The Southland App
The Southland App
Advocate Communications
Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store
Listen to...WINShop LocalNotices | JobsContact
The Southland App

News


Georgina Salter Memorial adds fire as Steel prepares to play Mystics
Georgina Salter Memorial adds fire as Steel prepares to play Mystics

25 May 2024, 6:21 AM

Legendary netball coach Georgina Salter was never one to sugar coat things.In fact, Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham reckons her late mentor would have delivered a pretty blunt pre-game team talk heading into Sunday’s (26 May) clash against the MG Mystics in Dunedin.“She would say ‘go out there and deal to them. This is our home court. You need to play smarter than them, be brave’,” Bloxham said.The ANZ Premiership round seven match doubles as the Georgina Salter Memorial in her honour. “It always adds more fire to our belly playing for this trophy. We rise to the occasion as we remember all the ways Georgie contributed to a lot of our netball careers. There are players in our Steel team now who were coached by her at school so it is a special connection and gives them a sense of pride,” she said.“It is fitting to be playing in Dunedin for this one as this is where Georgie did a lot of her coaching so there are strong ties and it is also close to her home of Oamaru.“We have trained here this week so get to connect with both the netball and wider community while we prepare for the game. It's refreshing and allows us to spend some time together off the court too. We're looking forward to playing in front of our Dunedin crowd.”With just one win on the board in 2024, Bloxham continues to seek a complete performance from her team. “I want to see focus and a full 60-minute effort. We are definitely searching for more consistency.” However, experienced vice-captain Shannon Saunders is the latest player to be ruled out as the team’s injury woes continue.“I am feeling the pressure with Shannon out and finding a replacement isn't easy as she is a huge loss that is almost irreplaceable. But it's about providing an opportunity for someone new to step into this space and give it a crack,” Bloxham said.“We are without Jen (O’Connell) and Ivari (Christie) is also carrying a knee injury so the challenges keep coming. I am grateful that the girls accept the challenge and go out there to do their best each game with everything that is going on. They never back down.”Sunday’s game starts at 4pm

Crowds converge on Bluff for return of Oyster Festival
Crowds converge on Bluff for return of Oyster Festival

25 May 2024, 5:26 AM

After two years of cancellations the Bluff Oyster & Food Festival is back and the popularity of the event certainly has not waned since it was last held in 2021.A cold day could not deter the crowd that formed well before the gates opened at 10.30am, to ensure they would not miss out on some of the 20,000 Bluff oysters or other seafood and food on offer. The iconic Bluff Oyster made its traditional entrance at 11am, piped onto the site by the Invercargill Highland Pipe Band.Crowds brave the cold to ensure their early entry to this year's Bluff Oyster and Food Festival. Photo: SuppliedFormer Bluff Mayor Bruce Pagan recited the Ode To The Oyster while Festival Chairman John Edminstin welcomed the crowd and declared the festival open.Edminstin said he was both happy and relieved that the festival was on the go again."It is great to see the crowd coming through the gate all rugged up. We are hoping for a great day.” He also praised his committee and volunteers.“Despite not having the festival for two years, they stayed together.""We have a great team of volunteers.” A highlight for crowds was the classic oyster events which saw two new champions crowned.Xavier Fife of Calders Oysters won the Men’s Open, after opening 50 oysters in a time of 3 minutes 9 seconds while Peg Bishop won the Women’s Open getting through 50 oysters in 3 minutes 34 seconds.Fife has been opening oysters for six years and finished third in the event in 2021.“It’s pretty cool, very good,” he said after the win.Shannon Te Kira of Ngai Tahu Fisheries was second and reigning champion, Ricci Grant of Barnes Oysters third.Bishop said it was a blessing to do what she always wanted to do but also acknowledged Vic Pearsey who won the last ten titles straight but did not compete in the open this year.Bishop (68) began opening oysters at Talleys in Motueka when she was 17-years-old.Here Witehira of Barnes Oysters was second and Natasha Leigh of Ngai Tahu third. Team Barnes won the Factory Relay and Ricci Grant the Blindfold Race and Aaron of Barnes Oysters the Novice Race. Phoebe of Auckland won the Oyster Eating Final with competitors from all parts of the world taking part including one from China who made the final.The large crowd enjoyed a range of entertainment from the Mapu-Kuki-Airani Rarotongan drummers, the Bluff School Kapa Haka group, SIT Sounz - comprising of music students from the School of Contemporary Music at SIT, In The Pocket - a Polynesian dance off, singer-songwriter Jackie Bristow, 2018 Southland Entertainer of the Year Lachie Hayes and Dunedin band Sea Beast.

