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Forging ahead with our future
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Omarama Gazette
August 2020
 

The August Issue

Omarama airfield operating licences granted 
Business feature - Country Glow makeup + beauty
Learning to lead on any front
No formal MOU about rabbit board land purchase
Ground-breaking moment for A2O
Omarama Gazette investigates what lies beneath our boots
Casting call answered to send a message 
Last call for peggy squares 


Regular Features

The Noticeboard 
The Community Reports
Waitaki District Council - News in Brief 
 Environment Canterbury - News in Brief 
Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee - News
Department of Conservation - News in Brief 
Those FAQs - Five Awkward Questions - with the Boris Family
Something to Puzzle Over

The Directory
The Last Page is Classifieds
The Weather that Was 
The Garden Diary
The View from the Chook House 
Airfield operating licences granted
The Omarama Airfield Company has named three of a probable six entities to which it has granted a licence to operate gliding and other services.
They are the Omarama Gilding Club, Youth Glide New Zealand - for winch launching, and Omarama Launch Services - operated by pilots Phil Plane and Brad Newfield,  for winch and aerotow launch services. They will operate the Youth Glide winch. 
"The Omarama Gliding Club will provide all gliding activity enabled by Civil Aviation Authority Part 149 and 104, and provide gliding support services", airfield company chairman Clive Geddes said.
A licence has also been granted to an un-named Omarama-based party who wants to offer microlight training services.
The airfield company is still waiting for information from two other applicants and the outcome of their bid should be known by the end of the week, Mr Geddes said.

     

Omarama Gliding Club chief flying instructor Trevor Mollard said he was “delighted” to receive the news.
“It secures the club’s future going into the next season in a very positive way.”
To meet demand the Omarama Gliding Club is bringing in another Duo Discus two-seater glider which is expected to arrive in September.
As an affiliated Gliding New Zealand club the Omarama Club is permitted to run all the courses under the relevant CAA rule 149 but can not operate the adventure trial flights that Glide Omarama was offering.
"We have no intention of doing so ...it is quite a burdensome part of the rules to comply to," Mr Mollard said.
The club would operate as an umbrella organisation for professional instructors in the interim, although it would prefer not to do this in the long term, to allow it to provide courses for its members, he said.
Some pilots who previously worked for Glide Omarama could take up those positions.
Former licence holder Glide Omarama ceased operations in early March because of a licensing dispute with the CAA about the compliance required for its adventure trial flights.
Covid-19 restrictions then closed all airfield activities.
In April, the airfield company decided that all airfield-based operations, except private flying, should be covered by a licence and advertised for expressions of interest.
“This provides certainty for the company and the holder of the LTO as to the services being provided,” Mr Geddes said.
Applications for licences closed at the end of May and the company had said it hoped to finalise arrangements by the end of June in time for the season opening in September.
However, it decided to allow more time for possible joint bids to be considered.
The company is not restricted in the number of licences it can issue.
"The big overriding factor for everyone is there is no international travel operating, or likely to be in the next eight to 10 months," Mr Geddes said.
"[For any of the operators ] it is a matter of attracting New Zealand glider pilots or New Zealanders interested in gliding to create the activity for the airfield.
"It is the problem everyone has," he said.
The licence to operate is for three years with two rights of renewal.
The Omarama Airfield Company, which owns and operates the airfield, is a Waitaki District Council-controlled enterprise.
 
South Island Regional gliding championships will proceed
This year’s South Island Regional gliding championships in Omarama are to proceed as planned, despite earlier fears the Covid-19 situation may affect entries. 
Omarama Gliding Club chief flying instructor Trevor Mollard said, after a call was put out in June,  24 “potential entries” registered for the regional gliding championships - similar numbers to previous years. 
Consequently, the club made its decision  to go ahead as planned at  its meeting by video link on last month. The competition will run from November 14 to November 21 “a bit later than usual”. 
While there were no entries from the northern hemisphere this year, entries were from throughout New Zealand and one from Queensland Australia, who may, of course not be able to attend, Mr Mollard said. Each entry brings two to three others as supporters. 
It has been “quite dramatic times” for gliding. 
As well, there was “plenty of interest” in the week-long pre-contest mountain-flying training session in mountain flying, known as Jerry’s Course, previously run by Glide Omarama. 
In January, the club will host the National Gliding Championships in Omarama
The Youth Glide Development Camp will run from December 10 to December 19.
The Omarama Gliding Club has 76 members including overseas and social club members. There are 56 flying members. 
Mr Mollard said club membership was expected to grow because those who wanted to fly must be affiliated with a gliding club.
Paid content

Country Glow MAKEUP + BEAUTY
 








Country Glow

5 Benmore Plc
Omarama
P: 027 696 4598
F: /CountryGlow
W: www.countryglow.co.nz
E: sales@countryglow.co.nz
She’s more fairy god-sister than fairy god-mother – but she has all the experience necessary to wave that magic wand and add sparkle to those special moments in your life.
Plus, she’ll pass on the skills to give you the confidence to walk out that door and shine any day of the week. 
Christy and Ramon Zeestraten moved to Omarama about six years ago and farm at Quailburn. With daughter Saedy (10) and son Arlo (6) now enjoying school Christy decided there was time and space to follow her passion. Country Glow makeup and beauty was born. 
She learnt the basics of makeup artistry at high school and went on to train in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. Setting up the Omarama salon about 15 months ago was the realisation of her early dreams, she says. 
There is nothing she enjoys more than helping her “fabulous ladies” feel confident wearing and using makeup.
Her make-up master classes for one, two, or up to six people have proved very popular. They’ve been the perfect way for ladies to take time out and spoil themselves, or enjoy some ‘girl time’ perhaps for mother-daughter bonding or for gal-pals to enjoy some pampering and a few laughs over a platter and a pretty glass or two.
So, what can you expect at a class?
Each person is supplied with brushes and mirrors.
Then, working one-on-one with Christy, is taught how to apply an “easy-out-the-door day look” and a special event full-glam look using Country Glow’s ethical and quality mineral products. These products and so much more are available through the online shop. (And remember Country Glow offers all regular treatments including brow and lash bar services)
The lessons take about three hours. Christy uses her expertise to choose the right products for each person and talks you through every step of the application process.
Groups of ladies have travelled from as far away as Duntroon, Dunedin and Christchurch for the classes, slipping in a hot tub, a round of golf, maybe dinner, and making a day or a weekend of it. 
“Not only do I do a job that feeds my passion, but I get to meet these absolutely fabulous ladies in the process.” 
Most of all Christy loves working with brides and their entourage; "being part of a really special day”.
“It also takes me places”, from close to home like Otematata and Twizel to Wanaka and Queenstown, she’s happy to travel to be on hand. Each wedding package includes planning and a pre-wedding trial.
Now, with ball season just around the corner bookings are filling to have Christy create an enchanting look for that traditional ‘coming-of-age’ ritual; your first formal. 
One final tip - be sure to have tissues on hand for that moment your girl walks out on  stage.

