Group returns to its roots

Instead of winding down, the Wanaka Residents’ Association has decided to change its focus. The organisation, which was facing an uncertain future due to declining membership, would from now on only focus on beautification and amenity projects, members decided at its annual meeting in Wanaka on Wednesday night. New president Roger Gardiner said members voted not to wind up the association, but instead to narrow its scope and focus in the hope of attracting new members. About 18 members attended the meeting in the St John Ambulance rooms in Link Way on Wednesday. Wanaka Community Board deputy chairman Quentin Smith said it was normal for a residents’ association to evolve and change over time.

February 23, 2017 17:07 UTC

9% child obesity rate in South

The data is from a health target that states DHBs must refer 95% of obese children for professional help. Southern DHB referred 64% of obese children in results published this week, in which it ranked 13th out of 20 DHBs. He said the rate of obesity among southern children was about the same as the national rate. Prof Mann said new research showing Mexico’s sugar tax was cutting consumption suggested it was worth trying in New Zealand. "The only logic is you’ve got a conservative government that’s scared of the sugar industry," Prof Mann said.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Emotions flow as Kingston Flyer back on track

The Kingston Flyer. News of the Kingston Flyer’s sale sparked tears and applause in Kingston and surrounds yesterday as the local community soaked up the news. Two steam locomotives, vintage carriages, the former Kingston Tavern, storage sheds, 14km of track and other undeveloped land totalling 80ha are included in the sale. Kingston resident Annabelle Wilson, who worked as a guard on the Flyer 25 years ago, was cautiously optimistic. The trains, land and assets were placed on the market in November the same year.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Air NZ profit falls in face of greater competition

Air New Zealand’s interim profit demonstrated management’s ability to adjust costs as operating conditions deteriorated, Forsyth Barr broker Damian Foster said yesterday. The airline posted a lower operating profit for the six months ended December, citing "unprecedented competitive capacity" in the New Zealand market. Operating earnings for the period fell 14% to $698million from $811million in the previous corresponding period. The profit before tax fell 29% to $327million from $457million and the reported profit was down 24% to $256million from $338million. Flying high• Operating revenue of $2.6billion• Operating profit of $698millon• Operating cash flow of $376million• Interim dividend of 10c per share maintained

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Southern waters rated for quality

Otago's lakes and rivers are healthier than those of neighbouring Southland waters, new Ministry for the Environment data has revealed. Excellent water quality spots included the Clutha River sampled at Millers Flat and Lake Dunstan. The Taieri River had "good" water quality at Middlemarch. Much of the Tokomairiro River was found to have "poor" water quality, as did the Tuapeka River. "We have a water plan in place which is designed to maintain water quality where it is good and improve it where needed."

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Park name honour

A Luggate community stalwart will forever be remembered after the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s community and services committee agreed unanimously to officially name a park in his honour. Geoff Taylor (78) died on February 14 last year not long after retiring as chairman of the Luggate Community Association — a group he had served for a decade. "[Mr] Taylor was a highly respected and loved community stalwart and therefore the community association wish to honour him in this way." He and Sir Tim — who were lifelong friends — then established the Luggate Game Packers Company in 1963, exporting venison. His "swansong" was the inspirational restoration of the old wagon and horse sculptures which stand in the park beside Main Rd.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Harvest those potatoes

Lift the tubers on a dry day and store them in a cool, dry place away from daylight. FlowersGarden centres are now advertising new stocks of spring bulbs, so buy early while the greatest variety is available. Hardy annuals sown now will fill a gap in the garden once the spring show of bulbs is over. This is done by wrenching: slicing through the soil with a sharp spade to cut a portion of the roots. The uninjured roots maintain the plant’s food supply, while the severed roots begin to form new rootlets.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Fonterra maintains 2016-17 milk price of $6

Fonterra has left its forecast farm-gate milk price unchanged at $6 for the 2016-17 season. Fonterra also announced it would increase the monthly advance rate it pays to farmers. Earlier this month, Synlait Milk increased its forecast milk price from $6 to $6.25, chairman Graeme Milne say-ing the company believed that was now a realistic estimate for the current season. Fonterra’s February Global Dairy Update said the co-operative’s New Zealand milk collections were showing signs of recovery. Originally expected to be down 7% for the season, the forecast had now improved to a 5% decline on last season.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Shortage of dyes

