New community art competition

TSB Bank Art in a Day

Next February, artists will have the opportunity to enter a competition where they have one day to capture the character and identity of Parnell, Newmarket or Grafton.

The idea for this event originated when David Haigh visited Italy. He was introduced to an annual art event held in Anghiari, a small hill-top village in Tuscany.

Representatives from a group of local organisations have developed the ideas that David brought back to New Zealand. In particular, the inaugural local version of ‘Art in a Day’ has an emphasis on celebrating our communities.

Art is inextricably linked to a community’s sense of place, culture and its development of identity. Auckland is a young and dynamic city, which is still growing. The group aims to run the event annually, and believe it has the potential to make a vital contribution to our communities developing sense of self.

The event will begin on Saturday 21 February. Artists will bring their paper, canvas or board to the Parnell Community Centre where it will be authenticated. The completed artwork must be returned to the Centre no later than 5.00pm the same day.

An exhibition will be held at the Parnell Community Centre the following weekend, with prize giving taking place at 6.30pm on Saturday, 28 February.

The event is supported by the Waitemata Local Board. First prize is $2,000 loaded into a TSB Bank account, with further prizes of $1,000 for second place and $500 for third from TSB Bank (conditions apply). There is a People’s Choice award of a one year membership at the Olympic Pools and Fitness Centre and a secondary schools prize of $500 worth of art supplies from Gordon Harris.

TSB Bank Art in a Day

Saturday, 21 February 2015 – Artists complete their work
Saturday, 28 February and Sunday, 1 March 2015 – Exhibition open to the public
Saturday, 28 February 2015, 6.30pm – Prize giving

Collaboration partners

Parnell Trust, Newmarket Business Association, Grafton Residents Association, Newmarket Arts Trust, Parnell Community Committee, Parnell Inc and Newmarket Community Association.



Chris Davidson,, 027 474 5546
David Haigh,, 09 379 5538

John Penman Christmas Sale

Dear Friends,

You are warmly invited to my Christmas Sale (december 3rd – to 22nd, 2014, 10 am to 5 pm) and special opening night party.

This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase a high quality one-off Christmas gift at affordable pricing. On offer will be seconds, end of line pieces and experiments I’m not taking further – all at a highly reduced prices.

You will also be able to view my latest works including the just installed photosensitive glass stained glass window.

We will have drinks and nibbles at the opening night (2nd december, from 5pm) and for the sale there will be eftpos / credit card facilities.

Please feel free to forward this to friends.

Kind regards,


P.S.: Last years sale was highly successful with more than half the items on sale selling at the opening night. Content customers were very happy with finding just the right gifts to give to loved ones for Christmas!

John Penman Glass Studio
12 Claremont Street
Auckland 1023
New Zealand/Aotearoa

phone (09) 3099609
mobile 021 2160013

Skin of Fire, Auckland Domain

Next March, the Auckland Arts Festival will once again hold a major event in the Auckland Domain.

This show, called Skin of Fire, is set to dazzle audiences with fantastic pyrotechnic displays and incredible light projections by French performing arts troupe, Groupe F.

Auckland Council is asking all Grafton residents to raise any concerns they may have about the event while the show is in planning mode.

Please email any issues you’d like to raise to

Last year, the show was very well run with no known reports of trouble within the community.

Grafton Christmas Party

The Christmas Party for Grafton Residents Association and friends will be held at David and Avril’s place, 64 Seafield View Road, Grafton on Friday 5 December at 6pm.

Bring your friend, partner, children. Come to the back garden by the steps on the left of the house.

Also bring a shared meal and something to drink.


David Haigh
Chair, Grafton Residents Association

Auckland’s Natural Environment – Council Survey results

The Auckland Council has just published the findings from their recent survey.

There are some interesting attitudes and opinions expressed in the findings, including the fact that 41% of respondents believe Auckland’s natural environment is getting worse and less than 10% of respondents have swum in a lake or river in the Auckland region over the past 12 months. Over 90%, however, have visited a beach and 89% have visited a local park.

You can view all the findings here.

No surprises; giant Santa is rescued by Sponsorship

“We’re thrilled to announce that Auckland’s giant Santa will once more celebrate Christmas over Queen St after family-owned construction company, Mansons TCLM, generously offered to take responsibility for his installation over the next three years.
SKYCITY has also agreed to contribute to annual storage and associated costs over the three year period with a sponsorship of $50,000.
The generosity of Mansons TCLM and SKYCITY means the popular figure and his reindeer will resume their traditional position on Whitcoulls corner this Christmas as usual. We are overwhelmed and delighted by the public interest and support for the iconic Santa. The generosity of these businesses in guaranteeing that Santa and his reindeer ride again is a fantastic outcome for Aucklanders and Heart of the City.
Mansons TCLM spokesman, Culum Manson, says the family are pleased to ensure that Aucklanders can continue to enjoy their traditional Christmas, with Santa back in centre-stage. “We all grew up with Santa and Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the big fellow up on Whitcoulls corner,” Manson says. “We’ll use our own cranes, transport, equipment and crew to get Santa back up where he belongs in time for Christmas.”
SKYCITY chief executive Nigel Morrison says he is delighted with the outcome.

“SKYCITY is happy to be playing our part as a good neighbour. Santa has been a special part of Aucklanders Christmas celebrations since 1960 and it’s just not Christmas without the Queen St Santa,” Mr Morrison says.

Kind regards,
The HOTCity team”

No more Santa at Whitcoull’s corner

Not exactly Grafton news, but we thought worth sharing regardless.

Heart of the City have decided not to reinstall the giant Santa on Whitcoull’s corner for budget reasons.

They are responsible for decorating the inner CBD during the Christmas season, and have invested heavily in alternative decorations over the past few years.

Is anyone going to miss Santa?

Will a corporate sponsor may come forward to fund it?

The annual cost to Heart of the City for storing and installing the iconic character is $180,000.

Let the GRA know about local issues

If you have any issues or concerns you’d like to raise with the Grafton Residents Association, please contact the Chair, David Haigh –

David has recently returned from a few weeks in France and is keen to be updated with any topics you may like the Association to discuss at next Monday’s meeting.