September 2018 Newsletter

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. Well, I was away for a week in early September and when I came back it seemed spring had arrived: blossoms all over, summer bird song, and the river has drifted further south again.

In this newsletter …

  1. Spring’s here
  2. Special spinifex Saturday — we need your help!
  3. Science-based coastal study
  4. Toxic shellfish
  5. Whitebait
  6. Seals on the beach
  7. Petition to allow access by horses via south track
  8. Briefly:
    1. Tree trimming at the village entrance
    2. Neighbourhood Support signs
    3. Road repairs
    4. Community grant
  9. Property news
  10. Did you know: Saved from drowning

Special spinifex Saturday — we need your help!

The Horowhenua District Council have 6,000 or more Spinifex plants to go in to help stabilise our sand dunes. We need willing helpers on Saturday 29 September 2018 to plant them. Please bring your whānau and friends for an hour or two.

Meet at the north end of Reay Mackay Grove at 10 am on Saturday 29 September 2018. Bring gardening gloves and a trowel if possible (spares may be available). A Council worker will dig the holes and get the plants into the right area and it’s our mahi to put them in the holes.

At the end of the planting the Council will put on a BBQ for us too.

Spinifex helps hold the sand in place without building tall dunes. It’s the perfect plant to help protect our coastline and our community. The last planting a couple of years ago has taken hold well. It’s fantastic to see the dunes accreting instead of being washed away.

I hope we’ll see most of you there!

Science-based coastal study

The Horizons Regional Council and the Horowhenua District Council are to co-share a coastal study with a science focus to identify the best management approach for the mouth of the Waikawa river. They have engaged Tonkin and Taylor and aim to complete the study by the end of the year.

We hope this will be a good basis for work to secure the vehicle access and deal with the coastal erosion along the stretch to either side of the vehicle access.

Meanwhile the Association is staying in contact with the Council and affected owners, participating in meetings where possible. As yet there is no progress to report, but the Tonkin and Taylor study is at least a step in the right direction.

Toxic shellfish warning.
Toxic shellfish warning.

Toxic shellfish

All up and down this coast there’s currently an alert about Toxic Shellfish. Signs went up a few weeks ago and are still in place. Read more at


The whitebaiters have been out at the river every day and seem to be getting at least a few feeds.

Seals on the beach

It’s the season where we spot young seals trying to rest and recuperate on our beach. They look a lot like bits of driftwood until you get near them. Please take extra care to keep your dogs away from them and to keep vehicles clear too. Unfortunately we’ve had reports of folks allowing their dogs to approach and worry seals, like this one on the Kāpiti Marine Reserve Facebook page:

“i was just a witness …to a local lady at Waikawa beach walking onto the beach let to big dogs loose they went straight for a pup seal that had just come in on the surf and proceeded to maul it ,whilst she eventually hauled the ring leader off and proceeded to beat the dog the other harrassed the seal until it was to deep in the surf for it to continue."

This kind of thing can get you in trouble with the law:

Recently, down at Mana a dog attacked a seal. “The dog owner could face penalties of up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $20,000, and a destruction order for the dog.”

Petition to allow beach access by horses via the south track

The Council have received a petition from local horse riders to allow access to the beach via the South Track off Reay Mackay Grove. The Council don’t allow horses and pedestrians to share tracks for safety reasons, but there may perhaps be a way to divide the track. We don’t know know yet what the response from the Council may be.

The South Track is extremely popular with dog walkers and families, particularly in summer as there’s a good swimming spot right where the track exits onto the beach.

The Association is keen for everyone to be able to access the beach safely. We’ll keep in touch with the Council on this matter.


Tree trimming at the village entrance

The trees at the village entrance had created a blind spot on the road. The Council trimmed the trees and left a pile of mulch that should be spread out soon. It’s now a lot easier to see what’s going on along that stretch of road.

Neighbourhood Support signs

Signs have gone up around the place to remind everyone that we’re an active Neighbourhood Support area.

Road repairs

Higgins filled in the large hole beside the road at Walkers Lane. Oddly, they only added shingle and didn’t seal it, but it is an improvement.

Community grant

We have applied to the Horowhenua District Council for a community grant to covers costs of the website and domain name, printing the newsletter for those who don’t have email, and other similar costs.

Property news

There is even more building on the Strathnaver side, with one house even arriving on the back of a truck, but otherwise things have been very quiet. 44 Sarah Street has just come on the market.

A house arrives on a truck.
A house arrives on a truck.

Did you know: Saved from drowning

Two persons were saved from drowning at Waikawa Beach, Manakau, on Boxing Day. Two women, a man, and a boy of 13 were fishing with a net, and were carried out of their depth by an exceptionally strong riptide. They were on the seaward end of the net and the heavy sea wrenched the net from the grasp of two men at the shore end, carrying it out to sea and adding to the difficulties of the other four. The man helped one of the women, his daughter, to the shore, but the other woman and the boy were still in difficulty. Their plight was noticed by Captain J. D. K. Logan, at present on furlough from the Middle East, who was on the shore nearby. He helped the woman to safety, but in the meantime the boy, who had been swimming strongly till the rip caught him, was in difficulties and apparently drowning, Captain Logan, has won many swimming events In New Zealand and also in South Africa, quickly made his way to the lad, dived underneath him and brought him safely to the shore. Captain Logan escaped from a prison camp during the South African campaign and trudged 200 miles barefooted to regain his base.

Source: General News, Press, Volume LXXXI, Issue 24458, 6 January 1945

I hope we’ll see you at the spinifex planting day.

Heoi anō,
Miraz Jordan

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