Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Spatial Plan: How will Blueskin Bay look in 2050?

by Geraldine Tait

Many of you will not have heard the term spatial plan. It hasn't got
anything to do with NASA and astronauts; it is a document setting out
directions for Dunedin's growth and development for the next 30+
years. It will also be used as the basis for changes in the new
District Plan. Bored already? That's right it doesn't read much like a
thriller or juicy romance.

However, there is an interesting section outlining key issues for
Dunedin, which seems to show an enlightened attitude to climate change
and peak oil. It also mentions protecting productive farmland,
heritage buildings, landscape values and biodiversity. Our ageing
population, old cold houses, cycling, walking, public transport and
local power generation also feature, but further into the plan the
focus rapidly moves from a sort of eco-greenie theme to one of divide
and rule. Something called distributed development is proposed which
has the majority of development occurring in urban areas with some
expansion of outlying townships in order to increase the
self-sufficiency of these communities.

In the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board area three townships are
proposed for further development; these are Waikouaiti, Hawksbury and
Waitati, while it recommends Karitane, Seacliff and Warrington retain
existing levels of development consistent with character values and
good design. What does this mean for Waitati? A large chunk of Doctors
Point is outlined on a map with the wording 'allow some expansion in
suitable areas'. If you are like me you will be smelling a very large
rat about now! Waitati has probably seen the biggest development of
lifestyle blocks and rural residential sections of any area around
Dunedin. Many of these are still not built on and quite a few are
finished but on the market. So there is no shortage of that type of
property in our area, in fact there is probably a glut. How would
subdividing more land in Waitati make it more self-sufficient or
resilient? The plan says that in order to create strong communities we
need growth in population to help retain local services (shops,
transport and schools) and employment. Our local shop relies as much
or more on passing trade as it does on local support to function. If
anything threatens its future it is the plan to move the highway and
displace the shop.

Waikouaiti has twice the population of Waitati but it shares the same
little bus service that we have, so doubling Waitati's population
won't get us extra buses. The viability of our local schools has not
improved since Don's-Creekisation, in fact I would argue that the
massive increases in property values associated with the subdivision
of farms has made our village a lot less affordable for young
families. The existence of small rural schools is very much in the
hands of the Minister and Ministry of Education, who like to take out
their lazar guns every few months and zap a few more schools into
oblivion.

Would an increase in population create more local jobs? This is a very
complex question. Many of us in this area work in town, there is a
small growth in self-employment and people working from home. Local
employers such as the nursery, and Orokonui Eco-sanctuary mainly rely
on customers from outside our area; Waitati's population has little
effect on them. There are a lot more local jobs in Waikouaiti, these
arise mainly from businesses which support the farming community.
Others succeed because the distance to travel to obtain goods and
services in Dunedin is much greater for people living in Waikouaiti
than it is for Waitati locals.

There are many things we could do and are being done by a number of
local groups and individuals to make Waitati a more resilient and
self-sufficient township. The Blueskin News features some of these
every month. We do welcome new people to our community especially when
they send their kids to the school and playcentre, shop locally and
join some of our many groups which help to make this a great place to
live. BUT we don't need any more major subdivisions or loosening of
rules about lot sizes in the rural zones. If you agree with me, get a
copy of the Spatial Plan and make a submission to council before it's
too late!

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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin,
New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in
the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Thank you, Waitati

by Katherine Petters

My partner, Josh and I were involved in a head on collision about 2km
south of Waitati on 13 November at the Donalds Hill Rd intersection
and our dog got such a fright that he ran off down the highway and
into the bush.

We could not find him that night but the next day we hit Waitati with
some flyers for our missing dog and what we discovered was an
extremely kind and compassionate community. Everyone we spoke to was
so concerned. Mandy Mayhem made calls to those she knew and Jan from
Waitati Valley Rd had copied some of our flyers and was handing them
out in people's mailboxes and we hadn't even talked to her yet! The
ladies at the general store were all lovely. We even had a suggestion
to print loads of flyers and give them to the mailman to hand out on
his mail run the next day. Bev, the mailman's wife was very obliging.
We ended up finding our dog at the end of that day and went home
feeling so moved by people's kindness.

The people I have mentioned are the ones whose names we caught but
there were so many others whose properties we visited who said they'd
look for him and even in the week after the accident I received calls
and texts asking if we'd found him. I have only been in New Zealand
for a year and this experience has made me feel very welcome and happy
to be in such a great place where people take time to really help you.
Josh, Scruffy and I say a BIG thank you to everyone who helped us so
kindly on that day.

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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin,
New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in
the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley

December is the time of year when we look back on just what's been
achieved. For the sanctuary this was done at a restoration meeting
held in November where academics, DOC staff, Orokonui staff and
trustees got together to discuss all aspects of past and future
species translocations.

Snipe (a small bird with an eerie nocturnal call followed by the sound
of vibrating tail feathers) was one such proposal. An Otago Uni
zoology student did the preliminary investigation and found that
Orokonui had only small areas of habitat similar to where it is found
today and not enough invertebrate life at the depth of normal feeding
for snipe. An interesting finding was that snipe have been pushed
into limited habitats because of predation and so not enough is really
known about the range of habitats they can survive in. Their
translocation to Whenua Hou/ Codfish Island may help to provide some
answers.

Meanwhile at Orokonui this is the season for orchids flowering and the
appearance of young birds. Patience and careful looking and listening
are often rewarded by the sight of a parent feeding its chicks.

It is crazy how quickly the end of the year comes around and the New
Year approaches. If you are still Christmas shopping go online (or
come up to the Visitor's Centre) and check out the gift vouchers for
tours, memberships and shop items. There is a great selection of jade/
pounamu and other works from local artists, too.

A very big thank you to all the wonderful locals who have helped out
in numerous ways during 2011 and best wishes for a happy Christmas and
New Year to everyone.

News and events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our Facebook page.
The Visitor Centre is open daily (closed December 24, 25) 9.30 – 4.30
(cafe 10 – 4).

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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin,
New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in
the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Warrington School

Students Out and About
Waianakarua has been the senior class camp destination for the last
six years. This year we also included a pre-camp trip to Orokonui
Ecosancturary. These are the students' expereiences.

Ko Moponui te Mauka, by Ruby Harris
Recently, Warrington senior students trekked up Mount Moponui.
Climbing banks, sliding through mud and using trees to hoist
themselves up, 20-plus kids and adults gratefully sat down at the top,
admiring the scenery and learning about Moponui's water catchment
feeding Blueskin Bay. Luckily we had Tahu and Sophie from the Orokonui
Ecosanctuary with us who shared their great knowledge. The view
towards Warrington was magnificent and we could see the bush and
vegetation covering the Orokonui Valley leading to the Waitati
Estuary. Everyone loved the day. Thank you so much Tahu, Sophie and
Orokonui Ecosanctuary - it was an awesome day!

Ancient Artifact Washed Up From the Ocean, by Rammy El Dessouky and Mary Locker
During our class camp beachcombing, finding pretty stones, driftwood
and the occasional piece of rubbish, our teacher Mr P stopped and
picked up a Maori toki (adze). Straightaway Mr P had a strong urge to
throw the toki back into the sea. He also wondered who owned it and
what is the correct thing to do with such a special artifact. A parent
phoned the Moeraki Marae to ask what should be done with it. The toki
was blessed over the phone, someone from the marae would collect it
later in the week and we were given instructions on how to care for it
in the meantime.
The toki was shaped for carving and very smooth. It turned a different
colour after people touched it. The toki was probably very old.
As promised, Moeraki Marae representative Patrick came to collect it.
We took the toki back to the beach where it had been found. We
couldn't reach the spot because the tide was in; we had found the toki
when it was out.
We pointed out into the waves where it was found and Patrick put that
into his GPS. He also took some photos of the area. Patrick said a
karakia to take the tapu off the toki and we replied with our school
waiata.
The toki was to be registered with the Crown and Patrick hopes that it
will be taken back to the Moeraki Marae. No one knows what will happen
to it now but it sure was cool finding it.

