West Auckland Heritage Conference 2022 Sunday 13th November from 10 am to 4 pm
Picture credits: Photographer Olaf Petersen, Mrs Avis McIntosh practicing over hurdles at Ranui while [her] two-year-old son Clive looks on, c.1964
Did you know a women owned the kauri timber mill in the Waitākere Ranges? That award-winning photographer Olaf Petersen, aka ‘Nature Boy’ who currently has a huge exhibition in the Auckland Museum, was born in Swanson and mainly photographed our West Auckland area? What is the heritage plan for the Titirangi War Memorial Hall? When are writers moving into the Maurice Shadbolt House? And how does local modernist architecture inspire contemporary jewellery? Or why didn’t Auckland get a canal between the Waitematā and Manukau harbours?
You’ll find the answers to all that and more at the West Auckland Heritage Conference, this year on the 13th of November. With four great keynote speakers – Sandra Coney on women in the kauri timber industry, Lisa Truttman on David Bruce Russell the Canal Promotor, Graeme Burgess on the Titirangi War Memorial Hall, and Shaun Higgins on Olaf Petersen. This will be complemented by more than ten equally fascinating short presentations within the theme of the “Trailblazers and Troublemakers of the West” – including Sir Bob Harvey and Naomi McCleary.
Waitākere Ranges Local Board Member, Sandra Coney, says there are many unknown stories that will delight and captivate in equal measure. “West Auckland is a treasure trove of fascinating stories that deserve a wider audience,” she says. This is an event for everyone interested in the stories of our place, for locals and heritage buffs alike.
There will be ample opportunity to ask questions and mix-and-mingle with the presenters and other guests as the ticket includes lunch and nibbles afterwards. All speakers will be presenting in the Titirangi War Memorial Hall, with presentations projected on a wide screen for maximum enjoyment.
Tickets are $20 (excl booking fee) including lunch and a full day of presentations. Full refund in case of Covid restriction cancellation.
For the second year running, the crowds were dazzled at the Whau Pacific Festival.
The event, once again run by the Whau Pasifika Komiti in partnership with Saintz Dance Academy and funded by Whau Local Board, combines Pasifika workshops, maketi (markets) and celebrations.
Four nights of events were held across Whau, bringing together the best of Pasifika culture, with lots of community support and attendance.
Four days and nights of events The first night welcomed several workshops embracing all things Pasifika at New Lynn Community Centre, including workshops on Tongan Crafts, Ukulele, Hulanesia, Making Coconut Cream and Siva afi (fire dancing).
On night two, Pasifika film night was held at Hollywood Cinema in Avondale, with interactive gaming as a warm up, followed by two films, Money Honey and WHINA and followed up with a question and answer session with the filmmakers.
Then on day three, Night Markets lit up the New Lynn Community Centre, full of Pasifika arts, crafts and food with stallholders ranging from the young to the old, and live entertainment by the talented Junior Soqeta to keep the crowds entertained.
And the grand finale, on night four, was a Fiafia night held at Kelston Boys’ High School, which included a range of performances and celebrations.
Huge success Chantelle Huch from Saintz Dance Academy says the event was a huge success.
“For the second year in a row, the festival has produced thrills and spills, entertainment, and education in equal measure, and has been a roaring success.
“It included more events and activities than last year, and we have had fantastic reception from all attendees. “This was a collaborative effort, an enormous amount of work goes into putting it together, but it really was worth it all. We want to thank Whau Local Board for providing the funding for the event, which is becoming an essential part of the Pacific calendar for the community.”
Avondale library and community hub has taken another step in its development, following the adoption of the name ‘Te Hono’ by Whau Local Board.
The name, which means ‘the connection’, recognises that the new facility connects place, people and purpose, has been gifted by mana whenua representatives from Te Kawerau ā Maki, and supported by Te Ākitai Waiohua, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
The library and community hub, which will reinvigorate the centre of Avondale, is currently in the design phase with preliminary design complete. Naming the new facility early means the name can influence the design narrative, including mahi toi (art), and strengthens the cultural and community connection to the facility.
Reflecting the purpose Outgoing Whau Local Board Chair, Kay Thomas, says that the name truly reflects the purpose of the centre.
