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By Michael Ludlam

Power ON or Power Off ?

I often get asked about whether to leave the computer on or turn it off at the end of each day.

There are many views on this subject and most all of them have valid points. Some believe that leaving a computer on will wear out components much faster while others believe that shutting a computer down each day does more harm.

The 2 mains points to consider here are: -

1. Power use

2. Component longevity

Power use

Typically a computer desktop system would be using around 200 watts of power an hour – that’s 4.8 Kwh a day if you leave your computer on 24/7. With a typically power cost of 26 cents per kWh of (before discounts etc.) you are looking at $1.25 per day on average or $36 dollars a month. Laptops generally use less power than desktops and on both sleep/hibernation settings also play a big part in power use.

Component Longevity

Mechanical hard drives are the main concern here. When your computer is turned on the hard drive will experience a surge of electricity that will spin its platter to a speed of approximately 10,000 rpm. In theory the more times you do this the greater chance there is of failure but I feel you’re more likely to lose your hard drive due to power spikes/lags than by turning it on/off and having in on 24×7 offers a greater chance of that happening.

Final thought, there isn’t a right or wrong choice here…..if your computer is a long term item and power use/cost is important I would switch it off when it’s not going to be used for an extended period (overnight etc.). If you turn over your computer within its warranty period and are not concerned with the cost of power then by all means leave your computer running 24/7 if you so desire.

As always good backups are critical to ensure you can recover from any component failure.R_JN14_laptop


If you ever wanted to know about a craft, hobby or community group, then the Otaki Community Expo held recently was the place to be.


Otaki Bridge Club members Jan Sparrow, Alastair Pain, Mari Hosiaux and Claudia Duncan engrossed in a game of Bridge during the Community Expo

The expo was organised by the Otaki Village Promotion Group (OPVG) and held in the Memorial Hall. With 33 organisations exhibiting their interests, there was something for almost everyone: from health to family support groups, education to sporting activities, service groups to environmental organisations.

“It’s providing the opportunity for connections to be made. Often people don’t know what’s available in our town,” Carol Ward, OVPG member said. “This is one place they can come and find out. We’ve had some very positive signups at many of the groups.”

Among the service groups were members of the newly formed Lions Club of Otaki keen to enrol new members, Volunteer Kapiti putting people with time and skills with people wanting assistance, Otaki Community Patrol and Otaki Probus Club for our senior citizens. For those interested in the history of our town or their family both the Otaki Historical Society and Genealogy groups were on hand. The newly formed XOtaki College Foundation Trust had members there keen to sign up former pupils to the new group.

Sports and activities included swimming, athletics, golf, indoor bowls, petanque and bridge were showcased. Several environmental groups were there and children visiting Waitohu Stream Care Group’s table could pot up a carex grass to take home and grow before they planted it at the beach.

The Otaki Spinners group created some interest as people watched cleaned and dyed wool being spun into yarn for knitting and crotchet. One member was busily knitting a colourful blanket for the children’s Stand Village (Health Camp). They would welcome any spare synthetic yarn – not wool -you may have for the blankets and garments they knit for the children.

Are you a night owl? – you may be interested in joining the Community Patrol, this involves two people driving around the wider town area, working alongside the police as their eyes and ears. Patrollers work in pairs and don’t leave their vehicle. They are in contact with the police at all times. Interested? Then your first call is the Otaki police station and a police check and if you’ve got a clean record you’ll pass and then will work with a trainer. They are looking for more volunteers, the more they have on the books the fewer nights each person is rostered on to patrol.




All the movers and shakers were present at Otaki College to formulate an Action Plan

In recent issues of the Otaki Mail we have written about putting children at the heart of all our decisions. Now the Otaki community has the opportunity to make that happen.

Working under the government’s Children’s Action Plan, Otaki/Horowhenua has recently established a pilot ‘Children’s Team’. This is a new way of working together in partnership with children, families/whanau and support services – all aimed at getting vulnerable children the help they need quickly and efficiently.

At a recent meeting held at Otaki College, all the heavyweights were there: the college and other schools, Ministry of Education, Police, Midcentral Health, Iwi, KCDC, Child Youth & Family, Social Welfare, Te Puni Kokiri and members of the community. All were prepared to protect vulnerable children, working with kids we worry about, keeping them safe from harm, with wrap around quality services and a leading professional from Otaki in charge of an agreed plan.

Vulnerable children are defined as: ‘children who are at significant risk of harm to their wellbeing now and into the future as a consequence of the environment in which they are raised, and in some cases due to their complex needs. Environmental factors that influence child vulnerability include not having their basic emotional, physical, social, developmental and cultural needs met at home or in their wider community.’

If this sounds like a tall order – think again. The fifty people at the meeting were determined to make this work. It is driven by the community and has a greater chance of success because of that. The teams will work closely together, making decisions together and agree the plan together – all for the benefit of the child. Parents and guardians will also be involved, for without their agreement the process simply would not work. They must agree to be involved and to share information. The team will bring the right people together whether it is from health, education, social welfare to support the child.

What’s happened so far?

