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Summer snow Up Cardrona.

THUR 21.01.21 - WED 27.01.21



Campervan stolen for South Island crime spree

Moss said he was “very happy to have the van back” but was “not quite out of the woods yet.”

Joanna Perry

ānaka local and former Cardrona employee Jesse Moss has been reunited with his campervan, two months after it was stolen from a car park in Ohau and used for a “merciless crime spree” by a criminal on the run around the South Island. Moss was left homeless and virtually penniless when, four weeks into a roadtrip with two friends, he returned from an overnight hike in the Huxley Valley near Ohau to find his van, ‘The Red Dragon’, had been taken. “Our bike rack and bikes were strewn in a bush nearby. A small sense of panic kicked in and we set off to seek help,” recalled Moss. By the time Moss and his companions had cycled to an area where he could report the


crime to the police and cancel his bank cards, the perpetrator had already withdrawn $1,379.67 AUD and $740 NZD between three different banks cards, somehow managing to access his funds without the PIN codes. After a slow start, the search moved up the police priority list once the theft was linked to a crime spree believed to be perpetrated by Lance Hibbet of Geraldine, who had skipped bail after being arrested for stealing another vehicle on the West Coast. In the weeks between the theft on November 18 and Hibbet’s arrest on December 29, the van was sighted in Fairly, Blenheim, Nelson and the West Coast, where it was used to rob the same Franz Joseph cafe twice. “Lance was able to drive 10,000kms in almost six weeks... committing crimes, money fraud and dealing with contraband. My heart

PHOTOS: Supplied

The van had been spray painted and badly damaged, leaving Moss with a large repair and renovation project ahead.

breaks seeing the state of my beloved van and my drive back to Wānaka was very uneasy,” said Moss. When the van was finally recovered by Moss, in place of his own clothes, possessions, and $10,000 snowboarding touring kit were those stolen from various locations - which Moss did his best to return to their rightful owners - as well as hi fi equipment and shop property, which was returned to the police. Moss said he was “very happy to have the van back” but was “not quite out of the woods yet.” The van had been spray painted and badly damaged, leaving him with a large repair and renovation project ahead before he could recommence his travels around New Zealand. In the meantime, he was back in Wānaka and working at Mitre 10 to get back on his feet. After this “emotional rollercoaster,” Moss

said he had been overwhelmed by local and online support, with people he had met on his travels reaching out from all over the world. A gofundme page set up by a friend to help fund repairs had raised over $5,000, and Moss had been offered accommodation and support. “The community has been so amazing,” he said. “I can’t thank everyone enough. The support has really put me back on my feet.” Hibbet was due to appear in court via video link on Tuesday, but according to police, “due to the nature of his offending and the large number of charges laid the judge [has] put the matter off to be reheard in two weeks to allow time for the file to be reviewed.” “It's time to get on with life and kick start the new year with a fresh adventure,” said Moss.

Sun News

Intensive housing prompts call for infrastructure rethink Jo Galer

The Hāwea Community Association (HCA) and a prominent developer are critical of the high intensity of sections in Longview, Hāwea, although the local man behind the proposed special housing area is satisfied people will be happy to live there. The scheme plan for Longview on Universal Developments’ website shows 480 residential sections varying in size from just over 250 square metres to 600 square metres. The majority of the sections sit between 400 and 500-plus square metres. Universal’s Director Lane Hocking has set aside 3.5 ha for town amenities plus recreation reserves over the 34 ha development on one side of Cemetery Rd. The HCA’s main concern is that the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has no plan to deal with the fast-growing infrastructure needs of Hāwea – roading, wastewater and water. HCA chair Cherilyn Walthew said the scene was being set for decades of higher rates to pay for “problems down the track” when services needed major upgrades to cope with the higher population. Walthew said she was not against the style of development at Longview, but infrastructure in the town had been ignored for so long and with such intensive development ratepayer funds would be strained. HCA wanted to have a conversation now, before it became an issue that would later haunt Hāwea and Council. “Our rates are going up consistently, and sometimes priorities are not right,” she said. Sections that he felt were sliced too small aside, Willowridge Developments Director Allan Dippie, also working on a housing development in Hāwea, said the main problem was the Council struggling to provide infrastructure to the current town let alone the new development in the rural zone. “This is why it’s had a bit of opposition ….. The main issues are water and wastewater which are stretched to their limit due to council underinvestment and also a fair bit of misspent council investment to the water supply upgrade that didn’t go as planned. “In terms of wastewater, that is the big elephant in the closet. Council’s discharge consent for the present system is about to expire and the plan was to connect Hāwea’s wastewater to Project Pure this year.

PHOTOS: supplied

The scheme plan for Longview Special Housing Area show the development and section sizes.

“There is zero chance of that happening this year given it’s going way over budget and is proving too difficult for the alignment. Council are now looking at other options but even they don’t know what they are. Hāwea will be trucking sewage from the special zone at this rate,” said Dippie. The Wānaka man behind Longview believed that in years to come, the community will be a thriving and happy one. Hocking said he had resource consent for Longview, and the first machine had arrived there on Friday. The District Plan decision was entirely separate, and was not required for him to proceed, start works and sell sections from the launch in March at $189,000 to $289,000 depending on size. “The council is trying to put growth into certain areas rather than allow urban sprawl and this is a good way to get a lot of people into a single area. We have already had a lot of interest in Longview and nobody is being forced to buy there. “There’s no doubt this is higher density but a view expressed from the Association in the past

was that smaller sections are preferable.” He said with regards to the infrastructure, Universal would contribute $11 million in development contributions to QLDC, and was also gifting $15 million of sections to the Queenstown Lakes Community Trust. “There are wide ranging benefits to the community. I can understand the issues people are raising but there needs to be a major project that makes housing affordable in the district.” He said the township would have amenities such as a gym, a hair salon, medical centre and office space that would benefit Hāwea, one of the most under-serviced towns in New Zealand. The HCA is holding a public meeting on Saturday to update residents on issues including Longview. And also to seek a mandate to keep fighting for the current low-density-zoned Urban Growth Boundary that the community had wanted to remain. This decision, by the District Plan review commissioners, had been expected before Christmas 2020. HCA Vice-Chair Rob White said the QLDC’s

Hāwea Association President Cherilyn Walthew.

District Plan review decision would reveal how the SHA would be zoned. The HCA opposed Longview being included within the town’s Urban Growth Boundary, an area that already contained enough sections to satisfy housing for the next 30 years. The HCA wanted Longview kept separate potentially with its own zone. QLDC were approached for comment.

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THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21



Sun News

Grumbles continue as 40km limit fines start difficult, particularly around the town centre, Ardmore Street and the lakefront, to drive at the old 50km limit. And on longer roads such as to Beacon Point, driving the new lower limit is only a few seconds less. “I drove from Beacon Point to the Marina and worked out that the difference between the old speed limit and the new was only 11 seconds. “The problem is we’ve been trying to get kids on bikes and we know the safest way is through dedicated cycle lanes. And they’re not going to happen. The simplest way to improve safety is to reduce travelling speed because it makes them safer on their bikes, and that adds up to why we do this,” he said. Grumblings about the 40km/hr speed limit have recently increased on the Upper Clutha Facebook page, particularly for those who received speeding fines for driving to the old 50km/hr limit. Some are demanding to know the rationale for the change, which was agreed and publicised as far back as April 2020. Police Headquarters Communications could not provide information on when the cameras were operating and how many fines were collected over the pre-Christmas and New Year holiday period in Wānaka, stating this would

Jo Galer

All signs notifying drivers about the 40km/ hr speed limit were installed in most parts of Wānaka township by the end of November 2020. Since then the fines have come - and then the grumbles. But cars in slow-motion in our streets are a welcome sight for Deputy Mayor and Wānaka Councillor Calum MacLeod, who advocated for the Waka Kotahi Land Transport Authority-recommended change, along with and most of his fellow councillors, when they agreed unanimously on the speed reduction for both Wānaka and Queenstown. “It shouldn’t take someone’s life before change, which is always going to be hard. When you halve the stopping distance, and consequently the survival rate doubles, in all honesty it works when you explain the rationale,” he said. He said this year would see a review by Council of all roads around schools, starting the process to make areas around schools “special speed zones” at 30km/hr “all day, every day.” MacLeod said, however, that it was always

take a while to gather. However, a Police spokesperson said Police use discretion to issue speeding tickets if motorists drive at any speed over the limit. “It is not Police's role to raise awareness of changes to speed limits - that sits either with the local Council or NZTA,” said the spokesperson. Asked if a softer and more educative approach could have been used in tandem with issuing tickets, the spokesperson said it was possible. In June 2020, Police introduced new lower limits down to 30km and 40km in parts of suburban Auckland, stating publicly at the time it was understandable people would need time to adjust and an "educational approach" would be taken while people became used to the new limits. By default, the New Zealand speed limit is 50km/h in most urban and built-up areas, although a law change in 2015 allowed local authorities to set their own limits. A spokesperson for QLDC said Council notified people of the change through methods such as media advisories and advertising, which received “extensive coverage.” However, QLDCl did not specifically target holiday makers in Wānaka over the holiday.

