High Winds Cause Havoc Across Southland

High winds are causing havoc across Southland, with flying trampolines, loose building materials, and power outages being reported since Thursday evening. There have also been reports of damage to the Southland District Council building on Forth Street.

PowerNet chief operating officer, Justin Peterson, confirmed that some residents’ power supplies had been affected by the high winds.

At this stage, we are doing all we can to restore our affected customers. PowerNet staff are working as safely and quickly as possible to restore the electricity supply to those affected,” Mr. Peterson said.

photo: Andrew McHugh
photo Amy Rebecca

“We thank the people on the networks for their patience during this busy time and will update on the situation as it develops.”

What you can do to protect your property in high winds:

  • Secure outdoor items – trampolines, barbecues, outdoor dining furniture, basketball hoops, and rubbish bins.
  • Examine trees and shrubs – call emergency services if a tree poses a danger.
  • Take care on the roads – high winds can create hazardous driving conditions.


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Gales cause damage to the @southlanddistrict building on Forth Street.

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Gore Council Issues Water Warning

The Gore District Council is asking Gore residents to conserve water as the level of the Mataura River continues to drop.

The water flow in the river, at Gore, was today down to 18 cubic metres per second (cumecs). When the flow gets below 17cumecs the Council has to instigate water conservation measures. This is a condition of its resource consent from Environment Southland.

3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said Gore’s water sources – Cooper’s Well and Jacobstown Well – are in a relatively good position for this time of year courtesy of a wetter than usual December.

“Our existing wells are doing okay. With the new bore at the Cooper’s Well site also performing well, we don’t need to initiate water restrictions as this stage.”

However, if the river and well levels continue to drop the Council may need to move to Level 1, Mr Bayliss warned.

Tips on how to conserve water and what water restrictions mean for home owners, businesses and schools are on our website www.goredc.govt.nz There is a link on the home page.

“There are some really easy ways to conserve water in your home and outside. If everyone does just a little bit, it all adds up,” Mr Bayliss said.

Funeral Notices – Friday 31st January

If you would like your lost loved one’s  death / funeral  notice or memoriam listed here, contact your funeral director for more information about this free service.

Your funeral director can also assist with the notice writing process, as well as other helpful services and advice during your time of need.

Funeral Notices is a free community service provided by whatsoninvers.nz and whatsonsouthland.nz

HEWLETT, Margaret May.
Passed away peacefully at Bupa Windsor Park Care Home, Gore, on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, aged 79 years. Loving wife of John for 61 years, loved mother and mother-in-law of Adele, Derek and Tania, adored Nana of Hayley, a loved sister, sister-in-law and Aunty. As per Margaret’s wishes, a private service has been held. Messages to 75 Koa Street, Gore 9710. “And while she lies in peaceful sleep, Her memory we shall always keep.”

STACK, Christopher Maxwell (Chris).
Peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, in the gentle care of Resthaven, on Thursday, January 30, 2020, aged 62 years. Beloved son of the late Austin and Maxie, loved brother and brother-in-law of Peter and Alison, Mary and Jack, Carroll, Austin and Miriam, and best uncle and great-uncle of Sarah and Jeremy, Joe and Adah; Roz and Bruce, Toby, Thomas and Chloe; Bridget and Matt, Charlotte, Ella, and George; Theresa and Regan, Louis and Annie. Good mate of Brian, and very special workmate of the team at Reddings. Requiem Mass will be celebrated in the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Ardwick Street, Gore, on Monday, February 3, at 11.00am, then leaving for Mataura Cemetery. Rosary in the Church on Sunday at 7.00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be left for Hospice Southland. Thanks to the Oncology Department at Southland and Dunedin Hospitals. Messages to 79 Paterson Road, RD4, Gore 9774.


Opinion: Invercargill Misses Out In Infrastructure Lottery

“The deep-south has been largely ignored in the Government’s spend up with Invercargill getting no money for roading improvements, MP for Invercargill Sarah Dowie says.

“It’s hard to see how the Government’s transport plans won’t come at the expense of transport investment in the deep south when billions of dollars are being ripped from the regions to pay for trams in Auckland.

“With Southlanders paying more at the pump, and the Government having more to spend on key roading projects, it’s frustrating to then have projects such as the SH 6 – Wilsons Crossing Passing Lanes project reprioritised.

