Archive for July, 2009

28 July 2009


“Casablanca” – an oldie but a goodie

24 July 2009

225px-Casablanca_original_film_posterThe Dudley Aquatic Centre fundraisers put on “Casablanca” in the Rangiora Town Hall this evening, with some of them dressed up in appropriate 1940s costume.

Once again, a great community event.  Congratulations to the Committee and to Patrick Walsh of the Rangiora Movie theatre for putting it on.

I had never seen the movie before and I can report that after an uneven start, it turned into a pretty good one, well deserving its reputation as a classic.

Swine Flu Centre Open in Southbrook

21 July 2009


The Rangiora Community Flu Centre opened yesterday and they had a very busy afternoon – 34 people came through.  It was steadier today, but we need to remember that this thing is going to get worse, a lot worse, before it gets better.

The centre is at Southbrook Park and it is open from 1.00 to 4.30.

Another Great Kaiapoi Art Expo!

20 July 2009

Kaiapoi Art ExpoLast weekend saw another great Harcourts Kaiapoi Art Expo at the Kaiapoi Club.

The now-annual event is one of a number of opportunities that local artists have to showcase their work.

This year’s Expo was testament to both the extent of the arts community in Waimakariri and the depth of the talent that is developing here.

The artists, the organising committee (chaired by Dan Gordon), the sponsoring firms and trusts, and the Kaiapoi Club are to be congratulated.

Calming the Traffic

15 July 2009

If you go to you can listen to a really interesting interview with Australian traffic-calming advocate, David Engwicht.  It’s from the Radio New Zealand Saturday programme – usually Kim Hill but not that day!  It takes over half an hour, so set aside some time.

Why Has ECan Given Kaiapoi an Air Quality Reprieve, but Not Rangiora?

15 July 2009

Kaiapoi and Ashburton have been given an extra year by ECan to meet national air quality standards – but not Rangiora yet.

Rangiora hasn’t had its air standards promulgated yet, because, apparently, someone has appealed against them.

However, with zero pollution exceedences so far this year, we have to wonder what is going on in Rangiora.  Perhaps the town has switched to heat pumps big time.  Or maybe, it’s just good luck with the weather.  We can’t expect Rangiora to go though the winter without having some nights with high pollution levels!

Is Swine Flu a Lot of Baloney?

14 July 2009


For most people, swine flu will not be serious, but like all influenzas, it will be serious for some people.

So what’s different about this one?

It is highly contagious.  Over 30% of NZ’s population is likely to get it.  If that 30% get it in a short period of time, the health system will not be able to cope, and important areas of our economy may well have to shut down.

In addition, the fact that it is highly contagious makes it more likely to reach those most at risk from flu.

If swine flu gets into our doctors’ surgeries, people with other serious health problems may not get treated – because most of the doctors and nurses will be off with swine flu.

The measures currently being implemented will, it is hoped, slow the spread of swine flu and get treatment to those who really need it.

Even International Decision-Makers Affect Us in North Canterbury

13 July 2009


Latest ECan Pollution Report (13 July)

13 July 2009

High pollution nights for 2009

Location Pollution Level Yesterday No. of High Pollution Nights Highest Pollution Level 2nd Highest Pollution Level
Rangiora 19 0 50 49
Kaiapoi 21 13 86 78
Christchurch – St Albans* 15 8 86 83
Christchurch – Burnside -1 5 107 72
Christchurch – Woolston 7 14 88 88
Ashburton 9 3 64 57
Timaru – Anzac Park* 16 15 93 93
Timaru – Washdyke 7 1 55 50
Waimate 10 3 67 62
Geraldine 14 3 59 56


Public Transport to Christchurch – Why Not Rail?

12 July 2009

Yesterday’s Northern Outlook featured a proposal to set up a rail commuter service from Sefton to Christchurch.

This is not on the immediate horizon for the region’s transport planners for a number of reasons.  They are proposing to have dedicated bus lanes to speed up the bus service. Why?

  1. Buses are more flexible than trains – they can be taken into the further parts of Kaiapoi and Rangiora – and Christchurch, closer to where people live and work.
  2. Unlike heavy rail, buses can be taken into the centre of Christchurch.
  3. Buses are a lot lot cheaper to buy than trains.
  4. A successfiul commuter train service probably requires double-tracking the railway lines – hugely expensive, especially when you factor in the Waimakariri River bridge.

Yes, there used to be a train.  But it was one train in the morning and one in the evening.  The buses currently run every 30 minutes in peak hours – could trains?

I believe that one day there will be a commuter rail service to Christchurch, but I don’t think it is likely in the near future.

What’s Happening in Rangiora’s High Street?

10 July 2009

A long-overdue upgrade of footpaths, street furniture, etc. is under way.  The street has been looking tired for a long time.

It was hoped that we could do up some of the lanes connecting the street with carparks to the north.  Unfortunately, the Council cut the funding a year ago, so what we are getting is a scaled-back version of what could have been.  Needless-to-say, the decision to cut the funding was not unanimous!

Swine Flu in Waimakariri

9 July 2009

The first cases are appearing in the District and some time in the next two weeks flu centres (Community-Based Assessment Centres – CBACs) are expected to open in Rangiora (at Southbrook Sports Ground), Kaiapoi and Oxford (at the Oxford Medical Centre).

What are the objectives?

  • Keep swine flu out of doctors’ surgeries so that they do not end up being closed down.
  • Spread the peak over a longer period so that the health system does not get overloaded.
  • Identify those with swine flu who are most at risk from it.

Latest Air Pollution Figures from ECan (8 July)

8 July 2009
Location Pollution Level Yesterday No. of High Pollution Nights Highest Pollution Level 2nd Highest Pollution Level
Rangiora 32 0 49 48
Kaiapoi 39 11 86 78
Christchurch – St Albans* 37 7 86 83
Christchurch – Burnside 51 5 107 72
Christchurch – Woolston 26 13 88 88
Ashburton 17 3 64 57
Timaru – Anzac Park* 50 12 93 93
Timaru – Washdyke 17 1 55 50
Waimate 25 3 67 62
Geraldine 27 3 59 56

Still No Progress on Alfred Street

8 July 2009

Those who want Alfred Street, Rangiora, re-opened were stymied again yesterday at a council meeting when a motion was put that referred to Local Government Act of 1974 – but with the movers not supplying any information on the section they were referring to, Councillors had little choice to let the matter lie on the table pending legal advice.

The Council staff had offered two alternatives – both quite simple.  Leave it closed or reopen it by going through the same procedure to reopen as was used to close it.  The latter mechanism would have kept faith with those who had taken part in the legal process a couple of years ago.

Another Show at the Rangiora Town Hall – Now On!

8 July 2009


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