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Mini curling tournament held on Idaburn Dam
Mini curling tournament held on Idaburn Dam

22 July 2024, 5:30 PM

A small selection of curlers put their skills to the test on the Idaburn Dam, near Oturehua yesterday.While they were not playing for the Brown Shield as initially hoped, a mini tournament was still able to go ahead with fewer teams and a shorter amount of time on the ice.Curlers had initially hoped to compete for the much-anticipated Brown Shield, a tournament which was last played in 2010 and would usually see about 17 rinks in action from morning until late afternoon.However, one of the group’s ice masters Ken Gillespie said the ice was not viable for such a large group of people, prompting organisers behind the popular tournament to cancel the event on Sunday night.Not all hope was dashed though, as they allowed the much smaller event to take place instead with four ends played.While those who took part had a great time, it was short lived as water started to seep onto the surface, Ken said.But, that didn’t stop everyone from having a good time.From left to right: Bill May, Matt McSkimming, Ken Gillespie, Murray Tonkin, Friend, Graeme Male, Rachel Duffy, Hugh Speight.“We’re all still here, it’s quite social,” he said, following the tournament.He said it was unfortunate the Brown Shield couldn’t go ahead, but cancelling it was the right call.“It was just as well we did because the ice wasn’t good enough. That’s just the way it is.”Late last week, conditions looked promising thanks to regular overnight low temperatures of -7 degrees Celsius.However, Sunday only dropped to -5C and -2C on Saturday morning.“The ice just wasn’t good enough.“It’s better for the frosts to be in the double figures to make good ice.”He said while the opportunity to host the Brown Shield on the Idaburn Dam was now potentially lost this season, those who managed to compete in the smaller tournament had a great time.

Retailers struggling as electronic card spending falls, costs increase
Retailers struggling as electronic card spending falls, costs increase

22 July 2024, 5:15 PM

Retailers are hanging on to their storefronts by their fingertips as customers spend less and costs for wages, insurance and freight go up.Stats NZ figures show electronic card spending fell 0.6 percent in June, while the value of sales had dropped 4.9 percent on a year ago.Retail NZ was surveying its members on trading conditions and so far, more than 70 percent of respondents did not meet sales targets for the second quarter.Chief executive Carolyn Young said that meant many retailers could not cover costs."We are seeing businesses close, absolutely. So retailers are responding to the environment they're in. Big retailers will be looking at, when the time comes to renew their lease, they'll be thinking about is that still profitable?"If you're a smaller retailer, you'll be probably considering if somebody resigns from the job, do I need to replace that staff member? What are the other levers I can pull? Can I get new stock in or broaden the stock that I'm doing?"So there are some different levers that the different size businesses will look at pulling in order to survive through this."She said last week's change of tone from the Reserve Bank on rate cuts was positive, but there would be a delay before retailers saw results."We do know there's a lag factor. It's not going to happen straight away. So even if interest rates are cut, people aren't going to feel that impact immediately."Young said the government's tax cuts, due at the end of July, along with any changes to interest rates might help to minimise business losses.ASB senior economist Kim Mundy said high interest rates and household costs and rising job insecurity meant consumers were not spending.But she said the tax cuts were unlikely to start a shopping spree."When uncertainty for consumers is so high, consumer confidence is very low at the moment. The risk is in our mind that we'd really be surprised to see consumers opting to heavily spend this money rather than save it in case they need it in the future."We're not expecting to see a spending spree off the back of that, which suggests that the economy should still continue to sort of evolve the way it is."That means we should be in a position where the Reserve Bank could say, 'hey, job done, we can start taking some of that pressure off the economy now'."Mundy said consumers were reacting the way the central bank wanted them to, by pulling back on spending to help rebalance the demand and supply of the economy.She said pricing pressures were starting to ease, which should open the door to OCR cuts later in the year.

