Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Chris Antes - Gum Sculptor

Kiwi BBQ's always have a unique theme or event, be it the energy of the hosts, the spirit of the celebration or unique guests. Yesterday in the company of good friends we got to meet Chris who has shifted from the States to chef in a new Dunedin Restaurant. One of his many talents which he has developed since he was a small boy, was sculpting animals from chewing gum in his mouth using his tongue and teeth. I was totally fascinated, and couldn't resist the urge to capture the event.

Chris has also appeared on Letterman, Jay Leno and Ellen.

Monday, 29 December 2008

over two weeks


Jae Kilgour, above. Who saved the life of a boy caught in a rip at St Clair Today. May Huey grant you a lifetime of barrels for your heroic act.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Over Xmas


Above: Jay and Caity figured it had warmed up enough for a boardie surf, truth is it was still probably at best about 13 degrees in the water, although it was about 30 in the air. Below: playing with photoshop, going for the film grain look, a 2ft empty somewhere.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Quiet As


Above: St Clair day after boxing day, heaps of sand, less people around than I thought. But thats what I love about Dunedin over christmas and new year, everyone leaves and its always very quiet. below left: Third storey going up on the Hotel.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Rainbow at Sunset


A Rainbow at Sunset looking out my front door.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Family Post - Garden


The pride and Joy of my house, the evolution of the vege garden. Four pics below of the creation of the vege garden beds, and the first planting

We got the "We Hoe, You Grow" guy in to till the soil, with our compost, horse manure & blood and bone.
Planted is: Asparagus, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Corgettes, Leeks, Silverbeet, carrots, Radishes, Bok Choy, Lettuces mixed, Sugar Snap peas. And the fruit tree orchard we have, Plumcott, Nashi Pear, a double grafted apple, 2 Fegoas, a fig, cheery, Apricot and a black walnut (which is massive at bottom of the garden).
Cant believe how much the potatoes have bolted, I just hope there is as much energy going on in growth under the ground, as there is above the ground. Going to do a few more lines of carrots and radishes this arvo.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

‘Star' accused of ‘whipping up waves'

From the Otago Daily Times Thu, 18 Dec 2008
LETTER TO THE EDITOR - from Richard Walls
[The Star's] front-page report ‘‘Surfers sick of sewage stall'' (December 11, 2008) is strangely detached from reality. The surfboard to which it tenuously hangs relates to ‘‘recent'' comments attributed to me in the Otago Daily Times.

In fact, those comments by me were already several weeks old by the time [reporter] Michelle McCullough contacted me - more than two weeks ago.

The background to them was, of course, the collapse of world financial markets, the ongoing banking crisis and how this might affect the ongoing funding of the DCC's programme of major capital projects, all of which are funded by loan.

My comments were essentially an addendum to the wider overview on the council's position in the same ODT report by DCC finance and corporate general manager Athol Stephens.

At that point, the position of financial markets going forward was not clear. That, as I informed Michelle, remained largely unchanged several weeks later but it had certainly not deteriorated. The same situation applies today, indeed it may be improved somewhat.

The only question posed by your reporter - in what was a very, very brief discussion - was a simple one in relation to the planned installation of secondary treatment at Tahuna. In response, I said (the elected arm of) council had not considered any change to its projected major capital programme, nor did it seem likely to have to.

I added that any reprioritisation of major capital projects would therefore occur when the council enters into its Annual Plan/Community Plan process next year (2009). In plain-speak, its normal budgeting round.

That remains the position.

How your front page story can sidestep those realities and set out to try and ‘‘whip up some waves'' is, to put it kindly, naive.

The reality is that if the market becomes tight and/or interest rates make borrowing too expensive, then council would need to determine what capital projects could be afforded. In short, re-prioritise its planned spending. More detailed but not much different to what every family has to do when considering taking out (say) a mortgage to buy a house.

In the extreme and unlikely event that the loan market totally collapsed or dried up, there would be no funding for any capital projects at all.
Those that would be affected are listed in council's current Annual Plan 2008-09 which is available in printed form or easily looked up on the DCC website.

The secondary treatment plant at Tahuna - budgeted to cost around $70 million - is but one. Like it or not, in such circumstances it cannot be excluded from consideration.

Council simply does not make such decisions on the basis of how one group (in this case, surfers) might be affected but on the benefits to the wider community.

Nor are such decisions made in isolation nor with haste.

I thank Graham Carse for correctly referencing the position I took on the matter of sewage treatment in 1991 during my term as Mayor. He overlooks however, that the detailed and comprehensive upgrade programme then agreed to, planned over 15+ years and costing well over $200 million has largely been implemented.

Effluent discharge into Otago Harbour has ceased with the closure of treatment plants at Sawyers Bay, Burkes and Grassy Point and treatment transferred to Tahuna plant.

Similarly the discharge of effluent from the Mosgiel Plant into the Silverstream/Taieri now goes out through the Green Island Treatment Plant which, amongst other upgrading, has secondary treatment.

The new outfall off the beach at Tahuna replacing the present outfall in the cliff-face at Lawyer's Head is near completion.

It was the use of that outfall and the virtually raw sewage it discharged, until the primary treatment at Tahuna itself was upgraded in the past 20 years or so, that was largely the cause of Tomahawk being closed to bathing etc from the mid-1940s. Hardly recent!

The proposed secondary treatment at Tahuna is the last stage in the upgrade programme referred to. I take some pride in what was agreed to and started on ‘‘my watch'', not because of anything I personally did, but because of what was implemented by the council I was privileged to lead - with wide community support -and which has been carried on by its successors, including the present one.

- Richard Walls Dunedin City Council
Finance and Strategy chair
[Abridged - Ed]

Solution to pollution not dilution - experts

From the ODT
By Michelle McCullough on Thu, 18 Dec 2008

To promote Dunedin as the wildlife capital of New Zealand is ridiculous, given the city's sewage-contaminated beaches, two wildlife experts say.

