Issue 42

December 2019 / January 2020

Mayor’s christmas message

On behalf of Robyn and myself I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I hope that over the festive break you’ll have time to relax and reflect, and to enjoy the company of family and friends.

For me personally, it’s a time to reflect on the milestones we’ve achieved as a district over the past year and look towards the future.
This year is particularly poignant as we move from one decade to another and consider what the 2020s might have in store.

As you’re probably aware, we have a new Council and I’m looking forward to working with this team to achieve Gore District’s goals.  While the new Council’s focus will be similar to previous councils, the team will bring its own unique style.

We’ll be continuing our work building resilient and safe infrastructure for Gore District, and making our district an attractive place where all generations can thrive.

Wishing you all the best for the festive season and 2020, Tracy Hicks.

Mayor’s christmas message

Looking Out for Leaks – new identification system to be trialled

We all need to look after our water — it’s a vital resource. If you see a water leak on the road or footpath over summer, please let us know.

It’s that time of year when people notice water leaks more because the ground is drier, says our 3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss.

“The Council is proactively working to reduce water loss from our water system and with the community’s help we can do our best to manage water leaks.”

This summer the Council is trialling a new `traffic light’ system where staff put a blue or red paint mark near a leak to let the community know the leak has been assessed and when it is likely to be repaired.

High priority leaks will be fixed as soon as possible, so they won’t be marked.

Red paint means the leak is assessed as medium priority and will be repaired in one to two weeks. Blue paint means repairs will be done routinely when staff can.

Where it’s practical, if a leak is on a berm or on a footpath, staff will put an orange road cone beside it to let people know it has been inspected.

“As we head into summer it’s also a great time to check your own property for water leaks and get them fixed,” Matt says.

“It’s amazing how much water is lost from a leaking toilet cistern, for example, so checking for leaks around your property is a great way to look after our water resource.”

The Council uses leak detection and listening equipment to target water leaks that are underground and can’t be seen.

If you see a water leak, call the Council on 03 209 0330 or report it via the Council app, Antenno.

Looking Out for Leaks – new identification system to be trialled

A love of coaching

Seeing the joy learners get from swimming a bit further or mastering a new water skill is what motivates Gore Aquatics head coach Mariano Garcia Nani.

Mariano was recently awarded New Zealand Skills Active apprentice of the year. Skills Active is the national industry training organisation for sport, exercise, recreation and performing arts.

It’s a national award he’s both proud and humbled to have received. While he’s personally delighted, he says it’s also great for the Hokonui Aquatic Club and the Sharks swimming squad he coaches.

Having moved to New Zealand from Argentina five years ago and then to Gore three years ago, Mariano loves the opportunities Gore gives him. He praises the support he receives from his partner, family, Council staff and management, as well as the wider community.

“I am always very grateful for the support I have, and I don’t take that for granted.”

Gore District has some promising young swimmers, primarily in the 9 to 13 year age group, but also in the 13 to 18 year age group.

“There are a lot of very skilful swimmers coming through, all with a good work ethic,” Mariano says.

Eleven local swimmers currently compete at national events and it’s great Gore District has this level of representation, he says.

Mariano’s dedication to adaptive aquatics, coaching people with disabilities or health conditions, is an area of special interest for him.

“It’s really satisfying to see these people doing well and it’s also a challenge I enjoy learning to communicate in different ways to meet their needs.”

Congratulations Mariano!

A love of coaching

Getting ready for tomorrow

There’s a conversation to be had about growth in the Gore District.

“Gore is growing, and house prices are increasing. We need the community to start thinking about future growth, and how and where the District could develop,” says Regulatory and Community Services General Manager, Dr Ian DavidsonWatts.

A draft conceptual document, A Discussion About Spatial Planning, was approved this week for consultation. The document sets out a broad, `helicopter view’ of Gore District, as a backdrop to thinking about future growth.

Each of our urban areas have opportunities and issues to consider, Ian says.

“The spatial plan aims to consider existing strengths such as transport connections but also the challenges to development such as natural hazards like flooding. It will help us balance environmental, social, economic and quality of life factors that affect our community.”

A series of community engagement events will be held in early 2020, as part of a `Ready for Tomorrow’ campaign, to gather the community’s ideas and feedback on growth. The spatial plan consultation document will be used to inform these conversations.

“This is a two-way street. We have done the background research and we have ideas. But, we want the complete picture and the community’s views are an important part of that,” Ian says.

After community feedback has been gathered, the spatial plan will be finalised. As a high-level guidance document for policy and infrastructure, it will feed into the Council’s annual, district and 10-year plans, and inform other detailed planning needs.

Dates and times of `Ready for Tomorrow’ community engagement sessions will be publicised early next year. Keep your eye out for them, and come along to share your ideas about the future of your place.

Getting ready for tomorrow

2020 brings bigger and brighter country music celebrations

If you’re a country musician or fan, then listen up — 2020 will be bigger and brighter than ever.

There’s always been a lively, festive feeling to Gore’s traditional country music celebrations at Queen’s Birthday weekend when musicians and followers come together to sing, strum and clap.

Now it is set to go up another notch, as familiar and new events are brought together under the umbrella of the New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust.

Key events organisations — the Gore Country Music Club, the NZ Songwriters’ Trust, the NZ Gold Guitar Committee and the Gore District Council — have joined forces to form the Trust.

Its aim is to increase the profile of Gore and country music, and of New Zealand’s outstanding country music artists. Its trustees are Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks, Philip Geary, Barbara MacKay, Julie Mitchell, Jeff Rea (chairman), and Bronwyn Reid.

