He got behind the wheel for his first race when he was 12. It’s been full on ever since then for 15 year old Lynfield College student Jarrad Green, who just lifted his first championship trophy for the Auckland Youth Ministock car series.
With twin brother Thomas chasing him, this is a very competitive family. They travel to races all over the upper North Island. Kaikohe, Waiuku, Huntly and Rotorua are frequented as dad Ross takes the two race cars on their double cab transporter truck.
Thomas started racing a bit later when he was 13. He had a nasty crash a season back which would make any mum’s heart skip a beat. Sarah says, “Ross and I were fortunate because we had turned and didn’t actually see the crash happen. Any time one of the boys gets in the lead I start to get anxious. It’s also heart-breaking when they can’t finish a race. What also worries us is when their car comes in on the back of a tow truck. I help in the pits with tyre changes and suspension but when a car is towed in we think – can we fix it for the next race? How much will it cost?”
Fortunately Thomas is a very good welder. It seems like he needs to be! The family motto is “you break it, you fix it”. Both Jarrad and Thomas have become clued up mechanically as they do most of the maintenance and repair work themselves. They work together part-time at Midas Onehunga, which allows them access to a tyre machine and other tools.
At the Ministock Championship, getting out on the track in front of big crowds at Waikaraka Park and mixing it up in a competitive class tested the nerves.
When it came to the final race it was a cliff-hanger with Jarrad and another 15 year old boy tied for points. There was a four-lap run off race to decide the championship. Most of the public had packed up for the night and were leaving when the run off race was announced.
The two drivers were both nervous because they had never had to do a one-on-one race before. The pit lane emptied as all the pit crews lined the fence to see the race. Sarah couldn’t bear to watch the race and left the pits.
Jarrad lost the coin toss and pole position. Then he messed up the start so he was in trailing position until near the end when the lead car made an error. Jarrad powered through on the inside and went on to win the race.
The crowd erupted, chanting, “Jarrad, Jarrad!” Sarah was screaming and crying. Emotion overcame Jarrad and he was crying. Ross had tears too, but muttered, “It’s pretty dusty on the track”.
The first thing Jarrad did after getting out of the car was to go over and talk to the other driver. All the senior stocks guys – Jarrad’s heroes – came over to congratulate him. The Club Promoter said it was one of the cleanest races he had witnessed.
Along with support from mum, dad and younger brother Harris, the twins also get a boost from family sponsors Grandma (in return for lawn mowing), Ross Green Contracting, and Midas Onehunga.
It’s great to see local lads come through, and Lynfield College is proud to have them as students, with Jarrad winning the Auckland Youth Ministock Championship.
By Kerrie Subritzky
In my day, childcare centres were few and far between. In fact, it was mostly just kindies and play-centres. Those were the days where kids pretty much just played. They played make-believe, dress ups, chasey, go-home-stay-home, climbed trees, and fell over and got dirty, and scuffed knees. Oh, and there was usually an old tractor carcass for the littlies to pretend to drive on. Mum would pick us up at lunchtime, and off we’d go home for a sleep. Unless you were a big kid, then you were an afternooner.
That rough and tumble childhood grew some fairly capable adults. It’s a time I still have fond memories of, and when my own kids came along was the kind of place I looked for. ‘Old-school’ we call it now – that generic term we moderns use to describe anything from the ‘olden days’.
Nowadays education has changed. And a lot of it is for the better, but a kind of ‘sanitising’ has crept into the mix. It’s got so that everything has to be ‘safe,’ to the point really that kids don’t really get to explore their boundaries, and challenge their limits like they used to decades ago. They don’t really get close enough to the edge to know where the edge really is.
Childcare has become big business. It is now an entrenched part of society, with children in some form of day-care whether parents work or not. In the old days there would have been two or three in a suburb, whereas now It seems that there is a childcare facility in virtually every street. Which is just as true in the Blockhouse Bay area as anywhere else in Auckland.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the little childcare centre on Boundary Road near the gates of Lynfield College was just for children of teachers and adult students at Lynfield College – especially since it has “Lynfield College” in its name. Having passed it at least a thousand times, that’s exactly what I thought – wrongly as it turns out. And with quite an unassuming exterior as well, many of us would pass on by without another thought.
