Jam-packed full of fun!
View this email in your browser
Ōmārama Gazette
March 2023
Tips for getting all the info...

It seems some email programmes are 'clipping' these emails, which means you won't see all of the email.
To be certain you don't miss any news or views either find and click on 'see entire message', look for and click on the three dots - they look like this  or head to the top tab and click on 'view this email in your browser'.

The March Issue

Opening soon for those on the go
 Cropping venture reaches harvest
Bonding times in Ōmārama 
Generous gifts give school a boost
Dog Club trials start Sunday
Signed up to serve
Water filling station - a work in progress

ICYMI - 50 years marked with special tribute
Our community says goodbye

Regular Features

           Puzzling times are back
The Noticeboard 
                      The Community Reports - check these out!
                              - Ōmārama Co-Response Trust
              - Ōmārama Golf Club
                              - Ōmārama Community Garden
                - Ōmārama MenzShed
                       - Age Concern in Ōmārama
                                                         - Boots and Jandals Hotel Ōmārama Social Club
          - Ōmārama Library
          - Ōmārama School
               - Ōmārama Playgroup
                                   - Ōmārama Residents' Association
                                      - Ōmārama Community Care Group
                               - Lake Ōhau Conservation Trust
                                                              - Waitaki Newcomers Network                                 
                                                            The Directory
                                                            The Weather that Was 
Opening soon for those on the go
Omarama entrepreneurs Heather Smith and Jill Crawford-Ferguson
set to work unpacking stock to prepare for the opening of their new shop.

After almost 50 years a Smith and her partner are back behind the counter of the shop at the junction of our two main highways. 

From the middle of this month Heather Smith and Jill Crawford-Ferguson will begin trading from the shop alongside the new Tasman Fuels outlet - formerly Mobil Ōmārama.
At the moment Heather and Jill are still unpacking boxes, stocking shelves and  getting their heads around all the technical logistics of setting up shop. Logos and colours are to come.
But they do have a name for their new venture - CHAIN8 - named for the two highways - State Highway 8 and the Chain Hills Highway.
Both Heather and Jill have been heavily involved in hospitality several years now and with customer service a passion they thought the lease was an "exciting" new opportunity.
Especially, 'trialling' the stock.
"I love chocolate...especially Twinkies. We already need to reorder and the shop hasn't even opened yet," Heather said.

After setting up the 'unmanned' service station Tasman Fuels had been searching for someone to take up the lease of the shop and approached Michelle Hancox of the Oasis Restaurant Café and Bar who recommended Heather and Jill. 
As well as taking on the lease they  will also be “supporting” Tasman Fuels customers with any queries, Jill said.
And rather than duplicating what other outlets have to offer in town they hope to supply customers with a variety of different goods and be open outside regular hours. They're even considering night shift.
Although it will take time to get to know their market they believe it will be largely truckies and those looking for “grab and go food - pies, sandwiches, but also toiletries".
Looking forward they may stock vehicle accessories, especially those needed for winter driving conditions.
“We’ll judge it as it comes,”
"We’re starting small and will expand as we find our feet," Heather said.
It's not the first time Heather has worked  behind a counter on this site. 
She reckons the last time was when she was about seven years old.
"Dad and Shona [Dave and Shona Smith] took the Mobil on in 1976, for seven years, just after they got married . They couldn’t even find time for a honeymoon.
"And now there's another Smith behind the counter", she said.
Cropping venture reaches harvest
A sunflower crop grown for seed at Chain Hills Station is just a few weeks from harvest

If a single sunflower makes you smile then the sight of hectares of the blooms is guaranteed to bring happiness and light up even a cloudy day.

This year, in what was a first for Chain Hills station and possibly the district, 45,000 striped sunflower seeds were direct drilled into two paddocks - 25ha – and this past couple of months have been at their blooming best. 
Chain Hills is growing the seed crop  for Topflite who produce bird and small animal feed, and it will be ready for harvest, using a fit-for-purpose header, in about three weeks.

