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Ōmārama Gazette
April 2022

The April Issue 

The Noticeboard 
On the front line in Parliament grounds
Recognition of "outstanding efforts" at the Ōhau fire 
Club hosts open day - reports of crash inaccurate

Farewell Denise, you will be missed
Let's get physical
Something to Puzzle Over 
The Community Reports 
And then there's Covid-19:
                                                      *An update from the Community Care Group
                                                      *A few FAQs about the Community Care Group
                                                      *After Covid - The Ministry's advice
The Directory
The Last Page is Classifieds
The Weather that Was 
The Noticeboard

To have your community notice included here email:

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Russell Gee who died last month in Dunedin Hospital. Russell has been the manager of Big Sky Motel for the past two years. "Loved his job, loved the town, will be sorely missed".

Sincerest condolences to Nathan, Vanessa and Paul, their families and wider whanau, and to the many friends of Denise Tamati, who died in Omarama, last month. 

Many happy returns to Tony Gloag (below left), Inverness House, Buscot Station, who celebrated his 78th birthday on Sunday.

A belated Happy Birthday to Foodstuffs Merchandise Operations  manager David MacKenzie (above right) who found  himself making a sudden trip from Christchurch to Omarama on his birthday for work.
We understand he was allowed one coffee break, and he did manage to get all the tins up the right way!
We'll rustle you up a cupcake with a candle on it for  next year. What? They didn't tell you were here for good!
Thank you so much David for pitching in and  'looking out for our locals'. It is so much appreciated.

The Omarama Calf Sale is at 10am, tomorrow, Thursday April 7, at the Omarama Sale Yards 

Thank you from Gillian Wills
"Every now and then something happens to jolt us out of our comfortable, take it for granted, existence to remind us of how lucky we are to be alive at this time and to live in such a lovely place as Omarama.
This happened to me on Friday when a large kidney stone decided to make its presence felt in quite an excruciating manner!
I was rendered fairly incapable, but thanks to Justin, Milan, the wonderful First Responders of Omarama and the Nurse from Twizel I was soon in the very efficient, friendly and capable hands of the Oamaru Hospital for a one night stay.
Thank you to everyone for your concern for my welfare. I have been very touched by the family feeling such an event evokes and I am very appreciative." - Gillian Wills

Kurow Medical Centre  Ōmārama Clinic at the  Ōmārama Community Centre, is open Thursdays, 8.30am to 12.30pm. To make appointments for all clinics, order repeat scripts or make enquiries please contact Kurow Medical Centre 03 436 0760
(Monday to Thursdays).

The Ōmārama Community Library is open 9.30am to 11am,  Wednesdays and Saturdays. Library hours can change. Contact Yvonne: 027 476 7473.

St Thomas' Ōmārama Church Community: 
chairperson: Ven Dr Michael Godfrey, phone 022 342 9977 or  email; committee secretary (Presbyterian): Rev Lee Kearon, phone: 021 250 1060 or email:

The Ōmārama Golf Club  Saturdays cards in 12pm, tee-off 12.30pm. Club captain James Moynihan phone: 027 215 8266; email

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.

Ōmārama Playgroup meets at 9.30am each Wednesday during the primary school term at the Ōmārama Community Centre.  For more information phone president Tarryn Benton 027 201 7065 or secretary Aimee Snelgrove 022 350 5536

Bridge Club - The Ōmārama  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 Ōmārama Model Aircraft Club meets on Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 noon at its flying ground at the Ōmārama airfield. All welcome - Contact Don Selbie on 027 435 5516.

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

A gentle exercises and social afternoon group meets at the Otematata District Club at 1.30pm  Thursday afternoons. Gold coin donation and a cuppa after the exercises.

Plunket Line: 0800 933 922
Ōmārama Plunket Committee: phone Petrina Paton 027 345 6192 
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 Ōmārama  Gazette
please contact Ruth Grundy, 021 294 8002 or email
and I will do my very best to put it right.

To receive email alerts between monthly editions of the Ōmārama Gazette sign up to our 'Local List'.
and put 'Local List' in the subject line.
On the front line at Parliament grounds
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses media to publicly thank police for their efforts
to restore Parliament grounds. ( Bean is the police officer second from left) Photo: Supplied

By Senior Constable Nayland (Bean) Smith

I was asked to talk about my experience at the recent riot in Wellington so here it is.
I was lucky enough to get called up to help out with the Wellington Riot. Prior to coming to little ol' Omarama I was part of the Team Policing unit in Dunedin, where we dealt with the Undie 500 Riots among other things. A lot of officers with similar experience were asked to lend a hand to ensure Police had adequate numbers.
I was wrangled into my old team from Dunedin and shot up to Wellington for the final week where we spent the first two days learning the lay of the land and going through some refresher training. We also went over the legal aspects of the protest, ensuring that we had the authority to remove these trespassers. 