PHOTO: supplied

Deputy Mayor and Wānaka Councillor Calum MacLeod.

Lockdown again? Jo Galer

PHOTO: supplied

Can you remember where you were this time last week? The Government is urging our communities to remember to use their Covid-tracer app and scan.

With the Government’s recent push for Kiwis to remember to scan QR codes using their Covidtracer app, the community is preparing for the possibility of another lockdown. The Health Ministry issued a media release on Monday that called for higher levels of barcode scanning at public entry points, with the justification that the new variant of Covid-19 was already through the border, though contained for now with carriers in quarantine facilities. But if the new much more infectious variant or variants took hold in the community, Covid’s spread would be almost impossible to control. Ignite Wānaka Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Naomi Lindsay said businesses had always been encouraged to prepare for further lockdowns by implementing some simple tools. These included creating adaptable business plans, good HR policies and systems, good communication systems for staff, suppliers and customers and by displaying the QR Code tracker and ensuring clients and customers scan

when they enter premises. The Government had also announced in December it was putting in place support for affected businesses in case there was a resurgence. "Outside of this, it would be crystal ball gazing to speculate if further lockdowns would or could see businesses shut up shop. Along with the Government, Lake Wānaka Tourism and Queenstown Lakes District Council, Ignite is working to ensure businesses have the information and support they need to work through the recovery of Covid and prepare for any further lockdown and changes. “Building a resilient, adaptive, connected business community continues to be our goal in 2021 to ensure we cannot just survive covid-19 but thrive." Hāwea Community Association Chairwoman Cherilyn Walthew added that business groups such as one she was associated with were talking about the potential for another Lockdown, and were planning for it. Her community group would hold its next meeting with a Zoom link, just to ensure systems were refreshed and people were familiar again with the technology.

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THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21



Sun News

Water Park a massive success

Luna is a very sociable cat with people to see and places to be.

PHOTO: Diana Savoy

The three lives of Luna the cat Joanna Perry

A Ponsonby tabby was reunited with her Auckland owners this week after a check up at the vets revealed she was a very long way from home. Nine-year-old Luna, beloved cat of Diana Savoy, disappeared some nine months ago when she was picked up by two French tourists and joined their roadtrip of New Zealand, culminating in Wānaka. Savoy said at first she did not think much of Luna not coming straight home last May - she was a very sociable cat with people to see and places to be. “She had a daily routine of visiting an architects firm to sit in the office, going to the cafe next door where they had a special cushion for her, then off to the pilates gym when the cafe closed. She had lots of treats on the way. When Ponsonby Central opened she became a regular, the pizza man used to have a beer with her in the afternoon, the bakery lady let her sit with customers, the florist had cuddles and she often got locked in overnight on purpose so she could deal with their mice problem. She had no shame and felt she owned every house and business on the street.” But after two days, Savoy started to panic. “We did all the lost cat things… We never gave up hope, refreshed posters, roamed different neighborhoods (not quite as far as Cromwell).” In the meantime, and living a double life as a cat called Smokey, Luna was travelling New Zealand in a van on her way to Wānaka, exploring new places along the way. The tourists who picked her up said they believed she was a stray, but although

it was clear they cared for her, they failed to check in with any vets along the way. When they got jobs as fruit pickers in Cromwell two months ago, they were unable to take Luna onto the orchard, so they went door-knocking to find her a new home. And so it was that ‘Smokey’ came to her third home on the rural property of Cromwell local Nolan O’Connell-Cairns and his parents. “She had 2 ha of sun and grass to sleep and play. She enjoyed watching birds on the lawn and patrolling at night,” said O’Connell-Cairns. When he took her to Wānaka Vets last week to be checked out, they scanned her and discovered she had been reported missing. Savoy flew down to collect her the very next day. “In the end, we realised we had to give her up,” said O’Connell-Cairns. “This was heart-breaking, but I was happy that we got to spend just a little bit of time with her, and we had helped a lost cat find her way.” After a drive over the mountains, a plane ride and another car ride she is back home in Ponsonby - and finding her peace with two new baby kittens who have taken over in her absence. Savoy said that she was “so grateful” to have Luna home, but could not understand why she had been taken in a campervan. Anecdotally, cases of animals being taken by travellers were becoming more and more common, she said. Otago residents Alan Funnell and Louisa Andrew, who are still searching for their missing pets Dice and Weed, believed to have been picked up in a campervan in October 2019, are collecting stories to highlight the number of dogs who go missing each year on their Facebook page, ‘Dice and Weed - Bring them home’.

PHOTO: Supplied

The popular water park at Lowburn is the brainchild of Emily Rutherford.

Jo Galer

A giant inflatable waterpark at Lowburn near Cromwell has pulled in the crowds. Kiwi Water Park manager and Queenstown businesswoman Emily Rutherford, who imported the expensive equipment from China, was pleased the venture had paid off. “We have had such a great response from the community and a lot of locals have come along multiple times. “We are super happy with the response so far. However, we are aware that we will get much quieter in a few weeks when the schools go back,” she said. A lot of people were finding the park an unexpectedly physically challenging workout. “They’ve said the park is physically tougher than people anticipated. A lot of people have

also said how they have struggled to last the full 90 minute sessions as they are so exhausted from all the climbing and swimming.” Since Christmas, the park has had around 400 people through the jumping and sliding watercontraption every day. People had come from all over New Zealand, but mainly Invercargill, Gore, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wānaka, Christchurch, Oamaru, Cromwell and Alexandra. It will close in March, but Rutherford planned to make it larger and better next summer when it opened again. She said the success of the park also showed the power of social media, with many posts receiving over 100,000 views each. “We have gone viral on Tik Tok and Facebook multiple times now which is brilliant,” she said. A post on Facebook said it had closed for two days this week, with high winds expected.

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THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21



Sun News

A Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Dr Gerry McSweeney and Anne Saunders established their Wilderness Lodges in 1989 (Lake Moeraki) and 1996 (Arthur’s Pass) to show that conservation is everyone’s business and can make a major contribution to the economy.

PHOTOS: Supplied

“Our Wilderness Lodges’ main focus has been eco-tourism. Visitors come to see wild nature and to learn about natural ecosystems. They go away with a much greater awareness of human dependence on nature, hopefully to make a difference in the places that they call home.”

Joanna Perry

Hāwea holiday Dr Gerry McSweeney has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to conservation as part of the 2021 New Year's Honours. The environmentalist runs the Wilderness Lodges at Lake Moeraki (30 km north of Haast) and Arthur’s Pass with wife Anne Saunders, with whom he hopes to one day retire to his family home in Hāwea. McSweeney said he was “humbled” by the highly prestigious award, which “recognises the importance of protecting natural ecosystems and native plants and animals in New Zealand and worldwide.” McSweeney, who did his doctoral thesis on snow tussock grass in the Upper Clutha, has spent the last forty years closely involved in efforts to protect nature - and said he would never have thought then that there would be so much protected heritage in the area as there is today. “As a university student in the 1970s I helped fund my studies by guiding tourist walks in National Parks. 45 years later at Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki I still guide rainforest walks and kayak trips almost every day,” he said. “I remain just as fascinated by the wonders of nature and by the people I guide as I was in those early student days. We are always learning more about what makes wild New Zealand special. This year in Lake Moeraki, Anne and I discovered that NZ fur seals have taken up residence in this freshwater lake, 3km inland from the ocean. They are feeding on trout and eels. After 31 years of counting, this spring we recorded the highest number of breeding Tawaki penguins in our local rainforest breeding colony. 2020 has also been the best flowering for many years here of Southern Rata, the South Island Christmas Tree.” McSweeney was a founding member of the Forest Heritage Fund committee in 1990 (now


the Nature Heritage Fund (NHF)), and a member of the committee until 2019; a member of the New Zealand Conservation Authority from 2011 to 2020; Forest & Bird president from 2001 to 2005 and one of the society’s conservation ambassadors since 2011; and a member of the South Westland Environment and Community Advisory Group from 1990 to 1995. He has also previously been made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for public services (Queen’s Birthday 1990), and a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (New Year 2009). “My conservation work would not have been possible without the constant support for our conservation efforts of my wife Anne Saunders, our children Katie, Michael and Claire and many active nature lovers working with the Forest & Bird Society throughout New Zealand,” he said. McSweeney and Saunders established their Wilderness Lodges in 1989 (Lake Moeraki) and 1996 (Arthur’s Pass) to show that conservation is everyone’s business and can make a major contribution to the economy. “Conservation creates jobs through nature tourism, gives us clean water and clean air and provides a sustainable future for our descendants,” said McSweeney. “Our Wilderness Lodges’ main focus has been eco-tourism. Visitors come to see wild nature and to learn about natural ecosystems. They go away with a much greater awareness of human dependence on nature, hopefully to make a difference in the places that they call home.” Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, McSweeney and Saunders were running their Lake Moeraki Lodge “with a skeleton staff of 2 and about 15 per cent the normal number of guests that we would have in a typical January.” He said they were being kept busy “cleaning rooms, mowing the lawns, guiding the walks and kayak trips - and, like many in the tourist industry, waiting for the vaccine roll-out and the borders to re-open.

