunctional characteristic that has been fully functional at some point in time). Humans have a number

of s-called vestigial organs such as male nipples, wisdom teeth, tailbones (coccyx) and ear muscles. Surgeons and immunologists at ‘Duke University Medical School’ believe that the appendix does, indeed, serve an important function inside the human body after all and they say that they have sufficient evidence to back up their theory. They say that the appendix appears to help produce and protect the good bacteria in the intestines by acting like a ‘good bacteria factory’ that ‘cultivates and preserves’ the good bacteria which maintain a vital balance in the intestines. Thus, when the gut is affected by a bout of diarrhea or other illness, researcher William Parker, PhD says, “once the bowel contents have left the body, the good bacteria hidden away in the appendix can emerge and repopulate the lining of the intestine before more harmful bacteria can take up residence.” The appendix appears to act in rebooting the digestive system with beneficial bacteria. It also stores and protects them until they are needed. I was disappointed to read that the researchers in this study concluded that, “the appendix is really an unnecessary organ in today’s modern world.” They say that in a modern society, less of these good bacteria are needed due to better hygiene practices. They theorise that repopulating the gut with good bacteria is not that hard to do. It may not be if people were to supplement daily with probiotics (which are expensive) but how many of us do this? I guess the debate over the necessity or otherwise of the appendix will continue for many years. I seem to be coping reasonably well without mine, but I will never really know if I would be better off if I still had it. (JOHN APPLETON) F PN

APPLETON ASSOCIATES, T: 09 489 9362, appletonassoc@xtra.co.nz, www.johnappleton.co.nz




Introducing UltraBLIS, a premium probiotic supplement to support your immunity Lots of things can influence how your immune system is functioning: the amount of sleep you get, your diet and nutrition, how much exercise you do, hormones, stress and even how much sunlight you experience. With super-busy lives, it is really hard to keep all of those things balanced and it is easy to become susceptible to bugs. UltraBLIS has been designed to optimise your gut microbiome and your oral microbiome so it’s the ultimate combination to support your immunity. Support your immunity with UltraBLIS: A unique combination of probiotic strains that support the oral and the gut microbiomes: 1. Streptococcus salivarius K12 (BLIS K12™): a scientifically tested strain that naturally occurs in the oral cavity to provide specific immune support at the gateway to the body – the mouth and throat. 2. Bifidobacterium lactis HOWARU® Bifido HN019: a scientifically tested strain that provides essential immune supporting bacteria to the gut. 3. Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14®: A highly tested gut strain that plays an important role in human health and immunity. With a combined bacterial count of 5.5 billion CFU/lozenge, UltraBLIS is all about the highest quality strains at levels the body can benefit from. The highest quality strains. Not billions of useless bacteria. Immune support for optimal performance. Available exclusively online at www.ultrablis.co.nz

50 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Ficino Preschool An educational stepping stone is an important head start to gift your child with. Ficino Preschool is mindful of the important role it plays as it works to give children the best tools it can to start them on their learning journey. Ficino Preschool’s focus on experiential learning, which helps the children to explore their interests in-depth, produces excellent results. Children grow in self belief and confidence as they understand the value that their own contributions to their own learning has. The project approach taken with the children’s learning helps them to develop their social, intellectual and physical skills. Projects often start with a child expressing an interest in something or posing a question they would like an answer to. It is quite special to watch the way these projects snowball with an individual interest often taken up by friends to become a collaborative project. Children are encouraged to express themselves and their findings through a variety of different media. Words, stories, drama and construction are often employed in the exploration of a project. Insects are always a popular topic with children, often lacking the squeamishness that may develop as they get older! The sharing of a child’s favourite book from home led to an exploration of the garden in search of what life was hidden within. The finding of slaters saw lively discussions, drawings and model making.

A recent parent survey was very telling and confirmed many of the things that we pride ourselves on. When asked what Ficino Preschool’s strengths were, a pertinent comment was the Preschool’s “… ability to work with a child’s strengths and development areas.” Positive comments were also made about children’s self-confidence, communication, articulation and team-working skills. Ficino Preschool welcomes you to come and see its daily programme in action for yourself. F PN www.ficino.school.nz/tours

Your Child’s Stepping Stone to School Ficino Preschool nurtures and develops the social, intellectual and physical skills your child will use to thrive and take the next step to our on-site primary school. Book a visit. Hop online, book a visit and discover why Ficino Preschool is more than a stepping stone to school. It is the Greatest Gift you can give your child.




52 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



The perfect environment for your child to grow at Kristin School.






real life








KRI 1138



Meet the Teacher Jane Cooper has taught at Westmere School Te Rehu for 20 years. She is the Paearahi (leader) of their Maori Medium Education (MME) pathway – Nga Uri O Nga Iwi (NUONI). Jane also holds a leadership expertise position supporting Te Kahui Ako o Waitemata Lead Principal, Paul Alford.

to me that current students see themselves as part of this continuum and so the origins of NUONI, the landmarks and history of our community are taught in our curriculum. E nga pou tokomanawa, moe mai ra.

As a Pakeha, how did you learn te reo Maori ? In the late 1980s, the formidable former City Councillor, Betty Wark, offered space to establish a kohanga reo in the Arohanui Shelly Beach Road residential home that she managed for young Maori men. I was fortunate to learn te reo by listening to the nannies when I was a parent helper. Textbooks like Waititi’s ‘Te Rangatahi’ were helpful early on. Years later, I went to the kura po that Scotty Morrison ran at UNITEC. He’s a phenomenal language teacher. Last year, I completed Te Pinakitanga through Te Wananga o Aotearoa and I pass on what I’ve learnt teaching evening reo classes for parents.

Where do your students continue their education? There are two MME Intermediate kura within our Kahui Ako – Kowhai and Waititiko/Pasadena. One of the benefits of setting up our Kahui Ako, is the funded release time from the classroom which has enabled MME leaders to hui together and also to engage with school principals.