 
 
Learning to lead on any fire front
Fenz Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade senior firefighter Zane Lord
has lead his second fire attack this year.

In fire-fighting no two fires are ever quite the same.
But what you learn from one you take to the next.
Fenz Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade senior firefighter Zane Lord (28) says heading out to an incident, often with only sketchy details,  you “hope for the best and plan for the worst”. 

   

It's a favourite quote from author, Lee Child and has stood him in good stead.
Zane has spent almost a decade in the fire service, joining up when he  left school in 2010, and apart from a short stint in Cromwell while he completed his chef’s training, he has spent most of his time in the service with the Omarama Brigade. 
These days Zane works as farm assistant at Little Ben dairy farm, just out of town.
He’s climbed several rungs of the fire-fighter's career ladder since those early days as a recruit.
This year, for the first time he has been in charge of the “fire attack”.
In fact, it’s happened twice.
Both times the incidents proved more complex than on paper, both times lessons were learned.
His day off from milking, Zane was in bed at 7.09 that Friday, July 3, morning when the siren went. 
Once at the station he joined station officer Maurice Cowie, senior firefighter Peter Trusler and firefighter Jack Zorab. A full crew headed out.
The call was to a chimney fire somewhere on Omarama Ave, where “addresses don’t match up”.
That kind of local knowledge is vital. 
Such was the smoke from the Wrinkly Rams it did not take long to spot the actual location. 
Builder Bill Adams, who lives across the road from the café, was already there pulling aside corrugated iron from the roof to give access. “Bill’s assistance was invaluable," Zane said.
One look and Zane had the two firefighters don breathing apparatus in case. "Plan for the worst."
“Jack went up inside the flue to fight it from the inside.
“He kept putting it out and it kept flaring again.
The leadership training kicked in - assess the situation, ask the questions, listen to the crew, make a plan, give clear directions, change the plan. Repeat.
“What was going through my mind was why. Why was it flaring? 
“Maurice was outside and grabbed the thermal imaging camera and put it on the roof.” 
A station officer’s primary role is to oversee the incident from the sidelines, “to make sure we are doing our job”. 
That camera showed heat coming down the roof from the top. 
They would have to get on the roof to cool and vent it. 
Ironically, the -5.6C frost that morning was not helping. 
The roof was slippery with ice.
Where water had sprayed on the ground it turned immediately to even more slippery ice.
The roof kit – which includes climbing gear - was opened and deployed and Peter headed up to tackle the job.
The plan was to use a grinder to cut a hole in the roof and then use the hose to cool the hot-spots. 
“It wasn’t too easy, he was slipping and sliding.”
Pete couldn’t get enough of a footing to get enough pressure on the grinder to get the job done. 
With the extra weight of the gear he was carrying exhaustion was creeping in.
Watching from below, Maurice donned 'Yaks' – outdoor footwear suited to extreme conditions – and headed up the slippery roof to help Peter. 
Jack went up once Peter came down. 
“We started to get control once Jack got up and cut a hole through the roof.” 
That was the turning point but it would be five hours in all before they returned to the station. 
During that time Zane called in the tanker, in case there was no hydrant at hand, and smoke chaser for more personnel, and the first response. 
As back up “man-power”, and for another roof kit, and to rest his firefighters Zane called in the Otematata and the Twizel fire brigades. 
It was earlier this year Zane assumed the lead role for the first time at a fire in a cabin at Ben Avon caused by an electrical fault.
It had all but been put out by the time the brigade arrived, he said.
Coincidentally, it was where the new thermal imaging camera was first used to assure fire fighters any hot spots were indeed out.
The challenge at that incident was finding a way to tackle the communications black spot.
“In that case someone had to run down to the fire brigade ute, parked in just the right spot, [to talk to Fenz communications].
“We learn from everything.”
Zane is in admiration of Maurice’s experience gained over his 49 years fighting fires.
He said it was Maurice who first thought to use the thermal imaging camera at the café fire and he backed it up with his experience.
The icy conditions?
Well, next time, should chance hand them a similar scenario they would cut footholds in the roof, Zane said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

Fenz Omarama is a volunteer service. To find out more contact: Chief Fire Officer Greg Harper, 021 293 1171, Greg.Harper@fireandemergency.nz
The brigade meets 7pm each Wednesday and has its meeting at 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of the month.
Firefighters work to control the chimney fire at Wrinkly Rams last month.
No formal 'MOU' about land purchase
Settling the status of a block of land in central Omarama known as the Rabbit Board land will be key to progressing the Waitaki District Council's masterplan concept approved in February this year.
However, although it has voiced an interest in buying the land the council have not registered any formal understanding with the agencies managing its sale, and may not do so.

   

Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher told the public at the Ahuriri Community Board meeting in March,
the council had let Environment Canterbury know it was interested in the land which formed the basis of part of the new concept.
At the meeting he said there were a “number of steps” to be worked through, including consultation, and there were safeguards in that process to protect the interests of neighbours.
Yesterday, Mr Kircher clarified that statement.
“I have said that we have indicated our interest in purchasing the land and that ECan have noted that interest.
He had made no mention of entering into an memorandum of understanding about the purchase, he said.
“Personally, I don’t believe that council must buy the land to progress the masterplan concept.
“That could be achieved through a number of options, presumably including the appropriate re-zoning of the land.
“I don’t have all of the details of ownership etc, so I have made some assumptions.”
In the masterplan, the area is to be used as a key retail hub with car parking. (See graphic)
Information supplied to the Omarama Gazette indicated a memorandum of understanding had been agreed between the council and the Department of Conservation, who is managing the sale process, to buy the land once all necessary steps had been followed.
This week, Doc Te Manahuna /Twizel Office operations manager Karina Morrow told the Gazette the department had reviewed applications from ECan to revoke the land’s reserve status to free-up the land for disposal.
“There has also been a request from Fenz for use of some of this land for their purposes. No decisions have yet been made as further work is required due to the Fenz request.”
“We are not aware of any MOU with the Waitaki District Council on this matter,” Ms Morrow said.
 
