70 days ago

Stinking organics plant could close while new site sought

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

From reporter Liz McDonald:
All of Christchurch’s organic waste could be sent to landfill if a proposal to immediately close the city’s composting plant is approved.

City councillors have agreed to move Christchurch’s pungent composting plant, but that could take up to five years and the plant could be shut down in the meantime.

The city council previously resolved to find a solution after years of complaints from residents about foul smells and dust, and notices from Environment Canterbury that the plant was in breach of its resource consent.

At a city council meeting on Thursday, councillors voted to shift the plant, rather than try to improve it on the existing Bromley site. Plans to redevelop it were dropped last year when tenders proved too costly.

They also requested a report from staff within one month on the net costs and implications of “immediately closing” the plant, which is owned by the council and run by private operator Living Earth.

The implications to be considered include the effects on the environment and residents’ quality of life. Continue reading here.

More messages from your neighbours
16 days ago

Is your broadband bill about to increase? Don't throw money away.

NZ Compare

Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.

Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings each year on their broadband bill, because they are failing to shop around for cheaper broadband plans.

We estimate that over 500,000 households would be able to pay less for their broadband each month but many consumers are unaware of the fact that they could be making these savings and people often don’t know where to start when looking for a change in broadband plan or provider.

This is where NZ Compare can help. Our websites are simple to use and if you need more help, our friendly, Auckland based, customer support centre can advise on the most suitable broadband plan for your needs and help talk you through the switch. With unlimited fibre broadband plans available for less than $60 a month why would you pay more?

Find out more at NZ Compare or call the team on 0508 226672

CORRECTION: This post has been amended to clarify that the price of fibre and copper broadband internet services will increase, and that the increase is between $3 and $5 a month, not only $5 a month on fibre broadband plans as previously posted. (Amended at 10.31am, June 23, 2022)

15 hours ago

Toyota Aqua problem

Lynlee from Sockburn

Help - can anyone troubleshoot this issue which my daughter ( in Auckland) is having with her Toyota Aqua? Ideas gratefully received! Here's her description below.

Car Details
Toyota Aqua 2014 110kms

- An unpredictable and sudden jamming of the brakes/wheels (unsure exactly) occurs when driving at speeds of between 60-80kmh around corners.
- It never happens driving uphill or on the flat, only while driving downhill.
- It doesn't occur when I am braking, only when my foot is sitting softly on the accelerator or when I am not accelerating at all.
- I feel a rattling under the accelerator (like a feeling of gravel rattling) and the traction control light flickers on and off intermittently. I also hear a slight electrical noise.

Further Detail
- The road conditions have never been wet or slippery when this issue occurs, and the road surface has always been even tarmac. I've also been driving within the recommended speed limit for the corners.
- The car drives with no issue around the city (speeds below 50kmh). The issue only occurs when driving on the open road out of town (higher speeds).
- Passengers notice the jamming, as it jolts the car when it happens.

- I took the car to Pitstop, as I originally attributed the issue to driving on a shingle road and possibly getting a little stone stuck underneath somewhere.
- They carried out a diagnostic scan which reported that everything was normal (no damage) and no stone / gravel stuck anywhere.

- The issue occurs infrequently, so is very unpredictable. This makes it difficult for a mechanic to just take it for a drive to experience the issue and assess whats wrong.

Possible issues
- Electrical issue or fault
- Traction control
- Suspension
- Faulty wheel-speed sensors
- Tyres - size and condition

18 hours ago

First animal MRI clinic opens in Christchurch as more Kiwis willing to spend big on their pets' health

The Team Reporter from The Press

New Zealand’s first dedicated animal MRI clinic has opened in Christchurch as a growing number of Kiwis are willing to invest in their pets’ care, including one man who spent $75,000 flying his cat to Auckland to be operated on by a top animal surgeon.

Pacific Radiology has teamed up with McMaster & Heap veterinary practice in Hoon Hay to offer the service using the same technology currently used to treat human patients.

Able to scan animals less than 180 centimetres in circumference, the wide bore MRI technology can be used on household pets, farm animals and some zoo animals, including tigers.

Costing upwards of $3500, MRI is considered the gold standard of veterinary diagnostic treatment according to McMaster & Heap veterinarian Michelle McMaster, but they have not been widely used on animals.

Used to look inside a body, Magnetic Resonance Imaging utilises magnetic fields and radio waves to create a three-dimensional image, providing accurate high resolution images of an animal’s brains, spine, limbs and joints.

For the past four years McMaster has been taking pets that needed an MRI to Forté Health, but the scans had to be fitted around human patients and were often undertaken at night.

With clients prepared to spend more money on their pets, McMasters, who has been working as a vet for over 30 years, has been helping scan up to nine animals a month alongside Pacific Radiology MRI Animal Imaging Lead Gareth Leeper using Forté Health.

Christchurch pet owner Justin, who did not want his last name used, knows all too well how important having an MRI facility close at hand is after Sashenka (pictured), his 14-year-old Norwegian Forest cat, became ill in 2019.

After many tests and with no diagnosis a CT scan eventually showed Sashenka had a meningioma tumour.

Considered to be his fur daughter, Justin, whose partner is expecting their first child, had no hesitation in making an appointment and flying her to Auckland to be operated on by a top animal surgeon.

There Sashenka could get an MRI scan that would enable the surgery to take place – without it she would not have survived.

“It was critical,” Justin says.

Sashenka made a miraculous recovery from the operation but required a further five scans, two CT scans and three rounds of chemotherapy before she died two years later.

Town and Country vet Roger Bay and his team euthanise a growing number of animals at home, where the pet’s last memory is of its happy place.

Although Justin estimates he spent around $75,000 on Sashenka’s care, he has no regrets and is part of a growing number of Kiwis willing to invest in their pet’s care.

“She was my everything…my fur daughter and my best friend.”

McMaster said most pet owners that come to her clinic will try and fix “everything”.

“We very rarely put anything down.”

PD Insurance NZ chief operating officer Michelle Le Long said year-on-year they have seen growth in the pet insurance market, although she thinks the market is still under-insured with less than 25% of the estimated 1.7 companion pets not insured.

Le Long said it wasn’t unusual to have pet owners in their early 20s signing on as the value of pets have increased.

A lot of insurers covered diagnostic MRI scans, she said.