Farm manager Peter Trusler, who is quite intrigued by the crop and the calculations, said each head produces about 2500 seeds – “one of the kids counted one”.
This means the crop could produce up to an estimated 112,500,000 seeds.
The children will hope they are not expected to count those.
Sunflowers were a crop which required good moisture – which Ōmārama has had this year – but otherwise they did not need a lot more input, he said.
While the plants grown here did not reach the same height as those on the coast It was the flower heads which were important.
Although it has not yet been decided what crop will follow this, sunflowers must be grown as part of a six-year rotation.
Once the success of this year’s crop has been assessed the decision will be made as to whether to plant sunflowers again on another part of the station, Peter said.
Bonding times in Ōmārama
Fonterra Farm Source teams from throughout the South Island travelled to Omarama last week for some fun bonding, all the while focussed on giving back.
About 90 made the Omarama Community Centre their base for three days.
Leading the three-day programme was the opportunity to hear from their new group director Anne Douglas.
A day ‘off-site’ was spent engaged in team activities and challenges.
While the weather did not always play ball – with uncharacteristically wet and cool weather for the three days – participants told all those they met that they had a wonderful time.
In planning for the event organisers prioritised using local businesses and community groups.
The contingent stayed at the Heritage Gateway Hotel, and the first evening meal was at Oasis Restaurant, Café and Bar.
Friends of Omarama School, Omarama Playgroup, the Omarama Rodeo Club and the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade were each invited to cater for the other meals thereby raising much needed funds.
Unfortunately, the barbeque and boating planned for an evening by the lake had to be called off because of the weather. However, the group gathered at the Fire Station for their barbeque meal instead.
Generous gifts give school a boost
James Hunter, of Longslip Station, compares notes with Ginger Anderson of Ben Omar,
on the condition of the stock on offer.

Ōmārama School are about $1300 better off after generous local vendors donated a pen of lambs for sale on its behalf at the Ōmārama Fine Wool Lamb sale.
The 16 lambs went under PGG Wrightson head auctioneer Mark Yeates’s hammer for $84 ea.
There was a smaller overall yarding at the annual sale and it drew fewer buyers – 14,000 lambs on offer, in contrast with 2021’s yarding of 19,000 - and prices were down.
A top yarding of 232 Tara Hills merino wethers went for $106.
In 2021, their top line fetched $120.
Vendors were Tara Hills, Longslip, Lake Ohau, Te Akatarawa, Cardrona Valley Farms, Elephant Hill, Waihaorunga, Totara Peak, Shirlmar and Beckford Farms.
The lambs for the school pen were donated by, Dunstan Peaks, Twin Peaks, Berwen, Dalrachney, Longslip, Ribbonwood, Quailburn, Benmore, Buscot, Ben Omar, Glenburn and Lake Ohau stations.

Exactly a week later replenishing rain proved a ‘gamechanger’ encouraging more buyers than might have otherwise done so to attend the Omarama Adult Ewe fair, former Omarama Saleyards director Tony Gloag, of Buscot Station, said.
Overall, prices also proved stronger.
There was a yarding of just over 5,000 ewes - merino and half-bred - on offer from vendors from throughout the district, including Waitangi, north of Lake Aviemore, Goldwyn near Kurow, Lake Ohau, Rostriever, of Otematata, Tara Hills and Dunstan Downs, of Omarama.
A top line of 328 merino six-year-olds from Tara Hills Station went for $108 and 358 merino six-year-olds from Rostriever Run sold for $93.

Watch some auction action here:
Lamb sale:
Ewe fair:
Below: Ōmārama School ambassadors Paige Hunter, James Hunter, Jack Doree and Remy Watson check the donated lambs; PGG Wrightson head auctioneer Mark Yeates encourages the buyers; The Ōmārama Adult Ewe fair was an unusually muddy affair.
Dog club trials start Sunday
Ōmārama Collie Dog Club members Ginger Anderson (left) and Rick Aubrey are on the job at a working bee at the club grounds on Dalrachney Station in 2016.

Don't know the difference between your long head and straight hunt?
Or loved that 80s TV series 'The Dog Show' and want to see some real life action?
Then make sure you 'head' along to the Ōmārama Collie Dog club trials which start on Sunday to find out what it is that makes this sport so iconically kiwi.
The hills at Dalrachney Station will be alive with the sound of barks and whistles and no doubt a little agricultural language as triallists and their dogs pit their wits against wily ovine opponents over two days in a bid to find out just who is the top team.

