A ferryman's tale

A ferryman's tale

A ferryman's tale

Circulation 7,200 Phone 07 866 2090 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to Colville - www.theinformer.co.nz Proud to support the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust Telephone (07) 867 1580 By Meg Tatton-Brown A ferryman’s tale Contact: Gates & Fences Ltd Ph 0800 2 B FNCDIN 0800 223 623 07 866 5271 Whitianga • Pool, Garden, Perimeter fencing • Commercial perimeters • Gates • 6 Powdercoated colours • Various designs available • 10 year guarantee • Free quotations • DIY or erected for you EUROLOC FENCING POWDER COATED ALUMINUM TUBULAR FENCING & GATE SYSTEMS After 16 years and nine months of transporting passengers, bicycles, prams, fresh produce, takeaways and a myriad of other things across the Whitianga River, well-known and much-loved Whitianga Ferry driver, Eric Mair, retired on Monday this week.

Having worked most of his life on the water, Eric approached Dave Pierrepont (the previous ferry owner for many years) after a day trip to Whitianga in 2002 and asked for a job. He and his family were living in Auckland at the time, where he was working as an air conditioning technician. “I longed to get back behind the controls of a boat, and fortunately Dave was all too happy to accommodate my request,” says Eric. The Stella B and the larger Mercury Star were the two ferries in use when Eric started working for Dave. “While I was used to driving boats, it was a new experience getting familiar with navigating the Whitianga River,” says Eric.

“One thing you learn is that you don’t teach the river, the river teaches you. You never stop learning in a job like this.” Sometime later, Eric also began skippering the Glass Bottom Boat on a part-time basis. “That was before scenic boat tours to Cathedral Cove became such a huge tourist hit,” says Eric.

In 2015, the Diana-Rose, the ferry most regularly used these days, was put into service. “A lot of thought went into the Diana-Rose,” says Eric. “She can transport twice as many people as the Mercury Star, which is very helpful over the busy season. She’s also level with the wharf, so it’s much easier to get bicycles and prams on and off the ferry.” Eric has accumulated some interesting memories throughout his years on the ferry. He recalls how it was a regular occurrence for coffins to be transported across the river on their way to the cemetery at Ferry Landing. “Very carefully, of course, and always feet first,” says Eric.

“I’ve also seen my fair share of hens’ parties and stag dos over the years.” When the Mercury Star was the primary ferry in use, Eric used to row out in an aluminium dinghy to where she was moored. One morning, he lifted up the dinghy to find some people asleep beneath it. “They had a few too many the night before and missed the last trip across the river,” says Eric.

It also wasn’t unusual for impatient passengers to try to step off the ferry before it had completely reached the wharf. Needless to say, some of those passengers were left very cold and wet. Eric says that he has seen a significant drop in intoxicated passengers trying to board the ferry in recent years, especially during the summer holidays and on weekends when big events were on in Whitianga. “People are behaving a lot better these days, which I think might be due to a stronger police presence,” he says. “It’s really pleasing to see.” Eric often gave younger children the opportunity to steer the ferry on their way to school.

“They would rush onto the boat to get to the wheelhouse first” says Eric. “Some of those children ended up working as ticket clippers for us over the school holidays and they became really good at helping to drive the ferry. “I remember many of the children from when they were just starting out at school and now they’re adults, some with boats of their own.” Eric plans to spend his retirement travelling around New Zealand with his wife, Dellas, in their motorhome and to visit family and friends more regularly. They have grandchildren in Wellington and Whitianga. Eric also hopes to fit in some salmon and trout fishing along the way.

“I’m very pleased Dave gave me a job all those years ago,” says Eric. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Whitianga River. I’m left with wonderful memories and the knowledge that Dellas and I will always be part of a very special community.” Assuming Eric Mair (pictured), who retired from driving the Whitianga Ferry on Monday this week after 16 years and nine months in the job, worked an average of 48 weeks a year and five days a week, he worked a total of 4,020 days as the ferry driver. Further assuming Eric worked a seven-hour shift every day he was on duty, and crossed the Whitianga River between the Whitianga Wharf and the Ferry Landing Wharf (a distance of approximately 270m) 10 times every hour (five times either direction), then he travelled a total distance of 75,978km on the river during his career with the Whitianga Ferry.

That equates to almost twice around the world. These assumptions do not include the many trips Eric made between 1:00am and 3:00am to transport Corogold concertgoers from Whitianga to Ferry Landing in years gone by.

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 2 The top Mercury Bay Area School academic students for 2018 were announced at a whole school assembly on Thursday last week. Last year, 11 MBAS students endorsed NCEA Level 1 with excellence and 24 students endorsed with merit. In NCEA Level 2, 13 students endorsed with excellence and 18 students endorsed with merit. Five NCEA Level 3 students endorsed with excellence and six students endorsed with merit. “The trends in our NCEA achievement across Levels 1, 2 and 3 continued to be strong in 2018, particularly in the levels of certificate endorsements - either at merit or excellence levels,” says John Wright, MBAS principal.

“This is a superb outcome for our young people and is representative of their hard work, the support from their whānau and the input and encouragement from their teachers.

