Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bell Block worker stole $50k to gamble

A North Taranaki woman stole more than $50,000 from her Bell Block employer to support her gambling habit. Mandy Frances Sirett, Aged 45, pleaded guilty in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday 29/05/2013 to three counts of theft .Sirett was working as an office manager and administrator for Henwood Road, Bell Block based Ideal Buildings Taranaki and her duties included accounting, dealing with PAYE tax, quotes, project management of tradesmen and paying wages. In 2010 when the company was still based in Murray Street, Bell Block she began paying herself weekly instead of fortnightly. At first she only did this occasionally but later it became a regular occurrence. Over the next two years she began transferring money from the work bank account to her own. The total amount she took was $51,012.25. She told police she had stolen from her employer because she was short of cash and had a gambling problem. She is due to reappear in court on August 5th 2013.

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Dumb and Dumber pop up at NPBHS

In one of NPBHS more Dumber moments of madness a furore has erupted over a New Plymouth Boys’ High School decision to ban hundreds of Francis Douglas Memorial College students from today’s Wednesday 29th May 2013 annual Rugby grudge match. Principal Michael McMenamin (Dumb) announced the ban on Monday 27th May 2013, saying there was not enough room at the school’s Gully Ground for the students. However this appears to be the first time a ban has been imposed on a first XV rugby match and FDMC has had a noticeable presence at recent games. The match has been an annual fixture since 1999. (Dumber) are the red neck NPBHS Old Boys who have allowed the (Dumb) NPBHS Principal Michael McMenamin to get away with this madness. As for the game, the NPBHS 1ST XV had their butts kicked 24-10 by a fired up Francis Douglas Memorial College Team. Students from both schools who live in Bell Block are as shocked in equal measure.

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No Snow in Bell Block

And another reason to live in the mighty Bell Block area. Whilst Bell Block residents felt the full winterly blast from Mt Egmont/Taranaki, No snow arrived in Bell Block… Snow closed roads and caused chaos for motorists in central and southern Taranaki on Tuesday 28th May 2013. Cars slid off the road and into banks on Opunake and Wiremu roads but no serious injuries were reported. Police were urging motorists to take extra care as the wintry blast continued. More snow flurries were reported through the night.

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The Bell Block and District Residents Society AGM

June the 12th 2013 sees the long Established Bell Block and District Residents Society Inc hold their AGM at 7pm at the Fred Tucker Memorial Centre on Parklands Avenue, Bell Block.

Just $5.00 to be a member, they also put on an enjoyable finger food Buffet after the meeting ends. The Bell Block and District Residents Society is run by volunteer members of the local community. The Society is an advocacy organisation for the residents and ratepayers of Bell Block and District. This years guest speakers are a couple of New Plymouth District Council boffins. They will be talking about a hot potato called the Bell Block Coastal Walkway Extension – have your say! For more Information on the extension, click here:

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Taranaki Regional Council’s latest Schools in the Environment (SITE) newsletter

The Taranaki Regional Council’s latest Schools in the Environment (SITE) newsletter is all about travelling to school. Check it out as it features our very own Bell Block’s Puketapu School.

Pukeiti head gardener Andrew Brooker addresses junior students from Bell Block’s Puketapu School during their light rainforest walk on their recent visit to Pukeiti Gardens. The students learnt all about how the pioneer bushmen and their families lived, how plants adapt to living in the forest, and even found time to cram most of their group into the Giant Rata. Earlier in the day the group (guided by Pukeiti gardener Nathan Hills) looked closely at the creepy crawlies living in the rainforest. Read this great newsletter by clicking onto the following link:

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Thin Blue Line makes a Test comeback

