Thursday, 31 July 2008

Stir Crazy Librarians

We blame the weather. What do librarians do at the end of the day when they are feeling a bit jaded and silly? They try to think of as many titles as they can in the library that have something to do with the weather - rain and storms particularly.

It all started off (as the best ideas always do) with a throw away line from one and that set the rest of us off. See if you can come up with any others.

The Perfect Storm - DVD
Burning Rain - Music CD
Noah's Ark - various
Night of Rain and Stars - Maeve Binchy
It's Raining Men - Geri Halliwell
Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
Hayley the Rain Fairy - Daisy Meadows
The Rain Man - DVD
Edge of the Rain - Beverley Harper
Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz
Storm Boy - Colin Thiele
Wet Wet Wet - Music
River Deep Mountain High - Tina Turner

We went on for a while and things got a little sillier (Incy Wincy Spider) before the ideas dried up.....

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Care advised On Rodney's roads

Last night's heavy rain has made driving on Rodney's road treacherous. The Council's emergency operations team has recommended that you delay all unnecessary travel and some schools in the north of Rodney have closed because of the driving conditions.

If driving, take care because there is wide-spread flooding, slips, debris on the road and there are pot-holes developing on some roads.

The Council contractors are working as swiftly as possible to clear roads and repair damage and regular updates will appear on the Rodney District Council website - check out
Storm Watch Update & current road closures.

Other sites that will be monitoring the situation include:

Council's general advice to the community if the weather deteriorates significantly is to:
  • Stay indoors and off the roads, particularly at night.
  • Stay away from the coastline and beaches.
  • Stay well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times.
  • Watch out for falling tree branches as these can cause damage to power lines.
  • Avoid possible damage to electrical appliances (in the unlikely event there is a power surge when the power is restored) by switching off appliances at the wall.
  • Keep a torch, portable radio and spare batteries handy and ensure that you have at least one telephone that does not rely on electricity for operation.
  • Ensure that an alternate fuel is always available for cooking (e.g. gas for BBQ).
  • People using medical equipment that relies on electricity should ensure they are prepared for power disruptions and if there is an immediate health threat, contact their health provider or call 111.
  • Report any power outages to your electricity supplier (name and number on your electricity bill) not Vector and not the council.

Hola! Spanish storytime at Orewa Library - starts today

Spanish Storytime for babies and toddlers starting at 11am today. All welcome...even if you don't speak Spanish!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Support Rodney Olympians

The Olympics are under two weeks away now and most of our athletes are already overseas doing their final preparations and warmups, or packing their bags to fly out to Beijing to acclimatise for the start of this fantastic sports event.

Rodney Libraries are supporting our Rodney athletes that have headed over to follow their dreams. Each library will have displays, news reports, copies of athletes on-line diaries, TV schedules and the opportunity for you to write messages of support.

Athletes with Rodney connections who are part of the New Zealand Team are:

Jo Aleh - Sailing Team in the Laser Radial class
James Dolphin - Athletics Team in the 200m sprint
Ian Hogg - Oly-Whites soccer team
Barbara Kendall - Board Sailer in our Sailing Team
David Kosoof - Black Sticks Hockey team
Erin Taylor - Canoeing Team competing in the K1 500

We will be following our athletes and keeping you posted on how they get on. If you have any messages of support get in to your local Library or check things out on either the official NZ Olympics website or the TVNZ Olympics website.

AND IF WE'VE missed someone out, we want to know. If you know of another Rodney athlete in Beijing, we want to support them as well so get in touch with us by posting a comment or talking to someone at your library.
A demain (it's International Language week so that's French for "see you tomorrow")

Kumeu and Helensville Libraries extend their opening hours

Kumeu and Helensville Libraries will extend their opening hours for a trial period of six months starting from August 4 2008.

Here's a quick look at the changes....

Kumeu Library week day opening moved from 9.30 to 9am.
Kumeu Library late night moved from Friday to Thursday, and extended from 6pm to 8pm.

Helensville Library late night Friday extended from 6.30pm to 8pm.
Helensville Library Saturday open hours extended from noon to 1pm.

The Western Libraries have late nights on two different nights -Thursday at Kumeu and Friday at Helensville.

Starting Monday 4th August the new hours are...
Kumeu Library
Monday 9.00 – 5.00
Tuesday 9.00 – 5.00
Wednesday 9.00 – 5.00
Thursday 9.00 – 8.00
Friday 9.00 – 5.00
Saturday 9.00 – 1.00

Helensville Library
Monday 9.30 – 5.00
Tuesday 9.30 – 5.00
Wednesday 9.30 – 5.00
Thursday 9.30 – 5.00
Friday 9.30 – 8.00
Saturday 9.00 – 1.00
Please note: the Helensville Service Centre opening hours will stay the same - Monday to Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm. Closed each day between 12:30 - 1:00pm.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Author event with Wendyl Nissen in conjunction with Manly United Travel

Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre is hosting best-selling author and columnist Wendyl Nissen at 7pm on 7 August 2008. She will talk about her autobiography ‘Bitch & Famous’, read from her new novel and discuss her upcoming escorted tour through Russia.

