Food and Entertainment in Cultural Village

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Julia Jeanplong with her divine Lecso which she will demonstrate at the show.

Julia Jeanplong loves food. The vivacious 24-year-old was born in Hungary, arrived in New Zealand as a toddler and these days demonstrates her interest in Hungarian cuisine with vivid descriptions of ingredients and flavours.

Hamilton and the Waikato are home to more than 160 cultural groups and this growing diversity is expressed in the range of entertainments and culinary offerings which are a key part of the Waikato Show’s Cultural Village.

Julia is looking forward to demonstrating to Waikato Show visitors how to prepare Lecso, a popular spicy Hungarian dish that can be created with vegetables including tomatoes and capsicum. There will be samples for the audience to try.

The Cultural Village is organised by the Waikato Multicultural Council which represents more than 70 groups throughout the region. Co-ordinator, Boris Samujh, said visitors to the show should make sure they come with an appetite so they can enjoy the products of some of the fantastic ethnic food vendors. ”The tastes and aromas will be tantalising. We have a great line-up including Moroccan, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines.”

The Council’s performance co-ordinator Linda Gee encourages people to come and enjoy performances of song, dance and traditional instruments. Cultural artefacts include traditional Maori carving and face painting will also be available in the village. ”The council represents a wide range of groups and many have made great efforts to prepare for this event. These include items from groups including the Chinese community, Japanese, Russian and Kiribati who will be sharing the stage with other entertainers from the wider community,” Linda said.

The performance organisers welcome any other individuals or groups, interested in presenting cultural items as part of the performance section of the Cultural Village until April 6, depending on available space.

Those interested should call Linda 0212 519 793 or Boris 021 708 277.

Band of brothers open Waikato Show

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

A band of brothers, and recent Auckland Folk Festival award winners for excellence in music, will kick-off the entertainment schedule at this year’s Waikato Show.

Laurence, 15, Sam 14 and Nate 10 are Rhodeworks.

The home-schooled kids, of Tracy Frangos and Bruce Rhodes, live on a lifestyle block not far from Hamilton and are often supported by mum and dad on bass and guitar.

The siblings have learned to play musical instruments from an early age and performed extensively in New Zealand, at the Auckland and Wellington folk festivals, and overseas.

Tutored by Hamilton guitarist Pitt Ramsey, Laurence has played guitar for five years, taught himself to play double bass and banjo and built his own guitar. Sam loves Americana and Bluegrass music and the remarkable ability to improvise on the spot. He is self-taught on mandolin and is also learning guitar with Ramsey’s help.

Littlest but certainly not least, is Nate who loves to shake and bang things and has recently taken to cello and guitar.

Rhodeworks will pick from their favourite mix of rock, Celtic and bluegrass on the main stage at the Waikato Show 12pm Friday April 7.

Entertainment organiser, Tash McGowan, said the show’s mainstage line-up is packed with talent and creativity. ”People should be prepared to be entertained. The show provides the opportunity for cultural arts expression and a showcase for the diversity of talent across the Waikato.”

The main stage is an open-air raised platform, located within the Cultural Village, in the heart of the show’s central outdoor food court.

Entertainment at the Waikato Show will take place from 12 noon to 4pm each day and includes confirmed performances by children’s musician Mr Roberelli, the Arum Aikido martial arts school, duo Looking for Alaska, multi-instrumentalist George Woolston, the Hamilton Chinese Ethnic Song and Dance Group, In2Strings and Auckland singer song-writer, Parabola (Amy) West.

”We are delighted to feature acts and performances from young emerging artists in our commitment to the Youth Expo. The hub will be bursting with cultural flavour and sound and the focus for song, dance and spoken-word performance over the three-day event,” Tash said.

Prepare to be entertained: Waikato Show 7-9 April, Claudelands Events Centre. Entry $8.00

Photo caption: Rhodeworks; l-r Nate, Laurence and Sam Frangos-Rhodes.

Community connection focus of Neighbourhood Support

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Neighbourhood Support groups cover about 22 per cent of dwellings in Hamilton but the coverage could always be better, says Neighbourhood Support area co-ordinator, John Evered.

