Two lots of school holidays have helped Mount Hutt record its best ski season ever. Canterbury's largest ski area closed yesterday. Ski area manager Dave Wilson says the season has been brilliant and he never thought the field would be open for so long. He believes that is down to plenty of fresh snow, an influx of Australians and school holidays.
What was once a shingle wasteland is now a beautiful public garden.
Thanks to the Methven Garden Club, under the guidance of member Anne Anderson, and many helpers, the former storm water pit has been transformed.
About 50 people braved rain on Sunday to attend the official opening of the garden, nine years after the project began.
President Fran Brown said the thousands of plants filling the garden had been donated, as had much labour from volunteers and businesses.
Peter Weily of Methven Lions Club opened a gazebo in the garden, which was established by the club to commemorate Lionism in the town.
The Japanese/New Zealand themed garden has Japanese plants on its east side and New Zealand natives on its west side, and has many rocks from Mt Hutt and other high country locations.
Other structures in the garden include bridges, paths and a large Japanese lantern, donated by Noboru Tanaka who has been bringing groups of youngsters to the town from his home country for many years.
Methven Red Cross representatives planted a maple tree to commemorate 150 years of New Zealand Red Cross and 75 years of Methven Red Cross at the opening.
Mrs Brown said it was rewarding to see the area today being used by many members of the public who enjoyed walking through it.
The area was previously covered in large flaxes and used as a rubbish dumping area by some.
“Before it was just a complete and utter mess, it was such an eyesore, and now it’s absolutely beautiful,” Mrs Brown said.