The Whau Arts Festival is back again for 2020. This year’s festival is the “Whau ArtBOOK”, free for all and soon to be available from your local dairy in the Whau area. It showcases, celebrates and activates the creative energy of the Whau area - and goes well with a pack of chippies or a mince and cheese pie!
The Whau Arts Festival was conceived by Avondale-based Art collective “Whau the People” (WTP) in 2014. Each year has been so different - from a 24hour festival to choirs in laundromats, with epic public art murals throughout.
The Whau ArtBOOK features over 50 Artists across all ages and disciplines. Because of the spread of innovative and traditional arts, Whau The People believe it will appeal to the wide-ranging cultural melting pot of Whau residents.
Young local artist Jacob Hamilton’s photo essays capture his ‘walking the beat’ to visit all 40 dairies in the Whau, and photo portraits celebrate the meticulous work of Taulanga U Seniors such as Tominika Fononga. Tominika (pictured) is part of a group of Tongan mothers and grandmothers who share skills and keep alive traditional tongan weaving and crafts.
“This ArtBOOK is our Whau Arts Festival 2020, but we didn’t want to lose that sense of bringing people together which all our other festivals have done. How are we going to eat kai...create games and paint together in this new Covidworld?”, recalls Jody Macmillan, Whau The People Trustee and Festival manager.
The lockdown put the handbrake on the Festival, which was to have occurred in June 2020, however the ArtBOOK is Whau The People’s creative response to managed isolation whilst reflecting on what and who became an “essential service”.
Jody says, “we are stoked with the ArtBOOK which we reckon still showcases quality arts but is accessible to everyone in the community. COVID has probably meant that even though we’re not organising events and calling people together, this Festival has an even bigger but simpler reach by being in every dairy across the Whau. It’s a great feeling”.
The books will be available for FREE this November, from your local diary across New Lynn, Green Bay, Kelston, Rosebank, Avondale, New Windsor and Blockhouse Bay.
Shout out to all our local diary owners for their essential work this year. The Whau Local Board and Creative New Zealand for supporting the Whau Arts Festival BOOK.
Auckland Transport (AT) recently conducted comprehensive bus trials in Connaught St, Blockhouse Bay to measure noise and vibration.
Local residents have become increasingly alarmed at the intrusion into their lives and the effect on their properties. Peter and Olwyn Over live 40 metres from a speed table. Their friend was visiting from Taupo and felt a shake while the crockery rattled. “We’ve just had an earthquake” said the alarmed visitor. Peter reassured them that it was just a bus going over a nearby speed table. They have also noticed damage appearing in their houses.
It is this sort of nuisance that got neighbours talking and eventually calling a meeting. Twenty people attended and at the meeting someone mentioned that there was also a group in lower Connaught St with identical concerns. The groups combined and approached the Whau Local Board who were then able to request that AT investigate the issue.
Simon Milner, AT Metro Services Team, led the trials. Three different size buses were used to test the speed tables at 30KPH and 40KPH. Four measurement points were set up on the footpath and inside volunteer neighbours’ homes. The in-home measurements were acoustic and vibration checks by contractor Marshall Day Acoustics. Meanwhile two staff rode on each test bus to determine the comfort level of the different driving approaches. AT had also previously used a speed counter to gauge the speed of traffic in the street overall. Identifying the problem is one thing. Fixing it is another. The buses are not even close to the 50KPH speed limit.
The move from smaller buses to medium sized 3 axled buses was when Peter Over first noticed the vibration problem from vehicles approaching uphill. A dry year may have also amplified the problem due to soil conditions. It appears that pressure waves are being generated by heavier vehicles as they impact on the front edge of the speed table. The effect is greater with increased speed and weight. When the trials were shared on social media, people from many different areas reported similar vibrations affecting their homes.
Trucks and light vehicles can also be very noisy as they go over the speed tables. Beacon asked Peter what he thought would be the ideal solution? “Remove the speed tables altogether” was his emphatic reply. This could be a warning for residents in other streets who want to stop speeding. It is a case of be careful what you wish for.
