Goodwill to all :)
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Omarama Gazette
Christmas 2019

In this Christmas Issue

As seen from space
Everyone has been so very good
School assembly 2019
From the 2019 album
The Noticeboard 
The Community Reports
The Otematata Pages
Masterplan options go to next step
Christmas and New Year greetings, holiday hours and events
The Last Page is Classifieds 
The View from the Chook House 
As seen from space
Sometimes, I wonder what it must have been like to reach the rise of those Chain Hills, those foothills of Te Poho-o-Rakitāmau Mt St Cuthbert, and for the very first time take in that view of this wide Omarama basin inset with the silver ribbons of its braided Ahuriri River, gaze out across tussock land, out to a dark band of beech forest rising to snow-gleaming mountains and further still to the deepest blue of beyond or, coming to the top of the hills at night  to stare into the infinity of distant universes - to be that pioneering star gazer, navigator, warrior, hunter-gatherer, explorer, surveyor, gold prospector, farmer and settler, and yet know I had found home.
"You may live here, but it takes many years to be a local."
How many have had those words thrown at them?
Someone who has been a repeat visitor to Omarama is European Space Agency German astronaut and geophysicist, one-time Commander of the International Space Station, Dr Alex Gerst.
He comes here to go gliding.
He has spoken of looking out from the space station over the South Island, of the jewel-like colours of the land, it's distinctive lakes, and the rivers wending their way down to the shore, their alluvial burden dumped and washed by waves along the coast.
He has spoken of the huge psychological leap it takes to leave Earth behind and journey into the complete unknown.
And he, as many astronauts have, has spoken of how when looking down on our small blue-green planet our differences seem so trivial as to be non-existent.
For the one man from Earth who has spent longest time in space - 362 days over two missions - the re-entry, crashing back through the atmosphere to the planet, was not about on whose sovereign soil he landed. That did not matter. Planet Earth was home. 

In Omarama and Otematata there’s been much talk of our towns' ‘identity’. Again. Yep, even more than last year.
The planners and developers are talking concepts and ‘re-branding’ for "plans going forward".
It was raised again at this week’s Ahuriri Community Board meeting (see report below).
“Omarama, gateway to the Mackenzie.”
“Otematata, gateway to the Waitaki River system.”
But we don’t want two different themes, the designer said.

It’s the differences which make us unique and are to be treasured.
Those who tell our old stories, the Waitaha and KaiTahu, named these places Te Ao Marama – place of light and Te Otematata, the place of good flint.
Our two stories have been closely entwined since but are also separate.

The strength both our towns share is community – family, friendship, whanau. (Check out the photos in our 2019 album below). People will do anything for you and, yes, they will also always know your business before you do.
One of my favourite stories this year was about our LandSar volunteers who moved heaven and earth to find someone’s loved one claimed by the Waitaki River so he could be returned to his family.
And in the same 24-hours they set out to successfully find and rescue eight young trampers – someone's sons and daughters yet strangers, whose trip into the back country had come unstuck. 
Then there are the dozens who worked together to comfort family, friends and each other after the death of Eliza-Jayne Coetzee, and, on behalf of us all to stage a final farewell.
Every one matters.

These almost intangible qualities which make up our two places - Omarama and Otematata - are hard to describe to others, difficult to see from space.
These are the qualities that bind us together but also make our towns intrinsically distinct because they have grown over time from a collective response to our unique histories.
These are the qualities that connect us and draw us back home to our place.
We know the pathways like the back of our hands.
Tūrangawaewae. The place we stand.

There’s one more thing… 
Thank you for your contributions,  thank you for sharing.
It is a privilege to put the Gazette together and I enjoy every moment.
Truly, I could not do this without you. 
A world of good wishes to you all ...The Gazette is back February 5, 2020.
And from February 19, the Otematata Chronicle will be published once again.
In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy this special Christmas issue. 
We live in a truly beautiful part of the world and among a community that cares.
Let's celebrate our place.
- Ruth Grundy, editor.

Ti He Mauri Ora!
Ki Te Whei-ao!
Ki Te Ao Marama!

Behold the breath of life!
Behold the unfolding world of light!
Behold the place of light!

(Apologies for the mandatory advertising)
This issue is brought to you by ...

