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Piha News | Piha Village Voice

Piha News, Views, Opinions, Photographs of Piha & a bit of local gossip about Piha

Readers are welcome to send news, photos and articles to Piha's 'Village Voice' for publicaton - Name must be supplied but withheld on request.

Please feel free to comment on any article, comments or photos

Left: Piha Village Voice Editor Bobbie Carroll

Email Views or News HERE Ph or Text News Tips to 021 969924

Go to the latest  Village Voice articles HERE  (new page)

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8/1/13 Knife wielding robbers

About 10:45am 7th Jan a woman was robbed by two males at knife point while walking on the Upper Nihotupo Reservoir track.  She was approximately 5 minutes from returning to the car park on Piha Road, when two males emerged from the bush.  Both males were in their late twenties and had masks on their faces.  One male demanded the victim's cash and brandished a knife. 

The victim did not have any cash on her, so the males demanded her jewellery. Necklace, rings, bracelet and watch were taken. 

Males took flight upon hearing someone approaching.  

The woman ran to the car park and waved down a passing patrol car.

The Males: 

  1. Male Maori/Polynesian, late 20's solid/muscular build, 185cm,wearing Black Hoody, dark jeans with rips in legs, dark coloured sandshoes.  Kiwi accent.
  2. Male Caucasian, late 20's, 165cm, thin build, wearing baggy red hoody, faded low cut jeans and possible brown sand shoes.  Never spoke.

IF you have any information or think you have seen these two please contact police immediately *555 is good from a mobile.

Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 10Jan14 18:52PM
Noticed the Police ( 2 cars ) at that car park this after noon. And they weren't looking for speeding.

Whoops in Piha today

click on the photo left to see the whoops on the bank.   

Hope everything is OK

08/1/13  Warning  - Animal Management in  Piha today.

Sent in by a reader  " A dog that was often on the loose was removed from Piha today by Auckland Council Animal Management. It's penguin nestingseason so it's pretty irresponsible to have dogs roaming freely (dogs havebeen spotted with penguins in mouths)- along with the other obvious reasons.  Sounds like they are going to start rounding upthe strays.

left:  I spotted this Dad with his young daughter today walking in Piha.

Click on the photo and you'll see that the tot has the little dog on a lead.  That is mighty good training Dad is giving his daughter.   Keeps everyone safe.

There is a 'run free' area on the beach to let the dogs run wild - we all like to do that some time.

6/1/13 Drowning in the name of love

Would-be rescuers losing their lives  . . . . . . Rescuers are losing their lives while saving a drowning person - often a relative - with tragic frequency in New Zealand. 

Between 1980 and 2012, 81 people drowned while attempting a rescue. The phenomenon is so widespread it is referred to as aquatic victim-instead-of-rescuer, or AVIR, syndrome.

Please read the whole article Please read the whole article HERE   [Thanks to Jonathon Webber for bringing this article to my attention]

 4/1/13  Little Truff and the Siamese Cat

left:  The article in the January issue of North & South about Piha's Ann Russell's latest book Little Truff and the Siamese Cat

Ann's third book is due out later this year.

Is this how we plan to manage our visitors ?

The public toilets in the Piha Village are for anyone and everyone to use including the campers.  The public are not permitted to use the showers - they are for campers only.
      • At 3:30 am and pm  the toilet blocks are cleaned out by the camp staff.   The Camp is not obliged to do this - they do it because they like it nice and clean in the morning for the campers.
      • City Care are contracted to clean the actual toilets and floors 3 times a day and ensure there is enough toilet paper.
      • Fumacare are responsible for the sanitary disposal units.
      • Spotless is contracted to do the maintenance..
left: This is the disgusting sight that visitors to Piha, including the campers, are faced with time and time again during the busy season.

Fiona has asked many times for spare disposal bins so she can put an empty one in when they over flow but alas no.

left:  The problem causing these blockages is with the valves [edited].  They are the wrong ones and block with sand so the cistern doesn't fill. 

Day after day Fiona puts on rubber gloves and empties these blocked toilets and full sanitary units herself !

Piha is an 'iconic beach' and destination.  That visitors to our village are faced with such disgusting conditions is an embarrassment.   Something urgent needs to be done.
Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 05Jan14 13:19PM
Interesting to read your posting Bobbie, that the problem is with "values".I think possibly you mean VALVES but "values" is a good comment to put up. Viewing the toilet bowl shown, one can see it is choked with toilet paper - this is where "values" come in.I have spent time during childrens formative (young) years - mine and others - instilling a frugal use of toilet paper. One doesn't require scrolls of paper to wipe one's posterior. A notice above each toilet saying "Use paper sparingly to prevent toilet blockage" should alleviate Fiona's problem. (May need it in 5 different languages).
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 08Jan14 17:46PM
This could be addressed by getting a plumbing company to look at the problem and come up with a solution instead of every one talking about it and donning the rubber glove's.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 08Jan14 17:59PM
Ah Martin : Nail on the head . . . doesn't take a nuclear scientist does it? See who is responsible for what above. Seems some action has been taken. Update soon
Comment by Camp Mother (Not Verified) at: 08Jan14 19:26PM
Thank you all for your comments, good we have indeed gone back to the old fashioned ballcock system. I never thought I would be pleased to see one of them again but there you go! There was a mysterious middle of the night "Santa-ary" bin delivery too. Things are definitely looking up.....God bless Sir Toby of the toilets- looking "Spotless" again.
A lot of our lady visitors seem to flush before they go, during going and after going tinkles......apparently it is a modesty thing, along with the screeds of loo paper. Maybe I will get a little uniform and become a bathroom attendant! Hot towel anyone? Kind regards,
Madam Fifi of the Flush :-)

4/1/13  Water supply in Piha - who pays for what and where is it going  ?

left:  Water delivery truck  leaving the Piha Domain Camp.  

There is a water bore in the camp to supply water for the camp, Piha
Beach toilets and shower plus  mid-beach toilet and shower.   It also supplies up to 30 cubic meters twice a week to Piha SLSC for them to clean their equipment.

40 cubic meters can be taken from the bore daily - that is a lot of water each week.  So why are we, the ratepayers, paying for water to be delivered to the Domain water tanks ?   Where is all the water going ?  
Comment by the ??? (Not Verified) at: 05Jan14 10:56AM
One question is: Does the bar/restaurant facilities at the SLSC use this water? 30 cubic metres twice a week (probably not accessed/requested all the time), is this supplied during the day putting a strain on daytime use or is it factored to be supplied during night/low week day periods?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 05Jan14 15:52PM
It's my understanding that they can take the water on a Tues or Wed night. It is counted as part of the overall 'daily take'.

I'm not sure what it's used for but I understand it's to clean their valuable equipment :-)
Comment by Pila LOcal Trim (Not Verified) at: 08Jan14 16:21PM
I do nt beleive the Piha SLSC bar and restaurant uses this water at all as they had to close unexpectedly one night that a function was planned as they had run out of water!
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 08Jan14 17:58PM
NO suggestion at all that the Piha SLSC is taking more than they should or anything untoward . . . :-)

Fiona, Piha Camp Manager comments

Ok,  the water system........ Under the ground, about 100m down isthe Piha aquifer. The small grey cage down the back of the camp is the wellwhich houses the bore pump. The experts have done the calculations and decided that35 cube (I think that is 35'000 litres?) of water per day is the maximumamount. If we take too much then the aquifer will fill up with sea water whichwould be a very BAD THING.

The water then travels into all the tanks via the pump shed and istreated. The shed also houses the pressure pumps which whoosh the water outinto the world. Directly plumbed in is the camp, bowling club, library, southPiha loos and mid-beach loos, although we suspect there may be others.

The Surf Club may draw water off for boat washing when there isenough but have to get permission, the solenoid is then opened remotely bysomeone in an office somewhere. Pre-planning is involved so hence the tues/wedas quite often on Mondays the tanks are still catching up after the weekend andif water is drawn off too close to the end of the week the tanks won't haveenough to meet the weekend draw. 

I remember the occasion where the club ran out of water,unfortunately nobody had thought to check the water beforehand and nobodyseemed to be aware of the procedure to get water. I don't get to press thatparticular go button unfortunately!

On most busy camp/beach days more is drawn off than goes in so Ihope for a couple of rainy days per week to empty the camp and keep day-trippersover the hill. Then the bore can refill the tanks again and we catch up. On theodd occasion this does not happen and we run out which is just so embarrassingand frustrates the crap out of me when there is all those blimmin outsideshowers going flat out! I mean, really, this is not Takapuna beach, we do nothave access to a reticulated water supply so do we have to have them?   It rips the old nightie when I see peoplejust pressing the button for the heck of it. I growled at a kid the other dayand the Dad threatened to kick my head in.....charming!

Ditto on the odd occasion I see the bowler watering the greenswith tap water.  The water we use for flushing loos at the camping groundis actually re-cycled effluent meaning that 80% of water used is recycled againand again and again. Very clever huh! Thank you St Gregor of the Geyser!

Kind Regards,  Fifi La Fluid

Fiona Anderson, Piha Camping Ground

3/1/13 'Tragedy' as flames engulf beachside area planted in mature pohutukawa at Karekare

"We watched 20m-high flames racing up Cave Rock towards the Waitakere Ranges Park," said resident and historian Sir Bob Harvey. "A desperate battle was on going to stop the flames going over the cliff and to the bush of the ranges beyond."

He said the fire had taken mature pohutukawa of 30 to 40 years old planted by the community on land bought to add to the park.

"We have lost precious heritage," Sir Bob said. "It's a major tragedy for the Karekare community."   

Full NZ Herald article HERE

Comment by Red (Not Verified) at: 03Jan14 13:13PM
The ever loquacious Sir Bob engages in hyperbole when he describes the fire as a "tragedy." A human tragedy involves loss of lives and possessions, and there were none lost in this fire. Nor was it an environmental disaster--trees can be replanted although it is sad, not tragic, to see the older ones burnt. Rather than be in mourning as Bob's rhetoric would suggest, the KK community is relieved that the fire did not spread further and was contained before a genuine tragedy occurred. Thanks to the fire party volunteers for their efforts in tough conditions.

2/1/14 I would go find the bag myself but I don't live near Piha

I misplaced my bag somewhere around the Piha Beachcarpark (the one next to the toilets). It has my swimming togs, clothes and towelin it. It is a side bag with a mickey mouse face pattern on it. If you find it could you email me at EMAIL me here. Regards, Sharon Kim

Firefighters battle scrub fire on Auckland's west coast

left:  Photo taken by Village Voice's roving reporter.

Firefighters are currently battling a large scrub fire on Auckland's west coast.

Fire Service senior communicator Nicole Bernard said the fire on Karekare Road - which leads to the popular Karekare surf beach - was about 20 hectares in size.

Firefighters were first alerted to the blaze about 1.30pm, Ms Bernard said.

Four fire appliances were currently on scene, and another three were on their way.

"The helicopter is responding as well.''

Ms Bernard had not had any reports of property being under threat from the fire.

It was too early to say what caused it, she said  NZ Herald

31/12/13  A hugely Happy New Year to you all

I hope the following year brings you everything you need.  Ju and I decided when we came out to live in Piha to concentrate on what we needed rather than what we wanted.

So I wish you good friends,  good music & food,  good health, tanks full of water,  great sunsets and heaps of fun and laughter.

I recently took these photos and thought they'd be great to finish the year off.  Click on them to see the kids jumping off the Eel Bridge etc 



Don't let this happen to our crabs etc

These two cages were in the waters around Lion Rock - they had, of course, chicken carcasses in them.

A great and courageous friend of mine approached the people and asked them not to catch every living thing around the cage like this.   After they walked away, he thought 'bugger it', and took the cages home to be destroyed.    Good !  'Catch all' like this is raping the seas.

Which one is the fraud ?
Below are two photos.  One is of Santa and the other is a fraud.  Can you tell which is which?


Attention Fishermen/women

left: A fish carcass found at the lower end of Piha Lagoon today. A number of them have been seen at North Piha lagoon area too.   These carcasses cause pollution in the water.   Please dispose of in them rubbish bins.

If you see someone leaving a carcass around or in the water please ask them to dispose of it more appropriately.   Thanks from everyone that uses the lagoons. 
Comment by mick cowell (Not Verified) at: 01Jan14 10:00AM
m.a.f.f encourouges fish scraps be returned to the sea
Comment by Fisho (Not Verified) at: 03Jan14 22:05PM
Yes, fish bones are part of the environment, however they die. Fed on by small fish, crabs etc. The pollution is diesel fumes, suntan lotion, brake linings, human wastewater and effluent, all toxic to marine life.

Blue Penguins about

This Blue Penguin was photographed at the base of the steps to the Tasman Lookout a couple of nights ago around 10:30pm.

That same day the ranger told Ju that he saw two dead ones.   Please keep dogs away from the South of Piha Beach, around the Blue Pool and Lion Rock.   These littlies cannot protect themselves.    Thanks - again.

Car Pooling

Hey there,

Wanting to know if anyone living in Piha has a child thatgo to Kaurilands or Titirangi primary or to Kiwi Kapers preschool in Glen Eden and if you are interested in sharing some trips to and fro 8-3.3o every day then let meknow.  I am available most days to do drop of and pick up and can work in withwhat days suit you.  

Brydie Black

29/12/13 A message from Piha SLSC re New Years Eve

Unfortunately we have to close the bar at the normal time of 10:30pm due to being unable to get our late license through the system in time, despite the best efforts of the council inspector. So we won't be having a band at midnight but we will be having an excellent dinner in relaxed surroundings.

NewYears Eve Special dinner: Sugared Pineapple Glazed Ham on the Bone served withRoasted Kumura, Potato, Carrot, Onion and Pumpkin with butter steamed Peas& Corn. Plus Cheesecake for dessert. Be early so you don't miss out!    See you there!

Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 05Jan14 13:45PM
I may be a bit late coming in on this. It could be essential that rescuers from the Surf Club are able to view both the road and the sand dunes in this area which in previous years have seen emergency and Police vehicles in attendance. If you can't see whats taking place during an emergency scenario there, then procedures could be seriously compromised.
The new building could easily be put in line with adjoining buildings and would not then interfere with current sight-lines.
The alternative is building a suggested semi-permanent lifeguard tower which would be an absolute eyesore as well as the existing viewing deck.Need some community spirit here.
Comment by Jonathon Webber (Not Verified) at: 05Jan14 14:18PM
A properly constructed, visually appealing and iconic looking lifeguard tower need not be an eyesore. Don't believe me? Then click on this link:

29/12/13  Suggestion of compromising safety a little premature

There is a suggestion being spread  around Piha that the construction of a new dwelling next to the  Piha SLSC is going to inhibit the view from the Club's Operations Room.

The only view they are going to lose is of the road down to the end of the beach and the sand dunes.  Let's all chill a little.

Comment by first time caller (Not Verified) at: 29Dec13 21:33PM
Opps, best do a little more homework here Bobbie.
From what I've seen the proposed building will effectively block views from the power pole back, which means the ops room will no longer be able to view the bay (which is where most rescues occur)
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 29Dec13 22:44PM
Absolute nonsense. No view of the bay will be blocked unless the sea moves up and takes over the dunes.
Comment by first time caller (Not Verified) at: 30Dec13 9:40AM
Settle down, you actually need to go inside' the ops room with someone who can show you the plans and the elevations. Yes, a critical view will be blocked. But simple solution - just move the build back a few meters.
Comment by Anonymous at: 30Dec13 20:54PM
O4FS..... What a load of twaddle....Give them a break... Move the club house forward!

Comment by Clubbie (Not Verified) at: 31Dec13 19:03PM
We need to see what is happening on the beach as well as on the water. move it back 3m, their view retained, our view retained, win win.
Comment by Anonymous at: 02Jan14 21:44PM
Do t think its that easy to move the club house forward?
Comment by Anonymous at: 03Jan14 22:48PM
If they move 3mts back the surf club could possibly block off their winter sun. No one would want to go to the expense do building a house and not get any winter sunlight.
Comment by Anonymous at: 03Jan14 22:49PM
If they move 3mts back the surf club could possibly block off their winter sun. No one would want to go to the expense do building a house and not get any winter sunlight.
Comment by Maxie (Not Verified) at: 09Jan14 21:47PM
Nah, their lifting it up to the second level anyway, no probs with winter sun.
Comment by Maxie (Not Verified) at: 09Jan14 21:57PM
Nah, their lifting it up to the second level anyway, no probs with winter sun.

McCormick and Shadbolt 

Gary McCormick and Mayor Tim Shadbolt in Piha - how hilarious

At Piha SLSC 8pm 18th Jan $25

Lactic Turkey meets Hillary 

Provisional approval has been granted for The Hillary to go ahead on March 29, 2014 as planned.   80, 36 or 16km trail run along the epic Hillary Trail in the Waitakere Ranges. 

Approvalis given for a one off trial event for 2014.

 The numbers of participants will be capped as follows: Arataki start : 100,  Piha start  & Bethels start : 200 each.  Total 500

 Piha Carols and Santa @ Piha Cafe

It's a wonderful tradition and year after year the kids have a wonderful time.  This time we had a local band to play the Carols . . .  they're the ones with the sombreros.  

Thanks JP for hosting this great annual event.   

Thanks for providing us all with just yummy 'made on the premises' delights.

Happy Christmas to you, your family and all your staff. 

Big thanks to the 'band'  that played all the Carols for us.

You looked great and sounded great.  What neat people live in Piha.

If anyone would like a copy of any photos just email me HERE

Comment by Ann Russell (Not Verified) at: 04Jan14 11:20AM
A happy and Prosperous year to you Bobbie and Julia
May I please have a copy of the photo with Santa and your permission to use it on the website later on this year.
The article in "North & South" magazine has been published so I'll forward a copy to you.
Thanks a heap

22/12/13 A bit of local advertising

left:  It's great to see all the locals advertising their wares in the Piha Village Metropolis

Piha dog bylaw signage

On lead, off lead, never, sometimes ?   What are the rules ?

Auckland Council invites you to provide feedback on the posityion and number of signs proposed to be installed at Piha to inform users of dog bylaws in the area.

left:  The flyer dropped in Piha letterboxes outlining how you can have your say on the new dog bylaw signage.

Or you can see the relevant details at our Piha Community Library
Or you can see it  online HERE
And/or you can go to the 'open day drop in' Marine Parade North near Little Lion Rock Corner on Sat 18th Jan 10 - 2pm.

You can comment by emailing Parks West HERE

Feedback closes 5pm 7th Feb

Comment by Anonymous at: 22Dec13 16:21PM
Does it matter? The dog laws don't apply to Piha locals who happily let their dogs run free wherever they choose - Signed, another Piha local.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 22Dec13 17:34PM
I'm just the messenger !

Last minute shopping - support our local economy

For that last minute Christmas shopping support our local artists and economy . . . 

Our local gallery has an amazing amount of goodies from a few $$ to lots of $$$$

I got this neat Christmas card, left,  from our gallery.  It's gone so I can't tell you who the artist is.

Best Waterfall Walks - Piha #1

An icy watering hole is the perfect summer unwinder. But put safety first, especially with children

 Kitekite Falls,  Piha   Follow the signposts through Waitakere bush towards the falls, checking out the historic remnants of the logging railway. The three-tiered waterfall dropping 40m in six steps to the pool is part of a spectacular Waitakere walk. Every Aucklander must visit it at least once, just don't expect to have it all to yourself. Afterwards, stop at the Piha Store, a local institution since 1945.

Enter the Kitekite Falls track from Glen Esk Rd, Piha.  Read full article NZ Herald HERE

Bullying driver

This photo was sent in with this report.  

'This vehicle blasted its horn at a vehicle that indicated and then slowed down to turn into the Arataki Visitor Center.    It then continued tailgating another car and blasting its horn again at it.  All this time travelling at a reasonably fast speed.   The message:  chill, slow down a bit, be patient and don't bully other road users.

Comment by Anonymous at: 22Dec13 19:08PM
Report it
Comment by Anonymous at: 24Dec13 23:20PM
I'm certainly not defending that driver. BUT there are two sides to driver behaviour on the Piha Road. If someone is driving behind you, why not pull over at a safe spot and let them pass? It's people's reluctance to do that that leads to aggressive behaviour. And you never know why someone needs to drive fast. Maybe they're rushing to a dying family member or something.

Swampy Thing - Piha SLSC

Don't miss New Zealand's Own Swamp Stompin Juggernaut of a Show  17th Jan 

Support:  Dave Alley & Rod Redgrave

$20 @ Piha Store : Door sales $25

Shane & The Shads are playing at The Bowler

Lots of us will remember 'Shane' , left, from the 60s - St. Paul, Cuddly Toy etc.  

Well he's coming to The Bowler 15th of Feb. . .   that'll be a night for some fun.

Put it in the diary!

Comment by Val Stanaway (Not Verified) at: 22Dec13 14:06PM
Thanks for posting this Bobbie. I spoke to Shane last night & the posters are almost ready. I'll share it when I get it. They're all looking forward to doing the gig at Piha.

The Knights of the Dub Table  Summer Tour - Piha

Piha Surf Club 4th January 9:30 to late

$10 presale on eventfinder HERE or  $15 door sales  

Disabled Surfers in Piha

The Disabled Surfers Association were in Piha again over the weekend.   What an amazing thing they do.   And to ensure all was well the Grey Patrol were there to keep an eye on them.  Good on you Luke and all your helpers.


Major road works on Rayner Road, Piha

When I asked the workers what they were doing they said 'stabilizing the road' . . .   not sure what that means but there is some pretty heavy duty work going on. 

Maybe they've heard Ms Sandra Coney is planning on moving out this way and her family bach is at the end of Rayner Road ????

Comment by Anonymous at: 15Dec13 22:11PM
Isn't that why the road was formed in the first place?
Comment by annonymouse (Not Verified) at: 16Dec13 6:59AM
When is some one going to do some with the part of piha road between lone kauri and karekare road opposite the old qaurry entrance,,, the bit that has become a muddy bog hole that all the idiots drive through and spray a red/orange mud all over the road,,,,, get real slippery when it rains,,,, come on park rangers or fulton hogan

13/12/13 Piha all over the Agenda

On the Agenda for our Local Board's 2nd meeting last week you could hardly miss Piha . . .  for discussion
  • Consultation Plan for the Piha Beach Reserves Ecological Restoration Programme
  • Consultation Plan for Piha Beach Dog Bylaw Signage Upgrade
  • Waitakere Ranges Visitor Management Plan

Event Management :  I heard at the meeting that although the Phase 1 of the consultation on the Waitakere Ranges Visitor Management Plan is over . . . . .  (drum roll) . . . .   they are adding  'event management plan'  to it . . . .  

Now why doesn't that surprise me?   

Comment by Cassie (Not Verified) at: 14Dec13 13:04PM
The Local Board style themselves as "Liberal Progressives" so why are they so illiberal and regressive?

Comment by MoonPig (Not Verified) at: 14Dec13 13:39PM
Because they are "Liberal Fascists" Cassie:
Comment by Stevie (Not Verified) at: 20Dec13 17:02PM
Well, maybe they need to be sure we're told about these events, that traffic etc is managed properly. Otherwise, you whingers would be the first to complain if something goes wrong

13/12/13 Visitor Management Plan - Local Board

Having attended a 'workshop' in Piha for the initial consultation on a 'Visitor Management Plan for the Waitakere Ranges' I went to address the Local Board  this week.

I made the following points:

Respondents to the consultation:  If you were under 50, belong to a recreational group, are a tourist operator, have a business in the Waitakere Ranges or are from the wider Auckland area you are under-represented !

Workshops: Only 90 people attended a workshop on this 'plan'.   90 people from the whole of Auckland - the outcome of this report surely fits inside the 'error of margin' in any survey !!!

Consultation:  The advertising was poor and fundamentally flawed.  Most people I have spoken to had not heard of the 'Plan' or the 'consultation'.  

Report to the Board bias :  I drew the Board's attention to just two of the many areas in the report that had a clear bias
  • Visitors and their impacts:  "Only 50% of the respondents to the survey said that visitors cause them inconvenience or concerns. "  
 'Only' ?  Why put that qualifying word  'only'  in that sentence?  What do they mean by 'only'?  
  • Need for more toilets and bins:  " . . . . . .  there was a strong minority feeling that providing more facilities would compromise the natural character of the Ranges".  
What, for heaven's sake is a  'strong minority'?  A majority or minority is a mathematical calculation so what does a  'strong minority'  mean?   It means a bias in the report - that is what it means I suggest.

Conflict - please remove yourself from the table:  For openess and transparency I asked for any member of the Board that belong to the Henderson or Titirangi Residents Assns or have an input into the Waitakere Combined Ratepayers Group remove themselves from the table when this subject is being discussed in the future. The reason for this being that these three organisations have had considerable input into the the consultation process and submitted.  They therefore should not be part of the consideration of the submissions or decision making !  It's all getting a little too incestuous !

To read my 'take' on the flawed consultation   How many times can you represent ?

12/12/13  At last - they're all open

Ready for the summer season all eateries are now open for business:

The Piha Surf Club bar and Kitchen :  Fri, Sat and Sun.  Food and drinks

The Piha Bowling Club : Fri, Sat and Sun.  Kitchen and bar open

The RSA & Moreport Kitchen : Bar and Kitchen Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun 

The Piha Cafe: Open 8 days a week.  Late evening Fri & Sat 

Attention Dean Vaughn LOCHORE : Your drivers license is being safely looked after at The Piha Cafe awaiting your pickup - with ID, of course. 
Disabled Surfers @ Piha this weekend

Saturday 14th Dec '13.  Volunteers 8:30 roll up on Piha Beach  

It is a not-for-profit association relying on volunteers and donations from the community. The association started off in Australia over twenty years ago and has been running successfully ever since. It is the only organisation in the world that specifically caters for people with a disability wanting to try surfing.  On the Web : HERE

NZ Police busy in Piha

Good to see the NZ Police cruising Piha a bit lately.

I hear they caught a few burglars recently up Pendrell Road this week.  Good job !  

If you see anything suspicous call the Police and keep yourself safe

Piha Volunteer Fire Needs YOU !

Piha Volunteer Fire Brigade is looking for fire fighters.

Your Community is counting on YOU !

For more information click on the photo, left, and contact them

Comment by Mark Holms (Not Verified) at: 13Dec13 10:03AM
I'm surprised there is not a waiting list to get into the Brigade.The NZ Fire Service offers First aid training,the ability to obtain an HT licence=(at least $2-3000 in the private sector),and to test your mental and physical capabilities a career path with Breathing Apparatus qualifications,pump operators,knowledge of fluid dynamics - all with minimum demands on time. As a young volunteer all this equates to a great CV on presentation to any employer, as well as giving back to our community let alone saving lives or damage to property.I do recall a country NZ Volunteer unit that was women only during week daylight hours whilst the blokes were at work some distance away,they took their babies and kids to the station left them with some of their number and drove off to the fire/incident.Go down on Monday night after 7.30 and ask around-they'll be pleased to see you.
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 15Dec13 22:20PM
Wow Mark that's amazing. As you say would be great training for a young person who hasn't made a decision which direction to go in yet.

12/12/13  Doggie Poo Bags

left:  I took this photo in Parliament Street, Auckland, of a container with  'doggie litter' bags for dog owners caught  without one.

Wouldn't cost much and very people friendly.  Love it

12/12/13 " 
Slow Down - You're Here "

Auckland Transport is adopting some neat signs.

Left is one for Waiheke's winding lanes.  I love it.

Some time ago Piha's 'Safe Walking' group suggested something along these lines for the top of the Piha Hill.

Comment by Anonymous at: 13Dec13 10:12AM
Would be good outside the camping ground and library area before the store and PO, Cafe etc. Getting very busy now.

I couldn't resist this photo

left: click on this photo to see why I just could't resist taking his photo.

He found the poles and ropes of the walkway onto the beach very handy.  Once he hit the soft sand he turned his walker around behind him and  used the ropes and poles to get himself up.    Love it

Life Drawing Classes in Piha

8th Janto 26th Feb - Wednesday nights 6:30 - 8:30

Click on the photo left for more details and go for it. . . . 

Trend to quash voices that differ is unhealthy

"We are all the losers if those with one viewpoint curtail debate by silencing their opponents.  Trying to achieve this by shouting them down smacks of bullying and intimidation.

It does not demonstrate the tolerance that is present in every healthy society and provides room for every person to express their ideas."  NZ Herald editorial quoted HERE

These final remarks, in an editorial in the Herald, recently caught my eye.  No matter 'who' they are talking about the content is important - I believe.

I thought long and hard before making the decision to remain on the Piha Ratepayers and Residents Association committee for the coming 2014 year.

There is not a lot of commonality between me and other members of the Committee but I do believe I represent a number of 'like minded' residents, and ratepayers, in Piha.

As there was fewer nominations than positions I automatically am on.

7/12/13 Chair of the Combined (Waitakere) R&R resigns

Kubi Witten-Hannah,  member of the KKRRT [Karekare R&R] and also Chair of the Combined (Waitakere) R&R, resigned as Chair of the Combined Waitakere R&R group at their meeting last week.  Article re democracy in the West HERE

6/12/13 Four Words to avoid water tragety

Recognise - Respond - Rescue - Revive

A large number of people drown in our waters every year, and tragically, some drown while trying to rescue others.

Fewer people would be lost if they understood the Four Rs of bystander rescue - Recognise, Respond, Rescue and Revive.

Between 1980 and last year, 81 people drowned in New Zealand while trying to rescue others. Of these, most (80 per cent) were male, and Maori (33 per cent) and Pasifika (12 per cent) people were over-represented. All rescue fatalities occurred in open waters, with beaches (54 per cent) and rivers (22 per cent) being the most frequent sites of drowning. Read full article NZ Herald HERE  (thanks to Jonathon Webber for bringing my attention to this article)

03/12/13 'That' fence on corner Beach Valley Rd and Seaview Road

As most know the Beach Valley Road Project, and most of Piha,  were so aghast at 'that' ugly fence that we approached Auckland Transport (AT) for a solution.  As a footpath ( yea right! ) had been put on Seaview Road AT were required to build a safety fence.

We worked with AT - I did the planting plan, AT purchased them and Beach Valley Road Project provided the labour and a commitment to maintain it - then the fence could go.

Well it can't !  BUT AT have said they are happy to replace it with a less ugly one and it only needs to be 900 high - current one is 1 meter.

So I went for a drive down Seaview Road, on the hill, to see what designs were already in Piha - we don't really need to introduce another design.  Here is what I got:


What do you think ?

Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 9:49AM
Do I take it that you didn't see anything fitting in the way of a fence Bobbie or did the pictures not load?
Rgds, Graeme.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 15:18PM
Got some great photos just having problem uploading them - I'll keep trying
Comment by Chainsaw Charlie (Not Verified) at: 06Dec13 12:09PM
All horrible and totally unnecessary
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 09Dec13 20:11PM
I cannot believe precious funds will be used to undo a bloody fence just because some people don't like the looks or height of it. What a waste of time and effort. What's really needed is a full STOP SIGN because people tend to think the yield sign that's in place means GO ! I see so many driver's just pulling out without even looking. Do you really think reducing this fence 100 cm's is going to make all that much of a difference ? I for one in a non SUV car will still not be able to see over it after it's altered. Can we not think of a better way to spend rate payer's money.
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 11Dec13 14:33PM
Better yet, maybe ask the council to not replace the fence and have them allocate the funds towards the Karekare and or Piha Surf Lifesaving clubs. I believe most everyone would agree with this lovely Christmas idea.

A couple of random photos

Can you snap a photo of the tide lower than this in front of the Lion?

I watched these start behind the Art Gallery and watched them paddle down.  Neat to see.

Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 07Dec13 17:38PM
Nice low tide Pix.

03/12/13 Permits needed for fire

Aucklanders are being warned to take care when lighting fires as the restricted fire season begins today.

Principal rural fire officer Bryan Cartelle said Aucklanders lighting an open air fire in any rural area needed a permit from Auckland Council.

"At this time of year warm, dry weather is on the rise so the fire danger levelsacross Auckland grow too.

"We're advising people to take precautions when lighting fires to ensure they don't spread, cause damage, become a nuisance to others or contain illegal materials such as tyres, plastics, synthetic materials or treated timber.

"It's important fires are controlled and supervised at all times as the costs involved in putting out all fires may be passed on to the person responsible." 

More information on the different levels of fire restrictions can be found at or by calling 09 301 0101.

30/11/13 Dangerous driver - from a Village Voice reader

Last night i was tailgated and then overtaken on thedouble blind bend after the Karekare turn off.

As the vehicle, a black rangerover sport GJB200,  overtook me a car came around the bends from the otherdirection (heading out of Piha) and was run off the road, luckily just afterthe drop off.

If that was you who was run off the road you might want to lookfor the vehicle on Te Ahuahu Rd...........

Comment by Fiona (Not Verified) at: 01Dec13 21:31PM
I too was tailgated and bullied by this vehicle. In fact I'm sick and tired of these tactics and dangerous overtaking just to get to Piha 5 mins before me. If I am doing 100 and you pass me like I am standing still then you are going to make a hell of a mess if something goes wrong. I'm thinking about starting a FB page to name and shame awful dangerous drivers and to compliment good drivers.
Comment by Fiona (Not Verified) at: 01Dec13 21:38PM
Oh and yes, vehicle turned into Te Ahuahu the night it almost ran us off too.
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 17:01PM
Good idea to name & shame on Face Book these all too anxious to be killers. Maybe it will send a message so that they don't screw up some innocent victim(s) life or even their own with a lifetime of regret for a 2 - 5 minute time gain in getting down the Piha hill. My advise is to pull over wherever possible when being road bullied. You don't want to be involved in their road kill.
Comment by Chieftain (Not Verified) at: 06Dec13 18:39PM
The police seem to have a new radar van, usually parked at the base of West Coast Road, revenue collecting but doing not much else useful or helpful.

Perhaps it needs to be relocated further out enroute to Piha? There, it could achieve a truly useful Public Safety objective.

If somebody gets run off the road by a dangerous hoon and into the dense bush / over a cliff out there, it's entirely possible their car / bodies may never be found.

That's too dangerous a situation for law enforcement to leave unaddressed, IMO
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 07Dec13 7:42AM
Have the people concerned filled out the on line form at the NZP website or if you are very serious you should go to the station and fill out a formal complaint there, I have done this in the past with good result. And yes that van is either in WC rd or Forest Hill Rd by Gull.
Comment by Jack (Not Verified) at: 07Dec13 10:36AM
I was being driven in a cab doing the speed limit at 6:20AM from the coast to the city when, once we passed the Anawhata Road, we were passed by four vehicles tooting their horns and giving us the fingers. The first two vehicles, a white van and a grey Toyota Land Cruiser, passed centimeters from the cab driver's door and swerved in violently so as to force him to brake (there was a double yellow line at that stretch of road right before the long straight section). I realize that there are a a lot of self-important people with critical things to attend to out this way, but that sort of behavior is thuggish and stupid. Neither any of you or anything you do is more valuable than any one else's life, so get a f***ing grip.
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 07Dec13 17:36PM
Piha rd I believe is Open Rd this means to drive to the conditions to a maximum of 100km, I to drive this heaps , apart from a few spots most of the road should be done around 60 to 90km max , Am I wrong in saying this? It should be policed much more than it is at those before and after work times. or are the donuts and coffees to good at that time of the morning.
Comment by anonymouse (Not Verified) at: 10Dec13 18:07PM
from the beach up the hill to almost the turn off to Karekare its a 70kph zone , those of us who live at the top of the hill it can be quite scary just pulling out of our driveways the speed some cars come fly around the corners,,,, in saying that i got stuck behind a slow driver on the way home ,,,,, 80kph on the straight ,,, down to 40kph in the corners ,,, even the school bus was being held up!! ,,, that person was down right ignorant!
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 10Dec13 19:02PM
Saw a Copper stopped at intersection at scenic dr on piha rd at about 8.15 am today. facing towards piha.had his head down as I passed was probably texting,
Comment by anonymous (Not Verified) at: 11Dec13 12:58PM
Fiona.. great idea, do it!!!
I did phone the police and fill out the NZP online form, the more evidence they have the better.
The driver of GJB 200 is at [edit] Te Ahuahu Rd. Although i think they are visitors as i have not seen it there since.

30/11/13 Christmas Carols & Santa in Piha

Santa Claus is making his annual trek to the Piha Café Monday 23rd December 4 - 7 pm.

Of course the, now traditional, singing of Carols will also be on the  menu.   See you there.

29/11/13 Vodafone brings 4G to Piha

Vodafone has continued the rollout of its 4G network, with the launch of 4G in parts of Piha today.

Piha joins other coastal destinations enjoying life at the speed of 4G -  including parts of the Coromandel, Matakana, Warkworth and Gisborne ? before Christmas.

Sandra Pickering, Vodafone?s Technology Director, says the rollout of a commercial 4G network is great news for locals and visitors to the area.

"We're proud to be the first and only provider bringing 4G to Piha.

"Vodafone pioneered 4G in New Zealand, giving Kiwis access to the world's best technology - technology that allows them to do whatever they need to do, whenever they need to do it. Now customers can surf the web - and the waves - faster than ever. 4G coverage extends to the main beach, Marine Parade, Piha Domain, the surf shop and Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.   Full article on HERE

29/11/13 The Johnnys come to Piha

Are you a Johnny Cash Fan ?  If you are, or even if you're not, this gig at the Piha Bowling Club will be one to remember.

I've seen them live twice and I defy anyone to sit still.   They know how to do 'Cash'.

Piha Bowling Club - 7th December - $30 each or $50 for two - dine first with the Bowlers new chef - Johnnys on 9 - midnight.

29/11/13 7 Sharp from Piha SLSC tonight

left: technicians setting up

Tonight at Seven Sharp we?re live from Piha Beach with the stars of Piha Rescue and the national surfing champ who moonlights as a mermaid.



The divine Ali Mau ready to shoot 7 sharp from the Piha SLSC this evening.


29/11/13 Controlling a dog

A dog on the lose attacked another in Beach Valley Road today.

The owner of the dog that was being attached screamed very loudly which was great because five adults ran to her screams.

One of the men who came grabbed the dogs front paw and held it as in the photo left.  Very clever - I'll remember that if I ever need it.   He did advise afterwards to not get between fighting dogs.  He also had a metal rake close at hand.

I will not say anything about the fight because the owners have sorted the details out between themselves. 

Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 29Nov13 17:35PM
good to see local piha people responding to such matters as they do.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 29Nov13 18:08PM
Yes Martin - I love that about Piha. Couple of weeks ago I stopped to check someone on Piha Rd. While that driver and I were chatting another stopped to see if we were OK. Neat !
Comment by anon (Not Verified) at: 29Nov13 20:57PM
looks like a fighting dog with that branding on its back?
Comment by Anonymous at: 30Nov13 13:45PM
That looks like the dog that attacked another dog in Piha that belonged to my friend. It doesn't have a collar or rego does it. This is a gangster mutt. The streets are not safe with all the unleashed dogs in Piha now. Get your dogs registered and put a collar on them with your name on it. When I am walking with my kids, we get afraid so we don't take the dog with us anymore. Now I will ring the dog control people when I see any dog off a lead.
Comment by Wood (Not Verified) at: 30Nov13 14:21PM
Yes good on you and I agree as my little dog has been set upon many times and. It is traumatic to say the least. Walking your dog should not be a scary business but a joy. However, I always feel rather fearful whenever I set off with her worrying whether or not an attack is imminent or not. In the city it is an offence not to have your dog under control. Out here at Piha it seems to be a free for all.K3hG
Comment by Wood (Not Verified) at: 30Nov13 14:22PM
Yes good on you and I agree as my little dog has been set upon many times and. It is traumatic to say the least. Walking your dog should not be a scary business but a joy. However, I always feel rather fearful whenever I set off with her worrying whether or not an attack is imminent or not. In the city it is an offence not to have your dog under control. Out here at Piha it seems to be a free for all.K3hG
Comment by Fighting dogs (Not Verified) at: 01Dec13 5:48AM
Never ever ever try and pull 2 fighting dogs apart by their collars or neck area because one can turn on you and bite you. Always use the wheel barrel method by lifting the perpetrator dog off the ground by it's rear legs.
Comment by Anonymous at: 03Dec13 16:42PM
i think that dog is part of the mongrel mob notorious chapter a real DPG people are afraid of dogs ??? id be afraid of the sleeping red dragon and impending doom of the east feasting on the fat tubbyness of us westerners.
dogs off the streets now anyway So i hear, bit of bummer all round.
Comment by Anonymous at: 03Dec13 18:41PM
^^^^ i heard that too!!
Comment by Anonymous at: 03Dec13 18:43PM
some people should get bigger better dogs instead of those little scruffy muts if their soooo scared!!
Comment by Alistair Goodwin (Not Verified) at: 03Dec13 21:41PM
So anonymous you think people should get bigger dogs, you don't like friendly little dogs?
Of course not, you're too scared and ashamed to use your name and you want a big dog with big nuts 'cos you haven't got any of your own.
Comment by Sam B (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 8:52AM
The mongrel mob things a bit out there.
Good call Al.
The dogs got the chop.
so maybe its time to take down this post as it has served its purpose. \
Maybe removing the anonymous option from the comments would deter roving cyber stirrers.?
No body won on this unfortunate day.
Comment by Sam B (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 8:53AM
The mongrel mob things a bit out there.
Good call Al.
The dogs got the chop.
so maybe its time to take down this post as it has served its purpose. \
Maybe removing the anonymous option from the comments would deter roving cyber stirrers.?
No body won on this unfortunate day.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 9:20AM
I agree Sam. Nobody won and very sad that a dog had to be put down. You did the honourable thing and paid for expenses - good on you.
Comment by Chieftain (Not Verified) at: 06Dec13 18:49PM
The safest way to break up a dog fight, I have found, is to toss a blanket over them. Your risk of being attacked is about nil, and it usually completely disrupts them.

