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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 publication - 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

What's happening ?         Regular Piha Community happenings

What's Happening in Piha - Coming up 

 What's a stretch limousine doing in Piha?

left: Stretch limousine parked in front of Piha Cafe 

I had a call from a Village Voice reader yesterday to tell me they had passed a stretch limousine on Piha Road heading this way so I went to check it out and this is what I saw 


Yes - its the sequel to High Road being filmed.   Thanks for the tip off     

Update Ablutions & Camp Ground from Fiona

Owing to the winter storms and despite the very hard work put in by all the contractors clearly we are not yet open again.

left: photo of progress as at 8th Sep 2014

Everything bar the landscaping should be ready to sign off in early October and then we have to wait for the paperwork from various certification agencies to come back before we are allowed to use the building.

September is traditionally quite a busy month so it is disappointing that we are not open but time takes time so I am enjoying the super-long break even if the bank manager is not!!

We are taking bookings from the 18th of October and looking forward to seeing all our campers again at Labour Weekend. I am so excited to see the finished facility and looking forward to the opening.

Somethings you might not know . . . .  

  • The water for The Bowling Club, Mid-Beach public toilets, South Piha public toilets, plus the outside showers of both facilities and sometimes the Surf Club,  comes from the bore here at the Camp. We often run out of fresh water at the busy weekends and water has to be trucked in, at those times the poor campers do not get a shower. 
  • The water system in the new building will not take care of that issue as there is a limited amount of water that can be pumped up from the bore every day. If more water than the allocation is pumped the under gound well might fill with sea water which would be a disaster. It is very hard at times to maintain decorum when I see all the water that gets wasted with people just pushing the shower buttons outside and then not actually have a rinse.
  • The treatment station next to the Library takes the waste water from RSA, Bowler,Surf Club, South Toilets and the Camp. We flush our toilets at the camp with this re-cycled waste water, wouldn't it be great if all the public facilities had that ability too?

Thank you so much for your patience and I am sure that the finished facility will be well worth the wait. Gratitude much to the Parks team.

Comment by Waveney Bray (Not Verified) at: 11Sep14 11:47AM
Just a gentle reminder. There is no South Piha it is PIHA which means PIha toilets, Piha Surf Club. The two beaches are PIHA and NORTH PIHA.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 11Sep14 17:25PM
You are, of course, right Waveney. Piha Beach and North Piha Beach :-)

Are you concerned about the Bees ?

Auckland Council is running a serious of films at the Arataki Visitors Centre 7, 14, 21 & 28 September to hi-lite the plight of our precious bees.    More information HERE

10/9/14 You must get the roots

left:  The tubular roots of climbing dock.

There are two weeds in Piha I hate with a passion.  One is climbing dock and the other is cape ivy.  Both are relatively the same to get rid of.  You must get the roots - either by hand or spray.  I prefer by hand.

Climbing docks tubular type roots are often quite close to the surface so with a trusty sharp knife you can dig and cut it out.  Here are quite a few I dug out of the bank near the Piha Beach toilets.  You can see the size of them by comparing them to the piece of flax next to them.   More information on Weedbusters HERE

The Z Nail Gang in Piha

Tomorrow night in Piha's Barnett Hall.  Click on photo left for details.

Comment by Mike (Not Verified) at: 05Sep14 18:05PM
Comment on the new fence on the milk track is conspicuously absent. Who is going to get the ball rolling?
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 06Sep14 14:28PM
So by kit the fence. . . Council?
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 06Sep14 14:32PM
Who built the fence I meant!

More drainage work in Piha

Below are photos of workers clearing out the roadside drains on the eastern side of Beach Valley Road.  They tell me it's to stop flooding - great !  

The only problems is that the water that runs over properties and dirty roads is directed, without filter, straight into the stream.


Today the building started

I've watched with interest the huge amount of work that has gone on underground that we'll never see.  Now the foundations for the house that Marc ( see here )  is building.

Sorry for the uneven size of the photos. 

Comment by Marco Creemers (Not Verified) at: 05Sep14 17:30PM
wow cool , all the best Mark

 2/9/14   I am "the idiot next door". 

Wonderer commented on the article   "Piha Surf Club would like your feedback" (HERE)  You ask:

"Weren't they pushed into it by 'the idiot next door building into their sight line to the end of the beach?  

I am "the idiot next door".   

I do not know you, (your post seems to be anonymous which rather strikes as a mischievous way to front a personal attack on "an idiot").  Even if I did, I would not descend to personal vitriol - let me instead give you some facts.  I rather hope that they may persuade you to at least temper your rather public judgment of someone who is rather looking forward to shortly being a member of the Piha community, although I may be rather be taking a rather flattering view of either my powers of persuasion or your willingness and capacity for being so moved. But let us embark on the journey and see how we travel. 

I designed my house to be completely compliant with all council requirements.  Only after consent was granted did the Surf Club contact me.  I got a rude and accusatorial email from an authorised representative of the Club who I will refer to as Mr X to protect his (or her) identity.  Mr X told me that I was going to be the cause of people drowning, and generally suggesting that I was  a "bad person" with no sense of community for not consulting with the club about what I was doing on my land.   

I was gobsmacked. I did however ring Mr X and say that I was concerned that I was doing something that unwittingly would impact on the club.  I arranged to meet Mr X.  At the meeting on site, Mr X continued in the same vein as his email tirade, and told me the only solution to "the problem" was that I move my house back on the section by 6M.  For reasons that I too complicated to explain to you in this message, this was not an option. (Put simply, for reasons that will become apparent to the discerning once they see the finished building, it had to be located as far forward on the section as possible). 

The "problem",as I discovered was that my house, (which I stress is completely compliant with the legal building envelop requirements that have been in place for decades,and presumably have been known to the club for decades) partially blocked the Club's view of a corner of the southern end of the road from a side window that I had no idea was part of some "operations room" - I must say that I had assumed wrongly that the structure on the beach was the lifeguard operations facility.  Nor was it immediately obvious to me how - as Mr X suggested in his email and in person - I was going to the person "with blood on my hands" - or words to that effect, because someone drowned in the car park.  

However, rather than quibble with "the problem", I suggested a number of alternatives to Mr X - including rather ironically that the club could look at a purpose built tower rather than running their operations from what is in effect the front ofa public bar.  I even offered to have a concept prepared by my architect at my cost, and to make a significant financial contribution to the Club to enable it to build the tower.  (I also offered to financially contribute to several other possible solutions that my architect and I could immediately see would meet "the problem").  

Mr X would not entertain any option other than me moving my house back at least 6M, and it quickly it became clear to me that I could not have any sort of meaningful discussion with him.  He did not then or subsequently take me up on my offer, at my cost,to see if we could find a solution to "the problem". 

Instead, and rather ironically given that Mr X  had berated me for not consulting with the Club prior to me getting consent for my compliant building, the Club has now gone ahead and got concept plans, had a public meeting to get support, and a pre-consent lodgment meeting with the council without consulting with me about its non-compliant tower plans - those plans having significant shading and viewing corridor implications for my property.  

Rather than taking umbrage at this, I have said to Mr X that I am happy to work with the Club to see if we can come up with something that is mutually agreeable (my consent as the affected land-owner being necessary for the Club).  I have suggested to Mr X that my architect work with his architect to get an understanding of the respective problems that we create for each other, me by my compliant building and the club by its non-compliant proposal, and see if they can come up with something that works for everyone.  

So far that suggestion has not been embraced.  

I should add in closing that this is not the first time that I have tried to work with the community rather than against it as your posting suggests is my want.  As you will be aware, the cottage that was on my site was one of the originals.  I endeavored to save that heritage by gifting the cottage, (assessed capital value $80K)plus relocation costs, ($20K) and renovation costs ($10 - 15K contribution to material, plus architect, plus labour) to a number of community groups in the area.  Ultimately no one would take up the offer. 

Furthermore, as my new house is a small two bedroom design, I will no longer have room for my library of over 2,500 books, including one of the largest collections of 19th century fiction in private hands in New Zealand. I approached the Piha library to see if they would be interested in a gift of some or all of the collection and was told that they had no room - rather ironic given my efforts to donate the cottage to community causes. 

While none of this maybe sufficient to temper your judgment of "the idiot" at number 19 Marine Parade South, I rather hope that there are at least some in the community who might be inclined to a rather more temperate assessment of their new neighbour. I might even go as far as to hope that there would be at least some in the community who might reserve judgment on my character altogether until meeting me in person. 


Comment by J (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 18:25PM
You sound awesome. If these drop kicks had any sense they would of bought your land prior to your purchase. Rude sods. Welcome to Piha mate.
Comment by Anonymous at: 02Sep14 19:54PM
The Idiot. I am intrigued by the arrogance of Mr X from The Piha Club. It seems that the "ïdiot" as you call it has tried in many ways to either help the club or more importantly offering to help the community in a number of ways. Change is hard Mr X, you or your club do not own Piha.
Marc, on behalf of many in our community I welcome and thank you for your contribution to the community. Change is good and essential.
Comment by Mary (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 20:09PM
A very warm welcome
Comment by avocado (Not Verified) at: 03Sep14 13:14PM
This reads like there's another side to the story. But at least it shows why the surf club has to build up and out to do its work properly
Comment by long time Listener (Not Verified) at: 04Sep14 9:43AM
Our local club does great work, its run by good people who do amazing things for both our little community and everyone else that finds themselves in peril at Piha.
Now, I?m not a literary giant nor would I expect to come out on top after some verbal judo with a highly paid lawyer, but I understand your need here in attempting to win the hearts and minds of the locals with what would best be described as some half truths one sided spin.
I don?t believe for a second your building will be of small stature or that it couldn?t be moved back slightly and I?m sure your definition of ?working with? is very different to what your letter would lead people to believe.
Comment by Long time Listener (Not Verified) at: 04Sep14 9:44AM

Look, your letter obviously wasn?t designed to win the club many friends, but some balance is required here before this spins out of all proportion and gives to much oxygen to an ultimately destructive argument which appears to centre around egos.
Yes, most of us know the ?Mr X? your attacking here, its worth pointing out that he?s a good man who does great things for our community, I don?t believe he or the club would engage in the type of antics your implying quite the opposite.
Comment by dreads (Not Verified) at: 04Sep14 15:35PM
Look dude, you insisted on building as far forward as you could (yes, legally) rather than agreeing to some setback so the club could do its business. You pushed them into protecting their view of beach and water. Now that they have done so, it's a bit rich to complain that they are affecting YOUR view.
Comment by friend (Not Verified) at: 04Sep14 17:27PM
Hi Marc
Maybe it would clarify things a bit if you put up an image and/or site plan for your build?
Comment by Sandrat (Not Verified) at: 04Sep14 19:13PM
So here we have a rich prick versus a beach bully boy. The rich prick writes nicely and the bully boy performs a pubic service with an eye to the cameras. They are both used to getting their way, in their own styles. [edit]
Comment by Back at rat (Not Verified) at: 04Sep14 19:20PM
A pubic service ? Are they offering bikini waxes to fund the surf tower.? Mani Pedis too i hope.
Comment by Mike Phillipps (Not Verified) at: 05Sep14 17:45PM
Marc, you should have realised that anyone with the effrontery to remove an innocuous beach front cottage (kinda cute like a puppy) and build a significant edifice right next door to the Surf Club (which to be fair is one hell of an ugly building) was bound to find himself off side with the vocal minority. Its Piha bro. That why we love it. You'd be hard pressed to describe the general demographic but I have lately formed the view that there are increasing numbers of middle to older age women with dogs residing here. Back to the point. If we had the room we'd have taken the cottage and your library too, and sadly we'll just have to admire your house from the surf. I'm planning on using it to line myself up when I'm out the back. Does it have a turret?
Comment by Marco Creemers (Not Verified) at: 05Sep14 17:46PM
It's a shame you have been put into this situation Marc, and the club has taken such a strange position on the matter. Your new house looks amazing and a welcome addition to Piha in my view, I'd say that things will settle once it's built and they realise the little impact it has, hang in there. welcome, you're not alone.
Comment by mike (Not Verified) at: 06Sep14 5:51AM
I nearly drowned in the south piha car park once. Under the sound of Piha locals arguing. Something to do with a pohutakawa branch protruding over the road. Fortunately [ EDIT ] saw what was happening [ edit ] and took remedial action with his chainsaw.
Comment by Jacqui (Not Verified) at: 06Sep14 11:09AM
Hi Marc, welcome to Piha. We have watched with much interest the work going on with the building of your house and look forward to seeing the finished product. You will find that most of us "pure local" Piharians are ok people who just want to live here and enjoy the place for what it is, small minded, petty people who move here and think they own the place soon melt into the background and find another cause to rally against so don't worry all this bullshit won't last too long. The Surf Club, well, for a place that is talking about vision, they have none, if they did they would never have put their Patrol room as you say, in front of a bar. From they way the beach looks at the moment, with the amount of sand that has now covered the southern end of the beach there will be no water for swimming in so no need to patrol it. End of problem. Enjoy your new home and check out the cool locals we are ok.
Comment by Kris O'Neill (Not Verified) at: 08Sep14 12:53PM
You locals need to get a petition going to kick the surf club out of piha. It's obviously universally disliked in piha and serves no purpose whatsoever. If it was gone the section could be sold for another new house and the guy next door can keep his sea views.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 08Sep14 14:10PM
Hi Kris, That is a silly comment in my opinion. The Piha SLSC is well appreciated and supported by all and sundry. For the 1st time ever I put my hand up last year and was incredibly grateful I was being watched and was picked up in a flash. Eternal gratitude.
This is NOT about that. This is about an extension to a physical building. Let's not mix it up or twist it.
Comment by Sarky (Not Verified) at: 08Sep14 14:52PM
I think Kris was being sarcastic Bobbie. Let's not lose our sense of humour
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 08Sep14 15:27PM
If you were Kris then neat :-)
Comment by Dave White (Not Verified) at: 11Sep14 14:32PM
Whenever someone new builds a new house people complain. Whenever the club does anything, people complain. It's been like that since my family first built our house in the 40s and it won't ever change.
Everyone has always hated surf clubs for some stupid reason - look at karekare, every time they get a consent to build a new one the greenies complain and club runs out of money, but yet they want everyone's lives to be rescued..
In terms of Piha, bottom line here is the surf club needs to be able to see the entire beach in order to save lives, if it can then who gives a flying poo what the house next door looks like. Don't complain because someone has more money than you and is building a new house and don't complain that the surf club wants to develop it's club. Lives come first.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 11Sep14 21:16PM
Totally agree Dave!
Comment by Mary (Not Verified) at: 11Sep14 21:39PM
Knock the top off the dunes. Easy solution
Comment by Anonymous at: 11Sep14 21:47PM
Mary, I agree.. That is what I suggested, somewhere on this blog, ages ago. Simple and cost efficient solution.

Comment by New Girl (Not Verified) at: 01Sep14 11:13AM
Whoa. Just read the comments on this blog and realise that the Green and Labour Party have their own little dirty politics style network out West. Nicky Hagar should write a book. How's this for a title "Soap Dodging Local Politics" :-)
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 01Sep14 15:05PM
Hope you've secured your website! with this treasonous talk it's only matter of time before you too are hacked by the Nicky Hager -Hacker. Remember, if you don't think someone's saying something nice it's ok to break the law and hack. Oh no. Actually it's not - it's illegal. But check your security settings anyway.

1/9/14  Oh the webs we weave 

left:  Dr Mels Barton

A quote of Mels  "if we the people are to have our elected servants serve our express wishes for self governance, these servant have to be seen to be acting on behalf of the wishes of the people. Be it at local or at a national level."
  • Issues Assistant to MP Phil Twyford
  • Owner/editor of the Glen Eden Guardian 
  • Titirangi Ratepayers Assoc - Chair
  •  Combined Waitakere Residents & Ratepayers - Secretary
  • Waitakere Ranges Protection Society member (Past Secretary)
  • Friends of Regional Parks - Secretary
  • Trustee of the Ecomatters Environment Trust
  • Trustee of the Weed Free Trust 
  • Trustee of  The Tree Council
  • National Coordinator of Sea Week
  • President of GAG (the Grassroots Action Group)
  • Events Management contractor
Now we need to look at where these organisations get there $$$ and how much !
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 01Sep14 18:52PM
Gosh. How do they find time for hobbies! And which of those activities pays the bills?

1/9/14 Oh the webs we weave !

left:  Greg Presland

I find it difficult listening and reading the political dialogue happening at the moment about who knows who, who is up who and blah blah.   This dribbles down to Local Government .  .  .  read on 
  • The Principal @ Presland & Co Barristers and Solicitors
  • David Cunliffe's (Labour) New Lynn office - Electorate Chair 
  • Waitakere Ranges Local Board member (20 hours a week)
  • Titirangi Residents & Ratepayers - Committee Member
  • Blogger at The Standard under the Pseudonym    mickysavage
  • Portage Trust elected member
  • Lopdell House Development Trust - Trustee
  • Keep Waitakere Beautiful Trustee (as at 30/6/13)
  • Waitakere Ranges Protection Society member (Past Executive Member)
  • Attends Waitakere Combined Residents and Ratepayers meetings.
Now we need to look at where these organisations get there $$$ and how much !

Greg Presland replies HERE
Comment by NASA (Not Verified) at: 01Sep14 15:51PM
You forgot Kommissar of the Waitakere Ranges Soviet.
Winner of the Edgar Award for Covert Operations.
Troop Leader, Barton Media Group.
Editor, Pravda Waitakere (with a Lefty Twist).
Presiding Officer, Lopdell Fusion Centre.
Comment by Mike (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 8:32AM
The obvious difference being that the "left wing" bloggers and people you refer to don't attack the person. That is the sole modus operandi of whale oil and not a trap you want to risk falling into.
Comment by Janice (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 9:15AM
Agree with Mike that Whale is a gutter pig. But if people are elected then they are public figures and it's good to see how they are all connected behind the wizard's curtain and how they are funded. Personal abuse is wrong but expressing surprise at how deep the rabbit hole goes is not. Or does Mike think that the community should move along and let them get on with it? If there was nothing to see then decisions would be more transparent. I don't see this in the same way as that pig Slater as the only people I can see that are being messed around with are local people that want to keep more than 6 chickens or a pig without a licence and don't want further nonsense added to their LIMs without being told about it in an open way. If all levels of the consultation process are run by all the a people then this excludes the ordinary people. If it was my for this site I would not have known this.
Comment by Completely Agree Janice (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 9:20AM
Agree Janice. Journalism that informs on the professional activity of elected members is a public service and part of a healthy fraud free government. We need more of it not less.
Comment by Free Westie (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 11:07AM
Fed up of the we know better than you networks. C.S.Lewis said it better than I can.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals".
Comment by Down the rabbit hole (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 11:23AM
Or the very worstiest worstest of all tyrannies is the holier than-though-omnipotent-moral -busybody - robber - baron mashup. [ edit ]
Comment by Mary (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 11:40AM
You may be interested to read this
Comment by Victrix (Not Verified) at: 05Sep14 9:10AM
This is half right. There is no need for this particular blogger (Savage) to attack people individually (unless it's opposing politicos) because he is able to work with those that do. I'm fed up with the way us local people get squeezed out of the conversation by the same old tired West Auckland establishment. Want to attack someone then go for their property and have the WRPS go for them. Want to punish a local R&R that isn't run by your mates then remove its funding and reallocate to another body connected to another board member. The list goes on and on and on. These people literally sicken me and their behaviour can be abusive.
Comment by Victrix (Not Verified) at: 05Sep14 10:28AM
You know what. I'm going to be charitable. Just because local characters openly boast about the pull they have with LB members and parties and how closely they work together does not necessarily mean that this particular blogger (Savage) is aware of who they target specifically. These big mouths potentially muddy the waters.

Greg Presland replies

Greetings Bobby 

I see you have chosen to say a few things about me some of which is not true ... You should seek prior comment from me if you do say things about me and make allegations against me.  Anyway in response to your bullet points ...

  1. Yes that is my firm. It has been my firm for the past 25 years.
  2. It has been a long time since I was David's LEC chair but yes I am involved in the Labour Party. All future west campaign material mentioned that we are a coalition of labour and green members and independents.  It is not unknown for people with political views being elected to political office.
  3. Yes I am a member of the local board. 
  4. I have been involved in the TRRA [Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Assn] for quite a while.
  5. Yes that is me but it is hardly a pseudonym. Anyone who follows blogs knows it is me and I actually outed myself
  6. Yep.
  7. Yep. This is unpaid and I have been involved in this trust for many years.  The trust has been involved in the redevelopment of Lopdell House.  The public funding was put in place by Council and I recuse myself from any local board decision.
  8. Yep.  I fully support the society's goals of protecting the ranges.  Always have.
  9. Yep.  I view this as an important part of the job and it helps me keep on top of local issues and concerns.

You should review your last comment and I invite you to withdraw it as I take offence at the implication.  My business relies on private clients.  I get paid as a local board member and a portage trustee.  The rest of the work is all voluntary and I am not paid for it and implications to the contrary are refuted.

If you really look hard you will also see that I am a trustee of the Combined Youth Services Trust which is involved in the funding of youth at risk.  Again this is an unpaid position.  I am happy to give my time and expertise to community groups trying to make the West a better place to do so and I am surprised I should be criticised for this. 

Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 10Sep14 13:09PM
Well that looks like accurate reporting Bobby, you got it all right. What is the last comment he wants reviewed - "Where do K.W.B get their dollars?" Well that's a fair enough question.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 10Sep14 14:01PM
I replied to Greg:
So the only thing incorrect is you are 'Past' Electorate Chair - is that correct?
"The rest of the work is all voluntary and I am not paid for it and implications to the contrary are refuted." What implications?
"I am surprised I should be criticised for this" there is no criticism there Greg - I'm just writing facts . . . where is the criticism ?

Roadside works on Glen Esk Road

It's great to see that Auckland Transport, I presume, have tidied up the roadside here.  The workers told me some of the work they were doing was to try and stop the flooding.  Great - now can we have some appropriate stream-side planting please ?


Piha Kids Charitable Trust submits to Waitakere Ranges Local Board 3 year plan

The Piha Kids Charitable Trust has asked the Local Board to include  an upgrade to the sports field area of the Piha Domain,  a skateboard facility and a cycle way for the kids and older kids of Piha in their plan .

Here are some photos I took:  They met at La Rosa for dinner first, then waited in the Local Board foyer and finally they presented.   The kids were wonderful with their singing, presentation and patience.  




If you would like to see the video of the Waiata and kids singing with Sooz 

Let's spend our $$$ more wisely 
 Our Local Board have budgeted $15,000 to create an  'information and advice' document about 'Living in the Bush'.   It's already been done and you   can see it HERE.  Let's spend our money more wisely.     
Comment by 2ndThat (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 11:29AM
I'll second that. Seen it now. Please spend my money on a person with a shovel or some gardening gloves.
Comment by Alexia (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 11:35AM
So which one of their mates or trusts that they are involved with are they paying 15K to copy and paste the old Waitakere City Council info onto new branding and add a few more restrictive guidelines that they have come since the last version? These wastrels are clueless. Wonder if WRPS are advising for a few K of Koha!
Comment by 2nd that (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 11:42AM
:) True. Tears. Laugh. So true.
Comment by Bushie (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 15:03PM
Actually, money well spent. You should see what some idiots do in the bush. In Piha too
Comment by 2nd that (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 16:10PM
CAn you be more specific Bushie? How is a 15k reprint that most of us still have in an expensive folder from WCC going to help. Surely people will just look online. Maybe they could send 1k to Bobbie for advertising it. There's 14k saved.

10/9/14 Yes it's been agreed by the Local Board  that the ratepayers will pay $15,000 for a new 'Living in the Bush' information and advice  at their 28/8/14 meeting.
New Dog Signage to be installed

There was consultation on dog signage (here)  on January 18th this year.

Decisions have been made and the new signs will be installed before Labour Weekend '14 at Piha Beach, mid-beach and North Piha

We are also going to get 'No Smoking' signs in the Piha Domain, North Piha Esplanade and Strand! 

Comment by Woof (Not Verified) at: 26Aug14 13:12PM
And definitely no dogs smoking! That dog looks like he's had a wee smoke.

 Great night at our Art Gallery
The West Coast Community Arts Trust had their AGM at the gallery last night.  They were thrilled at a 'better than usual' turnout.  I went along to support them and to hear Mark Mitchinson as Guest Speaker.  He gave us a 'brief' on how he arrived at where he is today.


Chad Wilkins @ Piha Bowler

6th of September listen to Chad at the Bowler - Entrance by donation.  Check out Chad HERE

Mark Mitchinson Guest Speaker

This Friday evening The West Coast Community Arts Trust  are having their AGM at the Gallery.

The Trust is more than a gallery : come along and hear guest speaker Piha's own Mark Mitchinson photographed left in a scene from 'Consent - the Louise Nicholas Story

Waitakere Ranges Local Board Newsletter 

Piha SLSC would like your feedback

left: An artists impression of the Club with $M1.1 extension

The budget of $M1.1 for the extensions would need to be raised by the club.  They would like to start building this time next year. 

The Piha SLSC recently joined the newish sewage treatment  in the Piha Domain after having previously declined to link up.  The Waitakere Ranges Local Board paid  $17,000 for their connection.  The RSA and Bowler each paid to join into the system.  I am assured it can handle to huge Jan - Mar spike so that's good.

It's going to be all go out here as the North Piha Surf Club has been looking at a rebuild for some time. 

Preliminary discussions have started with Council regarding consent.  The club had a public meeting on August 3rd but it was badly attended.  

They are interested in community feedback.  

Comment by Mary (Not Verified) at: 22Aug14 17:25PM
This is a joke ?
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 23Aug14 11:48AM
No it's not a joke Mary. I have no problem with a tower being built but I don't think it needs to be that high and imposing. As for the rest of the extensions I think its a waste of money. Is this a SLSC or restaurant? Piha Rescue is well over it's 'used by date' and I'm not sure I want decks of people glaring down at all on the beach! If vision is a problem just allow Council to lower the height of the dunes as agreed by all except one. It's a total overkill. Surely they won't get consent ???
Comment by Anonymous at: 23Aug14 14:50PM
Will these proposed plans have to be publicly notified?
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 23Aug14 21:25PM
Don't quite understand yr comment "Piha rescue is past it's use by date" and how this is related to the proposed Surf Club extensions?
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 23Aug14 22:14PM
Sue: It's about just being able to go to the beach and swim or surf or laze around without damn cameras everywhere.
Piha Rescue has been going some 8-9 years now and I'm personally sick of them. They dominate the beach, swoop around in their boats filming and I don't like their filming close up and personal with those nearly drowning or retrieving bodies. I'm so tired of it.
Now we're seeing new decks or extensions with people sitting on them glaring down on the beach too. A new access can be made to the medical room and for easier IRB access without such extensions.
It's about just going to the beach without eyes everywhere glaring. Hope that makes my thoughts a little clearer.
Comment by MTW (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 0:00AM
Whoa, I didnt know they were wanting something so big. I would be surprised it if gets consent. All a bit Gold Coast isnt it? This is bloody Piha FFS. How can we object? Has it already been granted consent without public notification? In my opinion it is very OTT...a bit like some of the characters there these days that perform like rock stars. Bring back the 60s.
Comment by Warren Smith (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 3:11AM
Piha Surf Life Saving Club is looking to re-develop part of it's existing building to better serve the community and visitors.

The expansion achieves a number of benefits:
* the operations room is moved forward and up into a new tower so the whole beach area can be surveyed above the dunes;
* separate access to the operations room from the 'public' entrance will be provided;
* a new emergency rescue IRB garage will be is created at the front of the club with the IRB permanently set up to enable rapid response;
* a new direct entrance is created to an enlarged medical room allowing rapid and private transfer for patients;
* additional diagnostic and life support equipment will be obtained for the medical room;
* with emergency power, water and sewage operational the facility can act as a place of refuge for Piha in an emergency.

The club is interested in feedback, and is working with the Auckland Council to ensure the design can be consented.
Comment by Warren Smith (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 3:31AM
Piha community members were invited via Piha Village Voice to attend a Public Meeting on Sunday the 3rd of August to see the Project 80 plans.

Resource Consent has not been applied for.
The club wants to contact all its neighbours to ensure they know about the proposed project.
Comment by Warren Smith (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 8:19AM
Last season as an Emergency Service provider Piha SLSC did:
40 rescues
69 first aids
17 searches
5197 preventative actions to prevent people getting into danger in the surf.
Club Members gave 6597 hours of their time to the community whilst on patrol.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 13:08PM
Unfortunately, like so many, we were away early August.
I fully appreciate the work, lots of it volunteer, that the Piha SLSC does and it is hugely appreciated.
I hear your reasoning for these extensions but still think it's an absolute overkill. Most, if not all, of the objectives could be achieved without such huge, imposing and expensive extensions.
Comment by Dave White (Not Verified) at: 26Aug14 13:47PM
Surf life saving is extremely important (especially at Piha - which has the highest drowning rate in NZ) and having a high enough tower is nothing more than an advantage. Piha SLSC also needs to be able to see the southern end of north piha to assist them as they cannot always see to the very end from their tower! There used to be a second lifeguard tower at the southern end, but as usual, some locals complained and it was removed!

Surf clubs all around the world are significantly bigger than ours and even have pokie-machines! So I don't think there's anything worth complaining about in regards to having a restaurant - all it's going to do it provide more money to the club - more gear, more sporting events for kids / community etc.

Costs of building a surf club are naturally going to be higher because you need corrosion-resistant materials - the last thing you want is a crumbling surf club 5 years down the track!
Comment by Anonymous at: 26Aug14 18:53PM
Why don't they just lower the dunes? It would be a heck of a lot cheaper and not be so much of an eyesore in an otherwise uncluttered area.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 27Aug14 23:27PM
Warren I think you did a typo there. Number of preventative actions were 1590 rather than 5197 :-)
Comment by Kris O'Neill (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 12:14PM
MTW, which characters behave like rock stars? Also could you tell us how much they get paid to perform for the camera?
Comment by wonderer (Not Verified) at: 28Aug14 20:56PM
Weren't they pushed into it by the idiot next door building into their sightline to the end of the beach?
Comment by Mary (Not Verified) at: 29Aug14 13:05PM
'idiot next door'? Is there an elephant in the room ?
Comment by Warren Smith (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 10:50AM
Piha Surf Life Saving Club recieves no money from its invovment in Piha Rescue. None from the producer. None from TVNZ.S8maV3
Comment by Warren Smith (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 10:54AM
5197 was the number of people involved in the preventative actions.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 11:32AM
Your original comment was "5197 preventative actions to prevent people getting into danger in the surf." The statistics show there were 1590 preventative actions involving 5179 people.
Comment by Anonymous at: 02Sep14 19:05PM
Alot of small community syndrome going on here! Alot of which is from the editor...

Come on Piha. You have one of the best spots in the world. Work together on this one.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 19:20PM
Anonymous - you have a problem with facts? You may be interested to read the 'Letter' sent to me today and published above dated 2/9/14 and titled "I am the idiot next door" . . . Village Voice was started to try and ensure that a)people know what's going on before rather than after b)people could express their opinions c)that, of course, includes me :-)
Comment by Jonathon Webber (Not Verified) at: 06Sep14 16:53PM
Piha Rescue can't go on forever Bobbie. I travel all over NZ and as a pretty regular feature on this series I get recognised by people who sometimes to my amazement, tell me how much they love the programme and can't wait for the next series. To me it's just more of the same; to the viewing public they love it! How many Piha locals ever feature on the programme? Virtually none. Anyone who is filmed has the right to decline, and if you don't want to end up on TV then: swim between the flags, don't go swimming outside of patrol hours, wear a lifejacket if you're going rock-fishing, etc. Aside from people with medical conditions or those who have an accident on the beach, people who appear as a result of being rescued have failed one, or typically most of the basic surf safety rules. As the rescue stats clearly show, Piha no longer performs the most number of surf rescues; this is because the way the public behave has changed, a direct and positive result I believe of the TV show.
Comment by Jonathon Webber (Not Verified) at: 06Sep14 16:58PM
With regards to the new tower, these forums amaze me when people with no knowledge of drowning detection and layers of surveillance seem to know more about this than lifeguards. Lifeguarding 101 says that if you have a lifeguard at the water?s edge, one in a tower and another at the clubhouse each one level higher than the other then you have tripled the layers of protection and therefore the likelihood that a person in distress will be spotted. This is a basic principle of surveillance well established and proven to be effective in the military and in lifeguarding. Few people, other than lifeguards, experienced swimmers and surfers actually know what drowning looks like: it's nothing like what it is in the movies. Trust me, I've studied this extensively and a huge amount of what we now know about drowning behaviour and detection is thanks to the Piha Rescue footage. These findings are used by lifeguard services all around the world to improve their detection rates and reduce drowning.

19/8/14  Will horses still be allowed on our beaches out West

"Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan
The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan includes controls on horse riding in the coastal marine area (i.e. on a beach below the mean high water springs line). Horse riding is prohibited in overlay areas for Outstanding Natural Character, Outstanding Natural Feature and Significant Ecological Areas - Marine 13. Horses must not be ridden or lead through bird breeding areas."

I haven't time to research this particular topic any more but suggest those of you that own horses or ride them on Piha or Karekare Beaches take a  Good look HERE, get clarity and if it means our beaches then take whatever action you think appropriate 

Submissions close Monday 15 September 2014.
Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 21Aug14 9:44AM
I hope that the Local Board does not support the idea of prohibiting horses on Piha and Karekare beach. Horses have been ridden out here on the beach since the 1840s and although no longer such an important mode of transport currently local horses have the opportunity to get out and have a long ride on the beach and in the surf. It would be very sad to have this taken away for no reason. Maybe the local board could look at having safe horse trails through the Waitakeres.
Comment by Ruth (Not Verified) at: 24Aug14 14:51PM
Surprised that the local R&R at Karekare haven't put up a submission protecting this right. Turkeys voting for Christmas! John Edgar is Chairman over there isn't he.
Comment by Sherry Roberts (Not Verified) at: 24Aug14 20:26PM
Good Grief, this is bonkers! What next?
Comment by Mana Paewai (Not Verified) at: 24Aug14 23:49PM
Pathetic,such an idea!who comes up with such crap, local horse trekking camp would be great for Piha, can't believe it....definitely against
Comment by Robyn Agnew (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 18:30PM
As Glenda said, Piha has a long history of association with horses. Horses have a place in Piha heritage along with the railway tracks, the dams and the shipping. Customary use should be retained.
I am a biased horse lover and owner. But come on this is crazy. Why take this riding right away. In Scotland anyone can walk or ride over any property. Taking care is expected. The few riders left in Karekare and Piha are community minded; ride when the beach is not busy; bury poo or clean up later; stay clear of people; ride the tide line; avoid dunes; avoid nesting areas and are generally sensible.
It is unlikely that large numbers of horses would be floated in to ride the beach as the hill is a deterrent for floats. So it is likely to continue to just be locals riding the beach.
I hope others who like watching horses on the beach will support the riders submission for the right to continue.
Comment by Leah Fougere (Not Verified) at: 25Aug14 21:33PM
I've just done my submission. Took a little bit f time to read through the 'proposal'. Some cpmpletely ludicrous points were made by the council.... Ridiculous.
Comment by Catherine Gambaro (Not Verified) at: 26Aug14 17:17PM
No more horses in Piha would be a sad day. They give so much pleasure just seeing them on the beach. I have never even seen any pooh on the beach. They remind us of times gone by and the grace of them is something I will never tire of. If we are worrying about wildlife damage we should be more concerned with the amount of weed control spray being put on the wetland project land. I can imagine the land was a lot healthier when the horses were on it!
Comment by Elsa (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 16:10PM
The bylaw states that Horse riding is prohibited in overlay areas for Outstanding Natural Character, Outstanding Natural Feature and Significant Ecological Areas. So they hope to BAN horse riding on private land that they have dropped these overlays on during the Unitary Plan process.
Comment by me (Not Verified) at: 02Sep14 18:38PM
whoa elsa! thanks for the update. +1 for the horses. especially when they know they've put sea's on all kinds of rubbish.

