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Big discussions had around districtisation
Big discussions had around districtisation

18 June 2024, 5:30 PM

Districtisation is back on the agenda again for community board members as the Central Otago District Council moves to integrate all of its rated activities.A representation from the Cromwell Community Board (CCB) has been invited to a workshop next week to provide informal feedback to the council.  Official written feedback has to be submitted to council by each of the community boards by July 8. A report from group manager - business support Saskia Righart for yesterday’s CCB meeting said only 18 per cent of activities are rated at the ward level, including community facilities, parks, pools and community grants.Over the past 20 years, council has engaged in consultation with the community to rate certain activities across the district rather than by ward level. This was because it was particularly challenging in the less populated wards to maintain services given the fewer ratepayers in these areas to spread the cost across. The report said now that council has external debt it was important to manage the balance sheet impacts of all assets as a district. “Most of council’s debt is currently for the three waters programme and as it currently stands council will meet the maximum debt levels in the next few years. “Overall, the reserve accounts are forecast to deplete, the most significant being the Cromwell reserves accounts, which are funding in part the Cromwell Memorial Hall.”The report said in the future, council will not have the ability for wards to borrow internally from other wards for their ward asset expenditure. During the delegations conversation two months ago, there were concerns from the Cromwell community in particular, that the rationale behind the proposal was to take land from one ward to fund activities in other wards with less assets. “This was not the rationale behind the proposal, but it is fruitful to outline what would happen to land if council further districtised activities,” the report said.All land is currently held by council as a whole, and under the Local Government Act 2002 community boards cannot hold land. In practice, however, the council has operated as if land is managed at the ward level, and they have historically endorsed community board land sale proposals - and the proceeds have been allocated to activities within the particular ward. 

What to do when someone dies: A simple guide to the legal process in New Zealand (sponsored)
What to do when someone dies: A simple guide to the legal process in New Zealand (sponsored)

18 June 2024, 5:00 PM

Having a valid will is essential for alleviating the stress of your family members in an overwhelming and confusing time and allows for your estate to be administered smoothly. We have outlined the main steps involved in the legal process below:Importance of having a willIt is important that each of us, especially after acquiring belongings or assets, has a valid will. A will is a legal document that sets out how you would like your property (called your estate) distributed after your death. It may also include directions for funeral arrangements. Each will must have at least one executor, who should be a trustworthy individual who would be capable of assisting with an estate. A will sometimes appoints multiple executors, but this can complicate decision-making. It is recommended that you review and update your will regularly, especially after major life events. Wills must be drafted in proper form to be legally binding, so it is important that you consult a legal professional for advice and to assist with preparation and execution. Any mistakes can be costly when it comes time to administer your estate.Upon the death of a loved oneThe death must be registered with the Department of Internal Affairs within three working days of the burial or cremation, you will need the record of death signed off by a medical doctor or coroner if the death is unexplained. After this, you will receive a copy of the death certificate that can be used as proof of death. You should then check if the deceased person left a will. If you cannot find it, you can contact their lawyer who may have it on file or can help you locate it. Applying for probate If the value of the estate exceeds $15,000, the executor will apply to the High Court for legal authority to administer the will, called probate. This process must prove that the executor is acting upon the will-maker’s wishes. You will need to provide the original will and the estate lawyer and the executor will need to complete the High Court probate application. The court will then issue an order for probate confirming the executor’s authority and the executor will have access to the estate for distribution. The administration and distribution process is usually managed via the estate lawyer on the instruction of the executor.If the value of the estate does not exceed $15,000, it may be dealt with by the next of kin without a court order, unless there is a dispute as to who will be the administrator. Dying without a will If someone dies without a valid will, this is called dying intestate. Instead of probate, for a larger estate you will need to apply for ‘letters of administration’. This is similar to the probate process, but you will need to prove that you could not find the deceased’s will and that the intended beneficiaries (those to inherit) had a relationship with the deceased. The appointment of the administrator and the distribution of the estate is managed in accordance with the Administration Act and the applicant will normally be the spouse or partner or parents or children of the deceased.Settling the estate You must lastly settle the estate according to the will or the Administration Act. You must pay any debts, taxes or expenses from the estate, collect any money or property that is owed to the estate, and distribute any remaining assets to the beneficiaries. You may need to provide a final account to the High Court so the executor and the estate lawyer should keep accurate records of any transactions.  ConclusionThis article has outlined the main steps involved in the legal process following the death of a family member or loved one in New Zealand. This process can be complex and time-consuming, so it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice at any step along the way. You can also find more information and resources on the following websites:Department of Internal Affairs: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Citizen’s Advice Bureau: https://www.cab.org.nz/Inland Revenue: https://www.ird.govt.nz/ 

Properties for Sale @ Tall Poppy Real Estate (sponsored)
Properties for Sale @ Tall Poppy Real Estate (sponsored)

18 June 2024, 3:15 PM

Prime section - Motivation to sell!24 Hosking Drive, CromwellDeadline SaleDiscover a rare opportunity to own a premium section in one of Cromwell's most sought-after subdivisions. With limited sections available, this is your chance to secure a prime location surrounded by stunning, high-quality homes that enhance the value of your new build. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Kate Andrew and Marie Kahukura.Modern Comfort in Gair Estate57 Olds Crescent, CromwellEnquiries over $995,000Situated in the ever-popular Gair Estate subdivision, our latest listing is a modern, solid brick home that will appeal to first home buyers, relocators, downsizers, and more. Built in 2021 with customised features to ensure a comfy, convenient and stylish lifestyle the ideal spot to enjoy all the benefits of Cromwell living! Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Dimple Tuteja.Designer space by the field and lake!9 Sunhaven Cove, CromwellEnquiries over $1,695,000Overlooking the Alpha Street Reserve, a popular local sports field beside Lake Dunstan, this exceptional 305m2 designer family home is situated on one of Cromwell's most sought-after streets. An easy walk to the popular Heritage Precinct, local schools, golf course, and more this home offers a blend of spacious luxury living, convenience, and stunning views - ideal for growing or blended families, relocators, and more. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Dimple Tuteja.Tranquil Country Living187 Blackman Road, AlexandraEnquiries over $1,100,000This cozy home boasts 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, making it perfect for a family seeking comfort and tranquility. The interior features a log-burner and 2 heat-pumps with some double glazing, ensuring warmth and comfort all year round. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.Brimming with Character22 Bringans Street, AlexandraEnquiries over $720,000Welcome to 22 Bringans Street, where charm, character, and comfort intersect to create the perfect home for you. This immaculate 1930s villa boasts a multitude of features that will appeal to discerning buyers seeking a blend of functionality and space. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.Bareland Lifestyle in AlexandraLot 1 Letts Gully Road, AlexandraBuyer Enquiry over $515,0001.5 hectares (subject to title) nestled on Letts Gully Road this bareland lifestyle awaits its new owner. Ideal property to build your dream lifestyle or landbank for future and run a few sheep in the meantime. This block comes with power to the boundary and its own bore with 25,000 litres per day. Building platform has been cut out so you have a great base to start. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Stacey Waldron and Rebecca Ireland.Cute Retreat with Potential!50 Ray Street, CromwellEnquiries over $670,000Step into potential with this charming 3-bedroom home nestled in the sought-after enclave of 'Old Cromwell'. While currently rented, this property presents an opportunity for buyers to unlock its true value through a little TLC. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Kate Andrew.Driving for Perfection on Old Golf Course Road10 Old Golf Course Road, AlexandraEnquiries over $2,100,000Escape to the perfect blend of comfort and style, town and lifestyle, on the edge of the picturesque Alexandra basin. Taking in the current beautiful Autumn colours, the stunning surrounding landscapes, views, all day sun you can indulge in the serenity of this executive 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom oasis boasting spacious living areas including a separate lounge for cozy nights by the open fire. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.Family approved!9 Kohinoor Lane, CromwellEnquiries over $1,035,000Nestled in the coveted Prospectors Park, in Central Cromwell - an easy walking distance from Lake Dunstan, Heritage Precinct, Golf Course, Shops and more. Our latest listing will excite families looking for a home with space, flexibility and all the mod cons in a central location. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Siobhan Ramage.Discover Cromwell Living Today!7 Electric Place, CromwellDeadline SaleStep into luxury through an enticing entrance to your newly expanded garage, perfect for all your vehicles and storage needs. Fully fenced for peace of mind, your furry friends can roam freely in the lush, landscaped yard, kept vibrant and green with efficient irrigation. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Kate Andrew.Cromwell Lifestyle Opportunity94 Pearson Road, CromwellDeadline SaleWelcome to 94 Pearson Road. Ideal for those seeking an orchard lifestyle with income potential, as well as homeowners yearning for a harmonious blend of comfort, sustainability, and breathtaking natural surroundings. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Kate Andrew.A Spectacular Luxury Pisa Home!39 Missy Crescent, Mount PisaEnquiries Over $1,525,000Behind the private high fence is a spectacularly luxurious family home located in affluent and desirable Pisa Moorings, one of the most admired and sought-after areas in the region, nestled on the edge of Lake Dunstan - a short drive from Cromwell, Queenstown, and Wanaka. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Siobhan Ramage.Families Get Excited!69 Wallis Drive, CromwellEnquiries Over $1,265,000Families looking to upsize or relocate to Central will get excited with our latest listing in popular Prospectors Park. A short walk to Lake Dunstan, the Cromwell Golf Course, Schools, supermarket, and more - this four-bedroom modern and substantial home will exceed expectations. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Siobhan Ramage.Rural Oasis: The Station Retreat In Omakau11 Half Time Close, OmakauEnquiries Over $1,000,000Escape to your own rural oasis at "The Station" retreat in Omakau. This exceptional property offers a perfect blend of rustic charm and modern luxury, providing a sanctuary for relaxation and leisure. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.OPEN HOMESOpen HomesNOW SOLD

