A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North

If a Roman candle and a packet of sparklers just doesn't do it for you on Guy Fawke's night, how about heading to Springbank School for the only professional fireworks show in the Mid North?

The gates open at the Kerikeri school, on Waimate North Rd just off State Highway 10, at 6.30pm this Saturday, November 7, with the pyrotechnics due to start at 9pm.

Other attractions will include live music from rock covers band Late Night Meat Sandwich, performances by DDF Dance Studioz and the All Stars Cheerleaders, face painting, bouncy castles and food stalls.

Entry is $5 per person or free to under-fives. It's a drug- and alcohol-free event so suitable for families. Parking is free; a torch may be handy for getting back to your car.

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More than 2000 people turned out for last year's Community Fireworks Night. The event is now in its fifth year thanks to a parent who just happens to be a professional pyrotechnician.


Community patrol to start

More than 20 people are about to start training to become the first members of Kerikeri Community Patrol, a group of civilian volunteers who will act as eyes and ears for the police.

The idea of starting a community patrol was mooted just over two months ago; the volunteers have now been vetted, with help from Kerikeri police, and will this month start training under the Whangarei-based district training officer for Community Patrols New Zealand. He will be aided by Kerikeri police and the group's own training officer.

The group is also calling for nominations for its management committee. Anyone keen to put their administrative skills to use in a fulfilling and worthwhile volunteer role is welcome.

Membership application forms can be downloaded from the website www.KeriCP.com.
Secretary Stan Vause said the patrols would initially take place on Friday and Saturday nights. Volunteers will travel in pairs in a sign-written car and be in touch with police by radio and cellphone.

Kaikohe and Kaitaia already boast community patrols. Paihia's group is currently defunct but efforts are underway to revive it.


Climate change doco

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A documentary described as an "epic attempt to portray the vast challenge of climate change, from grass roots activism to corporate greed" is screening next Wednesday, November 11, at Cathay Cinemas in Kerikeri.

The film is based on the international bestselling book of the same name by Naomi Klein.
The screening, which is being promoted by Far North members of the Green Party, starts at 5.30pm. Tickets cost $15 and can be booked via the Tugg website, www.tugg.com/events/72447, although some tickets will be available at the door.


New boss for Turner Centre

Kerikeri's Turner Centre - said to be the best performing arts venue north of Auckland - has a new general manager.

Melanie Chandler-Winters, who has a background in event and music management and human resources, was appointed to the newly created position late last month.

In 1990 she and her husband set up a company producing corporate events and shows in venues such as Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Park in Christchurch and the Wellington waterfront.

Melanie Chandler-Winters. PHOTO / SUPPLIED
Melanie Chandler-Winters. PHOTO / SUPPLIED

They helped organise the 25th anniversary of Auckland's Pumphouse Theatre and created and ran the Muriwai Arts and Music Festival for 11 years. They also produced the Kumeu Arts Carnival for two years.

In Northland, where she has lived since 2003, she has worked in the horticultural industry, including as a regional seasonal labour co-ordinator for Kerikeri Fruit Growers and human resources manager for Orangewood. She kept her hand in with community arts events by helping organise Kaeo's Christmas parade from 2004-11.

At the Turner Centre she will work with venue manager Nicky Smith and a large team of volunteers.


Village Arts new show

A new exhibition by Kerikeri's Jane Molloy-Wolt is opening at Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu at 2pm this Saturday.

The show, called de-Construct (maps, marks and memories), runs until December 4. Ms Molloy-Wolt is currently completing her third year of a Bachelor of Applied Arts at NorthTec in Kerikeri.


Auction raises $18k

Last month's Hospice Mid-Northland Art and Collectables Auction raised more than $18,000 with the top items - large-scale artworks created by inmates at Ngawha Prison - selling for more than $2000 each.

More than 110 donated artworks, antiques and curiosities went under the hammer at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri on October 16.

Lots included everything from a sextant to ceremonial Gurkha daggers and paintings by high-profile artists. A model waka carved from macrocarpa and a painting of a tui among kowhai flowers, both made by prisoners, each sold for $2250.

This waka carved from macrocarpa by inmates at Ngawha Prison, here being auctioned by Hayden Clarke and Dale Patfield, fetched $2250 for Hospice Mid Northland. PHOTO / STEPHANIE SCHOLLUM
This waka carved from macrocarpa by inmates at Ngawha Prison, here being auctioned by Hayden Clarke and Dale Patfield, fetched $2250 for Hospice Mid Northland. PHOTO / STEPHANIE SCHOLLUM

A two-metre tall carved tiki, also made by inmates on a prison arts programme, was bought by a Whangarei couple who wanted to take it home straight away and somehow managed to get it into their car. They plan to install it in their garden.

Fundraising manager Nikki Simmons said next year would be even better as artists and collectors started to see the auction as an annual "must-do" arts event in the Mid North.

The final figure was not yet known but would be more than the $18,000 raised last year. All money raised on the night, and in a pop-up shop on Kerikeri Rd beforehand, will be used to continue providing free hospice services to patients with a terminal illness in the Mid North.

To keep the service free Hospice has to raise $450,000 a year on top of the income from its op shops in Kerikeri, Kawakawa and Kaikohe.


Southern culture

Aroha Music Society is hosting another chamber music concert in the Turner Centre bar at 5.30pm this Sunday.

Tres Cordes string trio from Christchurch will play a varied programme with items from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.

All three - violinist Cathy Irons, violist Philippa Lodge and cellist Tomas Hurnik - are members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Tickets cost $25 with students 18 and under free.


Rest your weary feet

People using Northland's walking trails will be able to rest their weary feet in comfort thanks to members of Rotary Club of Waipapa.

Club members have built ten wooden benches which will be installed at various locations on public conservation land nominated by the Department of Conservation's Bay of Islands office.

Waipapa Rotary Club members Michael Bain, Warwick Woollams, Graeme Brown, Murray Townsend and Roger Pye with a newly installed bench on the Waihoanga Track in Puketi Forest.
Waipapa Rotary Club members Michael Bain, Warwick Woollams, Graeme Brown, Murray Townsend and Roger Pye with a newly installed bench on the Waihoanga Track in Puketi Forest.

Club community projects officer Roger Pye said locals and tourists alike would appreciate the benches, which were more visible than many of the club's other projects.

The projects are funded by events such as the club's popular book fair held each year in Waipapa's BaySport complex.


Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your full contact details, to baynews@northernadvocate.co.nz.