Tonkin and Taylor River Mouth Report — update

Late last year Tonkin and Taylor came to Waikawa Beach to look at our river mouth and nearby coast. See Coastal study planned for late 2018. The other day we received an update on that report. It seems their findings should be available in the next few weeks:

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Our disappearing wetlands

We have quite a few wet areas around Waikawa Beach, with the notorious flood-prone paddocks along Waikawa Beach Road, the two lakes at the end of Strathnaver Drive, and others. Other notable nearby areas are the spontaneous lake on Strathnaver Drive, the lake on the property at the south end of Reay Mackay Grove, and lakes Huritini and Waiorongomai, along with the many streams through our rural properties.

Wetlands act as purifiers for polluted water, absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and provide a home to threatened birds. They also support frogs and insects, and of course, replenish our aquifer.

Many locals cherish our abundant birdlife, with black swans, ducks, Canada geese, Royal Spoonbills, pied stilts, oystercatchers, white-faced herons, shags, pukeko and many others.

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Horowhenua beaches have road rules

Horowhenua drivers are being urged to be more thoughtful about taking their vehicles on the beach.

Dangerous driving on Horowhenua’s beaches will not be tolerated and people need to remember road rules apply, police say.

All beaches with public vehicle access are considered public roads, which means the road rules still apply, even if there is no signage.

In Horowhenua, driving is allowed on the whole coastline, with a 30km/h speed limit for all areas. …

A report by the Coastal Restoration Trust says there is “clear and irrefutable evidence from New Zealand and overseas experience that the use of vehicles on beaches can cause adverse environmental and social effects”.

The report stated that many of the activities vehicle owners access beaches for, including fishing, boat launching, recreation and sightseeing, might be benign on their own, but that they contribute to a cumulative negative effect on the environment.

Source: Police remind Horowhenua drivers the beach has road rules – NZ Herald.

Boat launch at Waikawa Beach.
Boat launch at Waikawa Beach.

The Recollections and Memoirs of Gary Drake, Waikawa, 1875–2018

The Drake Farming Years at Waikawa

In 2018 Gary Drake, from his front porch, looks directly across to part of the 3,000 acres that his grandfather, Arthur Drake farmed. Along with Thomas Bevan, another farmer in the district, they were the early settlers and run-holders that worked the land over 143 years up until the present day. They were the first large European-run farms in the wider Manakau/Waikawa district.

In 1875 Arthur and Thomas Drake settled in the area — Thomas at Ohau and Arthur in Waikawa. Arthur took up 3,000 acres of land. In 1881 a meeting was held in Otaki to consider the establishment of a small farmers’ association in the district. Some 5,000 acres was in the proposal. Some farming statistics printed in the Onslow Historian Journal, Vol. 3 (pp. 90-92) revealed the following numbers of sheep owned by people living in Waikawa:

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