November 2018 Newsletter

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. As we have more warm or hot days with no rain there’s a definite summer feeling already. It’s time to start watching water use so the tanks don’t go down too quickly. That also means it’s time to remember the permanent total fire ban in our part of the world — no fires on the beach or in the yard unless you have a permit.

In this newsletter …

  1. Summer’s here
  2. Please pay your subs now
  3. Summer Activities timetable
  4. AGM and committee
  5. Where are all the whitebait?
  6. River water monitoring
  7. River cut update
  8. Tonkin & Taylor assessment
  9. Beach access
  10. Reay Mackay Grove beach tracks remain pedestrian-only
  11. Share the beach
  12. Speedy Internet
  13. Summer Shorts
  14. Property news
  15. Did you know: Our river is fed by two streams

Continue reading “November 2018 Newsletter”

October 2018 Newsletter

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. We’ve had some utterly gorgeous days of blue sky and sunshine lately, but with an occasionally very chilly night and spots of snow on the Tararuas.

In this newsletter …

  1. Blue sky and sunshine
  2. Subs are due now
  3. Activity this year
  4. Access for horses to the beach
  5. Fibre Internet for Waikawa Beach
  6. Spinifex planting
  7. Recycling changes
  8. Property news
  9. Did you know: Society news of the 1930s

Subs are due now

Thank you for supporting the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association. We’ve had a busy year and it’s good to know we’re working with and for our community.

It’s time to pay your annual $25 sub.

Continue reading “October 2018 Newsletter”

September 2018 Newsletter

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. Well, I was away for a week in early September and when I came back it seemed spring had arrived: blossoms all over, summer bird song, and the river has drifted further south again.

In this newsletter …

  1. Spring’s here
  2. Special spinifex Saturday — we need your help!
  3. Science-based coastal study
  4. Toxic shellfish
  5. Whitebait
  6. Seals on the beach
  7. Petition to allow access by horses via south track
  8. Briefly:
    1. Tree trimming at the village entrance
    2. Neighbourhood Support signs
    3. Road repairs
    4. Community grant
  9. Property news
  10. Did you know: Saved from drowning

Special spinifex Saturday — we need your help!

Continue reading “September 2018 Newsletter”

July 2018 Newsletter

The winter wet; The River Cut and Vehicle Entrance; The footbridge refurbishment; The water report; The property development; The car vs the fence; The whitebaiting starts on 15 August; The Chorus fibre Internet (for some); The Conscientious Objectors fence — Did you know?

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. Well, the stars of Matariki have risen — apparently. It’s been cloudy, rainy and a bit windy in the last few days. In any case, Matariki signifies that the darkest days of winter are over and we start our journey towards summer. Meanwhile, we have the winter wet to deal with.

Continue reading “July 2018 Newsletter”

June 2018 Newsletter

Kia ora Waikawa whānau. What a busy year it’s been! We’ve had not one, but two Public Meetings, there are buildings popping up all over (especially on the Strathnaver side), there’s been a bit of general vandalism and antisocial behaviour, and a few big thunderstorms woke us up too.

Meanwhile, the best news is that the Council are not going ahead with plans to put water and sewage infrastructure in to Waikawa Beach.

In this newsletter …

  1. It’s been busy
  2. HDC rejects water and sewage services
  3. Coastal expertise needed
  4. Beach access
  5. Hoons in the dunes
  6. Suspicious behaviour
  7. Footbridge maintenance
  8. Water quality at the Footbridge November 2017 to April 2018
  9. Whitebaiting
  10. Road markings refreshed
  11. Thunderstorms
  12. Property news
  13. What your subs have paid for
  14. Quick updates
  15. Did you know: A well-travelled river

HDC rejects water and sewage services

Thanks everyone! Your interest and action really made a difference.

The Horowhenua District Council were thinking about piping drinking water to our community, providing sewage disposal, and increasing our rates to pay for it. After a well-attended Public Meeting a very large number of people made submissions, both written and oral, coming out almost unanimously against the idea.

The Horowhenua District Council got the message and have decided not to proceed here. There is no word as yet on the rezoning proposed in the Growth Strategy.

Coastal expertise needed

Everyone has ideas about the coastal erosion Waikawa Beach is suffering and how to fix things, but what we really need is people with actual expertise to help us. If your area of expertise is in coastal erosion, river flows, tides or the like then we’d love to hear from you. As we deal with the Horizons Regional Council and the Horowhenua District Council we don’t always have the knowledge to ask the right questions or question the answers. If you have relevant knowledge (not just opinions) please email us at wbra.committee@gmail.com .

