Franklin in photos

We’re a little bit country…………and a little bit city savvy, too……… with a whole lot of heart!!!

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Franklin………our changing face

Franklin – our wee patch of NZ, like many others I guess, is ever changing, as the years move on…….

Pokeno of yesteryear
Pokeno of yesteryear

Just one instance is –

Pokeno, our neighbour down the road in the Northern Waikato part of Franklin, has been through many changes over the years – going from a fairly busy village as per our photo, to an area by-passed by the modernisation of the highway/motorway and now back again towards being a busy town with it’s new and increasing housing areas.

The town also has Yasihili, the new Infant Formula Factory, being built. It will  be interesting to see how this helps to build the region with employment, visitors and growth in general!

Yashili is part of a major group that leads the dairy market in China. To help us achieve our preeminent position there, we have been a longstanding importer of New Zealand milk powder. Now we are taking that one step further – we are not just sourcing our milk powder here; we are producing our finished goods here. Our $200 million investment in Pokeno focuses on the development and construction of a 30,000m2 manufacturing plant. Our annual production capacity of around 52,000 tonnes of infant formula products will supply the rapidly growing and increasingly demanding Chinese market.
To help us achieve our potential in New Zealand we are looking for the brightest and best people in dairy manufacturing to come on board with us. We have job opportunities in manufacturing, supply chain and quality management. Come and join us and be part of our team that is putting Kiwi expertise on the world’s stage.

Yashili is one of the “big three” producers of infant milk formula for the domestic market in China. Our two leading brands, Yashily and Scient, and the more recently introduced Merla brand account for more than 80 per cent of Yashili Group’s total business. Yashili is also one of the leading suppliers of soymilk powder, cereal, rice flour and milk powder for adults and teenager to the Chinese market. Our products are sold in just over 105,000 retail outlets in China. In July 2012, we were named among the top 500 Most Valuable Brands in China for the ninth consecutive year. Yashili Group employs over 5000 people and reported an annual turnover in 2011 of NZ$566 million. We are publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In June 2013, China Mengniu Diary Company announced plans to acquire Yashili Group. Mengniu, China’s largest producer of liquid milk products, is part owned by China’s state-backed agricultural and food industry supplier COFCO.

Building Future Capacity
China’s infant formula market is expected to grow to NZ$32 billion by 2017, according to Euromonitor data. The increasing demand for infant milk formula is being driven by families shifting from rural locations to the cities, a stable birth rate, more mothers going out to work, and increases in disposable income. The challenge for Yashili and other manufacturers is to keep pace with demand while maintaining a high level of quality control. That’s why we have looked to New Zealand and its internationally recognised expertise in the manufacture of quality milk powder to build our newest dairy processing. Yashili already promotes the high quality of New Zealand-sourced milk content in our premium brands.  We have imported milk powder from New Zealand for over 10 years and we have used New Zealand milk powder exclusively in our infant milk formula since August 2010. Now we are adding further value to our product with Kiwi manufacturing expertise, and the support of the country’s skilled labour force.

Autumn is here – and no slowing down!!

P1000532 Autumn is officially upon us but that doesn’t slow things down here in Franklin Country – a region also known as Auckland’s Southern playground – where Auckland meets the Waikato!!

For those car and vintage vehicle enthusiasts, Franklin’s main town of Pukekohe is home again to the ever popular Swap Meet, where all things vehicle related should be able to be found – whether in the original state or a reproduction, there should be something there and very likely all manner of other items too. Should be THE place to be!!
Model A

Bombay 150th poster

Following on from that, over the next weekend, is the celebration of Franklin’s Bombay area. Another part of our district will be having a ball showcasing the 150 years of Bombay,

March 14th 2015
Bombay Family Festival, open to all, no entry charge.
10am to 3pm in the Bombay School grounds.
Farmers market, bouncy castle, Clydesdale cart rides, unicycles, tractor displays, face painting, historical displays and refreshments.

Bombay the shipBook sales: ‘They came by ship’ the history of the first 100 years of the district, and ‘Bombay, the next 50yrs’ telling the stories of the families, clubs, farms and businesses of Bombay between 1965 and 2015.
This Family Fun day is being held as part of Bombay’s 150th Anniversary Weekend, so come along dressed up 1860’s style and you may win a prize.

