Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fwd: Orokonui Ecosanctuary May 2013

By Sue Hensley

On May 12 (Mothers Day) and May 19 limited entry will be available to
the lower valley. The "Waitati" gate which is accessed from the DOC
car park on Orokonui Rd and then around the estuary and along the
stream will be staffed between 10 and midday to give people an
opportunity to explore the lower valley including the tallest tree.
Normal entry costs apply and tickets will be available at reception or
exact cash at the gate ($16 per adult, $40 for a family,half price
for members).
The sculpture symposium was hugely successful and Orokonui has been
enriched with four beautiful pieces of work that reflect the theme of
sanctuary. Russell Beck's talk was a hands-on affair with lots of
samples of rock explained and handled showing the development of rock
to pounamu/ jade. People also had an opportunity to "sand" rock on
rock and to drill holes the way early Maori did.
The upgrading of culverts has begun with the first five now completed
(just 46 to go!). This has been necessary to help the flow of water
after major rain events and to discourage mice from burrowing
alongside culverts.
Many visitors have become familiar with the very friendly Mr Roto who
this year is 20 years old. He was hand-raised as a chick after his
mother was killed on the nest by a stoat. He spent many years at the
Botanic Gardens and then came to the Orokonui aviary in 2007 along
with his mate, to be aural anchors. In other words, their calls help to
keep wild kaka and newly released birds within the sanctuary area. The
Roto pair were released in 2011 when an injured kaka (Kleopatra)
needed the aviary space.
Mr Roto had not previously bred at Orokonui
and so it was very exciting when he was spotted at the aviary feeder
with three chicks in tow! Ranger Kelly Gough had her suspicions of an
impending family as his food consumption had increased hugely.
Just as this goes to press it has been confirmed that Mrs Roto, who has
not been sighted for a year, is the proud mother. She is doing well to
raise three chicks at 30 years of age! There are now around 31 free-flying kaka at Orokonui including eight chicks from three nests.
Information and events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our
facebook page. The Visitor Centre and cafĂ© are open daily 9.30 –

Fwd: FW: Blueskin Bay Library closure over the move period

Blueskin Library will be closed from Wednesday 1 May to Friday 3 May. The new library will reopen on Saturday 4 May at 11am at the Harvey Street site.

Monday, 22 April 2013


The Waitati Volunteer Fire Brigade wish to make available their expertise to all householders in the Blueskin Bay area to make sure every house has working smoke alarms.

The best security you can give your family against house fire incidents is by having working smoke alarms.

We will fit new alarms, replace batteries, advise on positioning and type of alarm for your family.

The service is free; all you have to pay for is the materials, smoke alarms, batteries, we will have a supply of suitable alarms should they be needed for your family.

Phone 482 2640 leave a message and phone number.





by Heidi Hayward, Principal

It is quite unbelievable to see the change in the educational environment in New Zealand In the space of a few short years. Data and achievement is driving learning conversations. Of course, we all want children to achieve but it would be madness to assume that all children would, could or should achieve at the same rate or at the same time as others their age. What we should really be concerned with is progress, and progress across a broad and diverse curriculum, not merely reading, writing and mathematics. Teaching is all about human interaction. We are not generating machines, each a carbon copy of the last.

New Zealand once had an enviable educational model. We were the toast of educational innovation and success throughout the world. People came from far and wide to study what we were doing. I don't understand why we would choose to copy the failed educational policies of the countries that once looked to us for inspiration.

I attended the education rally a few weeks ago because I believe that we're on the brink of losing our way altogether. I want to protect education for my children, for your children and grandchildren to ensure that New Zealand can continue to produce creative, confident, innovative and enthusiastic learners. 

I strongly recommend that you read the opinion piece written by Peter O'Connor, (google: Peter O'Connor: Public education is a treasure we must protect, for the full text).

He presents the case beautifully! A short excerpt is copied here:

'What has been lost sometimes in the battles over the past four years has been a clear articulation of what teachers are fighting for, rather than against. Teacher union groups have been dismissed as arguing for the status quo, of having a vested interested in a failing system. This is nonsense. They are fighting for a set of ideals about what the function of the state is in relation to education and what the purpose of education is.

'Those protesting this week believe that the state has a core responsibility for educating its citizens. That it shouldn't be sold off to private interests, or in the extraordinary instance of charter schools, simply given to them. State responsibility for education is understood in terms of a social contract that proposes a well-educated population as a public good. It proposes that all schools should be excellent schools of choice for families in local communities. Public education is about equity and social justice, not about business models.'



by Hilary Rowley

I didn't stay for the apple pressing held by Waitati Open Orchards (WOO) at the Blueskin-on-Show day in Bland Park, but the set-up was impressive, and there were many and various apple varieties waiting to be turned into delicious juice. The weather, too, was unusually perfect, so I expect it was a very successful day.

