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- Omarama Gazette -

July 2019
The July Issue

Omarama has a new fire chief
Thoroughfare closes temporarily
Long-time advocate for Ahuriri stands down
Chelsea Flower Show inspires
John and Sharon - 50 golden years
A first glimpse of town concept plans
Fundraising for third teacher underway
Mapping the pathways of ancestors

Regular Features

 The Noticeboard 
The Community Reports
Waitaki District Council - News in Brief 
 Environment Canterbury - News in Brief
The Directory
The Weather that was 
The Last Page is Classifieds 
The Garden Diary 
The View from the Chook House 
It's official, Omarama has a new fire chief
Dedication to duty sometimes forces a change in life's direction, Omarama's fire service leaders say.
The role of FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer has changed hands.
Terry Walsh has stepped down and is leaving the fire brigade.
Deputy chief fire officer Greg Harper has been appointed as Omarama’s new fire chief.
The ceremonial handover of helmets will take place shortly, almost exactly three action-packed years since Terry took over the job from Howard Williams.
During this time, he has overseen the introduction of the new amalgamated Fire and Emergency New Zealand and fundamental changes to the way the fire brigade's first response and St John co-ordinate their roles.
“I’m really, really proud of that” - the way the crews worked through that trial process and now all work in together, Terry said.
The Omarama brigade led the way in that process and its procedures have been adopted by services throughout New Zealand, he said.
Terry joined the fire service in Clyde, in 2002.
Being appointed fire chief of the Omarama brigade  had been the highlight of that career and "the personal growth that came with that".
And watching brigade members “train and grow themselves”.
On a more personal note, a high point was marching in Omarama’s Anzac parade led by daughter Dani, who is in the navy, he said.
Terry is taking a break to concentrate on family with the children now living in Dunedin, Oamaru, Christchurch and Auckland.
And for his own personal well-being.
The past year has been a difficult one.
Terry’s “best mate”, who was in the Clyde Volunteer Fire Brigade, died by suicide last year.
Plus, he has been “on the front line” for quite a few incidents which have been "a struggle”.
 “Being in an executive position means also being legally bound to be responsible for the well-being and welfare of the brigade members, which is added pressure.
“I would like to think that at some stage I might come back but it would be to a lesser rank in another few years.
“[Joining the brigade] It’s something I really do encourage people to give a go.
“What you get out of it is pretty amazing.
“We’re a family.”
Terry says he owes much to the support of wife Michelle and the children.
As well, he wanted to acknowledge the support and understanding of his customers and staff.
He and Michelle own Mobil Omarama and Twizel.
“Quite a few times I have had to leave a job and they have been understanding, it shows just how strong our community is.”
He plans to “still be heavily involved” in community affairs.
The fire chief role has passed on to experienced hands.
Greg Harper, who with wife Adrienne, moved to Omarama in 2017, is a plumber for Hiflo Waitaki and has been deputy chief fire officer for the past 18 months.
 "Terry’s been a bloody good support.
“It’s a solid wee brigade, close-knit, it’s important to be a close team especially when the going gets tough.”
Terry’s contribution had been “tremendous”.
“This brigade is seen as a leader in the integration of rural and urban brigades.
“I hope that continues.”
Greg first joined the fire service in Temuka in 1982 and later, after moving to Oamaru, he joined the brigade there.
He laughs and says, if they were being honest most fire-fighters would say they are drawn to the job because they are borderline pyromaniacs. 
However, it was also a great way to get to meet people, he said.
He “took a 16-year sabbatical” in the mid-80s to early 2002 because, like Terry, it was a time when his family needed him more.
Once the family were grown and the business established he returned to the front line.
While at the Oamaru Fire Brigade he served under fire chief Gary Gibson  and later Steve Couper.
Omarama received “far fewer” calls than Oamaru, but the proportion of ‘medical turnouts” was greater, he said.
To “be a point of calm in turmoil” was vital in the role, Greg said.
The Omarama brigade was in “good heart”.
“But more active firefighters would be good.”
No-one could do the job forever and it was important to think ahead, Greg said.
 “There are many future leaders in the brigade I would like to mentor through before I finish.”
Thoroughfare closes temporarily
The informal walkway from Park Lane to TA Munro Lane is to close for 10 weeks while the new Park Lane subdivision is under construction.
Work to develop the subdivision will begin this month.
Spokesperson for the developers, Marty Veitch, said the work, which is being completed by contractors Fulton Hogan, is scheduled to start  on July 15.
" We are going to put in a right-of-way, alley-way, and subdivide the existing paddock into eight residential sections. 
"The site will be completely closed for approximately 10 weeks and therefore access from Park Lane through the paddock to T A Munro Lane will be closed while it is under construction.
"Once the development is complete there will be pedestrian access through to T A Munro Lane via the right of way and a short alleyway, so the kids will still be able to get through there instead of walking around the main road to get to school." 
The site needed to be closed during construction for safety reasons, Mr Veitch said.
Long-time advocate for Ahuriri stands down
To look at him you’d never guess they call him "the Rottweiler". 
“Ooh, you better not put that bit in …but that’s what they call me, down there…it’s ‘cause I won’t ever let things go.” 
'Down there' is the Waitaki District Council chambers and offices in Oamaru.
Otematata's Graham Sullivan sees it as a complement, and he’s laughing. 
The 82-year-old Ahuriri Community Board chairman has not been letting matters go for the past 12 years. 
But come the October local body elections the Ahuriri Ward will lose this committed community advocate as Graham steps down from the role to spend a little more time actively retired. 
He was 70 years young when he was first elected to the board. 
At the time he lived in Waimate but spent as much, if not more, time in Otematata.
