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Local News Headlines

Thursday 27th August 2015

Former Tararua animal control officer says he was bullied

A former animal control officer for the Tararua District Council says bullying led to his resignation. 

Since November last year, three  animal control officers have resigned and the council has had to contract in services.

The bullying claim comes after Eketahuna-based councillor Warren Davidson resigned from his position last month, citing bullying.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, chief executive Blair King said the council had decided animal control should be more proactive, instead of always reacting to incidents.

The officers were entitled to say this change in focus wasn't for them and he said the 

employees had resigned in light of the shift in approach.

King also said the lack of opportunity to progress from the role may have also been a factor. 

However, one of the former animal control officers challenged  that claim. 

Cameron Tait, who worked for the council for 13 years, said he did not resign because of a shift in approach. 

"I resigned my position of 13 years... due to what I considered to be a hostile and bullying environment."

Another animal control officer had been working for less than six months before resigning. 

King said the feedback given by the two employees who resigned together in June this year had been taken into consideration.

The council is  undergoing a Local Government New Zealand review of its governance and the results are set to be presented by the end of the year.

Since the two officers' resignations, the council  has been contracting animal control services from the Horowhenua and Rangitikei district councils.

Chief financial officer Raj Suppiah said the council had "poached" an officer from one of the neighbouring councils, who accepted the role on Monday.

Ten dogs were impounded during the month of July and there were 126 calls to animal control.

In the year ending June, 15 dogs were labelled dangerous, 66 menacing and there were 38 recorded offences. 

 Fairfax NZ News

Thursday 20th August 2015

Tararua District Council seeks governance review

Tararua District Council has decided to seek an external review of its governance policies, systems and processes. This follows recent public comments on the operation of the Tararua District Council’s governing body.

Mayor Roly Ellis says providing an effective framework for opinions and public decision-making is critical to Tararua District Council.

"It is of paramount importance to our Council and its constituents that we provide a fair, transparent and safe environment for community views and public decision-making. We are undertaking this review to ensure our governing body meets these objectives," says Mayor Ellis.

Council is aware of comments made by a former councillor and it will be addressing those comments in due course.

"We have asked Local Government New Zealand to perform a review of its code of conduct and governance policies to ensure they are working as intended and are meeting governance best practice."

"This will include the Council’s approach to post-election induction; the use of elected member briefings on topical and emerging issues; and the use of techniques for assessing governance health," says Mayor Ellis.

LGNZ will undertake the review and report, with recommendations, to the Council before the end of 2015.


Friday 31st July 2015

Armed Offenders Squad in Dannevirke

A man is being questioned by police after a firearms incident sparked an armed offenders squad callout in Dannevirke.

Police and the AOS were called to an address on Stanley Rd at 4pm on Thursday.

Police central communications acting shift inspector Chanel Chapman said the area was cordoned off after reports shots had been fired.

People were running from the area, she said.

AOS were at the scene for several hours before a man was found and taken in for questioning.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident, Chapman said.

Five-term Tararua District councillor's resignation shocks colleagues.

Tararua District councillors have expressed surprise at the resignation of their Eketahuna-based colleague Warren Davidson.

Davidson announced his resignation at the beginning of a council meeting on Wednesday, reading from a statement citing bullying and abuse from the chief executive Blair King and mayor Roly Ellis. Because of the councillor's resignation, a by-election, which could cost the council up to $20,000, will be held to find his replacement.

He told the Manawatu Standard he was sad to leave, but felt he had to. Davidson said he believed because he questioned council actions, he was targeted.

"We as councillors are able to ask questions and have those questions answered. Questions were actively discouraged."

Davidson claimed, as an example, that the chief executive would speak over him during meetings, but would not elaborate on further cases.

"I appealed to the mayor to deal with it, he did nothing."

Both King and Ellis declined to comment.

Davidson expressed regret of having unfinished business within the council.

He said he made it "very clear" to his fellow councillors that there were problems before his resignation, as well as the Eketahuna Community Board.

Board chairman Charlie Death said he was surprised to receive a call on Tuesday from Davidson, telling him of his plans to resign.

"I thought: woah, okay. I didn't realise it was so severe... [I] didn't realise things had deteriorated."

Death said Eketahuna and the rest of the southern ward would miss Davidson's representation on council, as they complete plans for the town centre's upgrade.

Council governance manager Richard Taylor said the by-election would cost up to $20,000 and the process to find a replacement councillor was underway.

The councillor will be elected from the southern ward, which encompasses Pahiatua, Woodville and Eketahuna.

Cr David Roberts said he was saddened by Davidson's resignation.

"It was a shock to, I think, most of us that he wished to resign.

"He's obviously had concerns and felt he couldn't continue."

Roberts said he always got on with Davidson.

It was "hard to say" whether he was aware of any of the bullying or abuse Davidson noted in his resignation. "It's not a word I use often."

Cr Jim Crispin said he was also surprised as he had no knowledge of the alleged behaviour of the mayor and chief executive.

"I have respect for Warren, he has been a very good representative for the council, a very good representative for the southern ward."

 - Stuff

Friday 10th July 2015

Blair King reappointed as Tararua District Council chief executive

Blair King has been reappointed in one of Tararua District Council's top jobs.

King was reappointed as chief executive of Tararua District Council this week, with his new contract beginning in November.

King has been in the job for seven years, after the council decided to extend his initial five-year contract for another two.

The council was then legally obliged to advertise the chief executive job.

King said the projects the council had on the horizon were a big reason behind why he had stayed on.

An engineer before moving into the council job, he felt he could use his skills for upcoming infrastructure projects like the continuing upgrade of wastewater services.

"It is nice being able to, in some ways, still be useful.

"It is a role I can still be successful at."

Coming from a farming background meant he was used to working on things "now" which would have an impact down the road, he said.

"That sort of thinking works well in a rural council, but would be different in a larger one."

King said the council's financial position was also attractive.

If you balanced the council's debts against its cash and investments, you would come out nearly even, he said.

"That means the council is in a really good place to make decisions that are best for the district."

While some councils had made no rates rises some years, then had to balance them out later with high rises, the Tararua council had kept things steady.

That meant there was always money around to spend on projects which needed doing, ensuring the district remained an attractive place to life, he said.

"If the main streets are really bad and you don't take care of infrastructure, it makes it much harder for the hospital to get a GP to the right area, and harder for schools to attract students."

The mayor and councillors, while taking no part in the job interview process, had been extremely supportive during his first seven years as chief executive, he said.

Keeping his children in their schools also played a part in him reapplying.

Mayor Roly Ellis said King's reappointment was a good result after a rigorous three-month interview process.

Nineteen people had applied for the role, eight were interviewed and two were interviewed again, he said.

"We were looking for somebody who could carry on with the major infrastructure projects we have been going through the last five years."

King had been a big help during that time, and there was more work in that area to be done for at least the next three years.

"The councillors felt it was a good thing to have continuity."

 - Stuff

Thursday 11th June2015

Groundbreaking business in Dannevirke

A new technology company will soon be setting up shop at the Oringi business park near Dannevirke, in a first for manufacturing in New Zealand.

Charles Peterson is leading the team for the Intrepid group of companies, which is setting up a plant integral to the manufacture of diodes (computer chips) at Oringi, the site of the former freezing works.

Intrepid is backed by United States businessman Randolph Crockett, who is moving to New Zealand.

Crockett plans to set up a base for semi-conductor equipment development and manufacturing in this country.

The Dannevirke venture was a first for semi-conductor manufacture in New Zealand, said Peterson.

"What a great time to start a new industry.

"Oringi will be a diffusion plant," he said.

Peterson said he was pleased to sign the lease with the Scanpower-owned business park.

"The manufacture process uses heat and needs an awful lot of electricity," he said.

"We are coupling up with a partner whose business is distributing power. It was serendipity," he said.

Peterson said regional development was part of the team's thinking.

"We are delighted that we can incorporate regional development into our plans," he said.

Peterson was unsure how many new jobs would be created.

"Its not known exactly how many people will be employed at this stage, but we expect the business to grow" he said.

"This has the potential to become a substantial industry and exporter for New Zealand," he said.

 Tararua District Mayor Roly Ellis has welcomed the initiative.

"It's extremely good news to have the new business in the business park at Oringi," he said.

"It's the type of business we have never had here before.

"We hope in the long term it will bring more employment to the district."

Scanpower chief executive Lee Bettles said the new facility had twofold benefits for his company.

"Scoring Intrepid as a client is significant, not only for the park, but also as consumers of energy," he said.

Peterson said people  were assembling the first series of kit to build the plant.

He expected the business to get up and running next year.

Manawatu Standard

Thursday 28th May 2015

Long Term Plan set for Tararua District Council.

Rural residents' dogged submissions have proven successful as the Tararua District Council wags proposed registration fees.

The council deliberated over submissions at their latest meeting, deciding on what the 2015 Long Term Plan will look like, but the district will have wait to find what the rates increase will be.

Chief financial officer Raj Suppiah will return with the appropriate rates increase, which is anticipated to be no higher than 3.19 per cent, at the end of June when the plan is adopted.

Council received 217 submissions before meeting on Wednesday to decide on the future of the services within the district.

Nine submissions were aimed at the council's plans for dog registration fees which objected to plans to create one category for domestics dogs, lifting the cost of domestic rural dogs by $40 and lowering the cost for urban domestic dogs by $13.

Submitters argued that the cost of animal control, the reason for the increase, was largely because of the behaviour of domestic dogs.

Cr Warren Davidson compared and calculated the number of complaints from rural and urban dogs.

"It appears about 80 per cent of the actions to address problems of dogs is urban and around about 20 per cent is rural," he said.

He said the costs equating from the equation showed rural domestic dogs could cost $10, while urban dogs cost $152.

Davidson proposal of a "token gesture" of a $2 increase and the council agreed upon the increase.

The council's highly debated idea of pulling out of pensioner housing was agreed upon by the council and the properties will be tendered to not-for-profit housing providers.

In the meantime, rents will be increased by $10 a week for the current tenants.

Over half the submissions to council debated the future of Woodville's i-Site, library and service centre.

Initially the council favoured demolishing their current locations and moving them into the Tararua Alliance building, but strong opposition forced the council to reconsider.

Chief executive Blair King was asked to present a proposal and cost summary for the earthquake strengthening and modification of the current buildings.

Cr Shirley Hull said the council had the chance to make the most of the opportunity.

"This is an opportunity for something really positive for Woodville," she said.

Building a permanent public toilet would also be considered within the plan. The surplus buildings would be disposed of, the chief executive said.

The staff could be moved temporarily to the Tararua Alliance building while the work on the current buildings were under work.

Woodville's cat problem was addressed but will be a matter for a forthcoming review of bylaws.

Council has also decided to pull out of kerb-side rubbish collection, subject to sufficient services from the private sector throughout the district's towns, at a competitive cost.

Pongaroa's water-treatment plant's upgrade will proceed, subject to a funding subsidy from the Ministry of Health.

 - Stuff

Monday 11th  May 2015

More money needed to fix Saddle Rd

With at least another 18 months to go before the $4.5million upgrade of the Saddle Rd is complete, the Tararua District Council is putting together an application for more funding for the road, a vital link between the Manawatu and Hawke's Bay.

