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Ōmārama Gazette
December 2022
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The December Issue

Limited Statutory Manager appointed
Work begins on St John - Fenz MOU
Ōmārama Stream ratepayers facing large bill
New depot ready for the season ahead
Just so many good children live here
A  merry little housie session to end the year
Marking their silver anniversary

Regular Features

The Noticeboard 
The Community Reports 
The Directory
The Last Page is Classifieds
The Weather that Was 
Limited Statutory Manager appointed
A limited statutory manager has been appointed to Ōmārama School at the request of the Ōmārama School Board. 
The Ministry of Education made the appointment last week. 
Christchurch lawyer Madeleine Hawkesby, who specialises in employment law and has expertise in the education sector, has been appointed to the role. 
She will carry out the employment and communications functions of the Board. She can also advise the Board on policies and procedures.
Recently, she has worked with Twizel Area School as a commissioner and returned that board to self-governance last year. 


Initially, Ms Hawkesby will gather information needed to identify and understand the issues that have resulted in her appointment. 
After that a plan will be developed in consultation with the Board and the Ministry which will focus on actions to resolve those issues. 
Ms Hawkesby said she was looking forward to working with the school and community in order to "move the school forward in a positive manner". 
“Student learning remains the focus, as the school’s core function.” 
Ms Hawkesby said she was “fully independent" of the Education Ministry and her appointment related to aspects of the governance of the school only, with a focus of making the best decisions for the school. 
“The day-to-day management of the school remains the role of the acting principal,” she said.  
Ōmārama Board of Trustees chairperson Jemma Gloag said the Board and Ms Hawkesby were  “committed to working together”. 
“The Board would like to assure the school community that the quality education of our children has been at the forefront of our minds in everything we have been doing.
“The Board believes the school will come out of this process much better for it,” Mrs Gloag said.
The Ōmārama Gazette understands principal Michelle Green, who was appointed by the previous school board  in December 2020 and took up the role for the new school year in 2021, is on leave until the end of the year. 
New Zealand School Trustees Association emergency staffing principal Geraldine Sumner is acting principal.

End of year events coming up...

On Friday - Let's get wet - Ōmārama School is having a fun water afternoon with some competition among the children. All are welcome 

The Ōmārama School final assembly for 2022 will be 11.30am, Wednesday, December 14, 2022, followed by a shared lunch. An invitation is extended to all.
Work begins on St John - Fenz MOU

The Omarama community is unlikely to hear anything about the outcome of the Hato Hone St John and Fire and Emergency New Zealand review of their 2020 Memorandum of Understanding until February next year.
In July, a public forum was held in Omarama to voice concerns about St John withholding medical 111 calls from the community-owned and funded Fire Brigade First Response unit. 
The community and the first response volunteers want the unit to be dispatched to all medical calls because it has the equipment and can provide the skills to administer a high level of emergency care until an ambulance arrives. 
It can be on scene quickly whereas the nearest St John ambulance service and doctor is 30km (20 minutes) away.
For this response model become formalised it must be written into the Interagency MOU, either as a local agreement or as part of the national agreement.

After the forum St John and Fenz issued a statement which said they would  commence the review of the present MOU “no later than” November 1 and meanwhile they would send the Omarama First Response to medical calls as per the ‘enhanced trial’ – that is to all medical calls.
Yesterday, in an email, in reply to questions put by the Ōmārama Gazette to both Fenz and St John about the outcome of the review Fire and Emergency media spokesperson said the agencies had begun work on the review “in early November”.
“The review is in its early stages and will consider the Ōmārama enhanced first response trial.
“Please check again in February when we may have an indication of when the review will be completed,” the spokesperson said.
The St John media spokesperson referred all  questions to Fenz as the “the lead agency of the review”.
From additional enquiries made this week the Gazette understands there may have been some delays to the review.
However, this morning [Wednesday] after the Gazette asked for this to be confirmed Fenz acting specialist response manager Cameron Grylls emailed a statement to say work had started.
"I can confirm that work definitely started at a national level on the review of the MOU in November as indicated.
"The full review will take some time to complete as it’s a large national document and needs to consider a variety of aspects, such as the operations of both our co-response and first response stations and the review of the Ōmārama Enhanced First Response trial.
"In addition, there are a number of interested stakeholders and subject matter experts that we need to engage with as part of the process to review and renew the MOU.
"We are at too early a stage to provide more detailed information."

