Friday, 9 March 2018

Blueskin News for March 2018

Here is the Blueskin News for March. This is our first electronic issue, and some paper copies will be available at the Waitati Shop, at the Warrington community mail boxes, at the shop in Karitane and at the Blueskin Bay Library.

Blueskin News for March 2018

Monday, 8 September 2014

Waitati Film Society

by Leonie Rousselot

WAITATI FILM SOCIETY at the ‘old store’, Harvey Street, Waitati

Half-year memberships are now available at $40 for the rest of the year. See drama, comedy, history, or just plain entertainment in a warm, pleasant environment with
convivial company. Membership allows you free entry to Film Society
screenings as well as discounts at the International Film Festival and some Dunedin

For more information, ring Brigitte at 482 2829 or Leonie at 482 2508 or visit our website at

Tuesday 2 Sept

CHINESE TAKEAWAY               Argentina 2011

This comedy centres around Roberto, a meticulously ordered hardware store owner. He considers the rest of the world chaotic because it lacks his self-discipline. As proof he collects newspaper cuttings describing bizarre incidents caused, he feels, by a failure of someone’s due diligence. Then he meets a Chinese man, Jun, who is pushed out of a moving car in front of Roberto’s shop.    93m

Tuesday 9 Sept

GRIN WITHOUT A CAT            France 1977/93

Using the simile of Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire cat, director Chris Marker sets out to show the dichotomy between the promise of the 1960-70’s worldwide socialist revolution (the grin) and the ultimate reality of it just not leading to its intended outcome. The lengthy film particularly looks at the rise of the New Left in France and Latin America and includes interviews with French communist leaders, students, and sociologists.                 177min

Tuesday 16 Sept

5 BROKEN CAMERAS                                                Palestine/Israel/Fr 2011

In 2005, when his fourth son was born, Palestinian Emad Burnat bought a video camera. In the same year the Israelis took 60% of Burnat’s olive groves to build their “defensive” wall. The same camera was used to record the ensuing protest that included Israeli military beatings and shootings during which a succession of five of Burnat’s cameras were smashed. But together with Israeli filmmaker, Guy Davidi, this film was edited from his footage. However, the military claim that their actions were in self defence and that in any case the worst scenes were contrived by the editors.  94m

Tuesday 23 Sept

HOLY MOTORS                           Fr/Germ 2012

Oscar is a sort of actor, playing many roles but in real life. Using makeup, special costumes, and appropriate props he enacts a variety of personae, sometimes paid, sometimes just for the fun of it: an old woman street beggar, an eccentric volatile kidnapper of a beautiful model, a Chinese gangster. But one engagement gone horribly wrong suggests that he may be getting just a little careless and jaded.     116m

Tuesday 30 Sept

DAY TRIP                                              NZ 2010

A gang member (Tuhoe Isaac) wakes up one morning and decides he needs a day off. A short voyage between islands changes his outlook on life. Filmed in the Marlborough Sounds, this is a story by Bill Payne and directed by Zoe McIntosh.      11m

FRONTIERS OF DREAMS AND FEARS                      Lebanon 2001

If you want a glimpse into the lifestyles of a selection of Palestinian children, then this is the film for you. Made by documentary maker Mai Masri during the 2000 withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon, it reveals how conflict between nations can impinge on the everyday lives of kids who would otherwise be doing what all kids do. Their reactions are shared through their voiceovers. The murder of a father, a suicide bombing, or opening or closing of borders can have such deep and lasting effect on what would have been a happy childhood.            56m

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

by Sue Hensley

With waxeyes and bellbirds singing in the mornings it feels as though spring may be round the corner and we look forward to the reopening of the ecosanctuary café under new management Friday 23 August.

Another event looked forward to is the visit of the Conservation Ambassador Sirocco. He is the only spokesbird in this role and has a worldwide fan base. He has his own Facebook page, Twitter account and website ( He will receive audiences from 19 September to 5 October at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

The field staff have been busy putting out all 1350 tracking tunnels baited with peanut butter to see what animals come in to eat. Fantastically pleasing was that no mammal pests were recorded. This means that for the last two years either no or extremely low levels of mouse prints have been recorded.

While doing this monitoring work Elton also conducted an informal saddleback/tieke survey and recorded 33 individuals including 17 jack birds over just two sessions. Regular walkers down the Saddleback Valley track are also reporting sightings.