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

22 July 2024, 3:15 PM

Affordable Family Home in Pisa!13 Missy Crescent, CromwellEnquiries over $980,000Perfectly positioned on a massive 1003sqm elevated section is a wonderful opportunity for your family to enjoy all the lifestyle benefits of living in one of Central Otago's most desirable suburbs! Pisa Moorings is an idyllic lake side community a short drive to Cromwell, and under an hours drive to Queenstown and Wanaka the perfect spot to enjoy water sport fun and make the most of the surrounding ski fields. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Dimple Tuteja.The High-Octane Dream Section!6 Highlands Avenue, CromwellEnquiries over $480,000 + GST (if any)Imagine having the perfect garage setup to showcase and protect your beloved cars and trackside seats to all the action, right from the comfort of your home at the iconic Highlands Motorsport Park. The 600sqm titled section provides an exclusive vantage point for spectating the thrilling races and events at the world-renowned race track, all while admiring the unobstructed views of the Pisa Mountain Ranges to the north and Dunstan Mountain range to the east. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Dimple Tuteja.Expansive Living with Amazing Garaging!3A Kawarau Court, CromwellEnquiries over $1,220,000Perfectly situated in the popular Printers Bay, this home is just minutes' walk from Lake Dunstan and the picturesque Heritage Precinct. It's the ideal spot for a growing family looking for more space, featuring four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a double internal access garage, and a second external access double garage with a workshop! Click here for more information or to contact the agent Keeley Anderson and Dimple Tuteja.The time is Right78 Hazlett Street, ClydeEnquiries over $640,000Welcome to 78 Hazlett Street, Clyde - a great entry level property for the discerning investor or first home buyers. The home boasts 3 bedrooms, providing ample space for a family or those who wish to work from home providing opportunity for an office space. The bathroom is well-appointed, open plan living space with separate laundry. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.Spectacular Views & Renovation Potential...16 Chapple Street, Alexandradeadline sale (by 17 Jul)If your looking for a renovation project that has so much potential then this is the spot for you. Nestled in a prime location that is elevated to capture all day sun and the spectacular views, you don't want to miss out on this opportunity. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Stacey Waldron and Rebecca Ireland.Fantastic Family Home with Views36 Shields Street, ClydeEnquiries over $1,185,000Welcome to 36 Shields Street in the charming town of Clyde! This beautifully crafted home boasts a perfect blend of modern design & scenic surroundings, offering a comfortable and convenient lifestyle for you and your family. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.Modern Luxury8 Attfield Close, ClydeEnquiries over $1,180,000Welcome to 8 Attfield Close, Clyde - where luxury living meets stunning town and mountain views from the elevated tiered section. This immaculate property offers a perfect blend of tranquillity and convenience situated in the heart of Clyde. First home on the hill, this home is the first to get those early sunshine rays and the last to lose them ensuring that the owners can soak up all that brilliant Central Otago weather. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.Central Otago Dream - Lots 3 & 43 & 4 68 Ferris Road, AlexandraLot 3 Enquiries Over $450,000 approx - 1.5 ha subject to titleLot 4 Enquiries Over $430,000 approx - 2.6 ha subject to titleBoth these bare-land blocks offer a unique opportunity to create your dream property in the heart of Central Otago. Conveniently located just minutes drive away from Alexandra, the sections are elevated and provide stunning views and great building sites, making them the perfect canvas for your new home. Click here for more information or to contact the agent Peter Hishon.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.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. 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Nivans to celebrate Vanuatu Independence Day
Nivans to celebrate Vanuatu Independence Day

21 July 2024, 5:30 PM

Recognised seasonal employees (RSE) from Vanuatu are getting together to celebrate Bislama Language Week and Vanuatu Independence Day on Sunday July 28.Viticultura pastoral care manager Jo Ennion has stepped up to organise celebrations this year.  Jo said the day’s events would coincide with Vanuatu’s children's day, on July 24, and Independence Day, on July 30, with a big, fun day at Earnscleugh Hall.“Nivans from Cromwell, Alexandra, Ettrick and Roxburgh will all be getting together to celebrate.“The guys have been getting the programme for the day together, there will be a string band, a skit, some speeches and good food.“It is a little different this year because of timing [the first week was in October in 2023], with our winter crews here the event will be down scaled a bit.”Jo said everyone was welcome to join the Nivan community to enjoy music and culture and were asked to bring a plate of food to share.Jo said doctor Trevor Lloyd, who can speak Bislama and has worked as a doctor for Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) in Vanuatu, will be sharing his experience with staff at Dunstan Hospital. Primary school visits are also planned for schools in Cromwell and Roxburgh during the week. Last year was the first year of a two-year trial of Bislama Language Week in Central by the Ministry of Pacific Peoples. Bislama is the language of Vanuatu, where many of Central’s recognised seasonal employees (RSE) come from. It is a common language for Ni-vans, as across Vanuatu there are 113 distinct languages and many more dialects.Bislama is phonetically English, it has a melanesian grammar, resulting in complex ideas being expressed as stories that are often a great deal longer than if told in English.From October through November there are about 400 Ni-vans (people from Vanuatu) arriving in Central for the following seven months' of work in horticulture and viticulture.After 74 years of joint rule between Britain and France, Vanuatu received its independence on July 30, 1980.

