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Monday September 29 2014


Bright idea in award contention BY GABRIELLE STUART

ROCKIN’: Year 8 Hillmorton High School students Chay Kaa-Luke, lead guitar; Jimmy Hemera, rhythm guitar; Ethan Moody, drums; and Dylan Knights, bass have formed a band, Lion’s Den. They’re just some of the year 7 and year 8 students who have taken advantage of expanded weekly music lessons this year, since the school became a composite school. The school took on more than 150 junior students in February after the closure of Branston, Linwood and Manning intermediate schools.

Library demolition begins Demolition of the Linwood Library on Cranley St began last week. The library has been closed since it was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake, and again by fire in 2012. It has been deemed uneconomic to repair. The demolition is expected to take three weeks, and will be completed next month. The temporary Linwood Library and Service Centre

will continue to operate in Eastgate Mall as the city council continues investigations into the future of the Cranley St site. City council community facilities rebuild unit manager Darren Moses said care would be taken to ensure the public was inconvenienced as little as possible while the building was being demolished. “We are aware that the library has been an eyesore since it was damaged by fire, so this is

a sign of progress for Linwood residents. While the temporary library in the mall remains popular with the community, the council will be continuing to look at how the service can be provided long-term in the area,” he said. The city council plans to hold an expression of interest process for parties interested in leasing the empty site on a short-to-medium term basis until the future of the site is decided.

When Pat and Nicola Martin started their Sydenham business Solar Bright, they had no qualifications, no experience, and limited funds. But they did have ideas and determination. Seven years later, they are finalists for a New Zealand Innovators Award for a potentially life-saving invention. Their “PATeye” sits on the road like a normal catseye reflector, but flashes with a blue light when there is ice on the road. It is already in use in car parks at The Hub Hornby and Westfield Riccarton, and is being tested by the NZTA for use on the roads. It is also being tested for use in Europe, Asia and the United States. “It is pretty exciting to be sitting in an office in Sydenham and having all this happening around us,” Mrs Martin said. The couple moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom 13 years ago, with their one-year-old daughter. “At the time we said we’ll just travel New Zealand for a year, before she gets older. And we ended up staying here, to the disgust of our parents.” At the time Mrs Martin was working as a personal assistant, and her husband was working as on shop fit outs. “Neither of us have been to university or have any formal qualifications, but Pat has owned his own business since the age of 17 and I’ve always been entrepreneurial.” She said they wanted to put some of their ideas into action. “We’ve always been people who jump in with both feet and worry about the consequences later.”

BRIGHT SPARKS: Entrepreneurs and owners of Sydenham business Solar Bright, Pat and Nicola Martin. They have been named NZ Innovators Award finalists for their PATeye invention, which is designed to detect black ice.

She said they made a good team. “Pat doesn’t worry about anything, and I’m probably the other side where I worry a bit too much.” Since they started the business they have been responsible for several successful inventions, including the public solar charge table in the Re:Start mall. The winners of the New Zealand Innovators Awards will be announced in two weeks.


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