Kick start the upcoming school holidays with a very worthy children's party. Pin the tail on the unicorn and a fun photo booth will be among kids' entertainment at a fundraising event for our four-legged friends in the Far North.
The Bay of Islands Animal Rescue Unicorns and Medieval Party on July 6 is set to raise funds for the rescue charity which works tirelessly to rehome dogs, cats and other animals in the region.
Along with pony rides - featuring rides on "knight" and "unicorn" ponies - other fun activities include a bouncy castle, games, food and a sausage sizzle, held at the indoor Riding for the Disabled arena in Waimate North from 10am 2pm.
Fundraising and marketing manager Sam Stewart said kids can try their hand at archery (with suction cup arrows) and there will be sword and shield painting and unicorn mask painting.
There will also be "a bit of dog safety education", she said.
The group is staffed by volunteers and runs solely on donations and fundraising.
Since forming in the Bay of Islands in 2017, they have rehomed well over 500 dogs, along with cats, horses, sheep, pigs, cows, ducks and even rabbits.
Visit www.bayofislandsanimalrescue.org.nz to help.
A generous donation by an Opua resident has helped make the school a safer place.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, gifted a speed indicator device to the community which has been installed at Opua School on Franklin St.
The safety measure was also possible thanks to community group Love Opua, whose members liaised with the council and other agencies to find a suitable location and permission to install it.
"It is amazingly effective in slowing down the traffic, and hopefully, it will save numerous people from getting a speeding ticket," a Love Opua spokesperson said.
The principal of Kerikeri Primary School has recently completed her doctorate and is now Dr Sarah Brown.
Dr Brown said her research started while undertaking her master's degree, looking into the role of relationships and how youngsters' transition into primary school.
Her Doctorate in Education (EdD) from Otago University investigated how relationships are established and maintained from early childhood education to primary school.
Dr Brown followed seven children from several Northland early childhood centres into one primary school classroom.
She talked to parents, children, families and teachers to find out about each child and what was being done to support them and observed how relationships were established.
The doctorate was completed over eight years, while Brown was working full time, including partly while working as principal and other lecturing jobs.
Brown said she plans to implement what she's learned at Kerikeri Primary school and share it through presentations and seminars. She is due to speak at an early childhood conference in Kerikeri in July.
Windy weather didn't stop participants in this year's R. Tucker Thompson Tai Tokerau Tallship Challenge having a blast out on the water.
The Tai Tokerau Tall Ship Challenge is held once a year and is open to secondary school students.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Bay of Islands-based event, a special leadership voyage jointly sponsored by Northpower and Top Energy.
Tall Ship executive trustee Jane Hindle said weather played an important part with a lumpy passage up really testing the trainees.
"But once into the Bay they were able to enjoy getting into the challenges and competing for the winner's trophy," she said.
"Sailing the ship in heavy wind allowed the all-female teams to really test themselves, and they demonstrated real skill."
Challenges this year ranged from tug-of-war and beach games, the ever-popular dessert challenge, the biosecurity and fauna challenge and the sea shanty competition.
A highlight for the trainees was the blindfold challenge which took them through an obstacle course of sticks on the beach without using words. Early morning swims, good teamwork and tidy bunks earned extra points for the teams.
This year's winners where Katie Thompson and Kira Watson from Kaitaia College.
It was a particularly sweet victory for the girls, as they have entered the Tallship Challenge for the past two years but had been unsuccessful.
This time they not only scored a place on the voyage, but also the winning trophy.
Vision Kerikeri and Friends of Wairoa Stream are hosting a public planting morning in Kerikeri on June 9.
Those interested are advised to meet at the Cobham Rd Bridge car park at 11am to embark on planting more than 900 native trees on a newly cleared 70m extension of the Wairoa stream walkway.
Planting will add to the 11,300 shrubs and trees already planted along the stream.
Don't forget to bring a sharp spade and wear boots, gumboots or strong footwear, and dress for the conditions.
Email Rod Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerikeri High School has taken the lead and invested in a cutting-edge digital conference for educators in the Bay of Islands.
Up to 140 people attended the two-day event on May 16 and 17, including keynote speakers from Canada, the University of Canterbury, Wellington and Auckland, who presented challenging and future focused sessions for the large audiences of teachers, librarians, administrators and school leaders.
The conference was headlined by Ian Jukes and Nicky Mohan from Canada, the directors of InfoSavvy Group, with presentations on "reinventing learning for the always-on generation" and "critical thinking through real world problem-solving".
University of Canterbury computer scientist Tim Bell's presentation included integrated learning with computational thinking.
Other sessions included the electric garden, she can code, wearable tech, and mixed and virtual reality in the classroom.
Friday night is an opportunity to get into the groove with ViVa Jazz playing at the Turner Centre Jazz Club.
The band's "cool, smooth and soulful sound" is led by saxophonist Miles Tremlett, along with creative pianist Darren Smith, Matt Hennessy on drums and Dean Tremlett on bass.
Get ready for an evening of fine music through classic jazz, Latin beats and soul grooves.
The event is at the Turner Centre's New World Theatre Bar. Doors open at 5pm with music from 6pm. Cost is $10 at the door.
Calling all Far North creatives! No 1 Parnell gallery in Rawene is inviting people to contribute to its Matariki exhibition running from June 15 to July 24.
This year, Matariki falls from June 25 to 28. At this time the cluster of stars will re-appear in the dawn sky signalling the start of the Māori New Year.
This is a time to celebrate new life, remember those who have passed and plan for the future. All work must be delivered to the gallery between June 11 and 13. If you're interested contact Lynn on 09 4057520 for an entry form.
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