Casual and relaxed


Laid-back Glenorchy locals weren’t too worried about Lake Wakatipu rising over the weekend. 

“We’ve got to keep casual and relaxed … life goes on.” says Shane “Gilly” Klimeck, whose Butement Street house was within centimetres of being waterlogged. 

“Mother Nature’s just doing what she does. You can’t do a lot about it.” 

With his personal effects off-site and furniture sitting on beer crates borrowed from the local pub, Kli­­mech says his only worry was wet feet. Water was coming from underfoot, making sandbagging pointless. 

Klimeck and fellow Glenorchy resident Ronda Gollop say unhindered views from their lakefront properties outweigh the occasional flood. “We all knew when we bought our houses they were going to flood,” Gollop says.
She took the precaution of trucking all her furniture out on Friday after consulting Otago Regional Council’s website and watching floodwaters lap her property. 

But she never worried it would reach 1999 levels and would have slept in the house – if her bed hadn’t been moved out. 

Glenorchy civil defence officer Richard Kennett says the small community rallied together, and with many experiencing the 1994 and 1999 floods, locals know what needs doing. 

This was confirmed by Trading Post owner Toni Glover, who says older locals regularly dropped by to offer a hand in case floodwaters reached her Mull St store. 

Glenorchy Lake House employee Heidi Willett says guests once complained the property wasn’t lakefront. “Now it comes to the gate – God, we give good service”.