When I saw TEDx Auckland 2014 announced I really wanted to go but was a bit torn. I loved the 2013 event but it meant a precious day of weekend gone. Weekends were crucial as I was trying to get fit for a rather demanding cycle tour in the Himalayas.
The TEDx 2014 theme was ‘Ascending’:
Ascending is about individuals and society rising to a higher level of consciousness.
Ascending is about finding the positives in any situation and building on them to make our lives, community, business and planet better.
As it turned out, the day spent at TEDx may have been the most valuable trip preparation I ever did thanks to Mike Allsop!
Click on the speakers name to link to a video of their talk (if on YouTube)
Bullet points in italics are unedited notes I took during the day using OneNote on my Nokia Lumia 1520 phone. I also used it for all the photos and John Boone session video clip.
The gathering crowds, the Aotea Centre was a near sell-out!
While buying my ticket to TEDx Auckland 2014 remembered I’d never gotten around to writing a post about the 2013 event.
Earlier this year there was some flack about TED, prompted it seems by some ‘dubious’ TEDx events. From my experience at TEDx Auckland it certainly wasn’t one of those. The Aotea Centre was full, the speakers uniformly excellent and it covered a wide variety of topics.
In his intro MC @VaughnDavis (below right) made a comment which summed up my TEDx experience. He said with TED on-line you tend to self censor, focus on the familiar, topics of interest. With the live event you can’t and it is a good thing. It was, as he suggested, the unexpected which made a real impression.
For example I’m not a fan of poetry but one memorable session was Grace Taylor’s Rising Voices (Youth poetry movement) and the powerful performances by Marina Alefosio & Brian Gashema. They’d never been on stage before and got a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the full house Aotea Centre audience.
I had heard of Dr Richard Nunns but never seen him lecture. His style was awesome, building from a slow, seemingly rambling, start to an amazing mash up of traditional Maori instrumentals, a string quartet and hip-hop (with King Kapisi). Pity there isn’t a video of that session
Rather than trying to review all the sessions in detail, it was a while ago!, here are the notes I made on the day with a few [added comments]. I’ve added links to the actual presentation page, most of which have videos, if you want to see what inspired them.
The photos are all mine (my TEDx 2013 Album on Flickr). It was nice to be at an event which encouraged photography, tweeting and recording!
[loved his opening remarks] “I can speak for hours on a marae and people love it, but TED organizers expect something profound in 15 minutes”. “Took me 7 minutes to turn off my cell phone in the green room”
Career advice tertiary education not employment focused
Local solutions for local problems
Established local careers expo
School leavers connection program. If no plans contacted every 14 days
Work readiness training - time management, drivers license, tools, skills - with mentoring
Result: Nobody under 25 unemployed since 2006, low crime, no graffiti
Why isn’t he Mayor of Auckland, a thousand times better than Len Brown [and this was written before the Bevan debacle]
Wrap Up - A chance to thank the TEDx Auckland team
Between sessions the foyer included exhibits from some speakers and even live art. Lovenotes, handmade stationery from waste paper, were being made and sold on site. There was also a chance for some to experience Baby X but the queues were too long for me.
If I’d written this soon after TEDx Auckland 2013 I would have said keep an eye on the site for 2014 news. However, the tickets for 2014 are on sale at http://tedxauckland.com with one already sold to me! See you there?
It started as a day out, in lieu of to birthday present, for my Dad but had a surprise ending even I didn’t anticipate. The Whitianga (Mercury Bay Aero Club) Warbirds and Wheels Air show was the drawcard but our mode of transport was an attraction itself, even made the local paper.
We flew from a rather gloomy damp Ardmore to sunny Whitianga in the Fly DC3 Dakota. The last time I flew in a propeller piston Douglas Commercial was a QANTAS DC4 Skymaster which operated into the mid ‘70’s servicing Norfolk Island. TEAL/Air New Zealand chartered these aircraft for the Auckland–Norfolk Island route from 1955 to June 1975. I think the Island was too small for large jets and the rules didn’t allow twin engine aircraft to fly that far over water. My grandparents lived at Norfolk and I still remember the, seemingly endless, flight I did at about age 6 or 7.
Fly DC3’s aircraft looks almost new with smart RNZAF colours. After the usual pre-flight formalities we were off to Whitianga. The crew are all current/former commercial airline staff dedicated to sharing their love of flying in this beautiful old aircraft. Although it was only a short 20 minute flight scooting over the Coromandel hills made for a fun flight.
The air show had a great mix of aircraft from WW2 era fighters, lovely Spitfire included, to modern super aerobatic aircraft.
The DC3 did several joyride flights during the day including taking up bunch of parachutists (more on that later) who did a brilliant display. Although it looks like a Mustang the 3/4 size Titan T-51 (bottom right) was interesting to see. I know someone who is building one and hope to get a ride when it is ready for passengers!
It wasn’t all overhead action with the local stock-cars racing on the Speedway Track beside the airfield.