In honesty, I didn’t need to know this. I’d seen the reports of school kids being abused, a school actually having to shut down, normal everyday businesses already struggling due to Covid-19 now having no customers and copping abuse from protesters because they were following the law and wearing masks. As far as I could tell all of Wellington wanted this lot gone and I was happy to be able to go and help. This was really evident the day after with the amount of toots and shouts of thanks we received from members of the public.
Wednesday we started at 4.30am, from there we began our operation. Right from the onset we were met with violence from a small pocket of protesters who threw bricks, bits of wood and excrement at us. Luckily for me I was beside a 'big tank' who wore most of the excrement! After our initial push we had taken the top part of the Parliament Library grounds back. We then held this area for about five hours while the other units began closing in around the surrounding streets, slowly whittling away at the size of protest and the camp itself.
For four to five hours we were only a stone’s throw away from the protesters who were on the other side of a small concrete wall. The majority of these protesters were peaceful, and I saw a few actually confront the troublemakers and tell them to bugger off, even taking spades and other weapons of opportunity off them.
The majority of that time I was able to get a real look at the type of people who were “protesting”. The majority of them were passionate but obviously misinformed and believing all of the misinformation being fed to them.  I was surprised to see a couple of well-dressed ladies easily in their 70s standing in front of me. I thought “they look like decent people”, then they spoke. After they’d told me that I should throw down my shield and join them, they began to tell me how ashamed my family would be, before telling me that we were no better than the nazis, and that I will look back at this day and be ashamed for the rest of my life.  Another common call was that “we’re Tangata whenua” and we the police were trespassing. Go figure, when Te Ātiawa iwi are the actual Tangata whenua, and actually wanted the protesters to leave!
There were a few spokespeople who were quite articulate, but the ones I listened too were idiots who had found that they could hold an audience and just loved the sound of their own voice. It didn’t seem to matter what they said as long as it made some sort of dig at the Government.
I had another protester tell me that I had razor blades in my blood, and my children would die from being vaccinated. The abuse and continuous diatribe of dribble was certainly beginning to wear thin. 
By the time we did our major push to retake the remainder of the grounds and surrounding streets the peaceful protesters had scarpered and left the remainder of troublemakers to it. Thankfully, by this stage we had been allowed to get into our riot gear which offered a lot more protection. 
We had fireworks thrown at us, chairs, one of which I had to fend away from my head with my hand, bricks, bottles, god knows what substances, bits of wood, protesters trying to drag our shields down so they could have a crack at us. It was a full on scrap. At one stage the protesters had a plywood sheet in front of them trying to push us back. It was like I was a lock again in a scrum. I actually felt sorry for my two mates in front of me who I was pushing against, (we won the scrum and moved forward). We finally finished at about 10.30pm that night. Be fair to say I slept like a baby!
I’m all for freedom of speech but this wasn’t a protest anymore it was an occupation, an occupation that was totally illegal and encroaching on a lot of others way of life, they were totally selfish, and it needed to come to an end. 
To those two old ducks, yes you were right I will look back at this day, but with pride that I was part of a large team of police officers who helped end a protest that will be remembered in disgust by the majority of New Zealand.
Photos: Supplied
Unfortunately, we never got to the opportunity to take any photos during the action, but our NCOs managed to get a couple when it was quiet so here they are:
Top: Regained ground outside Parliament Library 
Middle left: Holding our line for the next five or so hours 
Middle right: Being 'educated' for five hours (or more like a lifetime)
Bottom left: Retaking Molesworth Street
Bottom right: Battle of the plywood (pic from Google)
Bottom: Like a war zone 
Recognition of "outstanding efforts" 
Ōmārama Fire brigade volunteers (from left) station officer Maurice Cowie, operations support and first responder Liz Komen, senior firefighters Peter Trusler and Jack Zorab accept the award the excellence award and trophy. (Absent: Qualified fire fighter Jacob Cook has since left Ōmārama and joined the Luggate Fire Brigade  and recruit firefighter Jessie Chapman has since joined the Oamaru Brigade. Photo: supplied

By Greg Harper, Chief Fire Officer,  Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade

Gazette Readers,

I feel very proud to be passing on this information to you.
The Ōmārama and Twizel brigades have both been acknowledged in the Fire and Emergency New Zealand  Te Kei (Region 5) Symbol of Excellence Awards for the outstanding efforts at the Ōhau fire on 4th October 2020. The Te Kei covers Otago and Southland.
The first crews on the call encountered some of the worst fire fighting conditions you could imagine with high winds and a fast moving fire.
Their first priority was to make sure the residents were evacuated which was achieved by using the siren and intercom on the truck as well as knocking on doors.
The help of our local policeman Nayland Smith (Bean) must be mentioned as he was also involved in the evacuation.


