Middlemarch, Middlemarch

16 hours ago

Love your compost? Pimp it up to win great prizes for your garden!

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

Dear neighbours,

To celebrate National Gardening Week (October 17-25), Yates have partnered with NZ Gardener to give away some fantastic prizes to some of the most inspirational compost builders in the country. Show us your compost setup, whether it’s tiny or huge, and the best looking compost … View more
Dear neighbours,

To celebrate National Gardening Week (October 17-25), Yates have partnered with NZ Gardener to give away some fantastic prizes to some of the most inspirational compost builders in the country. Show us your compost setup, whether it’s tiny or huge, and the best looking compost wins 1 of 9 Compost Kits (RRP $319 each).

So email through your best tip for successful compost and one photo of your composting setup to loveyourgarden@yates.co.nz by August 26, 2022 to be in to win.

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3 days ago

Support our Yuri Bear Project

Yvette Williams Retirement Village

Knitting needles are clicking across our villages and the wider community for the Yuri Bear project🐻❤️.

We’re aiming to knit 20,000 teddy bears for children displaced as a result of turmoil in their country.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far, but 20,000 bears is no … View more
Knitting needles are clicking across our villages and the wider community for the Yuri Bear project🐻❤️.

We’re aiming to knit 20,000 teddy bears for children displaced as a result of turmoil in their country.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far, but 20,000 bears is no small ask!

If you can knit, know someone who can or would like to find out how you can help, please click on the link below.

20 hours ago

Proposal put forward to make developers in Queenstown and Wānaka pay for affordable housing

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Otago News

The Queenstown Lakes District has taken the first step to force developers to contribute to community housing in an effort to combat an affordability crisis.

The region is already considered a leader in developing affordable housing within New Zealand after creating the Queenstown Lakes Community … View more
The Queenstown Lakes District has taken the first step to force developers to contribute to community housing in an effort to combat an affordability crisis.

The region is already considered a leader in developing affordable housing within New Zealand after creating the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust in 2007.

Now the Queenstown Lakes District Council has become the first regional authority to propose a mandatory contribution on all housing developments under the district plan.

Under the proposal, known as “inclusionary zoning”, all residential subdivisions in urban areas would be required to contribute 5% of the estimated sales value of serviced lots or, for those with more than 20 lots, a 5% land contribution.

The 25 apartments are among the first of up to 4000 Housing Minister Megan Woods hopes will go through the $400m Progressive Home Ownership scheme.

Residential subdivisions in larger lifestyle blocks would contribute 1% and a contribution for units would be calculated according to floorspace.

Residential flats, social or affordable housing and retirement villages would be exempt.

During a council meeting to begin the process of including the provisions in the proposed district plan, mayor Jim Boult said housing affordability was the most difficult issue the council faced.

The proposal would go through a public submission process and likely be contested by developers in the Environment Court.

Proceeding with the plan was a “watershed development”, but the council should continue to look at other mechanisms to increase the supply of affordable housing, he said.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub, who helped author the plan, said house prices in Queenstown increased by 40% in the last two years, in a house market that was already “extremely hot”.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures released on Thursday showed the median house price in the district to be $1.2 million in July.

The council needed to increase housing supply and target housing towards people on lower incomes to ensure equitable supply, Eaqub said.

“The housing market is pretty broken whatever we do, so we need to pull on all the levers at the same time,” he said.

Councillor Quentin Smith said the average household income to house price ratio in the district was an “extraordinary” 17.2 to 1 – about 3.5 times higher than the New Zealand average.

“The average household earner in this district could never own the average house under the current model.

“This won’t be an easy process, but we need to try,” he said.

Cr Niamh Shaw said similar inclusionary zoning operated in London, Melbourne, Whistler and Aspen.

Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott said the council had been negotiating a form of inclusionary zoning with developers for about 20 years.

The first deed was signed in 2003 with the Jacks Point developers and covered about 5% of the subdivision value. Of that, about $4m was used to buy land at Lake Hayes Estate and build 27 homes.

In Shotover Country it received enough land to build 44 homes.

Under the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act developers were required to pay contributions of up to 12.5% in the district. The Act has since been repealed.

Inclusionary zoning was behind the trust’s success, Scott said.

