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New funeral service for Gore
New funeral service for Gore

21 June 2024, 10:31 PM

Macdonald and Weston Funeral Home have spread their wings and opened a new premises in Gore.With 100 years of serving Southlanders under the name Macdonald and Weston, such a great legacy that speaks volumes about what the locally, owned and operated business means to the community.Macdonald and Weston Funeral Home’s motto of integrity, compassion and kindness has seen them through over a century of walking alongside families in their time of grief.Macdonald & Weston Gore's premises at 45 Medway Street, Gore.Managing funeral director and owner Sharron Hanley said, “We strive to support people to become more comfortable around funerals. It’s about the celebration of your loved one’s life.”Macdonald and Weston Home offers qualified Funeral Directors, Embalmers and Stonemasons.The Macdonald and Weston team pride themselves with walking beside families, knowing that they have someone on their journey with them from start to finish.Macdonald and Weston Funeral Home is not limited to holding funerals in a chapel - they will travel to wherever families want to hold a celebration of life in whatever form that takes.Macdonald & Weston Gore's family reception area.There is no distance too far, for this dedicated team, to travel and nothing they won’t do for their families. “We’ve organised funerals in people’s homes, on beaches, even in a tavern”.The folk at Macdonald and Weston Funeral Home embrace their community with a family friendly approach and that involves working with families to ensure their loved ones are celebrated without letting costs get in the way.Working closely with Southlanders has enabled the business to keep things local, and they have maintained great relationships, that has contributed to the success and enduring reputation of Macdonald and Weston Funeral Home.We welcome Rob Hall into our Macdonald and Western family team, Rob comes to Macdonald and Weston Gore Funeral Home with a long-standing connection to the local Eastern Southland community, having been born, raised, and worked in the Edendale / Wyndham districts, and for the last 21 years, farming in the Waikaka area.The Macdonald & Weston team, now based in both Invercargill and Gore.Married to Lynne, who is the Knapdale – Waikaka Presbyterian Minister, Rob & Lynne enjoy living & working in the Southland – Otago regions.Involved in a wide range of groups across New Zealand including A&P shows, musical theatre, singing groups and the pipe band movement, Rob also enjoys breeding Angus and Galloway Cattle, Southdown Sheep and Clydesdale Horses, while also being an accomplished Beef, Sheep & Equestrian judge. His strong Christian faith & church involvement enhances his positive and busy lifestyle he leads.  Having a warm, friendly demeanour and good sense of humour, helps Rob bring comfort to families in a very difficult time. With years of experience as a Funeral Director and Embalmer, he finds being involved in the funeral profession a real privilege and honour.This devoted business with a team of qualified, specialists, has earned their history in wider Southland because they are proud southlanders who know that being ‘real’ is the only authentic way to be.They look forward to helping, families celebrate their loved one’s life, in a personal and meaningful way. McDonald & Weston Gore45 Medway St, GoreP: 03 208 1156E: [email protected]: www.mwfunerals.co.nz

Fiordland sharks tagged to study climate change
Fiordland sharks tagged to study climate change

21 June 2024, 10:30 PM

Scientists from NIWA and Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, who are studying broadnose sevengill sharks in Fiordland in an effort to better understand the effects of climate change, returned to the southern fiords last month (May).In their week-long stay they attached transmitters to the 11 sharks as well as installing 29 acoustic receivers on the seafloor.The project, funded by the Save Our Seas Foundation, began in May 2023 when scientists deployed baited underwater video cameras in Breaksea Sound.NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Brit Finucci said that sharks, as apex predators, played a crucial role in the ecosystem and could be indicators of the health of an environment."Fiordland National Park is an incredibly unique ecosystem. We know very little about the sharks that live in this area, but we do know that the Fiordland environment is at risk from climate change.""Now is an opportune time to study how sharks may be impacted by a changing environment in the future."The broadnose sevengill is commonly observed in Fiordland, reaching over 2.5m in length, but is globally threatened - with fishing activity reducing shark numbers in some locations.Little is known about the impacts of climate change on their health and population."The sharks that we tagged were calm and relaxed, and it was amazing to see them so close when usually we only get glimpses of them whilst diving.""The tags will transmit data for up to the next 10 years and the receivers we put on the seafloor will collect data every time a shark swims near it," Finucci said.Project lead Dr Alice Rogers, a Senior Lecturer in fisheries science at Victoria University, said it is an exciting project to be working on."The team on the boat were great and it’s one of the most beautiful environments I’ve ever worked in, so I feel privileged to be doing this research.""I also love this species - its ancestors date back to the Jurassic period, so they’re almost like dinosaurs.""It’ll be great to see how resilient they are to the effects of climate change and warming seas," Rogers said.The team will return to Fiordland every six months to gather the data from the receivers.They will monitor the short- and long-term information on their movements to understand the sharks’ behaviour and how this may be changing.While in the area, the scientists also use their time to work on other Southern Fiordland Initiative projects including studying the iconic Fiordland black coral, Antipathella fiordensis, and monitoring environmental conditions and deep-water communities at three long-term monitoring sites.

