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- Omarama Gazette -

December 2018

Sponsored by Mobil Omarama
The December Issue

#EOTY Our employees of the year
Distance markers to be installed by January
Familiar face appointed to new role
The Amazing Five - it was a blast
Community resolved to create easement
Issues with water supply resolved
Obituary - Paul Hondelink, a NZ conservation legend

Regular Features

This Issue Brought to you by...
 The Noticeboard
The Community Reports
Waitaki District Council - News in Brief
 Environment Canterbury - News in Brief
Those FAQs - Five Awkward Questions with 

The Directory
The Weather that was
The Public Notices
The Situations Vacant

The Last Page is Classifieds
The Garden Diary
The View from the Chook House
# EOTY Our Employees of the Year
    Snr Const Nayland Smith
and CFO Terry Walsh
We're a small town with so much talent. Together we do so much.
Each month this year we have featured our 'Employee of the Month' - to learn a little more about how our people spend their day. This month, we want to especially thank these two for their dedication and commitment to our community.  P.S. They don't know about this.
Senior Constable Nayland (Bean) Smith, of Omarama Police
and FENZ Omarama Chief Fire Officer  Terry Walsh

Some heroes don't wear capes, but you may spot them wearing their underpants on the outside if there's been a few too many call-outs through the night.

It's been a tough and busy year.
It probably always is for these guys as, daily, they tackle the stuff none of the rest of us want to face.
Let's not mention the paperwork!

Bean has been in the police force for 16 years serving in Counties Manukau, Dunedin and Mosgiel. He arrived in Omarama in August 2011 to take up the sole-charge position.
This is, quite simply, his patch and he knows it like the back of his hand.
Colleagues in rural policing will tell you he is passionate and vigilant about making it the safest and best place to live.
Right up there is his work in Search and Rescue.
If you're going to get lost then around here is probably the best place to do so.
And then, of course, Bean moonlights as a painter - helping people out and sprucing up those raggedy edges of town.

Terry joined the Fire Brigade in Clyde, in 2002, and became Omarama's chief fire officer in 2016. He has seen in the new amalgamated Fire and Emergency New Zealand and fundamental changes to the way the fire brigade first response and St John co-ordinate their roles.
It's no surprise to learn the Omarama Brigade is often chosen by the top brass to lead the way in change. Plus he got a new truck to drive.
The fire service has always been a part of Terry's life. Born in Twizel, his father Mick was a volunteer fire-fighter. Growing up within the tight-knit group of fire brigade families, socialising and supporting each other, meant kids grew up always wanting to be a part of it.
Needless to say, Terry also has a day job - he is the co-owner of two of SH8's busiest service stations, Mobil Omarama and Twizel.
But he's not one to take the credit and it's his staff he thanks first - for their patience and for holding the fort when he's called out on fire brigade duties.

Let's not underestimate  the generosity of their families.
Thank you Ange, Jess and Cam, and  Michelle, Dani, Alana, Dom and Lillie for sharing your men with us. 
They will hate being singled out because they know and work alongside many in the community who contribute.
"We're just doing our jobs," they will say.
Hell, yeah, and let's not take that for granted.
Yep, they are  going to hate this, and being in the limelight.
But it has to be said -

"Thank you, Bean and Terry," from all of us.
You make a world of difference to our place.
This Issue Brought to you by ...

Mobil Omarama

Jazz and Sonya with a smile and a coffee to start your day!

Joe and Dan are ready to give you a hand in the workshop.

Mobil Omarama
Closed Christmas Day
Workshop closes Thursday December 20,
reopens December 27.
Ph/fax 03 438 9834

Mobil Twizel
Open Christmas Day
Phone: 03-435 0844
When you’re ‘on-the-go’ you’ll want to keep coming back to Mobil Omarama and Twizel.
New state-of-the-art technology at the pumps and at point-of-sale promise to make each visit smooth and efficient.
Terry and Michelle Walsh are celebrating the completion of renovations throughout both sites ready to welcome the steady flow of locals and visitors off on their summer road trips.
As well as the clean, bright, fresh look, both instore and on the forecourt, regular customers will have noticed a few new faces have joined the friendly teams at both sites. Pop-in and introduce yourself, they’re always happy to help.
At the same time, treat yourself to a little something from their range of coffees – barista made - and perhaps a fresh gourmet sandwich or two.
If you’ve got an early start Mobil’s a great place to head first to set yourself up for the day.
In fact, with the upgraded 24-hour card system “so much easier to use” you can fill up any time, Terry says.
But you do have to wait until 7am before you can fuel that other tank.
You can grab a newspaper to go with that coffee and a little something for lunch before you head off. Mmm, there are pies!
One bonus of the new technology means all parts of the operation “talk” to each other, plus both Twizel and Omarama sites are now “aligned”, Michelle says.
The addition of high-definition digital screens at the pumps will also  bring you the latest about new products.
“There are not many places have that level of technology on the pumps,” Terry says.
This year, as always, Michelle and Terry are extending an invitation to customers old and new – to join them for their Christmas shout on Friday, December 21.
“We would love to see you all here again this year.
“If you are not a customer yet – come along, have a Christmas drink and say gidday!”
The Mobil Omarama Workshop closes Thursday December 20 and reopens December 27.
In late news...

The Waitaki District Council and Department of Conservation have begun discussions about how to work together to improve the maintenance of Birchwood Rd in the upper Ahuriri Valley.
In 2011, the council stopped maintaining the road past the last property paying rates.
This meant the road through the land owned by the Department of Conservation as part of its Ahuriri Conservation Park, was not maintained by the council to the level it was.
Yesterday, in his report to the council, Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher said he and chief executive Fergus Power had met with DOC director general Lou Sanson to talk about increasing maintenance.
"The good thing is he is not expecting us to do it alone," he said.
As well, Mr Kircher said they also took the opportunity to discuss "managing the reserve land inside Omarama's boundary which is important in the future planning for Omarama".
"The discussions went extremely well and I think we have the opportunity to work closely with DOC to help each other," the report said.

