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

Jazz and blues fest returns with bumper lineup

A one-legged American blues guitar legend, a top Kiwi jazz trio and a high-energy instrumental pop band from Japan are among the likely highlights of this weekend's Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival.

More than 45 acts will perform at seven venues in Paihia, Russell and Waitangi, starting at 6pm on Friday and winding up in the wee small hours on Sunday night.

Veteran organiser Shirley May – this will be her 26th Jazz and Blues Festival, and next year she will host her 30th Country Rock Festival – said this weekend's festival-goers would be spoiled with a range of quality overseas acts and local favourites.

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Last year's headline act, slide guitar maestro Austin Walkin' Cane from Cleveland, Ohio, was coming back for a second bite at the festival, as was 2017 crowd favourite Chihiro Yamazaki and the Route 14 band, a group of talented young musicians from Japan.

May said she was especially excited to have secured top Kiwi jazz ensemble The Nairobi Trio after years of trying.

Kiwi bluesman Midge Marsden is returning to the Bay this weekend backed by the slick guitar skills of Whangārei's Chet O'Connell. Photo / file
Kiwi bluesman Midge Marsden is returning to the Bay this weekend backed by the slick guitar skills of Whangārei's Chet O'Connell. Photo / file

Popular acts returning this year included Australian duo Wizard and Oz, Tauranga blues and roots band Kokomo, and Auckland dixieland band Lex Pistols – the only group to play at every festival since its inception.

Other acts to look out for included bluesman Lloyd Spiegel of Australia, Kiwi legend Midge Marsden with Whangārei guitar ace Chet O'Connell, and Dreams: The Fleetwood Mac Experience, which would perform its entire two-hour tribute show on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Go to www.jazz-blues.co.nz to check out the full programme. A free shuttle bus will connect the venues. Entry badges ($60 three days/$40 one day) are available from the website, venues, Bay of Islands i-Site in Paihia, and Wards Music Shop in Whangārei.


Make a mosaic

This Sunday, August 12, local mosaic artist Sian Steward is leading the fourth in a series of a winter workshops at Kings Theatre Creative in Kawakawa.

Participants will learn how to create mosaic birds, including instruction on the best tools, adhesives and materials to use.

Kawakawa artist Sian Steward will lead a mosaic-making workshop at Kings Theatre Creative this Sunday. Photo / supplied
Kawakawa artist Sian Steward will lead a mosaic-making workshop at Kings Theatre Creative this Sunday. Photo / supplied

The day-long workshop will be limited to 15 people and cost $10. Participants should bring materials from home such as old tiles, broken cups or ceramics, and any suitable glass or beads.

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Booking required; email kingstheatrecreative@gmail.com, send a message via Facebook or phone 021 024 57571 to register.


Youth Orchestra performs

Whangarei Youth Orchestra, which boasts 40 young musicians from around Northland, will perform a concert at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri on Saturday afternoon.

The programme, which starts at 2pm, will include well-known works from the masters Mozart and Brahms, along with Humperdinck's overture to the opera Hansel and Gretel, and Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens featuring violinist Maia-Dean Martin. Soloists Daniel Morrison and Tania Priebs will perform two duets from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute.

Most of the musicians are school-aged but they are supported by Whangarei Youth Music committee members and parents who play some of the harder-to-find orchestral instruments.

The aim of Whangarei Youth Music is to give young people opportunities to experience, enjoy and share the art of performing music in an ensemble. The Youth Orchestra rehearses every Friday night in school term time at the Old Library in Whangārei.

Tickets to Saturday's concert cost $20 for adults, $15 senior citizens, $10 students (18 and under), and $50 for a family of two adults and two children.


Bay's "epic" walk lauded

A new book by the travel gurus at Lonely Planet ranks the Cape Brett Track, in the Bay of Islands, among the top 50 walks in the world.

Epic Hikes of the World, which was published earlier this month, gives 50 first-hand accounts of walks ranging from urban strolls to multi-day wilderness expeditions, as well as tips on another 150 tracks.

