Strength through service
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- Omarama Gazette -

April 2019

Sponsored by Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park
The April Issue

There'll be a  'cup o' kindness yet', for old times since
Concerns raised about parking at cemetery
Bridge washout in Westland brings more to Omarama
Showcasing what goes into keeping us safe
We had an amazing day! Omarama's Community Picnic 2019
Milestone reached in conservation project

Regular Features

This Issue Brought to you by...
 The Noticeboard 
The Community Reports
Waitaki District Council - News in Brief 
 Environment Canterbury - News in Brief
Those FAQs - Five Awkward Questions with 
The Directory
The Weather that was 
The Last Page is Classifieds 
The Garden Diary 
The View from the Chook House 
There'll be 'a cup o' kindness yet',
for old times since.
There is the remote possibility after many, many years of anticipation it could all be a cup of cold tea.
However, the experts say it is most likely to contain a very fine dram.
Not wanting to pour cold water on that 'fine-drop-of-fire-water' theory, the present owner of this wee gem of Omarama history was warned his precious vintage drop could, in fact, be cold tea.
For the best part of the past decade, a bottle of White Horse Scotch Blended Whisky from that famous brand established in 1919 on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, has been in the safe hands of one Lex Perriam, of Omarama. 
In the six to seven decades prior it had been in the safekeeping of a certain elegant lady proprietress of that venerable establishment, The Omarama Hotel. 
The story, as Lex tells it, goes something like this. 
Jack  and Frances Woods owned the hotel from 1908 until their son Eion and wife, the elegant Aileen, took over the business, sometime after Eion returned from WW2. 
The young couple ran the pub until 1972. 
At some point in the late 1940s or early 1950s Jack returned from overseas with bottle - ‘No. 396402, of The Old Blend Scotch Whisky from The Original Recipe’  and gave it to Aileen for safekeeping because Eion was known to enjoy a wee dram or two on the quiet.
She kept it safe until well after Eion's passing and until not long before her final retirement to Oamaru. That was when she passed it on to Lex, who was at the time Omarama’s rural fire officer, to use to raise funds for the volunteer brigade. 
She told him she thought she’d succeeded in keeping it well hidden but did warn, "it could be full of cold tea”, Lex said. 
The multiple and intricate seals on the bottle are still intact and because it was kept out of the light it appears in great condition, a fact noted by the whisky historian consulted by the Omarama Gazette, who examined the photos, last week. 
In 2011, the whisky was duly raffled at the Rural Fire Wajax pump competition held at the Countrytime and attended by up to 300 firefighters and their supporters. 
Fellow Omarama firefighter and Lex's mate John Rogers drew the winning number. 
Lex assures this was no fit-up, but as Lady Luck would have it - it was lucky number 15 – Lex’s number, chosen for his birth-date, February 15, he says, laughing. 
A little worried about just how valuable a treasure he had won, Lex contacted the Woods family to ask if they wanted the bottle back but they assured him he had their blessing. 
 “They said; “Whatever Mum gave you was what she wanted you to have.” 
This year Lex plans to invite the family and others to join him at that fine establishment once run by Mr and Mrs Woods jnr. to witness the moment that seal is finally cracked open  and a wee dram or two drawn for a toast, or a cuppa of the tea o'kindness, to the late Woodsy and Aileen.
Curious as to its history, The Gazette contacted New Zealand Scotch Whisky expert Michael Fraser Milne, of Whisky Galore in Christchurch, and sent him photos of the bottle, the seals and the case.
Lex's bottle came encased in a thick cardboard cover with 1919 scribbled in pencil on the outside.
Mr Fraser Milne identified it as a “very nice example of a late 1940’s to mid-1950’s White Horse Scotch Blended Whisky.
“It is a very well-known brand, established in 1919, and we have seen many of these bottles over the years.
“The original one came with a wee plastic white horse on the neck of the bottle."
He believed the bottle could fetch anywhere between $180 and $300 at auction.
He expected it would only go up in value over the next few years.
“We have opened one recently at a tasting, very good whisky,” Mr Fraser Milne said.

Photo: The late Eion and Aileen Woods (centre)
greet guests outside the Omarama Hotel, in the 1950s.
This Issue Brought to you by ...

Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park

There are just so many ways to do nothing

There are plans to resign the entrance this winter.

There is accommodation to suit all, like the quirky 'Hobbit Huts'...

...and the spacious self-contained unit.

Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park
1 Omarama Avenue
Phone 03 438 9875
It’s April and autumn and  HOL-I-DAAAZE!!
What better excuse do you need for that road trip, or for making Omarama your destination of choice.
Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park has been welcoming families to its stunning site beside the Omarama Stream for generations.
There are just so many things to do or, if you’d prefer it, so many ways to do nothing.
The holiday park is family run – with Tony, Amanda and Jessie Chapman at the helm – and they totally get what goes into making that family holiday effortless and fun.
On top of all the activities on offer, from the children’s playground right at your doorstep to the great high country outdoors only a stone’s throw away, there’s accommodation to suit all budgets.
From spacious camp sites, the new superior studio units, deluxe and standard cabins, to cute, quirky and cosy ‘Hobbit Huts’. Check out all the options here
A member of the Top 10 group, the Holiday park will always offer great value for money and beautiful clean facilities, plus Top 10 run promotional deals regularly.
As well, those who sign up for a membership card can take advantage of the numerous discounts Top 10 offer, not only in town, but throughout the country.
Some news which will be of interest to Park regulars returning next summer...big changes are planned.
Over winter several projects will get underway which include building a new reception area and improving the layout of the entrance to allow easier vehicle access to the Park.
In the meantime, there’s more relaxing to do.
This high-country backyard of ours is always stunning but autumn has to be when it is at its most spectacular.
Glowing sunrises and crisp frosty starts, lingering sunsets and starry night skies - let us share with you “our beautiful slice of New Zealand”.

Concerns raised about parking at cemetery
Graphic supplied

Concerns have been raised about the safety of visitors to the Omarama Cemetery in light of the increase in traffic along SH8.
The cemetery, which serves the surrounding area and Otematata, is just north of Omarama about 750m from the Ahuriri cutting and  the Quailburn Rd turn-off to the Clay Cliffs.
Ahuriri Community Board member Vicky Munro raised the issue at its meeting last month and council officers were asked to investigate what could be done to improve matters. 
In an interview, Mrs Munro said the increase in traffic along the busy tourist route now posed a significant hazard to regular visitors, and when mourners congregated to attend burials. 
There is no parking area.
At present, a narrow gravel layby and the grass verge on the opposite side of the highway to the cemetery  are used for parking.
There is room enough for only one vehicle to pull off the road in front of the gates which are usually kept closed.
There were no signs to indicate to approaching traffic travelling at 100kph that there could be pedestrians about or slowing vehicles in the vicinity - no hazard warnings of any kind, she said.
“It’s very scary...even pulling in to open the gates, it’s frightening.” 
When there were large funerals, and local funerals were usually large, both Omarama and Kurow police were engaged to stop traffic. 
Mourners vehicles packed the verges and layby, she said.
As well, many regular visitors to the cemetery came during holiday times when traffic was at its peak. 
She was aware any changes could take quite some time and would need to involve the New Zealand Transport Agency because it managed state highways.
Senior Constable Nayland Smith, of Omarama, said he would welcome any kind of resolution to the problem, but could see no easy solution. 
However, he suggested perhaps the layby could be extended, or perhaps the road could be widened to include a turning lane so there was room for vehicles to safely pass those who were turning into the cemetery. 
Signage, even temporary signage, which could be opened out when there was a funeral would help, he said. 
NZTA network manager Chris Harris told the Omarama Gazette he was unaware of any concerns until now and so no remedial work was planned "at this stage".
However, in response to the information provided by the Omarama Gazette he has placed it on the Agency's "Register of Access Issues".
The register prioritises projects for when the necessary funding becomes available to do the work.
Bridge washout in Westland brings more to Omarama
Statistics are not yet available which show how many more are using SH8 as an alternative route to SH6 after flooding in Westland and the washout of the Waiho Bridge closed the road at Franz Josef last week.
The bailey bridge over the Waiho was wiped out by high velocity, rock-filled river flows on Tuesday afternoon.
Initially, The New Zealand Transport Agency estimated  it would take seven to ten days to replace the bridge.
The washout has subsequently brought more visitors than usual to the eastern side of the alps.
Mobil Omarama owner Terry Walsh said there were noticeably more  cars and campervans stopping for fuel  and customers were telling staff they were travelling SH8 because of the closures in Westland.
Sierra Motels manager Sue Harvey said guests had told her they were there because they had been forced to change their original plans to travel the West Coast.
The motels were “full, full, full".
Although, there had been the average number of daily cancellations these rooms were "gone by 5pm", she said.
Tony Chapman, of Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park, said the numbers calling to make bookings at the Park had increase almost immediately the road closure was announced. And, whereas it had been looking as if it would be a little quieter in the run up until Easter, the Park now had good numbers of bookings throughout.
Hot Tubs Omarama owner Jan Thomas said it had been a little difficult to tell whether the extra numbers arriving had been turned back from their West Coast plans because she would expect to be busy at this time of the year anyway.
However, the complex had been fully-booked the previous night with walk-ins and late bookings, when that prospect had looked unlikely earlier in the day, Mrs Thomas said.
NZTA is still in the process of collecting the statistics which it says should be available to the Gazette shortly.
However, work has begun on repairs and it hopes to reconnect SH6 at the Waiho River before the school holidays and Easter.
“We all understand what a critical link the Waiho Bridge is for the West Coast, and we are making every endeavour to shorten the time frame if at all possible.
“If there is any change to this programme, we will advise people immediately.”
Once in place the new the new single lane bridge will take all vehicles categorised as Class 1, including heavier trucks, not just cars and buses as originally planned, agency system manager Pete Connors said.
Showcasing what goes into keeping us safe

