Ohlson swaps red zone battleground for Otakou

Former television personality Olly Ohlson keeps dry outside his new Otago Peninsula home yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Former television personality Olly Ohlson keeps dry outside his new Otago Peninsula home yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Former children's television presenter Olly Ohlson lost his cool over the Government's handling of his red-zoned house in Christchurch and moved to Dunedin.

Mr Ohlson (69) said he and his wife moved from their Brooklands home to a cottage in Otakou, on the Otago Peninsula, at the beginning of the year.

''The red zone beat us.''

The couple lost $63,000 in legal costs fighting an insurance company. In hindsight, they should have targeted the Government to pay people the value of their houses, he said.

Mr Ohlson was a longtime presenter on daily children's show After School and his catchphrase was ''keep cool 'til after school'' with accompanying sign language.

After the earthquake, he worked for the Government as a trauma counsellor and helped people under pressure to cope.

His fight, on behalf of the Brooklands community, had taken its own toll and he never realised the stress he was under until he moved to the Otago Peninsula and relaxed.

''I went 'holy mackerel', I was carrying a bit more than what I thought. It's so relaxing down here and the people are so fabulous.''

Neighbours had invited him for lunch, dropped off cockles, jam and skinned rabbits as welcome presents.

Dunedin ''appealed'' because the couple have a granddaughter in the city and peninsula property prices suited their budget.

''We didn't have much money left to buy anything elaborate so the budget was a major influence.''

The early 1900s two-storey Otakou cottage had solid rimu ''bones'' and a ''colourful history'' and builders would begin renovating it next month.

He loved life on the peninsula and watching cruise ships entering the harbour from his new home.

He was starting a behavioural modification programme called Mauri Hauora that used Maori symbols to ''uplift and motivate'' people.

He had successfully used the programme on violent prison inmates.

''The symbols are a soft way of selling personal responsibility and the idea of cause and effect.''

He is holding a free presentation on the programme at the Portobello Hall on Thursday at 7pm.

''It's for everyone - not just for Maori.''



Thanks man. While I enjoyed the Doors I much prefer Andrea Boccelli, Freddy Mercury and Queen, Seals and Croft, Kenny Rogers, Joe Cocker, the Who, and Pink Floyd. I also like classical and jazz - depending on my mood. I've gathered cockles for the first time in my life and I am going to make the most of the time I have left on this earth to help people get high on self power bro' it's the best and it's free with no ill side effects. Keep cool 'til next I see - more comments from you Mr BOP. 



Well done Olly ,you will have a 20 yr wait before the locals accept you though .. nice area.looks like you are near Harrington Point. try Papanui inlet for flounder and cockles.. my mum and dad used to crayfish from the Puddingstone rock.. The Dewar boys were legends at that, all proceeds were to the Portobello Pub .

I like your new abode  I've often wondered if hippies would make a come back, I've a few "Doors" L P,s if you want to complete the process .. Good luck. From the BOP

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
St James HairdressingDunedinHairdressers
G Davidson Engineering LtdDunedinIndustrial Engineering
Southland Fuel Injection & Turbo ChargingGoreAuto Specialists
The O'Brien GroupMosgielSpecialist Trades