“We are the envy of every other community housing provider in the country.”

The trust has helped 243 households into housing and had a waiting list of nearly 800 households.

It has developed 109 homes through inclusionary zoning and has 215 in the pipeline across the district – the majority achieved through inclusionary zoning.

The proposed plan change would formalise the process.

Kinloch resident John Glover told the council the zoning would be a tax and was “really quite perverse”.

“What you’re actually doing is taxing those who are actually providing housing.”

Business and tourism operators whose rapid growth in the district was a significant factor underlying the housing shortage should be part of the solution, he said.

Many ski fields were having their best year ever, but they were not being asked to pay under the policy.

He doubted the policy would fit within the scope of the Resource Management Act and said it would cost hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars to defend in courts.

Instead, the council should use the Rating Act to raise money and support the trust.

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1 day ago

Your whole retirement is our consideration

Ryman Healthcare Limited

With the 75+ population projected to double in 20 years’ time, it’s more important than ever to choose a retirement village that is equipped to support you when you’re fully independent as well as if you need care.

That’s why Ryman villages plan ahead by offering independent living in … View more
With the 75+ population projected to double in 20 years’ time, it’s more important than ever to choose a retirement village that is equipped to support you when you’re fully independent as well as if you need care.

That’s why Ryman villages plan ahead by offering independent living in apartments and townhouses, assisted living in serviced apartments, resthome care and, in most villages, hospital and specialist dementia care.

We offer a higher ratio of care in our villages so that if your needs change, you have priority access to our care centres.
Find out more

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1 day ago

New Year's festival Rhythm & Alps announces first lineup including Dope Lemon and Sampa the Great

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Otago News

Australian acts Dope Lemon and rapper Sampa The Great are amongst a bill of about 40 artists heading to the South Island for the three-day Rhythm & Alps festival to bring in the new year.

Dance music favourite Andy C and Manchester DJ Bou​ will fly over from the UK with drum and bass DJ … View more
Australian acts Dope Lemon and rapper Sampa The Great are amongst a bill of about 40 artists heading to the South Island for the three-day Rhythm & Alps festival to bring in the new year.

Dance music favourite Andy C and Manchester DJ Bou​ will fly over from the UK with drum and bass DJ Harriet Jaxxon.

Acts from Brazil, Sweden and Germany are also scheduled to perform alongside homegrown talents including Concord Dawn, Flaxxies, Kora, and breakout Soundcloud rapper Lil Bubblegum.

“This year we have focused on a very diverse lineup and building probably the newest and most dynamic stage in the country,” festival organiser Alex Turnbull said.

The festival runs from December 29 to 31 at Cardrona Valley, Wānaka. A second lineup announcement is expected in late August. Tickets are available now.

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1 day ago

Serving up success: The food truck serving hundreds of $4 meals a night

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Dunedin News

A pair behind a food truck offering $4 takeaway meals were surprised on their opening night to see a queue stretching down the street.

The Dunedin Bowling Club officially opened for business in South Dunedin on Matariki, June 24, and since then have regularly sold out of food – and even won an … View more
A pair behind a food truck offering $4 takeaway meals were surprised on their opening night to see a queue stretching down the street.

The Dunedin Bowling Club officially opened for business in South Dunedin on Matariki, June 24, and since then have regularly sold out of food – and even won an award for best sustainable business.

“It was a very steep learning curve,” said Liam Arthur of the opening night where he and co-owner Jackie Bannon served 300 meals. Many of those were free to customers who had shared their Facebook post.

“It was pretty stressful, I don’t like to think about it,” Bannon said.

The food truck, which offers $4 meals to those who bring their own bowl, was now even busier, but the work was getting easier for the pair.

They regularly sold out, serving between 300 and 350 meals a night.

It was pleasing to see how many donations the social enterprise business had received so others could enjoy free meals, Bannon said.

“We don’t ask any questions, we assume that people aren’t going to abuse the system.”

A charity had already been in contact wanting to distribute some free food vouchers, which had been purchased by others.

“We trust our community members to know who really needs it, as opposed to us,” Arthur said.

The menu at The Bowling Club, so named because of the bowls people bring, varied depending on what day it was, but Friday was “curry night”.

