A night shift with the Community Patrollers

The New Plymouth Community patrol police liaison officer Senior Constable Graeme Jones advises how to protect you and your property:-

“Reality is if you want to reduce the crime and prevent yourself from becoming a victim just take these simple steps:-

  • lock things up when you are not using them including your car in the driveway
  • put your vehicles in the garage if you have one available
  • take valuables inside, do not leave valuables in plain sight – even placing them in the boot out of sight is a better option.
  • take photos, record serial numbers and any distinguishing features
  • make a list of your make, model and serial numbers of your valuable items remembering to keep it somewhere safe.
  • Invisible DNA markers are a great invention for coding your valuables.

Our plan is to make the community part of the solution as opposed to the problem   by being aware of situations around them and looking after yourself and your neighbours.

 There is a misconception of what the community patrol does so freelance writer Sharyn Smart spent a “night shift” with New Plymouth volunteers Jonathan Weatherall (left) and Ray Shute (right).

Patrol landscapeMeeting at the police station at 10:15pm on a Saturday night was an experience in itself. Getting out of my car a drunk male offered me $20 to drive him to the other end of town. “I’m meant to be at the police station and I’m running late” seemed enough of a deterrent as he turned and stumbled away.

Every community patrol shift starts with a meeting.  The community patrol police liaison officer Snr Constable Graeme Jones discusses the plan for the night.  Only fully trained patrollers are allowed because of confidentiality so I patiently wait in the reception area of the recently opened New Plymouth police station. Continue reading

Our Green Roadie – Emma and Connor Heke’s road trip

Large Emma and sonInspiring stories by Real Life Writer Sharyn Smart

Emma’s motto: “A little film team making big films.  Being the change we want to see in the World.”

Already living an environmentally aware lifestyle inspired Nelson film maker Emma Heke to set out on a quest to live “better not faster”.  Her first step was to attend an eco-film night which left her feeling hopeless when only six other people attended.

“Then and there I decided to make a film that celebrated the positive steps that people in NZ are taking on their journeys to become more environmentally aware. I wanted to create something that the everyday person could relate to and be inspired by.  It was crucial to find very ‘ordinary people’ who made decisions to do things extra-ordinary in their businesses and lifestyles.” Continue reading

MountainAirs snatch last second win

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With 25.3 seconds remaining on the clock and the score locked at 74-74, the very vocal Taranaki crowd at the TSB Stadium were on their feet encouraging The Good Home Taranaki MountainAirs as loudly as they could.

Airs’ Brad Anderson and Suleiman Braimoh took time to settle the team as the clock counted down.  Great team work found Suleiman who put up an awesome winning shot from just inside the arc leaving 1.6 seconds on the clock.

The noise was deafening as the crowd celebrated whilst the Wellington Saints called a time-out.

Air’s captain Aaron Bailey-Nowell’s outstanding effort was rewarded as he intercepted a Saints pass creating a win for the Airs 76-74. Continue reading

How to feed a family of six for under $20

Jaz and LanceJas and Vance McPhee are cooking up new projects to add to their successful facebook recipe page and cookbook.

With over 70,000 likes on How to Feed a Family of 6 for under $20 and the cookbook sales escalating Jas and Vance are focusing on how they can best help their community.

“Food and cooking have always been an important part of my life. My grandfather Basil used to watch me while my parents were at work and most days we’d cook together, me sitting up on the bench watching while he prepared food for our household.  I remember his home-made smoker, his vegetable garden and his love for making things from scratch.  So my love affair with food and cooking began,” says Jas. Continue reading

Lightweight weightlifter

Precious lifting JaydeneSharyn Smart talked to a weightlifter who had beaten some pretty heavy odds.

Jayden Nepia lifted a national record in her first competition.

And now she is part of an International team competing in New Caledonia.

The Nelson athlete made her competitive debut in Christchurch in March and the Nelson teenager claimed a New Zealand record, lifting 55kg in the Clean & Jerk under 48kg division.

“I felt so proud of myself.  I just threw the bar down and walked off to give Ed (my coach) a big hug.  I didn’t realise I had done it (won) until it had been officially announced.”

The 18-year-old, who weighed in at just 46kg and 1.44m tall also narrowly missed taking out setting a new record for the snatch at the same competition.

But this is a weightlifter who was beating the weight odds from birth.

Jaydene was born at 37 weeks only weighing 2.9 pounds (1321g) and spent six weeks in the Neo-Natal Unit. Continue reading

An Interview With Taranaki Standout Suleiman Braimoh

After being named Most Valuable Player of the NBL league for the fourth successive week Suleiman Braimoh of the Good Home Taranaki MountainAirs talks to Sharyn Smart about playing in New Zealand.

Sharyn Smart: The MountainAirs shoot the least of any NBL team from deep, and the most at the rim – is it hard sometimes as a big man to get clean shots when you have guys who like to get their shots inside, occasionally clogging the lane on offence?

Suleiman Braimoh: Sometimes it might be a little tough, a little clogged up in there for me but I think as a team we do a good job of distributing the ball.  I think our teams passing is pretty good so even though we don’t shoot that well from deep I think we do good work inside so that makes up for it.

SS: Aled Jones does a great job of cutting underneath a player under the hoop.

SB: I think things like that, him cutting around and drawing attention from somebody else, I think our interior play is one of our strengths.  We do a good job of getting it into the paint so I think we are getting better from shooting from deep but I think when we play from inside out that works to our advantage. Continue reading

Mountain Air too thin for Rams

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The noise was deafening and the crowd were on their feet for the final 37.1 seconds of the game at the TSB Stadium in New Plymouth as the Good Home Taranaki MountainAirs held off the Rams to claim their fourth win.

With the score 93 – 90 the Rams’ foul count soared as they fought with desperation for the win. Both Marcel Jones and Matthew Rogers clocked up the fouls and were shown the door late.

The fouls kept coming for the Rams with Jeremy Kench the last of the night. Suleiman shot 1 from 2 to end the game 98 – 93 a fourth win in a row for the Airs with the crowd roaring their approval.

Airs’ Coach Daryn Shaw said he thought the Rams had stepped up and played a lot harder than previously.

“Canterbury is a really talented team. They have got some really good players. They certainly did some things that caused us to adjust for sure.”

“Our four main guys really came to the party and played really well at the critical moments. I think it was an exciting game and all the boys played well. They (Rams) threw a lot of hooks at us that made us adjust but I think we always just grind it out.” Continue reading