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Curtains? We Reveal the Real World.

What writing on the wall?

The report last week, in a certain paper, about the Plaza Theatre curtains revealed something – the writer wasn’t at the Plaza Theatre AGM!

Luckily the Prattler was. To correct the tone of the paper report we have a joint statement from the South Waikato District Council and the Plaza. It states what the AGM made absolutely clear, which means we can lift the curtain and see the actual lines.

The joint news release now follows.

“Council and the South Waikato Arts Trust will be working together to install new stage curtains at The Plaza.

“We’re thrilled that Council will be contributing to the replacement of the curtains,” said Bobbi Sheriff, Chair of the Trust.

“The tone of the news report in Wednesday’s newspaper seemed to imply that we weren’t, which is really unfortunate,” she continued.

The curtains are in need of replacement due to deterioration over the years. New curtains will mean improved focus on Health and Safety regulations relating to fire protection too.

The Trust and Council are jointly funding the project, with Council contributing $12,700 towards what is likely over a $30,000 project.

The Putaruru Plaza has been identified as a significant regional facility and Council is pleased to be working alongside the Trust on the curtains.

“We’re all looking forward to ‘opening’ the brand new curtains!” continued Mrs Sheriff.”

So what can we expect?

You come in off the street, through the doors of the theater. You sit down. The lights go down and the curtain goes up. And you’re in another world. [Robert Caro]

I closed my eyes
Drew back the curtain
To see for certain
What I thought I knew… [Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice]

You draw to the curtains and one thing’s for certain
You’re cozy in your little room
The carpet’s all paid for, God bless the TV
Let’s go shoot a hole in the moon… [Elton John, Bernie Taupin]


Fly me to the moon…


I see red…

Christmas Parade and Shop Window Displays

Christmas Parade 2016…
Shop Front Display, 2016.

Yes – it’s getting near that time again. It’s not too late to add to the occasion by decorating a shop window or entering a float in the Christmas Parade.

The parade in on Friday, December 15th starting at 6:00pm. See the last Prattler for full details or open from the side bar.

The Float Parade is free to enter. There are prizes in each of the 3 sections:


Children & Youth

Services, Clubs and Societies

and a prize for the best float overall. Remember there is only 1 Santa.

Please send completed forms to the PIP office, 2 Overdale Street, by December 1st either in cut out or emailed versions.

Here are the entry forms again for both of these competitions…

Shop Front Display, 2016.
Christmas Parade 2016…
Christmas Parade 2016…

Rotary Book Sale

Rotary Book Sale at the PoP Up Store, Princes Street.
It’s easy to find.

The Annual Rotary Book sale is now in full swing at the PoP Up Store in Princes Street right by the pedestrian crossing.

It opens at 9am each day, closing at 4pm through to Saturday, but has an earlier closing time of 11am on Saturday.

The books are well arranged for easy browsing.
The New Zealand section.

There is a very large selection of books that are arranged in clearly marked sections, such as alphabetical order for fiction, children, DVD’s, New Zealand, and the like.

Prices are:

Individual books: $3 or 4 for $10 (except if marked with a special price)

Magazines: 5 for $1

Children’s Books: 5 for $2

Videos/DVD’s: $2

CD’s: 4@

Jigsaws: $3

Box of books: $25

You can also bring down books to donate for sale.

Get in early to grab a bargain!

Royal New Zealand Navy Band at The Plaza

The Royal New Zealand Navy Band

The main role of the Royal New Zealand Navy Band is to perform as a Military Band providing music for the ceremonial, public relations, recruiting and entertainment requirements of the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Defence Force and the New Zealand Government.

However it was the public who were entertained at The Plaza, Putaruru, on Sunday afternoon.

The band’s second item, Plymouth Hoe: A Nautical Overture by John Ansell contains many British music references including Rule Britannia. Conductor Michael Dowrick referenced The Two Ronnies while introducing this piece and one wonders whether we should ho, hoe, or not, not wanting be be drawn down to the sea in slips.

Light in Darkness, a piece by Evelyn Glennie, featured marimba and guitar. This is a recently written piece that was warmly received.

Marimba and guitar…

During the afternoon there were a great variety of styles and compositions that are not necessarily associated with bands – a tribute to the works chosen.

The audience was put into quiz mode with the piece that featured music of the 1970’s. Yes we knew the tune snippets but just what was the name of that ‘bit’ again? Some snatches were themes associated with; The Muppet Show, Butch Cassidy, Deliverance, Simon and Garfunkle and Scot Joplin as we were transported downtown by locomotion.

