Saturday, 24 November 2012


by Scott Willis

At last month's community meetings (Long Beach, Warrington, Waitati) we reported on the developments in the Blueskin wind cluster and sought further community participation in the project. There was plenty of positive community input, with many ideas shared and values reiterated. Wonderful new offers of practical assistance were also received. The Waitati meeting was even covered by National Radio on 20 November. The project has moved significantly forward in the 14 months since last year's open days, and the practical pathway options have become much clearer. Importantly, we have been in discussion with Port Otago and Pioneer Generation and their roles as potential institutional investors in the venture. Port Otago is 100% owned by the Otago Regional Council, and Pioneer is 100% owned by Central Lakes Trust, both already providing returns from their existing activities to their Otago owners. Both also possess experience and attributes that could bring value to this community project. We've confronted the realities of New Zealand's electricity market, with its regulations around generation and retail. We believe that while we can't in the short term achieve our 2006 dream of total control over our power and the price we pay for it, we can be confident at this stage that the wind cluster development can provide financial returns to the community and will, in turn, assist us to develop greater energy sovereignty and provide those benefits in the longer term.
A simple exit survey was held at each meeting, with results below:

Survey results: 'How do you feel about the proposed Blueskin Wind Cluster project?'
  •    Really dislike it – 0
  •    Um, probably not – 4
  •    No opinion – 0
  •    Yeah, OK – 10
  •    Love the idea! - 24
Our exit survey didn't capture all who attended and some couples just filled in one form, but in macro terms this reflects the range of support uncovered in our extensive community engagement (available in the Blueskin Library and soon on the Blueskin Power website – see "Blueskin People Power: A toolkit for community engagement"). Renewable generation projects in New Zealand typically only 'consult' when required to under the Resource Management Act. This project, initiated, owned and managed by the community is working on a very different model. Well before any formal requirement, we have been inviting participation and working to incorporate as many community dreams and desires as possible, and working them into a practical, realistic model. The great value of this inclusive approach is that it does allow great creativity. The big challenge is that some perspectives are mutually incompatible. It is our job to try to distil out the essential, maintain the community core, and work to make the dream a reality.

Blueskin residents are a passionate bunch and this is a significant project, for our community, and for New Zealand. We are proceeding at considered pace through data analysis, relationship building, regular feedback and professionalism. At its heart, this is about doing something well, and providing greater benefit to our community. Without local generosity of course, none of this could happen. We are so lucky to have well maintained community halls run by dedicated volunteers for community events; Thank you to Alistair and Bev for delivering all the flyers; Helen, thank you for sharing IT resources, and thank you to everyone who made the community evenings such dynamic events.

Visit us at:, or at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati (on Waitati School grounds). Telephone enquiries can be made on 482 2048  (the Wind Cluster) and 482 2207 (Energy Advice) and for any information about the solar project email Chris Le Breton at


Friday, 23 November 2012


by Lyn Hastie
Blueskin Garden Club members recently spent a day on the Otago Peninsula. We travelled to Larnach's Castle where we did a tour of the expansive and beautiful gardens. The place was busy with tourists and locals, and we all agreed it is a wonderful asset to Dunedin. After a shared lunch we travelled down to Hoopers Inlet where we visited Hereweka Gardens. A huge garden, well laid out with rhododendrons, blossoms, trees and beautiful flowers. We had a guided tour and enjoyed looking out to the wonderful coastline and the sights of Portobello and surrounds. A trip down the bay would not have been complete without a trip to the Broad Bay China Shop.
December will see us all join for a progressive dinner at the homes of members who live in the Mount Cargill area. If you haven't been phoned re this then let me know -- 15 December at 6:00pm is the date and time.
'Spud in a container' competition: this will be judged at the Blueskin A&P clearing sale/show day on 13 April 2013. Spuds are available to purchase at the Blueskin Nursery for $5.00. Turn your spud-growing skills into money (see poster). A great idea for friends, neighbours, children, grandchildren -- you name it, we can all get into it and compete amongst each other. Good luck to you all. We will also be having fruit, vege and flower competitions and scarecrow-making. More details to follow next year.

