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Scholarship winner has local links

§ October 28th, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Scholarship winner has local links

A doctor with Taranaki ties was one of 12 people to receive a prestigious AMP Scholarship in Auckland last week. 

David Bourke, 28, whose parents live in Stratford, will use the scholarship to fund another trip to Tanzania in Africa where he has carried out volunteer medical work in the past.

“I suppose it is something I will do once every couple of years,” he said of his work in Tanzania. “The general reward of helping people as a doctor is a fundamental reason of why I do it. You feel like you are doing a lot with the skills you have when you are over there whereas sometimes in New Zealand you aren’t sure if you have made much of a difference at the end of the day.”

While currently committed to a three-year programme of study in Auckland to become a specialist (although as yet undecided exactly in what) Dr Bourke sees Taranaki as a possible option when finished.

“I always try to get home for holidays and would like to work somewhere smaller once I am finished here. You get fed up with the traffic and the hustle and bustle. I’d like to be in a community where you can walk down the street and know some of the people you see.”

Each year AMP distributes about $200,000 in scholarships. Auckland film-maker Briar March and Wellington power system engineer Paul Burnaby received the premium awards of $30,000 and $20,000 respectively.

Nick wins on borrowed guitar

§ March 26th, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Nick wins on borrowed guitar

THE 2009 winner of one of Taranaki music’s most important scholarships earned his $10,000 performing with a borrowed instrument. 

Classical guitarist Nick Price, 19, was judged the best at a recital at TSB Showplace on Monday evening to win the 11th annual Muriel May scholarship.

The scholarship gives musical youth of Taranaki an opportunity to win $10,000 to further their studies, and is open to musicians under 21 who are able to to perform to a high standard in a classical/fine music style.

Nick has returned from his first year in the New Zealand School of Music at Wellington’s Victoria University, and had to borrow a guitar to perform on the night.

‘‘I would really like to thank Owen Moriarty for lending me the guitar I played, it was really a lifeline. He just said out of the blue ‘borrow this’.’’

He will use the money to get himself a ‘‘high level’’ guitar for the future.

‘‘The guitar I played last night [Monday] I had to borrow because I didn’t have a real good one of my own.

‘‘That was worth $9000 and it wasn’t even top range, that’s the folly of musical instruments.’’

The former Francis Douglas Memorial College student is majoring in a solo guitar performance degree at the school, and loved his first year.

‘‘It was really awesome, just to get among like minded people, there’s not too much of a young person’s following for classical guitar in New Plymouth.

‘‘Matthew Marshall is there, he’s been my tutor this year. He’s probably New Zealand’s foremost classical guitarist.

Nick started guitar as ‘‘a bit of a metal head’’ with his mates in school, before switching to classical and taking formal lessons with Ross Townsend for three years. Buoyed by this scholarship success, his sights are set high.

‘‘I would really love to record a CD, hopefully before my degree’s finished, that would be awesome.

‘‘I definitely want to do honours after I complete the undergraduate degree.

‘‘It’s not set in concrete yet but I’m looking to overseas for postgraduate, there’s quite a few good places in London, and Australia.’’

Farming seen as a good career option

§ March 25th, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Farming seen as a good career option

A lower dairy payout hasn’t put Taranaki high school students off farming as a career. Numbers are up by about 20 per cent on last year, Agriculture New Zealand regional manager Gerard Karalus says. 

“The dairy industry looks very positive even though the payout is down and I think there is a general feeling out there that food is going to be such and important part of our economy in the future – growing and supplying food.”
The agriculture, horticulture and forestry industries have been working with the high schools to come up with a programme that is applied science based, so it’s not pure agriculture or horticulture.
“It’s more applying science to agriculture and horticulture so that the actual science makes more sense to the students.”
There has also been more interest in agriculture and horticulture at university level, Mr Karalus says.
However, numbers are slightly down in some of the National Certificate courses.
“Part of the reason is the lower payout – farmers have either not replaced staff or are going to back to doing more of the work themselves or people are staying in their jobs and not moving on.”
Agriculture Industry Training Organisation Taranaki training co-ordinator Emma Collins says course numbers are up across the country.
A lot of people who have never done training before are studying ways to refine their production management or refine the way they run their agribusiness.
And she has seen an increase in people making career changes. Figures aren’t available, but Mrs Collins says the increase is substantial.
“A lot of these people from a farming background have gone away to get a trade and have come home to dairying again. Family farm safe option, quite a few are university graduates.”
The people have moved from trades such as butcher, mechanic, chef and engineer.
Land Based Training Taranaki operations manager Stuart Bruce has also seen an increase in the number of students who are making a career change.
The organisation, which partners with WITT, has seen a significant increase in the number of people on their training courses, Mr Bruce says.
“Because I think we provide good courses and I think the amount of employment isn’t as ready and available as it was.”
The agriculture industry is becoming more skilled and workers need more technical expertise, Mr Bruce sairs.
“People are always looking at options to upskill themselves.”