Emergency Services will showcase the best in rescue and management equipment and techniques from throughout the region at the Omarama Fire Station, on Sunday.
Fire, St John and First Response, Police, and Land Search and Rescue from throughout the area plus an Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter, will be on hand to demonstrate what goes into keeping the community safe, 24/7.
It is "highly likely" the FENZ Timaru command unit will also be on display, Omarama's chief fire officer Terry Walsh said.
However, there can be no "absolute guarantee" as it maybe needed elsewhere, he said.
The Command unit - a mobile control centre designed for the management of any large-scale emergency - played a crucial role in fighting the recent hay bale fire at Tara Hills Station.
It is equipped with information technology – cameras, screens, radios, computers and phones, and with wi-fi - that is run by on-board generators.
A high-definition pan-tilt zoom camera mounted on a retractable pole films and records constantly, transmitting to on-board screens.
Visitors will have the chance to look through all the vehicles and the station, and talk to volunteers and personnel about their roles.
There will be a demonstration of  a rescue from a vehicle and members of the public are invited to volunteer to be the accident victim and experience being trapped in a vehicle while it is being 'deconstructed', Terry said.
Most importantly, the open day will be a time for those considering volunteering to explore their options and what goes into each role.
Those over the age of 16 can volunteer and are needed, not just for front-line duties, but for operational, non operational and risk-reduction roles also.

Photo:Sonya Trusler
Starting them young:Trevor, Lilly and Brooke Johnston try on the gear for size.

The open day and barbecue is from 1pm to 3pm, Sunday, April 7 at the Omarama Fire Station. (See poster below)
Milestone reached in conservation project
By Vivienne Smith-Campbell,  Ōhau Conservation Trust chairperson. Photos: supplied

The Ōhau Conservation Trust is in its 15th year of caring for the natural environment of the Ōhau basin surrounding Lake Ōhau. 
Possum trapping is underway in the beech forest remnants along the mountain range and terraces on the western side of Lake Ōhau.
A milestone of 100 possums trapped has just been reached – in fact 122 possums have now been trapped.  This project is to ensure the survival of the native mistletoe that is prolific in the beech forests in the Ōhau basin. Mistletoe has disappeared in many areas because of browsing by possums – the Trust doesn’t want the Ōhau basin to follow this trend. 
The Trust has had 150 mountain beech seedlings grown from seed collected at Lake Ōhau.  These are now ready for planting.
The beech trees are being planted at five locations along the lake shore – from the Aubrey reserve opposite the Ōhau Village and then in four areas with remnant beech trees located up the Lake Ōhau Road, the last area being opposite the grass airstrip. 
We’ve got planting sessions organised for Easter Saturday and Sunday 20 and 21 April and the weekend after Anzac day – Sat 27 and Sun 28 April.  Each session starts at 10am and goes through to 12 noon.
If you want to help plant the beech trees, just turn up at Lake Ōhau on the dates and time above – you will see the Trust sign and cars parked or look for more information on the Trust’s website – or contact us on –
And to finish off the month of March, we’ve just heard that for the third year running, the Trust is receiving a significant donation from Pure Trails New Zealand, a cycle touring company that runs tours on the A2O cycle trail (as well as other trails).  We really appreciate the very generous support that Hilary Weller and her team at Pure Trails gives the Trust….we’ve got plans….more about that next time!
If you are interested in assisting with possum trapping, please contact the Trust. We’re always keen for new volunteers – and you get to learn new skills and experience some off-track locations.

We had an amazing day!
Thank you everybody. 
The Omarama Community Picnic 2019 really was special.
You were all so generous with your time and effort.
To Terry, Jimmy, Steph, Zane, Liam, Liz, Greg and Adrienne, and the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade and Rural Fire, and for their support and their slippery slide.
The Boots and Jandals Hotel Omarama Pub social club, Julie and Bruce, for the barbecue supplies, and to Lindsay for manning the sausage sizzle.
To Ann, Sally, Rachel and Rosco for blowing up the balloons!
To Alona and Blair (Four Square Omarama) for all the extra little goodies that go into making a picnic.
To Jackson (Wrinkly Rams) for popping in with welcome treats for a sunny summer afternoon.
To all those wonderful ladies who baked up a storm, it wouldn't have been a picnic without it!
To Bo and Ann for shifting the sprinklers through the week. 
To Lex for the great photos.
To Kelvin for introducing us all to that great frisbee game.
To Omarama Playgroup for letting the wee ones use your space.
To Frank the Guitar Man who somehow knew what it was we all wanted to hear.
To Omarama School for providing the gazebo
To every single one of you for making this a day to remember.
I know I will have forgotten someone - please accept my apologies.
An important PS:
Lost: Two frisbees. If you know how we can reunite the owner with these please
phone 021 294 8002
Photos: above, by Ruth Grundy; below, by Lex Perriam.
We hope you enjoy these special moments.
Video compilation of Omarama's Community Picnic 2019, by Lex Perriam and Ruth Grundy
The Noticeboard
To have your community notice included here email:

We have a couple of busy months ahead, folks. There are notices throughout this Gazette you won't want to miss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Guy and Murray at this time of Murray's convalescence from serious illness and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Congratulations to Samantha O'Neill who, as coxswain for the Craighead Dioscesan School girls under-18 novice coxed four and girls under-16 coxed eight helped guide her teams to second place in both B Finals of the Maadi Cup Rowing Regatta, Lake Karapiro. 

