Monday, 27 August 2012

POLICE REPORT: Shooting at Evansdale

by Constable Jon-Paul Tremain

On 24 August the Waikouaiti Police were called to Evansdale Glen after a member of the public reported hearing gun shots from the reserve. One man from Christchurch and four men from Dunedin were spoken to in relation to the incident.  Enquires are continuing regarding this matter.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Blueskin Energy Project

By Scott Willis

 

Home Energy Advice (a partnership between BRCT & Otago University's Energy Cultures Team) is available by telephone each Monday and Tuesday, call 482 2207 and through free home energy audits run by Chris Freear. To register for an energy audit visit: www.blueskinpower.co.nz or call the advice line. Do you want to reduce energy bills and make your home warmer and healthier? An energy audit with advice designed for your personal situation will go along way to achieving those goals.

The Solar Project, which began as a proposal to establish a 'Solar Buyers Syndicate' is now in the spotlight as well. Chris Le Breton is volunteering in the BRCT office one day a week to develop the Solar Project and to ensure a good fit between community need and solar opportunity. Make sure if you're calling the BRCT office for energy advice or solar information to specify which Chris you want to talk to – 'Imported Chris' or 'Kiwi Chris'.

In recent wind cluster developments, our core partner the Hikurangi Foundation with whom we're working very closely, has been helping secure top quality pro-bono support. Alongside their own expertise, Hikurangi have brokered very productive talks with Russel McVeigh (legal experts), GL Garrad Hassan (technical experts) and Woodward Investment Partners (Financing and Investment expertise), with returns in the technical area already.

The latest Wind Resource Assessment has already been completed by WindFlow Technology Limited and Garrad Hassan (NZ and the world's largest renewable energy consultancy) is now working on an independent review. Both are already recommending we move to the next stage in measurement, which is a higher wind measurement tower to confirm the synthesised data (i.e. what wind speeds are estimated at hub-height) and we're working to this end in parallel. There have also been some discussions about university supported Sodar wind appraisal, which is a technique that measures wind speed using sound waves.

Technical appraisal is crucial, but only part of the picture. To provide a secure investment proposal and to deliver social good outcomes, we also need to reduce the risk of the project. One of the key ways of doing this as community developers of a small-scale generation project will be to establish a long-term electricity supply contract. By being grid-connected we will be required to enter into market arrangements. We have begun exploring options here in discussions with the DCC and Port Otago Ltd, both of which are significant electricity consumers. Grid-connection means when the wind does not blow we will need the back-up of the grid with its battery bank of hydro storage. Meanwhile, the community feedback events have been delayed while technical analysis and financial modelling in particular are complete.

You can find out more by visiting us at www.blueskinpower.co.nz. Telephone enquiries can be made on 482 2048  (the wind cluster) and 482 2207 (energy advice).

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust

By Scott Willis


The BRCT is a charitable trust which seeks to improve the resilience of the Blueskin community in four key areas:

·         Energy

·         Food

·         Water

·         Community Resilience (including education and local economy)

The trust's work is funded out of a combination of grants, donations and contract work, and is hosted on Waitati School grounds by Waitati School. It is the dedicated commitment by paid and volunteer staff that allows BRCT to help build Blueskin's resilience. Our current projects include:

1.    Insulating the office – Novatherm ceiling and Novafloor underfloor insulation were recently donated to BRCT by Insulpro Ltd for the BRCT office, allowing us to walk the talk on energy efficiency and warm buildings. A big thank you to Insulpro, for the ongoing support of our efforts to build a more resilient community, and for support of the Blueskin Energy Project in particular. The BRCT office inhabitants keenly appreciate the donation of insulation.

2.    Blueskin Wind Cluster project see separate article

3.    Energy Advice, visit www.blueskinpower.co.nz – run by Chris Freear (Kiwi Chris)

4.    Solar Project, visit www.blueskinpower.co.nz – run by Chris Le Breton (Imported Chris)

The Chris's are in the office Mondays and Tuesdays.

