It looks like the Council plan to rezone some areas at Waikawa Beach, in order to have more people living here:
[On 21 November 2018] Horowhenua District Council adopted its Growth Strategy, which identifies what is needed for successful future development of urban and industrial areas and where that development should occur.
“Our population is expected to increase by a third in the next 20 years,” said Horowhenua District Council Growth Response Manager Daniel Haigh. “However, growth in the past three years has exceeded expectations and, if maintained, will see Horowhenua reach those levels in the early 2030s.” …
Group Manager Strategy & Development David McCorkindale said “2018 has been a year of talking about the future of Horowhenua District as a whole”.
“In 2019 the conversation will shift to each location, and the first conversations will be with residents in Levin, Foxton Beach and Waitārere. We will be creating master plans for new neighbourhoods in growth areas in each location and that will then lead to District Plan changes.”
Mr McCorkindale said later in the year Council will bring to the community an urban growth District Plan change that will propose to rezone some of the growth areas identified in the Growth Strategy in Foxton Beach, Foxton, Ōhau, Manakau, Tokomaru and potentially Waikawa Beach. …
A couple of minutes before the Public Meeting about beach access, about two thirds of the final 110 or so attendees had arrived. The meeting was held in Manakau Hall on Saturday, 19 May 2018 at 2 pm and went on till 3.30 pm.
The meeting was opened and closed by John Hewitson, Chair of the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association, and the Facilitator was Harley Thorpe. The meeting was also recorded on audio (85 MB, MP3).
What follows are the personal notes taken by Miraz Jordan, WBRA Committee member.
If you believe something in the notes is incorrect, please let us know. If you want to discuss what someone said at the meeting, please add your comment below.
John Hewitson (JH): intros
Reports from this meeting will go to Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council
Councils need to resolve how to protect foreshore and give us access onto the beach
Committee has suggested south Reay Mackay Grove track — not suitable so Council suggested north track
Council have said: Horowhenua District Council contacted Horizons Regional Council — would need environment impact assessment etc (see letter JH has) — could take a significant amount of time
Horowhenua District Council suggested a river cut as a short-term measure
Neville Hyde and Kirstie, 25 Drake St: beach access is significant for them, eg fishing. Have had access for 30 years across Miratana private property. Have we had discussion with Miratanas, eg getting across their land rather than round Strathnaver Drive? Formalities could take years. North track off Reay Mackay Grove is 20 metres wide. Foreshore option may not be realistic with global warming.
Alister Holden: Access ruined by river erosion. Unauthorised track terminates in steep drop off and goes into river — only possible at low tide and with no flood water. Many vehicles not suitable for that. Takes its toll on vehicles. 2 walkways on Reay Mackay Grove which could at low cost and little effort to allow vehicles. No big deal to shift posts and battens. High rainfall in Tararuas with spring tide brings floods. Recent road works have helped with roads but floods need to get out to sea. Rock groyne exists, but it’s poorly designed. Too low and too short. Some want to keep vehicles off the beach but far more came to Waikawa Beach to fish etc. Alister rescues someone about every 2 weeks. Suggests: bigger, longer rock groyne that allows river to go more southwest, cut river, concrete barriers backfilled with rubble and covered with sand to protect damaged sandbanks. Then recreate vehicle access across Miratana land. Most convenient. Reay Mackay Grove walking tracks need to be open to vehicles — at least one of them. Either track would take only 1 day to put in, but no line of sight so would need passing bays. Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council aren’t taking responsibility and don’t seem to be following terms of Resource Consent. Would like WBRA to approach local MP Nathan Guy, Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council to get urgent resolution. We the community could do the work if money is forthcoming.
[Clarification requested by Jenny from Manga Pirau Street: what discussion has there been with Miratanas?] [JH responded: have contacted Miratanas. To date they haven’t come back to us, but have said work without consultation will lead to them closing access across land. JH had previously read out info from Arthur Nelson.]
