October 30, 2009

Monique Rhodes sings for Plunket in Northland 5 November 09

"I always wanted to have an extraordinary life. I had no idea it would look as good as this."
Monique Rhodes

Bring 4 friends and come to the show for FREE!!
Monique Rhodes is an internationally touring Kiwi singer/songwriter who has come home to NZ to make a difference for the families of NZ with her charity album "Merry Christmas Baby" for Plunket. Monique has collected an impressive list of accolades which pay tribute to her incredible talent.

Monique has supported rock and roll legend Chuck Berry on two European tours, has been writing and recording with members of Peter Gabriel's band in London, has written music for the producers of the film The Secret, and has just been part of a performance for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the south of France which included in the audience the French President's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, French celebrities and dignitaries and members of the European royal family.

Monique's song, "Forever Strong" penned for Plunket, is testament to her extraordinary talent. To show our support of Monique and the extraordinary feat she has achieved in making "Merry Christmas Baby" a reality, Plunket staff, committee and friends are invited to come along and support her in this first leg of the tour.

Make sure you don't miss out on this incredible NZ singer songwriter in concert with proceeds from the concert and album sales directly supporting

Northland Plunket.

Date: 5 November 2009

Time: 8pm (doors open at 7.30pm)

Venue: Salut Bar and Brassserie

69 Bank Street, Whangarei

Tickets: from the venue 09 430 8080

$20 pre booked or $25 at the door

once you have booked your friends at Salut send an email to

charitygigs@moniquerhodes.com and you will be on the door for a complimentary ticket to the show (not available on door sales)


October 28, 2009

Greenies and Developers to Face Off

Development versus the environment is a hot topic. Kaipara needs growth but our biggest asset is our environment, the harbours and waterways. Both sides, environmentalists and developers, are to face off in an innovative debate in at the Maungaturoto Hall on Thursday 5 November to discuss how a balance between the two issues can be found. “The role of District Plan, which sets out rules for what you can and can not do on your land, will be on the table,” says Kaipara Mayor Neil Tiller. “There are some big issues to get stuck into, how can we encourage development in our area while still protecting the environment? The District Plan needs to strike a balance.”

Everyone is invited to come along and listen to the debate, there will be a speaker from each side, Mark Rowbotham from Mangawhai and Mark Bellingham from the Royal Forest and Bird Society as well as an invited panel. It will be a great way to hear different points of view on where Kaipara should head.

“There is no right answer here, everything is up for discussion. The idea of this debate is to get all the different points of view out in the community,” says Mayor Tiller.

Council is currently calling for submissions on the Proposed District Plan, which is in draft stage, so it is a great time to find out what all the fuss is about.

Come along, hear both sides of the story, get informed and then submit your thoughts to Council. The event starts with a friendly cuppa at 6.30pm, with the debate kicking off at 7.00pm. The Maungaturoto Hall is located on View Street Maungaturoto.

For more information please contact Council’s offices via email at council@kaipara.govt.nz or telephone 0800 72 7059 or 0800 100 388. Submissions to the Proposed District Plan close on Friday 18 December 2009.

October 27, 2009

Kaipara’s Economy to be Boosted

Kaipara's economy could be boosted by 500,000 more tourists a year thanks to an innovative partnership between two giants of the forest, the ancient Kauri Tane Mahuta in Waipoua Forest and the huge Cedar, Jomon Sugi, in Yakushima, Japan. Representatives from Kaipara District Council, Te Roroa, Copthorne Hotel, Omapere and The Matakohe Kauri Museum have just returned from the island of Yakushima, excited about the future of the partnership and ready to see Kaipara reap the benefits.

"Tane Mahuta is currently being advertised at Jomon Sugi, exposing it to a massive 500,000 visitors per year, and the trip has pushed forward the relationship even more," says Kaipara's Mayor Neil Tiller. The two trees are to feature in a giant rugby ball at the upcoming Bledisloe Cup match in Tokyo, the same ball which has been travelling the world promoting the 2011 World Cup, giving the partnership exposure on a massive scale. Prime Minister John Key is aware of the project, and Tourism New Zealand is also involved in making it a success.

"The relationship is about encouraging economic development, but there are all sorts of benefits educational, cultural and environmental," says Mayor Tiller. "The preservation of the Kauri and Cedar is key to the future of both areas, and the back-to-nature experiences cannot be replicated any where else in the world."

