Tuesday, 26 June 2012
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, 25 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
By Mark Brown and Mark Dickson
The A & P Show Committee is announcing that its next annual show day will be on April 13, 2013.
We are inviting persons, groups, organisations, associations, businesses and any other interested parties to join us in celebrating life here in Blueskin Bay – our people, environment, activities, community groups, sports clubs, local authorities and trusts, services, businesses and more.
This list is by no means comprehensive. We are blown away with how many potential participants there are in this small geographical vicinity and the diverse range of things going on, of which many of us may not be aware.
This letter is intended to give early notice, so you can put the date into next year's diary and have time to think about how you might be able to showcase what you do and help make this show a great community celebration.
We hope that you or your group will be interested in participating in this show. Please phone or email either Mark Brown or Mark Dickson to register your early interest.
Mark Brown, phone 482 2833, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Dickson, phone 482 2504, email: email@example.com
by Wendy Russell, Acting Principal
It has been a very busy term with four new entrants commencing school. They each bring a certain little wow factor and huge character to the classroom.
The school has been extremely busy with our annual Matariki celebrations including the lantern parade and beach clean-up, Kaupapa Maori Festival, the Fun Run and the visit from Starlab. Our winter sports teams have had a fabulous and successful season so far with pleasing results. Some children are now trialling for Otago representative teams and we wish them luck.
Matariki was a huge success this year. We have had such positive feedback, which is fantastic. We were confined by space this year, with our new playground still under construction, but it seems to have proved very successful having the performance in a different area! We were lucky with the weather which brought out the wider community. Thanks to Paul and Patrick for their wonderful ukulele entertainment and Tarn, Mira and Florence for their amazing stilt walking.
Fun Run. The students and staff were all buzzing last Wednesday. A large number of children dressed up as favourite characters for this event and I have to say they looked amazing! There were lots of spot prizes which were supplied by Nicola Shanks from Sport Otago. The Otago Daily Times included a photo of us in last Thursday's paper and it looked very cute. At the end of the run, children were each given a fruity, juicy ice-block. Back at school we held a presentation where each student was given a participation certificate. There was a medal for the best dressed participator which went to Jazzy Couch. The winning class that fund-raised the most money was presented with a trophy – well done to Room 2 for winning this. Overall the school made a profit of $1,300 which will go towards sports equipment. Thank you to everyone who supported this event!
Our principal, Mr Parker, has been on leave this term travelling around Europe and we look forward to his return in term 3.
On Monday it was Matariki. There are four corners of Warrington that you go to, I went to the domain with Floyd. I carried a star-shaped lantern. Floyd and I ran to the front. The people coming from the domain were the first to get to the place where all the groups met. Then it was the people from the Paua Farm. Then we went up to school. First the drummers did their drumming. After that Room 1 did the haka. Then the whole school sang two songs. Then we went and played in the dark. The bank looked like a deep swamp in the dark. Floyd and I stayed close together.
I was walking to the Paua Farm with a lantern shaped as a star. There were many people at the farm, there were drummers and one teacher there. We waited a long time so we started to walk, then we met Jacob and Isaac. We kept on walking then finally we got to the top of the hill. Everyone was waiting at another hill. When we got to school we sat down. All the children sang -- the singing was amazing. Then everyone went and had some food and the children played in the bushes.
It was Wednesday, 6th June, 2012. I was jumping with excitement, my hands were shaking, my heart was pounding as I waited in line. Steven had very kindly brought his telescope down and made a special cover so we could see it. It was my turn to look, I was so excited, this is a once in a life time experience. My eye hit the the edge of the lens, I saw it! It was amazing seeing the sun and Venus' shadow on it. I was amazed and could not stop looking. Thank you Steven.
A transit is when Venus or another planet passes between us (the Earth) and the Sun. The next Venus transit will be in 2117. I peered through the telescope with one eye, and gradually concentrate on the small black dot in the bottom right corner of the enormous round sun. Venus must've been 100 or so times smaller than the Sun (my estimate).
still in the sky.
a little black dot
crosses really slowly
the orange red fire.
I was up the tree then Steven came into sight, he was carrying a telescope.
I ran to Steven. About five minutes later I got to see through the telescope.
I saw Venus, it was across the sun.
I was flabbergasted.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
As the Member of Parliament for Dunedin North I was very pleased to hear of the Government's back-down in relation to its failed proposal to increase school class sizes through staffing cuts in the public education sector.
The policy U-turn highlighted a Government which is absolutely, completely, and in all aspects, out of touch with the mood of the people.
The job cuts which were announced in this year's Budget, would have had a brutal and devastating effect on how much time teachers spent with pupils. I believe they would have seriously reduced the quality of education in New Zealand.
The mood, not only among Dunedin North constituents, but of the majority of New Zealand, was one of open defiance.
This prompted the Prime Minister to finally see common sense prevailing.
Public pressure forced a back-down on another failed National Party policy.
Labour is very concerned about the future of New Zealand's education system.
I am thankful to all who made their voices heard in the defence of education.
It was gratifying to march in Dunedin recently alongside such a wide variety of people - members of Grey Power, children and those whose efforts helped organise the public protest forcing the Government's embarrassing back-down.
