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1/130 Ponsonby Rd. when you spend $20+

Spend $20+ at Downlow Burgers Ponsonby and get a FREE Burger on us! Use secert code: HeyPons on our kiosk ordering screens to redeem. Valid until July 31st 2024, equal or lesser value burger free. Does not include add-ons like bacon. One per customer please, not available for delivery or with any other offers.

Luxury Meets Location

The Foundation is without doubt, one of the most sought-after retirement locations in Auckland. The Nathan Residences are now complete and work is underway on the second building, Abbott Residences. This new development features a conservatory rooftop garden terrace with views overlooking the museum and harbour.

We are delighted to announce that appointments are now available to view the show apartment and plans for the Abbott Residences. Please arrange an appointment with Bev Dyson.

Photography & Production: Fraser Clements & Hayley Brown


If you like Italian food – authentic Italian food, traditional, honest home-style cooking with rich, hearty flavours – then your taste buds are in for a treat at new Upper Queen Street restaurant, Alla Prossima.

Chef Gabriele Marangoni has been enchanting Aucklanders for eight years at Mt Eden favourite, Pasta & Cuore. Now he’s moving closer to the city and taking on the executive chef role at Alla Prossima, a stand-alone restaurant in Nigel McKenna’s new Abstract Hotel in Upper Queen Street.

There he has prepared a menu specialising in EmilianoRomagnola cuisine. Italians refer to the region surrounding Bologna as the beating heart of Italian cuisine, and for so many reasons. Think Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, Lambrusco. All are from Emiliano-Romagnola where, through an alchemy founded on soil, climate and passion, skilled artisan producers use practices handed down through generations to transform the fine, local produce into truly unique culinary delights

Gabriele learned his craft as a child in his family’s restaurant in Bologna and honed his skills in restaurants throughout Europe. He settled in New Zealand in 2016 and now, in 2024, he’s ready to stamp his mark on Auckland dining under his own name.

Says Gabriele: “With Emiliano-Romagnola cuisine, simplicity is a choice, but authenticity and integrity are not negotiable: discerning customers love to know the story behind what they are eating and where it comes from. Most of our products are

Photography & Production: Fraser Clements & Hayley Brown
Gabriele & Nigel

sourced from the region, the land of slow food and fast cars, where the products have a very long aging time, thanks to a perfect microclimate which is difficult to reproduce anywhere else in the world.

“Our passion is to combine these traditional products with fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers, selecting the best of what New Zealand producers have to offer by way of vegetables and premium meats. Then, using traditional techniques we create exceptionally delicious hand-crafted pasta dishes which celebrate the rich tradition of Italian cuisine.”

Nigel McKenna, Founder and Director of Templeton

Group, owners of Abstract Hotel, says Gabriele has seized the opportunity to express his own culinary vision at Alla Prossima: “This is not a hotel restaurant. It’s an amazing Italian restaurant with an exceptional chef. It just happens to be in a hotel, and we’re proud to be hosting it at Abstract.

“Those who have had the pleasure of enjoying Gabriele’s cuisine will be delighted to know where to find him again. We’re confident that not only will they seek him out, but when they’ve enjoyed his new menu they’ll continue to come back again and again. Hence the name: Alla Prossima – until next time.”

ALLA PROSSIMA, Abstract Hotel, 8 Upper Queen Street, T: 09 320 1671, www.allaprossima.co.nz




























COVER PHOTOGRAPHY & PRODUCTION: Fraser Clements & Hayley Brown

PONSONBY NEWS is published monthly, excluding January by: ALCHEMY MEDIA LIMITED, P.O. BOX 47-282 Ponsonby, Auckland 1144, T: 09 378 8553, 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.

P48 - Helene Ravlich: Winter Beauty and Wellness. Winter is most definitely here – so why not make the best of it by embracing the chill and trying some fresh beauty and wellness tips on for size?

Editor/Publisher: MARTIN LEACH M: 021 771 147 martinleach@xtra.co.nz or martin@ponsonbynews.co.nz

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I wish to remain anonymous but thought I would mention my concerns.

On Saturday 15 June, while walking home from dinner, I saw the disturbance on Ponsonby Road and called the Police as I could see the car incident.

My family has lived in the area for nearly 30 years. My 17-year-old teenage son has had a knife pulled on him on Ponsonby Road and was chased and they took his Nike shoes and phone.

My 20-year-old daughter was closing an eating establishment on Ponsonby Road when Robert Horne was murdered and her shop was surrounded by emergency vehicles and AOS. It was both scary and tricky for her getting home that evening.

Then, last week, a gun was pointed out a car window at her while driving through Waterview Tunnel by a man in an SUV!

Police have not located either men for the above – no update on Waterview even.

I recently called the Police (after Robert died) on 105 when a man with mental health issues was yelling abuse in daytime at women walking down Ponsonby Road. They told me to call 111 next time, which is why I called 111 last night.

As an aside, it was nice to see the victim of last month's shooting, Robert Sidney Horne, mentioned in the Ponsonby News last month, but two articles didn't bother to name Robert (one being the Mayor's), which was disappointing.

Name supplied by withheld


What do we do about these troubled people who sit begging in our main streets? So far it hasn’t been an easy fix. The related Public & Safety and Nuisance Bylaw is not doing the job and the police have not come to the rescue. Cities like New York just oust loiterers, but that is only a surface solution. Each person after all has their own story which has somehow ended in disaster.

But hooray! We, recently listened to Viv Beck from Heart of the City telling us about a programme that has been offering a genuine solution. Street people are being given the opportunity to work in a community garden for the day and they receive a donation in return. It is vastly better than begging.

The person gets an honest sense of satisfaction. Their skills can be utilised and developed, and they are able to work in a healthy garden environment. Win-win.

The programme is called ‘Street Guardians’. Heart of the City developed it in 2018 and it is now delivered by Auckland City Mission, with support from the Ministry of Social Development. It currently operates two days a week and Heart of the City’s aspiration is to grow the programme so that more people can participate.

Anyone wanting to find out more or offer support, contact Heart of the City at info@hotcity.co.nz

Well done Viv, Heart of the City, CCRG and everyone involved. This idea is a great initiative, and that it could be expanded is an exciting prospect!

Rock the Vote NZ www.rockthevotenz.org.nz


I was surprised to read Mayor Wayne Brown saying in his June Ponsonby News column how much he loves this part of Auckland. But does he love its heritage?

As a Ponsonby resident, I would assume he is aware that this is a heritage suburb, full of character homes and listed heritage buildings. I’m sure he knows the heritage precinct at Three Lamps at the top of St Marys Road, comprising of the heritage listed Ponsonby Post Office, Ponsonby Fire Station and the Leys Institute Library and Gymnasium.

He must have seen the sad sight of the neglected Leys Institute, closed for nearly five years, deteriorating by the day.

The buildings are awaiting seismic strengthening and have been the subject of over four years of community advocacy and planning with the Waitematā Local Board and council officials.

The community was under the understanding that work was proceeding in council with a view to starting the upgrade and restoration by 2025.

We now find that following the adoption of Mayor Brown’s 2024 Long Term Plan, where he stated, “I propose to pause spending on seismic upgrades of council assets” (page 371 attachments), all work on the Leys Institute has halted. We’re gutted that our community has worked so hard with no result.

The library has been vandalised several times and now the roof is leaking. I believe there is a case for calling out the council for demolition by neglect.

If the Mayor wants to be regarded as a good local citizen, he should get the Ley's Library and Gymnasium guaranteed funding for restoration immediately.

Helen Geary, St Marys Bay helen@geary.nz


Many of our readers know that our favourite cuisine is Italian and having spent so many holidays there, we are excited to see Alla Prossima open in the Abstract Hotel in Upper Queen Street.

Their chef – born in the same year Ponsonby News was launched – is Gabriele Marangoni, offering authentic Emiliano-Romagnola dishes.

Italians refer to the region surrounding Bologna as the beating heart of Italian cuisine. We are looking forward to enjoying a meal there.

Both Mike Lee and Gael Baldock have written about our beloved department store Smith & Caughey and asked whether Auckland Transport’s Queen Street narrowing and revenue gathering has destroyed 144 years of trade? If Harrods was in this position we believe the UK Government would step in.

Thanks to the incredible support of many like-minded people, Kelmarna Community Farm has achieved its fundraising target of $200,000. The fundraising appeal was launched in May in response to the sudden loss of a significant, long-term grant, which put the very future of the farm in jeopardy.

This issue Helene Ravlich is feeling the it’s time to focus on winter beauty and wellness.

Winter is most definitely here – and our scribe suggests making the best of it by embracing the chill and trying some fresh beauty and wellness tips on for size.


We know how tough retail and hospitality are right now. We’ve always said, think global and please remember to support our local businesses whenever you can.

I would like to thank all our readers and friends for sending their healing vibes to me. I had a fall last month and hit my head, which left me feeling very low. A shout out to the three St John’s ambulances and the Fire Brigade, who all did their best to revive me. I spent four nights in an induced coma in Auckland Hospital’s ICU and am feeling better and on the road to a full recovery. (MARTIN LEACH)  PN


In support of Gael Baldock’s idea to celebrate Auckland’s historic seawall under the Lower Hobson Street flyover, I am offering on long-term loan one or more of my sculptural seats. Or to make a new one specifically for the site at the base of the seawall on Strudee Street, across from the Tepid Baths, where the sea came in before the land was reclaimed.

Readers may be familiar with my seats that are located at Silo Park and Westhaven Beach. I have also sold my work all over the world. www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/swamp-kaurisculptures-sell-for-1-million/

A tree is a living being and I seek to reveal the inner beauty of its life to allow the tree to live again as a sculpture. The process is time consuming and quite expensive. I use 2m-long chainsaws, an array of enormous power tools – huge grinders, planes and such.

I have a special piece waiting to be carved. The story is of the last kauri log from the Waitematā Harbour, whether cut and lost from a log drive, or some other event, storm or tsunami. It’s only a few hundred years old and is NOT 'swamp' kauri as such. It was discovered under the silt when the Waterview Tunnel was being constructed. I have this piece of kauri waiting to tell its life story from the forest until it made its way into the harbour.

It has a beautiful form within, waiting to be released. I want to honour its possibility as a tohanga for Auckland city.

Peter Brierly-Millman


Is Auckland Council and Auckland Transport's goal of transforming the CBD into a more “vibrant”, “liveable” and “sustainable” environment with an emphasis on fewer cars and less parking, backfiring?

According to fresh official data, foot traffic in the CBD is down 50% pre-Covid, a drop of 19,000 vehicles a day, a 41% drop covering all modes of transport, and 33,000 fewer people routinely entering the city.

The vibrancy of Queen Street has been lost in time, replaced by crime, vagrancy, boarded-up retail premises, onlineshopping and people working from home.

The Waitematā Local Board says that bringing more residents into the CBD is the answer. From where? The surrounding suburban areas? Through immigration? Or both?

In the 1990s, the population residing in the CBD was around 1400 and has grown to the current 45,000 since the construction of new apartment buildings started. However, the population increase has failed to sustain the survival of commerce in the area which appears dependent on other factors.

Another Councils goal is to make the CBD more cosmopolitan. However, it is already very cosmopolitan with foreign students making up a large proportion of the population.

Auckland Council has plans to settle another 55,000 people in the CBD by 2030, doubling the population in six years to 100,000. All this, while removing car parks, turning sidestreets into laneways and converting more of the city centre into pedestrian zones. How is this going to help a doubled population move around? Will families simply not be able to own a car? How equitable is that?

There is a chance that doubling the population in the CBD may do nothing but double existing problems. Like the days of old, roadways were key to economic growth and prosperity, curtailing their use may curtail economic growth and have a negative impact on the quality of life.

Will the Central City Rail Link help, and will the city survive the wait?


The irony of Auckland Transport's statement about the extension of the Meola Road cycleway into Westmere is that they are, “improving safety and accessibility for people,” yet the positioning of every pedestrian crossing is tucked just around the corner, perfectly located for cars to hit smack bang into walkers.

To save walkers the inconvenience of walking 20m down Meola before crossing, they will now risk their lives by using the new crossing at the corner – never mind the crossing at the Westmere shops which too is just metres from a blind corner. This is a crossing that I have provided first-aid to walkers on two occasions in two years. Yet somehow "safety" is the reason for these works.

Reduced parking is also apparently deemed "safer" – best we start suggesting our patients who are sick, have reduced mobility, have kids and prams, and are elderly – to ride their bike to collect their medicines to avoid being cut off from the community because their car is no longer welcome.

Finally, if safety truly is our top priority, my solution to commuting cyclists would be to ride down Faulder Avenue, a lovely quiet street, linking up with West End Road and avoiding all the hazards that come with a busy village –possibly an easy solution that would save taxpayer dollar, avoid a disruptive village remodel, and might actually be indeed safer for cyclists.


A Give-a-Little page has been launched by Save the Queen Street Society Inc to help fund the High Court judicial review in August of Auckland Council’s decision to sell Downtown Carpark.

The council is accused of failing to abide by local government legislation by not seeking and identifying all reasonable and practicable options when taking such a decision.

Last November, councillors voted (12 for and 7 against) to sell the building of 1950 car parks to Precinct Properties, owners of Commercial Bay, for $122 million.

Precinct plans to demolish the carpark, dig a multi-storey hole into reclaimed land for private parking and develop a podium with two residential towers above, on the condition the Lower Hobson Street flyover will be demolished and the roads reconfigured at a cost of $75 million to ratepayers.

The demolition would cause more than 20,000 truckloads of concrete and potentially contaminated material to be taken to landfill. (Further environmental impact details were explained in February Ponsonby News.)

The society presented an alternative proposal which could net the council $350 million, retain the existing building with 1000 public carparks and sell the ‘air rights’ to develop towers on top of it – all without demolishing the flyover.

Their updated engineering seismic assessment also gave the building a clean bill of health.

The loss of parking is expected to lead to significant damage to the retailers and users visiting the central city, the Viaduct and the islands of the gulf by ferry.

As owners of this city asset your help is needed: givealittle.co.nz/cause/save-the-downtown-carpark

The petition is waiting for your signature: www.change.org/p/stop-the-sale-demolishing-ofdowntown-carpark?source_location=search

Keep up to date:

Save The Downtown Carpark: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61560828714152

Instagram – Save Downtown Car Park

There's a gaping hole in Auckland Transport’s city parking plan, right by the ferries, without the Downtown Carpark


Over two years ago, several 'concerned citizens', who accidentally became aware of the ridiculous design for the ‘improvements' Auckland Transport (AT) proposed for Meola Road (and Great North Road) started the process of formerly objecting to the proposed design.

Few if any of the local communities bothered to raise any issues around either project at the time. Now look at the result of AT’s latest failure to 'read the room'. All the input was studiously ignored by AT management as is their modus operandi.

Meola Road

Anyone with any sense who has driven (or attempted to drive) down Meola Road recently, will by now have realised that the idiocy of Auckland Transport is yet again on full display.

AT has budgeted $44,500,000 (that’s right, 44 MILLION dollars) to ‘improve' Meola Road and Pt Chevalier Road. AT has not – indeed it has achieved the exact opposite result.

Auckland Transport has achieved nothing except completely ruining a major thoroughfare and wasting our money yet again on projects that are simply not improving anything except its staff’s incomes.

Just one example: I followed an Outer Link bus from Point Chevalier to Garnet Road. This mission involved a stop at every single bus stop except one – which meant that no car could pass the bus while stopped to pick up or drop off passengers. The queue built up steadily behind me until by Garnet Road I could not see the end of the tail in my rear-view mirrors.

Given the unrestricted availability of space on both sides of Meola Road, why were the bus stops not indented off the main roadway to ensure both safety for passengers and access to open lanes of traffic for the vehicles trapped behind the buses?

Meola Road has been unnecessarily compressed into two narrow lanes and has had all the previously available parking for the sports grounds removed. (There are now just 12 car parks for all those wishing to walk their dogs, off-leash, in the inner west city area.)

The obvious ‘improvement' would have been to use the open space to the west and east for indented bus stops and footpaths only.

A wide cycle lane, which was always available on the Motat side of the road anyway, could have been ‘improved' with a simple white line painted down the middle to separate cyclists (both of them) and pedestrians (as the Mayor himself has requested).

Then AT has further punished those local residents and ratepayers by installing the mandatory speed bumps and pedestrian crossings every 200 metres, with traffic lights no doubt soon to follow for each pedestrian crossing.

AT has completely ruined Meola Road by yet again 'manufacturing congestion', for no valid reason and their obtuse refusal to listen to 'concerned citizens’ two-plus years ago has resulted in a very accurately predicted fiasco.

Of course AT will never admit to being wrong (it is just not yet in their DNA), and this hideous mistake will not be corrected in our lifetime as AT will now always argue, “no budget to FIX our mistakes.”