Dog trialling legends like those two likely lads pictured above will campaign their best dogs alongside emerging stars and trialling enthusiasts from throughout the south. 

And the answer to standard quiz question above - just a hint, one's is a whole lot noisier than the other!
Check out the lingo here:

All are welcome – head from Omarama towards the Lindis and look for the sign.

The Ōmārama Collie Dog Club Trials are on
Sunday, March 5, and Monday, March 6
at the grounds on Dalrachney Station
 2180 Omarama/Tarras Rd/Lindis Pass Hwy

P O Box 53, Omarama 9448 

Signed up to serve
The new Ahuriri Community Board (from left) Mike King, of Omarama, Waitaki District Councillor Brent Cowles, of Otematata, Steve Dalley, of Otematata, Karen Turner, Cal Reid (chairperson) and Alan Pont, all of Kurow, gather after their inauguration. Photo: supplied

Three Ahuriri Ward community representatives were officially sworn in as new Ahuriri Community Board members last month.
The inauguration follows the by-election at the end of last year in which the three were elected unopposed.
A by-election was necessary because only two were elected to the board - Cal Reid and Steve Dalley -in the October local body elections.
Water filling station a work in progress
Contractors install a bulk water filling station at the  Ōmārama Campervan effluent dump station.

The Waitaki District Council have had  contractors installing a bulk water filling station at the Ōmārama Campervan effluent dump station over the past few weeks. 
The filling station, which was ordered at the end of 2021, will mean council contractors are able to fill water tankers and trucks from this point rather than from fire hydrants. 
“This will assist Council in managing the safety of the supply, through reducing the risk of contamination to the Ahuriri water supply, and in cost recovery, through appropriate charging for use of the service,” the report to the Ahuriri Community Board in November 2021, said.
In March 2022, the council Water Services Team’s report to the board said the site, which was the preferred site, was classified as reserve land “so an onerous application process will be required to gain permission to install the unit at the site". 
About $50,000 was budgeted in the Long Term Plan to pay for the installation which was expected to be funded through an internal loan and user charges. 
In December, at its meeting the board was told that initial work and approvals were complete and that construction would start in February once the “peak visitor season was over”.
ICYMI - 50 years marked with tributes
A korowai made by Rebecca Cowie who, presented it to her father, Maurice, on behalf of the family led the tributes to the man who has served the Ōmārama community in many roles since he made this place his home just over 50 years ago.

