The Village Messenger

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The Village Messenger Christmas 2021

Kia ora koutou katoa and welcome to the first issue of The Village Messenger! As many of you will know, The Village Voice was published for many years, under the auspices of St Saviour's Church in Pirongia. With its discontinuation, and the blessings of Revernd Julie, the Pirongia Community Association has accepted the opportunity to produce the local newspaper. Many of the regular articles that residents loved to read in The Village Voice will be included - stories about the history of the village; updates from various organisations based here; messages from our District Councillor; and features on local businesses. If you'd like to submit an article to be considered for publication, we would love to hear from you! The paper will be published quarterly and distributed to letterboxes in the village boundary, as well as being available at various business locations. In addition, you will be able to read or download a digital version from our website - The Association represents people, businesses and organisations that live in Pirongia and its immediate surroundings. We offer a voice to the council, a place to give and share information with residents, and feature regular events. We are the umbrella group that manages the Pirongia Community Centre on Ross St, the Pirongia website and Facebook page, and, now, a regularly printed newspaper to your door.

Advocacy is a big part of the role of the Association working with (and challenging) Council, and driving or supporting projects like the recently built toilet block, children's playground, and pedestrian crossing on Franklin Street. If you would like to learn more about us or become a meber, send us an email or complete the 'signup' form on our website. There are lots of 'big issues' facing Pirongia in the next year or two. The proposed changes to the Resource Management rules around new buildings, the continued growth of the village that affects the school and other amenities, the lack of tourism in the district whilst NZ borders are closed, the increased traffic on our roads and the ongoing big questions about water, conservation, transport options and waste management are all on our radar. The Association will be focusing on what our community needs and wants in terms of public facilities including halls and open spaces. As well as the paper, we have a busy Facebook page - do come and follow us! We look forward to sharing all that is good about Pirongia with you!

WHAT'S ON Sunday 19 December: Lions Christmas Market | Pirongia Community Centre The Pirongia Christmas Market is classified as a "retail site" under current govt guidelines so will be open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated stallholders and customers. Under these guidelines, the market is unable to sell food. Near the market, there will be a designated "foodie" area that will be fenced off and only accessible by Vaccine Pass holders. Passes must be sighted to access this area. Precautions include QR codes at each stall, mandatory face coverings for all stallholders and customers, and social distancing. We appreciate your help and support in the decisions we have taken to allow us to run the market. Two weeks prior to Christmas: St Saviours Church Open for viewing Monday - Friday from 10 - 2 pm. Decorated church to explore and crafts for sale Monthly Clinics at St Saviours Church:

Podiatry Clinic: Ph 027 4242442 for appointment (from January 2022)

Mahoe Med GP Clinic: Ph 07 8720923 for appointment (from February 2022)

House for rent: Long term tenants wanted for brand new 4 bedroom house in the village. $725 per week. References and 4 weeks bond required. House will be ready in February. Phone Sara 021 422 948

The Village Messenger is a community project funded by The Pirongia Community Association | @explorepirongia | @thevillagemessenger email:

A very long time ago in the Village

Do you have a family story or local legend we could share? Get in touch!

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle All of Waipa’s mixed recycling is hand sorted by a team of locals. Glass bottles and jars are transported in bulk to O-I Glass in Auckland, New Zealand's only glass bottle and jar manufacturer. Recycling in Waipā is generally only sent to landfill if it is contaminated or if it is the incorrect material. Contamination includes things like dirty cans and tins, or greasy and unclean cardboard. Even a small amount of contamination can lead to a whole load of otherwise good recycling going to landfill so it is really important to put clean recyclable items in wheelie bins.

In Waipā, only plastic types 1, 2 & 5 can be recycled e.g. milk and soft drink bottles can be easily recycled and turned into other products. Plastics types 3, 4, 6 & 7 are low value plastics which are frequently contaminated and are harder to recycle. Avoid, reuse or put into the rubbish bin. Look for the triangle on a plastic container. Numbers 3, 4, 6 or 7 or has no number are nonrecyclable . Download Antenno to get notifications for your Recycling day the night before! Even on a public holiday, your recycling will be collected as if it were a normal day.

Waipa District Council have more information on their website

5 easy ways to reduce waste 1. Keep a reusable cup in the car ( or bike/pram basket) for beverages onthe-go. 2. Add BAGS to your grocery list or put a sticky note on the dashboard to help you remember them. 3. Check the plastic value on packaging before you buy. 4: Keep a set of cutlery including chopsticks in your bag. Sets can be bought cheaply or make your own wrapped in a cloth napkin. 5. Get a 'no advertising' sign for your letterbox. (You can still get the Village Messenger:) - and it can go in the recycling)


We are a village of dog lovers, with 185 registered dogs! 'Doggy do' disposal bins are located at both ends of the Riverside Walk and at the reserve on Belcher Street.

