Eastern Courier : April 8th 2011
www.easterncourier.co.nz Friday, April 8, 2011 Landscape work delays opening of garden whare By MATT BOWEN Delays have pushed com- pletion of the Emilia Maud Nixon Garden of Memories whare back by a month. The whare was damaged in an arson attack in 2004. Carvings for the building's facade have also been held up.A report to next Monday's Howick Local Board meeting says landscape redesign put a spanner in the works. This has caused delay to the construction programme and means the whare will most likely be unable to be used until the landscaping works are complete,'' the report says. The controversial rebuild project was expected to take six months and be completed this month. The report says council officers and the board are working out a revised design for the landscaping of the space between the new whare and the museum''. It says work will continue in June or July after the building is finished. Meanwhile, discussions between the Ngai Tai iwi and Te Roopu Awhina o Wairoa Trust over carvings for the whare are ongoing. The whare is set to be com- plete before the carvings are available and they'll be installed later. Work on the interior cul- tural features is progressing under the guidance of Te Roopu Awhina o Wairoa staff with help from local school students. The project will be dis- cussed at Monday's 6pm board meeting in the Pakuranga Library complex. Deserving winners By KRISTINA RAPLEY Happy news: Helen Christian and daughter Sarah Little, 14, have won a trip to Fiji through a Facebook competition to find the most deserving family. Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY A RAY of sunshine has beamed its way into the lives of Helen Christian and her family. They've won a trip to sunny Fiji through the Lay Away Holiday's Facebook compe- tition to find the most deserv- ing family in New Zealand. Helen was nominated by staff at Botany Downs Kin- dergarten where she teaches. Her 26-year-old daughter Jackie Allister was killed during a domestic incident just before Christmas last year. Jackie's attacker, partner Ivor Christiansen, 36, then killed himself. Helen is now the fulltime carer for their three-year-old son Sean and looks after her daughter's two other children aged nine and six during the week. The deaths that took place at the couple's Pakuranga home are still being investigated. Helen's 14-year-old daugh- ter Sarah witnessed the attack on her sister and was the one who called police. Helen received more than 8000 votes during the five- week competition and still can't believe they won. It really lifted our spirits to know how many people were voting for us and sup- porting us. It's given us faith in the world again and made us realise there are more good people out there than bad.'' Forty-four families were entered in the competition and the four with the most votes plus a wildcard entry went to a select committee to decide the winner. Lay Away Holidays oper- ations manager Jonno Leon- ard says judging was tough until a message from leading contender Natalie Murphy. Natalie has terminal breast cancer and was nomi- nated so she and her husband and young son could have one last holiday together. But the North Shore resi- dent was touched by the family's story and sent an email to Lay Away Holidays asking them to choose Helen. I could never accept this prize knowing I felt someone else needed this help much more than I do,'' she said. I hope with your help that this prize will allow Helen and those kids to laugh again, have fun together and create some new memories.'' Mr Leonard says her mess- age clinched the deal. What Helen's family went through is so life-altering and so sudden.'' Helen has won five nights accommodation at the Fiji Hideaway Resort and air- fares for two adults and two children. She will pay for three-year- old Sean herself. Air New Zealand has stepped up and offered to help Natalie and her family with flights for a holiday of their own.
April 6th 2011
April 13th 2011