Booze-free supermarkets: The city with a bottle store monopoly
Booze-free supermarkets: The city with a bottle store monopoly

24 May 2024, 3:29 AM

Walk into any Invercargill supermarket and you may notice the missing alcohol section.That’s because the community-owned Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT) has exclusive trading rights for taverns, hotels and off-licences in the city.It’s a unique set-up with a key function of redistributing profits to the community, dating back to the 1940s.In 2024, just 17 of the 30 have survived, and none have been established in almost 50 years.Invercargill’s version operates 23 businesses and made a profit of more than $11 million in the 2022/23 financial year, before tax and donations.For that same period, it returned over $8 million to the community.Proceeds included money from gaming machines at trust venues, which made up 70 percent of donations.“The concept of community ownership is both our uniqueness and our reason for being,” the trust’s website trumpets, declaring its vision for a “vibrant Invercargill”.But is the trust model really a good thing for the community? Or contentious by nature, because of the product it hinges on?University of Otago Professor Joe Boden has been involved full time with the Christchurch longitudinal study for 19 years, allowing him to examine the effects of alcohol over the life course.He speaks positively about the model.“I actually think they’re theoretically good entities,” Boden says.“In terms of redistributing the profits, we have two choices.“One where parts of the profits are redistributed to the community . . . or all the profits magically vanish to multinational corporations.“In general, I think we just have a serious problem that large multinational corporations make a huge amount of profit from people who are drinking themselves into serious health problems.”The stats make for sobering reading; according to the most recent data from Amohia Te Waiora (2017/18), 79 percent of adults consumed alcohol in the past year, with a quarter of those doing so hazardously.Boden doesn’t pull any punches when he talks about those dangers.“As consumption increases, health and social problems associated with alcohol increase. It’s entirely linear,” he says.“We could really cut into a lot of lifestyle diseases if we could get our alcohol consumption down.”The flaws of the systemSalvation Army social policy analyst and advocate Ana Ika understands the cost of alcohol to society better than most.Although positive about the trust model on the whole, she is quick to point out its flaws —- as evidenced by a situation last year in Glen Eden where profit became the main motive.In that instance, the trusts ignored the wishes of the community by trying to open a new bottle store, ignoring the objections of more than 200 people, she says.It was ultimately stymied, but only after a hearing took place.“If they’re not listening to the community and continue to create liquor outlets in areas where there shouldn’t be any more liquor outlets, then that’s the issue and the challenge that we have,” Ika says.On the flipside, the trust model could be beneficial by reducing the visibility of alcohol.The Salvation Army was aware of some tangata whaiora (persons seeking health) who would shop in the section of West Auckland controlled by the trust, so that they wouldn’t have to see alcohol in the supermarkets.Ika also believes the extra layer of transparency in reporting set it apart from the contentious pokie grants system, which her organisation was critical of because of a lack of clarity around Department of Internal Affairs data.“The reason we like the trust model is because they’re supposed to be in favour of the community.“When the trust works for the intended purpose that it was created for the betterment of communities, that’s when the trust model is a lot better.”University of Otago Professor Joe Boden, Salvation Army social policy analyst and advocate Ana Ika and University of Otago marketing lecturer Rob Hamlin have given their thoughts on licensing trusts, speaking positively about them on the whole. Photo: SuppliedThe big opponents of the trustsFor the trusts to be effective, they must be transparent.Those are the thoughts of Dr Rob Hamlin, a lecturer in marketing from the University of Otago.Hamlin describes the system as a monopoly necessitated by a high degree of accountability, mainly because any breach of trust could be used against it by those wanting to see its downfall.The licensing trust model was not one that would be possible to establish from scratch in today’s world, he says.“The main opponents of the licensing trusts, particularly in this country, are supermarkets.“I think it’s fairly clear that the likes of Foodstuffs and Woolworths Australia and all the other liquor stores would not be returning nearly the amount of money to the community that the licensing trust does.”Hamlin has the personal view that money should not go to sports clubs, pointing out that pokie money was undesirable in the sense it saw the lower classes support the recreational activities of the middle classes.“I think the main thing is the decision making where the money goes has to be transparent.”So just how accountable are the trusts?As a public entity, they come under the mandate of the Auditor General, who in 2014 highlighted key concerns about their oversight.Comments included that they were a high-risk but little-known part of the public sector with little or no visibility in Parliament, and that there was a lack of general oversight other than by elected trustees.“A high proportion of their transactions are in cash, and they trade in small but attractive items,” the Auditor General said at the time.“These factors increase the risk of fraud and theft by customers and staff.“I have long been concerned that licensing trusts are one of the least scrutinised parts of the public sector.”Contacted for the story, a spokesperson for the office indicated not much had changed from an oversight perspective, but there were plans for a follow-up report later this year.Two years ago, Invercargill Licensing Trust opened a 4.5 star hotel in the CBD to the tune of $52 million. ILT Group consists of two brands: ILT which redistributes money from alcohol sales, and ILT Foundation which redistributes money from pokies. Photo: Layton Findlater/SuppliedWhat does Invercargill Licensing Trust think about all this?In response to questions from Local Democracy Reporting, ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay said no two licensing trusts are the same.Ramsay said his trust was more diversified than others because only six of its 23 businesses were standalone bottle stores.The trust firmly believed in ensuring shareholders and the people of Invercargill were given as much information about its performance as possible.“We always run a monthly public meeting. This is advertised, and every month we send the open agenda directly to all local media.”The trust’s only true monopoly was its retail bottle stores, which was questionable because of changes to online alcohol purchasing, Ramsay saidA number of competitors in Invercargill ran what were essentially bars, and competing hotels had existed in the city for decades.While some sections of the trust's meetings were made private because of “commercial sensitivity”, the landing point for donations remained ever-visible.ILT’s most recent annual report — released in 2023 — listed more than 300 grants.They ranged from $350 for Grasmere Indoor Bowls Club to $500,000 for Invercargill City Council’s Museum redevelopment.Rugby Southland received $555,000 across two donations.With less than 20 remaining across the country, and their existence a chagrin to the supermarket industry, could the days of the licensing trust be numbered?Hamlin says one thing is certain: public support has been crucial for the ones that have lasted this long.“Otherwise they wouldn’t survive.”LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Community slams Westpac's planned Windsor branch closure
Community slams Westpac's planned Windsor branch closure