It's believed the rally was the largest public march since the first major neurosurgery campaign.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
The two ambassador takahe that arrived at the end of May have taken
off in different directions. The larger bird, Te Hoiere (Maori for
his previous home of Maud Island), has taken up residence on the
grassland area, staying close to the enclosure and food. He is still a
bit wary of people but is often seen. The other, Quammen (after author
David Quammen's "The song of the Dodo"), has gone "bush" away from people
although he knows the sound of the quad bike means his food hopper
will soon be replenished!
Another animal for advocacy purposes is also now in residence but in
the Visitor Centre. He is a Canterbury jewelled gecko who is unable to
be released to the wild. This will give people the opportunity to see
one of these "endangered by poaching" creatures.
July is packed full of events.
Matariki (June 23 – July 7) features Richard Nunns, Fleur Sullivan and
a star watch with Kai Korero Kane Holmes. Our Waitati School Kapa Haka
group will also perform and a hangi rounds out the programme.
Educator Tahu McKenzie has a number of exciting workshops for the
young at heart both at Orokonui and various sites around the city as
part of the Science Festival (June 30 – July 8). Other workshops
follow on into the school holiday programme.
Details of all these events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on
our facebook page. The Visitor Centre and café are open daily 9.30 –
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
By Lynn Hastie
Warrington Hall has had a good spruce up, we now have our new lino and fridge freezer. The kitchen is very well equipped to host a party, get together or special occasion you may wish to celebrate.
The hall is easy to heat, there are heaps of tables and chairs and it is available to hire out at reasonable rental.
If you would like to have a look at the facility or would like to hire it then please phone one of the committee members; Ruth Porteous 482 2849, Rowena Park 482 2667 or Lyn Hastie 482 2896.
Congratulations to our neighbours at the Warrington Playcentre. They have worked long and hard to upgrade their playground and what lucky children to have such a special garden to play in. Well done to you all. Long live Playcentre!
We met on June 14 at the Warrington Hall where our speaker from Youthgrow was most interesting. He talked about his gardening/nursery work and working with young folk in Dunedin.
Our next meeting is to be a mosaics workshop on Saturday July 14 at 10am. Full details are on the club email and this day is for club members only due to limited space.
Our August meeting will take us to the Blueskin Cafe for coffee and cake and our speakers will help us to categorise trees, shrubs etc for our spring flower show in September.
Club members are keen to rekindle the autumn festival type competitions we used to have at past A&P Shows. Ideas are welcome for next year's big day in April.
Contact Lyn Hastie at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Scott Willis
I fell in love on Global Wind Day (15 June) with nine 850kWh wind turbines, cloaked in mist on the summit of Mt Stuart, the site of Pioneer Generation's newest renewable generation project. What a great community opening it was, with Metiria Turei, Eion Edgar, Allan Kane and farmer/landowner Rob Hewett all adding entertaining support to Pioneer's Fraser Jonker's opening address, amidst sausages, Waitahuna School artwork, cups of tea and coffee. Our small Blueskin team headed up into the snow and stood awed under the quiet majesty of these animated objects, quietly powering about 3000 local households – embedded generation feeding the local network.
What a lot has happened in June, and it is all working up to an exciting next six months for the Blueskin Energy Project (BEP). We're teaming up with the Energy Cultures Team at the University of Otago to conduct a small community energy advice trial between July – Nov 2012. In Blueskin (Long Beach, Purakaunui, Osborne, Waitati, Evansdale, Warrington), this will mean a small number of home energy assessments and a telephone advice service. Sign up to the BEP Update by emailing me if you want to be kept in the loop. As more of us understand the simple steps we can take in our own homes, get access to existing subsidies, etc, and begin budgeting for the more complex solutions, we'll all increase our energy awareness and be able to share skills and knowledge with neighbours and friends, and build greater resilience.
Last month I hinted at more on the financial side of the wind cluster. An economic site is determined not only by it's capacity factor – which is a crude measure of wind resource – but also by other factors including the cost of development, on-going maintenance, etc. All our analysis reveals that the returns we expect to get from investing in the wind cluster are in line with other wind developments in other parts of NZ, modelled here using the WindFlow 500 turbine. There's unlikely to be any immediate benefit in terms of your electricity price at this stage, but there'll be investment returns and wider community returns, once the wind cluster is operational.
Once we've held our next set of important community meetings in September (look out for them) we'll be in a position to decide on proceeding with establishing the business entity. The business entity, when established will be responsible for driving the project from that point on, i.e. securing legal contracts, devising investment options, raising finance, preparing the resource consent, and building the wind cluster. Until then we're commissioning a set of updated wind resource assessments and getting professional assistance with detailed financial modelling, while exploring the best options for selling the approximately 5.2 GW/hours of annual electricity production, expected from 4 WindFlow 500 turbines.
It was wonderful to see the great community support evident at the launch of the small Mt Stuart wind farm at Waitahuna – our project is smaller again, but what Pioneer have done is not only develop small wind technical skills. They've also demonstrated the economic viability of small wind and how that in turn benefits community as well.