Great North Road

That the Great North Road project was delayed due to the tiny issue of funding approval (with the proposed cost of over $25,000,000 delivering no tangible benefit to commuters, local residents or business traffic), this project has been temporarily partly stalled purely to luck and the cost of living crisis.

Make no mistake, despite Auckland Transport being told to rein in its unnecessary spending by the Mayor, councillors and the almost universal feedback from ratepayers, taxpayers and residents – Auckland Transport remains hell-bent on 'improving' Great North Road.

Inevitably this destruction of such a major thoroughfare will provide no tangible benefit to anyone, but will deliberately increase congestion, slow traffic movement to a crawl and cost a fortune.

It will, however, allow AT to destroy Great North Road as it has Karangahape Road, Queen Street, Quay Street, Ponsonby Road and the intersection exit from the Motorway to join into K’ Road and Ponsonby Road. All of which are unmitigated disasters of Auckland Transport’s own making.

What is needed to stop Auckland Transport is first and foremost a rapid and significant response from Pt Chevalier and locales' residents who wish to raise complaints about the dreadful design and delivery of these alleged improvements, which has literally ruined their neighbourhood (Email: Dean. Kimpton@at.govt.nz or Chief.executive@at.govt.nz) and a requirement for public forums and public acceptance as a formally required process BEFORE approval – with the ratepayer and taxpayer feedback being a mandatory key criteria for approval to proceed.

Mayor Brown and Hon. Simeon Brown – over to you!

Roger Hawkins, Herne Bay CONTINUED ON PAGE 27




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


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


We each follow our moral compass shaped by training. Mine is sculpting, architecture, sociology, anthropology and betterment of our shared world by community advocacy… and saving trees.


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.


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


A life long advocate for community issues, I am passionate about protecting and enhancing our natural environment and built heritage.


I am a young local writer who loves to read! Each month you will find my reviews of new books for people who love to read as much as I do.


I am the councillor for Waitematā & Gulf. A former seafarer, former chair of the ARC, conservationist, PT advocate, and author. I have represented the Ponsonby area since 1992.


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


I am an Aucklander of Indian origin, Punjabi and Sikh. I have a keen interest in food, wine and politics.


I am a passionate Ayurveda practitioner based in Ponsonby for the last 15 years. Inspiring others to live a healthy and fulfilled life is my higher purpose.


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.

Find your place

favourite suburbs. Bookstores to bakeries, architects to art shops, whatever your business, find a home for it with us.

Retail and Office spaces available for lease now:

PH 09 522 0039


Founded and developed by Jacquie Burke, ARTANDREALISM.COM is an online art platform dedicated to supporting emerging visual artists from New Zealand and the Pacific community.

With a strong focus on diversity, the platform not only provides emerging artists with a robust online presence but also valuable mentorship. Jacquie guides the artists through the transitional process from traditional art practice into the commercial digital landscape.

Of Fijian heritage and Irish descent, Jacquie’s 30-year experience in the creative and visual arts has been paramount for completion of the project. As an emerging artist herself, Jacquie has a deep understanding of the struggles of independent artists, and through Art & Realism, is providing much needed support based on her own experiences.

Each artist gets their own managed shopfront to display their collections of art prints and originals. Providing reassurance and confidence as their sales, income and marketing are all taken care of – the artists also receive regular payments after work is sold. It also provides a space for collectors and connoisseurs of art to discover and purchase amazing art, fully framed and ready to display on delivery, while directly supporting the artists.

The vision for the project came to fruition after Jacquie completed a creative mentorship programme with Toipoto / The Big Idea in 2023. She recognised there was a need to support the hundreds of undiscovered emerging visual artists of diversity across the country and the Pacific who lack the knowledge and experience to set up and access the digital terrain.

The next stage was the platform needed funding and she went on to being one of 18 Pasifika-led projects selected nationwide for a crowdfunding Boosted Moana campaign Q4, 2023. With the support of Boosted.org.nz, NZ Arts Foundation and Creative New Zealand, who matched her target dollar

for dollar, she successfully raised the initial capital. Jacquie is grateful to her community who believed in her project, they helped her get it over the line. ARTANDREALISM.COM launched in the second quarter of 2024.

Jacquie’s ethos is a simple, yet fundamental one – create a collaborative universal space where emerging visual artists of diversity can be seen and heard.

“As an emerging artist who had faced adversity, I wish I had had this kind of support and opportunity earlier. There are so many struggling artists out there in need of a little support and direction from someone who truly understands them and the process. I believe ARTANDREALISM.COM is that platform.”

Now, officially a startup in the infant stages, Jacquie is in it for the long game. She takes pride in partnering with suppliers who share similar values who are making a significant impact in the art landscape. She hopes the platform will attract a colourful collective of emerging artists of diversity, supportive communities, customers and art collectors that will create a movement and catalyst for positive change.

Submissions open. Criteria applies. Visit us at artandrealism.com

Aqua Liquid Heaven by Kyra Rousselle
Stomp by Miki Nozomi
Deep in the Forest by Paul
Whole World Afloat by Skye Kelly
Aqua Liquid Heaven by Kyra Rousselle
Stomp by Miki Nozomi
Deep in the Forest by Paul
Whole World Afloat by Skye Kelly


Auckland Zoo’s senior keeper of the carnivores' team.

You had quite a journey to the Auckland Zoo, tell us about it?

After gaining a degree in zoology, I did a three-month internship at a rehabilitation centre in America ahead of starting as a rookie lion keeper at Knowsley Safari Park in the UK caring for a pride of 24 lions, 3 Siberian tigers, 2 Iberian wolves and 12 African hunting dogs. After four years, I moved onto the large mammal section where my focus was with seven African elephants along with giraffe, snakes, lizards and a European moose! Four years later I decided I needed a little change in my life so attempted to travel around Australia. I soon realised, at the age of 28, I was a bit precious for hostels and ended up working as a group fitness instructor in Sydney for 10 months before seeing the job at Auckland Zoo. Flash forward eight years and here I am.

You are the senior lead keeper of Auckland’s Zoo’s carnivores' team, what does that entail?

Yes, I deputise for our carnivore team leader as senior lead keeper, so my job is managing larger projects and supporting team members in these while making sure the section runs smoothly. I still get to work closely with the animals, but after 16 years in the industry it’s nice to be more on the development side of things too.

Being a zookeeper is not your only job, what is the other?

I am a group fitness instructor for Les Mills. I teach Body Combat, Body Attack and Body Pump. I love it and teach every night of the week.

Favourite animal at the zoo?

Tasmanian Devils – they’re feisty, unique and darn adorable!

Like the most about Ponsonby?

I’m a big foodie so all the delicious restaurants, cafes and bars. There is always something going on or a new and exciting eatery that is waiting for me.

How did you survive the pandemic?

I was really fortunate I could still go to work every day, get out of the house and socialise (at a distance of course) with my work colleagues. I still did online fitness classes to members from my living room which was an experience. It did, however, make me realise that I should not take up roller skating ever again.

What was your childhood like?

I had a great childhood. The middle kid of three (yes, I have middle child syndrome). We always had pets growing up – mainly cats and rabbits and, much to my dad’s disgust, a panther chameleon called Urkle.

I will die happy if?

I get tickets to Taylor Swift’s next concert.

Your bucket list?

· To swim with great white sharks

· Breed Tasmanian Devils at Auckland Zoo

· Be an extra in a movie

The most Kiwi thing about you?

I’ve picked up saying the word aye a lot. It’s very Kiwi, aye?

What job would you do other than your own?

Stunt double in movies.

If you were reincarnated, what would you be?

A magpie, I like shiny things.

What do you dislike about your appearance?

My forever rapid-growing nose hairs.

Which item do you wish would come back into fashion?

Popper pants – those little poppers down the legs you could just pop off.

Biggest disappointments? Don’t make me choose just one.

Ever seen a ghost? No, but I’ve been ghosted heaps.

Give your teenaged self some advice? You don’t need a 'pre-dinner dinner'.

How do you chill out?

PlayStation and a glass of wine.

Which item of clothing can't you live without?

Caps – I love caps/hats and any form of headwear.

Most treasured possession?

My four jars of pickles in the fridge.

What are you insecure about?

Where do I start?

Your greatest fear?

I have a fear of horses.

Favourite hero of fiction?

Thor – he’s pretty bad ass.

Your weakness?

Crisps, once I’ve opened a bag it's game over.

A handshake or a hug kind of person?

Hugs always if the other person wants it otherwise a high five and a fist bump will do. (DAVID HARTNELL, MNZM)  PN


The karakia dawn blessing of the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road, was held on Thursday 6 June.

The ceremony was hosted by the Waitematā Local Board and marked the commencement of the project’s construction phase – stage 2 of the development. It also recognised the significant contributions of mana whenua, the community and the project team, leading up to this momentous occasion.

The event was led by mana whenua. The kaumātua were Auckland Council – Richard Nahi, Matanga – Tikanga me Te Reo Māori. Malcolm Davis – Kaupapa Maori Cultural Competency Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Phil Wihongi –Toi Tuhono roopu. Tamariki from Ponsonby Intermediate also attended and were specifically acknowledged by Phil Wihongi.

The Community-Led Design Group (CLDG) would like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for their considerable work, dedication and stamina in reaching this stage of the project’s development.


In other CLDG news:

We have partnered with Places for Good, who have run several workshops with three local schools. School students inputted their ideas to the design of the hoarding mural. They have also established the ‘Sidewalk Gallery’ on the hoarding. The first tranche of artwork, by Ponsonby

Intermediate students, is now on display there. So why not take a stroll along the strip to check it out soon?

We attended the 18 June Waitematā Local Board business meeting, presenting a deputation* formally requesting support from the board to enable the community aspiration for a Community Garden at the rear of the site. This was also championed in the meeting’s Public Forum by Places for Good, presented by Boopsie Maran. We thank the Waitematā Local Board for their time and engagement and we now hope to work productively with the board to achieve this community aspiration.

The procurement process is underway to appoint a contractor for stage 2, the construction of the development. The new civic space will soon begin to rise from the asphalt like a magnificent phoenix – a creature that is a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Bring it on!

For more information or to contact the CLDG, visit the website 254ponsonbyrd.org.nz or see our Facebook pages, Ponsonby Park, or 254 Ponsonby Road.

*The full CLDG deputation is available on our website 254ponsonbyrd.org.nz

The recorded Waitematā Local Board meeting will soon be available on the Auckland Council website. (JEN WARD)  PN


Illegal Freedom Camping at the Coxs Bay Esplanade Reserve must either be monitored more closely by Auckland Council or the area shut to Freedom Campers permanently.

This is because the use of the area by campers has led to pollution of the bay from body waste and from cooking fats and other food waste. Neighbours often complain of the smell of urine from a path that links Jervois Road to the Esplanade Reserve.

Freedom Camping in approved vehicles with a fixed toilet is now allowed on most council-controlled public land in Auckland, including most streets and roadsides.

The Coxs Bay Esplanade is just one of two areas in the Waitematā Local Board area where freedom camping is allowed, but restricted.

The restrictions limit Freedom Camping vehicles to just three only per night, and they are only allowed to stay for one night, vacating the area by 9am on the second day. And they must have self-contained toilets.

Most of the campers’ vehicles parking in the carpark are not 'certified self-contained vehicles' meaning the occupants don’t have on-board toilet facilities.

Following complaints from nearby Herne Bay residents, our association has found that as many as up to 25 Freedom Campers park in the esplanade reserve every night, even though the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2022 states that campers who use the Reserve on West End Road, Herne Bay must use only one of three designated parking spaces and can stay no more than one night.

One of the biggest problems for Coxs Bay is that most Freedom Campers don’t know where to camp in Auckland and believe, from studying Freedom Camping Apps, that Coxs Bay is one of just a few Freedom Camping spots in the Auckland area.

Glenys Daniell who lives on Jervois Road, just above where the campers locate, says that Freedom Campers tell her that they believe the Coxs Bay Esplanade is just one of several designated spots where they can camp.

“Unfortunately, a Google search also produces many results showings this,” she says.

“So, listing the Coxs Bay Esplanade as a ‘restricted' camping area in the council’s by-laws has had the reverse effect," she continues.

Glenys confirms the survey completed by HBRAI – that the majority of campers do not have 'certified, self-contained

vehicles'. Glenys says the issue has worsened since Freedom Campers started using the esplanade in 2022.

“I’ve seen campers toileting in the small, sparsely treed esplanade reserve beside the zig-zag walkways up to Jervois Road,“ she says.

“On at least two occasions I have seen what appears to have been the contents of a portable/cassette toilet that had been emptied into one of the carpark’s gutter drains, which empties directly into Coxs Bay, evidenced by the acrid smell of stale urine, and the toilet paper and other items caught in the grille.”

Next door neighbours Toni Ashton and Michael Williams agree that the council needs to be pro-active and not reactive to the problem. “They set it up, they should monitor it,” says Toni.

Until we complained, Auckland Council only monitored the Freedom Campers when a complaint was rung in by the public.

When HBRAI complained in late May of a one-night example where 22 vehicles were parked in the reserve at 6am in the morning, the council said it had only received eight complaints about vehicles parked in the area at night and had visited during the day only twice in the last six months.

Following the complaint from HBRAI, the council sent Armourguard to the area. Armourguard reported that nine vehicles were illegally parked and had been issued with $400 infringement notices.

Following repeated questions to the council about the issue, we got the following reply:

As well as Armourguard following up complaints, council now had additional “compliance warden patrols” operating across Auckland dealing with Public Safety and Nuisance By-Law Breaches (noise complaints mainly). They had been directed to “give attention” to the Coxs Bay Esplanade and address any Freedom Camping breaches they encountered, issuing infringement notices “where appropriate.”

On the subject of inadequate signage for Freedom Campers, Adrian Wilson, Compliance Manager, Auckland Council, said: “We are also reviewing signage in the area to ensure appropriate warnings are given to those campers entering the carpark.“  PN




On Saturday 29 June, the Matariki constellation will begin its ascent. It is a time for reflection, hope and unity. It will also be the final day working with my co-leader, Marama Davidson, before she takes a break to begin her breast cancer treatment, followed by necessary rest and recovery.

I would like to take this moment to highlight this incredible woman who fearlessly champions our people and our planet every single day. The warmth, honesty and humility Marama carries herself with rubs off on everyone she works and spends time with. We will hold the space for her healthy return as Green Party co-leader in a few months time, and remind ourselves that rest and recovery is critical for each of our contributions to the world.

In line with such a reflective time, at one of our Britomart Market stalls recently, we decided to try and flip the script, asking people to identify the things they love about this city and want more of – a universe far away from complaining about the status quo of politics, instead looking to identify the good stuff to magnify. Aucklanders (and a train load of Hamiltonians who’d ventured to the big city on Te Huia) scrawled dozens and dozens of inspiring notes about our musicians, galleries, green spaces, beaches, community spaces, markets, lights, small businesses, visibility and manaakitanga of tangata whenua. In the things we love, we see what we want to preserve, what we value and where we want to build from.

We saw those values in full, unified force later that very afternoon as tens of thousands Marched for Nature down Waihorotiu Queen Street. An official count just shy of 30,000 New Zealanders turned up to show, not just tell, the Government that we care for each other, our environment and Te Tiriti. The demonstration nudged above the approximate 27,000 submitters against the Government’s destructive and anti-democratic Fast-Track legislation, which concentrates power to approve mining and other projects rejected by the Environment Court and local communities into the hands of three Ministers.

Throughout May we also celebrated New Zealand Music Month and it was clearer than ever to me just how much the arts are the lifeblood of this city. The sheer volume of talent and variety was on full display at the Karangahape Road Block Party as people flowed in and out of stores and venues all along K’ Road and artists filled the air with their music. We also saw the return of the Aotearoa Music Awards – opening in stark creative contrast the same day

the Government released their uninspirational, tax-cutsat-the-cost-of-everything-else Budget. I’d be remiss not to mention the induction of Dame Hinewehi Mohi into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. It has been 25 years since her performance of the national anthem at the Rugby World Cup and the release of her double platinum album Oceania (recorded entirely in te reo Māori) helped shape the way we respect and use te reo in this country.

I have also continued to work across business associations, emergency responders, state agencies and with Minister of Police Mark Mitchell for evidence-based solutions to crime in our city. As all of the screeds of evidence and testimony from those on the frontline can share, stable housing, a sense of belonging, ability to plan positively for the future and decent income are the strongest crime prevention. With the Minister and Mayor, we recently held a successful roundtable meeting and are anticipating agreed, tangible solutions and lines of accountability, which I will of course share in full transparency with our community as appropriate to do so.