After all were evacuated both Ōmārama and Twizel moved into firefighting mode and moved through the area saving as many dwellings as they could.
The Ōhau Residents also must be congratulated on their response as they followed the Tactical Fire Plan that was in place for them in such an event. They were also recognised in the Symbol of Excellence Awards awards for their efforts in the evacuation. Congratulations to you all.         
The first crews in from the Ōmārama Brigade were Station officer Maurice Cowie, Senior firefighter Jack Zorab, Qualified fire fighter Jacob Cook, Recruit firefighter Jessie Chapman; senior firefighter Peter Trusler and Operations support Liz Komen.
Back at the Station Georgie Robertson and Charlotte Derosa were busy setting up an evacuation centre at the Community Hall in case it was required.
Senior firefighter Zane Lord made his way up there and was assigned to the crew from Tekapo.
Later in the morning myself, firefighter Bruce Dyson and Operations support  Jim Courtney made our way up to relieve some of the team.
There are  few members that could not attend for a number of reasons but they were all around to help clean and sort out gear to refit the trucks in following days - Truly a team effort so pat yourselves on the back both Ōmārama and Twizel for the tremendous effort put in at this call.

Also thankyou to all the brigades from all over for their efforts in the days that followed which allowed us to recover and get back to our daily life and looking after our patch

Photos below: The trophy and certificate awarded to the Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade. (Supplied)
Gliding club hosts open day
- reports of 'plane crash' inaccurate
Preparing for launch and a gliding experience at the
recent Ōmārama Gliding Club open day. Photo: supplied 

By Brian Savage, Ōmārama Gliding Club president.

Ōmārama Gliding Club Open Day.
Several locals pitched up for our Open Day and took flights in gliders.
Even though the weather was not perfect for gliding, they all reported having a good time and enjoyed the experience and instruction received during the flight.
We plan to hold an open-day once or twice a year in the future as a thank you to the Ōmārama community for us looking down on you all while we fly overhead.
We will aim to give more warning next time with a notice in the Gazette well ahead of time.
We actually managed to get a few more locals turn up, but rather than to go for a flight, they were there as first responders as we had an incident that saw them called out to the airfield.

As many of you will have heard about this incident, I’d like to take the opportunity to expand on what actually happened as it certainly wasn’t as dramatic as what was reported in the press.
The incident was reported to the CAA and Gliding NZ and the latter have made their initial report with some lessons to be learnt and overall praise of how the incident was handled. 
In summary, the rear canopy on the two-seat glider came open shortly after take-off on the winch launch.  As the canopy opened, it fractured and a piece of plexiglass struck the instructor on the forehead, causing a small cut.
The crew were an instructor in the back seat and a pupil in the front seat.
Both are members of our Youth Glide program and although the pupil was only 14, he had flown solo in a glider and was undertaking ongoing winch launch training. The instructor was 20 and had been instructing for several years.
The pupil was flying the launch and his response on hearing the canopy bang open and shatter was exemplary, a testament to the quality of the instruction our trainees receive. He immediately checked whether he should continue in flying control as on a training flight, if anything unusual happens, the instructor may take control of the aircraft if required. On not hearing the instructor take control, but knowing things weren’t right, he released the winch cable and performed a perfect landing straight ahead on the airfield, under some stress, as you may well imagine!
After landing, he hopped out, opened the glider’s first aid kit and tended to the Instructor’s injury while also calling out the first responders. Coincidentally, the student’s long-term goal is to become a paramedic; having already undertaken First Aid courses with St John and visited the Omarama First Responders training sessions. This was great “training” for him.
The instructor was taken to the Twizel Medical Centre for a check and a bit of superglue to the wound and he has recovered perfectly and been back instructing. Meanwhile, the glider is now awaiting a new rear canopy from Germany.
Notwithstanding the canopy failure, we are all very pleased with the positive outcome. 
Compared to sitting on a couch playing computer games, Gliding may be considered to have a higher risk, but it also instils confidence in youngsters, unlocks their abilities and develops good judgement.
We see this with all our young pilots. They typically arrive a little nervous at the beginning, yet over the course of their training, we see them grow as their skills develop and they learn to fly and exercise good judgement and decision making. These are all skills that set them up for life on the ground as well as in the air.
Farewell Denise, you will be missed
The Tamati family would like to thank the very special community of Ōmārama for their amazing support during this difficult time
which has helped the family immensely
to come to terms with their loss.

(For those who were not able to be there, the family have graciously agreed to share the video link to the service held to celebrate Denise's life. Please contact me at to be sent the link - Ruth Grundy)

Long-time friend Barbara Hutton officiated at the service and family tributes were given by Talia Tamati, Tania Dick and Paul Tamati.

Below: The Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade formed a guard of honour to welcome the cortege of family and friends of long-time resident Denise Tamati, who passed away March 4. The  service closed with a moving haka performed by whanau.
Let's get physical
Above: The team form KSouth Oamaru at work.

By Ruth Grundy
The Ōmārama Playground has new toys, and they’re toys for the older girls and boys. 
Thanks to some generous donations; $10,374 from the Meridian Waitaki Power Up Fund, $1,000 from the family of Bernard and Joan Gillies, and the Residents’ Association of Ōmārama who made up the difference in cost, two pieces of outdoor adult fitness equipment have been installed at the Ōmārama Playground.
The Waitaki District Council, which owns the playground on behalf of ratepayers,  will pay for the installation and ongoing maintenance of these pieces.
The equipment was installed last week by Kerry Robb and Sam, of KSouth Oamaru, council-approved contractors.
The two pieces of combination equipment  were bought from Norwell Outdoor Fitness.
Each offers a low-impact, easy-to-use exercise option and has a QR code which can link you to further information.