He and his wife Shirley bought their Otematata crib about 40 years ago, 10 years after first making the trip up the valley with their caravan to Omarama for holidays. 
About a year ago Graham took up permanent residence in that same crib. 
Shirley died nine years ago. Until then the couple worked as a team, both firm supporters of their adopted community, he said. 
Graham discovered governance was his "forte" when he worked at the Pareora Freezing works and became chairman of its sick benefit society.
He was also president of the Waimate Pipe Band for 25 years and has been patron since. 
When the Otematata Residents’ Association was set up about 25 years ago, he was there. 
“That’s when I got really involved, I could see the potential in the valley. 
“This has been my passion, I’ve seen things happen, we’ve worked hard to get to where we are.”
He uses those words "we" and "team" a lot.
It was the search for a building to use as a community centre – the Otematata Lakes Centre - that really galvanised him into action. 
Graham was treasurer of the association for 15 years – the building was purchased 14 years ago.
"I got really involved in that, right from that start… from there I became a politician.
“We wanted a centre.”
The association had tried to buy the old school buildings but that fell through. 
So when the former Electricorp Building, which was in private hands, came on the market they needed to move fast. 
“Four of us [committee members] - probably underhand - talked the council into buying it [the building].” 
Alan McLay was mayor at the time. 
“Within about a fortnight we had it all sewn up.” 
There was resistance, quite a degree of opposition, in fact.
It was partly to do with the cost but also “people didn’t want change".
But it had proved its worth, he said. 
In fact, he considers whenever there has been friction it has been largely because people are generally resistant to change.
And there had been significant change “right up the valley” as the area continued to grow and develop. 
“It has been great, there have been great people to work with.” 
He has worked with  three councillors; Struan Munro, Craig Dawson and June Slee, two mayors; Alec Familton and Gary Kircher, and two chief executives; Michael Ross and Fergus Power. 
“The board have worked as a team, I’ve got on well with the staff and councillors.” 
“The staff have said how much they enjoy coming to our meetings. 
“It’s been a team effort. 
“I’m really proud now of the whole valley, really proud, the way the whole valley – Kurow, Otematata, Omarama and Ohau, how they’ve all grown. 
“We’ve had our moments, but we’ve kept at it.” 
He was most proud of the development of the Otematata Wetlands Walkway, the way subsequent generations of volunteers were now buying into the project and the way it had become a legacy for the future.
“I’m really proud of that and the people that are looking after it now. 
The vision that began as a germ of an idea in an overgrown "no-mans-land" had developed into a draw-card for residents and visitors alike, with more developments planned. 
“I don’t know what came over me – where the idea came from, I remember walking down there [ to what was a former Benmore Dam construction site] with Dave Dransfield.  
“We had to push our way through it [the thick brambles and bracken covering the ponds along the lakeside].
“It’s been a dream and it will last for ever.” 
Graham was also part of the fight to keep the Waitaki Lakes Camping grounds council-owned. 
“We could have lost them, but we got the [councillor’s] votes.”
It has preserved for Waitaki the traditional camping holidays Kiwis value, he said. 
Some things were hard, he said. 
Of the 10 Waitaki District councillors, six represented the Oamaru ward,  Corriedale had two and Waihemo and Ahuriri had one each. 
It meant voting often went the way of the urban ward and that was “hard for the farming community”, he said. 
Although, the Ahuriri ward made up 60% of the land area of the Waitaki district, it had the smallest resident population, yet it was not the smallest in terms of the actual number of the dwellings, and the population grew considerably during holiday periods, he said. 
Over the years he hoped that he had done his best to represent the community’s wishes – “within reason”.
“You’ve got to debate it, you’ve got to be passionate about what you are doing.” 
Organised tours of the district for councillors and board members had been an eye-opener to the reality of what was actually involved in running the district as a whole. 
“You advocate for your community…but you can’t be greedy.” 
Although, Graham plans to do some travelling  he still wants to stay involved in valley affairs but it was important for now to stand back, he said.
“I’ve done my turn.”
Ahuriri Board member Tony Chapman has also signalled he will stand down at the end of this term.
Ahuriri Ward councillor  Craig Dawson has confirmed he is not seeking re-election and Queenstown Lakes district councillor Ross McRobie, who is moving to Otematata, has said he intends to stand as councillor for the ward. 
Elections are held for mayor, one councillor to represent the Ahuriri Ward, which from this election includes Duntroon, and five members of the Ahuriri Community Board. 
Nominations open on 19 July and close on 16 August.
Voting will close at noon on 12 October.
More details can be found on the Elections page of council’s website. 
Chelsea Flower Show inspires
If there's something that must be on every keen gardener's bucket list it has to be a trip to the Chelsea Flower Show, in London.
It certainly was on the list for  Omarama’s Lorraine King, who has just returned home from what is arguably the most prestigious garden show on earth. 
She returned with not only 4000 photos and a box chokka with booklets, pamphlets and flyers but the New Zealand Customs Service also allowed her to bring in several packets of unusual seeds. 
The trip of a lifetime was a gift from daughter Monique who is working in London at present. 
“I never dreamed of getting there, she made it possible.” 
Husband Michael “was not allowed to come” instead he was packed off to Twickenham and the rugby museum. 
By lucky coincidence the London round of the World Rugby Sevens was on to keep him entertained while Monique and Lorraine enjoyed the show. 
The flower show  - its Great Pavilion spread out over roughly 11,775 square metres of the grounds of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea - attracts more than 165,000 visitors from around the world for the five days it is open in May each year. 
