HDC letter about beach access, 24 May 2024

Tall wooden fence with gate.
The new fence at the beach end of Manga Pirau Street.

Horowhenua District Council have sent out a letter about the beach access:

23 May 2024

Tēnā koe

Earlier this year, Council actively sought your input on three options for vehicle access at Waikawa Beach. However, during the submission hearings, new information emerged that add to the complexity of the issue.

Initially, Options 1 and 2 relied on the goodwill of private land owners by accessing the beach through their land at the end of Manga Pirau Street. However, this is no longer an option and marks a significant change for the community, given the landowners' longstanding generosity in allowing public access for 35 years.

Throughout our decision-making process, we have placed a strong emphasis on maintaining social cohesion within the Waikawa Beach community. We understand that changes can be challenging, and we are committed to restoring and preserving the harmony and unity of our community as we move forward.

After carefully reviewing all submissions and realising that Options 1 and 2 are no longer feasible, Councillors decided to hit pause on the current plan. Our Chief Executive will now conduct a comprehensive review and come up with new access options, which will be detailed in a new report to Council.

In the coming months, we’ll be actively seeking ideas and proposals from local residents. If you have land that could be suitable for vehicle access, we encourage you to come forward with your suggestions. Your input will be invaluable in finding a viable path forward. Council recognises the importance of collaborative problem-solving and is committed to working closely with you to identify innovative solutions that align with the needs and values of Waikawa Beach residents. However, please only provide options that you have the authority to offer.

In the meantime, we have taken measures to address unauthorised vehicle access. A fence was installed on Council-owned land to prevent further damage to pedestrian walkways caused by unauthorized 4x4 vehicles. Additionally, a fence was erected along the boundary line at the former vehicle access point on Manga Pirau Street to protect the landowner’s private property. While we had mentioned these in some meetings we have had with community groups, we apologise for not communicating these actions earlier to the wider community. We can and will certainly improve our communications with Waikawa about this topic in the future.

We are also looking at the Council land on Manga Pirau Street and what work might need to be done to enable safer pedestrian access to the beach via this land.

We understand that these changes and the ongoing process may cause some uncertainty and concern. Please know that we are here to listen and work with you every step of the way. Together, we can ensure that the decisions we make benefit the entire Waikawa Beach community.

Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation.

Nāku noa, nā
Lacey Winiata
Parks and Property Manager Horowhenua District Council

Some fencing and bollards.
Some of the fencing and bollards protecting the pedestrian track at 60 Reay Mackay Grove.
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