“Overall our ‘pass rate’ for NCEA is satisfactory, however for Level 1 last year, we’ve had significantly fewer boys [55 per cent] successful than in the recent past [compared with girls at 75 per cent] and we’re looking into the reasons for this.” The MBAS dux student for 2018 was Ella Tomkins. The proxime accessit (second highest achievement) award was shared between Jessica Alexander and Michaela Duerre. In the photo on the left are Jessica Alexander (left), Michaela Duerre (centre) and Ella Tomkins after the assembly on Thursday. Jessica is this year off to the University of Auckland to study a conjoint degree in commerce and science, Ella will embark on an Auckland University of Technology degree in sport and recreation at the Tai-Ohomai Institute of Technology campus in Tauranga and Michaela will be studying health science at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

In the photo on the right are the six new teachers who’ve joined MBAS this year. From the left - Ailsa McLean (middle years English), Andy Henley, (middle years and senior years physical education), Hanna Sharps (middle years and senior years physical education, health and English), Raewyn Eagar (Year 7 and Year 8), Kate Pretorius (Year 3 and Year 4) and Eric Pampalone (Year 7 and Year 8).

The MBAS roll stood in excess of 1,000 students when the 2019 school year started last week. MBAS top academic students for 2018 announced Tides data sponsored by nzwindows.co.nz 4 Dakota Drive Whitianga Tel 07 869 5990 Night sky information provided and sponsored by Astronomy Tours and B&B Phone (07) 866 5343 www.stargazersbb.com Week of 13 February - 19 February - Venus continues its movement towards the Sun in the early morning eastern sky and even has a close encounter with Saturn. The International Space Station (ISS) continues zipping around the Earth at 8km/second and can occasionally still be visible in the evening sky looking like a slowly moving star.

Wednesday 13 February - The ISS is very bright tonight and visible from 7:03pm to 7:09pm after which it will once again disappear as it goes into our shadow. It will start low in the NW and end in the SE evening sky. When highest overhead it will be almost 600km from us and over twice that when it disappears lower down. Thursday 14 February - The ISS makes a slow pass very low in the west from 7:50pm to 7:53pm. Friday 15 February - The ISS is very bright in the NW moving to the SE from 6:57pm - 7:02pm, but will probably be quite hard to see in the reasonably bright early evening sky. Tuesday 19 February - Brilliant Venus lies very close to faint Saturn and makes a pretty pair with it in the early dawn eastern sky, very low on the horizon.

What’s happening in the night sky? Whitianga and Hot Water Beach tides

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 3 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 “Ten Days of Art” The Mercury Bay Art Escape Open Artists Studios offers art lovers the opportunity to explore the creative nature of the Coromandel, from Tairua to Opito Bay, to gain a unique perspective, meet the participating artists, admire their studios and understand something of the relationship each artist has with the Peninsula’s beautiful coast. This year the Open Artists Studios will form part of a full “Ten Days of Art” during the first 10 days of March.

In addition to enjoying a free self-drive art studios tour during the first two weekends of March (Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March, and Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March) from 10:00am to 4:00pm, you can help make a giant sculpture and take part in a full range of art workshops. You can also marvel at the Tuia 250 Street Art Festival. The “Ten Days of Art” will be launched at the official opening of the Open Artists Studios on Friday 1 March at 6:00pm at Hot Waves Café in Hot Water Beach. The evening will feature guest speaker and renowned artist, Fatu Feu’u ONZM, and an exclusive preview of the Mercury Bay Art Escape’s Showcase Exhibition (an exhibition containing an artwork by each of the Art Escape’s member artists).

A complimentary glass of Tohu wine is included, as well as catered nibbles by Hot Waves and live music by local band, Neighbouring Planets. Be quick to book tickets online for this much-anticipated event. Thirty-six Art Escape member artists (among them three new artists) and three art groups will participate in the Open Artists Studios. It’s an opportunity to encounter woodworking, pottery, sculpture, harakeke weaving, glasswork, mosaics, jewellery, painting, photography and printmaking. You’reencouragedtocheckouttheMercury Bay Art Escape’s free 2019 Art Guide and website (www.mercurybayartescape.com) for all the details.

You will also have the opportunity to work alongside established local sculptor, Chris Charteris, at the Kuaotunu Town Hall on Sunday 3 March. Chris, with help from the public, will be creating a massive mandala- like indoor sculpture out of 1,000s of ngā tipa (scallop shells). The mid-week programme from Monday 4 March to Friday 8 March includes the Tuia 250 Street Art Festival in Whitianga. The festival will feature internationally recognised street artists Flox and TrustMe, and Charles and Janine Williams, alongside Mercury Bay artists Michael Smither, Monique Rush, Anne Bowden, Peter Nicholson, Dave Fowell and popular street artists from the Coromandel and Hamilton.

The festival will highlight the national Tuia - Encounters 250 commemorations.

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Mercury Bay) has great seafaring significance. It’s where the great navigator Kupe visited many centuries ago and in 1769 it was one of four landing sites for Captain Cook’s ship, HM Bark Endeavour. This exciting and free event will allow you to witness 12 new murals being painted on walls in the Whitianga CBD. A free guide detailing festival information will be available from the Mercury Bay Art Escape website and the Whitianga i-SITE. A range of art workshops will take place during the same time as the Tuia 250 Street Art Festival (from Monday 4 March to Friday 8 March).

These interactive workshops will cater for all levels of skill and experience, and include photography, flax weaving, painting, mixed media and printmaking. You will be tutored by Mercury Bay Art Escape member artists and invited tutors. Ensure you make the most of the “Ten Days of Art” from Friday 1 March to Sunday 10 March.

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 4 Guinness & Stella Artois On Tap Cocktail of the Week - elderflower and strawberry spritz Ask about our function room Available for all your social occasions Grace O’Malley’s 9 The Esplanade, Whitianga Ph. 07 866 4546 ~~~Phone 869 5919 for reservations and takeaways ~~~ Check out our Lunch Specials and our lunch club for a FREE Lunch 33/3 Albert Street, Whitianga Upstairs above Fagans OPEN FOR LUNCH and DINNER Open 6 Days Closed COOLEST KIDS MENU! Burgers Freshest Fish Juicy Steaks Pop into the Tav for lunch with the Family * HAPPY HOUR 5 - 7pm EVERY Friday Freshest fish arriving daily.

