November 2016 Newsletter

WAIKAWA BEACH RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION

NOVEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER

Greetings all

I know it’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter but not a lot has happened over winter.

Orienteering

Please note that on Friday December 16th 2016 there will be an Australian Orienteering Training Camp on the private land across the bridge. This event will involve approximately 30 people and will last most of the day.

Please access the beach from the south for this day so as not to interfere with the training camp. Also please remember that the forest across the bridge is private land and we are very lucky to have access to it during the year.

Whitebaiting

The white baiting season is nearly over. Most people seem to be happy with their catches. The shags and spoonbills are enjoying feasting on the little fish that sneak past the nets.

Rabbits

Rabbits are running around everywhere, especially early evening and early morning. My cat is bringing baby rabbits inside to play with. Horizons will hopefully be dealing with this problem — the road side berms are a dangerous place to walk with little holes everywhere waiting to break your ankles.

When I lived at Paraparaumu Beach we were inundated with rabbits. WRC put down carrots laced with calicivirus through the sand hills. 12 years later, when I left the area, the rabbits numbers still had not come up to anywhere the problem we had before WRC stepped in.

Defibrillator

The defibrillator has been moved to the front of the toilet block at Hank Edwards Reserve. The heat from the sun was damaging the battery so it had to be moved to a shadier place.

The river

The river has changed so much over the last few months. It used to wend it way south but now has cut itself a channel opposite what is left of the walkway/driveway from James St. It also looks really clean so let’s hope it stays that way for the summer season.

Christmas lights

Peter and Wendy are putting their Christmas lights up now and hope to have them ready to go on 5th December. Mind you with this wind they can’t do the roof lights til it calms down a bit.

Spectators at last years boat race.

Spectators at last year’s boat race.

The weather

The weather has been insane lately. When we aren’t dealing with earthquakes and rain we get this typical gusty windy spring weather. The rain and warmer weather means our lawns are growing so fast Peter & Wendy can hardly keep up.

Summer Family Days

Tuesday 27th December AGM 3pm at the Hank Edwards Reserve. In the case of

inclement weather the AGM will be held in John Hewitson’s garage, 4 Cathryn Street

Thursday 29th December BOAT DAY 11am under the bridge Friday 30th December BOAT DAY spare day 12 noon

GET YOUR RAFTS READY FOR THE FAMOUS RAFT RACE

Sunday 1st January SPORTS DAY at Hank Edwards Reserve at 3pm

Monday 2nd January AMBROSE GOLF TOURNAMENT at Levin Golf Club. You can register at AGM or contact Ngaire on 3626 007 or 021 1321 208 Teeing off at 10am so all golfers must be at the club by 9.30 at the latest

Wednesday 4th January 18 HOLE GOLF at Otaki Golf Club. This event will only be held if there are enough entries.

To register please contact John on 3626 926 or at the AGM

Teeing off at 10am so all golfers must be at Otaki Golf Club by 9.30 at latest

Sunday 22nd January SAND SCULPTURE COMPETITION. This is held across the bridge to the left. Judging begins at 3pm

Sunday 23rd January BIG DIG at 3.30 across the bridge to the left

Julie Stichbury

District Neighbourhood Support Inc

Attached to this newsletter is a Form from the newly appointed Neighbourhood District Convenor for this area.

Although we maintain a database of members of our Association including contact phone numbers which is especially useful for weekenders, the newly formed District Neighbourhood Support Inc are keen to compile a database which will include all property owners in the district.

At our AGM to be held on Tuesday 27 December, Deborah will be in attendance and will speak to us on what they want to achieve. She will also receive competed forms. You will see on the form that she is trying to recruit street co-ordinators, can supply information packs and can put you on a list to receive updated information as it comes to hand. You are reminded that there have been a number of break-ins at the beach over the past year.

Also attending this year’s AGM will be Cr Christine Mitchell from Horowhenua District Council.

The following obituary has been supplied by the Walker Family in memory of Irene Walker who passed away last week.

Irene Walker.

Irene Walker.

WAIKAWA’S OLDEST RESIDENT

On 1 August, Waikawa’s oldest resident, IRENE WALKER turned 100 years old and celebrated with a fantastic party at Tatum Park, where the then Mayor, Brendon Duffy, presented her with a letter from the Queen. She didn’t get home till 2am and loved every single minute of it.