6,400 vehicles use this stretch of road per day and SH 6 is a key inter-regional route between Invercargill and Queenstown. The construction of a northbound passing lane would be a welcome addition, reducing travel time on a road that has increasing commuter and vehicle traffic to and from the Port.

“And while the completion of the Edendale realignment works is a major boost for our region, both the realignment and Elles Road intersection works were projects kicked off by the previous National Government.

“Southland relies on roads for its farming, dairy, forestry and tourism. And that’s why motorists here have every right to be annoyed, especially when the $5 billion they’ve taken from state highways has been directed to projects like a slow tram down Dominion Road to Mangere in Auckland.

“National will build the infrastructure New Zealand needs and will give motorists something in return for the extra $1.7 billion this Government squeezed out of them through fuel tax hikes and extra GST.

“National will release a comprehensive infrastructure plan later this year, setting out our vision to get this country moving.

“Unlike Labour, National is the party of infrastructure and we will deliver.”

Read more on the Governments big spending plans that exclude Southland. beehive.govt.nz/feature/new-zealand-upgrade-programme

Sarah Dowie is the National MP for Invercargill.

Funded by the Parliamentary Service.
Authorised by S Dowie, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

Entries for popular Maxis Projects 6+6 Adventure Race open

Entries for the Maxis Projects 6+6 Adventure Race open February 1.
Despite the 2020 edition being just the third running of the Sandy Point-based event, the 6+6 has quickly become a much-anticipated date on the local events calendar.

Last year nearly 40 teams took part, with the Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club event selling out within a week of entries opening.

This year’s race will be held on April 25 and 26.

Maxis Projects managing director Nick Hamlin helped establish the event along with Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club president Ginge Burnett.

“Ginge and I initially did a lot of talking about the format of the race,” Hamlin said.

“We sort of took the best bits out of all the races we’ve done between him and I. We wanted to make it all about the competitor, and not about who won. It’s about being out there in a team environment and achieving something you might never have done before. We also wanted to keep it cost effective, so you don’t have to have your own kayak, road bike or support crew.”

The format involves a two-day race, with stages lasting up to six hours on each day. Teams camp overnight at Teretonga Park. Disciplines include trekking, kayaking and mountain biking and the course is kept secret until the eve of the race.

Hamlin said the event was a good fit with Maxis Projects, and many of his clients were involved in mountainbiking and other active pursuits.

Thanks to the work he does with the Southland District Council, he’s convinced three teams from there to enter this year’s race.

Hamlin said it was difficult to imagine a better part of the country to run this entry-level event than around Sandy Point.

Good relationships with the Southland Sports Car Club meant Teretonga was the ideal base for the event, while Burnett also had good relationships with farmers and other landowners in the southern area.

“It’s got great bang for buck. We can basically run an entire event on the lower coast without crossing a main road.”

As usual, Burnett has been tight-lipped about the course details for this year’s event, with a few teasers put out on Facebook only adding to the mystery.

WHAT: Maxis Projects 6+6 Adventure Race
ENTRIES OPEN: February 1
EVENT DATE: April 25 and 26
WHERE: Teretonga Park
For more: http://www.southlandtriclub.co.nz/Events-Apr-Sep/66-Maxis-Projects-Adventure-Race

Lumsden Hoists 1885 V-Class Locomotive From Tonnes Of River Muck

A relic of New Zealand’s rail past has emerged from the mud 93 years after being dumped in a Southland River.

A crowd gathered today as the recovered locomotive was placed in front of the Lumsden Railway Precinct – a tribute to a bygone era.

The Lumsden Heritage Trust has been campaigning to retrieve the two 1885 V class steam locomotives from the Oreti River for about half a decade.

Retrieving the machines – thought to be one of the last of their kind in the world – was no easy task.

It was full steam ahead on Wednesday morning, with water pumps on and a crane poised above the first locomotive, which first hit New Zealand tracks back in 1885.

Recovery teams tried hoisting it, but the locomotive was too heavy to lift.

Walking around the muddy riverbank surrounded by willow trees, site safety supervisor Russell Bradley explained that tonnes of mud had lodged in the locomotive, weighing it down.

Workers blasted it with water and hacked at a thick weave of willow roots covering the machine with a garden hoe.

Lumsden Heritage Trust chair John Titter said they were lucky they could even attempt a recovery.

