Home' Greymouth Star : December 21st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, December 21, 2015 - 7
The doors to a new whisky
distillery, perfumery and
museum in the Cardrona Valley
were opened to the public on
Construction of the $5 million
distillery began in January.
Cardrona Distillery owner
Desiree Whitaker said the
opening had been a “ low-key
event ” and an official ribbon-
cutting ceremony would be held
at the distillery on January 25
in homage to Robbie Burns’
“It is still really exciting seeing
the public here, though, because
the project has been a long time
coming,” she said.
Mrs Whitaker said finding a
suitable site for the distillery in
the Cardrona Valley had proved
“Historically, there has been a
lot of open dredging in the valley,
so the ground is very unstable.
“So to build heavy buildings
which are housing equipment
which gives off volatile gases
like a distillery does, you need
to have solid ground.”
She said Cardrona Skifield
pioneers John and Mary Lee
had been two of many people
in the area who had helped the
project come to fruition.
The extensive history of the
area would be on permanent
display in an on-site museum
dedicated to the people and
stories of Cardrona, she said.
While the distillery’s whisky
would be aged in oak casks for
a decade, vodka, orange liqueur,
gin and rose perfume would
also be produced and available
to buy on-site.
Mrs Whitaker said 100 casks
of the single malt whisky were
available for pre-sale in 500
litre sherry barrels for $19,500,
plus excise duty to be paid in 10
years, and in 200-litre bourbon
barrels for $10,500 plus excise.
Cardrona Distillery manager
Jennie Whitlock, who is a
member of Scottish whisky
industry family the Forsyths,
said she hoped the beauty of
Cardrona Valley would be
reflected in the taste of the
— Otago Daily Times
Cardrona Valley distillery opens its doors
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Desiree, left, Ritchie, five months, and Ash Whitaker with the first casks of whisky to be sold at their new Cardrona distillery.
The value of home loan approvals hit a record
this month, suggesting borrowers could be
failing to heed the Reser ve Bank’s warnings
around rising levels of household debt.
Lending worth $1.6 billion was approved in
the seven days to December 11, the most in one
week since the central bank’s records began in
Meanwhile, the number of loans approved,
at 7181, did not top the highs seen in previous
years, which points to borrowers taking out
For example, close to 11,000 loans were
approved in the week to April 3, 2009, but they
were valued at only $1.3b.
The average value of the loans approved in the
week to December 11 was $216,682.
Massey University banking expert David Tripe
said just because approvals had been granted
did not mean all the lending had taken place.
“But it does suggest there is likely to be a bit
of an upsurge in lending coming through,” Dr
Tripe said. “It does look like there might be
something interesting when we see the (actual
lending) figures for January and February —
that ’ll be the real test of the numbers.”
In its November Financial Stability Report,
the Reser ve Bank noted that household debt
levels were still “elevated” and the combination
of low mortgage rates, high household debt and
a rising housing market posed a major risk to
the financial system.
It said housing debt increased at an annualised
rate of 8% in the three months to September.
New mortgage commitments were increasing
sharply, running at about 36% of outstanding
“Notably, a significant proportion of mortgage
lending is being undertaken at elevated debt-
to-income ratios,” the report said. “Although
low mortgage rates are currently relieving
pressure on these indebted households, some
borrowers could quickly come under pressure if
their labour incomes decline or mortgage rates
New Zealand’s total mortgage debt topped
$200b for the first time at the start of this year,
up from just over $100b in 2005.
Dr Tripe said bank-to-bank refinancing, as
borrowers switched lenders to take advantage of
lower rates, could be contributing to the high
number of approvals.
The chief executive of Squirrel Mortgages,
John Bolton, agreed.
“The reality is that with interest rates as low
as they are, there’s a lot of refinancing activity at
the moment,” Mr Bolton said.
“That refinancing activity is also captured in
those (Reser ve Bank) statistics.
“House sales in Auckland are actually falling
at the moment.” — NZME
A group of young German backpackers
lost precious possessions when their car
was stolen while they were at a beach
north of Auckland.
Two lost their passports, credit
cards, international driver licences and
camping equipment while they were
enjoying the Goat Island marine reser ve
One also lost a bracelet from her
grandmother, her graduation jumper
that had been signed by her high school
friends, and her camera containing the
pictures she has taken in New Zealand.
The crime has shattered the four
women’s first impressions of New
Zealand and has left them feeling
“ We heard so many good things about
New Zealand,” Sophia Metz, 18, of
“ We heard the people are so nice and
gentle. That ’s what we got to know when
we came here first, but now we don’t
want to leave the country with that bad
memory. All the good memories are
overshadowed now by the theft. ”
She and her friends, Lea Uebelhoer, 18,
Lara Schreyer, 18, and Lena Kalbitzer,
19, have been in New Zealand for just
over a month and plan to stay at least six
months. They were picking strawberries
at a berry farm in Riverhead, where they
were also staying.
“We went to the beach in the car of
Lena and Lara,” Ms Metz says. “ We
stayed at the beach for five hours (until
5pm on Saturday). We came back to the
car and it wasn’t there any more.”
It was parked in a legal parking space,
she says, and they checked with a
Department of Conser vation officer who
told them it therefore would not have
The women are appealing for people to
contact them if they see the green car, a
1998 Mitsubishi Libero stationwagon,
The car cost $3200 and was not insured
against theft. They have reported the
theft to the police.
“ We would like to raise awareness for
all the other backpackers not to leave
their personal belongings and important
stuff in the car,” Ms Schreyer said.
Ms Metz says they did not hear back
from the police.
“ It makes us feel hopeless. Usually
that ’s the people who would be able to
However, a police spokeswoman said:
“ We did offer them victim support at
the time. They said they didn’t feel they
needed it. ”
She says the car’s details and other
information about the incident were
broadcast among police in the Auckland
region at the time the incident was
“That’s as much as we can do when a
car has been stolen when there is not
any other identifying information at the
scene.” — NZME
Two people are fighting for their lives after
serious crashes in the North Island yesterday.
The crashes were among at least four in the
top half the island, including one that stalled
traffic on the Southern Motor way.
Last evening, the Northland Emergency
Ser vices’ Trust rescue helicopter flew a man
to Whangarei Base Hospital with critical
injuries received when the vehicle he was in
struck a power pole on Mangakahia Road, near
It is understood the man was thrown from the
A northern ambulance communications
spokeswoman said a second person received
minor injuries, but did not need hospital
Senior sergeant Chris Money, of Auckland,
said downed power lines were over the car
after the crash, which occurred just before 8pm,
but the scene had been made safe. Just before
4.30pm a car and a logging truck collided
on State highway 25 near Whiritoa, in the
Coromandel. One person was critically injured
and was flown, with another person who had
moderate injuries, by rescue helicopter to
The truck driver received bruising, Money
The highway was closed between Parakiwai
Quarry Road and Gladstone Road following
the crash. The serious crash unit attended both
the Northland and Coromandel crashes.
Meanwhile, an overturned trailer caused
congestion on the Southern Motor way at the
Bombay Hills late yesterday afternoon. No one
was hurt, but a motorist said traffic heading
north was at a standstill.
A woman was also taken by ambulance to
hospital with minor injuries after a car struck
a parked car on Beach Road, in the Auckland
suburb of Campbell’s Bay, Mr Money said.
A child — believed to be a baby — was also in
the car, but was not injured.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
crashes leave two
fighting for life
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