Sophie Campbell: lives at south end of Reay Mackay Grove. Would like dedicated safe pedestrian-only access. Some vehicles have gone through dunes at Reay Mackay Grove creating damage. Lots of kids in this neighbourhood who use tracks. Both tracks are dedicated Recreational Reserves — would need to be consulted on and a long process to turn them into roads. One track is 5 metres wide and could be planted and fenced as dedicated pedestrian. The north track is 14 metres wide and opens into wedge where pingao has been planted to preserve dunes and where birds nest. Want to protect that. Manga Pirau Street access could be again vehicle access. Many people want or need vehicle access. Groynes could be used. Could have access off walkway — currently footbridge. River cut could be good short-term solution.
Jan Jordan: thank Sophie for bringing up Reay Mackay Grove issues. Many have taken vehicle access for granted. Many at Reay Mackay Grove end value lack of traffic and birds etc and bought for that. Oystercatcher family breeds there. Special part. Saw a katipo spider in dunes there recently. Endangered species are there. Less development is a good thing. Need to consider Strathnaver folks as well. Opportunity to reconsider how we want our beach to be in future: preserve a protected pristine ecosystem — draw for many others. [clapping]
Viv Stewart and Peter, Norna Grove: love the beach and love fishing. Would take quad bike and contiki for fishing. Sophie brought up good points re Strathnaver folks and wanting to preserve beach. Believes we need access or we’ll have people going through private property again to access beach. Need permission from Miratanas and need urgent action. Whitebaiting soon. Extend groyne and try for good job with former access. Everyone should have a say. Need a majority. [clapping]
Facilitator: seems to be 2 conversations — immediate access, especially for vehicles and also alternative routes and future access, longer process. Frame conversations to that.
Pete Saunders, Norna Grove — young kids, value access, fishing. Erosion and impact on properties, insurance, property values. Protect Waikawa Beach for the future. Additional groyne. Unclear on outcome of meeting. Sensible to have short, medium and long term plans. Not clear what we’ll be voting on at this meeting. We could help Council expedite a process as Alister suggested. Don’t understand which views Committee is representing and how it could differ from own views. [clapping]
JH: looking at how many people are in favour of river cut to re-establish access across Miratana land. Would require earthworks. If you move more than 50 cubic metres of sand etc needs Consent. [person in audience — work requires far in excess of 50 cubic metres] Would be a quick solution. [Neville asked clarification — already Consent. Why can’t they just use material being removed? JH: they first build a dam with sand and straighten river. Surplus sand is doubtful. Haven’t had surplus in the past. Last cut lasted less than a week. Need long term solution.]
Facilitator: show of hands of who wants to speak — about 8.
Man in audience: can override Consent for emergency work. [clapping]
Kezna Cameron: has property at end of Reay Mackay Grove. Had property 3 years but lately a lot of people coming onto farm on quad bikes, including after midnight. Scary. Where have they come from? Can’t access beach on original Manga Pirau Street access. Now need gates etc. In favour of getting a cut done quickly. [clapping]
Doug Pewee (?): recreational whitebaiter. 50 years at Waikawa Beach. Has changed. Up coast Fusilier boat wreck now 500 metres inland. Hydrabad now 100 metres inland. Waitārere Beach now eroding 1.5 metres per year. Waikawa River used to have flow of 28 litres per second. Now more like 1 litre per second. Cuts over years and sand has built mouth about 1.5 metres high. Erosion is man made. Stuffing river up by cutting it. Access does need to be sorted out. [clapping]
Lesley-Anne Walker: been at Waikawa Beach a long time. Submitted to long term plan re access. Must get river cut so as to use old access. That’s short term but we need long term. Feels south access on Reay Mackay Grove would be simple. Just needs to be wide enough to get past with boats and tractors. The north track is far too close to river. River has meandered for hundreds of years and will continue to do so. Lives close to access and is used to cars. Can’t stop change. [clapping]
Matt Fogden: lives on Reay Mackay Grove. Access ways there will never happen. Only solution is to cut river. Dunes to north are too high and pushing river. Erosion started when quad bikes invented. Need to fill in hole — gravel from further up Waikawa could be moved. Use old access but make permanent track. Area to south should be conservation land. Plant marram. Keep river where it is. [clapping] Miratana family he thinks are happy for access as is. More tracks though will blow out sand and river will come in.
