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march 2018

hobson's legacy p shoreline strolls p the songbird project local news, views & informed opinions


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“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 obstetrics.co.nz. Lynda Batcheler Astrid Budden Eva Hochstein Katherine McKenzie Kirstie Peake Martin Sowter


The March Issue, No. 46 8 the editor’s letter

10 the columnists

12 the village Residents take on pests to bring songbirds back to town, old sewerage pipes continue to cause problems, art that captures disappearing Auckland, and more

20, 22 the councillors News from Councillors Desley Simpson (Ōrākei) and Mike Lee (Waitematā & Gulf)

35

27 the investment

the neighbourhood

Warren Couillault on what a lack of business confidence portends

Meet Motokuni Yamasaki, making your lunch from his Shore Rd sushi truck

28 the second act Too much pressure? Sandy Burgham questions what’s happened to having fun when you’re young

30 the philanthropists Locals support a Variety drive to get kids set up at school

31 the teacher Judi Paape has wise advise for the start of the new school year

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

25 the suburbanist Driverless cars may not be the utopian vision promoted, says Tommy Honey

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31 the auckland foundation Dellwyn Stuart introduces Women Give 2018, the first seminar of its kind in NZ

the pretty Justine Williams offers the cardinal rules for keeping teenage skin on point

37 the doctor Normal, or not? Dr Anil Sharma on debilitating periods

38 the magpie So cute! The Magpie picks perfect pieces for teen wardrobes

40 the sound Andrew Dickens pens a love song to Mt Smart stadium

41 the district diary

32 the heritage Kendall Blackburn tests out the trail along the city’s original foreshore

Events for March

42 the cryptic

the plan Council-controlled organisation stuff-ups, the housing squeeze: welcome back, says Hamish Firth

36

34 the cover

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

Our beautiful Mark Wooller cover, in full

Giving Spirits “Women Give 2018”, will be the country’s first symposium dedicated to female philanthropy. Held at the Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall in the CBD on March 6, learn what’s unique in women’s relationships with money and giving, and opportunities to make a difference. Courtesy of the Auckland Foundation, we have two tickets to give away, valued at $195 each, but you’ll need to email us know quickly. Email business@thehobson.co.nz by 3PM on Friday March 2, and we’ll select a winning name at random. Your pair of tickets will be at the door for you. For program details and the line-up of speakers, click on Women Give on aucklandfoundation.org.nz The fine print: By entering this competition, you agree that your email details will be retained by The Hobson for our marketing database

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issue 46, march 2018 Editor & Publisher Kirsty Cameron editor@thehobson.co.nz Art Direction & Production Stephen Penny design@thehobson.co.nz News Editor Mary Fitzgerald maryfitzgerald.thehobson@gmail.com Writers This Issue Kristin Bernstone, Kendall Blackburn, Kirsty Cameron, Gretchen Carroll, Mary Fitzgerald, Chantelle Murray, Wayne Thompson, Justine Williams Sub-editor Fiona Wilson

elcome to our first issue published this calendar year. With our double January-February edition distributed just before Christmas, March becomes our first issue “back”. I hope you found restorative peace for body and soul if you did take a break over the summer. One of the highlights of my summer was attending the Governor General’s Bledisloe Garden Reception at Government House in Epsom, to mark Waitangi Day. I entered the ballot to be a guest — as anyone can —because I thought it would be an interesting experience for my teenage daughter, whom I nominated as my plus-one. It turned out to be an extraordinary afternoon in the heritage gardens of Government House. Everything was, as my daughter would say, on point. Dame Patsy Reddy’s welcoming and inclusive speech, the presence of PM Jacinda Ardern (who was mobbed for selfies by young and old), the performances, the crowd of people in uniform (from Guides to men and women with many medals and ribbons) or in vibrant national dress, to the catering. I was expecting a cup of tea and scone. Marlborough’s Johanneshof bubbly with Coromandel Te Kouma Bay oysters? Don’t mind if I do. A petite dish of Otago peach sorbet? Be rude not to. I can’t even recall where I saw the notice about the ballot, but if you have the chance to throw your name in for the next one, do. It was a happy way to spend the afternoon acknowledging, and celebrating, the Treaty. For more on that, and the often-overlooked role of Gov. William Hobson, see Mike Lee’s column, page 25. And also, don’t miss signing up for our new weekly newsletter — see page 37 for all the details on that.

Columnists Sandy Burgham, Warren Couillault, Andrew Dickens, Hamish Firth, Paul Goldsmith, Tommy Honey, Mike Lee, Māyā, Judi Paape, David Seymour, Anil Sharma, Desley Simpson

Photographers Martin Heffer, Ngamihi Photography, Stephen Penny Cover A section of Mark Wooller’s Nature of Place, 2017, oil on canvas. See full image, page 34 THE HOBSON is published 10 times a year by The Hobson Limited, PO Box 37490 Parnell, Auckland 1151. www.thehobson.co.nz F: TheHobsonMagazine I: @TheHobson Ideas, suggestions, advertising inquiries welcome. editor@thehobson.co.nz

The Bledisloe Reception guest list included many from the creative industries — I ran into my friend Lisa Bates, MNZM, and her fellow Nga Taonga Sound and Vision national archive trustee, Whetu Fala (Lisa and I chose the same Zambesi dress to wear). I was also chuffed to meet filmmaker Gaylene Preston, ONZM, and her daughter, actor Chelsie Preston-Crayford.

Kirsty Cameron editor@thehobson.co.nz 0275 326 424 Facebook: The Hobson magazine Instagram: TheHobson

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, see TheHobsonMagazine on Facebook.

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 editor@thehobson.co.nz to discuss ideas. The Hobson Ltd is a member of the Magazine Publishers Association This publication uses environmentally responsible papers

ICG Logo CMYK.pdf 1 05/08/2015 6:19:01 AM

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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. www.playclc.com 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 the afternoon show on Newstalk ZB. For 13 years he was the breakfast host on Classic Hits. 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. www.mthobsonproperties.co.nz 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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the village

Piwakawaka photographed in Pourewa valley by Martin Heffer

Town & Around WELCOMING BACK BIRDSONG Controlling predators to encourage the return of native birds and to restore the dawn chorus into Auckland’s eastern bays is the vision of Eastern Bays Songbird Project. Following the lead of Predator Free NZ 2050 and Pest Free Auckland 2050, eastern bays residents have formed their own predator control group. The Eastern Bays Songbird Project is now a registered charity with the vision of an area vibrant with bird life. The Songbird Project has received funding from Auckland Council, an $8000 grant from the Ōrākei Local Board, $20,000 from the Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Grant programme, and a $3000 donation from Forest and Bird. The money is being used to fund traps, and training for volunteers. The group’s project manager, Julie Robson, says the end goal is of a community vibrant with birdlife, where tūī, pīwakawaka (fantail) and kererū are joined by visiting kākāriki, korimako (bellbird) and kākā. “Our aim is to have New Zealand's great taonga, the dawn chorus, is restored and where future generations, surrounded by our extraordinary and irreplaceable biodiversity, become its natural guardians,” she says.

The national Predator Free 2050 programme aims to rid New Zealand of possums, rodents and stoats over the next three decades. According to DoC, achieving the goal will deliver huge benefits across the country – for the social and cultural links with the environment, for regional economies through to primary industries and tourism, and of course, for threatened native species. The parks and reserves of Ōrākei, Remuera, Mission Bay, Kohimarama, St Heliers and Glendowie, will soon be filled with the sounds of many more native and exotic birds following the commencement of the community pest trapping project. Residents are encouraged to monitor child and cat-proof traps, provided by the project team, on their properties. Local volunteers are already trapping in reserves in conjunction with Auckland Council. Robson says predator control is the big challenge, but what is required is a collective community effort “to ensure that the eastern bays can be enriched by an abundance and diversity of birds.” By controlling predators, existing birdlife are also expected to flourish, as well as other birds returning. Kākāriki and bellbirds from nearby pest-free Rangitoto, Motuihe and Motutapu islands, will visit and make the eastern bays their homes, says Robson. This year, the project plans to establish 2000 rat traps, 150 possum traps and 40 stoat traps within selected areas. “We are in our startup phase, trialling trapping methods, and seeking funding,” says Robson. “We need volunteers to help with trapping, publicity, social media, running events, fundraising, school’s liaison and monitoring of birds”. “We want to recruit 100 volunteer street coordinators and 20 area coordinators to oversee trapping. They will be trained to monitor pests and bird life at the start of trapping and at sixmonthly intervals. All the data will be recorded using the Auckland

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University CatchIT site so that we can measure how successful we are being”. The Eastern Songbird Project is one of many groups working across NZ on predator control and biodiversity projects. “Other parts of New Zealand that have undertaken trapping projects are already seeing dramatic increases in bird life”, says Robson. Of the trapping and monitoring now underway, the project is seeing results in a mounting tally of predators being snared. One resident caught seven rats in one week, another two rats and a possum within a few days. Two high-tech, humane and selfresetting traps recorded 10 rat kills in two days. Competition in possum catching between a Glendowie resident and an Ōrākei resident has Ōrākei leading 15-6, says Robson. - Mary Fitzgerald p If you’d like to volunteer or know more about the Eastern Bays Songbird Project, contact info@songbird.org.nz

DRAIN SHAME IS A TAXING PROBLEM A water tax is being considered by Auckland Council as the key to advancing its works to stop sewage fouling streams and beaches after heavy rain. As each summer’s storms bring signs on the beaches advising against swimming for 24 hours, politicians are finding it harder to explain how this filth, oozing from safety valves of a stressed-out drainage system, fits with a world-class liveable city. Mayor Phil Goff has proposed a regional “water quality targeted rate” to raise $400 million over 10 years. This will boost the amount from Council’s general rates pool towards stormwater drainage, and slash the wait for improvement from 30 years to 10. The targeted rate would be additional to the general rates paid by households and businesses. It’s also on top of bills from Watercare Services, a Council-owned company for collecting and treating wastewater. It wholly funds its works from user-pays charges and loans. Most sewage overflows are in older central areas where a total of 16,000 homes put stormwater and wastewater into the same pipe. Watercare is responsible for managing the combined pipes while the Council’s stormwater department, called Healthy Waters, pays for stormwater upgrades and a share of the work to put in separate pipes. A hint of the suggested impost’s effect on residential and business ratepayers is given in the mayoral proposal for the Council’s 10-Year budget, 2018-28. Goff says he prefers the rate to be a variable charge based on a property’s capital value (CV) and payable by both urban and rural ratepayers. This works out at $66 a year for the home with a CV of the median price $1,080,000. A business of the same value would pay $115. The acceptability of a tax based on property value will be revealed in public submissions on the 10-year budget plan. The period for submissions closes March 28. Waitematā ward councillor Mike Lee says parts of Parnell and Newmarket are still on the combined system. “Cleaning up this problem goes to the top of the list when it comes to allocating council spending. Encouraging further intensification without, at least, a firm commitment and timeline to clean up this mess, would be extremely irresponsible.” Parnell Community Committee chairman Luke Niue is against a water tax. He says it would be “a double-whammy on our rates” and on top of a 3.3 per cent hike in Watercare’s waste water charges for 2017-18. The Parnell committee has not joined Stop Auckland Sewage Overflows Coalition, which is pushing Council for a faster rate of work on separating sewage from stormwater on the street

