As well as recognising our inspiring young people at the recent Whau Youth Awards, six local Whau community champions were also honoured. We all know it takes a village to raise a child and as our tamariki grow we need people to show them the way, to role model what it looks like to live lives full of joy, connectedness and hard work.
Above, left to right: Eva Wongchiu, Glenavon Community Hub; Anne Riley, Feed the Streets Avondale; Dayne Smith, I Love Avondale; Jo Noema, Generation Ignite; Maliena Jones, Village Community Trust.
(below) centre: Ivonga Lousiale, Vision West Community Trust.
Fifteen bright stars aged between 12 and 24 were nominated from within the Whau community, to receive recognition at the Whau Youth Awards which were held last month at Browne Street Café in Avondale.
The awards honour rangatahi who live, work, play, live out their faith, and study in the Whau – Blockhouse Bay, Green Bay, New Windsor, New Lynn, Avondale, and Kelston, for their services and positive community impact.
This year’s event was led by Youth Horizons Kia Puawai with the support of the Whau Youth Board, Whau Youth Providers Network, and the Whau Local Board who supported and funded this event.
The award winners are:
Shania Rao: Faith Beyond Boundaries award.
Shania 22yrs old has been part of Encounter Church since she was very young. She moved to Dunedin a few years ago to study to be a doctor. During a visit back to Auckland she had an accident which resulted in her having to put her schooling on hold. Her passion and heart for young people is amazing & she always goes the extra mile as a youth leader. She is dedicated and committed and turns up every Friday night with a smile on her face, she is loved by the group of young girls that she mentors.
Olivia Mallon: Mana Wahine Award
Olivia has been instrumental in growing the prestige and mana of the kapa haka group at Avondale College. She advocates strongly for all students who are in need but has a particular passion for advancing the success of Māori students. Olivia is an accomplished musician, academic and leader. As such, she is an ideal role model for youth and a superb Head Girl of Avondale College.
Faiesea Ah Chee: Striving Sister Award
Faiesea was nominated for her achievements and adversity through challenges that she has overcome, one of experiencing bullying in school. Faiesea is a hardworking young lady who is passionate about the environment and about making a difference in her community. She is a member of the Whau Youth Board, and is a stars leader as well as the Environmental Committee Leader at kelston girls college.
Janette Harwood: Community Empowerment Award
Janette, 17yrs old is a regular and valued volunteer at Feed the Streets Avondale. Janette assists with setting up the hall, prepping and cooking the meal, clean up and pack down. Janette always uses her initiative. Janette is very personable and is very popular amongst our other volunteers and guests.
June Tongalea: Snr KGHS Heart of Gold Award
June is a Yr9 student at Kelston Girls College she is kind, caring, passionate and cares about the environment. June was nominated by peers in the senior school who wanted to acknowledge her heart and dedication to making a difference and for her commitment to the Environmental Committee .
Jonathon Stevenson: Devotion to helping others Award
Jonathon has demonstrated a commitment to completing his studies despite challenges in his daily life. He completed his Level 2 course at NZSE during a difficult period in his life when he was living in emergency accommodation for a few months with no permanent accommodation planned. He is now on track to complete his Level 3 Security course and is aiming to work in the security industry. Jonathon is now flatting with the support of the Salvation Army and is thriving with the new independence he has gained from this. He has also shown a desire to advocate for young people by being part of the Whau Youth Board and the Rangatahi Chiefs at Youth Horizons.
Bailey Kenyon: Rangatahi Enterprise Award
Bailey has created his own charity fixing up old bikes to donate to West Auckland children, with the aim of providing kids with fun, confidence, and exercise, as well as improving planet Earth for future generations by reducing the number of old bikes being sent to landfill. He has created his own website and Facebook page and he takes nominations for children in need. In addition to studying and working, he uses his own time and money to source parts and work on the bikes, and has taken his passion and technical skills to find a way to give back to his community. He inspires others with his generosity and the selfless work he is doing.
Eva-Maria Ofati: Devotion to helping others Award
Eva was part of the 2019 Tula'i cohort, throughout her time on the programme she showed great courage and leadership. She grew as an individual and was always supporting ad encouraging her peers. She took up the opportunity to lead in tutoring the group with a traditional dance item & was nominated by core leaders and operations team to receive a growth award. Eva-Maria has also been an active participant of the Youth Horizons Rangatahi Chiefs – Youth Voice Group. She is hardworking, always supports and help others and is willing to go the extra mile.