The familiar Chuck Mansion piece, used as a soundtrack to the film Children of Sanchez, arranged for guitar and trumpet, concluded the first half of the concert.

Children of Sanchez – guitar.


Children of Sanchez – trumpet.

A small Dixie group from the band opened the second half and featured, Won’t you Go Home Bill Bailey, and Chicago.

New Orleans in Putaruru…

Other pieces this half ranged from Remembrance, which featured the bagpies, (and my spell check thought this should be magpies – probably stuck in Denis Glover mode), to the formal Sunset and concluded with the rousing Heart of Oak.

Bagpipes sound In remembrance of the Battle of Jutland.

It was a professionally polished afternoon of music, no actual marching, but the beat was there thanks to the musicianship of the Royal New Zealand Navy Band. No followers of The Village People were harmed in this presentation.

LT Michael Dowrick – conductor.
Clap, clap, shh, shh ,clap – the audience is encourage together into the swing…


3rd Birthday Celebrations for Transform Aotearoa

Kim Jepsen, Centre Manager at Transform Aotearoa.

Thursday night saw 3rd Birthday celebrations for Transform Aotearoa at their Tirau Street location.

Transform Aotearoa is a Charitable Trust that has been established to support New Zealanders in provincial towns on a journey towards wholeness.

Some of those speaking at the 3rd Birthday celebrations were:

Skinz Edwards.
Vanessa Wilson and Belena Hohaia (Women’s liason at Transform Aotearoa).
Caroline Mahanga.

The celebrations outlined the varied aspects of the work being done by the Trust. These aspects include:

Whakahonohono Mai: This is a 10 week Women’s leadership and personal development programme focused on strength, identity, worth,value and goal setting.

Te Moana Kura: this is a 9 week, stage 2 course that builds upon tools learnt in Whakahonohonomai. A personal move from a place of insecurity to a place of promise and freedom.

Te Kaupapa Whakamana: This is an 11 week Men’s leadership and personal development programme focused on being a good father/role model, learning to love and appreciate your partner and children, managing hard feelings, overcoming difficulties and goal setting.

Lamen Hohaia (Community Liason and Men’s Programmes).

WOW: Friday Ladies Gathering: A community of ladies who have graduated from our women’s programme, who meet together weekly to continue learning and helping in the community together.

CAP: Christians Against Poverty is an 8 week course offering tools to break life controlling dependencies like alcohol, smoking, gambling, drugs or internet addictions that wreck lives and cause financial and relational poverty.

Personal Presentation in the Workplace: A 10 week course offering skills and knowledge of personal hygiene, physical presentation and body maintenance to project a positive self image and self esteem at home or in the work place.

Driver Licensing: Pathway to obtaining a drivers licence.

ShineGIRL and STRENGTH: This is a 9 week course in Putaruru College for teenagers to develop their understanding of their own personal identity, strength, purpose and direction for their life.

Rangatahi Youth Summits: These are run monthly on a Saturday by a qualified youth practitioner and professional dance and creative art tutors to inspire our youth.

Naomi Reese and Kiri TeAurere Joyce-Paora.

Building Awesome Whanau: This is a strength based course resonating with whanau, assisting to inspire and empower parents and caregivers to aim for great outcomes.

Other speakers included:

Gray Baldwin
Mayor, Jenny Shattock.

Mayor Jenny Shattock noted some common aims of The South Waikato District Council and Transform Aotearoa.

At the end of the formal celebrations, specially prepared food was laid out for those attending.

Lamen Hohaia and Munro Rikiriki in the lead up to the blessing of the food.

Transform Aotearoa is located upstairs at 32 Tirau Street.

Friday Night Christmas Market and Buckland Street Childcare Garage Sale

An open note to the weather organiser on Friday night – “thank you.”

Crowds turned out for the Friday Night Market held at the Putaruru Hotel and this year it was clear, warm and fine.

The evening was an event organised by the Putaruru Toy Library, (situated just around the corner). A market feature is its support of local and New Zealand made goods.

Ashley Samkin displays goo from one of the goo packs she made herself.

The outside lawn was ringed with stalls of both goods and food. The Putaruru Volunteer Fire Brigade and St John were also set up, as well as providing rides up and down the road.

Under the hotel outside entrance were the sounds of Christmas Carols and the smells associated with BBQ food being freshly prepared.

Inside the Putaruru Hotel the entrance and 3 rooms were full of stalls, displays, herbal health products, and massage treatments. Many offerings of clothing, crafts and of course tempting sweets were also available.

The Toy Library had their Christmas sweet house raffle on sale and tickets for this are still available.

