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.

Monday, 22 October 2012


By Karen Hobday, Warrington Reserve Group


Due to weather and increased use, the car park area at the end of the northern track to Warrington beach has become very bumpy, and puddles often mean no more than four cars can park there easily.

Over the busy summer months, every year, we receive lots of complaints about the number of vehicles driving and parking on the beach.

The proposal to grade the area (see drawings by Rhys Owen) would make enough space for 12 cars to park in any weather, with minimal change to the area.

There would be a slightly smaller area of grass bank at the edge of the flat area, and no change to the walking track down from the Esplanade. A simple post and chain gate would leave space for easy walking access, and could encourage our many summer visitors to park here, instead of the beach. It will not be locked, so anyone can open it for surf club and boat launching access.

If you have any queries or concerns phone Karen Hobday, 482 2762.                                                         

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley 

After four years of planning and negotiations the translocation of tuatara is underway. This is incredibly exciting for those who have been involved since the beginning, especially researchers Alison Cree and Ann Besson, as well as super-carer of captive tuatara, Valerie Fay.

Ninety burrows have been dug to welcome these ancient reptiles from Takapourewa/ Stephens Island and Nga Manu Reserve. Some of the University of Otago's young tuatara will also be released. Orokonui has been looking after these on-site since 2009 and they have been supplied with food (slaters, meal worms and crickets) by a committed bunch of volunteers. Transmitters and temperature loggers will be attached to some of the tuatara released to monitor their survival and movements during the settling-in period.

Initially, the tuatara will not be in areas for public viewing. This is to allow the tuatara to settle in and disperse. It is hoped in the future to build a track to allow visitors access to tuatara habitat. Meanwhile, a viewing pen is planned for a pair of captive-bred tuatara close to the Ecosanctuary entrance.

The latest round of pest monitoring using the recently intensified grid has shown just 4.1% of ink cards with mouse footprints. This is very pleasing but the last few percent are subject to the law of diminishing returns and these survivors will no doubt take a colossal amount of time and energy to eradicate. No rats were detected this round, which is a fantastic result and increases the confidence that finally the small residual population has gone. The last rat was detected May 2011.

Information and events can be found on or on our Facebook page. The Visitor Centre and café are open daily 9.30-4.30pm.

Symposium: Creating a Bold New Future for Blueskin Bay and Dunedin

By Christopher Le Breton


A symposium on creating a bold new future for Blueskin Bay and Dunedin, was held on Saturday 13 October in the Waitati Hall.

Fourteen people attended, and had a great time. We looked at the state of the world and New Zealand, environmentally, socially and spiritually, and considered how humankind got itself into the predicament we face. 

We looked at what was happening in and around Blueskin, Dunedin and Otago. We finished by developing project ideas that ignite our passion and resonate with what we think is needed in our local area. 

Participants said afterwards:  "Thank you for a special day"; "Love the feeling of passionate people coming together. Thank you"; "It went to a deeper level than I had expected."

Following recommendation from Waitati locals and generous support from Blueskin News, Waitati Library and additional support described below, I reduced the suggested koha from $25 to $18. This was made possible thanks to help from Blueskin Library and Dunedin Central Library for the loan of a screen; Resiliency Insights Ltd for the loan of the projector, the University of Otago for sound equipment, and BRCT for donating flipchart paper.  

I want to acknowledge also the kind help and support received on the day with assisting with running the workshop, and anonymous donations from people in Warrington, Waitati, Dunedin and Purakanui. Its success can be attributed to your contribution. You know who you are!

After expenses for food, drink and petrol, and after paying the raised fee of $20 at Blueskin Nurseries for the use of the Waitati Hall, we made a surplus of $106 which will go towards training women environmental education teachers in Indonesia in 2013. Thank you very much indeed.  


Follow-up/ Next Steps

Following apologies given from people unable to be present and suggestions to publicise the symposium more widely, a number of us are forming a local group to meet monthly and engage further on the issues covered. I hope to organise a second symposium in early 2013, starting at 9am and finishing at 6pm to give plenty of time to get all the material covered. Feel free to be in contact with me to know more.

