Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Blueskin Power

By Scott Willis

The summer holiday is over, school is back and so are we! 2013 is going to be a big year for energy and for the Blueskin Wind Cluster project in particular. There's also activity in making solar opportunities available (see the Solar Tube) and BRCT is also collaborating with Presbytarian Support Otago to provide some Energy workshops in neighbouring community Pine Hill.

Over summer I've been incredibly humbled by the enthusiasm and generosity shown by not just Blueskin residents, but from people all around the country, who've responded so strongly to our first ever crowd-sourcing campaign.

The PledgeMe campaign was designed to raise hard cash to raise the 30 metre wind testing tower on Porteous Hill – the critical next step in the Blueskin Wind Cluster project. Through the PledgeMe web platform, we sought pledges that had to be made by credit card. This presented some minor challenges as a number of people quite sensibly do not use credit cards and yet where there's a will there's always a way!

To make matters a little nail-biting, PledgeMe only collects pledges if the goal is met, and it seemed like a lofty target. And yet, over 60 days people have responded, and added their pledges to the pile each according to their capacity. It was ambitious, with a goal of $8200, and as I write we have seven days left and are only $285 short! Watch this space!

Alongside pledges, people were offered rewards, and the magnanimous offers of goods and services from talented Blueskin locals just made this campaign. My deepest thanks to: Paul Cardno, Ara Nokomis, Leo LaDell and Jenna Packer for the incredible wealth and variety of rewards in the campaign, and for your incredible generosity in donating so much to this effort. The rewards provided an enticing offer of something in return for a pledge, and a neat way of demonstrating a transition between the formal economy and the gift economy.

When the deadline closes at the end of January, the process for getting the 30 metre tower installed will begin in earnest. Tristan Port from Oceana Gold has been working with us and has donated dead-man anchors that we need to get in the ground to raise and anchor the tower. As soon as the paper work is complete these anchors will go in and then the process of installation and data collection can begin. The information the tower will provide is critical for a thorough evaluation of the site's generation potential and for shaping the development pathway.

Visit us at:, or at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati (on Waitati School grounds). Telephone enquiries can be made on 4822048  (the Wind Cluster) and 4822207 (Energy Advice) and for any information about the solar project email Chris Le Breton at



Lucas, Ben and Lucan help organise dead-man anchor components"

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley

Purakaunui builder Tom Leckie led the team that constructed a beautiful tuatarium for Orokonui. Old power poles lying in the sanctuary (carried from aviary to site by manpower!) and left over macrocarpa slabs cut in 2008 were used, making it very much a recycled and local production.

The two four-year old tuatara from the Southland Museum seem to be enjoying life in this semi-open enclosure and can often be seen sunbasking at their tunnel entrances.

The lone takahe that has taken up residence in the swamp in the lower valley has visited people either walking to the bottom of the valley or sometimes those walking up to the fence.

It is planned that a female named Monty currently on Mana Island will join Quammen in mid Feb, and it is hoped they will become established in the grassland area inside the fence near the Visitor Centre.

Field staff were very happy going into the Christmas break as the December round of 1400 monitoring tunnels revealed just one with pest footprints and that was a mouse. Unfortunately, since then a couple of problems have raised the spectre of possible breaches so everyone is again on high alert for evidence of mammal pests.

Dunedin artist Jenny Longstaff is exhibiting her art works inspired by nature, 'Worlds Within', in the Orokonui Visitor Centre until February 17. She will be talking about her work at 1pm on Feb 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Information on this and other events can be found on or on our Facebook page. The Visitor Centre and cafĂ© are open daily 9.30 – 4.30pm.


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 "".

Blueskin Garden Club

By Lyn Hastie
Blueskin Garden Club celebrated the end of year by having a progressive dinner at three homes of members from Mt Cargill Road. Lots of chatting and good food was enjoyed by members and their spouses. A big thankyou to the folk who hosted us.
Spud in a Container Competition. See our advert for details. So far 50 spuds have been purchased from the Blueskin  Nursery. The last day to purchase these is Waitangi Day - February 6. After that it will be too late to have them ready for the A&P Show on April 13. Thank you to everyone who has purchased a spud and good luck to you all. Don't forget the prize money is 2x $100, 2x $50, 2x $25 for heaviest crop and heaviest potato.
Our first get-together this year is to be held on Saturday February 16. Meet at the gates to Seacliff (Russell Road), 11am. Bring your own lunch and drink. We will have a tour of the remaining buildings and grounds. If you would like to join us but are not a member of the club please come along. Any queries to Lyn 482 2896 or Daphne 482 2428.

