West Franklin Breeze - March 2023

Page 1

Rain, oods —then Gabrielle

West Franklin le realing — Two weeks of storms - years of recovery

What would we do without our local heroes?

The West Franklin Breeze asked Port Waikato

The floods of Anniversary Weekend and the ferocious gales and driving rain associated with Cyclone Gabrielle really knocked Franklin for six.

Roads were closed, especially on the Āwhitu Peninsula, due to numerous landslides and slips; lines were down with thousands of people stranded without power; cropping and horticulture land was underwater and crops went to waste; and lots of families faced the unwanted task of having to clean up after floodwaters invaded their homes and damaged property and possessions.

Sadly, an Onewhero resident lost their life. Three other people were lucky to survive when the bach where they were staying fell 15 metres down the cliff at Orua Bay. Were it not for the fast-acting local emergency responders, plus some willing volunteers and residents, the outcome could have been much worse.

The Anniversary Weekend floods caught everyone out. No one expected the tremendous amount of rainfall that fell in such a short period of time.

Low-lying areas, such as around Otaua, on the Puni Flats, and close to the Waikato River, suffered extensive flooding.

Sadly, an aged-care facility

in Pukekohe was flooded out, and its vulnerable residents had to be evacuated by emergency services overnight. That event alone could have had fatal consequences.

It concerns me that Auckland Emergency Management failed

“Do your bit as best you can. Look out for and support one another.

Our communities are so powerful when everyone pulls together.”

to support the Franklin district following the January floods. While emergency evacuation centres were set up in west, south and north Auckland, there were none established here.

Likewise, the emergency alert issued as an SMS to people’s cellphones by Auckland Emergency Management was received by some in our region, but not others, which is very disappointing. This is an issue I will be raising with Mayor Wayne Brown in the future.

Thankfully, we were far more prepared for when Cyclone Gabrielle tore through, with nu-

Business as usual?

merous emergency alerts ahead of the storm, high wind and rain warnings from Metservice, and reminders from Civil Defence to be prepared.

Auckland had already extended its state of emergency, established after the Anniversary Weekend floods, and thanks to the efforts of Local Board member Logan Soole, community hubs were promptly set up in Pukekohe and Waiuku. Tāhuna Pa Marae at Waiuku opened its doors to offer a safe, dry place to stay plus warm food, as did Te Kura Kaupapa O Te Puaha at Port Waikato.

I spent much of my time visiting affected residents and local businesses around Waiuku and on the Āwhitu Peninsula. I saw many people and local organisations who stepped up to help – from providing a bed for the night and a hot meal, to helping with the cleanup, to providing trucks and tractors to help move stock and clear rotting crops, from removing rubbish and other debris from our waterways and beaches, to cutting back fallen

New Zealand has moved from COVID pandemic-mode to targeted support for those at higher risk - funding is reduced - and although our Car Clinic will continue, for most it will no longer be free. If you are unwell, please self-test and upload positive results to My Covid Record or on 0800 222 478. Most people can recover at home but do contact us if you need medical advice or review.

From 6th March, the Car Clinic will run from our new facility to the west of the main building. This is better equipped for in-car and in-room assessment while protecting staff and patients from COVID infection and other diseases likely to breakout eg flu and measles. We continue to offer free COVID and measles vaccinations. Flu vaccines available from 1st April.

HIPs/Health Coach – We are thinking of everyone stressed by recent events. Our HIP and Health Coach are here to talk, free of charge, and can help with your physical and mental health goals.

trees. These are our true local heroes.

Our emergency volunteer groups went out of their way to help, particularly the fire brigades, St John emergency services, and surf lifesaving groups, who worked tirelessly throughout the ordeal. These groups – mostly volunteers –selflessly took time away from their own families to help and support our wider community.

A shout-out also to the crews from Counties Energy who faced

the extraordinarily difficult task of restoring power to thousands of affected properties in the fastest time possible.

It is easy to say that clearing drains, parks, waterways and beaches should be done by the council, but we all need to take responsibility for our wellbeing. Do your bit as best you can. Look out for and support one another. Our communities are so powerful when everyone pulls together.

