Tiwai Pointer

Tiwai Pointer

NZAS Innovators save the business $3.5 million over the life of their ideas

(From left) Bruce Cunningham, Iain Miller & Gretta Stephens

Congratulations to the winners of the first round of GM Innovation Awards for 2017:

  • Health Safety Environment:  Jeff Michels, Iain Miller & Bruce Cunningham (Operations Crew 4, Casting & Logistics Department) for their air sample coolers at the furnaces project
  • Living the Values:  Les Cowles (Cost Engineering, Assets Department) for his anode carrier overhaul cost savings project
  • Cost Sagar Chatur, Brent O'Connor, Lynne Kennington & Kurtis Longman (Systems Support, IS&T Systems) for the team’s PC solid state hard drive replacement project

Nineteen entries were received, including six in our new ‘Living the Values’ category.  Eleven were safety improvements, with three that reduced the risk of hand injuries, seven reduced the chance of musculoskeletal diseases or strain injuries and one addressed a potential fatality risk.

Not only did these ideas make us safer on site, they also have a significant financial benefit.  Almost $1 million of value has already been achieved which will increase to $2 million by the end of the year, and $3.5 million over the lifetime of the ideas.  And to top it off, thirteen of the ideas make our life easier!

Thank you to everyone who entered.  Your combined efforts have not only made our workplace safer, but our business stronger.

The next round will close in late June so please get your thinking caps on and submit an entry.

Profile on HSE winning entry

Once a furnace has been filled with metal and alloyed it must be sampled to confirm it is within specification.  This involves taking three metal samples that are subsequently processed through the Auto Quantometer.  Metal samples are very high in temperature, taken when the furnace is above 700 degrees Celsius.

 

This winning innovation was the installation of two air coolers at the VDC furnaces, used to cool the metal samples.  Prior to their installation, some furnacemen used bent hooks to carry the hot samples, while others would juggle them while walking to either the sample cooler in the casting pit or throw them into one of the water tubs.  Placing samples into water was a faster method of cooling however this created issues with the Auto Quantometer as it could introduce water into the spark environment of the machine.

Installation of the air sample cooling system has led to the following improvements:

  • Furnacemen now have the tools to eliminate the need to do the hot metal sample ‘juggle’
  • Furnacemen glove wear has reduced significantly
  • Instances of water contamination in the Auto Quantometer have reduced

Congratulations to Jeff, Iain and Bruce for making this great improvement.

Our Fire Brigade shows its mettle during fires

Scrub fire on Tiwai Peninsula

A huge pat on the back is due to the Tiwai Industrial Fire Brigade, who battled two fires recently; a house fire on Tiwai Road and a scrub fire on Tiwai Peninsula.

The NZAS brigade was the first team on the scene at the scrub fire on Boreline Road and was praised for keeping it under control.  Our team was joined by several crews from the NZ Fire and Rural Fire

Services, as well as three helicopters.  Thankfully the lack of wind meant the fire was able to be brought under control quickly, limiting the damage to an area of around 150 x 50 metres.

Unfortunately it wasn’t such good news for the possum that caused the fire, electrocuting itself after climbing a power pole causing the pole and nearby bush to set alight.  The pole was replaced by Power Supply and PowerNet the following day, allowing power to be restored to the boreline.

Invercargill Fire Service Station Officer, Graham Gilroy, was very complimentary of the work carried out by the Tiwai Brigade. “There were at least two incidents that without the swift work of the crew, the fire could have jumped the road.  Their efforts helped to isolate the fire and saved additional fire fighting resources having to be called on,” he said.

Members of our Tiwai Fire Brigade never know what emergency they may have to respond to.  If you are interested in joining, please contact Ross Ferguson on x 5559.

Tiwai Brigade in action during the scrub fire

Increased focus on the most important tools we have: our hands

Did you know that last year 26 of our people hurt their hands?  Already in 2017, we have had five hand injuries.  Let’s use the tools we learnt in the 2016 Hazard ID training to make some significant improvements.

By now you should have seen the new screen savers which are focussing on hand safety.  Each month we will introduce a new one to keep this issue firmly in your minds. 

Usually our controls are low in the hierarchy which could be a reason why we have had so many hand injuries.  Try implementing engineering solutions if you can, or at least start the ball rolling, as it may take some time to get these controls in place.

The Assets and Casting & Logistics departments will be trialling new hand safety cards which will pinpoint safe behaviours for their areas.  At this stage the cards are in development.  We will keep you updated of progress.

Raewyn Robson from our Occupational Health team is currently working with site Health & Safety Representatives (HSRs) and suppliers to ascertain if there are better gloves available to carry out tasks.  PPE is the last line of defence; hazard elimination is a much better option.

Remember, “eyes before hands, are you sure you have the right tool for the job?”

Andy Mahon achieves a world record in powerlifting

World record holder Andy Mahon

Congratulations to Andy Mahon (Assets Department) who achieved an M1 (Masters 1 – for ages 40-49) world record in powerlifting at the Asia/Oceania Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships which were held in Christchurch.  He beat the squat record by 2.5 kgs, lifting a staggering 302.5 kgs (the previous best was set by a Ukrainian at the world champs four years ago).

Andy works as a Mechanical Tradesperson in the Service Maintenance team and is pictured with the five medals he won at the championships.  Not only did he win five medals but Andy also achieved five international records in squat, deadlift and total – a personal best in the 16 years he has been competing. An outstanding effort!

“This was a career highlight for me.  To do well at powerlifting, participants have to be mentally tough – you have to be dedicated to training and be consistent,” he said.

In the four month lead-up to the championships his training plan consisted of working out for three hours a day, five days a week. 

Andy definitely possesses the drive to succeed which is demonstrated by the fact he has been NZ champion in the under 105 kg class for 10 years.  He will be travelling to Belarus in June this year to compete in the World Championships.  Good luck Andy, we will all be cheering for you!

International Women’s Day celebrated at NZAS

In March the women of NZAS shared a potluck breakfast to celebrate International Women’s Day.

GM Gretta Stephens, said, “NZAS doesn’t have the greatest gender diversity and this is something we will need to change if we are to access all the capability in our community for roles in the future.” 

International Women’s Day was celebrated to recognise the contribution of the smelter’s women employees and contractors to build a greater appreciation of the value diversity brings to a workforce.

The breakfast was also used as an opportunity to fundraise for the Invercargill Women’s Refuge – an organisation for Southland women and their children.  Around $300 was raised for this very important charity.

Domestic violence is a serious social issue in New Zealand - one in three women will experience some form of abuse within their relationship, sadly some men also experience abuse within their relationships.  If you are experiencing abuse or suspect someone you love is, please access assistance via the NZAS EAP Services - (0800) 327-669 – or Women’s Refuge on (0800) 733-843.

NZAS women celebrating International Women's Day

Project to provide additional flexibility and security of NZAS switchyard completed

Upper and lower bus in place

In February the NZAS Power Supply and Project teams commissioned a new interconnecting DC bus between the Line 2 standby rectiformer (R02) and Line 1.  The interconnecting bus enables R02 to feed 50kA to Line 1 if needed in an emergency. 

It has been a long and complex project with concept work starting back in 2014.  Installation work commenced in April last year with many different local contractors involved.  An innovative installation technique was used with a temporary weld bay set up at the south end of the switchyard.  As new sections of busbar were welded together the bus was winched into position, with a temporary support structure set up with old conveyor rollers used to support the bus during the winching process.

The interconnection now provides increased security of supply to Line 1 in the event of rectiformer outages. It is intended for emergency use only in the event that a two rectiformer failure scenario is experienced on Line 1.  

Special thanks to Latitude 46, PC Engineering, Fulton Hogan, EIS, Sheet Metalcraft, E-Type Engineering, GEO Wilson, United Scaffolding, Smith Cranes, Sam Brown and the team at Power Supply for their work in completing the project.

NZAS well represented at Downstream Energy Conference 2017 in Auckland

NZAS GM Gretta Stephens delivering her presentation at the Downstream Energy Conference

NZAS had a very strong delegation at the recent Downstream Energy Conference in Auckland.  The conference had its largest turnout ever with over 450 energy sector leaders from New Zealand and around the world attending.

PacAl Energy Director Lesley Silverwood attended from Brisbane, NZAS GM Gretta Stephens presented and Director External Relations NZ Jen Nolan moderated the panel of opposition energy spokespeople.

 

Gretta’s presentation outlined the many reasons why it is good to have large energy users in an economy including some special references to her favourite large energy user. 

The benefits range from the totally obvious of jobs and prosperity for the regions to the not so obvious of increasing GDP, driving innovation, up-skilling the labour force and providing diversity in an economy.  We are hoping to find a time for Gretta to deliver her presentation at site in the near future.

Jen got to referee between the Act Party leader David Seymour, Labour’s Stuart Nash, who actually lost the energy portfolio the day prior to the conference and the Green’s Gareth Hughes.  Stuart Nash spoke first and ended his summary of the critical issues facing the sector by saying the biggest issue was the uncertainty caused by NZAS and its future and asked Jen what was going to happen with the smelter.   

Jen replied that the uncertainty isn’t caused by NZAS but is shared by NZAS and until the smelter stops paying one of the highest prices for electricity and transmission paid in the world by a smelter the uncertainty is likely to continue.  She concluded by saying that is why NZAS needs reform to transmission pricing as soon as possible.

It is great to have the NZAS story told in Auckland to such a large group of key influencers and decision makers in the energy industry.

(From left) Pacific Aluminium Director External Relations NZ Jen Nolan moderating the panel of opposition energy spokespeople (David Seymour, Stuart Nash & Gareth Hughes)

It just doesn’t look right: how to spot email scams

The emergence of highly sophisticated email scams and malware means that sometimes our automated IT defences are evaded, and potentially harmful email reaches our inboxes.

Although there is no fool-proof method for detecting email scams, some simple checks can be performed which can help avoid mishaps.  As always, if you have any concerns about an email you have received, please contact the NZAS IT Helpdesk (phone 3333, or email NZAS.ITServicedesk@pacificaluminium.com.au) for advice.

Here are some tips on how to spot a potentially harmful email:

The message makes unrealistic threats, uses intimidation, authority
Email scams often use intimidation or try to create a sense of urgency for action.  This can be as simple as “you must click into your account now” messages, or claims to represent a government agency, law enforcement, or bank etc.

The message contains poor spelling and grammar
A common practice of many hackers is to use misspelled words on purpose in order to try and profile the types of people who may not notice and fall victim to the scam.

The message asks for personal information
It is often a bad sign if the message asks for personal information.  Your bank doesn’t need you to send them your account number - they already know what it is.  Similarly, a reputable company should never send an email asking for your password, credit card number, or the answer to a security question.

The offer seems too good to be true
If something in an email seems too good to be true, it probably is.

You didn’t initiate the action
If you receive a message informing you that you have won a contest that you did not enter, received a tax refund etc, then it is likely the message is a scam.

 

You are asked to send money to cover expenses
One tell-tale sign of an email scam is that you will eventually be asked for money.

Embedded links contain misleading domain names
It is often possible to tell if the email is from a recognisable domain that is linked to the actual sender name or services.  See example further down.

Suspicious attachments
Many modern email attachments contain the ability to execute computer code – making them especially dangerous - .zip, .pdf, and Word files are commonly used to infect computers.  Suspicious attachments should never be opened (contact the IT Helpdesk for advice).  These can indicate an email scam. 

An Example:

1.  Example email scam currently circulating

2.  HOVER (DO NOT CLICK!) your mouse pointer over the links within the email

3.  Examine the links

Question:  Why would the Australian Federal Police use shop4skool.com as part of their system?

Question:   Does the sender’s email domain address look odd? (afp-traffic@sda-courier24.info)

Question:   Are there any spelling, grammatical, or formatting errors?

Question:   Does the email attempt to create ‘clickable’ urgency?

If a large earthquake hit today, would you be ready?

New Zealand lies on the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.  There are thousands of earthquakes in NZ every year, but most of them aren’t felt because they are either small, or very deep within the earth.  Each year there are around 150-200 quakes that are big enough to be felt.  The recent Kaikoura earthquake is a stark reminder that a large, damaging earthquake could occur at any time, and can be followed by aftershocks that continue for days or even weeks.

The Alpine Fault runs the length of the South Island.  A rupture of this fault line occurs every 291 years +/- 23 years.  The last event was in 1717 so in natural hazard terms, this is going to happen; it is not a case of if, but when.