Last month, celebrations were held at the Ōmārama Fire Station in honour of Maurice and Elizabeth Cowie's 50 years of dedication to the New Zealand Fire Service. 
At New Year, Maurice was also bestowed the Queen's Service Medal for services to Land Search and Rescue New Zealand.
In what is likely the most meaningful honour Rebecca, who crafted the cloak, surprised both her parents with the presentation, giving the korowai as a symbol of leadership and recognition of the work Maurice has done to care for his people – us - and the environment around him. 
Rebecca also presented a token huia feather to her mother, Elizabeth, also as a mark of  leadership and mana.
The gifts were given with this wish: May peace be widespread, may the sea glisten like greenstone, and may the shimmer of light guide you on your way.
Station Officer Cowie joined the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade, which his late brother Graeme helped found, on  April 21, 1971.
Otago-Southland Provincial Fire Brigades' and United Fire Brigades' associations past president and Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Russell Anderson gave the official presentation address.
Since those early days the Cowie family has maintained a continued presence within the Brigade, with several still involved in Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Mr Anderson said. 
“[Maurice] You would have seen so many changes during your service, equipment, uniforms, fleet and training procedures and revalidation requirements." 
At the time he received his gold star, No. 4718, for 25 years’ service he was only the second Ōmārama fire fighter to have done so. 
“Your 50-year medal, numbered 292, will be the first for Ōmārama.  This is indeed a significant milestone, for you personally and also the brigade.” 
In his first 25 years he had a 100% attendance record. In 50 years, he has attended 2374 musters, with 94.95 % attendance, Mr Anderson said. 
“This does not account for the hundreds or thousands of calls and incidents you have attended, not only for Fenz, but with your community involvement with Search and Rescue and other groups you have supported in Ōmārama and the surrounding area. 
“When we looked back at the recent weather events that caused significant damage to and around the township, the media and social media pictures appeared to be of a poster boy Maurice Cowie," he said. 
“I’m sure this was never the intention of Maurice, but what was evident to me as an outside observer, was that a team of volunteers from this brigade, rolled their sleeves up, mucked in and got the job done. Not once but twice in 10 days - volunteers just getting on with it, without complaining or trying to blame some other organisation for the misfortune.  
“Every community needs the likes of Maurice and the team to be ready, available 24/7." 
This asset is one the Omarama community and surrounding district can certainly be very proud of.” Mr Anderson said.
As well as presenting the 50-year medal to Maurice, Elizabeth was presented with a UFBA certificate to mark her contribution. 
On these occasions a bouquet of flowers is the usual gift . But both Maurice and Elizabeth had declined all gifts, including flowers. Not to be thwarted determined Ōmārama Fire Brigade volunteers made the necessary arrangements and Elizabeth was given a presentation box of all kinds of flours instead in recognition of so many years of gifting baking and meals to the brigade to nourish volunteers on the job. 
As well, Search and Rescue and Fenz clubbed together to give the family  the cost of the flights to Wellington so they can be together at Maurice’s Queens Service Medal investiture ceremony.
Maurice, you are a man of great mana in this community. We know of no-one more fitting to wear the korowai, created in love by one of your own, representing the aroha and respect of us all.


Photos below: Rebecca Cowie presents a token Huia feather to her mother, Elizabeth Cowie; Fenz representative Russell Anderson presents Maurice Cowie with his 50-year medal (This photo: Mike King); Teresa Gallagher made and decorated the cake.
Our community says goodbye
This tribute was published previously on Facebook on the day of Kevin's funeral last month. It is published again here for those who may have missed it.

In what was a tribute to the mana of the man, hundreds from throughout the South Island turned out to say a final farewell to Kevin Grant, at the Omarama Memorial Hall, this afternoon. [Tuesday February 7, 2023.]
The service was led by Oamaru celebrant Val Hill who said the afternoon would be marked with love, respect, and stories to celebrate the life of a “man of the land”.


“He left too soon…but because of the legacy he left, his memory will live on for years to come," she said.
Former colleague and long-time friend Ollie Turner acknowledged Kevin's working life and read a tribute from former employer John Bishop.
“[Kevin] He was an artist in the landscape,” Ollie said.
Family friend Lindsay Purvis emphasised Kevin’s commitment to his family and his community, his passion and success in the world of sports shooting and his life-long love of machinery, beginning with a childhood fascination with tractors.
His death would leave a “huge hole” in not only the life of the Grant Family but the whole community, Lindsay said.

He was 'a man who's been with us our whole life', so just how do we say goodbye?

Cousin Moana Wesley gave the karaka of farewell as Kevin’s coffin was borne from the hall, through the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade guard of honour, to the waiting hearse, before being conveyed to the Omarama Cemetery for the interment.

To view last tributes click here:

A notice from Ōmārama Four Square
Ōmārama Four Square will be closing
at the earlier time
of 4pm,  Sunday, March 12
-  due to refurbishment.

Puzzling times are back...
- Here's something to puzzle over

Ōmārama school pupils take to the streets to fine-tune their cycling skills.
The Noticeboard

To have your community notice included here email:
The Ōmārama Gazette has a focus on our 'Noticeboard' section and community group with contributions welcome. Let us all know what you are up to, and any little snippets such as congratulations or farewells.

Congratulations to Charlotte Derosa and Jack Zorab on the occasion of their marriage this weekend. 

Congratulations to Chris and Rae Spiers on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding anniversary - 60 years. Married on February 9, 1963 at St Mary's star of the Sea, Port Chalmers.

Congratulations to Zane and Stephanie, Liam and Brooklyn Lord on the birth of son and brother, Kase.

Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Judy Clarke, who passed away last month.

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.