For more than 25 years Wendyl Nissen has been at the front of the media pack, first as an eager young journalist, then as the influential editor of high-profile women's magazines, a television producer and writer, and a popular radio and television commentator and newspaper columnist

She currently appears on the Living Channel’s 'April in the Afternoon' most days sharing her insight and knowledge about what women want and writes a parenting and agony advice column for the NZ Woman’s Weekly, a life commentary column for the Herald on Sunday and features every Friday on the Holmes Breakfast show on Newstalk ZB and the Mike Hosking show every Saturday morning.

Join Wendyl at Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre from 7pm on Thursday 7th August. The event is free and is being staged in conjunction with Manly United Travel.

Books on Radio and TV this week

Radio New Zealand Schedule for this week

Speaking Volumes is the 10:30am book review slot on Radio New Zealand National’s Nine to Noon show. (You can view the Speaking Volumes schedules and information on books reviewed on Radio New Zealand National on

Monday 28 July - Ngoingoi Pewhairangi: A Remarkable Life. Tania M
Tuesday 29 July - The Secret Scripture Sebastian
Wednesday 30 July - A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Mohammed Hanif
Thursday 31 July - Voyage Long and Strange. Tony Horwitz

Nine to Noon 10.45 am Monday 28 July – Friday 1 August: The Mesmerist by Barbara Ewing; Eps 6–10 (of 15)
Afternoons 2.30pm Monday 28 July – Friday 1 August: Lovelock – James McNeish; Eps 11–15 (of 20)
All Night Programme 3.15am Monday 28 July – Friday 1 August: Dare Truth Or Promise – Paula Boock; Eps 8–12 (of 12)

Books that will be reviewed on TV One’s Good Morning this week include:
Wetlands of New Zealand – Janet Hunt. Winner of the Montana Medal for Non-fiction at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Opportunity – Charlotte Grimshaw. Winner of the Montana Medal for Fiction at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Mau Moko: The World of Māori Tattoo – Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, with Linda Waimarie Nikora, Mohi Rua and Rolinda Karapu. Winner of the Lifestyle & Contemporary Culture category at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Storm precautions for the weekend

It's already horrible and miserable outside, and predicted to get worse before it gets better. I really feel for the seniors from Mahurangi College with their Ball tonight. Their grand entrances may be a little different to how they imagined.

There's still time to batten down some of your hatches to make sure damage is minimised around the house. Here are a few tips from Civil Defence.

Before the storm hits you should:
• Check your drains and spouting to make sure they are clear of blockages.
• Pick up rubbish around your house that could become airborne.
• Bring rubbish bins indoors.
• Bring pets inside.
• Boaties are recommended to check their moorings.
• Check on your next door neighbours.

If the storm hits we would recommend:
• People stay at home, do not travel unless absolutely necessary.
• Open a window on the side of the building away from the wind. This will relieve pressure on the roof and help prevent it lifting
• Close all curtains to slow down flying glass and airborne objects
• Stay away from doors and windows. If the wind becomes destructive, shelter further inside the house.

For more information visit or

Keep safe everyone and we will catch you again next week.

Books on TV and Radio

If you are stuck inside today because the predicted storm has come a little earlier than forecast, you can always get your book fix by putting batteries into your radio and checking out the following programmes over the weekend on Radio New Zealand.

Saturday Morning with Kim Hill 26th July
Books that may be mentioned or reviewed include:
The Echo Maker – Richard Powers. Kim may discuss his earlier books as well.
Wetlands of New Zealand: A Bitter-Sweet Story – Janet Hunt. Winner of the Environment category and the Montana Medal for Non-fiction at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Kate Camp's Klassic is John Wyndham’s 1951 post-apocalyptic novel, The Day of the Triffids

The Arts on Sunday. 2pm Sunday afternoon 27th July on Radio New Zealand National.
Interviews and discussions about the following New Zealand books will feature
Calypso – Bob Orr
Beyond the Breakwater: Stories 1948-1998 – O.E. Middleton, edited by Lawrence Jones

Friday, 25 July 2008

Podcast Poetry Competition

More Podcast Poetry entries have been uploaded. You can listen to them on the competition website

Today is the last day for entries. All entries can be sent to

Thank you to all who have entered so far.

What's on in Rodney

Here's a quick run down of some of the events on around Rodney this weekend.

Motuora Planting Day - Sunday 27 July.
Depart 8am from Sandspit, returns approx 4pm. Join the Motuora Restoration Society on this special island, a great day out, very popular and suitable for families, includes a cuppa and sausage sizzle lunch. The boat fare is just $20 adults, $10 children 5-15 yrs Bring boots/stout shoes, raincoat, warm clothes, sunblock, hat, snacks, drink, enthusiasm! To book for any day (essential - and firm commitment is needed) phone Eilene 09 427 8911

Omaha Beach Dune Planting - Saturday 26th July 10am to 3pm.
Meet at northern car park Omaha Beach Planting at eastern side. A great day out for family and friends. Help to stabilize the dune system and promote biodiversity. Just bring gloves and a spade. Free sausage sizzle

Tom Sharplin's Rock and Roll Show - Saturday 26 July.
The Grand Hotel 1 Railway St Helensville. A Hangi meal will be served at 6.00pm. The Tom Sharplin Show will start at 7.00pm followed by the All Blacks vs Australia at 10.30pm on the big screen. Tickets at the venue $25.00

Movie Night at Stanmore Bay School - Sunday 27 July 2008 6.15pm start
Stanmore Bay Film Net will be putting on 3 films throughout the night, - One, The Movie, a film the asks the ultimate questions of life - Eden, winner of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra's Short Film Competition - Three-Fifty, a hilarious short film. Supper supplied. Entry is open to all Film Net members by donation of $5 - $20 to cover costs and benefit Stanmore Bay School. 27

Times FM Swim to Win Event - Sunday 27 July 2008
Registration @ 11am @ Orewa Surf Club. GREAT CAUSE! With a cast of thousands Times FM has run the Swim to Win event to raise money for Kidney Kidz each year. Local Celebs like Rodney Mayor Penny Webster will brave the winter chill along with our listeners. There are heaps of great prizes up for grabs. We have been blessed with a sunny winter day each year and long may that last!

