Locals thoughts on ITM 500 in Franklin

Local opinion on ITM 500 V8's the POSTInteresting thoughts from this contributor.

How do the people who attended and locals feel about the event in general and/or the report as per above?

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The changing face of Bledisloe Park…….

Life is an ever changing process of which the Franklin region has it’s share …..

Many of the locals already know about this and as our latest information from Council mentions the Bledisloe Park upgrade, in Pukekohe.

Bledisloe Park is a cricket and football (soccer) ground in Pukekohe, Franklin Region , New Zealand. It is named after Charles Bathurst, 1st Viscount Bledisloe.

The first recorded cricket match held on the ground, came in December 1950 when Franklin played King Country in the 1950/51 Hawke Cup. The ground later held two first-class matches which saw Northern Districts play Auckland in the 1976/77 Shell Cup and Wellington in the 1989/90 Shell Trophy. Two List A matches have also been held here, with Northern Districts playing Auckland in the 1977/78 Gillette Cup and in the 1980/81 Shell Cup.

The old AFC clubrooms in Pukekohe have been demolished to make way for new and upgraded facilities that will be home to the Pukekohe Association Football Club and the Pukekohe-Metro Cricket Club.

According to the information :

Developments at the park include a car park extension near the Pukekohe Netball centre and a new car park to be constructed next to the existing playground.

Bledisloe Park developments
Bledisloe Park developments

Bledisloe Park work July 2015

The new multisport facility will be led by the Bledisloe Park Society. As well as leading the development, the society will be responsible to fundraise and the future running of the facility.

The Franklin Local Board has contributed around $750,000 to the project, in addition to the funding from the Lotteries Commission, Foundation North (formerly ASB Community Trust), and NZ Community Trust.

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

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Rural Franklin – where we grow fresh!

Welcome to Franklin Country – where Auckland meets the Waikato

The Franklin district is strongly defined by urban and rural areas, outstanding natural landscapes and open green spaces. It is also regarded as both a desirable and accessible ‘lifestyle’ destination for those seeking an alternative to city living. Traditionally Franklin has supplied the Auckland region with fresh produce and today market gardens still remain a feature of the district’s landscapes providing an appealing backdrop to the building developments that are taking place within the area.

As one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions, Franklin offers not only excellent residential options and recreational opportunities, but also access to the goods and services available in much larger centres.

Families relocating to Franklin are attracted by the benefits that country living provides such as more space and larger sections while at the same time recognizing that Auckland and its attractions is just 45 minutes away by motorway.

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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a “Picnic in the Paddock” that was put on by one of our local growers, Allan Fong from The Fresh Grower, with help and support from a number of family, friends media and businesses associated with Allan’s business.
The weather played its part too, with the sun shining over the marquee in the paddock.
Inside the marquee some of talented young locals,(some of Allan’s family I think) played gentle background Chamber music, while the guests chatted and had a glass or two of wine or juice.

Allan’s son was the chef – Ryan of Ryan’s Kitchen.What great food, company and a generally wonderful day here in Franklin – with local people showcasing local food right where much of it is grown – here in Franklin Country.
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(Ryan attended the Food Show earlier in the year – view his youtube video)
These guys have been in the news a few times over the years, and with Franklin holding our very own Taste show next March, we’ll no doubt be seeing and hearing much more from our local home-grown producers!
Allan and Ryan Fong in the field 2014

Franklin – where Auckland meets the Waikato!!

I attended a(nother) meeting the other day and began to wonder about Franklin

Clarks BeachShould we just leave it to Auckland to take care of, as most of our region IS in the greater Auckland area – aka the Super City, and the rest to the Waikato/Hamilton, as there is the tail end of OUR patch that sits in the Waikato?
After listening to the speakers at the meeting, I really began to feel that Franklin IS the gateway that links the two regions!!

Anyone travelling by car will be going through the very centre of the Franklin region.
Sure….Auckland has, well, what Auckland has as does Hamilton and the Waikato – and what they DO have is not to be sneezed at. There are some wonderful attractions…..and here WE sit – smack in the middle, with our very own slice of paradise.
Port Waikato beachWe have beaches (ok – it’s now winter, so a tad cool for swimming, but awesome to wander along and watch the wild surf on the west coast or take in the calm seas on the east coast),
Nikau Cave we have our very own glow-worm cave, we have the wonderful Pukekohe Park Raceway – which is not only home to the V8 supercars again, but also for horse racing and events, we are also one of the venues for New Zealand’s largest antique and collectables fairs, we have the War birds D day open day display, we have international sporting events, a range of great golf courses to try your hand at, some amazing shopping and cafes/restaurants to name a few!
Kaye Maxwells Golf

Franklin is a GREAT place to come and take a stop and if you are heading north or south, we can give you that relaxation time before hitting the road again for your onward travels.
We ARE a destination that links Auckland and the Waikato! so come and visit, if you haven’t already and if you have – then why not come back and have a winter weekend with some of the awesome accommodation providers that we have here.
bersanti day spa Have some pampering at one of our fantastic spa’s before heading off on your journey to your next destination, or heading back to work! Pure day spa
This weekend is your last chance for the season, to go for a steam train ride at Glenbrook’s ever popular Vintage Railway but you can always come visit and see the station and have a picnic if the weather is favourable!GVR engine

A Tribute to Possum – our local legend!

Our local town of Pukekohe was buzzing on Saturday morning

PossumThe 10th Anniversary Possum Bourne Memorial Rally was held right here, in legendary Possum Bourne’s home town, with his 18 year old son, Taylor, making his debut tribute in honour of his dad.
According to a Sunday paper, Taylor wore his dads overalls, helmet and gloves in the rally which started at 7:00 a.m in the main street of Pukekohe, King Street, near the bronze memorial statue of Pukekohe’s famous “son”.The rally course wound through a combination of sealed and gravel surfaces, taking the drivers through the Maramarua Forest with service breaks in Te Kauwhata. The first seven stages were totally on gravel roads.
Although Taylor and co-driver and step dad, Mark Mitchell (MP) did not place highly in the race, they were very pleased to have been in the finishing squad and as Taylor is quoted as saying “Yesterday was all about dad”. Many of the drivers had taken their inspiration from our lad, Possum and 2011 World Racing Champ, Haydon Paddon said it was great that the rally had been named in Possum Bourne’s honour – “Possum was a massive icon for New Zealand rallying and someone that I looked up to”
Richard Mason won the race, which is the 5th round of the 6 event New Zealand Rally Champs for 2013.