Wishing you all a happy Christmas holiday and good gardening. Details 482 2896.


by Sue Hensley

The tuatara released in early November appear to be exploring their new surroundings. In fact the females being tracked are dispersing further than had been anticipated. The juveniles however thus far seem to be more content to stay fairly close to the release site.
The excitement of translocations of tuatara has been somewhat tempered by the unexpected death of Te Hoiere one of Orokonui's two ambassador takahe. He was found by staff member Kelly Gough far away from what had been his usual haunt on the grasslands close to the Visitor Centre. Preliminary autopsy results show that he died of septicemia. Although he was rather 'shy' (not often visible) it was great to hear him 'boof' at people as they walked a little too close to the vegetation where he was hiding, and it was always a thrill to see that large red beak and blue head amongst the tussock.  Quammen, the other takahe, remains in the swampy area at the northern end and has been seen by a number of people including a group of 30 school children; he has even been known to approach people sitting on the seat close to the gate. DOC have located a female on Kapiti Island as a possible mate for him.
Chicks are starting to make an appearance throughout Orokonui with the sound of bellbird chicks most numerous.  On the way to the aviary, fernbird chicks have been seen, and the first kaka nest of the year has been found, with three eggs in it, close to a public track. Reception had previous reports of these not-shy birds mating in full view of visitors. The robins have fledged 21 chicks so far and many pairs are onto their second nest.
Christmas is almost here and the Visitor Centre shop has lots of new products for Christmas. Gift vouchers are always available for memberships, tours, annual passes etc.
Details of happenings over the summer can be found on or on our Facebook page. The Visitor Centre and cafĂ© are open daily 9:30am – 4:30pm. We are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only.

Merry Christmas, and thank you to all for supporting this project in so many different ways through 2012. Enjoy our beautiful country over the summer and travel safely.

The Solar Tube – a BRCT project

by Scott Willis
Chris Le Breton sends his apologies from Australia, where he has been running workshops for the past few weeks. He has had email challenges while away but will soon be connected again and will respond to messages. Meanwhile, we have received further interest in the solar project (bulk purchase deals for photovoltaic and potentially solar hot water systems) at the BRCT office and are all looking forward to having Chris back among us.  Get in touch with him at:


by Scott Willis
The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust's capacity to deliver actions to support the Trust's strategy is being enhanced with a growing contribution from dedicated community volunteers, and now four staff (paid and volunteer) at the BRCT office.  We are very happy to announce that Niki Bould (formally a Port Chalmers Community Board member, among other accomplishments) has joined the operations team as BRCT Projects Coordinator. Welcome aboard, Niki!
BRCT provides governance and support for Blueskin sustainability initiatives requiring a legal body. Recent community meetings organised by BRCT in Long Beach, Warrington and Waitati were all about providing residents with an update on developments in the Trust's Blueskin Wind Cluster  – our core project – and inviting community participation. While this is not the Trust's only project (within the Blueskin Energy Project stable, for example, are: the wind cluster, the Home Energy Advice Service and the Solar Project), it is the one that defines Trust activity. This it does in several ways:
  •       As a headline project, it attracts interest, resources and assistance, all of which help to build up our local capabilities and ability to provide or support other initiatives.
  •       As a community project it holds the potential to free ourselves from dependence on grants for our community initiatives, and proposes development of a social enterprise to benefit all.
  •       As a potential energy infrastructure project it attracts a great deal of community interest on the merits of particular technologies, on costs and benefits, etc.
The Blueskin Wind Cluster project is a key part of BRCT's overall strategy.  Each year trustees and staff renew the BRCT strategy document and we're coming up to that time again. The Trust has a 'Vision', that is a description of our values and long-term goals, as well as a 'Mission' statement and objectives. Strategy, in contrast, is the practice of figuring out the best way to get from 'here' to 'there', or a general plan of action. It is easy, sometimes, to forget the challenges we face – the economic, climate and resource challenges – yet if challenges can be effectively acknowledged, a good strategy is possible. A good strategy expresses:

  •         where we are now;
  •         where we want to end up;
  •         what stands in between;
  •         a chosen approach; and
  •         a specific course of action.
BRCT is committed to developing good strategy to enable a reasoned approach, based on solid factual evidence, to all Trust action.
Visit us at:, or at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati (on Waitati School grounds). Telephone enquiries can be made on 482 2048.


from Rev Lois Hurd-McKee
Tickets are available from the Blueskin Library and Blueskin Nurseries for the St Barnabas Church Christmas Hamper Raffle.  Funds from this are for exterior repair work at St Barnabas including around our beautiful and historic stained glass windows.
Times of services for December-January – usual 9:30am followed by morning tea – All Welcome.
Christmas services – a warm welcome to share in
                                 Christmas Eve – Service begins with Carols at 9pm followed by Holy Eucharist at 9.45pm
                                 Christmas Day – Holy Eucharist with Carols at 10am

Warrington School Christmas pageant

from Rev Lois Hurd-McKee

On Tuesday 18 December at 10:30am the Junior Class from Warrington School will share in a Christmas Pageant followed by morning tea at St Barnabas.  Families and friends welcome.


by Lisa Hall


Holy Cow, Batman!  It's nearly Xmas!  Not sure how that happened so quickly again but there you go.  I guess when we're all so busy doing things time just flies by, so hopefully by the end of the year we'll all get some time to put our feet up for a bit and reflect on 2012.