In October, both Fenz and St John said they would “endeavour to keep the community informed" as matters  progressed.  

Since the forum the Ōmārama and Districts Community Co-Response Trust has been working with other Fenz First Response units in the south as well as outside agencies with a rural focus to get their support for an opt-in-opt-out clause to be inserted into the MOU. 
While some Fenz First response units do not feel there is a need to attend every medical call in their area, others, like Omarama, and particularly those where there is no St John service in a town, do want to go to every call.
The community is also petitioning Parliament to ask that St John and Fenz allow the Ōmārama First Response to respond to 111 medical and personal alarm calls in the Ōmārama call-out area, regardless of acuity.
The petition is available to sign online (see information below) and at most local businesses.

The enhanced first response trial which has had a ‘stop start’ history since 2017 is a local agreement with Ōmārama Fenz which means St John will call out the First Response to less severe medical calls than other first responders in the rest of the country who only attend life-threatening or serious incidents. 
Under the MOU St John is the lead agency for all medical calls.

Ōmārama Stream ratepayers facing large bill
A fallen willow awaits removal and stop banks need repairs as part of the emergency flood protection and land drainage works Ōmārama Stream ratepayers need to fund.

A group of Ōmārama residents are potentially up for a bill of $100,000 to pay for urgent remedial work along part of the Ōmārama Stream following this year’s flood events in July and August.
In July, record rainfall plus snowmelt in the catchment resulted in the highest ever river flow recorded by Environment Canterbury – 65 cumecs -  at Wardells bridge across SH8. 
Homeowners, businesses and the Golf Course whose boundaries back on to the stream between the bridge and the Ahuriri River suffered significant damage. 
In August, not long after the first clean-up the area was flooded for a second time. 


As a consequence, last month, ECan called a public meeting of the members of its Ōmārama Stream Rating District to discuss flood protection and land drainage. 
This group of ratepayers - about 13 or 14 properties plus Ōmārama Station, Ōmārama Top 10 Holiday Park, Hot Tubs Ōmārama and the Ōmārama Golf Course - has agreed to find $100,000 or $30,000 each year for the next three years - to pay for the urgent remedial work.
The Ōmārama Stream Rating District group was formed by the Waitaki Catchment Commission in 1987 at the request of residents and continued under ECan. 
Its mandate is to “maintain an effective channel to reduce flooding of the Ōmārama township and surrounding land”.
Ōmārama Stream Rating District liaison group chairperson Bridget Spencer said November’s meeting discussed a proposed scope of work and its cost. 
“Everybody was highly motivated to get the work sorted and the problem fixed as soon as possible so it didn’t happen again. 
“That was evidenced by the fact that we all said we will get it done, and carry the debt, and pay the interest for the next three years,” Bridget said.
In September, some of the group walked the length of the rating district with ECan staff to help define the scope of work which was presented at the meeting at the Omarama Hall for discussion. 
A large part of the work is to repair damaged stop banks and remove fallen trees and logs. 
The aim is to get the stream “back into its natural path”, Bridget said.
Routinely these residents do much of the stream maintenance work themselves through working bees and such, and the group is in regular communication with ECan about necessary tasks like trees down, broom spraying and so on, Bridget said. 
The tasks throughout the length of the rating district are tackled as a collective and ECan contractors and staff are called in to help as appropriate. 
“The money pays for the men on the ground, but we do a lot ourselves.” 
Work must be done within ECan and Fish and Game compliance regulations and is undertaken mostly through the winter months after leaf fall, and so as not to disturb the fish stocks. 
Although Waitaki District Council maintain the reserve including the walkway and picnic area because it holds various leases within the stream rating district, it does not pay rates. 
The stream rate is a targeted rate – rated in proportion to the size of the property, paid separately from the annual ECan rate, and only levied when required. 
The rating district’s asset management plan caps the amount ECan holds in reserve to meet costs and to smooth rating variations at $15,000 with the intention that this is reviewed every six years.  
At present that fund stands at $14,000 and a review was due next year. 
The last time ratepayers were levied was 2009. 
From 2009 to 2014 the five-year average maintenance costs were $1,300 pa. 