Kaiako (teachers) within MME are constantly upskilling our reo and most of us do weekend /holiday wananga. Studying in our own time is the norm. Tell us about joining Westmere School Te Rehu I joined as the Nga Uri o Nga Iwi Year 0 - 3 kaiako in 1999, working alongside Whaea Toru Tara. We were a two-class unit for many years (because of a ceiling on student numbers imposed by the MOE). We now have four classes and throughout my time at Te Rehu, I have taught all year levels within rumaki and reorua. When was Nga Uri O Nga Iwi established? In 1991, when whanau from the kohanga reo down at Nga Puna o Waiorea/Western Springs College, approached Westmere School to set up a bilingual unit. Our first kuia, Dianne Adams, chairperson Achlee Fong and local community leaders, Pare McIntyre and Ripeka Nukunuku, all provided guidance for its establishment. It is important

54 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

Three years ago, this allowed me to initiate discussions with Jonathan Hughes, Principal of Waititiko, to establish a reo Maori immersion pathway there. It took some months to plan and implement, but today it is flourishing with two classes under the leadership of Matua Donovan Farnham. From Waititiko, graduating students can walk down the road to enrol at Nga Puna O Waiorea so te reo, tikanga and matauranga Maori can be maintained. What challenges does Maori Medium Education face? The recruitment and retention of kaiako is the most pressing challenge and our grouping of local MME kura, Te Reo o Te Mata, discuss this problem at all our hui. The teacher supply problem is exacerbated by the economic difficulties kaiako face living in Tamaki Makaurau. What do you do to relax? Usual stuff – spending time with whanau and friends, live music, Netflix, walks up the maunga. I love museums and art galleries. Actually, our kura has just returned from a six-day noho a-marae (marae stay) at Whangara and we visited the Tairawhiti Museum. There’s a fascinating exhibition of taonga acquired by Captain Cook which are ‘on-loan’ from British museums. PUBLISHED FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH (except January)


Look before you leap KiwiSaver is currently the most cost-effective and efficient method for New Zealanders to save for their retirement. During times of immense economic strain such as these, it may not seem as though this is the case. The stark reality is that for any investment strategy to deliver a worthwhile return, exposure to a certain level of risk is required. With KiwiSaver, this risk is not the threat of losing your investment, but market volatility – the rollercoasterlike ups and downs the markets experience over time. Two challenges for many KiwiSaver investors are that they have signed up to KiwiSaver without realising the implications of that decision, and that they have not been shown the right strategy for their particular circumstances. To help illustrate this, let’s look at the three major categories New Zealand savers fall into: 1. Those nearing retirement, aged 55-plus. 2. The 30-55 age group, often working to maintain a family, reduce debt and enjoy their lifestyle. It is this group that is under the greatest financial pressure, facing many competing demands for their ‘dollar’. Risk management is important to this group; especially income protection and life cover insurance against the unexpected. 3. The third group comprises the newly or more recently employed, whose employment horizon is very long, eg, 40 years for a 25-year-old (assuming that 65 will still be the retirement age in the future).

For the first group, the key considerations are health and planning for retirement. If they have paid off their mortgage and other debt and their dependents have moved out, they will be in a position to concentrate on their own lifestyle and future. The New Zealand health system is a well-oiled machine when it comes to delivering urgent medical care, but can be less accessible, often with long waiting lists, for non-critical ailments. If you don’t want to pay for private medical care, this is when it becomes desirable to either have funds available to self-insure or continue your health insurance policy. It is also imperative that your KiwiSaver is structured so that your funds will be available when you will need them. A good rule-of-thumb is to have a conservative fund if you will need the money in two to five years, a balanced fund for five years or more and a growth fund if your investment funds won’t be needed for at least 10 years. A caveat to this is not to switch your investment when the market is experiencing a significant downturn. Those in Group 2 are under more financial pressure, so they need to ensure that they have measures in place to support both themselves and their dependents: income insurance to protect against the unknown, life insurance to provide support after the death of a partner, and a laser-like focus on paying off debt. During this stage of life, with increasing responsibilities, it is important to both enjoy today and plan for the future. Home owners in this group who have a reasonable tolerance for risk should be considering a growth fund for their KiwiSaver investment. Group 3, too often live from one pay cheque to the next, which is why KiwiSaver can be immensely valuable to them. Its conscripted-like structure enables this generation to save without feeling the impact on their day-to-day living. This group should consider when they expect to need to use their funds for a house and adjust their KiwiSaver accordingly.

OnePlan www.oneplan.co.nz and Podcast https://www.gregmoyle.com/podcast

0800 1PLAN4U or 09 309 3680




Q: I am supposed to be buying a house next month but it is also dependent on me selling another property that I own. I was thinking of bridging this but now I’m not sure. What happens during the lockdown?

Best to work through these points with your solicitor. In most cases it will be best to negotiate a workable solution up front and ahead of time. Q: I own commercial property and one of my tenants has queried the rent because they have had to close their business during the Covid19 lockdown period, do I have to let them off their rent?

A: This is a tricky question. Both the NZ Law Society and the Auckland District Law Society have put out releases to their members discussing what will happen during the lockdown. The NZ Law Society suggests terms that delay settlement to after the shutdown.

A: Good question.

You may want to settle but you will first need to check on your ability to settle:

Ahead of any government position on this it is likely to depend on the terms of your lease. After the Christchurch Earthquake(s) there were clauses added to the ADLS standard lease around what happens if a tenant has no access to the property during an emergency.

• Can you get bank docs in time (bank are an essential service and should be open);

These clauses talk about a fair proportion of the rent and outgoings ceasing to be payable.

Is the property vacant? How will you move, will this be permissible during the shutdown? This point is not yet clear. Given the State of Emergency declaration and further announcements from the government, it is now clear that any property settlements that require physical movement of people is now for all practical purposes ‘illegal’.

There are also provisions for the lease to be cancelled if the tenant is unable to gain access for the period specified in the First Schedule. This often is a much longer period such as 6 months.

• Can your lawyer settle? Can they manage you signing docs remotely etc?

I think it is worth focussing on the word fair in the amended wording. Remember that everyone will be going through a difficult time and that it is important to maintain relationships for after the lockdown. I will be working from home during the lockdown and I’m here to help with any problems. Please email me at first instance. (MICHAEL HEMPHILL) F PN

• Can your vendor and purchaser settle?

METROLAW, 169a Ponsonby Road, T: 09 929 0800, www.metrolaw.co.nz

Property transactions that come up smelling of roses.



When you’re buying or selling a property in the Auckland region, our legal expertise makes for smoother transactions, right down to securing the keys on settlement day.

