Tuesday, 22 July 2014

WOO News

The apple pressing at the Sunday market was a great success and a lot of local apples were turned into delicious juice. I went to a WOO member's home afterward and they had just finished bottling dozens of bottles of cider. I won’t divulge the location though. It is perfect timing to make cider in autumn and to drink the crisp, clear, cold, sparkling, perfectly aged cider on a hot summer day.
Waitati does have a good climate for apples, and fortunately they are a very versatile fruit. If you chose a selection of trees when you are planting to ripen at different times through the season, you can harvest perfect eating apples over several months as well as having some to store for later use. You will be eating your own apples all year round.

My favourite method of preserving apples at the moment is to dehydrate them as leather and as chips and making amazing, cheap, delicious muesli. To make apple and pear chips, we peel the fruit, slice finely, and soak in either pineapple juice or water with lemon juice or citric acid. The acid stops the fruit from turning brown. For the leather I lightly cook the peeled and chopped apples with very little water and put in a food processor alone or with some of the following: blackberries, raspberries, black currants, red currants, elderberries, strawberries, plums, or whatever else you have. You can add some sugar or honey if you want, but dehydrating intensifies the sweetness of the fruits.

We use an electric dehydrator because it’s a good way to use the daylight electricity glut from the solar panels, but it is possible to use a passive solar dehydrator, an oven, or the heat from a fireplace or hot water cupboard, though these methods may require some experimentation. I have often thought the dashboard of a car on a sunny day would make a good place to dehydrate fruit.

I have been begging lemons from North Island friends. I send them a courier ticket so they can send down a box of citrus from their tree. I have been preserving them using two methods recently: the Moroccan method of packing them with salt and lemon juice in jars, and preserving in sugar syrup using the overflow method. Something I have not tried but that would be amazing for treating winter sore throats is bottling sliced lemons in honey syrup, then diluting the syrup with hot water for a soothing drink.

It’s time to plant garlic and shallots from now on. I experimented with planting shallots in mid-winter last year and it was a total success, yielding lots of extra big bulbs. Planting in winter also means you can plant all your biggest bulbs and get them away from the temptation to eat the biggest ones first, as they are so much easier to peel and use and it takes some discipline to keep the biggest for planting.

The shortest day has been and gone, so it’s time to think about next year’s food garden. Spread plenty of manure, pea straw and compost around, dig in your cover crops, and get a few potatoes sprouting on a sunny window sill in anticipation of an early crop of sweet waxy potatoes. Anticipation is the greater part of pleasure.


Warrington School

What an amazing evening! It was a real treat to see the children so passionate about sharing and performing their drumming and waiata to celebrate Matariki in front of such a large, attentive audience of parents and members of the wider Warrington community. Thank you to Ms Jones and Mrs Russell for their wonderful work with getting the children’s performances so polished!

Here are some Matariki stories from students...

On the night of Matariki I marched and beat the drum as hard and loud as I could, to the Paua Farm. As I was walking it got bleaker and bleaker. The stars caught my eye as they were glistening radiantly in the shady night sky. Two glossy dazzling lanterns had suddenly appeared out of the night sky and they were coming closer and closer. It was Mikey and his mum. We were waiting for quite a while and then we strolled toward the lanterns and lights. Stilt walkers were dancing like fairies, with their long legs high above the road. I was freezing – maybe it wasn’t a good idea wearing a dress! I’d finally got to the school path and lanterns covered the whole area. Boom, boom, pow – the drums were finally here. Time to parade around the court...
Year 7

Thump, thump went the many stiff hands whacking the strong base drums. I could hear all the excitement echoing through the heart of misty Warrington. One step at a time my gleaming lantern guides me to my other classmates who are banging their drums, getting into the rhythm or gracefully walking, swaying their paper lanterns side to side. I was in the middle of something big. Suddenly I felt alone. The clothes of many people were blending into the moonless night and just then the lanterns turned into twinkling stars floating in the Matariki atmosphere.
Year 6

