Eastern Courier : January 11th 2013
www.easterncourier.co.nz 8 EASTERN COURIER, JANUARY 11, 2013 NEWS Surf's up: Kent McNish takes advantage of a swell at Muriwai. Photo: IAN COLLENETTE Flying high for Starship By JULIAN RAETHEL Gusty voyage: Kent McNish is looking to kitesurf from Shakespeare Bay to Great Barrier Island for charity. Photo: JULIAN RAETHEL KITESURFING CHALLENGE MAY BE A FIRST The sky is literally the limit for Kent McNish. The Auckland resident, joined by a handful of kitesurfers, is attemp- ting to cross the Hauraki Gulf from Shakespeare Bay, Whangaparaoa, to Great Barrier Island to raise funds for the Starship Foundation. Mr McNish, 37, has been kitesurfing for 12 years and was one of the originals who helped bring the sport on to the scene in Auckland. His close friend and kite maker Charlie Watson died from bowel cancer in July, something that hit close to home for Mr McNish in more ways than one. I coincidentally had a tumour on my bowel which was removed four years ago. I was lucky, Charlie wasn t. His spread really fast. Mr McNish s interest in kites started in his teenage years and quickly evolved into a full-blown love of kite buggies and kitesurfing. The recent tragedy and his love for the sport has spurred him on to help others. Starship needs over $5 million in funding each year. I thought: Why not do something for kids with cancer? They re the ones given the raw deal from day one, he says. Sarah Woodhams from the Star- ship Foundation says Mr McNish and his team are nothing short of inspirational. We receive all sorts of amazing support in the form of sponsored challenges, from people climbing mountains to shaving heads, but I don t believe we ve had a supporter undertake a kitesurfing challenge before. It is very touching to think that Kent has put so much time and energy into supporting the kids at Starship, Mrs Woodhams says. The harrowing 70km journey, scheduled for mid-to-late January, could take anywhere from three to- five hours depending on wind speed. We ve got a two-week window, Mr McNish says. We can t just pick a day and hope for the best because there are wind and sea conditions to take into account. We ve set up a Facebook page so we can update the public on when we ll give it the green light. And although he s had over a decade s experience, Mr McNish admits it will be a rough ride. It s going to be a lot dif- ferent than kitesurfing along the shore. I ve done the 50km length of Muriwai Beach six years ago but this is a totally new chal- lenge. My biggest concern is cramp, we re only going in one direc- tion on a single tack through choppy waters. Also added to the mix, we ve got to watch out for islands along the way, it won t be easy. To donate Visit fundraise online.co.nz/ kitesurf challenge for updates or to make a donation. MIT interns enjoying airport work experience Learn fast: JR Duty Free interns Allistair Bell and Lesley Metuarau are part of a new MIT-Auckland Airport scheme. Photo: SCOTT MORGAN By SCOTT MORGAN A new internship scheme has opened up a world of opportunities for Allistair Bell and Lesley Metuarau. They are working in all aspects of JR Duty Free s business at Auck- land Airport over the summer after completing tourism courses at Manukau Institute of Technology. The internship is an MIT- Auckland Airport joint venture that fits into the Auckland Coun- cil s Southern Initiative, aimed at boosting living standards in the area. Allistair says dealing with many different people, including many who don t speak English, is a test of his customer service skills. I like the fact that every day, you re dealing with a different person. Different cultures means different challenges. Hand gestures help a lot with everybody. Shift work is a reality when working at the airport, but it s something they are quickly getting used to. Waking up is the hard part. As soon as you walk into the airport, it s a whole different environment, he says. Everyone s alive here, Lesley says. Airport corporate affairs manager Charles Spillane is thril- led with the pilot scheme, which has 10 students as interns with five businesses. We are committed to the South- ern Initiative. With the large number of employers based at the airport, it seemed there was a real opportunity to play a part in help- ing to get people who live in South Auckland into jobs located on their doorstep. MIT external affairs director Stuart Middleton says the partner- ship is a wonderful opportunity for students. JR Duty Free human resources adviser John Ryan says it made sense to get involved in the scheme. It s great to have people from the local community come in and get experience. It s a good talent source for us as well. Allistair and Lesley will also get to experience other parts of JR s business, with the possibility of a job at the end of the internship.
January 9th 2013
January 16th 2013