As your local MP and Green Party co-leader, I wish you all a very safe and happy Matariki. It is a time to celebrate new life, remember those who have passed and plan for our future. We all need each other. Noho ora mai e Mānawatia a Matariki ki a koutou. (CHLÖE SWARBRICK)  PN

CHLÖE SWARBRICK, T: 09 378 4810, E: chloe.swarbrick@parliament.govt.nz www.greens.org.nz/chloe_swarbrick

Chlöe Swarbrick & Marama Davidson protest at the March for Nature down Te Wai Horotiu, Queen Street, in June


The month of June saw the celebration of National Volunteer Week.

Volunteers are often the unsung heroes in our communities, playing such an important role in creating a sense of togetherness across our communities. We have a vast number of generous citizens in our Local Board area, from the volunteers at the wonderfully helpful Citizen’s Advice Bureau and board members of our Business Associations, to individuals who volunteer to advocate for community projects.

Whether you’re advocating for the restoration of Leys Institute or the wide range of not-for-profit groups who come before the board, thank you for the gift of your time and wisdom.

I was particularly chuffed to see volunteer business mentors in our area acknowledged by Hon. Andrew Bayly, the Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing, recently. We know small business owners have had a tough time of late, particularly in the centre of the city having suffered a decade of construction surrounding them. Auckland has 224,000+ small businesses, they are the backbone of the economy and must be supported.


Waitematā Local Board area covers from Newmarket and Parnell, through the city centre and across to Grey Lynn and Westmere. With a population of 81,500+ and over 100,000 people commuting into the city centre, 104 parks, eight community centres, four libraries and five pools the Local Board has its work cut out for them.

Our work is divided into five themes:

• People

• Environment

• Places

• Community

• Economy

Our Local Board Agreement explains our focus on these five themes through our Planned Operating Spend and Planned Capital Spend. Our Operating Spend covers Community Services, Environmental Services, Planning Services and Governance at a total of $34.7 million. Our Capital Spend is $10.7 million.

The Local Board Agreement explains our Performance Measures, Funding Impact Statement and our Advocacy Initiatives. The agreement is, in my view, the most tangible way of measuring our performance as your elected members. Check it out on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and don’t hesitate to be in touch if you want to know more about any of our agreement’s contents.


The Police Minister fronted up to our community on 4 June to hear its frustrations and lived experience of increased crime. Fewer than three weeks later the minister has welcomed the deployment of more Police on the beat in the central city. This will be welcome news for residents, business owners, workers and customers. Highly visible patrols will give us the boost of confidence we need to continue enjoying our great city.

This news will also be positively received by Heart of the City CEO, Viv Beck and advocate for central city residents, Noelene Buckland. Together they presented to our business meeting last week on the need for a strengthening of the public safety and nuisance by-law and their concerns of issues on the street, including retail staff being threatened.

From 1 July we will see an increase of 21 police officers, up to 51 in our biggest city. Furthermore, Auckland will benefit from 63 officers deployed across the three police districts.

To contact Sarah Trotman, in her capacity as a C&R Member, email her at sarahtrotman@outlook.com

To contact her, in her capacity as an Elected Member of Auckland Council’s Waitematā Local Board, email her at sarah.trotman@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or you can give her a call on M: 021 487 583.



Marco Muñiz is an owner of La Mexicana, and a board member of Grey Lynn Business Association (GLBA). We asked them to tell us their story.

How many shops do you own?

Three. My partner, Fletcher Selaries and I started La Mexicana in Grey Lynn in 2020 and expanded to the Milford shop in 2021. Then we opened Milford Beach Pizza a year ago.

What attracted you to Grey Lynn?

Grey Lynn is a vibrant community with diverse customers and residents, a trendy and creative hub close to Auckland's CBD that features a mix of historic buildings, parks and cultural events. Locals value sustainability and inclusivity.

How is Grey Lynn working for you?

We love the village vibe and have enjoyed meeting all the other local businesses. As a business owner, we have a supportive environment and, as a Grey Lynn resident, we have a high quality of life with easy access to amenities and public transport.

And you have joined the local business association?

Yes – having businesses in Milford, we can see the potential to get even more for Grey Lynn village and our business by collaborating with our neighbours and the wider suburb.

How does that work in Milford?

Milford has been a Business Improvement District (BID) since 2008 and it has made Milford a vibrant and attractive place to operate any type of business. Milford’s BID has a substantially bigger budget compared to what Grey Lynn Business Association has to work with. The bigger budget helps with organising lots of events that generate sales and exposure for all businesses. We get constantly promoted through social media and Milford websites. In Milford, we have private security, we have gardeners and cleaners and good relationships with council and Auckland Transport. Being a BID provides more opportunities to improve the suburb, which is just what businesses need here in Grey Lynn.

What is a Business Improvement District?

Part of the rates paid by local commercial property owners goes to the local BID organisation so that they have a sensible level of funding. It allows the BID to employ a dedicated champion and organise initiatives that support the needs of local businesses.

Is Grey Lynn a BID?

No. We think Grey Lynn businesses are missing out, especially when our neighbouring precincts have dedicated resources to support their businesses.

What can Grey Lynn do about that?

That's why I joined the business association. GLBA is working to get a BID and I wanted to support that. We have made excellent progress and have now met most of the council requirements to become a BID.

What area will the Grey Lynn BID cover?

It follows the ridge, along Great North Road, through Grey Lynn and West Lynn villages, and the commercial areas ringed by Richmond Road. It's a diverse area with eclectic shops, creative industries, destination retail, thriving services and significant investment in construction and transport infrastructure.

How do you know what the businesses want?

We surveyed local businesses and they told us that they are interested in:

· Marketing to promote Grey Lynn as a brand and destination for customers and business investment.

Business skills and networks to support thriving business relationships and attractive events.

Representation and influence to champion local business interests.

· Placemaking to encourage safe, secure and beautiful local environments and streetscapes that attract customers and businesses.

What happens next?

Local businesses and commercial property owners will vote in October. If enough businesses vote in favour of it, we will become a BID. It's time to spread the word.  PN

lamexicana.co.nz www.glba.co.nz

Marco and Fletcher


Has Auckland Transport’s Queen Street narrowing and revenue trap killed our beloved department store, after 144 years of trade? If Harrods was threatened, the UK Government would be saving it.

The central Auckland transport plan is about to come out for consultation and it is up to you to protect our beloved city from this madness.

Firstly, we have to understand how shopping villages work and survive. They are set up at intervals of about a 20-minute walk or a seven-minute drive along arterial roads. From Queen Street to Karangahape Road to Ponsonby Road up Williamson Avenue to Grey Lynn Village to West Lynn Village to Westmere Village to Jervois Road has been designed in that pattern. We basically have a ‘15 minute city’ without the controls.

As commuters pass through these villages, they stop to pick up a meal, a bottle of wine, meat from the butcher, flowers, groceries, a prescription or a gift. They are also destination shopping and dining.

The traffic plan for Central Auckland has been based on ‘destination only access’. Arterial roads have been narrowed to single lanes. Bus lanes and cycle lanes have pushed out those commuting from Mission Bay and Parnell through Victoria Street or Quay Street over the Lower Hobson Street flyover to the motorway to the North Shore at Victoria Park, or up College Hill, Jervois Road, Westend Road, Garnet Road (AT has narrowed the roundabout to a single lane) to Meola Road, Pt Chevalier Road and onto the Western Motorway or through the Waterview Tunnel.

These loops would have worked perfectly if the ludicrous ‘City Centre Masterplan’ hadn’t destroyed the traffic flow and made us cause more emissions as we drive in circles to get to or from the city.

Arriving off the motorway tunnel into Wellesley Street, a bus lane blocks straight ahead and right into Queen. Instead, I turn right into Kitchener, left into Victoria, left into Queen then u-turn to the disabled park located outside Smith & Caugheys. Going home, only buses can turn right into Mayoral Drive, so I must take the loop up to Symonds Street. None of this helps council’s emission targets.

Our most successful villages have an ‘attractor’ that brings people from wider areas. This brings customers to the other shops. Both Grey Lynn and Westmere Villages have their butcher shops. West Lynn had Harvest, until the cycleway took away their parking; they changed hands but that didn’t keep the doors open or the receivers away, sadly.

I worked in the Westfield architectural design office in Sydney. A similar principle is used in the design of shopping malls. Malls start with a huge car park to make them a destination. Then the big stores and supermarkets draw customers past smaller shops to the ‘attractor’ so they shop on the way.

The inconsistencies of bus lane times and the short duration control of the lights have added to the problem, deterring people from the city. Mayor Wayne Brown stated that the ‘pinch points’ on the motorways occur between 7am-

9am towards the city and 4.30pm-6.30pm from the city weekdays ONLY, and that should be consistent throughout the city.

Another idea termed lovingly, “hey diddle diddle let’s travel down the middle,” is to have no bus lanes on two-lane arterial roads with buses using the medium strip during peak times as a ‘dynamic lane’ and traffic not turning right except at the lights.

The Mayor has asked AT to reduce its budget on cycleways, speed humps and so called ‘safety improvements’ so AT has sought revenge elsewhere that has caused Auckland to become a crime-filled ghost town.

Auckland Transport’s revenue traps include:

The 160 metre Khyber Pass revenue trap generated $4.3 million in fines during 2021 and added to the demise of Newmarket that now has 75% of shops empty.

The K'Rd revenue trap paid AT $10K per week, closed stores including the Army Surplus after 30 years.

Banning private vehicles from a small section of Queen Street that collected more than $5 million in fines over 16 months. Gone is the foodcourt beneath the movie theatres and Smith & Caughey’s is the latest tragedy.

Auckland Transport has sucked the marrow out of our city by these restrictions.

Some of this revenue needs to be distributed to the retailers who have suffered financially from the lack of customers. AT should be bailing them out instead of making matters worse by removing parking, charging for overnight parking, and demolishing the safest, cheapest carpark (the Downtown Carpark) along with the connecting Lower Hobson Street flyover (decision to be made by the Governing Body).

The CRL will be a complete failure if there’s nothing for people to go to. Shop at Smith & Caugheys to help save it. (GAEL BALDOCK)  PN GaelB@xtra.co.nz


July may be a drier month than average, with average temperatures and more sunshine.

The first week may be the cloudiest. Skies may clear around the 5th and the second week may be the driest and sunniest with the highest pressures. The last week may see the most rain and lowest pressures. The barometer may average around 1016mb overall. The best weekend for outdoor activities may be the 6th/7th.

For fishermen, the highest tide is on the 23rd. The best fishing bite times in the east should be around dusk of 4th-7th, and 19th-21st. Bite chances are also good around lunchtimes of the 12th-15th, and 26th-28th.

For gardeners, pruning is best on the 1st-5th and 22nd-3st (waning moon descending), and planting is best on the 7th19th (waxing moon ascending). For preserving and longer shelf-life, harvest crops or flowers around the neap tide of the 16th.

Allow 24-hour error for all forecasting. (KEN RING)  PN

For future weather for any date, and the 2024 and 2025 NZ Weather Almanacs, see www.predictweather.com

Opinions expressed in Ponsonby News are not always the opinion of Alchemy Media Limited & Ponsonby News.



The concept of celebrating the sea wall between Sturdee Street and Fanshawe Street with a series of historic murals and setting up a Seawall Market by Gael Baldock and Gene Jouavel presented to Auckland Council’s ‘Transport and Infrastructure Committee’ had a favourable response.

(Described in June Ponsonby News.)

It also included dressing the facade of the Downtown Carpark with perforated metal panels of the stern of waka conceptually indicated in this nighttime view. Apparently each of the original waka to arrive here had its own name and the ‘taurapa’ (stern) depicted the whakapapa of that iwi. My invitation is to the 19 iwi of Auckland to represent their own taurapa.

Councillor Kerrin Leoni (the first wahine Māori councillor of the Supercity) asked about the consultation process with iwi. I will take her lead and that of Independent Māori Statuary Board on this, should the Judicial Review in August determine that council must consider other offers on sale of the Downtown Carpark and that the new successful bidder chooses to retain the existing building and public parking. I suggested that might also include a public level on what is currently the 8th floor with a ‘Window to the Harbour’ rather than at ground level that has the potential to be a viewless wind tunnel.

Presentation to Transport and Infrastructure youtu.be/dj6mvj8alas

Gael Baldock

Opinions expressed in Ponsonby News are not always the opinion of Alchemy Media


Smith & Caughey’s closure another blow to the central city.

The news of the proposed closure in 2025 of Smith and Caugheys with the loss of nearly 250 jobs came as a sad blow not only for the staff but for many other Aucklanders as well.

The 144-year-old Grande Dame is the oldest and last survivor of a cohort of department stores like John Courts and Milne & Choyce which once graced Queen Street, along with George Courts on Karangahape Road and the Farmers on Hobson Street.

These were progressively lost to the city, especially after the commercial mayhem of the 1980s and the predatory activities of once lionised ‘corporate raiders’.

But despite all, Smith & Caugheys, in its stately Victorian building with art deco-esque frontage, carried on. A prudently managed family business, owned by generations of descendants of founder Mary-Ann Caughey (now numbering some 68). A grand emporium, a treasure house with its Christmas window displays – the delight of children to this day; an elegant survivor of Auckland’s golden age, of a time when Aucklanders were outspokenly proud of their bustling and still beautiful city.

A reminder of that time can be seen on Netflix. ‘Ladies in Black’, set in 1959 Sydney, is a light-hearted but evocative movie about a fictional department store ‘Goodes’ (believed to be David Jones). Interestingly, department stores like David Jones and Myer are still going strong in Sydney, Melbourne and other cities, so why not in Auckland?

Some of the reasons were outlined by the chairman of Smith & Caugheys, Tony Caughey. Since 2019 especially, a major decline in foot traffic on Queen Street bringing a 40% decline in revenue. At the same time he pointed to the after effects of Covid, crime and safety issues, the economic downturn, designer brands like Gucci choosing to open their own stores and competition from new shopping malls like Westfield Newmarket with their hectares of free parking.

But many of these global factors are in play in Australian cities too – so what is different about Auckland? Heart of the City’s Viv Beck recently told the council’s Transport & Infrastructure committee that retail trading in the inner city is now ‘tough going’. In particular she pointed to the dramatic fall in people

coming to the city ‘around Queen Street’ compared to preCovid, down by 50,000 per day.

In terms of transport she reported a reduction since 2015 by 19,000 private vehicles per morning peak, but worryingly that all transport modes (including PT) were down 41% – a loss of 33,000 people/trips per morning peak to the inner city.

Both Mr Caughey and Ms Beck were too polite to say it but I will. Over recent years, the commercial vitality of the city centre has been progressively damaged by poorly advised, ideologically driven council/AT policies. At enormous expense, Queen Street has been reduced to two narrow lanes – often dominated by empty or almost empty buses; the footpaths used by beggars and rough sleepers. On-street parking, vital for retail, has been reduced to insignificance. Now, even driving to and on Queen Street is a mission. Indeed, from the Mayoral Drive to the Civic Theatre, AT has set up a revenue trap wherein in 16 months a stunning $12 million of fines have been issued to unwitting drivers. Though the council’s non-statutory ‘City Centre Master Plan’ promises an ‘accessible, inclusive and prosperous city centre’, council’s so-called ‘transformational moves’ are creating the opposite – blockading and progressively hollowing out the city’s retail centre. Unfortunately, council and AT seem completely indifferent to the damage this is doing. Coming up is AT’s imposition of 24-hour parking charges, the closure of Wellesley Street West (from Queen Street to Federal Street) to cars, and the sale and demolition of the Downtown Car Park Building.

The City Rail Link (CRL) was meant to be a lifesaver for the city but its disruptive construction is taking more than twice as long to complete as originally planned and likely costing three times as much as claimed in its business case. But the widespread assumption, almost an article of faith, is once the CRL is opened in 2026, thousands of people will come flooding into the city.

While that might have been likely when construction began in 2016, I’m not sure whether it’s still a safe bet. The closure of Smith & Caughey’s is just one more reason why assumptions of the CRL bringing multitudes of people to the city centre can no longer be taken for granted. Things must change or, by the time the CRL is opened, not that many Aucklanders may still want to come. (MIKE LEE)  PN




I would like to make a proposal, m’Lord. For a truly vibrant city, every individual should be able access all of their basic needs within fifteen minutes walk of their house.

And top of my list of local amenities would be the cool neighbourhood joint. Intimate, soulful, delicious, lights on every evening rain or shine. ‘A place where everybody knows your name’.

Such places require passionate souls to run them, dedicated to their core. These individuals have to love the place; they’ll usually spend inordinate amounts of time there.

Ragtag in Westmere most certainly fits all of these criteria and then some. It's a destination too and worth any trip across town for. I am sitting at the back bar adjacent to the prep and serving area of the restaurant, a step through from the central dining room. On the other side of the bar in his self confessed favourite spot of the restaurant is owner/chef Dan Freeman.