Pan fried or enclosed in our Tav made beer batter. * BREAKFAST? LUNCH?

DINNER? Hair of the dog? Cheeky Banter? Early Morning Lala Fix? We’ve got it ALL! Today let’s kick ass and make dream happen! Go to Coroglen & chill SUNDAY CHECKLIST: Summer at the Coroglen Tav Open 10am $16 Steak Special 200g sirloin steak, salad, chips and an egg Tuesdays only! Chiefs v Highlanders 6:30pm Winning Wheel Meat Raffles Free Nibbles BISTRO CLOSED 4 - 6pm THIRSTY THURSDAY HAPPY HOUR TAB POKIES FREE POOL Saturday Morning Raffles 11am $1 EACH $ 10 LUNCH TUESDAY - SATURDAY 12pm - 2pm • • Members Draw DOC JEFFRIES RAFFLES 5:30pm DARTS 7:15pm Members Draw Raffles 5:30pm SNOOKER 1Pm BALL 7:15pm 7 days 12 - 8:30pm Burrrrrrritos! Taaaaacos! Pork/Chicken/Fish/Vege $13 - $15 HAPPY HUMP DAY Black Caps v Bangladesh 1:30pm Happy Hour 4 to 6pm Monday Madness! Kids Eat Free! *Conditions Apply Valentines Day - Complimentary house pour for every gentleman who purchases a meal for their Valentine Jugs Out Thursday Jugs from $12 Valentine’s Day Black Caps v Bangladesh 10:30am Blues v Crusaders 7pm Free Pool VALLEY LOCALS POKER RUN! Keep safe on the roads team!

See you at the Tav! coroglentavern.co.nz Menu online QUIZ NIGHT 7:30pm Performing from 7:30 SNOOKER 1PM INDOOR BOWLS Open 7 days - 11am to late

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 5 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 1kg of Chicken Wings $15.50 From 5 - 9pm Anthill Mob From 9 Burger night Beef, lamb, chicken, fish & vegetarian with fries - $15.50 $18 scotch fillet, salad & fries 5 - 9 pm Happy Hour 4 - 7pm Vegas Live - 9pm Check out Indulge NZ ice cream outside the Whitianga Hotel Our famous pork belly only $12.50 Every Monday 5 - 9pm $18 scotch fillet with salad & fries and your choice of sauce Full menu at www.govino.co.nz Ph 07 867 1215 for bookings Open 6 nights Dinner from 5:30pm Coffee Sat/Sun 8:30am - 11am Closed today Open 7 Days Lunch from 11am - 2pm Dinner from 5:00pm - late Dine In • Takeaway • Delivery 13 / 1 Blacksmith Lane, Whitianga Dine in FREE on your birthday One main, rice & naan.

Minimum 2-person party. Authentic North Indian Cuisine Wide selection of seafood, vegetarian & gluten-free. Children’s menu available. - Like us on Facebook to see our weekly specials - Double loyalty stamps all night Open from 3pm - 9:30pm 866 0196 Delivery and Takeaway Thirsty Thursdays A free drink of your choice with any $15 burger! Late night Open from 3pm - 1am Happy hour 6pm - 8pm Buy any burger and get the second burger up to the same value ½ price! Including all kids meals!

Open 3pm - 9:30pm Tuesday closed for mental reconstruction Open 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday 9am till late. Free ride from the ferry if you book with us at night. Full menu at www.eggsentriccafe.co.nz, phone 866 0307, bookings essential. Valentine’s Day Set Menu Bookings Essential We are celebrating Valentine’s Day from 14 - 16 Feb here @ TLS Try our delicious sharing dessert platter. Enjoy our selection of local wines. Book now. Limited availability. 4pm - late Pasta Special $18 Closed on Mondays Wednesday 4pm - late Pizza Special $22 Friday 12 noon - late Fish & Chips Saturday 12 noon - late Chicken/Lamb Souvlaki Sunday 12 noon - late Persian Duck Lamb Rack

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 6 Coroglen School principal on the year ahead Coroglen School principal, Jean Saunders, and her staff are looking forward to a busy 2019, including active involvement in the Tuia - Encounters 250 commemorations later in the year. “Our staff remain the same as last year and our roll numbers are steady at 30 with some new families replacing our 2018 leavers,” says Jean. “I am happy to say we are in the final stages of planning a complete refurbishment of our classroom learning spaces, which will enable us to make better and more flexible use of our indoor and outdoor environment.

We will be adding a deck and direct access to our outdoor learning area, which will incorporate our sandpit, water-play, mud kitchen and garden spaces. “With the support of the Coromandel Community of Learning and other participating schools, we will be moving into the ‘Learning Through Play’ philosophy in our junior room. “Another anticipated learning opportunity this term is the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme with Mercury Bay local, Amber Boyd. Amber will be training our students in snorkelling and the theory behind what she is teaching them. We will then visit Hahei to look inside and beyond the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve to witness the impact the reserve has on the marine environment.

This will be exciting and powerful learning for our students and incorporates our school vision and values regarding sustainability, utilising our local environment and working with our community to develop lifelong learners. “The local Tuia - Encounters 250 programme, which will put Mercury Bay in the national spotlight later this year, will be an opportunity for our students to be involved in authentic learning experiences they will no doubt retain as highlights from their school years. We are looking forward to being actively involved and appreciate the time and commitment Joe Davis of Ngati Hei, John Wright of Mercury Bay Area School and Ministry of Education staff have put into creating learning resources and experiences related to the commemorations.

