Welcome to the February 2017 issue of Talking Tararua

Featuring amazing events, inspiring community stories and updates from Council…

Welcome to the February 2017 issue of Talking Tararua

Featuring amazing events, inspiring community stories and updates from Council…

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Plans on track for Ormondville Five Viaducts Festival

Hosted by the Ormondville Rail Preservation Group, and backed by the Tararua District Council and Pahiatua Railcar Socie...

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Plans on track for Ormondville Five Viaducts Festival

Hosted by the Ormondville Rail Preservation Group, and backed by the Tararua District Council and Pahiatua Railcar Society, the all-day Street Festival will be held on Saturday, 4 March from 10:00am onwards.

President and treasurer of the Ormondville Rail Preservation Group, Tom Williamson, says he believes very few people actually know about the Ormondville station, its history and the restoration work that has been completed over the years.

“At one time, there were 1,200 rural railway stations in New Zealand… Today there are only six left and Ormondville is the most complete of them. The station and the goods shed are two of the oldest heritage buildings in the district.”

Wanting to increase public awareness and interest in the Ormondville Station, the idea of a festival was born.

Tom emphasised that the focus of the day is to make locals aware that their oldest heritage buildings are actually their asset, as well as to promote what the precinct actually represents.

“I’ve been pressing for more local interest and involvement in the Ormondville railway precinct for a number of years. Now, I feel more strongly than ever that the long-term future of the Ormondville Rail Preservation Group, which is made up of volunteers, depends on this.”

A highlight for all train enthusiasts will be the arrival of the Pahiatua Railcar Society’s Standard Railcar RM31. The railcar will provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a number of local trips, which will run throughout the day, over five large historic viaducts, the Ormondville and Kopua Viaducts to the North, and the Makotuku, Mangatewainui and PiriPiri Viaducts to the South. Additionally, noted historian, Paul Mahoney, will be on board providing commentary on each one.

The station precinct – which is one of the finest survivors of New Zealand’s early railway stations – and the recently restored award-winning goods shed are a must to visit, with local residents and Ormondville Rail Preservation Group members on hand to answer any questions.

Whether you are a railway enthusiast or not, the Ormondville Five Viaducts Festival is an event not to be missed and offers something for everyone. With entertainment, street musicians and craft and food stalls lining the town’s main street, plus many more activities and events still be planned, visitors can be sure of a fun filled day the whole family will enjoy.

– written by Barbara Gillham

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Saigon Restaurant expands with bakery and cafe

It’s been eighteen months since the Saigon Restaurant opened its doors in Dannevirke. Offering food lovers an eclectic c...

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Saigon Restaurant expands with bakery and cafe

It’s been eighteen months since the Saigon Restaurant opened its doors in Dannevirke.

Offering food lovers an eclectic combination of dishes full of unique flavours only found in Vietnamese food, diners have been truly spoilt for choice since it opened.

Changes have recently been made, such as fresh new decor and a change of colour scheme, that add to its overall ambience.

Today, Saigon Restaurant is a wonderful, relaxing, dining venue with excellent food; the perfect place for lunch or an evening out.

Owner, Gaing Do, says he believes that he has found the right balance when it comes to his menu. Producing high quality cuisine for the discerning diner, as well as catering for families wanting exceptional service and wonderful meals (at an affordable price).

During the past few months, Gaing has started renovating the accommodation of the former hotel, which sits above the restaurant. He now has ten rooms that have been refurbished and are attracting travellers looking for somewhere to stay.

With room for expansion beside the restaurant, Gaing is in the process of renovating this and turning it into a separate bakery and cafe, which he hopes to open in April.

Called Yummi, the new business will specialise in Vietnamese breads and also do western foods such as all day breakfasts in the cafe/bakery.

Gaing says the cafe will be able to seat about fifteen people inside, and will have outside seating also available.

“The machinery for the bakery is currently on its way from Vietnam, and one of my chefs is in Vietnam at the moment learning how to operate it, and also learning more about the bread making. There are many different flavours and varieties and he is learning about these,” says Gaing.

