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Helena O'Neill

Auckland, New Zealand
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About Helena
Helena O'Neill is a journalist based in Auckland, New Zealand.

She is working as a contributing writer for the horticulture industry but has an extensive general news reporting background. She has a special interest in rural reporting, human interest stories, and profile pieces. 

Helena also edits the New Zealand Irish Wolfhound Club's quarterly magazine and has an Irish Wolfhound called Rowyn.
Feature Stories Content Writing Interview (Print / Radio / Podcast)
Business Current Affairs Arts & Books

A Look at Small Community Stations in the Southern Policing District

01 Apr 2023  |  Otago Daily Times Online News
The article discusses the challenges and experiences of sole-charge police officers in the Southern policing district of New Zealand, which includes Otago and Southland. It highlights the story of Senior Constable Murray Hewitson, who has served as the only officer in Owaka for eight years. The article touches on the unique aspects of rural policing, such as the lack of nearby backup, the need for community trust, and the varied nature of incidents officers respond to. It also mentions the recent retirement of Senior Constable Jape Wanoa from Roxburgh and the subsequent restructuring, which includes the introduction of a rural community officer position. The Southern policing district underwent a restructure last year, and further changes are being considered, with Superintendent Andrew Coster discussing the potential realignment of the Clutha sub-area.

An article on the 2016 Canterbury Rural Fire Challenge at Castle Hill, also features a brief video that she shot and edited.

Farming/agribusiness article on a Mid Canterbury blackcurrant harvest for the 2015 season. Published on the Stuff website and Stuff's community newspapers. She also took all the photographs for this piece.

Hidden treasure on the Catlins coast

08 Apr 2022  |  Otago Daily Times Online News
Helena de Reus, a reporter from Balclutha, embarks on an early morning journey to visit the Frances Pillars on the Catlins coast, accompanied by former Clutha district councillors Mary Johnstone and Jo Lowrey. The trip requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle to cross the Tautuku River and reach the Tautuku Peninsula. After a hike and a climb down rocks with the aid of ropes, they witness the breathtaking Frances Pillars, a spectacular natural formation. The pillars are not widely known or documented, but they are significant to local Maori and have historical connections to whalers. The article describes the adventure and the natural beauty of the pillars, suggesting that the best views are either up close by kayak or from the Florence Hill lookout.



A profile on young orchardist Ellen Watt in Waitaki, New Zealand. She also took photographs for this feature, with one of her close up shots of apricots chosen for the front cover of The Orchardist magazine.

Helena O'Neill

06 Apr 2022  |  Helena O'Neill
Helena O’Neill is a freelance journalist, feature writer, and copywriter with a background in sole charge reporting. She expresses a special interest in rural reporting, human interest stories, and profile pieces. Helena highlights her skills in proofreading, headline writing, and editing. She is currently open to new commissions and opportunities in journalism and can be contacted via her provided email address.

Uncertainty hangs over Mataura as Alliance Group considers layoffs

28 Sep 2012  |  Otago Daily Times Online News
The article describes the palpable uncertainty in Mataura as the community awaits news about potential layoffs at the Alliance Group's meatworks plant. The local businesses and residents are anxious, with the town's biggest employer considering job cuts that could affect 300 workers. The atmosphere is tense, with people gathering at the Mataura Community Centre to hear the announcement. The meeting concludes with the grim news that 300 jobs are at risk, leaving the crowd in subdued shock and frustration. The article captures the emotional response of the community to the potential economic blow.

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