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january/february 2018

the year of the dog p saints march on p summer reading local news, views & informed opinions


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Licensed REAA 2008

The January/February Issue, No. 45 8 the editor’s letter

10 the columnists

12 the village Saint Kentigern reveals plans to merge its Remuera schools, historic cabbage trees return to Newmarket, school champs and more

24 the councillors News from Councillors Desley Simpson (Ōrākei) and Mike Lee (Waitematā & Gulf)

26 the politicians Local members David Seymour and Paul Goldsmith share their updates

30 the investment Warren Couillault rates his calls over the past year

32 the plan Enough! Hamish Firth suggests a radical solution for local ratepayers


34 the suburbanist

the moment

Tommy Honey looks at this share bike thing

Continuing our revisit of earlier summers, Mike Chunn’s sweet memories of the Parnell Baths

35 the second act It’s time to consider what a new year really means in Auckland, says Sandy Burgham


49 the sound What’s on high-rotation in Andrew Dickens’ household after a year of new releases?

the year of the dog


Who better to write about dogs, than Sparky, Parnell’s most interesting Cairn terrier?

the pretty Justine Williams picks the best products for sleek, summer skin



the prizegiving

the magpie

Our annual round of applause to local students honoured by their schools

This issue, the Magpie gets right to the art of the matter



the auckland foundation

the district diary

Introducing our newest guest columnist, Auckland Foundation CEO Dellwyn Stuart

Events for January and February

56 the cryptic

43 the expats

Our puzzle, by Māyā. Hint: some answers are local

A return visit to a series of interviews with former locals, published in our very first issues

Summer Loving Relax in your native bird-friendly garden in a divine kaftan this summer, courtesy of The Hobson and our friends at Metalbird and Maude Loves Kaftans. Metalbird, the brainchild of industrial designer Phil Walters, creates native bird silhouettes in Corten steel. Over time, the sculptures weather and fuse with the landscape. They can be displayed on balconies or attached to trees or posts in the garden. We have three XL-sized birds to give away, either tui, kereru or the fantail (piwakawaka). For more information, see And for summer dressing, poolside to party or beach to bar, do it in style with a Maude Loves Kaftans design (pictured). This summer-friendly kaftan will be your best friend during the warmer months. See Facebook: Maude Loves Kaftans for more about these fun and stylish dresses. To win one of three Metalbird sculptures, or the Maude Loves Kaftans design, email business@thehobson with either SUMMER BIRDS or SUMMER MAUDE in the subject line, by 5pm, Friday February 2, 2018. Winners will be selected at random. The fine print: By entering this competition, you agree that your email details will be retained by The Hobson for our marketing database

the hobson 4


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issue 45, january/february 2018 Editor & Publisher Kirsty Cameron Art Direction & Production Stephen Penny Advertising Sales Rex Pearce 021 883 891 News Editor Mary Fitzgerald Writers This Issue Mary-Ellen Barker, Kirsty Cameron, Graeme Clark, Mike Chunn, Mary Fitzgerald, Stacy Gregg, Justine Williams Sub-editor Fiona Wilson Columnists & Contributors This Issue Sandy Burgham, Warren Couillault, Andrew Dickens, Hamish Firth, Paul Goldsmith, Tommy Honey, Mike Lee, Māyā, David Seymour, Desley Simpson Photographers John Crawford, Stephen Penny Cover Sparky, Parnell’s most infamous Cairn terrier, photographed by John Crawford. See story, page 36 THE HOBSON is published 10 times a year by The Hobson Limited, PO Box 37490 Parnell, Auckland 1151. F: TheHobsonMagazine I: @TheHobson Ideas, suggestions, advertising inquiries welcome. Or via Facebook:

THE HOBSON is Remuera, Parnell and Ōrākei’s community magazine. We deliver into letterboxes in these neighbourhoods, and copies are also at local libraries, cafes, and at businesses including the Vicky Ave and White Heron dairies, and Paper Plus Parnell. For more about us, follow us on Facebook or Instagram. The content of THE HOBSON is copyright. Our words, our pictures. Don’t steal, and don’t borrow without checking with us first. We aim for accuracy but cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies that do occur. The views of our contributors are their own and not necessarily those of THE HOBSON. We don’t favour unsolicited contributions but do welcome you getting in touch via to discuss ideas. ICG Logo CMYK.pdf 1 05/08/2015 6:19:01 AM

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This publication uses environmentally responsible papers, and our wrap (home-delivered copies) is recyclable into bins accepting soft plastics

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the editor's letter


his combined-month, summer edition of The Hobson reached your letterbox shortly before Christmas. If you didn’t have time to read it then, I hope you’re enjoying browsing through our pages now, perhaps relaxing somewhere sunny, the sound of the surf or the song of crickets not far beyond. To help with the holiday mood, we have revisited some of the writing from our very early issues. When we launched, in September 2013, our circulation area was much smaller than now, so I’ve long felt we had some cracking material in those early issues that was deserving of a wider audience. With deckchair reading in mind, we are reprinting writer Stacy Gregg’s interviews with local area “expats” — All Black great Sean Fitzpatrick (was Meadowbank, now London), broadcaster Marcus Lush (Remuera to Bluff), poet Anna Jackson (Remuera to Wellington) and fashion designer Karen Walker (Remuera to Ponsonby). Rounding out this stellar line-up are writers Mary-Ellen Barker, who recalls her noisy days of flatting in Parnell, and Mike Chunn, who wrote a beautiful memoir of the Parnell Baths for our March 2014 issue. This feature begins on page 43. In this issue, we also welcome Dellwyn Stuart, CEO of the Auckland Foundation, to our pages. In support of the work of the Foundation, we are giving Dellwyn a column, which will run every other month, to talk about their work and programs to make this region a better place. If you’re thinking of a New Year’s resolution that is easily achieved and has lasting benefit, put “philanthropy” on your list! Check out the Foundation’s site, Whether you can give a little or a lot, it’s far more satisfying that most resolutions. Dellwyn’s column is on page 42. Thank you for being part of our world this past year. Happy New Year, and we’ll see you again in late February, with our March issue.

Kirsty Cameron 0275 326 424 Facebook: The Hobson magazine Instagram: TheHobson

Warm congratulations to Zoe Tinkler, left, and Olivia Couillault, right, announced as the 2018 Diocesan head prefect and deputy head prefect respectively. Olivia is the daughter of our ‘The Investment’ columnist, Warren. School leadership runs in the family at chez Couillault — Olivia’s brother, Charles, has just finished his year as head boy at King’s School. Photo courtesy of the Couillault family.


In every issue, we give away something nice/fun/interesting. Recent winners of our competitions are Tracey Thorp (Bird & Knoll silk scarf), Liane Donovan, Nikki Babbage, Wei Yan Chuah and Emma Clearly (Jess’ Undergound Kitchen cookbooks and vouchers); Peter Ng, Louisa Zschrint, Amanda Stanes, Sarah Andrews, Lisa Mills and L. McKinstry (Garden DesignFest tickets); Jessica Hogan, Rhys Armstrong, Alison Allard, Rachel Kendrick (Central Bark doggy day care). Congratulations to all!

We’re delighted to be part of, a local, independent news and current affairs site. Check Newsroom out if you haven’t already — you’ll find well-written, in-depth reporting by leading journalists. Stories and columns from The Hobson are under the “New Auckland” tab, plus a link to our digital edition (via the hobson 8

“At Auckland Obstetric Centre we understand that pregnancy and childbirth is the most important time of your life and that you and baby should have the highest standard of care.” – Jane Patten, Clinic Manager

Auckland Obstetric Centre is a unique practice in Parnell made up of six leading specialist obstetricians and support staff. Together we have many years of experience and feel privileged to be able to share in the care of women during their pregnancy. To find out more about how we can care for you and your baby call our team on 09 3671200 or visit our website Lynda Batcheler Astrid Budden Eva Hochstein Katherine McKenzie Kirstie Peake Martin Sowter

The Columnists

Left to right from top row:

Sandy Burgham (The Second Act) is a brand strategist and an executive coach with a special interest in midlife change and transformational behaviours. She runs a central Auckland practice. Precious Clark (The Kaitiaki) is a professional director who sits on several boards, and a young leader of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. A law graduate, she lives in Ōrākei and contributes a periodic column. Remuera resident Warren Couillault (The Investment) is an executive director and the major shareholder of Hobson Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory group. He is a shareholder and director of Generate Investment Management Ltd; and manager of a registered Kiwisaver scheme. Andrew Dickens (The Sound) is the host of Andrew Dickens’ Sunday Cafe on Sunday morning, from 9am, on Newstalk ZB. He is also the music reviewer on Jack Tame’s Saturday morning show on Newstalk ZB. He grew up in Remuera. Hamish Firth (The Plan) lives and works in Parnell and is principal of the Mt Hobson Group, a specialist urban planning consultancy. Mary Fitzgerald is The Hobson’s News Editor. A Mainlander who transplanted to Remuera 13 years ago, she is passionate about hearing and telling our stories. Urban design critic Tommy Honey (The Suburbanist) is a former architect. The Remuera resident is a regular guest on RNZ National, discussing the built environment. Judi Paape (The Teacher) is a parent, grandparent and highly-experienced teacher and junior school principal. A Parnell resident, her column appears bi-monthly. Contributing writer Wayne Thompson is a former The New Zealand Herald journalist, covering Auckland news. He has been a resident of Parnell for 33 years. Contributing editor Justine Williams is an interiors stylist, writer and fashion editor. The Remuera resident has been the editor of Simply You and Simply You Living.

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Our Wonderful Atrium Will Be The Heart Of The Village

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the village

Town & Around THE SAINTS GO MARCHING ON Saint Kentigern has announced it proposes to close its Remuera girls’ school on its current site, and merge the school with Saint Kentigern Boys’ School on Shore Rd. The 1.24ha Saint Kentigern Girls’ School on the corner of Ranui and Remuera roads was formerly the independent Corran School for girls, until its trustees approved a merger with the Saint Kentigern Trust Board in 2009. The proposal, presented by the Saint Kentigern senior leadership team as part of its long-term plan, is that the boys’ and girls’ schools will operate as single gender primary schools with separate teachers and principals, but both from the boys’ Shore Rd, Remuera campus. New facilities will be built, and the relocation for the girls is planned to take place in three years, in 2021. The preschool operating from the girls’ school will also move to Shore Rd, into a purpose-built facility, to meet increased demand. The Trust Board is not ready to speak about the “Building Saint Kentigern” strategy until consultation with its community is complete, a process that will run until the end of February . “The changes the masterplan proposes are part of Saint Kentigern’s long-term strategy, for ensuring we continue to offer, and lead in providing exceptional education for the students who come here,” Trust Board strategic marketing manager Kay Forrester told The Hobson. “Consistent with this, the masterplan changes would support significant investment in the current boys’ and girls’ schools and also in our colleges at Pakuranga, and the preschool.” Forrester would not comment on the potential sale of the girls’ school land. At approximately 12,495m², the property is zoned for a school, and has an estimated value of $50m in the current property market, should it become land for housing. To extract value as a residential zoned site, a 12 to 18-month rezoning process would be required. If the property was rezoned to Terrace Houses and Apartments, 50 per cent site coverage and up to five levels in height would be permissible. Following the masterplan announcement, a meeting chaired by principal of the boy’s school, Peter Cassie, attracted more than 100 parents from the boys’ and girls’ schools’ community. An email circulated after the meeting from the head of Saint Kentigern, David Hodge, outlined concerns raised. They included a lack of consultation about the plans, concern about the Shore Rd land adequately accommodating two schools, and that the location of two schools on one campus could change the single-gender-ethos of the boys’ school. The Trust Board has given a commitment to consider all feedback closely and to provide an update on ongoing plans, and that parent engagement and discussion is welcome. Founded by ministers and laymen of the Presbyterian church, the Saint Kentigern Trust operates four schools and a preschool,

located on the three campuses. Once exclusively vested in boys’ education, in 2003 the boys’ college in Pakuranga became co-ed and today operates as a middle and senior school. On Shore Rd, the boys’ school caters for Year 0–8 boys, while the girls’ campus includes a preschool for boys and girls, and a primary school for girls to Y8. The Remuera campuses have provided education in the eastern suburbs since the middle of the 20th century. The boys’ school opened in 1959, its nucleus the historic Roselle House, bequeathed by publishing scion John Martyn Wilson. The girls’ school started life in 1947 as Corran, a kindergarten for boys and girls based in the home of founder Victoria Duthie in Wairua Rd. In 1952 the kindergarten expanded into a girls’ primary school, and a house and land were purchased at 514 Remuera Rd in 1954, from the Mormon Church. Over the next decade, surrounding properties were acquired to create the 1.24ha grounds today. With its merger with Saint Kentigern, it became known in 2010 as Saint Kentigern School for Girls — Corran, until 2012, when it was renamed Saint Kentigern Girls’ School. — Mary Fitzgerald p

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GETTING THE TREATMENT With our recent stories about the Newmarket Stream clean-up and continuing concern about aging sewage infrastructure in the area, Wayne Thompson thought it timely to visit Auckland’s water treatment plant to better understand the delivery of our H20 When the monthly water bill for a Hobson Bay household of three people lurches between $96 and $120, and their elders can recall when water was free, the open day at the treatment plant in the hills of South Auckland seemed a chance to check the value for money. Staring into an open tank as it filled with nature’s raw, fresh product piped down from a mountain dam was a good place to start. With the visible forest debris screened out, it looked fine to drink then and there. But it pays not to be hasty. This was the first of a long row of concrete tanks, each of which play a part in the process of removing dirt, colour and micro-organisms, and by the time the clarifier and filter tanks on the tour were reached, the water looked far clearer than the raw version. A jar containing what looked like spent coffee grounds showed how much sediment was extracted during treatment, when the water was mixed with aluminium sulphate and polyelectrolyte, and then fed through sand filters. The taste and smell of nature in the raw water was also muted by a dosing of powdered activated carbon. Other additives are a dose of chlorine to kill disease-causing bacteria, some lime to slow supply pipe corrosion, and at the direction of Auckland Council and Ministry of Health recommendations, fluoride to protect our teeth. As a Parnell resident, former prime minister John Key famously

said, “no one owns water”. But for the price of $1.48 for 1000 litres, someone, in this case Council-owned Watercare Services Ltd, sells it. The company’s chief executive, Raveen Jaduram, says the cost is in collecting, storing, treating and reliably delivering it as A-grade product. The Ardmore Treatment Plant, pictured above, has expanded since the 1950s to serve four dams in the Hunua Ranges and supplies nearly two-thirds of Auckland. The reservoirs at Maungawhau Mt Eden, Ōhinerau Mt Hobson, Auckland Domain and Khyber Pass, get some of the plant’s output of between 280 million litres to 350 million litres a day. A big project to increase supply capacity and give a consistent water pressure from the reservoir on top of Ōhinerau Mt Hobson has been completed by Watercare. The upgrading programme included building a new valve chamber, improvements to the reservoir and decommissioning several old water mains and a high-level reservoir. Three reservoirs were built into the cone of the maunga in 1900, 1935 and 1955, in the process destroying some of the terraces from when it was occupied by the Waiohua people prior to 1740. For the recent works, Watercare worked with the Maunga Authority and had to hand-dig in some places, which are now protected archaeological sites. The Ardmore plant was in the news after the Tasman Tempest storm in March turned the water in its supply dams into a turbid yellow soup of clay silt and debris from slips. The plant struggled to process the thickness of sediment from two months’ rain (241mm) falling in 24 hours. In order to make up for the deficiency in supply, Aucklanders were asked to save 20 litres per person daily. In response, consumption dropped by 5 per cent. Ardmore’s capability under extreme conditions is being urgently beefed up with measures including UV light disinfection. Expensive works faced by Watercare in supplying water and