This term we will be focusing on voyaging as a theme, from the past through to the future. “On top of all this,we will of course continue to do what we do well.Our usual calendar highlights remain - Pet Day in the third school term and the swimming, winter sports and athletics days that we share with Whenuakite and Te Rerenga Schools. This year too, we have been invited to share a Matariki celebration at Hikuai School.

“We are a small school and can offer a one to three teacher/student ratio. This enables us to build strong relationships with our students and their families. We have a dedicated board of trustees and supportive whānau who work hard to fundraise for the extras we need and who help where they can in our classrooms and on outings.” The Mercury Bay Big Band will kick off their rehearsals for 2019 on Monday 25 February at C3 Church in Coghill Street, Whitianga at 5:00pm. The band consists of a group of 16 musicians who enjoy playing a collection of big band jazz, blues, Latin and funk.

The band performed several concerts last year, the highlight being two “tea dances” in conjunction with the Mercury Bay Community Choir in November.

A much-anticipated event this year is a workshop and concert that will be led by the maestro of big band jazz in New Zealand, Rodger Fox. It will be Rodger’s third visit to Whitianga. His previous visits were inspiring. Rodger will visit Whitianga in August this year. The band is also delighted to be part of the Tuia - Encounters 250 commemorations that will be held later this year.

Helen Lee, the coordinator of the Mercury Bay Big Band, is pleased to welcome Mercury Bay Area School student, Floyd Ross, into the band.“Last year, we’ve had two international students playing the flute and trombone with us for a few months,” says Helen.“We very much welcome new members. We would love to have more brass players, especially those with experience on the trumpet and trombones.” Any musicians interested in joining the band must please phone Helen on (021) 173 6490. Mercury Bay Big Band rehearsals to kick off Squids Seafood Restaurant www.squids.co.nz Fb Squids Seafood Restaurant Blacksmith Lane 07 8671710 The place for the freshest fish and seafood from around the region as well as an awesome selection of local wine and beer Open for lunch Mon - Fri 11:30am - 2pm Open for dinner 7 days from 5:30pm

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 7 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Creative Mercury Bay and Arts on Tour New Zealand are proud to bring the “On the Road” comedy show to the Coghill Theatre in Coghill Street, Whitianga on Thursday 28 February. The stars of the show, Michele A’Court and Jeremy Elwood (pictured), have been showcasing their comedy skills for more than 20 years. The insightful and outrageously funny duo have performed at comedy festivals around the world, from Adelaide to Edinburgh, and are regulars at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Often appearing on Radio New Zealand’s “The Panel,” Michele and Jeremy also feature on TV programmes such as “7 Days” and “The Project.” Michele enjoyed huge success when she toured “Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter” with Arts on Tour New Zealand in 2016. This time around, it will be stuff Michele and Jeremy tell each other. An evening of hilarious fun awaits, so make sure you don’t miss out. The show will start at 7:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at Paper Plus Whitianga and cost $25 for adults and $15 for students under 18.

“On the Road” comedy show coming to Whitianga

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 8 Robert Lindsay Dip Phty(Otago) ADP(OMT), Dip.MT.

Co-author of ‘Treat Your Own Shoulder’ and Associates Crystal Vause BHScPhysiotherapy Manipulation / Back and Neck Pain / Work Injuries Sports Injuries / Post Surgery and Fracture Rehab Acupuncture / Hand Therapy / Women’s Health Clinic Physiotherapists with the qualifications to provide excellence in physical health care Dr Adam’s and Hemmes’s Surgery - Ph (07) 868 9579 WHITIANGA PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINIC Zach Wood is one of Mercury Bay’s most recent Wintec graduates, having last year completed an NZQA Level 3 Certificate in Arboriculture in Whitianga.

Zach was in between jobs with no qualifications when he saw an advertisement for the arboriculture course in The Informer and thought it looked like something he could try. Another Wintec arboriculture course is planned to start in Whitianga in the next few weeks. An information session will be held at 19 Buffalo Beach Road (the old Mercury Bay Hospital) on Wednesday 20 February from 11:00am to 12:00 noon. Wintec also offers a landscape construction course in Whitianga. The Wintec arboriculture programme in Whitianga runs over a period of 20 weeks with classes taking place four days a week during school hours.

“What I liked about the course is that every day was different,” says Zach. “One day we would be working with chainsaws and the next we would be climbing trees for the tree care aspect of the programme. We were taught many skills, some of which included learning correct planting and pruning techniques. On one occasion we practiced on the hedges around the Mercury Bay Library.” The course also covers health and safety, first aid, tree identification and chipper use. Zach’s favourite part of the programme by far was the tree climbing. “It was definitely a bit nerve-racking at first being so high up, but once I got used to it, it was great fun,” he says.

“We got to use the trees out at the Mercury Bay Golf Course for our training.” Zach is now working as a climbing arborist at Dynamic Tree Care in Coromandel Town, but is aiming to achieve an NZQA Level 4 Certificate in Horticultural Services at the Wintec campus in Hamilton.

Regional programme coordinator for Wintec’s horticulture courses, Fiona Taylor, talks highly of the landscape construction and arboriculture courses available in Whitianga, run in a much- appreciated partnership with Ngati Hei. “What is wonderful about these courses is that they are government funded, so they are completely fees free and anyone can enrol,” says Fiona. “Several years ago, Wintec acknowledged that there are often many factors, including family commitments or financial constraints, that prevent people from travelling to Hamilton to study. So after responding to community demand, we were successful in setting up these programmes in Whitianga during 2017.” The courses are introductory level and participants can be any age over 15.

