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Home > News Archive 2003

Follow the links below to archived news items on Helensville and the surrounding area. Most articles appear courtesy Helensville News.

2003 Articles

Locals set up 'P' support group (December 19, 2003)
Horse Expo major new event on town's calendar (December 14, 2003)
Christmas parade a huge success (December 6, 2003)
Trolley Derby set to become annual event (October 19, 2003)
Museum on the move at last (October 16, 2003)
A&P Show to hold Friday evening bash (October 1, 2003)
Public meeting to discuss Kaipara Harbour fishing issues (August 27th, '03)
Rodney launches 30-year vision (August 13th, '03)
Meeting to discuss prostutition reform (July 31st, '03)
Women's Centre on the move (July 31st, '03)
Trolley Derby planned for September (July 18th, '03)
Date set for Spring Festival (July 18th, '03)
Water treatment improvements to start soon (July 14th, '03)
Spring Fling on again (July 4th, '03)
Museum work to begin later this month (July 3rd, '03)
Helensville gets a new councillor (June 23rd, '03)
Walkway making progress
(June 13th, '03)
Acupuncture clinic opens (April 28th, '03)
New shopping centre for main road (March 31st, '03)
Artists raise cash for ambulance
(March 27th, '03)
Former deputy mayor Arnold Gosling dies (March 25th, '03)
Helensville rates to rise above Rodney average (March 7th, '03)
Woodhill School 126th Reunion (March 7th, '03)
Garden Party to boost museum relocation funds (February 26th, '03)
Parakai headquarters for mozzie team opened (February 21st, '03)
Epilepsy service starts in Helensville (January 30th, '03)
Helensville to get TV image boost (January 25th, '03)
Concerns about Kaipara marine farming (Jan 17th, '03)

Click here for more recent news articles

Click here for archived stories from:   2010  2009   2008   2007   2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001


Locals set up 'P' support group (December 19th, '03)

     Two Helensville women have set up "FACES" - Family and Community Educational Support - an organisation to help families and individuals cope with the use of methamphetamines (or 'P') by others.
    Heidi Bassett and Jacqui Graham set up the initiative to educate and support people with the aim of minimising or reducing the effects of the drugs on the community.
    Their service includes educaton, links to safe houses and medical assistance, and monitoring progress. It aims to be a point of contact to all the services available to users, victims and their families.
    The pair have been joined on the board by Rodney Mayor John Law, plus the co-ordinator for Safer Rodney, Graeme Howard.


Horse Expo major new event on town's calendar (December 14th, '03)

     A day to celebrate everything to do with horses – that’s the motive behind Horse Expo New Zealand, which will held for the first time at the Helensville Showgrounds on Saturday, April 17, 2004.
    Planned as a showcase for the many different clubs and organisations involved with horses, there will also be a comprehensive display of the latest equestrian products and services, along with equestrian-themed entertainment.
     A venue for the private sale of horses, floats, horse trucks and second hand equipment, called the ‘Saleyard’, will add a further dimension.
    Being organised by a dedicated sub-committee of the Helensville Agricultural and Pastoral Association, some of the proceeds from Horse Expo 2004 will go to the international charity, Riding for the Disabled.
    There will be three demonstration rings, with at least one in action at all times. These will feature displays and informative talks from equestrian organisations covering the likes of pony club, dressage, miniatures, eventing, side-saddle, hunting, mounted games etc.
    Trade and retail exhibits will cover the whole gamut of ‘horsey’ products and services, including float and truck manufacturers/retailers; saddlery, covers and tack; feed; clothing; farriers; medical - veterinary, equine dental, equine hospital, homeopathic, chiropractic etc; horse camps and trekking companies; equestrian buildings; horse transport; small block holders; and rural equipment such as fencing, jump poles, arena construction.
     Spokesperson for the organising team, Helensville A&P Show president Shona Addison, says the event will have a broad appeal.
    “It will be popular with anyone involved in an equestrian code, the equestrian trade – whether retail or manufacturers - and anyone with an interest in horses in general, such as former riders and farmers.
    “It will be a great family day out” she adds, “especially for those with children and youths in the 'horse-mad' age range of 8-15.” Mrs Addison hopes Horse Expo will attract up to 5000 visitors.
    A website - - has been set up to promote the event, complete with online forms so potential exhibitors can register their interest.