The Lynfield College Community Childcare Centre approached me to place and design an ad. As I did my research and chatted to Denise, the centre supervisor, I began to realise that what they have here is something out of the ordinary, and a bit special. In a time where there are more brand new, slick, up-to-the-minute day-care centres than you can shake a stick at, this one, for all its humble exterior, stands out. In fact, it makes me want to have grandchildren.
Here is a little childcare centre where the word “little” belies impact. Licensed for just 30 children, the child to teacher ratio is unusually high; 5 children to every teacher, most of whom have been there a decade or more, resulting in the stable family atmosphere that children thrive in.
With a strong philosophy that children learn through doing, bare feet, roly-poly down hills, splashing in puddles, and getting messy and dirty are all part of the norm. Technology is downplayed to ‘a useful tool’ that sometimes supports their outdoor discoveries. Shock horror! Surely not? Nope, instead of ‘screen time’ children have hands-on experiences with a grassy hill, ‘safe fall’, concrete, sandpit, bark and a nature area. And they turn out just fine. Better than fine, in fact, with their ex-pupils names regularly emblazoned on school noticeboards around town. Denise is very chuffed about that.
Being a ‘not-for-profit’, with funds raised the hard way and going back into the running of the centre, advertising is a bit of a stretch. And they could do with a better sign (any businesses out there keen to sponsor one contact Denise). But I was inspired by a story that needed to be told. Check out their below for details, but you’d better be quick as I have a feeling places won’t be available for long.
The Manukau has been treated as the backside of Auckland for decades. Power pylons were routed around the edges of the growing suburbs until they were finally pushed out into the harbour itself. Then housing expanded under the terrestrial pylons.
Onehunga was Auckland’s main port until ships became too large to cross the bar. Auckland has finally started to interact well with the Waitemata Harbour edge. Similar development at Onehunga is still in the planning stages.
The Mangere Waste Water Treatment Plant is the biggest insult, though. Swimming has been banned at Laingholm and Wood Bay with permanent signs erected. Auckland Council has ceased routine monitoring of water quality at these beaches.
Green Bay registered 24,200 enterococci per 100ml of water – 173 times the maximum safe level for swimming of 140. That was back on 16 November 2016. Up until January 2017 it had exceeded safe levels 4 weeks out of 10.
The Mangere Waste Water Treatment Plant reached capacity, and semi-treated effluent bypassed full treatment 20-22 times each year after heavy rain over the last decade. “On June 29-30 last year about 124 Olympic-sized swimming pools of partially-treated waste water was discharged into the Manukau just across the harbour from the beaches at Laingholm, Wood Bay and Green Bay,” said waste water biologist Gemma Tolich Allen.*
After publicity about low water quality in both harbours, Phil Goff called for advancing the construction of the huge 5m diameter “Central Interceptor” pipe across Auckland to the Mangere Plant. This $1 billion project has been shuffled backwards over the last decade as councillors scramble to find money for other projects.
With Auckland’s growing population, the Central Interceptor will be able to divert sewage from spills into the Waitemata and deliver more waste faster to the Mangere Plant.
Will the Mangere Waste Water Treatment Plant be expanded fast enough to cope with this increase? And why is “treated” waste still discharged into our Manukau Harbour instead of the Tasman Sea?
*NZ Herald, February 2017
It’s common knowledge that success begets success. Success is attractive, and everyone wants to be part of it. It’s human nature. And that could very well be the reason for a remarkable, recent influx of students for Glenavon School. Although the roll has been steadily increasing for a few years, enrolments have jumped by 110 new students in the past 12 months – that’s a 21% roll increase!
However, success doesn’t happen overnight, and a well-implemented vision is evidenced by the school’s outstanding June 2016 ERO report, resulting in a four-to-five-year review status. That’s a grade ERO (the Education Review Office) gives to schools that are doing very well, and are hitting the right performance markers.
When asked for his thoughts on what attributed to the growth, Principal Phil Toomer responded, “I think our 4-5 year ERO report has certainly helped spread the message that we are a high performing school and that we provide an exceptional education for our community. I think the local and surrounding community are continuing to pick up on this and there is a good buzz around the school.