Proposed Development in Waitati

 By Jason Ross

The DCC has just issued a Public Notice of application for resource consent to subdivide 13 McLachlan St (being the paddocks between McLachlan St and Brown St/Doctors Point Rd) into 4 new rural-residential sites. Within the current Dunedin City District Plan this is a non-complying activity as the land is zoned rural and if it goes ahead would set a precedent for this sort of development within the community.
The wider community is encouraged to make submissions about this proposal which are due by February 18. Copies of the Public Notice are available from the Blueskin Bay Library or through the DCC website
Some residents have expressed interest in a community meeting to discuss the application and will advertise on the Harvey St blackboard when a date is confirmed.

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 "".

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


By Katie Bourne & Tania Turei

The second family-friendly Waitati Music Festival is on Saturday February 16.
Bland Park on Almond Street is a great venue, providing space for all the family.
The stage area will be kicking out sounds from bands including Skulldubbery (reggae), Manthyng (dance), Scurvy Dogs (punk), Kill!Martha (progressive ukulele rock & rap), The FarqVards (The Pixies!), Superglue (rock & blues), The Osbournes (Celtic fusion), Gravemind (punk), Del, Carl Stevens and PKD. DJ Bent Coppa will be smoothing out the gaps.
There is a skate park, tennis courts and soccer pitch if you are feeling sporty, and a dedicated kids space for the little ones with face painting, entertainment and toys.
It's only $5 and kids are free! Bring a picnic or enjoy the ice cream van, coffee and food stalls. If you have a stall idea you would be welcome to join in, the more the merrier and it is a great fundraising opportunity!
A grant from Creative Communities NZ has meant we can work with Pro-event to ensure the sound quality will be fantastic! All we need is sunshine to make a perfect day!

Solar News Update

By Chris Le Breton, Solar Project Manager (Volunteer), BRCT


The Blueskin Solar Syndicate now has nearly 40 households signed up!

We have received back responses to our call for tender (December 2012) to supply (i) solar photo-voltaic equipment and (ii) solar water-heating [thermal] equipment to the solar syndicate members.

A small group of us is considering the finer details of each offer to make recommendations to the first meeting of the solar syndicate on Tuesday February 4 at 7.30pm at Waitati Hall. (Members only, please RSVP)

It looks at the moment as if there are three broad options to consider: (i) A community solution; (ii) Installing and operating via a new social enterprise; or (iii) Installing independent units.

It isn't too late to join the Blueskin Solar Syndicate either! Another 10 people would bring us to close to 50 households, beating down average prices further! Email if you wish to join the Blueskin Solar Syndicate.  

Waikouaiti Coast Community Board

By Gerard Collings, Chairperson

Happy New Year to you all. I trust the festive season treated you well and that you are refreshed and ready for any challenges the new year may bring.

The Waitati Hall committee have requested the removal of the bottle bank from the Waitati Hall car park. They have a particular issue with the amount of refuse being left beside the bottle bank. The Board will consider this issue at our January meeting.

DCC have started this year's annual plan process and are currently considering the draft annual plan for public consultation.  At this stage DCC expect to issue the 2013/14 draft Annual Plan for public consultation at the beginning of March with submissions scheduled to close early April.  The specific details of how DCC will consult are yet to be finalised. I will advise the specific details in the March issue, however I strongly urge you all to take the time to make yourself familiar with its content and participate in the consultation process.
I was disappointed to hear of a number of instances of littering in and around reserves over the Christmas period. I can assure you DCC parks staff take this issue very seriously. If you see instances of this occurring please don't hesitate to contact the DCC directly.

