Page 26, Ashburton’s The Courier, Thursday 14November2019 Local news at www.starnews.co.nz Gorge bridge has astory to tell The cold, clear waters of the glacierfed Rakaia River flow through impressive high terraces and under the Rakaia Gorge bridge before heading across the Canterbury Plains and ultimately into the Pacific Ocean. At this time of the year, the snow capped peaks to the west provide an impressive white backdrop. Many vantage points, at both river and bridge level, offer impressive views of the power of the river, its changing colour and its majestic setting. Amemorial plaque above the river at the Rakaia Gorge bridge tells visitors that in the days of the early settlers, John Bryan transported passengers, stock and freight over the river on a punt. He and his wife also ran an accommodation house nearby. The original iron bridge at the gorge was built in 1885 and a wooden bridge, erected over the southern channel in 1884, was replaced in 1945 by a concrete structure. Last year around $1.2 million was spent on deck replacement on the main, single lane iron bridge, referred to as the No.1 bridge. As well as replacing the deck, the work included refurbishing handrails and strengthened structural elements and took around four months to complete. Photos: The refurbished Rakaia Gorge No.1 bridge from the river level; aview of the bridge from the river; amemorial plaque tells visitors about the early pioneer days at the river.
Local news at www.starnews.co.nz Ashburton’s The Courier, Thursday 14November2019, Page 27 Taking care of the environment Here in New Zealand we’re rightly proud of our natural environment. It may not feel like it sometimes, but that feeling flows through to our politics and our politicians. Every party in our Parliament recognises the need to mitigate the effect that people have on our environment, including the challenge of climate change. Although it’s accepted that New Zealand’s contribution to global emissions is small –ataround 0.2 per cent – it’s also true, due to the amount of food we produce for the rest of the world, our emissions are higher per person than most countries. That small footprint means we can’t simply go it alone and expect to change the world’s climate, it’s aglobal issue that requires a global response. In 2016 the Paris Agreement was signed, with 187 nations now being party to it. It sets out emissions limits which we in New Zealand, and other countries around the world, MP Andrew Falloon comments are required to commit to. It was signed by a National Government, making clear that as much as possible, climate change policy should be bipartisan, to give our farmers, businesses and families certainty over what future regulation and legislation will look like. That’s been achieved in part last week, with the passage of the Zero Carbon Bill. It’s the culmination of two years of work by Parliamentarians of all political stripes. Climate Change Minister James Shaw has accepted that challenge of bipartisanship and agreed to an independent climate change commission making recommendations to Government on reducing emissions. It’s for that reason we last week voted for the final stage of the legislation. We don’t, however, agree to the entire framework that the commission will operate within, and we’ve committed to making seven changes should we earn the right to form Government next year. The changes we have proposed, and drafted to be enacted in our first 100 days, ensure that the commission can consider the actions other nations are making to combat climate change. The changes would allow the commission to set the target for methane emissions based on the best available technology and research, ensuring that we don’t bind ourselves to targets that can only be met by widespread culling. And importantly, they include the stated aim of the Paris Agreement –that greenhouse gas reduction be done in away that does not threaten food production or grow global poverty. They’re sensible changes which will ensure a lasting response to the challenge of climate change, but importantly, without putting in perilthe lives of those most at risk. Grant Hood Contracting wins civil award again Grant Hood Contracting has won the Civil Contractors New Zealand 2019 Canterbury Contractor of the Year Most Progressive Company Award. It is the second time the Ashburtonbased company has taken out the title; the last time in 2017, and reinforced it could compete on the national stage against bigger tierone companies. Owner Grant Hood is very proud of his team’s efforts during the year, and especially proud of the earthworks project completed at Millbrook Resort, in Queenstown. ‘‘It was some of the best work done,’’ he said. The project was at Dalgliesh Farm in the Millbrook Resort, Queenstown, involved reshaping farmland into 46 lifestyle blocks, with a ninehole golf course and 30,000cubic metre irrigation pond. It was completed in eight months working in a pristine, tourism district where the team of 30 were monitored constantly on any settlement issues. Mr Hood said there were no penalties, which could have resulted in significant fines. The contracting company has had anumber of other projects on the go around the South Island in the past 12 months, including wet work for the Marlborough District Council (futureproofing Caseys Creek, which runs alongside Old Renwick Road by clearing, enlarging and protecting the waterway) and a technical landfill development for Grey District Council (at McLeans Pit). But it was the Queenstown project which won them 2019 Canterbury Contractor of the Year Award in the Fulton Hogan Phastiphalt Category C Contracts ($1.5m $5m) Award and the two council projects, which were entered in the Category B ($500,000 $1.5m) awards, which contributed to their overall win as most progressive company. Grant Hood Contracting Ltd’s Michael Chivers said to win the Category Ccontractor of the year award twice, especially under stricter environmental regulations, was agreat achievement. ‘‘It shows the high calibre of the work (being done), and how much we have grown.’’ Photo (supplied): Grant Hood Contracting Ltd’s Grant Hood, Michael Chivers, Carolyn BondHood and James Greene collect awards from the Civil Contractors New Zealand award ceremony in Christchurch. Art in garden setting Budding young Jub Jub artists took to the outdoors this week to gain some inspiration from mother nature. The artists, all aged under 13 and members of the Ashburton Art Gallery Jub Jub programme, roamed Trott’s Garden on Racecourse Road, early on Sunday afternoon to find subjects of appeal to sketch, with a view to creating an art piece in paint. Iona Rogers, 8, was among the group, who along with their parents, were venturing around the grounds. She has been attending the regular art sessions, held every second Sunday at the Art Gallery, for the past three years. Iona initially did not think she was going to be very inspired by agarden as she likes to draw animals. But she soon found plants, statues and bird life which appealed and, in ashort time, her blank A4 sheet of paper was covered with sketches of images from around the garden. She even collected a white dove feather to take home as atreasure. Her sketches and those of others, along with photographs taken by Jub Jub public programmes coordinator Simone Barnsdale, were then used as prompts for their painting work back at the art gallery that same afternoon. The finished pieces will be displayed in the garden during the Trott’s Garden open day event on November 24. It runs from 11am to 4pm. Photo: Jub Jub artist Iona Rogers, 8, looks for eye catching subjects to draw during a Jub Jub session at Trott’s Garden. Photo Toni Williams. Tea, music, stalls and gardens There will be tempting Devonshire teas, stalls, music and impressive gardens to enjoy when Trott’s Garden hosts an open day on November 24. Running from 11am until 4pm, the day will showcase the magnificent gardens at the venue and encourages the public to picnic and wander at their leisure. Entry is free and any donations given will go directly towards the upkeep of the mainly volunteer run, community asset. Last month the Trott’s Garden Charitable Trust announced that the gardens would be open for free to the public from now until Christmas to enable more people to enjoy their splendour. Trotts Garden Charitable Trust invites youtocome andspend some time in the beautiful surrounds of Trott’s Garden. Bring apicnic,orwander the gardens at your leisureand enjoythe livemusic, devonshireteas, stalls and more. Entryisfree. (Cancellations on ) Cash maybeneeded forstall/activitypurchases. Donations would be greatly appreciatedbut not necessary. Anydonations will go directly toward the upkeep of the gardens. Trott’s Garden: 371 Racecourse Road,Ashburton 2226433