Over 500 Hawke's Bay children celebrate One Love Polyfest in Flaxmere


More than 500 youngsters turned it on today as they embraced the culture of others at the One Love Polyfest in Flaxmere.

It's an event that aims to help promote unity and respect for other island nations.

Students from all over Hastings came together under one roof to embody the meaning of “One Love”.

It's a festival with humble beginnings, but after five years, it's gone from strength-to-strength as song and dance from cultures of different Polynesian islands are celebrated.

Annamarie Faavae says, “Really into it, they are really into it.  We've only got a handful of Pasifika students the rest are Māori and European, so bringing them all together has just been awesome.”

Organisers say holding an event that celebrates diversity in the community can only be a positive thing for the people of Flaxmere.

Traci Tuimaseve says, “Rather than suppress or ignore those cultures, I think it’s a good opportunity to embrace it and culture is a good a big part of moving forward here in Flaxmere.”

It's an event that the young faces of tomorrow can be themselves, and a chance for them to proud of their roots.


Hawke's Bay students hand-picked to help rebuild Vanuatu.


Seven hand-picked Maori and Pacifika students enrolled in EIT trades programmes are gearing up for the trip in a lifetime, helping to rebuild medical centres in Vanuatu after its lashing by Cyclone Pam earlier this year.

The plumbing, electrical, carpentry and automotive students will leave New Zealand in late September and spend 10 days in the island nation.
Accompanied by EIT tutors, they will re-roof and re-clad a health centre in the remote village of Paunagnisu and upgrade a medical centre in Erakor in the south of the island group.

The students are from a Manakura group, an EIT initiative supporting Maori and Pacific Island achievement. Over the last two years, groups of students, identified for their leadership potential, have participated in training sessions in Waiouru and Aramoana and Todd Rogers, EIT’s head of school for trades and technology, says the upcoming trip to Vanuatu will also extend the students taking part.

“It is such a good opportunity for these young people. We will sleep under the stars for the first few nights until we get the roof on the building at Paunagnisu, and will be catering for ourselves, eating rice, fish and from army ration packs.

“The students will work from 5am and stop for a couple of hours to avoid the hottest time of day. After a few more hours work in the afternoon they will play soccer with the villagers.

To prepare for the trip, they are meeting every weekend to learn pidgin English.

“You get a better response if you speak the local language,” Todd explains.

The students are also being briefed on island culture and medical requirements for their trip and are undertaking training in construction.

Major sponsors – Skills Organisation, MITO (the industry training organisation for the motor industry), the Certified Builders Association of New Zealand, ITM and the EIT Students’ Association – have contributed $12,000 towards the cost of the venture but Todd points out that a further $14,000 is needed.

He and carpentry programme coordinator Steve Spooner, who have both worked in the islands while serving in the New Zealand Army, scoped the work needed on the targeted facilities on a recent fact-finding mission to Vanuatu.

Sweeping across the archipelago in March, Cyclone Pam claimed 16 lives, demolished buildings and flattened crops. Paunangisu is located on the coast hardest hit by the category five storm which unleashed winds of up to 300km/h.

“There were stories of families digging holes and lying in them to shelter from the cyclone. Its ferocity was such that it blew shipping containers around like cardboard boxes.”

Todd says the health centre in Paunangisu is a significant community facility, serving Vanuatu’s northern and outer islands.

“As well as re-roofing and re-cladding the 119sq m building, we will construct a new kitchen and provide an eating area for the centre.”

The 72sq m structure in Erakor will be upgraded to better withstand any further cyclones and to meet the requirements of New Zealand’s building code.

Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health is covering the cost of repair materials while the EIT team is taking tools to augment those being provided by the country’s defence forces.

Talented Hawke's Bay students spruce up old "Happy Tav" site.


Talented Havelock North school students will be able to admire their own handiwork in a very public space for the next two years.

Today panels of art by Havelock North students were installed on the fence of the old "Happy Tav" site in Havelock North.

Groups from Hereworth, Havelock North Intermediate and Havelock North High schools took up the offer to produce work for the site being redeveloped by Low mac Properties Ltd .

The students submitted ideas for the panels which had to reflect the local landscape, history or culture. Each of the works chosen then had to be painted onto three panels, which have now been attached to the perimeter fence.

Hastings District Council environment enhancement officer Wendy Beeke, said the construction company had come up with the idea as a way to combat potential graffiti attacks on the fence that will surround the site during its estimated two-year redevelopment and to enhance the building site.

"Evidence shows that murals are a great way to prevent graffiti."

American students learn from Hawke's Bay environmental leaders.


Thirty-seven intrepid university students from across the United States have rounded off a six week expedition and internship programme which saw them do everything from bungy-jumping and sky-diving to testing the sugar content of apples and tracking kiwi.

Students from 14 universities including Michigan State, George Washington University and University of Illinois visited New Zealand as part of a new six week study abroad programme organised by Massey University’s Institute of Agriculture and Environment and Centre for Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE).

Beginning the study tour portion of the trip in Queenstown with an overnight trip the historic 100,000 acre high-country sheep station on Mount Nicholas, the students made their way up the country covering the Franz Josef glacier, the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, vineyards in the Marlborough Sounds, Tongariro National Park, dairy farms in the Waikato, geothermal areas in Taupo and Rotorua.

Erin Gumpper from Michigan State jumps into her New Zealand experience with a bungy jump in Taupo.

They then began their internships with agrifood industry and environmental leaders in the Hawke’s Bay including the free-range chicken farm Bostock Organic, the Department of Conservation, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, premium global food manufactures GreenMount Foods and Fish and Game New Zealand.

The trip concluded this week with an intensive block course at Massey University in Palmerston North where they could earn university credits by writing up a series of case studies from the wool, wine and dairy industries they encountered along their trip.

University of Tennessee Zoology student Hannah Hazelwinkel said the internship gave her "real-world" experience. "It was amazing to get to do conservation work and see what that was like" she said. "The highlight for me was tracking kiwi and pateke [brown teal]."

Sarah Slack from Colorado State tracking pateke for her internship with the Department of Conservation.

Programme co-ordinator Christina Baldarelli says the trip is a lot of fun but also a great learning experience.

"Students gain an understanding of the intricate relationships between agricultural and environmental issues in New Zealand and how these shape the everyday lives of Kiwis and the country as a whole."

"From Massey’s perspective, it’s a great way for to engage with the business community in the Hawke’s Bay."

She says developments are underway to expand the programme in 2016 to include agribusiness, emergency management and communications.

Jesse Whitfield from Michigan State preparing for her internship (with Boutique Horse Treks in Clive,Hawke's Bay) while she was on the South Island.

Hawke's Bay police embrace Maori Language Week.


Hawke's Bay Inspector Hirone Waretini and Constable Phillipa Smith have been visiting local schools to promote Maori Language Week - Hawke's Bay Police style.

Every day of this working week one of Hawke's Bay's finest will post a video message with Te Kupu o Te Ra or the "word of the day" that can be used in your every day conversations.

No reira, karanga mai, whakatau mai, nau mai haere mai ki te Wiki o Te Reo Maori o nga Pirihimana o te rohe o te Kahungunu Whanui! Tihei mauri ora!

Here is a link to the Hawke's Bay police Facebook page where you can view Monday's clip featuring Room 13 at Nelson Park Primary School. CLICK HERE.


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