Covid-19 punished many in the arts sector and yet it’s art that we rest on and return to during crises. Paekākāriki printmaker Joe Buchanan of Diatom Press captured the human response from his garden studio resulting in an extraordinary series of hand-cut lino and letterpress prints. Drawing on his background as both biologist and font-nerd, the collection documents and comments on the full sweep of the lockdown journey; from our sudden fascination with viruses, to haircuts, to hope.
On February 6th Ngāti Haumia ki Paekākāriki and the village community hosted the official 2020 Waitangi Day commemorations for the Kāpiti Coast. Delivering spectacular sunshine, music and kai the day will be remembered as a triumph of community spirit. Mark Coote was there to capture some shots for the Kāpiti Coast District Council record books.
Meet the locals
Sarah Bainbridge on her work as an essential worker in a Wellington hospital during lockdown
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.
Meet Gilbert, Kamala and Jon.
Allie Webber remembers John Porter — a man deeply rooted in community values.
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.
Meet Suzie, Anna-Maria & Margaret
Meet Michael, Mercedes, Joe & Nicole
Meet Carol, Moira, Alun and Arlo, Darcy and Prue
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.
Nestled between State Highway One and the railway line at Paekākāriki, is a 1.6 hectare sliver of land that, with the help of Ngā Uruora and community volunteers, is emerging from invasive weeds to shine as an ecological treasure. Featuring a project by Paekakariki School students, Ana and Audrey, Andy McKay fills us in on where we can find it, how we can help, and why wetlands are vital.
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.
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.
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.
Tash Nilsson gathers together the creative ways tamariki and their parents are keeping sane in the Kapiti Coast village.
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.
What is happening in our newest community space? A welcome for you to join in, plus a short history in images and words of the journey it took to get here.
“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.
‘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.
“This is crazy!” We were hacking a path through 2-metre tall cape ivy in the quarry.
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.
Paekākāriki writer Rob Hack on what motivates anyone to write a poem, or become a poet.
I am restless by nature. There. A confession. Undeniably a deficit in my character. FOMO at its worst.
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.
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.
Found under the house of Paekākāriki’s former chemist Mr Bill Carson during lockdown, is a 1950 copy of a fortnightly community newspaper, Paekākāriki Progress. This is what a community website or newspaper (shades of Paekakariki Xpressed 2000-2010) looked like 70 years ago. With its hand-drawn masthead, typed, printed and stapled, it fulfils many of the same functions: events, a directory of services, local body politics, news from community groups.
New Zealand’s regions are full of galleries representing the work of local artists. Rarer outside the cities are contemporary art dealers representing the often more challenging work of artists nationally. From 1997-2004 in Paekākāriki, was a quite brilliant exception: One Eye Gallery. Just north of the Wellington art scene, highly regarded painter Gary Freemantle operated a satellite. He mixed an ever startling array of art outsiders and locals – work of quality from elsewhere but little seen in Wellington – and artists already of repute trialling new ways of working, like Don Driver, Joanna Margaret Paul, Rob Cherry and Hariata Ropata-Tangahoe.
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.
‘Photographs like these are traitors to the fact that we easily forget.’ Mark Amery kicks off a series dedicated to the stories of the infamous Paekākāriki Pub with a photo essay by Andrew Ross.
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.
A true and accurate chronicle of an episode in Paekākāriki community politics by Gilbert Haisman. Images: Mark Amery
More than 50 Paekākāriki School students along with community artist, Rachel Benefield, were at the unveiling of their two newest panels celebrating the story of Paekākāriki’s famous wāhine, Kahe Te-Rau-o-te-Rangi.
Jenny Clarke gives us a run-down of recent celebrations of Paekākāriki’s sporting history with images by Mick Finn.
Fiona Gunter Firth dives into the history of Lake Hallow
Jenny Clark writes about the heritage of our Paekākāriki buildings and the merit in saving them
In 50 years' time
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.
We hear from those standing for both the Paekākāriki-Raumati seat, district wide seat, mayoralty and Community Board.
Welcoming Dr Judith Aitken to the Paekākāriki Community Board
“It takes a village, right? Thankfully, I was in one.”
An introductory editorial.