Can’t stand up much

May 5, 2017

Prince Philip is standing down from royal duties in August.

Because, in his words, he “can’t stand up much longer”.

He’ll be 96 by then.


Council + community = progress

April 14, 2015

A challenge from Waitaki District mayor Gary Kircher has resulted in the main road in to Moeraki being rebuilt:

. . . Haven St has been closed to through traffic since August 2013 when a 350m to 400m section collapsed following heavy rain.

The road is being rebuilt as part of a push by the Moeraki community to reopen the road because of concerns about the width of the alternative route via Tenby St and that visitors were having problems finding their way to local restaurants and accommodation providers.

A group was formed to work with the Waitaki District Council and manage offers of help and material from local people to tackle the work under the supervision of an engineer and work on the road began in February.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the rebuilt section of street was ”very impressive”. He was ”blown away” by what had been a ”fairly unique partnership” between the Waitaki District Council, the Moeraki community and local contractors.

”Numerous community members have done so well getting the road to this stage.”

He did not believe so much work had ever gone into the stretch of road, which had been notorious for slips for many years.

”Time will be the real test, of course. This work has been the chance to give it our very best effort. If this doesn’t succeed, I’m sure that nothing will, short of spending millions on it.”.

The project started as a challenge the mayor gave to the community at the meeting at the Moeraki Marae late last year.

”They more than met that challenge.”

An NZTA subsidy was not available for the road, and the district council offered to help pay if the community matched it in cash or in kind.

In the end the council would have spent about $60,000 of ratepayers’ money on the road.

He was keen to publicly acknowledge the huge impact the Moeraki community had made. . .

The popularity of the harbour,  Fleurs Place and the tavern leads to a lot of traffic on this road and the detour was less than optimal.

The rebuilding is a tribute to the people who accepted the mayor’s challenge.

This project could be a template for progress in other areas where there’s an opportunity for the council and community to work together.


Even better without boxing

June 23, 2014

When Sally-Ann Donelly of Fat Sally’s and Portside decides to raise money for a good cause, she doesn’t muck about.

On Saturday night she did it superbly with the Portside Punch Charity Boxing event.

As always with a successful event there was a team  who worked hard, but she led it and it is thanks to her it went so well.

An empty wool store at the harbour was transformed into a warm and welcoming dinner venue with a full-size boxing ring in the middle.

Tables of 10 were sold for $2,5000 and there was a full house.

Ten locals had been training since January to provide the entertainment.

Among them was mayor Gary Kircher  who posted this photo on Facebook:

Photo: It's started! First fight - Mel Tavendale very.  Chontelle Watson!

It was the first boxing match I’d attended and my preconceived notions about it were confirmed.

I can understand how you can injure someone by accident in sport but can’t understand how hurting your opponent can be the object of the exercise.

A friend shared my view that the whole night would have been even better without the boxing and said next time she’d prefer to watch jelly or mud wrestling where no-one would be deliberately hurt.

That said, I have a new respect for the agility and fitness of boxers.

The competitors had taken their training seriously but even so were absolutely stonkered by the end of three three-minute rounds.

And there was no doubt the evening was a success.

The entry fee and half-time auction would have raised around $100,000 which is a very good foundation for the Otago Hospice Trust’s campaign to build a hospice in Oamaru.

That is a very large sum of money to be raised in a relatively small community with a single event and there’s no doubt the hospice was the winner on the night thanks to Sally-Ann’s leadership and hard work.


Community Internship Programme applications open

August 24, 2012

The Community Internship Programe is calling for applications from not-for-profit groups in need of professional help.

The Community Internship Programme (CIP or the programme) funds hapū, iwi or community groups with identified development needs to employ skilled professionals from the public, iwi, private or community sectors as interns for three to six months.

The programme is designed to achieve specific capacity-building outcomes for host hapū, iwi or community organisations, and relationship-building outcomes between the public, private, iwi or community sectors.

The programme focuses on skill-sharing and the exchange of knowledge between sectors, while building ongoing relationships which continue after an internship ends.

Invercargill MP Eric Roy gives an example: a member of the NZ Police is currently helping Ngāti Porou to develop a youth mentoring programme to support youth at risk.

Not-for-Profit organisations are usually long on passion but can be short on skills.

This is a great idea to marry that passion with the skills they need and foster an on-going relationship with the Not-for-Profit sector.


Quote of the day

February 23, 2012

“What I think a disaster like this teaches you is that the human spirit is stronger than people think, their willingness to help and their capacity to drop everything and support one another is greater than people think. in the moment of need they don’t think about themselves, they think about others.”John Key


Red and black

February 22, 2012

For Canterbury:

(Ribbon borrowed from Scrubone at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later)


Fonterra inviting applications for assistance in Christchurch

February 13, 2012

Any politician knows that you rarely get acknowledged for the good you do and will always be criticised for any lapses.

Businesses suffer from a similar lack of appreciation.

Take Fonterra for example.

When the company’s plan to provide free milk for low decile schools was announced their was some appreciation but the predominant sentiment was, and so they should.

If many ever knew that Fonterra had donated more than $6 million to the Canterbury earthquake recovery, most will have forgotten.

A newsletter to suppliers reminds us:

Immediately after each quake, Fonterra provided on-the-ground Civil Defence support including the provision of water through milk vats and tankers, distribution of UHT and flavoured milk to welfare centres, and assistance with the urban search and rescue effort through our 24-strong Emergency Response Team. Our suppliers also provided emergency accommodation for people affected by the earthquake.

To further assist the Christchurch community, we created a fund that acted as a central collection point for donations from suppliers, staff and joint venture partners.
Fonterra pledged $1 million after each quake. Our suppliers, staff and joint venture partners raised a further $1.9 million for a total of $3.9 million that was donated directly to the Red Cross.

Fonterra also matched dollar-for-dollar the $1.9 million raised to create the ongoing Fonterra Rebuilding Communities Programme. Through Rebuilding Communities, Fonterra has provided donations to The Prime Minister’s Earthquake Relief Appeal, Canterbury Business Recovery Fund and Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga Telethon. The Programme has also welcomed applications for funding for direct assistance to Christchurch community groups, clubs and schools.

A final call for funding is open until the end of the month. Any funds left after February 29 will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Applications can request funding of up to $5,000 for initiatives that fall into the following categories:

1.Community Safety – development of new safety projects such as safety equipment or training to further prepare the community for future disasters. Support in the past has gone to survival kits and first aid training.
2.Christchurch Community – support in replacing essential wellbeing equipment such as toys and books for libraries. This has a positive effect for families, especially children.
3.Environmental Sustainability – restoration of environmental areas which encourage community spirit in schools, early childhood centres and the wider local community. Previous examples include replanting trees and replacing garden beds.

If you know of any groups which could benefit from this funding please spread the word.


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