By John Subritzky
After the disruption and challenges of recent Covid restrictions, local business associations are back up to speed serving their members.
Avondale Business Association (ABA) is starting to see the fruition of a lot of planning and preparation. They are upgrading the under-veranda street lighting which they own and operate. New shop signage on the veranda canopies is eligible for a subsidy.
Local MP Deborah Russell was the speaker at a recent meeting hosted by ABA. She spoke about the effects of the budget.
New Lynn Business Association (NLBA) has done a lot of work to survey members about how they are doing after Covid and how best to help them. They followed up by hosting small meetings of business owners to share the results of the survey.
NLBA also hosted a networking event where four members spoke about their organisations. It was great to get insights into people’s business journey. Rueben Sharples from the Aussie Butcher shared candidly about his roller coaster experience over the years. Then everyone present had what was called a ‘speed dating’ experience where they swapped tables and shared a short profile about their business. Everyone left with a better understanding of their colleagues after some genuine networking.
Connect with te taiao (the environment) and each other during Matariki at EcoMatters
Visitors to the first Matariki at EcoMatters event, happening Sunday 3 July from 10am-2pm, can connect with each other and te taiao (the environment), through a range of free and whānau-friendly activities designed to inspire kaitiakitanga and learn more about mātauranga māori.
In te ao Māori, Matariki is traditionally a time to celebrate, prepare for the year ahead, share ideas and learn, just as the start of a new calendar year is also often viewed.
“We are looking forward to welcoming both familiar and new faces to this event, a new addition to our event calendar. It will be an opportunity to learn more about this uniquely Aotearoa celebration, as well as discover ways to be a kaitiaki for our beautiful local environment,” says Carla Gee, EcoMatters Environment Trust CEO.
Bring the whānau to enjoy free fun activities, connect over kai and coffee or turn your hand to potting up a baby native plant to take home.
For the tamariki, there’ll be Matariki-themed face painting, the chance to fly a Matariki kite, learn about plant identification and foraging, and make upcycled fabric Matariki stars.
In keeping with the idea of planting and new life, there’s the chance to take part in a no-dig garden experiment that will eventually become forageable spots for passers-by.
Guest tutor Drina Paratene (Ngāti Whātua ki te Kaipara, Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Awa), who teaches at Green Bay High School, will host two sessions. The first will explain the signs and symbols leading up to the rise of Matariki, followed by a raranga weaving workshop (advanced booking required), teaching both technique and the appropriate tikanga when harvesting harakeke.
Visitors can explore our organic teaching gardens and community nursery, try a bike or get cycling advice at our Bike Hub or browse sustainable living items at our EcoMatters Store.
Matariki at EcoMatters is part of the organisation’s wider Matariki programme, which also includes a range of community planting events and a Rongoā Māori Wānanga (booking required).
“We hope this event will be the start of an annual celebration, providing our community with an opportunity to connect with each other and their local environment,” says Carla Gee.
Visit ecomatters.org.nz/matariki/ to find out more.
The New Lynn to Avondale Shared Path (NL2A) has now been opened. This magnificent pathway seems to make the two areas become closer and more united. It is also a key part of a far wider cycling network that now links New Lynn to the CBD and the NW cycleway. It was over two years in the construction phase and cost $43m.
The opening of the shared path was on a beautiful day Saturday 4th June. Mayor Phil Goff, Minister of Transport Michael Wood, AT CEO Shane Ellison, Cr Tracy Mulholland, Whau Local Board members along with other dignitaries, the proud AT/Dempsey Wood project team, enthusiasts, and neighbours converged on New Lynn for the official ribbon cutting and inaugural ride and walk along the new path.
The new shared path is 2.9km long. Starting at the Northern end of the new path, an elevated boardwalk traverses down from Blockhouse Bay Road to just behind the Avondale Station. The new path runs along behind the Avondale Station, separate to the Station itself. Here it is quite narrow and bike riders are asked to dismount.
Between St Jude Street and Chalmers Street, a steel frame bridge sits snugly alongside the rail line enabling access through this narrow spot. A concrete path providing connection between the two streets.
At Chalmers Reserve, a timber bridge crosses a small overland flow area and provides a unique entry into the Reserve section of the shared pedestrian and cycle path. Within Chalmers Reserve, a concrete underpass provides passage under the rail line. The underpass is made up of 25 concrete segments, each weighing over 38 tonnes.
The new path travels along St Georges Road for a short section, traveling on a newly separated section of cycle lane. It then ducks in alongside the rail line and heads towards New Lynn.
Between Arran Street and Portage Road, an elevated boardwalk carries pedestrians and cyclists to a new purpose build bridge over a Whau River tributary. The new bridge has unique bow waka features visible when approaching the bridge.
The southernmost portion of the path crosses Portage Road and Veronica Street, running behind the New Lynn RSA to connect into New Lynn Rail Station.
Blockhouse Bay Community Centre are stoked with the result of their inaugural Bay Art Exhibition – a free family and community event for all ages held in June. Over 40 individual artists exhibited a total of 162 artworks.
With live performances from Avondale College and Move Dance Co, and the Cut Above Academy offering glamourous or gruesome special FX makeup, visitors enjoyed a wide range of entertainment. Jan Smith, Garden Club president, catered the event in a delicious high tea style.
Special thanks and acknowledgment to Jody McMillan and Janet Lilo (Whau Arts Brokers and curator), Jason Khun (curator), Bev Mossop, Heather Chamberlain, Hannah Pronk, Taylor Rogers, TJ Snow, Francois Basson, Stephanie O’Hanlon, and Hannah Honey.
The inaugural Whau River Paddle Day held Sunday 19th June was graced with perfect weather to explore the Whau by water. Many of the 68 participants who joined for the day had never paddled on the Whau before.
During the event which was run by Experiencing Marine Reserves, paddlers wove their way through mangrove channels on kayaks and paddle boards, joined by schools of mullet, flocks of kāruhiruhi (pied shags), with matuku moana (white faced heron) soaring overhead.
With expert instruction from Auckland Sea Kayaks, participants practiced their paddle strokes and got comfortable with their vessels before heading out on the water. Koha Kahui-McConnell and Brendan Doogan led water talks, sharing knowledge of the river ecology and biodiversity, as well as some of the challenges facing the Whau.
When not on the water participants enjoyed a raranga (weaving workshop) led by the talented Hugo and Arahi, creating their own decorative star to use for Matariki celebrations. Then they had a guided walk along the Kurt Brehmer walkway led by his granddaughter Freya Brehmer-Hine, supported by local experts Sandra McClean, Paris Phillips, and Stephen Thorpe from the Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT).
Experiencing Marine Reserves are grateful to their event partners, Auckland Sea Kayaks, Te Whau Pathway Environment Trust, WRCT, Para Kore Ki Tāmaki, Whitebait Connection, West End Rowing Club, plus generous funders The Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation and the Auckland Activation Fund (distributed on behalf of the government by Auckland Unlimited) and their epic Experiencing Marine Reserves volunteers that helped make the day run so smoothly.
Photos: Shaun Lee
By Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter