Please complete our survey on the Council’s 2018 Plans

If you’re a resident or ratepayer of Waikawa Beach please fill in our survey before Sunday 18 March 2018. Your answers will inform the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association’s submission on the Council’s Long-Term Plan and Growth Strategy. The survey should take only a few minutes.

Please remember to also send in your own individual submissions on the plans too. See the items below for more information.

Coastal erosion bothering you? Horizons Regional Council need to know

Coming up at the end of March: the Horizons Regional Council draft Long-Term Plan. Watch a brief video to see what Horowhenua District Council Mayor Michael Feyen says about that and coastal erosion here.

In mid-March 2018 Horowhenua District Council Mayor Michael Feyen visited Waikawa Beach to informally discuss river and coastal erosion with some local residents. He posted the following brief video on Facebook. It’s worth a watch. (If the video doesn’t show up here then click the link above.)

One part of his message is that we should make submissions to the Horizons Regional Council Long-Term Plan (not available until the end of March 2018).

Horizons Regional Council is consulting on their 2018-28 Long-term Plan (LTP) from 28 March to 30 April [2018]. The LTP sets out how Horizons Regional Council plans on managing the Region’s natural resources for the next 10 years. This includes identifying the activities we propose to deliver and what rate contributions will be required to help cover the estimated costs for each year.

Our consultation document will be available from 28 March, and highlights what we believe are the most significant issues addressed in the more comprehensive supporting document (also available from 28 March).

We need to wait and see what their plans are, of course, but our job will be to make sure that the plans include dealing with the erosion problems at Waikawa Beach.

Once the Horizons Long-term Plan is available we’ll provide information via this website.

Make submissions on the Long-Term Plan and Growth Strategy by 26 March 2018 (tips)

The Horowhenua District Council want your views on their Long Term Plan 2018-38 – What’s our Future Horowhenua? and Draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040. Here are some tips for your submission. Submissions Close on 26 March 2018 at 05:00 PM.

The Horowhenua District Council are consulting on two important documents at the moment — the Long Term Plan 2018-38 – What’s our Future Horowhenua? and the Draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040. Other items on this website discuss both documents in detail. This item aims to help you make submissions on both.

Submissions Close on 26 March 2018 at 05:00 PM.

The Council needs to hear from as many people as possible as the number of submissions carries weight. The Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association will also make a submission, but locals need to make their own submissions too for the Council to really hear what we do and do not want at Waikawa Beach.

How to make a submission

Make submissions:

Submitters may also opt to speak to their submission at a Hearing.

Remember that your submission can also offer comments on topics the Council haven’t specifically asked about.

The main points concerning Waikawa Beach have been all detailed for you on this website. You will find the draft plan, maps for future housing development, plans for water supply and sewage services and a discussion from your neighbours on their thoughts, including experiences of those at Himatangi Beach who had a sewage scheme implemented 6 years ago.

Individual feedback is very powerful for the Council when considering their future planning — so please add your voice.

It’s important your submission comes with your voice rather than a set of copied and pasted statements.

What Waikawa Beach folk are saying

Some people have made comments on the first item on this site about the plans. Others have emailed the Committee directly. Committee member Debra Betts has looked at what people have said and offers the following guidance.

Points that you may want to consider making in your submissions:

