This man earned a Speights


The archetypical Southern man is supposed to be tough – and this is tough:

James Grant had barely caught his first fish when a shark plunged its teeth into his leg.

He had just entered the water at Garden Bay near Cosy Nook in Southland on Saturday when the next thing he knew a shark was wrapping its jaws around his leg.

And he’s got the holes in his wet suit and his leg to prove it.

“It was pretty well latched on, I was just trying to get it off.”

But Mr Grant, 24, a junior doctor, gave as good as he got – stabbing what he believed was a type of seven-gill shark, with his diving knife as he tried to get it to unlatch.

“I sort of just fought the shark off. The shark got a few stabs. The knife wasn’t long enough though,” he said.

When Mr Grant managed to get rid of the shark he tried to get the attention of his three friends, who were spearfishing just around the bay. But his mates did not take him seriously.

“I thought surely he hasn’t been bitten, there’s no way he has been bitten, he’s got to be taking the p…,” Mackley Lindsay said.

But he wasn’t, instead he sat on the shore stitching his own leg.

His friends carried on fishing while Mr Grant tacked the wounds together with a needle and thread from his first-aid kit for his pig-hunting dogs.

“I’m pretty happy I had such a thick wet suit on too,” he said.

Friend Jim Robins downplayed the event at the time. “He was walking so it couldn’t have been that bad,” he said.

However, his friends did do him a favour – taking him to the tavern in Colac Bay before the hospital.

The pub at Colac Bay served him a beer alongside a few bandages to stop his leg from dripping blood on the carpet. . .

I hope the beer was a Speights, he’d earned it.

Is this a cue for Good on ya mate?

RIP Southern Man


Speights Southern man is a victim of increasing urbanisation.

After more than 12 years on New Zealand television, the Speight’s Southern Man has been axed . . .

The Speight’s icon was originally played by Frank Whitten, who also appeared in Outrageous Fortune. Mr Whitten died early last year. 

Speight’s marketing manager Jonte Goldwater told NBR ONLINE that scrapping of the character had nothing to do with the loss of Mr Whitten. . .

Mr Goldwater told NBR ONLINE it was a long and hard decision, but the brand needed to acknowledge change.

He says the urbanisation of New Zealand meant the relevance of the outdoor life had changed. . .

I don’t drink Speights, or any other beer come to that. But if I did the idea that the outdoor life depicted in the Southern Man series is no longer relevant would have me crying into it.

You can see the new ad here.

I may be a traitor to my gender but I prefer the old series which started with this:



Real work better than charity


The generous support for earthquake recovery in Canterbury has been heart warming.

Money raised will go to help people in need and rebuild community facilities like sports grounds and meeting places.

Good planning and co-operation should result in more multi-purpose facilities which are better-used and less expensive for the users.

While these are an important  part of the city’s recovery the best aid for Christchurch and its people is real jobs and there’s been welcome announcements of more of those in the past week.

Kathmandu is building a new warehouse in the city:

“After examining a number of options, the board has decided to build a 5000sqm facility at Woolston in Christchurch, near our head office,” Mr Halkett said. . .

The decision also reflected the Kathmandu board’s belief in the economic future of Christchurch and its commitment to the company’s heritage in the city, he said.

Not all businesses are able to stay in the city and Christhchurch’s loss of Lion’s brewing capacity in that city has led to a $20 million expansion in Dunedin with a doubling in job numbers.

However, the company is also building a $15 million brewery in Christchurch. That investment and the jobs which come with it will be another small piece in the big recovery project.

Finding the Perfect Woman


The ad says she’s a hard road to find the perfect woman. It’s also hard for the contestants in Wanaka’s annual Perfect Woman contest  to prove they are that multi talented female.

Given one of the sponsors of the competition is Speights, it’s not surprising that one of the events the women who competed on Saturday had to cope with was opening a bottle of the southern man’s favourite beer without a bottle opener. They also had to change a tyre and back a truck, clear 10 balls from a pool table, play darts and describe their first task – real or imagined.

Ten were chosen for the finals yesterday. They had to sky dive, swing a gate, shear a sheep, shoot clay birds, hit a target with water from a fire hose and say in 60 seconds why a woman is better than a man. 

perfect woman


perfect woman2

While the contest is good humoured and run in a spirit of fun, it’s also an opportunity for some serious fund raising with all proceeds going to the Canlive Trust which supports women with cancer.

We left before the winner was announced but the ODT reports the competition was won by Melissa Brewster, a helicopter engineer, from Canada. It was her fourth time in the contest and this is the first time it’s been won by someone from another country.

Alice Ferguson from Wanaka was second and Anna Trevathan from Tarras was third.

Perfect Woman


Among the events in Wanaka at Labour weekend is the Perfect Woman competition.

One of the seeds which planted the idea for the inaugural contest was this advertisement:

Colour war


One pub, two publicans.

One’s from Otago, on the right side of the Waitaki River. The other’s from Canterbury on the other side of ther river. 

One prefers Speights, the other drinks another beer.

On which beer do they base the clour scheme of the pub?


cheese rolls 002

Parking meters in the way of Speights’ spring


A tap delivering spring water outside Speights brewery is used by  hundreds of Dunedin people a day in search of  something superior to the city’s supply.

But now the city council has put pay and display parking metres in the street   and people are worried they’ll have to pay while they fill their containers with water.

The chances of getting a ticket in the few minutes it takes to fill a bottle or two aren’t great. But you’d think a council which knew its city would have had the wit to put a five minute free park beside the tap.

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