Waimate writer wins SST short story contest


Waimate writer Sue Francis has won the open section of the Sunday Star Times short story award.

Her winning story, The Concentrators, is set in Temuka and she describes it as a coming of age story.

This is Sue’s second writing success this year. She has recently had a story published in the latest volume of Random House’s Best New Zealand Fiction. 

Sue is a classmate in the writing course I am doing at Aoraki Polytech. The win is also a good reflection on our tutor, Diane Brown.

Voters don’t know where they are


South Canterbury people intend to vote but a poll shows most don’t know which electorate they’re in or who the canddaites are.

With eight weeks to go until election day, a poll of 300 people has shown only 31 per cent can name the electorate they are in, and only 27 per cent can name the National and Labour candidates in their electorate.

The telephone poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday nights by Aoraki Polytechnic journalism students. Numbers were selected randomly from the Timaru telephone book. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus six per cent.

There are five things to blame for this.

The first is the Electoral Finance Act which has severely constrained campaigning.

This has been compounded by the second factor: the delay in announcing the election date because candidates and parties have held their fire until the campaing proper begins.

The third is massive boundary changes which have created huge electorates with many different communities which have little if anything in common.

The fourth is the lack of publicity about these changes.

The fifth is that too many people don’t have much interest in the political process so don’t notice what publicity there has been and/or lack the initiative to find out for themselves.

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