RECENT BUILDING CONSENTS: Inglefield Street subdivision will create 21 large lot residential parcels, with a total site area of 7.2Ha, into four stages. The proposal includes a road vested to Council from Inglefield St to Collinson St. Construction is effectively finished, with only power and fibre needing to be installed. McClure Street: Adjacent development of the Inglefield St subdivision. Fully developed in six stages with a total area of 20.7Ha. The Collinson St extension vested to Council. Detailed design approved and construction has commenced.



Dog Friendly Pirongia

As New Zealand moves to the COVID Protection Framework tonight, Waipā District Council will require vaccine passes to be sighted before entry to any council-managed facilities. Tomorrow, Waipā enters the Orange setting, reviewed in two weeks by Cabinet. For anyone aged 12 years three months and over, their My Vaccine Pass will need to be sighted for entry to: Te Awamutu Library and Cambridge Library Te Awamutu Museum Council buildings, including front counters and meeting spaces Council-managed community halls Council dog control facilities While the move was not an easy one to make, it was based around the health and safety of both council frontline staff and those vulnerable members of our community across the district, Waipa District Council Chief Executive Garry Dyet said. “These decisions are never taken lightly but we have to do what is right for those in our community who need protecting. These spaces have visitors that range from babies to the elderly and we need to ensure the vulnerable feel a sense of protection when coming to a library or museum, or one of our front counters,” Dyet said. The policy takes effect from 8am, Monday December 13.

Freedom camping rules tightened Good news for the Maunga and the village - the government’s moving to tighten rules for freedom campers. Following public consultation, new legislation will soon be tabled that will set “minimum expectations” for campers. That will include requiring fixed toilets for vehicles staying on council land and fines for breaking the rules will be increased. Tourism minister Stuart Nash said at the heart of the new law will be greater respect for the environment and communities. “Higher standards must be met before vehicles can be certified as truly self-contained with fixed toilets. Abuses in the past included campers slapping bogus blue stickers on vehicles to falsely claim compliance,” he said. “Abuse of freedom camping ...erodes public support for tourism and undermines its social licence to operate.” Under the new rules: Freedom campers will need to be in a certified self-contained vehicle to stay overnight on land managed by local councils, unless the council has designated the area for non-certified vehicles. Freedom campers can continue to stay overnight in tents, where permitted. Fines and penalties will be hiked up to a maximum of $1000, replacing the current $200 fine. A new regulatory system will be introduced to enable vehicles to be certified as self-contained. To be certified as selfcontained, a vehicle will need a fixed toilet. Certification will be overseen by agents authorised by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.


Kyleigh Tuatara started Time Out sixteen years ago, in a small room at Impressions Childcare. Not long after, she was joined by Michelle, offering beauty treatments in the room next door. Fast forward to 2021 and the business is now well established, complete with Michelle, returned after a long hiatus - to their premises on the corner of Beechey St. And December marks another change for 'Time Out', with hairdresser Jess 'changing places' with Kyleigh as the new owner of the salon. 'Nothing will really change', Jess assures me. "Kyleigh will still be here, and we will still offer the same services and products'. ''Following the extended lockdown, the books are looking pretty full, says Kyleigh, 'so it's a good idea to get your appointments books ASAP'. Contact the salon on 8728073. Brows and Co cosmetic tattooing operates from the same premises. Jess offers beautiful cosmetic tattooing services, including brows, lip & eyeliner. Find out more at

Michelle runs 'Sanctuary Retreat' from the same building, and offers facials, massage, gorgeous skin care products, and even 'day retreats' . Michelle says her mission is to 'release all the tension & stress from your life and heal your soul.'. Find out more at Since the salon first opened, there have been locally made products available, and right now, there is a gorgeous Christmas wreath on display. Made by Mel from 'Mels Flowers and Creations', the wreath is a modern take on the traditional wreath complete with fairy lights. Mel also creates gift boxes and bouquets to order. Mel operates from Cafe on Franklin but also can be contacted via Facebook.

