Nor West News : February 5th 2015
www.stuff.co.nz Lantern festival lights up skies The annual Auckland Lantern Festival is about to light up the night sky for the 16th year. On-stage performances, spectacular illuminations, traditional festivities and Chinese art will dazzle and entertain visitors to Albert Park from February 26 to March 1. The festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of the council and in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Sponsors include Fairfax Media, owner of the Nor-west News. Included in this year’s event are two ticketed family Auckland Lantern Festival. Bright event: Colourful activities are sure to attract hundreds of visitors to the popular Auckland Lantern Festival. friendly theatre productions, Under the Same Moon and The Two Farting Sisters, both playing at Auckland University’s Musgrove Studio. ‘‘The festival is a key part of Auckland’s non-stop sum- mer of events which is jampacked with other cultural festivals, major sports events, international stage shows, and big-name concerts, many of which have been attracted to the region as part of Auck- land’s major events strategy,’’ ATEED chief executive Brett O’Riley says. This year’s festival will also mark Auckland’s 20-year sister city anniversary with Ningbo and its 25th with Go to nor-westnews.co.nz to see highlights of last year’s Guangzhou – both in China. ‘‘Come along to see the lanterns gifted to the city as symbols of the strong partnership and friendship between the three cities,’’ mayor Len Brown says. The festival will open to the public from 5pm on February 26 with a lanternonly night. It will welcome in the Chinese zodiac Year of the Goat, also known as the Year of the Sheep, which symbolises greater peace, harmonious co-existence and tranquillity. Festivities finish on March 1 with a spectacular fireworks finale at 10.30pm. ❚ Go to aucklandnz.com/ lantern for more information. Youth get helping hand into jobs through scheme Pledges are being made to help some of the city’s 23,000 unemployed young people into work. Three major Auckland hospitality businesses and the council have promised to work harder to address the problem. The businesses are InterContinental Hotels Group, SkyCity Entertainment Group and the Hilton Auckland. Mayor Len Brown says the city has a ‘‘productivity crisis’’ with so many young people not in work, education or training. ‘‘We have to turn that around and with businesses such as these on board, as well as our first pledge partner Fletcher Building and the many yet to come, I am confident we can do just that.’’ Brown says the pledge partners are attracted by Promising jobs: Mayor Len Brown at the youth employment pledge signing with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s Patrick McVeigh, council cadet Antonio Tauluto and Auckland chief executive Stephen Town. council initiatives such as Youth Connections which helps to overcome barriers to youth employment. Youth Connections has engaged with more than 600 businesses and helped 850 young people into jobs over the past two years. Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town says the council is making the same pledge. ‘‘We must walk our talk,’’ he says. The council aims to sign up 50 Youth Employment Pledge partners by the end of June. A youth employment sum- mit called JobFest15 will be held February 21 at Manukau Institute of Technology in Otara. A thousand work-ready young people are expected to attend to see what 50 businesses have to offer. NOR-WEST NEWS, FEBRUARY 5, 2015 5 Ten-year plan ideas wanted Auckland Council wants as many Aucklanders as possible to speak-up on the region’s 10-year budget. People will have until March 16 to have their say before final decisions are made by council in June. Auckland Council’s acting chief finance officer, Kevin Ramsay says having a say is important as budget decisions including how much is invested over the next decade and how it is paid for will affect all Aucklanders. ‘‘Aucklanders want this city to keep moving forward and to build on progress over recent years. We also know people want us to keep their rates and other charges as low as possible. ‘‘Council is working to deliver a budget that gets this balance right.’’ The budget covers key issues including investment in Auckland, their impact on rate levels, how rates are split among ratepayers, council’s role in housing and development and what should be done about fixing transport and the funding options to pay for it. ❚ Go to www.shapeauckland. co.nz to access the consultation document. Feedback will also be sought through forms going to all households and at public events throughout Auckland.
January 29th 2015
February 12th 2015