For information on Sirocco the kakapo’s visit and other events visit or Facebook. Visitor Centre and cafe open daily.

Library Rug to Reflect Blueskin Bay

A large rug, designed to incorporate the varied geographical features of the surrounding area, was unveiled at the Blueskin Bay library on Saturday 16 August.

Blueskin Bay librarian Louise Booth says the project, funded by the Dunedin City Council's Creative Communities Scheme, began last year under the direction of artist Janet De Wagt.

"Janet has done a lot of community arts projects both here and in the UK, and has previously had funding from the Creative Communities Scheme for similar projects, which made the process a lot easier."

The large, three-dimensional rag rug has been made up of a whole range of donated fabric from around New Zealand, including old school ties.

Louise notes that "It has been a fantastic community effort with many people adding to the rug. Both the Warrington and Waitati Schools got involved and we also held community workshops where people crafted patches to go on the rug.

"There was also a core group of several women who put many hours into the project."

Ms de Wagt says she found tasks to suit the ages and skills of all the helpers involved.

"The rug features the bay and landmarks that are familiar to the locals – from school children through to retirees."

The rug is sized to fit nicely into the Blueskin Bay Library's children's area.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Blueskin Youth and Community Amenities Association (BYCAA) AGM

By  Paul Sirota, chairperson

The Blueskin Youth and Community Amenities Association (BYCAA) is a community-based charitable, incorporated society set to have its AGM at 7pm Tuesday, 25 September at the Blueskin library in Waitati. Our motivation is to provide amenities for the residents of Blueskin Bay which encourage our youth and families to get out and about to enjoy healthy physical activities within our community.

Since the successful completion of the skate park and tennis/netball courts at Bland Park we have contracted an independent consultancy to prepare a community needs consultation and feasibility report. The report has lead us to move on to the construction of the Waitati Community Walkway. We have nearly completed stage 1 of the 2.2km walkway which will extend from the swing bridge on Orokonui Rd around the D.o.C wetland sanctuary, incorporating boardwalks at the head of the estuary, and continue through regenerating native bush beneath the Orokonui Ecosanctuary to Chelivode St beside Blacks Bridge on Doctors Point Rd. With a little more help we will complete stage 1 and move toward beginning stage 2, from Bland Park to the Orokonui Swing bridge and making a walkway loop of just over 4km.

We would like to enhance our committee with some fresh ideas and energy from within our community. If you think you might like to get involved with providing some tangible benefits for your family and community, please come attend our AGM and put your name forward. Alternatively, you can email our secretary, Louise, at the library ( with your nomination and turn up for the AGM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

White Heron?

