Friday, 27 February 2009

What's on This Weekend

It must be Helensville Show this weekend. How do I know this? Because for the second year in a row it looks like being a wet show for them. What a pity that there is a weather warning out for Saturday as I was really looking to showing of the Rodney Library courier van in the sunshine to all the people out west. Regardless, the show will still go ahead but it will be gumboot weather by the sounds of things. Will cross my fingers for you that the weather clears earlier than forecast. And anyway, I know you lot out west are a hardy lot. A little rain won't deter you.

Hopefully by the time Sunday rolls around, the weather will be better as its the Mayors Cycle Challenge which kicks off at 10am at the Orewa Reserve. Go along and help Rodney become NZ's most cycle mad city FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW!!. There are free goody bags, free entry, and lots of other entertainment. The pink plastic fantastic from the Warkworth display has been moved a couple of times by youngsters who are keen to join in, but so far we have saved it as we are unsure how roadworthy it is.

Sunday 1st March is also Children's Day. Lifeway are putting on a Gala at the Snells Beach Reserve 2-4pm. It's Free and it's Fun for the whole Family with Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, Massive sand dig, and prizes for all children.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Free internet access at your library

You may have noticed some changes happening at your library this week. The Aotearoa People’s Network is being installed in all seven of the Rodney Libraries. The Aotearoa People’s Network is a collaborative programme between public libraries and the National Library of New Zealand to provide free internet access to improve New Zealanders’ access to the internet and the digital world. This means that Rodney Libraries will soon be offering free internet access to all library users.

Along with computers and free internet access the Aotearoa People’s Network provide hardware such as microphones, headphones and webcams. You’ll also be able to bring in your laptop and use wireless internet – all for free.

The 2006 census showed that 34% of Rodney residents do not have access to the internet. “While many people in our community have access to the internet, we can sometimes forget that there are a large number of residents living in Rodney who don’t have access yet.” says Vicki Clarke, Rodney Libraries Acting Manager.

“Free broadband access will particularly benefit those on limited incomes who don’t have the internet at home, people who may not feel comfortable using computers without support and residents in rural areas where high speed broadband is not accessible,” Ms Clarke adds.

RDC is one of 30 local authorities to date who have successfully applied to have computers gifted as part of the Aotearoa People’s Network initiative. Rodney District Council will continue to provide internet and computer access from computers operating in the libraries which will be available for paid usage.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

I'v been indulging myself in a little children's literature at the moment to get up to speed with some new books coming in. A lot of them have had a New Zealand flavour as I think it is important to keep up with what is happening locally.

Des Hunt has added to his already impressive list of titles with "Whale Pot Bay". Based in the Wairarapa, this story races along with something happening on almost every page. Lots of our Rodney kids (and their parents) will be able to relate to racing the farm jeep through the scrub, learning how to surf, deserted beaches covered with driftwood framed by high cliffs for climbing and trying to shoot the magpies out of their tree. Mix in some visiting whales in the Bay, an international rockstar and some hounding paparazzi and you can see where all the action might come from. Just for good measure there is a large earthquake off Southern Chile. To find out how that might affect Whale Pot Bay, you will have to read the book.

Another Kiwi author I read this month include Linley Jones who has produced "Making Waves" for Year 9+ based partly on her own experiences sailing around the Tongan group of islands. This is not something 13 year old Jazzy wanted to do but the family insisted so together with Mum, Dad and her younger brother Ryan they set off in their small family yacht for more adventure than any of them had bargained for. As well as diving, snorkelling and island life, there are caves, reefs, auto-pilots with a mind of their own, boys, and smugglers.

Finally is one of the latest additions to the My Story series is "Poor Man's Gold; the diary of Reuben Radcliffe, Northland 1899-1900". My late grandfather had a lovely collection of polished Kauri gum, I think the Kauri Museum at Matakohe is one of the best museums in the country and a visit to Ahipara several years ago and some of the gum digging fields meant I could relate to this book. There are other things that todays students may be able to relate to in this book as it follows a family with a good business who find that because of economic circumstances they have to turn to other avenues for income. Once again the historical notes and photos at the end of the story add to the package by Kath Beattie.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Know your copying rights

Although John Key announced a delay to the introduction of S92a yesterday we should all know our copy rights. Copyright in New Zealand covers everything from 'All rights reserved' to Public Domain or 'No rights reserved'.

Here's a basic run down of the different licenses...

All rights reserved (from Copyright Licensing Ltd )
The Owners of copyright (writers, artists, composers etc) have the exclusive right to:
- copy their work;
- publish their work;
- perform their work in public;
- communicate the work to the public;
- adapt the work (eg. by making a translation or dramatised version.)

