Power failure alert Tuesday 23 February 2021

Note: the power went off unexpectedly around 5.10 pm on Tuesday 23 February 2021, and seemed to come back on around 5.40 pm. However Electra confirm power has not yet been fully restored.

So, if, like us, you’re thinking something in your house is at fault because some lights work while the fridge doesn’t, it’s just a matter of waiting.

Update: power seems to have been fully restored at about 6.20 pm.

House prices up; available properties down

There haven’t been many properties for sale around here for a while now, and those that have come up seem to have mainly sold pretty quickly and at robust prices. That observation is confirmed by an article in the Horowhenua Chronicle:

Median house sale prices in [Horowhenua] have hit the half a million dollar mark for the first time ever, on the back of a nationwide property price explosion.

More properties were selling more quickly and for huge prices, with real estate bosses citing a lack of housing stock as a significant factor — the market simply can’t meet the demand. …

Norwell said the Horowhenua District reached a record median house price in December 2020 of $525,000, a figure that was up 36.4 per cent from the same time last year where the median sale price was $385,000.

“Sales volumes for the district also increased 61.9 per cent year-on-year from 42 properties sold in December 2019 to 68 properties sold in December 2020,” she said.

Homes were not sitting on the shelf for long. The time it took to sell a property in Horowhenua decreased from 31 days in December 2019 to 24 days in December 2020.

Source: Horowhenua Chronicle, 29 January 2021, Page 31.

New MP for Ōtaki: Terisa Ngobi

In the 2020 General Election Terisa Ngobi was elected to represent Ōtaki. The Official count was:

  1. NGOBI, Terisa (Labour) 21867
  2. COSTLEY, Tim (National) 18879
  3. LONG, Bernard (Green) 2135

with the various other candidates each gaining fewer than 1,000 votes.

Terisa Ngobi, MP for Ōtaki.
Terisa Ngobi, MP for Ōtaki.

An article in the Horowhenua Chronicle, 30 Oct 2020, Page 8, by Janine Baalbergen, reads in part:

New MP getting ready to tackle region’s issues

Ōtaki’s new woman in Parliament, Terisa Ngobi, is still buzzing from her shock victory on election night, which has set a few precedents.

She said she believes she is “the first Pasifika person, and of course the first Pasifika woman, and the first person/woman of colour to represent Ōtaki in Wellington”. …

Big issues for her over the coming years are the expressway and the Capital Connection.

“I have travelled to and from Wellington for 16 years. I have used the train a lot and driven the road. I know how bad the road is and the train service should be much more frequent.

“I am really excited that the Provincial Growth Fund had brought a lot of green jobs to our areas.”

She said she is keen to explore more environmentally positive initiatives.

“We must protect the environment and there are a few good initiatives in our electorate happening, such as one that is looking at ways to recycle plastics.”

Other issues that have her attention are housing, jobs, and healthcare, especially outpatient care, and the electrification of the rail track all the way to Palmerston North. …

She is Levin-born and bred and simply loves living here. And it is her passion for her town, her district and its possibilities that drive her to improve on what we have. She’s planning to regularly inform her electorate about what is going on, including via columns in the Horowhenua Chronicle.

Photo from NZ Parliament website.

Population growth in Horowhenua is higher than the national average

In the last few weeks two houses have sold very quickly in the Waikawa Beach village. Not too surprising, when the population growth rate in Horowhenua is higher than the national average.

From the Horowhenua District Council on 15 October 2020, Population growth in Horowhenua will continue to outpace the country:

The population growth rate in Horowhenua will continue to outpace the rest of New Zealand for the next decade, a review of the Horowhenua Socio-Economic Projections has found. …

The review predicts 2.6% growth every year between now and 2029 compared to 1.2% growth nationally. From 2029 to 2039, the predicted growth is 2.8%. Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden said population growth in Horowhenua outstripped the national growth rate for four years in a row, and it will continue to do so for the rest of the 2020s.

“By 2041, more than 62,000 people will live in Horowhenua – that’s larger than Whanganui and slightly less than live in Kāpiti now,” he said.

“The new expressways to the south have led to Horowhenua being named as a growth area by the Greater Wellington Region. …

Chief Executive David Clapperton said … We estimate that we need to double the annual build rate to 560 homes every year for the next 20 years.”

At its meeting of 14 October, Horowhenua District Council adopted this population growth assumption as the basis for planning its Long Term Plan 2021-2041. …

Group Manager Customer and Strategy David McCorkindale said … “We do not want to end up like growth cities that suffer from congestion, infrastructure issues, overcrowded classrooms and GP waiting rooms,”

Of course, we already suffer from congestion on SH1 and those who use the town water supply in Levin and elsewhere already endure restrictions every summer.

Our recycling starts again 11 May 2020

Horowhenua District Council website advises us about Rubbish and Recycling Services in Alert Level 3. Our next collection will be Monday 11 May 2020:

All kerbside rubbish collections will continue. Contractors will resume kerbside recycling collection from Monday 4 May. This will continue to follow the normal schedule …

Note that the service started again on 04 May but our next collection date is 11 May.