Citizens stepping forward – updated

31/12/2011

Artist Ralph Hotere has been appointed to the Order of New Zealand, the country’s top honour.

“I am very pleased to accept this honour and I was particularly moved by the letter that I received from the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Mr John Key.   

 “He spoke of our nation . . . relying on citizens from all walks of life stepping forward, helping others, seeking new ways of doing things, and reaching for their dreams. He also spoke of enriching the lives of others. I am deeply moved,”  Hotere said.  

That captures exactly what the honours are for, recognising the people who step forward.

One of those is Malcolm Farry who has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Merit for his work as chair of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and many years of service in other areas including chair of the fundraising committee for the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and:

. . . his decade as chairman of the Otago Youth Wellness Trust, from 1996 to 2006. The trust is a free, community-based service that supports 11- to 18-year-olds      with social workers, mentoring, educational support and health services liaison and information.   

The “wrap-around” service was one of the first to achieve a “high-trust” contract with the Government, heralding a new way of working with the community sector. 

Max Smith has been awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rowing.

Smith, of Waipara, North Canterbury, was Ministry of Works project manager in Twizel, and pushed to retain the Mackenzie Country town and created Lake Ruataniwha at the completion of the Upper Waitaki power scheme.

It is not just tthe sport, but the town which owes so much to him. Twizel might well have died had it not been for Lake Ruataniwha.

Ian Taylor will be  a Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to business and television.

Among others in the list announced today were:

Dr Ralph Allen, who led the work to establish the Orokonui Ecosanctuary has been awarded a Queens Service Medal for services to conservation, and Struan Munro who earned his QSM for service to local body affairs and the community.

Struan was a long-serving Waitaki District Councillor and has given years of service in community activities and farming in the Waitaki Valley.

Graham Henry has been knighted not just for coaching the All blacks to World Cup victory but for his contribution to the sport over many years.

Suzie Moncrieff, who founded World of Wearable Art, and business woman Rosanne Meo will be Dames.

UPDATE:

The full list is here.


Thanks for the stadium, Malcolm

08/08/2011

Malcolm Farry and the team promoting the Forsyth Barr stadium have faced a barrage of criticism over the design, location and cost.

They stayed firm, focussed on building a stadium we could be proud of and it opened on Friday – more or less on time and to budget.

That was no small achievement and the stadium itself is a wonderful asset not just for Dunedin but the lower South Island and, at least until the rest of New Zealand catches up, the country.

Thank you Malcolm, you and your team have done a really good job.

Snow threatened yesterday morning and there was a polar wind blowing when we got to Dunedin an hour before kick-off in the match between North Otago and West Coast. Inside the stadium and out of the wind, though the temperature was merely cool but not uncomfortable.

We were on the lower level of the south stand near the 22m line and had a good view of the whole field. The loos were spotless and plentiful – 38 loos and 14 hand basins with high speed hand dryers for women  at either end of each level and men reported more than enough for them. 

I have just a couple of recommendations for improvements – a responsible host might consider selling water for less than $5 a bottle when beer cost just $1 more; and there would be a market for hot drinks as well as cold.

Hundreds of North Otago people had come down to inspect the stadium and cheer on the team. We were rewarded when halfback Hamish McKenzie went over for the historic first inter-provincial try at the stadium.

North Otago kept the lead, although the final score , 29-19, probably flattered the team .

For more words and some photos of the stadium and yesterday’s game check out this baby makes it all worth while by  Hayden Meikle  and a match report in the ODT and Mydeology’s day 5 of opt-out watch Forsyth Barr stadium bonanza edition.

Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin and sitting councsellor Lee Vandervis debated stadium funding on Afternoons.


Elton John makes stadium popular

14/02/2011

Like any big project the Forsyth Barr stadium which is under construction in Dunedin has been controversial.

The refurbishment of the Opera House in Oamaru attracted similar opposition but I supported it from the start. I didn’t want to be part of a generation which let a beautiful historic building crumble. Nor did I see the sense in merely doing enough to preserve it which would have made it a very expensive monument.

It was better to do the job properly and give the community something which would be used and appreciated.

Since it opened last year it has become an asset to the community as a venue for performing artists, conferences, weddings, meetings and other gatherings.

Building a new stadium isn’t the same as preserving and restoring a historic building and I understand ratepayers’ concerns over construction and operating costs. But I agree with the supporters who regard it as an asset for the city and province.

Stadium trust chair, Malcolm Farry, keeps saying the stadium would bring more events, and people, to Dunedin.

The difficulty getting tickets to the first show indicates he is right.

Tickets for the first big event – an Elton John concert – went on sale for stadium seat-holders, Otago ratepayers and Ticketdirect members at nine o’clock this morning.

I logged on as the 9am pips sounded on the radio and I’m still getting a message saying servers are busy.

One popular concert doesn’t make the stadium a success but it’s a very good start.


Otago clan beats Auckland clan

12/11/2008

Auckland University wondered if when Siobhon Cervin became the sixth and last sibling from her family to graduate it was a New Zealand record.

But of course Otago can better that.

A Dunedin family can not only go one better, but two.

The eight children of Malcolm and Lyn Farry have all graduated from the University of Otago – half of them more than once.

In fact, Yasmin (38), Victoria and Gareth (37), Damon (35), Sasha (34), Lukas (30), Alysha (29) and Samara (26) have amassed a remarkable 16 degrees and diplomas between them, and there is another diploma in progress.

The family has had a graduation ceremony to look forward to for most of the past 20 years, including a memorable day in 1995 when four siblings graduated at once.


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