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. To find out about more about BRCT talk with trustees or contact the trust office (tel: 482 2048).

BRCT trustees and officers are Ross Johnston, Chris Skellett, PJ Clarke, Tony Wilson, Gerry Carrington and Kate Parker, with Jeanette Fitzsimons as the trust's patron. You can also find out more about the trust at: http://www.blueskinpower.co.nz/.

The BRCT AGM date has been set for Friday 19 October, from 7.30pm in the Waitati Hall. All welcome.

 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Blueskin On Show

By Mark Brown and Mark Dickson

 

The A & P Show Committee's next annual show day will be held on 13 April 2013.

We invites 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 early notice is 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 or Mark to register your early interest.


Mark Brown 482 2833, Mark Dickson 482 2504


Blueskin Garden Club

By Lyn Hastie
 
Blueskin Garden Club members met recently at the Blueskin Cafe. Over coffee, tea and cake Mark Brown and David Sumpter explained how to categorise rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias etc for our spring flower show.
Questions were answered on how to grow and care for the plants. We all came away feeling very much enlightened on the subject.
The plants enjoy a feed of 1dsp of Epsom salts and a handful of dried blood; they also like pine needles. Thanks Mark and Dave for an interesting evening.
Our Spring Flower Show will be held on the weekend of the 22 and 23 September. See our schedule for further info. We look forward to seeing lots of exhibits from the Blueskin Playcentre, Waitati School, Warrington Playcentre and Warrington School.
We have included some different sections for the children to take part in and hope that some of them will bring along their manual creations for us all to see.
The last weekend of September there is a trip to Lawrence planned to see the daffodils and also the national daffodil show at the Edgar Centre.
In October some members are off to the Maniototo to look at gardens and places of interest. We are also planning to support the Blueskin A&P Society at their show in 2013. Some ideas are spud in a bucket, heaviest pumpkin, make your own scarecrow on the day, vege basket, produce and baking. Watch out for more info as it comes to hand.
Next year our club will be celebrating 20 years. We are a busy group and are out and about and all over the place. If you would like to join us and get to know some of the locals (you don't need to be a gardener), feel free to contact one of our members or come along to join us at the Flower Show.
Contact: Lyn Hastie, 482 2896, Lyne Carlyle 482 2822,Daphne Henderson 482 2428.
 


Hall available for hire

By Lyn Hastie
 
Warrington War Memorial Hall was built after World War 2. Monies were raised through donations from each household in the area and the hall was opened in 1957.
It is used regularly for tae kwon do, ballet and indoor bowls. It is available at other times for many different functions eg parties, school activities, family get togethers, weddings etc.
Recently the walls have been all re painted, while
in the kitchen has new lino and a fridge/freezer. The cleaner has new facilities and there is a new storage area.
Next on our agenda is to have the frontage landscaped and made more user friendly.
We are a small group of locals who manage the hall and would love to have some new folk come on board to assist us. If you are new to the area you may like to join us to get to know some folk in Warrington or you may have a bit of spare time to help the committee.
For more information on joining the committee or using the hall please phone our chairperson Ruth Porteous 4822849 or secretary Lyn Hastie 4822896.
 


OPINION: How far are we prepared to compromise?

by Derek Onley


Thank you Jeanette for your considered and polite response to my concerns (August Blueskin News, p.30). I am pleased to see that you 'would much prefer that a different partner for Windflow Technology (WF) had been found' and, yes, we all make compromises, often unavoidably, because of the sort of society we live in.

 

My opposition to the military has been long held, though it comes from a safe and peripheral association compared with that of many people throughout the world, including my parents and relatives. As a boy in southern Britain, I played among bomb sites left over from World War 2. I demonstrated against Vietnam and nuclear weapons as a student, and looked down the barrel of a machine gun in Salazar's Portugal, while staying in villages where all but the wealthiest, privileged young men were absent, fighting to retain control of African colonies. I abhor war and especially those who profit from it. I'm all for making their life as difficult as possible.

