Red hot jobs for graduate Hawke's Bay chefs


Two EIT graduate chefs have a superb entrée to their careers working at The Farm – the Cape Kidnappers’ lodge where guests are served up only the very best in culinary fare.

John Dransfield and Eoin Twomey launched into EIT studies from rather different directions.

John was on an altogether different career path when he decided to pursue his long-held passion for cooking. And after arriving in New Zealand from Ireland as a 22-year-old, Eoin worked in several food establishments before settling in Napier to begin his training as a chef.

“When I was a young fellow, I enjoyed cooking and wanted to be a chef,” says John. “It was not sexy in those days and I was told I could do much better.”

Living in Wellington, John was drawn to Hawke’s Bay in 1987 by a job with an international wool-broking company. During his last seven years in business, he worked as a trouble-shooter, directed by accountants and lawyers to help companies through their difficulties.

With two of John and wife Vicki’s three daughters at university, enrolling in EIT’s Diploma in Professional Chef Practice programme was a significant undertaking.

“I had to be serious about it,” he says. “It was a big commitment.”

Encouraged by Vicki, he took the plunge and now he’s glad that he did.

Required to work in the industry after completing his first year of study, he asked James Honoré, head chef at The Farm, for a job.

“There are plenty of staff to work alongside,” James says of taking on John who, as a commis chef, does food preparation and basic cooking under the supervision of a chef de partie or section chef.

The Farm’s menu is constantly changing and takes in guests’ dietary requirements and preferences. As part of the culinary team, John and Eoin help prepare full-service breakfasts, morning teas, lunches, dinners and buffets.  They can also work in the pro-shop on the Cape Kidnappers golf course.

From Cork, Eoin had always wanted to visit New Zealand, his mother’s homeland. He didn’t imagine living here when he came to visit family four years ago but he liked the country and eventually found work in a Napier café.

He worked around chefs in his next job with a catering business in Wellington and, liking working with food, he moved back to Napier to commence the EIT diploma programme in mid-2012.

Eoin started at The Farm as a kitchen-hand in November 2012 but returned to his studies some months later. Later a commis chef at the lodge, he was promoted to chef de partie at the start of summer.

“I find it quite exciting having to be on my toes,” he says. “It changes every day, every day is different really.”

James says The Farm is always wanting to take on students with the right attitude.

“I ask for the pick of the crop,” he says of EIT’s trainee and graduates chefs. “We can teach them pretty much everything else they need to know so long as they are keen.”

Talented Hastings student is selected to attend the International Youth Science Forum and CERN.


Hastings Girls High School student Georgia Lock is one of six students who have been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the London International Youth Science Forum and CERN in Geneva in July.

The students were selected from over 300 applicants and include Saffron Huang from Macleans College in Auckland, Bethany Langton from St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, 

Caitlin Evans from Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, Miranda Tong from Rutherford College in Auckland, Georgia Lock from Hastings Girls’ High School in Hastings and Nicholas Adams from Tauranga Boys’ High School in Tauranga.

The students were selected because they have a passion for science and have a strong desire to carry on studying science at university. They are also achieving excellent examination results and contributing to the school in leadership roles or in other ways. Each student had to submit a testimonial from their Principal and science teacher but also write a letter to the panel outlining why they thought they were the ideal candidate.

The students will depart in July and will be away almost a month. They will join over 300 students from over 60 countries who will come together to attend lectures given by eminent scientists and will visit many scientific organisations in London. They will visit two of the oldest universities, Oxford and Cambridge, and get to see some of the science research that is taking place. Other places they will visit will be Stonehenge and the Natural History Museum. After the forum has finished they will travel over to Europe and spend three days in Paris before heading off to Geneva, where they will spend some time at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

The students will be supported to travel to these events by the Talented School Students Travel Award, which is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology.


Hawke's Bay schools struggle with new decile rating.


New decile ratings imposed by the Government in November has placed a huge financial burden on Hawkes Bay schools.

Decile ratings are calculated using student address information combined with census data for the area.

Schools with a 1 decile rating are given more Government funding while schools at the highest rating of 10 are given less funding.