Congratulations to Emma Subtil who was awarded a $1500 World Congress Charitable Trust Scholarship through New Zealand  Young Farmers to study the cause of labour shortages in the agri-food sector.

Planning for  Omarama Wajax 2020 is about to get underway. All those interested in being part of the organising committee are invited to a meeting at 7.30pm, Thursday, April 4, at the Omarama Fire Station.

Tourism Waitaki is hosting a drop-in session from 1.30pm to 3pm, Thursday, April 4, at the Wrinkly Rams.

New Zealander of the Year Mike King and youth and community support group, I Am Hope, are asking people to wear their gumboots to work or school on Gumboot Friday,  April 5, for a gold coin donation. 

The Ohau Conservation Trust is inviting people to help plant 150 beech trees in Aubrey Reserve this month. It is having four planting sessions: 10am to 12 noon, Easter Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, and at the same time on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28 - the weekend after Anzac Day. 

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

The Omarama Golf Club  Saturdays tee-off 1pm. Twilight golf tee-off is 6pm, Thursdays. 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. 

A  special notice for you to pass on to all those who subscribe to our email but did not receive the latest issue
of the Omarama Gazette.
Please add the email address to your contacts 'address' book so all systems know we are friends and not evil spam.

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

To receive email alerts between monthly editions of the Omarama Gazette sign up to our 'Local List'. Email 
and put 'Local List' in the subject line.
The May  issue of the Omarama Gazette
is Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Please submit copy
by Friday, April 26.
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
FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade
There were 13 calls for March.
We look forward to seeing you at our open day on Sunday the 7th April from 13.00 - 15.00. (See poster below).We will be showing you how we cut up a car with people in it and hopefully have the command unit on site. There will be a sausage on the BBQ too!!
See you on all on Sunday.
                        - Stay safe, Chief Fire Officer Terry Walsh

FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade meets 7pm each Wednesday and has its meeting at 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of the month. 
The countdown is on...Omarama Wajax 2020
Graphic: supplied
As the 49th Wajax competition in Glenorchy winds up, the countdown to Omarama Wajax 2020 begins.
Last month four members of FENZ Omarama Volunteer Firebrigade travelled to Glenorchy to compete in the 49th Wajax competition and to get a first-hand look at what goes into staging the event ahead of  the 50th celebrations in Omarama, in March, next year.
The first Wajax  competition - named for the Wajax portable pump -  was held in Omarama which introduced the  pump competition to rural brigades south of the Waitaki.
For that first event Omarama was joined by Stewart Island, Glenorchy and Hawea volunteer brigades which were all using similar Forest Service equipment to fight fires.
Omarama last hosted the event in 2011 and up to 300 competitors and supporters attended.
One of the 2020 organisers, Jack Zorab, says event planning is about to get underway with all those interested in making up the organising committee invited to a meeting at 7.30pm, Thursday, April 4, at the Omarama Fire Station.
A website and Facebook page have already been set up.
Jack encourages all, especially those who were involved in Wajax in the past, to register their interest and/or join the committee.
Wajax 2020 will run from March 13 to March 15 at the Countrytime Hotel.
For further information email:
PS The Omarama Rural Volunteers were declared the "most consistent" team at last month’s Glenorchy competition.
A reminder from Omarama Playgroup
Last orders please - Today is the day!
Please contact Jemma 03 438 9626 or
St Thomas' Church Community 
Omarama Residents' Association
From the last meeting...

