Staying close whatever the distance...
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Omarama Gazette
The Daily Wire

Keeping us connected

Tuesday, April 21, 2020
In this issue...

State of emergency continues; Laid back at level 4; Our Dairy gets philosophical;
The teddy's are back; and a little bit more
To all our businesses in Omarama and Otematata
- as we move to Covid-19 alert level three and restrictions on business as usual are slowly lifted  you may want to let the community know what you are able to offer and how. I am happy to advertise this for you free of charge. This will be online only - no printed material. Please contact me 021 294 8002 or email: to discuss details. 

NB. Tomorrow, It's week four - Haven't we done well! 
"The effort of our team of 5 million has broken the chain of transmission and
taken a quantum leap forward in our goal to eliminate the virus."

- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Monday, April 20, 2020.
-  7pm Wednesday, when the fire siren goes.

*Changes are coming soon as we transition to level three 
The best place for reliable up to date information is this:

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

(There are daily updates, check it out.)
*Please get in touch with The Daily Wire if you have a message you want to get out to the community.

*Please scroll to the end for email order instructions and forms for Four Square, instructions from Kurow Medical Centre and info from the Waitaki District Council.

*Remember, we'd love a diary entry from you for our community record about how you've spent your 'day in the life' in these extraordinary times.

Let's stay close whatever the distance
- Ruth
Click here to message, contribute, or subscribe to the Daily Wire.
Here is the link to the Government's
one stop shop for all things
State of emergency to continue

New Zealand is to continue under a State of National Emergency for a further week to give the Government the powers it needs to continue to manage its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare said the powers activated by a State of National Emergency enabled critical work to be carried out, including managing roads, traffic and public places, providing first aid, food, shelter and accommodation.
“Use of these powers has included authorising local councils to restrict vehicle access to roads or streets to support social distancing, directing freedom campers to relocate, requisitioning a carpark for Covid-19 testing, stopping people from lighting outdoor fires to reduce the risk of fire related emergencies, and allowing necessary maintenance to happen at a waste water treatment plant.
“It is vital that everyone remembers we are still at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm on Monday 27 April," he said.
The State of National Emergency and the Covid-19 alert levels are distinct and separate.
The State of National Emergency provides the people managing a response in an emergency, in this case Covid-19, access to powers they would not normally have, but might require now to implement and enforce the alert level measures.
The initial declaration was made on March 25.
The seven-day declaration can be extended as many times as necessary.

The view from the couch
Yes, another week of 'lockdown'.
Then, from next week, a move to Covid-19 alert level 3 .
Which, realistically, for a good number of us is really just 'Alert level 4 with takeaways'.
(And never have they been more welcome...thank you, guys!)
At least we all now know that if we play by the rules we can beat this thing.
So mustn't grumble, chin-up, keep calm, wash hands and all that.

Accordingly, here is the next photo challenge - take a quick pic from your couch to mark these last few days at Covid-19 alert level 4.  One day, these will be the 'good old days'!  Perhaps? 
Email to
View from the couch (below): never happier than watching a man at work!
Our Coronavirus Diary - Day Twenty-seven
By Antonieta (Teita) Casañas
Venezuelan-born Antonieta Moreno Casañas (Tieta) arrived in Omarama as a backpacker a little more than a year ago. Before deciding to travel she spent four years completing her philosophy degree at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and working in rural areas with an organisation she helped to found called Alfresco.  Here's her 'philosophical' take on our days in lockdown.

Dear Diary

Be Kind.
Political, economic and social crises such as the great Covid-19 pandemic are situations where the importance of the 'cultural imaginary' becomes more present. They can be ideal situations to make great turns within that scheme of values that we name as "the common sense" but that, in a little more technical words but perhaps more valuable ones, is known as cultural imaginary. [Click here  'cultural imaginary'  for definition]
The idea of imaginary appeals to a collective system, to something that has been socially constructed. It points to something that goes beyond that mere psychological characteristic of individuals that we call "imagination". The adjective "cultural" points out that this set of values that we share due to the random fact that we belong to the same group (call it western society, people who speak English, citizens of New Zealand or Omarama's neighbours), is constructed through cultural tools that can go from the big media to cult songs, or from social networks like Instagram or Snapchat to comics and jokes. The cultural imaginary renews itself constantly and it is enriched. 

