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By BOBBIE NICHOLLS
Plans to develop Highden Estate's product range have new
general manager Steve Smith and his wife, Julianne
Fulton, eager to start work.
Mr Smith, who grew up in Manawatu, and Ms Fulton
have been running Tongariro Lodge, a fishing lodge and
conference venue in Turangi described as world renowned.
Martin Sargent and Pauline Meredith-King have been
running Highden Estate for 12 months. When their con-
tract finished this week, they had achieved most of what
they set out to do, leaving with a good business set up, and
a full diary of weddings and conferences.
The painting of the outside of the 120-year-old building
is under way and will be completed next year, after the
We have bookings for every weekend during the wed-
ding season until the end of 2012 and there are bookings
for 2013 and 2014 already,'' Ms Meredith-King said.
Mr Smith said they were coming in at a good time for
new managers with a good basis of events and conferences
We are looking forward to a new challenge, at an excit-
There are very few beautiful 1880s residences in New
Zealand and many of our overseas guests love history.
They will be attracted to staying in such a grand old
There are synergies between Tongariro Lodge and
Highden,'' he said.
While we are here for the local weddings and confer-
ences, there are a whole stack of people driving past. We
just need to wind them in.''
With his experience with overseas visitors who are pre-
pared to pay for a helicopter to fishing spots and hunting
sites, he can see these sports, hiking, and motor sports at
Manfeild all attracting high-end visitors to Highden.
We had a lot of visitors who had heard New Zealand
had lovely gardens, but there are very few gardens around
Turangi, while the Manawatu has many beautiful gar-
We would like to build a really good restaurant which
will give opportunities for cooking classes. The
opportunities are exciting,'' Mr Smith said.
Dreams flow at forum
Fighting prejudice: Krishelle Berkahn, left, Tiffany Nowakowsky, Melody Kelly, and co-
ordinator Mel Boerboom.
Photo: LAURA WALTERS
By LAURA WALTERS
For the first time, a group from the
Feilding Young Dreams education pro-
gramme for young parents made a pres-
entation at the council's Photovoice
Youth Forum on how they believe they
could improve the town.
The group of three young mums, and
Young Dreams co-ordinator Mel
Boerboom, told Manawatu District
Council representatives and community
members on Monday what they believe
should be changed in Feilding.
Krishelle Berkahn, Melody Kelly, and
Tiffany Nowakowsky suggested
improvements be made to their facilities
at the Central Districts Community
They suggested the toilet and kitchen
facilities were moved so they were not
next to each other.
And said they would like more privacy
to discuss sensitive issues in their office.
Young Dreams has been running for
the past two years.
Ms Boerboom said the community
realised there was a need for an edu-
cational, and supportive facility for
Young Dreams teaches cooking, play
centre training, and first parenting
The group has catered to parents aged
14 to 26.
There are currently 10 parents using
The aim was to set up a supportive,
friendly, non-judgmental service,'' she
Ms Boerboom said her philosophy was
to give the young parents a cuddle and
then have a talk.
The group from Young Dreams also
recommended public toilets were better
maintained in the area, and a private
breastfeeding room was added to the
toilet facilities in Manchester Square.
The group also believed people within
the community made assumptions
Founder of Manawatu Rural Support
Services Judy Jack said the Social
Issues Network Council of Social
Services was having a managers meet-
ing to address this issue of prejudice.
Melody Kelly said when she was a
young mother in an abusive relationship
Young Dreams helped build up her self-
esteem and made her a better cook.
Photovoice Youth Forum director Lisa
Foggin said Manawatu District mayor
Ian McKelvie suggested the Young
Dreams group presented their thoughts
on how to make Feilding a better place.
He felt their views were not well rep-
resented,'' she said.
The Photovoice programme was
designed to encourage Manawatu Dis-
trict school children to state what they
believe could be improved in their com-
munity, and how.
Feilding Intermediate School students
Lewis Atherton, Alex Snaddon, Drew
Manning, and Hugh Dickson also made
a presentation at the Youth Forum
meeting about the local skate park.
The group of 13-year-olds suggested a
new all-age park closer to town was
They believed the litter and graffiti at
the current skate park made it
The group suggested a new park was
built, but the current park on South St
was kept because of its good design and
Chairwoman of the Manawatu Dis-
trict Council's community wellbeing
committee Alison Short said all graffiti
in the district was cleaned up by the
council within 48 hours of it being
She also said signs had gone up in
every public toilet in the district telling
people how to report graffiti.
There will be two more Photovoice
Youth Forums next year to bring to
light things which could be improved
within the community.
If you see graffiti please report it to the
Manawatu District Council at
06 323 0000.
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