Water Monitoring on Camp, by Naomi Ashby-Ryan and Ashlie Carbines
While at camp Waianakarua, near the river,  two OCR water scientists,
Rachel and Dylan, came and taught us about water monitoring. We tested
the temperature, clarity, habitat and PH. All the results were in the
excellent category, good news for us as the day before we had all been
swimming and playing in the river.
We also searched for invertebrates, using a chart to identify the
various creatures we found. Bugs can indicate if the stream is good or
not. We found a big cockabilly fish and lots of mayflies in their
stone houses. We also found a stenoperla (stone-fly) and other
interesting bugs. These bugs and fish only live in high quality
rivers.
The camp river has a cobbled bed, a 7.5 PH reading and the clarity was
completely clear - the whole metre wide. There was a thin layer of
native algae, which is good for the invertebrates (but not for dogs).
This indicated a great habitat for invertebrates and other creatures.
The stream had excellent results. Yay!!!

Fun in the Great Outdoors, by Elsa Neuman, Indy Darling-Perry and Shea Abbott
At camp Waianakarua there was a camper van parked on the other side of
the playing field. This van is home to Professor Panic who is visiting
from the UK where he owns a circus. The Professor has lots of puppets
and circus gear that he uses to impress crowds and which he shared
with we senior students.
The professor also has a story coat. Inside it has 100 pockets, 50 on
the left and 50 on the right. In each pocket there is a tiny treasure.
With each treasure there is a big story.
At night we got to choose a pocket and the professor told us the story
that went with it. The one I remembered best was about the man that
tricked death twice and lived for 210 years.
One evening Professor Panic made a game where half the class were
fielders and half held the edge of a smallish parachute. A soft toy
frog was placed in the middle of the parachute and the team holding
the parachute laid it down on the grass. The parachute team then said
"ahhhhhhhh" starting from a deep sound and getting higher. At the end
of the "ahhhhhhhh" the parachute would be flicked up, making a sound
like a whip. The frog flew up in the air about 10 metres and the
fielders tried to catch it. If the fielders caught the frog three
times the teams swapped over.
Professor Panic also has a huge parachute and we played games with
that. It didn't flick the frog like the other one but we played a
swapping game where we would change places while it was inflated.
Professor Panic was incredible!

Splash, Dive, Whoosh! by Lichen Sorrel
Flipping and flying off the diving board at the Oamaru indoor swimming
pool! It is a really cool place. It has a hot pool area and a one
metre diving board that goes into a 3.5m deep pool. There is also a
pool about one metre deep. And then there are three little pools that
are 30 centimetres deep. Oh, and I can't forget the lane swimming
pool; it has about 15 lanes! We had such a great time!

Little Protected Creatures from the Ocean, by Lindsay Dowden-Mackay
At Oamaru there were probably 600 little blue penguins that came to
shore and into their little wooden huts. From 8.30 tp 10pm groups of
blue penguins waddled up the rocks to rest after a busy day of
fishing. We had to stand behind the fence. There were fences in the
shape of triangles that the penguins had to walk through. When there
were fewer people around the penguins came up closer because they
weren't quite so scared!

From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin,
New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in
the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust

By Scott Willis

 

The DCC decision on the BRCT funding application to pilot a Community Energy Advisory service is still pending, as I write. The BRCT office needs a good (though late) spring-cleaning, after all the recent activity in the energy area, particularly. This is always a hectic time of the year though, and BRCT will meet in December to set strategic direction again for the 2012–2015 period.


One thing on the table for 2012 is a workshop for sustainability/transition groups in Blueskin, to try to see if there are any challenges and solutions within the great variety of dynamic initiatives underway. Time is short for solving the problems we all face collectively and yet it's worth pausing a moment to celebrate the community energy to 'get things done' – the days are long gone when it's a small group of 'all the same people'. Much has happened since the early days we've all grown and systems have evolved, we've developed experience, ways of working, encountered problems and experienced the joys of success.

 

Coming up also in December I will be attending a meeting of Climate Change hubs in Wellington and I'll take that opportunity to have a range of meetings to further Blueskin Energy Project ambitions and shore up national networks to enhance BRCT actions.

 

Meanwhile, if you're aiming for some high AND low carbon, engaged summer action away from Blueskin Bay, why not head along to the 'Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival' in Mataura, 20 -23 January? (see: http://nocoalsummerfest.org.nz/).

 

Now, some more detail on the Draft Spatial Plan. Copies of the plan and the summary document are available at our local library, the DCC and online at www.dunedin.govt.nz/consultation/spatialplan. I also have some copies of the summary in the BRCT office (please come after 3pm – best day Friday).


Strong elements? The challenges of climate change, peak oil and natural hazards have been clearly identified. The preferred option for future planning is "Distributed Development" which essentially recognises the different character and values of distinct communities to enable more holistic planning. That could mean local provisioning of energy (BEP action), low carbon transport systems (Blueskin Low Oil Commuting, W3, walking and cycling groups, Get-The-Train), local food production (Weggies, Waitati Open Orchards, local growers) and other things. It will mean we plan to evacuate low-lying areas over time and certainly stop building in flood zones. It will mean we build up the local economy (rezoning, allowing more appropriate scale business activity) and ensure we have the infrastructure to ensure quality of life for people in our communities. A sobering article in the Guardian really underlines why we must plan for a low carbon future (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change).


In it, the International Energy Agency, a very conservative body, argues that if we don't change our energy infrastructure within the next five years, we'll lose 'for ever' the opportunity to stop runaway climate change. In relation to the spatial plan, the long-term plan and the city's economic development, it means we must stop courting oil exploration companies (old fossil fuel industry) and redirect city funding and resources towards clean technology. Only by ending subsidies to fossil fuel can we hope to build a positive future for our children.

 

The BRCT's office number is 482 2048 and BRCT trustees and officers are Lynnaire Johnston, PJ Clarke, Antony Deaker, Ross Johnston, Tony Wilson, Gerry Carrington and Chris Skellett, with Jeanette Fitzsimons as the trust's patron. You can find out more about the trust at: http://www.blueskinpower.co.nz/

 

 

Blueskin Energy Project

By Scott Willis


A four turbine wind-cluster located at Porteous Hill above Warrington is closer to being confirmed as viable, with wind measurements and modelling demonstrating sufficient wind. Financial viability, however, rests not just on wind quality, but also on community support and on ensuring a power purchase agreement.


By now many Blueskin residents have attended an Open Day, completed the survey or accessed information about the project from the website, or just followed it in the media. Don't worry if that despite all this, the project is still new to you. There is no intention to move into full development until a few more questions have been answered. These are:

1. Are Blueskin residents still strongly supportive?

2. What level of local investment is available?

3. Are we able to secure a good power purchase agreement?


Now, of course, everyone is looking forward to Christmas and the holidays, however it is also a good moment to get more details. If you want someone to come and explain the proposal and you live in the Purakaunui, Long Beach, Osbourne area, phone Ross Johnston on 482 1029 or email him at jpl@callsouth.net.nz and leave your contact details.


If you live in the Waitati – Warrington area phone me on 482 2048 or email scott@blueskinpower.co.nz and leave contact details.

