Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society celebrates 5 years!

30 OCTOBER 2013

 

MOWS as they are known has now been in operation for five years and striving forward with their first driver of change; setting up the Biodiversity Management Plan on the Maketu Spit.

Trustee Pam Lewis and Trust Secretary Yvonne Baldock were invited to view the wetlands and work of the Trust and volunteers of the spit followed by their AGM on 29 October.  The guest speaker was Professor Chris Battershill who was presenting on his post Rena work in the Bay of Plenty, which was very informative.

 Trustee Pam Lewis & Chair of Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society Julian Fitter

In the first two years the project was largely run by Bay of Plenty Regional Council and CoastCare with the help of many volunteers from MOWS.  In the third year, MOWS took over the bulk of the management plan and budget.  At the time they received funding from WWF NZ and BayTrust for their project Management.Additional projects include Papahikahawai Island Causeway, Rena Recovery – pest control at Maketu Spit and Maketu, Ford and Maketu Road verges, Maketu Sportsfield, Pukehina Spit and Newdick’s Beach.MOWS is currently restoring and conserving the natural biodiversity of the area by removing pest plants and animals.  They are developing a school and community education programme which will help to educate the wider community on the benefits and value of the environment.More funding has been received from Western Bay of Plenty District Council and DOC plus the Maketu Community Board and Holland and Beckett.

 

Many of the volunteers have completed training in a number of areas including herbicide use, controlled substance use, pest control plan development, trapping systems and chain saw use.  It is estimated that approximately 50 volunteers have give over 500 hours for this operation to date.


Neighbourhood Make-Over Delights Kawerau Residents

23 SEPTEMBER 2013

 

 

Annie Kubler has lived on Kawerau’s Robinson St for over 20 years and has recently watched her local neighbourhood come together like never before.

A new sense of community pride has emerged from an innovative project called “Neighbourhoods Of Healthy Homes” which began in a small area of Kawerau in August 2012.

This three year programme aims to build strong relationships in the community and make individual homes warmer, drier and healthier.

Taniwha Keeps Watchful Eye

One outcome of the programme is the transformation of a local alleyway on Robinson Street in Kawerau.

Annie says the alleyway near her home (that connects Robinson St to Kawerau’s town centre) felt very unsafe. “There was rubbish everywhere, grass growing, graffiti and it was dull, dark and drab. I certainly didn’t like walking through there after 5pm.”

So local residents pitched in and spent weeks tidying up the area and painting a brightly-coloured mural of two magnificent fiery taniwha that run the length of the alleyway.

“It looks fantastic. It really represents Kawerau because it features our mountain and rivers. We’ve painted an anti-graffiti coat on top and the neighbourhood has really taken possession of it. We all have got into the habit of picking up any rubbish and it’s a pleasure to walk through there now.”

Do-It-Yourself Delivers Fast Results

Project manager Mary Hermanson says the Healthy Homes initiative has also seen local homeowners brush up on their DIY skills to solve home maintenance problems. A team from Bunnings held two DIY workshops where residents were able to get hands on experience and expert advice on how to renovate, restore and replace their exterior windowsills. “Workshop attendees also received a start-up kit of products to get them going on their own maintenance tasks,” Mary says.

Most households in the programme’s initial target area have also now received an energy and maintenance check where people were given advice about how to save energy costs and what maintenance tasks were needed.

“The Neighbourhoods of Healthy Homes team makes sure that households are taking advantage of the government insulation programme and electrical inspections are carried out where required,” Mary explains.

The next stage of the project is now underway, where 111 new homes have been invited to participate. Interest has also been received from around the wider region, and other organisations are now looking to replicate the work being done in Kawerau.

Annie Kubler has had new underfloor and ceiling insulation installed and says her three-bedroom home has never felt warmer.

The three year “Neighbourhoods Of Healthy Homes” project has received funding of $400,000 from BayTrust, as well as funding from the Kawerau District Council and the Eastern Bay Energy Trust.

“This project has had excellent community buy-in right from the start, which has helped them make terrific progress in such a short period of time”


Lakeside Concert Ignites Community Spirit

9 SEPTEMBER 2013

 

 

Nothing brings more joy to the organisers of Rotorua’s annual Lakeside Concert than seeing a grandmother dancing alongside her mokopuna.