To some Bell Block residents, New Plymouth’s thin blue line was a necessary addition in 2011 that prevented many a tourist from wandering off-course during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. To many others, it was nothing more than a good way to ugly up the city’s pristine pavements. But like it or lump it, the visual guide that stretches from Ariki St to the Maratahu St entrance of Yarrow Stadium is being resurrected for the June 22nd 2013 test between the All Blacks and France. For those who choose not to walk, buses will link 11 towns around the mountain to the stadium, while shuttles will run continuously between Ariki St and the venue before and after the match. Bus services were very popular for previous All Black matches and the 2011 Rugby World Cup games at Yarrow Stadium – up to 25 per cent of rugby fans left their cars behind and jumped on a bus instead. On match day, all council car parks in the CBD will be free from 5pm and open for 24 hours. Centre City is also making its car parking free after 5pm, however, it will be locked at midnight. The district buses will have pick-ups from Hawera, Eltham, Opunake, Okato, Oakura, Stratford, Inglewood, Egmont Village, Urenui, Waitara and Bell Block. Bookings are essential and need to be made before June 7th 2013. Bell Block: Pick-up outside Parklands Supermarket and the bus stop on Nugent Street. Adults $5, children $3, families $10. Buy tickets from the Bell Block Library and Service Centre.

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Going Down Bell Block’s Memory Lane

The Anglican Dean of Taranaki, Jamie Allen and Puke Ariki’s Historian Andrew Moffat have been on a 9 day Pilgrimage throughout Taranaki. They both slept in tent’s in what only could be described as a very wet and cold experience over this time. Bell Block Residents were invited to meet with Dean Jamie and Andrew to hear about the history of our Bell Block township. Just over 40 people brought along their memories to share!!!, with some members of the audience going back 50-60 years of memory. This excellent event was held at the St Lukes Church, 2 Mangati Road, Bell Block, New Plymouth, 4312 on Wednesday 22nd May 2013 at 4.30pm. It was followed by a Pot Luck Finger Food Meal. Jamie Allen, the Anglican Dean of Taranaki spoke very well and explained that one of his aim’s was to unite the Muiti-Christian Faith’s of the people of Taranaki, rather than, a them and us attitude. Seen here below, left to right is: Andrew Moffat – Puke Ariki, Mrs Gay Harvey – St Lukes Church, and Jimie Allen – The Anglican Dean of Taranaki.

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Bell Block Horse Trainer Collects his Gong

Bell Block’s John Wheeler has forged an outstanding reputation as a trainer of great gallopers and has been a guiding hand for New Zealand horse racing administration. The 62-year-old Bell Block man on Thursday 23rd May 2013 received the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit award that was announced in the 2013 New Year Honours. It was for services to horse racing. Mr Wheeler has for more than three decades been regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading horse trainers and has helped to set the standards for racing both here and overseas. He received his full professional trainer’s licence in 1981 and since then his horses have won a host of prestigious races. In a testament to his total commitment to the industry, Mr Wheeler has served on the committee of the Taranaki Racing Club, or Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing, since 1991, the executive board of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and is a past president of the New Zealand Trainers’
Association. The latest accolade follows his induction in 2010 into the New Zealand Racing’s Hall of Fame. Mr Wheeler’s interest in racing was kindled at an early age, following the interest of his parents, the late Ray and Peg Wheeler. He has trained more than 1000 winners, 909 of these in New Zealand and further 100 or more in Australia. The best horses he has trained – Poetic Prince, Rough Habit, Veandercross and jumper St Steven – were stars of the turf in their time. Enjoy this video below of Bell Block’s John Wheeler, one of New Zealand racings favorite sons on his big day.

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Colin Cooper seeks Maori All Blacks Coaching job

Taranaki Rugby coach Colin Cooper has expressed a strong interest in taking up the Maori All Blacks job. The former Hurricanes and Junior All Blacks coach has said the only thing stopping him from applying would be whether or not the job clashed with his NPC commitments. Cooper, 54, represented the Maori All Blacks in 1982 and 1983 before a serious neck injury ended his playing career. His national coaching positions include the New Zealand Colts and the Junior All Blacks, a side he coached with current All Blacks assistant Ian Foster. The Maori All Blacks job became vacant after under pressure Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph quit to focus on his efforts on the struggling Super Rugby franchise. Joseph has coached the Maori team for the past three years but has opted to step down, meaning a new coach will take the team on a two-match tour of North America in November 2013. They will play Canada in Toronto on November 3rd 2013 and the United States in Philadelphia on November 9th 2013.