By mid 2012 BRCT will be in a position to assess community support and will then be able to make a decision on preparing a Resource Consent application. There will be public meetings about all this before then.


An important DCC document that will affect you and our community is out now. Called the 'Draft Spatial Plan' it is a geographical perspective on how our communities can meet the needs of current and future generations. In my opinion, and having had input from an early stage of the plan's development, this is a very good document. You can be assured that plenty of people with an interest in our landscape will be submitting on the spatial plan – but the DCC will value hearing from residents and not just property developers.


BEP perspectives will be incorporated into the BRCT submission, which will be submitted by the new deadline of 13 January 2012. As a guide to how the DCC is incorporating broad perspectives in the spatial plan, you will see reference to the 'Waitati Energy Project' (now of course we're 'BlueskinEP'). In this peak oil period it is crucial that our local authority does plan for the whole city's energy needs – and the plan offers a start. Among other things, the plan will help shape the District Plan (covers land-use/planning issues), the transport strategy and the economic development strategy, and will have an effect on community initiatives. It is quite likely that this plan will give greater leverage to community initiatives that are delivering results for local communities, particularly if residents submit their support.

 

For more information look in the BRCT column and contact me (482 2048) if you have any burning concern/positive comment and I'll see if it can be incorporated. Have a lovely big fat summer break and a low carbon holiday!

 

 



Waitati Toy Library


Waitati Toy Library
Open fortnightly
Saturday  10:30-11:30am
&
Monday   6:30-7:30pm
at Waitati Hall, Harvey Street
December dates: 10 and 12
Closed for January
February dates: 11,13,25,27
For more info
Contact Frances at 482 1991


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Blueskin Garden Club

By Lyn Hastie
Blueskin Garden Club activities are coming to an end for the year. Members and their spouses/partners will celebrate Christmas with a Progressive Dinner in the Michies Crossing, Doctors Point Road area on Saturday December 10 at 6.30pm. This year instead of exchanging gifts we will be bringing along items to be donated to the S.P.C.A.
This month members paid a visit to the Hawksbury Lagoon and and iris garden in Waikouaiti.
Our next meeting on February 11 will see another trip to Waikouaiti where we will have a talk on growing dahlias. If you would like to join our club details of our activities are always in "Blueskin News" and in Friday's ODT. Alternatively you can phone Lyn 4822896 or Glenys 4822640.
Wishing you all a safe and merry Christmas and happy days in the garden. Special thanks to all those involved in providing this great little monthly newsletter.
 



Christmas Brunch on the River Bank

By Rosemary Penwarden and Derek Onley

Last year's Christmas brunch on the Orokonui Road river bank beside
the WOO fruit trees was a great success, so we're doing it again this
year, weather permitting.

The fruit trees and a cleared path beside the river from the bridge to
the picnic area are looking great. If a low-key start to Christmas day
sounds good to you, come and join us. Bring a bit of food and/or drink
to share. Everyone welcome. 11am start.


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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin,
New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in
the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Monday, 21 November 2011

WAIKOUAITI COAST COMMUNITY BOARD

by Gerard Collings, Chairman

Where has the year gone -- Christmas is here already.  On behalf of
the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board I wish to thank all those
volunteers throughout the community who have given their time and
effort to the various projects and events within our area this year.
Please take the time over the holiday period to relax and enjoy the
special places within our area.  We wish everyone a merry Christmas
and a happy and safe New Year.

At our November meeting the board were pleased to confirm financial
assistance from our discretionary fund to the Karitane Special
Projects Group towards their medal presentation ceremony.

The Dunedin City Council has released Dunedin's draft Spatial Plan for
public consultation. The Spatial Plan is an overall strategic document
that will provide the council's vision for the next 30-40 years.  It
will feed into, guide decision making, and provide overall strategic
direction in areas such as water, waste, roading/transport,
recreation, parks and reserves, and the city's District Plan.  As such
it is important that our community make themselves familiar with the
draft Spatial Plan and participate in the consultation process. Copies
of the draft plan will be available at our local libraries, from the
council and through the council's website:
http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/currently-consulting-on
Submissions are scheduled to close on 13 January 2012.

The  Waikouaiti Coast Community Board's next meeting is at 5:30pm on
25 January 2012 in Waitati Hall. Members of the public wishing to
speak at the public forum need to advise Jane Hinkley our Governance
Support Officer (Phone 474 3374) before 12 noon on the day prior to
the meeting.

Remember, you can view the board's meeting agendas, reports and
minutes at either the Waikouaiti or Blueskin libraries or through the
DCC's website at
http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/council-minutes

Members of the board are only too happy to hear (by phone or email)
from members of the community about any issues within our area.

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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin,
New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in
the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

BLUESKIN LIBRARY

by Louise Booth

Carolyn McCurdie started work at the Blueskin Bay Library in March 1999. On Friday 9 December 2011 she is retiring from her position at the library to concentrate on her writing career. She has worked under three librarians and has witnessed the library being open from three to six days a week. Carolyn has made a huge contribution to the library and we have enjoyed celebrating the publishing of her first children's novel The Unquiet.
 
On 9 December Friday afternoon we will have a party at the library so that you can farewell Carolyn. So please come and wish farewell to Carolyn any time from 2-6pm Friday 9 December.


If this message is not intended for you please delete it and notify us immediately; you are warned that any further use, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this material by you is prohibited.




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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point, Purakaunui), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".


Thursday, 17 November 2011

WAITATI SCHOOL: Book reviews

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight, by Jenny Nimmo.  Reviewed by James Burchell.

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight is a book about the final battle of the endowed children of the Red King.  Woe! the swordsman Ashkelan Kapaldi and the enchanter, Count Harken, Shadow of Badlock are out of their paintings.  Dagbert the downer is a good guy because he's stopped drowning people and regrets ever drowning anyone.  The main idea of it is to kill all evil.  They achieve this by fighting it out between good and evil. 

Predator's Gold, by Philip Reeve.  Reviewed by Finn Kelly.

Tom and Hester have had a peaceful two years since the downfall of Traction City, London, roaming the skies in an airship called the Jenny Haivener.  But now evil is back and a rising agency called Green Storm is destroying all their enemies, as well as Traction City's next stop…Tom and Hester.

Get ready for the roller coaster ride of the Mortal Engines.  Prepare for the treacherous journey to the dead continent America while being chased by a large threatening city 'Arkangle'.  Be warned: you may encounter stealthy thieves, hilarious dwarfs and a famous writer who has lied about everything in his books.  If he doesn't speak up soon Anchorage (Traction City) will be driving to its doom.

 

The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Reviewed by Tat Carr.

The Little House series of books is set in the 18th century.  The first book is set in America in the woods of Wisconsin.  In book two, Laura and her family move to the prairie where there are Indians, and wolves and many other animals.

Smiling Jack, by Ken Catran.  Reviewed by Lucan Willis.

I think Smiling Jack is a very gory book and has lots of murders.  It's about a guy called Robert who gets caught up in a murder mystery starting with his dad getting killed in a car accident.  The great thing about Smiling Jack is that the excitement is evenly spaced out throughout the book.  The other great thing about Smiling Jack is that it's also very realistic and seems like it's based on a true story.  It also has very detailed descriptions of the settings.  You can really picture them in your head.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves blood and guts mysteries.

 

Land of Snow, by Skye Waters.

This book is about a girl called Ella and she is walking home with her best friend Isabella then Ella hears a faint husky howl and her friend Isabella could not hear it. They went closer and Isabella could still not hear it. Then when they found it Isabella could hear it so then Ella took the husky home and called it Blue. Blue is no ordinary dog he is a magic dog.... Read this book and you will find out the magic and how it begins.

