Local mascot gone

CMRFU mascot dies Feb 2016

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.

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!!

…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

…and now we have SBW

sonny_bill_williams_of_counties_N2well – Franklin is able to claim Sonny Bill Williams as our own!

29 year old SBW had his first training session with the Counties Manukau team in Drury on Monday.
It was Steelers coach, Tana Umaga who coached Sonny Bill when he first made the switch to rugby union back in 2008 in Toulon, France.
SBW will begin his bid to feature at next year’s World Cup when the Steelers host Auckland in Pukekohe on Wednesday.

Auckland coach Paul Feeney has named his side to face Counties Manukau in their mid-week clash on Wednedsay at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe.

Captain Tom McCartney and Liaki Moli are expected to return from injury to the starting line up while Hadleigh Parkes and Francis Saili will combine in the midfield for the first time since Round Two.

“Hadleigh wants an opportunity at second five-eighths and we haven’t given him too many this season. He started there against Manawatu with Francis outside him and we had a good win that day.

“We also think it’s the right time to give Francis a start again, he’ll be very motivated and we look forward to see how he and Hadleigh go,” said Feeney.

The mid-week match holds huge ramifications in the race to play offs.

“In essence it’s a quarter final,” said Feeney, with the winner of this encounter likely to take fourth spot on the premiership table.

“On top of that, it’s a local derby and all the boys know each other. We want to make sure we have the momentum heading into the semi-finals, should we get there.”

While Auckland has had the edge over their southern neighbours in recent years, no more than five points have separated the two teams in their last three matches.

“They’re very dangerous with good players across the park and on their day can beat anyone. We know they are a huge threat, especially playing at home and against us.”

The likely inclusion of Sonny Bill Williams in the Counties Manukau team adds an extra edge.

rugby ball

more sport coming our way!

so….. as per my previous post – Franklin is where the Waikato meets the Auckland region (and vice versa! )

EcoLight Stadium Pukekohe

We ARE the link between the regions where some of the many sporting events coming to New Zealand, will be played out and we also have some games here on our patch – such as some of the Junior IRB games (as mentioned previously)

So – NOW is the time to think about the other sporting events that you may be interested in! (and organise that little bit of extra time to make the most of the New Zealand countryside)

With only just a little over 200 days to go until the 2015 ICC cricket begins (Feb 14 to March 29 ), accommodation in the region will be going fast.
cricketThe games will be played in both Australia and New Zealand, with 14 teams competing in 49 matches over 44 days. Every team will have the chance to play in both countries, but when the games are in New Zealand, they will be held between Auckland and Hamilton, so what better way to enjoy the top and middle (earth) region than to spend some time in Franklin, investigating our countryside. Take a bit of extra time to enjoy the Auckland city, the Hamilton/Waikato style and the Franklin region which fits between the two!

Not long after the cricket, is the FIFA under 20 World Cup, here in NZ!football pic

Make the most of THIS visit too, as there will be 7 New Zealand venues, 24 teams and 52 matches.
Hamilton holds it’s National Fieldays in June each year, which will coincide with some of the matches, so if you are looking for accommodation, our patch could be the place to be! Franklin is only a short drive from Hamilton and Auckland with our own touch!

Get those diaries out and start your planning NOW! If you have a few extra days to spare, then get to one of our great golf courses and relax and unwind with a round or two at Pukekohe Golf Course, with our very own supa star Kaye Maxwell at Maxwell’s Golf, or any one of our other half-dozen or so courses on the doorstep…..

Tuakau Hotel pic


– here come the IRB Junior World Champs to Franklin’s Pukekohe!

EcoLight Stadium Pukekohe

The future stars of world rugby are coming to New Zealand

and more specifically to our patch – Franklin’s EcoLight Stadium and other Auckland stadiums (North Harbour and Eden Park)

Auckland will be hosting the IRB Junior World Championship matches this year.
IRB Junior Champs 2014

The 2014 IRB Junior World Championship will be the seventh annual international rugby union competition for Under 20 national teams. The event will be organised in Auckland, New Zealand by rugby’s governing body, the IRB. A total of 12 nations will play in the tournament.

The final will be staged at Eden Park. Other venues that will be used are North Harbour Stadium and Pukekohe’s EcoLight Stadium.

All Black legend Jonah Lomu will be the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 Ambassador.
A legend of the game since he burst onto the international scene at Rugby World Cup 1995, Lomu went on to play 63 times for the All Blacks between 1994 and 2002, scoring 37 tries.

The annual Under 20 tournament takes place in Auckland, New Zealand from June 2-20.

Lomu, who has become a role model for so many current stars, puts special merit on the key role that age grade Rugby plays in the development of the future stars of world Rugby.

“It’s exciting and a great privilege to be an Ambassador for the IRB Junior World Championship. I’m really looking forward to watching some great Rugby and welcoming the stars of the future to New Zealand in June.”

“Playing at under-age level for New Zealand helped me to showcase my skills and talents, and really developed me as a player. The game has, of course, changed since then, but the pathway that an Under 20 tournament like the JWC can give to young players is crucial.”

Some of these players are already making their names in club Rugby around the world, and it will be great to watch them showcase their skills for their national teams at this year’s JWC. It’s going to be really competitive and fans travelling to Auckland are in for a real treat.”

Since its formation in 2008, almost 300 players have made the step from JWC to the Test arena, including All Black fly-half Aaron Cruden, British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, Australia’s Quade Cooper, England’s Owen Farrell, Ireland’s Conor Murray, France’s Yoann Maestri and South African second row Eben Etzebeth.

IRB Junior Champs trophy