Something to puzzle over 

Who could forget this moment? 
From October 2020 and the Canterbury - Fire and Emergency Facebook page

Hebe the hero Border Collie receives her award for bravery from Fire and Emergency NZ incident controller Rob Hands. 
"In the early hours of Sunday morning a beautiful black and white old puppy needed to go to the toilet. This action set off a chain of event which lead to the safe evacuation of all residents and holidaymakers in the township of Lake Ohau.
Hebe helped alert her owners to the pending fire and with their help they started to drive around the village waking up the sleepy residents to get them out.
For her canine bravery efforts Hebe was presented a certificate of recognition from Fire and Emergency. She is now an honourary fire fighter.
We commend not only Hebe but her owners Viv and Louis Smith-Campbell for their quick actions in getting themselves and their neighbours in the township out. The village had a fire plan in place and enacted it when the alarm was raised, this not only saved the lives of the permanent residents but also the holidaymakers who did not know about this plan."
The May issue of the Ōmārama Gazette
is Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The close-off for this is Thursday, April 28.

Office hours are from 8am to 10am, Monday to Friday
Advertising pays for
production and distribution
To find out about publication and close-off dates,
and how much it costs to place your advertisment, 
 phone 021 294 8002, 03 438 9766 or email
The Community Reports
Upper Waitaki Police 
Hi everyone,

I thought it was time I gave a wee update on what I’ve been up to in the last few months.

To be fair its been fairly quiet around the area (touch wood) I’ve had a couple of incidents which I have had to deal with within the township. These matters are now before the Court so I will leave it at that.

Couple of minor car crashes, same old pattern. Not driving to the conditions or taking due care.
I also attended the glider crash [which resulted in the death of pilot Robert Martin], with the assistance of your local LandSAR team volunteers who once again reminded me how lucky we are to have such a professional and well trained resource.
Other’s things I think mentioning are; Dogs, I see on the local blabber book pages quite a few adverts from locals who have lost or found dogs wandering around the town. Some of these dogs appear to be repeat offenders. We do need to take extra care where our dogs are at all times. We need to remember we live in the country with farms all around. It would be extremely unfortunate if a farmer is forced to protect his stock because of some dog owner's carelessness. Everyone loses out if this occurs. So please make sure your gates are locked and your properties dog proof. 
Drink driving, I get the feeling that a small minority of people around here are beginning to become a bit lax and think its okay to have a few drinks and then drive home. I’m not sure if this is just me or there is an issue. Best way for me to find out is to concentrate on alcohol testing for a while to see for myself. So be warned and expect to be stopped by me or a colleague should you decide to drive after a few.
Lastly, if you have something to report, for example, locating a stolen car. By all means ring me but if I don’t answer please don’t leave a message and presume I’ll clear it that same day. That’s my work phone and if I’m on days off I won’t check it until I’m back to work. PLEASE RING 105, and unless you’ve actually spoken to me, presume I don’t know.

That's it from me,

Senior Constable Nayland Smith 
Sole charge Constable / Omarama / Po Box 101, Omarama 9448.
Phone:  (03) 438 9559 / Ext:  34580 /
Ōmārama Volunteer Fire Brigade
Hello everyone,
Another month has flown by.
Well, Covid is definitely amongst us in Omarama. I hope you are all coping with what it can bring.
We have had it our house but I have managed to avoid it so far.
If you need any help please don’t be to proud to seek help from either your GP or contact our Omarama Community Care group. (See contact details below).
Daylight saving ended in the early hours of Sunday,  April 3. This a good time to test your smoke alarm. (But not at 2 am.)
As always, if you have any problem with this please give me a call and we will come and help you.
If you do, please make sure your household is Covid free.
As in last month's Gazette, make sure your chimney is clean and you are burning dry firewood.
We have dropped back into Prohibited Fire Season until the April 12.
Please check the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website before you light.

Stay Safe
Greg Harper and the team at the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade      

Greg Harper
Chief Fire Officer 
021 293 1171
Facebook: /Omaramafirebrigade
Ōmārama Golf Club
By Christine Bowman

It has been pleasing to see the golf club really busy over the summer months. 
Interesting fact, as at March 26, 2022 the clubs playing numbers are up 40.6% compared to the same period in 2021.  New Zealand overall is only up 8.5%.  This is a combination of twilight golf, higher numbers on our Saturday Club day and increase in green fee players. 

Our next main event is our Easter tournament (see poster below) on Saturday, April 16. All are welcome, and we do have a section for those without a handicap so don't be shy. Please pass this information to family and friends.

Thanks to the grant from NZ Community Trust Net Proceeds Committee we have now carpet-tiled the clubrooms and upgraded the toilets. This was well overdue and has made a huge difference to the clubrooms and made them look more modern. (See photo below) The guys are now to scared to drop pie crumbs on the floor!!! 