Back row (from left): Mr T. Allcock (secretary), Mrs Ball, Messrs J. M. Gill, N. Stewart, P. Toomey, Mrs Dickson, Mr D. Grant, Mrs Shand, Mrs Tait and Mr D. McGregor. Front row: Messrs H. Cameron, J. Somers, R. Bell, J. Nicoll, J. Dickson, M.P., Masters Bell and A. N. Park. Last August, Messrs G. and L. Phillips, of Kaitoke, happened to read an article in the Dominion on the shortage of dyes at Home and in America. Further, they have experimented with a large measure of success in making their dyes fast. The dyes will effectively colour coarse hair, wool, silk, cotton, jute, hemp, and feathers.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Sky shares fall as merger denied

Sky TV needed to address why it was losing subscribers. Forsyth Barr broker Suzanne Kinnaird said Sky TV had looked at the merger as the most appropriate response to the challenges it faced from new competitors and changing viewer patterns. Sky TV, as the local operator, might be far more willing to do this. Sky TV chief executive John Fellet issued a short statement saying he was disappointed with the decision. Consumers were increasingly demanding greater choice and flexibility as to how they accessed premium content, Mr Wesley-Smith said.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Concerns raised during visits to factory, MP says

Michael Woodhouse. Concerns about the viability of the Cadbury plant were raised with him during visits to the factory, Dunedin National list MP Michael Woodhouse has confirmed. In a statement, Mr Woodhouse said the concerns were raised as recently as last month. In his statement, Mr Woodhouse said concerns over Cadbury’s viability were not new, and under the previous Labour government, 145 jobs were lost at the factory. Mr Woodhouse did not answer some of the Otago Daily Times’ follow-up questions, including whether he referred viability concerns to Cabinet, and what Mondelez told him about viability.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Bond, Wilkins, Morrison on board

Georgie Salter. Joining head coach Georgie Salter are Dana Bond, Donna Wilkins and Lana Morrison, while John Mathias and Abby McKenzie have been named as observation coaches to attend training sessions. Bond, from Eastern, will be the team’s assistant coach, former Silver Fern Wilkins will be a specialist coach and Dunedin’s Morrison the apprentice coach. "That’s the reason I’m doing it, the chance to also coach the coaches," Salter said. The 16-person South squad selected in October will complete trials in Dunedin this weekend to secure a spot in the final team.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

Loss of identity the biggest challenge

But even the best forward planning cannot always adequately prepare an individual for what can feel like a monumental shift in a person’s identity. A former provincial rugby player, Hermansson said it took "well over year" to adjust to life after sport. "The key challenge is it is a loss of identity. "The starting point is to fight it and don’t let yourself be labelled as just a rugby player, a cricket player or a swimmer," Nichol said. "Up until three or fours years ago concussion was very, very poorly managed within rugby," Nichol said.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

30,000ha 1080 drop goes ahead amid protest

Protesters and tourists watched as the Department of Conservation went ahead with its aerial 1080 pest-control programme near Makarora yesterday. About 30,000ha of native bush was covered by the programme in the Makarora Valley and its tributaries, the Fish, Blue, Young, Cameron, Wilkin and Siberia valleys. Doc staff were also placed on some of the longer walking tracks to caution trampers and advise them about the drop. Makarora was the last part of the pest-control programme in the southern South Island, Mr Tubbs said. UK tourists Marian and Mick Goodyear said they had not heard of 1080 before reading the signs and talking to protesters at the entrance to the Blue Pools.

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

No cameras, higher toll

Eight of New Zealand’s 12 police districts are without fixed speed cameras, as police phase out wet-film cameras in preparation for the installation of next-generation speed cameras. Police are continuing to use mobile cameras in the district, but the number of speeders caught has plummeted since the fixed cameras began being phased out. Insp Welch conceded the falling numbers of those caught by speed cameras was attributable to the "transition to police’s new safety cameras". But while much of the country remains out of the view of fixed speed cameras, the road toll has grown.Last year’s provisional toll stands at 328 — the worst since 2010. "So while some districts may not currently have a fixed safety camera, tools such as mobile safety cameras and high-visibility deployments have minimised any effect that the removal of the cameras may have."

February 23, 2017 17:06 UTC

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