Waikawa Beach Community Meeting 17 July 2022

Meeting Minutes

Waikawa Beach Community Meeting

Date: Sunday 17th July [2022] 10 am

Venue: Manakau Hall


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.


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

Toilet block demolition begins, 14 March 2022

Promptly on the morning of Monday 14 March 2022 Lee Builders began the work of demolishing parts of the toilet block. The men’s block was the first target and work went very quickly. By the end of the afternoon only the pump house was still standing.

Portaloos for public use have been delivered, and the AED Defibrillator was installed outside the safety fence.

The WBRA has been able to keep the iconic wooden signs with sunburst for the archives and a few nearby residents kept a concrete block or two as memorabilia:

Toilet block Women sign with sunburst.
Toilet block Women sign with sunburst.

A few photos from around 5 pm below. For photos and videos earlier in the day and for the rest of the project visit Waikawa News:

Portaloos for builders and public.
Portaloos for builders and public.
The remains of the Men's block.
The remains of the Men’s block.
Another angle on the remains of the Men's block.
Another angle on the remains of the Men’s block.

Maehe (March) 2022 Newsletter

Kia ora e te whānau,

first up: this is the last WBRA newsletter from me because I’ve stood down from the Committee as of 19 March 2022. After 5 years working on behalf of the community through the WBRA I’ve decided to put my efforts out there more directly. Visit my website Waikawa News for future news and newsletter updates.

If you’d enjoy being a website editor and newsletter writer for WBRA (WordPress skills helpful, but I can give training) please contact me for more information about what’s involved. Email me at admin@wow-waikawa.nz .

AGM update: the Secretary announced a postponement:

“Unfortunately due to Covid it has been decided that the AGM will not be happening until things have settled down. Miraz had announced it in the newsletter but as we have being trying to sort out the financial members list things have been on hold. We will be advising everyone once these lists have been sorted.”

This month’s relevant Māori word β€” Tawhiti: in the distance, afar.

Toilet block front view, with tree and picnic tables.

Renovations on the toilet block begin on Monday, 14 March 2022, Covid willing. Read more at Toilet block update March 2022. Some fencing has already been delivered to the site ready for work to begin. Note that Portaloos will be available for public use while the toilet block is being renovated.

The project costs in the region of $354,000. Note: that averages out to about $7,000 per year for the potential 50 year lifespan of the building.

I also took a load of photos for the archives of the ‘old’ block. This is a data heavy page: Documentary photos of the ‘old’ toilet block.

Road-related matters

  • We are still awaiting the promised bike stands. It’s a supply chain delay.
  • Don’t laugh, there are hints that Transmission Gully might open ‘soon’.
  • Horowhenua District Council mower trimmed up a metre or so of the grass verges on 04 March 2022.
  • In 2021 between Mill Road in Ōtaki and Hokio Beach Road in Levin, on SH1, there were: 37 crashes, 5 road closures, 26 delays and 8 deaths. Read more at Road Crash stats.

In the night sky this month

All the bright planets are in the morning sky, some better placed than others. Venus is the beacon for the region, rising due east after 3:30 at the beginning of the month. To the right of Venus is Mars, much fainter and red-coloured. Well below and right of Venus are Mercury and Saturn. They make a close pair at the beginning of the month, rising after 5 a.m. Mercury is the brighter of the two.

… The apparent closeness of the planets is all line-of-sight, of course. At mid-month Mercury is 194 million km away, Venus 96 million, Mars 285 million, Jupiter 890 million and Saturn 1600 million km away.

Take a look at The Evening Sky in March 2022.


Still for sale: 58 Manga Pirau Street, 75 Strathnaver Drive, 10 Arthur Street, properties on Walkers Lane (judging by the roadside signs). Also: 686 Waikawa Beach Road, 159 Emma Drive, 40 Manga Pirau Street, 44 Sarah Street, 13 Arthur Street.

Properties just aren’t moving at the moment.

Ngā mihi nui, Miraz Jordan, Waikawa News

Documentary photos of the ‘old’ toilet block

Funnily enough, out of the thousands of photos I’ve taken at Waikawa Beach — sunsets and sunrises, sandy vistas, birds, plants, dunes, Tararuas, fish, insects, lakes, river … — none feature the scuzzy old toilet block at Hank Edwards Reserve.

But that toilet block, built about 50 or 60 years ago is about to be irrevocably changed, so for the Waikawa Beach Archives I visited on 08 March 2022 and took a whole lot of photos, inside and out.

See these as a before. In a few months, Covid delays willing, we’ll be able to compare them with the after.

The old toilet block at Hank Edwards Reserve from across the road.
The old toilet block at Hank Edwards Reserve from across the road.

Warning: a lot of photos follow — beware data use.

Continue reading “Documentary photos of the ‘old’ toilet block”

Toilet block update March 2022: work begins!

The Horowhenua District Council is about to begin the refresh of the Hank Edwards Reserve toilet block and wants the community to know what to expect.

Work should begin from 14 March 2022 and it’s hoped to complete it by 08 July 2022.

Update 10 March 2022: The project costs in the region of $354,000. Note: that averages out to about $7,000 per year for the potential 50 year lifespan of the building.

One really important point though is that Covid-19 could take the project off-track in two ways:

a] Supply chain problems. We’re probably all aware that building supplies and many other goods have been affected by Covid. The contractors have most of the materials they require already in their depot, but a few items are still on order.

b] Staff supply problems. Being able to get the job done requires people to do the work. Covid is affecting some workers connected with the project. As we’re in a Covid surge at the moment both HDC and the contractor have already been affected by having staff away because of Covid. The contractor though is keen to get on with the work without delay and will be making efforts to keep the job moving. [Update 08-Mar-22: the struck out section inaccurately said some HDC staff were affected by Covid. My apologies for the error.]

The work plan

Continue reading “Toilet block update March 2022: work begins!”

COVID-19 Health Hub

With peak Omicron nearby this information will likely be useful for all of us:

The COVID-19 Health Hub is a depository of information around what to do if you test positive for, or are exposed to as a close or household contact of COVID-19: https://covid19.health.nz/advice/

The Health Hub outlines the simple steps to take to recover, isolate, look after yourself or access support and provides direct links to COVID-19 resources such as My Covid Record, Book My Vaccine and Ministry of Health and Unite Against Covid websites.

Please share this handy tool amongst the older people in your networks. For those who aren’t able to access the internet, phone support is available:

Healthline 0800 358 5453
Welfare line 0800 512 337.

In fact, just share it with everyone, not just older folks. Maybe print a copy and put it on your fridge. We all hope none of us will need this info, but if we do, we won’t want to be searching it out.