A couple of special mentions for two of our club members:
On Saturday, January 22, John Anderson scored two eagles (two under par. First was on our par 5-hole number 8 and repeated it again same hole second time round (number 17). A great achievement.  
Also on Saturday, March 5, Ron MacPhail (see photo below right) scored a 67 (the course record is 65) his best score. This included three birdies and one eagle.  This is something most of us dream about. Well done. 

As daylight finishes this weekend, from Saturday, April 9, our Saturday club day tee-off time changes to cards in 12.00 pm and tee off 12.30 pm.

Club captain James Moynihan, phone: 027 215 8266;
Secretary: Christine Bowman phone: 0272092320

Photos: supplied
Ōmārama Collie Dog Club
The New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association's TUX South Island Championships will be hosted by the North Otago Centre, in  Alexandra starting Monday, May 2.
The TUX North Island and New Zealand Championships will be hosted by the King Country Centre at Taumarunui, starting Monday May 30.
Below are the results from the Ōmārama Collie Dog Club trials held March 6 and 7 at the grounds on Dalrachney Station.
Friends of Ōmārama School
Annual meeting

The Friends of Ōmārama School annual meeting is
6pm, Tuesday, April 12
at Ōmārama School

Contact: Carla Hunter P O Box 53, Omarama 9448; email:
Ōmārama Shed
The Ōmārama Shed group meets at 10am each Saturday 

and at other times, too.

For further information contact: Murray Stuart 027 432 7537

Boots and Jandals Hotel Omarama Social Club
4wd Trip Lindis Pass/ Ahuriri Valley area.

Sunday, April 10 departing 9.30 am hotel car park.
BYO lunch, passengers welcome.
Back at hotel approx 3.30 pm
where a very light meal, finger food etc will be provided.
Cost $10.00 per person, non-social club members welcome.
Just to be aware this event is weather dependent 

To confirm attendance or for any enquiries
please contact Philip Jannink 027 410 6524
by Friday, April 8, 2022.

Hope to see you there 
Ōmārama Community Library 
Ōmārama Community Library volunteer Georgie Robertson takes receipt of Omarama's Healthy Homes toolkit from a Network Waitaki  representative. The kit is now available for loan.

The Ōmārama Community Library now has a "Healthy Homes Toolkit" available for loan thanks to an initiative of Network Waitaki, the Waitaki District Libraries and the Cosy Homes Trust.

The toolbox includes devices to: 
*measure air temperature and moisture level
*find heat loss due to poor insulation or air leaks
*measure water temperature
*measure water flow rate
*measure moisture level in firewood
*measure power consumption of appliances
And includes instructions on how to use the devices, what the measurements mean, suggested actions and cost saving tips and a record book to record measurements and energy saving actions for future reference.
These can be issued like a book on your library card  - they are free to borrow.
Here is the link to the item in the catalogue 

If you think you may need help to use the kit our Omarama Library volunteers can arrange this for you.

For those keen to know a bit more about the technical side of things here is a link to an example  instruction book - this one is issued by Dunedin Public Libraries, so please disregard the Dunedin references. 

The  Ōmārama Community Library  
is open 9.30am to 11am, 
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 
at the Ōmārama Community Centre.

Contacts: Georgie  027 486 1525 or Yvonne  027 476 7473
Ōmārama Playgroup
The Ōmārama Playgroup is holding an Easter playgroup session
at the Pink Glider Café, on Wednesday, April 13
with an Easter egg hunt  for its end-of-term 1 break up.
There will also be a short committee meeting to discuss new roles
when the position of president becomes vacant at the end of the month.

Ōmārama Playgroup meets at 9.30am each Wednesday during the primary school term at the Ōmārama Community Centre.  For more information phone president Tarryn Benton 027 201 7065 or secretary Aimee Snelgrove 022 350 5536  
Ōmārama Residents' Association 
The next meeting of the 

Ōmārama Residents' Association is
7.30 pm Thursday, April 21, 2022

at the Ōmārama Community Centre

An invitation is extended to all

Lindsay Purvis, chairperson, 027 438 9630
Yvonne Jones, secretary, 027 476 7473 

The minutes of the last meeting are available from Yvonne
Could 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, Ōmārama 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  Michelle Kitchen, 027 280 5446

or email

Ōhau Conservation Trust

Lake Ōhau planting sessions starting soon

By Viv Smith-Campbell, Chairperson, The Ōhau Conservation Trust
Photos: supplied

The Ōhau Conservation Trust has five planting sessions scheduled through autumn and we'd love people to come along to help us get 1000 native plants in the ground.

Each session is held on a Sunday starting at 10am. We have the planting equipment, plants and planting materials (plant protectors, weed mats and fertiliser) all ready to go. You can bring a spade and a hammer to bang the plant protector pole in place - also bring some food/drink and footwear (sturdy shoes) and clothes to suit the weather on the day.

