Hakihea (December) 2021 Newsletter

Kia ora e te whānau,

well, we had around 99 mm rain in the 2 or 3 days from 05 to 08 December… The river’s been full and muddy, washing clumps of river weed out to sea, and Waikawa Beach Road flooded near Takapu Road late on the 7th but was clear again by morning on the 8th. Then, before we could send out the newsletter, we had even more rain! It totalled about 190 mm between 01 and 16 December.

Apparently the handy phrase for this month is: Kua tae mai te raumati, Summer is here… anyway, in these turbulent Covid times we all need a bit of a laugh.

First up in this newsletter come congratulations to John Hewitson for winning a Horowhenua District Council Civic Honour for his long and dedicated service to the Horowhenua community!

Second: with our Covid-19 Traffic Light status set to Orange, the Committee are wrestling with what to do about the fun summer activities and the AGM. More on that later — it’s all a bit thorny.

Santa however has installed a letterbox beside Awa Pukapuka, the Christmas Lights will be on and watch for Wow Waikawa! photos around the place.

We’ve had a few property sales lately, the beach entrance at Manga Pirau Street has been restored, and parts of Waikawa Beach Road have been resealed. One speeder has already come to grief.

  1. Congratulations John Hewitson
  2. We need a new Chairperson
  3. Vehicle entrance update
  4. Vehicle entrance petition
  5. Summer activities
  6. Local news
  7. In the night sky this month
  8. Property
  9. WBRA Subscriptions due now

Congratulations John Hewitson

John Hewitson, Chair of the WBRA for almost 20 years, was recently awarded a Horowhenua District Council Civic Honours Award for his dedication and hard work. Read more at: Congratulations John Hewitson, Civic Honour recipient.

John Hewitson, centre, with Mayoress and Mayor Bernie Wanden.

We need a new Chairperson

After almost two decades of service John has decided to step down as Chair of the WBRA. We’re looking for someone to step up to the job. You need to be able to put in time, run Committee meetings effectively, firmly and fairly, and attend other meetings to represent Waikawa Beach interests. If this could be you please put yourself forward when we call for nominations. You will be asked to speak briefly at the AGM so members can know who they may be voting for. Please see Whiringa-ā-nuku (October) 2021 Newsletter for more information.

Vehicle entrance update

We posted a detailed update at Vehicle access to beach update 29-Oct-21. Please read that if you haven’t already.

On 02 December 2021 the vehicle entrance was reopened. Horowhenua District Council moved the concrete blocks at the request of the landowner to prevent access through the illegal track.

Many thanks to the Miratana family for allowing the community to continue to cross their private land! They have been more than patient with those whose enthusiasm to get their vehicles onto the beach has exceeded their respect for private property.

When you’re driving, riding or walking on the beach please avoid the ‘corner’ south of the river where Oystercatchers and other birds are nesting. Stick close to the river and the high-tide mark. Pedestrians: you have the advantage of being able to easily see the birds — just be cautious as you walk around and please don’t let dogs or kids harass birds.


Vehicle entrance petition

The WBRA opened up discussion on 14 November 2021 on options for long-term vehicle access to the beach. See WBRA Long-Term Beach Access Strategy — background for details on the discussion the WBRA initiated.

Around 3 weeks later the Horowhenua District Council received a petition on vehicle and horse access to Waikawa Beach.

The petitioners were “asking Council to establish a vehicle track on the public land adjacent to the existing access [at 10 Reay Mackay Grove].”

The petition wasn’t advertised or made public and was circulated solely by word of mouth. It missed asking the folks over in Strathnaver to sign.

Horowhenua District Council discussed the petition at its meeting on 08 December 2021 and resolved to ask the Chief Executive to make a full report on all access options.

Summer activities and AGM

As we come up to the summer break Horowhenua is at Covid-19 Alert Level Orange. This may affect how we do our usual summer activities such as Sports Day, Boat Day, Sand Sculpture Day and the AGM, or community BBQs.

The Committee is discussing this in regard to the activities we organise.

See Covid-19 and summer at Waikawa Beach for details of requirements.

We’ll send out a special Alert email once the decision has been made on how to handle the activities. Information will also go on our website, the noticeboard and the Waikawa Beach Facebook group.

The AGM is specially problematic. All paid-up members have the right to attend and vote at an AGM. However, we may run foul of New Zealand law if we have too many people gathered. Our Rules require us to hold the AGM before 15 January each year. However, our duties to New Zealand law override our own Rules and it may be we delay the AGM, continuing with the status quo until we can find a way to resolve things.

Again, we’ll let everyone know the decision as soon as we can.

Local news

Once again this year Wendy and Peter Clark of 2 James Street are lighting up Waikawa with their fabulous display of Christmas Lights.

Look out for the 30 Wow Waikawa! photos that will be put up around Waikawa Beach for discovery during the busy Christmas weeks.

Weekly E. Coli sampling at the footbridge has started up for the summer. Keep an eye on Latest E. Coli result at the footbridge for weekly results. So far published readings show: 1 orange and 5 red. That’s not so good.

After a terrible accident at Ōhau on 09 November 2021 Waka Kotahi moved up road safety work between Manakau and Levin, through Kuku. Work was to be completed before Christmas but has been delayed by bad weather.

Parts of Waikawa Beach Road have been resealed, though road markings have yet to be done. Apart from a small stretch the new seal runs from the footbridge to around 363 Waikawa Beach Road. Please stay below the speed limit. One car already found itself meeting with a fence after speeding.

There have been many new items on the WBRA website since the last newsletter at the end of October. It’s worth signing up for the free emails that go out when an item is published or getting the free RSS feed to stay updated.

In the night sky this month

Comet Leonard is the thing to see this month. As it’s low in the West it’s a great excuse to go onto the beach at nightfall.

Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) should be visible low in our western evening sky in the second half of December and early January.

The comet’s brightness is very uncertain. It will probably be seen only in binoculars and telescopes, but it could possibly be bright in mid-December when the Sun is shining through its dust tail. It depends how dusty the comet is.

Take a look at The Evening Sky in December 2021.


Recent sales: 8 Sand Dune Grove, 53a Reay Mackay Grove.

For sale or unknown if sold: 13 Holly Way, 18 Henham Lane, 38 Manga Pirau Street.

WBRA Subscriptions due now

It might be a little unclear exactly when we can hold our AGM, but only paid-up members can vote.

Our subscription year begins on 01 October. Please pay your $25 WBRA membership fee now. We aim to email receipts for payments but need your email address.

Because banks don’t leave enough room for useful info on the payment form please also fill in our member details update form.

Ngā mihi nui,
Miraz Jordan

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