The organisers of this weekend's Kororipo Heritage Park Festival have postponed the event until further notice following government advice to cancel all gatherings of 500 people or more.
The decision to delay Kerikeri's 200th birthday bash was made yesterday morning ''with deep regret''.
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The festival was to have been the highlight of the Tūhono Kerikeri series of bicentennial events and would have been held at various locations around Kerikeri Basin on Saturday.
Multi-award-winning Kerikeri singer/songwriter Troy Kingi was to have been the headline act. Other entertainment included mass kapa haka, opera singer Kawiti Waetford, Blue Pearl Band and the Māori Sidesteps. A second stage was to have featured a raft of youth and local bands.
The Tūhono Kerikeri closing ceremony, scheduled for April 26, has also been postponed until further notice.
Organisers said they would ''assess, evaluate and decide'' whether the events can be held at a later date.
Kerikeri's history goes back much further than 200 years but the bicultural settlement of Māori and missionaries started in 1819 when Ngāpuhi chief Hongi Hika invited missionary Samuel Marsden to build a mission station by the river mouth opposite his pā.
Russell School benefit concert
All proceeds of a concert at Russell School this Sunday will go towards recovery and rebuilding after a blaze damaged the school last month.
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The show will run from noon to 5pm and will feature performances by Aro, Regan Reti, Russell School children, Bella a Capella, 2 Miles South, Vaughn and Paul, and Wasabi Didg 'n' Jam.
Other attractions will include a sausage sizzle, fruit and ice cream, and a kids' zone. Bring a blanket and beach chairs.
Fewer than 500 people are expected so it is not affected by a government directive about large gatherings.
The event is organised by D'Vine Community Oasis. Damage caused by the fire closed the school completely for a week and forced lessons to be held in various locations around the town until Monday this week, when the kids were able to return to their usual classrooms.
Jazz club goes Latin
This Friday's Turner Centre Jazz Club features singer/flautist Trudy Lile in a Touch of Latin.
Known for her energy and flair, Lile performs regularly in Auckland and at festivals around the country. She has recorded, performed and toured with The Jazz Divas, Sisters of Swing, Auckland Jazz Orchestra, The Rodger Fox Big Band, Jon Sanders, Whirimako Black, Ishtar and King Kapisi, and appeared on the soundtrack of the 2013 movie Mt Zion (which, incidentally, stars Kerikeri's Troy Kingi).
She will be joined by Alex Griffiths (bass), Eli Moore (piano) and Dylan Kalev (drums). The show starts at 6pm this Friday, March 20. Entry $10 at the Turner Centre door in Kerikeri.
Here at Bay News we usually try to tell you what's going on in this fabulous part of Aotearoa over the coming weeks.
This week, alas, part of this column is dedicated to telling you what events are not happening, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and government advice against holding events of more than 500 people.
Other events, apart from Kerikeri's birthday bash, which have been cancelled or postponed include:
■ Northland Kiwi Hui, Te Tii Marae, Waitangi, originally scheduled for March 20-22. Postponed until November 6-8. Organiser Stella Schmid said the new dates would offer the same programme, with field trips hosted by Puketi Forest Trust, Bay Bush Action and Project Island Song, and speakers such as Kevin Prime. ''The health of people comes first. It will still happen, it's just not the right time now,'' Schmid said. The Kiwis for Kiwi hui is for people around the country working in community and Māori-led conservation initiatives to save the national bird.
■ Bay of Islands Waka Festival, Tii Beach, Waitangi, scheduled for March 21-22. Postponed. Co-organiser Steph Godsiff said she was gutted. "It's been a really hard decision. We took a lot of advice. There's about 500 spectators and paddlers involved and there's a lot of close contact. We'll give a full refund and try again later in the year.''
■ Dame Anne Salmond talk and dinner, scheduled for March 28 at Kerikeri Basin. Cancelled; full refunds given. The event, part of the Tūhono Kerikeri series of bicentennial events, was to have taken place in a marquee with a three-course menu based on food hunted, raised and grown by Māori and missionaries in the mission's heyday.
■ Kiwi Kids Can Cook, scheduled for April 4 at the Opua School gala. Postponed. This is the Northland regional final of a kids' cooking contest which was founded more than a decade ago by Paihia chef Hughie Blues at the Bay of Islands Show and has since grown into a nationwide event. The contest, and the gala, will be held later this year.
Big turnout out for snorkel day
More than 50 people celebrated Seaweek with an open snorkel day at Maunganui Bay (Deep Water Cove) on March 8.
Participants enjoyed a summer's day on the stony shore before plunging into the clear, deep waters near Cape Brett and weaving through healthy kelp forests to view a variety of spectacular marine life.
Organised by Experiencing Marine Reserves and Fish Forever, the excursion was not just a celebration of Seaweek but also of the rāhui (customary restriction) at Maunganui Bay.
A rāhui is a customary management tool that closes an area temporarily, and in this case is being used to help restore depleted fish stocks and the complex communities on which they depend.
Ngāti Kuta and Patukeha, Te Rawhiti hapū and traditional kaitiaki (guardians) of the area, placed a rāhui over the bay in 2009. Statutory support for the rāhui was gained in 2010 and Maunganui Bay has since been closed to all fishing except for kina.
Isabel Krauss of Experiencing Marine Reserves said the bay was the only protected area in the Bay of Islands. Snorkelers taking part in the event observed the regeneration of predator species such as snapper, crayfish and kingfish, and swam among thriving reef communities.
It was such a success plans were afoot to make it an annual event, Krauss said. The event was supported by Foundation North, Seaweek and the Department of Conservation.
Map show at the Gables
The Gables Restaurant, on The Strand in Russell, is hosting an exhibition of historic maps of New Zealand and the Pacific dating back to the 18th century and even earlier.
The maps, based on the voyages of Abel Tasman and James Cook, include the earliest known map showing New Zealand on its own, made by an Italian cartographer.
A preview will be held from 3.30-5.30pm tomorrow, March 19, with the exhibition running for a month during restaurant opening hours.
New Zealand first appeared on a word map in 1646, four years after Tasman's visit, but another 130 years passed before Cook filled in the cartographical gaps the Dutch explorer had left.
Paihia fire thanks
Paihia residents hosted a picnic at Veronica St on Sunday afternoon to thank firefighters who saved as many as 10 houses threatened by a wildfire on March 1.
A dozen members of Paihia Fire Brigade attended, along with Northland principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor.
The picnic was organised by Jane Banfield, better known as Paihia's "zero waste granny".
While not big in area it the fire was the worst of the summer in terms of the number of homes threatened. It is thought to have started on the shore between Te Haumi and Sullivans Beach as a result of arson or an illegal campfire.
Big crowd for colour run
More than 450 people took part in a colour run on March 7 in which the object was to get as colourful and messy as possible while walking or running the length of Paihia's waterfront.
Participants in the Paihia Colour Bonanza had to run a gauntlet of foam cannons and "colour stations" where they were sprayed with dyes by volunteers from local businesses, before a colourful finale at Horotutu Park. Bay of Islands Rotary provided the course marshals.
Organisers are considering alternating the event between Paihia and Kerikeri in future. Another event they had been planning in July, the Punisher, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus.
Ben Hurley winner
Congratulations to Sandy Caley of Kamo, the lucky winner of last week's double ticket giveaway for comedian Ben Hurley's April 3 show at the Turner Centre.
If you missed out on free tickets but need a laugh given current world events, you can still book a seat at www.turnercentre.co.nz . Keep watching this space for more giveaways in coming weeks.