 

Rhiannon of the Spring, by Allan Frewin Jones.  Reviewed by Ahi

The story of a wild princess with extreme skills with a slingshot, the book drew me in almost immediately and hasn't let go. With a heart full of bravery and a mind of steel this princess will have a hard time fitting in with another royal family!  I give Rhiannon of the Spring a 9 out of 10; it was truly amazing but it just didn't go on long enough!  I would recommend this book to people 9 and over though it would be a good read for a mature 8yr old.


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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Living Legends: Thank you and 2012 date

by Liz Sherwood, Community Relations Ranger, Coastal Otago Area Office, Department of Conservation.

Job well done, thanks to you!

The Department of Conservation and Living Legends wish to thank all the residents of Blueskin Bay who helped with the planting day at Orokonui Scenic Reserve in September. We are grateful for your support in preparation for, and on, the day. We were delighted with the turnout of around 220 people, and the result – all 4600 native plants in the ground.

Ongoing maintenance of plantings is required, and this will be provided by contractors and volunteers. If you are interested in helping, and have a little time to spare, weeding around plants over summer as the grass grows would be highly beneficial.

A follow-up Living Legends planting day is scheduled for Sunday 2 September 2012. We will be planting a further 2500 natives around the estuary margin. Any plants that don't survive this summer will be replaced then.

DOC and Living Legends look forward to your involvement again next year. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Coastal Otago Area Office Ph 477 0677 or email rhiscock@doc.govt.nz

Thank you and happy holidays!

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".


Monday, 14 November 2011

POLICE COMMUNITY REPORT: Blueskin area

by Constable Jon-Paul Tremain

 

Tënä koutou katoa,

 

On 1 October a vehicle was stolen while parked at the Warrington Domain.  It was taken in the middle of the day while the owner was out walking her dog. The car was recovered the next day down a bank along State Highway 1 not far from Warrington.

 

On 19 October a wallet, iPod, and cell phone were taken from a vehicle while it was parked at an address along Coast Road, Warrington. The owner left the vehicle unlocked and was away from it for only a short time; it would appear that an opportunistic thief took advantage of this.  Inquiries are continuing in relation to this offence.

 

On 23 October police were called out to deal with several cattle beasts roaming along State Highway 1, Kilmog. A member of the public reported the cattle late that night after clipping one of them and breaking the wing mirror on her vehicle. This is the fourth reported incident involving cattle roaming onto State Highway 1 around the Pryde Road, Porteous Road area. If the unfortunate were to happen and a person was injured or worse as a result of a crash involving a cattle beast then the owner of that animal may be held to account.

 

That's all for this month, take care.

 

If you require information regarding road conditions telephone Transit New Zealand on 0800 44 44 49. 

 

If you see anything suspicious or if you wish to speak to the police regarding any other matter you can contact us on 03 465 9127, or alternatively anonymous information can be passed on by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  In emergencies dial 111.  Until next month, take care.


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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Blueskin Mainly Music

By Jenny O'Neill

Wow, we are now into the fourth and final term of the year and spring
is well and truly upon us with all the beautiful blossoms and bulbs
blooming, as well as new life aplenty with all the spring lambs. Our
group also has three new babies born in the last month or so and there
are another two due anytime now. It is awesome seeing the older babies
becoming more interested and interactive during our music sessions and
really neat to see the older ones learn the words and actions to some
of the songs.

We are looking forward to seeing all the littlies when we start back
for a somewhat shorter term on 1 November. If you would like to join
us for a special time of interaction with your child/children using
music, rhyme and action with your little ones, followed by morning
tea, play and friendship please come along Tuesdays at 10am at Waitati
Hall. $2 per child or $3 per family.


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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Waitati Toy Library advert

Waitati Toy Library
Open Fortnightly
Saturday 10:30-11:30am
& Monday 6:30-7:30pm
@ Waitati Hall, Harvey Street
November 12, 14, 26, 28
for more info contact Frances at 482 1991
Our December dates are 10 and 12.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Water a Basic Human Right or a Saleable Commodity?

by Geraldine Tait

The words Council Controlled Company do not usually create fear and
trepidation but when applied to our water and waste systems they make
me decidedly nervous.
A recent report in the Otago Daily Times said that millions of dollars
could be saved by moving water and waste to a CCC. We are already
paying a pretty big fee in our rates for these services and we are
well aware that there is a lot of pressure on the existing CCCs to pay
a sizable dividend to council each year. Water users in Auckland no
longer just pay the cost of supplying that water but their council has
added a surcharge which it uses to help pay for other expenses such as
roads. Personally I don't wish to contribute to a profit margin for a
CCC to help pay off the stadium debt. I am more than happy for City
Forests and other CCCs to be run as profit-making businesses but not
water and waste.
There are tax advantages in moving services to a CCC structure but
there are huge losses for our community. As citizens we would have no
direct input as to how they are run and councillors could not make
decisions about management of the services. Imagine if the libraries
became a CCC. The council could have a contract with the Library CCC
saying that they were to make library books available to the citizens
of Dunedin. How the Library CCC goes about doing this would be totally
out of the control of the councillors. If the CCC decided to reduce
the number of libraries, or the opening hours of libraries, or the
number of books available or the cost of borrowing a book, this would
be just too bad and complaining to the councillors or voting them out
at the next election would have no effect on the management of our
libraries.
You may have faith that a Water and Waste CCC would deliver the same
service as the council department has been doing but there are some
very detrimental changes that may result.
The council has looked at water metering in the past and with a CCC
this is pretty likely to be introduced. At the moment households use
however much water they need and generally there is enough to go
around except during very dry spells when some restrictions on outdoor
water use are instigated. Water metering means the more you use the
more you pay, that sounds fair but it disadvantages families and could
impact on people who have a garden. If you grow your own vegetables
you will know that it can take quite a lot of water over the summer to
keep plants happy.
It is also not a very big step from a CCC to total privatization, the
Dunedin City Council just sold Citybus, they did not have to consult
the community or give any explanation other than that it was losing
money.
Another likely outcome of a CCC is that every household will get a
separate water and waste bill just like a power bill. So people who
are presently renting will get a water and waste bill each month from
the CCC on top of their usual rent. I'd be really surprised if
landlords gave a rent discount to tenants because the landlords didn't
have to pay water charges as part of their rates any more.
It is also likely that staff would be fired to reduce costs. I would
not like to see our water guys made redundant because I think this
will to lead to a poorer service especially after hours or when there
is an emergency.
So when you read about a Water and Waste CCC and what a great thing it
will be, think again, we have a lot to lose. After all we have paid a
huge amount through our rates to get the major upgrades done. We need
to keep control and ownership of these essential assets.

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

BLUESKIN RESILIENT COMMUNITIES TRUST

by PJ Clarke

New Zealand has had a pretty good party over the last couple of
months. Now parties of a different nature are demanding our attention.
Politicians of various hues assure us that the way ahead for New
Zealand is a return to growth, unbridled consumption and continuing
reliance on old, dirty technologies. Such 'business as usual'
assurances are at best questionable and are arguably misleading and
dishonest, however seductive they may seem.

For an alternative, positive view of New Zealand's future, check out
Dr Janet Stephenson's article in issue 30 of the University of Otago
Magazine, available online at www.otago.ac.nz/news/otagomagazine/.

