Home' Greymouth Star : January 13th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
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Golf GTI in great shape at 40
A lot can change in 40 years.
The colour of your hair, and
the shape of your tummy, for
But the past four decades have
been particularly kind to the
Volkswagen Golf GTI — one
of the world’s most enduring
feel-good machines — which
celebrated the big four-oh last
Now in its seventh generation,
the GTI remains a staple — and
a very lucrative one at that — of
the German hatchback range.
Not bad considering that,
way back in 1976 when VW
launched the first GTI, it
planned to release only 5000
units of this special model.
Instead, more than two million
have been produced in the
ensuing four decades.
Like the donor Golf, it remains
instantly recognisable as the
progeny of that very first version
— but one that hass got better
with every successive model
update or upgrade. How can
something be so much better
while staying basically the same?
I guess that is the power of
German engineering for you.
To mark the Golf formally
reaching middle age (without
the grey hairs and round tummy,
mind you), VW has released a
special 40 years edition of the
It is not some once-over-
lightly cosmetic exercise, either.
Instead, the VW engineers have
been let loose to give the GTI
a hefty performance boost to
emphasise that, while it might
be entering its 40s, the Golf is in
better shape than ever.
That power boost lifts its output
to an impressive 195KW —
plus an overboost function that
delivers a snarling 213KW for up
to 10 seconds when required for
urgent acceleration or overtaking.
The Golf GTI is, to my mind,
one of the best fit-for-purpose
machines in the automotive
world. It knows exactly where
it fits into the scheme of things
and has never tried to be
something it is not.
It is not, for instance, a full-
blown sports machine. That
territory is amply filled in the
VW line-up by the punchier,
pointier Golf R.
Rather, the GTI sits atop the
“conventional” Golf line-up
— bringing all the practicality
and appeal of the famous
German hatchback, but with
a liberal dose of added driving
Which explains why VW had
to tread warily when tinkering
with this anniversary edition.
The risk was spoiling a famous
recipe by adding too much of a
Whereas previous GTIs have
always been sparky, delighful
things, that successful recipe
has never included gaudy power
outputs from their four-cylinder
engine. Not much more than
140KW has always proven
ample power to make the GTI a
But this latest version moves
dangerously close in power to
the Golf R — a car that boasts
all-wheel-drive and a specialised,
focused handling package that
makes it virtually race track ready.
Happily, the GTI recipe
remains. That substantial
extra dose of power has not
compromised that long-held
GTI ethic — it is fun but
not too focused, quick but
still eminently practical and
driveable in everyday situations.
Even though it will reach
the speed limit in a rapid 6.3
seconds, its thirst remains a
That added performance is
not the only enhancement
VW has thrown into this
Mechanically, that extends
to an electronic locking front
differential, upgraded brakes
and exhausts and a bespoke aero
It enjoys an upgraded
technical package including
adaptive cruise control and
frontal collision avoidance with
emergency city braking; adaptive
chassis control, blind spot
monitor, rear traffic alert.
There are some unique paint
finishes, including contrasting
black roof and new GTI
lettering. There is even a subtle
“celebrating 40 years” message
along the door sills.
Inside, you will find grippy,
Alcantara leather-clad sports
seats (also embossed with the
GTI logo) which wrap around
your buttocks and ribs to
anchor you in place. The chunky,
flat-bottomed steering wheel
is covered in the same tactile
suede leather, giving it a luxe
but practical feel. Classy little
touches include red stitching
highlights on upholstery and
It all sits on classy 19-inch
“ruby” alloy wheels — so
named because of the car’s ruby
The Golf has some impressive
competition in this sporty hatch
segment — the sublime Peugeot
GTI springs readily to mind
— but it remains a formidable
contender in a niche it virtually
created and has continued
to command for a couple of
In this sharpened form,
it is even more compelling.
That snorting engine virtually
explodes when you plant the
right foot and the tacho needle
starts to spin. Thanks to the six-
speed DSG transmission, there
is that characteristic crackle and
pop on every gear change as the
scenery starts to flash by very
quickly indeed — all the way to
a top speed of 250kph.
Let us face it — that is more
than fast enough for a 40-year-
VW Golf GTI 40 years edition
How big? Like the standard
Golf, it delivers interior
space that belies its compact
dimensions. But it’s compact
enough to be nimble in city
traffic and a breeze to park.
How fast? Well, faster —
much faster — than any Golf to
previously wear the GTI badge.
It will hit the speed limit in just
over six seconds and has a top
speed of 250kph. With its angry
exhaust note it feels fast, as well.
How thirsty? It will guzzle
a bit more than your average
Golf — that is inevitable with
this much performance. But at
7.1l/100km it is frugal enough.
How much? With a six-speed
dual-c lutch auto, it will cost
$48,990 plus onroad costs. If
you are prepared to change gears
yourself it is $2000 cheaper. But
with a long list of equipment
it is good buying — the only
option is an $1800 sunroof.
The VW Golf GTI.
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Remarkables Station owners Jillian and Dick Jardine, left, University of
Otago vice-chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne and chancellor John Ward
outside the homestead, which was remodelled about 10 years ago.
A Queenstown farming family
has given their historic homestead
property to the University of Otago
for a high-end research retreat.
In what has been described as
“an extraordinary gesture”, Jillian
and Dick Jardine signed over their
lake-edge Woolshed Bay homestead
at Remarkables Station, including
gardens and a guest lodge, last month.
University vice-chancellor Professor
Harlene Hayne says the property
was “one of the most significant gifts
we’ve ever received, and it’s probably
one of the most significant gifts
any university in New Zealand has
She noted neither Jillian nor Dick
Jardine had attended the university.