23 May 2024, 10:40 PM

The planned closure of Westpac's Windsor branch on 21st June has been slammed by the Windsor community and described by Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds as a bitter blow for the suburb’s elderly and disabled residents.  “I wrote to Westpac last week expressing my deep concern at its proposal to shut this branch," Simmonds said.“The closure will be a major disruption to the Windsor community’s elderly and disabled residents, many of whom walk or use scooters for transport, and simply don’t travel into the city centre."“These people have now been left high and dry, like many other small communities around Southland who have faced bank closures."“It’s disappointing that despite my pleas, Westpac felt they could not do more for their Windsor customers."“Westpac has sited major seismic strengthening issues at the branch, as the reason for the closure with remediation work ‘not possible without significant disruption."“However, I would suggest that local customers would be more than happy to tolerate any disruption, if it meant that their local bank could remain open."“The bank’s suggestion that the ‘closeness’ of its Invercargill branch will mean ‘minimal disruption’ for their Windsor customers; shows just how out of touch they are."“A 5.4Km round trip to Westpac’s Invercargill branch, on foot or by scooter in Southland’s inclement winter weather, is not something that many elderly or disabled people will be able to manage."“The bank points out that there is a bus service into town, but I remain disappointed that we are seeing this loss of banking services in this suburb,” Simmonds said.Windsor Stationary and Gift's co-owner Nick Murie said the decision would be gutting for people living in Windsor, many of whom who were older or retired."I do feel desperately sorry for the people that need to use the bank.""They've got no internet [and] they don't do internet banking," he said.Murie said there would now be no money machines (ATMs) left in Windsor, except for the one at the New World supermarket.Murie anticipated this business would come under additional pressure from people wanting cash out.Windsor Pharmacy manager Holly Sycamore said the bank's closure would be a shame for customers."A lot of them find it hard to go into the centre of town," she said, with many preferring to just stay within the Windsor area.A Westpac spokesperson said their recently opened Invercargill City branch, with a 24 hour banking lobby, was less than 3km from Windsor and could be reached by a regular bus service.There is a mobility parking space across the street from the branch, they said.The spokesperson said Westpac was also exploring free and accessible parking options for customers in the Invercargill Central mall.