"The New Zealand Transport Agency's regional transport office is working with us on this application because two projects on the road have been deferred as they don't fit into the $4.5million envelope," Blair King, the Tararua District Council's chief executive, said.


Tararua Mayor Roly Ellis said he's had a chat with mayors in the region who believe the Saddle Rd is an important link in the roading network and should be treated very
seriously by those in government.

"We've asked Simon Bridges, the Minister of Transport, to come and have a look," Mr Ellis said. "We expect the Saddle Rd to be sorted out and we're forever hopeful."

Meanwhile, Tararua District Council member David Roberts has said he's concerned the Saddle Rd was starting to deteriorate already, as some of the new seal on the lower sections didn't stand up to the increased traffic when the Manawatu Gorge
road was closed.

Mr King said the original construction (by Stringfellows) was all right.

"But the original seal wasn't good under heavy loads," he said. "We would have liked to seal the section properly before traffic went over it, but unfortunately, it was quite fresh [when it became a detour route] and a lot of trucks and traffic went over the road."

The NZ Transport Agency is fully funding the Saddle Rd work, which is being managed by the Tararua District Council.

The three-year project began after the 15-month closure of the Manawatu Gorge as a result of a slip in August 2011 and involves widening the road, improving drainage and adding additional passing areas.

Work on the Saddle Rd began last year and Mr King said if the latest slip had occurred just a few weeks later crews would have been in a better position to cope with the higher traffic on the alternate route.

A few weeks on, the major deviation on the road would have been cut through, with a metal base put down and if heavy truck traffic had been able to travel over that it would have helped to compact the material. However, timing wasn't on the side of the contractors.

Local roads are also causing concern for the council and it's Tararua Alliance roading team, with Mr King in discussion with Chris Edsall, the Alliance manager following an initial "drive-over" of the district's roads. "Scoring of the roads was too narrow and they've now been given a wider grading range," he said. The grading range indicates where money should be spent and Mr King said Route 52 to Pongaroa and the Weber to Wimbledon Rd both drop down the [priority] scale because of a lower traffic count.

Councillor Roberts asked if Mr Edsall and his team thought the roads had become worse.

"There was no direct answer," Mr King said.

However, Mr Ellis said Mr Edsall's eyes had been opened to the state of Route 52 and the Weber to Wimbledon Rd.

And Councillor Shirley Hull has concerns about the upgrade of earthquake-damaged Pa Valley Rd at Alfredton.

"Have we run out of money because only half the road is tarsealed?" she asked.

Mr King said he would investigate the reason.

Hawkes Bay

Tuesday 5th May 2015

Teen injured in Dannevirke rugby match

A 19 year old has been airlifted to hospital after breaking a leg during a rugby match in Dannevirke.

The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was called to Rugby Park in Dannevirke on Saturday afternoon.

Rescue Helicopter spokesman Chris Moody said the teen, from Palmerston North, had suffered a badly broken leg during the Massey vs Dannevirke game, and was in need of urgent hospitalisation.

"The game was momentarily delayed while the helicopter was guided into the centre of the number one ground by local fire brigade members to allow the patient to be 'hot-loaded'," he said.

He was taken to Palmerston North Hospital in stable condition.

The Rescue Helicopter also attended a vehicle incident near Oueroa, east of Waipukurau earlier on Saturday afternoon.

Six people, believed to be duck shooters, were injured when their ute rolled down a steep hill.

The most seriously injured was a 24-year-old from Waipukurau who sustained pelvic and back injuries when he was thrown from the back of the rolling vehicle, Moody said.

The second patient, also 24, from Tikokino, sustained upper body injuries.

Both patients were airlifted to Hastings Hospital and the remaining injured were treated at the scene by road ambulance crews.


Tuesday 14th April 2015

Dannevirke community vehicle launched

An exciting community vehicle service, which will help locals get around Dannevirke with ease, was launched today.

The Dannevirke Community Vehicle Trust, which is completely owned and operated by the community, has secured funding from a number of sponsors including Property Brokers, the Monty Fairbrother Charitable Trust and Infinity Foundation.

Horizons Regional Council road safety coordinator Debbie Webster said this funding has allowed the Trust to purchase a 2014 Ford Mondeo station wagon and get services underway.

“We have 21 volunteer drivers who have all been through a driving assessment and they will work on a roster system,” she said.

“The service will be available for the elderly, community members with disabilities, those who don’t hold a drivers licence and people who have no other means of transport. We are so excited to have this service underway as it has been in the pipeline since 2013.

“It’s been amazing to see the support from local businesses, community people and local organisations to get this service up and running.”

Ms Webster said the service is for non-medical transport only, such as trips to the local supermarket, as the very successful Dannevirke Health Shuttle provides a service for medical trips. Passengers will be expected to pay a small charge towards the running costs of the vehicle and must pre-book beforehand as well.

Chairman of the Trust, Bob Dresser, said “it’s really exciting to have this service as we have no bus or taxi service. Thank you very much to our sponsors, trustees and volunteers”.

Tararua district mayor Roly Ellis adds “thank you to Horizons for helping initiate the whole process. All the best for the future, I’m sure it’s going to be a great success”.

Horizons councillor for the Tararua, John Barrow, was also in attendance and said “what we have here is something that’s going to last for a long time. Thanks to Bob and his team for your efforts, this service is going to be a real asset to Dannevirke”.

The service will operate three days per week from 9.30am until 4.30pm initially.  The area covered will be Dannevirke urban from Mangatera to Makirikiri, Tipapakuku (from Riversdale Road to Weber Road) and Adelaide Road. For more information or to make a booking please call the Dannevirke Information Centre on (06) 374 4167.

Providing transport options in the community also helps the sustainability of local infrastructure such as supermarkets and other businesses and keeps rural areas and small towns viable and thriving. Eventually it is hoped a similar service can be set up to meet the needs of residents in Pahiatua and surrounding towns.

Sponsors of the Trust include:

    Dannevirke Community Board
    Caltex Westlow
    Department of Internal Affairs
    Gwen Fairbrother
    Infinity Trust
    KB Ford
    Monty Fairbrother Charitable Trust
    Ngati Kahungunu Ki Tamaki Nui A Rua
    Property Brokers Limited


Saturday 10th April 2015

Kiwi answer to Disneyland in Dannevirke Fantasy Cave

A film-maker is returning to make a documentary on Dannevirke's Fantasy Cave, more than 20 years after he first visited.

Matt Henley first came across the cave as a 10-year-old and has returned with co-producer Michelle Savill to create the short documentary.

The documentary on "New Zealand's answer to Disneyland" is one of 10 short documentaries created through Loading Docs, an initiative aimed at collating a range of diverse film styles and subjects.

Henley said the cave was not only one of a kind because of its location, but also because of the attractions.

"It's rural New Zealand, rather than urban. It's more personal," Henley said.

The cave is different to attractions like Rainbow's End as it was built over time, he said.

Started as a Santa Cave, the Fantasy Cave grew and about 100 volunteers have kept it alive for over 25 years.

"People just keep joining and keeping it alive. We were attracted to the community aspect of this place and the artworks," co-producer Savill said.

Savill toured the cave for the first time late last year and said the crafts and DIY aspects of the cave were attractive to her. The documentary would show why the volunteers, or Cave Dwellers, kept the place running, she said.

Savill has written, directed and produced short films, one of which won an award at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

Henley is traditionally a cinematographer and has worked on television advertisements for NZTA and music videos.

The duo are co-producing and co-directing the three-minute documentary this weekend. "This is sort of new for us," Savill said.

"[We will] make it a little more cinematic. It's such a visual place."

Savill said her favourite part of the cave was the space area, while Henley liked the giant mushrooms.

Ten-year volunteer John Hart said almost everything in the cave was custom-made, from the ocean scene to the space exhibit.

He said he had not been volunteering long, and some had been part of the attraction since it started.

The volunteers came up with all the ideas in the kitchen, he said.

"[We] sit around the table and magic happens."

The cave faced closure in 2011 when its host ANZ decided not to renew its lease on the company that owns the building. There was no written agreements between ANZ and the Fantasy Cave. For more than 20 years the Fantasy Cave operated free of charge.

NZCU Baywide sponsored the cave in 2012, keeping it open and expanding it further.

Hart said thousands experienced the cave last year and 172 people had already visited this month.

 - Manawatu Standard

Saturday 28th March 2015

Mill job losses blow to town

News of more job losses at Dannevirke's Canterbury Spinners woollen mill, owned by Godfrey Hirst, is another blow to the fragile local economy, Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis says.

Godfrey Hirst's public relations spokesman Geoff Senescall has confirmed to the Dannevirke News "there is a process under way with the company in discussions with First Union".

On Wednesday Mr Ellis said he had heard rumours of the impending redundancies.

"I haven't much information, but this news isn't good for Dannevirke," he said. "We don't usually get much information from the company but I was initially told, unofficially, that five staff were to be laid off. Then I was told it could be eight.

"This is very disappointing when we were told last time after there were redundancies at the plant they would be the last."

In 2013 Godfrey Hirst laid off 50 workers, just 12 months after asking for 12 staff to take voluntary redundancy. At the time a company spokesperson said the economic climate had been a challenge and the prospects for the company depended on the world economy.

Four years earlier 10 staff lost their jobs at the plant and in May last year another three staff were laid off.

However, Mr Senescall said at this stage no decision on numbers had been made, but hinted market forces were to blame.

"It's a difficult market out there for carpets," he said.

The Dannevirke News understands approximately 31 staff remain at the plant and Suresh Patel, a High St retailer and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, has expressed concerns about the mill's future.

"Unfortunately, when numbers start dwindling it's hard to know what will happen to the plant. News of these latest job losses are another blow to our town," he said.

"It would be nice if there were job opportunities here for any workers who are laid off, but jobs are few and far between at the moment."

Paul Watson, a spokesperson for First Union which represents the workers at the Dannevirke plant, told the Dannevirke News a meeting had been held between union representatives and the company on Wednesday night.

Dion Martin, the Palmerston North branch organiser for the union said he couldn't confirm how many mill staff would lose their jobs, but said anyone who wanted to put their hand up for voluntary redundancy would be considered first.

"We'll have the exact number of redundancies early next week, before Easter," he said. "At the moment the plant runs a three, eight-hour shift structure and it's likely the midnight to 8am shift will be dropped."

Mr Martin said the economic climate has forced the company into the latest redundancies.

"When I first began working with the company 180 staff were employed," he said.

"People are using flooring these days which may not be the same quality and although Godfrey Hirst had budgeted for reducing capacity, the production throughout New Zealand's yarn plants is dropping." By Christine McKay

By Christine McKay
Hawkes Bay Today

Fire Season Status:

With the Autumn like conditions continuing and the exceptional behaviour of those lighting permitted fires we have decided to lift the Restricted Fire Season (Permit Required) and declare and Open Fire Season (No Permit Required) with effect 8.00am, Monday, 23 February 2015. 