There were 18 present at the meeting.
Sports Courts
The fundraising phase of the project has been completed with $215,000 raised.
Ann Patterson thanked all and said it was an “absolute credit” to Jemma and the other hard-working committee members.
The proposed position of the new sports courts was discussed at some length and the outline of the courts was 'drawn' on the grounds for those present to view.
Discussion centered on whether the courts were ultimately being sited in the right space, or were the correct orientation, to what consents would be required and whether any delays would affect the funding grants.
Jemma is to investigate whether the dates set out in the grants can be extended.The plans had initially been approved by the committee in July 2016 before fundraising began and were the original plans drawn up when the Community Centre was renovated in 2010.
Neighbours Bo and Ann Bateman were present and expressed concern that they had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the proposal until this point. They were also concerned about shade and noise.
Ann Patterson said the proposal had been put to the community multiple times through the Omarama Gazette.
Bo also asked if the committee was aware of an underground piped irrigation system/water mains which had been installed more than two decades ago under the proposed site.
Hank Verheul confirmed these would need to be located and moved.
Hank had also been in touch with the council and will forward them the drawings they have specified they need for the consent.
It is possible the memorial plaques in the playground may have to be moved so families will be consulted.
Kevin Grant will be asked about the viability of moving existing trees, otherwise several members of the committee offered to undertake replanting and care.
A vote was taken to confirm the site of the courts, 11 were for the proposed site at the front of the playground, and three were against. 
Leasing the Omarama Community Den
In his report, Ross Menzies told the committee what he had managed to find out to date about the history of the Den and advised that documentation does not seem to have survived. The Waitaki District Council should have records from about 1983 to 1995.   The building belongs to the Omarama community and was gifted by ECNZ for the benefit of the youth of Omarama.  At present there is no challenge to ownership.  The Den has previously been hired out to hang glider pilots but has not been used for some years.
Ross attended the Ahuriri Community Board meeting on March 11 (see report below) and asked it to delay any decision it might make until the association had time to consider any action regarding the Den.    
Heritage status nomination
The Waitaki District Council Planning Department has advised the Omarama Memorial Hall has been nominated (by an un-named party) to be considered for heritage protection under its District Plan. It requires the Association, as owners, to either agree or disagree with this proposal before April 5 and supply any corresponding evidence for this view.
The Association is to consult the wider community for its views through the Omarama Gazette.

Please note: the Association now has its own post office box. 
Could all those who want contact the Association by mail, send accounts to be paid, or have correspondence considered at the monthly meetings ensure it is addressed to:
The Secretary,  P O Box 93, Omarama 9448.
The Association's email address is

The next meeting of the Omarama Residents' Association will be
7.30 pm, Thursday, April 18, at the Omarama Community Centre.
All are welcome

Contacts: Ann Patterson, chairperson, 03 438 9493,
Lorraine King, secretary, 027 434 6027


To make a booking for an upcoming event or for more
information about hall hire and availability
please  contact  Charlotte Newfield, 027 940 1648,
or email
Keys and fobs are collected from Charlotte

Your Residents' Association needs
to know what you think
The Omarama Residents' and Ratepayers' Association has received a letter from the Waitaki District Council asking for feedback on a proposal to list the Omarama Memorial Hall as a heritage building in its District Plan.
The Hall has been nominated by an unknown party.

The council needs an answer to the proposal before Friday, April 5.
So the Association would like to know what you think.

What does this mean?
- Heritage buildings are covered by special rules in the Waitaki District Plan.
- If the Memorial Hall is included it could be eligible for heritage funding for certain works.
- The Association would need resource consent to undertake alterations, additions to, or demolition of the building.
- The council would note the heritage item on any future LIM for the property
Read more here  and here

The council wants to know
- whether you agree the Memorial Hall  has heritage value, that it tells us something about our past.
- whether you disagree with the Hall having heritage value.
Either way the Association needs to know so it can fill out the appropriate forms and let the council know what the community thinks.

There will also be the chance to make a submission in support or against the item suggested for heritage protection at a later date.
That will be once the council publicly notifies its Proposed District Plan which it expects to be in late 2020. 

Please phone Omarama Residents' Association chairperson Ann Patterson, 03 438 9493, secretary Lorraine King, 027 434 6027,  or email the Residents' Association committee  at and share your views.
Omarama Community Library
New volunteers are always welcome and any necessary training can easily be arranged.
If this sounds like you, and you would like to join this hard-working team and contribute to this great community resource there is a gap in the roster with your name on it!
Please phone Yvonne Jones 027 476 7473.

The Omarama Community Library has resumed winter hours  
and is open  9am to 10am,  Wednesdays and Saturdays,
 at the Omarama Community Centre.
Omarama Model Aircraft Club
The 2019 ANZAC Aerotow Omarama

By Bevan Allan

The Omarama Model Aircraft Club is all set to run the 2019 Anzac Model Aerotow.  At this stage the numbers attending are looking down on previous years. Those attending will once again enjoy flying in the high country and entertaining the public. It’s always good to mix with the full size glider pilots and swap some flying stories.  With the support of Omarama Airfield Ltd and Glide Omarama, we will be flying from the Friday 26th through to Sunday 28th April.  Planning is well under way with just the field preparation left to do. A lot of planning goes into running the event as safety is paramount. 
 The Omarama Model Aircraft Club is affiliated with our national body, Model Flying NZ.  With them, we have to meet certain criteria to get insurance cover for such like events.  Model Flying NZ works closely with CAA.  For a model pilot, to fly at this event, they need to be a member of Model Flying NZ. Pilots must also have the correct qualification to fly their model at events such as this.  This is not unlike full size, where a pilot will have various types of ratings to operate the aircraft they are flying.
 Each day commences with a pilots briefing and a safety talk.  There will be a wide range of Gliders and Tow Planes in operation during the event. Come on out and have a coffee at the Café and be entertained by the models. We will be flying between 9am and 5pm each day, weather permitting.