The Improv Bandits - Saturday 26 July
Local comedians performing to help our Mahurangi Montessori Primary Trust. Doors open at 6.30pm at the Matakana School Hall and tickets are $25 available from Matakana School, Matakana Patisserie or phone Rachel on 4227206.

Tawahi Trio - Saturday 26 July
The Warkworth Music Society presents the Tawahi Trio (viola, clarinet and piano) playing pieces from Schumanna nd Mozart. at the Mahurangi College Hall. Tickets $20 and students free. Ph 4257313 or 4259281 for details.

Puppets for Eva - Sunday 27th July
A donation of $2 will get you into this Puppet Show at the Catholic Church Hall, Warkworth, with proceeds going to help the Eva Mitchell Appeal. The show starts at 2.30pm.

"The Librarians" are coming a TV set near you. If you are looking for a funny sarcastic look at life in an Australian Library check out TV3 tonight at 10pm for the first episode of this six part series.

"The series centres on the trials and tribulations of Frances O'Brien (Robyn Butler), a devout Catholic and head librarian at the Middleton Interactive Learning Centre. Frances’ life unravels when she is forced to employ her ex-best friend, Christine Grimwood (Roz Hammond) - now facing criminal charges - as the Children's Librarian. Suddenly long buried feelings that Frances has suppressed since she last saw Christine 19 years ago rush at her like a truck. She must do all she can to contain her menacing past and concentrate on the biggest event of the Library calendar year - Book Week. "

If you want to know more about the programme check out the rest of the article on the TV3 website. I'm just going to make a point of staying up past my bedtime and having a look to see if I recognise any real life situations in what some people call The Office meeting the book world.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Author Profile - James Patterson

James Patterson is one of those extraordinary people who can write across the genres and for all different ages. We have books in the Rodney Libraries collection ranging from romance to horror to thrillers, picture books and young adult novels, series such as Maximum Ride, characters such as Alex Cross... The list just keeps growing. He is also a great collaborator with other writers, with great chemistry and fantastic results.

His latest book Sundays at Tiffany's has just hit our shelves. "When you grow up, you won't remember me" hints the flyleaf. For anyone who ever talked to an imaginary friend in their childhood (or beyond), this tale is for you. A growing up and coming of age tale, this sweet gentle story takes you on a roller coaster journey in the true style of a James Patterson romance.

However on a cold wet Saturday night last week, I also happened to pick up 1st to Die. Vaguely aware that this was the first book in the Women's Murder Club, and that the TV series has just started here, I wondered how readable it would be compared to his romances.

No problems here. A racy and fast moving thriller about a serial killer of brides and grooms on their wedding night, this is a real page turner. I have to leave it at home every day so I get some work done. My sister-in-law commented that she really liked it as there were nice short chapters. Bite sized chunks. The only problem is I now have a picture in my head of how the ladies look, and am not sure if the casting is right in the TV series. Oh well... time to talk about that in another blog.

If you want to check out James Patterson in our catalogue just click on his name highlighted in green or click here. Or to find out more about the man himself, what's been and what's coming up head to the Official James Patterson Website.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Google Maori live

Google Aotearoa is live today. Go to Google and you'll see the option " offered in Maori". Not all pages have been translated into Maori but it's incredible to see the ones that have. For example the 'preferences/manakohanga' page would have taken some time.

Congratulations to all involved!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Montana Book Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of thsi year's Montana Book Awards. Here is the report from this morning's Dominion Post.

Grimshaw wins Montana honours By KELLY ANDREW - The Dominion Post Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Charlotte Grimshaw is following in her father's literary footsteps, winning the Montana Medal for her book of short stories, Opportunity. Grimshaw, daughter of CK Stead, scooped the $5000 fiction category and the $10,000 overall award.
The Aucklander is in Europe and her publisher accepted the prizes at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in Wellington last night. She also took out the reviewer of the year award for her reviews in the Listener magazine.
Her statement said: "Each story is written in the first person, and part of the point of the book is to describe and convey the unique New Zealand voice."
Judges, art critic and journalist Lynn Freeman, publisher David Elworthy and fiction writer Tim Corballis, said: "By turns touching, funny, dark, and redemptive, this is a book for reading through then re-reading in a different order ..."

Winners were chosen from more than 220 books. Mary McCallum, of Wellington, won the Society of Authors best first book and readers' choice award for her novel The Blue.

Janet Hunt won the Montana Medal for non-fiction and the environment category for Wetlands of New Zealand - A Bitter-Sweet Story.

