Category Archives: Community

Puhoi Community Forum Meeting Agenda: 36th April

Meeting to be held on Tuesday the 26th April at 7.30pm at the Puhoi Community Sports Club Chairperson – Dustyn O’Leary
Apologies: Terri Ryder, Larry Mitchell, Beth Houlbrooke, Wendy Hayton
Matters Arising from Meeting Minutes 29th March 2016.
Confirmation of Meeting Minutes 29th March 2016
1. Projects for Puhoi Survey Results – Formal presentation of survey results to the Forum. – Open discussion and decision to be made on how to develop these projects into tangible results for the community.
1.  Alcohol at Meetings – Discussion on making meetings more relaxed and friendly
2. Pub Trivia 2016 – Groups needed for this years round of fundraising quizzes at the Puhoi Pub.
3. AGM Planning – Judith to run through requirements for the upcoming Annual General Meeting.
4. Group Reports – Update on any events or initiatives by groups represented at the meeting.

Puhoi Fire Report: March 2016


MVC – 2
Tree Down – 1
Power Lines Down – 1

The weather has remained quite nice for the majority of summer, and even now as we head into the cooler mornings, by afternoon everyone is back in singlets!
As of the 1st April at 0800 the Auckland Rural Mainland became Open Fire Season. However, please continue with some vigilance as the wind and current heat still dries out the grass, resulting in a quicker and hotter burn than thought. The basic rules of not burning plastics, rubber, green vegetation or at night still apply.
The storm on the night of the 25th was an intense one and resulted in a few calls. Remember, if you come across any felled lines do not go near them, in places it is hard to tell the difference between power and phone lines. Then once they are deemed safe by the power company they can be moved by the appropriate person.
In the next few weeks our four new recruits start their training. First up is their Medical Co-Responder course where they learn advanced first aid and how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator.
Chris Farac
Qualified Firefighter
Puhoi Fire Brigade (our thanks to Chris for this monthly service, ed.)


An Open Letter To The Puhoi Community Forum

[Long time Puhoi resident and founding member of the Puhoi Community Forum,  John Simons has asked me to circulate this]

To Puhoi Community Forum.    2 April 2016
This is an open letter from John Simons ex Puhoi resident of some35 years and founding member of Puhoi Landcare group out of which evolved the formation of the original Puhoi Community Forum . During this period was involved in the formation of the Vision Puhoi document as submitted to the Rodney District Council out of which was formulated the Puhoi Structure Plan .Although this is not a statuary document it does now form part of the current Auckland Council Unitary Plan as applicable to Puhoi. It also encompasses  roading plans subsequently expanded surveyed for local input with plans drawn up by a qualified roading engineer. Over the years both in conjunction with the PCF and at a personal level made innumerable submissions to council in particular where relevant to Puhoi.       Have also represented the PCF on the public reference group working with the Northern Gateway Alliance building the motor way extension to the Johnston Hill Tunnels .  Have been a committee member and regular attending PCF meetings over its full existence.
On that bases I may just claim some credence to comment having attended the somewhat chaotic PCF meeting of the 29 March 2016.
Firstly it was profoundly encouraging to see so many locals attending this meeting including more recent arrivals. In particular the involvement of younger folk contributing to what they want their village to be in the future.
However it was also profoundly sad to see the tone of the meeting degenerate into an acrimonious ,contentious and hostile environment totally non conducive to co operative unified endeavours.
It also appeared to me to highlight an almost complete lack of background knowledge. ( corporate memory) as to what has gone on in the past.  Is the PCF committee aware of and in possession of background information on Vision Puhoi, the Structure Plan , The Traffic Plan, etc and also raises the question who holds all the archival material of the Forum ?
As to the subject matter which appeared to be so contentious , the apparently unauthorised survey , ” Projects for Puhoi ” ,which on the face of it appeared to be simply seeking an order of merit for subjects, none of which were new and have all been formally presented previously and have been under constant review for some years.    Yes it may not have followed protocol and have approval but then neither did the meeting strictly follow protocol nor the PCF constitution.
The most blatant of this was the calling of a vote to approve payment of monies related to work on the park river walkway , This is dealing with public money , either generated from Council Grants or licence fees for grazing for which the Forum Committee are liable ( legally liable) and only elected Committee members are qualified to vote and approve, not simply members of the general public, whether this was a so called public meeting or not !
It is also noted the suspect survey did not include any reference to the proposal of a Blacksmith Shop or Model Village and this may well have sparked the angst displayed at the meeting.  Again this proposition has been floating around for a very long time but to date am not aware of any validated or formal local survey carried out over that long period of time as to the desirability or viability of this proposal.
Lastly my recollection informs me that the PCF was set up as simply a discussion forum with the objective of cooperatively assisting in the co ordination and integration of various individuals, groups of individuals and local organisations to share information, clarify misinformation ( rampant in the village ) and assist in achieving the goals and aspirations of these folk . Also seek to represent where necessary as unified as may be possible a voice for Puhoi dealing with  Statuary Authorities.    The Forum as a body has no legal authority,controlling function nor jurisdiction in regard to local matters .That is apart from holding a grazing lease under the Councils Park Management Plan which is in itself an inherited historical anomaly ?
Dream dreams but be awake to reality and be sure much more is achievable by co operation than by confrontation .