Any dog fight has the potential to cause you injury if you interfere: a dog's bite can crush bones. Even a small dog can do this. Use a safe disruptor instead, like a blanket, or an air-horn, or a cold water hose.

28/11/13 How many times can you represent ?  

I attended the 1st meeting of the new Waitakere Ranges Local Board (photo below) this evening. 

It does concern me that they are  all  'Future West' candidates. But that's what the electorate voted for so . . .

However that being that it is the 'Declaration of Interest'  that tells more of the story.

Of the six on the board 3 are also on Ratepayers and/or Residents  Associations:

  • Greg Presland - Titirangi Residents & Ratepayers Group - attends the  Waitakere Combined R & R
  • Steve Tollestrup  Henderson Valley Residents Association - a member of Waitakere Combined R & R
  • Denise Yates - Huia-Cornwallis Ratepayers & Residents Association - Co-chairperson - attends the  Waitakere Combined R & R

So this evening Mels Barton, also known as Glowworm, addressed the board.  Mels is on the Titirangi Residents & Ratepayers.  and addressed  Greg Presland who is on the same Titirangi Residents & Ratepayers.  Mels is also the Secretary of the Waitakere Combined R & R

Steve Tollestrup,  during the board meeting and as a board member,  also talked as a member of Henderson Valley Residents Assn.

Got the picture ?       It's all rather incestuous don't you think?

Comment by Anonymous at: 29Nov13 21:37PM
Agreed -Far too incestuous. Can't believe that no one else has commented on this posting. People are far too complacent these days and, ergo, get what they deserve
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 30Nov13 8:58AM
It is a real concern that such a tight little group with same agendas are in control . Hopefully people will,notice and vote next time so,that the make up,is a true representation of their communities. As long as the council are aware of it when submissions from these groups are lodged and look at it as just '1' submission - as that is what it is really.
Comment by Anonymous at: 30Nov13 13:49PM
Haha, you are joking aren't you. If that is so, then yes, I think it is a worry.
Comment by Greg Presland (Not Verified) at: 30Nov13 23:27PM
Hi Bobbie

I am the treasurer. I was the chair for a number of years. I wanted to make sure that TRRA continued to represent the local area effectively. I do not see there being a conflict. Regards

Greg Presland
Comment by Steve Tollestrup (Not Verified) at: 01Dec13 0:28AM
Hi Bobbie, just to be clear I am not on the Combined R&R as I resigned directly after being elected. I'm certainly prepared to come off of Henderson Valley should that become a conflict of interest I'd suggest readers don't come to early conclusions about this board, but instead watch and see. You are right that we were voted in democratically by the voters and we will work for the best interests of the west.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 02Dec13 0:06AM
Steve and Greg: I don't think you should remain on any R&R if you have a seat on the Local Board. One can't be on the Local Board and Council or on Council and be an MP. It's just not kosher in my books.

You can/should represent people just once - well that's the way I see it.

It annoys me when I see submissions to Council, or whatever, and many of them have the same names just different titles.

One person, one vote!
Comment by iggy (Not Verified) at: 02Dec13 18:09PM

"One man, one vote" refers to the act of voting, not to the holding of elected positions. Depending on the electoral system, individuals can hold multiple political positions, as is the case here in Auckland (you may recall the voting papers had people running for multiple seats). Thus there is nothing wrong with Steve and Greg holding more than one position.

You may not like the political leanings of the recently elected officials but before you set to whinging about supposed conflicts of interest at least school yourself on the basics of electoral process. Geez.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 02Dec13 18:40PM
Residents & Ratepayers lobby Local Boards and Local Boards consult with R&Rs and other groups.

I, therefore, think one person being on both is 'double dipping'. Consulting yourself is a little strange.

If you stand for multi-positions and win more than one then hold one and stand aside on the other(s), I say, and encourage someone else take your place.

Nothing to do with political leanings
Comment by Pop (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 14:29PM
You're very confused Bobby. These people are standing for different electorates. One is their membership only R&R group, the other is voters in the ward. The important thing is to avoid conflicts of interest so when issues come to the local board from a particular R&R, they should stand aside from decision-making if there's a conflict. Simple really
Comment by pop (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 14:34PM
"Double dipping" is when people are paid for doing two jobs at the same time, especially from the public purse. R&R people volunteer, as you know. It's a slur to accuse them of double dipping.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 15:17PM

Pop: We might never agree.
Around the politics of the West you see the same names time and time again against this or that but just under a different banner.
'Double dipping' in the context above is not about $$$ but rather how many times you 'represent'.
This double dipping first came to my notice over the debacle of opposing the Piha Café. Same people objecting but just under different 'banners' or Associations. It's not cricket and just wrong in my book of ethics.
It will be interesting to note if people holding dual office do 'stand aside' if there is a perceived conflict on interest.
Comment by BeccyB (Not Verified) at: 14Dec13 13:13PM
I agree with you entirely Bobbie. This is masturbatory self-politicking as they control the R&R level then submit an R&R 'position' to themselves/their allies at the Combined R&R and then submit a Consolidated Combined R&R position to themselves at Local Board Level. Democracy is not good enough for them which is why they had to rebrand it as Social Democracy. I can't remember who it was but some Yank politico was asked once to describe the difference between Democracy and Social Democracy and s/he replied that it was the difference between a jacket and a straight-jacket.
Comment by Lefty (Not Verified) at: 15Dec13 22:45PM
Haha, agree with you Bobby. One of the best points that Pop makes is "One is their membership only R&R group, the other is voters in the ward." That is what stinks for me. The R&R tell the Local Board, Council etc that they represent the people of Piha. That is BS. They only represent their members (sometimes)and those that have to join the R&R because they have a PO box and automatically have to be a member of the R&R who owns the PO!! I don't know how many boxes there are, maybe 120? So 120 people automatically are members of the R&R. I bet most of those (me included)never go to any meetings because I don't want to be a member, but they can say they represent me. The Piha R&R are therefore just a private club who try to control things in Piha. They don't represent me or the 800 or so other people who live here. They are have less and less control I notice, but thanks for being a voice of reason in the gang Bobby.

27/11/13 Scientists name new virus

 A new Virus affecting the west has been identified and there are  fears it may already have spread. Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ODD for short was first spotted about 6 years ago on a West Coast Beach but seems to have travelled to some of the Hauraki Gulf outer islands. Although seen in a number of homosexuals scientists have said not to narrow it down to this group too quickly. Biosecurity are trying to establish how it is spread.

Research Reference HERE

Comment by Number 8 Wire (Not Verified) at: 27Nov13 16:10PM
Yes I have heard of this disorder before. Scientists belive outlying countries like NZ have vast numbers of poor soles afflicted with "ODD" and closley associated mental illness .


Alas no known cure so lets hope it consumes all of us very soon and then we will all be the same again.

How dull would that be .

Auckland's Metro Magazine's Best of Auckland

left:  Extract from Metro's Best 2013. . .

Queen of the West /Penny Hulse

"The deputy mayor from Waitakere was regarded by many as a good smile -and-wave cheerleader for her boss - until he asked her to front the deeply divisive Unitary Plan.  It should have been a hospital pass, but Hulse led an exhaustive process of finding solutions most antagonists could live with , earning praise from all quarters, and was re-elected with such resounding support she is now officially the Queen of the West"  Metro Magazine on Facebook


 WRLB change meeting day

For those that are interested our Waitakere Ranges Local Board is now having fortnightly meetings on a Thursday evening at 6pm starting tomorrow.

26/11/13 Fiona Anderson received special award

A special award for 'services to the community' was given to Fi (Fiona Anderson)  at the Auckland City for Peace Youth Awardsthis evening in Auckland.

left:  Fiona, with her good mate Pam Corkery,  pictured with the award she received this evening.

'Services to the community' : well Fi has given and given and given.  Sometimes she has just given us something hysterical to laugh about but seriously  she has housed the homeless, cuddled the sad, fed the hungry, growled at those needing it, driven that ambulance many times, told off those that need it, introduced AA meetings to Piha and . . . .

HUGE congratulations for your good deeds being acknowledged.  xx  (Photo Cathy Casey)

Comment by Mark Holms (Not Verified) at: 28Nov13 9:17AM
Yes,well done Fiona.

25/11/13 This is our future and I love it

left: click on this photo and have a look at these students from Takapuna Grammar.  They are spending this week in Piha AND it is their ethos to always put something back into the Community they stay in.

So via Facebook and a friend in Perth they contacted me to see if they could spend some time today helping in our environment.

left:  Kate Macintosh, from Sustainable Neighbourshoods, the Beach Valley Road's partner, and myself.

I talked to Kate and asked her to come and help me with this class.  I always like groups to leave with 'some knowledge' and that's a bit hard with so many.

Thanks so much Kate and the teachers, as well as the kids, for everything today.

Below:  They worked hard, they cleaned up after and, most importantly they had fun.




At the end,  when I thanked them for coming,  I asked them to be careful of cyclists in Waitakere.  To be patient and pass them safely.

I also talked a little obout water safety (I am no expert) - only swim on incoming tide if no guards and how to tell if the tide is coming in or going out etc.

They finished up having a good munch of some Anzac biscuits Julia made for them and left tired and hopefully with a little more appreciation for our environment and how to care for it.  Thanks Takapuna Grammar

Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 27Nov13 19:56PM
Good on you Bobbie, They might learn and remember something form this to keep with them for the rest of their lives. ,Cheers

25/11/13 Jack gives back

"Next week, the legendary surfing musician Jack Johnson is playing two shows at the ASB theatre in Auckland. . . . .

To commemorate the From Here To Now To You tour we are going to give Piha beach a good pre-Summer clean-up this weekend. We are meeting at 1:00PM at South Piha on Sunday the 1st of December. It happens to be New Zealand's inaugural National Surfing Day and if you pitch in to help you could win tickets to see the good man play live two days later!"  NZ Herald article HERE

24/11/13  It takes a Community and . . .  

It takes a Community and it builds a Community. The Beach Valley Road Project Project had a working bee today.   Thanks to everyone that turned up 


Comment by Anonymous at: 24Nov13 20:21PM
When is anyone going to get rid of that damned fence?

23/11/13 Deep sea oil protesters crowd iconic beach

"More than 1000 people turned up at one of Auckland's famous west coast beaches to protest against deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand waters today.

Protesters turned up in their droves, waving and carrying banners, to show their support for the Oil Free Seas flotilla, which is protesting where oil giant Anadarko intends to begin drilling off the coast of Raglan.

Popular beach, Piha, hosted the main event, with speeches and a haka, which saw over 1000 people attend. Around 400 people joined the protest at Muriwai, 500 at Bethells Beach, and almost 750 at Raglan."  NZ Herald article HERE

left: This photo was taken from Lion Rock at approx. 12:30

Comment by annonymouse (Not Verified) at: 23Nov13 17:10PM
How many barrels of oil got burnt with them all driving out to piha ? Bet they all love their cars!
Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 23Nov13 19:18PM
Agreed. Also what about the large banners hanging off houses, surely that is visual pollution? If a real estate agent puts out a large sign we get nothing but complaints about their visual pollution. Power to the people who do real work to support the economy of our country.
Comment by penguin (Not Verified) at: 24Nov13 0:33AM
You might be sneering on the other side of your face if the beach ends up covered in oil. No doubt you'd be the first to complain - no, second, after me...
Comment by ian harrison (Not Verified) at: 05Dec13 8:00AM
there is oil rigs of the coast of califoria

23/11/13 As an ex-Convent Girl

From an early age I have questioned and in fact the Nuns punished me for it.  We must never stop questioning and following our own conscious

Listen to Matt Damon blow your mind HERE

22/11/13 What a Sham !

            • noun.   a thing that is not what it is purported to be.
            • adjective : bogus; false.
            • verb : falsely present something as the truth.

After working recently in Karekare a couple of people pointed me in the direction of  'a sham' so I went searching and found the Karekare R&R's Minutes from their October meeting and was genuinely appalled as you should be too - well if you like democracy you should be.

Quote from the Minutes Karekare R&R Oct '13 Minutes regarding submission on Visitor Management Plan:: 

"Kubi Witten-Hannah [K W-H] is a member of the KKRRT [Karekare R&R] and also Chair of the Combined (Waitakere) R&R.

Whilst a combined R&R submission has been released into the public domain referencing 'Karekare' as having been part of the process, it is important to note that this material was not seen/reviewed by the KKRRT committee prior to its release.


. . . . . and it states clearly that the submission is not a true 'consensus' view. The KKRRT Committee in session as at the Oct 9 meeting were appalled that the Karekare position was arbitrarily assumed and its views not sought by the Combined R&R  - not least as this would have been simple given the relationship of Kubi W-H to both groups.


MP advised that even if the KKRRT agreed with everything in the Combined R&R submission that Karekare members (outside of K W-H) should have been consulted and the material tabled and that we cannot have 'rogue' committee members. 


(The Chair) advised that he communicated with K W-H to express his dismay and that this communication has not been answered. JK stated that without consultation the submission becomes a closed-loop mockery of local community consensus as it does not represent the KKRRT view and could now be perceived as merely representing the 'sock puppet' view of the supporters of those proposing the current Visitor Management Strategy.  It was agreed at the meeting that Kubi be given an opportunity to explain to the full committee why the submission was released in this manner and what steps have been taken to ensure that there is no further circumvention of the KKRRT Committee view in future."

(Note. The Waitakere Combined R&R Group is made up of Piha, Karekare, Henderson Valley, Huia, Titirangi, Waiatarua, Oratia  . . .  R&R's who 'represent' us to the Local Board and make submissions  etc etc)


It is all of our responsibility to ensure that those, elected or not, that purport to represent us do just that - ask us and represent our views rather than their own !!!  Be afraid - be very afraid

Comment by Annie (Not Verified) at: 23Nov13 9:19AM
Over the ridge in Karekare it's clear that what were(years ago)anti-establishment types are now the establishment although they don't seem to realise it. The demographic over there is changing though with some really quite lovely women and men that aren't so politically entrenched now putting their hands up to help out in the community although the old hands are very change resistant because for them it has now become all about control. They can't seem to realise that they have become caricatures of the very control freaks they railed against 2 or 3 decades ago.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 23Nov13 9:57AM
Is this woman/man still on both committees ? s/he shouldn't be
Comment by Katryna (Not Verified) at: 23Nov13 14:08PM
He's on both and one of Sandra Coney's lot. He's not one for diversity of opinion but then neither is the current local board. They all seem to be members of the Borg Collective. Visitor MANAGEMENT Strategy pah! Progress Containment Say No To Visitors Strategy more like. The submission reads like a Mels Barton special.
Comment by Ana(rchist) (Not Verified) at: 23Nov13 14:20PM
Sock Puppets. Brilliant!

22/11/13 Banner on the Beach - this Saturday midday

"They sail to make a stand against the great and unnecessary risks that exploratory deep sea oil drilling presents to our oceans and our coastlines - and they sail to stand up for the right to protest at sea.  Not everyone can get in a small boat and head out into the wild Tasman Sea - but neither can we leave it to these small crews to face Anadarko alone!

And that's where YOU come in. This is something that affects us all - so as the flotilla confronts the drill-ship at sea, we all need to stand together and draw a line in the sand to say "stop deep sea oil" so loudly that they'll hear it in Texas."   Banners on the Beach for Oil Free Seas HERE

22/11/13 Takapuna school here to contribute

On Monday morning, 25th Nov, a class of Takapuna kids are coming the Beach Valley Road Project to contribute some work.

They do this in return for staying, North Piha SLSC, in our community - nice !

If anyone would like to come and help me supervise them you're welcome.  Please just Email me and let me know HERE

22/11/13 Piha Library asking for your help

"Christmas Hamper Fundraiser  As Christmas approaches we are asking for donations of non-perishable grocery items for our Christmas hamper raffle. We have a lovely basket to fill with goodies, so if you have any items to donate please drop them off at the Library by December 8th.  Raffle tickets for the hamper and for a beautiful Gingerbread house will be on sale from December 9th.  Please help us make this a successful fundraiser."    Piha Community Library

20/11/13 Take the Pledge

"I PROMISE never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women"


Woman who fell from Piha's Lion Rock was outside safety barriers

A woman who fell 15 metres from Lion Rock at Piha yesterday was outside the safety barriers, emergency services say.

The 22-year-old suffered severe cuts and a suspected broken elbow after falling down a steep slope onto rocks about 2.20pm, but was lucky to escape more serious injury.

Piha Surf Life Saving Club patrol captain Gracey Monteith said lifeguards were alerted to the incident on Sunday by the woman's boyfriend.

Ms Monteith said lifeguards took her on a stretcher to the surf club, where her wounds were dressed.

She had taken a knock to the head, suffered deep grazes down her right side, severe cuts to her right elbow, and a suspected broken elbow.   Full NZ Herald HERE

5 decades in Local Government

left: Deputy Mayor and Waitakere Ward Councilor Penny Hulse making a speech at a luncheon held to honour Janet Clew's five decades  in local government.

I was very sad when Janet missed out on a seat in the Waitakere Ranges Local Board - Janet has always been very approachable, a great listener and down-to-earth representative.

Piha SLSC Givealittle 

Piha Rescue is on air again on Monday at 7:30pm. Piha Surf Life Saving Club does not get any money for this show from TV1 or the producers of Piha Rescue!
Give-a-Little takes no fees and 100% of all donations (which are tax deductible) flow through to the club to help general funding for the benefit of the clubs, Junior Surf, Nippers and Tadpole programmes. These programmes provide the opportunity for fun at the beach while increasing knowledge and awareness of the beach and surf safety.

There is generally a natural progression from Tadpole/Nipper/Junior programmes to Qualified Patrolling Piha Guards at the age of 14. This very much helps the club to have sufficient lifeguards to patrol the beach....

18/11/13  Are you missing a pet bunny ?

Hi Bobbie, 


I wonder if you could put up a post on village voice for me? We found a malemini lop rabbit running wild at the end of Pendrell Rd on Friday. We managed tocatch him...folks down Piha Rd reckon he's been feral as long as 6 months, butsomeone must be missing him...he is super sweet. And a true survivor! Currentlyhanging out in a cage next to our male mini lop rabbit and eating A LOT! Ifanyone knows where he might have come from please email me HERE.



Comment by anissa ljanta (Not Verified) at: 09Dec13 21:25PM
Errant bunny's owner was found, thanks!

Keep On Keeping On - Suicide Awareness Event

A chance to learn more about the organizations involved in mental health and suicide prevention and also a chance to just let your hair down and celebrate a life worth living.

When: Sunday 1 December  Time: 1pm?4pm   Where: Corbans Estate ArtCentre

  • CAR SHOW (including Bikes and V8's)

Completely Free day out forthe whole family.

14/11/13 Oil Exploration & Graffiti

The Herald reports:  "The Auckland Council has approved oil exploration permits off the city's West Coast in a submission to the Government.

However, it wants the boundaries set 12 nautical miles offshore to protect the endangered Maui dolphin and the risk from any oil spill."  Full article HERE

 A Village Voice reader sent the following to me  "Who are these anti oil drilling vandals who think they have the right to drive their petrol powered cars to various locations (Piha lookout and also just past Lone Kauri Road where the school bus stops.) and tag public property with their unsightly messages?  

Signs on peoples property fine; spray painting railings on the Piha Rd - definitely not okay!!    I don't disagree with them having their view; but they are no better than taggers (yet probably want you to believe they are well educated/informed environmentalists?)"

I went to photograph the graffiti but its been removed already - great !

14/11/13 (Waitakere Ranges) Board's Work - Letter to the Editor (Western Leader)

left: "The new Chairwoman of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Sandra Coney, says revitalizing Glen Eden and educating the community about kauri dieback disease will be the board's first point of order.

It will also look at enhancing weed and pest control in the ranges.

The ratepayers voted for the board, not the kauri trees, the Waitakere Ranges or the possums.

It is important for the new board to concentrate on roads, sewage, wastewater, roading, parks,  public transport, and rating issues for which the Auckland Council provides funding.

Kauri dieback is not dissimilar to phytophthora in fruit trees which  Oratia orchardists battled for a century until the demise of the orchards.

We want the sewer line from Oratia District School to continue up Shaw, Carter, Parker and West Coast roads and for Oratia's beauty to be enhanced.

Government funding needs to be sought for the kauri dieback and possum control.- not ratepayer's money.

We are alert to the extreme greenies who don't understand economics.  M Marinovich, Oratia.'

The Local Board represents the PEOPLE - the conduit between us and the Council  . . .  e.g. Ratepayers is it not?

I fully agree with more vigilant control of weeds everywhere as I submitted to the previous Local Board.  Am I correct that weed control on the roading corridors is Auckland Transport's responsibility?   

Some more rabbit control in Piha would be a wonderful thing too. 

I understood the Waitakere Ranges is a 'Regional Park' rather than 'Local Park' - this was clearly defined with the the 1st WRLB in a rather unpleasant stouch 3 years ago when the then Chair, Denise Yates, suggested a 'co-governance'.

My political point has always been:  The Heritage Area Act, Auckland Council Regional Parks  plus Waitakere Ranges Protection Society provide more than adequate governance for the Heritage Area.  The Board represents the people - ratepayers !

If you wish to write to the Editor of the Western Leader you can Editor - Western Leader 

Comment by Anonymous at: 17Nov13 21:53PM
Thanks for bringing this to our attention VV. I would have thought that the new community board had, for starters, more important items to attend to.
Comment by THE BOUNDER (Not Verified) at: 19Nov13 11:40AM
WHAT about this missing rabbit then,just what exactly do you mean by rabbit control...? Parental control or final solutions.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 19Nov13 18:26PM
For wild rabbits - final solution is a good one

Warning - Poison

This sign was found somewhat hidden on the dunes near the dog run area

Warning - Poison PINDONE

DO NOT touch the bait  -  WATCH children all the time  -  DO NOT eat animals from this area !!!  -  BAIT and carcasses is deadly to dogs !

It says until December 15th but doesn't say what year so can only presume its this year.

13/11/13 Green Revolution Happening - folk from Piha

Left:  Blue Breeze's Chef Barrington with Jeffrey McCauley from New Zealand Native Concepts which is located by turning left over the bridge into Stedfast Park in Piha

When I ate at Blue Breeze Inn recently the stand-out dishes were both vegetables; one, a stir-fry of "NZ weeds" grown and gathered on Auckland's west coast for Barrington by Piha resident Jeffrey McCauley from New Zealand Native Concepts -- and another, a simple black pepper-pickled cabbage, shallot and ginger salad. Both were sensational.

With Barrington's passion for creating innovative Asian-inspired dishes, it's hardly surprising that vegetables play an important role on these menus, given that protein is generally used more sparingly in Asian cooking with vegetables and rice or noodles forming the mainstay of any meal.  Full article in NZ Herald Viva HERE

Comment by the bounder (Not Verified) at: 19Nov13 11:43AM
WELL that's solved the food problem for the missing rabbit,or are they just fattening him/her up?

13/11/13 Keep yourself safe - talk to your neighbours


With the number of burglaries happening in Piha at the moment may I suggest, at least, woman home alone buy a whistle.

Then chat to your neighbours and ask them to phone you if they hear a whistle.  If they don't get a satisfactory response then they should phone 111



Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 13Nov13 19:24PM
As a part time resident of Garden Rd I always keep an eye on Bache's and goings on our Rd. I think Piha should get back into Neighbour hood watch groups. Put up a few signs etc , If u don't already, get to know the guy/gal down the road.
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 13Nov13 22:24PM
There is a Neighbourhood Support group in Piha although it has lost its drive since Liv stopped being the co-ordinator. We never had anyone in Garden Road Martin, so if you are interested in becoming a street co-ordinator, please contact me or Bobbie. There are about 4-5 areas in Piha that have them and it is a good time for the young in Piha to step up and do it now.
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 13Nov13 22:28PM
By the way, anyone who wants to be involved in NS as a street co-ordinator needs a Police check and do a small introduction course of about 2 hours. This stops some nutters who might want to get involved. There is also a car which is used for approved people to drive around in and just check the streets are ok and let people see that Piha residents are around the area. Nothing heavy, just something that someone wanted to do and there are a number of drivers I understand.
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 14Nov13 18:55PM
I will do this ,I shall call Henderson police, But as a part timer full-timers will need to help Out. Thats a very positive thing to do.
I will let U know how I get on.
Comment by the BOUNDER (Not Verified) at: 19Nov13 11:53AM
maybe Piha also needs an organisation that can sort out dog and rabbit control,but yes we should always have at least an email or phone link with neigbours regarding burglaries and suspicious behaviour.

13/11/13 'Caring for our Coast' - a new publication

Last night I attended the launch of the EDS book 'Caring for our Coast - An EDS Guide to managing coastal development'


left: The authors Lucy Brake and Raewyn Peart with me in the middle with the autographed copy I purchased.


This book is the Winner of the 2013 RMLS Publication Award.  I strongly recommend a copy for your summer reading, bookshelf or coffee table and friends to browse through. 


left: from the book

"Protecting access to surf breaks. The NZCPS 2010 identified the need to protect nationally significant surf breaks by ensuring that activities do not adversely affect them and that other activities do not impact on the access to and use of the surf breaks.  Seventeen locations of surf breaks of national significant are listed . . . . . .  are also relevant as surf breaks are part of the natural character of the coastal environment and are natural features within the seascape  "



left: from the book

Natural defense against coastal hazards

1. Provide where appropriate for the protection, restoration or enhancement of natural defences that protect coastal land uses or sites of significance biodiversity, cultural or historic heritage or geological value from coastal hazards.

2. Recognise that such natural defences include beaches, estuaries, wetlands, intertidal areas, coastal vegetation, dunes and barrier islands.


left: from the book

"Desirable example Papamoa, Taurangi. Replanting of indigenous dune species has helped to naturally trap the sand rebuilding these natural defence systems with formed public accessways reducing trampling of vegetation:


I'd like to think that some people in Piha  (you know who you are) just might obtain this book, the Piha Library will probably get it, and read up. 

Fireworks and the Law

This is the by-law regarding fireworks

The Auckland Bylaw (Part 2, 6, 3) says:

A person must not set off fireworks, flares or any other explosive material:

a) in a public place, except with the prior written approval of the council or a council controlled organisation; and

b) In any other place, in a way that does or is likely to create a nuisance or endanger any person, property, dog or other animal in a public place.

Baby Morepork out during the day


left:  This baby Morepork came out and joined me today while I was gardening.  S/he just sat there staring at me for some time.

I'm noticing more and more Morepork each year nesting in Beach Valley Road.   Is anyone else noticing more birds?



Comment by sara (Not Verified) at: 14Nov13 10:23AM
we heard and saw kaka flying over our place last night (on Piha hill), on dusk. They're becoming a more common sight/sound which is great.Also hear petrels at dusk returning to their nests on the cliffs.

13/11/13 Watch those rats

A couple of days ago I noticed a rat running down a telephone wire into the bush.

These damn rats are after the birds nests at this time of the year.

We've had a nest in a cabbage tree right in front of our deck and it's music listening to them.

If you are able please put some rat poison out, safely, and help protect the bird nests.


11/11/13 Police concerned about man missing near Piha

Police are concerned about the welfare of a man believed to be missing near west Auckland's Piha Beach.

Andrey Melnikov, left, 45, of Uzbekistan, was last seen walking on Scenic Drive between East Coast Road and the Arataki Visitors Centre at 5pm on Saturday.

He is described as Caucasian, around 182cm tall and of muscular build.

Mr Melnikov was wearing a dark coloured t-shirt, dark pants and carrying a coloured single strap back pack.

Anyone with information about Mr Melnikov's whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately.   Full article on TVNZ HERE

11/11/13 Unneutered dog still wandering


This rather large dog is unneutered and wandering between Glen Esk and Beach Valley Roads.

It worries me mainly because its not neutered and therefore, so they say, can be aggressive.  I so wish the owner would stop it wandering.


Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 12Nov13 6:32AM
Many of us dog walkers saw it yesterday morning, wandering between Piha beach and the Domain. It appears to be quite timid & has no collar. It's sad to see it left up to it's own devices and can unattended be hit by a car. It also looks like it could use a good feed so I question whether or not it's been abandoned.
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Nov13 14:11PM
I think it is called Buster and it's actually a lovely dog, but way too big to be roaming by itself.. It has changed owners quite a bit over the last year and it is sad to see that such a beautiful dog is left to wander the streets instead of being looked after properly..
Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 12Nov13 19:35PM
I believe this dog lives currently in Garden rd where the flag is near the pond, It seems to rule piha, it looks a bit of trouble but seems to ignore most people. But it should have a collar.

8/11/13 Blockhouse Bay Intermediate at Piha

Great to see the water safety program continuing with school at Piha

left:  Blockhouse Bay Intermediate kids warming up before going into the water.  Not the nicest day out here for them but with any luck they'll learn the skills to reduce the risk of them drowning.

Thanks again to our Surf Life Saving crew for educating the young.

6/11/13 It's on record - I voted against a ban

It's on record that at the last two AGMs of the Piha RnR I voted against a full ban of fireworks in Piha.  I also asked that my vote be recorded.

Let me explain: 

            1. I see no problems with children having sparklers and supervised with small fireworks.
            2. Fires started by fireworks are, in the main, let off NOT by locals but by visitors who would ignore a ban anyway.
            3. I long for the day when we can, again, have a community Guy Fawkes night, supervised by our volunteer firefighters.  We used to have it every year and I loved it and miss it. 
            4. We need signage at the top of the hill saying  "Fireworks are banned in all public places in this Village" - how are people expected to know this I have no idea !
            5. Idiots will be idiots regardless of signs and by-laws.
            6. There is no consequence to people breaking by-laws anyway as we have recently experienced.
Comment by first time caller (Not Verified) at: 07Nov13 9:13AM
I agree, but would go further to say the ban on fireworks in public places was ill conceived and poorly thought through, it needs to go... Now, before the wringing of hands and pursing of lips starts let me explain why, buying fireworks during Guy Fawkes is not illegal, people will buy them and will bring them to Piha, you simply cannot stop this, so you must accept it... But, the public places ban now forces people to let them off at home i.e. private property, am I the only one who see?s the obvious flaw in this plan? most if not all residential properties out here are either surrounded by dense bush or have over hanging trees and bush in very close proximity (another argument re: allowing us to prune our own trees!) so instead of wide open spaces devoid of dry bush and trees to safely light them, they are now lit under tree canopies, in confined yards and very near neighbours houses and pets.
Comment by first time caller (Not Verified) at: 07Nov13 9:14AM
I suggest if this ban is to stay or be even workable, then a large open area (such as the domain or beach) has to be made available for them to be used in...
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 07Nov13 11:39AM
First Time Caller: I agree with you. Don't punish/ban responsible people to stop idiots - it just doesn't work like that. Banning all fireworks in Piha will not stop what we are hearing night after night - fireworks
Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 08Nov13 21:24PM
Hi Bobbie. I recall your voting against the R&R proposal for a Piha ban on Fireworks - pretty sure during my term as President. Your suggestion was that people could use the beach and tonight (Fri 8th Nov) there is a great display going on, on the beach right in front of our place. Not so bad as its a windless night. But with the usual prevailing westerlies I am very aware these high flying fireballs would be heading right over where there was a serious fire a few years ago encroaching onto beachfront properties. You may remember the Surf Club assisting the Fire Brigade on that occasion. Frankly, I'm against promoting the beach venue when I see the height these starbursts achieve.Plus very loud explosions - quite a noise.Would you now reconsider your position?
Kind Regards, Graeme.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 08Nov13 23:58PM
Hi Graeme, Is that fire you are referring to the big one on that hot summers day? If so I don't think that was fireworks or was it?
It's not my intention to promote the beach as I am aware that sky rockets have caused fires on Lion rock before.
I would just like to leave the door open to a community fireworks (maybe without the bigger fire-starters) overseen by the fire brigade . . .
I can see both sides but change my mine and vote for a full ban - still not sure I could do that. There are so many here that wish to still have (smaller) fireworks on their properties and I'm a strong proponent on property rights.
Again I suggest a full ban would not stop the idiots that start the fires ???
Open for discussion over a cuppa
Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 09Nov13 10:07AM
Hi Bobbie.The fire I referred to was as you say - and was kids playing with matches and got away quickly - just as an example of how a fire gets away easily - same as Nth Piha Guy Fawkes fire couple of years ago.Things are dry enough in Piha now for a fire to be hard to combat.
Like you, I enjoy fireworks and our family always had that 5th Nov get-together. Most probably the controlled community event in the Domain would be great to return to but no-one would take responsibilty after Peter Joyce pulled out from controlling it.Yep, a cuppa is on the cards. Rgds.G.
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 15Nov13 17:43PM
These fire bugs were not kids but old enough to drive and to throw a firecracker at a dog walker as they passed by. This was a day after they had set fire to the hillside. Their car was identified and the registration turned into the police.

6/11/13 Piha Beach Fit

Yet another great happening in our Piha Community.


 I have been remiss in not publishing this earlier but its never too late

8 week training session held in Piha . . .

Click on the photo left for details

Its also on Facebook HERE

You might be surprised who you bump into there.


6/11/13 It only took 3 hours

If you're going to rely on your seed bank you must have patience.  I'm sure there is more than a few people out there who think that I, and the Beach Valley Road Project folk, are mad weeding and weeding and weeding.  BUT the results are showing this year.

See the growth on this bank, opposite the RSA, and the new seedlings coming up.  Very soon this will be a 'once a year maintenance weed' area.

Below: left  before and other two just 3 hours later (and that's just one person working).   It doesn't take a lot. 


To the lovely folk who come and take the bottles away or offer me a drink or a chat - thanks.

Nov '13 Piha Local wins West AucklandHistorical Society Essay Competiti

Piha local, Glenda Northy recently entered an essay into the essay competition 'Capturing the West' essay competition which honours the work of local historian J .T. (Jack) Diamond who spent a life-time recording information about the Western districts and who published its first regional history - Once the Wilderness.

This competition is for student non-fiction writers, amateur adult writers and this year for the first time, semi and fully professional writers. Prizes are awarded for the winning essays with a selection published in the West Auckland Historical Society's journal West of Eden.

left:  Glenda Northey, recently collecting for 'Blind Week'  won the semi professional section.  Glenda is also the current Chair of the Piha Community Library Trust.

 The Essay, which makes a fabulous read for Piha locals  was titled

Piha: thirty years down the track.

The Piha Community News: 1983,1998 and 2012

Some would say that Piha has changed substantially over the last 30 years. Many baches have been replaced by homes, the road is now fully sealed, there are fewer power cuts, Piha no longer has three digit phone numbers, and there is a fully functioning library and a café and several other places to dine over the weekend. There have been subtle losses, there is no longer a Friday shopping bus and a Sunday bus service, there is no movie night, and the rural delivery no longer includes milk and bread along with the newspaper and mail. Piha's population has increased by nearly a thousand people in the last 30 years. What effect has this had on the community? 

 Read the whole essay HERE


06/11/13 Karekare Gladefest Rogaine

This is a teams navigation challenge with a difference. The Rogaine is based at the scenic Karekare beach in the Waitakere Ranges and after the event the Karekare community is hosting Gladefest - live music from 3 local bands , face painting, lolly scrambles for children and hot food and coffee for all.  More detals HERE

5/11/13  The aftermath

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5/11/13 It sure takes a Village

Email received on Monday

Hi Bobbie,
As I know your ear is much closer to the ground than mine in Piha, I just wanted to pass on some information.
As I was leaving Piha this morning at about 7.00am a car shot out of Glen Esk Road at speed.  It did not stop at the intersection and I had to brake to avoid it.  It was a silver coloured Toyota, rego ******  (removed just in case its not the offender). 
If you hear of anything that might link to this, please let me know.
Best wishes as ever.
A Friend x

Email to Village Voice today

Hello Ladies, just wanted to report several home break-ins around 5 in the morning on Mon 28th Oct, all on Glenesk Rd.   intruder in our house - a recent local named Sidney Tao, who comes and goes

Name provided

Now that's easy isn't it.  One phone call and the NZ Police can take it from there.

Thanks to the friend who was alert and send information and thanks to person who reported burglaries.



04/11/13 Waitakere Fireworks 2013.  Its back on

Waitakere Fireworks Display 
Location: The Trusts Arena
Date: Saturday 16th November 2013
Time: Gates Open at 5.30
Rain Date: Sunday 17th November 2013

Adults: $20.00 Per Person
Children: $5.00 Per Person
Family (2 Adults & 3 Children): $30.00

Comment by leda waite (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 9:15AM
I read in the western leader it was cancelled due to funding issues.... is this not the case?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 14:28PM
I have checked with The Trusts. This great 'safe' event is still happening.

5/11/13 Plunket returns to Piha

Plunket has come back to Piha Play Group.

9.30am - to 12.30pm.   1st Monday Of Every Month.

For Appointments call Annette on 0272436948.

4/11/13 Piha Café now open 8 Days a Week - summer is on the way

4/11/13 The Piha Store is shut. 

Anyone coming to Piha can get milk and a few supplies at either the Piha Café or Blairs on the Beach.  I suggest you stock up prior to coming out.  NZ Herald available at the Piha  Camp Office

Comment by Anonymous at: 05Nov13 9:23AM
Just a ploy to make us appreciate the Store.
It's working - COME BACK PETE
Comment by Cheryl Evans (Not Verified) at: 05Nov13 12:49PM
Were missing your pies and coffee already Pete, come back soon! United Lifeguards won't function without your pies!
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 9:28AM
It appears the store was open this morning ??
Comment by Cheryl Evans (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 14:21PM
Store is open again yahoo! thanks Pete and the team, awesome to see you back up and running. Coffee was fantastic too!

04/11/13 Fire on Piha's Tasman Lookout

NOTE: Fireworks are banned in ALL public places

At around 5pm this evening many in Piha would have been checking their ovens etc to check if the smell of fire was in their home.   It wasn't.

The person who started the fire was identified  admitted that it was started with fireworks.  We all should know by now that fireworks in public places is banned.

Below left:  Helen Edmonds was Controller at the top and, right, Ron Gorter was Controller at the bottom.


Below: Volunteer Fire Services from Piha, Karekare & Waiatarua plus Fire Service from Glen Eden all attended.


Below left: Auckland Council Park Ranger also attended and, right, pumping water to fire hoses.



Below:  The aftermath at the Tasman Lookout and far right: no problems getting emergency vehicles up the dune tracks.            


Thanks again, 2nd time today, to the volunteers of the West.  You're heroes in my books.   

Comment by Val Stanaway (Not Verified) at: 04Nov13 23:08PM
Bloody hell. I can't believe all todays action. Thanks once again to our response heroes. I was in town, so missed all this, but thanks to VV, I'm kept up to date.
Comment by Shag (Not Verified) at: 05Nov13 0:06AM
Every year its the same. Let's get fireworks right out of piha
Comment by Anonymous at: 05Nov13 9:35AM
Great work guys. Keep Fireworks out of Piha and out of NZ. Lets just have commercial organised shows if necessary. Look at the damage done to 4 year old in Herald. Children, Pets and our beautiful country does not need this.
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 05Nov13 9:41AM
Set an example & send a loud message by charging the people or parents of these fire bugs for the Fire Department call out. Especially in light of the fireworks guidelines article recently written in the spring 2013 Piha Community News.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 19:45PM
What is the use of having by-laws if they aren't enforced ?

Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan Open Day 

There is an open day for those wishing for details on the rulebook that will shape how Auckland grows - it is now in its formal submission process.  Yes, this is the one which covers the rules of your property ! 

18th November @ Henderson Civic Centre  All the details HERE PDF

04/11/13 Fisherman rescued at Piha today

A fisherman, around the Gap in Piha today, was lucky that NZ's rescue services are on the alert and drop all to save lives.

He fell while fishing and was well out to sea when Piha SLSC's rescue boat got out and around to him.

left: the Westpac Rescue helicopter on standby. Piha SLSC Club Captain Duncan Clark talks to the pilot.

Police, First Response and St. Johns attended the incident as well as the Rescue Helicopter

The volunteer services are exceptional at what they do.  It makes me wonder if the fisherman would think to donate a cheque to either of the volunteer services ???

Again, thanks to you all.

Comment by Jonathon Webber (Not Verified) at: 04Nov13 22:42PM
Well done team; in modern history perhaps the only time a rock fisherman has stayed above water long enough to be rescued. Perhaps they could write themselves a cheque and buy a lifejacket? Less than $100 and virtually impossible to die if you are wearing one!
Comment by Mark Holms (Not Verified) at: 05Nov13 12:27PM
First cheque should be to the Club that saved him/her.

