The design of the roundabout on the SH3 (Ohaupo Rd) and SH21 (Airport Rd) intersection

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Airport Rd roundabout ahead

The NZ Transport Agency plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Highway 3 (Ohaupo Road) and State Highway 21 (Airport Road) this summer.

The $4.5 million project, jointly funded by NZTA and the Titanium Park Joint Venture, which is developing the airport business zone, is designed to improve safety and access to current and future industrial development in the airport area, as well as the Mystery Creek Events Centre.

Information about the roundabout project will be available at an open day on Tuesday, July 14, from 3pm-7pm, at the Hamilton Airport Motel and Conference Centre.

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The design of the roundabout on the SH3 (Ohaupo Rd) and SH21 (Airport Rd) intersection

Airport Rd roundabout ahead

The NZ Transport Agency plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Highway 3 (Ohaupo Road) and State Highway 21 (Airport Road) this summer.

The $4.5 million project, jointly funded by NZTA and the Titanium Park Joint Venture, which is developing the airport business zone, is designed to improve safety and access to current and future industrial development in the airport area, as well as the Mystery Creek Events Centre.

Information about the roundabout project will be available at an open day on Tuesday, July 14, from 3pm-7pm, at the Hamilton Airport Motel and Conference Centre.

Pope Francis' encyclical, calling for care for our common home

Global call, local response

When the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, last month called on the world’s rich nations to begin paying their “grave social debt” to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change, he stood with a range of other faith leaders.

Only two days before, the leader of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, called on faith communities to “recognise the pressing need to make the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Leaders of Judaism, Islam and Buddhism added their support. But what of our local religious centre, St Stephens Church, Tamahere?

The Pickering Rd pond will be surrounded by 10,000 plants.

Pond set to feature

The Pickering Road pond, created as part of the Waikato Expressway, is set to become a local environmental feature.

Eventually it will be surrounded by 10,000 plants and is already being used by birds and frogs, which have returned as pond insects provide a food source.

Rare native bats, too, have been found to be living in the area.

Council grant to reserve walkways

The Tamahere Reserve was one of the community organisation winners from the Waikato District Council’s newly adopted 10-year plan.

The council today formally adopted the 2015–2025 Long Term Plan (LTP) and among grants and donations to be made during the 10 years is $50,000 for boardwalks in the Tauwhare Rd reserve.

Leo Koppens, chairman of the Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust which is restoring the reserve, was delighted.

Call to pot plant pinching pair

Thieves have been spotted stripping plants from the new landscaping on Wiremu Tamehana Drive in a brazen daylight robbery.

Yesterday afternoon, alert Tamahere School parents saw two women, thought to be in their early 20s, loading filched plants into a car parked in one of the road’s parking bays.

When approached by a local the two sped off in a car that was said to be loaded with plants.

Local Events

Volunteers wanted to help plant the Mangaharakeke Streambank

Potters needed as plants go

The Tamahere Community Plant Nursery has provided more than 4000 plants this year for the restoration of gullies, riverbanks and reserves.

Stocks of good sized plants are now depleted, although more should be ready later in the year, prompting a call for willing potters.

“Any help volunteers can give with potting at the nursery this coming Sunday afternoon would be much appreciated,” said the Devine Rd nursery’s organiser Jan Simmons.

Volunteers wanted to help plant the Mangaharakeke Streambank

New view from bridge

The view from the Allan Turner suspension bridge has changed in recent weeks as a short stretch of walkway has been built below it along the Mangaharakeke Stream bank.

The bridge, opened last October, spans the Mangaharakeke Stream from Tamahere’s Woodcock Rd to Matangi’s Fuchsia Lane and has proved to be a popular walking and biking route for people in both communities.

Now, the start of another link between the two communities has been forged with the completion of a 250m stretch of walkway, which one day may reach 1.5km from the bridge to Bilsthorpe Lane in Matangi.

Local People

Tamahere stalwart Mandy Elliot with her recently awarded certificate

Thanks Mandy

Dedicated Tamahere supporter and fundraiser Mandy Elliot received a unique community thank you in a recent ceremony.

Elliot, who with her family has moved to Canada after 23 years in Tamahere, was awarded the first Tamahere Community award for community contribution.

Her contributions ranged across the Tamahere playcentre, school, community centre, and Christmas festival.

Eli and Sam Thomas in traditional Vietnamese robes, on their fundraising journey

Epic trip, epic challenges

Tamahere Brothers Sam and Eli Thomas are well into their epic Vietnamese journey and fundraising effort for prostate cancer.

The pair set out last Monday (April 27) on two 50cc scooters to ride the length of Vietnam – more than 2500km of third world roads.

The challenges came quickly. “0 meters, first breakdown of the day and it’s not even 6am, oil dipstick snapped and dropped into crankcase. Aka half the motor had to come off now,” they posted on their Facebook page.

Our Patch

Sparrows are the most numerous in our gardens

Call for bird counters

The annual garden bird survey, a citizen science project established to monitor the population trends of common garden birds in New Zealand, is on from June 27 to July 5.

Organised by Landcare Research, it attempts to answer the question, “Are garden bird populations increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable?”

What does it take? Just an hour of your time in a comfy seat inside or out.

St Peter's student Robbie Evison in his Shortland St role.

From Shortland St to school show

Before he finished filming on television show Shortland Street, Robbie Evison already had his next role lined up – in his school’s play.

The teen is a boarder at St Peter’s School, near Cambridge, but spent 18 months playing the intelligent yet awkward Toby Reynolds in the Kiwi medical drama.

Now he’s landed two roles in the school’s production of The Wedding Singer, being staged May 1 – 7 and promising to be all big hair, ballads, romance and laughs. Win tickets to the show on Tamahere Forum.

Local History

Dennis Wells backed by colleagues including Merv Neil (left), in 2009.

Coolstore blast survivor retires

Dennis Wells is a lucky man in more than one way.

The 67-year-old Hamilton fire officer has completed 40 years on the job and retired this week.

Two things make Wells lucky. Firstly, he’s always loved his job and secondly, he was one of the fire crew to survive the Icepak Coolstore explosion at Tamahere in April 2008.

A skater at the Tamahere 'ghetto spot'.

Fire site now ‘ghetto spot’

Click, click, whirr, scrape, slide, chat and laughter – they’re some of the sounds commonly emanating from the abandoned Icepak Coolstores site on Devine Rd these days.

The concrete slabs left behind after the coolstores were removed by fire or the dismantlers were long ago colonised by enterprising skaterboarders.

The unofficial skateboard park or “ghetto spot” is a magnet for skaters from pre-teen learners to the very skilled and experienced, who occasionally showcase their thrills and spills in YouTube videos like this one.