Southland Cyclists Eddie Dawkins & Sam Webster Take Gold In L.A.

The Cycling New Zealand track team have been awarded the World Cup Round Winner as top team following their medal haul in the UCI World Cup in Los Angeles today.

The team won four medals today following their five-medal effort yesterday in Los Angeles, the most they have ever achieved in a single World Cup, which earned the World Cup Round Winner award for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Jaime Neilsen in the individual pursuit; the start of the men’s team sprint final and the New Zealand team awarded as World Cup Round winners. Photo: Guy Swarbrick.

Today’s medal run was led by a gold medal in the men’s team sprint where the trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins edged out Germany for the victory in a hard-fought encounter

They won a silver medal in the Women’s Madison with Rio Olympian Racquel Sheath teaming with 18-year-old Michaela Drummond, while the teenager tyros Campbell Stewart and Tom Sexton combined to claim a bronze medal in Men’s Madison as did Olympian Jaime Nielsen Women’s Individual Pursuit.

It proved a gruelling day for key sprinter Webster, who combined two rounds of the team sprint with the keirin competition. In between keirin rounds, he was man-two in the strong morning ride of 43.620 in the first round of the team sprint, which earned them the gold medal ride with Germany who were 33/100ths of a second slower.

By the time the final was run, Webster had completed three races in the keirin and he felt decidedly second hand. Up stepped Mitchell who was again fastest in the opening lap of the final in 17.3 as the Germans fought back to within 0.1s at the 500m mark before Dawkins showed his poise and power to produce a superb final lap for the New Zealanders to win in 43.710, with the Germans nearly 0.3s behind.

“It’s been a really big day for me with 12 hours at the track yesterday and about the same today. I am really pleased to come away with the win,” said Webster. “The other two boys really stepped up as I was in a really big state of fatigue.

“It is a hugely motivating thing to see the people around you stepping up and making massive gains. I’ve great guys around me. We all buy into the vision and when one person steps up it urges everyone else to find the best within them.

“We are in good shape. We did a lot of work before we got here but the work is far from done. It is a hugely exciting prospect for where we are at but there’s work to be done and specifics that need to be met.

“It shows we are on a good trajectory but we need to keep our heads down and be fastidious with our preparations over the next six weeks.”

Nielsen was another of the experienced group to find a spot on the podium today with an excellent 3:34.056 effort to dispose of Poland’s Justyna Kaczkowska by a second in the 3000m individual pursuit.

To contrast the efforts of the proven performers were the outstanding efforts from the teenagers.

Drummond, a junior world champion, fitted in well to the women’s team pursuit quartet that won the silver medal yesterday before teaming with Sheath in the 20km Madison, a two-person points race with one rider in play at all times, with one rider hand-slinging the other into the contest.

While the Australian combination scored minor points throughout, the Kiwis put everything into the final two sprints, winning the double-points final sprint. However the Australians managed to edge out Italy on the line to take second in the final sprint, and pip the Kiwis for overall honours by a single point.

The men’s combination of Stewart from Palmerston North and Sexton from Invercargill, both junior world champions, worked well, picking up points in 10 of the 12 sprints in the Madison.

Ireland were the only team to put two laps on the field to cement the victory with Denmark’s bold sprint for second in the final sprint enough to edge the New Zealand pair for the silver medal by one point.

It was an exciting effort from Stewart and Sexton who each won medals on the first day, and will no doubt put pressure on the incumbents for April’s world championships and next year’s Commonwealth Games.

The team returns tomorrow and after a break will set to work in the six week build towards the world championships in Hong Kong.

Big Stars Announce Incorrect Best Picture Winner At Oscars

The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who then announced the musical as the Best Picture winner.

The “La La Land” cast took the stage and producers began their speeches. But they stopped midway when they realized their error.

Police Release Name of Man Who Died at Bluff Work Accident

A man who died early Friday morning 24 February after being involved in a workplace accident at South Port, Bluff is now able to be named.

He was Colin Ross Hansen aged 54 of Invercargill.

Police extend their sympathies to friends and family of Mr Hansen.

Worksafe NZ are investigating and the death has been referred to the coroner.

Shadbolt Continues Fair Power Deal Fight

Someone needs to end this electricity nonsense

Mayor Tim still fighting for us to get a fairer power transmission deal, Tim responds to a recent story at NZ Herald….

In response to Herald story by Mr Kim Campbell – Chief Executive of the Employers Association 23 February 2017

Those in the regions can only be astounded by the content of a Herald article by Kim Campbell around the price of electricity transmission. Mr Campbell purports to speak for northern employers and manufacturers who on one hand say they relish free market conditions while on the other happy to benefit from a massive subsidy from the regions for the transmission of electricity.