Regards and good luck.  John Simons


Puhoi Community Forum Meeting Minutes 29th March 2016


HELD AT PUHOI SPORTS CLUB ON 29 MARCH 2016 commencing at 7.30pm

PRESENT: Larry Mitchell (Chair), Dustyn O’Leary (Co-Chair), Peter Straka (Deputy Chair), Pat Backley, Gavin Donaldson, Russell Green, Kathy Mankelow, Clinton McClean, Marg Nelson, Sorrel O’Leary, Vanessa Quirke, Terri Ryder, Jenny Schollum, Gillian Seymour, John Simons, Mike Smith, Val Smith, Torben Sorenson, Guinney Sorenson, Bernadette Straka, Mike Swain, Sheryll Titford, Brian Titford, Judith Williams, Ginny Page, Clinton McLean, Mike Swain, Jenny Neel, Kristin Gillies, Sandra Beagley, Beth Houlbrooke (late arrival), Wendy Hayton (Minutes)

APOLOGIES: Chris Mundell, Graham Backley


Larry Mitchell welcomed members to the meeting.


Larry acknowledged the significant achievement of Puhoi Valley Cheese in winning the Champion of Champions National Cheese Competition Award with their product ‘Kawau Blue’. Such an achievement reflects very positively not only on their business but also on the whole of the Puhoi community. Approval was granted for Larry to write a letter on behalf of the Forum to Puhoi Valley Cheese, congratulating them on their success.

  1. MINUTES OF MEETING held on 23 FEBRUARY 2016

Motion 1

That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2016 be confirmed as a true and accurate record, subject to the addition of the wording of Motion 5 to be provided by

Sorrel O’Leary.

Moved: Ginny Page

Seconded: Peter Straka


Matters Arising

Issues regarding use of Grazing Lease and River Park land

Judith Williams had been in touch with the Council Parks Department as suggested by Beth Houlbrooke at the previous meeting (Minutes, Item 2), regarding bylaws pertaining to ‘Use of Park’ rules, particularly as they refer to motor vehicles speed and noise. She had received clarification and advice that education of all those involved is the best approach.

  1. TREASURER’S REPORT – Jenny Schollum

Jenny had already circulated the financial reports for February 2016. She had transferred

$10,000 to the PPMP savings account.

Motion 2

That the accounts for payment including the sum of $30 for meeting administration work and venue hire $100 for 10 months x $10 (May 2015 – March 2016, not including December 2015) be paid.

Moved: Larry Williams

Seconded: Judith Williams


The financial reports for January 2016 were approved and accepted.

Jenny had brought a bank form to enable the change of bank signatories, required due to Hans Everts no longer being a Member. It was agreed that Peter Straka, Wendy Hayton and Jenny Schollum should be the new signatories (2 signatories are needed to sign each cheque).


Larry reported that a survey stating that it was written on behalf of the Puhoi Community Forum had been drawn up and circulated without discussion, input or authorization of the members of the Forum. Larry highlighted his concern that this was outside Forum process as documented and agreed in the Constitution, and put forward his opinion that adherence to process by Puhoi Community Forum members is essential in view of its standing in the community.

In view of the commitment of the new 2016 Co-Chairs to leadership goals which included a review of and adherence to good process, Larry invited each Member present to comment on the above issue.

