Kids get creative in Kāeo
A festival in Kāeo this weekend aims to give Whangaroa kids a chance to experience all the hands-on creativity of an arts festival without having to travel far from home.
Hannah Hunter, one of the organisers of Ngā Purapura Festival, said the event came about last year because a group of playcentre mums were concerned that local kids were missing out on arts events for financial reasons or because of the distance involved.
At least 500 people, probably many more, came to last year's festival. The 2019 festival would follow a similar format, "but there'll be even more going on", she said.
New attractions on the main stage this year would include Mr Roberelli, which Hunter described as "a duet with awesome and really creative music for children and young people", as well as Chemamari, a highly danceable covers band from Whangārei.
Festivalgoers could help create a junk band with one workshop session dedicated to building musical instruments out of trash and the second to playing them.
Like last year, there would be a storytelling tent, dress-ups, a nature corner for crafts from natural materials, messy art, and workshops for drama, circus skills, hip-hop dance, ukulele playing and flax weaving.
Festivalgoers could also help make a mural to join one created last year and still on display in Kāeo playground, while Season-Mary Downs and Chelsea Terei of Tukau Legacy would hold a session on moon cups (or menstrual cups) to address period poverty among young Northland women.
The festival would end at 4pm with a parade of everyone's creations led by African drummers and a giant taniwha.
Hunter said all activities were free of charge to make sure cost couldn't be a barrier to anyone. That had been made possible thanks to grants, support from local businesses and volunteers.
The festival will start with karakia at 9.30am on Saturday and activities from about 10am. It will take place on the grassy area around the church and playground on Kaeo's main street. Rest assured you won't be able to miss it, and you won't find one kid glued to an electronic device.
Ngā Purapura means "The Seeds".
Win tickets to Upsurge Talks
This year's Upsurge Bay of Islands Arts Festival will feature for the first time a series of talks by writers, thinkers, GPs, a poet, a historian and even a food blogger.
Even better, we're giving away five double tickets to the Upsurge Talks, which means plenty of chances for you to win. The talks will be held at venues ranging from the deck of a tall ship to a church hall as part of the April 2-7 festival.
'Politics, Poetry and Personalities' will feature noted Herald writer Steve Braunias, whose weekly 'Secret Dairy of…' is feared by politicians and public figures, and RNZ broadcaster Guyon Espiner. They are expected to chat about literature, life, lies and possibly also Colin Craig at James Kemp Hall, near Kerikeri's Stone Store, on April 6. Upsurge director Sophie Kelly expects it will be "a very entertaining rant".
'Homecoming', at No 1 Parnell Gallery in Rawene on April 5, promises an intimate hour of poetry and reflection by GP and poet Glenn Colquhoun, who has worked as a doctor at Te Tii in the Bay of Islands. He will return for another talk, 'Oral Poetry and Totems', in Kerikeri on April 7, in which he will use carved figures to explore New Zealand's history in songs and poems drawn from the Māori and European oral traditions.
'Coming Un Stuck' will chart columnist and food blogger Sarah Tuck's recovery from an empty nest and the end of her marriage (April 5, Kerikeri); while 'The Art of Healing' features three GPs whose life outside the consulting room is devoted to the arts – Glenn Colquhoun and Art Nahill through poetry, and Russell GP Chris Reid through photography. Reid is known for his collection of patient portraits, simply called Patient.
To be in to win all you have to do is email email@example.com with your full name, address and phone number, and the name of the talk you most want to go to – choose from Politics, Poetry and Personalities; Homecoming; Oral Poetry and Totems; Coming Un Stuck; or The Art of Healing. Entries close at 5pm on Sunday, March 24. Winners will be contacted on Monday with names published next Wednesday.
Historian Dame Anne Salmond's talk, In Cook's Wake, will be delivered on board the R Tucker Thompson as the tall ship retraces the explorer's route in the Bay of Islands 250 years ago. That session, however, has sold out so we can't give away any tickets, sorry!
Other Upsurge events range from low-fi puppetry to terrifying stunts and a world premiere by the New Zealand Dance Company.
Clash of the giant pumpkins
In September last year every child at Kerikeri Primary School was given two pumpkin seeds.
In the six months since then they have been competing to see who can grow the most gigantic pumpkin.
This Saturday the winners will finally be revealed – assuming the kids can get their giant vegetables to school without the aid of a crane, of course – with a panel of expert judges awarding prizes for the heaviest, smallest, ugliest and best dressed.
