Category Archives: Social

Vintage Railway steams into a great fundraising event

The annual Vintage Railway Fun Trivia and Auction night held at the Waitangi Copthorne Hotel on Saturday 19 August proved to be another huge success. Organised by Blah Blah Marketing and the Vintage Railway, over 200 people from Kaitaia to Auckland were present and the venue was packed. And they were obviously there to enjoy the evening and to support the Vintage Railway in the process. Both aims were well achieved.

After being welcomed by Trust Secretary Sue Hamnett in the place of the ill Chairman Johnson Davis, Funding Manager and long-time Trust member Frank Leadley took the crowd through a powerpoint presentation which outlined the huge scale of the project. Although the evening was focussed on funding towards the new station at Opua, Frank emphasised that there are actually 4 components to the project –  at the Kawakawa Station there will be a number of building changes and rolling stock restorations, there will be the huge new railway and cycleway complex at Opua, there will be the full restoration of the historic railway line to link the two stations, and there will be a new and permanent cycleway within the railway corridor to replace the present leased use of the railway line.

Excluding the new cycleway which will be funded by FNDC, the cost of the first 3 components will be around $5.2 million. This is a huge amount of money for a Charitable Trust to raise, but with a combination of grants, philanthropic donations, potential overseas investment, Railway fundraising activities, infrastructure assistance from FNDC and loans, together with on-going community support, the Trust is hopeful its aims will be achieved and believes the whole region will benefit greatly from the economic and social outcomes that will flow from the project. These include 25 new jobs and the establishment of a Charitable Trust that will provide grants towards skills development and education –  the only Trust of its type in the area.

The evening was divided into 4 blocks, each with 3 components – a trivial pursuits section, a fun activity, and a set of auctions. The trivia sections were keenly contested, while Frank Leadley and Mayor John Carter had the crowd fully entertained with their crazy style of auctioneering, and the bids came thick and fast. A wide range of great auction items had been provided by supporters, including the Bay Of Islands Painting Group and the Northland Corrections Facility. A wide range of auction items from 52 donors and businesses included accommodation, meals, boat trips, para sailing, mountain bike rentals, scenic flights, and art work including a magnificent painting by Opua artist Di West of a cow at almost full size which was purchased by Wallie Titchener from Auckland for $1,400.

It was a great night which produced a gross total of $15,200. But the major outcome of the event was the hugely entertained crowd who now understand the scale of the Railway’s project and who are even more enthusiastic supporters.  


New Dog Bylaw (proposed)

Northland Age

Hello All,

You may have heard already … Council have made a significant announcement:

The Dog Control Bylaw and Policy proposal is being sent BACK to the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board for consideration.  The Community Boards are able to make recommendations whether there should be amendments to the document and/or amendments to the process.  How does this affect us?

1.    All of the letters you have sent to Councillors are redundant for now!!!!  The Councillors will not be having a say on this until the Strategy Committee meeting on 30th August i.e. AFTER the Community Boards have had their say.  So you have to send, or resend your views to the Community Board members urgently.  You can approach all of them, or a particular one you may already know.  Could you please cc Kelly Stratford as she has become the hub of communication between us and the council and is loyally compiling everything we send her and ensuring it is passed on to other members.

2.    The Community Board meeting is at 10am Monday 14th August at Waipapa Hall.  Yes, this Monday – so get writing SOON!  The meeting is open for the public to attend AND you may speak at the meeting if you wish to.  If you are considering this but are not sure how to go about it, you are welcome to phone or email Kelly Stratford or myself for more info.

3.    Predictably, the policy writers have CHANGED the draft bylaw & policy – the one being presented to the Community Board has differences to the one we have been critiquing.  I encourage you to go through it all again!  You may feel strongly about most of it, or just one aspect.  Some differences I have noted so far (still a lot of studying to be done!):

–    The limit of two dogs per household has been broadened to make a lot of areas only one dog per household, including Russell and other rural areas.  Still no provision for applying to exceed that.
–    Sullivans Beach (coast between Te Haumi and Paihia) nominated to be an Exercise Zone ie off leash at all times. Something to smile about and I know this is only because of the effort people went to last summer to make a case for this.  Still, it is better-sweet with the other opportunities they have simultaneously deprived us of.
–    The track between Te Haumi and Opua has been added as ON LEASH AT ALL TIMES.  (It is presently off leash.)

I apologise for not being familiar with everyone’s patch of turf, or circumstances, so PLEASE SPEAK UP for yourselves AND people you know who may need support (e.g. elderly or shy folk).

We are all angry and upset, and it is OK to express that, however it will be most helpful if you can tell them precisely how the bylaw and policy negatively impacts on you and suggest solutions on how they can reverse that.  You may also like to mention that you didn’t receive notification of the review last year (if you didn’t) and/or that the draft has been significantly and secretly changed since it was first presented for public feedback.

Link to the new draft/proposal:

(It’s in three parts – a discussion report, the bylaw and policy, a document showing the changes made to the last version.)

Link to the Community Board Members Contacts:

Kelly Stratford:  Phone: 021 087 31120

Link to the announcement (media release):

Thanks to all who came to Opua Beach on Sunday.  Sixty odd people and dogs – that’s 120 +  individuals!!