“This is a place that will connect people, that will bring people together, and will be a place the whole community comes together with a shared purpose.
“We think that Te Hono couldn’t be more appropriate, and on behalf of the board I want to thank mana whenua representatives who have provided such a strong name that will resonate with all who use the facility.”
Te Hono - ‘the connection’ Te Hono is ‘the connection’ – connecting place, people and purpose. It relates to the underlying principle in the design brief of hononga – connection, relationship and bond and ‘a place where people of all ages, abilities and interests can come together for meaningful social interaction and connection’.
The following whakataukī (proverb) was shared as part of the naming:
He hono tangata e kore e motu; ka pa he taura waka e motu. Unlike a canoe rope, a human bond cannot be severed.
Te Hono reinforces the mana whenua vision from the design brief for the new facility to celebrate the local and wider cultural landscape, express cultural identity and sense of place and provide for culturally welcoming processes and protocols.
Be responsible and dispose of your waste the right way.
Illegal dumping is damaging the environment as well as being an eyesore and the council is asking people to do the right thing and dispose of their waste properly.
Senior Waste Advisor Jan Eckersley says that Auckland is a great place to live, and the community needs to look after the city.
“The environment is precious, and nobody wants to see piles of rubbish dumped around the place.
“Residents should dispose of their unwanted items, green waste and household rubbish correctly - dumping it in parks, on berms, and down banks is not the right way.
“If you’re planning a clear-out of your house, garage or garden, make sure you also plan how you’ll dispose of waste correctly,” Jan says.
“Our network of Community Recycling Centres is a good place to start, where unwanted household items in good condition can find a new home.”
Items and household rubbish that are not reusable or recyclable should be taken to your nearest transfer station for disposal – charges apply.
Council receives over 18,000 illegal dumping reports every year, ranging from large items of furniture to general rubbish from moving house, food scraps and disposable plates from gatherings, and bags of excess household rubbish.
Tyres, mattresses, green waste, household items, clothing, demolition, and hazardous waste are common items that are dumped, rather than being disposed of correctly.
“The team finds all sorts of things dumped - tyres and shopping trolleys in streams, piles of green waste and household rubbish in industrial areas,” Jan says.
Illegal dumping causes huge damage to the environment - tyres cause pollution when oil and chemical residues leach off the tyres onto the ground and into waterways; bagged rubbish can get split open causing litter problems and rubbish dumped in the bush crushes and kills plants.
“People don’t seem to realise that not disposing of waste the right way causes all sorts of environment issues - green waste kills plants and spreads weeds, food waste attracts vermin, and hazardous waste - oil, chemicals, batteries etc - contaminates the ground and pollutes the waterways,” Jan says.
Auckland Council is cracking down on illegal dumping and is calling on the community to help in the battle against it. Dumping can be reported by phone to 0800 NO DUMP (0800 66 3867), which operates 24 hours 7 days a week. The complaint will be investigated, and the council may issue instant fines up to $400 or prosecute the person or business responsible.
It was great to see the Wattle Bay track works finally completed in late September, allowing explorers to access the whole Waikōwhai Walkway again. The works included the installation of new boardwalks, including through the wetland at Wattle Bay, and an upgrade of the walking track to a higher standard. During the works a previously unidentified midden was found, requiring archaelogical cataloguing and mana whenua input. Check out the Waikōwhai Walkway map on the Council website and make a day of it along the beautiful coast this summer.
Reflections on the past year at the AGM of Rosebank Business Association
By John Subritzky
Chair Stefan Crooks, host Sophia Bristow, Grant Hewison
There was a great turnout for the AGM. The crowd socialised over drinks and hors d’oeuvres before the meeting got underway. Reconnecting and networking with like-minded businesspeople is an important benefit of attending RBA events.
The meeting was emceed by RBA Chairperson Stefan Crooks. He said that compelling conversations had helped to navigate the challenges of the last few years. “Whilst we now have some clear air moving out of the “Covid revolution” I can honestly say that I have experienced amazing conversations amongst the RBA team, and our members that clearly show that we have great tenacity and resilience within our business district.”