Growth and additional housing

  • Current government has signalled support of rail recovery. Realistic to encourage growth close to railway stations so that people who want to live in a rural environment can commute to Wellington (or Palmerston North).
  • Acceptable places for growth in the Horowhenua district are the settlements that were created by the railway such as Manakau, Ohau, Levin, Shannon, Tokomaru (and Foxton); not the beach settlements
  • As a small beach settlement Waikawa unsuitable for large residential development due to the lack of infrastructure to support a larger community –No public transport, limited access through one small road.
  • Growth should be encouraged primarily in places that can be reached by public transport, avoiding the use of the private car: that should be rail where it exists or can be restored.
  • Rezoning proposed land for residential growth would change the beach character of our coastal settlement
  • Rezoning proposed land for residential growth will negatively impact on the outstanding natural features of this area as identified in a report prepared for the council to ‘identify and protect the outstanding landscapes and natural features of the district against inappropriate subdivision and development.’ (Page 52 and 72 Assessment Of The Outstanding Landscapes & Natural Features Of The Horowhenua District prepared by Treadwell & Associates. August 2009)
  • Previous development plans for land close to proposed development land failed to meet resource consent due to underground waterways and draining issues. These underground waterway issues exist in the new proposed land for development (Manaaki Taha Moana (MTM) Research Team report. (State of Ecological/Cultural Landscape Decline of the Horowhenua Coastline between Hokio and Waitohu Streams MTM Report No. 2. June 2011).
  • Despite Council claims that the land chosen for rezoning does not get flooded or pond this is clearly not the case in recent years. The land identified is low lying land increasing has flooding issues and the appearance of small streams and semi-permanent swamps. Inappropriate use of ratepayers funds to develop this low lying coastal and swamp land.
  • Inappropriate investment to develop low lying coastal land in view of climate change scenarios and the increased incidence of flooding that has already occurred
  • Inappropriate investment to develop low lying coastal land in close proximity to coast, potential risk from tsunami. These low lying areas subject to ponding and erosion of sandy soils. (Page 141 Horowhenua Development Plan 2008)
  • Inappropriate investment to develop ‘swamp’ land for residential development. Liquefaction in an earthquake would be an obvious risk factor that would prevent or make development too costly.
  • Page 39 of the draft plan appears to state that over 80% of the expected expansion of 63 houses can be accommodated within the existing areas zoned residential or greenbelt residential. The proposed new areas totalling 44 hectares are ten times the area needed to provide for the small number of houses that can’t be fitted within the present zones. So why is so much land needed for rezoning?
  • Additional residential areas should only be approved if new properties provide their own individual water supplies and sewage disposal systems and can do that without jeopardising the quality of (bore) water used by existing residents.
  • Why increase the size of this settlement rather than developing a new settlement with its own character in another, more suitable location?

Drinking water and wastewater infrastructure

Possible points to consider:

  • Waikawa beach is a self-sufficient settlement, does not require new water supply and sewage services
  • Existing owners have installed water tanks or bores or both, at a substantial cost
  • Due to climate change, self-sufficiency and self-reliance in water and sewage is being encouraged by other councils
  • The Council already struggles to provide enough water to residents without summer-time restriction — the very time most holiday properties at Waikawa are occupied, and would be demanding water
  • The Council already struggles to provide clean water throughout winter, without the need for boiling notices.
  • Costs of providing water and sewage services for Waikawa which is a small community will be prohibitive for many current residents without any advantages for residents.
  • Rates rises to meet costs of providing water and sewage services will make it unaffordable for many current residents: changing the nature of Waikawa as a place people retire to and a bach community.
  • Why should current ratepayers subsidise developers rather than developers meeting the cost of water supply and sewage services to any new developments?
  • Supplying water to more settlements would require finding a new water source at considerable additional cost. Water already falls from the sky for free onto each residence. Why not collect and use that water?

Any other comments you want to make


  • Coastal Erosion must be properly addressed before contemplating water or sewage infrastructure.
  • Additional housing is required in Horowhenua to meet anticipated population growth, but Waikawa Beach generally attracts holiday homes. Would more housing here necessarily meet the demands for permanent residences?

A look at housing numbers at Waikawa Beach

The Council wants to add 63 new housing lots to Waikawa Beach. Its discussions with landowners, land developers, estate agents and other interested parties have made it clear developers don’t want to pay for infrastructure so that cost will be passed to ratepayers.

There are approximately 340 properties at Waikawa Beach, counting those you can reach after the speed sign at the entrance to the village. That excludes any reached by turning off Waikawa Beach Road before the village entrance. Here’s a map showing the properties, made from screenshots from the Horowhenua District Council’s online map. Click the map for a larger version. It shows the fairly dense residential area in the village and the bigger sections in the Strathnaver area.

Properties at Waikawa Beach.
Properties at Waikawa Beach.

Almost all the sections in the village have been built on. In the last 3 years or so there’s been a huge upswing in Strathnaver sections being sold and houses built. There are now very few sections anywhere left for sale, and a couple of them turn into lakes in prolonged wet weather anyway.

