Struggle no longer: The alternative Christmas gift list is here

Struggle no longer: The alternative Christmas gift list is here

Emoji coin purse is a bit of a “gag gift” idea this Christmas.

Choosing Christmas presents for those hard-to-buy-for people adds unwanted stress to an already stressful time of year.

You’ve bought for the kids, and for your mum and dad, but what about the people who seem to have everything, or don’t want or need anything?

How about fishing drones, or emoji purses, or a 3D pen?

Trade Me spokesman Logan Mudge​ said while drones’ popularity dropped from the highs they enjoyed in 2015, they were seeing interest in the latest evolution – the fishing drone.

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“I’m a big fan of the fishing drone I could have a lot of fun with that.”

A fishing drone allows you to pull single baits out to spots that cannot be reached by casting, and can even replace traditional kontiki systems by flying out multiple baited hooks to offshore locations.

However, a drone won’t cut it for everyone.

“The laser cut brooch is a great gift for Grandma – a bit of new tech applied to an old fashion favourite,” Mudge said.

“For your uncle, I think the silicon record coasters are a great touch. He can reminisce about music in his heyday while keeping the water mark from his beer off the table.”

There had been spikes in Trade Me searches of a number of alternative Christmas gifts.

“In particular, fishing drones have seen a 120 per cent jump in searches since the start of December, 3D pens are pretty new but we’ve seen some big jumps in searches (up 80 per cent since the start of December), while bonsais are really popular all year long so searches have only increased by 5 per cent since the start of the month.

“We expect to see searches and sales increase as we get closer to the day and ‘present panic’ sets in.”

There is also a Go Pro lifejacket, which – if you are taking selfies in the water this summer – will help you keep hold of your Go Pro in the waves.

There there’s chocolate or cinnamon beard oil. You could give this to the man in your life who is still rocking the Movember look.

Mudge admitted there were a few of the gifts that were a “little out of the ordinary”, he said.

For the traveller – or aspiring traveller – there’s a scratch globe. Yep, a scratch globe. Coins at the ready.



For the trickster in the family comes a modern day “gag gift” – an emoji coin purse.

“There’s someone in every family who deserves or needs this,” Mudge said.

Mudge wanted to remind keen shoppers to get in quickly, as there was just seven sleeps until the big day.

Trade Me’s top 10 gifts for those hard-to-by-for people

  • Fishing Drone 
  • Go Pro lifejacket
  • Bonsai 
  • Chocolate Beard Oil
  • Silicone Record Coasters
  • Scratch maps
  • Emoji coin purse
  • Novelty tea infusers
  • Laser cut wooden brooches
  • 3D printing pen

– Stuff

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Published at Sat, 17 Dec 2016 16:09:39 +0000

Editorial: 63 reasons why action is too little, too late

Editorial: 63 reasons why action is too little, too late

Mark Dawson, Editor of Wanganui Chronicle
Mark Dawson, Editor of Wanganui Chronicle

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas apparently, and I suspect that Maui’s dolphins don’t vote for set-net fishing.

There’s always a good animal story at Christmas, but fishing companies Sanford and Moana NZ, with their loudly-heralded plan to stop killing dolphins, were not providing it this week – despite what their public relations staff might think.

Usually the story follows traditional lines – cute kitten brings Christmas day joy to young child; cute kitten abandonned a week after Christmas … that sort of thing.

And there is always the one about the sheep being tended by three shepherds, the camels carrying three wise men … and there is often a little donkey in there somewhere.

This year’s good animal story was the Whitianga harbourmaster Mat Collicott breaching Conservation Department regulations as he helped save an orca whale entangled in a crayfish pot (yes, the good old fishing industry again) and close to death.

Mat’s a hero – oh, and yes, he’s been stood down from his job by DoC for getting involved.

Meanwhile, Sanford and Moana NZ have come up with a scheme to limit the number of Maui’s they bump off, and it has a timeline stretching to 2022.

Bizarrely, they have had praise heaped on them, and the TV news delivered them a PR coup.

The question is: Why did they wait until there were just 63 Maui’s dolphins left before taking action?

And why hasn’t the government done more to protect the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin?

The answer is that they are not important enough; they are too far down the food chain and the priority chain.

If it is the price of saving these creatures, I will gladly give up eating fish.