Girls may shake up establishment

§ November 4th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Girls may shake up establishment

Business owners in New Plymouth should start looking over their shoulders

If the results of the national Young Enterprise awards are anything to go by, in a few years time the competition about town is set to be very stiff.
Two teams from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, both peddling audio inventions, have earned high praise for their business ideas in the annual competition, with one team gaining third place overall.
Aotearoa Audio has brought in close to $5,000 with its audio book showcasing favourite New Zealand authors.  Team members said they had not even imagined winning a placing when they travelled to Wellington for the awards dinner this week. ‘We were so surprised when we got called out for third. The dinner was really posh and everything so it was quite amazing,” spokeswoman Meg Bartle, 16, said.
But in the calm and collected style that characterised the team’s approach, the girls got up, high heels and all, and made an acceptance speech to a full audience which included Governor General Anand Satyanand.
Along with the second Girls’ High team, iCook, Aotearoa Audio also won a national excellence award – given to only12 groups out of the 624 teams entered. iCook designed a website with downloadable MP3 recipes for clueless cooks and members said while they did not get a national placing, they were still pleased with how their product sold. The team has so far made $880 from advertising on the site and had 500 downloads.

Bringing Edmonds into iPod age

§ October 9th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Bringing Edmonds into iPod age

Hungry university students pleading for help inspired a group of New Plymouth Girls’ High School pupils to come up with something useful.

The year 12 Young Enterprise group has started, a website where family recipes are available for download on to MP3 players that clueless cooks can then listen to on head phones as they cook.

“It actually started because some of us have brothers and sisters at university who are ringing home all the time for step-by-step instructions on how to cook,” iCook spokeswoman Caitlin Radich said.

Although parents might see this as an annoying part of having their kids out of the house, the girls recognised it as an opportunity to start a business.

Their MP3 recipe download website iCook already has numerous corporate supporters and Miss Radich is confident the idea has potential to turn a profit.

As well as helping hapless tertiary students feed themselves, food and nutrition teacher Colleen Horne believes it has the potential to be a valuable teaching resource.

“A lot of students can be quite intimidated to read a recipe but can be better at listening to it,” she said.
Enterprise Studies teacher Kim Jennings was also a firm believer in the idea.

“It’s very authentic for young people today because they are using technology in so many aspects of their life. To use it to encourage them to cook, well that seems to be a great thing to do.”

Talia Gall, 13, said listening to a recipe was better than reading one.
“You can just pause it and wipe it down if you spill something on the player,” she said of her iPod. “Just like a recipe book.”

Club in the business of networking

§ January 22nd, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Club in the business of networking

No longer will Taranaki’s young professionals have to do their schmoozing at the pub.

As of next month, the region will have its first club formed especially to help the young and career-minded mix and mingle their way to the top.

The club, called Taranaki Young Professionals (TYP), was the idea of a group of determined New Plymouth lasses who felt the region was lagging behind its bigger-city counterparts.

Accountant Louise O’Dea, 27, who is president of TYP, said the idea was born when she returned to Taranaki, after travelling and university, to find there was nothing for young people who wanted to meet others of similar ilk.

“There’s no way here for people to network – most other regions have a group. Everyone I’ve talked to feels like it’s something that is missing,” Miss O’Dea said.

Gym manager Gina Hamerton, 26, said the group would be aimed at those in the first 15 years of their career, but membership criteria was pretty broad.

“It’s anyone who considers themselves professional, really. From gardeners to builders to doctors to engineers and people who run their own business.”

She said TYP wanted to run courses on topics such as first-home buying, dealing with tax and setting up a business.

There are also plans to get inspirational local people as speakers. “It’s going to be all about upskilling and networking, plus there will be a bit of a social side too.”

Marketing manager Adelle Barnett, 24, said they also wanted to involve local businesses by creating a membership card and offering members certain benefits.

“We’re hoping to get involved with other Taranaki events too, like the film festival and so on.”
The group will also have a website, which is being developed.

TYP will have its launch on November 26 at Puke Ariki Landing. Anyone interested in joining can contact the group at Membership will be $20 per annum.