The Cape Brett Track in the Bay of Islands features in a new book by travel publishers Lonely Planet called Epic Hikes of the World. Photo / supplied
The Cape Brett Track in the Bay of Islands features in a new book by travel publishers Lonely Planet called Epic Hikes of the World. Photo / supplied

New Zealand features three times among the 50 epic hikes: The Routeburn Track, the Abel Tasman Track and the Cape Brett Track, which starts at Rawhiti and follows a jagged ridge to the lighthouse at the tip of the cape, where the old lighthouse keeper's cottage has been converted into a DoC hut for overnight stays.

The Cape Brett Track is the only North Island tramp featured in the book, though the Te Paki Coastal Walkway, from the top of Ninety Mile Beach to Spirits Bay, also gets a mention.

If you want to try the walk for yourself you can book a bunk in the hut and pay the track fee – much of the route crosses privately owned Māori land – at the DoC website, www.doc.govt.nz. You can cut the walk short by taking a water taxi to Deep Water Cove.


Cuppa with a cop

If you want to find out about starting a new career as a police officer, drop in to Barrow Boys Coffee in Kerikeri from 12.30-1.30pm tomorrow to meet Sergeant Sarah Wihongi and Senior Constable Doug Te Puni.

The pair will be ready to answer questions about life on the beat and how to apply. Barrow Boys Coffee is down Hub Mall in the Briscoes carpark. For more information go to www.newcops.co.nz.


More awards for Ngāwhā staff

"Big hearts, big impact" – that was how the judges summed up Bundy Waitai and Arrin Clark, employees at Ngāwhā prison near Kaikohe and winners of this year's Arts Access Corrections Whai Tikanga Awards.

The kaitiaki of tikanga at the Northland Region Corrections Facility, Waitai and Clark run cultural programmes empowering prisoners to reconnect with their culture, gain a sense of identity and make positive change.

Waitai has developed a Maori performing arts programme, is the kaiako (teacher) for a te reo course and has been instrumental in developing tikanga for the prison, while Clark has delivered cultural programmes focused on rehabilitation for the past decade.

A Corrections spokesman said Bundy and Arrin ensured tikanga in the prison was consistent with Ngāpuhi.

"It's important for prisoners' rehabilitation that those who identify as Maori have the opportunity to reconnect with their culture, and in doing so find their identity and whakapapa … They not only teach but demonstrate manaakitanga, whānaungatanga, rangatiratanga and wairuatanga."

The awards were presented on August 1 as part of the Te Putanga Toi Art Access Awards. Beth Hill, who leads the prison's art programme, won two major awards on the same night. Her work was the subject of a feature story in last Saturday's Advocate.


Five candidates in byelection

Five candidates have put their hands up to contest the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board byelection which closes on September 14.

The byelection, in the South Hokianga subdivision, was called to replace first-term board member Robert Cassidy, who resigned to pursue new opportunities in Australia.

The candidates are Mervyn Gray, Alan Philip Hessell, Fred Hohua, Amanda Phillips and Collin Rameka.

South Hokianga voters will receive voting forms for the postal ballot from August 23.

Voting documents can be returned by post or dropped off at the Far North District Council headquarters in Kaikohe during office hours, or at the Rawene Service Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-12.30pm and 1-4.30pm.

If you live in South Hokianga and you're not already enrolled to vote you can do so at any PostShop, by calling 0800 36 76 56 or going to www.elections.org.nz. People who live outside the area but pay rates in South Hokianga can enrol on the ratepayers' roll by visiting a council office or the website www.fndc.govt.nz or by phoning the council's electoral office on 0800 922 822.


Bay band makes national finals

An all-girl Bay of Islands College band has made it to the finals of a national competition for young Māori and Pacifica musicians.

Harmonies Divergent is one of 10 acts from around the country which will compete in the Smokefree Tangata Beats competition at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland on September 21. The winner will take home more than $10,000 in prizes.

