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

Vision Kerikeri founder retires after 14 years

The founder of a Kerikeri lobby group who has retired after 14 years as chairman says his biggest achievement was stopping the construction of an eight-storey apartment block in the town centre.

Vision Kerikeri, a town planning and community development group, started in 2003 in response to an Auckland developer's plans to build the tower at the corner of Kerikeri Rd and Butler Rd, where the John Butler Centre is now.

Rod Brown, a former navy commander, said the plan – and the fact the developer was issued a non-notified consent – "really got up our nostrils".

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He was also surprised to find there was no building height limit in the Far North. That meant the only limit on developers was being able to provide enough parking spaces.

Brown founded the group to lobby for better town planning rules and stop the apartment building, floating helium balloons 22m above street level to show Kerikeri residents how big it would be.

After the outcry the developer sold the land to the council and the group managed to get building height restrictions re-imposed across the Far North.

Other achievements since the group was formally constituted in 2004 included working with the council to create the Kerikeri-Waipapa Structure Plan and opening a public walkway to Te Wairere Falls, a hidden waterfall which had been all but inaccessible for 60 years. The track now continued to Cobham Rd bridge and beyond, and was used as an outdoor classroom by Kerikeri High and Kerikeri primary schools.

Brown's retirement was prompted by what he described as "minor health issues". He remains a committee member.

The sole nomination to replace him was David Clendon, a former Green MP who resigned before the 2017 election in protest at co-leader Metiria Turei's admissions of benefit fraud.

As the new chairman Clendon said he planned to continue his predecessor's good work. He was particularly interested in Kerikeri Domain — "it's quite literally the heart of the town and we have to get it right" — and a major retirement village planned on Hall Rd. Although the aged care sector was important to the town's economy, residents had to be happy with the pace and scale of development.

"We don't want the town to become a giant retirement village. We need a balance of young and old," he said.

Bob Bubendorfer, Vision Kerikeri's secretary for 14 years, also retired at last Saturday's AGM. Both Brown and Bubendorfer were awarded life membership.

About 60 people, including Mayor John Carter, attended the AGM in the St John Ambulance hall. Noted business journalist Rod Oram was the guest speaker.


Daffodil Day comes to the Bay

Wherever you go this Friday make sure you take plenty of cash and a willingness to donate to a good cause – Cancer Society volunteers will be out in force collecting for Daffodil Day.

Joining the bucket collectors on Kerikeri's main street will be llamas from Rangemore Farms in Waipapa. The woolly South Americans provide great entertainment each year as they call into shops, offices and even the police station.

'Ullo 'ullo 'ullo: A pair of woolly felons meet the long arm of the law during a previous Daffodil Day in Kerikeri. Photo / Peter de Graaf
'Ullo 'ullo 'ullo: A pair of woolly felons meet the long arm of the law during a previous Daffodil Day in Kerikeri. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Also around lunchtime this Friday the Kerikeri High School Jazz Band will be performing outside RockSalt, children's artwork will be on display, and retailers will compete in a window display competition. The two winning businesses will receive $500 worth of free advertising on NZME radio stations.

Bay of Islands Cancer Society volunteers have also held fundraising meals at Ake Ake Vineyard and Food at Wharepuke.

Last year's efforts raised more than $15,000 to help people in the Bay of Islands with cancer.


Move over ladies, it's time for bro-lesque

You've all heard of burlesque – a fun, sexy form of dance and fitness that celebrates womanhood – but now it seems it's the blokes' turn.

Aligned Movement, on Kerikeri's Cobham Rd, is holding a charity "bro-lesque" class for men this Friday, August 31, with all proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Organisers say the one-off class will help participants dance like Channing Tatum in Magic Mike and wriggle their hips like Elvis. They will master "some sexy dance moves" and learn a routine to Ginuwine's Pony, all for a good cause.

The class will run from 7-8pm with a minimum $15 donation; check out the Facebook event page for more information or call the Aligned Movement studio on 021 022 45016.