While there was general support for the intention behind the circulation of this Survey, which displayed both initiative and an admirable desire for open community consultation, it was agreed that it is essential to follow process. Ginny Page put forward the following:


THAT in future, when speaking on behalf of the Puhoi Community Forum, due process be followed as stated in the Forum’s Constitution.

There was considerable discussion on this matter and general agreement that the processes of consultation and discussion between the Co-Chairs, Committee and Members would be followed as set out in the Constitution.

Gavin Donaldson proposed that the survey be authorized now and the results accepted by the Forum as an indication of community project priorities.

Discussion took place, including concerns raised that the survey did not include a complete list of all projects currently under consideration by the Forum. It was agreed that a united approach is key to providing the kind of community representation the Forum aspires to.

Motion 3

That the survey be authorized now, and the results accepted by the Puhoi Community Forum as an indication of community project priorities.

Moved: Gavin Donaldson

Seconded: Val Smith


  1. Item 7 on the agenda ‘Voting Rights – Puhoi Forum reporting, governance and process

development, including clarification of community consultation’ was deferred to a future meeting where time would permit adequate discussion.


  1. Annual Review of Grazing Sub-Licence – Puhoi Pioneers’ Memorial Park

The Licence was issued on 3.9.2004 between Rodney District Council and the Puhoi Community Forum at an annual fee of $1, if demanded. The PPMP Management Plan states the term I being rolled over on a year to year basis.

The sub-licence for grazing was issued in 2014 between Puhoi Community Forum and Kevin Jones for a 5 year terms, at an annual rental fee. This fee will not be levied for the first 3 years, subject to annual review of progress in reinstating the 22 ha property to a good standard in accord with normal farming practice.

Peter Straka and Hans Everts met with Kevin Jones on site on 22.03.2016. In accordance with the 2014 grazing licence, Kevin has successfully achieved a very considerable amount of work towards reinstating the property.

It was confirmed that the conditions allowing deferral of rental have been fulfilled. It was suggested that Kevin be formally thanked by the Puhoi Forum for the amount of pro bone work he has carried out.

The progress report was confirmed and accepted.

  1. Riverside Walkway Update

This working group includes:

Peter Straka

Rodney Straka

Paul Manton and his son

Mark Dunn

Hans Everts (retiring).

Phase 1 (now complete) involved fencing from Gate 2 to the macrocarpas and relied heavily on the group and volunteers.

There are still about 20 sections of the fence that need battening and the entrance by gate 2 requires a post and a gate hung.

A culvert was also installed on the walkway over a drain and had to be raised to facilitate mowing by Council mowers. To date Peter has mown the walkway but Council now have full access and should begin shortly.

Planting of the bank on the riverside was completed with substantial assistance from Ahuroa School and Orewa College, as well as other volunteers.

Phase 2 is commencing courtesy of a grant secured by Hans Everts for $11,750 towards the fence and culvert materials, digger and tractor hire and riparian plants cost between August 2015 and September 2016.

Advice taken proposed that the culverts take priority to be completed if possible prior to the wet weather.

A new fence is planned to go under the macrocarpas.

Invoices were approved for:

  • $972.03 (to refund Hans Everts) for materials and work regarding Phase 1 of the Walkway

  • $1252 (to Peter Straka) for materials and work regarding Phase 2 (from the Council Grant obtained to cover Phase 2).

Further community planting initiatives will take place over the next month or so. Peter will circulate the community to let people know when and where this will happen.

Judith raised concerns that she had concerning the operation of the grazing lease and River Park. The Chair requested that she raise these concerns with the working group, via Peter Straka.

A query was raised regarding resource consents regarding possible tree removal where the fence is going in under the macrocarpas. Peter responded that all such issues were part of ongoing discussions and approval by the Council.

The reports on the Grazing Lease and Riverside Walkway were approved and accepted. On behalf of the Forum, the Chair sincerely thanked Peter Straka and his team for their time and hard work in achieving very good progress.


Puhoi Historical Society – Sheryll Titford

On the 6th March the Society commemorated 150 years since the arrival of the second ship, the ‘Liverpool’, to bring Bohemian settlers to NZ.