Grants to support safe driving, community projects in Central
Grants to support safe driving, community projects in Central

21 July 2024, 5:15 PM

Central Lakes Trust (CLT) approved $1 million in grants to charitable organisations to support community patrols, driver initiatives and cultural events in Central during a June meeting. Among the 19 grantees is Eduk8 Charitable Trust who received $57,780 to deliver driver educational initiatives in the region. Eduk8 has been operating throughout New Zealand since 2007 and established its Otago regional trust in 2020. It is currently setting up a Central Otago trust to serve the region.Working with NZ Courts, NZ Police, Fire Emergency New Zealand, St John ambulance, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and community volunteers, Eduk8 delivers Te Ara Tutki Pai – The Right Track (TRT), a driver education programme for young at-risk drivers and offenders. One of the attendees of the May TRT programme said it was very eye opening. “The amount of things I learned and realised. Really put me in my place. It has changed my entire perspective. It's not just on drink driving, but also distracted driving and anything along the lines of impaired driving.”While the TRT’s main focus is driver rehabilitation, the course aims to educate, motivate, challenge, inspire, and inform to support attendees make better decisions on and off the road.CLT chief executive Barbara Bridger said supporting community organisations which address social problems or improve health outcomes for the people in our region is core to what the CLT does. “We are very pleased to see TRT offered in the Queenstown Lakes region and to support the work they do.”Other Central organisations who received project grants were; Clyde Playcentre boosted by $5420 for a flooring project, Cromwell and District Community Trust’s Chinese village project, which was granted $8882, Mīharo (Central Lakes Polyfest 2024) received $40,000 and WoolOn 2024 benefited from a $15,000 grant. Operational grants to Central included Alexandra Rural Community Patrol, which received $8343 and Cromwell Community Patrol, which was given $5000. St John ambulance received $267,435 to support the purchase of a new ambulance, based out of Queenstown, to provide backup for much of the Central Lakes region.CLT Funding clinics are coming up next month. Interested applicants can get advice at Alexandra Community House from 11am - 1pm on August 14 and on the same day in the CLT boardroom, Cromwell from 2.30 - 4.30pm. For more information about funding contact [email protected]

Updated: Idaburn Dam to postpone hosting the Brown Trophy
Updated: Idaburn Dam to postpone hosting the Brown Trophy

20 July 2024, 5:30 PM

Update: Curling is postponed on the Idaburn Dam due to not having a hard enough surface. Murray McKnight, one of the Ice masters at Idaburn Dam, said, "Today, we had a good crew check, but due to numerous air bubbles in the ice, we determined it was too soft. Although we considered relocating to Naseby, the ice conditions there were also unsuitable. Therefore, we have decided to postpone the event at this point. Given the improved temperatures in the Ida Valley, cancellation seems likely."The Central App will keep you updated.Last weeks news story:Curlers have their stones at the ready, hopeful of getting on the Idaburn Dam for The Brown Shield on Monday.Ken Gillespie, one of the Ice masters, has diligently monitored the ice to ensure it meets the necessary safety standards for outdoor play.“We really want to have 100mm and we’ve got about 80mm [of ice].”Earlier this week it was thought the dam, located near Oturehua, might have met those requirements to allow the tournament to be played on Saturday, but the call has been made to hold off until Monday, he said.“The ice is absolutely beautiful. We are just bordering on not quite enough for [Saturday].”There have been regular overnight low temperatures in the area over the past week of -7C, while yesterday morning it was -6C, Ken said.If the tournament gets the go-ahead on Monday, it will start at 9am and teams will play 21 ends across 17 rinks before stopping for lunch.A further 21 ends will be played in the afternoon.Each club registered will have two rinks to play on and must bring their own stones and brooms.The Brown Shield, which is a one-day match for Idaburn Curling Council Clubs only, was last played in 2010.