Positive meeting on Clyde road closure
Positive meeting on Clyde road closure

17 June 2024, 5:45 PM

Forty people attended a public meeting about the infrastructure works on Clyde’s Sunderland St at Recharge Bar last Wednesday night. Clyde business owners and residents heard from Central Otago District Council (CODC) project manager Dan Kirkman and others delivering the infrastructure works, including contractor Fulton Hogan.The meeting was initiated by owner of Recharge Bar on Sunderland St, Gareth Watt, who told The Central App last week, he had lost a morning of trading due to the road closure.CODC councillor Tamah Alley, CODC community and engagement manager Paula Penno, Business South Central Otago (BSCO) chairperson Dewald de Beer, and Fulton Hogan manager Carly Hamlin all attended the formal part of the meeting, which went for an hour.Dewald said the overall tone of the meeting was positive and the impacted businesses were “real people who needed real answers” and an opportunity to be heard.“I commend Gareth for calling the meeting.”Dewald said there were steps agreed, which should help information flow including more consistent email updates, simplified communications and a promise to give people a project plan with defined dates.Potential parking on land across the road was also going to be investigated and could improve the parking situation for impacted businesses.Dan said the meeting went better than expected.“People in the room who wanted to engage got their questions answered.”Questions covered why the road is closed and no work is happening on certain days, and whether there was a possibility of working during weekends and nights.Dan said CODC had previously consulted about out of hours work and the decision was made not to impact guests staying in nearby accommodation. He said CODC would be making adjustments to the project’s communication strategy to broaden the audience group, replicate information in other public ways and continue with the fortnightly emails to businesses and interested parties.A follow up community meeting may be held in a month’s time if people are interested.Contact [email protected] to be added to the email list.Recharge Bar owner Gareth Watt could not be reached for comment prior to deadline. Read more: Clyde cafe owner calls meeting on road closure  

