A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North

Kerikeri Adventure Film Festival

This weekend's Kerikeri Adventure Film Festival aims to inspire Far North residents to get off the couch, get outdoors and get adventuring.

Now in its second year, the festival features five back-to-back movies in the Kerikeri Primary School hall on Hone Heke Rd from 7.30pm on Friday, June 29.

Organiser Graeme Brown said the films were sourced from Wanaka's New Zealand Mountain Film Festival, which attracts film makers from around the world and showcases movies about high-octane sports such as paraponting, skiing, climbing, base jumping, kayaking and mountain biking, and environmental and outdoor culture films aiming to educate as well as entertain.

The organisers of the Kerikeri festival had chosen five films from the Wanaka programme they believed would appeal to Northlanders' interests.

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"Adventure films are all about seeing adventurers push their limits while challenging nature's playgrounds," Brown said.

This year's movies range in length from 11 to 52 minutes.

Give Me Five tells the story of an attempted formation flight between a speed-wing and two wingsuit pilots. Closer to home, Waiau-Toa Odyssey follows a six-day, 300km unsupported bike-packing and pack-rafting journey through some of New Zealand's wildest wilderness areas.

In the documentary Into Twin Galaxies – A Greenland Epic three adventurers tow their kayaks over 1000km of ice cap to reach the northernmost river ever paddled. Link Sar West is about a UK alpinist's fourth, near disastrous, attempt on a peak in Pakistan. Mountains of Heaven follows the aptly named Jenny Tough as she runs across Kyrgyzstan, carrying everything she needs to survive and using ancient nomad trails cut into the Tien Shan Mountains.

Go to keriadventurefilm.com to book. If you order by 9pm today tickets cost $25; after that they cost $30. The festival is organised by the Waipapa Rotary and Kerikeri Mountain Bike clubs.

Ballroom Battle winners

Kerikeri GP Simon Bristow and primary school teacher Vicki Bell won first place for their rendition of the salsa in the Battle of the Ballroom, a Hospice Mid-Northland fundraiser inspired by the TV show Dancing with the Stars.

Sixteen well-known Northlanders competed in the event at the Turner Centre on Saturday night. It was arguably more challenging than the TV contest because the "stars" were paired with other amateur dancers instead of instructors.

Kerikeri police youth constable Rob Drummond and events manager Emma Klinac, who danced the samba, finished second while third place went to Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes and lawyer Rick Palmer dancing the tango.

Hospice Mid-Northland general manager Belinda Watkins — who danced the quickstep with accountant John Parmenter — said she was thrilled by the degree of community participation and the effort people made to dress up on the night.

''The community here is just so supportive. It was an amazing event, the biggest we've ever put on," she said.

The amount of money raised should be known today. The event will return in two year.

Be a movie extra

If you've always fancied being a movie extra, you have a chance this Saturday.

The Kerikeri Theatre Company is co-producing a short comedy film, featuring a fictional rock band, called Midriff.

Ever wanted to be a movie extra? This Saturday you can be part of a film about fictional rock band Midriff, starring Makareta Umbers, Adam Parmenter and Willi Henley. IMAGE / CLAIRE GORDON, JO DANILO
Ever wanted to be a movie extra? This Saturday you can be part of a film about fictional rock band Midriff, starring Makareta Umbers, Adam Parmenter and Willi Henley. IMAGE / CLAIRE GORDON, JO DANILO

The opening scene is a rock concert so the film-makers need as many people as possible to fill the Turner Centre Plaza and look like they're watching a band.

Would-be extras should be aged 13 or older, wear whatever they'd wear to a rock concert and be prepared to make a lot of noise. The acting challenge is that there won't actually be a band on stage.

Filming starts at 2pm this Saturday, June 30, and will take a maximum of two hours.
Everyone will have to sign a release form (available at the venue) stating they give the filmmakers permission to use their image and are not expecting payment. Extras aged under 18 will need their parents or guardian to sign the form on their behalf.

Writer/director Harley Alexander said the ''slightly absurd comedy'' told the story of a musician (played by Kaikohe's Willi Henley) who makes it big in the rock scene and then in Hollywood.

When he comes home five years later his sister/manager (played by real-life musician Makareta Umbers) arranges for him to meet a fan.