The council will hold "drop-in" sessions in Omarama in January to discuss future plans for the town. Read more below.
Distance markers to be installed in January
New signs have been put up and distance markers will be installed by the New Year in response to safety concerns about section four of the Alps to Ocean trail.
These are just some of the changes planned by the Alps to Ocean project team in response to requests from emergency services.

The requests were made following two incidents on that section when it took services more than an hour to reach the person who needed help because of confusion over their exact location and difficulty accessing the site.
 At its meeting last month the project team agreed to most of the measures asked for by the emergency personnel.
In a letter the project team said it had reviewed its risk management and as well as placing additional signage at the start and summit of the Tarnbrae section and putting in distance markers it was reviewing the safety information in brochures and on the website, and discussing "emergency preparedness" with operators.
It was also working to expand the number of places in the area where personal locator beacons could be hired.
Some sections of the trail would be resurfaced although it was not intended to be "path standard", it said.
In addition, it could provide a letter of support if the emergency services wanted to apply to funding agencies for an ATV.
In an email, Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek told the Omarama Gazette the signage was already in place and he hoped the distance markers would be put up by late January but this would depend on the sign-writers.
Omarama’s Senior Constable Nayland Smith said he was pleased to see the recommendations from FENZ and SAR had been “taken on board".
“I’m sure it will assist in the response to any further emergencies.”
He said he still would like to see safe landing areas provided for helicopters, and he hoped this would be part of any future plans for the trail.
" well as ensuring that the track or any structure such as a bridge is wide enough for an ATV to access.
"If there were some safe landing spots on the track and if the patient was able to be moved ...[helicopters could land]... and SAR would assist in transporting the patient to the landing zone.
"I understand that building flat areas on the side of a mountain may be difficult and expensive, but if there was a flat area even halfway along the track it may mean the patient wouldn't have to be moved as far."

Snr Const Smith reiterated his request for Topo50 maps, which plotted out the actual route of the trail, to be made available to  emergency personnel.
SAR is finalising a “pre-plan for emergency response” – a contingency plan for emergency personnel in such scenarios which will  identify the best access points to the trail for emergency services.

Update on trail status

Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek has said the team hope to begin work on moving the trail off-road between Sailors' Cutting and Benmore Dam in autumn.
"We are finalising the concession with DOC and the easement with LINZ.
"We will then be able to approach MBIE for the funding.
"We are continuing to construct the trail off-road between Aviemore Dam and Kurow."
Familiar face appointed to new role

The new Justice of the Peace in the valley has a familiar face.
Otematata’s Vicky Munro was sworn by Judge Joanna Maze at the Oamaru Courthouse in October.
Vicky was nominated by Otematata's Struan Munro and the late Mike Galvin.
A JP’s primary role is community service and, once conferred, is for life.
Importantly, those who are selected are chosen because they are happy to give time to their community and make themselves available to others. 
Vicky said the process took two years of mostly online training.
She will not be undertaking court duties – a JP can sit in place of a judge at special hearings and receives extra training to do this
Some of what she will do is to witness and verify documents such as applications for citizenship and take declarations, affidavits and affirmations - a form of oath.
She said it was surprising just how many institutions and organisations required  verified documents – form tertiary institutions to banks and insurance companies.
And just how many people came away on holiday only to find they needed a JP.
Vicky comes from a “hydro” background, has lived in the area for about 60 years and works for PGG Wrightson Real Estate.
“It’s been a privilege to see the changes over the years.”
She knows her community well.
She was married to the late Ronnie Munro, raised two children Karen and David, and has spent many years on committees and boards, including the Ahuriri Community Board. 
“I felt this was something I could do for my community in a quiet way."

JP services are free. To find out more about what a JP can do for you go to the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices' Associations Inc website
The Amazing Five - It was a blast
It was a blast!!!
And a boom and a bang and a hiss and a roar and a thwack, with just a wee bit of agricultural language thrown in!
More than $16,500 was raised for Omarama School at the Friends of Omarama School fundraiser - the Amazing Five - last week.
The captains of 12 teams of four headed off just after noon in a chase and race through challenges set at locations out and about Omarama and at the Golf Club, culminating several hours later in a well-earned refreshment or two, some gourmet antipasto platters, an auction, and a step up on to the podium for the winning teams.
Which were, this year …drum roll please …
The bronze medal goes to The Brews. Biscotti Hotties take silver.
And okay, yeah, we had to give it to them because, technically, yeah, nah they won.
Let’s hear it for those fine upstanding citizens… in first place, for the gold medal, team: “We Will Destroy You And Burn Your Village.”
People came from as far away as Mt Cook, Glen Lyon, and Kurow to compete.
Volunteers from Rabobank, school parents, grandparents and other supporters were on hand to help at the various stations.

Winners of the raffle for the return helicopter flight for two from Mt Cook to Glenorchy were Nick and Tania Anderson, second prize went to the Walsh family, of Omarama, and third prize to Hamish Smith.

Event Sponsor: Lake Ohau Quarters
The main events and sponsors were: Claybird shooting (Raymond Harrington Earthworks), Golf (Goldfields Electrical), Lawn mower racing (David O'Neill Contracting), Fishing (Mobil Omarama), and Target shooting (Target Products).

Teams competing were: Chafe-ease, We Will Destroy You and Burn Your Village, Biscotti Hotties, Dora and the Explorers, Glenlyonvale, Hot Tubbies, Blood, Sweat and Beers, Force 4, Quailburn, Hard and Fast Farmlanders, The Brews.

For more photos click on this link to the Omarama Gazette Facebook page.