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the village

Works recently completed by ¯ Watercare on Ohinerau Mt Hobson included improvements to water pressure. Three reservoirs were built into the mountain's cone between 1900 and 1955.

wastewater services to 1.4 million customers, and a further 1 million people expected in the next 30 years are of concern to polititicans such as local councillor Mike Lee, who wrote on the cost of this growth in the April issue of The Hobson. It’s also a worry to the Parnell family of three mentioned above, who are baffled by the size of their water bills, despite following water-saving tips like having their meter checked and turning off the tap when brushing teeth. When Watercare took over the infrastructure and service delivery of the region’s water seven years ago, the price of water was $1.6190 per 1000 litres (kL). Fast-forward to October 2017, and Watercare bills water at $1.480 per kL and waste water at $2.535 per kL. This bill reflected the July 1 increase in metered charge by volume for water from $1.444, and for waste water, the charge increased from $2.454.The prices include GST of 15 per cent. “It’s one good thing that came out of the Super City amalgamation, or to be accurate, the vertical integration of the former council water retailers into Watercare,” says Mike Lee on the drop in the price of water. “The implication is the former city councils were over-charging. “However as time goes on and the Super City looks round for more revenue, water prices may come under pressure.” Watercare is required by law to fund itself without recourse to council rates, and to minimise costs and charges while extending, upgrading and renewing infrastructure to support Council’s growth plans. At the invitation of The Hobson, the water company compared the former Metrowater’s cost per kL with its own, based on a 14.5 per cent rise in the Capital Goods Price Index over seven years. It says the Metrowater average cost per kL of water would be $2.07 today, or 59 cents more than Watercare’s current price of $1.48. This would make the household cost for 220kL a year under Metrowater the equivalent of $455.35, or 40 per cent more than Watercare’s $325.60.

So for now, our water is cheaper than it was pre-Super City, but with population pressure, it could be that what we’ll be paying in five or 10 years will make Auckland’s H20 the champagne of NZ water supplies. p

BATON CHANGE AT PARNELL ROTARY The Rotary Club of Parnell has a new president, Colin Wilson taking over from Amanda Morrison. Wilson, a partner at accountancy firm RSM New Zealand, has a proud history of community service, and was awarded Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship in 2008. He has also served as treasurer of the Parnell chapter. With wife Debra, he has three children and their Remuera household includes “a chocolate Labrador, three cats, two chickens, multiple goldfish, and soon to arrive, a beehive.” p

MORE OF HISTORIC GRAFTON GOES As part of a new University of Auckland building development at the university’s Grafton campus, two heritage buildings will be demolished on Park Rd. The 1920s buildings, The Royal and the Astoria, were previously residential apartments and used for university student accommodation. Construction has started on the 19,500m2, six level, $116 million new building, set to be completed early in 2020. The new block will provide more space for the university’s School of Medicine and School of Population Health. Grafton resident Christiane Pracht is disappointed with the way the university has communicated with affected residents about the plans for major construction in the area, and regarding the removal of the heritage buildings in the neighbourhood. “It’s a shame for the entire community. There was no

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the village

consultation from the university or Auckland Council on the changes, but all the consulting had been going on for over a year without resident input. The university provided an information evening with residents on November 1, and construction commenced four weeks later. “Our heritage buildings are being replaced with a building completely unsympathetic with the streetscape. We will work with the university on minimising the impact of construction but the process so far has been very disappointing,” says Pracht. Auckland University Property Services were approached for comment, but said they could not respond in time to meet The Hobson’s deadline. — Mary Fitzgerald p Above: the 1920s buildings, the Astoria, left, and The Royal, on right, due to be demolished by the University of Auckland in favour of a new med school building. Below: King's School victorious cricket champs. Photos by BW Media.

KING'S CLEANS UP King’s School ended the year on a sporting high, winning the national title for cricket, the National Primary School’s Cup, with a winning streak of 17 wins from 17 matches. A competition for boys no older than 13, this year it drew 218 schools, mostly intermediates, across six zones nationwide. King’s 1st XI beat Sacred Heart in the Auckland zone final. All zone finals — 20/20 matches — were played at the Cricket High Performance Centre in Lincoln. Over the course of three days, King’s unbeaten streak continued, beating regional winners Tauranga Intermediate, Southland Boy’s High, Huntly Intermediate, Medbury School and Raroa Intermediate, to claim the trophy. Since the competition’s inception in 2000, King’s School has won the Cup in 2003 and 2006, and is the only school to have won three times. p

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Te Ti¯ Tutahi stands proudly in photographs taken of early Newmarket, top left, and when the 40th South ¯ Lancashire Regiment encamped there in the 1860s. Above, Te Ti¯ Tutahi descendants in Teed St today. ¯

CABBAGE TREE LANES A piece of Newmarket’s history has been restored as part of a revamped Teed St. Māori called the area, particularly the south of the current Newmarket, Te Tī Tūtahi – “the cabbage tree standing alone” or “the cabbage tree of singular importance”. The name referenced a tree that stood on the corner of Mortimer Pass and Broadway until 1908, although other references have it at Clovernook Rd and Broadway. Some of the cabbage trees returned during Teed St’s refresh, undertaken as part of Waitematā Local Board’s Newmarket Laneways Plan, are directly descended from Te Tī Tūtahi. Alfred Buckland, one of colonial Auckland’s most substantial land owners (and a notable businessman and prolific parent) was the owner of Highwic on Gillies Ave, his grand home with his 21 children by two wives. Buckland took seed from the cabbage tree, transferring plants around Newmarket, and as far away as his farm at Bucklands Beach. Auckland Council arborists and iwi sourced progeny, and selected other plants for their suitability for an urban environment, seasonal display, growing habits, and cultural significance. While the cabbage trees acknowledge Newmarket’s history, the gardens feature an innovative urban landscaping technique, “bio-retention” rain gardens, designed to help improve stormwater quality. The Teed St upgrade is one of the projects identified in the Newmarket Laneways Plan, and the design was developed after public feedback, site investigations, and property and business consultation. Common themes included support for wider footpaths, trees, public seating and an activity zone supporting outdoor dining. Left with a network of narrow pathways, relics of the area’s light industrial past, pedestrians were forced to squeeze by cars. New paths have more than doubled in width, from 1.6 metres to 3.8 metres on the northern side, and from 2.3 metres to 5.5 metres on the southern, creating a safe and pedestrian-friendly area. New street furniture dots the space, outdoor dining capacity is increased, native trees and shrubs have been extensively planted, and a Ray Haydon sculpture graces the street.

“It’s a beautiful and welcoming space that can only add to the area’s quality reputation,” says Waitematā Local Board chair, Pippa Coom. “Teed St and Newmarket are premier shopping venues, so continuing to create more people-friendly, accessible spaces is critical to our shopper experience.” p


Two local schools are celebrating more sporting success. St Cuthbert’s College 2017 Year 13 student and Black Stick, Madi Doar, was named Young Sportswoman of the Year at the 27th annual College Sport Auckland Young Sportsperson of the Year awards in late November. Doar could not be at the awards herself, as she was away preparing for the Black Sticks Women’s World League semi-final against England. Her award was accepted on her behalf

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the village

passion for rowing that has not left.” A member of the Auckland Blues rowing squad in 2017, O’Brien’s achievements on the water include gold at the North Island Secondary Schools for Novice 8+, and silver for Novice 4+. In early 2017, a talk by Harvard Unversity at Baradene led to O’Brien exploring her options to study overseas. “I started by searching American university websites and emailing coaches. Several replied and gave me valuable advice as to how to go about the application process.” After sitting her US-required SAT exams in Auckland, O’Brien was offered two scholarships — to San Diego State University and to Boston University; ultimately choosing Boston. p


by her sister, Katie, herself an awards finalist for hockey. Both girls, not surprisingly, play for the school’s 1st XI hockey team, which won the girls’ 2017 national secondary school competition, the Federation Cup. Also celebrating on the night was Saint Kentigern College — triathlete Daniel Whitburn was named Young Sportsman of the Year. And congratulations too to Baradene College of the Sacred Heart’s Ruby O’Brien, who has won a rowing scholarship to Boston University. Overcoming a broken ankle in her first season of rowing, O’Brien says once she regained her fitness, “it led to a

King’s College achieved a new record in sales with its 14th annual Art Sale. With 212 artists exhibiting close to 1500 artworks across a range of media, sales of more than $400,000 were achieved, with all profits going directly to the school. Organised by King’s Friends’ Association, the event also included 55 student exhibitors, as well as 99 artists new to the event. “All the hard work proved worthwhile and Art Sale 2017 was an absolute blast,” says Art Sale organiser Sara Wetherall, who headed an event team of 50 volunteers. “Great art, great people – the whole team feels very proud of the event.” Over the Art Sale weekend, browsers could purchase the new

the hobson 19

the village

Opposite: Spring Light by Ingrid Delamore. Above: Arts patron Sir James Wallace with students at the opening night event. of the King's College Art Sale.

addition of an “art box” to take home smaller pieces, including jewellery and ceramics; while a special “Grandparents High Tea” at the onsite cafe proved popular. p

BUILDING SIGHTS IN NEWMARKET It’s business as usual for many of the retailers at 277 in Newmarket even as work begins around them on the two-year building program to create a new centre, which will straddle 277, its former outdoor parking area on Morrow St, and 309 Broadway, the former site of Farmers. A spokesperson for the Scentre Group (Westfield’s parent company) says that while resource consents have been granted for the development, only enabling works are now underway, and it’s business as usual for the shopping centre. Scentre will not

comment on tenancies in its new, $825m development, saying only that it’s premature to be announcing any leases. David Jones is one major retailer rumoured to be part of the new mall, which will have 78,000m2 of floor space over several levels, spanning Broadway, Morrow St and Gillies Ave, as well as the land at 309 Broadway, which will be connected via an airbridge. One 277 retailer, Bed Bath N’ Table, has left and is believed to be reopening at 360 Remuera Rd, while the carpark has been reconfigured and the outdoor parking is no longer accessible. p

NEW TEAM AT RBA The Remuera Business Assocation has made two new appointments to replace its former manager, Laura Carr, who left the role after seven years. Cecilia Ngo has been appointed business

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We are excited to announce the latest addition to our Stylist team - Paul Dean. An accomplished senior stylist with over 25 years of industry experience here in New-Zealand. With numerous industry awards under his belt, Paul first achieved award status when he won Northern Hairdresser of the Year at the age of 23. At the time, he was the youngest entrant to have ever placed! His career has gone from strength to strength since. He has been instrumental in designing and leading training programmes at NZ’s leading hairdressing academy here in Auckland and is a master educator in his field. We are super excited that Paul has chosen to join our team as our Premium Stylist and he brings with him a huge wealth of experience and expertise. To make a booking with Paul, simply call, email or book online through either our website or Facebook page. /

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development manager, supported by Shelley McArthur in a parttime administrative role. An alumnus of the University of Auckland with a degree in property, Ngo (above, prepping for Remuera’s Christmas events) has worked in commercial property management and marketing for the Hugh Green Group, and led a major refurbishment project for the Flight Centre Travel Group. p


Congratulations to Meadowbank resident Claudia Gibb, above, winner of a major US book award. Gibb’s children’s book, Minty Wants to go to New York City, won the silver medal in the Environmental Issues category in the American Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Illustrated by Camila Abandono, Minty is a whale of a tale about a blue whale who seeks adventure, and travels from New Zealand

the village

to New York across many of the world’s oceans.Open to authors who publish in the US market, the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards bring recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and have over 40 categories. p

CHORUS OF APPROVAL Clan MacDougall tartan now covers the Chorus cabinet on the corner of St Stephens Ave and Takutai St, Parnell, courtesy of artist Janet Williams. Chorus supports the anti-graffiti beautification by giving artists the materials to create the works. See more cabinet art at p

Meet Your Reps


ontinuing with our series profiling local board members, Mary Fitzgerald meets Ōrākei Local Board chair, Colin Davis. Davis has a proud history of public sector governance, working as a local government sector manager and administrator, and serving terms as an Auckland City councillor, Eastern Bays Community Board member and chair, and Ōrākei Local Board member before taking the chair last year. He has also served as a judicial Justice of the Peace sitting in Auckland’s District Courts, president of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, and is chair of the Auckland Library Heritage Trust.

Why did you stand for this position? I have a genuine interest in helping our local community. With my background and public body experience and local knowledge, I believe I can make a difference in representing the local board’s communities – it’s my way of contributing to a better Auckland. What board portfolios are you responsible for? My role as chair is broad and I take an active interest in all board portfolios. My portfolios are heritage, libraries, arts and local events, such as the ANZAC Day commemoration. I also attend community events and meetings of residents’ and business associations, and other community groups. Since being elected what do you consider to be the top two things you have achieved in your role? There are many achievements I am proud of. The first that comes to mind is the Ōrākei Board Plan, which publicly shares our commitment to delivering on local initiatives that help make our local area a great place to live. A recent example is the completion of the Stonefields heritage walking trail. Secondly, the renewed opportunity to implement and fund the Ōrākei Basin Management Plan, which had been approved in 2009, and refreshing the terms of reference for the Ōrākei Basin Advisory Group. There is a concentrated effort and additional funding to improve the Basin and its facilities.