Mayor's column: Street Smart relaunched
Mayor's column: Street Smart relaunched

20 July 2024, 5:30 PM

Tuesday last week was an emotional day which started with being privileged to be on hand at Highlands Motorsport Park when the Street Smart driver education programme was relaunched with the massive help of the Tony Quinn Foundation. I have always been a big supporter of Street Smart. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a programme that gives young drivers practical, hands-on, cognitive-based driving experience that, since its launch in 2018, has shown over 2000 young drivers how to stay safe on our roads. The challenging economic environment forced the not-for-profit Charitable Trust that ran the programme to go into hibernation in March 2022. Then a tragedy occurred that changed everything, with the death of seventeen-year-old Kelan Stroud in the Cromwell Gorge in March. In an incredibly brave and thoughtful response to an indescribable loss, Kelan’s family set up a Give-a-Little page to raise funds to put, in their hope, two or three kids through a defensive driving course to help other families avoid their devastation. That page has raised over $20,000. But that was only the beginning. In launching the page, the family reached out to the unstoppable Josie Spillane, group CEO of Tony Quinn’s Motorsport Park’s in New Zealand which includes Highlands. This then led to Tony Quinn getting involved, bringing Supercars CEO Shane Howard, and Street Smart trustee Greg Murphy alongside to form a partnership to make a life-saving difference in New Zealand. End result, on Tuesday morning, with the almost unbelievable injection of $750,000 from the Tony Quinn Foundation, Street Smart was reborn. It was incredibly emotional to sit in a room full of young drivers about to undertake their days training and to watch their faces as Kelan’s mother Tracy talked of who Kelan was and the impact of his loss on his family. People’s courage can be breathtaking sometimes and I think it a fair chance that her talk alone to those kids stopped crashes sometime in the future from ever happening. A weird juxtaposition happened later that day as I was in a vehicle heading toward the Māniatoto and passed two crashes that both looked very nasty, but fortunately did not result in serious injury as far as I am aware. It has been a hell of a week on the roads and I’m not sure if next week is going to be much better.  It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, inexperienced or been driving for years, it is just not possible to be too careful on our roads.

CrowdStrike glitch 'probably one of the worst updates we've ever seen' - expert
CrowdStrike glitch 'probably one of the worst updates we've ever seen' - expert

20 July 2024, 5:15 PM

The global rollout of "probably one of the worst updates we've ever seen of any software company ever" will have big ramifications for the IT industry, an expert says.Global services are slowly recovering from a crippling software update issued by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike on Friday (NZ time).Airlines, healthcare, shipping, finance, TV networks, transport networks and more around the world were affected by the faulty update, which crashed Microsoft Windows-powered computers so badly they could not be easily restored with a simple restart.Companies are now dealing with backlogs of delayed and cancelled flights and medical appointments, missed orders and other issues that could take days to resolve.CrowdStrike chief executive George Kurtz released a statement confirming the outages experienced worldwide were the result of what he called a defect found in a single content update for Windows hosts.He confirmed that the outages were not the result of a security incident or any kind of cyber attack."Clearly this is a 'black eye' moment, not just for CrowdStrike but I think the overall IT industry," Tech analyst Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities told RNZ."It's something where I think for weeks and months ahead they'll be studying this. I'd expect there'll be regulatory hearings, you know, on Capitol Hill, and for Crowdstrike it's about brand reputation, it's about containing the damage in essentially what's a code red situation not just for CrowdStrike, but I see the cybersecurity industry globally."Follow RNZ's live updates on the CrowdStrike outage.Logo of the American cybersecurity software company CrowdStrike. Photo: SEBASTIEN LAPEYRERE / AFPCrowdStrike was founded in 2011, with goals to safeguard the world's largest companies and their hardware from cyber threats.The company specialises in endpoint security protection. Basically, it stops malicious software or files from infiltrating computer networks. It also protects the servers companies store data on, which is increasingly happening through the cloud.It is a highly trusted company, to the extent the US Democratic National Committee called it in 2016 to investigate a breach of their computer network."They're one of the behemoths in cybersecurity," Ives said. "And I mean, this is a company that took revenue from $100 million 10 years ago to $4 billion today."He said CrowdStrike had at least been transparent about the problem, rushing to rollout a fix, and it was a relief the outage was not caused by a malicious actor."We've spoken to dozens of our IT managers CIOs … and I think right now with high-level of confidence, there's nothing more malicious or sinister. It feels like at the end of the day, this was just a bad update, as unbelievable as that seems so. I think now it's just about resolving, mitigating."And then look, if you're a CrowdStrike lawyer, you probably are not gonna see a beach this summer."The New Zealand government was likely to join the international community in questioning how a single software company can cause the biggest IT meltdown the world has ever seen.Acting Prime Minister David Seymour told RNZ "government agencies will also be assessing how we responded to this, what else could have gone wrong, what else we might have done, as is responsible in any event like this occurs"."As someone that takes an interest in technology and software in the way that it's developing, I was quite surprised this one company could have such a large effect. And I'm sure that there will be questions around the level of redundancy that's built into systems… I'm sure there'll be questions about how a software update is rolled out simultaneously right around the world."I have to say that most of those questions, at a technical level, are well above my pay grade. But I'm sure that the government will be asking those questions in the days and weeks to come."Non-profit IT group New Zealand Internet Task Force (NZITF) said the global cyber outage showed the wide-scale and potentially harmful effects a big computer fault can have.NZITF's Membership Officer Tandi McCarthy said it was a reminder to be prepared."It teaches us that we have such a huge reliance and dependency on online services. There is always going to be third parties and vendors that we rely on, so we just need to make sure that we've got people in processing systems in place to deal with issues when they occur."McCarthy said IT specialists would be busy this weekend checking on computer systems.Ives said it could result in changes to how critical updates are rolled out."This is something that I think will change the nature of software updates - the fact that one bad update with a bad code essentially is something that reverberated around the world and is still, and will be probably over the next 36, 48 hours…"The interconnection and how much we rely on, not just the cloud, but in terms of data, it just shows how vulnerable we are, and that's not gonna change. That's gonna get more and more. But you know, at least, fortunately, the only good thing is it was not a cyber hack."