They do not need to hold any prior school or tertiary-level qualifications, just a willingness to learn. Wintec believes that their outdoor-focused courses are perfect for a town like Whitianga, where the community has strong ties to a beautiful natural environment. “The Mercury Bay community is extremely environmentally conscious and with a strong demand for qualified employees in the landscape construction and arboriculture industries, these courses are a perfect fit for Whitianga,” says Fiona.

Zach is one of many course graduates with a success story to tell, with no doubt many more to come. “I am very happy that I chose to pursue a career in arboriculture,” says Zach. “I am lucky that I was able to establish a career in an industry that I am passionate about.” If you cannot make the information session on 20 February, you can phone local Wintec tutor, Howard Saunders, on (027) 866 3277 for more information. The Mercury Bay Informer is subject to the principles of the New Zealand Media Council. Please contact us first if you have concerns about any of the editorial content published inTheInformer.Ifwewereunabletoaddressyourconcerns to your satisfaction, you can complain to the New Zealand Media Council, PO Box 10 879, Wellington 6143 or www.presscouncil.org.nz.

The Mercury Bay Informer is published weekly on Wednesdays and distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula. Readers’ contributions of articles and letters are welcome. Publication of contributions are entirely at the discretion of the editor. Contributions will only be considered for publication when accompanied by the author’s name and surname, telephone number and residential address. Opinions expressed (especially in letters) are not necessarily those of the owner or publisher. Published by Mercury Bay Media Limited Editor - Stephan Bosman Contributors - Meghan Hawkes, Jack Biddle, Cara Bosman, Debbie Wilton, Suzanne Hansen, Pamela Ferla and Meg Tatton-Brown Advertiser Management - Petra Bosman and Alex Kennedy Administration - Diane Lodge Office 14 Monk Street, Whitianga 3510, Mail PO Box 426, Whitianga 3542 Telephone (07) 866 2090, Fax (07) 866 2092 Editorial email info@theinformer.co.nz, Advertising email sales@theinformer.co.nz ISSN 2422-9083 (Print), ISSN 2422-9091 (Online), © 2018 Mercury Bay Media Limited Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter. Check us out on Instagram. See page 2 for what’s happening in the night sky and the Whitianga and Hot Water Beach tides. Emergency (Ambulance, Fire, Police) 24 hours . . 111 Police (Whitianga . . 866 4000 Police (Tairua . . 864 8888 Police (Coromandel Town . . 866 1190 Fight crime anonymously - Call Crime Stoppers . . 0800 555 111 Dog and Noise Control . . 868 0200 Dental Emergency (Mercury Bay . . 869 5500 Civil Defence . . 868 0200 Mercury Bay Medical Centre (Whitianga . . 866 5911 Doctors Surgery (Whitianga . . 866 4621 Medical Centre (Tairua . . 864 8737 Harbour Master (Whitianga .

. 027 476 2651 Coastguard Radio Operators . . 866 2883 Whitianga Social Services . . 866 4476 What’s that Number?

ONLINE POLL FOR FEBRUARY 2019 Is freedom camping a problem on the Coromandel Peninsula? Have your say at www.theinformer.co.nz. Another opportunity to obtain an arboriculture qualification in Whitianga Whitianga resident, Zach Wood, a recent Wintec graduate, is very happy that he chose to pursue a career in arboriculture.

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 9 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019

A ferryman's tale

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 10

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 11 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 12 Thumbs Up To the staff of Four Square Matarangi for going out of their way to assist a lady who injured her wrist on Waitangi Day. No more Plastic bags No more Seagulls No more Hassles Letters to the Editor See page 8 for our requirements with regard to letters and contributions Dear Editor - The doling out of public money in the name of “conservation” In his Letter to the Editor in last week’s Informer, Ian Patrick urges a 1080 protestor to start a conservation group to prove they “care about nature and the survival of our birds.” Starting or joining a conservation group is all too often a search for a paid occupation or a means of attracting public funding.

In the 1970s and 1980s I was witness to a number of conservation projects on the Coromandel Peninsula, all funded privately and all very successful. It is largely due to these projects, this care for a re-growing environment, that the Coromandel hills became once again desirable. The preserving of one wetland area begun in the 1970s and was paid for by one landowner. I was privileged to be able to live on its edge for many years, surrounded by fern birds, rail and bittern. In 1991, DOC spread rat poison on a neighbouring property and the morepork disappeared, a poisoned pig lying in the stream.

I have been against this poisoning ever since. There has since been a mountain of poison spread around the Peninsula with no proven benefit that a bit of trapping and shooting could not have achieved the same result without any of the by-kill.

Poison came as an adjunct to a government urge to take over control of our previously beautiful environment. Once public money began to pour into “saving” our environment, conservation groups such as Ian Patrick's wetland project sprang up all over the place to swallow up these funds. More and more public money is being doled out in the name of “conservation” and more and more people think they can make a living from it. The sad thing about some of these enviro-groups is that much of their time and effort is spent on administration, meetings, self-promotion and raising funds and very little on saving birds.

No doubt Ian Patrick's group have a treasurer, a secretary, a chairman, a board of trustees and a specific member bent on grabbing more public funds. No board of trustees, no funds.

I did hear of an enthusiastic wetland group which planted out native bushes and then charged in and trapped all the predators only to be rewarded by a plague of rabbits which ate up all their bushes. Enthusiasm is to be encouraged, but understanding only comes by being on the spot for a long time. Genuine help for the environment cannot be bought by public funds alone. John Veysey Coromandel Town Dear Editor - Catherine Delahunty’s column in last week’s Informer Congratulations to Ian Patrick and Alastair Sims for two very sensible and positive Letters to the Editor in last week’s Informer.

Unfortunately Catherine Delahunty’s column in the same issue was just the reverse, as usual.