There is going to be one last apple pressing for the year if you are wanting to press some of your own fruit. Things will be run a bit differently from before. You are going to need to have your apples already prepared for pressing when you arrive and will have to operate the insinkerator yourself. If you want you could also do the press yourself, but Paul will be there to help if necessary. What you press you keep, so bring your own bottles. The location has yet to be found but it will be on 4 May. Keep your eye out for news, and if you want to volunteer a suitable place for the pressing call Paul on 482 2335.

There are still plenty of roadside apples and pears out there, though they are small this year due probably to a lack of water, they would still be great juiced. We saw heaps of laden trees between Palmerston and Dunback a week ago, and I bet there are plenty more out there.

It's time to spray copper, or whatever you are spraying for fungal infections, on your fruit trees before leaf fall. A good mulch with seaweed wouldn't do any harm either. Another job is to prune your berry canes before winter sets in.

We have found a good way to store apples and pears.  Place perfectly sound fruit in the cardboard apple boxes thrown out by supermarkets. They have moulded purple cardboard trays which, unsurprisingly, are perfect for storing apples. Just store the box in a cool, rodent-free place, and check them over now and again for rot. We put the long-keeping apples like Granny Smiths on the bottom of the box, and the varieties we will use first, like dessert apples and pears on the top.


by Gerard Collings, Chairperson

Blueskin Bay Library

An official opening for the Blueskin Bay Library extension is to be held on 4 May.  This project has only become a reality by the hard work and commitment of the community.  A special thanks to the fundraising committee, Stuart Strachan (chairman), Alasdair Morrison, Andrew Noone, Marshall Seifert, and Des Smith.  Raising in excess of $300,000 for a community of our size was an outstanding effort.

Carey's Creek Bridge Remedial Work

I am pleased to advise that the necessary remedial and strengthening work is scheduled to recommence on the Carey's Creek bridge this month.  The work which was scheduled to commence in August last year was initially delayed due to necessary redesign work, was subsequently rescheduled due to budget constraints and the need to reprioritise funding to emergency repairs on a bridge in Hyde. We are advised that construction and single-lane traffic restrictions will last for four to five months (i.e. to late July or August).

Waitati Bottle Bank

Limited response was received regarding the removal of the bottle bank from the Waitati Hall grounds. Dunedin City Council (DCC) staff, however, received an offer from a business owner prepared to house the bottle bank on their property.  At our April meeting the board endorsed council staff continuing discussions with this business owner.  We trust that the misuse of the facility that occurred at the hall will not occur at the new facility. It is likely that further such behaviour will result in the bottle bank's permanent removal from Waitati.

Funding Applications    

The board were pleased to contribute $1000 from our discretionary fund to Stage 1 of the Blueskin Youth Centre Association's walkway project. 

The board still has a small amount left in its discretionary fund available for this financial year. Community groups considering applying for funds are asked to ensure that you have your applications submitted to our Governance Support Officer no later than 20 May.

Copies of DCC documents out for consultation are available from the council office and through its website http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/currently-consulting-on

The Waikouaiti Coast Community Board's next meeting is 5:30pm on 29 May at the Warrington Surf Club rooms.

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





The Board





Gerard Collings (Chairperson),





Alasdair Morrison (Deputy),





Andy Barratt,





Andrew Noone





Geraldine Tait,





Les Pullar,





Mark Brown,





OPINION: Dance for Me Daddy

by Pip Cotton

Following last month's 'Piano, Poetry and Plays' notice, there is now an initial group of five who are interested in pursuing the ideas expressed (Blueskin News, 1 April 2013, p8) and recently we had a read through of a play called Dance for me Daddy. It's a fun, high energy, though fairly simple, work (as yet unperformed) that involves the music and dress of the twenties and thirties. It is possibly beyond the initial group numbers to fully realise at this time, but with two or three more people I think it would come within reach. In the meantime it is suggested that we also organise some small-scale evenings with some original poetry readings, music and possibly bits of plays that people want to explore. The name being put forward for this enterprise is 'The Pudding Club ' which suggests that great food treats may also be at the heart of the matter! So if you are interested in becoming involved via poetry, music and/or plays, please call me on 021 035 8383 or find me at 15 Brown Street.