A flamenco song for Spain or Footrot Flats for New Zealand are valid examples. Over the years we have become more aware of which ideas are behind these representations of  'the common sense' and, for good or for bad, we can be surprised. In some cases, we notice traces of racism or classism that make us ponder but if we are able to see beyond we might find interesting traces of culture. 

The idea of propaganda developed in the middle of the 20th century continues to be an important tool for governments that, fortunately, has been democratized. One of the strongest political strategies to direct this 'cultural imaginary' is the creation of slogans. 

If we are willing to take advantage of this situation and reflect beyond our personal situation, a good political exercise is to stop and ask ourselves what slogan has been selected in this country and what, exactly, we can take from it. So, what is that phrase that we all accepted in New Zealand? What is that line that can lift up the spirit? Well, I think we can agree that the kiwi slogan has been “Be Kind".

So, “Be kind” basically means: 
Be nice with your neighbors, which means follow the basic rules of politeness (smiling, greetings, etc).
Also, think that breaking the general restrictions on each alert level can affect other people.
As well, in the official discourses, the idea of being kind is next to another slogan: Be calm. Meaning, keep your stress level under control.

All these ways of communication have been fundamental during the lockdown. They are building a cultural imaginary. The message has got into the people and, well earned, New Zealand has become a good example of management during the pandemic. But, just for running a critical philosophical exercise, we can ask: To what part of us are they actually appealing to? The message, “Be Kind”, goes straight to the individual psychology of each person and it seems to leave apart a more political attitude. 

Certainly, it is really important to appeal to the behavior of the population, but I think in a time of crisis it is mandatory to reflect beyond our own individual capacities and try to see a big frame where we can become more aware of the importance of the community and the social bonds that hold us. Now that the illusion of stability has disappeared, it reveals how we rely on each other: scientists, doctors, nurses, maintenance and cleaning workers, and other essential roles around supermarkets and pharmacies.  

For example, a way of thinking this state of emergency beyond our own problems is acknowledging that New Zealand has a high rate of domestic violence and many women are locked in an unsafe bubble that might be hidden behind a kind smile. This country has a really good public health system that will help millions of citizens and is a good moment to remember that it was something that Kiwis built after suffering a big scoop of neoliberalism. In a normal situation, many migrants who are not covered by the health system will have to pay an exaggerated rate just to access a doctor. Although, it seems to be that COVID 19 treatments are covered. 

We can also ask ourselves under which cultural imaginary Omarama operates. I think we live in a good town that goes beyond superficial kindness but is not a bad idea to remember why, and, also, to keep asking, collectively, how can we reinforce our social bonds inside the community. 

I think it is important we don't get trapped into a false idea of what “Be Kind” - the political slogan - is. Injustice still occurs locally and globally. A writer recently observed that in some areas; "the notion of civility(kindness) has been weaponised to shut down criticism and stop people from pointing out uncomfortable facts".
It seems to me now is a good time to step outside of our individual situations, emotions and thoughts, reflect on the bigger, global picture and political messages, and respond appropriately.

Just the best kind of 'beach' party...
- poem and photo by Lynda Allen

Let's drive to the beach, make a
fun day of it
But were they happy, certainly not
I must admit
They all threw a tantrum and a
hissy fit
We don't want sand in our undies
or our bear bits
That would make us mad, with a
terrible itch
But you can get in and go for a
NO way, we watched Jaws, we might
see a fin
I think the chances of that is
very very slim
Besides, there no meat to eat on
your little little limbs
Just put your togs on, don't be bash
When we get there, go for a wee
But if you see a jellyfish, you had
better dash
Out of the water fast, quick as a
Sting you they will, give you a nasty
Ooops, shouldn't said that, talk about
A backlash
Said they would come home, try to
You might have a problem there,
Just a wee glitch
None of you's have thumbs to use,
so which
You'll probably never going to
receive a lift
So not going to the beach, like I
Better make it up to them, I think
I ought
How was I going to fix this, then it
Let's have the beach party on the
front lawn.

Together at home
Let's go (pretend) fishing...