Where we left this and how it works.
The Gazette has been following this process since it began in September 2016, when ECan moved to return the land to the Crown.
Because pest control work as it was done in the past was no longer carried out, ECan had no need for the property. 
In April 2018, an ECan spokesperson said it had passed the matter to Doc because it was the agency that administered land subject to the Reserves Act 1977.
Doc has to revoke the land as reserve land under section 24 of that Act.
"Once this is done, the land becomes Crown land and available for disposal," the spokesperson said.
Land Information New Zealand (Linz) administers the disposal of Crown land through the Land Act 1948.
"Doc has no legal authority to dispose of any revoked Crown reserve (hence Linz will do this) but Doc do have financial responsibility for the disposal (costs and revenue) so they will oversee the disposal process.
 “There are a number of legal obligations around the sale that the Crown abides by, including such things as; offering first right of refusal to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998, any obligation to offer the land back to any former owner, and notification of the proposed disposal to other noted Crown and local government agencies who may be interested, and any other obligations under the Land Act 1948."

 
Yesterday, Waitaki district mayor and councillors, Ahuriri Community Board members and council staff took a familiarisation tour of the district's Ahuriri Ward travelling as far west as Lake Ohau Village to meet with residents there. Photo courtesy of Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher.
Ground-breaking moment for A2O
For those of you who have been following every millimetre of progress since this was an idea sketched on the back of an envelope, the first sod on the Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam stretch of the Alps to Ocean trail has finally been turned.
Two diggers began work last month on the Bog Roy Station stretch of the trail.

     

The new trail follows a route which will take it from Sailors Cutting around the shores of the Ahuriri Arm of Lake Benmore, over the saddle with its views out across the lake and then descend and finish at the Benmore Dam.
It means cyclists will no longer have to negotiate the traffic on the Otematata Saddle stretch of SH83.
A highlight of the new approx 16km stretch will not only be the views across lake but a bridge to connect two bluffs that will carry cyclists and walkers 10m above the water. (See plans below)
 M3 Contracting won the tender to construct the new cycleway and  it hoped the new section would be open to the public before Christmas.
The council statement said the bridge and fencing on this section of trail would be completed by a separate contractor and this would be tendered shortly.
Waitaki District Councillor Ross McRobie said it was "awesome" work had finally begun but now planning must start to take the trail off-road between Otematata and Aviemore Dam.
"It's very important from a safety perspective to take the trail off-road."
This would mean the cyclists could choose to travel down the south side of the lake from Benmore Dam and through the Otematata township.
"I've been pushing for that for some time."
"If we think about the purpose of the trail, it was to create economic benefits which wouldn't otherwise be there for small towns and villages."
Cr McRobie said it was unlikely to happen this year because other trail safety issues had priority but he was insistent planning should get underway soon. 
 
Below: These maps show the path the new section of the A2O cycle trail will take around Lake Benmore. Supplied: Waitaki District Council
Omarama Gazette investigates 
and it's head down, *** up!
Seems everyone in town's been snapping, and the #PICOFTHEDAY is …drum roll please…footpaths.
Just how sexy are our footpaths?
It’s fair to say, while they have struggled in places to rate to begin with, residents are less than impressed with what appears to be the finished product post UFB fibre installation.
After fielding calls, emails of dismay and swiping right on endless photos of patchy sticky tar and gravel  on the various pedestrian conduits through town Omarama Gazette set out to follow a path of enquiry to try to come up with answers for the rough patch we’re going through, without getting stuck fast.

   

First stop –  Waitaki District Council's roading department. 
What should the footpaths look like once the contractors have completed their work, and what is to be done about the pre-existing potholes and uneven surfaces which make life difficult especially for the 'wheelies' among us? the Gazette asked. 
In an email, council roading manager Mike Harrison explained the various roles involved and standards of work expected post-cable laying.
“The work for UFB is undertaken by contractors employed by Chorus. Council’s role in this process, as asset owner, is to co-ordinate similar activities, set standards that are required for acceptance on completion, and to inspect at the end of warranty periods. 
At this time, the works in Omarama have not reached the first stage of completion, and the two-year warranty period has not commenced.
While the works are in progress the involvement by council is on the safe operation of the road network. Issues such as loose chip, grass seeding, unsealed surfaces, and “tidiness” are works council is only able to seek action on when the contractor asks for first stage of completion.
Where sites are 'unsafe' we can (and do) act as soon as it is raised with the council. We are not aware of any outstanding matters or complaints that have been raised with us. 
We are aware that the contractor has been delayed and affected by actions of unknown persons who have altered the in-progress surfacing work. 
If there are matters, we request these are recorded with council through the call centre, and photos have benefit of making the concern clear which aids response. 
My staff have inspected Omarama today [Thursday, July 30] and do two to four-weekly depending on what work is in progress. Many issues are dealt with on-site at the time with the working crews. I appreciate there may be issues that require a higher-level response, in which the call centre is the best way to get action, including a call to me if required.”

 
Also responding to calls that same Thursday was our intrepid councillor Ross McRobie who arrived in town to make his own inspection.
Also unimpressed with what appeared to be the final product he quickly flicked off his own set of photos to the council as soon as you could say ‘Snap, Send, Solve’. 
The response was practically immediate. That particular grievance  was gone by lunchtime and at least one happy ratepayer phoned to thank him. 
Ross said, as it was explained to him, council staff inspecting the finished surface found it up to  standard “in roughly 95% of the sites”.
The staff thought some photos could have been taken when only the grade 4 chip was applied and not the grade 6, which could explain the untidiness.
At that time, contractors were still to seal about 30% of the town and would carry out any remedial works at the same time, Ross was told.