Based in what was the Hamilton North community policing centre, the job of Neighbourhood Support is to act as a liaison within the community and between the community and the police.

”Neighbourhood Support exists to help put the community back into the community. If there is an emergency in your neighbourhood, it is great to know there is support around. It really came into its own during the Christchurch earthquake where our networks were used by Civil Defence.

”We keep a database and, if there is concern about certain activity in an area – like burglaries or the activities of con-artists or people ‘casing’ an area, we can work out which groups could be concerned and send them targeted information. This helps to heighten awareness. People think because they live in a more affluent area they’re safe. People have the attitude that it will never happen to them –  that is not the case,” explains John.

Hamilton Neighbourhood Support has about 950 groups across the city, ranging from four households and often up to 46 households in the rural lifestyle block areas. The organisation recommends groups of about 12-20 families.

Field officer Kylie Morgan’s job is to encourage people to see the benefits of belonging to a Neighbourhood Support group. ”It’s about helping to reduce the fear of crime, helping people help themselves and creating community connections. We partner the police in the community and organise things like Neighbours’ Day, anti-bullying initiatives and our stand at the Waikato Show. This helps us get a sense of how people are feeling about where they live.”

Neighbourhood Support has its own website and Facebook page.

Hamilton Neighbourhood Support will host a stand, as part of the Wellbeing section of the Waikato Show April 7-9.   At the show, Neighbourhood Support will distribute information and enrol interested people into their local groups.

Encouraging women into Architecture

Words: Geoff Lewis

Encouraging women into architecture – as a profession – is the aim of Waikato Women in Architecture says group member, Hamilton architect and heritage consultant, Laura Kellaway.

The group, collectively launched in 2015, plans to have a presence in the Boutique Autumn HomeXPO, run in association with the Waikato Show this April.

Laura says, ”we formed as a group from women who work at all levels of architecture, from students and graduates to professionals in design, interiors and quantity surveyors. We are about supporting women in our region and showing that women can do anything.

”There are three schools of architecture in New Zealand. Gaining a qualification is a two-stage degree over five years. With work experience and registration this can take 7 – 8 years. Often people will work with a firm and get background support and mentoring. It’s a long period and quite often life gets in the way of things.

”The female to male ratio of students, going through the architecture schools, has improved and is now about 50/50 but, by the time it gets to registration, is 24/76 in favour of men. At the higher levels; only 1 per cent are women.”

Laura said there was a surge of students coming out of education and plenty of work around.

”We’re trying to link together and provide support to the younger ones. We often talk to parents and grandparents who want more information about the option of architecture as a career. We will be there for people to talk to.”

As part of their display, Waikato Women in Architecture’s stand will host a mini exhibition of different work by its members and host a display of student work and a story or two.

The Boutique Autumn HomeXPO will allow visitors of the Waikato Show to discover a huge variety of new ideas and products for renovating, building and decorating.

The Boutique Autumn HomeXPO can be seen April 7-9 in association with the Waikato Show at Claudelands Events Centre.

Photo caption: Women (can do anything!) in Architecture say Marianna Morgan, Nina Massee, Sharon Robinson and Laura Kellaway

Alluring antiques on offer

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Deirdre Field has always enjoyed collecting things and started in Auckland more than 50 years ago.

After a varied working life, including working as an antiques dealer, Huntly-based Diedre, 77, will host a stand in the Antiques Fair as part of The Waikato Show this April.

About to move to the South Island, Deirdre is selling up a selection of choice collectibles including a large, signed, portrait of ‘The Boot’ Don Clark; Waikato rugby representative and legendary All Black. There’s also an early Air New Zealand poster, showing its flight routes as they were in the 1960s and a travelling case once used by Wiremu Netana Panapa, the second Bishop of Aotearoa,1951 to 1968.

Along with a selection of polished brass and copper, one of her more interesting items is an oil painting of a Maori chief in an unusual head dress. ”I didn’t have any information about who it was until I picked up a book at a sale in Pukekohe. This was Alan Duff’s Maori Heroes and there was a picture of the same man – Mita Taupopoki, a prominent leader of Te Arawa who died in 1935.”