After the Ministry of Education conducted it's latest analysis it found that 27 of Hawke's Bays 122 schools needed their ratings reduced while 35 needed an increase.

Many of the schools who received a decrease are now facing finanacial hardship as they had already factored the funding into their budget.

Now 15 Hawke's Bay schools have joined 139 others nationwide to lodge a review application with the Ministry of Education.

The ministry say the schools would know the outcome of their review by the end of May.

EIT Hawke's Bay hosts the first regional competition for the NSSCC


Ready, steady - it's nearly time for New Zealand's budding secondary schools chefs to get cooking.

Entries are now open for the annual National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge (NSSCC) where contestants will cook their way through a regional challenge and earn a spot at the final in Auckland later this year. The winners of the national event will then wing their way to Tahiti to compete in an international culinary cook off.

The New Zealand competition begins with 10 regional events where teams of two Year 12/13 students go head-to-head in a live cook off preparing, cooking and presenting an individually plated entree featuring beetroot and main course to include chicken, potatoes and fresh vegetables, all within 90 minutes. Key ingredients include chicken, potato and beetroot.

Students are scored across a number of criteria - food preparation, hygiene, presentation, taste, and the use of New Zealand grown vegetables and chicken.

NSSCC Event Manager, Glenn Fulcher, City & Guilds says, "It's very exciting to see young talent shining through in the culinary field. These students always give it their best and create amazing dishes.

"They are our chefs of the future and this event will put their skill and creativity to the test with the added pressure of a time restricted, live cooking event."

Chief Judge, of Cater Plus Chef Mark Wylie, is a national and international award winning chef. He has a keen interest in nurturing youth within the industry and has trained many chefs over the years to reach great success in competitions.

Mark is also excited about this year's upcoming NSSCC and is also looking forward to mentoring the winning team in the lead up to the International Secondary Schools Challenge (ISSCC) event in Tahiti.

The first regional competition is at EIT Hawkes Bay on May 24 with the last at AUT Auckland on July 10 and MIT Auckland is hosting the final cook off on August 28. The winning NSSCC young chefs will then compete in the ISSCC in Tahiti from October 4 - 10.

NSSCC would also like to acknowledge the strong support of its key industry sponsors in helping create this great event, which is helping nurture New Zealand's future top chefs.

The ISSCC challenge in Tahiti sees the young chefs write a food order with full costing, photograph the dish and write work plans. During the competition the team of two students will prepare, cook and display 4 servings of one main dish within 1 hour from start to finish. The dish may be modern, classical or original and all dish ingredients must come from the list provided by event organisers.

While in Tahiti contestants will also immerse themselves in local cuisine and culture with a tour of the island visiting a local pineapple plantation and fruit juice factory, enjoy a picnic on nearby Moorea Island, visit a local marae and dine at the famous waterfront Place Vaiete roulottes (foodtrucks) in Papeete.

Try your hand at acting at the Flaxmere Youth Acting Class in Hastings.


If you fancy yourself as the next Cliff Curtis or Keisha Castle-Hughes, try your hand at acting and be part of our Flaxmere Youth Acting Class.
The group meets every Wednesday at the Flaxmere Community centre from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
Each week you’ll be trained by a professional on how to act which will culminate with a public performance at the end of this school term!
Simply turn up on Wednesday. For more information contact the Flaxmere Community Centre on 879 9812.

Wed 6 May 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm
Wed 13 May 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm
Wed 20 May 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm
Wed 27 May 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm
Wed 3 Jun 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm
Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm

Where:Flaxmere Community Centre, 400 Swansea Road, Flaxmere 4120, Hastings

Restrictions:All Ages

Admission: Free

A Havelock North student's holiday experience takes top honours.


A stunning lakeside vista, an impressive painting of New Zealand’s tallest mountain and a well written account of a classic New Zealand family holiday have taken top honours in the 2015 Top Outdoor Spot competition.

The national competition invited students to send in photos, drawings and descriptions of their favourite outdoor places for display on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s Both Sides of the Fence education website (bothsidesofthefence.org.nz).