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Bell Block Catholic School Children Sing Along

The sound of 700 hymn-singing school children rose from St Joseph’s Catholic Church in New Plymouth yesterday, Thursday 23rd May 2013. The sweet sounds were a part of the celebrations of the national Catholic Schools Day, an event that happens every three years. With a good number of Bell Block based school children going to Catholic schools in New Plymouth, it was nice to see so many different children in the church for mass. Each Catholic school across New Zealand was honouring the day, and the New Plymouth schools had decided to celebrate together. It was a very special day for them, it’s a day to celebrate their Catholicity and get all of the students in the same room. While school students had prayers every day and special events for Easter and Christmas, not every student attended church regularly. This event is all about creating those connections within their community.

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Liquefaction risk low for Bell Block

Bell Block won’t be wallowing in sand and silt if a big earthquake hits Bell Block. A recent study by GNS Sciences has shown there is little chance of liquefaction in most of Taranaki. Widespread problems caused by liquefaction after the Christchurch earthquake prompted Taranaki’s three district councils and the regional council, along with Powerco and Transpower to band together to commission the study of liquefaction hazards in the area. GNS found that most of Taranaki’s geology was too old or the wrong type to be affected by liquefaction but several sites had been identified as being at risk. The report also said the type of earthquake that would shake hard enough to cause liquefaction at the port could be expected every 120 years, and more serious earthquakes every 980 to 1070 years. Other spots around Taranaki that have been found to have some possible risk of liquefaction include Waitara, as well as the lower reaches of the Onaero, Urenui, Mimi, Tongaporutu, Rapanui and Mohakatino rivers in the New Plymouth district, and the ends of the Waitotara, Whenuakura and Patea rivers in South Taranaki. Soil testing is being done in these places to double-check the hazard risk.

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The Pilgrimage arrives in Bell Block

The Anglican Dean of Taranaki, Jamie Allen and Puke Ariki’s Historian Andrew Moffat are on a 9 day Pilgrimage throughout Taranaki. Bell Block Residents are invited to meet with Dean Jamie and Andrew to hear about the history of our township. Bring along your memories to share!!! This key event is being held at the St Lukes Church, 2 Mangati Road, Bell Block, New Plymouth, 4312 on Wednesday 22nd May 2013 at 4.30pm. This will be followed by a Pot Luck Finger Food Meal at 6pm. Everyone is very welcome. For further information and for catering purposes please contact Gay Harvey on: 06 755 0046

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Stranger Danger hit’s Bell Block

Bell Block Police are urging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of accepting rides from strangers after a teenaged girl was approached in Bell Block this morning, Tuesday 21st May 2013. The 14-year-old girl was walking to the bus stop along Parklands Avenue, near the intersection with Acacia Place when the driver, of a van or people mover, stopped and spoke to her just after 8am. Bell Block Police were alerted by the girl’s father and they searched Bell Block streets but were not able to find the vehicle or driver. Bell Block’s Constable Andrew Wong Too said it would be a timely reminder for parents to speak with their children about stranger danger. ”My advice to them would be to tell their children to decline the offer, leave the area and look for safety around other people and to contact police so that we are aware of the situation,” Mr Wong Too said. He said the girl was on her way to catch the bus to school when she was approached. ”As she was walking along Parklands Avenue a vehicle has pulled up alongside her and asked her if she wanted to get in or wanted a ride,” Mr Wong Too said. He said the teenager had done everything right. ”The girl’s correctly declined the offer and has walked away briskly and contacted her father who phoned police.” Mr Wong Too said police inquiries were continuing. ”We don’t know what his motives were at this stage or whether or not it was a case of mistaken identity. ”Mr Wong Too was not aware of any other children being approached in the same way in Bell Block. ”It’s a good community to walk and bike around.” He said drivers shouldn’t be offering rides to children for no reason. News article by the Daily News/

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Bell Block Ladies Bust Out!!

The ladies in the North Taranaki Women’s Institute are not shy – as long as they are wearing a string of pearls. The group which has a good number of members from Bell Block has just finished making more than 50 sunflowers for New Plymouth Repertory Society’s production of Calendar Girls. We all know the story, In 1999 a group of Women’s Institute members from Yorkshire, England produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research, and New Plymouth woman Hazel Dodunski still has a copy of the original calendar. It was sent to her by a pen pal from the Women’s Institute in Horndean. Mrs Dodunski, is currently the President of the North Taranaki branch. In the original fundraising calendar 12 women posed nude behind objects, with a sunflower and only a string of pearls on. When Mrs Dodunski found out that Calendar Girls was being staged in New Plymouth she made contact with the director, Heather Harrison. The play, which opens on July 6th 2013 , is an adaptation of the popular 2003 film starring Helen Mirren. There are more than 200 members in the Women’s Institute in Taranaki and Mrs Dodunski has been a member for 39 years. The group was involved in a wide variety of different projects throughout North Taranaki.