Call me a softie, but every time a species is homo sapien-ised into extinction, the world seems a poorer place.

I have this strange notion that Maui’s dolphins have as much right to exist on this planet as we have.

- Wanganui Chronicle

Published at Sat, 17 Dec 2016 19:17:06 +0000

Moeraki restaurant Fleur's Place and others starved for kitchen staff

Moeraki restaurant Fleur's Place and others starved for kitchen staff

MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

Fleur Sullivan, owner of Fleur’s Place in Moeraki explains why it’s so hard for her to cope with large numbers of visitors.

A serious shortage of kitchen staff has seen renowned Moeraki restaurateur Fleur Sullivan resort to washing the dishes herself.

“We’re going into summer with a skeleton staff. It’s terrifying at the moment.

“I’ve been doing the dishes flat out.”

Sullivan, who is advertising for three chefs and also needs a dish washer and a kitchen hand, is desperate to bolster her team before the visitor peak hits bringing more than 200 diners a day.

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Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa​ Bidois said staff shortages were an issue throughout the country, but small towns and isolated areas were really struggling to recruit cafe, bar and restaurant workers.

In a recent survey 65 per cent of hospitality businesses reported extreme difficulty hiring chefs with positions advertised repeatedly to find suitable candidates.  

Only eight of 159 businesses surveyed paid more than $30 an hour for management roles and 60 per cent of vacancies were filled by immigrants on work visas.

Bidois said the industry would collapse without the labour they provided, especially in small towns which relied on transient workers who were often backpackers.

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) is encouraging international visitors to get out into the regions to take the pressure off places such as Queenstown, and that was adding to the problem, Bidois said.

“How do we serve them, and do our people have the staff to keep up with the numbers? That answer now is no.”

Despite providing accommodation in six houses for staff at her award winning restaurant, Sullivan said it was hard for a small fishing village like Moeraki to compete with the likes of Queenstown. 

 “They don’t have to provide accommodation or anything there because  it’s the glamour place where young people want to go.”

More than half her diners were Asian visitors, so she needed waitresses with the necessary language skills.

But she said it had taken five months to convince Immigration New Zealand to issue a work visa for a young Asian woman because she could not find a Kiwi waitress fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin or Korean.

“It’s so stressful and so hard, it just exhausts you.”

Sullivan last week hired Maribelle​ Winters as restaurant manager.

The 28-year-old German was a public relations consultant in her home city of Essen​, but had hospitality experience from working weekends working in cafes and restaurants.

Winters said she planned to remain in Moeraki for the next year.  “It’s just a beautiful little spot, it has everything; the beach, you can go mountain biking and there are mountains, and lakes in Central Otago. I like the atmosphere, it feels special.”

Sullivan is hoping she can find other staff who are equally enthusiastic about village life, but admits it will be tough. 

“A lot of the overseas ones with work visas want a change from chefing, so they go and pick fruit.”

Chris Smith teaches a diploma of cookery at Otago Polytechnic’s Central Otago campus and he has had hospitality outlets queuing to hire his students. 

“We’re getting multiple calls from Otago managers looking for staff.”

Smith said one of eight recent graduates was earning $25 an hour, well above minimum wage, which reflected the shortage of suitable staff. 

Bidois said hospitality operators wanted to employ locals, but often did not have time to train them on the job if they lacked experience.

The Restaurant Association had run 10 one month-long courses teaching basic hospitality skills to Work and Income clients in Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton.

More than half the 120 Auckland participants had found jobs, Bidois said, and they planned to run the courses in other regions.

– Stuff

Comments

Published at Sat, 17 Dec 2016 22:09:07 +0000

Southland mystery object likely from fishing industry

Southland mystery object likely from fishing industry

The mystery of the long pipe has not been solved.

The mystery of the long pipe has not been solved.

A mystery object that washed up on a Southland beach continues to baffle officials.

Environment Southland is trying to identify a 100-metre long object that washed up with an incoming tide on Te Waewae beach, west of Invercargill, this week.

Deputy harbourmaster Ian Coard has appealed to the public for help with figuring out where the object came from and to who it belongs.

The object is made of a plastic-like substance.

The object is made of a plastic-like substance.

Do you know what the object is? Email newstips@stuff.co.nz

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The object is man-made – long, black, made of some kind of plastic and with metal loops on either end.

