Northern News : February 18th 2015
NEWS NORTHERN NEWS, FEBRUARY 18, 2015 Flies have a vital role says ‘bug man’ Backyard Banter neighbourly.co.nz By SARAH MOORE Noticed an increase in flies this summer? You’re not alone. Neighbourly noticeboards are full of posts from members desperate for advice from neighbours. Our hot and humid weather has created perfect breeding conditions for flies – hence the rise in number. Flies may be a nuisance but bug expert Ruud Kleinpaste reckons they are merely misunderstood. ‘‘We might not welcome them into our home but we can’t live without them,’’ he says. Kleinpaste says flies are essential for maintaining environmental equilibrium. New Zealand is home to hundreds of different species, including up to 60 kinds of blow fly and Kleinpaste says every one of them has a vital job. ‘‘All blow flies do is clean up carcasses, dung, waste and organic material,’’ he says. ‘‘The house fly loves grass clippings and does a fabulous job with composting. ‘The lesser house fly is the one that flies incessantly around the lounge. They are experts in bird dung.’’ And the species isn’t without its Bug man: Ruud Kleinpaste spoke to a group of people at the Stoke Retirement Village about the value of biodiversity. ‘‘They literally follow their nose. All they’re looking for is protein to lay their eggs on.’’ The reason you’re finding more quirks. ‘‘Blow flies love lamb for some reason; steak and venison, not so much. flies indoors? They’re usually in search of shelter. ‘‘Flies hate wind,’’ Kleinpaste says. ‘‘They can’t fly more than two or three kilometres an hour, so anything stronger and they’ll either sit still or go to the leeward side of the house where there’s no wind. ‘‘Most people open the windows on that side of the house when there’s wind . . . and that’s when flies get in.’’ Brought to you by Many people worry about food contamination but Kleinpaste think flies cop the blame too often and doesn’t think too many food poisoning cases have been tracked back to the humble house variety. Kleinpaste recommends using common sense; not leaving food out if flies are prevalent and keeping it in the fridge or microwave for additional protection. So how do you prevent flies from invading your home? Kleinpaste suggests: ❚ Grow hedges around your house to offer flies shelter from the wind and naturally occurring food to graze on, thus reducing the temptation for them to head inside ❚ Bathe regularly and wash your hands – flies are attracted to an acid found in sweat which is essential for their reproduction ❚ Resist the urge to open the windows on the sheltered side of your house if it is windy. Opening windward-facing windows instead could reduce the number of flies by up to 90 per cent ❚ Fly spray can be effective but you don’t need much. Look for a spray that has a long residual life that will discourage flies from landing on a sprayed surface for at least 30 days ❚ And finally: Some say homeopathic remedies, including planting aromatic herbs by the doors or leaving a lemon on the window sill, help manage flies but Kleinpaste isn’t convinced. ‘‘You hear these things all the time. I haven’t seen replicated trials that prove they work.’’ 9 PUBLIC NOTICE POWER OUTAGE 8AM – 6PM KAITAIA AND SURROUNDING DISTRICTS SUNDAY 15 MARCH 2015 We regret sincerely that we will have to cut power to the region for a full day for the second time in two months. Heavy rain in the Mangamukas shortly before Christmas caused a 100m-long land-slip in rough terrain which has dislodged and severely damaged a lattice tower carrying the only high-voltage line supplying electricity to the town. This means we will have to cut power to Kaitaia and the surrounding districts from 8AM to 6PM on Sunday 15 March. The alternative date, in case we need to postpone due to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances, is Sunday 22 March. There will be two outages on the day: OUTAGE 1will last for nine hours from 8am to 5pm. The areas affected by Outage 1 include: A hipara, Awanui, Awaroa, Broadwood, California Hill, Diggers Valley, Double Crossing, Fairburn district west of the Kaiaka Hall, Henderson Bay, Herekino, Houhora, Houhora Heads, Hukatere, Kaimaumau, Kaingaroa district west of but not including Kaingaroa school, Kaitaia, Kareponia, Lake Ngatu, Maimaru, Mangatoetoe, Manukau, Mitimiti, Motutangi, Motuti, Ngataki, Oturu, Pamapuria, Panguru, Paparore, Paponga, Paua, Pawarenga, Pukemiro, Pukenui, Pukepoto, Rangi Point, Rangitihi, Rotokakahi, Ruaroa, Runaruna, Sweetwater, Takahue, Te Hapua, Te Kao, Te Paki, Thoms Landing, Unahi, Victoria Valley, Waiharara, Waihopo, Waimanoni, Wainui, Wainui Junction, Waiotehue, Waipapakauri, Waipapakauri Beach, Waitiki Landing, Whangape OUTAGE 2will last for approximately one hour after 5pm to allow us to switch some customers over from the generators at Taipa back onto the Top Energy Network. The areas affected include: Aurere, Cable Bay, Chucks Cove, Coopers Beach, Fern Flat, Honeymoon Valley, Eastern Kaingaroa district including Kaingaroa school, Karikari, Kenana, Kohumaru, Lake Ohia, Mangonui, Mill Bay, Oruru, Paranui, Parapara, Pekerau, Peria district east of the Kaiaka Hall, Rangiputa, Taipa, Tokerau Beach, Whatuwhiwhi Customers affected by Outage 2 are asked to minimise their household power use between 8am and 5pm ( for the duration of Outage 1) to avoid overloading the generators servicing this area. If power use does exceed the generators’ capacity, we will be forced to cut power to parts of this area. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 0800 TOP ENERGY (0800 867 363) www.topenergy.co.nz B Leg Bowing C Leg out of plumb Broken and bent. A 100-metre landslip in the Mangamukas has damaged a lattice tower carrying the only high- voltage powerline supplying Kaitaia and surrounding districts, dislodging it and moving it downhill. The tower’s movement is shown by the conductors which should be hanging at 90 degrees to the lines. A steel member has broken and the tower’s legs are bowing and out of plumb, making the structure unsafe. It is essential that we deal with this issue. If the damaged tower collapses it will cut all power to Kaitaia and emergency repairs in the difficult terrain would likely take up to a week to complete. We would then have to use generators to supply power to the town and this would mean residents having to put up with rolling blackouts for the duration of the repair as the generators would not be able to meet the full demand for electricity. We have been evaluating repair options for some time in the hope of a solution that would avoid us having to cut power to Kaitaia for a second day. But it became clear shortly before the first planned outage in February that the only way forward is to build a new tower nearby and to swing the high voltage lines across in a complex engineering operation made even more difficult by the remote, rugged location in the Mangamukas. The solution has been recommended as the only viable alternative by both the structural engineer and the geo-technical engineer we contracted to help us evaluate our options. We looked at trying to do this new job during the 1 February outage but the scale of the $550,000 project means that a single day would not have been enough for us to complete the job safely. We did as much as we could during the first outage and we are currently working on Stage Two. This involves building a foundation for the new structure, erecting it and transferring the lines that we can transfer safely without disrupting power to Kaitaia. The final stage will involve swinging a single remaining 110 kilovolt (kV) line from the damaged tower to the new one and this is what will require the second Kaitaia outage on Sunday 15 March. PREPARING FOR THE OUTAGE 1 Turn off all electronic appliances (microwaves, TVs, DVDs, computers etc.) 2 If you are reliant on electricity for medical support equipment please contact your medical provider for advice. 3 Lift and store enough drinking water from personal water wells before the power goes off. 4 Fill up your gas cylinder for the BBQ and your petrol tank – remember pumps and EFTPOS won’t work. 5 Treat all powerlines and electrical wiring as being live at all times. Be aware that restoration could occur at any time without notification.
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