We're still working on the location of each planting sessions - the details will be available on the Trust's website closer to the days -

The planting sessions are on:

  • 17 April – Easter Sunday
  • 24 April – ANZAC weekend
  • 8 May
  • 22 May
  • 5 June – Queens Birthday weekend

We are very grateful for the donations of funds and planting materials that make these planting sessions possible. While nature is doing its best to recover from the October 2020 wildfire, adding more plants into our special natural environment is important to help restore habitat and food sources for native birds, insects and lizards.

Come out to Lake Ōhau for a morning of planting - we look forward to seeing you.

‘The Community Reports' is
dedicated to news
from clubs, groups and sports teams.

Contributions are welcome 
Omarama Four Square | 10 Chain Hills Highway | Omarama 9448 | Phone: 03 438 9895
We now offer the email ordering should you be unable to, or simply prefer not to, shop personally during this time.
Orders must be received by 5pm Monday to Saturday for delivery/collection the following day.
NB: Should you email/call outside these set times, the order will not be picked/delivered until the following work day noted above.

Please send orders to -

Below is a link to a template grocery order form to be completed, which on receiving – our team will put together for you.
Stay safe everyone. 
From Alona and Blair, and your Four Square team

There are two ways to access the order form. In both cases the completed form must be emailed

1. Click here to download the Microsoft Word form.
         * save it to your computer. 
         * type in your order, save it, attach it to the email and send.

2. Click here to open the form as a PDF.
      * download the form and save it to your computer
      * print it
      *write your order on the form
      *scan it or photograph it, attach it to the email and send.
and from the Mackenzie Pharmacy
The Mackenzie Pharmacy is able to use the services of the Community Care Group  delivery drivers to pick up medicines from its drop-off point at Four Square Ōmārama and deliver them to your gate. 
(From 4pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

However, the pharmacist requires your permission to do so.
By using this service you reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 to shop staff and  in the community.
Next time, you need a pharmacy order please consider telling Mackenzie Pharmacy staff you want to use this service. This service includes all households in Ōmārama and our outlying areas. It is free.
Mackenzie Pharmacy 6-7 Market Place, Twizel. Phone 03 435 0883
And now for the Covid stuff 😀

Let's take this on together 
An update on the work of the Community Care Group 

By Ruth Grundy

Since the second week of February  when Ōmārama had its first known case of Covid-19 the Ōmārama Community Care Group has delivered care packs to 35 households comprising 107 people who have been required to isolate (not all have contracted Covid). 
Although, these numbers are important for fundraising and accountancy, I feel they are otherwise unimportant. Playing the numbers game seems to feed the scaremongering rumour mill and build the stigmatism surrounding the virus.
It is just doing its thing; it is playing out as expected, and we were ready for it.
Let’s not let Covid be the headline.

Here is the headline: We have more than 50 volunteers on our books now, and many more offers of help.  The generosity is  overwhelming. This is what our community is about.


There have been several donations made to the project, including some of significant amounts. 
Bev Purvis has kindly agreed to manage the day-to-day running of this and the Residents Association of Ōmārama because it is a charitable trust and an incorporated society has agreed to oversee the financials. It is reports on these monthly at its meetings and is also subject to an annual audit.
People have also been very generous in donating pre-loved magazines, toys and baking. We are well-stocked for the next round.
Mention must be made of the invaluable assistance of the Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group - our Waitaki Community Connectors - who have provided equipment, food parcels, Rats Tests and funding, plus are in regular contact to check on our progress.
And thanks also go to Tim and Juliet Gardner, of the Kurow Medical and Mackenzie Health centres, for their support.
Should there be funds remaining at the end of the project the Ōmārama Residents' Association committee will make the final decisions about how these will be dispersed at an advertised public meeting.

The Residents' Association has provided the Community Centre kitchen free-of-charge for meal preparation, and  also a room to make up care packages.
Thanks to a working bee  and the hard work of volunteers - Georgie, Carolynne and Kay, in particular, -  we now have freezers stocked with meals - including, vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options -  and baking ready to go. (see photos below) 
Having a room set aside especially for making up the care packs, and set up ready means another person can step in at a moment's notice.
It also means there is place for contactless deliveries and pick-ups.

The team can  also handle pharmacy deliveries from the shop to those who are isolating, provided the individual has okayed it first with the Mackenzie Pharmacy. We collect those packages from the shop after Lakeline has dropped them off and then deliver to the gate. 

Many more are helping behind the scenes. You know who you are and thank you.

I would like to give a shout-out to all our businesses who are going above and beyond and coping as best they can with being short-staffed and catering to increased visitor numbers over this busy time. If our businesses have to close we all lose.

I believe I completely underestimated the boost to morale receiving a care pack would give. 
Plus, people have found the information included useful. Receiving a positive test result can feel  overwhelming and for some quite frightening.

Below are some of the thank you messages posted on Facebook last month.

“We are so blessed to have been delivered a care package from Ōmārama Community Care Group , so unexpected but so special ...”
“Would like to Sincerely thank the Community Care Group and all involved for the wonderful care package we received today.”
“After isolating in a hot caravan bored to tears feeling like crap receiving a care package was amazing huge thank you to all involved in this awesome town of ours much appreciated.”


