Wastewater Overflows in Laingholm

Many Laingholm residents are now aware that Laingholm Beach is unsafe to swim due to poor water quality resulting from fecal contamination. The Council web site www.SafeSwim.org.nz lists Laingholm Beach under the category “Long term water quality alerts – we recommend you don’t swim at these spots”. Action definitely needs to be taken by Watercare and Auckland Council, but the purpose of this article is to look at our individual contribution to the problem and look at how our everyday actions at home may be contributing to the contamination of Laingholm Beach. Continue reading

Civil Defence: Recent Outage Stats + Preparedness for Busy People on a Budget


This month Auckland experienced a major power outage due to a fire at the Penrose electricity substation. All suburbs in the Eastern half of the Auckland isthmus were affected. 85,000 households and businesses (185,000 people) lost electricity. Almost a half of these households and businesses were without electricity for between 1 and 2.5 days. Most shops and businesses closed due to not having electricity. At the height of the outage 128 cell towers and 7 telephone exchanges were down and traffic lights on 140 road intersections stopped working. 49 wastewater pumping stations lost electricity resulting in 4 wastewater overflows into the environment.

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Attention Property Owners: New “Smart” Electricity Meters

Electricity meters on many New Zealand homes including homes in the Roundabout circulation area are being replaced with the so-called “Smart” or “Advanced” meters. Compared to a standard electricity meter, a smart meter is essentially a surveillance device with a microwave transmitter. It collects detailed real-time information about your electricity usage and transmits it to your electricity provider through the air using the cell tower network.

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Update for 2014

For readers who haven’t read earlier articles, Laingholm Eleven is a home studio where I offer Tai Chi and Meditation classes in a large converted living room. Despite teaching professionally in the past I’ve decided to run the classes here on a non-commercial basis, so there are no fees and our only advertising has been via the Roundabout, community notice boards, the web site and word of mouth.

The classes have been going for about 1.5 years now and we have a group of several regular participants as well as new participants who periodically come to try the classes. This article is an invitation to those who are looking for a new hobby to fill some wintery evenings.

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Science and Spirituality

The scientific progress of the last several decades can make it seem like scientists have got most things figured out. So much so, that for many people in Western cultures science seems to have replaced religion as the main paradigm through which they look at the world. However, many people apply the scientific paradigm incorrectly and act as if:
1) anything that hasn’t been measured by science does not exist;
2) anything that science hasn’t reliably reproduced can only be attributed to chance.

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Lifestyle and Practice

Laingholm Eleven has now been open for over one year and we have recently celebrated its first birthday – thanks to Tai Chi class participants for making delicious vegan cake and cookies and making it a special occasion to remember.

Reflecting back on the first year of L11, many of the classes have been very enjoyable and some have even been a highlight of my week. The new teaching approach and curriculum structure have worked very well – I found that the participants are able to focus much better and get more enjoyment out of the class. It is very satisfying to see class participants incorporating the practice into their lives and reporting the benefits they’re getting out of it. I’ve also met some interesting people and we’ve shared many interesting conversations by the fire during the now customary after-class tea sessions. Just for fun we’ve sampled various interesting brews of tea.

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