It was Tuesday and it was Matariki time. The whole school and some of the Warrington people were celebrating Matariki. I was feeling jubilant. When I saw the stilt walkers, I was totally amazed. I also noticed an adult from mum’s school was there. We were walking with all the people and I had to carry a lantern. It was quite windy. I felt frightened. The very first person that I saw was Rosa. She is as cute as a puppy. They are very cute – just like me. When we got to school we played the drums and sang songs for the audience. After we performed for everyone, we had some food. I didn’t stay for the whole Matariki. I had to go home quickly. Quick as quick. My eyes were hurting, so I snuggled up to mum. I was very tired!
Year 2

Year 7&8 Open Evening : Thursday 31st July @ 7pm
We are holding an Open Evening for our prospective Year 7 and 8 students to share with parents and children the learning programmes and opportunities that are available at Warrington School next year.

After School Care
Our After School Care programme is in full swing. It is available Monday – Friday
3pm – 6pm. We have trained experienced staff. We offer structured activities, games, cooking, arts and crafts, supervised homework as well as afternoon tea and snacks.

If you have any queries about Warrington School or would like more information please contact the office on 482-2605.

Warrington Playcentre

We have really enjoyed celebrating the first week of Matariki here in Warrington. The playcentre children all made Matariki lanterns in preparation for the lantern festival.  There was great enthusiasm and many skills displayed by all the children when making these lanterns. Of note are Finn and Nikau who were exceptionally creative and produced beautiful lanterns.

It was really exciting for the playcentre children to then take part in the Warrington school lantern parade and show off their creations. Thank you to the Warrington School for hosting such a lovely celebration.

On 4 July, 7.30pm at Warrington Playcentre we are hosting a ladies' clothing swap and social evening. We would love to see you there and anticipate a good fun night. $5 entry. Bring a bag of clothes and leave with new ones! Bring your own refreshments.

Warrington Playcentre is open Wednesdays and Fridays 9.15am - 12.15pm. Please feel free to come along and spend the morning with us and see what we have to offer.

Waitati Volunteer Fire Brigade


Once the cold weather sets in, the risk of a fire in the home increases. More people start to use more appliances and heaters, and fires are cranked up. A fire can take hold in just minutes, but taking simple fire prevention steps takes only seconds. 

New Zealand Fire Service figures show common causes of fire in winter are faulty appliances, overloaded multi boards, drying clothing too close to a heater or fire, hot ashes and embers not being properly disposed of, and blocked chimneys.

Throughout the year, the most common cause of fire in the home is unattended cooking. The number of these kitchen fires increases slightly in winter as more people cook and eat at home.

Between 15 to 20 people die in avoidable house fires each year and there are around 3800 fires in New Zealand homes each year. Each one causes an average of $40,000 worth of damage.

There are a number of fast, easy things that you can do to reduce fire risks in the home to protect yourself and your family from fire this winter.

• Keep looking while you are cooking.

• Keep everything at least a metre from a heater.

• Put hot ash and embers in a metal container and wet thoroughly before disposal (it can take up to five days for ash and embers to completely die out).

• Have your chimney and electric blankets checked before winter.

• Do not put too many plugs into your multi boards.

• Remember that smoke alarms save lives.


Delays in an emergency can be devastating.

If a fire breaks out, rural property owners face an increased risk due to their remote location. When we arrive our response can be compromised by our fire appliance not being able to gain access onto driveways due to overhanging branches or narrow gates and fence lines. There are also issues with no clear pathways to water resources on properties.

Remember the 4x4 Rule

In an emergency it is critical that our fire appliances and crews are able to get to you as soon as possible.

Access to driveways and water supplies
MUST have a width and height
clearance of at least four metres

Is your RAPID Number displayed clearly?

It is important that all rapid numbers are displayed clearly to enable faster response to incidents at rural properties.

RAPID stands for Rural Address Property Identification. It is a nationwide system for giving every rural property with a house an address that is easy to locate. As part of the process of allocating RAPID numbers, a GPS reading is also taken. Most local authorities have completed rural numbering and can provide you with your RAPID number and, for a small fee, a RAPID number plate.