Mass Paradise Shelduck deaths in Te Anau & Wanaka - poisoning suspected
Mass Paradise Shelduck deaths in Te Anau & Wanaka - poisoning suspected

23 May 2024, 5:22 AM

Serious concern is growing across Southland and Otago after 64 paradise shelducks were mysteriously discovered dead on the foreshore of Lake Te Anau on 4th April.Just weeks earlier 100 shelducks, mallards and Canada geese were retrieved from Dublin Bay, at Lake Wānaka.The Ministry of Primary Industries’ (MPI) biosecurity group declared the bird bodies free from any exotic disease as the cause of death, following initial testing soon after the first incident occurred.Dead ducks and geese retrieved from Lake Wanaka, near Dublin Bay last month. Photo: Supplied/Wanaka AppHowever, with no further answers or clear resolve as to what has caused the deaths, serious questions around poisoning due to insecticide application have begun to arise.Otago Fish & Game Chief Executive Ian Hadland is extremely concerned by the mass bird deaths.“It is important to know the cause of any mass death of wildlife, especially native bird species.”“We suspect the insecticide diazinon is to blame for recent mass bird mortalities at Wānaka and near Te Anau, but we need this confirmed.”Diazinon is an organophosphate that is an active ingredient in some insecticides used to control grass grub, porina and other pests.In the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) guidelines for safely using diazinon, it is stated as ‘toxic to the environment, especially to insects, birds, fish, other aquatic creatures and bees.' Sheep and cattle have low susceptibility if ingested, but anything else low to the ground eating the grass can be unintentionally killed.There is no suggestion the recent mass bird kills were intentional, but testing to confirm the cause is considered necessary to encourage conversation around the permitted use of this product in our country - one that has been banned from agricultural products in the European Union since 2007. In a written statement to the Southland App, EPA said a 2013 review had decided that the use of products that contained diazinon presented risks to human health and to the environment and needed to be phased out.They said that from 1 July 2028, people will not be able to import, manufacture or use products containing diazinon, and all existing stocks will need to have been disposed of.With MPI stating they will not conduct further testing beyond identifying the cause not being related to any exotic disease, Otago and Southland Fish & Game regional councils remain dismayed, and furious, as they await - without governmental support - results to verify whether the mass deaths can be linked to the ingestion of diazinon.“It’s unacceptable that a not-for-profit organisation like Fish & Game has to use licence holder funds to mop up an incomplete investigation by a large government department such as MPI,” Hadland said.“I would have thought MPI would be as interested as us in confirming the cause of death, but unfortunately they have walked away.”Biosecurity New Zealand deputy director-general, Stuart Anderson, said Biosecurity New Zealand’s responsibility was testing focused on exotic diseases and, as such, they were unable to comment on the likelihood of it being linked to a pesticide.“It is inaccurate to suggest MPI is 'disinterested' or 'has walked away',” he said."We discussed with Fish and Game that our laboratory does not do toxicology testing, which is outside of our remit.”He also asserted that MPI’s animal welfare compliance team had an “investigation open to determine if there have been any breaches of the animal welfare act in relation to the death of the birds,” yet also stating that when it came to the application of diazinon and other such products, “it is important that users of these products familiarise themselves with the label and follow directions”.In a separate incident in Te Anau, a concerned landowner contacted Southland Fish & Game, disconcerted that he had accidentally poisoned shelduck through application of diazinon.Southland Fish & Game manager Zane Moss responded saying, “it’s clear from one of the farmers who contacted Fish & Game that this product is extremely toxic to birds, so to have the agency responsible deliberately ignore the risks is abhorrent".His demand was to not only get to the bottom of these bird deaths, but identify whose responsibility this growing problem, and lack of awareness, should really be.“How many more poisonings will occur and what species will be involved, before the ban of this neurotoxin will be brought forward?”DOC Operations Director Southern South Island, Aaron Fleming, said any mass mortality event involving native species was of concern to DOC.He also said whatever the cause, DOC did not have a role in regulating the use of insecticides, and referred the matter on to the EPA for further comment.

