Kapi-Mana News : August 30th 2011
16 KAPI-MANA NEWS, AUGUST 30, 2011 NEWS There's heaps of exciting conservation events happening this September, from coastal clean ups and dune plantings to discovery tours, walks and talks in our great outdoors. Activities include: Heritage Discovery Tours Saturday 10 September & Saturday 17 September, Government Buildings. Weed Swap: meet the locals, banish the weeds Sunday 11 September, Waitangi Park, Wellington Turere Lodge opening celebration Saturday 17 September, Turere Lodge, Orongorongo Valley, Rimutaka Forest Park For more information on these and other events near you visit: www.conservationweek.org.nz 3993403AA Show your country you love it Conservation Week 11--18 September Specsavers tests give islanders sight By ANDREA O'NEIL A vision: Porirua optometrist Forum Patel will donate $1 from every vision test he does to a charity that treats eye problems in the developing world. There has never been a better time to get your eyesight tested -- an eye charity will receive $1 from every vision test done at any Specsavers optometrists until November. Money raised will go to the Fred Hollows Foun- dation, a charity dedicated to eye care in develop- ing countries. Since Saturday, until tomorrow, Specsavers across New Zealand and Australia are donating $5 to the foundation from every eye test performed, which will go specifically towards a Fred Hollows mission to Vanuatu next month. About $30,000 was raised towards the mission in total. The money will be used for optometrists flights and the equipment they need to work in Vanuatu. Porirua optometrist Forum Patel went on a similar mission to Samoa last year and stresses how critical the missions are to islanders eye health. There is only one optometrist in Samoa, and islanders struggle to afford even the boat fare to visit him, Mr Patel says. Even if the optometrist is reached, the cost of glasses is more than half the average yearly income. Some people are nearly blind from untreated eye infections they got as children. People have been blind half their life or their whole life. Island optometrists themselves struggle with inadequate funding and equipment -- tools are usually donated by charity and are sterilised over open flames, Mr Patel says. On his mission Mr Patel checked people for cataracts and poor vision, performed cataract sur- gery, and in one extreme case removed somebody s eye that was infected beyond help. It was full on, he says. Sunglasses are distributed on missions to com- bat a common problem in the islands -- eye cancer from lifelong ultraviolet exposure. Ninety-nine per cent of the year it s sunny and like I said, no-one can afford glasses -- they don t buy sunglasses either, Mr Patel says. Good for region and us By JIM CHIPP Departing Grow Wellington chair- man Murray McCaw has no time for parochial attitudes that resent pay- ing to support the capital s develop- ment agency. He said Wellingtonian residents have a history of saying, What s in it for me? rather than, What s good for the region is what s actually good for me . You ve got to get over those par- ochial boundaries, he said. If you have a strong city environ- ment -- whether it s Wellington city or Porirua city doesn t matter -- if you have a strong city you ve got a strong region. The attitude of Kapiti District Council changed markedly when a Clean Technology Centre was estab- lished in Otaki, Mr McCaw said. The centre provides a host for technology company start-ups and is intended to become a technology park. Wairarapa is also beginning to reap the rewards of Grow Welling- ton s work, particularly Carterton bacon producer Premier Beehive. They have had huge benefits out of what Grow Wellington does. A major irrigation development, four or five years from fruition, will be of enormous benefit for Wairarapa people, he said. Wellington on a Plate is a more visible part of Grow Wellington s work, in partnership with Positively Tourism Wellington. That was about getting Welling- ton known as a great food city, Mr McCaw said. The next task is to get some of Wellington s export product into Australia. To that end, a pop-up restaurant was set up in Sydney for two weeks, purveying exclusively Wellington food. During the day it was a trade show, showcasing Wellington products, and at night it became a restaurant. Even at night the traders were able to bring guests into the res- taurant and see their food being pre- pared and utilised. That s been very successful from a food and wine and beer perspective, he said. Mr McCaw said Grow Wellington worked hard to keep the Cordon Bleu school in New Zealand and the Wel- lington region, once its Martin- borough plans had fallen through, and he expects that to pay big dividends to primary producers. We are going to start exporting New Zealand-trained chefs, and if they are used to working with New Zealand product, wherever they may be working around the world, they will be aware of specific New Zea- land product and are going to want to use that product. Transforming an economy takes world-class education and research, he said. Another Grow Wellington project has been co-ordinating a health cen- tre of excellence at Wellington Hos- pital, aimed at maximising the benefits of research going on at Vic- toria and Massey universities and the Malaghan Institute. As well as helping researchers to get their work to the market, it has indirect benefits to all Wellingtonians, he said. Top scholars are attracted to the centre to work on their research in Wellington, and they do their clinical work locally. Mr McCaw is going from one chal- lenge to another. Next year he plans to take on the Great Wall of China half-marathon section. Grow Wellington director Paul Mersi will take over as chairman.
August 23rd 2011
September 6th 2011