Home' Whangarei Leader : April 5th 2011 Contents 15
WHANGAREI LEADER, APRIL 5, 2011
Keeping customers informed
With the prevalence of international
tsunami activity, localised cyclone warnings
and recent flooding it is timely to take an
early look at winter electrical safety.
The installation of the first of 70 tsunami sirens in
Ngunguru is a combined safety initiative between
the Whangarei District Council, the Civil Defence
Emergency Management Group and Northpower.
It is a project first touted several years ago
through the Northland Civil Defence Emergency
Management Group, whose members include the
regions three district councils, the Northland
Regional Council, emergency services and lifeline
The Ngunguru siren is one of a network of 70
being installed along the shores of the Whangarei
District to warn coastal communities of likely
tsunami and will compliment a similar network in
the Far North.
With winter fast approaching it is
important that we all give thought to safety
in and around the Northpower electricity
So if this winter you come across downed power
lines please keep clear of it and ensure others stay
away also particularly children. Treat lines as
live at all times.
Likewise, if you get tingles (shocks) from taps
or metal clad appliances there is a faulty
connection on the neutral conductor, so please
refrain from touching until a Northpower fault
specialist, electrician or inspector has checked out
Winter is a time when faults are more
prevalent due to increased wind activity so we ask
for your help in reporting any lines down or trees
across power lines to Northpower Faults on
0800 10 40 40 (we are available 24 hours).
But before you phone there are a couple of
checks you can complete, so please first take the
time to check the power supply at your property
first, such as fuses or switches that may have
While we are only too happy to send fault
specialists to check your problem, if the fault is
found to be on your property there will be a
charge incurred for the visit along with any
repairs, if of course you wish for Northpower to
proceed with the work.
From time to time adverse weather
conditions like storms will cause widespread
power outages. If you see a flash near power lines
or hear a bang or see a reason for an outage
dont hesitate to call our faults department. Please
be patient though as in peak storm season there
can be delays with our telephonists taking your
call due to high call volumes.
It is important to note that if you need
electricity to run important medical equipment
such as oxygen concentrators, dialysis machines,
go to hospital via ambulance if need be.
The reason for this is that in a storm even if
we fix one particular fault, there is no guarantee
that there will not be other faults.
Unplug electronic equipment in a storm as a
lightning strike could damage this equipment even
with power surge protection.
If you have part power - that is some plugs
and lights work - you most likely have a low
voltage fault and we recommend you turn off
motors (e.g. refrigerator, freezer, water pump,
machinery) to avoid the motors burning out but
dont forget to turn them back on once your
power is restored.
In times of power outages, keep refrigerator
and freezer doors closed unless really necessary.
Food in an unopened freezer will remain frozen a
lot longer than one that is being opened regularly.
Remember, a BBQ is a great cooking device in
the event of a power outage and if you rely on an
electric water pump have bottles filled for "just in
If at any time this winter you have no hot water
go through the following checklist before
contacting Northpower faults.
X Is the switch on?
X Circuit breaker or fuse okay?
X Water leaking out of overflow or tap?
If the power has been off for several hours and
you've still been using hot water the cylinder will
need several hours to reheat again.
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Not your average orchard
Supreme award: Sue and Shane Culham, owners of Puripak Avocados
A highly progressive horticul-
tural enterprise has won the
supreme award in the 2011
Northland Ballance Farm
Puripak Avocados is the first
horticultural enterprise to win
the supreme award in the six
years the awards have been
held in Northland.
The 14.3 hectare orchard at
Glenbervie is owned by Sue and
At a Ballance Farm Environ-
ment Awards ceremony on
March 30, Puripak also col-
lected the Ballance Agri-
Nutrients Habitat Improve-
ment Award and the Massey
University Discovery Award.
Awards judges described
Puripak as an excellent
example of an enterprise that
marries commercial viability
with the need to preserve and
improve the natural habitat.
The orchard was established
in late 2004 with the planting of
550 Hass trees.
Sue Culham first developed
the orchard on a part-time basis
but now works fulltime on the
property, employing some help.
Shane runs an engineering
business in Whangarei.
The couple intends to make
the orchard a sustainable
Puripak has been carefully
developed to protect the ancient
puriri and taraire trees that are
scattered around the property.
Pockets of native bush have
been restored and most are
under QEII National Trust
Judges praised the decision to
leave native trees among the
They said the Culhams'
meticulous management has
resulted in exceptional tree size
uniformity, zero plant mortality
and excellent production across
the entire orchard.
Production has been continu-
ously above industry averages
for trees of the same age.
Since the first plantings, the
Culhams have always used con-
sultants to ensure the develop-
ment of the lifestyle property as
a viable and sustainable stand-
alone commercial enterprise.
The orchard has a river boun-
dary and a stream, and Shane
plans to make the river's edge
an indigenous tree park.
Puripak's volcanic soil is
ideally suited to the production
and health of avocado.
Puripak Avocados was one of
the first avocado orchards in
Northland to become NZGap
compliant. The Culhams are
also involved in new cultivar
Sue and Shane supply the
engineering firm's staff and a
local daycare centre with avo-
cados. Through Culham Engin-
eering they have also set up an
engineering department at
Whangarei Boys' High and an
annual engineering apprentice
They also sponsor Child Can-
cer in Northland, several
hockey teams, rugby teams and
the annual Culham Cup tour-
nament for schoolboy rugby.
A field day will be held on the
Supreme Award winning orch-
ard on April 14.
Pint-sized cattle will be mod-
elling their wonders this
weekend with the inaugural
Dexter Cattle National Open
Two Whangarei farms, in
Kokopu and Whareora, will
be open to the public to share
information about the breed.
The dexter is an ancient
Irish cattle breed which
stands just one metre high.
The versatile breed is ideal
for dairy farmers, lifestyle
farmers or someone wanting
a small milch cow.
Dexter cattle were orig-
inally used by the Irish as
They were also put to use
tilling the land, while their
milk supplied the family.
Their marbled meat also
made for good eating.
full of love
Boxing on: Whangarei MP Phil Heatley and
Annika Taylor, electorate agent, receive
care packages destined for Christchurch
Little Shoe Boxes of Love -- filled with
feel good gifts and luxury items that
will make life for people who experi-
enced the earthquake a little more
bearable -- are on their way to Christ-
The small gesture shows that people
care for them and are thinking of them,
Mr Heatley says.
To contribute to the initiative, fill a
shoe box with age appropriate goodies,
write which age and gender it is for
and leave it at the electorate office for
Visit www.shoeboxesoflove.org.nz for
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