The rural RAPID numbering system identifies your property and if used will ensure that all emergency services reach you as fast as possible. Call takers and dispatchers are better able to determine your location if you use the RAPID system. 

If you have a rural address, your RAPID number should be clearly displayed on your front gate where it can be seen easily from both directions day and night. Keep directions for getting to your property, including your phone number and RAPID number by the phone and make sure every member of the family, even young children, can explain it. Show visitors where the directions are. Your RAPID number is assigned by your local council.

Take a moment to consider the safety of your home. Implementing a few simple precautions could make all the difference to your and your family’s safety this winter.

Waitati Qigong

by Jay Glubb

I'd like to share a little bit about myself, my background in Qigong, and what it has done for me. My interest in Qigong started in 2006 when I began attending regular classes in town. Soon after I started attending a teacher training programme that, at the time ,was been run in two weeks at a time in Wellington. My experiences of Qi (Chi, life force), and how Qigong (exercises and meditations to work on Qi) can help to improve life were profound. I have had a daily practice ever since.

A friend who knew me early on when I started recently described me as "the most ungrounded person he had ever met”. How this could be seen in Qigong terms is that the connection between body and mind was not very strong. Not surprisingly, if we are not connected well to ourselves, our own body, and our true feelings, then it is hard to connect well to others and to the outside world. It is also hard to make good decisions concerning our health and other areas of life. To put it simply, I had a bunch of problems, seemingly on the outside but in the end, in order to change them, I had to change myself.

I really can't express what it feels like to know you can really change your life. Like everyone else I still have lots of things to work on (and the occasional ungrounded moment), but I have this sense of joy and purpose, because for me, fundamentally each challenge is an opportunity to grow.

I am sharing this because I want to offer my help to other people. The training that I've undergone to get to this point has been quite comprehensive ( and is ongoing) but, more importantly, I have applied it into my own life first. I teach classes in Waitati (Tuesday 6.30 at the hall) and in NEV. I am also available for private healing sessions. A healing consists of working to help adjust a person's Qi and helping to find the underlying causes of problems, including unhealthy thought patterns. Qi healings are a little bit like Reiki (Ki is the Japanese name for Qi) and are common in a number of Qigong practices. In fact regular Qigong practice (and correct training) makes a great foundation for a person's Qi healing abilities.

I try to offer my work at an affordable level, hence prices are on a sliding scale. Classes are $5-$10 depending on what you can afford and healings are $20-$50. I also run group healings in my Waitati class every third Tuesday of the month.

On Sunday 13 July I am running a day retreat in the Waitati Hall. This will be an opportunity to learn the form and also experience the healing potential of the practice. The price for this is $20-$50. This is also a taster for a weekend retreat that some other teachers from town and I are putting together soon.

For more details on any of this go to Yuangongqigongdunedin@wordpress.com. Hope to see you soon.

Waitati Film Society

by Leonie Rousselot

All welcome to join us at the Film Society at our new venue at the old Stores on Harvey Street on Tuesdays at 8.00pm.
Membership for one year is $65 and covers 27 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 Brigitte 482-2829 and visit our website: www.nzfilmsociety.org.nz/waitati.htm

Tuesday July 1
LUMUMBA                 Fr/Bel/Germ/Haiti 2000
Patrice Lumumba was a driving force for the rapid independence of the Republic of the Congo from its colonial master, Belgium, in 1960.  This film re-enacts the 12 weeks for which he was the first democratically elected Prime Minister before being ousted by Joseph Mobutu, who in 1961 had the 35 year old executed. His crime was to have opposed the independence of the mineral-rich province of Katanga with its heavy USA and other foreign investments. Though denied, the USA as well as the UK and Belgium were implicated in his death.           115m

Tuesday July 8
Even the tropical paradise of the Canaries Islands does not escape being the destination of the relentless process of people trying to escape their home countries in search of a better life. Zola and his son Mamadou are some of the few survivors of a stricken refugee boat from the Congo. German tourist Nathalie’s instinct is to help them as much as possible but customs man José, bled of compassion, merely wants to inter them before deportation. Is he callous or pragmatic, she idealistic or naïve? What would you do?     95m

