Mother, daughter photographs raise money for Women’s Cancer Foundation


New Plymouth photographer Helen Wilkin is part of a small group of New Zealand and Australian photographers who are working together to raise funds for the Women’s Cancer Foundation.  They are capturing the loving connection between mother and daughter.

“It’s so important to capture these moments while we can.  We just don’t know what will happen in the future and if we will ever get this opportunity again,” said Wilkin owner of Helenjoy Photography.

While photographers are donating their talents and time a participation fee of $51is going directly to the Women’s Cancer Foundation.

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Project Hotspot By Sharyn Smart


Reef Heron by Sharyn Smart
Little Blue Penguins 30-08-15 Port
Little Blue Penguins by Sharyn Smart







Project Hotspot calls Taranaki its home

All over its ocean and beaches citizens roam.

They report sightings of threatened species in their back yard

Catching little blue penguin, NZ fur seal, reef heron, and orca off guard.

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Anthony Powell – Living in Antarctica

“The simple things in life that we take for granted.  Family and friends back home, fresh fruit and vegetables, trees, grass, running water, rain and a comfortable bed.”

These are the things that Anthony Powell misses when he returns time and again to work in the Antarctica.

At 52 years old he has just completed his 8th summer and 10th winter down there and is now faced with entering back into society.

“Once you spend a decent amount of time there, you can have trouble re-adjusting when you return to normal life.  Being bombarded by noise and advertising, being stuck in traffic, seeing crowds of faces you do not recognise, breathing in city smog or even having too many choices at the supermarket.”

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Redz NZ Journey – paddling the NZ coastline

Lynn reaching land at Ngamotu Beach, New Plymouth with help from Anna and Jason. (Photo by Sharyn Smart)

Day 340 of paddling around NZ Redz (aka Lynn Paterson) finished the day at Ngamotu Beach, New Plymouth.

After 11 hours of paddling, contending with a small one metre swell as well as a head wind, Lynn was excited to see her support crew Anna and Jason standing on the beach.

“I had to do a big push two days ago to beat the weather.  I did 83.53 kms which is my biggest day ever.  Today I did 64.2km finishing in New Plymouth as the weather isn’t good for the next few days.”

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Get those moles checked for cancer!

This article has had the names of the Doctor and Nurse removed as they deemed they were only doing their jobs and were pleased for me at the outcome.

Recently I read an interesting Facebook post from a friend who has fought cancer and won.

The article described the various melanomas and how to recognise when it was time to get your-self to the doctor with anything suspicious.

Little did I know that within a few weeks I would be one of those people!

Not one to be keen for a smear test, I kept putting it off.  My friend Lynne now works at my doctors and rang me and pinned me down to an appointment.  So off I reluctantly went.

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Demystifing a Mole map appointment

This is the follow up to my previous article about discovering I had a cancerous mole and its prompt removal.  PLEASE take care this summer and slip, slop, slap!

“About 250 New Zealanders will die from melanoma each year and about one in fifteen white skinned New Zealanders are expected to develop melanoma in their lifetime.  Melanoma is the least common but the most serious form of skin cancer.  New Zealand has one of the highest melanoma death rates in the world.

“If melanoma is diagnosed and treated early the treatment is usually successful.”

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October is Save Kiwi Month

The kiwi chick busting from the egg.
Photo by : Kevin Stokes

030.129-Email-header_Get-invlovedOctober is Save Kiwi Month and our national icon needs your support so generations to come can get to meet them.

Kiwis for kiwi Executive Director Michelle Impey explains the role they have in helping to save the kiwi population.

“It is the national campaign to raise awareness of the plight of kiwi, and to raise funds to support work being done on the ground to save them. It is led by Kiwis for kiwi, an independent charity that supports community-led kiwi conservation projects nationally by raising and distributing funds.”

Here in Taranaki our little guy Rockstar is probably one of the better known success stories thanks to the donations and support from the kiwi community.

“Rockstar had an unusual start to life. He’s the only kiwi we know of to have hatched in a car. He was collected from a nest by Taranaki Kiwi Trust, who you have helped to support, when he had started to break through his egg and rushed to Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua. By the time he arrived, he was fully hatched!”, says Michelle Impey.

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Fantasy themed cake wins gold and top honours

Carol cakeCarol Robertson’s fantasy themed Cinderella cake won top honours at the New Zealand Chefs Association National Salon held in Auckland.

A score of 98 out of 100 not only earned Carol a gold medal in the Celebration Cake Open section but also the top honour in her class.

