September 2017 newsletter

September 2017 Newsletter

Hi everyone, soggy greetings from Waikawa Beach

That wet summer turned into a wet autumn and a wet winter — we’ve had about another 250 mm rain since the last newsletter. That brings us to more than 750 mm (30 inches) this calendar year.

Rain to end of August 2017.
Rain to end of August 2017.

If you haven’t visited for a while be sure to bring your gumboots as the water table is extremely high and there are puddles and lakes everywhere. Horowhenua District Council halted all mowing operations a few weeks ago because everything’s too wet.

Horowhenua District Council halted all mowing operations.
Horowhenua District Council halted all mowing operations.

In this newsletter …

  1. Wet winter
  2. Seal season
  3. Did you know?
  4. Tsunami zone road markings
  5. Please pay your Subs
  6. Introducing Neighbourhood Support
  7. A haircut for the entrance
  8. Entrance to Strathnaver Drive cleanup
  9. Property news
  10. Beach erosion update
  11. Trailbikes and beach erosion
  12. Whitebaiting
  13. Training helicopter crash at Waikawa Beach
  14. Quick answers: Fires in this Total Fire Ban area
  15. Website updates: an online noticeboard
  16. Stay up to date by email
  17. Committee meetings in 2017
  18. Comments

Seal season

Seal season has begun, with seal pups and sometimes adults coming up on the beach to rest. A seal may go into the water and then come back out onto the beach repeatedly. From a distance you might think it’s a dog in the water or driftwood on the beach. Please drive slowly and carefully and keep dogs and kids away. There are stiff legal penalties for harming seals, and they can move fast and inflict serious injuries.

Seal on the beach.
Seal on the beach.

Did you know?

We’re all familiar with that sudden jolt, shake, rattle and roll of an earthquake. But some earthquakes are harder to detect. Did you know that here in Manawatu and Kapiti we’re living with a slow slip event?

… slow-slip events … occur up to 60 km below the earth’s surface where the Pacific Plate meets the Australian Plate, along the Hikurangi Subduction Zone …. Slow-slip events can move faults the equivalent of magnitude 6+ earthquakes over a period of weeks to months. Movements caused by these slow-slip events are so slow that they are undetectable by both humans and GeoNet’s seismographs.

Some locals speculate the reason the water table’s so high this year is that perhaps the land dropped in the recent Kaikoura earthquake.

Tsunami zone road markings

Those jolting earthquakes, nearby or far away can cause a tsunami. There is now a blue line across Waikawa Beach Road, 1 Km west of Takapu Road, that shows the safe zone for evacuating to. The Horowhenua District Council says:

A tsunami can violently flood coastlines, causing devastating property damage, injuries and loss of life. Tsunami waves can smash into the shore like a wall of water, or move in as a fast moving flood or tide.

Here that could mean a tsunami sweeps through gaps in the dunes and up the river, and then across the land that always floods after a lot of rain.

Tsunami move so fast there may not be time for an official warning.

This means you must move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can if you are at the coast and you experience any of the following:

  • feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Please pay your $25 sub

Our subscription year starts on 01 October each year so subs are now due for 2018. Subs are $25 per year.

Pay online to account 03 0667 0268929 000. Please include your name and beach address so we know who’s paid. There’s not a lot of space on the bank form, so it also helps if you email wbra.committee@gmail.com with your name, beach address, postal address, email address and date of payment so we can make sure our records are completely up to date.

If you prefer to pay by cheque, then send it to E White, PO Box 30309, Lower Hutt 5040, with your name and beach address, postal address and email address.

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 road berms, two of several current areas of interest.

Introducing Neighbourhood Support

Contributed by Frank Averes (10 Manga-Pirau St).

A year or so back, Neighbourhood Support in Levin had fallen apart with its previous organiser having moved on. Late last year, a new coordinator was appointed, and since then Deborah Campbell has been re-establishing things. You may recall she attended and spoke at our last AGM. As a direct consequence a number of people ‘signed-up’ with her to be part of a restarted group.