 In last month's Blueskin News I also offered to teach music, in particular to people wishing to develop skills playing in blues, jazz and folk styles. At this stage I have agreement in principle that music teaching can occur at the Playcentre after it finishes and the question of gaining access to a piano is being explored -- it all feels positive from that direction. I also recently met with a young man (12 years old) and his father following my offer to tutor music. What a treat to see a young person with so much promise driving his own music forward, pushing himself into the world of blues and jazz improvisation. I am looking forward to working with him in the future. I am sure there will be others too who, with some basic musical structures and strategies, lots of positive encouragement and opportunities to perform, will mature into lifelong music makers.


by Scott Willis

The start of the new financial year (1 April) is when the trustees of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) set their annual work plan. This year, funding support from the Lottery Grants Board, the Otago Community Trust and the Hikurangi Foundation have ensured we can begin our year well. Our annual plan is ambitious and we want to thank these key supporters of our community work.

Our Annual General Meeting is earlier this year than in previous years, to keep in line with our financial year. BRCT's mission is "to strengthen our communities in the immediate, mid- and long-term future with emphasis on energy, food, water and community resilience". One of our long-standing trustees is stepping down at this AGM and BRCT is inviting expressions of interest from those in the community who would be prepared to serve on the trust. The range of the trust's activities can best be seen on the BRCT website: www.blueskinpower.co.nz. If you want more information or want to indicate an interest in serving on the trust please contact one of the trust's co-chairs by email: Chris Skellett: skellett@actrix.co.nz or Ross Johnston: ross.johnston@otago.ac.nz. The AGM date is Friday 31 May, and it will be held at 7:30pm in the Waitati Hall. All are welcome.

We also want to acknowledge the good work put in by the Waitati A&P Society at their recent Blueskin-on-Show day in Bland Park. They did an excellent job of pulling together the wide range of community organisations, local businesses, schools etc, and arranged perfect weather! Thank you for all your hard work. Most community interest at the BRCT stall was in: the Blueskin wind cluster, climate change planning, energy advice and the Solar Syndicate.

In March and April BRCT was invited to present in two national forums, the Wind Energy Association Conference and the Philanthropy Conference. Both forums provided good platforms but also, more importantly, opportunities to meet inspirational individuals, big-hearted philanthropists, and enthusiastic support organisations.

Visit us at at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati (on Waitati School grounds), or on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blueskin-Resilient-Communities-Trust/180367402010248). Telephone us on 482 2048.




What happens if the aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point closes? What are the implications for the development of the Blueskin wind cluster?

These are big questions, and I'll give you my perspective as concisely as possible. Rationally, we could assume that if a big chunk of electricity (the smelter's share) could be switched on to everyone else, our electricity would get cheaper. But things are not quite so simple. As we all know, electricity price isn't just about the cost of generation. It is also about how it gets about, how it is stored, how available it is when we need it, and who owns it. If Tiwai Point closes in the next few years, as is very possible, it is likely that some of NZ's expensive thermal electricity generation will close. More capacity in the system will change the flavour of our electricity. (All of a sudden we will have much more renewable generation).

This is big picture stuff, and into that we have to consider other changes taking place, such as Electricity Commission work on changing transmission pricing, the capacity of the Cook Strait cable, lower South Island transmission and risk of peak demand. The short summary of all these elements is that the many new risks that the big generators are facing will offset most if not all the benefit of increased renewable electricity capacity after the closure of the smelter. Another big picture element we also have to take into account is the privatisation of our electricity generators. Privatisation has always brought higher electricity prices for consumers.

What about the Blueskin wind cluster implications then? Our generation project is tiny in comparison to Manapouri (hydro generation for the smelter at present), and as has been explained before, we can't use it directly to get cheaper electricity. The Blueskin Energy Project is looking at generating enough for 1000 households and building a social business, which will help with all those other things that build warm cosy homes. One of the key elements we'd like and are discussing with partners is a long-term power purchase agreement to de-risk the project. No-one expects the uncertainty over Tiwai Point, and associated risk, to be anything other than short term. The big picture then is that whether the smelter closes or not, it is unlikely to have much impact on the value of a long-term power purchase agreement, which is based on long-term trends, and which is helpful to de-risk the Blueskin wind cluster project.

For cheaper electricity, the Greens and Labour have recently announced a policy called "NZ Power" which they would implement if in power to guarantee lower prices. Here in Blueskin a number of solar installations are under way and more are planned over the year, both independently and via the solar syndicate, which will lower power bills to those houses. And of course we've got to keep on saying it: insulate, insulate, insulate!

Visit us at: www.blueskinpower.co.nz, 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 any information about the solar project email Chris Le Breton at solar@blueskinpower.co.nz.

Making Waitati the Fairest of Them All

by Louise Bond

Waitati was recently declared the second fairest town in New Zealand by Oxfam New Zealand. Oxfam recently released its list of the top 20 fairest towns in New Zealand based on the number of Oxfam's Biggest Coffee Breaks held per capita over the past three years. Each year Coffee Breaks (or Chocolate Breaks for the young 'uns) are held around New Zealand during Fair Trade Fortnight (4-19 May, 2013) to raise funds that will support Oxfam's aim of a fairer, safer, more sustainable world.

