Issue 43

February/March 2020

Community rallies during flooding

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks has praised his community in the wake of last week’s floods.

“The overwhelming feeling I have had has been one of pride in residents and those who have been working to make sure everyone is safe and secure.”

Everyone had pitched in and helped.

“It’s been fantastic and speaks volumes about our community spirit,” Mr Hicks said.

Gore District controller Ian Davidson-Watts said the response went amazingly well.

“We had people moved out of harm’s way in good time and we got them home, once the danger was over, in good time.”

Just over 3000 people were evacuated from Gore and Mataura last Wednesday.

This came after homeowners and businesses in Ontario Street were forced to evacuate on Tuesday afternoon due to the Waikaka Stream flooding.

Gore people, apart from Ontario Street, were allowed back home on Wednesday evening, while Mataura people were allowed to return on Thursday evening. Ontario Street was re-open on Friday morning.

When you consider the potential consequences had the flood waters been higher we should be all very thankful how the event ended up, Dr Davidson-Watts said.

“The rivers were only millimetres away from swamping Gore and Mataura.”

Dr Davidson-Watts acknowledged the suffering some members of the community have gone through and the challenges they will continue to face in the coming weeks.

“I believe our staff, contractors and the rest of the community pulled together to do the best for those who have suffered,” he said.

Things you should know:

  • Boil water notices are in place for Gore and the Otama Water Supply Scheme
  • Water tankers are at the Mataura community centre, Eccles Street playground and East Gore Arts Centre
  • Hamilton Park, the Waikaka Walkway, and the Gore dog park are closed to the public
  • The Mataura community centre will be open from 10.00am – 2.00pm each day until Friday 14 February

The Numbers

  • The Mataura River peaked at 2500cumecs at Gore
  • The Mataura River peaked at 2700cumecs at Mataura
  • Just over 152mms of rain fell between Sunday 2 February to Tuesday 4 February
  • Just over 3000 residents in Gore and Mataura were evacuated
  • Water entered 26 homes in the District – a lot more had water flowing underneath them
  • Over 270 homes and businesses were assessed by the Council’s building inspectors
  • About 300 people were looked after at the Calvin Church support centre
  • At one stage, all state highways into and out of Gore were closed


Community rallies during flooding

Exciting times as Top Paddock Music Festival joins Tussock Country

Contemporary country music fans get ready – the successful Top Paddock Music Festival is coming to Gore.

Top Paddock will be a headline event at the new national Tussock Country Music Festival being held in May.

The opportunity to incorporate it into the wider Tussock Country Music Festival event is tremendously exciting, says Tussock Country Music Festival Trust chair Jeff Rea.

“Tussock Country is delighted to have forged a partnership with Top Paddock to hold the event as part of the Tussock Country Music Festival. We’re really stoked to be able to bring the energy, enthusiasm and talent line-up of this contemporary country music festival to Tussock Country,” says Jeff.

The annual Top Paddock event delivers a dynamic line-up of national and international country music stars and is credited with creating a new country-pop/rock movement in New Zealand that gives fresh meaning to what ‘country’ looks and sounds like. The 2020 Top Paddock artist line-up will be announced shortly.

“We realise that it’s a shift from a summer to a winter festival for Top Paddock. But here in Gore we turn on our own brand of fun and conviviality. This is, after all, the home of southern hospitality, not to mention Hokonui Moonshine whiskey,” says Jeff.

The first 9-day Tussock Country Music Festival is being held in Gore from 23-31 May. It will feature a mix of traditional and new country music events, alongside a stunning line-up of professional country musicians and activities.

Visit for ticketing and general festival information. Get along.

Exciting times as Top Paddock Music Festival joins Tussock Country

New bridge construction on target

Construction of the new Pyramid Bridge, over the Mataura River, near Riversdale, had been going well until Mother Nature threw a curve ball last week.

The recent flooding has caused some issues for the construction crew. Until then the weather had been playing its part.

“The seasons had been kind up until last week, meaning we’ve been able to get on with the job,” says Gore District Council transport manager, Peter Standring.

Until last week’s flooding, progress on the new bridge had been going well.

Work began in November last year to replace the 1930s Pyramid Bridge which partially collapsed after flooding in February 2018. The new bridge, a widened single-lane structure, is expected to be finished by the end of March 2020, with the approach work finished by the end of June.

While the new bridge connects with the river’s western bank at the same place as the old bridge, it’s overall alignment is straighter. This means it connects slightly upstream on the river’s eastern side when compared with the original bridge.

“This realignment will improve access and the safety of approaches, particularly on the eastern side,” Peter says.

The new bridge is 20 metres shorter, as its new abutments will jut out further into the river.

There’s still more piling and earthworks to be done before the bridge is finished.

NZ Transport Agency is contributing 73% of the total construction cost of $3.79 million with Gore and Southland district councils sharing the balance.

“We’ve appreciated the community’s support and patience while this work has been underway. We know that having this bridge out of action has been an inconvenience to many who live locally and thank them for their consideration,” Peter says.

New bridge construction on target

Southern Field Days Site 201 for a taste of Hokonui

Love your fishing or whiskey?

Then make sure you visit the Gore District Council’s site at the Southern Field Days, where there’ll be all sorts of fun to be had.

This is the fourth time the Council has had a presence at the field days – a three day celebration of everything innovative and rural.