Former Dunedin penguin researcher John Darby, who now lives in Wanaka, is concerned the second stage of the Tahuna Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade will still not be good enough when it comes to the area's wildlife.

‘‘The proposal, even with the extended outfall, is to pour poorly treated waste out to sea and, given the vagaries of tides and currents offshore of Otago Peninsula, I am far from convinced that this resolves much by way of disease entities and contamination of the marine ecosystem,'' Mr Darby told The Star this week. ‘‘From a commercial point of view, it is ridiculous to be promoting Dunedin as the wildlife capital of New Zealand and at the same time closing beaches and restricting shellfish harvesting because of sewagecontaminated beaches.''

Former vice-president of Protect Our Ocean (Poo) Andrew Brown agrees. ‘‘If we want to continue to market ourselves as the wildlife capital of New Zealand we need to sort it out. It's an embarrassment,'' Mr Brown said. ‘‘Dunedin exists on thirdworld treatment facilities and it's been a city disgrace for more than 100 years.''

Both men echoed the concerns of surfers raised in last week's Star, in reaction to the possibility the second stage of the plant upgrade might have to be deferred because of the global economic climate. The possibility had been raised in earlier comments made by Dunedin city councillor Richard Walls.

Cr Walls did not wish to comment further when contacted yesterday, but earlier provided a response to The Star's front page article last week (see Page 5).

Mr Darby was ‘‘appalled'' there was any suggestion that the commissioning of the new outfall should be delayed any further, ‘‘nor am I happy that the DCC still considers that the solution to pollution is dilution,'' Mr Darby said. Mr Brown also fears the council will opt for chlorine disinfection instead of the secondary treatment system in order to meet the biological guidelines set down by the Otago Regional Council.

Former Poo member Dr Marc Schallenberg agrees that chlorine disinfection, which is banned overseas, would be unsatisfactory. ‘‘Adding an environmentally damaging chemical to sewage is no longer an acceptable way to treat waste, especially if it's going to be discharged to an ecosystem,'' Dr Schallenberg said. When contacted by The Star, DCC infrastructure services committee deputy chairman Bill Acklin said the council would receive a report on February 2 outlining recommendations for secondary treatment options.

With the outfall pipe expected to be operational in January, Cr Acklin saw no reason why the second stage of the upgrade would not go ahead. ‘‘It's now time to get into treatment and I don't see why it would be deferred. The funding is already in the budget, and the price is what has been budgeted for.'' Cr Acklin was unaware whether the use of chlorine was an option but predicted the second stage of the Tahuna upgrade would be modelled on the Green Island Wastewater Treatment plant.

Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade project manager Brian Turner said the council had never considered dilution of wastewater as a secondary treatment option. ‘‘We have never looked at diluting the waste because all discharges get diluted anyway.'' Mr Turner is adamant chlorine disinfection will not be an option for the secondary treatment plant.

Department of Conservation (Doc) spokesperson Liz Sherwood said there was no hard evidence to back up claims of wildlife experts that current waste discharge from the Lawyers Head outfall was having negative impacts on costal Otago wildlife. ‘‘Doc has no evidence that the Tahuna discharge is having an adverse effect on indigenous wildlife, including yellow-eyed penguins,'' Ms Sherwood said. ‘‘The department supports DCC's moves toward secondary treatment of human waste, which would greatly minimise the risk of human/wildlife disease transmission.''

Pics from the Dump


Forgot to do this post, images from a few sessions at the Dump in Westport during the Cape Classic labour weekend.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Gold and Silver for Black

Christmas buildup is something I haven't experienced in a long time. Lots of work, lots of spending, lots of bills and a lot of other little details to deal with! Gone are the days when I had the spare time to spend hours on the beach working the camera, or even kicking back and watching a movie. Now I don't even have time to update the blog, in case you haven't noticed!

Blackhead has been putting on the sugar the last week, and the ants have been swarming over the nectar. Photos from Saturday night, and late Sunday afternoon/eve.

Above: Carsey tucks in. Below left: MB bottom turn.

Above: Dunnos kneeboarder star of Drive Thru NZ fame, hits the lip at dusk.
Below: unknown making the drop.

Above: last night (Monday), leaving the carpark.. Will aim to get a post up of the rest of mondays pics in a few days.

Thursday, 11 December 2008



Last month..

I would like to see the new 'dispersion modelling' predictions.. and where they think the sewerage will be dispersed to.
We are not only talking about the future health of humans surfing along the harbour coast, but the health of the wildlife. Nearly all of the yellow eyed penguin chicks have died this season.. carcasses have sent for testing, but it is believed to be due to renal failure. And there have been marked decreases in the chicks of other species.
The city prides its self on clean greem wildlife tourist destination, but the truth behind the facade is pretty sick.
from what I understand the council needs to prioritise and get back tothe grass roots of supplying services to the city such as roading, drainage and sewerage treatment.. not glass domes, new buildings and a covered stadium
would you support..
Rugby over surfing?
entertainment over health?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008



Finished a commission last week.. for the classic Dogtown symbol. We set out the design on the computer... and jay and curly did the wood cutting and priming of the piece, i just had to paint on the artwork. Below, Curly with the finished piece.

Above, primed and ready. Right, completed.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Looking for Christmas gifts?


I have just listed eight $1 reserve auctions on trademe.

Monday, 1 December 2008

longboard day


Above, beano tucking in.
Was pretty small along the coast on saturday.
Caity came for the drive to just take pics.. but after ten mins.. she jumped in the water in her clothes and stole my longboard, and surfed for an hour. Pic below, Caity trimmming.

Above Steev Peyroux.. just all style

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