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Meet the Team

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JannetteTGENERAL MANAGER, Local Matters
EDITOR, Mahurangi  •  Jannette Thompson

After finishing high school at Lynfield College, Jannette (nee Railey) undertook a journalism diploma with the former Auckland Technical Institute and joined Suburban Newspapers. She completed her cadetship at the Greymouth Evening Star before heading to Australia where she worked on numerous dailies and weeklies. In other incarnations, she has been a radio & television reporter for the ABC; chief reporter on the Samoa Observer; and a corporate communications manager for a major Queensland city. It has always been her wish to settle in the Whangateau/Pakiri area where her family has lived for many generations.

Terry12EDITOR, Hibiscus  •  Terry Moore

Terry was brought up in Auckland but has also lived in Christchurch and spent five years living in London and travelling. After completing a photography diploma at Whitecliffe College, and a BA in English at Auckland University, both as a mature student, Terry decided to combine her writing and photography skills. She worked in magazines for many years, as a freelance journalist, editor of NZ Adventure and NZ Skiing and deputy editor of NZ Gardener. A strong desire to live near the sea led to Terry, partner Andrew and daughter Rose settling in Whangaparaoa. When she’s not putting together stories for Hibiscus Matters, you’ll find Terry in her garden.


RodCheesemanJOURNALIST, Mahurangi  •  Rod Cheeseman

Rod moved to Mahurangi in 2015 after spending almost 16 years living and working in Auckland. Since completing an honours degree in 1999, Rod has worked as a television journalist and broadcaster for both TV3 and TVNZ. Rod has hosted numerous live broadcasting events, and co-hosted, sports shows and magazine style television programmes. Rod and his partner of 23 years, Lucie have two children and love being a part of the vibrant and friendly local community. When he’s not writing or reporting Rod is usually surfing, skateboarding or biking with family and friends at Omaha Beach.

Ben DJOURNALIST, LMLive  •  Ben Donaldson

Ben joined the Mahurangi Matters team as a junior reporter in March this year (2016) after deciding he would rather work his way into the industry than go to university. Although his Dad is a Kiwi and his Mum is Canadian, he was born in Hampshire, in England. Ten years ago the family moved back to NZ and settled in Sandspit five years ago. Ben attended Mahurangi College where he developed a passion for sports reporting and ran his own media venture with a Facebook page and Youtube channel. He is a keen tennis player and has also been known to enjoy a game of football.

Sally MardenSPECIAL PROJECTS  •  Sally Marden

Sally Marden has been a journalist since leaving school in England, where she trained with her local newspaper, the Sussex Express & County Herald. She later became a wine writer and broadcaster, contributing to numerous national and international wine magazines and books, before moving to Australia to work in the Barossa wine region in 1998. Sally and her winemaker husband moved to Matakana (via a spell in Western Australia) in 2007, since when she has juggled freelance writing and editing projects with raising their two sons, before happily returning to her local reporting roots with Mahurangi Matters in 2015.

Ariana BillingtonMAHURANGI  •  Ariana Billington

Ariana, who comes from a background in Financial Services, has long standing ties to the area. Her childhood was spent in the coastal village of Leigh, attending Leigh Primary, then Mahurangi and Rodney Colleges.  Both her parents taught locally, and her family have always been very involved in the sporting community.  She chose to return to Warkworth to raise her own children, where she now resides with her daughters. Her personal fulfillment comes from being actively involved in the betterment of the community – at both local and global levels.


MelBuckleyHIBISCUS  •  Mel Buckley

An ex-Westie, Mel moved to the coast to live out her life motto, “Life is Better at the Beach”. The move felt like coming home as she spent many a time on the coast at her Grandparents bach in Stanmore Bay. After settling in Manly with her two scrumptious children and hubby, her parents and in-laws followed them and get to experience all the great things the coast has to offer. Having a variety of different careers, in early childhood as a kindy teacher, to tutoring in early childhood and more recently real estate, Mel is enjoying meeting a variety of locals who love the paper as much as we do. When Mel isn’t working she is a social bunny although she can be found around the beaches and parks, or watching her kids sports from the sidelines.

