Moving forward together
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Omarama Gazette
The Wire

Moving forward together

Friday, May 15, 2020
In this issue...

Just taking a moment; Going back to school; letters and postcards from friends.
Please support the businesses that are up and running, see our directory below :)

Hi Everyone,

Here is the final in this 'season' of The Wire .
Thank you all for your contributions. This would not have been possible without you.
The business directory will be pinned to the top of the Omarama Gazette and Otematata Chronicle Facebook page for your reference.
I'm taking a break - will be back at the desk Monday, May 25.
The next Omarama Gazette will be Wednesday, June 3 and the  Otematata Chronicle will be published Wednesday June 17.  - Take care, Ruth
Click here to message, contribute, or subscribe to the 'Wire'.
Here is the link to the Government's
one stop shop for all things
Just taking a moment...

"Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." 
- Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Suess)

These will go down as some of the most extraordinary times we have ever lived through.
When we closed the door on the outside world on that Thursday - March 26 -  none could predict where this would go or when it would end.
There was fear but great resolve to tackle this pandemic head-on and win.
We relied on calm messages of commonsense from the likes of Bean which gave us direction and a better certainty.
When Covid-19 crept ever closer to our front door our health advisors Dr Tim and Tracy stepped up with the facts and assurances - not at all sugar-coated - and realistic steps for us to take.
There are so many more behind the scenes who have gone that extra mile to help us all get through.
We have been living differently. Our pets told us so as they directed their owners to record their days for the community diary.
With time on our hands and within our 'bubbles' we've been creative inside and out.
We've taken the time to get reacquainted and stay connected while apart.
We enjoyed our regular boredom busters. The jigsaw puzzles in the 'Wire' were a huge hit!
We've missed all the little things but we've learned new things too, not to mention a whole new Covid-19 lingo.
It's important to hold on to those things.

How we got here is, now, not as important as where we go from here.

Here's a message from my heart.
We've been in limbo the last weeks.
Now, we've stepped out the front door.
Standing there, I look at all that is ahead of us.
I don't know how we're going to get through this.
But I know this one thing.
We will. Together.

There have been many 'moments' in the past weeks, so how to choose?
Anzac Day 2020 was one I will always treasure.
For a small community, we have a massive, beating heart.

(If you want to view previous issues click on 'view this email in your browser' at the top  right of this page. Then click on 'past issues' at the top left of that page.)

From the Omarama lockdown album

Contributed photos by; Wendy Parsons, Michele Patterson, O'Neil Contracting, Kim Doree, Adrienne Harper, Lynda Allen

1. Autumn colours our empty streets through lockdown.
2. Bale creativity
3. A school day
4. An Easter holiday at home
5. An Anzac Day like no other
6. The Teddies go roaming

Anzac Day 2020 - we'll always remember
Free to roam... by Lynda Allen
Postcards from lockdown
- contributed by Omarama School pupils

Dear Lexi,
We have been in lockdown for 6 weeks. The coronavirus is a bit scary but it’s alright. We went down to level 3. We have to wash our hands more often to prevent the virus.
In the shop you have to use hand sanitiser to not spend the virus. People put on masks so they can’t cough on other people. We have to do school work at home and use Zoom for our lessons. We can’t go and meet our friends and if we do see someone we have to stay  2 metres apart.
From Isla
- By Isla McLeod

To Kate
How are you doing?
Lockdown has been fun for me although I haven’t been able to see my friends.
Since lockdown the family has been spending a lot more time together which makes me feel really amazing.
Dad has been riding with me and showing me how to eat berries. These rides make me feel amazing afterwards and makes me feel excited for the next one.
Mum has been baking with me and teaching me new recipes which I love it makes me feel grateful.
Grandma and I also made chocolate lamingtons together which was so much fun.
Since homeschooling finishes at lunch Robbie and I have the rest of the day to ourselves we have just finished putting a ladder on a tree and FS a hat that we have been building in the little forest behind the house. We are so proud of ourselves it makes me feel so happy.
Hope you are doing well.
Love Pippa. XO
- By Pippa Anderson

South to North 
We had to make a decision to leave before end of term as Covid 19 was spreading fast around the country. We pack up our  things and get on the road for the long haul to Christchurch. From Christchurch we went to Blenheim and then drove to Picton where we waited five hours for our ferry with seven dogs and a cat. Once we got off the ferry we drove to Hastings and then the next morning we drove to Mahia, stopped at the beach for a lunch break and then drove to Whangara Road, north of Gisborne, unpacked our things and relaxed (kinda). We had so much fun at Whangara walking hills and going and burying ourselves in sand at the marine reserve.  Five weeks later we moved into our permanent house and got all our things out of storage and settled in. Yesterday we finally got Henry and Harmony (our horses)!  It felt amazing to see them I will show you a few photos after. Over all I had a very long and fun journey from the south to North Island and hope to get my things out of my desk and start school up here at Nuhaka School.  It will be my first time travelling on a bus to get to school. 
- By Elise Mathias

