A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North:
Children's festival comes to Kaeo
This weekend Kaeo will host its first Nga Purapura Festival, a one-day event giving kids a huge range of creative experiences.
Nga Purapura will start with a 10.30am powhiri with activities from 11am to 5.30pm in the area around the church on Kaeo's main street.
A wide range of creative workshops for children and youth will include poi making, superhero cape making, ti rakau, cartoon drawing, African drumming, theatre, DJ skills, bag making, messy art, flax flowers and puppet making.
Young entrepreneurs will be able to sell their wares in a children's marketplace while a nature corner will feature activities such as mud monster making.
There will also be plenty of kai, dress-ups, a story-telling tent focusing on local legends and live music by Northland band Chemamari.
The festival came about after parents at a local playcentre decided Kaeo needed an event aimed specifically at children.
Free entry; all tamariki, rangatahi and families welcome. Go to the Facebook page Nga Purapura - Kaeo for more information. Nga Purapura can be translated as "The Seeds".
Kerikeri Primary quiz night goes Greek
The Kerikeri Primary School PTA is holding its famous Nothing Trivial quiz night this Friday – and there's even a vasectomy up for grabs in the Not So Silent Auction.
Pete Gentil will be MC and question-master while local auctioneer Hugh Clotworthy will take the bids in an auction of items, not just the aforementioned snip, generously donated by Bay of Islands businesses.
Teams are invited to dress up according to the theme of "going to Greek school". Previous themes have included going back to school, going back to the future, and going back to the Stone Age.
Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed team. Togas are expected to be popular; ancient Greek sporting attire is not recommended (they competed in the nude).
The doors at the primary school hall on Hone Heke Rd will open at 6.30pm on April 6 with the quiz starting at 7.30pm. Tables of up to eight people cost $100; antipasto platters can be pre-ordered for $45. Email email@example.com for more information or to book a table.
All money raised will go to Kerikeri Primary School projects such as buying perceptual motor programme equipment. The PTA hopes to raise more than $10,000 this year, the fifth time it has staged Nothing Trivial.
100x100 Art Show returns
A popular arts event in which artists have only a tiny 100mm x 100mm canvas to work with and every masterpiece has a $100 price tag returns to Kerikeri this evening.
Called the 100x100 Art Show, the annual exhibition was a highlight of the Bay of Islands arts scene in the 1990s but fizzled out when its founders moved out of the area.
It was revived last year by artist Mike Nettmann and was an instant success.
Mr Nettmann said 109 mostly Northland artists were taking part this year and had produced a remarkably diverse range of work using painting, drawing, photography, etching, monoprint, collage and fibre art.
The small format put the artists' creativity and ingenuity to the test, he said.
Participating artists ranged in age from 15 to 92 and included three generations of the Irving family as well as students and teachers from Kerikeri High and Springbank schools.
In terms of the number of artists taking part Mr Nettmann believed it was the largest exhibition ever held in Northland, if only because there simply wasn't a gallery big enough to take full-sized works by 109 artists.
The opening will be in the Turner Centre Theatre Bar from 5-7pm today. The show will then run until April 30.
More than half the works were sold last year with many snapped up on opening night.
New walking track for Kerikeri
Kerikeri residents have another bush walking option and another waterfall to admire thanks to the efforts of a band of dedicated volunteers.
The new track starts at the Dalton Memorial Reserve on Inlet Rd, about midway between Cobham Rd and Pickmere Lane, and descends through forest beside a tributary of the Wairoa Stream for about 350m.
It then links up with the existing Wairoa Stream track which runs from the Stone Store to the Cobham Rd bridge via Te Wairere Falls, creating a loop option and a better access point for Inlet Rd residents.
On the way the track passes another waterfall, smaller in height and volume than Te Wairere Falls but pretty nonetheless.
The track opened without fanfare last week and is not yet signposted but it's easy to find – look for the Dalton Memorial Reserve sign and a newly made gravel carpark on the left as you're driving away from town on Inlet Rd. Note that is descends fairly steeply so care should be taken in the wet.
The new link track is a project by community group Vision Kerikeri, which also masterminded the Wairoa Stream track, with the Friends of the Wairoa Stream putting in the hard labour and the Far North District Council putting in the carpark.
It is built on land donated by the estate of John Dalton, the founding editor of the Bay Chronicle newspaper and the driving force, along with Doug Turner, behind the construction of Kerikeri's Turner Centre.
The Dalton Track isn't the only new development in the network of trails Vision Kerikeri is creating.
Chairman Rod Brown said Kerikeri Rotary Club was about to start work on a bridge across a stream between Sammaree Place and Campbell Lane, where the walkway continues on the other side of the Cobham Rd bridge.
Whencomplete it would create a 3.5km circular route via Campbell Lane and Shepherd Rd back to Inlet Rd. It would also give Campbell Lane and Shepherd Rd residents access via bush tracks to Mill Lane and all the way to the Stone Store.
Help Richard get to Italy
Kerikeri Primary School's Nothing Trivial isn't the only quiz night in town this weekend – The Homestead Tavern is hosting a quiz night on Saturday to help a young Kerikeri man represent Aotearoa at a cultural festival in Europe.
Richard Muunu is part of a carefully selected group of Far North rangatahi heading to Cervia, Italy, for a 10-day cultural festival.
