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Hawkes Bay teens named National Champs at the 13th Blue Light PCT competition


A group of teens from Hawkes Bay were named National Champions in the 13th Annual Blue Light PCT competition held at the New Zealand Police College in Wellington, November 14 - 16. Competing against 27 other teams from around New Zealand they beat stiff competition in a range of challenges both physical and mental including the Police Competency Test (PCT), used to train new police recruits, as well as finger printing challenges giving them a taste of CSI.

“The Blue Light PCT competition is a real challenge for young people and the National final held at the Police Training College provides an amazing opportunity for young people to stay at the college and experience life as a Police person for the weekend”, said Warren Sloss, Blue Light Programs Manager. “The National Final also provides an important opportunity for the Police College to connect back into the community and for Police recruits to interact with young people”.

The Blue Light PCT competition is aimed at year 7 and 8 students and starts with regional events throughout New Zealand run by local Blue Light branches in partnership with community Police Officers. Teams are made up of two girls and two boys and top teams from each region travel to Wellington to stay at the NZ Police College and compete to be crowned Blue Light PCT Champions.

Teams compete in five events. The main event is the Police Competency Test (PCT), finger printing (giving students a taste of CSI), a swim challenge, mental problem solving exercises as well as a police car push.

2014 winners were: 1st Hastings Team 1 2nd Hamilton 3rd North Canterbury

Blue Light has a strong vision of Empowering Young people by providing opportunities for positive youth and police interactions. Blue Light runs programs, events and activities free from alcohol and drugs and aims to reduce the incidence of young people being an offender or victim of crime.

Hastings students get hands on career experience


Year 7 and 8 students will have the opportunity to discover what employment options await them, when the 'Futures for Tamariki' careers day comes to Heretaunga Intermediate.

'Futures for Tamariki' is organised by Youth Futures and follows on from the inaugural event that was held in Flaxmere in March this year. It is expected that 300 students from Heretaunga Intermediate, St Matthew's Primary School, Maraekakaho School and St Joseph's School will participate in this month's careers day.

Youth Futures Chairman Hamish Whyte says "Children are often asked "what are you going to do when you grow up?". 'Futures for Tamariki' is a chance for children to begin thinking about the sort of work they would like to do in the future and gather information that will help them make good decisions about the courses they will undertake when they enter secondary school."

Hamish Whyte says "22 different employers will attend the event and each of them will have an activity for the students to undertake. The students will have thought about the vocational pathways which interest them, and that will help them decide which employers they want to visit at the careers day to find out more about what is involved in their industry."

"Research shows that young people are especially attentive when it comes to the views of professionals they come into contact with in educational settings and those contacts can be extremely valuable in making decisions on future careers," Hamish Whyte says.

'Futures for Tamariki' will be held on Friday, 21 November 2014 at Heretaunga Intermediate School, Orchard Rd, Hastings from 10am - 12pm and from 12:30 - 2:30pm.


The Hawkes Bay Youth Futures Trust was set up at the beginning of 2013 as a Hawke's Bay response to youth unemployment. It has the vision of having 100% of our young people involved in education, training or employment. It is supported byHastings District Council and Napier City Council and has relationships with employers across the region.

The Youth Futures initiative aims to build connections between employers, young people and their whanau, schools, training providers, agencies and iwi. It also aims to identify gaps in delivery and facilitate development of the appropriate services.

Hawkes Bay student transforms rubbish into art.


One of 36 visual arts and design students to take part in a pop-up exhibition at EIT's ideaschool, Gabbie Milne-Rodrigues transformed herself into a living work of art.

For her static performance, the second-year degree student held a pose at the two-hour opening of the 36//48 exhibition while submersed in non-biodegradable materials collected from Napier's Marine Parade beach.

Passionate about the marine environment, Gabbie says local councils, organisations and clubs do a very good job in looking after Hawke's Bay's coastline.

"Most people care about the future of the sea and are careful that plastics, polystyrene and other toxic materials don't end up in the marine ecosystem. However, it has become apparent that the shift needs to happen at source."

Gabbie points to bans in Hawaii on plastic bottles and California on single-use plastic bags. There are safe alternatives to polystyrene and plastics, she says - "what is slow in coming is the will to use them".

