Waikawa Beach Community Meeting 17 July 2022

Meeting Minutes

Waikawa Beach Community Meeting

Date: Sunday 17th July [2022] 10 am

Venue: Manakau Hall

Attendance:

Debra Betts (chair), Stephen Betts, Steve Bailey, Sophie Cambell, Deb Moran, Vivian Stewart, Peter Stewart, Alan Thorn, Julia Signal- Thorn, Lesley Anne Walker and Gary Whittaker

Apologies: Darren Galway, Barry Smith and Tony White.

Minutes of Last Meeting approved – Moved by Julia and seconded by Lesley Anne

Introductory Round: Members of the group briefly introduced themselves and what outcomes they were looking for. These included:

  • Urgent resolution to current beach access
  • Long term solution for beach access
  • Work to address complex and longer-term issues such as climate change, erosion and ecological impacts
  • Improving community cohesion

Feedback: At the last meeting several members were tasked with finding out more information from council and others.

Report back from Lesley -Anne Walker – Meetings with Horowhenua District and Horizons Regional Council

Meetings with Horowhenua District Council

Lesley Anne talked to Council staff, Arthur Nelson and Craig Kidd about the current beach access. Stormy weather last week prevented this work, but it will proceed once weather has settled.

Meeting with Horizons Regional Council

Darren, Tony and Lesley-Anne met with John Foxall of Horizons regarding the groyne cut. He noted that they cannot do any further work without Iwi consultation and that Iwi are currently very busy and it is difficult to get time with them. The committee noted that we should try to establish our own communication with local iwi.

The meeting included a visit to the South Track on Reay Mckay where the suitably of this track for an emergency vehicle access was discussed. Lesley -Anne also discussed this with Councilor Christine Mitchell

Report back from Steve Bailey – river cut

Steve talked to Carl Gibson, who has extensive skills in earthworks and local knowledge of the river and what would be necessary to divert it. He noted that previous cuts were ineffective and has agreed to come talk to the group about what he believes is required.

Report back from Gary Whittaker – working bee

Gary talked to many locals who are keen to be part of working bee to help restore and maintain the current access.

Other feedback – what happens elsewhere

Stephen Betts corresponded with Himitangi Community Committee who work with Manawatu Council to maintain the beach – such as piling driftwood against the dunes.

Vivian and Peter Stewart had also been to Kai Iwi in Whanganui and noted that locals had worked with Horizons to build tracks, bridges and access for people, quads and horses.

Discussion

Working with HDC

The council’s report on vehicle beach access options for Waikawa beach (due on November 30th) was discussed. It agreed that while waiting for this report, the community need to ensure that we abide by current council regulations and that any short-term independent actions around beach access may be detrimental to our ability to work with the council towards long term solutions.

Sophie who has had extensive dealings with the Council discussed the slowness of working with Council and the need to find out more information on the current proposed report. She noted that even though Horizons may do the work on other beaches this work requires the approval of councils who forward to the regional council.

Water Table

The issue of the high-water table was raised and the impact on effective operation of septic tanks in the village. It was suggested that Alan and Julia contact Harold Barnett at Horizons to discuss their concerns that the current high-water table is blocking the septic tank. If the river is having any effect on the high-water table, there may be a case for an emergency cut.

Going Forward

  1. Minutes / information to community so they are informed that action is being taken, although it may take some time and the need for the community to be patient while we work towards a long-term solution.
  2. Contact to be made with CEO and Christine Mitchell to seek more information about the council report on vehicle beach access options.
  3. Follow through with Arthur Nelson and Craig Kidd about progress on the current access, to highlight that white baiting season will soon be here and concerns that without vehicle access people will make their way to the beach through illegal pathways.
  4. Consultation with Carl Gibson to arrange a suitable time to discuss his ideas.
  5. Follow up with appropriate people on septic tank issues.
  6. Explore contacts to identify local Iwi connected to the river and beach who we can engage with.
  7. Committee members to bring suggestions for committee name to next meeting.

Meeting concluded 11.30 am

Date for next meeting yet to be determined

Download the minutes as a 123 KB PDF: Meeting Minutes 17th July 22.pdf

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