Below: Omarama Model Aircraft Club member Bevan Allan with his 1930s gullwing Sperber Junior
at the 2018 Anzac Aerotow.

Omarama School
End of term assembly

Omarama School will celebrate our successful term on Friday, April 12 in the old classroom block starting at 11am.
All are welcome.
The Year 7 and 8 students will be sharing their adventures at camp and we will be celebrating children's learning.
Assembly will be followed by shared kai, so please bring along a tasty bite to share.
Looking forward to seeing you all there -  Kim McKenzie, principal.
Friends of Omarama School

Friends of Omarama school held its annual meeting last month with existing committee members elected for another term.
A new appointment was also made with Carla Hunter taking up the position of vice-chairperson.
The 2019 committee is; chairperson Emma Moore, vice-chairperson  Carla Hunter, treasurer Tania Innes, secretary Fiona Bochel.
                                                                                                 - Fiona Bochel, secretary 
‘The Community Reports' is
dedicated to news
from clubs, groups and sports teams.

Contributions are welcome 
Waitaki District Council - news in brief
Review of  district's speed limits
At its meeting last week Waitaki district councillors agreed to change the speed limits of 20 roads in the district, including Lake Ohau Rd.
In December, the council commissioned consultants Stantec to conduct a district-wide review of speed limits in Waitaki. 
In its report, (click here to read in full) Stantec recommended the temporary speed limit in place from the point the Alps 2 Ocean trail emerges on to the road to the turn off to Lake Ohau Lodge be confirmed, and the limit be reduced to New Zealand Transport Agency guidelines from the Lodge to the end of the road.
The final proposals will be put out for public consultation before being finalised.

Alps 2 Ocean Trail
The Tarnbrae section of the trail has been resurfaced, distance markers installed and safety advice on signs at the start and summit of this section has been updated.
Personal locator beacons will be available for hire from information centres and other locations along the trail.
An application has been made to MBIE for funding needed to construct the off-road section between Sailors Cutting and Benmore Dam.  

Oamaru Hospital community workshops
About 160 people attended four community workshops last month to discuss proposed changes at Oamaru Hospital.
It has published a Q&A fact sheet for those who could not attend the public meetings. 
The presentation given at the workshops is also available on the Oamaru Hospital website.

Housing, Living and Amenity Preferences Survey
As part of the District Plan review process the council is conducting a housing, living and amenity  preferences survey. This can be completed online here or download a printable copy.
There will also be a chance to formally submit on the proposed District Plan once it is notified in 2020. 
Building Consents 
All aspects of the building consent process are now digital - from application, through the inspection phase, to issuing certificates. Applicants will now be able to track the progress of their consent through the system. For more information go to the Building and Consents page on the council website
The Waitaki District Remembrance Service for those who died in Christchurch will be 8pm Friday, April 5, at Takaro Park, Oamaru. If wet, the event will move to the Oamaru Opera House.

