Paekākāriki Pride Festival 2020. A photo story by Bob Zuur.
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
While many were celebrating the end of 2020, Paekākāriki farewelled its previous Community Board Chair – the inimitable Philip Edwards. Well-known to Bowling Club regulars and councillors alike, he is remembered for his inclusive style, his penchant for jandals, and most of all his commitment to this community and to his family. We share with you the tribute from Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow and current Community Board Chair Holly Ewens, read at his service at St Peter’s Hall on New Year’s Eve 2020, alongside other tributes.
From global warming and Covid flags to recently departed friends and berating Netflix, Paekākāriki local Keith Johnson’s choice of a remarkable range of flags often comments cleverly on issues. Flown from a flagpole on the northern edge of the Kāpiti village, he shares the reasons behind his 2020 selections.
From working alongside international greats like Sir Laurence Olivier and Dame Maggie Smith during the formation of British modern theatre, to heading Downstage Theatre and developing drama in education, Paekākāriki resident Sunny Amey has helped shape live theatre in Aotearoa New Zealand as we know it today. Now in her nineties and still treading the boards, Sylvia Bagnall looks back on Sunny’s extraordinary career, with images from her archive.
Ahead of his celebrations this weekend, Dunedin-based writer, Kay McKenzie Cooke celebrates a ‘significant birthday’ for much-loved poet and independent publisher Michael O’Leary aka the Earl of Seacliff.
It’s only natural that Daisy Wood is passionate about medicinal herbs – both her names are from the plant world. The degree-trained medical herbalist and naturopath has a specialty interest in women’s health. Using herbs to heal, she turns plants into delicious teas and soothing tinctures.
This week we acknowledge the departure of a quiet yet significant contributor to the Paekākariki community; Christine Johnson. Friend Michael O’Leary tells us about the rich rail history of Christine’s life and the indelible mark she leaves both within the community and on the station platform.
After 7-8 years managing the growing and selling of thousands of plants each year through the gardening group Potty Potters, gardening enthusiast Tina Pope hands over the secateurs.
Celebrating ten years on Paekākāriki’s main drag, the Beach Road Deli is – thanks to Covid-19 – overdue a party. We talk to the Deli’s dynamic owners Kelly Rees and Rebecca Robati-Busby.
‘We talk about economic development as though it’s just about extracting more resources out of the ground or out of the farm or out of the trees. But that’s not how it will work. It’s about finding the riches in our people and enabling them to fulfil their potential.’
Beyond the upcoming election, how can all citizens contribute to a vision for change? The Better Futures Forum has been founded by Paekākāriki’s Dr Mike Joy (a well known freshwater advocate) and a core group of others to seize this moment of opportunity for change nationally.
Herbalist and naturopath Daisy Wood on winter wellness and life in Paekākāriki. Interviewed on Te Pae, Paekakariki 88.2FM with Mark Amery and Sylvia Bagnall, July 2020. Daisy is part of Winter Wellness and Homegrown Health, Paekākāriki School 2pm Sunday 2 August.
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
Making use of the land you already have becomes a keen issue nationwide as the availability of property becomes more difficult. In Paekākāriki the community has begun making better use of grounds they have access to – a strip of land between the village’s northern boundary and the Paekākāriki Holiday Park.
Coastal communities and surf lifesaving clubs around New Zealand now face more risk from climate change and sea-level rise. In Paekākāriki, one of the country’s oldest surf clubs is vulnerable – its boat ramp collapsed in last Spring’s storms. But this club is turning retreat into opportunity, as it consults on plans to install a new building inland.
Bikes are increasingly seen on Paekākāriki’s streets, and eco-initiatives are also on the rise. But a different kind of cycling has just been introduced – Pae Cycle, an inventive scheme where food scraps are delivered to the community garden by a sleek black e-bike.
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.
Dani Deluka about reaching across water to touch those we can’t and how a village can help get us to the other side.
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.
Kāpiti Coast District Council has done an about-turn on the proposed design and build of the critical Paekākāriki seawall, believes design group member and resident Bride Coe.
“It’s caused a bit of controversy. Some people felt quite strongly that they couldn’t possibly dress their dogs in the same outfit twice in one weekend, so we’re encouraging them to either find new outfits or chuck on the same one and teach their dog a new trick or two.”
We hear from those standing for both the Paekākāriki-Raumati seat, district wide seat, mayoralty and Community Board.
Official Stuff Stories
If we can learn anything from the current situation in Auckland, it is to heed the advice of officials and to not presume any of us are exempt from either contracting the Covid-19 virus or spreading it. Neither is our village immune – with many of us commuting into Wellington and travelling to Auckland, it’s a good idea to remember we all need to do our bit to keep the community safe – even when it’s an inconvenience, writes Community Board Chair, Holly Ewens.