Warrington Playcentre continues to grow and we are thrilled to welcome the delicious wee Zara, our newest and youngest friend.  Very proud big brother Alexis is awesome at helping look after his new sister.  We are also thrilled to see Amy and her gorgeous children Leilani and Tane back.  It's fabulous to have a widening age group at our centre and amazing to see how all the children play, work and support each other so beautifully.

By the time this goes to print we will have had another visit from the Blueskin Library 'on wheels' and, like them, we are really looking forward to seeing how the new library progresses.  It's always a delight to see how excited the children are when discovering new books to borrow.

We are also on the brink of a visit from the 'big kids' from Warrington School.  The Year 8s are coming to share some of their books with us and I know there will be some adoring little people in awe of them.  These visits continue to build on developing our links with the local community. 

Another amazing group in our community is the Blueskin Garden Club.  They are always very generous with their support and have very kindly donated a thornless blackberry and two kowhai trees to further enhance our 'patch'.  The blackberry will really add to our burgeoning orchard, which we are watching with anticipation as the weather warms -- I feel fruit salads and jams might be on the agenda.  We are all keen gardeners and have sunflowers sprouting, peas germinating and strawberries and cranberries flowering frantically.  It's such a delight to see the fun and imaginative games and the plants flourishing in our Wild Things area after all the planting, developing and grunt work last year.

Sam, Christine and Pippa are off to the Otago Playcentre AGM to mingle and liase with the region's other playcentres to share and talk about their ideas, developments and successes.

There are some little people who have got bigger, older and cuter!  Happy Birthday's go to our wee hearties Lennox, Oscar, Leon and Ayano.  Ahoy, birthday maties, hope you have 'grrrreat' days and don't have to walk any planks!

To all those who have generously spent time with us over the year, we whole-heartedly thank you.  Communities can't function without the support of all those in them and we are truly blessed to have such a supportive one.  A special mention of thanks to the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board who have given us a grant to purchase new toys, and to the A.W Jones Trust for a grant also for toys and to re-cover our mats which now look incredible and will last for a long time.

May your holidays be spent relaxing and enjoying your families in some of your favourite things.  See you next year.

If you are looking for fun, friends and lots of lovely learning come and join us on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 9:15 to 12:15.  We'd love to see you.  Ph 027 227 7329





WARRINGTON SCHOOL: Bouldering wall


by Nathan Parker, Principal

Warrington School students Naomi Ashby-Ryan and Ruby Harris have just won the 'Outlook for Someday', national short film competition award for their film Free Market, Free World.  The theme for the award was 'sustainability', so the girls chose to focus on the Warrington market.  This and other Warrington short films will be screened at the end-of-year concert.

Warrington School was the recipient of a national award for Open Culture at the NZ Open Source Awards evening in Wellington.  The school received the award for being pioneers in the use of open source software, creating school documentation on WikiEducator, and its use of Creative Commons licensed materials including Blueskin Bay FM.  Incidentally the use of open source software by Warrington saves the school and the Ministry of Education around $3000.

Blueskin Bay FM radio station 88.2 and web site based at Warrington School is on a drive to begin scheduling shows. Presently running 24/7 on random repeats, volunteers are being rustled up to assist with running a community radio station. We are also searching for local musicians who are happy for us to play their material. 

At the end of 2011 the school playground redevelopment began – court netting, sandpit, rebound and bouldering walls. Unfortunately, boys in big toys and a soft sub-layer ended up with a court munted.  A year later the court is flat but still awaiting final clearance before artificial turf is laid. We are still waiting for a few 'munts' to dry out.  In the meantime access is restricted to the new bouldering wall and sandpit.   

Finally, if Waitati can have the Wedgies then Warrington can have the OGGs -- the Okahau Glebe Gardeners, who have established a community garden in the school glebe (paddock).  It's presently growing potatoes and there is a core of gardeners planning to grow pumpkins and beans over the summer.

If you are interested in joining in on some OGG-ing or BBFM-ing please be in touch through the school office.  Thanks,