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Bayly to write about his work and support of locals during the recent weather and cyclonic events.
MP Andrew
The remains of the bach that fell down the cliff at Orua Bay. Photo: Andrew Bayly
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Can we cope in the future?

As we are all very much aware, our part of the world was recently rocked and shocked by a double whammy of unprecedented weather events that has left people, businesses and communities as a whole reeling.

At the time of writing, Council has no real feel for what the cost of the damage is to our assets and things like road or stormwater assets might end up being. What we do know, and what we have quickly put into action, is a need to look at what, how and where development or building takes place, what is needed to mitigate the changing weather and climate in general and what is needed to avoid the carnage we have seen. In saying that, looking at what has happened further south, we were fortunate in some respects.

clean up and recovery from volunteers and concerned citizens to our emergency services, community groups and staff in companies like Counties Energy, I extend my most sincere thanks and acknowledgement, you have done us all proud.

The Mayor has initiated an urgent review of our initial Civil Defence response. I have no doubt it will provide some stark reading and opportunities to improve in several ways.

when I took him up for a look. I took no pleasure in having one of those “I told you so” moments. Whilst I had explained my concerns about our ability to respond to a major event of any type, he had hardly started in the job so hasn’t had much opportunity to oversee change; however, I think we will see that now.

Answers on page 11



I am struggling to put into perspective how those communities are coping and their resilience and fortitude has to be admired. But that does not diminish what we as a wider community has also endured.

To all those who have been affected in any way, I hope things are starting to right themselves. To those who have worked so hard either during the initial response through to the

I have called for a separate review within Council that looks at the political decision making, since 2015 when the direction of Council’s emergency management shifted. At the approach was one involving communities, creation of bespoke community response plans for individual places such as Waiuku and surrounds with staff assigned to coordinating and understanding those localities. In 2016 we went to a centralised model, the staff working out our way were let go, the community response plans seemingly turfed into the bin, the local volunteer networks put out of commission and all that local knowledge ignored.

I had some time in my car with the Mayor shortly after the terrible slip at Orua Bay

In honesty, I and the previous Local Board along with our colleagues at Rodney where their former chair, like me, has experience in emergency management, had banged loudly and repetitively at every opportunity saying the shift to a centralised, resilience and recovery focused approach was leaving the region exposed.

Whilst our current CDEM plan (which should have been updated in 2021) as it happens, talks about reducing risk, being ready and having the community at the centre of any response, I am struggling to find where we have achieved anything since the plan was put in place in 2016 to any of the goals and outcomes in the important reduction, readiness and response sections.

Whilst events like this will challenge the capabilities

of the staff tasked with implementing the response, we need to go back to the fact, in my view, that emergency management has not, despite our pleas for change over the past seven years, been given sufficient importance by successive Councils.

However, we need to learn from this and now take steps to ensure we are better placed to do what is expected of us. It will take courage and collaboration with our communities.

As an aside, make sure you have a look and provide feedback on our draft budget. We had some challenges before Anniversary weekend, they have increased hugely so we need your feedback as to what tools we can use to be effective.


1 Drunken sot samples purgative medicine (5,5)

samples purgative medicine (5,5) island also conceals British silver (6) footballer in red (4-6) fellow makes complaint (4) crazy about one person serving drinks

9 Caribbean island also conceals British silver (6)

10 Abandoned footballer in red (4-6)

Waiuku Fire Brigade Callouts

Waiuku Fire Brigade Callouts

The two storms that have come through have kept us busy in different ways. The first storm with all the flooding caused heaps of slips mainly on the Awhitu Peninsula and we were at the scene of the bach coming down the hill at Orua Bay.

2 Father Fitzgerald provides Spanish dish (6)

3 Nannies missing last bit of Lightning Seeds (4)

11 Worker fellow makes complaint (4)

4 Son hid gin after organising lively party (7)

12 Rod gets crazy about one person serving drinks(7)

5 Returning, I left theatre box (4)

15 Lose heart when praised, surprisingly (7)

16 Handed student a hammer (5)

6 Daughter in Ulster cooked pastry (7)

7 Man works mostly as criminal (10)

when praised, surprisingly (7) student a hammer (5) wonder if flute will provide repeated phrase (4) requires memo to be sent back (4) keeps time for him (5) scattered waste on road (7) shown by note to detective (7) with a course (4) outstanding – this may remain?

