Saturday, 23 February 2013

WOO News

By Hilary Rowley

Who would've thought  it, snow in Central Otago just after New Year, then this long hot dry summer?  We are currently watering things often. We are so glad  we had room for a 6000 L rainwater tank to augment our town supply, but the weather doesn't bode well for all the people out there with rainwater only. That's where all that mulch around fruit trees will be helping now.
 
We got to eat a hand full of cherries off our "Stella" tree. We had to cover them a long time before they were even vaguely ripe, so both the humans and the wood pigeons could avoid the temptation to eat them before they were really sweet and ready.

Our "Moorpark" apricot tree dropped all its fruit around Christmas time, and I bet it had wished it hung onto them, now that the summer turned out to be such a hot one. They are of course pretty borderline in this climate, so we may get a crop one year in five, and it will be much appreciated.
 
There are good crops of apples and pears on the the WOO trees around Waitati, (for such small trees), and I have noticed good crops on the roadside trees everywhere, so it's looking good for the apple crushing market days on the 17 March and 13 April. Bring apples/ buy juice, and note that the April market will be held at the A&P show.
 
An update on the "War on Fungal Disease": I sprayed downy mildew on the cucumbers with a mild baking soda solution, and even just the slightest change in PH  was enough to be surprisingly effective. This would explain why it is suggested to use either mild alkaline, or mild acid (vinegar) sprays. An organic orchardist we spoke to in Earnscleugh told us that they were using a spray based on citrus extracts for fungal disease, and this was totally compatible with organic certifiers.


WAIKOUAITI COAST COMMUNITY BOARD

by Gerard Collings
 At the January meeting of the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board (WCCB) we considered a request from the Waitati Hall committee to have the bottle bank removed from the Waitati Hall car park.  The hall committee expressed concern about the amount of refuse being left beside the bottle bank.  After considering the issues raised by the committee, and the kerbside collection now available, the board somewhat reluctantly agreed to have the skip removed on a trial basis.
Dunedin City Council (DCC) staff have provided advice on a suitable replacement for the bottle bank, and have been asked to investigate and advise on suitable locations within the board's area for placement.  They recommend the placement of a LoveNZ bottle bank in close proximity to a community hub so that it can be easily monitored.  The WCCB would like to hear from members of the community with a response to the following questions:
  1. Do you want a facility such as this within your community?
  2. If yes to 1 above, where do you think it should be placed?

Please direct your response either in writing or by phone to DCC's Waste Strategy Officer (Catherine Irvine) at email: dcc@dcc.govt.nz, or PO Box 5045, Dunedin 9058, or phone 477 4000.
We request that responses be with Catherine no later than 31 March 2013.
 The WCCB was pleased to be able to provide assistance from our discretionary fund to:
  • Blueskin A & P Society – to assist with advertising this year's show;
  • Alex Whitaker – to help fund a tekoteko for the new Blueskin Library;
  • Waitati Beach Reserve Society – to assist in repairing the access road to Doctors Point Beach.
DCC will issue the 2013-14 draft Annual Plan (AP) for public consultation at the beginning of March.  Submissions open 9 March and close 9 April 2013 at 5pm.  Unfortunately, the date of the Blueskin show will not provide an opportunity to present the draft AP.  The draft AP will be available at the library and as always board members are happy to hear from members of the community who want further information.  I strongly urge you all to take the time to make yourself familiar with the draft AP's content and participate in the consultation process.
 A number of members of the community have approached board members regarding recent changes to the Ministry of Education school bus service.  The board has written to the ministry questioning what appears to be inequity between students using the service. As yet we have not received a response.
 The Blueskin Bay Library extension is due for completion late March early April.
 Copies of DCC documents out for consultation are available from the council and through the council's website http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/currently-consulting-on
 The board's next meeting is at 5:30pm, 13 March 2013, at the Waitati Hall; our following meeting will be at 5:30pm, 10 April,  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
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Gerard Collings (Chairperson),
4657604
4707494
0274848800
Alasdair Morrison (Deputy),
4822505
4822505
0274354384
Andy Barratt,
021890048