Mobil Omarama
Terry and Michelle Walsh would like to invite all
– customers, old and new –
to their annual Christmas shout
from 4.30pm Friday, December 20.

Mobil Omarama will be closed Christmas Day only and will be open 7am to 8pm every other day of the holiday break.

(Phone/fax 03 438 9834, email: )

The workshop will be closed from Monday, December 23, to Friday, December 27 (inclusive).

Mobil Twizel will be open 8am to 8pm Christmas Day and normal trading hours, 6am to 9pm, every other day. 
Phone: 03-435 0844)

Everyone has been so very good
Just a heads-up parents, Santa promised them he’d get them EVERYTHING they asked for!
Omarama Playgroup held its Christmas party last week, at the Pink Glider Café.
The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) gave Santa special clearance to land at the airfield.
However, it is rather a long trip from the North Pole so he decided to leave the reindeer with the sleigh at the end of the runway so they could graze while he delivered the presents.
Then, with a wink of his eye and without so much as a whistle he was off again down the road to pick up a hammer and chisel.
Reportedly, he’s promised the bigger people sports courts for Christmas.
Glide Omarama pilot – Emilia and Lucy’s dad Brad Newfield – also taxied in for a quick visit and everyone took a turn at sitting in the cockpit, so exciting!
To enjoy more photos go to the Omarama Gazette Facebook page album 
🎵🎶🎵 Please come back time, any time🎵🎶🎵
Omarama school pupils had a message for all as they farewelled the 2019 school year.
“Always remember things may not always go as planned but it doesn’t mean you lose hope.”
Pupils presented an enactment of an adaptation of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, called 'Hope'.
Parents, grandparents, caregivers, friends filled the hall this morning to enjoy various presentations from pupils including the senior class “presentations of creativity” – models they had crafted to showcase their learning on a chosen topic.
This year’s school leavers - Taylor Anderson, Lochie Murray and Ella Ferguson - were farewelled.
The pupils joined in singing farewell to an adaptation of Cyndi Lauper's 'Time after time'.
Parents Nick and Tania Anderson were farewelled also.
It had been a year of “new experiences”, principal Kim McKenzie said.
Mrs McKenzie and Board of Trustees chairperson David (Gundy) Anderson, thanked all who had contributed to making 2019 a successful year.
Gundy also asked for a moment to remember Eliza-Jayne Coetzee, who died in October, and would also have graduated from Omarama School this year.
Friends of the School chairperson Emma Moore highlighted the year's fundraising efforts which enabled the school to offer wider experiences for the pupils than might have otherwise been affordable.
School awards
Junior school: Learner, Isla McLeod; Inclusive, Liam McLeod; Grow, Maddie McCabe; Happy helper, Paige Hunter; Truthful, Jack Bochel.
Senior school Learner; Elise Mathias, Inclusive, Lochie Murray; Growth, Poppy Radford, Happy Helper, Balin Sole; Truthful, Ebony Scobie.
Omarama Gazette Literacy Award: Elise Mathias.
To Taylor, who is off to Columba College, Lochie who is going to Waitaki Boys' High School ,and Ella, who will head to Twizel Area School, go well, guys, we are all so very proud of you!

To enjoy more photos go to the Omarama Gazette Facebook page album.
From the 2019 album ...
The year is 2019, the last of the decade, and it's been a big year!
Here are the captions, the photos are below.

(Technically, a couple of these moments were from just at the close of 2018.)
Long-serving Omarama Rodeo Club volunteers  Jim Metherell and Wendy Parsons were made life members at the December rodeo.
Omarama Residents' Association stalwarts, Judy Piner and Yvonne Jones, peddle raffle tickets outside  Four Square Omarama to complete the fundraising - all $215,000 of it - needed to build sports courts for the town.
Omarama Golf Club captain Adrian Tuffley collects his reward after the annual New Year tournament, which a record number of golfers entered.
A hay bale fire at  Tara Hills Station  was one of the most significant fires fought in the surrounding area in many years, FENZ Omarama chief fire officer Terry Walsh said. The fire spread to a silage pit and a small stand of trees but was contained before it could spread further and up into nearby hills. At its peak there were 29 fire-fighters on the ground, with eight fire appliances, two helicopters and three excavators working to extinguish the blaze. As well police and the first response crew were on hand.