by Derek Onley
Over the last few months I've been rung a fair few times by people living around Blueskin Bay and Waikouaiti to say there's a white heron in the area, often adding that this is the first time they've regularly seen one since the 1990s. Unfortunately, far from being deservedly thanked for bothering to call and report it, they are hit by a barrage of questions: where was it, what was it doing, how big was it, what colour was it's beak, it's legs? No one has yet said "It was a white heron dammit", and rung off, which is very tolerant of them. And a good thing, because once or twice the interrogation has revealed that they more likely saw a cattle egret than a white heron and in one case possibly even a little egret. So how do you tell these white herony birds apart?
First of all you have to eliminate Spoonbills. Not difficult if you see them close up: big black spoon shaped bill! A bit harder at a distance, but compared to other herons they have relatively short necks and legs and spend most of their time asleep, bill irritatingly tucked under their back feathers, or feeding by walking through shallow water, head down, waggling their bill from side to side. They fly with their neck and bill stretched out in front and legs trailing behind and have relatively shallow, faster wing beats compared with white herons. All the other herons have deep, slow rounded wing beats and fly with their necks tucked in, except when they get excited during the breeding season. Part of their display includes flying around croaking and grunting with neck outstretched.
So that leaves the white heron or cattle egret and possibly the rarer little egret. For once the names are a help. If you see a white heron feeding amongst cattle, even nipping in close around their hooves to pick up disturbed insects or squashed worms, then it will be a cattle egret. Elsewhere the best way to tell cattle egrets from white herons is by size. White herons are big and have very long, skinny necks. You are unlikely to see a white heron alongside cattle unless there is a decent water-filled ditch nearby, as was the case last year on the Waikouaiti racecourse. But if you did, it would easily reach half way up a cattle beast's flank, whereas a cattle egret would barely reach its belly. White herons would not deem to stoop to associating with cattle but stalk their prey slowly and sedately among reeds or along the edges of rivers and ponds. However, they have been known to demean themselves by grabbing silvereyes from bird tables.
During autumn and winter, when white herons and cattle egrets are in Otago, they both have yellow bills. Little egrets have black bills and, as their name implies, are about cattle egret sized but slimmer and longer necked; in shape, more like a white heron. Little egrets feed in much the same places as white herons but are less sedate, skittishly chasing after fish with their wings half-open.
The local white herons are likely to be birds from the breeding colony at Okarito, West Coast. They disperse from there throughout New Zealand over autumn and winter, often to the same place year after year. Last year however, an unprecedented number of white herons, accompanied by the odd little egret, arrived from Australia and, at one stage, there were six together at Tomahawk Lagoon in Dunedin. They left over summer – to where, who knows – but a few have since returned and maybe the local bird is one of these?
The lone cattle egret that has been around the area may well be the one that was first seen two winters ago at Seacliff. Cattle egrets also come over from Australia in the autumn. In the late '70s and '80s thousands would fly across the Tasman to New Zealand each autumn, part of a world wide colonisation that started in Africa earlier in the century. The Cherry Farm dairy herd attracted up to 70 in the early '90s. They never colonised New Zealand, however, and only a couple of flocks of that size now visit the country. Our cattle egret is either a long lived survivor from the '90s or a rather lost, more recent arrival from Australia.
Please continue to tell me of any sightings of white herons ( or 03 482 2831). Hopefully I'll no longer have to subject you to an interrogation. Though, come to think of it, I might have to check that you haven't seen an intermediate egret.

New School Bus Shelter for Evansdale

by the editors
One day, school bus driver Ernie Mason was chatting to Mark Brown about the fact that there was no bus shelter at Evansdale for the school children he picked up in the morning. There were existing bus shelters at Seacliff, Warrington and Waitati, but no weather protection at Evansdale.
Mark made some enquiries and found out that Totalspan Ltd had a bus shelter programme. Mark then went overseas on holiday and passed the job on to Alasdair Morrison who liaised with Totalspan, and the local authorities regarding the location of the shelter, and looked after a few other bureaucratic issues.
George Terry of Cargill Contracting Ltd. joined in and soon had the concrete foundation in place. Then, with the valuable assistance of local builder Colin Thom, joined by local resident Mark Cowien and Mark Brown back from holiday, the shelter was assembled and in place in time for the start of the new school term on Monday 21 July. By coincidence, it was raining that day!
So a big thank you is due to all of these gentlemen, and a huge thank you to Totalspan Ltd for providing the bus shelter, free of charge, as part of their ‘Undercover Kids’ bus shelter programme.

Volunteers Needed for Orokonui Estuary

by Wendy Harrex
In 2012 and 2013 many Waitati people took part in planting thousands of native trees and plants in the estuary as part of a project funded by Living Legends in partnership with DOC. The aim? To turn a large area of heavily grassed and wet pasture into a thriving natural wetland and lowland forest.
The reserve is already an important area for whitebait and wading birds. If we succeed in re-establishing the native vegetation, the whole reserve will link with the Orokonui Ecosanctuary to provide more foraging habitat for its birds. For humans, it is already a great place for a stroll or pottering around on the river – when the trees grow, it will be sheltered and a perfect place for a picnic.
This downstream part of the estuary is spray free. In the summer the grass grows incredibly strongly. With thousands of plants and only a few people looking after them, many plants are in danger of being overwhelmed. From this August until May, we will be weeding and releasing plants on the last Sunday morning of each month. We need many more people for the coming season. Come and join us at the Living Legends site off Foyle Street on Sunday 31 August, 10.00 to 12.30. DOC has provided gloves and tools for us to work with. If we get enough people, we want to increase our work at the estuary to two days a month this season, as that will beat the grass. If you want to be on the mailing list and come along, email

