Toby Chappell – the skate for hope

Tony Chappell IMG_5391Toby Chappell, is the founder of the charity Skate For Hope. After skateboarding saved him from suicide, he believes that skateboarding can also save the lives of others. So while skateboarding from Cape Reinga to Bluff from November 2015 to January 2016 he will be visiting schools, churches, skate parks and youth centers to tell his story and encourage others to stand their ground and take action against mental health issues. He is an incredible young man, who is having amazing things happen to him after deciding to put as much effort into living instead of into dying.

For more on the give a little campiagn https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/skateforhopenz

For more on the gig this saturday https://www.facebook.com/events/1478646092452296/

http://www.skateforhope.nz/

Hannah Milward – the beats for nepal

Hannah Milward Screenshot_2015-07-27-09-10-10-1 Independent Welly nurse, Hannah Milward, is the reason for the Beats for Nepal fundraiser happening on the 28th of August at Meow. Unlike other fundraisers for Nepal, this one is to actually help Hannah to go and volunteer her skills in the medical and dental camps there at the end of this year. Hannah has a passion for humanitarian work and has already volunteered her skills in Cambodia for three months. But does she really know what she is in for in Nepal?

Ready Sett, one of the Welly bands playing at the fundraiser play live opening and closing track.

https://www.facebook.com/events/908858392538619/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ready-Sett/1476318199307367?fref=ts

Fathia, Mohammed and Kate – world refugee day

Fathia, Mohammed, Kate cropped 3 2015-06-06

Fathia escaped the war in Yemen with her two babies, to then spend 12 years as a refugee family in Ethiopia waiting for a new country. She had never heard of new Zealand but after requesting a “peace country” she and her family arrived in Wellington about 10 years ago. To celebrate World Refugee Day New Zealand we will have a chat with Fathia, her son Mohammed and Kate Miller, their volunteer support person about their experience of settling into Wellington. The answers are not what I thought and every kiwi needs to hear this.

“Wellington is one of five main centers that accepts refugees and currently we take twice our National share” Murdoch Willliams

http://multiculturalnz.org.nz/World+Refugee+Day+2015+in+New+Zealand

if you think we could take more refugees into New Zeaand.http://www.doingourbit.co.nz/

To meet more Refugees in New Zealand https://www.redcross.org.nz/what-we-do/in-new-zealand/refugee-services/get-to-know-me/

Neil Anderson – from one night parties to a 500 year plan

2015-05-25 14.20.58 Not every city in the world can boast an eco-sanctuary just 10 minutes from it’s center and while we Wellingtonians may sometimes take the 20 year impact of this for granted, ranger Neil Anderson certainly doesn’t, even after working there for 15 years. In this interview we hear about Neil’s diverse daily work at the sanctuary and how he went from creating one night parties for Louis Vuitton, at New York Fashion Week to working towards a 500 year vision for Zealandia Ecosanctuary.

Donna Redmond and Casey James – on the front line for youth

IMG_0197Wellington’s amazing food rescuer’s Kaibosh are holding their very important annual fundraiser ‪#‎MakeaMealInMay‬. So to enthuse us to start cooking up a storm, in this interview we talk to one of the 26 community groups that regularly receives surplus food from Kaibosh; the BGI (Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute).

Donna Redmond and Casey James of the BGI talk to us about the work they do for our youth, how the Kaibosh food gets used and the reality of being on the front line for families.

For more info on how to get involved with fundraising  for Kaibosh http://www.kaibosh.org.nz/make-a-meal-in-may/

Another small fact about the Boys and Girls Institute, they have 137 volunteers, who put in 14,144 hours- which is nearly 7 years of 40 hour weeks.

Cuba St was closed today

It will be forgiven that half of Cuba streets doors are closed today, as every store, restaurant, spare space, artist and available pair of hands were devoted to transforming the street into an epic weekend for the revival of the Cuba st. Carnival, the Cuba Dupa.

Even though I’ve walked or cycled up and down that street three times a week in the last 25 years, this weekend, Cuba Street shone in a new light.

Out of virtually no hype, zero expectation, and no over excited face book traffic that I could see, the lid on the bottle of the magic mulled for a bit during a drizzly saturday and then as dusk moved in, exploded into a plethora of awesomeness that made one remember why this city is like no other.

What were the magic ingredients that left me with such a delicious taste?

The SPACE; the removal of cars and traffic created a blank canvas to play,explore and be in. I am always amazed at how freeing this act is. ( apart from Viv of course, as a few friends were nearly bowled walking carefree into state highway no1).

The PEOPLE, the PEOPLE, the PEOPLE– the best, the worst, the regulars, the friends, the artists, the extravaganza stars, they all came. And they came with an open attitude, prepared for fun.

The IMPRINT- that was already laid down. Homage must be given to all those who created the early version and vision of the Cuba St. Carnival. So for many it wasn’t a foreign feeling, this is how Cuba Street always was and is. It has just been enabled after being  been cooped up like a battery hen for too long.

The COLLABORATORS – we think it is normal, but it is not. It is quite a talent to drop the ego and work with others. Collaborations were rife, from Steve Logan of Logan Brown making Paua Fritters at the front of Lucky’s fruit shop, to Adam Page conducting the Mass Cuba St. Orchestra made up of nearly every musician in the city, to the actors, choirs and community groups who made The Grand Opening at the Opera House such a riot. I get such a kick seeing musicians running onto the stage of already performing bands, arriving slightly late after a previous performance but determinded to be there non the less.

The CHERRIES; each will have their own but for me, the Hairy Lollies, the Saturday finale on the Upper Cuba St. stage,  were off the hook, with such good Welly musicians and songstress divas, who were there because….. They LOVE it. The second to last song was a funky Mariachi track, with a dirty slide guitar and trumpet that just kept evolving. It was so good I nearly couldn’t take it anymore.

The kids and I trouped back in on the Sunday determined to make it to The Grand Opening . The geniuses of Barbarian Productions took us on a  wild ride to get to a show that we didn’t know we were already starring in. All I can say is I have never experienced anything like that before.

Thank you to all those who consented and contributed to the weekend that was the first Cuba Dupa.  An even bigger thank-you to all those who curated and organised it. I would have lost sleep for months trying to pull that off.

But most of all thank-you to Wellington for being there with the spirit that is the Soul of Cuba street. To me, letting our creative culture reign is part of the long term sustainability and prosperity of our city.

So please may we have another slice of that… PLEASE!!!!!!!.

# Why Wellington # Cuba Dupa

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Kaleidoscope

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Mass Cuba Street Orchestra

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Steve Logan, cooking mean paua fritters at the front of Luckys fruit shop

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the Hairy Lollies funking up a storm

Grand Opening- Jason Muir

Just some of the Cast or crew at the Grand Opening.

Antony Maddock – the TPP free rockabilly

Antony Maddock - black and white

My old school friend, Antony Maddock talks about his love of rockabilly, his two bands Wayne Mason and The X Ray Catz and the Tony Mad Trio that will be performing at CubaDupa this weekend, and his awesome work in the TPP Action group to help us and our councils be TPPA free.

http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/

The TPPA action group https://www.facebook.com/groups/658556344213166/

Video of our WCC adopting the 12 point resolution , starts at 3.11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APhut4OSL4A

The Lower Hutt City council adopted the 12 point resolution on 24/3/2015

 A petition you can sign www.actionstation.org.nz/make_tppa_negotiations_public