She laments the eminently sensible decision by West Coast Regional Council to reject the ridiculous sea level scaremongering being put forward by Local Government New Zealand and its activist head, David Cull. Hopefully Thames-Coromandel District Council will have the common sense to follow the West Coast Regional Council lead. Catherine needs to understand that “the consequences of our global oil dependency” are actually overwhelmingly positive, both for the environment and us. It was the discovery and use of affordable fossil fuels that have been an environmental revolution for the better.

No longer do we need to hunt down cuddly penguins and whales to provide oil for light and lubrication. We no longer need to fell vast forests to heat our homes. Food production for an ever-increasing population is made much more efficient with natural gas-sourced fertilisers (Jacinda take note). This has meant a huge reduction in the land area required to feed the globe, compared with what would be necessary under an “eco-friendly” organic system. We no longer have to raise, feed and house millions of horses to provide transport and the land required to feed them can now feed us instead. No longer do we need to dispose of the mountains of manure and tons of methane they used to produce.

With synthetic materials from oil, we no longer have to slaughter millions of seals and animals for clothing and now petrochemicals give us countless pharmaceuticals, plastics and other products to provide the standard of living and good health that even the Greens have come to accept. Catherine and her fellow Greenpeace supporters should be thanking the petroleum industry and human ingenuity for saving the environment, not the reverse. The extra leisure time that petroleum-fuelled machines have given us means that we all have more time to enjoy our lives than ever before and Catherine can continue to have her “glass of cider and watch the sunset while the tui sings.” Alastair Brickell Kuaotunu Dear Editor - The other side of the story Catherine Delahunty wrote a thoughtful and thought-provoking column in last week’s Informer.

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 13 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Letters to the Editor See page 8 for our requirements with regard to letters and contributions I would like to address some of her comments. Catherine said that our recent hot weather wasn’t an anomaly, an exception to the usual, implying that was how our summers were from now onwards going to be. No, the hot weather in late January and early February was an unusual event and not a consequence of a change in the climate. For it to be evidence of a change in the climate, it needed to consistently appear for the past 15 years or longer, not just for a few days.

Our recent hot weather didn’t even qualify to be called a heatwave. A heatwave is where the temperature is 5°C above the average for a minimum of five consecutive days. It didn’t happen. So, what we had was weather, not climate. It’s also disturbing that Catherine incorrectly labelled West Coast Regional Council as climate change deniers. I’m sure they recognise as much as everyone that the climate changes over time. What they are saying is that they would be extremely foolish to turn their economy upside down and put hundreds of workers in the coal mining and transport industries out of work by shutting down West Coast coal mines without better evidence that the burning of coal is affecting climate change in any meaningful way.

I’m not aware that it has scientifically been proven that CO2 has more than a miniscule effect on the climate. So, West Coast Regional Council should be praised for taking a cautious approach and not rushing in like most others and committing to spending billions of dollars for no advantage whatsoever. And was Catherine not a little hypocritical by wanting to send West Coast Regional Council to Kiribati or Tuvalu while at the same time urging Thames-Coromandel District Council to reduce fossil fuel emissions?

I do feel for those island residents who may be losing their homes to the ocean, but they could be partially blamed themselves.

Although the sea level has raised at a rate of 1.3mm in the past 100 years, Kiribati and Tuvalu, and other similar islands are volcanic in origin and are continuously settling under their own weight. Back 100 years, dwellings on those islands were built well back from the ocean’s edge. These days, construction is right up to the beach, so it’s no wonder that storms are causing damage and erosion, which are exacerbated by the removal of coral for infrastructure like roading.

With regard to the other things Catherine referred to in her column, she has my full support. Stuart Dean Whitianga

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 14 Queen’s Birthday weekend this year (Saturday 1 June to Monday 3 June) will see a return of the highly anticipated Whitianga Town Garage Sale. This year is the 11th anniversary of the event and bargain hunters often travel from out of town to enjoy a long weekend of treasure hunting. Local residents can become involved by registering a garage sale for the weekend or by visiting the garage sales and opening their wallets for an item or two they may or may not need.

If you need any encouragement to get involved, then consider this… In 2011, a bargain hunter paid 40 pence each for three unusual drinking glasses she found at a garage sale in Portsmouth. They turned out to be rare 18th century examples of work by revered glassmaker, William Beilby. The glasses later sold at auction for 19,000 pounds. And some years ago, a New York family bought a Chinese bowl, just five inches in diameter, at a garage sale for USD3 and found out that it was actually a 1,000-year-old treasure worth USD2.2 million.

The bowl was from the Northern Song Dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1127. The only other known bowl of similar size and design has been in the collection of the British Museum for more than 60 years. To register your Queen’s Birthday Weekend garage sale at a cost of $15, please contact The Informer by popping into our office at 14 Monk Street, Whitianga, by emailing us at info@theinformer.co.nz or by phoning us on (07) 866 2090. We will need to know the address of your garage sale, the day/s of Queen’s Birthday Weekend you want to hold your sale, the hours you want to hold your sale and a short description of what you will have on offer.

All registered garage sales will receive two posters to direct bargain hunters to their sale and a map with the location of of all garage sales will be printed in The Informer that will be published the Wednesday before Queen’s Birthday Weekend. All registration proceeds will go to a local charity nominated by the Mercury Bay Area School primary years student leaders. Registrations for Whitianga Town Garage Sale now open

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 15 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 16

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 17 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 18 After a break of several years, the Whitianga Baptist Church youth group was resurrected on Friday evening last week. The group is led by Whitianga residents Tony and Heather Enchmarch with the full support of the Whitianga Baptist congregation and pastor Mike Walker. “All young people between 13 and 18 years of age are welcome to attend our youth group,” says Heather.