Beach access

The bad weather and high tides in February wiped out the vehicle entrance to the beach through private land off the end of Manga Pirau Street. The river took a few more metres of sand away from the bank and that entrance now terminates in a drop of a metre or more directly into water. The entrance was used by vehicles, but also by pedestrians and horse riders.

Unfortunately one local took matters into their own hands and bulldozed a new track across that private land without the owner’s permission. The owner was very distressed (as were many of those who live in and visit Waikawa Beach) and has pointed out they are within their rights to close all access across the land and beach that they own if they so choose. The owner has made it clear no other alterations to their land should be undertaken (including restorative planting) without their express prior consent.

Quad bike blocking the south track.
Quad bike blocking the south track.

Other locals or visitors have decided that the signs on the pedestrian-only beach access tracks off Reay Mackay Grove which clearly ban vehicles from using those tracks can be ignored. Quad bikes have been encountered on both tracks, with one owner not only driving along the track but leaving his vehicle parked on the track blocking pedestrians while he took a stroll on the beach.

We held another well-attended Public Meeting, this time about beach access for all. That meeting reached no agreement on how everyone can access the beach safely, but did agree to ask the Council to do a River Cut and restore the original vehicle entrance. Read more: Report on the Public Meeting on beach access 19 May 2018.

The Council are making the necessary preparations, so that river cut should take place in June 2018. The Committee are working closely with the Councils on both the river cut and a more permanent solution that will also help stop the severe coastal erosion.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to receive emails with news exclusively about the beach access please subscribe to our special On Track Waikawa mailing list. There’s a signup form on the right-hand side of most pages of our website: waikawabeach.nz.

Hoons in the dunes

On the weekend of 14 and 15 April 2018 a group of people with a ute and several quad bikes visited Waikawa Beach. Apart from general night-time noise they took to the dunes off Reay Mackay Grove in their vehicles, causing damage and creating a nuisance. Read more: Hoons in the dunes

Around that time too one resident reported that people on quad bikes had turned up at their front door after midnight, and attempted to cross their private property to the beach.

Suspicious behaviour

Around midnight on 03 June 2018 people were observed trying a front door in James Street and attempting to break into a garage nearby. A neighbour scared them off and called Police, but they weren’t found. Remember to secure your property when you’re not around, and to lock your doors at night. Call the Police if you have concerns. Read more: Possible attempted burglary in James St on 03 June 2018.

Recently too someone stole the sensor light bulbs from above the potentially lifesaving AED on the toilet block. We’ve asked the Council to protect the lights with a wire cage.

Footbridge maintenance

The footbridge needs some maintenance. The Council aim to resurface the footbridge soon (should start on 18 June), and are also planning some more major structural works later. We’ve confirmed that an anti-slip mesh will be laid on top of the bridge surface as part of the refurbishment.

The resurfacing and handrail work means the bridge will be closed for a few days.

Note too the new signs that have appeared warning of dangerous trees on the land across the bridge. Enter at your own risk.

Water quality at the Footbridge November 2017 to April 2018

Did you swim in the river this summer? Horizons made 22 water quality measurements at the footbridge over summer. 10 were Green, 8 Amber and 4 Red. Read more at: Water quality at the Footbridge November 2017 to April 2018.

Whitebaiting

Whitebaiting season starts on 15 August 2018 and closes on 30 November 2018. Check the regulations.

Road markings refreshed

Did you notice the fresh white roadmarkings at the corner of State Highway 1 and Waikawa Beach Road, and all down the road and through the village and Strathnaver? After a resident alerted NZTA to how tired and worn the markings were NZTA promptly sorted it out.

Thunderstorms

Several times in the week starting 21 May 2018 we had some pretty fierce thunderstorms, with some intense but brief rain (or maybe even hail). In our house at least, some of the fuses blew in one storm after a 64 dB clap of thunder / lightning blast. In another I could hardly hear myself on the phone.

With climate change warming things up we should expect more storms, more rain and more severe weather. Read more: How will slower and wetter storms affect Waikawa Beach?

Property news

Some properties are still on the market, while a few more have changed hands recently, including on Reay Mackay Grove. There’s even more building work along Strathnaver Drive, including major earthworks on one of the very boggy sections. A new dwelling has just been lifted onto a section on Reay Mackay Grove.

What your subs have paid for

Your subs cover regular items such as some lawn mowing around the village entrance, and summer activities. This year they have also allowed us to run two public meetings (hall hire, facilitator, post-meeting cuppa) and to produce pamphlets and fliers. We also keep reserves for contingencies like those meetings or a future need to hire in expertise.

The good news though, is that it’s not yet time to pay your subs for the next year. We’ll let you know when they’re due. Many thanks to all those who’ve paid their subs and joined the Association, lending weight to our voice as we work for the community.