Omarama Sports Courts project co-ordinator Jemma Gloag draws the winning raffle ticket under police supervision. (Although Senior Constable Nayland (Bean) Smith may have been off-duty at the time?) 
Caroline Groundwater (née Preston), of Albury, won the luxury night  for two at Lindis Lodge. Her uncle and aunt, Colin and Joan Walker, owned Ben Avon, later farmed by the late Bill Walker, and Rosemary Walker (now Hill), prior to it being sold to Jim Morris, and that is where the lodge is sited.
The annual Boots and Jandals Hotel Omarama 'spud in a bucket' competition was won by Tracy Young and Colin Herd. Adjudicators Todd Hancox and Philip Jannick critique the entries. The winning spud - purple passion!
The Kurow Flower Show once again featured winning Omarama entries - all under one name - John Rogers. Loved that carrot cake, John Boy (and Sharon)!
It proved a magnificent sight, the Tussock Creek Light Wagons and riders on route to Hawea as part of the 2019 Otago Goldfields Cavalcade. Ten wagons and 50 riders made their way across from Ribbonwood and the Quailburn, climbed up and around the Diadem Range and down into the Ahuriri River Valley, only to be accosted by a group of lawless bandits – Omarama School pupils - and robbed of  gold coin in a hold-up staged at the Ireland Rd bridge at high noon.
If it's February it must be Omarama School swimming sports. Pupils compete under the watchful eyes of teacher aide Kris Lindsay and principal Kim McKenzie.

Five new operational support members - Paul King, Duntroon, Sonya Trusler, Charlotte Derosa and Jimmy Courtney, Omarama, and Paddy Galvin, Kurow - graduated to serve in  Waitaki district volunteer fire brigades. 
Human(Rick Aubrey) and canine wits are pitted against ovine cunning in the annual Omarama Collie Dog Club trials at Dalrachney Station.
Finally, after a busy season, there was time to just chill and picnic under sunny skies at the Omarama playground.
A familiar face John Linny Linwood (60), “born and bred in Kurow”, has been machine shearing for 42 years. In that time he has worked for three generations of Andersons at Bog Roy Station.

Standing in the original cellar of the Omarama Hotel our own Lex Perriam considers whether this gift of vintage Scotch whisky is a fine drop or just cold tea.
Omarama emergency services hold an open day to attract more recruits - they're starting them young these days.
About 140 members of the Otago-Southland Fire Brigades Gold Star Association gathered in town  for their annual ‘picnic’.The ‘picnic’ fare was catered by volunteers Julie and Carolynne Grant and included an extensive spread of roast beef, ham, corned beef, chicken, and veggies with all the trimmings, as well as range of salads. But, of course, pudding! Among other various activities the group gathered at the Omarama Airfield to view a display and hear Gavin Wills, of Glide Omarama, talk about gliding.
And just how many 'Beans' can you fit in a mini? He tests it out when one calls in on its way from Kaitaia to ...Invercargill, where else? on the Pork Pie Charity Run.
A gathering of 76 custom-built pre-1949 hot rods in Omarama represented well over a million dollars’ worth of collective passion. The 150 auto-enthusiasts - members of the Pre-49 Street Rodders club - were taking part in their ‘Rod Run’ and were based in Twizel for the three-day event. The group travelled to club members Murray and Sharon Stuart’s property Omaradise for a relaxing afternoon of socialising, games, music, and  some aerobatic entertainment provided by Gavin Wills of Glide Omarama.
Anzac Day, always a highlight, and this year the parade was led by Royal New Zealand Navy ordinary rating Walsh and Fenz Omarama's Chief Fire Officer, other wise known as Dani and Terry Walsh. Omarama school pupils Elise Mathias, Laura Patterson and Eliza-Jayne Coetzee led the crowd of about 200 in the New Zealand National Anthem.
And then of course there's the Golf Club's Easter tournament, once again drawing the numbers.
The Omarama Model Aircraft club hosted its annual Anzac Aerotow. Omarama Glider pilot of full-size gliders Justin Wills shows one of the model club organisers Bevan Allan how his vintage glider Orcillia II is taken apart for transporting.