One not so happy customer was motellier Hank Verheul who was contending with tar and chip being walked into rooms and damaging carpets. 
After lodging a complaint with one set of contractors and the council, he took the measure of applying quarry dust to the sticky paths outside his premises to stop further damage.
Hank said, potentially the problem could have continued indefinitely and unless he took action would cause further damage to carpets. He is considering billing the parties for damages. 
On enquiry Ross was told: 
“Regarding the area adjacent to the motel on Ahuriri Drive, upon inspection someone has applied crusher dust to the patches that were apparently causing issues. As the work site has been altered by an unknown party [the contractors] cannot be asked to tidy this area up and undertake remedial works.”

And, this for now, is where we must leave this sticky situation.
 
But back to question two – and this one has been in the council inbox for some time.
Mr Harrison, to be fair, has not been in the position long.
What, the Gazette asked, is to be done about the pre-existing state of the footpaths - the condition prior to the UFB installation project, with long stretches not fit for prams, wheelchairs or the less able to negotiate particularly the section of Blackpeak Rd between Benmore Place and SH8? 
This matter was asked of staff several times by former councillor Craig Dawson at Ahuriri Community Board meetings in the past term. 
Mr Harrison said he was he was not in a position to comment.

So, the Gazette retraced its steps and headed back up the garden path to Cr Ross.
"I will be following this up myself," he said.
"Where remedial work needs to be done it needs to be undertaken and satisfactorily competed.
"I am happy to raise this with the Ahuriri Community Board and council.
Now he had been made aware of the issue he would work to resolve it, he said.
"It might take a bit of time."
 
 
        
 
Casting call answered to send a message
Hot Tubs Omarama and Yvie, Jimmy and Jacob Moore were in the limelight again this week as film company Still Vision Casting began production on a series of short promotional films for Tourism New Zealand.
The films are to be used to promote the area to other New Zealanders and to encourage overseas visitors to return when they are able. 
Still Vision Casting's Jackie Gay said the footage which will go out to New Zealanders will be similar to that produced for screens by Tourism New Zealand earlier this year - A message to New Zealand.
Photos:Emma Moore
 
Yvie, Jimmy and Jacob Moore.
 
The day ruru and  kākā came to town
Two unusual visitors captivated those who got to meet them, albeit briefly, in Omarama last month.
A South Island kākā visited Lex and Jan Perriam’s and was snapped feasting on overripe fruit
From the parrot family, the kākā usually feeds on totara berries in transit to other more productive forested areas, Lex said.
“- a delightful chappy, he had many locals come see him and one could get very close, up to 2m, after a few berries he has not returned.”
 
And, not long after sunset over on the eastern side of town a ruru (morepork) paid a surprise visit to the Grundy’s backyard.
Obviously unused to its celebrity status and being surrounded by paparazzi, it soon retreated silently into the dark night, but not before it was caught on camera.
Taken in haste these may not be the best of photos but the characteristic saucer eyes were confirmation it was not a figment of the imagination.
Although the camera is said to make you look 10 pounds heavier this bird was actually much bigger than it appears - the photo of it on the clothesline gives slightly better scale.
Others spoken to had not heard of a sighting of a ruru in town before but had seen them up on the bushline.

 
  
Photos: Stephen Grundy

Photo: Lex Perriam
Lockdown peggy square project - last call
The lockdown peggy square project is about to be take to the next level.
But first the organsiers would like to know two things.
1. Has everyone who made peggy squares for the project handed in their contributions.
2. The squares will be sewn into a large rug. This could either be given to a worthy cause or mounted and hung in the Omarama Memorial Hall and Community Centre to mark this unique occasion in our local history.
Please contact Ruth Grundy 021 294 8002 or 03 438 96766 or email omaramagazette@gmail.com with your preference.
The Noticeboard
To have your community notice included here email: omaramagazette@gmail.com

Kurow Medical Centre  Omarama Clinic at the Omarama Community Centre, is open Tuesdays, 8.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. To make appointments for all clinics, order repeat scripts or make enquiries please contact Kurow Medical Centre 03 436 0760 (Monday to Thursdays). www.kurowmedicalcentre.org.nz

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.

St Thomas' Omarama Community: Services and communion are held on a regular basis, usually monthly at 10.30am on the Friday of the second weekend of the month at the home of a parishioner. Contact: Kay Verheul 03 438 9538.

The Omarama Golf Club  Saturdays tee-off 12.30pm.  Club Captain Adrian Tuffley, 027 347 8276. www.omaramagolfclub.co.nz/ 

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 clairhs@me.com 

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. 
Thank you to all who share your stories and contribute in other ways to the Gazette.
We all really appreciate what you do.

If you find anything amiss in the Omarama Gazette
please contact Ruth Grundy, 021 294 8002 or email omaramagazette@gmail.com
and I will do my very best to put it right.

 
To read more,  enjoy more photos and watch our place 'come to life' check out our Facebook page and website.
www.facebook.com/omaramagazette/
omaramagazette.nz

To receive email alerts between monthly editions of the Omarama Gazette sign up to our 'Local List'.
Email omaramagazette@gmail.com 
and put 'Local List' in the subject line.
The September issue of the Omarama Gazette
is Wednesday, September 3 , 2020.
Please submit copy
by Friday, August 28.
Advertising pays for
production and distribution
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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 omaramagazette@gmail.com
To our businesses

If you would like a feature written about your business please contact the Gazette. A booking is required and there is a fee for this. These features will be posted to the Omarama Gazette Facebook page. 
The Community Reports

This month we introduce two new groups contributing to the work in our community - the Waitaki Newcomers Network and The Ahuriri Catchment Community Group.
The Waitaki Newcomers Network

Christine Dorsey along with a team of volunteers, run the Oamaru-based newcomers group which has been operating since 2012. This service helps families to settle into the community and make new friends. To find out more about the Waitaki Newcomers Network click here

Each Thursday the migrant meet and share group meets at 10.30am in the green room at the Opera House, 94 Thames St, Oamaru. This week's topic is places to explore around Oamaru and the wider Waitaki area.  Plus we will have pineapple lumps and marmite on crackers for anyone who is keen to try. Here is the link to the latest newsletter and the Facebook page
To find us, walk down the driveway to the left of the Opera House and in the door marked community entrance. Come have a free cuppa and find others who know and understand the challenges and excitement of moving to a new land and culture.