Quick updates

  • In 2018 your Committee met in January and at Queen’s Birthday. The Easter meeting was cancelled. Labour Weekend will be the next scheduled meeting. Committee members though have been extremely busy with the urgent matters of coastal erosion, beach access, the River Cut, and submissions to both Horizons Regional Council and Horowhenua District Council.
  • If you have something to contribute then please either email the Committee at wbra.committee@gmail.com, or visit the Contact page at the website, where you can make a public comment.
  • Did you know you don’t have to keep visiting our website to read all the new articles? Enter your email address in the website sign-up box on the right-hand side of almost any page.
  • Our online noticeboard is available for all to use, along with the actual noticeboards by the footbridge.

Did you know: A well-travelled river

We’ve found some old maps and photos in the Archives. Back in 1942 the Waikawa River flowed about 2 Km towards the south from the future site of the village and went into the sea at about the Waiorongomai Stream. The following very small photo gives an indication.

But the river has sometimes flowed out to sea much closer to the village, as it does now. For much larger photos visit Aerial photos from the archive.

WBRA archive map 1942.
WBRA archive map 1942.

And finally, what a great community we have! So many people got involved in the discussions around infrastructure, rezoning, beach access, talking with friends, neighbours and Committee members. It’s so heartening to see how many really care about this fabulous place we live in. Research shows that a community that has strong social cohesion is much more resilient in the face of a disaster: Strong social networks and social cohesion can be more important for a community’s resilience than the actual physical structures of a city.

Heoi anō,
Miraz Jordan

February 2018 Newsletter

Kia ora tātou. It’s been a scorcher this summer, but perhaps the remains of Tropical Cyclone Fehi cooled us off and damped the ground a little. The associated high tides certainly lapped at the base of the properties closest to the sea at the end of Manga Pirau Street and along to the south, taking a bit more sand away with them.

This is the time when local Councils around New Zealand consult on their long-term plans. There’s also consultation about the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway. It seems like everyone wants our opinions and input on everything. One issue that will directly affect all of us is the matter of water supply and sewage systems . Please read the material and let us as a Committee know your views.

In this newsletter …

  1. From parched to puddles
  2. HDC Consultation: water and sewage services
  3. AGM
  4. Summer activities
  5. Hard rubbish collection
  6. Christmas lights winners
  7. New Year fire hazard
  8. Fire-fighting water tanks
  9. Water quality at the footbridge
  10. Defibrillator maintenance
  11. Property news
  12. Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway
  13. Local roading issues
  14. Quick updates
  15. Did you know: a German mine in 1918

HDC Consultation: water and sewage services

The Horowhenua District Council are talking about piping drinking water to our community and giving us sewage disposal. Note that giving doesn’t mean anything will be free. At the AGM Councillor Christine Mitchell talked about this notion and advised it could add a minimum of $1500 per year to our rates. It’s a complicated issue though and we all need to think about it and make our views known — to us on the Committee and direct to the Council.

Read more about this at: Water Supply and Sewage Services to our Village?

We need to tell the Council what we think about this idea or we might find that something happens (or doesn’t happen) that we really wouldn’t like.

Between 21 February and 26 March 2018 the HDC will:

  • Send information to all ratepayers.
  • Run various public events where staff will be available to discuss matters.
  • Put details of the proposals, consultation process and links to all the relevant information and online submission forms on their website.

Council’s open consultation process begins very soon on 21 February 2018 but we need to start discussing these matters amongst ourselves now.

AGM

The AGM was held at Hank Edwards Reserve, with a good turnout. Councillor Christine Mitchell addressed us and let us know about parts of the Council’s Long-Term Plan. John Hewitson also delivered his Annual Report. Read more at: AGM 28 December 2017; unconfirmed Minutes and Financial Report and Annual report 2017.

We’d like to thank Brian Clarke for his service in reviewing our Annual Accounts for quite a few years now, and John Brown and Frank Averes for their contributions as longstanding committee members and all they’ve done for our community.

The 2018 Committee are: John Hewitson, Chair; Kevin Burns, Secretary; Elaine White, Treasurer; Debra Betts, Dominic Hayden, John Sharp, Lesley-Anne Walker, Liz Duncan, Miraz Jordan, Warwick Bainbridge, Yvonne Small, Gary Whitaker.

John Brown has taken on the role of reviewing our Accounts.

Summer activities

The summer activities were well-received and a lot of people had a lot of fun. The weather was hot and plenty of sunscreen was on hand.

Thanks to all those who joined in, were spectators or applied themselves to running the events and the associated barbecues and drinks stands. See photos and read reports on the website: Boat Day 2017 photos, Sand Sculpture photos, December 2017, Sports Day 01 January 2018 Photos #2, Ambrose Golf, 02 January 2018.