Short story collection Te Tu a Te Toka: He Ieretanga no nga Tai e Wha won the $5000 inaugural Maori language prize for editors Piripi Walker and Huriana Raven.

The other category winners are:
Poetry: Cold Snack by Janet Charman.
Biography: The Life and Times of James Walter Chapman-Taylor by Judy Siers.
History: Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka Volume II: Te Ara Hou - The New Society by Hilary and John Mitchell.
Reference and anthology: A Nest of Singing Birds: 100 years of the New Zealand School Journal by Gregory O'Brien.
Lifestyle and contemporary culture: Mau Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku with Linda Waimarie Nikora, Mohi Rua and Rolinda Karapu.
Illustrative: Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning by Jennifer Hay, with Ron Brownson, Chris Knox and Laurence Aberhart, designed by Aaron Beehre.
Best first book award for poetry: Incognito by Jessica Le Bas.
Best first book award for non-fiction: The Great Sacred Forest of Tane - Te Wao Tapu Nui a Tane: A Natural Pre-History of Aotearoa New Zealand by Alan Clarke.

Get High at your Library

I actually had time to relax and read a Sunday newspaper over the weekend and came across a quirky headline in the Sunday News. Now I realise why I love the look, the smell and the feel of old books, wandering amongst the bookshelves of libraries, not able to walk past a book shop, especially one of old toombs. Yes - my name is Kowhai Reader and I am a Book Addict.

It's apparently now a recognised medical fact. Here's part of the original report that started it all from Ellen Warren of the Chicago Tribune.

It turns out that, if you spend enough time around old books anddecaying manuscripts in dank archives, you can start to hallucinate.Really. We're not talking psychedelia, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"stuff, here. But maybe only a step or two away from that. Experts onthe various fungi that feed on the pages and on the covers of booksare increasingly convinced that you can get high - or at least alittle wacky-by sniffing old books. Fungus on books, they say, is alikely source of hallucinogenic spores. The story of The Strangenessin the Stacks first started making its way through the usually staidantiquarian books community late last year with the publication of apaper in the British medical journal, The Lancet. There, Dr. R.J. Haywrote of the possibility that "fungal hallucinogens" in old bookscould lead to "enhancement of enlightenment."

Read the full text of the original article by clicking here

Just another quirky notion from the book world. I hasten to add that the report carries on to say you would need extensive and continual exposure to old books (i.e. living between the shelves) to realise the high - but don't let that get in the way of a good story.

Ka kite ano

Monday, 21 July 2008

Korero Maori i te kainga?

Tena koutou! Māori Language Week runs from 21-27 July, 2008. The theme for 2008 is "Te Reo i te Kāinga - Māori Language in the Home." There are lots of opportunities to use Maori at home from greetings to cheering on the ABs.

Here are some ideas from the
Korero Maori website.
I pēhea tō rā? - How was your day?

Pai mārika taku rā! - I had a great day!
He aha pea he mahi mā tāua? - Shall we do something?
Ka rawe. - Choice, awesome.
Tēnā rāwā atu koe. - Thank you

In todays NZ Herald there's an article about
txting in te reo. (2mke.) There are some useful phrases for Aucklanders at the end of the article. Stuff has news about Google being available in Maori. The language option goes live this Wednesday. The library catalogue is available in te reo - Putumohio went live during Te wiki o te reo Maori a couple of years ago.

Kia rā pai tēnei mōu -
Have a wonderful day

Friday, 18 July 2008

Montana Poetry Award 2008

Janet Charman’s cold snack, published by Auckland University Press, has won the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Poetry and $5,000.
"The team at Auckland University Press are enormously proud of Janet Charman's achievement in winning the poetry category in the 2008 Montanas for COLD SNACK”, said Press Director Dr Sam Elworthy. “Janet has been a powerful and distinctive voice in New Zealand poetry for many years and we are lucky to be her publisher."
Janet Charman is a graduate of The University of Auckland and was the University’s Literary Fellow in 1997. She has published five collections of poems with Auckland University Press over 15 years.
There were 26 books submitted in the poetry category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards this year, up from 19 in 2007.
Cold snack will now contend with the winner of this year’s fiction category for the grand prize for creative writing, the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry. The winner of the medal will be announced along with all the other Montana New Zealand Book Award winner at a gala dinner in Wellington on Monday 21 July

What's on

Get your running shoes on. This is what's happening in Rodney this weekend.

35th Wilkinson Trophy Race
Once again the Wellsford Road Runners present this 10km event on Saturday 19 July 2008 The race starts at 12.15pm and there are 3km & 4km races for Ages 7 - 16 years. Enjoy some country hospitality and a course run on tar seal. Register on the day at Kaipara Flats Hall – Children $3: Adults $12. Spot prizes and afternoon tea provided! All walkers and runners welcome. Enquiries phone Keith 423 7191

Titanic the Musical
finishes it's run at Centrestage tomorrow night so go to to get details of how to get closing night tickets.

