Our local council has been proactive with video messages from the mayor, Sandra Goudie, lists of changes to local services, how the Level 4 lockdown affects our area and ways to support local businesses.
By signing up to the council email newsletter you get the latest news directly to your inbox. Click here to go to the TCDC page to sign up.
DUE TO GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVES THERE ARE MAJOR CHANGES TO COUNCIL RUBBISH COLLECTIONS TO MINIMISE HUMAN CONTACT AND THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.
Starting from next week, Monday 30 March, your kerbside refuse collection will need to be placed in your recycling wheelie bin and will be collected fortnightly.
THE FORTNIGHTLY COLLECTION WILL BE ON YOUR NORMAL RECYCLING DAY IN YOUR NORMAL RECYCLING WEEK.
**FOR OPOUTERE THIS WILL START ON OUR NORMAL “WEEK 1” CYCLE, MEANING OUR BINS WILL BE EMPTIED EVERY FORTNIGHT STARTING MONDAY APRIL 6. TCDC has stated we will not get a collection on Monday March 30.
In addition to the offer of firewood for anyone who is in need Jo Adams is also able to arrange for water to be delivered if your tanks are running low.
Please call Jo on 0274 493 034. (Thanks Jo, this is amazing).
As the weeks go by we will all need some help, please don’t hesitate to leave a message HERE. This is totally confidential and someone will get in touch within the day to chat about what you need.
Keep an eye on neighbours, and take care of yourself and your family.
We are all in this together.
At the moment things are pretty unsettled and unsettling. We are all facing uncertainty about so many things – our health, our financial security, perhaps our family situations. It is normal to feel anxious and a bit out of sorts, these are unprecedented events in our lives.
In times of sudden change it’s good to start with the basics. If you want to understand more about COVID-19/Coronavirus the best website to visit is the official New Zealand Government page: https://covid19.govt.nz. It has simple explanations of the alert level system and what this means for us all. It explains how to keep yourself safe and how to ask for help (financial, medical, social).
From 11.59pm Wednesday 25 March our country goes to COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
This is when our lives really change for a while and when we need to step up as friends, neighbours and community members.
We are very lucky to be in a quiet corner of the world at the moment, so let’s help each other to stay well and happy through the coming months.
It is important to follow the official advice on public health and social measures that need to be taken to contain the spread of the disease.
The Ministry of Health has a great website with useful links to information about the disease itself, prevention and what to do if you have been exposed.
Importantly, here is the Healthline number 0800 358 5453. This is a free, 24hr service that provides advice and information for any Covid-19 concerns you may have.
Another source of good information is the World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
From the NZ government website:
“Reach out to your usual supports – family and whānau, friends and workmates. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important.
We also recommend sticking to a routine such as having regular mealtimes, bedtimes and exercising.
If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.
Spend time in places that feel safe and comfortable as much as possible.
Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and will pass – it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Keep active – doing usual leisure activities and seeing friends can improve general wellbeing and help distract from distressing feelings.”
Jo Adams, the Onemana Rural Fireforce Chief, has been busy working the phones and lining up some really helpful resources for the Opoutere community. We are very grateful for his advocacy and practical planning on our behalf.
Supermarkets are an “essential business” and will be remaining open. There’s no panic around food and household supplies!
The New World supermarket in Whangamata have been contacted by Jo and have proposed a grocery delivery service to customers in Opoutere. This will help reduce pressure on the supermarket staff who will be enforcing a one-in-one-out rule and will reduce the risk of infection for everyone. The plan involves ordering online as you normally would and the team will get the groceries out to Opoutere. It is important to prevent any contact with delivery staff – so stay indoors and wave gratefully when the goodies arrive!
Follow this link to the New World online shopping page.
We will let you know if any of these details change. Thank you, Neville and the team at Whangamata!
With the cooperation of local forestry Jo is sourcing some large pine trees to be split up and distributed to anyone in need. We will let you know how to access this wood once it has been split and stockpiled. If you can help with the wood processing please give Jo a call on 027 449 3034.
Jo is carefully managing his volunteer fire-fighting teams to keep them safe and able to respond as they normally would to any fire or first aid emergencies.
If you would like to be involved with the Onemana Voluntary Rural Fire Force give Jo a call on 027 449 3034.
If you’ve got some extra fruit or vegetables that you can’t eat please think about popping a notice on the bus shelter noticeboard with your phone number. (You might get a jar of preserves or marmalade in return.)
There’s a notice on the bus shelter that you can write your number on if you need ANYTHING. Or you can leave us a message HERE and we will email you back within the day.
After what seems like months of dry weather Opoutere has finally had a few hours of solid rain. The air is clear and the whole place has been washed clean. Hallelujah!
No doubt you have all been out to thump the side of your water tanks and are relishing the thought of that wonderful fresh rain in there. However, we need to keep up the rain dances as we are still in an extreme fire risk situation. Sorry, to be a downer!
Yay for rain, pray for more.
Here’s an update from the 2019/2020 dotterel breeding season. (With special thanks to Dave Burbage for circulating this great news to the community):
We would like to provide information to members about the CCC.
Please take some time to read the following helpful documents as you are thinking about your values and vision.
Please read all documents prior to our AGM. There will be time to discuss, ask questions, queries and raise concerns (if any).
The committee is looking forward to seeing as many as possible at the ORRA AGM on January 2nd, 2020.
We hope you have all had a lovely Christmas, please stay safe on the roads and the beaches!
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today issued a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested from the southern end of Pauanui Beach down to the northern tip of Mount Maunganui, including the Tauranga Harbour.
Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region have shown levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness. Please help keep your whānau safe over the Christmas break and avoid collecting shellfish from the affected area.