Man prompts SAR and AOS callout
Man prompts SAR and AOS callout

17 June 2024, 5:30 PM

A Wānaka man in his mid-30s sparked a Search and Rescue (SAR) mission and an Armed Offenders Squad callout to Albert Town on June 13.Alexandra Police Senior Constable Graham Perkins said the man failed to stop for police and instead waved at them before carrying on.Queenstown Police then stepped in and put out road spikes on the Crown Range, but they just missed him before managing to track him down at the summit.The man, who was just wearing street clothing, took off into the hills on foot in the snow, so police got SAR involved, with search dogs and a helicopter all deployed.He was not located, but a few hours later the man sparked an AOS callout to his address in Albert Town where he was wielding a cross bow.Police urge motorists to be vigilant on Central roads as goats and other wildlife continue to cause problems for motorists. PHOTO: FileSnr Const Perkins said police managed to negotiate with him to release his weapon. He will be charged with failing to stop and driving while forbidden and has been released on bail.On the same day Cromwell police were called to a three-vehicle crash at Deadman’s Point on the Cromwell bridge, where a motorist failed to give way to another driver travelling from Clyde to Tarras.All three drivers were injured - the motorist who failed to give way was sent to Dunstan Hospital with internal bleeding, the driver from Clyde suffered a broken wrist, and a third driver who crashed into the back on the first car had neck and shoulder injuries.Animals are continuing to cause issues for motorists around Central Otago.On June 11, a woman, driving on the Clyde-Cromwell Rd crashed into the barrier and told police she was distracted by the goats on the hill.Aspiring Highways was understood to be carrying out a goat cull to reduce numbers, but Snr Const Perkins said there were still plenty about. A driver in Ranfurly also hit a stag on the highway last week, but no more details were available.Read more: Drink drivers still taking risks on central roads

Central youngsters welcome Otago Nuggets
Central youngsters welcome Otago Nuggets

17 June 2024, 5:15 PM

.Young Central basketball fans were excited to meet Otago Nuggets players and coaches on Friday for an ice cream giveaway and signature session in Alexandra. Local children gathered to meet the team when they converged in the town last week, where they were treated to team posters and a free ice cream thanks to team sponsor Night ‘n Day. Smiles and scoops: Olivia Clapham (14), Paige Adams (14), and (front) Charlee Clapham (8). PHOTO: The Central AppNight ‘n Day Alexandra franchisee Brooke Williams said she was thrilled to help dish out more than 120 ice creams.“Supporting our community means a lot to Hayden and I, so we love opportunities to give back to our customers.” Otago Nuggets guard Caleb Smiler (at back, third from left) and forward Matt Pyper said the welcome from the children was huge. PHOTO: Otago NuggetsOtago Nuggets Assistant coach Dan Vlahov shared his tips on shooting a basketball with youngsters. PHOTO: The Central AppBrooke Williams, Sarah Wybrow, Otago Nuggets head coach Brent Matehaere, Jahnavi Nayak and Kodi Knights. PHOTO: The Central App The Terrace School students Evie Campbell (5) and Ashleigh Robb (9) enjoyed getting their team posters signed by the players. PHOTO: The Central AppThe turnout was so great that the team representatives stayed on an extra fifteen minutes to make sure everyone had an opportunity to say hi, get a photo or shake the players' hands.The Nuggets’ last game was against the Taranaki Airs at Dunedin’s Edgar Centre on Wednesday night, where they lost 88 -101.They face the Auckland Tuatara in the City of Sails tomorrow, June 19, at 7.30pm.The Otago Nuggets are currently in the middle of the table in the National Basketball League (NBL) (6th from a total of 11 teams.)The team has won two championships in 2020 and 2022 with coach Brent Matehaere. In 2020 he was awarded NBL coach of the year. 

