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Thinking about...  A gifted playground  for Takapuna! banner

I've Been (positively) Thinking...

Thinking about... A gifted playground for Takapuna!

I've been thinking... about a fantastic offer that's being made to our community.
I walk regularly on Takapuna Beach. Recently, going past one of the properties on the beach I spotted a hand-written note on one of the fences. It did look a little out of place, so curiously, I went and read it. It was a note to the community from the owners of this lovely property, advocating the building of a playground on Gould Reserve, the main beachside reserve in central Takapuna.
A playground for Takapuna is a cause that is dear to my heart. I stood (unsuccessfully) for the local board at the recent local body elections. One of my motivations was to play a part in bringing these types of much-needed amenities to Takapuna.
So, having read this note, I decided to ring Jackie and Chris, the couple with the note on their fence. What I discovered was something very special. Not only were they advocating the building of the much needed playground – they are actually prepared to put $100,000 of their own money into it, will raise the money required to complete the project (up to $500,000) and want to project manage it through to completion, before gifting it to the community. How special is that!
On top of that they are totally focussed on delivering what they call "the best playground in New Zealand" and are not prepared to compromise on quality whatsoever. Their aim is to have this playground built to be ready for summer 2014/2015.
I decided that this initiative was worthy of a feature article which I have put together for this issue. It is a heart-warming read.
The night before this issue went to print I attended the local board meeting at which Jackie and Chris presented their offer and concept to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.
It is now essential that we pick up this fantastic offer for the community and run with it. I urge the local board to take every step to ensure it happens and doesn't get dampened by red tape and bureaucracy.

I've been thinking... about celebrating milestones.
During May we celebrated a milestone birthday of my wife Michelle with a big party. Not publicly telling what the milestone was, but it is the new 40!
When I was younger I wasn't that fussed about celebrating milestones. But I have changed my tune over the years. I now believe it is essential that we celebrate the milestones of those we love and mean so much to us and the huge part they play in our lives.
We certainly celebrated Mich's big milestone in a big way with around 100 family members and friends.

Feedback from readers on Beach Grooming...

Hi Aidan, I think it would be fantastic to have a beach groomer available for the North Shore beaches.
On Monday April 28th I went down to Takapuna Beach around 1.30pm, just intending to draw in a few deep breaths of sea air, instead I found myself scrambling to pick up as many small polystyrene beads, as I could, before they got blown into the sea. Another group of people stopped and asked me what they were, and also picked up some for a while, putting them in a back pack to dispose of later. In the end I had to stop, to go back to work. As I walked up the road towards the library, I could see there were a lot more beads in the gutter, guess where they were going to end up!
I called into the Council office and showed a receptionist the bag of beads I'd collected, and said yes it was pollution, did they have anyone in charge of cleaning up the beach, as they needed to get there fast! I was then told to go around the corner in the office, pick up the phone and report the problem to action line who would deal with it.
Did anyone go and deal with it? I don't know, I haven't heard back from Action Line yet, though they took my details and said they would be in contact. (it would be fantastic if there was someone who could have attended urgently.)
As to the person who let all the beads go, by mistake, accident or deliberately I hope you did go and pick up some yourself.
– Trish Mahon-Adams

Hi Aidan, Enjoyed reading your article in the latest Channel. Totally agree when it comes to the state of Takapuna Beach. I keep reading these articles about the beach being 'the jewel in the crown' when it's more like a 'diamond in the rough'. I live in Takapuna and have lived on the Shore for most of my life but never been inclined to swim at Takapuna because of the terrible state of the beach. I look at those pristine groomed beaches around the world and I wonder why this doesn't happen in Takapuna.
Keep up the good work.
– Brian Johnson

by Aidan Bennett

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