The Block NZ – Reality TV or Advertising Campaign

It seemed to me to be a carefully rehearsed and well scripted Advertising/PR campaign !

Don’t get me wrong though, I watched most episodes and I quite enjoyed it. And I certainly felt like I got to know the four couples. But was it a DIY “Reality” show ? … I’m not so sure.

Perhaps I’m being cynical but I had the feeling that much of it was set up and the contestants were “prompted” on what to do (or say) much of the time. For example, the episode when one couple voted strategically (by giving all of the other contestants a score of 1 out of 10) in order to win a challenge. All the other couples made it look like it was a huge deal and they’d never speak to them again, accused them of cheating etc …  and then 2 episodes later they are all friendly again !  Was all of this scripted just to make it interesting ?

From early on I had my doubts. The houses they used has been purposely trashed – graffiti, holes in roofs and walls, broken toilets, rubbish everywhere. They were made to look like they had been abandoned for months/years when in fact they were perfectly ok and had in fact been lived in up until a few weeks before filming started.

Never the less as the series went on we got to know the four couples and it was interesting viewing, if a bit long winded and sponsor heavy … and for the most part I thought quite entertaining. But in the back of my mind was always the thought that it all felt very contrived. Perhaps that was the intention, but they insisted on making out that it was “real people” doing up some houses and competing against each other for the “major prize” at the end. In my opinion it was TV and Sponsor driven entertainment with just a dash of DIY.

And so to the finale, a 2 hour episode which culminated in the live auction of the four properties. Most of the show was in fact a summary of the rest of the series, with the auction tacked on the end. All four houses sold under the hammer and rather surprisingly the range of prices was huge ( $798,000 to $961,000 ). Four sites right next to each other, same size section, similar size (& type) of  house, and more or less the same specs. Assuming the auction was totally legitimate it seemed that one buyer in particular may have got caught up in the hype of the whole thing and spent way too much on a house which had a reserve $157,000 under what they paid.

With a little less “faffing” about and a bit more legitimate DIY renovation this could have been a brilliant show, perhaps even good “reality TV” but I think it missed the mark. Then again there has been a lot of public interest and no doubt attracted a large TV viewing audience, which is certainly what the sponsors wanted …. So maybe I’m wrong ?

Stephen Dennerly

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Fashion Week

As the 2012 NZ Fashion week comes to an end the talk is “Will there be another ?”. It would be a shame to see another opportunity to showcase our city fall by the wayside.

These type of events attract interest from all walks of life, both on and off shore. With the increase in expected growth of Auckland we need to encourage people to use the facilities available in the down town area.

Above (right) is Pauls Daughter Lauren, a designer for Trelise Cooper

Kiwi Vision was involved in measuring and recording the drainage infrastructure in the Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Quarter see here >>> and also in the measuring of fuel tanks and building facades – in conjunction with Bassett Plumbing and Drainage, Pacific Terminals and Fabric Structures.

And … for those interested in boating don’t forget Auckland on Water Boat Show  see here >>> 27-30 September 2012. Check out the workshops on the wharf and “Journey to the Deep”

Paul Connolly

The Auckland Plan good news for developers ?

The Auckland Plan from the recently formed Auckland Council holds many possibilities for developers. The 30 year plan estimates Auckland’s population could grow by 1 million people over the next 30 years, and outlines strategies to deal with this growth.

It cites the future of Auckland will include ten metropolitan centres including Albany, Takapuna, Westgate, Henderson, New Lynn, Newmarket, Sylvia Park, Botany, Manukau and Papakura where much of the growth will occur, providing a boon for developers in these areas.

Rural urban boundaries (RUB) north of Westgate near Kumeu and south of Papakura are obvious areas for development, subdivision or “land banking”.

13,000 new homes per year are anticipated, a huge increase on the paltry 2000 built in 2011. There will also be a staged release of land in 10 year steps. This development is facilitated by a reduction of development contributions for some types of development, and a faster planning and consent process.

Transportation plans include rail to the airport, a city rail link, and possibly rail to the North Shore. These initiatives may influence land values.

Two big initiatives the Council is focussing on are the city centre and the southern centres of Mangere, Otahuhu, Otara, Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura. These areas in particular offer development opportunities in the short term.

To see our full summary of the Auckland Plan go  here >>>

What are QR codes ?

QR code for http://www.kiwivision.co.nz

You will see on the right side of the screen, down by our physical address, a “QR code” which is short for Quick Reference code.  This particular code, if you have an app installed on your smartphone , will load up our location on google maps (to save writing down our address).

These codes have been around for quite some time. Originally they were used in the motor vehicle parts industry in the late 90’s, but recently have started to become more popular in the mainstream, particularly in Japan & Europe.

They are often used in advertising material (magazine ads, billboards, signs) to direct a “user” to a webiste or description of a product or service.

They are only just starting to appear in New Zealand … some real estate companies use them on “for sale signs” and a few businesses are putting them on their vehicle or building signage.

The information contained in the codes varies, and can be a website, contact details, location, youtube video, plus many others.

To use the codes you will need an app installed on your phone. “i-nigma” is a good free one for the iphone. There are many around for all types of phones.

See the links below for more information about QR codes

https://www.vodafone.co.nz/services/qr-codes.jsp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

 

GPS and the Volvo Ocean Race

A Photo of the NZ boat “Camper” in the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland. Taken Friday 12th March 2012.

Visit the official website to follow the race here

GPS is used by these ocean racing boats to locate themselves and navigate their way to the next stop. GPS is also used extensively in Land Surveying, although it does have some limitations in comparison to the “state-of-the-art” systems these boats use.

In Surveying GPS is generally used on large subdivisions and in rural areas where there is not too much tree cover. It is also usually the most efficient way to survey large drainage networks (manholes and pipes) and is used when setting out new road alignments.

 

Elevations

As well as Detailed Topographical Surveys, Kiwi Vision can also provide accurate building elevations. Using the latest Leica Reflectorless Total Station combined with custom software these elevations can be produced in a fraction of the time (and cost) than was previously possible. Patterns and shading from photos can then be applied to the elevations to give a more realistic representation of the building.