The hospital is a retirement and nursing home for some 300 veterans of the British Army.
And Lorraine said the display she found most poignant was not part of the show itself  but set-up in the grounds of the hospital – it was a garden created to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings
The theme of the show was 'back to nature' - natural and wild plantings -  and rekindling those childhood memories of outdoor play. 
There was a major focus on attracting wildlife to gardens, especially bees, and creating and preserving wildlife paths and crossings through a landscape, she said. 
And the role community gardens played was given prominence.
The ‘bee-arch’ Per Oculus Apum (Through the Eyes of Bees) - a mass display of yellow and blue flowers which attract bees also attracted hundreds of visitors who posed there for photos, she said.
Another exhibit featured a  display of wildflowers and grasses gathered from what was growing in hedgerows that month and hung  in test tubes from the ceiling – Come What May – It was “awe-inspiring”.
This year, there was a special commemorative display of roses in memory of rosarian David Austin, who died in December.
Overall, and as part of strengthening its links with Britain's National Health Service,  the Royal Horticultural Society, who run Chelsea, wanted to promote gardening as good for both physical and emotional well-being, Lorraine said.
Chelsea also features exhibitions from the best nurseries throughout  Britain and around the world.
Those stands in the Pavilion featured row-on-row of blooms with far more varieties than you could ever find in New Zealand because of our strict bio-security rules. 
“[Varieties of] daffodils, clematis, irises …the alliums were striking, the irises just glowed.” 
One of the measures organisers employed to keep the crowds moving through the exhibits was to limit seating, apart from in the food and trade areas.
Lorraine said, although she was forced to stop for a breather at one point, it was not for long because she did not want to miss a thing.
The eateries and popular 'gin gardens' were "upmarket" and “very polished”.
The creativity on display really struck her - the crafts, metal work, the driftwood sculptures and lighting options
The display gardens were unpretentious and not out of an ordinary gardener's reach.
As a favourite, Lorraine singled out the ‘Welcome to Yorkshire Garden’  which was not only a gold medal winner but also won people’s choice. The garden featured a towpath running next to a perennial meadow beside canal lock gates.
 “They were all beautiful.” 
The take home message was "you, too, can have a garden like that if you spend some time in it".
"All it takes is time." 
 And spending time in the garden or outdoors was good for you.
That message was probably more relevant to those who lived in a city like London because they lacked access to the outdoors whereas in New Zealand all we need do is "go out the back door".
"We have our backyards. 
"[But] it doesn’t take much space to make something beautiful.
"It's a matter of working with nature and not against nature, in your own back yard."
Lorraine said if anyone was thinking of going to Chelsea or any other of the British garden shows it paid to become a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and the National Trust because of the access and discounts these memberships give you.
First Glimpse of new concepts
New concept plans and discussion documents drawn up for Omarama and Otematata are about to be put out  for public feedback.
How that will be done was discussed at yesterday's meeting of the Waitaki District Council District Plan Review Committee. (Tuesday, July 2, 2019)
Three concepts each for Omarama and Otematata, designed to deal with the projected growth of the towns, were included in the agenda documents for the meeting, published on the council website.
The plans were drawn up from ideas generated at the visioning sessions held in the towns last year and from feedback from the drop-in sessions held in January and February.
Omarama School pupils also contributed ideas to the Omarama plans.
For Omarama, the four “guiding principles” used as a basis for the concepts are: 
🔹That there is a need for more housing choice; 
🔹 That residents want “sensitive” growth, for Omarama to develop as a sustainable community, and that it be a “showcase for eco-design”; 
🔹That traffic congestion in the town centre is addressed, and the provision of safe pedestrian and cycle ways be made a priority; 
🔹 That generally the “urban environment” be improved to be safer and more attractive with better public facilities for residents and visitors alike.
Each of the three concepts for Omarama identify that improvements need to be made at the junction of SH8 and SH83.
As well,
🔸Option 1 involves improving the status quo through “streetscape” developments and better traffic flow.
🔸Option 2 adds a new road connecting Airport Rd with SH83
It also introduces a “retail enclave” - a shopping and café area between Boots and Jandals Hotel and Merino Country Café and Gifts, with access from SH83.
Plus, it proposes the i-Site be moved to the shopping area next to the public toilets.
And, it introduces zones for “eco-housing” development and an “adventure and activity zone”.
🔸Option 3 involves the creation of an additional retail area on land owned by Environment Canterbury at present, on SH83, known as “Rabbit Board Land”. 
This option also proposes a significant land area north of the Community Centre and Hall be set aside for the development of a visitor attraction and visitor accommodation.
In her report to the meeting, council resource management planner Katrina Clark asked that the district plan committee ask the council to decide at its meeting on July 30 to put the plans for both towns out to the community for consultation for one month from August 5.
As part of this process the concept plan options along with ways people can give their feedback will be on the council’s website and in hard copy at various locations in the townships.
Public workshops will be held in the towns at the end of August.
The workshops will be run by Sandra McIntyre of Schema Consultants, who facilitated last year’s town visioning sessions.
The feedback from these workshops will be used to develop one single preferred option for each town which will then be put to the Ahuriri Community Board ahead of the final plans going to the new council for approval at its meeting in February.
It will then feed into the District Plan process.
You can read the full report and view the ideas for both towns here 