Xmas parade a huge success (December 6th, '03)

     Today's Helensville Christmas parade was a huge success, with hundreds of locals lining Commercial Road to watch a procession of more than 30 floats.
     The Combined Churches won the rosette for Best Christmas Theme, while River Valley Kindergarten took out the Most Original award. Oikumene Forest won the Most Humourous Float with a "fart tax" display. Seven other floats received merit awards.
     The annual event was just five minutes late getting underway, to the relief of the crowds - many of whom recalled waiting almost an hour last year while judging dragged on. As with previous years, a range of stalls lined the main road, and once again local Yvonne Hilton compered the event.


Trolley Derby set to become annual event (October 19th, '03)

    The Helensville Trolley Derby - held for the first time just a couple of weeks ago - looks set to become a permanent fixture on the town's calendar of events.
    Organiser Heidi Bassett, of the Te Awaroa Youth Club, said the inaugural event was a huge success, and plans are already underway for next year's derby, which will probably be held later in the year, in November.
    Changes to the format will include a slightly longer course, and most importantly for the spectators, abolishing the sometimes lengthy waits between races.
    Heidi says next year the Youth Club organised event - designed to foster community spirit and bring families together -will feature more races, with one race starting as soon as the previous racers have crossed the finish line.
    She is now looking for volunteers to help form a committee to get the next trolley derby into shape. More than 45 entrants took to the 500m course this year.


Museum on the move at last (October 16th, '03)

    Work has finally begun on the relocation of the Helensville Pioneer Museum.
    After years of fundraising and months of planning and weeks of delay because of bad weather excavators moved onto the new Riverside Reserve site a few days ago to begin the first phase of the project, construction of the complex foundations for the three buildings which make up stage one of the relocation project.
    The museum will shift from its present tiny 600 sq.m. site to the roomy new 1ha Mill Road location, which has been leased from Rodney District Council.
    The first building to be moved to the new site will be Helensville Primary School's original 1880s headmaster's house, which has been in temporary storage for almost five years. Next to move will be the main museum building, which dates from the early 1900s, and finally Helensville's original courthouse, now 140 years old, will be shifted.
    It is hoped the re-sited museum complex will be open by early 2004.
    Meanwhile, for more than five months volunteers have been creating a central database of the museum's thousands of artefacts, each of which is also being photographed for a pictorial registry before being packed for the move. This work has taken place in the old courthouse building, which was shut to the public in September.
    On Sunday, October 19 the main Pioneer Museum building also closed its doors for the last time at its present site, to enable the final packing of its collection.
    However, researchers requiring information can still receive help on a “by appointment” basis. They should contact the museum on 420 7881.


A&P Show to hold another Friday evening bash (October 1st, '03)

    A special Friday evening of fun will again be held in conjunction with the Helensville A&P Show next February.
    From 6pm on the evening of Friday, 27th February, locals will be able to listen to music, take in the rides and sideshows, and sample from the food stalls. The evening will end with a large-scale fireworks display.
     Entry will be by a gold coin per person, with free parking on the grounds.
    The evening follows the hugely successful one held two years ago to mark the 100th Helensville Show. That evening began with a parade through the centre of town, watched by hundreds of residents.


Public meeting to discuss Kaipara Harbour fishing issues (August 27th, '03)

    A public meeting was held in Helensville on September 16 for people to discuss the future of the Kaipara Harbour.
    The meeting was one of four held by the Kaipara Harbour Sustainable Fisheries Study Group, which is chaired by Kaipara Mayor Grame Ramsey. Earlier meetings were held in Dargaville, Maungatoroto and Wellsford.
    The group is concerned about the depletion of fish stocks in the Kaipara, and among its proposals are an immediate closure of all scallop beds for up to two years, plus a reduction in the scallop season. Also recommended is a permitting system for commercial fishing.
    The group has considered a range of other options, most of which appear to be unworkable. They include:

  • Reducing the total allowable commercial catches for the entire quota management area;
  • A separate quota management area for the Kaipara;
  • An annual catch limit for the Kaipara;
  • Purchae of quota;
  • Local area closures.

Rodney launches its 30-year vision (August 13th, '03)

    Rodney District Council has released a 'vision document' outlining the ways it believes the district should develop over the next 30 years.
    Six main goals form the basis of the vision:

  • We will keep our country look and feel
  • We will not let our towns and villages sprawl
  • We will maintain our lifestyle and look after the environment
  • We will take care of ourselves while working with others
  • We will be able to make our living in Rodney
  • We will determine the future of our district.

