Monday, 2 December 2013


by Hilary Rowley


I’ve never seen a plum tree in anything but rude health. They seem to be tough and industrial fruit trees, but one of our plum trees is sick as a dog. Its leaves are all eaten and rolled up and it looks almost like leaf curl, but close inspection revealed it was some kind of insect infestation. It turns out other people have this problem too – it’s nice to know you’re not alone in these things. The advice was spray with pyrethrum, so I did. One week on and there is new and healthy growth and most of the sick leaves have fallen off. I think a weekly, evening spray with pyrethrum should do the trick, until the tree has its healthy leaves established again.

Gooseberries are about to become bird food, so if you have a bush, and want to eat its fruit, cover it now. The same goes for strawberries. Red currants, raspberries and cherries are usually ready around Christmas and black currants a little later, so keep a close eye on developments.  If the birds get a taste of your precious fruit before you get it covered they will be a lot harder to keep out.

The elderflowers are flowering fully at the time of writing, so there will probably be still plenty around when you read this for making delicious elderflower cordial and gorgeous, fizzy elderflower champagne. The latter is only mildly alcoholic, and sends your children into a pleasant sleepiness… without any damage to their health.  Recipes are readily available on the internet and at the library.

Sometimes you see something which needs doing in a public place, and think to yourself ‘mmm, I must do something about that’, but that's as far as it gets. When I see that someone has done one of those things, without prompting, and probably without thanks, they are really worthy of accolades. I can think of several examples in Waitati alone. For instance: the person who weed-eated around the Riverside orchard patch in Orokonui Road, the person who mows all the tracks through the scrub at Doctors Point reserve, the person/people who made the incredible walking track around Orokonui Estuary, whoever planted wild flowers on the road verge on Harvey street east of the bridge, and the person who mows the grass verge there. I bet there are heaps more. On behalf of all of us, thank you.



by Jackie Hughes


We have really been enjoying the term so far at Warrington Playcentre. Of note we have been enjoying time spent outside on the climbing frame and in the sand pit. The children have been watching with interest as the adults have made a start on a new raised vegetable and flower garden. It will be great for the children to be able to observe the developments in their garden and for them to witness nurture and enjoy the produce.

We want to acknowledge the passing on of Mr Gilbert Carlyle. He was a great neighbour and friend to us and it is with pleasure we know he liked to walk our Wildthings garden. Our thoughts are with Lyne and family.

We have recently been doing some fundraising to keep up with playcentre running costs. We want to acknowledge and thank Rose and Jeremy Laurenson, who donated some peonies which have been sold, with the proceeds going to the playcentre. Thank you also to Kathryn and Bryan Clarke who supported our fundraising so generously at Warrington Market. We have a raffle which is going to be run over the coming weeks, again to raise funds for our running costs. There are some really great prizes including tickets for the Speights's Brewery Tour, cookbooks and apparel from Speight's, a gorgeous food basket donated by Heather at Blueskin General Store and vouchers for the Blueskin Nursery Cafe, amongst other goodies, donated by Clare at the Blueskin Nursery. Many thanks to our contributors. Thank you to the people of Blueskin Bay for your anticipated support with this fundraiser and good luck because it is well worth winning.

We had a lovely celebration this week, in dress up, to celebrate Leon turning five. We wish you well Leon for all the great things in store for you at school. We farewell Debz, Leon's Mum, who has been a brilliant treasurer and wish to thank her for all the hard work she has done.

We will be enjoying our Christmas party at playcentre 18 December, during session time. If you are a friend of the Warrington Playcentre, past or present, or you are interested in coming along, please join us. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Warrington Playcentre is open Wednesday and Friday 9.15-12.15. Last session this year is Wednesday, 18 December. 


by Heidi Hayward


I can hardly believe that it is Term 4 already!  We had a very busy time last term, highlights including our annual Y6-8 ski camp, ‘Stars on Stage’ at the Regent Theatre, and the Otago Maori and Polynesian Festival. The children are back looking bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for one final term before a long and well earned break over summer. 

I am absolutely delighted to report that our roll has finally stabilised enough for the Ministry of Education to return our third teacher, at least until the end of 2014. This allows us some flexibility in staffing and the programmes we offer. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, financially and/or morally while we rebuilt our lovely little school.

This term we continue with our annual Master Chef event. All senior children (Years 5-8) will get 90 minutes to cook a main course and a dessert at some time this term. I know planning has started and I have seen some delicious-looking recipes set aside for trialling – move over Jamie Oliver!

We also have a couple of team-building outdoor education trips planned this term for both senior and junior children, along with athletics days, tennis, golf and futsal coaching, the Life Education Bus and prize-giving. I'm sure the term will fly by.

Over the Christmas break some major developments will be undertaken to improve the front of the school, and provide better access...and then we'll start all over again in 2014! Please feel free to pop in anytime – we love having visitors and sharing our place with the community. 


by Jenn Shulzitski


This month at the Waitati Playcentre, we are connecting with some of the best parts of summer.  We enjoyed an outing to the beach, with sea creatures and the ocean spray as our guides.  We cared for lambs newly born.  We made pizzas, feasting on the veggies from our local Waitati School garden.  We painted outside with our hands and feet, and we got very, very wet.  How important to celebrate these long days of summer! 

With plans to go on the Seasider train (*special Playcentre rates) and the Dunedin Botanic Garden, our tamariki are being exposed to a variety of new experiences and challenges each term.  Our centre offers opportunities for each family to talk about what is important for their children.  (In this way, we can support an individual family’s culture, values, and desires.)  Personally, I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many gifts for my wh?nau.

We are also grateful for the community support at our fundraising events.  Many, many thanks (huge thanks!) go out to all of the lovely people who supported a festive and successful Casino Night.  You helped us to raise $1800 for Waitati Playcentre. 

With everyone making their own contribution, our parent cooperative is growing and healthy.  Thanks to everyone who makes it better every day.  You can stop by anytime for a visit, Monday-Wednesday 9:15am-12:15pm.  


Waitati Film Wins National Award

by Peter Harris


A film about Waitati has reached the finals of a national film-making competition. Dunedin teenagers Naomi Ashby-Ryan and Ruby Harris created the short film Free Pile which has been chosen as one of the winners in the ‘Outlook for Someday’ national film competition. There were 153 entries.

While which of the 20 awards they have won is yet to be announced, Ruby Harris is excited to be in the finals for the second year. “Last year we made a film on the Warrington market and were thrilled to be flown to Auckland for the prize-giving. We never dreamed we would win again this year,” she says.

Free Pile is about Waitati’s old bus shelter where people leave unwanted clothes and others can just come and pick them up for free. Ruby says, “We liked the idea of highlighting how such a simple idea can offer a way to get rid of clutter for some, while offering others the excitement of rummaging through the pile and finding something that suits them.”  

The competition has a sustainability theme and is open to film-makers under 24. The two teenagers are encouraging supporters to vote for their film in the ‘People's Choice’ category. The link to vote is

“We hope people enjoy our quirky little film and vote for it,” she says. “To win that category as well would be amazing.”