A Restricted Season (Permit Required) remains in place on all Department of Conservation Lands and at Herbertville and Akitio beaches and continues all year round.  If you want to light a fire in Department of Conservation areas contact the nearest Department office or for Herbertville and Akitio Beaches contact Tararua District Council for a permit.

Generally we have had a great fire season with many successful controlled agricultural burns.  There is still a possibility that the weather may change and bring us back to extreme fire weather conditions.  You are urged to take care when lighting a fire and are reminded that even though we are in an open season you are still responsible for all costs involved in fire suppression and damage should your fire get away on you. Make sure your insurance has fire suppression cover.

Rural Fire Officers are here to help and are only too happy to provide specialist advice on Rural Fire matters.  Be fire wise and ring us on 06 374 4080 if you are unsure and require advice.

Paddy Driver

Tararua District Council would like to thank the Tararua community for their support and co-operation in conserving water.  Alternate restrictions now will help to alleviate the possibility of a return to more severe restrictions.

The Tararua District is one of the larger districts in the North Island, covering just over 440,000 hectares and is under the jurisdiction of the Tararua District Council Rural Fire Authority. The District has over 26,000 hectares of production forestry and there has been a significant increase in planting over the last few years. We respond to over 110 fires and other incidents in a non-drought year.

The Authority has 5 Volunteer Rural Fire Forces and 66 volunteer rural fire fighters situated in the remote parts of our District who volunteer their time to protect their respective communities. Our fire forces are an integral part of the community and double as a response agency in the event of a Civil Defence disaster.

Fire Season Status:


Fire Danger Status:

Principal Rural Fire Officer's Update:

Principal Rural Fire Officer Update: Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Great to see a bit of rain over the last few days.  This has enabled us to change the fire season from PROHIBITED (Total Fire Ban) to RESTRICTED (Permit Required)

A RESTRICTED FIRE SEASON (Permit Required) has been declared for the whole District effective from 8.00am, Tuesday, 3 February 2015 until further notice. This means that no open fires are to be lit in the Town or Rural areas without a permit.  This includes land administered by the Department of Conservation.

The main reason for lifting the total fire ban was to enable us to manage small burns during wet periods when it is safe to burn.  Permits will not be approved however for burning during high wind periods or extended periods of sunshine and high temperatures.  There is still a lot of dry long grass around that will ignite very quickly. The best time to burn is early morning on a still day immediately after or during a rain period.  If your fire is likely to continue on over a couple of days and the wind comes up you should extinguish it immediately.  Only burn if it is absolutely necessary.  It may pay to wait until the danger level is reduced i.e. March/April before you burn.


“Persons who light a fire during the Restricted Fire Season without a permit are breaking the law and are liable for prosecution.  They are also liable for the cost of the Fire Service call out and any damage to property.  Because they have broken the law they will not be covered by insurance”

Rural Fire Officers are here to help and are only too happy to provide specialist advice on Rural Fire matters.  Be fire wise and ring us on 06 374 4080 if you are unsure and require advice.

Paddy Driver
Principal Rural Fire Officer
Tararua District Council Rural Fire Authority

Fire Permits

Fire permits are required when a Restricted Fire season has been declared for your area or if you live within 1 km of any Department of Conservation land. Permits are free however you should allow at least 3 working days for the permit to be processed. It is important that you provide all of the relevant information required for the permit i.e. correct address of the burn site including RAPID number, phone and if possible email contact numbers of the permit holder, details of the fuel to be burnt, person conducting the burn, water sources on site and nearby, access to the burn site.

Note the Department of Conservation has a Restricted Season all year round. If your burn is within the 1 km margin of any Department of Conservation managed land then you will need to contact the Departments TSO Fire on 06 350 9790 to see whether you need a permit or not.

Also be aware that your permit may be revoked or invalid if the fire season status changes to PROHIBITED FIRE SEASON prior to you burning. We may issue special permits during a prohibited season under limited circumstance i.e. to burn disease infected stock. You will either need to check the this web site for up to date status information or ring a Rural Fire Officer at Council on 06 374 4080.

Stubble Burns

This type of burn is a good tool to deal to large amount of unwanted straw. Generally there are no problems with this type of burn however the following rules should be adhered to:

  • A minimum 5 metre wide continuous fire break should be constructed around the burn area. This should be clear of combustible material
  • The burn should not be carried out in winds exceeding 15 kmph
  • You should have water and hoses on hand to suppress any fire breaches
  • You should notify a Rural Fire Officer on 06 374 4080 before you light up
  • You should notify the Fire Communications Centre on 04 801 0812 about an hour prior to burning giving them the address of the burn.

Starling Nests and Tractors

Farmers are reminded to check their tractors on a regular basis for starling nests to avoid tractor fires during the summer. Starlings like to build their nests in dry warm places and this includes under the engine cover of tractors. It only takes 18 minutes for a starling to build a nest so it makes sense to pop the engine cover before starting up. This could save you from a costly fire. It is also essential to keep a fire extinguisher on board.

Your Liability and Insurance

Our policy is to promote sensible use of fire for land management purposes. However you should be aware that you are still responsible for any damage caused by fire and may be billed for the cost of fighting any escaped fire. We have had two large fires in the District recently, with one costing $240,000 to fight. There are also a number of bigger fires New Zealand wide that have individually cost $1 million dollars plus to fight excluding damage costs. It is also a good idea to check your insurance to ensure that it covers “fire suppression costs” as well as indemnity. If you are not sure then contact your insurance agent/company. An uncontrolled fire may cost you your livelihood and assets if you are not properly insured

Unattended Fires and Extinguishment

Unattended rubbish fires continue to be a big problem within the District. We often experience strong spring winds. These winds can expose and transfer old fire embers some distance into unburnt fuels or property and cause uncontrolled fires. It is timely to remind farmers that it is a requirement under the Forest and Rural Fires Act that fires should not be left unattended. It is also the owners responsibility to ensure that all fires should be fully extinguished if left unattended. Be aware that piling dirt on top of the fire may not be sufficient to extinguish it completely and it may resurface some two weeks later during high winds, with embers setting surrounding shelter belts and buildings alight. Keep an eye on weather conditions and double check that rubbish pit regularly during high wind events. This is also a problem at our beaches where people throw sand on bonfires and the wind blows the dry sand away sending embers into the surrounding beach grasses etc.

Rubbish Fires in Town and Smoke Nuisance

Other fire related issues within the built up areas of the District include the indiscriminate burning of household rubbish in backyards. This has an adverse effect on neighbours downwind as it causes a smoke and smell nuisance as well as causing ash to land on washing on lines etc. Be considerate and use the Council’s free recycling service for the bulk of your rubbish. If this problem continues you can expect a visit from a Council Compliance Officer and may have to pay to have the fire extinguished by the local Fire Brigade.

Legislation and Offences

The rules regarding Rural Fire are covered by the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 and the Forest and Rural Fires Regulations 2005. The Tararua District Council Rural Fire Authority is tasked under this legislation to administer rural fire within its area of jurisdiction. Although there are tools within the act to prosecute for various offences, Council prefers to work with farmers to reduce the risk before it gets to this stage. The cost of fighting fires and damage to property is usually a sufficient deterrent to reduce the occurrence of wild fires within the District.

Rural Fire Plan and Fire By-Laws

The Tararua District Council Rural Fire Authority has a comprehensive Rural Fire Plan which covers most aspects of rural fire management within the District. We also have Fire By-Laws that deal with fire in the Urban Areas. More general information about Rural Fire can also be obtained via the National Rural Fire Authority website - www.nrfa.org.nz/FireAwareness/Pages/default.aspx

Fires Near Roads

If you light a fire near any road you need to ensure that the smoke will not drift over the road causing a visibility hazard to motorists. If this is unavoidable you need to create a Traffic Management Plan for approval by NZTA (phone 06 953 6200) for State Highways or the Tararua District Council Roading Contracts Manager (phone 027 233 0376) for District roads prior to burning.

Slash Burns

Slash burns are one of the biggest causes of uncontrolled fires in the district. They burn for long periods because of the heavier fuels involved. You need to be careful when siting slash piles and should take into account nearby assets that could be destroyed by ember transfer in winds. Also be aware of the possibility of wind changes over the period of the burn. If the wind comes up during the burn make sure you continue to monitor the situation and extinguish the fire if you are concerned. It is a recommended that you have a source of water on hand or at least be able to direct the Fire Service to a suitable source should the need arise. A little bit of common sense up front could save a lot of money further down the track

Larger Burns

Council has a Burn Plan Template in its Rural Fire Plan which may be of use for persons contemplating large land clearing burns. There are also experienced helicopter operators within the District who have years of experience in this field. Should you require any information to assist you with your burn please call the Principal Rural Fire Officer on 06 374 4080.

Further information           

Monday 5th January 2015

McNaught-McFarlane Claims Penultimate World Cup Round

Helen McNaught-McFarlane may and her quirky grey Carnutelabryere are meant to be having a “learning year” but today took out the penultimate round of the Ultra•Mox FEI World Cup at the McMillan’s North Island Champs in Dannevirke.

Maurice Beatson and My Gollywog.

For the Taupo based Brit, it is turning into a gem of a season. Today they headed home eight other combinations over a “very meaty” Kevin Hansen designed course to take the honours and the North Island Horse Grand Prix title to boot.

The first round saw clear rounds from the veterans – Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) and Dunstan Lucca, in his World Cup début, and Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) aboard My Gollywog. McNaught-McFarlane and Carnutelabryere sat on four faults, along with Laurie aboard Dunstan Frangipanne de Toxandria and Jesse Linton (Hastings) on Strathcarron Zaurak.

“I had nothing to lose (in the second round),” said McNaught-McFarlane. “I had Katie and Maurie behind me and knew they weren’t going to hang around, so we had to move a little. Brian was jumping so well, I didn’t think he would take a rail.”

And she was right – they flew around, leaving everything in place in 52.4 seconds. Laurie came in for second aboard Frangipanne with four faults in 56.08 and Linton also finishing on four faults in 62.99.

“This is meant to be Brian’s growing year, so anything he does is a bonus,” says McNaught-McFarlane of the nine-year-old horse. “Today is definitely the biggest track he has ever jumped – he’s just a big baby with a huge heart. Everything he does it to please you, and you can’t go wrong with a horse like that.”

From his five World Cup starts, Brian has picked up three thirds, a second and a win.

The series final is being hosted on January 10-11 by Showjumping Waitemata at the Woodhill Sands Equestrian Centre in Auckland.

This weekend’s North Island Champs, hosted by the Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay Showjumping Group and run over three days, attracted just over 480 entries.  Check out more photos here on Dannevirke NZ Facebook

Results -

Showjumping, Ultra•Mox FEI World Cup (NZ series – North Island Horse Grand Prix Championship): Helen McNaught-McFarlane (Taupo) Carnutelabryere 1, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Frangipanne de Toxandria 2, Jesse Linton (Hastings) Strathcarron Zaurak 3, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Lucca 4, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) My Gollywog 5, Lucy Akers (Opiki) Tinapai 6.