Mayor Tiller and the Kauri Museum's Betty Nelley were filmed for Japanese television, a great promotional opportunity for Kaipara, and the group attended Yakushima's 'forest festival', where locals got a taste of Maori culture thanks to Te Rora’s Alex Nathan and Wayne Bisset who introduced the crowd to mihi and waiata. "It was great to be there in person and meet people who are so focused on building the relationship between our two areas," says Mayor Tiller. The Mayor of Yakushima spent time with the group, and will be at next year's Waipoua Forest Fun Walk along with another 120 visitors from the area, friends of the Mayor and a group organised by a tour operator.

The 'Family of Ancient Trees' initiative which has joined Tane Mahuta and Jomon Sugi is sure to raise the profile of Kaipara and Yakushima, and may be extended to include other famous trees such as a Giant Redwood in the United States of America, and ancient trees in Europe, promoting them on a global scale and targeting the ever increasing eco-tourism market.

"Shane Lloyd, Betty Nelley, and Alex Nathan have all put in a lot of effort to get this project off the ground, and the possibilities are just huge now," says Mayor Tiller. "The $8,500 Council put towards the trip is the best spend of economic development money we've ever had. We have an environmentally sustainable alliance of which will we can be proud. It’s now up to us to capture the tourists and show them what we’ve got."

The Flip Side - Free Youth Event

The Flip Side is a free youth event hosted by local churches and YWAM. Music, Food Entertainment and the Newcastle International Youth Team will be there. FREE EVENT!

Friday 30th October 7.30 pm
Maungaturoto Centennial Hall
View Street Maungaturoto
Transport pick up and drop off available by calling 09 431 7311

Art & Craft Group Meet up

An Art and Craft Group will be starting up again. If you're interested in having fun and meeting lots of new people then come along. We have a strong arts and crafts community in the local area. The meeting is on Sunday November 1st 1 pm at Helens Budd's Studio with a shared afternoon tea. For further details call Anne Shanks on 431 6229 or Helen Budd on 431 6192

OCR risks ‘irrelevancy’ as Government spending caned

26 October 2009

OCR risks ‘irrelevancy’ as Government spending caned

Ahead of Thursday’s official cash rate (OCR) decision, Federated Farmers is restating the need to cut the OCR by 50 basis points to prevent a ‘W’ shaped recession. The Federation is also warning the Government that its fiscal policy settings are undermining monetary policy and putting at risk the OCR as a policy tool.

“The Government’s spending and debt growth is delaying a necessary rebalancing of the economy. This makes it extremely hard for the Reserve Bank to do its job of implementing monetary policy,” says Philip York, Federated Farmers economics and commerce spokesperson.

“Of primary concern is the effect of these policies on the dollar. Federated Farmers fair value for the Kiwi dollar is in the US60 to 65 cent range but in trying to insulate the domestic economy, the Government could be restarting a credit fuelled bubble.

“Government borrowing is running at some $250 million every week or more than a billion dollars a month.

“This domestic stimulation along with ‘good news stories’ are stoking the Kiwi dollar ever higher. New Zealand is sucking in Euros, Yen and whatever currency investors choose to park in order to get some of the best yields in the OECD.

“Anyone with exposure to the international economy is being crucified by the high dollar. The need for action is not just about farmers’ interests but serving the interests of all exporters and tourism operators alike.

“We’re the ones who pay New Zealand’s way in the world after all yet all we hear from Government is self-congratulatory statements over how we are now in recovery.

“The issue for exporters is that demand for debt, whether led by the private sector or by Government, is undermining monetary policy and risks making the OCR irrelevant.

“A number of farmers got caught up in this debt exuberance. But a majority are now focussing on retiring debt while increasing productivity. The key word for all exporters is productivity but to date, Government’s fiscal policy is harming, rather than encouraging, exporters.

“If the Government believes its own rhetoric of an export led recovery then some hard decisions are needed immediately. The first order of business is to wind-back these so-called stimulus policies, given the recession has apparently ended.

“Turning off billions in spending and debt may start abating demand for the Kiwi dollar. Tactically, a cut to the OCR on Thursday may open up clear air between the New Zealand and Australian economies. We need to decouple the Kiwi from the Aussie dollar.

“Since 10 September, doing nothing has only seen the Kiwi smash through the US70 cent barrier to threaten US80 cents. The choice is either a short dose of reality now or the abyss when the economy inevitably crashes into a ‘W’ shaped recession,” Mr York concluded.