Every year a handful of properties in the village or nearby change hands.

It’s hard to assess how many people live here full-time, but a good guess would be between 150 and 200. See Will the Waikawa Beach population grow in the next 20 years? for more on this and a link to Stats NZ maps. The upcoming Census should be able to give us better figures by the end of 2018.

The Growth Plan

Horowhenua’s population has recently been growing more quickly than it used to. The Council now need to plan for future growth. The plan reckons on:

an additional 5,138 households, and 10,063 additional people by 2040.

This information is contained in the Draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, 3 MB PDF.

It’s a document worth reading. Below I’ve drawn out portions of particular note.

The Council aims to spread the newcomers around, but believes the southern parts of the region will be most favoured, in part because of the new roads. The document includes maps and plans for various areas, including Waikawa Beach, where the Council believes 63 houses could be added — perhaps around 120 people (based on the approximate 2 people per household figure above). This could nearly double the number of people living here.

Flaws in the plan

On re-reading the Plan and compiling the extracts below a few things became obvious:

  1. The Council consulted with landowners, land developers, real estate agents and others who have an interest in attracting buyers, and in selling land. It didn’t consult in that way with residents and ratepayers of the area. It has drawn up the Plan based in part on what it heard from that interest group, not on what the residents and ratepayers might have said if they’d had the same opportunity.
  2. The Council wants to supply infrastructure at a big cost to ratepayers because the developers don’t want to pay those costs (see Page 23 of the Draft Plan).
  3. The Council talks about maintaining character while suggesting developments that are likely to destroy and seriously damage character.
  4. The Council talks about avoiding risks such as areas likely to flooding, erosion, tsunami. Those are three risks that are prominent around Waikawa Beach.
  5. An interesting question is whether the new houses will serve as homes for the new population, or simply be bought up for more holiday homes. (See Page 11 about holiday homes.)

Extracts from the Draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040

Here are some general comments about the whole of Horowhenua —

Page 5:

the impact on existing neighbourhoods needs to be managed, and [we must ensure] that transport connectivity from new areas to services and amenities is good.

Page 10:

The median age in Horowhenua is 46 compared to New Zealand as a whole which is 38 years of age.

Page 11:

There was a 30% increase in the number of unoccupied dwellings between 2001 and 2013, largely attributed to demand for holiday homes or second homes in beach settlements where people reside primarily during weekends and the summer months. This seasonal fluctuation of people living in the beach communities is not necessarily reflected in the available population statistics.

Page 12:

the projections to 2040 adopted by Council equate to an additional 9,200 people with an additional 5,377 dwellings.

Then we start to get to some specifics for individual settlements. In this post we look only at Waikawa Beach.

Land use zone areas - Waikawa Beach.
Land use zone areas – Waikawa Beach.

Page 14, Table 10: District-wide Residential Zones Land Area:

  • Waikawa Beach total residential land area: 21 hectares. Available: 2 hectares.
  • Waikawa Beach total Greenbelt residential land area: 25 hectares. Available: 21 hectares.

Note: 1 hectare = 10,000 square metres.

Page 17, Table 11 — Waikawa Beach number of houses required:

  • residential: 24.
  • greenbelt: 39.

Page 17, Table 12 — Waikawa Beach minimum lot size:

  • residential: 800 square metres.
  • greenbelt: 5,000 square metres.

Page 18:

urban growth can modify the established character of settlements that are cherished by the community.

Page 19:

The distribution of some projected growth in the beach communities in the southern part of the District (which are closer to Wellington) can also be anticipated if the highway generates increased accessibility.

Consideration will need to be given in the longer term to ensuring that the need for travel on strategic roads is reduced. This could be through the provision of community facilities, public spaces and shops in development areas, off the main highway, or construction of link roads that enable local traffic to move without using the State Highway network.

Note here the suggestion of introducing shops to development areas.

Page 20:

There is the potential to service expanded settlements with additional bores and extended reticulated systems. However, with increasing demand for groundwater from a range of users, water conservation initiatives also need to be considered. The costs of providing increase reticulation is an issue for the district.