17 Some wonder if flute will provide repeated musical phrase (4)

8 Concern involved with fee for meeting (10)

18 School requires memo to be sent back (4)

12 Store plates perhaps in Devon town (10)

19 Nobleman keeps time for him (5)

21 Attendant scattered waste on road (7)

13 Thoroughly search mountains for a place for shooting practice (5,5)

22 Contrition shown by note to detective (7)

14 Went out with someone old-fashioned (5)

24 Not at home with a course (4)

15 Freed lunatic, causing delay (5)

27 Attest fare is outstanding – this may remain? (10)

28 Louis Gossett initially upset another actor (6)

29 Copper robs me twice – could be awkward (10)


19 Professional’s backing US spies – that’s commonplace (7)

20 Substitute’s aloofness (7)

23 Part of embassy’s temporary organisation (6)

2 Father Fitzgerald provides Spanish dish (6)

25 I came across uplifting article (4)

Gossett initially upset another actor (6) me twice – could be awkward (10)

3 Nannies missing last bit of Lightning Seeds (4)

26 At least 48 hours in stupor, we hear (4)

4 Son hid gin after organising lively party (7)

5 Returning, I left theatre box (4)

6 Daughter in Ulster cooked pastry (7)

7 Man works mostly as criminal (10)

8 Concern involved with fee for meeting (10)

12 Store plates perhaps in Devon town (10)

13 Thoroughly search mountains for a place for shooting practice (5,5)

14 Went out with someone old-fashioned (5)

15 Freed lunatic, causing delay (5)

19 Professional’s backing US spies – that’s commonplace (7)

20 Substitute’s aloofness (7)

23 Part of embassy’s temporary organisation (6)

25 I came across uplifting article (4)

26 At least 48 hours in stupor, we hear (4)

tasked to Orua Bay to assist a female patient in her 80s who was trapped under a collapsed house caused by a landslide. She was flown to Middlemore Hospital in a critical condition.

Aka Aka 1 Feb — W2 Crew tasked to Orua Bay to assist a male patient involved in a house collapse caused by a landslide and clinical crew were inserted on scene by winch. He was flown to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition.

Karioitahi Beach 4 Feb — W2 Crew tasked to Karioitahi Beach to assist patients involved in a non-fatal drowning. Transportation to hospital by helicopter wasn’t required and crew were stood down and returned to base.

Puni 20 Feb — W2 Crew tasked to Puni to assist multiple patients involved in a car versus tree accident where the car caught on fire. Crew assisted a female patient in her teens. She was flown to Middlemore Hospital in a critical condition.

Our time over those first couple of days was mostly spent doing traffic control around all the slips until the cone trucks arrived. At one of them two of us were there all day directing traffic, and that is a real drain on our resources.

I worked the night of Op Gabreille until 4am. The Awhitu and Kohekohe areas where smashed, so many trees came down. I’m amazed at the resilience of locals afterwards who just got on without power or access for days, clearing slips and trees themselves. Big shout out to the Volunteer fire fighters and the Waiuku community patrol, who kept our community’s safe.

I ended up helping people whose vehicles had been trapped by fallen trees and were stranded, like the milk tanker driver whose truck was trapped by fallen trees. He had to leave the tanker for the night in the middle of the road and we had an epic drive getting back out before the cop car was also trapped. Almost every road was blocked on the peninsula that night and it was treacherous finding a way around the trees and slips, under the fallen power lines to get out.

We’ve been having an ongoing check point stop on Karioitahi Road just before the beach, my team did this almost every day from Christmas to mid-January. We are still doing these on weekends when we can. Trying to address the dirt bike and dangerous driving on the beach.

The best way is stopping them before they arrive. Those with no permit, WoF, reg or license are all turned back where they come from and not allowed on the beach. This meant local fishermen or 4 x4s who know how to behave on the sand got turned around too if their vehicle or quad were not road legal or didn’t have a permit.

Dirt bikes on our beach and lately on Waiuku streets are a persistent problem that’s hard to fix. They don’t stop for police and we don’t chase them so can only get them when they are not riding.