 

I am all for severing all ties with them, be they economic, political, pragmatic or, come to think of it, sporting. There is an unsavoury irony in building and profiting from wind turbines for US military bases in countries like Iraq, invaded by the US for the oil and now supported in their permanent occupation of that country with 'sustainable' wind energy. I would prefer to see the military have to pay vast amounts of money for increased oil prices. I would prefer they became less and less sustainable in all respects rather than more sustainable in their ability to occupy someone else's country.

 

I'm all for protesting about any connection with them at any opportunity, and I find it unfortunate that it was me rather than the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) who instigated discussion about Windflow's financial problems and their subsequent solution. BRCT claims to be part of a ground-up, grass-roots solution to the environmental, financial and societal problems that we face and as such, it needs to ensure that discussion and decision making on its activities are open, informed and democratic. If I had been made aware of Windflow's decision then I would have proposed that BRCT withdraw from its accord with the company through Our Wind Ltd (OWL) or, at the very least, protest loudly about its association with weapons manufacturer General Dynamics. Oh, and insist that the CEO Geoff Henderson take a history lesson or two.

 

So at the risk of over-extending the metaphor, my line is drawn in a very different, less pragmatic position. To put it bluntly, I would not consider saving a company, be it small, greenish, innovative and local, by associating in any way with or profiting from military activities.

 

But is that to say, as Jeanette implies, that we should give up?  Of course not. But are there alternatives? The fact that a relatively small local company building wind turbines for New Zealand conditions has to seek capital from a large overseas corporate is essentially a condemnation of the financial system (read 'capitalist' if you've ever heard of that shunned, discredited leftie Karl Marx). It strongly suggests to me that it is time to seriously look at alternative ways of organising and financing production. Immersed in the New Zealand, dare I say it, right wing, economic beliefs (note the religious word), it seems almost impossible for anyone to realise that there are alternative approaches out there. Given the state of world banking and the opinions espoused, amongst many others, by a recent visitor to Waitati, Nicole Foss, one has to seriously question whether an injection of capital from any source is likely to be a long-term solution. Yet another reason to urgently explore other means of facilitating production. Something perhaps that BRCT could usefully put its energies into?

 

Let's not deceive ourselves, for all its local, community-focused, renewable, sustainable attributes, Windflow's turbine manufacture is still a big, high tech undertaking. A $7 million loss is big money and the need to raise a quick $2 million is a big ask.. It would take someone on the New Zealand median wage of $27,500 per year – and remember half of New Zealanders earn less than that – over 36 years to earn just $1 million. One has to wonder if technologies that require such large sums of money can be considered green and sustainable. Serious attention to the efficient use and conservation of energy, and dispersed, small-scale power production at site of use, for all the compromises involved, may well be a better option worth exploring.

 

At the risk of being dismissed as an away-with-the-fairies, aged hippie (a very different category to Jeanette's Saul Alinsky but the same era), I can think of another saying from the sixties, 'Small is beautiful', and on a darker note suggest you listen to Bob Dylan's Masters of War. If you've gone off Bob after his Christmas offering, Pearl Jam do a pretty good version.

 

Stop press:  In July, after Palmerston North City Council received over 1000 complaints about noise, the Environment Court found 'Te Rere Hau wind farm has been operating in such a way that the noise effects at local, residential locations are considerably greater than most predicted in the application'. Te Rere Hau operates Windflow 500 turbines. The turbines may not be the problem and hopefully we will get to hear about and discuss this in an open, informed and democratic manner.

The Brown Creeper

by Derek Onley


Everyone's heard of kiwi. Most people will have seen a fantail. Many will have heard, if not seen, a morepork. Mention kaka and robin to anyone who has been out in the tamest of New Zealand bush and they will know what you are talking about. But ask if they've seen the brown creepers and even some of the keenest, most committed Orokonui volunteers will look at you blankly.