What top four things do you intend to achieve in the time remaining in your role? With the approval of our 2017 Local Board Plan, we can start implementing the plan’s identified initiatives, and budget for them. It is my priority to ensure these are worked on and realised for the Orākei communities. Key initiatives include continuing to develop our parks and reserves; improving our current facilities and public meeting places; ensuring our natural environment is protected and maintained; and successful advocacy and funding for the proposed links to the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared pathway. Tell us something about yourself that will surprise your community. In 2016, I was appointed a Knight of the international Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (KHS), invested by the Catholic Bishop of Auckland at St Patrick’s Cathedral. I hold this appointment in high regard and it is one of the important moments in my life. If you were Prime Minister, what would you do to improve Auckland? Auckland is growing rapidly. It is something I’m both excited and equally concerned about. Auckland’s urban sprawl, and the infrastructure needed to support the growth, is a major challenge. We need to ensure we are growing in the right areas and not encroaching productive farm land. As Prime Minister, I’d work closely with our mayor to ensure Auckland's environment is protected, while recognising that the rapid growth of the population, and the changing demographics, will require large investment in infrastructure, needing to be funded not just from rates revenue. What is your favourite escape in Auckland? Onetangi Beach – it is without doubt one of Waiheke’s most beautiful bays and the perfect place to sit back with a good book and relax. Tell us something about your family. Family is at the core of everything I do and an essential part of my life. I have been married to Alison for 46 years – we have a daughter Julia, and teenage grandson Russell, who is a student at Sacred Heart College. p

the hobson 22

the councillors



take this opportunity to wish readers a very Happy New Year. Let’s hope it’s a better year for Auckland Council too. Last month I remarked on the growing unpopularity of the Super City and its ‘council controlled’ Auckland Transport, and predicted the new government sooner or later will have to do something about it. Auckland Transport (AT) especially has become a lightning rod for public discontent. Easily the majority of the complaints I receive as a councillor relate to AT’s failings. As I mentioned last month, there is growing frustration across my ward, from Westmere to Parnell, at AT’s interpretation of what ‘public consultation’ means, especially in relation to cycleways and the removal of on-street car parks. What has happened at Grey Lynn is particularly unfortunate. Back in 2016 (against the advice of myself and the Waitematā Local Board), AT log-rolled through the cycleway consultation process during the local body election interregnum. There was little apparent willingness to take into account community views. I know, because I actually tried to participate, suggesting to AT officers that they trial a protected cycleway down the median strip in the centre of the road. This approach is used successfully overseas and does not impinge on car parks or traffic lanes. It’s a smart use of a very limited resource. But the AT people were not interested, it seems they had already made up their minds. Now, cycleway construction in Grey Lynn and Westmere has raised a firestorm of opposition. Something similar is likely to happen in Parnell too if AT does not change its approach. AT is proposing cycle lanes for both sides of Gladstone Rd, which will take out a lot of parking, some of it vital for the small retailers, and important for visitors to the Rose Gardens and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This is causing major concern for local residents, represented by the Parnell Community Committee and the Parnell Business Association. At the same time AT is planning major changes to parking rules, ‘parking improvements’, for the oldest parts of Parnell. Residents with no off-street parking are very worried about losing the right to park outside their homes. I attended the recent public consultation for local residents held in the annex of the Cathedral. AT was represented by a personable, polite man, but I soon learned he was under strict orders from a committee of AT bureaucrats who apparently had very firm ideas on what they intended to do. That, I pointed out to him, is not the legal meaning of consultation – which is one has to be prepared to listen and to change one’s mind. I hope he does listen or rather the committee of bureaucrats he answers to does, otherwise Parnell is likely to see a repetition of the strife we are seeing in Grey Lynn. This is all avoidable. Auckland Transport, after much trial and error, has developed residential parking schemes in St Mary’s Bay and Freemans Bay, which work well. It bemuses me why they just don’t apply similar rules to Parnell. This will solve the main concern for residents, losing their parks outside their homes. As I have reminded AT officers on numerous occasions, some parts of Auckland, mainly around the inner city, were built in the 19th century, before the invention of the motorcar. Other more outer

suburbs were built because of the motorcar. One size does not fit all. Another concern is AT’s nine-month stopwork at Parnell Station, where. despite the station not being anywhere near complete, and way-finding signage to the Museum non-existent for visitors from the city, patronage is up by a third to 1833 boardings per week as at October. A collective of artists, Te Tuhi Centre for Arts, has recently expressed interest in leasing the historic station building as a studio but needs AT to complete construction of the platform stairs and connect services. The precast concrete staircases have been lying at the site for so long now that they are barely visible in the long grass and weeds that have grown up around them. Meanwhile, work on the proposed connecting walkway to Nicholls Lane and Stanley St — essential for those commuting to the university — that AT promised would be completed late in December has not even started at the time of writing. Happily for AT and all the rest of us, the Auckland Transport board has appointed a new chief executive. It is my hope Shane Ellison will be the proverbial new broom who will bring about a much-needed culture change at Auckland Transport. Now that would be a great New Year present for everyone. p Mike Lee is the Councillor for Auckland representing the Waitematā and Gulf ward



appy New Year. I trust 2018 will start well for you, your friends and family. In later January as the traditional holiday season draws to a close, it will be time for school again. Auckland Transport works very hard with local schools to develop travel plans that encourage Walking School Buses, road safety and traffic calming around schools. Walking School Buses assist by reducing traffic congestion in and around schools but also promote healthy options for the students (and the parents who walk with them). If you want to know what options you have for your local school, please either contact the school direct, email or go to and search for “travelwise”. To those who have to drive in and around our local schools please take extra care, especially at the beginning of the year. It is worth remembering that the speed around schools is a MAXIMUM of 40kms, and with the new intake of students starting school locally, that’s a lot of little people going in and out of the school gates every day. It takes a while for them to learn how to be safe in the school environment. One of the specific school-based transport projects I am working on is assisting King’s School in Remuera with a drop off zone on Portland Rd. They have worked hard to develop a staged student collection time, to reduce traffic in the very busy intersection of Remuera and Portland roads. But as their new building comes to completion, an opportunity to progress this has emerged . . . I’ll keep you posted.

the hobson 24

With all the fine summer weather, it’s hard to even think about winter, wet weather and the problems associated with driving during heavy rain. But I haven’t forgotten, and am pleased to advise that following my success in addressing flooding mitigation work on Tamaki Drive, I have had a win to address another long-standing flooding issue, this time on Portland Rd. This area has flooded periodically since at least the 1960s. The lower part of Portland Rd, which borders Waitaramoa Reserve, lies within a floodplain. The road level in this part of the road is lower than the level of the higher tides. Flooding occurs when the rainfall coincides with the higher tides, and the rainwater cannot flow into the sea. Previous attempts to fix the problem — such as installing flood gates and improvements to the wetlands in Desley Simpson at King's School with headmaster Tony Sissons, right, and Auckland Transport's Randhir Karma Waitaramoa Reserve — have improved the situation by reducing the annual budgeting process, I hope you will have your say on projects frequency of flooding as experienced in the 1960s. But flooding important to you. Ensuring that this sort of infrastructure is still occurs, and when it does, it causes havoc, making this section properly attended to is a core issue for me, and this is why I’ve of Portland Rd almost impossible for vehicles to drive through. been happy to champion improvements such as this, Tamaki Dr’s The Healthy Waters budget (under which works like this fall) is flooding mitigation and the Central Interceptor wastewater project approved by the mayor and councillors. Their staff are preparing a which will connect to the Ōrākei Interceptor, greatly increasing business case that recommends additional options other than just the capacity of the central Auckland wastewater network and the flood gates. Once the business case is finalised, the preliminary reducing the risk of overflows. design work can start in this financial year and within the current Email me: Facebook: budget. I’ll be following this work with interest as it progresses, Desley Simpson p as it will greatly improve the quality of life for residents and other users of Portland Rd. Desley Simpson is the Councillor for Auckland representing the As we move into the later stages of the Council’s 10-year Ōrākei ward

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the hobson 25

the politicians




e’d all take something for nothing if we thought it were real, but the government’s assault on school donations is an assault on our culture of generosity. The Epsom electorate at its best comes out when it’s time to support our schools. Try the Kohia Terrace pub quiz, the Auckland Grammar gala, or the Cornwall Park District School fair for a few examples, if you’d like to see local people get behind their kids. If you’d like to see how we get behind other people’s kids, you can’t go past the InZone Project. I say other people’s kids, because InZone, by definition, is about giving students who don’t live in the Auckland Grammar or Epsom Girls’ zones a place to live where they can attend those schools. It would take a better writer than me to properly capture what InZone has done for dozens of Māori and Pacifika kids over the past six years, so I’ll just say it’s amazing. What’s interesting is the support it gets from the electorate, people who themselves cannot benefit from the scheme. Local names like Whineray, George and Mace are among its board and supporters. Then there’s government-enforced benevolence, where higher incomes mean Epsom residents tend to pay above-average taxes, and get less education funding under the decile system (which the previous government was attempting to remove). We in the Epsom electorate are a benevolent bunch when it comes to education, but the new government’s policy of ending school donations is a direct assault on this culture of generosity. The difficulty starts with how they’d like to do it. They couldn’t simply ban donations because it’s impossible to stop people giving to their children’s school. What would count? Donating for stationery? What if your child wants to do calligraphy with special brushes, or a class wants to visit the museum? The ‘donation police’ would cost more than the donations. So, the Education Minister has come up with an overly simple solution, to give schools $150 per pupil, if they don’t seek a per pupil donation. Otherwise, nada. For schools whose recommended donation is less than $150, this is a major windfall. For most Epsom schools, it is effectively a new tax. The $150 has to come out of the education budget, so the schools that don’t qualify will be paying for the ones that do. Epsom schools will be $150 per kid worse off as a result of this policy. The government would do better to take on board our values, rather than more of our money. I understand some readers will find this is all a bit mean-spirited. Fair enough. There are much greater needs outside of Epsom and we (on average) have a greater ability to pay, but the money is not ultimately the point. It is values and culture. The government has made a regrettable statement about its values with this policy. We already have a system of higher taxes on higher incomes, and we further compensate income differences with the decile system. A policy that ignores all that redistribution, then puts another tax on families for trying to support their schools is a small sign of where this government’s values lie, but is very telling one all the same. On a lighter note, thank you for reading these columns this past year. I hope that you and yours enjoyed a safe and merry Christmas, and have a prosperous New Year.


hope you’re reading this column during a great holiday perhaps with a glass of wine. Congratulations to The Hobson for carrying on successfully through another year, with growing readership. By the time The Hobson hits my letterbox in Remuera, I’ll have returned from Parliament, which rises on the 21st, and will probably be trying to tidy the house for Christmas. Our old bungalow always needs a bit of painting somewhere. Our favourite local adventure is to walk the dog, Langer (named by my fatherin-law after the Aussie cricketer), up Mt Hobson. Notwithstanding the rank grass, looking across our beautiful city from that vantage point never fails to inspire. But we’re not totally parochial. A run up to Achilles Point and back from Kohi beach is a good option, followed by a swim out to the buoy at high tide. Even a simple walk down to Newmarket, to one of the cafes on Teed or Osborne streets, is not to be despised. For the past few years we’ve been in the habit of tenting for a week at Tawharanui Regional Park with some friends. It’s a gorgeous piece of our coastline that I’d recommend visiting if you have the time. It’s predator free, so the birds are everywhere. I saw some takahe last time, but have yet to see a kiwi. Maybe this year. And, of course, while I swim and wrangle kids, I’ll be thinking about how to approach the political challenges of 2018. As tertiary education spokesperson, I’ll be watching how the sector handles the last-minute introduction of free fees for the first year of tertiary study. It may be that fees provide a barrier to tertiary education for some, notwithstanding the current subsidies which average around 80 per cent, including interest free loans. Though no evidence of this has been provided. Extra support could have been provided for those most in need. Instead, we have scarce education resources being spread everywhere – including to the sons and daughters of the richest New Zealanders, who will go on to earn high incomes and can easily contribute something to the cost of their education. Meantime, my concern is that since all the extra money has been devoted to extra student support, it’s difficult to see how there will be much left to ensure that the sector remains strong and effective, and that it builds on its high international reputation. Faced with intense international competition, our leading universities are struggling to hold their rankings. It will take careful investment in quality to arrest a downwards trend, and unless the new government has indeed found the magic money tree, I struggle to see how they will do it, given the choices they have already made. We’ll be watching closely and advocating for more balanced spending. In the meantime, I hope you had a merry Christmas, and I wish you a Happy New Year. Paul Goldsmith is a National list MP, based in Epsom.

David Seymour is the MP for Epsom. the hobson 26

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Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy New Year! Parnell has one of the highest dog-to-person ratios in Auckland and that number will increase with Parnell's dog-themed activities. February heralds the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog, and Parnell could not be more excited about it. Artists and celebrities are designing and creating ‘Dogs of Art’ and as in previous years, these works of art will be exhibited throughout Parnell for two weeks and then auctioned at Mossgreen-Webb’s, with profits from the auction going to the Starship Foundation National Air Ambulance Service. 2018 will be the third year in a row Parnell celebrates Chinese New Year. For the past two years the Parnell Business Association has hosted Chinese New Year, in celebration of the Year of the Monkey, and then the Rooster. Dogs are playful, loyal, fun loving, true members of the family, so 2018 will be an exciting year for all puppy lovers! The feeling that dogs emote is hard to beat, and no doubt the community will love getting involved in all the events that Parnell will have to offer during this celebratory time. The 20 exclusive ‘Dogs of Art’ will be displayed in Parnell for two weeks from February 17, through to March 4. We invite all those who adore dogs and appreciate fine art to enjoy the exhibition, and participate in the auction at Mossgreen-Webb’s, on March 7. Parnell will also host a Cultural Day in Heard Park on February 24, where all can come and enjoy what the Chinese New Year has to offer in terms of vibrancy and performance. It’s a time of year in Parnell where culture, art, creativity and local events collide. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Chinese New Year 2018 – the Year of the Dog. "Puddy the Kuri Dog" by Erin Simpson, is one of the 20 ‘Dogs of Art’ that will be exhibited around Parnell and then auctioned for charity. For more Chinese New Year 2018 event information, visit

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The Forecast, Revisited


s I do each year for this edition, I look to the coming year and provide a set of predictions for what we expect to happen in the financial market. But first, let me self-check on how my predictions were from this time last year. First, exchange rates. Last year I predicted: “. . . we’re highly likely to see US economic growth continuing to recover and indeed broaden. Rising US interest rates will see the US dollar strengthen further from here, and continue to attract even more money flows into the US. Outcome: soft Kiwi this year I am sure!” Sort of a good call, but really only because of the surprising change of our government in September. The Kiwi started the year at about 0.71 (versus the US dollar, USD), and spent the first half of the year range-trading between 0.69 and 0.73. A mid-year surge took it up to 0.75, before the change of government saw it sell off sharply down to 0.68. At the time of writing, it’s hovering on 0.69. I think we will see it slip down toward 0.60 during 2018, as NZ’s political difficulties weigh and the realisation of NZ’s deteriorating fiscal position takes effect. Adding pressure will be continued US economic growth and consequently rising US interest rates, and the strengthening of the USD.