Christmas in our Park
It’s been decades since the Lynfield community held their own local event so this year a small team of volunteers from the community have got together to put on a local Christmas shindig, “Christmas in our Park” with the support of local businesses and YMCA Lynfield.
The event will have a variety of stalls and family-friendly entertainment: Christmas-themed arts and craft stalls, cake stalls, face painting, a bouncy castle, and a sausage sizzle.
Plus, while you listen to local talent The Quartet and sing along with our local community choirs, you can also enjoy your homemade picnic, or Pizza Hut will be on hand for you to place your orders.
The organisers hope that this will be the first of many fun events for Lynfield.
If you’d like to have a stall, or would like to be part of the Lynfield community events working group, contact Ella Kumar 021-047-7742 or Ralph Shirley 021-579-966.
When: Saturday 28th November 2020, 1- 4pm,
Where: Lynfield Reserve (The Avenue)
Rain date: 5th December
After a long and thorough search, Avondale Primary School recently welcomed their new principal, James Williams, to their school community.
Mr Williams was originally from Christchurch, but with his father in the Army the family travelled a lot, including living for several years in Singapore, his dad finishing up at Papakura Army Camp before retiring in 1989.
After completing 6th form at Wesley College in Paerata, Williams had planned to go to Teachers’ College, but a summer job in the hotel industry turned into several years. He eventually pursued teacher training in 2002, managing to get in a year’s OE first.
After his two years ‘provisional’ at Royal Road School in Massey, Williams took the opportunity to teach in the community where he lives, Mt Roskill, at Dominion Road School. Soon after he was promoted to a leadership role as Team Leader at Mangere Bridge School.
At the end of Term 3 Mr Williams was farewelled from Flat Bush School where he has been Associate Principal since 2016, and Deputy Principal since 2018. That same week he was also welcomed to Avondale Primary with a pōwhiri.
“It’s important that I am now located to this whenua, this kura”, Williams comments. It was a wonderful transition through pōwhiri: Flat Bush School handing me over with love, support, and well-wishes for my success. It was humbling to experience their honouring of my work, celebrating me in that way. Then to get the pōwhiri from Avondale Primary, singing their heart out, connecting with me, saying ‘Welcome, take a good look at us’. And I did, and it was a beautiful thing”.
Williams did not accept the position lightly. “I never had ‘leadership aspirations’ as such”, he says. “These roles emerged as opportunities along the way”. When this position came up, he looked at it and thought, ‘What strengths do I have that will add value here?’
“There’s a culture here”, he said. “They were looking for a leader who can connect with the current culture and weave into them. As I talked to the DP and AP, I felt that things aligned well. There was an almost instant connection and we really engaged in values. I could see myself here. What I had to offer they wanted and needed”.
Mr Williams’ began his new role at the beginning term 4, taking over from DP Kim Wilkinson who has been acting principal since the beginning of this year.
Mr Williams' farewell from Flatbush School. Photos supplied by Flatbush School
Knitting makes a comeback
Once a skill no self-respecting homemaker would be without, knitting declined in popularity over the past several decades with the advent of ready-made imported knitwear that was often much cheaper.
But recently knitting has been making a huge come-back. Knitting groups have become popular, with knitters enjoying the benefits of friendship, learning and honing skills, an outlet for creativity, and a sense of pride in their achievements.
A July school holiday programme in 2018 was the unexpected catalyst for the start of one such group at Blockhouse Bay Library. Volunteers were recruited to help teach children (and some adults) to knit toy mice for kittens and jumpers for puppies at the SPCA.
Several of the volunteers continued to meet at the library, passing on their knitting knowledge and experience to others, forming what is now known as the ’Thursday knitting circle’.
Several newcomers learned basics like casting on, stockinette stitch, garter stitch and binding off, resulting in some very nice blankets, scarves, and hats. Some challenging skills and patterns have also been tackled with fabulous results!
Inspired by the group, including veteran knitter of 54 years Diane Berkley (pictured below in the 'Timely' cardigan), the knitting bug even rubbed off on the Library’s manager Padmini Raj, who reacquainted herself with her knitting needles.
