Simple green shed divides neighbours in small south Canterbury town

A simple green shed on the outskirts of a small south Canterbury town has seen neighbours divided, petitions signed and claims of thousands of dollars lost.

The shed, built by Michael Sherriff, houses a caravan he lives in.

But the size and scale of the building has neighbours seeing… well, a very dark shade of red.

"We didn't expect anything quite like that," said one.

"We presumed it was only going to be a normal sized shed," said another.

Mavis Pirini is most affected by the shed – she’s the closest neighbour, and she was asked to sign a consent form before the building went up.

"The biggest impact has been the loss of daylight, loss of sunlight, warmth, just a very dark place to be in now," she says.

Mavis did sign the consent form – on the basis it was 3.6 metres high.

She says she didn't see any actual plans for the shed – only a single sketch.

Now, she stares out at an enormous dark green wall that’s more than five metres high and blocks nearly all her morning sun.

"For years I've known eventually something would be built there," she says.

But she never thought it would be the shed.

The neighbour, Michael Sherriff, says he did give Mavis plans for the shed – and he doesn’t think the height was misstated.

"The height [on the consent form] is the stud height - the wall height," he said.

"This is where Mavis and I are in dispute, I gave her elevation drawings from Total Span," he says.

But the Waimate District Council doesn’t require any evidence to prove that plans have been seen - and Mavis disputes that she was given those drawings.

The Council says once Mavis signed the form, by law it wasn’t allowed to consider any effects on Mavis – even if the consent didn’t state the actual roof height.

"The Council must not have regard to any effect on a person who has given written approval to the application," it said in a statement.

Council did consider a range of other factors that Mavis and her neighbours are also unhappy about – such as the size of the shed, access to sunlight, ground coverage and boundary limits but said all the other effects it considered were 'minor'.

It says the discrepancy in the stated roof height on the plans, and what is written on the form Mavis signed, was also 'minor'.

Not so to Mavis – she’s had two opinions from real estate agents, who reckon the shed’s wiped around $40,000 off the value of her property.

Michael Sherriff doesn’t think the shed’s made any difference.

"I've built that in the worst part of the street" he says.

But the drastic change to the landscape on the street has prompted the neighbours to get a petition together urging the Council to do something – around 180 people signed it.

It’s made no difference, and Mavis says Council haven't done anything to help.

"I was just told that the shed's there, get used to it".

The Waimate District Council says if Mavis had approached them for information prior to signing, staff "could have worked with her to ensure that she fully understood the environmental effects at that time".

It now says it's changed its forms, to require anyone being asked for consent to also sign plans detailing the building proposed.

It’s also willing to consider Fair Go’s suggestion that a clause be included to advise a property owner they can seek independent or Council advise, before putting pen to paper.

For Mavis, it’s all too late.

And she regrets having ever signed the form.

"Yes, very deeply I do. It's changed my life," she says.

It's been claimed to be an eyesore, and the Waimate shed is disturbing the peace and tranquillity. Source: Fair Go


Hawke's Bay growing giant emphasising flexible schedules to increase Kiwi staff numbers

The Government is urging growers to look for labour in their own backyards and one growing giant in Hawke's Bay believes with the right approach, it's easily done.

Solo mother of three Dani Gibson was on the benefit for six years before she found a job that suited her.

She told 1 NEWS it was impossible to find work which fit in with her kids' lives before working at growing giant Turners and Growers.

Ms Gibson is one of 204 workers that have been working at Turners and Growers in the last year after coming from the Ministry of Social Development.

It comes as part of a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme - a policy allowing horticulture and viticulture industries to recruit workers from overseas for seasonal work when there aren't enough local workers.

Turners and Growers labour market manager Maurice Wilson told 1 NEWS, "In the past, we wouldn't have, but now we really cater to the needs of the individuals because we realise without people, we can't grow our business."

The company now emphasises flexible work hours and employee benefits like healthcare, which Ms Gibson says provides much-needed reassurance for her and her family.

"It feels good knowing that your kids are fine and that you've got a good job behind you as well that understand that," she said.

At peak season, 70 per cent of Turners and Growers' seasonal workforce is from MSD and locals - an example that the Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni wants others to set as well.

Ms Sepuloni told 1 NEWS during her visit to Hawke's Bay that the programme was about "making sure we are looking at our domestic labour market first and how we can ensure that we are giving New Zealanders jobs and that those jobs work for them in terms of the terms and conditions".

However, there are concerns that there will still be a working shortfall even with more locals added to the workforce.

Around 11,000 seasonal workers are brought into New Zealand through the RSE scheme annually, but the industry says with dropping unemployment and one million apple trees being planted every year, that number will have to increase to keep up.

Apples and Pears NZ's Alan Pollard believes the increase is inevitable.

"We only have a defined harvest window so the fruit has to come off at that time so more fruit means more people needed to pick the fruit," Mr Pollard said.

The sector is aiming to be worth $10 billion by 2020, but Ms Sepuloni hopes the growth can benefit unemployed New Zealanders.

"There are still people that are seeking work and we need to work with them to make sure they are able to take up these jobs," Ms Sepuloni said.

In the last year, Turners and Growers in Hawke’s Bay have employed 204 workers from the Ministry of Social Development’s books. Source: 1 NEWS


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1 NEWS political team discuss what happens for Simon Bridges, once leak investigation is finally released

The 1 NEWS team discuss the potential aftermath for leader Simon Bridges once the investigation into the National Party leaker is released.

It comes after the Opposition leader launched an investigation to look into who leaked Mr Bridges' expenses. 

Mr Bridges' MP expenses were released earlier than scheduled last week, with $113,973 spent on travel and accommodation between April and June.

Yesterday, an independent review found no evidence that staff in the office of Parliament's speaker, Speaker Trevor Mallard, or Parliamentary Service finance and corporate staff released details. 

Read: Jessica Mutch McKay's analysis on the Simon Bridges leak. 

A weekly catch up with 1 NEWS’ political reporters about the stories they’ve been covering. Source: 1 NEWS

The 1 NEWS team discuss the potential aftermath for leader Simon Bridges once the investigation into the National Party leaker is released. Source: 1 NEWS

Search continues overnight for crew member missing from Sealord vessel off Wairarapa coast

The search for a crew member missing from a Sealord vessel  off the Wairarapa coast is continuing through the night. 

The company says mid-morning this morning crew onboard the Otakou became aware a crew member did not report for duty.

A full muster was conducted to confirm this, and a search was immediately commenced and authorities notified, Sealord said.

The four vessels involved in the search will search overnight, and will review the situation after sunrise tomorrow.

The two helicopters searching were stood down at nightfall.

Weather conditions in the area are fair but are predicted to deteriorate tomorrow.

Source: NZ Topo Map

Sealord said it is making all effort to notify next of kin. 

It said the crew member was not on active duty at the time of disappearance and the reason for the disappearance is not known at this stage.

All other crew are accounted for, however, they are very concerned for the safety of their team member, the company said. 

Sealord is taking this situation very seriously and is providing support to all staff, it said.

The company is also cooperating with all search and rescue instructions, it said.

Earlier tonight Vince Cholewa of the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre said the centre was advised of the crew member overboard around 11.30am. 

At that time the person had been in the water for 50 minutes or less, he told 1 NEWS. 

Mr Cholewa said there were four vessels and two helicopters involved in the search - Otakou, two other fishing vessels, the police launch Lady Elizabeth IV, a LifeFlight helicopter and an Air Force NH90. 

The estimated location is 11km east of Glendhu Rocks.

Sealord's Otakou
Sealord's Otakou Source: Sealord