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and private property. Niue says the Parnell committee remains unsure as to whether spending an estimated $2.7 billion to achieve full separation is warranted. Instead, it supports a prompt start on building the Central and Waterfront interceptors (long tunnels to store and transport sewage and stormwater, with link sewers to the suburbs) as a way of creating capacity for population growth and cutting overflows in central Auckland. Work on the $960 million Central Interceptor tunnel from Western Springs to the Mangere Treatment Plant begins next year and may include a large pipe extension to Grey Lynn, says Watercare’s network strategy and efficiency manager Anin Nama. When finished in 2026, it is expected to capture enough effluent in the western and central suburbs to cut the frequency and volume of wet weather overflows by 80 per cent. The western isthmus has 12,000 properties on a combined sewer and 21 sites overflow diluted effluent when stormwater fills the pipe. There are overflows around Coxs, Herne and St Marys Bays. East of the CBD, three significant overflow sites discharge to water and 3000 properties are on combined sewage in Meadowbank, Ōrākei Basin, and Mechanics, Hobson and Judges Bays. Although a western isthmus work, the Central Interceptor should help sewer capacity in central Auckland to meet population growth beyond 2030. It will free capacity for growth in the Ōrākei main sewer that serves the CBD, Parnell, Newmarket and Remuera through to Ōrākei Domain, where it joins the Eastern Interceptor to Mangere. East of the CBD, the environmental benefits of big-ticket upgrades are being reaped. You see it in the crowds who swim in Judges Bay, where before the $5 million works, only half a dozen regulars were brave enough to test their immune systems against high bacteria levels. People who enjoy the uncluttered view across Hobson Bay (since 2011) may remember how the shabby old Ōrākei trunk sewer was replaced with a tunnel to a new pump station. For $121 million, that project reduced overflows into the bay. In 2016, a storage tank was built in Kohimarama, and that holds combined flow which, when the rain eases, passes back into the wastewater network. With upgraded branch sewers, that project has reduced overflows, but at a cost of $12 million. More work is to come. Ōkahu Bay has old pipes and a combined sewer that heavy rain causes to overflow into a popular bay. Watercare and Healthy Waters will work with 180 properties to separate the pipes and remove four overflow locations, finishing in 2021. In the Newmarket Gully, there will be further works to reduce overflows into Hobson Bay and overflows in branch sewers around Hobson Bay. Of course, separation does not quell concerns about heavy metals and bacteria discharged at stormwater outfalls in the harbour. The challenge for Watercare is to keep ahead of growth, renew ageing assets, keep service levels and protect the environment. Its current 10-year works programme for $2.8 billion of wastewater projects throughout the region, is staged to avoid causing a spike in its charges. Councillor Lee predicts that as the super city looks around for more revenue, water prices will come under pressure. In The Hobson’s January/February issue, Watercare produced figures to show a household’s cost for 220kL of water seven years ago, under the former Metrowater, was $455.35, or 40 per cent more than Watercare’s $325.60. At our invitation, for this issue, the water company compared the wastewater cost, based on a 14.5 per cent rise in the Capital Goods Price Index (CGPI) over seven years. It says that Watercare customers pay 17 per cent less in wastewater charges than they would have under Metrowater’s 2010-11 rates, increased by the CGPI.

Watercare’s 2017-18 domestic wastewater charges are $2.535 per kL, calculated as 78.5 per cent of volume of water consumed. There is an annual fixed charge of $211 per water meter. Water bills include GST of 15 per cent, which goes to the Government. — Wayne Thompson p For more about Council’s 10-Year budget and the targeted rate for water, see Desley Simpson’s column, page 20

CONGRATS IN ORDER AT ACG Two ACG Parnell College students and their teachers are celebrating after they received offers to the prestigious British institution, the University of Cambridge. With two A*s and an A grade in the school’s Cambridge exams, deputy head girl Ella-Rose Meagher has met the requirements to undertake a BA Honours in Education under the English, Drama and the Arts track at Gonville & Caius College. “I have had the most incredible education over the last 10 years at ACG,” she says, “It is absolutely due to the superb teaching and guidance that I received that this is possible.” Meagher’s acceptance of the offer is dependent on receiving a scholarship. Vaishnavi Gupta, who received four A* grades, has received an offer to study medicine, and been accepted to Christ’s College Cambridge, which admits only one international student each year. Principal Russell Brooke said both students were all-rounders. “Entry to world-ranked universities like Cambridge is incredibly competitive and these students have performed outstandingly well to receive offers and meet the grade requirements. Both EllaRose and Vaishnavi have contributed so much to school life – in more than just academia – and thoroughly deserve this exciting opportunity.” p

KING’S NEW CHAPTER King’s School officially opens its Centennial Building on March 13. The building, which borders the school’s Portland Rd boundary, saw the demolition of the red-brick Hanna Block, built in 1937 as a boarding facility. A bid by a group of old boys to save the building did not stay its demolition, but the new building has been designed to reflect elements of the distinctive Hanna Block. As the school approaches its centenary in 2022, the 5000m², $30m Centennial Building opening is a personal highlight for headmaster Tony Sissons. It contains classrooms, music studios, and spacious discussion areas such as the one pictured, above right. “The new Centennial Building allows a flow from the large individual classrooms into open flexible spaces, which can be used by boys and staff from across the school,” says Sissons. Both staff and boys feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy teaching and learning in this world class teaching facility.” The building is due to be formally opened by the chair of the King’s School trust board, the Hon Justice Simon Moore, and dedicated by the Anglican Bishop of Auckland, the Rt Rev Ross Bay. p

THE $64 MILLION QUESTION A new use for the former school site in the heart of Parnell’s finest homes is yet to be revealed, two years after being rezoned for housing use under the Auckland Unitary Plan.

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The Queen Victoria School for Māori Girls closed in 2001, and the buildings on the sprawling Glanville Tce site have been used since then by education-minded organisations, including a childcare centre, a tertiary provider, an eating disorders unit and a karate club. Parnell District School also used buildings during renovations. Although international students have moved out of a hostel block, other tenants on campus told The Hobson they are staying, albeit on a short-term basis pending word on any next move from the landlord. “We’ve just been doing up the childcare, so nothing has changed for us,” says Lyn Fox, chief executive of Parnell Community Trust, which runs the Parnell Early Childhood Centre. The property is administered on behalf of the St Stephens and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board by Trust Management, which has as a motto “empowering charities to serve and prosper”. Its CEO, Grant Hope, declined to comment on any plans. Neighbours are concerned for the preservation of their surroundings of single homes and heritage buildings. They went to the Unitary Plan hearings to challenge upzoning of the site to take terrace housing and apartments, and were relieved when it was limited to a less intensive Mixed Housing Suburban zone. Subsequently, Council’s 2017 valuation for rating purposes put the land value of Queen Vics’s 2ha at $48 million. With valuations for associated properties backing on to St Stephens Ave, the Trust Board’s holdings have land value for rating totalling $64 million. — Wayne Thompson p

GIN & JUNIPER Meadowbank has a new café, tucked away so neatly locals may not realise its existence. Juniper is within the Meadowbank Village retirement complex, at the very end of Meadowbank Rd. A gin tasting that turned into a lively event at the Village was the seed of inspiration when it came to naming the new cafe, which is in the newly-completed community centre, a light-filled communal space. Juniper is headed up by internationally-trained chef Christian Eickhoff. After 35 years of working in top hotels and resorts around he settled in Auckland, and into creating Juniper. The German-born Eickhoff, above, says he’s not only passionate about great food, but also providing a top-notch customer experience. “When we go to a restaurant or cafe, we aren’t just seeking sustenance,” he says. “Dining out is a social activity where we mix and mingle with the wider community.” The daytime blackboard menu will feature café favourites, says Eickhoff, and he’s keen on patrons’ feedback about what is pleasing to local palates, and what they’d like to see more of. With only a handful of restaurants and cafes in the neighbourhood, this new and somewhat unexpected addition to the dining scene will be welcome news to locals. Meadowbank Village is sited over four hectares, with tranquil views ranging from the lush green paddocks of the horses grazing on Kepa Rd, to the city skyline and the waters of the Ōrākei Basin.

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As well as Juniper and the community centre, recent developments in the complex include new apartments — the well-named Hobson building — and care suites. p Juniper opens to the public on March 5. Fully licenced, it will operate seven days, 10am-3pm. 148-168 Meadowbank Rd

PAINTING THE PAST An art exhibition opening this month hopes to bring attention to the threat heritage buildings face in Auckland. “Past and Present” will show at the Railway Street Studios in Newmarket, and bring together four prominent artists who have an interest in the protection and restoration of Auckland buildings and further afield. Gallery owner and manager Fiona Cable says the idea came about after one of the artists, Murray Dewhurst, told her about a group he belongs to who go out and sketch heritage places around Auckland. The two of them discussed the importance of capturing these buildings. “Talking to Murray made me think this would make a great show. I’m passionate about heritage myself, and always have been. During my overseas travels I loved the old buildings in Europe, and I feel we’re not looking after Auckland buildings in the same way. New Zealand is still a young country and I think we could learn from other countries.” The four artists featuring in the exhibition – Dewhurst, David Barker, John Horner and Graham Down – have diverse styles of art, but the works are united by their theme. They’re concerned about

Astor Hotel, acrylic on canvas, by John Horner

the protection and documentation of New Zealand’s heritage, and hope by capturing the essence of the past, it will be preserved for future generations. Artworks include icons such as the Rangitoto Is baches, Devonport’s Esplanade Hotel, and St Marys Bay villas. This is the first time the gallery has held a heritage-based themed show, and Cable says it’s a combination of being able to bring together four artists whose work focuses on the subject, and pertinent timing for Auckland right now. “For example, the recent sad news that two buildings from the 1920s are being demolished in Park Rd.” Cable says the exhibition will raise awareness of the issues and contribute in a wider sense, with a percentage of the exhibition’s sales to go to Heritage New Zealand to support their work. — Gretchen Carroll p Past and Present opens March 15, until April 3 at Railway Street Studios, 8 Railway St, Newmarket. John Horner will be demonstrating his painting techniques in the gallery on March 24

ŌRĀKEI ON THE MOVE The Ōrākei Local Board has relocated its office from the Meadowbank Shopping Centre, to Auckland Council’s Albert St premises, where local boards are headquartered, despite it being outside the ward and access being a challenge due to the CRL works. The board’s also taken space in the Ōrākei Community Centre on Kepa Rd, where the usual office hours of 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday are in operation. p

NEW YEAR HONOREES Congratulations to Remuera residents recognised for their good works in the New Year’s Honours list. They include: — William (Bill) Birnie, Companion of the NZ Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to governance, the arts and sport — Jeremy Drummond, New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to early childhood education — Helene Wong, New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the arts and the Chinese community — Dr Morag Hardy, Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to paediatrics and the community. p


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Meet Your Reps

I

n this issue, Mary Fitzgerald meets Waitematā Local Board member Vernon Tava. Before he was elected to the board in 2013, Tava was an academic researcher and tutor at the University of Auckland Law School. Tava has practiced as a lawyer and is now a business broker. He lives right in town, in the historic Brooklyn apartments.