by Hilary Rowley and Jason Ross

The Waitati Open Orchards (WOO) group did a weeding/mulching party around some of the fruit trees a couple of weekends ago. The trees look great -- lots of healthy growth and baby fruits. It's cool that the new walkway will be passing the Orokonui riverside patch of fruit trees. That will be a great place for a browsing picnic in the not-too-distant future.
Once again the WOO news deadline looms. I was going to write a bit about strawberries, as I have just eaten the first of the season from our garden. I got sick of trying to find the strawberries amongst the cursed convolvulous, so I dug them all up, and planted them in buckets and boxes in some pure horse poo and sawdust. They are looking better than I have ever seen them, and taste delicious!  I may just leave them there for a couple of years until I can transplant them into a nice new strawberry patch with no invaders.  Jason has saved me from having to write more about orchards and fruit-growing by sending the following perfectly timed little bulletin.  Thanks Jason, I will leave the rest of this month's newsletter to you.
Early Summer in the Orchard
It is a beautiful time of year out in the orchard. We enjoyed some good conversation and garden tip sharing recently when we were out working in the Waitati Open Orchards. Here are a few tips for timely activities for early summer in the orchard:
  • It is worth doing a quick pull-up of the weeds that have taken hold in the spring flush in the mulch under your trees and bushes -- before they become monsters!
  • Thin the fruit that has set, apples to about two fruits per cluster, take the centre 'king' out first. My big 'Wilson's Early' plum set so much fruit last year I just shook it to thin the fruit.
  • Thin new shoots on raspberries of both summer and autumn varieties.
  • Summer pruning can start now; this is good for vigorous, established plants, encouraging them to fruit. Take out young crowding growth that is not needed for new branches. Great for gooseberries, and over-vigorous fruit trees, such as those out-of-control plums!
  • Prep your strawberry beds with pine needles over compost.  When they start running, ruthlessly take out any runners you don't want for new plants; you'll get a lot more fruit.
  • Cover your fruit with bird netting.  Consider covering the lot from a permanent perimeter fence that can then contain chickens in the winter to weed and fertilise the area for you.
  • Chop and drop the dynamic accumulator, nitrogen-fixing, ground cover and companion herbs, such as sweet cicely and comfrey, under your fruits. This feeds the soil, keeps weeds at bay.
  • Make a mix of vegetable and herb seeds and scatter them into gaps in the fruit, vegetable and even the ornamental garden. It is a pleasure to harvest the succession of abundance that follows. Try: daikon, rocket, mizuna, lettuce, carrot, silver beet, coriander, dandelion, miners' lettuce, red Russian kale, flat leaf parsley….
A fantastic book new to Dunedin public libraries is The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips. This book includes many well-tested methods for fruit growing. I like his emphasis on soil fertility through use of woody material and companion plants, including dandelion (which is delicious at this time of year) to feed soil fungi and in turn your fruit plants. His principles are sound but he comes from a different bioregion so his variety recommendations are not all suited to us.  This is a very in-depth book. For a more accessible book I regularly reference How to Make a Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield. This is more climatically suitable and delves into all aspects of a permaculture food forest.

Christmas Brunch at the River Bank

by Rosemary Penwarden

Come and join us on Christmas morning, from 11am onwards, at the river bank, Orokonui Road, beside the WOO fruit trees. Bring festive food and drink. We can't confirm yet whether we will be graced by Her Majesty's presence, but last year we got our photos in the ODT and were treated to a stirring royal Christmas message. Everyone welcome, including relatives.


by Gerard Collings, Chair
With the festive season almost now upon us I would like to take the opportunity to extend the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board's best wishes to you all.   We trust the holiday season will be a safe and happy one.   I'd further like to extend our thanks to all the volunteers, community groups  and organisations within our area; your contribution to the wellbeing and social fabric of our community should never be underestimated.   Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.
At our November meeting the Board considered a funding application from the Warrington reserve group for the formation of a new parking area.  The Board were please to be able to allocate $2,400 to this project. Community groups are reminded that funding application forms are available through the Dunedin City Council's website.
The Board have been in discussion with the Waitati Hall committee and DCC staff to consider the use of the hall toilets for the general public during daylight hours.  DCC staff have raised a number of operational issues that require further discussion; it does, however, appear that the limitations of the existing infrastructure is likely to mean that this extended use is not feasible.
Both the Board and DCC staff expressed disappointment at the initial reinstatement work to the grass verge of the new Harvey Street footpath.  Staff advise that they have raised the matter with the contractor who was instructed to reinstate to an acceptable standard. 
As part of the annual plan process, over the next month the Board will be considering our initial presentation to the DCC with regard to their preparation of the draft annual plan 2013-14.  Every year the Board has the opportunity to make a presentation to the Council late in January prior to Council adopting the draft plan for public consultation. I would like to hear from community groups or individuals with concerns, issues, and/or projects relevant to the draft annual plan so that the Board may consider raising those matters at an early stage in the process. 
Copies of DCC documents out for consultation are available from the Council office and through Council's website
The Board's next meeting is at 5:30pm 30 January 2013 at the Karitane Hall.  Members of the public are welcome to speak at the Board's public forum, however those wishing to do so need to advise Wendy Collard, our Governance Support Officer (ph 4743374), 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
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
The Board
Gerard Collings (Chairperson),
Alasdair Morrison (Deputy),
Andy Barratt,
Andrew Noone
Geraldine Tait,
Les Pullar,
Mark Brown,

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Energy healer opens practice in Warrington

By Naomi Miller

I was born in Dunedin, and have been away 55 years. The sense of homecoming and acceptance I have experienced since moving to Warrington in 2011 has really touched me.

