Councillor Christine Mitchell, who attends all of our Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association Committee meetings and fronts up very often at other meetings of concern to our community here, has praised our community in the Horowhenua Chronicle of Friday 22 June 2018:
One example of the power of the decision making process to inform Councillors’ decisions was when Waikawa Beach ratepayers explained why they had no need for water or sewage services. Councillors listened and have decided not to pursue feasibility studies there.
I would specifically like to commend the … Waikawa Beach ratepayer groups who presented detailed, professional submissions on behalf of their communities.
I think we can congratulate all of ourselves on having a great discussion within our community. People left comments on this website, emailed the Committee with their views and turned up en masse at our Public Meeting to discuss the issues.
Then we all sent in our submissions on the Draft Long-Term Plan.
All that discussion informed the submission your Committee made on behalf of the whole community too.
I know the opinions weren’t 100% unanimous, but engaging in the consultation was the important thing.
In February 2018 the track at the end of Manga Pirau Street allowing vehicles access to Waikawa Beach was wiped out by Ex Tropical Cyclone Gita. With no official track, locals took matters into their own hands, carving out a chunk of privately owned land without seeking permission from the owner, and trying to use vehicles on tracks that are exclusively for pedestrians.
This has caused us to examine the question of safe, secure, sustainable access for all to the beach, including pedestrians, horses and vehicles. There are many competing, and sometimes conflicting needs.
Some ratepayers also hold the opinion that all vehicles should be barred from the beach and not given access at all.
If you’re interested in access to the beach, then the On Track Waikawa mailing list is for you.
There will also be a Public Meeting at Manakau Hall at 2 pm on Saturday 19 May 2018 to discuss the issues and find a solution that allows vehicles, horses and pedestrians beach access, while staying safe and protecting the environment. That meeting is open to anyone and everyone who is interested in matters to do with access to Waikawa Beach.
Please attend that meeting whatever opinions you hold, so we can have a community discussion that considers all points of view. The goal of the meeting will be to find next steps with broad support amongst our community.