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 2/11/13  'That' maiden speech

The NZ Herald and Facebook are full of Linda Cooper's maiden speech at Auckland Council this week.   Here it is:

Linda Cooper - Maiden speech  (Auckland Council Councillor),

Kia ora mai tatou katoa. Your worship, fellow councillors, officers and members of the public. I look forward to working withyou all.

I won't give you my biography. It's all in Linked in and I am getting old and the CV is too long to recite.

I have three messages for you today.

Firstly I am honoured to have been elected to represent my West Auckland community and I thank everyone who voted for me.  I only hope I can live up to their expectations - I am certainly going to do my best to be an effective voice at the Council table.

Secondly I want to affirm my belief in Auckland, city of my birth,  as the best city in NewZealand - and I am determined to help it become even better through encouraging inspired leadership and decision making, promoting an excellent environment forbusiness to grow especially in the West where I want people to be able to work close to home, (including Council's own commercial businesses), encouraging the best urban design solutions in the world, effective transport networks including cycleways and fair and transparent rating right across the city.  

Thirdly, and this is a post script really, I want to show you this rather beautiful briefcase which I, along with all other councillors and local board members,  was given by Council 36 hours after being elected .(holds up bag)

Let's do the arithmetic here. 170 briefcases at say...$250 each is $42,500

My goodness! That's a 1000 Library books, 100 pot hole repairs and the annual rates for half the houses in Newington St in Henderson! 

As a ratepayer I am appalled and as a councilor I am embarrassed at this expenditure! Needless to say I will be returning this.

Because I would be happy to carry my papers in as hopping bag.

I hope this is not a sign of a culture of excess in this organisation. I will be watching very carefully over the next three years.

No reira,  tenakoutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

The Ten Best Things includes Piha

Did you notice how many more people were at Piha Preschool's Labour Day Market this year.  It was packed !

Research may explain:  'Annual Piha Market' was #10 of the best things to do on Labour weekend.   and its link was to Village Voice photo collection 2012 !

My 2013 photos will be up soon.  Been a little busy or lazy !

  31/10/13 Halloween in Piha

We all know its an American 'thing' but any excuse to get our families together and have create great memories for our Piha children is a great excuse for me.

I particularly enjoy seeing the dads with their children. 

Thanks, I understand, must go to Sooz Harvey for organizing this wonderful event.





Even the trees in the Piha Domain were decorated.

 This being organized, along with the weather, meant we only had 2 lots knock on our door. 



I couldn't resist this photo - she looked so great on the spider web.


If you would like a higher resolution of a photo of yourself or your child please Email me personally and we'll arrange it.  


31/10/13 Waitakere Ranges Local Board Chair & Deputy decided

The new Waitakere Ranges Local Board were sworn in at Titirangi Memorial Hall this evening (not at Lopdell on 2nd Nov as announced)

Back Row: Neil Henderson, Greg Presland, Saffron Toms, Steve Tollestrup and Denise Yates (Deputy Chair)

Front Row: Doug McKay, Chief Executive, Sandra Coney, Chair of the Board

Comment by Shag (Not Verified) at: 01Nov13 8:56AM
Good luck guys! Save our heritage area
Comment by Bob Harvey (Not Verified) at: 01Nov13 19:01PM
Can I add a record of praise to Denise for her excellent chairing of the board in the first 3 years of the Council. It is a great pity she did not retain this position. . she worked tirelessly for the local community and Ms Coney will need to polish her dancing shoes to keep up with her record of meetings and attendance at events and projects. .that don't start and finish at Piha.
Comment by Bob Harvey (Not Verified) at: 01Nov13 19:02PM
The new Chair now needs to show a wider and more holistic sense of leadership that's bigger than one small tight angry corner of the West. I for one will watch with interest how it plays out.
For the last 10years the Karekare Surf club has asked with great patience for help and assistance to get access to our Club. We have got what's called 'the Run around' now we are the only Club in New Zealand that needs a tractor to get members and gear to save lives. Denise was the only Council Representative to respond to our pleas for help. I am sure you get my drift.
Working for the community means just that and doing something takes time. I sincerely the new line up does more the talk and call for reports.
Bob Harvey .. Karekare
Comment by Roper (Not Verified) at: 02Nov13 0:30AM
Well said Bob. The new chair has been a thorn in the side of the club. And remember the bloody Piha Cafe fight? Isn't it time she stayed home and put her feet up.
Comment by Anonymous at: 04Nov13 12:49PM
Good one, Bob.
So, this what it's come to?
You used to be on to it. Mayor of the city. Taking it to the pc brigade and the wankers, down trous, our dude in the city. A few skeletons there, but say no more.
And here you are slagging off Coney for ? what?
Bagged her during the election campaign so your mates could make money out of the Hilary trail, pushed Jonny Knox & Co. And what happened - she and her group thrashed them. hands down.
And somehow she's the problem with the surf club? what shit, man. You know that we're our own worst problem. At KK we've argued about the club for bloody ages? we've no-one else to blame but us.
And all you can do is join the whingers on the site of the aggrieved! Pathetic. How about some leadership
Comment by Anonymous at: 05Nov13 8:08AM
Just a bit of political history. If you have the same people/party in power and doing there own thing (In the best interest of everyone NOT)i.e. in charge! Isn't that socialism, which is Communism by stealth!!
Comment by Another Anon (Not Verified) at: 05Nov13 9:18AM
Yeah, "Anon" (reckon I can pick you) Bob had years as mayor to sort the Surf Club. Problem is the flat-earthers who think an occasional bulldozer can stop the thousands of tonnes of sand that nature is piling on the beach. Rebuilding down on the beach is crazy, but we'll get no help from our bob whse reliving (and rewirting) the past. Get the Local Board onside, not against us...
Comment by And another Anon (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 22:50PM
Good luck with that Another Anon!!

Both sides of Lion Rock

It's not often you see the sea coming up both sides of Lion Rock at the same time.

left:  click on this photo and that's what you'll see.



Getting rid of ginger in Piha

You have two ways to get rid of ginger.

One is to cut it and immediately paste it.

or you can do what Ryan, of the Beach Valley Road Project, has done and dig it out and put it in a weed bin.

31/10/13 Not a good start - maybe a Halloween trick ?

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board advised on their Facebook page (dated 30/10/13 12:21)

"The Waitakere Ranges Local Board Inaugural meeting will be held tomorrow; Thursday 31 October at 6.30pm. This meeting is open to the public. "

21/10/2010 Waitakere Ranges  
    • Tuesday 2 November, 6.30pm - 8.30pm
    • Lopdell House, Level 3, Corner Titirangi and South Titirangi Roads, Titirangi

   30/10/13 Piha supporting Blind Week.

Glenda & Jane will be down on the roadside near the café collecting donations for Blind week from 10-2pm (weather permitting). Please stop and make a donation in support of this great cause.

Please note the photo on the left is not Glenda or Jane !

More about Blind Week in NZ HERE

25/10/13  Be Aware - THIEVES OPERATING AGAIN!!

Darkstation wagon, DWM25.

Blondguy, early thirties, blue eyes,

Dark hoodie, dark beanie, medium height andbuild.

Police informed

24/10/13 Piha on Monopoly board

left: Piha has made it onto the New Zealand version of Monopoly alongside Waiheke Island and Mission Bay.


24/10/13 Warning sent in by Village Voice reader

Rabbit baits have been laid at Les Waygood park and on the dunes after the streams heading north.


The bait is in green half barrels with four posts and asheep fence around and red signs that say danger. The fence will keep out large dogs but gaps have to be big enough for rabbits to get through.


The bait is 'pindone' which is toxic if ingested (antidote vitamin K to be given by vet).  However, one of the reasons this bait is chosen is that secondary poisoning will not occur if a dog eats a dead rabbit. 

24/10/13 Yes, No, Yes, No,  Yes !!!

There has been discussion about whether Council should seal the area between the new sealed road on the Domain and the Eel Bridge.  Seems they decided they would.


Comment by Anonymous at: 28Oct13 19:03PM
Looks OK to me. After rolling my ankle going to the market day today more formed walkways/paths please?!
Comment by Shag (Not Verified) at: 29Oct13 23:13PM
Well, you can roll your ankle anywhere. Of course, you could stay in bed and take no risks at all...
Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 30Oct13 10:11AM
looks unfinished if they left the gap. Looks good now.

   4/10/13 Lion Rock @ low tide

left: Have you noticed how low tide now would enable you to talk or paddle around the front of Lion Rock?

That huge slug of sand moving up the coast has raised the level of Piha Beach so much !


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23/10/13 Open days for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan

If you own property in greater Auckland then, its my opinion, you're mad if you don't attend one of these.

The below open days will all take place between 1pm and 8pm:

  • Orewa Service Centre, 50 Centreway Road - 4 November
  • Central City Library, 44-46 Lorne Street - 11 November
  • Manukau Civic Building, 4 Osterley Way - 13 November
  • Henderson Civic Centre, 6 Henderson Valley Road - 18 November
  • Bruce Mason Centre, The Promenade, Takapuna - 20 November
  • Franklin: The Centre, 12 Massey Avenue, Pukekohe - 25 November.

Register your interest in attending the open days and view the schedules.


Liquidator/s Appointed P S 2002 LIMITED was put into Liquidation on the 18 Oct 2013 by 241(2)(c) ? Court. *Director/s: Peter Gordon CHAPMAN 26 Seaview Road, Piha Liquidator details: PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS Phone: +64 9 3558000 Email: Address:...
Read more:

PACIFIC HORIZON LIMITED (IN RECEIVERSHIP & IN LIQUIDATION) PS 2002 Limited trading as "Piha Store" (In Liquidation) -"the Companies" Notice of appointment of liquidators and notice ...               Published Tuesday, October 22 2013    NZ Herald             
Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 23Oct13 17:19PM
May be some cheap pies coming up.

Last New Zealand Concert for Claire Tonna

Friday  1st November 7.30pm - 9pm @ Piha RSA

Entry FREE

"Looking forward to the last performance in New Zealand alongside George Thomson and other west coast music lovers !"




22/10/13 Piha SLSC patrols starting

Piha Surf Life Saving Club will be starting patrols Labour Saturday


22/10/13 At last ! Plan Change 36 is Operative

This Plan Change 36 was first notified 3 years ago.  It ended up in the Environment Court.  I submitted and so did others.  It is finally operative!

Rural Activities and Social, Cultural and Economic Wellbeing of the People and Communities in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area :

Proposed plan change 36 proposes to improve regulatory provisions within the Waitakere Ranges heritage area associated with rural activities, the enabling of future uses of rural land to retain a rural character, and to provide for the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the people and communities in the Waitakere Ranges heritage area. It amends rules for the foothills, coastal village, bush living and Waitakere Ranges environments.

Read more about Plan Change 36 HERE

22/10/13 Sandra Coney talks about her new book

Sandra Coney talks about her new book 'On the Radar' at the Piha Surf Club this Saturday at 8 pm.  Koha and fish n chips $10. Bar open at 6pm

The existence of a radar station at the end of Log Race Road is well known, but no one at Piha has told the full story. Now local historian SANDRA CONEY has researched and written the story of this important WW2 air force station, part of a secret network reporting to the Filter Room at Epsom.

Sandra locates the story in the threat to NZ of Japanese invasion and enemy submarines marauding our shores. She also tells what was happening at Piha at the time, Home Guard activities, and the prior and later history of the site and buildings. Hear too about internationally important radio astronomy experiments at the site.

21/10/13  Claire Tonna Live Concert @ Piha Bowler

Labour Saturday 26th October: Enjoy an evening with  Claire Tonna, Gavin Dowling, Alan Foukles  & Mike Murane

Entry: Koha




21/10/13 Piha Radio Relaunch / Fundraiser

Labour Sunday 27th October: SamE, Dejah Vu, Brad, Rockit, Churlock Holmes, J-Sun and more to be announced

Entry: $10 - tickets available Piha Store.  Limited door sales.

6pm - midnight



13/10/13  Attention:  Thief on Piha Beach

At around 10am today Sunday 13th:
Three wheeled mountain buggy with big wheels and small black two wheel bike with trainers on it on the pram with several jackets, wallet etc stolen from southern side of stream at base of Lion Rock.  

 A woman with a midsized possibly tan dog was seen to walk away with it toward and past the 1/2 court in the Domain. Incredible !

 Owners were very close by and astounded at the opportunist thievery . . . . .

Comment by Ted (Not Verified) at: 13Oct13 19:09PM
Was she a "heavy?"
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 13Oct13 22:26PM
The owner of the push chair and bike did not use the word 'heavy' when reporting this to me.

The pram & bike has since been found. Not sure if anything was missing from inside the pram like wallets etc
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 3:04AM
grow up ted
Comment by In Balance (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 7:36AM
Reports suggest the offender to be "heavly" into crime and "light" fingered which makes the "scale" of offending one which must be "balanced" with the current economic climate and harder times. the offender did make a "lightening " dash by all accounts vanishing into "thin" air.It is belived authorities are looking for a woman magician

12/10/13 The Waitakere winners . . . .

left:  Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper, celebrating later this evening at The Falls Restaurant, won the two Ward seats for Waitakere

Penny Hulse received 17,214 votes - the highest scoring candidate in Auckland Council. 


Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 13Oct13 8:03AM
Well done Penny and Linda. We did a lot better at Council level than at the Local Board!....with that total it' a.shame Penny didn't run for mayor.

12/10/13 Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper are the winners

left:  Penny Hulse with Linda Cooper at the 'Meet the Candidates'meeting in Piha.

Both women are former Waitakere Councilors, experienced, connected with their constituents, balanced and all round good Westie women.   I'm thrilled for Waitakere


Depending on your vote you either are happy or not about our Local Board:

  • Sandra Coney, {Chair}, 4900 votes, Future West   The Chair has yet to be confirmed
  • Neil Henderson, 1050, Future West
  • The Henderson hat  3000, Future West
  • Denise Yates, 3911, Future West
  • Greg Presland, 3818, Future West
  • Saffron Toms, 3296, Future West - Green
  • Steve Tollestrup, 3245, Future West

I am very sad that Mark Bellingham didn't get a seat on our Local Board. If we didn't have these 'Labour' loyalties, which in my opinion do not belong in local politics, then Mark should have got a seat. He is such a knowledgeable environmentalist, hard worker and general all round good guy and one of the few who live on the coast - Bethels.

What saddens me is who is going to chew the fat and be an opposing view?  They are all Labourites.  As another observer said earlier today  "Quick, grab a raincoat and go for a trek in the Waitaks before they're closed off for good".    Maybe?  Maybe not?

I'll be looking for a few of those returning to the Board to lift their game a bit.  One or two would be doing a sigh of relief to be back on.  Maybe they only got on because of the 'ticket' they featured on - so best they lift their game this time.  You know who you are  !

Very grey Board.  No diversity at all.  Shame really but life goes on and I look forward to some great improvements for this  'Significant Ecological Area' we live in. 

Comment by Anonymous at: 12Oct13 16:55PM
Well done Sandra and an excellent result for our area.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 12Oct13 17:08PM
Very sad to lose Janet Clews and Judy Lawley. Both experienced and wise Westies. A great loss to us all in the Waitakere Ranges Local Board
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Oct13 17:53PM
The power of advertising - God help us all.
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Oct13 18:58PM
God's will has prevailed. The new board will have experience, balance and the ability to uphold democratic process.
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Oct13 20:20PM
So are you saying that God had the casting vote?
Comment by Susan (Not Verified) at: 13Oct13 21:52PM
I think it a disappointing result....not a true representation of the area......but that's what happens with such a low voter turnout! I hope they can be democratic and look past their own personal views and make decisions that a majority want. Somehow I think that is wishful thinking. It will be a long 3 years.
Comment by Mike (Not Verified) at: 15Oct13 0:05AM
Great outcome, really. Unlike last time, someone there from a coastal village. Good advocacy with the Council, good for the environment, good for Piha. Whatever, the people have spoken

11/11/13 Phil Wallis holds up Dune Management Report

Council engaged Jim Dahm, dune ecologist, to research, consult and write a ' Dune Management at Piha" report a couple of years ago now.

There have been public meetings, individual meetings, correspondence, phone calls, more meetings and feed back both ways over some 14 months BUT not enough for Phil.   See below there have even been open days !

'There was also the perception that shorelines are fixed; this is rarely the case. Over decades, shoreline changes of 25-30 metres can occur on east coast beaches and much larger changes can be experienced near river or tidal entrances or on the west coast. "If we're going to live close to the coast, we have to adapt to live with this reality."   Exert from Asset Management Jan '03 Christchurch Beaches

left:  erosion of coastal road in Napier 2013

No matter east or west coast the challenges facing many  coastal areas throughout New Zealand, Australia and the world are in the news enough for us all to know about it.

We need to care for our coastlines and we need to get onto it quickly.


Now Phil:  If you don't think there has been enough time / consultation  and opportunities for you to have your input just look at the reference below to Piha open day at Piha Surf Club  plus all the references in Piha R&R Minutes.   

Piha surf club on Saturday 25 August:   Hosted by Waitakere Ranges Local Board.   Graeme Gleghorn of the Piha R&R and dune ecologist, Jim Dahm at Piha surf club

5th October 2012 Residents & Ratepayers Meeting Minutes Open Forum: Phil Wallis. 

Phil Wallis asked what theAssociation's position on the report on the Dune Management on the Piha South RoadReserve by Jim Dahm which was presented to the community on 25 August 2012. Hesaid he had been unable to attend. He referred to the statement on page 11 ofthe report which stated that the loss of surf breaks had not been caused bychanges in the dunes due to human intervention. Phil stated his opinion thatJim Dahm did not have the history of the beach and referred to the way in whichthe Patiki rip used to work but which cannot do so now, due to the reducedvolume of water entering the sea by the Pakiti rock. He referred to the formeruse of the rip by swimmers and surfers and said the last year which saw gooduse of the rip was 2002.

He stated the report did notrefer to the effect of weather conditions on the beach. He referred to therecent very fast build-up of the dune at the very south end of the beach whichhad affected the Pakiti rip adversely. He deplored the installation of posts onthe dunes which go right down onto the beach and which will inevitably becovered by sand. He also questioned the frequent reference to the cost ofremoving wind-blown sand from the carparks as a justification for the build-upof the dunes. He stated that in his opinion the seaward retreat of the highwatermark is making the beach less safe. He said that he did not consider thereport was well researched and that references to statements by 2 local surfershad not been checked with them.

Phil was urged to contactJim Dahm directly to express his views on the report which is still a draft. Hewas assured the committee would consider the report.

Resolution 1 That Phil Wallis bethanked for his presentation. O'Connor/Caley

November 2012  Residents & Ratepayers Meeting Minutes:  Piha Beach Draft Sand Dune Management Report: After some discussion on the history. Graham Cleghorn read out his personal submission to the Auckland Council relative to the Jim Dahm report.

Motion 4: That the Piha R&R adopt Graham Cleghorn's submission to Council. Caley/O'Connor CARRIED Abstain: Carroll

Motion 5: That the Piha R&R write to Council, advising adoption of the Cleghorn submission, and requesting the Council form a working committee that includes representatives from all interested parties in the community. Cowan/Caley CARRIED

In discussion, it was agreed that the three main criteria that the Council should address with regardto Dune Management are:

1)That the draft plan as presented is not acceptable to the community.

2)That to be successful community consensus is required.

3) That further andcontinued research is required.

December 2012 Piha Residents and Ratepayers Minutes

Report by Jim Dahm toAuckland Council on Piha Beach Dune Management

Somemembers of the committee had met informally with Jim Dahm on 17 November todiscuss his draft report. He has sent a second draft to Graham Cleghorn forcomment who does not consider he has changed his overall conclusions in thefirst draft. He is intending to respond to Jim Dahm.


Presidents Report Piha Ratepayers and Residents AGM 6Jan 2013

Meetings with Jim Dahn dune specialist on Piha South (Road Reserve) Dune report.

Now just go to Google and put in Jim Dahm and read up about him.   In the mean time can we get on with caring for our environment.  Oh, and if you're worried about the height of the dunes then have a chat to Kath Dewar - she's the one who stopped the Council reducing their height - no one else!!!

Judy Lawley & Janet Clews, both Independents on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, voted to accept the report.  This isn't surprising as both have previously been Councilors with Waitakere City Council and know that sometimes you have to make the hard decisions.  The others on the Board voted to hold it up.  

Dune Management Report HERE

Jim Dahm: Hydrologic engineer and environmental programmes officer at Environment Waikato before a private consultant as an earth scientist focusing on coastal geomorphology throughout New Zealand.  Ongoing role as an expert witness in district and environment courts; environmental commissioner for a range of coastal and harbour projects throughout the country.

Comment by MP (Not Verified) at: 11Oct13 16:31PM
Yeah right. We all know [edit] Now he is a scientist too. [edit]
Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 11Oct13 16:51PM
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Oct13 15:56PM
how did he manage to do such a thing? incredible!
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Oct13 23:33PM
'the others on the board voted to hold it up' - what does that mean
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 13Oct13 22:23PM
'others voted to hold it up' means: Judy Lawley moved and Janet Clews 2nd a motion to accept the report. The other 4 on the Board voted against accepting it so the motion was lost or in effect the report 'held up'. It is absolutely disgusting - the report has been accepted and peer reviewed by Council. It has been consulted so much I think we're up to Version IV. It is idiocy at its worse. The author is one of NZ's top Coastal experts but some people in Piha think they always know more, or better, or whatever than anyone else. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be funny. All the while costing ratepayers and bloody fortune.
Comment by Anonymous at: 13Oct13 23:39PM
So you are now saying that 4 board members held up the Dune Report being accepted. Are not contradicting your heading to this post. You have tried to vilify one person in your community when it was in fact a majority of Board Members whose combined intelligence decided that the Dune Report was not complete in some aspect. Do you always vilify anyone who has an opinion different to your own? Interesting site and interesting style of editing for something claiming to be the Village Voice.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 11:10AM
The whole board process is a worry actually. That 6 people sit around a table and make a decision without doing any research into the facts and qualifications of presenters is sad. Many people submitted but one person rambles a load of absolute nonsense and that changes everything. The whole process is badly flawed not to mention expensive. If you were to read Phil's garbage you'd be appalled but I won't publish it - someone would end up in court for sure. I did mention to a couple of Board members afterwards how horrified I was.
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 15:45PM
So understanding you correctly, you have gone from blaming Phil, to blaming the 4 Board members who viewed things differently to you, to now blaming the processes of the board. That is still quite a contradiction. Apparently the R and R Committee that you are on also put in a submission opposing the Report being accepted. Does that mean you disagree with their stand as well? Why did you not put in a submission yourself if you know so much about this topic. Finally, rather than making an honorable submission yourself, you admit to 'lobbying' a couple of Board members after the meeting. For what purpose? Imagine if everyone in your community took the same approach and lobbied individual Board members with their own agendas or views. How confusing would that be. How can you claim to have integrity as an editor if you continually attack anyone who has a different opinion to you.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 16:49PM
"Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 15:45PM" Let's have a name? I like this conversation but it would be fair if I had a name would it not ?
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 17:07PM
What on earth is wrong with an individual lobbying a Board member? Board members are there as 'our' elected representatives and as such should be available to one and all.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 18:11PM
1:Phil came to the R&R complaining about the report and was advised by Denise Yates, Chair of the Local Board at the time, to attend the Board Meeting and express his thoughts.
2:I did make submissions on the report. It's been out there for input for a long time and many many people have had their say including me. The author of the Management Plan, Jim Dahm, has changed the Plan several times to take into account everyone's say including mine.
3:As a member of the Piha R&R I am not allowed to disagree with them publically but as an individual I can. Village Voice is a separate entity.
4: I do not attack everyone with a different view to mine. But I will criticize anyone who maintains an ignorant and illogical view and continues to maintain it in the face of experts, science, reports, discussions & diagrams.
5: As a ratepayer I will lobby my Local Board members if its important enough. Not wasting ratepayers money again and again IS important to me.
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 18:11PM
Why would anyone in your community dare stand up for what they believe in given your approach to this topic. To vilify someone publicly in the way that you have for daring to make a submission to a Local Board is a form of cyber bullying. It brings up questions about the shortcomings of your own personality rather than any one else's. Local Board members deserve every dollar they get if they get accosted after meetings by people who are 'horrified'. You have come across on this issue as quite a scary person.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 19:10PM
1:I encourage everyone to stand up for what they believe in. It's allowed to be challenged though like you are me right here and good on you.
2:I didn't accost any Board member. I simply asked him if he had done any research.
3:If you want to be scared I can't do a thing about that. You think I'm scary - I'm a babe compared to some in our community. Phew!
4: You want to continue then lets have your name uh ?
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 19:18PM
The comment below was pulled by the editor. Obviously it was a little too close to the bone!

Why would anyone in your community dare stand up for what they believe in given your approach to this topic. To vilify someone publicly in the way that you have for daring to make a submission to a Local Board is a form of cyber bullying. It brings up questions about the shortcomings of your own personality rather than any one else?s. Local Board members deserve every dollar they get if they get accosted after meetings by people who are ?horrified?. You have come across on this issue as quite a scary person.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 19:58PM
That comment was not removed. It's still there. Have another peep.
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 20:10PM
Respect for putting the comment back up. I will stick up for a friend but do not wish to get personally involved in Piha politics. My parting suggestion is for you all to listen more closely to what each other say. Some opinions may be better thought out than you think.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 20:14PM
The comment was NOT removed so it didn't have to be put back up. :-)
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Oct13 21:12PM
Haha, its pretty clear who the other "anonymous"is. So anonymous, did you put in a submission....yes you did.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 15Oct13 7:40AM
Comments closed now thanks

10/10/13 What is the most important thing?

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

7/10/13 Is that a fire on Lion Rock ?

We received a phone call this evening from a friend up on the Piha hill asking if there was a fire on Lion Rock.  A number of lights could be seen and maybe a helicopter.   So we popped down.

The Piha Volunteer Fire were doing a 'fire practice' on Lion Rock.   It's Guy Fawkes soon and then the silly season - aren't we lucky to have our volunteers ?

left: Click on this photo for a larger one showing this evenings new moon as well.

7/10/13  RE: Article: landlord must stop renting to P users

I received the following for publication today:

Landlords rely heavily on their property managers to not only adequately vet prospective tenants but also to exercise due diligence by way of regularly property inspections, so as to ensure the leased property is cared for and used in a manner befitting the scrutiny of the law.

As a landlord at Piha, living overseas, sadly I have to say that my property manager failed in this obligation. Consequently anti-social behaviour escalated at the premises and I suspect drug related activity aswell. I suffered financially as a result and the neighbouring residents endured months of ongoing stress. Surely property inspections, if carried out regularly, as indeed they should be, would uncover evidence of clandestine P labs or hydroponic cannabis crops.


Landlords do not want their properties used for criminal enterprises, especially drug related.Where the compromised property is managed by a real estate company, and the criminal endeavour goes unnoticed, it is my opinion, that blame rests squarely with the property managers, many of whom accept management fees but perform only the most perfunctory of inspections


Carl Sexton                                    Original article HERE


Comment by Andy Cawston (Not Verified) at: 11Oct13 19:13PM
Check this company out:

They produce meth detectors (sorta like smoke detectors) -- perfect for Landlords. Good Kiwi outfit.

7/10/13 Six wards key to Auckland - we're one of them

The political make-up of the Auckland Council looks set to hinge on the outcome of six wards, where the right is out to put the brakes on the direction set by Mayor Len Brown . . . . .

. . . . .  The other ward that could influence the council's political make-up is Waitakere, where the retirement of Sandra Coney has left a vacancy (deputy mayor Penny Hulse is a shoo-in for the second seat). Voters have a choice between left-leaning environmentalist Christine Rose and the right-leaning Linda Cooper.

 Linda Cooper got my vote and Penny of course !

Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 07Oct13 12:55PM
Linda Cooper got my vote as well - Len didn't!
Comment by Bella (Not Verified) at: 07Oct13 17:39PM
Cooper got my Council tick. Local Board - Bellingham, Knox, Clews, Conlon, Lawley and couldn't bring myself to tick the nimbys or CONey.

4/10/13  Waitakere Charity Fun Run

Entries are now open for the 2013 Waitakere Charity Half Marathon and11km Fun Run 
The Event will be on the 13th October 2013
And this year we are bringing back the 21km relay -we have an adults category and two schools categories - Years 5-8 and Years9-13
And... Sport Waitakere are once again organising thesupporting event - the 2km Kids Fun Run that was introduced last year.  Agreat little course around the park at the event centre open to kids between 5and 10 years old.   Full details HERE

2/10/13 Piha Labour Day Market

The sun comes up and the sun goes down

The tide comes in and goes out again

And every Labour Monday the Piha Preschool has their Market Day and life just wouldn't be the same without it.

See you there

02/10/13 WARNING: 

Mid 90s Toyota  grey with white on it. 

YK4006. Four 'heavies' in it. Spotted travelling slowly around Pendrell then heading down the hill. 

Eyes wide open - stay safe - remember 111

Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 03Oct13 12:18PM
AGAIN....So little detail, like what time of day, young or old "heavies"?
Maybe we should get into a habit of asking whether these guys are lost or if they are looking for a certain address? That way they know our community is interested in what's going on in Piha & hopefully this attitude will be enough to drive them away.
Comment by village voice editor (Not Verified) at: 03Oct13 12:26PM
I received the call around 7:15-7:30 last night Wed 2nd Oct. Sorry, I should have included that. I'm a little reluctant to suggest people approach suspect people BUT if you feel safe to or you have someone with you it wouldn't hurt - it gives the right message about our community. Keep yourself safe.
Comment by Piha Resident (Not Verified) at: 03Oct13 12:43PM
We were out biking along Marine Parade last night around 7pm. These 'characters' drove past us to the end of North Piha then came back again along Marine Parade. The driver had a full face tattoo but smiled and gave the 'old head nod' to us as he drove past. Not your typical Piha tourists for sure, but perhaps they were just out cruising and enjoying the lovely evening????
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 03Oct13 13:02PM
We must be so careful not to prejudge by color, facial tattoo etc BUT the person who first phoned me was suspicious of them because they were cruising Pendrall Road (???) very slowly and then down the hill. Could be an innocent cruise and may not be . . .
Comment by Ted (Not Verified) at: 04Oct13 12:45PM
Do even realize the racism inherent in using the code word "heavies" to not so subtly identify suspicious people? Then one of your readers follows up with mention of a moko, so the code was clearly understood by the so-called Piha Resident.

There are many ways to alert the community to suspicious activities, and being direct about the who and what is certainly better that offering a subliminal code--in quotation marks at that!--that clearly signals a specific category of people (presumably "heavies" include Polynesians as well as Maori).

I personally am suspicious of the "airy-fairies" lurking about. Most of the crime in Piha, especially the P labs, drug users and dealing, is committed by Pakeha. Yet no code word for them so I have taken the liberty to provide one for you.

You appear to be a decent person so I am going to assume that this was a brain fade and not a sign of innate racism on your part.
Comment by A Heavies (Not Verified) at: 04Oct13 15:13PM
Hey Ted, If your house got broken into & precious,expensive items taken, would you continue to be so politically correct ? I doubt it. I don't believe the above comments were racially sensitive other than using the word 'Moko'. Not one person made mention to the fact that these 'cruising' people were either
Pacific Islanders or Maori. Being a 'Heavies' could possibly mean me, a fat middle aged woman. Ted, please stick to the issue at hand as opposed to trying to correct peoples comments with what you feel is right & wrong. Doing RIGHT & WRONG gets no one anywhere.
Comment by ted (Not Verified) at: 04Oct13 20:04PM
"A Heavy": There is nothing PC about being opposed to "coded" racism, intentional or not. I have been broken into and robbed by local Pakeha druggies. The cops, as usual, were useless. But that does not excuse me for going onto coded rants or veiled references to "airy fairies."

It is not PC to object to the use of racial code words in a public newsletter. Better to be honest and say that there is a carload of maori acting suspiciously. That is a straight objective statement of fact rather than a play on ignorance and fear.

Most of the crime in this community is done by Pakeha, often in plain sight in and around local institutions. Better to focus on that then scare-mongering about "heavies."
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 05Oct13 1:05AM
There is nothing racist in the word 'heavies'. If you see something racist in that them I'm sorry for you.

Is the point not that we warn each other if there is suspicious behavior in our neighborhood? Unless an obviously derogatory word is used then lets not put something in it that isn't there . . . . :-)
Comment by Geppeto (Not Verified) at: 05Oct13 10:24AM
I am the one that rang Bobbie about this carload of people and may have used the word heavies precisely because I did not want to caterogise them by race. They definetely aroused my curiosity and I followed them as they very slowly cruised to South Piha then all the way to the Caves and back, then up Glen Esk Rd where I stopped to talk to somebody and lost them. I did not stop to ask them where they were going as the look I received from them on the first occasion could only be described as staunch. I am well travelled and like to think reasonably street smart.
Comment by Ted (Not Verified) at: 05Oct13 15:57PM
Thanks Bobbie, for clarifying that it was not a brain fade.
Comment by Val Stanaway (Not Verified) at: 07Oct13 10:54AM
I appreciate the warnings of suspicious behaviour in the village. People being viligent surely does no harm?
Comment by Holt (Not Verified) at: 08Oct13 16:11PM
I saw this car at the lagoon when paddle boarding and they were collecting firewood. I too thought it looked a bit suspicious but then later that day when walking my dogs I saw the car parked outside the sawmill camp buildings and indeed they were unloading driftwood.

2/10/13 Dune Management at Piha - Review and Proposed Management Plan

At last - this document now only needs to be approved by our Local Board which will probably happen at their last meeting on Wed Oct 9th.

Until its approved here is the Draft Dune Management @ Piha

Comment by Anonymous at: 03Oct13 12:14PM
Does this plan also apply to Nth Piha?
All the photo examples are of Piha (Sth) only.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 03Oct13 12:31PM
1.2 Area Relevant to this Review
The area of Piha Beach relevant to this review is the area extending from the dunes on the southern side of Piha lagoon to the south end of Marine Parade (Figure 1). It includes: READ THIS and you'll see the scope
Comment by Mike Phillipps (Not Verified) at: 04Oct13 8:54AM
A very impressive document and well worth reading if you have any interest in the rapidly changing nature of the beach, and surf, at South. The rate of accretion is truly remarkable. Its hard to be optimistic about the surf at south when Patiki rocks are covered in sand, the ditch doesn't exist anymore, the cave just takes you out into shallow water by the beehive, lion rock is just about high and dry and the Piha bar is rapidly becoming a distant memory. On the bright side the sand may start receding in about 30 years time when the giant slug of sand from Whatipu is depleted. The report puts paid to the myth (which I may have been guilty of peddling at one time) about the cause of the accretion - "beach advance causes dune advance not the other way around." Nice photos too Barry. May I suggest you print some 10 x 8's and sell them at the Piha Shop / Cafe?


Former Waitakere City Councillor

Current President of Waitakere Licensing Trust

Chairman of West Auckland Hospice.

'Backing the West'   Read more about Linda Cooper HERE

 2/10/13  Are these people representing you ?

I find democracy an interesting subject.   How does democracy and consultation work?

How many of you belong to the Piha Ratepayers and Residents Association ?

Did you know that the Piha R & R belong to a Combined Waitakere R & R Assn?

This Combined R & R Assn has, on behalf of Piha ( YOU! ),  made a submission to Council regarding the recent Visitor Management Plan.

Did you know that I was the only one of the Piha R & R to attend the Visitor Management Plan meeting in Piha on September 21st?   I was also the only one on the Piha R & R to attend the 'Meet the Candidates' meeting in Piha !

Did you know that although I ask every time I am not allowed to be a representative of Piha at the Combined Waitakere R & R Meetings?

So how do the people on the R & R and the Combined R & R know what you, the people and ratepayers of Piha, want or don't want?    This surely is the question - no?

HERE is the Combined R & R Visitor Management Plan 


Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 02Oct13 16:18PM
When was this open for submissions? I missed that

2/10/13 "If each man before his own door swept: the city would be clean"

02/10/13 Surfers to hit Piha 'Maui's Trail'

What: WWF is running a 'Maui's Trail' event to coincide with the 2013National Scholastic Surfing Championships. Maui's action stations will be setup to help surfers learn more about the threats to these dolphins, where theyare found and how they can help save the remaining 55 Maui's Dolphins.
Who: Regional surfing teams participating in the National ScholasticsSurfing Champs, spectators and friends are also welcome to participate.
Where: South Piha beach   Full article on scoop HERE

30/9/13 Auckland Unitary Plan

Here it is :   The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan notified 30 September 2013


Waitakere Ranges Local Board Area Karekare/Piha/Bethells local map for Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan [Unitary Plan Legend ]

Main zones: The most common zones in these areas are the Rural Conservation, Public Open Space and Coastal Transition zones.

Main overlays: The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan aims to provide the right balance in protecting what makes Auckland special, while enabling the new homes, jobs and economic growth that Auckland needs. The plan provides protection through a combination of specific zones (such as for coastal or rural areas) and overlays on other zones (such as heritage or view protections). The main overlays in this area are: a Significant Natural Area overlay and a Ridgeline Protection overlay which provide for environmental protection.

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area precinct covers this area as well as the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Sub-precinct B: (Waitakere Ranges and Bush Living), sub-precinct D: (Waitakere Coastal Settlements) and sub-precinct F: (Waitakere Ranges Regional Park)

The following key zoning changes have been made for the proposed plan:

  •  315 Bethells Road has been rezoned from Public Open Space to Rural Conservation and Coastal Transitional zone
  • an indicative coastline has been added to the maps 
  • Karekare, Piha and Bethells changed from Rural and Coastal Settlement Zone with the Waitakere Coastal
    Settlement Overlay to Rural Conservation zone with the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area sub-precinct (D) -
    Waitakere Coastal Settlements 
  • the Regional Park precinct has changed to Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area sub-precinct F - Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
  • a number of areas along the coast have been identified and rezoned as Coastal Transition zone.

Unitary Plan Fact Sheet : Waitakere, Karekare, Piha, Bethells HERE 

Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 30Sep13 23:00PM
Have had a quick look.....find it all a bit confusing. Wondered igpf anything had changed with the SEA's out here?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 30Sep13 23:19PM
I'll be having a much closer look Sue and let you and readers know what I find out. . . watch this space

Waitakere Festival joined the Beach Valley Road Project

On 7th July 2013 the Waitakere Festival on the Road came and joined the Beach Valley Road Project to rid the beginning of Glen Esk Road of Cape ivy.

See the video HERE - how many people do you recognise ?

26/9/13 Spring Fling Fiesta - how lucky are we ?

West Coast Gallery has some really  amazing workshops for children and adults from painting with acrylic, acting, photography, dance, sculpturing etc with artists  like Pardo Jackson ! Monique Endt ! Louise Taylor.

They must be pre booked and prepaid so take a closer look West Coast Gallery more info HERE

  • Market: Amazing art, craft, food and 'Zany-ness'
  • Free Workshops: The castle circus studio - juggling, diablo, acrobatics, hoola hooping etc
  • Wearable Art Competitions.  Parade and judging at 3pm
  • Kids: spring bonnets. Under 6, 7-12, 13-18
  • Adults: Bodices, bras, kilts and kodpieces,

26/9/13 Pollution of West Coast Lagoons

The west coast beaches of Karekare, Piha, North Piha and Te Henga have excellent water quality.  However, since their inclusion in the monitoring programme in 2001, the lagoons at these locations have regularly shown bacterial contamination levels that exceed the national guidelines for safe swimming.

The reasons for this are complex and relate to a number of natural and human derived factors. These include rainfall and tidal conditions at the time of sampling and any point source or diffuse pollution from septic tanks, livestock, wildfowl, dogs or other feral animals.

The Environmental Services Unit (ESU) began pilot investigations into the sources of this contamination in the summer of 2011/2012, with significantly more investigation over the summer of 2012/2013.

Interim results are summarised in the report  - these are just two I have plucked out.   I strongly suggest you read the Full Water Quality Report.

  • The faecal source tracking results for Karekare, Piha and Te Henga lagoons show a range of sources of bacterial contamination originating from ruminants (e.g. cows and sheep), dogs, wildfowl and humans. No specific source of contamination was able to be identified in North Piha lagoon. In many cases sites showed only very weak positive results for specific sources, suggesting either a small contribution from that source, or a degraded or treated faecal source. In many cases there were strong indications of general faecal contamination, which could indicate degraded or treated faecal sources, or alternatively a source for which there is not a marker (e.g. horses, feral pigs, cats or rabbits).


  • There was a strong positive signal from the general faecal marker on most occasions, indicating that another unidentified faecal source also contributes to the bacterial levels in the lagoon. This may indicate contamination from horses or feral animals such as pigs, cats and possums, or that the faecal sources are too degraded by sunlight or treatment systems The faecal source tracking results for Karekare, Piha and Te Henga lagoons show a range of sources of bacterial contamination originating from ruminants (e.g. cows and sheep), dogs, wildfowl and humans. No specific source of contamination was able to be identified in North Piha lagoon. In many cases sites showed only very weak positive results for specific sources, suggesting either a small contribution from that source, or a degraded or treated faecal source. In many cases there were strong indications of general faecal contamination, which could indicate degraded or treated faecal sources, or alternatively a source for which there is not a marker (e.g. horses, feral pigs, cats or rabbits). to be identifiable.

