Northern News : September 12th 2012
Cinema saga takes a new twist Lease expires: What's in the stars for Castle Duo? Lynnis Burson has called for a trust to be established to maintain Kaikohe s cinema once its current leaseholder ends his lease at the end of October. The owner of Kaikohe s cinema says she doesn t want to see Castle Duo remain a private enterprise. Lynnis Burson was at the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board meeting on Wednesday to advocate the community s involve- ment in what she says is important cultural capital for the town. She told the community board that in order to keep Castle Duo going she would be willing to waive rent for six months and then, mov- ing forward, would offer rent at the bottom of the current scale at $40 per square metre per year. Ms Burson says she recognises that making the two-screen theatre profitable would be no easy task. "I think it would take at least 12 months to turn it around," she says. The theatre seats 101 and 126 in its two rooms and needs upgrades to meet market demands, she says. Aside from refurbishing, the biggest obstacle would be convert- ing the projectors to current digital standards. Concerns were raised by com- munity board members over the fate of all cinemas in rural New Zealand on Wednesday, with some suggesting a multi-use facility might be better suited to serve the area. Chairman Win Stephens says his understanding is that many opt to watch new releases on home enter- tainment systems. "It s how you re going to market it," Mr Stephens says. "That s going to be the main challenge you ve got." Board member Mark Anderson questioned whether adapting the cinema to a mutli-use hall would be a simpler fix for the troubled cin- ema. "Everything s going multi- purpose, that seems to be the future of any of these centres. Ms Burson told the community board that she had looked into alternate uses for the space, even considering a climbing wall, but she wasn t convinced that it was the best option. Ms Burson has called for com- munity involvement and a trust to be established to maintain Kai- kohe s cinema once its current leaseholder ends his lease at the end of October. Zip up your backpack ' You've got enormous potential for things to go haywire very quickly if people are not vigilant. ' Helen Ough Dealy Keeping invasive species out of pest free areas of the Far North is an ongoing task, Con- servation Department ranger Helen Ough Dealy says. The first relocation of birds for Project Island Song, the release of 12 pateke on Uru- pukapuka Island, signifies that the island is now pest free. And it will take continued efforts from everyone to keep that area free from the rodents that have caused so much damage to wildlife across New Zealand. We re not just talking about the locals here who go out fishing, or go out yachting or go camping on the island. But it s those from further afield who need to buy into that as well, Ms Ough Dealy says. She says some pest free islands up the east coast are scientific reserves where boat- ers can t land but the islands in the Bay of Islands require educated visitors. She says the importance of pest free islands is starting to be taken up by Bay of Islands residents. She helped to conduct a sur- vey a year and a half ago that asked people where they liked to visit and why they chose to visit islands. And nine out of 10 people said they actively wanted to go to pest-free islands, she says. A mouse can get through a hole the size of a 20 cent coin, and a rat can get through a hole the size of a 50 cent coin," she says. And notes that zip- pers on backpacks are often left open. A pregnant female that doesn t get caught would bring with it, she says, the potential for 1000 offspring in a year. You ve got enormous poten- tial for things to go haywire very quickly if people are not vigilant. Ms Ough Dealy says report- ing sightings is an important part of this vigilance. Once there are no further sightings for three months an island will once again be declared pest free. Up here in the bay, as in Hauraki Gulf, you ve got pub- lic access islands, which are on their way to being what they once were. They ll never be actually what they were, but they will be a much closer form of how they were before. Ms Ough Dealy says the aim is to normalise efforts to keep islands free from pests. She says people who visit the islands are the eyes and ears for DOC. When you ve had an invest- ment by the Department of Conservation of a lot of money and a lot of time and expertise -- and that investment will carry on into the futures -- then you don t want to have it unravel, she says. So it is taken very seriously. Kaikohe youth urged to treat the town with respect Best approach: Kaikohe is discussing removal of this array of commercial signs at the entry to the town. Is it a good look? Comment on our Facebook page, search Northern News. The best next step for Kaikohe is to put pride back into what is con- sidered home, Steve Sangster says. Win Stephens, chairman of the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board, urged members to promote community initiatives at the board s monthly meeting on Wed- nesday. Mr Stephens says he s disap- pointed that money is being spent by the Far North District Council to clean up after those who disre- spect Kaikohe rather than invest- ing in projects that could improve the town. He says there needs to be respect in the community and he singled out some of Kaikohe s youth. And he laments the fact the council has earmarked $40,000 to clean the sidewalks in the town s central business district which have been covered in chewing gum. "We ve got all sorts of good pro- jects to spend it on, but it s all spent on negativity," he says. Kaikohe Business Association Steve Sangster was in the council chambers for the meeting to intro- duce himself to the community board. He says there was a "legacy of unfulfilled plans to improve Kai- kohe". Mr Sangster says he saw his challenge as a new member of the community and the new business association chairman as reversing the history of ad hoc efforts to improve Kaikohe s situation and that to end the town s long slump, by making the most of the spending power of the many people who pass through Kaikohe regularly by "encouraging the markets we do have to stop and spend dollars". He agrees with Mr Stephens call for unity and says the business association is calling for all busi- nesses to clean up their appearance and present their stores in the best light . Mr Sangster says the business association is undertaking efforts to enlist the help of community groups in a show of unity and wide- spread support. The best next step for Kaikohe is to put pride back into what is con- sidered home by residents and those who have moved away. It s simple stuff, Mr Sangster says.
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