Why did you stand for this position? I believe that the local board level of representation has the most impact on peoples’ everyday experiences of living in the city, and I am passionate about the conservation of our remaining built heritage and communicating its value to the public. What board portfolios are you responsible for? Primarily resource consents and heritage, as well as the transport portfolio.

I HAD A DREAM . . . Sammie Campbell loves her day job managing Remuera’s Integrative Pain Care practice, but it’s her after-hours role that really makes her heart sing. Campbell, 19, stars as the young lead, Sophie, in Amici Productions and Auckland Musical Theatre’s run of the hit Abba-based musical Mamma Mia!, which opens this month. Since she donned a munchkin costume for a local production of The Wizard of Oz at the age of five, Campbell has known she wants to perform. Since then, she’s been in 16 different productions, singing and dancing her way from munchkin to leading roles in shows including Sister Act and Hairspray. As Mamma Mia!’s headstrong Sophie Sheridan, Campbell also found personal connections with her character. “Abba is such an eternal sound,” she says. “My granddad only seemed to have Abba CDs. I used to dance in his living room when I was little — I’d make him get up and dance with me to songs like “Dancing Queen” and “Super Trouper,” which is probably my favourite of all the Abba songs.” Central to the musical plot is Sophie’s quest to discover her father. Campbell’s parents separated when she was very young, and she was raised by her mother, who, in another coincidence, shares the name of Sophie’s mother, Donna. “Like Sophie, I have grown up without my dad. But my mum is so very supportive of my following my dream — taking me to rehearsals, dance lessons, all those things." This year, Campbell will wrap up her work at the pain clinic, as she has been accepted to study midwifery at AUT. “Performing is my top passion, but I’m also keen to do other things. Perhaps one day I might go overseas for more experience, but for the next few years I’ll be studying.” p Mamma Mia! opens at the Bruce Mason Centre on March 24. For information, see ticketmaster.co.nz

Since being elected what do you consider to be the top two things you have achieved in your role? The first is the installation of the Heritage Foreshore Trail — a series of signs that trace the pre-1840 shoreline in central Auckland, which has been changed beyond recognition [see our story on the trail, page 32]. The second thing is the more quotidian, but also important monthly reporting on resource consents in the local board area. They’re available on my site, vernontava.com. I’m told it’s an invaluable resource for many city-watchers. What top four things do you intend to achieve in the time remaining in your term, and why are they important to you? The things I am aiming for share a common denominator, in that they will all make information about our shared historic heritage available and accessible to the public in an easy-to-understand and visually appealing way. They include to digitise information on the Foreshore Heritage Trail; develop online maps of heritage sites, public viewing areas and spaces, and notable trees; commission an augmented reality app that can be used on any connected device to visualise Auckland as it used to be, simply by holding it up in front of you. I’d also like to work with Auckland Council and the community to see neglected heritage buildings such as Māori Hall (Edinburgh St, Newton) and Carlile House (Richmond Rd) restored and returned to public use. Tell us something about yourself that will surprise your community. I used to be a professional coffee roaster in Melbourne. If you were prime minister what would you do to improve Auckland? Enable the city to properly fund its transport system. What is your favourite escape in Auckland? I love getting out to the West Coast beaches. In my own local board area, I enjoying riding my bike around Western Springs Reserve, or around the waterfront. p vernon.tava@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

the hobson 18


PAUL GOLDSMITH

NATIONAL LIST MP BASED IN EPSOM A

State

107 Great South Road, Greenlane PO Box 26 153 Epsom, Auckland 1344

P

09 524 4930

E

paul.goldsmith@parliament.govt.nz

W

www.paulgoldsmith.co.nz

Grace

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David Seymour

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MP For Epsom

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Authorised by David Seymour, Suite 2.4, Level 2, 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket, AKL

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R=255 G=218 B=55 Epsom Electorate Office David Seymour

Level 2, 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket R=0 G=64 B=139 MP For Epsom

Authorisedby byDavid DavidSeymour, Seymour,MP Suite Level27 2, Gillies 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket, AKL Promoted for2.4, Epsom, Avenue, Newmarket

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the councillors

DESLEY SIMPSON

I

t’s been a busy start to the year with Auckland Council lodging resource consent for the America’s Cup Village, and preparing consultation material to ask Aucklanders their thoughts on how rates should be set, and spent, for the next 10 years. Whilst we ask you to think 10 years out, the reality is the first three years are the most crucial, as by law, the 10 year process needs to be repeated every political term (three years). There are a number of key issues we need to hear from you on — 1. Rates/Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC). Broadly speaking, the proposal seeks to constrain general rates increases that fund the bulk of Council’s investment and activity to 2.5 per cent for Years 1 and 2. The UAGC is also set to rise 2.5 per cent, to $414 for 2017/18, and another 2.5 per cent in 2018/19. This will be the highest UAGC Auckland Council has ever had. Remember this is “good” for our Ōrākei ward on the whole, as the higher the UAGC, the lower the proportion of rates needed to be calculated on your property’s capital value. 2. Targeted rates. Council’s proposed 10-Year Plan also adds options for additional targeted rates to increase Council spend in particular areas, namely Water Quality, the Natural Environment and changing the way we fund transport investment. So why? I’ll start with Water Quality. Recently, there have been a number of stories about sewerage flows entering our harbours. Over the years, investment in water infrastructure has struggled to match the growth our region has faced. There are still old pipes in our ward which have not been separated for sewage and wastewater. This means that overflows to meet demand of infill housing are now at crisis point in many places. In my opinion, this is unacceptable in a city such as ours and a problem that needs urgently addressing. Safeswim (the website showing beaches safe for swimming and free from contamination) identifies days when it is unsafe to swim in one of our local beaches. We also currently have 11 points where overflows can enter Hobson Bay, eight overflows entering Ōkahu Bay and 22 entering Ōrākei Basin. The Water Quality targeted rate proposal suggests raising and using this additional funding to specifically reduce the amount of wastewater overflows. What do you think about paying additional rates to solve this problem? Council has also been recently faced with some major environmental challenges such as kauri dieback disease and introduced pest species. On top of that, Auckland has the sad label of being the “world’s weediest city” because of our high number of invasive plant species. Late last year, a number of cases of myrtle rust were found on pohutukawa — more cases were found in Remuera than any other part of Auckland. Ratepayers and residents are being asked whether they wish to contribute to specifically targeting these issues through a Natural Environment targeted rate. The proposal has several options including fixed rates, and rates based on capital value. The mayor is also asking Aucklanders to consider a Regional Fuel Tax. Unlike the other two suggested targeted rates, it’s not yet clear

exactly what projects this tax would fund. Transport has a number of masters. Obviously Auckland Transport (AT) is given budget to deliver transport infrastructure and solutions, but for large transport projects, Council often shares the spend with central government. A good local example is the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path, which is funded both by central government and Council jointly. We are currently waiting for the new government to confirm their transport policy and at time of writing, this hasn’t been completed. However, due to the good work done with the previous government, we do know that Auckland faces at least a $5.9 billion shortfall in transport spending. To confuse things even more, every residential ratepayer currently pays $113.85 per annum as an extra transport cost. This was instituted in 2015 by the Len Brown council as a flat charge to all properties, a stop-gap funding measure until a new source was identified. The proposal now is to replace that set levy with a Regional Fuel Tax of $0.10/litre of fuel to fund the shortfall. 3. Ōrākei Local Board Initiative. The local board has chosen as their number one initiative the popular north-south connection to the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path, at Gowing Dr. I’ve been impressed by the work that the Board has done on this, and look forward to hearing what you think so that I can reflect your views to the mayor and fellow councillors. Finally, you will remember that revaluation of all Auckland properties was done in November. Council worked with independent valuers, Quotable Value, and the results obviously follow ‘the market’. Whilst we all know Auckland is expensive, overall revaluation showed that the value of Auckland’s real estate had increased by a whopping 46 per cent since valuations were last done in 2014! Some properties in the Ōrākei ward increased significantly more than the overall average, others less. This means that unlike last year’s clear 2.5% rates increase, the change you see on your rates bill for the year beginning July will probably not match the 2.5% - some will be higher, and some lower. I’ve outlined just a handful of the items up for discussion this month — more information is available on the Council website, at your local library and through your local residents’ association. Please take some time and be part of the discussion. There will be a public meeting at St Chad’s Church and Community Centre, March 15 at 7pm, if you want to discuss regional issues with me, as well as drop in sessions at:

• • • •

Orakei Bay Village, March 3, 11am-1pm Meadowbank Shopping Centre, March 3, 3- 5pm St Heliers Library, March 7, 11am-1pm Eastridge Shopping Centre, March 10, 1-3pm Submissions will close March 28. See www.shapeauckland.co.nz for full information. Desley Simpson is the Councillor for Auckland representing the Ōrākei ward

the hobson 20


The Collection of Frank and Lyn Corner A Wellington Auction and Historical Event Sunday 18 March 2018, 4.00pm at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery 11 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

ART + OBJECT artandobject.co.nz

Tanya Ashken’s White Torso (1969) and Colin McCahon’s Landscape Theme and Variations No. 1 (1963) as installed c.1976 in the Ernst Plischke modernist residence commissioned by the Corners in Thorndon, Wellington.


the councillors

MIKE LEE

drew bitter criticism from the NZ Company settlers in Wellington, where almost overnight, from canvas tents and nikau whares, colonial society had sprung up, complete with declaiming newspapers and turbulent meetings of irate settlers. Thereafter Hobson was constantly denounced by the settlers – even in Auckland! (Especially in Auckland; lending truth to the adage “no good deed goes unpunished”). Hobson’s task to build a country with an administration that was hopelessly under-resourced, mediating between the Māori chiefs with whom he had signed the Treaty on the one hand, and landhungry businessmen who proved to be more formidable than the pirates of the Caribbean, on the other. It would have difficult enough for the most experienced politician or bureaucrat. William Hobson was neither of these. A naval officer trained to obey orders and to have his orders obeyed, he found criticism, especially public criticism, extremely difficult to bear. As Professor Russell Stone adjudged, “In Captain William Hobson there was much to admire. He was brave, conscientious, and diligent in his public duties. His private life was beyond reproach; he was a loving husband and a devoted family man. Yet of all the governors . . . he was the least popular and the most calumniated”. Dr Ron Trubuhovich, in his remarkable investigation of Hobson’s health problems and his still-mysterious final illness and death, wrote, “During the months after returning to Auckland, pressures mounted, particularly at the hands of the town’s ‘The Clique’ whose members hounded him mercilessly, instigating public meetings to humiliate him when his enfeebled condition was worsening. In Aug. 1842, too sick to attend public meetings, he was asked to sign petitions condemnatory of himself in attachments to memorials from citizens’ meetings”. Dr Trubuhovich concluded, “Perhaps it was all too much for him, he simply gave up in spirit and allowed/wished himself to die”. He was only 49. Governor Hobson, author of the Treaty of Waitangi, founder of the modern state of New Zealand, founder of the city of Auckland, is buried in the Symonds St cemetery, within metres of the motorway on-ramp. He was the only governor to stay. Mike Lee is the Councillor for Auckland representing the Waitematā and Gulf ward

the hobson 22

Governor William Hobson, by James Ingram McDonald. Image: Alexander Turnbull Library