Gaing says he is hoping to attract more people to the business by opening the café. At present, many people see Saigon as they travel through town and think it is simply a restaurant. With the additions he is planning, Gaing hopes this will change and more people – both local residents and visitors – will stop to try their food.

“I want to cater to everyone, and I want people to see we are not just about Vietnamese food but we also do western food.

“I’m hoping once people see the cafe and bakery open they will realise this and stop and enjoy what we have to offer. We have an excellent barista who makes excellent coffee and is a wonderful chef. Vietnamese bread is quite unique and people will be able to come in and select their bread and what they want as a filling. I think people will enjoy it,” says Gaing.

– written by Barbara Gillham

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Council and You… Taking Care of Our Communities

Have you got a pothole in your road, noticed wandering stock, or seen a roaming dog running amok? Is there a sewage or w...

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Council and You… Taking Care of Our Communities

Have you got a pothole in your road, noticed wandering stock, or seen a roaming dog running amok? Is there a sewage or water leak in the park, road, or footpath? Have you noticed a burst watermain, got a noise concern, or has someone dumped their whiffy rubbish bags where they shouldn’t have?

Don’t just grumble and shake your head – take action!

Call the Council and report your concern; we operate a 24/7 service. You can call 374 4080 or 376 0110 depending on where you reside in Tararua. Council staff will answer your call Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. Outside these hours, you will speak with the Council’s afterhours provider.

Customer Services Team Leader, Steph Te Huki, says, “We have a big district and we can’t be everywhere at once; that is why we like to encourage people to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of our communities and let us know when problems arise.”

Council’s response to service requests or faults varies depending on the type of work needed. Urgent matters that involve risk to public safety, Council infrastructure, or reduced service to the community (e.g. where you have no water or your road is blocked by a slip) will be dealt with as a priority, whereas, a pothole may take up to five working days to repair. Sometimes faults cannot be repaired straight away.

All requests are logged and the actions taken are noted, and we do like to hear from you if you feel your needs are not being met. On the flipside, we also love to hear when you are satisfied with our service! We like to keep a record of compliments; it is nice to be able to pass onto staff and contractors comments of a job well done.

So, call us if you need us. Let us work together to ensure Tararua remains a great place to live, work, and play.

Comments/Questions

16 Comments

  1. Sarah Kingston

    Not much point ringing the council. Been there done that and nothing happens. We live on Waitahora road on the shingle. Have rung and complained about the state of the road and spoken to the mayor and this was before Christmas. She assured me something would be done. Still nothing. Didn’t even return call when I left a message. Road getting even worse. Can’t remember last time grass on edges cut. We realize things take time but this is ridiculous.

    Reply
  2. Profile photo of Tararua DC
    Tararua DC

    Hey Sarah, thanks for your comment. The Alliance Manager drove through this road last week and he noted that improving the width and alignment of the road would require extra funding from Government, whilst the maintenance is within tolerance relative to the funding approved.

    Reply
    1. Sarah & Roy Kingston

      At no point did we mention re alignment or improving the width of the road. We are talking about maintenance. Water tables and replacement of broken culverts. Also was mentioned the mowing of the sides as this is definitely a safety issue. i.e seeing oncoming traffic, motorbikes and four wheelers are particularly hard to see.
      Finding it difficult to understand after your initial conversation that the CEO had travelled the road and had major concerns. What is wrong with approaching central government for more funding.
      Having lived on this road for 14 years it is falling into a state of disrepair we have not witnessed before, and long term the costs are always greater if maintenance is not maintained.

      Reply
      1. Profile photo of Tararua DC
        Tararua DC

        Hi Sarah and Roy

        We’ve just started our annual drainage maintenance programme so the issues mentioned should be remedied if prioritised high enough against the other needs of the network.

        Regarding the vegetation; unsealed road verges are typically no longer mown, which isn’t uncommon for many local authorities. We are looking to discuss our vegetation levels of service with Councillors, and through consultation if required, in line with the NZ Transport Agency’s One Network Road Classification rollout and as part of the Long Term Plan (LTP) process.

