Kia ora koutou kātoa, We all know that Covid again changed everything last month. At Level 4 various Council services were on hold — recycling wasn’t collected, and the toilets at Hank Edwards Reserve were closed. Luckily services have been restored now. Meanwhile, it’s spring, so as usual we have a few days of awful weather followed by a few glorious days. Repeat. There are ducklings about, and the rabbits are very bouncy at the moment too. Fruit trees have buds, and maybe the frosts have finished… Enjoy the rain while it lasts, and tops up the water tanks. But beware the vehicle entrance — it’s gone. Read more below on that.
Kia ora koutou kātoa, He ua — rain — we’ve had at least 120 mm rain since the last newsletter in mid-July. And that’s without measuring the torrential rain that fell during a Strathnaver powercut after huge thunder and lightning overnight 17 to 18 August 2021.
It’s very hard to run an effective organisation without a Treasurer. We still need someone to step up as Treasurer to see us through the rest of the year (until January), and then someone to take on the position. You don’t need to be an accountant — mostly everything works through online banking and it’s mainly a matter of good record keeping. Could this be you? If so, please email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spinifex planting 04 September
Spinifex planting is planned for 04 September 2021. Come along with some gardening gloves (if you like) for an hour and help plant 5,000 spinifex and 500 Pingao. Previous plantings are working really well to hold and reclaim the beach. It’s an opportunity to really contribute to the community. More details closer to the time.
Toilet block upgrade
We’ve had word that the Horowhenua District Council has approved funding for the Hank Edwards toilet block to be updated early 2022. This project was delayed by Covid last year, so it’s good to see it will happen soon. We’ll be releasing more details as we receive them.
By the way: the toilet block is closed during the Level 4 shutdown.
The Army at Hank Edwards Reserve on 14 September
We were advised that there will be an Army exercise at Hank Edwards Reserve on 14 September 2021. Apparently the exercise will not stop people from using the reserve.
Beware young seals resting on the beach — they tend to look like driftwood at first. Keep yourself, dogs, kids and vehicles away and don’t get between a seal and the sea.
New rules for whitebait season came into effect on 15 August 2021. A couple of key points: Whitebait fishing is only allowed where water levels are affected by the tide; Screens are the only lawful diversion device and are limited to 3 metre maximum length. If you fish for whitebait be sure to visit the link and follow up to see all the new rules.
Planet Venus (Kōpū) appears in the northwest soon after sunset. In the east see Saturn (Rongo) and Jupiter (Pareārau). At the end of August see Mercury (Takero) below Venus.
The Southern Cross, Crux, and the Pointers are midway down the southwest sky. The Large and Small Clouds of Magellan look like two misty patches of light low in the south, easily seen by eye on a dark moonless night in Waikawa Beach. You can’t see them in a place like Wellington because there are too many lights.
Kia ora koutou kātoa, well, one thing you can say about the last month is frosts (hukapapa)! The mornings have been white and freezing (mātaratara) lately. Then we’ve had some pretty lovely sunny days.
As you’ll know from the last newsletter, we recently lost our Treasurer unexpectedly. We need someone to step up to see us through the rest of the year (until January), and then someone to take on the position. You don’t need to be an accountant — mostly everything works through online banking and it’s mainly a matter of good record keeping. Could this be you? If so, please email us at email@example.com.
The Small Girl Who Lives Next Door
Waikawa Beach local, writer Glenn Colquhoun, has just published a new picture book, The Small Girl Who Lives Next Door. The story follows Jack’s journey to becoming more proficient in te reo, and learning about Māori culture. Read more: Local’s book about a journey to learn te reo Māori. Congratulations, Glenn!
Horizons rates rise
Horizons Regional Council adopted their Long-term Plan recently, and on average rates around the region will rise by about 8% per year for the next 3 years. That doesn’t necessarily mean your rates will rise that much though. Read more at: Horizons rates to increase.
SH1 safety changes — have your say by Wednesday 11 August: Waka Kotahi have some plans for ‘safety improvements’ along the stretch of SH1 between Ōtaki and Levin. They’re interested to hear the views of locals. Follow the link above to read the details and learn how to make your views known.
A recent news item proclaimed Government fast-tracks plans to extend Wellington’s commuter rail network to Levin. Essentially the Government want KiwiRail to hurry along plans to bring commuter trains to Levin. Read more: Train service improvements start with a business case.
At the end of June high seas and heavy rain flooded local paddocks and broke through the sand bar at the river mouth, allowing the river an easier flow to the sea. That in turn reduced the level of the river by the footbridge. See: It’s a wet one — 27 June 2021 and High seas; low river for more detail and photos.
The days around 16 to 19 July are forecast to bring gale force winds and even as much as 100 mm rain. Watch out for the wet!