Canterbury Equestrian Young Rider Series North Island Championship: Rose Alfeld (Christchurch) My Super Nova 1, Rose Alfeld (Christchurch) Capprera 2, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) Biarritz 3, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Appleton 4, Emily Hayward-Morgan (Te Awamutu) AP Ninja 5, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Ngahiwi Telephonic 6.

Telford Junior Rider Series North Island Championship: Georgia Massie (Dannevirke) Double J Cloud 9 1, Sophie Burling (Kerikeri) Detailed NSH 2, Larina Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Lansing 3, Georgia Massie (Dannevirke) Kiwi Ironheart 4, Emily Hayward-Morgan (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold 5, Emily Fraser (Feilding) Kiwi Relic 6.

Pro Amateur Rider Series North Island Championship: Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Supernova NPZH 1, Sarah Dalziell (Masterton) Benrose Super Star 2, Brooke Zander (Waipukurau) Double J Rumours 3, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Victoria’s Secret 4, Geordie Bull (Taupo) Forest Hill 5, Chloe Akers (Opiki) Kiwi Motto 6.

Caledonian Amateur Rider Series North Island Championship: Rawiri Waara (Marton) Transforma 1, Natasha Mazey (Wellington) Kabo Lunar 2, Carol Stewart (Tokoroa) Hit Parade 3, Dana Sutton (Eketahuna) Down Wind 4, Kaleigh Kent (Otane) Double J Sponge Bob Square Pants 5, Diana Cottle (Palmerston North) Morpheus Rising 6.

East Coast Performance Horses Five Year Old Series North Island Championship: Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Double J Escape 1, Laura Knight (Palmerston North) Allouette 2, Laura Knight (Palmerston North) Letino 3, Desiree Foxley (Hastings) Johnny Dodge 4, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Ngahiwi Onyx 5, William Lyles (Turangi) Midway Monolito 6.

Mitavite Six Year Old Series North Island Championship: Carol Stewart (Tokoroa) Hit Parade 1, Noni Morgan (Hastings) Kiwi Doll 2, Lucy Akers (Opiki) Hermanito 3, Geordie Bull (Taupo) Tell Tale 4, Ashley Hart (Hastings) Kiwi Lux 5, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Radiant 6.

Goldengrove Stud Seven Year Old Series North Island Championship: Larina Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Lansing 1, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove 2, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Ultra Blue NZPH 3, Georgia Massie (Dannevirke) Larinium LS 4, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Clearwater 5, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Wishing Crown 6.

John Gilliland Memorial Pony Grand Prix North Island Championship: Shanae McKay (Levin) Kabo So Far 1, Parys Marshall (New Plymouth) Spot You Later 2, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Kabo Silver 3, Maddison Bult (Auckland) Pioneer High Jinxz 4, Shanae McKay (Levin) Guthrie 5, Olivia Miller (Te Puke) Kaycee Mackay 6.

Main-Events University Series North Island Championship: Rebecca Porter (Napier) Mr Harrison 1, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) Bellwood Cassanova 2, Claudia Porter (Napier) Joia Hara 3, Laura Hutterd (Stratford) Vogue II 4, Denver Ingram (Dannevirke) Ratu 5, Freya Gordon (Havelock North) Leo Chocolat 6

North Island Pony Speed 1.2m: Ally Carson (Putaruru) Galaxy Knight Out 1, Ally Carson (Putaruru) Tony The Pony 2, Shanae McKay (Levin) Guthrie 3, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Pioneer Jade 4, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Fun House 5, Jack Webb (Hunterville) Jakaranda 6.

North Island Speed 1.3m: Larina Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Lansing 1, Rose Alfeld (Christchurch) Capprea 2, Jamie Howie (Taihape) Otairi Olivia 3, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Roulette MH 4, Claudia Porter (Napier) Joia Hara 5, Anna Stephen (Carterton) Earl Grey 6.

North Island Pony Mini Prix: Ally Carson (Putaruru) Galaxy Knight Out 1, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Fun House 2, Amanda Steele (Hawera) Ronnie 3, Ally Carson (Putaruru) Tony The Pony 4, Tessa Wallace (Hawke’s Bay) Oporaes Sky High 5.

Show hunter, North Island Open Horse 1.15m-1.2m: Sophie Burling (Otaki) Cassaro Xtreme 1, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Varekai SL 2, Chloe Akers (Opiki) Kiwi Motto 3, Larina Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Lansing 4, Bridget Watters (Feilding) Blue Sapphire 5.

North Island combined A, B and C Open Championship: Olivia Apatu (Waipukurau) Bexley Lodge Tinkabella 1, Ike Baker (Porirua) Red Baron 2, Will Moffett (Hastings) Piripi 3, Tatjana Wagner (Masterton) Rigoletto 4, Ruby Liardet (Carterton) Goodview the Whistleblower 5.

 Diana Dobson

Suspicious death in Woodville

Police are investigating a suspicious death of a man at a house in the Manawatu region.

Police were called to the address in Ormond St, Woodville, about 30 kilometres east of Palmerston North, at about 3pm today. A fight is believed to have taken place.

Palmerston North police said they are treating the man's death as suspicious and they were currently speaking to a number of witnesses. 

A post mortem is scheduled for tomorrow to determine the cause of death.

"The investigation is in its early stages," Central District Detective Inspector Chris Bensemann said. "Preliminary witness accounts indicate that an altercation had taken place."

"However until all witnesses have been identified and spoken to, Police are unable to make further comment on the circumstances of the death."


Tuesday 9th December  2014

Dannevirke Market & Christmas Pararde Day

Wow Dannevirke what a day!! Great weather along with loads of bargains and another awesome turnout for our Christmas Parade. The theme this year " Cartoons"



"Cat in the Hat"


Champion of Champion Float Dannevirke Tyres (Bridgestone) "Cat in the Hat". Christmas Float Melissa Martin Academy of Dannce " Christmas". Childrens Christmas Float Central Kindergarten "Frozen". Best Theme Float Whiplash "Smurfs".
Great stuff Dannevirke well done to everyone.

Check out the action from Market and Christmas Parade Day click here >>>  Dannevirke NZ Facebook page.

Tuesday 25th November 2014

Old and young making comeback in Social 7s

A generation of former and new rugby players are being encouraged to put on their boots in the inaugural Tararua Social Sevens competition.

The Thursday, after work round robin competition is running for three weeks from February 19, 2015. The competition is designed to encourage men, women and school leavers to have a go at rugby in a fun and social setting, enjoying time with mates and maybe even a drink or two after the game. Social Sevens consists of teams playing two games each Thursday night at Dannevirke Rugby Park from 6.30pm – 7.30pm, while the rotating substitute system ensures players stay fresh and makes for a better quality of game play.

“This competition is perfect for all adults wanting to have a bit of fun and exercise, it is also suitable for those not able to commit to the regular rugby season,” says Tararua Recreation Advisor Natarsha.

Working closely with local rugby clubs, we identified that there was a gap in the market for this sector and after further discussions; we knew a short, sharp competition would bring both old and new players together. “This is a great opportunity for old players to give rugby another go and encouragement for young to stay in the game. Clubs can promote and recruit for the upcoming season”, adds Sport Manawatu Community Sport Advisor Wesley Clarke.

The competition is social and to adhere to this rule there will be no scores taken for the games; however, players will be entitled to bragging rights at the after function in the clubrooms.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Tararua Social Sevens register online now click here >>>

For further information:

Natarsha Nikora, Sport Manawatu

Phone: (06) 374 4136 or natarsha.nikora@sportmanawatu.org.nz 

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Armistice Day Service 11/11/ 2014

An Armistice Day Service was held at the Cenotaph at the Dannevirke Domain to commemorate the end of WW I 96 years go. Tributes were laid by local school pupils and organisations, take a look here on the Dannevirke Facebook page.

The Rose Sleuths – really old roses wanted!

By Kay Bazzard

Long ago in remote corners of New Zealand the missionaries and early settlers created gardens, primarily to feed themselves but also to beautify the bush-cleared land where they settled with their families.  Among the precious cargoes they brought with them were rose cuttings, which were carefully nursed until they could be slipped into the soil of their new land. 

As the European society grew, more plants from ‘home’ were shipped into the country and from there, cuttings were shared between neighbours and friends to fill the spaces with beautiful flowering plants which reminded them of home.

It is with these intriguing thoughts in mind that members of the local Heritage Rose Society are seeking out the remnants or survivors of any old roses (more than 40 years old), which may still grow in the region or beyond.  The Hawkes Bay rose hunters will make expeditions to wherever they are told of a rose with an obscure history but which has been growing there ‘forever’. 

Georgina and friends are excited that this research could well throw up some very early rose varieties which have fallen out of fashion and are not commonly grown today.  And of course, they are also excited about having some great jaunts into the old gardens, marae, beach communities and graveyards of Hawke’s Bay.

So where are those old roses now? Have they all been dug up and burned as progress dictated, lost because of housing development and as fashions in garden planting changed? Perhaps there may still be old clumps of some simple old rose in the corner of one of our country homestead gardens, or on a site with a derelict home on it.

If there is, the Heritage Rose group wants to hear about it.  “Please ask your readers to contact us on our Facebook page,” says Georgina, “and tell us the stories of the old roses growing in and around your garden.  We’ll make an expedition to visit you to check it out and hopefully, we’ll try to identify and propagate from it.”

Georgina believes there was a tradition of growing roses on marae, roadsides and in old graveyards and is hopeful these may be likely sources for their research.  “At Waimarama we are aware of roses planted by Maori owners over 50 years ago, so the place of roses in Maori gardening is of particular interest and significance for our region largely because many coastal settlements were predominantly Maori,” she says.

Beach communities such as Mahia or Waimarama to Porangahau and Akitio, all could be possible locations where the group might find examples of interesting old rose plants.  The group will start with the areas with the greatest response or that appeal most to their sense of adventure.  These intrepid rose-hunters will go with their packed lunches, shared transport and perhaps their sleeping bags for an overnight trip to seek them out wherever they may be.

They expect to find clusters of the same rose within particular areas where cuttings have been passed from garden to garden, reflecting patterns of sharing in the establishment of domestic flower gardens.  Propagation from cuttings was the traditional method of acquiring plants before retail garden centres became the norm 30-40 years ago when the boom in the English-garden style began.

The Hawke’s Bay Heritage Rose Society won a Pratt Family Trust Scholarship which will help fund some of its members’ travel expenses for this research project.

Contact the Hawke’s Bay Rose Hunters on Facebook or Georgina Campbell on phone (06) 8709905 or hawkesbay@heritageroses.org.nz and visits will be arranged to coincide with the flowering season.  They also welcome new members to their group.

Visit the Facebook page here >>>

Saurday 18th October 2014

Infracon sold out of liquidation to Higgins

Roading company Infracon has been sold out of liquidation for an undisclosed sum to Higgins Group.

It was announced today that liquidators for PricewaterhouseCoopers, John Fisk and Tony Pattison, entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement for the going concern sale of the Infracon business to Higgins Aggregates Limited.

Infracon was placed into liquidation in August by its shareholders due to ongoing financial loss.

Those shareholders were Tararua District Council and Hawke's Bay District Council.

The collapse of the company resulted in 98 staff being made redundant, leaving 112 on interim contracts with the liquidators.