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THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21


Sun News

Applications open for Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund Joanna Perry

Applications for the first round of the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund are open for the March 2021 – February 2022 period. The fund is part of the government’s $50 million Regional Events Fund to stimulate domestic tourism by supporting existing events to continue to operate or supporting new events to form. The Southern Lakes region, including Queenstown, Wānaka, Central Otago and Fiordland has been allocated $8.5 million over a 2–4-year timeframe. The fund will be managed by a panel of representatives from each of the Regional Tourism Organisations, an independent chair and an independent events expert. Destination Queenstown, the lead agency for the fund, will undertake the day-to-day administration. Funding rounds are bi-annual and applications can be made once a year for either the March or September funding round. However, applicants can register expressions of interest all year round. The key focus for the assessing panel will be to ensure that events funded maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the

regions assets and venues, replace the current lack of sponsorship, and drive out-of-region, non-competing domestic visitation to help compensate for some of the shortfall created by lack of international visitors. Lake Wānaka Tourism (LWT) general manager Tim Barke, who will be representing LWT on the panel alongside chair Mat Woods, said that it was his understanding that the amount each area received was based on the level of international tourism lost. Destination Queenstown interim Chief Executive, Ann Lockhart, said it was exciting to get the fund up and running and open for applications. “Our wider region has been impacted immensely by Covid-19 and the lack of international visitors. We are delighted at the prospect of being able to enable some key strategic events to run in our region to attract visitors and drive economic benefit. As well as the short to medium term benefits from running events it also aligns with the longerterm strategic goal of making the region a leading events destination while having a balanced portfolio of events,” said Lockhart. For more information, or to apply for Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund, please visit the website.

The Council Word Snap, Send and Solve with QLDC

Summertime library offerings

If you spot an issue in the community you can now raise it with Council using an app on your phone called Snap Send Solve. The app is a simple, free and fast way to send QLDC ‘Fix It’ requests, meaning the next time you spot a pesky water leak on the road outside your house or a fallen tree blocking a trail, snap it then send it and QLDC will solve it. You can download the Snap Send Solve app on Google Play and the Apple Store.

Craving a great book to go with your summer chillaxing? Look no further than your local Queenstown Lakes library stocked up with a range of new titles. How about one of the many digital offerings you can access from the comfort of your sun lounger? Try our eBooks, eAudiobooks, local and worldwide magazine and newspapers, and stream independent feature films to your TV or device! All you need is your library membership ID or sign up for free today at

A Reserve Management Plan for Hāwea Domain We’re proposing a draft Reserve Management Plan (RMP) for Hāwea Domain. It’s the first of its kind for this area and designed to assist in the future management and development of this recreation reserve. To check out the draft RMP and share your thoughts on it, head to Submissions close at 5.00pm on Sunday 27 March.

Mt Iron fire risk If you’re interested in an update and overview of the fire risk to Mt Iron and how this is being managed, come along to the Wanaka Rec Centre from 6.00pm-8.00pm on Tuesday 2 February. Members of Fire Emergency NZ, QLDC and Emergency Management Otago will be discussing respective roles, response plans and risk mitigation. All community members are welcome to come along. PAGE 6

Kiwis boosted business but outlook bleak

PHOTO: Ministry of Business and Innovation

The graph illustrates the bump in kiwi holiday makers over New Year, and flatter numbers in between.

Jo Galer

Wānaka business groups reported mixed fortunes over the holiday period, but an uncertain outlook for what would normally be a bumper shoulder season with overseas tourists. Wānaka Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Naomi Lindsay said many businesses reported a slightly slower Christmas period than usual, but around New Year, for some, a 20-30 per cent average increase year on year across 10-12 days. “On certain days business was up considerably for some, with holiday homes being full and Kiwis taking to the roads to explore their backyard in campsites, hotels and B&Bs. “Unfortunately future business isn’t looking great once school holidays end. With borders closed and Kiwis largely returning to work, there is limited visitor business coming our way in February and March.” In contrast, reports from the building, trades and professional services industries were that they had sufficient forward work over the next three to six months. Acting Manager of Lake Wānaka Tourism Tim Barke said the domestic economy holding up well had thankfully enabled domestic tourism, but kiwis’ tendency to make their travel decisions at the last minute meant tourist operators found planning difficult using forward bookings.

“Operators experienced mixed results. A few were busier, others found the holiday period Ok - some really struggled. The big concern now is businesses needed a really good summer to get through to winter and so many might not survive. “It seems so unfair because they are good business and part of our tourism infrastructure and when the numbers do return these services will need to be there. But they can’t survive on nothing.” He heard some operators had put their businesses “on ice”, with others taking odd jobs “just to get by and survive.” The big light at the end of the tunnel was a travel bubble with Australia for the first quarter to March, although people were realistic about that happening. Lindsay said Destination Queenstown forecasts showed accommodation bookings averaging about 20 per cent occupancy from mid-January until mid-February, with a peak of 40 per cent on the weekend of the Gibbston Valley Concert - well below normal. The prediction for the next 60 days was bookings could fall below 10 per cent at times. The Queenstown data presented a picture for Wānaka. “While Wānaka has a more domestic market than Queenstown, we are still concerned about the lack of Kiwis travelling in coming months.” Lake Wānaka Tourism and Tourism New Zealand continued to encourage New Zealanders to travel here.

Cardrona’s ‘winter in January’

WCB drop-in sessions kick off The first Wānaka Community Board drop-in session of 2021 is happening at the Wānaka Recreation Centre 12.00pm1.00pm on Wednesday 3 February. No appointment is necessary and anyone with a council-related question or concern is welcome to call in for a cuppa and a chat with a member of the Board.

New Rec Centre programmes Head to Wānaka Recreation Centre for two brand new activities this term. Table tennis for adults and kids – casual sessions every Tuesday 6.00-7.30pm ($5.00/person). Yoga for beginners/intermediate – Tuesdays 7.008.00am and Fridays 1.00-2.00pm from 2 Feb ($10.00/person). No need to book. For more info contact 03 443 9334 /

PHOTO: Heath Richmond

This picture was taken on Wednesday after snow had fallen throughout Tuesday and overnight, also closing the road to Cardrona ski field. The snow forced closure of the resort for summer activities on Tuesday, and it was also closed on Wednesday. Communications Executive Jen Houltham at Cardrona said in total the mountain had 5-10cm of snow, making national headlines on Tuesday. She said snow was becoming more and more common at this time as the years went by. “Usually we get a decent dump of snow once in January each year now.”

THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21


Sun News

NEWS IN BRIEF Cricket visit good news The England women’s cricket team will travel to Queenstown in February ahead of its New Zealand tour. Players will attend a nine-day training camp and play two warm-up games against a women’s New Zealand XI at Sir John Davies Oval on February 14 and 16. Their stay comes in the wake of similar visits from the Pakistan and West Indies men’s teams. Mayor Boult said the visit would provide a boost to the local economy and would further showcase the district to a global audience. “I’m grateful for the support we’ve received from the government,” Mayor Boult said. “These visits have made a welcome impact and have highlighted just how special our district is. It’s terrific to see cricket being played again at the Sir John Davies Oval, one of the world’s most beautiful cricket grounds.” England are the reigning ODI World Champions after beating India in the World Cup final at Lord’s in 2017. Your dog’s feet can burn Your dog’s feet can get burnt and blistered on the hot ground, particularly hot concrete and dark sands. Check if it is a safe temperature by holding the back of your hand on the pavement or sand for five seconds. If it is too hot for you to hold your hand there, your pet shouldn’t be out walking on it. Visit for more helpful tips to keep your furry friends safe and happy this summer. Mt Iron fire risk If you're interested in an update and overview of the fire risk to Mt Iron and how this is being managed, come along to the Wānaka Rec Centre from 6.00pm - 8.00pm on Tuesday, February 2. Members of Fire Emergency NZ, QLDC and Emergency Management Otago will be

in attendance, discussing respective roles, response plans and risk mitigation for the area. All community members are welcome to come along and chat with those attending. Pinders Pond death name release The man who died at a popular swimming spot near Roxburgh on Friday evening was a Malaysian national who lived in Roxburgh. Police confirmed he was 23-year-old Ehsan Bin Zakaria Muhammad. Emergency services had been notified of a person missing in the water about 7.35pm. He did not surface and divers from a local search and rescue team were called in and searched in the murky water. Fire and Emergency New Zealand crews from Roxburgh and a rescue helicopter were also sent to the area. His death will be referred to the Coroner. Thursday’s Child Grahame Sydney, one of New Zealand’s significant and enduring artists, will join forces with Annemarie Hope-Cross and Eric Schusser for an artists’ talk as part of the “Thursday’s Child” exhibition currently showing at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in Alexandra on January 23 at 1:00pm. The exhibition is a collaborative photographic project between Hope-Cross and Schusser which frames a narrative around cancer. Developed over three years and incorporating two photo books, ‘Still Intrusion’ and ‘Dissolving Margin’, the exhibition speaks of family and home, of self-care and care for others, of roads walked alone but always coming back together. This is a collaboration of very different techniques but with a shared artistic vision that consistently connects with the reality of life in words and metaphor.