Who is Nobby Clark? A brief history of Invercargill’s controversial mayor
Who is Nobby Clark? A brief history of Invercargill’s controversial mayor

21 June 2024, 5:21 AM

Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark's decision to remain in the top job on Friday, despite multiple calls for his resignation, is not the first time he has courted controversy.Clark’s five years at council have been marked by well-documented difficulties and a commitment to doing things his own way.This week, he catapulted into the headlines on the back of a complaint into his behaviour at a private event in March.The mayor's seat sat empty for much of Friday's meeting. Following his departure after a short speech, some elected members backed up councillor Ian Pottinger's early call for the mayor to step aside. Photo: ODT/Supplied.Clark faced allegations that he labelled volunteer firefighters as second class citizens, verbally attacked the MC, and disparaged young people in authority.The council held an extraordinary meeting on Friday to discuss this breach of its code of conduct, with multiple members saying he should step aside.But a seemingly unphased Clark has decided to stay on, giving a short speech at the start of the meeting before removing himself.A bumpy road to mayoraltyClark has often found himself in hot water over his remarks.While still deputy mayor in 2021, Clark sat down with Local Democracy Reporting and detailed his long and varied employment history, which included two dismissals out of senior positions.On both occasions he claimed he challenged the outcome — and won — but at a significant financial cost.“Financially bloody bad news. Because you win but you lose,” he said at the time.His working life had seen him wander down a range of paths, from medical work during a war to corporate management at Child Youth and Family (now Oranga Tamariki), a role with Stopping Violence Southland, and area management at IHC.He claims to have “rocked the boat in many of those caring areas”, which Local Democracy Reporting understands were the source of the employment issues.Later, Clark bought into a cleaning business before becoming a rural delivery driver.Then in 2019, his career took another turn when his underlying interest in local government was realised — he was voted into Invercargill City Council as its highest ranking candidate.He described his first day on the job as “a wolf coming into the sheep pack”.Despite his brash nature, Clark hit the ground running, and ascended.One year into his first term, he was appointed deputy by then-mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt, who in many ways was his antithesis.A complex and polarising figureWhile Shadbolt was protesting the Vietnam War, Clark was on the ground (albeit as an army medic).That move to make Clark deputy was highlighted in an independent report released in November 2020."I cannot help but worry that the mayor’s lack of insight into what is needed has resulted in him appointing the person least likely to enable a collegial path forward,” the 'Thomson Report' read.Clark was described as a “complex character” who was viewed by most councillors as “extremely polarising”.The month after the report was released, Clark had his first brush with the council’s code of conduct when he was found to be in breach for questioning the truthfulness of then-chief executive Clare Hadley at a public meeting.It didn’t take long for the relationship between Clark and Shadbolt to sour.In May 2021, the pair had a widely-publicised falling out with the revelation they were no longer talking.Communication resumed, but Clark later upset Shadbolt by accusing him of “hoarding” personal items in council buildings across the city while claiming he had helped remove 50 boxes of “old stuff” from a schoolhouse.The following year, Clark requested to step aside as deputy because he was struggling to juggle the role alongside his views, which he said sometimes saw him in a minority position at the council.He claimed the decision had nothing to do with his relationship with Shadbolt, and later rescinded it after the mayor encouraged him to stay on.Clark runs for top jobThe twists and turns kept coming when in May 2022, Clark did a U-turn on previous claims of not having mayoral aspirations by announcing his candidacy.Five months later he landed the top role, almost 3000 votes ahead of his nearest rival.But Clark continued to walk a tightrope, drawing criticism in June 2023 for throwing support behind an anti-co-governance tour.October 2023 saw an Invercargill woman come forward upset over comments he’d made about the handling of former councillor and ILT Stadium boss Nigel Skelt.Skelt resigned from his positions following a complaint by a female stadium employee of inappropriate behaviour, and Clark later said the family appreciated the work he had done in dealing with the situation.The mother of the woman involved was shocked, saying the mayor’s comments were “so far from the truth”.Under fire for racial slurIn April 2024, Clark appeared on satirical news show New Zealand Today and repeated the ‘n-word’ - a move he had been criticised for at an Art Foundation event the previous year.His appearance on the show prompted a code of conduct complaint by two councillors, which is still ongoing.Then on Tuesday afternoon, details of the complaint about the mayor’s behaviour at a United Fire Brigades’ Association event in March came to light, sparking an early call from councillor Ian Pottinger for his resignation.The complaint said the female MC targeted by the mayor’s verbal attack had been left wishing the ground would "open up and swallow her".Pottinger's view was shared by several other councillors and two mana whenua representatives, one of whom said Clark had told her she had "black privilege".As Clark continues to flout the rules and do things his own way, does the ongoing criticism, or its fallout, bother him?Perhaps the tattoo on his arm provides some insight into his philosophy — one of being in the present, and not thinking too far ahead.“Tomorrow never comes,” it reads.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Invercargill mayor Nobby Clark refuses to resign
Invercargill mayor Nobby Clark refuses to resign