        Reply
  3. keith butters

    We live in Macgiibon rd which is off waitahora rd and are ever plagued by potholes and dust, nothing is done unless we complain then its a temporary measure, When you add up what we get for our rates out here you would hope there would be a bit more money allocated for these roads. I heard that before the new Major was elected she said country roads would be a priority, seems now shes in it doesn’t matter I also heard she doesn’t reply to squeaky wheels.

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Tararua DC
      Tararua DC

      Kia ora Keith, thanks for your comment and apologies for the delay in getting back to you. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention, we have sent this information through to the Tararua Alliance and someone will be following up on this.

      Reply
  4. Bob Gill

    In January this year I emailed Council with a proposal for a secure dog park (which doesn’t exist at present in Dannevirke). Despite contacting the mayor a month after sending the email I have yet to receive an acknowledgement of my email. It would cost very little to modify the existing one and only dog park, which could be of benefit to the elderly eager to exercise their dogs without the fear of the dogs getting onto a busy highway. When can I expect a response?

    Reply
  5. Bob Gill

    Well, a week has passed since my last comment, but still no response. I notice too that another comment posted the same time as my previous comment has also not been responded to. Looks like a complete waste of time.

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Tararua DC
      Tararua DC

      Hi Bob

      Our sincere apologies for the delay in response. Council has taken your suggestion on board and is now looking at what the cost would be to provide a fully fenced area surrounding the grassed area at the top.

      The walking track was created through a work experience scheme jointly funded by Work and Income NZ alongside Council.

      Reply
  6. Bob Gill

    This page link should surely be on the Tararua and Dannevirke Community Page (or a link on the Council page). I had lost the link to this page temporarily and couldn’t find any reference on either anything to do with Tararua Council because people are interested on what’s being done to make improvements in the area. You also have page issues, I note, because If I press ‘enter’ or an up and down key your page closes down.

    Reply
    1. Bob Gill

      Your page also doesn’t provide editing, so I am unable to edit the sentence above starting: ‘I had lost the link….’

      Reply
    2. Profile photo of Tararua DC
      Tararua DC

      Hi Bob

      Thanks for the feedback. The link to this newsletter is available on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tararuadc) and on our website homepage (www.tararuadc.govt.nz). We also publish an advertisement on our page in the Bush Telegraph a week prior to publishing the digital newsletter. Is there another location you are aware of where this link would be valuable?

      Thanks for reporting those issues with the page, we are aware of some problems with commenting on articles and we are currently working alongside the company that develops the software we publish this newsletter on to fix these issues. Although, we had not noticed the inability to edit comments and will pass this feedback on.

      Thanks again,
      TDC

      Reply
  7. Bob Gill

    Still no follow up from your 9 March response saying you were costing the secure dog park proposal. Please advise progress on this issue.

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Tararua DC
      Tararua DC

      Kia ora Bob

      Apologies for the delay, the person dealing with this enquiry is currently away and will return to the office next week. We will follow this up with them upon their return and come back to you during the week.

      Reply
  8. Bob Gill

    That’s strange. The initial verbal response when raising this issue back in January was that the person dealing with the issue was away. It was the same response some weeks ago when the issue was raised with the mayor at a Grey Power meeting. Is that person on a 6-month holiday, or something? Is there not someone else to deal with matters like this when the main person is away?

    I first raised this issue via email and have had to chase Council every step of the way for a response. A simple acknowledgement to my email would have been appreciated, rather than me having to keep raising the issue via a public forum. Let’s see what happens, then, next week.

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Tararua DC
      Tararua DC

      Hi Bob

      We would like to sincerely apologise for the delays in responding to your proposal and your enquiries here.

      Our Regulatory and Asset Management teams have been assessing this proposal and a formal decision has now been made to proceed; work will begin once we are able to secure a contractor.

      We would also like to thank you for submitting this proposal to Council, the ideas of the community are much appreciated and we are always happy to work together to develop and grow our towns and district.