The Antique Fair makes a welcome return to Hamilton, as part of the Waikato Show, after a gap of several years says Christchurch-based promoter Russell Poppe. “We have about 20 antique and collectibles dealers coming from all around the North Island including some from Hamilton. These are all specialists in their own areas so we will see things like china, glass, jewelry, linen and clothing.”

Russell has been in the antiques business for 23 years. ”It’s a great industry, full of individualists. There are always trends and fashions and the interesting reasons why people collect certain things varies widely.”

The Antique Fair can be seen as part of the Waikato Show, Claudelands Events Centre, April 7,8,9.

Photo caption: Deirdre Field with her portrait of Don Clark.

Book Worms Welcome!

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Despite massive in-roads of technology, the traditional book still has many fans and book fairs continue to be a key source of revenue for community service groups including East Hamilton Lions.

The group will host another of its regular book fairs as part of the Waikato Show this April.

Member and book fair organiser, John Mayo, said the group holds its main fair at Peachgrove Intermediate School in July where it generates between $10,000 and $20,000.

The group has donated to causes including Blue Light ventures, a police-based initiative which works with children and young people. Last year the earnings went to supporting the House of Grace, a Wellington-based organisation which supports teenagers through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood, which recently purchased a house in Hamilton. This year it plans to support suicide intervention group Lifeline Aotearoa.

The East Hamilton Lions’ Waikato Show Book Fair, is a smaller but no-less welcomed event, which raises about $2000 towards its work in the community.

”We collect books all year round and we’re never short. We can often get through 200-300 banana box-fulls at a fair,” Mayo said.

Hamilton has eight Lions Clubs and world-wide the organisation has about four million members.

East Hamilton Lions holds two meetings each month; a dinner meeting on the second Monday of the month, at the Campus Club at Ruakura and a business meeting at the Waimarie Community House, on the fourth Monday of the month. Anyone interested should first call membership chair Glenys Morrow 07 855 7021.

The East Hamilton Lions Book Fair can be experienced at the Waikato Show April 7-9 at Claudelands Events Centre.

Photo caption: John Mayo immersed in books.

A Show too good to miss

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

The Waikato Show’s Schools Day Out programme is an opportunity too good to miss, say Fairfield Primary School deputy principals Rob Newton and Lisa Deane.

The Schools Day Out is a free one-day learning programme open to all primary and intermediate school students in Hamilton and the Waikato.

Students come with their teachers and parents and visit 10 interactive learning stations. These are located throughout the event and display an information board and a hands-on activity in which students can participate.

Fairfield deputy principals, Rob Newton and Lisa Deane, welcomed the Schools Day Out as a great opportunity for their students. ”It’s a fabulous day out for our students, its local and doesn’t cost anything for buses or transport as we can walk there. These are city kids and this gives them a great chance to experience animals first-hand and to learn new vocabulary, words and sentence structures. The words learned can be the basis for further study and research,” Rob said.

The experience is particularly exciting for new immigrant children who have often never seen farm animals up close and don’t need a good grasp of English to enjoy. ”We take the kids out on a trip every term and this is an easy and accessible cost-friendly day out for the whole school. There’s no safety issues as there are always people supervising,” Lisa said.

Fairfield Primary is one of several whole schools attending this year’s show organiser, Tash McGowan, said and will – so far – push numbers of children attending over the 750 mark.

”The aim of the Schools Day Out is to build children’s awareness of their regional identity including its wildlife, agriculture, cultural history and traditions with access to a variety of creative and enterprising activities. Each child receives an A5 booklet which includes facts, information and enjoyable activities in which they can participate as part of a Waikato-themed learning journey,” Tash said.

The Waikato Show’s Schools Day Out can be experienced on Friday April 7 at Claudelands Events Centre.

For more information and to register, email Tash at:

Ethical clothes Sarah’s aim

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Sarah Wolf has an ideal – to offer women the opportunity to obtain clothing in a way that is ethically justifiable and environmentally sustainable.

Originally from Ireland, Sarah works for the Waikato Environment Centre and has a background in marketing and communications, particularly in the not-for-profit sector.

”Much of our clothing is made by people working in poor conditions, who are paid very little, in countries where there are few protections for workers’ rights. Fashion should be fun but not at the cost of the environment or people’s lives. I ask people to consider where their clothes come from and I want to make ethical and sustainable clothing more accessible,” she said.