Higgins Aggregates is a wholly owned subsidiary of Higgins Group Holdings Limited, a large scale civil engineering company with locations throughout New Zealand.

The offer included all the assets of the Infracon business.

Pattison could not disclose the amount the business had been purchased for, but said it was the best outcome.

Staff should receive part of the money owing to them within the next few weeks, Pattison said.

The part-payment amount to creditors was unknown at this stage, Pattison said.

"If the sale concludes as expected, secured creditors and all preferential claims will be fully paid.''

Staff are each entitled to a claim of up to $20,340 for wages, holiday pay and redundancy. Any claim more than that becomes unsecured.

The company owes around $3.6 million to unsecured creditors, Pattison said. There was still a pool of redundancy amounts that may exceed the $20,340.

''We think once we get this deal finalised and we understand the complete quantum of it a good portion of those unsecured creditors will be paid as well.''

The amount and timing of this distribution can only be determined once the sale is finalised, he said.

Manawatu Standard

Council hears views on Tararua fracking

Anti-fracking campaigners are urging the Horizons Regional Council to consider what is best for the Manawatu environment.

Residents concerned about the potential consequences of allowing fracking in the Tararua District packed the council chambers yesterday for a committee meeting.

The council was set to discuss a risk-analysis report of allowing fracking in the district. So far, one exploratory well has been dug near Dannevirke.

After much discussion, the council decided to delay the drawing up of a report until after councillors had visited Taranaki for further research into the controversial oil-extraction technique.

Fracking is a method of oil ex ploration that involves pumping sand, water and chemicals into the ground to fracture deep rock and free up deposits of gas and oil.

Councillor Murray Guy questionedthe benefits of a new report.

Cr Rachel Keedwell was one of three councillors who voted against the motion to delay the report.

"It's really important that this is a fair and useful report," Keedwell said.

She also raised concerns over the long-term implications of fracking in the area.

An earthquake would happen "eventually", and the disaster could be inflamed by fracking, she said.

"I would suggest that we make oil exploration activity a prohibited activity."

The council moved that a report was not needed until they had done further research and a visited fracking sites in the Taranaki.

Cr John Barrow believed another report would be "a complete waste of time".

"Do this thing once and do it properly," Barrow said.

Before its own discussion, the council heard from people strongly opposed to fracking in the region.

The Clean Earth League spokesman Donald James spoke about its environmental effects.

He urged the council to consider more than just economic benefit when considering applications from oil and gas companies.

"I doubt you could find much benefit, environmentally."

But using the Taranaki as a "measuring stick" was not the best approach, James said.

The Tararua farmer was "encouraged" as the councillors listened "seriously" to what the public had to say..

Themeeting was another "little step" in the right direction, he said.

Roschana Webby also used Taranaki as an example.

"In Taranaki, council chose to act alone," she said.

The council decided fracking would be of "little effect" to the district.

She urged councillors to consider the communities affected by fracking in Taranaki.

Anti-fracking activist Sue Pugmire was frustrated the council was considering fracking.

Ad Feedback "Why would you let overseas corporations come to our country and steal our resources?"

Tag Oil, a Canadian company, currently has permits for close to 1.5 million acres of the East Coast Basin, which could yield 1.7 billion barrels of oil.

Manawatu Standard

Friday 3rd October 2014

Seatbelt safety on the rise in Tararua

Tararua residents are buckling up in the name of safety according to recent seatbelt surveys by Horizons Regional Council’s road safety team.

Surveys carried out in Dannevirke and Pahiatua in September found 97 per cent of all those observed were wearing their seatbelts.

Horizons road safety coordinator for Tararua Debbie Webster says that’s an increase of 6 per cent in Dannevirke and 11 per cent in Pahiatua when compared to seatbelt surveys conducted in the 2012/2013 year.

“Results from these recent surveys show a significant improvement in the use of seatbelts and it’s heartening to see people taking the safety message on-board.

 “We’ve been working with Police and other road safety partners over a number of years to raise awareness around the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

 “Nobody chooses to have a crash and it may not be your fault, but the simple act of buckling up your seatbelt could be the difference between life and death.”

While the statistics for seatbelt use are pleasing, Ms Webster says the number of drivers using child restraints incorrectly still needs addressing.

“Despite the results of our surveying, local Plunket data shows more than half of all children travelling in cars are incorrectly restrained. There’s really no need for this to be occurring as Plunket hire out seats, offer a range of restraints and booster seats for purchase and assist with any car seats brought to them for checking.

“I know we all want to keep our little ones safe. Children are smaller with different body shapes and they need a different form of protection that adult seatbelts can’t provide.

“I encourage parents to ask the question if they’re not sure about the requirements or whether they’ve got it right. We’re only too happy to help them out,” Ms Webster says.

Thursday 18th September 2014


TeamKey stops in on Dannevagas

With two days out from voting day Prime Minister John Key hit the campaign trail with a road trip from Wellington this morning heading to Auckland with lots of stops on the way including Dannevirke this afternoon.

Check out Dannevirke NZ Facebook page for
more >>> 

Thursday 18th September 2014

Alliance contract for roading signed

A Tararua District Council and Downer roading contract has been signed and job interviews have commenced.

Under the new Alliance contract, Downer and council staff will be working together to deliver road corridor and stormwater maintenance and will manage assets including 1175 kilometres sealed and 782km of unsealed roading network, 398 bridges, 9106 road signs, 112km of footpaths, 130 large culverts and 20km of reticulation pipes.

Downer is looking at hiring about 30 staff to complete the work.

Tararua District Council and Downer signed the contract last week.

The roading contract had been held by Infracon, owned by Tararua District Council and Hawke's Bay District Council, but it was placed into liquidation last month, with 98 staff being made redundant.

Central Amalgamation Workers Union representative Mark Anderson said they were optimistic that Infracon people would be hired by Downer.

"Given those guys have the skills and know the roads pretty well, you'd think those guys would have a pretty good chance.

"[Some of the workers made redundant by Infracon] have got jobs at other places but there are still some who haven't.

"I have faith that . . . if the guys meet the criteria, they'll get the jobs."

Tararua District Council chief executive Blair King said the council had requested that the company attempt to keep the jobs local.

King said it was a significant contract as it was different to what the council had done in the past.

"It's an alliance . . . meaning both parties have shared risk," King said.

The Tararua Alliance has been described by the council "as one team from the two partners".

"It's not like a traditional contract relationship where the contractor receives work requests from council engineers. It's an arrangement of people working together as a service provider, to a fixed budget, jointly prioritising and getting the required work done first."

The contract is worth about $16 million over five years, Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis has said.

The contract starts from October 1, 2014 and will run for up to five years.

Manawatu Standard

Wednesday 10th August  2014

Adobe Has Been Hacked!

Adobe has confirmed that hackers infiltrated their network and stole millions of customer emails and encrypted passwords. They have further acknowledged that your password hint, name, encrypted credit card number, card expiration date, and other confidential information may also have been leaked. An analysis of the hack by Paul Ducklin of Sophos states that 150 million users have been affected and that the encryption methods used to protect customer data are extremely weak.

Was My Adobe Account Hacked?
If you would like to find out if your Adobe account was one of the 150 million that were leaked, you can click here >>>

Thursday 21st August  2014

200 jobs at risk after roading firm's liquidation

Council-owned roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, Infracon, is to go into liquidation, putting the future of more than 200 jobs up in the air.


The company's board today recommended a liquidator be appointed.

Infracon is one-third owned by a Central Hawke's Bay District Council company, with Tararua District Council owning two-thirds.

Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Peter Butler said the councils were "saddened by the recommendation received from the directors of Infracon Ltd that the shareholders should place the company into liquidation".

"This creates real worry for Infracon staff and their families," Butler said.

"At least 210 employees who will be affected from Infracon branches in Hastings, Waipukurau, Dannevirke, Woodville and Palmerston North were advised today of the impending liquidation of the company. They now have uncertain futures while the liquidation proceeds."

Interim Infracon board chairman Tararua Mayor Roly Ellis said a combination of factors had led to today's recommendation to shareholders.

"Infracon has had losses for the previous three years and the cashflow position has meant that the company cannot continue to trade as it has been," Ellis said.

Advice to the shareholders from the interim Infracon board indicated that the long-term prospects for Infracon remained extremely difficult and forecasts indicated losses continuing for the next two years, he said.

After receiving a letter from its bank, withdrawing financial support from Infracon, further negotiations by the interim board and the bank had been unable to resolve the situation. The interim board was in the difficult position of having to decide to make the recommendation to the shareholders to bring in the liquidator after considering all practical options.

"In the last two months the interim board has worked closely with the current management on restructuring the company. However, the situation could not be resolved and the bank would not maintain support," he said.

The two councils would work closely with the liquidator and those staff affected to try to save jobs.

Mayors Ellis and Butler said both councils would do everything so that essential services were maintained.  

The Dominion Post

Wednesday 6th August  2014

Dannevirke Commermorates World War 1.

More than 200 people along with Dannevirke community groups, schools and services gathered at the Cenotaph in Dannevirke yesterday to commermorate the start of World War 1.and to remember those that had fought and those
who had fallen.


Placed on the steps of the cenotaph a cross, written on it "Unknown Warrior"  Dannevirke lost 12 unknown soldiers to the muddy waterlogged battlefields and out of respect for these men this cross was placed in the field of remembrance by Dannevirke World War II veteran Ivan (Bonnie) Bodley and Lieutenant Richard Short.


Tararua Mayor and RSA Presient Roly Ellis welcomed everyone with a blessing from Rev. Greg Motu and Field of Remembrance Representative Ian MacKenzie saying a few words to the large crowd.

It was a brillient day RSA member Ernie Walker said, good weather,  good to see such a large crowd of people especially on a week day, I would also like to thank the Dannevirke High School for all the research they did and to our community.

                                                                            " Lest We Forget"

To view more photos click here >>>  Dannevirke NZ Facebook page.


Thurday 31st July  2014

Declaration of WWI was birth of nation

The 4th of August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in history – the First World War – with fighting continuing until the 11th of November 1918, Armistice Day.
RSA National President, Don McIver, says that 100 years ago few New Zealanders could have imagined the magnitude of the trauma to come, or the lasting impact it would have on our nation.
“103,000 New Zealand men and women served overseas during WWI. Many who volunteered when the war was first declared, believed they were about to embark on a great adventure and told their loved ones they’d be home by Christmas,” Mr McIver says.
“Four years later, by the close of the war, more than 18,000 New Zealanders had fallen and we had lost 5% of our men of military age. Many of those who returned had trouble reintegrating back into society after the horrors of war. The price of international peace and security was massive for a small and pioneering country such as we were then.”
Britain’s declaration of war marks not only the beginning of New Zealand’s involvement in WWI as part of the British Empire, but also the birth of New Zealand as a nation.

 Dannevirke RSA Executive members Ralph Adrian and John Ross seen this afternoon placing one of the 237 crossesfor the Field of Rememberance Ceremony this coming Tuesday.