“One of the things they were really
keen on was the opportunity for
world-class researchers to come from
all over the planet to spend some
time here together to solve really big
problems, in conjunction with our
“ We don’t create space for people to
have time, and this amazing property
will allow lots of people the chance to
Prof Hayne said the bequest allowed
the university to work with the
benefactors “to realise their vision for
The Jardine family has farmed
Remarkables Station since 1922, and
the couple had lived at Woolshed Bay
In 2007, they built their homestead
from the original woolshed which was
first used by Queenstown founder
William Rees in the 1860s.
The Jardines say Wakatipu has been
very rewarding for them.
“This gift is our way of repaying that,
and ensuring this special place lives on
in a rewarding and visionary way.”
They say they have admired the
research the university undertakes —
“especially medical, but every field of
The couple, who nowadays lease
their farm, have been benefactors
They allowed their lakefront boulder
field to become a QEII open space
covenant for the public, especially
climbers, to enjoy.
The couple intend relocating
elsewhere in Wakatipu.
University chancellor John Ward
called the Jardines’ bequest “an
“ We’re currently doing some
strategic planning for optimum usage
of the property.
“ We may further develop it in time. ”
He says it allows the university to
expand its footprint in Wakatipu.
“It will seed other opportunities for
Asked if they’ll have any regrets
about leaving their homestead, Mrs
Jardine said: “ We leave with pride.”
— Otago Daily Times
Homestead given to university
New twist in
A Christchurch mother who objected
to moves to exhume her son five years
after he died has now been buried
Charlotte Pooley passed
in hospital just weeks after giving
emotional evidence at a High Court
trial over whether Jamie Robert Pooley
should be dug up and cremated so
that his ashes could be returned to his
Mr Pooley ’s long-term partner
Cheyenne Rana Biddle took the legal
action after claiming that the 27-year-
old father-of-three, who died on May
14, 2011, always wanted to be cremated.
Mr Pooley ’s whanau deny the claims
and do not want him disturbed.
With failing kidneys, Charlotte Pooley
discharged herself from hospital against
doctor’s orders, to give testimony at the
trial last year.
She told the court it would be tapu for
her son to now be exhumed.
When a lawyer suggested that she had
left Ms Biddle out of many key decisions
after her son’s death, she said: “I am his
mother, and he is my son. ”
Closing statements were made before
Justice Gerald Nation on November 17
A week later, November 24, Charlotte
She is now buried in the family
plot at Memorial Park Cemetery in
Christchurch, alongside her son Jamie.
“Jamie’s not alone now, he’s got his
mum. And we want it to stay that way,”
Jamie’s sister Frances said.
The Pooleys and Ms Biddle are
awaiting the reser ved judgment of
The day before the trial began on
October 31 last year, Charlotte Pooley
was admitted to hospital.
She had just started dialysis training.
Her daughter Frances and son Daniel
believe the stress of the trial took its toll
on her. “ It had gone on for four years and
she just wanted to make it through the
trial,” Daniel said.
On the morning she was to give
evidence, she ignored doctor’s advice and
discharged herself from hospital.
She phoned her children and told
them: “I’m not letting my family fight
this battle without me. ”
Her children, and husband of 46 years,
Bruce Pooley, were staggered by her
strength that day.
“ To be as sick as she was, mum couldn’t
have been more strong and powerful,”
The Pooleys hope that Justice Nation’s
verdict gives them some closure, and lets
mother and son rest in peace.
“ We’ve been through enough, Jamie
can’t be moved now,” Frances said.
“Surely, there’s no way they can take
him away from his mum. ”
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
A campfire is believed to have
started a blaze that destroyed 150ha
of native scrub on both sides of the
Glenorchy-Q ueenstown road this
Otago Rural Fire deputy principal
fire oficer Jamie Cowan said police
wanted to speak to anyone who
had information about a white van
parked at Rat Point on Tuesday
“Those responsible may have
already left the scene on Tuesday
evening thinking that their camp
fire was out, before wind blew hot
embers into the surrounding dry
vegetation and started the fire.’’
There is a restricted fire season in
the Otago Rural Fire Authority’s
lakes zone at present — meaning
any outdoor fire within the zone
requires a permit from the authority.
“This is incredibly important
from a safety perspective. If anyone
had been camped in the Rat Point
area when the fire spread, the
consequences could have been much
Mr Cowan said it would be at least
a month before the full cost of the
response was known.
It was too soon to say what action
the authority might take; cost
recovery and prosecution were two
options. — Otago Daily Times
Campfire started Glenorchy scrub fire
Fairfax New Zealand posted its first
annual loss in four years last year.
The Wellington-based unit of ASX-
listed Fairfax Media Group reported a
loss of $75.3 million in the year ended
June 30, 2016.
The bottom line was weighed down
by impairment charges of $106.8m as
the publisher of the Dominion Post,
Sunday Star-Time, Press and stuff.co.nz
website wrote off $66.8m from the value
of its mastheads, $26.3m from buildings,
plant and equipment, and $4.7m from
software and websites.
Redundancy costs also featured highly
Fairfax Media’s New Zealand division
has been in a state of flux over the past
year as it seeks to merge with rival
publisher and radio station operator
NZME in an effort to fend off what it
sees as its biggest threat in Google and
The prospect of that took a knock
when the Commerce Commission ruled
against such a deal in a draft decision
over the concentration of power and
influence under the umbrella of one
Group chief executive Greg Hywood
has said if the merger does not go ahead
it will be “endgame” for the New Zealand
— NZ ME-Scoop
Fairfax posts $75.3m loss
Quality Used Cars
Buy Honda from Honda.
Telephone 768 4126
After Hours: Ken 768 5376
Graeme 762 6559
5 Tarapuhi Street, Greymouth
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Solutions Page 9
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