Young Einsteins recognised

The district's top young scientists will compete for a raft of scholarships, cash prizes and scientific glory in this week's Top Energy Far North Science and Technology Fair.

Year 7-13 students from 13 schools as far afield as Kaitaia, Russell and Broadwood, as well as some home-schooled students, will showcase more than 160 science projects in the Turner Centre Plaza in Kerikeri.

Kerikeri High student Sophie Piesse won one of the top awards in last year's Far North Science Fair for her research on an environmentally friendly way of fighting ragwort. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kerikeri High student Sophie Piesse won one of the top awards in last year's Far North Science Fair for her research on an environmentally friendly way of fighting ragwort. Photo / Peter de Graaf

All students whose work will be on display have already won recognition in their own schools' science competitions; the winners of the Far North event could be selected for the National Science Fair.

Judging will take place today with the fair open to the public from 9.30am-1.30pm tomorrow. Prizegiving will be from 5.30pm on Friday. Free admission.

Prizes will be awarded in science and technology categories, which are further divided into junior (Year 7-8), intermediate (Year 9-10) and senior (Year 11-13) age sections. Go to www.sciencefairfarnorth.ac.nz for more information.


Tastes of the North

A new food, wine and craft beer show that debuted in Waitangi last year is returning this Sunday with even more Northland-made treats for sale and sampling.

Mel McMinn and Terry Johnson at last year's Tastes of the North Festival in Waitangi with a cup of their cold-brewed, nitrogen-infused nitro coffee. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Mel McMinn and Terry Johnson at last year's Tastes of the North Festival in Waitangi with a cup of their cold-brewed, nitrogen-infused nitro coffee. Photo / Peter de Graaf

This year's Tastes of the North, at the Copthorne Hotel's Waitaha Events Centre, will feature seafood paella, seared scallops, artisan sausages and gourmet burgers, along with plenty of local hero dishes and indigenous food.

Northland musicians Bella Mason, WiEkko, Jam Sandwich and Sojourn will perform along with the Waitangi Treaty Grounds cultural group Te Pitowhenua and the young dancers of All 'n Rhythm Cheer. A bouncy castle, teacup rides, craft corner and dance lesson should keep the kids occupied.

The festival will run from 11am-6.30pm; tickets from eventfinda.co.nz or at the gate.


Jazz in Kerikeri

This Friday's Kerikeri Jazz Club concert features Allana Goldsmith, a graduate of the New Zealand School of Music who has been singing jazz for more than 10 years and is undertaking her honours year at the University of Auckland.

Allana Goldsmith stars in this Friday's Kerikeri Jazz Club. Photo / supplied
Allana Goldsmith stars in this Friday's Kerikeri Jazz Club. Photo / supplied

She will be joined by Mark Bayens on piano, Kim Paterson on trumpet and drums, and Alex Griffith on bass.

The Turner Centre Theatre bar opens at 5pm; the music starts at 6pm. Tickets are $5 at the door.


College open evening

Northland College is opening its doors this evening to give the public a chance to check out student achievements and new facilities which opened in 2017 after a $14 million rebuild. The open evening will run from 5.30-7.30pm; all welcome. Northland College is on Mangakahia Rd, Kaikohe.


Opua School quiz

Opua School is holding a quiz night fundraiser at 7pm this Friday in the Opua Cruising Club, next to the wharf. Teams of up to six can take part; the $15 per person entry fee includes finger food. Phone (09) 402 7840 to book. Auction packages up for grabs will include fishing gear, flight and cruise vouchers, and a gym membership. No dressing up required but participants are welcome to glam up.


Waipapa biz quiz

The Waipapa Business Association is also holding a quiz this weekend with the proceeds going towards a CCTV system for Waipapa. The trivia night kicks off at 7pm on Saturday at the Pioneer Tavern. The entry fee is $90 per team of six; nibbles, auctions and raffles included. Register your team at the Pioneer if you don't want to miss out.