“People have come and gone” and because the fund was sufficient to cover the average annual maintenance spend inevitably some property owners were never required to contribute to the fund, Bridget said. 
ECan prepares an annual maintenance plan and budget to be agreed with the group and it reports back about works undertaken to the group and to ECan 
Every three years the infrastructure - 300m of stop banks, 1.8km of trees, one culvert and rocks - is revalued. In 2014 it was valued at just over $400,000.
At the last stream ratepayers’ meeting in October 2017 and the one before that in 2009 some, including Bridget, argued for an annual levy and to increase the amount held in reserve. 
“For the last two meetings we have said it is insufficient.” 
But at the time there was plenty in the reserve fund to cover regular maintenance plus ECan’s policy was to lower rating district reserves across the region and so nothing was changed.
In August, ECan told the Omarama Gazette the last maintenance work it had carried out was in January 2021 where a build-up of debris was cleared, and blockages removed in the active channel from the footbridge downstream to adjacent of the settling ponds. 
Bridget said because of Covid-19 scheduled maintenance for the past two years had fallen behind. 
But the biggest constraint had been not having a local ECan-approved contractor on hand to do the heavier work. 
“We had contractors in the area that were Waitaki [District Council] approved, Southland, Clutha, …approved contractors for all those district councils but they were not ECan approved to remove trees. 
“And yes, it absolutely would have helped [if that work had been done].” 
“We [the residents] had done what we could do, if there was a tree down, we’d dragged it out with the tractor.” 
Bridget had contacted ECan in April and May this year to try to get approval to get work done. 
“My parting words were, I hope there’s not a flood between now and when ECan can get down to do the work," she said.
It was the floods which triggered this year’s ratepayers’ meeting. 
The meeting began with a review of the work completed to date much of which had been done above the bridge by Ōmārama Station largely at their own cost, Bridget said. 
“Then we discussed the work [below the bridge] and what was required and how it would happen, and the costing of the work.” 
The scope of work identified the urgent tasks required. 
“We’re hoping to get that done … starting April, May, June.” 
Some work like the removal of some logs from the river has been done already. 
The plan is ECan will loan the group the $100,000 so the work can be started as soon as possible.
This will be spent this winter and, taking the reserve funds into consideration, is to be repaid by the group of ratepayers at $30,000 a year for three years.
This decision has yet to be ratified by the ECan council.
New depot ready for a busy season ahead
Trail Adventures co-owner Vaughan Williams
says  the cycle tour business is expecting a busy season.

Moving business premises to SH83 is already paying off for Ōmārama cycle tour company Trail Adventures.
Last month, Trail Adventures, which had been leasing the St Thomas’s Church building on SH8, moved into the former premises of the Big Rooster on SH83.
As well, it has negotiated a lease to use the Environment Canterbury-owned land next door to the Ōmārama Fire Station for off street parking.