Benzo survives fatal crash

Dave Bensley, aka Benzo,  has survived the fatal helicopter crash on Mt Alta last week.

left:  Benzo, pictured here with the tight four, is on the right.  Story on stuff HERE

While the cats away 

I wondered if I should remove the 'comments' button before I took off to Fiji for a holiday.  I decided I'd trust you all to behave yourselves and leave it there.

 Well didn't you all have some fun . . . broken records for comments for sure - read them  HERE and HERE (grab a coffee first)  !!!

The Western Leader is just an advertising rag and the NZ Herald is pathetic :  it's not surprising the blogs, be the larger or smaller, are quickly becoming the voice for the people.  And all power to the PEOPLE I say . . . 

The West Coast Community Arts Trust - AGM

On Friday 22nd of August the West Coast Community Arts Trust will hold their AGM at the Gallery at 7pm

All are welcome.  For enquiries phone 8128029 or Email HERE

 Council backs new access to Karekare Beach 

"A proposal for improved public and lifeguard access to Karekare Beach on Auckland's west coast is backed by Auckland Council's parks, sport and recreation committee.

It gave approval for further work on a concept design for a bridge, causeway and boardwalk to the surf life saving club. "  NZ Herald 

And not before time in my opinion.  I recall going to the last Karekare Horse Races and having to 'hire' a horse to get me down to the races (this was before I got my nice new titanium knee) as the access was terrible. 

I do recall hearing that the 'authorities' were called out some years ago when the then Mayor Bob Harvey was spotted with a tractor trying to engineer a solution  [This is a viscous rumour - see comments below]
Comment by bob harvey (Not Verified) at: 19Aug14 16:45PM
some truth needed here.Sad to say I have never driven a tractor or a horse either.. to get to the Surf Club I walk.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 19Aug14 20:08PM
So Bob that's a vicious rumour about you? Shame as it's a good story and I could believe it of you LOL

Piha Library misses out on Funds

I was sad to hear that the Piha Community Library Trust missed out on funds to hold their (used to be annual) 'Winter Series'.   It was such a great event.

Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 20Aug14 18:29PM
We have applied for a grant from the Local Board to help pay for a new roof as the old one is disintegrating. We are awaiting a decision on this. We failed in our grant application to Creative NZ for the Winter Series. But next year it will be bigger and better.

It's not the content that bothers me . . . . 

Do you think you should be advised if a non-statutory document is going to be placed on your property's LIM report?     That is the question - regardless of the content of the document.

On last weeks Waitakere Ranges Local Board meeting Agenda it states that Auckland Council received the following legal advice  "In addition to the information provided for under subsection (2), a territorial authority may provide in the memorandum such other information concerning the land as the authority considers, at its discretion, to be relevant."

The document is called the 'Waitakere Ranges Foothills Design Guide' (WRFDG).  Originally written in 2010 and recently revised our Local Board want it on the Ranges Foothills properties LIM to be followed by others like 'Bush Living Design Guide' etc etc.

So let's look at the hoops we have to go through now to develope our own land:
  • Waitakere Ranges Area Heritage Act
  • Resource Management Act
  • Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan - SEAs etc etc
  • Design Guidelines - a non-statutory document
  • West Coast Plan - another non-statutory document the Board want adopted
  • Local Area Plans (LAPs) : Piha doesn't have one yet.  We were offered to do the first but everyone was too sookie to do Piha first as we were in the middle of a fight for our Cafe !!!
  • What next ?
  • Then what ?
I would have thought that the Unitary Plan, with it's many overlays, would cover just about everything.  It's a 'one size fits all' across Auckland but with 'overlays' for special or significant areas like the Ranges. 

This is a non-statutory document - a guide - and yet training/awareness-raising workshops have been held with Auckland Council staff !   

Remember my heading above "It's not the content that bothers me" . . .  it's that this document has not been consulted on,  it's non-regulatory and going onto LIMs without the owners knowledge - well up until now because I've just told you !
Comment by Herewegoagain (Not Verified) at: 19Aug14 7:06AM
Here we go again! This Local Board seeks to add ANOTHER layer of restrictions on local people WITHOUT real consultation that will add property value destroying information to LIM reports WITHOUT the knowledge of the owner and they will only find out about it if they come to sell their property or if a potential buyer pays for a LIM. So MORE covert action against local people by this out of control board. Who wrote this? Sandra Coney OR Mels Barton OR both? How was WRPS involved? How were local people consulted? This is another outrageous assault on local people under the guise of protection. The plan is starting to look like they want to make it so hard for people that they will give up trying to and then they will have a nice big depopulated park without evil people!
Comment by Jstur Sturric (Not Verified) at: 19Aug14 9:05AM
What, how can a LB and so few people have so much power and then when they get in shaft the people they are supposed to represent. What kind of people are they, do they resent hard working kiwi's who simply want to own a little bit of paradise in the ranges? Do they get up in the morning and go my life is so average I need to make someone else miserable to make mine feel better ?????
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 19Aug14 12:19PM
This mornings Herald
Waitakere Ranges (32%)
The overall demand is weaker than in central locations with accessibility issues and development difficulties, such as steep bush clad sites, which can impact on desirability and value levels.

They do it in Fiji

Imagine the smile on my face driving around Fiji and seeing these signs, left, at the beginning of every village.  Speed limit, please drive slowly and the village name.

I long to drive through our Waitakere Ranges and see these signs giving the villages a sense of place, asking people to drive carefully with a speed limit.  

 Thanks to Byers Family & Auckland Council

Private beach and bush land near Piha has been added to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in a $3 million purchase by Auckland Council.

The 78ha property between south Piha Beach and Karekare on the region's west coast is the "missing link" for an option on the Hillary Trail.

Owned by descendants of a pioneer family since the 1860s, the land reaches to the sea at mean high water and will give public access from the Tasman Lookout in Piha south to the area known as Blow Hole Bay, irrespective of the tide.

From 1994, the land was owned by brothers Bruce and Peter Byers, who inherited it from their mother, Yvonne.

Peter Byers, who was the first commercial surfboard manufacturer in New Zealand, died in 2011, aged 71.

His widow, Margaret, said she and Bruce Byers decided to sell to the council after extension of the Hillary Trail was mooted, but public ownership was always on the cards.

Still playing 'guessing games'

left:  I first photographed this sign  'Lets play guessing games' HERE  in June of this year.

It's getting worse and harder and harder to see.  I wonder if there'll be anything done before spring when the roads get busier ?   Anyone want to put some money on it?

18/8/14 Trading & Events in Public Places Review

Trading and events in public places contributes to the economic, social and cultural vitality of Auckland, adds to the character of a local area, provides a useful service to residents and generates income from visitors.

A person must hold an approval issued by the council to undertake the following activities in public places:
(a) trading in a public place;
(b) events;
(c) filming.

Read about the new Bylaw and make a submission if you wish HERE  

Environmental Initiatives Fund

The Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF) supports Aucklanders to be actively engaged in the enhancement and conservation of local environments and heritage.

Read about who can apply, how you apply and more HERE

Going West 2014

'When Going West began 18 years ago, it was the Auckland region's first writers' festival. Its focus is on writers, thinkers and performers from New Zealand and the Pacific - past and present, established and emerging.  Since its inception in 1996 more than 350 writers and performers have taken part.  The Going West Festival is an annual event with events taking place throughout August and September and across various venues in Auckland. Events include a literary weekend, theatre seasons, poetry slam, youth event Word Up! and a book market.'    Going West on the web HERE

I have dropped some programs and information into the Piha Library and the Piha Cafe  

Fi MC's Green Party Policy Launch

left: Fiona being MC.  She did make me smile saying she wasn't used to this and was scared, on camera, she's swear.  Love ya Fi. 

The NZ Green Party had a policy launch at the Piha SLSC this morning.   'Prohibit deep sea oil drilling, implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, build maritime NZ's oil spill response capability and infrastructure and introduce a stronger legal framework to pay for the clean-up'.

""The world-famous Piha Surf Lifesaving reality show is shown around the world," Ms Anderson said, "But this is not the Gulf of Mexico: this is New Zealand."  Read all about it in NZ Herald HERE

Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 17:08PM
Perhaps you just forgot to mention that there are more than ten diverse theoretical approaches to human geography, Marxist geography being only one. There is also Marxist economics yet we don't leap to call economists Marxists, do we?
Here's the actual wiki link to human geography, should anyone actually be interested in making up their own minds:
Comment by Get Real (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 20:42PM
Yet your own Facebook page going back years is a litany of hard left causes and anti growth pseudo economics. You self state as a collectivist and you push positions that are arguably to the left of the most leftist position. Your own statements reference support of collectivist economics so in all fairness on balance you're a collectivist that makes a Marxist look like a Tory. 10 seconds on your Facebook profile and on google proves it. How's that WRPS brain fade working out for you? Better ask Mels and Sandra Coney...they know these things. Meh!
Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 23:50PM
SHOCK HORROR, here's the news from WRPS Treasurer, Sandra (not Sandra Coney, Bobbie, I NEVER said Sandra Coney would have any idea of WRPS memberships status - please correct).
No, I am not a member of WRPS, however, my last subscription, paid in Feb 2013, before I had even thought about running for the Local Board, paid me up til Feb this year. My candidate statements identified me as the Heritage Area Coordinator for WRPS. I was elected, so get over it! And as soon as I was elected I resigned from my work for WRPS.
Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 03Aug14 0:19AM
Get Real, huh?
This whole line of inquiry is toxic and reeks of ulterior motives, false identities and political bandwagons. I know that whatever I say will get twisted around, so I'll put my energy elsewhere. Aroha nui, from the "collectivist that makes a marxist look like a Tory" LOL!
Comment by Taki (Not Verified) at: 03Aug14 4:38AM
Hey all. This stuff is counter productive. The issue here is unelected Mels Barton and John Edgar pulling strings to exert undue influence on individual people. If local board members are voting funds to other groups or trusts that they are also associated with then this should be looked into, but it's the local bullies and fully compromised bias of Glen Eden Barton media that is a toxic form of rot for our community. So what if Toms is a hard left board member. If you don't like it then kick her to touch at the next election. Attack the issue instead.
Comment by Rainbow (Not Verified) at: 03Aug14 10:03AM
Agree Taki. The issues are honesty and transparency, and John and Mels are unelected. Any inappropriate influence they have is the responsibility of elected officials who must be transparent and fair and inclusive of all their communities. I did not know Saffron's collectivist economic (and land rights?) beliefs , and find if very relevant information and we should have had this ideology made clear before the last election ! Thank you Get Real for investigating, what should be exposed by a competent media. Saffron and Denise have given us a technical answer to their membership question but the honest answer is they have been key people at WRPS and in future we would appreciate a full and straight answer not trying to squirm out on a technicality, which has fuelled this thread and sent the public themselves to do their own research. Decision making and political relationships need to be transparent so we can ensure fair process.
Comment by Seraphina (Not Verified) at: 04Aug14 12:24PM
The Local Board provide Barton and John Edgar with all local planning applications. They all sit down together and work out which ones they want to object to and under which banner.
Comment by Seraphina (Not Verified) at: 04Aug14 12:26PM
Barton has cost local people people thousands as has John Edgar who objects to people building on sensitive ridge lines and installing concrete culverts on their property; unless it's his property. They are all one network. Who can forget Christine Rose locking down one Piha build that was consented purely because she saw it whilst out hiking. Remember she was the Future West candidate for Council. Oh look. Christine is now a big part of WRPS.
Comment by Rowena (Not Verified) at: 04Aug14 12:29PM
This network turns a blind eye to their allies' properties but under the guise of their redefinition of the word 'community' (meaning them) they use their official and unofficial power to control their opponents, local people and even through Mels Barton's Glen Eden Guardian local media. This must end. They are costing local people money and wasting their time because of their horrid agendarizing. I won't ever make the mistake of voting for these people again as they have handed power to those that don't even have the guts to put their opinions to the vote. Yes John Edgar this comment is aimed at you and Barton you gutless cowards.
Comment by Liberalclassique (Not Verified) at: 04Aug14 14:24PM
Investigate them all.

Join the dots.

Expose them.

Group legal action.

Make them pay with their treasure and their reputations.

Give the money to charity :-p
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 06Aug14 16:43PM
I am not going to comment on the thoroughly an hominem attacks that are going on here, but Seraphina, it is simply untrue that the Local Board sits down with anyone to discuss how we respond to resource consent applications. The LB only sees a few RC applications, mainly those notified which are few and far between, and some meeting specific criteria which had been set by the board. The two people who do this are myself as chair(and I have not been even a member of WRPS for the entire 13 years I have been in local govt)and lawyer Greg Presland. We have very little power as a LB re RCs, the decisions are made by the RC dept of Council. Regarding the accusations about the LB somehow being in the pocket of WRPS, it may put things into perspective for readers to know that the LB has had one meeting with WRPS since we were elected 10 months ago. In the same period we have also met with many other groups.
Comment by Fusil (Not Verified) at: 06Aug14 18:32PM
So that's a "no comment" them Sandra.
Comment by Luminary (Not Verified) at: 07Aug14 7:12AM
So the LB has met with WRPS officially once. How about unofficially? How about WRPS members who are LB members visiting R&Rs run by WRPS members? How about 'socially' for coffee and meals? How about at other functions like 'charity auctions' for political parties? How about back-channels like phone or email? Oh this doesn't matter as the LB has met WRPS once on an 'official' capacity. The problem here Sandra is what these hand in glove groups get up to unofficially.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 09Aug14 1:58AM
We are at Piha. When we applied for RC, the council had already notified WRPS of our application prior to the council 'assessing our application'. This was because the WRPS had 'tagged' our property . . Wanting to be informed if a RC was ever submitted (unbeknown to us). The council declined our RC and said our application had to be public ally notified (which meant an additional $10000+ to council fees, with no guaratees, and anyone being able to ut in a submission ). We were building on existing site, behind the pohutakawa s, cutting down no trees and still the WRPS had to exert their perceived co trol!
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 09Aug14 2:07AM
Oh. And it was recommended by COUNCIL that we had a meeting with WRPS to explain our project. And this was the control the WRPS had before local boards were formulated. Can only imagine its worse now that the Waitakere Ranges Local Board is so influenced by the WRPS or whatever they call themselves. What annoyed me was that council had informed them prior to making their own decision!
Comment by WesternTotalitarianism (Not Verified) at: 09Aug14 14:28PM
Sue. Wow! That's shocking - again. Agree council should be making the decisions not defering to lobby groups. Can anyone tag properties before they are notified? The council only appears to have 2 notifications - the other is notifying directly affected parties. I wonder how many properties *they* have said they are directly interested in. That's out of control. I think its time we organised a proper concerned ratepayers group meeting. The self appointed Lorax has gone feral.
Comment by Interesting (Not Verified) at: 09Aug14 14:34PM
This article is interesting.... Whoa so Edgar is/was political campaign manager for what was then Team West. "Those lobbying for national legislation had impeccable connections to local and national government. John Edgar, president of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Project, is chair of the re-election committee of Team West, which is led by Mayor Bob Harvey, the former president of the Labour Party. "
Comment by Ger-anon-omo (Not Verified) at: 09Aug14 14:40PM
So Edgar was campaign manager for Team West. Is he campaign manager for Future West. Edgar makes donations to Labour. The people he put in power in local office buy his artworks and invest heavily in his industry. Tidy.
Comment by Moonchika (Not Verified) at: 11Aug14 10:52AM
Mels Barton was the Campaign Manager for Future West. She was on the committee of WRPS when I used to be a member. She also provides networking guidance for Greg Presland from Future West and technical support for the web for them. She also has a joint media venture called the Glen Eden Guardian with the partner of fellow Future Wester Neil Henderson. They have all been absolutely linked at a feel level with WRPS and John Edgar for years. John Edgar helps raise money for them through his art auctions and obtains many publicly funded commissions from their allies as well.
Comment by Moonchika (Not Verified) at: 11Aug14 10:57AM
I meant 'at every level' and not 'at a feel level'. Sorry for putting that image in front of you!
Comment by Sooper Dooper (Not Verified) at: 11Aug14 11:19AM
Wow, well that puts the puzzle pieces together, Moonchicka. Shocking. And lots of frustrations and "lack of being heard" now make sense. Step 1. Restructure the Combined. Pearce, Edgar, Barton, and Elected Members should be out. It's a ratepayers meeting for goodness sakes. If we don't insist on democracy then this is what we get. Step 2....
Comment by SuperDuperTrooper (Not Verified) at: 11Aug14 11:44AM
Mccahon house has decided not to keep an asset list of their artworks - because they *fluctuate* in value. They estimate the art is worth $314k But who would know if one or two go missing. There is no list. Total equity 1.8 million. They were awarded a funding increase from Local Board this year.
Comment by SuperDuperTrooper (Not Verified) at: 11Aug14 12:22PM
Not saying that it isn't above board, just saying there are massive holes in the checks and balances in our Local Board area that could lead to misuse . Particularly the lack of honesty and transparency from Mels Edgar about their relationships in R&RS, the local boards and the charities, who receive money and operate outside the public eye. We need to have contracts that ensure clear outcomes for public money.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 15Aug14 21:57PM
Sandra Coney. When you say "The two people who do this (review resource consents)are myself as chair(and I have not been even a member of WRPS for the entire 13 years I have been in local govt)and lawyer Greg Presland." are you referring to Greg as a Board Member or as a lawyer?
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 15Aug14 22:40PM
I had to look up what "an hominem attacks" were because I'd never heard of them (convent education and all that!).
This is what I found "An attack upon an opponent in order to discredit their argument or opinion. Ad hominems are used by immature and/or unintelligent people because they are unable to counter their opponent using logic and intelligence."
So just in case someone else didn't know there it is !
Comment by Warbutteeny (Not Verified) at: 16Aug14 10:45AM
Hi Bobbie. Try also looking up 'straw man argument' as Sandra clearly misused the term 'ad hominem' as after having read these comments I did my own digging and found that 95% of the comments posted are based in fact. Still looking into the other 5%. These are slippery types. Who can forget how as an elected official Sandra had her office moved over to the Parks Management offices and influenced them in a completely inappropriate manner. I do. Need evidence? Ask the Rangers. Leopards don't change their spots.
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 16Aug14 21:49PM
To Warbutteeny, I have no idea what you are talking about having my office moved. Please explain what you are alleging. Details please, or retract it.
Comment by XRanger (Not Verified) at: 17Aug14 9:02AM
As an Auckland Councillor did you move your offices away from those of the other elected Council Members to those of the employed non-elected Parks Management or not? I know the answer but what say you Sandra?
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 17Aug14 18:36PM
An accusation has been made against me. I am asking for it to be backed up. I am asking for places and dates.
Comment by Westie Sheila (Not Verified) at: 17Aug14 22:22PM
Hi Sandra. I voted for you. Hardly a major accusation. You either moved your offices or you didn't. Give them a yes you did or a no you didn't and then move on. Simples.
Comment by Fusil (Not Verified) at: 20Aug14 17:18PM
So that's another "no comment" then Sandra?
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 20Aug14 18:07PM
"Ad hominem" means directing against the person, not the argument. It is the leit motif of this web site. I would have thought my saying "I have no idea what you are talking about having my office moved" could only be interpreted as I was saying NO, my office was never moved away from the councillors' area, in either the ARC or Auckland Council. Now could those 2 people who reckon I did, come out from behind their aliases and produce detail of what they accuse me of, or are you too pathetic.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 20Aug14 22:45PM
leitmotif: A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation: (
Comment by Jasper (Not Verified) at: 21Aug14 6:39AM
This nonsense about musical chairs is a diversion from the issues at hand that matter. Everyone knows that Coney overreached into Parks but this isn't illegal. Yeah it's a pain that Rangers would work on property, but again not illegal as they could have technically done this on other Piha properties too. The real issue at hand is whether or not unelected interests have too much influence and whether or not this board has a history of working with them to push things through with a minimum of consultation. Things that reek such as adding further restrictive 'guidelines' to people's LIM reports in a covert way as they have done with the latest Foothills guidelines. Which ever way you slice it there always seems to be the same people from the same networks pushing the same sly moves, redirecting resources to their own agendas or to other groups that they are involved with. I couldn't care less about diversionary side issues. Not when a light needs to be shone on the real matters to hand.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 23Aug14 21:30PM
Well said Jasper!

"I'm not sure if I am a member of Waitakere Ranges Protection Society" (WRPS)

Local Board members  Denise Yates, Neil Henderson and Steve Tollestrup all say they are not members of WRPS and Denise assured me Sandra Coney wasn't.

That just left Greg Presland who says  "I am not sure. I have been a member for many years and I was also on the executive for a long period of time. But I am not sure if I am currently financial."  and Saffron Toms who said  "She can't recall but was told it wouldn't be a conflict of interest"  She suggested I check with Sandra Coney, the Chair of our Board, as she knew all these things.

Membership of the WRPS is most definitely a potential 'conflict of interest'  as they have evolved into a political pressure group AND submit against the ratepayers of the coastal villages  with  "an interest greater than the public'.

Can someone confirm or deny whether Greg and Saffron are members or not and if they are why isn't that declared in the 'Conflict of Interest'. 
Comment by Jaz (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 10:15AM
Why do we allow our so called elected representatives to be in thrall to a non elected local tyrant and bully boy like John Edgar. Whether claiming financial membership or not of the current Board with their WRPS de facto attack-wing (or is it the other way around)is immaterial as collusion with John Edgar is evident, goes back many years and is a current situation. They are all on speed dial and confer regularly through the Mels Barton channel at the Combined R&R as well as through innumerable private correspondences. It is reaching the point where I for one will no longer vote Labour and my partner is seriously considering not renewing her Green Party affiliation. If this is what is on offer for central government in September then I may well stay at home with the kids and do some more work on my post grad. Our parties have been captured by something dirty locally.
Comment by Yep (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 10:36AM
John E is just part of a team with Mels as Campaign Manager, Greg as President of Labour West, Denise Yates Labour?, and the multiple cashed up trusts, used to lobby, politic and pamphleteer. Agree Jaz, Where is our credible voting options for Central Election, and at what cost has this been to Waitakere?
Comment by Maybe it's time (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 12:23PM
If we can't keep central politics out of local government. Then maybe we need to review the local board areas in line with our electoral boundaries. Something clearly needs to change.
Comment by Werpsie (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 15:52PM
Hey, ya'll. "Keeping central politics out of local government"???. Have you forgotten the Nats and other right wingers and developers that stood against the current and previous boards? And lost. Five of the six on the current board campaigned as labour or green. The people voted them in. End of story
Comment by AnonAnonAnon (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 16:52PM
We may have elected our local board but we didn't elect the other people pulling the strings in the trusts and charities behind the wizards curtains. People are obviously concerned. And whatever their colours, we have a right to expect honesty and transparency from our elected officials. There have been some very genuine concerns raised, and people are coming here so they can speak the truth and be heard. And I am not a right winger. And the board members may not have paid their WRPS dues this year but they are long time members. And more than two. People want more honesty about what's going on.
Comment by Minky (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 17:10PM
Werpsie. You're incorrect. National didn't run any tickets for local board last time round and didn't provide any financial or data driven actionable insights to them either unlike the winning Team West Labour Green groups. Team Local was centre left but also a truly local non Wellington affiliated ticket and also the Bethell's candidate was a non affiliated local greeny but no Wellington support from National or Act.
Comment by Werpsie (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 1:00AM
Mark Brickell, campaign manager for Paula Bennett (National). On the local board last time, voted off by the people this time.
Comment by Peeltheonionorreadmore (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 7:06AM
No Werpsie. Brickell was a Nat Party member but his ticket received no Nat Party support unlike the Future Westers. Judy Lawley who served our community tirelessly for many years on the board is a member of the Labour Party but also had no central government party support but in her case from Labour. Both Brickell and Lawley were locals with a political perspective that they may support but which they did not sell out the local in 'Local Politics' to promote. Your posts are off message. Disturbing things can be from the right or the left. In this case it's from the left. Live with it and don't be so partisan.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 14:00PM
Meanwhile I'm under a coconut tree in Fiji :-)
Comment by werpsie (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 14:21PM
Brickell more interested in the local than the national? Yeah right. As the people know, and voted.
Bobbie. "WRPS...submit against the ratepayers of the coastal villages" WRPS supporters would say "submit in favour of the environment in coastal villages and all people that live here - not just ratepayers"
Comment by SuperDuperTrooper (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 14:59PM
If it was BP or Sky City who had strong relationships with the local board, and made multiple professionally prepared submissions about your property would you feel the same? No, you'd be asking the hard questions. Private citizens want to ensure they're submissions are heard, that their has been a fair open and unbiased process, and the process is not thwarted by cashed up, well connected lobby groups.
Comment by Xpose (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 19:32PM
Their entire network should be exposed on a comprehensive flow process chart. WRPS, Local Board, R&Rs, pseudo independent media, dodgy trusts with local board memberinvolvement which receive local board money from the samelocal board members, the lot. Then the people can decide next time around and also starve them of donations.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 19:49PM
Werpsie. I own 2 side by side properties in Piha. When purchased they were both smothered in weeds. Now they're smothered in ecosourced natives. I have led The Beach Valley Road Project for some 7 years. WRPS has submitted for total rejection of my submission. Hello! I doubt any single person has removed more weeds from the Village than me. WRPS, no, John Edgar can take a very long running jump. Now I'll get back to that bure and coconut tree.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 01Aug14 9:57AM
Isnt Sandra Coneys sister on Pihas Residents and Ratepayers? Helen someone
Comment by Anononon (Not Verified) at: 01Aug14 12:19PM
Is she on the R&R combined too?
Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 16:58PM
I have never had any directing role for WRPS. I worked as contractor for them and the WRPS Exec told me what to do. It was a JOB.
Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 17:01PM
I have a Master of Arts in Geography (with First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland. So, this is why I call myself a geographer. Take it up with universities across the world if this label doesn't fit in your understanding.
Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 17:13PM
Thingymajig, there are more than ten diverse theoretical approaches to human geography, Marxist geography being only one. Marx is also known as the father of economics, but we don't leap to call economists Marxists, do we?
Here's the actual wiki link to "human geography", in case anyone wants to come to their own conclusions:
Comment by Yeahnah (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 19:17PM
Doesn't sound like a do what your told role. It involves advocating the societies position and writing the submissions. Sounds like it should be declared as an interest. Their website says: The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society Heritage Area Coordinator.
In 2007 the Society created a new role The Heritage Area Coordinator.
This part-time role involves advocating the Society?s position regarding the requirements of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act (WRHA). It involves consulting Auckland Council staff and/or councillors to clarify issues relating to the implementation of the WRHA, as well as monitoring implications that broader policies may potentially have on the Ranges landscape and ecology The aim is to measure and evaluate the success of the WRHA against its goals.
The role requires drafting written submissions on the District Plan and Auckland Council?s management plans and on resource consent applications.
Comment by Jamie (Not Verified) at: 07Aug14 7:47AM
Marx is known by Marxists as the 'Father of Economics'. Non central planners may at a stretch refer to him as the 'dead beat dad' of voodo economics. Trying to get straight answers out of this lot is like trying to nail a jelly to a wall. Screen captures tell a different tale.

It's your money - have your say :  

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board (WRLB) are about to decide how they spend our money for the next 3 years. It will take you 10 - 15 minutes to tell them what do you want and don't want.

Please do it:  WRLB Draft 3 year Plan HERE  

This is what I said . . . 

1. Enhanced environmental protection is a key focus for this local board, including weed and pest control, preventing the spread of Kauri dieback and improving water quality. Do you agree with this area of focus and are there particular geographical areas you are concerned about?
Please advocate strongly with Council Parks and Auckland Transport to fulfill their responsibilities in the Regional Park. The proliferation of weeds in particular on Waiatarua and the Western side of Titirangi, the hill side of Piha Road coming into Piha are a disgrace.
We need some serious rabbit control in Piha.

2. We have limited capital funding for projects over the next three years. Do you agree with our priorities of:
Revitalising and improving Glen Eden? No

Starting work on the implementation of the Oratia Village Masterplan?Yes
LAP's (Local Area Plans) are a waste of time if they are not implemented
I particularly request that the sports section of the Piha Domain is upgraded and some skateboard and cycling facilities are provided for the youth of Karekare, Piha, Anawhata, the visitors to Piha Domain Camp and Piha in general

3. Do you have any other comments about the outcomes, objectives or initiatives detailed in the Waitākere Ranges draft local board plan?
I strongly advocate for some action on the disgusting state of the Lagoons in Piha. Some appropriate stream side planting needs to be done as a start.
I would much prefer funds being spent on weed control than celebrating a war.
I don't understand how the Board can spend $644,000 on Lopdell House and $270,000 a year on Twin Streams but not allocate any budget to the West Coast Lagoons.
Local jobs for local people : are these words only? I am constantly frustrated at people outside of our area taking jobs, contracts and other opportunities away from our local population and economy. Please turn these words into action.

4. Tell us, is there anything missing from the Waitākere Ranges draft localboard plan?

Where 'villages' are referred to please ensure that 'rural' villages are included. These villages are the homes to many and should be included in ALL areas of the Plan.
Advocate strongly to Auckland Transport for a separate and safe cycle way through the Waitakere Ranges.
Have 'Welcome' and 'Farewell' signs in the Villages of Waitakere to give a sense of 'place'.
Continue to support 'Sustainable Neighbourhoods' and CoastCare groups to care for our environment.
Please trust that in general the people that choose to live in the Coastal Villages do so because they love the environment

5. Would you like to speak in support of your submission at a publichearing, held between August and September 2014?
Yes - of course !

Make your submission HERE  you have until August 6th

How to search the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan submissions

Anyone can search for what an individual or organisation has submitted or what has been submitted under various themes. 

Don't forget to breath . . . . 

In the 'submitter example you may get a result with a number on the left  '12345' .  When  the resulting document is opened you then scroll down looking for that number '12345' on the left and you can read what was submitted/requested.
By searching for Vegetation Management and SEA's you'll the results by 'Topic'.  
  • Titirangi R&R has submitted 'Retain Permitted standards (1)-(4) to restrict impact of tree trimming within 10m of existing buildings in an SEA.'  whereas the 
  • Piha R&R has submitted 'Revise the vegetation clearance restrictions around buildings to provide adequate protection from fire. Clearance should be revised to 10 metres from any structure for any vegetation in order to align with Insurance Council standards'
  • Graham and Jill Cleghorn submit  'Amend rules to allow regular, minor trimming to trees within "Area B" of the SEA at 14 Garden Road, Piha, where they overlap the roof of the house, by reverting to the 20% trimming per year rules [Refer to submission for further details, page 4-6].
  • I, Bobbie Carroll, submitted 'Retain 20% per annum trimming of vegetation [from Waitakere District Plan].'
Have fun .  When you're reading it - don't forget to breath!!!
Support Henderson Riding for the Disabled

left:  $2 a horse to raise funds for the Henderson Riding for the Disabled.

Glenda Northey  will be selling these 'horses' around the Piha Library from 10am this Saturday. If you arrive later Glenda is on Volunteer Duty at 12:30 in the Library so pop in. 

"Interest greater than the public " - Excuse me !!!

"WRPS (Waitakere Ranges Protection Society)  has an interest in the Unitary Plan greater than the public generally," so says the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society John Edgar.

Quoting another blog in Waitakere   "John Edgar ,  Chair of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society  opposes over 50 private unitary plan submissions asking for most of the submissions to be disallowed.  The submission suggests WRPS opinion should trump the opinions of local residents who made submissions relating to their own communities and private properties.  The W.R.P.S. states "WRPS has an interest in the Unitary Plan greater than the public generally"  - advocating that their interest and opinion should be given greater weight than  residents who have an interest or opinion on the rules in the community where they live.   

The emails, texts, messages I have received today drawing my attention to this hasn't surprised me at all.   

The population of Waitakere is 48,396.  Membership of WRPS: 600.  That is 1.24% of the population BUT their opinion is far more important and carries more weight than ratepayers, residents, businesses etc says John Edgar.   What an arrogant man !  

Be aware of this:  John Edgar is the President of WRPS.  He is also the President of the  Karekare Residents & Ratepayers Assn AND on the Waitakere Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association.  

NOTE: The Waitakere Ranges Combined Ratepayers and Residents  is a group made up of the committee members from R&Rs in Waitakere.  Only R&R Committee Members can attend and then only two can talk.  Their minutes are not published anywhere for the general public to read.  
Comment by Pip Jacobsen (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 1:57AM
Good on you Bobbie for getting this out there. I've looked at the WRPS submission on your article link and compared the individual submissions it opposed with a list of submissions supplied by Auckland Council and it makes for interesting reading. It targets opponents and locals who he has a personal beef with it seems. Three former members of the Karekare ratepayers association for starters and a candidate that lost out against the local board in the last elections. I heard that the local board members are also members of WRPS as is Mels Barton from the Combined R&R that meets at the Local Board offices. Do you think they are using the submission process to settle old scores? Seems like a lot of these ratepayer groups have the same people involved with the WRPS, the combined group and the Local Board. Not very healthy ay?
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 9:33AM
Who do they think they are to "assume" they have more interest and are more 'important' than the individuals who own the properties that these restrictions are being imposed upon! 600 members is hardly a huge number. Plus him being on various other organisations is just ricidulous. Just hope the council can see thou this "self imposed , self importance ' they have bestowed upon themselves. Agree totally with comments above, also
Comment by Penny Sparks (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 9:50AM
The comments in our Oratia submission that were opposed related to providing for the Cultural and Economic needs of the community as required under the Heritage Area act. And implementing the LAP (the wishes of the people). It's plan change 35 all over again. There was nothing radical about our submission. We didn't ask for subdivision or loosening of the rules, in fact we had protect and preserve Oratia. I see John Edgar has put on the KareKare R&R site that the KareKare R&R is also going to oppose submissions. Sigh.
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 9:56AM
Just out of interest has the Piha R&R put in a submission? Is it still open for submissions?
Comment by Sam C (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 10:03AM
A straight comparison of the WRPS submission with the Karekare Ratepayers and Residents Submission shows that it is a copy and paste job in that the references to the Karekare locals he is targeting is identical in both cross submissions. So there it is. John Edgar is using the resources of the WRPS to attack Karekare locals under the guise of it being the will of the Karekare community. Punching a few numbers his R&R has under 2% local support as well. So John Edgar is opposed to local people keeping the existing rights they have and wants further restrictions like the reduction in the 20% annual foliage growth pruning rule. I can see that being very unpopular with Karekare locals and other residents of the ranges. We're local people given a real opportunity to give their view on these cross submissions or were they left out of the picture? What proportion of WRPS members live in the Ranges?
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 10:14AM
Did this John consult with the members of his organisaiton? Can someone who belongs to WRPS let us know please
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 10:29AM
Hope someone from the council is reading this, so they can see what a phony these submissions are!
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 10:33AM
If our Local Board members belong to WRPS then they must agree with the submission of Edgar - no? Or were the members not asked? Interesting
Comment by Jessie (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 10:35AM
Did John Edgar consult with members before submitting WRPS submission to the Unitary Plan?
Answer, "no". Are members allowed to view other submissions that have been made in their name prior to public access to those submissions? Answer, "no".
Comment by Tarka (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 10:41AM
If this level of bullying and secret society style locking up of the ranges by a small group of Labour Green types is anything to go by out West then I hate to think how the country would be run if they get into power in Aeptember!!! Isn't that local board guy Greg Presland a member of Titirangi ratepayers and the local board and also a member of WRPS and wasn't he the guy that set up those trusts that backfired so badly on Dave Cunliffe? And wasn't Saffron Toms whose also on the local board a former Green Party MP candidate and paid coordinator of WRPS but still a member? Presland is on the combined ratepayers as well isn't he. I'm not voting NAct but certainly not going to vote to out these in power on a national level is this is what happens on a Waitaks level!
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 14:47PM
Not one of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board members declare membership of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society on their latest Agenda 'Declaration of Interest'
Comment by Moomin Mama (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 16:26PM
Hey Bobbie/Editor. The local board members are all still members of the WRPS but may well have stepped down from the WRPS Executive Committee or Board.
Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 18:36PM
This group have made submissions which have personally affected us in a way that has cost us thousands. We were not told of a change they made to the district plan although we were one of only a dozen people in the area who were affected. We were not told of what they had done until it was too late to try to stop what they were doing.
Comment by Guest (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 20:12PM
WRPS objected to the Piha Café without consulting either the membership OR THE CURRENT COMMITTEE AT THE TIME.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 24Jul14 20:32PM
And the cost to the community was......$$$$$ What a waste, imagine if they had put that money to possum eradication.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 25Jul14 10:55AM
Denise Yates, Deputy Chair, advises that she and Sandra Coney, the Chair, do NOT belong to WRPS. Denise says she used to be a member and on the committee but that is no longer the case. I have asked the other members of the Board.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 25Jul14 16:50PM
That's a new development.
Comment by Anonymous at: 25Jul14 17:50PM
May be some one should ask Phil Parks about his battle with Edgar over the rebuilding of the Karekare Surf Club building. Edgar used WRPS as a vehicle for his own agenda. Maybe someone should take a closer look at his own driveway where he has completely wrecked a pristine stream with an ugly concrete culvert!!!!! Talk about hypocrite!
Comment by XGreen (Not Verified) at: 25Jul14 19:02PM
I used to be a supporter till I saw how they operate up close. They take genuine pleasure in destroying people and costing them hard money. Certain parties have been known to remove Kauri when it blocks their light. The rules they put in place are only to be obeyed by is proles. Kommissar Culvert and the politburo are exempt. Right. I'm off to hug a tree then by a beer for a mate at the rah. Love the environment AND our people.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 25Jul14 19:18PM
Labour election fundraiser, Auction Catalogue - reads like a who's who of WRPS. I count 4. No wonder people are being kept sweet. $$$ - Politics
Comment by Sandy (Not Verified) at: 25Jul14 21:05PM
12/06/2008 From Western leader
A new $50,000 sculpture is in place next to the Waitakere City Council's Henderson-based civic centre.

