December 2017 Newsletter

Hi everyone, well, after a year of endless discussions about how wet everything was, talk has now turned to sunscreen, sun umbrellas, sun hats and how to keep cool. The ground has dried out, grass is dry and brown, and we can all be thankful we have our own tank or bore water as Levin and other places with a reticulated supply are already suffering water restrictions.

This is a big newsletter, as there’s a lot to talk about. In some cases we’ve included only the highlights, with more detail on the website.

In this newsletter …

  1. Dry spring
  2. Summer activities
  3. AGM
  4. Did you know?
  5. Please pay your Subs
  6. Beach erosion update
  7. Fire Service water tanks have been filled
  8. Christmas lights
  9. Mobile Emergency Alerts
  10. Property news
  11. Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group
  12. HDC Long-Term Plan
  13. Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway
  14. Vehicle speeds on the beach
  15. Quick updates
  16. Waikawa the way they want it
  17. Committee meetings in 2018
  18. Comments
  19. Stay up to date by email
  20. Online noticeboard

Summer activities

We have a crack team of long-standing committee members and organisers for summer activities, as well as willing helpers. Thanks everyone who helps make the summer sports and other activities happen. Here’s what’s planned:

  1. Wednesday 27 December 2017 at 3 pm: Boat Day. We need to get the tides right for this one … Note: Frank Averes will be checking how the water looks and deciding whether it seems clean enough for the swim across the river to go ahead. This is an opinion, not a scientific test, so enter the water at your own risk. Check LAWA water monitoring page over summer for water quality information.
  2. Thursday 28 December 2017 at 3 pm: AGM at the Hank Edwards Reserve. Bring a chair. Only paid up members have a vote at this meeting. Do you want to nominate yourself or someone else for the Committee? New members are always welcome, so let us know. You don’t need to live here full-time to be on the committee.
  3. Friday 29 December 2017 around lunchtime: Sand Sculpture Day in the usual place: cross the bridge and turn left. Again tides are a factor.
  4. Monday 01 January 2018 at 3 pm: Sports Day at Hank Edwards Reserve.
  5. Tuesday 02 January 2018: Ambrose Golf (golf for all the family), commencing at the later tee off time of 10.30am. (Report at least 30 mins prior). Same price as last year, $20. Discounts for under 16 or Levin Golf Club members. Cabinet food, drinks & prize giving afterwards at the Clubhouse. No 18 hole golf this year.
  6. Summer recycling truck. We expect the truck to be available on Saturdays through the Christmas period, but we’re awaiting confirmation of times and dates. Check our website or the Horowhenua District Council website for times.
  7. 13 January 2018: Hard rubbish collection. The Association provide this service. For small amounts of rubbish the cost is $5 to $10 and for washing machines, fridges and the like, $20.00. You MUST advise us beforehand if you want rubbish taken or nothing will be collected. If you won’t be at your property on the day, let us know.

Most activities depend on the weather so check the noticeboard, the blackboard or the website for last-minute updates.

Did you know?

Waikawa Beach Road from Manakau to Waikawa, was first sealed in the 1950’s, Drake and Arthur Streets being sealed at the same time.

Manga Pirau Street was constructed around 1966 and the public toilets / changing rooms were built in 1967-8.

In 1973, Waikawa township was enlarged with a subdivision to the south and east. This involved the extension of Manga Pirau Street and the construction of Sarah, Cathryn, Duncan Streets and Norna Grove.

In 1977 Manga Pirau and Sarah Streets were extended south and James Street constructed.

Source: History of Waikawa Beach by Ron Averes Horowhenua, Pages 75 to 81, Otaki Historical Journal, Vol 5, 1982. Available from Levin library.

Subs are now due for 2018

Pay $25 to account 03 0667 0268929 000. Please include your name and beach address. Also email wbra.committee@gmail.com with your name, beach address, postal address, email address and date of payment. For more options see waikawabeach.org.nz/subs. We’ll have forms available at all the Summer activities, so you can sign up on the spot if you like.

Your Committee work closely with both Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council on matters affecting Waikawa Beach. Read on for updates on beach erosion and beach speeds, two of several current areas of interest.