“They don’t have to belong to any church. We meet every Friday evening at the Whitianga Baptist Church on Cook Drive for an hour and a half of activities and uplifting fellowship. The activities are messy and non-messy, may require a lot of energy or are somewhat more sedate. Food more often than not plays a role. Whatever we do, it’s always great fun.

“Once a month we’ll be doing something bigger. During that week we won’t meet on a Friday evening. Our first bigger event is on Saturday 23 February when we’ll be holding a back to school bash in the afternoon from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. A lot of water will be involved and a ton of laughter is guaranteed. “Towards the end of March, we’ll be handing out smoke alarm batteries to all the Whitianga Baptist Church neighbours. “We also hope a good group of local young people will attend the large Northern Baptist Region Easter camp from Thursday 18 April to Monday 22 April at Mystery Creek outside Hamilton.

It’s a massive interdenominational weekend of more than 5,000 teenagers having fun.” Mike Walker says he’s excited about Tony and Heather getting the Whitianga Baptist Church youth group up and running again. “It’s a wonderful initiative from within our congregation,” he says. “I’m at Tony and Heather’s beck and call. Whatever they want me to help them with, I’ll be there and support them. The activities involving food are the ones I’m especially interested in...” Pictured are Mike Walker (on the left) with Tony and Heather Enchmarch. Whitianga Baptist Church youth group up and running again “Kīwaha o te wiki” (saying of the week) “Kino kē koe” - You are awesome Saying of the week supplied by Te Puna Reo o Whitianga - a playgroup with a focus on Māori tikanga and te reo Māori.

The group members meet every Tuesday at 9:30am at Crossroads Whitianga Church. All those with pēpi or young tamariki are welcome to join.

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Page 19 Issue 702 - 17 August 2016 Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 New Mike Pero owners in Whitianga for the long haul When Robyn Beard won the Miss Whitianga beauty contest in 1981, she never thought that she would end up calling Whitianga home one day. Robyn and her partner (in life and in business), Gary Davey, acquired the Mike Pero real estate territory for the central and northern Coromandel towards the end of last year. They opened an office in Monk Street, Whitianga just over a month ago. Robyn and her family used to holiday in Whitianga at the old campground in Eyre Street.

“Our summer holidays were always a highlight,” says Robyn.

Gary is also no stranger to Whitianga. “My grandmother bought a property up Centennial Heights when I was a teenager and I’ve spent many summers sleeping in a caravan on her property,” he says. Gary and Robyn have both been working at a large real estate agency in Orewa for the past 12 years. In 2012, they joined up as a team, a move that has seen them achieving spectacular success. “In our second year of working together, Robyn and I were among the top 20 real estate agents nationwide of the franchise group we were with,” says Gary. “In the wider Auckland region, we were number six. More than 2,000 agents were working within the franchise group at that time.” Gary and Robyn decided to take a break in 2017.

“Initially we were going to travel around New Zealand for three months,” says Robyn. “That turned out not to be long enough. We decided to bid farewell to the real estate agency we were with and take our time to enjoy life while considering what we were going to do in the future. We were open to the idea of moving out of Auckland and putting down roots in a smaller place. Our travels eventually brought us to Whitianga and for both of us all our pleasant summer holiday memories just came flooding back. The town has also reminded us of the way Orewa was before it became just another Auckland suburb.

“When we eventually got around to thinking about the future, Whitianga was the frontrunner among the places we considered as a possible new home. The town really has everything.” Gary and Robyn have looked at a variety of options before they signed up with Mike Pero. “In Whitianga we were looking at several businesses that were on the market and we’ve also investigated the feasibility of developing a motel,” says Gary. “But we just couldn’t get away from the idea that we both liked and were comfortable in the real estate industry. The Mike Pero brand and business model appealed to us and fortunately Mike Pero and his management team were keen to talk to us.

“As it turned out they had a few territories available, including the central and northern Coromandel. It really was a no-brainer.” Robyn says her and Gary’s office in Monk Street is a showcase of what Mike Pero is about. “Boutique, personal and professional,” she says. “We’re under no illusion that we first have to crawl before we can walk, but we promise to do our very best for our clients right from the outset. If things are going according to plan, we most definitely will be looking at opening satellite offices in other parts of our territory in time to come.” In addition to establishing a business in Whitianga, Gary and Robyn have also purchased a section in a subdivision in the town and look forward to when they can start building.

“Make no mistake, we’re in Whitianga for the long haul,” says Robyn. “We just love it here. We go in the mornings for walks along the beachfront and really enjoy the live music scene in the cafés, restaurants and pubs.

“And we’re already getting to know the locals, which is something that’s pretty special.” Gary Davey and Robyn Beard in their new Mike Pero office in Monk Street in Whitianga.

The Mercury Bay Informer - www.theinformer.co.nz Issue 832 - 13 February 2019 Page 20 What’s On The next few weeks REGULAR EVENTS Op-Shops Social Services Op-Shops - 2 Cook Drive, Whitianga. Open Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 4:30pm and Coghill Street (west of Albert Street), Whitianga. Open Monday to Saturday, 9:300am - 2:00pm. The Church Op-Shop - at St Andrews by the Sea Community Church, Owen Street, Whitianga.

Open Tuesday to Saturday 8:30am - 12:30pm. St John Opportunity Shop - Albert Street, Whitianga. Open Monday to Friday, 10:00am - 4:00pm and Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm.