Boredom buster 1 - baking

Despite yearning (sometimes) for takeaways there was nothing better than creating and indulging in home-cooked meals and baked goodies while we spent seven weeks homebound. Many of our favourite recipes were shared in 'The Wire'.
Although I'm not sure who was the initial  creator of this recipe (below), many seem to have contributed to its 'development'.
This ooey-gooey deliciousness appeared on the NZ Farming facebook page on Anzac Day.
I've decided I might need to practice it many times to perfect it ...
(Click on the photo for the recipe)

Boredom buster 2 - peggy squares

Let us know if you stitched up a storm through lockdown. 
Email or phone 021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
We'll arrange to collect contributions (safely) and to get them made up for a display, then either arrange to donate or auction the resulting rug(s). Thank you to all.

School reopens - remember to register

Kia Ora Omarama Community,

As you will be aware Omarama school will be returning to our normal hours from Monday, May 18.
The Ministry of Health has advised that if you need to come into school ( through the school gates) for any reason, (including dropping off or picking up children) it is imperative you come into the office to have your details recorded on our contact register, please.
This is of the utmost importance to ensure we can contact everyone easily.
Please remember to keep to the distancing rules during these times.
We are looking forward to getting back to our normal routines and roles and hands-on learning ( without touching).

Keep safe,
Kim McKenzie, Omarama School principal.

On behalf of Covid-19 'refugees' ...

Dear Omarama, 

This comes from a couple of 'old' (in their 80's) refugees from Dunedin.  Two of our daughters engineered a move for us to Omarama just before the lockdown.  And what a great move that was.  We have been mollycoddled by the editor (Ruth) and her husband (Steve), slept in every morning and eaten to our heart's (and another part of our anatomy's) content.

We have enjoyed walking around with the Big Sky above shedding its light to this Place of Light.  The weather has been wonderful and the colours of the trees have been inspiring.  The surrounding hills and distant mountains are magnificent.  And the locals have been so friendly.  As we walked up the cycle track alongside state highway 83, a large group of them completely ignored the physical distancing rule and crowded over to the fence line to get a good look at us with our white hair.  They had white faces, beautiful eyes, four legs and one tail each and walked up their paddock to keep abreast of us.  Unfortunately some didn't notice when we turned around and that we had begun to walk down the hill again and they kept going up the paddock, but then the light dawned; they turned and raced down the fence line until they caught up with us and then resumed their amble down the hill at our pace until an unkind fence stopped them.  It was nice.

Our walks have been mostly along the cycle tracks.  More friendly locals were evident and this time waved, and called out, 'Hello!  Nice day.'  Always polite, smiling and courteous, they made way for us quite early or gave us a wide berth as though they were uncertain that two such ancient beings could keep in a straight line.  The truck drivers waved and occasionally tooted.  One such had an extra loud horn that frightened the life out of us, but like the pioneers of this area, we just kept going and all told, walked about an average of 7km per day.

We have enjoyed the specials.  The Last Post from the top of Ladybird Hill on ANZAC morning was special; the Easter Bunny and ANZAC soldier made from hay bales were special; the unmusical racket after the fire siren on Wednesday evenings were special, as were the painted stones seen here and there.  It's a special place.

It has been a wonderful stay.  We now know most of the area pretty well, have begun to recognise a few faces and have enjoyed our stay immensely. 

Thank you Omarama,

David and Anne Coulter

Together at home



Here's an idea according to TED...
See if you can puzzle this out...
(Click below to do the puzzle)

The answer - We're Better Together.
We'll meet again! photo: Nayland Smith
The Directory

To have your business listed here email - it's free!
The Directory will be posted on the Omarama Gazette and Otematata Chronicle Facebook pages from tonight.
(Listings in alphabetical order)


The Beauty Room
Open from Thursday, May 14. For bookings phone or text 022 485 9463 or book online  E:

Big Rooster 
16 Chain Hills Highway, Omarama.
P: 027 361 7223 
Check Facebook page for hours

Boots & Jandals Hotel Omarama
Open for dining for limited hours - 5pm till 9pm - in the first week of level 2
Drinks can only be served with a meal, and it will be table service only.