Contact Christopher Le Breton:


by Lyn Hastie
Members have been busy in their own gardens after hosting the spring flower show. Some of us recently supported the Waikouaiti Museum fundraiser historic places of interest tours. We wish the museum all the best for their fund raising. Nine of our members are off to the Maniototo area next weekend for a tour around Naseby, Ranfurly area to look at gardens and places of interest. On Saturday 10 November we will be heading for a visit to the gardens at Larnach's Castle where we will have a shared lunch. We will then travel to Hoopers Inlet to Hereweka Gardens. If you wish to join us be at the Waitati Hall to leave by 10am or meet at the castle at 10.45.

In conjunction with the Blueskin A&P Society we will be having some old fashioned competitions at the show on 13 April. There will be baking,  produce, flowers, etc to exhibit and compete for points against friends and neighbours. The big one though is the "SPUD IN A CONTAINER COMPETITION". Read on - - - You will need to go to the Blueskin Nursery to purchase your container and seed potato for $5.00 (at the end of November). Rules will be attached  as will instructions in case you need them. The spud will be put into your own garden mix, potting mix, whatever you choose and then looked after.  On 13 April you will bring along the container with spuds inside still attached to the plant. The spuds will be weighed, counted and judged. There are BIG $$$$$$ to be won and  the competition is open to all age groups. There will be two first prizes of $100.00, two second prizes of $50.00 and two third prizes of $25.00. Come on, all you local groups, schools, playcentres, etc. A great Christmas gift for $5.00 which can be turned into big dollars, can be taken home and eaten too. We hope lots of you will get in behind this and enjoy some competition amongst bay folk. We will also be having a 'make a scarecrow' activity. Save up your old clothes, shoes, etc, as we want them to be all recycled, pre-loved. Garden Club will provide the necessary stuffing, string, etc. More details in further bulletins.
If you wish to join our club please contact our President Daphne Henderson 482 2428 or Secretary 482 2896. Thank you.

Warrington Hall

by Lyn Hastie

Warrington Hall Committee members are delighted with our new landscaped area outside the hall. The locals have been very complimentary re the new look and we hear that our little neighbours at the playcentre are enjoying the new seats to watch the trains go by from. The hall now has a much more user-friendly appearance and we hope that you will stop and take a seat while having a catch-up rest after collecting the bills from the PO or just enjoy some peace and quiet in the new area. A huge thank you to Paul Ashford and his workers for doing such a professional and great-looking job. Thanks also to Andrew Noone for his support, and the donators and shifters of the rocks (you know who you are). We were very pleased to be able to save the lovely rhododendron which was planted by previous committee members and is flourishing.We hope if you are looking at doing some landscaping you will support Paul Ashford - see his ad in the News.

At our recent AGM we welcomed two new members and farewelled one. A big thank you to Ron Park who gave his time for 30 years to be on the committee. Thanks Ron. Our committee are as follows: President Ruth Porteous, Secretary Lyn Hastie, Treasurer Melissa Barnes; Committee: Rowena Park, Khan Beer, Susan Wigmore, Mike Fitzgerald, Christine Rainbow and Gilbert Carlyle.-Mike and Gilbert are also our wonderful lawn mowers and fix-it men. As you will have noticed, the hall and surrounds have been getting a tidy up and our latest project which we hope to get done over the holidays is to get the floor sanded and re-varnished. If you would like to use the hall please contact one of the above.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Arthur's 97th birthday

by Mandy Mayhem

On 19 September Reverend Arthur Templeton of Waitati celebrated his 97th birthday!
A gathering was held at his home on the following weekend with a small group of friends and family.
We had a lavish and delicious afternoon tea with the "best china" and good conversation.
With the power vested in me as cultural ambassador, mayoress and Pirate Queen (in true Waitati style), I decided to bestow on Arthur the title "Bishop of Blueskin" and presented him with a very regal purple and gold sash to mark the occasion. It is my intention to add the robe and mitre at future significant events. Long live the Bishop!

Warrington Surf Life Saving Club

Are you ready for the beach?

Warrington Surf Life Saving Club is back in action! We are inviting all "Blueskin Bayers and beyond" to join our busy team of life guards. We welcome all keen beach-goers to join life guarding. Anyone aged 14 and upwards; there is no age upper limit actually!

Gain first aid and VHF radio skills, rescue boat and surf swimming skills, surf and paddle board skills, learn to paddle canoes or skis, help out with motor maintenance, join our social events. Come along and find out all about us on our opening day Sunday 4 November 11am.

Joining fee for a lifeguard – only $25. Good value!