Tuesday July 15
BAMAKO                           Mali/Fr/USA 2006
This film is named after the capital of Mali, a poverty-stricken African nation. It depicts a trial at which the prosecution blame the imposed, inappropriate policies of the World Bank and the IMF for the perilous financial state of many African nations. The defence blames the widespread government and commercial practices that can only be described as wholesale corruption.      115m

Tuesday July 22
GET LOW                  Germ/Poland/USA 2009
Rumours abound about Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) who lives as a hermit deep in the woods. The intrigue increases when he turns up one day with a wad of money asking for a party at which townsfolk will be asked to repeat the rumours, one of which involves his previous relationship with widow Mattie Darrow (Sissy Spacek).               103m

Tuesday July 29
GARDENING WITH SOUL              NZ 2013
Shown at the Film Festival last year, this documentary follows Sister Loyola for a year as she tends the gardens of the Sisters of Compassion. Though 90, her mind is as sharp as her pruners and her humour and worldly understanding have not faded. She was part of that generation that spoke their minds and never flinched from hard work.    100m

Waikouaiti Coast Community Board

Natural Hazards Community Consultation
Council is currently consulting with the community (holding community workshops between 24 June and 17 July) on their preferred options for managing the risks of natural hazards in the second generation District Plan (2GP). 

It is appropriate for the council to identify the various hazard zones within our community and to apply controls on these zones. It is, however, important that we as a community provide input into the matters that the council will control and activities allowed in these defined areas.

This is also an opportunity to gain an understanding of the classifications applied and, more importantly, confirm the extent of the boundaries of the areas mapped as being appropriate.

The board is considering the implications of the council's proposed policy for our area and will provide feedback accordingly. However, it is imperative that community members take the time to consider the implications for their property and our area and provide their own feedback through this process. 

The council has arranged for a number of public presentations on their proposed policy. The following meetings have been advised for our area:

  • Waitati Hall 9th Jul 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Karitane Hall 15th Jul 2014 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The hazard zones and the proposed controls are able to be viewed through council’s website at;

I urge you all to take the time to participate in this process.

Foot Path and Road Maintenance
The board remain concerned that the level of maintenance carried out on our roads and footpaths is not to an appropriate standard. We welcome comments from our community identifying any outstanding issues.
We also encourage members of our community to report maintenance issues to the council through their customer services department phone: 477 4000. Reporting maintenance items in this way allows the council to track contractor performance.

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

The board’s next meeting is at 5.30pm 2 July at the Otaru Room, Civic Centre, The Octagon, Dunedin. The following meeting will be at the events centre in Waikouaiti at 5.30pm on 13 August.  Agendas are generally available through the DCC’s website three days before the meeting through the link below.

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 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),
Andrew Noone

Geraldine Tait,

Mark Brown,

Richard Russell

Tracey Scurr


Orokonui Ecosanctuary

by Sue Hensley

Winter may be on us but a band of hardy volunteers remain hard at work assisting the field staff with a variety of tasks. Particularly welcome are those who doggedly work away at clearing the many kilometres of monitoring tracks. Up and coming arborists from the Polytech have also been busy in the sanctuary clearing pines which will open up habitat for native plants.The decomposing pine trunks will be great for huhu grubs and, combined with the deep pine mulch (and associated invertebrates), will make this area a rich food source for kiwi in a few years’ time.

The kiwi that evaded transfer from Te Anau last month through having a burrow deep under a rock was finally caught and released into Orokonui. Each year a number of young kiwi are raised from eggs taken from the wild, then protected on pest-free islands until considered large enough to defend themselves from stoat attack. However for some reason this has not been a good season for these particular young kiwi at Haast with several of them being killed by stoats. A decision had been made to transfer the remaining two but before this could take place they too were killed by stoats. This perhaps emphasises how difficult and ever changing and challenging managing threatened species can be.

There are still Matariki events happening in July. An art exhibition with music from Jackie Papanui will open on 5 July and for children there is Matariki for Tamariki with Tahu on 12 July. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays over the winter the café has a reduced menu of tea, coffee and slices. A full menu is available other five days of the week.