Ōmārama MenzShed 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 April issue of the Ōmārama Gazette
is Wednesday, April 5, 2023

The close-off for this is Thursday, March 30.

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 Co-Response Trust
- Petition closes, numbers in.
- two letters of thanks
The Trust continues to monitor the national review of the Memorandum of Understanding between Fire and Emergency New Zealand and St John.
However, progress on this front appears to be glacial in its movement.


We have sent a report of the history and the wishes of our First Response to some prominent rural agencies such as the Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network (formerly the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network),  Rural Women New Zealand and the Rural Support Trust  all of whom have responded and will continue to do this as we see fit.
The petition closed on February 28. Many thanks to those who took time to sign it. [At the final count 485 signed the petition forms at various locations in town and 311 signed the online petition making 796 signatures in total - Ed]  Every signature will help to bring about the change that we are seeking for the future health and well being of our small community.
It is our intention during March to gather together supporting documents and surrender our petition to Parliament if nothing has happened between Fenz and St John at a national level.

- Lindsay Purvis.  Chairperson, Ōmārama First Response Trust

Two letters of thanks to all
To the Ōmārama Community

We would like to thank the lovely girls - Ōmārama First Response volunteers - who came 'pronto' when the call went out, and for their wonderful care until the ambulance arrived.
And we would like to thank the community for all their love and support during Michelle's stay in hospital and now on her return.
The kind gestures, offers of help, shoulders to lean on, calls to Neville to make sure he was doing okay, food and other gifts - too many kindnesses to mention each in person. 
It is really wonderful to feel valued as part of this great community, we love you to the moon and back.

Michelle and Neville Kitchen
To local emergency services,

On the January 25, we had an accident on Lake Benmore, at Sailors Cutting, in which our grandson sustained a compound fracture to his upper arm.

Thank you to Marshall from Lincoln, who immediately came to our aide as soon as we sped to the harbour. He got the ball rolling with emergency services and the helicopter, and made our grandson, Lincoln, comfortable.

Thank you to Eddie, Ken, Martin and Justin and anyone else I have missed- for your help and support.

A massive thanks to all of the first responders and ambulance crews from Otematata, Ōmārama and Twizel, for tending to Lincoln - he thought the green whistle was fabulous!
Thank you for also getting me back on my feet - Peter Pan as Lincoln kept calling me!

You’re all such an asset to your community, keep up the good work.

Lincoln was flown to Dunedin Hospital and had surgery on his arm that evening and spent two days in hospital. He is now well on his way to a full recovery.

Once again a heartfelt and grateful thanks to everybody involved.

From Pete and Yvonne Lumsden, Kellie, Mark, Hunter and Lincoln McKenzie
Ōmārama Golf Club 
A message for junior golfers...

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 Community Garden

We are a group of gardeners who work together to create something for everyone in our community 😊
Thanks to the work of the Omarama MenzShed and using donated materials, two raised bed have been built are ready to go for planting. Two more are planned and under construction. Anyone is welcome to pop along to the Community Centre and have a look, and also to put in any plants they may have ready to go in now.
An irrigation system is to be installed once the logistics have been worked through.
This will take time but watch this space!
Join the Facebook group:

Contact Heather Smith, 027 330 0249

Ōmārama MenzShed
By Malcolm Cameron
It's Official!!!

is pleased to announce it is now an official member of MENZSHED NZ.

Our first project for 2023 is the completion of the Omarama Community raised-bed gardens.
To find out more about the community garden see report above and contact Heather Smith 027 330 0249

The Ōmārama MenzShed meets at 10am each Saturday 
and at other times, too.

