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

Waterfall walk for Alzheimers

Alzheimers Northland is organising a sponsored walk later this month which will take in up to four waterfalls around Kerikeri.

The organisation has been holding "memory walks" around Northland for several years but this is the first time it has added a longer route taking in some of the Bay of Islands' natural attractions.

The 11km Kerikeri Waterfall Memory Walk, which starts at 8.30am on September 22 at Kerikeri Domain, will follow a series of trails through native bush to Rainbow Falls, Wharepuke Falls, Te Wairere Falls and — for those who still have energy for a short detour — another, unnamed waterfall on Wairoa Stream.

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Joining the walk is free. Participants receive a T-shirt to walk in while refreshments will be provided along the way by Kerikeri Rotary Club. Walkers will get back to town in time to join the Memory Walk around the Domain, which is a 1km loop accessible to everyone.

Participants in the 11km walk are encouraged to set up a fundraising page and seek sponsorship from friends and family. All proceeds will be used to support Northland families affected by dementia.

Alzheimers Northland fundraising manager Hannah Hunter said Memory Walks were for people of all ages and abilities and aimed to raise awareness of dementia while also raising funds.

"It's also a great way to honour our family and community members that have been or are affected by dementia," she said.

The noon walk around the Domain will also feature a barbecue, face-painting and live music by Kerikeri High School students.

Memory Walks are also being held on September 22 in Dargaville (meet at 10am at Countdown carpark on Victoria St) and Kaitaia (10am at Kaitaia Community House, Puckey Ave) and on September 23 in Whangārei (noon at the Town Basin's Canopy Bridge).

Go to www.alzheimers.org.nz/memorywalk to register for any of the walks; the Alzheimers Northland Facebook page has a link with instructions on how to set up a fundraising page.

Alzheimers Northland supports more than 600 people affected by dementia. Nationwide more than 60,000 people have dementia.


Kerikeri flower show
Kerikeri Garden Club is holding its annual spring flower show in the Turner Centre Plaza this Friday and Saturday.

As well as displays of members' best blooms, the show will feature trading tables, raffles, cakes, sweets and a coffee corner.

Pauline Carter won Kerikeri Garden Club's Spring Flower Show in 2015 with these pink diamond tulips and again last year with a floral art entry. Photo / file
Pauline Carter won Kerikeri Garden Club's Spring Flower Show in 2015 with these pink diamond tulips and again last year with a floral art entry. Photo / file

Kerikeri Men's Shed will have a working display while local artist Jaki George will exhibit her sculptures alongside artworks by children from Riverview, Kerikeri Primary and Oromahoe schools.

The show, which has a garden party theme, will be open from 1.30pm-5.30pm on Friday and 9am-3pm on Saturday. Entry is $3 adults, $1 children and $5 families.


NZSO comes to Kerikeri

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is returning to Kerikeri this weekend to perform some of the world's most loved classical works along with a specially commissioned piece only performed for the first time this week.

The programme of the NZSO's Classical Hits tour has been chosen to appeal to regular concert-goers as much as people who have never seen the national orchestra perform live.

Hamish McKeich will conduct the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra when it performs some of the great works of classical music in Kerikeri this weekend. Photo / Tracy Valarie
Hamish McKeich will conduct the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra when it performs some of the great works of classical music in Kerikeri this weekend. Photo / Tracy Valarie

It will include Franz Schubert's instantly recognisable Symphony No 8, also known as the Unfinished Symphony; Claude Debussy's haunting Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune; and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's mesmerising Variations on a Rococo Theme and his magnificent Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.

Also featured will be New Zealand composer Gillian Whitehead's new work Turanga-nui, which was commissioned by the NZSO to mark next year's 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook's arrival in New Zealand. The Classical Hits tour is its world premiere.

The concert will be conducted by NZSO associate conductor Hamish McKeich while the soloist will be principal cellist Andrew Joyce, who will play Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, the Russian composer's most famous work for cello.

"Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations is a real thrill, both to play and to listen to and I'm super-excited to be touring this piece all around the country," Joyce said.

McKeich said all the works were important in the history of music.