 

Strange, because around Dunedin, not only are they found in almost any bit of remnant bush bigger than Carisbrook, however scruffy, but they are also happy in pine plantations. (Now there's an idea: let's plant Carisbrook into lowland native forest.)  They are up in the low bush along the tussock edge in the Silverpeaks, and down in the strip of pine forest behind the beach at Waikouaiti. Though the odd wandering one might turn up in your garden for a few weeks in autumn, it is true that they haven't taken a liking to the suburbs and don't pile onto your bird feeders like silvereyes, but they do occur in the posher parts of the Dunedin town belt and there are lots in the Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

 

Not only are they common but they also tick all the other environmental and conservational boxes. They are endemic; not something that can be said for the better known fantail and morepork, both of which occur in Australia and the Pacific. And, furthermore, they occur only in the South Island -- a restricted range by any global conservation criteria. They are part of a distinctive, long-isolated and old New Zealand bird family that includes the North Island whitehead and the endangered mohua, and though they are able to adapt to a certain extent, they are essentially a forest and shrubland species, and as such in an agricultural country their habitat is never likely to be entirely secure.

 

So why are they not better known? Maybe it's the name -- 'brown creeper' hasn't exactly got a romantic or exciting ring about it. PeopIe have been heard to say: 'I'll just go up the valley to listen out for moreporks', or even 'I think I'll go for a walk up the Silverstream and look for robins'.  But brown creeper? It conjures up a little drab, mousy, unexciting bird that clings closely to tree trunks in impenetrable thickets, which is exactly the lifestyle of its American namesake, known in Europe as a tree creeper. New Zealand brown creepers are, in contrast, perky, active, busy little birds that bounce around, hang upside down and investigate every crevice, cranny and hole in a kanuka before scurrying off to the next, all the time calling to and yelling at their mates in the flock. Agreed, up the top of that kanuka, they do look brown -- few sparrow-sized birds wouldn't -- and yes, even close up you could still claim that the back, tail and wings are brown, but there's definitely some bright chestnut mixed in. The face is a clean, grey mask with a dash of white behind the eye, and the undersides, at the risk of spicing things up a little too much, could be described as pale cinnamon.

 

The Maori name pipipi doesn't help the image much, being but a somewhat unadventurous rendition of the call, though it does suggest that they are noisy, as indeed they are, constantly chattering in a scratchy, nasal way. Both males and females sing, often in a duet. The varied male song has been described as 'a phrase including slurs, musical whistles and harsh notes – chi-roh-ree-roh-ree-ree'! I suggest you would be better to listen to a recording or go out with someone who knows what they're talking about.

 

Brown creepers spend much of their lives in flocks; 20 or so is the usual size in the Orokonui. Nesting pairs defend territories but there are observations of other birds helping to feed the young.  Koekoea, long-tailed cuckoos, four  times as long and 10 times as heavy, lay their eggs in brown creepers' nests, and with the demise of all but a few mohua, brown creepers are now the commonest host in the South Island. But koekoea also require decent stands of mature native forest and haven't been recorded nesting in the Dunedin area for many years.

 

There are lots of brown creepers in the Orokonui. The regular bird surveys have found pre-fence averages per five minute count were the highest for any species: 2.5 per count in spring compared with 2.0 for their nearest rivals, bellbirds. Four years of fence have seen bellbird counts overtake those of brown creepers (around 1.0 compared with 4.0 for bellbirds last autumn) and there is an indication that brown creeper numbers are actually falling within the sanctuary while outside in the control areas, east over the Mopanui ridge and at Volco, counts remain much as they always were.

 

Surprising little birds, brown creepers.

Derek's Garden Diary

by Derek Onley

 

Over the winter months it has been a bit of a struggle to find enough to write about to fill half a page of the Blueskin News, and a relaxed attitude to gardening -- 'slack' maybe if you weren't feeling so generous -- seemed to prevail. There are no more excuses; September is the month you have to get out there.