Cromwell College’s Nevaeh Reddy celebrates success
Cromwell College’s Nevaeh Reddy celebrates success

16 June 2024, 5:45 PM

Despite it being the off season for triathlon, up and coming competitor Neveah Reddy said her support network and coaches inspire her to keep pushing to be the best she can be.Neveah (17) recently competed at the South Island Secondary School Championships for Open Water swimming in Akaroa. She finished the 5km swim in second place in the female 16-19 age group, was second female secondary school student and third female overall, including adults.Neveah said she was proud of her results because it was a tough race in rough conditions. “I managed to push through and achieve a great result. This was my first time racing the 5km event in the ocean rather than a lake.” Her current focus is on base fitness, so along with school work she has two netball trainings a week, three sessions in the gym, including one with her personal trainer and coach Teresa Noble, and three sessions in the pool with her coaches.“I have just gotten a new bike trainer so I am looking forward to using that to help build up my base fitness."I like to go out for runs and mountain bike [rides] when possible.“I am incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful support network around me, I would like to thank my sponsors . . . [and] my family for everything they do to support me, and my coaches Erika and Ashleigh (swimming), NRG’s Teresa and Sarah and Amiee (netball) for their time and effort they put into training me.” Other event highlights for Neveah are racing in The WILD Mountain Run in Arrowtown and competing at the New Zealand Championships for Open Water Swimming in Taupo. The next events she is working towards are the South Island Secondary School Netball tournament, the Queenstown Half Marathon, The Wild V1600 (a vertical climb of 1600m over 30km), and the Race Tekapo 16km trail run. Nevaeh said she does not have one favourite sport as they are all different and hard to compare.“I got into sports by trying out local events and seeing if I enjoyed them, I have continued them ever since.”To nominate a local talented sports person for a profile on The Central App, email: [email protected] 

Alexandra pop-up library open for business
Alexandra pop-up library open for business

16 June 2024, 5:30 PM

The doors to Alexandra’s new pop-up library open at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery today, thanks to a mammoth team effort.Library staff have spent the past week packing, unpacking and arranging shelves to ensure a display of well-loved titles remain available while the library at 43 Tarbert St gets refurbished.Alexandra Library team leader Mo Fenton said the team had worked hard to make sure the pop-up library was ready for the public this morning.“They’ve really worked hard. If you can imagine when you are working in a library, it’s very systematic, so it’s created a bit of chaos, which they’ve managed really well.”The library was closed last week while the team co-ordinated the move, box by box.Mo said the entire collection of 26,000 books were packed up, however not all of them will make it to the pop-up library.The most popular titles, hot pics and new editions feature at the new site, while everything else has been put into storage, but would be easy to retrieve if anyone requests something that wasn’t on the shelves, she said.“We’ve still got access to them with a system going on behind closed doors.”Other library collections across the district were also still available for Central residents to borrow from.A range of programmes, including Home Services, wi-fi, printing and computer use will remain available at the pop-up library.Renovation work at the Tarbert St site will begin today and is expected to take about six months.It will include a cosmetic internal renovation of the building, new office equipment, shelving and general enhancement.The project has been made possible by Central Government’s Better Off Funding, which has provided 60 per cent of the total $1,035,000 cost.Read more: Alexandra pop-up library to open in a week

