Ōtaki to north of Levin 4 lane expressway consultation

NZ Transport Agency are starting on developing a new a 4 lane expressway between Peka Peka and north of Levin. As this will go past Waikawa Beach, it’s something we need to keep an eye on.

NZ Transport Agency are starting on developing a new a 4 lane expressway between Peka Peka and north of Levin. As this will go past Waikawa Beach, it’s something we need to keep an eye on. Ōtaki to north of Levin engagement to commence:

We will be looking at how best to connect to the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway in the south, all the way up to the Manawatū River. It’s really important to stress that there is no preferred option for this route currently.

“We need to check that what you’ve previously told us is still relevant, to find out if there is anything new we need to know about, what the key issues are for the community, and how the project can support community aspirations,” says Mr I’Anson.

Previously contacted landowners will be contacted in May 2017 with an update on the project. We will be engaging closely with key stakeholders and community groups, as well as carrying out community consultation events in June 2017, where Transport Agency staff will be available to talk to people and hear their thoughts. People will be encouraged to contribute their ideas at those events, as well as through written submissions, and online options. Details of the events will be advertised widely.

Maybe a new road will help prevent accidents like this recent smash at Forest Lakes.
Maybe a new road will help prevent accidents like this recent smash at Forest Lakes.

There are full details on the project page, where you can also subscribe to updates.

Check the Consultation page for details of where and when you can offer your opinions (June 2017).

The river runs red

In the summer of 2016–2017 the river by the footbridge often had elevated levels of dangerous E. coli.

Waikawa Beach is a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, fishing and puddling about in the water. Each summer the water is tested weekly at various spots around the country, including at and near Waikawa Beach.

Water monitoring spots at or near Waikawa Beach.
Water monitoring spots at or near Waikawa Beach. Source: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/swimming

Land Air Water Aotearoa say:

Summer season monitoring: Many councils monitor popular recreational sites weekly over the summer months. This lets swimmers know what the most recent bacteria (E. coli) levels were. Remember, even for sites where the monitoring has shown an acceptable to swim test result, some conditions can make them unsuitable to swim in from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming after heavy rainfall for 48 hours.

Note: The quality of water for swimming is determined by measuring ‘faecal indicator bacteria’ (enterococci in coastal waters and E. coli in rivers and lakes) which indicate the levels of disease causing organisms in the water.

See Factsheet: Coastal and freshwater recreation monitoring for details of the numbers and risk levels.

An E. coli count below around 260 or an enterococci count below around 200 is acceptable. Above that moves to Alert or Unacceptable. Acceptable counts have been marked in bold and green in the table below.

Water quality at the footbridge, summer 2016-2017.
Water quality at the footbridge, summer 2016-2017.

In the table below, columns are for Waikawa at North Manakau Road (E. coli), Waikawa Estuary at Footbridge (E. coli), and Tasman Sea at Waikawa Beach (enterococci). There’s no rainfall or river flow data in the table, but personal observation is that this summer was exceptionally rainy.

Notice how the water up the road at North Manakau Road is very often green, or acceptable, while some 7 to 10 Km downstream here by the footbridge it’s very often not green. In the sea though seems to be mainly OK.

Sample Date N. Manakau Footbridge Beach
02/11/2016 550 12
09/11/2016 250 96
16/11/2016 2500 24
23/11/2016 900 4
30/11/2016 440 180 24
07/12/2016 25 300 88
12/12/2016 30 260 4
20/12/2016 80 940 60
29/12/2016 25 3300 8
05/01/2017 21 190 120
10/01/2017 150 330 16
17/01/2017 16 190 28
25/01/2017 38 170 300
31/01/2017 81 200 28
08/02/2017 16 560 52
14/02/2017 53 230 56
21/02/2017 75 180 4
28/02/2017 70 220 12
07/03/2017 68 330 60
14/03/2017 48 360 28
21/03/2017 1000 290 4
28/03/2017 63 130 20
04/04/2017 900 2500 420
11/04/2017 34 1300 4
19/04/2017 30 340 4
27/04/2017 92 52 4

Blue water by the footbridge.
Blue water by the footbridge.

After rain and at high tide the river's muddy.
After rain and at high tide the river’s muddy.

More detailed research on all of this and on ways to clean up our swimming water would be an excellent thing.

We’re in the dark, and that’s a good thing

Step outside on any dark clear night and look up and south. You should be able to see the Clouds of Magellan, two galaxies that orbit our Milky Way galaxy.

Magellanic Clouds.
Magellanic Clouds. Photo by European Southern Observatory (ESO).

These and all the other stars we can see from Waikawa Beach are a treasure not available to many people on this planet. For a start, the Clouds of Magellan are only visible from the southern hemisphere. But the bad news is that light pollution, even in a small city like Wellington, makes them invisible to many people who think to look up at night.

We’re very lucky here that our skies are mainly fairly dark, so we can see many stars that others have lost sight of.

Recently NASA released night sky images of the Earth from space. Waikawa Beach comes out really well for having a dark sky. You can see the lights of Waikanae and Paraparaumu, Levin, even Otaki and Otaki Beach in the screenshot below, but around here it’s good and dark.

Waikawa Beach is in the dark.
Waikawa Beach is in the dark.

Compare that with Sydney for example, and all along that eastern coast in Australia.

East coast Australia night lights.
East coast Australia night lights.

Bright skies, like those in Sydney or Levin, mean we can’t see so many stars, we’re likely to suffer sleep disturbances, and animals and insects are very badly affected. In some parts of the world people can’t see the stars at all.

Dark skies, like those at Waikawa Beach, mean lots of stars and a healthier environment for all of us.

A dark sky is yet another of the taonga we enjoy at Waikawa Beach.

What can we do to help keep our skies healthily dark? It’s easy:

  • Avoid having outside lights on at night unless they’re needed.
  • Keep outside lights pointed downwards — there’s no point burning up money lighting up the sky.
  • Avoid using lights that are brighter than they need to be.

Photo Of Clouds Of Magellan By ESO/S. Brunier (ESO) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Of buses and boats

We see interesting things at Waikawa Beach.

Kevin Burns sent in a couple of photos and said:

Here are a couple of pics I took recently that show the changing face of Waikawa usage. Families and their leisure activities.

Get your boating in.
Get your boating in.
Hutt Park Racing.
Hutt Park Racing.

March 2017 newsletter



March has proved to be a very pleasant reward for battling through what was the most ‘bummer summer’ that we experienced in the Horowhenua region. Unfortunately because of the weather, some of the summer family fun days were cancelled. However, the traditional boat day did take place, albeit with lower entries owing to a date change. A sausage sizzle was also held and all who attended had a great time.

Golf events were able to take place and we thank Ngaire Hunter, John Hewitson and Frank Averes for their reports.

18 Hole Golf

There was a little confusion with the start time for this event. However, the day was a good one for golf and those who participated enjoyed the playing conditions. From feedback, it may be that the date for this fixture would be better placed closer to the Christmas/New Year break. (Something for the committee to consider for the next event.)

Overall winner was Trish McKendry

Barry Smith won the men’s section

Second in the men’s group was Ash Roper and third David Hare.

Women’s Section winner was Trish McKendry

Second was Ngaire Hunter and Cecily Archer third

Men’s Longest Drive: Tony McKendry

Women’s Longest Drive: Cecily Archer

Nearest Pin for Men: David Hare

Nearest Pin for Women: Trish McKendry

The players returned to 4 Cathryn Street where a very pleasant refreshment break was taken and prizes presented. Thanks to the Brown Family for setting up chairs, etc.

Ambrose Golf

Two teams shot 35 gross, so a chip-off was played to determine the winning team. The 8 players concerned hit a ball from the “19th” (clubhouse BBQ area), onto the 18th green with Ken Archer securing the best shot for his team.

1st: Ken Archer, Ngaire Hunter, Joe Thomsen and Joe Sione. (35)

2nd:  Cameron Walker, Brooke, Quintin Houpapa and Brendon Beirne. (35)

3rd: John Brown, Isaac Smith, Tricia and Tony McKendry (36)

It is very interesting reading the names of past winners. Both Ken and Ngaire added their names for the first time after being regular participants. The shield kindly carved and donated by Jack Veltman is now full after 18 years.

Other Individual Winners were:

Cecily Archer: Women’s Longest Drive

Cecily Archer: Women’s Tee Shot Closest to the Pin

Barry Smith: Men’s Longest Drive

Joe Thomsen: Men’s Tee Shot Closest to the Pin

Ngaire Hunter: Longest Putt

Winners (L to R): Joe Sione, Ken Archer and Joe Thomsen with Ngaire Hunter in front holding the coveted trophy.
Winners (L to R): Joe Sione, Ken Archer and Joe Thomsen with Ngaire Hunter in front holding the coveted trophy.

Ngaire Hunter

Hi to all Newsletter Readers from your new Secretary — Kevin Burns

I was nominated Secretary of the Association at the AGM taking over from John Brown. John has, for many years, served us (like many other fine committee members) in an outstanding manner and this has been very much appreciated. John is remaining on as a committee member.

After having a lot of on-going connections with the Waikawa Beach community over many years, it is a challenge for me now to try out a ‘secretary-ship’. I intend to fulfil the role to the best of my ability, along with other committee members.

I (with my wife, Margaret) moved permanently to Waikawa Beach in December 2015 having owned our property for over 40 years. We had our new home built by April 2016 and have been residing in what we consider to be a pretty special area. We have learned a lot in our year here. We have much to give and we hope you will join with us to enhance our special ‘Place in the Sun’.

Please contribute whenever and whatever if you would like to promote and expound the virtues and joy of living/holidaying in the lower reaches of Horowhenua.

Changes have already been made within the local area as they affect the community. Check the Waikawa website for day-to-day happenings. There are interesting plans ahead, so as I say to my grandchildren in the backseat — ‘buckle up and enjoy the ride’.

Records are currently being updated, so please advise any changes of email, phone, address, etc. Further information and a list of contacts for any changes is listed below.

Kevin Burns



Please advise any change of email, phone, address, etc. (wbra.committee@gmail.com)

Indicate whether you wish to be involved with Neighbourhood Support Groups (NSG)

Likewise, a Civil Defence network is being established (the need highlighted by the recent earthquakes)

Currently reformatting the Waikawa Beach website with new and interesting articles — check this out. I would like to thank Miraz Jordan for her contribution to the development of the website : waikawabeach.org.nz

Intending to produce a small handout for new residents to inform them of relevant Waikawa Beach information.

WBRA Secretary (Kevin Burns) and WBRA Chairman (John Hewitson) — both contactable through wbra.committee@gmail.com

Annual subscriptions of $25.00 for 2017.

Please send cheque to: E White, PO Box 30309, Lower Hutt 5040.

Internet banking A/c No. is 03 0667 0268929 000 – include name and beach address.

Newsletters and notices are sent to members by email. If properties have multiple owners, please advise all email addresses to receive communications.

The first meeting of the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Committee for 2017 is being held on Easter Sunday, 16th April 2017, at 10 a.m. If you have any issues you would like raised at this meeting, please advise the WBRA Committee (wbra.committee@gmail.com) before the day.

Beware potentially poisonous shellfish

Watch out for potentially poisonous shellfish — up at Hokio Beach there are warnings against eating some dead shellfish that have washed ashore.

Thousands of dead shellfish wash up at Horowhenua beaches [17 March 2017] says:

Thousands of potentially poisonous shellfish have washed up at two Horowhenua beaches.

The MidCentral District Health Board has warned people not to collect or eat shellfish from the west coast’s Waitarere and Hokio beaches, near Levin, after thousands of dead and dying shellfish washed up there.

In a statement, MidCentral medical health officer Dr Rob Weir said the alert covered the area between Waitarere Beach in the north and Hokio Beach in the south.

People were also told not to eat any shellfish that washed up on the beach just outside of these areas, Weir said.

Hokio Beach isn’t that far away, so take care if you’re collecting shellfish at Waikawa Beach.

Shell mania. Photo submitted by Kevin Burns.
Shell mania. Photo submitted by Kevin Burns.