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

December 2017 Newsletter

Hi everyone, well, after a year of endless discussions about how wet everything was, talk has now turned to sunscreen, sun umbrellas, sun hats and how to keep cool. The ground has dried out, grass is dry and brown, and we can all be thankful we have our own tank or bore water as Levin and other places with a reticulated supply are already suffering water restrictions.

This is a big newsletter, as there’s a lot to talk about. In some cases we’ve included only the highlights, with more detail on the website.

In this newsletter …

  1. Dry spring
  2. Summer activities
  3. AGM
  4. Did you know?
  5. Please pay your Subs
  6. Beach erosion update
  7. Fire Service water tanks have been filled
  8. Christmas lights
  9. Mobile Emergency Alerts
  10. Property news
  11. Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group
  12. HDC Long-Term Plan
  13. Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway
  14. Vehicle speeds on the beach
  15. Quick updates
  16. Waikawa the way they want it
  17. Committee meetings in 2018
  18. Comments
  19. Stay up to date by email
  20. Online noticeboard

Summer activities

We have a crack team of long-standing committee members and organisers for summer activities, as well as willing helpers. Thanks everyone who helps make the summer sports and other activities happen. Here’s what’s planned:

  1. Wednesday 27 December 2017 at 3 pm: Boat Day. We need to get the tides right for this one … Note: Frank Averes will be checking how the water looks and deciding whether it seems clean enough for the swim across the river to go ahead. This is an opinion, not a scientific test, so enter the water at your own risk. Check LAWA water monitoring page over summer for water quality information.
  2. Thursday 28 December 2017 at 3 pm: AGM at the Hank Edwards Reserve. Bring a chair. Only paid up members have a vote at this meeting. Do you want to nominate yourself or someone else for the Committee? New members are always welcome, so let us know. You don’t need to live here full-time to be on the committee.
  3. Friday 29 December 2017 around lunchtime: Sand Sculpture Day in the usual place: cross the bridge and turn left. Again tides are a factor.
  4. Monday 01 January 2018 at 3 pm: Sports Day at Hank Edwards Reserve.
  5. Tuesday 02 January 2018: Ambrose Golf (golf for all the family), commencing at the later tee off time of 10.30am. (Report at least 30 mins prior). Same price as last year, $20. Discounts for under 16 or Levin Golf Club members. Cabinet food, drinks & prize giving afterwards at the Clubhouse. No 18 hole golf this year.
  6. Summer recycling truck. We expect the truck to be available on Saturdays through the Christmas period, but we’re awaiting confirmation of times and dates. Check our website or the Horowhenua District Council website for times.
  7. 13 January 2018: Hard rubbish collection. The Association provide this service. For small amounts of rubbish the cost is $5 to $10 and for washing machines, fridges and the like, $20.00. You MUST advise us beforehand if you want rubbish taken or nothing will be collected. If you won’t be at your property on the day, let us know.

Most activities depend on the weather so check the noticeboard, the blackboard or the website for last-minute updates.

Did you know?

Waikawa Beach Road from Manakau to Waikawa, was first sealed in the 1950’s, Drake and Arthur Streets being sealed at the same time.

Manga Pirau Street was constructed around 1966 and the public toilets / changing rooms were built in 1967-8.

In 1973, Waikawa township was enlarged with a subdivision to the south and east. This involved the extension of Manga Pirau Street and the construction of Sarah, Cathryn, Duncan Streets and Norna Grove.

In 1977 Manga Pirau and Sarah Streets were extended south and James Street constructed.

Source: History of Waikawa Beach by Ron Averes Horowhenua, Pages 75 to 81, Otaki Historical Journal, Vol 5, 1982. Available from Levin library.

Subs are now due for 2018

Pay $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’ll have forms available at all the Summer activities, so you can sign up on the spot if you like.

Your Committee work closely with both Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council on matters affecting Waikawa Beach. Read on for updates on beach erosion and beach speeds, two of several current areas of interest.