Inflation. For the past couple of years I have predicted “forget about it!” And, for 2016 at least, this was an OK call. NZ registered CPI increases of just 0.3 per cent for the September quarter (annualised) and 1.9 per cent for the year ended 30 September 2017, which does, on the surface appear low. However, the past couple of quarters has seen inflation come in a little higher than expected, with upward pressure being seen in the cost of housing (surprise, surprise), food prices and local government rate rises. Some economists have called for the Reserve Bank to lift the OCR (it has been stuck at 1.75 per cent all year) and adopt a tightening bias. My 2017 prediction for inflation was “Continue to forget about it!,” but I do think I need to be a little less robust for 2018. I now think we will see inflation lift slightly as the tax-and-transfer policies of the Labour-led coalition (including rising minimum wages, free tertiary courses etc) will drive cost-led inflation.

the US has gained a very healthy 17.5 per cent over the year, as economic optimism post the 2016 US election has strengthened. Bad call: the NZ market was equally strong this year, gaining 17.7 per cent (somewhat better than my prediction of US strength “maybe” spilling over to the NZ market). Liquidity and a hunger for yield continued to drive the NZ stockmarket as it has for the past few years. But all good things must come to an end, and I do see choppy waters ahead with concern of government policies building, economic growth slowing and inflation and interest rates rising (albeit slowly). So a brave call, but I think the NZ stock market will struggle to push on much further from current levels. Residential property prices. For the past two years I have monotonously predicted “. . . the conditions for further price increase in 2016/17 and beyond remain . . . strong inward migration flows, population growth in Auckland, and nowhere near enough new dwellings being constructed. Demand continues to exceed supply.” Great calls if I may so, and I don’t yet see a need to change the outlook. I don’t think the government will be able to materially affect these imbalances within the coming year, and possibly not even during its term. When you hear housing minister Phil Twyford talking about the government facilitating the building of an additional 10,000 houses per year, just laugh.

Interest-rates here in NZ. Not a great call last year: “. . . in spite of a sanguine outlook for inflation, and allowing for some pick-up in domestic growth, our interest rates are likely to lift from today’s levels throughout the next year – but not by much.” As in 2016, interest rates across all maturities pretty much declined across the board, contrary to my expectation of some lift. The main driver for this slight decline is the weight of money. The world is still awash with money as central banks everywhere largely remained in liquidity-provision mode. Although NZ’s interest rates are historically low, they’re not as low as those in other countries and so we attract offshore investment flows, which continued to put downward pressure on interest rates. But for 2018, I will dust-off the call from last year as I think it will come right as we begin to see low-quality government policy effected, and the aforementioned rise in inflation and more importantly inflation expectations. Our interest rates are likely to lift from today’s levels throughout the next year – but not by much.

So a mixed scorecard again with my 2017 predictions of financial markets. Now, how about some more interesting predictions: I mentioned last year that the Goff mayoralty in Auckland might see some real weight get behind the campaign to relocate the Ports of Auckland. The idea is so good that NZ First promised that, if elected and in government it would move the port to Whangerei. Well, NZ First was elected and is in the coalition government, but it’s promise has been somewhat watered down with the government only announcing (another) feasibility study on options for the future of the Ports of Auckland. My prediction of strong US and UK economies from Britain exiting the EU and Donald Trump winning the US presidency look to be right, certainly in the case of the USA, although one might argue that the poor showing in the polls by the UK Conservative Party and the consequences for Brexit undermines my view for the UK. I’m still going to claim it as a good call though, as I did state that it (strong growth) might not occur straight away in 2017. Arsenal did not win the English Premier League, rather it finished outside the top four for the first time, but it did win the coveted FA Cup. As I expected, Team New Zealand did prevail in Bermuda with Tuke and Burling succeeding to lift the America’s Cup. Alas, the Nats did not form part of the coalition government in spite of a strong showing in the election. I can only have a negative view of the economic consequences of the policies to be implemented by the Labour-led coalition government. I look forward to writing more on this next year, but this will be a tax-and-transfer government which believes in meddling and interfering, and spending your money better than you know how to. But let’s forget about this for the next month or two and enjoy the summer break. Safe and happy holidays. — Warren Couillault

Stock markets. Last year I said, “For 2017, a Trump presidency will be positive for US growth, which will drive the US sharemarket in particular and might spill over to NZ.” Both a good and bad call if such is possible! Good call: The S&P500 in

Disclaimer: This article does not consider the objectives or situation of any particular investor. It should not be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or product, or to engage in or refrain from engaging in any transaction.

the hobson 30

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the plan

In Revolt Reflecting over the past year, Hamish Firth decides, after due consideration, that he’s had about enough of living under Auckland Council, and it’s time to take matters into our own hands


have decided once and for all, the bureaucracy that is Auckland Council is essentially incompetent, and we should secede from the Super City and become the Borough of Mt Hobson. Not because the Auckland ‘regionwide’ concept is not a good one, not because we are concerned about rates, but because the Council is generally incompetent and it becomes more and more apparent as time goes by. In short, we are not getting value for money, and less so as we each pay more than twice the average rate of an Auckland region dwelling. Let me start local, and work myself to a crescendo at regional level. At the end of my street is a large grassy park. It has been mown by the incumbent council on regular intervals since the Scarborough’s sold off the homestead to the city. Not any more. At the time of writing, the grass was knee high and has not been mowed since who knows when. Having walked through these meadows, I have paused to wonder why. Was it too wet? No. Had it been too wet? No. Had someone forgotten? Probably not. Have services been cut back and rates increased? Yes. But I thought deeper, and realised there must be a more cunning plan than decay by neglect. And there it was right in front of me! Council has decided to increase revenue by growing hay. Hay they will harvest and sell to the horsey folk in Karaka. Genius, and how silly of me to doubt their abilities! I am sure the Council communications team will tell us it’s about biological diversity. That appropriate consultation was undertaken, but all I can hear is Cat Stevens singing; “Where will the children play?” In the greater scheme, the grass is a small issue, but symbolic of the level of service we are now seeing and why there is such a low opinion of the Council and their delivery of services. Really, how hard is it to mow a park on a regular basis? Of all the core services, which is more visible if not attended to? “Cut back services and increase costs” could be the new Council motto. Next on my list in the Council family is Auckland Transport. I go to top up my Hop card and the website tells me it can take 72 hours for the money to register on the card. 72 hours! Did Auckland Transport sign up this system when now-convicted former managers were in charge, or did the French company who put in the system see a fool coming from a mile away? When I top up my TAB account, they confirm and update my account in seconds. I contacted good friends in London, who said as long as they top up their version of Hop, the Oyster card, by 11.30pm, it will be there by 4.30am the next morning. I have the Auckland Transport excuse ready: “I was not here when that policy was put in place.” Really, Auckland Transport, you purchased an outdated system with our money and the best you can do is make us wait up to 72 hours before the money registers. Where does it go in the interim. as it sure isn’t in my account? It’s 2017, not 1977. We are not waiting for the cheque to clear. I am just getting warmed up, ladies and gentleman. Recently it was made public that there has been a big rise in Council of salaries $200,000-plus, and that over 2300 of the

11,800 greater Council staff earn over $100,000. Mike Lee, our local Waitematā ward councillor, summed this up neatly when he said: “Council senior staff have always been diligent in budgeting very generous pay increases for themselves”. Let’s put aside the figures for a moment and abide by the notion that to get good staff, you must pay them well. What I want is productivity (output) and accountability (fixing things as soon as they go wrong). Try and get a Council officer to return your email or phone call. At my planning consultancy, we have resorted to cc’ing managers after four days of no response from staff. Stand by the doors at 3.58pm, and there is a stampede of human flesh clocking out for the day. I sometimes wonder if they ever clock in. There’s a sign at the front counter of the planning department at Council: “Abuse will not be tolerated.” While the sign is right, and the front of house staff are doing the best they can to direct the traffic, it is only human nature to be angry with incompetence that occurs behind the scenes — if your building consent is three months late and they’ve lost the paperwork for the second time (true story), then you are not going to be whistling “Dixie”, are you? Last month there was a mea culpa from Council on building consent processing. Council acknowledged there was an issue and things were taking too long. Really, you tell us now? Here is what they don’t tell you: 1) When you “lodge” your building consent it sits in an admin pile until someone can register it. 2) Once this is done it is checked for completeness – a good process, but this can take up to 10 days after you have dropped it off. 3) Once it makes it into the system, it usually sits for another 15 days before someone responds to you. But all the departments involved do not do this at once. They do it one after the other, which means if it goes on hold the first time someone needs something — like more information — from you, you may not become aware of the additional requirements for 10 further days. 4) You finally add the required information — which will be different depending on the officer you get — and then it goes to admin for processing. Add another week for this at least. So Council describes one thing, and the customer experience is entirely different. You know there is more juice to this. Council said there was an issue with staff leaving, but they had a cunning plan to solve this problem. “Interns and graduates have been brought in to make up for the staffing shortfall”. Ahhhhh – now that’s a solution. Untrained and inexperienced labour will fix the problem. Shoot me now. Remember “Consenting Made Easy”? You may have heard of this now-failed project, launched by Council some four years ago. They acknowledged that consenting could be better, and embarked on seconding staff to have a talk and action fest. I got to provide critical comment. Council staff were surprised when I said that I felt absolute relief when we finally got approvals. I said

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Alice Ewan-Fitzgerald and dog Molly navigate Little Rangitoto Park before Council's contractors apologised, and started the mowers again. Photo by Mary Fitzgerald

their concept was great in theory, but would be let down because the wrong staff were in place. And guess what? The Consenting Made Easy project has been quietly dropped. Consenting Made Hard continues. Wrong people, in the wrong place. On RNZ National recently, a sheep breeder said he has stopped trying to eliminate foot rot by treating individual sheep. Rather, he stops breeding from those sheep. Council could take a cue from him, and cull the management sheep with foot rot. It would result in a better flock. Admittedly, Council is often up against it. They cannot win either way – too much consultation or not enough. To combat this. they employ communications staff — 234 at a cost of $45m per year, to make sure the messages to us are clear. In the real world, look at Fletcher Building. With ongoing issues, the CEO left with immediate effect, as did many of the senior management team. They didn’t walk the plank after one bad announcement or even two, but after three, changes were made. Would that ever happen at Auckland Council? It never has and probably never will. And we pay for it every day. It feels like the private sector, and you and me the ratepayers, are from Mars, and Auckland Council is from Venus. Such is the difference in approach and delivery. It is time to shine the spotlight on all of these issues (and I am sure you have more) in the strongest way possible. I think many of us see problems or issues as an opportunity to grow or change; to get positive growth out of a negative situation. Alas, that does not appear to be the case within Council. I must caveat this with noting there are good people who work

hard at Council. One is Rob Abbott, who recently stepped down as the manager of liquor licencing. Rob communicated with the industry, updating us on changes to policy in a clear and concise way. I sent him an email on his last day thanking him for guiding us through the legislative change and providing sound management and guidance. He came back and appreciated my comments but advised that he got little praise in his job. Classic. Council do not praise those doing a good job, nor correct those doing a sub-par job. As such, the good ones leave and the less than satisfactory know it is a place to get away with doing a substandard job, and no one really cares. We are coming to an end, the wine bottle is low and the clock is high. As mentioned earlier, each of us pays twice the average rate for a similar dwelling in the Auckland region. So if we broke away from the current Council beast and halved our rates, we would get the same service as we get now. Just think of the level of service we would get if we left the rates the same! To celebrate the new borough’s conception, I envisage our first mayor to be Desley Simpson, our esteemed Ōrakei ward councillor. The CEO would be housing strategist Leonie Freeman. Google her credentials and check her solution to the housing crisis ( Her name will be synonymous with the housing crisis solution in 10 years’ time. You read it here first — but if only the politicians will get on board to what is a great idea. The Borough of Mt Hobson may not be the best name, but it is a marker. Next year we will have our first vote on what the name of our new entity should be. Think about it as you enjoy food, family and a bit of down time this summer. p

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the suburbanist

On Yer Bike


ate in October, under the cover of darkness, a swarm of yellow and black bikes, bearing the name OnzO, descended on Auckland city. No-one knows quite where they came from or where they’ve gone – although, ‘China’ and ‘the suburbs’ are the current favourite answers. Their immediate arrival was accompanied by an app and a Facebook page (naturally) that explained how to use this latest incarnation of a bike share scheme. You register by downloading their app and entering your credit card details. You are charged a refundable $10 deposit and you get a bonus $10 credit for signing up. So far, so cheap! Each bike has a QR code which you scan to unlock it and you’re on your way. Once you’re done, you leave it where someone else can find it. So far, so easy! 25 cents buys you 15 minutes. The bikes don’t have gears, so plan your trip. If only it were so easy. At the moment, the pros outweigh the cons but the cons are growing – not just here but worldwide. Initially, the OnzO bikes came with their own helmets, but they are disappearing fast so you might have to bring your own. The Greater Auckland site recently noticed that there were fewer and fewer around the CBD, and this was confirmed by looking at the map on the app that showed where they were. They seem to be spreading out to the suburbs, which is a good thing – a democratisation of the sharing economy. But zooming in on many locations reveals bikes that are down long driveways or in backyards; people have been commandeering them for their own use, ensuring that a bike will be available for them whenever they need it. It’s the privatisation of public transport. This is not just a local phenomenon. Helen Pidd, writing in The Guardian about the Mobike initiative in Manchester, noticed a lot of bikes trashed or in the canal, two weeks after that bike share launched. She used the app and was incensed to see the bike she had located locked away in a backyard. She knocked on the door and the resident “looked surprised and

said, no, it was his, and anyway, he needed it later. I explained that was not how the system worked, that the bikes were public, and that if everyone was as selfish as him the whole thing would collapse. He rolled his eyes and told me I would be trespassing if I dared try to fetch it.” Where demand is lopsided, supply solutions are needed, and they aren’t always environmentally friendly. In bigger cities, bike redistribution causes major headaches. In New York, commuters cycle into Manhattan, closely followed by huge box trucks that collect the bikes and take them back out to Brooklyn and Queens to catch the next wave. In the evening, the trucks do the reverse. In China, where bike sharing has really taken off, parking the bikes and storing them has become an issue. The large number of cycles on Chinese streets have led to scenes of clogged sidewalks no longer fit for pedestrians, and piles of mangled bikes that have been illegally parked. Here they have the opposite problem to New York: too much supply and not enough demand. In the south-eastern city of Xiamen, there is a mangled pile of bicycles covering an area roughly the size of a football pitch, and so high that cranes are needed to reach the top; these are the cast-offs from the boom and bust of China’s bike sharing industry. The two biggest players in China are Mobike and Ofo. Number three, Bluegogo, with $90m in funding and 700,000 bikes, couldn’t compete and went bankrupt recently. Another operator shut down after 90 per cent of its 1200 bikes were stolen six months after launch. The big companies won’t make money out of rentals, but in the interest they earn from underutilised customer deposits, mobile advertising in the spokes of the wheels and the information they collect from their users. Like so many contemporary start-ups, the bike is not the product, it is simply the vehicle that delivers the real gold: data. — Tommy Honey