“We were at the prize-giving and eventually I realised my name hadn’t been called.  I knew that there were four golds awarded.

“The next thing I heard was ‘and the winner of the class is Carol Robertson all the way from New Plymouth!’  I was beaming, I just couldn’t stop smiling.  I was on cloud nine.  Gavin was over the moon, he was just so happy for me!”

Carol then had to wait to receive her score in the mail and received more astonishing news.

“I wasn’t expecting 100 points but to get 98 was just amazing. I have never got 98 before.  That is the highest score I have ever got. I just went into shock again.”

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Explore the outdoors during Conservation Week

Mt Egmont / Mt Taranaki peeking out from cloud with DOC Ranger Denise Goodman and Tasman Toyota Customer Relationship Manager in New Plymouth Vanessa Sumpter.
Mt Egmont / Mt Taranaki peeking out from cloud with DOC Ranger Denise Goodman and Tasman Toyota Customer Relationship Manager in New Plymouth Vanessa Sumpter.

Taranaki was privileged to host two great Toyota Kiwi Guardians Adventures as part of Conservation Week.

The programme is a joint venture with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Toyota New Zealand designed to get children off the couch and out into nature.

DOC Ranger Denise Goodman explained there are four Toyota Kiwi Guardians sites around Taranaki for kids to earn medals at.  The other two places are Dawson falls and Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve.

“The Kiwi Guardians programme is designed to encourage families with kids to get out and explore nature. DOC is working with Toyota to make this programme a success in Taranaki,” said Denise.

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Project Hotspot’s young scientists present their conservation outcomes

Cassidy Taylor (12) Dr Victoria Metcalf and Jess Camden (12)
Cassidy Taylor (12), Dr Victoria Metcalf and Jess Camden (12)

An amazing presentation from a group of school students was the final act for phase one of Project Hotspot.

Project Hotspot is run through schools and supported by scientist and community groups.

Students from Highlands Intermediate School and Oakura School have been working on their action plans with the Project Hotspot Team.

The children formed groups and started their research of investigating potential threats to species within the Tapuae Marine Reserve.

The Taranaki based Participatory Science Platform (PSP) project is driven by Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society and funded via Curious Minds Taranaki which is administered locally by VTL.

The PSP is currently being piloted in three areas: South Auckland, Taranaki and Otago. It is an initiative under A Nation of Curious Minds, a Government programme to encourage all New Zealanders to get involved with science and technology.

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Sparky the Kiwi educates residents at Chalmers Resthome

Owen Henry with Sparky
Owen Henry with Sparky

Four generations got to meet a one-legged kiwi at Chalmers Resthome.

“I was absolutely thrilled to meet Sparky,” said Owen Henry.

“Today was the first time I’ve actually seen a live kiwi.  I have grown up with a stuffed kiwi called Okoki.”

“When Bob put Sparky in the basket of my scooter it was great as I got to see him very close up and touch him.”

“I couldn’t believe he just sat there.”

Some of Owen’s extended family came to visit Sparky too.

Owen Henry with some of his extended family.
Owen Henry with some of his extended family.

“It was great to have four generations of my family visit and be able to share the experience.

“I’ve heard kiwi at my son’s farm at the back of Oakura and he has seen signs of them but we have never managed to see one.”

This is the first time that Sparky has visited a resthome in Taranaki.

“Not many people of my generation have had the opportunity to see a live kiwi so today was very special,” said Owen.

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Inglewood Photographers Scoop Awards

Local professional photographers Helenjoy (Wilkin) and Adam Buckle scooped up 19 awards between them at the prestigious New Zealand Iris Awards held in Wellington last month.

The Inglewood pair have a huge passion for photography.  Adam has earned a Fellow and Helen a Masters with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers.  They have also earned the very prestigious title of Fellow of the Photographic Society of New Zealand.  Only four people in Taranaki have this title.

Adam BuckleAdam operates a canvas and fine art printing business predominantly selling landscapes through various galleries around Taranaki.

“Awards for me is not just a personal journey of growth, the key here is that my images are of a consistent standard,” said Adam.

HelenjoyHelen operates her business Helenjoy Photography in Inglewood and focuses on fine art maternity, babies and small intimate family groups as well as weddings.

“I haven’t entered the awards for the last five years to focus on growing my business.  I set myself some new personal goals and then Adam inspired me to enter again.  Although I am already accredited, qualified and a proven and trusted professional photographer it’s good to get another independent confirmation that I am constantly consistent at the high end of my profession. 

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