Hot team cooks up top award

§ August 9th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Hot team cooks up top award

No kitchen is too hot for Okurukuru Winery’s award-winning team. The Taranaki restaurant was this week named the best in the business at the New Zealand Culinary Fare in Auckland, beating out competition from around the country.

Under intense scrutiny and with their every move shown on the big screen, Simon Houghton, Kristin McCormack and Troy Waters designed, cooked and presented a three-course meal, recreating their restaurant for the judges.

To spice things up, the team had just 30 minutes to design a dessert from a mystery box of ingredients.
Mr Houghton, the restaurant’s executive chef, said there was no room for error in the competition’s arena setting.

“There’s a lot of pressure and you just have your head down the whole time,” he said. “Each team starts with a score of 100 and the judges take a point off for everything they see you do wrong. They’re being as picky as possible.”

Everything the team did to prepare in the months before the competition had an impact on the day, Mr Houghton said, right down to getting a shine on the pans.

“We spent two days beforehand scrubbing and polishing pans and trays. We use them every day of the year but we want them to look good for the competition,” he said.

The team fed off the encouragement of other Okurukuru staff who joined them on the trip, an annual event with the full support of Okurukuru owners Chris and Peter Hayward.

“We hire a big flat in Auckland and we all stay there.

“There’s a big camaraderie thing going on,” Mr Houghton said. Among those making the trip north was 18-year-old Spotswood College student Ellee Donald.

Miss Donald competed in four categories, claiming three gold medals and one bronze as well as the title of New Zealand junior food and beverage person of the year.

After two previous trips to the competition, it was third time lucky for Miss Donald, who said it took a while for her win to sink in.

“I was lying in bed that night thinking `Did tonight really happen?”’ she said.
The whole team was “just amazed” with its victory, Mr Houghton said.

“Even though we’re a small company from Taranaki, we can go and beat the big boys,” he said. “It’s worth all the work and stress.”

A number of other Taranaki competitors tasted success at the competition, including five students from New Plymouth’s Pacific International Hotel Management School, who brought home six medals.

Students’ study aided by Wunsch trust

§ April 30th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Students’ study aided by Wunsch trust

THE Priscilla Sandys Wunsch Trust has awarded its annual scholarships to Otago University. 

The scholarships were established by a trust when Priscilla Sandys Wunsch died in 2000.

Ms Wunsch studied at Otago University in the 1940s and her wish was to help students with hardship who might otherwise be unable to study at university.

The trust has now assisted 128 students from Taranaki to study at Otago University with scholarships amounting to more than $2,500,000.

The annual awards dinner for the students will be held at the Plymouth International Hotel at 6.30-7pm on Thursday, December 3.

Full scholarship covering all fees, accommodation and travel for two years $18,000 pa:

Annielise Kuriger, Hawera High, BApplSc – Aquinas

Jasmine Bastin-Lindsay, Hawera High, BBioMed – Aquinas

Accommodation and travel for two years (approx $13,000 pa):

Serena Chen, NPGHS, BSc – Carrington

Tegan Coventry, Spotswood College, FYHS – Carrington

Daria Law, St Mary’s Dio, Stratford, FYHS – Knox

Toni Petto, Stratford High, BA – St Margaret’s

Isaac Owen, NPBHS, Physiotherapy – Arana

Mia Ruakere-Forbes, NPGHS, B.Ed – Unicol

Katie Rush, Sacred Heart Physiotherapy – Unicol

Bailey Walsh, FDMC, BPHEd – Unicol

Accommodation and fees grant of $10,000:

Michelle Carter, Spotswood, Pharmacy – Flatting

Penny-Lynne Siebert, NPGHS, BAppl Sc – Salmond

Course Fees and travel for two years (approx $6,000 pa):

Bjorn Fowler FDMC, FYHS – St Margaret’s $5000 for One year fees grant: Gray Barnett, NPBHS, FYHS Morgan Thomson, NPGHS, B.Sc Rose Berghan, Sacred Heart, B.PhEd Miaana Walden, NPGHS, LLB Bridget Moratti, Waitara, BSc Karsten Shotbolt, NPBHS, Surveying

Cam Fleming, FDMC, B.Sports Nutrition

Fashion recycling business tries out Auckland market

§ June 22nd, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Fashion recycling business tries out Auckland market

The idea was a simple one . . . create an event where women can take their unwanted clothes and swap them with the cast-offs of others for free. 

It wasn’t particularly original – women have been holding clothes swaps for years – but with a trendy name, and in a time of recession, the idea instantly became a success.

And now two Taranaki girls and their friend are transforming the “shwopping” phenomenon into a business.

