Podcast making positive impact

North Otago Legends ... Damien Goodsir (left) and Gary Kircher (right) in their recording studio. PHOTO: NIC DUFF

A North Otago podcast is making waves online, as it takes a look at the past, present and future of the local community.

The North Otago Legends is a weekly podcast that interviews people throughout the Waitaki district.

House of Breakthrough pastor Damien Goodsir and Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher started the podcast in May this year and 23 episodes in, it had been downloaded more than 2400 times.

The idea to start a podcast was cooked up over a cup of coffee.

Mayor Kircher said he hoped the podcast could shine a light on some of the wonderful people in the region.

‘‘There’s a lot of negativity with social media and various things these days and actually, there’s some great people out there and we don’t do enough to celebrate them.’’

The pair never set out with any specific goal in mind but the podcast had a few unexpected impacts.

In particular, Mr Goodsir highlighted their interview with North Otago farmer Ele Ludemann as one that opened their eyes to how the podcast could have a positive influence on the listener.

‘‘We never set out to do a podcast where we’re helping people through issues, but there was a moment in there that was just real, raw and honest. And I’m like ‘oh wow, this is really cool if we can, somehow through a podcast, help people’.’’

The podcast had also become a good way for those no longer living in the region to connect with the community, he said.

‘‘We think, far out people that are homesick for North Otago have somehow found us and now they’re listening in.’’

The number of people who stopped him in the street to discuss the episodes had surprised Mr Goodsir.

‘‘[I] didn’t expect so many people stopping me to talk about them. Even people I don’t know have approached me to say they listen in.’’

Their list of interviewees included former All Black Ian Hurst, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Win Stephens and community-minded business owner Sally-Ann Donnelly.