Let's have a story

See if you can puzzle this out...
(Click below to do the puzzle)
The answer - We're Better Together.
Omarama's Memorial Rock
The Noticeboard

Mobil Omarama will be open from 8am to 6pm 
seven days a week 


Challenge Omarama - the store is closed.
Fuel is available 24-hours via the pump pay station.

"To ensure that we can keep the power flowing safely and reliably, we need to get back into essential maintenance and equipment replacement to ensure our network remains safe and reliable.  Like any system it needs maintenance and attention so it doesn’t break down.
Over the coming weeks, you’ll start to see our crews out there getting back into work.  Some of the work we do means we can’t keep everyone two metres apart, but they are working in their own extended bubbles and we have health and safety measures in place to minimise the risk.  
Where possible we will do the work in such a way that we keep the power on, but there might be some work we have to do where we need to switch the power off.  
We’ll let you know well in advance if this is going to affect you - we know the timing isn't great but with enough planning we hope to minimise the disruption to your household.  We apologise in advance for the inconvenience."

Network Waitaki ask that you refer to its Facebook page for regular updates 




People are advised to put on disposable gloves before moving bins and to wash hands thoroughly afterwards. The handles can be a coronavirus hot-spot and must be treated like any other surface, doorknobs, stair rails etc, collectors say.

Omarama open: Wednesday and Sunday – 9am to 11am
Otematata open: Wednesday and Sunday – 1pm to 3pm
Household rubbish: Only bags of household/domestic waste and essential commercial waste will be accepted. There will be no charge for bags, however, there is a limit of two bags per car, per week (car registrations are recorded to monitor this).
Commercial rubbish: commercial waste from current account holders will be accepted with no gate charge, and invoiced later.
To safely manage these facilities under current circumstances and to protect the facility operators’ wellbeing, please note the following conditions for using this service over the next four weeks:
• No recycling (either clean and store at home, or dispose of as rubbish)
• No green waste
• Place all waste in the marked area
• One person out of a car at any one time only
• Please do not talk to the booth operator
• Please leave promptly

And please, do not enter a recovery park  if you are unwell, have travelled outside of NZ in the last 14 days; or have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19. Thank you!

If you're in need of essential winter supplies like heaters, blankets etc, you can still purchase these from online retailers during Alert Level 4.

Essential services operating in Omarama

Omarama Four Square (see below for how to place an order)

Omarama Veterinary Clinic - please phone ahead. 03 438 9868
" The veterinary professional has been given an official ‘essential service’ status and therefore will continue to be able to supply seasonal requirements. We have had assurance from suppliers that there will be no issue with supply (or logistics), so we would urge everyone that there is no necessity to stock up or forward purchase.
When you do visit our clinics you may be met at the front door to ensure that we regulate the number of people in the building at any point in time. Phoning ahead can allow orders to be prepared in advance and these can be brought to your car.

Firewood supplies:
SupplyMoore Yard

"Under current conditions we are still able to deliver your firewood if supply is necessary, we would like to do this without any contact so delivery instructions are important, post delivery we will text our bank details for payment, the yard will be closed for pick up so please text or message orders to us or Emma on 027 635 5664

Gas supplies:
Rockgas Mackenzie Country
Waitaki District Council update
The Otago Welfare Help Centre operates 7am-7pm
on 0800 322 4000 or

The council has launched a ‘What’s open in Waitaki’ page.
The directory will be part of the Covid-19 Waitaki Response page and aims to list all businesses that are staying open during New Zealand's Covid-19 Level 4 alert.
The response page also includes information on council services and facilities, support for people and businesses.
At present, the list includes medical centres and  pharmacies, vets, food and service providers, service stations and transport options.
Council economic development manager Gerard Quinn said it was still working with local businesses to fill this list and encouraged everyone who wanted to be included to get in touch and register by emailing The council needs to know your location, contact details and a website link so people can check for any specific conditions.
Business owners are reminded that it is the business’s responsibility to ensure they are acting according to the law while staying open. If businesses are uncertain about whether or not they can continue to operate they are urged to contact MBIE by emailing or calling 0800 22 66 57 (9 am to 5 pm).