On his way to the to the Tux North Island and New Zealand Championships in Te Ahuahu, Ohaeawai, near Kaikohe, Northland, Omarama dog triallist Ginger Anderson reminisces about the journey he made there in 1987 with 20 South Island competitors and 40 dogs in an specially fitted out chartered DC3.
It was a time to make time for friends, old and new, a time for fun and laughter, to celebrate great memories, plus raise money for a cause that touches so many. Boots and Jandals Hotel was once again packed for Bruce and Julie Dyson’s annual fundraising brunch to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Omarama Library volunteers have marked three years since the library moved into the Omarama Comunity Centre.
The Omarama LandSar team and other emergency services conduct a night exercise on the Tarnbrae section of the Alps to Ocean trail.

The Omarama Golf Club men’s Interclub team  - Adrian Tuffley, Johnny Anderson, Peter Trusler and Tom Moore -  won the North Otago Golf Sub-Association Pennant Series 2019, Intermediate competition - the first time Omarama has won any sort of pennant flag, Adrian said.
(In another of the year's success stories club member Christine Bowman celebrated a hole-in-one at home while James McIlraith scored his ace at Gleniti Golf Club.) 
Omarama School pupils helped to pass around a certain log of wood. 
A team of young hunters enjoy the annual Hillbilly Hunt.
The role of FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer changed hands. Terry Walsh stepped down leaving the fire brigade, and deputy chief fire officer Greg Harper was appointed Omarama’s new chief.

After 12 years of service this was Otematata's Graham Sullivan last term on the Ahuriri Community Board.
Otematata and Omarama residents gathered in numbers to nut out ideas for town "masterplans" - the political buzzword of the year.
In the springtime of their romance, young Adrienne and "The Hairy Gas Man" Greg Harper do their bit to raise money for cancer research on Daffodil Day.
Pupils line up for the interschools cross country competitions at the Omarama Golf Club which is hosted by Omarama School each year.

Youth Glide New Zealand founders Kim and Roger Read and members gather in Omarama for a working bee at the soaring centre camping grounds  prior to the opening of the gliding competition season.
Time for another Omarama School end-of-term assembly when there is always a treasured moment!
More special memories from the school end-of-term assembly when Elise Mathias presented her 'passion project'- photography, we said good bye to Laura Patterson who headed off to St Joseph's school in Oamaru, and congratulated Taylor Anderson who was presented with the Sir Peter Blake Young Leader Award

This group of Otematata ladies headed north to the capital city for four days to attend Wellington’s ‘World of WearableArt’, memorably wow!
This year saw the formation of the Waitaki Recreational and Boating Club, based in Otematata, and several successful events including family fun on the lake and a motorcycle rallies have been held.
It was with the saddest of hearts we gathered together to say a final goodbye to Elize-Jayne Coetzee(13) who died in a horse riding accident.
And we honoured our volunteer fire fighters from both towns - Otematata and Omarama.

Blue September with Dr Tim (Gardner) in Otematata moved through October to Movember and a 'home visit' from that 'Flying Docter' Dave Baldwin in months-long awareness campaigns on men's health.
Plus there was a most welcome 'shave-off' for those men  who grew all kinds of weirdly wispy bits and raised $1400 for Omarama School.
Before we knew it was the race that stops two towns - Melbourne Cup Day of course - and didn't we brush up well.
Smoke from the Australian bushfires turned our skies dusty red but that didn't stop our Sabrina Schels from continuing to blaze a trail across the gliding record books. Here she is congratulated by another high flyer, Yvonne Loader.
The October local body elections produced some new faces tasked with serving our place.
In a ground-breaking moment for Omarama,  work on the long-awaited sports courts began.
Otematata celebrated community as it signed up for a five-year Community-Led Development Programme. 
And Omarama took a moment to catch its breath and enjoy a community barbecue organised by the Waitaki District Council and Ahuriri Community Board.

Ending on a warm fuzzy note the Otematata ladies finished their weekly knit and natter session for 2019, with afternoon tea. The peggy squares they knitted were sewn into blankets for animals and delivered to the SPCA shelter in Oamaru. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Contributed photos by: Christine Bowman, Brent Cowles, Julie Dyson, Kevin Grant, Karen Greenslade, Adrienne Harper, Mike King, Michelle Kitchen, Neville Kitchen, Kim McKenzie, Ross Menzies, Wendy Parsons, Lex Perriam
Deborah Simpson, Debbie Smith, Murray Stuart, Jack Zorab. 
The Noticeboard
To have your community notice included here email:

Our sincerest condolences to the Chapman and Anderson families on the death of Jimmy.

