Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter : Successful Missions in 2013

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust FRIENDS fundraising campaign is on now.

Become a FRIEND and together we can save lives.
Over the next seven weeks representatives of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter will be calling homes rallying for help – will you answer the call for help?

By freelance writer Sharyn Smart

Mt Taranaki claimed 22 of the 178 missions flown in 2013 with 11 requiring the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter to assist Police and Taranaki LandSAR with lost or injured climbers.

The crew’s main rescue area extended beyond the 30 minute driving time radius around New Plymouth with missions requiring patients to be flown as far away as Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo, Taihape and Wellington to specialist care.

The Trust’s two pilots flew missions ranging from rescuing accident casualties, assisting patients with medical issues, hospital transfers and assisting search and rescue.

  • 109 Emergency pre-hospital accident
  • 23 Emergency pre-hospital medical
  • 20 Hospital transfers
  • 26 Police, Search and Rescue

Total 178 missions for 2013 up by 17 (10%) from 161 in 2012 Continue reading

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust FRIENDS fundraising campaign is now on.

Become a FRIEND and together we can save lives.

Over the next eight weeks representatives of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter will be calling homes rallying for help – will you answer the call for help?

Taranaki Rescue Helicopter plucks mother and son off Snapper Rock

By freelance writer Sharyn Smart1960957_608983249149290_417450887_o

An evening adventure at Taranaki’s Back Beach had all the makings for an episode of the “Bear Grylls” TV show for an unlucky mother and son.

Fiona Grigg and her son Liam, 15, were “very, very thankful and humble” for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter crew winching them off Snapper Rock.

“The helicopter came just after nightfall. My stomach sank at the thought of having to stay on the island for the night. I thought I might have to do a ‘Bear Grylls’ number – that is to survive with very little (except he carries a flint and a knife!!!).”

Fiona recalls the night’s events.  “Sunday night was fine and warm and the tide had just turned.  Two of the kids waded in and swam a little out to Snapper Rock.”

Within 10 minutes sea conditions had deterioratedand only Liam’s friend made it back to the beach.

Fiona, ‘swam and bobbed like a cork’ out to Liam.  They attempted to swim ashore from the far side of the island without success and returned to snapper rock. “It was the only thing to do as Liam was cold and a little confused.  There was no way I could drag him through the waves.”

Onshore locals lent husband John a cell phone to call for help. Continue reading

Airs Fall To Jets In Season Opener

Airs Kaye McKeeThis season’s young Taranaki Mountain Airs gave the critics something to talk about in their opening game.

With only five minutes on the clock and 70 – 72 on the scoreboard they showed supporters at the TSB stadium in New Plymouth what they thought of critics questioning their lack of experience with a display of sheer grit and determination.

Fresh off the plane, import Sulemain Braimoh netted 16 points after only being in the country three days, while fellow import Oliver had an impressive game scoring 30 points after spending the previous four days sick.

Both teams struggled as the ball refused to fall with the Airs scoring on just 27 from 73 shots from the field with Breakers Manawatu Jets failing to ignite shooting 31 from 75.

The teams fared no better with their three-pointers as the Airs’ Oliver only managed to find the basket on two from seven, and Brad Anderson 1 from 4, while for Jets McLean shot 2 from 12 and Burton 1 from 5 from deep.

With the lead changing 8 times and being tied 10, the Airs played hard to stop the Jets’ 13 point lead, leaving their run to the last five minutes.

A clock violation and travelling from the Jets combined with a super high rebound and spectacular block from Braimoh had fans believing a win was inevitable. However, the Jets dug deep with Jones and Jenkins quickly putting points on the board to seal a win 82-74. Continue reading

Real Life Stories

In 2013 I completed a National Diploma in Journalism (multi-Media) Level 5 to further my writing career.

The next goal is to turn my dream of being self-employed into reality.

Anybody who knows of any real life stories that need to be shared in order to help others please send me a short summary to smartwritingnz@gmail.com

Go to my webpage to read the stories I have already discovered.

Spotswood College celebrates a busy and successful year

At the recent Senior Prizegiving expectant senior students along with their parents and families packed the school’s hall to celebrate a great night of awards for a busy and eventful year. 

Staff wore their black formal gowns with a blaze of colour showcasing their individual academic achievements, as they were welcomed to the stage by a rousing karanga.

Principal Mark Bowden opened the ceremony by summarizing 2013 in a formal speech with some of his comments in italics below.

Spotswood College began the year encouraged by the NCEA results our students gained in 2012.  Average Level 1, 2 and 3 results for our school all increased representing a significant improvement on 2011 outcomes. 

 However, in the list of things that make me proud to be the Principal of Spotswood College, academic achievement is but a part of the interrelated attributes that contribute to developing good people, or as our vision statement says “Developing young people of good character with the skills and knowledge to contribute to our 21st Century Global Village.” Continue reading

Visual and Performing Arts at Spotswood College

Spotswood College has a vibrant and highly successful visual and performing arts programme operating in the school.

The teachers in charge give a brief overview of recent events and areas of current focus within the arts at Spotswood College.

Spotty Idol with Mr Hill

Abby Christodoulou - Spotty Idol Winner

Abby Christodoulou – Spotty Idol Winner

Spotswood College’s annual talent show, ‘Spotty Idol,’ was held on the 26th of September.

For the last nine years ‘Idol’ has showcased the abundant talent of Spotswood’s performing artists and ‘Idol’ 2013 was no exception.

The acts this year ranged from Hayley Mapley’s soulful rendition of an Amanda Palmer piano ballad to Matt Everest’s soaring Steve Vai guitar solo.

The performer crowned ‘Spotty Idol’ was Abby Christodoulou, whose beautiful voice and ability to tell a story through song really impressed the judges.

According to judge Mat Benton, Abby’s performance of Lady Antebellum’s You’re Never Alone was “outstanding”.

“She’s a natural born performer who oozes charisma. Definitely one to watch in the future,” Mr Benton said. Continue reading