The 36//48 exhibition ran for just two days on campus and Gabbie says the challenge for her was keeping totally still at the opening.

"I am obviously a bit of a talker. This performance was a silent one, but I am a doer as well as a talker."

Moving to Hawke's Bay after two years' degree studies in Auckland, Gabbie decided to check out EIT.

"I was impressed with ideaschool and what it had to offer. I'm interested in performance art and ideaschool staff were excited to hear about that."

Living on Napier Hill, she walks the beach most days - a far cry from her childhood experience of growing up in Avondale where, as a nine-year-old, she took photos of a river polluted by industrial chemicals and sent them to a newspaper.

The 36//48 exhibition was a package exercise for the second-year Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design students, who organised themselves into committees to organise all aspects of the event. While some designed and made invitations, others produced an audio visual promoting the event. Gabbie was in a group curating the exhibition.

Programme coordinator Nigel Roberts says the cohort, the first to enrol in ideaschool's project-based learning degree, benefited from a similar exercise in their first year.

"They're an on-to-it group," he says, "a very motivated group of students."

Across Ideaschool, students are gearing up for end-of-year events. The visual arts and design Graduate Exhibition and Music Performance are open entry events. All tickets are taken for the Fashion Show and the Film Screening was held on Monday, 17 November at MTG.

-Graduate Exhibition: 5.30pm, Friday, 21 November, ideaschool, EIT

-Fashion Show: 6pm, Wednesday, 26 November, Trades Building, EIT

-Music Performance: 8pm, Friday, 28 November, Shed 2, Napier.

Hastings educator is honoured with a national leadership award.


Five of the country's top educators have been honoured with ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards.

The recipients of the 2014 awards which are now in their 18th year, are: Christine Alford from Mairtown Kindergarten (Whangarei), Glynis Knox from Frankton Primary School (Hamilton), Ian Torrie from St Cuthbert's College (Epsom, Auckland), Elena Warnock from Russell St School (Palmerston North) and Tina Youngman from Paeroa College (Waikato).

They were successful from more than 600 nominations from pre-school, primary, intermediate and secondary school teachers all over New Zealand.

ASG NEiTA Chief Executive Officer, John Velegrinis, says the recipients are outstanding educators.

"All of these educators have proven themselves to be teachers of the highest calibre. It is very heartening to meet teaching professionals so committed to bringing out the best in their students and their record of achievement is outstanding".

A further five educators are presented with Cognition Education National Excellence in Leadership Awards.

The 2014 leadership award winners are: Terry Consedine from Aquinas College (Tauranga), Brent Griffin from Western Heights Primary School (Rotorua), Kelly-Anne Lambert from Miracles Childcare and Learning Centre (Henderson, Auckland), Martin O'Grady from Karamu High School (Hastings) and Elizabeth Weir from Springston Primary School (Canterbury).

ASG NEiTA recipients go through a rigorous selection process to reach the national awards. They are first nominated by a parent, board member, trustee, parent or community organisation, which is then followed by the teacher submitting a comprehensive self-portrait and teaching background. From the 600 nominations, regional recipients are selected who then give a five-minute oral presentation to the judging panel and submit a paper on a topic of their interest to be considered for a national award in the Excellence in Teaching and Leadership categories.

ASG NEiTA Chairman Allen Blewitt says the recipients are making a substantial and positive impact.

"Their knowledge, passion and contribution is deeply appreciated and valued by the communities they teach in," added Mr Blewitt.

ASG NEiTA was established by ASG Education Programmes in New Zealand in 1996 to promote excellence in teaching. They are open to all qualified and registered full-time teachers and school leaders in primary, intermediate and secondary schools, and to qualified and registered early childhood educators.

Since 1996, more than $185,000 has been distributed to ASG NEiTA recipients in grants for professional development, prizes and endowments.

Applications for the 2015 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Cognition Education National Excellence in Leadership Awards open in April next year. Go to for more information on entering the awards.

Its nearly time for the annual Havelock North Library Publishers' Book Expo.

