Chipsealing 02 and 03 February 2021 at SH1 intersection

From Fulton Hogan:

Chipsealing of the Manakau Straight will take place Tuesday and Wednesday nights 2-3 February plus another day of speed restrictions, sweeping and roadmarking.

Thank you in advance for your patience while the work is underway and the road is under a temporary speed restriction.

Nga mihi

Lynsey Morgan, Fulton Hogan Regional Office

Chipsealing map.

How spinifex protects Waikawa Beach

Did you know that native Spinifex and Pīngao grasses help hold sand and build the dunes, while Marram Grass was planted by Europeans because cows would eat it? In times gone by, before we had a robust roading system, cows (and other stock) were often driven along the beaches. See Spanking down the level beach, in a horse-drawn coach.

In recent years Horowhenua District Council have provided thousands of spinifex for local volunteers to plant at Waikawa Beach.

The 13 minute Radio NZ Our Changing World episode, Growing dune plants a challenging passion, is really interesting. Each year, horticulturist Jo Bonner and the team at Coastlands Plants in Whakatāne grow 200,000 spinifex plants and 100,000 pingao plants. And they are probably the source for our spinifex.

Spinifex seed head.
Spinifex seed head.

The most important thing about the foredune plants is their ability to fix the dunes after a large storm event,” says Jo.

The key, in the case of spinifex, is long vigorous runners which grow towards the sea and quickly cover foredunes ravaged by storm swells. The hairy plants then trap wind-blown sand which rebuilds a gentle dune. …

One issue facing spinifex and pingao has been a decline in seed fertility.

“We used to get 50-80 seeds from each spinifex seed head,” says Jo, referring to the iconic spiky spinifex seed head that you see rolling down the beach on a sunny day. “Nowadays it can be as little as 15 seeds per head.” …

She also says that it’s important not to walk or drive over sand dune plants, as it’s very easy to damage them. And destroying the plants damages precious sand dunes which are playing an increasingly important role in protecting our coasts from the impact of sea level rise.

House prices up; available properties down

There haven’t been many properties for sale around here for a while now, and those that have come up seem to have mainly sold pretty quickly and at robust prices. That observation is confirmed by an article in the Horowhenua Chronicle:

Median house sale prices in [Horowhenua] have hit the half a million dollar mark for the first time ever, on the back of a nationwide property price explosion.

More properties were selling more quickly and for huge prices, with real estate bosses citing a lack of housing stock as a significant factor — the market simply can’t meet the demand. …

Norwell said the Horowhenua District reached a record median house price in December 2020 of $525,000, a figure that was up 36.4 per cent from the same time last year where the median sale price was $385,000.

“Sales volumes for the district also increased 61.9 per cent year-on-year from 42 properties sold in December 2019 to 68 properties sold in December 2020,” she said.

Homes were not sitting on the shelf for long. The time it took to sell a property in Horowhenua decreased from 31 days in December 2019 to 24 days in December 2020.

Source: Horowhenua Chronicle, 29 January 2021, Page 31.

Kohi-tātea (January) 2021 WBRA Newsletter

Kia ora e te whānau,
This summer has been marked by cooler, greyer weather, and wind, and bits of rain and even the occasional thunderstorm. The threat of rain moved our AGM at the very last moment from Hank Edwards Reserve to the Manakau Hall. That caught out quite a few people and the Committee has resolved to look into getting a marquee for future AGMs.

There have been a few hot sunny days too, to keep the spirits up, and to bake those caught up in traffic queues caused by two major incidents that closed the road near Ōhau, one for about 5 hours.

And then we’ve had well-patronised summer activities: Sports Day, Boat Day and Sand Sculpture Day.

  1. Summer Activities
  2. Transport Trials
  3. Trees
  4. Recycling Station
  5. Local News
  6. WBRA Subscriptions
  7. SH1 Intersection

Continue reading “Kohi-tātea (January) 2021 WBRA Newsletter”

Sand Sculpture Day 25 January 2021

There was a great turnout for the Sand Sculpture event on Anniversary Day 2021. (17 photos) There were contributions from many, ranging from little kids making their own sandcastles to small groups and family groups creating elaborate sculptures. Even the Corona Virus made an appearance (but safely, thank goodness 😎). It was fun for all!

Te Waka o Maui prizewinners.
Te Waka o Maui prizewinners.

Continue reading “Sand Sculpture Day 25 January 2021”