Council communications/marketing Manager Sonia Gerken said the Council is fortunate to have one of the best locations at the northern end of the main shed.

“You can’t miss the green and white stripped marque. We’re at the junction of two main lanes and just across the way from the new ablution block and the bar.”

With over 40,000 visitors during the three days, field days provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Gore District to locals and visitors alike.

“Each field days we try to have something a bit quirky and unique.”

This year it’s Hokonui moonshine smoked trout, caught and smoked by the Council’s parks and recreation manager.

“The moonshine tasting is always popular, so we reckon the moonshine smoked trout will be a winner.”

Keep with the trout theme, there’ll be a fly-fishing display where you can have a go at casting on the fly and maybe even win a chocolate fish, said Sonia.

There’s also six chances to win a $50 Prezzy card for new and existing users of the Council’s app Antenno.

All they have to do is:

  • Download the app from Google Play or the App Store
  • Add the address 575 Waimumu Road, Gore, to My Places
  • Have the alerts notification active on your phone

“We will send out two questions a day to the field days address. The first person to our site with the right answer wins – it’s too easy.”

Alongside these fun activities to promote the great things about Gore District, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for serious conversation with the team on site, whether it’s about spatial planning, the Council’s new parking app PayMyPark, or other business, Sonia says.

“We’d love to have you visit, so please come by and say hello.”

Southern Field Days Site 201 for a taste of Hokonui

Leak detective helping looking after our water supply

Detecting leaks on the Council’s water network is one way to improve how we’re all looking after our water resource.

Specialist listening equipment is used in expert leak detection surveys to pinpoint the location and size of hidden leaks that can’t be seen on the surface.

In the past six months, all of Mataura and 25% of Gore have been surveyed.

In Gore, 13 leaks were discovered on the Council’s water network and three on private residential properties. In Mataura, eight leaks were found on the Council’s water network and 15 on private residential properties.

The leaks will be repaired as they’re able to be scheduled in the Council’s existing work programme.

“Repairing these leaks is expected to reduce water losses by up to 57,000 litres per day in Mataura and 140,000 litres per day in Gore. This equates to a reduction in the average daily demand of approximately 5% in Mataura and 4% in Gore, says 3 Waters Asset Manager, Matt Bayliss.

More of Gore’s water network will be surveyed in June and July this year, Matt says.

“Identifying and repairing hidden leaks is a key part of our overall strategy to improve how we look after and manage our local water supply.”

Leak detective helping looking after our water supply

Get smart paying parking

The Gore District Council is the first in Southland to offer a smarter and more efficient way to pay for parking.

The PayMyPark app is now available for all metered parking in Gore.

“PayMyPark is a really convenient and flexible way to pay for parking.

“You’ll no longer need to hunt for coins. And your smartphone will alert you when the meter runs out, or you can extend your parking if you’re running late,” says the Council’s chief financial officer, Luke Blackbeard.

So how does it work?

You can download the free app on your iPhone or android smartphone, or access PayMyPark via its website.

Create an account and load money into it, or be a casual user and pay as you go. Payment using the app also includes a small convenience fee.

Gore’s meters now display a meter number on a white label. It’s this number that you enter in your PayMyPark app when you use a park.

But how does the Council know you’ve paid via PayMyPark? The parking warden can check in the system and see.

For more information go to the PayMyPark page on the Council’s website.


Get smart paying parking

Back to the friendly south

It’s a kind of homecoming for Gore District Council’s new events coordinator, Mishel Kaaplan.

Mosgiel-born and bred Mishel is returning south after working in Auckland and teaching English in South America.

With a background in the banking industry, Mishel is excited to have the opportunity to work in the local government sector and enjoying getting to know the Gore community.

“This role is giving me the opportunity to get involved in the community quickly. I love that.”

After buying a house in Gore four years ago and visiting family here and in Mosgiel regularly, she realised how much she missed her connection to the south.

“The south has always felt like home. Living here, within a week I knew all my neighbours – it’s a feeling of being part of something. Everyone is so friendly,” she says.

While Mishel has only been in her new role a few weeks she’s looking forward to “helping the community promote our uniqueness and shine out in the world.”

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff going on here. People are missing out if they don’t come and visit. Almost every day I learn something new about the area, reinforcing for me what a great place it is to live,” Mishel says.

Welcome to Gore Mishel!


Back to the friendly south

What do you want for Gore’s future?

We chat over coffee with friends about what we want for Gore’s future, but now there’s an opportunity to share your views directly with Gore District Council.

In 20 years, Gore will look very different.

“It’s about looking ahead and thinking about what we as a community want for our children and grandchildren,” says the Council’s Regulatory and Community Services General Manager Dr Ian Davidson-Watts.

“It’s important that we have a think now about where the best places are for new growth and how that might look.”

The community’s ideas alongside the Council’s own research will be distilled into a spatial plan that becomes a blueprint for the shape of future growth in Gore District.

“The information we gather will give us a basis for policy developed in the district plan and drive Council’s thinking process around land-zoning,” Ian says.

The Council’s initial proposal is presented in A Discussion About Spatial Planning, available here. Or you can pick up a copy at our main office and Gore Library, in the James Cumming Wing, as well as at the Mataura library.

Get along to one of our community drop-in sessions later in February.


Share your views by writing a submission (available in the discussion document). Post or email your submission or do it online here. And if you’re at the Southern Field Days (12-14 February), visit the Council at site 201.


What do you want for Gore’s future?