Highlights from the 2020 AGM of the WBRA

In spite of a last moment change of venue to the Manakau Hall, about 40 or 50 people found their way to the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association AGM on Sunday, 27 December 2020.

2020 WBRA AGM at Manakau hall.
2020 WBRA AGM at Manakau hall.

While the official minutes aren’t available yet, here are a few informal highlights.

Committee re-elected

The office holders and committee members remain the same as last year.

2020 WBRA AGM - from left: Elaine White, Pip Clout, John Hewitson.
2020 WBRA AGM – from left: Elaine White, Pip Clout, John Hewitson.

Dissatisfaction with the intersection of SH1 and Waikawa Beach Road

There was some discussion about the dangers of the intersection of SH1 and Waikawa Beach Road. It’s in the hands of the NZTA who seem to not be acting on complaints about it, or at least, not until other safety improvements have been made elsewhere. Horowhenua District Council is also pushing for safety improvements, but it’s up to NZTA.

Subscriptions

The WBRA received fewer subscriptions in the past year and less money in grants from Horowhenua District Council, but as expenses have been lower, the bank balance is still good.

From mid-2021 Westpac Bank will no longer accept cheques. Those few members who still pay by cheque will need to find another way to pay.

Some folks pay but we don’t have their email address for a receipt, and sometimes we don’t have their beach address either.

Information from Cr Christine Mitchell

Christine Mitchell, Horowhenua District Councillor, spoke on several topics, also thanking John Hewitson and the WBRA Committee for their work during the year.

If people have problems the Council should sort out then the best thing is to contact Customer Services at Horowhenua District Council to raise the issue. Be sure to get and note the Customer Reference number. Quote that number if follow-up is necessary.

Covid-19 kept Horowhenua District Council very busy. They planned for the worst but things are booming in Horowhenua. The economy is up here, largely thanks to the local food growing industry. Council reduced expenditure, including the Waikawa Beach toilet block and bridge upgardes. The toilet block upgrade could come in the 2021/22 year and then bridge upgrade work the following year.

In response to a query about whether the Council could offer a hard rubbish collection service, Cr Mitchell responded that the Levin Transfer Station doesn’t belong to Horowhenua District Council. It’s a private company called MidWest, who have an effective monopoly.

The recycling system was changed for worker safety to keep glass separate and avoid injuries. That’s why we now have wheelibins for plastic and paper and a separate crate for glass. When China stopped accepting recyclables the business became no longer viable. Some collected recycling material goes to Palmerston North for sorting and some is sold. It’s unknown what happens to the rest. Recycling is a problem requiring a national solution.

Council plans in place:

  • to continue spinifex plantings for a couple of years.
  • to improve Waikawa Beach Road from Walkers Lane to Emma Drive.
  • to talk with us about alternative horse access to beach as having horses and vehicles share one track to the beach is dangerous.

The Council’s Draft 20 Year Plan will be out for public consultation in February and March 2021. Growth is the big driver at the moment. The growth forecast has been raised — 60,000 extra people in the next 20 years. Wellington is trying to send their overflow up here. Central Government says councils must allow for growth, while protecting horticulture and waterways.

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