Howick Little Theatre sees year out with a bang and a bucket-load of feather boas
When you learn that the star of Howick Little Theatre’s last show of the season is a 6’6” Samoan drag queen you might realise that this is not one of the community theatre’s traditional end of year productions.
Rounding up the year with more than a bang and a bucket-load of feather boas, Kiwifruits, guarantees a spectacle with its unconventional take on the Cinderella pantomime blending a riotous cabaret, a drag review and a play all in one.
Extravagant in every sense is how director, John Fausett, describes the affair. With dozens of costume changes, song, dance, and a lead who forced the set designers to rethink the stage for him and his size 13 heels, all stops have been pulled for this lavish production.
‘Too much is never enough with this show” says John.  ‘As well as assuring a rich visual display, actors are being challenged in constructing the multiple layers that make up their on stage personalities. Not only mastering the dancing, the two male leads have had to uncover the art of wearing heels, dancing in heels, and finally add lip-syncing to transform into their character.’
'And on top of all that the director’s vision for the show is growing in flamboyance', says Mark Madden-Snoad, who plays the second drag queen, Tatania.
With its 60th anniversary next year, a zesty production like Kiwifruits is a mark of how far the theatre has evolved to become one of Auckland’s best-known and most respected community theatres.
In this hilarious free-wheeling Kiwi version of the Cinderella story, Fay Gay tells fellow performer Tatiana the story of how the Castle Road Tavern was saved from ruin by being transformed from a traditional straight-up working men’s pub into a venue for spectacular drag shows. Featuring a wicked accountant, glamorous gowns, delicious dancing and a fairy godmother unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Note: contains adult themes, mild swearing, outrageous drag queens and platform shoes. Not suitable for children.
With a season running from November 9th -30th be sure to grab your feather boas and get down to Howick Little Theatre, brace yourselves and have some fun! Tickets available via the iTicket website or from the theatre.
Directed By John Fausett   Season November 9th to 30th
Bookings: or     Ph:09  361 1000

Business Mentors Providing More Involved Advice Than Ever Before

The country’s 1,900 volunteer business mentors are providing more in depth advice to New Zealand’s small to medium sized enterprises than ever before, the CEO of Business Mentors New Zealand, the only national, volunteer business mentoring organisation, told its 22nd AGM today.

Ray Schofield, CEO Business Mentors New Zealand told the AGM, hosted by ASB Bank at its new North Wharf building in Auckland: `Our business mentors are now more hands on than ever. When we started 56% of SMEs saw their mentor only once. That figure has fallen to an all time low of 16% as mentoring has become so much more part of a business owner’s development. On average our mentors will visit a business more than four times, but many mentor/business relationships last for quite long periods of time and become an essential part of the business’ development. Our mentors work closely with tens of thousands of SMEs and their owners, and have become a vital part of nurturing the New Zealand economy.’
Business Mentors New Zealand helps around 250 businesses every month and has assisted more than 65,000 small to medium-size enterprise owners in New Zealand over the last 22 years.

Ray Schofield commented: `Cash flow is still the number one problem facing SMEs but our mentors with the support of many of our Partner Patrons have become more creative in helping businesses find solutions to managing it. We are still asked, what sort of mentor will I get, or will people think less of me for asking for help, but by and large New Zealanders are becoming more willing to use a business mentor as a way of making their business more successful.

‘We have clearly shown that business mentoring has a significant role to play in the health of the country’s economy. New Zealanders make very good mentors.  Friendliness and the values of “putting something back”, fairness and giving someone a hand up, resonate well with most of us. We have accumulated significant  “grassroots” knowledge of small businesses and their owners –what their strengths, weaknesses and needs really are (as opposed to what they say they are).’

Through the work of over 1,900 independent volunteer business mentors BMNZ enables people with recognised skills and success to put something back into their own communities. Business Mentors New Zealand provides access to a wide variety of volunteer mentors (who give their experience, skill and knowledge free of charge). The focus of the organisation is on developing capability, profitability, and employment generation. Business Mentors New Zealand is funded largely by patrons from the private sector, with additional support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It provides a mentoring service to any businesses that are trading, with less than 25 employees.
There is no limit on the number of mentoring sessions. The $150 registration fee allows mentoring for up to two years. The term of the relationship with a mentor depends on the objectives and goals both client and mentor jointly agrees upon. They can also contact their co-ordinator at any point for further assistance

For more information about Business Mentors New Zealand please visit


The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) has added its voice to a global campaign to walk a bit further and improve spinal health habits.
NZCA spokesperson and chiropractor Dr Hayden Thomas says: `Activity is a key part of maintaining good spinal health, so we want to encourage New Zealanders to walk just a bit further on October 16th. Each additional step takes you a little bit closer to a healthier spine and a healthier spine is the lynchpin for overall health and wellbeing. Research is showing us that we are relying too much on pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects, and reducing the efficacy, for example, of antibiotics, when what many of us need to do is take steps to improve our health and wellbeing.’
Each year World Spine Day is observed to encourage spinal health by disseminating information on good spinal health habits.  This year's theme for World Spine Day is Straighten Up and Move, focusing on the importance of proper posture and movement in maintaining good spinal health.
The NZCA runs the Straighten Up New Zealand online resource, which provides information for adults, children, educators and healthcare professionals on ways to keep active and maintain spinal health by using the Just Start Walking and Straighten Up programmes.

Dr Hayden Thomas explains:  ‘Spinal health problems were once seen as an affliction of older people; however, it is becoming more and more common amongst children and adolescents. There are a number of reasons for this including increased use of computers, watching television and playing computer games, which have been linked with poor posture, neck and back pain and dysfunction and headaches. Poorly designed school furniture and inappropriate backpack use, carrying weights of more than 10% of body weight, could also be to blame.

‘The NZCA recommends having every member of the family checked by a family wellness chiropractor because we help the spine and nervous system to function at an optimal level. Doing the three-minute set of simple exercises recommended by Straighten Up New Zealand every day will help improve posture, stabilise core muscle groups, enhance health and prevent spinal disability. It is also important to encourage family members to stand or sit straight and to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch if they have been sitting down for a while. This will help to stop muscles getting tight and strained.’

Straighten Up New Zealand is a simple, engaging spinal exercise programme, designed to promote spinal health. The Straighten Up campaign was originally developed in the US and is now being adopted by countries all over the world. The NZCA has produced brochures and posters, and developed a website to support the campaign. Remember that it is always advisable to have any symptoms that are severe or not improving checked out promptly by your family chiropractic doctor.

For more information on the Straighten Up campaign, visit Further details on the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association can be found at


Further Information:

About the New Zealand Chiropractor's Association: The New Zealand Chiropractor's Association (NZCA) was founded in the 1930's. It is a voluntary, self-regulating, supervisory body serving both the chiropractic profession and the public of New Zealand. The purpose of the NZCA is to maintain professional standards, liaise with various government and health bodies, and to be a professional voice for chiropractic.

NZ Launch of Intrabeam Breast Cancer Treatment Leads In Local Media Coverage

Friday 11 October 2013, 2:07PMA new breast cancer treatment that replaces weeks of radiation therapy with a single half-hour dose was launched in Auckland last night by Focus Radiotherapy.

Intrabeam, a $1.2million intraoperative radiotherapy machine, was purchased by a team of New Zealand doctors led by North Shore breast cancer surgeon Erica Whineray Kelly.

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