The 3.2 tonne work was commissioned to complement an earlier work by its creator - Karekare resident John Edgar.

Both sculptures are made from the same material - grey-black basalt from South Canterbury and red sandstone from Rajasthan, India.

Council arts manager Naomi McCleary says the cost largely relates to the materials used and the price of transporting the piece.

She says the artwork is part of a nearby development being carried out by Waitakere Properties - the council's development arm.

Waitakere Properties contributed $15,000 towards the cost.
Comment by Zygotesall (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 1:35AM
How come Edgar has his culvert and builds on a protected ridge and holds dangerous chemicals on his property and chops speah fauna and gets away with it? What a crock.
Comment by Sweet as (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 9:07AM
AS above, Edgar household (and others from wrps) makes generous art donations to labour auction (mayor is head of labour party - now local board member is), council then purchases another of his artwork for $50k for front door. Voila. Another kind political donation from the council coffers. Wheels greased, thanks for your help, proceed straight to the green stamp for all your consenting needs.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 14:32PM
Neil Henderson and Steve Tollestrup both advise they are NOT members of WRPS. Still waiting for Saffron Toms and Greg Presland to reply
Comment by Far Out (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 14:43PM
From Facebook. Subject Annual Plan 2011: Waitakere Ranges Local Board Mels Barton says she submitted for the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association about weeds, LAPs and plan changes, tree protection, Kauri Die Bark disease, EcoMatters Environment Trust, visitor management strategy and much more
Comment by NOTawhalefanbut (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 14:49PM
Not a Whale Oil fan but this is an alarming development. We can't have these people empowered by their Wellington Overlords to tax us all for living!
Comment by Joey Publicano (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 14:55PM
Bobbie it hardly matters if they are still officially members of WRPS or not. Just because they may not have been on their books for a few moths doesn't change the fact that they have been involved with it for years at committee and employee level. They are all longstanding miners of each others networks. There is no Local Board, R&Rs, Combined Group, environmental trust like weed free; but there is their network. The same group of people flitter between the various letterheads for pure purposes of window dressing. It's the network that counts and they are all members of it.
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 15:57PM
Objections are being received from Swanson Protection Society Member,Ms. J.B., who is also a trustee on Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and on the Combined. (Nothing like multiple submissions under multiple trusts) There are to be 36 Objections from Swanson in total. Lawyers have been in contact with Oratia R&R and we have been told not to publish the objection documents with the names as they may breach privacy even though they are public documents with all the names and addresses on them? I have asked for the URL for where the objections reside on the Council Sites so we can provide a link. The objections are drafted by professional planners. So much for peoples democracy.
Comment by Harbinger (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 17:20PM
Thanks Penny. Jean Berry is indeed a [edit] following her given orders from WRPS Headquarters.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 26Jul14 19:21PM
The objections link is published above. We live in a supposedly open democracy and all should be able to read them.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 27Jul14 11:22AM
Saffron Toms is not sure if she is still a member of WRPS or not. She suggested I check with Sandra Coney, Chair WRLB, as there is a very small chance she has renewed her membership.
Comment by Thingummy Jig (Not Verified) at: 27Jul14 12:06PM
Hahaha. Saffron Toms the former coordinator for WRPS (it's only paid role) isn't sure whether or not she's a member of WRPS! Couldn't make it up!!!! No matter...more photos of her I'm a Che jacket with a loudhailer attached to her cakehole to follow! FYI she self styles herself as a geographer. This is disingenuous. She is a 'human geographer'. Human geography is fruit from the Marxism in education tree. Look it up and know what you're dealing with.
Comment by Janice (Not Verified) at: 27Jul14 12:09PM
Whoa. Now it begins to make sense. Marxist human geography!
Comment by Thing 2 (Not Verified) at: 27Jul14 12:29PM
Brilliant. All long time members and fleeing like rats from the collectively owned marxist sinking ship.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 27Jul14 21:27PM
Why didn't WRPS object to Arnold Turners submission 'Remove the SEA overlay from 44 and 46 Whatipu Rd, and all other subdivided sections in the Little Huia Valley.'?
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 27Jul14 21:50PM
or his mates in the Piha Residents and Ratepayers 'Revise the amount of vegetation clearance allowed on properties within a SEA area in Piha'?
Comment by Cybergirl (Not Verified) at: 28Jul14 6:53AM
Editor. Perhaps a good question to ask the local board, the combined ratepayers, WRPS and the local R&Rs that are involved with them is whether or not they can confirm or deny the existence of email threads and audio recordings clearly demonstrating collusion throughout this process and the selection of their targets. If this is denied then they could be asked to provide a guarantee that they will resign en masse should these emails and audio recordings are produced for third party scrutiny. Time to clean house.
Comment by Thing 2 (Not Verified) at: 28Jul14 9:57AM
Asking them anything would be futile. They deny they are members of the organisation (even though they've been members for over a decade (Denise), worked in strategic role for organisation as paid employee, Saffron) and their unelected running mate Christine Rose is now manning the controls. Slippery as an oily surfboard.
Comment by Kaurifico (Not Verified) at: 28Jul14 17:56PM
A huge amount of submissions doing the rounds are copy and pasted from the WRPS master cross submission. Collusion is absolutely demonstrated. Some of those emailed have some very interesting mail threads included by accident that make for interesting reading. Go on WRPS, Local Board, Combined and R&Rs. Deny deny deny. Please deny the collusion.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 28Jul14 18:19PM
Kaurifico, go you good thing, standing by for the next update.
Comment by Noreen (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 10:28AM
So the local board have had a brain fade on their membership of the WRPS and their former paid coordinator Saffron Toms who also can't remember assures us that if they were members it wouldn't be a conflict of interest. Well sister it is a clear conflict. I didn't vote for John Edgar I voted for you and I won't make that mistake again. I voted to have my interests protected not to have them undermined by your allies and very recent former employers. You people have turned another former advocate into an implacable opponent.
Comment by Werpsie (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 15:40PM
With the vitriol being heaped on WRPS above, glad I'm just a supporter, not a member. WRPS has done great service over many years to protect the environment out here and I'm grateful for it.
And as far as I can see, four local board members are definitely not members and two have yet to confirm one way or another. So all this bull about conflict of interest is just that...bull.
Comment by AnonAnonAnon (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 16:57PM
Agree the vast majority of the WRPS volunteers are genuine and do good work and have genuine love and concern for the Ranges,as do most people who live out this way. But there are some concerns with some aspects of the group
Comment by Aquarius (Not Verified) at: 29Jul14 16:59PM
What is bull is unelected interests waging war on individual people for the crime of having either a different opinion or a different solution. What is bull is the same people flitting between nominally different organisations to give the impression that they represent the community when they are only pushing their view. What is bull is the death of local democracy on favour of, well I don't even have a word for it! I voted for ase on the local board to protect my position as a local but not to lock me down because of ideology.
Comment by Werpsie (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 1:12AM
Aquarius. Every body knew these people, their opinions, their associations. Perhaps that's why people voted for them, who knows. The point is, they were elected, your mates weren't. So its you and your pals who are the "unelected"
Comment by Aquarius (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 7:13AM
I actually voted for Greg Presland and Neil Henderson as I like Neil personally and Greg had done some legal work for a friend of mine that really helped in their life at the time. Again you are just right off target. Just because a person can recognise a bad locked situation among their own or is centre left but not hard left doesn't make them a right winger. It just means they apply one standard of conduct. We can see where your loyalties lie. Blind tribal loyalty can lead you down a blind alley and serves no one in our community. I won't be voting for Greg again though but may give Neil another tick as I like his GMO stance.
Comment by Stopthemadness (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 10:26AM
How would people know the politicians interests? Mels Barton and Neil Henderson's partner, Melanie Tuscia, owned and edited a newspaper "The Glen Eden Guardian" to spin the politicians rhetoric and declare their good deeds under the guise of independent media, including articles about WRPS which was in full swing at the last election. Thank goodness for this blog and a genuine independent media.
Comment by Aquarius (Not Verified) at: 30Jul14 11:11AM
Thanks. Didn't know that about Neil and agree with you that this forum is welcome for the reasons that you say. I still like Neil but if he is part and parcel of the Mels Barton WRPS axis then he won't get my vote again after all.
Comment by shhhh (Not Verified) at: 31Jul14 12:22PM
Mels is also Trustee on Neil's Weedfree Trust.
Comment by Shakin Stevens (Not Verified) at: 31Jul14 13:11PM
Would that be the same trust that the local board awarded money to? The same trust that Neil Henderson and Denise are involved with? Did they vote to award their own trust local board money? Mmmmmmm.
Comment by shhhh (Not Verified) at: 31Jul14 13:40PM
Yip Yip Yip Yip.
Comment by keepitreal (Not Verified) at: 06Aug14 19:04PM
just seen this thread. you are all so right. the tangle of this web is incredible and there is so much back scratching and bed sharing going on I wonder why they don't just come out and start a commune. FYI John Edgar produced a sculpture for a garden in London paid for by the govt. Of course he had to go over for the opening. Well you just have to be there don't you! (especially if the govt pays!)Coincidence the opening coincided with the Olympic Games. Bet the air fares and accommodation were a bargain.
Comment by Farmer Jack (Not Verified) at: 07Aug14 9:37AM
There will be troughing opportunities aplenty for Silent John. I wonder who will get the public art commission for the LB's Glen Eden tart up? Oink oink oink.
Comment by Miranda K (Not Verified) at: 17Aug14 13:24PM
I've been abused by John Edgar's supporters in the past and know from personal experience how they and him are connected to this West Auckland closed group. They are a predatorial cancer on the community that I love. Keep up the good work in exposing them as they only care about themselves and their personal agendas.

Wild Westie - The Incredible life of Bob Harvey

Sir Bob Harvey's colourful and varied life sums up the classic 'give it a go' Kiwi attitude. A legend of the eighties' advertising world, influential political strategist, former president of the Labour Party, outspoken environmentalist, long-serving mayor of Waitakere City and daring adventurer, Sir Bob has overseen and made New Zealand history.

In this revealing biography of the self-proclaimed 'Wild Westie', journalist Hazel Phillips shares the social, political and personal events that have shaped Sir Bob's remarkable life, as well as fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from a man never far from the epicentre of New Zealand government.

Stan Walker's new release for Maori Language Week in Piha

The phone goes on a Saturday afternoon from the producer of this film.  The 'grandmother' hadn't shown up and would I like to be an extra in the film?   Hello !  Would I what?

What a neat production crew and 'extras'.  We had so much fun and I've made a new friend or two.  

Public Meeting @ Piha SLSC 3rd August - building extension
A Public Meeting is to be held at the surf club will be on Sunday August 3rd,starting at 2pm.

At the meeting Peter Brown and Brent Hulena will present the clubs Project 80Building Extensions (reasons for it, drawings, planning, etc) followed byquestion time.  Brent Hulena,who is has a property at Piha, is coming to the meeting so that he can presentthe concept design drawings he created for the club.   

At the Piha Surf LifeSaving Club Annual General Meeting on Sunday 20th July, Club Members voted toproceed with detailed planning and approvals for a Project 80 extension of theclub house. 

The objective of the extension includes:-
  • Extend the front of club house to the west so that the South Piha car park, dunes and beach/water line from mid to high tide can be seen from the Life Guard Operations Room.
  • Raise the height of the Life Guard Operations Room to restores views of the beach over the sand dunes as they have grown in height since the Project 60 rebuild of the clubhouse 20 years ago.
  • Improve emergency response times of the after-hours IRB by the provision of a dedicated Emergency Rescue Boat Garage at the front of the club, directly in line with the beach access ramp.
  • Provide new access to the Medical Room for quad bikes and ambulances from the main driveway so patients can be quickly transferred into and out of the Medial Room out of view of people on the upstairs Iron Sands Lounge deck.
  • Softening the front of the club to blend more in with the Piha landscape, not be so imposing and where practical comply with the Piha Coastal Village concept.
An extension of the club house was not possible in the past as it was a full capacity with resources.  The water supply was not sufficient and the waste water / sewage systems were at maximum capacity.  At the beginning of 2014 the club sorted the waste water / sewage issues by becoming connecting to the Auckland Council treatment plant in the Piha Domain.  The club hopes to have a deep water bore in place for the start of the patrolling season.

Election Priority Launch in Piha

On Sunday 27th, in Piha, the Greens are making their next election priority announcement and would love to welcome everyone  there.   
  1. Join Green Party  Co-leader Russel Norman at the Piha Surf Club to hear what we will be campaigning for this election.

  2. Where: Piha Surf Club, 23 Marine Parade South, Piha,
    When: 10 am, Sunday, 27.July

Thinking outside the square to keep it inside the square

Signs for Rural Roads. Less clutter, clearer message

" Waiheke is trialing a sign campaign that is specifically aimed at winding rural roads that are shared with multiple users.  Yeah.  Just like ours. . . . 

. . .  What I like about the AT ones is that it tells the story in a single sign and it tells a story about where you are ?  it?s a rural road, it winds and is shared by multiple users who will be walking or biking or horse riding on the road.  We could even add school buses." 

Great article from an Oratia Blogger . . . Read the whole article HERE
23/7/14  The Big Winter Humdinger! @ Piha Surf Club

Dance off those winter blues with a humdinger of a night at Piha Surf Club on Saturday August 2nd!  We're doing it 70's styles......

Juice on the Loose - one of the North Islands most legendary Blues Rock, Boogie & Funk live music acts will rock the club and get you moving al...
l night long  and its 70's dress fashionistas essential! Wear those flares baby!

The Surf Club is open for meals and bar snacks for the evening thanks to the fabulous Kate from 5.30pm and full bar open,one night only.

This is EXACTLY what we all need to shake off those winter blues - and the countdown to spring is on. Lets celebrate the return of the light and come together for a right ol Humdinger!

Pre sale tickets are only $15 available at The Piha Store $20 on the door on the night.
Toitoi Music for more information

19/7/14  What's the plan with your rates money ?

We are being asked to give feedback on our Local Board's 3 Year Plan.   This includes their Operating and Capital Expenditure.

I've been looking at these figures comparing them to the Whau & Henderson/Massey Local Boards.

The Local Boards do include a disclaimer  " the budget is indicative only. It does not contain all of the detailed projects or activities that the local board may carry out over the next three years. These will be developed as part of the local board agreement that is part of the council's annual plan for each financial year."

However, the figures presented to us are all we have to work with at the moment . . .   so I'm going to do some maths with them and give some comparisons with you along the way . . . 

I am looking at Operating Costs budget:

So let's start with the  'Total Local Governance"  The % is of the total budget

Whau Local Board      $4,210,000.00      8.84%
Waitakere                      $4.090,000.00      9.5%
Hendo/Massey            $4,324,000.00      4.4%   

Planning has started for Ultra Marathon 'The Hillary' #2

On the 28th of March this year we saw the first ever ultra marathon  'The Hillary' come through Piha.   

Planning as already started for the 2nd ultra marathon planned for 14th of March 2014.   Have a look at this fabulous video of the 2014 The Hillary HERE

 18/7/14  Local Board information meeting poorly attended

left:  Our Local Board.

What a shocking turn up last Saturday to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board's information presentation on their Draft 3 Year Plan at Barnett Hall.

Such a shame as Glenn Boyd, left in the photo,  gave an excellent presentation and there were some good questions asked at the end.    I dropped some of the printed information into the Library and Cafe if you want one.

So why didn't you attend?  Can't be bothered ?   Don't think you can effect it ?  Forgot?  Overseas ?  Attended another one?
Comment by berend westera (Not Verified) at: 18Jul14 8:55AM
Received the meeting notice in my letter box 1pm Saturday of the meeting date. Too late to act.
Would have been there otherwise
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 18Jul14 10:19AM
Our Local Board has only today put the 'West workshop' on Community Grants consultation, which is happening in 5 (FIVE) days, on Facebook. If you're not on Facebook, like you, how would you know? The answer: read Village Voice. I had it published already !
Comment by Nikki (Not Verified) at: 09Aug14 11:28AM
That's the idea though. They don't actually want real community feedback or consultation. Just the appearance of it. They know what they want and that is what we get.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 19Aug14 22:58PM

17/7/14 Triple Hillary

Imagine running the Hillary not once, not twice but three times.  That is what 'Mr Lactic Turkey' Shaun Collins is doing on Labour Weekend.  

Says Shaun "......It's time to put a stake in the ground and book a date for my attempt of the Triple Hillary!  I plan to do the triple on Labour weekend and am looking for people to run with me to provide company, safety, fun etc.

Why?  I hear you scream.  Cause it's there...   but seriously,  because I have always said I would,  to provide...  a challenge/goal so I have to train, to be the first (it would mean I had the Hillary Trail trifecta - a single, double and triple!), to run the furthest I've ever run, to run over 200km - how many more reasons do you need!

Feel like keeping him company for part of his Hillary  trifecta?  Leave a message (comment) here for him.  
Is that a surf board ?

No, it's a skateboard!    

Just thought I'd mention that, like most others, I've heard that a Piha Group is about to request a skateboard bowl or ram'  for the people of Piha, Karekare and Anawhata from our Local Board.

I've done some research only to find that it's harder to find a better lead up to surfing than skateboarding.   Wow !   Good luck with your request. 

Have we lost respect for the 'experts' ?   

"We have lost respect for "experts" those who have knowledge and/or experience in a particular field - and have replaced it with a kind of  "expertise egalitarianism"  whereby everyone's opinion is given equal weight.   But it is not only that the layperson's opinions are given equal weight, experts increasingly face outright hostility.  

Laypeople attack experts as being arrogant, elitist, and imposing, if not outright threatening, often because the expert insists he or she knows something the other does not.  Even more ridiculous, rather than being viewed as helpful or even essential, expertise is viewed as harmful or even antithetical to community participation. "

But to be clear, the author is not arguing for technocratic rule. He simply believes that community input has reached a point where laypeople with only anecdotal evidence are given equal weight

Nothing could be more true in relation to the Jim Dahn report on the Management of Piha Beach.  All of a sudden, after the draft report came out,  every man and his lunatic dog or should I say every lunatic man and his dog is an expert on coastal processes.    

Jim Dahm is one of New Zealand's coastal system experts and was contracted to consult and write a report on the management of Piha Beach a few years ago now by Council

Since then there has been so much 'input' from non-experts that we are still awaiting  for our Local Board to adopt it.   

It has been suggested, with some gusto, that the dunes of Piha Beach are responsible for the loss of  the 'bar' some 20 years ago.   No matter that the native spinifex and paingo planting started in 2002 - 12 years ago.

Now I read in the latest Piha News  'The Piha Bar is back".   A local is quoted as saying the bar hasn't been this good since the late 80's early 90's.   So let me ask again  "How could dunes planted from 2002 onward affect the bar back in the 90's?    The answer  'they don't'.   

What affects the 'bar' is the absolutely massive 'slug' of sand moving up the west coast and other coastal changes of nature.   It's this 'slug'  that is causing headaches for Karekare's SLSC and turning our Lagoon into an inland water catchment where more and more often  the ocean can't access it.  In our lifetime Lion Rock will [be an island! Edit - correction]  be a part of the mainland and we'll be able to walk the whole way around. 

The ocean is one of the strongest forces on our planet.  It will cut through anything in it's way.  All we, the people, can do is to care for the ecosystems of our coastline and try to protect our homes and roads in the best way we can during this 'accretion stage' of our coast.    One of the ways we can do this is to ensure the natural vegetation on our coastlines is healthy.    God help us all if we don't. 

The one good thing that has come out of these years of drawn out consultations and dialogue back and forth and back and forth and back and forth is that so many surfers, home owners and others, including myself,  are learning more about the ever changing ways of all coastlines and that we as humans have minimal, if any, effect in the overall picture.   

Jim Dahm is a part of the Dunes Trust of NZ:  The Dunes Trust won the  'Protecting our oceans and coasts' category which recognises those who have demonstrated innovation and initiative in protecting, restoring or enhancing marine or coastal ecosystems.   This is a government Ministry for the Environment Award.  It's not like winning a raffle if you get my meaning !

Read a story here from late 2010 about the trouble some of these changes are causing Karekere  "KareKare Surf Club clubhouse director Phil Parks 
Comment by Phil Parks (Not Verified) at: 18Jul14 9:15AM
I could not agree more. A prime example of this process out of control is the building of the new toilet block at Karekare Beach. Two toilets took 8 years and cost us ratepayers $875,000 and then they worked properly only some of the time resulting in another $55,000 being spent last year.
During the public consultation the whole project was hijacked by some whackos who were given so much air time it was unbelievable. The Karekare community is suffering the same over getting a decent access to the surf club and also for the general public to access the beach. I feel we charge the council to come up with effective and sustainable solutions to problems that occur within their jurisdiction and they should employ the expertise to carry out the work. Public consultation is fine to a point but at some stage someone has to standup and make a decision and then take responsibility for that decision.

Regular Community Happenings

13/7/14 If you don't say you probably won't get

So you want the Piha Domain upgraded and, I hear, a skateboard and cycle facility ???   If you don't say you probably won't get.  MAKE A SUBMISSIOM

Community Grants Policy 

The policy will guide the allocation of council funding to groups and organisations involved in the delivery of projects, activities and services that benefit Aucklanders.  It covers grants for arts and culture, community development, environment and heritage, events, and sports and recreation.

Chair of the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee, says the new policy will make it easier for local boards to support community initiatives that align with local priorities, and ensure regional grants go towards delivering the outcomes of the Auckland Plan.

"We are seeking your feedback to help us ensure the community grants programme is simpler, fairer and more accessible to applicants," he says.

Once the policy is adopted, the new programme will replace all existing community funding schemes. Have your say on the Community Grants Policy before 5pm on Monday 11 August.

West Workshop Wednesday July 23, 1-3pm   The Waitakere Community Resource Centre, 8 Ratanui Street, Henderson

13/7/14 Ann Russell book launch at Piha

left:  The front cover of Ann's latest publication 'Little Truff Saves the Kereru'

The  launch is at the Piha Library on Sunday 27th July @ 2pm.  Everyone is invited.

"This is a delightful book, warm and inspiring, set in a rugged landscape on Auckland's west coast"

Sir Bob Harvey KNZM QSO

'This is a story that grips you as it unfolds, and has important ecological messages."

Sandra Coney QSO, Chair,Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Auckland Council

Great idea for Christmas present ???

13/7/14 Latest Exhibition at West Coast Gallery - Piha

left:  Creatures exhibition opened today at West Coast Gallery - Piha

Artists have explored the theme of "Creature" -  be it tiny, huge, real, mythical, scary, sweet, local or exotic.... using any material that suits. 

Well worth a look.  

11/7/14 Music video being filmed in Piha

 Māori Language Week will be celebrated from  21 -  27 July with the theme:

'Te Kupu o te Wiki' , The Word of the Week?

A music video featuring four Māori artists singing about Aotearoa is being filmed in Piha this weekend.  Giant letters are collected from around the country and brought to Piha, where they are assembled on the beach to spell out AOTEAROA.  The video will be released for Māori Language week.

Maybe your kiddies would like to watch this filming ?  This Saturday 12th 7am - 6pm at the very top of North Piha Beach.  Rain Day (ha ha) is Sunday 13th.

Maori Language Week on Human Rights Commission web HERE

Rural Aucklanders want more city money to be spent on their urgent road needs

"There is no end in sight to Auckland's bumpy and dusty rural metal roads, which are taking a back seat to big city projects like the $2.86 billion City Rail Link.

On current Auckland Transport (AT) figures, it will take more than 400 years to seal the region's 863km of metal roads, of which 78 per cent are in rural Rodney.

With nearly $900 million set aside for capital spending on transport this year - much of it on city roads and public transport - just $1.5 million is going to seal metal roads."  Bernard Orsman and Louis Houlebrooke.NZ Herald HERE

But Waitakere Ranges Local Board Chair Sandra Coney thinks:

"In West Auckland, many people wanted metal roads to places like Whatipu and Anawhata kept that way as a deterrent to keep hordes of people away, said Waitakere Local Board chairwoman Sandra Coney.

"There would be an outcry if we tried to seal some of them. It's a different ethic. It's part of going into a remote and wild place."

What do you think?
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 11Jul14 17:21PM
I can't agree with you Sandra Coney. The surfers, residents and tourists have a right to expect safe roads that won't guzzle gas and ruin tyres. We are not a 3rd world city. Don't be selfish. The Waitakere's need to be accessible to all and not just property owners.
Comment by Jo Quatermass (Not Verified) at: 12Jul14 10:00AM
In respect of the road to Whatipu Sandra Coney is correct in saying locals do not want any further sealing of Whatipu Road. This has been the position of the Huia-Cornwallis R&R for many many years, a position taken to retain the special wildnerness character of the area. We'd be happy to see the seal extended to the end of Cornwallis Road though for the benefit of residents. Jo Quatermass
Comment by phillip hunter (Not Verified) at: 12Jul14 10:58AM
surfers like the challange of secluded spots and gravel roads. they dont like over crowded waves where the masses from auckland have easy access and i can remember when the piha road was gravel and piha was not crowded i would not like to see the likes of Anawhata and Whatipu go the way Piha has. Keep the roads unsealed just as the residents want. I fully agree with the comments above quoted as by Sandra Coney we need some wild spots.

Local Board's Draft (3 year) Plan

This is the draft 'outcomes' our Waitakere Ranges Local Board would like for the nexty 3 years.  Do you agree?  Would you like something else?   Consultations tomorrow, Sat 12th, Barnett Hall @ 2pm
  • The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area is protected
    • Together with iwi and our communities, we act as stewards over the Waitākere Ranges.  We focus on protecting and enhancing the heritage features of the local board area.
  • Our unique natural environments are healthy and restored
    • Native biodiversity flourishes in our forests, coasts, streams and marine areas. An integrated approach is taken to the control of weeds and pests. Our kauri forests are protected from the threat of kauri dieback.
  • Arts and culture flourish, with Titirangi as the vibrant arts hub for the West
    • People enjoy local arts, events and cultural activities that are unique to our place. We build on the investment in Lopdell Precinct to benefit arts activities throughout the local board area.
  • Sustainable local economic activity is supported
    • Our urban business centres are active and successful. Home-based businesses in the Ranges are fostered. The historically rural nature of economic activities in the foothills continues.
  • Revitalised town centres and villages that support thriving communities
    • Our urban villages and town centres are people centred and attractive places for people to live and work. Glen Eden has a lively, prosperous and creative heart. We promote community well-being and people feeling connected with their communities.
  • Public transport, walking and cycling that are easy, safe and connected
    • The new electric trains and changes to the bus network make it easy for everyone to get around. Feeder buses for outer areas, green walkways and cycle ways link smoothly into the network. Our urban environments promote the use of public transport, walking and cycling.
I have already asked that where they say  "Our urban villages and town centres"  that they change it to  "Our urban and rural villages and town centres"

Comment by Country girl (Not Verified) at: 11Jul14 23:50PM
let's hope they get more intelligent responses than that on. They obviously mean rural = village; urban = town.
they actually have quite a good list there of what's important for out here.
Let's hop the policies they come up with are as good.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 12Jul14 0:09AM
I interpret it as town centres = Westgate types and urban village = Glen Eden or Titirangi.
I mentioned this at one meeting I went to and I was given the impression they were going to add 'rural villages' or at least clarify it but alas not yet. This term is used quite a bit in the document and I just think 'rural villages' should be included.
Comment by Also a country girl (Not Verified) at: 13Jul14 11:17AM
Agree with Bobbie. It specifically says "Our URBAN villages and town centres are people centred and attractive places" So Bobbie is right in asking for it to be corrected.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 13Jul14 17:17PM
Page 12, last paragraph, of the Local Board Plan DRAFT given out at the consultation in Piha yesterday says "You have told us the unique local character of our rural and coastal villages is important to you." This now creates more confusion as to what "Our urban villages and town centres" includes or not. Either the words 'and rural' or 'Coastal' needs to be added for clarification please.

I've heard a rumour - if it is true ???

I've heard a rumour there are a number of parents in Piha that are wanting a skateboard facility for the kiddies.

 If this is true then SUBMIT to the Local Board Plan above.  If that is what you want I'm happy to submit on the Plan for it  

11/7/14  Information not available yet

Tomorrow the Local Board is asking for 'comment' on the suggested solution to the stream erosion behind the West Coast Gallery and the noxious weeds in the Claude Abel Pond.

As many are not resident in Piha at present,  in Bali, Fiji, the city or wherever,  I asked Council for a copy of the proposed ideas and received this reply:

I am unable to find any reference to theseplans and as such have passed your contact details on to the local board torespond to you directly.  

Naku noa na | Regards

Name Removed
Written Communications Team

Auckland Council

Sorry folk 
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 12Jul14 18:18PM
Best to bring matters concerning the Local Board to the Local Board in the first instance. The consultation plan was on the agenda of the Local Board meeting on 10 July, so it is publicly available. It was adopted with the proviso that the Board may choose to do some additional consultation if it thinks it is desirable.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 13Jul14 1:16AM
I didn't see it on the Agenda Sandra. I now see it's been added as an Addendum. The motion reads: "Recommendation/s: That the Waitākere Ranges Local Board: a) Receives the attached communication and consultation plans for Glenesk Stream Erosion and Claude Abel Lily Pond." Problem is there is no 'attachment'???
I prefer to log a request with Council 3010101 and get a reference number to follow up with if necessary.

Coming to a town like yours

left: Click for a larger photo

Coming to a town like yours - very soon.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid

Comment by Clark Kent (Not Verified) at: 05Jul14 10:10AM
The one on the left looks a little familiar. Like Clark Kent was really Superman and had a cover as a reporter If I remember correctly.

Could this person live local and have a similar cover ?

Never find out I suppose , top secret and all that.

Bomb squad explode flare

A Navy phosphorus flare was found on Piha Beach this evening.  The police were called who in turn called the bomb squad.

It was identified as a Navy phosphorus flare.   Not knowing whether it was 'live' or not they could not transport it over the hill so decided to safely let it off, if live, at North Piha.
The squad carrying spades carefully took it down over the dunes to the beach.   I was kept back for my own safety.

Good thing they didn't take it over the hill - it was live as we all heard!

Thanks for the 'tip off' my friend - you know who you are  :-)

Have you seen?  Surfboard lost

I left my surfboard  by the car park at NorthPiha by the second stream.

It's an Aloha Magic Mushroom 5'10 surfboard with alightning bolt tail pad set up as a quad (the front fins are red and the rearare black.   

Someone with a blue Subaru and a large black dog with a pink collarapparently picked it up.

Many Thanks,   Tom Hanover   Email me HERE if you can help

1/7/14  Governance vs Management

The concept of governance versus management is one that often gets confused.   

The Waitakere Ranges, or any other, Local Board's purpose is governance.  They set the policies and strategies.  It is the Council's job to implement and manage the workings.

Board vs management

An effective company must ensure the relationship between the board and management is complimentary rather than adversarial. This is one of the most important relationships within a company, so make sure it is well managed

It's easy to get confused with the difference between governance and management. The board is in charge of governance of a company which seeks to ensure the smooth running of a business by making accountability and oversight the core of their workings. Governance also ensures that the business has a future-facing strategic plan.

This is where management comes in. They take the strategic plan and work to implement it into the day-to-day operations of the company.   
Read more HERE on Institute of Directors

Turning a good board into a great board, is no easy feat and depends on a whole host of issues to happen.

Some things which makes great boards:   Have a look @  Institute of Directors reference HERE
Comment by Far Out (Not Verified) at: 02Jul14 9:24AM
Good description of how it works elsewhere.
Comment by Bill Jenkins (Not Verified) at: 09Jul14 11:55AM
Sandra Coney had no concept of governance vs. management/operations when she was a Councillor (ask Karekare Surf Club about how she interfered with the design aspects of their new roof when they were getting planning approval to rebuild their clubhouse), so what makes anyone think this will be any different in the way she conducts herself in a local board role??
Comment by Frankly (Not Verified) at: 10Jul14 12:00PM
The separation of Ratepayer Groups, Council Officials, Elected Representatives and Procured Services provides checks and balances for a healthy honest system. And genuine diversity on all those boards would mean decision making & financial systems and accountability are checked and kept above board. Independent media is also key.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 11Jul14 10:40AM
Deputy Chair Denise Yates is on the Hui-Cornwallis Residents and Ratepayers Assn. Steve Tollestrup is on the Henderson Valley R&R and Greg Presland is on the Titirangi R&R.
Comment by Steve Tollestrup (Not Verified) at: 26Aug14 18:42PM
Just for the record, but I have resigned from the Henderson Valley Residence Association at the August AGM.

01/07/14 Piha Bowling Club - New Committee

The new Committee for the Piha Bowler 14/15 season is:  President: Jacqueline Neville,  Secretary: Julie Savage, Patron:  Shirley Atkinson and Committee:  Ross Duder,  Fiona Braithwaite,  Brad Lucas, Mary Binney, and Tony Scott.

01/07/14  Speed limits on Piha Road

'Walk Safe Piha', and others including Village Voice, has been advocating a reduction in speed limits on Piha Road for a very long time.  Looks like it might happen.  And a 'Welcome' to boot !

"Auckland Transport is consulting on proposed changes to the speed limits along Piha Rd from Anawhata Rd to Seaview Rd, Piha. The consultation period is from Monday 30 June until Monday 28 July 2014."

Below photos:  Existing . . .  proposed . . .  speed sign with 'Welcome' 


For more information and online submission on this Go to Auckland Transport HERE

I'd like one like this that says  "Welcome to Piha" first and then "Please drive carefully"

If Titirangi can have this why can't we ?

Comment by Jennifer Conlon (Not Verified) at: 01Jul14 19:04PM
Yay! Great news for Piha!
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 01Jul14 19:26PM
I like the Welcome on the Titirangi sign
Comment by long time listener (Not Verified) at: 02Jul14 9:01AM
I'm not so sure this is a good thing at all, a 70k speed limit from Anawhata road seems just nonsense..
Its a Limited speed zone (which means open road if safe) at the moment, why are we trying to change this? this will only add 10 minutes to a journey either way. Yes, Piha road can be dangerous which will never change (short of completely straightening the road)
Incidentally I have always found Piha Road is at its most dangerous just after it rains due to slime and organic matter from the overhanging foliage either dropping over the road or preventing any sun getting to the road surface year round...
I believe a better solution would be to cut the foliage right back, as well as improve signage and the passing bays.
Comment by Beach Go-er (Not Verified) at: 02Jul14 9:25AM
I agree with Long Time Listener. I think the 50km from Te AhuAhu is good. 70km from Lone Kauri would be great too as there are houses onwards from there, but 70 from Anawhata is ridiculous. It will not stop the accidents as the accidents are caused by people going over 100km, or by people who quite frankly can't drive to the conditions. I cannot believe that because a couple of people are vocal to council that they will change it without consulting the rest of a community. If you want to live like that you should move to a gated community in Albany.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 02Jul14 10:04AM
This is open for submission. Go to the link, under the three photos, and submit. Have your say !
Comment by Bill Jenkins (Not Verified) at: 09Jul14 12:01PM
Karekare residents have enough trouble even doing 50km/h without encouraging them to drive any slower!! This speed reduction is absurd, as in most parts of the road you can't even do 70km/h. New Zealand's road toll is the lowest it has ever been, and speed is only a contributor in a very small number of accidents. Look at other parts of the world where they have motorway/open road limits of 110-120km/h - calls from Police to lower speed limits invariably have to evidence to suggest that doing so will make any difference, or that the cause of accidents in a black spot is speed-related. Leave Piha Road exactly as it is; perhaps with a few less signs, and tell slow Karekare drivers to pull over!!
Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 12Jul14 10:19AM
Re, this possible new speed limit.
I drive this road a lot as well.I live in Oraita but bach at Piha.I went to piha the saturday after i got this notice in the mail,I am a reasonably fast driver in the right conditions.
I drove at the new proposed limits that morning and only a couple times got to 80km/h, this being 10km over limit,I found it a very acceptable new limit,I thought 50km from KareKare rd you be better than the 70km they say will start 300m up the road,as there now is a lot more foot traffic .
The real big problem is the visitors that drive at 50 to 60km all the way after leaving piha,passing slow bays and staying in middle of road even on the only straight parts,

Have you seen Jack?

left:  Terry Gray's beautiful dog,  Jack,  has been missing all day.

He is one of Piha's really beautiful dogs.   Terry and lots of people that know Jack  are very concerned as this is very out of character for Jack.

If you see him or have any information please message here or contact Terry directly.

Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 01Jul14 9:55AM
Jacks back !!!!! he rocked up at 6:30 am this morning Terry tells us.

Volunteers are activists

"Volunteers are activists and call their Local Board to account"  said Sandra Coney, Chair of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board (WRLB) , at a small function to acknowledge volunteers in the area held on Friday 27th of June.

The third week of June is 'Volunteer Week' when volunteers throughout New Zealand are acknowledged.

I was invited to this function and was pleased to accept.  I was very disappointed that there was no one from:  Piha SLSC,  United North Piha Surf Club,  Piha 1st Response, Piha Volunteer Fire Service,  Piha Community Library's Volunteers and any I've forgotten.    Were you invited? 

I knew why Piha CoastCare weren't there.  They are sick and tired of the treatment they are getting, as volunteers, from Council and it disgusts me too.  But let's not go there in this article. 

82% of the area within the WRLB is forest cover so it's not surprising that a lot of volunteers work in our environment. 

There were approximately 35 volunteers there and each was called out and given a plant as a gift.  "Lovely" I thought until I saw the plants.   I didn't recognise any of them so I asked where they were sourced from.  No one was sure but they thought probably Oratia Natives.  

I don't  recognise all coastal natives so did some investigation.  I first went to Geoff McCauley, in Piha, known as one of NZ's gurus on natives.  He identified the one I got, in the photo above,  as a hybrid and no he did not supply them.    My next investigation was at Oratia Native.   No they didn't supply them either

So here I am, a volunteer behaving like an activist:   Who supplied these plants and why are hybrids gifted to be planted in a Significant Ecological Area?
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 11Jul14 22:27PM
Sandra Coney, Chair of the Local Board, is replacing the hybrid I was given. We've had correspondence regarding hybrids in the Heritage Area.

30/6/14  Did they learn nothing ?

A woman, with severe mental health problems and a history of making threats, escapes a care facility.  Police are called THREE times and faxed by staff at the facility.   The woman murders.

A staff member of the facility was asked  at the inquest: 

"whether a DHB duty authorized officer should have been sent to Morris' home,  given the threats she had made,  or whether it would have helped, the staff member answered: "I honestly do not know".  
[NZ Herald]

The Coroner on this case is the same Coroner that sat in the case of Iraena Asher and later taken to the High Court to have Ryan's findings quashed.  

"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. 
[NZ Herald]

I wish to say this:  If any member of the public, whether at work or home, calls the police 3 times it is the job of the police to respond.  No one else's responsibility.   To suggest if someone else took some action is pure speculation and taking the responsibility away from where it belongs.  With the POLICE.

When is Coroner Peter Ryan going to get this and why is he still sitting on the bench ?

Comment by long time Listener (Not Verified) at: 30Jun14 19:37PM
Perhaps better questions are, why was an obviously demented and highly unstable person allowed an unsupervised "cigarette break" in the first place...
And second why did Police not use the crystal balls they are given to locate this lady, when they arrived in the area to look for her (yes, I read that they did actually turn up)
Someone must be to blame..! its not like she was unpredictable.
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Aug14 23:18PM
Coroner Ryan is one of the best in the country. Just because you didn't get your way with a certain case, isn't a reason to target him.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 02Aug14 22:00PM
Did you not read that his comments were all overturned in the High Court? Suggest you do. Oh also the Coroners Act is up for review.

Piha Community Library working bee

It may be called the Piha Community Library but it services Karekare and Anawhata communities as well and now has 1000+ members.

This kind of operation takes considerable work we'd all agree and some of that work is hard slogger.  Like painting walls and ceilings, cleaning windows and shelves etc.   So I hope they had a good turnout today.   Wish I had been able to spend more time there .  .  .   I did get a few photos.

Photos from left:  Dan delivering a ladder.  Glenda Northey, Chair of the Library Trust, showing her painting skills and lastly the windows being cleaned.  Notice the volunteer on the chair has a crutch.  Don't tell OSH !


Tsunami Evacuation Maps

I don't think the likelihood of a tsunami is great on Auckland's West Coast BUT you never know.

A lot of us let friends or family use our holiday homes and others rent theirs out so I thought I'd publish these 'tsunami evacuation maps' so you can print them and put them somewhere where guests and friends can see them.   

28/6/14  Two accidents, same morning, Scenic Drive.  

Last night 6 of us celebrated a birthday at The Refreshment Room.   We had a great time and the food was yummy.

But when it's time to leave my anxiety level sky-rockets.   Scenic Drive gives me the spooks between Titirangi and Elevation Cafe.   The 6 of us are friends from decades ago and if any one of us were badly injured, or worse, killed in an accident the other 5 would be devastated.

So news of two accidents on Scenic Drive this morning is of little surprise - 

Two French tourists veered off the road at 10.30am and ended up several metres down a bank outside Elevation Café, which looks out over west Auckland from the Waitakere Ranges.

"Crashes happen here all the time," said Dominique Church, who works at the cafe.

"Tourists really need to slow down," said café manager Cush Penfold. "They'd only been here three days. They don't know the roads."

One kilometre west of the scene, a woman drove her silver Toyota Spacio car off a steep cliff at an unmarked lookout on a tight bend west of Parkinson Lookout at about 9am.

The vehicle had a "soft landing" 50m down in dense bush

Read the whole article in the NZ Herald HERE

24/6/14  Helping Henderson move forward

"Mayor Len Brown says he will meet with the business community this week and will also call a youth summit to give young people the opportunity to be heard, which will be organised with youth leaders across West Auckland."

  EmmyKate Jewellery - Made in Piha

Everything is handmade in Piha with a new range of sterling silver pieces.    Make sure you have a look!   For those Piha/KareKare people who are able to collect their purchase,  (I live on Sylvan Glade, Piha)  I will give you your packaging and mailing fee back in cash! 

 We are invited to 'comment' on proposals 

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board has plans for halting erosion on Piha Stream behind our West Coast Gallery and the Education wetlands project, left,  and would like us to hear about them.  We are invited to comment.


We will also have an opportunito to learn about options for removal of the invasive waterlilies on Claude Abel Pond, Garden Road

Place: Old Schoolhouse (behind Art Gallery)  12th July midday to 2pm

Comment by Pat (Not Verified) at: 25Jun14 15:03PM
Hi Bobbie. Could you please clarify. June 12 has passed so I presume you mean July 12. Will both the Claude Abel lilies and the Art Gallery stream erosion be discussed in the Schoolhouse at midday?
Comment by sandra coney (Not Verified) at: 25Jun14 21:00PM
Pat, The Local Board has had advice on preventing further erosion, and has a particular option it favours. This is being put to the community for information and feedback. For the Lily Pond issue there are a number of options and the board has yet to have a preferred one, though it may by 12 July. It is putting all the options out so people can express their preferences. The Open Day is not a meeting, but will have displays, staff to answer questions and forms that people can fill in or take away and send back. The LB knows there will be a lot of community interest in what to do next, and wants to give people a chance to say what they think.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 25Jun14 21:49PM
Sorry - JULY 12th. I've corrected it.
Comment by Pat (Not Verified) at: 27Jun14 16:14PM
I'm still somewhat confused. Are there two Local Board events on July 12, one in the Schoolhouse at midday and another in Barnett Hall at 2pm? Are the events related? Clear notification from the Board would be appreciated.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 28Jun14 0:20AM
Yes Pat you are right. Two meetings. First at midday at the Old School House and that is about the erosion behind the Art Gallery plus the invasive water lilies on Claude Abel Pond, Garden Road. We are invited to 'comment' on these two issues.
The 2nd one is at 2:0pm - 3pm at Barnett Hall and that is the Local Board Plan 'consultation.
Personally I find it a shame all this consultation goes on in July while so many people are away AND three issues on one day.
I've tried to make it a little clearer in 'What's Happening'

What are they doing here ?

left: Two new picnic tables left of the Eel Bridge on the Piha Domain.

There needs to be a decent reason why these picnic tables are hidden right down near the Bowling Club with no view of the Lagoon,  Lion Rock or the Beach.   What was wrong with them going to the right of the Eel Bridge where the other one was ?   Duh !
Comment by sandra coney (Not Verified) at: 24Jun14 19:14PM
This position for the picnic tables was shown on the Concept Plan the Local Board consulted on in the last term. There are good reasons for this location, not the least there will be shade from the pohutukawas and it isn't amongst the main car parking area, with vehicle movements. Also the Domain management plan states not to put obstructions in the way of the view to Lion Rock.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 25Jun14 12:00PM
A picnic table is hardly an obstruction. Surely 2 picnic tables take priority over cars? The Domain Management Plan, had it been followed, would not have allowed the road to be sealed or any more trees planted either.
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 25Jun14 21:05PM
The car issue is about the safety of small children (part of families picnicking) playing around in what is essentially a carpark, with cars backing out and so on.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 26Jun14 13:19PM
The domain is a carpark. When did that change?
Comment by Anonymous at: 26Jun14 19:35PM
Why are they digging the concrete, around the table setting, up again?
Comment by Guest (Not Verified) at: 27Jun14 0:23AM
The concrete, around one of the new outdoor tables in the domain, is been dug up and re poured. I've been told that someone at council thought the surface was a bit pitted......Talk about our rates working for us!
Comment by Good (Not Verified) at: 30Jun14 19:57PM
Sandra, If you are going to state that there are good reasons for putting them where they are can you at least list one of them?

24/6/14 Have we got it right ?

From the Waitakere Ranges Local Board    "We invite you to come along to one of our community meetings to hear our proposals in the Waitākere Ranges draft Local Board Plan. You can read our draft plan at"   You can attend any or all of these meetings.

  • Tuesday 8 July 2014, 6pm-7.30pm, LopdellHouse (Seminar Room), 418 Titirangi Road
  • Saturday 12 July 2014, 2pm-3.30pm, BarnettHall, 2 North Piha Road, Piha
  • Monday 14 July 2014, 6pm-7.30pm, WaitakereRanges Local Board office, 39 Glenmall Place, Glen Eden
  • Tuesday 15 July 2014, 6.30pm-8pm, HuiaHall, 1253 Huia Road
  • Thursday 17 July 2014, 6pm-7.30pm, WaitākereHall, 37 Township Road, Waitākere
Unfortunately the Draft Local Board Plans will not be online until the 7th of July.   I shall post a link when they are available. 

Piha ranks 4th on rescues

Piha ranked fourth behind Hotwater Beach, Whangamata & Mount Manganui, in number of rescues last season.

Piha performed 53 behind Hotwater Beach's 101, Whangamata's 56 and Mount Mananui's 54.   After Piha is Raglan 47, Muriwai 41, Sumner 40, Riversdale 35, Orewa 34 and Opunake at 28. 

Surf Life Saving statistics show nationwide rescue numbers have decreased by 37 percent on last season.

Surf lifeguards have spent 213,975 hours patrolling around 80 beaches since Labour Weekend 2013, rescuing 1,029 people, which is down on last year's total of 1,649 and more level with the 2011/12 season total of 1,088.

Lifeguards have also conducted a total of 1,715 first aid treatments, down 13.5 percent on last season's total of 1,983. The number of searches undertaken also decreased from 360 last season to 264.   Read the whole article HERE

Project Manager  -  Keep Auckland Beautiful Trust- New Lynn Auckland

Job Description

A new and exciting position has been created for a passionate person, who cares about their environment: to be involved in implementing an Auckland Regional Litter Project - Be a Tidy Kiwi.

The successful candidate will have a familiarity with the value of evidenced based programme delivery and strong skills in objective assessment practices, with an insight into the value of litter prevention processes and understanding the principles for sustainable clean and liveable public places.

They will have an ability to communicate/network with key stakeholders, and council departments, and to engage the community/council into integrated approaches in the prevention of litter.

Understanding of the Litter Act 1979; illegal dumping and the waste management industry, in general would be of assistance, along with the ability to provide high standard of customer service, and to work unsupervised/effectively in a predominately field team environment.

Highly developed interpersonal skills, written and verbal communication expertise for effectively dealing with all stakeholders are essential requirements for this position.

Familiarity with the geography of the Auckland Region, and an understanding of how Non-Government Organisations operate would be an advantage.

You must be the holder of a clean full driver's license.

How to Apply  Please send CV in the first instance to  Closing date 11th July 2014 4pm.

See online HERE

20/6/14   How our Gardens Grow - Free Workshops

It's a long way but you could always car share - it's during school hours

"If you want to learn about edible gardening, the Auckland Botanic Gardens is the place to start.

How our Gardens Grow is a free five-week series suitable for anyone interested in Join our staff experts as well as guest presenters for workshops and presentations on a range of topics including creating worm farms for home gardens, preparing for spring seed sowing, the benefits of bees, composting tips and growing food for your health.

Workshops will run every Wednesday morning for five weeks - with two sessions for each topic, starting at 10am and 11am.  Come to one, or come to all - no fees and no bookings necessary.growing sustainable and organic food at home."

Wednesday 18 and 25 June, sessions start at 10am and 11am
Wednesday 2, 9 and 16 July, sessions start at 10am and 11am

Auckland Botanic Gardens, 102 Road, Manurewa

Presentation on Local Board Plan & Open Day on Piha Stream erosion

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board will be presenting its draft 3-year Local Board Plan.  This is an opportunity to ask questions preparatory to making a submission.

The Local Board will be receiving written submissions and holding hearings so this is a chance to be informed about what is proposed.

At the same time the Local Board will be presenting its plans to address the erosion on Piha Stream by the West Coast Gallery.  The plans will be on display at the Gallery or the old  Piha School.   Come and see what is proposed. 

Venue Barnett Hall  Time 2pm, Saturday 12 July

Piha Cafe license extended

The Piha Cafe has successfully applied for it's trading hours to extend to 10pm 7 days a week.   To compliment this their liquor license has also been extended to 10pm so evening diners may have a beer or wine with their dinner. 

   The Piha Cafe supports 'nominated drivers' as part of it's Host Responsibility policy.  

Update on Piha Domain works

A huge hole has been made for the underground water tanks and the foundations are laid for the new garage - tall enough to fit a large ambulance if needed.

Picking up on a comment below I agree it is a lost opportunity not installing solar power for the new ablution block.  I think where possible council should consider it.


 Council installs quicksand warning signs

Unlike other hazards quicksand is not obvious.   There has been an increase in quicksand up and down the west coast.

left:  Several 'Warning - quicksand' signs have been installed around the area identified as having quicksand.

Comment by Chris Carding (Not Verified) at: 21Jun14 19:48PM
Yeah , I say well done , good on you two

and best wishes going forward

great work , applauding Kiwis doing

marvelous and fantastic things

makes me feel good too

cheers Chris
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 21Jun14 21:52PM
Thanks Chris. It takes a long time to build up a business in tourism but I think we're there. Phew ! Warm regards to you and Karen.
Comment by Brenda (Not Verified) at: 25Jun14 14:37PM
Well done you guys!
Comment by Nina Mardell (Not Verified) at: 26Jun14 18:19PM
Hi Bobbie and Julia - awesome and well done, you must be very pleased and it's a great recognition of the great service you provide. Cheers Nina and Andy

18/9/14  Win tickets to Ice Skating in Auckland

'The Aotea Square Ice Rink returns for its third year, bringing you a magical winter playground right in the heart of the city.

This time Paradice has added the thrill of a 35m-long Ice Slide.  It's going to be epic!  Choose from either an inflatable tube or a sled and see how fast you can go!

On the rink,  you'll be skating amongst the buzz of the city on a sparkling field of ice. . . . . . '

12 June - 20 July Monday - Friday, noon-10pm | Saturday and Sunday, 10am-10pm
School holidays (7-20 July), 10am-10pm

WIN with Our Auckland

Our Auckland is giving away five double passes for one free skate and one free slide per person.  To enter and win go Online to Our Auckland HERE

17/6/14  Warning - Quicksand at North Piha

For the second year in a row quicksand has formed at the base of the Marawhara and Wekatahi Streams.

A call has been logged with Council and some 'Warning'  signs will be in place by the end of the week.  In the mean time keep a close eye on your children and dogs (and yourself of course) in this area.

Council tell me there has been a significant increase of quicksand along the west coast recently.

How does quicksand form?  Quicksand is basically just ordinary sand that has been so saturated with water that the friction between sand particles is reduced. The resulting sand is a mushy mixture of sand and water that can no longer support any weight.

Comment by the Bounder (Not Verified) at: 18Jun14 0:13AM
Just try to get your tongue around saying "slowsand" quickly 10 times without losing ya dentures.

Police & Ambulance @ Lion Rock

This evening 4 police, ambulance and Piha 1st Response attended a call out to Lion Rock.

The Police told me friends of a man had called them with concerns for their friend who was up Lion Rock.    He was talked down and taken care of by Ambulance staff.  He is not a local.

Thanks again to Piha's 1st Response volunteers, Ambulance and NZ Police.  What great friends to make that call. 

17/6/14  Green Ribbon Awards - Ministry for the Environment

You have to be at the 'top' of your field to win a Government Green Ribbon Award.

The winner for the 2014  'Protecting our coasts and oceans'  catagory was announced yesterday as  'Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand'

"The Dune Restoration Trust promotes the restoration and management of dunes by establishing vegetation. 

The Trust is involved in numerous collaborative projects and provides robust, science-based, practical and cost effective guidelines for large scale restoration and sustainable management of our sand dunes.

Some of the initiatives by the Trust include the establishment of native sand binders, annual coast care programmes and developing techniques for the sustainable harvesting of pingao to provide fibre for weaving.  The Trust also runs a series of ?Empowering coastal communities to adapt to Climate Change? workshops around New Zealand."   

It is Jim Dahm, a Trustee of the Dune Trust, who consulted and wrote the Dune Management at Piha  for Council. You may also recall they held their Annual Conference in Piha in 2009.  

17/6/14 Talking Birds

This event is being organised by Councils Biodiversity Team.   Experts will be presenting four bird themed talks to celebrate the launch of the garden bird survey in Auckland.  

Talks include: Garden birds,  Kereru research,  Kokako management in the Hunua Ranges and Little penguin.  

Piha RSA renovations

I called into the RSA this evening to take some photos of the new layout.  The wall between the dining area and the lounge area has been removed and what a difference it has made.   Here are some photos..

Comment by Glenda (Not Verified) at: 18Jun14 8:55AM
Looks good but have they upgraded the kitchen as well? They really need a better kitchen to work in there.

Have you got some leftover paint ?

The Piha Library is doing a working bee on 29th June and need some cream or off white paint (about 10 litres) to paint about 4 walls in the reading room.  If anyone has some leftover or can donate this they would really appreciate it.

If you can help out, or would like to donate some, please Email Glenda HERE


16/6/14 A Musical by Graeme Webber of Piha

Based on the Great Fire of London 1666 this is a dramatised musical in two Acts based on actual historical accounts.  

From 3rd to 12th of July at the Rose Centre Theatre, Belmont.  See more on the Website HERE

Comment by Ricky at: 15Jun14 9:58AM 

Hey Bobby - heard the cafe has applied to extend liquor hours to midnight. you know what's up?

The Cafe has successfully applied to have its trading hours extended from 7pm to 10pm.  I understand they wish to have their liquor license extended to match these operating hours.  Bobbie

Kiwi firms, with Piha connection,  gets World Bank funding

Auckland solar energy company Sunergise International has received US$2 million (NZ$2.3m) funding from World Bank Group member IFC.

Sunergise co-founder Lachlan McPherson  ( a Piha Resident )  said the details of the deal were commercially sensitive, but IFC was taking a "substantial minority stake" in the company.

IFC's investment would allow Sunergise to scale up its business and expand solar installations in New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, he said.

Sunergise owns and operates solar power systems that are installed on customers' premises under a fixed-period supply agreement.   Full article on HERE

Congratulations Lachie  
Comment by Matt (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 23:32PM
I have been saying for years that Piha should become solar energy efficient. Maybe they can look at this village as a test case. Imagine if we all had solar energy and could sell our over-supply back to the grid. Why not?
Comment by steve tollestrup (Not Verified) at: 14Jun14 10:25AM
Definitely a positive story and great to have the Piha connection. congrats to Lachlan. I'd like to see NZ be a world leader in these sustainable enterprises. Yes, imagine if Piha were solar powered!
Comment by Corrie (Not Verified) at: 18Jun14 0:17AM
One would think with the redevelopment of the Campground/public toilets and Garage an opportunity had come along to install solar panels and showcase our green waitakere/piha!! Not to be. Why?? Come on local leaders and board!!

Livable city or livable  CBD ?

"Maybe we haven't given Waitakere enough love" or something similar Len said in Henderson the other day.  Too right you haven't.    Where is the skateboard park, like in Victoria Park,  or Wynyard Quarter for the youth of our rural or outlying areas?

I went and spent some time in Henderson where I took the above photo.  What a sombre feeling.  I chatted with the youth that were there.  They were sad too.    The youth of Waitakere are lovely connecting humans.  Let them not be judged by the despicable act of one or two.

We don't need more police.  We don't need more cameras.  We don't need more roll-down bars over shop fronts.  We need to give the youth something to do.  And I don't mean what we think they need.  Talk to them .  .  . ask them .  .  .   then give it to them if you're serious about a 'livable city'.

Auckland's CBD has the skate-park on Victoria Park and the kids area in the Wynyard Quarter.   Heaps of other areas in the Auckland's CBD and central city for families and youth.  

I challenge the Henderson Valley Local Board and the Waitakere Ranges Local Board to look at their short and long term plans .  .   .    plenty about Heritage etc etc etc blah blah.   What is there for the PEOPLE?  What is there for YOUTH?    

It disgusts me that our (rather pathetic) Western Leader has Vanessa Neeson on page 3 and wind damage on the front page.   Who made that decision?   Vanessa should be on the front page.

Len, Councillors and Local Boards:  If you're truly wanting the 'World's most livable city'  then look to your outlying communities  South and West . . .    

The Youth of Waitakere:  Get out there and tell your peers that carrying knives, weapons and violence will not be tolerated.    Stand up .  .    you are our future leaders.    Start with your own schools then join up with others schools and others  .  .     get active .  .      get loud .  .      start a revolution  .  .     I know you can do it.   
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 13:08PM
Yep. It was shocking and sad. On a practical level, I Think skate parks are a good positive step. Lots going on at Parrs Park - playground, cricket, Marae. Also think we need more investment in urban environments - Glen Eden Shops. And look at the design of small shops for safety. Focus on Jobs and opportunities particularly our young. What economic space can we claim and run with that will provide the kind of jobs people want and what is local gov role. What's happening with yachts and film and eco. Can we build on those. What industries can we support and how can they support youth. Rail link - so west and south youth have access to education, job and culture opportunities in central auckland. Certainly the events can't be ignored and the community need to have some conversations.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 14:23PM
Hi Penny: That's great but in the mean time ? There will always be youth who are unemployed or unemployable. We can wait for them to become violent or criminals, or both, or we can provide some facilities for them. This is what I am talking about . . .
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 14:34PM
Agree. I think Skate parks and places to socialise are a big part of the answer. They're a really positive space especially for teen males. And agree that engaging with the youths themselves is needed. These big social issues are multifaceted and so economic deprivation, jobs and access to opportunities is just one other aspect of the situation.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 15:09PM
Penny. I hope I am right thinking you are our Deputy Mayor here? I engaged with youth, Kelston Girls High, the other day. We had a most wonderful, yet sad, chat. I'd love to share it with you some time. Warm regards
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 17:49PM
Wrong Penny. Not Deputy Mayor. Penny over the hill.
Comment by Andy (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 18:08PM
Many youth like to be where food (and alcohol) is readily available. They like to be out of the rain. They like to be somewhere they can sit down. And they like obnoxious music because it annoys adults and scares them away.

If all of those things are found in a single place, you can rely on there being large collections of dysfunctional youth present.

There are lots of places like this in Henderson: and the city didn't build any of them.

Most youth will use skate parks, and climbing walls, rugby fields, cricket grounds, libraries, and swimming pools. The sorts of things that cities tend to build for the sorts of "youth" who stay out of trouble.

However, it is the dysfunctional youth that needs to be reached. And that will be much easier said than done.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 19:23PM
Oh, 'that' Penny. :-)

Let's play guessing games

left:  Wet and cloud.  Let's play guessing games where the lower road goes !

It astounds me how often signs are obscured by vegetation.   Is it that hard to maintain them?

11/6/14  $739,000 for Young People

Yesterday Nikki Kaye announced $739,000 in funding for local councils to support projects for young people to make a difference in their communities.   Where is the money going ?

"Auckland Council is to receive $53,000  to deliver Home Grown Initiatives - workshops and forums to accelerate ideas for local community change and then deliver change projects (14) run by local youth boards and to deliver a Regional Youth Awards event"

By 'local councils' I wonder if Nikki means 'councils'  or Local Boards?  I'd like to see some of it get into rural areas.

To see where all the money is going  See the funding document HERE

10/6/14   Is your Local Board doing its job?  

A guest blog  from Jo Holmes, left,  of Waiheke Island  

 " Jo was a member of the first Waiheke Local Board and is now a blogger with a focus on local boards and Auckland Council.  She has been blogging daily since January on her website "

Local Boards exist to represent their communities.  My question for local communities therefore is - are you getting the best value for your ratepayer dollars from your Local Board members and are they being accountable to their community?

Granted, Local Boards are the junior partners in the new Auckland Council and have limited funding.  They play second fiddle to the Mayor's vision, such as the proposed City Rail Loop and there is precious little money left once a large percentage is directed into regional projects controlled by the big  CCOs (Council Controlled Organisations), especially Watercare  and Auckland Transport,

For the most part, Local Board elected members have the best interests of their communities at heart.  But there are some emerging trends that are giving cause for concern,  especially where members lack experience or have their own overriding political agendas to fulfill.

There are lessons to be learnt from the actions of  Waiheke Local Board over this first eight months of their term. Having stood on a green platform, they are proving to be green not only in political party allegiance, but also in their lack of experience in Council procedures.

Since being elected, they have displayed financial irresponsibility - wasting ratepayers' money on junkets for themselves and their supporters; cancelling projects already approved and budgeted for; having hare-brained schemes to hand money ($1.4 million) back to the Mayor and Governing Body as a sweetener for their positive support for a school swimming pool (not the community pool pursued by previous Local and Community Boards) and now have no time left to disperse tens of thousands of their discretionary funds before the end of the financial year.

Any semblance of transparency and accountability has been thrown out the window. Lack of interest in the actual environment shows the green marriage was one of convenience.

This wasting of your money is not surprising for, as the saying goes, 'a fish rots from the head' and sadly, Mayor Len Brown consistently fails to set a good model for Council behaviour.   This has also set the tone for some other local boards.

Take Waitemata Local Board for example. They have recently seen fit to send two of their Green members on a ratepayer funded,  overseas cycling holiday in Adelaide.  We're used to 'fact finding'  tours by the Mayor,  Councillors and Council officers, but when a Local Board resorts to field trips such as this,  then the potential for money wastage is raised exponentially.  Was this Board really so bereft of ideas of how they could improve their local cycle network that they had to send members overseas to find out?  What about using the considerable expertise available in Auckland Transport and throughout New Zealand?

The Green Party has targeted local government as a happy hunting ground for party funding and promoting their propaganda.  Ignoring the wishes of communities to keep party politics out of local government, they are often using it as a first step for Green Party list positions.  Noting the apathetic response to voting in local elections they see a relatively easy path to getting their hands on ratepayers' money and promoting their political causes.  Has your local community fallen under the Green Party spell? 

Meanwhile reports are reaching me that in Waitakere the Local Board is riding roughshod over 'conflict of interest'  rules and handing money out to trust boards where local board members themselves hold committee and financial positions. At the very minimum this flouts the fundamental principle of natural justice that you cannot be both judge and jury in your own case.

Has any of this been exposed in the newspapers?   The Herald likes to look at the bigger picture.  It is preoccupied with the many bizarre proposals coming before the Governing Body and the Mayor's increasingly loopy ideas to bankrupt the region, without concerning itself with local boards.  Local papers, especially those of the Fairfax Group,  concentrate on promoting 'feelgood' stories.

It is only through community websites like yours [ Village Voice ] that people are really able to voice their concerns and hold their local politicians to account.   These websites can do more for democracy than any newspaper, so get involved,  join the debate and above all,  support your on-line community.

Comment by Mozzarella (Not Verified) at: 11Jun14 9:10AM
Interesting. Particularly agree with the last paragraph - that blogs like this are important as the only media that seems to be covering the local politics.

Steve Tollestrup - Waitakere Ranges Local Board replies:

Your correspondent Jo Holmes is misinformed on a number of levels.  As a member of the NewZealand Green Party and a list candidate in the 2011 general election standingin the Waitakere electorate I need to set a few things straight.

Jo's inference that there is some sort of discrete or stealth takeover of local body by the Green Party  is nonsense. During the election all Future West campaign material clearly identified Green, Labour and Independent candidates.  People were able to make a clear and transparent choice. That is democracy in action.

I also point out that far from some secretive  Green takeover, in the last general electionPiha was one of only twenty four polling booths in NZ that had a GreenMajority.  Likewise in the 2013 local body election, no Westward candidate madeit into the top half of the election results, the highest reach being 9 out of17. These figures are worth thinking about and clearly tell us the values and aspirations of the majority of voters.

Far from using local body as a stepping stone on the list toward parliamentary aspirations, as Jo claims, I came off the list preferring instead to use my energies and skills for my local community. In other words my aspirations are focused and will remain so on local body governance.

Perhaps the most misleading statement of Ms Holmes is that the Greens bring divisive party political strategies into the local government landscape.  As you are aware Bobbie I'm working and so are my other colleagues very collaboratively and in anon-partisan way across sectors. I point out my close working relationship with Cr Linda Cooper, a ranked National Party member, on behalf of Bethells Community and their fight to get broadband access. Linda and I also work cooperatively together on the Waitakere Licensing Trust ensuring maximum grants are dispersed throughout our area.

In terms of conflict of interest every person elected tolocal body because of their passion for their community is connected and involved in local civil society.  We are in part elected because of our connections, not despite them.  This is true throughout political andbusiness life in NZ.

By remaining on boards openly and transparently  and following strict Conflict of Interest guidelines as directed by council and their legal advisors we avoid conflict of interest. I'm sure if I were to remove myself from say the Henderson Valley Residents Association, some would accuse me of being shadowy and in the background.  Better to be open, transparent and attentive to Conflict of Interest guidelines. I assure your readers that the WRLB is extremely alert to any Conflict of Interest and to the extent that even in our workshop and work times we collectively ensure and expect conflict of interest is declared. 

I do agree with Jo on this; that local blogs, websites and networks are essential for a healthy civil society and a lively democracy. I enjoy your local webpage Bobbie. I read it regularly ( and not just  to find out what you're saying about thelocal board) as it is a great source of knowing what's up in Piha. Keep it up.

Steve Tollestrup

Waitakere Ranges Local Board.

Steve,  I have noticed over the last two meetings that Local Board members are paying more attention to Conflict of Interest and this pleases me hugely.  Bobbie
Comment by John Briggs (Not Verified) at: 13Jun14 19:55PM
No wonder our local board is so out of touch. Too many lefty Greenies and Labour supporters, led by Lefty-Len himself. That Piha was one of only 24 polling booths that had a green majority is nothing to celebrate, it's actually rather depressing. God help NZ if they ever get into power and their inept co-leader Norman gets his hands anywhere near the country's purse strings!!
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 14Jun14 0:07AM
The rest would of been National voters
Comment by Jonathon (Not Verified) at: 14Jun14 11:15AM
Thank god for that; there is hope yet!
Comment by Cassandra (Not Verified) at: 12Jul14 1:08AM
Steve T is being disingenuous. The Future Weat Team were backed in the election by the power and resources of the Labour and Green Parties. Consolidated data support was provided to them from the Wellington based parties from the prior general election which allowed them to target mail drops and other forms of contact (phones) to those most likely to vote for them. The other 'tickets' like Westwards were self funded and received no party support or data from National or other Wellington based parties. It is hardly any wonder that these unsupported local tickets lost out to those parties who dominated due to their incumbent status, support from local activists and from those that succeeded in taking the 'local' out of local politics.