©Copyright Ross Jones 2010- 2016


Metrolaw: Got a legal question? Ask michael@metrolaw.co.nz

Talk to us about conveyancing Call us today



FOR AS FOR AS LITTLE LITTLE AS AS $$55 A M MONTH ONT H Your regular donation will help connect more school children with nature, empower people all

over Auckland with sustainable living choices and

169a Ponsonby Road Ponsonby, Auckland +64 9 929 0800 www.metrolaw.co.nz Trusts & Wills


56 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

Business & Commercial


develop and maintain a therapeutic garden. Join Property

now at: www.kelmarnagardens.nz/donate PUBLISHED FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH (except January)

The Government released its economic support package in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Government has made it clear that this is not a one-off package and this is just the beginning of their plan to support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis. At present, the support package is in three defined zones: • Support to cushion the impact of the initial economic shock on businesses and employees; • A wider ranging support and recovery package to assist household incomes through the potential economic effects and to stimulate the economic recovery; • Extra resources and support for the health system and workers. We have provided a summary of the Wage Subsidy and the Leave Payment Subsidy. Wage Subsidy For businesses experiencing more than a 30% decline in revenue year-on-year due to COVID-19, the Government has pledged $5.1 billion to subsidise wages over the next 12 weeks, effective from 17 March 2020. The start point on this needs to be confirmed and verified. To qualify for the Wage Subsidy ALL of the following criteria is required: • Your business must be registered and operating in NZ. • Your employees must be legally working in NZ. • The business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue for any month between January and June 2020 compared to the year before and that decline is related to COVID-19.

• Your business must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. • Your business must make its best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period. Eligible firms will be provided a lump sum payment of the equivalent of $585 per week per full-time employee and $350 per week per part time employee for 12 weeks up to a cap of $150,000 per employer. This will be in place initially for an eight-week period, at which point the Government will reassess it based on the situation at the time. The scheme is available to all businesses in all sectors nationwide, including the selfemployed and sole traders. You will need to have talked to your bank or financial advisors as evidence of attempting to get other forms of financial assistance. COVID-19 Leave Payment The COVID-19 Leave Payment scheme is designed to incentivise self-isolation by employees, the selfemployed and contractors. The scheme will provide support through employers (and to sole traders and the self-employed) for those people unable to work

who are either in self-isolation, are sick or are caring for dependants who are in either of these situations. Employers will still be expected to meet all of their sick leave and other employment expectations. Key points: • An entitlement period of 14 days for those selfisolating, and for the entire period of sickness for those who contract COVID-19. • Eligibility is open to all firms, the self-employed, and for contractors, but not for those who can work from home. Please refer to the Work and Income website for more details on both subsidies by using the link below. www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/ covid-19-support.html#null It is critical to remember that in taking some of the support packages, there may be some downstream consequences and tests. It appears that in some cases, payments are made on trust now, but you may be reviewed and retrospectively verified and qualified/ disqualified. (LOGAN GRANGER) F PN Disclaimer – While all care has been take, Johnston Associates Chartered Accountants Ltd and its staff accept no liability for the content of this article; always see your professional advisor before taking any action that you are unsure about.

JOHNSTON ASSOCIATES, 202 Ponsonby Road, T: 09 361 6701, www.jacal.co.nz




Logan Granger: The Government’s economic ‘sanitised helping hand’


APARTMENT LIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL Apartment living has increased significantly in Ponsonby and the inner city over the last decade. The benefits are numerous and as we go into a period of social distancing, apartment living continues to offer advantages. Easy living The beauty of a low maintenance lifestyle close to all essential amenities means the modern urban dweller need not travel far. In fact many can walk to get everything they need or order online from a range of great local businesses and have things delivered within a day. With a wonderful range of beautiful parks, fields, walkways and coast lines, apartment living in the greater Ponsonby area can truly offer the best of both worlds. Being mindful of social distancing

58 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

people can still get out and enjoy walking and exercising around a range of outdoor spaces. A chance to reflect In the new normal of social distancing, people will be spending more time in their homes and this can be an opportunity to plan to redecorate spaces so they reflect your style and make your home even more of a haven.


HOME WHERE THE HEART IS Daniels Sofa by Christophe Delcourt for Minotti

Apartments often have more compact dimensions so having a few options that work well in smaller spaces can be a way to get inspired. While most retailers will not be able to take orders in the short term you can still enjoy window shopping online. You can create virtual mood boards on Pinterest or use free software like Room Sketcher (www.roomsketcher.com) to really plan out your space and work out what will fit where. Here are a few we thought could offer a great way to get started.

Mira, Round Walnut Mirror - 3 sizes available from Homage

Mirror, Mirror What better way to reflect your sense of style and personality than mirrors. Thoughtfully placed mirrors are one of the easiest ways to make your living space feel open and airy while also creating depth. They add dimension and space to smaller rooms and can create focus and presence in larger spaces. Mirrors offer both functionality and form and the variety of styles, shapes and textures available reveal just how versatile these can be to apartment living.

Radius Mirror by Deknudt Decora

ECC offers the Deknudt Decora Grunge range, perfect for people who find beauty in imperfections. The printed mirror surface distorts the reflection, making it less harsh. The faux imperfections soften the image, soften reality - something we could all use a little of at the moment. The other is the Glass Italia Kooh-I-Noor mirror featuring an irregular shape and textured faceted edges, it draws the eye into different depths and inclinations. Homage also offers some delightful mirrors that can add character and space. The Mira range is designed by New York based Organic Modernism, exclusive to Homage and is a great example of how mirrors offer the perfect balance between form and function. The round shape and stylised hanging mechanism is both interesting and understated. Available in three sizes, The Mira range will have a size to fit all but can also be used together for dramatic effect. Grouping items in threes is also said to be a way to create the illusion of space.



HOME WHERE THE HEART IS Lawson Sofa by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti

Fill it up and Fit it all in  It might seem counter-intuitive but sometimes in smaller spaces going big with sectional furniture that hugs the walls can be a great use of space. It creates a sense of cozy and a welcoming feel that allows everyone to sit in comfort. Changing up to a large sectional sofa might also be a great way to maintain social distancing. Apartmento offers the Gilbert sectional sofa that can be finished in a wide range of fabrics, ECC have the Minotti Daniels and Lawson, large sectional sofas. They are described as seating systems that aim to re-design living areas with curves and ellipses. They interrupt the linearity of the layouts and are more than just couches, they are furniture design with dynamic momentum. Similarly, a shelf of books can take a plain wall from doing little in terms of form and function to becoming a visual focus point. A mini library can add texture and colour whether you opt for a builtin luxe floor to ceiling unit or a stylish fixed shelf. Books are great companions in the cooler months to come when we may have to

Havelock Bookshelf from JI Home, Ponsonby

Mobi Shelving Unit from Homage

60 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



spend more time inside. Homage have the Mobi shelving unit that is full of life and colour, JI Homes have the simple and stylish two metre high Versailles bookshelf and Apartmento offers the Quadra which can be customised to suit your space. ‘Sundance’

Floor to ceiling draperies are the quickest way to add instant height to any space. The key is to choose fabrics, textures and colours that enhance the overall feel of your apartment as well as choosing a style that works with your lifestyle. The experience and range of fabrics offered by Lahood Window Furnishing is the ideal place to start when you are considering updating your curtains and soft furnishings. Their website is full of ideas and inspiration, featuring products from some of the world’s most enduring textile design houses.