E

arly on Waitangi Day a small group of residents, mainly from Grafton, Parnell and Arch Hill, as they had the year before, quietly gathered at the grave of Governor William Hobson. They were there to pay tribute to the man who gave us the Treaty of Waitangi and brought New Zealand into the British Empire. (The man after whom we shouldn’t forget this publication is named). A wreath, posies of flowers and a New Zealand flag were respectfully placed on the marble gravestone. Waitangi Day and the Treaty of Waitangi has had more than its share of controversies over recent years, so much so that Captain William Hobson R.N. and his role in those momentous events of early February 1840 has been rather overlooked. What of the man himself? This very dutiful servant of Empire was born in Ireland in 1792, the son of an Anglo-Irish barrister in the city of Waterford. Hobson joined the Royal Navy in 1803 during the Napoleonic Wars, just one month short of 11 years old. Graduating to midshipman, he was commissioned lieutenant in 1813. Command followed in 1824. Most of his sea service was in the West Indies, combating piracy. In those times this duty was especially arduous, not least because of the region’s often deadly tropical diseases, one of which he reportedly contracted. Illness was followed by a period of six years ashore, on half pay. Hobson’s luck changed in 1834 when the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Auckland (George Eden), to Hobson’s eternal gratitude, arranged for him the highly desirable appointment as captain of the frigate Rattlesnake. Hobson was posted to the East India Station and visited New South Wales. In Sydney in 1837, Hobson and the Rattlesnake were ordered to New Zealand, to show the flag and to report on the country’s “lawless” situation. Hobson’s report impressed his superiors, and directly led to his appointment in 1839 as Consul to New Zealand. He left England for the last time that August. In Sydney, he received his final instructions from Governor Gipps, and in January 1840, in the Herald, sailed for the Bay of Islands. Hobson’s Treaty of Waitangi and his achievement in persuading the leading rangatira of the north to sign it (they had little to go on except for their impression of his integrity), thereby annexing the islands of New Zealand into the British Empire, was a remarkable triumph. But as so often happens, great success was followed not by acclaim and happiness, but by misfortune and sorrow. On March 1 1840, the then-Lieutenant Governor suffered what is believed to be a hemiplegic stroke. However he soon recovered and returned to full duties. During this time he resolved to move the capital of his new country from Okiato (Russell) to Tāmaki, thereby founding the city of Auckland. This, his second great historic accomplishment,


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the politicians

DAVID SEYMOUR

I

PAUL GOLDSMITH

t’s nice to be back. I hope that everyone has had a relaxing summer break without being caught in heat, storms, or any of the other pestilence the country has suffered. As one wag wondered aloud, perhaps we shouldn’t have changed the Parliamentary prayer last year? Back here in the Epsom electorate, one of our greatest scourges seems to be Auckland Transport (AT). They seem to be the number one irritant that sends people towards my electorate office. Perhaps that’s a little unfair. Whoever’s responsible for transporting too many people with too many places to go, and not enough transport infrastructure, is going to have a tough job. Whoever’s really at fault, transport issues create more than a fraction of local friction, especially in Parnell right now. The Gladstone Rd cycleway saga is entering a new year, its third so far. AT attempted to hide the initial proposal in amongst a proposal to give residential parking permits. Notwithstanding some teething problems around permits for builders, nannies and home helpers, which we’re addressing, the permits are something of a windfall for locals. The cycleway proposal, however, has been less welcome. It involved a cycle lane on each side of St Stephens Ave and Gladstone Rd, removing 95 carparks to the detriment of people accessing the Gladstone Rd shops, Parnell District School and Holy Trinity Cathedral, among other resources. The community pushed back hard with a well-attended meeting last year, leading to AT holding consultation meetings. At these, a more palatable proposal emerged, one that involved making the area a low speed zone that cars and bikes could share. Somehow that proposal evaporated, with AT now back at the drawing-board. They have written to community leaders saying that a new plan is in the offing, to be presented in about three months’ time. It is very difficult to know what to expect, given that the process appeared to be going well after the initial community push back, then went to ground. As usual locals, the Parnell Business Association, and the indefatigable Luke Niue in particular, are doing a very good job of representing community aspirations. I support their efforts and am making sure their view is understood by central government. We’ll be pushing for a much more scenic and sustainable route downtown through the Domain, which had been championed by the Waitematā Local Board. If you are concerned about this issue, please stay tuned for further meetings and consultations. I remain confident that the democratic process will lead to an outcome that works for both the community, and those who wish to pass through on their bicycles, alike. It will, however, require sustained community interest. A more general observation about AT is that they appear to have a masterplan for cycleways that is not widely known. None of the projects they advocate, be they the barely-used Carlton Gore cycleway or the Gladstone Rd project, make a jot of sense in isolation. The most favourable construction we can put on these projects is that their usefulness will be powerfully multiplied when they eventually join up into a network. If that’s the case, it would be far better for AT to just come out and tell us. David Seymour is the MP for Epsom.

M

ost readers of The Hobson will be painfully aware of the way their rates bills have increased in the past five years. This has partly reflected decisions by successive councils to shift even more of the burden onto higher-value properties, and it is partly the result of higher Auckland Council spending. Core Council spending is up around 40 per cent since 2014 ($1.9 billion to $2.8 billion in 2017). It’s astonishing then to discover that while rivers of cash have gushed into many areas of Council spending, the Auckland Art Gallery, one of the city’s core cultural institutions, has been starved. Its operating budget has been progressively cut from $12m in 2012 to $6.9m this year. Now, I’m all for careful spending, and have no doubt that some areas of the Council would benefit from a dose of austerity. But it seems perverse that one of the jewels in the city’s crown should be singled out for such treatment. Over 130 years successive councils have invested heavily to redevelop and expand the gallery, so that now it is truly an amazing space. Supporters of the gallery have been roused to action, forming Save Our Gallery, to fight for a better response. And I wish them every success. Our local Ōrākei ward councillor, Desley Simpson, has also been an advocate for the gallery. It is heartening that finally the mayor has indicated a willingness to support an extra $2 million a year. This will go some way to rectifying the situation. Hopefully the rest of the Council will support him. It’s worth reflecting on the 130-year history of the Auckland Art Gallery. In the 1880s, as now, the city was in need of investment in transport, water and sewerage. There were many demands on spending. But the city fathers saw value in a place to present and celebrate art. To inspire and thrill all generations. Any city worth its salt has a vibrant arts community, including an art gallery that will take the breath away from visitors, local or foreign. Auckland has that, and in my opinion the Super City should be able to marshall its resources to fund it properly. Parliament, in the meantime, has resumed. The new government continues to be morally and intellectually incoherent. Cancelling a modest adjustment of the tax thresholds because wealthier people might pay $1000 less tax a year, while dedicating its biggest new spending allocation to a free year of tertiary education, is a $6000 present in many instances to those same wealthier families. Then the employment minister allocates $13m to get community groups to help marginalised youth into employment. Sounds good, but the day before, the government said it would take away 90-day trials for most businesses – a move that will hurt, you guessed it, marginalised youth. Does anyone think removing a 90-day trial period will make it more likely that employers will take a chance on an unskilled youth from a troubled background, who has no work experience? We’ll fight the good fight. Meantime, with the freedom of Opposition I have more time to visit community groups, clubs, local businesses etc. If you want to give me the benefit of your views, please give my office a call — (09) 524 4930 — and I’ll come. Paul Goldsmith is a National list MP, based in Epsom.

the hobson 24


the suburbanist

Speed Me into the Future

I

f your children are under the age of five, chances are they will never learn to drive. Or so we are told, as the perfect storm of electrically-powered, autonomous vehicles; smaller, cheaper batteries with greater capacity, artificial intelligence and the Blockchain approach on the horizon as foreboding thunderhead. Or, as a gentle glistening mist, bringing with it several radiant rainbows. It all depends on your point of view and which crystal ball you use. KPMG surveyed 953 global auto executives recently and 62 per cent of them believe electric vehicles are a fool’s errand that will eventually be overtaken by FCEVs (Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles). Well, they would say that wouldn’t they . . . FCEVs will require fuel stations to distribute the hydrogen needed for them to operate, and if the oil companies and their buddies, the auto-makers, can retain the ownership of the distribution, they will control the system. You can get your electricity by plugging in at home, or at work – or, eventually – from the sun, bypassing the need for the massive infrastructure of the supply network. The better the batteries get, the greater distance between charging, and the less dependence on public infrastructure. And this infrastructure, when developed, will be built by power companies, not oil barons, and will be smaller, cleaner and more flexible than current petrol stations. In the future, petrol stations might be as hard to find as a camera shop that will develop your analogue film, and those current gas stations will be redeveloped as apartments, complete with fall-out shelters built from converted underground gas storage tanks. The sustainable view of the future has a network of autonomous vehicles (AVs) that turn up on demand, and take you to where you want to go, quickly and efficiently, possibly sharing the ride with other users. The AV will then go on to pick up someone else, getting greater utility of a single vehicle than you do from your car, that can sit idle for 22 hours a day. Which would be fine if the two hours that you needed to travel weren’t the same hours as everyone else. Our current patterns of work dictate that the highest demand for AVs will be at the beginning and end of the working day. Either we will need to have enough cars to meet this demand – many of which will be idle for the other 22 hours per day (where have I seen this number before . . ? Oh yeah) – or there will be an undersupply and

you’ll have to queue for one (like a taxi). When New York introduced a bike share system, there was a wave of cycles coming in from the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens each morning, followed by convoys of trucks that would pick up the bikes and return them to their starting points for the next tranche of cycling commuters. In the evening, the process was reversed. The very nature of commuting means that once a single commute has been completed, the vehicle – bike, AV – is already in the wrong place. AVs will simply turn around and head back to the suburbs to collect another – waiting – commuter and will most likely be empty. The AV then will travel twice as many kilometres per completed commute than the current owner/driver who parks at work. Therefore the AV will have to be twice as efficient — carrying more than two people per ride, shorter following distances — before we see any significant drop in congestion. This reduction could be hastened through congestion charging or surge pricing. If there aren’t enough AVs on the road, then demand will be satisfied by short term increases in price for those willing to pay; those who aren’t, will be tempted to dust off their petrol car and add it to the queue trying to get on the motorway at the Greenlane roundabout. The image currently gaining traction may never arrive — those little Jetsons-like driverless cars, wandering the sparsely occupied roads, with happy citizens hopping on and off at their leisure. As we approach Easter, keep an eye out for the extensive media coverage of the traffic trying to escape the city. In the future, will we all set off in AVs for the Coromandel or Piha? If we all go at once, will there be enough cars? And, if there are, will the roads be just as congested? When we get to our destination, what will happen to the car? Will it sit and wait for us, or head off to pick up another family? If it does leave, how will we get to the beach 5km away? The fish and chip shop the next bay over? The pub to watch the cricket? Does an AV even know how to go on a road trip? Perhaps we’ll keep a car in the garage for these longer trips. We’ll join a throng of others who only drive three times each year, a little rusty, a little tired and a little more prone to having an accident. Expect the holiday road toll to go up in the future, not down. — Tommy Honey

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

GUIDING, GROWING, AND P R O T E C T I N G YO U R W E A LT H

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the plan

Taking Stock of Summer Storms

T

he summer to end all summers, not a care in the world, life is good! My last column of 2017, which set out that the people of “Mt Hobson” should break away and form our own council, saw my inbox inundated with support and similar stories of dismay at the competence of what is a billion-dollar organisation. Thankfully the reserve at the end of our street is no longer a hay paddock, and life will go on. Carrying on the theme, I thought there was wonderful irony when the board of Auckland Transport (an Auckland Council organisation) rejected the draft of its most important and revised 10 year planning document, prepared by its staff. The reason? The recommendations in the draft ignored their own policies. They also ignored the policies of Auckland Council, which AT is supposed to answer to. What is worse, is they also ignored the signalled change in direction of the new government, which part-funds a large part of the transport plans. The draft plan also included an introduction from the chair, Dr Lester Levy. The problem here is he did not write the introduction, he did not review the introduction, and he did not know it was going to be published. So the end result is your rates will again be spent on the rewrite of another plan which hopefully will more align with what Council and government want to achieve with transport. Dr Levy, who is also the chair of Auckland’s three district health boards, wants to know how this all happened and said that he spends a lot of his time having to apologise for things he does not know about. So do I, and I have three young children. In housing news, the government has introduced the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill 2017. The intent of the bill is to restrict the purchase of residential land by overseas investors to make housing and home ownership more accessible to New Zealanders. Effectively, this means that if you are not a New Zealander or Australian you cannot purchase an existing house or apartment, or bare land or a lifestyle block. As a foreigner, you can purchase a brand new dwelling or apartment, but will have to sell it within one year. There is logic to some of these measures, they have been

introduced in Australia and Canada on existing property to help subdue raging housing markets fuelled by offshore funds and absentee owners. However, NZ relies on overseas funds to grow our country. New apartment and housing projects may not have the internal monetary demand to allow them to progress. It is my view that if the ban on foreigners not being able to buy off the plans is carried through, then you will see the majority of new projects — which rely on presales to be funded — cancelled. The preserve result of this could be a reduction in housing supply, which cuts across the grain of the government’s policy of increasing supply of housing and building 10,000 houses a year. It may also push rents up, as there is less new stock coming onto the market. Banning the purchase of existing houses makes sense, especially in the short term until demand-supply equilibrium is in better balance. However banning the purchase of new residential units could have unintended consequences. I do hope that political ideology does not get in the way of the economic reality that we rely on overseas funds to grow our country. Having travelled around Auckland’s beaches and coastal reaches in the last few weeks, I have been amazed at the impact the recent storms have had on roads, wharves and other important infrastructure. Travelling south beyond Kawakawa Bay, half of the road that abuts the coastal edge has gone, and there are now 300m sections of one lane road, precariously wedged between a cliff edge and the sea. Sections of the Tamaki Dr causeway may be sinking, and how long before parts of the road are required to be lifted to prevent inundation? Whether we believe in climate change and who is to blame, there is evidence that we are getting more regular summer storms, which, when combined with king tides and nor’easterly winds, are creating damage that is costly, and in some cases prohibitive, to repair. It will be interesting to see what decisions we have to make into the future if the storm pattern continues. Once an insurance company declines insurance, then property values fall. Council can only fix the damage so many times before hard decisions have to be made on the future of low-lying areas. — Hamish Firth

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15/02/18 2:43 PM


the investment

The Ring of Confidence

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Z business confidence drops on Labour policy concerns” was a headline in the NZ Herald on January 16. Even though I hope you were enjoying a fabulous summer vacation and not paying too much attention to such mundane business and economic matters, I also hope you saw the headline and had pause for thought. Unfortunately, this headline is bad news and its consequences will likely undermine the reasonably robust strength of the NZ economy seen over the past few years (notwithstanding, I think she could have been stronger). The confidence of NZ businesses fell sharply in the December quarter – after the NZ First and Labour Parties arranged themselves to form a government – and this is bad news no matter how one looks at it. It’s even worse when one considers that business confidence, or rather lack of it, is at its lowest level since 2000, just after the “tech-wreck” saw a substantial decline in world stock markets and a material slowdown in economic activity. Confidence can be a strange thing and indeed self-fulfilling, but it does have an effect on the real economy and markets. A lack of confidence (that we might currently be seeing) can in itself ensure that the dreaded declines in economic activity and markets actually come, while optimism can lead to a stronger environment. What is “business confidence?” Broadly speaking, business confidence numbers measure the degree of optimism that businesses feel in regards to the economy and spending intentions. Generally, if companies are feeling optimistic or positive regarding the outlook for their respective businesses, they tend to have an expansionary leaning. That is expansionary in terms of hiring people or expanding their workforce, and expansionary in terms of investing in new plant, machinery and equipment, as well as increasing appetite for acquisitions. Optimistic companies tend to have recently experienced stronger profits and anticipate further

profit growth – hence their willingness to consider expansion. And with higher profits and strong profit growth usually comes higher company tax payments. Companies that are optimistic and positive hire more staff and oftentimes pay them more. This leads to higher employment in an economy. And higher employment usually leads to higher PAYE or income tax payments. More people working equals more people paying tax to the government. Individuals that have safe, well-paying jobs with prospects for bonuses and wage and salary increases, tend to spend more. And when consumer spending increases, so too do GST payments and therefore the government’s receipts or income from GST. See the virtuous circle? Strong business confidence generally leads to companies expanding, hiring more and paying more company tax. A growing workforce tends to see more PAYE receipts, and a healthy employment environment leads to greater spending and therefore GST receipts. So government revenue and its ability to fund its spending promises and programmes is heavily reliant on tax receipts (duh!) And tax receipts are themselves heavily reliant on companies and employees paying tax and having healthy levels of consumption, and all are linked to business confidence. Undermine business confidence and all of the above is at risk, which leads to risk in government revenue. This Labour/NZ First government is a “tax and transfer” government. It needs strong revenue, which it will only get from tax receipts, to fund its policies of increased welfare payments, higher subsidies for tertiary education, higher contributions to the NZ Super Fund etc. And if it needs revenue to fund its policies and keep it in power what do you think will happen if it starts to see that revenue become uncertain? Raise taxes! That’s what left-leaning governments do and all they know how to do. So get ready for it. — Warren Couillault

the hobson 27


the second act

When Being Young was Fun

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was both intrigued and a little saddened to hear that the most popular course, ever, at Yale is a recent addition to their curriculum. “Psychology and the Good Life” is a basic happiness course that teaches young ones how to be happy and flourish. Around a quarter of the student body has enrolled in it. It seems that rather than focusing on having a good time — surely the whole point of being young — students at the elite university have been putting happiness on the back burner, in order to give their all to gain admission to the school. Closer to home, I observe this kind of angst-ridden earnestness in our young people as well, except of course in our household, where I feel that our extremely laidback 17-year-old could do with a dose of blind ambition now and then. Those late-teen and early 20-something years were traditionally dubbed the “best years of your life,” but now, with Gen Y and millennials forecast to be the first generation that will end up poorer than their parents, societal messaging is being readjusted. Life seems to be tougher for this lot than “back in my day”. For starters, they are forced to endure tedious career expos, making random calls on who they want to be, before they can even cook a meal. So many teenagers and young adults are saddled with anxiety issues, I wonder if our own ambitions as parents are to blame. Certainly, I’ve had to wake up to the fact that I’ve been operating a double standard. While my kids only know me as being personally driven, overcommitted and with high expectations of myself, I have never shared the more decadent parts of my young years with them, in case they too decided it was a good idea to spend their youth smoking “pot” in spa pools jam-packed with writhing bodies listening to Pink Floyd. (Yep, they really were the best years of my life). I had no actual plans. I remember one girl left school at 16 and got a job on reception at an insurance office in Tauranga. I remember thinking, “wow, cool . . . hmmm, I better get a job at some point”. It was only later that I became a career snob. Somehow, I muddled through with no pressure from my parents, just an

unspoken social norm that once you left school, you got on with things. I stumbled into a “career” and didn’t earn a lot for years, but I guess I felt free of any parental expectation to do, or be, bigger and better. Sure, things were different back then; we got a free tertiary education for starters. But there seemed to be a distinct lack of competitiveness. Now just muddling along is not good enough, as characterised by the binary thinking of the leader of the free world, who puts people into two camps – winners and losers. And no one wants to be a loser. So many still assume that winners go to university and losers don’t, even though we know that it’s the tradies who will have jobs for life and not necessarily the lawyers, doctors and accountants. I remember when my son was around 12, he came home and asked what a hedge fund manager was. Some poor, misguided child in his class had announced that’s what he wanted to be when he grew up. God, how awful. What happened to wanting to be an astronaut or a pop star? What happened to being young? A friend observed that his wife starts every conversation about their kids with the phrase, “I’m worried that . . .” And I realised that even if I don’t verbalise it, it’s an underlying motivator – keeping them safe. So this year, my mantra for parenting is about easing up on the helpful tips that risk coming across as strong directives. Those of us who have survived to live a second act have a responsibility to live life like we would want our children to. Surely we want them to listen to their hearts, ignore the dreams of others, keep trying, experiment with new ideas, and if they fail, do it openly and wholeheartedly. Above all else, they need to learn to enjoy themselves. I think that’s what our wonderful son, who knows how to cook a meal and enjoy himself, has been trying to get though to me. He’s got it sorted. — Sandy Burgham

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the hobson 28


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the philanthropists

Backing Back to School Photo courtesy of Variety

Locals offer a helping hand to school kids in need

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he beginning of a new school year is expensive: stationery, uniforms, sports, camps, and at many schools, a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy means hundreds of dollars on a tablet or laptop. And that’s the price for a child to access “free” education. Lorraine Taylor, CEO of Variety – the Children’s Charity, says often disadvantaged children are being held back from attending school until their parents can afford to buy the necessities, “or they’re going to school in a uniform that doesn’t fit – making them stand out from their classmates”. While keeping a watchful eye on the legislation that will standardise the way government measures the scale of the problem, Taylor says that unfortunately, sponsors for Kiwi kids living in poverty are needed now more than ever. “We know the scale of the problem is huge, around 290,000 Kiwi children are growing up in families that are struggling financially.” Taylor says Variety looks at its Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme as providing opportunity and access. “This could be access to a new uniform, a digital device, a school camp or the opportunity to learn an instrument or participate in a team sport – the difference sponsorship can make to these kids is huge.” The Hobson spoke to two Remuera locals who sponsor children through the Variety program. While neither wished their full names to be used, both were happy to share the motivation for their sponsorship. Michelle says she sees the benefits of an active childhood, with an active family and children who enjoy participating in a wide range of extracurricular activities, and wanted to help other children have the same opportunities as her own. “I sponsor three because I have three children and thought that was a nice balance. For us it’s a way to help others, and it hopefully gives our own kids greater awareness of how fortunate they are to be able to take up most opportunities that appeal to them.