Should be a great weekend for all –

FRIDAY
Mix & Mingle
Venue: Bombay Rugby Club
Time: Evening
SATURDAY
Fun Run & Family Festival
Venue: Bombay School
The Pioneers Settlers Fun Run will start the day with a festival atmosphere growing as we celebrate success of fun run entrants. We envision games, food and fun activities for the whole family! Local Stalls/Farmers Market, Athletics, Old School Races (Egg & Spoon, Sack Races), Ethnic Foods, Vintage Tractors, Photobooths, Displays, Olden day Dressups/Photos, Facepainting. Ideas and input welcome!
SATURDAY NIGHT
Dinner & Guest Speaker
Venue: Bombay School Hall
SUNDAY
Church Service
Historical Bus Tour/Scavenger Hunt
With the help of local/school families, we would love to put together an ‘Amazing Race’ type challenge for families/teams to be a part of. This could be a really exciting way for us all to learn about our wider community and what it was like in years gone by.

……but wait – there’s more!!
If you haven’t already decided to book some accommodation and enjoy a great few weeks, this may help you to decide ……
Touchwood sign

we have our very own Taste Franklin happening, This should be an amazing event showcasing the wonderful food that we produce right here on the edge of Auckland!
Fish - Taste Franklin

Us locals know that we live in an area that grows, produces, cooks, carves up, bakes and ferments some of the very best stuff that we consume here in Godzone yet do you always buy locally? What about people moving into the area – do they know what’s available? Do you know about cheesemakers, butchers, growers, breadmakers, fishermen, winemakers and brewers plus so many other culinary magicians that are found around the corner, a few streets down, or a short drive away (we are semi-rural after all)..

Check out the newsbeat piece here about this event.

So if you hadn’t considered Franklin – (where Auckland meets the Waikato) before now, this IS the time to get on over to our patch and celebrate – history, our own home-grown everything and so much more

…and here we are – 2015!!

green 2015
Where DID 2014 go?

The beginning of a new year with new plans and prospects. Franklin is no different in that respect as we have such a lot on the agenda again this year! BUT we do have such awesome events.

If you are a racing fan, then the end of this month at Hampton Downs (officially in the North Waikato, but we still call that area our southern Franklin!!) is the Fifty Plus Formula 5000 lineup

An unprecedented turnout of Formula 5000 cars looks set to secure the 2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley Formula 5000 Festival’s place in motorsport history as one of the largest ever gatherings of the iconic race cars.

The organisers are confident fans will see 50 plus of the V8, 10 and V12 powered machines, with cars covering all years of the F5000 formula’s life, and most if not all of the manufacturers who built cars for the series which ran in various guises in the USA, Europe and Australasia between 1968 and 1982.

The 2015 event – which stretches over the weekends of January 16-18 and 23-25 at the Hampton Downs circuit in the North Waikato – is a celebration of both the Formula 5000 type of racing car and driver Howden Ganley. Unheralded Kiwi Ganley’s story is a fascinating one that took the former team mechanic to sports cars, F5000 and the dizzy heights of Formula One.

It also marks the first ‘Formula 5000 World Series’ – the champion of which will be crowned after the last race of the second weekend of the Festival. At least one full grid of Formula 5000s will race during the Festival, and that could mean as many as 35 of the earth-shaking single seaters roaring around the Hampton Downs track almost five seconds a lap quicker than the best ‘V8 taxi’ is capable of

..and while you’re over this way, why not stay awhile and head to Waiuku for the Movies in Parks Rocky Horror Picture show on the 16th Jan? Rocky Horror pic

Splore pic
February, on our calendar here in Franklin has the “Splore Festival” at Tapapakanga Regional Park. So get set for summertime fun and music by the water!

Simply put Splore is a boutique music and arts festival like no other.

In March we have some celebrations of the area and our own Taste Festival…so keep an eye out for more info here AND get your accommodation booked (if you can!!) and come stay a while !!

pohutukawa beach pic

Who’s into history?

As I was reading through some emails and general info, I came across a bit of a write up about how things had been in the very early days in Tuakau……
waikato-river-near-taupiri-c-1880-photographed-by-burton-brothers-alexander-turnbull-library

By the time the immigration ships like the Ganges started to arrive, (it sailed into Auckland on the 14th February 1865 with over 400 passengers), Alexandra Redoubt and Cameron Town had been built. The land wars
were over, during which some big military boats had been used on the river (including one that had boiling water circulating the hand rail around the deck so it couldn’t be boarded from the river).