Le'Oxeayn Maiu'u (LeOcean): Whau Sports Star Award
At 14 yrs old Le Oxeayn is an exceptional athlete- she plays Premier netball, she was part of the Avondale college Girls Condor 7's team, she was also selected into the New Zealand Secondary Schools Under 18 Rugby 7's team and she represented New Zealand in the World Cup. She was also the Athletics Auckland Track & Field Champion in Feb 2020 and competed in Auckland Secondary Schools Central West Athletics events. She was part of the Auckland Metro Women's team who won the National Open Women's Tag competition and was selected for the NZ Womens Team for the Trans-Tasman competition. Leocean is also in the Avondale Senior Girls Basketball team and was asked to represent Samoa in the U17's Samoa team for the Polynesian Basketball Tournament.
Paulina Bentley & Hulita Koloi Arts Excellence Award
Paulina and Hulita co-curated "Where You From?", an exhibition at the Te Uru gallery in Titirangi. This exhibition brought together young artists from the Whau area, particularly minority artists who would traditionally be under-represented in the art world, and gave them the opportunity to exhibit their works in a formal gallery space. They have worked tirelessly together since the start of this year, coordinating the artists, the gallery and organising media for the exhibit. Though the lockdown and Covid outbreak caused significant disruptions to the process, Paulina and Hulita's steadfast leadership and commitment to the youth of the Whau resulted in an exhibition that went off flawlessly.
Zach Mckenzie: Team Lifter Award
Zach is an incredibly talented basketball player who is determined to keep improving in everything he does. He has shown his dedication and passion for the sport by volunteering to assist basketball coaches on our holiday programmes and spending any other free time to training. Youth respect him and are able to relate to him easily. Zach's level of skill and dedication is a goal for our youth to either reach or surpass.
Emily O’Callaghan: Hauora Award
Emily is an exceptional young woman. She has a passion for advocacy and is a leader at Avondale College. She petitioned for a Mental Health Week, organising all of the events, information posters, stands, performances, almost single-handedly. She regularly advocates for students who do not have a confident voice in the school and community, growing their confidence through the process.
Vei Vea’s memorial award
Tayla Nasmith: Heart of service
Tayla is an incredible young person through and through. She is kind, thoughtful and giving.
She is receiving the Vei Vea Memorial award because of the heart that she gives to the community…
In 2012 Tayla created the wonderful charity Mummy’s In Need to help babies and mothers in the west Auckland area to get resources like food, nappies, cribs, and car seats that they otherwise cannot afford.
After just a few months Mummy’s In Need took off and became a platform meeting a huge demand and supporting around 50 families per month with 2 part time volunteers.
Years on, Mummy’s in need now works as a support agency for various midwives, social workers and other organisations helping roughly 150-200 babies per month with everything a child under the age of two would need.
Tayla is dedicated to helping others and is now looking to expand her charity to other regions within Aotearoa.
Once upon a time there were three mechanics, each with their own business: Peter Bainbridge and Vince Ishvarlal in Blockhouse Bay, and Dave Connelly in Lynfield. For decades these three guys dominated the car servicing market in the area with the usual friendly rivalry, and each had built up their own loyal client base.
When Peter Bainbridge packed up his tools for good, he chose to pass on the legacy of the business he had bought from his father Harry, to two ‘new boys’: Tyrone Van Graan and Ryan Shaw. Tyrone had previously bought the Lynfield business off Dave, and then teamed with his former apprentice Ryan to buy Bainbridge Automotive when Peter decided he’d rather be fishing. Ryan became the face of Bay Auto Service Centre as it became known.
Now the new boys Tyrone and Ryan are going for the trifecta, with Vince Ishvarlal handing over the keys to his workshop next to Caltex at the Blockhouse Bay roundabout to the pair. Vince had built up the business over several decades and sold in 2014, retaining ownership of the land and buildings. Recently finding himself without a tenant in the workshop, Vince offered Ryan and Tyrone first dibs.
For the boys this meant starting from scratch to rebuild the business, but with a good reputation already, they were up for the challenge. They decided to open Bay Auto Service Centre, an express service centre, for quick jobs like wheel alignments, tyres, brakes, annual services, and WOFs, offering a fast in and out service for busy people. They also operate a Marshall Batteries franchise, one of only a handful in Auckland.
“Most folks will drop their car off and have a wander around the village or have a coffee”, says Ryan, who will be running the new business. “But we also offer a pick-up/drop-off service because not everyone has time to wait while their car is serviced, and of course we have courtesy cars as well”. Customers can also drop off at the Bay Auto Repairs site (behind the Block café) which has ample parking and is easier to access.