He is amiably chatting to me with big smiles. I am, however, worried. He is looking straight into my eyes as we converse. However, in his hands is an exceptionally sharp knife and he is rapidly chopping through some sort of radicchio stems.The chop is perfect and his fingers remain intact. Okay, that’s cool.

I’m also very happy for many reasons. But one of them is that Ragtag is the only place in New Zealand serving by-the-glass, hands-down the finest English wine on the market. The fine English fizz in question is the non vintage Digby Brut Reserve. From the combined counties of Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, the mixture of chalk and greensand soils are the envy of Champagne. The wine has incredible balance, purity and a racy bead that is simply sublime.

Dan prepares three signature dishes to succulently experience alongside the Digby. It's like a symphony, explosions of flavour bursting with energy.

Explosion number one:

A raw fish tostada, tuna with fruit salsa and chilli oils.

Explosion number two:

Beef tartare taco with a sprinkling of American cheese powder on top like yellow snow.

Explosion number three (and the headliner):

Duck taco, confit of duck with beetroot salsa on trademark Ragtag duck fat-infused flour tortilla. BOOM. I am transported into orbit. ‘Ground control to Major Tom’. All around me silhouetted in the dark cosmic backdrop drifting effortlessly are a Ragtag bunch of ducks, tortillas and Digby.

I rest my case, m’Lord. (PUNEET DHALL)  PN

Digby Fine English NV Brut

40% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier

40% Pi


“Toasty, nutty and biscuity on the nose with some evolution evident. The palate is generous but maintains tension with bright acidity, precise green apple fruit and savoury marine notes. Long and intense on the finish.”

- 97 Points (Platinum Medal) - Decanter


Mānawatia a Matariki! Hopefully many of you enjoyed the long weekend and found some time to celebrate Matariki. This month is a busy one for the library. We are starting with Tales by Twilight on Friday July 5 from 6pm. Pop on your pyjamas and bring the family along for a special after hours story time. There will be stories, songs, silliness and fun, plus a pre-bedtime treat of milk and cookies.

On July 11 at 6:30pm there will be an event for the grownups. We are discussing Artificial Intelligence: a new technology with Dr Kara Kennedy. Even as many of us try to keep up with learning new digital skills and staying safe online, along comes new Artificial Intelligence (AI) changing everything again. We have reason to be concerned but also excited about how this technology will impact humanity. This presentation will explore what AI is, where it is heading and how to consider the safety and ethical issues surrounding it.

This month also brings the school holidays. Here at the library, we have a few exciting things planned. On Thursday July 11 from 10-11:30am we are exploring space. We will walk on the moon using Virtual Reality headsets, make rockets, and more. Although, please be aware that the headsets aren’t appropriate for younger tamariki. Then on Tuesday July 16 at 11am-12 noon, we are welcoming the Physics Pathfinders, a student-run organisation dedicated to providing physics and engineering-focused science workshops for young Kiwis. Join us for a fun, interactive morning that teaches scientific principles through hands-on experiments.

After having so much fun reading the Ockham Book Awards Jann Medlicott Acorn Fiction Finalists, we thought we’d continue and read the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Our Children’s Librarian, Ronnie, has reviewed the shortlist for the picture book award:

Hatch and Match written and illustrated by Ruth Paul. Bright colours and cute chickens. This is a delightful seek and find book to help tamariki practise recognising patterns and counting. Every page is full of little details making this a book a delight to linger over with tamariki.

Lucy and the Dark written by Melinda Szymanik and illustrated by Vasanti Unka. Many people young and old are afraid of the dark. This is a sweet story that gives life to the dark, making it a thing of adventure and fun.

At the Bach written by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper. This book combines beautiful illustrations and nostalgia. It draws on memories of long summer adventures at the classic Kiwi bach.

Dazzlehands written by Sacha Cotter and illustrated by Josh Morgan (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Rongowhakaata, Te Whānau-a-Kai). (Also shortlisted for the Russell Clark Award for Illustration.) A farmer tries to convince pig to go “oink” when all pig really wants to do is dazzle. This is a fun story about showing your unique self to the world instead of conforming to fit in.

Paku Manu Ariki Whakatakapōkai written by Michaela Keeble and illustrated by Tokerau Brown (also shortlisted for the Russell Clark Award for Illustration and Best First Book Award). This story is both funny and poignant. It weaves Māori legend with modern culture to create a tale of exploration and finding one’s place in the world all from the perspective of a small taitamaiti.

Hours: Monday- Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 9am – 4pm, Sunday Closed. (Chloë – Manager Community LibraryPouārahi, Pātaka Kōrero ā-Hapori)  PN

LEYS INSTITUTE LITTLE LIBRARY, 14 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, T: 09 377 0209, www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz


The Government recently announced its first Budget, dedicating funding to essential frontline services such as health, education and police.

We’re doing what we said we would do – reducing wasteful government spending and putting money where it matters to you.

New Zealanders will also experience meaningful tax relief for the first time in 14 years. From the end of this month, averageincome households will be better off by up to $102 a fortnight. We know families across Auckland and the rest of the country have been doing it tough with the cost-of-living crisis, and this is our way of helping you keep more of your own money.

What’s more, we’ve fully funded this tax relief through savings and revenue initiatives. This means the Government isn’t borrowing to fund it and it won't add to inflation.

If you haven’t done so already, check out our online tax calculator to see just how much you will be better off. At the time of writing, more than 400,000 people have used the calculator! Just head along to budget.govt.nz/taxcalculator

We’re realistic that we can’t fix all of New Zealand’s challenges in one go. But this is the clean-up job that New Zealand needed after six years of economic mismanagement, and a crucial step in our plan to rebuild the economy. Budget 2024 has laid real foundations for growth in New Zealand for years to come.

It’s something I’m passionate about as Minister for Economic Development. In this role, there’s a wide range of things I can look at to support various sectors of our economy, whether it’s helping innovative Kiwi export businesses take their products and solutions to the world, to attracting major global events that will have flow-on benefits across our economy.

The next of these major events is actually based in Auckland and coming up very soon: the World Choir Games, the world’s biggest choir competition, will take place in this city from 10 – 20 July. Around 11,000 people from around the world will be visiting Auckland to participate in the festival, delivering a massive boost to the city’s economy. With its rich cultural diversity, Auckland is the perfect place to host this event, which will be a fantastic celebration of cultures (there are choirs registered from more than 30 countries).

With the event conveniently based in venues around central Auckland, I encourage you and the whole family to check it out.

Thank you to everyone who attended my various community events last month – I always take pleasure in meeting people around Mt Albert and beyond and hearing their views first hand. I have another Seniors’ Morning Tea coming up on Thursday 18 July, 10.30am at the Point Chevalier Community Centre.

If you’d like to come along, please email me at MPlee@parliament.govt.nz to RSVP and for details. I hope to see you there. Until next time. (HON MELISSA LEE)  PN National List MP based in Mt Albert

Authorised by Melissa Lee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington M.Lee@Ministers.govt.nz


This is an opportunity to meet with National List MP Melissa Lee and guest speaker Dan Bidois MP to discuss issues of interest to you.

Thursday 18 July, 10.30am

Pt Chevalier Community Centre 18 Huia Road, Point Chevalier, Auckland

Please RSVP to MPLee@parliament.govt.nz or phone 09 520 0538

Hon Melissa Lee invites you to join her for a
Authorised by M Lee, Parliament Buildings, Wgtn.



rich man is nothing but a poor man with money."

It was lunchtime at the bottom of Garnet Road when the sound of chain saws drifted over to me from below Rawene Avenue. I felt a familiar old dis-ease, then spotted a large bulldozer on the beach which further raised my blood pressure. Trudging across the muddy bay to spy on the unusual activities armed with only my iPhone, I was slipping and sliding on the smooth exposed stone submerged in the tainted harbour mud.

I had made this journey a few months earlier and witnessed that the pohutukawa trees clinging to the cliff edge had been hard pruned for a massive new development. The new owners paid $23 million to the director of Shrek for his house, then promptly demolished it. As I approached, the digger was clawing at the bed rock stripping away the cliff; it sounded like fingernails on a chalk board. This time the workmen were not happy with me photographing them, “Oi! What are you up to? This is private property." I was shocked, angry, then sad that money can buy you anything. It can buy a resource consent to reshape the coastline, it can buy you an extra hundred cubic metres of land and allow you to plunder the natural environment.

Why do crazy things keep happening in our town? Why do we allow our little local retail villages to be ravaged? Queen Street and Broadway to be turned into ghost towns? Why do we allow vital parking to be removed and public assets sold below value? Why? In this moment of existential crisis,

W.C. Fields.

standing in the watery ooze, a cloudless blue sky above, I realised the system is not only broken, I feel it has fractured into a thousand shards. We are inheriting a broken city, smashed and wilfully destroyed by the very institutions set up to protect our collective assets. The elected councillors have failed us, compromising their stand on no more cycleways in order to get their pet projects over the line. Arrogant council officers think they know best and CCO executives ride rough shod over common sense.

As a tsunami-sized recession sweeps in, retailers like Huckleberry (Harvest) Whole Foods in West Lynn have closed. They never recovered from Covid or the loss of 11 carparks thanks to the cycleway debacle. Smith & Caugheys will soon shut its doors as Queen Street descends into a state of drunk and disorderliness. Only Auckland Transport's spin doctors believe that following the misguided Master Plan is a real fix. Meanwhile, Westfield Malls triumph and Broadway Newmarket is moth balled, becoming a beggar's bed. Landlords will sell to foreign investors and what ever existing heritage is left will probably turn to dust as profits over people win the day.

I want to be wrong about all of this. I want to say we can reverse this and restore our city to the lovely, liveable place it was, but the train has left the station, the platform is deserted, people’s troubles are packed up in their old kit bags and they smile, smile, smile. (LISA PRAGER)  PN

Reviving Our Hauraki Gulf

Hard on the heels of the recent ‘March for Nature’ by over 20,000 people, Ponsonby U3A members were delighted to hear from Peter Miles about the ambitious project to bring back the mussel beds and revive the gulf.

Peter is a Trustee of the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust. He has a background in engineering, marketing and business development. Since 2019, he has been lending his talents and problem-solving abilities to collaborate and foster partnerships to achieve the large-scale change needed for mussel reef restoration.

A hundred years ago, the waters of the Haruaki Gulf were clear and full of marine life. It once had over 600km^2 of sub-tidal mussel reefs – about 80,000 rugby fields worth! All were dredged out for local consumption before 1965. Today it is in a ‘biodiversity crisis’. Species have suffered massive drops in populations. For example, snapper has decreased by 83%, mussels by 100% and there are no crayfish or scallops. Overextraction, sedimentation, habitat destruction, pollution and pest species (all in the context of climate change) have placed the gulf under immense pressure.

Experts say fixing the gulf will need a combination of more marine protected areas to allow natural recovery, along with work on active restoration of key species. One of these is the humble, green lipped mussel. Mussels filter the water and provide habitat and food for marine life. The beds can remove excess nitrogen and locked away carbon and stabilise the sea floor from storm surges. One mussel can provide a structure for over 250 species. Bring them back and everything else follows.

Revive Our Gulf project is a combined effort from the University of Auckland, The Nature Conservancy NZ and the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust working with industry partners and different iwi groups across the gulf. So far, over 222 tonnes of mussels have been placed in test beds from Mahurangi to Ōkahu Bay and east of Waiheke.

Peter reported that the project is still in discovery stage as they strive to understand how to sustain the platforms, how mussels breed, their complex life cycle, which seaweeds mussels prefer, which sites are best for development and the effects of intertidal changes.

The good news is that there is evidence of biodiversity returning. Peter concluded that the next phase would include evolving the restoration methodology and increasing monitoring and evaluation.

U3A member Ian Ramsay gave members a heartening account of the experiences he and his wife shared in fostering children in the 60s and 70s. In all, they hosted 10, mostly Māori, children.

In his charming, articulate and non-judgemental way, Ian described these children and the often-horrendous backgrounds many of them had suffered. For example, ‘welfare’ placed six girls in a house but there were no staff members to look after them, so Ian fostered two sisters. One girl disabled by a burn, had been in seven homes beforehand and previous foster parents thought she carried tuberculosis and treated her as a pariah.

Ian spoke of their charges with respect, affection and empathy. In his words they were “delightful, intelligent and a pleasure to have.” Several of the children stayed six or seven years. The only downside, explained Ian, was that because he was a lawyer, family members often came to him for disparate legal advice. What Ian did not say is that to this day, many of these former children regularly keep in touch with him which is a testament to Ian’s and his wife’s guardianship.

Ponsonby U3A welcomes newcomers. If you are interested in attending, first as a visitor, please call President Ian Smith on M: 021 130 2330.  PN

NEXT MEETING: Friday,12 July 2024.

GUEST SPEAKER: Wayne Brittenden, The State of Global Media.

VENUE: Herne Bay Petanque Club, Salisbury Reserve, Salisbury Street, Herne Bay.

ENQUIRIES: Ian Smith, President, Ponsonby U3A. M: 021 130 2330, www.u3a.nz

Peter Miles


Sarah’s parents had had a trust for as long as she could remember.

It owned their family home, holiday house and various commercial property and managed fund investments. Sarah’s parents had worked hard. Her Mum had died just before the covid pandemic and her Dad, earlier this year. While Sarah had a rough idea of what the assets were, she didn’t know what the total value of the trust was or what assets she would be receiving. She had been asked by her parents’ lawyer to go to a meeting to talk about the trust.

Sarah wasn’t sure what to expect at the meeting. She knew that a reading of the will was something that really only happened on TV, but she was looking forward to finding out how things would progress going forward. Sarah’s two older brothers were also attending the meeting. The three children mostly got on, but there was sometimes friction between the three, that in Sarah’s view, was mostly caused by the strong opinions of her eldest brother, Matt’s, wife. Sarah’s parents really had no idea that their children’s relationship could sometimes be quite strained.

At the meeting with the lawyer, Sarah was shocked to discover that Matt and her other brother, John, were appointed as trustees of the trust together with her parents’ accountant. Sarah didn’t feature at all. All three children were to receive an income from the trust assets and the family bach was to be retained in the trust for the use of all three children and their families.

Sarah was so upset. She and her husband had a large mortgage and she was hoping for some funds to be able to relieve that pressure. Also, they hardly ever went to the family bach. They had gone most Christmases and Easter breaks when her parents were alive, but that was only to visit her parents.

Sarah approached her brothers to try and explain her circumstances and try to work through a result which would

be more helpful to her current financial position. However, Matt in particular was adamant that their parents’ wishes would be abided by and that there would be no additional support for Sarah beyond the income that she would receive from the trust assets.

Sarah decided to go and get her own legal advice. Her lawyer advised her that she was able to ask for extensive financial information relating to the trust and that while her parents’ wishes were legally persuasive, they were not legally binding, and the trustees had an over riding obligation to consider the needs of the beneficiaries of the trust. After many months of communication between Sarah’s lawyer and her brother’s lawyers, and Sarah’s lawyer threatening to make an application to remove both of her brothers as trustees, the family agreed to go to mediation.

This situation is sadly typical of families of who set up structures, but don’t consider what those structures might look like in the future. It is extremely important not to have a 'set and forget' approach to asset planning. Asset values increase all the time and have done so in particular over the last few years with property prices increasing exponentially. People also need to consider the needs of all their children. Unless there are vast sums of money, it is not always a good idea to try and retain assets in the same trust beyond your death. Children have varying needs. One might use the family bach every second weekend. Another might have no interest at all or may not even be able to afford the petrol to get there. Some children may have large debt that they need to pay down whereas others might be happier to have some extra income coming in.

Ultimately, Sarah and her brothers reached a compromise, but the process took an emotional toll on everyone involved. It’s important to put thought into who will be managing your affairs if you die (or if you lose capacity). In this case, there may have been good reasons why Sarah was not included, but families should strive for transparency and communication around the trust arrangements, so they remain fair and relevant. That way they can help mitigate potential conflicts and ensure that assets are managed in a way that respects any wishes, while addressing the evolving needs of all beneficiaries.

Asset Protection. Considering Everything Together.

The protection of assets that we have worked so hard to acquire is an important consideration for most people. Trusts provide protection of those invaluable assets, which allow a person to hold property and assets on behalf of another - for the good of the beneficiaries.

It is just as important to ensure that other forms of asset structuring are up to date and considered in relation to your trusts structure. These include your will and enduring powers of attorney.

Contact our Trusts and Wealth Protection Team for


How One Aucklander's Vision Transformed a Community Space.

