Hundreds of children participated in Halloween events, proving it’s not a dying fad although looking dead and finding graves on front lawns featured at Riverhead’s Fright Night.
“We had many fantastic costumes and face painted faces,” organiser Rachael Parkinson says. “The Dickson family came as zombies, but we had lots of non scary kids too. A group of young aerobic instructors danced their way around the streets.”
The township had a record number of 36 scare houses and safe houses, Rachael says. “It was great to see the houses dressed up in spider webs, graves and all things scary.”
The best scare house was Fran Heath’s Day of the Dead themed property.
More than lollies were offered with Donna Massey and friends providing icecream tubs, Sonia Oyston serving up mini hamburgers and a sausage sizzle offered at another home.
A big crowd also scared it up for Halloween at Hobbs Wharf Night Market, hailed a success by the Gulf Harbour community with people arriving for an evening of dress-ups, music and lolly scrambles. Firefighters turned over their truck to a horde of witches, wizards, monsters and zombies. Halloween visitor Rosalind Warren says it was the first Halloween evening she and son Jimmy, 5, had attended.
“No doubt some people just want to avoid having to answer the door, but we felt it was great to find a safe environment to enjoy the Halloween night,” Rosalind says.
“Both mum and my grandmother came too – so for us it was a great family night out.”
The event was sponsored by the adjacent Fairway Bay development.
“As we bring more families to the area the demand for this kind of activity will increase – so the markets venue will become more important over time,” chief executive officer Sean Pan says.
Organiser Debbie Morgan says other events include a Christmas shopping night on November 27 and a Christmas carols evening in December.
Fairway Bay at Whangaparaoa’s Gulf Harbour will eventually add 1000 new houses priced from $595,000 to $850,000.
Work is about to start on a $550 million 1000-house Auckland project by a company 45 per cent owned by Chinese billionaire and Shanghai Pengxin chairman Zhaobai Jiang. Top Harbour is building Fairway Bay at Whangaparaoa’s Gulf Harbour.
“Of the 37 lots in the first release, 17 have been sold, predominantly to local building companies including G.J. Gardner, Landmark Homes, Jennian Homes and SentinelHomes,” a Top Harbour spokesman said. “The average lot size is 528sqm.”
Fairway Bay places are priced from $595,000 but the spokesman said initial sales were from $725,000 for single-level houses to $850,000 for a four-bedroom two-level house. The first places will share a swimming pool, clubhouse and tennis court. A further 40 lots will be developed in summer.
Today marked a significant milestone for Top Harbour Ltd, developer of the largest remaining land holding at Gulf Harbour. Mayor of Auckland Len Brown lent a hand today to assist with pouring the foundation for the first of 1000 new homes to be built at Gulf Harbour.
CEO Sean Pan has brought his family to New Zealand to represent the shareholders and to be part of the project. The shareholders of Top Harbour are diversified property developers that construct and manage large residential, commercial, and retail properties in selected high-growth first-tier and second-tier cities in Mainland China.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Pan acknowledged the recent Auckland Housing Accord, and efforts of both Central Government and Auckland Council to address the shortage of housing in Auckland.
Len Brown also spoke applauding the progress made by Top Harbour encouraging the private-public cooperation with developers and Council to speed the delivery of housing throughout Auckland. Making Gulf Harbour more accessible to commuters was another key point made with more ferry services being highlighted as a key strategy for transport to the Peninsula.
Project Consultant Michael Webb-Speight added that providing housing choice is an important part of the Housing Accord strategy. “Fairway Bay will provide a range of builders, prices and housing options to choose from within this first stage. As we work through the later stages of development we will provide both smaller and larger homes as well as town houses, apartments and retirement living options. In this way we will provide widely different products at different price points to our primary buying market; existing home owners primarily from the North Shore and Whangaparaoa peninsula.”
Top Harbour’s intention is to provide a functional community with a wide range of active participants, all of whom will appreciate this special location and the lifestyle it offers.
The drought has murdered thousands of sunflowers destined to raise funds for Make-A-Wish but it’s also brought a silver lining.
Barely a few hundred of the 90,000 Gulf Harbour sunflowers were exchanged for donations before the drought either stunted their growth or wiped them out, despite watering.
But that hasn’t stopped the Make-A-Wish Field of Dreams Summer Festival being a success, even before it ends on March 24.
A text donation concept was quickly introduced instead and more than $22,000 was donated in just one morning after the sunflower saga screened on TV.
Project manager David Thomas is delighted with the result and says the festival continues to be well supported and people are encouraged to text DREAM to 5338 to donate $3.
The festival symbol, fabric sunflowers in two sizes are offered for a donation starting at this weekend’s festival events and some real ones are still available.
The sunny weather has also brought thousands of people to the events.