Bay of Islands College band Harmonies Divergent has made the national finals of the Smokefree Tangata Beats music competition. Photo / supplied
Bay of Islands College band Harmonies Divergent has made the national finals of the Smokefree Tangata Beats music competition. Photo / supplied

The band members — Danika Holland (keyboards), Dana Scott (guitar), Mihitaurangi Koperu (guitar, vocals) and Jade Norman (vocals) — sing four-part harmonies to create a sound they describe as "unique and mellow" with a focus on connection.

More than 800 bands and solo/duo acts competed in 20 regional finals, from Invercargill to Whangārei, in this year's Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats.


Kids' SPCA fundraiser

A fundraising day organised by the students of Bay of Islands International Academy near Te Tii has boosted the SPCA coffers by $700.

Students of Bay of Islands International Academy hand over the proceeds of a fundraising day to the SPCA. Photo / supplied
Students of Bay of Islands International Academy hand over the proceeds of a fundraising day to the SPCA. Photo / supplied

The mini-market on June 22 featured food stalls, home-made pet toys, a school band, and a dog agility course adapted for humans. It followed a study unit focusing on the work of the SPCA.

Students handed over the proceeds on July 28.


Award for Waipapa B&B

A Bay of Islands bed and breakfast has been awarded a rare TripAdvisor "Hall of Fame" award.

The online booking and review site TripAdvisor awards a certificate of excellence to the top businesses by category and location each year, based on consistently positive reviews submitted by customers or guests.

Businesses which get five certificates of excellence in a row are added to TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame, an award bestowed earlier this month to 88 Lodge on Waipapa's Koropewa Rd.

88 Lodge owners Geoff Tilley and Chris Shipley enjoy a dip in the pool during a quiet moment between guests. Photo / supplied
88 Lodge owners Geoff Tilley and Chris Shipley enjoy a dip in the pool during a quiet moment between guests. Photo / supplied

When Geoff Tilley and Chris Shipley opened the lodge in 2006, shortly after arriving from the UK, some locals said it wouldn't work because it wasn't on Kerikeri Rd's ''golden mile''.

However, Tilley said they welcomed a steady stream of guests, mainly from the USA, Canada, Germany, UK, Australia and New Zealand, but also more exotic locales such as Qatar and Romania.

He said he been unable to find any other B&B in New Zealand which had received the Hall of Fame award.

Tilley and Shipley were instrumental in starting the Kerikeri Street Party, which has grown into a major annual event after the Kerikeri Half Marathon.


Sea scouts fundraiser

Kerikeri Sea Scouts are holding a garage sale from 8am-2pm this Saturday, August 11, to raise money for an inflatable patrol boat. Items for sale at the Scout den at 30 Landing Rd, near the playcentre and DoC headquarters, will include boat fittings, art frames, whiteware, sofas, hot drinks and baking.


Women's expo

The Kerikeri Lions Club is calling for exhibitors to take part in a Women's Expo at the Turner Centre on November 3.

Organiser Marian Andrews said there would be only a small cost to have a stand on the day, which would also feature seminars on subjects of interest to women, and cosmetics spot prizes. All proceeds would go to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

"To make this a success and support those women who are battling cancer we need businesses to support us and be exhibitors."

Call (09) 407 5445 or 021 269 2295 for more information.


Piano comp contestants named

The 15 finalists from around the world who will compete in the September 26-30 Kerikeri International Piano Competition have been named.

They are Ahhyun Lee, Korea; Baichao Lan, China; Benjamin Goodman, Israel; Delvan Lin, New Zealand; Dong Yi Lee, Australia; Jeremy So, Australia; Katherine Benson, USA; Lin Ye, China; Shuan Hern Lee, Australia; Sohyun Shim, Korea; Sunhwa Kim, Korea; Yedam Kim, Korea; Yilin Liu, China; Yui Yoshioka, Japan; and Zixiang Wang, China.

Go to www.kipc.org.nz to book tickets or read more about the event.


■ 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