On Easter weekend the Society hosted seven visitors from Germany and Austria whose ancestors spoke the same dialect, danced the same dances and sang the same songs as the Puhoi settlers. Events for the weekend included visiting Puhoi’s attractions and a Puhoi community choir of children and adults singing in the old dialect at Mass, followed by dancing.

The next event will be ANZAC Day. There was general interest at the Forum meeting by others wishing to be involved. Please contact Jenny or Sheryll

All are invited to attend all the Historical Society events. Help would very much appreciated from the community in running events like these, with jobs such supervising parking, traffic management, setting up the hall, helping in the kitchen and cleaning up.

Sheryll presented Sandra Beagley with a thank you certificate for her help at the Liverpool commemoration event.

The PHS received a reply from Auckland Council regarding the Society’s petition re Puhoi Cemetery Management sent last year. It was considered that their reply did not adequately cover the issues of concern, so another letter has been written, a copy of which has been provided to the Forum for their records.

The committee supports Larry Mitchell’s endeavour to establish an historic area in Puhoi in so far as we are open to any avenue to getting a museum building with correct climate conditions for storage, and presentation to the public, of artefacts and documents relating to Puhoi’s history.

The Puhoi Historical Society will hold its AGM in May. All are welcome to attend. The Committee is looking for new members.

Fundraising continues steadily. Raffle tickets are on sale till 1st May.

Puhoi Farmers Market – Judith Williams

The end of February market was most successful.

The forthcoming market is on April 26th and is a celebration of Puhoi’s ethnicities. 22 ethnicities will be represented and people visiting the market are encouraged to wear items of clothing appropriate to their particular ethnicity, carry flags etc.

  1. Item 10 on the Agenda ‘Model Village in Puhoi background and possible strategy’ was deferred

to a subsequent meeting.


SH1 intersection NZTA meeting

On behalf of the Public Space Development and Road Safety sub-committee, Kathy

Mankelow reported this was an exploratory meeting regarding safety issues. A report will

be provided to the meeting when there is any further information.

Forum Sub-Committees

Discussion took place on the role and reporting of the Forum’s subcommittees. The meeting welcomed update reports on subcommittee activities. As proposed by Dustyn and minuted at the last meeting on 23 February, it was further confirmed that for the benefit of all Members, some Forum time should be set aside each month for Community subcommittee activity reports (when appropriate activity had taken place), with activities minuted.

The issue of the Business Group’s proposal for integration with the Forum was raised. The following extract from the last meeting minutes held on 23 February 2016 covers this.

Motion 6 (Minutes 23.2.16)

That the Puhoi Forum encourage local businesses and individuals to become active Forum members envisaging a more effective representation both of and from the Puhoi Community.

Beth Houlbrooke suggested formalizing Business membership at the Forum’s June AGM.

Long term plan for Puhoi River Park

This item was deferred to a subsequent meeting.



The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 26 April 2016 at 7.30pm in the Sports Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm.


















Puhoi Town Library Report – April 2016



William Shakespeare – 400th Anniversary of his Death – 23rd April 2016

We have gathered a collection of books, DVDs and information on the life and times of William Shakespeare. The books and DVDs may be borrowed individually by library members and the display will remain in the “Classic’s Corner” throughout April & May.

ANZAC Display

World War artefacts, documents, books & DVDs will again be on display for several weeks around ANZAC day. Every year we obtain more and more interesting items for this display and, as usual, many of the books and DVDs within the display are available to borrow.



The library will be open on ANZAC day from the time the ANZAC parade finishes (aprox.10 a.m.) until 3 p.m. In addition to the display, on the day audio and video recordings will also be running.

We serve FREE coffee/tea and home-made ANZAC biscuits all day.

Puhoi Town Library Incorporated Society Annual Subscription

In keeping with Puhoi Library’s ethos, providing you live in Puhoi or surrounding district “USER MEMBERSHIP is absolutely FREE” and no charges are made regarding book or DVD borrowing (with the exception of minimal overdue fines on DVDs, which are onwardly donated to the Puhoi Fire Service).

However, the library is run by an incorporated society “Puhoi Town Library Incorporated” and the society membership subscriptions of $10 are due on 1st April. A letter has gone out to PO Boxes and forms are also available from the library.

Community Law Manual 2015/2016

Has been donated for use of the Community – Reference only and donor requested that the book is not to leave library but be available for reference use of all members of the community.


