Awa Pukapuka open for reading

Reading gives us a place to go when we have to stay where we are.

On Monday, 12 April 2021 the first books were loaded into the new Awa Pukapuka near the footbridge. Anja and Theo Geelen have done a superb job with this new Little Free Library. They’ve also been given plenty of support and help by the community who have helped lay concrete, put the library in place and contributed books.

Anja and Theo Geelen by the new Little Free Library.
Anja and Theo Geelen by the new Little Free Library.

Congratulations to all!

The library is now open, although there are a few finishing touches yet to come, including artwork.

That means that an official launch hasn’t yet been scheduled, but there will be one.

There are a few guidelines:

Please note that books need to be in reasonable order. We also reserve the right to discard books if they don’t attract an interest, are not ‘moving’, or deemed unsuitable. This is a LITTLE library and we don’t have much storage capacity.

Games, puzzles (complete), DVDs, and magazines less than a year old, are also welcome.

Please use your own sound judgement when you drop off books to make sure we don’t become a ‘dumping ground’…

We are looking forward to growing Awa Pukapuka as a community project for all to enjoy. Many thanks.

Local treasure in the magazines

Locals Kezna and Braden Cameron, who have a 26 hectare property by the beach, have been written about this month in NZ House & Garden. You may have spotted some of their Arabian horses on the beach sometimes.

Like others in the area they’re doing their bit to keep pests at bay and enhance the wetland environment.

the garden … has been planted in waves of native grasses that wind their way down to the lake. Braden and Kezna are working with the local council to ensure pests such as stoats are eradicated from the lake area.

Not surprisingly, the couple say this is their forever home. “Working in the property industry we see a lot of places we love, but this house works perfectly for us and our family and we love the location, so we have no plans to move.”

From: Coast meets country at this Horowhenua new-build |, February 2021.

Photo from Stuff, looking out over the lake area.
Photo from Stuff, looking out over the lake area.

Photo credit: from the article at Stuff, Paul McCredie/NZ House & Garden.

We all know this: Waikawa Beach is a treasure of a place. 😀

Herd by Horses, a Waikawa Beach business

One business based at Waikawa Beach, Herd by Horses, promotes physical, mental and emotional growth through horses.

Article and photo from Community Wellbeing Newsletter Locally Sourced – Christmas 2020, from Horowhenua District Council.

Herd by Horses is located in idyllic countryside in Waikawa Beach, with space and tranquility for groups or individuals to attend workshops alongside horses.

Anna Royal and Kelly Henry facilitate activities that involves horses to promote physical, mental and emotional growth in people that are experiencing issues such as ADHD, Autism, Social Anxiety, low self esteem and much more.

Why horses?

Continue reading “Herd by Horses, a Waikawa Beach business”

Awa Pukapuka — a community asset

We’ve received the following email from community member Anja Geeling:

Ever since we moved to Waikawa Beach, several years ago, it’s been on my mind to set up a community library, known worldwide as a little free library.

When New Zealand went into lockdown, March 2020, we saw it as the perfect time to make a start. We had only just obtained an old opti, which we thought would be a perfect fit for a beach community like Waikawa Beach. The Opti moved in with us during lockdown and we enthusiastically started working on it. With the very limited time we were given to prepare for the lockdown we were unable to obtain all materials to complete the project during lockdown.

Once we came out of lockdown, life, work and family commitments took over again. Hence the project took much longer than anticipated. But hooray, we are now nearing completion and we would love to donate our little free library to the Waikawa Beach community.

In consultation with some members of the WBRA Committee and the Horowhenua District Council, who both are very supportive of the library, we are looking for a suitable spot near the bridge carpark.

We’ve named the library Awa Pukapuka (River of Books)

Little free library (in progress).
Little free library (in progress).

Continue reading “Awa Pukapuka — a community asset”

Air your views on Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-2041

Horowhenua District Council is inviting the community to help shape its Long Term Plan 2021-2041:

“Our Long Term Plan is the key document that sets out Council’s priorities for the next 20 years. As we develop the plan, decisions will need to be made about what we should prioritise. We need your input to decide what the priorities should be,” [Mayor Bernie Wanden] said.

He said the Long Term Plan 2021-2041 will cover a transformative period for the district.

“Our population is growing rapidly, and we expect well over 50,000 people to call Horowhenua home by 2041. It’s important that we plan for the needs and opportunities growth presents. The LTP will give us a clear plan for creating the best possible future for our people.”

The survey asks people what the top priorities for Council investment should be, and how much of a rates increase they would be willing to pay to fund improvements.

Long Term Plan Project Manager, Ashley Huria said public feedback would be used to help inform elected member decision making in developing the Long Term Plan.

“By carrying out a survey before we’ve drafted the plan, we can ensure the community’s voice helps to shape the Long Term Plan right from the beginning,” she said.

“In March and April next year, there will be formal community consultation on the Long Term Plan Consultation Document and supporting information that will give people the opportunity to give us their views on key topics. We’ll then refine the plan, and we expect to finalise and adopt it by 30 June next year.”

The survey is open until 8am on Monday 19 October 2020. People can complete the survey online at or in hard copy at any Council customer service centre.

Further information is available at