IELTS Classes(International English Language Testing System)
There are now ten people interested in this class so it will begin on Tuesday 11 August at 5.45pm at Ara. The $80 fee for the eight weeks of classes must be paid BEFORE the first class and an email has been sent to the course participants with the bank account number which the money needs to be paid into. If you still wish to register contact me soon. 027 242 8643.

Finally, I am meeting more people who are stranded in NZ and are desperate to return home. If you know anyone, please make them aware that there is assistance if they meet the criteria.  https://covid19.govt.nz/business-work-and-money/financial-support/covid-19-financial-support-tool/

Contact: Christine Dorsey 027 242 8643.
waitaki@newcomers.co.nz
Abacus House, 102 Thames Street, Oamaru
03 434 7544.

Ahuriri Catchment Community Group
- a statement from the steering committee
The Ahuriri Catchment Community Group steering group meets for a planning session. Photo: Supplied

Background
The July 2019 TLI (Trophic Level Index – the method used by Environment Canterbury to measure the health of a lake) was 2.9 for the Ahuriri Arm of Lake Benmore. ECan called a public meeting in December 2019 as this result affected some consent holders in the catchment, and the suggestion was made to form a local catchment group in the area. Subsequently, a few farmers joined together to see if we could get this started. We soon realised we need the entire community involved to ensure; a) we are addressing all issues affecting our catchment, not just farmer-related ones, b) the more viewpoints and people involved the more likelihood of success, c) the power of a united community is a much stronger force. There is more information on TLI levels in the Upper Waitaki area on this Ecan site  

New Zealand and the community value the Ahuriri catchment because of our unique landscapes, flora and fauna. For better or worse, the catchment does now, and will in the future, attract a lot of national attention. The mission of the group is to ensure the Ahuriri catchment remains thriving and sustainable for future generations.
The Ahuriri Catchment Community Group (ACCG) would like to become an incorporated society whose members come from throughout the Ahuriri Catchment. To become incorporated, ACCG will need to recruit 15 foundation members. Then a committee can be created to operate the society.
The ACCG's interests are likely to include:
  • To get this organisation up and running including a structure as an incorporated society.
  • Establish what the current state of play is in our environment.
  • Up-skill and educate our community on our biodiversity and environment.
  • Formulate a 20-year plan for our community – what do we want it to look like?
  • What are the new policy/regulatory changes and what do they actually mean for our community
  • Complete catchment projects that are of interest to the community.
  • Environmental concerns throughout the catchment such as water quality, landscape values and preservation of our flora and fauna
  • Business issues in common, including compliance.
  • Voice the community’s interest to the councils and Government.
  • Operate as a channel to apply for appropriate funding to achieve projects and goals.
  • Social interaction; encourage ways that the local community can be brought together for learning, discussion, or just for fun.
Due to the smaller size of this community group, we can develop considerable influence around many aspects of the local environment and how it will be preserved, managed and developed for everyone’s benefit in the future.

Initial members involved to date:
Stevie Young – Facilitator (donated time from Seed Force): 027 700 3857
Lindsay Purvis – Rural Support Trust: 027 438 9630
Trent Spittle – Quailburn: 027 282 8282
Dave Ellis – Tara Hills and The Glens: 027 490 8889
Lisa Anderson – Bog Roy Station: 021 243 8940
Annabelle Subtil – Omarama Station: 027 406 9522
Nicola McKerchar – The Glens: 022 612 75770
Terry Walsh – Mobil Omarama: 027 369 3724
Gavin Wills – Glide Omarama: 027 436 4446

Any of these people are happy to answer any questions or provide more information. Please feel free to contact anyone. If you wish to become a foundation member please email committee@ahuriricatchment.com by Monday, August 10.
 
Read more in Environment Canterbury news below about some of what this group hopes to achieve and about ECan's Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee's application for 1.9 million of Provincial Growth Funding to support the work in the Ahuriri Catchment.
Upper Waitaki Police news
Hi everyone
The last month (or so) has resulted in me dealing with two males for driving with excess breath alcohol. Thankfully, neither were locals, but still pretty disappointing. So yes I am out there and stopping cars. What was good to see was that a few local cars I did stop all had sober drivers having been to a 50th Birthday party (maybe it was a 40th and I’m being cheeky, sorry Mike). I also noted some locals leaving their vehicles parked in the carpark at the pub overnight and walking home. This is great for me, the last thing I want to have to do is snap someone drinking and driving or even worse attend a crash involving a local and therefore someone I care about… So thanks to you all! 

       

There has been the odd vehicle crash mainly in the Lindis, this is mostly due to the fact people aren’t driving to the conditions and in some cases their experience. If people bled off another 10-15kph they probably wouldn’t come unstuck. 

With assistance from senior constables Les Andrew (Twizel) and Peter Scott (Kurow) we recently executed a search warrant at an address in Twizel. As a result I’ve charged a male with five charges of burglary pertaining to theft of fuel from a local farm. 

I’ve been informed by my counterparts in South Canterbury that there’s some lowlife hitting local sports clubs on a very regular basis. I’m sure if they see an easy target they won’t care if it’s a sport club or not, so please be aware, ensure your security is up to scratch and keep an eye out on your own and your neighbours' property, If you see anything dodgy please ring 111. 

Nationally, police are enforcing the use of seatbelts right throughout August. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that wearing them does save lives. This is a fact. Every time I think about this I always recall one of the first car crashes I attended near Killermont Station. It was a head on collision both vehicles doing 100kph. Ford Falcon vs Toyota Hilux. The Hilux overturned and the Falcon ended up spun around and on the opposite side of the road. I was sure I was going to a fatality. Ended up that the driver of the Ford had a broken wrist and the Hilux driver had some small cuts on his head from broken glass. Both were wearing seatbelts, there is no doubt in my mind that they assisted (along with the other safety features) in saving their lives. Take a look at the pictures and make your own decision.   

       

Lastly I just wanted to make mention about something that really bugs me. (Remember to remain professional, Bean). That’s the one-eyed reporting I’m seeing in a lot of the media both local and international (Omarama media not included, Ruth!). In all honesty I can’t believe they get away with it. Before you make any decision (or vote) based on what’s reported please ensure you do some homework yourself and get all of the facts. I’m astonished on how many so called “experts” there are out there that corroborate some of the media’s biased views.

