Waiting for perfection….

Mercer cheese story April 2016

A story in our local paper tells of our local cheese maker, Albert Alferink, who owns and runs Mercer Cheese along with his wife.

Some years ago, a news item and video were broadcast telling of Albert and his award winning cheeses.

The Mercer Cheese store was opened in 1981, and Albert will be able to celebrate his more than 35 years in business.

If you are heading south from our area, toward Hamilton then, check out the business hours and pay a visit to try some wonderful cheeses!!

 

 

Southern Corridor Update

Another update on happenings for the Southern Corridor, including part of the Franklin region, has now been published and delivered.

Auckland Mayor, Len Brown turned the first sod on the 21st October of this year – 2015.

The project will see –

  • improved safety and journey reliability on Auckland’s Southern Motorway

and extends 9.5 kms from Manukau to Papakura along SH 1.

Walking and cycling improvements have also been factored in to the improvements

Southern corridor improvements Nov 2015

Southern corridor imp Nov 2015

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.

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

…and the history continues in Franklin…..

Further to my blog about marking our history in Franklin, (as we are in the years of having notable historical events to recount), is a little info about connections to possibly one of the most famous kiwi warships, HMS Archilles – being the first NZ unit to engage the enemy in WWII.

A movie was made about the Archilles part in the war – this 1956 poster advertising the movie – river-plate-movie-poster

When the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic, at 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, it became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War. With the New Zealand ensign flying proudly from its mainmast – as battle loomed, a signalman had run aft with the ensign shouting ‘Make way for the Digger flag!’ – Achilles also became the first New Zealand warship to take part in a naval battle.

The 82-minute engagement between the Graf Spee and its three smaller British opponents – Achilles, Ajax and Exeter – was inconclusive. All four were damaged, with the British ships suffering 72 fatalities (among them two New Zealanders) to the Graf Spee’s 36. But the German warship’s subsequent withdrawal to the neutral Uruguayan port of Montevideo, and its dramatic scuttling by its own crew on 17 December, turned the Battle of the River Plate into a major British victory – and a welcome morale boost for the Allied cause.

Achilles’ role in the battle was a special source of pride for New Zealanders, who welcomed the ship’s crew home at huge parades in Auckland and Wellington in early 1940.

Archilles article Jan 2015

Archilles links wanted

The original Admirals Barge that was aboard the Archilles, was found on Waiheke Island and a Waiuku local managed to purchase the barge for restoration.
Franklin, as with other parts of the country and the world, has it’s share of history – albeit, younger than overseas, but history none-the-less! and here we have descendants of crew who served on the Archilles, as I can personally vouch for.

…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

A sad loss……

Whilst my blogs are 99.9% about our region here in Franklin Country – today I felt that I needed to do something a bit more worldwide.
Robin Williams actor

It was announced this morning that another very clever and respected person has passed away – Robin Williams, actor

The report states that Robin Williams had, reportedly, been suffering from depression of late, and is suspected of taking his own life.

The occurrence of suicide, mainly due to depression, seems to be becoming more widespread, or is it that we have more ways in which to hear of these things?
As the Depression info site says ” depression is more than just a low mood” – it is serious

Depression is one of the most common reasons that people are absent from work, or are unable to run a home.
The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common cause of ill-health and premature death worldwide.
Depression is the most common risk factor for suicidal behaviour (it’s estimated that depression increases the risk of suicide by 20 times).
There’s no simple answer as to why people become depressed. It’s often a combination of things and it varies from person to person. We do know that some people are more likely to become depressed than others. Depression can also be triggered by a difficult situation in your life, or it can build up over many years. Sometimes there’s no obvious reason.

We have seen on telly, Sir John Kerwan offering help and trying to do his “bit”, to make us more aware and offer help links.

It is very sad to lose friends, family and loved ones at the best of times, and often we tend to mask depression until it is too late – as the stars in Hollywood are proving! The list of high-profile people known to suffer from depression is quite long….and that doesn’t take into account the everyday person on the street, going about their everyday lives. We all need to take time out for ourselves, families and friends.

There is always someone out there who will listen and be available to help – depression helplines

+ depression helpline freephone 0800 111 757
Talk to a trained counsellor who can discuss your situation and find you the right support. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

+ lifeline freephone 0800 543 354
Lifeline’s telephone counselling service provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week counselling and support. http://www.lifeline.org.nz

+ the lowdown
The Lowdown is a website to help young New Zealanders understand depression from their own perspective. Talk to a trained counsellor by free txt (5626) http://www.thelowdown.co.nz

+ samaritans freephone 0800 726 666
If you need someone to listen, call Samaritans at any time. They offer non-judgemental, confidential support to anyone in emotional distress and are available 24 hours a day. http://www.samaritans.org.nz