CLASS ACTION: Fiordland College
CLASS ACTION: Fiordland College

22 May 2024, 9:15 PM

Borland Leadership CourseIn April, Riley Chapman and James Chaloner participated in the 2024 Borland Lodge Lions Leadership Course, hosted by Adventure Southland.The week was made up of multiple team-building exercises, outdoor activities and various challenges to grow their leadership skills and experience in the outdoors.They did a three-day tramp, which tested their stamina and skills, kayaked part of the Waiau River, went abseiling, and caving.James said, “Borland Lodge was an amazing experience that allowed me to grow my own leadership skills in a different environment and meet lots of people.Thanks to the Te Anau Lions and Kepler Lions for giving me this opportunity. I will never forget this experience or the people I met on it”Three Day TrampJames on rightAbseilingANZAC DayOur Head Students, Nina Menegatti-Zink, Brooke Scott, Harry Prendergast and Max Kempthorne, delivered a moving reading at this year’s Anzac Day Ceremony.Quinn Moffat was a flag bearer and Gwylam MacMillan-Armstrong did an outstanding job playing the bagpipes.It was great to see former students, Josh Bolger and Nicole Green in their service uniforms alongside guest speaker, and former Head Boy, Lt. Col. Paul Reed.Gwylam MacMillan-ArmstrongLt.Col.Paul ReedNicole Green Head Students L-R: Max,Harry, Nina, BrookeSTAR Dive CourseSophie Wright and Natalie Spence attended the Dive Otago PADI Course.They spent a week in Dunedin with the first few days learning the basics and safety skills in the pool.The last two days they went to Wellers Rock where they did four ocean dives, putting the skills they learned in the pool into practice. This included taking their mask off underwater, swimming without being able to see, then refitting the mask.They also had to remain calm and in control of their breathing while the instructor cut off their air supply!At the end of the course both girls earned their PADI certificate.Sophie & NatalieFiordland College Proudly Supported by Milford Road Alliance

Gen Z challenge council: ‘Bridge the gap between suits and students’
Gen Z challenge council: ‘Bridge the gap between suits and students’

21 May 2024, 3:43 AM

Southland’s regional council has been challenged to pick up its game and engage with the people who will one day pay the rates.On Monday evening, 17-year-old Liam Calder presented to Environment Southland as part of its long term plan hearing, imploring the organisation to consider youth.Calder said he represented all rangatahi who were unable to voice their concerns, pointing out all other councils in the region included a youth voice.“Think of the submissions you’ve heard and seen today, what is the general age of the submitters?” he asked.“To ensure young people stay in Southland when they grow up, why not engage with them on their issues, in their region, on problems that will affect them in their lifetimes?”Calder admitted it was a tall order for Environment Southland to get around the 82 schools he’d counted in the region.But he did have some ideas from his experience as a member of Invercargill City Council’s youth council.That included keeping information digestible through avenues such as pocket-sized long term plan information which broke down key points.“Southland has such a rich and diverse range of people living in it. Don’t solely focus on the ratepayers, we will be the ratepayers one day,” Calder told councillors.“Teach us, but more importantly, show us the plans for our future.“It is time to bridge the gap between the suits and the students.”As part of his written submission, Calder proposed Environment Southland adopt either a youth reference group or youth council to engage with young people in a safe environment.The submission was met with widespread positivity from councillors, with chair Nicol Horrell saying it was “quite refreshing” to hear a youth view.Environment Southland’s long term plan hearing is scheduled across three days this week, ending on Friday.Deliberations will commence once it is concluded at dates which are yet to be set.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Two national landscape awards for Invercargill City
Two national landscape awards for Invercargill City