Video: Eat my dust!!! The Amazing Five 2018
Community resolved to create easement
The St Thomas’ Church committee have been given the go-ahead by the community to negotiate the creation of a walking easement along the church boundary to help link Park and T A Munro Lanes.
Last month, more than 20 people attended a meeting called by the committee to discuss the issue.
The group voted unanimously in favour of a 2m easement with construction details to be subject to negotiations between church authorities and the council.
It has asked the walkway be wheelchair-accessible, fenced, and well-lit with good visibility in daylight hours also.
Committee chairman Reverend Ken Light and secretary Lee Kearon told the group about the Waitaki District Council proposal and asked it for a consensus on what message it should take to the church governing bodies who ultimately make the decision.
There has been an informal walking track from Park Lane to TA Munro Lane for many years.
Earlier this year the Omarama School Board of Trustees made a submission to the council’s long-term plan to ask the council to obtain the land and formalise the track to provide a safe route for children to walk to school.
A recent sale and subdivision of 10A Park Lane has allowed the Waitaki District Council to begin that process.
Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek, who is managing the process for the council, did not attend the meeting. However, he was available by phone to answer any questions, Rev Light said.
The proposal for a walking easement had already been put to church authorities but became a concern when it "crept in” there was a possibility it could mean the creation of a 5m corridor to house a pipeline and wide enough for vehicle access to service that.
This would have meant a sale of land, Rev Light said.
“The church bodies were not happy with that …at the moment the church is not thinking of selling anything.”
Further discussions with the council clarified that only permission for a walking easement was required, he said.
It would help to have vehicle access if a pipeline was put in under the walkway to service the subdivision but it would be the council’s responsibility to “put it back as it was” after any maintenance, Councillor Craig Dawson said.
At the conclusion of discussions, proponent of a museum for the town, Peter Casserly, asked if the church would be willing to make land available to house it.
“There’s a lot of history in this district. I would hate to see it lost.
“The Waitaha, moa hunters, early settlers, merino, hydro, the men that went to war …notable residents," he said.
As well, former Omarama resident Tony Blackstock asked if the church would consider building retirement “villas” on the land which could then be run by Presbyterian Support Services.
“That would be in keeping with the pastoral nature of the church," he said.
Mrs Kearon said the church was moving away from such projects because of the high costs involved.
Rev Light and Mrs Kearon said both suggestions would be passed on.
In a response to a question from Omarama Residents’ Association chairwoman Ann Patterson Rev Light said the church's lease with Tourism Waitaki would “roll over” for another year with a right of renewal for three years, plus he confirmed Tourism Waitaki  have the right to sub-lease without consultation.
He said the committee had a proposal to put to those who had donated church  furniture which  was at present in storage and the committee would be talking to those donors about what happened next.
The possibility the building could return to use as a church in the future had not been discounted, he said.
Issues with Omarama water supply resolved

Last month's issues with the chlorine dosing of the Omarama water supply have been resolved and a further upgrade is on the horizon.
Last month, a three-day boil water notice was put in place for those on the supply.
The notice was issued because there had been a fault with the chlorine dosing system and with the alarm which alerted plant operators to low chlorine levels.
In response to an email, Waitaki District Council project management engineer Michael Goldingham said the problems had been fixed and all water tested following the incident was free of e-coli.
The fitting that broke causing the chlorine system to fail had been replaced with a higher-grade product and the alarm had been fixed, he said.
“The water treatment plant operators have been made aware that they need to check systems each morning."
It was about 24-hours before routine checks uncovered the fault, he said.
The alarm, itself, had “possibly been out for a week or more”.
The Omarama water treatment plant upgrade, which has been on hold while other "higher risk" supplies were being upgraded is "being worked on" and this will have "additional treatment barriers", Mr Goldingham said.
Paul Hondelink, NZ conservation "legend"

Photo: supplied
New Zealand lost a “legend” dedicated to conservation and to community on the death of former Omarama man Paul Hondelink (63), friend and former colleague Lex Perriam says. 
Paul, fellow Department of Conservation ranger Scott Theobald and Wanaka pilot Nick Wallis died in a helicopter crash in October. 
The three were assigned to tahr control work. 
Many, including Lex, paid tribute to Paul, "Hondy", at his funeral in Wanaka which more than 1000 people attended. 
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage described the "tall, lanky, gentle giant" as a "conservation legend".
She was not alone in describing him as such. 
The word "legend" came up a lot when his family and community spoke about Paul and his work. 
He would have been one of DOC’s longest-serving hunters and one of the most experienced at helicopter control work, Lex said. 
He has no doubt Paul’s passion and grounding for that work “in the field” in the South Island’s high country grew out of his upbringing and the early days of his career spent in Omarama. 
Paul was to become a senior ranger specialising in biodiversity for DOC, and had recently moved to Twizel from Wanaka, where he had also been involved in Search and Rescue and rural fire control work.
He had worked for DOC since 1987 and become known internationally for his expertise in large-scale wild animal control. He pioneered many of the methods used today.
Paul’s career began with the New Zealand Forest Service – the forerunner of DOC.
He began training as a “woodsman” in “environmental” forestry, as it was known, with the Forest Service at Berwick Forest, and was the first of 14 assigned to its Omarama base to work under Lex’s supervision.
But Lex’s connection began earlier than that.
“My involvement with Paul began through the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade. 
“Paul’s father Fred was chief fire officer [from 1974 to 1989] and his mother, Leidt, was treasurer.
“Initially, the Hondelink family lived at Tara Hills Research Station.
 “Later they moved to Park Lane and the home there is still owned by the family.” 
Paul met his wife Judy in Omarama and they lived for a time at the shearers' quarters at Killermont Station. 
His time spent as a woodsman taught him silviculture, fire management, pest and wild animal management among other skills. 
He later chose to move to “protection forestry” and then “environmental forestry” within the service, working on the ground with many who were to influence his career as he did theirs. 
Some of the many included John Rogers, Mark Paulson, Phil Barnes, David Urquhart, Kevyn, Gary, Paul and Roger Webb, Maurice Cowie, Dave Hancox, Todd and the boys, Jimmy Courtney and Jim Paton, Lex said. 
His first-hand experience, here, in fighting wild fires also stood him in good stead for his later roles in DOC and Rural Fire. 
Lex recollects one of many experiences, it was of a fire at Irishman Hut in the remote Dobson Valley. 
A colleague, Stu McMurray, after staying through the night to contain the initial blaze, crossed the rivers to the Forest Service’s Ohau base at Huxley Gorge Station and then on to Omarama and to Lex as officer in charge, to report the fire. 
The fear was, with rising winds forecast, the smouldering embers could ignite a much larger wild fire. 
Lex, Paul and another colleague John Fleming returned to the hut in their Toyota with a Wajax Mark 1 pump and over a thousand feet of hose. 
“We arrived, and Paul carried the pump to Irishman’s Stream 1000 feet away and pumped water to extinguish the smouldering hut.” 
It’s believed the fire in the hut started because embers escaped the open fire. 
Methylated spirits and kerosene stored at the hut would have fuelled the blaze.
After Paul’s funeral a guard of honour, among them DOC workers and fire fighters, was formed as his coffin was taken to a helicopter for a final flight.
Lex said when he last caught up with him, Paul told him he felt he had been "extremely lucky, working with the most professional teams and pilots" during his career. This team was "no exception" Paul said.

