Retreat for Reptiles

Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) has proved to be a haven for native reptiles as well as birds, plants and insects. There are eight species of skink and five species of gecko and tuatara. Hauturu has the most reptile species of any offshore island....... Read More

Hibiscus Matters letters - October 17, 2018

Compassion needed Rae Bird, Gulf Harbour That some lives matter more is at the centre of what is wrong with the world. To be clear, I am for the abused, downtrodden and forgotten, what ever that is, but I take umbrage at Phillip Wrigley’s article...... Read More

Keep informed

Daylight saving has started and we look forward to some bright sunny and warmer days. The new bus services for the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast have started. I look forward to comments from bus users to find out if it’s working as promised. That...... Read More

3.99% on home loans?

The one-year rates advertised by big banks like ANZ have dropped again and are sitting on 4.15% as I write this article and drink my coffee. Being in the market for a re-finance of my own mortgage, I wonder if 3.99% (or even less) is achievable once again,...... Read More

Beating the bloat

Losing weight can be a frustrating journey of ups and downs on the scale. You can make an effort with nutrition, cut back on sugary treats and hit the gym three times a week, only to find that one morning you get on the scales and find you’ve gained...... Read More

Beating the heat

Previous columns will have prepared you for summer gardening. Soil nutrients should be in place, mulch has been sourced, pests have been identified and now the warm climate, sunshine and long summer days should be perfect for sun-loving tomatoes, beans,...... Read More

Multiple callouts

Our crew got an early wake-up call on Tuesday October 2 at 5.46 am to attend an urgent callout on the south side of Tiritiri Matangi Island. A skipper on a 12-metre yacht had suffered a medical event and needed assistance. His crew member who was not...... Read More

Cemetery runs out of room

Warkworth residents hoping to be buried at the Auckland Council-run cemetery in McKinney Road are out of luck. Only about 17 body burial plots remain and these have all been reserved by customers, pending their demise. Auckland Council cemeteries...... Read More

Mahurangi Matters - Letters 17 October 2018

Brilliant buses I commend Auckland Transport for our new bus service linking the Warkworth region to Auckland. It’s a pleasure to ride the new buses and see people of all ages enjoying this new option for mobility. For those who haven’t...... Read More

Seeking solutions

There’s a saying that politics is finding a room full of angry people and agreeing with them, and certainly some politicians make an art of it. The trouble with that as a long-term political strategy is there’s no incentive to find a solution. I...... Read More

The venerable Mr Binsted

In May 1910, Mr Henry Binsted was appointed headmaster of Puhoi Public School. He immediately became involved in all aspects of community life, as well as achieving unparalleled results with the children’s education and behaviour. He became secretary...... Read More

The adolescence journey

You utter one word and it can provoke a myriad of different responses – from cringing and sympathetic looks, to enthusiasm and people saying, “I loved it when my kids were that age”. What age is this? Adolescence. Adolescence is by definition...... Read More

Lots to do

This time of year sees me in a bit of a frenzy. The warming weather of spring and the traditional start of the growing season at Labour Weekend, plus the realisation that many of my planned winter jobs have yet to be completed, all combine to make gardening...... Read More

Spring showcase

Spring is a special time, symbolic of rebirth and renewal, along with warming and lengthening days. For those whose living comes from the land, spring marks the beginning of a new year in a very real way. This is the case for winegrowers as much as anyone. The...... Read More

Fury over fuel

Folks, she’s a pretty sad day when my shopping list-making skills start to surpass my creative writing skills. The price of fuel has forced me to adorn my fridge with lists and sends me into a panic attack if I leave home without them. Myself, and...... Read More

Doggy diets

There is a growing trend to feed dogs with new diets, such as raw food or grain-free. Over the last 15,000 years of domestication, dogs have evolved away from their ancestor the wolf and are now able to digest plant-based carbohydrates. So, in reality,...... Read More

Hibiscus Matters Letters - October 3, 2018

No sympathy for Wainui Simon Roberts, Red Beach As a Red Beach resident, but not a golf club member, I watched with horror as the green course was replaced with streets and hundreds of homes – and soon a massive retirement village. The club was...... Read More

Problems tackled

In April, I announced with Government an historic $28 billion-dollar investment in Auckland’s transport infrastructure to deliver transformative projects like light rail, major bus upgrades, new and improved roads like Penlink and Mill Rd, and...... Read More