Buckland Street Childcare Garage Sale

On Saturday morning, Buckland Street Childcare held a morning Garage Sale in their grounds.

There was a relaxed friendly atmosphere as people explored the large number of goods being offered for sale. Again the fine weather prevailed.


St Mary’s and Putaruru Primary School Sports Days

The outlook for Friday was much better than Thursday, (not a good one at all), and both local primary schools took advantage of the great weather. It was certainly time for hats and sunscreen.

St Mary’s Catholic School held their sports day at Glenshea Park.

St Marys – grandstand view.


St Marys – flying saucers.


St Marys – pass on the baton.


St Marys – launching into it…


St Marys – relays are always popular.


St Marys – keeping track of the results.

Putaruru Primary used their school grounds for the sports day.

Putaruru Primary – jumping to it.


Putaruru Primary – light at the end of the tarp.


Putaruru Primary –  what goes up, must come down.


Putaruru Primary – almost.


Putaruru Primary – an even start.


Putaruru Primary – there were many shady spots to watch from.

Both of these well organised days involved the children rotating through a series of varied activities that were chosen to suit the ages of those involved.

A pleasing feature was the large number of adults and past pupils who came to support those taking part at both venues.

Community Picnic Tables Update

The 3 newly installed picnic tables, 2 at the Garden of Memories and 1 outside the Pride in Putaruru office have now had their protective fences removed and the inscription plaques attached.

Matt Corrin and Brad Wood.
Brad in action…
Garden of Memories – overseas service remembrances…
Garden of Memories – seating sponsors…
Remembrances table…

The PiP frontage table honours the contribution of former mayor Neil Sinclair.

Matt Corrin, Lee Robertson, Neil Sinclair, Stu Edmeades.

This plaque reads…


Junior Athletics in Putaruru

They’re off…

Putaruru has a strong association with athletics and it’s in this spirit, under the guidance of sportwaikato, the local Putaruru Athletics Club is doing a great job in attracting youngsters into an active lifestyle.

A range of activities are well set out and organised for young children and there are plenty of adults on hand to assist and encourage as well.

Jumping from spot to spot…
Stand by for take off…
Hoop dreams…

After the 5:30pm briefing, the children were taken in age appropriate groups through a range of activities that encouraged balance, jumping, throwing and running as well as the traditional flat races, long jumps and the hop step and jump.

On track…
Yes, a two feet landing…
Run like the wind…

The atmosphere was friendly and supportive at Glenshea Park as all groups participated in the early evening fun and fitness.

Great organisation…
What colour is your parachute?

Why not take you family to Glenshea Park at 5:30pm next Wednesday? It could be the start of lifelong passion.

Pride In Putaruru AGM

The AGM of Pride in Putaruru was held last night at the Plaza. After the usual welcome, apologies and minutes of the 2016 AGM, reports from the Chairperson and Financial were presented. The election of Trustees was then held followed by the Managers Report.

Extracts from the Chairperson and Managers Reports are combined in this next section that reviews activity since the 2016 AGM.

Finances – the continued pressure on funds and availability of fund providers has meant thinking outside the square as to how the Trust is funded. This is being addressed through the SWDC Long Term Plan.

Business After 5 – has proceeded as a means of giving opportunities to celebrate businesses around town.

Business After 5 at The Honda Shop.

Ladies Breakfast – these bimonthly meetings that feature guest speakers are popular and well attended.

Mayor Jenny Shattock was the Guest Speaker at the Ladies Breakfast.

Security Cameras – during the year the cameras have been updated to state of the art technology and are now in-housed by the SWDC to coincide with Tokoroa getting their security system in place. An extra system has been added to the Putaruru Library.

Business Awards – were celebrated at the Plaza and the Putaruru District Services Memorial Club with over 200 attending a successful night. Kerrie McIvor was the guest speaker.

Christmas Parade – saw that parade finish at Glenshea Park with good numbers from outside the town attending. The Cambridge Brass Band played at the parade and the park. A shop window competition was promoted throughout December to compliment the parade.

Water Festival – a fine day and a changed format worked very well with the SWDC taking a larger role in the event.

SWDC Neighbourhood Parties -two were held in Putaruru over the summer period.

Information Centre – has been a worthwhile addition to the PiP operation providing another opportunity to connect with the community in a positive way.

Putaruru Moving Forward – saw the reporting of the positive results of the community survey at the Business Awards. Thanks to the ‘tidy-up girls’ who have been very successful with their hard work on the shop fronts. The voluntary work these ladies have done is a credit to them and the community.

