Waiheke Marketplace : Nov 3
6 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 NEWS WAIHEKE ISLAND, 102 OSTEND ROAD PHONE (09) 372 0060 Know how. Can do. PlaceMakers Waiheke would like to congratulate Peter Davidson, Ron Jackson and the Lite House partners Bryce Ardern and Clive Matthews for their award winning contributions to the island's building industry. They have been recognised by their peers in recent competitions for their work with the Local Rock House on Oneroa Beach, The Waiheke Island House at Church Bay and the Lite House in Surfdale. MP pursues school isolation funding MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye has pledged to raise the issue of free buses for Waiheke Island school children with the Education Ministry at a meeting organised to review isolation funding for the schools. I intend to raise the issue with the Education Ministry at this meeting. We need to understand all the options and ensure central and local government agencies fully understand the impact to families of any decisions being made. I am confident that we can improve the situation if all agencies work together to ensure Wai- heke children have access to safe and reliable transport,'' says Ms Kaye. She also welcomes the announcement that the Education Ministry will be reviewing the iso- lation funding for schools on Waiheke. Isolation funding recognises the additional costs of accessing the goods and services needed to operate a school and deliver the curriculum. This review is a win for the island as it recog- nises that Waiheke Island faces similar challenges to rural com- munities,'' Ms Kaye says. Obviously we will have to wait to see the outcome of the review. However, the minister has said it could result in extra funding being allocated to the schools' five-year agreement budgets. If this happens it will be a huge help to the Waiheke Island schools and the children who face extra costs from running a school on an island.'' In a statement to parents and caregivers, Te Huruhi school princi- pal Ian Travers says he and the board of trustees is delighted Ms Kaye has moved decisively to help initiate a review of funding for our three schools and a review of our school bus service''. He says the proposed loss of the service plus the costs of water and sewerage reticulation for Waiheke High and Te Huruhi schools mean the board will fully support the review which he hopes will address the issues in the earliest time-frame''. Opening up to business Concept drawing: The two-storey structure by Sandcastle Design will be the second two-storey building on Belgium Street. Under construction: The building will eventually house two shops. By JEROME GAVELLE A new two-storey build- ing taking shape in Belgium St in Ostend has had passersby questioning what it will be.The commercial con- struction is due to be completed by Easter and will shelter two stores, according to developer Brett McDonald of the McDonald Family Trust managing the project. Mr McDonald says True Blue gift shop has already put an option on the bottom one which is around 80 square metres. A few businesses have expressed interest in the top space but no decision has been made so far,'' Mr McDonald says. Plans drawn up by Sandcastle Design show the structure will be made of glass, concrete panels, and a Coloursteel roof. Construction work started a month ago. It will be the second commercial two-storey building on Belgium St after The Rocks. Magnificent backdrop: High school trip to Tongariro National Park. Kids conquer 'Middle Earth' By JEROME GAVELLE A group of young explorers got the oppor- tunity to taste life in Middle Earth'' on a trip to Tongariro Nat- ional Park. Year 8 teacher Bob Upchurch, head of the physical education de- partment Ben Alex- ander and four parents accompanied the 46 Waiheke High School year 9 students on their adventure. They en- joyed the Lord of the Rings scenery, walking and outdoor activities -- including an experience on the Tongariro cross- ing on their five-day mountain excursion. The trip included a stop at Waitomo, a visit to Whakapapa to play in the snow and a warm-up in the hot pools at Tokaanu. They stayed at Tau- rewa, next to the Tongariro Outdoor Pur- suits Centre. Two days into the trip the group attempted the Tonga- riro crossing. Out of the 46 stu- dents some got as far as Soda springs, and the Mangatepopo valley,'' Mr Upchurch says. Another group went to the top of the saddle and 24 who had the right clothing continued right across -- a trip that is 19km long.'' The 24 students walked for eight hours and one commented that they were strug- gling on the devil's staircase but it was a great feeling to get to the top. We finished really tired but it was worth it and beautiful.'' On their final day the group did what Mr Upchurch calls the famous stream walk'' -- a half-hour walk in chilly water. Geckos taken to Crusoe Lizard numbers leap: Thirty common geckos have been released on Crusoe Island. Photo: DYLAN VAN WINKEL The population of little lizards on a rocky out- crop in the sea has grown thanks to the conser- vation efforts of Mike Lee and his team. Following a release of native shore skinks between January and March on Crusoe Island, the team released 30 common geckos last Thursday. Crusoe Island is also known as Papakohatu, and lies half way between Waiheke and Motuihe. It is 0.7 hectares. The 30 geckos were collected from Otata Island in the Noises Group by native lizard scientific expert Melinda Rixon on behalf of the Auckland Regional Council. This release was combined with the transfer of 40 other com- mon geckos to Motuora Island. Mr Lee says the release of common geckos and shore skinks on Crusoe has been a personal project since he first carried out a biologi- cal survey of the island as part of his MSc degree in 1996. I discovered the island had been overrun by mice and its native vegetation infested with rhamnus -- an especially aggressive pest weed plant. In 2001 I finally cleared the last mouse off Crusoe.'' New councillor for Waitemata and Gulf Mr Lee was Auckland Regional Council chair- man for six years. He says over recent years he and other regional coun- cil staff have cleared Crusoe of rhamnus and other weeds. The island is well covered in native coastal forest and is now in extremely good con- dition.'' The lizards were released into rocky crevices by Ms Rixon, helped by natural heri- tage scientist and lizard specialist Matt Baber and Mike Lee. To know that Crusoe has been restored to an almost pristine condition and stocked with native lizards is extremely satisfying for me,'' Mr Lee says.
November 10th 2010