Part of the walkway between Onehunga and Blockhouse Bay has recently been completed with the opening of the new Waikōwhai Coastal Boardwalk linking Taumanu Reserve with Bamfield Reserve in Hillsborough. The boardwalk, which cost $1.1million, is one of two sections which are required to plug gaps in the network, about 80 per cent of which is off-road through coastal bush. Have you tried it yet? Just head to the new Taumanu Reserve in Onehunga and take a walk or cycle over the water to Hillsborough.
The second stretch of boardwalk to be completed is between the beach at Wesley Bay and Aldersgate Road. Currently this section around the headland is only accessible two hours either side of low tide.
Auckland Council is conducting a two-month pilot 'dispersal' programme from February to April that could see freedom campers encouraged to spread out over 27 locations across the city, rather than crowd into a few well-known hot spots.
Local boards help select camping sites
The pilot sites have been selected following extensive consultation with local boards, resulting in seven of the city's 21 local boards participating. Puketāpapa Local Board is offering Margaret Griffen Park in Lynfield for the pilot. This park has a history of freedom camping.
“We want to be welcoming hosts to our visitors," says Councillor Cooper. "Campers bring an estimated $1.2 million a month into our economy over summer."
"However, the influx of freedom campers into hotspot areas – particularly in north-eastern coastal and inner-city locations – is creating problems."
Fun makes for happy families!
Getting family time is a tough thing today, between all our children’s separate sports commitments and activities. However Dr Kenneth N. Condrell, a child psychologist, reported on research into what distinguishes happy families from unhappy ones. He came up with five criteria: Happy families have parents who respect each other, they value extended family, they give compliments to encourage each other, they watch their language to ensure it isn’t abusive, and finally they are families who plan fun together. However sometimes we can all use some help with that!
Messy Church is a fast-paced and fun event for families held monthly on Saturdays from 4pm-6pm at Church of the Saviour – with our next date 18th March. Following a different theme each time there are craft activities for all ages, mess, and games. This is followed by games and songs, a story around the theme and a meal, which means you don’t even need to cook for the family that night.
For many local families, this is a mustn’t miss date in the calendar. It’s also one of the few opportunities to have some genuine family time together, and if Dr Condrell is right, it might just help your family stay happy!
It was just over a year ago – 6th February 2016 – that Mischief disappeared. We were ‘between houses’ and my friend had kindly invited us to stay with her. Mischief and Pansy appeared to settle in well at their new home, so it was a shock when Mischief was nowhere to be found. I was distraught. We searched everywhere for him, called for him, and put notices in letterboxes all around the area, not wanting to give up.
Time moved on in its normal relentless fashion, and come April it was just Pansy and I who made the move into our new home in Panmure. I was heartbroken, having faced the inevitable truth that Mischief was no longer with us.
But miracles do happen.
Just a couple of weeks ago I got a phone call. My heart jumped when the caller introduced herself as a vet nurse from the Lynfield Veterinary Clinic. Could it be about Mischief? My thoughts scrambled as I prepared myself for the worst - was he dead, hurt or … could he possibly still be alive? Unbelievably, Mischief was alive and well.
I rushed across town to Lynfield, all the while still not quite believing that it could be him. But there he was curled up in the cage. He immediately knew the sound of my voice, and my heart was racing as I heard his answering meow.
The vet nurse had the name of the lovely woman who has been looking after him for a year, not far from the Lynfield Vets. Mischief wasn't in good shape when he arrived at her home, but he soon put himself at ease - sleeping on her bed. I am so grateful to this kind woman for nursing him back to being a fluffy, healthy, 6kg cat.
In early February Mischief’s adopted mum happened to take him to the vet. Mischief was routinely scanned for a microchip. and my name came up. I had adopted Mischief from the SPCA, where microchipping comes as part of the service, however I had no idea this was the case. All I can say to that is, thank you SPCA!
Mischief is now very much at home here with me and Pansy. He is regularly running up and down two flights of stairs which will help him lose some weight. I am so thankful for microchipping and to his adopted mother - it is truly wonderful to have him home again.