“Our national identity is built upon our military heritage. For the first time in our history we travelled en masse through foreign lands, interacting with men and women of different nations under the immense pressure of war. We were tested and we discovered the bonds that make us unique. New Zealand gained a sense of self,” says Mr McIver.
“Today the RSA champions the values that held us together during war and built our society after. Compassion, comradeship, courage and commitment are the Anzac values that we as Kiwis continue to identify with.”
RSAs across the country are working with their communities on a wide range of local events and services to commemorate the outbreak of WWI, from re-enactments of troops leaving for the war in Wairarapa and Nelson, to an exhibition of over 5,000 memorabilia items donated by Rangiora RSA to their local museum.
Mr McIver believes it’s fitting that people draw together to remember their local stories of bravery and sacrifice in the ways which are most meaningful to them.
“The RSA feels honoured to help communities and families pay tribute to those that put their lives at risk safeguarding and protecting our freedom.”
In the first national service of the WWI centenary period, Mr McIver will recite The Ode at a ceremony held on Parliament Grounds, where the announcement of the declaration of war was made to a crowd of over 10,000 New Zealanders in 1914.
“The simple words of The Ode continue to stir emotions and reinforce to all that the sacrifices our men and women made will not be forgotten.
We will remember them.”

Dannevirke RSA will be holding a WW1 Field of Rememberance Ceremony on Tuesday 5th August at the Dannevirke Cenotaph (Domain) High Street at 1:00pm.  Hosted by Dannevirke Community Board with Guest Speaker Iain MacKenzie (Honoraru Consul for Belgium and President of the Passchendaele Society)

RSA members would like you all to come along and be part of this occasion.

Community transport idea for Dannevirke

Community vehicle trusts are changing the way people get around smaller towns across New Zealand and it’s an idea that’s currently on the cards for Dannevirke residents.

Rural communities and small towns often experience situations where there is a lack of public transport and a decreasing or non-existent taxi service.

Community vehicle trusts are owned and operated by the community, with vehicles driven by local volunteers to the benefit of local people needing transport. Several such trusts have been operating successfully in the Canterbury Region for a number of years.

Horizons Regional Council, Mid Central Public Health Services, Tararua District Council and the Dannevirke Community Board along with representatives from several other local groups in Dannevirke are working together to bring the concept to the Tararua, starting with Dannevirke.

A public discussion is being held at Grey Power’s next meeting, 1.30pm Wednesday 25 June at The Hub, to talk through how a community vehicle trust could work.

Horizons Regional Council road safety coordinator Debbie Webster says "from a road safety perspective, there may be older drivers who are no longer medically fit to drive safely, or who may just be feeling more nervous about driving in todays busy road environments. Many of these drivers are reluctant to stop driving because they feel they will then have to rely on family and friends to transport them around".

"If they knew there was another transport option available which allowed them to retain their independence they may be more likely to take that step and retire from driving," she says.

The use of a community vehicle wouldn’t just be limited to older people. It would also provide a transport option to community members with disabilities, those who don’t hold a driver’s licence or people who have no other means of transport available to them during the day such as families where one partner has to take the family car to work.

Providing transport options in the community also helps the sustainability of local infrastructure such as supermarkets and other businesses and keeps rural areas and small towns viable and thriving.

Dannevirke Community Board member Bob Dresser says a community vehicle would be designed to complement rather than compete against other providers such as the St John Health Shuttle, which provides transport to medical appointments within and outside of the district.

"The idea is that it would work alongside the shuttle, providing transport to the supermarket, other shops around town, meetings or other appointments usually within the town boundary. Those using the service will be expected to contribute a small fee to cover the running costs of each trip," he says.

All are welcome to attend the public meeting regarding the community vehicle concept. This is being held during at the next Grey Power meeting at The Hub, on Wednesday 25th June at 1.30pm. If anyone would like to express a view or attend this meeting they are asked to contact Bob Dresser on 06 374 6270.

Wednesday 11th June 2014

The "End of an Era"

Deconstruction of Dannevirke’s Galloway House (ex Nurses Home) is well underway .  
Ramze Demolition from Longburn and Heartland Group Ltd from Christchurch won the tender from the Ministry of Justice in March of this year to demolish  13 Ruahine St (ex Galloway Nurses Hostel), Dannevirke.

The 73 bedroom building will take up to 4 months to demolish from the inside out, piece by piece.  The former dining room and main foyer are filling up with many items which are going to be available to view and purchase on Sunday’s and Monday’s.  Demolition items include kitchen units and equipment, tables, chairs, beds, sofa’s, lights and lots lots more 
Jason Ramsay of Ramze Demolition said.

The Nurse’s Home was  officially opend on the 10th December 1954 by Hon. J.R Marshall, M.P Minister of Health, 48 years after the Dannevirke Public Hospital was opened.
For many nurses and some doctors here around the world lived there while training and working  at the Hospital.  So many good memories were had when you mention the Nurse’s Graduations there is only one name pops to mind “Galloway House” - if only the walls could talk!!
The Hospital closed it doors in 1997, Galloway House continued for a short time as a bording house before closing .  It re-opened as the Dannevirke Accommodation Centre, home to many contract workers and to many locals before closing in 2012.
This December Galloway House would be celebrating it’s 60th Birthday.

Photo taken in 2004

The “Galloway House Garage Sale” will start this Sunday 15th June from 2 - 4pm and the same times on Monday 16th June, with these days to follow through the months of June, July and August for further inquiries you can contact Jason on 021 241 2189.


New rail safety campaign launched in Central North Island.

A new level crossing roadside safety campaign has been launched in the Central North Island by rail safety charitable trust TrackSAFE NZ.

The new safety road signs have been installed at 11 different sites including Dannevirke, Woodville, Levin, Shannon, Opiki, Mangaweka and Tangiwai.

TrackSAFE NZ Manager Megan Drayton says the campaign started last week and aims to prevent near collisions and collisions between vehicles and trains.

“Around half of the signs have the message “See Tracks Think Train” which reminds motorists to always look for trains as they approach a level crossing”, she says.

The remaining signs have the message:  “I can’t stop, you can”.  

“Sometimes it’s good for people to remember that trains can’t stop in a hurry, and that is one of the reasons they always have the legal right of way over cars and people at every level crossing.”

Ms Drayton says the campaign is using an image of an actual locomotive engineer (train driver) to remind motorists that behind the train is someone who is just doing their job.

“Train drivers find it very stressful witnessing drivers not stopping at flashing lights and bells or trying to race the train,” she says.


Monday 3rd June 2014

Aotea outstanding.

Aotea outplayed and outscored their challengers at Dannevirke's Rugby Park yesterday afternoon in the "Hunter Shield" challenge.

                   Aotea's Jared Stephenson in action in yesterday's shield challenge.

Aotea supporters were treated to an outstanding game of rugby, unfortunately it was a very frustrating 80 minutes for Dannevirke Senior Reserves.

Supporters watched as Aotea beat Dannevirke
66-3 in a very fast and dominating game, Dannevirke fought well but Aotea's defence and game play was just too strong.

After last weeks win against Flaxmere  Aotea came out on the field with one thing in mind and that was to get there hands on the “Hunter Shield” the highest prize for senior rugby in Dannevirke and that is what they did.

Ever since the first challenge game in 1902, the Hunter Shield has been a fiercely fought contest between the two top senior teams in Dannevirke.  For many years we had five teams Dannevirke Old Boys, Ruahine, Excelsior, Rangitane and Aotea all having challenged this shield  but as times have changed and with only having two clubs left, it is great to see after 112 years the "Hunter Shield" a big part of Dannevirke's rugby history is still being challenged for today.

For more challenge action check out the Dannevirke NZ Facebook page here >>>

National policy on fracking urged

Anti-fracking campaigners in Tararua are concerned a report that finds regulations in New Zealand are inadequate to manage the risks posed by the proliferation of oil and gas drilling may not be taken seriously.

Parliamentary commissioner for the environment Dr Jan Wright has released her final report on fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of rock to release fossil fuels.

"The ‘Taranaki approach' cannot be simply extrapolated across a country of such varying geology and hydrogeology," she said.

Fracking would almost certainly be required if exploration wells were to yield "unconventional" oil in commercial quantities and become production wells.

"This may be a very different proposition from the ‘tightsands' fracking that has been done in Taranaki for over 20 years."

She recommended the Government develop a national policy statement. Regional council plans should include better rules for dealing with wells, which in turn should be designed to minimise the risk of leaking into aquifers.

Processes around who paid if something went wrong needed improvement, as did enforcement of regulations on hazardous substances Disposal of waste on farmland needed review.

Tararua Mayor Roly Ellis said there would be discussions once there had been time to digest the information. "Until I've read the whole thing it's very difficult for me to comment too much, but certainly we will be sitting down with the regional council and working out what this really means. No doubt the oil companies will as well."

Tararua Frack Free member Daphne Miller was concerned no-one would take responsibility for the report's implementation.

"The regulations certainly don't go far enough, but it's the follow-up that's a problem as far as I can see.

"When we ask questions we get put from one department to another department and no-one wants to take responsibility."

Anti-fracking campaigner Richard Green welcomed the report's conclusion. "I would agree with that assessment, but where do we go from here? Are we developing locally the ability to test or to do what we can to protect ourselves, because the oil companies are left to self-moderate."

Environment Minister Amy Adams said her ministry would monitor the effectiveness of its own guidelines issued in March, and the report would inform any review.

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said energy and minerals provided unique opportunities to grow the economy. "But it's not about development at any cost, and the Government is committed to developing our resources in a safe and environmentally responsible way."

Manawatu Standard

Friday 16th May 2014

No merger but quake plan stays

A proposed merger of Dannevirke's library and town service centre has been shelved, but the Tararua District Council has been left with a headache concerning earthquake-prone buildings.

Quake-prone buildings dominated the agenda as the council worked through its draft Annual Plan yesterday ahead of its final sign-off next month.

The biggest variation made at a meeting in Dannevirke was a vote not to combine the town's service centre and library into one building.

The council had received 87 submissions about the proposed merger, with seven in favour and 80 against the move, including one submission with a petition of 118 signatures.

Councillor Shirley Hull said the message from submitters was clear and councillors needed to listen.

The decision means the council will not save money through the improved efficiency of running both the service centre and the library under one roof.

It also raised the question of what to do with the earthquake-prone service centre building.

The bill for the strengthening of that property was most recently estimated to be $274,000.

Council chief executive Blair King said councillors needed to decide whether to act now or wait until the Government passed its earthquake-prone building legislation, by which time the cost of the project would have gone up.

"The cost of materials and the cost of that construction are increasing," King said.

This was happening at levels "far greater" than the rate of inflation.

There was $274,000 in the draft Annual Plan for the work, which had been carried over from the current financial year, he said.

The $274,000 price tag was an estimate though and more detailed work was being done now to refine that figure.

Hull said it was possible then that the actual cost could be less than $274,000, if the problems with the building were less severe than first thought or the Government eased requirements on fixing earthquake-prone buildings.

At present the legislation, which is still before Parliament, requires buildings that meet less than 33 per cent of the current building code to be identified within five years and strengthened within 15.

Councillor David Roberts suggested holding off on the repairs for a year until the council had all the information it needed. The council should also look at fundraising options, he said.