WOO News

by Hilary Rowley
Everyone I have spoken to about gardening had a bad year in the vegetable garden and in the glasshouse due to the wet summer last season. You know things are bad when you can keep up with the zucchini plants and hardly have any to give away. Unfortunately, climate change modeling points to us having a wet climate in future, so we shall just have to figure this one out.
This summer, however, is predicted to have an early El Niño system, meaning a dry spring and early summer. This will be nice for a change, as long as it lasts long enough for everyone to have a decent summer holiday.
Dealing with dampness in your garden involves a couple of strategies. Drainage can be achieved with raised bed gardens, installing drainage coil to take away excess water, or drainage ditches dug strategically (where you won’t end up tripping into them all the time). You can encourage lighter, more free-draining soil with the addition of humus. Adding gypsum to the garden will help break up boggy clay. We found that waste Gib board from our house build was perfect smashed up and dug into the garden as it is made of gypsum; in fact, there is a guy in Auckland who makes a living breaking up waste Gib board from Auckland building sites and turning it into salable gypsum.
Slugs are a big problem in wet years. I find that if we use mulch in a wet spring, we lose all the seedling to slugs who shelter comfortably under a nice shady mulch all day before venturing out at night for a feed. I have tried lots of organic methods and only a few seem to work reasonably well. A moat of salty beach sand  works really well. It is the salt which does the trick, as it makes slugs dissolve if they touch it. However, there are a couple of down sides; the salt will eventually wash away and lose its effectiveness, and you may end up with  a build-up of salt in the garden. I have never seen any sign of this, but it is possible. Beer traps work but they do need replacing frequently as they fill up with rain water. Hunting slugs at night with a torch and tin can of salty warm water is really effective and satisfying if you have been despairing as the little buggers eat all your beautiful  healthy seedlings. At night hundreds of slugs can be seen sliming their way over your garden. All you have to do then is pick them up and drop them in the can. You need to do this fairly often as the population of slugs in a Blueskin Bay garden must number in the thousands.
Fungus will also be a problem in a wet garden, and I am forever ranting on about it in this column. I have so far concluded that a non-toxic, slightly acidic or slightly alkaline substance (a mild solution of vinegar or baking soda) sprayed on your plants should be just enough to deter fungus spores from spreading.
Avoid if you can plants that can’t handle damp conditions. This is a hard one, though, as each year’s weather can be so variable. Gardening is like life: you have to weigh up future possibilities using all the skills and knowledge at your disposal and then make, hopefully, the best decision. Oh, and not worry about it too much when everything turns to custard … or in this case mould, rot, and slug eaten stumps.
Don’t forget to prune your fruit trees and bushes and pick up all those sticks; if you leave them on the ground they will spread disease. Tie them into bundles and throw them in the back of your wood shed for some instant kindling next winter.

Warrington School

by Jeff Burrow, Principal
What an amazing evening! It was a real treat to see the children so passionate about sharing and performing their drumming and waiata to celebrate Matariki in front of such a large, attentive audience of parents and members of the wider Warrington community. Thank you to Ms Jones and Mrs Russell for their wonderful work with getting the children’s performances so polished!
Here are some Matariki stories from students…
Year 7
On the night of Matariki I marched and beat the drum as hard and loud as I could, to the Paua Farm. As I was walking it got bleaker and bleaker. The stars caught my eye as they were glistening radiantly in the shady night sky. Two glossy dazzling lanterns had suddenly appeared out of the night sky and they were coming closer and closer. It was Mikey and his mum. We were waiting for quite a while and then we strolled toward the lanterns and lights. Stilt walkers were dancing like fairies, with their long legs high above the road. I was freezing – maybe it wasn’t a good idea wearing a dress! I’d finally got to the school path and lanterns covered the whole area. Boom, boom, pow – the drums were finally here. Time to parade around the court...
Year 6
Thump, thump went the many stiff hands whacking the strong base drums. I could hear all the excitement echoing through the heart of misty Warrington. One step at a time my gleaming lantern guides me to my other classmates who are banging their drums, getting into the rhythm or gracefully walking, swaying their paper lanterns side to side. I was in the middle of something big. Suddenly I felt alone. The clothes of many people were blending into the moonless night and just then the lanterns turned into twinkling stars floating in the Matariki atmosphere.
Year 2
It was Tuesday and it was Matariki time. The whole school and some of the Warrington people were celebrating Matariki. I was feeling jubilant. When I saw the stilt walkers, I was totally amazed. I also noticed an adult from mum’s school was there. We were walking with all the people and I had to carry a lantern. It was quite windy. I felt frightened. The very first person that I saw was Rosa. She is as cute as a puppy. They are very cute – just like me. When we got to school we played the drums and sang songs for the audience. After we performed for everyone, we had some food. I didn’t stay for the whole Matariki. I had to go home quickly. Quick as quick. My eyes were hurting, so I snuggled up to mum. I was very tired!
Year 7&8 Open Evening : Thursday 31st July @ 7pm
We are holding an Open Evening for our prospective Year 7 and 8 students to share with parents and children the learning programmes and opportunities that are available at Warrington School next year.
After School Care
Our After School Care programme is in full swing. It is available Monday – Friday
3pm – 6pm. We have trained experienced staff. We offer structured activities, games, cooking, arts and crafts, supervised homework as well as afternoon tea and snacks.
If you have any queries about Warrington School or would like more information please contact the office on 482-2605.