‘Dragon’s Eye’

Colour Colour is key and whether you go for a canvas of whites to provide the backdrop for dramatic monochromatic accents or select neutral tones that offer a subtle soothing effect, choosing colours that work with your sense of style and personality is important. Taking your time to consider colour and having fun experimenting to find what works for you is a great way to start. Colour is a decisive way to stamp your personality on your home. Porters Paints in Kingsland have a showroom that brings to life their passion for colour. Their handmade colours are beautifully curated on their website ensuring your colour choice journey is well informed and exciting. Once the showroom is open again you will be able to begin experimenting with sample pots to make your final colour selections.


‘Dusty Mule’ with trim in ‘Irish Linen’

‘Petal Pink’

Maintaining a sense of community Apartment buildings create instant communities. They are a collection of people who share a love of the area they live in, have an in-built connection and potential support network. Living in close proximity can create an easy feeling of trust and is an obvious foundation to unite people in challenging times. By following guidelines for health and safety during the pandemic and supporting local businesses by keeping purchasing local, apartment dwellers are well positioned to make the most of the new normal.

Images by Porters Paints




Are you living in an apartment with a tiny outdoor space? City Botanics shares its tips on how to achieve a unique apartment garden that meets your expectations. Creating any outdoor space can be tricky, but if you’re like many of us who live in homes with small (or even tiny) outdoor balconies or spaces, then creating a garden in this environment is a tough challenge. It’s all about getting the balance right between plants, pots, scale and design. However, on the plus side, small-space gardens are much easier to maintain and can really help to bring style into your home. While there are many aspects to consider before rushing out and buying plants, take some time to first evaluate the function and form you wish to achieve. When it comes to function, it’s best not to overcomplicate your space with a list of too many wishes. You may wish to consider using your space to sit and relax, to entertain, to grow some herbs or to create a sense of privacy from neighbours. Whatever your intentions are with function, focus on no more than two goals and do them well. Prioritise your decisions around these goals and you’ll create a space that makes sense, rather than one that doesn’t fit in.

unity. Foliage and flower colour are easy ways to achieve this, but pots can also be used as a simple way to pull a space together. Choose pots of the same common colour, but also pick those that are the same style and shape for maximum impact. For a really unique take, source pots from suppliers that can custom paint them in colours that match your furniture or other surrounding elements. Finally, use texture to create interest and to soften hard surfaces. This can be achieved by using a variety of plant foliage, along with soft furnishings like outdoor rugs. Whatever direction you take, planning your design in advance of purchasing is the best way ensure you achieve a successful outdoor apartment garden that you can enjoy, rather than ignore.

Form is achieved by bringing in various three-dimensional elements such as plants, pots and furniture to create an aesthetically pleasing space that works to soften its surrounds, create order and provide a distinction between different areas. By using a variety of form, you can enhance a space and prevent it from feeling stark, while also giving you an exclusive space to escape to. Use colour to elevate form by sticking to a palette scheme and repeating it through your space, which also helps create a sense of For further information, call Martin on M: 027 215 7884, www.citybotanics.co.nz

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62 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



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59 FRANCE Premium apartments from the multi, award-winning combination of local development team, Urban Collective and Paul Brown Architects. Located in the heart of Eden Terrace for chic city fringe convenience. Unique edgy designs, featuring the finest


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Meet Meluka’s house designer Passionate about design, UK-born Philippa came to us in March 2019 to become our in-house furniture designer. Having designed and produced multiple pieces during her time at university, she is inspired by her appreciation for craftsmanship and the need to make functional yet stylish furniture. She is happiest with a pen in her hand, sketching new ideas. During her time here, she has produced ranges such as the Meluka PLAYhouse range. This includes headboards, BOOKboys and Crates all with the trademark house roof that ties the range together. Not forgetting the LOWboys, which offer a cute reading space for parents and their children. One of Philippa’s favourites, this playful set of designs is aimed at providing functionality for the parent whilst being fun for the children. Shop online at www.meluka.co.nz

Get yourSHELF sorted! 15% OFF BOOKBOYS BOOKboy 1 Bay 4 High $968 (you save $171) Or 6 weekly interest-free payments from $161.33

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66 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

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Exquisite hand embroidered, cushions & gifts. www.donnahoyledesign.co.nz

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Furniture lovers rejoice! Those looking for the perfect contemporary piece will be excited to hear that renowned showroom, Bauhaus, is opening in Grey Lynn. In what is no doubt exciting news for furniture lovers, the opening is in response to customer feedback, and the opportunity to offer minimalist, stylish furniture on the westside of town. Bauhaus, which has been a staple in Parnell for over 10 years, will be located on Richmond Road, nestled amongst other Grey Lynn favourites – Homage, Farro and Ozone. The collaborative and community-focused showroom will offer modern furniture and exciting upholsteries, as well as in-house interior design consultants to help customers create beautiful spaces, with comfortable furnishings and contemporary design. Bauhaus offers minimalist, contemporary furniture for New Zealand homes. Their collections are sourced from award-winning designers and craftsmen, both locally and abroad to meet the tastes of interior designers and homemakers alike.

