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A local community group is leading a motion to make the city's main beach safer for residents.

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The Dunedin City Council has reinstated a maintenance contract with a gang-related company.

The $52,000 contract was suspended in December when the lead man involved was arrested.

The latest crop of horticultural apprentices are getting stuck in to work at the country's oldest botanic garden.

More than two dozen cyclists have pedalled into the city on their journey from one end of the country to the other.

Model engineering enthusiasts are publicly showing off their pride and joy for a yearly festival.

Local house prices are down slightly for the start of the year compared to December and less properties are selling.

More reports have emerged of a suspected male prowler in South Dunedin.

Your City

  • Otago has the second highest investment returns in the country when it comes to residential rental properties.

    The latest data shows Gisborne is the only region performing better than Otago.

    That's excluding the Coromandel where prices are skewed by short term holiday rentals.

    Average returns locally are about 5.5% of the average asking price, in the first year.

    It means renting out a $300,000 home will result in a gross return of just under $17,000.

  • Local children are meeting at the city's main beaches to learn how to be safe in the sea.

    Surf Life Saving New Zealand's beach education programme has begun in Otago this week, with thousands of primary school pupils taking part.

    It's aimed at reducing water-related tragedies.

  • An unpleasant odour that's been wafting over some seaside suburbs for the past week is back with a vengeance.

    The issue at the Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant has had staff stumped, despite several days of monitoring and maintenance.

    But a solution is becoming clear.

  • A shop offering free flatting goods to tertiary students was cleaned out within minutes this morning.

    The free shop was a new concept implemented by the Otago University Students' Association.

    And its unexpected popularity has organisers back at square one.

  • Taieri College staff are being left in the dark about the fate of their severely damaged hall.

    The facility was ravaged by fire late last year, destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of school equipment and property.

    Now it's in the hands of the Ministry of Education.

  • Residents in the Corstorphine area are being warned to look out for a man acting suspiciously around houses.

    Police have received several reports of a young man lurking near homes, looking in windows and knocking on doors in the suburb this week.

    Officers say when the man's approached he tends to say he's looking for his dog or a friend.

    But police believe he may have more sinister intentions.

    He's described as being in his early 20s and is not thought to be aggressive.

    Residents in the area are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to police.

Business

  • There's no sign of a slowdown in retail spending, with electronic card transactions up in the last month.

    Just under $5b was spent electronically in January.

    That's an increase of about 5% on a year ago.

    Hospitality is a leading industry, bringing in an extra $10m last month.

    Spending in some sectors has fallen, most noticeably in relation to fuel purchases.

    But booming tourism and record low interest rates are expected to keep retail businesses afloat.

  • Investors in a Milton wool mill are unlikely to be reimbursed through the company's liquidation.

    Receivers say Bruce Woollen Mill Ltd owes just over $4.7m.

    About a million dollars is owing to secured and preferential creditors, including employees and Inland Revenue.

    But the majority of the debt relates to shareholder loans and unsecured investments.

    The company's assets are being sold but they're not expected to generate enough money to cover liabilities.

    A liquidation hearing is scheduled for the High Court at Dunedin on the 3rd of March.

  • A former luxury hotel is being listed on the market for keen investors.

    Corstorphine House is for sale, for $3.8m.

    The privately-owned property in Milburn Street used to be a high-end hotel and function venue.

    Famous guests include Prince Charles, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

    Property broker Adrian Chisholm says the house would be a smart investment for hospitality vendors, with increasing interest in the local tourism sector.

    The house was built in 1863 and sits on a 3ha section.

  • Falling oil prices are having a marked impact on local exports.

    The shipping rate to China is 26% lower than a year ago, and 7% lower than last month.

    Some exporters are reporting the lowest rates in over 20 years.

    That's as the New Zealand dollar is declining, making goods more attractive to overseas buyers.

    The kiwi has slid more than 5% against the greenback so far this year.

  • The growth in residential building hit an all-time record of a billion dollars in November last year.

    Figures from Statistics New Zealand show the value of consents issued in Otago rose consistently from $42M in August to $52M in November.

    Dunedin was up from 269 dwelling consents in October to 337 in November.

  • Automotive company 2 Cheap Cars is looking to sell its stake in Kiwi Regional Airlines.

    The car reseller today said it wants to sell its 10.4% holding.

    The company initially owned 23% of the airline, but its shareholding was diluted several times during the year as Kiwi Regional Airlines issued more shares.

    There are currently four other investors who each individually own various percentages.

    Kiwi Regional Airlines was set up by Ewan Wilson in December 2014, after Air New Zealand announced it was abandoning several regional services.

Local Sport

  • A former King's High School basketball team is reuniting after almost two decades.

    Players are taking to the court for the Masters Games tournament in the city, and they're hoping to come out on top.

  • Dunedin's a finalist in national awards aimed at recognising people's favourite places to cycle.

    There are four categories and Dunedin's in line to win the on-road section.

    The city surrounds, including Otago Peninsula, is up against four other spots including Christchurch's Port Hills.

    Kiwis are being asked to vote for their favourite cycling locations online throughout February, which is Bike Wise Month.

    The awards are run each year by the New Zealand Transport Agency, with winners due to be announced on the 3rd of March.

  • Track and field competitors from all over the country have congregated to kick off the annual Masters Games in Dunedin.

    More than 100 athletes took part in the opening event at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday.

    And some were proving that age is no handicap.

  • The New Zealand Masters Games is kicking off in Dunedin, with over 4000 athletes set to compete.

    The schedule's jam-packed with hundreds of events including figure skating and an indoor triathlon.

    And organisers are challenging the misconception that the event's just for old people.

  • Starting at the top of the Super Rugby table, the Highlanders are heading into three pre-season matches.

    Players are facing the departure of head coach Jamie Joseph, as well as the pressure to perform.

    But they're confidently pushing that to the sidelines.

  • Local athletes are gearing up for what is expected to be a very full summer sporting calendar.

    Several athletics events are being held at the Caledonian Ground over the next couple of months.

    And that's serving as good preparation for the biggest contest of them all.