Meri Kirihimete te Omarama :)
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- Omarama Gazette -
In this Christmas Issue

Just one last thing ...
The first Christmas at the Lodge
 Santa was well-suited to the task
Just so many hugs for Santa
Oh, the places you'll go!
From the 2018 album
Spreading the word about Omarama
The Christmas Noticeboard
Christmas and New Year Greetings, and Holiday Hours
It's all happening here - upcoming events for the diary
Situations Vacant
The Last Page is Classifieds
The View from the Chook House
Just one last thing...

Omarama School promotes its five core values based on 'L-I-G-H-T' from the phrase "Omarama, Place of Light",  and I summarise - Learning, being Inclusive, Growing, Helping and Truthfulness. 
'Values' - it’s a bit of a buzz word – but it’s one I’ve thought about a bit this year. 
For several reasons. 
One was our regular feature,  the Employee of the Month. 
It wasn’t hard to find people in this town with interesting jobs – we have so much talent - but I also found these same people have certain ‘values’ in common. 
Not only are they dedicated to their roles, but they are also committed to going that extra mile. They each believe in looking out for one another. 
Secondly, earlier this year, a town visioning session was held in Omarama. 
In publicising this session I put together a series of stories to get people thinking about their ‘vision’ for our town. 
The overwhelming consensus was people did not want Omarama to become yet another busy, crowded, impersonal, ‘tourist' town. 
They want it to keep its character – whatever that is?
Just how do you put that into words? 
And how do you actively protect and build up those things we value when they are not bricks-and-mortar tangible? 
A few weeks ago I read an article based around the 2018 United Nations World Happiness survey and report . Respondents from 156 countries gave their views.
Among the things the report said people believed contributed to the 'happiness' of a place was the extent to which the community "shared a belief in a fair go for all”, “knew someone they could rely on”, was “inclusive” of all, and made time to spend with friends and family. 
In another part of the same article the author speaks of an African ‘value’, ubuntu - "I am because we are,"  a sense of interconnection.
Together, we do so much.
Early next year the Waitaki District Council is asking residents to contribute ideas to the District Plan. 
“Waitaki 2030, planning strong communities” the flyer reads. 
In the year 2030 …
Do we have a vision for Omarama?
You bet we do, and the possibilities are endless.
We live and play in a unique space. 
How should we share it?
What should we protect?
How can we celebrate it?
Now is the time to speak up about what is important to you, and they’ve said they’ll listen.
Make sure you’re part of this.
Let’s plan to make this the best place for us all to live. 
I have a feeling 2019 is going to be our year to make the difference. 

There’s one more thing… 
I have enjoyed so many rewarding moments this year. 
I would just like to say thank you. 
Thank you for sharing, thank you for your contributions, thank you for letting me take your photo, thank you for everything little thing you do for our community.
Thank you all for your loyalty. I know I test that at times and push those boundaries.
So, thank you to those who, without fail, fill the Gazette inbox with compliments each time an issue goes out. That is so much appreciated.
Yeah, I make mistakes. So, I  appreciate the not-so-great feed-back also – that’s the stuff that pushes me to be better next time.
It is a privilege to put the Gazette together and I enjoy every moment.
Truly,  I could not do this without you. 