In the wake of the First World War, the value of scrap metal was low so instead of being sold locomotives were dumped in rivers around the country to act as flood barriers.

New Zealand Rail’s V-Class locomotive in 1885 New Zealand Rail’s V-Class locomotive no. 126, in 1892. Photo: Supplied/ E.J. McClaire Collection

“Even the guys when we were digging out the other day were jumping up and down because the running boards were there. When we moved it the other day, the wheels turned which is incredible,” Titter said.

This was the last opportunity to retrieve the locomotives – the consents are about to roll over and the landowner wanted to see action, he said.

The trust fundraised about a third of the $158,000 cost, before securing the rest of the funding from other organisations.

They had wanted to recover both machines, but Titter said it wasn’t to be.

“Over the last couple of days, it’s actually gone from a massive task to a mammoth task.”

Suction was one of the challenges the workers faced.

The locomotives were filled with tonnes of silt and river muck, so hauling them out required a huge effort. The locomotives were filled with tonnes of silt and river muck, so hauling them out required a huge effort. Photo: RNZ / Tess Brunton

“The tender itself weighs 22 tonnes, he was pulling over 30 tonne trying to get it out. The locomotive is 32 tonne sitting on the track. We believe there’s probably another 10 tonne of silt in the boilers and things like that,” Titter said.

There was relief as the locomotive was hoisted into the air – Titter said it was an unbelievable experience – and emotions ran high as it was placed down onto the back of a transport truck.

“When they lighten these things up for New Zealand rail they weaken the frames and so it’s been sitting in my mind that the frame could snap in half at any time … But there it sits so far, getting on a transport and into town. I think we’re nearly there,” Titter said.

Southland District Councillor Rob Scott said it was a remarkable effort.

“We were made aware of it, thought it was of an old wives’ tale that there was a train buried down here. We came and had a look early on.

“It looked like a mammoth project and it has been a mammoth project – but when you look at the operators we’ve got, it’s a great network of really, really talented people.”

One of the 1885 V class locomotives has been set up in front of the Lumsden Railway Precinct.One of the 1885 V class locomotives has been set up in front of the Lumsden Railway Precinct. Photo: RNZ / Tess Brunton

“They’ve pulled off something that was pretty impressive.”

For Bradley, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He said it would be a reminder of the massive task every time he drove past the locomotive and would be a story he could tell and show his grandchildren.

As for the second locomotive, Bradley said that would be up to the next generation to recover from the soon-to-be restored riverbank.

Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.
Tess Brunton, Southland / Otago Reporter [email protected]

Strong Wind Warning, Fire and Emergency Cancel All Fire Permits

Strong winds are forecast for Thursday and Friday, increase the fire danger across all of Southland and prompting Fire and Emergency to cancel all fire permits till conditions ease.

Principal Rural Fire Office, Timo Bierlin says, “the strong northwest gales will bring warm, dry conditions to Southland, significantly increasing the risk of fires occurring and spreading rapidly. We are asking people not to light fires while these conditions persist”.

Fire and Emergency NZ are urging people to check their fire sites if they have burnt in the last couple of months.

Mr Bierlin said “if people have burnt in the last two months, we are asking them to check to make sure their fires are out. Turn the area over to ensure there is no heat left and apply water till it is cold to touch”.

Even a small amount of heat in an old fire site could re-ignite and winds transport embers into the surrounding vegetation.

Metservice have issued a weather warning:

Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
West to northwest gales for parts of the South Island and lower North Island today and Friday.

A strong west to northwesterly flow develops over southern and central New Zealand today (Thursday), ahead of a front approaching from the Tasman Sea. The front should cross southern New Zealand during Friday morning, followed by strong westerlies, then weakens as it moves onto central New Zealand during Friday afternoon and evening.

Strong Wind Warning

Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

Area: Fiordland south of Doubtful Sound, Southland, Stewart Island and Clutha
Valid: 13 hours from 4:00pm Thursday to 5:00am Friday
Forecast: Severe northwest gales gusting 130 km/h in exposed places.

Mr Bierlin says “wind events often catch Southlanders out. Embers can travel along way, lodging in dry vegetation and starting fires”.

