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

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 🙂

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

Franklin waterfallIMG_0799

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IMG_0801 30 March 2015

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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!!

Marking our history in Franklin

Franklin is in the process of celebrating it’s history
Franklin old building
Pukekohe and Bombay will be busy over the next few months, showcasing how the area grew, with Pukekohe having an open day and historical town walk this month and Bombay doing their showcasing and celebrations in March – just a week before our wonderful Taste Franklin expo!

If your ancestors arrived in New Zealand as part of the Waikato Immigration Scheme or settled in Franklin (the land south of Auckland) at a later date, then mark this day in your diary (14th February 2015) and register (free) now. Maybe your ancestors didn’t live in Franklin but you would like to know more about the history of the district, then this is a day for you.
The Franklin Branch NZSG has organized for 13 repositories throughout the district to be open on this day to share their resources and knowledge with you so you can learn more about your ancestors and their lives.
Five local museums, two genealogy branches, an historic church, historic homestead, heritage centre, historic society and the Franklin Historic Collection and Archives housed at the Pukekohe Library will be offering a wide variety of records, books, maps, photographs, memorabilia and early colonial artefacts specific to this area.
An Information Site in Pukekohe, featuring static displays and helpful volunteers will have maps and brochures of the various venues plus contact details of other groups with resources who do not have fixed facilities. These will be available electronically nearer the date. Lots of other suggested activities and sights to see throughout the district. A guided walk of the Pukekohe CBD historic sites will be held on Sunday 15th Feb.

Participating Organizations
They will all be open on Feb 14th 2015, 9am to 3pm and other days as advertised or by arrangement
1. Manukau Heads Lighthouse, unmanned display boards, Manukau Heads, Awhitu Peninsula
2. Waiuku Museum, Tamakae Reserve, 10 King St, Waiuku
3. NZSG Franklin Branch, at Pukekohe Library, Franklin The Centre, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
4. Franklin Historical Society, Pioneer Cottage, cnr East St & Stadium Dr, Pukekohe
5. Franklin Historical Collection & Archives, – Pukekohe Library, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
6. Pukekohe East Church, Runciman Road, Pukekohe East
7. Tuakau & Districts Museum Society, 10 Liverpool St, Tuakau
8. Mercer Art & History Museum, 7 Roose Av, Mercer
9. Rangiriri Heritage Centre, 12 Rangiriri Rd, Rangiriri (check before visiting)
10. Papakura & Districts Museum, Accent Point Building, 209 Great South Rd, Papakura
11. NZSG Papakura Branch, 80 Opaheke Rd, Papakura
12. Karaka Museum, Blackbridge Rd (next to the Karaka War Memorial Hall, Kingseat Rd)
13. McNicol Homestead, McNicol Rd (Wairoa Bridge end), Clevedon
Other organizations who have resources covering Franklin – information will be available at Info Site

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

Franklin’s patch is growing!!

Well now…another brekky meeting and more info about our patch here in Franklincountry!
Happy Valley Honey

The speakers at this months business breakfast that I went along to (after being a bit held up by peak hour traffic!! Can that ever be remedied?) came from our own Happy Valley Honey. Another awesome business that we have in Franklin.
Did you know….
bee cartoon pic

Happy Valley Honey was founded in 1975 by the late Ben Rawnsley and his wife Dot.
What started off as a hobby quickly grew into a shop and office based on their farm in Mill Rd in Alfiston, South Auckland. Many of our current customers still recall visiting the farm and filled their containers with their favourite honey.

In 1990 Happy Valley commenced production of Fresh Royal Jelly; and to this day Happy Valley remain the only commercial producers of NZ Royal Jelly. Investment has been made to ensure we stay at the cutting edge of Royal Jelly production.

Royal Jelly
Royal Jelly

In 2003, Happy Valley honey was relocated to its current address in Drury when the Lipscombe family took full ownership. Happy Valley focused on setting up our honey production facility with state of the art manufacturing equipment. Production at our facilities focuses on converting bulk honey into packed honey, either for third parties or under the Happy Valley range of honey & beauty products. All Happy Valley honey products are displayed at the retail store based at 520 Great South Rd.