“If we see that, we know we’ve done our job,” says Ian Edward, chairman of the Rotorua Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust.

“The whole purpose of Lakeside is to give people pride in their city. It’s the best vehicle to bring people together for a moment in time when they can all feel a sense of togetherness.”

Lakeside is now in its 17th year and is the brain-child of Ian, who has a passion for music and fondly recalls attending Christmas concerts at Rotorua’s soundshell in the 1950s.

“I thought, why can’t we replicate in a modern sense what had been done all those years ago, when the likes of the young Howard Morrison quartet used to perform?”

A charitable trust was formed in 1996 and Ian and six other like-minded trustees now fundraise year-round to present the Lakeside Concert each summer.

Huge Undertaking

“In any given year we have between 500 and 800 people involved in putting the whole event together – that’s everything from the police, to the traffic wardens through to the cast, sound, lighting and stage crew.”

This year’s concert, held on the 9th of March 2013, featured an all-star cast including Tina

Cross, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Russell Harrison, Michael Murphy, and Suzanne Lynch, plus classical opera singers Elisha Fa’i-Hulton and Jarvis Dams.

A New Zealand Symphony Orchestra trombone group, a Cirque de Soli-style act plus a kapa haka troupe and magnificent fireworks display rounded off the night’s entertainment.

“Our aim is to bring together the best of Maori, classical and contemporary entertainment in a concert format that is free and accessible to everyone,” Ian explains.

“Almost everyone that is recognised in the New Zealand entertainment scene will have performed at Lakeside over the years.”

For The Love Of Music

Ian says music, and the Lakeside Concert in particular, has a huge ability to influence how people feel about their community.

An estimated 30,000 people converge on the Village Green beside Rotorua’s lakefront every year to be entertained in a safe, fun, family-friendly setting.

“The motive is the music, it’s not about profit,” Ian says. “We are very grateful for the support organisations such as BayTrust give us. It allows people in this region to experience family entertainment that they would otherwise have to go to Auckland or pay big money to see.”

This is the 8th (TBC) Lakeside Concert supported by BayTrust, with this years event receiving $7000 of funding.

“The Lakeside Concert is a major event for the people of Rotorua. We’re pleased to support such a family orientated, feel good event”


Inspiring Our Future Innovators – To Dream Big

26 AUGUST 2013

 

 

Aquinas College student Sam Boggiss now knows exactly what it takes to launch an innovative new product into a competitive marketplace.

Thanks to Priority One’s Instep programme, the 16 year-old spent two weeks working alongside professional R&D and marketing experts to refine a business idea he had entered into Instep’s annual Young Innovator Awards (YIA).

His family’s love of international travel prompted Sam to develop the “flight buddy” – an iPhone app designed to combat jet lag and deep vein thrombosis.

That idea won YIA’s Supreme Award (junior) in 2011 and, following his success with a subsequent “maths mate” application in 2012, Sam was awarded a week-long internship at local R&D firm Locus Research followed by another week at Woods The Creative Agency.

Learning From Local Expertise

“The team at Locus asked all the hard questions and challenged my thinking about the whole process,” Sam explains. “It was really valuable to see how the professionals do it.

“At Woods we worked on branding and brand identity – we thought through every aspect of the user interface from the design, to the name and icon on the app. I was given a good overview of everything that’s required when inventing a new product.”

Sam says his YIA experience has helped motivate him to pursue a future career in medicine.

“I definitely think it’s helped me challenge inventions and re-think ‘how can that be done’. They are certainly skills I can put to use in the medical field where there will be lots of scope for future innovation.”

Instep Provides Vital Link

The Instep programme received $10,000 from BayTrust towards its operating costs this year, and Priority One’s Instep manager Lyn Parlane says The Young Innovator Awards are just one example of the initiatives being undertaken.

“For the local economy to grow, local industry requires a workforce that is motivated, innovative and has the right attitude and skills,” she says.

To achieve this vision, Instep harnesses the energy and expertise from local businesses to inspire students to make informed career choices by developing special projects and activities such as YIA, career days, the Reserve Bank Monetary Challenge and the Young Leaders Forum.