The company is owned by Ōmārama couple Aimee Snelgrove and Vaughan Williams who offer a variety of supported, self-guided bike tours and  Alps to Ocean trail services from Lake Takapō/Tekapo and Mt Cook to Oamaru.
Vaughan said it seemed more cyclists were dropping in for assistance and advice at the new premises although some were also calling in to ask the whereabouts of the antique shop, which has closed.
This season had got off to an excellent start with bookings already exceeding last seasons, Vaughan said.
“February, March are looking really busy… we’re getting quite a few Australians and some from South America, which is a first for us.”
And more staff have been employed in response.
Brian Anderson, of Twizel, and Jason Pryde and Mike and Lorraine King of Ōmārama are “working with us,” he said.
As well as tour and hire services Trail Adventures would also be building up its cycle repair services with the added advantage of having ready access to a mechanic.
Trail repair work following the serious flooding mid-year means the A2O is now “fully rideable” again although there was still significant work to be done to get it up to what it was before,” Vaughan said.
Some summertime grid action at the airfield
Last Friday, December 2, was the final day of the Mountain Flying Week, a course run by the Ōmārama Gliding Club at the Ōmārama Airfield. On Saturday the South Island Regional gliding competition began with a practice day and continues until Saturday, December 10, 2022
Just so many good children live here
It's no surprise Santa had only presents to give out this year. 
There were no lumps of coal to be found in his sack, at all.
That's because all our Omarama's Playgroup children have been so very, very good. 
More than 20 children and their caregivers gathered at The Pink Glider Café today for their Christmas function and to welcome their special Christmas visitor.
A  merry little housie session to end the year
A merry little Christmas housie session to celebrate a festive end to the year was held at Wrinkly Rams today.
Twenty women from Ōmārama and Otematata enjoyed Christmas fare and a tipple ahead of the afternoon housie session. 
And the one gentleman 'caller' played a starring role as Santa's helper.
Thank you, Gary.
The weekly winter community housie sessions begin again next year in June.
Something to puzzle over 


due to technical difficulties we are not able to bring you a puzzle this month.
The Noticeboard

To have your community notice included here email:

Congratulations Pat (Wingy) Leopold from all of us on the occasion of your 88th birthday.

Kurow Medical Centre  Ōmārama Clinic at the  Ōmārama Community Centre, is open Thursdays, 8.30am to 12.30pm. To make appointments for all clinics, order repeat scripts or make enquiries please contact Kurow Medical Centre 03 436 0760
(Monday to Thursdays).

The Ōmārama Community Library is open 9.30am to 11am,  Wednesdays and Saturdays. Library hours can change. Contact Yvonne: 027 476 7473.

The Ōmārama Shed Group meets each Saturday at 10am and at other times too.
For further information please contact Malcolm Cameron 022 476 2225 

St Thomas' Ōmārama Church Community: 
chairperson: Ven Dr Michael Godfrey, phone 022 342 9977 or  email; committee secretary (Presbyterian): Rev Lee Kearon, phone: 021 250 1060 or email:

The Ōmārama Golf Club  Saturdays cards in 12.30pm, tee-off 1pm.
Club captain Adrian Tuffley phone: 027 347 8276

The Ahuriri Community Catchment Group meets once a month. For time and place contact facilitator Nicola McKerchar. Phone: 022 612 7570; email:

The Upper Waitaki Young Farmers Club meets at 7.30pm on the first Monday of each month at the ‘Top Pub’ - the Blue and Gold pub, in Kurow. All welcome. Join the Facebook group.

Ōmārama Playgroup meets at 9.30am each Wednesday during the primary school term at the Ōmārama Community Centre.  For more information phone president Nic McKerchar 022 612 7570 or secretary Tarsh Bell  027 349 0016

Bridge Club - The Ōmārama  Bridge Club meets on a regular basis and would welcome new members. If you are interested please phone Sylvia Anderson 438 9784 or Ann Patterson 438 9493.

The Ōmārama Model Aircraft Club meets on Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 noon at its flying ground at the Ōmārama airfield. All welcome - Contact Don Selbie on 027 435 5516.

FENZ Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade meets 7pm each Wednesday and has its meeting at 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of the month. New members welcome. 

A gentle exercises and social afternoon group meets at the Otematata District Club at 1.30pm  Thursday afternoons. Gold coin donation and a cuppa after the exercises.

The exercises are run with the guidance of personal trainer Lauren Maree. Gold coin donation and a cuppa after the exercises. Contact Ethel Gray 03 438 7764.