Councillor Warren Davidson said it was time the council bit the bullet.

"If we keep putting it off we'll keep finding excuses and never do it," he said.

The council also had to consider the message it was sending to other owners of at-risk buildings, he said.

Ad Feedback "It we keep dragging the chain, how can we expect other building owners to act responsibly and do the work that's required?"

The council voted to keep the $274,000 in this year's budget.

It also voted to consider its options for the Dannevirke Carnegie Centre, another earthquake-prone building in the Tararua District.

The cost of strengthening work for the building is estimated at $280,000.

The council had received 16 submissions related to the building. Nine were in favour of carrying out strengthening work, five were opposed, one saw the Pahiatua Service Centre as a higher priority and one opposed the building's closure.

The council opted to look at the potential for a charitable trust to be set up to fundraise for the building's repair.

Roberts said he preferred dealing with the building through a trust "rather than waste $280,000 of taxpayers' money on it".

The last historic building on the agenda was the former BNZ Bank building in Woodville.

Its owner Hermann Goeckel had offered the art deco building to the council along with the $260,000 debt attached to it.

The council declined the offer.

The council also opted to lighten the average rates increase of 3.46 per cent slightly by using $225,000 from reserves to fund some of next year's expenditure.

- Manawatu Standard

Friday 16th May 2014

Dangerous SH2 bridge soon to be replaced

Tenders will be called for next month for the $6 million replacement of a bridge north of Dannevirke well known as a black spot.

Retiring Wairarapa MP John Hayes said funding for the replacement of the Whakaruatapu Bridge was in place and designs had been completed.

"I am delighted that funding has finally come through for this bridge. It has been a major concern to many motorists and locals for a long time," Hayes said.

"Contract documents are being prepared at present by NZTA staff and tenders will be called early next month. The contract could be let as early as mid-June and the contractor could take control of the site from July. Depending on weather, the construction could be under way by September."

Tararua District Mayor Roly Ellis has described the narrow bridge on State Highway 2 as an accident waiting to happen.

Hayes said Ellis should be acknowledged for his "patience and perseverance in keeping this high-risk bridge at the forefront of NZTA's attention".

"A number of other locals have made submissions to Government as well as a petition organised by a local farmer and signed by 1300 constituents have all helped to achieve this outcome," Hayes said.

The NZTA had ranked the bridge last year as the second-highest regional roading priority after the upgrade of the Saddle Rd.

Dannevirke CCTV closer to reality

Plans for a CCTV security camera network in Dannevirke are closer to reality after a big boost from the business community.

The plan to set up 37 cameras to cover the central business district and side alleys has been slow to come to fruition, with funding the main hurdle.

One man who will be relieved to see the cameras is Kim Phelps, whose High St business, The Osteopathic Clinic, was recently broken into for the third time since November.

"I don't feel victimised and I haven't been targeted," he said yesterday. "It's just these little a...holes like smashing my windows, that's all. They always come in and they always run over to the till and check if there's a cash drawer there, and there's no cash drawer. Boom, the alarm goes off and they scatter again."

He said he was left to clean up a pile of glass and repair damage to the doors. "Being kids, they're just in and out. They don't take anything else. I've got really good organic food here and they don't bother with it. They probably can't cook."

He had been to meetings about the proposed CCTV system and would love to see it set up.

The CCTV network is a community-driven initiative involving several organisations under the umbrella of Dannevirke Promotion and Development.

"We're at the situation where our cabling is starting to go in now . . . and we've notified our people who are actually having cameras outside their premises, and they pay for the electricity as well," steering committee chairman Bob Dresser said.

He estimated the network would cost $85,000 but he could not say how much had been raised ahead of a committee meeting where the finances would be discussed.

"We did very well as a result of the Chamber of Commerce having a breakfast meeting at which I spoke about CCTV, and also the police, and the chamber got right behind it."

Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce chairman Suresh Patel said the chamber decided to support the project after the committee approached it in February.

He said the breakfast meeting attracted 60 members, all of whom were given pledge forms to take away. The chamber started the campaign by contributing $5000 itself.

"The good thing is we are well under way to raising our target."

There had been a "fantastic response" not only from business, but also clubs, organisations and even individuals. As a result, he estimated the project was "eight-tenths of the way" to being finalised.

"The chamber felt it was a necessity for the town - not that we've got any major issues, no worse than any township or city in the country, but having CCTV will help us monitor the existing problems."

Dresser said: "We're now at the situation where we're moving to install cameras." The project was now into the third year and "it's not been easy, but at the end of the day I'm sure it will be worth it."

Manawatu Standard

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Dannevirke house fire to be investigated

Detectives today are investigating the scene of an overnight Dannevirke house fire.

The house, on James St was badly damaged in the fire, which began just before 11pm yesterday, fire communications shift manager Jan Wills said.

Three fire crews battled the ''well involved'' blaze, which was out by 1.20am.

Nobody was in the house at the time.

Fire safety officers and CIB detectives were going to the scene this morning to investigate the cause.

Fire safety officers and CIB detectives at the scene today.

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Tararua District Council to conduct residents survey

As part of its on-going commitment to actively seek public opinion and involvement, Tararua District Council is to conduct a survey of its residents.

"We have a responsibility to track how well our efforts are carrying through to our residents. The best way to do this is to interview a representative cross-section of residents, and to have this done by an independent professional group to ensure impartiality."

National Research Bureau, an independent research company offering specialised services to Local Authorities throughout New Zealand, has been commissioned to undertake the survey and report to the Council.

People living in the two Wards in the district will be telephoned, using a randomised selection method, and asked their opinions on a wide ranging list of services and issues pertaining to the Council, and the services it delivers to the residents of the district.

 This initiative is in the spirit of the changes in local government, whereby Councils are urged to take a proactive stance in understanding and meeting residents’ wishes.

The survey commences on Friday, 9 May, and is expected to be completed on Sunday, 18 May

Friday 25th April 2014

Hundreds attend Dannevirke Anzac Day services.

More than 500 people attended the Dawn and Civic services in Dannevirke, the largest gathering seen for many years.

The servicemen’s parade from Swimburn Street to the Cenotaph at the Domain was well supported, with representatives of groups, services and schools within the district laid wreaths at the base of the Cenotaph.

Master of Ceremonies, Tararua Councillor David Roberts, welcomed everyone to the service, especially former servicemen and women.

Rod Southgate led the gathering in prayers and Hariru Hauraki and Greg Berry (D.H.S.), Reihana Paewai and Kalani Marsh (Te Kura Kaupapa o Maori Tamaki-Nui-A-Rua), Courtney Harrison and Ashton Seerden (Totara College) read the chosen Scriptures.

Guest speaker was Army Officer at New Zealand Defence Force Major Jacob Murray.  Full coverage of the Dawn and Civic services can be seen on the Dannevirke NZ facebook page click here >>>

Wednesday 16th April 2014

A Perfect "Blood Moon" over Dannevirke

The clouds kept away and the rain waited until the early morning, allowing the east coast region a perfect view of what is the first of four successive total lunar eclipses.

The moon rose from the east just before 6.30pm and was completely within the shadow by 7.06pm.   In a lunar eclipse, the moon is obscured as it passes through the Earth's shadow.

Two shadows will cross the moon during the event - the large penumbra (or ``almost-shadow''), which dims the moon, and the umbra, a smaller opaque shadow caused by the Earth blocking out the light from the sun to the moon.

  A series for photos of the Lunar Eclipse and Blood Moon taken in the Dannevirke sky last evening.

The next total lunar eclipse for our region to look forward to will be overnight on October 8/9, with mid-eclipse at 11.55pm. The eclipse on April 4, 2015, will also be visible from this country, but that of September 28, 2015, would not be.


Iwi in favour of exploration

A large North Island iwi has given the thumbs up for oil and gas exploration around Dannevirke - provided there's no harm to the environment.

The Government is preparing to issue permits to companies who want to search for natural resources, opening up several new areas on and off shore.

One block being offered is on land around Dannevirke, falling within the territory of Ngati Kahungunu.

Leader Ngahiwi Tomoana said if there are oil and gas reserves in the tribe's rohe, the iwi wanted to be involved.

But he said under his people's kaitiaki role, environmental safety was paramount.

The Government is also urging prospecting firms to bid for the right to explore a vast chunk of the West Coast.

Local Ngai Tahu tribal council - Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae - said it did not have too many concerns.

It had had good communication and consultation with the Government about the block offer and would work with any permit holder on where they should and should not look for oil and gas.

Radio NZ
Tuesday 25th March 2014

Dannevirke A & P Association and Dannevirke Lions Club Small Holders Auction

The Dannevirke A & P Association and Dannevirke Lions Club can pat themselves on the back for another successful Small Holders Auction.

More than 200 registered bidders enjoyed a fine day competing for the 1000 + lots on offer at the Dannevirke Showgrounds last saturday.

Dannevirke A & P Association President Brian Beale is very pleased with the event, this being the second year for the small holders aution it was well supported from vendors and buyers from all around the region Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Waiarapa and locally he said.

If you were looking to buy or sell this was the place to be, there was poultry, ducks, livestock, machinery, plants, animals, small and large goods etc, etc in fact anything smallholder related was there.

A big thank you to all who helped out with the running of the auction and to all that attended making this another sucessfull event for Dannevirke.

More photos of the day here >>> Dannevirke NZ Facebook page.
Thursday 13th March 2014

Dannevirke Motorists Advised to Take Care Around Level Crossings

Rail safety organisation TrackSAFE NZ is reminding Dannevirke motorists of the rules around railway level crossings, following an incident recently where a courier stopped his vehicle at a level crossing protected by flashing lights and bells, but then proceeded to cross the tracks in front of a train.

Manager of TrackSAFE NZ Megan Drayton says she was made aware of the incident after a member of the public witnessed and filmed the incident and then posted it on Facebook.

“Obviously we were concerned to see this footage,” she says. “Aside from breaking the law and risking prosecution from the Police, this type of behaviour is placing drivers at enormous personal risk.

“We really would like to get the message out there that the law requires all motorists to obey the warning signs and signals at level crossings, and that they should never attempt to race a train.

“Trains travel faster than they appear, and research has proven that people cannot accurately judge the speed of an approaching train.

She says it’s also important to ensure there is enough space for the vehicle on the other side of the crossing to avoid becoming trapped on the tracks when the signals are activated.

Ms Drayton says “near collision” incidents such as this one involving the courier van put enormous stress on the locomotive engineers who drive the trains.

Every incident like this is extremely upsetting. The only thing a train driver can do when they see a vehicle or person on the tracks in front of them is to put on the emergency brake and hope for the best.

“When trains are travelling at high speeds there is very little chance that they will be able to stop in time.”

In the past ten years in New Zealand there have been more than 235 collisions between trains and vehicles. Around 75 per cent of near collisions occur at crossings with flashing lights and bells and/or barrier arms.

TrackSAFE NZ is a charitable trust that aims to raise awareness about rail safety and educate the public on how they can keep themselves safe around railway tracks. Formerly known as the Chris Cairns Foundation, it amalgamated with harm prevention charity TrackSAFE in Australia in October last year.