The Waitaki District pandemic response information page is here:

The Waitaki District Council facebook page is here
Omarama Four Square | 10 Chain Hills Highway | Omarama 9448 | Phone: 03 438 9895
 Open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm  

While New Zealand is at Covid-19 alert level 4 and in our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of our local and wider community, and our staff and their families - we offer the following options regarding your grocery requirements – should you be unable to, or simply prefer not to shop personally during this time of  uncertainty.
1.       Email order - and collect
2.       Email order - and delivery (within the township). 
This service is available Monday – Friday
Please send orders to -
Emailed orders need to be received by 4pm (Sunday – Thursday) for delivery/collection Monday-Friday between (10am-12pm).  Please email if at all possible and refrain from phoning through orders.
Please find attached a template grocery order form to be completed, which on receiving – our team will put together for you – for either collection or delivery. 
At this stage, communication indicates stock levels of core lines are being maintained,
however further updates may see some non-essential lines reduced - alleviating unnecessary pressure on deliveries/transportation of goods.
Options for payment:
1.       Charged to existing account
2.       Payment by direct credit
3.       Payment on collection
Any significant updates affecting this current service will be communicated.
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.

Shopping safely guidance now available

31 Mar 2020

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

The information covers:

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

Find out more about shopping safely


On the Spot Otematata
The daily trading hours are:
Monday to Friday – 9am to 2pm
Saturdays – 9am to 1pm
Sundays – closed
"We are endeavouring to meet all your requests for the products you need. Unfortunately if these items are not something we stock, then there will be a delay in getting them. We only receive general groceries on a Tuesday and Thursday and the close-off time for us to order stock is two days prior to each of these days.
Fruit and vegetables are received every day during the week, so what you need today will generally be here the next (subject to availability).
Fresh bread, milk and dairy products are received Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Deliveries – Thank you to all those using our free delivery service.
This has resulted in fewer people visiting the store, ensuring that both you and we remain as safe as possible. We are now delivering daily (Mon-Fri) to all areas, so even if you only require one item, please don’t hesitate to email: or or phone (03) 438-7648. It’s no problem and we are probably going past your address anyway.
The daily close-off time for deliveries is midday (Monday to Friday). Any orders received after this time will be delivered the next week day. Deliveries are only made on week days, so please ensure that you have everything you need before midday on a Friday. 
Payment – Thank you for the speedy payments. Please don’t feel pressured to pay for every single delivery. We have a number of customers who are receiving deliveries every day, so please feel free to just paying several small deliveries together. If you don’t have access to internet banking, please give us a call.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help in any way."

Best wishes and stay well...
On The Spot - Otematata
Ph (03) 438-7648
Kurow Medical Centre and its satellite clinics
in Twizel (Mackenzie Health Centre Private Clinic)
and Omarama (Community Hall)


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


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

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

Take care and keep safe, Juliet and Tim.