October 25, 2009

Dairy NZ - Tight Management Field Day in Maungaturoto

DairyNZ is holding a Tight Management Field Day at the property of Paddy and Debbie Thornton
732 Mountain Road Maungaturoto. S/N 11134 will be held on October 29 11 a.m. to 2 pm.

Contact Dave Swney at DairyNZ Mobile 021 242 5719 for further details

DairyNZ Discussion Group for Maungaturoto, Ararua Taipuha

December 18th 11 am - 2pm contact Contact Dave Swney for further details 021 242 5719

October 17, 2009

ACC levy shocker will hurt farming

14 October 2009

ACC levy shocker will hurt farming

While levy increases were always on the cards, Federated Farmers was shocked to discover farmers’ ACC levy rates could jump by 70 percent.

“ACC’s bombshell will hurt farmers already struggling to make ends meet,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers ACC spokesperson.

According to ACC levy consultation documents, the work levy rates for both employers and the self-employed will increase from $1.97 to $3.35 per $100 of earnings. The motor vehicle composite levy, meanwhile, is also set to rise dramatically from $287 to $417.

“As farmers cut discretionary spending, the levy increases add yet another cost that somehow has to be absorbed. Although these increases will be moderated by the Government’s legislative changes tabled in Parliament today, there is an urgent need to rein ACC in for the good of all working New Zealanders,” added Mr Aubrey.

“This is clearly illustrated by ACC’s multi-billion dollar claim liability blow out, which led to today’s levy increases. The blow out reflects how ACC has been allowed to run out-of-control.

“Add this to the previous Government’s inclination to change ACC from an accident insurance scheme to a social welfare agency and the underlying problems become clear.

“Federated Farmers has consistently expressed concern about the escalating costs of the ACC scheme and the need for firmer management of claims and costs. Yet our warnings went unheeded and it now gives us little satisfaction to say ‘we told you so’.

“Instead of significantly increasing levies, it is time the Government made some tough decisions. I realise some of those decisions may be politically unpopular, but ACC must be brought under control.

“For a start, the Government needs to take a close look at its predecessor’s expansions, with the aim of bringing ACC back to basics.

“It’s also time some practical solutions to ACC’s woes are investigated. This may include cutting entitlements, reining in the number of ‘medical conditions’ covered, clamping down on the cost of claims and managing long-term claimant’s back into the work force,” Mr Aubrey concluded.

October 12, 2009

Crash Stats in Kaipara

Watch how you take that corner, be aware of road conditions and don't drink and drive. This is the message Northland Road Safety Forum wants Kaipara drivers to take on board following the release of statistics showing these as the major road safety issues in Kaipara.

The figures, involving crashes reported to police, show that 23 people died on Kaipara's local roads and state highways between 2004 and 2008 and estimate the social cost of crashes in 2008 alone at more than $50 million. During the five years 451 injury crashes were reported, plus a further 571 not involving injury. Saturday was the worst day. December produced the worst statistics for state highways while April was the most crash prone month on local roads. About one third occurred at night.

Between 2004 and 2008, 55 percent of injury crashes in Kaipara, resulting in 12 fatalities, 74 serious injuries and 273 minor injuries, occurred on bends with a large number involving hitting an object like a bank, pole, drain, fence or tree. One third of these involved speed too high for the conditions and almost 70 percent of drivers were male. Fifteen to 19-year-olds were most at risk on local roads while on state highways 20 to 24-year-olds produced the worst statistics. Conditions, like slippery roads and surfaces in poor condition were factors in 28 percent of crashes on bends. Drivers over the legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol to 100 milliliters of blood are 16 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Alcohol affected drivers were involved in 26 percent of fatal and serious crashes, including seven fatalities. More than 80 percent were male with 9.00pm to midnight the worst time.

In 2008, 79 of the year's 105 injury crashes occurred on 'rural' roads with a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour or more. Numbers of reported minor crashes have been steadily increasing from 29 in 1999 to 80 in 2007, possibly as a result of better reporting. However they fell back to 50 last year but Northland Road Safety Forum is concerned that the 2008 figures may be a result of reluctance to report accidents to the police rather than an actual reduction in incidents. The forum is also concerned that two people have already died on Kaipara roads in 2009 and that the statistically worst months are still to come. Kaipara Road Safety Coordinator Gillian Archer says the report has a timely message for drivers.