21 June 2024, 4:37 AM

Invercargill councillors have voted to formally censure mayor Nobby Clark and ask him to step back from public appearances for the rest of the council term following a code of conduct complaint.A motion to formally ask Clark to resign was narrowly defeated with six councillors voting against the motion and five supporting it during an extraordinary meeting.Deputy mayor Tom Campbell who is chairing the meeting then put forward his own motion that requested the mayor delegates his public appearance to all formal public events for the rest of the council term.The motion also asked for a letter of censure and for the mayor to apologise to the MC of an event who he wrongly implied was having an affair and made personal attacks about, including regarding her appearance and competence.He was also asked to publicly apologise to councillors, council staff and the city's residents.Earlier Clark said he will not resign over unacceptable behaviour that's prompted multiple calls for him to stand aside.He withdrew from the extraordinary meeting that's been called to deal with a code of conduct complaint against him.Councillors agreed Clark breached its code of conduct in a material way.It comes after councillor Ian Pottinger asked for his resignation, saying his behaviour was unacceptable.He and councillor Ria Bond also filed a code of conduct complaint after Clark repeatedly using the N-word.The latest complaint from the United Fire Brigades' Association (UFBA) said Clark mocked, disrespected, degraded and offended its members and other guests during an event.UFBA chief executive William Butzbach said Clark said volunteer firefighters were second-class citizens, made personal attacks on the MC - including her appearance, competence and the fact she lived in Ponsonby - and wrongly implied the UFBA president and MC were having an affair.He apologised in a letter to Butzbach, saying he was suffering from "brain fade" following open heart surgery.Clark was found to be in breach of the council's Code of Conduct following an investigation.More to come...Reproduced with permission

‘Fall on your sword and resign’: Pressure mounts on Nobby Clark
‘Fall on your sword and resign’: Pressure mounts on Nobby Clark

20 June 2024, 4:57 AM

A city councillor who once endorsed the mayor of Invercargill is now calling for his resignation.This week, Mayor Nobby Clark made headlines after the details of a second code of conduct complaint were made public.The complaint alleged poor behaviour from Clark at a United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA) prize giving in March, where he was a guest of honour alongside his partner.Included in the allegations were claims he called volunteer firefighters second class citizens, verbally attacking the MC, and disparaging young people in authority.Clark has since apologised, but maintained some of his behaviour was not as described.Councillor Ian Pottinger believes the mayor should step down in the wake of the information released on Tuesday evening.“My opinion is that you commit the crime, which is bringing disrepute to Invercargill, and really an apology of any sort won’t cut the mustard,” Pottinger said.“The only fix is basically to fall on your sword and resign.”The request marks a dramatic change of direction from Pottinger, who in 2022, put his own mayoral aspirations aside to throw his support behind Clark.Invercargill City Council will hold an extraordinary council meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss one of two code of conduct issues facing the mayor.The five-term councillor said his endorsement was a matter of options available at the time.“At that stage we obviously seemed to be reasonably on the same platter.”Speaking to Local Democracy Reporting, Pottinger also claimed the mayor was undertaking a soon-to-be-announced “cabinet reshuffle” which would see him lose his role as chair of the council’s infrastructure committee as part of a merge.Asked if things were now frosty between the pair, he laughed.“No comment. We’ve got different views on life.”On Thursday, Southland Business Chamber also called for the mayor’s resignation.The chamber said in a media statement that Clark’s actions showed a “troubling trend” that did not align with the community.It highlighted racially and sexually insensitive language from the mayor at an Arts Foundation tour, and again on national television.Chamber chief executive Sheree Carey said Clark stepping down would be “the most responsible course of action”.First term councillor Steve Broad said Clark’s recent behaviour was below the honour and privilege of the role.“As each councillor makes their decision I’d also ask the mayor to ask himself whether he is medically or otherwise fit to carry that honour at the moment.”The mayor’s appearance on satirical news show New Zealand Today saw him repeat a racial slur he had been criticised for using at the arts event, and formed the basis of a separate code of conduct complaint by councillors Pottinger and Ria Bond which is still ongoing.Clark's actions at the UFBA event will be discussed at an extraordinary council meeting on Friday afternoon.He did not wish to comment on the requests for his resignation.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Battle to find a place to live in idyllic coastal town
Battle to find a place to live in idyllic coastal town