To cut a long story short, WBRA are back and coordinating local NSG here at Waikawa me (Frank Averes).

What it means to you is that whenever we hear of anything from Deborah that is relevant to Waikawa Beach, we will advise all ratepayers on our database, as well as any additional people signed up through Deborah or myself that aren’t otherwise on WBRA database.

If you are signed up to NSG direct with Deborah, you are probably receiving some emails advising of various nefarious activities in the wider district, and/or ‘severe’ weather events. I have filtered these, and thus far there hasn’t been anything directly affecting us.

If you have signed up to her Facebook page, then you will receive even more notifications (of basically everything in and around Levin under the sun!)

In terms of local activity, if you are affected by crime, or notice anything untoward or suspicious, report it in the first instance to the police.

If practical, write down details, or take a photo or video of suspicious activities or people / cars, however never put your own safety in danger when doing so.

If you wish an advisory to go out around our community, let me know and we will send out an email. We prefer non-identifying details wherever possible to protect people’s privacy, however sometimes these may be necessary.

We should all do everything we can to help our neighbours. That is what ‘community’ is about.

Many property owners are not here fulltime, so keeping an eye on neighbours’ properties is a practical thing we can all do. If you are a holiday maker, consider passing a key to your neighbours, or letting them know where you might hide it (if you do). If not a neighbour, then is there some other trusted party, eg chairman of WBRA.

If you are permitting unknown people to stay at your property, let your neighbours know (if they would ordinarily expect only you and your family to be there).

Keeping WBRA up-to-date with your contact details (including phone numbers) means if we hear about an incident affecting your property, we can contact you faster.

Consider your property’s security. Alarms? Cameras? Keeping bushes trimmed, and not leaving valuables (eg kayaks) in sight of the street. When you go out to the beach or even just a walk around the block, lock your doors.

Useful contact details:

Deborah Campbell, District NSG Coordinator (email) horowhenua.nsg@gmail.com, (06) 3660574, (mob) 021 222 1006

Horowhenua Neighbourhood Support Group: Search Facebook for ‘horowhenua district neighbourhood support’

WBRA NSG — Frank Averes (mob) 027 328 3737, (email) bwe.limited@gmail.com

Consider signing up to ‘Neighbourly‘.

A haircut for the entrance

Report by Margaret Burns.

The dangers to passageway for foot traffic, cycles and the occasional horse trail riders promoted the need for shrub and tree clearance at the entrance to the village on Waikawa Beach Road. The berm reserve, being the responsibility of the WBRA, has been mowed and tended over the years by Peter Clarke, a local resident who is contracted by the Association.

Matt Fogden, also a local resident, did a great job volunteering with his mechanical tractor saws, topping and side clearing the trees and shrubs. Matt provides a similar service for Waikawa residents who require assistance with property maintenance. Call 06 362 6599.

Over a couple of fine days (which was a rarity this winter!), willing hands spent many hours clipping, raking, wheelbarrowing, mulching and generally tidying up.

Thank you to all those who assisted. Also thank you to John Hewitson for the use of his mulcher which was certainly put to very good use. The mulch has been laid down for a nutrient source for new shrubs and trees required in current bare spaces.

There are still days required to finish the mulching and plant out when the Association makes purchases.

For more detail and photos read A haircut for the entrance.

Entrance to Strathnaver Drive cleanup

The corner of Sarah Street and Strathnaver Drive was also becoming quite overgrown. After we talked to the Council they came and cleaned up a bit. Now things are looking much better.

Property news

A few more properties have sold in the last few months, including a pair of adjacent houses at the village end of Waikawa Beach and a couple on Strathnaver Drive. Houses on Uxbridge Terrace and Strathnaver Drive have been completed and folks moved in. With the tradies gone, the quantity of sandwich and food wrappers discarded onto Strathnaver Drive has dropped dramatically.

Meanwhile a few sheds and caravans have popped up along Strathnaver Drive in particular, and a new house at the vehicle entrance end of Manga Pirau Street is finally going up after some false starts.

