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Wednesday January 24, 2018

inbrief news

Karori Playcentre open their doors for summer Karori Playcentre will open their doors next week for curious kids and their parents to explore the place and meet new friends. The playcentre is a community of families growing together through the early childhood education of their children. Its facilities include a fabulous sandpit, slide, indoor and outdoor playhouses as well as a huge number of other resources

to entertain and grow little minds in both summer and winter. “We operate as a parent co-operative and are focussed on developing strong reciprocal relationships within and beyond the playcentre,” Katherine Viskovic from the Karori Playcentre explains. “We are a licensed early childhood education provider for children aged 0 to six years and

follow Te Whariki (the early childhood curriculum). “We have a minimum adult to child ratio of one to five and it is usually much higher than this,” Katherine says. “Our children’s curiosity and creativity is nurtured through the fun range of experiences provided – no two days at playcentre are the same.” For older children, the ear-

ly childhood education centre offers outdoor-based sessions for exploring the natural environment at local parks, reserves and beaches.  Karori Playcentre, 64 Campbell Street, will hold two open days on January 30 and 31, between 9–11.30am. Contact for more information or to learn about free sessions.

Charity ride sees cyclist take on Tour de France By Julia Czerwonatis

John Randal battling uphill at Makara Peak as part of a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation. PHOTO: Brendan McGrath

A Karori resident is headed to France to ride all 21 stages of the Tour De France one day ahead of the actual race in July. John Randal will join a team of eight Kiwi cyclists who are committed to raising over $25,000 for the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) as part of the race. He says he has been a cyclist since his teens and looks forward to facing this new biking challenge. “I have done races of similar difficulty before. The new experience for me is to cycle together in a team which will be exciting. And in any way, this will be on a scale that’s not quite ordinary,” John explains. He says the physical challenge of cycling was appealing to him and also helped him to manage his own mental health – especially during tough winter months. “Mental health issues are a major problem in our society, and it’s becoming increasingly important to be working on this.” John says in his position as the associate dean at Victoria University’s Business School and senior lecturer at Victoria’s School of Economics and Finance, he often encounters young people who struggle.

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According to MHF, half of all New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, and one in five will have suffered a mental illness this year. Depression is set to overcome heart disease as the biggest global health burden by 2020. MHF works towards reducing stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness, and John is glad to be advancing this mission within his university and cycling communities. To meet his fundraising target, John is organising four mountain bike races and invited cycling enthusiasts to come along. “It’s a fun, low-key event and a good to raise awareness for the foundation, and get fit at the same time.” The first race at Makara Peak in mid-January was joined by 52 cyclists and raised $2000, and last night, John organised a race in Karori.  The last two races of the Wellington Off-Road Hill Climb Series will be on January 30 at Te Kopahou and on February 7 at Polhill Reserve, starting at 6.30pm. Entry by minimum donation of $30 to the Mental Health Foundation. Pay cash on the night or visit fundraisers/sifter/tour-de-france.

Report ‘exploiting landlords’ Wellington Central MP, Grant Robertson is asking his constituents to “expose [landlords] who are exploiting you and your friends”. “Everyone knows that the rental housing market in Wellington is tight,” he says in a Facebook post. However, there was no excuse for landlords to exploit the situation, Grant comments. The MP says he heard complaints from tenants after landlords increased rents by $50 per week because student allowances and living cost payments have gone up by that much. “Let me know if this has happened to you. Landlords will increase rents from time to time but it needs to be fair and reasonable.” Send an email to

900th kaka banded Zealandia’s volunteers and rangers counted the 900th kaka in Wellington last week. Number 900 is happy and healthy, but this season rangers have discovered more cases of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) and leg deformities. MBD is a particularly nasty disease, and caused primarily by people feeding kaka. It can lead to deformities in bones and beaks in chicks, and can end in death. Although it’s well-intentioned, feeding wild birds can cause serious harm. To help the Wellington’s cheeky parrots, plant native trees and let kaka forage naturally.

Mural art competition Keep New Zealand Beautiful, in partnership with Resene, are excited to announce the 2018 Nature Murals Competition, open to local artists who are willing to help paint New Zealand beautiful. Submissions open on February 1, with the winning entries receiving a $1000 grant and all the materials to paint the mural. Murals must celebrate some form of the natural environment on or around the wall. For more information visit nz/paint-new-zealand-beautiful.

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Independent Herald 24-01-18  

Independent Herald 24-01-18

Independent Herald 24-01-18  

Independent Herald 24-01-18