Waitaki Newcomers Network: For more information about this group and to subscribe to regular updates send contact details to E:
W: F:

Plunket Line: 0800 933 922
Ōmārama Plunket Committee: Aimee Snelgrove 
022 350 5536
The Christmas issue of the Ōmārama Gazette
is Friday, December 16, 2022

The close-off for this is Wednesday, December 14.

Office hours are from 8am to 10am, Monday to Friday
Advertising pays for
production and distribution
To find out about publication and close-off dates,
and how much it costs to place your advertisment, 
 phone 021 294 8002, 03 438 9766 or email
The Community Reports
Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade 
Kia ora,

Here we are in December and the last bulletin for the year. I bet all of you with kids finishing school for the year are looking forward to having them home for six or seven weeks. 
The holiday season will be on us before we know it.
- time to check the camping gear out, make sure the gas cooker and all other camping accessories are in good working order. It's too late when you set up and nothing is open if you have a problem.
Some home safety tips - make sure any matches lighters etc. are tucked away from the little ones. Out of sight out of mind.
If you are lucky enough to be having a break away at Christmas, please drive carefully as the roads have got a lot busier with the tourists back on the roads.
On behalf of the team at the Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade I would like to wish all a happy and safe festive season and a relaxing break.

Stay Safe
Greg Harper and the team at the Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade      

Greg Harper
Chief Fire Officer 
021 293 1171
Facebook: /Omaramafirebrigade
Marking their silver anniversary
The first to crew the Ōmārama First Response (originally Co-Response) unit 25 years ago were (back from left) Russell Gard, Steve Reeves, Phil Neill, Darryn Shaw, Paul Martin,
(Front) Mathew Baylis, Liz Komen, formerly Roulston, and Geva Innes.

Like most southern folk our volunteers regularly downplay their contribution to community.
This year we celebrate an enduring commitment and dedication to service -The Ōmārama First Response is 25 years old.
The two volunteers who have been part of this hard-working crew since its inception write about their experiences below.
The community thanks the whole team and congratulates you all.
Ōmārama First Response team (originally Co-Response) celebrates 25 years
By Liz Komen,

In late 1997 the Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade’s Co Response team began with Fire Brigade volunteers receiving pre-hospital emergency care training to be able to respond to medical emergencies and accidents.
This was a new initiative between St John and the Fire Service for rural areas that had no ambulance service based in their towns. Ōmārama volunteers would be able to respond quickly and efficiently to provide initial emergency health care for sick and injured people. An ambulance - usually from Kurow or Twizel - and/or rescue helicopter would also still be dispatched, as the Fire Service did not transport patients.
As the Ōmārama District Nurse at the time I was asked if I would be interested in joining. I could really see the benefits of this new team - we would all have the necessary training to gain better skills and knowledge and provide this emergency care.
Eight Ōmārama and seven Omakau Fire Brigade volunteers completed 40 hours of training provided by St John trainers over two full weekends in Alexandra. Once trained, we were fully commissioned in late December 1997. Our first 4-wheel drive vehicle was very generously provided by E.C.N.Z; Twizel-Ōmārama District Lions and the Otago Masonic Lodge Charitable Trust.
Over the years the Ōmārama Co Responders, now called First Responders, have been to many and varied call outs. Our first year in 1998 included an extremely busy winter with a lot of accidents up in the Lindis Pass due to icy roads.
We receive reasonably regular training from St John to keep our skills and knowledge up to date. Having well-trained volunteer team members available to respond quickly to provide emergency health care has been a bonus to people who have needed the assistance. New team members have joined over the years as others have left, with all team members receiving training.
The Ōmārama community have always been extremely supportive of, and generous to, the Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade’s First Response team. A lot of fundraising has been done over the years for a more modern emergency vehicle and various other equipment. The Ōmārama Co Response Trust was formed for overall management of the fundraising and other issues concerning the team.
I would personally like to acknowledge Geva Innes’s dedication as an Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade First Responder. Geva was one of the original team members from 25 years ago and is still attending callouts - often first on the scene at accidents in the Lindis Pass.
Having Co Responder training back in 1997 helped me on my rural nursing journey over the years. I qualified as a PRIME (Primary Response in Medical Emergencies) trained nurse in 2001, and eventually working at an advanced level as a Rural Nurse Specialist in remote South Westland for many years. I have also continued being an Ōmārama Fire Brigade First Responder volunteer when based in Ōmārama.