Wānaka property sales double Jo Galer

The cumulative total value of houses sold in Wānaka virtually doubled from $227 million to $402 million in the five months to the end of December 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019, according to figures from Wānaka First National Real Estate. Lynette Winsloe of First National, Wānaka, provided figures (from REINZ) to the Wānaka Sun that showed real estate sales in the town have positively boomed. Not only have numbers of properties sold climbed each month, sales have then doubled each month from August to end of December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. For example, 43 properties sold in December 2019 compared to 87 in December 2020. The total value of those sales went from $48.3 million in 2019 to $91 million in December 2020. Winsloe also collected numbers of listings between November 17 and January 19 this year, showing these were falling, in line with the national trend; down from 294 listings and 320 on and Trade Me respectively recorded on 17 November 2020, to 235 and 261 listings on the same websites on January 19. She said that buyers, coming mostly from Otago and Southland, but also from places like Auckland and Christchurch (but not many from overseas) seemed to have ‘FOMO’ – fear of missing out on the Wānaka property ladder. For example one property just prior to Christmas

PHOTO: Jo Galer

First National’s Lynette Winsloe - real estate sales have boomed.

sold after the buyers viewed it on a Sunday, signed a contract on the Monday, confirmed on the Wednesday and settled on the Friday of the same week. She said buyer demand was not potentially sustainable in the long-term, but she felt demand in the next four to five months would likely remain high. Even sections at more recent developments Clearview and The Heights were almost all sold out, meaning there should still be good demand for new sections coming on the market, in places such as Northlake and Hāwea. “Research is showing that with market confidence still high, buyers are looking to purchase ahead of any price rises, the reintroduction of Loan-to-Value ratios (LVRs) and listings falling – all of which could impact sales volumes,” she said.

Mint Bar to close its doors

Trusted Healthcare for Life

Mint Bar has announced it will be closing next week “due to circumstances outside of our control.”

Joanna Perry

Live music venue and home of Wānaka’s silent disco, Mint Bar has announced it will be closing its doors next week “due to circumstances outside of our control.” A post on Facebook thanked “everyone of you that has stepped in our venue over the years and partied with us,” “the promoters, DJs, band members and anyone else that has graced the


Wanaka Medical has stood at the heart of our community for 40 years, looking after generations of families with leading treatments and evidence-based care. We understand that every body, and every life, is different.

PHOTO: Supplied

Mint Bar stage” and “all our previous and current staff… for all the hours you put in to make Mint Bar work. “We have and have had some serious legends be a part of our teams throughout the years. You've all been unreal.” The venue had a big weekend of send-off events, including one final silent disco on Friday night, and promised “we'll be back in some shape of form in the future.” Mint Bar was approached for comment.

Wanaka Medical, Trusted Healthcare for Life. e:

THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21

t: (03) 443 0710

a: 23 Cardrona Valley Road, Wanaka


Sun Community

Our community gardeners


Happy New Year from Kahu Youth

PHOTOS: Joanna Perry

The Resnick brothers - Alex, Nick and Jake - with their garden box and Wānaka Library representation Eve Marshall-Lea.

PHOTO: Supplied

As the Christmas trees are being dismantled, as the stockings are folded and tucked away in the shed and Santa’s elves begin their preparation for the next festive season, all of us here at Kahu Youth would like to wish everyone and all, a splendiferous Happy New Year! As the school gates across the nation are primed and ready for the upcoming school year, we have our fingers and toes crossed for a positive, vibrant and successful 2021! To keep everyone in our wonderful community acquainted with what we have been and what are doing, here’s a little update for you all! The fantastically popular Summer Holiday Programme which has been running since the beginning of December and which will run for another two weeks has been busy, bigger and better than ever! Under the guidance of Emma Hunter, one of Kahu’s newest Youth Workers, the lucky youth of Wānaka have had the incredible opportunity to undertake activities such as Wild Wire, Go Karting and Lazer Tag (in the same day!) and Crossfire. Mixed in with tamer sessions such a Bread Making and Painting, we aim to please, and please we have! “It’s been an amazing journey so far and it’s been great to witness first hand what local companies do and offer to the local community. A personal favourite of mine, was the trip to the Blue Pools and witnessing some of the kids facing their fears of heights and cold water! Hopefully the next two weeks of the programme are as popular as what


we have seen so far.” With two weeks left (and with the weather looking terrible!) we have a collection of exciting upcoming activities which are still available for sign ups if your young ones are looking for some holiday fun. Canyoning in Queenstown and a day out at the Kiwi Waterpark in Cromwell promise two days of awesome fun, giggles and adventure! However if they might be too challenging, fear not, Kahu Youth has you covered! Sushi Making at The Crib might be more up your alley! If we’re still barking up the wrong tree, a Tree Hut Building course on Friday January 29 is all you need! Hunter, a stalwart of Kahu and an avid outdoors enthusiast has joined Emma and the gang on multiple trips this year. ‘So far it’s been a wicked summer holiday. Last summer I didn’t join in however I wish had done seeing how this year has gone so far! I think Wild Wire has been the most enjoyable followed closely by Lazer Tag. Cheers Kahu, loved every minute of it!’ Keep in mind, The Crib is open as usual for the remainder of the Summer holiday and once the schools are open, we return to normal opening hours! If you’d like further information regarding the remainder of our holiday programme, please visit our website, call us on 03 443 5880 or email Emma at emma@ – By Hemi Cordell

Holiday Fun


Vicki Wise, representing the Wānaka Mental Health Peer Support Group, sharing her expertise with fellow gardeners.

Joanna Perry

The community gardens at the Wānaka Community Hub are bursting at the seams after the rain and sunshine January has brought so far. This LINK Upper Clutha initiative, which began when the Wānaka Community Hub donated land and six unused planter boxes last spring, aims to bring together residents interested in growing vegetables who may not have the space, resources, or knowledge to do so at home with tools, expertise and community support. Mint, lettuce, radishes and the first of the tomatoes are just a few of the goodies now ready to enjoy from the gardens, each the responsibility of a local organisation or family, who also take shifts to water the boxes throughout the week. Wednesday is watering day for the Resnick brothers - Alex, Nick and Jake - who came to Wānaka as part of a one-year trip around the world with their parents. They were supposed to be learning martial arts in the mountains in China when Covid-19 hit, so decided to wait out the storm here in Wānaka. The gardens were a great opportunity for them and their mum to learn how to grow fruit and vegetables - beyond the lemon trees in their LA garden back home. The box nextdoor-but-one is managed by Eve Marshall-Lea on behalf of the Wānaka Library, who became involved with the project to increase the library’s participation in the community and develop its seedbank - a new initiative set up last year, which contributed to their collection of fruit and veges growing in their box and will be topped

THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21

Volunteer garden mentor Chloe Rowe harvesting some greens before Christmas which were given away in food parcels. She has been a dedicated gardening guru for the novice gardeners.

up with new seeds at the end of the season. “It’s a nice way for us to share, and we’re really happy that any of the fresh produce that isn’t used goes to the Wānaka Foodbank,” said MarshallLea - adding that the foodbank was always in great need of fresh produce, a “key component” in a good diet. Vicki Wise, who was maintaining the Wānaka Mental Health Peer Support Group’s garden box - whilst relearning parts of her Biology degree - said that it was “so nice to have a space to grow fruits and vegetables,” which could have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing by encouraging gardeners to be outside and take care of other living things.


Sun Community

M!NT Charitable Trust Another food charity planned for Summer Holiday Programme Wānaka and Cromwell

PHOTOS: Supplied

The M!NT Crew on their beach day to Kidds Bush.

PHOTO: Supplied

General Manager of Kiwi Harvest Blandina Diamond

Jo Galer

M!NT Volunteer Krystelle Madsen and Ava Walker participating in our Mad Hatters Tea Party!

