Keeping it real for Xmas with Waitaki wilding pine

Oamaru’s Christmas tree — a  wilding pine from the Waitaki Valley — has been put up in Thames St....
Oamaru’s Christmas tree — a wilding pine from the Waitaki Valley — has been put up in Thames St. Last year, Waitaki district councillors vetoed a staff recommendation for an artificial tree. Photo: Hamish MacLean
Oamaru's Christmas tree has been put up in Thames St.

Like last year’s, it is a natural, rather than artificial, tree.

Unlike last year, there was no debate on Christmas trees in the Waitaki council chambers. In 2017, councillors rejected a staff recommendation to replace natural Christmas trees with an artificial one. Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said at the time, by the end of the festive season natural trees began ‘‘looking very faded’’, and they took a lot of time and effort to put up. The artificial tree was not his preference but it offered value for money, he said. However, a photograph  of an artificial tree in last year’s report to the council was derided by Cr Craig Dawson, of Omarama, as looking like Marge Simpson’s blue beehive, and a natural tree found favour.

"We had promises of a great one this year, but the actual one they couldn’t get to, just because of how wet the area was — but they managed to find another one that was reasonably good."

This year, there would be ‘‘a lot more decorations’’.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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