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Local Folk

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2017

Joanna J St John and A J Pearce

Joanna tells Mahurangi Matters reporter Rod Cheeseman her, and A J’s, remarkable stories ...

Local Folk: Barry Torkington

It’s hard to imagine a better childhood for a fisherman than growing up on the shores of Whangateau Harbour in the 1950s.

Local Folk: Bettie Grant

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Bettie Grant grew up in Warkworth when school children dived into the crystal clear waters of the Mahurangi River

Local Folk: Ian Morrison

In the early 1950s, when Ian Morrison started school in Warkworth, there was little, if any, knowledge of learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Local Folk: Joy Bell, artist

Joy Bell shares how her early artistic career and proceeds from her antique store in Ponsonby fuelled her second life as a single mother and public artist in Warkworth for the past two decades.
2016

Local Folk: Jo Lawn, retired Ironman triathlete

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The only tears Jo Lawn has shed during her more than 100 triathlons were at the finish line of her final race in Auckland two years ago.

Local Folk: Sarah Thoroughgood, Master Bow-hunter

Flying at 10,000 feet over the Cook Strait with a fresh Himalayan tahr skin in her carry-on luggage, Sarah Thoroughgood was glowing after becoming the first Kiwi female to bag two alpine big game species with her bow and arrow in as many months.

Local Folk: Malcolm Welsford, music producer

In Malcolm Welsford’s career as a music producer he has gone from working on a four-track tape recorder at high school in Tauranga, to recording studios in Hollywood.

Local Folk: Dennis Marwood, retired racing driver

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Although Dennis Marwood's days of racing for the chequered flag are long gone, a V6 Alfa Romeo parked in the carport suggests the love of speed hasn’t disappeared completely. He spoke to Jannette Thompson ….

Local Folk: Brian Styles, farmer and author

When Brian Styles was still in a cot, he would dream of carving out a life on the farm. Looking back on more than six decades of farming, he can emphatically say that dream came true.  He spoke to Mahurangi Matters reporter George Driver about the journey.

Local Folk: June Brandon

June Brandon is a familiar figure in Snells Beach. At least twice a day, the 92-year-old can be seen riding through town on her mobility scooter with her little dog, Barney.

Local Folk: Wendy Brown MBE, athlete

As Olympic fever grips the world this month, Leigh resident Wendy Brown has more insight than most into what the athletes will be going through.

Local Folk: Ilona Rodgers, actress

Born in the UK in the midst of WWII, losing her father to the Luftwaffe and schooled in Switzerland as Europe tried to rebuild, Warkworth actress Ilona Rodgers’ life has had no shortage of drama.

Local folk: Dr Roger Grace, marine biologist

Whether looking through a microscope or the lens of a camera, Dr Roger Grace QSM has spent his life observing life on New Zealand’s coastline.
2015

Local folk: Megan Fairley

After 16 years as an Intensive Care Paramedic with St John, Megan Fairley says she has seen “every bizarre accident possible”, as well as dealing with a number of dangerous situations.

Local Folk: Ida Dunning

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When TVNZ went looking for someone to feature on their lifestyle show Kiwi Living, a relative of 94-year-old Ida Dunning, of Warkworth, thought her Great Aunt would be the perfect candidate. 

Local Folk: John Hayday, musician

With a master mariner as a father and a mother who loved music, it is no surprise that John Hayday’s two passions in life have been boats and music. The Matakana-based music teacher has criss-crossed the world’s oceans many times and lived the life of a strolling minstrel, but it hasn’t all be plain sailing as Jannette Thompson discovered ….

Local Folk: Barry Lett, artist

A broken down scooter unleashed a chain of events, which saw Barry Lett spark a revolution that would change the New Zealand art scene forever.  He spoke to Mahurangi Matters reporter George Driver.

Local Folk: Shane Gould, North Rodney Blue Light

Shane Gould has been running North Rodney Blue Light for the past 20 years, helping children rise above the challenges of their upbringing by facing their fears and learning life skills in the outdoors.

Local Folk: Marjorie Blythen, A&P champion

Warkworth A&P Show long-serving secretary Marjorie Blythen will leave big shoes to fill when she stands down after the 150th anniversary in 2017. She talks with Jannette Thompson ….

Local Folk: Bill Hughes, farmer

After emerging from the isolated Urewera forest to start school at aged nine, Bill Hughes had an early determination to succeed in life. 

Local Folk: Audrey Sharp, teacher

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Tax law lecturer, witch, organic farmer and aging hippy … Whangateau resident Audrey Sharp says her life is about showing a different way is possible.
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