NZTA

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.

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RENT or PURCHASE

To the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association,

I grew up in Levin. Myself & partner are wanting to rent in Waikawa Beach with a view to possibly purchasing. We are relocating from Sydney to be closer to my elderly mother in late July this year (2016). We’re both professionals (IT & Health) and owner our house here in Sydney’s Inner West. We can provide excellent character references.

Would it be possible to post on the website or include a small notice in your community newsletter about a required house rental for 6 to 12 months as of July 2016?

We are currently contacting local real estate agents, browsing Trade Me & Rentables websites. From this exercise I’m acutely aware that rental properties very rarely become available at Waikawa.

Regards – Donna

Clientcomm-logo
m 0439 27 97 35
e donna@clientcomm.com.au

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A VISITOR FROM AFAR

About 2 weeks ago, three old fishermen hauled in their lines at Waikawa Beach and found a buoy attached. The buoy was heavily encrusted with marine growth. They took it home to show their grandchildren, friends and dogs but nobody had any idea what it was or where it came from. It was a talking point at the Waikawa Beach Book Club. Some said it probably came from a trawler, some said from space, some wanted to open it up and see what was inside.
Today the owner of the property where the buoy was left, received a note from the Met Service saying that they believed there was a buoy on the property as it was still transmitting it position. It was a one of a number that had been released from near French Antarctic south of South Africa about 2 years ago.
The buoy will be delivered to Met Service tomorrow who plan to release it into Cook Strait so it can continue its eastward drift.20160220_165446_resized

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VALE – BILL CARPENTER

Bill-CarpinterIt is with regret and great sadness that we report WILLIAM BLAIR (BILL) CARPENTER passed away suddenly early this morning at Tent City, Waikawa.
Bill has been coming to Waikawa as a weekender for the past 40 years. He is well remembered as the commentator at our Boat Day and Fun Sports Day.

Our deepest sympathy to Sherene, Oliver and Abby.

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A MOBILE PHONE APP FOR BEACH RESIDENTS

Mobile Alert – Instructions for Access and Use

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HOLIDAY FUN

Some photos from the Sand sculpture competition
Here are the categories and results for Sand Sculpture day
Joint Effort Open
1st. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
2nd. WAIKAWA PA
3rd. TOMB AND THE FOOTSTEPS

Most Original Joint Effort
1ST. DIAMOND DOGS
2nd. RABBITS REVENGE
3rd. LOST KINGDOM

Solo Effort
1st. CRABBY CAT
2nd. WAIKAWA ZOMBIE
3rd. SAND GARDEN


At the “Rotocross”in Emma Drive.
Barry-Smith-&-neville-Hyde-watching-proceedings

Neville-Hyde-&-Barry-Smith

At the Bowling Club
John& Helen Hewitson.

Ngaire-Hunter

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PROPERTY BREAK INS

On Monday 18 January two young males were observed in the Waikawa car park scrutinizing at depth the notice board. When approached they headed off at great speed up Waikawa Beach Road in separate cars.

Details of the cars were: –
Red Holden Commodore Estate which appeared to have been lowered for street racing.
Silver Honda CSX. One of the drivers had a buzz cut.

In the past few weeks there have been a number of house break-ins reported. If you see anyone acting suspiciously such as driving slowly down the street, stopping to look inside open garages or strangers entering property which is obviously vacant, politely ask if they are looking for someone or can you help them. If you are uncomfortable about approaching anyone, obtain a description of the person and the car especially the registration number and pass this information to the Levin Police.

We, the residents of Waikawa Beach, are the best security for the area. If we all keep our eyes open, word will go out to the criminal fraternity that Waikawa Beach is full of old nosy parkers who are good at looking after other people’s business and property. Because of this these criminals will realise it is not worth the effort as they will be probably caught before they leave Waikawa Beach Road.

You are also encouraged to get to know your neighbours. The Association also has a database of contact numbers for members so that they can be contacted for information if suspicions are aroused.

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FOR SALE

Jacob Watson aged 12 from Rotorua has been visiting Waikawa Beach for the past 7 years. He is always wanting to build do things like the Hyatt Whit Wats he constructed at the southern end of the beach some years ago with the add of his father Mike. See our post of Oct 2011.
This year he has made some men from driftwood found on the beach.

These are for sale and the money going to his school fundraiser but you will have to buy before he returns home next week. He is at 11 Duncan Street.

IMG_4649IMG_4650

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HARD RUBBISH COLLECTION

There will be a hard rubbish collection on Saturday 06 February commencing about 9am.

You will be expected to assist in loading the truck and the cost will be $10 – $20 depending on amount.

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GREAT PHOTOS FROM BOAT DAY and FUN SPORTS DAY

Click on the link below to see some great photos taken by Barry, Teresa and Amelia Jordan using a Canon DSLR with the 400mm lens on.

Photos

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