Photo stories

Meet the locals

Remembering Florrie: Florence Louisa Ward

Paekākāriki resident Florrie Ward passed away on 19th March 2020 aged 103. Her daughters, Claire Pinfold and Ronda Thompson, share with us her extraordinary life and character.

O, poetry! O, Helen Heath!

Paekākāriki poet, Helen Heath, just won big time at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for her poetry collection, Are Friends Electric? Here she chats to two other local poets, Maria McMillan and daughter Lily McMillan.

Perky’s eulogy

No-one in Paekākāriki talked about ‘diversity’ in 1971 but the Perkins family soon came to epitomise it. The culture of the Middle Run family farm was right wing, left-leaning, New Age, rural, cosmopolitan, outdoors, arty, horsey, gentle, blokey, into surf life-saving, and famous for teasing humour noted for a consistent lack of tact.  The John Perkins era attracted wonderful people to our village: people who might not be like-minded―the Perkins family is incapable of being that boring―but certainly people who are, by and large, remarkably like-hearted.

Community

Bubble Breakout!

A beautiful record of a community day and night 20 June at St Peters Hall Paekākāriki by photographer Bob Zuur with an array of musical talent and words from Gilbert Haisman. This night saw the hall’s new floorboards given a thorough test. Here, we take the chance to remember a few of our people in words and images.

Paekākāriki Xpressed 2001-2011

An award-winning community newspaper we consider, with total bias, to be one of the finest ever printed. Paekakariki Xpressed editor Don Polly here reflects on those who contributed to a paper which informed and entertained Paekākāriki households for a decade.

A lovely seaside haven for rodents

It’s that time of year in New Zealand when mice and rats move in and share our bubbles as they seek warmth. That means, says Maree White, its time for us to work together on being predator free. Paekākāriki has long taken a lead with likely the first backyard trapping group anywhere in New Zealand.

Stronger together: What communities can do in the Covid-19 crisis

From Italy’s ‘Listen to Your Grandmother’ campaign and Bristol’s Mothers Turned Drug Runners to RongoCare in the tiny village of Rongotea, Louise Thornley has been researching great NZ and international community responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Centre proposed for Emerald Glen Road

NZ Transport Agency’s plan for a souped-up version of a truck weigh station, planned for land at the start of Emerald Glen Road, has hit some wobbles as locals and the Paekākāriki Community Board express their disappointment at the lack of consultation.

Children and parents learn te reo Māori together

“Tapawha whero!” yells three-year-old Hana as she proudly points to a red square on a board. She’s playing a game naming colours and shapes at Paekākāriki Playcentre with Whaea Wai Miller who visits the centre each week to help the children and their parents to practise their te reo Māori.

Giving it right back

‘In his quiet, behind-the-scenes way, he’s a very active, enthusiastic Paekākārikian, working hard for social equality. We are lucky to have him.’ Introducing our altruistic second sponsor.

How to grow lizards

I have lived in Paekākāriki for over 35 years. Most of that time I have not known much about lizards. Sure, there have always been a few skinks running around my garden. But that was about all I knew. All that began to change when Ngā Uruora hired Ecogecko to do a series of local lizard surveys.

Creative non-fiction

Taupo Swamp

The first time I became aware of Taupo Swamp was when the Queen came to visit. A platform was erected atop a small grassy knoll beside State Highway One. From here the Queen could stand, her back to the traffic, to admire the sea of flax, and perhaps wave royally across its expanse at commuters on the Kapiti train line. My parents felt a bit sorry for her – but they were also amused.

Centennial

Our house backs onto paddocks and on the other side of those paddocks part of Transmission Gully is being constructed. It’s a notorious road. One I can hardly believe is actually being built, having heard about it for as long as I can remember. I see the earthmovers and the hazard bunting during the day, and I’ve got used to the hi-vis workers clearing out the pie warmer in the local dairy, but it’s mostly at night when I feel the road advancing. Lights pulse and flash, machinery growls, and the shouting talk of workers carry across the paddocks.

History

We are failing the Wainui

When it rains hard a treasured Kāpiti Coast waterway, Wainui Stream turns very brown. Home to some of the best native fish biodiversity in the Wellington region the stream, says freshwater ecologist and advocate Mike Joy, has long been abused. It is now likely being damaged by Transmission Gully work upstream after measures requested by the Environmental Protection Agency were not put in place.

Scoreboards & brawls

Jenny Clarke gives us a run-down of recent celebrations of Paekākāriki’s sporting history with images by Mick Finn.

For Preservation

Jenny Clark writes about the heritage of our Paekākāriki buildings and the merit in saving them

In 50 years' time

Not everyone wears shoes

Erica Julian ponders Paekākāriki’s future and what makes us special. The first in series of stories for Paekakariki.nz by residents on what we will, or could look like in 50 years time.

News

Te haerenga: the journey

“It takes a village, right? Thankfully, I was in one.”
An introductory editorial.

Poetry

Hope