Between them currently, they are knitting a top down sweater, a garter-stitch baby jacket, a baby’s knitted vest, socks, scarf, child’s cardigan, shawl, and a boy’s Aran cardigan. Two spinners in the group are using their own spun yarn to knit jumpers, and one member is crocheting a shawl.
Some of the projects will be on display for a short time in the library from 16th November.
On the heels of the successful Thursday knitting circle, the Library is now hosting a new knitting circle on Mondays from 10.00-12.00 for Mandarin speakers. This will again be self-run by members.
Both groups welcome new members, so come along with your own yarn. Some needles and crochet hooks are on hand for practice.
Music mentoring for youth
The already vibrant Avondale arts scene has just had a huge boost. Crescendo Trust of Aoteoroa (Crescendo) has moved from Henderson to Mainstreet Avondale, celebrating with an opening launch of the new hub last month.
Their main mission is to mentor youth using music, radio, and events. However, they are open to anyone who wants to use their services commercially. The mentoring staff all have industry experience and can help you with everything from podcasts to sound design. They aim to become financially self-sufficient in this way, so they are keen to work with you!
The radio station is low power on 87.8FM. It will be great for Avondale to have its own community sound and voice!
They are in the building vacated by VIP Barbers until the site is redeveloped by Panuku.
Crescendo was founded in 2012 by Marcus Powell, a well-known member of award-winning bands Blindspott and City of Souls.
The programmes are developed to nurture, empower and give lifelong skills through mentoring, personal development, and training in music, film, content creation and photography to young people and is a way of helping them back into education.
“There are multiple impactful outcomes that come from a hub with a strong kaupapa. It starts with whanau. We provide an environment that is a whanau, it is an urban marae, it is a safe place and an incubator.” says Marcus.
To date, Crescendo has worked with more than 2,300 young people across seven locations throughout Auckland.
Among them is Auckland rap duo Church (Elijah Manu) and AP (Albert Purcell), who recorded their debut album Thorough Bread in 2018. The pair have been hugely successful with their single Ready or Not being played over four million times and winning a number of awards at the 2020 Pacific Music Awards. Also at the awards, fellow mentee Disciple Pati (Sapati Apa-Fepulea’i) took home the NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video Award.
Marcus says the future of Crescendo is being a self-sustainable social enterprise that generates revenue to create social impact. “My intention is to show the charitable sector that we can achieve a high level of transitional pathways for our rangatahi with the right kaupapa and strategy.”
After a few lockdowns and the impact of Covid-19, as a community, we are eager to reconnect, regroup, and restart again.
Sport and recreation build stronger, healthier, happier, and safer communities and develop strong social bonds. It can teach values such as fairness, team building, equality, discipline, inclusion, perseverance, and respect.
As a community, we need a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. In Glenavon, we are surrounded by people who share similar values. There is so much to learn, so much to teach, so much to love.
At our Sports Programme launch on Tuesday, it was pouring with rain, but that did not stop our whanau coming together. It was a big celebration for our families, a game of volleyball for the adults, touch rugby and tag for our young children.
We then had a sausage sizzle to finish off the day. It was a wonderful day. Awesome atmosphere with a warm feeling of a community coming together.
Awesome job by our sports committee team, twelve local members of the Glenavon community leading and owning it.
Thanks to our parents, our children, our teachers, and well done to our Sports Committee team for the way you delivered on our very first community sports day for our community.
Great turn out - Awesome Vibe - FUN FUN FUN and a good kai at the end.
Solid work team!
Glenavon Community Sports:
Running three days every week until end of December at Glenavon School.
Every Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 4.30-6.30pm
Supported by Sports Waitakere, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Healthy Families, Fairfood, Tribal sports, Blockhouse Bay Baptist Church, Baptist Foundation, Whau Local Board and Glenavon school.