They are just two of the interim results I have plucked out.  I strongly suggest you read the Full Water Quality Report.

Full Water Quality Report HERE [pdf]    Reported to Auckland Council 13/9/13


Karekare results [pdf]        Piha Lagoon results [pdf]       North Piha Lagoon results [pdf]

Daylight Saving starts

This Sunday at 2am roll your clocks forward one hour to 3am.

( Spring rolls forward and Fall falls back )


26/9/13 Free Health Advice on the phone  0800 611 116

Healthline is here to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Call Healthline 0800 611 116 if you're:

  • feeling unwell - but not sure whether you need to see a doctor
  • needing some urgent advice about a family member or friend who's sick
  • on holiday and want to know where the nearest doctor or pharmacy is.

25/9/13 Terrible Storm Hits Northland & Auckland & Piha

 left:  Quite a big slip on Piha Road happened during the night of rain.  The Piha Volunteer Fire attended to ensure the road was safe.

Getting rid of that Cape ivy and replacing it with a few cabbage trees, maybe a few Toetoe (Cortaderia splendens ) and a few other natives good at control erosion would do that trick to hold that bank.   


left: On a really stormy night even those big yellow signs and arrows sometimes aren't enough.

This car is gone now but it was off the road today when I grabbed this photo.

I was driving home from the Local Board Meeting this evening - very cloudy and bad vision - I am so grateful for the road side markings and corner warnings. 


25/9/13      Is Sir Bob Harvey right ?  Visitor Management Plan

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board have been holding a series of workshops with locals to gather information for the Visitor Management Plan.

I attended the Piha workshop on the weekend and, along with some other locals, went around 5 workstations writing on 'post it' stickers the answers to their questions.

I was then looking at the online questionnaire and to my horror the questions were different !  Why ?  

"It's nothing but a lock-out and a pseudo-consultation box-ticking farce ... " says Bob Harvey.  

They say the consultation amounts to a hijacking of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act  "to stunt innovation and opportunity".

"What we want to see is a more open and user friendly visitor management strategy, not chains and locks," Harvey says.

The questions at the workshop, left,  & online, right,  are totally different.  Oranges to apples.  Not good enough !!!

Below left:  What we were asked.   Middle: Our answers     Right:  The question online  no mention of this to us


Please tell us your favourite places in the Waitakere Range Heritage Area, and what it is about these places you particularly like and want to see protected?




Think about the local area near your home or bach.   Please describe the special things that are personally relevant to you and that you want to see protected.




Do you feel that visitors to your local area cause you any inconvenience or concern?






Thinking about your own experience as a visitor to places in the Waitakere Ranges, or the experience of others that you know, what could be done to improve the quality of the experience for visitors?


In general, does most of the existing infrastructure in the WaitakereRanges fit in with the natural character of the Heritage Area?

Are there anyplaces in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area where the existing infrastructurecould be improved? If yes, please list them below along with how it couldbe improved.

In your opinion, what should be done to ensure that future infrastructure has the lowest possible impact on the surrounding environment?


Comment by Jean (Not Verified) at: 25Sep13 10:03AM
Sir Bob is SPOT on! The 'lock'em outers'have a set agenda and are filtering feedback in order to manufacture a false consensus that validates what they want NOT what we want. I'll not vote for Jenny McDonald's fellow travellers. Although Lawley, conlon and Knox will get a tick (maybe Bellingham) but NEVER CONEY!!!
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 25Sep13 10:36AM
Is all of Auckland being asked their opinion? The Heritage Area is a Regional Park isn't it ?
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 25Sep13 17:33PM
Jean: A vote for Mark Bellingham is not a wasted vote. :-)
Comment by Anonymous at: 26Sep13 17:03PM
Coney could not be arsed to front in Piha for the candidates meeting or the Visitor strategy workshop. Pathetic feudal nimby regressive neo-townie obstructionist eedjot...who will not get the 8 votes we account for. Back to the viaduct with thee!
Comment by HiDiHi (Not Verified) at: 26Sep13 17:42PM
I love coming in here [Edited as too insulting to the readers of Village Voice]
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 26Sep13 21:24PM

Obviously, HiDiHi, people feel more comfortable expressing themselves anonymously in a small town.
We are all allowed our own opinions and like you I enjoy reading them.
Is anonymous any different from a nom deplume?

24/9/13   Terrible stormy night

You may have heard the fire alarm go off this evening.  A tree had come down on lower Piha Road, on the hill just up from the bus shelter, followed by a slip.

A local ranger came across it and the Volunteer Fire crew cleaned it up.  You guys really are wonderful.

Plenty of water on Glen Esk and lots of tree branches flying around.  Stay safe and check on your neighbours.

Online Emergency Status by Civil Defence HERE

Waitakere Ranges Local Board - my votes go to . . . .


  Mark Bellingham       Janet Clews           Jennifer Conlon            Jonny Knox              Judy Lawley               Denise Yates

PLEASE consider voting for these candidates

Mark Bellingham ( PhD in planning)  My first tick goes to Mark.  I've know Mark for some time - He's great

Janet Clews: Is Independent ! Janet is hugely experienced at representing the West.  She listens and remembers

Jennifer Conlon: Independent :  Young, energetic and a worker.  She listens.  I'm going to try her out

Jonny Knox: Young, vocal, strong and lives in Karekare.  Good balance between the environment AND the PEOPLE.

Judy Lawley: Independent and experienced. 

Denise Yates:  Part of Future West BUT and its a but . . .  experienced and has shown me in the last term that she does support business in the West.  Denise is 'available' to her constituents and listens.  

Tasha Gray - IF Tasha was standing she'd most definitely have my vote but alas not yet

Waitakere Licensing Trust - Paul MITCHELL

Comment by Anonymous at: 24Sep13 12:06PM
who else is there? Best to be impartial....
Comment by Anonymous at: 24Sep13 12:07PM
who else is there? Best to be impartial....
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 24Sep13 12:10PM
And while we are on the subject of voting...I'd really like to see the back side of Len Brown as Auckland Mayor!! In my view he is a political puppet and will continue to raise our rates regardless of what he's already done thus far. Think about what happens if the Auld Mug comes back to NZ.
Comment by Anonymous at: 24Sep13 19:39PM
Regardless of The Auld Mug I'd still like to see Len Brown go.

Waitakere Ward Council elections

My question is - if you had two excellent candidates Penny  Hulse  and Linda  Cooper, left, that both had previous experience working together very well as Councilors on our wonderful Waitakere City Council why would you vote for someone that lives in Rodney?  Someone who is not a Waitakere Westie? Why would we do that?

 Without a doubt my vote for the 2 seats on Council to represent me are Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper photographed above at the Piha Meet the Candidates Meeting.  Proven great representatives for us. 

Comment by Anonymous at: 20Sep13 21:28PM
I, for one, won't be voting for someone whose signs say that she has been endorsed by Sandra Coney.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 20Sep13 22:38PM
Yes. An unfortunate endorsement but they're both ex ARC
Comment by ted (Not Verified) at: 21Sep13 11:21AM
So the author decides to vote against a candidate based on a parochial fixation (whether someone lives in the Waitakeres as opposed to elsewhere in the constituency), and a commentator votes against that candidate based on who endorsed her. Neither one mentions any matter of policy or the candidate's past voting record, nor the fact that Hulse and Cooper are on opposite ends of the policy spectrum (the claims that they work well together is very debatable).

Thanks for the guidance! You are voting geniuses.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 21Sep13 13:21PM
We have the Heritage Area Act and many wonderful documents/policies protecting the Waitakere Ranges and the Heritage Area.

I am a environmentalist and conservationist as many will attest.

I, as a ratepayer, would like representatives on the Local Board and Council to represent the PEOPLE. We live here, we pay rates and our needs are important.

I am just so tired of hearing what the candidates will do for the environment with little emphasis for the people, the people, the people.

"People are part of the Environment"
Comment by HiDiHi (Not Verified) at: 21Sep13 21:27PM
Impartiality does not exit here Ted. Every discussion which is made from an egoistic standpoint is corrupted from the start and cannot yield an absolutely sure conclusion. The ego puts its own interest first and twists every argument, word, even fact to suit that interest.
Comment by Anonymous at: 21Sep13 22:20PM
Hi TED. As much as you are in love with yourself you do not understand the piha residents and I politely suggest you become better informed before making ridiculous statements. As residents we want a proactive community achieving and providing economic benefits such as the piha café. If you are so in love with piha I recommend you reside here. Otherwise you and sandra coney can have a latte at the point apartments in aucklands viaduct harbour and contemplate the wealth creation you will benefit from the America cup. LOL
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 21Sep13 23:18PM
Penny Hulse is left of center and Linda Cooper right of center. Nice balance really.
Comment by Ted (Not Verified) at: 22Sep13 14:28PM
Anonymous fool at 22:20 Sept 21:

I do live here. I just happen to have a perceptive that extends a wee bit beyond the Anawhata Road, and do not have the personal animosities that apparently drive the political thinking of more than a few in this community.

I will assume from the tone and content of your comment that you had a few glasses of liquid courage before hitting the keyboard.

As for the balance between Hulse and Cooper. Perhaps that is so and they can work together. But equally true is the possibility that rather than balance we get stalemate between them.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 22Sep13 17:48PM
Some people have long memories and others short. Have you seen this? Cost 3 years and several $K100s. It's sometimes about the people
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 14Oct13 21:31PM
I object to the coded wording "airy fairies"....Im gay and it makes me cry.

20/9/13  Piha Singing Group moving

This group, with a hard core base of around a dozen, is now meeting at the Piha Community Library.

 Monday nights 7:30.  Gold coin donation for library.  Everyone welcome


 Larry Mervyn John GIBSON

Memorial service will be held on Monday 23rd September, 10am at Morrison's Funeral Home, Henderson.

The Bowler will be open from 1.00pm on Monday the 23rd in honor of Larry Gibson.  A chance for friends and family to come together and take comfort in his memory in the place where he spent so much of his energy and time. We only ask that you please bring a plate.

19/9/13 What Piha Church is all about

Here is a short summary of what Piha Church is all about :

Piha Church is all about meeting together as a group of believers to grow in relationship with God and each other. 

We do this by sharing good food, fellowship, surfing and supporting each other in getting to know Jesus more and more.

Its early days for us and at the moment a small group of us are meeting together each Sunday evening for home church to share a meal, pray and discuss a message.  If you are interested in finding out more about the good news of who Jesus is and about our group, please visit our website : 

Piha Church online HERE

Matt and Ju

Ju: It's a pleasure to let the people of Piha know of yet another community group to enhance our wee village.  Just wondering if you have 'resource consent'  for this ?  Only joking ! *smile*

     18/9/13 Fire Service in Piha

For people that have moved into Piha recently I plan on publishing a series of articles, randomly, about the volunteer and community services in Piha.

The following is about our Volunteer Fire Service in Piha written by the Chief Ron Gorter


The Piha Fire Brigade is a fully trained NZ Fire Service funded 'urban' Brigade, 'urban' because Piha is defined as a built up area in the district plan.


Our primary role is to protect people and property.


All members of the Piha Brigade are volunteers who haveundergone a high quality training programme funded by the NZ fire service; weback this up in Piha with weekly structured training sessions to keep all ourskills current. We currently have twelve fully trained members and another twojoining up, we can have a maximum of 16.  

  • We have a fire appliance (truck) which carries a crew of 6, it holds 2650 litres of water and lots of specialist tools including hydraulic cutting gear which we use to enable the first response medics etc to gain access to patients in cars.
  • We also have a Prado 4WD, a quad bike and some specialist pumps and a chain saw,  so we can get crews and equipment into the areas they are needed and we can deal with unsafe/ fallen trees if required and transportpeople when necessary.    

Our fire district is all of the properties in Piha and extends to the Karekare turn-off; we also cover all of the road ways for with the same requirement of protecting people and property.


The regional park comes under the Auckland Council who operatesa Rural Fire authority who will manage any fires in the park.  The Piha brigade works closely with the Rural Fire authority and often provides the trained people and resources to actually fight scrub fires in the park area. We work with Karekare fire and Waiatarua Brigade to cover the Piha road and back them up in their areas.


The typical make-up of our calls over a year is, approximately 30 to 40 calls of which about 40% are car accidents, 40% are fires and the rest are a mix of flooding, chemical spills, assisting the local first response group, police, surf clubs and others.


The brigade responds at any time  to any incident where life is at risk or there is a risk of fire threatening life or property, all our calls come via the 111 system  our target time to turn out is 6 minutes from the receipt of a call which we achieve better than 95% of the time.


Brigade membership is open to able bodied Piha residentswho can pass the application process and respond to the station within 4minutes.

Comment by Mark Holms (Not Verified) at: 21Sep13 14:07PM
As part of the training the FS offers the member the ability to obtain an HD licence which costs over a couple of grand thru standard training companies.Wonderful opportunities incl First Aid certs which are great on one's CV and gives someone an edge in interviews which employers are looking for.

  7/9/13  GIBSON Larry. 

It is with sadness today that we learned of the very sudden passing of Larry.   Kia kaha to his family and friends.

 Left:  Larry at the Piha Bowling Club 01 July 2013



Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 18Sep13 9:25AM
Recently I took over as Treasurer of the Piha Bowling Club Inc. from Larry.

No one is perfect, thank heavens, but the books I received from Larry were without a doubt the best records I have ever received from a small Incorporated Society.

The 'Operational Notes' Larry also compiled for the Club and forwarded to the new Committee were exceptional.

I am so pleased I expressed my appreciation to him. A lesson for us all maybe?

Farewell Larry
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 20Sep13 7:58AM
No matter what positive or negative aspects came out of the Piha Bowling Club this past year, Larry in my view was always a gentleman. Although his hands may have been tied due to bureaucracy he always listened and I know for fact he contributed more than what was required of him quietly & without asking for praise at the bowling club. My respect was high for Larry and I for one will miss him terribly. My heart goes out to his family and close friends. R.I.P. Larry.

Piha Library Book Club

Our Piha Library now has a book club ! . Everyone is welcome. Please bring a couple of recent reads to talkabout. The Book club meets every second Tuesday of the month 7:30 at the Library

Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 17Sep13 8:13AM
Hi everyone. The book club meets the second Tuesday of every month not every second Tuesday. Anyone welcome to come and enjoy.

 Piha's Barnett Hall at North Piha

Barnett Hall now has its very own website which also includes information on The Piha News.

You can see it Right Here


16/9/13  Policies = Faces = Name

Early Saturday evening, Mike Phillipps (left),  had the pleasure or task of introducing the candidates wanting a seat on Council for the Waitakere Ward or 1 of 6 seats on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and gave them each 3 minutes to say whatever they wished and then opened up for questions.


left:  Click for a larger photo with names. The Candidates that came out to convince you and me to vote for them. 

When I did my head count, and checked on my photos, we had 43 people there who were not candidates - not a bad turnout for a candidates meeting.


left click for a larger photo :  Piha's Tasha Gray, Local Board Candidate Judy Lawley and Waitakere Ward Candidate Penny Hulse.

Tasha Gray  addressed all the candidates together.  I shall try and sum up the gist of what Tasha asked them and if I get it wrong or miss something please comment . . . .

Tasha asked that those elected realize and remember that Piha is no longer a bach community.  She is the mother of two young children in Piha and has done a quick count of primary school children in Piha.  That is kiddies < 10 years.  She  has counted 200.  

200 primary school children plus we have intermediate and secondary schoolchildren as well..   She asked that the candidates realize that this is the Piha of today.  The needs of these families have very different needs from the bach community of past. 

Look at Judy and Penny's faces.  Tasha had their attention - she had all the candidates attention. Those that get elected would be wise to remember her request .     Good on you Tasha - you are a born leader and speaker and I'm sure, or hope, that one day we'll see you as a candidate to represent your community.

The Hillary Trail was a hot discussion as was the local economy and businesses run from home.   From my own point of view my blood boiled when Christine Rose said she understood the Hillary Trail needed work done on it (yes it does)  but that Council would be putting more overnight huts etc. on it.   Correction:  It was not Christine Rose who suggested Council would/could put more huts in  - please refer here for more

I asked, rather angrily,  that Council does not use our ratepayers money to compete with local small business.   Local businesses  could justifiably expect to provide tourist needs and in fact Bob Harvey's first prototype brochure, some years ago now, had the overnight stops at Whatapu Lodge,  Piha and Bethells using the existing accommodations. 

There was good discussion on opening up the tracks for more recreational use.  For example trail cycling, running etc. 

It was amusing to hear the candidates all jive for position to say that 'they had' supported the Café in Piha.  Oh, how times and attitudes change now that its built and truly a loved asset in our community.   There were candidates there that did object to the Café if not directly then indirectly through more than one Incorporated Societies they belonged too.    Westies have long memories !

The good thing is that those that attended can now match policies and faces to the names.  Four people told me after the meeting that they had totally changed who they were going to vote for.  Good !  It means they're now making an informed vote.

I could keep writing but much better for those that were there to comment on other matters discussed.

Comment by sara carbery (Not Verified) at: 17Sep13 9:39AM
Thanks Tasha for alerting candidates to the changing profile of Piha. Was sorry I couldn't be there but was really pleased to hear you'd spoken for the families of Piha.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 17Sep13 23:05PM
Agreeing with Sara and thank Tasha for speaking. I unfortunately couldn't be there, but support what she has said. The needs of the community have changed, but that doesn't mean we want Piha to turn into the 'Gold Coast' . Since I couldn't be there I would be very interested to know what candidate/s couldn't make it to the meeting. Could you please post this information as I would be interested to know who made the effort to attend. This would show to me that they have genuine concerns of the interstes of the Piha community. Thanks
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 17Sep13 23:28PM
MISSING from Meeting:

Standing for Council:
Peter Chan, Alan Fazakerley, Brian Neeson, Jason Woolston

Standing for Local Board (again missing from meeting)
Sandra Coney, Gayle Marshall, Jason Woolston.
Comment by She (Not Verified) at: 17Sep13 23:29PM
Just to me, those that made the effort to attend show that they are interested to hear the current concerns of the community. Looking at the pic, looks like a fair few did make the thanks to those that people......your presence speaks volumes.

CORRECTION:  This is a correction to the above article

I received the following from Christine Rose

I saw on your blog that you'd attributed some comments tome, about the need for more huts on the Hillary Trail. Sorry about that but Ithink it was someone else - I didn't mention that at all in my speech orreplies. I remember it being mentioned before I spoke but I think that was byone of the Board candidates - not me.

So I went hunting for who did say it and received this from Lawrence Watt:

Yes - that was me - not sure about it being a good idea now, after hearing the mood of the people with the lodges.  The Hillary track is clearly different from the south island tracks, in that people can walk in and out of the bush and find accommodation on the side of the park.

The situation in the South Island is that the growth of the tracks stimulated the tourist economy, including accommodation nearby, where people stayed before entering or leaving.

So obviously a different track design here - different situation.

More important, I would say, to ensure that the track is kept in goodshape so that people can use it in autumn and spring.

So are we on the same page now Bobbie?

And then I received the following from Christine Rose

I actually agree withyou that there should not be duplication when there are good privateaccommodation options. Why use ratepayer's money to compete with the privatesector?  It doesn't make sense and it's not necessary.

I have apologized to Christine for the error - of course !
Comment by Anonymous at: 18Sep13 22:40PM
you are aligned to sandy coney which is unfortunate for the residents of piha. you had the opportunity to attend the public meeting . you did not attend, now is your opportunity to tell piha residents what you are advocating.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 19Sep13 8:47AM
Christine Rose, standing for our 1 of 2 Waitakere Ward seats on Council DID attend the Piha meeting. Sandra Coney, standing for 1 of 6 seats on Local Board did NOT attend

Dressed up to the nines in Piha

click on this photo.

Why are they all dressed up to the nines?  Wait a few more days and we'll have some great photos of more and explain why

14/9/13 A range of opinions

A bid to manage the popularity of the Waitakeres is re-opening old political sores - but the parochial stoush has regional dimensions

"It's nothing but a lock-out and a pseudo-consultation box-ticking farce ... "

Sir Bob Harvey, erstwhile Mayor of Waitakere, hasn't lost his ad man's knack for pushing buttons, this time over consultation on a visitor management plan for the Waitakere Ranges. . . .

They say the consultation amounts to a hijacking of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act "to stunt innovation and opportunity". . . . .

"What we want to see is a more open and user friendly visitor management strategy, not chains and locks," Harvey says. . .

With her "Who me?"  response, Coney channels Tony Soprano's mother.  "I don't know where he's coming from.  I don't buy that it's a lock-up."

Read full article in NZ Herald HERE

13/9/13 Rescue in front of Lion Rock

People drowning at the front of Lion Rock, Piha, and in goes a local. He was followed by Duncan Clark, Piha SLSC's Team Captain, in a rescue boat.

A local woman, Kim Snel,  phoned emergency services and out came the Police & Westpac Rescue Helicopter followed by Piha's 1st Response Team.

Three of the international students were saved from the water and two from on the rocks.   

Piha volunteers : you're just wonderful.  You had a tough day yesterday and you're onto it again today.  Three cheers for you all.


12/9/13  Questions for Candidates - Local Elections

Have you got any questions for the candidates?

You can ask them from the floor, Sat 5:30 at Bowler, or you can send them to me now for the MC to pull out of the hat for the candidates.

                  ASK QUESTIONS NOW.  

Send them to Questions for Candidates HERE



 Fish - n - Chips  from 5pm at Meet the Candidates

We have no idea how many will come so IF you are AND you want Fish-n-chips can you let us know  (Pan or Beer battered)

Either  HERE on comments  or  EMAIL  or on Facebook Event HERE

Comment by Janet Colby (Not Verified) at: 13Sep13 0:19AM
Yum How much notice needed ? Not sure if I am working or not yet x
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 13Sep13 17:52PM
We'll have spare for you kiddo - fear not :-)
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 16Sep13 10:23AM
Still holding that spare for you Janet. It's getting a little slimy. When you coming?

13/9/13 The Piha News - New Editor needed


URGENTLY WANTED - The Piha News urgently needs a new EDITOR.   It would be a shame to see the Piha News go out of print through lack of support, so if you have an interest in community issues please give it a go. For more information email Go to their new website HERE.

I'm tempted - how do you think that would go down?  LOL  Editor: Village Voice


Comment by Anonymous at: 13Sep13 22:21PM
Why don't they do an electronic bi weekly edition? It would certainly get a quick response and reply to the 'Letters to the Editor' column
Comment by Sam (Not Verified) at: 17Sep13 23:23PM
Go for it Bobbie!!


Piha's Village Voice is now on Facebook. 


You can read/comment  HERE


12/9/13  How to cook rice

I spent most of my life asking others to cook the rice because I could never get it right.  I heard Wendyl Nissan talking about this and I now do it and it never fails!!!

  Boil water in a big pot.  Salt it when boiling.  Add as much rice as you need and time it to boiling for 11minutes.  Not a minute more or less.    Strain it and it will be perfect.  Try it  Julia

12/9/13 Thursday Attention : burglaries happening today

I got a call from Duncan who was on his way to 'make safe' a house up the hill that had been burgled.

The likely suspects were in a grey or light colored Mitsubish car : 2, maybe 3 and one wearing a yellow stripped road-side workers vest.

I spotted them as well coming home from the Café and had a gut feeling and could kick myself for not questioning them.

Check your neighbor's place - question, safely, strangers and CALL THE POLICE 

Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 12Sep13 16:04PM
Without saying what address was hit, how far up & which road did these perpetrators go? Reason being is that on 02/09 we came home to signs of destruction created by our dog who we now believe was fending off a potential break in.
Comment by anon (Not Verified) at: 14Sep13 16:10PM
Can we get an indication how far up the hill the incidents are taking place?
Comment by anon (Not Verified) at: 14Sep13 16:16PM
Is there a community watch programme currently in place in piha?

10/9/13  A First For Piha : National Scholastic Surfing Championships

For the first time ever, the National Scholastic Surfing Championships will be held at Piha Beach Auckland at the end of the month.  The prestigious five-day surfing event catering for the most talented school based surfers in New Zealand will take place from the 30th of September and will run through until the 4th of October. . . . .

. . .  Paerata( photo above) ' Reid is a New Zealand representative and the current Under 18 Men's National Champion, a title which he claimed at Piha in January.  It was a title that he won over team mate Waretini Wano making the two surfers a formidable duo.  Read all about it HERE

10/9/13 Piha Preschool playground survey  3 days to complete

I've not idea why or what has prompted this ! 

In this survey Council is asking if you know that the playground in front of the Piha Preschool and Barnett Hall is a Council asset and open to the public outside of the pre-school open hours.

They also want to know, now that they have told you, would you use it ????    Do you use the playground in Piha Domain.

 Piha Pre-school Playground survey HERE

9/9/13  Meet the Candidates :  Piha, Anawhata, Karekare and Waitakere

Sat 14 Sep| Piha Bowling Club  5:30: | Ask your questions | fish n chips | room for kiddies |  all over in time for All Blacks

Below are 18 photos of candidates that would like to take one of the 6 seats on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board (WRLB)  How many names and faces can you match?

Now what about their policies ?  Do they care about what you care about?  Do they want or not want what you do or don't?       

    Saffron Toms                          Mark Bellingham          Mark Brickell,            Denise Yates


Janet Clews       Jennifer Conlon      Linda Potauaine      Gayle Marshall     Neil Henderson         Jonny Knox


          Sandra Coney        Greg Presland                       Evan Taylor         Ken Turner      Lawrence Watt   

Put the faces to the names to the policies  : don't vote blind


Jason Woolston       Steve Tollestrup     Judy Lawley


Comment by HiDiHi (Not Verified) at: 11Sep13 20:23PM
You have Jennifer Conlon's face in twice. Just saying ;-)
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 11Sep13 20:31PM
Then I must be missing someone as I'm sure there are 18 candidates. Oh . . . have to check it out . . . and I don't even drink !
Comment by HiDiHi (Not Verified) at: 11Sep13 21:19PM
I think you might have missed off Christine Rose.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 11Sep13 21:52PM
No - photos above are of the 18 wanting one of the 6 seats on our Local Board. Those wanting one of our 2 Ward Seats on Council are below with no photos. :-) I sorted out the missing face Thanks for pointing it out

What do these names mean to you?

These people want to represent you on one of the two seats for the Waitakere Ward on Auckland Council.  Come and question them  as well

CHAN Peter        COOPER Linda             FAZAKERLEY Allan            HULSE Penny         NEESON Brian        ROBERTSON Douglas        ROSE Christine       WOOLSTON Jason 


Meet the Candidates: Piha, Anawhata, Karekare & Waitakere

9/9/13 Coastal habitats shield people and property

 "A new study by scientists at the Natural Capital Project and The Nature Conservancy investigates the role of coastal habitats in protecting U.S. residents and their property from extreme weather events and eroding coastlines."

USA or NZ,  East or West;  climate change is already affecting our coastlines.   If we don't click very shortly about what we can and shouldn't do about this then it may be too late.

Read this article : it'll change your thinking (I hope)

2/9/13   WARNING

White Wingrod Station Wagon CFY508 with 3 to 4 large Polynesian  in it have been caught scoping a house up an isolated drive way, Piha Road.

As I write a helicopter is circling Piha.  Fortunately Piha has one entrance and once exit - bad luck for the criminals.

Stay safe out there people and remember if you feel unsafe or property is unsafe call 111 and stay safe

Comment by martin gould (Not Verified) at: 02Sep13 15:06PM
Its that time of the year, most places closed up, and ripe for the pickings.
Note anything strange ( not hard in Piha) or not looking right, report it asap.if they know they are going to be watched they wont come around.
Comment by Kath (Not Verified) at: 12Sep13 10:51AM
I saw the same model and colour car with 3 men in it Tuesday around 8.30am slowly cruising north piha (can't be sure of number plate). The men were in fluro work gear so I assumed they were workers. I followed them for a bit and they went up seaview rd. Will keep my eyes peeled!

22/8/13 Meet the Candidates

Elections for Auckland Council (mayor, councillors and local board members) will be held on Saturday, 12 October 2013.

Do you know the candidates?  There are a few new ones this time round and some interesting ones too.

Saturday 14th Sep 6:30:  Meet the Candidates in Piha.  Venue to be confirmed - it will be child friendly.  Candidates will introduce themselves and then a MC will facilitate question and answer

Keep 14th Sep, early evening, free !

Movie Premier in Piha

What a fabulous night !  Piha saw the Premier of 'High Road' last week @ the Piha Bowling Club. 

The place was packed, the music great, food wonderful, people buzzing and the whole evening fabulous.    This movie captured Piha so well - especially some of the subtleties  See it HERE

21/8/13 Visitor Management Plan

It's been going to happen for a long time and now the time has come to create a Management Plan for the Waitakere Ranges.

So how do we do this ?   Do we want 'events' limited in Piha and if so what are the priorities?  How many?  When?  What ?

  HERE is the Visitor Management Plan Background Report.  May I suggest you read it and then attend a meeting at Piha Bowling Club 10:30am Saturday 21st September

No matter what you come to Piha for, if you do business here or whatever - be at the meeting to have your say.


21/8/13 The Piha Singing Group - Lead by Mike Morane

 This diverse group are meeting on Monday evenings, 7:30 at Piha Bowling Club, and enjoying themselves I am told.

If you'd like to join in, no previous experience needed, then just go along and see if its for you.   $2 to go toward power bill etc at The Bowler.

'The Great Brain Robbers"

If you're into a little bit of country, little bit of soul, mix in some blues and jazz sounds . . . then this is the band for you. Playing covers and awesome originals a night you'll never forget

6pm to late Fri Sep 6th.  $10 pre-purchase  ticket or $15 on the door.  Bar and kitchen open

Tickets available at Bowler Bar or Email the Bowler HERE 

13/7/13 Soup Night @ Piha Bowler

Every 3rd Thursday of the month  is Soup Night at the Piha Bowling Club.

Claire and Anissa serve delish soup and dessert from 6pm.  Great music too



10/8/13 Auction huge success for Piha's preschool

All reports are the same : great crowd, fabulous food and lots of $$$ passed hands for some fabulous items auctioned.

Such great news for our yummy preschool serving the very young of Piha.

Good on you all .  .  .  .  'It takes a Village'

9/7/13 Warning everyone

I received this today for Village Voice today

There was a burglary in Te Ahuahu Rd today.  Theyforced the front door and took a lot of things - the smaller valuables included food from the freezer.  Not nice for them,  a local well known family.

A Honda vehicle was seen in the area.  Three people were seen in it going up drives casing the area. 

If you see it then call the Police on 111.  Stay safe everyone

Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 10Aug13 20:03PM
Please keep your eyes open, and question anything that looks abnormal. Take notes etc
Comment by Woody (Not Verified) at: 13Aug13 21:56PM
A Honda - Car ? Van ? 4WD ? Black ? Red ? White ? Silver ? a bit more information on the vehicle that was seen would help

8/7/13 Unitary Plan submissions - a world of transparency

Thousands of submissions have been read and catalogued and are now online for all to see.  It's a wonderful thing so I decided to take a little nosey around and see what was submitted in my home village.

HERE is Kath Dewar's submission on behalf of Protect Piha's Heritage (PPH).   This one is of interest to me because PPH have in the past asked for protection of flora on private land without any  discussion with the owner and, yes, they've done it again.

 Anyway you can have a play around and look at submissions by putting in a surname, submission number or organization's name and read the submission and comments on it  right HERE

Comment by Anonymous at: 08Aug13 21:00PM
Trees should not be scheduled on private property without owners consent. Again there has to be a balance between individual properties owners rights and the protection of trees. People have r ight to natural light, sunshine etc. The current rules have worked well in Piha so they should be transferred as is to the Unitary Plan.
Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 09Aug13 22:11PM
So Kath Dewar submission is protesting against owners getting legal access to their properties??
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Sep13 20:18PM
Kath Dewer and co virtually want most of Piha to become a national park......but the saucers who live on the properties to still pay exorbitant rates!
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Sep13 22:05PM
Meant 'suckers'.....,damn predictive text

7/7/13 'Making Comics' in Piha

Anyone can write and draw comics!  Even if you don't think you can draw,  comics are a fun and effective way to tell any kind of story.   This workshop will give you the start you need. Or,  if you're already making your own comics, bring them along and get some advice from an experienced pro.  More information Piha Community Library HERE

6/7/13 Piha Singing Group

The Piha Singing Group met for the first time last night at the Bowler.   I wasn't there, because that is one thing I absolutely cannot do, but reports are there was a great turnout, all range of voices and it was heaps of fun.  They even wrapt up one song, as a group, already.   When / where will they pop up in Piha ?

 Anyone from Piha, Karekare or Anawhata is welcome 7:30 Monday at Piha Bowler.

3/8/13 You can fool some of the people some of the time but . . . .


We know that Monday is August the 5th and not the 4th.  

Viv  can put as many signs she wants around Piha or on the internet it still will not make Monday the 4th.

So left you'll see that we have said  'Monday 5th August from 7pm'




2/8/13 Councilor Sandra Coney retires

Ms Coney announced today that she will not be standing for Ward Councilor, Waitakere, in the up and coming Local Elections.

Instead she is standing for one of six positions on the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and will be concentrating more on the West.


Comment by Anonymous at: 02Aug13 20:47PM
Is this a good thing or not?
Comment by Anonymous at: 02Aug13 21:46PM

God help us!
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 03Aug13 19:53PM
Unfortunately Cr Coney doesn't seem to know the difference between Management and Governance. She has advocated well for the acquisition of parks land, which is an appropriate governance job that councilors are elected to do.

However, she also interfers greatly in the day to day management decisions that staff should be making, based on the policies decided by the elected Council and Local Boards. This interference results in Council officers being intimidated and well-based Council policies being ignored if they don't suit Clr Coney.
Comment by Len (Not Verified) at: 09Aug13 16:07PM
Beware - this will mean Piha the way Sandra wants it - not what the community wishes!
Comment by Anonymous at: 09Aug13 22:12PM
Amen to that
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 11Aug13 7:10AM
OHHHH Lets all just put that negative energy out there and think along the lines of the two comments above and PRESTO, we all receive the negative result of the energy we have put out there. In other words, we asked for it !
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Sep13 20:16PM
Well, I guess people should just make sure they the person elected is a tyre representation of what the community want
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Sep13 22:03PM
Meant 'type of representation'

02/8/13 Either go or go online

If you can't make it to Piha Mill Camp tomorrow, 3 August between 1 - 3pm, you can view the information on this webpage words: Piha Mill Camp

and submit your feedback no later than Sunday 18 August to:

Esther Hjelmstrom


1/8/13  Local Elections just around the corner

The Western Leader canvassed West Auckland's local board members to see how closely our elected members reflected the community.

We asked if they were born in New Zealand, which age group they fit into and which ethnicity and political viewpoint they belonged to.

Despite knowing their names wouldn't be attributed to the data only 14 of the 21 members answered our questions, with Denise Yates and Tracy Kirkley refusing to reveal their age group

Whau board's Jack Weir and Henderson Massey's Vanessa Neeson refused to give any answers, citing the Human Rights Act as a reason.

Lily Ho, Sandy Taylor, Assid Corban, Warren Flaunty and Ross Dallow did not answer our emails or phone calls.

Incredible !  Read the full article HERE

A Harvard at Piha

left: A Harvard flies around Lion Rock Piha, pre WW2



Comment by The Bounder (Not Verified) at: 02Aug13 15:29PM
Certainly not pre war. After Hitler invited the yanks to join in the fun, the Harvards were introduced into the RNZAF post 1941-45. America had no real intention to fight the Nazis only the Nips at that period.
Comment by brian webber (Not Verified) at: 02Aug13 15:47PM
Yes the Harvard was a trainer aircraft used for training would be fighter pilots moving on to Hurricanes, Spitfires, Mustangs, etc. This one the word was that it was flown by local chap Flight Officer Smith, brother of Piha resident Elizabeth Franich (to be verified!) sadly lost while on duty overseas.
Comment by Elizabeth Franich (Not Verified) at: 03Aug13 16:00PM
Yes Brian, You are correct ,Earnie Laurie was my brother and purchased the section on which my home is. regards Elizabeth

30/7/13 Council is asking You  - Piha Mill Camp

Were gathering feedback on the draft concept plan for the Piha Mill Camp.  This is your opportunity to have your say on options we are considering.

Auckland Councils Regional Parks Management Plan identified several future opportunities for the site. We have considered these opportunities and would now like your feedback on the draft concept options.

Piha Mill Camp Consultation document HERE       Piha Mill Camp Questionaire HERE

Or onsite - this Sat Aug 3rd 1 - 3pm

Comment by Anonymous at: 31Jul13 23:30PM
Yes I know about this and I have submitted. If you don't submit then you have to take whatever the Council decides to do without having a voice. We pay for the park, we should have a say in what we want from it. Get out and submit everyone.

30/7/13 Looking for my leash!

This morning - Monday 29/7/13 - I placed my dog's lead on the small boundary fence opposite the Bowling Club and beside the large Microcarpa tree in the domain.  When I had finished playing with my dog and came back to get the lead it had gone.  I am assuming that someone has picked it up thinking it was lost.  If you have it please ph me on 8128097 - I would be very grateful to get it back Cheers Norma

29/7/13 Correction to Piha News article

Left: If you've read the winter 2013 edition of the Piha News you may have seen an article 'Waitakere Ranges Local Board News." on page 10. 

I received this today from Denise

Dear Bobbie

I wonder if you would put a message on your community website to advise people that the comment referring to Protect Piha Heritageand Agapanthus that appears in italicsat the beginning of my article in the Piha News was not part of my article, but has somehow been transposed from somewhere else? 

While I agree that removing the seedpods from Agapanthus, I did not write the comment that appears under the Headline Waitakere Ranges Local Board News.

Thanks, Bobbie

Denise Yates, Chairperson, Waitakere ranges Local Board

28/7/13 So many have talked about it . . .

Over the years I've heard so many talk about how neat a group like this would/could be and here it is :

   Come & Join the Piha Singing Group

              lead by Mike M.

          Monday 4th August

   from 7pm  Piha Bowling Club


It must be stressed that anyone with a wish to sing and maybe make new friends (???) should go along.  It is an amateur group and Viv, the organizer, really would like anyone and everyone with a wish to sing to come along. And don't be intimidated by Mike leading it : Mike is a laid back cool and friendly guy that loves fun and singing . . .   we're all Westies.

27/7/13 Piha Road Accident

The following was sent to me by a reader:

My family and I were caught up in the delay getting home to Piha on Tuesday evening after the awful accident on Piha Road. Well done to the majority of motorists who waited patiently and with concern. However, it was an eye opener to us after one motorist climbed out of her car, continually kept dancing out on the centre white line on a corner of the road just before Anawhata Rd where the long queue of cars were waiting in the dark, nearly became a statistic when emergency vehicles came from the opposite direction.


She had sat on the roof of her car, danced across the road and threw a cigarette into the bush and then proceeded to hop back into her car and when we were allowed to move on, she drove without any lights on.This was disgraceful behavior.  Fortunately she did not become another injury.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the people affected in the accident.

Anyone is welcome to sent articles, thoughts or musings to Village Voice for publication.

Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 27Jul13 19:25PM
The unfortunate thing about being in a 1st. time accident is that one has no reference of how it's going to feel & how fast it actually happens and then the life changing circumstances that follow as a result. All of us actually live on or off one of the most dangerous roads in New Zealand. Where I come from they issue tickets and points of demerit on one's insurance policy, making it more costly to drive & insure one's vehicle. Maybe we should implement a law like that here because I have seen some shocking driving on the Piha Rd. just to gain a few seconds or 1/2 minute of time. In the meantime let's please all drive to live, not to die. I am a long time Piha resident and value my life, my families lives and my friends lives who live and visit out here.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 27Jul13 23:18PM
Ditto :-)
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 06Nov13 13:26PM
Caution, assumption is extremely dangerous. Be careful what opinions, expectations and judgements you place on another human being without knowing them.

26/7/13 Going West 2013

Now in its 18th year, this festival celebrates all that is inspiring, challenging and unexpected in the words of our New Zealand writers and performers.

Held in west Auckland, Going West Festival 2013 is delivered by Auckland Council in partnership with the Going West Trust.

Fantastic events during the festival include:   Lots more details HERE

25/7/13 Mid-winter Xmas Dinner postponed

The Bowling Club Committee has decided to postpone the mid-winter  Xmas dinner for 12 months.

We did not allow enough 'lead in' time to ensure we could do it properly and if we couldn't do it properly we don't want to do it  .  .  .  . 

BUT the kitchen and bar are open, with the fire roaring,  on Saturday for dinner and drinks.


26/7/13 Private Sale - All the hard work's been done                               ADVERTISEMENT

In Garden Road - the best street in Piha, with easy access already built and a building platform level and ready for your home, this section is streets ahead of the competition.

Very seldom do vacant sections become available in Garden Road, and even less often are they of this quality: the owner has developed the site - and it's all ready to build on.   Brochure HERE   Call Janet now on 021 565 484.