Paul is survived by his wife Judy, children Hooter, Bop, Corey,  Kelly and Reece, and grand children Josh, Kahlarni, Joria and Nixon.
He was the brother and brother-in-law of Karin Westcott (Sydney), Kim and Phil Barnes (Christchurch), Rene Hondelink (Fairlie), and uncle of Kim, Ben, Shane, Amanda and Scott.

Words: Lex Perriam with Ruth Grundy
Photos: Lex Perriam and supplied
The Noticeboard
To have your community notice included here. email: 

Please scroll down and check for other notices throughout the Gazette. There may be something there you need to know.

Acknowledgement:  Karen Ward and Kate and Beckie Wilson would like to pass on their sincerest thanks to all for their kindness and gifts of baking and flowers at the time of their recent loss.

Congratulations to Gabriela Williamson. Originally from Chihuahua, in northern Mexico, she was one of 11 Waitaki residents made citizens of New Zealand at a ceremony at the Waitaki District Council chambers in Oamaru, last month.

Congratulations to William and Alysse Hudson and staff on the opening of The Lindis, last month.

The Youth Soaring Development camp will be at the Omarama Airfield from tomorrow, December 6 to December 15.

British author and "adventure queen"  Anna McNuff will  speak in Twizel to promote her book, The Pants of Perspective which is the story of her 3,000 km run along the length of the Te Araroa Trail. The talk is at 6pm, Thursday, 13 December,  at Twizel Events Centre. Tickets are $5 each and available at the Twizel Bookshop and Twizel Information Centre. 

A Christmas get together for all library volunteers will be at the Omarama Community Library between 6pm and 8pm Tuesday, December 11.  Please bring a plate and your ideas.
The Omarama Community Library is open 9am to 10am  Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Tuesdays from 7pm to 8pm at the Omarama Community Centre. Contact  Anna: 021 132 5586

The Omarama Golf Club annual meeting is 11.30, Saturday, December 15, at the Golf Club rooms.  All welcome.

The Omarama Golf Club  Saturdays tee-off 1pm. Twilight golf tee-off is 6pm, Thursdays. Club Captain Adrian Tuffley, 027 347 8276.

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.

Omarama Playgroup meets at 9.30am each Wednesday during the primary school term at the Omarama Community Centre.  For more information phone president Andrea Aubrey, 03 438 9863; vice president Ruby Milestone, 03 438 9401, secretary Carla Hunter, 03 976 0504 

Bridge Club - The Omarama 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 Kurow Medical Centre holds a clinic 8.30am to 1pm, and 2pm to 5pm, on Tuesdays at the Omarama Community Centre. Please phone Kurow Medical Centre, 03 436 0760, for appointments. On Fridays phone 0274 347 464 because the Kurow Centre is closed.

The Omarama Model Aircraft Club meets 9.30am to 12 noon Wednesdays and Sundays at its fly-ground at the Omarama airfield. All welcome. 
Don Selbie 03 435 3122

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

Plunket Line: 0800 933 922
Omarama Plunket Committee: phone Petrina Paton 027 345 6192 
Car Seat Rentals: Christine, phone: 03 435 0557 or 027 208 0362
Breastfeeding Works: Claire Hargest-Slade 03 684 3625, 021 493 863 

In case of emergency: to prevent any confusion about the location of Lake Ohau Alpine Village in an emergency, the following points should be noted:
When phoning 111, advise that Lake Ohau is in South Island and the nearest cross road is State Highway 8 and Lake Ohau Road. Also mention that Lake Ohau Alpine Village is on the shore of Lake Ohau, and is 20 mins (40 km) from both Twizel and Omarama. This will assist the operator to find the required information  to enter location in the system and allowing the call to progress to the next screen in the system. 

A  special notice for you to pass on to all those who subscribe to our email but did not receive the latest issue of the Omarama Gazette.
Please add the email address to your contacts 'address' book so all systems know we are friends and not evil spam.

To read more,  enjoy more photos and watch our place 'come to life' check out our Facebook page and website. Now also on Instagram.

To receive email alerts between monthly editions of the Omarama Gazette sign up to our 'Local List'. Email 
and put 'Local List' in the subject line.
The Christmas  issue of the Omarama Gazette
is Monday, December 17, 2018.
Please submit copy
by Friday, December 14.
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
FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade
Fire and Emergency Omarama has had a quiet month with five calls.
We have lost two of our members, Graham McLean and Jaden Jenkins both moving out of the district. We wish them both well. This means we are down on numbers of members and are actively looking for new members if you are interested please come down to the station on any Wednesday evening at 7 pm. and see us and we will explain how it all runs.
We are coming into the tourist season and the traffic on our roads is increasing so please drive defensively as we move into the festive season.
It is very green out there at the moment but as it dries out this will increase the fire risk.
You have a new scribe this month as Terry has taken a bit of time off so any calls can be directed to Greg Harper 021 293 1171 or 021 43 4929 (daytime).
On behalf of the Omarama Brigade I wish you all Merry and safe Christmas and a happy New Year.