For further information contact: 
Malcolm Cameron  022 476 2225 

Age Concern in Ōmārama
Good numbers attended Age Concern Otago-Waitaki’s first event in Ōmārama with about 30 dropping in to the first of the monthly coffee afternoons at the Ōmārama Community Centre, last month.
Coordinators Kathryn Bennett and Sharon McGregor introduced themselves and talked about the services Age Concern offer.
Sharon went on to speak about elder abuse - signs to look for and actions that can be taken.
Other topics discussed were the need for more services in Ōmārama because of the aging population.
This included improved transport options, the availability of care services like district nursing and home help, and the extra pressure these services are under because of the area employees have to cover.
Suggestions were put forward that the houses on the old Rabbit Board Land, owned by Environment Canterbury,  could be repurposed as community-type housing and convalescence facilities.
As well, the coordinators were asked if Age Concern would consider supporting the community’s bid for its Ōmārama and Districts Community Co-Response Trust unit to be called to all 111 medical and personal alarm calls in the Ōmārama call-out area, regardless of acuity. This issue will be referred to Age Concern Otago chief executive Penelope Pask.
To contact Kathryn to make a booking for next week's driving refresher course (see poster below) phone Kathryn Bennett  03 434 7008, or email

Age Concern Coffee afternoons are
on the second Tuesday of each month
at the Ōmārama Community Centre.
The next coffee afternoon is 1pm to 3pm,
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Boots and Jandals Hotel Social Club

The club organised two events this past month, both a great success and enjoyed by all. Read all about them below...
Going off the beaten track with friends 
By Lex Perriam.

In all 12 vehicles took part in the Boots and Jandals Hotel Ōmārama social club's 4wd trip inland from Oamaru on Sunday.
The trip organised by Laurie Ruddenklau and son Greg was a treat for all - with spectacular weather, scenery and a picnic to boot - an amazing trip, thanks to all who made it so.


Photos by Lex Perriam. (For more photos click here.)
And it was the final countdown for 'Spud in a Bucket' 
How did that get there? Spud in a bucket competition judge Laurie Ruddenklau unearths a bag
of somewhat processed spuds from Mick Walsh's entry.

By Ruth Grundy

As the old saying goes give a man a potato and he’ll have chips for life.
Or something like that???
But Mick looked as surprised as anyone about what his 'spud-in-a-bucket' ultimately produced.
An unnamed source, whose name will not be revealed under any circumstances, tells me that particular product placement – that bag of potato crisps – was ‘planted’ on the unsuspecting Mick. Wasn’t that what you said, Terry?
There were more surprise harvests this year given that the cohort who entered this year’s Boots and Jandals Hotel Social Club ‘spud-in-a-bucket' competition were each given a fairly innocent looking Jersey Benne seed potato with which to go forth and multiply.
Some say potato and some say tomayto – how did that fine looking yellow pear tomato plant get in your bucket, Chief? Such a shame it had to be disqualified.
This year’s entrant by long-time contestant Ross Kelman would have qualified for the most sculptural potato – looking as it did as if it had escaped a museum of fine arts. But there were no prizes for being arty, or genetically modifying a Jersey Benne, Ross.
At the final countdown those who made the podium in 2023 were:
In first place was a new name in the rankings - Coralea McCabe – with 19 potatoes. Congratulations Coralea – winning this competition is only the beginning.
The silver medal went to Lex Perriam with 18 potatoes.
Third equal was legendary spud grower the late Kevin Grant with Malcolm Cameron and Toby McCabe at 11 potatoes.
Best potatoes: Bev Purvis
The young Tobie won the junior prize with a harvest of 15 potatoes.
And at the end of the day what better way to celebrate than with a great big pot of freshly ‘dug’ spuds, boiled with mint.
Thankyou to all those on kitchen hand duties, and to Malcolm for sprinting home for some mint.
Boots and Jandals Hotel Omarama, Spud in the Bucket 2023 was conducted under the intense scrutiny of adjudicators Laurie Ruddenklau and Phillip Jannink with assistance??? from Ross Kelman and scrutineers of every age.
Did the Museum of Fine Arts lose a sculpture - found in Ross Kelman's bucket; Bev Purvis takes home the prize for best potatoes; Kitchen hands organise the boil-up.
Ōmārama Community Library 
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 School 
Going to great lengths to do their very best.

Omarama school pupils of all ages put their swimming prowess on display to parents and caregivers last week when they took to the pool to showcase their water skills at the annual school swimming sports.
Who do you know who is giving it their best shot?