68 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

Wandering through the showroom, you’ll find a collection of contemporary international furniture brands such as Muuto, Camerich, Sketch, Natadora, Wendelbo, Karpenter and TOOU. Whether it’s a new light shade to spruce up your dining room, or a feature sofa to make the lounge come to life, you’ll find everything you need right here! Bauhaus is known for its bespoke customer service – whether that’s helping you find the perfect sofa, or offering style advice for your interiors. Their in-store home design consultants offer free expert advice on how to make your home a haven of stylish comfort. They’ll help you make the most of your furnishings and give tips and advice on how to make your home interiors work for you. If you require more comprehensive help, they can recommend one of their Bauhaus Platinum Interior Designers to work with. www.bauhaus.co.nz






Georgie Malyon floral artist, ‘Immersed in Flowers’ YYY IGQTIKGOCN[QP EQO The Grey Place, 37 Scanlan Street, Grey Lynn, www.thegreyplace.nz


Check our Ponsonby News website, and social media pages for the latest details to ďŹ nd out what incredible local businesses are doing to serve the community during the lockdown.

www.ponsonbynews.co.nz PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020


Titiro ki muri, kia whakatika a mua – Look to the past to proceed into the future The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) was established in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1970 – 50 years ago this year – in Ponsonby. However, the organisation has its roots in war-time Britain. CABs were established on the eve of the Second World War to help people cope with the dislocation, trauma and complexity that war brings. Our society finds itself now in an unprecedented situation for this century and, like then, we are experiencing much uncertainty. CABs were places people could go to for help in tracing missing relatives in bombed areas or learning about all of the new war-time rules and regulations that were put in place at the time and which the general public were expected to know and observe. After the end of the war, things were changing in society with the growth of bureaucracy, the increasing rules around people’s rights and responsibilities and a general increase in the complexity of everyday living. CAB had become an essential community service; somewhere people could go to learn about their rights and obligations and also how to use this information to good effect to get the best outcomes. We are acutely aware that this is a time when many people are going to feel isolated as our society moves into a new way of being. As at time of this column deadline, we at CAB have implemented measures to ensure we can continue to provide this service to our clients, just like many other businesses and services in Aotearoa New Zealand. We continue to be open for business by phone and email and online queries. However, in the meantime, our face to face service will be closed. This to protect our volunteers and our clients. For those people who have access to our website – www.cab.org.nz has information that can assist you find out what your rights are or where to find answers to your queries. If you are seeking information about Covid-19, CAB’s strength is that we have a reputation for reliable information and our information is regularly updated by our national office team as Government updates its

announcements and policy decisions. Examples of articles on our website relating to Covid-19 at time of writing: • Can my employer make me stay away from work because of Covid-19? Am I entitled to paid leave? • What support is available to workers, contractors and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic? Digital exclusion is a real issue for vulnerable people though, so we encourage people to ring us, even for a chat if people are feeling a bit worried about the situation – we call this our listening ear. We have the time and the inclination. And we can put you in touch with the right agency if you are wanting more assistance. We encourage you to keep yourselves and your family members safe, but also, as we said in our Christmas column, to look out for the neighbours in your community who may not have family members close by. Check in on them, even if it is by phone or just a chat through the window if you want to practise ‘social distancing’. Make sure they have a way of getting groceries if we start to have more stringent isolation measures. For those people who struggle with the concepts of online banking and online shopping, which many take for granted, this could be a huge help. There are many charities that provide food or meals to those who are isolated. If you are looking for ways to help, give us a call and we can offer you some options. I was listening to the radio the other day and the interviewee was talking about past times such as we are experiencing now. He quoted from Thomas Dekker, a 17th Century playwright, who wrote these words during the time of the Bubonic Plague in Britain: “This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.”

Lesley Bradley and Margaret Antunovich, co-managers of Citizens Advice Bureau, Grey Lynn/Ponsonby Branch, 510 Richmond Road, T: 09 376 0392. E: Ponsonby@cab.org.nz


CALL for a wide range of free,

up to date and confidential information about: • • • • •

Consumer rights Budgeting Legal clinics Employment rights Justice of the Peace

• • • • •

Health & welfare issues House & tenancy issues Unemployment problems Education & training Personal & family issues

• Immigration needs • Local & general information • Photocopying & faxing

Citizens Advice Bureau

0800 FOR CAB or 09 376 0392 510 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn www.cab.org.nz

70 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020


ARTS + CULTURE Penny Howard: SOTHEBY’S Lot 14 - Whakahoki. Acrylic on board. 900 x 1200 mm

@ WHITESPACE TE WHAKAHOKI A sort of homecoming – PENNY HOWARD 19 April - 20 May Penny Howard (Ngapuhi) was impelled to create the paintings and drawings in this body of work through a profound sense of anger. Her - artefacts – taonga tüturu perusal of recent online sales of historic Maori – at the British auction house, Sothebys, at huge prices, motivated her to recapture them. And by extending from their photographic images, she is ensuring they are brought back to us, if not literally, at least - kainga figuratively: te hokinga ki tenei o Aotearoa New Zealand. Penny is reclaiming our existential heritage and her work incorporates not only these taonga, but also the red thread of te mauri - and them as always living tupuna interconnecting Maori, or ancestors ever deeply vested to the land. Penny Howard graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1995, she has work in the permanent collections of the Wallace Arts Trust, Waitakere City Council, Foundation North, Auckland Events Centre and

19 APRIL – 20 MAY 2020


A sort of homecoming whitespace.co.nz 20 monmouth st, grey lynn, auckland open tues–fri 11-5pm, sat 11am-4pm

Auckland University – installed in the Business School, Dept Critical Studies in Education, at the Auckland Family Court and in other private collections in China, UK and Australia. F PN WHITESPACE, 20 Monmouth Street, T: 09 361 6331, www.whitespace.co.nz PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020


The east pointers


Finn McLennan-Elliott: A playlist for April Our stereos, record players and Spotify are going to be working overtime over the coming months. So we’ve put together a few suggestions of New Zealand (and abroad) artists that we think you should know about or discover if you don’t. These artists have all had tours cancelled over the coming months and some extra streaming or online sales will greatly assist them with winter on the way. Holly Arrowsmith was due to head off on a full European and UK tour, with stops in the US including South by South West. Her latest album A Dawn I Remember will give you a perfect escape to sink into. The world Holly brings to life with her lyrics and the soundscape are just what we need right now. The East Pointers are one of the highest energy and exciting acts to come out of Eastern Canada in the last few years. They perform on fiddle, acoustic guitar, banjo and keyboard and bring a contemporary evolution to the Celtic tunes and fiddle tradition of their home state of Prince Edward Island. They were due to tour New Zealand in late March including a stop at Cuba Dupa and our local venue, The Tuning Fork. Their new album Yours to Break came out in 2019 and is a huge development on their party folk sound, bringing ideas from pop and rock into their songs.