                          - Deputy Chief Fire Officer Greg Harper

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

A message from Rural Fire

As we go into summer, remember to check it's alright to light. If you do have a permit to burn, please contact myself on 027 441 8612 or DCFO Greg Harper  021 293 1171 or 021 434 929 to give us a heads up. If you do see smoke over the summer period where it shouldn't be, ring it in as it is faster to nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.
Have a great festive break and keep hydrated, if you know what I mean.

                                                - Jimmy Courtney DRFC.
Omarama Residents' Association
From the  last meeting... 

Jemma Gloag gave a report the progress which has been made towards the development of the sports courts facility. Meridian Energy has approved a grant of $75,000 which must be spent by June 2019.
She said this, plus the $40,000 granted by the Waitaki District Council means the project can get underway. The council would have the final say on the planning and design.
She will be making further applications to funding organisations.
As well, to help raise further funds, the Lindis Group have offered an accommodation package to raffle and she will be asking others to donate prizes to go with this.
Ann Patterson suggested the association "sell named bricks” to construct the handball court wall as a fundraiser.
Jemma said, dependent on the success in obtaining further funds, construction could start as soon as late February-early March.
Ann will raise several matters regarding maintenance and upkeep of the playground and other areas of the township with council staff and encouraged others to also phone the council with their concerns.
She noted that campers were still camping behind the new fence at the DOC Ahuriri Bridge Campsite which was meant to restrict the numbers at the site. She would bring this up with the council.
The Christmas meeting will be 7.30pm December 13,
at the Omarama Community Centre. 

Contacts: Ann Patterson, chairperson, 03 438 9493,
Lorraine King, secretary, 027 434 6027

To make a booking for an upcoming event or for more
information about hall hire and availability
please  contact  Charlotte Cook, 027 940 1648,
or email
Keys and fobs are collected from Charlotte


Omarama Golf Club
By Christine Bowman

The Omarama Golf Club Annual General Meeting is being held 11.30, Saturday, December 15, at the Golf Clubrooms.  All welcome.
Plans are in place for our New Year's Tournament on January 5. (See the poster below).  Tell your family and friends, as it will  be a great day.
The course is looking luscious with the recent rain. Coring of the greens has been completed thanks to a grant from the New Zealand Community Trust.  A huge thanks to our members that have spent hours mowing the course, it hasn’t been an easy job keeping on top of the growth.
We are looking forward to some fine weather over summer.
A reminder we have club day on Saturday’s tee-off 1 p.m. cards in 12.30 p.m. and twilight on Thursday night at 6.00 p.m. All visitors are welcome.
A warm welcome to our new club members: Anna Howard, Yvonne Jones and Scott Fitzgerald.

If you are interested in becoming a member, we have a number of options please feel free to contact Christine Bowman 027 209 2320.
Omarama Playgroup
Omarama Playgroup recently held its annual meeting with some new faces taking up duties for the year ahead.
Petrina Paton has stepped down as president after two terms in the role and Andrea Aubrey will take her place.
Carla Hunter and Jemma Gloag continue as secretary and treasurer, respectively.
Ruby Milestone takes up the role of vice-president.
Petrina is now the contact person for Plunket in the Omarama area.
Playgroup numbers have dropped significantly – from 21 to 10 – because of children moving up to school and people moving out of the area, Andrea said.
Santa will visit playgroup on Wednesday, December 12.

Playgroup will be holding a ladies get together for Christmas at the Pink Glider Café. For more information phone Andrea Aubrey.

Contacts: President Andrea Aubrey, 03 438 9863; vice president Ruby Milestone, 03 438 9401, secretary Carla Hunter, 03 976 0504 

Plunket committee: Petrina Paton 027 345 6192
Omarama School 
Omarama School would like to invite all to the final assembly for 2018
at 10.30 am Thursday, December 13, (spare classroom)

Please join us as we celebrate our successes and say our farewells.
The senior students moving to high school are Jessica Smith, Dominic Walsh, Gemma Patterson and Madison Innes.
As well, we also say goodbye to Suzie Smith,  Balin Sole, and to  Mr S - Peter Schasching.
Assembly will be followed by a shared lunch.
Omarama School Board of Trustees
Hi All,

“Very Cliche’ I know but it is hard to believe the year has almost rolled by.
Omarama school  has enjoyed another year of good stability and achievement. This can largely be put down to the efforts of Kim and her team.
I would really like to acknowledge the tremendous effort and very long unseen hours Kim puts into our children and school. The role of a teaching principal takes a huge effort to both keep up with the endless compliance and reporting requirements while at the same time trying to focus on teaching a class of students. So Kim,from us all, a big thank you. I hope you enjoy a good “battery charge”, and have some fun, over the Christmas break.
A real testament to the good heart the school is in was the ERO review undertaken earlier in the year. The excellent report that came out of this was brilliant to receive. So once again a very well done to all involved. Also contributing a lot to the the school is the parents who put so much effort into fundraising either for the BOT or the Friends of the School. Without these funds coming in the school simply couldn’t achieve all the activities and sports it partakes in, plus keep the school grounds and facilities up to a good standard. By the time this goes to print the Friends of the School would have held “ The Amazing Five” event. This was a heap of fun and a fantastic fundraiser last year. Seeing so many people involved and having fun was brilliant. So well done to those who put the effort in to hold this neat event again.
Thanks to all the people who help transport the children around the country and to and fro to sports and other fixtures. Everyone else who helps in any way, your involvement and efforts are truly appreciated. If every parent does something in some way to help out the load is greatly reduced.
The annual board elections will be held in June again next year. So please anyone who is willing to put up their hand to come onto the board it would be gratefully appreciated. Board members do not have to be parents, in fact I am the only parent on the board at the moment. The role of the board is critical in making sure the school meets all the statutory requirements throughout the year. So please do not hesitate to step forward to do your bit in keeping the school running. 

