At the moment everyone who has a place at Waikawa Beach relies on collecting rainwater, or using a bore, or sometimes bringing in water for all their water needs. Septic tanks deal with sewage.
The Horowhenua District Council have recently pointed out that our region is experiencing much greater population growth than previously — a jump from around 0.4% to nearly 2% per year. By 2040 they expect an extra 10,000 people and 5,000 households in Horowhenua. See: Will the Waikawa Beach population grow in the next 20 years?
The Council are also about to launch into their 20 year Long-Term Plan, and as part of it are talking about the possibility of providing piped water and a sewage system to our small community. Councillor Christine Mitchell spoke about this at the December 2017 AGM. From the unconfirmed Minutes:
Growth is coming and the Horowhenua Council needs to be ready for this. They have a Long Term Plan — a 20-Year Plan. There is a report coming out on 21 February 2018.
Residents need to decide whether they want these services. The services could influence where people choose to live. It would cost approximately $18M. This would then be charged on to ratepayers with an estimated $1500/pa rate increase. Important to let Council know what residents think. Must have your say. Important that committee submits to the HDC 2018/38 Long Term Plan. Also important to individually make submissions. Strength In Numbers.
There are March/April deadlines around submissions for Long Term Planning both with Horowhenua District Council and Horizons.
What the Minutes don’t include there is that the $18 million accounts for only some of the additional spending, so the additional rates burden could be much higher.
We should note too, Council are looking for places to put the extra people, and that could include locations immediately adjacent to Waikawa Beach.
A very useful online mapping tool for viewing Census figures is StatsMaps, which allows you to select down to a Meshblock (the smallest unit of Census measurement) and see information such as the number of people, number of households, median income and so on. The map above, and the most recent information available is from the 2013 census. We’re due for another census in 2018.
Councillor Mitchell pointed out that it’s crucial we make submissions to the Council on these and other topics, or we may find we end up with things we don’t want foisted on us, or alternatively things we do want simply overlooked. By
we she meant that both individuals and the Association as a whole should make submissions. There is weight in the sheer number of submissions the Council receives.
So as residents, ratepayers and visitors we need to ask and answer some important questions. Keep in mind that new services we receive will almost certainly add to our rates bills.
Please use the comments area below to let us and others know what your thinking is on these important issues. Feel free to also email the Committee directly email@example.com with your responses. Commenting here though allows an open forum where we can gauge the feelings of the community as a whole.
So here are the first questions to consider:
- Do we, as a community, want the Council to provide our tap water?
- Do we, as a community, want the Council to dispose of sewage?
- Do we, as a community, want the farmland around us turned into residential areas?
- Are there additional facilities we want or need for Waikawa Beach? One example could be a secure vehicle access to the beach.
- Do we want Horizons Regional Council or Horowhenua District Council (or both) to make specific provision for environmental issues, such as beach erosion or river water quality?
- Are there roading developments we want? This could be things like handling excess water when it rains, footpaths, road widening, speed limit changes.
Please, think about these things, and other matters where either of the Councils can provide or remove services. Discuss the issues with your friends and neighbours. Bring the issues here (please keep the comments constructive, useful and family-friendly) to discuss with other readers, and watch out for news from the Committee.
When the time comes for submissions, please make a submission of your own, and help us, as an Association, know what our members want so we can make submissions and lobby on behalf of our community.
These are important matters and we’ll be talking about them more soon.
Update Friday 23 February 2018: The Council have released their draft plan. Please read our post about the Plan on this site at: 2018-38 Long Term Plan Consultation.