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LOCAL NEWS: DEIRDRE ROELANTS

A LOOK BACK AT THE YEAR THAT’S BEEN FEBRUARY WAS A GOOD MONTH. THE DAYS WERE LONG, THE SUN SHONE and the Point Erin Pools were more enticing to frolic in than ever before due to an Auckland City Council revamp. Community Leisure Management was put in charge and focussed on making the facility as appealing as possible for locals and visitors alike. Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market kicked off the new year with an action-packed first market of the month. Lynda Halliman was a highlight, filming an episode of her new TV series, ‘Get Growing’. Ponsonby News was delighted to spread the good news that ‘The Insatiable Moon’, after major funding cuts, was finally shot shortly before Christmas with our shopping strip a major player. MARCH saw Ponsonby’s contentious Soho Square come on to the market after the developer went into receivership. The eyesore had been around far too long! Auckland’s oldest rugby club, ours no less, was chosen to host World Cup teams from Samoa and Tonga. A fitting choice given that Auckland’s large Pacific Island population has contributed much to our community. Locals rejoiced at the decision to preserve the Birdcage Tavern and fitting tribute was made to the movers and shakers at the launch of the project. On a perfect Sunday afternoon the Uptown Arts Trust held its inaugural event, The Fifth Plinth in Western Park, honouring long time and revered community worker, Betty Wark. APRIL and Luke Dallow launches Radio Ponsonby, a community based broadcaster with a unique music mix and cost effective promotions for local retailers. Ponsonby Market Day was blessed with balmy autumn weather and the turnout was mighty. Many businesses reported they had one of their best trading days ever. On the local governance front, twenty-nine year old Rob Thomas threw his hat in the ring, announcing intention to seek election as an independent for the Waitemata-Hauraki ward of the new Super City. MAY had no rough winds shaking the darling buds when Ponsonby songstress, Kirsten Morrell was the first Kiwi to ‘give a bunch’ as she signed up to the Fairtrade banana pledge aimed at lifting a co-operative of small scale farmers in Ecuador out of poverty. An international opportunity lured Justin Bade away from the Ponsonby Business Association where he had served as General Manager for twenty months. Marilyn Sainty’s protégés, Beth Ellery and Camille Howie gained recognition with their

FAIR TRADE MAKES GOOD SENSE MANY MOONS AGO, I HAD A CHANCE TO VISIT a refugee camp in the middle of the Sahara desert. It was home to thousands of people from Western Sahara who had lived in the camps for more than 30 years. While there’s a lot that could be said about the conflict that led to that camp existing in the first place, I learnt a few other lessons, such as how vital fair trade is to so many communities. Like many people who live in such conditions, or in developing parts of the world, work opportunities are often limited and, where they do exist, the wages are often meagre. In the camps I visited, the women combated this by setting up cooperatives to ensure that the weavers on one end of the production chain were paid a fair price for what they produced, no matter where that product was sold. And this in a nutshell is the concept of fair trade, a label more synonymous now with products like chocolate, coffee and tea that is produced in some of the most impoverished parts of the world.

inclusion in “New Zealand Fashion Design” a prestige Te Papa Press publication. There was also sadness when great singer Beaver finally succumbed to cancer. A farewell to the outstanding artiste was held in the Auckland Concert Chamber and her wake took place, fittingly, at Sale St Bar. JUNE was brightened up by the Labour nomination of glamour girl, Jacinda Ardern for Auckland Central in next year’s election. No old party hacks contending in our neck of the woods! Landscape architect Richard Reid won a silver award for his plans around the Birdcage placement. Thankfully Transit New Zealand agreed with his vision. Amcal’s ‘street corner worker’ Fiona was given due recognition for her thirty years employment in the pharmacy with a humdinger of a party at Bistro 222. Local lad, Jack Collinson carried on our proud sailing tradition when he was selected to represent New Zealand at the inaugural Youth Games held in Singapore. Smackbang Theatre Company’s Raising the Titanics played to sell out audiences at TABAC, and is predicted to go places according to its director, Raymond Hawthorne. MOTAT celebrated a significant milestone when it welcomed its 250,000th visitor, three year old Kavarm Perese-Smith, through the door. It was also Kavarm’s birthday and he was delighted to receive a gift from the museum. JULY brought success to Grey Lynn based FIELD_LA . It was the only landscape architectural firm to make it into the Queens Wharf development competition. A remarkable achievement considering they had been in business for only one year. TVWorks was really on the back foot when it was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay legal costs of $28,068.75 after its Target programme nearly put Ponsonby’s Café Cezanne out of business by wrongfully alleging the food was contaminated with faecal coliforms. It’s been a long, long time since children’s voices echoed in Victoria Park’s Campbell Free Kindergarten but with an agreement struck between the Auckland City Council and the NZTA the almost ruined heritage building will be restored at no cost to ratepayers. What a relief to see the wasteland that was once a petrol station become home to the all-new MINI Garage. More than just a dealership, it has a café, an event space and interactive electronic kiosks. AUGUST was definitely West Lynn’s turn in the limelight with the staging of its Red Carpet Fashion Benefit. Local fashion stores supported the event with enthusiasm and 10% of sales were donated to charities. The Cavalier Tavern celebrated twenty years of trading. Ray Wilson, sole owner since 1994 once played for the Kiwis and had his stag party there in 1968 when it was the dreary old The Suffolk. There’ve

Fair Trade isn’t just about singling out brands. It’s about making us mindful of what happened before a product landed in our stores or inside our cups, which means support for the campaign can be as simple as looking out for the fair trade symbol, encouraging local businesses to use Fairtrade Certified products (and proudly display that they do) and supporting local Fair Trade Community campaigns. I’ve been part of the group that are working on making Auckland a Fair Trade City, for about the past year. Pretty early on I realised how achievable it is – and with Ponsonby virtually a fair trade precinct already, we’re perfectly placed to band together and bring the rest of Auckland with us. There are so many issues that we need to tackle as a community – transport woes, environmental issues, social issues – the list is long. It would be easy to say that something like fair trade is not a priority amongst the many things that need to be done – but from small things, big things grow. That’s why I’ll keep playing a small part alongside our local community groups, businesses and the Council in order to see this initiative pay big dividends to folk like some of the women I met all that time ago. If you would like more information visit www.fairtradeauckland.org (JACINDA ARDERN, Labour List MP) PN

New Zealand is a long way from Western Sahara, or even places like Timor Leste where our coffee often comes from, but New Zealanders can and are still doing our bit. Last year, Wellington became the first Fair Trade Capital City in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 100 local businesses leading the charge and offering Wellingtonians fair trade alternatives to the products that they use every day. Being the competitive type, the first thought through my mind was “why shouldn’t Auckland join the commitment to Fair Trade, and why not have Ponsonby leading the charge?” Ponsonby (as we all know!) is a community minded place which has already shown its commitment to sustainability through the Ponsonby Sustainability Committee, which seeks to make our neighbourhood one of the leading and most sustainable areas of New Zealand. It seems fitting, then, that we should also be the community that leads the global Fair Trade movement in the Auckland region.

24 PONSONBY NEWS+ December 2010

PUBLISHED FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH (except January)

DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby