08 March 2022: 631 (red). See also Safe to swim? This post will be updated on the website each week.
When the Waikawa Beach Community Committee first met on the 17th of July 2022 several action points were made and reported in the minutes. It seems timely to report on the follow up to these as below.
Action points from the Waikawa Beach Community Committee initial meeting
Action Point: Minutes / information to community so they are informed that action is being taken, although it may take some time and the need for the community to be patient while we work towards a long-term solution.
- Minutes from meeting have been circulated to those who have left their names with Debra Betts as being interested in being kept informed
- Minutes forwarded to the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association (WBRA)
- Minutes placed on the WBRA website
Action Point: Follow through with Arthur Nelson and Craig Kidd about progress on the current access, to highlight that white baiting season will soon be here and concerns that without vehicle access people will make their way to the beach through illegal pathways.
- Beach access through the end of Manga Pirau St was restored by the council
- A local working bee used wood from the beach to attempt to stabilise this access
- On the 13th September access was once again compromised due to weather events- members of the community took action to firstly block access as a safety measure and then restore access with the working bee.
Action Point: Consultation with Carl Gibson to arrange a suitable time to discuss his ideas.
- A meeting was held with Carl Gibson on the 24th of July and minutes from this sent out as detailed above
Action Point: Follow up with appropriate people on septic tank issues.
- On the 25th of July a phone call was made to Horizons council to enquire about the possibility of an emergency river cut due to the high-water table causing issues with people’s septic tanks. This enquiry was referred back to Horowhenua council. A letter outlining the issues was sent to the Mayor – Bernie Wanden, along with a letter from a community member detailing the issues they were facing.
- This resulted in a meeting with representatives from Horizons and Horowhenua council to discuss both this issue and the council report on vehicle beach access options.
- This meeting was held on the 7th of September at the Manga Pirau St beach entrance with: Monique Davidson, CEO of Horowhenua council, Arthur Nelson, Council’s Parks and Property Manager and Stefan Titze, Parks and Property Project Lead from Horowhenua council, John Foxall and John Royard from Horizons Regional Council and Sophie Campbell and Debra Betts from the Waikawa Beach Community Committee. Lydia Mackie was present on the beach at the time and joined the meeting.
- It was discussed that it was uncertain that cutting the river would lower the water table in this area or assist those with septic tank issues
- It was also discussed that emergency river cuts for septic tank issues are not a viable option for the council at present
- It was mentioned that there had been follow through from council to deal with individuals who had issues with their septic tanks
- There was a verbal commitment from Horizons Regional Council to investigate with their scientific advisors if the issues of the high-water table would be assisted by regular cutting of the river.
- These findings would be reported back to the CEO of the Horowhenua council
Action Point: Contact to be made with the CEO of The Horowhenua council to seek more information about the council report on vehicle beach access options.
- Enquiries were made to the CEO about the publication of this report
- A meeting held on the 7th of September at the Manga Pirau St beach entrance in relationship to the action point above
- There was a verbal consent from Monique Davidson, CEO of Horowhenua council that before any council report on vehicle beach access options was published there would be consultation with us as a community.
- Any community consultation would not occur until after the local council elections – (voting closes midday Saturday 8th of October).
Date for next committee meeting yet to be confirmed
Prepared by: Debra Betts Date 16/09/2022
Waikawa Beach Community Meeting
Date: Sunday 17th July  10 am
Venue: Manakau Hall
Debra Betts (chair), Stephen Betts, Steve Bailey, Sophie Cambell, Deb Moran, Vivian Stewart, Peter Stewart, Alan Thorn, Julia Signal- Thorn, Lesley Anne Walker and Gary Whittaker
Apologies: Darren Galway, Barry Smith and Tony White.
Minutes of Last Meeting approved – Moved by Julia and seconded by Lesley Anne
Introductory Round: Members of the group briefly introduced themselves and what outcomes they were looking for. These included:
- Urgent resolution to current beach access
- Long term solution for beach access
- Work to address complex and longer-term issues such as climate change, erosion and ecological impacts
- Improving community cohesion
Feedback: At the last meeting several members were tasked with finding out more information from council and others.