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the second act

A Fusion New Year


am half Asian, half Pākehā. But this is a fairly recent thing. I was born to a Japanese mother, and until say, 10 years or so ago, I had always thought of myself as half-Japanese. When kids at school found out Mum was Japanese — a fact of which I was, and am, extremely proud — some would tease and goad me with nicknames like “yellow belly”. I was never bothered much as I loved drawing from that part of my culture, which I felt gave me a sense of identity, as I was never sure what my other side brought me culturally. As kids playing on a suburban street, a neighbour once said accusingly “My mum said your mum eats raw fish”. I was bewildered that this could be a problem. We ate fish both raw for Mum, and crumbed and fried for Dad, a corned beef-and-boiled-potatoes sort of guy. Dad is Pākehā, not that we said that back then. Confusingly, we used terms like “European” or “Caucasian” despite that side having no recent links to either Europe, or indeed Asia. Back then, saying Pākehā meant an uncomfortable self-referencing to Māori, and no one seemed to be into that in the 60s and 70s, let me tell you. Because my mixed race did not give an immediate snapshot of my identity, I could pass as a little bit Māori, but not too much for this to be a real social problem for me. When I wasn’t called “the yellow peril” and such like, some white kids would say I was a “waka blonde”. Looking “a little bit Maori but not too much for this to be a social problem” worked in my favour in the 90s, when there was a cultural awakening to our bi-culturalism. And in the last decade, being “enough Asian” yet enough “not Asian” has also worked in my favour, as Auckland has turned on to the fact that whether it likes it or not, “Asians” will be a dominating force in its multicultural civic identity, economic future and personal familial dynamics. I’m not sure at which point I stopped being part Japanese and became part Asian. Will all those future Aucklanders of mixed raced parentage be lumped in the same category as me — Asian or at least “a bit Asian”?

So now I’m half-Asian, a new state of being which I am just going with, do I get to blend into events with the other Asians – Diwali (Indians are counted as part of the Asian community) and Chinese New Year? I definitely should get VIP treatment at the Lantern Festival! Do I let the cat out of the bag that I don’t have a lot in common culturally with Indians? Or even with Chinese to be honest, bar the fact that I was brought up eating rice. I am hoping Auckland continues to embrace Chinese New Year — or, if you’re not Chinese Asian, the Lunar New Year — not just as a nod to our Chinese, but for what it represents. Rather than the anti-climatic calendar New Year, with its heavy drinking and resolutions never to be met, Chinese New Year is a far more civilised 15 days of celebrating, feasting and deeply connecting with family and community. As a spring festival in China, it is a time of sweeping away the past and welcoming symbolic new beginnings. We could all do with a bit of that. As I have reinvented myself as “half-Asian,” Auckland too has a tremendous opportunity to reinvent itself. We have serious issues and divides in this Super City of ours. While we no longer have a Chinatown, thank goodness, or indeed Koreatown and Japantown, as they do in so many US cities, we are not as egalitarian as we like to think we are. It used to be that Aucklanders were accused of not recognising anything south of the Bombay Hills, but for so many it seems that Sylvia Park is now the natural cutoff point. People talk of South Auckland as a mythical place where there may be ethnic communities reminiscent of Brotown or even Funkytown. But this is Auckland. And what’s more, as we face a future where one-third of our residents will draw from an Asian identity, it’s time to drop problematic celebrations like Guy Fawkes and fully embrace Chinese/Lunar New Year as a celebration,not for them but for us. In my second act, I’m not only taking on Chinese New Year with gusto, but fully intend to embrace Matariki with the same spirit. But that’s a story for another day. — Sandy Burgham

Yes, even Mahé needs a navigator. J U S T N O T O N T H E W AT E R


H O B S O N W E A LT H .C O. N Z | 0 8 0 0 74 2 7 3 7 Hobson Wealth Partners Limited (FSP29782), is an NZX Advising Firm. The disclosure statement for Hobson Wealth Partners is available upon request, free of charge.

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the year of the dog

My Life as a Dog In the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. The 11th of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, the dog symbolises loyalty and honesty. People born in a dog year are said to possess both those attributes, plus they’re good-natured, friendly, clever and courageous. To mark the Year of the Dog, we asked one of Parnell’s most notable canines, Sparky, to tell us a little about himself. Sparky, a Cairn terrier, is certainly loyal, honest — mostly — and courageous. And he’s also blessed with extraordinary luck, escaping life-threatening situations but surviving, albeit on three legs, to tell the tale. Sparky spoke to Graeme Clark about his adventures so far.


was a pet shop dog, born in captivity. Maybe that’s why I like to run free, I’m wild at heart. As a young dog I was deemed to be too wild for Parnell and my family sent me to a friend’s farm in Northland to straighten me out. It didn’t work and I kept running away. This behaviour stopped briefly when I got caught in a possum trap, deep in the bush up by the Whangarei Heads. Bad karma perhaps? Up to that point I had enjoyed hunting and eating possums. I find they generally taste better after they’ve been buried for a few days. Being stuck in that trap was pure hell. Not only was it excruciatingly painful, but also it became tediously boring after a while. I was there for two weeks in the middle of winter, living off rain water and insects. Nothing to do except to try and work the trap free from its anchor. Eventually I detached the trap, and returned to base, dragging it with me. I was in bad shape and the trapped leg had to go. Losing a leg slowed me down for a while, but I soon perked up, moved back to Parnell and resumed my favourite activities — chasing things, stealing bones, socialising and escaping from custody. I’ve pulled off some daring escapes over the years. I once broke out of a high security dog boarding facility in Drury and stowed away in a car about a mile down the road. That plan was foiled when the driver found me in the back seat and returned me to the dog correctional facility. I got a bad vibe from the commandant, but lots of respect from the inmates. I also got lots of respect from the locals at Ahipara when I rescued a lost family. They had lost their bearings in the Herekino Forest, with nightfall rapidly approaching. I led them out to safety. It was like an old episode of Lassie. Extra rations for me that night.

I’m very fond of the sea, although a few years ago I had a nasty experience at Waihi Beach. I was stooging around the creek at Brighton Reserve when a massive tidal surge came up the beach and washed me up a stream. I was submerged for ages until the mini-tsunami spat me out further inland. My family were distraught. A crowd had gathered and one of the assembled onlookers told them I had probably been sucked back out to sea, and was undoubtedly dead. He was wrong. I was up the road chilling out with a juicy bone on a neighbour’s front lawn. His old dog always had a stash of choice bones under their disused caravan. Commiserations turned to cheers when I joined the search party back at the beach. I’m a happy dog. I love socialising, making new friends, and I can’t resist an open door. My ethos is “a stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet”. On this basis, wandering into someone’s house and making yourself at home isn’t technically a home invasion, even if it involves running around madly, hoovering their pet’s food and taking a memento. I’m a party animal and I’ve gate-crashed lots of posh local events. I love fully catered functions. I walk in the Parnell Rose Gardens most days with my owner. He’s a strange dude with a beard. I think he’s trying to look like me. He’s so unoriginal. I’ve become a tourist attraction in the Rose Gardens and they insist on taking my photograph. I think I’m becoming a cult figure in some foreign countries. Maybe I should charge them. It could be like a tourist tax. I’m always around Parnell, very often on the run, without my family. Say hello if you see me, I love a chat. As told to Graeme Clark

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Sparky portraits by John Crawford (that’s his ‘passport photo’, opposite page).

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the prizewinners

Well Done, Well Played Congratulations to all students who received recognition in subject, service and sports awards at end-of-year prizegiving ceremonies. Here are some of the senior winners at our local schools

Auckland Grammar School Dux: Henry Chen Proxime Accessit: Jacob Lerner Sportsman of the Year: Aaron Wyllie Radford Memorial Cup (all-round effort and performance in a non-mainstream sport): Daniel Ji Burroughs Cup (all-round effort in sport): Ishan Naik Douglas Cup (most outstanding performance in any sport): The 4x50m Senior Freestyle team: Conor Bradding, Owen Chen, Angus Falconer, Leo Tattersfield Turner Cup (all-round participation in school activities): Soul O’Reilly Ian MacKinley Memorial Scholarship (commitment and dedication in school activities): Woojin Wang Torch of Tradition: Jacob Lerner Rope Cup (best all-round young man): Lachlan Grant

Baradene dux Britney Clasper, left, with fellow leaders and award winners, Saskia Whiston and Marijaan Tane

Baradene College of the Sacred Heart The Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne Pendant Supreme Leadership Award: Saskia Whiston Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Cup and Medallion, and Te Taonga o te Manawa Tapu The trophy of the Sacred Heart: Marijaan Tane Dux, and Chan Cup for Outstanding All-Round Achievement: Britney Clasper Proxime Accessit: Laila Grace Dedicatio Diligentiaque Trophy: Vivian Del Carpio Pinto Cup (for celebration of diversity and inclusiveness of all): Holly Vujcic

Saint Kentigern College duces Alyssa Hatton (NCEA) and Joshua Looker (IB)

Becky Sorenson Memorial Cup (for maturity of thought and generosity): Jessica Day

Epsom Girls Grammar School As part of its 100th celebrations, the 2017 senior prizegiving included special awards to mark the centenary.

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Epsom Girls Grammar School Student Centenary Scholarship (jointly funded by the Old Girls’ Association, with the support of the Chenery Memorial Trust and donations): Angeline Xiao (Year 11) Ellie Eastwood (Year 12) Jacqueline Yu (Year 13) The Past Principals’ Centennial Scholarship for Tertiary Study: Emma Chisholm

the prizewinners

The Auckland RSA Joyce Tyler Memorial Scholarship (joint), Rudal Holmden Scholarship for History: Katherine Beyer Kathleen Mandeno Scholarship: Jessie Zhang Dux, John Williamson Scholarship: Jayna Patel Proxime Accessit, John Williamson Scholarship, Woolf Fisher Memorial Scholar: Sandani Senanayake

King’s College Old Collegians’ Prize for Dux of the College: Michael Smith Taylor Cups for Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year: Daniel Williamson and Rose Dickson Foster Prize (best all-round ability, male student): Christopher Scholtens Lawry Prize (best all-round ability, female student): Geneva Roy Harry Maisey Prize (all-round ability): Harrison Langrell-Read Stan Empson Prize (all-round ability, boarder): Cameron Mataira Philip Baird Prize (all-round ability): Caitlin Alison Lloyd Seabrook Memorial Prize for the Arts: Rohith Pillai 2018 Leaders Head Boy: Weropuna Witika Head Girl: Harriet Butt Deputy Head Prefects: Emilia Legget, Cameron Harlock, Nicholas Johnson, Hari Kukreja

King’s School Foster Cup for Loyalty to the Ideals of King’s School: Henry Barrell Glenie Cup for All-Round Performance (Year 6): Mithun Ramassh Baker Cup - Commitment to King’s School: Nicholas Stuart

D G E Brown Plate and Award for All-Round Performance in Year 7: Rayan Ramanathan Major Memorial Cup: Ethan Henderson Greg Whitecliffe Cup for Supreme Art: Jules Canal Walker Trophy for Preparatory School Fixtures: Nicholas Tapper Kay Award for Sportsmanship: Jack Elliott Worsp Citizenship Cup: Jack Trusler Hsu Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Music: Cole Barfoot J S Lazarus Trophy: Oliver Woodhams

King’s School Old Boys’ Cup: Haytham Aumua Hellaby Cup for All Round Performance: Angus Stevens Victor Ludorum Trophy for Top Sportsman: Sebastian Ricketts Headmaster’s Prize for Head Boy: Charles Couillault The Pengelly Trophy, Dux 2017: Matthew Griffiths

St Cuthbert’s College MIDDLE SCHOOL Year 8 Prize for Academic Excellence: Brena Merz Sydney Old Girls’ Award for Citizenship and All-Round Excellence: Tingmeng Wang Outstanding Achievement in Sport Award: Jaime Lewis SENIOR SCHOOL Duces: Olivia Bennett Alexandra Briscoe

Old Girls’ Award for Citizenship: Annabelle Lindberg Award for Outstanding International Sports Peformance: Madison Doar, Bernadette Doyle, Estella Matthewson Student Council Award for Support and Dedication to the College: Laura Schnauer Cup for Y13 student most respected by her year group: Angela Pan Special Award for Head Girl: Monique Pitt

Above: cups at the King's College prizegiving. Opposite page: Saint Kentigern College Dux Ludorum, Tori Kolose

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Saint Kentigern Boys’ School Dux: Benjamin Poole Proxime Accessit: Lachlan West Sportsman of the Year: Jack Mitchell

Saint Kentigern College Dux, NCEA: Alyssa Hatton Dux, International Baccalaureate: Joshua Looker Dux Ludorum, most Outstanding Sports Person of the Year: Tori Kolose Performer of the Year : Braydon Robinson Dux of Middle School: Heeju Rho The Birch Cup for Girls All Round Ability: Grace Chang The J.E.H. Kururangi Cup for Boys All Round Ability: Hayden Joyce Award for Outstanding Sportswoman of the Year: Cecile Velghe Award for Outstanding Sportsman of the Year: Will Bason Saint Kentigern Girls’ School

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Enrolment packs available: phone (09) 524 6019 Ext 713, or email, or information can be accessed from: www.baradene