Tony Wallace: from Levin, but visits Waikawa Beach twice per week. Thought this was about pedestrian access. Thank landowners for allowing access across to beach. [clapping] While walking through forest across footbridge saw dangerous tree. Rang Council but they said it’s private land. Let owners know and they put up signs. Would prefer to see tree come down. Would like Council to assist landowners with removing trees which endanger public. [clapping]
Craig Belcher: coming here since age 15. Had property here about 12 years. Has tried to keep Waikawa Beach a secret. Kuku has been shut off. Waitārere Beach is all cars. Uses beach here. Thanks to private owners. We have a treasure, but nature has trumped us. We’ve lived in harmony for a long time. Nature is beating us here. Doesn’t want easy track to access beach — that allows dog walkers etc time without vehicles. Need to work with private landowners. We’ve had a good run. Have respect for environment. Get short term answer. [clapping]
Huhana Smith: from Kuku. Have helpful suggestions and can help pull ideas together. Kuku decisions took years. Need to get all ideas out. 25 keys to access gate at Kuku Beach. Perhaps consider limited access as can stop destructive access. Have to step back and let nature be nature. Losing coastline biodiversity. Coastal Dune Network can help with positive solutions. Get quads and trailbikes out of dunes. Is currently Head of School of Art at Massey in Wellington. Deals with artists and designers. Erosion will get worse. Also runs big coastal projects between Hokio and Ōtaki. Looking at impact of climate change and other things. Stay open to range of things to consider. Climate change is big and erosion will get worse. Issues for groundwater too. Get a holistic plan and cover all concerns, hear all voices. Offer to help to pull together all views and pull a holistic plan together. [loud clapping]
Ella Kahu: Sarah Street. So important to get all views and hear all points. Important to hear multiple voices and plan bigger. Need cut now, how to approach Council re more permanent erosion solution for river, warm and open consultation with Miratanas, develop stable access. Balance ecology and people. Against an additional track. That will increase quad bikes and others who damage things. [clapping]
Peter: lived at Waikawa Beach for last 18 months. Would prefer river cut and rocks to hold it. Quad bikes and 4 wheel drives supposedly damaging things — down beach every second day for last 18 months — hasn’t seen anyone doing anything stupid. Don’t want to limit people or we’ll get more hoons as per a few weeks ago. [clapping]
Facilitator: any more comments? Two.
Jeannie, Manga Pirau Street, 30 years: some have talked about vision for future and maintaining our incredible community. We also need time for long term vision as well as short term solution. We’ve had amazing offers of skills. Have vision and unanimity. Can be an exemplar of balance.
Facilitator: amazing turnout today.
Laurie Stevenson: been here some years and loves the place. Have enjoyed beach and seen river come down. They used to cut river every few years and sand would bank up. High tide would swing out. Longer between cuts. Just talking about cutting sand. Decent height and wouldn’t be wiped out. River needs to be maintained all the time even if we do something on Reay Mackay Grove. Every 3 or 4 years would allow sand hills to grow back on Miratana block. Reay Mackay Grove sandhills could be creeping out and coast is growing except for river damage. Doesn’t see limiting access as reasonable. Just driving down track doesn’t damage grasses etc. River must be maintained. [clapping]
Facilitator: thanks. Was orderly. Hand over to JH.
JH: would like people to know we’ve already had volunteers to repair damage to vegetation by unauthorised track. That should please Miratanas to see land restored. None of us would like that damage to our own property. Don’t want to upset Miratanas. Do want to maintain Manga Pirau Street access. Until recently beach speed limit was 100 Kph, now 30 Kph. Need vote: in favour of river cut? Arthur Nelson from Horowhenua District Council will consult with Horizons Regional Council and Miratanas to do this. Show of hands: totally in favour, one not.
JH: thanks to committee for work and info.
Question from audience: in favour of cut. Need to champion ongoing maintenance to river. If consent expiring then renew it. JH: One cut per year is not enough.
Q: implication of cut and groyne? JH: need to get consensus with two councils for that.