The business operated in the car park of the South Dunedin Community Network on King Edward St between 3.30pm to 8pm every Monday and Friday.

Originally the truck started with four main meals on rotation, but after conducting a poll, Bannon and Arthur decided to cut one of the meals.

Instead, they introduced a new system where a new menu item was added on Monday.

This week featured BBQ beans and grits in homage to Bannon, who came from the United States.

One eye-opening part of the business was seeing the type of bowls or containers people would bring. They ranged from former margarine tubs to a cut-down Just Juice plastic bottle.

Bannon said the only major issue they had encountered was capacity.

“We don’t have any more physical space to make any more food than what we are doing,” she said.

A physical space, rather than the food truck, was one possible idea to remedy the problem, but the pair preferred to remain in South Dunedin.

Arthur said they were able to keep costs down by buying wholesale, and decided early on to move away from chicken and pork on the menu to vegetarian options.

Bannon said the business, which earlier this month won the best sustainable award from Keep Dunedin Beautiful, were hoping to expand and employ others to work at the food truck.

“We are really stoked with how it has gone, we are excited with how much people have got behind it... It feels great to serve really nice food which is mainly plant-based, and is really cheap and delicious,” Arthur said.

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3 days ago

Did you start gardening in school?

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

Dear neighbours,

How many of you remember gardening in school? Hopefully, more students and teachers will be inspired by the great work being done at this amazing school.

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5 days ago

Do you have a great asparagus recipe?

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

Dear neighbours,

Every month, NZ Gardener runs a series of tested reader recipes using a seasonal crop. We are now on the hunt for asparagus recipes, so send your best ones to mailbox@nzgardener.co.nz before August 21, 2022.

Every published recipe wins a copy of our special edition Vegetable … View more
Dear neighbours,

Every month, NZ Gardener runs a series of tested reader recipes using a seasonal crop. We are now on the hunt for asparagus recipes, so send your best ones to mailbox@nzgardener.co.nz before August 21, 2022.

Every published recipe wins a copy of our special edition Vegetable Growing Made Easy.

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5 days ago

Subscribe to Stuff's First Time Buyer's Club

Stuff

Making it onto the first rung of the property ladder can be an incredibly rewarding journey – and Stuff is here to help you through.

Stuff Homed has launched the First Time Buyers’ Club, an email series to help you navigate the equal-parts exciting and terrifying process of buying your first… View more
Making it onto the first rung of the property ladder can be an incredibly rewarding journey – and Stuff is here to help you through.

Stuff Homed has launched the First Time Buyers’ Club, an email series to help you navigate the equal-parts exciting and terrifying process of buying your first ever home. When you join our six-week LearnStuff course, you’ll get an email every week giving you all the basics on what you need to know, who you need on your side, and what you need to do at each stage of the journey.

We can’t make the houses any cheaper, but we can guide you through the process, share some tips from the experts, and help you avoid some of the trips and traps.

Sign up (it's free) and get started on your house-buying journey.
Sign up now

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8 days ago

The local elections are coming up!

Orange Guy from Electoral Commission

The countdown is on! Make sure you’re enrolled and your details are up to date by 12 August to make voting in the local elections easy.

Visit vote.nz or call 0800 36 76 56 to find out more.
Find out more

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9 days ago

The final cost of Dunedin's new peanut-shaped roundabout

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Dunedin News

From reporter Hamish McNeilly:

It may be one of the country’s few peanut-shaped roundabouts, but it cost anything but peanuts.

The roundabout on Forbury Rd, in the Dunedin suburb of St Clair, was announced by the Dunedin City Council in 2019.

The uniquely shaped roundabout was needed due to … View more
From reporter Hamish McNeilly:

It may be one of the country’s few peanut-shaped roundabouts, but it cost anything but peanuts.

The roundabout on Forbury Rd, in the Dunedin suburb of St Clair, was announced by the Dunedin City Council in 2019.

The uniquely shaped roundabout was needed due to the layout of the intersecting roads, and was designed to make the crash-prone area safer and more attractive.

The work had an original budget of $1 million – although work to place electrical lines underground was not pursued due to budget restraints – and was expected to be done by the end of December 2020.

However, lengthy delays due to upgrades needed for water and sewer pipes pushed the completion date to July 2021 and added to the cost.