Mr Campbell article is titled “Someone needs to end this electricity nonsense” I agree that wrongs need to be set right. Those that benefit from transmission investment should pay accordingly. Let me help Mr Campbell with some actual facts something that has been conveniently been missed out of his story:

  • The rest of the country has subsidised the huge investment in improving the transmission of electricity into Auckland and other parts of the North Island.
  • There is a high risk of South Island plant closures and related job losses, as a result of these businesses by having to subsidise the transmission costs of their northern counterparts.
  • The $1.3 billion of grid investment in the upper north island has seen increases in transmission charges in the South Island by 330%, in the lower North Island by 225% and just 40% of the costs are being met by the upper North Island.
  • The Electricity Authority estimates that under its current proposal, 28 out of 29 network areas across New Zealand will experience a drop off in transmission costs.
    Conservative estimates put the savings at $200 million from increased grid efficiency.
  • Regional New Zealand has a tough enough time attracting industry and related employment opportunities without having to subsidise unbridled growth in the Auckland area.

Southland has a goal of attracting 10,000 new Southlanders and to increase the value added production of primary sector foods over the coming years, this can only happen if regionally based industries remain globally competitive.

We need a fair and equable electricity transmission pricing structure to give the regions a chance to advance. The Electricity Authority has consulted widely for the past eight years and they should be given the opportunity to make a determination quickly and implement the necessary change to a fairer Transmission Pricing Methodology where those that benefit from transmission pay.

I would be happy to publicly debate the issue with Mr Campbell should he be so inclined.

Tim Shadbolt.

Southern Steel Take Big Win vs Northern Stars in ANZ Premiership Season Opener

Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel celebrated a new era in New Zealand Netball by posting a 75-57 win over the Northern Stars in the opening match of the ANZ Premiership in Hamilton on Sunday.

Wearing the pre-season favourites tag, it took the Steel much of the first quarter to find their groove in the face of a competitive challenge from the Stars.

 As the best New Zealand side last year and with four Silver Ferns in their mix, the Steel showed the benefits of a settled line-up. Producing a strong finish to the first quarter, where they scored six goals in quick time, the southerners roared back from a three-goal deficit to forge a 15-12 lead at the first break.

It was more of the same on the resumption, the Steel putting their foot down with a forceful second quarter effort to test the Stars’ fortitude.

In a blink, the Steel had fashioned a seven-goal lead with the imposing figure of shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid a dominant presence under the hoop. Defenders Jane Watson and newcomer Abby Erwood also gained valuable turnover ball to give the Steel extra opportunities.

The Stars had their moments, showcasing their potential with some exciting passages of play from their talented line-up but a lack of time together was evident. The Stars couldn’t match the accuracy of their opponents, a clutch of basic errors highlighting their newness as a team and still finding their feet as the Steel shot out to a 35-26 lead at the main break.

With Fowler-Reid, who returned 52 goals from 54 attempts for the match, and shooting partner Te Paea Selby-Rickit showing their effectiveness on attack, the Steel also proved equally astute defensively. A stoic zone defence kept the Stars quiet on attack as the southerners muscled their way to a commanding 12-goal lead during the third stanza.

A flurry of substitutions by both teams, including the first Fijian import, shooter Afa Rusivakula, lifted energy levels with the Stars the initial benefactors.

Midcourter Emma Iverson, making a return to netball from rugby, was a lively contributor while rising shooting talent Maia Wilson and evergreen captain Leana de Bruin all held their own in their respective areas of the court as the Stars chipped into the deficit.

But the Steel showed their mastery at rising to the occasion, another stirring late quarter finish pushing the southerners out to a dominant 51-42 lead at three-quarter time.

Official Result and Stats
Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel 75 def Northern Stars 57

Champion Data match stats – click here

Shooting Stats – Steel
Fowler Reid: 52/54 @ 96%
Selby-Rickit: 20/24 @ 83%
Jamie Hume: 3/4 @ 75%

Shooting Stats – Stars
Wilson: 37/40 @ 93%
Vaka: 12/13 @ 92%
Rusivakula: 8/10 @ 80%

MVP: Gina Crampton (Steel)

Search & Rescue Operation In Fiordland

A search and rescue operation in Fiordland lasting more than 12 hours has been successfully resolved this morning, with a helicopter uplifting a French tourist from the Falls Creek area.

The 20-year-old went into the track off the Milford Road about 2pm on Saturday, February 25, intending on a day walk.

He was reported overdue by friends around 8:15pm.

Te Anau Police initiated a search, and a team of four LandSAR volunteers were sent into the area.