Continuing the theme, students will also compete in giant bowling, giant soccer and a giant colouring competition. Other attractions will include giant bubbles, giant cream teas, a sausage sizzle, ice creams, and a giant garage sale.
The pumpkins must be delivered to the school's enviro garden before 10am on Saturday with judging due to take place at 11am and prize giving at 11.30am. For those who can't make it on the day the pumpkins will be on display at the school all next week.
Proceeds from the event will be used to support Enviro Schools projects at Kerikeri Primary School.
Kerikeri residents are invited to leave messages for the people affected by the Christchurch mosque shootings in a condolences book at the Procter Library.
The book was placed at the library by Marian Andrews, who said she would ensure it was delivered to Christchurch's Muslim community.
Andrews also started the tribute garden at the corner of Kerikeri and Cobham roads on Saturday, where people have been leaving flowers, cards and painted messages.
The messages include ''New Zealand is their home: They are us'' with a photo montage of some of the victims, a quote from Martin Luther King, and a child's plea in felt pen: ''I hope these fights stop''.
Opua murder mystery
How are your crime-solving skills? Do you fancy yourself as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes?
If so, one of Opua School's biggest fundraisers of the year, Murder Mystery, might be for you.
This year's mystery will have a 1980s theme so search your wardrobe and put on your best threads of the era.
The would-be detectives will board a ferry at Paihia at 5.30pm sharp this Friday, then head to Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island.
The game will start the moment they board and will continue in the disco hall on the island.
The object is to mingle throughout the evening to solve the case and find out who has "murdered" another groover, all while cutting some slick dance moves.
Participants will be able to win clues through games and activities; prizes will be awarded for solving the murder, best dressed, best dance moves, and more.
The ferry will return to Paihia at 9pm.
Call (09) 402 7840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
Oromahoe Kindergarten is holding a fairytale-themed "fayre" from 11am-3pm this Sunday, March 24.
The kindy is promising a magical day of myths and fairytales with prizes for the best adult and child's costumes.
As well as the chance to dress up as your favourite fairytale character, there will be pony rides, music, games and food. The kindergarten is at 514 State Highway 10, near the cheese factory.
NZ's youngest fashion designers?
The youngest entrants in an upcoming recycled fashion show in Russell – part of the inaugural Far North Go Green Awards – are a brother and sister team aged just 6 and 8 years old.
Ruby Tauri, who is in Year 4 at Russell School, and her little brother, Nico, in Year 3, are making the garments themselves and will model them at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel on Thursday, March 28.
Ruby was inspired to enter after researching the effects of pollution and discovering that, after oil, the fashion industry is reportedly the world's biggest polluter.
That convinced Ruby, who has been designing and creating clothes since her grandmother gave her a sewing machine for her sixth birthday, to make a statement through the awards.
Ruby and Nico's entry is called Kaitiaki Guardian and is made from My Food Bag packaging, insulation and cable ties. Much of their garment is made from the WoolCool insulation that surrounds My Food Bag packaging.
Their efforts have caught the attention of WoolCool, which plans to feature the siblings on its social media pages.
Ruby and Nico have also incorporated their Māori heritage by modelling the garment on a korowai (cloak), expressing their view that they are kaitiaki or future protectors of the land, water and air.
Their mum, Lara Tauri, said being recognised by WoolCool was a "real boost" for the children's confidence.
"The original model Ruby was going to use in the parade pulled out and she had to make the decision to model her creation herself, which was a huge step for her because she is naturally very shy.
"She felt the korowai would be too much for her because her original model is taller but then Nico stepped in and together they're parading the garments they have created themselves."
Art meets science in kauri show
A new art show in Rawene invites artists to connect with scientists, iwi and others engaged in kauri research to explore the role art might play in ecological education and activism in the face of the deadly kauri dieback disease.
Kauri ki Uta, Kauri ki Tai will run at No 1 Parnell Gallery in Rawene until April 2. It features the work of more than 20 mostly Northland artists as well as the acclaimed photographer Laurence Aberhart.
The exhibition is part of the Kauri Project, which has been running since 2013.
Congratulations to Karin Higham of Mangonui and Lynda Silverthorne of Kerikeri, winners of last week's double giveaway of double tickets to see Melbourne City Ballet's Alice in Wonderland. The show, which features 16 dancers and 40 costumes, will be performed at the Turner Centre for one night only on March 27.
■ Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your full contact details, to baynews@northernadvocate