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 church services: contact: Kay Verheul 03 438 9538 or Rev Ken Light 027 211 1501.

The Omarama Golf Club  Saturdays tee-off 1pm.  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 February issue of the Omarama Gazette
is Wednesday, February 5, 2020.
Please submit copy
by Friday, January 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
The Community Reports
The Upper Waitaki Police News
Howdy everyone,
Well, almost another year over and done with.
I don’t have a lot to tell you, the last few months have been fairly quiet which is a nice change.

I have noticed a couple of times now that there have been some locals' cars parked at the pub for quite a few hours on a Saturday. I know those people and I know they don’t drink lemonade. I was pretty annoyed to see that they were gone later on in the evening.
For me that is a direct challenge. In fact, they’re saying a couple of things. First is; 'I’m a selfish person and don’t care about myself or anyone else'. Second thing is; 'I don’t care about what Bean says or the fact he will be the one who has to deal with the aftermath if I do crash'.
So yep, challenge accepted.
If you drink and drive you really are an idiot, especially if your house is only a 10-minute walk away from the pub. Please don’t do it.

I’m actually writing this while sitting on a plane heading to the Gold Coast where the whanau and I are having 10 days holiday.
Luckily, Senior Constable Kerry Fegan has agreed to help out while I’m away. He’s driving my patrol vehicle so if you see him be sure to say g’day. He’s a good mate and I’ve told him you're all a friendly bunch.

If you're going away over the Christmas period be sure to factor in lots of rest breaks in your travel plans. A high percentage of crashes I attend are due to fatigue so add some extra time to your plan and make sure you have a decent sleep prior to leaving.

Please stay safe. Ange, Cam, Jess and I wish you all a merry Xmas! - Bean

Senior Constable Nayland Smith, Omarama Police.
021 191 4808 or email
FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade
It’s big, red and flashy, reindeer not required!

Longest serving Omarama Volunteer firefighter Station Officer Maurice Cowie takes possession of Omarama’s new fire appliance, an Iveco Type 2 pump rescue tender.
After a brief introduction in November and now back from its ‘fit-out’ - the 2013 Iveco Eurocargo ML120E25 - formerly Cobden’s fire appliance, is ready for service in the high country.

FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade meets 7pm each Wednesday and has its meeting at 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of the month. 
A message of thanks to all from the Combined Churches Foodbank.

On behalf the Combined Churches Foodbank, I would like to thank the people of Omarama, Otematata and surrounding areas for your generosity in providing such an abundance of food at your recent Toot for Tucker.
Your donations are greatly appreciated and enable us to continue our work in the community.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.
Kind regards,

- Jill Wilson
Omarama Golf Club

By Christine Bowman.

The club has a lot to celebrate!  Our new John Deere Green’s mower arrived.
On arrival the men were buzzing around it like bees to honey excited to learn about its new technology. 
 The mower arrived in the nick of time as the last couple of weeks the old one leaked oil across a golf green, which kills the grass. The running and maintenance costs were increasing, so it became our number one priority to replace the greens mower as we had no back up should the mower become unrepairable.
Good quality greens are critical to a Club's reputation.  Our new mower will give us a better-quality cut and enhance the putting surface.  We have a new green which is just about ready for its first cut, so will get if off to a great start.  So, we can’t blame the greens for our three putts anymore!!
The new mower is a John Deere E-Cut Hybrid which has electric drives to the blades, this helps the carbon footprint and the engine is run at reduced throttle when mowing, giving fuel savings, as well as benefit of reduced noise levels. With no hydraulic lines to the reels it virtually eliminates the risk of hydraulic leaks.
Johnny Anderson, our current chief greens mower, said; “It’s easier to drive and faster to complete the mowing”.  Of course, this will enable him to get to the “office” quicker on a Friday night!!
The reduction in operating costs with the new mower will mean the Club can reinvest the savings to continue to develop our club/course and start saving for our next major project.