“I want the children I sponsor to able to hold their heads up high, join in and have some opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. I know that one of my Kiwi kids was able to play soccer and go to school camp, which is all great for personal development and means they’re not missing out on the fun.” Variety’s Kiwi Kid’s sponsorship programme is unique in that the support offered to children on the programme is tailored to individual needs. Over the past year, 67 per cent of all claims have been for basics such as warm clothes, bedding and shoes; 14 per cent were for school-related costs such as stationery and camps, and 10 per cent were for uniforms. Since its inception in 2012, Kiwi Kid has helped 3272 children. Now entering its sixth year, Variety has a goal to reach an additional 800 children this year. “We have an online portal, which makes the process really simple,” says Lorraine Taylor. “You can choose a child similar in age to your own child, which can be a nice way to introduce the idea of philanthropy into the family, or you can simply choose the child who has been on the waiting list the longest. You’ll receive information on your Kiwi kid, along with drawings and notes from them to you. It’s a really personal programme.” Remuera resident Richard did just that and has been sponsoring now nine-year-old Daniela, for more than two years. “If you’re in a position to help a child in need, then I would urge you to do so,” he says. “In the scheme of things, it’s such a small contribution, but for a child in need, it can make all the difference to them. “The Variety programme and team do an incredible and essential job supporting children in need, and we are proud to support them and we would encourage anyone to do the same. So little can do so much, where it is most needed”. — Kristin Bernstone Sponsorship is from $45 a month. See variety.org.nz for details

the hobson 30


the teacher

Back Into It

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ll children will now be settling into the new school year, some with excitement and others with a little apprehension, especially if they have started at a new school, or if they are simply just starting their school life. Many children will feel anxious until they get to know their new teacher(s) and the other children in their year level. It is important never to underestimate the effect that starting the school year can have on a child, so make sure you keep a watchful eye and listen carefully to what they are telling you. This settling in period can usually take up to around six weeks and can make the difference between having a great year or not. Every year is important so should any issue arise early on, make sure you deal with it straightaway. It is important also (especially in primary school) to introduce yourself to your child’s teacher as soon as you can, to set up a relationship that will benefit both the child/children and the teacher. Teachers like to talk to parents early on in the year because the more they know about your child, the easier it is for them to understand how they learn. After all you know your child better than anyone! This applies to all age students, from the little ones right through to secondary students, although once they get to the senior levels of Year 11 and above, they can pretty much fend and sort it all out for themselves. However a watchful eye, and a listening (really listening) ear, is still an important part of parenting. Just a little word of advice from a teacher — please make sure you are brief with anything you may want to discuss with your child’s teacher, especially at the beginning of the school day. Teachers are very busy preparing the day’s programme and would appreciate your acceptance of that. For anything that would require more time to discuss, teachers are always very happy and available to make an appointment with you after school hours. Or you may send an email. This works well for teachers to read after teaching hour, when they have more time and can be more focused and considered with their reply. I simply can’t believe how quickly the school years fly by. With my grandchildren now all into middle and senior school, it has been very interesting for me to observe their development and their choices of subjects and co-curricular activities. With two entering senior school level this year, they have had to look at where their strengths lie and think about subject choices and the impact these choices will have on future decisions. Does it matter at this stage? Many would say no, the important years are still to come. However in my view, every year at school is highly important — each one building on the other, setting students up for an easier and more successful academic journey. There are those students who know quite early on what career they want to pursue, so will choose subjects that will benefit their choice. The important thing about their school years, all 13 of them, is to prepare every student with such skills as to focus well, to listen carefully, to think objectively, to set goals and achieve them, and to learn about relationships and how they work in society, not only locally, but also globally. The school years offer a myriad of experiences that do set children up for life, and for success, no matter what they choose to do in a world that changes practically on a daily basis! The costs of going to school mean free education is no longer a given in New Zealand. Therefore, make sure as parents that you set up a learning environment at home that will support the great work being done at school, to maximise your investment. Children only get one shot at these very important years and believe me, they will fly by, so give them the gift of your support and encouragement and that will set them up for life. I know they will be forever grateful. I wish you all well for another successful and enjoyable 2018 school year. Getting involved is as much fun for you as it is for your children. — Judi Paape

the hobson 31

the auckland foundation

The Women's Fund

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onald Trump’s presidency of the United States has given the world a handful of unexpected gifts. One of these has been a renewed focus on gender equity issues. Citizens around the world have measured their expectations for their society against the reality, examining the behaviour of those they put in charge. This year marks 125 since Kate Sheppard led New Zealand’s pioneering movement to establish universal suffrage. We Kiwis enjoy our leadership position in ethnic and gender equality issues, and we succeed on many measures when it comes to social innovation – but we can’t rest on our laurels. Female-led social impact is nothing new here, but we are relative latecomers to celebrating female philanthropy. Last year, my attention was drawn to the number of funds held by community foundations around the world that focussed on women’s generosity. At least 50 exist in major metropolitan centres, putting women in the driving seat of granting in their communities. The drivers of this worldwide movement are many: women enjoy working together and giving collectively, women tend to perceive and use money differently to men, women understand and empathise with the experience of other women, so give effectively to them. When receiving grants, women tend to share their acquired benefits generously with their families and communities. When women empower women by sharing resources, potent social change occurs. The enthusiasm and generosity expressed when we set up New Zealand’s first Women’s Fund last year emboldened us, alongside Philanthropy New Zealand, to host a summit in the lead up to International Women’s Day this month: Women Give 2018. The one-day event features leading lights in New Zealand and overseas (along with a great Kiwi comedienne). I encourage you to take a look at our programme, which is on our website, aucklandfoundation.org. nz. We welcome all (particularly, any men) who like the idea of celebrating and encouraging female-led community impact. And in the words of Kate Sheppard, remember: “Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.” — Dellwyn Stuart, CEO, Auckland Foundation


the heritage

Walking The Harbour A series of illustrative plaques and signboards around the city are part of a linked walk, tracing the city’s original shoreline, now much altered by land reclamation and waterfront development. An initiative developed by the Waitematā Local Board, the route is also mapped and the history given in a pdf on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz. The Hobson asked visiting American student Kendall Blackburn to try it out, and give us her report

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his 5km walk follows the original shoreline of central Auckland and consists of 28 different landmarks that lay along the old shore. It starts at the serene Pt Erin park and goes all the way through the city, ending up in Parnell. Along the way is information and photos to explain what you’re looking at. Pt Erin looked relatively similar to the original photo on the signboard, taken in 1919. It contained the same type of plants highlighting how this park has preserved its beauty despite the growth of the surrounding city. The beginning of the trail is quite easy to find as it’s located right in the centre of the park. It’s surrounded by many trees, in what almost looks like a rainforest. Although the first part of the path is located near the city, the sounds of cicadas drown out the noise, creating an urban oasis. As you look to your left, you can see Shelly Beach. Now, admittedly, I am not the most fit person in the world. Not to mention I come from Seattle, where I am used to cold weather and rain. So even walking in 25C weather began to wear me down. I was also carrying a moderately heavy day pack on my back. As I reached the city from Pt Erin — there’s 11 points of interest as you near the CBD — I got lost before finding number 12. Sometimes the directions I found a bit hard to follow, and this happened to me at this particular site. Feeling a bit worn down, I stopped at a bakery called Ronnie’s, on the corner of Fanshawe and Albert streets. They have a large selection of pastries which looked delicious, but I held back and just ordered a cup of coffee in the hope it would give me a boost of energy. After sitting at Ronnie’s for a bit and enjoying a rest, I decided to simply plug in Swanson St to my GPS, and found that I was actually on the right track. Through the remainder of the walk, I found myself having to use GPS a few more times in order to stay on the right path, as I was not great at interpreting and remembering the directions on the signs. It was interesting to see how sites 14 and 15 (Fort and Gore streets, and Britomart Place) were now urban developed areas. I would not have figured that once they were part of the shoreline. I never found site 16 or Pt Britomart, as my GPS had me wander into a random shipyard that I could tell was not where I was supposed to be going. Walking up Parnell Rd, you exit the bustling city and enter a more residential area. After reaching Augustus Tce, which is site 20, the road leads to a set of steep stairs, along what appeared to be someone’s backyard. There was someone mowing there as I walked along the steps, which made it feel a bit awkward. There was also a big tree branch which hung over one of the steps, that you need to bend to go under. After going along The Strand, the trail comes to an end in Auckland’s oldest suburb, Parnell. Sir Dove Myer Robinson Park, at the Parnell Rose Gardens, was my favourite part of the walk, since the view of Judges Bay was the most similar sight among the old photos on the signboard. The beach is still there and the park is still lush and green. The rose gardens, which I went and explored after the walk, were also quite beautiful and nice end to my hike. the hobson 32

Recommended for: The moderately fit. I’d say the average person walks faster than me, and may be able to complete this walk in under two-and-a-half hours Would be difficult for: People pushing strollers or with young children, as goes over many hills and winds through steep areas. Allow enough time to: Stop to take in the beauty or to read the monuments, then compare the view to what it once looked like. Following the directions on each landmark to the next one makes it almost feel like a scavenger hunt. I got lost a few times. This walk would suit: Someone who enjoys nature but is also willing to trek through the city, and has an interest in the history of Auckland. It is also a good activity for tourists or somewhere to take visiting relatives. Kendall Blackburn For more information about this and other heritage walks, see aucklandcouncil.govt.nz under the Arts, Culture and Heritage tab

KEY TO MAPS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Pt Erin - OKa St Marys Bay - Ko Takere Haere (Western end) St Marys Bay (Eastern end) Pt Fisher - Acheron Pt - Te To Freemans Bay - Waiatarau (Western end) Freemans Bay - Waiatarau (Eastern end) Freemans Bay - Waiatarau (Drake Street) Freemans Bay - Wakokotoa Fanshawe Street - Te Pane Iriiri Brickfield Bay Smale's Point - Pt Stanley - Ngauwera Swanson Street Lower Queen Street Fort/Gore Streets Britomart Place Pt Britomart Official Bay - Wynyard Pier Mechanics Bay - Te Toangaroa Constitution Hill - Te Reuroa Augustus Terrace The Strand St Georges Bay - Te Wai o Taikehu Campbells Point Judges Bay Parnell Baths