Information released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act revealed the final cost was $2.4m , with $1.4m attributed to transport and $970,000 to three waters.

A Dunedin City Council spokesperson said the price reflected an increase in the scope of the project.

“Our original estimate was about $1m to construct the new roundabout, but we encountered issues with poor ground conditions and delays caused by bad weather. This resulted in a final cost of approximately $1.45m.”

Work to replace ageing three waters infrastructure was not part of the original roundabout estimate, the spokesperson said.

The project was a priority for the council because the intersection was categorised as high-risk and difficult for motorists to negotiate.

“We are monitoring the performance of the new roundabout, and while it is too soon to comment on any improved crash statistics, it appears to be functioning well, and we have received positive feedback.”

The spokesperson was unaware if it was the first roundabout of its shape in New Zealand.

“Any roundabout is a complex project, navigating a variety of factors. We are planning other new roundabouts in Dunedin but none of the same shape as this one,” they said.

Included in the released documents was correspondence from business owners and residents angry over the lengthy delays.

“The disruption to the road has taken a lot longer than was first conveyed to us” according to one person whose business name was redacted.

Contractors started and finished at various times but never worked past 3pm on Fridays, one email noted.

“Some days there seemed to be an abundance of workers doing nothing at all.”

Another wrote to a senior council manager that the work was a “shambles”, while another email, headed ‘The Bloody Roadworks!!!’, noted no work had been carried out for days and machinery had been moved to another site.

“Why don’t they finish a job before starting another?”

Five people, who also had their names redacted, phoned and made complaints to the council, including one who was “extremely unhappy about the length of time it is taking to finish the roundabout”.

One complainant lived nearby and vented that when they drove past the roadworks, all they saw were two men “with brooms sweeping”.

9 days ago

Former TV and film producer launches NZ's first e-bike festival

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Otago News

From reporter Debbie Jamieson:

Having created some of New Zealand’s most successful television shows and films Dave Gibson’s latest production is Cyclorama, New Zealand’s first e-bike festival.

Gibson spent four years as chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission before moving to … View more
From reporter Debbie Jamieson:

Having created some of New Zealand’s most successful television shows and films Dave Gibson’s latest production is Cyclorama, New Zealand’s first e-bike festival.

Gibson spent four years as chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission before moving to rural Queenstown to join his partner and take up e-biking.

“It only takes me 15 minutes to get to Arrowtown and you can go to people’s places for dinner, and you’re not even sweating,” he said.

While enthusiastically researching his new pastime on the internet he came across an-e-bike festival in Verbier, Switzerland, and another in Flachau, Austria.

“They are these high mountain, winter resort-type places and this has suddenly become the summer thing to do.”

The similarities with Queenstown were obvious.

“This is a really great place for it. I thought that if I didn’t do it someone else would.”

The area is increasingly becoming known for its cycle trail offerings with hundreds of kilometres of off-road trails, mountainbike events and tours available.

A recent report commissioned by businessman Rod Drury – another local biking enthusiast – found biking in the region could become almost 50% of the size of the ski visitor economy by 2026.

Gibson, who created and ran Gibson Group producing films such as The Silent One and television programmes including Public Eye, The Strip, Duggan and The Insider’s Guide to Happiness. pulled together a team of event professionals and e-bike enthusiasts to create Cyclorama.

The inaugural festival, which is having a delayed launch after being scuppered by Covid-19 regulations last year, is scheduled for Labour Weekend in October. It includes six separate events, all non-competitive, and with a focus on fun.

Most are self-guiding and include enjoying the most of the region’s wine and food offerings.

The Tour de Gourmet is a progressive degustation-style ride in the Wakatipu Basin, the Hop Trail visits craft breweries, and Peddling Pinot includes lunch with renowned Gibbston winemaker Grant Taylor.

The Ginology trail includes gin tasting, and blending your own gin at a taxidermist studio.

If participants don’t feel as in control of their e-bike as they should afterwards, there is an option to be picked up and returned to Arrowtown, for a small charge.

Other rides include a bird-watching tour around Lake Hayes and a “Ride to the Sky” with local e-MTB guide Shay Muddle up Mt Rosa, one of his favourite and hard to access rides.