      Thanks again,
      TDC

      Reply

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Region welcomes ultra-fast broadband announcement

Manawatu-Whanganui regional leaders have welcomed the government’s latest announcement of the roll out of ultra-fast bro...

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Region welcomes ultra-fast broadband announcement

Manawatu-Whanganui regional leaders have welcomed the government’s latest announcement of the roll out of ultra-fast broadband.

Improving digital connectivity is a key enabler in the Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan, which is being implemented through Accelerate25. Areas set to benefit from new ultra-fast fibre services include parts of Palmerston North, Feilding, and a host of rural towns including Ashhurst, Foxton, Shannon, Bulls, Marton, Taihape, Ohakune, Raetihi, Taumarunui, Dannevirke, Pahiatua and Woodville.

Regional Council Chair and Accelerate25 Lead Team member, Bruce Gordon, says working with central government to enable digital services to the region has been a key part of Accelerate25.

“Adding so many rural towns to the network will help numerous businesses involved in some of the region’s key sectors, such as agriculture and tourism. It’s a great first step as it not only benefits those in the upgrade zones, but also unlocks potential for greater coverage in low speed or blackspot areas.

“Roll out will complement the impressive digital connections already made in places like Whanganui,” he says.

Mayor of Tararua, Tracey Collis, says she can’t wait to have the fibre installed in the district.

“The ability to transact business digitally is critical to us. Access to fibre has regularly been identified as a barrier to growth by our leading businesses and there are also significant social benefits.

“It is great to see the benefit of regions and central government working cooperatively,” she says.

The government investment in ultra-fast broadband for roll out in Manawatu-Whanganui is nearly $32 million dollars, which is amongst the highest of regions in the country. The programme is scheduled to roll out between now and 2024.

Government is also working on a programme to improve rural connectivity and cell phone blackspots which was identified as another key enabler in the Regional Economic Action Plan. Regional leaders continue to push for improved rural connectivity ahead of any government announcements.

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“Pahiatua feels like home” says former Aucklander

When Jason and Sharlene Sommerville decided they wanted a change of lifestyle for themselves and their two young childre...

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“Pahiatua feels like home” says former Aucklander

When Jason and Sharlene Sommerville decided they wanted a change of lifestyle for themselves and their two young children, they began looking at other areas around the North Island.

“It was a bit of a long term goal we had, to bring the kids up in a smaller town where we could have a few animals and the kids could have somewhere to run around,” says Jason.

Living in West Auckland and working in Takapuna, Jason spent a lot of time commuting each day to and from work. As the Commercial Sales Manager for Wireless Nation, a company that provides internet service throughout the country, Jason’s role involved a lot of travel.

“We just wanted to provide a wholesome upbringing for the kids and the chance for them to experience new and different things.”

Looking at areas from as far as Northland down to Tararua, as well as places in between such as South Waikato, Te Kuiti and Otorohanga, the couple liked Pahiatua and the opportunities they saw in Tararua.

When Jason told his employers he was thinking of leaving Auckland their only concern was if he was leaving the company.

“They asked me the question, are you staying or are you going? I said I would love to stay with the company and I was hoping they would let me. They said absolutely, and they saw it as a great business opportunity. The beauty of technology is you can be anywhere in the world and do my job, you don’t need to be in an office in the city to do my work. I’m lucky enough to be doing what I love doing and now living where I am.”

Jason says he feels a sense of relief being out of Auckland and away from the pressure of life in the city, but emphasised that even though he now works from an office at home, he isn’t sitting back and relaxing.

“I’m not that sort of person; I’m someone who wants to make things happen. I’ve still got the high targets that I set myself to achieve and that the company expects, but I haven’t got the stress, it comes off you and it means I can really focus.

“I still get up at 5:30am in the morning, check the news and then get into work at 7:00am which is only five steps down into the back of the garage. There’s no stress of commuting and I’m straight into work now, I’m at my most productive.”

The couple moved just before Christmas and love the town and the people they have met.

“We’ve got good neighbours, people chat to you on the street, something that doesn’t happen in Auckland, it’s really refreshing being part of a small community.