Q: get vote for asking council for more permanent solution?
JH: lots of points of views about how river flows. Whitebaiters don’t want straight river. Eco for birds desirable.
JH: will ask for river cut asap and requesting groyne.
Q: what is right solution? Needs engineers.
Kevin Burns: clarify: full review expected by Horizons Regional Council in October 2018.
Meeting closed at 15:29 [clapping]
The meeting was followed by a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Folks, the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association needs a skilled facilitator for our public meeting on Saturday 19 May 2018 at Manakau. Any leads? Please email email@example.com (or contact Kevin) if you know of someone not inside our community who has the skills to productively run a meeting with widely diverse opinions and the goal of reaching a broad general agreement on direction.
Update 16 May 2018: we’ve located a facilitator now. More details to follow in a separate item.
Here’s the submission the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association sent in to Horowhenua District Council in March 2018 on the:
Horowhenua District Council Long-term Plan 2018-38
Horowhenua District Council Growth Strategy 2040
Who we are: Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association, formed in 1974.
Who we represent: Residents and Ratepayers of Waikawa Beach, both members (approx 100) and non-members of the Association.
The basis for this submission:
online survey (86 responses)
a public meeting organised by us and held at the Manakau hall, with approx 58 people present
comments on articles on our website (16 people)
emails to the Association (7 people, some also representing other people)
personal experiences from years, sometimes decades, visiting or living at Waikawa Beach.
We wish to speak to this submission at any hearings.
online survey comments
The Nature of our Community
Waikawa Beach is a small rural coastal settlement with a small but seemingly growing number of permanent residents and a large number of sporadically occupied holiday homes and baches.
We are literally at the end of the road, with only one way in and out, along Waikawa Beach Road to SH1.
There is a strong sense of community: many residents and frequent visitors know one another and enjoy a shared history with the beach. Some visitors have been coming here for decades, often starting when they were children and continuing as adults.
People here enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and beach, the dark skies, and being close to nature. Many enjoy fishing, whitebaiting, walking or horse riding on the beach, swimming and other outdoor pursuits. We enjoy a somewhat self-sufficient way of life, though the towns of Levin and Ōtaki are within easy reach for those who have a vehicle.
Historically this area has sometimes been known as Manakau Beach, which speaks to its popularity and importance to those beyond the village on the coast. Visitors enjoy Waikawa Beach for its unique nature as a quiet coastal village.
With no shops, cafes or other similar facilities, people come here to rest, relax, refresh and enjoy time away from towns and all their roads and urban activities.
Many residents have come to Waikawa Beach precisely because of the kind of lifestyle it currently offers.
There is a small turnover of properties. In the last few years properties on the Strathnaver side and around Emma Drive which previously languished unsold have changed hands and there has been a small building spurt, with around 10 or 20 new houses erected recently.
The area is very rural — many properties have farmland as their neighbour or within easy view from the house.
The beach itself is home to a great deal of birdlife, including seasonal visitors such as Royal Spoonbills and Godwits. Many birds breed here or nearby and there is a healthy proportion of hawks, frogs, insects such as dragonflies and other assorted wildlife.
The Geography of Waikawa Beach
Some of the houses in the village lie alongside the river, with others by the estuary. We have only a handful of streets and lanes, including those on the Strathnaver side.
On the Strathnaver side there are houses adjacent to farmland along Strathnaver Drive, with most of the others on either side of Reay Mackay Grove which runs parallel to the coast. Houses are on the first, second and third tiers of dunes. Most have dunes between them and the sea, but one fairly recent build is right beside the sea and river.
All along the coast there is erosion in bad storms, such as those we often have in mid-winter, but also storms such as ex Tropical Cyclone Gita. In general, apart from storm damage, the dunes are accreting on the Strathnaver side, but erosion from wind, river floods and high tides as well as storms is severely impacting the area around the river mouth. This erosion is one of our biggest concerns.
The quality of the water in the Waikawa River has deteriorated over the years. Routine summer monitoring by Horizons Regional Council shows frequent high E. Coli counts. This is another matter of grave concern to us.