Former OBHS deputy to lead Dunstan High School
Former OBHS deputy to lead Dunstan High School

19 July 2024, 5:45 PM

Dunstan High School will kick start the term with a new principal, thanks to the arrival of Andrew King.The former Otago Boys’ High School (OBHS) deputy rector is no stranger to managing teams, having also coached the Otago badminton seniors for several years.Once ranked 13th in England, it was when he started coaching the game back home that his passion for teaching began.After completing a Sports Science Degree, he went on to coach fulltime in England for two years before studying a Post-graduate Certificate in Education.His first teaching job was at a Roman Catholic School of 1300 students.He and wife Kim moved to New Zealand from Darlington in late 2009, where he picked up some relieving work at Mana College in Porirua.“That was a cultural eye opener,” he said with 85 per cent of the students either of Māori or Pacific Island background.His wife got a job at Sport Otago so they moved to Dunedin and Andrew continued relieve teaching between Kings High School and OBHS.Then he was offered the head of junior physical education at OBHS and moved onto dean before accepting the assistant principal role at Tokomairiro High School in Milton.OBHS lured him back with the deputy rector position but in the back of his mind, Andrew said a principal position had always been on the radar.The pastoral care work that he has been involved in as dean and deputy rector was what he was most passionate about.“I was the guy you came to when there was a problem.”OBHS Rector Richard Hall would continue to be his mentor and they remained good friends.Central Otago was always a place that he and his wife had been interested in, and his daughter Sophie will start at Dunstan next year in Year 9, while son Matthew (9), will settle into a new primary school.Andrew's first impressions of the school was the number of sports fields that many of us take for granted.“There were fields for Africa, and they link to other parks. What a dream,” he said.Andrew is looking forward to playing some ‘bad golf’ when he gets settled, as he’d already worked out there were some keen players on the staff.Having taught at a diverse range of schools throughout the country, he has taken a little bit from each to help him grow as a leader.“Schools are pretty simplistic places . . . and, in reality, kids are kids, and they just want to do well.”He said Dunstan High School was an attractive place for a new principal, “because it’s just so solid, with great facilities and great staff. It’s never a school that you hear anything bad about.”He was particularly impressed with the interview process and is now looking forward to getting on with the job.“Let’s make stuff happen,” he said.

Outdoor fires contributing to air pollution in Central
Outdoor fires contributing to air pollution in Central