24/7/13 Help me get home please

Diesel, left,  is a ginger male cat 13 years old and has only one eye.  He has had a major operation on his rear left leg joint although the way he still runs you may not pick it

We have alerted the local animal shelter and he is listed on pets on the net , we have done all the other things searching roads and property but so far to no avail


I have to say we are quite heartbroken as he is the most loving little fella :  Chris

227 Piharoad / 09-812-8900

Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 24Jul13 14:36PM
Thankyou Bobbie its very kind of you to help. Not knowing if he is in pain or alive or not is so hard.

Cheers Chris
Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 25Jul13 8:47AM
We are heading out for a walk via the Winstone and around your place this morning so we will keep our eyes peeled for any sign of him.
Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 28Jul13 10:02AM
2.30am Hi Im home is my food ready? and please can you change the menu like fresh fish or chicken casserole something along those lines would do me. And then I would like to take a nap call me if I am still asleep lets say 4pm just in time for dinner. Off you go then Im all sorted and by the way thanks to all for looking after my Mum and Dad while Ive been out there such softies.

Cheers Diesel the Ratbag Cat
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 29Jul13 0:08AM
Great news - naughty pussy

23/7/13 Piha Road shut after serious accident leaves one critical

Reports are that two cars plus a motor bike were involved in a serious accident on Piha Road just after 6 this evening. 

The Rescue Helicopter landed in Piha in order to take a critically injured person to Auckland Hospital.

Traffic is well backed up while  the serious crash unit investigates.  The Fire Dept. had to 'foam' the road to make it safe and this held opening it up a bit longer.

People waited for up to 5 1/4 hours to get through.  Some turned around and went for dinner only to return and find the road still closed.  

Thanks to the friends, caught in the road closure, for keeping me up to date with happenings.  I do hope the injured recover quickly.

Story on

Story on TVNZ news

Comment by Anonymous at: 24Jul13 13:52PM
As a new resident to Piha, I'm in awe at how quickly the Piha response team reacted to the accident last night and more so the Wespac helicopter. I certainly feel confident that in the event of something untoward happening to me on my daily trips in and out of Piha, I would be in safe hands. Without prejudice, I have however over the past couple of months since having moved to Piha noticed the speed at which some drivers travel and how selfishly they cross the white line, so no surprises that accidents happen on the road in and out. I do believe that until we respect other road users, accidents will take place. I know I'm equally to blame! When running late to work, one tends to have a heavy right foot. But over the past 4 months I've quickly learnt to respect the winding roads of Piha.

On this note, I sincerely hope and pray that the people involved in last night's accident make a full recovery and return home to their loved ones.

Newcomer to Piha
Comment by Anonymous at: 25Jul13 10:37AM
We are also newcomers to this area and unfortunately my partner was involved in the serious crash on Tuesday evening. He was extremely lucky to walk away unharmed. As the accident is still under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment in detail however the oncoming car travelled over the centre line when it came around the corner and head-on into my partner's car.
I agree with the comments made - we have noticed since moving here the speeds at which some drivers go, crossing the centre line around corners and most notably sitting on another car's bumper in the attempt to make them feel pressured to go faster. I agree that running late may make drivers take more risks however arriving late is better than not arriving at all.
Comment by Anonymous at: 25Jul13 10:38AM
I urge drivers to respect the roads and most importantly respect other road users; please slow down, please do not sit on another car's bumper and please do not cross the centre line in order to cut corners.
Our eternal thanks and gratitude to the Piha first response team, the firefighters, police, ambulance staff and volunteers who attended the scene. We are in safe hands.
Comment by Anonymous at: 25Jul13 16:35PM
And also to remember to drivers to pull over to let drivers past.
Comment by peter (Not Verified) at: 25Jul13 16:39PM
Credit where credit is due: it is properly called the Karekare-Piha first response team, with people from over the hill taking the lead in most emergency situations. Anyone who has been around this area for a while know who they are and what they have done over the years, so lets not shortchange them when covering accidents, etc.. Let's hope the critically injured fellow survives, and that people heed the pleas for safer driving.
Comment by Anonymous at: 27Jul13 12:37PM
They're talking about you, driver of the VW Golf GTi just in case you were wondering. SLOW DOWN and stop overtaking when it is inappropriate to do so!!!
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 28Jul13 7:45AM
As per the comment above, we can all report unsafe & careless drivers to the local police department by noting the registration, type of vehicle, colour and whether it was a male or female driving. Don't forget date & time. When the police receive enough reports they will investigate.
Comment by Anonymous at: 29Jul13 9:22AM
Thanks for that Peter, I didn't mean to discredit anyone, it was merely a comment made regarding how quickly the "response team" reacted. As the days and weeks turn into months I aim to learn more about the awesome people and places in and around Piha. So forgive me for not knowing there was a combined response team??. I do now!!

22/7/13 Seven weeks till the bulldozer comes

It's been offered for free PLUS moving costs etc for any community group.  No one has been able to take the deal up.   If its not taken away in the next 7 weeks then the bulldozer runs through it.

See what we're talking about HERE

Hot seal surface of concern to me:

left: I understand the dust problem the 'road' in the Piha Domain was causing  BUT I am concerned about the effects the new hot seal surface, used in upgrading the road, will have on the whole eco-system there.  

With no drainage under, over or through the seal a few good storms and king tides might have a say about it too ???



left:  The reshaping of the entry to the Domain is well overdue.

Buses will no longer have to travel to North Piha to turn around and enter from that angle.




19/7/13 Thinking of becoming a Candidate ?

Being an Auckland Council elected member is an opportunity to be part of:

  • governing the largest city in the country
  • the largest council in Australasia
  • a unique governance model internationally. 

To find out about eligibility, information meetings, the nomination process, election signs and hoardings etc  Read all about it HERE

15/7/13 Dead Blue Penguin on Piha Beach

left: This photo was taken on Piha Beach on 6th July 2013

I was sent this photo by someone who also told me that this penguin was clearly killed by a dog.  Tragic.

See more about the world's  smallest penguin HERE 'The Blue Penguin Trust'


Comment by Kath Holt (Not Verified) at: 23Jul13 18:35PM
My husband and I saw the blue penguin dead in a rock pool on July 3rd at Sth Piha - I inspected it and saw NO bite marks. The same day we saw a seal and seal pup at the gap- I assume they were all washed ashore after the big storm. On July 4 I saw what i believe was the same penguin washed up in tussock in front of the end houses ( just 40m from where we originally saw it)- it was at this point muliple dogs picked up the already dead penguin, as I was witness to it post surfing.
Comment by cindy baxter (Not Verified) at: 24Jul13 8:33AM
whether this penguin was killed by a dog or not, what I can't understand is why there are not big signs at the north end of the beach, signifying NO DOGS BEYOND THIS POINT: PENGUIN NESTING SITE.
There are only a few signs and info points up at the library and other places miles away from North Piha.
Is this the council's job?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 24Jul13 16:53PM
Good idea Cindy : more signs advising people of our precious fauna would be great but both ends please. Blue penguins nest at south which is where this one was photographed. :-)
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 26Jul13 0:13AM
Kath, it must have been another one because the one I saw had two red bloody puncture holes on its body. It was 8.30am and another resident had come to tell us he had found it. Awful to think this is happening.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 29Jul13 11:12AM
I too agree and dont understand why there are N0 signs around the caves and nesting sites of the penguins and why people continue to have dogs off leash and in areas of "No Dogs". I have been in touch with Council numerous times over the last year and they advised me that signage was going up on the beach at North Piha over summer- which it clearly has not happened! I have also been in touch with Local Board who are aware of the locals request for more education and signage to save our penguins...but again not much has happened. I am happy to supply contacts in the council if anyone is interested to make contact and i will send these council contacts the link to this conversation so they can see more people have concerns.

12/7/13  Chair of Karekare R&R writes to Western Leader

The Thursday, July 11 edition of the NZHerald carried several items of interest for the people of the Waitakere Ranges (Track closures under fire & Wild West opening up to tourism opportunities).

The bush and beach community of Karekare have . . . for a long time balanced a deeply held love of our environment with the recognition that small businesses that don't harm it play an integral part in the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of this place we call home (as intended by the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Act).  We can certainly balance our love of our land with the love of our people and their economic needs too. Eco tourism, home stays, lodges, film makers, small holdings, graphic designers, artists, creative endeavours, artisans, master builders and conscious canyoning all play their part.

With Karekare Beach recently voted 38 in the world's top 100 beaches by CNN and with the massive increase in population projected for Auckland over the next 30 years it is important that these realities provide real benefits for local people through leveraging already increasing visitation in a conscious manner.

I was speaking with a West Coast neighbour today who told me that "people have to experience an environment in order to love it and when they come to love it they will also want to protect it"; which is why we're also a very welcoming community when it comes to visitors, although we offer a 'Wild West' experience - it's our point of difference.

We can love our land and our people and welcome all visitors who respect and appreciate both.

This welcome extends to all visitors who respect the non-partisan approach that is being taken to Kauri dieback in the area. Our hope as locals is that once research results become available in November that we'll all be able to enjoy the tracks we know and love and to support the Hillary Trail in all its intended glory.

Until then families can enjoy the festivities or bush runners could choose to enter the Rogaine at the Karekare Gladefest later this year alongside those participants that believe they can protect our forests, support our local school and give any entrant a run for their money!

11/7/13 Wild West opening up to tourism opportunities

"Thank you Mr Farmer for letting us sleep in your hay."

Ken Turner shows the penciled message that two German trampers wrote inside the humble barn on his Huia, West Auckland farm.

"They came to walk the Edmund Hillary Trail and asked me where they could stay the night. I put them on top of the hay.

"There is a lack of facilities to stay on the four-day and three-night Hillary Trail.  It's an international name that attracts international walkers and it's a 40-minute taxi ride from the airport.

.  .  .  .  Mr Turner said the new policy was to keep a promise of the act - to provide for the social and economic wellbeing of residents of the heritage area.

Full article in NZ Herald HERE

A number of our guests at Black Sands Lodge are doing some or all of the Hillary Trail.  People cannot fall in love, and then protect, things unless they are exposed to them.   It infuriates me that council spends ratepayers, our, money to compete  with us.   We have a right to be in tourism, NZ's biggest earner, and make a living from it.  We love it and so do our guests. 

11/7/13 Karekare Rd closed

A large slip during the night closed Karekare Road for the day today.

The slip came onto the road rather than the road slipping.   No traffic could get through as the slip covered 3/4 of the road.


So, how would you cope ?

Unlike Karekare,  Piha has one road in and one road out.  I recall a couple of years ago the road being closed for a few hours but what if one day it was shut for the whole day or 2 days or more . . . .   how would you cope?

There was a Civil Defence meeting last Saturday and the Chris Wilkins writes the following:



Community emergency service leaders are developing a community based "EmergencyResponse Plan" that will ultimately see the support of local communitygroups and individuals that already exist in Piha.


When an emergency occurs, this plan will be activated by the community. Bydeveloping a plan prior to potential events that supports emergency services,utilities and welfare agencies respond to emergencies in this area.


In preparation of surviving a civil defence emergency individuals and householdsshould undertake to be personally prepared by creating and practicing ahousehold emergency plan and assembling and maintaining household emergencysurvival and getaway kits.  Information can be found on the back page ofthe yellow pages or by visiting the Auckland Civil Defence website .


The purpose of this plan is to build community resilience to emergencies anddisasters by identifying hazards that may impact the community and to provide aplan to enable the community to respond and remain self-reliant for at leastthree days without any external assistance in the event of an emergency.


Key planning objectives

  • What are the threats?
  • How do we communicate / alert the community
  • What should people do / Where should they go
  • Who will support, how will they support and what resources do we have

Representativesfrom the following:

  • NZFire Service
  • PihaSurf Club
  • UnitedNorth Piha Surf Club
  • AmbulanceFirst Response
  • Police - Summer constable
  • PihaResidents & Ratepayers Ass.
  • ParkRangers

The group has set a deadline of 29 September for completion of the plan.


Chris Wilkins | Emergency Management Advisor | Civil Defence and Emergency Management


9/7/13 Entrance to Piha Domain reshaped for buses

left:  The entrance to the Piha domain has been reshaped allowed for buses to enter more safely.  Previously buses had to continue past Lion Rock to turn around and enter from the seaward side.  The bridge is also being widening.



left: The new road on the Piha Domain is now complete with the hot seal being finished today.  It will be interesting to see what happens with king tide and heavy rain . . . .




left: The bridge entrance is now double width so no waiting any more for cars coming the other way.   It's interesting to watch these guys building that stone fence.

To the left, out of picture, is a beautiful little wetlands. 


Comment by Val Stanaway (Not Verified) at: 11Jul13 19:23PM
Are there going to be any speed humps? I reckon a spped camera wouldn't go a miss, either. Surprising how many people (mainly locals), choose to ignore the 15km speed limit. It had got drastically worse since the new road was started. Last week a people mover vehicle drove like a maniac to get to the tennis court. When the van stopped, a few kids emerged. What sort of example is that?

Piha Community Preschool Fundraising Auction

When:  10th August

Where: Piha Bowling Club

Time: 6:30 for 7:30 auction

Cost : $10  Tickets at Café, preschool or library

Comment by Helen (Not Verified) at: 31Jul13 12:52PM
Hi Bobbie - tickets also available from the Gallery.

10/7/13 Reduce Speed


left:  A sign I spotted in Napier while visiting there recently.




Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 14Jul13 8:25AM
RIGHT lets get several for the Piha Hill! I've been saying for years the speed limit should be the same as in Ponsonby, 40 K ! Mainly so one can stop in time in the event something or someone is in the road and for the safety of just pulling out of the many blind driveways.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 25Jul13 0:32AM
Gorilla signage ???? Do it !


Piha's Readers & Writers 2013 Event #1

I was particularly annoyed I couldn't attend the first of the Piha Library's annual Readers & Writers - I was working - see below

CK Stead and James Griffin were both at this event with Sir Bob as MC.  Beautiful three piece strings by Helen Duder and friends as always.   I heard only great reports.

 What is Piha's Corrie and this young lad doing in Piha together?

When Corrie turned up I wasn't surprised - I was thrilled.  Corrie is a 'get in and do it' kind of guy and strong hard worker.

left:  Absolute lack of vanity : I guided and supervised the wonderful crowd of volunteers that turned up for 2013 Waitakere Festival on the Road.  I had a ball even though I was very miffed to miss the Readers & Writers

Below: The young lad on the right's mother has been in contact with me for some time just waiting for the right opportunity for him to do some environmental work toward his Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award.


The Waitakere Festival 'On the Road' came to Piha last Sunday and did two hours work before partying at the Piha Bowler.  TWO HUGE trucks of Cape Ivy were removed from Glen Esk Road  See more photos HERE 

Comment by Jo Ashcroft (Not Verified) at: 10Jul13 22:56PM
Reuben (that handsome young man) and I had such a great time on Sunday. He loved pitching in and making a difference. What a great community effort. Can't wait till next time

4/7/13 Will the raised level cause problems?

left: It's great to see the Piha Domain drive upgraded and widened as in the photo.

It worries me a little that the level of the drive seems to have been raised somewhat and the surface tightly compacted.   High tides often sees the lagoon come up and over this area so I hope this doesn't act as a 'dam' pushing the water elsewhere !  

4/7/13 Message to Piha Community

Bobbie,  I am a newly settled young woman artist in Piha and hoping you, or others you know in the community, might be able to put me in touch with a few people who commute during the week days . . . .   and would be happy to have another person travel with them for an arranged contribution to travel costs.

You help would be so very much appreciated as I am reasonably new in Piha community.  My Best . . . .

If you can help with the above request then either 'comment'  or Email Editor HERE and I'll pass it on 

4/7/13 Plants here for Waitakere Festival on the Road in Piha

left:  I picked up the plants for Waitakere Festival happening in Piha this Sunday July 7th.

Everyone is welcome - rain, hail or shine we'll be there either at start of Glenesk Road or beginning of Beach Valley Road.


3/7/13 Quiz Night in Piha

Note:  I know quiz only has one 'z' but the promoters don't !! 

Break that winter hibernation and come down to the Surf Club for our mid winter Quiz Night. Doors open at 5 pm and Quizmaster Logan Tudehope will kick things off at 7:30. Prizes will include complimentary bar tabs and we will have music after until late so you can have a little shuffle on our newly sealed dance floor. Email your teams of 4 and above to to confirm your place. $5 entry per person and there will be food available topurchase on the night as well.

3/7/13 Wetlands

Ju and I recently took a few days break in the Hawkes Bay with some great friends.  While there we took a peep at the Waitangi Wetlands Restoration project.  Here are three photos - sorry for poor quality photos


It seems wherever I travel now there are great environmental projects happening and especially around water.  

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to come home and see below


2/7/13 Have your say | Piha Mill Camp

Auckland Council is gathering community feedback on the Draft Concept Plan for the Piha Mill Camp (Stedfast Park).  They would value our input on some options they are considering.

30/6/13 Photos Above : The past Presidents of the Piha Bowling Club can relax

Today, at the AGM, members of the Piha Bowling Club voted convincingly to retain their own Club Rooms rather than re-locate and join the Piha Tennis Club.  


left: It was great to see Bob and Marie O'Neill, left,  at the AGM today.

I had a wee chat with them and, yes, they came out to register a vote toward saving the club and rooms.    We briefly shared our thoughts on what Des Pike might be thinking if he knew what was going on.


left:  Click on this photo to see most of those at the meeting today.  Note:  behind the group photo is one of the many 'honors boards' in the Bowler.   There was no room for these in the design for the new building which was one of the several issues that the Bowling Club members weren't happy about.

There were 28 voting members present.   19 voted to save the club rooms, 8 voted to co-locate and 1 abstained.    I'd say that is a good majority in favour of saving the building.

Comment by Anonymous at: 01Jul13 9:54AM
Great. Good on you. Now people just have to support it!
Comment by Mark Holms (Not Verified) at: 13Jul13 16:24PM
I hardly think 19 out of 28 members is a resounding affirmation of the decision to save the existing building, more that it shows the apathy in the community towards the sport and the loss of family connections with the area,ie the various silverware and cups that have become largely dusty and redundant in the back rooms.90 turned up to a book reading festival and the RR gets more in attendance,the absence of blokes on the committe again reflects male attitudes towrds the whole debacle. There just wasn't the usual male leaders to back up Larry and the Tennis Club representatives as occurs in similar clubs viz a viz the Surf Clubs. Still, it was well publicised and democracy was the winner on the day.
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 14Jul13 8:28AM
Well said !

Piha Meditation Class                                           ADVERTISEMENT

Begin the process of learning to still the mind

In a warm and encouraging environment

40min guided meditation (non-religious)    20 min discussion

Facilitator: Lynne Towner hastaught meditation internationally for many years.

Time:   Tues 8:30 - 9:30am Starts: Tues 9 July

Cost:    $8.00/session(casual entry)

Venue: Waygood Foundation, 3North Piha Road  (Opposite Barnett Hall, behind brush fence)

Contact: 021 332120      Email


Pre- Meditation Treat

A set of 18 postures to open and settle your energy for the day

8:00 ? 8.30am   with Maureen Buchan-Reid

Septic tanks culprit - James Ireland, Western Leader

As scientists look for the reasons why West Auckland's beaches and lagoons have the worst pollution levels in the city some are pointing to faulty septic tanks.

.  .  .  . Piha Clean Streams co-ordinator Bobbie Carroll has lived in the town for more than 20 years and despite the contamination she is happy to swim in the lagoon.

.  .  .  . Ms Carroll says it's essential to look at the whole journey the water takes from when it hits the ground until it goes out to sea.

. . . . "Over the last couple of years we have seen a large body of sand move up the West Coast and that is stopping the water from leaving the lagoon and locking in the contamination."  Bobbie Carroll

. . . .  "There are a lot of septic tanks in that area which could be causing a problem.   "They can leak."  Greg Presland.


. . . .  Waitakere Ranges Protection Society president John Edgar agrees with Mr Presland that septic tanks are the main culprit.   "They get worn out over time and need to be repaired.

I certainly won't be talking to James Ireland, lazy journalist, again.  I think he must have put all comments in a bucket and just put his hand in a grabbed a few . . . .  

I'm not sure septic tanks 'leak'.   I think heavy rain or storm water washes over them and in many cases floods them.   My observations, and I've watched  for hours, is heavy rain or storm water is moving too fast and that is a problem.  There is more and more water washing off the roads and concrete drive ways, without drainage, and it rushes overland toward our streams picking up pollutants on the way - including heaps fauna excrement. 

 When our septic tank is emptied we always ensure that it is sealed again so it can't be flooded.  Yes, septic tanks can be a problem, but to focus only on them is far too narrow - in my opinion.

Full article HERE


27/6/13 Neil Henderson, Waitakere Ranges Local Board replies to

You may recall this article I wrote regarding weeds in Waitakere - Neil has replied below:

Hi Bobbie ,I couldn't post this response to you on thewebsite for some reason. If you can post it for me  that would beappreciated.


Hi there Bobbie . I appreciate your frustrations. If it seemsI  have not got back to you in a satisfactory way I apologise. Just to be clear, I do have the environment portfolio, but only to the extent that I share it with just about every one else on the Board. The Waitakere Ranges LocalBoard is ,afterall ,mostly about the environment. However I do tend to get theweed issues because of my other work. The weeds in your photos and the areasthat are your main concern are part of the road corridor and responsibility forthese now comes under Auckland Transport,( when once it was under parks ,one of my portfolios). (Note that we have two other Board members who work the AT portfolio).AT have found it to be something of a hospital pass and do not seem to be moving on weed control at anything like the pace we would like. Just to let you know that I have not been totally idle ,I and other Board members met with AT at various times over the last few months to discuss these very issuesand  AT state that they  will undertake regular vegetation control,mowing ,weed eating and on rural roads ,flailing as well as a limited amountof spot spraying of pest plants. At present though, weedwise,  they arereally only targeting those pest plants that are considered Total Control plants and that does not include the species you have identified , or for thatmatter most other roadside weed issues like plectranthus  ,pampas ,gorse,wild ginger etc .In the last couple of weeks I have also been working with Janie Vaughan from Forest and Bird to attempt to get AT to deal with roadsideweeds in Titirangi. In this case , AT have responded by saying that they arewaiting for the new Auckland Council Weed Management Strategy to be completed beforethey implement a region wide plan for dealing with pest plants on the roadsidereserve .Their spokesman has indicated Janie that they have little time andmoney to put into wider weed control. I and other Board members have also beenworking with Rosemary Bonda and others from Waitakere Township/Bethells to investigate spray reduction programs in these areas. Unfortunately,although AT are  currently applying a no spray regime to a number of keyroads out that way in response to Rosemary's concerns, this "nospray" appears to have turned into a no herbicide /no weed pest control option and this is becoming of a concern to other residents, as weeds become increasingly obstructive to traffic .Understanding that AT are quite new tothis game I spent some time putting in our own submission to the Weed management Strategy around how we might deal more effectively with the road corridors. We have even had meetings with AT around  creating opportunity in their procurement policies/contract requirements that might enable local contractors, NGOs and community groups to deal with some areas of roadside weeds themselves. AT points out correctly, that there are serious safety issues involved with working on roadside margins and that it is very expensive to putin place all the road control infrastructure they need in order to tackle weeds. This makes it really hard to get some of the more glaring areas dealtwith, as they are also along dangerous sections of roadside.


In conclusion Bobbie, I and the other Board members are always happy to receive your concerns around this issue. There are a number of others  currently raising the same concerns and we want you to continue to bring these concerns to us. Until the Weed management Strategy is adopted and we see the full extent of AT's committment to it, we can't do much more thankeep letting them know we are not happy, and perhaps managing to get a fewspecific areas dealt with .Please send me through any suggestions of key areas that you consider real 'hotspots' that we might be able to have AT address and I will make a real effort to get back to you with any outcomes .


Cheers Neil


14:00-16:00 WORKING BEE

We're going to be having a party making-over Glen Esk and Beach Valley Roads in Piha - getting rid of a ton of weeds and putting a whole bunch of native plants in the ground while Andrew Tidball plays some tunes.

16:00-17:00 AFTER PARTY

Then after we've got our hands dirty and worked up a sweat (with a stamp to prove it)  The Eversons and The Conjurors will be entertaining us in the Piha Bowling Club - complete with log fire, disco ball and fairy lights - accompanied by the best food from The Piha Cafe.

More information | all you need to know HERE

24/6/13 Save the Piha Bowler

That's the name of a new Facebook page someone has started and I fully support for many reasons.  If you're on Facebook then 'like' it HERE if you'd like to save it too.


In this photo, left, are two exotic macrocarpa trees that you, ratepayers, have spent approx. $10,000 to save and protect.  They are referred to as Heritage Trees and are about 130 years old.

On the left of these 'heritage trees' in the photo, is the Piha Bowling Club building.  It is around 65 years old.  Is it not also heritage and deserving of protecting ?

The Piha Bowling Club building was built in the 1950s by locals.  It's had so many birthdays, weddings, memorials, prize giving, dances, concerts, meetings I'm sure we've all attended a few.  

The hypocrisy of those supporting the demolition of this iconic Piha building is astounding. 

These are some of the same people who opposed the building of a Café,  try to take away property owners right in order to protect trees in a legal residential village called Piha and  call themselves the guardians of our heritage  !!!  

Now they want to demolish this iconic building so a new concrete and glass one can be built that won't even have room for the memorabilia.   Incredible !

Comment by Anonymous at: 24Jun13 17:26PM
I'm not on Facebook and have no desire to be but I wholeheartedly support everything you have said about the hypocrisy of not saving the Bowling Club building.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 24Jun13 20:36PM
I don't believe Protect Piha Heritage would allow this to be demolished
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 26Jun13 17:11PM
Still on that same old track after it's been established that it will cost $70,000.00+ just to demolish the existing building ? Why is precious time being wasted to rehash the same old Bowling Club issue's ?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 26Jun13 19:31PM
Talequah: is that a demolish and rebuild or save the building ?
Comment by Shona (Not Verified) at: 28Jun13 21:35PM
The original building is quite retro and like a hall. But a new bowling club like the new Piha Cafe and United North Piha Lifeguard Service getting a new surf club that looks like a new school and at the signing of plans that is how they wanted to progress, I think the younger clubbies would like a retro or a concrete and glass building.
Comment by Mary (Not Verified) at: 30Jun13 12:40PM
The clubbies have the surf club
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 30Jun13 12:44PM
Is this the same [ edit (careful!) ]who are trying to steal our library?

24/6/13 Now I am getting really annoyed

I have spoken at the Waitakere Ranges Local Board open forum several times about the spread of weeds in the Waitakere Ranges and even taken photos to show them.

Now Scenic Drive, left,  is being taken over by climbing asparagus and other ghastly weeds.

What is Neil Henderson, the portfolio holder of this with the WRLB, actually doing about this?  What is the follow-up process to ratepayers concerns when we address the Local Board?


Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 24Jun13 17:16PM
He is most likely drinking coffee and eating muffins at our expense.
Comment by Shona Freeman (Not Verified) at: 28Jun13 15:58PM
What about the weed Piha Pohutukawa page on facebook thanks.


24/6/13 Beach pollution a mystery

Scientists are trying to solve the mystery cause of persistent high levels of water pollution at some of Auckland's west coast beaches.

The "no swimming" signs went out frequently last summer at placid lagoons which are tempting to children at the popular surf beaches of Bethells, Karekare and Piha.

Also flagged as posing a high risk of infection were bathing spots on the Manukau Harbour's northern side at Foster, Wood and French Bays, Green Bay, and Laingholm Beach.

The lagoon at South Piha triggered 22 red alerts after water tests, though the beach's surf water met health guidelines.

During the previous summer, the Waitakere Ranges' freshwater lagoons also showed high levels of bacteria, while Laingholm Beach and Wood Bay were the poorest marine sites.  Full article NZ Herald HERE

A couple of things we do know:  The pollution is nearly always after rain which suggests a wash over land.  This suggests it of course could be but  isn't necessarily the adjoining land to the stream / lagoon causing the problem.  The cause could be some way away and washing down and into the stream.    To the best of my, and others, knowledge  no one has ever died from swimming in the lagoon and generations have done this. 

20/6/13 Former Piha lifeguard becomes harbour hero

Riley Massey's lifeguard training came in handy as he dragged a drowning man 20 metres to safety through Wellington Harbour's wintry swells.

The Helipro base manager, who was a lifeguard for 10 years at the notoriously dangerous Piha Beach, was the first to the water's edge at Queens Wharf on Monday when co-workers heard "unusual noises" coming from the sea outside their office window.

    "I was just in the office when the ladies came running down the stair yelling, ''here's someone in the water,' " Mr Massey said.   Full article on stuff HERE

19/6/13 Should Local Boards read Unitary Plan submissions

There is debate going on out there about whether Local Boards should be given copies of the submissions made from within their areas.

As at about 10 days ago here is the submission count:

Albert‐Eden Local Board 1159,  Devonport‐Takapuna Local Board 1901, Franklin Local Board 357   Great Barrier Local Board 16,  Henderson‐Massey Local Board 248,  Hibiscus and Bays Local Board 1180,  Howick Local Board 634,  Kaipatiki Local Board 1251,  Mangere‐Otahuhu Local Board 150,  Manurewa Local Board 360,  Maungakiekie‐Tamaki Local Board 562,  Orakei Local Board 1351,  Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board 58,  Papakura Local Board 144
Puketapapa Local Board 155,  Rodney Local Board 851,  Upper Harbour Local Board 325,  Waiheke Local Board 53
Waitakere Ranges Local Board 283,  Waitemata Local Board 582,  Whau Local Board 139,  Outside Auckland 174  N/A 1009,  Total 12942

I presume our Local Board Members will play some part in the review of the Plan I would certainly hope they read our submissions.   I am disappointed at the WRLB submission count.  Only 283 . . .   Must check that

Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 19Jun13 18:48PM
Disappointing it so low for this area. What is the N/A?

19/6/13  The Department of What ???


left: click for a larger photo to see the 'Department of What?'


    19/6/13  TEN DAYS as a non-smoker today. 

    I know a few of my Piha friends who are giving up.  Congrats to us. 

Anyone else out there want to join us?

19/6/13  Are you ready for winter ?

No doubt you've heard about the weather that is about to hit us soon - the news has been full of it.  I hope you have plenty of good heating and warm blankets. 

When we've got bad weather on the way it's always the vulnerable I think about - let's all remember to keep an eye on our neighbours and especially if they live alone or are elderly.

Check all the streams around you for blockages to reduce the chance of flooding and whatever - stay safe.  

NZ Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency ;Management

TVNZ Coasters featuring Auckland's West Coast

If you missed this program on TV ONE June 15th then you can View it HERE.   It's well worth a peep

 Bad corner on Piha Road

I know some people think there are too many signs on Piha Rd.  For those of us who know it well it may seem like too many BUT

for visitors to the West, like the couple in the photo left, the signs are a good guide.  They did a 360 spin and ended up with a flatty and facing the wrong way.  It's not the first time I've come across this at this corner.

We stopped to help them change their tire because, like so many these days, they had no idea how to change a tire !!!

Take it easy out there this winter . . . .

Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 19Jun13 16:47PM
Maybe they should have learnt to drive first before coming here.

2013 Help end homelessness. Be part of the solution.

On the 4th of July a bunch of influential Kiwis will be making a public stand against homelessness at the annual Lifewise Big Sleepout. They will be stripped of their creature comforts, exposed to the elements and given first hand insight into what it means to ?sleep rough?.

This night will once again raise critical awareness and funds for Lifewise?s highly successful ?no band aids? approach to homelessness.  Big Sleepout HERE


Some Westies participating who YOU could sponsor    Sir Bob Harvey    Steve Tollestrup   let me know if you know of others.

18/6/13 Should 'hard' solutions be used ?

On a global level 'hard solutions' are being undermined and/or washed out.  Could we learn that nature rules and use 'soft solutions' or is that too hard?

"Sinkholes at the Esplanade at St Clair will be filled with gravel as concern builds about high tides expected later this week.

A perigee tide is expected, building up from today, and the king tide is expected on Friday.

The tides are similar to those that three weeks ago stripped St Clair Beach of sand, exposing the sea wall's toe and undermining the Esplanade."   Impending high tide concern at St Clair HERE

16/6/13  Piha Readers and Writers Festival 2013

Two outstanding afternoons of Music and Words hosted by Piha's own Community Library Trust.

It's always a sell-out with beautiful string music, fascinating guests and it's all held together by our own  Sir Bob Harvey QSM

7 July and 4 August - get your tickets from Piha Library, Piha Café,  the Art Gallery or Piha Store.  

16/6/13  Featured Group :: Beach Valley Rd Piha

. . .  Bobbie Carroll learned long ago that the value in a community is how its marginalized people are treated. So when she started up the Piha Beach Valley Road Project in 2008, she made sure every age, every gender, every type of person was included. . . .

Bobbie started with door knocking and five years later she says their community much stronger and their street far safer, simply because people know each other now. . . .  You can read the whole article HERE

12/6/13 Should we toughen up or  fight back ?:

NZ Herald headline "Board chairwoman suing over 'slut' comment"  NZ Herald article today HERE

I've not been called a slut but I've been called a liar several times and ignorant just last week at the Piha Ratepayers & Residents committee meeting.  I challenge it every time.   In March 2013 meeting I had the following read out loud to me under extraordinary items:

[Piha R&R] Committee Member's Conduct

Ken Cowan, President, read the followingstatement to the meeting and requested that it be recorded in the minutes.

Preliminary Statement:


Bobbie, before you joined the committee last year, you had openly conspired against the Piha R&R and regularly posted items on your website that denigrated the Piha R&R and its committee members personally and collectively. Many of those items were not factual.


When you joined the committee we had debate on the Committee Code of Conduct but you continued to flout that code particularly through the dissemination of information obtained at committee meetings and required to remain confidential. Embarrassingly for the PihaR&R, this activity extended to the Waitakere Ranges R&R group.


Your personal actions and behaviour have been directly responsible for lowering the standing of the Piha R&R in the community and for many good prospective committee members refusing nomination to the R&R committee.


This year you have been responsible forallowing the Dinosaur item to be published contrary to the Code of Conduct and despite the issue being raised in the committee, recycled it on 29thMarch. In contravention of the Code of Conduct this month, you have written directly to a Council Officer without a mandate and just last week published on your website false and misleading information about presentations made at the WRLB meeting and denigrated the President of the R&R and the Association.


Bobbie, I have gone out of my way to accommodate you, but this behaviour is totally unacceptable to me and the committee and I want this report included in the minutes of the meeting.


Resolution 2 That Bobbie Carroll be required to remove the Dinosaur Item and the most recent WRLB report from her website and be directed to apologise to the Committee and apologise to the President for the publication of items denigrating the Piha R&R on her personal public website.

CARRIED                                                                                                        Ken Cowan/Helen Pearce

Bobbie Carroll requested her abstention tobe recorded.

My reply at the May Meeting

  Committee Member's Conduct

Bobbie Carroll read the following response to the President's statement recorded in the 5 April 2013 Minutes. A point of order was raised that most of the response was not related to thePresident's statement. Ken Cowan allowed Bobbie Carroll to continue.




'been directly responsible for lowering the standing of the Piha R&R in the community' :I suggest that it has been the various R&R Committees behaviour, rather than mine, that has lowered the standing of the R&R in our Community! The attitudes and actions displayed toward Piha Coastcare, Piha Walk Safe, the establishment of a Café in Piha  [The Beach Valley Road Project] and now the Piha library has done an admirable job by itself of lowering the respect from the community toward the R&R. 


Connection to the community :I attended the meeting about the Unitary Plan on 1 st May and noticed I was the only person from the R&R committee there. That this Committee thinks it's OK for the Combined R&Rs to have their own private meeting where only 2 from each R&R has speaking rights and then not attend the ordinary public meeting is typical of its arrogance.  Are you interested in what 'the people' think? Have you reported to your members about what you learnt at the 'private meeting'? 


The Code of Conduct: We have not discussed nor confirmed the 'code of conduct' this year. This 'code'  has never been endorsed by a General Meeting nor brought to the attention of those thinking of accepting anomination for Committee. My opinion is that this  'code' is specifically designed to keep 'dissenting voices' shut. This is the same 'gagging'  behaviour as the Combined Waitakere R&R Meetings where only 2 members from each R&R have speaking rights. How narrow do you want representation to be?


Members & Committee: There have been many residents of Piha who have, over the last 10 or so years, been on the R&R Committee. Many have left out of disgust at what they have witnessed. Many would not accept a second term for the same reasons. Word about such behaviour does not spread through me or Village Voice. These people have neighbours and friends in Piha.


Dinosaur item published contrary to the Code of Conduct: Once again, I reiterate, I did not write the 'dinosaur article'  but we did publish it on our privately owned website. Again I say it mentions no names I find no reference in the Code of Conduct to freedom of speech and no one except Julia and I have editorial control over Village Voice .  It is extraordinary that you refer to the Code of Conduct when three of the committee openly called me a 'liar' at our last meeting. This includes you Ken. 


Misleading information about presentations made at the WRLB: Ken Cowan did not register for Open Forum representing any organisation and the minutes of the Local Board Meeting in March confirms he did not speak as a representative of the Piha R&R.


Ken, you do not have to 'accommodate'  me. You are the President and therefore the Chair. All you have to do is be aware of the Aims of this Organisation, as written in the constitution, and follow them in a fair and transparent way.


After careful consideration of your motion at last month's meeting plus the lack of warning about the 'extraordinary items' on the agenda, there shall be no apology from me.


Resolution 2

That the report be received.

CARRIED                                                                                Jan O'Connor/ Bobbie Carroll

Helen Pearce requested her vote against the motion be recorded.


Comment by normal ratepayer (Not Verified) at: 13Jun13 20:43PM
For crying out loud the RnR have been acting in this matter for all the years I have been here. How many members do they have apart from those forced to be members so they can have a PO Box. Isn't it time to grow up and concentrate on the important matters for the community and dare I say the outside world instead trying to control the Library, Cafe, Postal Centre, Bowling Club in fact anything that breaths in Piha. We are lucky to have a watch dog who tells us, the silent majority, what is really happening. Most this committee will remember what former Mayor Bob Harvey repremanded for a few years ago but you appear to have learnt nothing. Very sad for Piha don't you know you are ridiculed over the hill and you think Bobbie is embarrassing you, wake up.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 14Jun13 11:10AM
Seems you represent the ordinary person Bobby. Keep it up and stay strong
Comment by Oldie (Not Verified) at: 14Jun13 21:41PM
Maybe the R & R committee should resign on mass then we will have peace in Piha. This pettiness has been driving this committee for quite a few years by certain people that have continued to be on the R & R
Comment by Anonymous at: 15Jun13 8:39AM
Thank you Bobbie for being there and keeping us informed. It must be hard for you. You are respected by us for that. Keep us up to date with everything on your web site and don't let anyone try to stop you publishing everything you want. We chuckle over your articles and we have got to know you while you toil away pulling weeds from all around Piha. I don't see any of those other people on the R&R doing anything except complaining about everything. That is why we are not members. I don't think there is a need for resident groups like that anyway now.
Comment by Shona (Not Verified) at: 17Jun13 23:25PM
And you say I should be careful what I say if I want to live in Piha. Well you are not living at my house thanks you couldn't even work out the gate. I am an R&R member but why would I want to go to see real issues like the environment and you turn everything into a circus Gobbie
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 18Jun13 22:00PM
Shona, your comment.....Can you please explain what you are trying to say in your comment above ? I'm sorry, I don't understand what it is you are talking about.
Comment by Anonymous (Not Verified) at: 19Jun13 17:08PM
R&R are at loggerheads with at least six respected local organizations: the Library, Walksafe Piha, Beach Valley Road Project, the Piha Café, Piha Coastcare, and most recently, the Bowling Club. Maybe they should look at themselves honestly and reflect on how this looks to outsiders. Piha would be a much happier place without the R&R.

11/6/13 Deputy Mayor, Penny Hulse, takes her hat off to us

I take my hat off to the thousands of Aucklanders who took the time to have their say on the draft Auckland Unitary Plan.

We saw 15,000 people attend over 250 community events, received 22,700 pieces of feedback via forms, emails and letters, an additional 6,540 comments and posts from social media and the Shape Auckland website, which over 88,000 people visited. I think these numbers are something to be proud of - we wanted Aucklanders to get involved and that is exactly what they did.     Read the full article HERE 

Comment by Anonymous at: 15Jun13 8:42AM
Yes, but I was sorry to see so few people from Waitakere put in a submission. Oh well, you get what you deserve I guess and if you don't care about the future of Auckland (including us) then accept whatever comes along.

10/6/13 Dog control policies and bylaws

The new policy and bylaw will come into effect from 1 July 2013, and will see more changes to the dog access rules people are used to.

(3) On North Piha Beach:

(a) Dogs are allowed under control off a leash between sunrise and sunset on each day on the middle portion of North Piha Beach approximately between 320 metres and 1200 metres north of Piha Streams (excluding Lion Rock) as marked by appropriate marker poles.

(b) Dogs are allowed under control on a leash on those portions of North Piha Beach not specifically identified as a prohibited or off-leash area.

(c) Dogs are prohibited on the northern end of North Piha Beach at all times from a point approximately 190 metres north of the end of North Piha Road and hence generally in a northern direction.

(4) On Piha Beach:

(a) Dogs are allowed under control on a leash on the area of Piha Beach outside of daylight saving from approximately Piha Streams and hence generally in a southern direction 600 metres to the southern most end of the Piha Beach, as is marked by appropriate marker poles.

(b) Dogs are prohibited on Piha Beach in the following areas ?

(i) Within any rock or reef wildlife area shown by appropriate marker poles.

(ii) On the area of Piha Beach during of daylight saving from approximately Piha Streams and hence generally in a southern direction 600 metres to the southern most end of the South Piha Beach, as is marked by appropriate marker poles.

 Full dog policy document HERE

Where you can excercise your dog including West Coast beaches HERE

Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 12Jun13 10:31AM
I'll bet the dogs not on a leash will just pee on the "marker" poles !!
What about the Gap ? 3 x dogs running around there last Sun on rocks and terrain.
Comment by Anonymous at: 12Jun13 13:57PM
Who monitors this? Seems to be dogs roaming everywhere.
Comment by Anonymous at: 14Jun13 12:30PM
Constantly disappointed to see dogs "off leash" at the very end of North Piha beach around the rocks and caves, when this is a "NO DOG" zone- inconsiderate dog owners to the local environment. I have been run at by a great dane off leash at the very end of North Piha- lucky I am not elderly and got out of the way- no dog tag to be able to phone through to Council.
Comment by angela wood (Not Verified) at: 24Jun13 17:29PM
Well.... you should be so lucky. At least you did not get all your ligaments ripped off your knee by a flying seeing eye dog - not so much fun I can assure you. Just a shame that some dog owners simply cannot keep their dogs under control - no idea whatsoever - want to do??

7/6/13 Erosion investigation in Piha

"A consultant has been engaged by Local and Sports Parks West to undertakeinvestigations on the erosion currently occurring along Glen Esk Stream nearthe Piha West Coast Gallery.

Investigationworks will start late next week and be completed in mid July 2013. Investigations will include site inspections, bore hole sampling and somestream surveys.  You may see people around this area of the stream, theyshould be visible as they should be wearing high visibility safety gear"

Kindregards,  Local and Sports Parks West


7/6/13  Council's  'Our Auckland' Magazine coming to you

I received the following today - it's good news!

Thec ouncil's OurAuckland magazine production team is carrying out a direct mail pilot in theWaitakere area.


This campaign is in recognition of the fact that OurAuckland magazine cannot be hand-delivered to a number of households in theHenderson-Massey and Waitakere Ranges Local Board areas.


The attached flyer is expected to land in these households' mail boxes this weekend, inviting them ( YOU!) to subscribe to a free monthly email version of OurAuckland.  While it is recognised that some of these households may not have internet access at home, the pilot will nevertheless raise awareness of the magazine and advise householders of other ways they can obtain it i.e. from local service centres and libraries.


The pilot will be evaluated to determine the pick-up rate and this information will be valuable in terms of overcoming the challenges we face in terms of delivering other communications to these hard-to-reach areas. If the Waitakere pilot is successful, it will be rolled out to other low-delivery areas across the region.


OutAuckland flyer HERE

Comment by Penny Hulse (Not Verified) at: 27Jul13 12:04PM
Finally after 2 years of pushing! We seem to be getting somewhere. I have said from the beginning that most of my area is not getting " our Auckland" and asked that copies be left at dairies, and key meeting places like the Piha cafe. Some of this has worked but not well enough. Lets hope people join up for the online version.

6/6/13  Matariki and Astronomy @ Piha Bowler

left:  Glennys with the two amateur astronomers who did this evenings presentation.

I counted around 90 people at the Piha Bowling Club this evening.  We started with some of Claire Inwood's divine soup and home-made bread - always incredibly yum.


I have always thought Piha is very fortunate to have the West Coast Gallery here.  It has grown slowly but surely so that now it is a very valuable asset to the Piha Community.

If I need to buy a gift the gallery is more often than not my first port of call.  No matter my budget there is always something to fit the bill.

left:  Steve giving his very interesting presentation on astronomy.  He talked about 'light pollution' and how  fortunate we are here in Piha not to have much so we have a night sky full of stars.  Hard to believe there are places that never see stars.   Auckland Astronomy Assn

Below from left:  There were 3 big telescopes outside for us to look at the stars and night sky.   The children in particular really enjoyed this part.   Then, as if that wasn't enough, the Gallery put on a most delicious supper for us all.  Thanks so much to Glennys.


5/6/13  Sustainable Coastlines   'Supreme Winner of the Green Ribbon Awards' 

You might recall this wonderful group of, somewhat younger, volunteers came to Piha in September 2011.

On that day they removed 2,000 litres of rubbish:

"Thanks to a solid turnout of 100 hardy volunteers on this blustery spring day, more than 2,000 litres of rubbish was removed from the beaches and dunes of Piha this Saturday. In all, nearly 10,000 individual items were collected from this rugged West Coast beach on Saturday, a total that surprised many on what initially looked like a fairly spotless stretch of coastline."

left: A photo I took of their 'headquarters' when they came to Piha.

For more information on the Ministry of the Environment's Green Ribbon Awards see HERE

For more information about Sustainable Coastlines see HERE

4/6/13 All Blacks vs. French Sat 8th of Jun @ Bowler

All Blacks vs. French Saturday 8th of June . . . . are you ready? Julia and Bobbie will be cooking in the kitchen and will have something special for this rugby game. Put a cross on your diary now

left:  Julia and Bobbie will be cooking in the Piha Bowler kitchen on Saturday night from 6:30. 

 All Blacks vs Français samedi 8 Juin. . . . êtes-vous prêt? Julia et Bobbie seront cuisson dans la cuisine et auront quelque chose de spécial pour ce match de rugby. Mettez une croix sur votre agenda

5/6/13 Imposter's art of disreputable living  

For many artists, imitation is the highest form of flattery. But this is taking it a bit far.

For six years, after a truck-load of his paintings disappeared, west Auckland artist Dean Buchanan, left,  has been getting reports of his own disreputable behaviour from around the country.

In Karamea, on the West Coast, he stayed at a backpackers for two weeks, apparently on his way to sell a painting to Shania Twain at her ranch in central Otago, and then could not pay his bill.

A friend told him he had "shagged a woman in the back of his truck" while selling paintings at Auckland's Parnell markets.   Full story on stuff. HERE

4/6/13  Piha Domain 1926


Take a close look - very interesting


Comment by Anonymous at: 04Jun13 20:16PM
You might have to point it out....sorry, I never was that quick
Comment by Allan Weeks (Not Verified) at: 05Jun13 10:08AM
Where are all the trees, or is it that the people planted THE FOREST!!!!

3/6/13 Waitakere's Shaz Davies receives Queens Birthday Honour

I doubt there are many people in Waitakere who don't know or heard of Sharon.  Shaz is one of life's 'givers' when she could easily have been the opposite.

Shaz has spent her life in a wheelchair but this has never stopped her being involved in her community or a charity or . . . . anything really.

Sharon Faye Davies  has received a Queen's Service Medal for services to the Community.

Shaz is currently the PA to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board.    Full list of Honours HERE

2/6/13  Shall we have more information ? (UPDATED BELOW)

A  grey 'Community Project Lost Forever [#2} was recently distributed around Piha.

It mentioned 'the Piha Ratepayers and Residents voted unanimously to support this project in their May 2011 meeting.'  This is true . . . . .  but . . .  there is more . . .  of course !

The Ratepayers meeting was held on May 4th 2012.   This is important . . . The discussion prior to the motion of support

    • "Ross Pownall updated the committee on behalf of the Piha Community Sports and Recreation Club steering committee with progress on the new sports facility project.  Architect Brent Hulena presented a detailed overview of the architectural drawings. These will be made public following sign-off by the Bowling and Tennis Club members after 12 May."

    • The Motion  "To write to the Piha Sports and Recreation Club to thank them for their attendance and presentation and restate Piha R&R Association's support for the project.  Cowan/Pearce"   CARRIED unanimously

The project was still in it's 'feasibility' or 'due diligence' stage.   I was at this meeting but I would never support something that the Bowling Club itself didn't want.  The Bowler  has since decided it may not want to move forward with this project.

UPDATE: The Piha R & R initially voted to support this project at their meeting March 4th 2011

    • Present:  Graeme Webber, Ken Cowan, Monique Olivier, Graham Cleghorn, Helen Pearce,  Graham
      Caley,  Jan O'Connor,  Alberto Bonini.

      Visitors: Jan Brown (Auckland Council community projects & liaison advisor), Ross Pownell (Tennis
      Club), Larry Gibson (Bowling Club), Sharmaine Rae


    • Motion 2: That the Piha R&R committee supports in principle the co-location of Bowling Club and Tennis Club in a new building to be sited between the existing bowling green and tennis courts.  Pearce/Caley CARRIED 


    • The preamble from the Minutes of that meeting  "Bowling Club project presentation.  Jan Brown  introduced the project and explained her role in supporting non-profit groups with projects and showed the possible legal structure of the amalgamation of clubs, with an overarching body to manage the building & assets. Possibility of the building being shared by other groups.  Kids Charitable Trust has already expressed interest.

Ross Pownell,  president of the Tennis Club,  gave the background to the proposal to relocate and
build a new club to jointly house tennis club (216 members) and bowling club.  An independent
feasibility study has been done which found structural renovations to the existing building would cost
as much as rebuild.  Estimated cost of project $1.5Mil.  A Steering Committee has been set up.

Larry Gibson,  president of the Bowling Club, presented the building plans and explained the design.
The project has been endorsed by the membership of both clubs.  Various aspects of both design and
Domain status were discussed.   It was requested consideration could be given to the upgrade of the
Domain access way as part of this project.  Jan Brown informed the meeting the project would include
comprehensive community consultation.

Sharmaine Rae  spoke to her concerns about the recreational needs of youth in Piha and that they be
considered within the scope of this project,  i.e. the relocation of the basketball court and the desire for
a netball court. She alerted the committee to the fact that, because the Piha Preschool is now operating at maximum capacity,  the Piha Playgroup is looking for a meeting venue.

31/5/13 Lost Property:

Left behind in the surf club last week at the Piha Ha Comedy nightwas 1 set of house keys. They are 2 similar keys on a plain pink plastic tag.   Email me at  Regards, Paul Lelievre

31/5/13  Someone can't count !

This is the headline in the NZ Herald

Highway crash closes lanes  "A crash on Auckland's Southern Motorway has closed two of the three southbound lanes, just as holiday weekend traffic starts to build"

Sorry !  'two of three southbound lanes" . . .   Now I'm looking at this photo and I see 4 plus another merging lane.  So where do you get 2 of 3 ?    You try and count HERE

31/5/13  Different Drum Limited (owner of Black Sands Lodge property) feedback

The specific property my feedback relates tois:  9 Sylvan Glade, Piha

The specific provisions my feedback relates to is:
Natural Environment: Significant Ecological Areas - SEA_T_5539, Land
Built Environment: Design and Development - Waitakere Coastal Settlement

Please provide your feedback on the aspects of the draft Auckland UnitaryPlan you support which you think will work for you and your community:

Please provide your feedback on the aspects of the draft Auckland UnitaryPlan you would like to see changed and why:
Building coverage - Existing building coverage rule for the zoning allows for 15% - the Waitakere Coastal Settlement rules should reflect this 15% - not 10%
Maximum building height - Existing maximum height rule for the zoning allows for 8m - the Waitakere Coastal Settlement rules should reflect this 8m - not 6m
The Heritage: Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act should be removed from an overlay on the Site as there are specific rules relating to this overlay forthe site

I STRONGLY OBJECT to the SEA overlay on my property. There is no justificationfor this overlay. TWO boundaries of this property has streams on them. These streams each year attract water rats. Vegetation must be controlled to stop the rats and possums jumping onto the buildings. Water collection is a continuing challenge : twice we have had to drain all our water collected due to 'pohutukawa tea'. We must be allowed, as of right, to maintain our property for safe 'human habitation' as well. I wish to retain the ability to trim 20% annually off all vegetation on my property in order to protect my right to sunlight, fresh air, use of land, recreation etc. The risk of fire, damage to property and general safety is compromised by not being able to manage vegetation on my property.

I have spent the last 7 years eradicating weeds on my property and will not now have council tell me that, except for 3m around the buildings, I can't 'do' anything with it. I am not paying rates for council to have a 'reserve' on my property.

We have a few optional questions which will help us understand a bit moreabout who has provided feedback to help us understand how well we are engagingwith Aucklanders.

Age group:
55 - 64

Ethnicity: Other - please specify:  Homo sapien

Do you consider yourself to have a disability? Yes
If yes, please specify how your disability affects you.
I am a human trying to live in a Coastal Residential subdivision. This appearsto be a disability these days.

I wish to speak to my submission

Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 31May13 19:25PM
Love it !!!!

Submit on the Unitary Plan HERE

31/5/13  My personal 'feedback' on the Auckland Unitary Plan

Please provide yourfeedback on the aspects of the draft Auckland Unitary Plan you support whichyou think will work for you and your community:
I WISH to speak to my submission

Please provide your feedback on the aspects of the draft Auckland UnitaryPlan you would like to see changed and why:

I STRONGLY OBJECT to the SEA overlay on my property. There is no justificationfor this overlay. I wish to retain the ability to trim 20% annually off allvegetation on my property in order to protect my right to sunlight, fresh air,use of land, recreation etc. The risk of fire, damage to property and generalsafety is compromised by not being able to manage vegetation on my property.

If you wish to protect trees then please use the Tree Protection.

I STRONGLY OBJECT to the reduction of land coverage from existing 15% to 10%.A ll our water is collected in tanks. The reduction in roof area minimizes myability to collect water for general household use and fire control. Piha is alegal residential subdivision. It now has some 8 - 900 permanent residents.  The Piha pre-school always has a waiting list. Piha has 3 school buses. Our Community Library has over 1,000 members.  We have a fully operational volunteerFire Brigade and First Response. We have a thriving Art Gallery.

The residents of Piha are entitled to have full use of their land as aresidential subdivision suitable for growing families and elderly alike.

That THE HERITAGE: Waitakere Ranges Heritage Act overlay on the Site be removed. The Heritage: Waitakere Ranges Heritage Act on the Site however there are no corresponding rules that relate to this limitation and no apparent relevant assessment matters.

We have a few optional questions which will help us understand a bit moreabout who has provided feedback to help us understand how well we are engagingwith Aucklanders.

Age group: 55 - 64 Ethnicity: European

31/5/13 Piha ranked #3

Auckland was also the only destination in New Zealand to have three beaches in the top 10 list, with Piha ranked number three and neighbouring west coast beaches Bethells and Karekare also placing in the top 10. (TripAdvisor Travelers)   NZ Herald article HERE

30/5/13 Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and her tattoo

7. What can you tell us about your tattoo?

I love my tattoo. It is on my right shoulder and is a combination of three lined koru representing my husband and two sons surrounded by an African weaving pattern celebrating my African roots and outlined with a Pacific spearheaded design to express my joy in living in the Pacific.

Read all 12 Questions and Answers HERE on NZ Herald

30/5/13 That Piha Library Trust has done it again !

We will once again be running our winter fundraising Readers and Writers Festival.

These afternoons of music and words will take place on Sunday 7th July and Sunday 4th August at 2pm at the Piha Surf Lifesaving Club.

This year's line-up will include acclaimed New Zealand novelist and Poet C.K. Stead, widely published Maori Poet Robert Sullivan and Award-winning screenplay Writer and Director Stephen Sinclair.   Full details HERE

29/5/13  UK Telegraph - The wild solace of the Hillary Trail

Sixty years on from her father's ascent of Mount Everest, Sarah Hillary reflects on the area in New Zealand where Sir Edmund found refuge.

"The Hillary Trail, which opened three years ago in my father's memory, threads through a part of the world my family has known for generations.

I have been going to the area, along the wild coast of the Waitakere Ranges, not far west of Auckland, for as long as I can remember. My early memories are of sitting by the fire in our old family beach house, listening to stories as the wind howled outside and rattled the corrugated-iron roof alarmingly.

That was on land belonging to my maternal grandfather, Jim Rose. It is a unique place, amid huge swathes of native bush. Being an outdoors man - he was president of the New Zealand Alpine Club, which is how he and my father met -  my grandfather loved it. In the Twenties, he bought this remote stretch of headland reaching up to a very basic road used by bullocks and carts. "  By Sarah Hillary  Full article  UK telegraph HERE Hillary Trail - Waitakere

29/5/13  Drainage to help stop erosion @ West Coast Gallery

Left:  Part of the 'hard' solution to the erosion on the stream bank behind our West Coast Gallery. 

This drainage will take the water flow off Seaview Road away from the stream side that is contributing to the collapse of the stream bank behind the Art Gallery.

29/5/13 A well tuned piano giveaway

We've got an old but well tuned and lovely sounding pianoup for grabs.  No money wanted but thelucky pianist would have to come and take it away.  It's ideal for a beginner. 

Email Village Voice Editor for contact details

28/5/13 New Piha Domain toilets and changing rooms

If you'd like to see more detailed and different angle of the plans have a look HERE - rather nice !

To jog memories:  The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area under the Draft Unitary Plan

I've stated before that I'm not that concerned about the Unitary Plan per se.  It's the detail in the 'overlays' that I'm looking closely at.

There are four zones for the Waitakere Ranges Ares

  1. Rural Conservation Zone - this affects residential Piha, Karekare etc.
  2. Countryside Living Zone
  3. Open Space - Regional Parks and Public Open Spaces
  4. Rural and Coastal Settlements - this affects residential Piha, Karekare etc.

There are also 'precincts' and we are in the

  • Waitakere Ranges and Bush Living precinct.

There are three overlays for the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area

  1. Significant Ecological Area Overlay  (SEA) 
  2. Design and Development Overlay (DDO)
  3. Outstand Natural Landscape (ONL)  and Outstanding & High Natural Character (OHNC)

So lets look at the overlays one by one  (if I have anything wrong or left out I'll correct or add)

Original and full article HERE


28/5/13  Ride needed

Hi,  my names Cory I live on Rayner Road and looking for aride into either Sunnyvale or Glen Eden train station on any day of the weekexcept for Wednesday.  If you can please email me or contact me on 8128118.

Thanks  Cory Wood

27/5/13  Don't believe everything in your letter box

I recently received both a green and grey foolscap blurbs titled 'Community Project Lost Forever' in my letter box.

It's a good idea to verify facts before going to print.   The grey paper ends with

"The Auckland Council have advised that the remaining funds to progress this opportunity will be withdrawn and those funds repaid by May 31st, the deadline.  So due to the badly informed lobbying of a minority, the opportunity to have a publicly funded, state of the art, ecofriendly, energy conscious, self ventilating, passive heating and cooling, new community building will be lost forever."

WRONG !!!  There is no such deadline  !!! 


Comment by Anonymous at: 27May13 20:57PM
Ha ha, that sounds typical in Piha. Who was the unmitigated falsifier of veracity?
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 27May13 22:52PM
We received the grey one but not the green one. No signature, email or phone.
Comment by Anonymous at: 30May13 9:09AM
That's because they know they haven't got their facts right. Chickens!

27/5/13  Do me a favour and talk to me first

If anyone is thinking of nominating a tree on my property please talk to me first !

"If there are trees inyour area that you think should be protected you have the opportunity to nominate them for scheduling as notable trees under the Unitary Plan "

Guidelines for Nominating a Notable Tree for Evaluation

These guidelines outline the requirements for nominating a notable tree for evaluation by Auckland Council for
inclusion on the region's Notable Tree Schedule.  This document will assist you in completing and submitting
the nomination form.

Nominating a tree

Any person or organization may nominate a tree or group of trees for evaluation by completing and submitting the
nomination form.

Before you submit a nomination, please read these guidelines to check whether nomination is appropriate,
and to ensure that you complete the form correctly. You should only nominate a tree or group of trees if you consider it has significant value and would be a worthy addition to Auckland's Notable Tree Schedule.

Guidance for nominating a notable tree HERE

24/5/13  Jason Momoa spotted at Piha Beach

left:  Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones fame at Blairs on the Beach, Piha

Jason Momoa will be attending the Hamilton Armageddon Expo on 25th - 26th May and Wellington on 1st ? 3rd June 2013.


Comment by adrian doggett (Not Verified) at: 26May13 17:29PM
Adey here
What a realcool dude
so chilled a gentleman
cheers mate
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 27May13 9:20AM
Damn !! I should have taken my dragons out for a later walk on Piha Beach as opposed to a morning walk.

24/5/13 Maybe the Piha Tennis Club would like this ???

left:  The owner of this building wants to give it way, plus a share of moving costs, to a Piha Community Group.

You know the building -  it's right next door, south, of the Piha SLSC.

It has been offered to the Piha Preschool and West Coast Gallery including owner paying all costs of removal and relocation but that offer has not, to date, been taken up.

So maybe if the Piha Tennis Club want a club house they would like this.  It's plenty big enough for the 6 week tennis season and it won't cost you much at all.

If its not given away it will be demolished - soon.   Over to the community . . . . .   Contact Village Voice Editor for more details.

Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 25May13 0:08AM
The owner has sent me the following: "I am willing to pay the entire moving and relocation cost (including foundations) - 20k - if it goes to a community group." Very nice people coming into Piha :-)

Wekatahi and Marawhara Streams - Trigger points consultation

It seems crazy to me that the Council is consulting on the management of these streams when they have expert consultants etc that should be making a decision based on environmental / ecological facts rather than opinions but there you go.

HERE is the document explaining it all

  Julia and Bobbie back cooking this Saturday @ Bowler

Other than private catering Julia and Bobbie haven't cooked for the public for about 9 years.

But JP doesn't wish to do every weekend at The Piha Bowling Club  so Bobbie & Julia are going to work in with him.

Starting this Saturday, 25th, they'll be periodically doing some of their old favourites between 6 - 9pm.

The Piha Bowling Club online    The Piha Bowling Club on Facebook

Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 23May13 6:10AM
Entice us with a menu please of this weekends fare. ;-}
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 23May13 19:26PM
* Marinated Scotch Fillet with Pomme dauphinois, salad and a choice of either chilli or garlic butter
* Chicken Santa Fe with chunky home-made chips and salad
* Pan fried Terakihi with chunky home-made chips and salad
*Home-made mussel chowder and garlic bread
Kiddies dinner too
Comment by Shirley Bond (Not Verified) at: 24May13 11:44AM
WOW thats excellent, looking forward to getting a few of us together and enjoying the Bowler and the food. Thanks Shirley

23/5/13 Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.  NEWS LEASE  One week to feedback on the Unitary Plan

Aucklanders have one week to feedback on the draft AucklandUnitary Plan and Deputy Mayor PennyHulse is urging people to make sure they have had their say.


"We are undertaking the largest planning process in New Zealand?shistory, creating a rulebook that will guide Auckland and how it grows over the next 30 years."


"I never expected anything less than robust debate and passionate views on this plan and it is great to be getting so much feedback. This is exactly why it was released as a draft - so everyone would have the chance to be involved before the more formal step of notification.  We wanted to consult and listen and change the plan to ensure we develop the best plan possible."


"With a week left to go in this period of informal engagement, I want to remind Aucklanders that the purpose of engaging on a 'draft' draft plan is so we can change and adjust things according to feedback. We have always said we will reshape the plan and we will," said the Deputy Mayor.


Full News Release Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse HERE

23/05/13  Thing to consider when submitting on Unitary Plan

You may or may not be affected by my list below.  I have been chatting, reading and watching peoples comments and responses so put this list together to jog your thoughts.

If they don't affect you then just ignore.

Regarding the restriction of only being able to trim or cut within 3 metres of existing buildings:

  • Light
  • Sun - especially during winter
  • Fresh air
  • Fire
  • Rats - jumping from trees
  • Mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, possums, ferrets, stoats, wasps
  • Fire
  • Security
  • Collecting clean water  (pohutukawa tea)
  • Outside entertaining
  • Children's play areas
  • Clothes lines - birds poo on washing

Regarding the reduction of land coverage from 15% to 10%

  • If you have an 850 m2section you can put a 85 m2 house footprint on it

Green Party deep sea drilling meeting

I was not able to attend this due to another function I had the huge pleasure of going to.  If anyone would like to write about it and send to me with a photo you're welcome to.  Email HERE

18/5/13 Great food and a good fire @ Piha Bowler

left:  Terry presenting Janet with the raffle - she won.

A well deserved win.  Shirley bought a couple of tickets in the raffle she donated and put Janet's name on the tickets but her own mobile.  They had to phone the mobile number  to find out who won only to find out that it was Janet who won!!  Funny but you probably had to be there to appreciate.

Great night - JP's food was declared a success and a great evening








Comment by Zeb (Not Verified) at: 19May13 9:43AM
Hey Bobbie great photos of a really happy and fun night at the Bowler. JP is a great chef and our food was brilliant. From all the folks I talked to they want to save the Bowler and I hope it will happen.

 18/5/13 Well done Tasha

left:  It's been a long time since I have seen so many attend at a meeting in Barnet Hall.  Standing room only.

Congratulations Tasha for initiating this very important meeting for the folk of Piha.  Clearly you are a natural leader in our community as well as a real asset.   Great to see 4 from our Local Board present. 

A good presentation by council staff and the answers to many questions emphasized how important it is for us to make submissions on this plan - deadline 31st of May.

Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 20May13 22:32PM
Who were the 4 from the local board?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 20May13 22:43PM
Denise Yates: Chair, Janet Clews: Deputy Chair, Greg Presland and Mark Brickell.

18/5/13 Piha Bowling Club responds to 'green flyer'

The Piha Bowling Club committee feels the need to respond to theunsigned and spurious document which has been circulated in the Piha communityon a green sheet of paper regarding 'COMMUNITY PROJECT LOST FOREVER'.

That the writer does not have the courage to put a name to this document says a lot and it is in this tone that the document is written.

We wish to respond to this handout.

  • The Piha Bowling Club building is owned by the members of the club, not the community and it is they who will vote on its future.
  • The Bowling Club members agreed to a feasibility report on co-location.  It then agreed to progress further wanting more detailed information from the feasibility report.  This was not to be a mandate to go ahead and build a new building.
  • The Bowling Club felt bullied and ill informed about the entire process.  Members were not informed of the enormity nor the finality of the proposal and they asked, at a meeting, to put everything on hold and to get our own independent expert reports on the condition of the Bowling Club and cost of repairs and maintenance.  

To read the full article Read it  HERE

Comment by Mike (Not Verified) at: 19May13 17:21PM
Can anyone tell me where to find these latest reports that the new bowler committee has got? Can't see them on their website
Comment by Anonymous at: 20May13 10:21AM
If I remember correctly they said they never had written reports done because it was so costly to do that. No reason not to believe them in my opinion. An architectural friend of mine has talked at length about it after checking it out and he reckons it is not bad and could be repaired quite easily.

17/5/13  'No Place I'd Rather Be - features Piha

This Sunday, 19th May, Charlotte Ryan's program 'No Place I'd Rather Be' on Radio Live features interviews with various Piha folk.

The interview chats about the area , how long we've lived here, what we love, favourite spots, Village Voice etc.

Sandra Coney and Julia & myself were interviewed along with a few others . . .   Tune into Radio Live and Charlotte 

16/5/13  Community Project Lost Forever !  

I received the following be email from a reader today:

"Community Project lost forever

Today I had a notice put in my letterbox about the Sport and Recreation Clubhouse. Whoever has put this out has not bothered to puttheir name on it.   If they truly believe that this is a good idea why haven't they come out and said who they are?"

I also received this in my snail mail box today.  It's hard to read 8 font on green paper but I did and this is the way I see it.

The ratepayers, through our Local Board, granted $50,000 for a feasibility study on the 'co-location'  of the Piha Tennis and Bowling Clubs.

Each club had 3 members on a 'steering committee'.  Heaps of evaluations, engineers reports, architectural drawings etc etc were done.   $30,000 was spent and there is $20,000 left.

As I understand it,  at some (later)  stage the Bowling Club members found out there were a number of things they were not happy about.  Quite a few things,  including there wouldn't be room in the new building for their 'memorabilia' etc  but the biggest issue was they would have to raise some $75,000 themselves to demolish their own building after the proposed new one was built. This building is what protects their greens from the westerlies.  From what I understand this took the cake and they called a General Meeting where it was all discussed and the project put on hold.

Since then the Bowling Club has had an estimate of $180 - $200,000 over a period of 5+ years for repairs and maintenance (new roof etc)  and their building would be OK. It doesn't need an upgrade - it needs maintenance.   This has been confirmed by three independent reports they have requested. 

The Bowling Club building is not condemned and as an existing building has a few urgent repairs to be done and a 5 year plan put together to administer these.   It doesn't need 'upgrading' as it is the charm of its age that the members and others love.

The Bowling Club is, in my opinion, not stopping or taking anything from the Community.   They just want to continue along the road of saving their loved building where it is protecting their greens.

To look at the feasibility of something and then decide you don't want to proceed surely is their prerogative.  The building was built by locals  in the '50s and is full of memories and continues to host great events including meetings, weddings, conferences, hosting schools, dances, birthday parties etc.

The  'green notice"  ends  with : 'Act now! You must have your say ! Speak your mind !'    This  is not a Community decision!  The decision rests solely with the full members of the Bowling Club.   They will make a final decision at their AGM in June.

In the mean time JP will be there each fortnight producing great food starting this Saturday, 18th, after the Unitary Plan Meeting  at Barnett Hall 2pm.    See you there.

Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 17May13 11:11AM
Where is Protect Piha Heritage when you need them?

The Power we all have to stop bullying

Pink Shirt Day Friday 17th of May

" This year, Pink Shirt Day is 17 May and we?re talking about the power we all have to prevent bullying. Everyone has the power to ask for help, the power to change behavior and the power to intervene. What you do makes a difference, so take action: wear a pink shirt on 17 May and start a conversation."   Read more about preventing bullying HERE


16/5/13  Lost Cat

The owners of this cat are desperate to find it as they are moving soon.

If you've seen it around please phone them.

Left:  click for full details.





15/5/13 Piha's Leif off to California  -  Exchange 2013

Piha United North Clubbie Leif Neilson has been chosen to represent Surf Life Saving Northern Region to travel to California.

Lief's chosen topic is to implement an asset management plan for mechanical equipment, optimizing ownership benefits and minimizing operational costs.

 As always there is fundraising to be done Read all about them and it HERE

Below : Laura Josephson from Mairangi Bay and Leif Neilson from Piha United North.  Congrats to you both


15/5/13  Footpaths too narrow for prams

I got quite a shock the other day driving up North Piha and coming around the corner to these two twin prams on the road side.  Pretty dangerous



 I turned around to see why they were on the road rather than the walkway and it's pretty obvious.

left:  the width of the path, between the post and railing, won't fit the prams.  Duh  !



Comment by Penny Sparks (Not Verified) at: 16May13 19:31PM
The prams by us walk on the road too, despite a wide flat grass walkway. So even with the width it's also the tires. Those little wheels don't offroad. You have to buy the big buggies with the pneumatic tires which are a pain to put in your car or on a bus.

15/5/13  Suppose we all know now - this weekend in Piha


Saturday 2pm Unitary Plan @ Barnet Hall

Sunday 1pm Green Party Deep Sea drilling Meeting @ Piha Bowler


Comment by Alistair Goodwin (Not Verified) at: 16May13 15:22PM
With regard to the meeting on the deep sea oil drilling mooted for off our coast. Whilst it is a great chance for the Green Party to grab a few votes it is also incredibly hypocritical to oppose such a venture if you use petrol, oil, or plastics. Maybe you can try and justify it on the grounds that hydrocarbons are OK if they come from ' somewhere else' and it's too risky here but they've got to come from somewhere. NIMBYism and hypocrisy. Not for me I'm a realist!

13/5/13  United North Piha Surf Club offer from great Kiwi businesses 

For every ghastly criminal / thief  there are many wonderful people and companies in this country.  Here is some correspondence  that United North received :

"ADT Armourguard wish to offer as a donation to United SLSC the free supply and installation of an alarmsystem for your club to protect the critical gear your club needs to save lives in ourcommunity.  We will also Monitor the alarm for free for the first 12months."  Regards,  Shane O'Halloran National Risk Manager ADT/Armourguard Security

"I heard via the news that a compressor was stolenamongst the other equipment, what size / type was it ? petrol or electric driven? we may be able to help with a free replacement."  Kind regards Julius Coffey General Manager FOXAIR NZ LTD 

 Meanwhile  Grant Woolford, of the Cyclespot Group, said that as soon as he read about the theft  he offered the club a loan of two Honda quad bikes until they either found their machines or replaced them. 

Comment by Julie Savage (Not Verified) at: 18May13 21:11PM
I like to believe in the good in people and in this case the good is going to far outweigh the bad. I feel proud to be a New Zealander when we pull together to right a wrong.

13/5/13  West Coast eco-sourced puppies

Only 3 of these delightful puppies left.  OMG I so want one but Ju says 'no' . . .

The best eco-sourced DNA you could ask for - no pedigree - wouldn't be 'westie' if they were !

$350 each.  Contact Fi if you're interested and committed to being a great and responsible owner.  You know where to find Fiona

13/5/13  Unitary Plan Piha/Karekare/Anawhata Meeting Unitary Plan Poster HERE

Mother's Day - David Shearer, leader of the Government Opposition in Piha

left:  David Shearer, Labour Leader, with his wife enjoying Mother's Day at the Piha Café.

I had a wee chat with them - they love the café and were thrilled they come out west for a special day with their two children.

Sorry about the quality of the photo - it was just incredibly sunny.


Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 13May13 13:16PM
Dear Fred (comment deleted). David Shearer is the leader of the opposition : Labour. I am well aware that people are entitled to privacy and I did acknowledge he was in Piha for Mother's Day to them both. However HE brought up a few subjects of discussion which we had (a very short discussion). As he well understands, and we discussed, he has a very high profile job and privacy is not something that goes with his job.




Happy Mothers Day to all our lovely mothers and grandmothers 


Comment by Hamish Divett (Not Verified) at: 14May13 8:57AM
Hi Bobbie, I believe the unnamed person is no other than Jbo, aka Jarred Wrennall.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14May13 9:41AM
Hamish : you are correct ! Yay

11/5/13  Can you name him?

left:  A Piha Resident, left, has pledged his help in revitalizing the Piha Bowler.   Can you name him?

I'll give you a clue to help you out - he has been nominated for a Grammy




11/5/13 "There is a stench of hypocrisy"

left: Janet Murray - President Piha Bowling Club @ todays meeting

There was a reasonable turnout at the Piha Bowling Club's community meeting  today to discuss ways forward for the club.

Everyone that attended were enthusiastic about getting in and contributing to the club's future.

The club will now be moving forward to their AGM in June where a final decision will be made about keeping their loved building and re-energizing the club.

It was during this discussion that a long time Piha ratepayer stood up and said  'there is a stench of hypocrisy'  referring to the mooted idea of building a new $M1.4 building which would mean the Piha Bowling Club building, built by community volunteers in the 1950s and surely part of Piha's heritage now,  would have to be demolished. 

Immediately after the meeting a group of long time locals signed up for a fundraising/events committee.  These people are a mix of age groups from young family to middle aged  old timers.   There are some exciting ideas coming up.

JP will be doing meals every second weekend starting on May 18th immediately after the Piha/Karekare/Anawhata Unitary Plan meeting at Barnet Hall.   Julia and others have offered to do every other weekend in the kitchen with some of those old favorites.

It was agreed that all you need is a good fire, good food,  friendly bar staff and a safe and friendly place for the kiddies and you can't fail.  Or can you?   Without patronage you can so we have to spread the word for the 18th . . . .  JP is without a doubt the best chef in Piha - we know that.

The Piha Bowler has it's own website Piha Bowls HERE and for Facebook fans: Piha Bowling Club on Facebook

Comment by pedant (Not Verified) at: 16May13 17:49PM
I must have missed something, where is this 'blowing 'club?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 17May13 1:07AM
It's on the domain down near the lagoon. Head down Seaview Road toward Lion Rock. Just before Lion Rock corner is the entrance to the Domain on the left. Drive/walk in there and the first building you come across, on the right just after the eel bridge, is The Bowler . . .
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 18May13 0:48AM
The comments here questioning ethics and honesty are inappropriate. I don't think the people involved want or need a slinging match. For this reason I have removed all comments and the SUBJECT COMMENTS ARE CLOSED. Thanks
Comment by Transparency.... (Not Verified) at: 18May13 8:16AM
I don't believe the former comments were negative in the least especially since they were directly from the President's mouth. How are we as a community ever going to support The Bowling Club if we don't have all the facts as to what's taken place & why The Bowling Club is currently in the negative financial position it's in ?
Understanding & learning from other's mistakes is an invaluable necessity when it comes to running a business. With all the enthusiasm we witnessed from you at last Saturday's meeting, I feel you have basically back tracked and are happy to see the past mistakes of The Bowling Club swept under the carpet as opposed to helping to address those negative issue's SO THAT THEY ARE NOT REPEATED. The Piha Community has a right to know since the Bowling Club is openly requesting help and support. No one's names need be mentioned nor do we need to point fingers. Just a basic understanding is all that's required.
Comment by speak freely (Not Verified) at: 18May13 10:46AM
It?s difficult to see how any of the comments you deleted were inappropriate. Candid insights into inconsistencies are what comments sections are supposed to encourage. One respondent pointed out, how many of the present initiatives the bowling club are embarking upon were already working sweetly when Debs was there and how hard the club makes it for anyone trying to do something outside the square. [ Edit ] If people can't comment freely on this forum then why should they bother commenting at all?
Comment by speak freely (Not Verified) at: 18May13 10:48AM
Of all people i would have thought that the opportunity to speak freely is something you would appreciate.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 18May13 18:08PM
PLEASE: discuss the issue rather than the people. The Surf Club, RSA & Bowler and all traditionally worked in together in a friendly manner and I'm sure we'd all like this to continue so let's leave the various people out of the discussion THANKS
Comment by observer (Not Verified) at: 18May13 18:32PM
rules around freedom of speech.. the people ARE the problem...

12/5/13 Feedback closing today - this is mine

I have studied the document released for comment regarding the new public toilet and changing room facility for the Piha Village hub and  comment:   (Ref HERE)

  • I particularly like the boardwalk entrance.  It will blend with the environment and for  people like me,  bad arthritic leg, it will make access easy.
  • I like the 'higher visibility' to the roadsideas I am often around that area and people ask "are there public toilets around here?". 
  • I would like all planting to be 'eco-sourcedwest coast natives?' please and will be hugely disappointed if they are not.
  • Although visually pleasing I have some concerns about all the water supply being underground. What happens in the event of a power cut?  Will there be generator backup for the pumps or will there be a decent sized header tank?
  • The more open plan design  improves safety for women and children inparticular and having the woman's toilet closer to the Domain Office isessential.
  • It is for safety reasons I ask that the surrounding trees be kept trimmed to keep visibility open please.
  • I don't know why you have unrestrained dogs in the artistic impression because we encourage dogs to be on a leash in theVillage ????  J

    1/5/13  United North Piha Surf Club burgled

Just shocking:  United North Piha Surf Club was burgled yesterday.  Their quad bikes, outboard motors etc were all stolen.

left: Three of the clubbies contemplating what's happened.

So what happens when there is a 'call-out'?  They can't get their boats out.

Anyone hear or see anything suspicious? 

In the photos below are clubbies  Lief Nielson, Brad McConnichie, Katherine Reardon and Kris O'Neiland Cheryl who had to push a boat down to the water and then engage a local to assist with another for a rescue.

NZ Herald article  Surf Club theft hampers rescue HERE


Comment by Cheryl Evans (Not Verified) at: 11May13 15:04PM
A big thanks to Fiona Anderson for letting us know the gear shed was open and also Alan Weeks for coming immediately and securing the doors for us. Police will be finger printing so lets hope we can catch these people. Especially since we've just had a call out and had to push the boats down the ramp and into the water to attend. Luckily no one drowned due to the time delay in us having no quad bikes.

11/5/13  Caring for Piha's kiddies

When Pam Jolly noticed the kids walking down the footpath were having to jump on and off the road she decided it was time to do some maintenance on the footpaths.

The footpaths had become so overgrown with weeds that they were becoming impassable. 

Here are three photos I took of her wwoofers cleaning up.    Thanks Pam and your wwoofers  for caring for the kids 

Pam also told me of a resident up the hill who was against these footpaths originally.  He would always drive down to get his Herald.   Now he walks up and down and really appreciates the paths.   Great !


10/5/13  Civil Defence staff in Piha

left:  Three staff from Auckland Council visited the Piha RSA today as it is 'the' Civil Defence headquarters in Piha.

I had a chat to them about where should the folk at North Piha go if the bridge if flooded and impassable.   Also how annoying it is, when there are power cuts, that the mobile phone reception doesn't last long.    Pleasant folk to chat with.

Village Voice
will only advertise for Piha Locals and/or local products so YOU know who to use . . .

     You could advertise here

   Email The Editor - Village Voice HERE


10/5/13  Biosecurity in Garden Road, Piha

left: Two biosecurity officers were setting up their blow up boat and readying themselves to 'hand remove' lilies from the wetland there.

