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NORTHERN OUTLOOK, AUGUST 18, 2012
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South Pacific comes to the Hurunui
By RACHEL MACDONALD
TWO'S COMPANY: David Nicholls is Emile DeBecque and Barbi
Larkins is Nellie in the production of South Pacific.
WISE WARNINGS: Liat (Michelle Bennetto) is on the wrong end of the wagging finger of her mother, Bloody Mary (Vicki
The Hurunui is full of people who are
just so enthusiastic . . . We've
drawn this amazing talent in our
Director Philip Dean
HOT SUN, sand and sea are on
their way to the Hurunui at the
end of the month, figuratively
speaking, with the musical South
Pacific taking to the boards in the
The production, directed by
Philip Dean, marks the Hurunui
Theatre Group s 20th season.
Two decades ago, a small group
organised a variety show as a way
of lifting the spirits of the
community after a particularly
tough farming season, the drama
company s president Dave Nich-
olls said. Since then the annual
musical -- and one play -- have pro-
vided lighthearted entertainment
at the end of many a long winter.
It is the first time Mr Dean has
worked with the group and he is
revelling in the experience.
I ve been involved in theatre in
London, Auckland and Canter-
bury, but this show has been an
amazing opportunity. The Huru-
nui is full of people who are just so
enthusiastic -- the passion is
phenomenal. We ve drawn this
amazing talent in our lead charac-
ters, from all around the North
One of the challenges has been
the company s inclusive approach,
which means that everyone who
wants to be involved gets a part.
Unlike other theatre com-
panies, where you get to pick and
choose your actors, here everyone
who turns up gets cast. It means I
get to draw the best out of every
individual -- business people,
artists, winemakers, farmers,
we ve got them all. And I ve had a
great time with some of the young
people, showing them where the
stones are as they cross the river,
as it were.
Another challenge has been
staging a story set in the South
Pacific, when the Hurunui quite
patently is not. The solution has
been to keep it simple.
I like to keep sets and props to
a minimum, to give the actors the
opportunity to come through.
There will be no blackouts and no
areas where curtains close -- I m a
firm believer in making sure the
show maintains momentum.
South Pacific will run on August
30 and August 31, September 1,
and September 6 till September 8.
seek charity status
THE OHOKA Village Protection
Association, formed to oppose applic-
ations for a plan change to allow
development in the area, is seeking
registration as a charity.
Founder Richard Cottrell formed
the group after an application was
made by the Ohoka Plan Change
Group for a rezoning to allow 150
residential sections to be developed
on 85 hectares at the corner of Mill
and Threkelds roads.
In his submission to register the
Ohoka Village Protection Association
as a charity, Mr Cottrell said the
group would protect the small his-
toric rural village and oppose any
future inappropriate development .
The Ohoka Plan Change Group
application attracted 200 submis-
sions, with a majority in opposition.
A hearing on the application star-
ted on Monday and will finish next
Tuesday, with 20 submitters electing
to speak. When the application was
submitted in February, Mr Cottrell
said the development would over-
whelm the semi-rural character of
The applicants said the develop-
ment would be in character with the
existing Ohoka settlement.
Setback for Pegasus
BRAVE FACE: Pegasus
Town developer Bob
Robertson said it should
be business as usual for
the North Canterbury
behind Pegasus Town
was placed into receiv-
ership last week, after
it ran into difficulties
refinancing an out-
standing loan. Bob
of the township and
half-owner of Pegasus
Town Ltd, said it should be busi-
ness as usual for the project
despite the setback, and that the
move would have no effect on
residents and section buyers.
We ve had incredible section
sales and the project itself is
looking very vibrant. There s
been $50 million of sales since
Christmas, and we ve had good
cashflow for the past year or so,
We had a New Zealand
lender who had agreed to refin-
ance the loan, but we were
unable to get the deal across the
line in time and (the lenders)
have run out of patience.
The receivership action was
taken by New Zealand Property
Finance Partners, an invest-
ment consortium owned by
Australia s Brookfield group and
investment banker Goldman
Sachs, which bought a loan over
Pegasus Town Ltd from the
Bank of Scotland last year.
Pegasus Town had undertaken
to buy it back.
Mr Robertson believed that if
the loan could not be refinanced,
Brookfield might take over the
management of Pegasus, which
has now been under develop-
ment for eight years.
When the Northern Outlook covered the
launch of Rangiora grandfather Rodger Pear-
son s memoirs, Choicer Tales of a Canterbury
Carpenter (July 7), there was a mistake in
the email address people can use to order to
book. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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