Beach erosion update, November 2017

We need your input on the beach erosion problem. Please read the article called Beach erosion update, November 2017 on our website. We need to make submissions on the Long-Term Plans being considered by the Councils.

Fire Service water tanks have been filled

The Fire Service have several water tanks situated around the village so they have a source of water for fighting fires. These tanks have now been filled. Given how dry everything is, we may need them. Remember: no fires anywhere around here without a permit. There are huge penalties, and would you really want to take the risk of burning down a neighbour’s home or holiday place?

Christmas lights

Wendy and Peter Clarke have worked hard all year mowing lawns around Waikawa Beach and now they’ve put in the time and trouble to install their annual Christmas Light show. In a few weeks time wait till it’s dark then stroll along to the corner of James and Sarah Streets to enjoy the show.

Wendy and Peter's Christmas lights going up.
Wendy and Peter’s Christmas lights going up.

Mobile Emergency Alerts

Contributed by Frank Averes, WBRA Neighbourhood Support — (mob) 027 328 3737, (email) bwe.limited@gmail.com

3 or 4 years ago, a resident commented to me that we didn’t have a tsunami warning system here at Waikawa Beach, as if to ask how would we know if we had to evacuate? I responded to them that its simple really; if there’s a strong earthquake and you think there’s any chance of a tsunami, head for the hills; don’t wait to be told.

And so, last evening (26th November 2017) a test alert was sent out to about 1/3rd of all mobile phone users. This test was widely advertised, for example, in Stuff:

“WHO SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE ALERTS?

The alerts are not be available on all phones but Civil Defence expected around one third of phones will initially be able to receive the alerts.

They included an important link: a list of all types of mobile phones that should have received the alert.

Now as it happens, my phone was on silent (had been since a meeting on Friday), so whilst I received the alert, my phone did not sing (screech) out to me. My bad. Had I been asleep; I’d have slept right through! Also, Stuff reported that most did not receive the alert.

And (as I’m sure many of us know), cell phone coverage here at Waikawa can be patchy. So that raises an interesting question: even if you have a cell phone, the alerts might not reach across our whole community.

So should we? How do we? Ensure everyone receives alerts?

Of course, a tsunami will likely follow a major earthquake; as mentioned in the news today.

Now I’m picking that if or when there is a size 9 earthquake off the East Coast, probably the whole of the North Island will know about it! The above article suggests just minutes to get to higher ground (Wairarapa) and maybe the best part of 30 minutes in the Marlborough Sounds. I have no idea if such a tsunami would affect us; and I probably wouldn’t stick around to find out! And I have no idea if a tsunami could trigger somewhere out west from us.

I am reluctant that we have a coordinated ‘evacuation plan’ in our village, as that kind of makes us responsible if it doesn’t work. There is now a painted Tsunami Zone 5km or so inland however I think I’d keep driving! To be honest, my view is firstly that people need to help themselves. That might start with buying, or upgrading a cell phone.

However if anyone here at Waikawa either really doesn’t have and cannot obtain their own cell phone, or might even be house-bound or unable to drive, we must look out for each other (without putting ourselves in unreasonable danger). That might mean stopping off to pick up someone and help them evacuate.

If you are one of these people, or know of one of these people, have a plan!

Please find / coordinate with someone who can readily call past your/their house on their way out to a safe zone. I’d also suggest everyone evacuating to sound their horns continuously until they have left the village. It’s not as silly as it sounds — you just might save a life!

I would encourage people to locate and sign up to the Horowhenua District Neighbourhood Support Facebook page.

On other Neighbourhood Support matters, if you are a holiday maker returning here for summer, always be wary of possible break-ins whilst you were away.

Alert police, take photos of damage, and try to preserve any evidence, should you be unfortunate.

Mobile Emergency Alert notification.
Mobile Emergency Alert notification.