Unfortunately as mentioned in earlier correspondence, at the end of the year we will be saying goodbye to Peter Schasching as he heads off on travel and adventure. I can’t say enough how timely it was that Peter came to teach at Omarama school. We needed stability, positivity, enthusiasm and that extra little ten percent. This is exactly what Peter, or rather Mr.S has given us. So thank you Peter very much for the very positive effect you have had on our school. We all wish you the very best for the future. 
This term Shona Denton has stepped into the fold to bring us up to a three-teacher school.This has been great to relieve a bit of pressure. Shona coming on board has been very timely and a great “fit” for the school. Unfortunately we will not have funding for a third teacher for the start of the 2019 year but are very glad that Shona will be staying on and stepping into Peter’s role. Shona's appointment as third teacher this term has improved the outcomes for all students learning and more individualized learning opportunities for the children. So welcome aboard Shona.
It was neat to see Kris’ smiling face back at school after her operation. I think most people have told Kris, “Great to see you back but, don’t overdo it!” You’re a real trooper Kris.
I think the true test of Omarama school's success is the quality and preparedness of our students  going onto further education. These students are a reflection of not only our school and its values but also of the community. All the very best to those of you that are moving on to other schools. I hope you feel well prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead. 
So to everyone in anyway who has been involved with the school; well done on another good year. Thank you and have a very enjoyable Christmas.
- Gundy, David Anderson, chairperson, Omarama school Board of Trustees.
St Thomas's Combined Church
A Christmas Carol service will be held at the Hall on Sunday, December 23. (See more below)
This inter-denominational service will last approximately 45 minutes.   
Those attending will sing popular Carols, listen to a few readings and hear
a children’s story.
The St Thomas Management Committee want to thank all who attended
the public meeting held on November 16 to discuss the establishing of an easement
across church land.
I think it fair to say it was result that pleased everyone although the final decision lies with the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland.
                                                                           - Rev Ken Light,  027 211 1501
Waitaki Valley Vehicle Trust - update

Sadly, we have had to increase the cost of trips in the Community Car.
We need to be able to ensure the future of the service amidst rising costs.
Please be aware the service is still subsidised by your Environment Canterbury rate of $4 per household. Our rates would not be viable of we were a commercial venture.
Prices are as follows, but remember we travel where you need to go. Just ask for a price.
As an indicator prices form Kurow are: to Oamaru $45, Timaru $60, Dunedin $95, Dunedin Airport $115, Christchurch $140.
If you are attending a hospital appointment in Dunedin you can use our receipt to make a claim as Public Transport and get the full amount returned to you.
We would ask if you are being collected from an Airport that you pay the parking costs, particularly if it is an International Flight pick up.
If you have any questions contact Carron at the Kurow Museum and Information Centre, 03 436 0950.
Chairperson's report.

It’s been another busy year for the use of our two vehicle.
The total trips were 149 carrying 209 passengers and travelling 38,070km.
Journeys were most commonly to hospital appointments.
People travelled to Queenstown, Cromwell, Omarama, Twizel, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Waikouaiti, Christchurch Airport, and Christchurch.
In the past year the white Corolla was used 30 times, four times from Otematata and one from Omarama. The vehicle is kept in Kurow for "overflow" trips but always available to Otematata and Omarama users.
Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) funding helps cover the cost of volunteer vouchers. and without the Ecan funding by ratepayers the Trust would not be able to offer subsidised trips.
 Acknowledging with special thanks, all 22 volunteer drivers, Carron Cossens for overseeing and administration of the Trust, and the staff at the information centre for taking the bookings for car hire, Tony Henderson of  ECan and the trustees – Craig Dawson, Carron Cossens, Debbie Smith, Gaynor Lines and Tony Henderson.
Attendance at the yearly Vehicle Trust Hui in Christchurch continues to be of great value. This year Carron and a volunteer driver joined representatives from 14 Vehicle Trusts.
                              - Rosina Russell Chairperson, Waitaki Valley Community Vehicle Trust 
Kurow Medical Centre - news
From this month, GP registrar Dr Oriagh Fox will be joining the practice.
A registrar is a doctor undergoing advanced training. 
The GP registrar training is for three years.
Both Dr Tim Gardner and Dr Annie Fyfe will oversee Dr Oriagh's training as well as that of future registrars, "yes, there will be more", covering Twizel, Kurow and Omarama.
Following the three-year training the doctor becomes a "vocational- trained GP" and is able to practise independently.
"We are drastically short of GPs in New Zealand with many getting older and due to retire in the next five-to-ten years.
"The Registrar programme is aimed at introducing new blood into the fold and a great way of building the ranks of those who will take over the business in the future.
"Many who train stay with us."
The practice is  also in negotiations with a registrar who has almost completed his training about starting in a long-term position within the next few months.
"This is great news for the Mackenzie and Waitaki Valley. Watch this Space."

                     - Dr Tim Gardner and Juliet Gardner, Directors, Gardner Medical Practice Ltd.
‘The Community Reports' is
dedicated to news
from clubs, groups and sports teams.

Contributions are welcome 
Waitaki District Council - news in brief
The council are holding two meetings in Omarama in January to share ideas and get feedback about the development of its new District Plan – its rule-book for land use and development in the district. Please phone  03 433 0300 or email if you have any questions.
Once  feedback from  these has been assessed by the council, follow -up workshops will be held.
The information will be used to develop a formal "master" plan and/or; a form part of the new District Plan. (See more below)
The annual report is the Waitaki District Council’s report card, showing the things it does well and the things it needs to work on. The document is here on the council website
Lincoln University and the Whitestone Geopark Trust  have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding, agreeing to collaborate in research to look at how to improve the tourist experience in the Waitaki district.
The new Centre of Excellence, headed by Dr Mike Mackay, will survey "sustainable tourism potentials" for regions, landscapes and communities, the media release said.
The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark trustees have also completed a 300-page dossier to
apply for UNESCO Global Geopark accreditation. It has been sent to the New Zealand commissioners for UNESCO prior to being sent to UNESCO in Paris.
The North Otago Museum will undergo refurbishments over the next six months, with the
main museum display area reopening to the public by May 2019 in time for a visit from the UNESCO Commission. This follows a Waitaki District Council resolution, in July, to consider a range of immediate options for Oamaru’s cultural facilities. Refurbishments will see the Thames Street entry reopened to the public and a range of new displays developed showcasing the stories of the Waitaki District.