This is a story of how one person with a passion for the environment changed a forgotten park into a thriving urban oasis, protecting homes, businesses, footpaths and the road from flooding as well as protecting plants from the lack of water in the summer. Recently, I met Mark Van Kaathoven –an environmental champion who has transformed the garden area at the Waiatarau/Freemans Bay Park from a neglected, uninviting space into a thriving urban oasis.

Over the past five years, Mark, with the help of dedicated community volunteers, the Freemans Bay Residents Association, Council’s Community Facilities team and support from the Waitematā Local Board, has not only transformed the park, but sparked a rethinking of how we handle green waste and highlighted the operational, environmental and social benefits of his approach. Mark’s project has not only improved the aesthetics of the area but has also fostered a vibrant ecosystem, attracting a variety of birdlife and other fauna often not seen in the urban environment.

So how has he done it?

Mark identified that the green waste many home and commercial gardeners discarded could actually be used more sustainably to create sponge gardens. His success in delivering that for the Freemans Bay Park encouraged the council to collaborate with Mark on a larger scale project at Tuna Mau/ Western Park, just off Ponsonby Road. This site was chosen due to past flooding issues and its proximity to Mark's residence, allowing for close management and monitoring. The involvement of the community was key and Mark's presence ensured both a hands-on approach and local participation.

Operationally, we have seen some benefits, contractors no longer need to transport green waste to landfills, avoiding disposal fees and reducing the carbon footprint associated with such trips. Local delivery of green waste to project sites is not only more efficient but also financially beneficial for small operators, who can reinvest the savings into their businesses and educate their clients about this sustainable method. Additionally, the need for mowing difficult, sloped areas is eliminated and mulching around trees protects them from damage caused by line trimmers.

Environmentally, the project has already shown positive results. Birdlife has returned to Western Park, and the trees are healthier due to improved moisture retention, reducing their vulnerability during droughts. The mulch acts as a sponge, addressing issues with muddy and flooded areas, particularly around playgrounds and fields. The Freemans Bay Park even played a role in water retention during the January 2023 storm.

Socially, the transformed park has become a popular spot for relaxation and enjoyment among locals, businesses and visitors from outside the region. It also attracts interest from gardening groups, both locally and internationally, eager to learn from Mark's methodology.

The method used in these projects is simple yet effective: creating regenerative or sponge gardens by layering green waste to mulch down, eliminating the need for digging. This approach initially appears messy, but with proper signage and Mark’s on-site education efforts, the community has embraced it. The sponge garden has resolved issues with muddy seating areas and playgrounds, demonstrating the practical benefits of this innovative technique.

Mark Van Kaathoven’s vision and dedication has not only turned a once bland area into a beautiful urban oasis but has also challenged conventional thinking about green waste management. His efforts have inspired me to ask council to look at how we can use and develop Mark’s ideas more widely across the region.

DESLEY SIMPSON, Deputy Mayor of Auckland www.desleysimpson.co.nz



The details of Auckland's sensible new Future Fund.

As a businessman, it is obvious to me that councils do not plan for financial ups and downs the same way the private sector does. Unfortunately, it’s ratepayers who pay for it. We need steadier annual rates that are less shocking to household budgets.

And now we have a solution. Council’s Governing Body gave the Auckland Future Fund the go-ahead last month [Thursday 16 May]. I’m not one for big celebrations, but I’m quietly chuffed about this one.

The fund will be well capitalised with the airport shares alone, valued at around $1.3 billion. It will now be established faster without the port lease, creating a potential windfall gain of around $20 million next year. And this money will be channelled into a reserve fund to fix and finish community projects for legacy councils that didn’t sell their airport shares before merging into a single Super City. So, everyone’s happy.

And it gets better. Alongside the Auckland Future Fund getting the green light, the Port of Auckland has committed to contributing at least $1.1 billion to Auckland Council over the next 10 years of this LTP. This figure is around $172 million more than the projected net returns from investing the proceeds of the proposed port lease.

In the future, councillors can also consider other contributions to grow the fund, which could include returns from port operations if it makes financial sense to do so.

I’m glad that my councillors voted for logic in the end. Contrary to persisting myths, owning the AIAL shares did not give us any magical control over the operations of the airport, and it had such abysmal returns that it was costing Aucklanders to hold onto them.

Based on independent advice, the Auckland Future Fund’s cash contribution to Auckland Council is expected to be $400 million more than its projected dividends from AIAL shares over the next 10 years. This will be a $40 million dollar saving in rates each year.

Establishing the fund enables us to swap a single asset, the shares in the airport, for a diversified asset portfolio that can be expected to provide a higher and steadier rate of return, as well as being more resilient to shocks that impact the council’s other assets.

It will be established as a trust, which can provide a very high level of protection against raids. We will also be seeking the added protection of legislation.

Times are tough for many people; I’m glad Auckland’s future looks a little better with these deals across the line.


www.facebook.com/WayneBrownAuckland Mayor.Wayne.Brown@Aucklandcouncil.govt.nz


Around the country, my Labour colleagues and I have been out meeting with communities to discuss the impact of National’s first Budget.

Across the Mt Albert electorate and Auckland as a whole, people have shared concerns about cuts to key services – from public housing to universal free prescriptions and healthy school lunches to climate action.

Understandably, people are worried that the cost of living and inequality are on the rise. Rents, unemployment and child poverty are also projected to rise, while thousands lose their jobs and income as a direct result of the National Government’s choices.

We’ve heard from dozens of people whose tax cuts won’t cover the cost of their prescriptions or other supports that have been cut. As one person explained: “We’ll be getting tax back, but we won’t see it as it will now pay for my family's medications. National has given with one hand and taken away with the other.” I’m also particularly concerned about the impact that increased public transport costs are having on Aucklanders.

National’s abrupt axing of the First Home Buyer Grant has left many in the lurch, with some families having to save for months longer than planned, or putting home ownership out of reach. National also cut more than $1.5 billion of support for public housing, including Māori housing development and youth transitional housing. Meanwhile, they’ve gifted $2.9 billion to landlords through changes to interest deductibility – a choice that won’t sit right with many Kiwis.

Teachers and principals are rightfully concerned that the National Government knew how harmful cutting funding for the Ka Ora, Ka Ako healthy school lunch programme would be – and chose to whittle it down anyway. It’s been revealed that they ignored clear advice from educators, experts and multiple agencies who said changes to the programme would risk achievement, attendance, nutrition and children’s wellbeing.

Some schools have been forced to turn healthy, hot meals into a pre-packaged snack. The reduction in funding could also mean job losses, some of which are filled by parents. With unemployment set to rise, this could be a double whammy for household budgets during a cost-of-living crisis.

Reducing the programme will have flow-on effects on our health system – the state of which has left people worried. National promised to fund new cancer treatments and then chose not to – a move described by many as “cruel”. We’ve heard from patients spending thousands each month to pay for these treatments. It’s time for the National Government to fulfill its promise to those who are most in need.

People also have been shocked to see funding for action and research on climate change slashed, leaving us all vulnerable. Meanwhile, thousands of people have written and marched to oppose National’s incredibly unpopular Fast Track legislation, which could put our native species and their habitats at risk.

Labour will continue listening to what matters most to New Zealanders and holding the National Government

to account for the reckless decisions they’ve made in Budget 24. Feel free to reach out if there’s a local issue you would like to discuss.

Finally, Labour Finance Spokesperson Barbara Edmonds and I are hosting a public meeting to discuss the Budget on Tuesday 2 July at 7pm at the Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road. Come along to share your thoughts, questions, or concerns. (HELEN WHITE)  PN helen.white@parliament.govt.nz www.labour.org.nz/HelenWhite


Thanks to the incredible support of many like-minded people, Kelmarna Community Farm has achieved its fundraising target of $200,000.

The fundraising appeal was launched in May in response to the sudden loss of a significant, long-term grant, which put the very future of the farm in jeopardy.

"The support from the community has been absolutely fantastic,” says General Manager, Sarah McFadden. "The whole team has been blown away by the generous contributions made by so many people.

"This community-generated two-year funding window allows the Kelmarna team to refocus its energies on a shared vision for the future:

"A better-resourced, robustly funded and widely recognised educational and community hub at the forefront of the ecological food movement.

"We’re striving to be a more open and more impactful, farm,” says Sarah, "doing even more than we do now. A hub of community connection, education and food system change."

Thanks to this improved financial security, the farm can now get to work on growing our diverse range of lively community events, fundraising activities, volunteering opportunities and therapeutic gardening programmes providing connection for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Of particular excitement for us too is being able to now revive our school education programme that connects the next generation with essential skills for a more sustainable future and creates healthy relationships with food.

The farm demonstrates every day how a holistic approach to social and ecological sustainability can transform lives and landscapes alike. Our current annual impacts include:

· 2700 hours of support for therapeutic gardeners

· 42,000 litres of food scraps and other organic materials composted and returned to food production

3600kg of nutrient dense, organic produce is grown onsite

· 35 people learn market gardening skills on the Farmhand 16-week training programme

480 people volunteer learning food growing skills and making connections

· 3800 people hosted at the farm via the public events programme

2500 visits by customers to the onsite Farm Shop

750 veggie boxes supplied to customers via the Community Supported Agriculture Scheme

The community funding also gives Kelmarna sufficient time to continue their good work to move away from reliance on grant funding.

“This injection of capital allows us to invest in our people and capabilities and significantly advance areas of the farm that generate revenue,” says Chairperson Nick Morrison. But the opportunities to partner with Kelmarna and support the work are not over.

With its wide-ranging community engagements and its key position as a hub for food system change and community engagement, Kelmarna continues to be a desirable local organisation for values-aligned business to partner with.

By becoming a business sponsor, your organisation can contribute to Kelmarna’s mission of championing a regenerative local food model which ultimately nourishes both the land and the people of Aotearoa. Every investment made in this work is a critical step forward towards a brighter food future and a healthier, more connected and more resilient community.

The clue is in the name. This is a farm in and for the community. Thank you to everyone who contributed their support to ensure the future of Kelmarna Community Farm. Our future is bright.

And if you missed the campaign, donations are still welcomed kelmarna.co.nz/donate. Everything that takes the farm beyond the initial $200,000 target will supercharge their strategy, and give them more opportunities to grow and strengthen their work.  PN

KELMARNA COMMUNITY FARM, 12 Hukanui Crescent, T: 09 376 0472, www.kelmarna.co.nz


As we celebrate all things French this month, time to pop the Champagne.

With all eyes on Paris this month as the Olympic Games begin, we will no doubt be needing a glass or two of Champagne to toast our brilliant Kiwi athletes. Throughout the month of July we are celebrating all things French at Glengarry and around Bastille Day there will be an extra special promotion – keep an eye on the link in the QR code below and here www.glengarrywines.co.nz/bastilleday

There are many different types of Champagne produced and a large number of Champagne houses. Here we explore four different styles.

Non Vintage Champagne: Often referred to as the house style, a non vintage Champagne is made year in and year out from a blend of many vintages. The aim of the blending process is to give a consistent style. The blend as well as being from wines of many vintages can be a blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay, in proportions that suit that Champagne producers' style. This means that each time you purchase a non vintage style of champagne, you can be confident in the style that you’ll be drinking. There are many top non vintage Champagnes available in New Zealand including Drappier Carte Blanche Non Vintage. Predominantly pinot noir, which explains the wondrous structure and balance, there is a smooth richness that fills the mid-palate and an aromatic wreath-full of gorgeous white flowers to finish.

Vintage Champagne: Vintage Champagne can only be made from grapes grown in a specific year. Vintage Champagne can be a blend of the three varieties, pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay. Unlike non vintage Champagne, vintage Champagne ages very well and benefits from time in the cellar. Vintage Champagnes are unique and very special, they give you a little picture of that year, that vineyard and the skill of the producer neatly packed into a bottle. Delamotte Blanc de Blanc 2014.

Delamotte is often referred to as the second label to Salon, when in fact it is a stand alone producer in its own right. That said, in years where Salon is not produced the grapes do go into Delamotte. A fulsome wine this has a surfeit of buttery, bready characters which are gently lifted by charming lemon/lime notes typical of Delamotte.

Blanc de Blanc Champagne: Meaning ‘white of white’ Blanc de Blanc-style Champagnes are only made from chardonnay grapes. This style can be produced as a non vintage or as a vintage style. Typically, this style of Champagne is a lot leaner and shows more lemon, lime, chalk characters. With

Zero Dosage: Champagne starts its life as a still wine, once in the bottle a secondary fermentation takes place. They remove the sediment from the bottle, the neck is frozen, the cap removed and the sediment now frozen comes out. The bottle is then topped up with dosage. This adds the desired level of sweetness to the Champagne, the amount in each wine is different from house to house. Zero Dosage Champagnes are ones where no dosage is added. These are bone-dry examples. Often described as the salad without the dressing. A new arrival that is exceptional is Paul Bara’s Brut Zero.  PN


age, vintage Blanc de Blanc is magnificent. My favourite non vintage style is the Delamotte Non Vintage – fresh and charming. There are loads of citrus, green apple and a hint of white mint.


With winter's chill in the air, there's no better place to warm up than by the open fire at Dida's Wine Lounge.

Imagine sinking into a cozy chair, a glass of exquisite wine in hand, while the fire crackles nearby and the enticing aromas of our new winter menu waft through the air.

Our new winter menu is a delightful treat for the senses. Start with our crisp and irresistibly moreish Macaroni Cheese Balls – perfect little bites of comfort. For the meat lovers, our Char Grilled Beef with farofa offers a robust and savoury experience that will leave you craving more. If seafood is your preference, you'll love our Char Grilled Prawns with horseradish and confit garlic mayo, or the decadent Rock Lobster Risotto, each bite a celebration of flavours.

Dining with a group? Share the Braised Lamb Shank with celeriac purée, a dish that's as hearty as it is delicious. Complement your meal with our Tasty Char Grilled Vegetables, drizzled with pomegranate balsamic and topped with creamy feta, ideal for pairing with our extensive selection of both large and small tapas dishes.

Throughout July, we’re celebrating all things French with our exclusive wine specials. Try something new and indulge in the sophistication of French wines. Our Confit Duck Leg with pineapple and beetroot is a divine match with a glass of Côtes du Rhône, bringing a taste of France to your table.

At Dida's Wine Lounge, where wine meets food, we invite you to savour leisurely engagements with our comprehensive wine list and ever changing, always innovative food menu. Our small-plates style cuisine showcases the superb skills of our talented culinary team, who expertly pair perfect morsels with multiple by-the-glass options of local, imported and hard-to-find wines.

We're open Tuesday-Saturday from 3pm to 10pm.  PN

Join us at Dida's Wine Lounge, 60 Jervois Road, T: 09 376 2813, www.didaswinelounge.co.nz


And… another month bites the dust. Here we are in mid winter. Overall, we have had no major weather events in Auckland, fingers crossed, and I’m looking forward to spring and a return of the inbound tourists.

Meantime, here’s an international selection of fab wines to consume while the weather warms up. Cheers! (PHIL PARKER)

Whyte Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023 - $22

Not the big, punchy typical Marlborough stye. Light, elegant and subtle at 12.5% ABV. Fresh-squeezed blackcurrant, cape gooseberry. Dry, clean mandarin citrus finish. Available: Dhall & Nash, blackmarket.co.nz

Folium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023 - $31

Similarly subtle lighter style, but a step up in intensity and alcohol at 13.5% ABV. More intense gooseberry, slightly creamy, with mandarin citrus. Dry, lengthy finish. Available: Dhall & Nash, Fine O Wine, blackmarket.co.nz

Loveblock Marlborough Gewürztraminer (organic/vegan) 2023 - $24

From Kim Crawford’s Awatere Valley organic vineyard. An epic NZ gewürztraminer. So much going on – passionfruit, ginger in syrup, makrut lime, Turkish Delight, mandarin marmalade, tangy yeast and sweet honeysuckle. Lengthy medium sweet finish. Absolute bargain. Available: Fine O Wine, Glengarry, blackmarket.co.nz

Whyte Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2023 - $21

Crisp, lean, dry and elegant. Subtle floral citrus aromas. Minerality, raw almond, light oaky spice, apricot, quince, lemon and nectarine. Bone dry finish. Available: Dhall & Nash

Main Divide North Canterbury Chardonnay 2023 - $22

Five stars! Stunningly good chardonnay. Straw gold with a hint of reductive funky aroma. Generous and packed with flavour. Grapefruit marmalade, crème brulée, poached nectarine, golden queen peach and apricot. Lengthy glorious finish. Available: pegasusbay.com finewinedelivery.co.nz

Château Gassier Esprit Gassier Provence Esprit Rosé 2022 - $26

Bone dry, typical Provence rosé. Lean and crisp, yet at 13.5% ABV. Nuanced hints of strawberries and cream, almond cherry nougat and pink marshmallow. Clean citrus lime finish. Available: Dhall & Nash, Fine O Wine, Liquorland

McArthur Ridge Brassknocker Central Otago Pinot Noir 2022 - $25

New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy and a gold at the 2024 NZ International Wine Challenge. A bargain. Very much on the funky, earthy end of the spectrum. Gamey and earthy, with


host, Phil Parker, wine writer · Boutique tours to Waiheke Island & Kumeu · Bespoke Fun Wine quizzes by arrangement

mushroom, truffle, cassis, black berry fruit, stewed plum and smoky, dry lengthy finish. Available: New World, vineonline.co.nz vinofino.co.nz mcarthurridge.com

Frank Cornellisen Susucaru Sicily Rosso (organic, natural) - $56

Frank Cornellisen is a cult figure in the Sicilian wine scene and beyond. His approach is ‘hands off’ winemaking with very little intervention, and fermentation in neutral epoxylined containers. This wine is made from indigenous nerello mascalese grapes. This is quite a challenging wine. It looks like a light plum red rose, but is very tannic, with subtle red cherry, raspberry, plum and savoury earthy mushroom. Available: Dhall & Nash, Fine O Wine, bythebottle.co.nz

Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir (organic) 2022 - $43

Consistently great pinot noir from Rockburn. Elegant lightbodied yet generous and seductive. A softer style of pinot, with ripe red and black cherry fruit, Black Doris plum, Christmas cake spices and a light soy sauce umami. Soft tannins. Available: widely

De Martino Estate Maipo Chile Carmenère 2022 - $25

Big, inky and earthy. Smoky and gamey flavours with Cuban cigar, black plum, dark chocolate, prune and truffle. 14% ABV. Assertive, yet medium tannins. Long, dry, funky finish. Available: Dhall & Nash, Fine O Wine, blackmarket.co.nz

www.finewinetours.co.nz, phil.parker@xtra.co.nz


Imagine a drink that’s part traditional, part energising and all around amazing – yerba mate is the drink trend you’ve been waiting for.