Property news

Several houses have sold recently, with a couple still on the market. Yet another new place is going up on Strathnaver Drive, and a small bach on James Street. While Waikawa Beach itself is pretty much full up, there are questions about where new residences might be built. The Horowhenua District Council says:

In the year ending June 2017, Horowhenua’s population grew by 1.8% — that’s an additional 600 people. Last year, for the year ending June 2016 we grew by 1.6%. “Compare those figures with our ten year average 2007-2016 which was 0.4% growth and you start to get an understanding of the acceleration that has occurred,” says Mr Lewis.

Meanwhile, QV tells us that average Residential House Values in Horowhenua have increased by more than 20% in the past year.

Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group

A few weeks ago Margaret & Kevin Burns and Miraz Jordan visited the Waitohu Stream and Dune Care Group in Ōtaki. Members of the group were very welcoming and happily showed us around what they’ve been working on for years. They’ve weeded, planted, and conserved the dunes around the mouth of the Waitohu Stream, making impressive progress. They were keen to share their techniques and resources to help us do something similar here. The Coastal Restoration Trust of NZ website has many useful brochures too. If you’re interested in this kind of restoration work, please contact the Committee.

HDC Long-Term Plan

The Horowhenua District Council are starting work on their next, 20 year, Long-Term Plan. Read about a pre-consultation meeting the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association attended recently at: Will the Waikawa Beach population grow in the next 20 years? The Council’s plan will affect us all. Take a look at their information as it comes available and make your views known: to the Council and to us, your Association, so we can represent the views of our community.

Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway

Our neighbours at Manakau are particularly agitated that consultation on the Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway was stalled by the change of government, and fair enough too, given its impact on their community. Now the NZ Transport Agency has announced the second round of public engagement for the Ōtaki to north of Levin (Ō2NL) project will begin in February 2018.

Vehicle speeds on the beach

The Association submitted to a Council hearing about vehicle speeds on the beach. Read about that at: Beach speed submission 2017, Part Two.

On 27 November 2017 the Council voted to immediately change the maximum speed for vehicles on all of Horowhenua’s beaches to 30 Kph. In an email, Roading Operations Team Leader • Kaihautū Rangapū Mahi Arawaka Jenny Braithwaite advised:

As I consulted with you in regards to a proposed change to the beach speed limit to 60km/h for all beach areas in the Horowhenua district. I would like to advise that Council adopted their new Land Transport Bylaw 2017 on Monday 27th November with the following amendment: — the inclusion of a beach speed limit of 30 Kilometres per hour for all the beach areas in the Horowhenua district effective from the 27th November 2017.

Let’s hope that the few drivers who regard the beach as a racetrack take notice of this and slow down. The Council are expecting to install speed signs at all the beach accessways before Christmas.

Let’s also hope the speed signs last longer than other new signs about dumping rubbish and fire hazard that were installed recently at the vehicle entrance and disappeared within a few weeks.

Quick updates

Your committee has been busy. We:

  • are working with the Horowhenua District Council to make sure the toilet block is structurally safe and suitable for continued use.
  • started to investigate what can be done about water quality at the footbridge. We need to build relationships with other interested parties such as Forest and Bird, Federated Farmers and others, and look into how we can gather hard data to base future actions on. If you know of anyone with suitable expertise, please let us know. Also tell us if you’d like to be involved.
  • created and implemented a Privacy Policy to protect any data we may hold about you, such as email address, home address, etc.
  • trimmed and tidied the shrubs and trees around the entrance to the village.

Waikawa the way they want it

A Horowhenua Chronicle article from 04 October 1980 talks about how the 46 permanent residents like their peace and quiet. This find, contributed by Lesley-Anne Walker, is a gem. Read it at Waikawa the way they want it.

Committee meetings in 2018

In 2018 your Committee will meet at Easter, Queen’s Birthday and LabourWeekend. The AGM will be just after Christmas, as usual. Interested in nominating someone for the committee? Check the information on our website then email wbra.committee@gmail.com .

Comments

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.

Stay up to date by email

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.

Online noticeboard

Remember, our online noticeboard is available for all to use, along with the actual noticeboards by the footbridge.

Stay cool,
Miraz Jordan