Irene and George Walker bought one of the earliest sections to be subdivided off the Drake family farm in the late 50’s and which the family still own.

Those were the days when there was a gravel road from Manakau and farm gates to open and close on the way to the beach. Fresh milk was obtained from Drake’s milking shed which was situated close to the present start of the village and over the years they witnessed many changes at Waikawa Beach.

They retired to live here permanently in 1974 and being keen gardeners successfully grew show chrysanthemums for some years.

George suffered from emphysema and when quad bikes became available they bought one which then allowed them to go down to the beach white baiting which was another of their passions. In usual white baiting fashion, if you asked how many they caught the answer would always be “barely enough for a fritter” — never tell anyone what you actually caught!

Interestingly George never had a driving license so Irene did all the driving. Her family called her the ‘silver streak’ and she kept the license until her 100th birthday, but sensibly eased out of the driver’s seat after that.

Sadly, George died in 1987, but Irene remained at Waikawa developing an interest in art and pottery, being talented in both.

She still rode her quad bike but recently traded up to an automatic bike as she didn’t have the strength to change the gears.

Many people would see her going for her daily walk to keep fit and only these last couple of months did she slow down and needed more little rests which enabled her to stop for a chat.

She attributed her long life to being lucky with health, eating well — cream on her porridge, fat on the meat and getting out as many days as she could for fresh air and a walk.

She will now be walking with George who has been waiting patiently for 29 years.

She was a wonderful, vibrant, interesting woman and will be sadly missed by family and friends.

School bus slid off Waikawa Beach Road near Takapu Road

[07 November 2016] A bus carrying children has crashed on Waikawa Beach Rd | Stuff.co.nz says:

A bus carrying children from Manakau School has crashed near Levin in Horowhenua.

The bus went over a bank at 3.05pm on Monday on Waikawa Beach Rd near Takapu Rd and Ketemaringi Way in Manakau, police said. …

Levin Police sergeant Jeffrey Lyver said there were nine children on the bus, and all had gone home with their parents.

The driver was taken to Palmerston North Hospital for a checkup on a “sore shoulder”.

Bus in a ditch.

Bus in a ditch. Photo from Stuff.

NZTA And The SH1 Junctions

In February 2016 we wrote the following letter to Nathan Guy our local MP.
We are writing to express our Association’s concern at the recently finished section of SH1 through Manakau and the junctions from it to Waikawa Beach Road and Mokena Kohere Street.
Concern was raised after residents first became aware of preliminary plans over 12 months ago. Our questions were dismissed with answers which our community did not accept. It displayed a superior attitude by those employed by MWHGLOBAL, NZTA and O2L.
In September, a meeting was suggested by NZTA to which we were invited. This turned into a public meeting. It was attended by more than 60 residents but achieved nothing as the major work was then complete. We were told to wait until the new sealing and road markings were completed and another meeting could be called if necessary.
Many say the basic design is faulty and does not improve road safety. An original carriageway 5 lanes wide with a reasonable surface has been reformed into a dangerous piece of road. No one envisaged a road reduced to two lanes with a flush median strip interspersed with concrete islands and inadequate or no merge and slip lanes at both junctions. We have been made aware of a couple of potentially serious accidents since the work was completed with traffic using the median strip to overtake turning traffic. Drivers leaving Waikawa Beach road in both directions are intimidated while trying to find a gap to enter the 80 kph traffic flow from zero speed. Parking bays have been created opposite the dairy, when in recent years all parking was prohibited in a similar circumstance south of Otaki after fatal accidents.
The final work is an example of shoddy road resealing which has resulted in excessive amounts of tar splashing onto cars in the hot weather and semi-permanent signs saying the surface is slippery when wet which it frequently is. This is caused by water trucks being used to keep the road cool. This road surface is below standard and we are not fooled by claims of a hot summer – what happens in tropical climates?
A completely satisfactory result could have been achieved in a short time by rejigging the lane markings and not wasting 8 plus month’s crating gardens and unused cycle lanes starting and finishing nowhere.
One of the agencies have said that reducing the speed limit through this area will solve all the problems. This leaves residents perplexed as they have made repeated requests to reduce the speed limits on parts of Waikawa Beach Road and at Waikawa Beach settlement, especially during holiday periods, all of which have been rejected because the rules do not allow it. What rules?
Because of past negative responses from all the transport agencies and the local body, we seek your advice as the local Member of Parliament on where do we go from here as there is a lot of dissatisfaction in our community.
Questions we would like answered are
· Why are there are no merging or slip lanes although there are on at least 21 similar junctions between Fisherman’s Table and Manakau?