For information on events visit www.orokonui.org.nz or facebook. The Visitor Centre is open daily.

East Otago Biodiversity and Landscape Forum

by Rhys Millar 

The Landscape Connections Trust (LCT) is organising a forum for individuals, landowners, community groups, iwi and management agencies that have an interest in the biodiversity and landscape of East Otago.  The forum aims to encourage cooperation between individuals and groups by providing an opportunity to network and to share ideas and knowledge about the biodiversity and heritage of this unique area.

The LCT is in the very early stages of facilitating the development of a community management strategy for enhancing the biodiversity and landscape functionality of the East Otago area.  Guidance and input from the community is keenly sought, and will continue to be sought throughout the process.

The biodiversity forum will form part of the LCT’s information gathering process, as well as promoting collaboration and networking amongst interested people. The intent of the forum is to learn about the biodiversity, cultural and heritage values of this area, and to share aspirations for the future.  We will hear from grass-roots conservation groups, landowners, Kati Huirapa Runaka Ki Puketeraki, DOC, ORC and others.

Purpose of the Forum:
·      To learn of the ecological, cultural and heritage values of this area.
·      To understand from locals and experts what biodiversity, cultural and heritage values are of high importance, as well as understanding how healthy our terrestrial and marine environment currently is, and how we can improve its health.
·      To learn of people’s work in the field of biodiversity management and research, sustainable land management, and to understand what projects are underway in the area.
·      To encourage co-operation, networking and the sharing of ideas regarding the future management of the East Otago landscape.

Interested people
We are really keen to hear from people or groups who are involved in biodiversity or nature-related sustainability initiatives across the breadth of East Otago.  From individual landowners through to larger conservation groups, we look forward to your involvement in the day.  Please contact us for more details. 

Where and When?
To be held in the meeting room at Orokonui ecosanctuary from 1:30pm – 5:30pm on Saturday the 2nd August.

Contact Details
Space will be limited, so please RSVP to:
Rhys Millar 
03 4779242 (w)
027 3877866 (m)

BRCT Update

by Niki Bould

June is the beginning of that time of year when we think about our own warm and cosy homes – or how to retrofit them at least. The Cosy Homes governance group is still giving away free insulation but unfortunately that promotion ends as we move into July. If you missed out or were not eligible (for whatever reason) then do not despair – Cosy Homes is all about finding ways to help you get your home warm and cosy. Keep an eye out for our next promotion (BRCT is part of the Cosy Homes group).

BRCT held its AGM at the end of May. It was sad to say goodbye to Katie Parker, who has been with us for three years and our Treasurer, Tony Wilson, who has been with us for four. We have really appreciated their commitment to good governance, and personally I have thoroughly enjoyed working for them both. Fortunately we don’t completely lose Tony as he, along with Charles Abraham and Chris Freear are directors of BEL (Blueskin Energy Limited). We want to congratulate Charles for stepping up and becoming our Treasurer. Lastly, we would like to extend our thanks to Andy Barratt who presented Dunedin’s “Our Food Network”.

Our own food work, focused on a Blueskin foodshed assessment, has gradually expanded to include an evaluation of some of the retail and distribution components of Port Chalmers. As a much larger settlement it has offered insights as to the viability of selling local food as a regular part of a functioning local food system. The baseline food system evaluation is drawing to an end, having considered food production, distribution and consumption in our area. We are now embarking on the initial development of a framework with some suggested options of how to enhance the current local food system. These ideas and suggestions were gathered from the community research phase and we are currently pulling them together into a format for our community to discuss (in an upcoming community meeting).

We are also proud to announce the release of our climate change report. The report
(available on our website (http://www.brct.org.nz/resources/brct-publications) was acknowledged and accepted by the Dunedin City Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee with no controversy and we look forward to discussion about it at future community events.

Finally, thanks to Peter Higbee who has been keeping tabs on transport issues for us and to everyone else who has helped out and offered help this past month in all our activities – we couldn’t do so much without you!

If you would like to find out more about any project or anything else that we do at BRCT then please call in to see us (we are in the old dental clinic at Waitati School), call us on 4822 048, email us at office@brct.org.nz or just check out our website (www.brct.org.nz).