Puhoi Celtic Sessions


Thursday March 31st 
Puhoi Sports Club Rooms
7.00 pm – 10 pm

and afterwards – every fortnight.

Only two days to go till the first Puhoi Celtic Session.

[A word of explanation: a ‘session’ is a circle of players where everyone simply pitches in – it’s not a performance. We do it for the pleasure of making music.]

We have fiddlers, harpists, accordionists, guitarists, bassists, whistle players, singers, banjo players, bodhran players, and toe-tappers in the group; in all about 24 musicians. We also have a few people who simply like to listen.

To give the group a ‘common core’ of material I’ve created a dropbox that, currently, has 40, four-part arrangements in it of tunes (jigs, reels, waltzes) and songs from the Celtic repertoire. Each tune/song has a sound file and the sheet music – so you can ‘play by ear’ or read the tadpoles. You’ll need to print out this material and make a drop-in folder.

If you want to join us, as a musician,  send me an email address and I’ll give you access to the dropbox. The more the merrier. We could still use mandolins, more fiddles, and more banjoes. To all friends, please spread the word: copy and email this post if you like. It’s looking like we’ll have a folk orchestra!

We’re charging $2 per family to cover the hire of the rooms.


Alan Wagstaff

ANZAC Day Help Needed

Could anyone interested in helping to co-ordinate the ANZAC Day commemoration on 25th April 9.00 a.m. please contact me so that we can arrange a time to meet that suits? Please remember to pass on to your young neighbours that PHS has an ANZAC Day speech competition running for Year 8 and under students, no more than 250 words, prize $50 plus the opportunity to read their speech at the ANZAC Day ceremony. Entries close at or PO Box 404224 Puhoi on Sunday 17th April.

Puhoi Historical Society Report March 2016


We’ve run two very successful events this month – on the 6th March the commemoration of the 150 years since the arrival of the second ship, the ‘Liverpool’, to bring Bohemian settlers to NZ, a reunion of the Plescher, Schischka, Wech and Wenzlick families; and this Easter weekend hosting seven visitors from Germany and Austria whose ancestors spoke the same dialect, danced the same dances and sang the same songs as the Puhoi settlers. On Saturday we showed them most of Puhoi’s attractions, then on Sunday a Puhoi community choir of children and adults sang in this dialect at Mass and we danced the rest of the day away.

Anyone is always welcome to attend these events and we would very much appreciate help from the community in running events like these, with jobs such supervising parking, traffic management, setting up the hall, helping in the kitchen and cleaning up.

The next event will be ANZAC Day if the community would like the PHS to co-ordinate this commemoration again.

Sandra Beagley helped magnificently at the first event. I’d like to present her with a thankyou certificate.

The PHS received a reply from Auckland Council regarding the petition re Puhoi Cemetery Management presented last July. As we don’t feel their reply adequately protects the historic part of the cemetery we have written again. A copy has been sent to the Forum for their records.

The committee supports Larry Mitchell’s endeavour to establish an historic area in Puhoi in so far as we are open to any avenue to getting a museum building with correct climate conditions for storage, and presentation to the public, of artefacts and documents relating to Puhoi’s history.

To that end fundraising continues steadily. The raffle is on sale til 1st May.


Community Groups: Housekeeping

At the forum last night it was mentioned that its often difficult for new people in the village to find out the groups and activities running in the village. The community page has always been on this site  and provides a browseable and searchable index of pages for local groups – accessible through the ‘Community’ button on the menu at the top.

If you are a member of a community group, it would be great if you provide:

  1. Group name
  2. A description of what your group does
  3. When /where it meets
  4. Membership details – is it open to anyone, age groups, subscription etc
  5. Contact details – address/phone,email so I can put a (spam protected) contact form on your page.
  6. Related information such as meeting minutes/reports/agendas/news/events that you want to publicize I can post at any time (just email me) and have it appear in a ‘related’ area on your page (as well as on the site’s front page/posted to facebook/emailed out to the list). A good way of letting the village know what you’re doing!

Don’t worry about fancy formatting – I’m happy to take an email/pdf/word document/whatever and format a page for you. This is completely free of course!

It would be helpful, too, if people with existing entries could check that I have up-to-date info for them.