09/16/14  Where does our Local Board's discretionary funding go ?

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board (WRLB)  had $22,631 in it's discretionary funding to allocate for the 2013/14 year.  The previous Local Board, prior to the 2013 elections,  allocated the 1st round in Sept '13 thus:

NOTE: The  $$$ figures in brackets is what the applicants requested.  The $$$ figure is what they were granted.

  • Vision West Community Trust:  Funding for the hirage of a marquee, bouncy Castle, Sumo and costs for printing/advertising. ($5,000.00)  $2,500.00
  • Pasifika Migrant Services Charitable Trust : Funding for administration and operational costs for Pasifika Migrant Services Charitable Trust. ($5,000.00)  $00.00
  • Sport Waitakere : Funding for facilitation costs, resources, equipment and venue hire for the Growing Leaders programme ($3,233.60)  $3,233.60
  • Manukau Harbour Restoration Society : Funding for a feasibility study to be conducted by Auckland University of Technology - Unlocking the Recreation and Tourism Potential of the Manukau Harbour. ($1,830.00)  $1,830.00
  • WaterSafe Auckland : Funding for the Swim School water safety lessons at the Waterhole as part of the Whanau Nui programme ($3,105.00) $1,500.00
  • Vision West Community Trust : Funding for storage containers, replacement of Glen Eden Intermediate uniforms and purchase of new uniforms for Green Bay High School ($5,000.00) $3,250.00

 Total: ($35,724.60)  $13,181.60  

The balance of the funds will be distributed at the WRLB Meeting June 12th.

Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods

My daughter, who owns her own early childhood education centre'  sent me this article and I thought it worthwhile to share it.

'People are part of the Environment'  is a favourite saying of mine. Read the article HERE

 'Open Shutter'

left:  Some great photography at the West Coast Gallery in Piha. 

Local photographers celebrating Auckland Festival of Photography until 6th of July 

It's all gone

left:  The old Piha Domain Camp / Public ablution block in Piha is no more.

Completion date for the new ablutions is September '14

5/6/14 Talking about 'Gateway' signs

Talking about 'Gateway' signs - here is one I spotted today in Glen Eden

click on this photo to see a bigger image

4/6/14 Who should pay for 'Extreme Weather Events'?

This is the question discussed at our Local Board meeting a couple of weeks ago.  It was interesting :

"Auckland is prone to a range of extreme weather events including tornadoes, high tides, high winds, high rainfall and drought, all of which can contribute to sudden erosion, plant loss, tree fall, fixed asset damage and land slips.

12 Local Boards (Albert-Eden, Maungakiekie-Tamaki, Orakei, Puketapapa, Waiheke, Waitemata, Franklin, Howick, Mangere-Otahuhu, Manurewa, Otara-Papatoetoe and Papakura) have some funding to deal with land slips and other effects from extreme weather but it is rarely sufficient when serious issues arise.  Nine boards have no inbuilt financial capacity to cope with the impact of weather events.

Council has an obligation to plan for extreme weather events.  There is a legal and moral obligation to ensure that some rates funding is set aside for this purpoe given that weather damage, while unpredictable in timing and location, is none-the-less a constant in Auckland region as a whole."  (Ref: Item 19 Waitakere Ranges Local Board Agenda 8 May 2014.)

Our Local Board (WRLB) discussed three options put to them with the second one being the recommended one.
  1. Continue with the ad-hoc funding arrangement i.e. do nothing
  2. Pool local board funding to essentially develop a regional self-insurance fund (local unallocated (sic) budget)
  3. Seek a regional fund, controlled by the governing body, which is applied for on a case by case bases.
WRLB made this decision:

Resolution number WTK/2014/45
MOVED by Deputy Chairperson DA Yates, seconded by Member GB Presland:
That the Waitākere Ranges Local Board:
a) Supports the development of a local unallocated fund to insure against unforeseen impact of extreme weather events to parks and that such funding can be on an as required basis.
b) Supports a portion of the pooled operating budgets being allocated to local unallocated capital funding.
c) Notes that expenditure against the local unallocated operational and capitalstorm damage budgets will be reported to all local boards annually

My questions:  Why do we have a 'Super City' when so many things are now being regionalised ????

What do you think?
Comment by the way I see it (Not Verified) at: 05Jun14 9:07AM
The way I see it the formation of a super city in a nutshell allows for individual areas to cater for their unique needs while resources can be better shared with the overall governing body able to see the bigger picture to allocate those resources.

An example of this is management and planning areas which can now be done for the greater good with less staff.

Thats how I see it works

Cheers Just my thinking

 Welcome - now slow down

left:  The more I drive around the more I see these 'Welcome' signs asking people to slow down.

Why can't we have a 'Welcome to Piha - please drive safely'   ???

Here is the one 'Welcome to Langs'

You see them all over NZ now as you enter Villages.   

Why can't Piha have one ?????

Comment by sara (Not Verified) at: 04Jun14 12:40PM
Yes, have been pushing for this for years. It would be great to have one just after the Karekare turnoff so people know they've arrived at Piha. It could be one like these, or something more arty if people preferred. Currently visitors don't think they've arrived at Piha (hence, don't slow down) until they get to the beach which is dangerous for pedestrians.
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 04Jun14 14:47PM
Both Oratia and Waiatarua have requested signs . Oratia is unable to proceed as the Heritage Area sign must be decided on first apparently. We really don't want a transport sign. We've asked for an arty one. But If the villages had proper gateway treatments people would be encouraged to slow down and also encourages a sense of place which has a traffic calming effect.
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 04Jun14 22:17PM
I hadnt thought of 'gateway treatment' thinking about this. Yes, that is what is needed.
Comment by At the start (Not Verified) at: 05Jun14 7:14AM
A gateway is a great idea but I think maybe at the start of the experience for travellers not the end.

A large formidable entrance to the heritage area maybe just as you enter the Piha road putting visitors in the right frame of mind as they travel towards the coast.

Then smaller entrance signage as they pass individual turn offs or enter beach areas along the Piha road.

Rather than just one at Piha itself lets be inclusive with our thinking out here.

Cheers " the bigger picture"
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 05Jun14 11:12AM
The start of the Heritage Area gateway sign is proposed, I believe at the Heritage Area entrances of Oratia, Titirangi,& Henderson Valley, hopefully neither large nor formidable signs. And then within the heritage area, we are individual villages. So like Huia or Titirangi, Oratia has requested entrance signs as you approach the central village as part of a Gateway treatment. So in theory a few visual things change to signal that you are coming to a village and to change your driving behaviour. Although the one that always slows me down as i approach Piha is that corner with the safety railing and the giant cliff.
Comment by At The Start (Not Verified) at: 05Jun14 14:10PM
This sounds great Penny just the type of thing I had in mind.

I like the idea of a grand entrance or entrances as I said in my previous email not big signs.

Something you know your driving past like large block work or wood or carvings maybe spanning the road etc

Here again just one persons thoughts and thats what its all about I suppose a compromise of ideas leading to an end result Cheers
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 05Jun14 14:57PM
I Agree At the Start . Thought i would let you know what we were discussing at the Combined R&R re Heritage signs and in Oratia R&R. As it might be relevant to your discussion.
Comment by At The Start (Not Verified) at: 05Jun14 16:15PM
Thanks for the information Penny

Youve got me sold on this format


Every Community has its 'Characters'

Every community has its characters and Piha doesn't lack them

left:  With the demolition of the ablution block at the Piha Domain Camp along came the opportunity of a bit of fun.   These three throned themselves on the women's toilets for a photo shot.

02/06/14   Expressions of Interest Required

 Piha Surf Life Saving Club Amenities include:

          • A kitchen
          • Licenced bar and lounge  
          • One of the best views in Auckland

 We are looking for people interested in submitting proposals aroundproviding a catering service

 Interested parties please send in the first instance  Details of relevant experience Contact details

 By email

 Closing date for Expressions of Interest  Friday 13th June, 2014 at 5pm

3/6/14 The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award

I have a friend that I made through common interests on Facebook.

She has a delightful teenage son who has completed his Hillary Award Bronze Medal.

Part of this is doing 'x' amount of environmental work which I am very happy to supervise and teach along the way.

left: Here is her teenage son, Reuben, who is now doing his silver.  He is holding a bin of montpretia - he collected three bin loads for us over Queens Birthday weekend.   

 Go Reubin !

3/6/14  Piha Domain Camp garage demolition

left:  The double garage at the entrance to the Camp is being demolished.

I've lost count of how many cars have, all on their own, run into it.  It is now being replaced with a new double garage - big enough to take the bigger 'First Response Ambulance'.    

 Bio-security Alert - Please help us get prepared!

We have recently received reports of Australian butterflies being found in the Bay of Plenty and other locations. 

This has been attributed to the recent Cyclone Ita that hit Queensland. 

This indicates that New Zealand can expect the possibility of increased sightings of Australian organisms including arthropods and fungal spores, such as myrtle rust. 

A strong, blustery westerly wind could blow a new significant pest over the Tasman Sea and infect our native Myrtaceae species.

 Please help us get prepared!

Myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii) is a fungus that attacks the new growth leaves, shoots and flowers of native Myrtaceae species and also the introduced eucalyptus, guava and feijoa.

This fungus is NOT in New Zealand yet, but has spread and established on Australia's east coast 

Myrtle Rust Fact Sheet HERE [pdf]      Pests & Diseases Hotline  0800 80 99 66

1/6/14  Soup Night brings people together in Piha 

Soup Night brings people together in Piha for the winter months focusing on good healthy vegetarian food, good tunes and good company.

Every Week is different:  Soup, always vegetarian, breads and dessert.

Piha Bowling Club, Thursdays with Claire & Riddim Tim.

Fire at Piha Domain Camp

It was a faulty generator that started the fire.  The Piha Domain Camp is closed for the building of the new ablution block but some camp staff were still on site with generators.

 The staff first noticed their TV's went off and then saw the fire which spread to the car in the photo.

Fiona, who is well conversed with emergency drill,  dialed 111 and Piha's wonderful Volunteer Fire Brigade were there in a flash followed by our neighbours Karekare Fire Brigade.  

As the old ablutions block has been fenced off for demolition the water had to be pumped from the stream right next to the Fire Station.

Thrilled you're all safe.  Any damage to property is easily dealt to with insurance.  Another huge thanks to our Volunteer Fire Fighters who ensure we're all safe in the event of fire (or car crash).  

If you have these yellow flowers . . . . 

left:  If you have these yellow flowers on your property you have a problem.

They are the flower of the weed Cape ivy which grows quickly and smothers other plants.  If you have it get rid of it quickly -  this Cape ivy, on the boardwalk in Piha, could have been eradicated very easily had it been dealt to a few years ago.   Now it's huge.   If you have some get rid of it before it's too late.  Shallow roots are easy to pull out but it's like an octopus.   Much easier to pull out without cutting.  Put it in the weedbin near the Bowler. Cape ivy on Weedbusters HERE

UPDATESurely this is a 'Conflict of Interest' or am I wrong ?

Remember the Local Board voted to give $500 to Titirangi Ratepayer & Residents to fix a sign in Titirangi.   Greg Presland is on the Board and was noted as the Treasurer of that R & R.

Well it appears he is now no longer the Treasurer.   He is still on the Committee though.   So, I ask, does that somehow remove the  'conflict of interest'?    No way!  You can/should not vote to give an outfit money if you're on that outfit's Committee.   Remove yourself from the table please Greg.  

From the Minutes of that meeting (although it didn't actually happen during the meeting it's minuted as if it had ???):  "To provide greater clarification for the public,  Item 3: Declaration of Interest,  has been updated so that it now identifies board member's appointments to bodies separately to those organisations where members are involved in as of their own right.  The register was also updated for member Greg Presland as he no longer is the treasurer of Titirangi Residents & Ratepayers group and is now a committee member.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 30May14 13:45PM
Ooooh i know something dodgy is up when Lucille Ball gets that face on. What's with local board acting as ratepayers anyway? The point of ratepayers is to feed in wider public views and to keep council accountable. How does that happen when the ratepayers groups are the council?
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 30May14 17:33PM
We have 6 on our Local Board. Three of them are also on Ratepayers and Residents Committees in Waitakere

23/5/14  Garage Sale @ Black Sands

This Sunday, June 1st @ (not before please)  Marque is up in case of rain.

Includes: Lots of clothes,  Duvets & duvet covers.  Shirts, jackets, throws, shoes, sheets, games etc.

Please park in Sylvan Glade and come in through our Beach Valley Road entrance.

No Traders please.

Work starts on Piha's new ablution block

The Piha Camp closed at the beginning of May for 4 months for a new ablution block for the campers and the public.  Work is starting . . . .   3 or 4 carparks have gone, for now, but it's winter so no problems.  


If I was in charge of weed control in Waitakere

If I was in charge of weed control in Waitakere I'd:
  • Make a list of all the weeds.   
  • Then I'd note when they flowered and 
  • When their seeds became viable.
  • Then I'd instruct the workers to go cut all the flower heads off or remove the whole plant a month before the seeds became viable.    
Would that not be a good start?   At least it would be a start to get rid of the seed bank.

This month 'montpretia', left,  is flowering.   

This weed is  incredibly easy to remove.  The whole rhizome  needs to be pulled out - easy.   

If you were to dig down and have a look underneath you'd see there is no room for any other native to root.

Comment by Weedeater (Not Verified) at: 31May14 22:43PM
Yeah, good idea. They could start with the cnr of Beach Valley Rd and Seaview and get rid of the pampas, gorse and other weeds and prevent the seedbank growing there
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 31May14 22:51PM
Hey Weedeater - there is only one pampas on that corner. The rest is native Toetoe. Are you sure you mean Beach Valley & Seaview?

28/5/14  Piha Cafe gains consent to trade to 10pm

The Piha Cafe has been granted a consent to extend its opening hours from 7pm to 10pm 7 days a week.   Some of the reasons for the consent being granted are
  • The adverse effects on the environment of this proposal will be no more than minor
  • The scale, character and intensity of the existing café complements the amenity values and neighbourhood character of the Piha community.
  • Expert assessments have confirmed that any changes to the volume and nature of waste water flows as a result of the proposed activity will be safely and effectively accommodated by the existing waste water treatment system,
  • The on-site parking facilities will cater for the majority of customers who arrive by vehicle.
It is somewhat disturbing that the Chair of our Local Board, Sandra Coney, considers this 'an issue' rather than 'news'.   The Cafe brings employment to our locals, customers to the Gallery and is another choice for locals to meet with kiddies playing outside etc etc

left:  click for current Cafe Winter Hours

Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 28May14 13:56PM
The people always win in the end
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 28May14 16:57PM
+1 Good, fair, balanced judgement.
Comment by sandra coney (Not Verified) at: 30May14 20:14PM
Dear Editor, Re your comment "It is somewhat disturbing that the Chair of our Local Board, Sandra Coney, considers this 'an issue' rather than 'news'." Most readers will not know what you are referring to here but will detect the insinuation. In fact, you are mistaken and might like to remove that sentence. My brief report on the extension of hours at the cafe is in the News section of my website,
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 30May14 20:15PM
Sandra you are mistaken. You have two separate pages, among others, on your website: News and Issues. Your announcement about the extended hours is NOT under 'News' but rather under 'Issues' which reflects your ongoing difficulty with the people of Piha having a café. Here is a cut-and-paste taken just now.

Piha Cafe granted extended hours
The Piha café has been granted extended hours enabling it to stay open till 10 pm. The permission was granted on a non-notified basis, meaning that there was no opportunity for anyone to submit. The decision not to notify and to grant the extended hours were made by Commissioner Leigh McGregor and her report can be read here"
Comment by sandra coney (Not Verified) at: 31May14 16:01PM
On 12 May I posted the granting of the extended hours on both my News and Issues web page. It is the 3rd post down from the News page.

Here is the cut and past from the News page:

Piha Cafe granted extended hours

The Piha café has been granted extended hours enabling it to stay open till 10 pm.

The permission was granted on a non-notified basis, meaning that there was no opportunity for anyone to submit.

The decision not to notify and to grant the extended hours were made by Commissioner Leigh McGregor and her report can be read here Piha Cafe opening hours ? commissioners decision

It is expected that the café will now apply to Auckland Council for its liquor licence to be extended to 10 pm.
But really Bobbie, this is super-silly. I don't know why you would want to argue that things on my website are not there.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 31May14 16:43PM
Well, it appears the article is on 'Issues' and 'News'.
It's at the top of the 'Issues' page.
It's the THIRD article down on 'News'.
The top news story happened on May 8th. So we don't do news chronologically? In effect the Café article is a bit hidden on 'News' wouldn't you agree? I think it is super-silly.
The whole fuss and bad attitude from some about the Cafe is super-silly. Especially now we're a Super City.
Comment by peter dillon (Not Verified) at: 12Jun14 0:06AM
Sandra (whining) Coney still at it about the Piha Cafe!!! doesn't she have anything better to do as an elected official? Just can't let it go? We are proud of the part we played in getting the Piha Cafe to the place it is..
The question was always ? Why can't you have a nice glass of wine with wonderful food??? Now you finally can.
Will Sandra partake in it? I doubt it, never did when we were there!!
Just can't abide losing in the democratic process!
Comment by Just Wondering (Not Verified) at: 12Jun14 15:38PM
Hey Peter Dillon. Just wondering where all the funds you promised to Piha community groups is???
Comment by peter dillon (Not Verified) at: 12Jun14 22:54PM
Well most of them went to Lawyers in Auckland, spent getting a Liquor licence and defending it against vindictive "community" members!

I hear JP is doing a wonderful job serving the community.

Who is "just Wondering"? if you have a point, put a name to it? don't worry we live half way around the world!

Save Piha Shellfish

left:  I noticed this beautiful new sign on the corner of Seaview and Glenesk.

If you see people harvesting more than is legal or using crates with chickens in them etc please report or just ask them nicely not to.   Don't get into an argument but just nicely point out that we lost so much of our shell-fish and now it's returning we need to be careful how much we take.

If they tell you to 'mine your own business' tell them that's what you're doing ! 

Comment by Clare (Not Verified) at: 01Jun14 11:40AM
My husband did just that with success, then took himself off to the Ministry to confirm the quota etc. He came back with a large pile of pamphlets, which he intended on dropping at that library - which he hasn't yet. This is a good reminder and will take them down this week.

Let's not let this get out of control 

With its bright red berries this weed is easily spread by birds.   Let's not let it get so out of control that it'll cost a fortune to eradicate - like the Cape ivy.

If you see it please dig or cut it out and put it in our community weed bin located near the Bowling Club at the moment.

Click on these photos for a close-up look

  • How does it spread: Birds distribute seeds widely. Sources of infestations include hedges, roadsides, gardens, quarries, wasteland, and exotic plantations. 
  • Where will it invade: Most coastline habitats, inshore islands, dry forest and shrubland, forest margins, dry gullies, bluffs, rocky sites, slips, and riverbeds.
  • Why is it weedy?:Produces large amounts of highly viable seed, matures quickly, very long-lived, and forms dense (often pure) stands, outcompeting native shrub species in a wide range of habitats. Extremely tolerant of damp and drought conditions, hot and cold temperatures, salt, range of soils and semi-shade tolerant.

29/5/14 WARRIOR KIDS coming to Piha

WARRIOR KIDS coming to Piha - for all the parent who want their kids in a martial arts programme but don't want to be a taxi service over the hill we have the answer!!

Warrior Kids, the Master Arts class for children, was created by award winning author, Tim Tipene, in 1994.

Warrior Kids is a high impact, full on, non-stop adventure involving games and challenges where children become masters of their lives.

The aim of Warrior Kids is to equip children with the tools and skills to face whatever comes their way, now and in the future.

Warrior Kids empowers children. The focus is on self awareness and personal development, instilling self control and leading children to become champions in life.

All movement within Warrior Kids is natural and has long term health benefits.  Students gain self assurance and competence with their body, and a sense of security, connection and independence, as well as self protection skills.

If you are interested either leave a comment with your name and phone number or contact Leigh Astill on 02102264946 or email Leigh Astill who is organising.    Tim Tipene / Warrior Kids HERE

25/5/14 Final electoral boundary changes announced

We did have an opportunity to have our say on this issue.  For those that missed out here is the outcome.  Sadly the electorate 'Waitakere' has been lost.

A new Upper Harbour electorate has been confirmed for Auckland, as well as other major boundary changes in both Auckland and Christchurch.

The representation commission has released its final boundary changes after hearing objections to its draft proposals, saying 387,000 voters will now be in a different electorate.

Bernard Kendall, the chair of the Representation Commission, said it would bring the number of Auckland electorates to 24. As well as the new Upper Harbour electorate, the current Waitakere seat will be removed and a Kelston seat established.  NZ Herald

When and where are you the happiest ?

" Ah. Piha on a good day.  A walk.  A swim, good friends, my family.  And a fire."  Read HERE whose words these are

Pink Shirt Day - anti-bullying

I'm so miffed I missed the Piha school bus this morning.  I hear it was awash with pink.  Fabulous.

Are these events a waste of time?  I came from a Catholic (shows doesn't it?) family with divorced parents.  This did not go down well in the convent I attended.   I know what it's like to be on the outer and to be given a hard time.   If these 'events' stop one incidence of bullying then they are so worth it.

Good on all the Piha kids who wore pink today - we cannot tolerate bullying for any reason.  Let's encourage our children to keep an eye out for the kid sitting on his or her own on the bus.  The child having his/her lunch on their own with eyes down.   Ask our kids to reach out and we'll all be the better for it tooooo.   I know they're capable of it.
Photo, taken at Oratia District School today, is borrowed from Oratia District School on Facebook HERE
Comment by Not a Stalker (Not Verified) at: 28May14 13:16PM
Pity it doesn't include slagging off people anonymously on websites like this one.
Comment by Local Maori Solo Mum (Not Verified) at: 07Jun14 19:26PM
{ Edit - delete ] I will not accommodate these type of comments. Editor
Comment by Local Maori Solo Mum (Not Verified) at: 09Jun14 12:59PM
[ Edit - delete ]

We shared it with the world

Now it's shared with us:  video footage of the first ever 'The Hillary' 29th Mar 2014  It is truly wonderful.

Tentative date for 2015 : 28th February 2015 !  

21/5/14  Don't ask me why I was there

left:  A photo I took in McDonalds, Lincoln Road, because I was shocked that this huge photo was on their wall showing a fisherman on the rocks with a huge wave (circled in yellow) behind him AND he had no life vest on !!!   

(NOTE: I was there desperate for a loo and a cuppa tea - I know, really desperate)

21/5/14  Piha Weed bin relocated

The Piha weed bin,  which isusually located near the playground in the Domain,  has been moved to near theBowling Club carpark while the Camp Ground is closed.

 If you find that it is full and needing to be emptied, please contact the camp office or the  Weedfree Waitakere Trust 826 4276.

Please remember the community weedbin is for the following noxious weeds only:
      • Ginger
      • Cape Ivy (ghastly stuff)
      • Tradescantia (wandering jew)
      • Agapantha 
Comment by the bounder (Not Verified) at: 23May14 10:02AM
Reminds me of my time in India when I saw an agapanther in the wild. I was told it was the only one left,it was dodo this and don't do that,so I shot it.

Do you have problems getting to or staying assleep?

left:  Essential Sleep Nutrients

Kirsten Taylor, my naturopath, created this product.  I've known Kirsten for 30+ years - she went to school with my daughter.   She is an incredible naturopath practitioner which is why I asked her about my insomnia. 
Sleep Support System - Natural Sleep Support HERE

You may of heard about my night walking for hours?  No more !

Why them and not us ?

left: click for a larger image of 'Slow Down' sign entering Langs Beach on the east coast up north.

Can't we have a 'Slow Down - You've Arrived' or something at the top of the hill ?

15/5/14   Penny Hulse Radio NZ Interview

Should we decriminalise marijuana?   Auckland's Deputy Mayor thinks it's time we had the conversation.  

15/5/14 Auckland Deputy Mayor says natural drug safer than synthetic

The veteran councillor and former industrial laboratory technician said she had always opposed decriminalisation, but changed her mind after reading scientific papers about the dangers of synthetic cannabis.
Yesterday, she told an Auckland Council committee drawing up a policy on "legal highs" that it made no sense to regulate when synthetic cannabis could be sold without considering safer alternatives.
"I think we need to take a deep breath in this conversation and say, 'What are we trying to achieve? Are we going to deal with the issue that people are going to make choices to smoke things that get them stoned? Have we been able to stop people doing that?  Absolutely we haven't."

Ms Hulse stressed she was speaking personally and not for the council  

NZ Herald article HERE
Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 17May14 19:04PM
Do I read this correctly :: Penny Hulse says "we need to take a deep breath" ?
This at a time that 11 people were killed by someone in a tourism business who's partner stated he was a long term user of marijuana !
Time to get real - Watch the Maori channel and see the adverts against the use of marijuana smoking - where families and children's lives are wrecked.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 19May14 14:27PM
Penny Hulse has asked for 'the conversation'.

15/5/14 Budget allocates $M25 for Kauri Dieback

Government has promised more than $25 million to battle the outbreak of a kauri-killing disease.

The plan to invest in research, monitoring and preventive measures for kauri dieback was a key part of the Labour Party's conservation policy, announced earlier this year.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith said: "Kauri is an iconic species for New Zealand and one of the oldest and largest organisms on earth.

Kauri dieback is a significant threat to their survival and we need to ramp up our efforts to protect these magnificent trees."

There is no known cure for the disease, which has been found in Northland, the Waitakere Ranges, Great Barrier Island, and recently in the Coromandel.  NZ Herald Budget article HERE

Comment by Bluey (Not Verified) at: 15May14 15:53PM
And yet WRPS President John Edgar said nothing would be forthcoming from Nick Smith to fight this. More ideological nonsense no doubt.
Comment by EnviroGirl (Not Verified) at: 15May14 17:03PM
Good news. Can't go wrong either way - the Kauri Trees come up trumps.
Comment by K Force (Not Verified) at: 15May14 17:34PM
Go the Blue Greens!!!!
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 15May14 18:31PM
Yes the Blue Greens are great.
Comment by Green Only (Not Verified) at: 20May14 12:27PM
Nick Smith turned down earlier funding SHTKapplications for kauri dieback. It is only because of pressure from the council and groups like wrps that he has has a change of heart.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 21May14 10:34AM
Possibly. However, looks like a pretty comprehensive environmental policy from the Environment Minister. It covers waterways, oceans, Kaikoura's whales, kauri dieback and significant funding for community led environmental stream and natural heritage restoration. And i like the fact that they are partnering with Air NZ to protect the Takahe. Economically and environmentally sustainable.
Comment by Ranger Smith (Not Verified) at: 09Jun14 12:46PM
Green Only that is a nonsense comment. Only a weeks before the announcement WRPS were still saying that the Nats would never come to the party, even though WRPS were told by members of the community that the Blue Greens were diligently working on this. Perhaps you were too busy helping the WRPS to lock up the ranges or were spending too much time confounding local building consents for minor deck repairs to notice. Green (only) is the new red. Go the Blue Greens!!!

15/5/14 Can we give the public an explanation?

I am with a group of German Tourists at the Piha RSA .  Why is the camp ground closed down?  Why are the public toilets closed down?  Why are people freedom camping on masse at the surf club car park?   No notification no signs just closed till September  !

I have checked with Arataki Visitor Centre and they are aware it is shut.  It is shut until September.  It may be a good idea NOT to lock the toilets during this time.  I don't know why public toilets are locked anyway ???

Piha Camp closing article HERE  
Phoenix has been found

"Just wanted to let you know Phoenix has been found after 2 long months,  thank you for putting him on the website."   See Phoenix HERE

Comment by Chris (Not Verified) at: 14May14 18:50PM
This is so cool , great news

14/5/14  Photo of Piha helps photographer win

"NZ Herald photographer Richard Robinson was declared Senior Press Photographer of the Year at the annual Canon Awards on Friday night. This is his award-winning portfolio".  See photo #6 HERE - its a stunner 

13/5/14 Art Classes for Piha Kids

Shelley France is resuming her Art Classes for Piha Kids.   Starting next Tuesday 20th May. Now on Tuesdays to miss sport clashes.

5 weeks only. May 20 & 27th;  June 17 &  24th;  July 1st.  Cost $80.00 . 

The kids had lots of fun last term and created vibrant works; the library hosted a display.  Come and join the fun.

Editors Note: I'm sure Karekare kids would be welcome too

Speeds on Piha Road under review

Speed limits along certain areas of Piha Rd will be reviewed by Auckland Transport.

Piha Rd has been identified as a high-risk rural road and its intersection with Scenic Drive down to Seaview Rd is to be looked at.

Over the past five years there have been around 100 crashes along the road, many of them caused by speed or loss of control.

Auckland Transport is proposing to extend the existing 50kmh limit from Anawhata Rd to 30 metres east of 170 Piha Rd.

The existing 70kph stretch of road will be extended from 30m east of 170 Piha Rd to Anawhata Rd.

The de-restricted zone from Karekare Rd to Scenic Drive will be reduced from Anawhata Rd to Scenic Drive. 

* Auckland Transport intends to start public consultation with stakeholders and the Piha community before July.
Comment by MTW (Not Verified) at: 13May14 14:41PM
Hey Bobbie, just wanted to say how much we enjoy this blog. It is really interesting and informative. Keep it up and keep us all informed. Well done.
Comment by anon (Not Verified) at: 13May14 14:49PM
+1 Blogging. Open unbiased media. It's the new democracy.

Titirangi Ratepayers & Residents Assn   'Struck Off' 

The Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association was incorporated on the 18th of November 1987.

It was removed from the Incorporated Societies register on the 27th of February 2013 - 15 months ago.  

Not sure of the circumstances but it does make me wonder why the Waitakere Ranges Local Board is still even considering them for grants let alone giving them some of our $$$ !    Incorporated Societies Document HERE

Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 13May14 7:52AM
I was under the impression that you had to be incorporated to receive grants. It certainly is on of the key questions on the applications forms I make for the library. Surely the council has it on their forms to prevent false applications.
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 13May14 8:55AM
Quite right Glenda. And therein lies the problem. Where is the form where you make a submission and what is the process. Where is the list of all requests posted publicly. And how were the recipients chosen. And what is going to be delivered. Especially for the weeds project. Who is to be recipient of the weeds money as our Board member is founder of weed trust. So for piece of mind I would like clarity of the companies or trusts that receive the money please. Also all trusts or societies that receive money should post their minutes publicly imho.
Comment by Miranda (Not Verified) at: 13May14 10:26AM
Perhaps they are recipients of Local Board largesse as Greg Presland is a member of both bodies. As a lawyer you would expect that he'd be more on top of his admin duties so was this "another" oversight or was there something else at play? Interesting that the old council cliche of left-hand not knowing what the right-hand is up to does not apply. With this Local Board the left-hand seems to give to the right-hand of the same person who is a member of both organisations! I wonder if the 60K for weed removal finds its way into the coffers of the other groups that members of the Local Board are also affiliated with?
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 13May14 17:42PM
The money for weeds is going to the Parks Department for projects in addition to what they do with their existing budget. Some of the funding is going to the development of a weed plan so that spending has clear objectives. Currently quite a lot of money is spent on projects such as Sustainable Neighbourhoods ($90,000 from Local Board; $210,00 from Environmental Services)but it is not clear that is leading to environmental benefits. It is currently being reviewed by ES. The LB area contains 40% of the native vegetation in the whole region and is 82% covered in native vegetation. Weeds such as climbing asparagus and ginger threaten native forest and are widespread in our area. The LB is looking at how it can increase control of weeds in its area, with very limited funds compared to many other boards.
Comment by Penny Sparks (Not Verified) at: 13May14 18:45PM
Hi Sandra Good on you for joining the lively discussion. I think perhaps the request is we need more specific information please. Because 300k on sustainable neighbourhoods as well as Weedfree + Parks and we're not sure what we got? I like the look of the SLIPS (small local improvements format used by Auckland Council) with an A4 page)attached to each project and a spreadsheet of all projects. And for the Weeds 60k eg we would see Name of Road 10m2 = $500x 10m = $5000. And an itemised account of the spend. Picture of the spot. Local Discretionary Project. Location. REquested by whom. And ideally like bobbie did a pic of the finished project on her site - if it's from an external trust or project group. Would love to know your thoughts on the slip model? passed and saw it actually happen. The specific details mean citizens can make the mental check off that it happened. P
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 13May14 18:56PM
Hi Penny, weed control is split across many parts of Council (local parks, regional parks, biosecurity), CCOs like Auckland Transport, NGOs funded by Council, Project Twin Streams, and community initiatives supported by Council. Previously this was all happening separately. The local board is taking a lead in pulling all this together and seeking a more coordinated planned approach. Not all projects - some legacy from the old WCC - have been evaluated. Re SLIPs, the Waitakere Ranges LB does not receive any SLIPs funding. This was only available to LBs from other legacy Councils, but not the old WCC. In addition, a certain amount of our funding is under threat by the funding policy for LBs being developed by the Governing Body. You will see an outline of this in my chair's report at our last board meeting
Comment by Penny Sparks (Not Verified) at: 13May14 19:17PM
Hi Sandra It is specifically the Local Discretionary Funds that need project sheets (similar to slips) or any annual plan spend going into private trusts especially those with conflicts. As our area are to be charged for L.D.I. est. $70 per household or a funding cut. So yes, i would like to know please how many posters and who initiated Weed posters. And i would like to know the breakdown on the weed spend of 60k and specifically where it's going if it's discretionary. I think it's reasonable to have more detail attached to know where it's going, what is it, who asked for it and how much. As the council has said that local discretionary funds should be paid for by the people who receive the benefits.
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 13May14 21:33PM
Dear Penny, It all depends what you call "discretionary". The LB has been trying to persuade the Council that spending on the environment is not discretionary. Auckland Council is not that good on the environment, despite what the Auckland Plan says. Consequently there has been some debate to say the least between LB and Council. It has been very lengthy and it is only this week that we have found out what they intend to include in "discretionary budgets" for our LB. Re weed projects, they will be in foothills and Manukau Harbour Coast, details as to extent and costs being worked through as well as who else might contribute. Meanwhile, we have lost other funds, including the Te Henga Quarry restoration fund and I found out today we have definitely lost the West Halls and Marae Fund of $62,000 which we had available to help with community owned and run halls. So while it might seem that we should have all this information and our fingertips, we do not. Sandra Coney
Comment by sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 13May14 21:47PM
Dear penny, Wrote a long reply which I cannot post because it is over 1000 characters. Will convey this to you another way.

Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 13May14 21:48PM
What concerns me is the Local Board spending discretionary funds on what is the responsibility of Regional Parks or Auckland Transport. Can you reassure us this is not happening please Sandra?
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 13May14 22:37PM
Thanks Sandra. I appreciate the answers. Yes the halls and marae and the ongoing lease situation is so frustrating. And weed projects i know they're important, but the heritage area shouldn't have to bear the full cost of the environmental projects. Weeds are necessary but boring. We'd like some of the glamourous fun funding on architecture and events and culture too. Anyway thanks for clarifying . I appreciate it.. P
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 13May14 23:34PM
Now to the subject of granting funds to organization that are not incorporated. "why the Waitakere Ranges Local Board is still even considering them for grants let alone giving them some of our $$$" ?
Comment by mark holms (Not Verified) at: 14May14 9:48AM
maybe wee could get a toilet at the north end carpark so beachcombers don't have to weed all over the area.How about spending some money on erecting better warning signds on both side of the lagoon to notify users of the fluctuations in the pollution levels? Can anyone explain why you'd stick a sign in the drink rather than on the land at least facing the gates...vandalism..hmm,more likely evading responsibility if an outbreak occurs and also explain why you'd provide a big carpark and no toilet????
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 14May14 12:38PM
Better still Mark: spend some money to STOP the pollution. A good start would be to plant the stream sides. Council talk, monitor, talk, monitor, about the pollution and do nothing. At least some eco-planting of the stream sides would slow the water, filter the water, and stop erosion.
Comment by sandra coney (Not Verified) at: 14May14 15:07PM
regarding grants to non-incorporated bodies: Auckland Council gives grants to individuals, and groups whether incorporated or not. Many community groups eg community gardens, are not incorporated. AC will not pay grants to bank accounts in individual's names but only accounts with a group's name. There are strict accountabilities, including reports on completion of projects, with receipts. There will be a report on the process for an upcoming board meeting.
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 14May14 15:18PM
Re whether weed project funds are going to regional parks or Auckland Transport. None is ear-marked for regional parks. Some may go to clean-ups in the road reserve. As you will be aware, AT needs to improve its road weed management & the LB is working on this. The LB supports community weed work in the road corridor with funding. Many Sustainable Neighbourhood Projects, like the Beach Valley Road project coordinated by Bobbie,are supported with funding from the LB, and Environmental Services to the tune of approx. $5000 each project annually. The LB specifically funds weed bins and weed removal such as occurs in Beach Valley Rd.Should we be purist and say AT should fund all this? Maybe we will get to that point in the future but right now the LB does not want to sit back and see invasive ecological weeds grow. On the plus side AT recently removed the phoenix palm and blue morning glory in the road corridors at Piha after a LB request.
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 14May14 15:23PM
Mark, the Regional Parks Management Plan 2010 (which I chaired) does allow for a new toilet at the carpark at the far end of North Piha, so it will be a matter of funding. All parts of council are taking cuts to keep rate increases under average 2.5%. But you could ask Stephen Bell where that toilet project is up to. There was a bit of concern it would encourage freedom camping, but it would be better in my view than toilet paper in the bush.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 14May14 15:49PM
The Beach Valley Road Project in Piha started in partnership with legacy Council WCC. The benefits to the environment (native fauna & flora) are clear for all to see plus very measurable social/community benefits. Neighbours getting to know each other. Safe houses for kiddies. Keeping an eye on the elderly. Sharing water with families if they run out etc etc etc plus many more.
We are thrilled that the new Council continues these projects under Sustainable Neighbourhoods. To spread the money around more we have had our own nursery for a few years where we grow from our own eco-seed collection. Potting mix is paid for by Sustainable Neighbourhoods. We appreciate the weed bins and 'some' plants. Doubt it would be $K5 but no matter.
The corner of Beach Valley Road and Seaview Road was financed by Auckland Transport to the tune of $500 and we were grateful to them.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 14May14 15:52PM
Thanks replying to the questions Sandra.

12/5/14  Soft sand warning needed - please !

left: Another vehicle being towed through soft sand on Piha Beach
  1. Its just not good enough.  To say they are stupid is not good enough either.  

No chains or signage to say there is soft sand at the bottom of the formed access to the beach in front of Piha SLSC. 3rd time in 3 weeks we helped get a tow truck to help people off the beach.  

Some beaches are legal roads and some aren't.   How are people to know?   Something needs to be done now.  Maybe an 'unlocked chain' with a small sign 'Soft Sand - do not enter' or the like.

$22,000 for  Dog Bylaw Signage.

left:  You'll recall that the Waitakere Ranges Local Board consulted on signage for the 'Dog Bylaws' in Piha late last year.

The decisions are made and the Local Board have allocated  $22,000 (yes, twenty two thousand dollars)  for the signage.

They can pass all the bylaws they like and put up $22,000 of signage but it'll all be an absolute waste of money if it's not policed - eg: a ranger 

Comment by MTW (Not Verified) at: 13May14 14:36PM
Are you serious? We already have dog signs....not that anyone cares about them. If there is no ranger doing something about the dogs, you can put all the signs you want up, but F*%$# all happens. What another bloody waste of money. Are these signs being done by a local artist...I betcha theyre not. $22,000!!! Keep all this info coming...what else are they wasting our money on.
Comment by sandra coney (Not Verified) at: 17May14 17:19PM
The Local Board is not just installing signs re dog rules. Recently, Piha R&R reps plus some others from the community who had contacted me about dog control came to a meeting I organised to meet with dog enforcement manager. The plan is for dog control officers to visit on some key days during the summer to provide a visible presence.
The West is under-resourced, but following an internal review is due to get more officers so I am hoping for more attention to Piha in the future.

6/5/14  Surely this is a 'Conflict of Interest' or am I wrong ?

At the 10th April Waitakere Ranges Local Board meeting the following motion was CARRIED

Moved by N Henderson:  That the Waitakere Ranges Local Board allocates from the Community Response Fund grants to:
        • Waitakere Forest and Bird of $9,000 to work in partnership . . . . . .  produce a weed awareness poster
        • Friends of Arataki **  $3,000 to publish a book on history of Exhibition Drive
        • Friends of Waikumete Cemetery $1000 for heritage restoration of Wallis grave monument
        • Titirangi Residents and Ratepayers Assn *** $500 to repair a sign
        • Living Wage Aotearoa event $1000 
That's OK, I suppose except that the Minutes of the Meeting do not indicate that anyone removed themselves from the table prior due to a conflict of interest and

** Friends of Arataki: Neil  Henderson (who moved the resolution) and Sandra Coney are both Trustees of Friends of Arataki
***  Titirangi Residents & Ratepayers:  Greg Presland is the Treasurer of  Titirangi R&R

Further:  Any uncommitted expenditure or forecast underspends to be reallocated to the 'Community Response Fund'.  Then

The Board approved  the balance of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board 'Community Response Fund' to be used for weed control projects up to a total value of $60, 000 !!!

This whole Resolution WTK/2014/31 was CARRIED with no recorded abstentions. 

  1. What and where are the 'weed control projects' that are having up to $60,000 spent on them?
  2. What budgets were the  'underspends' relocated from?
Comment by Carrie (Not Verified) at: 07May14 12:15PM
An Iron Curtain has descended on the Waitakeres! You have the freedom to think anything you like as long as its the same way they do.
Comment by mrT (Not Verified) at: 07May14 17:37PM
What more can you expect when you have an undemocratic board. Democratically yes, but the make up is all wrong with 100% representation in one direction. There needs to be changes made to prevent his from happening, it is hardly balanced representation of the community.
Comment by MrT (Not Verified) at: 07May14 17:43PM
Communism is rife with this Waitakere board, they but their nose into other peoples property as if it were there own, fact of the matter is they probably have little of there own so need the power trip and Auckland just lets it go, it's no wonder the city struggles to really work.
Comment by Far Out (Not Verified) at: 07May14 20:51PM
Yikes. Not Good. Really.
Comment by Larf (Not Verified) at: 07May14 21:09PM
How do they make any decisions at all with fingers in all the yummy pies. MMMMmmmm
Comment by lancewood (Not Verified) at: 08May14 12:56PM
"Iron Curtain?" "Communism?" Geez, you guys need to get a friggin' grip. Conflicts of interest cross the ideological divide (witness Judith Collins and Maurice Williamson), so this is not about the purported orientation of the local board, but of the personal involvement of board members on bodies that receive funding from the board. Next time, try to keep a sense of proportion to your rants.
Comment by Wake the Heck Up (Not Verified) at: 08May14 13:57PM
Hmmm Lancewood. You seem confused. Conflicts of interest happening on both sides does not make it right. If there is inappropriate behaviour from our local board it is our job as the public and media to call them on it and keep it honest. Silence and ignorance breeds corruption. And yes. Please Lancewood. What porportion of funding to personal interest groups is ok with you?
Comment by lancewood (Not Verified) at: 09May14 13:14PM

You seem a little dense. I was objecting to the over the top characterizations (Iron Curtain, Communism) of the board, not the opposition to conflicts of interest (a position that I agree with).

I stated clearly that conflicts cross ideological lines, so the Left bashing hysteria was silly. I did not say that they are justified in any instance.

You need to work on your reading comprehension.

Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 09May14 13:24PM
This is NOT about left or right. It's about 'conflict of interest' and, if I may add, possible cronyism. Lets keep to that. thanks
Comment by Wake the Heck Up (Not Verified) at: 09May14 13:47PM
[ EDIT ] Yes probably an overreaction based on just the examples given. Worth pointing out. No other local board has this many listed conflicts of interest so that either means we're really good at listing them or not so good at seperating out our responsibilites. We shall keep our eye on the situation.
Comment by Greg Presland (Not Verified) at: 09May14 20:08PM
Greetings Bobbie

I am no longer the treasurer of the Titirangi Ratepayers and have not been so since last year's AGM. I agree however that the agenda records that I am. I have asked for this to be changed.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 09May14 20:52PM
Hi Greg, Are you still on the Titirangi R&R Committee?
Comment by MTW (Not Verified) at: 13May14 0:17AM
Ha Bobbie, you keep digging because we have known for a long time that the West is being hijacked. Piggies to the trough and all that. It would be good for a thorough inquiry into all this...who is in bed with who etc. If you draw a line you can see it all clearly so get your investigators hat on and get cracking.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 13May14 12:19PM
I have been unable to get a reply from Greg regarding whether he is on the Titirangi Ratepayers & Residents Assn Committee.
Comment by PP (Not Verified) at: 13May14 14:39PM
Really? Hey I wonder y not.
Comment by anon (Not Verified) at: 21May14 13:03PM
Further fuzzy lines. Also when updating the conflict of interest lists, currently Greg lists Portage Trust which is a ceramics trust he's trustee of which holds half a million dollar of crown lynn assets - feel good. But he should have Portage Licensing Trust which is the pokies trust - not quite as feel good. Just putting Portage Trust is a bit misleading.

The Manifesto Interview: Lance Herbst

"A 2011 Piha home, Under Pohutukawa (below), won numerous awards and caught the eye of Monocle magazine, which published a multi-page feature of it. With 15 New Zealand Institute of Architects awards under his belt, Herbst also sits on the Auckland City Urban Design Panel. His iconic designs are destined to be the classics of tomorrow - bold but unpretentious, dramatic yet practical." 
NZ Herald article HERE

The interesting comment here, for me, is "destined to be the classics of tomorrow".   I owned a 100 year old Villa in Herne Bay where I brought up my children and have just sold a A Listed Heritage apartment in the city.  I appreciate 'old' and 'heritage' BUT modern design, if allowed, will be tomorrows 'classics' and even 'heritage'.  Well that's what I think !
Comment by Over the hill (Not Verified) at: 11May14 21:00PM
Stunning design. Agree timeless. Like
Comment by The Bounder (Not Verified) at: 23May14 10:08AM
If they got rid of those damn trees we could appreciate the house design a lot easier.

Alistair Martin : Breccia and Flora

left: Alistair's exhibition at our local gallery until 2nd of June .

"His paintings explore the intriguing conglomerate rock formations particularly at Whites Beach, and his Hinuera stone sculptures investigate fruit and pods of the forest, threaded with references to Alistair's interest in patterns and art history."

  Police booze patrol on Piha Beach

left: NZ Police on Piha Beach

Anyone else spot Greg on 'Water Patrol' (I think) the other night?   I thought he handled that prat rather well.

Madeira vine  also known as Mignonette vine

left: Madeira Vine photographed in Beach Valley Road strangling the plant it is growing on.

This is a serious noxious weed originating in South America that is a threat to our natives.   My understanding is it is  a 'notifiable weed'  meaning it must be reported to Council.  

6/5/14 Consultation  Results: Piha Beach Reserves Ecological Restoration Plan

You'll recall the Local Board had a consultation day on the above Ecological Restoration Plan.  The results are out and will be presented to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board business meeting this Thursday May 8th 6:30 in their Glen Eden offices.

Here is a copy of the report from their Agenda

Consultation Findings for the Piha Beach Reserves Ecological Restoration Programme and Revised Programme of Work

File No.: CP2014/04356


1. To report findings of consultation undertaken on the Piha Beach Reserves ecological restoration programme and to seek approval for a revised programme of work.

Executive Summary

2. Consultation for a programme of work of ecological restoration on the Piha Beach Reserves was undertaken from 20 December 2013 to 7 February 2014 with known stakeholders and local residents.

3. Consultation findings showed support for weed control in the reserves with a preference for manual control or the use of non-spray methods of chemical control such as cut and pasting.

It was also requested that follow up planting is minimised but where required that plants are no higher than 2 metres at maturity.

4. A revised programme of work has been developed considering feedback received during the consultation process.


That the Waitākere Ranges Local Board:

a) Receives the consultation findings for the Piha Beach Reserves Ecological Restoration Programme and Revised Programme of Work report

b) Approves the revised work programme for ecological restoration of the Piha Beach Reserves.


5. It was requested by the Waitakere Ranges Local Board that a proposed programme of work for the ecological restoration of the Piha beach reserves be consulted upon with the local residents and known stakeholders.

6. The Piha beach Reserves are:

  • North Piha Esplanade
  • Les Waygood Park
  • Piha Esplanade Reserve
  • North Piha Strand
  • Piha Domain

7. Consultation was carried out between 20 December 2013 and 7 February 2014. 

  • 21 responses were received 
  • 13 supported the programme in principle 
  • 2 did not support the programme and 
  • 4 submissions related to feedback not related to the proposed plan. 
These submissions can be viewed in Attachment A.

8. All ecological restoration work is carried out in accordance with the Auckland Council Weed Management Policy which seeks to undertake such work using best practice methods of weed control and to minimise the use of agrichemicals and minimise non-target effects of their use. This can be directly supported by the involvement from community members and groups wishing to undertake control by hand pulling weeds.

9. Stakeholder feedback was considered and a revised programme of work includes the following:

Minimise the use ofagrichemicals, spray only when required, use manual control or cut and pastemethod as a preference;

Minimise planting but where required, plant species which grow to a mature height of 2 metres.  Plants will be eco-sourced and no karo or pohutukawas are to be included in the planting programme;

Involvement from the community will be sought to assist with weed removal; and

Work will be reviewed for its success as the programme progresses and methods adjusted as required.

10. The revised work programme will better enable natural regeneration of native flora and slow the spread of environmentally damaging pest plants.

11. Additional feedback was also received for consideration which includes:

  • Spray Onehunga weed on roadside verges;
  • Remove posts and fences on dune walkways;
  • Review the Piha Coastcare Memorandum Of Understanding and supervise their work; and
  • Support from the council to assist adjacent land owners with weed control on private property.

These points are currently being considered by the Waitakere Ranges Local Board for action.


Local Board Views

12. Skate holder feedback was discussed with the Local Board chair and Environment Portfolio Holder and they proposed changes to the work programme to better reflect community requests.

Maori Impact Statement

13. Local iwi groups were invited to provide feedback on the proposal however none was



14. Implementation of the work programme is expected to be carried out with both interested community groups and individuals, and Council approved contractors. The proposed work is expected to take a minimum of five years.

15. Work priorities include the control of climbing asparagus and cape ivy in Piha Domain, and the control of lupin and vetch where found in all other reserves.

Implementation Issues

16. Budget availability will determine the speed and volume of work to be undertaken each financial year.

 Piha Story Booth 

The 'Piha Story'  booth has been set up in the library on the noticeboard. Essentially it allows people to fill out a postcard with a story about Piha.  These are pinned up for others to read and share. Eventually if we get enough we put them together in some form so that they are available after the booth comes down.  Regards, Piha Library.

02/05/14  I would really appreciate community help 

I received the following from a Village Voice reader, name withheld by request,  for publication:

I am alarmed at an incident which happened to me when I was walking my dog around 5.45pm this evening (Friday 2nd).

I was walking him from Garden Rd down the path by the Forest and Bird house to the beach.  A man was walking a young Rottweiler on a lead from the distal end of Garden Rd.  They moved to overtake me and the dog lunged at my dog.  I attempted to place myself between the dogs.  However the dog knocked me to the ground and reached my dog and bit him.  I sustained scrapes and bruises to my arm and twisted my ankle.  Fortunately my dog was not seriously harmed.  However the owner did nothing to prevent the attack.  Instead of apologizing his only comment was that 'his dog is not aggressive and I should get more of a staunch dog'.

This owner is irresponsible and needs to learn to control his dog.  This is unacceptable behaviour and I would really appreciate community help in identifying the dog owner.

Comment by Anonymous at: 04May14 11:32AM
I appreciate being alerted to this for both the safety of myself and all dogs. This sort of dog and owner should be reported to animal control which will go on record so if another incident occurs a trend can be shown and addressed. I know of another attack on a little dog by 2 dogs together allowed to range free by the store this little dog required vet treatment and a number of stitches but the owner of this little dog told me he did not feel he could complain because "he has to live here" . Please don't let a few bad owners spoil the pleasure our dogs give us.
Comment by Jane Farr (Not Verified) at: 04May14 13:13PM
We own the rotti mentioned above his name is Ted and he is not aggressive he is a puppy who gets excited. My husband has had this breed of dog for over 20 years so he is very experienced dog handler.....His version of events is very different to what you have stated, funny that there are always 2 sides to a story....we have 2 small children and I wouldn't have an aggressive dog around them....perhaps you would like to educate yourself and learn more about the Rottweiler breed or feel free to pop around for a cup of tea and discuss this further!!
Comment by Talequah (Not Verified) at: 05May14 16:37PM
To the Rotti owner, I don't mean to add insult to injury and of course there are always two sides to every story. As a big dog owner all of my life we have to take responsibility for our dogs actions because no matter what happened, it's the big dog owners that get the fingers pointed at them for misbehaving dogs, regardless of their training or how many toddlers they gently reside with. It's up to you & your husband to make sure that if your dog lunges out and attacks a dog or person, the right thing would have been for your husband to exchange personal information and to make sure that person who your dog lunged at is okay as well as the dog it lunged for. No exceptions. This comes with being a responsible BIG DOG owner. It's that or get a pocket dog.
Comment by Berend Westera (Not Verified) at: 05May14 18:06PM
Hi Jane , Thanks for speaking up.
There are a few facts in this incident that are hard to dispute.
I was bowled over by your dog and have the scrape wounds to prove it
My dog screamed when yours lunged at it and put his mouth around his chest.
My dog broke loose and ran away in total panic.
Your husband did nothing to reign your dog in.
I do not think your dog is necessarily aggressive but he is 6 times the size of mine and mine was scared to death.
Dominance play will eventually lead to dominance aggression so if I were you I would make sure it is reigned in early.
Comment by Anonymous at: 06Jun14 22:32PM
Geez Bobby... you are such a dog hater! Interesting how you edit out any comments that don't match your opinions. The Rotti owners are responsible owners! How long until you delete this comment I wonder???
Comment by Bobbiec (Not Verified) at: 07Jun14 10:03AM
Anonymous: I'm not sure if you read the introduction to this article "I received the following from a Village Voice reader, name withheld by request, for publication:" There are a number of dog owners in Piha that would not agree with your labeling of me. I love dogs.

Forecast looks good for 'Endless Summer'

I've checked the weather forecast for Sunday evening and it looks like it may be OK for us all to gather with some chairs, blankets, dinner etc and enjoy the screening of Endless Summer in the Domain.

See you there. 

21/5/14   Has the 'bar' returned?  I hear it has 

 Recently we were sitting and have a chin wag with some long time Piha Surfers.  Interesting that they told us that the famous  'Piha Bar'  has returned and surf hasn't been as good since late 90s. 

Quote from Piha Ratepayers & Residents submission on the Management of Dunes at Piha (which I voted against)

". . . .  These observations have created strongly held views that past dune work has contributed to the change in beach profile that has significantly changed the surfing conditions at Piha."

Having recently attended the Dune Trust annual conference in New Plymouth I'm pleased to report that when I discussed dune restoration work effecting their surf bars they thought I was mad and just laughed.

So if the bar disappeared and has returned can we really blame planting spinifex on the Dunes for its disappearance ?  C'mon - nature is stronger than that !

We all know, or should, that the East Coast is eroding and the West Coast  in the process of accretion . . .  if we don't care for our coast lines then, well, we deserve what we get.  

Piha Resident & Ratepayers submission on Dune Management in Piha  -  there is very little in here I agree with which is why I (strongly) voted against the whole document.

Comment by mick cowell (Not Verified) at: 04May14 11:43AM
well you obviously you wernt here in the 70s or 80s the bar has returned its not as good as it was.cause the is no ditch .cause of the SAND DUNES like you they wernt here either.

02/05/14  Ridding Piha Road of gorse 

left: workmen are doing a great job cutting back the gorse on the northern side of Piha Road.   They are also doing 'road side' maintenance.  Fabulous, bravo etc

left:  Great to see the Aggies cut back but

Can you please poison them and cut the ones inside the 'orange' else its all a waste of time.


left:  Circled in orange a shocking weed making its home out here

Can someone cut this ghastly weed down.   The birds love the red berries and are doing a great job spreading it over Waitakere.    Get rid of it please.

left:  Baby pine trees have taken hold on this bank.

Unless they're going to be used for Xmas Trees can we cut them down now before they're protected.   Yes, some pine trees have been given protection in Waitakere    - can you believe that ???

left:  This drives me insane  (or more insane).

The Beach Valley Road Project has been pretty successful in eradicating Agapantha which is not native to the West or NZ and can be easily replaced with natives that will do the same job.

When I drive up the hill and see these ripe seeds being blown all over the place I could, literally, set fire to them.     Get rid of them Council please - BEFORE they spread their seeds everywhere.
Comment by annoy mouse (Not Verified) at: 03May14 10:16AM
Top photo,,,, they are building a path from Karekare rd to Te Ahuahu road for the hillary trail ,,, and NO they are not doing a great job ,,, dumped all their lunch rubbish down the bush where their truck was parked on Friday ,,,, bunch of [ edit ]!

1/5/14 Community Gardens to the rescue

Some time ago now the Council was consulting on the 'use' or 'management' of Stedfast Park.   Julia and I asked that some land be put aside for a 'Piha Community Garden'.

It could be one big garden we all share or it could be the English 'allotment garden' idea.

Sam Judd writes in the NZ Herald about them:
  • the more food we have growing near us, the better we will be prepared if a disaster strikes
  • the more time we can pull our kids away from electronic devices and spend getting muddy in the garden, the better
  • with community gardens, or even better - educational gardens
  • fantastic work teaching composting, food growing and a myriad of other resilience skills
  • realise the benefits of resilience and proper nutrition
It peeved me off no end that there was not a positive attidue, from Council, regarding this idea.  I truly believe there would be a BIG uptake from the families in Piha for all sorts of reasons.  Just 'building community'  is a good enough reason.  Of course we could 'just do it' !

Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 02May14 10:02AM
It looks like waitakere are likely to be charged the 2nd largest extra tax on rates because of our high local initiatives and the council can just choose the rate based on how many initiatives the local board choose to undertake-hmmm where are the checks and balances as they determine what projects they want with no criteria (it can go to all manner of projects or private trusts) and then just set the tax to match.It would be good to see some process around this as i'm not happy to give an open chequebook for local initiatives, if they're not in my area and i can't see where it went. I'd like to see a clear list of initiatives, who asked for them, what the group will specifically deliver for the money, and the project costs, and a criteria list from the local board for how the initiatives are chosen. I'd like to see community assets and groups (halls) receive money before private trusts. And more accountability from private trusts and groups who receive public money.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 03May14 23:14PM
Agree with you Penny. Ratepayers money put into the community for any initiative should be open to audit. The Beach Valley Road Project, where the people do all the work and the Council provides $$$ for weed bins and plants, has now progressed so we have our own nursery and grown more than 50% of our own plants. We cannot ask/rely on ratepayers money forever. We also have very clear aims and objectives.
Comment by Penny (Not Verified) at: 04May14 9:43AM
Agree. Small community initiatives have got to be good value for money. But the truth is that's not where most of the money is going or what you'll be paying for. So small local good value initiatives don't seem to get there fair share. And now we have a number of $70 per household on local initiatives that is going into waitakere ranges, Not including pokies money so double that. So at a guess another $70 per household. I embrace the council concept of rates going into your own area based on a measurable number like population. It certainly hasn't been thus far. But for large trusts with over a million in public funds from local bodies and pokies. And should the contract for that money not be made public on with the audit made public so we can see what we asked for and what we got. It's time to ask the questions.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 04May14 13:00PM
Yes, yes and yes !

Dog training classes for Piha 

Let them out and join the pack !

1 Dog and 1 Hander plus Toy and Treats.

9am Sundays @ Piha Mill Camp.   Great idea . . .   Join Facebook Group HERE

  29/4/14 Piha Beach Dune Management Plan

Consultation closes 31st Apr 2014

This document has been consulted on  more than the infamous Karekare Public Toilets - THAT is a lot of consultation. 

There are only SIX questions being asked and here they are with my answers:   

1A Recommendation 4.2.2.a  Do you support a specific MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) being developed between Piha Coastcare and Auckland Council?

Of course ! Piha CoastCare had a MOU with the Waitakere City Council which was 'carried over' to the new Council.  They have a DRAFT MOU with Auckland Council at present.

1B Recommendation 4.3.2.g It is not necessary to plant along the seaward edge of a well-vegetated dune system to encourage seaward expansion.  In general, do you support any seaward expansion of dunes being left to natural processes unless there are compelling reasons for intervention?

No.  Given the East Coast is eroding and the West Coast is experiencing accretion together with the increase of 'extreme weather incidents' it would be unwise to not keep some flexibility here.

1C Recommendation 4.3.3.b The present number of accessways is largely adequate but an additional defined pedestrian accessway should be established at the southern end of the surf club car park where an informal accessway presently exists. Do you support this?


2A Recommendation 4.4.3.a  Trends in dune height can be regularly reviewed (say every 1- 3 years) following survey of the Auckland Council beach profiles. If there is evidence of a significant (say greater than 0.5 -1 metres) change in average height over time, options to manage this could be reviewed though these are likely to be limited. Do you support this?

Yes.  The measurement should be retaining visuals of the beach for Piha SLSC and for the beach front properties that purchased their land with a view of the sea rather than some 'beach profile'.

2B Recommendation 4.5.2.c  Once dense vegetation is established, removal of existing fences could be trialed in limited areas with close monitoring. Is this something you support?

No !   Dunes on popular beaches in NZ have accessways as a standard way of people and the environment working together.   

2C Recommendation 4.5.2.d  Restoration of natural character and enhancement of amenity values in the vicinity of the Moana Stream can probably be achieved with appropriate design and consultation and further investigation and design is recommended. Do you support this?

Yes but I rather fear that infrastructure in place will make this very difficult.  (under ground tanks draining into Moana Stream etc)

Other Comments:  Could we just have 'best practice' and stop the politics !  Jim Dahn, the author of the report, is considered one of NZ's top coastal experts. 

Please give your feedback . . . 

There have been heaps of  discussions and consultation with
  • Public meeting Piha SLSC (Aug 2012) 
  • Piha Residents and Ratepayers Assn
  • Piha Boardriders
  • Piha CoastCare
  • Piha SLSC
  • Piha Beach beachfront landowners
  • Plenty of other interested individuals

New public toilet and changing room

Getting on with building a new public toilet and changing room facility at Piha Domain 

left:  Artists impression of the new building

Construction timeline: May-Sept 2014, weather dependent. 

Auckland Council and the Waitakere Ranges Local Board are pleased to advise 
that the toilets and changing rooms at Piha Domain are being upgraded. 

The new building has been designed to compliment the natural environment with inspiration sparked by breaking waves and the beach landscape at Piha. 

The new building will remain in a similar location to the existing building. The water tanks will be 
relocated underneath the deck which will increase the visibility and surveillance from the road. 

The building layout clearly separates the public and camper areas. 

The toilet facility will be closed during the construction phase. Alternative public toilets are provided at  South Piha and Mid Beach. 
Comment by The Bounder (Not Verified) at: 01May14 10:22AM
I wonder where else in Piha that a toilet block is needed....could it be by the big carpark at the northern end of the beach where people go to do things naturally with respect to the environment, hell no, they wait till they get home.And where else do we stick our heads in the sand,could it be at the lagoon where monitoring is kept secret from the public with totally inadequate signage-Piha's dirty little secret,it could be clean one week but we won't warn parents but just in case someone does fall in/sick we'll hide a sign out in the drink hidden by the bank near the gate entrance and all will be well. What a waste of time,and signs over the bridge in big bols letters ? Not a show.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 01May14 14:36PM
The state of all Piha's waterways is disgusting. It starts at the source and finishes at the sea.

I have offered to 'assist' Council by volunteering my time and getting a group of volunteers to plant the stream sides - a fine start.

Their bureaurcracy (can never spell that ???)is atrocious, their time wasting and general 'disinterested' behaviour is incredible.

Talk is cheap - actually doing something is all that counts.

  28 April 2014  Auckland prepares with new tsunami maps

Auckland now has its first set of comprehensive tsunami evacuation maps for the entire region?s coastline.

Produced by Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the 233 easy-to read online maps identify risk areas and explain the ideal evacuation zones in the event of a tsunami.

Civil Defence Director Clive Manley says the maps will help Aucklanders understand the risk to their local community and help prepare them to react effectively in an emergency.

"While most of Auckland has low tsunami risk, it is still important for the region to be prepared. These maps will assist us in refining emergency response plans for each community allowing each of them to be better prepared in the case of an incident,"  he says.

"Auckland Civil Defence is working with local boards and communities to help them understand the risk, and working with them to identify evacuation routes, signage and public alerting options going forward."

"These maps give communities the localised information they need to be able to plan and prepare."

The maps are based on information from the 2013 Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management study into New Zealand's tsunami risk.

 To view the tsunami evacuation maps and for more information on community response plans go to

Piha Tsunami Map

Auckland Civil Defence Tsunami Evacuation Maps
Auckland Civil Defence Tsunami Evacuation Video               

 Thanks to Jonathon Webber for input
Ever wanted to sing ?

left:  Piha Singing Group doing 'backup' at Anzac Service in Piha

This casual and diverse Piha group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month 7:30 at Piha's Library.  New members are very welcome.   No expertise required but the ability to hold a note might help  

A truly stunning native

left:  Astelia banksii

So often I hear that natives don't have beautiful flowers or colour.  This Astelia banksii, on Beach Valley Road,  is an excellent example of the silvery green colour AND the beautiful flower.

Slow, but easy to grow, these natives are prone to root rot.  Just plant up on a mound with good drainage or in a dry place and they'll bloom.  They don't even need a lot of sun.

For different green with a silvery shine try an Astelia banksii.

26/4/14 The children of Piha's Anzac Parade 



The Parade

"Hurry up!"Mum says
As we follow along in the parade.
Kids, parents, even the mayor in his robes and chains.
Walking to Lion Rock
To remember.
Wearing red paper poppies.
I seem to only remember that
There is no school each year when we go here.
We get to the beach
My shoes come off.
I join the other kids in the stream
While our parents remember.
I look up from time to time
I like my drip castle
But it needs a fort
Or a drawbridge, and moat and soldiers.
I wonder why those soldiers went to war?
It would have been scary
I wouldn't like to have gone, if it were me.
The bugle plays
I look up again, they lay a wreath at the base of Lion Rock
It is silent for a minute
Everyone remembers
I see my mum look at me.
She smiles.
I smile back.
No, I would not want to be in a war.
I finish my drip castle masterpiece.
It is time to follow the bagpipes and join the parade.
My feet are sandy in my shoes.
We follow the parade to the RSA.
Time for a drink
So we can remember,
Or they can forget.

Joanne Kingston

Beach Valley Road Project tidies up for Anzac Parade

I thought Beach Valley Road could do with a  little tidy up for the Anzac Parade so got out there then Marco joined in, then Dave and Sheryl with the twins and then our wwoofers came along.   Then Joe and Sheryl worked on their frontages and then I was blown out when Mark and Tony joined in finishing up - what a community effort!

We all hope you appreciate the transformation of Beach Valley Road  .  .  .  we're very proud of it.

How it looks now all ready for Piha's Anzac Parade 


How we got there: hover your cursor over the photo and you'll see  a description


     The twins have worked on our project since they were babes


   I'm sure the women have also been working hard at the RSA making all the wreaths and afternoon tea.  It sure takes a community  

24/4/14    Surf lifesaving crews prepare for ANZAC Gallipoli race

The Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club crew is part of a team of 10 club lifeguards preparing to go to Turkey next year for Gallipoli 100 - a 75km commemorative race between about 80 surf boats from New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom, organiser Chris McCullough said.

Five surf lifeguards will step into their surf boat in the pre-dawn tomorrow to begin a symbolic three-hour row from Browns Bay on Auckland's North Shore, down the East Coast Bays and into the Waitemata Harbour.   Read the full article in NZ Herald HERE

23/4/14  Small Business with a Piha connection

left: Lacey Graham features in the Herald's small business section.

You may recognise Lacy who was peddling her wares at the Library carboot sale last weekend and used to live in Piha 

Lacey Graham is the founder of Auckland-based estate clearance business Twinset and Pearls.    I launched Twinset and Pearls, which is a personalised estate clearance business, towards the end of 2013. Our mandate is to look after the best interests of the estate and to get as much return on items of value as we can, as well as working out what is worth retaining in the family for sentimental purposes and the best way to deal with what's left.  
Full article in NZ Herald HERE

Piha Library Car Boot Sale a great success

$1400 was raised by Piha's Community Library through their car boot sale.

There were a couple of heavy showers but they didn't dampen the atmosphere or fun that seems to always happen when our community get out to an event like this and mix. 
Thanks to the Piha Community Library, their volunteers, the bakers who produced some great goodies for sale and everyone that came along.  You're all wonderful. 

21/4/14  Are you confused about 'squatters' and 'occupying' comments ?

left: Piha Community Library opening 1999

Two quotes from the latest Piha News Autumn 2014

"The meeting received reports . . . .  and the dispute with the Piha Community Library Trust over its occupation of the library building"  Piha Residents and Ratepayers Assn.

"The (Piha Community Library) Trust would also like the community to know we are trying our best to resolve the issue of the R&R claiming we are squatters in the library building we all fund raised for"  Piha Community Library Trust Chairperson

I have been requeasted by the President of the Piha Residents and Ratepayers to remove this article . . . so I am just leaving the quotes from the Piha News, above, here.
Large rock falls on Piha Road

Thanks to those that came to me at the car boot sale to tell me about the rock that had fallen onto Piha Road - left.

left: I went up to photograph it - someone had moved it off the road - thanks

Looking up on the cliff side it clear to see where the loose rocks are.

No doubt the fall was triggered by the torrential rain.

If you see a rock on the road and are unable to stop or its too big to move then maybe I suggest you phone *555 and report it.

Comment by The Bounder (Not Verified) at: 01May14 10:32AM
Who else thinks those sealed pull over areas will do any good? The camber on them at drivers height looks daunting,as though your vehicle will tip over the bank, most drivers prefer to see where the seal edge ends to guage whether it is safe to pull over, if enough room, no stranger to our road will want to do that. Untill they remove the hump along the straight between Anawhata and Frog Rock there are no real places to safely pass the 50kph driver thru the bends going into town, and then they accelerate to 100kph till they reach the corners.