Great to see the native flora and fauna there.  I always stop and look.


10/5/13 Tomorrow last day to comment on Piha Domain public toilet and changing room upgrade.

Drop into our Community Library , open 10 - 3,  to see the plan and comment.  For more information Click HERE 

10/5/13 Piha Domain driveway upgrade submissions

Recently submissions closed for the Piha Domain driveway upgrade.  You may be interested to see two organisation's submissions on that consultation

  1. Protect Piha Heritage submission HERE .pdf
  2. Piha Ratepayers & Residents Assn submission HERE pdf

10/5/13  Community Meeting at Piha Bowling Club - Sat 11 May 2013 - 2PM

Following is an article from the Piha Bowling Club regarding the future of their 1950s building and their meeting for the community of Piha this Saturday.

This is an URGENT call for help for the Bowler's survival.

The Club was built as a labour of love by the community inthe 1950s. The Piha Bowling Club owns this building and we believe we have a responsibility to keep the maintenance and function of the club ticking over.  

We recognise the changing times and the increased cost of living, so we must encourage and cater for both the older and younger person's needs, for other sports and for whatever else the community wants. We must be mindful to maintain the conditions of our lease as a Bowling Club but we would like expand on the facilities we already offer the community.

We and you need to decide if our club, with its history,  popular retro look and community facilities that complement Piha's unique environment remains or is demolished.

As we, the incoming committee from the 2012 AGM, did not consider we had been given the full and open information we needed to make the decision whether or not to co-locate, we sort independent professional advice.

To assist the club, which is low on funds, Geoff Wilkins of Piha Lodge secured and paid for the services of both local Architect Jason Bailey and Glen Cossey, Senior Structural Engineer of Markplan Consultants to review the building.   Just before the 2012 AGM Darrell Cox of Construction Management Group, also gave us a schedule of repairs needed and approximate costs.

Contrary to what we (the members) had been led to understand, all three of these professionals agreed that the clubroom was basically sound.  It is not a condemned building.  It only needs minor maintenance to continue operating at this time but does needs a 5 year fullrepair and maintenance plan.  Costs for this estimated to be $180,000 - $200,000. This includes replacement of the roof and cladding and upgrades to toilets, bar etc.  As funds allow further down the line, strengthening for current earthquake standards which are apparently not difficult to do.  We will not be able to comply with new building standards re 100 year flood and distance from stream but as an existing building we do not have to.

We did not pay for formal drawings and full reports from our experts due to the very large extra cost. What we needed to know at this time was if the building was worth saving and we believe it is.

If we manage to do the upgrades and not let the building fall into disrepair again, we have been told it will have many more years of life. With the replacement of the roof alone approximately 75% of the weight will be taken off the building.

So, we have time to raise funds with your help and patronage. We can apply for grants through various organisations once we know if you wish the building to be repaired and restored.  With the same sort of community support and skills that originally built this building, we can save this much loved, valuable,  family friendly community facility.

We have already had offers of help from locals:

JP Knight of the Piha Café has offered to be Chef every second Saturday providing his great meals. Every second Sunday JP will provide the very popular Sunday Roasts. Julia Woodhouse has also offered to give us some nights providing excellent meals. Details not yet decided.  We know there are others who will also assist here.

Some good suggestions have already been received. Please see the attached list of what the Club has hosted recently and upcoming bookings (available at meeting)

We have developed Kiddies Corner with a  large LCD TV and toys

If you want to volunteer to save this well-loved communityfacility,  please attend the meeting write on the form on the entrance table,  how you can help to get us back on board, or email us on we need you.

  • Builders/plumbers/roofers
  • Laborers/painters/firewood supply
  • Chefs/kitchen hands/cleaners
  • Secretarial/accounting/finance
  • Marketing/promotion
  • Musicians/event managers
  • Website/Facebook administration
  • Printing/advertising

Donations would be most welcome and well used if you are notable to offer physical support.

Come on Piha Residents.  We either keep our Bowling Club with your support or we lose it for good.  The options seem obvious to us.

Please print THIS out and bring it to the meeting with you.    

Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 10May13 8:12AM
Just noticed that the date given for the up and coming meeting is in March ?? Since there is no Saturday, March 11 in the calendar, I assume the meeting is this coming Saturday, 11th. of May.
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 10May13 9:14AM
Yes, May 11th.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 10May13 15:38PM
Would this building not be classified heritage?
Comment by Anonymous at: 10May13 17:59PM
Its a pity that more notice couldn't be given for the meeting. Does it have to be done this weekend?
Comment by Anonymous at: 10May13 18:00PM
Its a pity that more notice couldn't be given for the meeting. Does it have to be done this weekend?
Comment by Shirley Bond (Not Verified) at: 10May13 19:05PM
Thankyou for you comments. We have been advertising the Community Meeting and it was Bobbie who suggested that putting all the info on Village Voice would reach more people. (thankyou for doing this Bobbie.) We are on facebook and have a website. There will be a follow up so if you wish to email the Piha Bowling Club on we can send you or anyone who wants it all further information.Sorry we needed to have the Members Meeting first which was last Saturday, the season closing day and prize giving was the next day,last Sunday with the AGM being by 30th June 2013.The Community Meeting is 2pm tomorrow Saturday 11th May, it is too late to change. Shirley Bond (for Piha Bowling Club Committee)
Comment by Julia (Not Verified) at: 11May13 11:32AM
Thanks Shirley. We have had heaps of phone calls this morning to check the time and lots of enthusiastic people are coming. I think this is going to be a very constructive and positive meeting.

  9/5/13  Ratepayers and Residents of Piha, Karekare and Anawhata

These are the 'base' Rules affecting Piha in the draft Unitary Plan as I see it.  It is not intended to be complete and in all instances advice should be sought from Council - preferably at the meeting

Find out about your property by CLICKING HERE and put your address in the right hand box, hit enter then read the data in the box that comes up.

I have contacted council as the original overlays on our property have changed.

What 'zone' do you live in?   Piha has two zones. 

Either Residential: Rural and Coastal Settlement  Rule 4.3.1  Residential Zones HERE 

or Rural Conservation Rule 4.3.7 Rural Conservation  HERE

and Public Open Space  Rule 4.3.2. Public Open Space - Conservation HERE

What 'precinct' do you live in ?  

Waitakere Ranges Heritage and Bush Living  Rule Waitakere Ranges and Bush Living HERE

What 'overlays' has your property got ?

What is 'Outstanding Natural Feature'? overlay (ONF) Rule HERE

What is 'Outstanding Natural Landscapes' ? overlay (ONL) Rule

What is  'Outstanding and High Natural Character'? overlay (OHNC) Rule

What is 'Significant Ecological Area'? (SEA)

What 'design and development' rules has your property got?

What are the  Design & Development - Waitakere Coastal Rule HERE

What 'vegetation management' rules has your property got?

 What are the  Vegetation Management -  Overlay References Rule HERE

What 'land disturbance' rules has your property got?

What are the  Land Disturbance Overlay reference Rule HERE 


Rule 3.2  Home Occupations HERE 

Appendix 5.4 Schedule of significant ecological areasland HERE

Appendix 9:  Schedule of Significant Historic Heritage Places HERE


Appendix 6.2: Schedule of Areas ofOutstanding and High Natural Character, Coastal

#38  Piha : Lion Rock: A visually distinct, highly legible rugged rocky outcrop which sitsat the shoreline of Piha Beach Windswept native scrub cover the more shelteredparts of the outcrop while a walkway including a number of stair cases providesaccess to the summit, however this modification remains subservient to thecombination of natural elements and evident natural processes. The interplay ofthe natural landforms, remnant and regenerating coastal vegetation, adjacentsurf breaks and the open Tasman sea enhance the sense of exposure. Despite theproximity to the Piha Settlement, Lion Rock still evokes feelings ofremoteness, even wilderness.  Overall Natural Character Evaluation ? High

#37 Anawhata : An extensiveassemblage of prominent headlands, dramatic coastal cliffs and escarpments,remote beaches, craggy bays and rock shoals backed by extensive sand dunes, exposedand wind swept native scrub, regenerating native forest and the mature forestsof the Waitakere Ranges. The interplay of the natural landforms, remnant andregenerating coastal vegetation and the ebb and flow of the Tasman sea andManukau Harbour enhance the sense of exposure. Very little development is evidentthroughout this coastal environment, adding a sense of remoteness and isolationto what is a wild, exposed and raw coast. Overall Natural Character Evaluation ? Outstanding


Lets take Ju and my home for instance:  54 Beach Valley Road:

54 Beach Valley Road Piha 




 Valuation Number: 33200-21000 

Design and Development
Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act
Significant Ecological Areas
Design and Development - Waitakere Coastal Settlement HERE
Significant Ecological Areas - Land

Note 1. A considerable part of Piha is Zoned Rural Conservation HERE

  7/5/13 FRESH - West Auckland Young Emerging Artists

left: Ezra Ashton, Lukah Ashton,Coco Coleman, Charlotte Donald, Samara Donald, Tom Fisher, Lia McKenzie, QuinnMenton, Emily Munro & Rana Terry now showing at West Coast Gallery in Piha


 7/5/13 Piha Domain - Driveway Upgrade

Following our precious communication and based on feedback received during the recent consultation period, Local & Sports West will be carrying out the following works at Piha Domain HERE

7/5/13 Special Unitary Plan meeting for Piha, Karekare and Anawhata

On Saturday May 18th 2-4pm @ Piha Barnet Hall

Come and find out about all those 'overlays' etc. 

A Council Planner will be there .  .  .  .  Spread the word

4/5/13 NZ Herald review gives Piha Café 4/5

'The eggs benedict came out looking picture-perfect, the bacon was crispy and the eggs nice and runny. Both meals were full of colour and had plenty of flavour.  Filling, yet not over-the-top.

The service was fabulous. Very friendly and efficient.

We recommend if you come here it's worth taking time to wander the beach and work up an appetite because the food is fantastic.

Overall we thought that it was well worth the trip over the hill. Our tummies were satisfied and we'll definitely be back.'  Read full review in NZ Herald HERE

4/5/13 Something for nothing

Weed and Native Seedling Field Guide for Auckland Region 

With the support of the Auckland Council and The Biodiversity Advice Fund,  The WeedFree Trust is able to make
these Field Guides available for FREE.  There are 60 plants featured in each Field Guide.  Whether you are working as an individual or as a group, let us know how many you need.

Email us at the Weedfree Trust with your contact details and how many Field Guides of each type you would like. A small fee will be charged for postage and handling.

Our environment matters WeedFree Trust  Email:

I have had some of these 'field guides' for some time.  They are fabulous because the pages are washable !   They are bound on a small ring binder for easy use.  The photos and everything in them are fabulous.

Look at the various Field Guies HERE and get something wonderful for FREE !

4/5/13 Warning for Piha, Karekare, Anawhata etc

The forecast for the next 48 hours includes extremely strong winds along with torrential rain.

Move umbrellas and light furnishings into safe storage and please keep an eye on your neighbours.

Comment by Village Voice (Not Verified) at: 05May13 12:21PM
Here it comes. Love a good storm :-)
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 05May13 14:40PM
Civil Defense advise 'damaging winds overnight tonight' Alert timed 5/5/13 12:46pm

3/5/13 NZ Navy on exercise in Piha

Left: NZ Navy personnel setup satellite communications at Piha today to communicate with base in Whenuapai.

I had a wee chat with them. I was a little restricted in the photos I could take, no problem, but they told me they go out and do different exercises at all sorts of locations. 

Thanks for the news tip North Piha resident 

3/5/13  No parking - who changed that?

When the 'Walk Safe' project was consulted a couple of years ago now this area, between the Piha Library and entrance to the Piha Domain, was an area of contention.

Rumor has it the 'anti - Café' brigade wanted to stop parking here as this would be where the café patrons would park.  A compromise was found being half and half.

So now I see 'No Parking' signs up ???   Behind this flax and vegetation is a perfectly wonderful pedestrian area . . .   

Piha's Walk Safe on the web HERE

1/5/13  Unitary Plan - Heritage Area Meeting

Well over 100 attended the meeting this evening regarding the Unitary Plan 'Heritage Area'.  I counted about 8 or 9 from Piha.

It was a good old 'Westie Meeting' with emotions running high, plenty of interjections and lots and lots of questions. 

I've always said it's the 'overlays' we need to keep an eye on and I was proved right this evening.

After a slide presentation I put my hand up to ask the first question which was  "What can I do on my property between 3m of existing buildings and the boundary? "   You see this has always been the question I can't get a definitive answer on.

The answer is basically 'Not much' !

Deputy Mayor and Waitakere Ward Councilor Penny Hulse, left,  took the heat off the council planning staff explaining:

The intention was to transfer the Waitakere City Council District Plan into the Unitary Plan but maybe they have not got it right.

The current Unitary Plan is a draft and the council is open to our feedback.   If they have got it wrong then tell them and they will change it.

Denise Yates, Chair of Waitakere Ranges Local Board, has stated that the tree rules need to be simple.  They aren't at the moment so clearly some changes need to be made.

The promise was that any rules under the previous WCC District Plan would not be more restrictive (draconian) under the Unitary Plan and they are and the following are just some examples

  • Land coverage reduced from 15 to 10%
  • The 20% trimming rule has gone.
  • You need a resource consent to even remove a dead tree !

SEA (Significant Ecological Area) Overlay:  

 A huge amount of Piha has this overlay.  This is the most restrictive one.  One comment made was along the lines of  "I've spent 15 years eradicating weeds and planting natives and now you say  my land is SEA and I can't do anything with it".  

If you don't feel your property or part of your property is not significant in ecological terms then submit that !   Council is happy to look at this.

The suggestion is that we have a community meeting for Piha, Karekare and Anawhata to chew out these overlays.  The idea is being followed up with council. 

Watch this space . . . .  

01/5/13  Very important meeting tonight for Westies

If you live in the Heritage Area out West then I cannot emphasize enough how important this meeting is tonight.

Thanks heavens we live in a democracy where there is consultation and people have their' Voice'.  Use it !!!

1st May - 7 - 9pm Oratia District School Hall 'Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Forum on Unitary Plan'

29/4/13  Iraena Asher case: Couple cleared of wrongdoing

In her judgment, released today, Justice Winkelmann found that Coroner Ryan had failed in his determination on a number of grounds.

First, his finding that the couple's decision not to call police was a contributing factor to Ms Asher's death was based on speculation.

[ I am so tired of reading this 'decision not to call police' : we DID call the police when Iraena left the safety of our home.  That was when the police decided to take some, rather belated, action with helicopters, dogs and cars of police - Bobbie ]

His finding was also in breach of natural justice because he failed to notify the couple that their conduct was likely to be called into question during the inquest.

He had also failed to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to respond.

"The Coroner's finding that the applicants' decision not to call the police was a contributing factor in Iraena's death was unreasonable, as it had no proper evidential foundation," Justice Winkelmann said.

"Rather, it was based upon speculation as to a possible outcome if events had occurred differently. Moreover, the requirements of  . . . natural justice as applicable in the context of a coronial inquest were not complied with. It is therefore appropriate to quash the Coroner's comments in relation to the applicants."

NZ Herald article HERE

Radio NZ article HERE

TVNZ article HERE


A HUGE thank you to Garth Gallaway of Chapman Tripp for acting for us 'pro bono' in this matter.  If there weren't legal companies like them how would the average Kiwi be able to have redress.

Thanks Garth and Chapman Tripp


Carroll & Woodhouse v Coroner's Court & Police  High Court judgments HERE  (scroll down to High Court)

Comment by Norma Woodall (Not Verified) at: 30Apr13 6:51AM
Comment by Marie Brittain (Not Verified) at: 30Apr13 8:53AM
Congratulations! I'm very pleased for you both. About time.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 30Apr13 10:23AM
To the good citizens of NZ. We have been praised for our courage and determination for challenging the Coroner's findings.

Please remember this: The wonderful support that we have received throughout this time has most certainly helped us to hold our ground and challenge a most unfair outcome.. The phone calls, cards, emails, cuddles etc from family, friends and strangers has, in no small way, helped us to have this wrong righted.

THANKS to all fair-minded friends and strangers for your wonderful support. Hats off to you. xxx
Comment by locky (Not Verified) at: 30Apr13 19:26PM
well done guys. you deserve the satisfaction of commendation and I doubt there is not one other reasonable person that would have not done anything different that you guys. you are role models who stand up and be counted ... i salute you both.
Comment by cindy baxter (Not Verified) at: 01May13 13:31PM
Finally, some proper justice. Really good news
Comment by Waveney Bray (Not Verified) at: 01May13 14:45PM
The only possible decision! It is just frustrating you both have had to weather such an unnecessary storm for sooo long. I love your tenacity!
Cheers to two very decent people.

27/4/13 Village Voice Editor becomes sectarian

On Saturday April 27th 2013 Village Voice Editor, Bobbie, became a sectarian.

Some 110 family and good friends joined her in celebrating this event at Black Sands Lodge.

With Mike Murane's band providing the music and marquees the protection from any pending bad weather the party continued until around 4:30am with good dancing, huge fun  and singing .  .  .

The 4 'Café Guys' surrounded Julia and Bobbie and then produced a rope and with Bob Harvey on the microphone the boys  'tied the knot' . . .   one example of the fun we all had.

To publish photos or not ? 

Comment by pedant (Not Verified) at: 15May13 15:09PM
Bobbie, I think you should look up the meaning of sectarian. The word you really, really wanted, was sexagenarian.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 15May13 16:21PM
That is funny. Wikipedia Sectarianism "Sectarianism, according to one definition, is bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion, class, regional or factions of a political movement" . . . . so although the wrong word it could be the right one LOL

"sexagenarian" is the word I meant which of course is "Being between the age of 60 and 69" but some might say 'either will fit' :-)


6/4/13 Piha Domain new public toilet and changing room facility.

As part ofCouncils building renewals programme the existing facility at Piha Domain isbeing upgraded.

More plansand information is on display at the Piha Community Library from 26 April ? 10May 2013.

We wouldlike your feedback.  You can project feedback by:

Feedback to be received by 12 May 2013 please

Piha Domain  toilet and changing room Upgrade document HERE

26/4/13 A  message from Piha Bowling Club

Just to reiterate that the Men's' Triples are being played on the Saturday - there has been some confusion over this. 

Open Mictonight!  Have agreat weekend everyone


23/4/13 A message from Piha SLSC

As you maybe aware this weekend is the final patrolling weekend for the lifeguards (Thursday, Saturday & Sunday) and it is also the final weekend for regular open hours of the Restaurant and Bar.  

If you wouldn't mind posting on Village  Voice

  • Thursday 25th (Anzac Day)   4:00 pm to 10:30 pm     
  • Friday 26th   4:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • Saturday 27th   4:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • Sunday 28st     4:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Afterwards we will only opening for public and private events that I or anyone wishes to put on. So if you know of anyone who wants to host a night or hire out the club for a private party then by all means send them my way. 


Next month we are looking at holding a stand-up comedy evening as part of the Auckland Comedy Festival and I am in the process of planning wine tasting evenings, major sporting event nights, gig and open mic nights, Sunday Roast evenings, movie nights, quiz nights etc, etc. Aiming to have at least one event a week for Piha residents to attend. 


Anybody who would like to hold such an event for the local Piha community and get them out of winter hibernation is encouraged to give me a call.  And if we have something on that is for the locals to come down and participate in I will be sure to let you know well in advance.


We also have our closing party on this weekend and it's going to be huge!  2 bands and a DJ from 7:30 until midnight so would be good to see a big turnout for the night.  But don't fret as I have good local security guys, plenty of plastic glasses andeverything will be above board as usual. 

Comment by Paul Lelievre (Not Verified) at: 24Apr13 13:23PM
re: Contact me on regarding hiring out the club or holding and event.
Thanks, Paul - Bar Manager.
Comment by Anonymous at: 24Apr13 21:05PM
Do the surf club charge extra if you go there on a public tomorrow on Anzac Day?
Comment by Paul Lelievre (Not Verified) at: 29Apr13 23:12PM
No, the Piha SLSC Ironsands Restaurant & Bar does NOT add a surcharge to bills on public holidays.

 Piha RSA  Bowler have their own websites now


Piha Bowler online HERE


Piha RSA online HERE

Piha Anzac Parade 2013

 As usual the Piha Anzac Parade will leave the RSA this Thursday at 1:50pm.

I took a peep and the Piha Lagoon is running north of the rock so it looks like we'll be marching down Beach Valley Road this year.

See you there

 A guide to Anzac Parades Nationwide

22/4/13 Combined Waitakere Residents and Ratepayers meet over Unitary Plan

On April 15th Piha's R&R President, Ken Cowan, and Secretary Helen Pearce represented Piha at the  Combined  Waitakere R&R's meeting at the old Council Chambers in Waitakere.

There were a number of questions I would have liked to ask but each R&R group has to nominate two of their committee to have speaking rights at these 'representative' meetings.   I don't get nominated so attend as an observer.

The purpose of the meeting was to give the combined R&Rs a presentation on the Unitary Plan.  It's a shame only 1 or 2 came from each R&R as it was a great presentation with quite a number of council staff in attendance.

Here is  a copy of the presentation  in two parts :

R & R Unitary Plan Natural  Environment Coast #1 (.ppt)

R & R Unitary Plan Natural  Environment Coast 2  (.ppt) 

After the meeting I did ask some of the council staff a few questions which highlighted for me, again, that what we are able to do between 3m from existing buildings and our boundary isn't clear at all.

Again I say: if you are a property owner in Piha or surrounds then you really should attend the meeting on May 1st  . . .  it's listed HERE in What's Happening 

Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 23Apr13 9:29AM
When I clink on the link I don't seem to get the R&Rs presentation but a standard Auckland Council one
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 23Apr13 9:55AM
It is the council one as presented to the Waitakere Ranges Combined R&R group by council staff
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 23Apr13 13:34PM
So ? You can do minor vegetation pruning and trimming in an SEA? That's what it says in the presentation??!
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 23Apr13 14:59PM
There are two rules: One for within 3m of existing buildings and another for outside of 3m. There are different overlays. The ONE with the strictestt rules overrides all others. I am going to ask for a definitive asnwer on this at 1st May meeting including the overriding Rule #. I suggest all attend this meeting.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 23Apr13 15:31PM
Unfortunately I am working that evening and won't be able to make the meeting.

19/4/13 Civil Defence messages
  1. Thunderstorms in Auckland this evening - whoopeeee
  2. Fire Ban is downgraded for Auckland - but Council website doesn't reflect this so ???

 18/4/13 Auckland Transport working with the Community

left:  We had already filled our weed bin with trailer loads of gorse so I contacted Auckland Transport to see if they could help out the Beach Valley Road Project by taking the rest of the gorse away.

They had no problem with that request and here they are, left, removing the gorse for us.

Thanks AT.


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19/4/13 NZ stands for Equality

Today Piha couple Bobbie Carroll and Julia Woodhouse feel like they are equal with the rest of New Zealand.

On Wednesday night the pair donned feather boas and sipped champagne as they gathered with friends to watch parliament pass of marriage equality legislation.

Ms Carroll says it was a moment in New Zealand history that would be remembered for equality.

 "This is about bringing self esteem to the LGBT community. Now no one is better or worse than anyone else. Those who opposed it think they are better than us. New Zealand has always stood for equality and now we can have it."

The first marriages are expected to take place in mid-August.

Ms Carroll says she wont be getting married but she loves having the option.

 "We have been together for 25 years. We're quite happy as we are. This is another step towards marginalised people entering the mainstream."      Read full article on HERE

Black Sand Weddings  HERE

18/4/13 An historic day for Human Rights in NZ

You'll all be aware by now that the Marriage Equality Bill passed through NZ Parliament last night.

If you didn't watch the 3rd reading then please listen to Maurice Williamson's speech HERE.  (Huffington Post)  It is really really great.


17/4/13  News from Waitakere Ranges Local Board

Five west Auckland Surf Lifesaving Clubs can now share two large yellow marquees, thanks to a $20,000 sponsorship from the board in partnership with Auckland Council. The marquees are covered in safety messages and were presented to the Piha Surf Life Saving Club, United North Piha, Karekare, Bethells and Muriwai Clubs at a community event involving 400 schoolchildren. They will be used for sun and wind protection, treating minor injuries and for community fundraising events.

Arataki exhibition The 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent of Mt Everest will be recalled with an exhibition of seven portraits painted by Sir Ed's preferred portrait artist Craig Primrose. A replica of the great mountaineer's ice axe will also be on display. The Waitakere Ranges were dear to Sir Ed's heart and the multi-day walking track along the Hillary Trail from Arataki to Muriwai is a tribute to his adventurous spirit. The exhibition runs in the Arataki Visitor Centre from Saturday 4 May to Wednesday 5 June from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm weekends. Entry is free and portraits are for sale.

Removal of blanket tree protection rules The board has lodged a submission against a Resource Management Reform Bill proposal to do away with blanket tree protection rules from the District Plan. The board recommends that either the change is not proceeded with, or that the Waitakere Ranges Heritage area, as defined by the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008, be exempted from the effects of the bill. Board member Denise Yates and
Greg Presland appeared before the Select Committee in support of the submission, earlier this week.

You can read the full newsletter HERE [501kb]pdf

Marc Ellis - don't look back

"Look, it's not that I don't like her," (Sandra Coney) says Ellis, "I don't like what she stands for ... Luddites like her judge their lives by what they stop rather than what they've started. When someone like that says 'no', that's a red rag to a bull." . . . .

"We were standing at the back and I watched his face when he walked out. Out of the five guys trying to set that cafe up he had the least patience for ridiculousness, so I can understand why he left. The arguments were so minuscule, nit-picking and petty - in the end I think he decided he had more important things to do." (Bobbie Carroll)

Read the whole article HERE in the NZ Herald

Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 17Apr13 10:44AM
and now we have our loved Cafe

 16/4/13 The Unitary Plan - Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area


If you own property or live in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area then it would be wise to attend this meeting.

"The draft Unitary Plan provides for some changes to the rules in residential zones in areas within the Ranges"

For all details on these meetings go HERE



16/4/13  Actions of Fi and the Piha Community don't go unnoticed

 left:  You'll recall the  Ranui School children Fi hosted these at the Piha Domain Campground, absolutely free, when they cancelled their stay due to lack of $$$.

The Piha Community and Waitakere businesses got in behind Fi and donated heaps of goodies, including tours of the Fire Station and SLSC, to ensure their stay was the best.

 Well,  Yvonne Duncan of the Peace Foundation, has suggested an 'Annual Peace Award' for the Auckland region to acknowledge this type of community goodwill action. 

Now doesn't that just make you feel really proud of our Fiona and community?  I sure do

You can read the  original story and see photos HERE


Comment by Val Stanaway (Not Verified) at: 16Apr13 16:41PM
For all that Fiona does for the community, she should surely be recognised for everything she is involved with.
Comment by Fiona Anderson (Not Verified) at: 17Apr13 9:37AM
Thank you Dear Val and Bobbie. I believe that we all have an obligation to put back into the world and in particular our Community. It is an honour and a privilige to help others. I wish that everyone felt the same.
Camp Mother


16/4/13  Fire Ban in Auckland

I think we've had enough rain to cancel the Auckland-wide fire ban.  Can we have it lifted now please ?   Auckland Council's fire ban on the web

16/4/13 Power outage last night

The power supply to Piha, and beyond, was out last night from around 8ish and was still down at 1:30am when I woke.

I can understand the odd power down but I cannot understand why the mobile phone services have to go down too.  My 3G came back up around 11ish.   But why was it affected at all?

I thought the mobile service had battery backup?  Darkness is one thing but in the event of an emergency having no mobile service is going right back to the dark ages.

Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 16Apr13 12:33PM
I have spoken to Vodafone customer service who advise that they sent technicians out to fix the 'technical problem with coverage' around 8pm as soon as they became aware of the problem. It is a 'coincidence' that it happened with the power outage. That is good news but I said to them I'd be watching at the next power outage. Anyone in Piha have mobile coverage while the power was down?
Comment by Jessie (Not Verified) at: 16Apr13 15:32PM
I?m curious to know if either of the two most recent outages had anything to do with the power line 500 metres or so this side of the Anawhata turnoff having been attached to a pole that over several months was gradually tipping lower and lower towards the ground, dragging the line down with it. We did notify the power people, but nothing was done until after the first outage, when the line was detached from the pole and hoisted up.

15/4/13   Piha's Annual Dog Show 2013

The wit of Paul Thompson just adds to the fun and hilarity of Piha's 'Dog Show'.

Everywhere I looked people were laughing, smiling and just generally having a fabulous afternoon.

See more photos of   Piha's Annual Dog Show go HERE




A big THANKS again to Piha SLSC

Thanks to all the volunteers of the Surf Life Saving Club for continuing weekend patrols and keep people safe in the water.


13/4/13  Unsteady truck takes a tumble on Garden Road, Piha

Yesterday this truck delivering roofing materials to a Garden Road property lost its grip and tumbled over the bank.  The first rescue truck, below middle, was unable to help out so the biggie, on the right, came in this morning to do the job.



Thanks for the news tipoff and even more for the coffee dear friends. 

Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 13Apr13 16:11PM
no problem any time :)

 11/4/13  Matariki 2013 with the West Coast Gallery

Our Matariki exhibition this year is open to all West Auckland artists - all mediums encouraged and would love to see some work from you.

Called "Gifts from the Stars" He taonga no nga whetu.

As we are all "stardust" there is a broad range of subject to workfrom.

We will be having an opening celebration at the gallery Saturday 8th June at 2pm and an astronomical talk at the Piha Bowling Club on Thursday night June 6th - 7pm

Work to be in the gallery by Monday 3rd June (Queen's birthday weekend)

Looking forward to receiving  your artwork.

Kind regards
Glenys Arts Co-ordinator

The West Coast Gallery                      Gifts from the Stars Entry Form HERE

Comment by Your Friend (Not Verified) at: 12Apr13 14:10PM
Bobbie - Do you have any particular people in mind, or do I have to guess?
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 14Apr13 16:07PM
Just random thoughts :-)
Comment by Anonymous at: 16Apr13 16:36PM
LOL...I agree. I will use this at work!

10/4/13  Is this your dog ?

Registration # 709019.

If its your dog maybe you'd like to come and clean up the mess its made at the bottom of the Milk Track in Beach Valley Road ????


Comment by cory Wood (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 16:17PM
well it wasnt chok that's for sure. i bet a it was that dog that lives down the end of beach valley road
Comment by Anonymous at: 11Apr13 20:05PM
On the topic of DOGS. I see that Tan Pitbull cross is still running loose around Piha, no collar, owner has no care or respect for people that live here, It's not if but When !
Comment by Anonymous at: 11Apr13 20:27PM
A black dog in Piha? Good luck with that one!
Comment by angela wood (Not Verified) at: 13Apr13 17:47PM
Well - it was not my Isabella as she has been away at Club Med for shitshunds.....
Comment by Jennie Dunlop (Not Verified) at: 13Apr13 20:07PM
It wasn't Our Hattie either prefers chicken necks - from the supermarket.

Public Meetings you may wish to attend regarding the Auckland Unitary Plan

  • 13th April 10 - 2pm Henderson Council Chambers 'Civic Forum on Unitary Plan'
  • 14th April 2 - 4pm Henderson Council Chambers 'West Cluster Environment Forum on Unitary Plan'
  • 15th April 7:30 - 9am Henderson Council Chambers 'How rules will shape business in West Auckland'
  • 20th April - 9 - 4:30pm Council Chambers, Auckland Town Hall. 'Environment Workshop' A one-day workshop to up-skill community groups and individuals on the environmental aspects of the Draft Unitary Plan  Register HERE
  • 1st May - 7 - 9pm Oratia District School Hall 'Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Forum on Unitary Plan'

9/4/13  The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area under the Draft Unitary Plan

I've stated before that I'm not that concerned about the Unitary Plan per se.  It's the detail in the 'overlays' that I'm looking closely at.

There are four zones for the Waitakere Ranges Ares

  1. Rural Conservation Zone - this affects residential Piha, Karekare etc.
  2. Countryside Living Zone
  3. Open Space - Regional Parks and Public Open Spaces
  4. Rural and Coastal Settlements - this affects residential Piha, Karekare etc.

There are also 'precincts' and we are in the

  • Waitakere Ranges and Bush Living precinct.

There are three overlays for the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area

  1. Significant Ecological Area Overlay  (SEA) 
  2. Design and Development Overlay (DDO)
  3. Outstand Natural Landscape (ONL)  and Outstanding & High Natural Character (OHNC)


So lets look at the overlays one by one  (if I have anything wrong or left out I'll correct or add)

Significant Ecological Area Overlay (SEA)

  • Vegetation pruning, alteration or removal for routine maintenance within 3m of existing buildings - permitted without consent
  • Vegetation pruning, alteration or removal for routine maintenance and repair of existing tracks, lawns, gardens and fences  - permitted without consent
  • The pruning alteration or removal of any vegetation, except above I presume, consent required
  • Dead tree or vegetation removal - consent required

11/4/13 I have asked for more clarification on the 3m rule as getting several conflicting interpretations.

12/4/13 I received the following explanation from a Planner with the Unitary Plan - Council


The draft Unitary Plan rules propose that you can prune alter orremove vegetation within 3m from a house site within an SEA.


However if there are notable trees or trees covered by a treeprotection overlay then these can't be removed. There are trimming allowancesfor these trees.


It is also an intention that mature trees over a certain height can't be removed. However it does not say this in the rules at the moment. Thismay be revised in the September draft. The intention of the rule is to carryout general maintenance around a house not totally clear 3m of trees around ahouse.


The intention of the SEA rules is to prevent people clearingwhole sites of ecological features.


General maintenance is provided for.

Design and Development Overlay (DDO)

  • Maximum building height 5m
  • Front, side and rear yard minimum 3m
  • building coverage must be no more than 10 per cent  of the site area or 400m2, whichever is the lesser. (need to double check this ???? )

Outstanding Natural Landscape (ONL)

  • The exterior finish of the building or structure has a reflectance value of, or less than, 30 per cent as defined within the BS5252 standard color palette.

Outstanding & High Natural Character (OHNC)

  • Lion rock 

Land Disturbance Activities - permitted

  • Maintenance and repair of fences, driveways, tracks, car parking areas and sports fields
  • Minor disturbance associated with gardening and planting
  • Earthworks - Less than 5m2 and/or 5m(must not occur within 1m of the site boundary)


 Coffee roasting (just for fun)

  • less than 50kg/hour and not exceeding a total weekly production of 100kg
  • less than 250kg/hour where discharges to air are through an afterburner


ANY questions, comments, clarifications etc most welcome  ( Council Diagram HERE)  

Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr13 6:40AM
Does that mean that mean anyone, of which there are many here in Piha, with a SEA on there property will no longer be allowed to trim their trees 20% pa, to maintain views etc, without getting a consent?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 8:48AM
I'll look that one up about tree trimming - sorry I missed it
Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr13 9:20AM
Yes, thats what I think it means. It means that you cant trim or cut vegetation which is more than 3m away from your house!. Have to go to the feedback and comment on that one I reckon.
Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr13 9:23AM
But we thought you could already build on 15% now and 20% with permission. Are you saying they are going to reduce that by so much?
Comment by David M (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 9:27AM
What about this nonsense with scheduled trees on your private property. Isnt there anything about that?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 10:42AM
More clarification on tree trimming and tree protection/scheduling on its way
Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 15:25PM
What I would like to know is - Who determined that individual properties should have a SEA put on them? We certainly weren't consulted about our property, or asked our opinion on it. Living with this Council is getting to be like existing in a communist state.
Comment by HiDiHi (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 18:25PM
GCSB will be monitoring all this nonsense I suppose. I struggle to take any of it seriously. When someone is able to provide all the necessary information as a one page, bullet point arrangement, let me know.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 18:37PM
What is GCSB? The Unitary Plan is some 7000 pages long. I have attempted to 'note' above what is relevant to us as far as changes from our Legacy Rules. Doubt anyone could put it on one page
Comment by HiDiHi (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 19:12PM
GCSB Government Communications Security Bureau. It's a spy agency. Good grief Bobbie there is news outside of Piha LOL Come up for air will you. Actually, I do appreciate your efforts. I have taken a look at the Uterus Plan and it's too much for me to consume outside of a 50-60 hour working week, and you do know that I can filter bureaucracy better than a lot of people, but, has time for goodness sake. Or is that the Council's plan. Bamboozle the underling ratepayers, so they don't ask questions? keep up the good work Bobbie xx
Comment by the bounder (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 20:04PM
the rural fire service which we rely on/use as a guide to get our insurance for our homes says we should keep the bush away from our homes by at least 10m. So the council is at odds with a Govt Dept that the insurance companies use as a guide....Let common sense prevail and treat your trees with respect,can't keep on trimming 10% per year ad infinitum.
Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr13 21:00PM
So bounder....are you saying we should be allowed to trim 10m around buildings? Then go on to say that we can't trim 10% for ever?
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 21:35PM
I went to the "drop in bus" in the weekend and have also rung the council. I have been informed both times that in the SEA (significant ecological areas) no trimming is allowed without a consent unless for the reasons above stated by Bobbie. The current %rule is not in the draft plan. Since a significant amount of Piha is within the SEA overlay, this is a huge change. This bothers me for 2 reasons. 1. Many properties in Piha are 70% + vegetation. Council want total control of this amount of trees on private property. 2. Although there is no cost (at the moment) for the applicant to apply for consent to trim the trees, we will ALL be paying thru our rates. It s a total waste of money when rate increases are already at unsustainable levels.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 21:45PM
It's my land. It's not 'in' the heritage area and is no more 'significant' that many other places east and west. All of NZ is 'outstanding natural landscape' for heavens sake. Piha is a residential area. They are not stealing 70% of MY land which I pay a small fortune in rates. I have a right to sunlight.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 10Apr13 22:21PM
I agree with you totally Sally. I know some people say we need strict rules because 'some people" just cut trees dwn willy nilly. Well those same " people" will continue to cut down trees no matter what therules. Most of us are responsible landowners who just want some control of our own property. Piha is a residential area...there has to be a balance between trees and property owners rights. Both council people Ispoke to said people should write in submissions.....the sooner the better.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 11Apr13 9:17AM
Our neighbour behind us asks if his arborist can trim two limbs on a pohutukawa on our property to retain his sunlight and view of Piha Beach. We, together, agree on what is to be trimmed. So we won't be able to do that again? Unbelievable! Watch out Garden Road folk . . .
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 11Apr13 18:17PM
Please note 'RED' addition above regarding the 3m vegetation rule.
Comment by Jessie (Not Verified) at: 12Apr13 12:01PM
Re the Design and Development Overlay (DDO): it will be very difficult to build on properties in Garden Road (and some other areas) where the sections are mostly long and skinny. Thanks Bobbie for drawing our attention to the overlays and their implications for us.
Comment by Anonymous at: 13Apr13 8:04AM
Does that mean then that there is no trimming of trees unless they are within 3m of your house?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 17Apr13 10:06AM
The question to ask is "What can and cannot we do between 3m from existing building and boundary?"

10/4/13  Do you run a business in West Auckland ?

If 'yes' then you need to attend this meeting . . .

'How will the new planning rules shape the future of your business in West Auckland?'

click on image left or go HERE to see all meetings




8/4/13 Generator in Piha Village

left: At last, after nearly 24 hours with no or brown power a generator arrives in Piha.

I doubt it would take that long if the shocking quality of power coming into Piha were happening elsewhere.

Businesses, weddings, opening of exhibitions etc etc all operating with no or brown power.   For Piha this means no water, no toilets, no street lights, no landlines, no mobile coverage  etc etc etc. 

Each time we phoned our supplier we were given another 'return to normal supply' time.  Each time we were let down.

Now we have Sky boxes not working, light bulbs blown, pumps blown etc.  It's not good enough !  As someone said to me "Talk about the dark ages".

7/7/13 Attention everyone in Piha and surrounds.

I have just received this:

Just to let you know that there was a prowler at 5am thismorning, Sunday,  outside a house at the top of the hill trying doors, and after beingdisturbed came back 15 minutes later to try again. Another house at the top ofthe hill had someone out on their deck a few nights ago.  So, keep your doorsand windows well locked at night.

If YOU feel in danger please pick up the phone and dial 111 immediately.  If the power is off and you have no phone or cell coverage you can still make an emergency 111 call on your mobile.

May I also suggest that you have an arrangement with a neighbor to call or have a signal if you disturb or see someone on your property.

Keep yourself safe regardless.  We have insurance for 'things' . . . . please don't take risks.

6/4/13 Power problem Piha, Anawhata and Karekare

Mercury energy reports partial faults in Piha, Anawhata and Karekare.  They are trying to locate and fix the problem.  It seems, to us, its a partial 'brown out'.

The Brown Out -  Update as @ 7pm.  The problem has been isolated to faulty equipment and should be rectified by 9pm this evening.

The Brown Out -  Update as @ 10pm. The initial problem was fixed but blew up.  Something else is affecting it - no time for full power return yet as they do not know the cause of the problem.  Interesting as some have full power and others 'brown power'.   Good thing the wedding at the Surf Club took Julia's advice and got a generator !!!

Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 07Apr13 7:10AM
21 hours no power ,water or toilet and melting meat in the freezer reminds me of the good old days "NOT".But the Vector guys must have work all night to fix the problem, Good on them.
Comment by Anonymous at: 07Apr13 10:24AM
Power went for a while again this morning as they ran out of Diesel, Unbelievable, lucky we were in a plane.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 07Apr13 11:07AM
A generator yesterday might have been nice
Comment by Mike (Not Verified) at: 08Apr13 7:54AM
Has anyone had appliances affected by the brown out? Our microwave seems to have died. Last time we had a brown out the sky box died and the sky man told us there were lots of others. What is this weird thing where the power goes "thin" but not off completely?
Comment by Sandy (Not Verified) at: 08Apr13 9:34AM
It was all thanks to the generosity of Duncan Clarke and Kelvin Louie that the Surf Club had power for the wedding, which we attended. If they hadn't provided the generator it would have been a disaster as the Surf Club was ill prepared. Brilliant evening and probably made all the better in the candelit environment.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 08Apr13 9:52AM
Skybox kaput - have to wait a week we are told. Interesting that our home had full power and yet our Suites had brown out right next door ?
Comment by Anonymous at: 08Apr13 18:26PM
You should disconnect all appliances from the wall in this case as low power will damage electric motors ie All types of Pumps, fridges etc,And to prevent sudden power surge when it is put. back on,
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 09Apr13 8:26AM
Oddly we started to experience 'Brown Outs' around March 27th. & 28th. Apparently worsening after Easter and experiencing a total 'Piha Black Out' on the morning of the 4th. of April, leading up to the outcome this past weekend. We have also noticed a power drop between 5:00p.m. & midnight most weekdays. Our old microwave came back to life after it shut down completely on Saturday morning.

Piha Surfrider Country Club  50th

The Piha Surfrider Country Club recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and sent me these few photos of the group celebrating and a much earlier one. 

How many can you identify ?





6/4/13  Auckland Council Unitary Plan information bus in Piha

Below : What a fabulous display and information center in Piha for those interested in seeking information on the Auckland Unitary Plan being consulted on at the moment.




6/4/13 Jill Perrott exhibition at West Coast Gallery Piha

I happened to pop in at the opening of Jill's exhibition and fell in love with her work.

It's well worth a visit

left: Jill in front of part of her exhibition



6/4/13  The good people of Piha

left: Glenda Northy and Jane Walters collecting donations for the Red Puppy Appeal in front of the Piha Café.

What smart positioning to gather donations to the Red Puppy Appeal - Guide Dogs.

Thanks Glenda and Jane - another two who 'give' to our community here.


Glenys makes a presentation on behalf of our  West Coast Art Gallery

 Glenys Scott, left, made a presentation to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board regarding their lease of the land the Art Gallery is on.

In brief:  That huge amount of flax, on the stream side, was originally planted there to provide an ongoing supply of good flax for weavers.  

The flax has grown, as it does, and put a huge amount of pressure on that streamside so much so that, along with winter storms and floods, it has collapsed.

Unfortunately this happened around the same time as the gallery's lease was due for renewal.  The council, concerned about that streamside collapse, put the gallery on a month by month lease.

Glenys explained to the Board that this put the gallery in a tough position.  They could not make their usual annual plans or in fact any plans with such a short lease.

Meantime the Council has had tests  done on the make up of the bank to look at a possible 'hard fix' that would be complimented by some planting - NOT flax.

Our Local Board were naturally concerned about this tenuous situation, knowing how very valuable the gallery is to our artists, and are taking immediate action to firm things up for the West Coast Arts Trust. 

From the Minutes

Glenys Scott, West Coast Gallery Glenys Scott, Gallery Co-ordinator for West Coast Community Arts Trust made a
verbal presentation to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board requesting the Local Board to look at positive ways to manage the erosion at Piha stream.

Resolution number WTK/2013/27

MOVED by Member MR Brickell, seconded Member JM Clews:

That the Waitakere Ranges Local Board:
a) Receives the presentation from Glenys Scott of West Coast Gallery and thanks her for the presentation. CARRIED

Resolution number WTK/2013/28
MOVED by Member JM Clews, seconded Member JP Lawley:

That the Waitakere Ranges Local Board:

b) Requests that officers provide an update with regards to the lease situation for the West Coast Gallery and information around the management of the erosion of the stream bank. CARRIED



5/4/13 Draft Unitary PlanInformation Drop-In @ Piha

A purposebuilt truck will be located on the Piha Domain tomorrow, 6th,   to provide information to the public on theAuckland Council's draft Unitary Plan.  

I asked Council why such late notice and they advise how difficult it is to obtain use of this 'info-truck'  with all the bells and whistles.  They were going to take it to Karekare to line up with the Horse Races but they cannot get it there so   thought it  was a  good to bring it to Piha because we'll be going down to the domain to catch the shuttle.  Two birds/ one stone.  Good thinking

 I understand it will be located between the entrance and the Eel Bridge somewhere easily seen so maybe the shuttle will do pick-up and drop-offs from there ???  $2 one way cost to Karekare or back.

5/4/13 Piha SLSC open hours this weekend:

Patrols:  Sat & Sun 11am to 4pm


  • Thu & Sun 4 - 10:30pm
  • Fri 4 - midnight. 
  • Sat closed for a wedding

4/4/13  Puppy Appeal this weekend @ Piha

Foundation for the Blind's Puppy Appeal this weekend. Iwill be down around Piha village and the library on Friday and Saturday mornings.   Glenda Northey

4/4/13  Western Leader - More patrols call

At last weeks WRLB Meeting I met the Western Leader reporter who was researching the patrols on western beaches.  As we don't get the Western Leader in Piha / Karekare / Whatapu I shall copy the whole article here:

Should surf patrol hours be extended at West Auckland beaches like Piha?


THREE drownings in the past two months at a West Auckland beach have reinforced the need to extend surf patrol hours.


The tragedies occurred after lifeguards had finished patrolling Piha Beach.


Bhawandeep Gill, 20, and Yagnik-KumarPatel, 24, drowned after jumping off Lion Rock into the water fully clothed andgetting caught in a rip at 7.30pm on February 24.


A 55-year-old English tourist also drowned at Piha last Tuesday evening,washing ashore around 5pm.


Weekend beach patrols will finish this weekend for Piha, North Piha and Karekare. Weekday patrols finished last month.


Piha resident and tourism operator Bobbie Carroll is amazed the weekday patrol is not extended until at least the end of daylight savings and later into the evening. We haven't had a summer like this for ages. I'm frustrated that there is no flexibility,"  Ms. Carroll says. "You cannot relate this to money - this is about our safety and we need more life guard patrols to continue."


KarekareSurf Life Saving Club spokesman Matt Wade says this year's long summer has seenpeople remain at beaches later than usual. We usually go off patrol at 5pm andthe sun is still out,' he says. We do make a call on the day how late we go and we're lucky because a lot of our guards live close. When we do close patrol, we keep guards on the beach for at least an hour.'"  


Mr Wade says most clubs are lucky to have lifeguards who live close and attend rescues quickly. The more serious rescues we do seem to be the after-hours ones because that's also when it can be the most dangerous time in the water. And it's not just swimmers, people fishing can get into trouble in the evenings," he says. I do believe when we are taking the flags down though, more people are getting outof the water than previously so that is good."


Piha Surf Life Saving Club plans to extend its weekend patrol hours until the end of April, clubadministrator Debi Jacka says. At the height of the season we've got up to 10 lifeguards onthe beach," she says. We've had a meeting where it was discussed that we extend our weekend patrol until the end of April. Regardless of the cost, we'll do it because it is the right thing to do." Mrs Jacka says there is not enough money to extend weekday patrols.


THE COST Northern Region lifesaving clubsupport manager Tom Burgess says Surf Life Saving New Zealand is very dependent on funding. "A surf lifeguard patrol costs around $3000 per week for the paid lifeguard service


Monday to Friday," he says. "This is for a minimum service of three lifeguards, an IRB and first aid. ''Some beaches during the peak ofthe season require more than this." Surf Life Saving Northern Region received $1.12 million of funding from the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board for 2012 through to 2013. This year it will receive $1.14m to last until the end ofthe 2014 season.


This money is distributed around all of the Auckland surf lifesaving clubs and pays for weekday volunteer lifeguards, equipment and beach safetyeducation among other things. Mr Burgess says the estimated cost to extendweekday beach patrols for Auckland west coast beaches until the end of daylightsavings would cost around $70,000.

Three cheers for our volunteer guards and their support crew.  Thanks heaps for your dedication.

Comment by Jonathon Webber (Not Verified) at: 07Apr13 12:28PM
Australia's most well known beach Bondi has paid lifeguards 365 days of the year. So does Surfers Paradise. Both the local councils and the state government presumably think that having visitors/tourists drowning left right and centre is not good for those people who lose their life and the families they leave behind, the reputation of the beach, nor it is good for the economy (from the social and financial cost of lives lost point of view) and the tourism industry. Pity Auckland Council, Tourism NZ and everyone else who uses imagery of Piha to promote the city/country don't feel there is a need to fund lifeguard services to ensure the safety of visitors to our most iconic and well known surf beaches. :(

2/4/13  Karekare Horse Races

This coming Saturday, April 6th, is the fabulous Karekare Horse Races day.  I heard a rumour it is to be filmed or photographed this year for National Geographic. 

Did I hear the long range forecast is for rain? 

I am trying to find out if the Piha Surf Shuttle is going to be going back and forth and if so the cost . . . .   will let you know

Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 03Apr13 7:10AM
Hi there , Karekare Surf Lifesaving will be Patroling this weekend both Saturday and Sunday thanks to our very dedicated club members

Cheers Chris Carding

Karekare Lifesaving committee Chairman
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 03Apr13 15:55PM
Thanks Chris and thanks to the volunteers
Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 03Apr13 16:06PM
By the way I should mention that Sunday is the rain day alternative

Cheers Chris
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 05Apr13 17:44PM
Maybe Chris, if its marginal, you could let us know if it is on or not on Saturday HERE ???
Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 05Apr13 19:50PM
I plan to be there at 7.00am so will not have computer access sorry, the race committee make the call, hope the weather holds. The surf club will be there regardless please feel free to call the club though cheers Chris :) Karekare Surf Club Phone :812-8871

Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 06Apr13 23:48PM
What a fabulous day Chris. When the weather allows races at Karekare are magnificent. Great food, drinks, TAB, people, horses, races etc etc. Just a stunner all round. Thanks to all the volunteers and we hope you raised heaps of dosh for the Club etc
Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 07Apr13 10:33AM
Thanks to all "WOW " what a fantastic day we are truly blessed could not get much better than that effort

Cheers Chris
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 07Apr13 11:09AM
I have a very bung knee so when I saw the huge amount of sand to walk over I asked the ladies with horses if I could purchase a ride over the sand. They obliged. At my destination I threw my leg over to get off and immediately felt the saddle slipping. Off I fell - onto nice soft sand on my butt. Hysterical and if anyone got a photo I'd love a copy . . . .

End of Daylight Saving - Tsunami Siren Warnings

The end of daylight saving is close - 3am on Sunday 7th April becomes 2am 

Tsunami siren tests midday on Sunday 7th - I know of two profoundly deaf people in Piha. 

If you have a neighbor with a disability please check on them before you go running for the hills.

Public Alerting = Evacuation Siren System brochure HERE

Comment by Jonathon Webber (Not Verified) at: 07Apr13 12:19PM
For years I have been telling Civil Defence how confusing their Tsunami alert system is. To expect residents, visitors, tourists etc. to interpret 3 different sets of tones and know what action is required for each is "pie in the sky" mentality. At last, I have had a favourable response from the Emergency Management Controller for North/West Auckland who says: "Thank you for your e-mail. We have taken the situation of tones into account and canned voice messages are being considered as part of the overall warning system project for Auckland". In simple terms what this means is they are looking at having a voice over, and I have suggested they consider reducing the number of messages from 3 to 2. Let's wait and see what happens.

No lifeguards at Piha Beach

The following is an email I sent to Mayor Len Brown and MP Paula Bennett with a copy to Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse,  WRLB Chair Denise Yates

Good Afternoon Mayor Brown & MP Paula Bennett


Daylight saving is still on, it is a fabulous summer and Auckland's iconic and continually voted one of Auckland's most popular beaches has no lifeguards.


It is NOT OK for Surf life Saving NZ, Government and Council to rely of the good heartedness of volunteers at Piha to keep people safeand/or resuscitate them.


The beach is filling up.  I have already spoken to onefamily to ask them not to swim until it is an incoming tide.


Attached a photo I took from the parking at Piha Beach.


URGENT action please.


Bobbie Carroll

Tourist Operator and Resident of Piha Beach


Update from President Piha SLSC - Peter Brown

I can confirm Piha SLSC will now patrol through to the end of April

Please note this is a volunteer service and will cover weekends only.

As per Surf Life Saving Northern Regional rule, paid guards stopped a week or so ago and the last formal volunteer patrol will be the 7th April

But I can confirm Piha SLSC will now patrol the weekends of:

  • 13thand 14th April
  • 20thand 21st April
  • 25thAnzac Day
  • 27thand 28th April

Please note: Mid week there will be no guards / patrols.

Comment by Piha Resident (Not Verified) at: 02Apr13 23:00PM
In this country our Ambulance Service is mostly provided by a charity (not state funded), our rescue helicopter exists because a bank sponsors it...unfortunately, essential rescue and emergency services are not funded, or underwritten by voluntary labour whilst at the same time we spend millions on other "non-essential" activities.

1/1/13 Claude Abel Pond - notice received from Auckland Council

The testing of the water at Claude Abel Pondhas revealed the dissolved oxygen levels have dropped due to an increase inwater temperature.  Council will be carrying out aeration of the pond fora period of two weeks, beginning 2 April -  16 April 2013 .

The aeration breaks up the thermoclines andattempts to cool the water body, which increases the dissolved oxygen levelsagain.  The levels are not dangerously low.  Parks have been closelymonitoring the pond and the works being carried out are proactive.  Parks will continue to carrying out monitoring and expect the levels willimprove when testing occurs again after aeration.

31/3/13 UK man who drowned at Piha 'loved' NZ

The longtime partner of a British man who drowned at Piha is taking comfort from the fact he died in the country he loved.

Simon Jones, who worked for the House of Lords for 30 years until his retirement in November, disappeared on Tuesday while swimming at the popular surf beach, 40km west of Auckland.

The 55-year-old's body was found soon after by a woman walking on the beach. Jones' partner, Ray Stoupe, 90, said Jones loved holidaying with him in New Zealand. Stoupe is from Auckland but has lived in the United Kingdom since the mid-1960sFull story in NZ Herald HERE

30/3/13  Whoops and Oh Dear !!!

This evening the Piha SLSC had a live band, Raw Jam, for what must be one of the seasons biggest nights - Easter Saturday.

Whoops : 5:30 comes and the Chef brings it to someone's notice that there is no water.  No Water !!!  

All the advertising was done - even promotions distributed to all the Easter holiday makers through the camp etc. etc. - Ouch!!!

Cancel the lot - no gig, no kitchen - nothing.  I'd say a few will be checking their Job Descriptions to see whose responsibility it was/is to order water when its getting low.  Maybe that should be added to the Gig Guide too ?

29/3/13  Village Voice discussed by Piha Ratepayers & Residents Assn. Committee.

From the Minutes of the R&R Committee Feb  2013 Meeting

Village Voice Dinosaur Item:  "Graham Caley raised the question of the anonymous nature of this item on Village Voice website hosted by Bobbie Carroll, a committee member, which satirised most committee members. There was discussion of the matter. Bobbie Carroll advised that she was not the author."

This article did not name a single person.  You can read the article HERE 

Comment by Anonymous at: 30Mar13 0:12AM
You go Bobbie. You have gutz and say it like it is.
Comment by Anonymous at: 19Apr13 17:17PM
the community needs to find ways of finally [ Shona - don't start again please ].

29/3/13  Unitary Plan - Overlays

Everyone should be aware now about the consultation process on the new Auckland Unitary Plan.

Of more interest to me is the 'over lays' that will sit on top of the final Plan.  This in effect tells us what we can and can't do, of right, to our property and those which we will eventually have to get consent for.  It is important


  1. Residential
  2. Residential - Rural and Coastal settlement


  1. Waitakere Ranges Heritage Act
  2. Significant Ecological Areas
  3. and others


It is NOT easy at all to find this on the Councils website but if you go to the following link and put in your address you will see all the details you need to look at  Unitary Plan : Property Search details

Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 05Apr13 2:39AM
So is all of Piha considered a 'significant ecological area'?

Opening hours over Easter in Piha

Piha SLSC:

Good Friday: 4 pm - 10:30pm
Saturday 30th: 12 pm - 12 am *Band playing tonight!
Easter Sunday: 12 pm - 10:30 pm
Monday 1st: 12 pm - 10:30 pm
Tuesday 2nd: Closed
Wednesday 3rd: Closed

Piha Café

Good Friday: 10 - 3pm full service  3pm > pizza available
Saturday 30th: Normal hours
Easter Sunday: Normal hours
Monday 1st: 10am - 3pm

28/3/13 Urgent funding needed NOW please

Last night I attended the Waitakere Ranges Local Board monthly meeting and spoke about the appaulling situation with Surf Life Saving here in Piha.

The  paid life guards finished on 15th of March.   Day light saving continues until 7th of April, we have Easter upon us and soon the school holidays AND its the best summer we've had in decades.

I asked the Board to speak to Surf Life Saving NZ and Auckland Council urgently regarding some funding to extend the paid lifeguards.

Where is all the money from Piha Rescue ?  I understand Surf Lifesaving NZ receives and distributes that funding.  Piha Rescue is a program that portrays Piha as the most dangerous beach in NZ (something I strongly dispute) - where are the lifeguards ?

How can Government, Council, Local Board, Surf Life Saving NZ, ACC and anyone else expect one of NZ's most popular and iconic beaches to be patrolled by volunteers only?    Piha runs on volunteers and I think someone has to step up.

Peter Brown, the President of Piha SLSC, informs me


As per our Northern Life Guard Patrolling Agreement the Patrol Paid Guards stopped a week or so ago (no more funding to extend this period)


The volunteer season, as per our Northern Life Guard Patrolling Agreement, ceases on the 7th April


We (Piha SLSC) are currently trying to / asking our volunteer guards to extend the season and cover the weekends up the 28th April.


Our club captain is currently working on a roster.  Hopefully we will get enoughguards to extend this period.

Pleasenote even if we get volunteer guards we will only be covering the weekends upto the 28th April.


It is also the school holidays which makes me nervous.

Comment by LJ (Not Verified) at: 28Mar13 20:24PM
That is terrible. Piha would be one of the busiest beaches in NZ being so close to Auckland and there are no lifeguards after 28th. God willing the weather will turn cold so no-one swims! I heard a whole lot of locals moaning about Piha Rescue ruining their time at the beach so maybe they should pay the Piha local surf club instead of NZ Lifesaving so the money can go to paying more lifeguards. This is a shocking bit of information.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 28Mar13 21:39PM
I think the problem would have been solved by now if we still had our own Council. WCC would not put up with this!
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 28Mar13 21:44PM
LJ.....I am a local and spend a considerable amount of time at the beach (more than the average person). I haven't heard anyone complaining about Piha Rescue this summer. From my own observation, I have to say that this season with the lifeguards having the cameras on their helmets it s totally unobstusive and have virtually no impact. And I also think that any programme/advertising educating people of the dangers of the ocean esp the West Coast can only be considered positive. I believe that the club and NZ lifesaving do get some financial benefit from this don't diss is a popular programme and I think many people have gained a lot of respect of the ocean from it. Also The club get donations from it which is put towards more gear etc. I think the real issue here is that more funding is required....either from local/central government so the service can continue fr longer. And MANY THANKS TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS.......YOU ARE APPRECIATED.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 28Mar13 21:51PM
Is the season for the paid and the volunteer lifeguards any shorter this year than other years?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 29Mar13 0:34AM
Yes Sue, I understand it is shorter. I'll have that confirmed though.
Comment by Anonymous at: 29Mar13 8:12AM
Well said Sue about Piha Rescue I love that show, and it is good for the lifeguards and us swimmers alike. Piha is a dangerous beach and this should not be hidden or disputed or anything really.

Live Music Gig at Piha SLSC Easter Saturday.   Check it out HERE on what's happening ?

28/3/13  Ongoing Management of the Marawhara and Wekatahi Streams

Last night Piha CoastCare Trust made a presentation to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board regarding the ongoing management of the Marawhara and Wekatahi Streams.  Very interesting!

In case you're not sure what 'the issue' is: the bottom line is that left alone the lower stream will erode the road at North Piha and . . . .

Piha CoastCare Trustees are not a group of random people.  They are all, in their own way, people with an expertise in environmental matters or associated talents.   Also a Trustee, but not on the website is Dan Real, Waitakere Ranger and precious member of the Beach Valley Road Project.

The Submission made to the Local Board starts thus:


We are here tonight to request that the Board endorses the provisionsof the current 2003 resource consent for maintaining the separation of theMarawhara and Wekatahi Streams rather than the recommendation outlined inagenda item 18 (Waitakere Local Board Agenda)


We believe that the currentconsent, together with the Tonkin and Taylor Report that accompanies it, setsout a sound, sustainable and cost effective plan for managing the streams andthe coastal environment.


The plan was endorsed by the Piha community through a comprehensiveconsultation and formal submission process and we believe there is no communitymandate to change its intention and recommendations.



Historically, thetwo streams exited onto the beach separately until about the 1950?s.  Since then they have joined and separatedfrom time to time, initially spontaneously, and since the 1970's by mechanicalexcavation.


Likely explanationsfor their joining together in recent years are the considerable naturalsouthward extension of the northern dune system, and the work done in the early1940?s to divert and straighten the Marawhara (the northern stream)  in order tocreate a camping area (the present Waygood Park). 

Three other people spoke to the subject and I comment

1: Ken Cowan, President of Piha R&R but talking as an individual, spoke against Piha CoastCare's recommendations saying there are two schools of thought in Piha.  He said the choice was natural vs. manual.  He talked about concern in the community and trigger points.

I'm not sure what expertise Ken has in environmental matters but he didn't put forward any 'points' with depth or fact but rather a somewhat  sad opposition for what I would suggest for  'oppositions sake'. 


2:  Graeme Webber, immediate past President of Piha R&R and talking as an individual,  spoke in support of Piha CoastCare's recommendations.   He acknowledged the collective  expertise, history and experience of Piha CoastCare Trustees.


Go Graeme !   Interesting that he verbalized such support for CoastCare's knowledge and recommendation.    CoastCare told me afterwards they really appreciated it.


3: Yvonne Dufuer, talking as a member of Piha CoastCare and expressing some personal views suggested getting some calculators out and doing some simple arithmetic looking at  cost to ratepayers of the different options.  She referred to "a certain vociferous minority' who oppose best environmental outcomes largely through lack of knowledge of coastal science and that a number of people in the community are getting pretty fed up with this". Yvonne said CoastCare has 'highly qualified environmental people on their Trust and a network across NZ of best practitioners in this field.  CoastCare Trustees attend conferences and seminars to keep their knowledge up to date . . . .


I was pleased that Yvonne mentioned the expertise available to CoastCare and their attendance of seminars and conferences.  I have attended one of these conferences and several seminars and found them hugely informative.  I wondered how many Ken Cowan had attended.   It infuriated me when people oppose things just 'for the sake of it' which happens often in Piha and has to stop.


You have probably clicked by now that I support CoastCare's recommendations.  I am a past (foundation) Trustee of CoastCare and a member now. As the Coordinator of the Beach Valley Road Project I refer to them for advice, ideas and general sharing of experiences.    The people I have met through them are inspiring with their knowledge and experience and not to listen and be guided by them would, in my opinion, be extremely foolish.  Any other approach would just be political which only costs us as ratepayers in the end.

Read Piha CoastCare's full submission to Local Board HERE 

Comment by PHE (Not Verified) at: 28Mar13 22:34PM
For all of those wanting to be informed:
Could the individual groups please let us know just how many people from Coastcare attended the last Dunes Conference?
And also:
How many people from the R&R attended the last Dunes Conference?
Could you both please let us, the ratepayerswho are paying for all of this,know?
Comment by Yvonne Dufaur (Not Verified) at: 29Mar13 11:46AM
Three members of the CoastCare Trust have just spent a week in Nelson at the Dunes Restoration Trust of NZ Annual Conference. Many excellent scientific papers were presented and we went on numerous field trips to observe differing dune, back dune, wetland and beach projects. Coastcare ensures that delegates attend this conference every year, as well as other relevant seminars - we all went at our own cost incidentally. There were no R & R members in attendance.

28/3/13  Piha Volunteers are there again

From todays Herald : Desperate battle to revive Piha tourist

A man who died at Piha beach on Tuesday was a British tourist believed to be holidaying in New Zealand with his family.

The 30-year-old was found floating, unconscious and not breathing, in shallow waters near Lion Rock about 6.30pm.

He is thought to have died of natural causes and a post mortem examination was held yesterday to shed more light on the tragedy.

Witnesses told the Herald of frantic attempts by paramedics to revive the man.

"I had just got out of the water because the tide was coming in and it got a little bit dangerous, when I saw the helicopter come in really fast and it did a big circle on the beach," said Steve Knox.

Full article in NZ Herald HERE

26/3/13  Drowning at Piha Beach adds to NZ's bad summer toll.

A 30+ year old male drowned at Piha late this afternoon after the Piha SLSC patrol had finished for the day. 

A local woman was traumatised when she noticed the drowned man's body while she was swimming.  CPR was stopped after 40 - 50 minutes.  The Rescue Helicopter attended.

I understand the man was not a Piha local and was visiting Piha with two friends.

Comment by Kimberley northcote (Not Verified) at: 14May13 16:20PM
Yes, It was a traumatic day of your family too , who were visiting after attending a recent wedding............It was myself, my brother, my father and uncle plus a French tourist who dragged Simon from the surf and started CPR......... alas it was unknown how long Simon was under the water , but we had to try............. It seem like forever until off duty life guards came to "our" rescue............ a day I think I will never forget

22/3/13 Police cars, helicopter and flashing lights in Piha

Police located and retrieved a stolen car in Piha this afternoon in Piha.   You may have heard the helicopter and left, 4 police cars with lights flashing.

I don't care if some may think it's an 'overkill'.  Crimes start small and get bigger.  Start with cars and move onto houses.  Catch them any way you can NZ Police !  Thanks

Comment by Barron (Not Verified) at: 22Mar13 17:22PM
Was wondering what that was, as i was driving home i passed a plainclothes police car, then 3 marked police cars, then a gap of 2 mins, then another police car, and then another gap of a minute and then the police dog handlers wagon! Cheers.

22/3/13  Raid your Mum's wardrobe and get your cross-dress on!

Looks like Management at the Piha SLSC is taking a lesson from some of the previous Vice - Versa gigs and setting some boundaries - Good I say . . . .  we need to keep drinking cross dressers, as well as the public, safe.  Thanks 

March 23rd, 2013,   Piha SLSC  Start: 7pm Entry before 9pm: $10 Entry after 9pm: $20
Doors close: 10pm Finish: 12am

To keep Vice Versa going for years to come, we need you to know these important details and behave accordingly?

-Please arrange accommodation / safe transport BEFORE the event.

-This is strictly R18, IDs will be checked.

-EFTPOS available. No payment = no wristband = no entry.

-Once you're in, you're in. No coming and going from the club.

-Any signs of intoxication will result in refusal of entry, not being served alcohol or being asked to leave.

-We kindly ask that you respect our club and look after it please.

-Police are aware of this event and will be patrolling the area.

-Mandatory: Guys dress as gals, gals dress as guys.

Lets have a great night and we hope to see you there!

Comment by Anonymous at: 23Mar13 22:10PM
Don't understand your comments here Bobbie

Raid your Mum's wardrobe and get your cross-dress on!

Looks like Management at the Piha SLSC is taking a lesson from some of the previous Vice - Versa gigs and setting some boundaries - Good I say . . . . we need to keep drinking cross dressers, as well as the public, safe. Thanks
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 24Mar13 10:55AM
1: Cross-dress. It's the annual traditional vice-versa party at the Surf club.

2: The event is always fabulous and we enjoy watching the guys trotting down there in their high heels etc BUT the after event behaviour has left a lot to be desired. Vomiting, broken glass everywhere, car accidents etc. So to see a few boundaries put down is pleasing . . . I don't mean to be judgemental but rather its about the safety of the party goers etc. (I don't like the vomit and broken glass!) So 3 cheers to the above guidelines

21/3/13  New draft planning rules will shape where you live

Find out how newplanning rules in Auckland's draft Unitary Plan will shape where you live, workand play in West Auckland. Come along to any of the events below.

  • West Auckland Civic Forum: Henderson CouncilChambers, 6 Henderson Valley Road. Saturday 13 Apr 10 to 2pm
  • Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Forum: Oratia SchoolHall, West Coast Road, Oratia. Wed 01 May  7 to 9pm
  • West Auckland Environmental Forum: Henderson Council Chambers, 6 Henderson ValleyRoad. Sun 14 Apr  2 to 4.00pm


  • Henderson-Lincoln Road Forum: Henderson CouncilChambers, 6 Henderson Valley Road. Mon 15 Apr  6.30 to 8.30pm
  • Glen Eden Forum: Waitakere Ranges Local Board office, 39 Glenmall Place, GlenEden. Wednesday 17 Apr 6 to 8pm
  • Westgate-Massey Forum: Massey Library, Don Buck Road, Massey. Tue 23 Apr 6.30to 8.30pm
  • Avondale Forum: Avondale Community Centre, 99 Rosebank Road. Tue 30 Apr 6.30 to8.30pm
  • Blockhouse Bay Forum: Blockhouse Bay Community Centre, 524 Blockhouse Bay Road.Tue 07 May 6.30 to 8.30pm
  • Te Atatu Forum: Te Atatu Community Centre, 595 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula.Thu 09 May 6.30pm to 8.30pm
  • New Lynn Forum: Whau Local Board office, 31 TotaraAvenue, New Lynn. Wed 10 Apr 7pm -  9pm

 21/3/13 Support Piha's Kids Primary School - Oratia Fair

This Sunday 10am - 2pm - Books, White Elephant, Food, Raffles, People, Music, Auctions etc etc



Apology for technical problems with photographs - should be fixed soon..



 1/3/13  RED Alerts

It will be no surprise at all to most people in Piha that Bethells, Karekare and Piha all have RED ALERTS with their water quality.

It is for this reason, rain, that I have started the 'Clean Streams Project'.  


20/3/13 Oral submissions to Draft Annual Plan

Today I sat through all the oral submissions to the Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 at the Waitakere Ranges Local Board rooms in Glen Eden - someone has to uh?

There were two submissions that really caught my interest that I'd like to share with you

  1. Oratia District R & R Assn. Inc. - Enhancement of the rural village of Oratia

This was the last submission at about 7:30 pm when I was nearly nodding off but my ears pricked up.  Even Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse commented on the great submission and it's concept.  Very reminiscent of the old Waitakere City Council's visions.

After a huge amount of work on Oratia's LAP (Local Area Plan) and the adoption of Plan Change 35 our Waitakere Ranges Local Board approved expenditure of $40,000 for documenting Oratia's historical and cultural heritage and designing improvements to enhance its public spaces.

The supporting documentation for this submission was excellent as was the presentation with an emphasis 'Attractive useful vibrant active spaces using Matakana, Clevedon and Hobsonville as examples where they have created lifestyle, tourism & economic opportunities for their area and wider community.'

They "are not looking to recreate history exactly but to move forward to a rural modern Oratia that respects it's history"  Wow, I love that concept !

left:   (JT Diamond collection)

I am looking forward to watching how this pans out.  It was interesting to hear the submitters say they really needed a Café in their Community.  From the sound of their submission and documentation I think the future of Oratia is going to be exciting.

I'm too tired to write about the other submission that pricked my ears up so will write that another day.

Comment by Penny Sparks (Not Verified) at: 08Apr13 13:45PM
Thanks for the friendly support!

20/3/13 Samaritans must wait for Asher ruling 

Ms. Woodhouse and Ms. Carroll are angry their decision to help Ms. Asher was criticised.

They launched a judicial review into the coroner's findings in the High Court at Auckland yesterday.

 "The role of the coroner is clearly to make recommendations to ensure that the circumstances that have prevailed do not arise again and there is something to be said when a coroner gets into pure speculation. Then he or she has ventured outside their area" counsel for the family Garth Gallaway said.

 "This is a decision no reasonable coroner could have arrived at." 

The two women and their son also criticised the way the inquest was run, saying they were never told their action would be extensively questioned. They were summonsed to give evidence on the second day of the coronial inquiry but heard in the news after the first day that police believed they could have done more for Ms Asher's safety.

 "One of the points the applicants feel particularly aggrieved by is that the police prepared evidence in which they criticised them but they were given no notice of that," Mr Gallaway said. "It demonstrates a failure in process and one I submit we will never want to see again."   Full article on HERE

19/3/13  Piha Domain - Driveway Upgrade

Notification received from Council for the people of Piha below


Dear Resident/Ratepayer,


Local & Sports Parks West plan to upgrade the driveway and associated infrastructure at Piha Domain, in response to previous community feedback highlighting issues of dust and inappropriate driving


This concept plan [2799kb].pdf shows the proposed upgrade which will include:

  • Widening and sealing the driveway, to remove the problems of dust created from the driveway and allow vehicles to pass  
  • Introducing low grassed bunds to deter inappropriate driving and rationalise parking. Bunds will also limit turf damage and further reduce dust from the remainder of the parking area
  • Widening the entrance and installing new gates, to improve access for buses and coaches
  • Upgrading the pedestrian footpath leading to the footbridge to concrete
  • Rationalisation of existing signage and installation of new picnic benches/litter bins

The upgrades will be phased over two years, with priority works on the driveway surfacing and bunds due to begin in late Autumn/early Winter 2013.


If you have any comments or feedback on these proposals, please email Parks West Auckland Council HERE or phone Mark Miller on (09) 301 0101.    Feedback is due by Friday 1 April 2013.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is Council upgrading the driveway?  Community feedback in 2011 highlighted that two key concerns of local residents was dust created during the summer from the gravel driveway and irresponsible/antisocial behaviour associated with vehicles.  
  • What are the benefits of using chipseal for the driveway?  The main advantages are that there will be no dust, and vehicles will be more likely to stay on the driveway. Chipseal will also be lower maintenance and longer lasting than gravel - removing the need for regular damping down with dust retardant and regrading of the surface. The on-site speed limit can be line-marked on chipseal, meaning the removal of surplus signage.
  • Will there be an increase in impermeable surfaces?  No - the current compacted gravel driveway is already impermeable and due to natural spread the areas adjacent to the road have also compacted to create an impermeable layer, as evidenced by pooling of water in the winter.  The new road surface will be similar in overall surface area to the existing driveway and surrounding compacted gravel. All areas adjacent to the new driveway will be regraded and any surplus old gravel removed, leaving a more permeable sandy surface.
  • What are the grassed bunds for? The low grassed bunds are a way to encourage drivers to remain on the driveway and slow vehicle speeds/discourage antisocial behaviour on the grassy areas. They may also encourage more organised parking during peak visitor periods.
  • What about signage?  All existing signage will be reviewed and either replaced/relocated to a more appropriate location or removed if no longer required.
  • Why are there more picnic tables and litter bins? A few additional picnic tables have been included on the concept plan to allow visitors to enjoy a picnic at the Domain. They have been located specifically to avoid the more open areas around the lagoon. The existing litter bin is not in a good location at the entrance to the Domain - the new locations have been proposed to make it easier for visitors to be responsible with their litter before getting back into their vehicles.
  • When will works take place?   Due to budgetary constraints, the works will be phased over two financial years. The priority work to seal the driveway and create the bunds will take place in later autumn/early winter 2013. The remaining works will be completed in the 2013/14 financial year.  

Signs will be put up prior to works beginning

  • Will I still be able to park during works?    Wherever possible, public access will be maintained throughout the works. Restrictions may be required during certain phases to protect the public from plant and machinery.

19/3/13  Piha couple go to High Court over Iraena Asher case

Two Piha women are heading to court today seeking to overturn a coroner's ruling they contributed to the death of Iraena Asher.

After an inquest in July last year, Coroner Peter Ryan ruled the 25-year-old most likely drowned at the Auckland beach in 2004.

 Full article on Newstalk HERE

NZ Herald article HERE

A big thank you to all the friends and strangers who have offered us so much love and support.

Comment by boris (Not Verified) at: 19Mar13 22:32PM
The coroner (and cops) should have focused attention on the well known local P user and dealer who was at the party and who was the last person [ edit ] , but did nothing when he saw her distressed [edit]. That scum is still around in spite of last year's police raids. * EDITED so person is not identified

Sunday Roasts return to Piha Bowling Club

Probably one of the more 'kid friendly' night time eateries in Piha is doing Sunday Roast again.

Kitchen opens at 5:30


click photo left for full details and menu




Comment by Lee Fraser (Not Verified) at: 19Mar13 10:31AM
Fantastic, looking forward to heading in for a good meal. Great place for family's and the opening time of 5.30 is better for young children.
Comment by Anonymous at: 25Mar13 11:06AM
Kitchen doesn't open till 6pm.
Sad to say but wasn't good.

18/3/13  The Auckland Unitary Plan

The draft Auckland Unitary Plan (March 2013) includes:

  • Regional Policy Statement (RPS)
  • Regional and district objectives and policies
  • Rules
  • Definitions
  • Designations
  • Maps showing your property, zones, precincts and overlays.

Read the Plan and look at the Maps HERE

From Facebook and far too good not to share here











18/3/13   Rural towns key to city's big growth in housing

The other 70,000 homes will be within the existing big towns of Warkworth and Pukekohe, and rural and coastal towns and villages such as Beachlands, Bombay, Snells Beach, Piha, Wellsford and Whitford.  The 70,000 figure includes developments under way outside the urban limit at Hobsonville and Hingaia.  Read the full article NZ Herald HERE


 17/3/13  Put this in your diary  - it'll be good

From the West Coast Gallery

We are inviting an astronomer from the Auckland Astronomical Society to come out to Piha and give us a talk with visuals on our universe, stars and Matariki.  We would love for you to join us, and are planning this event Evening with the Stars at the Piha Bowling Club ? Thursday night ? 6th June, with Claire Inwood's soup and bread available from 5.30 onwards and lecture at 7pm.  Supper will be provided.  This talk will be open to all ages that are interested. 

Comment by Cindy Wilton (Not Verified) at: 21Mar13 17:56PM
wonderful, thats really exciting, Im there !

17/3/13  Drive Social          Excellent initiative .  .  .   .  click on the photo, left, for more info
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 17Mar13 17:52PM
Nothing came up when I clicked into the site for Drive Social. I can only guess that the topic is for polite and considerate driving on our roads. I feel NZ schools should have a DRIVERS EDUCATION as a required class close to a students exit from school. Student minds can absorb good driving practices when taught early as opposed to trying to re learn good & safety road habits, once poor habits have already been established. All I can say is GOOD LUCK NZ, hopefully we will all become more considerate and better drivers with Drive Social but I really feel good driving habits should be taught at schools as opposed to the old fashioned way, via parents, family & friends. Many of you won't like me saying this but NZ has aggressive and unsafe drivers for the kinds of roads we have. A 40 K speed limit would be a positive start to The Piha road safety. Happy driving !
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 17Mar13 19:36PM
Link is fixed. Sorry about that

15/3/13 Student nurses come to Piha

left: Myself, 3 student nurses and Fiona.

One of these students contact me to see if they could come out and interview me about the Piha Community as it related to their studies.


 I thought it better to have someone else who is involved in the Community so I invited Fiona to join us.   It was a neat hour answering their questions about how our Community copes or manages certain social and health issues - beinmg isolated.

Left:  Thanks again for hosting us and helping us with out assignment Bobbie!  You and Fiona were fantastic and we were buzzing all the way home excited to get started on our essay.

I've attached a photo I took the first time we came to Piha and used for our photographic essay because it's so calming and lovely.  The rainbow wasn't there when I took it, but appeared when I uploaded the images.   Sunny




 15/3/13 Piha vs Karekare: The black sand beaches of Auckland, New Zealand

David Whitley visits Piha and Karekare beaches in West Auckland, and finds himself reassessing what a great beach looks like

If you ever need to reassess what makes a great beach, come to Piha. It doesn't fit any of the usual clichés - it's not particularly glamorous, plenty of seaweed gets washed up on it and the sand is anything but squeaky white.

But it depends on whether you like your beaches beautiful or magnificent. For me, a good beach is one that looks pretty - but a great beach is one that commands respect.

At Piha, the signs warn of strong currents, large waves and submerged rocks. It's pretty clear that the Tasman Sea as it thumps into the shore isn't to be messed with - although on a hot summer Sunday afternoon plenty of people are prepared to take on the challenge. A crew rows a boat into the waves, a cox on the rudder bellowing orders, while stand-up paddle boarders have made it out to the quieter swells.

15/3/13 Road works put on hold

Due to the heavy rain forecast on Monday (yahooooooooo) the planned works on Piha Carpark (South Piha) have been put on hold.  We'll be notified when they rescheduled.