Warrington Playcentre

by Jackie Hughes
This month two of our families have welcomed new babies to their whanau and to our playcentre community. Toby has warmly welcomed little brother James, and Oscar has delighted in the arrival of his little brother, Max. The two new big brothers have enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time at the playcentre with their dads, Seth and Sam, and to compare notes about their new babies. Congratulations to both families.
We had a very successful clothes swap and social evening. It was great to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones. With the proceeds we have bought the children a new ride-on tractor with a trailer and, as for us, we are all enjoying our new clothes! There have been requests already to do this again so watch this space.
Some of the children have been busy: Belle and Zara have spent time gardening; Nikau, Rowan and Toby have been constructing railways; Finn has been enjoying music; Sol has enjoyed using the popcorn machine to make morning tea; Matthew has had an interest in books; and Kamahi and Lily have become more confident and inquisitive one year-olds around the centre.
Our craft project for this term will be the construction of a dinosaur world. Please feel free to come along and spend the morning with us and see what we have to offer. Warrington playcentre is open Wednesdays and Fridays 9.15 to 12.15. We start term three on 23 July.

Blueskin Garden Club

by Lyn Hastie
Our June meeting was held at the Blueskin Cafe. A large number of us enjoyed tea, coffee, and cake as we were entertained by Sally Brown. Sally presented a slide show as she spoke on her participation at this year's Ellerslie Flower Show. We were very interested to hear lots of the trials and tribulations of the show: 18 pallets of potting mix, over 2000 plants, 300 tulips (out of season), rain, and hail. Sally, her family, and other workers put in many, many hours of work to keep everything looking perfect for her "Pink Passion" exhibit. Well done, Sally; your efforts were amazing and we really enjoyed seeing your photos and hearing your story. July's theme was jewelry making at the Warrington Hall. With Glenys Clements, the tutor, everything was well-organised and saw lots of ladies very busy cutting, glueing, and  sorting out beads, buttons, and lots of other bits and pieces. Their efforts will be at the spring flower show for you all to see. Thank you, Glenys, for a wonderful day.
Our 7 August meeting will also be at the Warrington Hall. Three members who have recently returned from a tour of Turkey will show photos and give a talk. Supper will follow with the usual raffles and bloom/vegetable competition. On Friday 29 August lots of our members will be at the Blueskin Store helping to raise funds on Daffodil Day for the Cancer Society. Our club members have agreed to take over the organising of this event. We will work alongside other community members who have been supporting this stall for many years. A huge thank you to Liz and David Sumpter who have been at the helm of Daffodil Day in Waitati for 20 years. Please support the stall by purchasing daffodils, baking, raffles etc.
Our spring flower show will be held two weeks earlier than usual this year due to Waitati Hall being unavailable later in September. As you gardeners know every season is different and it will be interesting to see if two weeks makes a lot of difference to what we have in our gardens. There may well be a lot more daffodils and less rhododendrons, etc. – we'll just have to wait and see. As you will see in our schedule in the News we have a special section in the floral art section to celebrate Waitati School's 150th celebration. We have also added in some sections commemorating Anzac, from art to biscuits and floral art. We hope there's something for everyone to enjoy taking part in.
Lastly, if you won a trophy at last year's show, please return it to a club member by 12 August. If you would like to meet some local folk, then feel free to join us. More information can be had from our president, Daphne, at 482 2428 or our secretary, Lyn, at 482 2896.