Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 10 July 2014 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 10 | 10 July, 2014
How does a small place in the heart of
Southland get its own radio station?
Ask Otautau residents Bernie and Jill
McKernon, for nearly a year ago, in
September 2013 they put their town on air
by establishing Otautau Community Radio
(107.5MHz) which plays non-stop music
from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Why?
“Because we could. I have ill health
and I can’t do anything physical for the
community, so I decided I could run a radio
station,” explains Bernie.
The McKernons spent most of their lives in
the North Island and are relatively new to
Otautau. They moved there in September
2011, drawn to the area by its climate,
topography, beauty and people. In his
previous life Bernie spent 20 years in the
army as an engineer, where he says he
acquired most of his radio knowledge. And
his interest in music dates back to when
he was playing a trombone in a brass band
as a young lad. The couple funded all
equipment which includes several pieces of
computer hardware, a transmitter and an
aerial. They also pay for the annual public
broadcasting licence and the copyright
licence. This adds up to a substantial
amount of money for the retired couple, but
they claim that seeing how much joy their
music gives to people justifies the costs.
Mr McKernon put his engineering skills
to a good use when he built one of the
computers the radio station runs on. But
he says he would not have been able to
get the station up and running without the
community help and support. Today he
gets his music from Trade Me and e-Bay.
Occasionally someone donates old vinyl
records and Bernie digitises the tracks
for the radio station’s playlist which at the
moment has about 1000 tunes.
“When you are gone, you must leave a
footprint,” his wife Jill adds. “This is our
Otautau on air
By Alina Suchanski
Bernie McKernon in his Otautau home studio that broadcasts Otautau Radio 24 hours a day, seven
days a week.
Another world-renowned ASICS Kepler
Challenge is at capacity for registrations
after thousands of hopefuls tried their luck
online on Saturday morning.
The annual 60km mountain run will be held
for its 27th year in December, and securing
a place is always something of a gamble.
Kepler Challenge committee member Tim
Mann said an estimated 3000 people were
on the website when entries went live, vying
for one of 450 places in Kepler Challenge,
and another 200 spots in the shorter
“Things went pretty well this year,” he said.
“We did have a year where the server did
completely lock up. Since then we allocated
more resources to it.”
Entries were on a first-come, first-served
basis, which could be tricky with so many
people trying at the same time, Mr Mann
“It’s a bit like standing at the bar at a
very busy pub: it gets to a point where not
everyone can stand in a line at the bar and
Being a charitable organisation added
another level of difficulty to accommodating
the strain on the server, which amounted
to a space of about 10 or 15 seconds in
effect, Mr Mann said.
Some hopeful competitors did make a
social occasion out of the registration,
particularly serious overseas runners, he
“They literally have a party,” he said.
“So 10 runners will get together, sit around
and have beers and make a day of it.”
“Within the running world, it’s one of those
Those who missed out were placed on a
waiting list, as many spots were likely to
free up between now and December, Mr
“Sometimes that’s because people
suddenly realise what they’ve signed
themselves up for, and have a big gulp.”
Kepler Challenge media liaison Sue
Ibbotson said 15 places were given out
early to charity challenge runners.
“For $1000 each they get a running place,
and the money that we raise from that goes
to a local charity,” she said.
“This year, $10,000 of it goes to the health
shuttle, and the other $5000 goes to Kids
Restore the Kepler.”
The ASICS Kepler Challenge and Luxmore
Grunt will be held on Saturday December 6.
Race for registration
By Brendan McBryde
This year’s Westpac Southland Chopper
Appeal bike ride raised more than $55,000
for the local rescue helicopter services.
The 2014 event was held on May 9 and
featured 48 riders who pedalled 240km
from Frankton to Invercargill via Eastern
The party stopped at primary schools along
the route to talk about the emergency
helicopter service and to collect donations.
Westpac Southland area manager Andrew
Moreton said they had been overwhelmed
by the fundraising efforts of all of the riders,
as well as the generous support from the
“Every donation makes a big difference,”
he said. “The rescue helicopters are such
a vital emergency service, but they depend
on the support and generosity of our
community to stay in the air, and we are
very lucky down here with the support we
This was the fourth year of the ride, which
takes a different course through the
province each year.
“We already have strong interest from
people putting their hand up to ride next
year. The number of riders each year are
capped which has created great demand to
secure a spot,” Mr Moreton said.
Pedals power chopper
Te Anau lost 33-30 against Edendale
Player of the Day - Nathan Huffadine
Te Anau won 34-14 against Central Pirates
Player of the Day - Fine Mahina
Te Anau won 26-5 against Verdon College
Player of the Day - Daniel Carruthers
Te Anau lost 29-19 against James Hargest
Player of the Day - Blake Tippett
Did not play
Did not play due to bad weather
Te Anau play Mataura at 3pm away
Te Anau play Mataura at 1.45pm away
Te Anau Rugby Club
Well done to all the players who are trialling for rep teams
NO JUNIOR RUGBY DUE TO SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
Fiordland Community Pharmacy
Te Anau Signs
This Week - Saturday 12 July
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