It doesn't mean that you can't use the information, just that you have to clear it with the copyright holder first.

Public Domain/No rights reserved (from Copyright Licensing Ltd )
Users can freely reproduce, distribute, communicate, use, modify, build upon, or otherwise exploit this content for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way.

Anyone can utilise any of the material available on the web site free of charge and without permission of the agency provided that:
The material is not altered
The source and copyright status of the material is acknowledged.

No known copyright restrictions indicates that the content provider is unaware of any current copyright restrictions on the content. This may be because the term of copyright for the content (or work) has expired, or because no evidence has been found that copyright restrictions apply. (The National Library of New Zealand have applied this to their photos in The Commons on Flickr.)

Creative Commons licenses fall in between the two extremes of 'all' and 'no' rights reserved. (Some of our Flickr photos are licensed under a Creative Commons license.) Here are the definitions from the site.

Attribution (BY):
This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as longas they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

Attribution-Noncommercial (BY-NC):
This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (BY-NC-ND):
This licence is the most restrictive of our six main licences, allowing redistribution. This licence is often called the “free advertising” licence because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (BY-NC-SA)
This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the BY-ND-SA licence, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

Attribution-No Derivative Works (BY-ND)
This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-Share Alike (BY-SA)
This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

Here are several useful websites that further explain copyright:
Copyright Licensing Ltd
Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand
Kete Digital New Zealand - Rights and Permissions help
The Ministry of Economic Development - Copyright Protection in New Zealand
New Zealand Government Web Standards

Monday, 23 February 2009

81st Annual Academy Awards

The glitz! The glam! The Australian host! What's not to like about the Oscars?
The 81st Annual Academy Awards are held on Sunday (tonight our time). The full list of nominations can be found on the official site. It's amazing to believe that guest tickets only cost $5 for the very first ceremony in 1929! Sometimes it seems as though the awards have become more about fashion than anything else. (I'll admit I spent some time looking at changing fashion statements from Mary Pickford in the 30s to Sean Penn in the 00s. Then, while searching the catalogue I came across this title which is definitely going on my reserve list. Made for each other : fashion and the Academy Awards by Bronwyn Cosgrave.) Although the acting awards are the biggest highlight of the ceremony it is a chance for the Academy to recognise the achievements of the people behind the cameras - directors, editors, makeup, costume etc. There are also Scientific and Technical awards to acknowlege those "whose discoveries and innovations have contributed in significant, outstanding and lasting ways to motion pictures."

On a less serious note the Golden Raspberry is also awarded this week. Called the RAZZIES the Golden Raspberry awards "Dis-Honors for Worst Achievements in Film". The 29th winners have just been annouced. You can find them here... and in the library. (Put a reserve on and judge for yourself.)

Who do you think will will an Oscar? Are the RAZZIEs justified? Leave a comment and let us know.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Te Radar delights large crowd at Helensville

Te Radar returned to Helensville last night to talk to the Helensville Health and Wellbeing Group. Te Radar’s very successful “Off the Radar” programme was based in the Kaukapakapa and Helensville area and featured many local personalities. The series followed Te Radar as he endeavoured to live sustainably off a small block of land, somewhere around Kaukapakapa. The programme was quirky, funny and inspiring.

Last night he talked about a variety of topics from how (not) to plant corn to the importance of local communities. One of the discoveries they made over the course of filming was that they weren't making a show about sustainability - they were making a show about the community. Many of the people from the community who helped Te Radar were in the audience. He commented that for a sustainable sense of community people have to be involved otherwise people who organise events etc will just burn out - everyone has to be involved.

After Te Radar a group member demonstrated how to make Strawberry wine.

"Off the Radar" the DVD will be out soon. Te Radar is performing at the Comedy Festival later this year.

Photo- Producer Jane, Te Radar and his book "Off the Radar" (Buy it!)

Were you there? Let us know what you think!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Update on changes to copyright law in New Zealand

As I posted last month, an amendment to the Copyright Act 1994, Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act was passed into law last year. Here's an update on what's been going on.

Section 92A of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act comes into play on February 28 2009. The Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum released a Draft ISP Copyright Code of Practice a couple of weeks ago which provides guidelines for ISPs, copyright holders and internet users on what process to follow. It's open for public consultation until Friday, 6 March 2009.
The draft code recommends that after three Education Notices (which users can Counter-Notice against) the fourth infringement or copyright breach means termination of access. Downstream ISPs won't have their access terminated because one of their customers has breached copyright. (So in my example last time, the internet cafe owner would still have a business and the library will still be able to provide public internet access.)

