14 Far North community groups funded

Source: Far North District Council

The district’s three Community Boards have distributed nearly $50,000 in funding this year to Far North sporting, cultural and community groups. 

Each year the Council’s three Community Boards fund a range of community organisations and events from the Local Grants Fund. The funding aims to encourage community leadership, self-reliance, volunteer work, and new facilities or services within the Kaikohe-Hokianga, Te Hiku, and Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Wards. 

Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board has shared nearly $24,000 among four groups. Of that, $13,500 went to Midway Incorporated Northland Day Services Trust to buy a physical therapy machine, and a pool lifting device. The equipment will be installed at Kawakawa’s Te Papawai Bay of Islands Community Pool for community use.

The Board also allocated: 

  • $4350 to youth addictions support group, Be Free Incorporated, to help it attend the Mangonui Waterfront Festival.
  • $3130 to Kaeo Festival Group to run Nga Purapura 2019, Kaeo’s music, arts and nature festival for children. 
  • $2900 to Pear Tree Paddlers to stage the National and Regional School Stand Up Paddle Boarding Championships 2019.

In Kaikohe-Hokianga, Taheke Marae was granted $7000 by the Community Board to help purchase aluminium windows and hire scaffolding, part of on-going health and safety improvements being made to marae buildings. 

In total, the Board has distributed almost $18,000 this year, including: 

  • $3700 to Volunteering Northland to assist with annual operating costs. 
  • $2500 to the Rawiri Love – Smiley Campaign to promote Get Fit Kaikohe.
  • $2000 to Hokianga Environmental Protection Group to assist with the Real Food Hokianga festival.
  • $1500 to Ohaeawai Taiamai Residents Association to assist with the Taiamai community day.
  • $700 to Rawene Golf Club to help with catering for the Hokianga Golf Fun Day 2019.
  • $500 to Hokianga Sailing Trust for the cost of replacing life vests. 

Te Hiku Community Board has distributed nearly $7000 this year, including $3000 to the New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Association to stage the 2019 NZ Offshore Powerboat Series at Doubtless Bay on 29 April.

It also provided $2970 to Awhina Hoiho, a Kaitaia-based therapy charity, and $1000 to Be Free Incorporated to attend the 2019 Be Free Event at Mangonui.

Community Groups wanting to apply for funding should go to www.fndc.govt.nz/services/community to find out more. 


WATCH: Te Manawa opening

Source: Auckland Council

It’s the first of its kind in Auckland, and it officially opened at the weekend.

Welcome to Te Manawa, the new multipurpose community facility at Westgate, which heralds a new way to interact with the council.

Hundreds of people braved the weather to come and share in the celebrations with music, entertainment and more, as well as getting a first look at the new facility.

Check out the video: 

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About Te Manawa

The newly-opened multipurpose facility, Te Manawa, is the first of its kind in Auckland – both a community hub and library built for the city of the future and generations to come.

As a cornerstone of Westgate’s urban complex, Te Manawa will provide West Aucklanders with space and resources to explore, connect and grow. 

The facility includes the Auckland Council services area where residents can sort administrative matters, a library with a children’s area, a commercial kitchen available for catering events, and a stage for storytelling and performances.

Read more about Te Manawa here on OurAuckland.


Waging war on pests in Greenhithe

Source: Auckland Council

Sloping down from Upper Harbour Drive in Greenhithe, down to the Hellyers/Oruamo Creek which borders with Beach Haven, is a wonderful escarpment of mature native forest.

The 140-hectare high-ecological value area is home to some huge kahikatea and kauri which are hidden away in steep, tangled and tricky to access surrounds. It is also home to various native lizards, including the copper skink, ornate skink, green gecko and forest gecko.

Over the past 12 months, Greenhithe Community Trust has been working with local residents and volunteers to roll out its first large-scale pest control programme in the area.

The main weapon to date has been the deployment of Goodnature gas-powered traps. Around 200 of these traps have now been installed within the escarpment and in surrounding wooded areas, including council reserves and adjacent private properties.

“The gas traps are fantastic and extremely effective,” says pest free project co-ordinator Richard Chambers.

“Because they are self-resetting and only need servicing and refilling twice a year, they are perfect for deploying in tricky to access terrains like this, he says.

“Their low maintenance is also helpful in keeping foot traffic minimal, and thus reducing the chances of introducing other problems into the area, like kauri dieback disease.”

