Wednesday May 2, 2018
Blue Dragon book fair The annual Blue Dragon Book Fair in the Ngaio Town Hall on Saturday May 26 is a chance to donate books to a worthwhile cause and also find some amazing book bargains. The popular book fair is organised by the Blue Dragon Children’s Trust NZ, set up by a group of Wellington women to raise funds for Blue Dragon Children’s Centre in Vietnam. Blue Dragon was founded by Australian teacher Michael Brosowski in 2004 to provide education and training opportunities for children from impoverished Vietnamese families. The book fair raises close to $9000 every year, enough to support at least 20 Vietnam-
ese children to go to school for a year, and buy them school uniforms, equipment and school lunches. The donation also benefits the entire organisation and its work, which includes rescuing street kids from exploitation and sexual abuse, and young people who have been trafficked to work in factories, or in brothels or forced marriages in China. The book fair runs from 9am to 4pm on Saturday May 26 in the Ngaio Town Hall. If you would like to donate books, DVDs, CDs or puzzles/board games please contact Iona McNaughton (021 799 059 or iona.mcnaughton@gmail. com evenings only).
Little gardening haven in Ngaio
Maureen Brider of Ngaio in the community garden she has established in Tarikaka Road. PHOTO: Glenise Dreaver
By Glenise Dreaver You have until 15th May to let us know what you think about the Council’s key priorities and proposed 10 year budget (2018-2028). In addition to city wide services and initiatives, specific items proposed for our area (Makara/Karori through to Khandallah/ Broadmeadows) are; •
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Karori - town centre public space improvements, a city end play space, extension of the pool carpark, improvements for Zealandia Ngaio Gorge road strengthening Khandallah Pool 100yr upgrade in 2022 Ngauranga - extend the life of Kiwi Point quarry Predator Free - more support for community led trapping
We’re also improving our resilience with new emergency water supplies to be placed in Khandallah, Crofton Downs and Karori. Further details are available on the council’s website; wellington.govt.nz
Ngaio resident Maureen Brider loves gardening and had the idea of planting a community garden a couple of years ago. She spoke to an elderly friend who encouraged her as did Kate Misa, an enthusiastic supporter of the Khandallah Community Garden. She became Maureen’s mentor too. Wellington City Council, when approached, gave the go ahead to dig the land in a corner of the Tarikaka Street reserve said Maureen, and also supplemented the plants she bought. “It was just too good to be true!” There were limits – she had to leave enough space round existing trees to let the mower through, for example.
There were also some setbacks. Two or three of the small feijoas originally planted as a group to form the backbone of the garden mysteriously disappeared, but the council replaced those and all are now growing very satisfactorily. The lemons were a problem too. Of the three planted, two died in the extreme weather last winter and the remaining one has been struggling through the summer heat. “But it’s coming along fine now.” Given the dry summer, since November Maureen has brought down two two litre bottles of water each day to water both the trees and the other more decorative plants like lavender, hebes and daisies. The council provides mulch which helps conserve them and she says they are growing
well, even though she is not keen on using manures in the area. Most days she weeds she says, though there is one other woman who comes down to help reasonably often. “I don’t even know her name!” Otherwise, she feels there isn’t a high level of awareness about the concept of the community garden - created by local people for the benefit of local people – and she says the feijoas, for example tend to just get left. “No one is even picking them up.” However, there are plans to put up a sign at the end of the reserve which will have contact details and which she is sure will make a difference and hopefully bring some helpers “Many hands make light work,” says Maureen cheerfully.
Independent Herald 02-05-18