021890048
Andrew Noone
4657157

0274301727
Geraldine Tait,
4822517

0212175492
Les Pullar,
4658138

0274358020
Mark Brown,
4822833



WARRINGTON PLAYCENTRE

by Lisa Hall

Welcome back everyone!  What a glorious summer we've been having and it certainly looks like a lot of growing has happened amongst the children at Warrington Playcentre over the break.  After a supportive team of hard-working parents pulled together for a new year clean-up at the centre, we were all excited to get back to what we do best: play, have fun, learn and support each other and our children.
 We welcome Kate and Rueben, Roxy and Nikau and their families and are really enjoying getting to know them – great to have you with us!  It's so lovely to have a range of ages from babies to 4-year-olds.
 Lots of exploring and monitoring of produce has been happening over the last few weeks, several strawberry patch raids have taken place and we are watching our fruit trees with rumbling tummies!  Water and sand play have been big favourites as have tent- and hut-making games.  We are planning to wander along to Warrington School at the beginning of March to join in their Walk and Wheels Week.  We have also been invited to join Room 3 for lunch to catch up on some of our 'old' buddies.
 Supersonic fundraising queen (also known as Jackie!) has continued her form-filling fun and has been successful in gaining $600 to spend on new toys for our centre.  Well done!  Sam and Jackie have just come back from a shopping trip and the absolute delight on the children's faces as they delved into the big box was awesome.
 We are planning to set up a great event at the next Blueskin on Show (ex A&P Show) so make sure you watch this space.
 If you are around and feel like some company, fun, friends and lots of lovely learning come and join us on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 9:15 to 12:15.  We'd love to see you.  Ph 027 227 7329

WAITATI FILM SOCIETY

by Leonie Rousselot

All welcome to join us at the Film Society, corner of Orokonui and Mt. Cargill Roads on Tuesdays at 8.00pm.  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 Leonie 482-2508 or visit: www.nzfilmsociety.org.nz/waitati.htm

Tuesday March 12

BADLANDS                                    USA 1973

Loosely based on a 1958 real-life cross-country killing spree, this story centres around bored teenager Holly (Sissy Spacek) meeting rebellious, and latent sociopath Kit (Martin Sheen). The two spark one another to a depth of evil that evolves in an extreme, yet plausible progression.     94m

 

Tuesday March 26

BEAU TRAVAIL                         France 1999

Claire Denis produced this study of the togetherness, yet separateness of men.  The men are a Foreign Legion troop stationed in Djibouti. Sergeant Galoup lives in his past halcyon days when life was uncomplicated, his men disciplined and regimented. But a new trooper joins, eclipsing Galoup's physical and social attributes, and ultimately disobeying his orders.  The trooper's harsh penance may have been devised out of reasons other than just punishment.                                        92m

 

Tuesday April 6

MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE                  UK/Japan 1983

Like all Japanese soldiers, Captain Yonoi considers that enemy soldiers in WWII POW camps are cowards, having chosen capture rather than noble suicide. So he commands his camp accordingly.  British prisoner, John Lawrence (Tom Conti) speaks Japanese fluently and understands their attitudes so tries to facilitate some sort of harmony between jailers and prisoners. Then a new prisoner, New Zealander Maj. Jack Celliers (David Bowie) arrives.                                         123m

 

Help Sought for Addiction Issue!