Dux: Isabel Li Proxime Accessit: Kate Christie Sportswoman of the Year: Khanye’-Lii Munro-Nonoa


COLLEGE OF THE SACRED HEART, 237 Victoria Avenue | Remuera, Auckland 1050, New Zealand | CALL 09 524 6019 | FAX 09 522 4077 | VISIT

the auckland foundation

Growing Generosity


uckland Foundation has been described as Auckland’s best-kept secret. But this is changing, and I’m thrilled to be sharing some of our stories with readers of The Hobson throughout 2018. Leading up to Auckland Anniversary Day, it’s a perfect time to reflect on some of the great things we do for our city and its people. In my job I am in daily contact with philanthropists – though many wouldn’t describe themselves in those terms – in all the corners of our city. From groups working together making small, regular donations for something specific, like the members of the Fabulous Ladies Giving Circle (featured in the November 17 edition of The Hobson), to benefactors like Dick and Diana Hubbard, who have added a bequest to the Auckland Foundation in their wills. We currently have 38 donor-advised funds under management and we distributed almost $800,000 on behalf of donors during 2017, with $387,000 to 52 local projects. The range of projects is diverse: from musical scholarships to projects to help refugees succeed in their new life in Auckland; to improve the ecology of the Hauraki Gulf or to impact the devastating rate of youth suicide in our country. What each project has in common is that each is driven by the donors’ specific interest and instruction. One of the newest funds under management is the Women’s Fund – launched in November – a collective of Auckland women keen to impact on issues that matter to women and girls. We are welcoming new members, with a goal of reaching 100 by March. Auckland Foundation takes care of the administration, governance and compliance for donors – so money can go to where it’s needed and not toward the cost of running a charity. We have an oversupply of charities here — 27,500 nationally and 4808 of these are in Auckland – that’s one charity for every 300 Aucklanders, and we add a new one each week. With costs of between $5,000 and $15,000 for legal set up, establishing a board of trustees, registration, investment of funds, accounting and audit; the list is not short. Then there is the cost of annual compliance. With our robust governance structure and our experienced and skilled, voluntary board of trustees, we do away with the need for additional charitable structures. We take care of the requirements of managing and administrating a fund and we provide advice, insights, due diligence and feedback to donors to help with decisions. Many of our ‘clients’ – generous donors behind some of the great community programmes in Auckland – describe the relief they feel in establishing or resettling their fund with us; the burden of the parts they don’t particularly want to handle removed. Our mission is to grow generosity in Auckland, making it easy to give both efficiently and effectively. Happy Anniversary Day, Auckland! —Dellwyn Stuart, CEO, Auckland Foundation

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the expat

The Expatriates In the earliest editions of The Hobson, writer Stacy Gregg interviewed several notable "expats" whom now live far from our part of town. With a much wider circulation now than then, we thought it worth republishing this series. Gregg’s interview with broadcaster Marcus Lush, now resident of Bluff, was first published in our launch issue, September 2013.


n the 1970s in heartland Remuera, on Scherff Road between Portland and Bell, there was a tiny enclave of self-sufficient bohemia. A grouping of houses clustered in a densely wooded acre of native trees – mature pohutukawa, kauri, kahikatea. Chickens, goats and a dozen children ran rampant. This is where Marcus Lush grew up. “My grandfather was a tree-lover and he planted a huge number of native trees. He had an acre of land and he sold his eldest three sons a third of it each – so there were three families with four children each living next door to each other in bush that my grandfather had planted.” It would be an understatement to say that they were not a typical Remuera family. “There were 12 cousins – I was second to youngest. I remember there was eye-rolling about how many of us there were. Maybe people did think we were some weird clan of Irish Catholics.” (They aren’t). “It did look a bit like a commune with the goats and stuff. Very unusual and I remember at school we would bring the class home to feed the chooks.” Weekends were spent planting trees or walking the sewer pipe to find bottles to recycle. “There would always be working bees – cleaning up the creek and planting trees. There was a great deal of community spirit. There’s a park near our house – Waitaramoa – Robin, my father, campaigned to save it. There were rare species and mangrove on Portland Rd. There was always a campaign to save stuff. To save Remuera from the spoilers who were going to put a big shopping mall up there . . .” Not everyone appreciated the Lush contribution to the local community. “As kids we were obsessed with stealing fruit. Most of our childhood was spent up fruit trees. I don’t think it was really stealing – did anyone want them? The neighbours would yell at us occasionally. And you’d just hurl back abuse at them. We were pretty exuberant. Things would get broken.” The name Lush was also synonymous with trouble at primary school. “At Victoria Ave [Primary] we had a headmistress whose name was Miss Bishop. She seemed to have set up her own fiefdom. There were quite often calls on the tannoy, ‘Could people with the following surname please

stay after school’ and Lush was always one of the surnames. She had it in for us. Probably most of the rest of the surnames were the people who were in the state housing in Lingarth St.” At Remuera Intermediate he found “a much more exciting group of people. Most of the primary school people had gone off to private schools. No more talk about all their great holidays in Disneyland and Fiji and all of that stuff. I thought it was fantastic when we got rid of them – we could get on with business.” “As safe and as ghastly as Victoria Avenue was, Remuera Intermediate was the exact opposite. It just seemed to be such a generous and fantastic school. There was only one rule — that you didn’t walk home by that subway by Greenlane. Why? The Flasher. There’d always be a school assembly about him. ‘The flasher’s back again’. “I was at Remuera Intermediate with [future model] Charlotte Dawson and her mother was a soft touch for the ice creams. There was an ice cream parlour up at the Tudor picture theatre so Charlotte and I would often go and get ice creams together. She was good company. I wasn’t in it just for the ice cream.” Did he have a girlfriend? “It didn’t really seem to be a priority. Or there was a sense of inaccessibility. The whole neighbourhood seemed to be so dominated by males that when a new girl came to town, it seemed like through the sheer weight of numbers it probably wasn’t worth putting in the effort.” “We had a tremendous group of friends – every time you came home from Grammar there would be thirty of us on the field at Waitaramoa, playing rugby or cricket or whatever.” Auckland Grammar was “a fairly unexciting five years”. And after that came university and then a media career and all through this he was still living at home. How old were you when you finally left? “About 33.” Has Remuera left its mark on him? Well the obsession with fruit has never gone. “That’s the one downside of Bluff. The lack of feijoas. Although a man came up to me in Winton once and held one out to me and said ‘I grew this. Is this a feijoa?’ and I said ‘yes, it is’.”

Above, the young fruit thief. Photograph supplied by Marcus Lush.

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the expat

Anna Jackson The Wellington poet talks to Stacy Gregg about a childhood spent running wild in Remuera and the best excuse ever for being late for school. This interview was first published in The Hobson in October 2013.


he deputy head of Victoria University of Wellington’s highly regarded school of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies, Dr Anna Jackson teaches a course in American Twentieth Century literature. Her poems are closer to home and often pick over the entrails of domestic life. Her latest book of poems, Thicket, was a finalist in the NZ Post Book Awards. She grew up in Te Kowhai Place, a little cul-de-sac off the upper end of Victoria Ave. Her parents still live there now. Anna’s father, Mac Jackson, is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Auckland. “Our valley was wild. We had a pond and bamboo forests and medieval ruins – that is actually true. We built a raft out of planks of wood secured across two barrels and poled ourselves across the pond. We were like muskrats. The pond doesn’t exist anymore, and I can’t work out where it could have been, but we can’t have imagined it, it was definitely big enough to require a raft. “The shops up the road were not interesting to us, we lived in the bush and the back gardens.We had a hut, a club house, and passwords, but there was never a mystery to uncover, and I do remember feeling a bit flat about that, and a bit impatient with having to pretend everything. I did think it would be better to be grown up and be doing things for real. “My brother Cam was the leader of our bush expeditions and used to take me on secret night-time expeditions our parents didn’t know about. When he wouldn’t play with me, I had my younger sister Juliet to turn to. “Our best game was taking all the furniture out of a corner of the living room so we could pretend to be very poor, and once all the furniture was out the game didn’t last very long, and then the rest of the day would be ruined because it would be taken over by our mother’s efforts to make us put the furniture back and our resistance and procrastination. It would just hang over us, this impossibly boring task we had brought on ourselves. “My best friend was Eleanor Simmonds, who lived a little way up Victoria Ave from us. She wasn’t in my class when we first made friends but there was a hole in her hedge we met each other through, and worked on enlarging for several weeks until we could walk through. She and her family lived in her grandmother’s house and she had an uncle who would turn up

from time to time and ban the guinea pigs from the garden and he wasn’t happy about the hole in the hedge either. The guinea pigs came to us, and multiplied. Eventually we let them go and they lived for quite a long time in amongst the ginger plants at the bottom of the garden. “At Remuera Primary I got sent to Miss Rawlinson’s office just once, when we had a class trip to the museum and I climbed into the Māori food storehouse and refused to come out. She had strange hair, an odd gold colour, that was made to rise above her head, a bit like Margaret Thatcher’s I suppose. This was the late 70s. “After primary school, I went to Remuera Intermediate where I was in Miro, which had been bottom of the houses for house points for years so there was no pressure to perform. This was lucky as most of the points were won on sports days and I was very shortsighted and also very slow, so useless. I used to think when people played softball they were better than me at guessing where the ball had gone — I thought you had to work it out from the trajectory it would have according to how it was hit. I didn’t realise other people could see the ball. I just thought I was more stupid at guessing where to run. “Epsom Girls I look back on as a good school, mostly because the girls were kind to each other. I don’t remember it as hierarchical or cliquey, but a school where friendships could be quite fluid and you could belong to a few different friend groups. The teachers were a mixed bag. I loved Miss Ash, the history teacher — hers was the first class that made me feel I was becoming more equipped to live in the world. I had a running battle with Mr Sorby, the deputy head. The angriest I ever saw him was when I told him one morning I was late for school because my hen had been laying an egg in my hair and I hadn’t liked to disturb her. He obviously thought I was not only lying but deliberately making up a story he couldn’t believe, but it was true. Also, I have just noticed, a little disgusting. At the time I felt extremely honoured. She usually laid her eggs in my wardrobe. She lived outdoors, and spent her days with the rest of the neighbourhood hens, but would come into my room every morning before school to lay her egg, but only once in my hair. I did wash it.”

Above, the poet and one of the multitude of guinea pigs. Photo courtesy of the Jackson family.

the hobson 44

the expat

Sean Fitzpatrick One of the all-time rugby greats, Sean Fitzpatrick is the former hooker and captain of the All Blacks. One of our most capped players, with 92 test matches to his name, he grew up in Meadowbank and played rugby for Remuera. Stacy Gregg caught up with him in London. This interview was published in The Hobson in the January/February 2014 edition.


he massive steel doors that you must pass through to enter the Charlotte Street offices of Saatchi & Saatchi London are an apt metaphor when you are about to meet a man who was once an immovable force on the rugby field. But time has marched on and the Sean Fitzpatrick on the other side of the doors today is not the burly hooker who captained his team with a wily combination of intellect and physical strength. This is the urbane, city Fitzpatrick, with a pressed shirt and groomed fingernails. The founder and head of the Front Row Group — a private equity company whose portfolio includes highend sports hospitality — Fitzpatrick is also a popular on-air rugby commentator on UK Sky TV. The UK has been home for the Fitzpatricks – Sean, his wife Bronwyn and daughters Grace, 21, and Eva, 15, for 10 years now. But Fitzpatrick’s first home was Appleyard Cres in heartland Meadowbank. It was a new development, the land still being subdivided and built on when Brian and Louise Fitzpatrick settled there more than 50 years ago. They had four children: Julie, Mark, Anna and Sean. [Brian died in 2006 and since this story was published, Louise and Mark have also since passed away]. Sean was the youngest and his earliest memory is the classic younger sibling sense of trying to keep up with his big brother, begging his mum to let him play rugby at the College Rifles Club just up the road. “I can remember pleading with her. I must have been three. She wouldn’t let me play until I was four. It seemed like a lifetime because that was all there was. “Our life revolved around the rugby club. Getting your gear and boots ready on a Friday night. Going down Saturday morning to watch my brother play. Then we’d stay to watch the senior team in the afternoon, and all the kids would tear around and we’d leave at 7pm, and stop off on the way home and get a copy of the 8 O’Clock and go home and play ‘Spot the Ball’.” It was the classic quarter-acre lifestyle in Appleyard Cres. “It was a young neighbourhood full of kids. There were always street parties. We’d hang out after school playing games on the street, kicking balls over power lines, kicking stuff at houses, getting into trouble . . .” His mum got together with other local mums to start up a

kindy. Then at age five it was a walk down the street to Mount Carmel School. Then Sacred Heart College, catching the bus from the top of Temple St. The young Sean held down a part-time job working for his uncle and his Hungarian aunt who owned the neighbourhood Meadowbake Bakery. “Did I work the till? God no. I was out the back baking – baking and eating!” Despite dad Brian being an All Black, Fitzpatrick says it genuinely never occurred to him that he had the right stuff to become one too. “I had natural ability,” he shrugs, “but I wasn’t really taking it seriously.” He was 19, standing at the bar of the university club one night with his team mate Grant Fox, smoking and drinking as usual, when team coach Graham Henry eyeballed the pair and said; “Fitzy and Foxy, if you two stopped smoking and drank a little less you could be All Blacks one day.” “We just said, don’t be so stupid! We’ll never be All Blacks!” Fitzpatrick recalls. “It wasn’t until I was 20 that the penny dropped.” Even once he became an All Black he retained that same light-hearted sense of having fun when he played. He enjoyed the game – not just the test matches. “Every Monday night we’d meet for touch rugby, a big group of us, friends and family, down at the [Shore Rd] park.” When he left home he didn’t leave the neighbourhood. With Bronwyn he bought their first home in Ellerslie in 1989. “Kentucky St. It was so close to the motorway that hubcaps kept landing on our lawn.” He was a builder by trade as well as an All Black, apprenticing for a Remuera firm. He built his next home in the tonier location of Arney Cres, and from there they moved across a few streets to Vicky Ave and then to pretty Tirohanga Ave. “It was a beautiful street – we loved it there.” These days home is split between a city house in Notting Hill and a country residence outside of London. He nearly chokes at the (admittedly stupid) question as to whether he still barracks for the All Blacks now that he is so ensconced in the bosom of the UK. “Seriously? If anything it makes you more passionate about being a New Zealander, being so far away from home.” Behind that steel door it turns out there is still more steel after all. — Stacy Gregg

Above, six-year-old Sean at Meadowbank’s Mount Carmel School, 1969. Photo courtesy of Louise Fitzpatrick.