Yerba mate also known by its latin name Ilex paraguariensis is a native plant to South America where it has been traditionally imbibed for centuries to boost mental and physical stamina.

Being naturally caffeinated, as well as boasting an impressive array of minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, it is no surprise that the US and European market share has seen an explosion of new products based on this magical leaf.

The founders of Planta discovered the joys and power of yerba mate whilst travelling many moons ago.

Berlin is where our story started and if you ever partied in Berlin, you know that sleep is overrated and yerba mate has become a popular alternative to alcoholic beverages whilst bouncing through the night.

Planta was born out of the desire to create a healthy and allround natural beverage that lifts you up without letting you down – your perfect pick me up for whatever you are up to, be it climbing mountains, crossing oceans or just pulling through the work week.

With dry July in full effect, why not try Planta as your guilt free drink of choice.

As we like to say, “Happy days, better nights.”

Your body deserves it.

www.plantamate.co.nz www.instagram.com/plantamatenz

Enjoy the best of both worlds with Planta, Aotearoa’s first sparkling yerba mate.


Aurora Lim and Kenny Chen can often be found on Sunday morning selling their açaí bowls and superfood smoothies. We asked the pair to tell us more about themselves.

Where did you grow up?

Kenny: We were both born in Malaysia, but I grew up in Christchurch.

Aurora: I grew up in Malaysia, came here on a working holiday visa and was lucky enough to get a great job and settle down here. I love the lifestyle here – in Malaysia the work culture is intense and bleeds into private time.

How did you both meet?

Kenny: Through friends in Auckland. It was just before Covid, so the lockdown forced us to make some do or die decisions about where our relationship was heading. Luckily, we found that we make a great team. Aurora is a passionate cook and is full of creative ideas, while I take the operations role and keep us focussed on seeing ideas through.

Do you have day jobs as well as your açaí stall?

Aurora: Yes, Kenny is an acupuncturist with a practice in Remuera. I work for a food supply company that provides a wide range of products to major supermarkets and Asian supermarkets. My day job means that I know where to get the best ingredients and what the latest food trends are.

How did you come up with the idea of açaí smoothie bowls?

Kenny: I went to an acupuncture seminar in Melbourne and Aurora tagged along. Aurora is a big planner, so she bumped into açaí while she was looking for the best food places to eat. She found a 'must visit' açaí place online, visited and was converted. We tried lots of different açaí places while we were there – açaí is very popular in Melbourne but less trendy here.

What exactly is açaí?

Aurora: It’s a berry native to the Amazon rainforest – the açaí bowl originated in Brazil. Açaí berries look like blueberries and are often called a superfood because they are rich in antioxidants, omega and vitamins. They have a big seed with a thin layer of flesh and it’s highly perishable so it is often sold frozen. We prefer the scoopable form to maximise the taste.

How do you say that?

Ahh-sigh-ee. It can be a struggle to say when people have not heard it spoken and only read it.

How do you serve the açaí?

Aurora: For the bowls, we top a scoop of açaí with glutenfree granola, seasonal fruit and a choice of drizzle for extra creaminess and flavour. We want to cater to most dietary

requirements so we opt for gluten-free and vegan ingredients for our menu when we can.

Frozen açaí sounds cold for this time of year.

Aurora: People seem to enjoy our açaí bowls and smoothies no matter the weather, but we also make porridge for those who want a belly warmer. Slow-cooked oats in plant-based milk, layered with organic açaí and creamy coconut yogurt, glutenfree granola and fresh fruits, is popular on chilly mornings. It’s filling, vegan and dairy-free – but not gluten-free.

What’s next?

Kenny: Aurora has lots of ideas about delicious superfoods but for now we are focussing on introducing people to açaí. Although we couldn’t resist a couple of tasty matcha drinks –a refreshing soda drink with yuzu, and a creamy matcha latte in plant-based milk.

Do you manage to get any down time?

Kenny: Not much. I manage my own acupuncture practice and am the ambassador of Newmarket chapter of BNI (Business Network Institute) – I used to be the chapter President.

Not much free time for Aurora either. She is doing part-time MBA which keeps her busy with assignments. And she is still quite a competitive table tennis player but she’s no longer pushing herself as much as when she was an Auckland region rep, in the top 10 in New Zealand.

We know that we need a bit more time off for movie nights, so we are trying to have one weekend a month off our markets.

instagram.com/ohacai_nz www.greylynnfarmersmarket.co.nz  PN


A local company specialising in small batch, barrel-aged Negronis.

In 2016, Negroni enthusiast Al White discovered a New York bar specialising in barrel-aged Negronis. It was after this that he started to consider how he could make his own version back home.

Years later and after being gifted a small oak barrel, Al started testing different combinations of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari with the barrel becoming a constant companion on holidays and at dinner parties.

Once the optimal blend of ingredients for the ageing process was settled on, the process of sourcing the perfect barrels began. After trying different options from all around the world, the perfect barrels, hand made by expert coopers in eastern Europe, were selected.

Throughout the development journey, it was a priority to produce a drink that was instantly recognisable as a Negroni and which retained a traditional flavour profile. The barrel aging process does this but brings a lot to the Negroni’s already powerful nature, offering a rich, opulent quality that adds to the cocktail’s depth. It gives a subtle smokiness, makes it ever so slightly sweeter and is a lot smoother on the palate.

In 2022, Al and his wife Lisa formed Bariletto, a Ponsonbybased company specialising in small batch, barrel-aged Negronis. Since officially launching, they have generated a loyal following of Negroni fans who keep coming back for more… "Negroni drinker or not, you have to try this", "the best gift I have received", "I absolutely love this stuff!"

As well as being available in beautiful bottles and giftboxes through www.bariletto.co.nz and retailers, you will also find it in select bars and restaurants being served directly from the barrel.

bariletto_nz www.bariletto.co.nz


Downlow Burgers has set up shop on Ponsonby Road, offering a delectable menu featuring their signature smashed cheeseburgers, crispy fried chicken, indulgent thickshakes and epic sides.

The new location at 130 Ponsonby Road welcomes Puneet Gupta as partner and operator. Puneet, a dedicated member of the Downlow Burgers' team for over a year in Auckland, has been an integral part of training staff at new locations across New Zealand, including one of their busiest locations in Wellington.

Describing himself as a "burger fanatic," Puneet is committed to delivering the perfect smashed cheeseburgers to the Ponsonby community, showcasing his unwavering passion for his craft.

When you stop by for lunch – there is plenty of indoor seating and booths for groups, as well as sidewalk dining for all you people watchers. The music isn't too loud either if you need to have a lunch meeting.

They concentrate on their smashed cheeseburger, but there is also a decent variety on the menu, making it easy for picky eaters to find something. Don't skip on their 'Pickle Mustard' sauce; not really like mustard, but really good! You can customise your burger and choose from a large range of excellent sauces or add some onion rings, bacon or a hashbrown.

All this right from their kiosk ordering screens. For vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free eaters reading, there are options for you as well, including an excellent veggie cheeseburger that can be made vegan.

Hot tip from the PN team: you can order online for lunch if you're in a hurry.

If you have catering needs for larger orders, you'll notice Puneet and his team's keen eye for detail, ensuring you receive your order as fresh as possible for your party to indulge in.

Open Late Night—Downlow Burgers is open until midnight on Thursdays, and on Friday and Saturday until 4am.


As a special welcome to the Ponsonby community, Downlow Burgers is offering a FREE BURGER of your choice when you spend $20 or more using the code: HeyPons at checkout on their kiosk ordering screens. This exclusive offer is valid until 31 July 2024.

Don't miss out on this delicious treat! One per customer please and this offer is not available at the till or delivery or with other offers. Equal or lesser value burger free, does not include add-ons like bacon.

Downlow Burgers Ponsonby: 4.6 out of a 5 Star Rating on Google.




Winter is most definitely here – so why not make the best of it by embracing the chill and trying some fresh beauty and wellness tips on for size?

Warm Up With Fragrance

As the wintery chill bites and the winds howl, reach for a beautiful new fragranced candle (or two) and transform your home into a cosy haven you won’t want to leave. You can also warm things up everywhere you go by adopting a new signature scent, with some fragrance notes lending themselves to nights snuggled up under a blanket outside your favourite local restaurant or at home in front of the fire. To infuse warmth into the chilly months, the most inspired fragrance selections lean towards notes of smoky woods, toasted nuts, sweet vanilla and sparkling citrus. These scents create an inviting atmosphere, transporting you fireside

and into a warm embrace throughout the winter season. Much like a snug scarf, your chosen fragrance becomes an essential accessory, adding an extra layer of cosiness to your winter wardrobe.

Laura Curtis, MECCA’s Fragrance Education Manager, says that in cooler weather, “We often crave warm, cosy fragrances that make us feel comforted and nostalgic. Our olfactory receptors are also more constricted in cooler temperatures, so richer, more powerful fragrances can be worn to ensure that our scents last through the day and make an impression on the people around us.” She adds that “edible notes like vanilla and


cinnamon, woody notes like sandalwood, cedarwood and oud (also known as agarwood), and the amber accord of balmy, resinous notes are particularly sought after in wintertime.”

Some of her top recommendations include the evocative Maison Margiela REPLICA By the Fireplace (which I have as a candle but now definitely need as an EDT) and Ellis Brooklyn’s Vanilla Milk Eau de Parfum. “Similarly to perfumes, home fragrances that evoke the sensation of a crackling fireplace, the scent of family dinner cooking in the oven, or the texture of cosy cashmere blankets are perfect for creating a warm ambience in the depths of winter,” says Laura. Floral Street’s Fireplace candle is a great choice, as well as Byredo’s Altar, which reinterprets prayer candles, bringing a modern edge to the heady mix.

A Winter of Wellness

As the owner of HANA, Sara Higgins is passionate about the benefits of saunas for wellbeing. “Believe me when I say that regular sauna sessions will be a game changer for your winter wellness routine,” she says. “The heat from the sauna improves circulation, eases muscle tension and detoxifies the body. Additionally, saunas boost your immune system, helping you fight off winter colds and flu. Aim for at least two sessions per week.”

She is also keen to emphasise that now is the time to really nourish your body by incorporating seasonal produce like root vegetables and leafy greens into your diet. “These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that support your immune system,” says the wellness hero, “and don’t forget to add warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and turmeric, which can help improve digestion and circulation.”

While it might be tempting to stay indoors and be less active during the winter, Sara emphasises that regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining your overall health. “Engage in activities that you enjoy, such as joining a run club, yoga, Pilates, or even brisk walks in the fresh winter air. Staying active boosts your mood, energy levels and immune function, helping you to stay vibrant and healthy throughout the season.”

Lastly, prioritise light. “Winter is a time when you are exposed to less natural light and tend to spend a lot more time indoors under artificial light,” says Sara. “Make it a priority to get outside in the morning once the sun is up. This practice can do wonders for your mood, help to decrease your stress levels and keep your sleep/wake cycle in check. It's also a lovely ritual to sit in the sun with a warm cup of your favourite tea, soaking in the natural light and tranquillity.”

Hana's Sara Higgins

Treat Your Skin

With the winter weather right on our doorstep, it’s the time of year when the chilly winds outside coupled with the dry indoor heat can often leave your skin feeling tight, itchy and dull. To combat this, incorporating oils, thicker moisturisers or hydrating serums and toners into your skincare routine can provide deeper hydration and help mitigate the effects of trans epidermal water loss, as can treatments that hydrate and soothe.

When it comes to skin health when the mercury drops, the team at Caci on Ponsonby Road most definitely know their stuff. For the winter months, Registered Nurse Rose says her favourite word is “Biostimulation! Start looking at treating your skin health from within with the skin hydrating treatment, Profhilo. Our new Caci Signature Peel is also a great option to stimulate collagen and elastin.” The latter can be paired with LED light or a hydrating infusion, depending on what your skin needs on the day.

Skin Therapist Michaela warns of exposing your skin to more extreme temperature changes over winter, “Like the chill outside, wind, indoor heating and hot showers. Combat any potential damage to your skin barrier by drinking plenty of water and nourishing the skin topically. I love Murad’s Revitalixir Recovery Serum and Intense Recovery Cream, which is a great night time repair combo.” In clinic she is reaching for a hydrating Sonophoresis Skin Infusion, while fellow therapist, Ash recommends Murad’s Cellular Hydration Barrier Repair

Mask for when skin is feeling compromised. “It’s an intensely soothing and deeply hydrating overnight treatment that repairs dry, red and rough skin at a cellular level.”

Personalised advice is key to getting your skin looking its best, and Caci Ponsonby offers free consultations including an Observ skin analysis so you can take a bespoke approach and get things glowing well in time for summer’s return.

Cleanse With Care

Even if you change out nothing else in your skincare routine this winter, I highly recommend you put a new cleanser on your shopping list.

Investing in a nourishing cleanser that will remove makeup and dirt as well as keep your skin’s barrier intact is essential for happy skin. Consider the likes of Augustinus Bader’s luxe Cleansing Balm and Drunk Elephant’s Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser your new best friends. Suitable for use around the eye area, both formulas transform from an oil to milk when splashed with water, providing a deep cleanse that leaves the skin comfortable and radiant. If you prefer an oil to cleanse, you can’t go past local brand The Facialist’s Super Skin, a vegan and cruelty free, transformative cleansing oil that balances and soothes your skin. Enriched with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it goes beyond traditional cleansers to deliver radiant, healthy skin – most definitely the end goal! (HELENE RAVLICH)  PN

Caci's Signature Peel plus LED Light
Caci's Sonophoresis Skin Infusion


Ayurvedic Cooking Class in Collaboration with Little Bird Kitchen.

Ayurveda views food as medicine and emphasises the importance of diet in maintaining health and preventing disease. By understanding your unique dosha (body-mind constitution) and applying Ayurvedic principles when preparing your meals, you can boost your immunity, improve your gut and vascular health, enhance your energy, and achieve balance in body and mind.

Spices play a key role in Ayurveda, not only to add flavour and colour to food, but are also essential for providing healing benefits and balancing the qualities of a meal. In Ayurvedic cooking it is recommended to use spices that are suitable for your own constitution, the strength of your digestive fire and the season we are currently in. Winter in Auckland is usually damp and cold which can be classified in Ayurveda as a typical Kapha season. When Kapha gets aggravated due to the weather, we are more prone to colds and flus which lead to congestion, sluggishness, infections and lethargy. Ayurveda suggests warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cumin, black pepper, chillies and paprika. Sipping hot ginger water throughout the day or taking half a teaspoon of our Sattva Botanicals Trikatu powder, a combination of long pepper, black pepper and ginger twice daily, help to kindle our digestive fire and pacify Kapha qualities of congestion.

Discover the art of Ayurvedic cooking and learn how to create delicious, nourishing meals that balance your body, mind, and spirit.

