Ashish Naicker

SWHT Property Managers of the Year

26 March 2018

L/R Southland Real Estate Manager Gus Johnston, Property Management team Margaret Reynolds, Amy Morrison, Gabby McManus, Sam Matthews, Jim Hargest (Chair of Southland Warm Homes Trust) and Leeanne Taurari.

2018 Property Manager of the Year Winner announced

Media invite to award presentation 10.30am, Wednesday 21st November, PowerNet, 251 Racecourse Road, Invercargill

The Southland Warm Homes Trust (SWHT) is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2018 Southland Property Management Company of the Year Award is the Southland Real Estate property management team.

The award will be presented to representatives of Southland Real Estate at a function on Wednesday 21st November 2018.

Southland Warm Homes Trust Chairman, Jim Hargest said the award recognises property managers who are actively improving the living conditions of tenants and supporting the vision of the SWHT.

“This year Southland Real Estate’s property management team receives the award in recognition of their efforts to help make healthier and warmer living conditions for tenants, engaging with Landlords and promoting energy saving ideas, including the Clean Air scheme. The team has also been proactively insulating many of the properties under their management,” he said.

“All of the entries had a strong focus on improving the energy efficiency of rental properties and meeting the Tenancy Services rental property insulation regulations. The Trust was impressed by the effort and
commitment Southland property management businesses have made towards improving the energy efficiency of rental properties, especially ahead of the July 2019 Tenancy Act legislation when all rental properties will be required to meet a high standard of insulation,” Jim said.

Awarua Synergy general manager, Sumaria Beaton, reiterated that the Southland Real Estate property management team was proactive in providing great service. Awarua Synergy is the service provider for SWHT
and installs home insulation for the Trust.

“Their team members always ensure that we have safe access to tenanted properties, and complete the required Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) subsidy paperwork in a timely manner. This really makes our job a lot easier and builds a good working relationship,” said general manager Sumaria Beaton.

The 50% subsidy offered by SWHT and EECA on insulation costs for eligible rental properties ended in June 2018. There had been a significant increase in the number of rental properties insulated in the last 12 months to June compared with the previous two years.

More about the SWHT

  • The SWHT was formed in 2008 by the Southland Power Trust and Electricity Invercargill Limited.
  • Subsidised home assessments and insulation installations have since been delivered to more than 6,000 families across Southland.
  • The SWHT Vision:
    • a more energy efficient home
    • an improved living environment
    • improved well-being
    • better health
    • greater energy efficiency awareness

More about the Tenancy Act legislation

  • Under the Tenancy Act legislation, from 1 July 2019 all rental properties will be required to meet a high standard of insulation.
  • To help with this transition the Government introduced the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes Rental initiative, which, with additional support from the Southland Warm Homes Trust, enabled Southland landlords to access a 50 percent subsidy for the cost of insulating eligible rental properties, up to 30 June 2018.

Invitation for photo opportunity

We invite you to join us in presenting the 2018 Southland Property Management Company of the Year Award over morning tea and for a short presentation:

Date:Wednesday 21st November 2018
Time:10.30am
Address:PowerNet, 251 Racecourse Road, Invercargill

For further information and comment, please contact:

Southland Warm Homes Trust, Greg Buzzard on 021 858 121 or gbuzzard@powernet.co.nz

Or Awarua Synergy General Manager, Sumaria Beaton, on 021 408 751 or sumaria@awarua.org.nz

SWHT 10 year anniversary

26 March 2018

L/R: Southland Warm Homes Trust Chair, Jim Hargest and Trust founder and past Chair, Neil Boniface.

Keeping People Warm for a Decade

A decade of keeping Southland and West Otago people warm was celebrated today (26 June) by the Southland Warm Homes Trust (SWHT).

Since its inception in 2008, thousands of Southland and West Otago homes have been insulated or retrofitted with the Trust’s financial support.

“We’re delighted to be celebrating this milestone in making Southland homes warmer and healthier,” says SWHT chair, Jim Hargest.

“Over the past decade, more than 6200 local homes have benefitted from subsidised insulation and heating solutions. Through its work, the Trust has made a real and positive impact on the health and well-being of our communities and that’s something we’re really proud of.”

Since it was first established, the Trust has received over $18 million of funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Healthy Homes scheme and third-party funding from local organisations.

“We’re very grateful for the successful and supportive local funding partnerships, particularly with Electricity Invercargill Ltd and The Power Company Ltd, but also with our local territorial authorities and other community funders,” Mr Hargest said.