The community workshops will be in Otematata from 10am to 12 noon, Saturday, August 24, and Omarama from 10am to 12pm, Sunday, August 25.

Graphics: Waitaki District Council
Below: from page 21 of the report - Information taken from Understanding Data profile for Omarama 2019.
This information is based on 2013 with projections for 2018. (Waitaki District Council)
John and Sharon - 50 golden years
When you ask John and Sharon Rogers what it is like to reach the milestone of a Golden wedding anniversary they say, one day just follows another and time has flown by.
This year it was a quiet occasion, with no special celebrations planned, in fact John had to remind Sharon what day it was. Indications are John may yet have a plan up his sleeve which he is saving for just the right moment.
"He's just an old romantic'," Sharon said.
Much has changed since that sunny day in the valley 50 years ago.
John and Sharon were married June 11, 1969 at the Otematata Church.
The church building was later moved to Twizel.
It was a Wednesday, because it had to fit in with the minister’s schedule, Sharon said. Mr Day would travel  up to Otematata on set days from his parish in Duntroon.
Sharon’s sister Pam was bridesmaid and friend Dick Roberts was best man.
Sharon wore her Aunt Molly’s dress – white satin and lace - and the bouquets featured pink rosebuds.
The couple met in Omarama when John was worked for the Rabbit Board and Sharon worked at the shop – Des and Lesley Paulson owned the shop at the time.
"Half of the Otematata school showed up" to get a glimpse of the wedding party.
The couple honeymooned on the West Coast and there was no escaping the traditional high jinks.
Friend Graeme Cowie popped camphor onto the engine.
“It stunk.”
Though that was nothing compared with some of the smellier traditions of the day - like sardines on the engine.
However, some things don't change all that much, like the West Coast winter weather.
 “I’ve never seen so much rain in my whole life," Sharon said.
“Coming home it was dark and snowing [across the Lindis]. It was deep.”
The Lindis Pass Rd was a gravel road back then.
Sharon remembered wondering if they would make it home and planning for what they might do should they get stuck. But they made it through.
Once married John took up a job as a technician at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Research Station at Tara Hills.
The job came with a “wee house”, a converted laboratory.
The couple have lived in Omarama all of their married lives and raised three sons Philip, Jason and Aaron.
Photo below: Sharon and that 'old romantic',
'John-Boy' Rogers, look through their wedding photos and reminisce. 

Fundraising for third teacher underway

Fundraising to pay for a third teacher for Omarama School is about to receive a significant push with an upcoming 'Art for education auction and dinner'. 
The event is being run as a joint effort by the Omarama School Board of Trustees and Friends of the School.
Board of Trustees chairperson David Anderson said parents and supporters wanted to raise enough money so that when the search began for a third teacher the funding would be in place to make up any Ministry shortfall.
The Ministry of Education threshold for funding three teachers is 51 pupils .
A third teacher, Shona Denton, was employed in the last term of 2018 because the roll reached 52 pupils.
However, because the roll dipped to 47 at the beginning of 2019 the school only qualified for Ministry of Education funding for two teachers.
Senior room teacher Peter Schasching left at the end of 2018 and Mrs Denton took his place.
There are 43 pupils on the roll at present.

See below to find out more about next month’s ‘Art for education auction and dinner’.
The Noticeboard
To have your community notice included here email:
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots' Association will hold their mid-winter fly-in at the Omarama Airfield from Friday, July 12.
The Omarama Community Library is open 9am to 10am  Wednesdays and Saturdays, at the Omarama Community Centre. Library hours can change.
Contact Yvonne: 027 476 7473.

The Omarama Golf Club  Saturdays tee-off 12.30pm.  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 on Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 noon at its flying ground at the Omarama airfield. All welcome - Contact Don Selbie on 027 435 5516.

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. 
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 Omarama Gazette
please contact Ruth Grundy, 021 294 8002 or email
and I will do my very best to put it right.