Report back from Lesley -Anne Walker – Meetings with Horowhenua District and Horizons Regional Council
Meetings with Horowhenua District Council
Lesley Anne talked to Council staff, Arthur Nelson and Craig Kidd about the current beach access. Stormy weather last week prevented this work, but it will proceed once weather has settled.
Meeting with Horizons Regional Council
Darren, Tony and Lesley-Anne met with John Foxall of Horizons regarding the groyne cut. He noted that they cannot do any further work without Iwi consultation and that Iwi are currently very busy and it is difficult to get time with them. The committee noted that we should try to establish our own communication with local iwi.
The meeting included a visit to the South Track on Reay Mckay where the suitably of this track for an emergency vehicle access was discussed. Lesley -Anne also discussed this with Councilor Christine Mitchell
Report back from Steve Bailey – river cut
Steve talked to Carl Gibson, who has extensive skills in earthworks and local knowledge of the river and what would be necessary to divert it. He noted that previous cuts were ineffective and has agreed to come talk to the group about what he believes is required.
Report back from Gary Whittaker – working bee
Gary talked to many locals who are keen to be part of working bee to help restore and maintain the current access.
Other feedback – what happens elsewhere
Stephen Betts corresponded with Himitangi Community Committee who work with Manawatu Council to maintain the beach – such as piling driftwood against the dunes.
Vivian and Peter Stewart had also been to Kai Iwi in Whanganui and noted that locals had worked with Horizons to build tracks, bridges and access for people, quads and horses.
Working with HDC
The council’s report on vehicle beach access options for Waikawa beach (due on November 30th) was discussed. It agreed that while waiting for this report, the community need to ensure that we abide by current council regulations and that any short-term independent actions around beach access may be detrimental to our ability to work with the council towards long term solutions.
Sophie who has had extensive dealings with the Council discussed the slowness of working with Council and the need to find out more information on the current proposed report. She noted that even though Horizons may do the work on other beaches this work requires the approval of councils who forward to the regional council.
The issue of the high-water table was raised and the impact on effective operation of septic tanks in the village. It was suggested that Alan and Julia contact Harold Barnett at Horizons to discuss their concerns that the current high-water table is blocking the septic tank. If the river is having any effect on the high-water table, there may be a case for an emergency cut.
- Minutes / information to community so they are informed that action is being taken, although it may take some time and the need for the community to be patient while we work towards a long-term solution.
- Contact to be made with CEO and Christine Mitchell to seek more information about the council report on vehicle beach access options.
- Follow through with Arthur Nelson and Craig Kidd about progress on the current access, to highlight that white baiting season will soon be here and concerns that without vehicle access people will make their way to the beach through illegal pathways.
- Consultation with Carl Gibson to arrange a suitable time to discuss his ideas.
- Follow up with appropriate people on septic tank issues.
- Explore contacts to identify local Iwi connected to the river and beach who we can engage with.
- Committee members to bring suggestions for committee name to next meeting.
Meeting concluded 11.30 am
Date for next meeting yet to be determined
Download the minutes as a 123 KB PDF: Meeting Minutes 17th July 22.pdf
Promptly on the morning of Monday 14 March 2022 Lee Builders began the work of demolishing parts of the toilet block. The men’s block was the first target and work went very quickly. By the end of the afternoon only the pump house was still standing.
Portaloos for public use have been delivered, and the AED Defibrillator was installed outside the safety fence.
The WBRA has been able to keep the iconic wooden signs with sunburst for the archives and a few nearby residents kept a concrete block or two as memorabilia:
A few photos from around 5 pm below. For photos and videos earlier in the day and for the rest of the project visit Waikawa News:
Kia ora e te whānau,
first up: this is the last WBRA newsletter from me because I’ve stood down from the Committee as of 19 March 2022. After 5 years working on behalf of the community through the WBRA I’ve decided to put my efforts out there more directly. Visit my website Waikawa News for future news and newsletter updates.
