Story 3: Two Second World War barracks restored

By Jodealyn Cadacio

The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board has finished restoring two of Fort Takapuna’s heritage-listed barracks and will soon be available for community use.

Built in 1939 in the North Shore suburb of Narrow Neck, the barracks have been retrofitted just in time for the centenary year of the ANZAC commemoration.

Two of Fort Takapuna’s heritage barracks have been restored just in time for the centenary ANZAC commemoration.

Two of Fort Takapuna’s heritage barracks have been restored just in time for the centenary year of the ANZAC commemoration.

The reestablishment, which started in early September 2014, involved landscaping as well as some insulation and structural works. It also included renovations of the kitchen and bathroom areas.

The two barracks now have spacious halls as well as smaller rooms that residents, groups or organisations can hire for an array of activities such as meetings or fitness classes.

The project, funded by the Local Board, embodies the objectives stated in their local board plan, which included preserving the area’s heritage and providing the community with a wide range of facilities.

“We are really fortunate that this opportunity arose to recognise our coastal military heritage,” says Mike Cohen, Chair of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, who believes that the project will also offer community spaces for the local residents to enjoy.

“We were able to restore and save these buildings from neglect and they can be used constructively for community organisations,” Cohen adds.

Residents residing in the area believe the restoration will complement this year’s ANZAC commemoration.

Eleah Ramos, a tertiary student who lives in Narrow Neck, says that project is a “good idea” as it will not only provide people highly valued places, it will also honour the soldiers who fought and lost their lives in Gallipoli.

“By restoring and preserving these Second World War barracks, we are honouring them and preserving our military history, which is really important for this community,” the 20-year old says.

Another Auckland resident shares his views about the refurbishment of the two barracks.

Benny Medina, a 42-year old man, also feels positive about the local board’s recent success. He says that it “reflects their respect towards our community.”

To find out more information about the refurbished barracks, please contact Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.


Story 2: Le Roys Bush works started

By Jodealyn Cadacio

 Walking tracks:  Le Roys bush tracks will connect existing streets and parks in Birkenhead, North Shore

Walking tracks: Le Roys bush tracks will connect existing streets and parks in Birkenhead, North Shore.

Works are well under way for a new bush walk that will connect existing communities, streets and parks in Birkenhead, North Shore.

The new 400m walking track is part of Kaipatiki’s Connections Network Plan and is “a priority for the local board,” says Kay McIntyre, Chairperson of the Kaipatiki Local Board.

McIntyre says implementation of the network plan will improve the current networks as well as create a new connection between Beach Haven and Akoranga Drive.

The project is an important step towards meeting the local board’s goals in creating a united and accessible Kaipatiki.

“It’s a great step forward in meeting the goal and also in celebrating Le Roys Bush and making it more accessible for residents to enjoy, says McIntyre. “We are working to make sure all parts of Kaipatiki are well connected and that people can walk within and beyond the local board area.”

Local residents including a 47-year old Elaine Jayhills expresses her views about the new walking tracks.

“It’ll be a great way to connect with other communities. I’m excited because Birkenhead is sometimes left out so this will be a step up for our towns,” says Jayhills, who is excited to bring her 7-year old daughter to see the scenic route.

Maria Annavie Medina, another local resident, is also positive about the local board’s new project.

“I always catch the Birkenhead bus on Onewa road, opposite Le Roys Bush and I think this track will enhance our environment even more. I can’t wait,” the 41-year old woman says.

The bush track is expected to be completed in late April.

Story 1: Teen fights depression through plants.

By Jodealyn Cadacio

Many teens face depression and often seek medical treatment, but for Andie Callejo, one way of dealing with such mood disorder is through planting.

Andie Callejo, 19, shows off her home-grown eath friends.

Andie Callejo, 19, shows off her home-grown eath friends.

“Planting stimulates me and makes believe that there is still hope,” said the 18- year old Filipino, who spends most of her time nurturing her plants.

“Every time I have a problem, I buy one plant and hang it on the ceiling in my room,” the Auckland resident added.

When the plants begin to sprout, she cuts off the bud and plants it elsewhere.

“I find happiness in growing plants because I see myself in them, growing and blooming into beautiful things,” Callejo said.

She also said that her love for plants was inspired by a Tumblr artist who has a great fondness for plants and flowers.

Callejo was diagnosed with depression when she moved to New Zealand two years ago to live with her father.

“Everything was so new and different then. Starting over in a foreign country wasn’t as simple as it seemed,” said Callejo, who completed her secondary studies at Long Bay College in the North Shore.

“I feel that planting helps me to adjust to my new environment and make friends at work. It makes me feel better,” she said.

Although planting helped her depression to disappear, she said that she is “still hanging and that depression could trigger at any time.”

She also added that if depression ever finds her again, she will be able to “cope with it more effectively.”