“I see plenty of opportunities in the area for the work I do and for the family, we’ve got the animals we wanted, the kids are having different experiences such as feeding the chooks and collecting the eggs, and it’s those sorts of things that we wanted.

“We see a positive future here and we love the place, it’s a great town with great people.”

– written by Barbara Gillham

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Move to Pahiatua could benefit Tararua

When Jason Sommerville moved from Auckland to live in Pahiatua, he didn’t just bring his family to the district; he also...

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Move to Pahiatua could benefit Tararua

When Jason Sommerville moved from Auckland to live in Pahiatua, he didn’t just bring his family to the district; he also brought a wealth of skills that may benefit the district and local businesses.

Jason, the Commercial Sales Manager for Wireless Nation, a company that provides fast urban, rural and business broadband access across the country, including the Chatham Islands, says he can see huge potential for the company and its services in Tararua.

Although Jason and his wife Sharlene moved to the district with their two children for a change of lifestyle, Jason continues to work for the company he has been with for the last three years.

“There are parts of the country where it’s hard to get broadband, it’s a problem everywhere – even in parts of Auckland – but there are solutions to these problems and I like seeing people’s reactions when they see what we can do,” explains Jason.

 

“I was very fortunate, the company I work for could see huge possibilities in this district and wanted me to continue working for them.”

Jason has already joined the local Chamber of Commerce and says he sees plenty of opportunities in Tararua for his work.

“We are a company that is growing everywhere in the country, we already cater to people from the top of New Zealand to the bottom, but I have noticed the business is growing slower in this district than anywhere else. I think that comes down to awareness, nobody knows about us and what we do, so my goal is to establish the brand here.

“I want people here to get to know me and know they can trust me and our company, we’re all about looking after people’s needs. I think from there things will start to establish themselves.

“We’ve got nationwide installers but I’m also certified so I can do most things, the services are simple for the most part, so in most cases I can just hand over our box with some instructions and people can do it themselves.”

Jason has already worked with his company on a number of projects that have benefitted communities and encouraged tourism. One project was providing free Wi-Fi in Otorohanga, a town that people often passed through. Since free Wi-Fi became available more people are stopping.

“It’s public Wi-Fi so visitors can connect and it brings up a website that shows local places to visit. That’s all handled by our company and we’ve done it in other places too.”

Jason has already been to some local community events and meetings, and approached some local businesses where he has received a positive response.

“We look after our clients, and we pride ourselves on the fact that what we do is very easy and simple, which means we are able to support everyone well. It’s all about ongoing support.”

– written by Barbara Gillham

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Building or renovating? Know the limits…

Somewhere along the line when you are building or renovating, sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying will need to...

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Building or renovating? Know the limits…

Somewhere along the line when you are building or renovating, sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying will need to be done and it is important that you use a qualified plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer to carry out work, depending on the work.

Due to some of the high-risk hazards that exist in the industry, it is illegal to do a lot of this work unless you hold a NZ Practising Licence issued by The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

New Zealand homes have a complex network of pipes and fittings that mix high pressures, high temperatures, gas, electricity and many other high-risk hazards which are dangerous and could potentially put your family’s health and safety under threat if handled incorrectly.

Additionally, mistakes can be costly if you don’t use a qualified professional where required, and there is also a risk that you could void your insurance. There are big fines associated with illegal work too. For example, unauthorised sanitary plumbing work carries a maximum fine of $10,000, and unauthorised gasfitting carries a maximum fine of $50,000.

Know the limits… Check out what’s legal and what’s not at www.pgdb.co.nz.

When hiring a tradesperson who can you trust? How do you sort the pros from the cons?

Anyone can have tools or a van, but that doesn’t mean they a have the skills and experience required to do the job properly.

Everyone qualified to undertake restricted sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work must carry their NZ Practising Licence and are required to produce it when asked.

So, next time you call a professional, make sure they really are one; ask to see their card.

New Zealand has been fortunate to have a regulated plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry for over 100 years. High-quality training means we have some of the most highly competent and qualified tradespeople in the world.