The NZ Job Expo
is on this weekend 19 July 2008 - 20 July 2008 at the North Shore Events Centre.
Looking for a new job? Want to up-skill? After a lifestyle change in another region?
For one weekend, under one roof, NZ Job Expo brings over 100 New Zealand and Australian employers, economic developement boards, recruiters and educators together with job candidates. Doors are open 9am to 5pm each day. Tickets are $15 per adult and can be obtained by phoning (09) 431 2515

Craft Out West
Is on all weekend at Trusts Stadium in Henderson (10am to 4pm). Garden Art, Handcrafted Jewellery, Handmade Chocolates, Bears and Bear Supplies, Pacific Arts, Limited Edition Barbies, Teddy/Doll's Clothes, Glass Art, Beading, Patchwork and Supplies, Ceramics, Facepainting for the kids, Wooden toys, Scrapbooking, and more. Entry is $5 adults, $3 senior citizens and children under 12 free with proceeds going towards West Auckland Hospice, caring for local westies and their families, in their own homes, during terminal illness.

Anika Moa
is at Sawmill Cafe in Leigh on Saturday night but you will have to check with Ticketek to see if there are any tickets left.

And finally for something just a little bit different Underpants on the Outside
Saturday 19 July from 10am to 2 pm at the Grey Lynn Community Centre. A collectors market day for geeks, sci-fi fans and the like with comic books, Trade-paperbacks, Star Wars Memorabilia, Retro/Vintage Toys, All sorts of figurines, Dr Who stuff, Badges, T-Shirts, all sorts of collectible stuff, original fan art, Awesome DOOR PRIZES!!!(drawn at 1pm)

or you could just batten down the hatches and get the kids organised to head back to school next week. Ka kite ano.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Montana Poetry Day Friday 18 July

If you've been into a library this week you'll notice that Montana Poetry Day is coming up tomorrow. Montana Poetry Day is part of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Originally conceived as a way to increase interest in the poetry finalists, the day has taken on a life of its own. It is celebrated all over New Zealand with poetry readings, samplers and posters.

Rodney Libraries have been displaying poems and encouraging you to add your favourites to the Poetry Wall. Some libraries have an epic poem where you can add a line or two.

Tomorrow Wellsford Library will host Poetry Hour at 4pm where you can read your poems to an appreciative and supportive audience. All libraries will be giving away poetry samplers with poems from this year's finalists. Look out for poems on the pavement tomorrow as well. A couple of pictures from last year are in our Flickr stream.
We've had the first entries in our Podcast Poetry Competition. Listen to them from the competition website. There's still a few days to left to get your entry in if you're in Years 4-13.
Finally, here's a link to the Montana Poetry Day website where NZ poets have been sharing their poems.

Blood Guts and Body Bits

The final events of one of our most popular School Holiday Programmes are held around the district today. If you've missed out so far, take the opportunity to head along to one of these local libraries for the finales.

Helensville 10.30 am
Be Your own Hero (to take place at the dojo).

Warkworth 10.30 am
Join the Mad Doctors for their own version of the medical examination.

Wellsford 10.30 am
More body bits

and finally Whangaparaoa tonight at 6.00 pm
A fun session of stories, songs and body part surprises.

Pre-schooler storytime will be held as normal at Orewa (11.00 am) and Rhymetime at Whangaparaoa (10.30 am)

We have had heaps of fun bringing these programmes to you. Some people think children's librarians are slightly mad, but we just think we are all still young at heart.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog

I'm a big Joss Whedon Fan. One of my favourite Buffy episodes was the musical "Once more, with feeling". Singing and dancing plus a bit of demon fighting makes for good TV in my book.

During the Writers Strike Whedon got together with some friends. "Frustrated with the lack of movement on that front, I finally decided to do something very ambitious, very exciting, very mid-life-crisisy. Aided only by everyone I had worked with, was related to or had ever met, I single-handedly created this unique little epic. A supervillain musical, of which, as we all know, there are far too few. "

Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog is now live and available *FREE* for a very limited time only at

"ACT ONE (Wheee!) will go up Tuesday July 15th.

ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th.

ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th. "

After July 20 it will disappear although you will be able to get it for a "nominal fee". Or you can wait for the DVD.

I haven't seen it yet - if you have, let us know what you think.

School holiday programme today

Blood Guts and Body Bits sessions continue in your local libraries today

Kumeu Library 10.30 am
Stories and more body parts

Orewa Library 2.00 pm
Body Parts - stories and crafts for age 6 upwards

Wellsford & Whangaparaoa Libraries 10.30 am
Storytime for Pre-schoolers as usual

Only one more day of events to go so don't miss out! Just in case you are wondering, here's what's on tomorrow

Helensville Library 10.30 am
Be Your Own Hero (to take place at the dojo)

Orewa Library 11.00 am
Storytime for Preschoolers as normal

Warkworth Library 10.30 am
Join the Mad Doctors for stories, fun and activities

Wellsford Library 10.30 am
More body parts

Whangaparaoa Library
10.30 am Rhymetime for preschoolers as normal
6.00 pm Come along for a fun session of stories, songs and body parts surprises!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

School holiday programme today

The second week of Blood Guts and Body Bits hits Rodney Libraries this week. So far we have seen mad science, faces, body parts and guide dogs. There will be more of the same this week.

Helensville Library 10.30 am
Whose your (Egyptian) Mummy?

Mahurangi East Library 10.30 am
Looking at skeletons

Orewa Library 10.30 am
Rhymetime for pre-schoolers as usual

Whangaparaoa Library 10.30 am
Storytime for pre-schoolers as usual

Check out the rest of the week by hitting the link on the right hand side.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The Train's are Back!!

