West Auckland is once again gearing up for a month-long celebration of our awe-inspiring environment. From 17 March to 15 April 2018, EcoMatters Environment Trust will partner with the Western local boards to host EcoWest Festival, an annual festival of more than 100 events that celebrate our unique environment and what we do to care for it.
Pick up new skills like beekeeping, composting and keeping chooks, embrace creativity at events like Pacific weaving, and learn new tricks for smarter living at events such as A Practically Green Household.
Discover something new in your own neighbourhood and see local natural places with fresh eyes, for example with the Creatures of the Dark walk or our Urban Nature Walks series. You can also learn about backyard stream testing and venture out on the water on Matuku Link’s kayak tour. Or, why not lend a hand to one of the many passionate community groups taking care of our favourite places out West?
With two new event categories, there will even be more to explore during the Festival this year. Our On the Move events aim to get people onboard the clean transport revolution and will include Pedal & Pizza, a 2-hour bike ride with a midway coffee stop and woodfired pizza served afterwards. The Foodies’ Fix event series includes street food markets as well as workshops like Make Your Own Fermented Food & Drinks.
EcoWest Festival will end with a bang with EcoDay on Sunday 15 April, a fun family-friendly day out featuring interesting talks and workshops, loads of activities, music and great food. EcoDay will be held at EcoMatters Environment Trust and Olympic Park in New Lynn.
To find out more and see full details of all EcoWest Festival events, visit www.ecowest.org.nz.
Ron Spragg’s tenancy has been terminated by Progressive Enterprises, leaving him with no business to sell.
As the second forced shutdown in the block, it must be a concern to other small businesses in the Lynfield site, many of whom are reportedly on monthly tenancies instead of the more usual long term commercial leases. You may remember Patel’s dairy and Lotto shop that used to be on the end of the block. The site is now a parking lot and Countdown is the sole Lotto seller.
Small businesses usually look forward to being able to sell as a going concern and pick up a gain as a retirement nest egg after many years of long hours and stress. Ron’s business had been valued independently as being worth $300,000 -$400,000 – money that he will never see. He would have liked to sell and retire a few years back, but every potential buyer has been scared off by the proximity of the supermarket, since other Countdowns have started to include pharmacies. That’s a development that could not have been foreseen by Ron years ago.
Ron graduated in 1960 from a four-year pharmacist apprenticeship. “Back then,” he recalls, “they used to type the labels by hand, and they made everything, all the pills, medicines etc, from scratch. Virtually nothing was ready-made. Scripts were posted into the pricing office, and the clerk would then sit down and price everything from books. It’s all computerised now”.
Along with his brother, Ron headed to England for his O.E. “NZ qualifications were quite acceptable in the UK in those days”, Ron said, “but not anymore.” After two years Ron returned home, then in the early seventies bought his Lynfield pharmacy from Robert Irwin.
At the time Ron was renting in Oriana Ave, which was one of the very few streets in Lynfield that was built on. However, the rest of Lynfield was being developed by the Auckland Harbour Board and he could see long term potential in the area for his business, and as a place to live.
So, what now for Ron? Well, he looks at the positives. “The past seventeen years since Coundown has been here have definitely been good for business,” he says. “Lynfield has been a nice place to work, the community is lovely, and many of my customers have become friends.” Ron says he is ready for retirement but will keep his practicing license current for local relieving work.
When asked for comment, Adrian Walker, Countdown General Manager Property responded:
“We always aim to deliver the best shopping environment for our customers, and we’re very pleased to be finally starting to refurbish our Countdown Lynfield store, starting in the next month. It’s long overdue for a refresh. The refurbished store will have some exciting new features for our local customers, including a new in-store Countdown Pharmacy and a refreshed look more in line with our modern store design.”
It’s harder to wind up a pharmacy than you might imagine. Ron is especially concerned about customers who have repeat prescriptions and especially those that are outstanding if they don’t come in before the doors close for good on March 16th.
Ron Spragg and his team have faithfully served the community for nearly five decades and are a well-known and liked part of the community. Thank you, team, for the kindness and care you have given us over all those years.
Work has started on top of Mt Roskill / Puketapapa to remove vehicle access to the summit. Five other mountains around Auckland are undergoing the same access control to meet the spiritual sensitivities of iwi. To mana whenua, the tihi (summit) is a sacred place to be treated with reverence and respect. Mt Eden is already car free with Mt Albert, Mt Wellington and Mt Victoria to follow.
Roskill seems to have got off the most lightly of all the hills as the carpark just below the summit will remain open. For decades the summit has been popular with visitors. The loop road and carpark are being removed. It was always interesting on the flat summit because vehicles were driving over the roof of the huge water reservoir hidden inside.
9 July 1962 Showing the Mount Roskill Reservoir under construction.
580-6539, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries
Yet another car has drowned in the Manukau, this time near Waikowhai Bay.
Despite evidence of heroic attempts to rescue the RAV4, the tide eventually won the fight on the day.
When we went to check it out, there were several vehicles on the rocky headland and quite a few people out enjoying the fishing.
Unlike most fishermen’s vehicles on the beach, the RAV4 driver ventured off the hard, often rocky areas around the headland and drove straight into treacherous soft, soft mud. The party managed to extract the vehicle from the mud and it is now up near high tide, but not high enough to avoid inundation twice every day for the past two weeks.
The police confirm that the vehicle has not been reported stolen. As an older low value car, it may not be insured. The registration label is gone. It appears the owner has abandoned the car and left it for ratepayers to shoulder the cost of recovery and disposal.
Other rubbish also appears to have been dumped on the beach recently. This is bad enough on roadsides, but on our coastline? Come on, people!