A youth battle is shaping up in Kerikeri next week - but it's the best possible sort.
The Far North's top young musicians will head to the Turner Centre on Friday, September 11, to fight for the right to be called the district's best teenage band.
Battle of the Teen Bands, which is now in its third year, is open to musicians aged up to 19 who live between Kawakawa and the Cape.
Covid restrictions have played havoc with preparations but the event is set to go ahead at level 2, albeit with audience size limits, and a line-up so far of five Bay of Islands bands and three from Kaitaia.
Each band will play two songs, which can be covers or originals. A high-powered judging panel will be made up of John Ozsajca, Peter Grattan, Merv Pinny and Makareta Umbers, with legendary bass player Billy Kristian also a possibility.
Prizes will be awarded for the top three bands as well as best musician, best vocalist, best lyrics and best performance. The people's choice award will be decided by audience votes.
Social-distancing and contact tracing will be in place. Entry is $10 for adults, $5 for students aged 16-18 , and free for under-16s. The event starts at 7pm.
Clean up Ōpua
A newly formed group plans to meet at various locations around Ōpua once a month to rid the Bay of Islands town of litter.
Earthcare Ōpua, described by its founders as "a passionate and concerned group of community members", will gather at 9am on the first Sunday of each month — starting this weekend — for a "flash-mob litter clean-up".
Anyone who wants to lend a hand just needs to bring gloves, high-vis wear and a rubbish receptacle. If you bring a reusable mug you'll get a free coffee afterwards.
The monthly clean-ups will continue at least until the end of summer. Events and locations will be announced on the Opua Noticeboard Facebook group; you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
Roland's Wood looking for new blood
The trust which looks after Roland's Wood is looking for volunteers to fill two positions on its board.
Roland's Wood is a popular recreation area on Kerikeri's Inlet Rd, known for its spring bluebells and as an off-leash exercise area for dogs.
Roughly half its 8ha comprises a well-established English-style beech wood with walkways, ponds and gardens, while the other half has been recently acquired and is still being planted and landscaped.
The Friends of Roland's Wood Charitable Trust is now looking for a new chairman to replace Simon Upperton, who plans to stand down at the trust's AGM in November.
The trust also wants to appoint a project manager to the board.
"We're asking anyone who might be interested in helping take Roland's Wood into the next stage of its development, to get in touch," Upperton said.
"Recently we bought 5.4ha of adjoining land. We subdivided some of this and sold sections to pay for the land and to raise money to develop the balance of the area. So we've completed the development and funding phases of our growth plan — now we're in what we call our visionary phase.
"It's time for someone new to take the helm, and to help turn the board's vision for this jewel of our community into reality. The role of chair is quite high-profile within the community. It could benefit someone looking for a nice balance to a corporate career, or perhaps a retiree who wants to give back to the community. We have a strong, capable and committed board which, hopefully, will also include someone to help manage the various development projects as they unfold."
A third role, covering community engagement and volunteer co-ordination, is also available. The trust has yet to decide whether that would be a board position.
"Much will depend on who puts their name forward and how involved they want to be," Upperton said.
Roland's Wood was created and bequeathed to the people and dogs of Kerikeri in 2001 by Roland Sansom. It is open to the public all year round.
The original 4ha was doubled when the trust bought the adjoining property from the estate of Sansom's sister, Lavender, in 2016.
Upperton said the new land was effectively a blank canvas for the new board to work with.
The current board comprises Upperton (Borders Real Estate ), Robyn Terlesk (BDO Kerikeri), Rachel Smith (Far North District Council), Kirsty Hampson (Craigs Investment Partners), Jeannie Skinner (National Library Service), Alan Thomas (retired biochemist) and Bill Haigh (retired civil engineer).
Nominations for the two board positions should be submitted to Simon Upperton on 021 191 7427 or firstname.lastname@example.org by October 18. Appointments will be made by the board and ratified at the trust's AGM.
Ballroom battle postponed ...
The latest event to fall victim to Covid-19 is the Battle of the Ballroom, which is both a hugely anticipated social occasion and Hospice Mid-Northland's biggest fundraiser of the year.
Originally scheduled for October 17, the Dancing with the Stars-inspired event will now take place on March 27 next year.
Hospice Mid-Northland fundraising manager Adele Woodward said Covid alert level 2 restrictions meant dancers had been unable to practise for the past few weeks.
Even if the Covid alert dropped back to level 1 on September 6 — the next reassessment date — that would mean almost four weeks lost of the original 12 weeks participants had to learn their dances.
The fundraising committee also had to consider the possibility that the alert would stay at level 2 or that Covid alert levels could continue to yo-yo for months.
"A huge amount of work has already gone into the preparation and planning, however we feel this is the best decision to make," she said.
... but the raffle's still on
The Battle of the Ballroom might be postponed but Hospice Mid-Northland's fundraising raffle is going ahead with the big draw extended to March 27 next year.
Originally the first prize was to have been a trip to the Gold Coast but for fairly obvious reasons that has been changed to a three-night holiday for two in New Zealand's outdoor adventure capital, Queenstown.
The other prizes are a trip for two to Wellington with two nights' accommodation (second); two nights' accommodation for two at the Copthorne in Waitangi, including one dinner and a hamper (third); a luxury grocery hamper (fourth); and a $100 New World voucher (fifth).
Tickets cost just $5 from hospicemn.infoodle.com/f/BOBRaffle
How do you see me?
An art exhibition at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri aims to confront stereotypes and assumptions based on people's appearances.
How do you see me? by Kerikeri's Vicki George combines a series of faces with the eyes of a different person.
Her paintings can be viewed weekdays from 9am-4pm until September 31.
George completed a degree in fine arts at the University of Canterbury, majoring in painting, in 2014.
She is currently working on a Japanese-themed series of paintings inspired by a stint in the country as a language teacher.
Turner Centre update
The Covid pandemic continues to play havoc with the Turner Centre events schedule, with a performance by the New Zealand String Quartet now postponed until November.
The show could have gone ahead at level 2 because ticket numbers had been limited to 100, but travel restrictions through Auckland threw the quartet's travel plans into disarray.
The new date is November 17 at 7.30pm; any tickets sold for the previous date remain valid. More seats will be released if Northland moves to Covid alert level 1.
A concert by Kerikeri rocker Merv Pinny, Rock Your Local, on September 18 is almost sold out due to the 100-seat Covid limit. More tickets will be released if the alert level allows.
Go to www.turnercentre.co.nz or call (09) 407 0260 for the latest information.
Community centre meeting
The Bay of Islands Community Centre is holding two meetings this week to discuss its draft business case.
They will take place today at 6.30pm and on Friday at 2pm in the community centre at level 1/76 Marsden Rd (up the stairs at the waterfront end of Paihia Lanes).
• Email email@example.com if you have any news you'd like to see in Bay News.