Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

That's based on full occupancy and doesn't take into account property related costs such as rates, mortgage interest payments or maintenance.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

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.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Dunedin teenager is denying six charges relating to a fatal car crash in the central city.

The crash occurred on the corner of Hope and Stafford streets last July.

An 18year old Invercargill woman was killed and several others were injured.

The driver, 19 year old Dunedin man Shay Robert Richards, has pleaded not guilty to six charges arising from the incident.

He's been remanded on bail for a case review hearing in April.

Richards is charged with causing death and injury by driving recklessly, failing to assist, and stealing petrol from a local service station.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The man accused of attempting to murder a woman in South Dunedin is awaiting his next court date behind bars.

The 43 year old man was arrested before appearing in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

He's charged with attempting to murder a 40 year old woman in Cutten Street on Sunday.

The accused has been granted interim name suppression.

He was remanded in custody by consent, to appear in the High Court at Dunedin via video link from prison on the 1st of March.

Police aren't disclosing details of the incident while it's under investigation and subject to a court case.

Officers were called to Cutten Street on reports a woman had been seriously assaulted just before 6am.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chinese New Year festivities are continuing around the city.

Students at the University of Otago have been treated to a range of activities and music on campus.

And for a new group of performers it was a chance to start the year right.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Residents are getting one last chance to have their say on the city council's proposed second generation plan.

Staff have reopened a drop-in centre near the Octagon to help people figure out how the plan will affect them.

And it's hoped the secondary feedback will streamline the lengthy subsequent hearing process.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The New Zealand Transport Agency is planning to separate cyclists from traffic on the city's one-way system.

It'll cost about $8m to create raised cycle paths along the two inner city stretches of State Highway One.

So our word on the street team asked members of the public if they'd cycle the one-way system if separated from traffic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hundreds of cyclists made the most of a free breakfast in the Octagon this morning for the national Go By Bike Day.

Cycling group SPOKES Dunedin organised the local event, attended by about 450 people.

Those who biked into the central city between 6.45am and 9am were offered free breakfast food and drink.

The New Zealand Transport Agency-led group Bike Wise helped cover the cost, and some food was donated by local businesses.

SPOKES wants to run the annual event in Dunedin again, but there's uncertainty about the future of Bike Wise.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Local Meals on Wheels providers are seeing an influx of clients as a result of the Southern District Health Board's new food scheme.

The SDHB is now using frozen meals made in the North Island, which are trucked south.

And that's prompting some customers to order from a different menu.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Southern District Health Board is reaching out to the community with a new programme aimed at steering the organisation forward.

Health staff are wanting to engage with residents about their personal experiences of local medical care.

And there's potential for the public to spearhead change.