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

To receive email alerts between monthly editions of the Omarama Gazette sign up to our 'Local List'.
and put 'Local List' in the subject line.
The August issue of the Omarama Gazette
is Wednesday, August 7, 2019.
Please submit copy
by Friday, August 2.
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
Upper Waitaki Police News
The Otematata Golf Club will be a collection point for the hand-in of firearms as part of the amnesty and buyback planned following the gun law changes made after the Christchurch terror attack.
Of the 192 collection events throughout New Zealand police will hold two in Otematata next month.
About 25 events are planned for Otago and Southland, some to be held over two days.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said the police wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to hand-in their firearms.
He wanted to assure the public the events were well-planned with appropriate safety measures in place, so the hand over could take place efficiently.
Amendments to the Arms Act mean some semi-automatic firearms and pump action shotguns are now banned, along with certain capacity magazines, with limited exemptions.
There are also controls on who can own parts of prohibited firearms.
The police website would be regularly updated. It also had all the information people needed to prepare to attend a collection event.
"Most importantly, remember to complete the online notification form," he said.
 “It’s police preference that firearm owner’s hand-in firearms at these collection events.
 “However, we also want to make it as easy as possible for people to hand-in a firearm if they can’t make it to a collection event.
"Please check the  website for other options."
A list of retailer and dealers, who will be able to collect firearms on the police’s behalf, would be announced in coming weeks.

Waitaki District collection events
10am to 2pm, August 2, Otematata Golf Club. 
10am to 2pm, August 10, Otematata Golf Club. 
10am to 2pm, August 3 and 4, Oamaru Racecourse Pukeuri-Oamaru Road, Oamaru.
10am to 2pm, August 9, Oamaru Racecourse Pukeuri-Oamaru Road, Oamaru.
10am to 2pm, July 26, Palmerston Sports Hall, 33 Gilligan Street, Palmerston.
10am to 2pm,  August 11, Palmerston Sports Hall, 33 Gilligan Street, Palmerston.

The amnesty closes on December 20.
Details of all collection events can be found here 
Omarama's Emergency Services 
FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade meets 7pm each Wednesday and has its meeting at 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of the month. 

The Omarama Emergency Services mid-winter Christmas function was held at the fire station, last month.
The group of about 30 enjoyed a relaxing evening by the fire, with mulled wine, a mid-winter  Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, great conversation and a chance to put their feet up and watch the rugby, uninterrupted by the siren.
Photo below: Adrienne Harper
Omarama Golf Club
By Christine Bowman. Photos: supplied.
A big congratulations to our Intermediate men’s Inter-club team who had another win away against Kurow. The team has now reached the semi-finals and will play  North Otago at Lower Waitaki on July 6.  We wish them all the best. 
As per the pictures below, we have started one of our winter projects.  Number 2 green is being redeveloped. 
This involves laying  new dirt over the old green and moulding the new shape, which will be a two-tiered type green. We currently have a temporary green beside the old green, which is creating putting challenges and many laughs as the ball bumps along anywhere!!!! A big thanks to Adrian Tuffley, Peter Trusler and Ant Ford for their work on the project to date. 
We continue to have good player numbers over winter enjoying the random bouncing of the balls as they hit the frozen ground. So feel free to come join us Saturday 12.30 tee off. 
Boots and Jandals Omarama Hotel Social Club

Social function - BYO Pot luck tea and mulled wine night
Saturday, July 20 – 7pm to 7.30 pm start time 
A social evening will be held for social club members on the above date at Boots and Jandals Hotel.
Please note, it is a BYO pot luck tea (main course only) and fun prizes will be awarded in various categories for the best dish. So, looking forward to sampling some amazing cooking.
There will be one complimentary glass of mulled wine per social club member, if you would like a second glass or more the cost will be $5.00 per glass.
As well, the theme for the evening is a 70s and 80s night, fancy dress is not required, but a fun prize will be awarded for the best hat or garment worn from that period.
So, hope to see you all there and if it is anything like the games evening a great night will be had by all.

Should you require further information on the above function,
please contact: Philip Jannink 027 410 6524
Last month's social sports evening  for social club members proved to be a huge success .
Members were placed in teams of four to compete in a variety of games - pool, indoor lawn bowls etc. Prizes were awarded and a barbecue meal shared.

Photo: supplied
Omarama Residents' Association
From the July meeting...
There were 16 people present.
In Ann Patterson’s absence the meeting was chaired by Tony Chapman.
On behalf of the association, Tony welcomed Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher to the meeting 
The Omarama Sports Courts project planning matters are progressing, building convenor Hank Verheul reported. The outline plan has been submitted to the council and approved May 27.  Contractor Kevin Grant will organize quote in the next couple of weeks and the team is looking at September start.