Energy healing and balancing is an ancient science that has been practised among many cultures. In my four years training I have learned techniques which enable me to focus on the vitality and healthy flow of the energy field that surrounds your body. It is possible through working within this field to recharge, balance and free up stagnant blocks that can impact on your health and wellbeing. This can assist with many conditions including recovery from grief, pain management, healing from injuries and post-operative support.

Energy healing is recognised internationally as a gentle and complementary method which can be experienced safely alongside existing traditional healing modalities.

The human body is an instrument that is perfectly designed to experience physical vitality, peace and joy. When this instrument is out of tune, life and all its gifts cannot be enjoyed to its full potential. Observing my clients reclaim their own physical and emotional balance, focus and enthusiasm for life is a truly rewarding experience for me.

For an appointment or any more information contact Naomi Miller,  graduate of the Healing Energies Foundation of New Zealand. Phone 4822 372 or 027 485 1027, or email  

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


by Deanne Burrell
The countdown has now started to the Christmas and New Year holiday period.  We want to see everybody having a safe and joyous time but would like to remind people of a few rules that need to be adhered to if you are planning outdoor fires.  We don't like to spoil people's fun but if we are called to an outdoor fire and the correct procedures have not been followed then we are required to extinguish the fire.
Currently it is a RESTRICTED SEASON.  Restricted season means that no fire may be lit in the open air without a permit.  A permit is required for all outdoor burning, other than gas barbecues and incinerators, at any time of the year.  All new permit applications must be applied for at least two weeks prior to the event and are subject to a site safety inspection. No fires are permitted on beaches and no fires are allowed to remain alight after dark except those specifically issued for bonfires at New Year, Guy Fawkes or significant community celebrations.
Camping and outdoor activities are often a great way to spend your leisure time but they have their own set of unique fire risks that should not be underestimated. However, some common-sense preparation can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Caravans are smaller and more confined than a house so the fire risks can be potentially more hazardous. It is essential that you install a smoke alarm to give early warning of a fire and follow these precautions to reduce your risks:
  • On a caravan site, find out what the fire-fighting arrangements are.
  • Never leave children alone in a caravan -- they are particularly vulnerable.
  • A fully-charged water or dry powder fire extinguisher should be located in the caravan near an exit door and a fire blanket should be adjacent to the cooking area.  Keep a torch handy for emergencies -- never use candles.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to operate escape windows and doors.
  • Keep gas cylinders outside the caravan unless a special ventilated compartment is provided.
Fire Safety in the Countryside
Every year fire is responsible for the destruction of thousands of acres of countryside, open spaces and wildlife habitat. Many of these fires are started deliberately but by following a few simple precautions and showing a little extra care, many others could be prevented:
  • Dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished.
  • Don't leave camp fires or barbecues unattended, and extinguish them properly after use.
  • Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to prevent them magnifying the sun's rays and starting a fire.
  • Explain to children the dangers of playing with lighted fires.
  • If fire breaks out, call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately. When specifying your location, mention any landmarks -- perhaps a church or pub -- and if phoning from a phone box, stay nearby so you can direct the fire appliances to the scene.
  • Don't attempt to fight the fire yourself unless it is very small -- grass and crop fires can travel very quickly.
Every year, many people are injured from fire whilst camping. The following fire safety precautions will help ensure you don't become one of them:
  •  Allow at least 6 metres (18 feet) spacing between tents.
  • Never use candles in or near tent -- always use a torch.
  • Discourage smoking -- especially in smaller tents.
  • Do not use cooking equipment in smaller tents.
  • Ensure everyone knows the location of the nearest telephone and, if applicable, nearest fire point in case of emergency.
  • Keep cookers away from the tent entrance.
  • Make certain the cooker is stable, away from draughts and in an area where it will not get knocked over.
  • Keep flammables (including long grass) away from the cooking area.
  • Avoid using liquid fuel appliances if at all possible.
  • Change disposable gas cylinders only when they are completely empty.
Finally the brigade would like to wish Hugh Brown all the very best of  luck and every success when he competes next year as one of eight NZ Alpine skiers in the 2013 World Winter Games.  Hugh we hope you have a wonderful time and fulfil your dreams in South Korea.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


by Pru Casey

If you are ready for the beach, Warrington Surf Life Saving Club (WSLSC) is ready for you!

Nippers meet at Warrington Beach at 10am on Sundays, and if you would like to come along and find out what we do just join us on the beach and then back at the club house for a hot shower and sausage sizzle lunch at 12 noon; all welcome, $1 per sausage, free cuppa for mums and dads.