    These goals came from people in the community following facilitation and consultation by the council, says council strategy manager Jacques Victor. He explains that the Vision Rodney document isn't a council document as such, as it covers outside the sphere of council operations.
    However, he says the council will now develop its own strategy based on the Vision Rodney document, which it will use when looking at the annual and district plans.
    It is hoped the document will also assist iin convincing central government departments to come to the party and plan for this vision.
    The idea of Vision Rodney was to take a snapshot of how the district's communities see their future. On the whole, people wanted basically the same sorts of things.


Meeting on prostitution reform (July 31st, '03)

    A public meeting will be held on Monday, August 11 to discuss the ramifications on Rodney District of the recent Prostitution Law Reform Act.
    Organised by action group VOICE, the meeting will be at the Helensville War Memorial Hall at 7:30pm, and guest speakers include Rodney Mayor John Law and United Future MP Larry Baldock.
    Members of the public will be invited to ask questions.


Women's Centre on move (July 31st, '03)

    Helensville's Women's Resource Centre is moving from from its home of 10 years to a new location at 14 Porter Crescent, behind Helensville Library.
    The Centre will move out of its present Old Post Office location in Commercial Rd on August 14, and will reopen in the new location on August 20. An open day will be held that day from 10am to 3pm so local women can check out the new premises.
    The centre's regular drop-in times are 10am to 1pm Wednesday to Friday.


Inaugural Trolley Derby set for September (July 18th, '03)

    A trolley derby will be held down Rautawhiri Road in Helensville on Saturday, September 20th, starting at 10am.
    The brainchild of the Te Awaroa Youth Club, the derby will feature classes for children aged 5-9 years, 10-14 years, 15-17 years, and for adults 18 and over. There will also be both business and celebrity races. Local MP John Key has already agreed to take part in the latter.
    Hay bales or old car tyres will be positioned down the road to act as safety barriers on the steep road.
It is anticipated each winner will recieve a trophy and prizes to take away on the day, while a shield listing all the winners' names will go on display at the Youth Club.
People interested in entering should contact Heidi Bassett at Te Awaroa Youth Club on 09 420 7977.


Date set for 10th Annual Spring Festival (July 18th, '03)

    Helensville's 10th Annual Spring Festival will be held on Saturday, September 27, starting at 10am.
    This popular Main Street organised event will feature a range of activities including (but not limited to):

  • a Kaipara Art exhibition
  • market day stalls
  • music
  • street performances
  • children's dress-up competition
  • shop window display competition
  • floral art
  • food
  • afternoon entertainment at the Grand Hotel.

For more information contact Angelika Voss on 420 8555, Pauline Brown on 420 7114 or Annette Hepi on 420 7262.


Water treatment improvements to start soon (July 14th, '03)

    Work is expected to start in about three months on an extensive upgrade of Helensville's water treatment plant.
    Built in the 1970s, the town's treatment plant has undergone various upgrades, but in recent years there have been repeated concerns from residents about the quality of the water supply.
    This latest upgrade, which includes the plant's filter and clarifier, will ensure the plant capacity meets demand until 2030, says Rodney District Council. The upgrade follows investigations into the plant last year, where nine different upgrade options were considered.


Spring Fling on again (July 4th, '03)

    South Head's annual Spring Fling will be held again on Saturday October 18.
    Now in its third year, the popular "celebration of the South Head area" will this year be held at 'North View', home of Hilton and Jeanette Jones, at 388 Shelly Beach Road.
    Running from 9:30am to 4:30pm, the event will again feature music, food and a variety of craft stalls. People interested in having a stall should contact either Chrissy Jones, Ph 09 420 2010, email: or Diane Ferguson, Ph 09 420 2950.


Museum work to begin later this month (July 3rd, '03)

    Foundation work for the Helensville Museum's move to its new Riverside Reserve site is expected to start later this month, with the first building moving onto the site in August.
    An $83,000 grant from the ASB Charitable Trust in May has gone a long way to help the Historical Society reach its $300,000-plus fundraising target for the project.
    The first building to move to the site will be the Centennial Building, which has been stored for the past four years. The existing museum buildings in Porter Cresent will then be moved once their foundations are completed and cured.
     Rodney District Council has required especially complex foundations for the new Pioneer Village, because it is being built on the site of Helensville's former landfill, and there were concerns about possible methane gas emissions. However, the Society's independent consultant considered the risk to be minimal, as the area where the village is being built was filled in at a much earlier date.