Hank reported that although there were still issues with the drinking fountain and leaking pipes in the playground  some of the repair work involved may be put on hold to coincide with the building work and installation of the new toilet, and only necessary “patch-up” work done in the meantime.
Tourism Waitaki has asked for two members from the Omarama community to be part of a committee it is forming which will advise the council-controlled organisation on tourism matters specific to communities in the Waitaki Valley. The association agreed to ask Jan Thomas and Kay Verheul to be part of this. Each of the valley towns will contribute to this.
A public workshop, similar to the town visioning session held last March and led by the same facilitator, will be held in Omarama from 10am to 12noon, Sunday August 25, to discuss three options for an Omarama town masterplan. Those attending will be able to discuss the ideas put forward and have their say on what they prefer.
NZTA to remove some willows at Sailors Cutting. Tony, who is also an Ahuriri Community Board member, told the group the New Zealand Transport Agency plans to remove some willow trees alongside the A2O trail at the boat ramp at Sailors Cutting because they are deemed a hazard under the power lines.
Otematata resident Ross McRobie, who is at present Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Wanaka ward councillor, told the association he has officially launched his bid to stand for the Ahuriri ward in Waitaki in the upcoming local body elections, in October. Present Ahuriri Ward councillor Craig Dawson will not stand and has nominated Ross as a candidate. Nominations officially open July 19. Ross said he hoped to regularly attend  the association's meetings and to be able to advocate for the small towns while representing the ward as a whole.
Mayor Gary told the group, although it had taken him a while, he decided to make a surprise visit and attend the meeting because he wanted to fulfill a promise made to Ann last year. He urged people to consider standing in the upcoming elections. Tony was standing down from the Ahuriri Community board, there were going to be "two or three vacancies there" and it would be good to still have Omarama represented, he said. 
Get together. It was agreed the July meeting should be postponed because many would be away. However, two meetings could be held in August. The first, in early August, is to include an  informal get-together – details to be arranged – and so would start at the earlier time of 7pm.
Could all those who want 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, Omarama 9448. The association's email address is

The next meeting of the Omarama Residents' Association will be
7.00 pm, Thursday, August 8, at the Omarama Community Centre.
All are welcome

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 Newfield, 027 940 1648,
or email
Keys and fobs are collected from Charlotte

Omarama Community Library

The Omarama Community Library  is open  
9am to 10am,  Wednesdays and Saturdays,
 at the Omarama Community Centre.
Contact: Yvonne Jones 027 476 7473.
Omarama Rodeo Club

The Omarama Rodeo Club held its annual meeting last month.
The following were elected as office bearers for the year ahead: president Jamie Brice, vice-president David Hoffman, secretary Marcia Green, treasurer Wendy Parsons.  Planning is underway for the Hillbilly Hunt which will raise funds for this year's event. (See poster below)
Omarama School
Winter Sports Day at Duntroon

"On 14 June the year 4-8 students went to Duntroon school for a day of winter sports.  
The year 7-8 students were able to participate in four sports, taekwondo, touch, soccer and hockey. 
Winter sports gave us the opportunities to see if we liked different sports.   
The year 4-6 students got to have a choice of four sports out of a possible six.  These were basketball, netball, volleyball, rugby, orienteering or  ki o rahi. 
Many of these activities were run by students from Waitaki Boys and Girls High School.  
Overall winter sports day was a great opportunity to make new friends and catch up with old friends as well as play fun sports.
Special thank-you to the teachers, Mrs McKenzie, Mrs Denton, Pene Radford and Kim and Mike Doree for driving us there and back.
Thanks also to Duntroon School for organising and hosting the day."

Taylor and Eliza.

"We had great fun at Duntroon sports day.
"We played games like netball, paper scissors rock, and ki o rahi.

My favourite game was  ki o rahi and Jack Doree’s was rugby.
Jack and I are looking forward to teaching our room ki o rahi.
 Maggie Radford, Year 4.

The Omarama School Board of Trustees elections closed May 24. We did not exceed the number of vacant positions therefore there was no voting process required. 
We would like to welcome Micheal Doree ( parent representative), Judy Piner, Shona Denton (staff representative) and David (Gundy) Anderson (chairperson) , to the Omarama School Board of Trustees.
Congratulations on your appointment.
We would also like to thank Jan Thomas, James Kerr and Kristine Lindsay for their support and dedication over the past three to six years.
-  Kim McKenzie, Principal.

Extra note: There will be no formal end-of-term assembly because of illness.  

Below: Valued staff member Lexie demonstrates how best to keep calm under pressure while keeping across all developments throughout the school day. Photo: supplied
‘The Community Reports' is
dedicated to news
from clubs, groups and sports teams.

Contributions are welcome 
Waitaki District Council - news in brief
The council’s District Plan Review website is now ‘live’ and its discussion document is available for viewing online and at Waitaki district libraries and council offices. A district plan lays out the rules by which land is managed and developed. The council wants people to have their say about the ideas and issues presented in the discussion document and will be receiving feedback until August 5.  The discussion document has been produced so the council can check it is “on the right track” before proceeding further. A draft District Plan is scheduled for release in 2020.

