Thursday, May 5, 2016

Three Dunedin institutions are among finalists in this year's national museum awards.

Otago Museum is in the running for four category prizes for different exhibitions and galleries including its new planetarium.

Displays about local Maori women and the late Ralph Hotere's private ceramics collection are also being recognised, as is the museum's beautiful science gallery.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is a finalist in the social history section for its harbour communities exhibition.

And the Dunedin Public Art Gallery is up for a Maori award for an archives display.

Winners will be announced in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society is celebrating a national award for one of its events.

The society's St Andrew's Day festivities in the Octagon late last November were recognised in the recent Sister Cities New Zealand awards.

The event won the best cultural, sport or recreation project category.

Judges said the St Andrew's Day activities were innovative and successfully engaged the local community while strengthening Dunedin's ties to Edinburgh.

The event was credited with raising the profile and awareness of sister city relationships.

Society members have received $1500 worth of air travel.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Police have arrested and charged a man for stealing a car and are investigating whether he's linked to other crimes in the Kaikorai Valley area.

Officers say they apprehended a man driving a stolen Mazda Familia on Gladstone Road in Mosgiel yesterday afternoon.

The car was reportedly stolen late the previous night from outside a house in Mulberry Lane off Kaikorai Valley Road.

There were two other incidents in the area around the same time which were reported to police.

Attempts were made to steal a car parked on Bradford Street and to burgle a Peel Street home, where a cat flap was ripped off a door.

Police say they suspect the driver of the stolen car may have also been involved in those incidents.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Otago Down Syndrome Association is being given the proceeds from a creative activity involving local children.

A crowd of excitable intermediate school pupils have been climbing inside zorbs for a fundraiser organised by tertiary students.

But the event wasn't just about providing a financial boost.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

An arts and culture group is lobbying the city council for more investment as part of this week's annual plan hearing.

Transforming Dunedin wants the council to put more money into the local arts and culture network to add vibrancy to the city.

And members say the flow-on effects would have wide-ranging benefits.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

An invasive weed has been contained in Otago but farmers are being warned not to become complacent in the fight to eradicate it.

About 200 velvetleaf plants have been discovered and destroyed on 51 properties throughout the region.

The Otago Regional Council says the immediate threat is over but the fight against the pest isn't yet won.

Staff are urging farmers to be vigilant in looking for the weed, as it's likely seeds dropped from plants before they were removed.

Velvetleaf got into the country within contaminated fodder beet crops and was discovered in early March.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

New data confirms it's a seller's market in Otago, with a higher number of properties being bought for more money and in less time.

Otago has 384 new listings for this month, showing a 16.7% increase on a year ago.

The local inventory is 13 weeks which is how long it would theoretically take to clear all unsold properties on the market without any new listings.

That's slightly less than the national average of 14 weeks, and half the region's long term average of six and a half months.

The median selling price in the region is just over $320,000.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More than 400 first home buyers in Dunedin have used a new government assistance initiative in its first year.

There have been 413 locals who've accessed grants through the HomeStart scheme since it was launched last April.

It replaces the KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy.

Eligible buyers can apply for up to $10,000 for a deposit on an existing home and twice that amount for a new build.

Locally $2.3m in grants has been allocated.

Nationwide almost 12,000 people have received a total of $55.6m.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The city council says two thirds of South Dunedin mud tanks weren't properly maintained when last June's record rainfall hit.

That exacerbated problems for residents and property owners.

So our word on the street team asked members of the public if they're worried about more flooding this winter.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The city council says two thirds of South Dunedin mud tanks weren't properly maintained when last June's record rainfall hit.

That exacerbated problems for residents and property owners.

So our word on the street team asked members of the public if they're worried about more flooding this winter.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A long-serving financial assistant to the community is retiring after more than a quarter of a century.

The head of the Dunedin Budget Advisory Service is stepping down from giving free guidance to residents facing financial difficulty.

And the future of the service itself is in limbo.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

University of Otago students are getting the opportunity to vote on several subjects in an upcoming referendum.

Some have been putting their cases to the Otago University Students' Association during a feedback forum.

And topics ranging from finances to costumes are on the line.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A sum of money handed in to police at the start of the year is still yet to be claimed and officers are calling for the rightful owner to come forward.

They say the cash was found by a worker at the PAK'nSAVE supermarket in South Dunedin on the 16th of January.

But there have been no associated reports or claims since then.

Police aren't disclosing how much money was handed in or exactly where it was found, as that information will help to verify a legitimate owner.

Officers also have some surveillance footage from the time which could assist in confirming who the cash belongs to.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Residents have been swapping and buying used clothing as part of Rape Awareness Week.

A fashion exchange event on campus today was one of several fundraisers organised by Rape Crisis Dunedin.

Staff say money's needed with new clients turning up weekly.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Dunedin City Council is getting down to business, launching into its annual plan hearing.

Submitters are getting a chance to discuss their concerns and ideas on a range of topics from freedom camping to road safety.

And already there's agreement about certain issues.