Reaching a rare island getaway

There’s no cell reception on the Chatham Islands, which for some will be all it takes to paint a picture of an island escape. But the home of New Zealand’s most remote communities is swimming in history, nature and a classic distillation of Kiwi culture, and recently, more mainlanders have been taking the opportunity to… Read more

Police staffing review

An internal police ‘realignment’ could see some Western Southland police roles shifted in an effort to improve coverage. A review of future structure and deployment options began in November, and subsequent staff submissions were considered from early December until last Monday. The consultation document obtained by the Advocate states that along with candid conversations, two… Read more

Wastewater options

The independent consultants reviewing alternatives to Te Anau’s proposed wastewater scheme have cautiously recommended two alternatives for further investigation. Scientists from Pattle Delamore Partners returned to Te Anau yesterday to present their findings to the Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee. The draft PDP report recognises some of the negative community growth and tourism implications… Read more

Fire exercise timely

A combined rural fire training exercise held last week proved immediately valuable on Monday and Tuesday as a large blaze was contained near Dipton. Management teams from Southern Rural Fire joined with representatives from eight other organisations last Thursday for a large-scale practice response, in preparation for the a busy summer season. Just four days… Read more

Fire services to merge

New Zealand urban and rural fire services will be amalgamated into a single national fire service by 2017. Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne announced the decision to the 137th annual United Fire Brigades Association (UFBA) Conference at Wellington’s TSB Arena on Friday. Mr Dunne announced the beginning of a reform process and consultation period in… Read more

Dashcams snap dangerous drivers

The next near-miss on the road to Milford could be caught on camera, thanks to a joint dashboard camera initiative between police and commercial drivers. In the lead-up to the peak tourist season, Te Anau Police constable Dwight Grieve has been lending dashcams to commercial freight and tourism operators on the road between Queenstown and… Read more

Patchwork approach to coverage

Venture Southland received more than 700 survey responses and nearly 100 letters in support of its effort to secure the further rollout of ultrafast broadband, rural broadband, and improved mobile services in the district. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is planning the second round of investment into this infrastructure, and expressions of… Read more

Public help with national fibre bid

Venture Southland is seeking public support to have parts of Southland added to the rollout of ultrafast broadband, rural broadband, and improved mobile services. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is planning the second round of nationwide investment into these services, and Venture Southland is coordinating a bid on behalf of Southland and its… Read more

Changes afoot for fire brigades

The biggest change to the emergency services sector in 40 years could have a major impact on volunteer brigades and rural fire forces. The government announced last week that New Zealand’s fire services will be reviewed and reformed, and a consultation period was opened until July 10 through the Department of Internal Affairs. A preliminary… Read more

Chorus backs down from charges

A Te Anau family is still without a home phone and internet connection after a mistaken quote from Chorus almost cost them thousands of dollars. Paul and Abby Fountain moved into their property in the Delta subdivision in April, and something didn’t seem right about the price to be connected by Chorus. “They quoted us… Read more