The club is very grateful to Meridian Energy – Power Up Community Fund who granted $20,000 and Otago Community Trust $11,000 towards the total mower costs.  Without these two grants this purchase would not have been possible. The club saved the balance over several years through raffles, tournaments etc. We also would like to thank the Omarama community for supporting the golf club in numerous ways to help us achieve our goal.
Omarama Rodeo Club
Omarama Residents' Association

 The next meeting is 7.30pm Thursday, December 19, 2019

(Please bring a plate and a drink )

All are welcome
Contacts: Tony Chapman, chairperson, 0272 428 605.
Yvonne Jones, secretary, 0274 767 473. 
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 library will be open as usual over the holiday break
EXCEPT for Christmas Day when the library will be closed.
The library will be open usual hours on New Year's Day.

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 
The Otematata Chronicle will be back...

Preparations are underway to bring you a monthly Otematata Chronicle from February 19 next year, with all the news and views from your place. 
The Chronicle will be emailed to subscribers. If you would like to subscribe please click the button below or email
To subscribe click here
The Otematata Noticeboard
To have Otematata community notices included here email:

Otematata Community Library opening hours
2.30pm to 3.30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays,
10-30am to 12.00 noon Saturdays.
For January only - Wednesday evening 
7.00 - 8.00pm.

(After hours returns: Please use the overdues’ slot to the left of the door.)

Otematata Golf Club
Sundays; ladies tee-off 11am, men's tee-off 12.30pm
Wednesdays; mixed day, tee-off 11am
Men's club captain John Cochrane 0278 403 562
Ladies' club captain Adele van Noord 027 222 3865

FENZ Otematata Volunteer Fire Brigade 
Summer is here - It’s bbq season, a timely reminder to check that your gas hoses are still in good condition and not perished. 
If you’re planning on lighting a fire; check the website beforehand.

Have a safe festive season, and with all due respects; we don’t want to see you over that time, but if you do need us, rest assured we are on duty 24/7, 365 days of the year.
If you have a medical emergency, call 111, ask for ambulance and while you’re on the phone to them, ask them to call the Otematata Fire Brigade First Response team. 
If anyone is interested in joining the fire brigade, come along on a Wednesday night at 7pm.

Firebrigade practice is 7pm each Wednesday and the monthly meeting is at 7:30pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Chief Fire Officer Kevin (Peewee) Powell.

The February issue of
the Otematata Chronicle

is Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
Please submit copy
by Friday, February 14.
Otematata Residents' Association
Attention all Otematata residents and holiday makers

During the Christmas-New Year holiday break the Otematata Community-Led Development Programme working group will employ three people to conduct a survey and canvas opinion in town and at the camp sites to collect ideas about how they would like to see Otematata develop.
The information will be collated to form the strategic plan for the five-year programme – a partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs.
Those participating will have a chance to win $500.
The next meeting will be
10am Saturday, February 1 – Merry Christmas Everyone!

Steve Dalley, chairperson 021 768 719, Petrea McRobie, secretary 0274 369 233
Otematata Golf Club
Hello from Otematata Golf Club.

- By Adele van Noord

There were two hole-in-ones recorded at the course this year.
Bruce Millin a member of our club had a hole in one on the 158 meter par three.
The following week Margery Clarke from the Lower Waitaki Club had a hole-in-one on the 110m par three. Congratulations to them both.
The club held its prize giving on Saturday, December 7, which was enjoyed by all. Congratulations to all trophy winners.
The following day, December 8, the club held its AGM with good attendance followed by 18 holes of golf.

On January 2,  2020 the club invites all ladies to a 'Come And Have A Go' event. Come along and play a few holes and then spend a Happy Hour at our golf club. This will be on at 5pm. Some clubs will be available.

We have all experienced the heavy rain of late which has been great for our course. The grass is growing so the mowers are going to be very busy.

Don't forget to phone John Cochrane, Otematata Men's Club Captain on 0278403562 regarding your entry for the upcoming Classic Tournament at Otematata on  December 29. A great day.