Check out the helpful tips below sourced from the ‘Get Ready Get Thru’ website (http://www.getthru.govt.nz/):

Before an earthquake:

  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan. Assemble and maintain your emergency survival items for your home and workplace, as well as a portable getaway kit
  • Practice Drop, Cover and Hold:
  • Identify safe places within your home, school or workplace
  • Check your household insurance policy for cover and amount
  • Seek qualified advice to make sure your house is secured to its foundations and ensure any renovations comply with the NZ Building Code
  • Secure heavy items of furniture to the floor or wall (visit www.eqc.govt.nz to find out how to quake-safe your home)

During an earthquake:

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, Drop, Cover and Hold.  Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.  In most buildings in New Zealand you are safer if you stay where you are inside until the shaking stops
  • If you are in an elevator, Drop, Cover and Hold. When the shaking stops, try and get out at the nearest floor if you can safely do so
  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move no more than a few steps away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold
  • If you are at the beach or near the coast, Drop, Cover and Hold then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows the quake
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.  Then proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling debris or landslides

 

After an earthquake:

  • Listen to your local radio stations as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation
  • Expect to feel aftershocks
  • Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary.  Help others if you can
  • Be aware that electricity supply could be cut, and fire alarms and sprinkler systems can go off in buildings during an earthquake even if there is no fire.  Check for, and extinguish, small fires
  • If you are in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place.  Use the stairs, not the elevators
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas
  • Only use the phone for short essential calls to keep the lines clear for emergency calls
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window, get everyone out quickly and turn off the gas if you can.  If you see sparks, broken wires or evidence of electrical system damage, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box if it is safe to do so
  • Keep your animals under your direct control as they can become disorientated.  Take measures to protect your animals from hazards, and to protect other people from your animals
  • If your property is damaged, take notes and photos for insurance purposes.  If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible

US Ambassador visits Southland

(Left) Candy Green, Acting US Ambassador & Gretta Stephens

Candy Green, Acting US Ambassador to New Zealand, visited NZAS in February as part of her visit to the south.  She met with Gretta Stephens before touring the plant.

One of the highlights of Candy’s Southland visit was supporting the American team at the 2017 World Shearing & Wool Handling Championships held in Invercargill.

xxx

Welcome to our new engineering grads

(Left) Sam O'Neill & Stuart Kennedy

Welcome to Sam O’Neill and Stuart Kennedy, who have recently started working in graduate process engineering roles at NZAS.

Sam is working in Carbon having gained a Bachelor of Chemical and Process Engineering with Honours at the University of Canterbury.  Originally from Christchurch, he is settling nicely into life in Southland and hasn’t found it too difficult being away from family, as he has extended family dotted throughout the province. 

Sam has recently come off a stint of shift work and really enjoyed getting to spend time in each department.  He is now looking forward to commencing some project work.

Stuart is based in Reduction and graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Chemical and Process Engineering with Honours.  He feels extremely proud to call himself an engineer, and said being one of two lucky graduates selected for the NZAS Graduate Programme was like winning the lottery.  He is looking forward to the challenges his new job presents and to adding value to NZAS.  Engineering is a total career change for Stuart, who previously worked as a chef and in the wine industry.

Settling into Southland has been relatively painless for Stuart who is enjoying the fantastic hunting and fly-fishing opportunities.  His only niggle is that he thinks we need to work a little harder at global warming so that everyone can enjoy a few warmer days – no-one will disagree!

Closer ties with Japan

(Left) Hiroyuki Matsumura & Greg Masters

Hiroyuki Matsumura, a Japanese casting engineer, has recently joined us on a three year contract with the Casting & Logistics Department.

Reporting to Greg Masters (Specialist Metallurgy), Hiro has come to NZAS to share his casting expertise and to identify process and metal quality improvements. Both NZAS and Hiroyiko will benefit from an exchange of information including approaches to Health, Safety, Environment and Quality.

Hiro is married with a three year old son.  His family plans to move to New Zealand within the next few months and are excited about the opportunity to live in a new country and become immersed in a different culture. 

So far Hiro is really enjoying working at NZAS and finds living in NZ exciting.  He has risen to the challenge of cooking for the first time with a mix of Japanese foods including Oyako-don (chicken with rice and an egg boiled in soup stock) along with some Kiwi/Italian favourites such as carbonara.

Although Hiro’s first language is not English he is quickly picking up the ‘local lingo’.

Welcome Hiro, we trust you will enjoy your time at NZAS.

Southland industries stand together

A number of Dongwha New Zealand’s management team, including Managing Director, Mr Wonbae Kim, visited NZAS recently. 