 

Mid- to end of September you can try planting peas, carrots, spring onions, radishes, white turnips, beetroot, and various small-leaved salad mixes like mesclun. Plant seeds of these directly into the garden.  Don't be tempted to buy those little containers of pea seedlings; you need hundreds of peas to get a good feed. Plant them barely a couple of centimetres apart in a shallow trench the width of a spade and be prepared to support them with sticks or netting, for a taller variety will be far more productive than dwarf types, most of which were developed for machine harvesting in paddocks. Pre-soaking peas between a couple of sheets of damp newspaper until they produce roots helps them to get a head start on slugs and is also a useful way of checking if those old packets of seed are still worth sowing. 'Onward' is a good older variety. Plant out plants of lettuce, silver beet, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage (you should have some of these sitting ready on your sunniest window sill) and sow a few more seeds in containers so as to keep the supply going over summer.

 

In fact, you can plant almost any vegetable that doesn't hint at the Mediterranean, though wait a few months longer to plant leeks, parsnips and purple sprouting broccoli, otherwise they will be ready well before winter at a time when they will have to compete with the pleasures of tomatoes, courgettes and summer salads.

 

Despite what the planting guides on your seed packets might say, don't get carried away by a couple of fine spring days. Forget the zucchini, scallopini and beans. New Zealand is a long country and if you travel south from Auckland you will be one third of the way to Antarctica by the time you reach Dunedin. I get the impression that most writers of the backs of seed packets have their head office in Taranaki or South Auckland, either that or they are horticultural optimists. No bad thing, but down here such optimism all too often ends in tears.

 

Not that there won't be a few tears shed over September-sown carrots and the like. In my garden last September there were three days of 20 degrees or more, an afternoon of sleet and seven nights of frost including one on the last day of the month. Not exactly guaranteed growing conditions.

 

Strangely enough, at the time when spring is getting going, the vegetable garden is at its least productive. Leeks are sending up flower stalks so their centres become tough and almost inedible Any left-over carrots and parsnips are similarly hard-hearted and hairy with it. Winter brassicas, kale, sprouts and cabbages will all be trying to flower, though you can forestall their procreational ambitions by picking off the young flower shoots and eating them as you would broccoli. They will beat you in the end and you will have a garden full of dancing yellow cruciferous flowers and attendant cabbage white butterflies.


So why not consider gathering seed from all this fecundity?  Some things are relatively simple. You can leave the likes of parsley, rocket and coriander to get on with it themselves. You don't even need to collect the seed as seedlings will pop up throughout the garden. Just don't get too enthusiastic about weeding. Others like parsnips, carrots, silverbeet and beetroot can be left in the ground for a further season and will produce tall flowers and seeds by late summer. As long as they are not F1 hybrids they will usually 'come true' -- produce offspring much the same as their parents. F1 hybrids being first generation crosses will rarely do so. Nor will anything that is closely related to and likely to be fertilised by a similar cultivated or wild form growing close by. In order to get good seeds from brassicas you need to ensure that only one type and often one variety, be it cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts or broccoli, flowers at one time. Otherwise they will cross pollinate and much of the progeny will look like their open leafy ancestor on the sea cliffs of Europe. The onion family can be equally as promiscuous and appear to be particularly fond of onion weed (Allium triquetrum), the small white-flowered, snowdrop-like flower that smells strongly of sour garlic when you walk on it. According to Hugh Wilson, the bulbs are edible but the resulting straggly crosses are unlikely to sustain you through the winter. Maybe I was lucky but I have grown good leeks from my own seed and, like a lot of seeding vegetables, the globular flowers on a metre or more of stem are impressive and attract lots of bees.

 

Do be prepared though to sacrifice a fair amount of space. Seeding parsnips can grow 2 metres tall, parsley plants can spread that far and many brassicas (cabbagey things) can be mistaken for shelter belts. Small plot owners beware.  The solution to the promiscuity and space is to get together with your friends, so to speak, and each leave one or two different, unrelated vegetables to go to seed.

OROKONUI ECOSANCTUARY

by Sue Hensley

The recent prolonged rains have generated a large amount of clean-up
work, although in general the ecosanctuary fence and tracks have stood
up pretty well with no major problems arising.