Mercury Bay Cancer Support Trust Bookshop Albert Street, Whitianga. Open every Monday - Saturday from 10:00am - 2:00pm. Women’s Wellbeing and Weight Loss (the old WW) Meet every Wednesday from 5:00pm - 6:00pm at Whitianga Social Services, 2 Cook Drive, Whitianga. A support group for women striving to be the “best versions of themselves” they can be. “Weighing in” at meetings is optional, but all are motivated towards being more active and encourage each other to eat well. Phone 869 5648 for more information. Peninsula Penultimates (ex Probus Club) Meet the fourth Monday of every month at 10:00am at the Mercury Bay Bowling Club, Cook Drive, Whitianga.

Phone 866 5027 for more information.

Whitianga Senior Citizens Club Meet Mondays in the Whitianga Town Hall, 1:00pm - 4:00pm. Bowls, scrabble, card games, housie etc. Afternoon tea, 55 plus age group. Phone Adrian Telders (president) on 866 5377 for more information. Matarangi Craft Group Meet the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at the Matarangi Fire Station. Phone Lesley on 866 0788 for more information. Whenuakite Area Playgroup Every Wednesday 9:30am - 12:30pm at the Hahei Community Hall. Ages birth - six years. Visitors welcome. Tea and coffee are provided.

Whitianga Playcentre Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00am - 12:00 noon at 1D White Street, Witianga.

For children 0 - 6 years, free entry. Visitors welcome. Mercury Bay Quilters Meet the first and third Monday and the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10:00am - 4:00pm at Whitianga Social Services, 2 Cook Drive, Whitianga. New members welcome. Phone Delys on (07) 866 0265 for more information. Mercury Bay Community Choir Meet Mondays at 6:00pm at the Mercury Bay Area School music room, 20 South Highway,Whitianga.All welcome.To find out more, phone Kate on (027) 270 9058 or Edie on (027) 272 5733.

Whitianga Tramping Group Meet every second Sunday at 8:30am. Phone Wally on (021) 907 782 or Lesley on (021) 157 9979 for more information. Mercury Bay Woolcraft Group Meet every first and third Wednesday of the month in the Whitianga Town Hall in Monk Street, from 10:00am - 2:00pm. Phone Wendy Russell on (07) 866 3225 or Michelle McLuckie on (021) 104 1205 for more information. Whitianga’s Death Café Meet the third Sunday of every month at the Embassy of Friendship, 5 Coghill Street, Whitianga. “Challenging the taboos around death.” All welcome. Email David at david@aikido.co.nz for more information.

Serenity Al-Anon Group Meet every Tuesday at 1:30pm. Phone (07) 866 5104 or (021) 086 10955 for more information. For those affected by someone else’s drinking.

Cooks Beach Garden Circle Meet the last Thursday of every month from 11:15am - 2:30pm. New members welcome. Phone Leila on (07) 866 3264 or Anne on (07) 67 1618 for more information. Whitianga Art Group Meet every Thursday and Friday from 10:00am - 4:00pm at the Art Centre and Gallery at the end of School Road, Whitianga.Visitors welcome. Phone Phone Merle on (021) 024 19368 or Beverley on (07) 866 2345 for more information. Dog Walking Group Meet every Thursday at 2:00pm at Lovers Rock, Robinson Road, Whitianga. An opportunity to socialise your dog. Mercury Bay Contract Bridge Club Meet every Wednesday at 1:00pm at the Mercury Bay Bowling Club, Cook Drive, Whitianga.

Newcomers and visitors welcome. Phone Bob on (07) 866 5831 for more information.

Regular Church Services St Andrews by the Sea Community Church Albert Street, Whitianga. Worship service and kids-friendly Bible session at 9:30am every Sunday. St Peter the Fisherman Anglican Church Dundas Street, Whitianga. Service at 9:30am every Sunday. Crossroads Whitianga Corner of Joan Gaskell Drive and Cook Drive, Whitianga. Service at 10:00am every Sunday. St Patrick’s Catholic Church Campbell Street, Whitianga. Weekend Mass every Saturday at 5:30pm and every Sunday 8:30am. Whitianga Baptist Church 112 Cook Drive, Whitianga, tel 393 0000. Service and children’s programme at 10:00am every Sunday.

C3 Whitianga 23 Coghill Street, Whitianga, email info@c3whitianga.org.nz. Service and children’s programme at 10:00am every Sunday.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church or Mormons) Meet at the Whitianga Social Services building, 2 Cook Drive, Whitianga at 10:00am every Sunday. All welcome. Phone (021) 277 2126 for more information. Seventh Day Adventists Home study group. Phone Laurie/Lois on 866 2808 for more information. SPECIFIC EVENTS Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club Tristram Marine Open Saturday 16 February - Saturday 23 February. See www.mbgfc.co.nz for more information. New Zealand Sport Fishing Council Simrad/ITM Nationals Saturday 16 February - Saturday 23 February. See www.mbgfc.co.nz for more information.

Whitianga Art, Craft and Farmers Market Saturday 16 February from 8:30am - 1:00pm at Soldiers Memorial Park, Albert Street, Whitianga. Whitianga’s 2nd Annual Touch Tournament Saturday 16 February at the Mercury Bay Multisport Park, Moewai Park Road,Whitianga. From early in the morning. More than 18 teams from Auckland and the central North Island are expected to enter. Come support all the Mercury Bay players.

Coromandel Music Society Presents Soul Sax Plus Saturday 16 December in the Admirals Arms garden, Coromandel Town. Doors open at 6:00pm, show starts at 7:00pm. Tickets $15 each, available from the Coromandel Town Information Centre or at the door. Coroglen Farmer’s Market Sunday 17 February from 9:00am - 1:00pm at the Coroglen Hall, State Highway 25, Coroglen. SeniorNet Whitianga Open Day Tuesday 19 February from 12 noon - 3:00pm at the Whitianga Social Services building, 2 Cook Drive, Whitianga. An opprtunity to dicover what SeniorNet can fo for you.

You can also read