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Omarama Gazette
July 2020

The July Issue

New school principal a familiar face.
Oasis providing what visitors need to know.
Council Covid-19 support and stimulus fund almost good to go
Church lease negotiations underway
Community Board moves with the times
Decision on gliding operations imminent
Fine wool shearing event cancelled, plans made for 2021
Thank you
A note from Frank

Regular Features

The Noticeboard 
The Community Reports
Waitaki District Council - News in Brief 
Ahuriri Community Board meeting, June 2020
 Environment Canterbury - News in Brief 
Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee meeting, June 2020
Department of Conservation - News in Brief 

The Directory
The Last Page is Classifieds
The Weather that Was 
The Garden Diary
The View from the Chook House 
New school principal a familiar face
The Newlands Family, Bevan, Bridget, William and Dominic.
Bevan has been appointed principal of Omarama School. Photo: Supplied.

Former Omarama School teacher Bevan Newlands, of Twizel, has been appointed Omarama School principal.
He takes over from Kim McKenzie who recently stepped down from the role.
Bevan is already a familiar face at the school having taught as principal release teacher in 2015 and 2016.
As many will know, he comes from a farming background, growing up at Kauru Hill, North Otago.
He and wife Bridget are both teachers, careers that have taken them “around the world”.

“The now ‘not-quite-so-young’ lad from Kauru Hill is very excited to be returning to rural North Otago to take on the role as principal of Omarama School,” Bevan said in a statement.
Most recently, Bevan and Bridget realised their "dream" of building SkyScape in Twizel, and to bring up their sons on Bridget's family farm.
Their astro-tourism venture is on Omahau Hill Station owned by Elaine and Mike Lindsay.
Bevan says he believes rural schools have something unique to offer children, and he has a special interest in boys' learning.
“Coming from a small rural background myself, I am fully aware of the uniqueness of rural schools and the integral part the school has within the wider community," he said.
“In my time teaching, seven years have been spent at all-boys’ schools. 
“Because of this, I have developed a passion for boys’ education and an understanding about what makes boys tick both inside and outside the classroom. 
“Ten years of working in boarding schools has given me valuable insights into the importance of pastoral care within schools."
School board of trustees chairman Michael Doree said the board wanted to publicly acknowledge the “hard work and dedication” Kim had given as principal during the past three years.
He said in the past five weeks, the growing school roll had meant the school had moved to a three-teacher school once again.
Initially, monies provided by successful Friends of the School fundraising paid for the appointment of Pip Smith as a third teacher.
Roll numbers now met the threshold where the Ministry of Education will fund the additional teacher, “which is great as this leaves funds available should the school be in this position again,” Mike said.
Mike said the board would also like to thank Pip for stepping into the role for the past five weeks.
“The school roll has been growing rapidly which is great for the community and school.”
“We thank all those supporters and organisers who made these events a success and for the continued support the school receives.”
Bevan will begin as principal from term three.
Kim will continue to teach the junior class.
Oasis providing what visitors need to know
Oasis Café staff member Heather Smith directs visitors
to the information display stands at the 
café .
The Oasis is the go to place for all you need to know - for visitors seeking local information, that is.
In May, Tourism Waitaki announced a significant restructure brought on by the Covid-19 situation which resulted in the closure of its Omarama i-Site services provided at the St Thomas’ Church building.
With school holidays approaching concern was raised by business people at the recent Omarama Residents’ Association meeting about how these services might continue for travellers who wanted to know more about the area and preferred not to use, or were unable to access online services.
The possibility of setting up a volunteer-run service was discussed.
The Oasis Café has had a display area of visitor information under the tourism marketing company VisitorPoint brand for some time.
When approaches were made, owner Michelle Hancox said not only were they happy to stock local businesses' guides, they could expand, if necessary, depending on need.
At the café, an alcove was dedicated to information brochures and  pamphlets, and local business were welcome to place their pamphlets on the stands, Michelle said.
VisitorPoint  supplied some of the existing material and advertised the site through its network.
Michelle said the café began offering the service for their customers when  “so many” came in asking for information.
Following the closure of the i-site they were pleased to meet any emerging need,  she said.
Staff were happy to spend time with travellers and answer questions, although they were not in a position to make bookings, she said.
In another move designed to fill the gap, Oamaru businesswoman Wendy Simpson has also set aside space in her premises - Rose’s General Store, Oamaru – for businesses to display their details for free.
“I  have information stands for the region.
“I have picked up rack cards from the [Oamaru] i-Site before it closed, but I am missing quite a few. 
“I would love to have business details on display for any visitors that come  looking for information on our region. 
“I am offering free display of rack cards and business cards, and no commissions for any referrals to businesses at this time.
“Once we get all the tourists back, and everyone is back up and thriving I will look at charges then. 
“I am also after menus from the eateries so I can put them into a book, and let people what sort of food is on offer.
People could drop the cards into the store or leave them at  Vanished World, Duntroon, from where they would be taken to Oamaru, she said.
To contact: Wendy Simpson phone 021 515 205 or email

Tourism Waitaki is still providing limited services online on its website or the Waitaki Visitor Information Facebook page.
And the following staff are available.
General Manager :  Margaret Munro –
Trade enquiries :     Lu Jiang –
Online Marketing : Cindy Mottelet –
Support and stimulus fund almost good to go
The Waitaki District Council’s $2million support and stimulus fund will soon open to applicants.
​​​In March, the Council allocated up to $2million from its Disaster Fund to create the Support and Stimulus Fund to help the district recovery from the COVID-19 situation.  
The money is to be used to help those worst affected, to allow existing projects to be brought forward, or new projects to be created, that will allow the employment of Waitaki residents who have been financially affected.
The fund can also support projects and larger scale initiatives to increase the district’s economic and community resilience, the council's media statement says. 
A portion of the Support and Stimulus Fund has been split into three funds to target specific issues and to fill gaps that central government funding does not cover. 
Existing council committees will be make the decisions on the applications made to these funds.
Requests for help from individuals or families will be assigned to the Mayoral Relief Fund, and will be administered by the Mayor’s office
Requests for financial support or new projects with an economic benefit will be assigned to the Economic Resilience Fund, and will be administered by the Executive Committee.
Requests for financial support or new projects with a broader community benefit will be assigned to the Community Resilience Fund, which will be administered by the Grants and Awards Committee 
These funds are not intended to deal with requests for assistance which would naturally fall under the Rates Remission and Relief Policy or other council assistance measures, and will only be available until the council determines that the main impacts of the pandemic have been addressed or at the point at which the Support and Stimulus Fund is used up.
Any money not used at the end of the pandemic support and stimulus period will be returned to the Disaster Fund and the Support and Stimulus Fund will be closed.
All decisions on funds allocated will be made by councillors with advice as required from council officers.
The statement said the information about the criteria for each fund and how to apply was to be on the council website from early last week but was not posted at  the time of publication. For more information click here
Church lease negotiations underway
The St Thomas' Church committee is hopeful the present lease situation can be resolved and cycle tour company Trail Adventures retained as tenant of the church building.
In May, Tourism Waitaki announced, because of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, it would be closing its Omarama Information Centre, which was run from the building, and ending its lease, a consequence of which was the sublease to Trail Adventures also came to an end.
Church committee chairman Rev Ken Light said the situation was discussed at its meeting last month and the committee had recommended to the building owners - the Presbyterian Church’s Otago Foundation Trust Board - that it accept a new lease proposal from Trail Adventures.
"We are adapting to the new reality," Rev Light said.
"Aimee and Vaughan [of Trail Adventures]  have put in an application to take over the lease.
"It is a lesser lease than the Tourism Waitaki lease but the feeling of the committee is to support this venture.
"It's part of the life-blood of Omarama." 
The proposal has been put to the Trust and the committee was  waiting on its reply, Rev Light said.
Trail Adventure's Vaughan Williams said Rev Light had been in touch immediately after the committee meeting to let the couple know the situation. 
Mr Williams concern was it could take "quite some time" for the Trust to make a decision and so the couple needed to "explore all options regarding our long term future in Omarama".
Consequently, the couple are looking for alternative premises should the need arise (see details in classifieds below) 
Community Board moves with the times
The consensus is the Ahuriri Community Board's first ever ‘Zoom’ meeting last month was a success with several board members saying it could be a useful way to connect across the extensive Waitaki District Council ward in the future. 
Board chairperson Vicky Munro told the Omarama Gazette, while the board had not had formal discussions on the subject, the use of the new technology had definite merits and could remove some constraints for those who would like to participate. 
The Ahuriri Ward stretches from Ohau to Duntroon and makes up 60% of the district by area but has the smallest population. 
Travel requirements and time constraints have been cited as significant barriers to involvement in board matters both to standing for election and in attending meetings and contributing to public forums. 
Video-linked meetings go some way to mitigate those constraints plus other benefits of the technology include being able to review footage after the event, to listen to debate and the recommendations and decision-making in full. 
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said it was up to the community boards to decide if they wanted to live-stream meetings in the future.
It would also depend on the council having suitable technology to do so given the various meeting locations, and internet/data availability. 
“From my perspective, I welcome the opportunity to have more live-streaming of meetings and having recordings available online. 
“It is likely the results won’t be technically ideal, but I am still happy to encourage the boards to utilise live-streaming where feasible.” 
Mrs Munro said, from her perspective, it was “just a new way of doing business”. 
Admittedly, the board had rehearsed procedures earlier in the day of that first meeting  so they would feel more comfortable with the equipment and to make sure things ran as smoothly as possible, she said.
“We do have to deal with new technology, and we did."
Overall, the new tool gave board members more flexibility and could be more convenient. 
As an example, board member Brent Cowles was able to take part in the meeting from the side of the road on route to Timaru on business, she said. 
Mrs Munro said an important factor to consider was how comfortable the public felt about the technology.
Although, ‘lockdown’ experiences did mean many had become familiar with technology they might not otherwise choose to use. 
“People need to feel they can 'come into' a [live-streamed] meeting and feel comfortable about that.” 
Mrs Munro said the Zoom meeting almost did not eventuate because lifting of Covid-19 restrictions meant it could have been postponed and held in the local hall as usual. 
However, the board were determined to go ahead with it as scheduled because frustration was growing about the delay caused by lockdown meaning they “couldn’t tie up the loose ends” on some pending decisions, she said.
Decisions were made on several unresolved issues within the ward at that meeting.
As well, there was debate on whether new standing orders and a code of conduct be adopted.
That matter is to lie on the table for further consideration. (See Ahuriri Community Board meeting report below)
The board has only had two other public meetings - December and February - since its inauguration in November last year and the board cannot make formal decisions unless at a public meeting. 
Initially, the June 8 public meeting of the board was to be live-streamed however council officers cancelled this at the last minute. 
Instead the meeting was held by video link and recorded with the undertaking it would it be uploaded within 48 hours. However, the recording is yet to be uploaded some three weeks later. 
Mrs Munro said she did not know why the footage had not yet been uploaded to the council’s YouTube channel. 
It was her understanding it was to have been uploaded within the time-frame stated.
When asked, council chief executive Fergus Power said the meeting footage would be uploaded to YouTube next Wednesday (July 8). 
“All staff have been prioritised towards (a) completing council’s annual plan (which is statutorily required to be adopted by council by 30 June), (b) collation of materials for the Local Government New Zealand CouncilMARK performance assessment programme, and last but not least – (c) developing and installing Covid-19 pandemic Support & Stimulus Fund protocols via which those in the community suffering extreme hardship as a result of the pandemic can make application for assistance," he said. 
“[Mrs Munro] has indicated that the question as to whether or not the Community Board wishes to (where statutorily permitted) continue with remote Zoom meetings has yet to be addressed and finalised by the Board. 
“Likewise, the Board’s view as to whether in situ meetings should also be recorded/live streamed, is also yet to be considered by the Board. 
“When they have formed a view on these matters, the Board can discuss resourcing implications with me.,” Mr Power said.

Decision on gliding operations imminent
A decision on the applicant or applicants who will take up Omarama Airfield Ltd's licence to operate a gliding service from Omarama Airfield has yet to be made but is imminent, the company's chairman says. 
Last month, airfield company chairman Clive Geddes said it had hoped to announce the successful applicant by the end of June.
Unfortunately, there had been some delays in the process and that was not now likely to happen for another couple of weeks, he said on Friday..
Seven separate applicants have expressed an interest in re-establishing a gliding-related  business at Omarama Airfield ahead of the upcoming season. 
Glide Omarama ceased operations in early March because of a licensing dispute with the Civil Aviation Authority.
The Omarama Airfield Company invited gliding operators who wanted to set up a commercial gliding operation at the airfield to apply for a licence to operate to start September 1. 
Fine wool shearing event cancelled
The New Zealand Merino Shears has been cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 situation.
Instead, organisers will work to make sure its 60th anniversary is marked  in style next year.
The championships in Alexandra, in October,  traditionally open the shearing sports season and would have attracted more than 100 shearers and woolhandlers to the only finewool competition on the calendar.
The cancellation has also led to the cancellation of the 2020-2021 National Shearing Circuit and impacts on
on the annual home-and-away trans-Tasman series.
The circuit had already been affected by the cancellation of this year’s New Zealand Agricultural Show (the Canterbury Show) which would have staged third-round event, the New Zealand Corriedale Championships.
New Zealand Merino Shearing Society chairman Greg Stuart said the Alexandra event was cancelled “due to the pandemic”.
The committee “needed to make the call” because the event runs on a budget of up to $50,000 and lockdown made negotiations with sponsors almost impossible, he said.
The committee will start planning the 2021 championships this month.
Meanwhile, the Waimate Shears, which would have included the second round of the circuit, is “definitely” on October 9-10,  chairman Warren White said.
Canterbury Show shearing organisers are considering still staging their championships in a woolshed at the station which provides its sheep.
For those of you missing the action, here is some award-winning mahi 
from Peter Lyon Shearing woolhandlers Kyle Wihongi and Peketai Puna
working at Otamatapaio Station in August, 2016.
Something to puzzle over
Something to puzzle over ...
Thank you
Last month I posed the question..tell me why we must continue? 
I felt it was a good time to assess where the Omarama Gazette was heading and if it still met the needs of the community.