“Forming the New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust is an exciting step in building on what is already happening,” says Jeff.

“Since 1976, Gore has been known as the Capital of Country Music.

“More than 100,000 hours of volunteer time each year goes into running the activities, and the latest economic survey completed by Gore District Council attributes approximately $1 million of return to the District.  This is a significant event Gore residents can be proud of.”

In 2020 the New Zealand Country Music Festival celebration will run for eight days from Saturday 23 May to Sunday 31 May. There’ll be great events for both Southlanders and visitors to enjoy, including some exciting new events that will be announced shortly.

“So, if you’re a country musician or fan, get yourself ready for an extra splash at next year’s country music celebrations,” says Jeff.

For performers, event registrations open in January. Ticket sales to attend events open in early February.

2020 brings bigger and brighter country music celebrations

Want to catch up?

This month has been an extremely busy one with all staff from the main administration building relocating to temporary office space in the James Cumming Wing.

The move is to make way for the upgrade of the Council’s main administration building, due to start in the New Year.

For the next 12 months we will be working in different circumstances, but we’ll be striving to continue to deliver the best possible service while construction is underway.

As always, we look forward to helping you with any Council-related queries.

While we’re in our temporary office space:

If you need to see a Council staff member, please phone ahead and make an appointment if you can. We have fewer meeting rooms available just now, so we need to be a little more organised to arrange a private meeting space where we can discuss your query.
If it works for you, use our online channels to resolve your query — either via our website or Antenno app. Or give us a call.

What’s where?

Our reception is now in the James Cumming Wing foyer and there is no access to the building from Bowler Avenue while construction is underway.
Council meetings will be held in the James Cumming Wing lecture theatre.
Our lift can still be used.


Please note there is restricted parking outside the James Cumming Wing and in Bowler Avenue.

We want to thank everyone for their patience and look forward to what the New Year and new building will bring.

Want to catch up?

Property files go digital

With 7200 files getting tucked into 550 file boxes, the digitisation of the Gore District’s property files is a big job.

But the benefits will be big too — customers will have smoother access to a property file they need to view.

When the job is done, all of Gore District’s property files will be stored electronically. If a file is requested, it will be available to view on a computer via a secure electronic link for a set time.

“This is a major step towards providing an efficient, readily available service for customers. It also means better security for these important records,” says Planning Manager, Dean Balkin.

Most queries for property files come from real estate companies, conveyancing and legal firms, and people wanting information about a property they are perhaps thinking of purchasing. There are usually around 10-20 file requests per week.

The Council’s collection of property files mirrors the District’s development, says Dean.

“The files really are a snapshot of history with different degrees of complexity down through time. Early property files from around1948 largely relate to factories, schools and halls, then from the 1970s onwards, they are mostly domestic dwellings.”

The files are being digitised in Auckland at a secure facility before they’ll arrive back in Gore.

“You can still request to view a property file while the project is underway, but it may take a little longer than customers have been used to for the relevant digital file to be retrieved,” says Dean.

“Throughout the process we’re ensuring the information held on the files is kept secure and privacy is respected. As happens now, information tagged as private will not be publicly available,” Dean says.

Property files go digital

2019 christmas hours

All of us here at the Gore District Council wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

While most of us will be on holiday, we will have staff on call across our various services. So if there’s an emergency, you want to report any water issues or need noise control please contact our after-hours service, phone (03) 209 0330.

For non-emergencies use our app Antenno. To find out more go to our Antenno page.


Civic administration building
Our main office will be closed from 5.00pm Friday 20 December until 8.30am Monday 6 January.

Gore Visitor Centre

Week days from Monday 23 December until Friday 3 January: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Weekends:  9.00am to 3.00pm

Christmas Day and Boxing Day 26 December
New Year’s Day Wednesday 1 January and Thursday 2 January

Eastern Southland Gallery

Week days from Monday 23 December until Friday 3 January 10.00am – 4.30pm
Weekends 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Christmas Day and Boxing Day 26 December
New Year’s Day Wednesday 1 January and Thursday 2 January


Gore Aquatic Centre

Monday 23 December 6.00am – 8.00pm
Tuesday 24 December 6.00am – 6.00pm
Friday 27 December to Tuesday 31 December 10.00am – 6.00pm
Thursday 3 January to Sunday 5 January 10.00am – 6.00pm
Monday 6 January normal hours resume
Monday 13 January all AquaFit and Hit classes resume

Christmas Day and Boxing Day
New Year’s Day Wednesday 1 January and Thursday 2 January

Gore Library

Monday 6 January – Friday 10 January 9.30am – 6.00pm
Saturday 11 January 10.15am – 1.00pm
Monday 13 January normal hours resume

Friday 20 December at 6.00pm until 9.30am Monday 6 January.

Mataura Library/Service Centre

Friday 20 December at 5.00pm until 10.00am Monday 6 January.

Recycling and Rubbish Collection

Christmas Day
No recycling or rubbish collection on this day. Collections will be one day later for the rest of the week e.g. Wednesday collections will take place on Thursday, Thursday collections will take place on Friday.

Wednesday 1 January
No recycling or rubbish collection today. Collections will be one day later for the rest of the week e.g. Wednesday collections will take place on Thursday, Thursday collections will take place on Friday.

Gore Transfer Station

Week days 10.30am – 5.00pm
Saturday 10.30am – 5.00pm
Sunday 12 noon – 5.00pm

Christmas Day and Boxing Day
New Year’s Day Wednesday 1 January and Thursday 2 January.