"Every serious crash and death is a tragedy in our community," she says. "Being a small rural based district means everyone knows each other. "So many of our crashes occur close to our homes and are a result of a moment's inattention, inappropriate speed, or a bad decision to drink and drive. Please take greater care on our roads - make the good choice to slow down on bends and to be a sober driver."

- story from Kaipara District Council.

October 10, 2009

Maungaturoto Water Supply is Ready for a Dry Summer

Maungaturoto's residents and dairy factory need no longer fear dry weather water shortages following completion of a $1.38 million dollar project to drought-proof the town's water supply, involving Kaipara District Council, Fonterra and the owners of a farm irrigation dam. "It means that the threat of water restrictions or of production disruption during dry spells will be a thing of the past and that the town and dairy company can plan ahead and develop, assured of an adequate supply," says the Council's Water Portfolio holder Councillor Brian McEwing. "It's a great example of Council, business and landowners working together to produce a win-win situation."

Maungaturoto's supply, of which Fonterra uses about 60 percent, has historically come under pressure during dry spells and for five years Council and Fonterra have been looking for a way to boost the supply in summer. In May work began on the solution which involves pumping water over a low ridge from the Brooklands Irrigation Trust's 21 hectare irrigation dam on Baldrock Road and gravitating it through 6.2 kilometres of new line to the existing raw water line near the Brynderwyn corner. To reduce disruption much of the 180 millimetre pipe was laid by dragging it through a drilled tunnel rather than digging trenches.

The work has been completed on time and within budget with the pumps and lines successfully tested last week. The new supplementary supply is now ready to be turned on at any time that the existing supply threatens to fall below requirements and will also be able to provide cleaner water during storms when the intake streams are dirty.

- story from Kaipara District Council

October 8, 2009

Events for Maungaturoto in October

Bowling Club Trivial Pursuits - Friday 30th October 7.30pm
Silver Ferns Kaipara Sports Awards - Friday 6th November.
Annual General Meeting of the Otamatea Repertory Theatre November 12th at 7.30pm.
Rugby Social - 17th October.
Maungaturoto Scavenger Hunt - 17th october 9.30am at the Country Club - $20 to register your car.

For more info see this month's Maungaturoto Matters.

Adults Comp Touch Rugby Module





October 5, 2009

Minister: Schools can't force parents to pay donations

Minister: Schools can't force parents to pay donations

4:00AM Monday Oct 05, 2009
Parents and communities contributed $712.8 million to schools in 2008. Photo / Greg Bowker

Parents and communities contributed $712.8 million to schools in 2008. Photo / Greg Bowker

Schools must make it clear to parents that donations are voluntary, says Education Minister Anne Tolley.

The Weekend Herald revealed that parents and communities propped up schools throughout the country to the tune of $700 million last year.

And 24 schools have been caught by the Education Review Office making them pay more than they legally have to for their children's education.

Mrs Tolley said schools could not force parents into providing these donations to boost their state funding.

"I am not prepared to condone excessive or misleading demands made by schools to parents, and I'm concerned about any unacceptable financial practices that come to my attention," she said.

During the past 20 months, Education Review Office inspectors have caught 24 primary, intermediate and secondary schools asking for payments which they believe go too far above what schools are allowed to charge, the Sunday Star-Times reported yesterday.

Inspectors found 11 schools called donations "fees" or "term payments", or did not make it clear that donations were voluntary.

Nine schools were found to be charging a photocopying fee.

Four schools were charging parents for their children's access to the curriculum, and a fifth was charging for extra tuition in maths and classes for gifted and talented children, the newspaper said.

One was charging for overdue library books, and another for internet access. Three schools were charging more for enrolment in digital classrooms, where children worked on laptops instead of using pens and paper.

Last year, schools made $712.8 million in locally raised funds from parents' pockets, international student fees and investment income.

More than 150 state and integrated schools raised over $1 million and 15 of the top 25 schools - ranked according to the amount of money each raised - came from Auckland.

Sacred Heart College topped the list with $6,377,422 raised, while seven other Auckland schools were in the top 10.

Mrs Tolley said many parents were willing to contribute to the donation requests made by schools.

"I recognise that these contributions help many schools provide a wider range of education experiences for their pupils," she said.

The Education Ministry is unable to punish any of the schools involved because while the law entitles every child aged 5 to 19 to a free education, it does not set out any specific rules about what schools are allowed to charge for. Mrs Tolley said only 24 of New Zealand's 2500 schools were charging inappropriately.

