Vehicle and horse access to Waikawa Beach, update November 2022

Council Actions Monitoring Report item.

Vehicle and horse access to Waikawa Beach, update November 2022

In November 2021 Horowhenua District Council received a petition about access for vehicles and horses to Waikawa Beach. See 2021 Petition on vehicle and horse access to Waikawa Beach for details.

At the time the Council decided to call for a report on options. Now, a year later, this item was briefly reported back to the Council Meeting - 23 November 2022 — that’s a video. The item of interest to us begins at approx 1 hour 18 minutes from the start and finishes at approx 1 hour 23 minutes (5 minutes later).

The Agenda item

See pages 97 & 98 and 170 of the Horowhenua District Council Agenda PDF, 10.1 MB.

Pp 97&98:

Waikawa Beach, Beach Access

Current vehicle access to Waikawa Beach is via a private property and the beach side access ramp is often ‘washed-out’ following stormy conditions and high tides. This project will consider whether there is an opportunity to establish a formed access across Council land whilst retaining the ongoing environmental improvements that have been made to the beach through Council’s beach resiliency program (Spinifex and Pingao planting).

Officers are currently seeking expressions of interest from qualified consultants to progress public consultation, the development of options, and to commence the process that will be needed to gain resource consent from Horizon’s Regional Council.

Also note P170:

Council Actions Monitoring Report 2022 As at 14 November 2022

Ref: 21/502

Resolution / Action: That the Chief Executive provide a full report on all options in respect of vehicular beach access at Waikawa Beach.

Officer: A Nelson

Due Date: 30/11/2022

Status: In Progress

Officer Comment: The Chief Executive is working with the Parks and Property Manager and Horizons Regional Council to explore options. Engagement with the Waikawa community and Ngati Wehiwehi will occur in advance of the report. An update on this is also provided in the Organisation Performance Report.

Source: Agenda Page 170.

Transcript (approx 5 minutes)

Horowhenua District Council meeting, 23 November 2022 Agenda item: Page 97, 21/502 Horowhenua District Council Council Meeting - 23 November 2022 - YouTube [Lightly edited for clarity]

Cr. Jennings: The first line in the table, which is reference 21 502 with some commentary on page 97 of the agenda, which is the organisational performance report just around the Waikawa Beach access. So in the organisational performance report, my impression was that there is almost focus on one option or one solution there, whereas obviously it was anticipated in terms of that resolution that there would be some further optioneering and that there would be some further discussion around what are the possible options. Can you just provide some commentary on that? And then specifically addressing we’re not going too far down the track in terms of what’s captured in the organisational performance report?

CE: Your recollection is accurate. Officers engaged expertise to help in crafting some options. But there certainly is not a view on one option. And of course, our commitment not just to Ngati Wehiwehi, but also the Waikawa community is we need to work with them, acknowledging that there are varied opinions in that community about what the best outcome might be.

Cr. Proctor: So just to clarify, still more consultation with the local community?

CE: I don’t think we’ve begun the consultation with the community. So, yes, the consultation needs to commence.

Cr. Jennings: Would you envisage that the LTP 2024 would be the framework through which options might be formally consulted because there potentially is some corresponding budget that would be required in order to implement various options?

CE: I would note that there was an amount of money, from memory, $200,000 in this year’s capital program, and I’m not saying that we’re going to spend that because obviously we’re not going to spend it unless there is a solution that this council table has endorsed. I’d also note that the timing needs to be lined up with the Horizons Regional Council. I myself went on a site visit maybe six, eight weeks ago with Horizons Regional Council and some of the community just to hear their concerns and it’s very apparent that we’ve got some work to do to clarify roles and responsibilities with Horizons Regional Council. But to think about how this can be locked in a bit more holistically where it’s not just about beach access but is actually about the coastal management plan and some of the ecological and environmental concerns of that community and how that can be enhanced through a broader project.

Cr. Tukapua: If I may, I’ll provide a very brief background to the new Councillors about how this came on to our Agenda. Currently the Waikawa Beach Public access is across Māori land and it’s a whānau, I think Miratana, from Wehiwehi marae. And it’s been that way for ever basically and they’re happy, they’re fine about it up until recently, last year, where obviously the streams and things like to do their own thing. And then some public went on themselves to change the pathway on land that doesn’t belong to them without asking. And that’s when the whānau got upset. So, then it was get Council involved, find a resolution. But that was corrected and some concrete things were put in place. But I guess long term, it’s about us working with all interested parties about, you know, ongoing access that’s appropriate and safe for all.

The Mayor: Thank you. That’s good background.

A few days later I received an email from Jonathan Procter, Councillor | Mema kaunihera ā-rohe:

As an update the Waikawa vehicle access was briefly discussed at the last meeting and there will be a robust consultation process established that will work together with the community to find the best solution. At the moment work is going on to find a suitable consultant to run the process.

The two pages below show some interesting comparison images showing vegetation building up where the north track off Reay Mackay Grove exits onto the beach, and the erosion around the track across the Miratana land. There is also a clear image of the illegal track across Miratana land that Cr. Tukapua referred to.

See Compare 2016 and 2019 images of the North track area and Compare 2016 and 2019 images of the Miratana track area.

Waikawa News @WaikawaNews