John Smith has built a reputation as one of the UK’s finest guitarists and songwriters. He is five albums deep and performs to sold-out audiences worldwide. He takes his cue and ideals from Richard Thompson and John Martyn, developing a blend of fingerstyle and slide guitar techniques. His honey-on-gravel voice tells of loss, love and journeys. He brings traditional songs to life, those we’ve heard before reimagined, and presents his own songs to add to the tradition. I was lucky to catch John in Australia before he had to cancel the rest of his Southern Hemisphere tour. He returned home quickly to his family, but he’ll be back on this side of the world. Probably worth familiarising yourself with him so you can be first in line for tickets to his next Auckland show. (FINN MCLENNAN-ELLIOTT) F PN

Holly Arrowsmith - photo Hannah Shoot

Tami Neilson’s new album ‘CHICKABOOM!’ is out now. The latest from the largest voice in Aotearoa is a party, and one that has represented

a shift in Tami’s outlook on touring. Rather than put herself on the road for a month, she has focused on small, bite-sized tours focusing on festivals, meaning she can be home with her family for longer. She has stepped away from the five-plus piece band of the past and is joined by her co-writing brother Jay, helping to ease the burden of being on the road. Having family with her has made all the difference. Tami has also been impacted by the closure of borders and tours falling by the wayside. A brand new album to listen to, or purchase, is up on her Bandcamp or Spotify.

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Uptown Art Scene Just a few months after the government identified the Arts sector as operating on the edge of sustainability, the pandemic wiped out all art events across the country. How are artists and galleries responding to the crisis? Visual artists are innovative, resourceful, and have plenty of pluck – it’s used to creating on a shoestring and publicising from the fringes to an enthusiastic but discrete audience. After the initial shock of art fairs and exhibition openings being cancelled (or postponed until next year), wiping away their main sources of income, artists must continue to create. As the great writer Toni Morrison said: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heals.” Artist Sam Mitchell says: “The impact of COVID-19 is both massive and isolating but also incredibly personal. My new show is effectively cancelled, the Art Fair has been postponed and who knows when I’ll earn again? It’s a hugely worrying time. Does great art come out of great diversity? We’re about to find out.” Gallerist Melanie Roger: “We see the gallery as a community and our artists as family. For many artists, spending long periods of time alone in the studio is the norm and I know many are planning on using their isolation time in this way. I think we’ll see some exciting work come out of this. In fact we installed Sam Mitchell’s amazing new exhibition just as our government announced the lockdown and will be updating this and what artists are up to – daily lives, studio moments, the ups and downs of our new reality... at least for now.” “I myself have shifted part of my studio to home where I can make small works, develop new ideas and strategies. I’ve set myself a schedule of what I’d like to accomplish – especially the things constantly postponed by deadlines. As artists did after the Christchurch earthquakes, I would like to see artists take a role in helping the community to recover and heal when we emerge from this crisis,” says Evan Woodruffe. Stay safe! (EVAN WOODRUFFE/STUDIO ART SUPPLIES)



Reb Fountain, photo Frances Carter

Nadia Reid, photo Alex Lovell-Smith Lead


Finn McLennan-Elliott: Support Kiwi musicians We live in uncertain times. Musicians are facing a difficult few months as tours, festivals and venues are shut down indefinitely. As of writing, festivals that are facing a financially rocky winter, having had to cancel their 2020 events, include Cuba Dupa, Pasifika Festival, Waiheke’s Jazz Festival, Tauranga’s National Jazz Festival, the Hamilton and Canterbury Folk Festivals and Homegrown in Wellington. The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make these festivals happen is phenomenal. The loss of income from ticket refunds while at the same time having costs that have already been incurred, means the entire industry faces an unprecedented challenge. If you can afford to not ask for a refund from a cancelled gig, please consider doing so. Most venues are closing, or at the very least the concerts have been cancelled and the venues sit empty. Musicians are in isolation looking down the barrel of months of no gigs. This is a difficult time for everyone, but for musicians and the rest of the music industry, relying on public performance and engagement it is especially uncertain. The most important thing you can do to help musicians is to buy their merchandise, get their newest album or their tea towel, t-shirt, mug or whatever else they are selling. This puts dollars into their bank accounts and ensures they can still pay rent. I wanted to highlight a couple of artists whose new albums are in the world or soon to be in the world and you could look at ordering them off Bandcamp or through their website. Nadia Reid released her third album at the beginning of March, Out of My Province, off her own label Slow Time, here in Aotearoa. She’s signed up to prestigious label Spacebomb Records internationally and had a full global tour planned for the coming months including the US, UK and Australia, all of which is on the back burner for the time being. Produced by Trey Pollard and Matthew E. White, the album finds Nadia embracing her new globe-trotting existence following the success of 2017’s ‘Preservation’. While the album features Nadia’s lushest arrangements to date, at the centre of it all is her immaculate, immense voice and a perspective that’s at once inquisitive and empathetic. MOJO has been one of Nadia’s fans for a long time, citing her debut in 2015 as ‘wonderful’ and her follow up in 2017 Preservation was named their #2 album of the year, which eventually resulted in a performance on Later, with Jools Holland. Nadia has been taking the world by storm and this new album is set to do that.

74 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

Nadia has tote bags, t-shirts, CDs and vinyl all available on www. nadiareid.bandcamp.com. Take a look and make sure you’ve got something new to listen to during the coming months. Reb Fountain is a household name for those who have been attending gigs at the Wine Cellar or Whammy Bar for the last decade. She is one of the most well-respected songwriters Auckland, via everywhere, has produced. Her 2017 was huge, with the release of her album Little Arrows and her Best Country Artist award-winning EP Hopeful and Hopeless. The much anticipated follow up is due out on 1 May on Flying Nun Records. This self-titled record was born in the seasoned walls of Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios. Reb performed, recorded and toured with Neil Finn for his Out of Silence album cycle. The new album brings together her longtime engineer collaborator Simon Gooding and friend and fellow musician Dave Khan to produce the record. The star power doesn’t stop there as Ben Wooley of Marlon Williams’ Yarra Benders and drummer Logain Compain rounded out the band. As if that wasn’t enough, Elroy Finn and Finn Andrews had guest appearances. Finn Andrews guests on the latest song released from the record ‘When Gods Lie’, a song that Reb describes, “[its] the deeply personal experience of a lover letting me go, a friend dying too young, along with the more social rise/demise in the humanness of a once-beloved celebrity and the deep betrayal within the folds of colonialism and/or religious fundamentalism.” Reb’s new, self-titled record is due for release on 1 May. You can preorder this from her Bandcamp or check out Flying Nun’s website for more information. At this stage, her tour in May is still in place, including a performance at the Mercury Theatre, but keep your eye online for more information about this. Stay safe and support those around you. (FINN MCLENNAN-ELLIOTT) www.banishedmusic.com www.flyingnun.co.nz