"Schubert's Unfinished Symphony is superb, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet is exquisite and Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune is like an Impressionist painting. At the same time, I'm delighted we can introduce New Zealanders to new music. Gillian Whitehead's new work will also conjure up amazing sounds," he said.

The Kerikeri concert, at the Turner Centre at 7.30pm on Saturday, is the only one north of Auckland on the NZSO's 11-stop national tour.

Go to www.turnercentre.co.nz or the box office on Cobham Rd to book tickets.


Bugsy Malone

The rollicking musical gangster comedy Bugsy Malone, with a huge cast of talented Mid North kids, is deep into rehearsals for performances at the Turner Centre next month.

Presented by Kerikeri Theatre Company's Youth Theatre, the show is a fun-filled prohibition-era spoof of classic old gangster movies where Bugsy and his mob dance and sing around the glitzy underworld of 1920s New York.

Sharing the roles of Bugsy Malone and Blousey in an upcoming Kerikeri Youth Theatre production are from left, Rees Fieldman, Avalon Hart, Aleisha Neale and Liam Hutching. Photo / Claire Gordon
Sharing the roles of Bugsy Malone and Blousey in an upcoming Kerikeri Youth Theatre production are from left, Rees Fieldman, Avalon Hart, Aleisha Neale and Liam Hutching. Photo / Claire Gordon

The story follows the rise of "Bugsy" and a power struggle between rival gangsters "Dandy Dan" and "Fat Sam". The cast of 55 is aged 7-16.

Originally a Paul Williams musical, it was made into a movie in 1976 by Alan Parker. The movie was the first taste of fame for then 13-year-old Jodie Foster, who played the part of Tallulah, Fat Sam's gun moll (a term for a gangster's girlfriend).

The show is directed by a three-way collaboration of Janna Sicely, Willi Henley and Barbara Kirkman, who say they are thrilled to bring the popular musical to Kerikeri. A version was performed to packed audiences at Okaihau College in the late 1980s.

"So many people asked when we were going to bring Bugsy back," Kirkman said.

"It's about the most musical fun anyone can have on stage. Our fabulous cast of talented young ones from our Youth Theatre, along with our amazing production team, are working hard to bring a sparkling razzamatazz of a show to our wonderful audiences up here."

The show dates are October 24, 25, 27 and 28. Tickets are $28 for adults and $15 for students from the Turner Centre.


Boxers raise $23,000 for St John

A charity boxing event organised by the Bay of Islands-Far North branch of NZ Certified Builders has raised a whopping $23,082 for St John.

The August 18 event in the Turner Centre Plaza featured 24 boxers, most of whom were Northland tradies who'd never been in the ring before. Three bouts featured women, including the only professional fight of the night.

NZ Certified Builders Bay of Islands-Far North committee members, from left, Ben Maxwell, Mark Todd, Alwin Roessler, Adrian Robinson and Bevin MacCarthy present St John Kerikeri station manager Nick Scott (second from right) with the proceeds of last month's NZCB charity Boxing Event. Absent are Ray Osborne, Greg Sylvester, Josh Alley and Greg Machin. Photo / Peter de Graaf
NZ Certified Builders Bay of Islands-Far North committee members, from left, Ben Maxwell, Mark Todd, Alwin Roessler, Adrian Robinson and Bevin MacCarthy present St John Kerikeri station manager Nick Scott (second from right) with the proceeds of last month's NZCB charity Boxing Event. Absent are Ray Osborne, Greg Sylvester, Josh Alley and Greg Machin. Photo / Peter de Graaf

The proceeds were handed over to St John Kerikeri station manager Nick Scott last week and will be used to further the training of volunteer ambulance officers in the Far North.

NZCB branch president Mark Todd said one of the event's key criteria was that the money raised stayed in the district.

"It was really good to hear the money we raised last time is still being used to train volunteers in the Far North," he said.

Vice president Adrian Robinson said St John was an organisation that everyone would need at some point in their lives.

Scott said the money would be put to good use helping volunteers further their qualifications.

''Once again the NZCB put on a great, well-organised community event, involving a heap of work and planning behind the scenes to make the event run smoothly. We're very grateful for their ongoing support.''