Thank you.
Your response has been overwhelming and humbling.
Some people have requested their response be published.
"Here is my why.
I am very grateful that there is someone in our community who takes the time to do the research  for and has the skills to produce the Gazette every month, (daily during Covid19).
I do not find your writing biased or see only your opinion, for me there is balance both in opinion and content of articles, writing that informs us of local events and items to get us thinking; asking our opinion.
Thank you for letting us know when public meetings are on and I take my hat off to you for having the integrity and thick enough skin to endure the 3-hour Community Board or other meetings hosted by WDC.
I attended part of one meeting, thanks to you promoting it, and I couldn’t believe the cold shouldering exclusion that was evident in that meeting.
I believe your diligence in attending these meetings should be recognised and appreciated.
I look forward to reading the Gazette each month, thank you for giving to our community so generously of your time and skills." - Jan and Lance Thomas

"Your article "Tell Me Why" was a provocative, open-hearted, timely article that has given us all an invitation to share ideas and find a way forward from here.
What I value most about your service to the community as an accomplished ethical journalist, has been the following.
It has provided opportunity to stay connected and informed, as well as enabling both adults and children to have a voice in the community.
It has shone a light on the expertise, bravery and plights of those in our area.
It entertains. I love your style and sense of humour. I have in the past forwarded articles to friends because of the delightful way it has been written. 
I totally trust your ability to continue sharing your gifts with us in the way that works for you. I believe we are exceptionally lucky to have received your generous gift of time and skill in the past and would be very grateful to see it continue. 
Please let me know what I can do to support you in the future." - Pam Harding

From the Omarama Residents' Association
The Omarama Residents' Association disassociates itself from any negative comments regarding the editorial input by Ruth in organizing and editing the Omarama Gazette  The Association greatly appreciates the professionalism and hard work Ruth puts into each issue.
Yvonne Jones
Secretary, Omarama Residents' Association

Here are some further comments, unattributed...

"Yes, the Gazette is bloody essential!"

"We have finally started to feel at home in Omarama this last year. Omarama has a pleasant community feel to it ... and the Gazette is part of this.
The Gazette is well-written and interesting. It acts as a noticeboard and has informed me about community events - for example the picnic you organised last year, the forum about the freedom camping issue, and the Christmas carol service which I really enjoyed.
I like the new style, in which a snippet is displayed and a link takes me to the full article.
Without the Gazette it would be left to social media to perform those functions - but that's not a very good solution because social media is not a very kind place. By contrast, the Gazette is usually positive and uplifting. This is the main reason why I read it.
You are right that there is so much information being disseminated these days, but this doesn't make the Gazette irrelevant. After a week or two of lockdown I got very bored of the news cycle (too much news, delivered with too much urgency and too much negativity, accompanied by further negativity in the comment sections) and I stopped paying attention. I also deleted, without reading, the many many emails I got from businesses telling me about their Covid-19 procedures. I got most of my updates from the Gazette."

"As cribeys we always look forward to receiving your publication. It’s so informative, full of useful stuff we're not normally aware of. As we live some distance from Omarama it’s a privilege to feel part of this community through the Gazette. Please don’t change anything. Look forward to receiving your next newsletter."

"As a crib owner, I find the Gazette very useful for staying in touch.  I struggle to read it all as I am usually overloaded with work, but the fact that I make the effort says it all. 
I hear the odd murmur from locals about your reporting being incomplete, biased or whatever, but from my point of view I don’t get any sense of that. 
If I had one suggestion, it would be to get some opinion pieces or other contributions from stakeholders as features, both local and otherwise.  But then having edited a club newsletter for many years, I know how hard it can be to get anything, let alone anything of quality.  And you do already have quite a wide range of reports from various groups.  Maybe trial a formal letters to the editor section?"

"You did a great job and helped keep everyone connected as a town and I know a lot of people appreciated your Daily Wire."

"[Why continue?] Because you have been a constant in my life and my children's lives since you started the Gazette. My daughter reads it every month..or everyday over lockdown because it keeps her grounded to her Omarama and the people she knows."

Thank you all Guys,
That means more than I can say, and much more than that, it means the Gazette is doing the job it is meant to do - it's keeping us connected.
In case you were wondering, there were no messages of criticism, which is a concern.
I'm always looking for ways to improve so let me know if I get something wrong, and if you disagree... it's healthy!

Share your ideas. 
Each suggestion will be considered very carefully.
Some will go ahead, some won't because, and I'm sure you'll agree, sometimes even the best of ideas have unseen fishhooks.
Contributions are always welcome, but must meet usual guidelines for publication. 

Anywho, enough already.
There is so much great stuff from our place in this issue.
We're proudly made in North Otago.

So, crank up the fire, make yourself a cuppa, crack open the gingernuts, kick back and read!
News from Frank

Californian subscriber and avid fisherman Frank Monaghan(83) has travelled to Omarama each summer for about  ¼ of a century to "have a beer at the pub” and give the fish a “bit of a scare”.
Each month, he prints off and distributes the Gazette to  fellow fishers and friends who also know Omarama well. Here is a little of his  news on the situation on the other side of the world.

"I was just considering  writing  to  Matt  to  let  him  know  that I was  not  falling  down  on the  job of mailing  the Gazette to him  and that  with the  'Lock Down' that you were  not able  to publish  the gazette.
I sure  missed  getting the  copies.
I am happy to see  that the pub is functioning again  and wonder if they are calling  for the dues  for the Social club.
Even though I already  bought my airplane ticket to return  to "Paradise" next year, I worry if they  will let  old  fishermen in,  and if the two weeks of isolation  will be enforced.
With all the  troubles here  and  our "Great" president, my town is experiencing a curfew between 8 pm and 5  am  .
As usual I will forward a copy electronically to Carol and Richard  and mail a copy to Matt.Thank you for your great  work. We appreciate it.  - Frank.
The Noticeboard
To have your community notice included here email:

Our sincere condolences to Lyn Brown, family and friends, on the death of  Brown (Neville).