Gold Card celebration in Piha

left:  Jim Trubuhovich with his gorgeous partner Sue,  Jim's brother Tony with his wife and Jim's sister Marie

A small group gathered to celebrate Jim's birthday.  I'm not allowed to mention what birthday it was but there was plenty of chat about 'Gold Cards' going on.   
Comment by Andrea Trubuhovich (Not Verified) at: 25Apr14 22:15PM
Good to see Jim's 4 legged niece Molly featuring too

   Reclaiming footpaths for pedestrians

Do you get annoyed when cars park over footpaths?   I do !

Lets keep them for pedestrians and especially those with prams etc.

Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 22Apr14 20:57PM
I reckon the worst is the rubbish bins on the footpaths. Visited the burbs on a rubbish day and the footpath was unwalkable. Let alone someone with mobility issues. Ideally the bins should go on the grass berm next to the driveway?

'Colour me Beautiful'

left:  Ruby Oakley's exhibition at West Coast Gallery in Piha

The gallery has some fabulous goodies in stock.  Pop in and have a looksee

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse - Legal high and cannabis regulation

"We cannot pretend that we can solve the issues by pushing them underground, the alternative is challenging but I think we are ready for the debate.  The need to escape our day to day life via a variety of chemical substances is as old as humanity, lets get over the prejudice and on with finding a humane way forward."

Saturday 19th April

Piha Community Library's fundraiser Car Boot Sale  IS ON today

Rescuers make up half of all drownings

Brave Kiwis trying to save someone else made up half the people who drowned over summer.

"What is concerning is that around 50 per cent of the deaths at beaches were 'would-be' rescuers who perished while the person they went in to save managed to survive."

12/4/14 Fairfax best photo taken in Piha

left:  The women's crew from Omanu Beach get hit by a wave when heading to the finish line during the Big Wave Classic held at Piha beach in Auckland Full article

Fundraiser for Piha SLSC

1965 Ford Falcon XP Station Wagon has been donated to the Piha SLSC by some great locals for fundraising.

See it on TradeMe HERE and go for it.

Comment by brian webber (Not Verified) at: 22Apr14 17:33PM
Trade me advises this ad has"EXPIRED"!!No one seems to know much about it..even club officials!!Some info would be helpful!!G3vrbK
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 24Apr14 22:33PM
Enquiries I have made resulted in the following comment "it was testing the water and watch this space".

Auckland Transport to seal metal laybys on Piha Road

Auckland Transport reports that loose gravel on the side of roads is a serious safety hazard and particularly on high speed rural roads - Piha Road.

For this reason they are going to seal the 'slow traffic' laybys on Piha Road.  

You can see what they are planning on doing HERE: Sealing of existing metal laybys plans [pdf]

If you have any problems or comments you should contact Auckland Transport. 
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 11:34AM
I hope they do them with a really high quality finish. Cyclists on Scenic Drive can be really hard to pass safely - and smooth high quality laybys - might allow the cyclist a small off road cycle area so motorists could pass safely. I'd be interest in some road cyclists opinions.
Comment by annony mouse (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 16:34PM
I used to ride the piha road alot but gave it away as too dangerous ! i would have liked to have kept as left a possible but the amount of broken glass etc that is on the side of the road makes it near impossible to ride on , road bikes run extremely high pressures (115 psi) with very thin tires so it makes a puncture almost inevitable !
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 16:50PM
That was my understanding that cyclists can't use craggy unkempt bits on the side. There are heaps of cyclists on scenic drive on weekends. I realise a cycle lane to Piha isn't feasible but I wonder if those gravel pulloffs could be cylcle quality might be helpful as some of those gravel pulloffs are really long? A couple before the windy bits or the uphill bits might be useful.
Comment by martin (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 18:41PM
I hope the munter drivers who hold up the Piha rd use these freshly sealed laybys,I think the 40 2 60k drivers are getting more and worse.

Broken septic tanks in Piha - The Inspectors

left: A 'still' from the TVNZ program 'The Inspectors' of a badly broken septic tank in Piha.

I am not convinced that all properties in Piha are inspected every three years to ensure that the disposal of sewage is done in a safe manner.   The council have contractors empty septic tanks and long drops  BUT they do not inspect every property to ensure that a septic is safe, that a long drop is functioning OK or that a modern system with drip lines is maintained properly.

Watch TVNZ's recent  The Inspectors HERE
Comment by M (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 18:46PM
We had them people from Hydro tech come out and bill us every six months for the council requirements on a pumped system,They never did what the said they did, came out one weekend to find shit flowing from the tank and they had been there the day before,Dripper lines blocked and fittings broken.Go i do it,

9/4/14 Help the Local Board support sustainable economic well being

The board is currently undertaking a stock-take of businesses within the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area.  The information from this stock-take will help develop ways to support sustainable economic well being in the Ranges Area as envisaged by the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008.

As a part of this stock-take, our research team would like to interview business owners located within the Heritage Area. The research team will respect the privacy of those who wish to remain anonymous while providing the information for the stock-take. 

The interviews are planned to take place in May 2014.  Please contact Raj Maharjan, Planner on 09 440 7774 for further details of the stock-take and to take part in this interview.

9/4/14 Operation Possum Blitz

We are having a very real possum problem.  Usually we get one or two up the back of our property but recently we've had up to 4 wandering our whole property at night - even looking through our french doors !

I'm told that possums, wasps and rats on private property are the owner's problem and if we wish to report it then it should be to the Governing Body, Auckland Council, rather than our Local Board or Parks West.

Julia has done research and purchased a possum trap for $35  from the volunteers who run 'Operation Possum Blitz' - see left.

We cannot tolerate possums eating our bush, birds and gardens.

Beautiful works of art on display

These beautiful works of art were painted during Term One art classes at Barnett Hall with local artist Shelley France.

They are on display now at the Piha Community Library- make sure you check them out when you are next at the library.

5/4/14  How many tow trucks does it take ?

How many tow trucks does it take to get a BMW off Piha Beach at midnight?

The answer is three.   It also costs $500 for those 3 tow trucks.

The problem is that the chain across the entrance to the beach is no longer locked at night time.

Drivers have no idea that you shouldn't enter unless you want to get stuck on the beach.  Maybe a sign saying  'Emergency Vehicles Only' would help  if the entrance is no longer to be locked?

And please don't say "they shouldn't drive on the beach" as there are beaches on this coast that are legal roads - who is to know?   We assist at least 3 a year caught in the sand. 

 2/4/14  Wasps have become a huge pest in Piha

Wasps, as well as possums and water rats, are becoming a growing problem in Piha.  Around this time each year we have a problem with water rats and deal with it but possums and wasps are a different matter.

I was stung twice last week and they hurt.  White vinegar reduced the sting somewhat.

Information from Landcare Research "There are two ways of reducing a local wasp problem - either finding and destroying all nests in the area, or using poison bait. The advantage of poison bait is that foraging wasps carry the poison back to the nest. This means you don't have to find nests or approach those that are very large or hard to get at.

Both methods will only alleviate the problem for the current season and workers foraging for food will reinvade the area. The area will almost certainly be reinvaded next season by queen wasps, which can fly up to 30 kilometres in their search for suitable nesting sites.

Given the problem of wasps and possums are a wider area problem I don't think it's too much to request Council to deal with it - do you ?

2/4/14 Yay - I won 'photo of the month' with Oratia Native 

"Thanks for sharing your Ficinia nodosa photo with us. We thought it was so good we've selected it to be "Photo of the Month" on our website.

Oratia Native Plant Nursery is based on a philosophy of encouraging people to learn about our natural heritage, and having people like you share photos with us is a big help. We'd like to recognise your contribution by sending you $60 worth of plant vouchers." 

Ficinia nodosa is a favourite plant of mine.  It is also known as Wiwi or Knobbly club rush and is a typical plant found in 'mid dunes'.   My photo was taken at Fitzroy at the NZ Dunes Conference in New Plymouth last month.

Winner below left.  Nobbly club rush photographed with sunset behind. See it on Oratia Natives website HERE  Middle: Same area during the day and right again with the sunset.   


1/4/14  Of course Daylight Saving finishes this week !

Yes I caught a few out with my April Fool's joke 

Clocks do go back one hour this Sunday April 6th at 3am.  So 3am becomes 2am on Sunday.

1/4/14 Do as I say not what I do !

"The race has been contentious because of fears of spreading Kauri PTA, and some concerns about commercialisation of the Hillary Trail."  Sandra Coney.  March 2014

Left:  Sarah Hillary,  Sandra Coney (Chair Waitakerere Ranges Local Board) and Peter Hosking of Protect Piha Heritage, at the start of the Piha sector of The Hillary

Now the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, with Sandra Coney as the Chair, is hosting aKauri Dieback Guided Walk in the Ranges.  

I recently received the following from a great supporter of  The Hillary:

"Just saw your newsletter mentioned the local board's kauri walk. Great idea to raise awareness! 

Isn't it funny how this event organised by the local board didn't have to do anything nearly as much as the Lactic Turkey event?

There is nothing on the website about kauri dieback measures and cleaning shoes before coming etc.  I know there has been no consultation. There are no limits to numbers.  No monitoring.   

No consent!  Sure people are not paying but they are advertising widely so whats to stop a hundred or more coming. 

They are walking in groups. This is more likely to damage tracks than spread out runners in single file,  on the Hillary Trail.   This is through a high risk area and as local board they should be setting an example I would think."

The Event hosted by Waitakere Ranges Local Board:

Kauri Dieback Guided Walk  - Free entry
Saturday 5 April, 9.30am
Shuttle bus from the Glen Eden Train Station

Take a guided walk from Anawhata Road along the Maungaroa Ridge Track at Piha to see where Kauri Dieback was first found and where you can see dead and dying Kauri.   This is a beautiful walk following an old Maori trail that went to the Maungaroa Pa.  At the Piha end it descends steeply to Glen Esk Road so moderate fitness and good walking shoes are required.  The walk ends at Sir Algernon Thomas Green where experts will talk on the work being done to protect the kauri forest of the Waitakere Ranges.  Then join us for a BYO picnic lunch.  Numbers are limited so get in quick.
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 01Apr14 15:20PM
Agree! +1
Comment by Sandra Coney (Not Verified) at: 01Apr14 22:31PM
Perhaps your readers would like to know that the Waitakere Ranges Local Board which I chair gave permission for the Piha Domain and the Bethells Beach Domain to be used as staging posts for The Hillary Ultra, which is why I went down to wish them well.
Comment by Not a Stalker (Not Verified) at: 02Apr14 15:58PM
So, educating people on kauri dieback gets them slagged off?
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 02Apr14 18:46PM
No, the way i'm reading the post, it wasn't the educating that was the problem....
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 03Apr14 1:27AM
Education is never a problem. What is the problem, again, is different rules for different people/events.
Comment by Saffron Toms (Not Verified) at: 03Apr14 14:19PM
Hi all - great to see this attention to Kauri dieback disease!
I hold the environment portfolio on the Local Board & I'm really excited about this walk & talk on Saturday. It doesn't hit you until you're right there with our taonga trees, as they literally bleed to death.
Your reader is wrong to say there are no limits to numbers - 'numbers are limited', clearly stated and why registration is essential (
It also makes no sense to compare this event to the Hillary Trail marathon, which was a commercial racing event aiming at 500 runners.
On Saturday we'll have 2-3 groups of appx 10 people, accompanied by a Council Parks or Biosecurity staff-member. It should be obvious that all biosecurity measures will be observed, given who's hosting & the purpose of the event.
We still have a few places left - see the above link.
Hope to see you on Saturday.
Nga mihi nui,
Saffron Toms, Waitakere Ranges Local Board
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 03Apr14 16:00PM
"which was a commercial racing event" - as opposed to a political event

"excited about event" as were the runners who are passionate about their sport and environment.
Comment by Anonymous at: 04Apr14 6:35AM
From what I can see The Hillary is not a commercial racing event. It is a running event raising money for a charitable trust as per
Comment by Josie (Not Verified) at: 04Apr14 15:27PM
Hi Saffron
Jut want to say as one of the runners what a great event it was on Saturday and thanks for letting it happen. the runners and organisers fully realise your responsibility to make sure the trail isn't commercially exploited or damaged and all the conditions were fair. Anyone can see that different situations need different conditions and I cannot get what these people are on about. I have no complaints at all.The rangers were great and I was so pleased they cut back the gorse on the DOC part past Tehenga as I got really scratched on a training run there. Thanks for m y most memorable run ever - just stunning scenery and so varied.
PS It was $290 to enter the Ultra so I think we can say it was commercial ;-)
Comment by Anon (Not Verified) at: 07Apr14 19:06PM
Oh I've just looked at the cost of tables for Starships big egg hunt. $200 per person. Is this Commercial too? ;)
Comment by Sarah (Not Verified) at: 09Apr14 15:34PM
The costs of entry covered the costs of putting on the event. Any surplus goes to the charity but I think it cost money rather than made any surplus. Hardly commercial unless raising money for a charity is commercial

1/4/14  Tailgating

Sent in by a Village Voice reader living in Piha

Last Thursday about 11:30am Iwas travelling along Scenic Drive on my way to Titirangi at 70 km  (which I think is the dedicated speed limit in that area, on a stretch about 3kilometres from Arataki)  when a car came up behind me and kept surging a tthe back of my  vehicle so close that all I could see in my rear vision window was their windscreen. 

There was nowhere to pull over to the left so I sped up to avoid being rammed and they kept speeding up and giving the impression they wanted to actually hit the back of my vehicle.  

Just before Arataki there is a corner where the road turns to the right and a small area wide enough to pull over, which I did.  This car then screamed past and the driver gave me the "one finger" sign whereupon I blasted my horn.  The vehicle is blue with the number plate AKT540.


I'm writing this because I was genuinely frightened and intimidated. 
Comment by Anonymous at: 03Apr14 16:54PM
I would report this online on the NZ Police website. This doesn't only happen on Scenic Drive but Piha Rd and Forest Hill Rd. driver are far to impatient and are bound to cause a serious accident if not stopped.
Comment by D Rongo (Not Verified) at: 07Apr14 23:44PM
If my speed is okay and not excessively slow, I slow down further to teach them a lesson. Speeding up just feeds into their desires
Comment by anonymous (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 6:48AM
There is tailgating and there is tailgating. If I had slowed down I would have been rammed - like I said, they kept surging in jerks so close they were almost touching the rear of my vehicle and yes, I should have reported it.
Comment by M (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 18:54PM
On the other hand if people moved along at a sensible speed and moved over to allow passing this would not happen.
i had a van just stop late one night on the S Dr and i was 6 lengths behind i do not know what they would have done if i walked up to there window, Instead i just drove around,and laughed.
Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr14 21:26PM
why don't you just pull over and let them PASS ? a no brainer! I pull over all the time.
Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr14 21:55PM
On the Piha Rd, or Senic Drive, you can't just 'pull over' any old time when there is nowhere to do so. Doing that sort of maneuver could easily cause an accident.
Comment by Anonymous at: 10Apr14 21:56PM
On the Piha Rd, or Senic Drive, you can't just 'pull over' any old time when there is nowhere to do so. Doing that sort of maneuver could easily cause an accident.

Patience a virtue in early days of Piha Lifesavers

Chris Gurr is a patient man. He is used to waiting.

It took up most of his time during the summer of 1985 when he was one of three volunteers based at Piha at weekends for the rescue helicopter.

Back then, the Auckland Rescue Helicopter was covered in Winfield cigarette logos, and surf lifesaving members occasionally helped police with car and farm accidents, too.

"It was a matter of luck if you were rostered on and it was a busy day otherwise you'd be sitting there twiddling your thumbs - talking and trying to pass the day with a bit of training," Gurr says.   

Full article in NZ Herald HERE

No Daylight Saving  but Tsunami Alarms will be tested April 6th

Even though government has decided to trial retaining  the extra hour of daylight through this winter (yes I know farmers will be furious)  the Tsunami Sirens will still be tested on April 6th.

When they go off do look around for people looking confused and reassure them the sirens are just being tested. 

Comment by Sarah (Not Verified) at: 01Apr14 9:28AM
Can you please clarify what you mean by no daylight saving and where you got that information from?
Comment by Brenda W (Not Verified) at: 01Apr14 13:13PM
First of April. Got sucked in myself on this one. Well done Editor

The Hillary  -  conquer your Everest

On the 29th March 2014 Lactic Turkey organised the inaugural Hillary Trail Ultra marathon.

It's taken Shaun Collins a while to obtain a consent for this event but he's a tenacious event organiser and very passionate about his sport.  

Quote from one competitor  

"I LOVED being a part of it...your perseverance in getting the event approved paid off and you may never truly understand how grateful people are and what it meant to each and everyone one of them personally, just like they will never understand the effort you put it to get to event day, some things don't need to be said in words though."


Runners had three entry choices:
  1. Arataki to Muriwai - 80 km (Ultra marathon)
  2. Piha Beach to Muriwai - 35 km
  3. Bethels Te Henga to Muriwai - 16 km
It was a huge buzz to see and photograph  the runners start on the Piha - Muriwai section after being briefed by race organiser Shaun Collins.  Photos above

Read different commentaries on the web:


29/3/14 Great turnout for Disabled Surfers

A message from Luke Springall of DSA  "Massive thanks to all who helped with the Disabled Surfers event today!!  Also big thanks to the local Piha Trading Community who got on board with us today and supplied some great prizes, so thanks to Lion Rock Surf Shop (Ratso), Piha Store (Pete) and Blairs at the Beach (Adrian). Also not forgetting Piha SLSC (as always!), Beehive Bacon (Chris the sausage man) NICE BLOCKS Jamie Piggins and Cobra Clothing for our fancy new beach marshall tops. Cheers Guys!!!!"

Report on Dune Trust of NZ Annual Conference 10-12 March '14

Against a beautiful backdrop of surf breaking onto Fitzroy Beach at New Plymouth (see photo above), the 3 day conference in the Fitzroy Surf and Lifesaving Club was once again a successful, informative and enlightening event.

Here we had a gathering of coast and beach care groups from around New Zealand, local and regional council staff and DOC representatives meeting together with scientists and researchers who came to update us on the latest findings and best practice methods of maintaining and restoring our coastal areas.  They were there also to discuss achievements, problems and solutions, and to provide a wonderful opportunity for networking and exchange of ideas.

There were a number of fascinating scientific papers presented to the conference, with perhaps 3 in particular that stood out.

1.    Dr Peter McComb an oceanographer from Met Ocean, gave a brilliant presentation on coastal processes that gave us really valuable insights into the interaction between the ocean and the land with illustrative film diagrams of such clarity that we all felt that we had developed a much deeper appreciation of the land/ocean environment.

2.   Dr John Ogden, a retired Associate Professor of Forest Ecology, is currently chairperson of the Great Barrier Island Environmental Trust.  He gave us an absorbing journey through the changing coastal environment of Great Barrier Island over some thousands of years - an excellent chance to understand what can be expected in coastal areas with climatic changes which take place over centuries.

3.    Dr Susanne Krejcek, an Adviser in Plants and Environment Response for the Ministry of Primary Industries, presented the findings of her research (from a Quinovic/Dunes Trust Study Award) on direct and indirect competition of introduced and native species in NZ coastal areas.  This detailed study provided sound and compelling scientific research back-up to coast care groups on how best to work in differing circumstances in preserving and restoring dune and coastal areas.

In addition, there was much useful additional information from such varied organisations as the Waikato Regional Council, Taranaki Tree Trust, Taranaki Regional Council, Lincoln University, Department of Conservation, Environmental Restoration Ltd, Environment Canterbury and New Plymouth District Council.

A full day was spent in field trips right around the Taranaki coastal area and we were able to see and hear about the successes,set backs and long-term project plans by coast care groups working along a high energy part of NZ's coastline, similar in many ways to our own Piha coast. 

For the 4 people who attended from Piha, it was good to receive confirmation that the philosophy of the Piha CoastCare Trust isin line with best practice in the area of dune restoration and caring for the coastal areas.

Congratulations to our Waitakere Ranges Local Board for sending Saffron Toms, the holder of the environment portfolio on the Board, to the conference.  It was a great chance for her to network with those involved in environmental protection and to have a look at a number of samples of the work being done to maintain and restore our coastlines.

Add to this a great collection of enthusiastic, friendly and hardworking people, all willing to share their extensive knowledge and experience, and the annual conference of the Trust was clearly a truly worthwhile event.  

Piha CoastCare 

28/3/14 Climb every mountain  

The Hillary Ultra and 34/16 km Trail Runs

You don't need to head to the South Island for the hard-man (and woman events) because this year we have our very own. For the first time you can run the Waitakere Hillary Trail in an 80km ultra-marathon (seriously, run from Arataki to Muriwai Beach - the walk is usually four to five days). There are 34km and 16km options too.

Saturday, 6am. Waitakere Ranges, 300 Scenic Dr, Oratia  The Hillary online HERE   NZ Herald

  23/3/14   Kauri Dieback Guided Walk 

Saturday 5 April, 9.30am  Take a guided walk from Anawhata Road along the Maungaroa Ridge Track at Piha to see where Kauri Dieback was first found and where you can see dead and dying Kauri. This is a beautiful walk following an old Maori trail that went to the Maungaroa Pa. At the Piha end it descends steeply to Glen Esk Road so moderate fitness and good walking shoes are required. The walk ends at Sir Algernon Thomas Green where experts will talk on the work being done to protect the kauri forest of the Waitakere Ranges. Then join us for a BYO picnic lunch. Numbers are limited so get in quick. To book, email Sharon Davies

20/3/14  Roadside workers

I know a number of Piha Residents have been concerned about people doing road side works and or sitting on the road side with high viz jackets.

Because of issues with these workers coming into the Beach Valley Road area I have been having discussions with council staff, Auckland Transport and the subcontractor about what and how the workers are doing their job.

The most urgent thing I have asked for is:
  1. That the workers wear ID badges visible to the public
  2. That they have 'Roadside Works' signs out
These workers are clearly 'English as a 2nd language' workers.  I have had several discussions with them and they are shy and withdraw when an anxious pakeha approaches them - I understand that.  

I did explain that just two weeks ago I intercepted a real burglar.  This does make people extra alert and nervous - of course.  Fulton Hogan and the contractor well understand the concerns of locals and will do all they can to address them. 

The workers all should have ID badges on them but I explained that most would not approach a , in their mind, a suspicious person holding a knife or other tool and ask for their ID. 

All staff should beeasily identifiable as Maka Civil or Fulton Hogan.  It will be plasteredall over their hi-viz clothing, hardhats and vehicles. 
Comment by mick cowell (Not Verified) at: 03Apr14 17:05PM
stinks of racissum who do you think you are .!
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 03Apr14 18:43PM
I very rarely discriminate, being part of a minority group myself, but if I ever do it certainly is not on 'race'.
This is about people being fearful of workers in high viz jackets and holding knives on roadsides without identification.

That's all - nothing hidden and certainly, believe me, not discrimination.
Comment by zak (Not Verified) at: 09Apr14 9:09AM
Mitch may not spell that well but he has a point. Would you have been so concerned if the work crew was pakeha? And who are these "fearful people" that you talk about? Perhaps you are referring to yourself?
It is one thing to be a busy body sticking your nose in other people's legitimate business. It is another thing to allow your prejudice to infect your nosiness.
The only thing surprising about your post was that you did not refer to the work crew as being "heavies" rather than "english as a second language" types. In any event, shame on you.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 09Apr14 15:38PM
People working in my street is my business. I wouldn't care if the people were Eskimos - has nothing to do with it. My reference to 'English as a 2nd language' was only to demonstrate that when anyone had dialogue with them it was difficult - that's all. Don't read stuff into it that is not there. Thanks
Comment by fred (Not Verified) at: 09Apr14 20:50PM
I tend to agree with Zak. The first signs of bigotry are denial and justification, however unconscious they may be.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 10Apr14 11:33AM
Now you're being ridiculous. Anyone can suggest/accuse you of discrimination and if you respond you're a bigot Full Stop. You're an idiot fred

20/3/14    We have never discussed divorce - only murder

"Dealing with liars and cleaning the juicer. There's a whole culture of not telling the truth or living the truth. I'm not saying I'm some kind of saint but I think because I have spent a long time in politics I know the thing that brings people down is not sex and drugs but lies."

Read the whole article HERE - its great.

19/3/14  WARNING - Please be aware people!

"We have been notified via our NS network in the Karekare/Piha area of a Male Polynesian scoping sections/properties for scrap metal.  The male did call out after scoping the metal and a resident at the property went to talk to him, he had then asked about the scrap metal. The Male is driving a maroon Mazda car, rego ZA5882. He does not have room in the vehicle he is driving so one can only assume a vehicle comes and collects the scrap later.
The Police request you call 111 if you see this Male/vehicle please straight away. Neightbourhood Support" 
Stay safe out there !

 19/3/14  Disabled Surfers Day returns to Piha again

"The Disabled Surfers Association of New Zealand (DSANZ) is a registered ?not for profit? incorporated society providing people with disabilities a fun, safe, surfing and beach experience."

Luke is looking for volunteers to help out 29th March, Piha Beach See HERE for details  or Facebook HERE

15/3/14  Piha Volunteers

I took this photo of the Piha First Response St. John Ambulance at the ready this afternoon as the winds start coming toward us.

Now I have just heard the Piha Volunteer First siren go off.  

While we're keeping ourselves and property safe these volunteers are at the ready to help us should we need.  Most of them having families and property to look after as well.    Thanks so much to all of you.

Beach Party Fundraiser in Piha @ Piha SLSC

In association with Piha Boardriders money raised goes toward Elliot Paerata Reid to compete in Ecuador at the World Junior Champs in April.

Sat 22 March 7pm to late. $10 on the door.  Entertainment Fran Kora & friends.

14/3/14   Vector warns of possible cyclone related outages 

On Saturday night winds will swing to the north west, affecting remote coastal areas such as Piha and Muriwai. We do not expect too many issues but recommend that customers always be prepared for the possibility of an outage during inclement weather.

Vector wants to take the opportunity to remind people than in the event of an outage they should;

- stay well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times

- Ensure garden furniture and umbrellas are put away or tied down

- Ensure trampolines are tied down

- watch out for falling tree branches as these can cause damage to power lines

- avoid possible damage to electrical appliances (in the unlikely event there is a power surge when the power is restored) by switching off appliances at the wall

- keep a torch and spare batteries handy and ensure that you have at least one telephone that does not rely on electricity for operation

- Ensure that an alternate fuel is always available for cooking (e.g. gas for BBQ)

Full article HERE

  People posing as delivery people

Sent from a reader  "There are 2 people posing as delivery people who have been checking out houses in Oratia.  I spotted them on my way home from work at Lone Kauri School.  This was on Forest Hill Rd around 4 by the last corner at the layby. The male is of slim build and the female has a pony tail. They could be Maori/ Pacific Islander or Indian. (This is from a house cctv camera image)They wear orange hi vis vests and are driving a silver people mover.

They check out houses and then make a return visit.Police are aware so if you spot them give the police a ring."

14/3/14 NZ Dunes Trust Annual Conference

Last night I returned from the NZ Dunes Trust Conference in New Plymouth.  The Fitzroy SLSC was a perfect venue.

left: Trustee David Bergin, Saffron Toms, Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Trustee Mark Dean and Pat la Roche of Piha CoastCare at the Dunes Trust dinner on Wednesday night.

It is a wonderful 3 days with some of New Zealand's top coastal scientists, researchers and people on the ground.

It was a great opportunity for WRLB member Saffron Toms to come up to speed with the general condition and management of NZ's coasts and meet the 90+ people that attended.  More later . . .   NZ Dunes Trust online HERE

11/3/14  Police ask residents to look out for drug growers

 Operation head Detective Sergeant Callum McNeill says some of the plants had been growing a long time and thanked the public for providing information that had led to the arrests.

He encouraged people to phone the police if they noticed suspicious activity in their area such as lights in the bush after dark or people in places you wouldn't expect them to be.   Full article HERE

9/3/14  A message from Piha SLSC

The Piha Surf Club Bar & Kitchen is now officially CLOSED for the season. For enquiries regarding venue hire or events please contact the club administrator at

The Moreporks aren't happy

left: Possum in Beach Valley Road

A few of us were sitting outside this evening and all heard at the same time restless noises from the morepork and then we spotted this rather large possum.

Now we've had them on our woodshed before but never in the front of our home in the  pohutukawa overhanging Beach Valley Road.

The possum control folk really need to up their game.  The possums are out of control right down in the Village now and it's just not good enough. 
Comment by Takes the community (Not Verified) at: 10Mar14 9:01AM
Yes we pay a portion of our rates for pest control
And rubbish and sewage disposal and maintaining road frontages and footpaths etc etc etc

But to make things work you need community involvement and buy in

So with all these things including pest control we all have to do our bit for the environment and that could be as easy as a trap set on your own properties

These are readily available and very efficient

If I see rubbish I pick it up if I see pest sign I set a trap

Rats,possumms,stoats, wasps

We all have to help

Just my thinking
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 14Mar14 19:26PM
Totally agree with you. Last year I asked Council for some rabbit traps - or was it the year before? Couldn't get one for love nor money so ended up begging and a friend in Karekare brought one over. Give us the tools and we'll help all we can with pests.

Olympan Ferguson claims inaugural surf lifesaving gold

Ferguson, now the head-coach at the Piha club, admitted it was a proud moment.

"This is my fourth nationals and I've won a few teams medals but this is my first individual win so I'm pretty happy," Ferguson said. "Hopefully there are still a few more to come over the weekend."     Read full article HERE

Neighbourhood Watch works !

Late this evening, about midnight,  Ju heard suspicious noises outside .

I grabbed the torch and mobile and went looking and saw them pull in front of a property that is regularly burgled.

They saw my torch then left to drive like absolute idiots up and down, up and down.

Damn it - I phoned *555 and reported them - having got the number plate.

Good on the Police who stopped and arrested them at Elevation Cafe.   A girl who was asleep in the back of the car told Police the two guys were planning on burgling the house.  The driver also had no license.

If you see something suspicious it doesn't hurt to report it - *555 from a mobile.  Stay safe out there !
Comment by Waveney Bray (Not Verified) at: 07Mar14 8:07AM
Well done yet again Bobbie!
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 10Mar14 14:58PM
Hip pip hara

 NZ Dunes Trust Conference - New Plymouth

Some may remember the Dunes Trust held their annual conference in Piha a few years back.

This year it is in New Plymouth and the theme is  'Way Out West'.   Very relevant to us here on the West Coast so I am going to attend this coming  Tues, Wed and Thu.   I am also thrilled that Saffron Toms from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board is attending.

The saying goes  'dunes are the buffer between the sea and the land'.   It may be a surprise to some of you but I really do love learning and hearing experts in their field feeding back to us average citizens the results of their studies and observations.

I'll look forward to letting you in on some secrets on my return.  More information on the 'Way Out West' Conference HERE
Comment by JT (Not Verified) at: 07Mar14 10:02AM
Good on you Bobbie. I think there are probably a few others from Piha who could educate themselves on the importance of dunes and how the floor of the sea affects the beach and not the other way around.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 15Mar14 1:43AM
Some people still think the earth is flat.

Economic Developement out West

I have been invited to attend a 'forum' on March 14th with the Waitakere Ranges Local Board on Economic Development.

For those that work from home, run businesses in Piha or Karekare or somehow making a living here please give me some ideas/thoughts of yours regarding economic development here in our Villages.   

You can 'comment' or if you prefer  EMAIL me privately.   Please don't be shy - everyone welcome to give me ideas.

 Police burning the West's cannabis

Most of us heard and saw  Air Force's Iroquois Helicopter winching police onto properties and back into the copters with vegetation.   Shame they didn't get some pampas at the same time uh?

"More than 2000 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of $2 million have been seized and destroyed as part of a police crackdown.

 Police say the marijuana plants recovered were discovered growing in forests, swamps, rivers and rural property in Port Waikato, Muriwai, Piha, Kaipara Flats, Helensville and Great Barrier Island."   Article on HERE

Photo left: Courtesy of Amber Coates

Comment by jt (Not Verified) at: 07Mar14 10:05AM
Oh yeah! Where are they burning? I will be stationed nearby.
Comment by Archaic tactics (Not Verified) at: 08Mar14 16:57PM
When is NZ going to learn they are wasting valuable time, resources & rate payers money fighting cannabis growth ? In the U.S. it is nearing 20 States that have legalised medical marijuana & out of that a few States have legalised recreational marijuana use. Some States are even able to pull out of State tax debt. due to cannabis growth & sales. Experts have stated alcohol is really the poison not cannabis.

Art on our backdoor step

Harbourview Sculpture Trail is definitely on my list of 'must do' this year.  It's in Te Atatu Peninsula AND this year you can hire bikes to do the trail.   More info HERE on the website

6/3/14  Feeding ducks.

Please don't feed the ducks - its bad for them and here's why

"Feeding ducks bread can increase the spread of diseases in two ways. First, a carbohydrate-rich diet leads to greater defecation, and bird feces easily harbor bacteria responsible for numerous diseases, including avian botulism. Second, moldy bread can cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can decimate entire duck and waterfowl flocks."  

Of course 'greater defecation'  means more pollution in our streams and waterways . . . .  please explain that the the kids.  Today's children are not stupid.  They understand these things - thanks

What's happened to our picnic seat?

I have it on the best authority that a 4 wheel drive backed into this seat and caused the damage.

Council have taken it away to fix and it will return.  

Car Boot Sale

Our Piha Community Library is having a fundraiser.  Its a car boot sale with food,  music, bouncy castle and face painting. 

The date is Saturday 19th April and it will be in the Piha Domain.  In the event of rain  the event will be moved to Saturday 26th April.

Community Engagement Forums

Not a lot of notice but here are some dates our Local Board is holding some community engagement forums on.

Local Boards are working on their three-year Local Board Plans.  To find out what is important to people we are hosting a number of stakeholder forums over the next couple of weeks.  If you or an organisation you are involved with, want to attend one of these forums,  please get in touch with the Board's PA, by email HERE

Environment Forum    Thursday 6th March    7 - 9 pm 
Arts Forum                           Tuesday 11 March 7 - 9 pm
Economic Development Forum         Friday 14th March  7:30 - 8:45am
Community Development Forum Friday 14th March 12 - 1:30pm
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 06Mar14 12:51PM
Sorry folk. These meetings are invite only!!!

28/2/14 'The Endless Summer' returns to Piha

On Easter Sunday, April 20th, we see the return of  the movie "The Endless Summer".

This  is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic 1960's surf film  " The Endless Summer"  for local Piha residents to enjoy.   The film captured surfing at Piha 50 years ago.  This free event will have a 4 metre inflatable cinema screen positioned on the grass area of the Piha Domain.  

It will be a family friendly (the film is rated PG) event where people can bring along a picnic and a rug to enjoy the film.  The film will run from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm.   The event is a celebration of surf culture and an opportunity for the Piha community to celebrate the beach lifestyle they live everyday.
Comment by Sooz Hardie (Not Verified) at: 03Mar14 14:31PM
Awesome! Do you know who is orgaising this??
Comment by Sooz Hardie (Not Verified) at: 03Mar14 14:32PM
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 03Mar14 15:39PM
Nick Stevenson :-)

Piha Domain Camp closing

The Piha Domain Camp is closing on 28th of April for a few months for the build of a nice new shiny ablutions block.

Thanks for nothing

 To the person who went to the 7s in Wellington and won $12,000 for the best costume and then sent me a photo of yourself for Village Voice : thanks for nothing.

Your photo was the cause of the crash of Village Voice !  Geek - you know who you are - what's your postal address for the account ?

Last day for Proposed Unitary Plan submissions

Today at 5pm you must have your submission on the Proposed Unitary Plan in to Council.   It's about SEAs, land coverage,  pruning etc

You can  read mine HERE.   Feel free to use any of it you agree with if you have not submitted yet.