The Omarama Community Den. In a report to the council's assets committee meeting yesterday(Tuesday, July 2), officers stated that they were unable to verify that the council inherited ownership of this building. The next step will be to advertise the building and land to ask if there is anyone who can prove ownership, or who wishes to use the building for recreational purposes, which is a requirement of the Reserves Act.The present leesee and the Aorangi Hang Gliding club have indicated they are interested in the building.
The first round of consultation on changes to speed limits on some roads in the district has ended. The speed limit change from 100kph to 80kph recommended for Lake Ohau Rd, from the point at which the A2O trail emerges on to the road to Lake Ohau Station, received 17 submissions. According to the documentation presented to the council’s assets committee meeting, yesterday, 76% of respondents were in favour and 24% were against the change. There is to be a second round of consultation before decisions are finalised.
A restoration plan for the Benmore Islands.
In a report to the council’s Heritage, Environment and Regulatory Committee meeting, yesterday,  Heritage, Environment and Regulatory group acting manager Roger Cook states Land Information New Zealand consulting ecologists are preparing a restoration plan for the islands with the help of information provided from the council’s District Plan Review Significant Natural Areas programme.  The plan is being developed because of the Ahuriri Community Board's feedback to Land Information New Zealand on its decision to remove wilding conifer species from the islands.
The council wants people to consider standing in the upcoming elections, and says it wants to encourage a diverse range of nominations from across all demographics - ethnicity, age, gender and life experience. In March, an amendment made to the Local Government Act means council chief executives are required to encourage representative participation in the electoral process. A candidate’s handbook is available for those intending to stand, and staff can  help with advice about expenses, how to stand, and campaigning rules. Nominations open on July 19 and close on August 16. Voting will close at noon on 12 October. More details can be found on the Elections page of council’s website 

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

E-mail​: ​​​​​
The next Ahuriri Community Board meeting is
3.15pm to 5.15pm, Monday, July 8,
at the Kurow Memorial Hall. 

Minutes and agendas can be found here
Environment Canterbury - news in brief
ECan is hosting candidates’ information evenings in July in Christchurch and Timaru for those who may want to stand in the upcoming election and want to find out more about the role. Information, including a candidate handbook and a pre-election report, has been provided on the website.
An independent report into the way Resource Management Act plans that apply in the Mackenzie and Ohau/Omarama basins – across the Mackenzie and Waitaki districts - deal with key issues has been released. The five government agencies with statutory environmental responsibilities in the region are ECan, Waitaki and Mackenzie district councils, the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand, and their representatives make up the Mackenzie Basin Agency Alignment group.
The group commissioned the Boffa Miskell report and its chairperson Nadeine Dommisse, of ECan, said it was reassuring to learn from independent assessment that the agencies had a sound planning framework to build on. The 180-page report report reviewed how current plans deal with four key topics – biodiversity, outstanding natural landscapes, land use change and water quality. It identifies areas where the plans show significant alignment, and where they are not so well aligned or where there are gaps in the planning framework. Read more here and in this Stuff article here
ECan rates and charges have been set for the new rating year.
The adopted Annual Plan for June 2019-20 has a rates increase of 10.5%, equivalent to around $33 per year for an urban Christchurch property valued at $570k, in order to increase spending on freshwater management and biodiversity, and improvements in public transport. Read the documents here
ECan want farmers to check the management of stock on winter feed blocks and to make plans for if the weather is worse than expected. Livestock, particularly cattle, can cause soil damage and contribute to soil loss in wet conditions. Heavily pugged soils can take years to recover before an area is back to its full productive potential, it says. ECan calculates more than 50 tonnes per ha of soil can be lost from imperfectly drained soils and steeper slopes. Read more, and about some tips for management here
Joint meeting of the Upper and Lower Waitaki water zone committees. 
Wednesday, June 19, at the Waihao Marae.

A Ngāi Tahu-driven ‘cultural mapping’ project has made considerable progress since its inception and some of its work has  recently garnered official acknowledgement, members of ECan’s Waitaki water zone committees were told at their meeting, last month.
About 40 guests were welcomed onto the Waihao Marae for the joint meeting of the committees.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Geospatial Technician Sean Bragg, assisted by kaumātua, gave a presentation about the mapping work underway by Ngāi Tahu / Kāi Tahu
The project - Kā Huru Manu - aims to create an ‘atlas’  which will acknowledge, record and map South Island Maori place names and the cultural traditions and stories behind them.
The presentation used as an example the work completed on the Waitaki, from Wainono to the upper reaches of the river valley, and Ōhau, and paid tribute to the contribution of the late Kelly Davis, of Waihao. Mr Davis was a passionate advocate for the protection of Ngāi Tahu customary rights.
The project was initially instigated at a hui in 2007.
Since then more than 5,000 place names have been mapped and fully referenced from whānau manuscripts, published books, 19th century maps, newspaper articles and a vast array of unpublished material, according to the website
Apart from collecting and recording the oral histories a significant part of the project has involved digitising relevant maps and material, Mr Bragg said.
Some place names and stories have not been publicly recorded because they remain tapu.
As well, some places had more than one name, or the different dialects in use meant there were slightly different spellings, he said.
Place names along the Waitaki River tended to reflect the main purpose of the old trails which was to gather food, or were a record of  an incident which may have happened there, he said.
The damming of the Waitaki for hydroelectricity did lead to flooding of a significant number of cultural sites.
Upper Waitaki zone committee chairman Simon Cameron told of one such site which he was taken to when a boy - caverns now under water – which had left him with a vivid memory of their striking artwork - an example of Māori tuhituhi o neherā rock art .
More names and sites are being added to the atlas over time.
The significance of the work received official acknowledgement recently when New Zealand’s national place-naming authority, the New Zealand Geographic Board, made more than 800 Maori place names official, including authorising 16 dual place names in Fiordland.
The next meeting of  Environment Canterbury's 
Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee is 

Friday, July 19, 2019 
at the Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel
All are welcome

Minutes and agendas are posted at:
The Directory


business card
would look great
right here!


phone 021 294 8002 or email
The Last Page is Classifieds 

To advertise in this section please email
Accommodation wanted
I have just accepted a new job in the area
and will be moving to the district the week beginning July 8.
I have a cat and a very small house-trained dog.
Please get in touch if you have something
or may know of something available. Many thanks!!