Copies of DCC documents out for consultation are available from Council and through Council's website
The Board's next meeting is at 5.30pm, 30 January 2013 at the Karitane Hall. Our following meeting will be at 5.30pm, 13 March at the Waitati 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 (Phone 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,






Monday, 21 January 2013

Music Gig at Waitati

By Mandy Mayhem

On Friday February 8 the Waitati Hall will ring with the sound of music from Bond Street Bridge and Luckless $10.
Auckland Alt-folk outfit Bond Street Bridge will present tales of courage, endurance and Edwardian pluck in their multimedia song cycle 'The Explorer's Club: Antarctica'.
Inspired by the incredible stories of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, songwriter Sam Prebble has produced a series of stirring vignettes drawn from the diaries and letters of these stalwart adventurers. Tales of shipwrecks, frostbite, and stiff-upper-lip survival in the snow are presented in a combination of spoken-word storytelling and original folk songs, along with projected illustrations by Auckland artist Emily Cater and heritage photographs from the expeditions themselves. Performances range from ethereal to foot stomping; arrangements run the gamut from delicate vocal harmonies to dramatic percussive explosions.
Joining them is Indie-rock act Luckless, with songwriter Ivy Rossiter leaving her band behind to perform solitary and stripped back. Armed only with stomp boxes, loop pedals and a vintage guitar., Luckless swells with distortion and shimmers with light, aching and revealing all at once. Rossiter alternates between blasting out driving rhythms and playing with the lightest, sweetest touch while wrangling riffs and singing over layers of loops and reverb. Influenced by PJ Harvey and Cat Power she is the New Zealand equivalent.
Brendon Turner, bass player for Bond Street Bridge and blues songwriter in his own right, will also join the line-up to support at the Waitati Hall.
Bond Street Bridge presents a show that will take listeners on a journey from heartbreak to ice-melt, from triumph to defeat. Audiences can expect to be transported back to a time when the ice was unforgiving and the pole was untouched.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


by Leonie Rousselot

We start the film year on Tuesday, 26 February at 8pm with Ruggles of Red Gap.  Come along to the Waitati Film Society at the corner of Orokonui and Mt. Cargill Roads to our (initially) forthnightly screenings.
Membership for one year is $60 and covers 29 nights of entertainment. We offer drama, comedy, history or just plain entertainment in a warm, pleasant environment with convivial company.  For more info ring Brigitte 482-2829 or Leonie 482-2508.

Tuesday, 26 February

RUGGLES OF RED GAP             USA 1935

The great Charles Laughton found one of his most iconic roles in Ruggles of Red Gap a wryly humorous tapestry of the American West at the turn of the 20th century. When the Earl of Burnstead transfers the services of Ruggles (Laughton), his immaculate English valet, to Egbert Floud, a wealthy, brash American, the repercussions prove more dramatic than anyone could have anticipated. Relocating to Red Gap, Washington, Ruggles slowly overcomes his disconcertment as he encounters new alliances, enemies, the route to independence, and, possibly, love. A riotous clash between the Old World and the New, McCarey's legendary comic instincts combine with his customary tender respect to make one of the most glorious and enduring comedies of classical Hollywood. – Masters of Cinema.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Who speaks for the trees?

Dunedin City Council media release: (3 December 2012)

The Dunedin City Council is inviting people to think about the trees that matter to the heritage and environmental fabric of the city, and to nominate them for consideration as Significant Trees.  Trees could be nominated for consideration if they are particularly magnificent, of historic significance, great stature or scientifically valuable.

As part of the preparation of a second generation District Plan, the Dunedin City Council is reviewing Schedule 25.3: Significant Trees, which currently has more than 1200 trees and more than 100 groups of trees identified as worthy of protection.

Dr Anna Johnson, City Development Manager says, "Dunedin is a city that takes pride in its amazing landscapes and environment. Trees in the urban environment are part of Dunedin's charm whether these are large natives, which support bellbirds and tui, or exotics planted by early settlers. We want to ensure we identify and protect these special trees that significantly contribute to people's perceptions and enjoyment of our city."
Once nominated, a DCC arborist and landscape architect will assess the tree to determine whether it warrants inclusion on the revised Schedule of Significant Trees. The assessment is based on the Standard Tree Evaluation Method (STEM) which evaluates positive and negative aspects of each tree against a criteria relating to the health of the tree, its characteristics and any other important values it has (including stature, historic or scientific value).
Property owners can also request a reassessment if they believe the status of a tree or stand of trees has changed notably since it was included on the Schedule.
Trees that are assessed as significant will be included in a new Draft Schedule 25.3: Significant Trees to be processed next year as part of the wider work on developing a second generation District Plan.
The nomination form is available from the DCC's Customer Services Centre, by phoning 477 4000 or at Nominations should be posted to City Planning, Dunedin City Council, PO Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, Attention: J Baker. Nominations close at 5pm Friday, 1 March.
For more information: Anna Johnson, City Development Manager, phone 474 3874.