Registrations for Coffee Break are now open, so let's get together and take the top spot. You can do this by signing up to host your own Coffee Break, or by signing up with your workplace, school, church, club, or sports team.

You can learn more and sign up online at oxfamcoffeebreak.org.nz. It costs just $10 to sign up and Oxfam will send you some Fairtrade Certified goodies, as well as provide you with resources and materials to learn more about fair trade and help promote your event.


by Lyn Hastie

After a few years' absence Blueskin Garden Club members were back with tents, displays and competitions at Blueskin-on-Show Day on Saturday 13 April. The day was perfect and we were very pleased with the numbers of entries received.

Firstly, the Spud-in-a-Container Competition: In early December there were spuds available from the Blueskin Nurseries for purchase and growing. Fifty seven were purchased and taken home to be grown and nurtured. Forty were brought along for weighing in. Results were many and varied: Heaviest spud -- 1st= Emily Clements and Murray Hastie, 3rd Susan Hellyer; Heaviest crop -- 1st Murray Hastie, 2nd Eunice Hoogsteden, 3rd Mike Fitzgerald. A big 'thank you' to the staff at Blueskin Nuseries for stocking the spuds and especially to Mark Brown. We hope to repeat this again for next year's show so look out for info later in the year.

Scarecrow-making was very popular and it was great to use up all sorts of pre-loved clothes, shoes, wigs etc. The results will look pretty impressive in local gardens. Our plant stall was also popular to get a few bargains. The Otago Daily Times marquee was a very busy spot. We had a total of 246 entries which included flowers, eggs, baking, vegetables and baskets, pickles and jams, fruit and, of course, the speciality section which attracted 36 entries -- 5 biggest roots,18 longest beans,8 fattest rhubarb and 5 character carrots. A big 'thank you' to everyone who took the time to bring along their goods. We hope to continue taking part in the show in years to come. Thank you to the hard working A&P Committee members for organising such a great community day.

Our club's next get together is our Annual General Meeting to be held on Thursday 9 May at 6pm at the Carey's Bay Hotel. We will have our meeting, a two course meal, some fun activities to keep us all thinking and dress up to the 9's in jeans and bling! All replies to club email or phone 482 2896 by 2 May.

BLUESKIN RESILIENT COMMUNITIES TRUST: Climate Change Adaptation Planning Update

By Dr Niki Bould

The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust has been given a Dunedin City Council (DCC) grant to develop an action plan setting out how to begin to plan for climate change adaptation in Waitati. 

We are in the process of connecting with members of our community through community groups, volunteer organisations and the A&P Show.  We are collecting ideas from Waitati residents about your values and aspirations for the community and about any local issues that you see as important in long-term climate change planning. 

At our stall at the A&P Show we had key literature and visual information from the DCC and the Otago Regional Council about future potential climate change impacts, we hope you saw it. 

If you are a member of the Waitati community then we are keen to talk to YOU about your ideas for long-term planning for anticipated climate change impacts. If you are part of a community group and would like to engage in this conversation, or if you have any questions, please contact us: office@brct.org.nz

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Fwd: Warrington Indoor Bowls

Warrington Indoor Bowls Club.
By Cliff and Ruth Porteous

Our club began its 2013 season on 2 April at 7.30pm in the Warrington Hall. The club membership is not big, however to date we have welcomed a new player and two returning players. We trust they will enjoy their season with us. If you would like to give this challenging game a try join us at the Warrington Hall on Tuesday evenings. The only "equipment" you need to provide is soft-soled footwear. The club has all the playing gear.
This season we are going to re-establish a competition of mixed singles for the Pope Trophy. This trophy has not been contested for a number of years. Rather than play it off as a single event as it used to be, we intend playing one or two games each club night. It will be played on a 'two-life system', i.e. if a game is lost then 'a life' is lost, therefore if a player losses two games they are out of the competition. This competition should help develop skills for singles play, too.
The Eastern Districts Sub Association's interclub competition began in mid-April. Warrington took a clean sweep in its first game against Dunback, winning the maximum 14 points, but was not so lucky the following week gaining just two points against a Waikouaiti team.
On 20 April the first competitive tournament for the season was played in Karitane Hall. This event, the Ray Still Memorial Trophy, is a Fours event open to eastern districts players only. There were just six teams playing and the results were worked by gaining 10 points for winning a game, five points if the game was drawn and one point for each end won. A Warrington club team of Ruth Porteous, Cliff Porteous, Dan Mosley and John Barnett won this event.
Contact Lyn 482 2896 or Ruth 482 2849.