Our volunteers are here to help - just give anyone of us a call.

If you must self-isolate and there's a few things you've not had a chance to do or get in, or you need to put your mind at rest over something, please feel free to call any of the numbers listed below.
We're a bunch of volunteers able to help with most things.
BUT  we will not approach you unless invited to by yourself or a friend. 
And your privacy and confidentiality will be respected.

🔸Keeping connected - keeping in touch and getting the info
Ruth Grundy, 021 294 8002
Adrienne Harper, 021 139 2817
 🔹‘Meals on wheels’  and deliveries
Carolynne Grant, 03 438 9742 and leave a message.
Georgie Robertson, 027 486 1525

 🔸 Rural tasks (complementing the work of the Rural Support Trust)
Annabelle and Richard Subtil; 
Annabelle 027 406 9522, Richard 027 208 9096
🔹Taking care of visitors and hospitality industry advice
(If you are accommodating guests in any way eg airbnb and have questions, give Megan a call) Megan Talarico, 021 545 566
🔸 Drop-offs and deliveries (other than meals above)
 Alona Shaw, 027 773 4214
🔹Pets and plants and necessary chores.
Tanya Humphreys 022 611 7099

Staying mentally well: This bugger takes its toll. We are all feeling anxious or stressed about this, it’s normal. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
COVID-19 Healthline: 0800 358 5453
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Health advice about babies or children:
Plunket Line: 0800 933 922; Family Services: 0800 211 211
Work and Income: 0800 559 009
Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254
Business support: South Island 0800 505 096
Kurow Medical Centre: 03 436 0760 or Mackenzie Health Centre Twizel: 03 976 0503
Twizel Medical Centre: 03 435 0777
Mackenzie Pharmacy: 03 435 0883
Four Square Omarama:

Our Waitaki Community Connectors
These people are available to help with non-health-related welfare matters.
 Mafa Alaloto 021 107 8163 8.30 to 1pm
Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group Inc
Lauao Havili 027 213 8939 1pm to 5pm
Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group Inc
A dedicated 0800 COVID-19 welfare support helpline (0800 512 337) is also available to those who need to self-isolate.

Help for businesses
Free business helpline: 0800 505 096

Because Facebook is unreliable and some people do not run a social media account, all important or urgent messages will be emailed to you, posted on the noticeboard
and/or posted as flyers in your mailbox.
To make certain you are on the list to receive these local notices email and put 'local list' in the
subject box. We'll do our level best to get the messages to you.

The volunteers involved in the development of this community plan include Omarama Police, FENZ Omarama, Otago Rural Support Trust, Omarama Resident's Association and Omarama business representatives.
Outside agencies - emergency services, medical practices, health and welfare will be able to 'feed into' this plan.
FAQs about the Ōmārama Community Care Group
By Ruth Grundy

Understandably people have questions about the work of this group.
Please feel free to keep asking, and keep on asking - it's the best way to get the correct information and clarify any misinformation.
Below I have tried to address the most commonly asked questions, so hopefully this helps. 


Who is in this group?
The volunteers involved in the development of the overall plan include Ōmārama Police, FENZ Ōmārama, Otago Rural Support Trust, Ōmārama Resident's Association and Ōmārama business representatives.
Outside agencies - emergency services, medical practices, health and welfare are able to 'feed into' this plan.
The names and contact details of the various co-ordinators are listed above.

Why was it set up?
Under more usual circumstances our community comes together to care for and support anyone in need - whether they be ill, or bereaved, or recently had a baby, been in hospital, had bad news  - anything really - and, yes, that has included an outbreak of the flu and a quite vicious chicken pox outbreak.
This time, looking at what was forecast, it appeared Ōmārama, like other small communities, could be overwhelmed by this virus and the isolation requirements, and it was unclear where help might come from given most are in the same boat. Imagine a slow-moving civil defence emergency unfolding. So the community's response needed to be a little more formal.
It is a response which now  fully supported by the Ministry of Social Development's Waitaki Community Connection Service.

What about funding? Are the volunteers paid?
Initially, there was no funding for this project. However, some generous donations have been made which has allowed it to get off the ground and in a timely way.
There is now also funding support from the Waitaki Community Connection service.
As a sign of our volunteers' willingness to help and their generosity, when drivers were offered petrol vouchers for their services all turned down the offer. They were happy to give their time and efforts free of charge. No-one is paid.

How are the finances managed?
This is happening two ways.  Former business owner Bev Purvis has kindly agreed to oversee the day-to-day management of funds. Secondly, the Ōmārama Residents' Association has been asked to provide overall oversight because it is a charitable trust and an incorporated society. It is reporting on this monthly at its meetings and the association is also subject to annual audit. Should there be funds remaining at the end of the project the Association Committee will make the decision about how these will be dispersed at an advertised public meeting.

How can we give?
Many are asking this and  it is a tricky one.
We really have no idea how this will play out over time and we risk  having too much or too little to give away. So, we're approaching this on a step-by-step basis and asking for specific donations as and when required. Our Ōmārama Playgroup have been wonderful, donating pre-loved toys and magazines for the care packs, as and when required. Just when there is a gap another 'gift' arrives on the doorstep and, at present, our freezers are packed with food.

