Mahuru (September) 2021 Newsletter

Kia ora koutou kātoa,
We all know that Covid again changed everything last month. At Level 4 various Council services were on hold — recycling wasn’t collected, and the toilets at Hank Edwards Reserve were closed. Luckily services have been restored now. Meanwhile, it’s spring, so as usual we have a few days of awful weather followed by a few glorious days. Repeat. There are ducklings about, and the rabbits are very bouncy at the moment too. Fruit trees have buds, and maybe the frosts have finished… Enjoy the rain while it lasts, and tops up the water tanks. But beware the vehicle entrance — it’s gone. Read more below on that.

He waka eke noa. — We are all in this together.

  1. We have a Treasurer
  2. Spinifex planting now 25 September
  3. Vehicle entrance cut off again
  4. Local news
  5. In the night sky this month
  6. Property
  7. WBRA Subscriptions

We have a Treasurer

We’ve almost appointed a new Treasurer. We just need to finalise a few details and then we’ll be able to make a proper announcement. Many thanks to those who came forward.

Spinifex planting 25 September

Spinifex planting was delayed by Covid but is now planned for 25 September 2021. Come along with some friends for an hour and help plant 5,000 spinifex and 500 Pingao. We’re checking time and location, but expect around 9 am, probably at the north track off Reay Mackay Grove. More details closer to the time.

Sand dunes reflected in still water. Photo by Brian Hewitson.
Sand dunes reflected in still water. Photo by Brian Hewitson.

Vehicle entrance cut off again

Rain, wind and tide once again brought heavy river flows that pushed right into the bay, eroding even more of the bank in front of 63 Manga Pirau Street and completely cutting off the vehicle entrance. The track now quickly terminates in a drop of 2 to 3 metres into water.

Sandy coast with cliff, with people standing nearby.
Vehicle entrance 2 metre drop as seen from Strathnaver.

We have advised the Councils and moved the picnic table to stop vehicles from entering the track, but also need to monitor over the next few days where again heavy rain and high winds are forecast.

Just a reminder: we cross over privately owned land to get to the beach from Manga Pirau Street. We’ve been granted the right to use the officially formed track, but the landowner could remove that right at any time.

When access was cut off a couple of years ago an unknown person cut an illegal track that goes off to the left. They didn’t have the landowner’s permission and the landowner was rightly furious at this act of trespass and destruction. They reminded us that they can revoke our access if they choose and they may choose to do so if people trespass like that.

For those who don’t know: the only legal track is the one that runs straight ahead from the end of Manga Pirau Street. If you use any other track then you are trespassing and risking the access for all of us to the beach.

There is no other vehicle access to the beach until something changes. Pedestrians can cross the footbridge and enjoy the north side of Waikawa Beach, or go to Reay Mackay Grove and use one of the two tracks there. None of the other tracks allow motor vehicles on them.

Local news

The dog poop bag dispenser by the footbridge has vanished. We’ve contacted the Council and asked them to replace it. Meanwhile, be sure to take bags with you if you’re walking your dog nearby. There is another dispenser at the beach end of Manga Pirau Street.

Potholes and broken road signs: Council responded very quickly to fix a big pothole that had developed on Reay Mackay Grove. They also very quickly re-erected a couple of yellow speed warning signs along Waikawa Beach Road that had been broken off their posts. The Heritage Trail sign that was damaged months ago when a car went through a fence has been taken away — with any luck it will be repaired or replaced and returned.

A water tank at Hank Edwards Reserve appeared mysteriously a month or two back. Horowhenua District Council is improving firefighting capacity for local communities who arenโ€™t on mains water supply. The tank provides additional resources for firefighters when they need water.

How well do you know what’s around you at Waikawa Beach? We’ve posed quiz questions on the website almost daily for a while — it’s an erratic schedule, with a bunch of questions for several days at one per day, then a few days off, then more questions. There are more to come too. If you have excellent photos (of your own), taken at Waikawa Beach, of birds, bugs, fungi, or other distinctive local wildlife then please email them to news@waikawabeach.org.nz with your name and permission to publish. Check the quiz first, to see if we’ve already covered them: He aha Tฤ“rฤ, What’s that?

Doves on flax spears.
Photo by Sophie Campbell. Used with permission.

In the night sky this month

Te Mangล-roa, The Milky Way, a side-on view of our galaxy, shines bright in our clear dark skies. This month it stretches from north to south. Our sun is just one of the billions of stars that make up our pancake-shaped galaxy. The thick middle hub of the galaxy is 27,000 light years away. Dust clouds near us look like gaps and slots in the Milky Way. Grab some binoculars and take a look at the Milky Way this month — it’s very impressive.

By the way: a light year is how far light travels in one year — about 10 million million kilometres.

Interested in what else is in Waikawa Beach’s wonderful dark night sky or a map to help find things? Take a look at The Evening Sky in September 2021.

Property

Current property listings: none. In Strathnaver several houses are in varying stages of being built.

Ngā mihi nui,
Miraz Jordan

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