The mystery object near Tuatapere.

The mystery object near Tuatapere.

Environment Southland is keen to identify the object and its owner so it can be claimed and removed.

On Friday, Coard said the huge object posed a navigational hazard, but a local farmer had since helped move the pipe-like object well away from the tide line. 

While Environment Southland was yet to identify the object, it was starting to narrow down the possibilities.

This barnacle-covered object on Auckland's Muriwai beach caused a similar stir when it was first found.

This barnacle-covered object on Auckland’s Muriwai beach caused a similar stir when it was first found.

Coard said a lot of people had contacted him suggesting it was used as part of a mobile fishing operation, possibly for salmon fishing.

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Other suggestions of it being from a farm had been disregarded, due to the object’s size.

“I think it’s from the fishing industry. But what part, I have no idea.”

Debbie Stone of the Marine Farming Association said the object did not look much like a mussel-farm boom, as some had suggested.

“Our out lines are more like ropes.”

However, many other experts and hobbyists wrote in to say it was a standard pipe, probably made of high density polyethylene – with the blue lines indicating it carried water.

Most suggested it was an airtight boom of some sort. 

“It’s like someone welded up a new water pipeline, was ready to pull it back through the hole they’d drilled for it and it ended up in the ocean? It must have been used for a boom for some bloody thing, if it was ever installed as a pipeline, the tapered cap would have been cut off,” wrote reader Chris.

The hook at the end was likely used for towing the pipe while at sea.

“That pipe isn’t from anywhere on land in Southland, that’s for sure!”

Most agreed that it definitely wasn’t used as on-land piping. Some suggested it could be part of a floating oil-containment boom.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER MYSTERY FROM THE DEEP

This isn’t the first mystery object to wash up on a New Zealand beach.

Earlier this month a barnacle-covered object washed up on Auckland’s Muriwai Beach.

People flocked to see the “Muriwai monster”, which turned out to be barnacle-clad driftwood.

And in 2013, a similar long, pipe-like object was found on Whatipu Beach, also on Auckland’s west coast.

The long object was also black but did not have any lines like the Southland object.

It is understood the mystery object remains at Whatipu.

 – Stuff

Published at Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:02:24 +0000

'We are the guardians of the sea and we have a responsibility' – fishing companies take steps to …

'We are the guardians of the sea and we have a responsibility' – fishing companies take steps to …

‘We are the guardians of the sea and we have a responsibility’ – fishing companies take steps to protect Maui’s dolphin | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ

Source:

1 NEWS


Protection for our critically endangered Maui’s dolphin has been given a boost.
Source: 1 NEWS


Published at Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:09:04 +0000

'We are the guardians of the sea and we have a responsbility' – fishing companies take steps to …

'We are the guardians of the sea and we have a responsbility' – fishing companies take steps to …

‘We are the guardians of the sea and we have a responsibility’ – fishing companies take steps to protect Maui’s dolphin | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ

Source:

1 NEWS


Protection for our critically endangered Maui’s dolphin has been given a boost.
Source: 1 NEWS


Published at Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:09:04 +0000

Fishing club told it can't stop public using boat ramp

Fishing club told it can't stop public using boat ramp

A Far North fishing club can’t stop the public using a boat ramp it built at Houhora Harbour, say local councils.

The Houhora Big Game and Sport Fishing Club, and its disputed boat ramp.

The Houhora Big Game and Sport Fishing Club’s rooms – and its disputed boat ramp Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The Houhora Big Game and Sport Fishing Club said it wanted to install a barrier arm and sell swipe cards to people wanting to launch their boats at Monkey Point.

It said it cost a lot to maintain its facilities, including the ramp and jetty.

But local boat owner Fiona Furrell said the club had no right to do so.

She said it was given consent to build on reserve land at Monkey Point, on the condition it gave the public free access.

At a public meeting held by the club early this evening, the Far North District Council said the club paid a peppercorn lease of $100 a year for its land, and under its original resource consent it must allow use of its ramp by vehicles and foot traffic.

The Northland Regional Council agreed, saying the club could not legally restrict access to the boat ramp because it was in the coastal marine area.

Houhora is about 40km north of Kaitaia, on the Aupouri Peninsula.

Ms Furrell said the fishing club had chopped down pohutukawa trees and flouted other conditions of its resource consent.

Published at Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:14:40 +0000