19 July 2024, 5:15 PM

Smouldering outdoor fires in parts of coastal and Central Otago causing pollution in recent weeks has prompted 53 complaints to the Otago Regional Council.Team leader compliance monitoring Chris McSweeney said while outdoor burning in the colder winter months improves fire safety, the combination of spiralling smoke and the natural inversion layer can increase the incidences of pollution.“We know how important outdoor burning is to the community and we are just reminding people to follow good burning practices. If not done well, outdoor burning is not only a nuisance for neighbours, but can also contribute to air pollution if banned materials are burned and harmful toxins are released into the air,” he said.Between mid-May and mid-July there have been 19 burning complaints in the Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes districts, of which 11 were attended by ORC staff.Chris said if it’s a cold start to the day - particularly in Central Otago – people should consider starting their outdoor burning later to allow for the inversion layer to lift and so the smoke can dissipate higher in the sky.“If people pick a good weather day, then any smoke from a permitted outdoor burn should not be an issue to neighbouring properties over their boundary,” he said.There are three types of outdoor burning; industrial burning, a backyard fire and vegetation/forestry burn off. People can only burn in a Fire and Emergency NZ open season or permitted fire season.Chris said people should ensure the fire is managed and start with a smaller amount of material on the fire and get it burning well before adding any more material to the fire. People should continue to monitor their fire, not let it smoulder and not leave it unattended or leave it to burn overnight.“If using mechanical equipment, try not to add too much dirt to a fire as it will stifle the oxygen flow, which will cause more smoke,” he said.People should only burn vegetation and other permitted material if the material is dry at the time of burning. If you observe an instance of pollution to water, air, or land in Otago, call the Pollution Hotline which is staffed 24/7 on 0800 800 033 and report.What you can burn:CardboardPaperVegetation (must not be green)Untreated woodWhat you cannot burn:Rubber, including tyres, tubes and foam rubberTreated timberWaste oil or other petroleum productsPlastics of any kind, including vinyl, nylon, and polystyrene, but you can burn polyethylene (used for silage wrap)Mineral fibresWires or cablesFood wasteDisposable nappiesChemicals including garden sprays and agrichemicalsPaints, varnishes or other surface coatingsMotor vehicle or vehicle partsAny pathological materialSewage sludge, such as solids from septic tanksMaterial from contaminated sites or buildingsMaterials containing heavy metals

The Outlet: Freezing temperatures to linger in Central
The Outlet: Freezing temperatures to linger in Central

18 July 2024, 5:45 PM

Freezing fog, back-to-back nights of below zero temperatures and a blanket of hoar frost - welcome to winter in Central Otago.While MetService has confirmed some of the recent overnight lows across Central have dipped to -7 degrees Celsius, unofficial reports show some areas have dropped to as low as -9C.Add to that, low lying fog and hoar frosts, and the reality is bleak, unless of course you’re waiting patiently to curl on Central’s outdoor dams or ponds.Ice master Ken Gillespie, of Oturehua, is among those keeping an eye on the conditions.He is hoping to wake to freezing temperatures again this morning, so a much anticipated one-day curling tournament can take place on the Idaburn Dam on Saturday.A decision will be made this morning to determine if the event can go ahead, or not.Special care is taken to make sure the ice is thick enough before making the call.Over the past week, the overnight low temperatures in the area had averaged -7C, he said.“We’ve had a reasonable run and we’re very, very close [to being able to curl],” he said, earlier this week.An icy Idaburn Dam, near Oturehua. PHOTO: The Central AppAmong those also keeping a close eye on the weather is MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris.Lewis, who grew up in Cromwell and is now based in Wellington, knows first-hand just how cold the area can get.“I’ve got a couple of memories that have stuck in my mind,” he said.One involved cycling to school on a freezing cold morning and by the time he arrived any of his hair that was visible was frozen solid.Lewis said for a long time, the coldest temperature recorded in New Zealand was understood to have been -21.6C in Ophir in 1995.However, further research shows -25.6C was recorded at Eweburn, near Ranfurly in 1903.Lewis talks about the current weather patterns on The Outlet this week, showcasing what is causing the consistent below zero temperatures, freezing fog and hoar frosts.He said the forecast over the coming few days did not have any great change in it.“I think, sadly, you just kind of got to expect that there’ll be much of the same. I’m not seeing a nice warm northwest to come and clear those things out.”He said there might be a little bit of rain in the forecast, which could bring a chance of some blue skies later.“I don’t think it’s going to be a complete clearance, but it looks like those temperatures at least will start to warm a little bit.”To keep up to date with the forecast click on The Central App’s Weather button, along with Roads to check on conditions.Read more: Alexandra hits its lowest temperature for seasonRead more: Winter fun on the Manorburn DamRead more: High pressure brings -6C to parts of Central 

New junior categories for WoolOn fashion awards
New junior categories for WoolOn fashion awards