Goodnature gas traps are in place in Redfern Reserve, Taihinui Historical Reserve, Hellyers Esplanade Reserve and, with owner permission, in some adjacent private properties.

Earlier this year, Auckland Council undertook pest monitoring in the three reserves and found no signs of rats or stoats now being present in the two largest ones.

“Those results were great to see and confirm our efforts to date have been effective in significantly reducing pest populations and infestations,” says Chambers.

“There remain some significant tracts of private land in the surrounding area where we do not yet have traps in yet where we would very much like to,” says Chambers.

“We’re keen to speak directly with any neighbouring property owners who have not yet spoken with us who would like to support this project by approving property access for trap installation and maintenance.

“Our goal for the coming year is to work with our community to get more traps into private properties right across Greenhithe, and to grow community involvement and participation with the Greenhithe Community Trust and the Upper Harbour Ecology Network.”

Advancement of this pest free control initiative, along with others in neighbouring Herald Island, Whenuapai and Paremoremo, have been assisted by funding of the Upper Harbour Ecology Network (UHEN) by Upper Harbour Local Board.

UHEN is a network of environmental groups from across Upper Harbour that meet monthly to learn, network and keep up with developments in environmental issues across Auckland.

Roll out of the project was made possible last year following a grant from Transpower that enabled the purchase of 200 Goodnature gas traps, and another from the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund which provided funding for Richard Chambers to work as a dedicated resource to the project.  

Richard Chambers can be contacted via email at richard@greenhithecommunitytrust.org.nz   

Get involved – New Zealand Garden Bird Survey 2019

Another way of gauging the impact of the work being undertaken is by the monitoring of bird life in the surrounding area.

Greenhithe residents are encouraged to take part in this year’s annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey, which takes place between 29 June and 7 July.

“It’s easy to do and it can be done sitting in the backyard with the kids,” says Chambers. 

“And the more people who do it, the more meaningful it becomes.”

“While it is a nationwide count, if we can get significant numbers of people inputting data from across Greenhithe and neighbouring Beach Haven and Glenfield, we can gain a much more informed picture of what’s going on in our little area of the world,” he says.

Visit Landcare Research website for all you need to know on how to participate in this year’s New Zealand Garden Bird survey.  

Bellbird / Korimako

Increased trapping across wider Greenhithe

Greenhithe Community Trust has also been busy working with local residents, community groups and organisations across Greenhithe to set up rat and possum traps on their properties.  

“We’ve definitely noticed a big upswing in interest and participation in environmental protection initiatives across Greenhithe,” says Greenhithe Community Trust Chairperson Amanda Mitchell.    

“Within Wainoni Park, for example, we have teams of locals working on trap lines over the entire 39 hectares of park area to eradicate rats and possum populations present there. This has provided a focus on trapping in the wider area and that has led to more people coming on board.”

The Trust is keen to hear from people living locals in the area surrounding Wainoni Park wanting to join the Wainoni Park Halo.

“The Halo aims to grow an area of protection and sanctuary for our native birds and plant species to recover and grow in strength within,” says Mitchell.

Residents can contact Trust Eco Facilitator Nicola Robertson on email at nicola@greenhithecommunitytrust.org.nz for more information on the Wainoni Park Halo, and to request a free trap for use on their private property.

Nicola Robertson and Richard Chambers of the Greenhithe Community Trust.


Nominations open for Albert-Eden Junior Sports Awards 2019

Source: Auckland Council

The Albert-Eden Junior Sports Award 2019 will recognize the outstanding young sports people and teams living in our area, and the coaches and referees who support them. 

“These are our inaugural Sports Awards. It’s a new initiative to recognise young people, individuals and teams, who set life patterns early for better health and lasting friendships through being active in sports,” says Glenda Fryer, Deputy-Chair, Albert-Eden Local Board.

To be eligible, the nominees will need to have a strong connection to the Albert-Eden Local Board area which covers the suburbs of Waterview, Pt Chevalier, Mt Albert, Sandringham, Morningside, Ōwairaka, Balmoral, Kingsland, Mt Eden, Epsom, Greenlane, and parts of Eden Terrace and Western Springs.

Who is eligible?

People being nominated must currently reside within the boundaries of the Albert-Eden Local Board area.

Sports organisations or groups being nominated for an award must be located in the Albert-Eden Local Board area and contributing to developing the sporting community.


