July 2018 Newsletter

The winter wet; The River Cut and Vehicle Entrance; The footbridge refurbishment; The water report; The property development; The car vs the fence; The whitebaiting starts on 15 August; The Chorus fibre Internet (for some); The Conscientious Objectors fence — Did you know?

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. Well, the stars of Matariki have risen — apparently. It’s been cloudy, rainy and a bit windy in the last few days. In any case, Matariki signifies that the darkest days of winter are over and we start our journey towards summer. Meanwhile, we have the winter wet to deal with.

In this newsletter …

  1. The winter wet
  2. The River Cut and Vehicle Entrance
  3. The footbridge refurbishment
  4. The water report
  5. The property development
  6. The car vs the fence
  7. The whitebaiting starts on 15 August
  8. The Chorus fibre Internet (for some)
  9. The Conscientious Objectors fence — Did you know?

The River Cut and Vehicle Entrance

Few topics get as many views on our website as the River Cut and Vehicle Entrance. On 28 June 2018 two diggers and two dump trucks turned up at dawn and spent the day digging a river cut, creating a dam on the south side of the river by the rock groyne, a dam parallel to the sea a bit south and west of there, and a maybe 20 metre wide, perhaps 30 or 40 metre long ‘apron’ at the vehicle entrance.

The moment work was finished vehicles made the most of the new facility and headed onto the beach.

It was all quite splendid to behold.

Luckily we took lots of photos, as less than 10 days later the dam had breached, the little sea wall was gone and the river was already eroding the vehicle entrance.

Naturally, few are pleased with this outcome. We’ll update you soon with next steps from the Committee.

Looking south, vehicle entrance centre left.
Looking south, vehicle entrance centre left.

Read more and see more photos at: Water report 09 July 2018, River cut Report 08 July 2018, River Cut report 02 July 2018.

Refurbishing the footbridge

Work is almost complete on strengthening the footbridge. new rails have been put on, top and bottom, strapping has been added to the deck and an anti-slip plastic mesh is to be laid over the strapping. Many thanks to everyone who has been so patient with the bridge being closed for this important work.

Now when you walk over the bridge the bounce has gone. It feels very steady and solid.

Footbridge, with bonus raindrops.
Footbridge, with bonus raindrops.

The water report

Between 01 and 10 July 2018 we had nearly 100 mm of rain, most of that over the 3 days from the 7th to the 10th.

Paddocks along Waikawa Beach Road flooded as usual, the river is running fast, strong and muddy, the Strathnaver Drive puddle is back, all the way across the road and everyone’s rainwater tanks will be overflowing.

We had a couple of mild thunderstorms over those days, and even the odd small earthquake.

Property development

It’s all go around Waikawa Beach, as far as properties go. Several new builds are starting: one on Sand Dune Grove and 3 or 4 on Strathnaver Drive. Housing modules have arrived on one section on Reay Mackay Grove, and there have been 3 sales on Reay Mackay Grove, one on Sarah Street and the farm by the village entrance on Waikawa Beach Road.

Car vs fence

On Wednesday 13 June 2018 a car crashed through a fence on Waikawa Beach Road. Oops.

Whitebaiting starts on 15 August

Whitebaiting starts on 15 August and goes through to 30 November. Please check the regulations.

Chorus are bringing fibre Internet for some

A Chorus contractor was recently scoping out properties in the village as preparation for laying fibre by the end of June 2019. This is part of their UFB2+ rollout.

If you live in the Strathnaver area don’t get your hopes up though: queries by residents in that area have established that Chorus won’t be laying fibre beyond around 41 Strathnaver Drive.

If that affects you please let us know as at least some residents are working on challenging this divisive decision.

Read more at: Better Internet is coming (for some).

Did you know: the Conscientious Objectors fence

Have you spotted the new Conscientious Objectors fence at the north end of Manga Pirau Street? It belongs to Glenn Colquhoun who very kindly gave me permission to republish his blog post and photos here.

The Conscientious Objectors fence. Photo by Glenn Colquhoun. Used with permission.
The Conscientious Objectors fence. Photo by Glenn Colquhoun. Used with permission.

Just thought I’d put up something here on the new fence I’ve been working on. I know it’s not about writing … but then again it sort of is in a way. A few months ago I decided my house needed painting. My fence was rotten as well so I decided to do some decorating.

I’ve always wanted to live in a pink house by the beach. I know my old seventies style house isn’t exactly the era for pink houses but I thought what the heck? I cut the fence up for firewood and then started ticking about how best to replace it.

Fencepost’s were a good place to start! They stayed there a while while I drove past ticking away. Then I read an article about how an organisation in Dunedin have been trying for years to build a memorial to the conscientious objectors in WW1 and about how they keep being given smaller and more obscure plots of land to do that on by the council there.

I knew about the story of the 14 objectors sent to France and England in 1917. I’ve worked for years trying to adapt We Will Not Cease, Archie Baxter’s memoir of that time, into a screenplay. And I’ve even visited William Little’s grave in France. He was one of the 14 objectors and was beaten and starved in France until he took on service as a stretcher-bearer. He died of wounds he received there just before the end of the war.

A number of those other objectors were famously hung on posts at the front for refusing to fight. I happened to have 14 posts and so I thought, ‘Bugger everyone reneging on that memorial in Dunedin! … I’ll build one into my fence.

I decided to go the whole hog then and turn it into a Pacific fence interspersing it with some tapa panels – I suppose it’s hard to take the South Auckland out of a man. I especially wanted to finish it in time for ANZAC day.

The stories of those who fought in WW1 deserve remembering of course … but after learning what some NZ’ers did to other NZ’ers back then I have never felt comfortable celebrating the day too hard out until we somewhere remember those who had the courage not to fight. So now I have my fence I can do that.

As it happens I’ve never had so many yarns with people in the village since working on the fence … sometimes it was hard to get any work done fielding questions! In many ways it felt like I was working on one big 14 verse poem, except this one was written with a paint-brush and hammer.

It also made me realise that everything around us can be used to tell stories. Especially our houses and fences … when I finished I kind of got sad I could just keep going down the whole street. Paint-brushes and hammers are as good as pens after all.

I’ve included some pictures. I hope you enjoy it!

The Conscientious Objectors fence. Photo by Glenn Colquhoun. Used with permission.
The Conscientious Objectors fence. Photo by Glenn Colquhoun. Used with permission.
The Conscientious Objectors fence.
The Conscientious Objectors fence. Photo by Glenn Colquhoun. Used with permission.

P.S. By the way this a really good link for those of you who want to look at the stories of those 14 objectors in more depth. It’s an incredible part of our history. Click here to check it out.

Heoi anō,
Miraz Jordan

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