It’s hard to think about transport before motor vehicles, but the use of a horse if you owned
one or had feed to feed it, could be ridden, pull a sledge or wagon and in Tuakau’s case the
Waikato River was flowing right past. The town plans were drawn up to be by the river with
the added security of Alexandra Redoubt handy. Interesting to think about the early settlers and boats, nobody brought one with them and you couldn’t buy an aluminium boat and outboard at the store – did the Maoris manufacture and sell dug out canoes to the settlers?

The main trunk line was first planned to come to Tuakau landing and follow the river south;
by the time the train came through Tuakau, closer to Harrisville to Mercer in 1875 (10 years
after the Ganges arrived). With goods coming in boats over the bar to the wharf at Port
Waikato and no road to Tuakau – stopped by the swamps around Te Kohanga, as was the
train stopped at Mercer where you had to get a boat to Ngaruawahia because of the Wangamarino swamps. At this time several commercial boats were working on the river between Port Waikato and Hamilton with
landings at the likes of Tuakau, Mercer and Huntly.
With the coming of the railway in those days gave great access to the Auckland markets for produce, Percy Lapwood, a very early Tuakau carrier, wrote of pigs that had been brought by river from Aka Aka and Otaua to the Tuakau landing then transported to the Tuakau railway to go to Auckland and the same with flax and
tins of whitebait and it was not uncommon to pass a horse and sledge or even someone pushing a wheelbarrow between the river and the railway.

…and still there’s more!

YES!! there IS more coming in Franklin district

If you are looking for still more to do here – stay a while, relax a while and then enjoy some of the things on offer.
I’ve already mentioned previously about all there is to do in Franklin this coming weekend (7th/8th Feb) but NEXT weekend, too, there is plenty to fill the diaries with and that could mean a stay here in the region to make sure that you get the most out of your time here, if you are visiting us. Even if you live in the region, you may want to check out the accommodation and the dining to make the most of your time for a funfilled weekend!
We have the hugely popular A&P Show on the 15th and 16th Feb with fun at the side shows for the kids (big and small) and great exhibits, animal shows and events.
TeRadar Puke showPuke show

For the muscle and vintage vehicle buffs, come see the Waiuku Classic Car Show on the 16th. Take a picnic, check out the muscle cars, vintage and classic cars, motorbikes and farm machinery and more. Or buy a BBQ lunch, but whichever you choose, enjoy the array of vehicles on show.
american-classic-car-muscle-convertible-23737349

white_wine_glassAlso on the 16th, we have the Clevedon Jazz, Wine and Food Festival at North Road, Clevedon.

So all in all…..the next few weeks and weekends will be bringing you heaps of things to do and see right here in Franklin !!

Franklin region is in for a busy weekend!

Goodness – this time of the year continues to be pretty darn busy here in Franklin Country!FC logo pic

If you are keen on antiques and collectables, then we have the place for you! Pukekohe Town hall will be the location to check out all of those items of interest and memories, with the Antiques and Collectables Show. antiques pic
The show is on both Saturday and Sunday and there will be plenty of other things to visit too. The market is always on at the Massey Ave carpark on a Saturday, and another at the Pokeno Village on Sunday, with great fresh produce and much much more, so well worth a visit too.
markets pic

On Sunday, if you are feeling energetic, there is the 1/2 marathon or 6 k fun run, whichever you feel you can cope with! You will need to register and get there nice and early and afterwards, just over the road, is the Pukekohe Raceway’s “Bridles, Brollies and Beauties” event. By the looks of the weather forecast, it should be a chance to get some sun and have some fun.
horse race

…..and if that’s not enough action to cover, there is always the ENZED V8 Jetsprints at Meremere also on Sunday!
Jetsprints

If you are worried about somewhere to stay then we have a range of accommodation options here in Franklin. There is the wonderful Tuakau Hotel (they also have accommodation at the Mercer airfield). Touchwood Motel in Pukekohe is handy to all events, as is Aveda Motor Lodge and BK’s Motorlodge and we have a number of B&B’s too, if that’s more your style! as well as camp grounds such as Clarks Beach Holiday Park.
The beaches are fairly handy too – the black sand west coast Karitahi or Port Waikato, or the calmer east coast beaches like Maraetai. Clarks Beach is a great place for swimming, boating and more, along with Glenbrook Beach, Waiau Pa, Kaiaua…the list is endless.
PLUS…if you are into golfing, then there are at least 5 or more courses all handy, with the Pukekohe course on the main road into town. The guys there would love to help get you set up for a round!
So check out our info on our website and come out our way for an awesome weekend with absolutely heaps to do and great weather to do it in!Clarks Beach