A world of good wishes to you all ...The Gazette is back February 6, Waitangi Day, 2019 
In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy this special Christmas issue. 
We live in a truly beautiful part of the world and among a community that cares.
Let's celebrate our place.
- Ruth Grundy, editor.
Ti He Mauri Ora!
Ki Te Whei-ao!
Ki Te Ao Marama!
Behold the breath of life!
Behold the unfolding world of light!
Behold the place of light!
The first Christmas at the Lodge
Photo above: supplied
Above:  Lindis Lodge chefs, father and son, Cesare and Aurelio Stella, discuss Christmas menus.
The first Christmas in a new place is always something special and the first Christmas at the Lindis Lodge in the Ahuriri Valley promises to be no exception. 
When Omarama Gazette called last week managers William and Alysse Hudson were busy talking Christmas trees, and chefs Cesare and Aurelio Stella had begun planning Christmas menus. 
The luxury lodge which officially opened last month has already caught the attention of international media. 
The unique building which ‘disappears’ into the surrounding landscape was designed by Architecture Workshop, of Wellington, and built by Brosnan Construction. 
Owner, Singapore-based Richard Magides, stood down at the river's edge and looked back up. 
What he saw was the “natural undulations” of the hills and grasslands. 
And that was what inspired the brief - that the design should echo that and appear completely natural, William said. 
Sited as it is neighbouring three conservation parks, William said the management of the Lodge was guided by a strong conservation and environmental ethic. 
A special mix of native grass seed was prepared for ‘lawns’ surrounding the lodge and Poa Cita (Silver Tussock) and Chionochloa rigida (snow tussock) have been planted to settle the building into the landscape. 
Indoors, the restaurant, lounge and each suite look out onto the emerging braids of the Ahuriri River, to the Ben Avon wetlands, and further up the valley to a broad sweep of the surrounding alps. 
Each suite bears the name of a nearby station - Ben Avon, Dalrachney, Longslip, Ribbonwood and Birchwood. 
There have been some spectacular scenes of storms chasing their way up the mountain chain, and once the fishing season opened guests have enjoyed watching fishers work the river below, William said. 
Newly-appointed fishing guide Roger Webb can show guests how to tie flies while looking down on the stretch of river where they will later fish, all “catch and release” of course, he said. 
Activities manager Andy Cousins oversees the outdoor pursuits - fishing, hiking, mountain-biking or horse trekking. 
Denise Stella runs the stables which at present houses 12 good-natured horses and a foal 
The Lodge will host two families for its first Christmas. 
Although a certain amount of planning is key, head chef Cesare said, because  fresh and seasonal produce guides the menu, nothing is fixed in advance. 
He works on the principle “no produce is to touch the fridge”.
The Christmas menu will play on tradition and feature merino lamb, turkey, ham and alpine salmon. 
Cesare aims to blend Italian techniques with Tangata Whenua traditions in his cooking.
The lodge has its own vegetable garden and heated greenhouses as well as a newly-planted orchard.
Fresh pasta and bread is made daily and they make their own conserves and sauces. 
They aim for no waste and compost three ways;  using traditional composting, the Bokashi composting system, and a worm farm. Anything left is fed to the “very free range” poultry, he said. 
William and Alysse were still in discussions over the Christmas tree. 
An artificial tree replicating that used by Harrods, of London, had been ordered from overseas but would not arrive in time for this year's festivities and so they were  debating whether or not to do as the locals do and bring in a wilding pine. 
That idea had Alysse and Aurelio’s vote, he, himself, was a little unsure, William said.
Regardless, one thing is certain, not much that sparkles will compete with that night-sky view of the Milky Way stretching out over the valley.

Main photo below: supplied
Other photos by Ruth Grundy
Santa was so well-suited to the task.
A certain Mrs Claus has been very busy stitching these past few weeks in time to have Santa suited-up and ready for his busy schedule. 
Santa’s arrival at this year’s Omarama emergency services volunteers' Christmas party was heralded by all the bells and whistles, not to mention a noisy siren and flashy lights. 
As he stepped out from the makeshift ‘sleigh’ driven by chief elf, station officer Maurice Cowie, all was revealed. 
Looking exceptionally dapper, Santa’s, whose eyes twinkled through his great white beard, was sporting a brand-new fur-trimmed red suit, complete with new, shiny ‘red bands’. 
(Some may have said he bore a close resemblance to former Chief Fire Officer Howard Williams) 
The great man stepped through to his magnificent chair by the fireplace to give presents to the youngest brigade members. 
Following, the ceremonies, water-play was the order of the day.
What could be a better place for a hose-down on this hot summer day than the Fire Station? 
Santa did appear to be wishing he had brought a swim suit.
There is media speculation this gap in Santa's wardrobe will be filled with another designer creation from the 'House of Georgie Robertson' in time for next summer.
PS Predictably, no sooner had the chief elf reversed the fire truck into the shed than the 'hooter' went and it was all flashy lights and sirens again, this time for 'normal' duties.
Just so many hugs for Santa
Omarama Playgroup had a special visitor for its last session of the year.
Fancy, he knew everybody's names, and that they had been oh, so very good! Ho, ho, ho!