Coming up – Warrington will be host to several surf carnivals again this year, with the first being an IRB racing event on Saturday 1 December. Come down and watch – racing starts at 9am.

On Sunday 2 December the nippers will be competing at St Clair at a surf carnival – it may be shifted to Warrington if the waves on the South Coast get too big. Sunday 16 December is the day the club travels to Kaka Point to compete in the surf carnival hosted annually there. A wonderful weekend away with families.  Look for us in our bright yellow tent.

Swim between the flags at Warrington Beach on weekends from 24 November until 3 March and every day between 11am and 7pm in the school holidays. We have a full-day holiday programme for 12–16 year olds weekly in the school holidays for fitness, surf and rescue boat training. Join up now! No charge for the teenage holiday programme – just join the club for $25. Email to register.

CPR and first aid training gained at Warrington were proved of worth last week when two of our local life guards, Arthur Ibbotson and Angus McKenzie, were first on the scene at St Clair beach and were able to successfully administer life-saving first aid to a collapsed runner. WSLSC is very proud of the capabilities of our young life guards. Well done Arthur and Angus!

One of our accomplished local life guards recently competed in the World Championships in Adelaide.  Carina Doyle returned last week from Rescue 2012 with five silver and two bronze medals. The U20 NZ team were narrowly edged out of first place by the Aussies – but the margin was small. Sean Doyle was in Adelaide watching daughter Carina and the team and was able to send live results as they came to hand.

Jandal Day – the Surf Life Saving annual appeal is Friday 7 December and you will see the life guards out in their yellow shirts raising funds to keep patrols on the beaches for the summer. In it for life! Warrington Surf Life Saving Club


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Review of Dunedin City District Plan

DCC media release

The Dunedin City Council (DCC) has begun its first comprehensive review of the Dunedin City District Plan and is inviting Dunedin residents to take part.  Now the Spatial Plan is finalised, it is timely to develop the second generation Dunedin City District Plan (2GP), prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). City Development Manager Dr Anna Johnson says, "The Spatial Plan allowed the community to have input into the overall vision and strategic directions for the city, but the District Plan is where the regulatory policies and rules are set - what people can do or build on their land and how land can be subdivided."

While some sections of Dunedin's plan have been reviewed in the last few years, such as the Hazardous Substances, Earthworks, and Transportation provisions and the Stadium and Harbourside Plan Changes, many parts of it date back to the 1990s. The review will fix the parts of the current Plan that are not clear or working properly, recognise the changes to land use and development within Dunedin, and align the Plan with changes in national policy guidance.

Mayor Dave Cull says, "It's important that those groups with an interest in specific areas have the opportunity to feed into this process. We are tapping into various communities, including those who use the Plan often, in different ways, to ensure we develop a new Plan which truly reflects the community's needs and vision for our city as set out in the Spatial Plan."  A great deal of research and analysis has already been done to identify what might need to be changed with the current Plan and to develop some options for doing things differently. This includes an analysis of the feedback people have given us on the District Plan over the years, as well as what is being done in other parts of New Zealand.  A series of short issues and options papers and an online questionnaire that will inform the development of the 2GP is available at Workshops, both community and stakeholder, will also be held over the next few months.

District Plans are, by nature, very detailed, technical documents and some of the issues and options we have put out reflect different technical solutions, which will be mainly of interest to people who are regular plan users such as developers and people with a planning, legal, or design background. A summary paper, called 'How proposed changes to the District Plan might affect home or land owners in urban areas', is also available for those with a more
general interest in the District Plan.

Dr Johnson says, "The issues and options phase of consultation will finish in early March next year. Following this, our real hard work will commence, with the collation and integration of the feedback into the drafting of the second generation District Plan. We are hoping to notify a draft District Plan by February 2014, which will be followed by a formal submissions and hearings process."

For more information:
Dave Cull                  Dr Anna Johnson
Mayor of Dunedin      City Development Manager
Phone 0274 346 917  Phone 474 3874

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Blueskin Energy Project

By Scott Willis


This month there are three important community meetings in three different Blueskin settlements, to report on the developments in the Blueskin wind cluster project and to get more feedback on the project. The hope is that by bringing a meeting to 'a place near you'  people will be able to come along and contribute thoughts and ideas, and get an update from the horse's mouth, as it were. Catch up on where it's at on:

·         Thursday, 15 Nov. Long Beach Hall, 7–9pm

·         Friday, 16 Nov.  Warrington Hall, 7–9pm

·         Monday, 19 Nov. Waitati Hall, 7–9pm.