 Twenty-five years as a First Responder
- By Geva Innes

I thought I needed something more in my life, something off farm, meeting new people.
I mentioned this to our local policeman - Dave Garlick - one day and he said the Fire Brigade were interested in attaching a First Response unit to the Brigade. 
I joined the Fire Brigade in October 1997 and soon after myself and eight others completed a Pre-Hospital Emergency Care  ( Auckland University) course in Alexandra.
We were one of very few first response units in NZ.
Ōmārama now had medical help on hand and they have been very generous with donations over the years.
Modern technology has made it better for me as the old pagers weren't very reliable at Dunstan Downs. Most of my call outs have been vehicle accidents through the Lindis.
I have enjoyed my time and have certainly met many people over the years.
Support Ōmārama's First Response
or you are just visiting...
And you haven't done this already, please pop it on that to do list
Please sign this petition - and thank you, you're a life saver! 💕

A petition requesting Parliament urge St John and Fire and Emergency New Zealand formalise their trial - a local agreement - and allow Ōmārama First Response to respond to all 111 medical and personal alarm calls in the Omarama call-out area, regardless of acuity, is available at any of these locations:

🔷 Boots and Jandals Hotel Ōmārama
🔶 Four Square Ōmārama
🔷 GlenCraigs
🔶 Heritage Gateway Hotel
🔷 Mobil Ōmārama
🔶 Ōmārama School
🔷 Ōmārama Veterinary Services

Or go online now to:

Photo: Jack Zorab
Ōmārama Golf Club 
By Christine Bowman

The Ōmārama Golf Club Inc held it's annual meeting in November.
Below are the main committee contacts:
President                Paul Bowman
Vice President        John Anderson
Treasurer                Adrienne Harper
Secretary                Christine Bowman
Club Captain           Adrian Tuffley

It was great to welcome the following new committee members: Nayland Smith, Arron Chambers and Richard Kitto. Along with our existing committee members: Ant Ford, Peter Trusler. James Moynihan, Aaron Ferguson, Greg Harper and Paddy Galvin.
Over summer we run twilight golf (9 holes) on a Thursday at 5 p.m.  Come along and have a go.
Our New Year tournament (see poster below) will be held on Saturday 7th January 2023.
All welcome, we do have a non-golfer section. 
For anyone wanting to join the golf club, please contact Christine Bowman (  There are several membership options, including a first year special - great idea for a Christmas present.
We would also like to thank all our members, sponsors and supporters that have assisted the club during this very challenging year.  Our volunteers are still working hard to repair the course, which involves many hours of work.  
Happy golfing and here's hoping for a great summer season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Saturday Club Day, cards in 12.30pm, tee-off 1pm.
Thursday Twilight Golf (9 holes) at 5pm.

Club captain Adrian Tuffley phone: 027 347 8276
Secretary: Christine Bowman phone: 027 209 2320
Ōmārama Shed and Community Gardens
By Malcolm Cameron

The Ōmārama Shed Group  has made a great  start on the construction of the Ōmārama Community raised gardens. A big thanks to all the men involved - will keep you updated on progress.

The Ōmārama Shed Group meets at 10am each Saturday 
and at other times, too.
For further information contact: Malcolm Cameron  022 476 2225 

Photos: Supplied
Plants surplus to requirements 

Grown from seed in the Ōmārama environment.,
these tough wee guys are ready and bursting to go to a new home
in exchange for a donation to the Ōmārama Community Gardens,
and for as long as stocks last.