Why have some people missed getting a care pack?
The Care Group has delivered packs to each household as soon as it is aware one has been affected by Covid-19 isolation rules. If a pack has not been delivered it is because we are unaware of the situation. If you are affected, or you are a friend or neighbour of someone who is, please feel free to call any of the numbers listed above. We're a bunch of volunteers able to help with most things. BUT  we will not approach you unless invited to by yourself or a friend. And your privacy and confidentiality will be respected.

"Whoa! Keep your distance. Don't come any closer! It's rife in Ōmārama and you've been mixing with them!"
I'll deal with the two parts of this statement which raises questions separately
1. All services offered by our volunteers are completely contactless. Everyone wears masks, keeps their distance and no-one enters a home. It's not that we don't want to give someone a hug when we see they need it but we take no risks with spreading Covid.

2. Please, don't listen to the misinformation out there - it is that misinformation that is 'really rife'.
The rumours don't matter and the numbers don't count. 
When we reach the other side of this pandemic what will really matter is how each of us took  personal responsibility, and, equally, how we treated each other.

Hold your heads high, Ōmārama. You're doing what counts!
Is your household ready if someone gets Covid 19? Here is a checklist.
Four messages from the Ministry of Health

You do not need a test to leave isolation if you have tested positive for COVID-19. Once you have completed your full 7 days, and have been symptom-free for 24 hours, you’re good to go. If you’re still sick, stay home.
If you take a test after recently recovering from COVID-19, it will likely show as positive – but this does not mean you are infectious. Because of this, you should avoid taking further tests for 28 days. Count your 28 days from when your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first.
After 28 days, if you get new symptoms, take a RAT. If it is positive, you will be considered a new case and will need to isolate again.
If you take a PCR test in the 3 months following recovery, you are likely to get a positive result even if you do not have a new infection. PCR tests are very sensitive and you will still have the virus in your system.
While you can get COVID-19 again at any time, the chance of reinfection in the 3 months after recovery is low. After you’ve recovered, you do not need to isolate as a Household Contact for 3 months, if someone else in your household tests positive during this time.
Find out more about testing after you have had COVID-19 here:
As you recover from COVID-19, you may find that you are easily fatigued or breathless. Take it easy as you return to your normal activities, and make sure you pace yourself, giving your body a rest if you need to.
If you or your child still have symptoms after your isolation period has ended, you should continue to stay home and recover, until 24 hours after your symptoms resolve. After you have recovered from COVID-19, you do not need to isolate again for 3 months, if someone else in your household tests positive during that time.
You do not need to provide evidence of a negative RAT or PCR to return to school or work. You should not have further COVID-19 tests for 28 days from when your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first.
Many children have a long-lasting runny nose or cough after viral infections. If it has been more than 10 days since the start of their COVID-19 symptoms and they are no longer unwell, they are not likely to be infectious and can return to school.
Many people who get COVID-19 do recover completely. However, some people report a range of symptoms beyond the standard time of recovery. For support with management and treatment of symptoms, seek help from your GP or health provider.
After you have recovered from COVID-19, you will not need to isolate again for 3 months if someone else in your household tests positive during that time. While the chance of reinfection is low, you can still get COVID-19 again at any time during this 3 months.
Find out more about recovering from COVID-19 here:
If someone else in your house tests positive after you’ve finished isolation as a Household Contact, you may need to isolate again depending on how long it’s been since your last isolation period.

➡️ If less than 10 days have passed since your last isolation ended, you do not need to isolate again as a Household Contact.

➡️ If more than 10 days have passed since your last isolation ended, you will need to isolate again as a Household Contact and get tested on Days 3 and 7.

If you do not need to isolate again you should still be cautious about where you go and who you see. Monitor for symptoms and get tested if any develop.

Find out more about isolation for Household Contacts here:

Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 do not have to isolate again for three months after recovery. 
The Directory 

phone 021 294 8002 or email

The last page is classifieds

Building since 1939 - available for your all of your construction projects in the Upper Waitaki and Mackenzie districts.
Contact our area manager Jason Pryde on 021 340 694
or email
The weather that was - March 
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Thank you, guys, for your contributions to this April issue

This year the Ōmārama Gazette has a focus on community group reports and our 'Noticeboard' section.
Let us all know what you are up to, and any little snippets such as congratulations or farewells.
There are some guidelines and the usual editorial standards will apply.
Contributions of up to 500 words with a minimum of one photo are welcome – as you know most of us have short attention spans.
Contributions must carry a byline, will be fact checked, must be fair and ethical; balancing opinion may be sought.
No promotional or corporate media 'manufactured' pieces,  will be accepted.
We want to read those ‘exclusives’.
Let’s read all about it, and read it here first – let’s have news and more you’ve never heard before!
Go on, let's all have some fun! 
Contact the Ōmārama Gazette
Ōmārama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
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