Membership is stable at 281 despite businesses closing, moving, and Covid. Executive Engagement Manager, Kim Watts, said that there was no looking back from a move eight months ago to a flat management structure at the RBA. There has also been a shift in focus from business success to Rosebank being a place for business, people, and community success. There is renewed interest in employee wellbeing with the Rosebank Wellbeing Collab gaining momentum. There is local community engagement via social media, as well as supporting community projects such as the reopening of the Kurt Brehmer Walkway.
With the rebuild of their website in January 2022, the new fresh look has up-to-date news and added features. Business Development Manager, Phil Clode, said, “Part of the brief was to integrate our new CRM with our website so we can have an up to the minute business directory that talks with the website. We achieved this and now have one of the best BID websites in the country. We also added new aspects to the website and simplified content for ease of use.”
Submissions have been made on many issues as part of the RBA’s advocacy on behalf of businesses. The RBA achieves greater traction as a collective voice with government (both central and local) and other stakeholders on issues and opportunities that affect local business.
Events are starting to be hosted again as an important opportunity to network, collaborate and engage with others.
New members were elected to the RBA Board: Sophia Bristow, Managing Director of Eurotech Design, and Rebecca Harris, General Manager, Intelligent Design, were the successful nominations.
The formal part of the meeting ended with a short message from venue host Sophia Bristow about the journey of Eurotech Design over recent years. She stated that investment in IT infrastructure had helped them to survive Covid. They have celebrated recent deals that have given them significant product volumes with suppliers.
355 motorbikes, scooters, and riders attended the event.
When 355 motorbikes and scooters travelled from the Auckland Netball Centre and ended up in Western Springs, the New Lynn Lions were among the volunteers waiting at the destination, more than happy to help out at the 19th Annual Pink Ribbon Ride on Sunday 9th October. The throaty rumble of the motorbikes was audible long before the first bikes were visible.
The New Lynn Lions organised the sausage sizzle and are very grateful to Placemakers New Lynn for the use of their barbecue, and Reuben Sharples at Aussie Butchers New Lynn for donating the sausages. $930 was raised directly from the sausage sizzle which went towards the overall total raised on the day.
$11,500 was raised which went to the Breast Cancer Foundation and the Lions were very happy to be part of it once again. “It was a great event to be part of, and we enjoyed seeing the well decorated scooters, motorbikes and participants,” says New Lynn Lions Past President Lianne Sloane.
The New Lynn Lions also donated $1,000 to the Child Cancer Foundation after participating in the Wig Wednesday fundraiser at their September monthly book sale after matching dollar for dollar with donations and adding a bit more. They wish to thank all those who donated on the day.
If you are looking for more sustainable gift options for whānau and friends this year, check out the range at the EcoMatters Store, in New Lynn.
There’s a unique selection of locally sourced gifts, such as candles, skincare, jewellery and accessories, and alternatives to single use items, including reusable coffee cups, lunch boxes, drink bottles and produce bags.
Or give the gift of choice, with a gift voucher so your recipient can select from the extensive range of sustainable living products available at the store.
Gardeners keen to foster native biodiversity will love our Seedling Field Guides. Two companion volumes, one on native plants and one on pest plants, help you identify seedlings popping up in your own backyard or restoration project, so you can decide whether to let them stay or let them go.
Compost soft weeds in your own backyard with EcoMatters weed bags. Just fill up a bag with soft weeds such as tradescantia or plectranthus, seal and leave it somewhere sunny.
When the contents look like soil again, the compost can be used in your garden.
The EcoMatters Store offers an ecostore refillery, where you can grab and go with our swap-a-bottle or bulk container options, or bring in your own containers for product refills.
Or bring in items to be recycled, including batteries, e-waste, razor blades, Colgate dental product packaging, or bring in unwanted, clean curtains for the curtain bank.
The EcoMatters Store is open Wednesday to Sunday, between 10am and 2pm, at 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn. You can also browse a range of products at ecomatters.org.nz/store-online to order for delivery. Your last day for Christmas shopping is Saturday 24 December. The store will close for a Christmas break and re-open for 2023, from Wednesday 11 January.