Roading maintenance contract sought for Tararua

After a detailed review, Council has resolved at a special meeting on 11 March 2014 to tender a new road and bridge maintenance contract starting 1 July 2014.

This will enable contractors to propose new methods and options that reflect challenges with maintaining nearly 2000km of network.

By tendering now, Council will have clear evidence on actual costs for the next five years when they negotiate the new block allocation of roading subsidies with the New Zealand Transport Agency during 2014-15.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has been reviewing how the Funding Assistance Rates (FAR) are set and applied. During 2014, the Transport Agency will consider the FAR that will apply for the 2015-2018 investment.

Interested contractors are encouraged to contact Ray Cannon, Manager Engineering Services, on telephone 06 376 0218 (South) or 06 374 4080 (North) to discuss details of the tender.

Tuesday 4th March 2014

Flow tests to decide need for fracking

Tag Oil will know within weeks of starting its next test whether its Ngapaeruru-1 exploratory well near Dannevirke is commercially viable.

"We plan to flow test the well by the middle of this year," chief executive Garth Johnson said. "This testing usually takes two to four weeks."


He said flow testing was to see what quantities of oil, gas or both flowed out of the well.

The results would also determine whether hydraulic fracture stimulation, commonly referred to as fracking, would be an option.

"However, due to what we have learned already, it is highly unlikely for this well," he said.

Mr Johnson said Tag had not applied to Horizons Regional Council for a fracking consent.

Last week the company said earlier tests had shown the rock under Ngapaeruru-1 was naturally fractured, indicating there might not be a need for fracking.

"We didn't know the rock below Ngapaeruru-1 would be naturally fractured," Mr Johnson said. "We only found that out via the exploratory well.

"We don't know yet if it will be commercially viable and we will only find that out by flow testing . . . As we have said before, this is a methodical step-by-step process."

When Tag released its third-quarter financial results recently, it said an independent reservoir characterisation study had confirmed oil was being generated in the Whangai source rocks.

Encouraged by the report, the company said it would progress to the next stage of testing at the well, which it described as perforation and production testing.

That raised the suspicions of anti-fracking campaigners who were unfamiliar with the concept of perforation.

"Perforation is simply putting holes in the sealed pipe - called production casing - at the place in the rock the hydrocarbons will potentially allow oil and gas to flow from a specific formation," Mr Johnson said.

"When a well is drilled it is lined with layers of steel pipe and cement. The tubing is only perforated in the zones where there may be moveable hydrocarbons.

"These zones where hydrocarbons are found are themselves encased in layers of impermeable rock - which is why the hydrocarbons have stayed trapped in these zones for millions of years."

He said the company would expect to know if the well was commercially viable within weeks of testing. "However, as we have said before, this well was to learn more about exactly what is happening in the rock formations where oil and gas are being produced. It is the first step in our plan to discover if oil and gas reserves on the east coast are commercially viable."

Fairfax NZ

Hose restrictions in Tararua

A total hosing ban has been imposed on Norsewood, while two other Tararua towns have been subjected to hosing restrictions.

Prompted by continuing hot, dry weather and high water demand, the Tararua District Council says the hosing ban in Norsewood, which is in immediate effect, will be enforced until further notice.

The ban includes garden sprinklers, unattended water systems, soak hoses and hand-held hoses.

Residents may also not clean cars, wash houses or windows or refill swimming pools.

Hosing restrictions have also come into immediate effect in Pahiatua and Woodville.

The council says hand-held hoses may be used between 7pm and 9pm on alternate days - houses with even street numbers on even days and houses with odd street numbers on odd days.

''The co-operation of all residents with conserving water will help alleviate the possibility of more severe restrictions,'' the council says.

Fairfax NZ

Monday 24th February 2014


The fire danger level in the district has gone from MODERATE to HIGH as a result of settled weather experienced over the last week.  This is due to continue until the weekend.  Although there is heavy dew in the mornings, this is being burnt off during the day because of the high temperatures.  At this stage it is not intended to impose a Restricted Fire Season however the situation will be reviewed later in the week. 

Despite the fact that the fire season to date has been fairly wet, we have had more fires than we had during the drought season last year.  This has been mainly due to carelessness on the part of the persons lighting fires.  In one case a farmer tried to burn a small part of a large clear felled forest area and the wind changed causing the fire to get out of control. Had he checked the weather forecast he would have known about the wind change and not lit up.  He will be required to pay for the fire fighting costs.  Another farmer lit a rubbish fire about 4 metres from a 3 bay shed filled with straw. The wind came up and embers blew into the straw and destroyed it along with the shed.

 If people are going to light up they should check the weather forecast first.  They could also check the Rural Fire page of the Council web site at www.tararuadc.govt.nz for some useful information about the fire season status and use of fire as a farm management tool. If they are in doubt they can also seek advice from a Council Rural Fire Officer.


The "Great Dannevirke Day Out"

The Dannevirke Railway Station and town was a hive of activity on Sunday afternoon as the " The Great Dannevirke Day Out" from the Hawks Bay and the "Viking Express" from Paekakariki trains arrived and disgorged their hundreds of passengers for a one hour stop and engine changeover before returning home.

The locals young and old also came out in force to witness and photograph an sight rarely seen these days especially the steam locomotive Ja1271.

Click here Dannevirke NZ Facebook to check out all the photos.


Thursday 6th February 2014

Email option aids police

Dannevirke police have launched their own email address in an effort to garner more crime tips.

Launched this week, the email address was another option for people to use without going into the station, Tararua CIB Detective Shane Brown said.

Emergencies or events happening immediately should be directed to 111, but other tips, like sightings of suspicious vehicles driving in and out of a road, for instance, could be sent in via email.

The email address would be monitored regularly. Anyone who wanted to remain anonymous could always use the Crimestoppers tip line, which has call takers based in Britain to guarantee anonymity.

Mr Brown said that, particularly at this time of year, cannabis growing season, people might be able to email a registration plate, time, date, place and a description.

Mr Brown said similar addresses had been set up in two other Tararua stations, Woodville and Pahiatua.

The email address is dannevirke@police.govt.nz.

Fairfax NZ

Tararua Free Insulation Scheme

An opportunity to make your house warmer, drier and more energy efficient – react now!
The Government has announced the new project Warm up NZ (Tararua), which started on 1 September. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), which administers Warm up New Zealand: Healthy Homes, will work in partnership with EnergySmart in the Tararua District.
The free insulation scheme will run for three years and will be targeting low-income families, and those with illnesses that will be improved by having their homes insulated.
Lyn Tankersley, Wairarapa and Tararua Branch Manager of EnergySmart, advises that to meet the criteria, occupants must hold a Community Services Card (CSC) or Gold card with CSC endorsement, or be at risk from health conditions relating to cold, damp housing. If you can get a letter of support from your GP or Health Nurse then this will be even better.
Houses must be built before 2000 and there are also restrictions on the size of the homes. There are additional costs if the floor area is greater than 85 square metres, and if the floor and ceiling are both to be insulated. Government will fund 60% of the costs while the non-Government portion is being funded by Central Energy Trust in the southern Tararua, and MidCentral Health is sponsoring northern Tararua.
EnergySmart will be focusing on getting the message out to landlords, who will be expected to make a small contribution to the cost of insulation of their rentals, when tenants are low-income and at higher health risk. With Government introducing Warrant of Fitness’s for all rentals in New Zealand in the next few years, this is the time to get your rentals insulated.
React now, send your referrals through and get your tenants, friends and family warmed up. For all enquiries, contact Lyn by email: ltankersley@energysmart.co.nz

Wednesday 4th September 2013

Shield brings back memories.......

Shield Fever hit Dannevirke today bringing back memories especially for two locals.  A large crowd of rugby fans gathered at the Dannevirke Sports Centre as Hawkes Bay Magpie players and the Ranfurly Shield took centre stage. 

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Tamaki Nui-A-Rua school childern along with the iwi welcomed them, fans grabbed every opportunity to get autographs and photos with Magpie players Dougie Edmonds and Adam Bradey and of course the
prized Ranfurly Shield.

 Graham McNair and Barry Scott at the Sports
 Centre with the 1902 Ranfurly Shield.

For Barry Scott and Graham McNair each having very fond memories
of Hawkes Bay and winning the Ranfurly Shield for the first time.
Barry's father George Scott was the Vice President of the HB Rugby Union when the shield was won in 1966. I remember this so well, like
it was yesterday Barry said.
We travelled to Hamilton - mooloo country you could of mistaken it for McLean Park as there was a sea of  black n white supporters.

Hepa Paewai and Jerry Stone both from Dannevirke played in this victorious match, Hepa was the star Barry said, a great win for the Magpies, winning  6-0. 

Returning back home to Dannevirke the Shield came back with us, spending a week on the farm at Coonoor and tagging along to Makuri School with the boys.

Graham's memories as a child were to one day play in that black and white strip and he did.  Graham played front row prop from 1986 - 93, unlucky for him the shield was challenged but never came back to the bay in his playing carerer. 

The Magpies have had many Dannevirke greats, and today we still have a local connection with players coming through, with this sucess -
"Our Loyalty will Never Expire"   Well done the Bay!!

Click here for more photos on Dannevirke NZ Facebook page


Precious feathers of extinct huia stolen

Two 123-year-old huia feathers worth up to $8000 each have been stolen from the back of a stuffed bird at a Dannevirke museum.

An expert has compared the incident to the theft of war medals from Waiouru's army museum.

The tail feathers were taken from one of two stuffed juvenile birds in a glass case some time last week, said Dannevirke Gallery of History volunteer Pat Mills.

"Someone's just prised open the front panel and grabbed two feathers. It's very sad," she said.

"We have informed police and advised a number of auction houses and antique dealers of the theft. We'd dearly love them back, but at the very least we'd like to thwart their sale by thieves."

The last live huia was seen in Tararua Range in 1907. The stolen feathers came off a pair of birds shot in Pohangina valley, north of Ashhurst, in 1889 and mounted for a local couple as a wedding gift.

The birds are owned by the local Galloway family, who had been told of their theft, Mrs Mills said.

The birds have been kept in a locked glass container in the museum for 25 years and had "definitely been our biggest drawcard".

They were noticed to be missing on Friday. A small group had visited the museum on Wednesday, but there were "no suspects as such", she said.

About 15 to 20 people a week visited the museum, which had no security systems. The items were not insured, she said.

In 2010, a feather similar to the stolen ones was sold for $8400 at Webb's Auction House in Auckland. At the time it was believed to be a world record for a bird feather. Several years ago a bald eagle feather sold in the United States for US$2800 (NZ$3433).

Huia feathers were traditionally used for adornment by chiefs, and attempts to slow the hunting of them began in the 1880s.

Colin Miskelly, curator of terrestrial vertebrates at Te Papa, said the theft was "an example of personal greed over the national value of intact species for future generations".

"At one level it's no different to the theft of medals from the Waiouru military museum."

While huia specimens were not uncommon, "it's very unusual to have bona fide provenance data like these ones. That saddens me even more that they've been degraded," Dr Miskelly said.

Fairfax NZ News

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