Maps courtesy of Auckland Council


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the cover

Our Place

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ith its densely foliaged maunga, signposts we instantly recognise and local street names prominent, Mark Wooller’s Nature of Place is, to us, a perfect choice for a Hobson cover, and we were delighted that he agreed. One of the works featured in his 2017 exhibition of the same name, Nature of Place continued Wooller’s exploration of place names, which, like his fascination with flags, appear as significant elements in his meaning-imbued, richly detailed landscapes. The self-taught artist has work held in the James Wallace collection, and fittingly for his strong sense of place, in NZ embassies and consulates internationally. Auckland born but now living in Matakana, Wooller, right, is presently working towards a 2018 exhibition. Please contact the Warwick Henderson Gallery to keep in the loop on the next show, and for works currently available. Nature of Place, oil on canvas, 2017, is reproduced both in part (on the cover) and in full (above) with the permission of the artist and Warwick Henderson Gallery, Level 1, 255 Broadway, Newmarket. warwickhenderson.co.nz markwooller.com

the hobson 34


the neighbourhood

The Happy Truck Motokuni and Sanae Yamasaki’s sushi truck is a popular stop on Shore Rd. Chantelle Murray spoke to them about their business, and passion for great, healthy sushi

I

n 1998, a young and cash-lacking Motokuni Yamasaki boarded a plane from Japan to New Zealand to start a new life. He had studied plasma engineering at Hiroshima University and lectured at Fukuyama University in Japan, but something had to give. “Totally, I wanted to change,” Yamasaki says, arms folded across his Super Mario emblazoned t-shirt. “I had had quite enough of studying and researching in the laboratory.” We are standing next to the newly-mown green lawns of Shore Rd Reserve in Remuera, with the sounds of kids playing cricket in the background and the smell of damp earth circulating in the air. This is where Yamasaki has set up his new life, running a sushi truck dedicated to healthy food on the go. Yamasaki is certainly a man of many talents — he has worked as a tour guide and interpreter at Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs, a shuttle driver, as a chemical production operator at Douglas Pharmaceuticals and as an assistant on the Taranaki set of The Last Samurai. But it seems that with the Sushi Truck, he’s found his happy place. Seven years in, The Sushi Truck is a family-operated business, run by Yamasaki and his wife, Sanae, whom he met after arriving in NZ. Their 14-year-old son, Naoki, helps out during holidays, and their seven-year-old daughter, Minami, can sometimes also be seen around the truck in school breaks. The Yamasaki’s run their business only on weekdays, from 11am to 2:30pm (summers spent working Saturdays at Matakana has been put aside). “This is the best part,” Yamasaki says. “We can spend more time with our kids.” The family lives in Hobsonville, a 30-minute off-peak trip to their spot at Shore Rd. In the truck, Sanae is the chef, although

Motokuni can make the sushi in her absence. However, that seems to happen rarely. “We’re always together!” Yamasaki says, laughing. Buying fresh salmon and chicken daily, Sanae starts production as soon as the truck is set up. Responding to customer feedback, the couple use gluten-free ingredients when they can and, more recently, have moved to sugar-free food. “When people come to buy sushi for healthy food,” Yamasaki says, “they don’t know it includes sugar! For Japanese people, it’s common sense.” (Sushi rice is made using sugar and rice vinegar). To reduce the sugar content, the Yamasaki’s are using the Japanese rice wine, mirin, as a sugar substitute in their rice. “Before using it,” Yamasaki says, “we cook it to let the alcohol go. It takes time, and it costs more.” The Sushi Truck business grew from the Yamasaki’s cooking for friends. “Giving that to somebody – they are happy!” The family had also noticed the dominance of junk food at public events, and would often take their own sushi along. They’ve taken the truck to large events before, but it’s not the same customer experience they enjoy. “They never come back, even if they like it! We like making sushi for our regular customers — it’s like making food for the family.” The couple considered several locations, ultimately choosing Remuera for their truck stop. It took time to get to know the locals, Motokuni says, but once business built, many customers became regulars, familiar faces still picking up lunch from the truck seven years on. “We’re just making nice sushi and waiting for the customers. It’s working,” he adds. “We feel happy.”

the hobson 35


the pretty

Teen Clean A beauty editor since Aapri Apricot Scrub was a thing, Justine Williams offers a guide to glowing teenage skin Hormones lay the foundation for problem skin, opening up pores and producing extra oil (sebum). It’s what you do next that can make or break a complexion. 1. Regular and gentle wins the day. Cleanse and hydrate your skin gently EVERY morning and night.

Bathroom cabinet friends Tier For Teens Spot Stop, $22, and Steam in Liquorice & Calendula, $40, from nellietier.co.nz

2. Keep your hands to yourself. Hands to face is the quickest way to transfer bacteria. 3. Climate and environment. Watch out for seasonal changes and adjust your skincare regimen accordingly. Similarly, try keeping your hair off your face and watch hair products, including conditioner – they can wreak havoc. 4. Each and every time you wash your face, use a fresh, clean, face cloth and then throw it in the hamper (you know, basket for dirty stuff. Not the floor. Anyway). Bacteria loves damp face cloths used a second or third time. A new disposable or clean face cloth every wash – no exceptions. 5. Pat your skin dry gently with a clean towel before hydrating. Don’t rub.

Garnier Hydra Bomb Tissue Mask hydrates and balances. $4.99, from Garnier stockists

6. Oily skin still needs a moisturiser morning and night. Read the labels and choose the right moisturiser for your current skin type. 7. A gentle steam before cleansing is perfect for opening clogged pores and loosening any debris. Fill the handbasin with hot water, throw a towel over your head and lean in, trapping the steam.

Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46, $55, is formulated to protect acne-prone or sensitive skin. Also available tinted, from Prescription Skin Care, 243 Remuera Rd. prescriptionskincare.co.nz

8. Masks are great. Choose one for your skin condition, generally once or twice a week is plenty for a treatment and remember to do a test patch first, and be gentle. 9. Don’t pick. Don’t squeeze. Steam, clean, and then use a good spot treatment. These are very drying by nature, so avoid surrounding areas and be careful in areas that are already prone to dryness. 10. A daily habit of oil-free sunscreen specially designed for the face will be your lifelong companion and most loyal friend.

Keep locks off the face with Mecca MAX Glam Squad hair coils, $11 from Mecca Maxima, Queen St, or meccabeauty.co.nz Heal with Aesop Control anti-blemish gel, $23. Aesop, Osborne St or aesop.com/nz Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Kit, $67, is a great way to start clean.From Dermalogica counters, or dermalogica.co.nz

the hobson 36


the doctor

A Period of Abnormality

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he miracle whereby the lining of the uterus (womb) regenerates every month to prepare for the implantation of an embryo, and to support a new life, happens because of periods. These are also linked closely to the process of ovulation, whereby eggs are released from the ovary to enable pregnancy. The hormones from the base of the brain interact in a complex manner with those from the ovaries to make this all mostly happen without problems. Women seek help at our practice when the process of that uterine regeneration — the shedding of the lining — starts to become, simply put, ‘too much’. A ‘normal’ period is around 40mls in total volume and lasts for around four to six days, every 21 to 35 days. A modern medical definition of an ‘abnormal period’ is when periods interfere with a women’s physical and/or social or emotional quality of life. Most of the time — more than 80 per cent — abnormally heavy or prolonged, regular or irregular periods are due to hormonal issues (a lack of the normal complex balance). Most of the rest are due to physical factors like fibroids, which are usually harmless growths in the muscle layer of the uterus that around one in three women develop. Or it could be due to polyps, again, usually harmless thickenings in the lining of the womb. A small percentage can be due to abnormal cells or even uterine cancer. Being overweight or having a history of breast cancer, or family history of uterine cancer, should lead to women with period problems seeking medical help, as these are also risk factors for developing uterine cancer. Sometimes, a copper contraceptive device or other hormone imbalances, such as thyroid issues, can cause abnormal periods. Fibroids can also keep growing with time and cause other problems so often need keeping an eye on. Clues as to ‘when too much is too much’ are passing clots, accidents on clothing, the sensation of flooding and the use of much more sanitary protection than is usual. Excessive pain also needs to be investigated. Other factors that are normally considered by us are when the periods are heavy enough to cause anaemia, which can mean feeling tired and washed out, looking pale and feeling faint. Depending on a full medical assessment, it may be useful to organise a pelvic ultrasound scan to check the uterine walls, including the muscle and lining, and also the ovaries. Further tests can include updating the cervical smear test, blood tests, or biopsies of the lining of the uterus. Planning treatment depends on several factors, including the level of problems being experienced and need for low invasiveness treatments with early recovery, versus more invasive treatments with more time off work and longer recovery. Planning the right treatment takes good communication and interaction, so don’t be shy about questions and discussion. Options also need discussion about whether the woman’s childbearing is complete (or even started). Treatment can vary from some fairly effective hormone or non-hormone tablets to reduce flow; day-case surgery (Mirena or Novasure endometrial ablation), or indeed more major surgery, such as a hysterectomy. What is right for the patient will depend on many factors. There is no one-size fits all, so if your periods are not ‘normal’ you should seek medical attention as there are a number of safe, effective treatments. Dr Anil Sharma, MB ChB, DGM, CCST, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, is a gynaecologist with a local practice. This column is intended only to offer general information

The first of its kind. Dr Andrea Shepperson and her team are very proud to announce that Lumino City Dental have become NZ’s first Digital Smile Design Clinic.

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the magpie

Teen it Up, Girlfriend The Magpie is woke to what’s cool for teens Minkpink Mon Cheri sunglasses, $39.95. See minkpinkworld.com

adidas Originals adicolor Trefoil Hoodie, $120, from adidas.co.nz

Status Anxiety Plunder Bag, $189, Superette Superette Street Pant in Khaki, $169. Superette, Nuffield St, or superette.co.nz

Superette Batik rah rah skirt, $169, from Superette

C&M felt wayside cap, $109, from Superette

La Tribe Falling Star earrings, $85, from Superette

the hobson 38


Cotton On Kali Drapey Pant in navy and white stripes, $34.99, from Cotton On stores or cottonon.com/nz

Cotton On Lana Longline Kimono, $44.99, from Cotton On

Levi’s embroidered Trucker Jacket, $219. From Route 66 Levi’s fitted overalls, $189.90. From Route 66, Broadway

Karen Walker Jewellery Vermeer pearl earrings, $219, from Karen Walker stores or karenwalker.com

Cotton On Raising Hell Dylan Tee, $24.99, from Cotton On

Witchery Wool Baker Boy Hat $64.90, from Witchery stores or witchery.co.nz Cotton On Joss Culotte Jumpsuit in Spliced Floral Red. $39.99, Cotton On

