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

Unreliable Internet

More than a third of rural Southland residents believe their Internet service is slow or unreliable, according to a Venture Southland survey that will be released later this month. Responses are still being collated from the district-wide survey, which asked residents about their usage and experiences of Internet services at home and work. Preliminary results… Read more

Electricity networks under review

A closed electricity network in Te Anau that charges residents 20 percent more for their power will be part of a broad nationwide consultation by the Electricity Authority. New Zealand’s government-owned electricity regulator began a consultation last week on secondary electricity networks, wherein consumers are indirectly connected to the grid through a middleman. Aurora Energy… Read more

Power outage raises pricing issue

An unexpected power outage for some Te Anau residents during last week’s cold snap has rekindled ongoing issues about their more expensive electricity network. Residents in Te Anau’s Heritage subdivision experienced an outage that lasted until close to midnight last Tuesday, which was also one of the coldest nights so far this year. The outage… Read more

Trail on Oreti granted

A contentious section of Stage Two of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail has been granted a resource consent by a commissioner. A consent hearing was held before Commissioner Denis Nugent in early February for work relating to about 30km of trail near the upper Oreti River and Centre Hill Road. Sixty percent of the… Read more

Appeal readied

The group formed in opposition to the green-lit Te Anau wastewater scheme at Manapouri has lodged an appeal of the consent decision with the Environment Court. Fiordland Sewerage Options chairman Alistair Paton-McDonald said three appeals were lodged including two from individuals, and if it came down to a legal battle with the Southland District Council,… Read more

Discharge granted

Two major consents for the proposed Te Anau wastewater scheme at Manapouri have been granted for 25 years by an independent commission. After two public evidentiary hearings last year, three commissioners approved the Southland District Council consent applications to discharge Te Anau’s treated wastewater to land and air at the Kepler Block, adjacent to Te… Read more

Legal highs out

The communities of Winton and Te Anau will not be granted any licences for the sale of legal highs, after a combined council document designated to leave them out of approved areas entirely. The Local Approved Products Policy was finalised last month and effective from December 22, designating the Invercargill CBD as the only place… Read more