Eastern Courier : January 8th 2016
stuff.co.nz JANUARY 8, 2016, EASTERN COURIER Pet care provides retirees with income MEGHANLAWRENCE The dilemma of what to do with your dog while you are on holiday or at work is being alleviated with help from retirees. Guardians NZ Ltd is recruiting Auckland’s elderly to help look after these pets for day stays or longer periods. The dog minding company was founded in 2005 after the owners realised the need for an alternative to boarding kennels. Owner Andy Evans says kennels can be quite upsetting for dogs that are used to the modern comforts of living inside. ‘‘People treat their dogs as part of the family now. They no longer just stay in a kennel outside the house, but live and sleep inside the home,’’ he says. ‘‘So there is an importance of trying to replicate their home environment as much as possible when their owners go away on holiday.’’ The company works to find these beloved pooches a home away from home that is tailored to suit their requirements. Dog minders are recruited after a process of phone interviews, property inspections and experience and reference checks. Evans says there are just under 100 minders in the Auckland region, with the majority of those made up of retired or semiretired people. ‘‘We like minders to be around the majority of the day, so it is a great opportunity for retirees because they get a little bit of extra income,’’ he says. Michael Macpherson from Howick has been a minder for Guardians for four years and says it is an enjoyable experience. The 69-year-old and his wife take part in the venture because of their love for dogs, while also providing company for their own dog. ‘‘We thought it was a good idea to have something to do that brings in a little bit of money and it is something we were able to do for other people,’’ he says. Macpherson says the dog’s owner provides the food, toys, bedding and any instructions around walking or medication. ‘‘All you are providing is basi- cally shelter and exercise and if you ever run into a problem Guardians are always there to offer advice and assistance.’’ Go to guardians.co.nz or phone 215 8902 for more information about Guardians. Michael Macpherson from Guardians NZ Ltd with Morton, a labrador. 9 Mixit approach YOUTH LEADER Munashe Tapfuya is a real inspiration for young refugees and migrants. The 22-year-old Manukau Institute of Technology performing arts student is originally from Zimbabwebut has been living in NewZealand for 11 years. The Flat Bush resident studies fulltime but still puts in extra hours volunteering as a youth leader forMixit, a creative community project for young refugees, migrants and locals. One of the challenges she faces as a youth leader iswanting to help all the kids that come through, she says. ‘‘I love children and it’s almost like Iwant to help everybody ... but at the same time knowing when to stop and when to push.’’ Tapfuya says Mixit is ‘‘It’s about using creativity to make stronger thinkers, all those core skills that apply to everything.’’ Wendy Preston Conor Clarke was Auckland Council’s 2015 artist in residence. Artists sought for Auckland Council residency The Auckland Council artist in residence programme is now seeking innovative proposals. The eight week long park- based residency is open to all New Zealand-born or resident artists, including writers, photographers, film-makers, composers, choreographers, painters and sculptors. Arts, culture and events com- mittee chairman Alf Filipaina says proposals might focus on a single small detail in the park, a significant natural or humanmade feature. ‘‘The selection panel is looking for applications that are original and will reveal new or overlooked aspects of regional parks.’’ Programme manager Michelle Edge says the successful artist will have a choice of living and working at either a clifftop house at Anawhata in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park or a seaside bach at Te Rau Puriri, Auckland’s newest regional park in South Head. ‘‘The residency programme, now in its eighth year, has encouraged some artists to change mediums, while for others it has led to awareness, appreciation and interest in a whole new area of subject matter,’’ Edge says. The residency is for an eight- week period from mid-October to mid-December 2016. Go to tinyurl.com/gl3zc7o or phone 890 4201 for further information. Applications close on February 15. supportive and has a great understanding for people with refugee and migrant backgrounds. Project directorWendy Preston says it’s more than just vocational training. ‘‘It’s about using creativity to make stronger thinkers, all those core skills that apply to everything.’’ Mixit celebrates its 10th anniversary this week andwill host amini-festivalwith photography, film, performance and a picnic from January 8 to 16 at TAPAC, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs. Visit mixit.co.nz to find out more.
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