Mr Bierlin says during this period of increased fire danger, care also need to be taken around activities that cause sparks. “Activities such as welding, grinding, chainsaw use, or mowing roadsides could all have the potential to start a fire during dry conditions” he said.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is also asking people to extinguish any burning fires and not to light any fires until conditions ease. This includes solid fuel barbeques (Gas is OK), camp fires, incinerators and hedge trimmings.

Double Win in Target Shooting

AWS Legal Compliance and Risk Officer Bruce Horwood was on fire earlier this month with a double win at the Target Shooting Nationals in Trentham, Upper Hutt.

Bruce conjured up a majestic score of 587 ex 600 on Day 1 to win the Wellington 300m Championship and followed this up by winning the National 300m Target Rifle Championship on Day 2.

He represented South Island and made the Final of the Ballinger Belt competition which is the oldest sporting trophy competed for in New Zealand. The Nationals attracted a field of 100+ marksmen and women firing at distances of 300 to 1,000 yards.

photo: supplied

Funeral Notices – Thursday 30th January

If you would like your lost loved one’s  death / funeral  notice or memoriam listed here, contact your funeral director for more information about this free service.

Your funeral director can also assist with the notice writing process, as well as other helpful services and advice during your time of need.

Funeral Notices is a free community service provided by whatsoninvers.nz and whatsonsouthland.nz

HATTRILL, Shaun Luke.
(the result of an accident) On Sunday, January 26, 2020, aged 21 years. Dearly loved son of Vicki and Brian, Paul and Sarah, loved brother and uncle of Teri; Caitlin and Sam, Harriet, and Charlie; Aleisha and Brett, step-brother of James, and Josh Gray, cherished grandson of June and George, and the late Clarry Kelly, Andrena and John Hattrill, loved partner of the late Nicola, and a much loved nephew and cousin of many. A service for Shaun will be held in the Gore Town and Country Club Stadium, Bury Street, on Monday, February 3, at 1.30pm, then leaving for Charlton Park Cemetery. Messages to 43 Anzac Street, Gore, 9710.

HENARE, Nicola Jane.
Tragically before her time, on Sunday, January 26, 2020, aged 19 years. Dearly beloved daughter of Grant Twaddle and Tania Henare, cherished younger sister of Jorden, Ethan, and Liam Henare, loved oldest sister of Kolbie and Jessica McDonald. Beloved partner of Shaun Hattrill. Cherished granddaughter, niece, and aunty. Nicola will lie in state, 205 McIllwraith Road, Mataura, until her service on Saturday, February 1, at the Mataura RSA, service details to follow. Messages to 8 Oakland Street, Mataura 9712.

Passed away peacefully at Cashmere View Hospital on January 28, 2020, in her 89th year. The mother of Penny and (the late) Guy, loved sister to Pat, Di and Bee, and partner to (the late) Robert Negus and wife to (the late) Cliff Irvine. To celebrate Faye’s life there will be a function on February 10, at 2.00pm, at “Birchs Grove”, 471 Birchs Rd, Lincoln. In lieu of flowers please donate to Dementia Canterbury. Messages to Penny Irvine, PO Box 6151, Christchurch 8442.

Died peacefully at Edith Cavell Life Care in Christchurch, on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. Dearly loved father to Miriam, Thea and Jamie. Ian Pa to Louis, Granddad to Quinn and Eve and Nonno to Buki and Izzy. Messages to Macpherson family, 16 Morgans Valley, Heathcote 8022. At the request of Ian, a Private Cremation has been held.


Toxic Algae Found In The Waikaia River

Environment Southland’s latest monitoring has found elevated levels of the toxic algae in the Waikaia River.

These algae can produce toxins that are harmful to people and animals if swallowed, or through contact with skin. People and animals (dogs in particular) should avoid contact with the Waikaia and be mindful of the potential health risks, until health warnings are removed.

If you experience health symptoms after contact with contaminated water, visit a doctor immediately. If you are concerned that any animals have consumed toxic algae or contaminated water, they should be taken to a vet immediately.

Toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) can be recognised at rivers and streams as a green/brown slime on rocks, or dark brown/black mats at the water’s edge. Several factors can contribute to the growth of toxic algae, such as high levels of nutrients, run-off into waterways, a sudden increase in temperature, and low flows.

Environment Southland monitors toxic algae monthly at a number of river and lake sites across Southland.

For further information visit Environment Southland’s website es.govt.nz/toxic-algae