Janet, a Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) supporter, argues
that New Zealand has 'a huge opportunity to build on our natural
advantages'. One such advantage is our relatively high availability of
renewable energy. Initiatives like the Blueskin Energy Project (BEP)
give communities means to provide for their future energy needs by
pursuing energy efficiency and renewable generation under local rather
than corporate control. Other projects in the Blueskin area are
developing food and transport security.

A long-term BRCT goal is to facilitate autonomous local ventures
through the development of social enterprises. A social enterprise
delivers social and environmental outcomes but is organised and
managed as a business. This may be an appropriate model for the
Blueskin Energy Project.

The recent BEP Open Days demonstrated strong local interest in
sustainability and community resilience. Trustees involved in the
events were impressed by the turnout, the enthusiasm, and particularly
the quality of the questions, ideas, critiques and discussion
contributed by those attending.

The BRCT/BEP office at Waitati School receives regular enquiries about
energy issues. BRCT has submitted a funding request to the Dunedin
City Council to allow us to trial a Community Energy Advisory Service.
A DCC committee will consider the application in November. If the
application is successful, another staff member will join the BRCT
team.

BRCT supports the very successful Waitati Open Orchards group and
recently transferred funds applied for under the BRCT mandate into
WOO's control.

The Waikouaiti Coast Community Board contributed $862.50 to the
Blueskin Energy Project's recent community engagement. Trustees
appreciate WCCB members' interest in BRCT projects and their support
in the current difficult funding environment.

BRCT trustees have had much to celebrate this past month. Chris
Skellett launched a new book 'When Happiness is Not Enough' to great
acclaim and nationwide interest. Antony Deaker and Mikaela Wilson
celebrated the arrival of a healthy new addition to the Deaker-Wilson
household on 19 October. Well done to all!

As always, BRCT welcomes any feedback on its activities and offers of
assistance. One of the best ways to find out more about BRCT is to
talk with trustees, or contact Scott at the BRCT office. BRCT trustees
and officers are Lynnaire Johnston, PJ Clarke, Antony Deaker, Ross
Johnston, Tony Wilson, Gerry Carrington and Chris Skellett. Jeanette
Fitzsimons is the trust's patron. You can find out more about the
trust, including contact details, at: http://www.blueskinpower.co.nz/


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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Not Much in Life is Straightforward: My thoughts on our library

by Jackie Fanning

Libraries are great community places and should provide space for
passive recreation (e.g. reading books/magazines, checking internet,
listening to music, etc.). However, doesn't our Blueskin Bay Library
already (or could) do this?

Yes, our library is small but so is our community -- so why can't we
make do with what we have? I think we are a humble community -- so why
do we need a 'first class' facility? Yes, toilet provision needs
improving – but to say we badly need a new community meeting room –
really? I've attended/run meetings in the Waitati Hall Committee Room
and it is cosy, warm and perfectly situated next to the kitchen – it
just isn't new and flash.

I realise there has been community consultation on this project -- but
a lot has happened to world and local economies since that time and I
think people are more aware of the effects of living beyond our means
and bad management of money. There is only so much money – and those
who get it mean there are those who don't.

I think in recent years more people recognise that there are a number
of costs associated with project development (an obvious local example
here). I'm not going on about environmental costs (although of course
this is applicable) but there is a social (opportunity) cost. What is
spent in Waitati on a 'first class' improvement to an almost-adequate
facility is money not spent elsewhere on projects that can really make
a positive difference to communities whose needs are more urgent than
ours.

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Opportunists of the Avian World

by Rosemary Penwarden

Seagulls, you would think, live and eat at sea, or at least beside it.
But a comment to my resident ornithologist about the small bunches of
black-backed gulls that have been flying inland over our house
recently, led to an explanation of what they were up to.

They were heading over to the rocky outcrops above Volco and the
reservoir above Sawyers Bay. Black-backed gulls nest in
October/November and so for the month or so before that they check out
the local prime real estate. The Volco outcrops are favourite; some
years Rabbit Island is popular, and 50 or so gulls often nest at
Evansdale. Black-backed gulls nest either in colonies or on their own.
Just like people, some prefer the urban throngs, others, solitude.
There is a big colony of a couple of hundred pairs at Merton at the
mouth of the Waikouaiti River. This year a couple of pairs have been
interested in the cliffs at Doctors' Point just past the caves. Inland
in Central Otago they nest on the braided rivers, up mountains, and
feed on the paddocks. There is a colony on top of Slopedown, the high
hill that overlooks the Southland plain to the west and the Catlins to
the east (the site of a soon-to-be-built wind farm owned by Meridian
Energy).

Pre nesting time, they also hang out with prospective mates, testing
for flakiness and finding out what they might get up to when their
backs are turned (in ornithological language it's called
re-establishing the pair bond).

Some black-backed gulls feed at sea on shoals of fish and squid,
others in marshes at low tide. There are those who roam the beaches
and pick up and drop clams, and others who feed in paddocks on worms
and dead lambs or whatever else is going. The real urban dwellers go
for the rubbish tips. Similar to human nutritional studies, it has
been shown that the chicks of these rubbish tip fast foodies are
thinner and more poorly feathered than their rural cousins. We have a
resident that flies ten metres above the Waitati stream each morning
looking for tasty little ducklings or eels. Unlike albatrosses, which
eat entirely at sea on squid, black-backed gulls can adapt to
anything. They are generalists, not too fussy about quality, as we saw
when they quickly discovered the oily burger patties spread along Mt
Maunganui beach a couple of weeks ago. They eat the eggs of terns and
smaller red-billed gulls. They attack oyster-catcher chicks. Round the
back of the Gardens New World once I watched in horror as one gulped
down a live sparrow chick that had been feeding on discarded
supermarket fare.

Once nesting has begun, chicks stay for a while in the nest – all
fluff and legs – but those in colonies move out, after a week or so,
into crèches. Black-backed gull chicks are awkward, sooty-brown and
smelly. They don't mind who feeds them and will have a go begging from
whoever comes near. Adults have to go and find their own chicks, and
there's the odd bit of playground bullying in the midst of it all. The
chicks fledge by about January. Young black-backed gulls look a bit
like spotty brown chooks. In their second year they start to look like
scruffy versions of adult gulls with teenage spots and a black end to
their tail. By the third year they are just like an adult, sleek white
with a black back, yellow beak and evil eye.

Our black-backed gulls are very similar to large seagulls worldwide.
This particular species occurs in Australia, South Africa, and South
America (circum Antarctica) as well as quite a few islands in between
like the Falklands. Elsewhere they are called kelp gulls.

They may be opportunists and their behaviour doesn't always endear
them to us, but black-backed gulls are a fascinating success story in
a world in which survival is becoming harder and harder.

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

WARRINGTON SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

by Dawn Hope

The Warrington Surf Life Saving Club welcomes all visitors to our
beach, with life guards in 'residence' every weekend from 12 noon –
5pm commencing 5 November until 18 March 2012. We have got a busy and
exciting time ahead of us and we look forward to seeing you all on the
beach over the coming weeks.

Nippers
We held our open day on Sunday 30 October and now we are ready to
start the season. Nippers' practise (under 16s, under 14s, under 10s
and under 8s) starts Sunday 6 November at the earlier time of 10am.
We look forward to seeing all existing members on the beach as well as
welcoming new members. If you missed the open day come along any
Sunday from 10am; alternatively contact Mark Familton on 482-2712 or
Dawn Hope on 482-2787.

Beach fireworks and BBQ night: Saturday 5 November, 6.30pm 'til late!
Come along to our community beach fireworks and BBQ fundraiser. You
are welcome to bring your own fireworks and let them off in a
controlled environment (we will have first aid in attendance). There
will be a sausage sizzle, hot drinks and supper items for sale.
Everyone is welcome.

