Former television personality Olly Ohlson keeps dry outside
his new Otago Peninsula home yesterday. Photo by Gerard
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
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
''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
He had successfully used the programme on violent prison
''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.''