Air quality improving across Otago
Air quality improving across Otago

16 June 2024, 5:15 PM

Peak average particulate matter (PM) concentrations across Alexandra from wood burners in the north-west area of the town tend to be double that of other areas, a report from NIWA and Otago Regional Council (ORC) shows.NIWA conducted a spatial study in Alexandra in 2023 using 42 temporary sensors, to understand more about the variation in PM concentrations across the town.The sensors measure particulate matter (PM2.5) from combustion-related sources, such as wood burners, industry, and traffic. The data gathered gives a better idea of where PM2.5 concentrations are highest and at what time of the day the peak concentrations occur.NIWA released its findings to the ORC, outlining the current state of the environment, and found that the higher concentrations in the north-west corner were likely due to topography and wind pattens in Alexandra.A possible new monitoring site and origins of the concentrations are being investigated, as well as data from the current and previous site being analysed.ORC also ran a number of spatial studies last year in Oamaru, South Dunedin, Hawea, Ranfurly, Luggate and Kingston, using temporary sensors to understand more about the spatial variation of particulate matter.The information from these studies can be used to help identify potential future locations for further monitoring. The annual report also noted improvements being made to the state of the environment monitoring network to include monitoring for PM2.5 particles, which are smaller and therefore can be harmful to health.An air quality monitor being installed in South Dunedin. PHOTO: SuppliedRecent research provides evidence that air pollution is dangerous at lower concentrations than previously thought and supports the lowering of existing guidelines. Upon validating last year’s winter data, Otago recorded only 17 exceedances of PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) during the winter months.Otago has several towns where air quality is considered degraded during winter, namely Alexandra, Arrowtown, Clyde, Cromwell, and Milton.

Mayor's column: Giving wards a chance to be heard
Mayor's column: Giving wards a chance to be heard

15 June 2024, 5:30 PM

A couple of weeks ago I wrote my Central App column about the discussion could the boards and the community are just starting out on about districtisation. If you missed it, simply put - this is putting the question as to whether we, as a district, should continue to have around 18 cents of every rates dollar spent at a ward level or whether all costs should be equalised across the district, the same as is currently in place for a lot of our functions such as three waters and roading.  There are clear benefits to full districtisation, but there are consequences as well and toward the end of that column I wrote that completing districtisation would mean the Boards lose their say in how rates (bar ward community and promotional grants) are spent as being one of those consequences. I am going to use this week’s column to expand that thinking. Firstly, can I say that I think as an organisation we have fallen into habits that have meant we have not utilised the benefits a ward structure gives us to our best advantage, and given I’ve been Mayor for over seven years now, I have to put my hand up for some of that. The clearest issue I see is that we have fallen into habits of staying in our lanes, with boards dealing with ward issues and council dealing with district issues. There is a crossover missing whereby council is not hearing the voice of the boards as clearly as it could on issues that are ward-based, but aren’t within the board delegations. By way of example, in 2017, council determined to allow more hangars to be built at the Cromwell aerodrome. That decision was entirely councils to make, but what we didn’t do and what we should have done, was get the input of the board in front of council before the decision was made. We have now brought in that any decision of council that is ward specific will have the view of the board put in front of council before the decision is made. That allows another four sets of ears that are in the community that is being affected by the decision to hear that communities' views and for those views to be fed up to council, which can only be a good thing in my view. In addition, we have also brought in a report every council meeting from a community board chair where they can tell the councillors anything that they think we need to hear, be that council business, board business or just the vibe off the street. It will be on a rotate meaning every board has a turn every four months, but there is an open invitation should something come up that can’t wait for a turn at the table for us to hear from two or more board chairs at a meeting. These changes are already in place and we are discussing with the boards at present what other ways we can ensure the voice of the community through our boards can be better heard around the council table. I am an absolute advocate of the boards within the local government structure in Central Otago; our communities are too geographically spread out for councillors to have as good a grip on what the feeling is in wards other than their own, and the boards are best placed to fill that gap. The opportunity for that role to be enhanced, whether full districtisation happens or not, is a great one to explore.