Beach erosion update, November 2017

We need your input on the beach erosion problem. Please read the article called Beach erosion update, November 2017 on our website. We need to make submissions on the Long-Term Plans being considered by the Councils.

Fire Service water tanks have been filled

The Fire Service have several water tanks situated around the village so they have a source of water for fighting fires. These tanks have now been filled. Given how dry everything is, we may need them. Remember: no fires anywhere around here without a permit. There are huge penalties, and would you really want to take the risk of burning down a neighbour’s home or holiday place?

Christmas lights

Wendy and Peter Clarke have worked hard all year mowing lawns around Waikawa Beach and now they’ve put in the time and trouble to install their annual Christmas Light show. In a few weeks time wait till it’s dark then stroll along to the corner of James and Sarah Streets to enjoy the show.

Wendy and Peter's Christmas lights going up.
Wendy and Peter’s Christmas lights going up.

Mobile Emergency Alerts

Contributed by Frank Averes, WBRA Neighbourhood Support — (mob) 027 328 3737, (email) bwe.limited@gmail.com

3 or 4 years ago, a resident commented to me that we didn’t have a tsunami warning system here at Waikawa Beach, as if to ask how would we know if we had to evacuate? I responded to them that its simple really; if there’s a strong earthquake and you think there’s any chance of a tsunami, head for the hills; don’t wait to be told.

And so, last evening (26th November 2017) a test alert was sent out to about 1/3rd of all mobile phone users. This test was widely advertised, for example, in Stuff:

“WHO SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE ALERTS?

The alerts are not be available on all phones but Civil Defence expected around one third of phones will initially be able to receive the alerts.

They included an important link: a list of all types of mobile phones that should have received the alert.

Now as it happens, my phone was on silent (had been since a meeting on Friday), so whilst I received the alert, my phone did not sing (screech) out to me. My bad. Had I been asleep; I’d have slept right through! Also, Stuff reported that most did not receive the alert.

And (as I’m sure many of us know), cell phone coverage here at Waikawa can be patchy. So that raises an interesting question: even if you have a cell phone, the alerts might not reach across our whole community.

So should we? How do we? Ensure everyone receives alerts?

Of course, a tsunami will likely follow a major earthquake; as mentioned in the news today.

Now I’m picking that if or when there is a size 9 earthquake off the East Coast, probably the whole of the North Island will know about it! The above article suggests just minutes to get to higher ground (Wairarapa) and maybe the best part of 30 minutes in the Marlborough Sounds. I have no idea if such a tsunami would affect us; and I probably wouldn’t stick around to find out! And I have no idea if a tsunami could trigger somewhere out west from us.

I am reluctant that we have a coordinated ‘evacuation plan’ in our village, as that kind of makes us responsible if it doesn’t work. There is now a painted Tsunami Zone 5km or so inland however I think I’d keep driving! To be honest, my view is firstly that people need to help themselves. That might start with buying, or upgrading a cell phone.

However if anyone here at Waikawa either really doesn’t have and cannot obtain their own cell phone, or might even be house-bound or unable to drive, we must look out for each other (without putting ourselves in unreasonable danger). That might mean stopping off to pick up someone and help them evacuate.

If you are one of these people, or know of one of these people, have a plan!

Please find / coordinate with someone who can readily call past your/their house on their way out to a safe zone. I’d also suggest everyone evacuating to sound their horns continuously until they have left the village. It’s not as silly as it sounds — you just might save a life!

I would encourage people to locate and sign up to the Horowhenua District Neighbourhood Support Facebook page.

On other Neighbourhood Support matters, if you are a holiday maker returning here for summer, always be wary of possible break-ins whilst you were away.

Alert police, take photos of damage, and try to preserve any evidence, should you be unfortunate.

Mobile Emergency Alert notification.
Mobile Emergency Alert notification.

Property news

Several houses have sold recently, with a couple still on the market. Yet another new place is going up on Strathnaver Drive, and a small bach on James Street. While Waikawa Beach itself is pretty much full up, there are questions about where new residences might be built. The Horowhenua District Council says:

In the year ending June 2017, Horowhenua’s population grew by 1.8% — that’s an additional 600 people. Last year, for the year ending June 2016 we grew by 1.6%. “Compare those figures with our ten year average 2007-2016 which was 0.4% growth and you start to get an understanding of the acceleration that has occurred,” says Mr Lewis.