The purpose of their visit was to learn about the impact of the Transmission Pricing Methodology (TPM) reform on NZAS.  We have put a lot of effort into helping other Southland businesses and key decision makers understand how the TPM reform will affect NZAS and them. 

Dongwha made a submission as it, like NZAS, is exposed to high transmission costs.  It is great to see Southland’s major industries standing together.

Our management team has also accepted an invitation to visit the team at Dongwha in the near future, further strengthening our connection.

(From left) Wonbae Kim (Managing Director, Dongwha NZ), Andrew Elder, Gretta Stephens, Myungjae Lee (HR and H&S Manager, Dongwha NZ), Paula Checketts, Jihoon Kim (Purchasing Manager, Dongwha NZ) & Sohyun Jung (Production Manager, Dongwha NZ)

Traditional Korean/Japanese lunch in Wellington

Bibimbap and sushi were on the menu at Sumitomo Chemical Company representative Kokusho-san’s house in Wellington recently.

Last year Jen Nolan (Director External Relations NZ) hosted a traditional kiwi roast lunch at her home to farewell Arai-san and welcome Kokusho-san and his family to Wellington.  Now settled in to their new country and home his family has returned the favour inviting Jen and her daughter Violet to a traditional Korean/Japanese lunch at their home.

Kokusho-san’s wife, Seoyong, is Korean so the meal showcased food from her country as well as from Japan.  The meal included bibimbap – which literally means ‘mixed rice’ a delicious bowl of seasoned rice, meat and vegetables.  This is served with a fiery Korean spice paste call gochujang – imagine if hoisin sauce, chilli paste and oyster sauce got together and had a baby and you get the picture!

They also had a delicious Korean beef stew and hand rolled sushi – and even a very fussy 12 year old kiwi girl went home very satisfied.

(From left) Naoyuki, Kuwon & Seoyong Kokushu, with Violet & Jen Nolan

New starters – January to March 2017

Welcome to:

  • Stuart Kennedy – Process Engineer, Technical Development, Reduction
  • Sam O’Neill – Process Engineer, Technical, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Barry Todd – Superintendent Safety Support, Commercial & Support Services
  • Greg Masters – Specialist Metallurgy, Casting & Logistics
  • Jason Kent – Operator, Line Services, Reduction
  • Mathew Pocklington – Tradesperson Mechanical, Mechanical Workshops, Assets
  • Chris Paisley – Operator, Line 1, Reduction
  • Jason Allison – Operator, Technical Services, Casting & Logistics

 

Our People

Name:      Shaun O’Neill  

Position:  Superintendent – Analytical & Monitoring

How long have you worked at NZAS?
21+ years

What would you do if you won Lotto? 
A non-event as I don’t buy Lotto tickets.  If money was not an issue then travel to experience new places and cultures, combined with a good dash of philanthropy would seem to be worthwhile

What is your favourite food?
Eye fillet steak – cooked medium to rare on the BBQ, with blue cheese and a green salad

What is your favourite tipple?
A passion for craft beer causes selection issues …

What’s the most outstanding memory of your school days?
Leaving and saying goodbye to a boarding school I had lived in for five years.  The first end of an era and the end of my childhood

Who is the person you most admire in the world? 
My wife Michelle for being married to me for over 32 years

How did you meet your wife? 
I seem to remember our first date was going to the movies to see ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’

What is your favourite leisure activity? 
Trout fishing from a boat on the Upper Waiau is awesome

Where’s your favourite place visited in the world? 
Holidaying for four weeks on Santorini in Greece was memorable - spectacular scenery, food, climate and people

What’s your biggest achievement in life so far? 
I am still alive, happily married with three awesome children

What would be the most memorable news bulletin you have seen/read? 
In July 1969 watching on a black & white TV the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon – I remember a whole room circling the TV watching when Armstrong stepped out onto the Moon’s surface

What were your career aspirations when you were a child?
Pilot, however lack of vision meant that wish didn’t eventuate

What was your first job?
Working at the Southland A&P show in 1971 selling pies, soft drinks, ice creams, chocolate etc

Who is the Southlander you most admire and why? 
Father Vaughn Hook - if you knew him you would understand what volumes of enthusiasm, passion and compassion can do to a person

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
‘Human Rights’ would change to ‘Human Rights & Accountabilities’ - some people forget that living in a community brings Accountabilities with the Rights that are afforded to them

What is your favourite childhood memory? 
Summer evening BBQs and swimming in the Aparima River near Thornbury – the water quality was better than it is today

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? 
Crocodile – a cross between red cod and chicken (although once was enough)

What does a perfect day look like to you?
Every day is perfect as long as I am not pushing up daisies.  It’s just that some days are more perfect than others …

 

Time to get out and explore the country

Jared Gorrie

Are you looking for a new hobby that could take you to places you’ve never been?  If the answer is yes, perhaps you should consider joining the local 4WD Club (Southland Land Rover Club).