To send a submission attachment (Word document etc) to Council  Go HERE
Comment by Keith keith (Not Verified) at: 02Mar14 11:41AM
Well written , I have sent mine in on the same subject. Council is Trying to be big brother in the most ridiculous manner, without any real knowledge of how we need water and sunlight.

27/2/14  Unregistered dogs 

Sent in from a 'not so happy'  reader

It is now legal for Waitakere city dog pound to sneak onto your property and remove your dog and impound him/her for not being registered even if you are home. 

Apparently it's not revenue gathering... Registration $78... To collect ur dog from these wankers $ 210
Comment by Mmn (Not Verified) at: 28Feb14 14:18PM
ANSWER: Register your dogs.
Comment by Cheryl Evans (Not Verified) at: 03Mar14 9:03AM
I know the poor old dog that was taken and it was a genuine case of the owners just forgetting to renew the rego. Surely the council could have just phoned the owner and told them to pay within xx days or the dog would be impounded. A .50c phone call rather than the cost of sending someone out to Piha to collect a sweet old dog while owners were away. Come on council think outside the square instead of just revenue collecting and stressing the animal and all concerned out.
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 03Mar14 15:41PM
I don't think its OK for Council to enter private land to take a dog away without discussion with the owner. What next - an unregistered car ?

22/2/14 Lost Cat - Louie 

One of our cats has gone walkabouts.  His name is Louie and he's very friendly .   

He's probably hanging around at someoneshouse at North Piha but he may have strayed further a-field.  Any information onhis whereabouts would be very much appreciated as he's a part of our lovingfamily.  

If you think you have seen Louie  please email me HERE

 Lost Cat - Phoenix

I have recently moved to Piha Road and my beloved cat Phoenix has gone missing on Sunday 16th February. He is a male, approx. 5 years old.  He is a short haired black and brown tabby with a white chest, paws and tummy.  He has a unique white stripe marking on his nose.  He may be as far as Oratia (West Coast Road) as that was his last home.

Please note he has a special raw food diet from raw essentials due to a health condition - he cannot eat normal cat food.

If you have seen or found him please comment  here or Email ME

20/2/14 Another council embarrassment 

Many of you will have recently had your septic tankpumped and inspected.  Yesterday I received from council the report on my systemand a glossy pamphlet published by council titled  "A west Auckland septic tank guide".   I invite you to have a look at the first page inside the front cover.  You will see a nice picture of a house,  septic tank field and a swimming pool.   My problem??   The swimming pool is unfenced!!!!   As some one that has been on the receiving end of an extremely officious swimming pool inspector find this an absolute joke.

Philip Parks

18/2/14  Ranui School brought the awesome

To see the faces on these kids really is enough to bring a tear to the eye - or am I just getting a little soft.    Left is a photo of a T-shirt one of the parents wore - it's true - they did bring the awesome kids.

Here is their setup at the Piha Camp.

I saw them at the Piha SLSC today.  Blairs provided each of the 50 kids with hot dogs and chips plus an ice block for their lunch.   It sure takes a Village  

The Piha Singing Group

You do not have to be a 'fabulous' singer to join this group.  The ability to hold a note may help . . .    They meet at the Piha Library each fortnight - a diverse social group that enjoy singing. 

Everyone welcome. 

Ranui School Kids arrive in Piha

left:  These very excited and gorgous kids arrived on Ritches bus today for the annual 'Ranui School' stay in Piha.

An amazing community event started and lead by Fiona @ Piha Camp

17/2/14 What do YOU want from YOUR Local Board ?

From Council:   "Auckland's 21 local boards are currently developing their local board plans, which will set objectives for our local communities for the next three years and beyond.  We would like your views on how the boards can work with your community to make our neighbourhoods" 

  • What's important to YOU?
  • What services should the Local Board provide?
  • What Project should the Local Board focus on?
It's really important that you tell the Local Board what you want money spent on.  For example  I know some people have said they'd like the footpaths on the hill joined up.   Then put this in your submission.

Unfortunately it appears that our Local Board isn't having any public meetings about this.  I notice some, like Whau and Henderson Valley,  are having public meetings.  This is a THREE year plan.  I'm checking whether our Local Board is having any public meetings or not.

Comment by mozzie (Not Verified) at: 19Feb14 10:55AM
OMG not more ugly footpaths that no-one uses. They're meant to be environmentalists - let's deal with all the weeds here.
Comment by Mozzie Screen (Not Verified) at: 20Feb14 8:37AM
Unless your walking about with your eyes closed, I see our footpaths used all the time, You cannot stop an increase in cars and people coming to Piha (so deal with that or move to an island) quite frankly we need more footpaths, the few we do have should have been in place a generation ago....
Comment by mozzie (Not Verified) at: 21Feb14 13:31PM
Actually, we need more imagination than concrete. Ways to slow traffic and get drivers respecting peds more - lots of good egs of shared space in Auck and here in Aus. Cutting back vegetation on some roads would help give peds more space too.
And I have yet to see anyone on a footpath above Rayner Rd...
Comment by mozzie Screen (Not Verified) at: 21Feb14 13:53PM
I don't really care if they concrete, gravel or wooden boardwalks, we as well as out kids and elderly need to be able to move about the community without dodging cars, bikes and trees, decent footpaths are the only thing that allows for this.
Shared ped/car spaces never work neither will filling all the roads with speed bumps.
I do however agree that we should be cutting back our overgrown road lining trees etc
Comment by Waveney Bray (Not Verified) at: 01Mar14 16:09PM
I walk the paths at least 3 times a week. One of the reasons more people don't walk them is that they stop on dangerous corners eg 1st bend below Rayner Rd all the way to the bottom of hill. Arguably the most dangerous stretch. There is no way I would take my grand children with me. You have to have good hearing and sight and be able to move very quickly to navigate the crossings required. People should be able to walk safely from the top of the hill to the bottom, great for health and keeping cars off road. Time to be realistic.
Comment by gramps (Not Verified) at: 06Mar14 16:22PM
Can't physically have footpaths on every road, so let's slow the traffic - as for exercise, there's the beach and bush. Isn't that why we're here? Also, there are off-road paths making links e.g. Piha Rd to Rayner, Rayner to Sylvan and the Milk Track. Use!

Waitakere Ranges Local Board have announced the following

Meet your local board members:
Local board members are out and about talking with residents about the next local board plan at a number of outreach sessions. You are invited to come along or to make direct contact to share your views:

· Sunday 23rd February outside the Titirangi shops
· Sunday 2nd March at the Swanson Market, Swanson
· Tuesday 4th of March in Glenmall, Glen Eden

Piha Education Trust - Open Day

The Piha Education Trust would like us to help them celebrate this fantastic environmental restoration project. 

Where:  Piha Wetlands Restoration Project, 42 Seaview Road, Piha - behind the Art Gallery
When:   March 8th 10am - midday
All Ages Event: Opening, Student performances,. Walk around and explore the project, Morning ea.

10 Years from concept to stage - A musical

Based on the Great Fire of London - by Graeme Webber

left:  Graeme Webber 

Most of us who know Graeme know he's very involved in the theatre.  Graeme wrote the songs, lyrics and dialogue for this production and it's now open for auditions . . .  

Go to the website for  Great Fire of London 1666 HERE

Comment by Graeme Webber (Not Verified) at: 18Feb14 10:08AM
Thanks so much Bobbie for putting this up. You're hot off the press!
I need all the help I can get. The Theatre manager has told me its going to be very hard to cast because of the required 16 performers + Chorus.
Otherwise i'm good to go!!
So if anyone knows anyone likely please pass the info on. Thanks again.

Piha's Marae ?

Chatting to some of the folk at the Bowler last night, one said he thought the Piha Bowler was like Piha's Marae.   There is no doubt that if you're having a gig that the Bowler is the place to have it.  The dance floor is fabulous and the building is classic Kiwiana.   Thank heavens we saved it from demolition  

click on this photo and see just one of the tables of Piha locals ready for what turned out to be a fabulous night of dancing and singing.

Most of us knew all the words to all the songs and we sang on the top of our lungs.

Below is a hint of the amount of people that came to enjoy plus Val with Shane (they've known each other for yonks) and Val with Shane's partner and an old friend she was a 'Go Go Dancer' with moons ago. 


left:  A thanks from Shane and the Shadz for last night.  They loved it.

13/2/14  We should not be complacent

It is alarming what is happening in the Northern Hemisphere this year.   We may be living in God's Own but we should not be complacent.

I have already started making sure the waterways on our boundaries  are clear, including removing dead trees, so that storm water can run down unimpeded.

There are also areas of our properties where heavy rain creates streams and I'll be making sure they're clear as well.

May I suggest we all do this.  Do not rely on 'someone else' to be responsible for our own safety and that of our property.

It's also a good idea to have contact with neighbours and especially if any of your live alone or are elderly.

Let's be a proactive and caring community

It's an opportunity to remember that 'dunes' are the buffer between the sea and land'  and play a very important role.

They do not have to take your views (another story) and should be valued for the tole they play in our coastal environment.

11/2/14  Saffron Tom's portfolio on our Local Board is the 'environment'

left:  Saffron Tom's portfolio on our Local Board is the 'environment'.   That's great because Saffron's  education included  'Educational and vocational qualifications MA (Hons) (Geography); BA (Philosophy & Geography majors)'

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board area includes a huge amount of coastline so I asked her if she would consider attending the NZ Dunes Trust Conference  in New Plymouth next month. 

Given that we don't all know everything I like to attend when able so I am thrilled that Saffron is making the effort.  It's a shame that other  so called  'knowledgeable' mouths in Piha don't attend tooooo   !

Saffron says she just has to arrange care for her daughter and she'll attend.   Great Saffron.   

10/2/14  It's 'Year 6' time again Piha

" Hello My Dear and Generous Friends.  Yep, it is that time of the year, Year 6 students from Ranui School will be camping with us from 18th to the 20th.  If you would care to help me put some sunshine in these little lives by donating baking or fruit that would be awesome!  Please drop to the Camp office on Monday 17th.  Much Love, Camp Mother.

Someone forgot to tell Lonely Planet

You would think that Lonely Planet could have waited until the Waitakere Ranges Local Board had come out with the final  'Waitakere Ranges Visitor Management Plan' !!   Oh - who cares?

For all the artists who sell their goods in the West Coast Gallery in Piha - I'm thrilled
To our local businesses that employ locals  -  I'm thrilled
To everyone that relies on visitors to maintain their income - I'm thrilled
For our whole local economy, including us  (Black Sands Lodge)  I'm even more thrilled.

I hear there are some good reviews in it  .  .  .  .  can't wait to see it    

Comment by Anon Anon (Not Verified) at: 11Feb14 10:47AM
*Fantastic. Vibrant villages and a healthy environment depend on a thriving local economy. Protect the ranges, but bring on the diversity of a few visitors enjoying our special places. These two things needn't be at odds with each other.

Roxanne and Ring of Fire :  featuring Woody of Piha

10/2/14  Year after year I ask what' s happening here - its shameful 
left:  Just a little part of West Coast Road, on the corner of Bush Road, where one would think they're making a 'show case for weeds'.

Have a look at the photo and see if you can name one weed that isn't there?

They're all in flower so their seeds will be spreading like a wildfire.  Anyone noticed the ginger in flower at Piha Lookout recently ?
Comment by Weed or not to Weed (Not Verified) at: 11Feb14 7:26AM
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote "What is a weed ? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered "

I find this quite thought provoking thinking out of the square

Should we adopt this thinking to all things we do not like or understand or maybe we do already
Comment by Weed or not to Weed (Not Verified) at: 11Feb14 9:23AM
One of Ralph Waldo Emersons writings

" Nature "

It can be seen online dare to read it if you havent already
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 11Feb14 14:34PM
'A weed is a plant in the wrong place' is another saying.

I'd just like the people that are slapping SEAs on our land, and all the restrictions that go with it, to deal to these weeds in the Ranges. I think that is fair enough !
Comment by Martin (Not Verified) at: 16Feb14 19:37PM
I'd be more concerned about the amount of rubbish that lies amongst the weeds,
Comment by mozzie (Not Verified) at: 19Feb14 11:05AM
The Council should deal with these weeds like pampas and ginger that get worse and worse each year and invade the bush especially after fires etc.

8/2/14  Soul Talks:  A series with Lynne Towner of Piha
  • Starting Wednesday morning 12th February
  • 8 weekly sessions from 8am til 11.30am
  • Piha Eco Sanctuary, 10 Glenesk Road

What is the soul?   What is consciousness?    What is the self? 

These are some of the questions that will be addressed.  The course is being offered in response to requests from people who have experienced Lynne's regular led Wednesday meditations (now being held on Friday mornings from 8am)

For a fuller outline of the course, or to enrol, contact Lynne on 021 332 120 or Email Lynne HERE

Piha SLSC Bar and Restaurant hours for Feb

Our February opening hours of the Surf Club Bar & Kitchen for TheVoice to now Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm

7/2/14 Feedback on 'Piha Beach Reserve restoration programme'

Feedback closes today.  For what its worth these are my comments:
  1. North Piha Esplanade: Support weed spray.  I oppose anything taller than 2 meters being planted
  2. Les Waygood Park: Support weed spray.  Please concentrate on appropriate stream side planting.  No tall trees.
  3. Piha Esplanade Reserve: Suport weed spray.  Appropriate stream side planting only.  No karo etc . . .  no tall trees
  4. North Piha Strand: Strongly support weed spray.  Low growing 'mid-dune' planting only.
  5. Piha Domain: Support weed spray.  No tree planting at all.  Please refer to 'Piha Reserve Management Plan 7.5:  'No planting of tall trees to ensure that views . . . . . are unimpeded'.  Requires appropriate stream side planting. 

Comments:  To complete weed control please spray all  'onehunga weed'  (prickles)  in the Domain.  It is being spread all over Piha.

NOTE:  I support weed spray because the job is far too big for any other approach, in my opinion.

You can email your comments by 5pm today to:  Parks West @ Auckland Council HERE

 Twitter gets Gillespie into trouble

How's this for getting caught in a Twitter rip?  Radio DJ Polly Gillespie was criticised on social media this week for comments she made about Asian people on TV reality show Piha Rescue. "Seriously  'stay away from Piha'  flyers need to be given to people getting off the plane from Asian continent. . . . "  
NZ Herald

Email from a Village Voice Reader:

4/2/14 Any update on the water quality in the lagoon?

 I went for a kayak yesterday and after exiting the lagoon I noted a temporary council sign hidden out of sight. The sign advised no water activity's but was hidden in a obscure corner.

This sign was pointed out by a passer by who commented on whether I had also had my shots....

When in the kayak I had noted a lot of algae and rubbish. Parts of the lagoon actually smelt and in certain areas my arms started to itch when in contact with the water?

For a pristine and iconic part of New Zealand I have strong concerns that the council is avoiding the water quality situation and are not antiquity putting signs in areas where they can be clearly noted. This is evident by Lion Rock where a lot of family's take there children swimming.


Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 06Feb14 14:25PM
Council do a wonderful job of 'monitoring' the pollution - Full Stop. See below
Comment by sara (Not Verified) at: 07Feb14 8:53AM
absolutely agree that water quality needs to be a priority for the local board. I have been pushing for something to be done (besides monitoring) since our children were toddlers. They're now at intermediate and secondary school and the situation hasn't changed.
Comment by Angela Wood (Not Verified) at: 11Feb14 9:16AM
I commented to the council man regarding the positioning of the sign, that no one would see it hidden over the other side by the car park, as children swam further down, and suggested he placed it over the bridge by the seat so families would see it as they walked through.
Comment by Angela Wood (Not Verified) at: 11Feb14 9:16AM
I commented to the council man regarding the positioning of the sign, that no one would see it hidden over the other side by the car park, as children swam further down, and suggested he placed it over the bridge by the seat so families would see it as they walked through.

Over $85,000 of our ratepayers $$$

Left:  this is an example of the  disgusting state of our stream sides in Piha.

Submissions close tomorrow 7th Feb

How the Local Board can spend $85,000 + building a forest when we have such problems with our water quality is beyond me.   

Get rid of the weeds - fine - then plant low growing plants and get onto our streamsides

Below:  Oioi or Jointed rush or Apodasmia similis is a perfect stream side plant.  It filters water, slows it down and provides shade for the stream.  The two photos on the right, below, are stream side in the Beach Valley Road Project.  


Below:  The disgusting state of 'Moana Stream'  which feeds into Piha Beach.  It's hardly recognisable as a 'stream'.  It's concrete with plastic liner and full of garbage.    And they monitor pollution ????


You want to come and look just Email Me

A message from West Coast Gallery

We would like to givethe community a chance to have access to the great quality weaving herekake(flax) that is growing along the riverbank beside the gallery.

We have a couple of weeks to get it removed, andif anyone is interested in digging out some clumps and replanting, theyare most welcome.  Could they confer with me first. 

Kind Regards Glenys,  West Coast Gallery,  Piha  ph: 09 812 8029  

4/2/14  We're worried for the Ranger's safety - gosh!

I love dogs.  My last dog was a ridgeback/labrador and I adored him.  I am not a dog hater.  Right - that's said

Here are 5 photos taken on the Day of the Giants all with dogs, only one leashed, on Piha Beach during the Day of the Giants.

The littlest one, left, squatted and  had a (very runny) poo right after I took the photo !  (I'm not taking that personally) No owner to be seen.

The third one was taken while the  owner was happily throwing sticks for his two dogs to retrieve.

I was told that someone called Council, not a ranger to be seen anywhere,  about this only to be told something like . . .  ' There are a lot of people out there and we're worried for the Ranger's safety'.   Gosh !   


Comment by Glenda Northey (Not Verified) at: 05Feb14 8:17AM
It never fails to amaze me that people feel that a dog is happier being dragged to a beach with hundreds of people, no shade and burning hot sand rather than spend a day in the cool at home.
Comment by Beach Go-er (Not Verified) at: 05Feb14 11:00AM
No one seems bothered by the dogs having fun at the beach by looking at your photos?. So the person who did not pick up after their dog is at fault, I don't disagree, but for the people that throw rubbish out of their car windows, do we ban all cars on Piha beach for that? I think everyone needs to back off from this witch (dog) hunt and just enjoy your day at the beach as no one was hurt, or attacked, and no penguins died that day. There's a lot worse things going on in the world and if dogs bother you that much maybe you should all move to Mission Bay. Dogs are NOT natural born killers
Comment by Sally (Not Verified) at: 05Feb14 18:07PM
During the hours of daylight saving dogs arent allowed on Piha Beach. There is an area north of the rock where they are very welcome all year round unleashed. Its just summer time on Piha Beach.
Comment by Casual Observer (Not Verified) at: 06Feb14 6:33AM
The Day of Giants was a fantastic day. Hundreds of people enjoyed the spectacular races, the sun, the sea and the wonderful atmosphere of Piha. I did see a couple of dogs having a playful splash in the shallows. I enjoyed watching them. It appears a good time was had by all. Except for the poor self imposed 'dog police'. Continually spouting the bylaws. What a shame.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 06Feb14 9:55AM
Wasn't it a fabulous day - along with Labour Day Market and Anzac Day it's one of my favourites. I have some great photos to publish sooooon.
Comment by Anonymous at: 06Feb14 14:35PM
Well said Beach Go-er.Thank god there is still some like minded poeple out here.To the Dog haters your life must be soo boring if the Dogs at Piha bother you that much.And You who felt the need to take pictures and post them to make your piont.Pathetic!Get a life.
Comment by sara (Not Verified) at: 07Feb14 9:00AM
Hi,just to clarify the situation re rangers and so people don't point the finger at our local, residing-in-Piha rangers... because of the way Piha Beach is divided up, the local regional park rangers have jurisdiction only over the two extreme ends of the beach and Lion Rock. It's another arm of the Council (Local and Regional Sports Parks)that has the job of policing dogs on the beach everywhere else. They have a separate ranger (and student ranger over the summer)sent out to police the beach. The Regional Park rangers are authorised to do something about dogs at the Gap, on Lion Rock and at the extreme north end of Piha, but not elsewhere. Bizarre division of authority in the new Council, but that's how it is.
Comment by Anonymous at: 07Feb14 20:32PM
I am feed up with all these so goody dog people who always say their dog is so good . just watch how many surfers and swimmers go into the water and leave their precious good dog to roam the beach for as long as they are enjoying them selves and screw all of us . I have approached many people in this case and these goody dog lovers just say F--- y-- . the rangers have been pathetic I have asked for official records for dec and jan just to see how many times they have been to Piha . will see if I can get them
Comment by Dog Owner (Not Verified) at: 08Feb14 20:19PM
Ha Anonymous you described me.I leave my dog on the beach when I go for a surf .He walks around sniffs a bit then sits on my towle.How exactly is that " screwing you" ? He is not at all interested in you.And yes he is a very good dog.Much better behaved then some kids out there who never hear a no.So if you approach me F..Y.. is totally what I be answering . But I do feel sorry for you.
Comment by Susan (Not Verified) at: 08Feb14 22:21PM
Hey dog owner. ..your comments are just a tad ignorant! There are rules. . . No dogs off leash at sth beach. The rules state that as an owner you have to be in control of your dog, even in an off leash area . Tell me how you can be in control if you are out surfing and leave your dog on the beach? Why not leave the dog at home. . . Rather than in te hot sand and sun. No one ever thinks that THEIR DOG will attack.. . . But unfortuneately many do. As for comparing dogs behaviour with a child. . . I've never heard about a child attacking and severely hurting a dog!
Comment by Dog Owner (Not Verified) at: 08Feb14 23:29PM
Susan you just go ahead and assume .I do not leave my dog at south since there is no dogs allowed.Neither do I put him on the hot sand .I surf morning or night.My dogs also does not attack other dogs nor anything else.People you get upset by seeing a Dog walking on the beach.Um " screwing you all up".And here we go again it's a Dog it must be vicious.That Susan is ignorant and redicolous.
Comment by Susan (Not Verified) at: 09Feb14 8:52AM
Dog owner. .. I never said the words " screwing me up". For info I am a dog owner myself. . . Thou are responsible one that obeys the rules and respect that as much as I love my dog others may consider it a nuisance
. The dog act says " ensure a dog is under control or confined at all times". I fail to see how a dog left on the beach while the owner goes out surfing can say their dog is under control just because it is a 'good' dog and sits on my towel'
Comment by LH (Not Verified) at: 09Feb14 9:26AM
I love dogs. I have always had dogs, so I understand how people are upset. BUT, on a busy part of the beach where there are lots of people including children is not good. Last summer, my grandson was paddling at the waters edge and an unleashed dog which was chasing seagulls knocked him over in the water as a wave came. It was very frightening for him. I want him to grow up loving dogs and loving the sea.
Comment by LH (Not Verified) at: 09Feb14 9:27AM
Of course dogs in public places should be allowed, but only under control. Not on beaches, running around having fun without their owners and unleashed. Im sorry, but I am a nurse and I have seen the results of family pets turning on children. Many people are terrified of dogs through bad experiences. Consideration of others is needed. People who walk their dogs onto the black sand on a hot day are not considering their dog. It causes blisters on their little pads. Don't come back and tell me I am a dog hater because I am definitely not. As I said, it is about consideration for others including the dogs.
Comment by Karla (Not Verified) at: 13Feb14 19:09PM
If I had known how little freedom dogs have in NZ, I would never have bought mine back from England when I returned home. In England dogs are allowed on public transport, even some pubs. Dogs there are considered an essential part of society. Leaving them at home all day every day with the odd outing on lead is considered cruel. Perhaps if NZ was more willing to allow dogs to have a social life (they are social animals!) there would not be so many around with no idea of social etiquette.
Comment by Karla (Not Verified) at: 13Feb14 19:10PM
I imagine if one had a non-existent social life, one might also run amok on the rare occasion one got out. I understand there are dog no-go areas in Summer, but surely a dog waiting on a towel for his owner is ok. At least if the surfer didn't come out of the water there would be an alarm raised by the dedicated dog sitting waiting. That's how it was 20 years ago. I remember with a smile the dogs lining the beach waiting for their dad's out surfing. I miss those good old days when Piha was much less "PC" and so much more relaxed :)
Comment by Anonymous at: 13Feb14 20:03PM
Amen to that Karla
Comment by Mossman (Not Verified) at: 15Feb14 10:08AM
Karla, if I remember correctly the streets of London were full of dog poo. They were filthy. You seem to think that dogs cant have a social life in wrong you are!. I understand it is just during daylight saving times that the restrictions are on, when the South beach is full of people. You can socialise your dog north of Lion Rock. If your dog doesn't like it, perhaps the Streets of London would be more sociable. The "old days" have gone, there are a million more people using the beach now. Would you really have left your dog in the UK just because it couldn't run free on Piha beach - the south that is???
Comment by mick cowell (Not Verified) at: 28Feb14 17:41PM
keep dogs off the beach i dont like seeing them shit @ piss everywhere yep its even anoying when they ivade personal space for a sniff also pengines nest on the beach and dog owners dont take your dogs to beach on fridaynight for a crap as abserved by me and my partner f@#k off.!

4/2/14 Couple rescued from cliff face

A couple have been rescued from a west Auckland cliff face after a woman fell while the pair were trying to avoid a king tide.

The man and woman, thought to be in their 20s, were airlifted off a steep cliff in Anawhata this morning after the woman slipped and fell around 10 metres.

She was "extremely fortunate" to have survived the fall with only minor injuries, Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman Tinny Cannell said.

The woman, thought to be from the Auckland area, was taken to Auckland City Hospital with multiple cuts and bruises, he said.  Full article NZ Herald HERE

3/2/14  Piha singing group out of summer recess

The Piha Singing Group starts again tomorrow Tuesday 4th Feb.

Library 7.30 1st  &  3rd Tues of the month ! 

This is a friendly group of Piha locals - come along and check it out.  All welcome

2/2/14  Sand and tide attack stunning coastline

Some of NZ's most beautiful cliffs and beaches are threatened by erosion, sweeping great swathes of shimmering black sand northwards from the foothills of Mt Taranaki, undermining some homes and farms, swamping beaches. Are these the rising waters of climate change - or just nature reminding us who's boss?

Fine-looking homes perched on crumbling sea cliffs. "The terrifying face of coastal erosion". They loomed large in the foreign pages of my morning paper just after we bought the place at Piha. On the coast. By the sea.

First thing I find out is that at Piha, the sea is beating a retreat. The sandy beach, far from being eaten away, is doing this thing called accretion. That's a technical term - meaning it's getting bigger.  Surfies are having to schlep their boards an extra half a metre down the sand every year.  

This years Dune Restoration Trust conference is being held in New Plymouth.  I am going because the changes in our coastline interest me and, of course, New Plymouth is so close to us.  Information on Conference HERE

Year of The Horse

It's the Year of The Horse and did he work today - don't think he came less than 1st in all the races today ???

What a great day . . . .  thanks to all the teams that entered Day of the Giants.

Lots of photos to follow

1/2/14  King Tide - Snap the Coast

Auckland Council and Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management have sponsored the development of the Auckland King Tides Initiative. The Auckland King Tides Initiative (King Tides AKL) is encouraging the public to help document these exceptionally high tides by photographing their local shorelines - capturing the effects of higher water levels on homes, buildings, walkways, roads and other built infrastructure, as well as beaches, wetlands and coastal wildlife habitats.   Read: Sea Level Rise Initiative Information HERE

1/2814  Rowing: Sunset boys taking on the men in Piha's giant waves

They're the youngest crew on the national surf-boat scene, but they've already had a taste of the cliff-sized waves at Piha, this time a year ago.

Seasoned old salts reckon rowing into the cliff-sized waves at Piha is a good way of separating the men from the boys.

That doesn't take into account the four boys from Sunset Beach fast winning the respect of surf-boat crews twice and three times their age.    Full article in the NZ Herald HERE

T'ai Chi Workshops in Piha

First Sunday and Monday of every month.  T'ai Chi Flyer including dates and details HERE

 30/1/14   Battle for birds to use 1080 poison drops

 "Rats, stoats and possums are killing 25 million native birds a year - it's like having a Rena disaster which killed 2000 birds every hour." says Conservation Minister Nick Smith.  

Just per chance I received my copy of Wilderness Magazine, NZ's magazine of the outdoors, in the mail a couple of days ago.

The main article  "1080 Poison - The Truth.  No more debate, no more arguments.  Leading experts give definitive answers" was a good read.   

Of course no one wants to drop tonnes of poison into the environment .  .  .  I suppose the question is  "What if we don't?"    

I thoroughly suggest you obtain a copy of this magazine and read the article. I can't see that article online but  HERE is a similar and good one   

If you live in Piha or love the outdoors its a great magazine to subscribe to anyway. 

Piha - your septic tank

At the moment contractors are cleaning out the septic tanks - we pay for this in our rates.

The contractors came to us and because they were unable to seal it after cleaning it we sent them away.

Flood waters regularly come down the hill behind us and run over and around our septic tank.  If it is not sealed then the water enters the tank, fills it, and well we know what happens then.

I urge all Piha folk to insist that their septic tank is sealed after cleaning if any rain or flood water goes near it please.
Comment by Piha Rd Resident (Not Verified) at: 30Jan14 15:59PM
We do NOT get our septic tanks emptied ut as part of the rates charge. We used to but now we have to pay about $700 extra, (yourself!)and i bet you that's stopping some people from getting them pumped out which is contributing to the problem. Call the Council and you will find that i am right.
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 30Jan14 19:33PM

Part of our rates are: 'Other Targeted Rates - Rural Sewage' and for us it is $181.50 per year.

Today the contractor returned, cleaned out our septic tank, closed it then SEALED it as requested.
Comment by Anonymous at: 02Feb14 8:24AM
Think people who have newer septic tanks don't pay the targeted rate . They have to have a management agreement private contractor who 'maintains' and 'checks' the system. It costs us about $200 every 6 months. Not sure who follows up that this is done?
Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 02Feb14 14:12PM
On our adjoining property (Black Sands Lodge) we have a 3 chamber sewage system. It is contracted to Hynds for maintenance. We have just paid the annual fee of $402.50 inc and for that they inspect it 6 monthly, adjust, clean etc,inspect the drainage field and make any adjustments/repairs. We pay for parts for any repairs. They then send a kind of Warrant of Fitness certificate to Council. I understand, if you have a modern system like this, the Council insists of these WOFs. :-) $402.50 Someone is ripping off somewhere ???

You can check if this charge is included in your rates Check what's included in your rates HERE

31/1/14 Penguins at The Gap, Piha

left: This photo was sent to me by Marc Shane Photography on Facebook.  Marc says there were no puncture marks on the penguin but there were dog paw prints about 5 meters away.

Great that you took the photo Marc and thanks for sending it in.  Very sad.

Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 30Jan14 14:54PM
Ye just are not doing enough- we should be very disappointed in ourselves to let such a seen be a frequent occurrence. I am just so sad
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Feb14 22:30PM
It's very sad to see a dead penguin! But can we straight away jump to conclusions that a dog did this? NO.Penguins too die of natural courses and they get washed up on the beach.If a dog had a go either after it died or killed it you would definitely see that on the bird!Come on all you dog haters at Piha calm down. Live and let live.My dog is of leash all the time.He is the sweetest loving soul and
never hurt a thing although he is -oh my god -BRINDEL.And that's the same with all my friends out here and their dogs no killings of anything whatsoever.

The Hillary - conquer Your Everest

Entries open tomorrow, Thu 30th Jan,  for first ever 80, 34 or 16km run of the  Hillary Trail . . . . 

28/1/14   Are we doing enough to protect our penguins at Piha?

It really worries me to whether we are doing enough to protect our penguins at Piha.

A long weekend saw people, dogs off leash,  all enjoying a day on the beach.  Around the north side of lion rock,  in the middle of the beach activities and in clear view of these beach goers a dead penguin.  These people just going about their day around the dead bird - no one taking any concern to the environment they were clearly enjoying.

A photo would have been priceless (if only I had my camera with me) to highlight the human lack of concern of wildlife in the area.   

What can we do to elevate the importance of our wildlife to locals, visitors, council and park rangers to educate people of the presence of penguins in the area before we loose them forever?   

I am at a loose end after years of lobbying council and associated parties!   If anyone can add their ideas I would be greatly appreciative

Comment by Bobbie (Not Verified) at: 29Jan14 10:00AM
With the advent of the 'new city' Piha lost its own ranger - they did a pretty good job on dogs which is what they spent most of their time doing.

With no, or little, signage how are visitors to know where you can and can't take dogs?

18th Jan there was consultation regarding new Yes/No dogs signs and with any kind of luck they'll be up before the end of summer.

It takes a brave person to approach owners to ask them to move their dogs or leash them.
Comment by Sue Collis (Not Verified) at: 29Jan14 13:23PM
Thanks Bobbie on your comments regards signs outlining dog restrictions. I have been involved in the persistant nagging for these signs, so yes lets hope they help- but it still doesnt educate people in the reasions for these dog restrictions. If people knew it was to assist in the protection of the penguins in the area I am sure they would have take a different view with little resistance and would only be too happy to move out of the area.
Comment by Anonymous at: 01Feb14 22:55PM
Yep you come over to me and tell me to put my dog on the leash while we enjoy a peaceful walk minding our own businesses on the beach that is our home I will tell you where to go.It really is like being rassist..It's a dog it must be a Killer.It is Rediculous!!And I too care about the birds and penguins by the way.Yes that is possible a responsible dog owner that also loves all other animals.some people on the other hand...
Comment by Camp Mother (Not Verified) at: 05Feb14 21:24PM
The supercity didn't lose our ranger, we did. Nobody applied for the job last year so they didn't ask this year. :-(

Skateboard & Cycling survey for Piha Community

With lots of Piha kids moving from young ones to teenagers there has been a call for a 'cycle-way' and 'skateboard ramp' for them in the Piha Domain.

The idea for the cycle way is for a concrete circle, wide enough for two bikes to pass, around the edge of the sports part of the domain.    The skateboard ramp needs to be concrete and fenced so its able to be locked overnight - to stop hooliganism . . . 

There is a survey in the Piha Library and The Piha Cafe for you to fill in.  You do not have to have children to support this proposition.  

Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 28Jan14 22:28PM
Hope this gets lots of support. Who has initiated the survey?
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 28Jan14 23:00PM
Hi Sue, I initiated the survey. :-)
Comment by Sue (Not Verified) at: 29Jan14 8:48AM
That's great. . . Thanks for doing it. How long will the survey be out for?
Comment by Bobbie Carroll (Not Verified) at: 29Jan14 9:35AM
No time limit Sue. Just gauging the community's thoughts on it before progressing. It's at the Café and Library.
Comment by Anonymous at: 31Jan14 13:10PM
Sorry sister, not a good idea. We got a small skatie park here just out of Brisbane to get the mokos off the streets, but it just got taken over buh druggies and bullies from the city. No police here to control them like Piha, least last time I was there.
Comment by Village Voice Editor (Not Verified) at: 01Feb14 8:46AM
It's not about getting kids off the streets its about being proactive before. I did say " The skateboard ramp needs to be concrete and fenced". The good thing is when you ask the community they come up with the answers. Camp Mother is a pretty fearsome woman - wanna take her, and her helpers, on? You'd be a fool.
Comment by Anonymous at: 02Feb14 8:07AM
Yeah we all know Fiona can handle herself but that's not her job - have yu seen the gear the polis wear these days? And the polis opposed a half-pipe a few years ago for the same reason, didn't they?
Comment by no riff-raff (Not Verified) at: 02Feb14 8:37AM