Ayurveda New Zealand is hosting a series of cooking classes in collaboration with Little Bird Kitchen to blend ancient ayurvedic principles with contemporary vegan cuisine.

These Ayurvedic cooking classes are designed to be informative, interactive, and fun! Sarita Blankenburg, Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioner will give a talk about Ayurveda, its history, philosophy and basic principles, introduce the three doshas, explain the importance of a healthy digestive fire and the elimination of toxins.

Megan May, owner of Little Bird, and Gawain Cowley, head chef at Little Bird Kitchen, will demonstrate how to prepare plant-based, healthy, delicious meals, using contemporary practices combined with traditional Ayurvedic cooking principles.

These cooking classes will be a great opportunity to learn all about ayurvedic food preparation for the season while connecting with like-minded people who share your passion for health and wellbeing.

The two winter classes sold out quickly and we have now set 11 September as the date for Spring class.

Join us on Wednesday, September 11 2024 from 6 pm - 9 pm at Little Bird Kitchen, 1A Summer Street in Ponsonby. Tickets are $125 and include an introduction to Ayurveda by Sarita Blankenburg, a cooking demonstration by Megan May and Gawain Cowley, a delicious Ayurvedic dinner, a special hot drink, and yummy dessert.

To secure your tickets and find out any updates, please sign up for our newsletter on our website www.ayurvedanz.co.nz or follow us on Instagram @ayurvedanz

 PN

AYURVEDA NZ, 386 Richmond Road, M: 021 144 5768, www.ayurvedanz.co.nz



When Agathe first left France to head to New Zealand’s shores in 2019, her plans were driven by an insatiable appetite for travel and change – a passion for experiencing new countries, cultures, people, nature and food.

Country hopping since the age of 14, it was Aotearoa, however, that stopped Agathe in her tracks. “It profoundly inspired me,” she says. “The landscapes. The people. The way of life. It was hard to turn back.”

Wanting to find a way to capture her connection to this country and its innate beauty, Agathe turned to clay as a creative channel.

“Working with clay gives me a way to capture the essence of each season throughout the year,” says Agathe. “My art is a reflection of simplicity and beauty, focusing on creating minimalist bespoke pieces that highlight the natural allure of clay.

“It’s always a learning curve with this medium. Finding my style and incorporating organic textures, colours and shapes is where my passion now lies.”

Meticulously handmade, either thrown on a wheel or hand built, Agathe combines form with function to create uniquely crafted pieces for everyday use.

Available from ASH&STONE, the selection of ceramics changes often as new and unique pieces leave the kiln. Visit ASH&STONE at 3 Redmond Street, Ponsonby or shop online at ashandstone.online


How many times have you or someone you know uttered the words, “Argh, I’m so burnt out?” In our fast-paced society, stress is often worn as a badge of honour.

While we typically associate burnout with work, its reach extends far beyond the office walls – to caregivers, single parents and those navigating high life demands.

Stress, in moderation, can be a motivator, pushing us into our peak performance zone. However, when stress becomes overwhelming, it leads to exhaustion, health issues and ultimately, burnout. This isn’t a mental illness, but rather a state characterised by exhaustion, cynicism and reduced effectiveness – fuelled by working too hard for too long.

The term burnout was first coined by psychologist, Herbert Freudenberge, in 1974, but feelings that would be associated with burnout date back to Shakespeare and even the Old Testament.

Professions like healthcare, social work, teaching, emergency services and high-pressure corporate environments are breeding grounds for burnout. Those who go above and beyond, juggling demanding schedules with little control, are particularly vulnerable. Coupled with a perfectionist streak or a history of achievement-driven upbringing, the risk intensifies.

Recognising the signs of burnout is crucial: increased irritability like snapping at the kids or your partner, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, substance use, or a pervasive sense of overwhelm. These symptoms signal a need to pause and reflect on life’s priorities. Learning to say ‘no’ – especially challenging for women conditioned to please – becomes essential for self preservation.

The path to resilience begins with consistent self-care practices. As a health coach, I see the cycle of people becoming 'too busy' to exercise. They begin to sleep poorly which makes them tired the next day. Being tired means they have no energy to exercise and make bad food choices. Our bodies naturally crave sugar and carbs when we do not sleep enough. And so, the slow decline of health begins. Prioritising these basics of eating well, exercising regularly and aiming for at least seven hours sleep builds a natural resilience to stress. Adding in a stress-busting tool like journaling, meditation, seeing a friend or walking in nature will also do wonders.

Finally, achieving balance means setting boundaries around your time. Whether it’s refraining from after-hours emails or, if finances allow taking time off work, carving out time to recharge is non-negotiable. We often feel like we can’t possibly take time off because there is too much to do, but you’d be surprised how even a walk around the park at lunch can reduce our stress levels.

Remember, preventing burnout isn’t a luxury – it’s an investment in your health and happiness.


JAN 15TH - 29TH, 2025

Reignite your inner spark while exploring the palm lined beaches, vibrant Southern Indian food and laidback culture of Kerala.


Did you know that your newborn’s skin is different at birth from a small child or adult?

Thanks to nine months spent floating around in amniotic fluid, it needs to adjust to being exposed to fresh air. It takes about six to 12 weeks for the skin’s acid mantle (aka protective barrier) to form.

That’s why it’s so important to protect your little bundle with a skin care routine that’s gentle and respectful. Here are three ways you can boost your baby’s skin health from day one –and it all starts with doing less.

No daily baths

Because snoozing indoors doesn’t make for dirty skin, there’s no need to bathe your newborn every day. In fact, doing so may dry out your baby’s skin and make it more prone to irritation. Aim for every second or third day to start establishing a bedtime routine. As your baby grows and is exploring the world a little more, you can increase the frequency until bathtime signals to baby that it’s time to wind down.

Stick to simple ingredients

Avoiding toxins is important at every stage of life, but never more so than when the acid mantle is developing. This protective layer is your baby’s first defence against bacteria,

viruses, fungi, pollen and pollution so when it comes to washing your baby and their clothes and bedding, avoid synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals.

Instead, stick to gentle, plant-based formulations like ecostore’s fragrance-free baby range and Ultra Sensitive laundry products. Because they’re dermatologically certified and approved by the Eczema Association of New Zealand, they’re a great way to make sure your baby’s skin is handled with the utmost care.

Don’t forget about textiles

What you put against your baby’s skin matters. Not only do abrasive synthetic fabrics have the potential to damage the developing acid mantle, but these materials shed potentially toxic fibres.

Also, natural fibres (like the soft, breathable wool in Merino Kids’ sleeping bags and clothing) help your baby to regulate their body temperature, avoiding the skin problems that are associated with sweating.

To explore a wide range of plant-based baby care and laundry products, as well as Merino Kids’ clothing and sleeping bags, visit ecostore’s Freemans Bay shop today.

ECOSTORE, 1 Scotland Street, Freemans Bay, T: 09 360 8477, www.ecostore.co.nz

Finding experienced, reliable Auckland Builders and Tradespeople with a proven track record can be challenging and time consuming. Solvd is a 5-star rated, one-call solution – give them a ring, and your property problems will be Solvd.

Solvd is a trade and property specialist passionate about making, owning or managing residential or commercial property effortless for you. They are locally owned and operated by expert licensed builders, professional tradies, and trusted handymen who work Auckland-wide from Pukekohe to Orewa.

Match any Painting Quote*

Solvd paints homes and commercial properties throughout Auckland city and Greater Auckland, from Pukekohe to Orewa. They will match any other professional painter's quote. *T&C's on their website.

Experienced Auckland Master Painters

As a member of Master Painters New Zealand, Solvd oversees a team of qualified painters who have been assessed and proven to work professionally and provide quality workmanship. Their painting services include a FREE Colour Consultation if required to help you choose just the right colours and combinations – another problem solved!

• Interior Painting

• Exterior Painting

• Interior Gib Patching & Plastering

• Roof Painting

• Body Corporate Painting

• Deck & Fence Staining

• Wallpaper Removal

• Annual Wash & (optional) Maintenance assessment

If you're a homeowner, landlord, property manager, or own/ operate a business with a building, Solvd's number is the only one you'll need. T: 09 624 2000, E: office@solvd.nz


Explore the Best Window Solutions for Winter Warmth with Lahood Window Furnishings®.

With winter here and a third of our energy bills going towards heating, effective insulation is vital. Lahood Window Furnishings offers solutions that enhance both the aesthetics and energy efficiency of your home.

Up to 45% of heat loss occurs through windows, so choosing the right window coverings is crucial. Whether you prefer sleek blinds or elegant curtains, both act as thermal barriers and understanding their individual insulating benefits can help ensure the best choice for your home.

Luxaflex® Duette® Shades:

The Ultimate Insulating Blinds

Luxaflex Duette Shades from Lahood are perfect for a contemporary look or if space is limited. Consumer NZ tests reveal honeycomb blinds like Duettes provide up to 33% more insulation than double-glazing thanks to their innovative cellular design that traps air in pockets. Available in a range of colours and fabrics with varying block-out capabilities, these shades also offer unique configurations that allow raising from the bottom or the top for versatile light and privacy control.

Added Insulation for Curtains with Protection Plus Linings

For maximum versatility, the timeless elegance of curtains lined with Lahood’s Protection Plus linings enhances your home décor and offers superior insulation. Backed by a three-year guarantee, Protection Plus linings provide three levels of thermal insulation and block-out capabilities and can be attached to both curtains and Roman blinds. Alternatively, use the linings separately behind sheers on a twin track for the flexibility of winter warmth and summer airflow. With Lahood’s

extensive collection of fabrics from top New Zealand and international design houses, lined curtains also allow you to reflect your personal style while staying warm.

Choosing Between Insulating Blinds and Curtains

Deciding between insulating blinds and curtains depends on the space's functionality, the required thermal protection, desired look and any space or budget constraints. Lahood’s Design Consultants can guide you through all these considerations to find the optimal solution for you.

Visit the showroom at 104 Mount Eden Road, call 0800 LAHOOD for a free in-home consultation, or visit lahood.co.nz to complete an online form.

Thomas Seear-Budd
Luxaflex Duette Shades



Property news website identifies Ponsonby’s top selling real estate agent.

Well-read property website homes.co.nz has released insightful sales data which identifies Ponsonby’s top selling residential real estate agent… Blair Haddow from Bayleys Ponsonby.

The website’s residential property sales statistics showcase Blair’s phenomenal sales mastery – completing 13 sales in the 12 months to April 1 this year in the area, as part of Blair’s 28 sales across Auckland’s inner-west region.

The independent homes.co.nz statistics also showed that Blair Haddow achieved an average sales value of $3,124,892 across his 28 sales during the year-long period.

Blair said he was humbled by the homes.co.nz accolade, adding that sales values in the Ponsonby, Herne Bay, Grey Lynn, Westmere, St Marys Bay and Freemans Bay areas had continued to grow since the beginning of April.

“The last eight sales I have completed for example in the current 2024/2025 financial year have achieved average sales values of $3,353,750 – showing that there are still great values to be found for vendors taking their properties to market with the right real estate salesperson,” said Blair.

“The homes.co.nz data also underpins the importance of using an experienced real estate sales professional during a phase in the property cycle where some purchasers may be reluctant to take the final step in the process and pay top dollar for their next home.

“Deals are still being done through Bayleys in the Ponsonby, Herne Bay, Grey Lynn, Westmere, St Marys Bay and Freemans Bay locales in what is a slowish market.”

Blair said it was important for potential vendors thinking about taking the next step in their property ownership pathway to closely analyse which real estate agents were consistently listing and selling homes at the moment, then comparing the type of homes those agents were selling to evidence their expertise in selling a particular niche.

“My advice to potential vendors is to find homes similar to their dwelling which are being marketed for sale within a few kilometres radius so that the search is suburb specific. Because a good residential salesperson should be able to bring their database of active buyers with them – including those registered on their current suite of properties on their books,

and from viewing homes they have sold in the immediate past,” said Blair.

“For example, I had just that sort of scenario unfold when I sold a fully modernised lovely four-room/two-bathroom villa at 2 Wanganui Avenue in Ponsonby earlier this year.

“I had a buyer on my database who was adamant she was only interested in buying a home on the odd-numbered side of Wanganui Avenue. I rang her and told her number 2 on the even-numbered side of the street was up for sale, and convinced her to come in for a viewing.

“Trusting my guidance and advocacy, she came in and instantly fell in love with the open plan living and peaceful back garden outlook as well as the ample off-street garaging at number 2. She put in a pre-auction offer and the deal was done.

“I always say that it’s one thing to have a database of buyers, but it’s another thing altogether to know how to use that network to the advantage of all clients – both now and in the future. That’s the measurable value an experienced real estate agent brings to the table for both buyers and vendors.”

Blair Haddow and his hard-working Bayleys Ponsonby sales associate Keenin Whitcher – who is quickly becoming a successful ‘rookie’ real estate agent under Blair’s mentorship – are now developing Keenin’s reach and profile in the Grey Lynn area as part of a move to capitalise on Blair’s profile across Auckland’s inner-west suburbs.

Keenin is currently reaching out to scores of potential vendors around Grey Lynn– some of whom are registered on Blair’s data-rich database stretching back almost two decades, and others who are known to be actively looking at selling up in the next six months – and providing them with guidance on how they can prepare for the looming process should they be looking at selling up.

Some of Keenin’s advice will involve openly informing potential sellers about the irrefutable value of ‘piggy-backing’ on Blair’s well-evidenced experience of selling residences in the suburb. Among Blair’s recent sales in Grey Lynn for example are:

26 Farrar Street, 20 Westmoreland Street West, 53 Rose Road, 60 Sussex Street, 16 Murdoch Road, 57 Williamson Avenue, 16 Wellpark Avenue, 67A Wellpark Avenue, 19 Chamberlain Street and 53B Wellpark Avenue. (BLAIR HADDOW)  PN


Elegance Materialised

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Visit our showroom located at 104 Mount Eden Road, call us on 0800 524 663 or book an in-home consultation online.


Ponsonby News readers with Family Trusts, will be aware of the increase in the trustee income tax rate from 33% to 39% from 1 April 2024.

The intention behind this change is to align the trustee tax rate with the top personal income tax rate of 39%. Under the old 33% trustee tax rate, it was possible to distribute tax paid trustee income (at 33%) to beneficiaries, with no additional tax to pay on those distributions, notwithstanding a recipient beneficiary may have taxable income over $180,000 triggering 39% tax rate. This undermines the equity of the tax system and hence the rate change.

The Government, after considering submissions received, made a few changes before enactment – the most relevant one to readers is allowing a de minimis level of trustee income of $10,000 before the 39% tax rate kicks in. In other words, the 39% rate will apply only if the Net Trustee Income is $10,001 and over.

Guidelines were issued in April 2024 explaining the impact of this rate change on tax avoidance and other matters. See www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz

Before getting to the de minimis exemption, we must understand what ‘net trustee income’ means.

Net trustee income is the Net Taxable Income to the trustee. This is calculated by reducing the gross taxable income by allowable expenses and any further taxable income distributed to the beneficiaries, not taxed in the trust.

For example – say the VK Trust has total gross income of $400,000, comprising interest ($50,000), dividends ($60,000), PIE income ($200,000) and rental income ($90,000), less allowable expenses of $90,000, the net income of trust is $310,000. As it is over the de minimis allowed ($10,000) the trust should use the 39% rate on the entire income.

If the VK Trust uses a 28% PIE tax rate, the entire portion of PIE income is treated as exempt income. Therefore, in this case the net taxable income to the trust is reduced to $110,000. If the trust distributes $100,000 between two beneficiaries, net trustee income is reduced to $10,000, and now falls under the de minimis level and the 33% tax rate will apply, rather than the 39% tax rate.

For those unfamiliar with the term – a PIE is a Portfolio Investment Entity which invests the contributions from its investors in different types of passive investment. PIEs have a maximum tax rate of 28%.

It is important for trustees to understand the phrase Net Trustee Income and to choose appropriate PIE tax rates, ensuring a trust is not overburdened with tax. With the availability of different PIE tax rates, trustees must consider an appropriate PIE tax rate, depending on the number of beneficiaries likely to get distributions, the amount of distributions, the beneficiaries personal marginal tax rate and the overall anticipated income. Raise these matters with your tax advisors and trustees to ensure your trust tax is efficient and trustees meet their duties competently.

Many banks offer PIE Term Deposits, if you have a PIE selecting and using an appropriate PIE tax rate can make the a PIE tastier, given the trustee tax rate at 39%, relative to the maximum tax payable on PIEs at 28% (check with your investment advisors and accountants before doing anything).

For more information on the new trustee tax rate, call us, we’re here to help.

Disclaimer – While all care has been taken, 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, Level 1, One Jervois Road, Ponsonby, T: 09 361 6701, www.johnstonassociates.co.nz



Experience the next level of retirement living at The Helier.

