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Win tickets - and join the Upsurge
Northern Advocate, Whangarei Northland  by Peter de Graaf
22 Mar 2017
General News - page 10 - 1606 words - ID 745018687 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 885.00cm2

Bay News Bites

A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North

FROM April 4 the reborn Bay of Islands Arts Festival - now called Upsurge - is bringing 20 incredibly diverse national and international acts to the Mid North, ranging from dance to alt-country, theatre to photographic flip-books, a New York diva to a Northland actor who was shot by police and later penned his oneman play.

Even better, we're giving you a chance to win double tickets to two shows Hudson and Halls Live! and Julia Deans and SJD's Saddest Songs in the Universe.

All you have to do is send an email to by 4pm on Friday telling us in the subject line which of the two shows you want to go to, and why you deserve to win. (Okay, it's just a random draw, but we're curious what kind of reasons you come up with.

Upsurge is a festival of creativity, after all.) We will draw the winners on Friday evening and inform the winners as soon as possible afterwards - so make sure you include your name, address, and home or after-hours phone number. If we can't get hold of you by Sunday, we'll redraw. The winners' names will be published in next week's Bay News Bites.

If you don't have access to email you can write the same details on a bit of paper and drop it off at our offices in Kerikeri (3 Fairway Drive) or Whangarei (88 Robert St).

Hudson and Halls Live! is an award winning, hilarious theatrical tribute to two trailblazing TV personalities who brought cooking to Kiwi screens decades before Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules.

Peter Hudson and David Halls were also pioneers for, as the programme puts it, living "in the closet with the door wide open". The shows are at 7.30pm in the Turner Centre, Kerikeri, on April 4 and 5.

The normal price is $48 plus service fee.

Dedicated followers of New Zealand music will know Julia Deans from Fur Patrol and her subsequent solo career, while SJD (full name Sean James Donnelly) is one of this country's master songwriters. In Saddest Songs in the Universe, they have teamed up to play some favourites from their back catalogues plus a selection plucked from the last 50 years of musical sorrow, because there's nothing like a bit of misery to cheer you up. As the programme puts it, "Hear melodies glum and glorious, harmonies of heartbreak and hurt, all in the service of the downhearted, the disconsolate and the damned." Saddest Songs will be performed in the old Waimate North showgrounds hall at 8pm on April 7.

Normal price $38.

Upsurge has been able to entice six international acts to Northland by teaming up with the Auckland Arts Festival and the Wanaka Festival of Colour.

Upsurge director Sophie Kelly said two of those acts had proved so popular in Wanaka that extra shows had been added. How to Keep an Alien is a theatrecomedy based on writer/actor Sonya Kelly's true-life story of falling in love with Australian Kate, then trying to persuade immigration officials they should be able to live together in Ireland.

Every Brilliant Thing is the paradoxically uplifting story of a six-year-old's efforts to persuade his depressed mum that life is worth living.

We suggest you head over to for the full listings plus a short trailer for each performance. The venues are scattered across the Mid North from Kawakawa to Kainui Rd, Russell to Omapere. Oh, and if you miss out on this week's giveaway, we're doing another one next week . . .

Kerikeri conquers Kerikeri High School has confirmed its reputation for producing New Zealand's top young sailors by once again taking out the Harken Schools Regatta trophy.

The event was hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland on March 17-19. Nine schools took part.

This year's racing was exceptionally close with the trophy decided in the last of five races on the last day, and just two points between the top three teams.

The Kerikeri team, with a final score of 19 points, was helmed by Frankie Dair with a crew of Alice Autet, Jack DalbethHudson and Jack Bunce.

In second place, with 20 points, was Marlborough College and Westlake Boys High on 21 points third.

Other Northland placings were Whangarei Boys High (skippered by Keiran Ruffel), seventh in the gold fleet; and Bay of Islands Combined (skipper James Sheldon) third and Kerikeri High's blue team (skipper Chris Geerkens) seventh in the silver fleet.

Speedy Snails This year's Great Whangaroa Kiwi Can Raft Race was won by the curiously named Turbo Sea Snails from Bay of Islands International Academy in Te Tii, while the open division was won by the Bath Tub Bandits (Take 2).

