Ever noticed weedy invasions when out walking in the bush and questioned why "somebody" isn't doing something about them?
That's what Barbara Parris wondered while walking along the Kerikeri River some years ago, spotting exotic plants which had jumped the fence from local gardens and become established in public reserves.
"While muttering about somebody needing to do something about the weeds, I had a lightbulb moment and realised that I should be the somebody," she said.
Chats with neighbours and an advertisement in the local paper resulted in four keen volunteers putting their hands up to form the Kerikeri Basin Weedbusters group in 2003.
They began battling the weeds in the reserves, including Kerikeri Basin recreation reserve, and the Kerikeri river and Rainbow Falls scenic reserves.
The group's mission is to clear the reserves' understorey of smothering weeds so native plants get a chance to regenerate. Japanese honeysuckle, wild ginger, Taiwan cherry, tradescantia and tree privet are their main focus.
"We have to keep at them to stop them dominating and pushing out native plants," Parris said.
"Our weedbusting supports the animal pest control efforts. We want our locals and visitors to hear the birds but also to see our forests in their natural state. It's really rewarding knowing you are helping nature by getting rid of nasty weeds like the moth plant, and it's a fantastic way to meet interesting people."
The Kerikeri Basin Weedbusters meet every second and fourth Monday of the month from 9am to noon.
They are now looking for more volunteers.
Email Barbara at email@example.com if you are interested in helping, and for more information about weedbusting visit www.weedbusters.org.nz
Hospice Mid-Northland is celebrating its 30th year in operation with a movie premiere fundraiser on August 8.
Bus stop to shift to airport to prevent traffic chaos
The Kerikeri premiere at Cathay Cinema starts at 6.45pm with a glass of wine and nibbles, followed by key speeches and the screening of Palm Beach at 8.30pm.
There are 30 spot prizes which will be randomly drawn from ticket numbers, which movie-goers will need to bring with them on the night.
Tickets cost $40 and are available from the Hospice office 09 407 7799 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerikeri High School student Max Hart secured second place in this year's REINZ National Real Estate Schools' Auctioneering Championships.
Year 12 Diocesan School for Girls student Pippa Morris won the competition, which was held at Events on Khyber in Grafton.
Seven secondary school students from Kerikeri High School and Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland were vying to take out the title.
Hart was the winner of last year's event.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Nowell said while the competition is only in its second year, "this is the strongest female contingent we've seen in the competition".
"The Schools' Championship is such an exciting competition, getting to see these young adults try their hand at something new, and being so talented at it – it was certainly an impressive display of skills. Congratulations to all those who entered and thanks to their mentors who supported them with the challenge."
Chief judge of the Schools' Championship, Kerry Greenhalgh, said it was great to see representation from Kerikeri and Auckland this year.
"This competition isn't an easy one, and to see these young students take the stage and complete their calls in front of a room filled with professionals, and do it well, is an admirable feat."
The 2019 REINZ National Real Estate Auctioneering Championships also saw Aaron Davis from Harcourts Blue Fern Realty in Henderson take out the senior competition and Mark Morrison from Harcourts Auckland take out the Rising Stars competition.
The community-led action group Our Kerikeri is seeking feedback on its draft vision at a public meeting at the Turner Centre tonight.
The Our Kerikeri Community Meeting starts at 7pm and is an opportunity to discuss the draft created by focus groups and input from those in the community passionate about unlocking the town's potential.
The document includes surveys of hundreds of people from all walks of life.
More than 1000 data points were collated and analysed to identify key desires, attitudes and future needs in four areas; cultural, economic, environmental and social.
The first meeting in March was called by Kerikeri accountant Annika Dickey as a first step towards setting up a new community group and saw more than 320 people turn out.
Run by Focus Paihia founders Grant Harnish and Tania McInnes, common themes included a pedestrian- and bike-friendly town centre, better town planning, after-hours medical care, public access to local beaches, an upgrade of Kerikeri Domain, more lighting and footpaths, and more evening and weekend events.
Please note: these meetings do not have political or commercial aspirations. This is not a council-driven organisation or a place for self-promotion or negativity.
Visit www.turnercentre.co.nz or www.kerikeriourtown.co.nz.
Don't forget to take the kids to the Bay of Islands Animal Rescue Unicorns and Medieval Party on July 6.
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.
The colourful event is set to raise funds for the rescue charity which works tirelessly to rehome dogs, cats and other animals in the region.
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 some dog safety education.
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 hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, sheep, pigs, cows, ducks and even rabbits.
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