A national food rescue group plans to operate in Wānaka and Cromwell, providing meals for social groups and low-decile schools. Currently, though each may have a different focus, there is the Wānaka Food Bank and Food for Love. Now, add KiwiHarvest seeking suppliers and their excess food, and calling for in-need community groups to register for their meal deliveries. General Manager Blandina Diamond, of the Auckland Head Office, said the charity had recently acquired a warehouse for storing chilled and frozen food in pellets in Queenstown and this would provide storage for the region’s fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers, and also those contributing perishable food from as far afield as Christchurch and Auckland. The surplus food comes from growers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retail food businesses who support the charity in New Zealand. Kiwi Harvest is in discussion with the two New Worlds in Wānaka and the Mediterranean Market as possible suppliers, and is keen to work with community groups who have a need. This might include low decile schools for free lunches or breakfasts, or any social service organisation, but not individual, that had a need. A check of their website shows that many

churches, schools and social agencies are already recipients of KiwiHarvest’s “rescued” food in centres such as Dunedin. Diamond said that all going well, the meals and food would be delivered via a truck that would operate one day a week between Queenstown and Wānaka. The operation would be administered using staff at their Queenstown branch. “A community group in Wānaka contacted us last year asking if we would come into Wānaka and saying there was a need. Demand did increase especially during the Covid period, and we’ve been getting a consistent message there’s not enough food and greater demand. We think the need will grow further as people’s employment, income and stability networks are impacted by Covid. “We are still at the planning stage so are interested in hearing from cafes and restaurants interested in donating their perishable but not handled food, and also from community groups who have a need and want to register for free meals.” Eventually, KiwiHarvest hoped to expand into Alexandra and Glenorchy. KiwiHarvest’s operation is funded through Central Government grants, local councils, businesses and donations from the public. People can register their need for the service through the KiwiHarvest website or by calling 0800 601609.

THE RIVER CITY JAZZMEN Recognised as one of the very best toe-tapping Dixieland bands in the country! SATURDAY 23 JAN, 7.30 PM LAKE WANAKA CENTRE 89 ARDMORE ST

The M!NT Crew at SITE trampolining during their trip to Queenstown these holidays.

M!NT Charitable Trust is delivering a four week holiday programme this month catering to kids, youth and adults with intellectual disability. The aim is to expand their horizons whilst fostering independence and peer relationships. So far, the programme has offered a great beach day at Kidds Bush, a trip to SITE trampolining in Queenstown and an action packed tour at Hillend Station Farm. Activities coming up include a boat trip to


Ruby Island. The M!NT Holiday Programme is the first of its kind in the Upper Clutha region. As one parent has said, “ We cannot believe what a difference this has made to our child’s school holidays, for once they have something really exciting to look forward to and it’s a welcome break for us as parents to know that our child is happy and well supported during these hours.”

ADULTS: $35; STUDENTS AT SCHOOL: FREE Presented by Wanaka Concert Society. Supported by QLDC. Cash ticket sales at Gifted Design Store, 19 Helwick Street, Wānaka. Online sales at, Booking Fee applies. Cash door-sales from 6.30pm at Lake Wanaka Centre.

THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21


Sun News

Perkins leaves Luggate role

PHOTO: Stuff

Graeme Perkins, the former Chair of the Luggate Community Association, has stood down from the role.

Jo Galer

A long-time stalwart for the Luggate Community Graeme Perkins, the former Chair of the Luggate Community Association, has stood down from the role. He said he had thoroughly enjoyed the past five years working for the Luggate community as chair “but now it is time for a break.” He will continue to work for Luggate on the LCA committee, however.

Deputy Mayor and Wānaka Councillor Calum Macleod thanked Graeme for his efforts, saying it had been “a pleasure working alongside you and your team on behalf of the good people of Luggate.” “You can be justifiably proud of the steps we have taken towards securing the new Community facility. I hope that you do indeed find time to enjoy any break you manage to get.” The new chair is Dave Hawkins, with whom MacLeod said he was also looking forward to working with as the time came to open the District’s first “Passive” Community facility.

! W E n

s i n n e t e l tab ation at Wanaka Recre


Perfect your ping pong on four brand new tables!


Suitable for adults and kids from school year 9 and above


Tuesday evenings, 6.00-7.30pm Term 1: 19 January to 13 April




GREBE DIARY 7 January 20, 2021

I took time out this last few days to tally up what we have managed this season and to estimate what is to come. It was all doom and gloom early on, but things have changed for the better. Thus far my estimate is that some 21 chicks have hatched to the 17th Jan and that we presently have 25 eggs in 8 nests under surveillance and additionally have collected 24 eggs that have failed to hatch. That failure rate appears high, but over half of all collected eggs are ones that have been laid in places in which nests and eggs are unlikely to survive which include on the top of outboard motors, boat transoms and mooring bollards. All will have been collected singly and where possible eggs have been cross fostered to a breeding pair that we know is in mid-lay. Of the eight nests that have hatched chicks all had at least one egg that failed to hatch and based on experience, greater than 95% will be infertile. Nests still in the process of delivery include, 3,4,5,6,7,8,15 and 16. You will recall from Diary 6 that a dead grebe was recovered close to the launch site at the Marina. Some kind person took the trouble to contact me of this and I am so grateful that they did so. The opportunity to carry out a necropsy on a rare and threatened species such as this is not easily come by, and in the doing we nearly always are able to add to our knowledge of the species. I emailed a colleague at Otago University and in quick time we found a mutual friend in Wānaka who was happy to deliver the bird to Dr Bronwyn Presswell at the Zoology Department in Dunedin the following morning. Bronwyn reports as follow. Large healthy breeding male in good condition with significant body fat reserves. It had suffered a major injury beginning under

its right wing from the side round to the back of the bird. Some feather loss had occurred and the skin was only slightly broken but there was considerable internal bleeding. It looked like the muscle tissue on the opposite side of the bird had also been punctured. Dr Presswell suggests that the bird was hit by a boat propeller and maybe flipped around mashing the other side. The gizzard was full of feathers and the only discernible prey in the stomach was beetle elytra (beetle forewings). Finally she notes that there were seven species of parasites; hundreds in number and one or two surprises! A brief comment on a couple of these observations. The presence of feathers in the gizzard is interesting. For many years controversy surrounded the purpose of these feathers and for some time it was suggested that the presence of feathers reduced the parasitic burden in the species. The gizzard is primarily responsible for breaking food into smaller parts. A more plausible explanation for feather eating in these birds is to line the gizzard with material that will protect it from sharp fish bones. Adults with very young chicks will feed feathers to their young, presumably to offset injury to the gizzard. Watching them do this reminds me of young children being encouraged by parents to eat distasteful green vegetables. Chicks actively reject the feather, often spitting it out. The parent patiently will retrieve it, swish it in the water and try again, time and time again. I am still puzzled by this behaviour and observations. I am unaware of any other fish eating bird that eats feathers to protect its digestive system from its principal dietary item! – By John Darby

No need to book – just turn up! All gear provided

PHOTO: Mike Barker @QLDCSportRec


Hope for the year ahead? A beautiful rainbow could be seen over Lake Hāwea on a rainy Tuesday morning.

THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21


Sun News

Give back to the spring


Wānaka or the Bahamas?

Joanna Perry

Richard Windelov, director of the Wānaka Community Springs Trust, is asking for help from the community with a little ‘spring-cleaning’. Since its opening in 2014, the community spring on Lakeside Road near the Dinosaur Park has become something of a local icon. As well as a place where many locals fill up their water bottles with Wānaka spring water, it is a place for dogs and ducks to play, a wishing well for visiting children - and even a living, interactive sculpture, as mysterious stone spirals have started to appear in the basin in recent weeks. But its fame has come at a price. The spring water feature, a collaborative community project between the Trust and many local businesses and organisations - which took seven years to bring to fruition and $70,000 of community funding

- was designed to honour the water of the town (there are between 200 and 300 springs - and support the ecosystem of our lake, but it is now in need of a little town TLC. Windelov said the pond and basin were filling up with stones from well-intentioned wishmakers, and the Pounamu stone, which Windelov found near the Blue Pools and gave to his son, who donated it to the springs, had been damaged by numerous attempts to break pieces off. A working bee is to be held on January 30 from 10:00am to 3:00pm, during which time Windelov hoped to remove “at least 1.5 tonnes of stones in the pond that shouldn’t be there, so that they can be used for many more wishes,” smooth out the Pounamu, repair the lights and give the spring a refresh.

PHOTO: Richard Windelov

The spring is a local icon, a wishing well for visiting children, and even a living, interactive sculpture, as mysterious stone spirals have started to appear in the basin in recent weeks.