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

E-mail​: ​​​​​
The meeting of the Ahuriri Community Board
Monday, March 11, 2019, at the Omarama Community Centre
Board members: Graham Sullivan (chairperson), Vicky Munro, Cal Reid, Brent Cowles and Tony Chapman, Waitaki District councillors Craig Dawson and Hugh Perkins, council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen, executive assistant Carole Hansen,  board secretary Ainslee Hooper .
Nine people attended the public forum of the board meeting – seven from Omarama and two from Otematata.
Omarama’s Community Den
A hang-gliding club has asked the Waitaki District Council if it can lease Omarama’s Community Den which has led to questions regarding ownership.
The topic was included in a report to the board from Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek.
At its public forum, Omarama Residents’ and Ratepayers' Association member Ross Menzies told the board the association had been asked by former Community Den committee members to help them retain community ownership.
Since then he had been trying to trace the “document chain” back to the “original gift” of the building from ECNZ, now Meridian Energy, to the community.
It was clear the building had not been gifted to the scouting association, he said.
“I believe there must be documents within the district council records that would establish a document chain back to the original gift and that would establish ownership. 
“Note, that the ownership is not in question at the moment," he said.
One of the original Community Den committee members, Howard Williams, told the board the building was not given to the scouting association because the committee was afraid, if the local group folded, the scouts would “pick it up and take it away”.
“It still belongs to the community," he said.
“As of a couple of days ago the council had no record of it at all,” Mr Chapman said.
While there were records  of payments – water and services – there was nothing recording ownership, Mr Jorgensen said.
He said the item was not included in the Recreation Update to the board because there was any necessity for a decision to be “made by the board, as such”.
Mr Menzies asked the board if he could report back to its next meeting which would give him time to discuss his findings with the Ratepayers’ Association, and for it and the remaining Community Den committee members to decide on preferred options. 
 “It would be good to get it resolved so everyone is clear," Mr Sullivan said.
The board was “happy to help”.
Mrs Munro said she worked for ECNZ at the time and remembered the gift.
She confirmed that to her knowledge the intention was, as had been said, for it to “belong to the community”.
Cr Dawson wanted to know if there had been any ideas put to the Association about its future use.
Mr Menzies said he would prefer to put those matters to the Association first.
Later in the meeting, after the public forum, the topic was discussed further by board members, Cr Perkins noting the reference to the request from the Aorangi Hang Gliding Club in the Recreation Update.
Cr Dawson said; “Depending on what the Omarama ratepayers' group say and what ideas come out of it, it would be good to have some competing interest there to get the building done up and show some pride in the poor old thing. There’s certainly been no maintenance on it as far as I’m concerned."
Mr Sullivan said he was pleased the Association was investigating the issue.
“It’s going to save the council and the board if they have got some ideas,” he said.
Funding approved for tractor
The Ahuriri Community Board will approve up to $10,000 for a new tractor for use by volunteers working on the Otematata Wetlands Walkway.
But the final amount is dependent on the outcome of a request by the group for funding from the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.
Otematata Residents’ Association chairperson Steve Dalley and member Ross McRobie spoke at the public forum in support of the group's request.
It was already using a new tractor under a sponsorship agreement until it had sufficient funds to buy it.
The group had raised some funds but there was still a shortfall of about $10,000, Mr Dalley said.
He acknowledged this request differed from the $5000 in its original application to the board.
Mr Jorgensen said the request was still valid as it could be considered “as a public forum application”.
At the time of the meeting, the Otematata Association had yet to hear back from the Lotteries Commission.
Mr Sullivan said he was reluctant to approve the full $10,000 requested until the group had heard back from the Commission.
The board then agreed it would make up any shortfall up to an amount of $10,000.
Community Grants funding to Waitaki Valley Heritage Society to be clarified
An approved process needs to be formalised ahead of the upcoming elections for what appears to be an unofficial roll-over of a grant of $5,000 to the Waitaki Valley Heritage Society, Mr Sullivan says.
In a report, council accounting manager Ian Wells said an amount of $5,000 tagged for the Waitaki Valley Heritage Society to support the museum at Kurow was in the board's annual budget of $10,000 for community grants.
The report said although $5,000 was tagged for the society it did not commit the board to using it for that purpose, nor did it mean that only $5,000 could be granted to the society.
Mr Sullivan said initially the society was given $5,000 for one year “because they were in difficulties”.
This was because of the extra work involved in carrying out  information centre duties.
“But now they have a contract with Tourism Waitaki surely that could come to an end?” he said.
The arrangement had been “rolled over” and he was unsure why that decision had been made.
Cr Dawson said, although long term it should not continue, until regular funding from Tourism Waitaki could be guaranteed, the payment should not be stopped.
Mr Sullivan said the funds were guaranteed for this financial year but he wondered if the society ought to at least make an application each year.
Regardless, the board needed to make a “clear-cut decision”, he said.
“It’s got to be formalised so the next board know where they stand," Mr Sullivan said.
Community groups can apply for grants from the board's Community Grant Fund and any unspent funds are carried forward.
The board can make decisions about how the  money in this fund is spent without asking the council for approval.
At the end of 2018, $34,500 of Community Grants funds remain unspent.
Proposal to improve lighting at Otematata Domain
Community board member Brent Cowles, of Otematata, has asked the board to consider improved lighting at the domain to help curb under-age drinking.
Mr Cowles said there had been a series of incidents during holiday periods when, despite the liquor ban, young people who had access to alcohol were congregating and causing damage.
They not only managed to evade the police officers who were called in but threw bottles at police cars, he said.
In one incident, at 2am and 3am there were 14 and 15-year-olds “rolling drunk, smashing glass.”
 “It’s dark, you can’t see a thing in there, whatsoever.
 “It tied up several units," he said.
“Even smashing glass in the children’s playground,” Mrs Munro said.
“It’s not improving…it gets worse very year.”
“The parents are in their cribs drinking and the kids have easy access to alcohol,” she said.
Mr Cowles said the installation of the telephone booth and tables had only compounded problems.
Cr Dawson questioned why the police were not doing more to catch the offenders.
“Surely they can be a bit cannier.
“The police are there, why aren’t they doing something."
They need to go “behind the scenes and investigate", rather than “being reactive".
“You’re never going to catch kids chasing them around… a bit of old fashioned ‘copper’ work needs to be done," Cr Dawson said.
Mr Cowles asked if council officers could look at ways to improve the lighting at the domain.
“It’s a big dark hole, it’s a big space.
Mr Sullivan said Mr Cowles made a valid point and it was something which needed consideration.
The next Ahuriri Community Board meeting is
3.15pm to 5.15pm, Monday, May 13.
at the Kurow Memorial Hall. 

Minutes and agendas can be found here
The next meeting of 
Environment Canterbury's
Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee
is 9.30 am Friday, May 17,  2019
at the Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel.