The major work of adding more monitoring lines in order to be able to
deal with mice more successfully has recently been completed, and the
first round of monitoring this enlarged system has been run. On the
fantastic side, results showed no rat footprints (the last one being
detected in May 2011) and on the expected side were large numbers of
mouse footprints. A programme of trapping and poisoning is now
underway. Initial trapping on the trust land (the top, more open area)
caught 160 very fat mice (no competition and little predation). Maybe
this is what the pair of falcon that has been seen in the area has
been subsisting on.

The four juvenile kaka that have been housed in the aviary over the
past few months are now at large in the sanctuary. It was wonderful to
watch their aviary antics, their social behaviour and listen to their
many and varied vocalisations. We wish them well in their new wild
lives.

Another new face at Orokonui is making a mark from his vantage point
on the grassland area. Tane Mahuta, the forest guardian, has been coaxed
out of a huge block of macrocarpa by local carver Alex Whittaker. It
is an impressive piece and Orokonui gives a big thank you to Alex who
has worked out in the field in some very inclement weather and has
given of his time generously.

Details of band nights and other events can be found on
www.orokonui.org.nz or on our Facebook page. The visitor centre and
cafĂ© are open daily 9.30am – 4.30pm.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

BLUESKIN YOUTH CENTRE ASSOCIATION

by Paul Sirota
 

The Blueskin Youth Centre Association (BYCA) will hold its AGM at 6:30pm on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The AGM will be hosted at the Waitati Fire Station. All are welcome to attend.

 

Following the successful completion of the Bland Park sports facility, BYCA attracted funding from the Lottery Grants Board to conduct a community needs assessment and subsequent feasibility study for a project for the Blueskin Bay community. BYCA employed an independent consultancy, Boulder Planning Ltd, who engaged with community stakeholder groups in the area and asked for ideas for a community amenity or service. Analysis of the community needs assessment (available at the library for perusal) indicated that a community walkway or increased development of Bland Park were the most supported ideas forwarded by the community groups. Hence, these ideas were then recommended for further investigation. BYCA then directed Boulder Planning to conduct a feasibility study for each of the recommendations (also available at the library).

The walkway recommendation was adopted by BYCA as a focus for development and the preferred route has now been identified and marked out with a GPS. The Waitati walkway will begin/end at Bland Park due to ease of parking and follows the Waitati Stream into the estuary between the DoC wetland sanctuary and the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. The walkway continues along the bush-clad bank near the shore of the estuary finally exiting at Chelivode St. with a 5-10min walk back down Doctors Point Rd to Bland Park car park. The walkway will be approximately 1.5m wide and 3-4km long, and all of the landholders, including DoC, have given their permission for the construction of a walkway to proceed. Gorse and underbrush will need to be removed and a path cut for the wood-edged, compacted gravel walkway, so there will be plenty of opportunity for members of the community to help out with its construction if you would like to. We look forward to bringing another great amenity to Blueskin Bay that will encourage the youth, families and greater community to get outdoors and enjoy their natural environment.

WAITATI OPEN ORCHARDS

by Hilary Rowley

I measured 100mm of rain in my rain gauge for last week (Orokonui); that's ridiculously wet. The Orokonui Road riverside orchard planting got very wet, but didn't flood luckily.  All this dampness is prime breeding for fungal diseases, which is why this area is so borderline for any fruit trees affected by leaf curl. I had always thought it was OK to spray at this time of year with copper oxychloride, which is counted as organic, as long as it is not overused, but in the world of biodynamics it is not OK, because it kills the soil micro-organisms, which  are a vital part of the soil health system.