Jared Gorrie (Reduction Maintenance) is an avid 4WD enthusiast and member of the club, who loves the opportunity to drive to places that are off the beaten

 

track.  Off-roading in a 4WD vehicle gives people a way to enjoy the stunning scenery that exists beyond the main highways – a great way to see the country.

Jared currently drives a Toyota Prado and also has a modified Toyota Surf which is unfortunately not currently road worthy due to it being rolled three years ago – but one day he hopes to have it up and running again.

The club caters for different levels of driving skills from easy to more challenging tracks, and up to competition level such as Winch Challenge events.

Obviously Jared’s best 4WD experience was meeting his wife, but a close second would be participating in winch challenges where the aim is to beat the stopwatch without making any mistakes, or turning the vehicle up the wrong way.  He also really enjoys the team events where everyone has to work together to get to the end of the challenge, often for 24 hours straight.  Being able to challenge your own abilities and spending time with friends is always the ultimate!

Jared has been lucky enough to be a navigator in a winch challenge team with the competition taking

 

them all over the South Island, and has also competed in a one day competition in Australia.

He has gained a lot of experience from being a member of a club and formed some great friendships along the way.  4WD'ing is a hobby that anyone can enjoy and Jared would encourage anyone who is interested to join the Southland Land Rover Club to learn techniques and gain experience.

If you would like further information, please contact Jared on x 5714.

A little goes a long way

In the Christmas issue of Tiwai Pointer we filled you in on the Employee Activities Group’s initiative to sponsor six families through the Salvation Army’s 2016 Christmas Adopt-a-Family programme.  Each family received gifts and a generous food voucher.  Showing kindness and bringing joy to families in need reflects the true meaning of Christmas.  Check out the lovely thank you note.

Just cruisin’

The cruise liner MS Artania sailed from Port Chalmers before spending a day berthed at South Port recently.   The ship had around 560 crew and 850 passengers on board and is the largest cruise ship to ever visit Bluff.  Most of the passengers were retirees from Germany.

Bluff is becoming a popular destination for smaller vessels of less than 1200 passengers, with thirteen cruises visiting during the 2016/17 summer season, with eight of them being cruises to the Sub-Antarctic.  The estimated economic impact for Southland is a substantial $8 million per annum.  Hopefully we see even more next summer!

Some interesting facts and figures about the Artania:

  • Built in Finland in 1984
  • Cost US$165 million to build
  • Originally called MS Royal Princess and was christened by Lady Diana
  • Refurbished in 2014
  • Ten storeys high and 231 metres long
  • Eight passenger decks
  • 600 cabins including 152 balcony rooms
  • Three restaurants, a theatre room, cinema
  • Spa and sauna, salon, boutique store, library
  • Several bars and swimming pools

The ship called into Bluff as part of a four month voyage around the world.  This particular leg of the journey saw the Artania visit Auckland, Bay of Islands, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Akaroa, Dunedin, Bluff, Hobart, Port Arthur and Sydney.

Passengers were offered a number of activities including a day trip to Queenstown and visits to Bluff, Invercargill and the Catlins.

Where is the pot of gold?

“There might be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” - we have all heard this myth, the trouble is, you can never get to the end!

Rainbows appear to form perfectly rounded arches, but in reality rainbows form full circles.  When we are standing on the ground we can only see light that is reflected by raindrops above the horizon, therefore we can’t see a rainbow’s lower, hidden half.  The one way you may be able to see a full-circle rainbow would be if you are on an aircraft – and thus can see below the horizon – you might see a rainbow as a full circle.  Sometimes people climbing tall mountains can view circular rainbows as well.

As a rainbow is a circle we’ll never reach the end or the bottom.  And rainbows seem to move when you do, this is because the light that forms the bow is always at a specific distance and angle from you.  Alas, that’s why we’ll never find our pot of gold!  Maybe we’ll have to rely on Lotto tickets instead …