(NB For online safety reasons only those with this link will be able to view the video)
Pedalling with their best and fancy feet forwards

It was the day to get pumpin’ with Fancy Feet and Wacky Wheels at Ōmārama School.
Fairy princesses, stags and superheroes, cats and unicorns took to Ōmārama streets to learn those essential bike and road safety skills.
The Omarama School pupils were also on an important mission to the Omarama Bike Park to investigate what it is that really makes a dirt track exciting so they can help design and create the school’s new bike track.
Omarama farmer and keen mountain biker Daniel (Stan) Burgess, Oamaru Police school community officer Constable Jay Morriss and Omarama’s Senior Constable Nayland (Bean) Smith together with their intrepid assistants, the teachers and parent helpers, guided the various activities designed to teach the ABC’s of cycling safety, with a bit of maths and physics thrown in just for fun!
Ōmārama School By-election 
Omarama School
School Board Elections
Parent Election Notice 
Nominations are open for the by-election of 1 (one) parent representative to the school board.
All eligible voters will receive a nomination form and a notice calling for nominations. Use this form to nominate yourself or someone in your community. You will also receive a nomination cover letter calling for nominations.
Information on who is not eligible to be a board member is provided with the nomination form.
If you need more nomination forms, contact the school office.
Nominations close at 12 noon Wednesday March 1, 2023. 
You may provide a signed candidate statement and photograph with your nomination.
The electoral roll is held at the school and can be viewed during normal school hours.
There will also be a list of candidates’ names kept at the school up until election day, which you can view.
Voting closes 4 pm Wednesday 05 April 2023.
Megan Talarico
Returning Officer
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 
7pm, Thursday, March 16, 2022
at the Ōmārama Community Centre
An invitation is extended to all
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 


Omarama Community Care Group

Thanks to generous donations our group now has
free emergency food supplies 
- all the staples you may need to get you and your family through.
Be assured all requests and referrals are taken in confidence.
Please contact Ruth 021 294 8002.


The Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade now has a fold-up mobility scooter thanks to a generous donation. This along with a wheelchair are available for loan. To find out about these contact chief fire officer Greg Harper 021 293 1171 or any fire brigade member.



Covid Care
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 
Mount Cook St, Twizel
Phone: 03 435 0687
Hours of opening: 9.00am - 2.00pm
Days of opening: Monday - Friday

• 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 the Jobs in the Mackenzie Facebook page.
Leaine Rush runs that Facebook page.

Transport can be quite a hurdle if you aren't able to drive.
Here's one solution and ratepayers fund this through the Environment Canterbury Rate. The Twizel-Tekapo Community Car. Here's how it works... The Twizel Community Care Centre (above) takes the bookings: Driven by volunteers, the car can be booked and used by anyone in Ōmārama 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 offers 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 monthly coffee afternoons will be held at the Ōmārama Community Centre. (see poster above).
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.

Lake Ōhau Conservation Trust
Invitation to help with planting to acknowledge and thank our volunteer fire brigades
On 9 April (Easter Sunday), 7 May and 21 May – the Trust is inviting people to come and help plant an area as a place of reflection and remembrance for the 34 brigades (including our special local brigades!) who attended the October 2020 wildfire at Lake Ōhau.  A plaque to list all the brigades will be in installed within the area to be planted as part of the Avoca Forest restoration project – in an area between the Village and Lake Middleton.
We’d love people to come and help plant around 2000 plants.  The Trust is very pleased to have received a $41,000.00 grant from the Matariki Tu Rākau fund to purchase plants and planting materials for these planting sessions in 2023 and for further planting in 2024.
These will be full day planting sessions, with a lunch break! - come along for as long as you like during the day. We’ll start at 10am, stop for lunch and finish up around 3.30pm. Planting is a very social activity and everyone comes away feeling very satisfied to have got plants in the ground – growing for future generations.
Please wear sturdy footwear and be prepared for all weathers, i.e. raincoat and sunhat! Bring your gardening gloves and a spade, if you have one. And don’t forget to bring some lunch and a hot/cold drink.
We’ll meet in the Lake Ōhau Village – there will be signs out to show you where to come.
All the details will be posted on the Trust’s website -

Viv, Helen and Katrina
Trustees of Ōhau Conservation Trust

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 - February 2022
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
Copyright © 2015-2023, Ōmārama Gazette, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp