Promptly on the morning of Monday 14 March 2022 Lee Builders began the work of demolishing parts of the toilet block. The men’s block was the first target and work went very quickly. By the end of the afternoon only the pump house was still standing.
Portaloos for public use have been delivered, and the AED Defibrillator was installed outside the safety fence.
The WBRA has been able to keep the iconic wooden signs with sunburst for the archives and a few nearby residents kept a concrete block or two as memorabilia:
A few photos from around 5 pm below. For photos and videos earlier in the day and for the rest of the project visit Waikawa News:
Funnily enough, out of the thousands of photos I’ve taken at Waikawa Beach — sunsets and sunrises, sandy vistas, birds, plants, dunes, Tararuas, fish, insects, lakes, river … — none feature the scuzzy old toilet block at Hank Edwards Reserve.
But that toilet block, built about 50 or 60 years ago is about to be irrevocably changed, so for the Waikawa Beach Archives I visited on 08 March 2022 and took a whole lot of photos, inside and out.
See these as a before. In a few months, Covid delays willing, we’ll be able to compare them with the after.
Warning: a lot of photos follow — beware data use.
The Horowhenua District Council is about to begin the refresh of the Hank Edwards Reserve toilet block and wants the community to know what to expect.
Work should begin from 14 March 2022 and it’s hoped to complete it by 08 July 2022.
Update 10 March 2022: The project costs in the region of $354,000. Note: that averages out to about $7,000 per year for the potential 50 year lifespan of the building.
One really important point though is that Covid-19 could take the project off-track in two ways:
a] Supply chain problems. We’re probably all aware that building supplies and many other goods have been affected by Covid. The contractors have most of the materials they require already in their depot, but a few items are still on order.
b] Staff supply problems. Being able to get the job done requires people to do the work. Covid is affecting some workers connected with the project. As we’re in a Covid surge at the moment both HDC and the contractor have already been affected by having staff away because of Covid. The contractor though is keen to get on with the work without delay and will be making efforts to keep the job moving. [Update 08-Mar-22: the struck out section inaccurately said some HDC staff were affected by Covid. My apologies for the error.]
With peak Omicron nearby this information will likely be useful for all of us:
The COVID-19 Health Hub is a depository of information around what to do if you test positive for, or are exposed to as a close or household contact of COVID-19: https://covid19.health.nz/advice/
The Health Hub outlines the simple steps to take to recover, isolate, look after yourself or access support and provides direct links to COVID-19 resources such as My Covid Record, Book My Vaccine and Ministry of Health and Unite Against Covid websites.
Please share this handy tool amongst the older people in your networks. For those who aren’t able to access the internet, phone support is available:
Healthline 0800 358 5453
Welfare line 0800 512 337.
In fact, just share it with everyone, not just older folks. Maybe print a copy and put it on your fridge. We all hope none of us will need this info, but if we do, we won’t want to be searching it out.
The contract for the toilet upgrade has been awarded and Lee Builders from Palmerston North will start with the rehabilitation work by mid – end March.
The construction will start with the demolition of the male toilet block which means from mid- March 2022 onwards the toilets as such will no longer be accessible for the public. However, as discussed and agreed I have allowed for the provision of two portable toilets for the time being.
the current material shortage has an impact on this development (later start) and will most likely have also it’s impact in later stage. However for now we can’t say how big the impact will be
It’ll be a relief once this work is complete and locals and visitors alike can benefit from a clean, modern, well-lit, safe and accessible public toilet.