Meanwhile, QV tells us that average Residential House Values in Horowhenua have increased by more than 20% in the past year.

Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group

A few weeks ago Margaret & Kevin Burns and Miraz Jordan visited the Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group in Ōtaki. Members of the group were very welcoming and happily showed us around what they’ve been working on for years. They’ve weeded, planted, and conserved the dunes around the mouth of the Waitohu Stream, making impressive progress. They were keen to share their techniques and resources to help us do something similar here. The Coastal Restoration Trust of NZ website has many useful brochures too. If you’re interested in this kind of restoration work, please contact the Committee.

HDC Long-Term Plan

The Horowhenua District Council are starting work on their next, 20 year, Long-Term Plan. Read about a pre-consultation meeting the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association attended recently at: Will the Waikawa Beach population grow in the next 20 years? The Council’s plan will affect us all. Take a look at their information as it comes available and make your views known: to the Council and to us, your Association, so we can represent the views of our community.

Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway

Our neighbours at Manakau are particularly agitated that consultation on the Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway was stalled by the change of government, and fair enough too, given its impact on their community. Now the NZ Transport Agency has announced the second round of public engagement for the Ōtaki to north of Levin (Ō2NL) project will begin in February 2018.

Vehicle speeds on the beach

The Association submitted to a Council hearing about vehicle speeds on the beach. Read about that at: Beach speed submission 2017, Part Two.

On 27 November 2017 the Council voted to immediately change the maximum speed for vehicles on all of Horowhenua’s beaches to 30 Kph. In an email, Roading Operations Team Leader • Kaihautū Rangapū Mahi Arawaka Jenny Braithwaite advised:

As I consulted with you in regards to a proposed change to the beach speed limit to 60km/h for all beach areas in the Horowhenua district. I would like to advise that Council adopted their new Land Transport Bylaw 2017 on Monday 27th November with the following amendment: — the inclusion of a beach speed limit of 30 Kilometres per hour for all the beach areas in the Horowhenua district effective from the 27th November 2017.

Let’s hope that the few drivers who regard the beach as a racetrack take notice of this and slow down. The Council are expecting to install speed signs at all the beach accessways before Christmas.

Let’s also hope the speed signs last longer than other new signs about dumping rubbish and fire hazard that were installed recently at the vehicle entrance and disappeared within a few weeks.

Quick updates

Your committee has been busy. We:

  • are working with the Horowhenua District Council to make sure the toilet block is structurally safe and suitable for continued use.
  • started to investigate what can be done about water quality at the footbridge. We need to build relationships with other interested parties such as Forest and Bird, Federated Farmers and others, and look into how we can gather hard data to base future actions on. If you know of anyone with suitable expertise, please let us know. Also tell us if you’d like to be involved.
  • created and implemented a Privacy Policy to protect any data we may hold about you, such as email address, home address, etc.
  • trimmed and tidied the shrubs and trees around the entrance to the village.

Waikawa the way they want it

A Horowhenua Chronicle article from 04 October 1980 talks about how the 46 permanent residents like their peace and quiet. This find, contributed by Lesley-Anne Walker, is a gem. Read it at Waikawa the way they want it.

Committee meetings in 2018

In 2018 your Committee will meet at Easter, Queen’s Birthday and LabourWeekend. The AGM will be just after Christmas, as usual. Interested in nominating someone for the committee? Check the information on our website then email wbra.committee@gmail.com .

Comments

If you have something to contribute then please either email the Committee at wbra.committee@gmail.com , or visit the Contact page at the website, where you can make a public comment.

Stay up to date by email

Did you know you don’t have to keep visiting our website to read all the new articles? Enter your email address in the sign-up box on the right-hand side of almost any page on our website.

Online noticeboard

Remember, our online noticeboard is available for all to use, along with the actual noticeboards by the footbridge.

Stay cool,
Miraz Jordan

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