Takeaways 4pm-8pm, 7 days a week. 
The takeaway menu is here, the gourmet pizza menu is here.
For alcohol delivery conditions click here. Phone 03 438 9713 to place your order. 

Breen Construction
For all construction projects in the Upper Waitaki and MacKenzie District contact the area manager Jason Pryde cell phone 021 340 694 Email Website

Challenge Omarama 
Open 7am to 7pm
P: 03 438 9870‬

Country Glow
5 Benmore Plc, Omarama
Open for bookings. Phone Christy 027 696 4598, facebook message or E:

Four Square Omarama 
10 Chain Hills Highway, Omarama, Phone: 03 438 9895
Open: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm ,Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Email order and collect or email order and delivery (within the township). 
This service is available Monday to Friday
Please send orders to: 
Emailed orders need to be received by 4pm (Sunday – Thursday) for delivery/collection Monday-Friday between (10am-12pm). 
Please email if at all possible and refrain from phoning through orders.

There are two ways to access the order form.
(In both cases the completed form must be emailed to:
1.Click here to download the Microsoft Word form. 2 Click here to open the form as a PDF.

GlenCraigs Clothing
6 Chain Hills Highway, Omarama
Phone (03) 4389 816 Facebook shop now open, or shop online from the website

Hot Tubs Omarama
29 Omarama Ave.
Open from the first Friday of Level 2. Bookings taken now. 03 438 9703
Emma and Andrew Moore, email Facebook

The Love Shack Kebabs
Open 11am to 2.30pm Pre-order on  027 336 6495 or just drop in.

Mobil Omarama 
Open Monday to Sunday, 7am to 7pm, 03 438 9834 email:

Oasis Café, Bar and Grill
4 Chain Hills Hwy. P: 03 438 9722
Open from 7.30 am to 4pm

OmaramaVeterinary Centre 
13 Chain Hills Highway, Omarama. P: (03) 438 9868 F: (03) 438 9656

Rockgas Mackenzie Country

SupplyMoore Yard
Firewood available, contact-less delivery and payment options.
Please text or message orders to us
or Emma on 027 635 5664

The Wrinkly Rams 
Open 6.30am to 4pm ,7 days a week, dine in or takeaway.
P: 03-4389751 or text 027 438 9751



CJ's Bar and Restaurant
12 Rata Drive, Otematata
Check the Facebook page for updates and menus and conditions of sale.
To order takeaways, please either phone 03438 7792 or private message (messenger).

The Hungry Hydro
2767 Otematata Kurow Rd, Otematata
Check the Facebook page for updates and menus and conditions of sale.

The Kitchen at the Otematata District Club
Sefton Lane, Otematata
Check the Facebook page for updates and menus and conditions of sale.

On the Spot, Otematata
Cnr West Rd and State Highway 83
Monday to Friday – 8am to 3pm, Saturdays – 8am to 5pm, Sundays – 9am to 1pm
Delivering daily (Monday to Friday) email: or or phone (03) 438-7648. The daily close-off time for deliveries is midday. Any orders received after this time will be delivered the next week day.

Otematata District Club
For members, - check the Facebook page for updates and conditions of service.
BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL. Please call or text to book, 027 222 3888.
Take away meals are available by phone order and pick up. 

Otematata Eatery Bar & Lodging
2736 Otematata-Kurow Road, New Zealand
Open for dining. Please book online wherever possible so wait times and service can be managed.  Until bars are open you must book for the purpose of dining 

Takeaways; order from the Facebook Page by clicking shop now or from the button on the website, Phone: 03 438 7899,  Mobile:027 525 5505



Jake's Hardware
24 Market Plc, Twizel 
P: 03-435 0881
E: W:

Mackenzie Pharmacy
7 Market Plc, Twizel
03 435 0883
Check the facebook page or website for updates
Delivers to Omarama and Otematata.


Brydone Wholefoods
451 Alma-Maheno Road, State Highway 1, Oamaru
Level 2 Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm
Order online at Delivery service up the Waitaki Valley through to Twizel provided by Lakeline Freight. Order before 9am Tuesday's for Wednesday delivery.
Phone: (03) 434 6744 Email:
NETWORK WAITAKI please refer to the Facebook page for regular updates 
For information about services click here

Shopping safely guidance 


Simple guidance is now available for people in New Zealand to keep themselves and others safe while doing their supermarket shop. 

The information covers:

  • how to prepare so you can get in and out quickly
  • tips to keep 2 metres away from other shoppers and supermarket staff
  • hygiene tips for while you shop
  • what to do with your groceries when you get home.