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.

St Thomas' Omarama Community: Services and communion are held on a regular basis, usually monthly at 10.30am on the Friday of the second weekend of the month at the home of a parishioner. Contact: Kay Verheul 03 438 9538 or Rev Ken Light 027 211 1501.

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 5, 2020.
Please submit copy
by Friday, July 31.
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
To our businesses

Two things which may help you out ...

- if you would like a feature written about your business please contact the Gazette. A booking is required and there is a fee for this. These features will be posted to the Omarama Gazette Facebook page. 

- Omarama resident Charles Hornblow (see below) is available to tackle design work for your business. He will also be assisting the Gazette with graphic design requirements. Please feel free to contact Charles for any of the services he lists.

- Ruth Grundy
The Community Reports
Upper Waitaki Police news
Hi everyone
Omarama Police received  a couple of reports recently of attempted theft and unlawful interference of a motor vehicle. 
Please make sure you lock all vehicles and buildings including your home even if you are there.
This includes removing all tote tanks from your boats if possible.
Farmers should also make sure they lock all farm vehicles, outbuildings and petrol bowsers etc, as it’s suspected these 'people' are targeting fuel.
Please be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately by phoning 111.
As most of you will be aware I had most of May off on extended leave, which was nice being able to spend time with the family.
Since then there have been a couple of crashes, one of these was a result of the driver falling asleep so make sure you’re not tired prior to driving especially if it’s for an extended period, or if it’s for a trip make sure you’re well rested prior to leaving. 

I also attended a crash in the Lindis Pass where two hunters drove off the side of a farm track resulting in their vehicle rolling about eight times down the side of a mountain. Thankfully, they survived with nothing more than a couple of bumps and bruises. What was annoying was that they shouldn’t have been on that track to start with,  as it was private property. Their excuse? We thought it was a paper road that we could use to access the DOC block. I guess they thought every track marked on a map that leads to a DOC block is a paper road. It’s not. They could face prosecution for illegal hunting and trespassing because of a stupid decision. If you're not sure check with local land owners, don’t run the risk of a criminal charge because you're too lazy to get the correct information or hope to beg forgiveness if caught, it won’t fly.

I should point out that these two both had their seatbelts on and I’m sure that is why they survived and only suffered minor injuries. Have a look at their vehicle. 

That’s it from me, watch those frosty roads!

Senior Constable Nayland Smith, Omarama Police.
021 191 4808 or email

Photo: supplied
FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade
Hi there from us at the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade.

It’s nice to be back giving our safety tips in the normal manner.
We are in the winter months so let's make sure the wood we are burning is dry as this will stop the chimney blocking and the risk of chimney fires. If you have an older fire that holds overnight make sure you give it a good half hour run on a higher level in the morning when it is first loaded to help keep the flue clean.
If you are using an electric blanket I hope you had it checked and please don’t have it on if you are out and about. Please check your smoke alarms if you didn’t during lockdown. If you have any concerns about them call any of us at the brigade and we will come and help you out.
We are now in an open fire season for those of us that can light a fire but please remember that fires are only meant to be burnt during daylight hours, and thanks to those that have let us know when they have been having a controlled burn.
Remember winter driving conditions and it is icy in all the normal places.
- Stay Safe, 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.
Omarama Golf Club
By Christine Bowman

There was great excitement on Saturday, June 27,  when our club member, James broke his current Omarama course record of 68  and scored a Gross 65!!!!  This was also his own best personal score at any course over his golfing career. 
This achievement is something most people only dream of.  Playing off a 4.5 Handicap Index, which converts to a 1 Course Handicap at Omarama means he had a nett 64.  He has come a long way from when he started in 2002 on a 36.8 Handicap Index. 
Omarama is a Par 72 course, therefore James' Gross score was 7 below the card.  He scored 7 birdies (1 below par) and no bogeys.  A bogey-free round is rare for most golfers.  
What added to it being a great achievement was playing in cold, damp winter conditions where the ball doesn’t travel as far and there is no run on the fairways.  Jim Harkin, one of our life members, who was one of his playing partners, commented one of James drives was 288 metres, a long way in winter. 
There was great banter before play started with John Anderson and Adrian Tuffley, also playing in the group, giving James a hard time about when he would use his 1 stroke playing the Bisque Par round. However James shut them up very quickly with his outstanding play. This score has now dropped James handicap index from 4.5 to 2.2, therefore next week will be playing on a +1 course handicap so we look forward to a lot more banter. 

Great achievement James, a huge congratulations from everyone at the golf club.

As always, all welcome on Saturday - Club day.  Cards in 12pm tee-off 12.30pm
Club captain Adrian Tuffley, 027 347 8276.
Omarama School
Happenings at Omarama School.     

We are now a 3-teacher school, thanks to the Friends of the School for funding our third teacher this term.
Caine’s Arcade.  
In the  last few weeks the whole school has been working on an arcade, made of cardboard, inspired by a boy named Caine. We have started planning and many children in Room 3 have started their creation. We are hoping to create a cardboard arcade where students and teachers will wander around and play. - Toby Bochel.


The origins of Caine’s arcade.
 Caine's Arcade is an 11-minute short documentary movie by  Nirvan Mullick  released on April 9, 2012 that featured a cardboard arcade created by then 9-year-old Caine Monroy out of boxes and everyday objects.
Caine ran his arcade from his father's auto parts store in East Los Angeles during mid-2011.
Nirvan Mullick was inspired to make the documentary after unexpectedly coming across the arcade while getting a door-handle for his car.
He became Caine's first customer, purchasing a $2 Fun Pass, and decided to make a film about Caine's Arcade after witnessing the level of commitment, work and thought Caine had put into the arcade.
After learning he had been Caine's first and only customer, Nirvan Mullick arranged for a surprise group of customers using social media to come play Caine's Arcade, which was included as part of the movie.
During our time in our bubbles, staff focused on initiating problem-solving, growth mindsets and imagination. We were so wowed by many of the children’s creative skills we wanted to continue to nurture and provide a platform for the children to have more ownership of their learning.
What better way than have them design, create and run their own arcade.

Youthtown recounts

On Friday Youthtown came to teach us new ball skills.
We played knock the ice-cream cone which is a game where we had to try to knock the ball (the ice-cream) off the cone while someone else tried to knock off your ice-cream.  If you hit another person's ice-cream off you swapped places with them and began again. It was tricky looking after your ice-cream while throwing the ball.
Nelle’s favourite game was popcorn where you threw the tennis balls into a big container as fast as we could without stepping on the inside of the circle as it was full of lava and you would get burnt up.
The last game we played was musical dots. It was lots of fun and everyone joined in. We look forward to them visiting us again this Friday. -  Paige Hunter and Nelle Morgan, Room 1.