(Rumour has it Santa and Otago Rural Support Trust coordinator Lindsay Purvis have much in common, often catching up for  a yarn over the fence about the tricky task and expense of managing feed for reindeer in North Pole conditions.)
Oh, the places you'll go...
The Omarama School final assembly of 2018 was enjoyed by a large crowd of parents, grandparents, friends and other guests, last week.
They gathered to enjoy a showcase of Christmas drama and song, and celebrate the successes of 2018.
As well, goodbyes were said to teachers, pupils and families leaving the school.
Senior class teacher Peter Schasching, who initially came to the school on a short-term basis and remained for two years, is leaving to travel, and Helen Blick, who has spent the past 10 years as a relief teacher, is retiring to spend more time with family.
Last term, Shona Denton was appointed as a third teacher at the school because pupil numbers had topped 50.
There was no funding for a third teacher to start 2019.
However, she will take on Mr Schasching's role, Board of Trustees chairperson David (Gundy) Anderson said.
Gundy also emphasised the role Friends of the School played in providing funds for extra equipment and experiences for the pupils, and thanked the group for its fundraising efforts.
This was the final year at the school for the Smith and Walsh families and Friends of the School chairperson Emma Moore made presentations acknowledging their service.
The senior students leaving for intermediate and high school were farewelled in song and slideshows.
Dominic Walsh will attend Waitaki Boys High School, and Jessica Smith and Gemma Patterson will go to St Kevin’s College in Oamaru. Suzie Smith and Madison Innes will go to Craighead Diocesan School, in Timaru.
The Sir Peter Blake Young Leader award was presented to Dom Walsh.
The Omarama Gazette award for diligence in literacy was presented to Laura Patterson.
Principal Kim McKenzie acknowledged staff members – Peter Schasching, Shona Denton, Kris Lindsay, Pam Harding, Ange Smith, Lex Perriam, Ann Garthwaite and Andy Moore - for their year’s work.

Don’t, don’t, don’t, don't you forget about us.

To Dom, Jess, Maddy, Gemma and Suzie, 
Go well, guys, we are all so very proud of you!
Omarama School pupils also brought their pets to school for a morning last week to show them where they spend all day without them!
There are more photos on the Omarama Gazette Facebook page. Here is a link to the video.
From the 2018 album ...
The Omarama Volunteer fire crew attend to a grass fire at the telephone exchange.
Tony Gloag and Ron Williamson check the lots for sale at the Omarama merino lamb sale.
Ed Aubrey helps 'liberating' at the Omarama Collie Dog Club trials.
Senior Constable Nayland Smith makes a significant  'recovery'.
The crowd lay poppies after the Anzac Service at the Memorial Rock.
Bringing them home - the Rostreiver wethers return from Mt Thomas.
Pat (Wingy) aka 'Pat the Rat'  and Doreen Leopold  take a trip down memory lane on a trip to Dunedin. More than fifty years ago, from 1966 to 1968, Pat was president of the Otago Motor Cycle Club. photo: Lex Perriam
A crowd of more than 140 gathered for a community forum to hear form various agencies about plans for the future management of the Department of Conservation  Ahuriri River Bridge campsite.
Wool classer Tia Potae and young wool handler Poppy Radford sort the clip at Otamatapaio. Station.
Adrienne Harper sells daffodils outside Four Square Omarama to raise money on Daffodil Day.
Just some of the Omarama First Response team gather for a photo to highlight their work.
Search and Rescue teams from around the region gather in Omarama for an exercise.
Gliders line up on the grid for the South Island Regional Gliding championships.
Spreading the word about Omarama

At least once every year it is quite fun to go though the stats which show just how far and wide the news about our place travels.
The Omarama Gazette is read right around the globe, from Alexandra to Alaska.
But it is the videos posted on the Omarama Gazette Facebook page that get the most attention.
The short video 'Shear Skill' which features Grant Murdoch's shearing team and wool classer Terry Mulcahy pre-lamb shearing at Bog Roy Station reached 242,700 people, scored 339 ‘likes’, especially liked in Wales, and was shared 820 times. Great mahi , guys.
Runner-up  was the clip 'Bringing them home' which showed the Munro boys droving wethers back to Rostreiver Run after their summer spent grazing at Mt Thomas, a tradition which looks to be in its final days. This video clip reached 164.8K and was ‘liked’ by 6,000 people.

Two other video clips rated highly.
'It looks like we have ourselves a snow day' featured a line-up of trucks in Omarama's main street waiting for the Lindis Pass to open and reached 8.5K people and 'Smoke on the water' which caught the start of the New Zealand Boat Marathon Commission’s Twin Lakes Marathon - round 4 of competitions - reached 9.2K people.
Posts featuring only photos and news travelled a little more slowly.

The most popular of these was the April Fool’s spoof 'New concept plan to bypass town' which reached 6.3K, was liked by 92, and shared 15 times.
The stories calling for a solution to the problems at the Ahuriri River Bridge Campsite and the story about Bean’s and Scotty’s (senior constables Nayland Smith and Peter Scott's) cannabis recovery operation each reached about 4.5K people.

