River mouth drone photos May 2021

Blair kindly takes regular drone photos of the river mouth, village and Strathnaver areas. Beware data use on phone plans.

The photos below have been reduced in size and quality. The full-size versions are worth viewing though, so at the end of the post is a set of links to the larger, better quality photos, each of which is around 9 MB in size.

Looking south, at the river mouth.
Looking south, at the river mouth.

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Can rail relieve our roads?

As the Government lays out 10-year plan for rail investment which includes restoring the run-down network we can consider what this might mean for the stretch of road between Wellington and points north of us.

Some days it seems as though at least half of the traffic flow is made up of huge trucks carrying logs, cars and an enormous variety of other goods. If many of them could be moved to the rail network that would free up our overloaded SH1.

Freight rail will now be funded from the same pot as roads. …

The plan says there has been significant under-investment in the national rail network for decades and large parts of the network are in managed decline.

… state investments will be made to restore the network to a resilient and reliable state and lay the groundwork for growth.

Logging truck in Levin.
Logging truck in Levin.

Look up! — There’s a lunar eclipse on 26 May 2021

Once night falls I step out on the deck at Waikawa Beach and can see the glow from the lights of Ōtaki, Masterton, Levin and Palmerston North. Fortunately though, with no street lights nearby, I can look a little higher and see stars, galaxies, planets, Moon and occasional satellites shining against the dark of the sky.

Recently Strathnaver resident Jaye Pere pointed her telescope at the full Moon (Facebook link), attached her Samsung Galaxy S10 to the eyepiece and took these amazing photos.

We’re so lucky here to have few streetlights and few house lights, meaning the sky is good and dark, and even fainter celestial bodies are easy to see. Take that Wellington!

Full moon.
Full moon, late April 2021. Photo by Jaye Pere.

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Wakey wakey shakey shakey

We don’t get too many earthquakes almost directly under our feet here at Waikawa Beach, but a loud rumbly quake this morning earned that distinction.

It was a M2.8, with the epicentre only about 4 Km away and 5 Km deep (screenshot shows preliminary details).

Distance from quake per Google Maps.
Distance from quake per Google Maps.
Quake details.
Quake details before being updated.
Quake location.
Quake location.

Horowhenua District Council wants Ō2NL Expressway completed

Council urges Government to commit to completion of Ō2NL Expressway:

Horowhenua District Council is alarmed and concerned at media speculation that the Ōtaki to North of Levin (Ō2NL) Expressway is in danger of being scrapped and that the Minister of Transport is unable to confirm commitment to the project. …

“With significant growth in the region, the catalyst for much of that growth has been the knowledge that the roading network between Wellington and Levin would become safer and more efficient. Horowhenua District Mayor, Bernie Wanden says. …

The Horowhenua community is again being placed in a position of uncertainty which is causing significant stress and anxiety to its residents and businesses. The state highway that splits our community is becoming busier by the day, posing increased risk to the safety of the community. …

Horowhenua District Council is in the middle of its Long Term Plan, with much of that planning, whether it be for Infrastructure or the future revitalisation of the Levin Town Centre, revolving around the Expressway being built and operational in 2029.