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the expat

Karen Walker The fashion designer talks to Stacy Gregg about her old neighbourhood and how Remuera still informs her style today. First published in The Hobson in November 2013.


n Soviet Odessa, young Mikhail Gherman grew up in a city of great contrasts — grand limestone buildings hundreds of years old and the opera house around the corner from the family’s apartment; the docks and its red light siren call a few blocks in the other direction. Then the Ghermans immigrated to Auckland. From the noise of inner city Odessa to the quiet of suburban Pakuranga. Here, he was a teenage outsider twice over, a city kid literally and figuratively a world away from what he knew. What he needed, he decided, was the right girl from an older part of town, some establishment yin to his adopted suburban yang. It doesn’t get any righter than Victoria Ave. To be specific, a little cul de sac off Victoria Ave, Sonia Ave, located at the Baradene end of the street. The girl’s name was Karen Walker. No worlds colliding here. A safe, secure childhood in a modern home, a swimming pool, winter holidays in Fiji and a trip to Disneyland. “It was idyllic and we knew it and appreciated it,” Walker says. “It wasn’t hugely posh. We weren’t rocking around in Bentleys but there was always ice cream in the freezer.” The contrast in childhoods between Gherman and Walker, who are partners in both marriage and business, could almost serve as a template for the Karen Walker brand. They have always been about yin and yang. Feminine and masculine. Bohemian and bourgeois. While Gherman brought the edginess of the outsider to the brand, Walker brought something just as remarkable that was a natural by-product of her upbringing. “I’m fearless,” she says matter-of-factly. “Growing up in middle class New Zealand there was never a fear of the future. We knew things would turn out ok. “I think the aesthetic sense I got from my childhood was not any sense of rebellion or questioning of fashion,” Walker says. “Half the time when I look in the mirror I think ‘Oh I look just like my mother’.” Her collections always carry a little bit of that “buttoned-

down” Remmers chic. “My grandmother’s look was always a pleated tweed skirt and a white cardigan – we’ve always taken that look and turned it on its head. A bit of prissy, a bit of preppy is always in our work, and then we do something surprising with it.” Karen Walker’s first fashion job was in Remuera at the age of 15 – a part-time Saturday shopgirl at Raggedy Ann boutique. “Greta Blair who owned it was a friend of my mother’s – it was amazing of her to give me that opportunity. I was there for four or five years and I loved it. Greta had a good eye for style. It was a great experience for me and gave me a fantastic springboard into my career.” Although she recently received a Founders Award from Epsom Girls Grammar, Walker never stood out during her school years as a “girl most likely” type. “I was a crossing guard at Vicky Ave Primary – the only extracurricular activity I ever did, apart from being goal shoot in the B team in netball because I was tall. I didn’t do anything extra-curricular that would stop me from being home at four to see The Flintstones.” At Remuera Intermediate she has the usual school memories – the awfulness of footbaths before getting into the school pool. Learning to waltz and do the minuet in pairs for the social. And despite the award from EGGS, which she appreciates, she has been pragmatic about moving on from her school days. “I think I just didn’t find much in school to inspire me to get involved. I was never the girl who was in all the sports teams, the choir, the debating team. I did like to do well in the things I was interested in, like art, English, maths; but the rest just wasn’t that interesting back then.” But while you can take the girl out of Remuera (she lives in Ponsonby and travels constantly with a global network of fashion commitments) you can’t take Remuera out of the girl. It is there in the way she is always put together, always on the front foot never the back, always fashionable and always, always fearless.

Above, Walkers on tour: Karen, 7 and brother Nicholas, 12, on holiday in San Francisco, 1977. Photo courtesy of Karen Walker.

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the expat

An Apology to Don Binney As part of our expat series, London-based journalist Mary-Ellen Barker turned her thoughts homeward for our December 2013 issue. A financial markets specialist, she was global company news editor and then head of news integration for Thomson Reuters. In her earlier years, she flatted, loudly, in Parnell.


n a visit to NZ a few years ago I spent a few hours at the Auckland Art Gallery. All pleasant, but then I arrived before a painting by the late Don Binney. Most New Zealanders looking at those birds, those hills, those skies, would have a sense of a spiritual connection with the landscape. I felt only an uneasy sense of guilt. Nothing acute, just the “I wish I hadn’t done that” feeling that creeps up occasionally as time passes and you think back to years before. We were neighbours, Don Binney and I, in Parnell. It was the very late 1970s/early 1980s, and there were lots of students and artists all rubbing along together. But in our little cul de sac, Avon St, the two tribes didn’t rub along in harmony. We weren’t all students, strictly speaking – some of us had just finished studying and were out in our first jobs. There was no shortage of jobs then for new graduates. Parnell was the ideal spot for us. There were plenty of cheap flats to rent, mostly in small, unrenovated houses. It was close to the city where most of us worked and all of us played, there were the lovely Parnell Baths and there were plenty of pubs nearby. But the problem for Don Binney was that we hadn’t quite made the transition from the student way of life. He lived right next door – if you leaned out the window of our house, you could knock on the window of his bedroom. Or, if you were Don Binney, you could hurl up the sash window of your bedroom and shout across a gap of less than a couple of metres, “TURN THE BLOODY MUSIC DOWN”. My then-flatmate (now a highly respected international professor of paediatrics who runs paediatric genetic services for two US states) would come home from the pub – 11pm closing – and play music, very loud, night after night. For some reason he would always turn the volume even higher for Ry Cooder’s cover of the Lead Belly classic “Goodnight Irene”, played at least once every evening. It became something of an anthem for the Noise Wars with the long-suffering neighbour. The opening bars usually drove Don Binney to the window, to glare and then to shout. He couldn’t believe a medical student in his final years could possibly be so insensitive and selfish. Possibly because

he was so enraged that he feared what he might do if he came face-to-face with us, he sent his partner over on several fruitless missions to beg for mercy. I sometimes think of Don Binney now when I’m hunting for earplugs to drown out the noise from the three polite, late-teen and 20-somethings next door to my London terrace, who very occasionally have a party when their parents are away. Unfortunately for Don, we had a party virtually every night in Parnell. The Parnell years were soaked in music. It was the punk and new wave era, with bands like Blam Blam Blam, Toy Love, Proud Scum, the Screaming Meemees, Suburban Reptiles, The Dentists. The local music venue was the Windsor pub; dress code was rips everywhere, safety pins, fluoro socks, tiny leather skirts and very big earrings. The Windsor still exists, but I’m pretty sure the floors aren’t sticky with spilled beer any more. And these days it even serves food. I can’t remember where we ate in those early 80s – mainly at home, I think. The Heards factory still made sweets. Nobody ever went out for coffee. We certainly wouldn’t have taken our ripped t-shirts up the hill to Hobson House, a local faux colonial restaurant. Some of us knew it well, though, because we worked there as waitresses, with the uniform of long black-and-white gingham dresses and white aprons a serious hazard as smoked chicken casserole was lugged up the tiny, narrow staircase. Antoine’s, the swanky restaurant up the top of Parnell Rd, was going back then. But that was way out of our league, and our price bracket – and I’m pretty sure we would have disapproved of going anywhere, apart from our offices, that made ties compulsory for men. In my “moving back to New Zealand” daydreams — probably not going to happen now, after 30 years away — Parnell is still the place I’d love to live. The Parnell Baths, the glimpses of the Waitematā and Hobson Bay, the Victorian houses made of wood, all seem even more appealing from London in winter. But I know if I did, I’d never be able to pass Avon St without feeling a twinge of guilt about Don Binney.

Above, Mary-Ellen Barker dressed to party, circa Avon St days. Photo: Stephen Penny.

the hobson 47

the moment

Good Vibrations In March 2014, we marked the centenary of the Parnell Baths. Mike Chunn grew up in Parnell, and wrote of one day at the Baths that would reverberate throughout his life


ere lies this young lad, once a boy — now 13. An almost youth. Prostrate on his striped beach towel on deep green grass that edges the waters of the Parnell Baths. These glistening pools stretch out in a fashion under the pohutukawa trees hanging precariously on the cliff edge above. A cliff edge that borders the White Heron Lodge, which is up and over the top on St Stephens Ave. (St Stephen was presumably the patron saint of cliffs). The White Heron (as they call it) is up and over and out of sight. This lad is lying there alone, when in a moment of dream believes that a huge white heron will suddenly appear and swoop down, picking up small children from the toddler pool in its talons, spiriting them away. On this hot December day; one day. In 1965. The giant bird never appears so he tumbles back to the real moment, turns his Coppertoned body over and stares at those around him. Young girls fill his view. The boys are rocking jolly roger on the diving boards and slides. The Famous Five are in the corner whispering. It is all too captivating. And then it happens. This day holds in store a two minute and twenty-three second timeframe poised to catapult this lad into the future. It won’t be the first time such things have happened here in the slow-motion, wet and burning world of the Parnell Baths.

Soothsayers talk of the marriages that were forged here. How they were foretold. Chances were lost. Marriages waned. Wallets and purses were stolen. TT2s melted. Keans’ jeans vanished in the locker rooms. The diving boards rung with glee in their boing boing bouncing manic toss. The in-crowd lay on their striped beach towels and stared at the opposite sex. Decisions were made. Schemes put in place. Nothing was done. And so now — this hot day; one day. Back in December 1965. The crowd thickens as midday arrives. The mob swell around the ice cream stand. The grass slowly vanishes under towels, chilly bins and the shadows of umbrellas that shouldn’t be there. Umbrellas that litter the view of the people and their bodies and the motion and the spray of water and the heavy roof of the blue blue sky. Umbrellas. Our lad turns over again. He puts his school cap over his face. He is in the dark. And then it happens. About ten feet away a young girl puts the needle of her HMV portable gramophone on the start of track one, side one of the Beatles’ HELP album. The song starts with a catch cry – “Help!” Our young lad listens to the song with his eyes closed. It finishes and he sheds his skin, kneels up and asks . . . “Can you play that song again?” And she does. And nothing is ever the same. — Mike Chunn

Mike went on to be a founding member of Split Enz, and later, Citizen Band. He ran Mushoom Records in NZ, then APRA and is now CEO of the music education trust, Play It Strange ( He lives in Remuera. Above, the White Heron Lodge stands above the Parnell Baths. The hotel, and its villas on the opposite side of St Stephens Ave, were demolished in 2001. Postcard courtesy of Rendell McIntosh. the hobson 48

the sound

Gang of Youths. Photo: John Tsiavis. Courtesy Sony Australia

Into The Light


ell, it’s started. The low, slow, sultry creep of another Auckland summer. The heat is up, holidays taken and now the wardrobe choices are easy. Just a shirt or a t-shirt. Some chinos or some jeans. Easy shoes with invisible socks and we’re done. Jackets, jumpers and scarves glare ignored from closets. We get home and pull blinds. Not to keep in the warmth, but to keep out the sun’s glare. Barbies are fired up, beers are uncapped and wine snapped open, and then we turn to the stereo and stick on the records that mean the most. Summer is the time for the old faithfuls. I’ve lost track of the number of times, coming home from a sail or a beach trip, when someone hasn’t put on The Eagles’ Greatest Hits or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, but it’s also a time when you put the best discoveries of the past year on the platter. And the ones that make the cut often surprise you. They’re not the Taylor Swifts and Sam Smiths. They’re the quiet achievers. So this isn’t just a“the best releases of 2017” column. It’s the “records that lasted longer than the two months after release” list, that made the cut in my house. So, what were 2017’s quiet highlights? Well, how about the Baby Driver soundtrack? Sure the movie was dope but so is the music. The way Quentin Tarantino soundtracks are cool. Stuff you know and stuff you don’t, all with a cinematic bent. It’s got Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” on it. And Focus’ “Hocus Pocus”. My kids spin out when we play it. Then there’s Simon and Garfunkel’s “Baby Driver” itself. A song I never knew existed, and it rocks. Not to mention Dave Brubeck, plus Bob and Earl doing “Harlem Shuffle”. Funky and entertaining. If you want a summer album, can I suggest Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life. It’s taken me a number of albums to warm to Lana. I thought her languid style was disguising a lack of vocal, musical and creative ability. I was wrong. She’s making some intriguing stuff that is the soundtrack of Southern Californian ennui. It’s light on the top and dark at heart. She duets with Stevie Nicks on a song

called “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems”. Exactly. And then there’s “Summer Bummer”, which is a nice play as the bummer of summer is more than the word bummer can convey. I’m loving Neil Finn’s Out of Silence more as the weather turns warmer. Its melancholy melodiousness combined with cold weather became just a bit too icy after a while. But with the sun, the album glitters like an ice cube in a dry gin and tonic. Particularly “Widow's Peak”, which is starting to be one of my top Finn songs. One big pop record that is making the cut is Lorde’s Melodrama. I oozed over it when it came out and it only gets stronger with each play and the more you hear about its conception, and the glorious way she is performing it on tour. It’s a view shared by NME, who named it the top record of 2017. I love how they described it. “This is a regret-drenched break-up album that waves a magic wand at pain and transforms it into pure pop magic”. But the album at the top of my summer playlist comes out of Australia and a band called Gang of Youths. It’s called Go Farther in Lightness. The band came to Auckland this year on a promo tour and I was offered the chance to talk to lead singer, Dave Le’aupepe. Not knowing the band, I asked the PR to describe him. They said he was the driving force for the indie band and his lyrics deal with his relationship with his former wife, her melanoma diagnosis and treatment for the cancer, their separation, his suicide attempts and finally her death this year. I turned it down because it wasn’t sounding like a good time. I was wrong. The album is amazing. 16 songs, 70 minutes long, full of epics that bring to mind a cross of Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen and a chamber orchestra. The lyrics are masterfully constructed. It is the sound of a man emerging back into the light after darkness. Le’aupepe sets his mind to making more than a record. As he said, “I don’t want to make a low-stakes, cynical, 10-track, pithy 40-minute record. I’m going to die one day. I don’t have time to capitulate to that kind of nonsense.” Hunt it out. Grab a bottle of pinot and listen to it as the sun goes down. Enjoy your summer. — Andrew Dickens

the hobson 49

the pretty

The Body Laid Bare Justine Williams has all the smooth moves for a buffed and tanned summer body

Summer socialising is calling, so spray and get out the door with L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze self-tan mist, $29.99. This new tan-in-a-can comes with a wide-angle jet applicator. The fine mist, with a fresh citrus scent, applies evenly and flash dries. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. From pharmacies and Farmers