If you’d enjoy being a website editor and newsletter writer for WBRA (WordPress skills helpful, but I can give training) please contact me for more information about what’s involved. Email me at email@example.com .
AGM update: the Secretary announced a postponement:
“Unfortunately due to Covid it has been decided that the AGM will not be happening until things have settled down. Miraz had announced it in the newsletter but as we have being trying to sort out the financial members list things have been on hold. We will be advising everyone once these lists have been sorted.”
This month’s relevant Māori word — Tawhiti: in the distance, afar.
Renovations on the toilet block begin on Monday, 14 March 2022, Covid willing. Read more at Toilet block update March 2022. Some fencing has already been delivered to the site ready for work to begin. Note that Portaloos will be available for public use while the toilet block is being renovated.
The project costs in the region of $354,000. Note: that averages out to about $7,000 per year for the potential 50 year lifespan of the building.
I also took a load of photos for the archives of the ‘old’ block. This is a data heavy page: Documentary photos of the ‘old’ toilet block.
- We are still awaiting the promised bike stands. It’s a supply chain delay.
- Don’t laugh, there are hints that Transmission Gully might open ‘soon’.
- Horowhenua District Council mower trimmed up a metre or so of the grass verges on 04 March 2022.
- In 2021 between Mill Road in Ōtaki and Hokio Beach Road in Levin, on SH1, there were: 37 crashes, 5 road closures, 26 delays and 8 deaths. Read more at Road Crash stats.
In the night sky this month
All the bright planets are in the morning sky, some better placed than others. Venus is the beacon for the region, rising due east after 3:30 at the beginning of the month. To the right of Venus is Mars, much fainter and red-coloured. Well below and right of Venus are Mercury and Saturn. They make a close pair at the beginning of the month, rising after 5 a.m. Mercury is the brighter of the two.
… The apparent closeness of the planets is all line-of-sight, of course. At mid-month Mercury is 194 million km away, Venus 96 million, Mars 285 million, Jupiter 890 million and Saturn 1600 million km away.
Take a look at The Evening Sky in March 2022.
Still for sale: 58 Manga Pirau Street, 75 Strathnaver Drive, 10 Arthur Street, properties on Walkers Lane (judging by the roadside signs). Also: 686 Waikawa Beach Road, 159 Emma Drive, 40 Manga Pirau Street, 44 Sarah Street, 13 Arthur Street.
Properties just aren’t moving at the moment.
Ngā mihi nui, Miraz Jordan, Waikawa News
Funnily enough, out of the thousands of photos I’ve taken at Waikawa Beach — sunsets and sunrises, sandy vistas, birds, plants, dunes, Tararuas, fish, insects, lakes, river … — none feature the scuzzy old toilet block at Hank Edwards Reserve.
But that toilet block, built about 50 or 60 years ago is about to be irrevocably changed, so for the Waikawa Beach Archives I visited on 08 March 2022 and took a whole lot of photos, inside and out.
See these as a
before. In a few months, Covid delays willing, we’ll be able to compare them with the
Warning: a lot of photos follow — beware data use.
The Horowhenua District Council is about to begin the refresh of the Hank Edwards Reserve toilet block and wants the community to know what to expect.
Work should begin from 14 March 2022 and it’s hoped to complete it by 08 July 2022.
Update 10 March 2022: The project costs in the region of $354,000. Note: that averages out to about $7,000 per year for the potential 50 year lifespan of the building.
One really important point though is that Covid-19 could take the project off-track in two ways:
a] Supply chain problems. We’re probably all aware that building supplies and many other goods have been affected by Covid. The contractors have most of the materials they require already in their depot, but a few items are still on order.
b] Staff supply problems. Being able to get the job done requires people to do the work. Covid is affecting some workers connected with the project.
As we’re in a Covid surge at the moment both HDC and the contractor have already been affected by having staff away because of Covid. The contractor though is keen to get on with the work without delay and will be making efforts to keep the job moving. [Update 08-Mar-22: the struck out section inaccurately said some HDC staff were affected by Covid. My apologies for the error.]