20 June 2024, 4:11 AM

A lack of rental accommodation has been blamed for limiting the growth of a coastal Southland town where holiday homes are king.Oraka Aparima Community Board chair Michael Weusten believes a lack of rental properties is creating issues for Riverton. Photo: Matthew Rosenberg/LDR“There’s only one or two properties ever for rent out here, that’s why it’s such a killer,” Weusten said.“If we’ve got any young people wanting jobs out here, they can’t find anywhere to live.“And it’s like town rental prices, $400 - $450, or dearer if they’re more upmarket houses.”Part of the problem was the high number of holiday homes in the area.Weusten said driving through the town at night during winter proved his point — the lights weren’t always on.According to the most recent data from Stats NZ in 2018, 36 percent of private dwellings in Riverton were unoccupied.But not everyone in the town shared his enthusiasm for boosting the population.“I’ve gone on record on Facebook saying we need more people in Riverton, but there’s a few locals that don’t agree with that, because they like to keep it the way it is for themselves.“And it is idyllic, but at the same token, people like to see the cafes open all the time.”Weusten had previously shared his concerns with Southland District Council at a public meeting, saying young people couldn’t work locally because they couldn’t live locally.Donna Leighton, a property manager at T and T Property Management, said she’d noticed a significant downturn in Riverton rentals over winter.It was much easier to fill places in the summer months, she said, as evidenced by the difficulty she was having with a current property.Of the approximately 360 houses the Invercargill-based company managed, only five were in Riverton.Properties in Invercargill filled quickly because of higher volume and job security, she added.“With Riverton, it’s hard to know what the job prospects are out there.”Harcourts Invercargill manager Wayne Ellis said it was slim pickings in Southland for both rentals and purchasable houses.He believed part of the reason was a rise in demand, with an increase in the number of first home buyers entering the market.“Riverton’s just a small, rural township, so it’s probably heightened the challenge that they’ve got.”Ellis said a quick look on TradeMe revealed less than 100 properties for rent in Invercargill compared to about half a dozen in Riverton.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

TOMMY'S TUMMY PIE REVIEW: Pieoneer's Lasagna Pie
TOMMY'S TUMMY PIE REVIEW: Pieoneer's Lasagna Pie

20 June 2024, 12:33 AM

The Pieoneer has done it again.Now I had thought that a small café in Palmerston north had the best lasagna, smooth and delicate pasta covered in rich, creamy cheese sauce layered between a delightfully flavourful mince meat filling.Yet again I was wrong. Every week The Pieoneer creates a flavour of the week.Now it's been a few weeks since my last visit and this may have to become a weekly lunch spot.If you want to find out what the flavour of the week is, go like and follow The Pioneer on socials to stay up to date. Now lets talk about the temptress of pies, seductive in the way that one pie just might not be enough, in fact it was so good I had two!As always the pie bottom paste was delightful, holding its shape as I devoured this tasty treat with every bite.The top flakey pastry simply divine as the crispy wafers of puff melt between your lips.The pastry is one of the most important parts to a pie, visually stunning in the pie warmer, glistening in the light.At this point I wanted to buy them all.“The ultimate comfort” Olivia says as she tried her first bite.They really are, from the first bite you feel at home surrounded by family and friends fighting to get the last piece from mums pan.The pie filling is everything you could want in a lasagna.I personally liked the hint of tomato overtones tip toeing over the pallet while the herbs and infusions complement and caress your tastebuds!The velvety and smooth texture of the pasta covered in the rich creamy cheese sauce, surrounded by a delicate meat filling.These pies are filled to the brim, they are weighty and you can feel the quality as soon as you pick up the custom stamped paper bags.On the Tommys Tummy Test ‘The Pioneer’ reaches for the top rung yet again with a 10/10. Do you have a pie that’ll make it to the top of the Tommys Tummy Test? 

Environment Southland to slash spending and lower rates increase in the face of tough economic times
Environment Southland to slash spending and lower rates increase in the face of tough economic times

20 June 2024, 12:04 AM

Environment Southland (ES) announced yesterday (19 Jun) that it was slashing this year's proposed rates increase, from an average 23% increase to 12.6%, and halving its flood protection plans - after a record 330 submissions from ratepayers voiced concern in the face tough economic times.ES councillors also agreed to transition towards a new rating model over the next two years in response to ratepayer feedback.Yesterday's announcement followed the conclusion to 3-days of meetings where councillors confirmed their draft budgets, 2024-2034 Long-term Plan, 2024-2054 Infrastructure Strategy, Revenue and Financing Policy and Rating Review, and the Fees and Charges Schedule.The 2024-2025 budget will now see ES's proposed $2.3m investment in flood protection reduced to $1.17m, by using reserves rather than rates, as well as changing the timing of some of the work.ES chairman Nicol Horrell said planning and delivering long-term flood resilience was a core part of the regional council’s work to help keep communities as safe as possible ahead of time, but how to pay for that was the question.“The reserves are there for a rainy day, and the community is telling us it’s raining,” he said.There was community support for ongoing flood protection in the region, but there were also suggestions around how much and how fast work should happen, Horrell said.“Affordability issues were front of mind for councillors during deliberations and we have found savings and efficiencies across the organisation, while ensuring the Council’s statutory obligations continue to be met.”The rates adjustment, from an average 23% increase to 12.6%, is expected to save a $450,000 property $34 per annum or 67c a week.The plan will be formally adopted by ES councillors next month.Key decisions made by Environment Southland include:The funding of the flood protection operating expenditure with $2.34m of lease area reserves to reduce the impact on rates over four years, as consulted on with Catchment Liaison Committees.There will be a two-year transition to a Capital Value rating system and there will be further consultation during 2024-2025 on whether there is a local rate or regional rate to fund river management programmes.The use of $1.38m over four years from biosecurity and land sustainability surpluses to fund their ongoing work programmes and offset rates.The flood protection capital works programme from 2027-2028 onwards is indicative, and will only progress subject to detailed planning being undertaken, government funding being available, and further consultation with the community.The Southland District Council is also conducting public consultations on their Long-term Plan this month (Jun).