The Creative Freedom Foundation has organised an internet blackout where people against the new law have been changing their internet icons to a black box. This has caused some confusion on social networking sites where the blacked out icons look quite imposing. (Even Stephen Fry has joined in.) They have organised a public demonstration in parliament grounds today. At 12.30pm, as part of the demonstration, CFF Director Bronwyn Holloway-Smith will present the petition to the government via Hon Peter Dunne of United Future. There is even a theme song.

Ernie Newman, the Chief Executive, has been musing about the law in his TUANZ hosted blog.

Despite all the protests it's unlikely that the introduction of the law will be delayed. Breaching copyright is against the law now and it will be against the law in the future. It's important that we're all aware of what our rights and responsibilities are with regards to copyright. I'll be posting on the various licences available to New Zealanders next Tuesday.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

And the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal goes to...

The Storylines Charitable Trust have announced that Kiwi natural history writer and photographer Andrew Crowe wins Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal 2009. He is the first non-fiction writer to win the country’s top children’s literature prize.

The award, given annually for a distinguished contribution to New Zealand children’s literature, will be presented in Christchurch on 28 March.
“Andrew Crowe’s contribution to young New Zealanders’ knowledge of their country’s natural history has been unique and of long standing,” says Storylines Trust chairman, Dr Libby Limbrick. “His many books, both in design and content, are consistently attractive, informative and accessible to young and old alike.”

If you would like to know more go the Storylines website.

If you would like to see some of his books view this Rodney Libraries catalogue link.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Geronimo Stilton. Author, adventurer...rock star?

Rodney Libraries have been host to a visiting rodent in recent weeks. Far from being a pest, visiting celebrity Geronimo Stilton has been an invited guest and star attraction.

Geronimo the mouse is the author of no fewer than 36 children’s books. He left the comfort of his home at New Mouse City on Mouse Island to visit Rodney Libraries over the past few weeks and share some of his stories with his young fans.

At Whangaparoa Library, library staff say he received a “rock star welcome” from a crowd of 30 adoring admirers.

As well as sharing his stories with the crowd, Geromino faced a number of tough questions from an inquiring audience. Geronimo was unfazed by questions such as, if he only speaks Mouse does he need a translator to type up his books? And how long does it take to for a mouse to write a book?

Geronimo’s books are particularly popular with children in the 8 -11 age range. His books are available for loan at Rodney Libraries. Titles include ‘My Name is Stilton, Geronimo Stilton’, and ‘Watch Your Whiskers, Stilton.’

In his spare time, Mr Stilton enjoys collecting antique cheese rinds and playing golf.

Geronimo is now back at work as the Editor in Chief of The Rodent’s Gazette. But with fans clamouring for his attention library staff say he is sure to make a return visit to Rodney Libraries.

Photos - Geronimo and his fans at Whangaparaoa Library; A quieter moment at Kumeu Library; Listening to stories at Helensville Library

Monday, 16 February 2009

Te Radar back on the radar at Helensville on Thursday

Te Radar will be at the Helensville War Memorial Hall (next to the library) on Thursday 19th February 2009 at 7 pm.
Andrew Lumsden, star of TVNZ’s “Off the Radar” and “Homegrown,” will be speaking of his adventures and discoveries in sustainable living to the Helensville Holistic Health and Wellbeing Group’s February meeting. All are welcome to attend.
The presentation is being organised by the Helensville Holistic Health and Wellbeing Group and the Helensville Library. “Te Radar is an entertaining and thought provoking person, and we are thrilled to have him speak here,” says Helensville Community Librarian Sally Hardwick.

Friday, 13 February 2009

February is Bike Wise Month

February is Bike Wise Month and Rodney Residents are being called to enjoy the scenic route by taking to their bikes. Events are being organised across the District to entice people out of their cars, off their couches, and onto their bikes.The annual cycling celebration has become so popular that a full month is now needed to accommodate more than 500 events held around the country.
Rodney Road Safety Coordinator, Jacki Dawson says Rodney District is no exception to the nationwide trend. “People in Rodney are looking for ways to become more active, save money and reduce their impact on the environment, and cycling is the perfect way to do all three. Commuter bike sales are up and the increase in people cycling to work is quite noticeable.”

“Bike Wise Month events have a heavy emphasis on fun, and they’re designed to suit anyone. You don’t have to be a professional or own any special gear. Just dust off your bike, grab a helmet, and come along.”

Cycling activities organised in Rodney include:

Bikewise Battle - a free competition where organisations across New Zealand compete with others of a similar size to get the highest proportion of their staff on bikes for at least one day during February.