Nicky Blanchard 027 629 8777
Trailer for sale

7x4 car trailer
Galvanised, crate included
WOF and rego included

Phone Maurice Cowie, 03 438 9714
St Thomas Church, Omarama 
Because of unforeseen circumstances the Annual General Meeting of the St Thomas  faith community, normally held this time of the year, is postponed until further notice.
Rev Ken Light 
Mackenzie Basin Wilding Tree Trust

Notice of Annual Meeting of the Trust to be held on
Thursday August 8, 2019 at 10:30 am
In the Twizel Events Centre, Market Place, Twizel

  1. Receive and consider the Annual Report and activities for the year ended 31 March 2019.
  2. Receive, consider and adopt the Financial report for the year ended 361 March 2019.
  3. Report on the business plan for the current year.
  4. Consider any resolution which may properly be submitted to the Annual Meeting.
Such notice of resolution must be given in writing to the Secretary of the Board no later than 24 July 2019.
B R Cowan
The Weather that Was - June 2019 
The Garden Diary

It’s mid-summer on the other side of the world. They’re in the midst of a heatwave, planning picnics and days at the seaside. Here we revel in cosiness, warm fires, hot soup, and rug up for brisk walks in frosty-catch-your-misty-breath landscapes. We grizzle about cold. And we dream of next summer.
Inspiring times. Bulb catalogues, rose catalogues, seed catalogues arrive through the post. Visions of swathes of flowering borders colour those other posts I subscribe to. I get to peek through cyber space at northern hemisphere garden plots between advertising posts for swimsuits, shorts and sandals. Envy, mostly, as I haul on the layers.
Why Chelsea on my mind?
Right now, in that alternate hemisphere scores of gardeners are spending their summer months visiting the greatest of gardening shows and returning home with lists and lists, and plans of planting dreams and schemes. All to try to emulate at home that snapshot in time that sparked joy, created by grand designers for their chance at a world-class prize.
Even the wildest of gardens are not strictly natural – the hand of the gardener is there. But some compositions are happily accidental. Like groupies, bright forget-me-nots will crowd around hosta blue elephant ears before moving on to a different star and gig.
Looking out across our humble wee patch, brown, dead and gripped by frost, I mull over the past year as the new season stretches out ahead and think, between the weeds and the work, what were the moments that made it all worthwhile?
A true high-country winter dictates elegant simplicity. A single leathery, dark green shoot forces its way up through leaf litter beside the evergreen, wine-veined leaves of Tiarella cordifolia and unfolds. Dusky, Paris-pink hellebore petals unfurl from dark-wine to bloom under the bunny-fur buds of Magnolia stellata, its lipstick petals still wrapped warmly against the cold, waiting for spring.
By mid-August I, too, am hanging out for those first signs and snowdrops - their bright whiteness blankets the ground under the silver birches just as white Chaenomeles japonica bursts into blossom on bare twigs.
Come November, and I’m spoilt for choice, surrounded by painterly compositions, between the weeds and work! There’s a princess pink peony juggling for space in the spotlight with a mulberry verbascum and dark as death geranium phaeum (Mourning Widow) .
The euphorbias in shades from lemon to burnt orange pop-up everywhere, most often beside their kindred day-lily, lemon with lemon, orange with rusty red. How do they know to do that?
The old-fashioned woodruff, Galium odoratum, with its tiny starry flowers held above its sunburst lime-green leaves, runs amok under the daisy, Anthemis tinctoria 'Sauce Hollandaise', and later Rosa 'Evelyn'. Last year, Rudbeckia 'Indian Summer' and a simple, single lemon chrysanthemum joined them. 
One absolute favourite combo was a feathery pink Monarda (Bee Balm) – proudly grown from seed -  and crimson pincushions of Knautia macedonica which it lifts above dusky, notched leaves, and a Cab-Sav-coloured scabious surrounding an unnamed  gaudy cactus dahlia, it’s starry petals all the colours of the sunset. But the heat-loving dahlia succumbed to the cold, despite lifting and carefully storing - so change is inevitable.
And here’s a combination that was a magnet to bees, butterflies and other garden visitors from early summer to late autumn -  A dark purple monarda, an Agastache foeniculum (Anise Hyssop), a rusty orange yarrow, Verbena bonariensis,  Geum 'Mrs Bradshaw',  and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. I want to plonk an echinacea in there too.
An idea caught online I’m itching to try is; a purple-leafed heuchera, Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’, black-eyed Geranium ‘ Ann Folkard’, and  my Schiaparelli pink lychnis.
Yep, there’s no weaning me off bright colours… or dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.
Now, where to find the seeds for Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ ?

Ruth Grundy
(I garden a small space under a big sky in Omarama)
The View from the Chook House
...can't wait until it warms up and puts 
an end to all her lame frozen chicken jokes!
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016-2019, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.

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