Conservation Minister Tama Potaka says saving every species is 'very aspirational'
Conservation Minister Tama Potaka says saving every species is 'very aspirational'

19 June 2024, 6:26 AM

Forest and Bird is horrified the government is suggesting it cannot afford to save all of New Zealand's native species.On Tuesday, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka told the Parliament's Environment Committee it could cost hundreds-of-billions of dollars to stop all species here becoming extinct."If we say, hand on heart, we're going to save every single species and get it out of a space where it's endangered or at risk that job is going to take an absolutely, probably superhuman effort, that'll cost, I don't know, I wouldn't want to imagine the cost, but that is literally hundreds of billions, maybe trillions of dollars, and I don't think we're in that space."I think we're in a much more practical space to say what are the species, what are the areas, what are the ecosystems that we're going to focus on, focus our attention on and get to that."He believed the view from the environmental sector that every single species must be saved was "very aspirational and ambitious objective"."It's one that we may not be able to deliver on," he said."So we have to be very careful before we say every single species is going to be saved. We have to be very mindful that that comes at a cost which up until this point in time no one has figured out."Asked whether that meant he was agreeable to species extinction, Potaka said he was not, but for politicians to promise to save every single species without having a proper costing was "very myopic and shortsighted".He did not have such a costing and did not think anyone in the past six years had been able to provide one."There is a cost with maintaining species and ensuring that they don't become extinct. And I don't think anyone in the history of the Department of Conservation has costed that in a [meaningful], defensible and credible way, and if they have, please tell me."Forest and Bird chief executive Nicola Toki told Morning Report Potaka's comments made it sound like he was picking and choosing what to save."I was actually horrified by the minister's comments. He's basically picking winners, right?Forest and Bird chief executive Nicola Toki. Photo: Supplied"He's essentially saying, well, you know, I have an underwhelming ambition to not save them all, 'cause it's really expensive and so, you know, we'll pick some things that we might like to save. He's forgotten his job."The comments came after Dame Jane Goodall's Thursday visit to Parliament with a number of dignitaries, where she highlighted New Zealand's role in saving the black robin from the brink of extinction."To have a conservation minister come out and say it's all a bit hard and (expensive) is just appalling, and he needs to step up," Toki said.The Department of Conservation's (DOC) report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, released in 2019 and covering the period of 2014-2018, stated one quarter of the nearly 4000 species currently classified as threatened or at risk had only been assessed once and there was no way to know whether their conservation status had changed.Planning tool to help inform decision-making, minister saysOne of the areas Toki believed could widely benefit conservation efforts if boosted was sustained pest control."We only have sustained pest control on the public conservation land across New Zealand on a fraction of the estate, it's around 7 percent overall, right?"If you have been in Wellington recently and you look at the work that's going on to reduce predators in Wellington, the benefits to multiple species is huge. Some species don't actually take that much money to look after."Department of Conservation director-general Penny Nelson told the Environment Committee they had developed a biodiversity planning tool which explores the species and representative ecosystems to make it clear what was being invested on those and the expected returns.Department of Conservation director-general Penny Nelson. Photo: Supplied / Lance Lawson"And for each of our regions, we've got priorities and we're standing up portfolios to meet those. So internally, we've put some more effective processes in place to help us prioritise and then other thing, I think is critical, is we're currently working on the next implementation plan for the biodiversity strategy and that's where we can leverage opportunities with others."So for example, with some of the threats we've got to our biodiversity like ungulates and predators, we're really lining investment we've got with local government, business, iwi partners et cetera, to really focus on the things that will have the biggest impact for biodiversity."Potaka said this tool was key because it was not relying on the "loudest voice in the department, or the loudest voice in the community" to inform decision-making on biodiversity.Toki said it was particularly important to invest in conservation efforts as the country dealt with the impacts of climate change, and considering the economic returns of preserving nature and our ecosystems."The Department of Conservation, which looks after a third of our country and guards the economic asset that is our tourism industry, not to mention 70 percent of our businesses rely on our natural resources, right now it's funded on less than the budget of the Christchurch City Council, and that is a disgrace."I think governments make choices about what they spend their money on and every government does that. But what this government is missing is the fact that our national identity is based on our natural environment..."If the government can't understand that this is who we are, then they're gonna get a bit of a rude awakening as more and more people call it out."DOC's funding overall was due to drop from $880 million this year 2023/2024 to $728m in 2026/27.Reproduced with permission

Mayor blames ‘brain fade’ for alleged verbal attacks at event
Mayor blames ‘brain fade’ for alleged verbal attacks at event