This liquid cleanser has a zesty zing to kickstart your day. Kiehl’s Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit Skin-Softening Body Cleanser is $32, from Kiehl’s counters

It was designed with the face in mind, but L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Exfoliating Scrub, $14.99, works equally well on all other problem areas like chests and backs of arms, to relieve congestion and clogged pores. From pharmacies and Farmers

With its cute line about “no more bathroom yoga moves trying to tan those hard to reach places,” the Bondi Sands Back Applicator Pack will be your new self-tan bestie. $14.99, from pharmacies This is the best body makeup I’ve come across. It’s sheer on the skin, but hardworking enough to give a flawless, Kardashianesque finish. NARS Laguna Body Tint, $71, from Mecca Maxima, Mecca Cosmetica and You’ve heard of body milks, now meet body yoghurt. Korres Cooling After Sun is an ultra-cooling cream gel formulated with yoghurt to soothe irritated skin after [accidental] sun exposure. For optimum cooling, store in the fridge. $41, from Mecca Maxima Queen St and

By Terry Tea to Tan Face & Body, $67, is a bronzing water, imparting a quick-drying veil of non-transferring, buildable colour for a sun-kissed finish. From Mecca Maxima Queen St, Mecca Cosmetica Broadway, and

Cheap and super-cheerful, Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days body lotion punches well above its $8.99 price point. Intensely moisturising for very dry skin, it reinforces the skin’s natural protective barrier. Available in Aloe Vera, Mango Oil and Shea Butter variants, from pharmacies and Farmers

A favourite in a beauty editor’s cupboard, the Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream, 237ml, $60, is a straight-up, lovely hydrating cream with exfoliants to help tone and smooth. From Dermalogica counters or

Why even risk being in burning sun when James Read Gradual Tan Coconut Melting Tanning Balm Face & Body is available? It uses organic virgin coconut oil with a hint of self-tan, offering a rich hydrating balm with a little on-holiday glow. $58, from Mecca Cosmetica and at

Hark! The luxury angels sing! It’s not going to alleviate my Bottega Veneta handbag craving, but this rich and velvety crème will be a divine addition to my body care regimen, and the bathroom counter. Bottega Veneta Knot Body Cream, $135, is also available as a bath and shower gel. Just saying. At Smith & Caughey’s

Nellie Tier May Chang & Mandarin Body Scrub is one of Nellie Tier’s best-selling products, and for good reason. Handmade here in NZ, it incorporates a blend of nourishing nut and seed oils, with ingredients to heal, protect and hydrate, as well as sugar for gentle exfoliation. $40, from

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Specialist Women's Healthcare Anil Sharma MB ChB 1987 (Leicester) DGM (London), FRCOG (London) CCST (UK) FRANZCOG (Melbourne) Diploma in Legal Aspects of Medical Practice (Cardiff)

• Period problems • Endometriosis • Fibroids • Bladder weakness/Prolapse • Ovarian cysts • Abnormal smears Level 4 Ascot Central, 7 Ellerslie Racecourse Dr, Remuera, Ph (09) 520 0745

The rest of the team: Dr Neil McIlree | Anne Whineray-Smith Dr Michele Atkins | Dr Henry Yong (Anaesthetists & Practice Manager) Affiliated Provider Southern Cross Health Society for selected services

the world’s greatest collection of wallpaper, fabrics and all things interiors Now located within Artisan Collective Showroom 31a Normanby Rd, Mt Eden Phone 09 376 5675

the magpie

Artful Objet One for me, one for you — works of art to give or to keep, as selected by the very discerning Magpie 1


1. Ana Teofilo Pasifika Merge II. Mixed media on carved and painted board, 1200 x 1200mm. $3750, from Warwick Henderson Gallery, 255 Broadway.

7. John Wolter Grappling Man. Blackened steel with a polished wax finish and steel wire. $1450, from Black Door Gallery, 251 Parnell Rd.

2. Sara Hughes Patrol 2016. Acrylic on paper, mounted on aluminum, 375 x 270mm. $1600, from Gow Langsford, 26 Lorne St.

8. Hamish Allan TT2. Acrylic on canvas, 1050 x 1050mm. $12,000 from nkb Gallery, 455 Mt Eden Rd.

3. Maria Kemp Land Fabric 2017. Oil on board, 1330 x 1000mm. $9800, from Black Door Gallery, 251 Parnell Rd. 4. Penny Stotter Something Bold. Screenprint, limited edition of 10. 560 x 760mm. $780, The Poi Room, 17 Osborne St. 5 Jim Adams b&w weave. Acrylic on tawa construction, 680 x 550 x 40mm. $2350, from Kura Gallery 95A Customs St West. kuragallery. 6. Phil Neary Ka-Pow. Cast bronze life size cap. $1750, from nkb Gallery. 455 Mt Eden Rd.

9 Vicky Savage Balancing Act. Bronze, 300 x 280mm, $2700. Parnell Gallery, 263 Parnell Rd. 10. Stephen Howard Treesongs #6. Oil on board, 800 x 800mm. $7800, from Parnell Gallery, 263 Parnell Rd. 11. Fornasetti gold leaf plate No.9, $620, from Design 55, 55 Upper Queen St. 12. Michael Matchitt Tahuri Atu. Blackwood lead crystal, 315 x 140 x 45mm. $1640, from Kura Gallery, 95A Customs St West. kuragallery.

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6 4


12 8


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the district diary

January/February 2018 January 1 New Year’s Day 5 The acclaimed Pop-up Globe tent reopens in the Shakespeare Garden at Ellerslie Racecourse after the Christmas break. This season, four companies perform five plays — Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors and pictured, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tickets range from cheap-as groundlings (standing) to luxury boxes. See popupglobe. for shows, times and ticketing information

funny ditties and limericks, singalongs, and more. Featuring Operatunity’s favourite core artists, Somervell Presbyterian Church, cnr Greenlane and Remuera Rd, 11am-1pm. For tickets bookings@operatunity. or 0508 266 237 22-25 Celebrate 45 years of the Auckland Folk Festival with performances by some of New Zealand’s finest folk musicians including Flip Grater, Fables,

atmosphere, take in the sounds of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra performing alongside The Lady Killers, and enjoy the spectacular fireworks and laser finale. Until 10pm, free entry, Captain Cook Wharf 29 Auckland Anniversary Day The Mission Bay Art & Craft Market will surround the iconic Mission Bay fountain with stalls selling arts and crafts, gourmet

If glitz and glam isn’t your thing, Friday Films at Silo Park is screening the romantic musical, La La Land. Free admission, choose dinner from the food trucks and take a blanket for comfort. Event kicks off from 4.30pm, movie starts at 9pm. For the full summer schedule, see 3 Head to the Chinese New Year celebration to welcome in the Year of the Dog. Traditional dance, over 200 stalls, entertainment and activities. ASB Showgrounds, 9.30am4pm, free 6 Waitangi Day

8 The biggest, free, backyard party reurns to Aotea Square. Summer in the Square is here until February 4 and there’ll be something for everyone. See for dates and events

7 The classic Maurice Gee tale Under the Mountain has been adapted for TV and film, and now theatre. A world of wonder, mystery, magic and master storytelling – you will be spellbound by Rachel and Theo, and the always frightening Mr Wilberforce. Until February 21, 7-8.30pm, ASB Waterfront Theatre, 138 Halsey St. Tickets from or 0800 282 849

13 The Parnell Farmers’ Market returns today. Fresh veges, plants, eggs, meat and more in true farmers’ market style. Every Saturday from 8am, in the carpark at the Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd 20 The throne has been empty for too long ... pick up a paddle, bring your best game and prepare to serve, at the King of Pong Grand Slam Open ping pong tournament. Spot and runners up prizes, costumes encouraged, spectators welcome. Free entry, competitors to be 13 and over. Register at goo. gl/vogPR7 or in person at the Central City Library, 44 Lorne St, 10.30am-3.30pm (also Sunday 21)

The Bollands and Reb Fountain, amongst others. Aotea Square, 12.30-8pm, all ages, free admission

food, jewellery, clothing, giftware and more. Selwyn Reserve, Tamaki Dr, 10am-4pm

27 New Zealand’s biggest automotive and lifestyle event, V Energy 4 and Rotary, is once again revving up the ASB Showgrounds. Loads of displays, activities and entertainment, adults $25 and kids under 10 free. Tickets at the gate, 9am6pm, 217 Greenlane West


22 A concert to showcase the best of Irish music and the irrepressible Irish spirit — enjoy the craic, with dancing, ballads,

28 Help Auckland ring in another birthday with a bang, at Ports of Auckland’s SeePort Festival. Bring a picnic, enjoy the carnival

2 The 2018 Auckland Pride Festival kicks off tonight with the glittering Auckland Pride Gala. Until February 18, with a range of events across the Auckland region reflecting the unique mix of cultures, sexualities and gender identities that live here. Tickets from, Gala starts 8pm, 305 Queen St

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8 Laugh your way into 2018 at the Comedy Central Another Frickin’ Festival gala, showcasing events of the festival and featuring a plethora of comedians. R15, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Mayoral Dr. Tickets from 14 Happy Valentine’s Day 16 Fresh fruit, veges, meat, flowers, bakery and deli produce, at the Parnell Farmers’ Market, every Saturday from 8am-12pm at the Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd 17 How much is that doggy in the window? Celebrate Parnell’s

fundraising artworks for the Chinese Year of the Dog,with dog sculptures on display in stores and businesses, from today to March 4. The sculptures, painted and decorated by artists and celebrities, will be auctioned for the Starship Foundation National Air Ambulance service at Mossgreen-Webb’s on March 7. See for futher details The Auckland Pride Parade kicks off at 7.30pm and travels the length of Ponsonby Rd. Join the parade or just line the street and enjoy the spectacle. Starts at Western Park, Ponsonby Rd 22 Enjoy a guided tour of King’s School and its new Centennial Building during open day, 9-10.30am. Register interest at 23 Gong Xi Fa Cai! It’s Happy Chinese New Year in Remuera, with the annual New Year street festival tonight, at the top of St Vincents Ave, outside the library. Enjoy entertainment, food stalls, lantern displays by local children and more. 6pm-9pm 24 Enjoy a cultural festival in Parnell’s Heard Park for the Chinese New Year. For a full schedule of events, see parnell. Konichiwa and happy Japan Day! Head to Queens Wharf from 4pm for Natsu Matsuri – Summer Festival, with anime movies, stalls and dance. Also on Sunday, 10am-6pm, including traditional Japanese arts and cultural experiences Scenes of summers past from previous editions of The Hobson. In our December ¯ ¯ Basin's 2013 issue, a story on the Orakei Auckland Water Ski Club starred Remuera's Wigglesworth family in formation in 1967; centre, the 1913 Auckland Exhibition fair in the Domain was our January/February 2015 cover; below, a 1950s postcard from the collection of Rendell McIntosh, part of our story on the centenary of the Parnell Baths, March 2014. All our back issues can be read via Hobson

the cryptic by mĀyĀ



7 Poaches 18 with stalks (9) 8 See 2 Down 11 My facilitating left inside in a hard-working way (9) 12 Lumpy jam assists in disclosing where 8 down shot an elephant (7) 13 Charles is a follower of X (4) 14 Moral is, dead will return after swallowing 17’s heart (7) 15 Just over half the weapon returned? Boring! (4) 18 Like 8 down maybe used in a 4 bore? (3,4) 20 Sister throws sticks joined by chains (9) 21 A bit more than 12% of the octopus (3-6) 23 Grant a small measure was detailed before skunk pig (7) 24 Just over half the weapon plucked by one of 1 (4) 25 Ended by injury on top (5,2) 26 Continue with show (undoubtedly influenced by 1) (4) 30 Initially reluctant to please 11, so revert (7) 31 Spoiling posh gilding ‘n’ embroidery (9) 32 Skinner ate it? (6) 33 Irritation of P.A. beheaded at a church (9)

1 Comrades? (3,4,8) 2/8 A Driftwood’s deal, partly? 17 doesn’t believe it! (6,6) 3/17 Losing head, getting right, stirring singers (5) 4 A work of 1 - like Sir Gawain watching Parsifal, say (1,5,2,3,5) 5 Fool Ryan and I with a bit of conjuring, Iraqi! (8) 6 Instrument used to prohibit Ms Brand? (5) 8 Criminal applauding antics of explorer in a work of 1 (7,9) 9 Discharge, sulphate salt, is all over effigies (9) 10 “The elephant in the room”, might be thus qualified when saw leaves (2,3,6,4) 16 Ruler of the drink, say (5) 17 One of 1 gets no points for style (5) 19 Fighter I hear might like a 32 (9) 22 Nina 15 exceptional as an employer of elephants (8) 27 Express confusion over who killed Samuel Ratchett (6) 28 Chat show host rebuffed one of 1 (5) 29 Dodges work diligently, embracing nothing strenuous at either end (5)

Set by Māyā. Answers will appear in our next issue (March 2018). Can't wait, or need help? Visit

DECEMBER CRYPTIC CROSSWORD ANSWERS Across: 1 Medicine men, 7/24 Mammal, 9 Draco, 10 Conundrum, 11/18 Climate change, 12 Agnomen, 13 My generation, 17 Ungraciously, 20 Herbage, 22 Dormice, 23 Needleman, 25 Exams, 27 Billets-doux Down: 1 Modicums, 2 Drawings, 3 Cro-magnon, 4/8 Nuclear free moment, 5/26 Maneen, 6 Ninon, 7 Marama, 12 Antecedence, 14 Odourless, 15 Ostinato, 16 Cybersex, 19 Ardern, 21 Ad-lib

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Exceptional Year, Extraordinary Results New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty would like to congratulate Ross Hawkins on being awarded the title of our national top performing licensee for a fifth year running.

“It has been a fantastic and rewarding journey under the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty umbrella. I enjoy representing and contributing to the growth of the brand both locally and globally and I thank my established clients for their support in achieving my goals by both listing and purchasing the extraordinary properties we pride ourselves in marketing.”

Every home is different but the extraordinary deserve the best.

National Top Performing Licensee 2013 - 2017 Ross Hawkins M +64 274 720 577

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Browns Real Estate Limited (licensed under the REAA 2008) MREINZ.

Profile for The Hobson

The Hobson January-February 2018  

Happy New Year! And because the Lunar New Year in February will mark the Year of the Dog, our cover stars one of our favourite locals, Spark...

The Hobson January-February 2018  

Happy New Year! And because the Lunar New Year in February will mark the Year of the Dog, our cover stars one of our favourite locals, Spark...

Profile for thehobson