Budding filmmakers from Kerikeri High School are thrilled their first documentary made the finals of the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival.
Students from the school's learning enrichment department entered their short film See What We Can Do into the festival, which asks filmmakers to "Focus on the Ability" of people with a disability and tell a story for the world to view.
They are now calling for public votes on their film which is available to watch online.
Previous years' films have been both educational and inspirational and have been viewed in 168 countries across the world and voted on by more than 700,000 people.
Feedback from people who have viewed them has shown these entries have the power to change attitudes and challenge perceptions.
Last year 298 films were entered from 26 countries.
Specialist teacher Shelley Ash worked with the 10 students aged 12 to 16 to put together the short film of their abilities and interests "to show they're individuals and their disability doesn't stop them from participating".
They collected information, photos and video over several months, and submitted the documentary recently.
It's the first time the group have made a film, Ash said, but they did a great job.
"It was a big learning curve working with PowerPoint and Movie Maker, but the kids were so helpful.
"They helped place photos and figure out the narrative and what they could say to the photo."
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The students were thrilled to learn they'd made it into the finals.
"We're all very excited and shocked we made it through," Ash said.
"The kids are often asking to re-watch it, and we've had lots of feedback from the community and teachers and other students saying it's lovely seeing what our kids are up to.
"Often, they might see them as being in a wheelchair, but they have other abilities that people might not know like riding a bike, paddling in a kayak, riding a horse and swimming.
"That was the whole point of our video to show what our kids can do and that they are so much more."
Voting finishes on July 3.
Visit www.focusonability.com.au click on "vote now" then click "school entrant documentaries" to watch the film and vote.
Paihia now has its own repair cafe, so locals can fix and extend the lives of broken household items.
Local volunteers have teamed up to establish the cafe, which is held every month at the Kaipatiki Eco Hub, Honey Shop at 195 Puketona Rd.
Volunteers have sewing machines, woodworking and machinery tools, computer and software skills as well as plenty of know-how.
At events held over the last months, items repaired have included shoes, a leather jacket, a kayak, a caravan awning, gas heaters, a dog harness, an umbrella and a couple of push bikes.
It's better for your wallet, the environment, and a great way to connect with others over a cuppa.
There is no charge to have an item fixed, but a small koha to cover the cost of materials, tea and coffee is appreciated.
Check out the Paihia Noticeboard Facebook page for more information.
Einnee Facey of the Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park has been awarded this year's Holiday Parks Emerging Star Award for holiday park professionals under the age of 35.
Facey was recognised for her passion and commitment to the holiday park industry and her community.
She was chosen for her exceptional leadership of the team at the Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park, and her work to ensure that the visitor's experience is outstanding.
Facey joined the team in Russell in 2016 as a receptionist and, showing an immediate passion and aptitude for the sector, quickly moved up the ranks. Within six months she was promoted to assistant manager, and a year later became park manager.
Her drive and determination led to her receiving monthly sales awards and finishing in the top five overall membership sellers in the entire TOP 10 group, despite Russell being a significantly smaller park.
Facey is working towards a New Zealand Certificate in Tourism Level 4, is an active member of the Bay of Islands Marketing Group and works collaboratively with other Northland TOP 10 parks to drive visitation to the region.
"Einnee has the sort of dedication and enthusiasm you wish you could bottle and give to all your staff," Holiday Parks New Zealand chief executive Fergus Brown said.
The Holiday Parks' Emerging Star Award recognises holiday park professionals who could be in an ownership, management, office or park operation role.
Morepork Riverside Lodge in Paihia won the Host of the Year award at the NZ Bed and Breakfast Association's annual conference.
The event was held in Pauanui and was attended by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, and Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts.
Morepork Riverside Lodge was also runner-up in the Supreme B&B category.
Owners Paul and Barb Linton said they were thrilled to have been recognised for doing a job they love.
Children at Russell School dressed up as their favourite book characters and authors to celebrate Book Week recently.
Principal Melissa Jackson said the event, held on June 19, is part of the school's Matariki tradition to pass on stories, and focus on books and the joy of reading.
Costumes included Mary Poppins and Stickman and the talented Riley Hogan came as himself because he'd written his own book.
The children also got the chance to meet children's writer and illustrator illustrator Gavin Bishop and author Tania Roxborogh as part of the Storylines Festival Story Tour. "The students liked it very much, they were very interested," Jackson said.
Meanwhile, Russell School pupil Ngakau Cooper caught an impressive fish at the recent 50th International Yellowtail Fishing Tournament run by the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club.
Her tope shark, weighing in at 19.8kg was caught on June 9, day 1 of the tournament, and is a possible age group record.
Jackson said the school was very grateful to the swordfish club and the owner and skipper of St Moritz.
Great news for surfers, skaters, stand-up paddleboarders and snow riders – the Northern Lines Board Riders Club is being established in the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa area.
The new club aims to encourage all ages and genders to join with a big emphasis on helping juniors have a go.
It will provide coaching, fun monthly club days, quarterly inter-club competitions, assistance with members to get to national events, advocating for better access for all to Northlands beaches and core values of environmental protection, starting with a beach clean up after the event.
The launch day on June 30 is at Taupō Bay and if the surf is flat there will be plenty of fun activities on offer including paddle races, SUP yoga, beach obstacle races and skate activities.
There will also be spot prizes up for grabs and boards will be available on the day.
Annual membership is $30 for an individual or $40 for a family.
Kerikeri photographers Claire Gordon and Jeanette Walker have teamed up for an exhibition showcasing their stunning images at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri.
The opening night of A Portraiture of Life, Landscapes and Nature is on July 4 from 5.30 to 7.30pm.
It will run until August 30, with a batch of new images on display from August 4.
Walker said the exhibition will feature her nature photos and Gordon's travel and portraiture photography.
Walker is renowned for her landscape, nature and family portraits. Her real passion is flowers, she loves nothing more than getting up close to a flower with her macro lens.
Gordon is well known for events and performing arts photography, where she is often seen "in the pit" photographing local and international events, and she has covered numerous performances and events at the Turner Centre.
"Claire had the opportunity to have an exhibition and she asked me if I'd like to join because our work would complement each other.
"We're looking forward to sharing our creative energies and our passions."
Ohaeawai School is hosting an art auction and hangi to celebrate Matariki on June 28.
Children's art work will be on display for a silent auction from 3pm to 5.45pm followed by an auction of art donated by local artists at 6pm.
Money raised from the event will go towards school trips. The hāngī is available for pre-order from the school office, and there will also be hot food for sale on the night.
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