Closing times for consents or special licences before the Christmas – New Year break.
Building consent and resource consent applications – The closing date for this – to allow for 20 working days for processing is November 21.
Land Information Memorandum application - The last day for submitting a LIM application to allow 10 working days for processing is the December 7.
In these cases, from December 20, 2018, to 10 January 10, 2019, inclusive, are deemed to be non-working days.
Special licences for alcohol – The last day to apply for a special licence for an event being held before January 15, 2019, is November 22. For events from January 15 to mid-February, applications must be received at least 20 working days prior to the event. If your event is in early February the council must receive the application in enough time to process allowing for the non-working days. Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, the period 20 December 2018 to 15 January 2019 inclusive are deemed to be non-working days.
Food/Mobile Traders trading over the Christmas period - applications must be in before December 14 to allow for processing prior to the Christmas closure on December 21.
Parking Permits- Any new applications or renewals of parking permits must be submitted before December 19.

Please note the council office close 12.00 noon Friday, December 21 and reopen Thursday, January 3, 2019.

Phone​​: ​03 433 0300  
Freephone 0800 108 081  - Automated options after hours

E-mail​: ​​​​​
From the Ahuriri Community Board Meeting
Monday, November 12, at the Omarama Community Centre.
Present: Ahuriri Community Board chairman Graham Sullivan, members Cal Reid, Tony Chapman, Vicky Munro, Waitaki District Councillor Craig Dawson, Cr Peter Garvan, Waitaki District Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen,  policy and strategy manager Mike Searle, project management engineer Michael Goldingham.

Omarama town concept plan
The Waitaki District Council wants to start discussion with the Omarama community about its town concept plan before Christmas, Waitaki District Council policy and strategy manager Mike Searle says.
This was in response to questions about progress posed at the public forum by Omarama Residents’ Association chairperson Ann Patterson.
Mr Searle said the “community engagement process” was scheduled to begin December 20 and would continue through until February.
The town master plan would “feed into” the District Plan Review process.
The council wanted  to get as much local input as possible, Mr Searle said.
It would be holding “drop-in sessions”, providing ways to give on-line feedback and advertising in “local rags”.
“There won’t be any public meetings.”
Councillor Peter Garvan said he believed public meetings should be held because they provided an opportunity for views to be put forward for others to consider, as opposed to just a drop-in session where there was “a lot of one-on-one”.
“Some people like to listen to other views.”
 “One-on-one is fine” but, in his opinion, it did not provide the benefit of other people’s knowledge.
Ahuriri Community Board member Vicky Munro suggested one-to-one sessions be organised “over the busy period” with a public meeting held later, perhaps March.
Mr Searle said the drop-in sessions were interactive and ideas could be taken from these to a public meeting.
Mrs Patterson said the plan was “critically important" and the sooner it was developed the better.
Lake Ohau Alpine Village water supply upgrade
The board has approved project management engineer Michael Goldingham’s recommendation council officers begin consultation with the Lake Ohau Alpine Village community about the project to upgrade the village’s water supply.
There are about 60 houses connected to the supply which must be upgraded to meet drinking water standards.
There had been a “bit of dissension” at the Lake Ohau Residents’ and Ratepayers' annual meeting about the issue but there seemed to be a better understanding now, board chairman Graham Sullivan said.
Prior to the board meeting council officers held a workshop with some Ohau village residents and board members to discuss the issues.
“There is an element of compulsion …the Government is pushing this,” Mr Goldingham said.
The engagement document would be a “live document”. 
“Things will tweak and change as we go along," he said.

Water supply and treatment in other Ahuriri ward towns also came up for discussion.
Board member Tony Chapman asked what procedures the council had in place for alerting those on the town supplies when there was a problem.
A recent issue with the chlorine dosing system in Omarama had required a ‘boil water’ notice be put out but residents and businesses were not alerted until late in the morning of the failure about the requirement.
Mr Goldingham said the council procedure for communicating alerts was to first use its Facebook page and then its website, "also radio".
The council had since made an email list of “critical customers and businesses" to alert, he said.
Mr Sullivan said there had been an incident recently in Otematata where the town had gone for several hours with low water pressure and a situation like this could pose a risk should there be a fire.
Mr Goldingham said he believed the problem with that equipment  had been resolved.
It appears the bid for some areas in the ward to be given night sky accreditation may be on the back burner.
 “We could look at it, but it is not the highest priority at the moment,” Councillor Craig Dawson said in his verbal report.
The work involved to achieve the status was more complex than first thought.
Tekapo’s bid to the International Dark-Sky Association, which is the international body giving accreditation had been successful because “it dovetailed into the observatory already there”, he said.
Read the full agenda, reports and recommendations here.
The next Ahuriri Community Board meeting is
3.15pm to 5.15pm Monday, December 17
at the Lakes Centre, Otematata
Minutes and agendas can be found here
Waitaki District Health Services Ltd

Dr Pragati Gautama has been appointed as Oamaru Hospital clinical director.
A new clinical director has been appointed for Oamaru Hospital.
Dr Pragati Gautama started work at the hospital last month and will be full time from January 28.
Dr Gautama, who has expertise in rural health and hospital services, will be involved in implementing changes at Oamaru Hospital, including shifting from a specialist to a rural generalist health model, which most other rural hospitals in New Zealand have done.
That was one of the recommendations from the 'Model of Care', which began to be implemented last year. 
Dr Gautama has worked  at Dunstan and Balclutha Hospitals, the Cromwell Medical Centre, Central Otago’s Community Hospice and as a locum and in general practice, including in Australia.
She also has had roles in training, including as a senior lecturer at Otago University, and is at present South Island Clinical Leader for the Division of Rural Health Medicine New Zealand.

