Community Undate – 3 April 2024

Horowhenua District Council’s draft Long Term Plan 2024-44

The Long Term Plan (LTP) sets out the services and projects the Council will provide to the Horowhenua community for the next 20 years until 2044.

Council’s draft Long Term Plan 2024-44 includes three key topics:

  • What services do we need for our community?
  • How should we manage our waste?
  • Sharing costs – who should pay for what?

The formal consultation period started on 15 March and runs until 5pm on  15 April 2024.

Below is a document which provides information to inform and support your submission.

Horowhenua District Council – LTP submissions.

Community Update – 12 February 2024

Spartina Weed Control Notification – Waikawa Conservation Area

The Department of Conservation is planning to undertake a herbicide operation to control the weed, Spartina (Spartina anglica, Spartina alterniflora), within the Waikawa Conservation Area (see below).

If you have any concerns and/or questions regarding the operation or wish to receive ≈24-hour notification of the operation’s commencement, please advise using the contact details in the attachment.

Notification Letter

Community Update – 20 December 2023

More sad news from the WBRA I regret to say. I’m sure many here will be aware that water samples are taken from the Waikawa Stream by Horizons RC on a weekly basis at this time of year. The last sample was taken on Monday 18 December and the result is that the e-coli levels are high and the stream is unsafe for swimming. There are possibly other contaminants of which we are unaware. This is unlikely to change in the immediate future.

Therefore, in the interests of the health and wellbeing of those who intended to take part, the annual Boat Day scheduled for 27 December 2023 is cancelled for this year.

This is obviously a severe disappointment as it is a fun event, but we collectively feel the risk to people tipping out of boats and to the volunteer rescue swimmers is too great this year. The usual swimming races would be out of the question anyway.

The other summer events will go ahead as scheduled.

I will make a couple of additional points here. Debra Betts and I recently took on the co-chair role of the WBRA committee. Sadly, we seem to have been nothing but the conveyors of bad news since. We do our best to advocate on behalf of the community but we are a small group of volunteers and many things such as the beach access and the river condition are pretty much beyond our control, or our remit for that matter. The WBRA and its committee were formed decades ago mostly to organize community events such as the summer activities. We are also involved in efforts to further the interests of the local environment such as plantings and pest control. It was never intended as a political organization or a lobby group. However, despite that, we do our best to further the interests of the community where possible with the limited resources we have. We hope the community understands this.

On behalf of the WBRA committee, Debra and I wish all a happy and safe holiday season and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the events that will take place. And perhaps to some good news in the future.

Pat O’Sullivan (Acting Co-chair)

Community Update – 14 December 2023

On behalf of the WBRA, below is an interim update on the beach vehicle access issue.

An onsite meeting was held yesterday with HDC and Horizons in relation to the beach access and the current state of the river in terms of e-coli counts etc. Two principal topics were discussed, the current inability of vehicles to access the beach and the possible health risks to persons swimming or boating in the river. Two main requests were presented. That arrangements for a temporary solution to the vehicle access be made with the landowners whilst a longer-term solution is worked on (lease of land etc.) and that an urgent river cut be done to allow the river to flush and clean itself before the height of the summer season.

The outcome was as follows: The landowners have apparently agreed to the establishment of a temporary access provided the work is undertaken by HDC and not by anyone else. HDC has agreed to this but will require a resource consent before any work can be done. For anyone who has applied for a resource consent you will know this is not a rapid process so it isn’t going to happen tomorrow. The bad news aspect to that is that there is unlikely to be any work done in the immediate term.

The promised public consultation process in regard to a longer- term solution to the vehicle access situation will commence on 20 December 2023 and will be done by mail.

With regard to a possible river cut the outcome was less clear. There is a possibility it could be done but would have to be funded by HDC. Whether there is any funding available is not clear at this stage so 50/50 at best. So don’t hold your breath, or if you want to risk swimming in the river do hold your breath.

We will make a further post once a formal response is received from HDC. It may vary slightly from the above but this is posted for information at this stage.