Categories: Bell Block

Buddhist festival in Bell Block helps keep culture alive

Bell Block and Taranaki’s Sri Lankan community brought its culture alive on Saturday 18th May 2013 in celebration of their religious and cultural festival Vesak. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, it is similar to what Diwali was to Hindus and what Ramadan was to Muslims. More than 125 people attended the fifth celebration held in Bell Block, as well as three monks who travelled from Auckland to take part in the ceremony. The day began with an offerings ceremony, in which flowers, incense and beverages were passed around a circle to the monks who then placed them on a statue of Buddha.

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Bell Block School of Trustees Election

Bell Block School of Trustees Election Declaration of Parent Election Results: At the close of nominations, as the number of valid nominations was equal to the number of vacancies required to be filled, I hereby declare: Suzanne Bradburn, Ross Dixon, Kane Innes, Jason Vinsen, and Greg Watt duly elected. Declaration of Staff Election Results: At the close of nominations, as there was only one valid nomination received I hereby declare: Andrew Georgeeson duly elected: Signed Bruce Lobban, Returning Officer

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Bill increasing petrol tax passes – Help

Saturday the 18th May 2013 saw the marathon urgency session of Parliament finally pass The Customs and Excise Amendment Bill – 67 votes for, to 26 against with Bell Block’s MP Jonathan Young voting for it. The session began on Thursday afternoon 16th May 2013 to progress five bills, with three going through all stages. The Customs and Excise Amendment Bill means petrol tax will rise three cents per litre each July for the next three years. The Government says the hike is needed to help fund roading projects. No doubt this may go some way to help paying for the Waiwhakaiho bridge upgrade and other road improvements in North Taranaki.

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Bell Block’s TSB Bank – Money is Safe

Bell Block’s TSB Bank chief executive Kevin Murphy has called a decision by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s to give his bank a negative outlook for future credit ratings “ultra conservative”. In his opinion the assessment did not reflect the bank’s financial performance or position. Standard & Poors downgraded the status outlook for eight New Zealand banks, including TSB Bank, from stable to negative. It was the first time TSB Bank has had its outlook status revised to negative. It was also his opinion that “we need to be clear it’s not a reflection of the bank’s financial results. It’s a reflection of where Standard & Poor’s see the New Zealand economy and the potential impact it could have on banks,”. TSB Bank customers should not be concerned. Its annual results, which would be made public in two weeks time, ( Start of June 2013) were very positive.

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Bell Block Horse Trainer wins twice in a week!

Bell Block Horse Trainer Janelle Millar produced her second upset winner in the space of just 6 days when Hi Yo Soo scored in the rating 65 1600 at Hawera on Thursday 16th May 2013. Hi Yo Soo started at odds of just over 20-1 and sustained a strong finishing run from well off the pace early to snatch victory on the line. The previous Saturday 11th May 2013, Janelle Millar saddled La Stellina to win a rating 65 race at double-figure odds on her home track in New Plymouth. Both horses were ridden by in-form Palmerston North jockey Kane Smith.

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Bell Block’s MP Vote to amend Crown Minerals Bill

Bell Block’s MP, Mr Jonathan Young vote in favour of doing tweaks to four-week-old mining legislation which enforce stronger restrictions on anti-mining protests at sea have passed through parliament under urgency. The amendments to the Crown Minerals Amendment Act passed a third reading on Saturday morning 18th May 2013 by 68 votes to 46. The original act, which was passed in April 2013 and comes into force on this coming Friday the 24th May 2013, deals with allocation of permits and aims to regulate the development of Crown-owned minerals. It also cracks down on anti-mining protests at sea. But the act had more than 20 errors and omissions which are addressed in the Crown Minerals Amendment Act (2013) Amendment Bill. The amendment bill alters the requirements for some permit applications, ensures recognition of mining licenses granted under old law and extends the area in which anti-mining protests are illegal to the seas over New Zealand’s continental shelf.

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