For the first time in 28 years, a passenger rail train left Helensville Railway station this morning taking commuters through to Auckland. The new service which is running for twelve months as a trial was launched this morning by ARC Chairman Mike Lee and had several Councillors on board, including Rodney Mayor Penny Webster.

The last service ran in 1980 and there has been a big push to reinstate a commuter service over the last couple of years. Two trains run from Helensville, the first at 6.32 am (arriving in Auckland approximately 8.07 am) and the second is an evening run at 7.15 pm (arriving in Auckland just before 9.00 pm). The evening commuter service home from Auckland leaves Britomart Station at 5.30 pm and arrives in Helensville just after 7.oo pm. At $9.10 per trip (with concession tickets available) and with the rising cost of fuel and parking, this has got to become a popular way to get to work for the people of West Rodney.

Check out the MAXX Auckland Regional travel website to see if the trains are a viable option for you and give them a go.

"Blood, guts and body bits" sessions this week

The last week of the holidays promises to be just as gory as the first week!

Helensville Library and Service Centre
Tuesday 15 July 10.30 am - Whose your (Egyptian) Mummy?
Thursday 17 July 10.30 am - Be your own Hero (to take place at the dojo)

Kumeu Library
Wednesday 16 July 10.30 am - Stories and More body parts

Mahurangi East Library
Tuesday 15 July 10.30am - Looking at skeletons

Orewa Library
Storytime and Rhymetime for preschoolers will run as usual
Rhymetime 11 am Tuesdays :: Storytime 11 am Thursdays
Wednesday 16 July 2pm - Body Parts: Stories and crafts for age 6 upwards

Warkworth Library
Thursday 17 July 10.30 am – Join the Mad Doctor for stories, fun and actitivies

Wellsford Library
Storytime for preschoolers will run as usual Wednesdays 10.30 am
Wednesday 16 July 10.30 am – Storytime for preschoolers
Thursday 17 July 10.30 am – More Body Parts

Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre
Storytime and rhymetime for preschoolers will run as usual
Storytime 10.30 am Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Rhymetime 10.30 am Thursdays
Thursday 17 July 6.00 pm – Come along for a fun session of stories, songs, and body partssurprises!!

Friday, 11 July 2008

What's On...

... this weekend in Rodney. Let's have a look.

Titanic the Musical
continues at Centrestage in Orewa. Check out the website for details

The Magic Earth theatre Inc Presents River Magic. Dance Drama and puppets combine to make a wonderful show for the family. Friday 11 July at 7pm and Saturday 12 July at 2pm and 7pm at the Mahurangi College School Hall, Woodcocks Rd, Warkworth. TICKETS Adult $12, students/pensioners $8, family 2+2 $35 Available from Warkworth information site and Matakana Info centre.

ART Exhibition: Onomatopoeia
Artist Liz Sutherland exhibits from Saturday 12 July to Monday 4 August 2008 at The Art Centre, Karaka Street, Helensville. Open Saturday and Monday 10am-2pm. For more info email or phone 021 338846

Motuora Planting Days
Sunday 13 and 27 July 2008. Depart 8am from Sandspit, returns approx 4pm. The planting is now underway and lots of willing volunteers are needed to get the native plants in the ground. Join the Motuora Restoration Society on this special island, a great day out, very popular and suitable for families, includes a cuppa and sausage sizzle lunch. The boat fare is just $20 adults, $10 children 5-15 yrs Bring boots/stout shoes, raincoat, warm clothes, sunblock, hat, snacks, drink, enthusiasm! To book for any day (essential - and firm commitment is needed) phone Eilene 09 427 8911

Raroa Planting Day
Sunday 13 July 9am – 2pm at 53 Stanmore Bay Rd. Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird invites you to a great day out for family and friends planting native trees and helping to create an urban nature reserve that provides an oasis for flora and fauna and a place for the community to enjoy Just bring gloves and a spade. Free sausage sizzle For more information on volunteering or to make a donation please contact Pauline Smith, Raroa Coordinator 09 426 4244

I am sure there is plenty else on to keep everyone busy or once again you could just relax at home with a good book and cheer the All Blacks on again on Saturday night. Stay safe everyone.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Blood Guts and Body Bits today

The July School holiday programme continues at these local libraries today:

Kumeu Library 10.30 am
Stories and body parts

Mahurangi East 10.30 am
Making Faces - design a Masquerade Mask

Orewa Library 11.00 am
Pre-schoolers storytime as usual

Warkworth Library 10.30 am
Make your own body parts book

Wellsford Library 10.30 am
Body Parts

Whangaparaoa Library 10.30 am
Rhymetime for pre-schoolers as usual

The programme continues next week so if you want to pre-plan, check the link on the right hand side for details.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

School Holiday Programme today

Today in Blood Guts and Body Bits

Helensville Library 10.30 am
Mad Science

Orewa Library 2.00 pm
Body Parts - stories and crafts for 3 to 6 year olds

Wellsford Library 10.30 am
Storytime for pre-schoolers as normal

Whangaparaoa 10.30 am
Storytime for pre-schoolers as normal

Check the link on the right hand side if you want to see the programme for the whole holidays.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

And here's the proud winner...