Judging will be based on:

  • Most improved/most progress
  • Fair play
  • Achievement in competition/exceptional results

Nominate now!

Award winners will be recognised at the Albert-Eden Local Board Junior Sports Awards ceremony, 20 May, from 6pm at Eden Park, Reimers Ave, Kingsland.

For more information or questions phone Linda Bercusson on 021 719 792 or email linda.bercusson@aucklandcouncil.got.nz.  

Please include Albert-Eden Junior Sports Awards in the subject line.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm, Friday, 10 May 2019.


Local board keen to tackle school safety concerns

Source: Auckland Council

Persistent campaigning by the Takanini Residents Action Group has seen the Papakura Local Board call a meeting with Auckland Transport to urgently improve safety in and around Takanini School.

Action Group member Ann Emery has appealed to the board’s public forum several times for action to slow traffic near the school.

Now the board is looking to work with Auckland Transport, starting with an on-site meeting to see the problems that Mrs Emery says are common on the roads, and which she calls “an accident waiting to happen”.

Board chair Brent Catchpole says the board needs to act before this year’s elections, when a new board could be elected that forces campaigners to have to start their appeals again.

“We can’t afford for this issue to be working its way through a prioritisation process. We need to seek urgent solutions. These are our young people whose lives are at risk here.”

Board member Bill McEntee says keeping children’s safety comes before driver convenience. “This is happening outside a school and this is an urgent safety matter.”

The residents’ group has appealed for a range of traffic calming methods, from signals to raised crossing platforms.

“We aren’t the experts, but we know enough from living in the area that someone is going to be hurt very badly if nothing is done,” Mrs Emery says.


Public safety prioritized for ANZAC Day events

Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council is working closely with Police in the lead up to this year’s ANZAC Day events.

Police are recommending to the council and members of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) that a number of planned events across Auckland be consolidated in the interests of public safety.

General Manager Arts, Community and Events Graham Bodman supports this advice and says the safety of Aucklanders is paramount.

“We recognise that ANZAC Day is a significant day in New Zealand history and we’ve been following Police guidance and working closely with local RSAs to find the best solution.

“The advice that we are receiving from Police relates specifically to organised commemorative events that draw significant numbers. This will not affect individuals wanting to pay their respects at sites of their choosing outside of organised dawn and civic service events,” Mr Bodman says.

Event details will be finalised and a further announcement will be made next week.


Nominate your Albert-Eden local heroes

Source: Auckland Council

If you know anyone who deserves to be recognised as a local hero, please nominate them for the Albert-Eden Local Heroes Award 2019.

“We have some amazing people who do incredible work for our community, and it’s time to salute their achievements,” says Chair Peter Haynes.

The judges will be looking for the local heroes in our Albert-Eden Local Board area.

Criteria include: how their work benefits Albert-Eden people and communities; how long they have been doing what they do; and any other significant factors, such as their influence in wider Auckland.

Although people who make outstanding contributions in their paid employment will be honoured, the emphasis will mostly be on voluntary work.

Nominate now!

Complete the form below to nominate someone:


Local feedback makes a better bus network for Waiheke Island

Source: Auckland Council

Waiheke Island is getting a new bus network from Sunday 13 October 2019.

Consultation on the new bus routes took place over five weeks in March/April 2018 with 927 pieces of feedback. Since then, AT has considered that feedback, and carried out safety audits and environmental assessments.

The final report is now available on the AT website.

“We’re really pleased with the number of people that took the time to respond and we thank everyone for their views,” says Pete Moth, Service Network Development Manager, Auckland Transport.

“The more local knowledge and opinion we get, the easier it is for us to make informed decisions and design a better bus network.”

Cath Handley, Waiheke Local Board Chair says the New Network is welcome.

“The number of people using the buses on Waiheke buses has been growing by up to 15 per cent year on year. Locals have been calling for more direct routes, higher frequencies and better connections to ferry services.

“These new bus services will be a great addition to the island and will help meet the diverse needs of our fast-growing community.”

Highlights of the Waiheke New Network include:

  • a bus every 15 minutes along the arterial road between Matiatia and Onetangi
  • services timed to meet the Matiatia ferry and to leave the terminal earlier
  • new buses arriving in 2020
  • new service for Kennedy Point in 2020

Between now and October 2019, AT will work to finalise timetables and implement key infrastructure. A full customer communications campaign will be rolled out between August and October.