Walk in the door of the Five Stags, and things look much the same as they always have. That was always the intention of new owner, Nora Fu, who took over from previous owner Hugh in August. ''I want to acknowledge all the work Hugh did here and our loyal local customers'' says Nora, 'but I am also keen to find new ways to attract people to the Five Stags'. The menu has had some interesting additions inlcuding Duck Bao buns and other Asian inspired dishes. Fish comes in fresh from the market, and vegetables are supplied locally. There's a new playground out the back, happy hour on Wednesdays, gorgeous looking cocktails at the bar every day, and live music on Friday nights. The ever popular Tuesday Quiz nights will continue, which not only bring in a thirsty crowd but also raise money for local organisations. In time, Nora has plans for developing the site, but for now, she is content to get to know the community and become part of it.

''Those in the know will often tell you the secret of real estate success is really about communication'' she says. With her warm friendly personality, infectious energy, great listening skills, and astonishing ability to connect, it is no wonder Pamela has become so successful. She thrives on working with people and solving the challenges that come with marketing and negotiating the sale or purchase of a property. She is 100% committed to her clients, with the full backing of our experienced marketing and administration team and strong management support. Buying or selling a property can be both life-changing and daunting. Pamela has a unique ability to achieve outstanding results while keeping you reassured and fully informed all the way through. And it works! For three years running Pamela has made the L J Hooker Captain’s Club - a group of high achieving professionals recognised as the very best in Real Estate. Pamela Thackray | 021 184 1255 |


Business Card Size: One issue: $50 | Four issues: $150 Quarter Page: One issue $100 | Four issues: $300 Your own flyer inserted in every issue printed: One issue $150 | Four issues: $500 The Messenger is printed quarterly and delivered to every letterbox in the village boundary, available at local stores and on our website. Contact to book space.

Councillors notebook I love living in Pirongia Village and have been your local councillor since 2013. Te Rore was where I grew up, just north of here, and I am part of the McMonagle/Krippner clan. My husband Tony works for the Waikato DHB and most our five children have spread their wings. I’ll get on to Council matters shortly but on a personal note, I am the founding Chairperson of Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society and bringing back Kōkako to the maunga has been a massive focus for me over the past few years. I am also working on getting that envirocentre on Crozier St open and operating, and I am a driving force behind an ecological corridor project that would link Pirongia and Maungatautari along the Mangapiko Stream. I have a thing about biodiversity I guess and it extends to my edible garden where I have a large vege garden and over 200 different varieties of food forest trees and vines growing on my acre section. During lockdown I have been perfecting my homemade limoncello – very satisfying! It hasn’t been an easy year for a lot of people and the same can be said for Council. The reforms we are facing, whether it is 3 Waters, Resource Management, Urban Density or the future of Local Government itself, all tend to be dominated by Central Government’s ideology. So, while I have been calling for retaining local voice and control (as have the Mayor and most of the Waipa councillors), the outcomes look set to be centralisation, making it even harder for communities to control their own destinies. To my mind, the three big issues currently facing Pirongia Village are the speed limit review for State Highway 39 coming up soon, the growth in section sales and what that will mean for our community, and lastly Climate Change and how we should be responding locally. The speed of traffic through the village is a dominating factor when it comes to our peaceful atmosphere and sense of safety. Waka Kotahi NZTA are responsible for controlling the speeds on State Highway 39 and they have signalled they will be consulting on these speed limits in the near future. Keep your eyes open for it and don’t miss out on having your say. With the strong growth in new houses and sections selling fast, our village is expanding quickly. Back in 2018, our population was about 1200 people but with the recent subdivisions consented, creating over 80 sections, we can expect an additional 210 people or so to settle here. Do you think the village is ready for them or should we be taking a proactive look at our local amenities and services? And how will we get these newcomers to integrate into the fabric of village life and contribute their ideas and energy? We already know we need more things for young people to do, and a skate park proposal is a start where Council is concerned. But should we be holding a few community events, picnics or the like, COVID permitting of course, where we can build social wellbeing and a sense of belonging? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Taking this future view is also important for responding to the challenges posed by Climate Change. We can expect pressure to reduce our emissions to increase, and some of the largest contributors for urban dwellers are private car emissions and food waste. The biggest reductions will be achieved when we work together as a community to gain scale and make it easy to make changes. So, I’d be keen to see local schemes for sharing transport that not only offset the likely increase in fuel costs but are also earners for our community, and medium scale composting facilities that can divert food and green waste from going to landfill. We must also encourage more new ideas on what to do, especially from our young people. All these changes highlight that we need to be better than ever at working together, especially if we want to control our destiny as a community. Whether it is coming up with an action plan, leveraging Council to get behind initiatives or simply finding support and inspiration, the more people we can have involved the better. The Pirongia Community Association is the ideal vehicle to make it all happen, but it needs to be tanked up and fuelled with these fresh ideas. If you are up for developing a roadmap that would jumpstart our future, why not get in touch with the executive and come along to their next meeting?