· What was the rationale in removing the previous lanes?

· Why was this situation allowed to occur at Manakau?

· Why were the local users of the roads not consulted and listened to at the planning stage?

· Is there any possibility of changes being made such as installing merge and slip lanes, a double yellow line in the median strip, move the 80 kph boundary 100 metres north, move the stop position so that the view is not obstructed by a power pole, change the parking area opposite the shop into a slip lane into Manakau?

On 02 May after two follow ups, we received the following letter from the Minister of Transport.

Thankyou for your letter of 28 February 2016 to Hon Nathan Guy on behalf of the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association regarding your concerns over the recently finished section of State Highway 1 through Manakau and the junctions from it to Waikawa Beach Road and Mokena Kohere Street. Your letter has been referred to me for a reply office as the issue you raise falls within my portfolio responsibilities.

I have read your concerns and requested background information from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). NZTA advised that it has received correspondence and has attended various meetings regarding the work through Manakau outlining the reasoning behind the various changes. The NZTA has confirmed that the responses to these questions have not changed.

The NZTA has told me that, through feedback from the locals, a large number of changes to the design on both Manakau and Ohau were made. These include new signage changes to layout of median islands, parking and roadside gardens, as well as other adjustments to the road and intersection design.

The NZTA also advised me that the road safety auditors investigated the issues in November 2015. Feedback from the independent safety audits was that there were no issues then with the layout and design of the two intersections you mention.

However, due to further concerns being raised, the NZTA is looking to carry out investigations in your area, including:
• investigating the traffic count data from the Waikawa Beach Road (to occur in late April 2016)
• observing occurrences of southbound vehicles queuing to turn right into Waikawa Road (to occur in late April)
• meeting with residents to understand the various issues (to occur in May once the information has been collated).
I believe the other questions you have raised will be taken to the community meeting planned in May 2016, and can be summarized again at that stage.
Yours sincerely
Hon Simon Bridges
Minister of Transport

The Minister’s reply did not answer any of the questions we asked.
The planned meeting to be held in May did not solve anything because it was never held. Contrary to statements contained in his letter, residents of Waikawa Beach were not involved with any preliminary meetings. In fact, we believe that NZTA did not know of any settlement at the beach and only consulted residences at Manakau. The only meeting that we were informed about was held in September 2015 when the work was completed and the senior man, who we believed designed the whole lot, did not front but sent two employees who were restricted in what they said because the press was present.
During May and June we received many letters of support for our concerns and the following was sent to Michael Flyger, Manager at NZTA on 26 June 2016 with copies to the Mayor Brendan Duffy and Councillor Christine Mitchell

In a letter from the Minister of Transport, dated 2 May, he said that a meeting would be held in May with the local community to consider the many concerns we have about the new intersection at Waikawa Beach Road and SH1. He also said that both NZTA and an independent safety audit carried out in November found nothing wrong with the new layout however we are now aware that in the past few weeks modifications have been carried out and one traffic island removed. There are still many questions we want answered. When and where do you propose to hold this promised meeting.
John Brown
Secretary
Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association

In typical fashion nothing was heard back from NZTA or Michael Flyger, not even an acknowledgment of our email.

On 27 July a press release was received from NZTA which included the following:

Safety improvements in Manakau and Ōhau
In 2015 we completed significant safety upgrades on State Highway 1 (SH1) through the townships of Manakau and Ōhau. The performance of these improvements will be further monitored and the results shared with local communities and the Horowhenua District Council.

I have now exhausted my time on this matter although it is interesting to note the vast amount of social media coverage on another failed NZTA experiment – the Smart Motorway into Wellington.