Venue available for hire
Our club rooms are available to hire for functions. Please contact
Simone Omipi on 482-1136 for more details and to check availability.

Wanted items – Can you help?
We are looking for a new oven for our clubrooms also a small caravan.
If you have either of these items surplus to requirements we would
love to hear from you. Please contact Pru Casey on 021-203 6263.

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

WAIKOUAITI COAST COMMUNITY BOARD

by Gerard Collings, Chairperson

A special thank you to those who provided comment through the
playground improvements consultation. It is pleasing to see that it
appears there will be additional equipment provided throughout our
area.
At our September meeting the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board (WCCB)
were pleased to confirm financial assistance from our discretionary
fund to Waikouaiti District Museum, POWA and Blueskin Resilient
Communities Trust.
The board also agreed to facilitate a fundraising workshop in order to
assist community groups with obtaining funding for community projects.
It is intended to hold a workshop early in the new year; community
groups and organisations interested in attending should contact one of
your board members.
By the time you read this the Dunedin City Council (DCC) should have
released Dunedin's draft Spatial Plan for public consultation. The
Spatial Plan is an overall strategic document that will provide the
council's vision for the next 30-40 years. It will feed into, guide
decision making, and provide overall strategic direction in areas such
as water, waste, roading/transport, recreation, parks and reserves,
and the DCC's District Plan. As such it is important that our
community make themselves familiar with the draft Spatial Plan and
participate in the consultation process.
DCC staff are to provide a public briefing session at 6.30pm on
Thursday 17 November in the 'John Brown' meeting room , East Otago
Events Centre, Waikouaiti. This meeting will allow staff to give an
overview of the draft plan and more importantly provide comment on
those aspects of the plan that relate to and affect our area. If you
wish to attend the meeting but are unable to do so as a result of
transportation issues, please feel free to contact any WCCB member and
we will endeavour to assist you with arranging transport.
It is expected that submissions on the draft Spatial Plan will close
in December; the actual date will be advertised once this is confirmed
by the DCC. Copies of the draft plan will be available at our local
libraries, from the DCC and through the council's website
http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/currently-consulting-on
The November WCCB meeting is at 5.30pm on 9 November 2011 at Karitane
Hall. Members of the public wishing to speak at the public forum need
to advise Jane Hinkley our Governance Support Officer (phone 474 3374)
before 12 noon on the day prior to the meeting.
Remember you can view the board's meeting agendas, reports and minutes
at either the Waikouaiti or Blueskin libraries or through the DCC's
website http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/council-minutes
Members of the board are only too happy to hear (by phone or email)
from members of the community about any issues within our area.

Board Contacts Home Work Mobile email
Gerard Collings (Chairperson), 4657604
4707494 0274848800 gerard.collings@xtra.co.nz
Alasdair Morrison (Deputy), 4822505 4822505 0274354384 info@calmarine.co.nz
Andy Barratt, 021890048 021890048 asbarratt@farmside.co.nz
Andrew Noone 4657157 0274301727 anoone@dcc.govt.nz
Geraldine Tait, 4822517 0212175492 gstait@clear.net.nz
Les Pullar, 4658138 0274358020 lesgwen.pullar@xtra.co.nz
Mark Brown, 4822833

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Friday, 21 October 2011

Eastern Districts Athletics Club

By Ruth Porteous

An athletics club has recently been established in our area. It is
based at East Otago High School which has given permission to use
appropriate school equipment.
Work is being done on relocating gear from a previous eastern
districts athletics club to provide a greater range of equipment. The
club will affiliate to the Otago Athletics Association and will accept
both competitive and non-competitive members.
Junior members (14 and under) meet on Thursday afternoon from 3.30 -
4.40pm and senior members from 4.30 until 6pm.
Should you wish to know more, contact me in the evenings on 482 2849
or email cla@eohs.school.nz

Warrington Hall

By Ruth Porteous

Did you know that after World War II plans were made to build a
memorial hall in Warrington to honour the local men who gave their
lives? To help meet the cost of construction, a member of the
community, went door to door, once a week, collecting 2/6d
(approximately 25c) from each family. When the hall was completed and
opened in 1957, it was debt free.
Since the hall's completion, there have been some small changes to the
original structure. What was once a projection room and then a store
room is now the men's toilet and the ladies' toilet is where the
doctor's waiting room/hall cloak room was. These used to be "long
drops" toilets, which were outside, at the back of the hall.
The present doctor's room has been added in recent years, replacing
the consulting area which was in the meeting room at the back of the
hall. This was a separate room beside the kitchen, which has been only
marginally upgraded in recent years.
With the loss of the projection room, suitable storage area has also
been lost, so the committee has discussed extending the hall to
provide an easily accessible storage area. Kitchen facilities could
also be upgraded.
If you have an interest in being involved in this project or have
skills you are willing to share, come along to our AGM in the
Warrington Hall on Thursday 17 November at 7.30pm.
There is a piano in the hall that is looking for a good home. The only
cost associated with this will be for its freight!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Blueskin Garden Club

By Lyn Hastie
Blueskin Garden Club met recently and enjoyed a walk around "Opeke" on
Doctors Point Road. What a wonderful, peaceful spot and right in our
backyard. Thanks to those who are responsible for turning a large
amount of gorse into such a piece of beauty.
After our walk we enjoyed looking at Daphne's piece of paradise.
Gorgeous rhododendrons, azaleas, spring flowers and blossom were a
sight to behold as were the tuis who have such a safe haven and
plentiful supply of goodies to enjoy eating. After a shared lunch we
held a short meeting to discuss the business.
Our next get together will be held in Waikouaiti. On 12 November we
will do a walk around the Hawkesbury Lagoon followed by a visit to an
iris garden. More details to follow by club email and the gardening
page in Friday's ODT. All welcome. Any queries to Lyne 482 2822 or Lyn
482 2896.

Random Acts of Beautiful Madness

It's cabaret time again and Ad Hoc Productions is putting on a big night of
Random Acts and Beautiful Madness at the Waitati Community Hall!
Ad Hoc Productions is the performing arts initiative and brainchild of Port
Chalmers local, Karin Reid, who collaborates with many diverse performers on
a project-by-project basis.
Ad Hoc Cabaret: Blackboard Sessions is a community-development project
that takes cabaret shows out to different Dunedin communities. The
first one was held in Port Chalmers
in September and was a great success.
The Waitati cabaret will be the second event and will feature the
Dunedin Jazz Workshop music ensemble, comedy skits and other random
acts throughout the night. There will be a few Waitati locals
performing alongside Ad Hoc Productions' collaborators and
other performers. Expect the unexpected throughout the night with a
smorgasbord of mystery offerings on Saturday 5 November, 8pm. Tickets
$15 adult / $10 unwaged (cash only). BYO food and drink.
Karin Reid, artistic director, Ad Hoc Productions, 027 392 8528


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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Warrington Surf Lifesaving Open Day

Sunday 30 October @ 12 noon
Come along and see what Warrington SLSC is all about
Take the opportunity to join our club and meet new friends
$1 sausage sizzle available
Everyone welcome!
Please contact Mark Familton on 482-2712 if you have any queries

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Waitati School: Silver Enviroschool

By the students of Room One 2011 Waitati School and Sue Roberts-Blyth (teacher)