On Friday the 19th of June, Youthtown came from Oamaru to teach us some new games, we learnt 'connect four 'which is a game where you have 3 balls in a hoop and you have to get four balls by stealing another from another group while protecting your own hoop.
We also played a tag game and you had to run through the middle of the group with different items worth different points. If a tagger with a pool noodle tagged you, you had to go back to the beginning with your item and another team member would have their turn.
The last game we played was memory. You had to get the colour of your spot and match the same coloured items to it. The items were hidden inside a cone so we couldn’t see them. The last round had us finding six different colours.
We enjoyed all the games and co-operating with the year 6, 7 and 8’s from Mrs D’s class.
We are looking forward to their visit at the end of this week. - Liam McLeod and Jacob Moore.

Eliza’s Chair. 
- by Ebony Scobie .
Just after lockdown Luke Denton put together Eliza’s chair. 
Students and teachers have planned to place the chair in the garden, where stepping stones will be lined up and later a plaque will be screwed onto the large wooden structure. The chair will be a quiet place to go and think, calm down or to remember Eliza. The main idea is to keep Eliza’s memory alive.

Come along, bring your children and the child in you!

Join us to play our very own,
Omarama ARCADE games

Designed and created with fun in mind!

When: Friday, July 3
Where: Omarama School 
Time: 11am

Followed by end of term presentations.

One oven, as is where is. 
Contact: Michael Doree, 021 500 342

Friends of Omarama School
Friends of Omarama School were finally able to hold their annual meeting postponed because of the Covid-19 situation.
There has been a slight rearrangement of roles.
The new secretary is Carla Hunter, replacing Fiona Bochel,  and Petrina King is the new vice-president. 
Emma Moore and Tania Innes retain their roles as president and treasurer respectively.
President Emma Moore, 027 635 5664; Secretary Carla Hunter, 03 976 0504 .
St Thomas' Church Community
St Thomas' long-serving Anglican vicar has officially retired from his role.
Rev Ken Light, who has been based in Hawea, is moving to Christchurch at the end of this month. 
He began visiting Omarama in 2011.
Rev Ken said it would now be up to the Bishop of Dunedin to appoint someone to take his place.
He said he had enjoyed his tenure and "being part of the Omarama Community".

The church's annual meeting has been postponed and will take place at a date yet to be set.
Omarama Residents' Association
From the June meeting...

There were 11 people present.
However, the number of committee members present was not sufficient to form a quorum.

The association was in favour of the proposal to move the library to the meeting room.
The idea had been discussed with Waitaki District Council Libraries manager Philip van Zijl as part of the renewal of its lease agreement with the association for the use of rooms at the Omarama Community Centre. 
The association will ask Waitaki District Libraries to present a supporting plan.

There was little to report on the association's financial report as there had been next to no activity during Covid-19 restrictions, treasurer Stephen Grundy said.

Waitaki District councillor Ross McRobie gave a brief update on council activities. The council had agreed there would be "an average zero rate increase" for the year ahead, Cr McRobie said. 
There would be a by-election in the Ahururi Ward following the resignation of June Slee.
There was $2million in the Waitaki District Council Covid-19 stimulus fund which was available to give assistance to  groups - either for social or economic benefit, Cr McRobie said.

Chairperson Tony Chapman led a discussion about the need for some kind of information centre in the town following the closure of Tourism Waitaki's i-site. The group discussed how this might work and where it could be housed and whether volunteer labour could be supplied.
One thought was the association could apply to the stimulus fund for help to purchase a mobile unit which could be placed in the centre of town and 'manned' by a combination of paid and volunteer labour. 
It was felt a co-ordinated approach to social media marketing of the town could be beneficial but possibly a separate group could be set up to do this.

Building convenor Hank Verheul said water pipes had burst in recent frosts causing damage to both the new outdoor toilet for the sports courts and the drinking fountain. This was despite the request he put into council staff, who maintain the assets,  that water be turned off during winter months and pipes drained to prevent such damage.
Cr McRobie said similar damage had occurred to the council-owned drinking fountain in Otematata.

Ann Patterson has applied to the council's community arts fund to create the community wall, commemorating important events in the town.

A group of residents attended to voice their support for the Omarama Gazette through the association following the editor's recent request for feedback.
The next meeting is

7pm Thursday, July 16, 2020.

(Please note earlier start time)

An invitation is extended to all

Tony Chapman, chairperson, 027 242 8605.
Yvonne Jones, secretary, 027 476 7473. 
Could all those who want to contact the association by mail, send accounts to be paid, or have correspondence considered at the monthly meetings ensure it is addressed to: 
The Secretary,  P O Box 93, Omarama 9448.
The association's email address is

To make a booking for an upcoming event or for more
information about hall hire and availability
please  contact  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.
‘The Community Reports' is
dedicated to news
from clubs, groups and sports teams.

Contributions are welcome 
Puaka Matariki - A celebration of our Southern stars

- by Ursula Paul, Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve board member..

Next month, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board is inviting you to a talk on Māori perspective of astronomy and the significance of Puaka Matariki - a presentation by Victoria Campbell, Kāi/Ngāi Tahu
Matariki is known as the Māori New Year and relates to the Matariki stars in the constellation of Taurus (Pleiades or the Seven Sisters).
Puaka is a star in the Orion constellation. Astronomers also call it Rigel, and it’s a blue supergiant star, the brightest in this constellation.
Puaka Matariki is a celebration of the rising of the Puaka and Matariki stars in the morning before dawn after the winter solstice. 
Ms Campbell will share a brief history of astronomy and its application from a Māori perspective with a focus on seasonality and time keeping. She will talk about the lunar stellar system and how our interaction with the environment is interconnected and integral in the application of Māori astronomy.
Who are we?
The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve was created in 2012. It is the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve (4367 square km) and a recognition of the big skies of the Mackenzie, which are essentially free of light pollution . It is accredited by the International Dark-Sky Association 
Where? When? And other organisational details…
The presentation will be held on 18 July at 10 - 11:30am at Moraine Lodge, Mount Cook Lakeside Retreat, about 9km north of Twizel, off Mount Cook Road (SH80). 
Pre-registration is required at
Entry is by note donation and coffee/tea is complimentary.
This presentation fits in with other Matariki events organised by Mount Cook Lakeside Retreat. More information can be found on their website
Here is the link to the Government's
one stop shop for all things
The Otematata Chronicle 

The Otematata Chronicle is published on the third Wednesday of the month.
The July issue is Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
The Chronicle is emailed to subscribers.
If you would like to subscribe or contribute please click the button below or email
To subscribe click here
Waitaki District Council - news in brief
To find out about Waitaki District Council support for businesses and the community following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions click here

The council, yesterday, adopted its annual plan. Because of the impacts of the Covid-19 situation on the community it has opted for an average zero rates increase with some variances.

Waitaki District Health Services has appointed Phil Jamieson to the role of chief executive. Mr Jamieson will replace Ruth Kibble, who returns to the South Canterbury District Health Board when her 24-month seconded period finishes at the end of this month.

By-election for Ahuriri Ward
​​The Waitaki District Council is to hold a by-election to fill the seat on the Ahuriri Community Board left vacant by the recent resignation of Dr June Slee. (See more below) Nominations are open and will close at noon, July 6, followed by public notice of confirmed candidate(s) and whether an election is required. If an election is required to fill this vacancy, the election will be held on September 1.
The Safer Waitaki Housing Taskforce is to undertake a district-wide survey to find out more about the district's housing standards. Questions will measure the availability, affordability and ease of access to housing in Waitaki and ask the community about their experiences of housing options.
The deadline for online responses is July 15, and for paper questionnaires is July 10. Online survey forms are here:
Palmerston and Oamaru Council offices will provide a tablet for people complete the survey. Hard copies will be available at all Waitaki District libraries, Waitaki District Council offices, and the office of the Oamaru Mail.  Or phone Helen Algar or Shirley Bee 03 433 0300 and they will get a paper survey to you. 

Free parking in Oamaru central business district extended
Free parking in Oamaru's CBD is to continue for a further three months. This is to further promote the ‘Shop Local’ theme and to help businesses and customers in the post-COVID economic recovery phase.
The council’s parking officer will still be enforcing time-restricted parking, disability parks, permit parking and general parking issues. The free parking initiative does not apply to permit parking. 
The council wants to know what you think about whether it should participate in the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency scheme. The scheme is designed to allow local authorities to borrow funds at more favourable interest rates than the banking sector offer. Submissions close 4pm, Wednesday July 8, 2020.
The council has extended the original notice given to the Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company to remedy the unwanted visual effect of its pipeline on the landscape to take into consideration the impacts of Covid-19. 

Ahuriri Community Board news
Resignation of June Slee, by-election to be held.
The Ahuriri Ward faces its second by-election in little more than six months after the unexpected resignation of Dr June Slee from the Ahuriri Community Board.
The Waitaki District Council announced the resignation in a media statement earlier this month.
When contacted, Dr Slee said she had resigned reluctantly.
“I am very disappointed that circumstances I don’t seem to be able to control led me to resigning.
"I apologise profoundly to the ratepayers that this unfortunate situation has led to the cost of a by-election."
Dr Slee would not elaborate further.    
She said her resignation was effective from May 15.
Ahuriri Community Board chairperson Vicky Munro said the board had lost a valued member with the resignation of Dr Slee.
She wanted to publicly thank Dr Slee for the major contribution she had made to the community.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said Dr Slee had served the community well in a range of roles, including as a Waitaki District Councillor and an Environment Canterbury Councillor.
"June’s service has been considerable, and she will be missed.”
In the past Dr Slee represented the Waitaki electorate on Environment Canterbury (2004-2007), and more recently, the Ahuriri Ward on the Waitaki District Council (2013-2016).

from the Ahuriri Community Board meeting, Monday, June 8, 2020. (Held via video link)

Present: Ahuriri Community Board chairperson Vicky Munro, board members, Brent Cowles, Peter Ellis, Ross Menzies; Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher, councillors Ross McRobie and Colin Wollstein, council chief executive Fergus Power,  heritage, environment and regulatory group manager Lichelle Guyan, governance advisor Ainslee Hooper.

Adoption of standing orders and code of conduct deferred

The board will defer its adoption of standing orders and a code of conduct until it has had a chance for more discussion. 
The council had asked the board adopt the documents for the 2019-2022 triennium at its June meeting.
Councillor Ross McRobie said he was aware there had been a lot of discussion about the topic. 
However, the board had not had many meetings since the election last year and had not had long to study the documents.
“I think it would be very helpful to lay this on the table so we can have more discussion about it...without trying to delay it. It’s not going to hold us up from making any decisions in the meantime. But we do need to get it right.”
In the meantime, the board could get more guidance about how these documents related to community boards, he said.
“It may well have an implication for other community boards, as well.”
Chief executive Fergus Power and governance advisor Ainslee Hooper questioned the need for the delay.
“You’re highly unlikely to use these. If I was in your position, I’d simply adopt council’s.” [Standing orders and code of conduct], Mr Power said.
“If you attempt to create your own, you will need to workshop those and devote time and energy to them and probably never ever, ever use them.
Given these were LGNZ recommended provisions adjusted by the council to suit Waitaki, Mr Power recommended the board “made it simple and then move on”.
“You’ve got lots of other things that your valuable time can be spent on,” he said.
Ms Hooper asked if there was a particular wording issue which was a problem. If that was the case a “straight replacement” could be made “very quickly”.
Board member Ross Menzies said he did not believe this could be remedied “just in five minutes” but that the board needed to take some time to “figure out where we want to go with it”.
“Yes, a lot of it is old and will never be used but we’d like to work on it,” board member Peter Ellis said.
Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher said the provisions presented did appear to be “very much over the top” considering how community boards operated.
“But you do need some rules for engagement.”
He said he was “hearing from members” the documents should be more “fit for purpose” and he was “happy to help out in anyway”.
The new documentation  will brought to the next board meeting in September for

Meeting schedule
The community board has agreed to bring its meetings into line with its original schedule for the year following the disruption to the timetable because of Covid-19 restrictions. This means the next public meeting  is scheduled for Monday, September 7.
If any items of urgent business need a decision, an extraordinary meeting can be called, council governance advisor Ainslee Hooper said.
The board will hold workshops to discuss business and projects with council staff during July and August. 

Flooding issues at Paddy's Flat, Kurow, to be addressed
The Board will spend $10,000 immediately and then up to the same amount each year on maintenance of open storm water channels to address the long-standing issue of flooding of the area known as Paddy’s Flat, in Kurow.
The next Ahuriri Community Board meeting

is 3.15pm Monday, September 7, 2020.
at the Duntroon Community Hall.
Minutes and agendas can be found here
Environment Canterbury - news in brief
ECan is to hold a Youth engagement and education event for young people (aged 14 to 24). 
The workshop is 5.30 to 8pm, Tuesday July 7, 2020, at the ECan offices, 200 Tuam Street, Christchurch, and online. Please complete registration by 1pm, Friday 3 July.

Rates struck for new year: ECan will increase its total rates revenue by 4% in the 2020/21 financial year.
This is 5.8% less than originally proposed.  Savings were made by using cash reserves and reducing reserve cash build-up for flood protection and general activities. Lower inflation estimates post-COVID also reduced rates. Reducing cash reserves may mean borrowing to cover the costs of unforeseen events, like floods.