Helensville gets a new councillor (June 23rd, '03)

    Thomas Grace, of Helensville, is the new councillor for Rodney District Council's western ward.
    Mr Grace received 1650 votes in the postal ballot, almost 500 more than closest rival Scott Osmond, also of Helensville.
    The three other candidates, Kerry Gaston and Graeme Hammonds of Kumeu, and Deborah Stites of Kaukapakapa trailed on 816, 706 and 952 votes respectively.
    Helensville residents were concerned the vote would go outside the township, and will be pleased the election gives the Helensville area a direct say on the council. The three other western ward councillors come from the southern part of the ward.
    A poll on the Helensville website before the election had Scott Osmond leading the race, closely followed by Kerry Gaston.
    The election was held following the death of Helensville's Arnold Gosling in May.


Walkway making progress (June 13th, '03)

    The Helensville Riverbank Walkway Project has taken a step closer to completion with Rodney District Council extending its control over railway land.
    The council leases Tranzrail land behind the Commercial Road shops. Tranzrail has granted a deed of right of way to allow for two crossing points over the North Island main trunk railway where it goes through Helensville.
    With plans for the walkway now complete, the council is ready to start the next stage of its beautification project - the walkway.
    Local volunteers have spent many hours over recent weekends clearing land for the path and planting shrubs and trees.


Acupunture clinic opens (April 28th, '03)

    Acupunturist Karen Weston has set up a practice in Commercial Road, Helensville.
    Born and raised in the UK, Karen studied law at university before going to Japan for nine years to pursue an interest in oriental thought systems. It was there she first encountered acupuncture and became interested in this method of healing.
    After marrying a Kiwi she came to New Zealand to study at the NZ School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Karen now holds a National Diploma of Acupuncture, a Diploma of Chinese Herbal Medicine and has spent two years studying Tuina (Chinese massage/bodywork) and another year of Soseitai (Japanese bodywork system).
     Karen says acupuncture can be useful for a wide range of complaints including migraine, asthma, prostatitis, menopause, arthritis, painful periods, immune problems, irritable bowel, sports injuries and skin complaints.


New shopping centre for main road (March 31st, '03)

    A new retail shopping centre complete with office and professional space is to open in the main road of Helensville.
    Called Helensville Shopping Plaza, the new development will feature nine street-front shops and a further five rooms underneath for to be used as offices or professional rooms.
     There will be parking for 50 vehicles.
     Construction of the building, at 8-12 Commercial Road - just north of the Kiwi Connection - is set for a start in June this year, with completion aimed for August/September.
     The development will feature landscaping including mature trees and gardens, along with nighttime security lighting. It is envisioned the retail shops will be open seven days.
     The two largest stores will cover 200 square metres, another will be 160 square metres, and the remainder will be noticeably smaller at 91 square metres.
     The developers intend to hold regular promotions and entertainment at the plaza, and a charge to cover this will be included in tenants' regular body corporate fees.
    Helensville Shopping Plaza is the second such local development announced recently.
    The Parakai Springs Country Estate, currently undergoing earthworks between Parkhurst and Fordyce Roads in Parakai, to feature several shops, a restaurant and a new medical centre.
The first homes in that development are planned to be completed sometime in the middle of this year.


Artists raise cash for ambulance (March 27th, '03)

    The Helensville St John Ambulance is $850 better off thanks to Art Kaipara.
     The local artists' group raised the sum during a 'silent' auction at the Helensville A&P Show in February. Formed in 2001, the art group ran an all-day display of their crafts at the show, later auctioning off the work they had produced.
     The 30-member strong art group wants to set up as a trust, with the goal of creating an arts centre in Helensville - a project the Rodney District Council is all for.
     Next on the group's agenda is a large exhibition in September - provided they can find a suitable venue. And they are also on the lookout for a location for their eventual arts centre - members are currently eyeing the Riverside Reserve.
     St John Ambulance plans to use its windfall to buy new textbooks.


Former deputy mayor Arnold Gosling dies (March 25th, '03)

    Long serving councillor and former deputy mayor Arnold Gosling, of Parakai, has died after a three-year battle with cancer.
     Mr Gosling was a Helensville Borough councillor before the borough merged with the then Rodney County Council. He was a Helensville and western area representative on the council for almost 11 years, serving as deputy mayor for two terms and chairing several committees.
     He was the founding chairman of the Rodney Community Tourist and Development Trust set up in 1989, and among his many other roles with local community groups was a member of the Parakai Licensing Trust for many years. He was also involved in getting the ASB Bank to set up a local branch after Helensville's two other banks closed up shop.