Blueskin Energy Project

by Scott Willis

In June we received the 12 month energy yield assessment from DNV-GL Energy, who provide our wind data analysis. There were no surprises. The predicted energy yield on the Porteous Hill site is the same after 12 months testing as was predicted after 6 months. The reason behind the accurate 6 month prediction is partly due to the information gathered from our 10 metre tower over the last 3 years. As usual, we are being ultra-cautious and it’s great to have our expectations confirmed. For the purposes of the assessment we asked DNV-GL Energy to model the Gamesa G58 (850kW rated) wind turbine – practically the same turbine model used at Mt Stuart at Waitahuna near Milton. You can usually see the 9 turbines from the State Highway 1 turn-off to Central Otago south of Milton. We are also modelling other turbine models as well, to gauge the productivity from different models and assess different development options.

The 10 metre meteorological tower will soon be dis-assembled as it has done its job and, now that it has developed a glitch in the top anemometer, it is time for it to come down. Our 30-metre mast will remain monitoring wind yield as we continue to prepare the proposed development. Another larger mast will be installed at a different location in the future, to help build up our knowledge of the Blueskin wind profile even more. Few if any other proposed wind farm developments have had anything like the concentration of wind testing per turbine footprint that we’ve been doing in Blueskin, and the value of this thorough testing is to de-risk the project as much as possible.

In June we held a very productive business-planning workshop with support partners from the Ahika Foundation (formally the Hikurangi Foundation). As we get greater detail from turbine manufacturers we are able to make our business modelling more accurate, look at how much debt the project can carry, and plan capital-raising.

We’ve also looked at more recent analysis of the electricity market. The future is of course notoriously difficult to predict, particularly when climate change is factored in. Many analysts do not see an imminent closure of the smelter at Tiwai Point as likely, but do see some production down-grade as a possibility. Even under a down-grade scenario the analysts believe there is unlikely to be much of a change in power prices. All of this has implications for how the market receives the electricity produced at the proposed Blueskin wind development and how much that market is prepared to pay for it – but generally in a positive sense.

In other energy news, it is great to see solar installations continuing to climb and we are excited to be getting close to getting our own solar panels up on the roof of the BRCT office. Look out for our PledgeMe campaign, where we are seeking funding for the last wee bit (installation).

Visit us in the BRCT office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. Telephone enquiries can be made on 4822048 and we can be contacted at: www.brct.org.nz

Blueskin Library

by Kay Mercer

Storytime at Blueskin Bay Library
Have fun with your child, and enjoy half an hour of stories and rhymes, both old and new.
Suitable for pre-school children and their care-givers.
Every Thursday, 2pm (excluding school holidays)
8 May 2014 – 3 July 2014
24 July 2014 – 25 September 2014

Blueskin Bookshare
Join us for a chat over morning tea about what you’re currently reading.
A relaxed way to make friends and share ideas about what to read next.
Fourth Friday of every month, 10.30-11.30am
Blueskin Bay Library

Try out some of the gadgets from yesteryear and learn how they sparked the development of modern technology.
Friday 11th July - Blueskin Bay Library 2.30pm-5.30pm
Proudly supporting New Zealand International Science Festival

Freddo’s Family Story Time At Blueskin Bay Library
Hop to the Library with your family for a story session.
Meet Freddo Frog and enjoy a chocolate treat!
Blueskin Bay Library
Thursday 17th July, 2pm
Entry: Free

Super Inventions Discovery Trail
Uncover the history of the world’s science heroes
Pick up a trail guide and follow the clues in your local library.
Saturday 5th – Saturday 12th July
All Dunedin Public Libraries

Chocolate Bard Poetry Competition
Write a sonnet to chocolate.
Express how much you love chocolate through poetry, and be in to win a prize pack choc-full of treats.
Entries close 12 noon, Friday 11th  July
All Dunedin Public Libraries
FREE (suitable for age 12+ years)
For an entry form and full terms and conditions visit: www.dunedinlibraries.govt.nz/chocolatebard