Using a modern wood burner will  improving air quality, ECan says. But it’s equally important not to forget the basics to burn smoke-free – good wood and good fire lighting technique.

Good winter grazing practice urged
With farmers facing a challenging winter, ECan is supporting industry initiatives to ensure farmers follow good winter grazing practice and if needed, seek advice as early as possible.
ECan operations director Nadeine Dommisse said winter grazing could be a significant environmental issue if not well managed, and an issue for cattle, sheep and deer farmers.

The Environmental Defence Society has published a report on landscape protection in the Mackenzie Basin. Here is the Mackenzie Basin Alignment Agency (which includes Ecan and the Waitaki District Council) response to the report Here is the link to the EDS statement

New aerial photography of the Ashburton, Banks Peninsula, Mackenzie and Timaru districts has been captured as part of a collection that dates back 100 years.
Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee news
In which, tackling the environmental impacts of tourism is discussed and a Waitaki District Council planner admits the Ahuriri Valley is "not well kitted out with infrastructure" to cope with visitors numbers expected after the release of the move 'Mulan', and when the borders reopen.

The Environment Canterbury committee which works to protect and improve water quality in the region says agencies charged with managing the area must grasp the opportunity of the present lull in visitor traffic to make sure plans are in place to offset the environmental impacts of tourism before numbers rise again. 
The topic was a discussion thread which ran throughout the Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee last month, the first public meeting since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. 

“Covid-19 has given people a breathing space,” zone committee chairperson Simon Cameron said 
Committee member Mat Bayliss said he acknowledged the “serious commercial” impact fewer visitors to the region had and would have. 
But it was the zone committee’s role to consider and address the environmental impacts of tourism and this was an ideal opportunity to address that. 
It was imperative “a joined-up strategy” across agencies with responsibility for the region – Mackenzie and Waitaki district councils, Environment Canterbury, Department of Conservation and Land and Information New Zealand - was implemented.
At the committee’s last meeting held just prior to lockdown the committee asked the elected representatives of ECan and the other two councils to report back as to how their councils planned to respond to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report  about the environmental consequences of projected tourism growth. 
MDC councillor Stuart Barwood said he was able to report the Mackenzie council was “moving at apace” to address the issue. 
There had been delays but its ‘Destination Mackenzie’ plan was in its final stages and the council hoped to have it signed off by June 30. 
The topic was raised again later in the meeting during the presentation by representatives of the  Mackenzie Basin Alignment Agency group. 
Alignment programme steering committee chairperson Nadeine Dommisse, who is also ECan chief operating officer, said it had been making progress towards its ultimate goal of better agency alignment but it had been slowed up by legislation and the statutory responsibilities set out for each of the individual agencies. 
As an example, it had to navigate a regional plan and two district plans and there was no alignment between those plans, she said. 
“How do we get more joined-up in terms of on the ground details? 
“It’s not easy… we’re trying to work across five different agencies, different legislation, different councils, different ministers to try to work together.” 
There was much work being done behind the scenes which was not always obvious to those on the ground, she said.
"If we get this right [the alignment] then it can be a showcase for other areas in the country, she said.
A Waitaki District Council representative on the alignment group, planning manager Hamish Barrell, said its District Plan was under review and staff had been involved with Omarama and Otematata masterplans “which have been well-received by their communities”. 
There was more work to be done but the Waitaki council had employed a consultant to “look at where we can be better joined up”. 
The council was extending the A2O cycle trail around Lake Benmore and working on its Geopark bid.
“Prior to Covid” the council was investigating what impact  the potential increase in visitor numbers drawn by the release of the movie 'Mulan' would have on the Ahuriri Valley. 
“Quite obviously, it’s not necessarily well kitted out with the infrastructure to deal with it,” Mr Barrell said.
Following those presentations, Mr Bayliss said the impacts of tourism had been discussed “ad nauseum”.
Covid had given "respite from the onslaught of tourism”.  
The area has been “drastically affected” economically and understandably wanted to draw tourists back.
“[But] a million visitors to Mt Cook is not the right way to use that beautiful place.”
An the proposal for the alignment agency to put in place a strategic response to tourism had been discussed for the past three years, he said. 
Doc and MDC were working on strategies, Ms Dommisse said. 
But taking a strategic approach to tourism, which was one of the priorities for the alignment programme, was possibly the role of “governance” – mayors, chairs and chief executives, she said. 
Cr Barwood said the Mackenzie Council wanted a more balanced approach to visitor numbers - “not just open the door and let them all in again”. 
“It’s going to be more controlled, we’re  just not going to let the floodgates open again," he said.
Ms Dommisse said it was a “number one priority we keep hearing from the community that needs to be addressed” and she would bring it up at the upcoming briefing to chief executives. 
Mr Bayliss said he would like to see a single plan that captured what the agencies wanted to commit to land use, biodiversity and tourism. 
“That would be the yahoo moment - get it all in one place and then get the community to comment.”
A strategic plan about “the aspirations we want to get to” would be easier to develop than a statutory plan, Ms Dommisse said. 
That would be more difficult and take longer because of the legislative requirements which “become a distraction”.
A group of officers was working through each of the agencies plans and finding where they did not align and trying to streamline them but “it’s still two to three years away before you’ll see it on the ground.” 
“One thing was for sure, it’ll be pretty hard to blame foreign tourists for the mess in the Mackenzie this summer,” Mr Bayliss said.

In which farmers ask ECan to enforce its rules consistently to protect water quality in the Ahuriri Catchment.

This year’s water quality readings from the Ahuriri Arm of Lake Benmore fall well within guidelines set for irrigation consent holders. 
However, the catchment group formed to address last year’s spike in TLI levels plans to continue its work with farmers and ECan to ensure water quality is either maintained or improved. 
It still has concerns about the inequities between consent holders and consultants are continuing to work with ECan to investigate this.
And, representatives of the group at the meeting were adamant they want ECan to more rigorously enforce its rules to protect the lake’s water quality. 

Last year, ECan’s annual water quality monitoring survey showed TLI readings reached 2.9 which, while still within guidelines, triggered a series of actions from affected farmers to make sure levels would not rise further. 
The TLI measures four water quality indicators, including nitrogen and chlorophyll levels, to give a rating of between 1 and 7 – the lower the number the better the quality. 
Factoring in Covid-19 restrictions on sample taking, the same data this year said TLI levels were at 2.75 which does not trigger any additional actions on top of a farmer’s usual consent requirements. 

