Springbank student on a voyage of discovery
Year 13 Springbank School student Malindi Reihana-Ruka will join a team of world-class scientists, environmental leaders and teachers on board HMNZS Canterbury for a scientific voyage of discovery to the Kermadec Islands/Rangitāhua.
The voyage forms part of Blake Expeditions and departs Auckland on March 1, returning on March 12. The student crew consists of 15 high school and university-aged students from Dunedin to Kerikeri. Each student has previously participated in the annual Blake Inspire programme.
Malindi is 16 years old, head girl at Springbank School and of Ngāpuhi descent. She is completing her last year of high school and is currently studying marine science, physics, design and technology. Next year she hopes to study environmental management, engineer, science and or marine studies at university.
She attended Blake Inspire in 2020 and this enabled her to apply for Blake Expeditions. It will provide opportunities to work with like-minded young scientists, marine ecologists, the New Zealand Navy and Blake NZ.
The students will work alongside scientists from Massey University, Niwa and Auckland Museum and be exposed to hands-on marine research and leadership development opportunities.
The Kermadec Islands are 1000km northeast of New Zealand and are a significant conservation area. They're a visible surface chain of about 80 volcanoes, stretching between Tonga and New Zealand.
The current marine reserve was created in 1990 and covers 745,000ha and supports New Zealand's only truly subtropical marine systems. It's one of New Zealand's largest fully protected marine reserves and identified as one of only four pristine marine ecosystems on earth with a unique mix of tropical, subtropical and temperate species of fish.
Blake Expedition director Jacob Anderson says we have much to learn from Rangitāhua and its thriving ecosystems to help us address climate and ecological challenges now and in the future.
"Rangitāhua's marine environment has not been comprehensively researched, there are many new discoveries when people visit the islands and we need to understand how the whole ecosystem works, so we can detect how sensitive it is to environmental change.
"This voyage is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to combine marine science and research with an ocean adventure onboard a Royal New Zealand Navy ship.
"During the voyage they'll encounter marine wildlife most people will never see in their lifetime.
HMNZS Canterbury Commanding Officer CDR Martin Walker said the Royal New Zealand Navy had a special partnership with Blake and the crew was looking forward to having the expedition members on the ship.
This voyage marks 20 years since Sir Peter's own "Blakexpeditions", which sailed to Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego and the Amazon. Blake Expeditions is made possible with the help of programme partners including the Royal New Zealand Navy, Niwa, Massey University and Auckland Museum.
Water restrictions ease in some areas
A significant reduction in demand has prompted the council to reduce level 2 water restrictions at Paihia, Opua and Waitangi.
However, restrictions applied to other water supplies will remain in place for now despite rainfall seen across the district this week.
General manager – infrastructure and asset management (acting), the appropriately named Glenn Rainham, says level 3 water restrictions for Kawakawa-Moerewa, Kaitaia and Kaikohe, and level 2 restrictions for Kerikeri will remain in force until there is certainty that waterways have recovered from recent dry weather.
"I know this will be frustrating for those communities after the rain received early in the week.
"However, we know that river and stream levels will likely drop again quickly without more rain.
"Unfortunately, forecasters tell us we are in for another two to three weeks of dry weather."
In Paihia-Opua-Waitangi peak holiday demand had pushed the water treatment plant to its limits.
"The community doubles or more in size during the holiday period and our plant was operating 22 hours a day or more to meet that demand."
He said that following level 2 water restrictions being applied on February 2 and the end of the Waitangi Day long weekend, consumption had fallen by 26 per cent.
"The treatment plant is now operating closer to 18 hours a day, so water restrictions on this supply are no longer necessary."
Rainham says once flows in waterways that supply Far North communities have stabilised above minimum levels set by Northland Regional Council (NRC), water restrictions will be reduced or removed.
"Until that happens, we must keep conserving water and protecting our waterways."
Rainham says the council is working on a business case to build a new water treatment plant for Paihia-Opua-Waitangi. It will investigate securing land for the plant before moving the project into detailed design.
Italy comes to Russell
A corner of Russell will become Italian for a day of food, wine and language.
Called the Little Italian Festival, it's the brainchild of Chris Albrecht, an Italian who has lived in New Zealand for the past 15 years and in Russell for the past eight years. He said the timing is right because there are so many Italians here at the present time.
"There are about 20 Italians working in Russell who are seasonal migrants and who because of Covid-19 cannot go back to Italy.
"And there are Italians who live here permanently anyway so it's a chance to celebrate a way of life they know and to introduce Italy to those who are new to it," he said.
The Little Italian Festival will be held at Hone's Garden, a pizza restaurant. The chef is Italian, Vito Leopardi,
As well as pizza, there will be Italian food specialties, takeaways, nibbles, a food stall and a mini market. Local Italian Antonio Pasquale has gifted some wine and an Italian from Kerikeri, Andrea Loggia, will be showcasing his limoncello.
There will be a professional Italian cocktail maker, there's a master class workshop in the Italian language and a pop duo singing Italian songs.
A competition will be held for a lookalike Sophia Loren. For the men, "they can come in an Armani suit", said Chris.
Mike Pero donates to St John
The Mike Pero Foundation has donated $1000 to improve vehicle maintenance for the Russell Health Shuttle run by St John.
The funds have been used to purchase a trickle charger to keep the vehicle batteries charged over holidays and lockdown periods. Also purchased from the donation are a water blaster, a vacuum cleaner and a car care kit.
Transport is one of the primary constraints on health care in a remote community like Russell, with long distances to hospitals and specialists as far away as Whangarei. The Russell Health Shuttle is run by 22 dedicated volunteers and provides free transport for Russell residents to medical appointments.
Local doctors confirm that the shuttle service has made it much easier for people to keep their appointments leading to better health outcomes.
Diane Smith, St John Russell Area Committee chairwoman, said the maintenance equipment will eventually be stored in the new shuttle garage, which has been funded by a generous donation from the Russell Community Medical Trust. Construction will start as soon as the trust receives final council sign-off.
Cleaning The Beach
Bay Beach Clean is seeking volunteers to clean up the beaches in and near Paihia. Working in teams, cleaning the beaches will take place on Sunday, February 28 and Sunday, March 14.
Team A starts at the Waitangi Bridge at 9am and Team B starts at Te Haumi Beach at 9am.
After that it's the second Sunday of the month over winter, with two beach cleans in May and October.
A concerned group of community members is meeting as Earthcare Opua at 9am on the first Sunday of each month. The first meeting is Sunday, March 7.
They are looking for a "flash mob litter clean-up" in Opua. Anyone is welcome to join. Bring your own gloves, high-vis wear and a rubbish receptacle. If you bring a reusable mug, there is a free coffee afterwards.
Contact Charlotte firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane email@example.com
R. Tucker Thompson and Dame Anne Salmond
On Saturday, March 27 a special sailing of the R. Tucker Thompson will feature Dame Anne Salmond, anthropologist, writer and environmentalist.
She was New Zealander of the Year in 2013 and in 2020 was appointed to the Order of New Zealand.
Along with members of the Arakite Charitable Trust, she will be relating stories of the history of Ipipiri, the eastern Bay of Islands. She will share stories about the first Polynesians to arrive here nearly 1000 years ago and the subsequent first encounters between Māori and Europeans.
Times. 10am – 4pm www.tucker.co.nz/special-sailings