“Through this engagement school communities understand future skill needs relevant to the region’s economic growth and prosperity and, local businesses are confident secondary schools are preparing students with the skills they need now and in the future,” Lyn says.

“Instep thanks BayTrust for its ongoing support. The programme could not achieve the level of engagement between business and secondary schools without it.”

“It’s generally recognised that the transition from study to work is a critical one for young people. If we can assist with over that period then that’s terrific”


Helicopter Always At The Ready – To Save Lives

12 AUGUST 2013

 

 

When you’re stranded in remote bush, struggling to cope with a serious injury, the arrival of the BayTrust Rescue Helicopter brings unimaginable relief.

The helicopter attends over 100 remote accident scenes across the central North Island each year, and pilots also transfer critically ill patients between hospitals throughout New Zealand.

When Every Second Counts

Senior Pilot, Barry Vincent and his crew recently winched an Australian policewoman out of remote bush near Lake Tarawera after she fractured her pelvis while mountain biking.

“A fractured pelvis is potentially life threatening because lots of arteries run through the pelvis. Carrying her out any other way than via helicopter could have easily done more damage,” Barry says.

“Afterwards, she gave us a donation and one of her friends, who had videoed the whole rescue, edited the footage together and gave us a copy. eak up and

They’re also planning another trip back to New Zealand so it was a great result.”

Coping With The Unexpected

Barry says most people never dream they might one day need to be airlifted to safety.

“On any normal day people are out having fun or going about their business when ‘bang’ – a life-changing experience happens to them. We just couldn’t do the work that we do without having BayTrust supporting us financially.”

Phillips Search and Rescue Trust Secretary David Wickham says it costs between $750,000 and $1 million per year to keep the rescue helicopter flying, with pilots, crew and medical staff on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The money the government pays covers about half the cost of running the helicopter and the other half comes from the likes of BayTrust plus other donations and bequests,” David explains.

“BayTrust’s contribution undoubtedly saves lives and improves the quality of people’s lives because we’ve been able to get them to hospital in the quickest possible time.”

“Without the BayTrust it would be virtually impossible to be financially sound and viable. Their contribution is pivotal.”

BayTrust has been the helicopter’s naming rights sponsor for the past 7 years, and the organisation relies heavily on the $200,000 granted annually by BayTrust.’

“The amount of coastline around us make services like this essential. If the government can’t fund it entirely then organisations like ourselves need to step up to the mark”


Family Violence – It’s Ok To Ask For Help

29 JULY 2013

 

 

After Gloria Eves donated a book about family violence called “It’s Time We Started Telling These Stories” to the Tongariro/Rangipo Prison, she received a letter in the mail.

“It was from a prisoner who had read the book in the prison library and saw himself and the way he had grown up. He wanted to become a better partner and a better father and he asked if I could help him.”

Breakthroughs such as these are what Gloria strives for in her role as the Taupo Violence Intervention Network’s Co-Ordinator.

She is responsible for helping dozens of government and community agencies work together in Taupo, Turangi and Mangakino to reduce the rate of family violence in the region.

Getting Noticed

The Taupo Violence Intervention Network erected six billboards around the region’s townships this year to make people stop and think about family violence.

Powerful messages such as “Can’t remember last night? Your kids will” and “Kids are safer when you’re sober” have generated a lot of discussion.

One billboard slogan is now painted on a mobility taxi and can be seen driving around Taupo each day, while local newspaper advertisements have featured the same messages to keep the issue at the forefront of people’s minds.

“I think awareness has greatly increased. I always set up a stall at community events to hand out resources. When I first started in 2008, people would smile at me and walk past. Now they come up to me and have a lot of questions about how to support their family and friends.”

Zero Tolerance Needed

Gloria says one in three women experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime, and New Zealand police respond to a family violence incident every six minutes.

“Police believe that only 20 per cent of family violence is reported, so the issue is more widespread than most people acknowledge or realise,” she says.

The Taupo Violence Intervention Network’s aim is to ensure all community services are working effectively together to raise awareness and promote zero tolerance towards violence.

BayTrust donated $15,000 towards the Taupo Violence Intervention Network’s operating costs this year.

“The great thing about this group is that they join the dots between many other like-minded organisations out there. We’re pleased to help.”