“When parents are excited about something, they tell their friends. We are getting a lot of families enrolling who have heard great things about the school and want to be part of it.
“Our property upgrades have also had a major effect. We have upgraded our classes and grounds and are creating a new innovative learning environment for our junior school. Our community is excited that the school looks fresh and new - we get comments every day about how good our school looks.“
A knock-on effect of increased rolls means that the school have been able to start new classes and hire new teachers. Toomer says “We have kept class sizes small this year in anticipation of a continuation of growth. This will mean that our class sizes will not be stretched as we grow. We are now quickly running out of space so our next step is to look towards new, roll growth classes.”
As the roll continues to increase, Toomer expects that the school will be able to access funding to build new classrooms to support more students. “This will give us a great opportunity to create more innovative learning spaces for our children,” he says.
The school playground can be a daunting place at times when you are new or a little sad, shy or lonely.
Blockhouse Bay Primary has adopted the “Cool Schools” Programme and trained playground mediators are on duty every lunchtime. The Year Five and Six pupils go through a series of workshops to develop the skills of mediation and then when they are fully trained, they are able to patrol the playground at lunchtime to look out for conflicts, praise good playground behaviour and to help children who are in any way unhappy.
In the picture you can see what good use the school has made of the Friendship Seat which was donated to the school by New World Supermarkets and is made from recycled plastic bags.
If a child needs a friend they sit on the seat and the mediators or other children can see them and offer to find them a friend - leading to happy children and a positive playground experience for all.
For quite a time now I have been pondering life in the Bay, what makes it what it is, and why it’s such a pleasant place to live in.
At work we so often see random acts of kindness – donations of hand-crafted items, made especially for children or sick adults, food items for Food Pantry, clothing for refugees based just down the road, excess fruit and so on. We are becoming more used to it, but are still very pleasantly surprised, and it makes my day.
All this got me thinking … what’s the secret?
Not money, not possessions for their own sake.
It is open-hearted giving and sharing, understanding where others not so fortunate may be coming from, and looking beyond self.
In a word, “it’s not all about me”.
It’s looking at the bigger picture of the community around us. Discovering how we can benefit that community by considering not just our own position, but that of our neighbours.
It’s all those amazing community groups that give of themselves with no expectation of any return but the happiness and progress of others. Think Scouts and Guides, think churches around us and consider how much they put back into our community. Think the numerous clubs and associations that are really only there for the betterment of their communities.
Then think of the volunteers. Those wonderful, usually quiet, usually behind the scenes people who are always on hand, it seems, no matter what is needed. From the gent who dressed up in a pumpkin suit to meet and greet at the Garden Festival (he is also our Town Cryer), to the lady with her plants and jams, to the couple who run the bi-monthly Antiques and Crafts Fair at the Community Centre, the people who teach English twice a week, and many, many others.
Yes, it is uplifting to be around these people, they are such good examples of how we can think beyond our own parameters and look out further afield, to the greater community. The rewards are surely there.
Blockhouse Bay Community Centre
Moving the Trusts NZ Open from its traditional November time to February to benefit from better weather seemed to be a bit of an error of judgement by organisers, Auckland Bowls last week with poor weather hitting the start of the competition. The inclement weather caused numerous headaches for the organisers and host clubs who did their best to ensure the games went ahead with as minimal disruption to the players as possible. Unfortunately, several games had to be moved to artificial and indoor greens to ensure that the competition kept to schedule, but despite the bad weather and disruptions spirits and level of competition remained high.
Saturday saw the start of the disabled competition under the scrutiny of Commonwealth Selectors, with the finals being played out on Monday 20th.
The penultimate day of the tournament opened with the AeroBowls Women’s Triples Final under glorious sunshine and in front of a good crowd. The AeroBowls Men’s Triples Final kicked off after lunch. The final game of the day was the Trusts Woman’s Singles which proved to be one of the best games of the tournament with both ladies playing some sublime bowls, with Brown’s Bay player Elaine McClintock prevailing to take the title.