19 June 2024, 4:54 AM

Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark's actions at a private event left an MC so upset she wished the ground would “open up and swallow her”, an investigation report claims.On March 16, Clark attended a United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA) prize giving dinner as a guest of honour, alongside his partner.But the mayor’s presence as a VIP soured, according to UFBA chief executive William Butzbach's letter of complaint to the council.Clark has since apologised, saying he was suffering from “brain fade” following open heart surgery. He also maintained some of his behaviour was not as described.Butzbach’s letter — dated 28 March — was made public on Tuesday afternoon, and forms the basis of a second code of conduct complaint against Clark.In it, Butzbach wrote he was informed by several reliable sources that Clark had “articulated some disturbing and offensive views” at the event.Some of the comments were made during a speech on stage and included a description of volunteer firefighters as second-class citizens and personal attacks on the MC, the complaint alleges.In relation to the latter, the complaint claims Clark attacked the MC's appearance, competence as a communications professional, and made an untrue allegation she was having an affair with the association’s president.Butzbach also alleged the mayor disparaged young people in positions of authority.“All in attendance were horrified and appalled by the mayor’s hateful and disrespectful rhetoric,” Butzbach wrote in the complaint.“Many of our members and guests left the room in disgust at this behaviour from the mayor.“This has proven traumatic for my staff whereby we are providing professional support services to them.”The investigation report further detailed the impact of the episode on the MC, saying she found Clark’s comments “deeply humiliating” and had been reduced to tears.Days later, she was left anxious thinking about hosting another event, the report said.The UFBA president — who was present at the event — said he leaned close to Clark following his speech and remonstrated with him. He claimed Clark did not reply and left the room with his partner soon after.All interviewees agreed the mayor did not speak from notes and did not congratulate the competition winners.Clark’s partner provided an alternative view of events, saying although the mayor had caused offence, he had not intended to make anyone uncomfortable.She said the mayor’s sense of humour was “unique”, and was aggrieved by the criticism he’d drawn at the event.Meanwhile, Clark said he was approached by a volunteer as he left the venue and told he was “on the mark” with his comments, while being asked to give the team a wave — which he did.Although Clark acknowledged in the report some of his comments were “inappropriate” and showed immediate willingness to apologise, he maintained his overall conduct was not as described.Earlier, Clark also indicated he would not assist with the investigation into his actions.A letter from Wellington lawyer Dentons Kensington Swan to Invercargill City Council dated May 12 said the mayor had raised the question of scope for the council’s code of conduct as a reason for not cooperating with an investigation.As a result of the investigation, Clark was found to be in breach of the council’s code of conduct, with the matter to be considered by the council at an extraordinary meeting on Friday.Clark declined to make any comment ahead of that date.A second code of conduct brought against the mayor in April is still being investigated.It relates to his appearance on satirical news show New Zealand Today, which saw him repeat a racial slur he had previously drawn criticism for using.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

ALBUM REVIEW: Right On The Money - Kayla Mahon
ALBUM REVIEW: Right On The Money - Kayla Mahon