Gibson anticipated hundreds would book for the rides and hoped many more would visit the e-biking hub on Arrowtown’s Butler’s Green, which would include bike retailers, free tips and tricks sessions, a bike doctor, bike jumps, coffee and food.

“You spend a day on a bike in nice surroundings with a bunch of people and have some nice food and a glass of something, and have a good time.

“That’s the vibe.”

There would be no requirement to wear lycra and people of all ages were already booking their spot, he said.

And while those with regular bikes were welcome, the festival was intended for people with e-bikes, he said.

The large and growing number of trails in the region meant there was plenty of scope for the festival to continue to evolve in the future.

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10 days ago

Bring Hope to the table!

Life

It’s time to start thinking about what you can do to help out those who need it most this Christmas. 1 in 5 Kiwi children are currently living in households that don’t have enough food. Christmas Box is a food box that caters to a family of 4-6, helping supplement breakfast, lunch and dinner … View moreIt’s time to start thinking about what you can do to help out those who need it most this Christmas. 1 in 5 Kiwi children are currently living in households that don’t have enough food. Christmas Box is a food box that caters to a family of 4-6, helping supplement breakfast, lunch and dinner meals over a week.

For just $40 you’re not only providing food essentials and treats but you’re also giving hope to families in need.

To sponsor a box, go to christmasbox.co.nz.
Know more

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11 days ago

Love to Dance - A Ryman Healthcare Grant

Yvette Williams Retirement Village

Could your local dance group use a $5,000 cash injection?

Whether it’s pre-schoolers or seniors, Scottish dancing or salsa, kapa haka or Kathak, breakdance or ballet – if you’re encouraging people of all ages and abilities to keep moving through dance, we have three Love to Dance grants up… View more
Could your local dance group use a $5,000 cash injection?

Whether it’s pre-schoolers or seniors, Scottish dancing or salsa, kapa haka or Kathak, breakdance or ballet – if you’re encouraging people of all ages and abilities to keep moving through dance, we have three Love to Dance grants up for grabs.

Receive one of three $5,000 grants to spend on equipment, transport, costumes or anything you need to support your community’s love of dance.

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14 days ago

Re-energise your morning with the Sunday Star-Times

Mags4gifts

Enjoy an Antipodes skincare duo (RRP$50) when you purchase a three-month subscription to the Sunday Star-Times for just $52.

Subscribe at mags4gifts.co.nz/antipodes Terms and Conditions apply.
Find out more

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18 days ago

Poll: VOTE for the Resene Upcycling Finalists!

Resene

It’s that time again neighbours - we need your help! Look at all this creativity hiding behind front doors. We now need YOU to vote for your favourite Upcycling Award finalist. The four designs with the most votes will each receive a $200 Resene voucher and a $300 Prezzy® card!

View more
It’s that time again neighbours - we need your help! Look at all this creativity hiding behind front doors. We now need YOU to vote for your favourite Upcycling Award finalist. The four designs with the most votes will each receive a $200 Resene voucher and a $300 Prezzy® card!

Find out a little more about each entry here. Voting closes 5pm Thursday 4 August.

Thanks for voting; your clever neighbours thank you!

VOTE for the Resene Upcycling Finalists!
  • 8.4% 1) Storage cabinet (Christine Olson, Carterton District)
    8.4% Complete
  • 19% 2) Bench Seat (Mary McRae, Hauraki)
    19% Complete
  • 4.3% 3) Modern Tech Desk (Julie Cronin, Havelock North)
    4.3% Complete
  • 9.7% 4) Alice in Wonderland table (Lynda Cree, Halswell)
    9.7% Complete
  • 17.3% 5) Terracotta Steps (Angie Farrow, Hokowhitu)
    17.3% Complete
  • 7.1% 6) Drinks cabinet / piano bar (Maurice van Liempd, Whakatane District)
    7.1% Complete
  • 4.8% 7) Garden feature (Marjanna Jones, Henderson)
    4.8% Complete
  • 2.2% 8) Spacerocket lamp (Jen Asquith, Nelson South)
    2.2% Complete
  • 25.1% 9) Paintbrush art (Bonnie Stretton, Motueka)
    25.1% Complete
  • 2% 10) Writing Desk (Steve Nicholson, Brookfield)
    2% Complete
1946 votes
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