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Campfire carelessness likely led to beach blazes

Fires near the mouth of the Ōtaki River spread over about 100 metres prompting big call-outs from Ōtaki Volunteer Fire Brigade and a Te Horo Rural Fire appliance. READ MORE


Paula’s 25 years of newspaper deliveries

Paula Johns is an Ōtaki identity who’s been out in all weathers, on any day since 1997, providing second-to-none service.  READ MORE






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See past issues of Ōtaki Today HERE


Ōtaki College Roll

A call-out by Ōtaki Today to discover which former students and staff have died in the past 60 years has revealed a list. READ MORE.







Median house price $770,000

The median house price for Ōtaki hit $770,000 last month (December), up $250,000 on the start of 2021. The figure, calculated from council and real estate data by,
is up $15,000 from November, a rise consistent with the previous three months. At the beginning of 2021, house prices were $520,000, making the increase for the year just over 48 percent. In the past three months the median house price has risen 6.1 percent, and in six months it has gone up 16 percent.

Te Horo principal leaves

Michelle Tate has resigned as principal of Te Horo School. In last year’s term 4 newsletter, a low-key announcement said she had left to pursue other education sector opportunities. Michelle had been principal for the past three years. A limited statutory manager, Kevin Palmer, was appointed by the Ministry of Education in June last year “to work in partnership with the board, the principal, the school’s teaching and support staff, parents and the wider school community to identify areas for change and improvement across all areas of the school”. He continues to work with the school.

Flood meeting February 2

A community meeting has been called to discuss the flooding last month that closed Te Horo Beach Road for two days. The meeting is at the Bus Stop Cafe, 7pm on Wednesday, February 2. KCDC and the Great Wellington Regional Council representatives are expected to attend.

Businesses compliant

WorkSafe says it has investigated two food and drink services in Ōtaki to check on compliance with Covid regulations (neither of which were named in an article in Ōtaki Today last month). WorkSafe told Ōtaki Today they did not wish to name the businesses, and they were deemed to be compliant.

Number of brigade call-outs leaps

The Ōtaki Volunteer Fire Brigade had 237 call-outs in 2021, up 15 percent on the number in 2020. Fire chief Ian King says last year was the busiest for some time. The number of call-outs in December was 24. Five were to attend to private fire alarms; and four each were for rubbish, grass and scrub fires, property fires, and “special services”. The brigade attended three motor vehicle crashes, had two call-outs for medical emergencies and two to help other brigades.

Symposium confirmed

The Whakaaro Whakairo Sculptural Symposium has been confirmed for the week of January 28 to February 7. Up to 12 artists will be sculpting at various Ōtaki venues, including at sponsor The Telegraph Hotel.  Following the theme “mai i te kāuru ki te moana” (from the source to the sea) the artists will also work at several sites along the Ōtaki River, including at the Riverslea Retreat and at the river mouth. Artists at this year’s symposium include wood-carver Lawrence Makoare, who became famous as an actor on Zena: Warrior Princess and Lord of the Rings.



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