There is a national board overseeing the whole NZ-wide Children’s Plan with members from the ministries of education, health, justice, TPK, police, pacific affairs, social development and the national children’s director. Under them there is a local governance group with representatives from schools, police, social welfare, health, iwi and councils ensuring that the resources are available for the Child Action Teams there to do the actual work. Whether it is too top heavy to be efficient remains to be seen, but if the willingness and calibre of the people involved locally is anything to go by, it is a good fit for Otaki. “This is a very different way of working for our kids; putting kids first and leaving personal agendas at the door.” says local chairman Richard Orzecki.

A draft local action plan has already been developed, soon to be released for consultation and comment. It estimates that there are 700 vulnerable children in the Otaki-Horowhenua area. This is a long term plan, not a quick fix. The programme, started in September with five children who all now have wrap-around services and their own individual plans of support. Starting slowly was deliberate to see how the local processes worked and to get it safe for further enrolments. This is how it will work:

A referral comes to the Children’s Team, a lead professional is appointed, an assessment done, a personal plan developed with all the necessary providers involved – all of whom will be vetted.

Andy Fraser asked why could we not bring the model to Otaki rather than be driven by Levin? “The process is not area driven’ said Program Manager Jacqui Moynihan, “and there is no reason why everything for Otaki kids cannot be driven and achieved locally”.


Alice Mose Tuailii, Richard Orzecki, Jacqui Moynihan

Later in this issue the Otaki Doctors call a public meeting about working towards a violence-free Otaki, talking about family violence intervention programmes. This is a community on a roll towards putting our kids first in all our decisions. “Good on ya!” we say and we echo the words of Nelson Mandela, History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children. They are our greatest treasure so let’s, as a community, look after them.


There’s a mystery group of women busily knitting decorative squares to “dress” some of the trees around the Otaki railway and downtown shopping centres.

The Otaki Mail team spied them busily at their work over morning tea at the Riverstone Café recently, working on the 170 squares for needed for their next yarn bombed tree – location is their secret, but watch out for more gaily dressed trees around the town!

Knitter, Debbie Carson said they would welcome more knitters to help with their task, each square is 30×30 centimetres and can be any colour and any design you choose. The only stipulation: no wool, only synthetic yarns please. They would also welcome any donations of synthetic yarns you may have hidden in a bottom drawer or forgotten knitting bag, Debbie can be contacted on phone 364 6543


Busily knitting are Meagan Roach and Debbie Carson, while Carol Ward, Marilyn Orchard and Dorothy Riddell pack up the completed squares at the end of a mornings session

Spring is an exciting time for Kiwi families. With the cold winter months a fading memory, parents are eager to get the kids out of the house to enjoy the warmer days. Spring however brings with it a number of injury risks—one of the most serious is driveway run over injuries.

Always think of the three golden rules.

Check, Supervise and Separate

CHECK for children before driving off

SUPERVISE children around vehicles

SEPARATE play areas from driveways

“Every two weeks a child is hospitalised with serious injuries received from a vehicle driving on a private driveway in New Zealand. A further five children are killed annually, on average. Children at risk are aged between 1 and 3 years old,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.

“Most child driveway run overs happen in spring and summer, and sadly fathers are most often at the wheel,” Ms Weaver added.

Child driveway run overs are preventable. This spring Safekids Aotearoa reminds parents to be aware of the risks by identifying the signs of a risky driveway, and what you can do about them.

It is important to always know where the kids are before getting in the car.

Driveway danger signs:

A long driveway

A driveway in a quiet road or cul-de-sac

A driveway that also provides pedestrian access to house (no separate pedestrian pathway)

A driveway leading to lots of parking – cars need to be moved around to make room or allow vehicles to leave

No physical barrier (i.e. fence) between driveway and outdoor play area.


With the Otaki Foodbank shelves near empty, the Meadows Church collection of cans and non-perishable foods, two weeks ago, arrived at a very fortunate time.

Two van loads of boxes were unloaded with 1447 items donated soon filling the pantry shelves for use in the next few weeks. Members of the church had manned stalls at New World Otaki and Countdown supermarkets, collecting food items donated by the Saturday shoppers.

“We did count bags of oranges as one, not each orange,” grinned spokesman, Callan Nikora. But the double tray packs of beans and spaghetti did count as 24 tins to a pack!

 Thank you very much everyone for your support,” Manager, Lucy Tahere, said. There had been a heavy demand on the foodbank with over 60 parcels a month going out to people in the community.

“Stocked shelves don’t mean people can walk in and demand a parcel. They still have to follow our regulations and bring in an official referral.” she said.


Meadows Church members from left: Scott Watson, Rod Graham (rear) Theo Nikora, Callan Nikora and Margaret Mikaere delivering some boxes of groceries to the Otaki Foodbank from their supermarket appeal

The foodbank volunteers are getting ready for the Christmas rush in December and will welcome all donations of festive non-perishable items for clients Christmas parcels.


Over a hundred Otaki cars were washed by an enthusiastic band of volunteers recently.

26 members of the Meadows Church spent Saturday morning collecting for the Food Bank, and washing cars. While your car was washed, you could gorge yourself on a Hot Dog from the Sausage Sizzle, and all for free! Pastor Spencer Nutsford said this was the third year that they’ve celebrated Love on Otaki. Good work, team!MeadowsCarwash