Find out more about shopping safely

Kurow Medical Centre and its satellite clinics
in Twizel (Mackenzie Health Centre Private Clinic)
and Omarama (Community Hall)


In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect our vulnerable at-risk patients we have been asked by the College of General Practitioners to only see patients at our clinics if they really need to be seen.
For all other appointments, we will now do these via telephone OR virtual consultations (for this you will need a computer, laptop or smart phone so we can send you a link to download). All screening appointments i.e. Health Heart Checks, Diabetic checks, Cervical Smears etc. will be re-scheduled for a later date.


Call 03 436 0760 or 03 976 0503 to speak with the Doctor or Nurse.
Please be reassured you WILL be seen if your condition is urgent!

Our aim is to bring in patients one at a time from their cars.
Flu shots are now in and will still be given to patients who are eligible but this will now take place outside the clinics and preferably whilst you are sitting in your car.
Again phone ahead first to arrange a time with the nurse.
Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times.

Take care and keep safe, Juliet and Tim.

8 Wynyard St, Kurow  
P: 03 4360760  F: 03 4360780 

The Mackenzie Health Centre is our Twizel Satellite Clinic at:
3A Benmore Place, Twizel. Phone: 03 976 0503 Fax: 03 436 0780

Omarama Clinic at Omarama Community Centre, Chain Hills Highway, Omarama.
Phone: 03 4360 760, Cell: 027 434 7464.

Waitaki District Council update
The Otago Welfare Help Centre
operating 9am-5pm
Call or email 0800 322 4000 or


Council services at Covid-19 alert level 2
Please check the council website for regular updates to these.

Check rubbish and recycling details here
The council’s rural recovery parks (transfer stations) and Palmerston Landfill will return to normal hours at alert level 2. (Note; winter opening days have now commenced):
Omarama - Wednesdays and Sundays, 9am-12pm
Otematata - Wednesdays and Sundays, 1pm-4pm

Rates rebate aid available from Monday, May 18.
From Monday, Waitaki ratepayers will be able to bring their 2019/2020 Rates rebate applications in for the witnessing of their signature and, if required, help with the completion of their application. Staff will be available to assist both at our Waihemo Service Centre as well as at the council offices in Oamaru.
As we will be maintaining social distancing with the door being monitored by an officer, to avoid waiting it is recommended that you make an appointment with rebate officer Jay McMillan.
Bring relevant paperwork, such as proof of income from all sources to the end of March 2019.
There will be an area set aside allowing for social distancing, where you will be able to talk to a council representative who may be able to assist with your application.
An application form for the 2020 /2021 rates rebates will be posted out to ratepayers at the end of July.
If you require an appointment please call the customer services team, 03 433 0300.
The council wants to hear if you feel that current circumstances mean paying your rates will be difficult. 

Waitaki District libraries
There is a two stage process to the reopening of libraries.
Firstly, there is managing and quarantining the return of  about 6000 items.
Secondly, will be managing safely opening to the public with limited hours and services to meet Public Health requirements.
The Omarama and Otematata branches remain closed.

Waitaki Lakes Camping
Under Level 2, inter-regional travel is permitted and camping grounds will open for the purpose of packing down campsites only, not for recreational camping.
Waitaki Lakes Camping grounds will open on Thursday, May 14, and close on Monday, June 1, to allow people plenty of time to make plans to get there and pack down sites over that period.
What you need to know:
- One overnight stay is allowed only if needed, unless this is not possible, and then campers are asked to apply to, in writing, for a longer stay period.
- Under Level 2, social distancing is still advised so stay at least 2 metres away from those you don’t know
- Keep your own personal contact register of who you come into contact with
- Bring your own hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies if possible
- Sign-in to the register at each kiosk on arrival and on leaving
- Read the guidance at each noticeboard and on facility doors
- Campers are responsible for their own caravans and camp equipment

Playgrounds and sports courts
Public health measures still need to be adhered to under level 2 – meaning they are open for business but not quite as usual. Contractors will be inspecting facilities as quickly as possible and removing signs and tape. Please refrain from using until these have been removed.