About 2000 people were at a fishing contest at Hobbs Wharf on Sunday, and a record 400 attended the outdoor Saturday night movie at Fairway Bay. Dragon boat racing the previous weekend also attracted about 2000 spectators.
Movies continue tonight from 8pm through to Sunday, and again next week, with entry a $5 donation.
A Coastguard Northern Region display, featuring smoke flare and lifejacket demonstrations, is sure to bring crowds back this Sunday, along with continuing Sunday market days, all from 10am. The day also offers a chance to get in a Coastguard training boat obstacle course drive.
The final big weekend sees some of the region’s best bands, like Tantrum and duo Danielle and Ainslie Davies, CremeBrulee and Craig McTavish perform on March 24 from 10am to 2pm. Visitors are invited to bring picnic rugs, friends, family and dancing shoes.
The festival is one of the most ambitious fundraising programmes undertaken by Make-A-Wish New Zealand, its chief executive officer Carolyn MacDonell says.
“It has the potential to raise more money and fulfil more wishes than many other activities the organisation has undertaken.” Funds help grant wishes to sick Kiwi children.
Go to makeawish.org.nz, fairwaybay.co.nz and hobbswharf.com for more information.
Suburban Newspapers, publisher of the Rodney Times, is supporting Make-A-Wish New Zealand.
Market stall holders and the public returned to the Hobbs Wharf development in Gulf Harbour last weekend, bringing life to an area that has been fenced off and virtually abandoned for more than two years.
The Hobbs Wharf food and craft market ran alongside the marina for two years, closing in November 2010 due to the collapse of the owners of the development, Gulf Corporation.
The new market, which was opened by the development’s new owners, Top Harbour Ltd on January 27, features around 25 stalls and also has a café that is going to be open seven mornings a week.
Market manager Debbie Morgan says the market’s mix of high quality fresh produce, food and arts and crafts will create a similar feel to the earlier
market on the site, which attracted a strong following.
Live music will keep things humming along, and there will be children’s entertainment including a bouncy castle.
Top Harbour has permission to move a mature pohutukawa onto the site, to provide shelter and shade for a family picnic area.
The market is on every Sunday, at The Anchorage, 10am–2pm.
Having recently re-opened its Sunday market, the Hobbs Wharf development owners Top Harbour have partnered with a charity organisation in running a four week festival from February 28 to March 24.
The Field of Dreams Summer Festival, which takes place in and around the marina development in Gulf Harbour, is one of most ambitious fundraising programmes ever undertaken by Make-A-Wish NZ andincludes the planting of thousands of sunflowers and inviting the public to view outdoor movies and dragon boat racing.
The movies will be set up behind Hobbs Wharf Market at The Anchorage (off Pinecrest Drive), where a grassy bank forms a natural amphitheatre. The screenings begin on February 29 and run each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting at 8pm. A donation of $5 from movie-goers goes to Make-A-Wish.
A demonstration of the power and energy of dragon boat racing will be held in the marina on March 3. Auckland Dragon Boat Association events manager Natalie Fowlie says four of the Association’s 10-person dragon boats will compete in a series of 200m races.
She says spectators can expect noise, excitement and a highly competitive spirit as the teams are in the middle of their build up to their regional competitions next month, and the Nationals in April.
Following the races, there will be an opportunity to try dragon boat racing.
Make-A-Wish NZ chief executive Carolyn MacDonell says the festival could raise more money than any other activity the organisation has undertaken. Make-A-Wish NZ’s mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
A field of wishes waits to be granted for seriously ill children.
Sunflowers among about 90,000 growing on a Gulf Harbour hillside can be picked by visitors to the Field of Dreams Summer Festival there from February 28 to March 24. A gold coin donation for every flower goes to the children’s charity Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The festival at Gulf Harbour Marina’s Fairway Bay and Hobbs Wharf will raise funds so the foundation can grant the wishes of children with life- threatening medical conditions. This is one of the most ambitious fundraising programmes undertaken by the foundation, Make-A-Wish New Zealand chief executive officer Carolyn MacDonell says.
“It has the potential to raise more money, which will fulfil more wishes, than many other activities the organisation has previously undertaken,” she says. Visitors can dine at cafes, play in the water, shop at markets, picnic, and enjoy open-air movies every evening from Thursday to Sunday, with family movies playing on Saturday.
MrsMacDonell says Make-A-Wish is thrilled with the support coming from organisations in the Auckland region and around Whangaparaoa.
“We’re so excited to be able to use Fairway Bay for these activities,” she says. “It’s a beautiful setting right next to the water which makes it a brilliant place to run these events that will be fun for everyone.”
MrsMacDonell says wishes are essential for sick children. The impact of a wish is not limited to the immediate emotional effects on recipients, as it also impacts “thousands of people” who have been involved with Make-A-Wish, she says. “Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
Make-A-Wish expects to grant more than 200 wishes this year.