Opening day for all families and our junior surf training programme (Nippers) is Sunday November 4 at 11am. Come along for a sausage sizzle and a swim. Family subs are only $45 and give you the use of our clubrooms, showers and toilets, surf boards and lots more.

Swim between the flags at Warrington Beach: weekends from November 24 until March 3 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, and surf and rescue boat training. Join up now! No charge for the teenage holiday programme – just join the club for $25.

A BBQ lunch is held at noon every Sunday at the clubhouse for one and all – $1 per sausage, drinks for kids, mums and dads a cuppa. All beach users welcome to join us. This BBQ operates at the end of our "Nippers" junior training session and life guards roll out the BBQ to provide a snack for hungry swimmers and beach walkers.

Guy Fawkes celebration this year will be on Saturday 4 November with a community beach celebration and supervised, shared fireworks. See you on the beach at dusk… wear solid footwear and warm clothes. All welcome, life guards will be in attendance. Sausage sizzle, weather depending.

Warrington Surf Life Saving Club is proud to have the accomplished Doyle family as members. Carina Doyle has been selected for the World Championship Surf Life Saving Squad for 2012 – 2013. Carina also received University Blues for both surf lifesaving and swimming this year. Carina will represent New Zealand at the World Surf Lifesaving Championship in Adelaide in November.

A superb sporting family: brother Braden and sisters Imogen and Eilis have recently returned from the National Surf Life Saving Pool Champs with truckload of gold, silver and bronze medals. The Waikouaiti and Warrington communities are very proud of these fit and capable swimmers and surf life savers.

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

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!

Contact: Warrington Surf Life Saving Club



Spring into Spiritual Growth at

St Barnabas Anglican Church, Warrington

Spring Study Series 2012


Looking at religious experiences through the work of Sir Alister Hardy

In 1969, Sir Alister Hardy, on retiring as Professor of Zoology at Oxford University, asked members of the public to respond to this question: "Have you ever been aware of, or influenced by, a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, that is different from your everyday self?"  Forty-three years later, the The Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, is still receiving responses to that question.

There will be 5 sessions, held on successive Tuesdays, beginning 30 October from 7.30-9.00pm.  The first  session will be an introductory one, and the other four sessions will be case studies on particular types of religious experience. 

All sessions will be conducted at St Barnabas and will be presented by Rev Roger Barker.  The course is open to all interested people and there will be no charge.

For more information, or to register your interest in attending, please contact Roger on 465.7719.

For background information on Sir Alister Hardy visit

Friday, 19 October 2012

Blueskin Bay Library Relocates to Waitati School

by Louise Booth

The contract to build the new Blueskin Bay Library has been awarded to Cook Brothers Construction, and heralds the beginning of preparations that will bring the Blueskin district a much-needed, multipurpose community facility.

Cook Brothers Construction is a Dunedin based construction company. Cook Brothers are thrilled to have been awarded the contract. 'It's always nice to work on projects that mean so much to the community. We're looking forward to a start, and delivering a successful outcome for all involved. Our build team is lucky to have such a peaceful place to show their skills off this summer', says Blair McGill, regional manager of Cook Brothers Construction.

Work will commence in late October 2012 and should be completed by April 2013. As well as a new library the redevelopment includes a community meeting room, public toilet and foyer space.


Library staff have moved to their temporary library relocation to the Waitati School. The library now operates from a former class room on the school site and has 6000 items to browse from. The library hours are the same and Louise, Averil and Kate look forward to seeing all customers at Waitati School.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Spring into Spiritual Growth

Spring into Spiritual Growth at
St Barnabas Anglican Church, Warrington

Spring Study Series 2012

Looking at Religious Experiences through
The work of Sir Alister Hardy
In 1969, Sir Alister Hardy ,on retiring as Professor of Zoology at Oxford University, asked members of the public to respond to this question: "Have you ever been aware of, or influenced by, a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, that is different from your everyday self."  Forty-three years later, the The Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, is still receiving responses to that question.
There will be 5 sessions, held on successive Tuesdays beginning on 30 October from 7.30-9.00pm.  The first  session will be an introductory one, and the other four sessions will be case studies on particular types of religious experience. 
All sessions will be conducted at St Barnabas, and will be presented by Rev Roger Barker.  The course is open to all interested people, and there will be no charge.
For more information, or to register your interest in attending please contact Roger on 465.7719.
For background information on Sir Alister Hardy go to