People at Waikawa Beach are very concerned about the negative effects of climate change already evident and predicted for the future.
OUR RESPONSE TO THE LONG-TERM PLAN
We are opposed to bringing water, sewage and stormwater infrastructure to Waikawa Beach.
“I fell in love with a tranquil village on bore and tank water, self sufficient, respecting the landscape and being gentle on the dunes.” — an emailed comment.
Everyone who owns or uses a property at Waikawa Beach already provides for their own drinking water. Most have installed rainwater storage tanks, while a few may use a bore. Some use both. Similarly, apart from a few rarely-used caravans and tiny baches, all have septic tanks or composting toilets.
Approximately 85% (73 people) of the respondents to our online survey selected Option 1: no additional services. 10% (9 people) were in favour of Option 2, while less than 5% (4 people) favoured Option 3.
100% of the website and email comments to the Association opposed the Council’s plans to provide Water and Sewage Infrastructure to Waikawa Beach.
“We love Waikawa because it is small, laid back, friendly, casual, and basic so we’d be against anything that would threaten its nature.” — Ella & Ty Kahu [address removed]
Comments on our website included questions and concerns about:
the national strategy for “managed retreat from the coast”. It makes no sense to build new settlement or invest in expensive water and sewage systems at the coast. Options 2 and 3 completely contradict that strategy.
the possible negative effects of climate change on roads, properties, infrastructure, and even the habitability of Waikawa Beach in the long-term. Coastal erosion and coastal inundation are an ever more imminent threat and make this settlement unsuitable for long term growth.
as a coastal village, based beside a river, we are vulnerable to tsunami.
whether property owners would be compelled to connect to such new infrastructure and at what cost.
the redundancy of providing such infrastructure when most landowners have already installed their own water and sewage provisions at considerable expense.
the ability of the Council to guarantee sufficient supply of sufficiently high quality water given the existing problems with boil notices and water restrictions.
concern because Council should be encouraging dwellings to be self-sufficient and resilient in capturing rainwater and dealing with sewage, rather than discouraging those efforts.
Waikawa Beach’s population increases dramatically when there are public holidays, especially over summer. That would mean increased demand here exactly when water restrictions are often in place in Levin and settlements the Council already supplies with water.
concern that Council have identified that property developers want the infrastructure in order to make more sales. The infrastructure has not been requested by residents and ratepayers. Respondents believe that ratepayers should not be subsidising property developers.
new infrastructure would attract more people (indeed that’s the stated reason from the Council for providing the infrastructure). Residents and visitors alike love the ‘sleepy’ nature of Waikawa Beach, as the quote from Ella & Ty Kahu above makes clear.
the Horowhenua District Council’s debt levels and that the level of debt needs to increase in order to go ahead with new infrastructure for Waikawa Beach (and other settlements).
the cost of additional plant required to support increased infrastructure.
the rates increases required by new infrastructure.
the disruption caused by installing new infrastructure.
will there be effluent ponds at Waikawa Beach? This is a concern for several reasons, including health and smell and the effect on groundwater.
single-source systems only need one point of failure (eg a tree knocking out a water main) to severely affect everyone. Individual systems mean only one person is affected by a single failure.
where would stormwater run-off go? Our streams and waterways are already contaminated.
insufficient detail in the Council’s infrastructure plans.
OUR RESPONSE TO THE GROWTH STRATEGY
The Horowhenua District Council proposes rezoning land around Waikawa Beach for residential purposes.
We are opposed to such rezoning and to any deliberate attempt to grow the population at Waikawa Beach.
“I have been coming to Waikawa Beach for some 6 decades, now. It is a very special place for me. It has always been a place to escape from bustling humanity: cities; traffic; curbs; unnecessary road markings; street lights; shops and all the trappings of busy modern life.” — an emailed comment.
As a coastal area Waikawa Beach is already suffering erosion from wind, wave, river and storm. It seems inappropriate to encourage population growth at the coast when known risk factors are predicted to escalate with climate change.