(Seeds purchased from Kings Seeds - links are to descriptions in the catalogue)
Phone Ruth, 021 294 8002, to arrange pick up.

Ōmārama Rodeo Club
By Marcia Green

The Omarama Shed group built our wonderful birdbox which will allow our timing judges the opportunity to actually achieve their job up there.
Massive shout out to Murray Stuart and his team for building such an impressive and well needed building.
We then managed to pick up an Ōmārama Top 10 Holiday Park building that was flood damaged earlier this year.
Hank Verheul and Maurice Cowie with some other good buggers rebuilt the interior of this wee hut after Dave O'Neill's crew relocated it to the grounds. This has now been turned into our new secretary's office completing the well overdue face lift of that area of the rodeo grounds.
Massive shout out to our club members who have dedicated time and energy into getting this off the ground along with all of those other community based good sorts who contributed. 
Biscuits bark up is on a hiatus this year due to Boots and Jandals Hotel Ōmārama also doing its big face lift. We look foward to getting back into this next year.
The Ōmārama Rodeo Club looks forward to bringing you a great event this year, we hope to see you all there - bring the hot weather with a strong easterly wind with you!! 

Photos: Wendy Parsons

Ōmārama Community Library 

The Library will be closed
Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24,
and New Year's Eve, Saturday, December 31.


The  Ōmārama Community Library  
is open 9.30am to 11am, 
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 
at the Ōmārama Community Centre.

Contacts: Georgie  027 486 1525 or Yvonne  027 476 7473
Ōmārama Playgroup
Ōmārama Playgroup meets at 9.30am each Wednesday
during the primary school term at the Ōmārama Community Centre.  

For more information contact:
president Nic McKerchar 022 612 7570
or secretary Tarsh Bell  027 349 0016 
Plunket: Aimee Snelgrove 022 350 5536
Ōmārama Residents' Association 
The next meeting of the 
Ōmārama Residents' Association 
will be 
6pm, Thursday, December 8, 2022
at the Oasis Café, Bar and Grill 
An invitation is extended to all

This will be followed by a Christmas function.
If you plan to attend the function following the meeting
please advise Lindsay Purvis for catering purposes.


Lindsay Purvis, chairperson, 027 438 9630
Yvonne Jones, secretary, 027 476 7473 

The minutes of the previous meeting are here
Could those who want to contact the association by mail, send accounts to be paid, or have correspondence considered at the monthly meetings ensure it is addressed to: 
The Secretary,  P O Box 93, Ōmārama 9448.
The association's email address is

To make a booking for an upcoming event or for more
information about hall hire and availability
please  contact  Michelle Kitchen, 027 280 5446

or email

Care in the community 

If you are unlucky enough to catch Covid-19 here is the link to the up-to-date regulations and advice.

Unite against Covid-19

Ministry of Health Covid-19 Health Hub

Our Covid Community Care group officially went into recess at the end of September.
But we are still able to help, so please do make contact if either yourself or a friend or neighbour need anything.
We have - free RATS, free sanitiser, masks, gowns and face shields if you are caring for someone with Covid and need protection.

Only a phone call away:  Ruth Grundy 021 294 8002 

If you need any of the services listed below please contact the Twizel Community Care Centre 

• Work and Income – assistance with applying for benefits, helping with
queries regarding superannuation, and any other financial assistance you
may receive. Printing and scanning of documents.
• Inland Revenue – queries regarding anything IRD related, access to forms
• Twizel-Tekapo Community Car bookings – this is a community car that
picks you up from your house and takes you wherever you need to go
such as town here in Twizel or Timaru for an appointment, whatever you
need. There is a cost involved depending on destinations.
• Home Delivered Meals – We have small roasts for $10, Regular meals for
$8 and small snack meals for $4. We can deliver to your home.
• Printing/scanning services
• Assistance with finding jobs in the area.
• Foodbank – donations, and supply people with food parcels when in need
• Any other government services – ACC, Department of Corrections, etc
• Arowhenua Health Clinic – Free health clinic on the first Wednesday of
each month.
• Computer/cellphone assistance – needing help with something on your
computer or cellphone
• Rat tests/Mask supply free of charge
• Assistance with filling in any forms or paperwork.
• Offer room hire to community groups and businesses.