At Sports Day, January 2018. Photo by Barry Jordan.At Sports Day, January 2018. Photo by Barry Jordan.

Hard rubbish collection

A small team turned out to help with the hard rubbish collection which picked up items such as couches, fridges, garden shredders, old TVs, bits of wire, bookcases and all manner of stuff. Thanks to the helpers, the collection was completed at record speed. Reminder: if you’re one of the folks who promised to pay, but hasn’t yet, please pay up now.

Christmas lights winners

Congratulations to Wendy and Peter Clarke whose Christmas lights won First Place in the Festival of Lights. It’s a well-deserved award and the lights are enjoyed by all.

New Year fire hazard

It was impossible to miss how dry the whole area was going into Christmas and New Year, even if you hadn’t been aware of the official declaration of drought. Many people had to have their water tanks filled, thanks to the lack of rain. And still, some people let off fireworks over the holiday period, including one continuous hour-long session on New Year’s Eve sourced somewhere between the end of Manga Pirau Street and Strathnaver Drive.

Residents and visitors nearby were very concerned about the potential for fire, while horse and dog owners checked on and calmed their animals.

Waikawa Beach is a permanent Total Fire Ban zone. Please remember that total fire ban includes braziers and BBQs (gas is OK) — anything that could release sparks. As one resident said: Play by the rules or we will all get burnt.

Fire-fighting water tanks

The Council own and are responsible for keeping filled several water tanks for the purposes of fire-fighting. Locations include Emma Drive, Arthur Street and Sand Dune Grove. We’re enquiring about tanks for Strathnaver.

The tanks were refilled just before Christmas. Read about fire restrictions and the tanks on the Fire page on our website.

Water quality at the footbridge

Water quality at the footbridge remains poor. Each week Horizons test the water and publish the results. We put the results on the right-hand side of the website soon after they’re published. Since 01 November 2017 the results have been green 7 times, orange 6 times and redonce. The Committee want to start work on finding ways to improve the quality. Please contact us if you’d like to be part of that.

Defibrillator maintenance

We have an AED defibrillator on the wall of the changing sheds at Hank Edwards Reserve. Not sure when you’d use one or how? See our AED page on the website. AEDs require regular upkeep and this year we needed to install fresh charging pads. That has now been done.

Property news

Some properties are still on the market, even after several months, while several more have been advertised recently, including on Sarah Street, James Street and Duncan Street. There’s even more building work being started along Strathnaver Drive too.

Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway

The Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway consultations are coming up. The shortlist of corridor options has been published, with all going east of SH1. There’s an information session at Manakau Hall on 10 February 2018. From 7 February until 9 March, an information shop at 183 Oxford Street, Levin will be open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-4pm, and Thursday from 12pm-6pm.

Local roading issues

As roads wear away or develop other problems we work with the Council to get them remedied. Currently under discussion are problems of various sorts on or around Strathnaver Drive, Drake Street and Walkers Lane. Read the details at Bumps and lumps and puddles.

Aerial shot from Blair Rogers taken early January 2018. Aerial shot of Waikawa Beach village from Blair Rogers, taken early January 2018.

Quick updates

  • If you’re one of the 20% who still hasn’t paid your subs send $25 to account 03 0667 0268929 000. Please include your name and beach address. Also email wbra.committee@gmail.com with your name, beach address, postal address, email address and date of payment. For more options see waikawabeach.org.nz/subs. We’re thrilled that so many are helping to support our community. We aspire to 100% paid membership as we work to promote and protect the interests of Ratepayers and the residents of the district.
  • In 2018 your Committee will meet at Easter, Queen’s Birthday and Labour Weekend. There may be extra meetings, such as the one held in January, to discuss urgent issues.
  • If you have something to contribute then please either email the Committee at wbra.committee@gmail.com, or visit the Contact page at the website, where you can make a public comment.
  • Did you know you don’t have to keep visiting our website to read all the new articles? Enter your email address in the sign-up box on the right-hand side of almost any page on our website.
  • Our online noticeboard is available for all to use, along with the actual noticeboards by the footbridge.

Did you know: a German mine in 1918

In late 1918 a local found a German mine on the beach. As reported in Wanganui Chronicle, Volume LXVI, Issue 17427, 11 November 1918.

Another of the mines that was laid off Cape Farewell by the Germans a little over 12 months ago was found on the Manakau beach on Friday night, about five miles north of Otaki. The mine was discovered by Miss Drake, and had evidently been recently washed up on the beach, being just at high water mark. It stands about three or four feet high, and has either two or three horns. The police were notified of the discovery, and they communicated with the naval authorities in Wellington.

Mā te wā,
Miraz Jordan