Birds Crossing!

Have you seen these signs? Following on from the tremendous success of the kokako programme, NZTA have placed speed bumps along Grey Rd near Mt Pirongia as part of ongoing efforts to boost the bird population. The Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society runs an extensive pest control programme to help increase the number of kōkako breeding pairs, and says they’ve been seen gliding low and landing on the road. The endemic North Island kōkako is deemed “at risk-recovering” by the Department of Conservation. 027 324 8195

Find out more at



Get cooking! Here is a yummy & simple bread recipe to make at home. All the ingredients can be purchased at the Pirongia Four Square. You will need: 3 cups of bread flour 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon active dry bread yeast 390ml of warm water Directions In a bowl, stir the flour, salt, yeast and water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 8-24 hours. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and form a ball. Put on baking paper if you have it. Rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place an oven safe baking dish with high sides into the oven and preheat to 230 degrees. Slash an "X" on top of the bread. Carefully transfer to baking dish and cover with a lid or tinfoil. (If using the paper, you can pick up the edges of the paper and transfer the dough and the paper together into the baking dish.) Bake covered 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 more minutes until quite golden brown. Cool before slicing

Get Christmassy! Seven easy and low cost ideas for Christmas Use the big pile of your kids paintings from Playcentre as wrapping paper Make playdough, bubble mix or slime for kids. Add cookie cutters or a quirky shaped bubble blower Give seedlings or seeds to garden lovers. Attach seeds, wrapped in paper, to a garden fork or pair of garden gloves Make loaves of bread and wrap in a festive teatowel for a unique 'bring a plate' idea Homemade scrub in a jar: Combine 2 parts sugar or salt and 1 part oil. (coconut oil stays in a semi-solid state if stored in a cool place) . Add any scent you like - essential oil or even citrus zest. Punchy salt in a jar: Start with a small clean, completely dry airtight jar. Fill wilth rock salt. Add the herb or spice to the salt—the drier it is, the less the salt will clump. Use 1 tsp to 1/4 cup salt Chocolate spoons: In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup of semisweet chocolate pieces in microwave for 2 to 3 minutes and stir until smooth. Dip little wooden or bamboo spoons into chocolate. Put spoons onto wax paper. When just cool shake over rainbow sprinkles. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. Wrap each spoon separately in cellophane and store in a cool dry place until gifted. **Buy ingredients at Pirongia Four Square! No time to make stuff? Shop local at the Saleyards, Hive, or the monthly market - or grab a gift card from one of our our cafes or The Five Stags!

Get exploring! Be a tourist in your own back yard this summer! Te Ara Wai Pirongia is a part of the Te Ara Wai: Journeys, a free self-guided tour of culturally significant sites throughout the Waipa District. Using QR codes scanned on your phone, you are able to take a tour of the landscapes, learning about their past and present. The Pirongia zone includes five stops and takes about two hours. Stops are made at redoubts, pa and settlements. Visit to do the mobile tour or find out more information. Pirongia Heritage and Information Centre A variety of displays in the centre tell the story of the Pirongia settlement from its military beginnings to present day. There are artefacts and stories displayed of local families, institution and the landscape. It is open on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 3.30pm Kaniwhaniwha Stream Right at the Kaniwhaniwha carpark is a great spot for swimming - there's a shallow part, a rope swing into a deeper area of the stream, a toilet and picnic tables. From here you can also do the Nikau walk, a two and a half hour loop. Along the walk are places to swim, picnic and camp. Walk another 30 minutes and you'll find the Kaniwhaniwha Caves -walk through the 20-metre-long main cave and see if you can spot the wetas! Tracks and the carpark are accessed from Limeworks Loop Road.

The write stuff What’s taking the children's chapter book scene by storm and has its origins in a small Waikato village? It’s Queen of Muck – the exciting and hilarious debut release from Pirongia-raised writer Isaac Thackray. Isaac says he felt compelled to write for as long as he could remember. But growing up in rural 1970s New Zealand, ‘where men were men and rugby was God’, he never thought it would be any use to him. Then one day at the Pirongia dairy he came across a headline saying: ‘Sex, booze, fast cars. If you can write headlines like this, call us today’. So began a successful career as an advertising and TV writer where he got to hone his craft and sharpen his wit alongside the best in the business. A few years later, with a swag of awards and enough contacts to go freelance, he escaped the city just in time for the birth of his first daughter, Alice. Then came another daughter, Lila, and before long Isaac was reading literally hundreds of children’s books out loud. He found himself captured by the magic of the great ones and even more so with the idea of writing one himself. So he parked himself at a local cafe in Matakana (a rural village much like Pirongia) and started typing away. And kept on typing until he had Queen of Muck in the can.

