Cellaring beer

The Germans have a saying, and it goes something like this, “Only drink beer in the shadow of the brewery”. It refers to their philosophy that fresh beer is best. While I would generally champion this line of thought, there is always an exception...... Read More

Trap-line encounters

To keep the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary predator-free takes more than the 2.6km of predator-proof fence. In addition, there are 25 trap-lines that collectively have 1324 stations. These stations are a mix of bait stations and various models of trap. Each...... Read More

Raising grandchildren

Most people move into retirement expecting increased time to relax and follow their interests. This option is less likely to be the situation for the growing number of people who find themselves responsible for raising their grandchildren. At Homebuilders,...... Read More

Founding father

Captain Martin Krippner, born in Mantau, Bohemia, in 1817, is a controversial character. He is described by various sources as entrepreneurial, educated, a family man, courageous, foolhardy, a social climber, an adventurer or an opportunist. He was certainly...... Read More

Hurrah for structure plan

Welcome news: Warkworth is finally getting its structure plan.  This was voted through at the Council Planning Committee meeting of 1 August, with support from Councillor Sayers. This is something that I and my colleagues campaigned on, so I’m...... Read More

Winter chills

Today it is 13 degrees! Winter is upon us again and I must admit I am one of those people who do not enjoy the cold weather. I find it hard to get and stay warm and am already longing for summer to return. I put it down to being born in Fiji, and a lifetime...... Read More

Stepping stone to adventure

If you see an old grey-haired guy wandering up your street, don’t ring the nearest rest home. It’s probably me. I am, I’m proud to say, in training for a trek to Everest Base Camp in September. This is a long-held dream. I read Edmund...... Read More

Tangy on toast

 Citrus is the star of winter. When not a lot else is in season, it is sweet, colourful and cheap. Citrus trees can produce big crops and many people who have them in their gardens are faced with the “problem” of how to eat it all! If...... Read More

Rating values explained

Auckland Council will update rating values this year, and we often get asked, given the positive market movement since the last rating valuation, will my rates increase?  Well, the answer is complicated, but to put it simply – it depends! Councils...... Read More

New funds just a start

July was another busy month for Auckland Council, with significant announcements made on housing and transport. On July 11 I joined the Finance Minister, Steven Joyce to announce a new $300 million infrastructure investment for Auckland. Provided through...... Read More

Plenty of bait options

 The water temperature has dropped to about 13-14°C in the Hauraki Gulf and there has been some pretty exciting fishing in deeper water around Flat Rock and out in the middle of the Gulf, particularly the area about five miles south of Little...... Read More

Now its just like the main street in Matakana

Safety fears prompt calls for Matakana walkway closure. Two deep holes undermining a steep section of a popular walking and cycle track have been partially fenced off, and the path could be closed completely until they are fixed, following fears...... Read More

A Woman’s Place

By Joan Withers ‘Successful women rarely set out to become role models. They just do the best they can and, hopefully, that becomes inspirational for other women. This quote is from Joan Withers, who left high school with School Certificate at the...... Read More


By Julie Cohen Is this a great love story or a story about great love? You, the reader, must decide. It starts in the present day on an ordinary morning that seems just like any other. Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always....... Read More

Borrowing in retirement

It’s becoming common for people to be turned away by banks when they wish to borrow against the house because banks are not comfortable lending to people whose sole income is national super. Although it is against the law to discriminate on the...... Read More

Aging myths

I am still perplexed at how, in our supposed evolved society, we undervalue our aging populations’ ability to contribute to society. It defies logic! When you have accumulated a lifetime of skills, knowledge and wisdom, society says you are less...... Read More

Coconut creations

When I think winter meals I think roasts, soups and curries. I think hot, slow-cooked dishes that warm the body and the soul. Pondering a dish for a cool winter evening would not usually entail a consideration of tropical fruits or seafood. However, I...... Read More

Early Innovation

The first echelon of new land owners to Mangawai* arrived after land sales of 1856. There were huge trees to contend with but logging was underway and the pioneers were folk of mighty ‘mettle’, who set about creating a lifestyle that would...... Read More

Gulls suffer from marine changes

For many people, red-billed gulls are very much New Zealand’s ‘fish and chip’ bird. While they can be aggressive scavengers, they have an intriguing range of foods. One of the biggest colonies these days is at Marsden Point, nesting...... Read More