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Queenstown news in March includes skydivers giving time for Jump Start, a ninety one year old on the Skippers Canyon Adventure, and the Crowne Plaza celebrating Earth Hour.

Jen Andrews and Bronwyn Thomas - 28/03/09


11 March 2009

Queenstown skydivers help 'Jump Start' Kiwi dreams

Jen Andrews

Two Queenstown skydivers are heading to Auckland this weekend to give some special Kiwis the ride of their lives.

NZONE Tandem Skydive Instructor Nick Dowling and Freefall Photographer Colin Aitchison have volunteered their services to support Jump Start, a charity event which asks skydivers to raise money to sponsor a young person from CanTeen or Project K.

Nick, along with 49 other volunteer instructors, will tandem skydive from 10,000ft with their young companions (50 in total) while Colin captures the experience on tape. Each person will receive their own DVD after the event to keep.

Both are thrilled to be able to help such a great cause.

"It was a no-brainer for Colin and I. We get a huge amount of satisfaction from skydiving and to be able to share this life-changing experience with people who really deserve it is a great opportunity," says Nick Dowling.

Nicholas Finch from NZONE Rotorua is also lending a helping hand. He is donating his services as a Freefall Photographer as well as presenting a cheque for an additional $500 he's fundraised.

Jump Start is supported by commercial and sport skydivers from around New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) which supplies a C130 Hercules aircraft and its Parachute Training & Support Unit.

Jump Start Communications Manager Tim Fastnedge is delighted with the widespread support Jump Start receives from the skydiving community.

"We're so grateful to the sponsoring skydivers - the Tandem Masters, Camera Flyers and the Royal New Zealand Air Force who have donated their time, resources and aircraft to support this great cause. Without them this event wouldn't happen.

"We chose Project K and CanTeen because they both work with young people and assist them to make the most of opportunities and face the challenges that are ahead in their lives. Our aim is for Jump Start to make them feel truly alive and generate growth and confidence."

For more information about Jump Start please visit www.jumpstart.org.nz

(From left) Colin Aitchison and Nick Dowling
(From left) Colin Aitchison and Nick Dowling
Photo source NZONE
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19 March 2009

News from Skippers Canyon Adventures

Bronwyn Thomas

A ninety-one year old Englishman became the oldest customer to experience a Skippers Canyon Adventures jet boat ride on the Shotover River near Queenstown on Tuesday (17 March).

From Southhampton in England, Ivan Powley was accompanied by his seventy-one year old Dunedin relative, Alec Kellaway. Powley has a long history with boats and worked in the engine room of HMS Hood, one of Britain's most famous 20th century warships, during World War II.

Matt Rhodes, Skippers Canyon Adventures Marketing Manager, said it was a privilege to host someone like Ivan, with his prestigious marine history, on one of their boats.

"We loved having him on the trip. He obviously has an appreciation for all things boats and had a wicked time on the jet boat ride.

"He was enthralled during the 4WD drive into Skippers Canyon and really got into learning about the gold mining history of the area.

"We were blown away by his energy."

Ivan (right) and Alec offer bright smiles after their exhilarating jet boat ride  Ivan (second row on the right) and Alec living life to the full on a Skippers Canyon Adventures jet boat ride
Ivan (right) and Alec offer bright smiles after their exhilarating jet boat ride
Photo source: Skippers Canyon Adventures
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Ivan (second row on the right) and Alec living life to the full on a Skippers Canyon Adventures jet boat ride
Photo source: Skippers Canyon Adventures
Click here to view a larger version

24 March 2009

Crowne Plaza Queenstown 'votes Earth'

Bronwyn Thomas

A Queenstown hotel will be 'voting Earth' when it switches off the lights on Saturday (28 March) in support of the Earth Hour initiative to combat climate change.

For the second year running, Crowne Plaza Queenstown is turning as many lights off as possible in the hotel during Earth Hour (8.30pm 9.30pm) including exterior lights, and will be inviting guests to support them by turning room lights off as well.

Brett Wilson, Crowne Plaza Queenstown General Manager, said they were offering a fun alternative for guests by hosting an Earth hour party in the bar.

"The whole reception area and threesixty will be lit by candles to create a beautiful atmosphere for guests to enjoy. It will be lots of fun and a unique experience for staff and guests," he said.

Mr Wilson said staff had volunteered to participate in the initiative to ensure they observed Earth Hour as best they could.

"It's great to see the commitment from our staff as we couldn't do it without them. From the hotel's perspective, while this is a small gesture towards global concern, it's the start of many other similar initiatives aimed at educating the community on what they can do in their home and workplace.

"We hope that participating in Earth Hour will encourage our staff to extend energy saving practices to their homes, by turning off unnecessary lighting and changing high energy light globes to energy efficient fixtures."

Nearly two thousand cities, towns and municipalities in 81 countries have already committed to 'Vote Earth' for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the world's first global election between Earth and global warming. The results of the election are being presented at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. The campaign is aiming for one billion votes for Earth, to tell world leaders to take action against global warming.

For more information about Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org.

Brett Wilson shines a light for climate change using an eco-friendly re-chargeable candle
Brett Wilson shines a light for climate change using an eco-friendly re-chargeable candle
Photo source: Crowne Plaza Queenstown
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