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Council snippets and reminders…

To view the latest news and updates from Tararua District Council, please visit www.tararuadc.govt.nz/latestnews. Notice...

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Council snippets and reminders…

To view the latest news and updates from Tararua District Council, please visit www.tararuadc.govt.nz/latestnews.


Notice of Meetings

The following meetings will be held at the venues as indicated during the month of March 2017.

Council Chamber
26 Gordon Street, Dannevirke

  • Tararua District Council
    Wednesday 1 March at 1:00pm
  • Audit and Risk Committee
    Monday 13 March at 2:00pm
  • Tararua District Council
    Wednesday 29 March at 1:00pm

Community Boards

  • Eketahuna Community Board
    Friday 3 March at 10:00am
    Eketahuna War Memorial Hall
    Corner of Jones Street and State Highway 2, Eketahuna
  • Dannevirke Community Board
    Monday 6 March at 1:00pm
    Tararua District Council Chamber
    26 Gordon Street, Dannevirke

Community Committees

  • Woodville Districts’ Vision
    Tuesday 7 March at 7:00pm
    Woodville Sports Stadium Supper Room
    Ross Street, Woodville
  • Pahiatua On Track
    Wednesday 1 March at 5:30pm
    Pahiatua Service Centre Chamber
    136 Main Street, Pahiatua

Public Forums

A period of up to 30 minutes shall be set aside for public participation at the commencement of the Tararua District Council and Dannevirke Community Board meetings. Please contact the Governance Manager, Richard Taylor prior to the date of the meeting if you wish to arrange a time to speak at the public forum.


Community Funding Opportunities

Creative Communities New Zealand Local Funding Scheme

Applications are now open for financial assistance under the Creative Communities New Zealand Local Funding Scheme. Projects may involve any art form or a mixture of art forms including theatre, visual, multimedia, dance, traditional arts, craft, music, literary arts and performance arts.

Application forms available from all Tararua District Council Offices or can be downloaded from the Council website.

For more information, contact Scheme Administrator, Carole Wilton, on 06 376 0217.

Applications close on Friday, 31 March 2017. Funding is for projects that begin after Monday, 20 April 2017.

General Assistance Grants Scheme

  • Dannevirke Community Board
    The Dannevirke Community Board’s General Assistance Grants Scheme is open to applications for financial assistance to support locally recognised organisations whose principal functions and/or activities are of a community or charitable nature.Application forms and further details of the scheme are available from the Dannevirke Service Centre, 26 Gordon Street, (P O Box 115), Dannevirke. Applications close on Friday, 10 March 2017 at 5:00pm.
  • Eketahuna Community Board
    The Eketahuna Community Board’s General Assistance Grants Scheme is open to applications for financial assistance to support locally recognised organisations whose principal functions and/or activities are of a community or charitable nature.Application forms and further details of the scheme are available from the Eketahuna Service Centre/Library, 31 Main Street, Eketahuna. Applications close on Friday, 7 April 2017 at 4:30pm.

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Get out and about…

Get out and about in Tararua, or take some time to learn a new skill, the choice is yours… For full details on these eve...

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Get out and about…

Get out and about in Tararua, or take some time to learn a new skill, the choice is yours…

For full details on these events and more, go to www.tararua.com/play


Training and workshops


01 March: Governance Training


02 March: Drawing & Painting Course for Beginners


02 March: Beginners Te Reo Maori


06 March: Funding Applications Workshop


07 March: Minutes and Agendas Workshop


08 March: Beginners Guitar and Waiata Class


18 March: Barista Course


20 March: NZ Red Cross First-aid Training


30 March: Beginners Guide to iPads


Local events


04 March: Five Viaducts Tour & Street Festival


04 March: Drive In Movie Night


08 March: Tour de Science


11 March: Ambrose Golf Tournament


16 March: Hans Uwe Hielscher Organ Recital


18 March: Race to the Brewery

Comments/Questions

2 Comments

  1. Rachael

    This is very useful. It would be helpful if where and at what time these events were on was also listed here.
    I’d love to go to drive in movie but have no idea where this is

    Reply

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