Growth Plan for Putaruru – a comprehensive consultation process culminated in a very successful public meeting with over 170 attending and no objections.

Part of the communication process…

National Fieldays Rural Batchelor – was a wonderful success and a lot of fun with funds raised going to a security camera, Fire Brigade and the Plaza Trust.

Prattler – this has continued with 7 print editions a new on-line ‘daily’ version being established.

The working relationship with the South Waikato District Council was acknowledged along with the contribution the former Mayor Neil Sinclair made.

25 years service and commitment each from Anne Edmeades and Richard Heslop were rightly recognised as they have now retired from PiP.

The work of retiring Manager, Lee Robertson was acknowledged along with the Information centre contribution of Karen Mathis.



New Picnic Tables

Men at work…

The Garden of Memories has 2 new picnic tables installed by the South Waikato District Council. Ground preparations began on Thursday and installation began on Friday.

Thursday – Memorial Gardens
Thursday – Memorial Gardens
Friday – Memorial Gardens
Friday – Memorial Gardens

Across the way, a new table and seating is also being added to the small garden area outside the Pride in Putaruru office at 2 Overdale Street.

Friday, outside the PiP office.
Still at work at 5:45 Friday night.
Late Saturday afternoon…

The new tables will be especially popular as Summer approaches. Pride in Putaruru are working closely with the Council to improve the appearance of our town and the installation of the new picnic tables are a result of this collaboration.

Trelise Cooper Designer Outlet Opens…

Trelise displays one of her designs at the Tirau opening.
Shop 1, Main Road Tirau.

Last night was the opening of the new Trelise Cooper Designer Outlet Store with the fitting address of Shop 1, Main Road Tirau.

It was a colourful occasion complete with Champagne and canapés…

and of course those who had come to admire or be introduced to the Trelise Cooper range of clothing for all styles and ages.

Eyewear and jewellery from her unique range is also available.

All items are attractively displayed and easily accessible. Trying on creations is enhanced by the spacious fitting rooms.

Parking? Yes – a whole dedicated area is set aside for the use of those visiting the designer outlet so there’s no reason to not enjoy this new Tirau experience.

Trelise has been formally recognised not only for her creative flair bit also for her charity work. She became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004 and Knighted as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 for her services to fashion and the community.

Mystery on the Orient Express: A Great Show

Tickets Please…

Last night, (and for several nights more), the Orient Express departed from the Putaruru Theatre Players Station, right on signal, on its European journey. All classes of Putaruru society were aboard from first, to second and none – perhaps from the wrong side of the tracks.

Do the locomotion…

Once the express began its locomotion, a travelling countess announced that she had been wobbed. Although the audience consisted of several shady characters, it took the deductive powers of Holmes and Watson, conveniently on holiday from 221b, to see that the audience were not actually on the train.

Across Europe, many of the passengers came under suspicion.

There were the Senior Cit bowlers in their whites who progressively became more like Senior Sips. Luckily the guard did not evict them.

Here kitty…

In France, love was in the air and one can never trust those gendarmes.

Tower show…
Gendarmes are always on hand…

The Von Crapp family entertained while passing through Switzerland looking very high on the hillside indeed. Heidi was an instantly converted in Rome to the charms of the Pope who unfrocked to take Heidi on a gondola experience – but takes an unplanned dip.

Row row row your pope…

Luckily for the countess, the hunt for her string of pearls is assisted by other famous characters including Garter Hari and Inspector Gadget. Even Miss Cast may be not all that she appears.

Tools of trade…

The musical numbers and lively dancing were well presented. The Vatican Rag would certainly have met with Tom Lehrer’s approval. Tina Ward has again directed a great show.

The Vatican Rag.
All the right moves in all the right places…

From the railway carriage windows, many picture perfect postcard, (well A3), views flashed by, along with country themed backdrops and props. The impressive Orient Express engine itself was on stage for the whole journey.

At the end all clues point towards… but our lips are sealed as to the belting reveal by the onboard sleuths.

Holmes makes a point…

Mention must also be made of the yummy treats served to all passengers during the interval. This service at the Kensington was much more civilised than a pie stop at Taumarunui in the day when passenger trains were a feature of New Zealand travel.

Enjoy this fast paced show yourself. Tickets are available from Van Dyks and the full departure times and dates are in the poster below. It’s a ride of fun on the Orient Express with the Putaruru Theatre Players.


Putaruru College Prizegiving 2017

Putaruru College conducted a formal, dignified prize giving ceremony in their hall yesterday afternoon. The hosts for this occasion were Student Leaders Michelle Hamilton and Kalani Sahinovoc.

