Ponsonby U3A

Tina Payne, an independent forensic accountant and electronic forensic investigator was the September speaker at Ponsonby U3A.

With a background, including eight years with the Serious Fraud Office, Tina has operated her own business, Financial Forensics Ltd, since 2011, working throughout New Zealand as well as Australia and Fiji.

She explained that forensic accounting assignments include unwinding money trails, fraud and theft investigations, ‘going behind’ trusts, relationship property disputes, assessment of losses, and defending charges brought by the IRD, Ministry of Health, Serious Fraud Office, Police and other Government departments. Electronic forensic assignments include the preservation of electronic data for evidential purposes, fraud and employee misconduct investigations, recovery of documents to defend charges, analysis of documents and emails, and the reconstruction of deleted data, including websites.

The 10-minute speaker, from the U3A membership, is always eagerly awaited because of the breadth of interests of its members.

John Carden entitled his talk ‘Auckland’s Best Kept Secret’ - the much loved, by those who know about it, Eden Garden in Epsom. John’s connection with Eden Garden goes back to 1989, but it was not until his retirement in 2002 that he became actively involved as a volunteer gardener, a committee member and was president for five years.

Eden Garden was established in 1964, but the story started earlier from its days as a quarry dating back to 1850 until 1927. Sir Frank Mappin purchased 6.75 acres of the quarry to form a garden adjacent to his home. However, this did not eventuate and for the next 30 years the site was virtually a dump.

Finally, in 1964, the Eden Garden Society was formed with Jack Clark as chairman. In 1988 the Eden Garden Society was appointed to control and manage the reserve for an indefinite time. Ownership passed from the MOW to DoC and it was designated as a recreational reserve under the Reserve Act 1977.

Today John says that Eden Garden is a place of serene peace and beauty in the heart of the city. It has an ever-changing display of plantings and is especially renowned for its collections of camellias, rhododendrons and vireyas and its seasonal floral festivals, including the recent tulip festival where 16,000 bulbs had burst into bloom to the delight of visitors. It is also well known as a memorial garden. John clearly loves this very beautiful garden and he closed his talk saying, “If you do not know, or have not recently visited Eden Garden, I strongly recommend it.”

Ponsonby U3A meets on the second Friday morning of the month at the Herne Bay Petanque Club rooms in Salisbury Street, Herne Bay. Along with speakers at its monthly meetings, it is the 20 or more special interest groups that U3A is renowned for, providing ‘painless’ educational opportunities in small groups, as well as leisure activities enjoyed by many members. Membership can start at around age 55 for those with the time to spare for the group, and continue until well into the 90s. A number of original members from 1994 are still active members. This year Ponsonby U3A celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Visitors are welcome to attend a meeting U3A meeting, but are first asked to contact Collene Roche on 09 373 3277.

NEXT MEETING: 10am Friday 12 October at Herne Bay Petanque Club, Salisbury St Reserve, Herne Bay.

ENQUIRIES: Collene Roche T: 09 373 3277