21 May 2024, 2:42 AM

Invercargill’s City Streets Upgrade project and the Sandy Point Domain Masterplan both been recognised with an Award of Excellence at the NZ Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards hosted in The Beehive, Wellington, on Friday night (17 May).Council Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said the awards were great recognition for the work that had gone into two major areas of the city.“In a hotly contested category, to have received an Excellence Award for the City Streets Upgrade is testament to the work of Council, Waihōpai Rūnaka and our partners in this project.""We’ve always believed that this project was more than just the beautification of the streets, it was about creating a space that would become the heart of the city and we needed to take some bold and brave steps to achieve that."“Both Esk and Don streets have become a destination for public events.""From the night food markets, to the Buskers programme and the popular Flames on Esk event, the community has really embraced the new space and are making the most of it.”Similarly, the Sandy Point Domain Masterplan received an Award of Excellence in the Master Planning and Urban Design Strategy category.Parks and Recreation Manager Caroline Rain said the Sandy Point Domain Masterplan set out a roadmap for the use, development and future of the popular domain.“Sandy Point is considered by many as home for a number of Invercargill’s sports clubs and recreation organisations, uniquely set in areas steeped in significant cultural, environmental and historic values.""The masterplan sets out the long-term vision for the area.""It’s great to see this hard work recognised as one of the best in New Zealand."“The word is out about how great Invercargill is and it’s great to see this acknowledged on a national level,": she said.

$20k Rakiura/Stewart Island mouse hunt turns up nothing
$20k Rakiura/Stewart Island mouse hunt turns up nothing

21 May 2024, 12:16 AM

A hunt by Environment Southland (ES) to find an established population of mice on Stewart Island/Rakiura has turned up nothing.The operation, expected to cost around $20,000 (excluding staff time), was initiated after images captured in 2023 by one of Predator Free Rakiura's cameras showed what appeared to be a mouse.While pests including rats are present on Stewart Island/Rakiura, the island has no known population of mice.A 2023 Predator Free Rakiura image that sparked an Environment Southland hunt for a mouse population on Stewart Island Rakiura. Photo: Supplied/Predator Free Rakiura/Manaaki Whenua.ES biosecurity and biodiversity operations manager Ali Meade said 26 rats were trapped during the project, which began earlier this month (May).Contractors set up bait stations, traps, and cameras at eight sites, which were monitored for two weeks before being removed.“Most of the rats captured were kiore (Pacific rat).""Some of them are very small, and one was caught in a mouse trap.""The images captured by Predator Free Rakiura in 2023 are likely to have been of a small kiore, not of a mouse,” Meade said.While the ES survey results do not prove that mice weren’t present on Stewart Island Rakiura, the results are very encouraging, she said.“It’s great that we don’t have evidence of an established population of mice, but we still need everyone to do their part in making sure they don’t accidentally take mice to Stewart Island Rakiura, as this could have terrible consequences for conservation efforts and most importantly, our taonga (treasured) species.”Rodents, including mice, can have devastating impacts on New Zealand’s ecosystem and taonga species. Mice can form huge populations quickly, and have been known to eat bird chicks, especially those in ground nests. They compete with native birds by eating many of the same foods like seeds and invertebrates. When mice eat seeds they destroy them, whereas when birds eat fruits and seeds, the seeds usually survive through the digestive tract and are dispersed as a natural way for native trees to colonise new areas.It’s vital that everyone travelling to Stewart Island Rakiura and its surrounding islands remains vigilant by thoroughly checking their gear for any unwanted stowaways, she said.