Michelle Hamilton and Kalani Sahinovoc

Principal M Ronke touched on many aspects of teaching and learning but thoughtfully observed that “excellence is a habit, not an app.”

Principal M Ronke

Michelle Hamilton delivered an entertaining valedictory speech that was spiced with humour throughout and as promised, returned to call on the BOT Chairperson M Hamilton, (her father), to make the BOT address.

Throughout the ceremony there were music, dance and visual displays by students.

The King sisters…
School band: Typical
School band: Typical – the 2017 music group.

The leaving student leaders, Michell and Kalani handed their respective cloaks to those awarded these roles in 2018, Tom Burgoyne-Smith and Sophie Meszaros. In a new move, these two will select their own student teams.

Kalani Sahinovoc hands over the cloak to the 2018 student leader, Tom Burgoyne-Smith.
Sophie Meszaros receiving her cloak as 2018 student leader from Michelle Hamilton.

The Putaruru College Dux for 2017 is Hanneke Stegen.

Dux for 2017: Hanneke Stegen

The full award list for 2017 is:

Sports Awards

Clay Target – Shooter of the Year Torbjorn Marstorp
Hockey Player of the Year: Lily Bendy

Joshua Handley

Football Player of the Year: Sophee Rapson-Jones
Badminton Player of the Year: Sage King
Basketball Player of the Year: Blake Moore

Kaydain Kawhena

Touch Player of the Year: Tyra Begbie
Netball Player of the Year: Sage King
Girls Rugby Player of the Year: Karla Christensen

K’Lee Begbie

Rugby Player of the Year: Llevi Casey
Swimming Champion – Senior Girl: Tresor Double
Athlete – Senior Champions:


Aidan Gibb

Santraea King

Fairplay Cup: Josh Handley

Sam Crosbie

TTT Trophy for Team Achievement and Sportsmanship: Under 14 rugby team
Champion House – Mansell Cup – for points in sports, speeches, quizzes etc. Waihou
Putaruru College Sportsperson of the Year: Tyra Begbie

Year 11: First in Subject

Digital Technology Liam Johnson
Food Technology Charmaine Golvin
Geography Natasha Edwards
Music Emmalea Taylor
Physical Education Alyssa Mathis
History Alison Mckinnon
Mathematics Alison Mckinnon
Materials Technology Torbjorn Marstorp
Mixed Media Torbjorn Marstorp
English Shelly-Ann Cochrane
Primary Industry Shelly-Ann Cochrane
Science Shelly-Ann Cochrane

Year 12: First in Subject

Biology Roisin White
Design Technology – Hard Materials and recipient of the Freemasons Trophy Daniel Akkersma

and recipient of the Gateway Cup

Ashlynne Garnett
Mathematics and the recipient of the Nulake Cup for Year 12 Maths Sam Crosbie
Photography Lily Bendy 

Kaydain Kawhena

Tourism and the recipient of the Sir George Seymour Trophy Karla Christensen
Chemistry Courtney Duncan
History Courtney Duncan
Classics Essie Stanley
Food Technology and the recipient of the Senior Home Life Cup Essie Stanley
Digital Technology Janela Verginiza

Janina Verginiza

Painting Janina Verginiza
Business Studies Sophie Meszaros
English Sophie Meszaros
Geography Sophie Meszaros
Music Sophie Meszaros

Year 13: First in Subject

Digital Technology Jayden Watkins
English and the recipient of the Simpson Cup Michelle Hamilton
Physical Education Jacob Farrell
Mathematics with Calculus Kalani Sahinovic
Biology and the recipient of the Willy-J Trophy Brittany Feierabend
Classics 1st = Brittany Feierabend
Art – Painting Olivia Morgan
Art – Photography (and recipient of the Creative Photography Award) Olivia Morgan
Chemistry and the recipient of the R.H. Edmeades Family Trust Cup Nicole Canato
Physics Nicole Canato
Leadership Aidan Gibb
Personal Training Aidan Gibb
Tourism Aidan Gibb
Art History – VC Hanneke Stegen
Classics 1st = Hanneke Stegen
Geography Hanneke Stegen
History Hanneke Stegen
Mathematics with Statistics Hanneke Stegen

