We have added a new section to the website for important ORCA information. Now you can find printable PDF’s that have been released for the public to review. You can find the page by clicking this link
Or you can find it on the menu bar under the same name.
We are also happy to highlight the new ORCA Splash that can now be found on the main page.
As the Covid-19 situation changes from day to day, we have updated the high tier information on our main page. We hope everyone is safe and healthy. We all look forward to a swift win and end to this first world war on the micro enemy of Covid-19.
We, folk who live in Onemana or visit as often as we are able, are indeed fortunate. My own experience is probably fairly typical of many of us. Our family began holidaying here in 1996 and in due course my husband and I retired here. As time passed we meet more people and it occurred to me that people who live or visit here come from a wealth of different back grounds. After discussion the ORCA committee agreed with my proposal that I talk to people about where they have come from, their experiences in Onemana and, if they were agreeable, to write about it for publication in our newsletters .
This is the first of the interviews with Kay Colman and Diane Perry who have a long family history with Onemana.
Interview with The Sisters
Diane and Kay were both born and brought up in Auckland and may never have known Onemana, if in 1980, Kay’s God Parents been able to come to spend a weekend, as they had planned, at the Onemana Motels.At this time Onemana did have motels. They were situated at 103 Bambury Place.
Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for Diane and Kay’s parents, the aforementioned God Parents were not able to take up their booking that weekend. Instead they offered their booking to ‘the sisters’ parents, Jack and Edna McIntyre. A wonderful weekend followed for Jack and Edna and this prompted them to buy a motel unit in Onemana. The motel units went onto the open market in the late 1970s and are now owner occupier units.Their unit was situated upstairs, in the middle of the block. Of course they and their family visited Onemana frequently between 1980 and 1988 for holidays and weekends away from Auckland, immersing themselves in all Onemana had to offer.
As as side note, the family had encountered the Coromandel before that auspicious visit. Kay and Norman had ventured as far as Opoutere where they would come from Auckland armed with tents and camping impedimenta and varying numbers of children – their own two and some of Diane’s four!!They loved the camping at what is now the carpark before one crosses the bridge before accessing the dunes that front the beautiful stretch of Opoutere beach, As they had not, however, ventured as far south as Onemana during those holidays their parent’s purchase was in so far uncharted waters.
In the early days in Onemana the shopping centre was owned, and developed, by Mark and Marg Chenery Brown as a mini supermarket. In due course the space was divided into a dairy and a restaurant. In the 1980s the site also housed a real estate office.
Jack and Edna bought several sections in the village with a view to building a house at some point. They encountered delays to their building plans and Joy Neighbours, who was the Real Estate agent in the village at that time, suggested that Kaye and Diane’s parents purchase the property, named Carinya ( in the Aboriginal language this means Happy Home) .
This was very exciting for the family and everyone arrived the weekend in 1988 when Jack and Edna took possession, to see what their parents and grandparents had bought. The consensus was that the whole family were very impressed. Carinya did indeed become the family’ Happy Home’ .
At this time both Kay and her husband Norman and Diane and her husband Neil were part of the family firm in Auckland. This was a builder’s hardware and manufacturing company. Diane and Neil’s four children and Kay and Norman’s two children were growing up and of course eager to visit their grandparent’s holiday home and the beach in Onemana. Visits to our valley became more frequent and of course these children bought lots of enthusiastic friends with them as well along with huge appetites, not only for food but also for the adventures Onemana and its surrounds offered.
When Norman and Neil retired the sisters and their husbands decided to purchase property in Onemana .
In 1993 Kay and Norman purchased the family home, Carinya, and in the year 2000 they became permanent residents here with Kaye’s widowed mother who lived with them until 2006.
As an observation, I have noted that Norman and Kay are very active in our community, helping people out in a variety of ways. This ranges from providing meals and company for people who are unwell to accessing firewood and delivering it, to taking people to appointments, supermarket etc . They do this quietly under the ‘radar’.
Kay says that it was so peaceful at the time they came here to retire. There was everything they needed locally. In Whangamata there is access to good doctors and medical care, all the building,electrical and plumbing etc.needs are available from by local tradesmen. There are a variety of clubs to belong to, both social and service and well as clubs catering for hobbies and interests. They saw in Whangamata first, the addition of a small supermarket in the building now run by Super Liquor, and then the development of the larger New World Supermarket.
In 2007 Diane and Neil bought their home at 400 Onemana Drive. Like Kaye and Norman’s home,this house has stunning views over the beach and ocean.In 2014 Diane and Neil sold this house and purchased a house on the flat at 205 Onemana Drive. This move coincided with Diane being elected onto the ORCA committee – known then as the ORA. This began a very busy period for her as social events organiser for all village activities. She continued in this role until the AGM for ORCA in January 2019. It is my own observation that Diane is always present and working on every project undertaken in the valley! She says she has made wonderful friends over the years and hopes to continue to do so. She intends to be available to help out in village events in a more informal way. Diane ensures that she supports folk in the valley who are experiencing loss, hardship of any kind or challenges.
Diane echoes Kay’s observations that Onemana meets all their requirements with the option of a drive to Tauranga or Thames when they need to visit a larger business centre.
In conclusion Diane and Kaye both have wonderful memories of visiting Onemana, going right back to 1980. They recall having fun with their children on the swing on top of the dune on the north end of the beach. They all enjoyed biking into Whangamata and the surfing was a true delight for all family members. They joined the rambling club, gymnasium and played golf in Whangamata.They and their families went tramping and cycling in the bush.