Get more information, including the New Network map, at AT.govt.nz/NewNetworkWaiheke 


New initiative encourages young people to ‘Go with Tourism’

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

Bright young things are being encouraged to consider a career in tourism as part of a new initiative to help address the growing skills shortages facing New Zealand’s largest export industry. 

Spearheaded by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), Go with Tourism aims to shift the perceptions many young people have about careers in tourism and provides a platform to connect talent with potential employers.

A soft launch of the platform began last month with cinema advertising, followed by promotional material around the city in the form of bus backs and posters, and has already generated significant activity; more than 300 young people have already registered their interest, and more than 100 employers are set up, ready to be matched with job-seekers.

Steve Armitage, ATEED General Manager – Destination, says getting more young people into tourism is one of the key strategic imperatives to emerge from the Destination AKL 2025 strategy and is critical to supporting the sustainable growth of Auckland’s and New Zealand’s visitor economy.

“The industry is facing growing skills shortages to support the record numbers of visitors coming here, yet there is a strong pool of young people across the country – one in every eight – who are not working or in study,” he says. “We need to better connect with this untapped talent so that we can get them into quality jobs and grow our region’s existing and emerging tourism businesses.

“Go with Tourism introduces a new platform to promote the stories of young people who are already making their way in the world and enables those who are still considering their career paths to explore the wide range of long-term employment opportunities within the tourism sector.” 

Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export industry, and with international visitor numbers increasing every year, an estimated 36,000 additional tourism workers are needed throughout the country by 2025 to meet growing demand.

“We know that this initiative itself will not solve all of these challenges and further advocacy work is necessary if we are to successfully attract the talent the sector is crying out for. This will include further engagement with central government about how tourism can be better recognised in the school curriculum and reflected in policy development,” says Armitage.

A nationwide research project led by ATEED and Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) was commissioned last year to discover what New Zealanders, particularly young people, think about working in tourism. The resulting report, Tourism Youth Perceptions, found that there is stigma associated with the industry.

Tourism Youth Perceptions also found that parents, who have the biggest influence on their child’s career path, tend to have limited understanding of the breadth and depth of opportunities within the tourism sector.

Maggie Ye is one of seven young people who have been identified as a ‘hero’ for the Go with Tourism campaign. As Groups Administrator at SKYCITY, her experience within the industry has been nothing but positive, enabling her to travel abroad and ignite an ambition to advance her career.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing people,” says Ye. “Looking at their success makes me passionate and motivated because I’m on the same pathway that they once were.”

Fiona Melrose, People Experience Manager at HIPGROUP, has been a part of the steering group that helped develop the Go with Tourism initiative and is excited by its potential. One of her employees, Oriwia (Livvy) Morell, is senior chef de partie at Amano and is also featured in the campaign. 

“Through her apprenticeship, to see her today on the front line of the kitchen is a wonderful representation of how young people can excel when given the right tools,” says Melrose.

As well as attracting young talent to the tourism industry, Go with Tourism will provide employers with insights and supporting resources to share best practice on attracting, recruiting and retaining youth.

For more information on Go with Tourism, whether you’re a job-seeker or an employer, please visit gowithtourism.co.nz


Manurewa children inspire new look of Randwick Park playground

Source: Auckland Council

Children from Randwick Park School are the creative designers behind the new playground at Randwick Park. The children designed 3D models of what they want their playground to look like, including a ‘Kuzebo’ structure.

These designs along with the feedback from the community centre and local schools were captured by our designers who delivered this modern playground.

The playground features a rocktopus, flying fox, double seesaws, basket swing, stepping logs, sandpit, large module unit with monkey bars and a slide, and a big shaded seating area for all.

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton said the board is investing more in developing playgrounds in the area and the ones that our kids want.

“This playground has been designed the way kids wanted it to be. It is so good to see the community’s involvement in this project.

“This is just a start. There are more such developments underway that the local board is backing, and we hope to provide our community with ample outdoor spaces where whānau and tamariki can come together and have fun.”

Manurewa Local board Chair Angela Dalton (right) and Manurewa-Papakura ward Councillor Daniel Newman (left) at the official opening ceremony of Randwick Park playground

The colour scheme has been chosen to match existing colours around the centre and reserve. A few trees will be planted soon to provide more shade for those who just want to relax.

Upcoming projects include Totara park renewals and a playspace in Keith Park.