Whether you’re after a central spot you can lock up and leave, or somewhere you’ll never want to, here’s your central oasis for both convenience and comfort.

Take a tour of the state-of-the-art apartments and amenities that put The Helier in a league of its own.

To view, call Debbie on 0800 333 688 today.

28 Waimarie Street, St Heliers, Auckland



– A Solo Exhibition by Roberta Queiroga.

Contemporary artist Roberta Queiroga invites you to experience 'Beyond Celebration, a vibrant solo exhibition hosted at Eyes on Fire Gallery in Grey Lynn.

'Beyond Celebration' showcases a stunning collection of new works by Roberta, featuring bold contrasts and a fusion of two of her powerful series, ‘Energy' and ‘Noir'. These pieces exhibit dynamic expressionist marks that convey both energy and emotion, each a testament to Roberta's unique vision and her ability to blend diverse influences into a harmonious whole.

With a Master's Degree in Architecture, minimalism and monochromatic explorations are present in Roberta's artistic voice. Her journey has been shaped by her life experiences in Brazil, Japan, Portugal and New Zealand. This global perspective infuses her work with a distinct blend of elements, resulting in a collection that is both structurally compelling and emotionally resonant.

Join us for the opening evening on Friday, 5 July from 6pm to 9pm. Be among the first to experience Roberta's latest creations, enjoy a night of art and conversation and meet the artist in person.

Milestones and Celebrations

'Beyond Celebration' also marks significant milestones in Roberta's life, including her birthday and the 23rd anniversary of her move to New Zealand, both occurring in July.

This exhibition also celebrates the recent approval of Creative New Zealand's support to her Tuakana Teina one-on-one artistic residency project in Japan, scheduled for 2025. Notably, last year, Roberta had one of her works exhibited at the Auckland Museum, further solidifying her presence in the New Zealand art scene.

Eyes on Fire Gallery is renowned for showcasing contemporary art and supporting both emerging and established artists. Located in the heart between Grey Lynn and Ponsonby, a cultural hub for art lovers and collectors.

Roberta Queiroga's 'Beyond Celebration' promises to be a visual feast, reflecting a rich tapestry of influences and a deep commitment to artistic expression. We look forward to welcoming you to this exceptional exhibition.

WHAT: 'Beyond Celebration' Solo Art Exhibition by Roberta Queiroga

WHERE: Eyes on Fire Gallery, 15 Great North Road, Grey Lynn

WHEN: 5 to 26 July, Wednesday - Friday, 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm

Opening evening night Friday 5 July 6pm to 9pm

www.robertaqueiroga.com www.instagram.com/queirogaroberta www.eyesonfire.co.nz

For more information, please email hello@robertaqueiroga.com

Roberta Queiroga at her studio in Auckland
Detail of work in progress
Roberta Queiroga - Elephants VIII from the Noir Series
1. Kaleidoscope Ruched Dress by Megan Salmon
2. Kim Trench by Moke
3. Jimmy Rose Print Dress by LaLA
4. Georgie Sweat Feathered by Deeanne Hobbs
5. Full Relax Dress by Curate


This month 250 Gallery features the work of artist Gennie de Lange. Her unusual exhibition of ceramic paintings includes a poetry book, 'We Will Never Forget', using these paintings.

Funds from the sale of the book will go to the invincible, adopted teenagers and families in the Ukraine, who believe that there are better times to come. Computers, refrigerators, microwaves and vacuum cleaners have already been provided as requested by the families. More are needed by other families.

The comfort of friends gives warmth

But if power is cut, a hot water bottle

Or dog will have to suffice.

We must flee, leaving behind Father, dog, grandparents. Everything is turned upside down.

3 - 14 July Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 5pm

Opening event 5 - 8pm, Wednesday 3 July. Do join us for a book reading and artist’s talk. 250 Gallery, 250 Ponsonby Road.

Free off-street parking right outside the gallery.

This month also features the works of gallery director Tina Frantzen in her exhibition Eclectic. This show covers various works of hers in different media: painting, photography and oil pastel and ink works. Her paintings are created by a process of revealing, using the qualities of light to illuminate elusive and enigmatic figures that are unknown to her before the painting commences. Also included are her threshold paintings of ephemeral moments between the past and the present, the knowing and the unknown with a hint of figures in these doorways. Her ink and pastel images are spontaneous responses to the medium itself, and her photographic works capture fleeting moments. A truly eclectic exhibition.

17 - 27 July Wednesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm Opening event Wednesday 17 July 5pm - 8pm


This month we will be hosting the Auckland Playback Theatre on Friday 19 July, 7pm - 8.30pm, gold coin koha.

250 Gallery, 250 Ponsonby Road, M: 0274 519 662, www.tinafrantzen.com tinafrantzen@gmail.com Instagram: @tinafrantzenartist and: @two.fiftygallery


Amma Saraid de Silva - $38

Following the lives of three generations of Sri Lankan women, this brilliant New Zealand novel crosses decades and continents. Cultural differences and family misunderstandings reveal pain, secrets, surprises, and great love. It is very powerful, deeply moving and ultimately uplifting.

The Space Between - Lauren Keenan - $37

Mataria, Frances and Henry are vividly realised characters in this absorbing novel, set in Taranaki as war breaks out in 1860. The prejudices and misconceptions of the settlers contrast starkly with Mataria’s quiet strength and dignity. Extremely thought-provoking about colonisation, this is also funny and heart-warming.

Welcome to Glorious Tuga - Francesca Segal - $38

Zoologist Charlotte Walker travels to the extremely remote island of Tuga to study endangered tortoises and to investigate her secret connection to this enchanting place. She finds that it’s not just the tortoises who need her! Cheerful, uplifting and very funny, this really is a glorious novel.

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club

Helen Simonson - $37

Another funny novel that is also deliciously feminist! The postwar era is vividly captured, as are the feisty, independent women. Poppy wears trousers, runs a women’s motorcycle club and taxi service, and wants the women to learn to fly. What a bold influence she will be on quiet Constance. Witty and wonderful.

The Ministry of Time - Kalianne Bradley - $38

Receiving rave reviews (Eleanor Catton called it ‘outrageously brilliant’), this smart, sassy novel is already being made into a TV series. Commander Graham Gore perished on an ill-fated Arctic expedition. He and a small group of other ‘refugees’ are brought back from long ago, via time-travel, into presentday London. Extremely clever, highly amusing, and very thought-provoking.

Understanding Te Tiriti - Roimata Smail - $25

Not a novel! This handbook of basic facts about Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a little gem. Setting out key points in graphs, charts, and lists, it is clear, simply expressed, and easy to understand. Roimata is a warm and gentle communicator who, as a lawyer, has specialised for two decades in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Absolutely brilliant and very important!


When an iconic film combines with the incredible sound of a live 70-piece professional orchestra, it’s a cinematic perfect match.

You can feel this love (tonight) at Auckland Philharmonia’s upcoming events, The Lion King Live in Concert on 30 and 31 August and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Live in Concert on 3 October. Both these films have outstanding awardwinning music scores, so watching these feature-length movies, with the Auckland Phil performing the soundtrack live alongside, is sure to be a moving movie experience.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, relive the magic of Disney’s animated classic The Lion King as the Auckland Philharmonia performs the beloved Oscar®-winning score by Hans Zimmer and Oscar®-winning songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, live to film. Sing, dance, laugh or cry along with friends or whānau as you watch this well-loved movie with a live orchestra accompaniment.

A familiar tale to many of us, Disney’s The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub Simba’s arrival. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

The Lion King Live in Concert

7.30pm, Friday 30 August & 2.30pm, Saturday 31 August

Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre Booking: aucklandphil.nz/lion-king

Film is rated G for general audiences

Then, in October, experience one of cinema’s most exciting martial arts spectacles and enduring love stories, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, together with composer Tan Dun’s Oscar®-winning score performed live by the Auckland Philharmonia. This popular and groundbreaking film was named as one of the 10 best movies of the millennium by Time Magazine.

Set against the breathtaking landscapes of ancient China, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon tells the story of the legendary master warrior Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) and his secret love Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), with whom he has entrusted the safekeeping of the mythic sword known as the Green Destiny.

These events are a great opportunity to see well-loved films and the Auckland Phil come together for the ultimate movie experience. Get your paws on tickets from aucklandphil.nz

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Live in Concert

7.30pm, Thursday 3 October Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre Booking: aucklandphil.nz/crouching-tiger

Film will have the original Mandarin dialogue, with English subtitles. Film is rated M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 and over. Low level violence.


Term 3 Drama Classes for ages 5-16 begin the week starting Monday 22 July at TAPAC.

It is not too late to enrol and enjoy being part of the annual class performance at the end of this term. We specialise in helping students create their own unique stories and plays. Check out their 2023 Annual Performances video on the Tim Bray Theatre Company YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZA1pokOBsE

"A big THANK YOU to everyone for an incredible show. There was just so, so much creativity on display. As well as bravery, humour and skill. The Tim Bray staff are experts at guiding all the young thespians.” – Suzanne M., parent of youth theatre student. Classes are also offered on the North Shore in Takapuna and Browns Bay.

And, looking ahead to January 2025, Tim Bray Youth Theatre is excited to announce that it will be adding a central venue (at the Pitt Street Theatre) for its popular 5-day Holiday Programme, Hit the Stage! (28 Jan – 1 Feb). Under the direction of the Tim Bray Youth Theatre creative team, students will have the opportunity to explore their performance skills, build confidence and create a special one-off piece of theatre, ready to ‘hit the stage’ at the end of the week for an audience of family and friends. Bookings will open in November.

For more information: T: 09 486 2261. E: youth.theatre@timbray.org.nz timbray.org.nz/youth-theatre


Tim Bray Youth Theatre Hit the Stage! Holiday Programme


I wasn’t sure if it was the triumphal bellow from the elephants at the waterhole, or the excited chatter of the spider monkeys that lived beside my tent that woke me the first morning at the Amarkhale Game Reserve.

Having been lulled to sleep by the sounds of the African bush, rest had come easily – well, maybe helped just a little by the multiple glasses of South African red that were poured whilst we were enjoying our dinner of kudu and antelope.

Later, under a star spangled African sky, our safari guide, armed with a torch and an air horn, led us back to our tents.

This morning’s game drive was to start early and by 5.30am we were assembled in the lodge’s restaurant feasting on muffins, the South African version of 'mouse traps’, and strong coffee before meeting our guide.

Setting out along the dirt track in our modified Range Rover, dawn was just beginning to break over the distant mountains and in the pre-light, a herd of giraffe paused their breakfast snack of leaves high in the trees to stare at us. We skirted their group progressing around a corner to find that we were halted by a group of white rhino trotting along the road.

At home, rush hour traffic involves cars and the very odd cyclist, not three tonne behemoths lumbering along a dirt track.

Stopped behind the ‘Crash' of rhinos (see, I was listening yesterday during our lesson on collective nouns), Jono, our guide, spotted the paw prints of a pride of lions and we turned in the opposite direction to follow them.

Passing groups of buffalo, zebra and ostrich, we were led to the edge of an escarpment. A huge crater, the scar left by an ancient meteor that had crashed here millennia ago and we were on its ledge looking down into the horseshoe shaped valley. On the plain below, herds of antelope roamed and a large group of wildebeest were crashing through the undergrowth. Further along the ancient riverbank, the lions were moving slowly towards the bush on the far side.

Following reports over the radio from the other guides, it appeared that the lions were rejoining their pride that had killed an antelope earlier and had subsequently dragged the carcass into the bush in the ravine.

With a swift change of gear, we tore off down the raw dirt track, jostled and thrown from side to side, slipping and sliding down the steep rutted trail to the valley floor below.

Two kills in two days, our guide impressed upon us, over the noise of the engine and the rumble of the rocks that we were dislodging on the road – how lucky we were.

On the plain, as we rounded the bend for the second time today, we were brought to a complete stop by nature – a herd of 30 elephants surrounded our vehicle.

Jono stressed upon us not to make any loud or sudden noises and began speaking to the main matriarch of the group, Arabella. Seriously, if I hadn't been there and saw it in person, I would have joshed at this story, but he calmly spoke and ‘communed' with her and even asked her permission to be

here. My Kiwi cynicism level and ‘BS' meter were on high alert until she came up to our jeep and began smelling us with her trunk then, finally satisfied, moving off with a shake of her head and a flick of her tail.

The herd of elephants then slowly moved around our vehicle taking the lead from Arabella and more than a few of the young wandered over and stuck their trunks in and around our number until they too lumbered off into the distance, branches and leaves fluttering in their wake.

We took off again in the direction of the pride which had disappeared into the bush covering the old river bed. We spent the next hour drinking hot chocolates and watching the pride sunning themselves in between doing what lions do –continuing the circle of life to the detriment of an antelope. The crows and other carnivores of the bush lining up at a safe distance, ready to move in and clean up as nature had intended.

Here too, after only a few hours, there would be nothing left of the kill. Nature is tidy that way, she makes a mess, she cleans it up.

We returned to the lodge to be greeted with a banquet breakfast. I snacked from the vegetarian selection. I’d seen enough carnivores for the day. (ROSS THORBY)  PN

250 Gallery, 250 Ponsonby Road, karleyfeaver.com/home.html

Karley Feaver's sculpture
Karley Feaver at 250 Gallery
Karley Feaver's sculptures


HOROSCOPES: MISS PEARL NECLIS – what your stars hold for July

Aquarius (the Water Carrier)

21 January - 19 February

You would like to hide away from a lot of things that demand your attention this month and none of them focus on any of your own goals. A bit of time alone is good for you as long as it doesn’t become a habit.

Taurus (the Bull)

21 April - 21 May

Your productive juices are flowing this month and you seem to be riding a wave of success personally. Going that extra mile has at last seem to be paying off.

Pisces (the Fishes)

20 February - 20 March

If you have any disagreements with friends or family, you will know how draining physically and emotionally they can be. You have to reach a resolution even if you have to be the one extending the olive branch.

Aries (the Ram)

21 March - 20 April

Try and not complain too much as eventually you will not be heard and your ideas probably won’t get the attention they deserve. You can still make an impact as long as you’re willing to listen. personal to yourself though.

Leo (the Lion)

23 July - 21 August

Keeping your feelings inside only makes them stronger; venting your frustration occasionally can be good for you. Don’t let any arrogance get in the way of sharing things that matter.

Gemini (the Twins)

22 May - 21 June

Maybe you need to dig a lot deeper to process any feelings that have been buried in order for you to have a normal life or that’s how you feel. In order to move ahead you might have to go backwards first.

Cancer (the Crab)

22 June - 22 July

Doing the same old routine day in and day out might have caught up with you and maybe it’s about time to change your routine. Or simply enjoy each day as it comes.

Scorpio (the Scorpion)

24 October - 22 November

Don’t lose your rag this month if you can help it, keeping calm and capable is the way you have always been. If being a rock for others is taking its toll, it's time it was your turn.

Virgo (the Virgin)

22 August - 23 September

Make sure you’re able to take responsibility for your actions if things don’t go according to plan. You have a support network close to you as always but you shouldn’t make any demands.

Sagittarius (the Archer)

23 November - 22 December

You really do see the positive in everyone and everything even though sometimes you get nothing back. It’s important though for you to maintain your sunny disposition as you touch many lives.

Libra (the Scales)

24 September - 23 October

Keeping your opinions firmly in check has always been the right thing to do as far as you’re concerned. However, occasionally you just have to say what’s on your mind and to heck with the consequences.

Capricorn (the Goat)

23 December - 20 January

Try not to over react because your ego says you have too, just try and adapt to the situation. You can choose to improve any situation as there are no winners where egos are concerned.

• Your own private retreat!

• Work from home option

• Fabulous entertaining area

• Downstairs open plan kitchen/living

• Private north/west facing

• Spa and inbuilt trampoline

Vermont Street, Ponsonby

• North West facing section

• Polished wooden floors

• A classic villa with opportunity to add value

• Close to Ponsonby Road

• Owners have other opportunities.

AUCTION: On site, 3:00pm Sun 28 July 2024 (unless sold prior)

Please contact Luke for viewings or property information.

AUCTION: 132 Halsey St (In-Rooms) 6:00pm, Thurs 11 July 2024 (unless sold prior)

• Tastefully Renovated

• No Body Corporate fees/ Fee-Simple property

• Low Maintenance

• Both upstairs bedrooms have their own ensuite

• Victoria Park & Ponsonby Road are minutes away

Breathe in

Inhale relaxation and luxury, a new sensory experience.

Breathe out Unwind.

Breathe in

A sophisticated luxury spa and legendary Thai massage experience.

Breathe out

Let everything slip away.

Breathe in

This is that Sa-Ni feeling. Try the full effect for yourself.

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