International Year of Quinoa 2013

by Paul Guy, Botany Dept, University of Otago

Chenopodium quinoa (keen-wa) is known as the mother grain of the Incas. It has a higher protein content than the cereals (Poaceae: the grass family) and has a high lysine content in contrast to cereals which are low in lysine. It is easy to grow and harvest and being a dicot does not suffer from the diseases which attack cereals. Quinoa comes from the Chenopodiaceae family which includes sugar beet, beetroot and spinach. It is relatively disease-free.
The leaves can be harvested and cooked like spinach. The mature seed is collected and washed several times to remove bitter tasting saponins and cooked in the same way as cous cous. It is quite tasty hot or cold in salads. There are lots of recipes on the internet. Saponins, as the name suggests, are soap-like compounds which the Incas used for washing clothes. Other plants contain saponins and other cultures have taken advantage of their cleansing properties. 
Quinoa is a useful tool in promoting increased food security for most parts of the world. The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa. It grows in a variety of situations and is a low input/low maintenance crop. Wheat production is under threat from the Ug99 variant of stem rust which is currently moving across the Middle East and if new resistant lines of wheat can't be developed and deployed in time there will be moderate to severe shortages in the coming years.
An important question is whether or not to use genetic engineering to solve particular agricultural problems. For example GE to produce high lysine cereals has been proposed but the use of quinoa circumvents the need.
Quinoa is a potential buffer against food shortages and encourages greater diversity in agricultural systems (increased resilience). The more efficient use of agricultural land reduces pressure on converting more conservation land to food production. Population continues to increase but the amount of high grade agricultural land continues to decrease.
My interest in quinoa is its pathology. I used it for many years as a virus disease indicator before I knew of its use as a grain crop.  Quinoa seed is available from a few sources on the internet. I have a few spare seedlings from time to time which I will place in the exchange bus shed near Blueskin Gallery. If you notice any diseases in quinoa please send me some close-up pics (  particularly any that look like virus infection. Viruses often cause yellow spotting and streaking and yellow vein-netting and the leaves are often smaller and distorted.


 Warrington Surf Life Saving Club is back in business for the New Year

Young life guards in training – our 'Nippers' aged 4-16 years -- 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 starting Sunday 20 January, 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, meet your neighbours and join the 175 locals who are members of Warrington Surf Life Saving Club.

Coming up -- Warrington will be host to lots of events this term:

  • IRB racing events on Sunday 20 January and Saturday 26 January. Come down and watch – racing starts at 9am.
  • A huge event involving nearly a thousand competitors and supporters will be held 2 and 3 February – The Southern Ocean Athletes -- look for Warrington competitors and families at the big yellow tent.
  • More IRB racing will be held from 4pm on 6 February and 9am on 17 February (the Otago Champs).
  • We have surf swim, board and sand running championships at Warrington on the 10 February and again 16 February and 3 March.
  • A huge flotilla of IRB racing boats will be on the beach the weekend of 2 March for the South Island IRB Racing Championships. Come and watch or join in the fun.
Warrington is the beach of choice for surf life-saving events due to our safe beach and wonderful weather, not to mention our competent and friendly life guards!  Have you met Ryan, Carina and Arthur, Sam, Kim or Immy? These are Warrington life guards who are paid to watch out for the safety of swimmers between the flags in the holidays. Once school is back in, our 40 voluntary life guards take it in turns to patrol the beach on weekends, 12-5pm for the rest of the summer. 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.

Why not join up now? We have enjoyed our full-day holiday program for 12-16 year olds weekly in the school holidays with 25 teenagers attending for fitness, surf and rescue boat training, but we still have life guard camps, training days and lots of great experiences on offer for the rest of the season

In it For Life!  Warrington Surf Life Saving Club

PS  Many thanks for all donations made on Jandal Day in December.