SPECIAL PROJECTS  •  Cathrine Busbridge Cathy

Cathy was born in Wellington but her father’s job, as a civil engineer, meant the family was constantly on the move. She has lived in Napier, Auckland, New Plymouth and Rotorua. Her first home in the north was at Snells Beach, but she now lives in Mangawhai with her husband Denis, and a cat and dog. Cathy is the mother of Naomi and Tony, and her interests include tramping, kayaking, music and reading. She has a background in nursing and retail, and has been involved in advertising for Local Matters for around 10 years, where she enjoys the interactive and relational aspects of her job.

Lorry 2012HIBISCUS  •  Lorry McCarthy

Lorry has been in the printing/advertising industry for over 25 years. She attended ATI studying Graphic Design, her first job was at an Auckland advertising agency where she got to dabble in TVC production. After a couple of years living in Canberra she came back to NZ and settled in Whangarei for a decade. Shifting to Whangaparaoa in 2006, with her two children. Lorry then worked part-time for a Warkworth wedding photographer where she learned a few more Photoshop 'tricks'. Joining Hibiscus Matters in January 2009, she is the 'mouse-click' behind the design for the Hibiscus ads, paper and website. Lorry was a volunteer firefighter for five years at Manly, and now enjoys playing hockey for Mahurangi hockey club.

MartyMAHURANGI • Martin Tomars

Westie graphic designer Martin is a relatively new resident of Warkworth, having moved to the area in 2015. After obtaining his Graphic Design & Animation Degree at Auckland’s Unitec Mt Albert Campus he moved around the North Island sampling what different the regions had to offer, before deciding to settle in the Mahurangi. He is an avid fan of simplicity and functionality in design and can be counted on to extol the virtues of white space, contrast and repetition. A supporter of the Breakers and Warriors, he is hoping this fandom rubs off on the other staff members at the Mahurangi Matters.

CathyA.jpgDIGITAL EDITOR  •  Cathy Aronson

Cathy is a journalist, multimedia producer and editor, with a passion for online communities. As a journalist she has reported for community and daily newspapers - covering everything from environment, councils and transport to entertainment. As an online editor she has worked on three of New Zealand’s largest websites NZ Herald, Yahoo, Scoop and NZ’s creative community website The Big Idea. She is the Digital Editor for Local Matters - in charge of sharing and engaging our readers on 'local matters' online.  She lives at Leigh by the sea and can often be found swimming, snorkeling, fishing or walking along the coastline.

craigcartoon150200.jpgLMLive PRODUCER & CARTOONIST  •  Craig Powell

Much to my parents embarrassment, my drawing ability is attributed to the untold hours of waiting in pub carparks, placated with a scrapbook and 2B pencil. This basic grounding was expanded upon at boarding school, where I discovered the power of caricature and satire. Initially, this caused great amusement, but when the humour subsided, I learnt another lesson.
When not drawing cartoons, I’m either making videos, playing Mr Handyman or looking after our two children. The latter role comes with additional title Head of Department for humorous birthday cards and videos, which I admit is rather fun. And who knows, maybe some of this creativity will rub-off on the kids, which would be preferable to the pub carpark. (Sorry Mum & Dad)

Angela 2012OFFICE MANAGER  • Angela Thomas

A Warkworth girl, born and bred, Angela is a keen sportswoman playing touch rugby for Low Key in the Whangateau Domain competition, netball and competing in half-marathons. She originally trained as a veterinary nurse in Orewa, where she worked for six years, before moving to administrative work with Tranz Pictures, in Auckland, and then the Art of Cheese, Puhoi. Angela, who has been with Local Matters for over eight years, is married to earthmoving contractor Mark and they have two gorgeous children, Jordon and Drue.


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