Heini and Anke Duensing. First featured in Point Life in 2016

Over the past decade we’ve met some friendly folk who’ve made Hobsonville Point their home. We catch up with some of them again and hear how life is at the Point.

This year marks 60 years since Anke and Heini Duensing emigrated to New Zealand and five years since they moved into one of the first villas at Waterford on Hobsonville Point retirement village. There are other milestones in 2021, too. Heini has marked his 85th birthday and Anke her 80th, so they’ve celebrated with a family party. Next year, the Duensings mark their 60th wedding anniversary. “It’s all parties,” Anke says with a smile.

Life in Hobsonville Point is still busy for the couple. Anke is in a group of 25-30 crafters that meets once a week in the “big lounge” of Waterford’s lodge. The all-women group is mostly made up of knitters, but Anke’s a quilter and can crochet. She admits they don’t get much done when they meet. 

“Men in the library nearby close the doors, as apparently we’re too noisy. Men are nosy, they like to come in and see us, but they don’t want to join us,” Anke laughs.

She says “you can’t feel lonely” at Waterford. “The social committee tries really hard. You can join groups, do exercise and play cards. Heini and I have joined the Probus Club. One guy in the village is the president.”

The couple goes walking each day for an hour and will do more in the weekends – often covering 6-8km around Te Onekiritea Point. They have been pleasantly surprised how Hobsonville Point has developed. “Every day when we go walking it’s almost like another house has been built,” says Heini. “There are still empty spaces for young people to play and the playgrounds are outstanding.”

“You can walk down to the ferry and then half an hour later you’re in town, fighting your way through Quay St,” says Heini. One day the couple caught the train to Pukekohe for an adventure. 

Everything they need is handy to home. Their doctor is local and there’s a hairdresser at the lodge. A van travels from Waterford to Albany once a week for shopping. Anke says, “it couldn’t be better”. 

Heini goes to the gym three times a week in Henderson, something he’s done for more than 10 years after having a quadruple bypass. A few years ago, he and a friend who was fresh from a hip replacement operation took too long on a walk at Whatipu after getting lost in the reeds. Not that they thought they were lost. “We got to the car and saw a helicopter above us and wondered what they were looking for. Adventure is part of everyday life. You’ve just got to do it,” Heini says.