Northland ingenuity was once again to the fore in the annual race from Clansman Wharf to Whangaroa Marina with the winning craft made from bathtubs and plastic barrels sliced in half.

Last year's champs Matauri Bay School, paddling a double-hulled waka made from plastic barrels, put in a spirited defence but were unable to hold on to the trophy.

The March 18 event was open to schools in the wider Whangaroa area enrolled in the Kiwi Can programme, as well as local businesses and community groups. The full results are as follows . . .

Schools division: 1 Turbo Sea Snails, Bay of Islands International Academy; 2 Matauri Bay School; 3 Kiwi Can Fishing Charters, Oruaiti School; best team spirit: Moana from Kaeo Primary School; most creative raft: Mangonui Monsters, Mangonui School; best Kiwi Can flag: Wakatastic, Te Kura o Hato Hohepa Te Kamura.

Open division: 1 Bath Tub Bandits (Take 2); 2 Moana NZ Team 2; 3 Matauri Bay School; best team spirit: A Kool Off Rhodes; most creative raft: Undead Pirates.

Jazz club this Friday This week's jazz club at the Turner Centre features the John Leigh Calder Trio with John Leigh Calder (bass and vocals), Matt Watson (piano) and Matt Hennessy (drums). The theatre bar opens at 5.30pm on Friday, March 24, with live jazz from 6pm.

Originally from Whangarei Mr Calder performs dynamic, sophisticated, smooth jazz to up-tempo swinging funk. He started his musical career with school friend Billy Taikoko (Billy T James) and played with many other New Zealand identities before pursuing a musical Continued p12 Continued from p10 career in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Mr Watson is a Whangarei-based jazz pianist, trumpet and French horn player, while US-born Mr Hennessy (drums/ tablas/percussion ) has gigged with many well-known jazz and blues groups.

Volunteers wanted Age Concern is looking for volunteers to provide a visiting service to help combat loneliness and isolation, and also to increase social participation for older people living in the Mid North. If you are interested call in to Kingston House, on Hone Heke Rd in Kerikeri, or phone Age Concern Mid North on (09) 407 4474.

Visitors get as much out of the role as the people receiving the visits. You can also call Age Concern if you know someone who would like a visitor.

Holiday in a hole Normally visitors come to New Zealand to have a holiday and admire the scenery - but one particular Dutch holidaymaker opted to spend his time in a hole in Kawakawa instead.

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is currently building a second steam engine because the 1927 locomotive Gabriel is getting past her prime and needs a lot of work to restore her to her former glory and effectiveness. But building a second steam engine also required building an extension to the engine shed and constructing a large new pit so both engines can be worked on at once.

Enter two of the Railway Trust's members, retired builder Henry Nissen and retired engineer Frits Schouten. Mr

Nissen did the design and planned the extension, then got to work with Mr Schouten - and so did Frits' brother-inlaw Derk Van Looijen.

Derk had come to New Zealand with his wife for a holiday but as soon as he arrived in the Bay and saw the work underway at the station he abandoned his holiday and got stuck in.

Henry also shoulder-tapped his many contacts from his building days, who contributed their services and materials free of charge.

More volunteers are needed urgently to help the railway trust in the shop, with restoration, and as guards and drivers.

Call Mike Bradshaw on 021 171 2697.

Art exhibition The latest exhibition at Village Arts in Kohukohu, Shimmer: Weaving dark to light, by Michelle Mayn, is opening at 11am this Saturday. The show is open from 10am-4pm daily until April 23.

Hokianga half The Copthorne Hokianga Half Marathon is being held this Saturday, March 25, organised by the Opononi and Districts Lions Club. All proceeds from the event go to Hokianga Health and South Hokianga St John. Go to www.lionsclubs/ for more information.

Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column?

Send it to us, including your full contact details, to

Caption Text:
GIVEAWAYS: In this week's Bay News Bites you can win double tickets to Upsurge Festival acts Hudson and Halls Live! and Julia Deans and SJD's Saddest Songs in the Universe (pictured). Read on to find out more. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
RAFT CRAFT: The open division in this year's Great Whangaroa Kiwi Can Raft Race was won by Bath Tub Bandits (Take 2) ... ... while this year's schools division was won by the Turbo Sea Snails from Bay of Islands Academy (below). PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

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