Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday June 25 2015
22 — Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, June 25, 2015 www.times.co.nz Could your kitchen do with a facelift...at less cost? Transform the look of your kitchen by Þtting NZ made replacement doors, drawer fronts, panels, handles and bench tops. Create a brand new Ôlook and feelÕ with no compromise on quality, choice and design. If itÕs new you want, we can design and install too! Our benchtops are made using engineered stone of natural quartz & granite. We also reface bathrooms, bedrooms, and laundries 10YEAR GUARANTEE DREAM DOORS - A local business, backed by an international brand Call Brett on 021 998 054 or 0800 437 326 email email@example.com www.dreamdoors.co.nz LOW COST HUGE RANGE LESS HASSLE LOCAL 1 2 3 4 Pay a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen by keeping your existing cabinetry, but adding the features and design of a brand new kitchen. Choose from a huge range of the latest door styles and colours, handles and benchtops. From pull out pantries, to corner drawer systems, we have you covered. THE DREAM DOORS ADVANTAGE You wonÕt suffer the stress, mess and upheaval that comes with a new kitchen. All doors and cabinets are made to measure by NZ manufacturers, with a 10-year warranty. 1 2 3 4 LOW COST HUGE RANGE LESS HASSLE LOCAL BRETT THE ADVANT WIN $5000 travel vouchers – 3 lots to WIN! Place your 'dream' kitchen order before August 2015 and be in to WIN 1 of 3 $5000 travel vouchers. Fantastic odds, so don't miss this amazing opportunity – phone now for details. Conditions apply. JH9790-V2 GAS can be the most cost-effective energy option for most new-build households, according to a new report. The Consumer Energy Options report, produced by Concept Consulting, evaluates different fuels and technologies for providing water, space and heating. It says gas is the most cost-effective hot water option for most new builds because the low capital cost of instant gas hot water outweighs the relatively higher running costs compared with hot water heat pumps or solar water heating. Gas, the report says, is also the best heating option if a household uses gas for water heating as well. “In such cases where it is used for both water and space heating, the gas heating option becomes cheaper than the equivalent heat pump option for new build situations.” The report also says that the carbon footprint of gas-fired space and water heating options is broadly similar to heat pump heating options. Most gas is burned in power stations to create electricity. But using it directly in the home or commercial premises for water and space heating and cooking is more energy efficient and cleaner burning. “Many people don’t realise that gas is cost-efficient, energy-efficient and low-carbon,” says Gas New Zealand spokesperson Gregg Brown. “And these benefits come on top of other advantages, such as never running out of hot water, the rapid heating provided by gas fires and the fact they will heat large spaces, and the instant control they provide in the kitchen.” Mr Brown says gas heating also has strong advantages over other fuels with the ability to provide a quick, cost-effective heat in the lowest temperatures, ability to economically heat a whole home, and in the convenience and aesthetics of gas fires.” He calls gas a transition fuel on the path to a totally renewable energy system. “It’s much better to use gas in our homes than to burn it in power stations to generate electricity. “ That’s wasteful and environmentally unfriendly.” ARARE giant of the plant world made its second commanding performance, flowering for the second time in 18 months at the Auckland Domain Wintergardens. The Amorphophallus titanium, more commonly known as titan arum, was the first of its kind to flower in New Zealand in December 2013. It began to flower again on June 17, revealing a dark and velvety purple colour inside. It’s also known as the ‘corpse flower’ because of the powerful rotting flesh-like stench it produces when it begins to flower and attract pollinators. About 17,400 people viewed the plant, which has been growing at the Auckland Council-owned nursery for about nine years, when it flowered in 2013. The average temperature in the nursery is maintained at 25 degrees C. Auckland Domain manager, David Millward of the council’s City Parks Services says the plants are so unpredictable that it’s hard to say when something will happen. In a BBC documentary about the plants, Sir David Attenborough noted that in their natural habitat of Sumatra, the titan arum can flower every 1000 days. But they are less predictable in a glasshouse environment and it is now more than 540 days since the Auckland plant last flowered, which is unusual, Mr Millward says. “ We haven’t done anything too special with it to be honest, other than making sure it was in a constant temperature, fed it with liquid fertiliser and seaweed solution and ensured it was watered correctly,” he says. “ We also made the conscious decision not to disturb the corm by re-potting it after flowering as this would not happen in its natural environment.” The corm, or tuber, produces a single leaf the size of a tree each year. For seven to 10 years it goes through a life cycle of leaf, dieback and dormancy. Then a bloom may appear, lasting no more than 48-72 hours. The flower can grow to more than three metres tall. DESPITE the increase in building consents in the Auckland region, median prices continue to rise sharply indicating that the Auckland Housing Accord is yet to make an impact on the market, according to the latest Crockers Property report. Building consents have grown steadily since 2012 and a sharp increase in November and December 2013 drove most of the growth for the year to March 2014. However, growth during the year to March 2015 has come from spikes in consents at various points in the year, rather than consistent growth. While floating interest rates have been sitting higher than fixed rates, the company’s research shows that current expectations are for floating interest rates to stay the same or drop slightly over the next 12 months. Just over a third of people interviewed (36 per cent) expect floating rates to stay the same in the next 12 months while 40 per cent expect them to drop. This is one of the likely key factors behind about a fifth of property owners keeping their mortgage on a floating rate while lower fixed rates are currently available, the company says. A greater proportion of property investors are moving at least part of a mortgage onto a fixed rate. Crockers Auckland Performance Index is holding strong while the Investment Index drops back as slightly more investors expect to downsize their Auckland rental investments. The company says this is likely a reflection of the increasingly competitive Auckland housing market, talk of new LVR restrictions and a capital gains tax. Some are choosing to buy up more properties while others expect to reduce their investments, making the most of the high sales prices. There is a continuing shift towards more property owners expecting to change the size of their Auckland rental property investment, the company says. In May high levels of property owners were looking to increase their investments while this month those looking to increase drops back slightly with more expecting to reduce the size of their investment. This is also likely a reflection of different reactions to the increasingly competitive Auckland house market. Some owners may be looking to increase their investments before changes in investment property lending rules come into play. our homes today Gas recommended for newly-built households gardens Stinky flower puts on new show building Prices unaffected by more consents Median prices continue to rise sharply Amorphophallus titanium at the Wintergardens in Auckland Domain first flowered in 2013. Photo supplied Auckand Council DID YOU KNOW? Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers - in locations from India and China to the United States and France - have passed their sustainability tipping points. This means more water is being removed than replaced from these vital underground reservoirs which take thousands of years to accumulate and only slowly recharge with water from snowmelt and rains.
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