18 July 2024, 5:30 PM

This year’s WoolOn creative fashion event is attracting some big names, with Nom*d owner Margi Robertson and Christina Grant from Perriam part of the judging team for the first time.Being held at the Alexandra Bowling Club, the August 31 gala awards event is almost a sell-out, but tickets are still available for the matinee reveal show.This year organisers are also celebrating 20 years of WoolOn, and have introduced a new award to encourage the younger generations to get creative with wool.The Under 13 School Designer Award invites anyone in primary or intermediate school to enter their wearable wool fashion creation, and provides a promotional platform for its future designers. The addition of the Matinee Reveal event on the afternoon of Saturday August 31 coincides with WoolOn's efforts to appeal to a wider age range. The event will celebrate both the Under 18 and Under 13 designers as well as show a full run through of all the entries in every design category.Event coordinator Jamie Richards said encouraging young talent is vital for the future of fashion design and for the future of wool advocacy and the environment. “We want as many schools as possible to encourage their pupils to enter a creation. For those simply looking to have some fun, we also have the Pink Wool Plaster Challenge using bright pink wool plasters donated by Wool Aid NZ."Anyone wanting to enter their fashion design has until July 31 to submit an expression of interest via the WoolOn website. Those interested in the Pink Wool Plaster Challenge can contact the WoolOn team to request a supply of plasters. “But be quick if you want your designs to stick.”Returning judge Liz Mitchell makes up the third person on the panel, alongside Robertson who has been involved in the Eden Hore collection, and Grant who grew up amidst merino farming heritage on Bendigo Station, before starting her Perriam fashion label.

Otago Regional Council meeting moves inland
Otago Regional Council meeting moves inland

18 July 2024, 5:15 PM

Central Otago is set to host the next Otago Regional Council (ORC) meeting, being held in Cromwell on July 24.The ORC makes a point of holding meetings in each of the constituencies once a year, and the public are welcome to attend.Anybody interested in speaking in the public forum should let the council know to give staff and councillors advanced warning.Dunstan ward councillor Gary Kelliher said holding the meetings in the regions was not an easy exercise as staff have to relocate from Dunedin for the day, and the meeting has to be set up on a livestream.“The ORC is attempting to be more inclusive of the regions by holding at least one meeting in each area, and I do think it’s a good thing. But unless it includes topical papers then it can be a total waste of resources and efforts required to hold the meetings outside of Dunedin.”Central Otago issues should be discussed at Central Otago meetings, and this was a good attempt at being more meaningfully engaged with its communities, he said.Last year’s meeting in Cromwell attracted three people from the public and one of those was knitting, Gary said.“The public forum is way under utilised by ratepayers and stakeholders.”Air quality would be one of the more timely topics that the ORC was working on across the regions, and in Central Otago in particular over winter with the high use of wood burners.ORC would also be likely to give the councillors and the public an update on its Land and Water Plan, which was currently at stage four with stakeholder consultation involving iwi.The Cromwell meeting will be held at the Gate from 1pm to 5pm on Wednesday July 24.

Winter fun on the Manorburn Dam
Winter fun on the Manorburn Dam

17 July 2024, 5:45 PM

Cold conditions have made it possible for local curlers and skaters to venture to the Manorburn Dam's natural ice for the first time in a few years.On Wednesday morning, with temperatures of -3 degrees Celsius, curlers from Alexandra and Manorburn clubs were making the most of the natural ice on the lower Manorburn Dam as they competed for the Matagouri Trophy.Manorburn club curler Bruce Kissel said the two clubs haven't been able to play for the Matagouri Trophy since 2015, but that all changed yesterday.Manorburn won the tournament to keep a hold of the trophy after curling for 21 ends (game one 14-4, and game two 20-14). The action started at 9am and wrapped up around 2pm. “It was fantastic to get back natural ice, to play on actual ice is a whole different kettle of fish," he said.“I was the first one out there and there was one speed skater in the fog while I was setting up, it was spectacular.”Manorburn Curling Club member Bruce Kissel. PHOTO: SuppliedBruce said for curlers who haven’t played on natural ice before it is a special experience, peppered with plenty of banter, good humour and swapping yarns in a beautiful setting. With the weather due to warm up towards the end of the week, and rain forecasted, the natural ice would probably be gone by the weekend, he added. Safety needs to be top of mind for anyone going to dams, lakes or rivers where ice persists. For outdoor curling games there is a procedure to adhere to where the ice master ensures conditions are optimal for play. People who want to skate need to look out for markers indicating the safest area where the ice is thick enough. Olympic speed skater Andrew Nicholson shared his story of falling through the ice at the lower Manorburn on Sunday (July 14), too far from neighbouring properties and without safety equipment as a reminder of the importance of careful preparation, and not adventuring on your own.In his social media post he said he fell through the ice at Manorburn Dam.“The nearest folk too far to hear my yells. Normally I take surfboard, buoyancy aid, ice picks etc the tools needed to safely self-rescue. “This morning others had skated along a stretch of good thick ice. I swooped only 3m away from the marks at speed to turn. I went in instantly. Over my head in water and cries unheard. “Uh oh. . . . fortunately I knew the drill. Stay calm, big breaths, try to get the rest of the body to float, spread arms low, big breath to float the torso . . . slowly creeping on belly hooking a foot I managed to slide on belly to safety. If I did not know the drill I would not be here. As an Olympic speed skater I should have known better. Lesson learned. The rule I broke was skating on unchecked ice.”People and pups enjoying the ice on Tuesday. PHOTO: The Central AppOne local who visited Manorburn on Tuesday said a lot of residents were skating, or taking photos, but behaviour was good with people paying heed of markers and taking care if they were walking on the ice.  Read more: Alexandra hits its lowest temperature for season Before you travel check Weather & Reports for road and weather conditions on The Central App. Residents and visitors can curl and skate at Alexandra’s IceInline complex and Naseby’s Maniototo Adventure Park. 