Kerry Lee: 100th production of the Tim Bray Theatre Company, ‘Greedy Cat’ When Tim Bray graduated with a science degree in 1985, he had visions of becoming the next Jacques Cousteau and spending his life as a marine biologist. Instead, as luck would have it, his first job straight out of university was as an actor performing at schools for children at the Auckland Youth Theatre. After that, marine biology was out and a life in the theatre had firmly taken hold. “I just loved it and I realised that this is what I wanted to do with my life; and I’ve done that ever since.” Six years later in 1991, he discovered that the Auckland Youth Theatre was closing due to a lack of funding. Sensing an opportunity, Tim promptly stepped in and somewhat naively (as he puts it) took over the lease and renamed it The Central Theatre. Over the years it would go through a couple more name changes – firstly in 2004 to Tim Bray Productions, and then in 2019 to the Tim Bray Theatre Company, a name that he felt was a far more appropriate description for what he was trying to achieve. Jump forward 29 years since taking on that lease, and Tim and co are still going strong. When I sat down and spoke to him, he and his team were in the middle of getting ready to put on their first production of the year and the companies 100th show; a live adaptation of the famous children’s book ‘Greedy Cat’ originally written by New Zealand author Joy Cowley in 1983. While Tim admits that theatre life can be hugely rewarding, he recognizes that it’s also a difficult one, but it’s one that he loves and he wouldn’t give it up for anything. When asked why he’s stuck with it for so long, he told me: “We do it because of the passion we have for this business. We love it and we know what it’s giving to children and that’s pretty rewarding, that’s where we get our buzz from.” It’s that passion that’s taken him on such an incredible journey, one that’s included meeting royalty in 2012, when he was chosen to host Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales

and The Duchess of Cornwall, for a very special production of ‘Hairy Maclary’. And then in 2017, when he was recognised with the Queen’s Service Medal for services to children and the theatre. “For me, the draw has always been and continues to be the children’s response to what we create here. In some ways, it brings me back to what I remember when I was younger and going to see the shows that my parents took me to.” In celebration of the 100th production of the Tim Bray Theatre Company, ‘Greedy Cat’ will play at five venues across Auckland for a seven-week tour. PLEASE NOTE that in accordance with the ruling of 19 March 2020, all pubic gatherings of 100 or more people have been banned due to the Convid-19 pandemic. However, the Tim Bray Theatre Company is reducing seating capacity to comply and looking at the option of paid live streaming of the production of ‘Greedy Cat’. (KERRY LEE) For more information about where you can see the ‘Greedy Cat’ play, please visit www.timbrayproductions.org.nz/greedy-cat and for more information on Tim Bray Theatre Productions, www.timbrayproductions.org.nz

Supporting New Zealand’s live music industry devastated by COVID-19 MusicHelpsLive launches today to support New Zealand’s live music industry which has been left devastated by COVID-19. In the past month we’ve seen live music cancelled en masse throughout the country. New Zealand musicians and those who work behind the scenes are facing an uncertain future. For eight years MusicHelps has been the music industry’s charity and among its core activities has been providing emergency financial support and professional counselling to kiwi music people when crisis strikes. It has now started MusicHelpsLive to specifically support people and organisations facing hardship due to COVID-19. MusicHelpsLive aims to raise $2 million dollars to see kiwi music people through the coming winter. All funds raised will be distributed to those music workers whose livelihoods have been shattered as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

MusicHelps board chair and MusicHelpsLive spokesperson Campbell Smith says: “New Zealand’s musicians and the teams behind them are always there for us in times of trouble and tragedy, like the Band Together concert after the Christchurch earthquakes and You Are Us/ Aroha Nui concerts following the Christchurch terror attacks. Now they are the ones that need our help. “COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on the live music industry and the livelihoods of thousands of kiwi music people and businesses. Shows are cancelled, venues are threatened; production suppliers, roadies and crew are without work. With almost no notice, these hardworking, ordinary New Zealanders and their dependents are facing levels of distress and hardship never seen before.”

MusicHelpsLive is calling on New Zealanders to visit www.musichelpslive.co.nz to make a donation or find other ways to support the live music industry. PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



Footrot Flat - A Dog’s Tail Tale, The NZ Film Commission

APRIL GUIDE TO ALERT LEVEL 4 STREAMING Since we will all be spending a little more time inside together, the opportunity to re-watch and share some of our favourite movies and series has never been better. We can look to movies and series that are examples of human resilience and triumph. We can find shows that shine a light on the kinds of dystopian realities that we thought would never be our own experience or we can completely escape through comedy, docos and romance. Above all, it is a great time to support our local screen industry and immerse ourselves in the stories that have helped build and reflect our nation’s identity. The New Zealand Film commission has over 650 films dating from 1977 for easy streaming rental. TVNZ on Demand and TV THREE have a range of series for you to enjoy and share. THE NZ FILM COMMISSION www.ondemand.nzfilm.co.nz

Love Story (2011) New York city as seen through the lens of a unlikely love match. It champions a bustling and socially interactive New York City, a stark contrast since Covid-19 has swept the city. While both charming and whimsical, Love Story offers enough real life New York grit to elevate the film above your average romance. Masha, a mesmerising Russian woman quickly becomes the muse of the filmmaker, Florian Habicht when he sees her carry a piece of cake on a plate through New York city. More than just the muse, Marsha Yakovenko becomes a collaborator in a

Antarctica: A Year on Ice, The NZ Film Commission

76 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020

story that evolves in response to the input of real-life New Yorkers. Critically acclaimed, this film bends the rules and delivers the goods.

Antarctica: A Year on Ice (2013) In a time when many of us may feel isolated, this documentary about everyday people who live on one of the most isolated and cold places on earth is breath-taking and heart-warming. It’s a visual journey of both the beauty and sometimes brutality of nature. More importantly it reveals the resilience and strength of the human spirit. It’s a story experience most of the family can share and learn from. While not fast paced it includes moments of humour and interesting facts

that will fascinate and intrigue a range of ages and tastes.

25 April (2015) This ANZAC day will not see us joining in solidarity en masse at dawn services up and down the country to honour those who have fought and fallen in past world wars and battles. Instead we must look to other ways to acknowledge the ANZACs who made sacrifices in a bid to ensure our peace and liberty. 25 April is a poignant, moving and often harrowing animated account of six ANZACS during the battle of Gallipoli. It captures the personal impact experienced

Love Story, The NZ Film Commission


25 April, The NZ Film Commission

by six ANZACs during the battle. Using raw words from their diaries it brings to life through graphic novel style animation. Both factual, creative and informative this is a compelling story experience. Lest we forget.