STP – Putaruru College Toi Ohomai Students

Introduction to Carpentry Joshua Handley
Introduction to Outdoor Experiences (Level 2) Katie Lyttle
Applied Science (Level 3) Ruby Robertson
Introduction to Working in the Motor Industry and Fundamental Skills of the Automotive Workshop Kalani Sahinovic
Outdoor Experiences (Level 3) Santraea King
Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism (Level 1) Shelly-Ann Cochrane
Introduction to Outdoor Experiences (Level 2) Karla Christensen
Introduction to Primary Industries (Level 1) Emmalea Taylor
Introduction to Construction and Infrastructure (Level 1) Jordan Porter
Fundamentals of the Hospitality Sector (Level 2) Lily Bendy
Introduction to Primary Industries (Level 1) Isabelle Pearson

Arts and Culture Awards

Senior Speech Cup:


Michael Flavell
Vonnie Kay Memorial Cup: (for contribution to music during the current year, both in and out of school)


Kaydain Kawhena
David Bell Cup for Music: (for overall excellence and service to music during her years at College)


Sophie Meszaros
Putaruru College Film Group Matthew Richards

School Service Wards

AFS Central Plateau Award: (for fostering cultural relationships)


Aidan Gibb

Senior Student Librarian Award: (for assisting in library duties) Jayden Watkins

Michael Flavell

Hanneke Stegen

High Achievement Awards

2017 South Waikato District Sports Awards:

Secondary School Contribution to Sport – winner:

Junior Sportswoman of the Year – winner:


Georgia Wood

Tyra Begbie

Burgess Cup for Endeavour: Leah Hine
Meritorious Awards: For an all-round remarkable students – hardworking, always helpful, polite, active and motivating others.

Year 11:


Year 12:


Year 1



Talisha Herbert

Isabelle Pearson

Nicky te Whare

Jaydyn Barnett

Abby Cawood

Makene Trophy: (for commitment in Taha Maori, Kapa Haka, Academic & Sporting Achievement) Parehuia Walker

Michael Flavell

He Taonga Whakamaumaharatanga Ki a Doreen Gregory: (for Academic Achievement of a Maori) Kaydain Kawhena
Overall Academic Top of Year 11: Shelly-Ann Cochrane
Overall Academic Top of Year 12: Sophie Meszaros

Top Graduates at Year 13


Hanneke Stegen

Principal’s Award

HEAD BOY: Kalani Sahinovic
HEAD GIRL: Michelle Hamilton
DEPUTY HEAD BOY: Michael Flavell

Leadership Award

GIRLS’ LEADERSHIP: Parehuia Walker
BOYS’ LEADERSHIP: Michael Flavell

Adrienne Marr Trophy and Dallas Cup Awards

Adrienne Marr Trophy (for scholarship, sportsmanship, leadership, culture and character) Parehuia Walker
Dallas Cup for proxime accessit (runner up to the Dux): Nicole Canato

Dux of Putaruru College

Dux of Putaruru College and recipient of the Mason Cup: Hanneke Stegen

2017 Mercury South Waikato District Sports Awards

Sportsperson of the Year and Sporting Personality of the Year: Toka Irere Te Openga Natua

Toka Irere Te Openga Natua, named Sportsperson of the Year and Sporting Personality of the Year, has had an amazing year. She won gold at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup and was awarded MVP with a hat trick in the finals against England – a feat unknown by a prop in the history of New Zealand rugby.

Coach of the Year: Christian Vano (right)

Christian Vano was named Coach of the Year for the outstanding achievements coaching the U13 Boys A Team at the New Zealand national basketball tournament, and his local U13 team won the Waikato country nationals.

Sport Waikato South Waikato District Coordinator Lisa Mansell was very pleased with the high caliber of nominations, finalists and winners this year.

“We have had an amazing spread of talent across all categories this year, and it’s great to see the hard work and determination from all our sportspeople really paying off. And those sportspeople could not do what they do without the fantastic support of the many talented coaches, administrators, officials and supporters,” Mansell said.

Eligible winners are now considered for the Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on Thursday 1st February, 2018 at the Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.

Mary Henry, Mercury Environmental Resources Manager
Mary Henry, Mercury Environmental Resources Manager

The guest speaker Toka Natua, (who won 2 awards on the night), spoke about her journey through rugby – from Tokoroa through to the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland this year.

Guest Speaker: Toka Irere Te Openga Natua

The full list of 2017 winners announced last night were:

Administrator of the Year – Sue Conroy

Administrator of the Year: Sue Conroy

Sue keeps the whole Nga Hau e Wha Whanau Waka Ama club moving at a pace of continual achievement. She plans, designs action plans and implements as well as being a key communicator via grassroots, regional and national bodies. Sue is an extremely proficient administrator, also known as the “Waka Ama” Lady by many students.

