The story behind The Lowdown, from the editor Steve King
The first issue of the Lowdown was in March 2017. It arose partly from the meetings of the South Dunedin Stakeholders group, which was a loose conglomeration of statutory agencies, NGOs, community groups and private individuals. We met as a response to the flood of 2015, which had caused widespread anger towards the city council, but also contributed to perceptions in the community that South Dunedin was treated as a second-rate area that no-one cared about.
I began putting it together because I felt that it could be a vehicle that might help inform people about the good things that were taking place, and to encourage people to value living here. I also wanted to provide a platform for people to learn what steps city authorities were taking to avoid a repeat of the flood, a bit like a general community notice board.
After a few early editions, with printing provided by Connect South (until they folded), a sponsor came forward from Harcourts Real Estate, and since February 2018, they have printed 1,500 copies each edition, usually eight times per year.
Contributions from the community have fluctuated, but over the last four years we have published personal profiles, run political stories and election coverage, celebrated local successes, promoted and reported on community hui, followed the development of the South Dunedin Community Network, profiled local groups and businesses, and generally tried to promote and celebrate South Dunedin in all its fascinating diversity.
We are now up to edition 30, at February 2021, and we have more volunteers and funding to increase our print run to 2,500. It is now tied more firmly to the Network and features regular updates of Network activities.
Among the people I would like to thank are our sponsors, Ganesh and Adrija Rout from Harcourts; the Fitzroy team from Community Care Trust who have been the core of our delivery volunteers, the folks from the Seedling who are delivery volunteers, the Barham whānau for their delivery efforts early on, all of our current individual delivery volunteers, and the folks at the South Dunedin Community Network and the stakeholders group, for the uncomplaining proofreading, their constant encouragement and kind feedback.
Issue 15 – Hakihea/December 2018
Issue 14 – Whiringa-ā-Nuku/October 2018
Issue 13 – Mahuru/September 2018
Issue 12 – July/Hongongoi 2018 (Matariki edition)
Issue 11 – Haratua/May 2018
Issue 10 – Poutū-te-Rangi/March 2018
Issue 9 – Hui Tanguru/February 2018
Issue 8 – Hakihea/December 2017
Issue 7 – Whiringa-ā-Nuku/Whiringa-ā-Rangi October/November 2017
Issue 6 – Mahuru/September 2017
Issue 5 – Hereturikōkā/August 2017
Issue 4 – Pipiri/June 2017
Issue 3 – Paenga-whā whā /Haratua April/May 2017
Issue 2 – Poutü-te-Rangi/Paenga-whā whā March/April 2017
Issue 1 – Hui Tanguru/February 2017