Windelov welcomed all members of the community to come along and “give a little back” to the water. He also urged any sculptors, artists or creative spirits to get in touch with ideas for how to improve on and expand the springs in future - along with any beneficiary organisations who might be able to support the

community resource with funding. The working bee will be followed by a ceremony for the honouring of the Wai and healing of the spring and local waters. To express interest or donate to the Trust, contact Richard Windelov on 022 560 1133 or email

Painters and printmakers exhibition to be annual affair Joanna Perry

Twenty artists from the Wānaka Painters and Printmakers groups held a combined exhibition at Hawea Community Centre last weekend, featuring local portrait artist Stephen Martyn Welch as guest artist. This was a new venue for the groups, and painter Brenda Clarke said proved to be “very successful,” with a lot of people through the door and a lot of sales. “Feedback from the public was very positive both on the venue and artwork displayed,” said Clarke, who added that the groups were already talking about making the exhibition an annual event. Wānaka Painters is an informal group of mainly amateur artists, established over thirty years ago. Printmakers Wānaka was founded in 1994 PHOTO: Wānaka Sun and several founding members are still active, Stephen Martyn Welch: “I'm continually surprised by the standard of works on show, the passion fellow artists producing original artworks using traditional put into these shows and the support from the community showing up and buying the works.” continually surprised by the standard of works mediums such as woodcuts, linocuts and etching, expertise. Stephen Martyn Welch said: “As a full time on show, the passion fellow artists put into these as well as a range of more modern techniques. Both groups currently meet weekly in the artist, it's always a pleasure to be a ‘Guest Artist’ at shows and the support from the community Wānaka Art Centre to share their knowledge and local exhibitions like here at the Hawea show. I'm showing up and buying the works.”

PHOTO: Joanna Perry

Who knew our lake had white sandy beaches?

Joanna Perry

Just look at this picture. Looks like some sandy paradise island, right? Okay, at least a beach in Abel Tasman or some other sunny coastal part of New Zealand. Who knew there were white sandy beaches right here on our lake? It was definitely a pleasant surprise as I set out last weekend to walk off the post-holiday blues (and excess kgs) on the Glendhu Bay Track. This is one of my favourite and mostused tracks in town, but I’ve never quite made it the full 15km to the motor camp at Glendhu, so for a change of scenery and terrain, I decided to walk it in reverse. Turns out the last bit is by far the best bit, with less people, a closer view of the mountains (how do they still have snow on them?) and an array of secluded soft sandy beaches with crystal clear water, accessible only by foot or by boat. If I sound like I’ve swallowed a holiday brochure, it’s because as I watched a luxury yacht lazily drift into one of the coves and anchor up for a picnic lunch, I felt as if I had been transported into one. Almost two years on since I came to Wānaka, I continue to be surprised by the sheer diversity in landscape, terrain and even climate. No wonder Kiwis have been flocking here in their thousands for the last few weeks. If you ever need an incentive to make it all the way out to Glendhu next time, you’ve got one now.

Central Otago FUNERALS

Penny Fisher RN MBA

027 343 4776 PHOTO: Supplied

The Wānaka & Districts Lions Club 4WD Safari to Forest Range & Mt Grand Stations was held on Sunday, January 10. Convenor Steve Richmond said this year’s event was “another resounding success,” attracting more than 80 vehicles. Because of the large numbers, the convoy was divided into two groups of 40 vehicles leaving an hour apart. Wānaka Search & Rescue provided logistical & safety backup along with Shotover 4WD Club. Richmond gave his thanks to Russell Emmerson of Forest Range Station & Ric McNeilly of Mt Grand Stations for allowing access to this iconic landscape.


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THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21

Our New Year has started with a hive of activity as we have builders still progressing towards the opening of our Central Otago Funerals branch in Cromwell, 5 McNulty Road, and also builders have started doing extensive renovations in Alexandra. This will include a new roof; which will house a catering lounge, kitchen, new office, lounge and viewing room. We have made a plan to accommodate families for viewing during this building period and look forward to enhancing our facilities to better serve our community. - Heather and Graham Stephen Office hours: 8:30am – 5pm 16 Ennis Street, Alexandra 9320 0800 263 863 or 03 448 8642


Sun Sport

Wānaka Rowing Club Canterbury Championships

PHOTOS: Supplied

Women’s intermediate coxed quad, from left to right: Neve Faed, Lyla Chamberlain, Hayley Ambrose, Samara Goodall and Thomas Mitchell. PHOTO: Red Bull / Erich Spiess.

Alice Robinson in action at the Women’s Super G during FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in St Anton, Austria on January 10, 2021. She has had a rough start to the season with two recent DNFs and a disqualification.

Alice Robinson back on form Joanna Perry

Queenstown-based alpine ski racer Alice Robinson finished in 9th place overnight on Sunday at the FIS World Cup Giant Slalom held in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. This is the first top ten World Cup result Robinson has achieved since she won this very race just over a year ago, and an improvement from her 14th place finish in the first day of the doubleheader event on January 17. She has had a rough start to the European season with two recent DNFs and a disqualification. Robinson said she took a more conservative approach to her first run down the hard and icy course and finished run one sitting in 9th position, +1.53 behind run one leader Mikaela Shiffrin (USA). “I just wanted to be a bit cleaner [on run one], I had a lot of mistakes yesterday, I think I did that, but I wasn’t pushing enough, not aggressive enough,” she said.

Robinson skied a solid second run, looking strong and in control as she ripped down the course. She explained that the plan was to “attack more on the second run and rip some normal turns”. Robinson finished in 9th place, +2.32 seconds behind winner Marta Bassino (ITA) who was ecstatic to take the World Cup win two days in a row. Michelle Gisin (SUI) was on the podium once again, today in second place and Meta Hrovat (SLO) rounded out the podium in third. After a tough season, a top ten result today is a crucial steppingstone to help Robinson get back on top of the World Cup podium. “I think it will help build my confidence and I have still got a lot of races to go this season”. Wānaka skier Piera Hudson was unable to start after spraining her lateral ligament in her right knee at yesterday’s World Cup. Both Robinson and Hudson were last week selected to compete for New Zealand at the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy between February 7 and 21 2021, along with Willis Feasey and Jack Adams.

The Wānaka Rowing Club attended the Canterbury Championships Regatta on January 16 and 17 at Lake Ruataniwha. We took a contingent of 19 athletes competing in 28 events with entry into 14 A finals and 2 B finals. The heats were held on Saturday in very hot, calm conditions perfect for racing. Sunday dawned raining and cold with a breeze that eventually caused the abandonment of the regatta with only a fraction of the finals being completed, but there were some notable results from the A finals that were completed. The under 16 girls double combination of Pipi Horan and Ruby Boyd converted their win in the heat to an emphatic win in the A final. The women’s under 19 quad of Pipi Horan, Emily Findlay, Bella Sarginson, Neve Faed and Thomas Mitchell as coxswain came second behind a very experienced Dunstan combination. The new women’s intermediate coxed quad combination of Neve Faed, Samara Goodall, Lyla Chamberlain, Hayley Ambrose and Thomas Mitchell as cox won their heat and went on to place third in the A final. The two doubles combinations of Bella Sarginson and Ruby Boyd along with Hayley Ambrose and Samara Goodall were both in the women’s intermediate doubles sculls event where they placed 1st and 3rd respectively, but were

unable to race their A final. The men’s novice double crew of Jem Curtis and Torben Craig showed a lot of potential placing 3rd in their heat to qualify for the A final where they placed 5th. The women’s novice quad crew of Kelly Quirke, Ella Kaler, Amelia Craig, Jess Gould and Thomas Mitchell as coxswain were unlucky that they did not get to race their A final, as they showed a lot of potential placing 3rd in their heat. Aaron Maxwell, who has recently joined the club transferring from Oamaru, was also unlucky not to convert his second placing in the heat of the men’s intermediate single sculls and in the heat of the men’s intermediate double sculls event where he teamed up with Tao HawkeyHight. Both A finals were cancelled due to wind. The athletes were supported by their coaches Rachel O’Connell, Matt Rickard and David Ayres, who were joined by AJ Humphreys to compete in the Masters quad sculls event, which they won. Rachel also convincingly won her woman’s masters single sculls event. Apart from being blown off on the Sunday, the regatta was a great success and showed that the crews are on track to perform well at the upcoming South Island Championships on January 30 and 31. – By AJ Humphreys

Highlands operations manager announced for Grand Prix Joanna Perry

Highlands Motorsport Park ontrack operations manager and driver Damon Leitch is the latest in a growing list of Kiwi racers set to take part in the forthcoming 66th New Zealand Grand Prix at Hampton Downs this weekend. Racing alongside brother Brendon, Leitch will be flying the colours of Cromwell’s Highlands Motorsport Park when he gets behind the wheel of the Toyota FT60 for his first competitive laps at the New Zealand Grand Prix in six seasons. “Damon’s talent as a single seater is second to none. He holds the unofficial lap record at Highlands, which is impressive, given most of his days now don’t involve any seat time,” explained Highlands and Hampton Downs chief operating officer Josie Spillane. “We are looking forward to seeing him go up against current competitors and of course his brother. Although


the last time Brendon and Damon raced together, one of them ended up disqualified with Tony Quinn for a ‘love tap’, so we won’t be looking for a repeat performance of that this time!” Leitch raced in the has a huge amount of experience in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, finishing third overall in both the 2012 and 2014 championships. He is a two time winner of the Bruce McLaren Trophy, has won in the category and has multiple podium finishes to his credit. Shane van Gisbergen, André Heimgartner, Greg Murphy and upand-coming stars Billy Frazer, Kaleb Ngatoa and Matthew Payne are amongst those set to take the start on the long circuit in North Waikato - as well as Kenny Smith, who will make an unprecedented 50th start in the 66th running of the event.