19 June 2024, 4:17 AM

Album Release Showcase – Kayla Mahon – Right On The Money.RiversdaleReview by Olivia MathiesonA sparkling night of talent with Kayla sharing the stage with friends and family, impressive vocals from all of those that showcased their appreciation for Kayla via performing together.Kayla Mahon with a copy of her new album 'Right On The Money'. Photo: Southland AppWalking into the hall from the cold winter night as a gentle mist fills the air, we were greeted with a warmth that really does come from being with close friends and family.The dim lit hall was rather cosey and as the venue filled up with a sold-out crowd coming to be entertained from all over Southland and Otago it was starting to feel like ‘Home On The Vinyl’.The stage was that of a country dream dance where the backdrop of scrim covered in fairy lights lit up the stage like a star-studded night.The stage in fact was well dressed, over and above what would seem to be the norm with an array of guitars like wings ready to whisk you away to a night of magic and warm embraces.The whole atmosphere of the hall was alight with excitement and love for Kayla that you could hear it bouncing back off Kayla and back into the crowd at the Riversdale Community Centre.Presentation of the hall was perfect with tables to gather round for a toe tap and plenty room to dance while retaining that hometown hall feel, big plus supper provided by Kayla’s supportive family.The night started with a warm welcome from Chitty (Hokonui 94.8fm), absolutely fantastic to see local radio personalities supporting local artists.Throughout the night she kept us entertained in her own unique way and quite possibly the one meant for this particular album release sharing childhood stories of herself and Kayla.I was not expecting to be blown away by the talent that was the opening acts, in true Kayla style we were introduced to a wide variety of music and performers, with so many youngsters from Kaylas nieces, daughter and cousins we were set to be entertained.Georgia (Kayla's daughter) will be one to watch over the years especially after one of the biggest performances of the night with her rendition of ‘Show Me’.Keep an eye and ear out for an album soon!Another highlight for me from the youngest performer of the show being only 3 years old.Charlotte Coughlan performing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with her wee ukulele was just amazing and a bit humbling as well.Harmonicist Brendon Fairbairn. Photo: Southland AppMy toes were definitely tapping as Brendon Fairbairn took the stage with his harmonica, I’ve never heard a harmonica do the things that he made it do before!Melia was a standout with a presence on stage that some can only dream of having and backing it up with fantastic vocals, guitar and dance moves.All of the supporting performers shined and complimented Kayla’s passion.All that being said, the opening acts for the album release of ‘Right On The Money’ was, well, right on the money!Kayla Mahon, her support band Triple Shot and Sound Engineer Tom Moana were ’Right on the Money’ the entire night, sounding incredible not just because of their phenomenal music talents but due to them all working cohesively as a solid unit of entertainment.Keeping the timing just right was Jacob Hewton on the skins and I must say he is up there with some of the best for the facials, the grooves and the personality, it can't have been easy to keep the volume of those drums down with some of the little lungs powering out their best vocals.As always, keeping that solid rhythm section in check, showing us the funk on stage as he dances along with every track was Chris Chilton and his unmistakable bass tones.Lastly on the guitar Simon Thompson.What a perfect match for Kayla’s unique sound and vibe.Simon’s skill set embraces and enriches every moment.Before I continue to the main event, Kayla Mahon and Simon did a gorgeous acoustic set that even though the venue was getting pretty warm already, they filled our hearts once again with a few extra covers and originals that ware shared with some amazing memories from a recent tour together solidifying them as a dynamic duo, make sure to hear them perform ‘Wish For Rain’ in the future, this powerhouse duo reaches for the stars in perfect harmony, complementing each other from vocals to guitar arrangements and banter. What a performance from Kayla, one thing I really appreciated is the way Kayla presented each new song with a unique experience of how that song came to be, for example, ‘Man That Doesn’t Like Country’ a tale of the man she married, and its all in the title.This show was a great representation of the album which I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek of.‘Angels biding time’ comes with gentle and bittersweet memories and I a lot of way this track resonated with me, offering a tight embrace and remembrance of those who have passed in our lives.Bombshell Bobby a dynamic ear worm that doesn’t let go, even a day later the chorus sings through. Each song in the new album offering a new perspective into the lyrical and musical brilliance of Kayla Mahon.Finishing the night with the album title track was a treat, and as I said a few times it was ‘Right On The Money’.What Kayla has done with this album has been nothing short of brilliant.The release show captured everything you could have wanted from the album.Proof that small town country has what it takes to make it big, reach new heights and perform with the best and that Kayla Mahon is a rising star in country music.The show was full of laughs, musical brilliance and excitement.You can find the album out soon.For those who missed the event, keep an eye out for "Right On The Money" on streaming platforms to experience the magic of Kayla Mahon’s music for yourself.

Edendale's Tayla Richards returns from the South Atlantic Ocean with the Royal Navy
Edendale's Tayla Richards returns from the South Atlantic Ocean with the Royal Navy

18 June 2024, 10:45 PM

Brought up in the rural deep south, Sub Lieutenant Tayla Richards always wanted an active job that could offer plenty of variety.Having returned from a six-month exchange in a British Royal Navy (RN) ship patrolling the Falkland Islands, it’s safe to say the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) marine engineer has found that balance.“I was very fortunate to experience it, and to work with a lot of cool people,” she said.“We were at sea quite a lot, but we got to spend time ashore in the Falkland Islands. There are about 3,000 people living there, along with thousands of penguins and amazing wildlife.”Small-town life such as that in the Falklands is familiar territory for Sub Lieutenant Richards who grew up in the Southland town of Edendale, with a population of just under 600.She joined the RNZN in 2021 after finishing a mechanical engineering degree.“I had gone to Southland Girls’, then university and got into my first ever desk job doing design engineering,” Sub Lieutenant Richards said. “As someone who had grown up on a farm, sitting behind a desk was not something I enjoyed. A Defence Force recruiter said the Navy has an active lifestyle. I thought, that sounds like a good deal to me.”She completed her Junior Officer Common Training in Auckland, then worked in Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic for four months.After working in ship maintenance at Devonport Naval Base, she posted to the Defence School of Marine Engineering at HMS Sultan in the United Kingdom to do her Systems Engineering and Management Course (Marine Engineering).RNZN marine engineering officers undertake overseas training in Australia or the United Kingdom; the latter usually involves an exchange aboard an RN vessel as an Assistant Marine Engineering Officer.Sub Lieutenant Richards was posted to River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Medway, based in the South Atlantic Ocean.The sea posting allows trainees to immerse themselves in the dynamic environment of naval operations and learn to liaise with other departments on board, as well as experience how other navies operate.“Medway was quite similar to our ships, but they stay out there and do crew rotations - they change out 50 per cent of the crew every three months. It’s good, they get to come back refreshed.”Now that she’s fully qualified and back in New Zealand, Sub Lieutenant Richards is ready for a ship posting as a Deputy Marine Engineering Officer when a space becomes available.“The overseas courses are very manageable. When you’ve already got an engineering mindset, you know what you need to be learning and they make sure you get the training. The time on ship consolidates it really well.”