''The meeting starts badly and gets worse. It ends with a real cliff-hanger,'' Alexander said.

'Crumbs!'

Staying on a movie theme, Kerikeri Retirement Village is getting in on the act.

Members of the village social club have starred in a black-and-white "whodunnit" inspired by the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie – except in this case the crime is the theft of a chocolate cake from the village kitchen.

A scene from Crumbs!, a whodunnit-style movie by the residents of Kerikeri Retirement Village.
A scene from Crumbs!, a whodunnit-style movie by the residents of Kerikeri Retirement Village.

The village's diversional therapists came up with the idea for the two-minute, seven-second movie, while village driver Harley Alexander – yes, the same fellow who's making the comedy movie Midriff – was the producer.

To watch Crumbs! go to the Kerikeri Retirement Village Facebook page or https://vimeo.com/270028791.

Success for Hokianga band

Mid North bands carried off some of the top prizes in Friday night's Smokefreerockquest regional final in Whangārei, a contest to find Northland's top high school band.

The overall winner was A08, from Kamo High School in Whangārei, second was Rillet, from Broadwood Area School, and Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, both in North Hokianga.

Broadwood/Panguru band Rillet placed second in last Friday's Smokefreerockquest regional final in Whangarei. PHOTO / GEORGIA CARTER
Broadwood/Panguru band Rillet placed second in last Friday's Smokefreerockquest regional final in Whangarei. PHOTO / GEORGIA CARTER

Rillet's success was all the more remarkable because the band has only two members, Allen Karena on drums and his cousin John-Alec Grbich on bass. John-Alec also won the coveted MAINZ Musicianship Award.

Third place went to Kerikeri High School band Reflecks.

A08 and Rillet won musical gear and will join solo/duo category winners Huia Shortland (Te Kapehu Whetu, Whangārei) and No Credit (Giorgia Davies and Israel Reid, Kerikeri High School) in the next selection round to decide who goes to the national finals in September.

The Northland Smokefree Tangata Beats Award was earlier won by Harmonies Divergent, from Bay of Islands College.

Bass player John-Alec Grbich of Broadwood/Panguru band Rillet won the coveted MAINZ Musicianship Award in last Friday's Smokefreerockquest regional final in Whangarei. PHOTO / GEORGIA CARTER
Bass player John-Alec Grbich of Broadwood/Panguru band Rillet won the coveted MAINZ Musicianship Award in last Friday's Smokefreerockquest regional final in Whangarei. PHOTO / GEORGIA CARTER

Jazz club this Friday

This Friday's jazz club at the Turner Centre features the Alex Ward Trio, based around the town's newest musical import.

Ward, a pianist and vocalist, has performed around the world, including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Australia and even Antarctica.

Freshly arrived in Kerikeri form the "big smoke", he has an honours degree from the New Zealand School of Music, where he also taught for four years.

This Friday he will play delectable modern tunes from some of the biggest names of the new jazz age including Robert Glasper, Tigran Hamasyan and Michel Petrucciani.

Ward will be accompanied by Chris Marshall on bass and Daniel Waterson on drums.
Students from Queenstown Resort College's culinary school on Waipapa Rd will provide a selection of tapas.

The bar opens at 5.30pm with live jazz from 6pm. Entry $5.

New board favours Mid North

A clean-out of the Northland Inc board means the regional economic development agency is dominated by Mid North voices for the first time.

The new, expanded board announced by Northland Regional Council chairman Bill Shepherd last Friday has seven members, five of whom are from Kerikeri and Kaikohe, and only two from the Whangārei District.

The new board's composition is a departure from the past when it was accused of being Whangārei-centric. That perception prompted Bay of Islands tourism businesses to set up their own, self-funded marketing and promotion agency, the Bay of Islands Marketing Group.

The only member of the previous board to retain a seat is chairwoman Sarah Petersen, a chartered accountant from Kaikohe.

The new members are Nicole Anderson (company director, Kerikeri), Dennis Callesen (tourism consultant, Kerikeri), Geoff Copstick (financial management expert, Hikurangi), David Crewe (former journalist and PR firm owner, Kerikeri), Kris McDonald (Ngātiwai Trust Board chief executive, Matapouri) and Jim Makaweo (governance consultant, Kerikeri).