After several decades, the three formerly rival businesses are now united under one team. Ryan will be heading up the new express business, with Tyrone moving to Bay Automotive to look after things there, and Lynfield Automotive will be in the capable hands of Jody Dyers.
You can’t rush these things, but it looks like the ‘new boys’ are set to become the new ‘old boys’. Let’s give it a few years, though.
What a crazy year! We started the year with some amazing activities such as Founder’s Day camp at Motu Moana, our fishing lesson at Blockhouse Bay Beach (which should have been the first of many fishing sessions), our Cub Zone swimming competition at Glen Eden Intermediate, cycling at Herdman Park, and a scavenger hunt around Blockhouse Bay.
And then Covid hit, disrupting our plans. We couldn’t have predicted as we put up our tents at Founder’s Day Camp in February that a few weeks later our country would be in lockdown and we would be forced to stay at home for many weeks.
But Scouts are resilient, and we quickly adapted to the situation. Before long, weekly emails of ideas of fun activities to do at home were organized and our group got to work on their personal interest badges. We even did ‘Stand at Dawn’ in our driveways for ANZAC Day - quite different to our usual participation in the Mt Roskill ANZAC Day parade, but we were happy to be able to honour our fallen.
Now back to normal we have been making the most of it. We walked through Terry Street Park to identify our local native trees and birds, our Keas joined with other local packs for a group campfire, and we have several ongoing craft activities to keep us busy. Coming up is an activity night of swimming and keep an eye out for us in the Blockhouse Bay Santa Parade on 6th December.
So here we are, almost full circle, and looking forward to our first big event of 2021: Founder’s Day at Motu Moana. We also hope to enjoy the planned activities we missed out on in 2020.
We welcome new members so please text Colin on 021 208 1103 if you would like to visit. We meet Wednesdays at Blockhouse Bay Community Centre basement. Keas (aged 5-8) meet 6-7pm, Cubs (aged 8 to 11) and Scouts (aged 11 to 14) both meet 6:30-8pm.
Excellent progress is being made on the shared path. A recent milestone was the St Jude Street bridge lift. This bridge crosses a small gully.
If you were up bright and early on Saturday morning last Labour Weekend, you may have been one of those lucky enough to watch the smooth operation of lifting an 18-tonne bridge over a railway and into place.
The crane team set up from the wee hours and the rest of the team arrived on site around 6.30am to get prepared. With everything working in the team's favour, the bridge lift itself happened just after 9am and now sits snugly on its cushion pads awaiting the connections either side and the finishing touches. With the bridge in its final location there was a huge sigh of relief from the team as everything fits in perfectly.
The 2.9km New Lynn to Avondale Shared Path follows the rail line from New Lynn Station through green spaces to just east of Blockhouse Bay Road. The shared path will cost $44.3m. Funding for the project comes from local funding, the Whau Local Board, and the Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme.
The expected completion date is late 2021.
Some people have been asking what became of the 25lber Artillery piece that stood outside the Avondale RSA (ADRSA) when they were in Layard Street. Every other 25lber outside RSAs are on loan from the NZ Defence Force, but Avondale’s gun is unique in that it is privately owned.
In the 1980s, after waiting in vain for an ex NZ Artillery piece, Avondale RSA made a request through their sister organisation in the UK for a gate guardian. In early 1984 an RAF Hercules flew the gun from Lyneham, England to Whenuapai. The fresh, completely overhauled gun was donated to Avondale RSA.
This gun is different from others in New Zealand. It is configured to Mk III standard, with fitting of the muzzle brake, and counterweight. In addition, a 1967 dated range cone has been added.
When the ADRSA sold Layard St, there was no room on the new Rosebank Road site for the gun to be displayed as a gate guardian. As the WW2 Historical Re-enactment Society (NZ) Inc had been assisting with identification and valuation of the Club’s collection, the ADRSA generously offered to loan the gun to them for restoration and display.
Alas, 33 years of Auckland weather had caused some small areas of rust and along with extra layers of paint, almost every moving part was seized. The WW2 Historical Re-enactment Society has been beavering away for three years, and the gun now looks magnificent and is operational for blank firing.
It was recently part of the public display at Lake Karapiro commemorating the end of WWI with the Armistice in Cambridge Society. It is planned that the gun will make an appearance back in Avondale for ANZAC Day 2021.
Three bands from Cambridge combined to play a twilight spectacular of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. It really did end with a bang as three 25lbers and other smaller guns fired an artillery barrage of blanks across the lake.