Which just goes to show people actually do prefer fake news!

The Gazette Facebook page is used to share what it is not possible to in print - more photos and video and, importantly, to get  community messages out quickly.
You are welcome to join and contribute:
The Noticeboard

CHECK IT OUT - Throughout this special Christmas issue are notices about business hours and services through the holidays. 

Thank you to all of you who work through the holidays  to keep us safe and so we can relax.

You may be able to help...please check out the classified ads below.

On behalf of the Oamaru Combined Churches Foodbank I would like to thank you for the amazing amount of food that was  donated from your recent Toot For Tucker. Your donations are greatly appreciated and enable us to continue our work throughout the year. Thank you to everyone in your area who gave so generously - Jill Wilson, Secretary.

The Kurow Medical Centre's hours are different over the holiday break, See below for their  notice. 
A Carol Service will be held at 7pm,  Sunday, December 23, at the Omarama Community Centre.
The Omarama Residents’ Association’s first meeting of 2019 will be 7.30 pm Thursday, February 15, at the Omarama Community Centre. Ann Patterson, chairperson, 03 438 9493, Lorraine King, secretary, 027 434 6027 

The Omarama Playgroup is in recess for the holidays. It 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 

Plunket Line: 0800 933 922
Omarama Plunket Committee: 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

The Omarama Model Aircraft Club meets 9am to 12 noon Saturdays at its fly-ground at the Omarama airfield. All welcome. 
Don Selbie 03 435 3122

The 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.

The Omarama Golf Club, Saturdays tee-off 1pm, all welcome. Twilight 9-hole golf Thursday tee-off 6pm.  Club captain Adrian Tuffley  027 347 8276.

This is the final Omarama Gazette for the year.
The first Omarama Gazette for 2019 will be the February Issue, published Wednesday February 6. Close-off for this is Friday, February 1.
A big thank you to all of you who share your stories and contribute in other ways to the Omarama Gazette. People really appreciate what you do.

If you would like a high resolution copy of any photo in this issue emailed to you please email

To read more,  enjoy more photos and view videos check out our Facebook page and website

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.

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.
 The Omarama Gazette has its own website:

Here you will find the current and previous issues.
The first issue of the Omarama Gazette for 2019
is Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
Please submit copy
by Friday, February 1.

Advertising pays for
production and distribution
For a copy of the costs to advertise, and publication and close-off dates
 please phone 021 294 8002, 03 438 9766 or email
Christmas and New Year

 greetings and holiday hours
Omarama's Community Library
We would like to wish all volunteers and customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  
Many thanks to all the volunteers for giving so generously of their time and energy through the year, and many thanks to all the customers for being so delightful!                                                                                                    - Glenys, Georgie and Anna
Christmas Hours

Saturday, December  22,  9am  to 10am
Saturday, December  29,  9am to 10am
Saturday,  January 5, 9am to 10am

Summer Hours from Sunday,  January 6

Tuesdays 7pm to 8pm
Wednesdays 9am to10am
Saturdays 9am to10am
Omarama Residents' Association

Many thanks to the committee of the ORA.
They have worked so hard and given freely of their time on your behalf, attending meetings, speaking to council, administering the Community Centre, and solving the many issues, big and small, as they arise.
Being part of this organisation can be a thankless task and it's not until you are involved you realise it's actually a very rewarding role, as what you do does make a difference to our community.
Special thanks to Ruth, for her ongoing role  in keeping you all informed through the Omarama Gazette.
Wishing all the Omarama folk a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
                                                                             - Ann Patterson, chairman 

The Waitaki District Council  hours can be found here

Christmas and New Year holiday hours

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

Contributions are welcome 

It's all happening here, events to 'diary'.
Mobil Omarama invites you ...


Terry and Michelle Walsh invite all their
customers, clients old and new,
to their annual shout on
Friday, December 21
“We would love to see you all here
again this year.
“If you are not a customer yet – come along and meet our friendly team,
have a Christmas drink and say, ‘Gidday’.
It will be great to see !”

Mobil Omarama
Closed Christmas Day
Workshop closes Thursday December 20,
reopens December 27.
Ph/fax 03 438 9834
Mobil Twizel
Open Christmas Day
Phone: 03-435 0844


Situations Vacant
The Last Page is Classifieds
The view from the chook house

♪♫ Summertime and the livin' is easy! ♫♪

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Contact: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Copyright © 2016 -2018, Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.