It does not take much to warm the heart on a cold winter's day.

It did for me last Friday watching what happens when three kind, loving, empathetic women "yarn bombed" the cherry trees up and down Chadwick Rd in G Town.

Given there was a special little girl born around the same time, this is a column of two yarns, both born of knitting booties and bonnets, socks and sleeves for the wellbeing and warmth of others.

This past week more knitting has been done for the PM's new baby than sheep shearers at a golden shear competition could provide wool for, and the guessing game for the chosen name gave the royals a run for their money.


All across the land of the long-awaited baby's name, Kiwi punters put up their best bet.

In our household, the healthy competition of guessing names and winning bragging rights amongst whānau and friends is a bit of a tradition - as is betting on anything and everything.

Who knows why this is? I guess we must have been dealt out a double ration of gambling genes when our DNA was handed down from one generation to the next.

This could explain how we had an in-house sweepstake to guess the name of the PM's new baby and now I get the bragging rights, as my daughter can bear testament to, when I put forward the name Aroha.

Sure, it was a straight-out guess, but there was a process of elimination and the chances of a Māori name showing up were strong, so my high fives to myself were praiseworthy, in my humble opinion.

Like all good guesses, the glory from getting it right is never a sure thing, and a few short hours later my ego was landed after the Neve news came via my oldest daughter.

Turns out a wife from another life not only guessed the name correctly, she had a text message to her mate the PM to prove it.


How can I claim bragging rights after that? Perhaps she could answer my other great mystery in life: How can All Blacks be all blacks when they wear yellow boots? Chances are she will know why, or someone on the panel who does.

This column is a game of two halves of two stories with the same name and that is aroha – and its translation of love, charity and empathy.

The image you see of yarn bombing by local women on the tree outside our whare is the view I had looking out from my office window last Friday. It captures aroha in action, just what the wairua needed after a very demanding day trying to keep our wider homeless whanau warm.

Yarn bombing in Greerton. Photo/file
Yarn bombing in Greerton. Photo/file

As I watched what was happening outside on the footpath and the reaction from passersby, I noticed a lift inside, more specifically in my flatlining lower lip, a lip that most times could talk its way through tough times and challenging demands from desperate families.

However, not so last Friday.

Even the soothing sounds of Van Morrison and his street choir couldn't kick me back into gear and that's saying something given one of my bucket-list goals is to not only see Van the man live, but to put together an actual street choir of singing streeties and homeless mamas here in G Town.

The loving kindness of three kind charity-minded empathetic ladies moved me when I needed it most. Not only the tree they were yarn bombing with beautifully coloured sleeves and socks was feeling a lot warmer, so were all of us watching from the sidewalk and office windows.

So what makes women want to sprinkle joy to random passersby on a cold Friday afternoon?

I walked outside and asked them.

"It makes us feel good," was their simple honest answer.

Turns out these yarn bombers, aged 4 to 90, from Te Puke and Tauranga, have been working over many months to create the tree embellishments; 45 of the trees are dedicated to not-for-profit organisations

Kia ora Jill, Beris and Gayleen, thank you for making us feel good.

Haere mai whānau, do your wairua a favour and head down to G Town and check out the cherry trees and their korowai of kindness. Each tree has a song and the one outside my office window was "All things bright and beautiful", the perfect translation for Neve Te Aroha.

All you need is love and love is all you need.

Welcome to this world Neve Te Aroha.