by Geraldine Tait
This year I am finally going to give up. I've been talking about it for years and now for the sake of my physical and psychological health I've got to do it. I can look back 20 odd years and remember when I didn't have a problem; that was a happy carefree time and I wish I had not gone down this dark path. Thanks to the government I will be going cold turkey near the end of April.  It's going to be tough but I'm trying to stay positive.  I think there may be other people in our community who will be faced with the same dilemma and I'm wondering if we should set up a support group.
I think my main tactic for coping will be diversionary activities.  I've got a huge list of these and I'm sure my life will be fuller and much more satisfying if I can just stay strong.  So I just want to appeal to my friends and neighbours to help me.  If I call by with the excuse of borrowing a cup of sugar or for news about your grandchildren and you notice my eyes are glued to your TV set and I'm asking for an update on Coronation Street, then you need to take me in hand.  Remove me from the room with the TV and firmly tell me to go home! Things may get even worse than this; you may be called by the police to say I've been arrested for loitering in electrical stores in the section where they have dozens of TVs on display.  I might have been dazed and incoherent and needing a short stay in hospital for aversion therapy.
Maybe I'm being a little neurotic about life AT (after television).  I will still have my other favourite addiction -- National Radio, I've got stacks of good books to read, and of course the new enlarged Waitati library to raid.  The garden is always in need of attention and weeding is a great physical activity to work out any feelings of anxiety.  I can anticipate more walks on the beach, long chats with friends on the phone, but I'm not sure the house will get any tidier. My last resort will be hiring videos; well, yes, that is a little bit like TV but I'm sure it's less addictive and as the video shop is in town I won't be able to mainline!  So wish me luck and let me know if you are planning TV withdrawal yourself.  Maybe we can set up a secret society -- PWOTS (people without television sets).

Friday, 22 February 2013

MAINLY MUSIC

by Ishtar Scott

Happy New Year!  It's hard to believe we are in the second month of 2013 already.  We hope you've managed to enjoy some of this lovely summer weather we've been having and had a really special Christmas time.  It was so fantastic having so many of you at our Mainly Music Christmas break-up with all the wee princes, princesses and super-heros.

After all the fun we've had together at our music group it is with sadness and regret that we have to announce that we are unable to maintain the weekly music sessions this year due to various conditions and commitments.  We are so sorry to let you down as we know it is something that many of you and your littlies really look forward to each week. 
 
However we really value getting to know you and the friendship and fun we've had together so we are planning to have a monthly get-together in the form of a coffee/play group.  It will be a bit more low key; we will have morning tea first then the kids can play with the toys while we get a chance to chat and catch-up.  Who knows, Ishtar might even break out in the odd song or rhyme! 
 
We would love to see you there and see how much all the little people have grown over the holidays as well as meet the newest additions.  The next date is 12 March, and then on 9 April, so please come and join us for some music, yummy morning tea and coffee and meet some new friends, gold coin donation just to cover the hall cost.  We can't wait to meet and see you all there.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

OROKONUI ECOSANCTUARY

by Sue Hensley

The loud hum of bees visiting the white flowering rata vines on sunny days has intrigued visitors. It sounds like the engine of the forest, which in a way it is and a valuable reminder that it is those inconspicuous and less thought of creatures – the invertebrates -- that are key to a healthy and functioning ecosystem. We ignore them at our peril.

Visitors have also been wowed by an eel that regularly comes to the surface of its pond to be fed.

Anyone driving along Blueskin Rd late at night may notice some highlighter-yellow-clad bods crouching by the side of the road. Don't be alarmed -- these people are part of a kiwi call monitoring programme. This involves volunteers sitting for two hours after dark at various high points around the sanctuary (both in and outside the fence) noting all calls, the direction and whether male or female. It is intended that this will provide a baseline for future information on numbers of kiwi in Orokonui. Once they begin breeding this will be the main tool we have of determining breeding success. After a training night 14 volunteers headed out to their count stations and on the second night two lucky counters had a close encounter with a kiwi that sniffed around them for almost twenty minutes!

It is ten years since the first public meeting was held to get the then proposed ecosanctuary at Orokonui underway. There will be events during 2013 to mark this anniversary. Information on this and other events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our facebook page. The Visitor Centre and cafĂ© are open daily 9.30 – 4.30pm.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Living Legends Orokonui Estuary Working Bees

By Lucy Hardy

Living Legends North Otago is looking for help maintaining its native restoration planting site at the Orokonui Scenic Reserve near Waitati.

Living Legends is a national community conservation project that has coordinated seventeen native tree planting projects throughout New Zealand.  Each planting project is run in conjunction with a provincial rugby union and is dedicated to a regional 'Rugby Legend'. These are people who have made a significant contribution to rugby in New Zealand and Kees Meeuws is Otago's Rugby Living Legend.

The inaugural plantings took place on public conservation land in locations and on dates that coincided with Rugby World Cup 2011 games. Living Legends is making a five year investment to plant a total of 170,000 trees throughout New Zealand by the end of the project in 2015.