... of Mayor Penny's Reading Challenge, with her lovely new purple bike, Mayor Penny Webster and Warkworth Children's Librarian Anne Dickson outside Leigh School on a crisp Friday morning. We are told that the smile did not leave her face all day. It didn't leave ours either as this is a really great part of the job. So a big congratulations Leah. We hope you are getting plenty of enjoyment out of your bike over the school holidays.

And a huge thankyou to our sponsors. We couldn't run programmes like this without the support of the community who get right behind us. So to FreeRide'n' in Huapai, the Lions Clubs of Orewa and Whangaparaoa and the Rotary Club in Warkworth, thank you!

School Holiday Programme today

Blood Guts and Body Bits kick off at your local library today with the following sessions:

Kumeu 10.30 am
Stories and body parts surprises

Mahurangi East 10.30 am
What's inside your body?

Orewa Library 11.00 am

Rhymetime for pre-schoolers as usual.

Warkworth 10.30 am
What if you can't see. Join special local guests (including the guide dogs) to learn more about what happens when you are blind.

If you want to know what's happening for the rest of the holidays, click on the link on the right for our July School Holiday programme.

Monday, 7 July 2008

40th Auckland International Film Festival

The booklet is out, the website is up and the tickets are for sale. The 40th Auckland International Film Festival is about to hit town.

"Founded in 1968 as a component of the Auckland Festival, the Auckland International Film Festival in time became a fund-raising event subsidising live arts. Rescued from this role by the intervention of the Federation of Film Societies in 1984, the Festival in 2005 achieved an audience in excess of 100,000. The year 2000 marked the Festival’s return to the fabulously refurbished Civic Theatre, the South Pacific’s most insanely beautiful picture palace."

Pick up a booklet from the library and have a closer look. Films are divided into twelve categories - Big Nights; Worlds of Difference; For all Ages; Masters; New Directions; Framing Reality; Music; Retrospective; Portrait of the Artist; Animation; Incredibly Strange Film Festival; Shorts and Panels.

Early bird ticketing applies to tickets purchased before 10 July - that's Thursday.

Friday, 4 July 2008

The weekly What's On!

Saturday Night Splash
Saturday 5 July 2008 6.30 - 9pm, for kids age 8-14 years at The Leisure Centre, Stanmore Bay This Ultimate Pool Party returns with Music, lighting, smoke machines, sausage sizzles, cold drinks, party games and competitions throughout the night. Look out for the famous inflatable obstacle course “AquaRun”, the “Rolling Log”, and our new “Jousting” pool toy. A fun and fully supervised night. Tickets $7.50 each available from Reception...Get ‘em before they’re gone !!!! For more information please contact 09 424 1914 or view our website

Titanic - the Musical
It's opening night and the New Zealand Premiere on Saturday for this production which runs from 5 to 19 July 2008 Centrestage, Centreway Rd, OREWA. Winner of 5 Tony Awards Including Best Musical. Theatre Bookings 09 426 7282. For more information go to

Want to learn to sail?
Then make your way to the Gulf Harbour Yacht Club and take part in one of their upcoming programmes. Learn to sail, enjoy a BBQ with fellow sailors and join in the regatta followed by a wine and cheese evening. 5 and 6 July 2008 Gulf Harbour Boat Ramp For more information contact Matt Kerr 09 834 0557

Don't forget all the holiday programmes that are out there for the next couple of weeks. Not just at the libraries but all around the district, schools, churches and other organisations are running activities. Check the noticeboards and local papers.

Mayor Penny's Reading Challenge - The winners are...

CONGRATULATIONS to Leah Donaldson from Leigh Primary School. Leah was surprised at their end of term assembly this morning with a visit from the Mayor Penny Webster who presented Leah with a very swish looking purple bike. And if my camera skills don't fail me too badly, there will even be a photo some time next week.

Two consolation prizes were also drawn and these went to young Abergail Coleman from Warkworth Primary School and Benjamin Wakelin from Orewa North Primary School. They each received Paper Plus vouchers.

All children who entered the challenge will be receiving Certificates and these are being posted out in the next week or two. Well done to everyone and to all the schools and parents who supported this reading challenge.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Allow extra time on the roads on Friday

In response to the Government’s increase in road user charges announced this week, truckies have bandied together to organise a protest in Auckland on Friday 4th July beginning around 7.30am.

Protest spokesman Chris Carr, of the Auckland Road Transport Association, says truck drivers are being asked to join motorway motorcades leading to the city at7.30am and go to Queen St from the Symonds St, Nelson St or Fanshawe St off-ramps.Trucks from the Southern Motorway would drive down Queen St, to meet those from the Northwestern and Northern Motorways, which would travel up the street from Victoria St. Motorists and commuters in the greater Auckland region are urged to either get to work very early tomorrow morning - before 7.30am - or to avoid travelling on the region's motorways and streets altogether, so as not to get caught up in what will likely be hours of gridlock. Police have been advised that up to 2,000 heavy trucks will converge on the city's CBD. Even if the truck numbers are significantly less, there will likely be heavy congestion at best in and around the CBD, at least until midday, if not beyond that.