That’s it from me, stay safe. 

Bean 
Senior Constable Nayland Smith, Omarama Police.
021 191 4808 or email nayland.smith@police.govt.nz


FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade
Hi there from us at the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade.
August already, I hope you are surviving winter without to many ills and chills. Just the usual safety tips. Make sure firewood is dry as it helps keep your chimney clean. Follow the metre from the heater rule when airing clothes inside. Dispose of ashes safely into a metal bucket and leave for at least five days. If cleaning your own chimney please make sure you can do so safely or call for a professional chimney sweep. I have heard some people  are using an alternative cleaning method (which I will not describe) but I would not recommend this method as it may cause damage to the fire or flue which could then cause a fire.
Remember winter driving conditions.

- Stay Safe, Chief Fire Officer Greg Harper
FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade meets 7pm each Wednesday and has its meeting at 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of the month.
Omarama School
By Bevan Newlands, principal

What a wonderful two first two weeks of term we have had at Omarama School.  
I am truly excited to be taking on the role of principal for term 3 and 4 and I am looking forward to being part of such a wonderful community.  
I would like to welcome six new students to Omarama School. Jake, Nicole and Gemma joined us from Totara School and have settled into their respective classes. We also welcomed Wyatt, Isla and Lockey into Mrs McKenzie’s room. We wish these students all the very best as they begin their school career.
On Friday we had a wonderful turnout from parents to our school assembly.

Congratulations to Ben, Nicole and Maddie - Star Students of the Week. 
Ben Hay – Focused learning in class and developing an open mindset. 
Amelia Wilson – Always ready and willing to help and support others. 
Maddie McCabe – Great focus in all areas of learning and on going helpfulness in class.

We have a busy two weeks ahead of us with skiing at Ohau starting on August 6. Next Tuesday, August 11, sees Omarama School hosting the Upper Waitaki Cross Country at the Omarama Golf Club. I would like to thank and acknowledge the Friends of the School for their support in the running of the event and the Omarama Golf Club for allowing us to use their facilities and course. 

Photos:supplied

  
 

FROM TERM TWO'S FINAL ASSEMBLY
In the  last few weeks of last term the whole school worked creating an arcade, made from cardboard, inspired by a boy named Caine. On the last day of term parents and caregivers had chance to enjoy the creations and to play each of the games 
Click on this link to find out more about the the origins of Caine’s arcade.



Omarama Community Library
Omarama’s Community Library is on the move but it’s not going far. 
The Waitaki District Libraries will be shifting the library from its present rooms to the larger meeting room in the Community Centre. 
There will be more space so it can be used in different ways, and it will be lighter and brighter, library volunteer Georgie Robertson says. 
One plan is to create a more welcoming environment with colourful scatter cushions for caregivers and children.

   


The room is being measured up this week and will be fitted with lockable shelving to house the books. 
Once in place, it is hoped the Oamaru-based children’s librarian can visit on occasions to run free sessions, with stories, music and games, Georgie says. 
At present, the children’s book collection is quite small. However, as more titles are borrowed on any given subject more new titles are sent to meet the interest. 
Borrowers can order books from the main Waitaki Libraries catalogue at any time either online or with the help of the Omarama Library volunteers . 
“You can order a book and it will be delivered here. Plus, you can also return books through the Omarama library.” 
The Omarama collection is constantly being renewed. 
There is the travelling book scheme.
A selection of about 50 books on a “huge variety of subjects” is chosen by each of the community libraries – Omarama, Otematata, Kurow, Hampden and Palmerston, and goes on a road trip, spending three to four months at each stop. The present travelling titles include books on topics from roasts to vegetarianism, there are books about rescue dogs, camping, and adventure travel. 
Plus, the library receives a grant on a regular basis to buy new non-fiction titles.
Oamaru Library asks the volunteers for a list of titles which they then buy for Omarama.
Suggestions are welcome, Georgie says.
A popular choice is local history titles, books pertaining to the Omarama area.
Many people did not realise the library also had a good range of talking books and large print titles, and a great DVD collection.
It’s also the place to go for public documents and reference material.
At present, there is information for voters about the upcoming elections and referendums.
The library is staffed by volunteers. "We're a good team," Georgie says.
"And the Oamaru librarians are very supportive."
They would always welcome more help, of course, so don't hesitate to make contact if you are interested.
 

The Omarama Community Library  
is open 9am to 10am, Wednesdays and Saturdays, at the Omarama Community Centre.
Omarama Rodeo Club
Omarama Rodeo Club Hillbilly Hunt, July 2020

- photos: Marcia Green

       
Omarama Residents' Association
From the July meeting...

There were eight people present, including Waitaki District Councillor Ross McRobie and Ahuriri Community Board chairperson Vicky Munro.
However, the number of committee members present was not sufficient to form a quorum.
The library lease has been received from Waitaki District Libraries with the relevant changes.The agreement can be signed once committee members respond via email.
Information Centre - The Oasis Cafe has a small information centre in the tearooms and they are happy to continue with this.   Discussion took place as to whether an audio visual in the window could be used to advertise the surrounding areas.   This would need someone to update it when necessary.  Residents' Association chairperson Tony Chapman will discuss the idea with the owners of the Oasis and get back to Cr Ross.  Vicky suggested Otematata could also be included.
Financial Report:   
There was very little activity over the past month.
Auditor Tony Brady has resigned and so the group will need to find someone new to do the job.
General Business:  
Vicky bought along copies of the Omarama masterplan. A copy is to go in the Doctors waiting room, one in the information centre and one to be circulated around the committee.
Cr Ross confirmed there would be and average 0% rate increase.  The boat ramps fees around the lake were $60 will now be $50 for the year. Boat ramps are being checked for any necessary maintenance.
The A2O tenders have closed  Tenders have been let for the  Sailors Cutting to Benmore section and should be completed by Christmas 2020. 
Vicky advised the water supply in Omarama is contaminated by dust and gravel   The pump is to be moved to new wells. 
The trees in town need to be watered on a more consistent basis as the trees are suffering.
The toilet at the playground is closed for winter because it is not heated. The toilets in town remain open as they have a heating source.
There are ongoing discussions with  regards  to the intersection of Highway 83 and 8. There is enough room for a round-a-bout which should slow the traffic down.
Ahuriri Community Board member Ross Menzies apologised for the upset which arose at the meeting of the  Board held at the Community Centre in March. Communication was an issue but hopefully this is now solved. 
 