And then there’s the footbridge. Our modern, sturdy, footbridge came courtesy of floods that knocked out the old, ramshackle bridge that used to be a bit further upstream. Where once you needed nerves of steel to cross, now you can depend on steel beams. See photos of the old bridge at There once was a bridge.
That really bright star in the western sky after sunset is Venus (Kōpū). You always find Venus near the Sun as it’s closer to the Sun than we are.
On the other hand, look East after sunset to see Saturn (Rongo) and Jupiter (Pareārau). If you have large binoculars or a telescope you might be able to see the rings round Saturn or some of the moons of Jupiter.
This is also a great time of year to see the Milky Way. Interested in what else is in Waikawa Beach’s wonderful dark night sky or a map to help find things? Take a look at The Evening Sky in July 2021.
Current property listings: 6 James Street.
Round in Strathnaver several houses are in varying stages of being built.
Kia ora koutou kātoa, It is with great sadness that I tell you that Elaine White, Treasurer for the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association since 2013, passed away suddenly on Sunday, 23 May 2021. Our condolences to all of Elaine’s family and friends.
Kia ora koutou kātoa, It’s been variously frosty, very windy, warm, and we’ve even had a bit of rain — about 32 mm since the start of May. With this wind, if you haven’t been down to the beach lately, don’t worry — it’s come to visit you instead!
We often give this message: keep an eye on your properties. Unfortunately there was recently a car theft from Takapu Road. Eyes open!
And while keeping your eyes open, remember to look up sometimes at the night sky, especially on 26 May 2021, when there’s a total lunar eclipse.
And on the topic of major roads, we asked for the accident statistics for the 2020 calendar year between Ōtaki and Levin. In short: there were 4 serious, 8 minor, and 14 non-injury crashes. Four of the crashes led to road closure. Luckily no crashes were fatal.
On 30 April 2021 it suddenly sounded like a huge truck and trailer full of shingle was rumbling through the house at about 8.45 am. Turned out it was in fact a rare earthquake pretty much directly below Waikawa Beach. It was a M2.8, with the epicentre only about 4 Km away and 5 Km deep. Wakey wakey shakey shakey.
Plastic recycling — only types 1, 2 and 5 can go in your recycling bin, otherwise it has to go in the rubbish. BTW: recycling dates are listed on the right-hand side of the WBRA website. Next recycling day is Monday 24 May 2021. Then 07 and 21 June, 05 and 19 July.
Kia ora koutou kātoa, It’s been a quiet time recently at Waikawa Beach: you can go down to the sea and not see a soul.
Or maybe, like John Hewitson, you catch sight of a suspicious looking black lump on the sand and find a penguin entangled in discarded fishing net, unable to swim or feed. That lucky little bird ended up at Wellington Zoo for care: The penguin says: down with death trap nets!
Or perhaps you spot a young seal, resting up on the sand. It seems early in the season for that, but we’ve heard of at least one this month, north of the river.
The Little Free Library has been put in place at the corner of Drake Street and Waikawa Beach Road, stocked with books and more and is already being well-used. The artist has drafted up some designs for the sides and a couple of other finishing touches are on their way. Once it’s all done we expect an official launch: speeches, drinks and nibbles, and everyone in the community is invited. We’ll let you know when. Check the guidelines for Awa Pukapuka at Awa Pukapuka open for reading.
There are a few matters related to the Horowhenua District Council:
Problems with Waikawa Beach Road — sometimes we hear grumbles about Waikawa Beach Road, such as the corner near 554 Waikawa Beach Road by the Heritage Trail sign where several cars have left the road over the last year or so.
The thing is, Horowhenua District Council are unlikely to fix things like that if they don’t know there’s a problem. If you have an issue with the road or anything else you think the Council should ‘fix’ then tell them about it directly. The more voices that chime in with facts and accurate information the more likely there will be action. Council contacts: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 06 366 0999.
In the Horowhenua District Council’s draft Annual Plan we spotted a proposal for a new Waikawa Beach walkway that no-one had heard anything about before. It would go from the footbridge to the sea. Check details at HDC Long-Term Plan and a new Waikawa Beach walkway.
In May 2020 Tim Clapham from Wellington High School took a sample from the river at Waikawa Beach. The results of Sample number: 501185 show the presence of environmental DNA from cattle, pigs, birds such as shags, pūkeko, silvereye and geese, fish such as flounder and mullet, eels and īnanga, as well as snails, worms and other lifeforms. Read more at What’s in the river water at Waikawa Beach?
The Horowhenua District Council funded spinifex plantings over recent years have done a great job of reclaiming sand and extending dunes. See some photos at Spinifex superpowers.
WBRA subscription $25 per year, is due every October. If you haven’t paid yet, please do now. Make sure to provide us with your email address! Everyone: please see Subs form to make sure we have your up-to-date contact details. Visit Become a member for how to pay.
Special note: the address for posting cheques to has changed. It’s now 93 Mandel Mews, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt 5010, but pretty soon Westpac will stop accepting cheques anyway.