Beach erosion update

We made a submission to the Horowhenua District Council Annual Plan and have held meetings with Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council to start to sort out how we can collectively deal with the erosion happening near the vehicle entrance to the beach. One landowner there has lost several metres of their property recently. It’s a slow negotiation and still in its early stages but we’re keeping the issue active.

There have been two site meetings at which the option of recutting the river channel directly to the sea was discussed and dismissed as not viable. An engineering / geomorphology study is also being investigated.

Trailbikes and beach erosion

Trailbikes are becoming quite an issue with some residents and weekenders upset at how the bikes are tearing up sand dunes both north and south of the river. Up at the Waikawa Reserve at North Manakau trailbikes and quad bikes have churned the camping area into mud. Here riders are taking their bikes into and over the small and particularly fragile dunes, gouging out sand from the vegetation and causing increased risk of erosion by wind, rain and tide.

Motor vehicles are not allowed in the dunes or near vegetation and must stay below the latest high tide mark.

We are looking at options to help keep vehicles out of and off the dunes, including taking photos of offenders and their vehicles.

Read more on the Association’s blog: Dune and dusted.

Trailbikes gouge the fragile dunes detail. Photo 23 August 2017 08:51..
Trailbikes gouge the fragile dunes detail. Photo 23 August 2017 08:51.

Whitebaiting

The whitebaiting season has opened and keen whitebaiters are down at the river mouth every day. The season runs to 30 November. Read more at Whitebait season is almost here and Glass eels are fragile.

Training helicopter crash at Waikawa Beach

Contrary to news (and even Police) reports, the helicopter that crashed on 24 August 2017 at Waikawa Beach did not crash in Drake Street. Rather it crashed on farmland immediately south of Lake Huritini, in the area where pilots practice their low flying work.

Luckily the two occupants were not badly injured. The helicopter’s rotors, on the other hand, were quite bent.

The helicopter was retrieved the next day — lifted out without its rotor blades by another helicopter and taken away for storage. The blades were lifted out in a separate run.

Read the full story at A thump, then silence — a helicopter crash.

Quick answers: Fires in this Total Fire Ban area

So you want to have an outdoor fire but you know this entire area is under a Total Fire Ban all year round? Luckily, it’s an easy thing to deal with. There are no fires allowed on the beach, ever, but in your own back yard you just need to get a free permit.

Gas barbecues don’t need a permit, but fire pits and all other fires do. Call Fire Emergency on 0800 658 628 or visit the Fire and Emergency website for information and an online application.

Lighting a fire in this area without a permit is against the law and penalties are steep: 2 years in prison and a $300,000 fine.

If you cause damage in this area to property with your fire then your insurance won’t cover it unless you also have public liability insurance.

So, make sure you get that free permit, then you can sit back and enjoy your open air fire, just not on the beach.

By the way: fireworks are notorious for starting fires around the country, so please, stay safe and don’t set off fireworks in this total fire ban area. The local cats, dogs and horses also prefer a quiet fireworks night.

Website updates: an online noticeboard

The two noticeboards by the footbridge are well-used and popular, but weather and other factors can take their toll. In addition to putting notices on those noticeboards you can add items to our new online noticeboard.

For the moment while we iron out some issues with allowing anyone to post, please send any notices to wbra.committee@gmail.com , with Noticeboard in the subject line.

Stay up to date by email

Did you know you don’t have to keep visiting our website to read all the new articles? We’ve published about 20 new items in the last 3 months. Instead get new blog posts by email as soon as they’re published. Enter your email address in the sign-up box on the right-hand side of almost any page on our website. It’s free and your email address is only used for those blog posts. You can easily unsubscribe at any time too.

Next meetings in 2017

Your Committee will next meet at LabourWeekend, and the AGM will be just after Christmas, as usual. Interested in being nominated for the committee? Check the information on our website then email wbra.committee@gmail.com to say you’re interested.

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 dry,
Miraz Jordan

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