You've seen it on our logo: Waitati School Enviroschool, but what does
it mean? To be an Enviroschool means that we care about the
well-being of the whole school, community and eco-system. It's all
about learning to support our environment so that it can also support
us.
We want to make our planet a better place.
The Enviroschools philosophy empowers us, the students, to make good
decisions about relationships with others and with our environment.
It is supported by the Dunedin City Council who administer the awards
system.
There are 5 main parts to being an Enviroschool and these are called
Guiding Principles. They are:
Empowered Students – we can make great changes in our school and our world
Learning for Sustainability – we teach and learn in a way that
involves everyone and has on-going results.
Māori Perspectives – we honour the tangata whenua in this land and
embrace tikanga Maori.
Diversity of People and Cultures – we welcome and cherish people and
ideas from around the world.
Sustainable Communities – we participate in our community and help to
make it the wicked, wonderful place it is.
In 2009 Waitati School achieved a bronze award as an Enviroschool.
Late in Term 3, 2011, we welcomed Jenny Neilson from the Dunedin City
Council to our school.
We talked with her about all the things we do, and together we
discussed what it takes to be a Silver Enviroschool. We wrote down on
paper 'leaves' all the things we do that relate to the five Guiding
Principles. Then we glued them onto a tree entitled 'Silver
Reflection'.
At the end of the morning we looked at all the things we are involved
in and agreed together that Waitati School is definitely a Silver
Enviroschool.
One of the things we do is our enviro-Friday rotation in which the
whole school splits into whanau groups. One group works in the garden
and harvests food, another group cooks the food and serves it for
lunch and the third group acts as roving reporters.
We are also involved in recycling programmes, whanau hui, hangi
planting, Matariki celebrations, stream monitoring, and community
events such as the Fireworks Night.
Recently some of our 'empowered students' have undertaken projects
such as reinstating the chicken coop, restoring memorial gardens and
designing new structures for the space where the old office block was.
Look out for our colourful teapots on the fenceposts around the
school. We each painted a teapot with artwork showing our past,
present and future as members of the Waitati community.
We also enjoy strong links with our school parents, our local
librarians, Blueskin Nursery, Ribbonwood Nursery, Orokonui
Ecosanctuary, Play Centre, BRCT, Te Whare o te Whanau Arohanui, DCC
Enviroschool Sector, University of Otago (see link
http://review.mai.ac.nz/index.php/MR/article/viewFile/212/227) and
gardening groups such as WOO.
We celebrated our Silver status at our end of term assembly. We are
so pleased to be recognized as a place that supports the Five Guiding
Principles and also as a welcoming and future-conscious school. A
huge thank you to all the wonderful people involved with us in the
project and especially the students of Waitati School.

--
--
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

The Chicks Project: Youth music tour comes to Waitati

by Michelle Anderton

A successful youth music project has been extended for a further 12
weeks and is now being produced by the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust.
The Chicks Project, initiated in 2010 by Volunteer Otago, aims to
provide young musicians with the opportunity to perform at alcohol-
free events and to learn from music industry mentors. Funded by the
Alcohol Advisory Council (Alac) the programme involves 10 local high
school bands.
Director of the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust, Paul Smith, said it is
important that the Chicks Project is kept alive: 'The feedback from
the bands was that they got a lot out of the project and were really
keen for it to continue. But it needed a new champion so the Fringe
Trust stepped in as we see this fitting our mandate to support
emerging artists.'
Initially based at Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers, the Chicks Project
is now branching out to include other venues in Dunedin and East
Otago. Project Co-ordinator Michelle Anderton says that the bands were
ready for another challenge, and a tour to multiple venues in and
around Dunedin will take the project to a new level. 'The project is
very hands-on for the young people involved. They have to do a lot of
the organising and promotion themselves as that's
the best way to learn.'
The new Chicks Project is based around a three-day tour held at
Re:Fuel in Dunedin, The Firestation Theatre in Mosgiel, and the
Waitati hall. As well as the performing component there is a series of
workshops that include songwriting, performance, event management and
recording.

--
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

Friday, 14 October 2011

Police Community Report: September 2011

by Constable Jon-Paul TREMAIN

Tënä koutou katoa.
I thought it would be a timley reminder to property owners or anyone
thinking of renting out their address to remember that criminals or
others who wish to evade the attention of police will target
semi-rural and rural locations as a place to live; the isolation and a
smaller police presence are the main reasons for this.
One tactic police have noticed is that a landlord will be approached
by a female looking to rent an address. She presents well and may or
may not have children. There is no mention of a partner or associates
and almost always he is never present at a face-to-face meeting
between the parties. However, within a short time of the address
becoming tenanted a male figure appears on the scene; invariably his
associates begin to make appearances and the situation deteriorates
with issues arising such as on-going parties, noise complaints,
intimidation of neighbours, loud arguments, domestic violence, and
issues with destruction of property at the address.
My advice is that under no circumstances should a landlord rent an
address without a face-to-face meeting with the prospective renter.
Treat the process as you would a job interview, so have a series of
questions prepared. Insist on references and contact all referees
including the previous landlord. Establish clear boundaries such as no
sub-leasing of rooms at the address, and ensure that issues
surrounding animals are clearly understood. Insist on meeting all
parties intending to move to the address, including partners.
Information on referees and credit checks can be found through the
Department of Building and Housing by visiting
www.dbh.govt.nz/pub-pre-tenancy-index, and a criminal conviction check
through www.justice.govt.nz/privacy/#application. It is important to
note that the tenant has to authorise the release of his or her
criminal convictions history to the landlord by the Department of
Justice. Non-compliance with a request for any of these checks may be
an indicator that the tenant has something to hide.
A rental property is an investment, and I am sure most landlords want
a tenant who respects their property, the neighbours and the wider
community. Waikouaiti Police are happy to take any query in relation
to this subject and can be contacted on the number below.
If you require information regarding road conditions telephone Transit
New Zealand on 0800 44 44 49. If you see anything suspicious or if
you wish to speak to the Police regarding any other matter you can
contact us on 03 465 9127, or alternatively anonymous information can
be passed on by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In emergencies
dial 111. Until next month, take care.

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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Blueskin Flower Show

by Lyn Hastie

Blueskin Garden Club hosted another successful Spring Flower Show last
month. A big thank you to everyone from Blueskin Bay and surrounds
who supported the show. If it wasn't for you all cutting your prize
blooms, not to mention the amazing rhododendrons, we would not have a
show.
There were 791 entries, which was a bit down on last year, but still
the Waitati Hall was a blaze of colour. Special thanks to the
teachers, staff and parents from the Warrington Playcentre and School
who as always encourage and support the children into taking part. The
painted stones drew many favourable comments. How clever our young
folk are. Thank you also to Peter Appleby and Graeme Fyfe for giving
our show a good plug on Radio Dunedin.
Thank you also to the judges who give freely of their time. Thank you
to the Blueskin Nursery for the plant which was raffled. Raffle prize
winners were Ruth Stevens, Daphne Henderson, Sarah Smith, Pete Addis,
Lisa Clifford and Jan Boswell. Children's raffle winners were Maddox
Duff, Steven Rainbow, Phoebe Ozanne, Michael Rainbow, Leah Macdonnell,
Myah Omipi, Cathryn Stewart, Susan Powell, Maddy Ozanne, Rosa Cameron
and Grace Cunningham.
Trophy winners were Most Points in the Juniors section Maddy Ozanne,
2nd= Roland Ozanne and Jasmine Johnson, 3rd Ashlie Carbines and 4th
Phoebe Ozanne.
Family with most points: the Ozanne Family. Floral Art, Best Exhibit,
Prize Bloom, Most Individual Points: Lyne Carlyle. Most Points in
Flowering Shrubs: Daphne Henderson.
Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to everyone for taking
part and we look forward to your continuing support next year.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

PURAKAUNUI ENVIRONMENT GROUP INC.

by Jim Glass, Chairperson, PEG

The Purakaunui Environment Group (PEG) Incorporated held its 2011 AGM
on 22 September.