Footrot Flat - A Dog’s Tail Tale (1986) A classic from an almost bygone era, when milk was delivered in bottles at the end of the driveway and the rural bloke was an everyday hero. It’s an oldie but a goodie. The cartoon style animation captures the attention of the young and discerning, who today laugh as much at the ‘dad’ style jokes as they do about the parts of the story that are completely foreign to them. Escape to a time in New Zealand’s past before YouTube, globalisation and viruses that shut the economy down and enjoy the adventure and a great theme song. Sleeping Dogs (1977) Both C.K Stead’s novel Smith’s Dream and the feature film adaptation, Sleeping Dogs should be on everyone’s list. Filmmaker Roger Donaldson gained international recognition for this film and the fact that it still resonates today is testament to the place it holds in New Zealand’s film history. Against the backdrop of a nation in crisis, Smith played by a young Sam Neill is both the hero and the anti-hero. Neill’s performance has been described as one that shows both vulnerability and steely determination. There’s action, thrills and lots of great Kiwi accents. TV NZ on Demand

The Educators This comedy takes us behind the scenes of a typical Kiwi high school, revealing the

hopeless and hilarious efforts of the sometimes incompetent staff and teachers. After a week of lockdown many of us may find this even more amusing. Jackie Van Beek, Johnny Brugh, Kura Forrester, Cohen Holloway and a bevy of the country’s best comedic talent make this partially unscripted series an addictive watch. TV THREE www.threenow.co.nz

Mean Mums One of a group of pilots that enjoyed popular support during Three’s Pilot Comedy Week, Mean Mums is a light hearted yet warm look at the sometimes ‘intense’ primary school scene. Full of laughs and moments many parents can relate to on some level, this is a little window into the psyche of parenting. NETFLIX

I’m not OK with This From the creators of The End of the F***ing World and Stranger Things, comes an adolescent, comedic super hero drama that delights and charms. While the story is from a comic book of the same name, it is like nothing out of the Marvel universe. The talent of Sophia Lillis’ who plays angsting teenager, Sydney, takes an unusual premise and makes it utterly believable through her portrayal of the character. Sydney’s developing super powers are an excellent analogy for the emotional turmoil of being a teenager in a complex, modern world. Great watching for adults, young and old, especially those who appreciate the humour of a super hero story with a twist.


Jojo Rabbit Set in Germany just before the Americans and Russians ‘liberate’ the country from the Nazi regime, this movie shines a light on the need to be self reflective and self aware to overcome the destructive force of hate. There are many examples of sacrifice and resilience against a backdrop of horrific trauma and tragedy. Delivered in that unique, satirical style Taika Waititi has become renowned for, Jojo Rabbit will have you giggling despite yourself. Share the view with your whanau there’s much to talk about afterwards. AMAZON PRIME

Fortitude Continuing a theme of isolation, this is a binge worthy series set in an isolated community trying to cope under challenging circumstances. Basically a crime drama, Fortitude is set against a backdrop of icy Scandinavian beauty and is filled with characters that have their own eccentric charm. Complex plot twists sometimes distract from the overall effect and this has contributed to some less that complimentary reviews, however there are enough thrills and beautiful cinematography to make it well worth a watch. Good Omens Irreverently funny, quirky with a mostly satisfying ‘end of the world as we know it’ storyline. The chemistry of lead actors David Tennant (the demon) and Michael Sheen (the angel) who join forces to save the world against all odds is enough to make it a series worth watching.

Sleeping Dogs, The NZ Film Commission The Educators, TV NZ on Demand




Horoscopes: Miss Pearl Neclis – what your stars hold for April

Aquarius (the Water Carrier) 21 January - 19 February You need to make it plain and simple when you want everyone to know how you feel. If you’re missing out on something then it’s your job to make it known. You’ll find everyone who matters is on your side it’s just occasionally they need a gentle push in the right direction.

Pisces (the Fishes) 20 February - 20 March You shouldn’t let rules get in the way of important friendships this month and if you can’t put words into how you feel then show them instead. Communication is the key that will unlock your heart.

Aries (the Ram) 21 March - 20 April Sometimes thinking about the past can be a reflective experience especially when you take time to think about where you are now. Taking control of your life has been your main goal but now is the time for you to be able to lead and guide others along the same path you’ve chosen.

Taurus (the Bull) 21 April - 21 May You’ve always had a way of communicating especially these days we are now experiencing of social isolating. Embrace all other forms of communication if you have too. But you must keep in touch with others even if it’s for your own benefit.

Gemini (the Twins) 22 May - 21 June If can try and clear away any debris you have floating around in that head of yours. That that way you’ll find any thoughts that really need dealing with will become clearer. Accepting the kindness of strangers is not something you’re used to but accept it freely it doesn’t come with strings.

Cancer (the Crab) 22 June - 22 July Whatever may be going on in the world you still have a life to lead. It might be different from the one you’ve led before but adapting is something you’re very good at. You have an abundance of opportunities about to open and whatever path you go down make sure you stay responsible.

Leo (the Lion) 23 July - 21 August Your knowledge of the world comes from a variety of sources and many may think that some of your experiences have been unusual. Your unconventional lifestyle has done you well and some would almost be envious. You’re on the right path already. It’s just scary as you think you’ve already walked it.

Virgo (the Virgin) 22 August - 23 September Unfortunately your past has always had a way of catching up with but this time it’s a pleasant surprise as a former loved one from a different time in your background has entered your orbit again. Don’t be afraid if you have to of making the first step. You’ve evolved enough to be bold.

Libra (the Scales) 24 September - 23 October Talking to the right person this month is imperative for your future if you really want to get back out there. You have plenty of trustworthy people around you but its picking the right one that counts. You could see a massive improvement in circumstances once your experience is utilized.

Scorpio (the Scorpion) 24 October - 22 November Your generosity is helping others in a way that you’re not aware of has reaped lots of benefits. Not just to you but to your closest circle. The life you’ve led so far hasn’t been that bad but if you shift your focus slightly you’ll find it could get a lot better.

Sagittarius (the Archer) 23 November - 22 December Talking is really the best way to clear the air and can definitely improve your chances of a more harmonious existence. Don’t be afraid of getting a fresh pair of eyes on any situation as the weight that you feel on your shoulders will decrease with a fresh perspective.

Capricorn (the Goat) 23 December - 20 January A casual overheard conversation could set you on a path that’s filled with creativity this month. The key is to act on it before someone else jumps on the bandwagon and steals your thunder. If you don’t take the leap you’ll never know the outcome.

78 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2020



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