Those cute little rascals have escaped again! Nearly 40 sheep have got loose and are hiding in the shops and businesses in Blockhouse Bay. Can you find them for us?
Yes, Blockhouse Bay’s annual Sheep Trail is back! Between Wednesday 9th and Thursday 24th December, keep your eyes peeled for sightings of these elusive woolly scallywags. They are quite wily, so you might need the whole family searching for them.
Of course, the shop owners are in cahoots with the sheep, so don’t think it will be easy! They have given their friendly sheep names, and some have even decorated them. And apparently, some even hide them to make them harder for you to find!
Your mission: Find all the sheep and write down their clever names. And don’t forget to vote for your favourite sheep!
Once you have found them all, put your entry in the entry box at either Church of the Saviour or Blockhouse Bay Pharmacy. The winner will be drawn on Christmas Eve at the family service, 5.30pm at Church of the Saviour, 2 Heaphy St.
Te Uru’s summer exhibition season is packed with something for everyone, beginning with a big celebration of ceramics, including a special edition of our annual Portage Ceramic Awards, as well as a brand new exhibition of Māori clay artists, and a memorial for local potter, Peter Selwyn.
“From busy industrial sites to remote studios, clay is a big part of west Auckland’s history,” says Te Uru Director, Andrew Clifford. “So, we’re excited to have a new approach for our signature summer event, the Portage Ceramic Awards, and also to widen the scope with additional projects.”
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Portage Ceramic Awards, which have become Aotearoa’s premier showcase for ceramic practices. The challenges that have arisen this year from the Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa have meant that a competition was not possible. But we still have plans for this to be a special year.
Fondly known as ‘The Portage’, this year’s Portage 20/20 survey exhibition will display winning works from all previous years, spanning large scale installation to fine porcelain sculpture. Each year, the Portage Licensing Trust has purchased the premier award winner for their collection, and this will be the first time all winning works have been publicly displayed together.
Established in 2001, the awards are a hallmark event for the Aotearoa ceramics community, showcasing some of the best contemporary work, and serving as a platform for dialogue about developments in the ceramics field.
This anniversary exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated special souvenir catalogue, available to purchase from our shop, and is supported by The Trusts.
NUku offers a ceramic journey from an indigenous perspective and brings together both emergent and established artists as well as members of the Maori clay artist collective, Ngā Kaihanga Uku.
Combining the concept of nuku, uku and inherently referencing Papatūānuku, NUku is an exhibition of ceramics that celebrates collaboration and culture from an indigenous perspective. Whakapapa enriched, each artist brings their unique contribution, sharing a united passion. Together we are more.
Featuring: Baye Riddell, Wi Taepa, Carla Ruka, Amorangi Hikuroa, Stevei Houkamau, Hana Rakena, Alix Ashworth, Maria Brockhill, Tracy Darren Keith, Todd Douglas, Yvonne Tana. Supported by Ngā Kaihanga Uku, the Karekare Residency Trust, and curated by Carla Ruka. Presented alongside Portage 20/20.
Te Uru is proud to present a window display of selected works by the late Peter Selwyn, a local potter who held strong creative links to Titirangi, especially through his membership with the Titirangi Potters Club. Selwyn was celebrated by many in the ceramics community for his innovative use of clay and his many large works – a small selection of these have been chosen for this special memorial display.
The Silver Strummers are an established ukulele orchestra with performers residing around the Blockhouse Bay area. Formed nine years ago by a couple of ukulele enthusiasts, it now has ten members, mostly retired people ranging in age from 60 – 80 + years old. Many are musicians who had grown up with some music knowledge and wanted to continue with their music ability. The performers’ enthusiasm is quite contagious and it keeps minds active with something to offer others in retirement.
Quite by accident they were asked to perform at a local retirement village. This resulted in the word spreading that here were a group of musicians bringing back music from the 50s to the 80s and not just entertaining but encouraging audience participation. As their popularity spread, other retirement villages and homes requested concerts. They currently perform to many villages in the Blockhouse Bay/ Roskill/Lynfield/GreenBay area over a 12 month period.
The group has two practice sessions and up to two concerts per month. To vary the music they introduce other instruments into the orchestra, but in the main it still continues as a ukulele group. The program is ever changing as new music is introduced.
Bookings for 2021 are already coming to hand and it looks like another very active year.
The group is currently looking to fill a vacancy for a bass player.
For more information contact Peter on firstname.lastname@example.org