The NZCB's Apprentice Scholarship Trust, which helps apprentices in financial hardship pay for accommodation and petrol when attending courses, will also receive $3000 from the event. In the past two years Far North apprentices have received $2500 from the trust.

Last month's charity boxing event was the NZCB's fifth in Kerikeri. Altogether the events have raised close to $80,000. The branch is considering whether to hold another in 2020.


Vivid start to spring in Kawakawa

Kings Theatre Creative, in the former Kawakawa picture theatre on Gillies St, is starting its 2018 kōanga (spring) programme with a colourful solo show by Kerikeri artist Joan Honeyfield.

Joan Honeyfield's colourful abstract paintings feature in a new show at Kings Theatre Creative in Kawakawa. Photo / supplied
Joan Honeyfield's colourful abstract paintings feature in a new show at Kings Theatre Creative in Kawakawa. Photo / supplied

The exhibition of vibrant abstract paintings, aptly titled Vivid, will run until September 23. The new show coincides with the gallery's return to its summer opening hours of 10am-4pm, Wednesday to Sunday.


1080 protest in Kerikeri

Opponents of aerial drops of the pesticide 1080 will stage a rally in Kerikeri this Saturday as part of a nationwide day of protest. The event will start at 10am at Kerikeri Domain with a march down Kerikeri Rd at noon followed by a shared lunch from 12.45pm-2pm.


Libraries' te reo challenge

Te reo speakers of all levels are being invited to share and boost their language skills at Far North libraries during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) from September 10-16.

Activities include the chance to challenge Far North District councillors and staff to a game of te reo Scrabble at Kaikohe's Whare Pukapuka (Library).

Far Northerners can test their Māori language skills with te reo Scrabble at Kaikohe Library all next week. Photo / FNDC
Far Northerners can test their Māori language skills with te reo Scrabble at Kaikohe Library all next week. Photo / FNDC

Players can choose between beginner level (Māori dictionaries permitted), intermediate and advanced (Scrabble tiles with macrons).

Deputy mayor Tania McInnes ("confident beginner") and council chief executive Shaun Clarke ("enthusiastic novice") have volunteered to take on the challenge, while students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe (advanced) will demonstrate their reo Scrabble skills throughout the week.

Those looking for a less challenging way to celebrate te reo can attend preschool storytime sessions at Kaitaia Library from 10.30am on September 10, or at Kaeo, Kaikohe, Kawakawa and Procter libraries from 10.30am on September 11.

Far North libraries will also have a selection of Pipi Mā Māori-speaking dolls to use at Kaitaia, Kawakawa, Kaikohe and Kaeo libraries during the week. For older kids, the language board game, He kupu i kore, will be available at Kaitaia, Kaikohe and Kaeo libraries. Te reo language apps will also be available on tablets at Kaikohe, Kaeo and Kawakawa libraries.

For a full schedule of activities or to book a te reo Scrabble game at Kaikohe Library, call 0800 920 029 or (09) 401 5200.


Lunchtime concert

A lunchtime concert in the Turner Centre Theatre Bar this Friday will feature John Boulter, who had a career singing with the Black and White Minstrels, accompanied by Kerikeri vocal tutor Carol Maher and up-and-coming singer Georgia Davies. The show starts at 12.30pm; suggested donation $5.


No spray register

Far North residents are being urged to sign up to a ''no spray register'' if they don't want contractors to use Roundup outside their properties.

Council contractor Broadspectrum will start roadside weed spraying next month on council roads in southern parts of the Far North District. State highways won't be included.

Infrastructure manager Andy Finch said in the wake of renewed debate around the safety of glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, residents who didn't want the herbicide used outside their properties could join the no spray register by filling out a form available on the council website or from council service centres. They would also have to control weeds on the berm outside their properties and display 'No Spray' signs. Spraying is due to start on September 3.

Following a landmark court case in which Monsanto was ordered to pay $438 million to a US man who claimed Roundup gave him cancer, New Zealand's Environmental Protection Authority is reassessing glyphosate's safety rating. Mr Finch said the council would be guided by the EPA's findings.


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