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

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

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

How goes it today?
Other places to find support - click below to go to websites

- Police message to people facing family harm

The police are urging anyone with concerns or information about family harm in their community to get in touch as soon as they can, as level 4 restrictions bring new pressures to whānau and home environments.  
“We want everybody to know police will continue to prioritise family harm incidents and we will come when you call," assistant commissioner Sandra Venables said.
“We realise this is a hard time for some families and we want them to know police are there for them.
"We know that for some people, home right now may be an uncomfortable or scary place. 
“It may also be harder for some people to contact police or other agencies as they may not have easy access to a phone.  
“Let me be clear, if you are in immediate danger and you cannot call us on 111, leave your house and get out of harm’s way. Your safety comes first. Get to a safe distance and then ask a neighbour, or a passer-by (at a two metre distance) to call 111 for you.   
“We also urge neighbours and friends to contact police if they have concerns. If you think something’s not right, it probably isn’t. 
“It’s okay to call Police if you’re worried about someone as they may not be able to speak up for themselves. It’s everybody’s responsibility to help keep each other safe right now through this challenging time. You could be saving a life. 
“We know there are also people out there who don’t want to harm their loved ones but who are facing an internal struggle. To them I say: please stay strong, please walk away and take a moment so you don’t do something you’ll regret to someone you love.  
“You can reach out to us, or you can contact one of many support services listed on the Covid-19 website. They are there to support every member of your family and whānau.”   
The police have worked closely with Ministry of Social Development to ensure there is temporary accommodation for people under Police Safety Orders.
And police, the Joint Venture Business Unit, and MSD have also worked together to ensure 0800 Hey Bro (a number for men who feel they’re going to harm a loved one) has been able to operate nationally during COVID-19.  
“We know being around the same people 24/7 can be a challenge, and we know for some people this may make them fearful, at risk, or on the edge of doing harm. So if you feel fearful or threatened, please reach out." 
A list of support services is below:
211 Helpline (0800 211 211) – for help finding, and direct transfer to, community-based health and social support services in your area. 
Find your Local Women's Refuge by calling 0800 743 843 (0800 REFUGE) to be linked up with an advocate in your area. 
Victim Support – call 0800 842 846. 
Victim Information Line/Victim Centre – call 0800 650 654 or email
Shine domestic abuse services – free call 0508 744 633 (9am to 11pm) if you're experiencing domestic abuse, or want to know how to help someone else.  
Family violence information line – call 0800 456 450 to find out about local services or how to help someone near you.  
Elder Abuse Helpline – call 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK) - a 24-hour service answered by registered nurses who can connect to local elder abuse specialist providers.  
Tu Wahine Trust – call 09 838 8700 for kaupapa Māori counselling, therapy and support for survivors of sexual harm (mahi tukino) and violence within whānau.  
Shakti New Zealand – call 0800 742 584 for culturally competent support services for women, children and families of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin who have experienced domestic violence.  
Safe to Talk – sexual harm helpline. Call 0800 044 334, text 4334 or email  
Rape Crisis Centres – call 0800 88 3300 for contact details of your local centre. 
Male Survivors Aotearoa New Zealand – call 0800 044 344. 
Tu Wahine Trust – call 09 838 8700 for kaupapa Māori counselling, therapy and support for survivors of sexual harm (mahi tukino) and violence within whānau. 
ACC Sensitive Claims Unit – call 0800 735 566 for access to services related to sexual abuse or sexual assault. 
Hey Bro helpline – call 0800 HeyBro (0800 439 276). 24/7 help for men who feel they're going to harm a loved one or whānau member. 
Korowai Tumanoko – text or call 022 474 7044 for a kaupapa Māori service for those with concerning or harmful sexual behaviour.  
Need to Talk? 1737 – free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. 
Youthline – call 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email
Kidsline – call 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age (24-hour service). 
Skylight– call 0800 299 100 helping children, young people and their families and whānau through tough times of change, loss, trauma and grief. 
Oranga Tamariki – call 0508 325 459 (0508 FAMILY) or email for concerns about children and young people.
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
Advice for Farmers
- from Emergency Management Otago
Otago Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) continues to provide its support service over the phone or on Skype/Zoom during lockdown.
They can help connect farming families with business advice, suppliers, financial information, health, and counselling services. Their services are free and confidential.
Guidance is going out to farmers about managing under meatworks’ capacity restrictions.
See for details.
Industry groups and MPI have launched a stock feed planning service for all farmers nation-wide.
Toll free numbers:
drystock farmers call 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352), dairy sector 0800 4DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969), anyone can call 0508 AGFIRST (0508 243 477).
See MPI’s COVID-19 & Primary Industries FAQ webpage for more information:
Industry and MPI are also preparing advice about the 1 June dairy “Gypsy Day” changes, which will be promoted by industry groups and Federated Farmers.
 Farmers Feeding Families

We're really proud to announce the launch of this charity
on behalf of New Zealand farmers.
Our goal is to make sure no one in New Zealand goes to bed hungry.
Stay tuned...catch you again tomorrow :)
Please share this email and encourage others to subscribe if they need to get local notices. I apologise, I am not able to print copies at the moment. Perhaps, those who can could print one off for someone they know who would appreciate it?

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

(There are daily updates, check it out.)

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

If you know of someone  who is not getting these emails and they are on the 'local list' it could be because some servers believe these messages are spam.
If you add this email address to your email contacts address 'book' the servers will know we are friends and not spam.

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

Just to let you all know, there will be no Omarama Gazette or Otematata Chronicle produced in April or May. Instead there will be the Daily Wire with the latest updates sent each day at 4pm-ish by email. For those who advertise regularly in the Gazette and Chronicle, I will extend your present  contract arrangement accordingly once regular transmission resumes.
Please contact me if you would prefer a refund - many thanks for your support.
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016-2019, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.

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