The challenge for the new board will be making sure the so-called "real Far North" – Kaitaia, Doubtless Bay and the Aupouri peninsula – doesn't replace the Bay of Islands as the area that feels forgotten by this key economic development body.

Another byelection

A Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board byelection will be held after the resignation of South Hokianga representative Robert Cassidy.

Cassidy, a first-time board member from Waima, resigned because of ''changed circumstances and new opportunities overseas''. He is understood to be heading to Australia to join family members already across the Tasman.

Nominations for a replacement will close on July 19. Candidates must be New Zealand citizens and enrolled voters, though not necessarily in South Hokianga. They must be nominated by two people who are registered to vote in South Hokianga.

If more than one person is nominated, postal voting papers will be sent to about 2800 South Hokianga voters starting on August 23. Voting will close on September 14.

Nomination papers can be obtained from the council service centres in Kaikohe and Rawene, by download from www.fndc.govt.nz, or by phoning 0800 922 822.

South Hokianga has two seats on the community board. The other is held by Louis Toorenburg of Waiotemarama.

Koke music club returns

Kohukohu Music Club has started a new, monthly social evening taking the place of the old open mic nights. The club promises a new format and nicer ambience in the Kohukohu Fire Station lounge every first Friday of the month. Doors open at 6pm; music starts at 6.30pm. Entry $2.

Edible paradise

Transition Towns Bay of Islands will host another ecologically-themed movie at The Cornerstone Church/Whare Karakia o Manako this Saturday.

Edible Paradise, about the food forest phenomenon, will screen from 6.30pm this Saturday, June 30.

It is the third and last in Transition Towns' series of film and nibble nights featuring New Zealand-made movies about people making positive changes for the environment. Kaeo's Veggie Tree Cook School will provide the refreshments.

To buy tickets ($15) go to www.eventfinda.co.nz and search for Edible Paradise - Film Screening. For more information go to the Edible Paradise Kerikeri Premiere Facebook page. Cornerstone Church is at the corner of Kerikeri Rd and the Heritage Bypass.

National win for Kerikeri students

Kerikeri High School's Max Hart has won the inaugural REINZ National Real Estate Schools' Auctioneering Championships.

The runner up was Max Hittle, from Springbank School, also in Kerikeri.

Kerikeri High School's Max Hart won the inaugural REINZ National Real Estate Schools' Auctioneering Championships. PHOTO / SUPPLIED
Kerikeri High School's Max Hart won the inaugural REINZ National Real Estate Schools' Auctioneering Championships. PHOTO / SUPPLIED

Chief judge Neil Newman said the students' explanation of the property was exceedingly good, they had great rhythm and pace to their calls and, most importantly, there was no "dead air" in the room which even the professionals could get wrong.

"The number one fear is public speaking, and these students well and truly overcame any nerves to put on an excellent display," he said.

The two Maxes will take on the Australian high school winners at the Australasian Championships in October.

Six Northland students competed for the title at REINZ's headquarters in Auckland.

Weeders needed

Project Island Song is looking for fit volunteers to help remove noxious weeds from the Ipipiri islands of the eastern Bay of Islands.

A Department of Conservation community fund grant covering the cost of boat transport to the islands means the group can ramp up its weeding programme with regular excursions targeting the worst weed species and high-priority areas.

Volunteers will be provided with the necessary equipment and transport to the islands. Moderate fitness levels are required because each trip involves a full day of weeding with some walking. Experience is helpful but not necessary.

Email Maddy at madeleine@projectislandsong.co.nz if you are keen to get your hands dirty helping restore the Bay's precious island ecosystems.

Noxious weeds threaten the islands' ecosystems and could undo the work that has gone into planting hundreds of thousands of native trees since restoration began more than 10 years ago.

Woodblock show

The latest exhibition at Art at Wharepuke, on Kerikeri Rd between the bypass and the Stone Store, is by UK artist Ralph Kiggell.

Now based in Thailand, Kiggell studied traditional Japanese woodblock techniques in Japan, teaches extensively in Thailand and has had artist residencies in England, Ireland, China, Thailand and Japan.

His exhibition of woodblock prints and paper cuts is open from 10am-5pm daily until July 22.

■ 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.co.nz