Levi’s Pocket Boyfriend Shirt, $89.90. From Route 66

the hobson 39


the sound

My Heart, Mt Smart

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ell Hallelujah ladies and gentlemen. I am happy to report that I have been reborn, due to the redemptive power of rock n’ roll. I, along with 45,000 others, went to the Foo Fighters at Mt Smart Stadium in a rainstorm. Such were the conditions, that it is fair to say that I got thisclose to bailing. But at the end of the day, what was the worst that could happen? Hypothermia sprung to mind, so I attended wearing two rain jackets, shorts and no socks. Socks trap the water which, as all my military friends tell me, heightens the chances of foot rot. Look after your feet, they say. Despite a small respite at the beginning of the gig, the rain was somewhat biblical. Not as biblical as Adele. But still nothing to be sneezed at, even though I did sneeze multiple times. So it was miserable. And magnificent. The Foos erupted on stage just after 8pm and went straight into hits. First up was their latest “Run”. And then four songs in a row without pause, including one of their biggest, “The Pretender”. It was a breathless and breath-taking onslaught. The crowd, which was slightly older, had obviously followed the band throughout their 23-year history and knew every word. It was some of the most energetic crowd participation and singing I’ve ever experienced. The band acknowledged we were troopers and they were troopers too. We bonded. Early in the concert, Dave Grohl indulged in some god-awful banter. “DO YOU LOVE ROCK N’ ROLL!!?”. I'm always tempted to shout back, “NO I HATE IT, BUT I’M HERE!!”. There was a part of me that also thought that Kurt Cobain would be rolling his eyes at such carry on. But maybe that’s why Grohl is still alive and happy as a rocking chipmunk. And then came the moment of epiphany. Dave was singing “These Days”. One of my favourites. It includes the lyrics “One of these days, your heart will stop and play its final beat”. Grohl counters that with, “Well it's alright. Yeah it's alright”. It’s the greatest “crap will happen, that's life, deal with it” song of all time. As the rain streamed down, I looked around at beatific faces with arms outstretched, grinning like maniacs. Then I realised I was one of them. It was the closest I’ve been to a mass evangelical fervour. And all this at grotty old Mt Smart. It really is a dive. The mud formed quickly. There was little shelter. Once upon a time you could take a breather under the stadiums, but not now. They’re fenced off for the use of those who paid a premium for seats. I tell

you, inequality is rising in this country. Between the haves and the have-nots. The seated and the standing. The booze queues were enormous and the prices daunting. And yet. I love it. I first went to Mt Smart as a hurdler at school, competing at Auckland and national championships. Then, in the early 80s, I witnessed the All Whites march to the 1982 World Cup in Spain. My Mt Smart, with 30,000 spectators on grass slopes. The 1990 Commonwealth Games transformed the former volcano with development, as did the Warriors and the Football Kingz. So it’s a stadium. Albeit a piecemeal eyesore of one. But as a music venue, I have many amazing memories. Guns N’ Roses in their pomp, Springsteen, McCartney, The Rolling Stones, U2 (twice). I've seen both the Jacksons, Janet and Michael. Both fantastic shows (Janet was better. Shhh). A surprisingly great show was the Latin carnival that was Ricky Martin. And then there’s the Big Day Out. From 1994 to 2014, Mt Smart was the place to be late in January. Too many magic moments — Iggy Pop and the Stooges on the bill with Franz Ferdinand. Both bands brilliant but memorable because Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos is also a columnist for The Independent. He described watching Iggy as watching “a 3000-year-old teenager”. Perfect. He was. I've seen a Metallica crowd of 30,000 chanting “KILL. KILL. KILL!”. Soundgarden was a regular visitor, and the Foo Fighters. The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Jane’s Addiction. Queens of the Stone Age. Kings of Leon. Nick Cave. The Chemical Brothers. And always Shihad, who every year brought out their best for the BDO. There’s a specific memory I have and it’s from 2002. The Prodigy headlined and they kicked the proverbial. Last act on stage was New Order. A band with a special connection to my heart. The crowd thinned out to around 5000 punters of a certain age. They delivered a stunning set at ear-melting volume. Talking afterwards to behind the scenes people. they said the band turned the volume up to 11 because . . . why not? Why not indeed. Mt Smart is actually the perfect venue. Not hard to get to these days, and in a light industrial precinct where you can turn the volume up to 11 without bothering the neighbours. And who cares if the old girl gets a few dings or a splatter of bodily fluids. It's rock n’ roll. Rock is primal and so is Mt Smart. — Andrew Dickens

Dave Grohl onstage at Mt Smart last month. Photo courtesy Ngamihi Photography ngamihiphotography.com the hobson 40


the district diary

March 2018 1 The Vegan Truck Stop is back for one night each month, offering vegan food, indoor and outdoor seating and live music while you graze. From 5pm—9pm, at La Cigale, 69 St Georges Bay Rd

8 Bravo! The Auckland Arts Festival opens today, to March 25. More than 50 shows and events involving close to 1000 artists and crew will light up the city. For schedule and tickets see aaf.co.nz.

3 Drop-in sessions offering information and proposals for Auckland Council's 10-Year Budget start today. Call into Orakei Bay Village between 11am-1pm or Meadowbank Shopping Centre, 3-5pm.

And, pin on the purple, it’s International Women’s Day

The Little Day Out at Mt Eden’s Village Centre promises to be full of fun with a children’s flea market, animal blessing, pony rides, workshops, food and more. 10am-1pm, free, 449 Mt Eden Rd

10 The Parnell Farmers’ Market offers the best in local produce and edibles, every Saturday from 8am-12pm, at the Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd. Sign up for regular updates, see parnell.org.nz or Facebook There’s another Council drop in session today on the 10 Year Plan, at Eastridge Shopping Centre, 1-3pm 11 St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra and guest cellist Ashley Brown play Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven at St Matthew’s-in-the-City, 2.30pm. Tickets at the door, or see smco.org.nz

ACG Parnell College has an open day today. Register your interest at parnellcollege. acgedu.com, 10.30am-2.30pm

15 Saint Kentigern Girls’ School hosts an open day at its Remuera campus. For information, see saintkentigern.com

4 Auckland’s best doggy market, Paws in Parnell, is back with all things canine. 10am-1pm, Heard Park, Parnell Rd Get your run – or walk – on at Ports of Auckland Round the Bays starting at Quay St and finishing at St Heliers. See roundthebays.co.nz 6 The Auckland Foundation hosts Women Give 2018, NZ’s first summit on women and philantropy. At the Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall, info at womengive.org.nz

Learn about Council’s 10-Year Budget proposals tonight at a public meeting at St Chads, 38 St Johns Rd, Meadowbank, from 7pm 16-17 Help Kiwi kids fight the big C by donating to the Child Cancer Foundation Appeal’s street collectors, and check out the Haier Big Hoot, a fundraiser for the Foundation. Until early May, 1.65m owls will roost on an art trail around the city, each customised by artists including Dick Frizell, Jeff Thomson and Peata Larkin. Use the Big Hoot 2018 app or

17 Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! Or, Happy St Patrick’s Day to you! Visit St Cuthbert’s College for its annual open day. Information and registration at stcuthberts.school.nz 24 Auckland Council’s summer Music in Parks series will end on a high note, with the Open Air Orchestra bringing a night of pop/classical crossover, featuring the Blackbird Ensemble and former Fur Patrol singer Julia Dean, among others. From 6pm, Bell Park (Lloyd Elsmore Park), Bell Rd, Pakuranga If you prefer popcorn over pop music, head to Rutherford

Reserve in Meadowbank for a screening of Despicable Me 3 (PG) as part of Movies in Parks, and in conjunction with Ōrākei Local Board. Activities from 5.30pm, movie starts approx. 7.25pm, 21 Archdall St 25 Ellerslie School’s Book Fair will be an event for the family, with plenty of fun and crafty activities, stalls, coffee and live music. 10am-4pm, 12 Kalmia St 29 The 2018 Royal Easter Show is back. Circus acts, rides, sideshows, exhibits, with a fireworks display each night (except Monday). Free entry, tickets at venue for rides. ASB Showgrounds, 10am-10pm until April 2 30 Good Friday

Got a great project and need funding? If you have an idea or are already doing something that helps your community apply for a local board grant.

. .

Quick response round 2 applications open 22 Jan - 16 Feb 2018 Local grants round 2 applications open 19 Feb - 30 Mar 2018 The Ōrākei Local Board will also operate a tree protection grant round at the same time as each quick response grant round.

“Supporting thriving and independent communities.” arts & culture | community | environment | historic heritage | events | sports & recreation

Find out more: phone 09 301 0101 or visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/funding

the hobson 41

17-PRO-2261_EC

Skate the Bays for Kiwi Skate Day, starting at Watene Reserve, 9 Tamaki Drive, and continuing along the bike track around the waterfront. Skates can be hired from Ferg’s (with 50 per cent discount on the day). Activities along the route, 9am-11am

visit thebighoot.co.nz for maps, info and owl auction details


the cryptic by mĀyĀ

ACROSS

DOWN

1/4D Peacekeepers meet alien mud threat in one work of 28/5 (5,3,8) 4 A head of golden hair framing dangerous 21/23 (9) 9 To put it in a nutshell, I’m told not everyone was fed (7) 10/26 Vent once, but now a non-event (7,7) 11 Called a dog from Kansas a 10/26 (9) 13 Purée pants for money (5) 14 Cast church aside to go to Hell (3) 15 Me, a nuptial arranger? (So arrange!) (10) 18 Wild rage makes a mockery of female relatives (5-5) 21/23 Communist principles, say, might describe the twins in 1/4D (3,5) 25 Yearning for a loch? (9) 26 See 10 28/5D Me, having taken in Goldfinger - “Wow! Great writer!” (7,3) 29 Stop trauma with talking cure, as taken by Blanche DuBois (9) 30 Look back when dipped into salves (5)

1 Releases from bands (8) 2 Doormat, in effect? Just the opposite (9) 3 Mailer’s New Journalism? (7) 4 See 1 Across 5 See 28 Across 6 Charm discovered during the thirteenth rally (7) 7 Joke: “We get up at dawn!” (5) 8 Where to watch, taking in educational TV’s talking heads? (6) 12 Oddly, I’m here after work with writer, a father of the A-bomb (11) 16 Attempts to catch vessel heading east, where lathework is carried out (9) 17 Hero’s headless remains found by Doctor Seuss (8) 19 Auckland Transport’s profit is on the line (2,5) 20 Fit one half of gnomes’ abode into Bishop’s office (7) 22 Pushes head vampire into runners (6) 24 Uninitiated proposer’s more competent (5) 27 Repulsive creature inhabiting the Wilberforce house (3)

Set by Māyā. Answers will appear in our next issue (April 2018). Can't wait, or need help? Visit https://thehobsoncrossword.wordpress.com/

JANUARY/FEBRUARY CRYPTIC CROSSWORD ANSWERS Across: 7 Headhunts, 11 Moilingly, 12 Pyjamas, 13 Rays, 14 Ethical, 15 Blah, 18 Big shot, 20 Nunchucks, 21 One-eighth, 23 Peccary, 24 Harp, 25 Wound up, 26 Goon, 30 Relapse, 31 Indulging, 32 Banana, 33 Annoyance Down: 1 The Marx Brothers, 2/8A Sanity clause, 3 Choir, 4 A Night at the Opera, 5 Assyrian, 6 Banjo, 8 Captain Spaulding, 9 Simulacra, 10 As the saying goes, 16 Sheik, 17 Chico, 19 Guerrilla, 22 Hannibal, 27 Orient, 28 Oprah, 29 Ploys

the hobson 42


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Profile for The Hobson

The Hobson March 18  

The magazine for Auckland's inner-eastern neighbourhoods

The Hobson March 18  

The magazine for Auckland's inner-eastern neighbourhoods

Profile for thehobson
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