One outcome of last year’s work to address the issues raised was farmers set up an Ahuriri Catchment Collective to increase understanding of good management practice and to explore technical and scientific aspects contibuting to water quality.
Irricon Resource Solutions environmental consultant Haidee McCabe, who is looking into the differences between consent requirements within the group, said, after considerable investigation, it appeared inequities might not be as extreme as first thought because different scales of measurement had been used to determine different consent regimes at different times. 
“It’s complicated.”
But, possibly, once everyone had moved to farmland use consents the anomalies would be ironed out, she said.
There appeared to be “no blanket approach” to finding a solution, and irrigators and  ECan staff wanted time to continue to work through the detail, she said.
Omarama Farmer Trent Spittle spoke about work within the collective. 
While progress had been made helping farmers understand good management practice rules, they also wanted ECan to enforce its rules and to apply measures more consistently.
There was frustration from those “who are doing a lot and spending a lot to get it right” and then “seeing [others have] stuff signed off when it shouldn’t be”, he said. 
Farmers also wanted help from ECan scientists to better understand the data they collected and the water science for their local area so they could use that knowledge more effectively, he said.
They also wanted data to show if work they were doing to improve water quality, such as riparian planting, was actually working, Ms McCabe said.
The next meeting of  Environment Canterbury's 

Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee

is 9.30 am Friday, July 17, 2020
at the Events centre, Twizel

Minutes and agendas are posted at:
Department of Conservation - news in brief
Did you know the Department of Conservation is manager of some of the largest blocks of land  in our area?
The Doc office charged with managing our area is Te Manahuna / Twizel Office

Here are a few local snippets from the monthly newsletter, What's up Doc?
Read about the Government's nature-based jobs initiative here.
Here are tips to build your camping skills before you head to the great outdoors.
Three ways to help make New Zealand Predator free from your home
Watch a video showing the mahi happening to look after black stilts chicks in a brooder.
New Zealand has more than 110 species of lizard, both geckos and skinks, and none of them are found anywhere else in the world

And from Doc's media releases: Doc, Ngāi Tahu in consultation with the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board, are to begin a new review of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan.
The Directory

phone 021 294 8002 or email


The Last Page is Classifieds
WANTED FROM OCTOBER: building to lease or sub-lease/share that can accommodate about 90 bikes, with an area to store vehicles. (Our own and customers when they need to leave their cars with us).
Alternatively, land that could be used for container/s that hold our bikes and from where we could run the business.
Access to power and water is needed and an area for parking – this doesn’t have to be a huge area.
Please contact: Vaughan 027 937 4473 or Aimee 022 350 5536, Trail Adventures email 

Cleaning, gardening and mowing duties
Kurow and Otematata
Flexible work options 
Ph: Shane 021 223 8070


Otematata Ventures Ltd as of end of business day June 30, 2020 are no longer contracting services to Downer who are contracted to the Waitaki District Council. This contract expires June 30, 2020.  

The Parks and Recreation contract will now be carried out by Downer staff for Omarama, Otematata and Kurow.  This includes gardens, irrigation, public toilets (excluding Omarama), litter (including smashed bottles, tree limbs), branches, rubbish bins in playgrounds, rubbish bin and litter in Kurow and Omarama cemeteries etc. 

A huge thank you to Waitaki Property Management for the services to Kurow public toilets, Kurow bin inside the children’s playground and Kurow cemetery bin.  

We would like to thank our communities for your support over the years, especially those of you who helped clean up our playground and parks after the Labour Weekends and New Year’s mayhem! Thank you also to those of you who regularly contacted us over weekends and after hours when there were issues for us to resolve!  
Anita and Rob Armstrong,
Otematata Ventures Ltd  
Opportunity at The Lindis Lodge
We are looking for a Part-time Housekeeper three days a week.
Experience is preferable but not necessary.
Please send your CV to

Mackenzie Basin Wilding Tree Trust
Notice of Annual Meeting of the Trust to be held on 
Thursday July 16, 2020 at 11:00 am
at the Twizel Events Centre Theatre, Market Place, Twizel
1.    Receive and consider the Annual Report and activities for the year ended March 31, 2020.
2.    Receive, consider and adopt the Financial Report for the year ended March 31, 2020.
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 9 July 2019.

B R Cowan 
Twizel  Email:
The Weather that was - June 2020
The Garden Diary
Green shoots

I love raking – we have a leaf blower. But. Noisy. 
When autumn starts the leaves are papery and light and colour the faintest breeze.
Those are the days the nor’wester does the work for you, sweeping them up in drifts against the fence.
Among the detritus underfoot are nests of the most intricate construction which have been blown to the ground making room in the treetops for spring’s new grand designs.  
Now, in winter the leaves are crushed and broken by frost, and moisture has turned them almost to mush  
The trees are dark charcoal skeletons brushed out against a dour sky.
All is sombre.
We’ve past the shortest day.
From now we’ll count daylight outwards from darkness in seconds then hours until its almost Christmas.
I know, the weather always turns after this, but still…
And, by the way, what did happen to the autumn rains? It’s been so dry.
I look up at the large evergreen rhodo and it is starved of moisture. I worry I will lose it come summer. It’s been in place for almost 20 years but it looks like it's had enough battles.
It’s a pastel pink opening to lemon beauty, weighted down with trusses each November.
Of course, it’s raining as I write this, June 28, 33ml at last count, but it still maybe too late.
I love winter, I love that in the high country we have seasons.
That’s not to say that some days can only be called bleak, even here, when hard frosts hit then uncharacteristically overcast skies hold sway.
Now as I rake there are new shoots, if I search really carefully.
I reach down and grabble into the spicy earthy mix and pull it aside from the icy crystallized soil beneath.
It’s deepest coldest mid-winter but spring is just there, waiting
The pup cannot fathom why I would want to be digging there when there’s no food to be had, nor why I’d want to be out in the cold and not cuddled up with her by the fire – she’s learnt fast. She stands on the back-door mat waiting, lifting first one foot then the other to stave off the cold.

It’s the time of the year when I’m scanning for the smallest change.
Zooming right in for that ‘macro’ view.
The winter roses are above ground but still tightly budded.
I’m looking for the first signs of aconites, but not today.
Nor any snowdrops. But wait, they are up.
Deep violet velvety violas have decided to chance it but the elements have singed their brave petals.
Cloudy with drizzle, persistent low cloud in the valleys, the forecast continues...
When it’s drizzly the blackbirds sit morose in the birch, raindrops settling silver on their black oilskin coats.
Otherwise the garden is still busy.
Birds have flocked in to enjoy its larder of crabapples and seeds.
There is scrapping and chattering and gossiping and scolding when someone forgets their place.
I finish the chore and load the already composting leaves into the wire crate for the chooks to do the rest.
In spring it will make dark, crumbling mulch and potting mix.
The leaf returns to the roots
All is well.

Ruth Grundy
( I garden a small space under a big sky in Omarama)
The View from the Chook House
Can someone please come get us when the sky stops falling!
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
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