Each year the Artevento International Kite Festival chooses one or two "cultures of honour" – this year the event will focus on Maori and Thai.
About 20 members of the KaiMatariki Trust, Richard included, will perform kapa haka, teach traditional Maori games such as ki-o-rahi, demonstrate flax weaving and take part in an Anzac Day service at a war cemetery where members of the Maori Battalion are buried.
The group's preparations for the trip included performing on the main stage at the Treaty Grounds on Waitangi Day.
The quiz, auction and $2 raffles will run from 6.30-9pm on April 7 at the Homestead; entering a team of six costs $60 or $95 with a kai platter. First prize is a $100 bar tab with $50 for second. Call Ripeka on 027 877 2529 to book a table.
Celebrating Pacific women's work
Kerikeri artist Valerie Hunton has used painting, lacemaking, quilting and weaving to create 15 portraits of Pacific women going about their daily tasks as caregivers, providers, healers, leaders and makers.
In Pacific Journey – Women at Work, Mrs Hunton draws on connections forged over many years living around the Pacific plus the spirit and strength of women.
The show opens with an artist's talk at 11am this Saturday, April 7, and runs until May 6 at Kings Theatre Creative in the old movie theatre in Kawakawa. Mrs Hunton will give another talk at 2pm on April 22.
Sometimes known around Kerikeri as "the walking rainbow" because of her fondness for bright colours, Mrs Hunton spent 15 years living with her GP husband in the Marshall Islands, Niue, Fiji and the Caroline Islands.
She studied at Elam in Auckland and has taught art in the UK and New Zealand. In 2016 she celebrated her 80th birthday with a retrospective exhibition at Kaan Zamaan gallery in Kerikeri.
Kings Theatre Creative is open 10am-4pm Wednesday to Saturday.
Gold for Kerikeri High jazz band
Six young musicians from Kerikeri High School have returned from the 41st National Youth Jazz Competition with three hard-earned awards.
Held in Tauranga on March 28-30 the competition drew 320 students from 21 secondary schools playing in 18 combos and 14 big bands.
The Kerikeri High School Combo won a Gold Award in the jazz combo category plus the Derek Jacombs Trophy for innovation, while Gillian Toala won the Tom Bayliss Trophy for most outstanding clarinetist.
Head Judge Rodger Fox, of Rodger Fox Big Band fame, said the standard of combos and big bands was improving every year, in part due to schools returning to the competition and building on their performances each time. The festival's top award went to Pukekohe High School.
DDF dancers win awards
Hard work and dedication has paid off for a Kerikeri-based hip-hop dance group which brought home a swag of awards from the regional championships in Whangarei.
DDF (short for Demonstr8 Da Flow) Dance Studio won the mega crew, adult and varsity divisions, came second and third in the junior division, third in the varsity division, and best music arrangement in the adult division.
All six DDF crews qualified for the nationals in Auckland in April 16-20.
Tutor Alannah Curtis said she was proud of her dancers and the hard work they had put in.
''That's something we try to teach at DDF — to get results you must work hard and success doesn't happen overnight. We've worked months on this, from up-skilling, drilling, exercising and so much more. I've been to this particular dance competition for the last 10 years and this team has to be the best one yet."
Ms Curtis said she was thankful for the dedication and commitment of her students and their parents. Some parents had to drive from as far away as Whangarei, Rawene and Kaeo to get to practice more than once a week.
The Hip Hop International Northland Regional Dance Competition was held at Forum North on March 17. Other awards went to, among others, Ohaeawai Primary (crowd favourite) and Hardcore Dance Co's Future Crew (first place junior division and best costumes).
Ventnor descendants gather
Descendants of Chinese gold miners whose remains were lost at sea off Northland's west coast are meeting in Rawene this weekend to learn more about plans for a memorial to the tragedy.
In 1902 the SS Ventnor sank off Hokianga Heads with 13 sailors on board and the remains of 499 men who were supposed to be reburied in their home villages in China. Some of the remains washed up along the west coast where they were found by local Maori and buried alongside their own dead.
In February the New Zealand Chinese Association started building a memorial at Rawene cemetery for the miners and the people of Te Rarawa and Te Roroa who had looked after their remains.
The completed memorial was to have been unveiled this Saturday but heavy rain caused the grave of Rawene identity Bill Tuckey to collapse into a trench dug for the foundations, forcing that location to be abandoned. The NZ Chinese Association is now consulting on a new location.
The association will still hold a get-together in Rawene this weekend but now the purpose will be to show people the proposed new location and the restoration of the previous site.
Anyone with interest is invited to meet at Rawene cemetery at 2.30pm followed by a cup of tea and question time at the town hall from 4pm and a hangi at 5.30pm.
Consultation on the new site is expected to run until April 23.
The memorial's designer will be on hand to answer questions along with Chinese historians and whakapapa experts for those keen to investigate their Chinese connections.
District 9910 Rotarians are holding their annual get-together in Kerikeri this weekend.
The conference gets under way on Friday evening at the Turner Centre and runs until 1pm on Sunday.
The MC for Saturday night's function is comedian Pio Terei, whose mother hails from Mitimiti in the Hokianga. Keynote speakers include Young New Zealander of the Year 2017, the head of Road Safety NZ, an advocate for the deaf, a Fonterra social media guru and an educator.
District 9910 comprises Auckland and Northland as well as New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Go to rotaryconference9910.org.nz for more information.
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