Tiaki Maniototo Community Day tomorrow
Tiaki Maniototo Community Day tomorrow

17 July 2024, 5:30 PM

Tiaki Maniototo will host a community day in Ranfurly tomorrow to discuss the future of Upper Taieri Wai and celebrate conservation efforts, an event everyone is welcome to attend.Freshwater conservation group Tiaki Maniototo (TM) has been in existence for three years and has two more to run. TM project managers Caitlyn Daley and Colin Delahunt said they would love to see everyone at the upcoming event to hear about what they’ve been up to.“Its a time for reflection on our successes, and planning for the remainder of the project. One of the goals for the next two years is to continue to build a really strong community around our parent catchment group, Upper Taieri Wai. Only through having a strong community can we tackle the environmental challenges of our time,” a TM spokesperson said. The group’s mandate is to preserve, protect and enhance water quality, recreational, cultural, biodiversity and economic values in the Upper Taieri.At the community day, attendees will hear about the annual update of the projects, the role of the Upper Taieri Wai catchment group and a report from Otago Regional Council about the work they are doing in the Maniototo.In TM’s latest newsletter the group details how the “huge autumn” of planting another 19,000 plants has gone, and they’ve now reached a total of 83,000 plants in the ground and 30,000 growing at the nursery in Pātearoa in its first year of operation. The community day is at Ranfurly Bowling Club, 19 John St, July 19 from 2-6pm. Supper and drinks will be provided. For more information contact Natalie Willis on [email protected]

Armadillos ready for final clash
Armadillos ready for final clash

16 July 2024, 5:45 PM

The Alexandra Rugby Club men’s premier team, the Armadillos, triumphed over Wakatipu to secure their spot in the Central Otago Premier Rugby competition final this Saturday, July 20.They will face the Rams from Upper Clutha in Wānaka at 2.30pm for the second year running. Armadillos captain Tyler Ford said he expected the Rams “to throw everything at [this year’s final]” as some of the Rams players would have “a chip on their shoulders after last year and falling at the final hurdle.”He said despite the pressure of “do or die rugby”, he and the team were enjoying all the moments. “When the pressure comes on, we’re managing to perform . . . there’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence.“We’re not going in thinking it’s ours. We’ve a good chance of winning if we’re in the fight at the end.”Tyler was tight-lipped on the game plan but said the team would be sticking to its strengths and training as usual with coach Lee Wilson this week. “There are a few sore bodies [after Saturday’s semi] but everyone will be able to play in the final.”The Armadillos beat Wakatipu 24-21 in the semi-final on July 13, after losing to them the week prior at Molyneux Park by 27 points.Tyler said it felt awesome to win the semi-final.“No one asserted dominance in the game and the lead went back and forth.”It was a hard-fought semi with the Armadillos down by one point at half time 12-13. The team defended well in the last 20 minutes to take the win, with fans calling it a “gritty performance”. Their points were from two tries and one conversion to Tyler Ford and four penalties to Nathan Hook.Tyler said supporters travelling to games were a boost for the team. “Last week we had more supporters there than [home team] Wakatipu . . . three supporters' vans full from the club and other supporters too.”Tyler thanked the broader community and local business sponsors for backing the team.“A few older blokes have been coming up and having a chat in the supermarket . . . it’s cool to see rugby growing in the community.”  The Armadillos have played the Rams once this season, losing 24 -28 in Tarras on June 15. The Rams beat Maniototo Maggots 58-8 in the other semi-final in Wānaka. They have had one loss in the 2024 season to Wakatipu in May. Last year’s grand-final against the Rams went Alexandra’s way with a narrow two-point margin win (34-32) and in 2023 the team won their first competition title since 2015. In 2022 the Rams lost the semi-final to Wakatipu, and Alexandra placed sixth out of seven in the competition that year. The Alexandra Armadillos after a home game against Cromwell this season, they won 35-24. PHOTO: Supplied

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