Helensville rates to rise above Rodney average (March 7th, '03)

    Helensville and Parakai ratepayers are facing the unpleasant prospect of a 5.6% rates increase - plus a hefty separate bill from the Auckland Regional Council.
    Rodney District rates are set to go up by 3.5% on average, but rural and township areas in the north-west - including Helensville - are in for a bigger hike as Rodney District Council attempts to redistribute the rating base.
    Added to ratepayers' increased council bill will be a special ARC rate - the first time this has been billed separately. It will be levied at $37 for every $100,000 of capital value, with an additional $3 per $100,000 for biosecurity and $33 per $100,000 passenger transport rate for those with public transport access.
    The redistribution of district costs is among 10 items open for public comment in the proposed draft annual plan. A meeting to discuss the plan is to held at the Helensville War Memorial Hall on Monday, March 31 at 7pm.


Woodhill School 126th reunion (March 20th, '03)

   Woodhill School celebrated it's 126th anniversary with a three-day reunion earlier this month.
   The event was originally planned for last year, but was delayed by reconstruction work at the school.
    Celebrations began on Friday, March 14 with a 'mix and mingle' evening. On the Saturday the school bell rang at 10am followed by a powhiri and various formalities such as flying the flag, hanging the shield and cutting the cake. There were entertainment, class photos and tours of the school.
    A dinner was held that evening, followed by a dance until midnight.
    On the Sunday a church service was held, followed by a midday sausage sizzle for people to say their goodbyes.


Garden Party to boost museum relocation funds (February 26th, '03)

   Helensville's Pioneer Museum is holding a garden party on Saturday, March 2nd to help raise funds for its relocation to the Riverside Reserve.
   The event will be held at the garden of Alan and Joy Hargreaves at 56 Fordyce Road, Parakai, with a wet-weather contingency date on the following Saturday, March 9th.
   Tickets, which are available from the museum, cost $20 per person and include a barbeque lunch, live music from Roger Skinner, plus a selection of fun and games complete with prizes. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be on sale for $3 per glass.


Parakai headquarters for mozzie team opened (February 21st, '03)

   The four-year, $30 million programme to eradicate the southern saltmarsh mosquito from the Kaipara Harbour is being based at Parakai.
   The programme is being run by NZ Biosecure, the company which successfully eradicated the mosquito in Napier.
   It was officially opened this week by Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister for Biosecurity Marian Hobbs. She said that the project's $30 million was almost the entire annual budget for the Ministry of the Environment.
   A command centre with 17 staff has been set up by New Zealand Biosecure opposite the Parakai airfield in Greens Rd. Equipment includes a helicopter, a fleet of four-wheel-drive vehicles, chemicals, and computers and testing equipment.
   Most employees are technical officers and assistants, and their jobs include collecting mosquito larvae and setting traps. Initial testing is done at the Parakai base, then specimens are sent to Napier for positive identification.


Epilepsy service starts in Helensville (January 30th, '03)

   A new monthly service will provide information and support for sufferers of epilepsy in Helensville.
   Epilepsy field officer Jos Coburn will be at the Helensville Community Health Centre in Commercial Rd from 9am to 11am on the first Tuesday of each month.
   Families will be given advice and training to help them better self-manage the illness, and any questions will be answered.


Helensville to get TV image boost (January 25th, '03)

   Helensville is to be promoted on television.
   The town is being included in a serires of five minute commercials promoting small Rodney towns, which will screen during TV1's early morning weekday business show.
   They will go to air beginning in June.
   The Rodney Economic Development Trust is promoting the area with the aim of attracting environmentally friendly companies to set up in the district, thus boosting employment. Presently, 87% of people who live in Rodney work outside the district.
   Content for the adverts, being funded by Rodney District Council, has yet to be finalised, but Helensville could be promoted as up-and-coming arts centre.
   The adverts will be hosted by Rodney Mayor John Law.


Concerns about Kaipara marine farming (January 17th, '03)

    Concerns are being voiced by environmentalists over the potential impact marine farming may have on the Kaipara Harbour's ecosystem.
    The Auckland Regional Council is proposing to allow development of 400ha of the harbour by aquaculture. But opponents say bringing in baby oysters grown in east coast waters for fattening could introduce unwanted tidal marine species to the harbour.
    The submissions on the proposal were originally set to close on December 13 last year, but public criticism forced an extension until January 31st.
    Critics of the proposed scheme are likening the possible introduction of new species to the harbour to the introduction of the possum.
    Scientists have found around 66 tidal marine species on the east coast, but only four in west coast waters. Environmentalists say the impact of introduces species wouldn't be know until populations were established, and by that stage the Kaipara could be irretrievably damaged.