In 2011 the business changed shareholdings, and to this day is run by two families, the Lipscombe’s and the Harvey’s. The Lipscombes focus on Bee Enterprises, a separately run entity focusing on bee keeping and procurement of bulk honey and Bee related products for Happy Valley.

Happy Valley has a range of Honey related products including Energy bars, Lollies, Lozenges and toothpaste- have a look for yourself.

Happy Valley is the #1 producer of New Zealand Fresh Royal Jelly, believed to be the purest Royal Jelly in the world, giving unsurpassed wellbeing to everyone.
Our Fresh NZ Royal Jelly has the highest levels of 10HDA known: 3.1% – these high levels determine the quality of the product you get when buying from Happy Valley.

Royal Jelly benefits can help to assist with several health conditions:
Anemia, Arthritis, Broken or weak bones, Bladder infections, Coronary Artery disease, Depression, Diabetes, Eye Cataracts, Hormonal imbalances, High cholesterol levels, High blood pressure, Impotency, Infertility, Inflammation, Impaired memory, Immune system problems, Liver ailments, Mental exhaustion, Menopause, Panic or anxiety attacks, Parkinson’s disease, Skin blemishes, Viral & bacterial infection, Weight control, Wound healing, Weak or tired eyes, Wrinkles.

Happy Valley Honey have purchased another property locally to continue their growth into the food arena, so watch out for their next news…..

We are so lucky to have such a range of fantastic businesses in our patch, so come along and check out what we have here.

bee and flower

……..and so, summer is nearly here

It is now September 2014 – nearly the end of September in fact. A time that heralds the beginning of Daylight Saving!!!
get ready to spring into summer on the 28th September by putting your clocks and watches forward ONE hour.Daylight saving clock

Origins of Daylight Saving in New Zealand

Entomologist and astronomer George Hudson was the earliest known advocate of daylight saving in New Zealand. Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895 advocating for seasonal time adjustment. However society members ridiculed his idea. It was not until 1909 that the issue was next raised, by Parliamentarian Hon Sir Thomas Sidey who argued for putting clocks forward by one hour during summer so that there would be an additional hour of daylight in the evenings.

In that year he introduced a Member’s Bill to put this idea into effect. The Bill was rejected, but Sidey was persistent, reintroducing it every year for the next 20 years. It almost became law in 1915 and again in 1926 when it was passed by the House of Representatives, but was rejected by the Legislative Council (which was New Zealand’s upper house of Parliament until 1951). During the second reading of his Summer Time Bill in 1926, Sidey argued that:

the extra hour of daylight after working-hours during the summer months is of especial value to indoor workers and the community as a whole as it gives one additional hour for recreation of all kinds, whether playing games or working in garden plots…one cannot overlook the economic advantages that will also accrue. There will be a saving in the consumption of artificial light.

Much of the debate in the House of Representatives centered on the impact on people in rural areas and women in particular. Opponents of the Bill commented that:

[Summer Time] will bring no happiness to the women of New Zealand who live in the backblocks. [the Bill] does not make the case for now requiring the wife of the working-man to get up an hour earlier in order to get her husband away to his work.

In 1927 Sidey was successful. The passing of the Summer Time Act that year authorised the advancement of clocks by one hour between 6 November 1927 and 4 March 1928. The Act was only operative for one year, and when the Summer Time Act 1928 was passed extending the period of summer time from 14 October 1928 to 17 March 1929, the period of advancement was changed to just half an hour. This made New Zealand Summer Time 12 hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time.

The Summer Time Act 1929 enacted the provision of a 30-minute time advance from the second Sunday in October to the third Sunday in March the following year. In 1933 the period was extended from the first Sunday in September to the last Sunday in April of the following year. This continued until 1941, when the period of Summer Time was extended by emergency regulations to cover the whole year. This change was made permanent in 1946 by the Standard Time Act.

Cartoon of T.K Sidey from New Zealand Free Lance, 30 September 1911. Courtesy of www.nzhistory.net.nz
Cartoon of T.K Sidey from New Zealand Free Lance, 30 September 1911. Courtesy of http://www.nzhistory.net.nz

Daylight Saving Since 1974
The Time Act 1974 provided that the Governor-General could declare, by Order in Council, a period of Daylight Time (daylight saving). Daylight Time is fixed as a one-hour advance on New Zealand Standard Time, and in the case of the Chatham Islands, is fixed at one hour forty-five minutes ahead of New Zealand Standard Time.