By Nixon Suddens
I flew down to Dunedin with my family and teammates to compete at the New Zealand National Wrestling Championships on the 2nd and 3rd of October at Taieri College. While this was just our third wrestling competition of the year, we normally compete in 6 to 8 events, we have been training right through and at home during lockdown.
I competed in two divisions, placing 2nd in the Junior 17-20yo 65kg class and taking gold in the Cadets 14-16yo class. I was also awarded the Cadets trophy for “The Most Scientific Wrestler”.
My younger brother Alex won all his matches in less than a minute by pin taking gold in his 10-13yo division.
This was my 4th consecutive National Title since I started competing at Nationals in 2015. I really enjoyed this competition because I had the opportunity to wrestle against opponents from the South Island that I had never faced before.
My next wrestling goal is selection for the NZ Oceania team early next year in American Samoa and I have aspirations to go to the next Youth Olympics in 2022.
We also compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and still have a couple more competitions left till the end of year to keep us busy.
Nixon Sudden is 14 years old. He is Year 10 at Kelston Boys High School. Alex Sudden is 13 years old and is at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate. Both boys are past students of Blockhouse Bay Primary School.
Are you ready to party?
Let’s finish the year with some fun, music, and family time together.
The churches of the Bay know this has been a somewhat challenging year, so we invite you to join us on 13th December from 4pm at Craigavon Park for the Christmas ‘PARTY AT THE PARK’.
Formerly ‘Christmas at the Beach’, we are moving to the park for better access and no big hill to walk up at the end of the night!
The carol band will be there to sing along with, and the St Dominic’s School choir are coming to sing for us. While not all our acts were finalised before going to print, we can say we are planning opportunities for different community groups and hoping for the MDM choir again, as we know they were a highlight. Stay tuned on social media for the band announcement – it is in the works now and we don’t want to spill the beans!
All the free family entertainment is back… bouncy castles, face painting, nail art and balloon twisting. Plus, the food trucks are back with the old favs and a few new ones and a sausage sizzle - or bring your picnic.
It’s going to be a great night out for all ages. So, pack your camp chairs and blanket and head to the Park ready to Party!
Ecohub Market Day exploring past and future connections to local awa (waterways)
The EcoHub Market Day is an awesome opportunity to explore a wide range of aspects of local environmental interest. The programme includes free workshops, whānau-friendly activities and market-style stalls, all with a focus on being be part of the solution to restoring our land and waters.
Learn more about past and future connections to local awa (waterways), attend a workshop featuring representatives from a long-term, multi-organisational scientific study into the effects of contaminants and microplastics on the health of the Whau River, and see a model of the manta trawl, used to collect samples from waterways, as well as a video of it in action.
“We’re particularly delighted to be hosting Robin Taua-Gordon, Heritage and Environment Officer from Te Kawerau a Maki, the tangata whenua of Waitākere city, who will be exploring the iwi’s history and connections to the Whau River. This is a rare and exciting opportunity for people to learn more about the importance of this catchment,” says EcoMatters’ CEO Damon Birchfield.
There’s also lots more workshops and demonstrations such as tasty and budget-friendly cooking, conserving water and energy, composting, pest trapping, electric cars, learn to ride sessions, and free help with basic bike maintenance.
Browse and buy from a range of eco-friendly products, rescued resources, and pre-loved bikes, and enjoy delicious Middle Eastern and Burmese food from the WISE Collective and coffee from Hero Coffee.
“This could be a great opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done, knowing the proceeds from sales through our EcoMatters Store help fund local environmental projects,” says Damon.
Start saving up old toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes, writing instruments, empty Ecostore bottles and popped inflatable pool toys, because there will be recycling bins for these items.
Help make this event zero waste - bring your own reusables - shopping bags, water bottles, coffee mugs, plates and cutlery. Wash up station on site.
When: Sunday 15 November 10am-3pm
Where: 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn
More info: ecomatters.org.nz/marketday
We recommend coming by bike, on foot or by public transport as there’s no onsite parking and street parking is limited.
EcoHub Market Day is part of the 2020 EcoFest West programme and is brought to you with support from The Trusts Community Foundation and the Whau Local Board.