I have been doing some reading and listening, and it seems there is no perfect answer.  My bets are on spraying the fruit trees now with a solution of seaweed.  One recipe I saw was for 1 cup of molasses, 1 cup of seaweed powder, and 1 cup of milk powder (milk can be used to spray roses for fungal diseases), dissolve in 1 gallon of water and use as a spray. I am guessing that the molasses will make it stick.  Other possible sprays are:
  • a mixture of baking soda, soap, cooking oil and water... well I suppose it might manage to coat the tree;
  • or how about spraying 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar mixed with a gallon of water -- oh hang on, that one is acidic, and the previous one is alkaline; 
  • another is to use 1 cup of chamomile flowers to a litre of water as a spray.
I have not tested any of these sprays, so it is all very experimental.  I am just going to use a seaweed solution regularly, as I am not sure how to make it stick, and last longer.  Another method is don't plant peaches and nectarines, or plant strong varieties. Our Blackboy peach is thriving, while the more modern varieties are struggling with leaf curl.  I think, though, that you are better off with a living tree as they are expensive to buy, so spray with copper until you have the problem in hand, then be really vigilant with the superduper organic methods after that, and be really tidy and burn all your prunings, and even rake up the diseased leaves -- oh, and did I mention mulch? Comfrey is apparently good, and I think seaweed is amazing around fruit trees.

As for pruning, it is not yet too late to prune, it can be done right through until late September. At least that way you can see what is alive and what is dead.  Pruning later also reduces the chance of diseases getting into the cuts, which may be because they heal faster, and theoretically it is not so damp (ha ha).  It is also a good time for planting fruit trees, though WOO is not doing that this year, as we already have enough fruit trees to take care of.
I know it all seems like such a lot of work to look after fruit trees, but they do reward us so generously.  Bite into a deliciously sweet, crisp, juicy apple you have grown yourself, and it will all be worthwhile.

WAIKOUAITI COAST COMMUNITY BOARD

by Gerard Collings, Chairperson


Weather has delayed the completion of the Harvey Street foot path, which will now provide a safe walkway between the township and the Waitati School.  We are advised that the Harvey Street water main renewal is now complete.  The tender price for the work was $258,786.54 (including $25,000 contingency); the final contract price was $232,000.  Tenders for the extension of the Blueskin Library closed in late August; commencement of the works will be dependent on the acceptability of the tenders.


The Dunedin City Council has confirmed the allocation of the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board's discretionary fund for the 2012/13 financial year.  Funding application forms are available through DCC's website or our Governance Support Officer (details below).


At a recent meeting with NZ Transport Agency representatives they confirmed they are considering some vegetation clearance at the Waitati SH1 corner.  The purpose of the clearance is to improve visibility on the corner especially in the vicinity of the store, final details will be confirmed at the board's September meeting which the NZTA representatives intend to attend.  NZTA are also considering a signage request from the DCC relating to the Coastal Scenic Route signage for SH1 at Karitane, Evansdale, and Waitati turnoffs.  The placement of signage is critical to the long-term promotion of the scenic route.

DCC's draft Dunedin Social Wellbeing Strategy is currently out for consultation; submissions close 21 September.  Copies of the draft strategy and other  DCC documents out for consultation are available from the council and through council's website http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/currently-consulting-on

 

The Waikouaiti Coast Community Board's next meeting is at 5.30pm, 26 September 2012, at the East Otago Events Centre, Waikouaiti.  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 (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.

 

Board Contacts

Home

Work

Mobile

email

The Board

 

 

 

wccb.public@dcc.govt.nz

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

 

 

 

PURAKAUNUI SCHOOL

by Bridget Davidson 

 

We are having a great time studying SPACE. We are learning all about planets, the moons and sun, orbits, and how our time system is based on how this spaceship called Earth travels. We have visited the StarLab at the Otago Museum. We all loved going into the giant blow-up balloon where we lay in the dark and watched the stars and the solar system projected on the wall of the bubble. We also made a comet using dry ice. Thanks to Kim, our educator there, who gave a wonderful  commentary.


We enjoyed the Olympics and participated in our own 'Little Olympics' with our four small cluster schools – Karitane, Flag Swamp, Macraes Moonlight and us. We all wore the colours of the different countries we represented and participated in games such as group juggling, target shooting, rowing, relays and shuttle run at the Waikouaiti Events Centre.  We are in training now for the cross-country and orienteering later in August. We are already training by running along our gravel road each morning.


Don't forget to enter our quiz night on Friday 14 September. There will be great prizes and raffles.