“It’s really pleasing that the work of the SWHT represents a truly collaborative `Southland-wide’ effort. Many regional organisations have supported it and many people’s lives have been changed for the better.”

The SWHT was established in June 2008 by Electricity Invercargill Ltd and the Southland Electric Power Supply Consumer Trust as an umbrella group to drive a Southland-wide initiative to provide warm, insulated homes. The Trust’s vision was to ensure that Southlanders have more energy efficient homes, an improved living environment and well-being, better health and greater energy efficiency awareness. Today, the Trust’s partners include Awarua Synergy, which is contracted to install insulation and heating under the Trust’s programme.

“Although the funding structures have changed over time, our Trust’s vision of warmer, healthier homes endures. We’re looking forward to continuing this important contribution to Southland’s wellbeing into the future,” Mr Hargest said.

Funding under the EECA Healthy Homes Programme is targeted to those who benefit most from having their homes insulated—low-income households with high health needs, including families with children and the elderly.

Research has shown that for every $1 spent on insulation for a low-income family, there is a $6.70 return of investment, by way of reducing the number of people walking through hospital doors.

“We are looking forward to continuing this work with EECA and the Southern Community under the new four year insulation scheme recently announced by the Government, starting 1 July 2018.” More information on the Southland Warm Homes Trust is available on the PowerNet website: www.powernet.co.nz.

AED Five Rivers

9 March 2018

L/R: St John Northern Southland Area Committee Chair George Stewart, St John Lumsden Station Manager Helen Bottcher, Five Rivers Café Manager Harry Sheehy, The Power Company Ltd Chair Doug Fraser, PowerNet Depot Supervisor Maurice Graham

Five Rivers Café is the latest Southern organisation to benefit from a life-saving donation from PowerNet and St John.

An automated defibrillator (AED) was donated to the cafe in February, one of four donated to Southern communities this year.

The donation is part of PowerNet and St John’s sponsorship to improve public safety and education in the south.

The sponsorship includes the donation of four AED devices annually to the network communities, which PowerNet manages.

Café Manager, Harry Sheehy said the café was delighted to receive the donation.

“Our café is very safety focused and is immensely pleased to receive the generous donation of an AED from PowerNet. It is great to have the AED on site and know it could potentially save a life in the future. The AED will be installed in the café entrance readily accessible to all visitors,” Mr Sheehy said.

When available within minutes of a cardiac arrest occurring, an AED can vastly improve a person’s chance of survival.

PowerNet Chief Information Officer, Tim Brown, said the AED donation was another way the company could support the Southern community to stay safe and healthy. Along with the AED donation two Level 1 First Aid training sessions for the Five Rivers Café staff would also be provided by the PowerNet funded programme.

“Our partnership with St John is about using our joint resources to promote safety in our communities, mostly through education. It’s great that PowerNet is able to back this up with the donation of life-saving equipment such as AEDs,” he said.

Girls with High Vis

27 June 2018

L/R Ione Pau (PowerNet) with Jade Cavanagh-Hawkes, Toto Albert and Hannah Hinton, simulating a switching operation on a Ring Main Unit.

PowerNet hosts Girls with Hi-Vis Workshop

Eighteen Southland women from various local high schools and training institutions were given a glimpse into career opportunities at PowerNet today (Wednesday 27 June).

PowerNet was one of eight infrastructure organisations around New Zealand which opened their doors as part of ‘‘Girls with High-Vis Month’’ — an initiative from Connexis, the training organisation for New Zealand’s infrastructure industry.

PowerNet GM Human Resources, Marcus Waters, said presentations were given from PowerNet team members to the attendees about what their role was in the company and the study paths they had taken to achieve their positions.

The women were also shown areas of the company’s operations including touring the System Control room. To complete their industry taster each woman enjoyed the experience of getting into the bucket of the PowerNet Elevated Work Platform and using the controls to get up close to the de-energised poles at PowerNet’s onsite training ground.

“The aim of the initiative was to show the women what careers are available in the electricity industry and encourage them find out more if they were interested,” Marcus says.

‘‘It is not an obvious career path for women, so the purpose of ‘Girls with Hi-vis Month’ is to make the industry more visible for them.’’

The Whistling Frog

4 July 2018

L/R: Rachael Watt and Lyndon Whale (PowerNet) presenting the AED to Michelle Bridson (The Whistling Frog) with St John representatives Tania Walker and Ken Barton.