Tuesday's (May 12, 2020)  council meeting was conducted via video link and live-streamed. A recording of the meeting is available here. The agenda for the meeting is here

The Ahuriri Community Board Meeting for Monday May 11 has been cancelled.
The next meeting will be held via video link on Monday June 8, 2020. 
For more information click here


 What’s open in Waitaki
The Waitaki District pandemic response information page is here:

The Waitaki District Council facebook page is here
How goes it today?
Places to find support - click below to go to websites

- Police message to people facing family harm

The police are urging anyone with concerns or information about family harm in their community to get in touch as soon as they can. If you are in immediate danger and you cannot call 111, leave your house and get out of harm’s way. Your safety comes first. Get to a safe distance and then ask a neighbour, or a passer-by (at a two metre distance) to call 111 for you.  Neighbours and friends are urged  to contact police if they have concerns.
A list of support services is below:
211 Helpline (0800 211 211) – for help finding, and direct transfer to, community-based health and social support services in your area. 
Find your Local Women's Refuge by calling 0800 743 843 (0800 REFUGE) to be linked up with an advocate in your area. 
Victim Support – call 0800 842 846. 
Victim Information Line/Victim Centre – call 0800 650 654 or email
Shine domestic abuse services – free call 0508 744 633 (9am to 11pm) if you're experiencing domestic abuse, or want to know how to help someone else.  
Family violence information line – call 0800 456 450 to find out about local services or how to help someone near you.  
Elder Abuse Helpline – call 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK) - a 24-hour service answered by registered nurses who can connect to local elder abuse specialist providers.  
Tu Wahine Trust – call 09 838 8700 for kaupapa Māori counselling, therapy and support for survivors of sexual harm (mahi tukino) and violence within whānau.  
Shakti New Zealand – call 0800 742 584 for culturally competent support services for women, children and families of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin who have experienced domestic violence.  
Safe to Talk – sexual harm helpline. Call 0800 044 334, text 4334 or email  
Rape Crisis Centres – call 0800 88 3300 for contact details of your local centre. 
Male Survivors Aotearoa New Zealand – call 0800 044 344. 
Tu Wahine Trust – call 09 838 8700 for kaupapa Māori counselling, therapy and support for survivors of sexual harm (mahi tukino) and violence within whānau. 
ACC Sensitive Claims Unit – call 0800 735 566 for access to services related to sexual abuse or sexual assault. 
Hey Bro helpline – call 0800 HeyBro (0800 439 276). 24/7 help for men who feel they're going to harm a loved one or whānau member. 
Korowai Tumanoko – text or call 022 474 7044 for a kaupapa Māori service for those with concerning or harmful sexual behaviour.  
Need to Talk? 1737 – free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. 
Youthline – call 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email
Kidsline – call 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age (24-hour service). 
Skylight– call 0800 299 100 helping children, young people and their families and whānau through tough times of change, loss, trauma and grief. 
Oranga Tamariki – call 0508 325 459 (0508 FAMILY) or email for concerns about children and young people.
Covid-19 Hotline – 0800 VIRUS19 (0800 847 8719) Use this line for any health concerns or if you need help with what to do if you are starting to show signs of Covid-19. Call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mental Health and Wellbeing – 1737
This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Financial Support – 0800 779 997
For individuals and families. Information on what assistance may be available to you. Call 8am-10pm, seven days a week.
For practical ideas on looking after yourself and your whānau:
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
It's all right...

Advice for Farmers
Otago Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) continues to provide its support service over the phone or on Skype/Zoom during lockdown.
They can help connect farming families with business advice, suppliers, financial information, health, and counselling services. Their services are free and confidential.
Guidance is going out to farmers about managing under meatworks’ capacity restrictions.
See for details.
Industry groups and MPI have launched a stock feed planning service for all farmers nation-wide.
Toll free numbers:
drystock farmers call 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352), dairy sector 0800 4DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969), anyone can call 0508 AGFIRST (0508 243 477).
See MPI’s COVID-19 & Primary Industries FAQ webpage for more information:
Industry and MPI are also preparing advice about the 1 June dairy “Gypsy Day” changes, which will be promoted by industry groups and Federated Farmers.
Kia kaha good friends, it's been a pleasure :)
Please share this email and encourage others to subscribe if they need to get local notices. 

Here is the link to the Government's one stop shop
for all things Covid-19- related

(There are daily updates, check it out.)

Radio New Zealand is the best radio station to tune to for the latest updates, or check its site for news. Listen Live FM 97.3 MHz Omarama,  Ch-50 on Freeview TV, CH-421 on Sky TV, via Internet

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If you want to view previous issues click on 'view this email in your browser' at the top  right of this page. Then click on 'past issues' at the top left of that page.

Just to let you know, the next Omarama Gazette will be Wednesday, June 3, and the  Otematata Chronicle will be produced Wednesday, June 17
For those who advertise regularly in the Gazette and Chronicle, I will extend your present  contract arrangement accordingly. Please contact me if you would prefer a refund - many thanks for your support.
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016-2020, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.

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