Ryman resident Colin Butland and his son Toby recall family history
Murray Halberg Retirement Village resident Colin Butland (centre) surrounded by family, including son Toby (far right).
Toby Butland has recently published a children’s book based on an incredible tale passed down to him by his father Colin, a resident at Murray Halberg Retirement Village.
What It Takes To Wear Black, tells the story of Toby’s great-grandfather Henry Butland who was selected to play rugby for New Zealand in 1893. Colin, a resident of Ryman’s Lynfield Village, says his grandfather Henry Butland was a proud West Coaster, a goldminer, and a real character.
The illustrated volume reflects a time when life was different, travel more difficult and a period before the national team had been renamed as the All Blacks.
Following a passing comment from Colin, Toby’s interest in Henry was piqued and he thoroughly enjoyed making the connections and finding gems of information that added into the story of his great-grandfather, particularly his endeavours on sporting fields.
In 1893 Henry, aged 21, was chosen for a national team set to tour New South Wales. This was just a year after the formation of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, but it was a heck of a journey before he got to play on Australian turf.
Toby, in the book, has added in details of a late 19th century world that most younger children would not know much about.
With illustrations from Katharine Hall, the book is for children of a young age. It has plenty of points of interest, including the fact that Henry made a 250km journey to Lyttelton, involving a trek across the Southern Alps, just in time to board the ship to Australia. The story of Henry’s rugby adventure is followed by a ‘Life in 1893’ synopsis, which gives some factual information about the origins of the game and how New Zealand worked as a country at the time.
Colin says he was aware of his Hokitika-based grandfather while growing up in Wellington. “It’s excellent (the book). What finalised it for me was the tale of going across the Southern Alps… There was nothing to take him across, so he had to walk.” He is proud of Toby’s work on the book and says it could provide a point of connection between residents of villages like Murray Halberg and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Toby has three boys, aged 10, eight and six, in his family and wants to reconnect them to the ‘past’, pre 21st century and the older generation.
The book has been a point of discussion between the two of them but has also opened up connections to members of the wider family. Colin’s father Leigh was the brother to Jack Butland who founded NZ Cheese Ltd (later sold as Chesdale Cheese). Jack and Leigh’s brother, William Camille Butland, made the ultimate sacrifice in WWII on the battlefields of North Africa.
Colin says Henry was also a great supporter of others who’d found themselves in difficult circumstances on the West Coast.
“He financed a lot of gold prospectors up in the hills. They may not have had enough money to feed themselves… he looked after that.”
Much of the money was repaid, Colin adds.
With his family he visited the coast and was taken into a different world.
Henry Butland had in 1896/7 travelled to Alaska to be part of the Klondike Gold Rush, in the Yukon region of north-western Canada, and it seems, on his return to New Zealand, gold was in his blood.
Colin says he remembers his grandfather taking him as a 12-year-old to a river-based gold dredge. Henry and a group of his business partners had built it to sift through the river gravels in and around Hokitika. He recalls a time when Henry laid a bar of gold on the table saying, ‘if you can pick that up using just two fingers it’s yours,’ knowing full well that he’d set poor Colin an impossible task.
Toby says it was stories such as these that he wants to help pass on to younger generations. He has already begun work on Fittall the Flyer, set in World War II.
“That is my passion: to preserve these tales. There’s bound to be many more out there.” Information on the book’s availability is on the website backintheday.co.nz.
What It Takes To Wear Black cover and illustration.
Henry Butland departing the coast, from Toby Butland’s What It Takes to Wear Black
What It Takes To Wear Black cover and illustration.
Henry Butland departing the coast, from Toby Butland’s What It Takes to Wear Black
L-R . Mana Rākau protesters Trav Mischewski, Zane Wedding, Steve Abel, and Hanna Luypers. Photo supplied.
Four Canal Rd Tree Protesters Face Their Day in Court
by John Subritzky
The four protesters arrested at Canal Rd avoided criminal sentences at their hearing in Auckland District Court on 26 October. Mana Rākau protesters Zane Wedding, Hanna Luypers, and Trav Mischewski were all offered diversions. Steve Abel wasn’t eligible for one as he's already had diversion before.