The Whistling Frog Café is the latest Southern organisation to benefit from a life-saving donation from PowerNet and St John.

An automated defibrillator (AED) was donated to the café in July, one of four donated to Southern communities this year.

The donation is part of PowerNet and St John’s sponsorship to improve public safety and education in the south.

The sponsorship includes the donation of four AED devices annually to the network communities, which PowerNet manages.

When available within minutes of a cardiac arrest occurring, an AED can vastly improve a person’s chance of survival.

PowerNet GM People, Culture and Communication, Marcus Waters, said the AED donation was another way the company could support the Southern community to stay safe and healthy. Along with the AED donation two Level 1 First Aid training sessions for The Whistling Frog Café staff would also be provided by the PowerNet funded programme.

“Our partnership with St John is about using our joint resources to promote safety in our communities, mostly through education. It’s great that PowerNet is able to back this up with the donation of life-saving equipment such as AEDs,” he said.

Balclutha Redevelopment

22 March 2018

PowerNet’s Balclutha senior leadership team Lyndon Whale, Mark Way, Greg Salmon, Terry Jones, Lloyd Williamson and Mark Hastie.

PowerNet continues to strengthen its investment in South Otago with a substantial redevelopment of its facilities in Balclutha.

PowerNet’s board recently approved a business case to build a new PowerNet workshop and administration building at its Charlotte St site.

“This is a significant investment for PowerNet in a purpose-built facility that will serve our staff well and provide an excellent base for effective service delivery throughout the region,” says PowerNet Chief Executive Jason Franklin.

“Plans for the facilities optimise the work environment with improved vehicle and worksite safety and flow. The redevelopment will provide the infrastructure PowerNet needs for its people and clients for at least the next 50 years,” Mr Franklin said.

The new facilities will also give PowerNet the flexibility and capability to continue operating at the site in a major disaster, and to run some of its southern operational headquarters from Balclutha if required.

The new facilities workshop will meet higher health and safety standards and be multiuse for distribution, arborist and technical staff. The office space will be a mix of open plan spaces and office spaces for office and field staff. The modest building design will provide a pleasant work environment and a visible public presence.

PowerNet’s Balclutha leadership team has had input into the overall design and building requirements, while the wider South Otago staff were consulted on location options.

PowerNet employs around 65 staff at the site. It would be business as usual while the building work was underway with staff continuing to work from the site while the new buildings were constructed, Mr Franklin said.
The redevelopment will include building a new warehouse and retail space leased to Corys Electrical who are contracted to manage PowerNet’s equipment store.

Its anticipated the development would get underway around September this year and be completed around April 2019. Tenders would be called for in the coming months.

AED Invercargill Bowling Club

7 May 2018

L/R: PowerNet Chief Financial Officer Greg Buzzard, Invercargill Bowling Club Joe Ineson (Club Patron/Life Member), Paul Connell (Vice President), Pam Calder (President), Electricity Invercargill Ltd Karen Arnold (Director), St John Bob Blassey (Shift Manager Invercargill) and Paul Colvin (First Aid Tutor)

The Invercargill Bowling Club is the latest Southern organisation to benefit from a life-saving donation from PowerNet and St John.

An automated defibrillator (AED) donated to the club this week, is the first of three AEDs proposed for donation to Southern communities during this year.

The donation is part of PowerNet and St John’s sponsorship to improve public safety and education in the south.

The sponsorship includes the donation of three AED devices annually to the network communities, which PowerNet manages.

Invercargill Bowling Club Vice President, Paul Connell said the club was delighted to receive the donation.

“Our club is very safety focused and is immensely pleased to receive the generous donation of an AED from PowerNet. It is great to have the AED on site and know it could potentially save a life in the future. The AED will be installed in the club’s locker room area readily accessible to all players and visitors,” Mr Connell said.

When available within minutes of a cardiac arrest occurring, an AED can vastly improve a person’s chance of survival.

PowerNet Chief Financial Officer, Greg Buzzard, said the AED donation was another way the company could support the Southern community to stay safe and healthy. Along with the AED donation, ‘How to use an AED’ training for up to 10 members would also be provided by the PowerNet funded programme.”

“Our partnership with St John is about using our joint resources to promote safety in our communities, mostly through education. It’s great that PowerNet is able to back this up with the donation of life-saving equipment such as AEDs,” he said.