Due to currents and prevailing winds going in the opposite direction, the presence of toxic shellfish are not believed to be related to the recent eruption of White Island.
Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin), and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.
Note: cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.
Pāua, crab, and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.
Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:
If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately. You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.
Monitoring of toxin levels will continue.
Commercially harvested shellfish – sold in shops and supermarkets, or exported – is subject to strict water and flesh monitoring programmes by MPI to ensure they are safe to eat.
It’s been a busy year for ORRA. We thought it was about time for an update!
Earlier in the year, Gordon Ikin, our elected chairperson, had to step down for health reasons. Committee member Val Herbert, kindly and valiantly stepped up to be our acting chair. Val has done an incredible job of heading the association through some interesting times . . .
During the winter some containers of herbicide, tagged with ORRA’s name, were found on the beach reserve. Did they belong to ORRA? No, they didn’t and the person responsible has apologized for this. The upside is: this resulted in discussions with DOC about the need for a Community Agreement to define permitted activities around weed and pest control. This is now in train. We hope this Community Agreement will be in place soon as this is essential for our ongoing work on public land. Especially because . . .
We are thrilled that ORRA has been awarded $14,080 from DOC’s Community Fund – Pūtea Tautiaki Hapori. The Fund was oversubscribed with a total of 378 applications with $8 million available – so we are especially grateful that DOC has recognised us with this grant.
Covering three years the grant provides for resetting predator traps (Goodnature), non-toxic lures for our DOC 200 predator traps, equipment to keep our volunteers safe and tools to monitor predator numbers in the area. The funding panel acknowledged the good work done by ORRA in the past and together we’re busy finalising the details so we can get back to the mahi.
Doing the dishes never looked so good! A whopping $3,510 has been raised from the first tea towel print run featuring the fabulous native creatures of Opoutere. They are now sold out. There may be another print run pre-Christmas, conditional on demand. Please put your Christmas pre-orders in ASAP to Rachel Lang. firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s BACK! After a sad eighteen months the Opoutere YHA is reopening under a new entity – Wharekawa Adventure Education Trust, and will offer summer accommodation from early December 2019. If you are a YHA member you’ll get preferential booking, for more information go to http://www.yha.co.nz.
Hard-working volunteers transformed the Bruce’s Bay causeway and foot-bridge (you can’t miss the cheerful yellow paint job!). The whole area has been battered by high tides and further work will happen as time allows. Thanks to all the workers, but especially to project leaders: Peter Le Heron, Keryn Kliskey and Stuart Farmer.
This continues to be a focus in the community, so we thought we should talk about it. An individual has been accused. They have said to ORRA, also to DOC, that they have not done this. We believe them. There is no evidence to suggest that they are responsible. Community rumour has resulted in unfortunate vigilante action and appalling vandalism. It has got so bad that the police have been notified.
ORRA asks that everyone in our community remember our values: respect, tolerance and kindness. If you have concerns; let’s talk before resorting to threatening tactics.
Logging and more frequent flooding mean that more silt is accumulating in the estuary. ORRA has commissioned a report from an independent forestry expert to give us an overview of local forestry. This work is ongoing, and extremely important – the health of our estuary affects us all.
Mangroves are great in the right place. But increasing siltation means they are growing out of control. We continue to cut them back, but we have to work within a resource consent from the Waikato Regional Council. In the recent renewal of the consent we weren’t able to get the conditions varied to include using line trimmers. We’ll be doing more working bees on mangroves next year – and thanks to committee member Lene Knight for carrying the flame on this.
Opoutere now has a defibrillator, it is located at 301 Opoutere Rd (Elizabeth Savage’s house). When in use it has pre-recorded instructions that guide the user. Thanks to the Onemana Voluntary Rural Fire Force for donating the defibrillator which was surplus to their needs, and to committee member Neil Graham for installing it.
As you may have seen, we have new signs about dogs on the beach. Dogs are not permitted anywhere south of the yellow benches or off-lead on any other part of the beach. This is particularly important now the dotterels are busy breeding! The good news is, we have a new TCDC dog control officer in Whangamata. Rebecca Tilsley is making effective efforts to control dogs and she also oversees freedom camping compliance. She will respond to any complaints and does regular patrols, you can call TCDC day or night on 07 868 0200.
Keep an eye out for the new Dotterel Ranger, Stewart, who has started patrolling the beach and dunes to keep an eye on the dotterels. They are nesting right along the beach this season, probably due to the changed terrain on the spit. Dogs, especially, should be kept well away from nesting sites. Please make sure to give our small neighbours plenty of space so they can get on with raising their families in peace.
You may have seen the notices about the Community Collective Commitment that is proposed for Opoutere. This process will define the combined values of the community – which will influence policy and future funding. It is important and affects all of us. The CCC is a collaborative effort that involves ORRA, the Wharekawa Catchment Care Group and independent locals who wish to be heard. DOC is facilitating the process. There will be a public meeting to discuss this on 11 January 2020. Notices confirming details will be posted in the village and emailed out where possible.
Please have a think about what matters to you in Opoutere and have your say. You can email our interim chairperson Val Herbert at email@example.com with any concerns or questions.
Come along to the ORRA AGM, Thursday January 2, 2020, time TBC, Opoutere School Hall. Notices will be emailed out and posted in the village.
The legendary Opoutere Regatta will be held on Friday January 3rd in Bruce’s Bay. Look out for notices about the time. Rain day 4th January. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate, from the littlest toddler to the most competitive bloke with a score to settle from regattas past (you know who you are). There’ll be a prize-giving BBQ on the reserve afterwards, undignified lolly scramble included.