The end is not nigh

It’s easy to feel like everything is a little bit apocalyptic at the moment – maximum alert levels, self-isolation, quarantine camps, border closures, empty supermarket shelves, and government officials giving daily press conferences and announcing...... Read More

The science hand washing

It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic currently sweeping the world will be an event comparable to the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. To compound the situation, Covid-19 is much more contagious than influenza. The Government has recommended social...... Read More

War on weeds

Pest weeds are often the ones that produce thousands of tiny seeds borne on the wind or dropped by birds. Some seem to be able to thrive under any conditions, even surviving digging out or spraying with weed killer. Many weeds are garden escapees that...... Read More

Determination in isolation

“In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.” Albert Einstein’s words are a timely reminder as we begin our unprecedented ‘national lockdown’ journey. In fact, this could be the opportunity you have been waiting...... Read More

Hibiscus Matters letters - April 1, 2020 (unpublished)

Dogs on beaches Louisa Geller, Arkles Bay It seems incredible that Council issued no fines for breaches of the summer dog on beach bylaw on Coast beaches (HM March 4). Everywhere I went this summer, whatever time of day, there were dogs both leashed...... Read More

Viewpoint - Keep calm and stop the spread

We are going through a difficult and unprecedented time in New Zealand with the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. I know a lot of our people in Rodney are feeling overwhelmed and very unsure about what the ongoing impact the virus is going to have...... Read More

Council spending constrained by Covid-19

Not in our lifetimes has there been a challenge as significant as the one we face with Covid-19. Where it has taken hold overseas, it has spread rapidly in a matter of days. Auckland Council has cancelled major events and worked closely with health...... Read More

Cusine - Hearty winter breakfast

You often hear people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets you up, well fuelled, to face whatever it is you have planned to do. However, not everyone likes breakfast or can stomach it. The thought of eating the moment you...... Read More

Health - Care for Covid-19

OK everyone is talking about the coronavirus and there is a heightened awareness of every cough, cold and sneeze. I was surprised that the sales of Corona beer decreased recently, maybe they should diversify into toilet paper manufacturing as well. Bad...... Read More

Environment - Eve of destruction

2020 started with an existential bang. Catastrophic bushfires, drought, international undiplomatic brinkmanship and now COVID-19. It’s felt like we’ve ticked off the full apocalyptic list. The yellow smoke-filled skies in January made us realise...... Read More

Local food treasure

Hokey Pokey is a Kiwiana gem. Conveniently available everywhere and celebrated in every town and province, it’s a foodstuff with a proud legacy and generations of family food experience behind it. However, the only true regionally protected dish...... Read More

One Warkworth - Support local business

As I write this column, the world is facing many uncertainties with the spread of COVID-19 and the response to it is changing hourly. By the time this goes to print, the landscape will undoubtedly be different, and I hope all New Zealanders are pulling...... Read More

History - Parting words

American servicemen stationed in Warkworth during WWII were a long way from home, training for the Pacific theatre and an uncertain future. Initially, the men were not allowed beyond Warkworth, but eventually that changed and they were allowed further...... Read More

Jeanette Fitzsimons and me

Jeanette Fitzsimons, who died this month, didn’t know me. But I certainly knew her. She was my lecturer for the Environmental Science paper I did as part of my degree at Auckland University and she filled our heads with the urgency of global warming...... Read More

Hibiscus Matters letters – March 18, 2020

Open workshops Claire Teirney, Stanmore Bay (abridged) I’m writing regarding our local board making their workshops public. I believe that this absolutely needs to happen with the exceptions being when there is a commercial or privacy issue...... Read More

Tanks a lot

Tankwater households on the Hibiscus Coast deserve recognition and support. They highlight an important contribution to resilience, water conservation and civil defence in times of drought. Were it not for the Waikato pipeline top-up, Auckland’s...... Read More

Watch out for robins

After a long hot summer I’m looking forward to some cooler weather and a bit of rain. I’m not alone in this. A lot of our birds are finding pickings a bit thin and the Wenderholm hillsides are dotted with browning taraire trees, which struggle...... Read More

Internet satellites could fill the skies

One of the most common questions I recently get from those on the Coast is: “what are those Starlink train satellites we see at night?” If you go out in the early evening, just after sunset, you may look up and see a number of lights travelling...... Read More

Immunity boosters

With the change of season upon us it’s a good time to focus on the health of your immune system, especially considering recent developments with the spread of Coronavirus. Face masks and hand washing may be one way of keeping germs at bay but the...... Read More