Radio Show Profiles Peninsula People in Trust’s Golden Anniversary Year

The Otago Peninsula Trust’s 50th Anniversary year promises a golden opportunity to share the beauty, history and character of the peninsula, with a new radio series at the centre of the celebrations.

Otago Access Radio show Peninsula People launches on Friday 13 January, hosted by the Trust’s marketing manager Sophie Barker. The 50-episode series will feature conversations with people dedicated to preserving and enhancing the wildlife and attractions of Otago Peninsula.

Ms Barker, a self-described “peninsula girl”, said the time was ripe to reflect on the achievements of the Trust, which was formed in 1967 as the first charitable conservation trust in New Zealand.

“These were some keen young men and women who saw the potential for Dunedin in celebrating its heritage and developing opportunities for the visitor industry.

“Their first task was to save Glenfalloch, which was under threat of subdivision. But they were also interested in the wildlife on the peninsula and opened the first public access to view albatross, as well as working on viewing points for the yellow-eyed penguin. They had a huge number of ideas.”

The radio series would open with stories of the Trust’s earliest achievements and would include interviews with such stalwarts as Bill Dawson, who had volunteered his time with the Trust since its inception. Later episodes would explore more recent projects and include conversations with some of the school-aged children who were the “next generation” of the peninsula’s guardians.

“This series will be a really valuable resource. There are so many personal stories to tell, about people who care deeply for Otago Peninsula. We’re looking forward to sharing them on the radio show and through podcasts that can be listened to in your car or at home.”

The Trust’s attractions now included the Royal Albatross Centre, the Fort Taiaroa disappearing gun, Blue Penguins Pukekura, Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, Fletcher House and Tiki Tours. Visitors could expect some special anniversary deals and public events through the year, including an exhibition during April’s Wild Dunedin Festival and a garden party in October.

Those sharing a 50th birthday with the Trust in 2017 were line for some extra treats.

“We’ll be announcing some 50 percent discounts for various peninsula attractions, so people should check out the Otago Peninsula Trust website for news so everything we have planned.”

Peninsula People airs Fridays at noon and Sundays at 7.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from this webiste

Photo: Otago Peninsula Trust marketing manager Sophie Barker, host of Otago Access Radio show Peninsula People, with Trust stalwart Bill Dawson.

Oil Free Otago Takes To Airwaves

Oil Free Otago Radio – Wednesdays, 1pm

Local climate justice group Oil Free Otago has taken to the airwaves in an effort to inform the public about the impacts of ongoing deep sea oil exploration off our coast.

Oil Free Otago Radio, which airs on Otago Access Radio on Wednesdays at 1pm, is hosted by Rosemary Penwarden, who has been a spokesperson for the group since joining in 2011.

Ms Penwarden said Oil Free Otago was concerned about the lack of public information about oil exploration activity currently taking place, and about “misinformation and PR spin” that was creating confusion about what oil companies, Government and the Dunedin City Council had in store for the region.

“There are a lot of promises of prosperity and jobs, which, when you look closely, are very dubious,” she said.

“The other side of that is we have the skills, the people and the know-how right here in Dunedin to be a leading light in renewable energy and sustainability.”

Seismic surveying was of most immediate concern to the group.

“Right now, off our coast there are two very large, very powerful 3D seismic vessels ploughing through our ocean and sending 260 decibel explosions down into the seabed. It’s very scary, and we don’t know what damage they are doing to our sea creatures.

“We do know that we’ve got a very special part of the world here that is worth protecting. That’s a very big motivation.”

The radio show would feature interviews with experts in climate change science, including former University of Otago Energy Studies director Assoc Prof Bob Lloyd, as well as representatives of other local groups working towards a low-carbon future.

Oil Free Otago also hoped to introduce members of Seniors Climate Action Network (SCAN) to younger people keen to carry the torch on climate change issues.

“SCAN are very interested in passing on practical skills that will help us all adapt to the changes that are coming,” said Ms Penwarden.

“I’d love to bring some young people in and get them to tell the older ones what they need.”