Havelock North Library

Readers will have the opportunity to preview a selection of hand-picked titles at this year’s Publishers’ Book Expo to be held at the Havelock North Library on Wednesday 19 November, 6.45pm.

A range of upcoming releases from leading publishing houses Random House, Allen & Unwin and Hachette will be presented at the event.

The goal of the event is to give readers an opportunity to hear about great new books and to meet local writers says Paula Murdoch,Hastings District Libraries’ manager.

"The titles presented are carefully chosen by publishers’ representatives from a huge range of new releases," Paula says. "And every now and then someone throws in an oldie but goodie because it just deserves to be included."

Each year a guest writer is invited to talk at the event.

"We are very pleased that Marty Smith will be this year’s guest author. Marty won Best First Book for her collection Horse with Hat in this year’s NZ Book Awards."

Paula points out that helping customers choose their next great read is an important library service and this event is a fun and informative way to do this.

"We invite you to come along and enjoy a fun evening and hear about new titles from some of our leading publishers".

Tickets to the Havelock North Library Publishers’ Expo are $5, and are on sale at the Havelock North, Hastings and Flaxmere Libraries. Doors open at 6.45pm for light refreshments, and the event begins at 7pm.

Enjoy a fun start to the week at the Napier Boys High School Junior School Gig.

Napier Boys High School Gig

Napier Boys High School will be having their Junior School Gig tonight (Monday the 10th) at the Cabana.

Go along and support Hawkes Bays rising talent and enjoy a pleasant start to your week.

Tickets are only $5 for adults and $2 for school age children or senior citizens.

You don't need to book tickets just pay at the door and get to the Cabana on Shakespeare Rd from 7 till 9pm.

There is a licensed bar open from about 6.15pm with plenty of soft drinks too!

New MTG Hawkes Bay head is ready for the challenge.


Laura Vodanovich is making the move from director of Tairawhiti Museum to take up her new role as the head of the Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG) Hawke's Bays.

After moving to Gisborne two years ago , having previously been director of collections and research at Auckland Museum, she was able to oversee the construction of the museum's new $1.9 million extension.

Ms Vodanovich will take up her new position in Napier on February the 1st and says the MTG has alot in its favour but the biggest challenge will be getting the local community to engage with their museum.



Wairoa Public Library launches their summer reading programme.


Acclaimed Hawke's Bay children's writer and storyteller, Mary Kippenburger, opened the Wairoa Public Library's summer reading programme with visits to Kotemaori and Nuhaka schools last Thursday.

Ms Kippenburger is known as a riotous and vibrant performer and alongside her husband, Peter Charlton-Jones, they are an internationally renowned duo who wander the globe telling tall stories to small people. They conduct workshops, drama classes, music festivals, present plays and concerts and record music on their Otane property in Central Hawke's Bay.

Manager of the Wairoa Public Library, Sandra Hughes, says that having a person of Mary's calibre coming in to be with our children is quite exciting.

"Mary has a way as a storyteller that's really engaging for our children. It's interactive and you can see the imaginations of our children being ignited. Her storytelling is dynamic and colourful, and through the art of telling stories we're able to show that reading is fun, entertaining and enjoyable".

"Mary's visit was an excellent way for us to launch and to open our summer reading programme at the Library", says Ms Hughes.

As we head into the summer months and school holidays, our children tend not to engage in reading. Research has found that a slide in summer reading can account for a month of reading loss in children.

The Wairoa Public Library will once again offer two reading programmes this summer. "This is the 18th year we have run a summer reading programme and we feel it really makes a difference to the children of Wairoa."

"We have 140 places on the programme 'Summer – Camping – Reading : Te Raumati – Te Puni – Te Pânui' is for children from 2 to 13 years old. The programme 'READ X' is for teenagers 11 to 18 years old and we have 20 places available for teens. Places are limited and it is on a first come first serve basis. So get in quick and register."

To register, fill in the registration form, available from the Public Library, in this issue of the Wairoa Star or go to and submit the form online. Registration forms can be dropped into the library, faxed to 06 838 8547 or scanned and emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

"Our gratitude to the Eastern & Central Community Trust cannot be overstated. Their continued support allows us to offer a summer reading programme that we believe will benefit the children of Wairoa", says Ms Hughes.