Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 25 February 2010 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 18 | 25 February, 2010
A former Te Anau woman is playing a
leading role in bringing the 2012 Olympic
Games to London.
Alice Coates, who was home following
her wedding in Raglan two weeks ago to
fellow Kiwi Dominic Murtagh, is the head
of marketing for the Olympic Delivery
Committee, the public body charged with
building all of the infrastructure for the
2012 games. She heads a team of seven
responsible for all of the marketing and
communications for the organisation,
including the website, publications, events,
newsletters, and, crucially, all of the internal
communications and site communications
to the builders.
"It's a pretty amazing opportunity," she
Much of her team's work is linked to
promoting a strong health and safety
culture in the workforce -- changing
attitudes and behaviours in the construction
industry. To measure success, they also
carry out research into the effectiveness of
that marketing campaign.
From time to time her team's research skills
are also called upon to look at things like
public attitudes and propensity towards
buying tickets to the games.
It's been a "full-on" job, especially given
that everything she has taken on she has
had to start from scratch.
"But very enjoyable and rewarding at the
The public sector in London is spending
£9.3 billion in preparation for the games,
including contingency and security. The
department Alice works for has a budget of
about £7 million for construction. They're
big figures but still only around a third of
what was spent on the Beijing Olympics,
The work going on in London was exciting. It
involved extensive regeneration of the East
End and would result in new, affordable
housing and the transformation of an
industrial area into a 500 acre park. Spin-
offs were already starting to take place, for
example, a huge Westfields shopping centre
was being built in the area.
Construction is on target to be completed
by July next year. Following that will be a
year of testing and once that is finished
her contract will be over. However,
there's a good chance her role now
and the experience gained will lead to
further opportunities within the Games
organisation itself as the event unfolds.
The future beyond the Olympics is unclear.
"London's fantastic, amazing opportunities
-- particularly working on the Olympic
Games -- but New Zealand's home," she
That's not to say a return is certain following
the completion of her contract. Once in the
"Olympic fair" future venues often looked
for people with the skills and experience to
help implement their Olympic planning.
"It does become a bit of an international
passport," she said. "I'm sure there will be
other exciting opportunities in the future."
In the meantime she's happy to continue
working hard and enjoying the opportunity
she has right now -- and, she admits, it
looks great on the CV.
"Everyone knows the Olympic brand."
Te Anau woman's
Olympic dream (job)
St Thomas School students
made a splash at their annual
school swimming sports.
The school gathered at
Winton's Central Southland
College Community pool on
Friday and competed in a
range of swimming events,
including individual and team
The sports were the
culmination of several weeks
of swimming lessons, both
this and last term, and were
well supported by the entire
Principal Julian Ineson
said water confidence and
swimming ability were
essential skills for children
and something that St
Thomas School promoted.
"After the summer that we've
had it's become all the more important that
children have confidence around water and
are able to get themselves out of trouble
should something go wrong.
"Our role is to pass on those skills to
children, as part of the school's physical
education curriculum, and to ensure that
they develop confidence and a life-long
enjoyment of the sport of swimming."
"Both staff and students got into the spirit
of the day, dressing in the colours of their
respective houses teams and cheering
their team-mates on with true Southern
Winton kids' splash out
St Thomas students from the Tui house cheer on their team-
mates during the school's annual swimming sports at the Central
Southland College Community pool in Winton on Friday.
A record number of takahe chicks
have been born on predator-free island
sanctuaries. At least 21 chicks hatched on
the islands and, for the first time, the small
mainland population on Maungatautari
Ecological Island, Waikato, produced a
Takahe recovery manager Phil Tisch said
to prevent over crowding on the islands,
eight chicks would soon be transferred to
the Department of Conservation's Burwood
Bush Takahe Rearing Unit, near Te Anau, to
be matched with the unit's breeding pairs.
Their March arrival, combined with the
12 chicks already at Burwood, will be the
largest number of young takahe the unit
has cared for during a breeding season.
The capacity to hold this many chicks over
winter has been made possible thanks to
sponsorship from Mitre 10 which, since
2005, has supported bird transfers, helped
increase the unit's breeding pens and
assisted in the modernising of the facility.
Mr Tisch said the transfer of the chicks
from the islands to the rearing unit was an
important step towards releasing them into
"Their time here allows them to be trained
by the other birds to feed from tussock and
get used to the colder temperatures down
He said the islands' breeding pairs were
a vital part of the recovery programme as
they act as insurance populations in case
something goes wrong in the wild.
Once the chicks are nearly a year old
they will be released into the Murchison
Mountains in Fiordland National Park.
It's estimated about 100 takahe live in the
The remainder are on Maud Island in
the Marlborough Sounds and the North
Island's Mana, Kapiti, Tiritiri Matangi and
Welcome boost to takahe population
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