Way-Ward Women Transform Ōamaru
Way-Ward Women Transform Ōamaru

15 June 2024, 1:48 AM

Ōamaru is famous for its whitestone Victorian architecture, penguins and steampunk fans, has a new claim to fame: host to New Zealand’s inaugural personal development event designed especially for women to help navigate times of change. The event, called Way-Ward Women, invites women from around New Zealand and beyond to immerse themselves in a transformative four-day experience held at venues throughout Ōamaru from August 8-11th.Way-Ward Women gathers the considerable expertise of the Waitaki Region to deliver a programme of core features supplemented by electives so participants can tailor their own personalised experience.Feature sessions are led by Amanda Fleming, a personal development coach and leader with three decades’ experience, and Jenny Bean, a professional development expert.“This is destination education, an event designed for women who find themselves at a crossroads or are maybe thinking ‘what about me’”, organiser, transformational facilitator and curriculum lead, Amanda said. Jenny said,“We want to offer women a chance to take time out to think about their direction, in a safe and supportive gathering of women where we share some specific, valuable tools and expertise, and have a great ime doing it.”“From having a kid, to kids leaving home, retiring, changing jobs, moving town, health issues, loss, recovery, all of those turning points in life can leave women questioning, ‘where to fromhere?’”, fellow organiser and facilitator, Jane Thompson said.Women choose between over forty different electives “to explore who they are, what sparks their passion and develop some self-actualising muscle,” said organiser, Cara Tipping Smith. Attendees can expect a diverse range of topics including self-care, mindfulness, leadership, entrepreneurship, art, creativity, and holistic wellness, among others. Elective options include everything from creating a business plan to pottery, indoor rock climbing to creative writing, vegan cheesemaking to rollerskating, and so much more.“Ōamaru is renowned as a place of creative, visionary and free-thinking people,” Frances McElhinney, organiser and director of Ōamaru’s Opera House said, adding, “we’re delighted to be able to welcome comedian and writer, Justine Smith to perform on the Opera House stage as an exclusive feature of this event.” Stacey Pine, exercise physiologist and organiser and “We’re New Zealand’s home of steampunk, little blue penguins and pennyfarthing bicycles. We’re a place full of quirky ideas and vibrant people who think outside the square. It’s the ideal environment to welcome a group of women seeking time out to focus on their own dreams, goals and direction for the next steps in life.”“There is something for everyone,” organiser Tanya Ribbens said. “We’ve created a ‘cheat sheet’ you can print and share with your girlfriends, to help decide who wants to do what.” “We know that having a buddy helps cement learning and provides ongoing support and confidence in creating the life you want to make for yourself,” said Amanda. “That’s why we’re encouraging women to bring a friend and are enabling that by providing a discount for multi-person bookings.”Attendees will also have the chance to explore the charming town known for its historic architecture, vibrant arts scene, and stunning landscapes. From leisurely strolls along the waterfront to indulging in locally sourced cuisine, Ōamaru offers the perfect backdrop for a transformative retreat experience.Early bird registration for Way-Ward Women is now open, with special discounted rates available for those who register before June 21.For more information and to secure your spot, visit waywardwomen.nz

Surveys needed to ensure trail maintenance in Central
Surveys needed to ensure trail maintenance in Central

14 June 2024, 5:45 PM

Central’s trail users are being called on to complete a survey to ensure the district’s ‘great rides’ get the funding they need in the future. The Roxburgh Gorge, Clutha Gold, Lake Dunstan and Otago Central Rail trails each rely on funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to help keep the popular tracks maintained.Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold trails manager Shayne O’Connor said while the survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, it was a simple act in return for what was a free facility many locals and visitors to the district enjoy.“You don’t have to pay anything, but we’d love you to give us 10 minutes of your time,” he said.The surveys are connected to key performance indicators (KPI).“We have to get a minimum of 300 surveys each year, per trail,” Shayne said.“As long as we hit our KPI, MBIE will consider our funding application to do maintenance projects on the trails.”In April, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail had a great response to the survey with 307 completed, and it was hoped that momentum would continue, despite the cooler months and off-season.Shayne said anyone who uses the trails was encouraged to complete the survey every time they use one of them, including young families who only do a short section.The survey is accessible in a variety of ways, including via a QR code on trail maps and a QR code at various locations along each trail, often near interpretation panels.Trail providers can also supply the QR codes, or people can access the links via the various trail websites.Shayne said the information that comes back also provides a valuable insight into the demographics who use the trails, how much money is being spent domestically and where people doing the trails are from.Click to complete the survey for Clutha Gold, Roxburgh Gorge, Lake Dunstan, or Otago Central Rail Trail to ensure maintenance of the district's four 'great rides' can continue.To learn more about the many trails across Central, click on The Central App's Cycling l Walking button.