Living Legends is a partnership between The Tindall Foundation and Project Crimson and is sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Meridian Energy. 

Orokonui Scenic Reserve is the location for the North Otago Living Legends planting site. The site is a 28 hectare tidal estuary at the base of Orokonui Valley. It is an important area for whitebait and wading birds, and provides a peaceful recreation area for local residents. With the establishment and growth of native plantings, the restored habitat will provide important foraging habitat for the birds of Orokonui. To find out more check out:  http://www.livinglegends.co.nz/regions-events/otagonorth-otago/

We are looking for groups and individuals who would like to adopt a patch of plants to help with ongoing maintenance, or to come along to regular working bees. We have a regular working bee on the last Sunday of every month from 9.30 – midday. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Lucy at the Department of Conservation, Coastal Otago Area (lhardy@doc.govt.nz or 03 474 7094).



Warrington Hall

Warrington Hall committee members are always busy with a project or two underway. Our lovely landscaped area has been much admired and we hope you are enjoying having somewhere to sit and catch up while at the mailbox or hall.
Our latest project has been to have the hall floor completely sanded back and re-stained. Unfortunately, we were unable to have this job done during the holidays so a big thank you to the regular hall users for their patience during the time the hall was out of action. You will agree that it has all been worth it as the lovely old rimu floor looks amazing. We hope the smell will soon disappear.
Thank you to Gilbert and Mike for seeing to the airing out of the hall on a daily basis.
If you would like to use the hall for a function contact Rowena 482 2667, Ruth 482 2849 or Lyn 482 2896.

Monday, 18 February 2013

BLUESKIN GARDEN CLUB

by Lyn Hastie
Blueskin Garden Club members met on 17 February at the old stables building at Seacliff Hospital.  Daphne, our President, had lots of old photos on display and gave an interesting talk on the past at the hospital.  Hundreds of patients lived there, many for a good part of their lives, and their days included tending large flower and vegetable gardens, hens, pigs, milking cows, laundry work, etc.  We also looked at the old laundry (no automatics in those days), kitchen and butchery, blacksmith shop, workshop and fire station, to name but a few.  Thank you Daphne for your time and efforts to entertain us all.  A big thank you also to the folk who reside there now for making us so welcome. Good luck on all the restoration and work you have ahead of you.

On Thursday 7 March club members will travel over the hill to Long Beach.  We will meet at 6:00pm for a shared tea, and then go for a walk around this lovely area to see what our fellow clubbies are up to in their special spot.  For further details check club emails.  On 13 April lots of us will be at Bland Park for Blueskin on Show.  As you will know, we have the 'Spud in a Container' competition well under way. Thanks to the 50 or so spud buyers who are taking part, and also to the Blueskin Nursery for stocking the spuds and bags -- more details to follow re the weigh-in, etc.  We will also be having a fun area where you can make a scarecrow.  We have all been collecting the requirements to make the scarecrows but if you would like to bring along your own bits and pieces that is fine. Please remember: we are trying to make them with as many recycled pre-loved clothes, etc. as possible.  After a few years' absence we will be having competitions for fruit, vegetables, preserves, pickles, jams, etc. as well as some baking. There will be a flower section as well. See the Blueskin on Show page for more info.  Looking forward to a great community day. Any queries to Daphne 482 2428 or Lyn 482 2896.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

BLUESKIN SOLAR PROJECT

by Chris Le Breton

The Blueskin Solar Syndicate had its first meeting in early February at Waitati village hall, with over 20 people present, to learn about the commercial propositions, social enterprise option, and a possible community venture with Blueskin's own Hagen Brueggemann.   There was unanimous approval to explore further going forward on the community initiative with Hagen, given the price of solar PV panels + inverte + array/fittings looks to be around 50% of the cost of both of the commercial options, and seeing that the social enterprise isn't yet up and running.

Just as soon as Hagen has verified the origin of the panels in China, we will check up with other clients in Europe to evaluate how satisfied they have been with their solar equipment.   Let us know if you still want to join the solar syndicate, and get solar equipment about half price!

ALSO:  Can you help? The Blueskin Solar Project needs a desk or computer work station to put into the office.