So, with this in mind, Sarah has established the Carousel: Clothing Library. Members pay a monthly subscription and choose the outfits they like. The range will include styles to suit different sizes and tastes with both high quality vintage and new.

The library aims to support home-grown talent by working with local producers in an ethical and sustainable way. The library will make these brands, which carry a higher price tag, more accessible, opening them up to new audiences.

”The mission is to create an alternative consumption model, which promotes a more efficient use of clothing, lowering the environmental footprint of clothing manufacturing and consumption.”

Carousel is interested in hearing from labels or individuals who might like to partner with the project and is also calling for members and donations of clothing.

In addition to the library, Carousel aims to educate on sustainable consumption, host craft workshops to teach skills like mending, sewing and knitting, while also providing a community space for people to spend time.

The aim is to have Carousel: Clothes Library ready to present to the public as part of the Waikato Show’s Te Papanui Earth Matters environmental section, which can be seen at the Claudelands Events Centre, April 7-9 2017.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Carousel: Clothes Library, or donating garments, can contact Sarah Wolf 021 0236 0287 or

Photo caption: Carousel: Clothes Library model, Tiff Clayton


Military memories rekindled at show

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Ross Wardlaw loves collecting military medals – you can see it in the way his eyes light up as he handles the bronze and gold and coloured ribbons.

Wardlaw is the national president of the King’s Empire Veterans (KEV), a group that represents former service men and women.

A former army cook, the decision to join the New Zealand military came when he was given a hard choice by his school headmaster.

After 23 years’ service, including a stint in Vietnam where he was contaminated by the infamous Agent Orange defoliant, he eventually left the army. Wardlaw became the catering manager, at Waikato University’s student village, before suffering a stroke which forced him to retire.

His interest in medals began with his own father’s collection, from WWII and that of wife Irene’s dad, along with medals awarded to a great uncle who fought on the Somme during WWI.

The KEV will host a stand at the Waikato Show and welcomes those coming to the show to bring medals to be identified.

Many people have medals, awarded to relatives and ancestors, which they might be interested in having identified and knowing more about. Each one is a slice of history and says something about the service and experiences of the individual involved, he said.

“Last year lots of people stopped to talk and ask questions. We even had two guys who were both colonels – one in the Indian Army and the other in the Pakistani Army, who had been enemies at one time and were now friends.”

The Empire Veterans Association was established by Lord Ranfurly, shortly after the turn of last century, and titled King’s Empire Veterans in 1912 – predating the establishment of the Returned Services Association by 16 years.

Today the group has about 400 members nationally and is head-quartered in Te Awamutu.

The Kings Empire Veterans were proud to be awarded ‘The Graham Hannah Best Exhibition Stand’ at the 2016 show, in the Clubs and Creativity Showcase. They look forward to returning to the Waikato Show this year; Claudelands, April 7-9.

Bring on the books!

Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

New titles, working authors and educational kits are included in an upcoming library show with the strong intention of keeping libraries relevant.

This is the key aim of All About the Books, a section of the Waikato Show organised by Hamilton City Libraries.

Children and teens librarian, Su Bradburn, said the aim was to have a presence – on behalf of city libraries – which would include local authors and illustrators Kat Merewether and Deborah Hinde. The pair will be working on-site providing an interesting attraction for the public and especially children.

”We will be there to showcase the library’s children’s services with a selection of new children’s books and a range of fascinating pop-up and interactive books. We have interactive books with apps including the Guinness Book of Records, I-Dinosaur and I-Storm.

“We will also have wonderful kits people can borrow which include a real telescope, sewing machine and gardening kit – which has seeds we replace as they get used up. It’s about keeping libraries relevant and we will have a list of all our services and show people what we can achieve,” Su said.

The Hamilton central library is currently closed for earthquake strengthening and is intended to be re-opened in winter. In the interim, a ‘pop-up’ library is located in the HCC’s reception lounge off Civic Square.

All About the Books can be seen at the Waikato Show, Claudelands, April 7-9.

Photo caption: Hamilton City Libraries Children’s and Teens Librarian, Su Bradburn, with a selection of reading material people can see at the Waikato Show.