Kapi-Mana News : August 21st 2012
3 KAPI-MANA NEWS, AUGUST 21, 2012 NEWS Wheeler s Guardian FUNERAL HOME NORTH CITY any cancer... any question for cancer information and support contact our cancer nurses 0800 CANCER (226 237) email email@example.com aconfdential service for people with cancer, families, whanau, friends, health professionals and students 8.30am-5pm Monday -- Thursday 8.30am--4.30pm Friday Porirua designer pick of the crop Cut above: Porirua inventor Nick Ross with his award-winning, eco- friendly tree-cutting device, the Axolotyl. ' Over the past years I have noticed the forests decreasing and I started my project questioning why this was happening ' Design award winner Nick Ross A tree-harvesting device devised by Porirua man Nick Ross has won a national James Dyson Award, which recognises innov- ative feats in design. The 25-year-old Massey Uni- versity industrial design gradu- ate wowed judges with the Axo- lotyl, a tree-cutting vehicle with the potential to revolutionise the forestry sector. Mr Ross, now based in Sweden, did not return home for the award ceremony in Auck- land last Thursday. He has been busy presenting his invention to forestry manufacturers. The Axolotyl, named after the endangered Mexican walking fish, is designed to cut and separate tree trunks, branches and needles on site, and return its nutrients to the ground for natural regeneration. In doing so it bypasses current tree har- vesting methods that require return visits to the forest by heavy trucks causing soil com- paction and damage to sur- rounding trees. "Over the past years I have noticed the forests decreasing and I started my project ques- tioning why this was happen- ing," Mr Ross said. "I absorbed myself with for- estry specialists and Scand- inavian forestry equipment manufacturers and their users to uncover their expertise." At present Mr Ross has a prototype of his design and is in discussions with the Scand- inavian forestry industry to com- mercialise it. Awards head judge David Lovegrove, from the Designers Institute of New Zealand, praised the research that went into the design, which he called "the best research project we ve seen from New Zealand entries . "He didn t set out to design a tree harvester. He approached the design with the simple ques- tion, how do you grow trees bet- ter? So we were encouraged to see sustainability was a core motivation in the product s development, and during the design process." The Axolotyl will compete against designs from 18 other participating countries for the international James Dyson Award to be announced in November. Mr Ross prize package includes a trip to Britain cour- tesy of the British Council New Zealand, with $3000 travelling money. He will also meet key members of the British design community. Rates a worry with super-city By KRIS DANDO Porirua residents left Geoffrey Palmer in no doubt about what they think of the thorny amalgamation issue last Thursday. The former primer minister is chairman of an independent panel holding a series of public meetings to discuss the future of local govern- ment in this region. The other mem- bers are former Wellington City and regional councillor Sue Driver, senior public servant Sir Wira Gardiner and businessman Bryan Jackson. To about 80 people at Pataka, Sir Geoffrey outlined the aims of the panel, which has the backing of Pori- rua City and Greater Wellington councils. We have seen the [super city] dev- elopments in Auckland. There are features, like spatial planning, that have never been seen before and must be considered in any debate in Wellington, said Mr Palmer. But there are also features that are unique about this region and we need to have a dialogue with you and then present a report. Initial queries from the floor were about what amalgamation would do to rates in Porirua. Bruce Twiddle from Mana-Tawa Grey Power said superannuitants were already feel- ing the pinch, with more than a third of their income already going towards rates. Mr Palmer said there would always be pressure on local authorit- ies from central government and a rating review when looking at amal- gamation was logical. Comments towards the panel were well-thought out, intelligent and impassioned. One man told the audi- ence he moved to Porirua from Samoa and was afraid the cultural identity and diversity that had made the city famous would be crushed under the weight of any super-city. Look at Tawa, it s shopping mall has gone down and down. I m wor- ried everything s going to be about Wellington, Wellington, Wellington. Ms Driver, who lives in Welling- ton, said she was jealous of Porirua s diversity and one of the panel s key issues was to argue that each city should retain its distinct identity. Porirua has a vibrancy, it is like no other part of the region. But I also feel it is possible to have that strong local identity and bring it all together in a coherent way that can add quality and strength. Another resident noted our great- ness comes from our smallness and that Porirua should be the capital of any super-city. One said Auckland s super-city was a debacle . . . and while we can t keep our finger in the dyke, we must ensure the character of Porirua is not lost . Mr Palmer said robust discussion and input from the public was cru- cial, both at these meetings and in online submissions. More public meetings will precede the panel s report to the Local Gov- ernment Commission in October.
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