Helpers wanted for two community planting days
Helpers wanted for two community planting days

14 June 2024, 5:30 PM

Not for profit organisation Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful (KACB) is holding two community planting days this month and needs more helpers. At Alexandra’s Lookout Reserve tomorrow, Sunday, June 16, the group will plant 48 native seedlings and 100 tussocks from Clyde Railhead Community Eco-nursery.The following Sunday, June 23, at Shaky Bridge Reserve they will be planting 125 natives. Both planting sessions run from 11am until 1pm. KACB chairperson Bev Thomson thanked Contact Energy for their support of Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust, and Fulton Hogan, Central Otago District Council, Vincent Community Board for the irrigation and mulch.Those who come along will be treated to morning tea on both planting days, thanks to Alexandra Four Square and Eat Humble Pie. The seedlings were donated by Clyde Railhead Community Eco-nursery, run by the Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust (HNHT).  Volunteering on a planting day is a chance to discover more about the unique Central landscape and meet others interested in the environment. PHOTO: Supplied Lookout Reserve is just over the old rail bridge, between Little Valley Rd and Lookout Dr. KACB planting has taken place in the area for 10 years, which has developed a sheltered space attracting native birds, lizards and moths. Shaky Bridge Reserve is between Shaky Bridge and Graveyard Gully Rd.Helpers need to bring gardening gloves, sturdy shoes, a drink bottle and your own hand tools.The group regularly organises community clean ups, planting, maintenance and beautification projects in Alexandra and Clyde. For more information about the upcoming events see the Lookout Reserve planting day and Shaky Bridge Reserve planting day.KACB formed in 1988 and became officially recognised as a Keep New Zealand Beautiful Programme in June 1989. KACB is planning a celebration of 35 years of service in beautifying the district with an exhibition to be held at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery from July 22 until August 18. To find out about KACB activities contact [email protected] more: Thousands of native tussock planted at Half Mile Reserve

Central Otago benefits from eco funding
Central Otago benefits from eco funding

14 June 2024, 5:15 PM

A total 33 environmental projects across Otago have been granted $854,733 in this year’s annual ECO Fund and Incentives Funding programmes.The funding supports community driven projects, which protect, enhance, and promote Otago’s environment, which now tops a total $2.58 million going to 166 organisations since mid-2018.Those to benefit across Central Otago include Mokihi Reforestation Trust, which received $29,520 for native vegetation, while Kyeburn Catchment Ltd received $48,540 for roundhead galaxias restoration, the Lower Manorburn Reserve working group/committee received $11,414 part funding), for its wilding conifer removal and native revegetation project, Otago Fish & Game received $5000 for the Bendigo Wildlife Reserve and the Alexandra Primary School received $2000 for native moth and butterfly habitat restoration. Otago Regional Council’s (ORC) ECO Fund Assessment Panel chair Alan Somerville said he was delighted the programme has been able to support projects across Otago - from the headwaters and Central Otago to North Otago, Dunedin and the Catlins. “Otago gets huge value from the ECO fund. Control of pests - sycamores, rabbits and possums - protects our natural landscapes and habitats. Native revegetation restores habitat and looks after our waterways. Traplines and control of predators further helps our native animal populations recover,” Alan said.Local groups also play an important part in educating their communities about environmental values and action.“It’s especially pleasing that we have supported environmental programmes in three primary schools. Those children can carry their attitudes of care for the environment into their adult lives,” he said.Alan highlighted the funds were bigger than ever this year, but ORC was still not able to fund all projects.ORC’s environmental implementation manager Libby Caldwell said the oversubscription again this year in-part, likely reflects the ending of the Government’s Jobs for Nature funding, which had supported many groups in past years.“Oversubscription reflects the ongoing need in communities for these important funding streams,” she said. 

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