How not to die

Late December I kept receiving text messages from a friend saying: “Hey, how about you write about Veganuary?”  Finding a free moment I messaged back: “What's that?” She replied: “It's like Movember, but... Read More

What's up Mr G?

Graham Hoete, aka Mr G, was busy before and after Christmas painting a mural on the back wall of the Mount Maunganui cinema. Again. Specialising in photorealism with spray paint, he'd previously painted his father there. Now he was painting highly... Read More

Jacaranda capital of NZ

Tauranga's jacarandas are simply stunning, with a canopy of Persian blue flowers on the trees and carpeting the ground beneath.Giving Tauranga a ‘Jacaranda January', this season they started flowering before Christmas.Tauranga city... Read More

Hairini bridge residents

Rattling across the  Hairini Bridge, a common sight for drivers is the camera-bedecked folk peering over the western side of the bridge at the wooden trestles below. They're checking out the progress of the young chicks that hatch there each... Read More

Work yourself happy

If you are an employer and you want to leave a legacy that will impact future generations, then local businesswoman Wendy Macphail urges you to create a workplace that fosters employees' well-being and happiness.  It will also hit your bottom... Read More

French fries and family ties

When I accompanied my sister  Andrea to London, I managed to talk her into breaking up the flights by  stopping off in Paris. We jumped on the hop-on hop-off bus and whisked around the city. On our second day, she went shopping and I went to... Read More

New artisan market

ARTbop and The Black Sheep  Bar & Grill have joined forces to create the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair, which will take place on the last Sunday of every  month excluding December.Located at The Black Sheep Bar & Grill on the corner of Plummers... Read More

Sandcastle spectacular

Four hours of concentration is etched  on Brett Muir's face as he applies the  finishing touches.While most people go to the beach to soak up the sun, the surf, and the sand, Brett goes for  the possibility.Where some children spend... Read More

A rare manuscript surfaces

I went to hear a light ‘parlour' version of Handel's Messiah performed in a church in Katikati. There was something very unique about this edition, but first I chatted with Marjorie Partington, a member of St Paul's Presbyterian... Read More

Pilot Bay, penguins and plastic

It was October 2011, and oil was washing ashore from the Rena. Leigh Pettigrew heard the call for help, and attended a meeting for volunteers.“There were only a few of us there,” says Leigh. “Pim de Monchy from the Bay of Plenty Regional... Read More

A resolution that will stick

What is your New Year's Resolution? To drop 20 kilograms? Finally get in shape? Join a gym?  When it comes to the sign-up it is easy to think “a gym is a gym” or “all gyms are created equal” but that all  gets... Read More

Ear rubs for accommodation

It sounded too good to be true. Ten nights' free accommodation in San Francisco's trendy and bohemian-chic ocean-side suburb of Outer Sunset.My own large, one-bedroomed self-contained apartment underneath the owners' house. In return?... Read More

New strength at 62

Wayne McCready reckons he once knew all the best pie and doughnut shops between here and Auckland.  “I ended up getting very big while driving trucks,” says Wayne. “I felt really unwell. I got a few pains, and then started getting... Read More

Tauranga’s spectacular circus community

Jason Butler is a second generation circus performer  and juggler. He also calls himself a dyslexic clown. I find that hard to believe, particularly when he glides past me, adeptly juggling three balls whilst riding a unicycle. Rowan Ford Dawson,... Read More

Community garden grows

The idea for creating the  Mount Community Garden was conceived in 2011 by members of the Mount Maunganui Lions Club. A steering committee was appointed and enthusiastically set about the task. Leigh Pettigrew is an original member who has seen... Read More

Setting a new standard of childcare

It's every parent's dream for their children to thrive from an early age and bloom into well-rounded, eager-to-learn, happy people – gorgeous both inside and out. “Confident, calm and happy kids make for pleased-as-punch parents,”... Read More

Stay on track with trails app

When Junji Kumano and Takayuki Ban visited Tauranga on their recent travel research trip, they tried out the newly-launched Arataki Cultural Walking Trail app developed by local entrepreneurs. Takayuki, a freelance journalist for Japanese travel and... Read More

Art with a past

Two very different styles of art will soon call Tauranga's The Art Lounge NZ home. Sarah Albisser and Anya Mowll both have different art styles, and their creations will be on display until January 4. Sarah's collection ‘Line Complexity'... Read More

Meeters and Greeters

Cruise ship season got underway with the arrival of the 108,865 tonne Golden Princess on October 10. Over 80 cruise ships and thousands of passengers are expected in to the Port of Tauranga over 70 days, with two or three cruise ships coming on the same... Read More

Minden Makeover

The Minden Lookout has had a makeover in time for summer. The lookout at the top of Minden Road was built 40 years ago in 1977 by the Bethlehem Te Puna Lions and opened in 1978. Back then they were known as the Omokoroa Te Puna Lions. Brian Wright was... Read More