South Island spots topped the photo and drawing categories, with Hadlow School (Masterton) student Emily McMaster, 8, awarded "Best photo" for her photo of autumn trees on the edge of Lake Wanaka, and Boston Beanland, 12, from Casebrook Intermediate in Christchurch winning "Best drawing" for his picture of towering Mount Cook.

The award for "Best description" was won by 12-year-old Laura Johnson from Havelock North Intermediate for her refreshing and relatable description of holidaying with her family at Makorori, near Gisborne.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission Chairman John Forbes said the competition entries took the judging panel on a virtual tour of some remarkable destinations around the country, capturing different seasons, activities and emotions.

"The passion Emily, Boston and Laura each have for their chosen ‘Top Outdoor Spot’ came through clearly in the quality of their entries. It’s encouraging to see that New Zealand’s young people value our spectacular outdoor environments, and the unparalleled access we enjoy to them, as much as ever." More than 180 students from across New Zealand sent in photos, drawings and descriptions of their favourite outdoor places in 2015, up from 160 in 2014.

Mr Forbes said the Commission’s Board members were blown away by the quality of entries across all three categories and judging the competition, while incredibly tough, had become something the Board really looked forward to. He thanked the many organisations that had sponsored the competition, allowing the Commission to provide prizes ranging from iPad minis provided by Farmside and 70 Mile Bush Socks provided by the Kiwi Sock Company to Red Band Gumboots contributed by Skellerup and clothing vouchers provided by Wild South Clothing. The Cancer Society also provided sunscreen for the schools of the winning students.

The curriculum-aligned Both Sides of the Fence website is designed to help primary and intermediate school students understand the value of access and responsible behaviour in the outdoors.

The site includes an ‘Explore’ section with engaging animated videos covering topics including unformed legal roads, dogs in rural environments, biosecurity risks, fires, and important cultural considerations when accessing Māori land.

Other resources on the site include an ‘eBook’ that introduces children to the New Zealand Outdoor Access Code, an ‘In My Region’ image gallery where students can upload their favourite outdoor places, and a ‘Teachers’ Space’ with lesson plans for teachers.

Napier Girls High School raises over $20,000 from their art exhibition


Napier Girls’ High School’s first annual Affordable Art Exhibition has raised over $20,000.

The three-day fundraiser attracted over 1,000 visitors, with more than 100 pieces of art sold, and the money raised will be used to assist students in making well-informed choices as they move from Napier Girls’ High School into tertiary education and careers.

The inaugural event was organised by Heather Wilson, Kirsty Newman, Rose Devine and Amanda Sye - all mothers of girls who currently attend the school.

Amanda Sye said the positive outcome was a direct result of the impressive work on show, created by 50 professional artists as well as students and teachers.

"Many local art lovers made the most of the well-priced, high quality items available, with some buyers securing two or three pieces of art."

Local artist Heather Wilson said the artwork was of a particularly high standard, and the organising team felt privileged to be showcasing work from some of New Zealand’s most talented artists.

Encouraging as many people as possible to support the exhibition was a key goal said Rose Devine, who has worked on many fundraising projects.

"We had people from the wider community support us through buying raffles, or pop in to admire the artwork on show, so in the end it became both a community event and an entertaining way to raise funds for the school."

Napier Girls’ High School Prinicipal Mary Nixon and Kirsty Newman, who also serves on the school’s Parent Teacher Association, are delighted with the successful outcome.

"There was a lot of hard work done behind the scenes by so many people including the school’s Art Prefect Holley Grant, but it has been well worth it for the amount we managed to raise, and for the community involvement," Kirsty said.

"It beats a cake stall any day!"

The Affordable Art Exhibition will be held again in March 2016.

Hastings schools embrace the Governments IES programme.


Five Hastings schools have agreed that the Governments Investing in Educational Success (IES) programme is a good idea and look forward to working together in the future.

The Governments $359 million scheme creates communities of schools where principals and teachers are paid extra to collaborate and provide additional teacher-learning time for the schools involved.

So far 222 schools throughout New Zealand have signed up for the programme and will be grouped into 29 communities.

Te Mata School, Havelock North High School, Lucknow School, Parkvale School and Havelock North Primary School have had a preliminary meeting to discuss the scheme and look forward to pulling together for the benefit of all.


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