It begins with two sisters, Lucy and Lily, who are desperate to find their missing Granddad. But first they must survive a great and unusual adventure filled with brutes in nail-polish, a strange bookshop, a children-eating beast, a very bad orchestra, flying chunks of cupcake, a talking fox and swords, sneak-walking along with a wickedly entertaining baddie who has a lot to say for herself and a rather weak stomach. “I felt there was a gaping lack of chapter books with great adventures, lots of funny bits, characters that actually have character and girls in the thick of the action,” says Isaac.

Queen of Muck was due to hit bookstores next February but instantly hit a chord with readers, resulting in a huge huge surge of pre-orders that saw the release date pulled forward and a wave of fantastic reviews. Buy your copy at or wherever good books are sold. Isaac will be at Cafe on Franklin in December signing copies of his book check our Facebook page for confirmation of the date and purchase your copy on the day.

So, has Queen of Muck fixed the problem? “The girls say I have and they’re never afraid to tell me the unvarnished truth,” laughs Isaac. He adds that a tough approach is what it takes if you want a great book at the end. “I made the rule for myself that the story had to be lively all the way through. So that no matter where you open it, I’ll be happy you landed there. “Achieving that took more time, coffee, 5am writing sessions and cursing than I ever imagined but I loved all of it - I’m supposed to be on the next book already but this one is going so crazy I can’t even get near it.”

COPY OF D E N IG S A WIN UCK QUEEN OF M What Primary school did Isaac attend? December 18 to be in to win!

Send your answer to by Winner will be contacted by email

Pirongia School news Kelly Bicknell moved from the Bay of Plenty region (Galatea) to Pirongia in January this year. My family (husband Shaun and 3 children) were lucky enough to secure a property in a housing market which was challenging! We were determined to purchase a house in Pirongia village so that we could connect with the people of Pirongia and immerse ourselves fully within the community. It is a decision that we have not regretted. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year as Principal of Pirongia School. Our School is full of awesome students, passionate teachers, dedicated support staff and supportive families. My highlights this year, among many, have been watching the students and staff accept me as their new principal. This has allowed me to continue and build upon the great work of my fantastic predecessor, Jan Cullen!

Another highlight this year has been watching my senior students step up into various leadership roles across the school. Our students come with amazing ideas and talents and seeing students give back to their school is something quite special. The various property developments around the school including the new astro turf, new school sign, new entrance way and painting have ensured that our school continues to look amazing and is something that we can all proudly drive past. Our PTA (Parent Trustees Association) and Board of Trustees continue to work tirelessly to support and provide for the students of our school. The PTA completed an astounding fundraiser this year (a raffle like no other) fundraising $27, 000 for our school.

Covid-19 undoubtedly had a huge impact on the final four months of our school year. We all, students and teachers alike have learnt to adapt, be flexible, be creative and above all resilient - this is something that I am very proud of. Thank you for welcoming me Pirongia – I look forward to the years ahead! Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Kelly Bicknell Pirongia School Principal

COMMUNITY DIRECTORY Commsafe Craft Group Creative Fibre Group Mt Pirongia Country Music Club Mt Pirongia Lions Pirongia Annual Craft Day Committee Pirongia Bowling Club Pirongia Clay Target Club Pirongia Scouts Pirongia Fire Brigade Pirongia Fishing Club Pirongia Golf Club Pirongia Heritage & Information Centre Pirongia Memorial Hall Pirongia Mountainbike Club Pirongia Netball Pirongia Playcentre Pirongia Rugby Football Club Inc Pirongia School Pirongia Senior Citizens Pirongia Sports Club Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society Pirongia Tennis Club Pirongia Women’s Institute Plunket St Saviour's Church Mondays at St Saviour’s Church 3rd Thursday of each month, Memorial Hall 2nd Sunday of the month, 12.30pm - 4.30pm $4 entry contact:

Is your organisation missing? Contact us:

Lawn bowls Mon 9am | Twilight bowls Thurs 5.45 pm - Held Tuesdays 1st Wednesday of each month | |

Bowling Club the first Wednesday of each month Thursdays 6:30pm at the Pirongia Sports Centre 2nd Wed of each month in the Memorial Hall Clinic 1st & 3rd Thursdays of each month

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