Over Labour weekend our family attended a big family reunion in Roxburgh –  it was 150 years since my great great grandfather Andrew Young along with three others staked a claim on the Teviot river. I took the opportunity to check out again the small power schemes in the area owned by Pioneer Generation, and Jason from Pioneer took a few of us to see the hydro stations on the Teviot and explained the long history of small scale local energy innovation.

Some of us also went out to Horseshoe Bend, the location of Pioneer's first wind development (three turbines), and to Mt Stuart (nine turbines) near Waitahuna, which was opened earlier this year. Both the hydro and wind turbines were well served, as you can imagine, by the wild Labour weekend weather of wind and water. A field trip to Mt Stuart for those interested in the possibilities of local renewable generation is something we'll be putting together this month.

The Energy Advice trial (a partnership between the University of Otago's Energy Cultures Team and the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust) will end this month, however for the first three weeks of November you can still get telephone advice each Mon and Tues by phone on 482 2207.

We are now exploring promising avenues to build a more durable community service, shaped on what we've learned best suits the community and gets results for home owners. Energy Advice Project Manager Chris Freear is also working to bring together a "Cosy Home Symposium" in Dunedin in 2013 to bring together the different agencies and organisations which want to work on fuel poverty issues and develop a single vision for Dunedin.

BRCT capacity is directed at present towards the Blueskin wind cluster project, Energy Advice and the solar project – that together form the suite of generation and consumer initiatives that is the Blueskin Energy Project.  

Visit us at, or at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati (on Waitati School grounds). Telephone enquiries can be made on 482 2048  (the Wind Cluster) and 482 2207 (Energy Advice) and for more information about the solar project email Chris Le Breton at

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust

By Scott Willis


The BRCT Annual General Meeting was held at the start of Labour weekend, and as always provided an opportunity to review the activities of the past year and to look to the future.

Trustees accepted with regret the resignations of Antony Deaker and PJ Clarke, both of whom have brought great value to the trust, and elected Charles Abraham and Jenny McDonald as new trustees. The renewed BRCT board of trustees is comprised of: Chris Skellett, Ross Johnston, Gerry Carrington, Katie Parker, Tony Wilson, Charles Abraham and Jenny McDonald.

It was a small and intimate AGM, with apologies received, and plenty of productive discussion over a few glasses of wine.

BRCT's operations continue to grow, as reflected at the AGM, and the Trust is keen to ensure that BRCT maintains the capacity to deliver on projects.

Offers of assistance or interest in BRCT work are always welcome and the Trust is interested in supporting proposals that align with the vision of a positive, healthy, secure and resilient future for Blueskin Bay with sustainable resource use. You can discover more about the Trust at:, or check us out on Facebook.

Volunteers Sought

By Karen Elliot 

PARS Otago is seeking volunteers willing to spend a little of their time working with us, to relieve the pressure on some of our already dedicated helpers.

PARS is a long-established organisation which had its national beginnings in Dunedin in 1877. It works to reduce offending by providing support and re-integration services to offenders and their families/whanau.

Some of the most essential components of PARS' work is provided by volunteers. In some cases, like banking or shopping for prisoners, an hour or so most weeks is all we need. At other times, like moving furniture and belongings from place to place or driving family or whanau to the prison, around four hours may be needed.

Anyone who wishes to help with this very worthwhile service can contact me on 03 474 1811 or email me at


PARS logo 


From 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 "".

Encore Cabaret Event

By Karin Reid

Hot on the heels of "Cab Sav" cabaret fever, Ad Hoc Productions presents the Ad Hoc Cabaret: Beautiful Madness Tour.

Artistic director Karin Reid says, "I am delighted to bring another cabaret to Port Chalmers and one to MacAndrew Bay. They are a chance for the Ad Hoc team to work with artists in a particular area and for invited artists to have the challenge of performing something different. Ad Hoc Productions can bring something of value into the wider community and celebrate the artistic talent in that community."

The cabaret promises to be a fun-filled night of 'high and low brow' random acts of music, dance, comedy and gorgeous insanity. It features the Bill Martin Trio who will serve up a feast of modern and vintage jazz morsels, the infamous Ad Hoc crew and Ake Ake Theatre.

Expect the unexpected throughout the night with a smorgasbord of mystery offerings to help celebrate the start of the silly season. Dress up, dress down and enjoy the ride! Come to the cabaret, leave your troubles at the door. Eat, drink, laugh, cry and get behind it, folks.

Sat 17 Nov (Port Town Hall), Sat 24 Nov (MacAndrew Bay Hall). Cash bar from 7.30pm, show starts 8pm.

Limited door sales: $25 / $15. Pre-purchased tickets:  $20 full / $12 conc (students, community services card, seniors) by Mon 12 Nov. Also order your delicious supper platters (cost on enquiry) and tickets via

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Solar Tube BRCT Project

By Chris Le Breton

Interest in the solar buyers' syndicate is increasing. If you too are interested or know of someone who has a roof-space suitable for solar generation please let them know that we are aiming to find a quality solar package for the growing group of people who are interested both in solar photo-voltaics (to generate electricity) and solar thermal (to produce hot water).