Much of the land proposed for rezoning is subject to frequent ponding and flooding. Those who live at Waikawa Beach have seen it first-hand, and all too often. The predicted rising tides and increase in rainfall accompanying climate change will make ponding and flooding worse and make more land vulnerable with a greater volume of water in the river.
Some proposed areas are sited on historic swamp or watercourses, such as from Lake Huritini.
Adding a further 63 houses to Waikawa Beach would destroy its character as a quiet retreat from the world. There has already been an uptake in the number of sections sold on the Strathnaver side, and around Emma Drive, just east of Waikawa Beach bounds. Further growth could take place nearby, but further inland, as a separate self-contained and self-sufficient settlement, away from the areas susceptible to flooding.
Waikawa Beach has few permanent residents and a larger number of holiday homes. It’s popular as a holiday home location. Adding another 63 housing lots may contribute little to a future need for permanent housing. Its location close to Wellington will likely simply bring an increase in holiday homes.
Waikawa Beach road is barely adequate for existing traffic. While building takes place there would be a considerable increase in heavy traffic and trades vehicles. Once building is complete there would be additional vehicles for both residents and their visitors. Will Waikawa Beach Road be upgraded to handle this? Such an increase in traffic and upgrade would detract from the character of Waikawa Beach as a quiet retreat from a busy world.
Additional houses would require additional roading within the area, together with streetlights and other lights, reducing land and water habitat for the local wildlife and threatening our dark skies.
It’s worth noting that an attempt a decade ago to rezone an area by the village to residential also ran into issues with waterlogged land being unsuitable for housing.
Specific feedback to the questions posed
The purpose of the draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 is to establish clear, effective direction for the integrated management of the district’s growth over time.
Do you think we’ve got it right?
What are the outcomes you think could result from this strategy? What do you like about the strategy?
What would you change?
Our members have indicated that they feel Waikawa Beach is unsuitable as a location for growing the population. They suggest the Council should be looking at:
building resilience by encouraging existing and new houses where possible to be self-sufficient with drinking water and sewage disposal.
a better focus on dealing with climate change.
creating new inland settlements with their own character which are not prone to the climate change events and increasing costs associated with coastal settlements.
helping to control erosion and inundation.
improving the quality of water in our river.
helping sort out a permanent vehicle access to Waikawa Beach.
ensuring current services, such as the public toilets are properly maintained and repaired.
assisting with good transport connections to other places such as Levin and Wellington.
preserving the environment and wildlife.
ensuring roading in and around Waikawa Beach is maintained to Local Bylaws and LTSA Standards.
2] Map: shows flood hazard area (in green) encompasses much of the rezoning proposal and a good proportion of Waikawa Beach Road.
3] Photo: This and nearby paddocks in the historic swamp area of Strathnaver Drive was underwater for months in 2017. Photo: July 2017. The puddle stretched most of the way or all across the road for months and connected with drowned paddocks across the road.
4] Photo: this lake appeared in the paddocks at the east end of Uxbridge Terrace and stayed for months in mid-2017. Photo: September 2017.
5] Photo: Waikawa Beach aerial photo from 1965. Compared with current Google Maps (below), it shows how much sand has eroded in the last 50 years.
6] Photo / map: this is a current Google Map of Waikawa Beach (before Ex TC Gita eroded more land). I overlaid it at the same scale on the 1965 aerial photo and drew lines to highlight the differences. Note how the river has moved south and a large area of dunes has disappeared.
Survey report and Comments, March 2018
The Council wants to hear feedback on the need for reticulated drinking water systems, wastewater networks and rezoning land at Waikawa Beach. They have stated in their plan they prefer option 2 of the following three options: Which of these do you prefer?
The council are projecting that more people will want to move to Waikawa Beach and have mapped out potential areas for residential. growth as in the map below. Are you in favour of this land being rezoned for residential growth? Please select all that apply.
If you’re a resident or ratepayer of Waikawa Beach please fill in our survey before Sunday 18 March 2018. Your answers will inform the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association’s submission on the Council’s Long-Term Plan and Growth Strategy. The survey should take only a few minutes.
Please remember to also send in your own individual submissions on the plans too. See the items below for more information.