 
The next meeting is

7pm Thursday, August 20, 2020.


(Please note earlier start time)

An invitation is extended to all

Contacts:
Tony Chapman, chairperson, 027 242 8605.
Yvonne Jones, secretary, 027 476 7473. 
 
 
THE ASSOCIATION HAS ITS OWN POST OFFICE BOX
 
Could all those who want to contact the association by mail, send accounts to be paid, or have correspondence considered at the monthly meetings ensure it is addressed to: 
The Secretary,  P O Box 93, Omarama 9448.
The association's email address is omarama.committee@gmail.com
OMARAMA COMMUNITY CENTRE HALL HIRE

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 charlotte.omarama@gmail.com
Keys and fobs are collected from Charlotte


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

Contributions are welcome 
Email: omaramagazette@gmail.com
Here is the link to the Government's
one stop shop for all things
Covid-19 https://covid19.govt.nz/
The Otematata Chronicle 

The Otematata Chronicle is published on the third Wednesday of the month.
The August issue is Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
The Chronicle is emailed to subscribers.
If you would like to subscribe or contribute please click the button below or email otematatachronicle@gmail.com
 
To subscribe click here
Waitaki District Council - news in brief
To find out about Waitaki District Council support for businesses and the community caused by the Covid-19 situation click here
 

Ahuriri Community Board by-election 
Papers will be sent to voters in the Ahuriri Ward next week, Monday, August 10,  for the by-election to  to fill the seat on the Ahuriri Community Board left vacant by the resignation of Dr June Slee
Election day is Tuesday, 1 September  and voting closes at noon.
Waitaki District Council chief executive Fergus Power is to step down from his role on June 4 next year. He took on the role in September 2017.  Mr Power said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected his family, with his wife Tri (from Thailand) now unable to see her family as frequently as before.  Mr Power and his wife will return to live in Thailand.
The council is asking for feedback on the effectiveness of its website. To compete the survey click here.
The council would like to know what people think of the Government's new National Policy Statement on Urban Development because it is something which could influence its District Plan review.

Ahuriri Community Board by-election

(Paid content)
VOTE- STEVE DALLEY
Ahuriri Community Board By-election
  • lives in the ward
  • working in the ward
  • already actively contributing in my community in the ward
I offer myself as a candidate in the by- election for the Ahuriri Community Board. I have lived, worked and participated in the Ahuriri Ward since building our home in Otematata in 2008, after holidaying in the area over the years with my wife, Sue, and our  five children as they were growing up. I manage
a commercial property investment portfolio and over the last few years have sold real estate in the Waitaki Valley. I have always been interested and involved in my local community, being a
member of Otematata Residents' Association over the last few years, with the last two years as chairman. Should I be elected, I look forward to being involved and use my experience
over the wider district of the Ahuriri Community Board.
Watch out for the postal voting papers, being posted out  August 10, 2020.
The next Ahuriri Community Board meeting

is 3.15pm Monday, September 7, 2020.
at the Duntroon Community Hall.
 
Minutes and agendas can be found here 
 
http://www.waitaki.govt.nz/our-council/council-meetings/agendas-and-minutes/Pages/default.aspx
Environment Canterbury - news in brief
What began as wilding pine control nearly 20 years ago has grown into numerous environmental projects across generations for the family-owned Glen Lyon Station in Upper Waitaki. 
Central government funding has allowed for the creation of extra jobs in new wilding pines removal projects in Canterbury, primarily hiring people impacted by the economic fallout of Covid-19. Watch the video
Farmers without a land use consent to farm are being asked to check if they need consent, and if necessary, to apply.
Those planning new plantings must seek approval from their local and regional council before planting, to make sure the land, plan and plants are suitable for planting.
A joint project, which includes $10,000 of Immediate Steps biodiversity funding allocated by the Upper Waitaki Water Zone, is now underway to manage the invasive rowan tree before it becomes more established.
Measuring the adequacy of winter crop grazing management will be more straightforward thanks to new guidelines for Farm Environment Plan auditors.
Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee news
Application for $1.9 million to improve water quality in Ahuriri

Various water management groups in the Ahuriri catchment are waiting on word that an application for $1.9 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for a three-year project will get the big tick.
The money will be used to pay for an extensive fencing and planting project in the basin to protect the health of streams and tributaries flowing into the Ahuriri river and protect the water quality of Lake Benmore.



The project will be led by Environment Canterbury.
If successful, the Benmore Irrigation Company would become the legal entity to hold the money and groups like the Omarama Stream Users group and the newly-formed Ahuriri Catchment Community group would have input in how it will be used. 
Last year, ECan's annual water quality monitoring survey showed Trophic Level Index readings in the Ahuriri arm of Lake Benmore reached 2.9 which, while still within guidelines, triggered a series of actions from affected farmers to make sure levels would not rise further. The TLI measures four water quality indicators, including nitrogen and chlorophyll levels, to give a rating of between 1 and 7 – the lower the number the better the quality. The same data this year said TLI levels were at 2.75 which does not trigger any additional actions on top of a farmer’s usual consent requirements.
One outcome of last year’s work to address the issue was farmers set up an Ahuriri catchment community group  to improve understanding of good farming management practice and to explore technical and scientific aspects contributing to water quality.
The Omarama Stream Water Users Group was formed some time ago by the farmers within that catchment to work to maintain and improve water quality. 
ECan land management and biodiversity advisor Jenna Hughes-Games gave details about the proposed project in a report to the Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee last month 
It involves 50.5 kilometres of waterway fencing (including stock crossings, drinking water bays and weed management), 34km of wetland fencing, 1.3 hectares of wetland planting, and 11km riparian planting.
As well  ECan will contribute $45,000 Immediate Steps Funding over three years and landowners will contribute 20% in kind, she said. 
After an ECan "stream walk" study in 2015-2016 some fencing work was carried out by landowners throughout the catchment. 
ECan also carried out work on the lower reaches of the Willow Burn to improve stream flow.
Committee member Richard Subtil said, regardless of available funding, " it was something farmers should be doing anyway".
“Some have done this off their own back, some are just waiting for funding.
“This is social licence stuff, we should be doing it anyway.”
This was where the “majority of nutrient” flowing into Lake Benmore was coming from so “it is imperative”, committee member Mat Bayliss said. 
Now the parameters of the overall project had been defined other funding opportunities could be looked at if the PGF application was not successful, Ms Hughes-Games said.
The next meeting of  Environment Canterbury's 

Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee

will be September in Tekapo,
time and venue to be advised.