The public response to a trial period of daylight saving in 1974/75 was generally favourable and the New Zealand Time Order 1975 fixed the period of daylight saving from the last Sunday in October each year to the first Sunday in March of the year following.

In 1985, the Department of Internal Affairs undertook a comprehensive survey of public attitudes towards daylight saving and its effects on work, recreation and society. The results of the survey demonstrated that 76% of the population wanted daylight saving either continued or extended.

In 1988, as a consequence of the survey and further feedback from the public, the Minister of Internal Affairs arranged for a trial period of extended daylight saving to be held from the second Sunday in October to the third Sunday in March. The Minister invited the public to write to him with their views on the five-week extension.

Again the public response was generally favourable and a new Daylight Time Order was made in 1990. It declared that Daylight Time would run for 24 weeks from the first Sunday in October each year until the third Sunday in March of the following year.

Pukekohe (and Franklin) Growth…..

Franklin’s main town of Pukekohe is showing the signs of major growth!
GVR engine

Pukekohe, and the surrounding region within Franklin, is growing!! as if we didn’t already know, and as far as the local train station goes, the local public transport area is NOT growing as well, or as rapidly as the district would like and needs to, to accommodate the population explosion on our doorstep!

At the present time, Auckland Transport are not able to help with any inquiries, which would give the assumption that, really, not a lot IS happening, and according to local councillor Bill Cashmore, “this longer term planning needs to be aligned with the Franklin Long Term Plan”
We can all agree that careful thought is required so that the job is done properly to move the population to where it needs to be without clogging the roads more than necessary. Most of us can relate to the peak hour traffic chaos!
Info from one of our local media, show that:

in 2011, Pukekohe and surrounding villages had a population of 23,500. By 2021 that number is expected to reach 35,100, and by 2031, to over 52,000. In 30 years (2041) there will be over 78,000 of us, which is about six times the population back in 1981 (of 13,200).
When we consider that the Pukekohe-Papakura highway is largely unchanged, (save a few passing lanes) for over four decades, something has to give soon.

Franklin SH1

Also from the local media info : –

In 2011 there were 19,700 local jobs. By 2021 there will be 25,900, and this will grow by roughly another 10,000 for each of the next two decades. ……..
The Rail network from Pukekohe to Papakura, said Bill Cashmore, is a central government asset and talk about its electrification…..would need to be a joint Auckland Council/government project.
The government has said no to electrification for the immediate future.
Some comparative growth figures at two of Auckland’s rail stations confirm the growing popularity of a rail system.
Pukekohe Station daily passengers2003 – 74; 2007 – 218; 2011 – 1052… a growth rate of 1322% in 8 years. This represents the highest growth in the Auckland system…..
Even with the local growth in rail travel, still a number of Pukekohe people choose to drive to Papakura to catch the train from there. The attraction being the manned security of the park and ride

( and I feel a more regular number of departures and arrivals)
modern train

Roading improvements project…..

NZ TA has put out it’s latest Southern Corridor improvements Project Newsletter –
This should prove to be useful to Franklin and the rest of the country!

road pic
Quick Facts – Budget;$210 mil
Construction to start late 2015 with estimated completion in 2018
Providing additional lanes between Manukau and Papakura on the Southern Motorway
Investigations to provide walking and cycling facilities

The Transport Agency has secured funding from the Government to progress this important project which covers the stretch of Southern Motorway (SH1) from the SH20/SH1 connection at Manukau down to Papakura in the south. Additional lanes will be created both northbound and southbound, and the Takanini Interchange will be redesigned to improve safety and access onto the motorway for this important industrial hub.
Those that travel the route on a daily basis, know that bottlenecks at several locations along the motorway cause significant delays for motorists and commercial vehicles.
There are also known safety risks at the Takanini Interchange, particularly at the northbound merge onto the motorway.
The Transport Agency has been working closely with Auckland Transport during the design phase to integrate the state highway with the local road network……. We are also working with the walking and cycling teams to include a potential cycleway as part of the project to link up to the existing cycle pathways.
It’s essential that we link Auckland to the rest of New Zealand to unlock the country’s economic potential, and move people and freight more efficiently

Southern Corridor Improvements