Reggae comes to Kerikeri

Popular reggae band Sons of Zion will perform in the Turner Centre Plaza on Kerikeri's Cobham Rd this Saturday, September 1. Doors open at 7pm; R18 gig with ID required on entry. Tickets available from Ticketmaster. Sons of Zion released their first album in five years, Vantage Point, in May. It includes the current hit Drift Away.

Railway quiz raises $15,000

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust's annual trivia and auction night at the Copthorne Hotel in Waitangi on August 18 raised a whopping $15,000-plus.

More than 130 people took part with Far North Mayor John Carter and railway trustee Frank Leadley providing great entertainment with their inimitable style of auctioneering.

Artwork by Northland artist Di West again proved popular in the auction – last year her painting of a cow fetched $1400 – but the top item was a three-day trip to Queenstown including accommodation, a scenic flight, a cruise on Milford Sound and a cruise on TSS Earnslaw.

The overall winner of the four rounds of trivia questions was a team from Waipapa Rotary Club bolstered by Kerikeri and Haruru Falls residents.

New crossing for Riverview kids
Children at Riverview School in Kerikeri now have a safer walk to school thanks to a traffic safety project led by the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board.

The Far North District Council has moved a zebra crossing at the intersection of Landing Rd and Riverview Rd to a new location further south to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flows at peak times. It has also extended a footpath on the western side of Landing Rd to connect the new crossing to houses around Waipapa Landing.

Riverview School children, along with principal Ken McLeay and Far North Mayor John Carter, use a relocated pedestrian crossing on Landing Rd. Photo / FNDC
Riverview School children, along with principal Ken McLeay and Far North Mayor John Carter, use a relocated pedestrian crossing on Landing Rd. Photo / FNDC

The council plans to extend this footpath from the bridge at Waipapa Landing to Kapiro Rd later this financial year to cater for future growth in the area.

Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board chairman Terry Greening said the decision to move the footpath resulted from a big-picture discussion between the board, council staff, Riverview School and the Ministry of Education.

"We considered traffic congestion, safe pedestrian connections and growth issues and decided that moving the crossing and extending the footpath to Kapiro Rd was the best option."

Greening thanked community board member Rachel Smith for the work she had put into the project to make it a success.

Riverview School principal Ken McLeay said he was pleased with the relocation of the crossing and the planned footpath extension, saying it would improve the safety of children going to and from school.


YES trade fair winners

Kerikeri schools dominated the prizes when students of the Young Enterprise Scheme took part in a trade fair at the Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri on August 18.

More than 30 student businesses from 11 high schools around Northland took part, selling everything from garden art to fertiliser made from marine pests.

The fair was a chance for the young entrepreneurs to test their wares and their marketing skills on the public, with shoppers voting for their favourite team and secret judges giving awards for the best stalls.

The customer choice winners were: 1 Kakariki Pure (Kawakawa-based household cleaner, Springbank School); 2 Aqua Woods (spa pool boards, Kerikeri High School); 3 Tree to Be (bee-friendly seed growing packs, Kerikeri High School). Best Stall: 1 Tree to Be; 2 Kakariki Pure; 3 Eco Wave (re-usable shopping bag key ring, Whangarei Girls' High School).

Traverse entries open
Registrations for the eighth annual Okaihau-Kaikohe Traverse, which will take place on September 30, have opened at kaikoherotary.org.

Organiser Don Edmonds, of Kaikohe Rotary Club, said the non-competitive event was held on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail-Pou Herenga Tai and attracted runners and walkers from all over Northland.

The traverse has 21km, 14km or 9km options for runners while walkers can choose between 14km and 9km. The 21km and 14km options start at Two Ponga Park in Okaihau, while the 9km runners and walkers start at the Toia Rd-Lake Rd intersection near Lake Omapere.

The event finishes at Kaikohe's Pioneer Village, where there will be refreshments, entertainment and activities for the kids. Buses will take competitors from the Pioneer Village to the starting points.

The cycle trail follows the former rail line from Okaihau to Kaikohe so the gradients are easy and suitable for most people.

"The traverse is a fundraiser for Kaikohe Rotary projects so by taking part, people are putting money back into their own community," Edmonds said.

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