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Thursday July 5, 2018

inbrief news Female police graduates outnumber men New Zealand policing has reached a milestone with a graduation of the greatest number of women in a recruit wing. Female constables outnumber their male colleagues by 54 percent to 46 percent in Wing 315. Police Minister Stuart Nash congratulated the 78 new constables who graduated last week at the Royal New Zealand Police College at Porirua. “Today’s graduation is historic for the number of female recruits. There are 42 female constables and 36 male constables.” He says police aim to have women make up half of new recruit wings and of more women entering senior ranks.

Fewer children walking to school Auckland parents and some schools actively discourage children from walking and cycling to school due to a lack of safety infrastructure, AA surveys have found. The findings – from surveys of AA Members and working directly with some central Auckland schools over the past two years – highlight the need for simple safety infrastructure like road signs around schools, the AA says. “Parents want to be in a position to let their kids walk or cycle to school,” says Vanessa Wills, Senior Advisor – Infrastructure.

NZ Blood Service turns 20 Sunday marked 20 years since the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) was created and appointed as the Crown Entity responsible for the national provision of all blood services and blood products. Sam Cliffe, Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Blood Service, says over the years New Zealand Blood Service has become a self-sustaining, model agency that many international blood services seek to emulate. “Every day in New Zealand, an average of 79 people require blood or blood products, and it’s thanks to our committed donors that we can ensure a healthy blood supply to anyone in need, anytime and anywhere in the country.”

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Ceramic artist says farewell to Seatoun By Jamie Adams

A stalwart of Seatoun’s arts scene is saying goodbye after 25 years in Wellington. Ceramic artist Nicola Dench, owner of the Clay Penguin at 13 Hector St, held her last tutorial on Saturday as she now prepares for a new life in the Bay of Plenty. Nicola is leaving the capital for personal reasons after having operated at the studio since September 2009. “I’ve been immersed in fulltime tutoring and working here,” she says. Nicola has had quite a storied career. She has been a trophy maker for Wellington’s Sportsperson of the Year Awards and won a number of awards herself, including the Premier Award at Ceramicus 2009 and a travelling scholarship from New Zealand Potters. She was a regional council member of the NZ Potters Inc which she became president of for two years from 2016, overseeing its name change to Ceramics NZ.

She is also a former committee member of Seatoun Arts and Crafts, during which time she set up the annual Miramar Peninsula Arts Trail in 2012, which ran for several years. Nicola says the best thing about her work is “teaching people”, which she had to keep to three days a week in order to have time to tend to her own work. “Ma k ing my own work doesn’t compare with how excited people get when they make theirs. “I would retain friendships with people and when I visit them I note the things they made in my studio.” Nicola acknowledges how sad it will be to leave the many friends she has made during her time at the Clay Penguin. “A really big thank you for the support over the years, whether it’s coming to my classes and teaching people about clay, and I will miss them.” Nicola will be setting up a small-scale studio in Papamoa, near Tauranga, where

Nicola Dench at her Clay Penguin studio in Seatoun, which she is closing before she departs from Wellington. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

she admits she doesn’t yet know anyone. “I will still be available online and will continue to make my work available throughout the country.” Nicola’s will hold a “reloca-

tion sale” over three days from tomorrow as she prepares to empty her studio to leave Wellington in mid-August. “It’s been a privilege and an honour to be part of this community.”

Home for pregnant teens calls for upgrade help The House of Grace, a safe haven in for pregnant teens, has launched a project to help keep its doors open and its home warm and dry. Its owners need to replace its leaky roof, double-glaze its windows and modify its heating system. House of Grace is a converted boarding house in Newlands founded by Treena and Marcus van Rijssel in 2001 which houses up to four girls with

their babies and a volunteer “house family” of five, and includes a shared kitchen, living rooms and dining area. It also helps its residents develop skills to parent with confidence in a safe and supportive environment where they can live up to three months following the birth of their child. The home has seen hundreds of young mums and babies come through its doors and it

has always been hard to keep warm, Treena says. “We are often dreading to receive our power bills, especially during winter.” As a 1950s concrete house with multiple extensions, its residents find it a very cold, damp, draughty house which has led to damage and also isn’t ideal for new-born babies. “We have to run dehumidifiers and heaters constantly in order to keep the house at a

safe temperature.” To ensure The House of Grace is able to continue effectively, the non-profit organisation has launched the Warm Home Project. “As a charity which doesn’t receive any government funding, we rely on the generosity of people, who share our heart to see young lives changed.”  To make a donation go to warmhomeproject

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