Although we arrived pretty early, so the DC3 pilots could attend the air show briefing, the day literally flew by! There was a mix of formation and solo displays, aerobatics and even a gyrocopter to keep people gazing skyward.
Some modern hardware on display included jet trainer and winch patient recovery by the Westpac Helicopter.
We were supposed to fly home on the DC3 but arrived to find it wasn’t looking quite as smart as earlier in the day. A propeller seal had leaked spraying the engine & cowling with oil. I suspect old aircraft use a bit of oil but it appears this was a little bit too much!
Unfortunately the repair required removing the propeller, and a lot of cleaning I bet, so we weren’t able to fly home. The Fly DC3 folks were great; arranging a bus and DC3 wing shade bus stop to await its arrival!
Although it didn’t quite end as expected it was still a great day & I’m planning to Fly DC3 again!
Although I didn’t attend a memorial service the day does not pass without remembering those who have served, one in particular.
My Mum never knew her Grandfather who died on the battlefield in the last few weeks of World War One (which ended 11th November – 1918). Although born in Australia, of German emigrants, he served for NZ where he had settled and married. He fought for King, Country and Empire against, possibly, his own distant relatives. The world is a strange place.
In Memory of Private ERNEST THEODORE BOCK who died age 37 on 12 September 1918 29609, New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion Husband of Isabella Jane Bock, of 19 Russell St., Linwood, Christchurch. Born in South Australia. Remembered with honour; GREVILLERS (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL
Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
It was policing an arrow straight 100 km/h limit motorway section on a fine sunny evening. I presume it was set to nab those doing 5–10 km/h over the limit on a road that probably safely handle 150 km/h or more.
Five kilometres down the road there is a long term interchange reconstruction underway. Lanes have been narrowed, flanked by concrete barriers, and a sensible reduced 70 km/h limit imposed. At that speed I watched cars and trucks fly past at 20–30 km/h over the limit with no sign of a ‘safety’ camera. Safety or revenue?
We arrived in Kaikoura early evening and the weather was a bit gloomy. Although it was ‘the last supper’ (the trip ended the following afternoon) the atmosphere was the exact opposite of the weather. It was a nice way to end a great day, of cycling, wining and dining.
Although Kaikoura offers a host of activities — Whale watching, ocean swimming with dolphins and more — I did nothing. I have done the whale watch before and the prospect of a very early start to plunge into the northern Antarctic Ocean to swim with a dolphin was trumped by a lie in, leisurely breakfast and coffee before the last ride.
The inland road South of Kaikoura is a state highway but the vast majority of the traffic use the coast highway. It runs between the alps & coast ‘undulating’ from ridge to river valley. Although not high the hills and twisty bits plunging down to river crossings are enough to put off most traffic making for nice cycling.
I love this little zigzag downhill, below, seen looking back after climbing out of the valley. As we rode the weather got better & better finishing with blue skies and sunshine.
Our last ride finished in Waiau. I can recommend the hand scooped Hokey Pokey ice cream from Waiau Dairy & Tearooms.
It was huge and probably instantly replaced all the kilojoules burnt off getting there, and more, but who cares! Then it was on the bus for the drive back to Christchurch and farewells at various drop off points.
My ninth Adventure South trip was over but probably not my last. There is still Japan, South America, and maybe even some bits of New Zealand left to do if they invent a route I haven’t done already! You never know where a surprise Facebook message will take you!
PS: This post revealed one of those bizarre small web world connections. I wrote about Waiau Dairy & Tearooms but did a web search to check the name. It showed a great photo on Flickr taken by another “Capper” who lives in Wellington. Although no relation, as far as I know, Phillip and I had already made a contact through Flickr some fifteen months ago. Quite why he photographed the place I got off the bike & devoured an ice cream I don’t know, other than it being a classic Kiwi Dairy.
After a quick look at the lake, departure hastened by sand-fly attack, we got on the bikes. The morning started with a 30’ish kilometre run down the Wairau Valley. Although I have been to Saint Arnaud before this ride was new to me. It was a fast downhill run beside the river which made the kilometres slip past quickly. That said lazy legs, after yesterday, and photo stops meant I was far from front of the pack today!
We bussed through to Havelock, skipping some rather dull flat riding, and then it was a reprise of the lovely Queen Charlotte Sound ride. I have done this road twice by bicycle and once in the car.
It is one of my favourite rides so repeating was no chore. For us it started with a fast downhill, lazy bussed to the top of the first hill, before heading across to Linkwater. The letterbox collection at 1695 was worth stopping to photograph! Although the weather looks a bit gloomy in the photos it was warm and quite nice for riding.
From there you skirt the sound climbing around bluffs, descending into bays until a final climb to a rewarding twisty downhill towards Picton. Although it is a main road the traffic is pretty light as most, and all large trucks, take a more direct route towards Nelson. The ride finishes with a twisty downhill blast into Picton. Great fun!
It is a neat ride and for us led to a nice finish as we bussed to St Clair Vineyard for lunch and, since there was no more riding, a glass or two of very nice wine. The drive to Kaikoura can not be completed without stopping to visit these fellows, just a few steps from the main highway.