Home' Auckland City Harbour News : March 13th 2013 Contents Salon humming along nicely
Community first: Rosy Armitage believes in supporting the local arts through a social profit rather than financial profit framework.
Photo: JASON OXENHAM
The restored colonial villa
on Grafton Rd represents
a vehicle for social
change. Karina Abadia
went to meet the group of
people behind it.
Go to aucklandcityharbour
news.co.nz to watch a video of Ms
Armitage giving a tour of the villa.
People before profit is the philos-
ophy behind the social enterprise
Hum Salon, based in a formerly der-
elict villa in Grafton.
Rosy Armitage, one of the foun-
ders of Falling Apple Trust, says:
We are for community profit rather
than for financial profit. Our pri-
ority is the stakeholder not the
There s a coffee shack on the front
lawn and there are plans for a res-
taurant and bar inside.
While staff will be paid the profit
will be fed back into the trust to
sustain a myriad of arts, music and
educational projects based in the
Ms Armitage was looking for an
older building with plenty of charac-
ter and the heritage building at 123
Grafton Rd fit the bill perfectly.
Among its former occupants was
Auckland City engineer WE Bush
who supervised the building of
Grafton Bridge in 1910. It has also
been used by the Salvation Army as
a halfway house for drug and
The group was able to strike a
deal with the owner to renovate the
villa rent-free and take a long-term
lease until 2033 with first right to
The fact the villa had been derel-
ict for eight years did not put them
off because they had what others
did not -- people power.
The first phase of works was esti-
mated to be worth around $500,000
but costs were kept low with help
from more than 250 New Zealand
and international volunteeers.
This approach fosters a sense of
community, the Grey Lynn resident
People are so disconnected at the
moment. The restoration of a build-
ing is the perfect way to bring the
community together because they
work alongside people who they
wouldn t usually meet.
On January 31 the construction
wrapping came off and on February
2 the local community was invited
to mark the end of the first year of
renovations. People from all walks
of life turned up, she says.
It s about using old-school meth-
ods of getting people to congregate,
celebrating the arts and having a
good time. Our backyard party was
For the next phase of works they
need to fundraise at least $850,000.
This is to kit out the interior with
a restaurant-cafe which will source
local and seasonal produce and a
bar selling non-branded alcohol.
A gallery space will display works
by local artists.
With an amendment to the
resource consent approved, there
are plans to build decks and tiered
gardens, extend the kitchen and
improve mobility access by con-
structing a lift between the two
storeys. They would also like to take
the house off the electricity grid.
There will be an independent
media centre upstairs where dinner
discussions involving experts from
different fields of thought will be
held. A team of researchers and
journalists will contribute to the
The aim is to bring people and
ideas together but in a way that
isn t preachy , she says.
It is a huge job but the 36-year-
old, who has a background in mar-
keting, event management and run-
ning restaurants, says the collective
will make it all possible.
There s still a lot of work to do
but the number of people who
believe in the project just keeps you
Go to fallingapple.org.nz to donate
to the trust.
Te reo a great advantage on the job officers say
Cultural bridge: Iwi liaison officers Senior Sergeant Joe Tipene and Constable
Jackie Simeon have improved their te reo skills in order to better serve the needs
of their community.
Photo: JASON OXENHAM
Learning Maori language
and protocol is proving
useful for Auckland
police. Karina Abadia
The course strengthened what
I knew and added a bit more. It
has made my role easier and if I
need to stand up and speak, I
feel more confident to do so.
-- Constable Jackie Simeon
SENIOR Sergeant Joe Tipene says
his role as an iwi liaison officer
enables him to strengthen relation-
ships between the police and the
He and Constable Jackie Simeon
are iwi liaison officers based at
Auckland Central police station.
They are responsible for Central
and East Auckland.
The role of the iwi liaison officer
was established in the New Zea-
land Police in 1992 and the oppor-
tunity for these officers to study a
Maori immersion course was intro-
duced in 2000.
Eleven members of the police in
Auckland, including Mr Tipene and
Mr Simeon, have taken up the
challenge since then.
Being equipped with an under-
standing of all things Maori can be
a great advantage, Mr Tipene says.
In terms of community engage-
ment there are occasions when it
opens up a whole lot more doors if
we ve got skills in te reo and an
understanding of tikanga
The men work closely with
marae and Maori-language immer-
sion schools and give positive mes-
sages on such things as crime pre-
vention, drugs, alcohol and
Being able to speak in English
and Maori means students tend to
be more willing to listen, he says.
Another part of their job is to
advise police on matters of Maori
They also support police at
events and can speak on their
Mr Tipene is of Te Rarawa, Ngati
Whatua and Ngapuhi descent and
studied the one-year rumaki reo
course at Te Wananga Takiura in
2011. He found it hugely reward-
The course gives us the tools to
be more responsive to the needs of
our Maori community.
This year there are four officers
from around Auckland taking the
course which is fully funded by the
Officers remain salaried staff
members while they study.
Mr Tipene s language skills were
limited when he started the course
so it was tough to follow what was
About halfway through is when
the penny dropped for me, he says.
I get the majority of what some-
one is saying now but not all of it.
I still have a lot to learn.
Mr Simeon is of Nga Hine
descent and went to high school at
Hato Petera, a kura kaupapa
Maori in Northcote.
The course strengthened what I
knew and added a bit more. It has
made my role easier and if I need to
stand up and speak, I feel more
confident to do so.
Both men feel lucky to have been
offered the chance to further their
language and cultural awareness.
They are keen to keep it up so have
enrolled in te reo night classes at
Unitec this term.
The more you learn the more you
want to keep on learning, Mr
Mr Tipene says the scheme has
brought him closer to his own cul-
AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, MARCH 13, 2013
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