South Dunedin consistently sinking towards sea level

Heavily populated south Dunedin could be sinking according to new research by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

The new data presented shows the ground beneath the low-lying sector of Dunedin has been steadily sinking for the past 20 years.

Geologist David Barnell says the rate is small but over a large amount of time, significant.

"The ground is going down at an average rate of around 1mm per year, which over the space of a century would equate to 10cm."

Geologists now want to take their research further by using a scientific drill to analyse the bedrock in south Dunedin to see the extent of the subsidence.

Robert Smillie says the analysis will help them understand the area's geology better.

"From that, we can age-date the rocks and get some kind of idea about what historical rates of subsidence were occurring.

"Was there subsidence occurring over hundreds or thousands of years, and can we use that as a predictor for the future as well."

Dunedin City Council says it's yet to consider the report and how it affects south Dunedin - the Otago Regional Council says it's relevant in the long term issues surrounding sea level, where parts of the suburb are already close to sea level which was highlighted by last year's floods.

"It's consistent with the other trends that are showing that the difference between ground level and ground water level is reducing over time," Dr Gavin Palmer of the ORC said.

Subsidence coupled with rising sea levels could have dire consequences for the area. Source: 1 NEWS

Richie McCaw 'takes hat off' to Black Sticks who train with such limited funding

Sacrifice is a word often associated with sport but when it comes to the Olympics, few know what it means better than the New Zealand women's hockey team.

Funding is minimal and the team relies on other work, sponsorships, fundraising and family support to get by. Source: 1 NEWS

Ranked fourth in the world, they're a genuine medal hope in Rio, yet few people realise their funding is minimal and they rely on other work, sponsorships, fundraising and family support to get by.

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, whose fiance Gemma Flynn is in the squad bound for Rio, has applauded the Black Sticks' passion and even went as far as saying their level of commitment could be higher than anything he's witnessed in rugby.

This year each Black Stick, on average, will earn just $15,000 in funding before tax. The average Super Rugby player makes $100,000 per year including income from provincial rugby.

"I think in terms of how hard they train and the amount of energy and committment that goes into it it'd be exactly the same as, if not more, than what we ever did as a rugby player," said McCaw.

"But the added challenge of how you fund yourselves, it's pretty hard to hold down a fulltime job or make sure you can pay the bills at the end of the week. That's why I take my hat off to the girls that are able to do that."

Watching the team boarding a chartered flight from Auckland to Palmertson North over the weekend you could be forgiven for thinking it's a standard part of life as a Black Stick.

"We hope we'd do it all the time but no we've never done this before," veteran defender Pippa Hayward said. "I think we've chartered to a tournament but other than that we've never been on a chartered plane."

A remarkable new film delves into the life of All Blacks great Richie McCaw during his final seasons in the black jersey.
Source: 1 NEWS

Throw in a glitzy gala dinner like Saturday night's fundraising event and the misconceptions can come easy.

"People perceive us to be professional, but we are acting like professional athletes but we are definitely not funded like we're professional athletes," captain Anita Punt said.

It's the epitome of love of sport over money.

"After the Beijing Olympics 2009 I think it was like $200 per tour and some of these tours were four or five weeks long so in terms of the change every little bit helps," said Flynn.

Still, they all agree the Olympic dream is worth the struggle and it'll undoubtedly be medals, not money on their minds when they next board a plane, bound for Rio.


Levin woman sentenced for starving horse to death

A 31-year-old Levin woman who let her horse starve to death has pleaded guilty to ill treatment.

Te Ara Smiler was sentenced to 120 hours community work and disqualified from owning horses for the next five years.

The horse, named Rangi, had become so thin he was unable to stand after being confined to a narrow strip of land with no suitable food.

Smiler was investigated following a tip off to the SPCA, resulting in an inspector visiting her property in Manakau, between Levin and Otaki.

Rangi's heart and respiratory rate were significantly elevated, indicating severe pain or severe cardiovascular compromise.

A vet recommended Rangi be euthanised.

The inspector also found a pile of ashes, several pieces of bone, and part of a horse's hoof at the property last August.

Pappa had gone down the day before, been shot, and the body burnt.

The SPCA has welcomed the sentencing.

"Domesticated animals like horses are completely dependent on us for their survival," says SPCA Chief Executive Ric Odom.

"Horses in particular are vulnerable to starvation when confined to poor quality grazing. Unable to escape, they face a lingering, painful death."

Rangi the horse
Rangi the horse Source: Supplied