JOBS: If you are looking for jobs a great place to start is follow the Jobs in the
Mackenzie Facebook
page. This is regularly updated so has the most up to date
information. Also, Leaine Rush runs that Facebook page, and she is amazing if
you are needing some assistance. Feel free to contact her via email -

We are known as a one stop shop; we will always try our best to put you in the
right direction or supply you with contact details of someone that can help
further or printing of forms.
Currently, we are operating an appointment only system, we are open Monday – Friday 9am until 2.30pm. Please ring prior to your arrival to guarantee I’m not in a meeting or out of the office.

Kristin Murdoch (coordinator)
Twizel Community Care Centre
Mount Cook St, Twizel
Phone: 03 435 0687
Hours of opening: 9.00am - 2.00pm
Days of opening: Monday - Friday

Transport can be quite a hurdle if you aren't able to drive
Here's one solution and we subsidise this through our Environment Canterbury Rates

Twizel-Tekapo Community Car

Here's how it works...

Kristin (above) takes the bookings for this service.
Driven by volunteers, the car can be booked and used by anyone in Omarama to get you to nearby towns or cities for medical appointments or shopping visits – e.g to Twizel and back or Kurow and  includes trips to Oamaru, Dunedin or Christchurch etc.
There is a minimal charge depending on the destination.

Another organisation that does offer some limited help up our way is Age Concern (for people 65 and older).

Kathryn Bennett is the coordinator for Age Concern Waitaki, based in Oamaru.
From February 14 she will run monthly coffee afternoons at the Ōmārama Community Centre.
She plans to bring guest speakers to these session. Topics for the first session are how to deal with elder abuse and setting up enduring powers of attorney.
Age Concern has agreed to help with funding to develop the community garden and has previously helped fund equipment for the weekly winter housie sessions.

Kathryn’s contact details are:
03 434 7008
027 4347 089
Hours: Mon-Wed 9- 4.30pm  / Thur- Fri 9-12.30pm

If you need  emergency home help – this is if you need cleaning done or the like in the short term, for example, if you are recovering from an illness - contact your GP for a referral.

Waitaki Newcomers Network
For more information about this group and to subscribe to regular updates send contact details to

Contact: Paula Eatherley
Waitaki Newcomers Network and Migrant Support Coordinator
027 325 6151 (business hours)
‘The Community Reports' is
dedicated to news
from clubs, groups and sports teams.

Contributions are welcome 
The Directory 


phone 021 294 8002 or email

The weather that was - November 2022 
Thank you all, for your contributions to this issue

This year the Ōmārama Gazette has a focus on community group reports and our 'Noticeboard' section.
Let us all know what you are up to, and any little snippets such as congratulations or farewells.
There are some guidelines and the usual editorial standards will apply.
Contributions of up to 500 words with a minimum of one photo are welcome – as you know most of us have short attention spans.
Contributions must carry a byline, will be fact checked, must be fair and ethical; balancing opinion may be sought.
No promotional or corporate media 'manufactured' pieces,  will be accepted.
We want to read those ‘exclusives’.
Let’s read all about it, and read it here first – let’s have news and more you’ve never heard before! Go on, let's all have some fun! 

To receive email alerts between monthly editions of the Ōmārama Gazette sign up to our 'Local List'.
and put 'Local List' in the subject line.

Thank you to all who share your stories and
contribute in other ways to the Gazette.

We all really appreciate what you do.

If you find anything amiss in the Ōmārama  Gazette
please contact Ruth Grundy, 021 294 8002 or email
and I will do my very best to put it right.
Contact the Ōmārama Gazette
Ōmārama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
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