Go By Bike Day on 18 February - a national challenge to people to use pedal power to get to work, school or the shops on 18 February.

The Mayoral Challengeon 1 March - a highlight of Bike Wise Month. The cycle challenge is part of the national competition to get the largest number of people riding along with their Mayor. A point is earned for each cyclist participating, with extra points awarded for celebrities, business leaders, Councillors and journalists. In Rodney District, Mayor Penny Webster will lead the challenge from the Orewa Surf Club along the Hibiscus Coast Highway at 10.00 am on 1st March 2009. The ride will be approximately 2 - 3 kms and will finish at Orewa Reserve.

Jacki Dawson from Rodney District Council says the Challenge is a great opportunity to have fun and be active.
“We were very proud of the great turn out at the 2008 challenge where we won the title of The Most Cycle Mad City and this year we hope to retain the title with even more cyclists participating. We want New Zealand to know that Rodney District is a cycle force to be reckoned with.”
She says cyclists can bike the route at their own pace and are encouraged to relax and enjoy the ride and the atmosphere.
“Cycling is a healthy and fun way to get around. And you get extra brownie points for being environmentally friendly! If you don’t usually cycle, this would be a great opportunity to discover its joys! So dig that bike out of the shed, or borrow one, and come along. You’d be mad to miss out!”
This will be the fourth Mayoral Challenge and the competition gets bigger every year.

Last year almost 16,000 cyclists from 35 Districts took part. Three Cycle Mad titles were awarded according to population size. Rodney District took the large centre award, with over 2,200 cyclists in attendance. Central Hawke’s Bay District Council got the title in the mid size category, with 684 riders taking part. Opotiki won in the smaller centre category with a total of 603 cyclists.

Bike Wise Month is funded by the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Health. Activities are coordinated around the country by schools, Councils, sporting groups and many others.
For more details about the fun and family-friendly Bike Wise events happening in Rodney and around the country, check out

Thursday, 12 February 2009


As more and more stories come in from Australia of those who survived, fought, sheltered, helped and (unfortunately) perished in the bushfires, it truly belies belief that they may have been deliberately lit and that some people are taking advantage of other's misery by looting. Our hearts go out to those touched by tragedy on the other side of the Tasman and hopefully the family and friends of Rodney residents have come through safely.

Here are some links through to pictures and stories so that the full impact of the disaster can be told. for pictures and stories for history on other fatal bush fires in Australia

And if you want to make a donation to help those left homeless go to the Red Cross Website

As the fires continue to rage around Melbourne, it is important not to forget fire safety in New Zealand. is the website for the New Zealand Fire Service and has lots of information for Kiwis. Don't forget the smoke alarms, and make sure you have batteries in them. Be careful with open fires. Despite the rain this week, things are still pretty dry in Rodney and there is still a Fire Restriction in place. To obtain permits or find out if the fire ban has been lifted, visit the Rodney District Council website or phone them on 08004265169.

If you are looking for resources in the library regarding fires, fireman, fire engines and fire safety, a subject search in the Rodney Libraries catalogue revealed three pages (including childrens items and fiction). View this catalogue link.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

British Book Awards News

The Costa Book Awards 2008 Category Winners were announced on 5th January. Costa is the UK's largest and fastest-growing coffee shop chain. The winners are:

Costa First Novel Award – Sadie Jones,The Outcast

Costa Novel Award – Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture

Costa Biography Award – Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End

Costa Poetry Award – Adam Foulds, The Broken Word

Costa Children's Book Award – Michelle Magorian, Just Henry

Looks like these books have already been discovered by Rodney readers as most of them are out on issue from the shelves. But click on the link and put in your request so that you don't miss out.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Running of the Roses

On St Valentine's Day Saturday February 14th 2009, 3000 numbered silk roses will be released into the Kaipara River at the Kaipara Cruising Club. The roses will follow the river to the Helensville Wharf where 6 will be retrieved. The numbers on the first roses drawn out of the river will determine the prize winners for the raffle. Tickets are $5 - buy yours from the Helensville Library.

A Lions Club of Helensville fundraising event in aid of the St. John Ambulance station redevelopment.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Win $$$ in the Rodney Writes writing competition

Rodney District Council is calling all writers to get their thinking caps on for the 'Rodney Writes' writing competition. The theme is "Going Global" so tell us what it means to you in 2500 words or less. Entries to the competition can be factual or fiction and basically with the world at your feet your story could be about anything 'global'. You may be a young person about to embark on their big OE or perhaps you're a bit more mature and you'd like to reflect on the life changing experience your OE had for you. Alternatively your story could be about global technology or ecology - the world really is your oyster!