Te Anau Medical Centre boasts more space to spread its wings
Te Anau Medical Centre boasts more space to spread its wings

20 May 2024, 11:36 PM

Wait times to see a Te Anau doctor or nurse should be shorter and with fewer interruptions, as well as emergency births and minor operations easier to manage, following the completion of Fiordland Medical Centre's 110sqm expansion.First opened in 2010 after a successful 13-year community fundraising campaign, the Fiordland Health Trust (FHT) owned building has served the community and resident medical practice well.However increasing patient rolls, growing tourist numbers and more medical staff had put pressure of the current space.FHT chairperson Lyn Tee said she had hoped the original building would have lasted longer, but it had been outgrown in just 14 years.Tee said serious planning on the extension had only started after a 2019 Southern District Health Board (SDHB) plan to set up a Maternity Hub was announced for the practice.While reluctant to say how much the new extension had finally cost, Tee did say "We had to raise a million dollars... that was extra to our funds."L-R: Lyn Tee Fiordland Health Trust (FHT) Chair; Richard Wason FHT Trustee; Jill Tauri, Meridian Power-up Fund Trustee; Pam Applegarth FHT Administrator; Carol Roberts FHT Vice Chair; Diane Ridley FHT Trustee; Daryl Parkes FHT Trustee & Blair Falconer Meridian Electricity Supply Mgr. Photo: Liz Newell/SuppliedSome of the funds came from Meridian's Power-up community fund, while additional funding was secured through a Community Trust South loan.Fiordland Medical Centre partner and resident GP, Dr James MacMillian-Armstrong said the extension was quite a relief."We've had years where we've just been really, really short in space, and people have had to work from home or coming in late to find workstations and computers.""So it is nice to be able to spread our wings."He said more space would mean not only less disruptions and greater privacy, but also additional rooms for both minor planned and acute operations.MacMillian-Armstrong also confirmed the practice was now an official maternity hub, with facilities available for emergency births, as well as a SDHB funded room for midwives to plan their maternity and antenatal care."We never plan the birth here in Te Anau, but we do have the ability to deliver a baby should we need to."He said it would be great seeing the midwives regularly as they already do with the Plunket and District nurses."It's just great for the community that they see us and that we can have corridor conversations about what they are worried about and what we are worried about."MacMillian-Armstrong said there would now be room available for visiting specialists."That would be our dream actually, because that [also] upskills us," he said.

Beef and Lamb NZ slams claims that meat produced to lower standard
Beef and Lamb NZ slams claims that meat produced to lower standard

20 May 2024, 2:15 AM

Beef and Lamb New Zealand has hit back at claims lamb here is "produced to potentially lower standards than in the UK".Britain's National Farmers Union (NFU) made the claim when reacting to news supermarket chain Morrisons is going to start selling New Zealand lamb in 39 of its stores.NFU livestock board chairperson David Barton said he hoped the supermarket dropping its commitment to sell only British lamb was temporary and that the trial would come to an end."Recently, the UK farming unions wrote to the chief executive of Morrisons and other top retailers seeking support for the industry including a steadfast commitment to local sourcing in order to maintain food production across the UK and to safeguard our food security."He said the decision was "disappointing" at a time the British livestock industry was under pressure and that New Zealand lamb was "produced to potentially lower standards".Beef and Lamb New Zealand chairperson Kate Acland slammed the claims."We reject claims that New Zealand lamb is produced to a lower standard, we've been pushing back against that really strongly in the UK."These sorts of claims can be really damaging, and it was simply not true, she said.Acland said the NFU was referring to a report, The Animal Health Development Board, that the UK did, comparing farming systems in the UK and New Zealand."The problem is they're not comparing like for like, so it look at things like ventilation in barns, we don't keep our sheep in barns."New Zealand boasts some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, and that was backed up when the RSPCA provided written evidence to the House of Lords which stated that New Zealand is the only country globally judged to have better farm animal welfare standards than the UK."When it came to New Zealand lamb being sold in Morrisons, Acland said it was cheaper than locally farmed lamb because New Zealand farmers were efficent."It's nothing to do with lower production standards, it's just that we're really good at farming, we have great temperate conditions and things like sheep genetics and good pasture utilisation mean that we are really efficient producers of land."New Zealand and the UK have complimentary seasons and that means consumers in the UK can have access to the best seasonal products all year round - which benefits farmers in both countries."It stabilises the market, it supports price levels and it keeps lamb on the table of consumers over there," Acland said.Reproduced with permission

1-20 of 5902
The Southland App
The Southland App
Advocate Communications

Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store