While Police will be out in force to try and ensure public safety on the roads and to facilitate the free movement of emergency response vehicles, substantial delays for travellers are inevitable.
In essence, people should:
* expect long delays on the roading network from around the region
* get to work early or not at all
* know that bus travel will be affected by the truckies' protest
* remain tolerant and act with restraint
* anyone who needed to get to the airport for early morning flights, to get there well in advance or to consider and staying overnight tonight in a hotel, or similar accommodation, near the airport.

Acting Inspector Ross Endicott-Davies of the Auckland City Police District says Police will be doing their best to manage the event and work with the trucking industry. "Traffic movements within the city will be controlled by SCATS (Sydney Controlled Automated Traffic System) but traffic flows are not expected to get back to normal for several hours after the protest has finished."

So be warned! If you’re travelling to the city for an appointment between 7.30 and 9am or travelling from anywhere around the CBD on the motorways your journey may take a little longer than normal.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

It's time for another BOOK SALE

The next Library Book Sale is being held this Friday and Saturday (4th and 5th of July) at the old Warkworth Masonic Lodge building (next to the Library in Baxter Street).

From picture books to adults non-fiction, large print and magazines, there is something here for everyone at really reasonable prices. Stock up on reading for the school holidays, or the rest of the wet winter.

Doors will be open from 9am to 5pm both Friday and Saturday.

This sale is run with the support of the Warkworth Museum committee and volunteers.

Review of community outcomes and 'Vision Rodney'

Community outcomes are produced from the voices of many people across our District. During 2002 and 2003, people discussed the future and said what they thought our vision should be. 'Vision Rodney' is the result of that process, which was facilitated by the Council on behalf of local communities. On July 3, 2003 the Council formally adopted 'Vision Rodney'. Even though 'Vision Rodney' is a strategic vision of and for local communities, the Council wants to use it as its own strategic framework. The Council intends to assist communities to achieve their outcomes wherever possible.
Council is required to see that community outcomes are developed and reviewed at least every six years to ensure they still describe the future desired by local communities.
The Council is about to facilitate the first review of community outcomes and of Vision Rodney. If you are interested in being part of this review we welcome your participation.
If you have any suggestions for change why not let us know by emailing your views to We can take comments until the end of July 2008.
You can read and download a copy of the current Vision Rodney below or from Council offices and libraries.
We are proud to live in Rodney – let’s keep it that way!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Book launch "Keeping the Faith - travel the world" at Whangaparoaa Library

Authors Jocelyn Watkin and Kim Gabites will be launching the second edition of their book “Keeping the Faith – Travel the World” at the Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre in the Whangaparaoa Town Centre today at 2 – 2:45 pm.

Since its initial launch in August 2007, interest keeps growing in “Keeping the Faith – Travel the World”. It is a travel tale that many New Zealanders want to read - how to be a footloose, fancy-free and how to pay for it. The book was awarded a top 5-star rating by the on-line financial bookstore Good Returns, along with the warning: “This book changes lives”

Copies in libraries across New Zealand are in constant demand and the feedback from all ages and professions has been “inspiring”, “powerful” and “very readable”.

Kim says, “Keeping the Faith – Travel the World” tells the story of Faith MacDiarmid, a financial tactician and keen traveller. The book shows how easy goal setting and financial planning can be when there is a compelling motivator like travel.”

Jocelyn says, “It’s about journeys – Faith’s own, which shape her money beliefs and life, and those of her clients who get to live their dreams. The reader shares these journeys with Faith, peering over her shoulder like a pillion passenger, as she talks to her clients and helps them to take off on their travel goals.”

Jocelyn and Kim are keen to help other writers. At the launch, they will share their knowledge on how they co-wrote, published and now promote “Keeping the Faith – Travel the World” and they will also reveal their seven steps for successful travel saving.

For serious travellers, armchair dreamers, book lovers and aspiring writers this event has something for everyone, with a chance to have a longer chat with Jocelyn and Kim after their presentation. In addition, the Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre will have displays available of books from their travel and investment sections.

This event is open to everyone and is free of charge.

Book launch details:
Tuesday 1 July, 2 – 2:45 pm
Whangaparaoa Library and Service Centre
9 Main Street, Whangaparaoa Town Centre,
(09) 427 3710

The book is retailing for $30.00 and can be bought at the launch, or ordered via the website:

Congratulations Rodney Live

A huge pat on the back to everyone involved in Rodney Live over the last several weeks in Rodney (and for the months before that for the behind the scenes team). And CONGRATULATIONS to Lou Collier who was the winner on the night.

It takes a huge effort to put on not just an event like this, but an event on any scale. And much of the work is done by volunteers. So while Volunteers Awareness week has come and gone, another thank you goes out to all the volunteers who help keep sports, events, culture and community groups running around Rodney. We couldn't do it without you.

Any event also relies on the enthusiasm of the people that take part. Heaps of people got involved in Rodney Live (I heard on Times FM this morning that the female singer songwriters were to the fore). There are plenty of groups around Rodney that have passionate supporters and participants getting involved and who put lots of work in as well.

And on that note, I would just like to mention the person or persons at the Waikato Netball Representative tournament on Sunday who pretended to be representatives from the winning teams in two of the grades and absconded with the prizes intended for the girls. SHAME ON YOU! Those girls (and their support teams) put in hours of preparation, got up early and travelled long distances to play their hearts out on a cold (but thankfully dry) winter's day. I know because I was there too. Good on you Waikato for finding something to reward the girls anyway.