An invitation to tender is being prepared and the tender offers (when returned) will be discussed with all interested members of the solar syndicate.

If you want to join, get in touch! Anything else to say or suggest?  Let us know at


Community Energy Advice

By Chris Freear


The BRCT / Otago University trial is drawing to a close. If you have not yet registered for an audit – do it now at 

Last issue we looked at space heating, this issue we will look at the other big part of your energy bill – water heating.

Heating water takes a lot of energy. Did you know the average hot water cylinder contains as much energy as 10kgs of TNT?

·         Check your water temperature; 55oC at the tap is ideal.

·         If your cylinder is warm to the touch – put a wrap on it, and don't for get to insulate those hot pipes (the first 2-3 meters from the cylinder are the most important).

·         Fix those ripping taps.

·         If water is overflowing from the vent pipe on the roof – get that fix quick smart.

·         Have a shower instead of a bath (it uses a lot less water).

·         Adjust your shower flow rate to be under 8 ltrs per minute – you may need to get a low flow shower head or put a restrictor in the line.

Special Olympics Quiz Night

By Carol Melville, Chairperson, Special Olympics Otago

All members of Special Olympics Otago, especially the athletes, would like to thank the community of Waitati and Blueskin Bay for their support of the quiz night held in the Golden Fleece Hotel, Waikouaiti on 27 August. Over $4000 was raised.

It was great to see so many teams competing and having a great night. Thanks to all those who supplied prizes, supper and donations. We were overwhelmed by your generosity. Thanks also to Alan Hall at the Golden Fleece Hotel for providing his facility and staff, whose hospitality allowed all to have a great night while raising funds which will be used to assist our athletes with travel costs to their sports events.

Thank you everyone.

Special Olympics Otago would also like to take this opportunity to wish Hugh Brown from Blueskin Bay every success when he represents Special Olympics New Zealand at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea in January 2013. Hugh is training hard to get himself fit for this competition and appreciates the effort that his local community have put in to assist him raise the funds he needs to attend this very prestigious event.

Purakanui School

Full page advert, Craig.
Coleen - it's a freebie

From 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 "".

Waitati Open Orchards

By Hilary Rowley

It seems late October and November are slow times for orchardists. I've searched every garden book, magazine and newspaper article I have, but no one had anything to suggest except spraying. It's probably good timing really, as it's far too busy a time in the vegetable garden to be looking for trouble with trees.
There are a heap of insects that can eat your fruit trees, but when it comes to spraying with anything for insects, it pays to think of the bees first. Bees all over the world are in crisis, and are extremely necessary to our global food production.
If there is any chance of risking the lives of bees, don't spray. The importance of our meagre backyard fruit trees pales in comparison to the need to look after the bees.
Companion planting, in combination with general plant and soil health should keep the insects at bay. Here are some suggestions I have found. I can't vouch for the scientific accuracy of this information though. Plant these around your trees:
Chives:  Against apple tree scab, gooseberry mildew, and aphids.
Nasturtium: Planted around trees, the aromatic essence passes through the roots into the surrounding soil, and is taken up by the tree to repel insects. Bees, however seem to love visiting nasturtium.
Mustard and legumes: Intercrop between fruit trees and grapevines.
Hyssop: Increases grape yield and also attracts cabbage butterfly (away from your cabbages hopefully).
Pyrethrum : I use this planted in pots in the glasshouse, and it does really work. If there is an aphid attack on the tomatoes I shift a pot under the worst affected plants and the aphids soon decamp. I would say it would work equally well under fruit trees. Seeds are available from Kings Seeds.
Also of benefit under fruit trees are: Stinging nettle, garlic, tansy, horse radish, and southern wood.
Grass has been found to suppress the root growth of apples and pears, so keep your trees weeded and mulched.
There is one job in the home fruit garden which will be good to do now, if there is time, and that is to mulch under the soft fruit  bushes with lots of rich compost. They will thank you for it by fruiting prolifically.
If you want to actually eat some of this bounty you are growing, rather than feeding the birds, then you will need to organise some nets. Net them before they ripen, and before the birds figure out what is  growing there. We use, (and reuse many times) net bought from the fruit growers' supply shop in Alexandra. We got a large roll and it has paid for itself many times over. If you don't mind some mending, Wastebusters in Alexandra (it's like the dump shop in Dunedin, but better) sells huge bundles of used grape netting really cheaply.
If you don't have a fruit garden, the roadside apple trees look like they have a massive amount of blossom on them, so it may be a good season for apples, and juice, and cider.