An issue for settlements without wastewater infrastructure will be their capacity to accommodate any additional growth without sufficient lots sizes to enable onsite treatments (eg tanks and soakage). In addition, the cumulative impact of a number of on- site treatment and disposal systems on the quality of groundwater and surface water.

Page 21:

Greater consideration of the effects of climate change on sea levels and the effects on coastal areas including estuaries and river mouths will be required in considering further development at coastal settlements. Similarly more intense rainfall events can be expected which requires consideration for managing stormwater and also river flood hazard.


there is no coverage of archaeological sites (Māori and European) identified by the District Plan. As a starting point, data from the NZ Archaeological Association will be used as a guide to the likely presence of archaeological sites. However, a cautionary approach to new development areas needs to be taken to recognise potential for the presence of sites not yet formally identified.

We need to remember that this area has a rich history of both Māori and European settlement before the 1950s.

The Council consulted with landowners, surveyors, real estate advisors and land developers (Page 22).

Page 23:

The consultation has identified some deterrents to current landowners proceeding with enabling their land to be urbanised.


The costs to undertake subdivision and provide for infrastructure such as roads, services reticulation and its connection to the existing system.


Feedback from the consultation with landowners has informed the proposed growth areas that form part of the community consultation.

Page 24:

7.1 Growth Management Principles — 7.1.1 Settlement Principles

  • Avoid areas of development where there are high risks from hazards and recognise the effects of sea level rise.
  • Maintain the ‘village’ character of smaller settlements (e.g. Tokomaru, Ōhau, and Manakau).
  • Maintain the ‘beach’ character of coastal settlements (e.g. Waitārere, Hōkio and Waikawa Beaches).

Page 25:

7.1.5 Infrastructure Principles

  • In non-reticulated areas, adopt best practice solutions for on-site disposal of wastewater and the supply of portable water.

Page 27:

Protect the natural character of the coastal environment by limiting the expansion of settlements. Most of the coastal environment is to be retained in its natural state and/or primary production focus.

Page 31, Table 14: Development Area Assessment Criteria:

Some areas are potentially subject to natural hazards which provide significant risks associated with occupation of the land. These effects cannot easily be mitigated, so growth areas that avoid them are favoured over those that are affected. The influence of climate change on the nature of these hazards also needs to be considered.

Page 39 focuses on Waikawa Beach:

The growth scenario projects that Waikawa Beach will need to accommodate an additional 24 houses within the Residential Zone and 39 houses within the Greenbelt Residential Zone.

Capacity calculation results for Waikawa Beach indicate that there will be a shortfall of residential zoned land for both the Residential Zone and Greenbelt Residential Zone.

Figure 11 shows two options, WB1 and WB2, that would provide sufficient land (see Table 17) to accommodate the projected demand in both Residential and Greenbelt Residential land, as well as providing additional capacity in the event that demand was higher than projected. In identifying these options, land that is subject to flooding or ponding has been avoided.

Residential capacity.
Residential capacity.

Page 56 talks about the current status of Waikawa Beach:

Waikawa Beach is a small coastal settlement which has developed incrementally in a manner which is typical for older coastal settlements where bach or holiday homes are the predominant residences.

Recent development of a lower rural-residential density has occurred to the south of the settlement. The urban area has extended along the eastern side of the Waikawa Stream.

Growth issues

  • Limited available vacant Residential Zone land
  • Increasing demand for residential development
  • No defined central point for local purposes
  • No reticulated infrastructure
  • Some areas surrounding the urban area are subject to natural hazard risks (ponding, flooding, tsunami, wind erosion).

Power outage planned for 08 March 2018 all day

There’s a power outage planned for 08 March 2018, 9 am to 4 pm, though it depends on the weather.

You might have seen the many Electra vehicles around the place lately. They’re maintaining and renewing the power network in this area.

There’s a power outage planned for 08 March 2018, 9 am to 4 pm, though it depends on the weather.

Power outage planned for 08 March 2018 all day.
Power outage planned for 08 March 2018 all day.

Remember to charge up all your devices and fill up some bottles with water.

If you need more information or have concerns call Electra 0800 567 876.