Coach of the Year – Christian Vano

Coach of the Year: Christian Vano (right)

Christian loves the game of basketball, and puts in as much time as he can whether it’s coaching or refereeing to the point of dreaming of basketball. Players listen intently to Christian’s clear, practical and precise coaching message. Christian was selected to coach the region’s U13 Boys A Team at the New Zealand national tournament. His local U13 team won the Waikato country nationals and placed second out of 79 teams at the national AIMS games.

Official of the Year – Colin Davey

Official of the Year: Colin Davey

Colin has been an official in many sporting codes for over ten years. Colin has gained Waikato Level 3 which has extended his travelling area in the Waikato region. His knowledge is not confined to rugby as he also volunteers his time to referee for Tag NZ, Rugby League Waicoa and Bay of Plenty competitions.

Team of the Year – Pockets Ladies Team

Team of the Year: Pockets Ladies Team (Wendy Cook)

Hazel Cook, Tatum Manning and Camellia Cook make up the Pockets Ladies Team. Together they took out the Clubs New Zealand Ladies National 8 Ball Pairs, where 54 pairs competed. This team also completed a clean sweep to gain first and second place in the Ladies North Island 8 Ball Champs.

Club of the Year – Nga Hau E Wha Whanau Hoe Inc

Club of the Year: Nga Hau E Wha Whanau Hoe Inc

Waka Ama is a growing sport in the South Waikato district, having extended to dragon boating. The club has recently completed its four-year strategic plan, marketing and promotional plan, applications for funding and club structure. The club caters for everyone, engaging youth in a sport that develops future leaders.

Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Tyra Begbie

Junior Sportswoman: Tyra Begbie

Tyra has had a busy year attending the Upper North Island secondary school netball tournament, the North Island Secondary School talent ID for sevens rugby, playing in the Waikato Secondary School U18 Rugby team, captaining the Putaruru College U18 Girls Sevens team and coaching the Putaruru College Year 7 and 8 Touch team.

Junior Sportsman of the Year – Matthew Letoga

Junior Sportsman: Matthew Letoga

Matthew continues to work hard year after year. This year he played in the Chiefs Rugby U18 team, playing in the Waikato rugby age groups. Matthew portrays high leadership qualities in the community working alongside other youth.

Sportsperson of the Year & Sporting Personality of the Year – Toka Irere Te Openga Natua

Sportsperson of the Year and Sporting Personality of the Year: Toka Irere Te Openga Natua

Toka won gold at the 2017 Women’s Rugby world cup; she was a member of the Waikato regional rugby team placings second in New Zealand, a member of the 2016 England & Ireland tour and the 2017 New Zealand tour. At the world cup she was awarded MVP with a hat trick in the finals against England, a feat unknown by a prop in the history of New Zealand rugby. Toka spends a lot of timing giving back to the community through youth mentoring and instructing at Limitless, wanting a fitter, healthier community.

Secondary School Contribution to Sport – Georgia Wood

Georgia umpires netball, touch and Rippa Rugby. She is involved with interschool activities including athletics, cross country, winter codes and swimming sports. Outside of school she helps at community events like the Water Festival. Georgia has consistently demonstrated a positive attitude.

Service to Sport – Don Hughes

Don is a man of few words, and even more of a humble person. Whatever needs to be done in the community Don is always there with a huge smile and willingness to help. Don’s passion is with basketball where he has developed basketball in Putaruru over the last 30 plus years.  Don played a big part in building the Putaruru stadium.  Even though he has recently retired to Tauranga he always makes a trip back to Putaruru every Thursday for his golf fix and checking up on things.  The Putaruru community misses him greatly but wish him well and they thank him for his contribution in building a positive and vibrant sporting community.

Service to Sport – Jenny McKenzie

Service to Sport – Jenny McKenzie

Jenny has offered a wealth of knowledge and commitment to the Putaruru community with netball in particular over the last 20 years plus.  Jenny has held every role in the netball association. She has seen the club and the sport change over the years, helping the club and individuals grow, change and become resilient to adapt to the changing times in the sporting world of netball.

Service to Sport – Ron Carter

Service to Sport – Ron Carter

Ron is patron, life member and past president of the Putaruru Squash Club and Bay of Plenty Squash Association.  Ron was instrumental in helping to build the Putaruru Squash Club as well as starting the masters tournament in in the Bay of Plenty.  Through many years Ron has nurtured and developed squash players who he has seen grow, perform on a high stage and then start passing that knowledge on.

Service to Sport – Tania Rata

Service to Sport – Tania Rata

Tania is a very energetic and proactive patron of all sports in the Putaruru community.  TC actively coaches, referees, mentors and supports individuals and families to be the best they can be.  Putaruru is very fortunate to have someone like TC to advocate the best outcomes in sports, green spaces and facilities for the community.