Keep up the effort, everyone.  It will pay off eventually.  And please pass this email on.


Kaye V.

Proposed Dog Bylaw 

Proposed Dog Bylaw
a new bylaw is just about to be ratified by our council. It seems to be a new radical approach to dog ownership. As you can imagine there is a big division between dog-owners, non-dog-owners, conservationists and I am sure Opua residents. This is why:

Schedule C – DOG EXERCISE AREAS Dogs may be exercised off-leash in the areas listed below and shown in Figure 2.
Kaitaia Empire Street. See map. Kaikohe Highway 12. See map.
Kerikeri Rolands Wood, Kerikeri Inlet Rd. Wiroa Road. See Map.
Opua Beechy Street
waterfront. See Map.
Rangiputa Rangiputa beach.
• • Dogs must be under control at all times.

Opua Beach is the only place for off-leash time in the Russell, Opua, Kawakawa, Paihia, Waitangi & Haruru Falls area. Mind-boggling? Where are all these dog owners going to park? Where are the dogs going to exercise at high tide? Who’s going to clean up all the dog waste?

Please come along to this event – we need to make sure our beach is not the only off-leash exercise place in the BOI



C:\Users\Frank\Pictures\Clip Art\Bee happy.pngWORKING BEE POSTPONED!!
Due to a forecast of rain and strong winds tomorrow the working bee at the Top o’ The Hill at Opua is POSTPONED.
We will aim to re-schedule the working bee to the following Saturday 10 June.
This will be confirmed during the week.
Apologies to all who were prepared to come along, but there’s no point working in the rain and being miserable!
Frank Leadley

The weeds and creepers are starting to invade our beautiful Top O’ The Hill area, so it is time to charge into it and restore its beauty before the winter really sets in.


So, weather permitting, there will be a Working Bee on

Saturday 3 June, from 9.00 to 11.00 am

We need to trim back the Kikuyu from the garden edges and around the sleepers etc, spray the Morning Glory that is creeping back in, weed the rockeries, and possibly cut back the growth on the other side of the main road that is affecting the view for traffic coming around the corner. And there will probably be other chores to attend to.

What to bring: weed eaters, spades, rakes, clippers, scrub cutter, containers/wheelbarrow for weeds, and a cheerful spirit.

And some hot water, mugs, and goodies for a cuppa would not go amiss. Please let Vanessa Leadley know if you can help in this regard.

Any queries/suggestions to Frank Leadley, 4027650.

AGM & Potluck Dinner 2017 Roundup

What a great evening with over 120 attending during the night of 16th March 2017 at the Opua Community Hall in Beechy Street, Opua.

We kicked off with a BYO dinner of the great selection of food.

As we had the meal, we were entertained by Shavonne singing a selection of Country and Western music.
I first heard Shavonne Aliphon at the BOI Vintage Railway concert and was so impressed the way the public reacted to her singing that I asked her if she would sing for us at dinner.
She said yes provided we got the same sound system the Railway had.

Thank you, Shavonne. She has two CDs available. I purchased them both as did John Carter and Terry Greening.

A company called Silver Sound who had all the right gear with multi speakers around the room and Alex, the operator, handling the sound mixer very professionally. We had that system available to all the speakers.
Many thanks to FNHL for funding this sound system to the evening.
It made such a difference to be able to hear all the speakers.

All the speakers, John Carter (Mayor) Andy Nock (CEO FNHL) Frank Leadley (BOIVRT) Adrienne Tari (Pou Herenga Tai – Twin Coast Cycle Trail) Brett Etherton (Aaron T Clark Lookout) Brian Hepburn (Love Opua) Puketiitii Picnic area, Harrison Track.
Terry Greening, our Community Board Chairman, was also present and said a few words of encouragement to us all.
Fran Joyce was our official timekeeper.
Frank, as you all know, is the chairman of the Opua Community Hall. Thanks to all Franks hard work the hall is looking beautiful and is a tremendous asset to the community. Thanks Frank

Question time brought forward some healthy debates and a very informative evening was had by all.
The only comment I would make is it would be wonderful if we had a wireless mike to take amongst the people for quest times.

Compliments have been pouring in, and one card that has arrived from a new member Warren Nelson enclosed a cheque for $500 towards the beautifying Opua.

Love Opua gained 15 new members.

Dr Brian Hepburn,
Love Opua,
The Local Community Ratepayers & Residents Association,
6 Scoresby Street,
Opua 0200,
New Zealand.
021-957-977 402-6070


Don’t forget the Working Bee this Saturday 8 October, 9.00 – 11.00 am

We have organised a trailer of metal to fill the pot holes in the parking area.

lady-gardenOur main tasks will be to weed the gardens and to trim back the plants and the edges. So secateurs, weeding implements, spades, etc will be the main implements required. Containers for weeds will be helpful.


Vanessa will bring scones for morning tea but other help with food, and hot water and the makings for a cup of tea or coffee would be much appreciated. Phone Vanessa on 4027650.

A great chance to demonstrate the fantastic Opua Community spirit.

See you there.