The first Big Shwop was held last year when former Taranaki girl Sarah Hopkins was newly- mortgaged and sick of buying poor- quality clothes.

Together with friends Inga Boyd and Christine McGonigal, Miss Hopkins booked a Wellington venue and began advertising the shwop.
“At the first venue we booked, we could have 80 people,” says Miss Boyd, who is originally from New Plymouth.
“We didn’t know if people were going to turn up or anything so 80 was fine.”
However, the response they got was amazing.
“About twice that number of people turned up, they were lining up through the restaurant and out the door.”

Eighteen months later, the women are about to hold their first shwop in Auckland, at The Langham – a hotel known for its commitment to sustainability.

“The Langham is perfect because from the outset the purpose of the shwop has been to give something back to the environment,” Miss Boyd says.

“The fashion industry is one of the most destructive industries in the world. For example, look how cotton is made in Third World countries. Our philosophy is to think more responsibly about how we consume.”

All of the clothes brought to the shwop must be of good quality, well made and, of course, fashionable.

“We’re trying to cater for all ages, styles and sizes. But we won’t take something that’s really outdated or if it’s hideous. We’re trying to create a fashion store without the money.”

Shwop works like this: People turn up with their unwanted clothes and get a token for each item. There is an interval during which clothes are sorted and the women can have a free glass of wine.

After an hour, the flood gates open and the shwopping really begins.
For each token, shwoppers get one item of clothing – leaving happily with a new wardrobe.

“People bring lots of really, really good quality clothes and it creates a great energy, it’s a real community event. There’s a good vibe to it,” Miss Boyd says.

Until now, the event has been free, but soon there will be a $10 charge – to help with costs, time and to keep the event sustainable.

“We haven’t made any money yet but we know small businesses all start that way,” Miss Boyd says.
Although The Big Shwop team has no plans to bring the event to Taranaki anytime soon, Inga says anything is possible.
“We’d love to go to the provinces. It will just take time.”
* The Big Shwop – Auckland will be held on Saturday, September 26, 11am-4pm at The Langham Auckland.

Carinnya and friends leave a legacy for future

§ June 12th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Carinnya and friends leave a legacy for future

CARINNYA FEAUNATI is one leader who will forever leave her legacy at Sacred Heart Girls’ College. 

As this year’s head girl, 18-year-old Carinnya was part of a group that spent countless hours fundraising for the school ball.

And when the ball came in well under budget, it was Carinnya and her friends who decided rather than blowing the money on themselves they would leave it for future students.

The girls created a scholarship with the leftover cash, named after their year, to be given to a student who shows unusual diligence in her studies in Year 13.

‘‘It’s not necessarily for the

Accounting, Emma Crowe; Art, Sophie Collier; Drama, Renee Brockie; Economics, Bridie Poppelwell; English, Emma Crowe, Sophie Collier, Helen Poole, Hannah Klenner, Megan Hills; French, Cervante´e Wild; Geography, Shae Vickers, Ashleigh Fromont; Graphics, Morgan Hancock; History, Bridget McLay, Emelia French; Home Economics, Emma Noakes; Mathematics, Megan Van Der Poel, Ashleigh Fromont, Bridie Poppelwell, Ruth Monk; Religious Studies, Niamh Matthews, Cervante´ e Wild, Helen Poole, Emma Bradley; Music, Bridget McLay; Physical Education, Bianca Gous; Science, Ashleigh Fromont, Cervante´e Wild, Ruth Monk; Text and Information Management, Ashleigh Brewer. smartest or the best in the class but for the person who strives to be their best,’’ Carinnya said.

‘‘We could have done anything with the money but we just decided it would be best-suited to a scholarship. It’s our legacy.’’

The girls hope the interest on the money they raised will be enough to give each winner about $500 in prizemoney.

Carinnya said all the girls felt privileged to be able to create such an award.

‘‘It really is a credit to the girls. It’s amazing that I got the chance to decide on it as well,’’ she said.

In her role as head girl, Carinnya said she had many amazing opportunities during the year, including meeting the governor-general.

It also gave her the opportunity to apply for a number of scholarships, including the $25,000 Keystone scholarship she won to attend architecture school at Victoria University next year.

The award money will pay for the course tuition fees, as well as provide her with a fourth-year mentor to help get her through the gruelling architecture course.

Carinnya said she knows architecture will be tough, but it doesn’t bother her – she is used to being busy, and this year sang in a choir and played both netball and basketball as well as completing five Level 3 subjects.

‘‘I can’t not be doing something, I don’t know what’s wrong with me!’’ she said.

Architecture will be a fouryear course, with a cut-off after the first year.

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