Poster parade to inspire guest arriving…

The sponsors of the evening were: Mercury, sportwaikato, Graham Brown & Co, South Waikato District Council and Van Dyks.

Business After 5 at GoFox

Robbie and Rachel Winterson along with their team welcomed those attending the Business after 5 meeting last night held in the GoFox premises in Tirau Street. Winterson Electrical are the South Waikato Franchisee of GoFox Electrical.

Rachel and Robbie Winterson.

Robbie and Rachel liked the feel of Putaruru when they decided to move here as a family 10 years ago. Their decision to join the GoFox franchise was influenced by the professional systems behind the business. They are both dedicated to Putaruru and its central location.

Rachel paid a special thank-you to the Putaruru community in their help and friendly assistance since moving here and more recently starting their new business.

Since launching GoFox in the South Waikato they have built up quality staff and added to their fleet of vans as well as the range of services they offer, including the addition of plumbing.

Those attending enjoyed the BBQ and liquid refreshments that were provided during this Business after 5 meeting.




Axemen Teams Racing at the Putaruru Hotel

Just checking…
The first cut…

The Putaruru/Tokoroa Axemens Club hosted a Teams Race Event outside the Putaruru Hotel on Sunday.

Pick me…
The leader of the pack…
Do you have to be a Jack and a Jill to do this?

Invited teams from around the Central North Island competed to complete an Underhand Chop, Standing Chop, Jack and Jill Sawing, Larger Underhand and Butchers Block Standing.

The Putaruru Hotel perimeter fence was a handy grandstand for those attending, families and pets.

Wake me at meal time.

An indoor market was also running at the hotel during the day.

What a Wonderful World: Putaruru Choir

The world in Putaruru was alive with music on Sunday afternoon. The Putaruru Choir, conducted by Mary Heberley with accompanist Irene McIvor presented What a Wonderful World at St Aidan’s Church, Putaruru.

Conductor Mary Heberley. Click on this picture to see the PiP TV video.
Accompanist Irene McIvor

Joining the choir were guest artists from Harmony Chorus, Hamilton.

The first part of the programme featured a range popular songs from around the world such as Stranger in Paradise, while the second part, dedicated to Christmas music, included favourites such as O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels.

The introduction to the Blue Danube was accompanied by the nearby fire brigade siren – perhaps a call for more water.

Soloists included Mary Heberley, Waltz of My Heart and Donna Phillips, Mary’s Boy Child. David Heberley was the narrator during When A Child is Born.

Soloist Mary Heberley.
Soloist Donna Phillips.

St Aidan’s is a comfortable and friendly venue for occasions such as that presented by the Putaruru Choir.

A selection of the songs is available to enjoy on PiP TV – click this link.

The afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending. Another one next year please.

surf2surf in Putaruru

Lunch time at Putaruru Primary School…

Originally the Surf 2 Surf started at Waihi Beach and ended at Raglan but yesterday a new route starting in Hamilton and ending at Waihi Beach was used.

The ride started from the Hamilton Workingmen’s Club, then did a ride past of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base at Waikato Hospital. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter benefits from the ride today.

The route included Temple View, Pirongia, the Arapuni Dam and Putaruru.

Here there was a BBQ fund raiser lunch at the Putaruru Primary School.

The riders and bikes sheltered from the rain at lunchtime – not quite riders on the storm though!

In the afternoon the group rode on to the Waihi Beach Memorial RSA.

This year, the wet weather saw numbers down a little from previous years.

The Tirau Tamariki Tour

Thursday was full on for the students and staff of Tirau Primary School. First they all arrived at the Plaza Theatre in the morning for a rehearsal on the stage, along with the sound and lighting effects – then at 7pm the full production took to the boards.

The morning rehearsal…

The Plaza came alive at night to the sound of children singing, dancing and acting, as their production The Tirau Tamariki Tour began.

The school bus, (whose wheels still go ’round and round’), travelled to Maungatautari, the Blue Springs, Corrogated Creations and a farm, as it took the audience on a tour of the South Waikato area and the local attractions on offer.

Moving large groups of students on and off stage is no easy matter, but item changes were well handled. One small pupil was heard to ask, “where are we going now?” His mate replied, “Up there!”

The Plaza was full to capacity with parents, grandparents and extended family. It was a memorable night full of fun and creativity.

Pink Floyd have been in high rotation this week! Besides their Tirau Tamariki Tour appearance, see their earlier visit to Putaruru here, and our Fortnightly Quiz here.