Mental Health Break

[vimeo 151631258 w=630 h=272]

Portrait of Wanaka


Easter trading law review welcome, Michael Woodhouse?s farting around the edges isn?t

Between Woodhouse tinkering with the idea that Easter Trading should be up to every individual council to decide, and the unions who bleat about workers being abused and forced to work during Easter, this is shaping up to be another total winner for the government.

I?m starting to think copying the Australian Health and Safety law might have been a good idea, because letting Michael Woodhouse make up his own laws is clearly the worst option of the two.

The Government’s mooted changes to Easter trading laws have won the backing of local councils and the tourism industry.

But unions are worried about whether workers really will be able to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse unveiled the changes, which will give councils the power to decide whether or not shops can open, yesterday.

He says the current rules are complex and relatively arbitrary.

“The law allows certain shops selling specific items to remain open, while others must close their doors,” Mr Woodhouse said.

“It also includes several historical exemptions which allow shops in areas such as Taupo to open on Easter Sunday, while those in Rotorua cannot.”

Read more »

Sam Morgan’s high horse just died


Sam I’m-so-green Morgan is all over Twitter all day every day telling people to live better, cleaner and more profitable lives.

And then he smokes out Wanaka

Thick smoke spanned the hillside directly behind Wanaka’s upmarket Heaton Park and Far Horizon subdivisions and several Mt Aspiring Rd properties yesterday.

Initially, the smoke blew away from Wanaka, but by mid-afternoon yesterday much of the sky around the town was screened by smoke.

Wanaka resident Jo Gumpatzes described it as appalling. “Can you imagine being a tourist coming to town today to look at the mountains, to look at the view, and you can’t even see them. It doesn’t do anything for Wanaka as a brand, it doesn’t do anything for New Zealand … it’s just appalling.”

Lake Wanaka Tourism (LWT) general manager James Helmore said he understood farmers needed to burn off and he was aware they were trying to move away from the practice.

However, it was “disappointing” to see such a widespread burn-off.

Mr Hypocrite isn’t popular with his townfolk, that’s for sure ? Read more »


Wait a minute, another David Cunliffe backtrack: He DID know about “NZ’s Rolf Harris”

It’s pretty hard to keep track of David Cunliffe’s position on anything these days

Mr Cunliffe admits a prominent New Zealander’s possible sexual offending had been raised with him before he met with the man in Queenstown last week.

The Labour leader says the meeting went ahead because no proof had been supplied.

“There is a suspicion that a person who asked to meet me and my candidate down there might be a person in that category. All I can say is had I known that, and we did ask around if there was any reason not to meet, we wouldn’t have had the meeting.”

The prominent New Zealander had his name permanently suppressed.

I give up.

I really do.

Is David Cunliffe even sure he is David Cunliffe? ? Read more »

Same old same old

It appears that getting a dream gig as a cop in a beautiful place like Wanaka is more like being made the supervisor of a bunch of adolescents on camp than the sort of hard out policing you’d get in a bigger city.

Via the tipline


Is Nick Smith our very own Lyle Lanley?

Looks like Nick Smith is looking at a genuine, bonafide, electrified, six car monorail for Fiordland.

Conservation minister Nick Smith today inspected the proposed route for the $200 million Fiordland monorail and released official advice recommending approval.? Read more »

Drifting the Crown Range [VIDEO]

The Crown Range, near Queenstown is a specific exclusion on many rental car agreements. If you drive it, you lose your insurance.

Imagine drifitng it:

The Crown Range, New Zealand. 47 corners, 1076 metres elevation, 10.4km long. The country’s highest paved roadway. For a moment in time it belongs to one man, Mike Whiddett. The moment will become, the drive of a lifetime.

The former state highway cuts a path between Queenstown and Wanaka. It is a short cut, which has long been a route for travellers. The first track dates back to the early gold rush days. The road now is still one of the most demanding and technical drives of the country.? Read more »

Support this Cause

An email from a younger reader and loyal Whale Army member:

Dear Cam,

On the 3rd January this year Dion Latta, a student at John McGlashan College (my school), died after an accident near?Wanaka.

Three students will be participating in the?Wanaka?Challenge next year to try and raise money for the?Wanaka?Search and Rescue in tribute to Dion.

I am therefore asking you if you would be interested in a short plug for this fantastic fundraising effort on your blog.

You can donate to this cause by clicking on the button below. Give them some support on behalf of the Whale Army.