About 180 people attended a meeting at the Waitaki Boys’ High School auditorium last month to discuss Oamaru Hospital and health services in the district. 
Waitaki District Health Services is looking at ways to cut costs including reviewing the hospital’s kitchen service. A list of frequently asked questions about the changes has been compiled and can be found here.
WDHS is a Waitaki District Council-controlled company.
Environment Canterbury - news in brief

Two unique flax kete, filled with re-usable picnic gear, have been woven to help spread the message to ‘Love Your Lakes’ and reduce rubbish in or near waterways this summer.
The two kete have been created by weaver Sally Reihana (Kati Huirapa) from Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua as a competition prize to raise awareness of the summer-time ‘Love Your Lakes’ campaign run by the Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee and its partners.
This year, the campaign encourages people to reduce lakeside litter by preparing low-waste picnics and disposing of any rubbish responsibly. The competition will run on the Canterbury Water Facebook page and people can enter by sharing a tip for packing a low-waste picnic.
Read more here
Consents from ECan and the Mackenzie District Council are now in place for Simons Pass Station to begin irrigating a portion of its land on either side of State Highway 8 in the Mackenzie Basin. Read more here
ECan navigation safety officer Gary Manch wants boaties to think about having the best methods of communication this summer. 
“We want people to have the right type of communication for the area they’re in. “This is an important part of remaining safe on the water and we want to remind people that If you can’t be heard, you can’t be helped.” 
It could be as simple as having a whistle on board, to complement another device, if it meant you would be able to signal for help in a sticky situation, he says. 
Other communication options are cellphones, VHF radios, flares, and personal locator beacons.

The Cloud Ocean Bottling story has raised  questions about the way ECan processes and grants consents under the Resource Management Act. Read more here  and here
The next meeting of ECan’s Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee
is 9.30 am Friday, February 15,  2019,
at the Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel.

Minutes and agendas are posted at:
Those FAQs - Five Awkward Questions 
with Norbert Scarlat
Romanian National Gliding Champion Norbert Scarlat.
Photo: Supplied
With his passion for riding the waves, it is no surprise gliding has brought Norbert to Omarama, New Zealand from Deva, Romania.
 “Everybody knows, Omarama is a great place to fly in wave," he says.
Norbet (27) is Romanian National gliding champion and in July was placed sixth in the World Championships.  
But Deva, set on the left bank of Mures River in Transylvania, is most well-known for producing world champions in another field - gymnastics, Nadia Comaneci being one of many.
Norbert's passion for gliding began with remote-controlled model gliders.
While learning about what made them go up he was taken on his first glider flight.
“I came back to get my licence," he said.
He was qualified at 15, won his first competition in 2011, went on to became the Romanian Junior Champion and is now aiming for the top - world champion.
Norbert works as an instructor and coach both back home and for Glide Omarama, but he is also a qualified accountant.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
“Don’t drink too much alcohol. I learned that from my younger sister.”
Tell us something about Omarama we might not know?
“There are not many girls on Tinder. I found that out from a colleague at the airfield.”
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
“Simona Halep.” Simona Halep is a Romanian professional tennis player and No. 1 on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour.
Best day outside the office?
“Hiking, when the weather is good.”
What is one thing that would make the world a better place?
“If people could live with out money. It would be the next step in the evolution of mankind.”
The Directory

phone 021 294 8002 or email
The Public Notices
Situations Vacant
The last page is classifieds 
To advertise in this section please email
Cost: Up to 25 words $10  paid in advance. Copy must be received and payment made by the Friday before publication. Payment details will be forwarded on receipt of copy. Publication is the first Wednesday of each month. 
Lawn Mowing
& General Yard Maintenance

Have own mower and will remove all green waste,
flexible hours.

Phone or text Daniel  021 123 4805
Accommodation Wanted
By professional couple,
in Omarama - from February 1, 2019

Please contact Jason
on 021 340 694
The Garden Diary

Tidings of comfort and joy
Soon it will be the very best day of the year.
The hustle, bustle and ring-a-ting-ting of bling will hush, at least it will do at our place.
The quiet will wrap around us like the scent from the roses as we pad around barefoot and find ourselves a hideaway, a leafy bower, “quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine”, within which to read or dream or simply do nothing and rest afterwards. There will be leftovers of course. For which we are truly grateful.
Our garden is not a large garden, by any stretch, but there are paths which take you away from the world.
You’re welcome to park yourself under the parsnips on the sun-warmed sleepers of the veggie garden wall and graze on peas and greens.
(Yes, you heard right, that was under the parsnips!
I've let a couple of last season's French heirloom parsnip ‘Guernsey’ have their head and go to seed, but at this rate I’ll need a ladder to collect it. From Omarama to Guernsey, I thank you.)
This year the raspberries and currants alongside have outdone themselves, tho’ the strawberries are a little harder to find.
Bees hum, but not with such urgency. Shush, don’t tell the Queen, but you’ll probably even catch one or two napping on pollen-y cushions.
Blackbirds warble their lazy summer song to the background orchestra of cicadas thrumming in their grassy hollows.
Children are laughing.
The hedge encloses deep, cool shade as the lime green Robinias dance their leaves under the blue, blue sky.
The sun teases the dark-leafed cherry plum refusing to be shut out, casting dappled light through pinholes into a great pool of shimmering sunstars on the rug and the grassy floor below. They call it  komorebi 木漏れ日 in Japan.
'Mlle Cécile Brünner' scrambles up the walls and into trees with a regiment of sweet peas following close behind.
I feel overwhelmingly privileged.
My father writes, teasingly, knowing full well of my phobia.
“I’ve been reading Pickwick Papers," he says
“When reading the following passage, somehow I thought of you.
"There was a bower at the further end, with honeysuckle, jessamine, and creeping plants -- one of those sweet retreats which humane men erect for the accommodation of spiders."
I am the most fortunate if spiders are my only fear.
For us there will always be a track to the beach, a forest walk by the lake, a path by a creek under willows. 
We are home, and safe from hunger and cruelty.
An ancient text once forewarned Rachel's voice would echo through generations.
"A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Let there be comfort and joy.

Ruth Grundy
(I garden a small space under a big sky in Omarama)
The View from the Chook House
We heard you say all you wanted for Christmas
was three French hens?!
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016-2018, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.

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