The Canal Road protest saw a continuous occupation and protest at the site from July 2020 to March 2021. This was covered by Beacon Community News at the time. The amazing forest was planted by Walter Burgess. Nicknamed “Old Burgie”, wood and trees were Walter’s lifelong passion. He decided to plant his own arboretum on his half acre paradise, likely in the late 1920s to 30s. At a time when a lot of native forest was being clear felled across the country, Walter decided to plant indigenous trees. He carved the tree names in Latin and te reo Maori on wooden plaques and used his growing forest as an educational aid. Of the 46 trees that remained, there were seventeen different species, including black maire, puriri, rimu, titoki, totara, whau, and pohutukawa.
In 1961 the Burgess property was sold to Merv Raymond. After he was deceased, his family decided to sell the three lots they owned. Auckland Council passed up the opportunity to buy this unique forest for a reserve, so the Raymond’s reached a deal with property developer Paul Macy, conditional on the trees being removed first. Despite numerous attempts to negotiate a settlement between the parties, Macy refused to engage with the protestors.
Ironically, after the trees were felled and the protests abandoned, they did get the opportunity to talk when the protesters asked for access to the fallen timber to take to marae for carving. Some beautiful pieces have already been created from the wood. At that stage perhaps Paul Macy realised that it could have all been handled differently to achieve an outcome that was a win for all parties.
Zane says that despite the consequences, he stood by his protest action. he felt his arm snap when he was held down by security. "In that cell, I knew my arm was broken," he said. "My back couldn't stop spasming from the beating. When that subsided, I felt warm. There is no better way to honour my tūpuna than to fight for whenua. I actually felt proud to be locked in that cell," Zane said. "In that moment, my wairua, it just felt so full." Zane was unable to work as an arborist for six months after his arrest due to his injuries. As a highly rated tree climber, he was also unable to enter the annual tree climbing competition which he usually competes in. The course at Manukau Institute of Technology that he used to lecture at also no longer exists. He is almost outside the arboriculture industry now, so before he got to court, Zane had already paid a heavy price for his protest.
Confusingly, Steve was arrested early on in the 245-day Canal Rd protest, but he was in court on charges from his protest at Western Springs Forest. The common denominator is that both times he was protesting by sitting high up in trees. At Canal Rd, he was arrested after a dramatic tree felling operation saw a rewarewa tree felled so that it collided with the puriri tree that Steve was occupying. Video of the event shows two police who had been below the pururi running for their lives as the rewarewa fell towards them. At Western Springs Forest, Steve was occupying a karo tree.
Judge Fraser said that he thought "we were beyond a pure conviction and discharge" due to Steve’s previous offending. "A diversion, suspended sentence and now a discharge without conviction, how does that work?" Judge Fraser asked.
Steve’s lawyer tried to explain the circumstances. The Police were neutral on pressing for a conviction. With Judge Fraser struggling to see a pathway forward, in an unusual move, Steve asked if he could address the court.
He explained that the process of getting to the point of felling the pines at Western Springs had taken many years. Along the way, new scientific evidence had been found but it was too late to be considered. Steve had made presentations to the Waitematā Local Board opposing the felling. He had taken every reasonable step available to him. It was only when contractors arrived and started felling 25-year-old pohutakawa and kauri trees to create a logging road, that he was tipped over the edge to direct protest action. He described the regenerating native forest under the pine canopy as a “magical, ecologically rich environment” that had contained 15,000 plants. After the pines were felled, destroying most of the native understory, the forest had been replaced with only 7,000 plants similar to a motorway landscaping job, according to Steve.
Judge Fraser took into account the community push back against the felling, and letters of support and references. This included a letter from Sarah Trottman who was a member of the Waitemata Local Board at the time. She had been arrested in the forest for protesting by sitting on a digger, accompanied by an elderly woman. Judge Fraser said that he was not unsympathetic. "Despite the fact you have been breaching the law, in my view you have been publicly responsible," he said, as he discharged Steve without conviction and apologised to Steve for the inconvenience of having to come into court that day. The crowd packing the court broke out into cheers and clapping as the discharge was announced.