The bird life,from sparrows to tui and morepork, in the valley and bush has always thrilled them as does the forestry. They have seen two cycles of toi toi and wattles that spring up after the pines have been felled in the forest. This is followed by the regeneration of the native bush that emerges under the canopy of the new pine forest as it grows.Some favourites are the silver ferns and tree ferns.
Kay and Diane bought a motor home and, from their base here in Onemana, they set off for many trips over the years. They all, Diane and Kaye, Norman and Neil, truly believe they live in paradise and are so grateful for the weekend that bought their parents here for an unexpected holiday.Read More
Dotterel Season 2019 -2020
The season began on 4 September when the first nest was found and closed in 26 February 2020 when the last abandoned eggs were checked for fertility and were found to be infertile. During the season we found 21 nests and 50 eggs. Of these eggs there were 15 chicks hatched but only four survived to fledge(fly). What happened to the remaining 11 is uncertain but we believe at least four were lost to predation. The other seven ? Our two Variable Oystercatcher chicks were also lost to predation. The team spoke to lots people on the beach advising of the need to be careful etc but also to show the chicks to many interested adults and children and explain the need to protect this iconic endemic species.
A big thank you to dog owners who like to walk their dog over the whole beach but accept this restriction for a short while. It is less than half a year.
The ‘No Dogs’ beach will resort back to ‘Dogs on lead’ from 2 March. Please remember that these birds to not migrate and can form large wintering flocks on this beach as well as other beaches to the area. PLEASE keep your dog on a lead on this south part of the beach.
The enforcement Officer will still be visiting this beach on a regular basis during the winter to ensure compliance of the bye-law.
The team will still be patrolling the beach over the winter checking on the wintering birds and will advise of the bye-law if needed.
Have a pleasant winter and keep warm.
The Dotterel Team:
Ken and Anne, Dean and Christine, Les and PatsyRead More
On the 18th of January ORCA held a garden party and BBQ for the folk who, over 2019, had pitched in and helped in activities we undertook in our community. Our gathering was hosted by Tina in her garden overlooking the lakes reserve.
There was lots of chat as people caught up with what they had done over the holiday period. The food was delicious, the venue beautiful, the music added to the ambiance of the evening and John Carley’s unstinting contribution to our community was acknowledged with an award as the ‘Most Outstanding Helper, 2019’ in our valley! We extend our thanks to everyone for your support.We couldn’t achieve what we do in Onemana without you!
Greetings Everyone – Welcome to 2020. The ORCA Committee has held its first meeting for the
year, the team consisting of Carol Basham (Chair), Sandra Carley (Secretary), Jennie Kingma
(Treasurer) and Gillian Bertram, Murray Brown, Les Fleming, John Freer, Ted Gibson, Eleanor
Haughey, Ruhi Pene, Bruce Scott and Masele Siatu’u.
Being aware of the discussions at the Annual Meeting, held the previous month, the committee
will consider a number of activities during the coming year including Freedom Camping and the
amount of voluntary work required to ensure the success of events, activities and the general
beautification and maintenance of Onemana. Like the Freedom Camping debate, another
important issue is the Onemana Emergency and Community Response Plan which will be
updated and implemented during the year.
Communication with members and non-members is critical to ensure that everyone with an
interest in Onemana is aware of activities and issues.
The Committee has updated the website while social media is always a good vehicle to spread
the word on community events and happenings. Over coming weeks it is our aim to update our
database incorporating both members and non-members. We will then be circulating
information relating covering the many events and activities and asking you to input where you
The benefits of a strong cohesive community were evident recently in one of the busiest
holiday periods we have experienced. Events such as the Market Day and the Carols evening
were very well supported while the inaugural sports day was successful with room for more
participants. Please play your part in assisting where possible.
Just to Recap – Over the past month or so the successful Market Day was held – a fine day
brought out the crowds with stall holders happy with the day. Funds raised on the day from
ORCA activities are donated to the Onemana Surf Lifesaving Club.
Santa was delivered in an open-top Morris Minor to the Carols by Candlelight – again a
wonderful turn-out of residents with many children enjoying the contents on Santa’s sack.
Our inaugural sports day was held with a number of events being arranged. This looks to have
great potential for future years.
Fire Danger – An extreme fire danger warning is in place. Please no fires anywhere. We had a
recent situation of a beach fire – fortunately this was extinguished by Onemana Rural Fire Force
members after the fire was seen by a resident.
Freedom Camping – TCDC is reviewing the Freedom Camping Bylaw this year – as discussed at
the AGM once information is available, we will look to call residents together to discuss.
Surf Patrol – Thanks to the Onemana Surf Life Saving Club members for patrolling our beach
over the holiday period. It was a tough period for you all with an unfortunate loss of life at our
beach. Being a life guard is a very rewarding experience where you meet some very special
people – thanks for your contribution guys and girls.
Coming Events – Coffee Morning – Thursday 27 February – 10.00am at the Onemana Beach
On the 25 January Onemana Community gathered on the beach reserve for our annual games day. Folk registered and in teams they competed against each other playing golf, egg and spoon races, spoon and ball flinging !! and tug of war. All this exercise worked up big appetites and the ORCA committee provided a BBQ lunch for all participants. The surf life savers helped us devour all the lovely food. This was a wonderful event with lots of laughter and opportunities to get to know more folk who live and visit our lovely valley. A big shout out to Ruhi Pene for once again organizing this hugely successful day along with our ever faithful volunteers who pulled everything together. Enjoy some pictures from our event and be sure to come next year and be part of the fun.Read More