Minutes and agendas are posted at:
Those FAQs - Five Awkward Questions with...
Caitlan Brown and Leo Rossetti
Tourism Waitaki and Trail Adventures
Caitlan and Leo work at the Omarama Information Centre. Leo has recently arrived in Omarama from Brazil, and Caitlan travels to work from Otematata where she is also a trainee firefighter for the FENZ Otematata Fire Brigade.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
"Travel the world, make the most of  every moment." - Leo.
"From my Aunty - Make sure you travel with a person before you decide if they’re marriage material." - Caitlan.
Tell us something about Omarama we might not know?
"There is a great community here.' - Leo.
“I’m always learning something new about Omarama, especially from older locals who call in to chat” - Caitlan.
What was your best impulse buy?
“ A flight at Milford Sound - it was amazing.” - Leo.
“Frankie, my schnoodle” - Caitlan.
Best day outside the office?
“Hiking, I’ve hiked in the Mt Cook area, the Milford and Kepler tracks.” - Leo.
“Spending time with family and friends...on-line shopping.” - Caitlan.

What is your wish for the world?
“That there was less rubbish/waste and more was recycled.” - Leo.
“That we could be more accepting of each other.” - Caitlan.
The Directory

phone 021 294 8002 or email
The last page is classifieds 
To advertise in this section please email
Accommodation Wanted

Wanted to rent in Omarama or the surrounding area
A two or three bedroom house for a local family.
Anything considered.

Contact: Jimmy, 027 441 8612
Omarama School Board of Trustees’ Election
Nominations are invited for the election of parent representatives to the board of trustees.
A nomination form and a notice calling for nominations will be posted to all eligible voters.
You can nominate another person to stand as candidate, or you can nominate yourself. Both parts of the form must be signed.
Additional nomination forms will be available from the school office.
Nominations close at noon May 24,  2019
and may be accompanied by a signed candidate statement and photograph.

The voting roll will be open for inspection at the school office and will be available to view during normal school hours.
There will also be a list of candidates’ names, as they come to hand, for inspection at the school.
Should the number of nominated candidates exceed the number of positions vacant, a voting election will be required. 
Voting should then close at noon on June 7, 2019.
Charlotte Newfield
Returning Officer
House for sale in Omarama
Sally and Tom Moore
03 438 9663
The weather that was ...March 2019
The Garden Diary

Ain't no sunshine when you're gone
The summer light is fading and autumn days will draw in until the dark of winter solstice.
Leaves fall and catch the wind like golden butterflies.
A misty rain falls and drops glisten and glint, caught on the waterproofed feathered coat of a single blackbird, on a single branch, silhouetted, charcoal on grey.
It is only for a few months that their dancing stops, but the light goes out of the garden.
Planting a pair of 'Golden Locusts', as they are sometimes called, was not an original thought.
I’m not the first to have seen these  striking trees and fallen in love.
They arrived bare-rooted, and with their brittle, thorny branches bare - bare of anything, looking for all the world  like a bunch of dead twigs, That is, if you were looking and not dreaming.
The first pair I planted lost the battle.
Wind and late frost wage war on that delicate emerging lime-green spring foliage.
‘Dieback’ can be vicious and terminal.
At the second attempt one of the pair survived but did not thrive.
Then, 25 years ago, it was third time lucky – by then there were surrounding trees to offer shelter.
Plus levels of stubborn determination had hit peak.
There was more than one late frost their first year.
But I was fastidiously attentive and each was repelled with swathes of frost cloth.
Except for that one morning, and there’s always one.
In sheer panic, I reached for the tap, also swaddled.
The hose was frozen solid. In desperation I grabbed the kettle, not long boiled, and, in dressing gown and gumboots, raced the rising sun and emptied it along the length of the hose. 
Success! A fine spray of water jetted up and over the trees (and me), as it should.
I looked down. There was one long, hose-like burn stretching right across the lawn. Gulp.
But the hose didn’t split!
Together, we, my twin dancing queens Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ and I, have grown-up in this garden, season by season.
In autumn the chooks run to catch the falling seed-pods and crack them open with great clucks of delight.
In winter snow and hoar frost play positive-negative light games and ‘shadow’ those sketchy branches. Birds gather, impatiently waiting their turn at the feeder.
But, I miss the light when they’re sleeping.
Impatient like the birds, I wait for them to emerge eye-blinkingly chartreuse in spring.
Their long tassels of white ‘pea’ flowers call to the bees and in full-blown leaf they dance their way through summer.
Their tousled heads are tossed by wave winds, forced to bow almost to the ground.
I hold my breath and watch them rise again to face the storm.
Lemon and lime bright against blue.
I miss them when they're gone.
They're always gone too long. 

Ruth Grundy
(I garden a small space under a big sky in Omarama)
The View from the Chook House

Sure as eggs is eggs, if you're having a bad 'hair' day,
there'll be a knock at the door!

(The annual moult is in full, feathery 'flight' at the chook house)
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016-2019, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.

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