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.
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Local links to rugby All Black great…..

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One of Franklin’s local papers ran a great story recently, about a link to this region of one of New Zealand’s All Black rugby legends .

England based Zinzan Brooke returned to the family’s former farm in Karaka, Franklin region, last week with his father Sandy, to film an episode of a documentary series. Descent from Disaster will screen on TV One later this year.

Zinny and his dad Kararka 2015

The story of Brooke’s late grandfather, Martin Brooke, will form the backbone of the episode.
The Waiuku-born 58 test No 8, admitted he knew “bugger all” about his grandfather’s time at war.
“It was probably out of respect that I did not ask him more about what it was like – I had heard stories of guys with post-traumatic experiences who did not deal with it”
His father said that stories of war never filled the Brooke household.
“The only thing he…

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Be Careful out there………

In light of the recent tragedies on our roads throughout New Zealand, and also here in Franklin, I think that we all need to be aware that none of us are “bullet-proof”
Franklin SH1Some time ago, I was asked if we could put some info onto our website to help overseas tourists understand about the driving requirements in our region and New Zealand as a whole, which we have been very happy to do –

If you’re visiting the Franklin region from overseas you’ll find our beautiful countryside and sinuous roads excellent to drive on. You’ll need to know a few rules so you don’t inadvertently break the law and get a fine, or worse, cause an accident.

The main things you need to know are:

· We drive on the left

· Using a hand-held mobile phone to call, text or access services while driving or stationary at traffic lights is illegal.

· Our speeds and distances are posted in kilometres per hour and kilometres. 100km/h is around 60mph and is our open road speed limit. The urban limit is 50km/h.

· If your licence is in English you can drive in New Zealand for up to a year. However, if your licence is not in English you will need to get an International Driving Permit or an authorised translation to English to accompany your licence.

· Children up to age 7 must be in an approved child seat and all occupants must wear seat belts.

· The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, but we recommend that you don’t drink at all if you drive.

There are quite a few differences in road signs and road markings. You can take a free Road Code quiz at this website, and NZTA produces a booklet called What’s Different About Driving in New Zealand, which you can download here.

If you are not used to driving on the left hand side of the road you will need to pay special attention to give way (yield) rules, lane markings, indication rules and particularly what to do on roundabouts where you will be going clockwise, not anticlockwise.

We hope you enjoy your stay in the Franklin region, and whether you’re taking a scenic drive to the lighthouse or Port Waikato, heading off bird watching at Miranda, or visiting one of the many historic regional towns, stay safe and alert on the roads.

We all need to understand our driving habits and make sure that we do so safely. It is a tragedy to lose family and/or friends through lack of understanding, over confidence or just plain stupidity.
Now that the weather is getting cooler and there is more rain, it becomes increasingly apparent that we need to watch the conditions in which we drive.
NZ has winding roads, many of which are narrow, and although locals become confident in knowing the road, there is always the chance that an unexpected vehicle/bike/person/animal/road slip, will be where there was nothing previously.

Take your time and enjoy being able to stop safely to look at the view, have a break or a quiet cuppa.
So ” be careful out there” as they used to say on the tv show Hill Street Blues, many years ago 🙂

Who says there’s nothing to do?……..

If anyone thinks that the school holidays are boring with nothing to do in Franklin Country, think again! Especially if you have an interest in racing, cars, trucks, markets, to name but a few.

Check out our photos and ideas here

United V8 Spectacular 2015
United V8 Spectacular 2015
Franklin Street Rodders Show & Swap meet at Mauku 2015
Franklin Street Rodders Show & Swap meet at Mauku 2015

Gypsy Travellers market 2015markets pic

Frankly crafty market dates for 2015
Frankly crafty market dates for 2015
gorgeous handmade giftware at Frankly Crafty market
gorgeous handmade giftware at Frankly Crafty market

If you feel energetic, how about a bit of a run at the Waiuku Sand to Mud fun run, on Sunday 12th?Sand to mud run pic

…and look out for more things happening in our patch.
If these things don’t catch your eye, then there is always the local cinema for the latest movies (and if the weather turns to custard!)
So stay awhile at one of our fantastic accommodation providers and have an awesome weekend in Franklin Countrywhere Auckland meets the Waikato

around Franklin

around Franklin Country with a few more picsMercer Cheese

Manukau Heads lighthouse iconic pic Jan 2015

Lavender via Black Rabbit

Pure day spa

Kaye Maxwells Golf

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So come stay and play here in Franklin Country – there’s along weekend coming up waiting for you!!

Franklin Taste at Karaka…..

Today the Franklin Taste show was on at the Karaka Sports Grounds, with a pretty good turnout, and apparently Mayor Len Brown arrived, not sure where he was, but it was mentioned that he WAS there (maybe that bit will show on telly tonight?)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (14)So, although not all of the stands were foodie stands, there was quite a mix of mainly local Franklin stands, and here are a few photos to get a “Taste” of what was on show.
Along with our own Balle family’s “Chip off the old Block” yummy potato chips,

Chip Off The Old Block potato chips are only ever made with Balle family grown and supplied potatoes which the chip makers then only ever cook in sunflower oil and then only ever sprinkle with natural seasonings. When they’re Flat Cut Chips they’re sliced thick with their skins on and when they’re Kettle Chips they’re cooked slow and long in batches for a bigger crunch.

we also had Sonja’s Taste of Austria stand (based in Tuakau) with some delicious sweet “Cremeschnitten” – Franklin Taste 2015 cremeschnitten from Sonjas taste of Austria

Tuakau Hotel, Awaroa Vineyard and Cottage, Mercer Cheese
and more had a presence along with delicious cold pressed juice from Soul Organics, rich in nutrients and tasty too, bringing their product to the Auckland market. I am NOT much of a veggie eater particularly, but the “Detox Dude” organic, carrot, apple and lime drink was very delicious. It is packed with vitamins A, K and potassium and is a great source of energy for the body. My friend tried the “Energiser Bunny” – organic carrot, beetroot, apple and spray free ginger, and was impressed by this mix too! – amazing for heart health and a great source of nitrates with anti inflammatory properties. Look out for this brand in our region!

In the non foodies range, Glenbrook Lavender Oil Co had a range of beautiful smelling lavender soaps, along with shampoo, conditioner

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle

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Franklin’s Fresh Taste

Well – the time has arrived!

Fish - Taste Franklin

Franklin‘s very own special Taste Fest is on here at Karaka on Saturday 21st March. It should be a great experience.
Some info about the show from one of our local papers –
Franklin Taste Festival March 21, 2015

Come stay and play at our place in Franklin for a great getaway!!