The area they were searching is steep, with difficult terrain.

The search party located the man around 1:30am this morning, however could not physically reach him.

They made contact with voice and light, and after several attempts, decided due to darkness – and the dangers of the vertical bluffs – to wait for daylight and a helicopter to assist.

Around 8:30am today, a Southern Lakes helicopter extracted the man using a long line and a scoop net.

He was stuck at the bottom of a very steep ravine.

The experienced search team did a great job locating him last night, and assisting the helicopter this morning.

Precision flying with the long line got everyone out safely.

The terrain was incredibly steep where the lost walker had gone down, and it is quite remarkable he got into the position he was in without falling and seriously injuring himself, or worse.

He appeared very relieved to be rescued.

The man has received a medical checkup for a head knock and is now recovering.

Any time Police and LandSAR are called to assist people in the bush or mountains is a good time to remind people to take extra care when venturing into the outdoors.

It’s important to ensure that you are well-prepared with warm clothing, food, and a communications device such as an EPIRB (personal locator beacon), as cellphone coverage can become unreliable.

Two Powerball Players Win $3.8 million

Two lucky players from Auckland and Christchurch with be jumping for joy after each winning $3.8 million with Powerball First Division in tonight’s live Lotto draw – the second time the top Powerball prize has been won this month.

The winning tickets were sold at Avondale Food market in Auckland and Wainoni Pak N Save in Christchurch.

Each prize is made up of $3.5 million from Powerball First Division and $333,333 from Lotto First Division.

These wins follow on from the beginning of the month, when a young couple from Otago won $18.2 million with Powerball. The winners, who are expecting their first child, are looking forward to setting up for their family’s future

Another Lotto player also won $333,333 tonight. The winning Lotto ticket was sold at Waikanae New World in Waikanae.

Strike Four was also won tonight by players in Auckland and Tauranga who each take home $60,049. The winning Strike tickets were sold at Countdown Newmarket in Auckland and Tauranga City Lotto in Tauranga.

Lotto NZ is making some changes to Lotto and Powerball in April to make the games even better, by creating more Lotto winners and bigger Powerball prizes. There will also be new prices and Dip options. More information about these changes is available on MyLotto: mylotto.co.nz/game-changes

Anyone who bought their ticket from any of the above winning stores should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, online at MyLotto.co.nz or through the Lotto NZ App.

New Tourism Products Based At Historic Clifden Suspension Bridge

The popularity of the Southern Scenic Route means that Wjet are launching three new products for visitors.

The Clifden Suspension Bridge was once a crucial part of the of the regions transport infrastructure, now it’s an attraction in its own right.

Visitors can now take jet boat rides, buy food from the Good Mood Food truck and soon they will be able to take fishing charters.

Wjet’s Joyce Groters says international visitors in particular take it for granted that they will be able to purchase a coffee and food at tourist sites like the Clifden Suspension Bridge.

“We’ve watched the number of free and independent travellers increase in recent seasons, the numbers now justify us establishing Southern Scenic Jet and The Good Mood Food Truck.”

“Also the Waiau is well stocked with trout and we believe there is an unsatisfied demand for a group charter service.”

Waiau Aparima Ward Councillor George Harpur, who provided advice to the Grothers when required, says the Bridge has become a popular stop off for travellers.

“The couple had all my support throughout, now it’s very satisfying to see the bridge bringing employment and generating income in the area.”

Venture Southland Tourism Product Development Coordinator Renatta Hardy says Johan and Joyce Groters new initiatives provide new options for travellers.

“New products like theirs help to improve visitor experience and encourage people to stay in the region longer. We encourage new ideas and can assist existing or new businesses to bring concepts to reality.”

Exclusive: New Tenant Confirmed For Old 100% Selectrix Site

For the last year the old retail site of 100% Selectrix has been under going a complete refit & refurbishment inside and out including major earthquake strengthening. The landlord preparing it for new tenants by splitting the site into a smaller space and a larger area.

The big question has been who is taking over the retail space?

What’s On Invers can confirm today that AON Insurance currently located on 242 Dee street in the PGG Wrightson building are the new tenants for a part of the old Selectrix taking the Gala street part.

Current site of AON Insurance Brokers on Dee street. Photo: whatsoninvers.nz

Soon to be new location of AON Insurance Brokers. Photo: whatsoninvers.nz

With the larger part to be leased to a yet to be announced tenant, sources told What’s On Invers that a number of parties have shown interest but nothing solid confirmed yet on who will take up the larger tenancy.

A blast from the past 100% Electrix in their hey day.  Photo: whatsoninvers.nz