Confusion reigns over Covid-19 alert level whitebaiting rules

Mixed messages from government departments is causing confusion among whitebaiters about whether they are allowed to fish.

Department of Conservation (DOC) media and communications manager Bronwyn Saunders told the Whakatane Beacon that whitebaiting was not permitted under alert level 4, while police appear to have given it their blessing. …

“As the government health orders are focused around encouraging people to stay home, and only leave for essential food shopping and healthcare, and that any exercise needs to local and low risk, it is clear that whitebaiting is not permissible,” Saunders said. …

The DOC website also lists whitebaiting as one of the activities that is not allowed under alert level 3 yet it is listed on the government’s Covid-19 website as a permitted activity at this level. …

According to police, whitebaiters are not breaking any rules.

Senior Sergeant Al Fenwick said the best information police had was that whitebaiting, or food gathering in a safe manner, was above board. He said police were taking a commonsense approach to the activity.

As long as there were no bubbles breached, people were staying close to home, not travelling to participate in whitebaiting and were keeping safe on land — the activity was permitted.

This would continue to be their approach, although he warned that could change. …

“If members of the public are concerned that someone is not following the rules, breaches can be reported to the Covid-19 Compliance Centre through covid19.govt.nz and dealt with accordingly.” …

On the government’s Covid-19 website, people are asked not to go swimming, surfing, boating, hunting or do any other outdoor activities at alert level 4 where they could get injured or lost. Whitebaiting or other land-based fishing is not specifically mentioned.

The website does say whitebaiting is permitted during alert level 3.

At this level, fishers are asked to fish locally, stay two metres from other river users and not to use motorised vehicles to get to their fishing spot.

They legally must also comply with all current whitebait regulations, including only fishing from the bank of rivers or the water’s edge, not entering the water and not using a boat to fish.

Source Confusion reigns over Covid-19 alert level whitebaiting rules | RNZ News.
By Diane McCarthy and Hazel Osborne, Whakatāne Beacon emergency services reporter

Query about trampoline on basketball court, June 2021

Folks, someone has put a trampoline on the basketball court at Hank Edwards Reserve. See photo. This was reported by contractors to Horowhenua District Council who have asked me to follow-up with the Waikawa Beach community.

This poses two health and safety risks: wind could pick it up and blow it around; someone could fall from the trampoline to the concrete and suffer bad injuries.

Does anyone know who put it there?

Is anyone willing to remove it promptly and either keep or store it until the owners turn up?

The Horowhenua District Council will take it away very soon if it isn’t removed and store it at their yard until someone owns up to it.

If you remove it or know anything please either comment below or email wbra.committee@gmail.com as I’ve been asked to report back to Horowhenua District Council on this query.

Miraz Jordan

Trampoline on basketball court.
Trampoline on basketball court.

Changes to whitebaiting regulations

The regulations around whitebaiting are changing, starting with the 2021 season. A few highlights below, but if you are a whitebaiter read the whole item at source.

Changes to whitebaiting regulations will improve the sustainability of threatened species, while ensuring that Kiwis can continue the tradition of catching a feed in their local river into the future, Acting Conservation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says. …

The planned changes fit with the Government’s manifesto commitment to protect, preserve and restore our natural heritage and biodiversity. They address identified issues and focus on practicality and common sense and follow two years of engagement, including consultation on proposed regulations which attracted over 11,500 submissions. …

Changes will be phased in over three seasons …

2021 season, changes will include:

  • Fishing will be prohibited within 20 metres of structures such as weirs and groynes where fish congregate.
  • The maximum incursion of fishing gear (excluding stands) into a waterway, will be one-quarter of its width, nationwide.

2022 season, changes will include:

  • The season to shorten to 1 Sept – 30 October for all New Zealand

Source: Protecting the whitebait fishery for future generations | Beehive.govt.nz.

New date: You’re invited! Awa Pukapuka launch

Update: the weather for the Awa Pukapuka launch looks like it won’t work, so the launch has been postponed to SATURDAY, 5 JUNE 2021 FROM 13:30 (Queen’s Birthday weekend).

Anja and Theo created a wonderful Awa Pukapuka, Little Free Library, Wendy Hodder has done a beautiful paint job, and numerous folk have contributed books, DVDs and other items.

Horowhenua District Council contributed funding, as has the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association.

Now it’s time to launch! A couple of speeches, a glass of wine or juice and some snacks. Meet and chat with neighbours.

Saturday 29 May 2021 at 1.30 pm, rain day Sunday, at the library, by the footbridge.

Please join in!

Let us know below if you’re coming along so we can buy snacks and wine etc. If you like, bring a bottle of something to share and perhaps your own glass to help save the environment. 😀

Awa Pukapuka with painting completed.
Awa Pukapuka with painting completed.
Awa Pukapuka with painting completed (front view).
Awa Pukapuka with painting completed (front view).
Awa Pukapuka with painting completed (side view).
Awa Pukapuka with painting completed (side view).

Summer in Paradise Quiz night, Friday 12th March 2021

The Heart of Manakau Proudly Presents Summer in Paradise Quiz Night

Date: Friday 12 March 2021

Time 7.30 start

Location: Manakau Bowling and Sports Club. Corner of Honi Taipua and Mokena Kohere Streets

Cost: $10 per person

Teams: Maximum of 12 teams with 5 per team. If you don’t have 5 we can help you make up a team on the night. Please make sure you register as we were at our maximum at our last quiz night.

Register your team by contacting Kimbal 029 835 1215 or 36 26 395, mchugo@mchugo.co.nz.

Refreshments: The Bowling club bar will be open. Light snack food will be served during the evening

The MDCA will be running raffles during the evening with all funds raised being used by the MDCA for projects that benefit the community

Please support your community by entering a team.

Quiz Night Friday 12 March 2021 (37 KB Docx) Same info as above but with better layout and formatting.