CLASS ACTION: Waianiwa School
CLASS ACTION: Waianiwa School

18 June 2024, 9:32 PM

Waianiwa School Term 2 2024Our school pool has a new look with the new translucent cladding and roof being completed and the pool getting a fresh paint.It is looking amazing and we were very excited to have it filled and heated for our school swimming with Southern Reap during Term 1.We have also had a new pool cover made, with a huge thank you to the Otahuti Hall Committee for their donation that funded this and the pool painting.The new cover will be fitted in time for the pool opening this summer.A big thank you to BOT member Ross Fieten who spent many hours working away to get the pool going.And another big thank you to the Wallacetown Volunteer Fire Brigade, who spent one of their training nights carting water back and forth to fill the pool.We are very grateful to have such a fantastic community around us.Athletics this year was a hot and sunny day.It was great to see all our students participating in their events with perseverance and enthusiasm and representing our school with pride, demonstrating our school values.Congratulations to the students who qualified and represented us at Central Athletics and a huge congratulations to Johann, Hanakura, Logan, Cohen, Lachie and Vivienne who qualified for Southland Athletics.Well done to those who competed, you all gave it a great effort.A special mention to Lachie, who was 5th in the 9 year old boys long jump and Cohen was 7th in the 9 year old boys discus - amazing work boys!A huge effort was put in by all our students at Cross Country and they should be very proud of themselves, as we all are.A large number of our students represented our Cluster at the Central Cross Country.A big thanks to Callum Stuart for bringing the bales so we had some obstacles on the course, Friends of Waianiwa School for the BBQ and all the family and wider whānau who came to watch and support the runners, as well as Heddon Bush and Drummond Schools for joining us.Our Room 3 Pals leaders stepped up this year and each morning worked with Room 1 getting them ready for cross country.Room 3 enjoyed challenging themselves in their training with a ‘Tour of Western Southland’ with goals of running the distance from Waianiwa to Drummond to Otautau then Riverton and back to Waianiwa.They measured the km between different places in Western Southland and worked out how many laps of the field they needed to achieve to ‘run’ the equivalent distance of the Western Southland loop.Cohen and Logan chose to keep running at break times and were first to win the first stage of the challenge - the Waianiwa to Drummond run.Well done!At each ‘town’ everybody received a wee reward before carrying on to the next spot.Some children added to their tallies by doing some extra running at home, we were so impressed with the dedication to their training.Ka pai te mahi to Hunter who decided to do a Social Studies fair entry for his home learning challenge this term.Hunter researched and presented the ‘history of lego’ and his work was on display at the Invercargill Social Studies fair.Natasha, Hunter and some of his friends took a quick tour to town to see the fair in action.The Room 1 children really enjoyed learning about Anzac Day at the end of last term and some of the learning activities included making a lovely wreath for the school Anzac Day celebration and Poppy Art.Room 2 also enjoyed learning about Anzac Day and participating in our School ANZAC service.Well done to Shameka and Mirco for reading the Anzac Ode.Room 3 made beautiful poppies sewing felt and buttonsIt took a lot of patience and perseverance, but they looked amazing.They also made extra poppies to create their class wreath.Waianiwa School is proudly supported by Fiordland Escapes

No fuel dumped ahead of 737 plane's emergency landing in Invercargill last night
No fuel dumped ahead of 737 plane's emergency landing in Invercargill last night

18 June 2024, 5:37 AM

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737 aircraft bound for Melbourne, Australia, which reportedly encountered a bird strike while taking-off from Queenstown Airport, didn't dump any fuel ahead of its emergency landing at Invercargill Airport last night (17 Jun).A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson said that Boeing 737s didn't have the necessary systems fitted to dump fuel."The Virgin Australia aircraft performed several holding patterns near Winton to burn more fuel, complete flight crew checklists, and provide ample time for the cabin crew to prepare the cabin for the pending emergency landing," they said.The spokesperson also confirmed CAA New Zealand was not currently opening an investigation into the incident at this stage.However the Australia Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) was gathering further information before making a decision on whether they will investigate, they said.Meanwhile Invercargill Airport Chief Executive Stuart Harris took to social media to praise the response to last night's emergency."We are fully prepared for a scenario such as this with regular training sessions and have multiple procedures in place to deal with a wide range of aircraft issues," he said."Within minutes of being notified of the incoming flight, our local airport community, airport firefighting team, Air New Zealand, AvSec, and local emergency services pulled together to prepare for its landing.""I was really impressed with the collaboration across all the entities at the Airport last night. Fantastic teamwork.""We also received plenty of support over the phone from Queenstown Airport, CAA, MPI, and Customs," Harris said."It was an outstanding and speedy professional response." Mr Harris says the airport was supporting Virgin’s engineers as they carried out work on the plane.  Once fit for take-off, the plane will be able to fly back to Australia from Invercargill's 2210m long sealed runway which is fully capable for all narrow-bodied commercial jets, Harris said.

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