Community Update – 20 December 2023

More sad news from the WBRA I regret to say. I’m sure many here will be aware that water samples are taken from the Waikawa Stream by Horizons RC on a weekly basis at this time of year. The last sample was taken on Monday 18 December and the result is that the e-coli levels are high and the stream is unsafe for swimming. There are possibly other contaminants of which we are unaware. This is unlikely to change in the immediate future.

Therefore, in the interests of the health and wellbeing of those who intended to take part, the annual Boat Day scheduled for 27 December 2023 is cancelled for this year.

This is obviously a severe disappointment as it is a fun event, but we collectively feel the risk to people tipping out of boats and to the volunteer rescue swimmers is too great this year. The usual swimming races would be out of the question anyway.

The other summer events will go ahead as scheduled.

I will make a couple of additional points here. Debra Betts and I recently took on the co-chair role of the WBRA committee. Sadly, we seem to have been nothing but the conveyors of bad news since. We do our best to advocate on behalf of the community but we are a small group of volunteers and many things such as the beach access and the river condition are pretty much beyond our control, or our remit for that matter. The WBRA and its committee were formed decades ago mostly to organize community events such as the summer activities. We are also involved in efforts to further the interests of the local environment such as plantings and pest control. It was never intended as a political organization or a lobby group. However, despite that, we do our best to further the interests of the community where possible with the limited resources we have. We hope the community understands this.

On behalf of the WBRA committee, Debra and I wish all a happy and safe holiday season and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the events that will take place. And perhaps to some good news in the future.

Pat O’Sullivan (Acting Co-chair)

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