From Otematata Golf Club we  wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

- Till next time good golfing everyone, Adele.
Classic Tournament, December 29.
Entries to Men's Club Captain John Cochrane 027 840 3562.
Two tee off times, either morning or afternoon.
Great prizes and meal are included.
The Otematata Golf Club welcomes all players to join us on club days or just to have a round of golf.
Tee off times:
Sunday ladies 11.00 am
Sunday mens 12.30 pm. 
Wednesday men and women. Tee-off time 11.00 am.
Otematata Community Library
- By Kate Frost

Visitors, Holiday Makers, Residents - Happy New Year.

Please feel welcome to come and enjoy our wonderful library.
We have two or three interesting exhibits at the moment and may have a book sale between Christmas and New Year.
There are plenty of beautiful new books, magazines, puzzles and a bright comfortable area for children to come and read, draw, colour in or be read to.
Look for our bright new signs and if you are not sure where we are, there's a map on the notice board in front of the shop.

Otematata Community Library opening hours
Tuesday and Thursday - 2.30 - 3.30pm
Saturday morning  10.30 - 12.00.
For January only - Wednesday evening  7.00 - 8.00pm.
(After hours returns: Please use the overdues’ slot to the left of the door.)
‘The Otematata  Page' is dedicated to
Otematata news,
including from clubs, groups and sports teams.
Contributions are welcome 
Masterplan options go to next step
 'Preferred'  masterplan options for Omarama and Otematata were approved to go to the next stage by the Ahuriri Community Board at its meeting in Otematata on Monday. (Monday, December 16, 2019) 
But, in discussion,  members questioned if the communities' preferences had been heard. 

While, overall, the landscaping concepts found favour with board members, the lack of a plan to address the traffic and parking issues in both towns did not. 
Notes on the plans presented to the board stated improvements to the SH83/ SH8 junction in Omarama and any reduction of speed limits on the state highways in both towns were “longer-term aspirations”.
So was creating a new road between Nimbus Rd and SH83, in Omarama, and developing an area for light industry at the Loch Laird/SH83 intersection, in Otematata.

The masterplans have been touted by the council as laying down a community-led design blueprint for future development for the next 10 to 20 years and will become part of the Long Term and District plans. 