The weather looked to hold as the tournament entered the final day that would feature the Ryman Healthcare Men’s and Women’s Pairs Final, with the Trusts Men’s Singles Final bringing the event to a close. Chris Le Lieuve and Jamie Hill seemed to have the game under control but a late surge from Kerry Chapman and Tony Grantham brought them back into contention before succumbing 18-16.
The Women’s final was played in extreme heat and proved to be a tense battle of nerves. However, Elaine McClintock and Marilyn McLeod finally sealed a 17-14 victory. The scene was then set for the Trusts Men’s Singles Final between defending Champion Richard Girvan and Chris Le Lieuve with Richard proving too strong, taking 4 shots in the final end to secure back to back titles.
Tournament headquarters, Blockhouse Bay Bowling Club proved to be an ideal venue for the event but they were disappointed to only have one player from the club to get into the final stages, with Esther Eu reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles. Congratulations must be given to the sponsors, Auckland Bowls, Blockhouse Bay Bowling Club as well as all volunteers, groundskeepers and players.
2017 Trusts NZ Open Champions
The Silver Strummers are an established ukulele orchestra with performers residing around the Blockhouse Bay area. Formed five years ago by a couple of ukulele enthusiasts, it now has twelve members, most of them 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 12 villages in the area over a 12-month period.
The group has two practice sessions and two concerts per month. To vary the music they introduced other instruments into the orchestra, but in the main it still continues as a ukulele group. The programme is ever-changing as new music is introduced.
Bookings for 2017 are already well in advance and it looks like another very active year.
The group is currently looking to fill two vacancies, for a guitar player and a bass player.
For more information contact Peter on firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 11 March - Sunday 9 April 2017
Locations across Waitakere Ranges, Henderson-Massey and Whau Local Board areas
Sunday 9 April 2017
West Auckland is gearing up for a month-long celebration of our awe-inspiring environment this autumn. From 11 March to 9 April 2017, EcoMatters Environment Trust will partner with the Western local boards to host EcoWest Festival, an annual festival of more than 100 events across west Auckland that celebrate our unique environment and what we do to care for it.
“We’re super excited to be offering over 100 events this year, our biggest festival yet! We have so many people who do great things which make west Auckland an awesome place to live, and this festival is about sharing their passion and skills with the wider community,” says Festival Manager Myrthe Braam. “Workshops and events during EcoWest will provide opportunities to learn practical things you can do at home like composting, growing vegetables, identifying weeds and reducing your household waste. Or you can head outdoors and show some love to our treasured parks and streams.”
The whole family can get involved with activities like family bike rides and guided walks learning about butterflies, and there will also be events to get people out and discovering the natural wonders in their backyard. Most of the events will be free or low cost.
Some of the new events this year include the Down and Dirty // Rooftop Party at Lopdell House, Titirangi, The Green Effect Comedy Show featuring Te Radar, Penny Ashton, Pax Assadi and Brendon Green, Free Park Yoga at Olympic Park and Conscious Layers Action Nights where you can learn the basics of repairing clothes.
EcoWest Festival will end with a bang with EcoDay on Sunday 9 April, a fun family-friendly day out featuring loads of activities, live performances and great food. EcoDay will be held at EcoMatters Environment Trust and Olympic Park in New Lynn.
The Festival is hosted by EcoMatters Environment Trust, with generous support from Henderson-Massey Local Board, Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Whau Local Board, The Trusts Community Foundation and Greenstar Energy Solutions.
Full details of all EcoWest Festival events at www.ecowest.org.nz
Congratulations to Henry Frear (Year 11) who was awarded an Outstanding Scholarship award in English, meaning he is in the top 1% of students in New Zealand who sat this examination in 2016.
Green Bay High School is very proud to announce a total of five Scholarships were awarded to students, four in English: Henry Frear, Xanthe Brookes, Philip Baker, Ruben Mita and one in Geography: Paige Rundle. This is an exceptional result.
What makes Henry's success more remarkable is that he was a Year 11 student at the time of the exam!
"Henry is an exceptional student, who never missed an English workshop where his contributions were insightful and challenging for all the students involved," says a very proud Head of Department, Richard Brooke. "He is one of those rare students who surprise you with their extraordinary intelligence, and in his case, a beguiling grace and humility as well."