Vic­tory a shock to stu­dent choir

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS -

The Dun­stan High School choir Dun­stanza has walked away from an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion laden with awards.

A con­tin­gent of 50 stu­dents, two teach­ers and about eight par­ents headed to Mel­bourne about ten days ago to com­pete at the Mel­bourne Eisteddfod.

Di­rec­tor John Buchanan said they were thrilled with their re­sults af­ter Thurs­day’s com­pe­ti­tion. The full mixed voice choir – fe­male and male – won the sec­ondary schools com­pe­ti­tion while the se­nior girls were sec­ond in the same com­pe­ti­tion.

They went on later in the day to win the open grade World Mu­sic com­pe­ti­tion singing Maori songs against adult choirs from Ser­bia and Samoa.

The fi­nal sec­tion was the big­gest with eight choirs per­form­ing, an acapella work.

Buchanan said Dun­stanza was first to per­form and at the half­way point in the com­pe­ti­tion, about 9pm, the ju­nior stu­dents headed back to their ac­com­mo­da­tion af­ter a big day. ‘‘We did some re­ally won­der­ful singing and thought, let’s be happy with what we’ve done.’’

How­ever, as the re­sults were read out they were shocked to dis­cover they were sec­ond, he said. Youth drink-driv­ing con­vic­tions have more than halved in South­land and Cen­tral Otago since the zero tol­er­ance law changes came into ef­fect in 2011.

‘‘It is par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing to see that our younger driv­ers are re­spond­ing to the zero drink-drive level and gen­er­ally avoid­ing drink­ing and driv­ing,’’ South­ern district act­ing road polic­ing man­ager Se­nior Sergeant Steve Lark­ing said.

Drink-driv­ing sta­tis­tics ob­tained un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act showed a 29.2 per cent de­cline in the to­tal num­ber of drink-driv­ing of­fences in South­land and Cen­tral Otago from 2011-13.

Drink-driv­ing of­fences dropped sig­nif­i­cantly in 15- to 30-year-olds in 2012 and 13, with con­vic­tions drop­ping from 254 to 112.

Of­fences in 25- to 29-year-olds went up by 16 per cent in 2013.

Of­fend­ing in­creased in older age groups, par­tic­u­larly 50- to 54-yearolds go­ing up by 31 per cent and the 70- to 74-year-old age group re­ceived six con­vic­tions in 2013 as op­posed to

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