In her presentation, Waitaki District Council resource management planner Katrina Clark asked the board to approve the preferred options, and to give feedback “to make sure we are heading in the right direction”.
The plans were produced as a “culmination of consultation and engagement”, including at the well-attended community workshops in August, and the process had given planners a “good feeling and good direction of what the community would like to see in their towns”, she said.
Because the New Zealand Transport Agency must be involved in any decisions about state highways, including reducing speed limits, planners had decided instead to emphasise “more passive ways” to address those issues, such as “highlight landscaping”, she said.
Board member Brent Cowles said the Otematata community had been lobbying to have the speed limit reduced “for 10 or more years” and it had become a “desperate aspiration" for many people, one that had been endorsed by the majority at the workshop. 
Cr Ross McRobie said he found it difficult to understand how those issues had not been addressed in the plans considering the feedback from those workshops. 
“100% wanted that…it’s very difficult not to go with that.” 
It had to form part of the plans, he said.
Any landscaping plans which involved the state highways would also need NZTA approval, he said. 
Board chairperson Vicky Munro said both Omarama and Otematata were small rural towns and  faced similar issues. “Drivers do not slow down.” 
The Omarama community were “very focussed” on the safety aspects.
Feelings were “very, very strong” that a solution must be found, she said. 
Board member June Slee said in her previous term as district councillor she had argued for a better working relationship between the council and NZTA because so many issues in the district required a joint approach.
“It can’t be that hard to knock 30kmh off the speed limit.” 
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said, while it was important to “keep working on the longer term view” and “keep pushing NZTA” to address issues, overall it was about controlling speed and traffic calming measures and crossing points "- things like that will make a difference”. 
Cr McRobie said, in Otematata, it was particularly dangerous for vehicles towing boats turning from the boat harbour exit onto SH83 beside the bridge because they were met with poor visibility and the high speed of oncoming traffic. 
“I might be digressing from the plan but this is a big part of it.  It’s quite dangerous.”
Paddy Baxter, of Baxter Design Group, who drew up the plans, said a distinctive element was both towns were dealing with a 40m as opposed to more usual 25m of roading at their centre – which meant “the council must work with NZTA”. 
“What is missing is closing down the road visually, but we can do that with planting.” 
What he did not want was to come back to the council with unworkable expensive plans which could just get shelved.
“We don’t want to come back with a great big vision that won’t work for your towns.” 
Both towns had a rural heritage and were gateway towns – Omarama to the Mackenzie and Otematata to the Waitaki River corridor, he said. 
“[But] we don’t want two different themes.”
For the landscaping he recommended larger exotics, in particular, Crow’s Nest poplars which had similar attributes to Lombardy poplars but were a better tree, he said.
He suspected the existing Lombardy poplars were reaching the end of their lives.
Larger exotics had “a presence” that natives did not bring.
They “lack the grunt” but the recommendation was to use natives “as a second layer”.
And for colour, “I’m big fan of barn red”.
He recommended against using the former rabbit board land in Omarama for retail development because it was too far away from the existing centre.
It would be better for the retail area to stay where it was and that land be used for a holiday park or something similar. To “energise the place”.
Dr Slee asked how many carparks in Omarama would be lost to create the landscaping depicted in the plan. Mr Baxter said he expected it would be “about five or six parks”. 
“We can’t gain car parks and put in landscaping.” 
The plan should not cater to the two to three weeks of the peak holiday period but for the  other “40 to 50 weeks of the year”, he said. 
Parking was “really difficult” in Omarama, Dr Slee said. 
Since the privately-owned block between Boots and Jandals Hotel and Merino Country Café
had reopened for parking it had relieved some of the pressure, Mrs Munro said. 
That there was parking available in town for 48 weeks of the year “was not true”, board member Ross Menzies said.
“For at least six months of the year parking is virtually non-existent, not just a fortnight or more," he said.
“I agree with that”, Mr Kircher said.
“Part of the problem is how it’s managed," he said.
“There are too many entrances and exits.”
Looking at ways to improve safety and parking was “well overdue”.
As well, he thought most were in favour of the Rabbit Board land being used as a retail area.
“They can’t see anywhere another business could go.”
Possibly there could be a retail area “to the front” and a holiday park or similar at the back.
“It would help draw people down the valley," Mr Kircher said. 
Cr McRobie agreed and said using the Rabbit Board land would “spread the load along the road further …that will bring people out of that [existing town centre] area”. 
At the workshop people felt strongly there should be no ribbon development along SH8, Mr Menzies said.  
Mr Baxter said there was a fundamental “conflict” between the design principals of “opening something up” and “closing something down visually” to slow down movement, to change the feel from “arterial flow to main street”. 
While it would not be practical to take “cars out of the equation… we need to manage it better.” Mr Menzies said. 
Mr Baxter asked if there was an opportunity for the council to negotiate with the owners of the vacant land between the hotel and café to lease the area for parking “because there is simply no another land”.

He said he would be studying the towns in more depth and making revisions to the plans and hoped to “get something back” to the board before Christmas. 
Council heritage, environment and regulatory group manager Lichelle Guyan was asked by Mr Kircher if new plans would then go out to the community for consultation. 
Mrs Guyan said the plans had already been through three consultation processes and she was now asking the board for its approval of the draft preferred masterplan option for each town. 
“This is the development plan.”
Final drafts of the design work by Baxter Design will be presented to the board at its March 9 meeting before final approval of the masterplans is sought from the council at its March 31 meeting. 
Once the masterplans have been approved by the council, they will feed into
the Long-Term Plan and District Plan Review processes. 
The full report and copies of the preferred masterplan options and landscape designs can be found here: 

The next meeting of the Ahuriri Community Board
will be 3.15pm, Monday, March 9,
at the Omarama Community Centre.

The agenda and minutes can be found here
Christmas greetings and holiday events
The Last Page is Classifieds

phone 021 294 8002 or email


Pianist or keyboard player
as accompanist for the
St Thomas Church Community
Carol Service in Omarama, Christmas Eve 2019

Please contact: 
Rev Ken Light 027 211 1501


An experienced  gardener required for an established
garden approx 1/4 acre 
on a  lifestyle property
7km from Omarama. 
Four hours a fortnight.
Must have references.

Contact: 027 277 0882
The View from the Chook House
That one person who has to have the window down
on the summertime road trip!
Happy holidays :)
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016-2019, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.

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