Minutes and agendas are posted at:
https://ecan.govt.nz/your-region/your-environment/water/whats-happening-in-my-water-zone/upper-waitaki-water-zone/

www.ecan.govt.nz
Department of Conservation - news in brief
Did you know the Department of Conservation is manager of some of the largest blocks of land  in our area? 
The Doc office charged with managing it is Te Manahuna / Twizel Office

New booking system for huts and campsites
Docs’s 950 huts and 200 campgrounds are situated across the country. It's new booking system is live for bookable huts and campsites excluding Great Walks. Here's where you can find out more

The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by Covid-19, with a decision to waive most Doc tourism related concession fees from 1 March 2020 until 30 June 2021.
Those FAQs
The Five Awkward Questions with... 
Fernando and Natalia, Francis (9) and Julian(5) Boris 
The Boris family (from left) Francis (9), Julian (5),Natalia and Fernando
have moved to Omarama to work at The Glens.

 
The Boris family moved to New Zealand from Santa Fe, Argentina about a year ago to take up dairying positions at Franz Josef, where Fernando was assistant manager milking two mobs of 200. At the Glens they milk 1500 cows.
Both Natalia and Fernando are veterinarians. In their home country they taught at the university, Natalia in aquaculture and Fernando, meat production. They also had a small dairy farm.
“In 2006 my husband was selling semen from [New Zealand herd improvement and agri-technology company] LIC and they were invited to Hamilton [Its head office].
“It was our first time in New Zealand.”
From there they went to visit friends in Ashburton.
“We fell in love with everything, the weather, the scenery, people and the cities are so quiet.
“From that moment we thought one day we would like to come and live and work here,” Natalia said.
Although they have concerns for family and friends back home who are battling the Covid-19 pandemic, technology allows them to keep in regular contact.
 
1. What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
“Never forget where you began” – the people who helped you and the lessons you learned to get to where you are today."
 
2. Omarama is the place to be, why?
"The scenery is amazing, the lake, the fishing and we love the snow and the mountains."
 
3.What is your best day outside the office?
Fernando has joined the Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade.
“I know it sounds boring, but we enjoy studying,” - Natalia.
They both enjoy reading and this place is “the writers dream” - Fernando

 
4. What is your favourite book/movie?
The Twilight series - "I’ve watched all the movies and read all the books". – Natalia
The Alchemist, an allegorical novel by Brazillian author Paulo Cohelo - full of life-lessons. - Fernando

 5. What is your wish for the world?
Barring the elimination of Covid-19 - "For all people to work together for basic goals – peace , eliminating poverty, if we don’t all work together it is impossible".
 
Something to puzzle over
https://jigex.com/Hrgi

And he doesn't look a day over 96!
Happy Birthday, Four Square Omarama and thank you.
The Directory









FOR ADVERTISING RATES
AND GUIDELINES
phone 021 294 8002 or email
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The Last Page is Classifieds
HOUSE TO LET

Totara Peak Crescent, Omarama
Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, big upstairs kitchen, dining, living area with sun and views. A big section with sleep-out and garage with work bench. Available now.
$375 per week. Contact 027 436 4446.

 
BREEN CONSTRUCTION

Building since 1939 - available for your all of your construction projects in the Upper Waitaki and Mackenzie districts.
Contact our Area Manager Jason Pryde on 021 340 694
or email jason.pryde@breen.co.nz 
www.breen.co.nz
The weather that was - July 2020
The Garden Diary
Lovely Bones

“Winter is a warm hearth;
rainbows and a promise of snow.” *

 
I look out the window across the garden through the rainbows to the foothills waiting for that promise of snow.
At night I tiptoe and pull back the curtain, there’s a gush of freezing air but no snow.
But, sigh, I knew that already.

       

There’s nothing at all like waking in the night to that unique hush, sneaking a look behind the curtain, and in the moonlight, yes!
It’s the quiet of the space between the snowflakes in a fresh fall of snow that wakes you. 
It’s several years since we’ve had what we used to get several times each winter.
Still, we have had a visit from the ice queen, who left crystal-chiming, clear and bright landscapes beneath her flowing cloak of freezing fog. 
People travelled for miles to see it, those forced to forego their trips to warmer climates.
Funny, they didn't seem to expect it would be cold. 

Sometimes I forget, when we began this garden there was no structure, no height, not even a fence line, nothing to hang your eye on, to rein in some of that endless space, no sheltered place.
So around went the fences, hedges and edges and in went trees, up went trellises and pillars with quick growing climbers. Now, at times, I admit it gets cluttered and complicated, busy.
Winter reduces all to simple lines again.

Up the Lindis the tousled tussock beneath the blue arrests the tourists’ eye with its frosted tips or snowy caps.
Here snow and ice settle on our wrap-around hornbeam hedge (Carpinus Betulus), in full rustly-brown marcescence. Inside 'the wall'  it draws sweeping curves with chunky evergreen box. It makes  exclamation points of conifers and full stops of perennials left for seed. The birches are a tracery of charcoal and white filigree. A blackbird silhouette comes in for a heavy landing and the bouncing branch showers its load. The magnolia grandiflora's quilled and cupped leaves are giant crystal 'blooms' .
One last red snow-white apple gleams like glassy toffee, tempting.
Layers and lines of green and brown and black and white and grey play the light through the day. 
The garden is stripped back to its bones - silhouettes and shadows and the space between. 
 
“If she don’t snow soon, I tell you
friend, she’s never going to.” *


Ruth Grundy
( I garden a small space under a big sky in Omarama)

*Rainbows, and a promise of snow – by Sam Hunt
The View from the Chook House
Anyone else fed up with all them 
playing rooster games?
Omarama Gazette
Editor: Ruth Grundy,
021 294 8002, 03 438 9766
Email: omaramagazette@gmail.com

http://omaramagazette.nz/
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