Home' Christchurch Mail : November 29th 2012 Contents 3
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, NOVEMBER 29, 2012
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Big Orion upgrade
Orion's proposed $155 million electricity network
upgrade will hike the average household power bill
$8.50 a month for 10 years. Orion operated the
country's most reliable grid with the fewest power
outages until the two big earthquakes struck. The
network took severe damage. The February quake
brought more faults on the underground network in
seconds than normally seen over 10 years.
Underground cables, overhead lines and
substations will be renewed. Orion hopes to gain
Commerce Commission approval by the end of
next year to lift prices to cover the cost. The public
will have the chance to comment.
City to Sea
The city council's draft City to Sea plan will link
''vibrant'' commercial centres along its route
through Ferry Rd And Main Rd, Redcliffs. The plan
opens for public comment on January 28. Deadline
for submissions is February 28. Mayor Bob Parker
said public spaces along the route would reflect its
changing natural and physical environment and
reinforce the identity of each commercial centre.
The corridor would be a vital lifeline for the city and
an asset for local communities. The plan also
looks at the recreational potential of the Heathcote
River and the Estuary through better cycle and
walkways, heritage trails, landscaping and more
rest spots. The first work would focus on Fitzgerald
Avenue to Ferrymead Bridge only. The Ferrymead
Bridge to Sumner section starts in the new year.
The new Transport Strategic Plan lays out the city
council's 30-year vision to develop the transport
network. Mayor Bob Parker said the rebuild
provided a rare opportunity for Christchurch to
transform the way the city moved and the
performance of the new transport system. More
than 40 submissions were received on the draft
plan released for consultation in July. Many of the
comments were over the timing of implementation
and funding for cycling. The development of a
business case for cycling and walking would get
There and back again
Tireless artist sculpts staffs of legend
MAGIC MACHINE: Anneke Bester with an unused sculpture of a
sword hilt. INSET: The staff Bester carved and moulded for Gandalf.
Photo: WARNER BROS
By ABBIE NAPIER
moulding sword hilts and
making treasure is nothing
out of the ordinary for
Having worked on the
Chronicles of Narnia, Bester
was a shoo-in for a role as
props sculptor for The Hobbit.
She set off for Wellington
more than two years ago, tas-
ked with making whatever
It was enormous and it was
basically just me,'' she said.
Holed up in a workroom in
Lyall Bay, Bester's 50-hour
weeks were hectic.
Someone would rush in
with a design and say they
needed this detail piece for a
wardrobe scene by the end of
She made at least 100 major
props in two years, with
countless others squeezed in
throughout the weeks. She
finished in May this year.
Gandalf's pre-Lord of the
Rings staff (see movie for
back-story), may soon become
her most famous work.
She made the staff in three
sizes: regular, over-sized, and
stunt-double size. Having
made the first, she then
created exact replicas for
every use imaginable use.
It's one thing to sculpt
nature how you think it
should be. It's quite another to
sculpt an exact replica of a
She also made walking
sticks for Bilbo and the
dwarves, furniture, decora-
tions, and some of the
treasure for Smaug's (the
That fortune, literally cost
a fortune,'' she said. The size
of the actual treasure pile was
bigger than most people's
Bester went to Wellington
yesterday for a cast and crew
screening, before the film pre-
Try spotting some of
Bester's work when the movie
comes out to the public on
Lifelong champion remembered
TRUE CANTABRIAN: Lady Isaac
By ABBIE NAPIER
PEOPLE WISHING to fare-
well conservation champion
and businesswoman Diana,
Lady Isaac will be welcome at
her funeral service this after-
Lady Isaac died at her home
on Friday, aged 91.
She gave much of her time
to public service, and was
lauded for her tireless
environmental initiatives and
generous arts patronage.
Mayor Bob Parker said her
legacy was a series of amaz-
ing'' contributions to Christ-
church over 60 of her 91 years.
Born Diana Gilbert, Lady
Isaac was the English rose
who married her lifelong love,
army engineer and Kiwi, Neil
She was remembered by
friends and colleagues as a
who did not suffer fools, but
also as a private person with a
ready sense of humour.
With no children, the Isaacs
decided to leave their wealth
to the people, and the Isaac
trust will continue to operate.
When Neil Isaac died in
1987 his wife took over Isaac
Construction, running it until
her late 80s.
Much of its profit was direc-
ted into conservation.
She was awarded the
Queen's Service Medal in
1989, and Officer of the New
Zealand Order of Merit in
2009, and was made an official
citizen of New Zealand only
weeks before her death.
The service is at St Michael
and All Angels Anglican Church,
Oxford Tce, at 2pm today.
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