Due to unfortunate ill-health the outgoing chairperson was unable to
deliver a report, however the following is a transcript of a
'catch-up' recently delivered to households in the Purakaunui area
reporting our activities.

This last year has seen the culmination of our efforts over six years
to oppose what we consider to be inappropriate development on Potato
Point. There has been some success.

Six years ago there was to be a subdivision that involved three houses
of considerable size along with their related buildings and tanks .
That proposal morphed later into a two house version. Neither found
favour with the Dunedin City Council (DCC). The developer appealed the
DCC decision. We joined the DCC in defending their decision in court.
The developer lost his appeal in both the Environment Court and the
High Court.

End of story? No -- but then we didn't expect it to be. First there
was good news. Local crib owner John Williamson purchased the southern
flank of Potato Point and expressed a desire to redevelop some
vegetation on it -- something we're keen to help with.

Then it was back into the fray when the developer, and owner of the
northern slopes of the headland, applied to build a barn and stock
yards. This application was not notified by the DCC so no submissions
could be made. The DCC approved the barn and the stock yards but with
conditions -- one of them being that the barn could not be turned into
a dwelling.

The developer objected and the DCC compromised to some extend by
allowing for the possibility that the barn could be enlarged and the
stock yard extended -- but the barn still couldn't be turned into a
dwelling without it going back through 'due process' at the DCC and
probably being notified.

The developer then applied for permission to build a house. This was
notified by the DCC, and PEG made submissions expressing our concerns
regarding the house, its siting and impact on the landscape. In fact,
the house that was proposed in this application was better in almost
every respect than the previous designs -- lower, built into the hill
and using materials that would make it less visually intrusive.

Despite our reservations the DCC approved the house and its site (in
the patch of bush almost exactly on the summit of Potato Point). There
were conditions attached to the consent: a covenant protecting the
bush apart from the 450 sq m immediately surrounding the house; no
'ancillary structures' more than 25 sq m to be erected on the site;
and no more than two structures of less than that area to be erected.

We still weren't keen on the idea of any houses on the site. We felt
-- and still feel -- that building on headlands, particularly on this
piece of the coast, is both unnecessary and visually intrusive, so PEG
appealed that DCC decision to the Environment Court.

While we waited for the court process to begin the northern flank of
Potato Point was sold to new owners, Jon and Lynley Fergus.

Part of the process leading up to an Environment Court hearing
involves court ordered and organised mediation between the parties to
see if agreement can be reached and a court hearing avoided. Also,
with a new owner, it was an opportunity to see if there might be any
common ground between them and us.

We were constrained by two major factors. First, the District Plan
gives the council discretion to allow a second building close to an
existing one in a rural zone (subject to some conditions) and we were
unsure whether the consent conditions would prevent this. Second,
taking the case to the Environment Court is an expensive business
involving lawyers and expert witnesses and tens of thousands of
dollars. Our previous experience at court had alerted us to this
reality. Our best option was to lay our concerns on the table at
mediation.

If we could not reverse the council's decision to allow one house, we
wanted to limit the possibility of there being more than that. This
has been successful; the DCC and the new owner agreed that the wording
of the conditions of consent relating to ancillary structures be
altered by removing the word 'ancillary', as it was not their
intention to build another house on the property.

We were also anxious to confirm right of access around the base of the
headland, already theoretically conferred by a paper road, the problem
being that nobody knew quite where the paper road was, or even if all
of it still existed. The owners agreed to walking access and the three
parties agreed to split equally the costs of surveying and marking the
walkway. As expected, it was found that parts of the paper road had
crumbled away and in some places had completely disappeared into the
sea. The paper road has now, in effect, been reinstated by creating a
20 m wide right-of-way easement for walking access around the
perimeter of the Fergus's property, and there are marker poles in
place.

There are conditions attached to the right of access which mean that
people won't, for example, be able to walk on the property during
lambing, between 1 September and 15 November. Also, how to get to the
'beginning' of the easement, part way around the point, still has to
be resolved.

So after six years nobody has got exactly what they wanted -- and
perhaps that is the way it should be. We're happy that there aren't
three massive houses on the point along with their garages, sheds and
tanks, and we're happy that we have successfully 'raised the bar' in
terms of what sort of housing is acceptable on headlands of this sort.

We are also very pleased to have forged an understanding with the DCC.
Until now the issue of a consent was often the first that locals knew
of a development on a prominent site in the area. That has changed,
and PEG will be in a good position to have a say in future proposals
where we believe we can contribute to a better outcome.

We'd like to thank all of you who have been supportive over the last
few years. Your assistance and support has been really valued.

Friday, 23 September 2011

About Blueskin Bay Watch

by Rosemary Penwarden

During a recent AGM we realised that some of us in Waitati have new
neighbours who may not have heard of Blueskin Bay Watch (BBW), so here
is a brief rundown of how we began and what we do.

BBW formed in 2005 in response to the purchase of Opeke, the peninsula
that sits in the centre of our Blueskin Bay village and overlooks the
estuary. Opeke used to be a wild and wonderful place, full of very old
trees, planted when Waitati was first settled by Pakeha, and lots of
overgrown gorse that was slowly reverting to native bush. It was one
of those places that young Waitatians loved to explore -- usually
without mum or dad's permission. It is now owned by developer Allan
Dippie and is surrounded by a white picket fence, criss-crossed with
roads that look remarkably like the beginning of a quite large
subdivision, and lined with poplars (the poplars are a topic for a
future Blueskin News…watch this space).

In the usual scheme of things communities don't get a say when areas
of land in and around them get bought up by developers. Often
development plans are non-notified so there is no chance for the
public to submit, as was the case with Don's Creek. As well, the
Resource Management Act is stacked against communities – and just in
case there was any doubt about this, the National Government has
tweaked the act to confirm whose side they are on – any guesses?

Some of us decided it was worth keeping a close eye on Opeke, so
Blueskin Bay Watch was formed. While this single issue got us started,
our objects are wider: to advocate for sustainable development that
would retain the intrinsic character of the community, to help protect
the local flora and fauna, to be a conduit for communicating with
local bodies and governing authorities and to act as a legal entity to
represent community perspectives to places like the Environment Court.

We want to have a say about the direction our community will go.
Blueskin Bay's ecosystem would not sustain a large number of new
dwellings, such as Mr Dippie originally proposed for Opeke. We haven't
got the infrastructure to cope, and many of us are not interested in
biggering and bettering at the cost of a community lifestyle that has
chosen not to put money before all else (the rest of the world, maybe
even developers, will catch up with us eventually).

Some of the things we have been involved in since forming BBW in 2005
are writing submissions to the Dunedin City Council (DCC) re the
District Plan and Dunedin Futures, and supporting the DCC in trying to
limit the number of houses built along Wright's Road, a subdivision on
the ridge line above Evansdale. The DCC has on occasion contacted us
if a relevant local issue arises that they think we might be
interested in, like the SH1 realignment. We are currently drafting a
letter seeking confirmation of the consultation process on the
realignment which has been shelved until 2013/14.

We are a completely voluntary incorporated society. If you have a
community issue that you think we could help with, let us know. If our
aims appeal, contact us, we'd love to welcome new members. Our next
meeting is planned for February 2012 – there was mention of a cricket
match. (For more information contact Lee Paterson, secretary, 482
2889.)