Damen Leitch is the operations manager of the track at Highlands Motorsport Park and one of their professional drivers. THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21



Sun Views


Unpleasant farewell from Wānaka not necessary Jo Galer

Despite a rainy cold snap after New Year, Wānaka holiday makers maintained a cheery disposition to put the year of Covid behind them and make the most of their time off. That is, until some returned home to a nasty surprise in the mail. That was when it dawned they’d missed something unpleasant as they went about their Wānaka travels - the hidden speed cameras snapping their 40km/hr-plus incursions. At least three people from Dunedin, and one from Wānaka, received fines of more than $100 each for driving in the 50 km/hr range. These are people this author is aware of – so there’s got to be more. They claim they were completely unaware of the occasional 40 km/ hr sign around Wānaka that signalled a critical speed limit change that seemingly, joining the dots, started to be enforced from December when the new signs were fresh in the ground. They also had no preventative heads-up Police would deploy speed cameras. I’m no behavioural scientist, but I think that if people have been holidaying here for years, as these people had, perhaps they were not so inclined to double-check the off-road signage that has been altered to 40km and have a lightbulb moment. Also, perhaps given that most urban centres in New Zealand are still 50 km zones, 40 km/hr would represent quite the cognitive sea change in their driver behaviour. And perhaps - just using some common sense here - to the rank outsider unable to come to Wānaka over the last big public holiday (Easter 2020) in Lockdown, and read the local and social media debates on the change, perhaps their speeds can be innocently explained as having zero knowledge of the new limit, which, as with any change, usually needs a nudge along education-wise to change habits; humans being

PHOTO: supplied

Could raising awareness of the speed limit change have been better handled?

human and all. Something like advertising or an education campaign targeting out of town drivers could have helped. A press release from the Queenstown Lakes District Council, in the hope it will be picked up by a media outlet, or an advertisement in a local newspaper in this time of mass media noise, cannot be deemed “education.” Could a day-time checkpoint, as Police do for baby car-seat checks, instead of fines from hidden cameras, have worked better? At least to maintain public goodwill? Perhaps Police could still apply some leniency. They issued these fines to law-abiding folk who spent their money here and at long last felt they could have a year-from-hell holiday. I’m pretty sure they learned their lesson, hitting them where it hurts in their bank accounts as they return to work and another year of Covid worries. But more education was needed, especially when the holiday-makers arrived in their requested hordes. I’ll finish with a footnote on the Crown Range Road. Meanwhile, just out of Wānaka, New Zealand’s highest alpine pass is a race track with a 100 km/hr limit, and passing allowable zooming up to a 45/km/hr bend in some cases. And as this newspaper reported last week, had a concerningly higher-thanusual record of crashes and near-fatalities over the holiday period. Could priorities have been different for a speed limit change?

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR To submit a letter for possible publication in the Wānaka Sun, please send it via email to Letters can also be sent by private message on our Facebook page. Letters may be edited or abridged. Letters of no more than 300 words are preferred.

Crimeline In response to last week’s article ‘Crown Range crashes concern Police’, and the word from Queenstown Lakes Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod that proposed changes to the Crown Range Rd speed limit would eventually arrive. John: More passing bays would be a good start. From my experience (3 years of travelling over 5 days a week ) I have seen many times people travelling slower do not pull over and then someone behind loses the plot and passes in bad places. Tracey: Lower speed limits will simply create more problems. So now a two hour time allowance to get to the airport if you want to go via CR? Create some decent passing lanes like those in the gorge, so that driver frustration is lessened. Mike: Can't blame the tourists this time. Joe: Put up huge walls to remove the view completely. That will fix it. John: Issue has always been bad driving, be it Tourist or Kiwi!

Richard: The road is not wide enough for the barriers they’ve built bang on the white line as now to be safe you’re pretty much driving on the centre line. Speed’s not the problem it’s people cutting the corners and forcing oncoming traffic into the barriers.

Jay: 60 km/hr on the Crown Range??!? Absolutely ludicrous and unnecessary!!! It will not stop accidents. More nanny state control. Same counselors that lied saying 40km/ hr was recommended by the QLDC when it wasn’t .. Vote these ‘progressives ‘ out!


S Sean Hurley

Senior Constable, NZPD

I sit here on a wet Sunday evening appreciating the rain that is good for the garden and orchard which will relieve the irrigation requirements for the next week. As this is my first crime line of 2021 may you all have a happy and health filled 2021. Some of our clients do not seem to have seeking to fulfil appropriate behaviour as part of their New Year’s resolutions. But overall the week has been quieter than usual during the summer holiday periods. Monday saw a local male arrested on a parole recall warrant for using drugs in breach of his probation conditions. Thursday saw Police deal with a search for an elderly male suffering from dementia thankfully he was located and returned to the safety of his family. Police also served a locally resident male with a three months suspension of his driver licence for excess demerit points. He is now unable to drive for three months and will be kindly chauffeured by his partner during that time hopefully at speeds within the required limits Friday saw apprehend a female for excess breath alcohol. It was at a lower level but will add

THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21

50 demerit points to her driving record. Our local Wānaka Search and Rescue volunteers kicked into action on Friday afternoon when a call for assistance was made by some outdoor enthusiasts near the Five Fingers Range. Thanks to those who quickly responded to rescue those involved, we so appreciate your expertise and commitment to help keep our community safe. On Saturday someone was arrested for assaulting a security guard and subsequently a Police officer during an incident at the Shapeshifter concert in the Cardrona Valley. Thankfully the rest of the concert goers were mostly well behaved and enjoyed the occasion. Sunday saw police deal with a family harm matter in Albert Town. Police also arrested a visitor from Wellington when they found he was wanted for breach of a protection order matter and he is due to appear in court on Monday. Throughout the week Police have dealt with many motor vehicle collisions, so please be careful with your driving as we enter this new week which is meant to have some wet road conditions. Keep safe this week, be careful not to drink and drive, treat each other with the kindness you would like to be shown yourself.


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WHAT'S ON Wanaka Samurai Karate Club Give Martial Art a go! Start your journey to black belt now at Wanaka Samurai Karate Club. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Wanaka Primary School Hall. Check us out on Facebook: Wanaka Samurai Karate and contact Sensei Gabriela on 027 2106459 or

EVERY LETTERBOX EVERY THURSDAY Is your Wānaka Sun delivered every Thursday? If not, email your address to or phone us on 03 443 5252 PAGE 14

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Cut rags (100% cotton) and drop cloths, only $7 for a big bag. Now in the yard container at Wastebusters. Open 9-5 seven days. Business Networking International. The Wānaka chapter of BNI meets weekly at 7am Tuesday morning. Great networking opportunity to grow your business. Contact Randal Dobbs for information 021 973 043 The Salvation Army Family Store is able to collect your donations, this service is available one day a week please phone the store on 443 5068 to make a booking.

Thanks to everyone who comes to Wastebusters to donate goods, shop and recycle. Your support helps us work for zero waste and a resourceful community.

SERVICES Wānaka Pharmacy is your local pharmacy. We’re the big pharmacy at the top of Helwick Street open from 8am until 7pm every single day. Ph 443 8000. The Salvation Army Family Store is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 4pm and most statutory holidays. We look forward to seeing you in our wonderful store.

WANTED The Salvation Army Family Store requires good quality household goods, if you can help this would be appreciated. Your donations can be dropped at 48 Helwick street or phone for a pick up 443 5068.

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STORAGE Clean, dry, safe storage available now. Ezystor Self Storage, 12 Gordon Road, Wānaka, Ph: 021 242 1630.


Free delivery to Wānaka, Cromwell and surrounds, PO boxes in Makarora, Cromwell, Haast, Wānaka, Albert Town and Hāwea. Also distributed to businesses in the Wānaka business district Average circulation: 15,000 weekly. Phone: 03 443 5252 • Fax: 03 443 5250 Editor: Pat Deavoll • 0274 487 741 Journalist: Joanna Perry • 021 736 740 Advertising: Admin: Benn Ashford • 021 956 740 Mail: PO Box 697, Wānaka Deadlines: Display Advertising 4pm Friday prior to publication. 03 443 5252 Classified Advertising 5pm Monday prior Subscriptions: $175 within NZ (including GST) per year. Overseas rates on request. Remittances to PO Box 697, Wānaka, NZ.


