A new mid-winter arts event aims to inject a splash of light and colour into Kaikohe.
Bling Bling Toi Marama will start tomorrow, July 2, and run until Saturday from 6-9pm nightly.
The light festival will be held at Te Pu o Te Wheke art gallery on Broadway and at the old Kaikohe Hotel site and will feature more than 100 light creations made by Kaikohe people of all ages from 2-year-olds through to kuia.
Anyone who turns up in a glowing outfit will be in the running for a prize.
The festival, which coincides with Matariki, the Māori New Year, is a collaboration between Ākau design studio and Sasha Wilson's Te Pu o Te Wheke art gallery.
It is the brainchild of young Ākau designer Manawanui Ururoa, whose vision was to bring more light to Kaikohe while allowing the community's creative talent to shine.
The opening will take place at Te Pu o Te Wheke at 5.30pm tomorrow.
Schools and childcare centres taking part include Kaikohe East, Kaikohe West, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumarere, Ōkaihau Primary and Kowhai Corner.
PJs raise money for ... PJs
Kids at Springbank School near Kerikeri raised more than $200 for the charity Foster Hope by holding a pyjama day last Friday.
Even principal Mike Warren came to school in his favourite PJs and students brought gifts of toiletries, books and pyjamas for Foster Hope backpacks.
At lunchtime, more than 80 students from pre-school to Year 13 enjoyed a lunchtime disco in the school hall in exchange for a gold coin donation.
The day was organised by Year 12 prefect Ollie Huett with help from other students.
Debbie Sutcliffe, of Foster Hope Northland, said she was ''blown away'' by the youngsters' generosity.
Many of their donations had already been put into backpacks ready for distribution to Northland children placed in foster care, she said.
White Chapel Jak is back
Anyone who went to last year's It! Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival will remember how White Chapel Jak stole the show with a high-energy covers set laced with uniquely Kiwi humour.
Well, the great news is they're coming back for the 2020 festival, and this time they've been promoted to headline act.
While Covid-19 has delayed preparation for the annual festival on Paihia's Village Green, a date has now been set — October 3 — and organisers are busy hiring the rest of the musical line-up. Watch this space for more details.
Shaving for the animals
Kerikeri dog groomer Jenny Morgan will undergo some fairly drastic grooming of her own this weekend when she shaves her head in support of Bay of Islands Animal Rescue.
Morgan said the volunteer-run rescue organisation had worked tirelessly for animals for more than 12 years and she wanted to help the group continue its work.
In her line of work she came across many wonderful dogs, but some had experienced an awful start to life and ended up in the pound through no fault of their own.
''And it's not just dogs, all kinds of animals are suffering abuse and neglect,'' she said.
Morgan will shed her locks between noon and 1pm this Saturday, July 4, at Highway Vets, next door to Redwoods Garden Centre at 1526 Springbank Rd/State Highway 10, Kerikeri.
Donations can be made on the day or via her Givealittle page . Her hair will be donated to KidsCan.
Students' Domain clean-up
As part of national volunteer week, members of Kerikeri High School's SAVE (Save All Valuable Environments) group gave up every dry lunchtime last week to pick up rubbish around town.
On Monday alone the students collected two full recycling bags of bottles and cans and two 40-litre bags of trash (including disposable nappies, yuck!) along the rear boundary of the New World supermarket boundary.
Another clean-up in Kerikeri Domain on Friday netted two more bags of rubbish and one of recycling.
SAVE is open to all students and currently has members in Years 7-12.
Paihia grants open
Paihia arts, cultural and sporting groups are invited to apply for a share of a $10,000 contestable fund.
The Focus Paihia Community Charitable Trust created the fund in 2018, believing that helping those involved in art, culture and sports would enhance Paihia as a place to live, work and visit.
Applications open today and close on July 31.
To apply for a share of the cash, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your group, the group's history, why your group should receive the grant, the amount of money needed and what it will be used for.
Groups that received funding last year included Paihia Sea Scouts (to purchase life jackets, tables and chairs), Special Olympics Bay of Islands (for tablets to assist with training), Bay of Islands Gymnastic Club (for new equipment) and Bay of Islands Yacht Club (to help buy a safety boat for their learn to sail and water safety programmes).
Preventing child abuse
Far North residents have played a key role in a new book about fighting back against child sexual abuse in New Zealand.
Free to be Children is written by 16 experts in the field, who offer their blueprints for ending abuse, and edited by well-known sex therapist Robyn Salisbury.
One chapter has been contributed by HealNZ chairwoman Ciaran Torrington of Kaitaia. HealNZ is a charity based in the rural Far North that supports trauma survivors.
The group has donated a copy of the book to the Far North Libraries so locals can learn how to get involved in changing sexual abuse in the district.
Kerikeri church minister Pam Harrison-Boyd is also a HealNZ board member.
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