Bike stands at footbridge

More and more people are out on bikes enjoying Waikawa Beach these days, but back in April a bike was stolen from the footbridge. There’s not really any good place to leave or lock a bike while enjoying the river and other features of our area. See Bright green mountain bike missing from footbridge, Easter 2021.

Pile of bikes at the footbridge.
It’s hard to lock bikes to these wooden rails, or even to leave them carefully ‘parked’. In this photo, only one bike was actually locked.

After bike stands were requested, Carolyn Copeland, Horowhenua District Council Roading Projects Team Leader, emailed this info:

We are looking at placing two bike racks near the location shown below

I have also included a picture of what they look like

This will give the ability to park up to 10 bikes

I hope to have them in before Christmas, however this will depend on when the supplier is able to deliver

Another bike rack will be installed near the public toilets

Stephan is working this in with his improvement works to the toilet block

Bike rack approximate location.
Bike rack style.
Photo of location, with car parked in area where bike rack would be.

And in a follow-up:

The plan was to remove the piece of timber you see in the photo

It will be replaced with a new separator strip to the right which would be on the right of the utes tyres that you can see

The rack will be approx. 2m to the right of the power pole

The bikes would then be located closer to the grey ute position

Therefore the back wheels of the bikes would be to the right or in line with the power pole

This should be out of the way of any access needs

I intend to be on site of the day of install to ensure the correct placement

We appreciate the consultation on location for the bike stands, and that Horowhenua District Council are willing to provide bike stands to our community.

It’ll be great to offer parking for 10 people where previously one car (only 1 to 5 occupants) would be. It’s also good to know folks will be able to easily lock their bikes to the stands too.

Once we know more about the bike stand to be placed in Hank Edwards Reserve we’ll let you know. That one may come with the toilet block update, due to start in about February 2022.

Firefighting Water Tank at Hank Edwards Reserve

A couple of months ago a 30,000 litre Firefighting Water Tank appeared at Hank Edwards Reserve. See The water tank at Hank Edwards Reserve.

Firefighting water tank at Hank Edwards Reserve.

When outside consultants contracted by Horowhenua District Council considered the Resource Consent for the tank they held the opinion that no-one would be affected by placing it in that position and so there was no need to consult anyone. See the note below about the Resource Consent process.

Turns out they were very wrong. As you can see from the photo above its placement has caused a very ugly block on a previously pleasant view from houses opposite.

Moreover it’s a safety risk, as kids (or adults or dogs) are liable to bike or run at speed from Hank Edwards Reserve and the tank creates a blind spot for both drivers and those walking or cycling near the toilet block.

The August 1994 WBRA newsletter has information about Hank Edwards Reserve when it was set up. One key principle was:

As the trees grow they will be crown topped. That is the lower branches will be progressively removed, thereby retaining the vistas [view] of the beach and river.

Screenshot from newsletter.

After several meetings between folks from Horowhenua District Council, affected neighbours and members of the WBRA Committee, Council have agreed to relocate the tank close to the spot where you see the vehicle in the photo. In that location the trees will provide some screening, the vista will be retained, but the Fire Service requirements for the tank to be very visible and accessible will be met.

Council have also agreed to cover the roughly $5,000 cost of the relocation (the tank has to be drained, shift and refilled). That is appropriate as they should have consulted the community before placing it where the photo shows it.

This whole thing has highlighted a problem in the Resource Consenting process. The external consultants decided there would be no need to consult those whose properties are nearby. Those neighbours were in fact affected by the tank’s location and there were safety implications for the community at large.

This may be something to comment on to the Horowhenua District Council as such decisions can affect any of us. In our view it should be a default to consult the community before any major action is taken.

CouncilMARK™ reports Horowhenua District Council is doing OK

Local Government New Zealand’s CouncilMARK™ programme is giving Horowhenua District Council’s performance a tick of approval in its second independent assessment.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says Horowhenua ratepayers can be pleased with their council’s efforts and trajectory.

“Horowhenua District Council has displayed competence, maturity and improvement over a three-year period, and is operating at a level where their ratepayers are receiving good value for money.

“Since their first CouncilMARK™ assessment in 2016, the Council has particularly improved in the areas of financial management, infrastructure strategy, and community engagement,” he says.

Horowhenua District is in a period of rapid population growth and infrastructure development which is unlikely to slow in the short to medium term. The Council has faced challenges including an accelerated infrastructure programme, increasing housing demand, and a need to diversify revenue sources. …

The Council underwent the first independent CouncilMARK™ assessment in 2016 and was awarded a “B”. In this year’s assessment, which was conducted in March, the Council has received an improved “BB” grade. …

Horowhenua District Council serves a population of 36,100 and is responsible for 583km of road and 853km of water pipes.

Source: Horowhenua on the rise with second CouncilMARK™ report – Horowhenua District Council.

Council services during Level 3, September 2021

Now we’re at Level 3 there are a couple of things to know about Horowhenua District Council services:

  • All kerbside rubbish collections will continue.
  • Kerbside recycling collection services have resumed. Collections continue to follow the normal schedule. [Waikawa Beach next collection date is 13 September 2021.]
  • Parks and reserves remain open, but playgrounds, sports grounds and most public toilets are closed.
  • Mowing and general maintenance have resumed. Litter bins will continue to be emptied.
  • Although our physical libraries are closed, we have a world of e-books, e-audio books, and fascinating databases for you to discover with Your Library online.
  • Routine road maintenance and roading projects have resumed.

For more detail and more service info check: Council services during COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Horowhenua District Council:

Although our customer service centres are closed to walk-ins, our fantastic Customer Experience team are continuing to work remotely.

You can contact us by email at enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz or by phone on 06 366 0999. We also have lots of services and information here on our website.