Sun Sport / Classifieds


Snow Sports NZ Chief Operating Officer

PHOTO: Supplied

The annual Wānaka Swim Club Stroke Clinics had some special visitors last week. The swimmers were joined in the pool by Neptune Swim Club’s newly qualified Olympian Erika Fairweather and super swimmer Caitlin Deans (centre) - who also hopes to qualify for Tokyo - along with Olympic Coach Lars Humer. Coach Belinda Donaldson said she was “thrilled with the success of the clinics,” which saw Wānaka swimmers joined by some from Cromwell, and was “very proud of everyone.”


N o t i c e b o a rd | P a p a P ā n u i Meeting Schedule for February 2021 Subject to change. Last amended: 18 January 2021 Public Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 46 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 that meetings of the Council will be held as follows, during the month of February 2021.

New year, new challenge? Are you an operations, strategy and management expert with a love of snow sports? Snow Sports NZ is the national sporting organisation representing the interests of adaptive snow sports, alpine ski racing, cross country skiing, freeskiing and snowboarding in New Zealand. We are about competitive snow sports, from grassroots, to winning on the world stage. Our new Chief Operating Officer role will manage and deliver the efficient and effective operational and administration support services to enable Snow Sports NZ to reach our goals and objectives and ultimately assist us in delivering our vision to have more New Zealand athletes consistently winning medals on the world stage. To be a superb fit you will need to be able to demonstrate that: • You are passionate about inspiring New Zealanders through high performance sport success; it’s a way of life, not just a job. • You are driven and focussed with an incredible work ethic and your ‘can do’ attitude means you deliver the highest quality of work under pressure. • You have relevant and current knowledge and significant experience in business management. • You possess the highest professional standards and personal credibility within the business management industry, with additional expert skills in Human Resources, Health and Safety and Leadership. This is a Wanaka based role with some flexibility in hours. Initially we anticipate it being a 0.8 FTE role – giving you time to enjoy the perks of the job, multi resort season ski pass, gym membership and the playground we live in.

View the full candidate pack online: If you would like to apply then please send a cover letter and a copy of your CV to Please note that applications close at 5pm, 24th January 2021.

Planning & Strategy Committee – Council Chambers, 10 Gorge Road, Queenstown. Thursday 4 February 2021 at 10.00am. Infrastructure Committee – Council Chambers, 10 Gorge Road, Queenstown. Thursday 11 February 2021 at 10.00am. Wānaka Community Board – Armstrong Room, Lake Wānaka Centre, Ardmore Street, Wānaka. Thursday 18 February 2021 at 10.00am. Community & Services Committee – Council Chambers, 10 Gorge Road, Queenstown. Thursday 25 February 2021 at 10.00am. Appeals Subcommittee – Council Chambers, 10 Gorge Road, Queenstown. Thursday 25 February 2021 at 1.00pm. Meeting dates, times and venues are subject to change. All of the above meetings are open to the public. Some meetings may have items of business that will be discussed with the public excluded, as set out by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. Mike Theelen CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Amendment to the January 2021 Meeting Schedule Additional Meeting: Resource Consent Hearing (B Morgan and BW & GE Morgan Trustees Ltd RM190481) – Armstrong Room, Lake Wānaka Centre, Ardmore Street, Wānaka. Thursday 28 January 2021 at 10.00am.

Private Bag 50072 | 47 Ardmore Street Wānaka Phone 03 443 0024 |

SITUATION VACANT PRIVATE REGISTERED NURSE The Ruby - a swim event around Ruby Island, takes place on Saturday 30th January between 6.30am and 12.30pm based at Waterfall Creek at the end of Ruby Island road. There is an exclusion zone in place in the lake around the course. The event will be at its most active between 7.00am and 11.30am with swimmers in the bay out to and around Ruby Island. The event organisers would like to ask for your assistance, patience and consideration and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Come watch and enjoy the morning with us! Ruby Events Ltd

021 062 6517 - Jamie Norman 027 472 9908 - Eddie Spearing


IT Support Engineer Are you an experienced IT professional with a love for the mountains? Join the team that contributes to the success of Cardrona and Treble Cone and you could be shredding the mountain on your lunch break! Predominantly a Desktop Support role, there are opportunities to become involved with various technology projects throughout the business. This is a permanent full-time position supporting our Ski Operations in the winter months and you may be required to spend time on occasion within our Tourism business in the region. There is a fair bit of travel involved here, with the ideal candidate being Wanaka based. The reward – an IT role like no other!

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PHARMACY RETAIL SALES POSITION We are looking for a sales superstar to join our team. They must be a motivated person who thrives in a busy, highly interactive work environment and have the following attributes: • Passion for beauty and health • Great customer service skills and a friendly persona • A team player with a “can-do” attitude • Accurate and well organised • The ability to work in NZ Previous pharmacy or beauty industry experience would be ideal but not essential. This is a permanent position hours by negotiation. If this is you please send your CV and cover letter to: Aaron Heath Wanaka Pharmacy, P O Box 45, Wānaka or email to

Phone: 03 443 8000 Top of Helwick St, Wānaka




Sun Sport

Great start for Wānaka Bowls in 2021

What a feast of bowls it was when the annual Fulton Hogan Wānaka Men’s Classic Fours Invitational Bowls tournament took place on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7January at the Wānaka Bowling Club. With heavy rain flooding the green the day before the event started there was considerable anxiety. However, the weather for the two days provided near perfect bowling conditions for both players and the excellent turnout of spectators. This is the major tournament on the Wānaka Bowling Club’s calendar and with a full field of 16 ‘Fours’ teams plus having great bowling conditions, the 2021 event would have to be one of the most successful ever run by the club. The field included some composite teams that included a number of well-performed bowlers from Wellington, Dunedin, Southland, Nelson and Central Otago, as well as Wānaka Bowling Club members. It was a very colourful scene when play started on day one, with some very original uniforms on show and some colourful characters adding to the atmosphere, including Leo Leonard from South Canterbury who is a former Bowls NZ title winner and NZ saloon car champion in the 1970s - also competing at Bathurst 8 times. A regular in this tournament is Winstone McLachlan from Gore who is a former NZ Pairs Champion. Well-performed local bowling identities included Tom Malcolm, Richie Muir and Simon Nyhof. On the first day all teams played 5 games of 1hr 30min. After all results for the day had been collected, the field was divided into two sections for Post Section Play on day two. The top 8 teams were in the ‘main event’ and the bottom 8 teams

PHOTOS: Supplied

Colourful Shirts from left: Tony Cockerill (Gore), Simon Nyhof (Wānaka).

Johnston edged ahead to win the plate final by 8-5. Wānaka did well to have four teams in the main event along with some other very fancied teams. One all-Wānaka team that had a great tournament was skipped by Ewan Miller and consisted of Robin Griffiths, Alister Moore and Frank Ruddiman. They were the second highest qualifiers on day one and eventually finished third equal in the main event after being defeated in the semi-final by the eventual winner. To win 7 out of their 9 games was a top effect. The final of the main event, however, was played between Wellingtonian Grant Clark’s team of Lindsay Jennings (Tokanui), Grant Hall (Wānaka) and Ross Hammond (Wānaka), and Wānaka’s Simon Nyhof, Brett Simpson, Bob Wilson (Oamaru) and Bill Turnbull. This 12-end final could only be described

as a game of two halves. Team Clarke totally dominated the early stages to lead by 7-0 after 4 ends and looking in command. Bowls, however, is a game of tactics and once Team Nyhof won the 5th end, lead Bill Turnbull threw a series of short ends that turned the whole game upside down. Team Clarke didn’t adjust sufficiently and Simon Nyhof ’s team took complete control of the next 7 ends to lead 15-7 and run out the winners by 15-9. Simon Nyhof, Brett Simpson and Bill Turnbull have all been in previous winning teams of this event - although this year they only squeaked into the main event, being the bottom qualifier after day one. Just goes to show that it’s what happens on the day that counts. – By Peter Wilson

Winners from left: Bob Wilson (Oamaru), Simon Nyhof, Bill Turnbull, Brett Simpson (all Wānaka).

were placed in the ‘plate event’. There were some ‘upsets’ after day one, including that Fairfield’s Bruce Robertson’s composite team, skipped by Eion Willis (St Clair) plus Wānaka players George Cameron and Ken Muir (last year’s champion team) ended up in the plate event where they drew third equal with Wānaka’s Scottie Culverwell, Murray Ives, Neville Harris and Trevor Mackay. Day two was a very long day for some teams and not so long for those that were eliminated after a round robin for both divisions. In the plate event, the final was fought out between Jim McAllister’s team from Wyndham and Bill Johnstone’s Queenstown team of Bill Grant, Morris Keith and Ross Herring, and it was only in the last 3 ends that Jim McAllister’s team of Russell Crosby, Kevin Hoffman and Bernie

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THURSDAY 21.01.21 - WEDNESDAY 27.01.21


Profile for Wanaka Sun

Wanaka Sun | 21 - 26 January 2021 | Edition 1010  

Wanaka Sun | 21 - 26 January 2021 | Edition 1010  


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