She said parents should contact their school's board of trustees if they thought they were being over-charged. They would then be entitled to make a complaint to the Education Ministry.


Sourced: New Zealand Herald Website

Maungaturoto Country Club Trial Ride Roars Again

The Maungaturoto Country Club Trail Ride in November will enable riders to travel across ten farms and through pine forest and native bush on tracks that are suitable for both motocross and quad bikes.

At approximately 80km, the track is twice as long as most trail ride tracks. It comprises two separate tracks of similar lengths. Riders can complete one or both.

Country Club members Shay Hawken and Brett Coates say the trail ride, being held on the outskirts of Maungaturoto on Saturday, November 28, will be great for anyone who has always wanted to have a go at trail riding and for people who’re already hooked on the sport and want to have some challenging fun.

They expect the track will offer some of the best off-road riding around.

“Trail rides offer families an opportunity to have fun and enjoy a great day out together,” says Brett Coates.

Feedback from riders in last year’s inaugural trailride has led to a few changes to the kids’ track, more expert tracks, and existing tracks have been extended.

"Riders loved the course last year - and now it's ever better," says Shay Hawken.

The event’s central location - a few kilometres off State Highway One - means the trail ride could attract more than 500 people, including children, from Whangarei and further north, throughout the Kaipara and Rodney districts, and from Auckland.

The trail ride will commence at Smales Farms on Golden Stairs Rd, 8.5km from Maungaturoto. The route will be signposted from State Highway One at the south side of the Brynderwyns.

The tracks will open at 8.30am and close at 3pm. The entry fees are: Adults - $30, Children under 16 - $20. There will be a mini track for children and food will be available all day. Riders are required to wear helmets and suitable footwear.

The Maungaturoto Country Club, which will benefit from the fundraiser, is a sports and social complex operated by volunteers. It has several affiliated clubs, including the Maungaturoto Motocross Club which hosts meets on the first Sunday of each month.

For more information on the trailride contact Shay Hawken 09 4316 698 or hawkenhotline@farmside.co.nz or Brett Coates on 09 4318 720.

October 3, 2009

Graffiti Art Project to Light Up Gordon Street Reserve

Graffiti Art Project to Light Up Gordon Street Reserve

Dargaville's Gordon Street Reserve will be lit up by an art project with a difference on Wednesday 7 October 2009.

Local artist Simon Gray has organised a 'light graffiti' evening for the community, starting at 7.30pm as part of a project to revitalise the area which runs between Gordon and Tirarau Streets.

"All people have to do is bring a torch and have a go. Light graffiti is simple to make, all you need is a camera set to a long exposure so you can capture the patterns you make with the lights, its kind of like drawing in the air with a sparkler. The evening will be a chance to experiment with some creative ideas and get some great images of the reserve as well."

The light graffiti evening is part of a wider project headed by Mr Gray and supported by Kaipara District Council which looks at creative ways to tackle vandalism. The project seeks to find community-based solutions to problems and has been awarded $27,000 funding from the Ministry of Justice's Graffiti Vandalism Programme, for the next two years.

"The graffiti on the reserve's fences has the potential to spread to neighbouring areas, so we are looking for a solution that is community owned and that has involvement from as many different people as possible. There is no point in just keeping on painting over graffiti week in and out, we want to find more long term solutions."

Lots of ideas are on the table from developing the reserve's drain into a healthy ecosystem to adapting fencing to be more resistant to vandalism, the light graffiti evening it just the beginning.
"Get down to the Gordon Street Reserve for the light graffiti evening and see what it is all about," says Mr Gray.

Photos of the light graffiti will be exhibited at the Dargaville library in the weeks to come and you can check out more information on the project at www.goodfencesmake.blogspot.com.

SeniorNet Mangawhai is Moving!

SeniorNet Mangawhai is moving!

In October SeniorNet Mangawhai will be moving its learning centre to the Family Support Services building in Kaiwaka.

SeniorNet offers computer learning to over 50’s who would like to learn more about computers. Various courses available from Beginners Introduction to Computers; Email & the Internet; Word Processing and more. Term 5 classes will commence on 19 October in our new premises.

Course enquiries to Tony Cox: 431 2269. All other enquiries to Sheila Ballard: 431 4305 or email: seniornet.mangawhai@xnet.co.nz or by mail to: PO Box 72, Mangawhai 0540.