Eastern Courier : April 29th 2011
3 EASTERN COURIER, APRIL 29, 2011 NEWS Factory Shop End of Line Sale Saturday 30th April 9.30am - 1.30pm 47 Dalgety Drive, Manukau City Kitchens Laundry Vanities Storage Visit our showroom: 12/318 Beach Haven Road Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Saturday 9am-1pm www.fonko.co.nz MITSUBISHI H.I INVERTER HEAT PUMPS & AIR CONDITIONERS No. 1 leading Mitsubishi H.I installer in Auckland 2006-2010 Mitsubishi Inverters From $2,299 Inc. GST and installation - 5 year warranty High energy rating - low running costs PH: 0800 4 FONKO (0800 4 36656) for a FREE quote PRE-WINTER SPECIALS $200 CASHBACK ON ALL MODELS! Offer valid for a limited time 3056961HR Life's quirks: Single mother Maree Robinson ditched a benefit to open Quirk Dessert on Howick's Picton St. Photos: MATT BOWEN Lost art: Attempts to save the Man the Pumps mosaic failed but the image will live on in Quirk Dessert. Sweet dream realised By MATT BOWEN DESTROYING a piece of public art was never part of Maree Robinson s plan. The single mother of two wanted to take a risk, start a business and get off the dom- estic purposes benefit. But a popular Howick mosaic stood in her way. Attempts to rescue Man the Pumps from her shop s Picton St frontage failed. Instead, it was slowly chipped off on to the pave- ment. That s when people noticed her. I honestly wasn t prepared for the verbal abuse I got, the Howick resident says. I thought if people had a problem they d come and ask me rather than walk past and yell and scream saying we should be ashamed of our- selves. Ms Robinson, 37, has much to be proud of. Her life took a tough turn when her son Joel was diagnosed with autism. She was pregnant with Seth, now six, at the time. She says her husband of seven years didn t handle the news well and they soon divorced. With a baby and special needs child in her care Ms Robinson had little choice but to move in with her parents. She applied for the benefit then rented a home off Bradbury Rd -- her benefit was $500 a week, the rent $375. We ve kind of come out the other side of all that horribleness. I had about 18 months of counselling. I tried to make good decisions. I didn t want to end up bitter and twisted. You have to pick yourself up and get on for your kids sake and your own. When both her children were at school Ms Robinson started thinking about a job but working for someone else wasn t an option, she says. Joel s after-school care would eat her wages. Instead, she wrote a business plan for Quirk Dessert. The bank was impressed and, with her parents as guarantors, Ms Robinson secured a loan and embarked on a long-held dream of owning her own business on Howick s main street. The eatery is set to open within a month. It ll have a sit down menu of desserts with everything from rolled icecream to key lime pie. Cof- fee, hot chocolate and sweets are other drawcards. There will also be a sen- sory wall to keep disabled children like Joel smiling and a special table reserved for the wheelchair bound. An icecream window will replace the destroyed mosaic but a framed photograph of the piece will hang inside. Encouraging: Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the council wants all Aucklanders to live in healthy, warm and dry homes. Loans on offer for insulation Cash-strapped ratepayers wanting to insulate their homes will soon be able to hit up the Auckland Coun- cil for a $5000 loan. It s setting aside $3 million for the year from July to extend Waitakere s Retrofit Your Home pro- gramme across Auckland. The scheme s a joint ven- ture with the Energy Efficiency and Conser- vation Authority and deputy mayor Penny Hulse says it s fantastic to see it expanded to the whole region. A loan of up to $5000 will be available for each rateable property built before 2000 to retrofit insu- lation, clean heating, venti- lation and water saving measures. The loan would be repaid to the council through property rates over nine years. We want Aucklanders to live in healthy, warm and dry homes and we want to encourage this in an energy-efficient and sustainable way, Ms Hulse says. An unhealthy home can have a real impact on people s health and wellbeing and inefficient systems can also add a lot to household bills. Authority chief executive Mike Underhill says the benefits of home insulation are well proven. The programme will make it easier for Auck- landers to invest in insu- lation and start enjoying the benefits for years to come. The Auckland Council officially extended the scheme across the region last week. Councillors also voted to evaluate the pro- gramme in a year s time. Retrofit Your Home pays costs above those covered by the government s Warm Up New Zealand grants. It s only available to Auckland Council rate- payers who re up to date with their rates. The Auckland scheme will work in two stages. A ratepayer who wants to insulate their home under the scheme can go directly to an approved ser- vice provider, get a quote and apply to council to pay the balance of the cost. Ratepayers wanting to add improvements like clean heating, water efficient fittings or double glazing will need a council assessment and quotes from approved suppliers.
April 27th 2011
May 4th 2011