There are three categories:
- The Premier Award (for professional writers) - $1,000 first prize, $500 runner up.
- The Novice Award - $500 first prize, $200 runner up.
- The Young Writers Award (for under 18yrs) - $500 first prize, $200 runner up.

Entries for the competition are open. Closing date is 6th March 2009.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Happy Waitangi Day

Rodney Celebrations for our National Day are based at Te Hana this year. I drove through Te Hana a couple of weeks ago on my way north and what they are creating there looks incredibly exciting. The day is being hosted by the Te Hana Community Development Charitable Trust who extend a warm welcome to the community of the Rodney District to join them in the celebrations.

The event kicks off with the Official Powhiri at 10.00 am at the Te Hana Community Hall (Whakapirau Road) which is followed by a combined midmorning Church Service, entertainment, health promotion, carnival rides, food stalls, displays and childrens events & games. Sounds like a really fun day and something we should all get into. It is, after all, OUR day as Kiwis so let's start making it special.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

“Speed Kills Kids” Campaign Launched

A road safety campaign starts as children return to school after the long Christmas Break called “Speed Kills Kids” which reminds motorists to take special care on the roads around Rodney schools. Over 1,200 child pedestrians have been killed or injured during school terms over the last five years.
Children are most at risk on their way to and from school between 7.30 am - 9am and 3pm - 4.30pm on week days. Children aged between 11 and 15 years are also more likely to be killed or injured than other age groups as they make up 44% of all child casualties aged between five and eighteen years.
“Children are our most vulnerable road users,” says Councillor John Kirikiri, Rodney Deputy Mayor. “It’s particularly important for people to take extra care when driving at times when children are on their way to school.”
In the urban environment, a child struck by a vehicle travelling at 60 km/hour has only a 15% chance of survival. When the impact speed is reduced to 50 km/hour, the chance of survival increases to 55%. “A small reduction in speed has a big impact on safety and means that you are much less likely to have the death of a child on your conscience, ” says Councillor Kirikiri.
The campaign will be supported by Police enforcing a 5km/hr tolerance within 250 metres on each side of school boundaries between the high-risk times of 7.30 and 9am and 3.00 – 4.30pm on week days.
The police will continue to actively enforce these limits after the campaign is finished and issue tickets to anyone caught exceeding the speed limits.
Councillor Kirikiri says that it is important that people report vehicles that are speeding around schools to the local Road Policing Manager in order to protect children from harm.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Waitangi Day - Libraries closed this Friday

Rodney Libraries will be closed this Friday 6 February for Waitangi Day. This is the day when the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840. It became a public holiday in 1974.

The Treaty was an agreement between Maori chiefs and the British Crown, and covered issues of sovereignty, possession and rights of citizenship. There are two versions, one in Maori and one in English. The difference in translation has caused arguments over the years. However, with many treaty settlements agreements being signed and interpretation by the Waitangi Tribunal leaning towards the spirit of the treaty rather than the letter, ceremonies on the day have settled down. Initially around 40 Maori chiefs signed the Maori language version. By September around 500 chiefs had signed copies of the document that toured New Zealand. Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson, who signed the Treaty on behalf of the Crown, proclaimed British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand in May. This wasn't ratified by the British parliament until October.

Waitangi Day is gradually becoming a national day of celebration. The Waitangi National Trust manages the major event at Waitangi although there are events all over the country. Maori Television is running a cool project called ‘Where on Google Earth™ will you be on Waitangi Day 2009’.

For more information on Waitangi Day see the New Zealand History Online website.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Rugby and romance

With the Super 14 just around the corner it's time to consider. Do rugby and romance go together like?

Well if you are Mills & Boons and the English Rugby Union they do. It has been called a "bizarre partnership" but romantic fiction publishers Mills and Boon have formed an unlikely agreement with the RFU to produce a set of rugby-themed novels with the first (The Prince's Waitress Wife) due out on today in England, just in time for the Six Nations.

"Our mission statement is to do for rugby what Jilly Cooper did for polo - to give it an air of sexiness and glitz and glamour," Mills and Boon series editor Jenny Hutton told The Daily Telegraph. "You don't have to like rugby to like the books." (source English Scrum)

But is this something that would work in New Zealand. The Christchurch Press investigated by asking a couple of our rugby heroes Todd Blackadder and Richard Loe. Reading the article, romance does not seem to be their strong point, certainly of the Mills and Boons variety. Maybe Kiwis are just built differently. But if you want to see how a Kiwi Mills and Boon rugby romance might look and sound, visit this link.