The beach has been peaceful when we are present but once we go I know that the bikes and bad behaviour starts up. I don’t know what the long term solution is, we can’t be there every day as gate keepers. Get a permit, it’s free and takes about two minutes and lasts a year. It might seem like pointless red tape but it’s a tool we can use to control the vehicles.

We did a search warrant a few days ago at a Waiuku house and recovered a $5000 outboard motor that had been stolen in a burglary from the Sandspit Yacht Club earlier. Great to return that to the club.

A couple of weeks ago a man who was wanted for weeks for multiple charges including strangulation and causing GBH to his partner plus firearm offences was tracked to a Patumahoe park by Waiuku Police and arrested.

A few folk are still getting caught each day speeding, not wearing seatbelts or on their phone, sometimes all at the same time. Stop it, your risking other people’s lives.

Remember if you want to catch up with one of us come along to the infomation centre on Wednesday morning at nine.

Keep safe Dean

r e
e z e B
with Sgt Dean Borrell
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Commerating 189 lost lives

The Manukau Heads Lighthouse Trust held a memorial commemoration the loss of HMS Orpheus at the Lighthouse on 11 February. It was 160 years (7 February 1863) since the worst maritime disaster happened on the Manukau Bar with 189 lives of men and boys being lost. Some of the boys were as young as 12 years old.

Pupils from the Awhitu District School placed a black memorial cross for each man over the pickets on the fence that surrounds the lighthouse. The Royal Navy flag flying on the day was also lowered to half-mast.

The flag was the same as what was flown on the Orpheus that fateful day. In some of the paintings of the scene, the flag can be seen flying upside down from the ship which was their signal that they were in distress.

As a finale to the ceremony, a prayer was recited to the sound of Abide with me, a hymn that was reputed to have been sung by some of the sailors on the Orpheus as the masts crashed off the ship and the men clinging to them were swept to their deaths.

Guest speaker at the commemoration was Sir Bob Harvey and his son Rupert who talked about the subsequent unfolding of the drama after the ship had hit the bar. Rupert played the part of his ancestor Edward Wing who was the signal master on Paratutae Island on the day and imitated how the semaphore signals would have been displayed from the signal tower on that fateful day in 1863.

Those attending were the first visitors to see the new lighthouse signage and history diorama in the building and on the signal platform. This project was (in part) sponsored by the Franklin Local Board.

Unfortunately, they would probably have been the last to see the display for a while, as the subsequent Cyclone Gabrielle has caused road damage on Manukau Heads Road which is impassable and now the lighthouse is unable to be reached. (See story on cyclone damage).

Charli takes another step towards the Fern

The year 2023 is already becoming a milestone year for 15 year-old aspiring local athlete, Charli Gardiner-Hall.

Recently, Charli travelled to Canberra, Australia to undergo International Para Athletics Classification as she takes another major step on her journey towards one day representing NZ. Charli is a para athlete. Her condition is called Sturge Weber Syndrome Type 3 and it affects the entire right side of her body, reducing muscle power, compromising coordination and balance, and causing seizures.

Classification in para sport, is the key to enabling athletes living with disabilities to compete on a level playing field, and ensures the integrity of competition. Two World Para Athletics international classifiers took Charli, who studies at Waiuku College, through a three step international classification assessment process in Canberra.

Steps one and two went well and Charli was then entered to compete at the 2023 Athletics ACT Under 20 and Open Championships, for the final stage of classification.

As day two of the competition dawned, so did the extreme heat. “It was 35 degrees, so really hot at the track and I ended up with a bit of heatstroke. But it was good to work out how to manage my body which is more reactive to temperatures,” says Charli.

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Rupert Harvey demonstrated the series of semaphore signals sent to the Orpheus on that tragic day. Here Rupert shows the signal “Keep the vessel more off shore — danger”. Guest speaker at the Orpheus commemoration day was former Waitakere mayor Sir Bob Harvey. Sir Bob has had a lifetime interest in the wreck of the ship, and talked about the loss of life on the vessel. Above left: Some of the children from Awhitu District School placing the black crosses on the picket fence at the Lighthouse. There was 189 crosses placed: one for lost their life. Charli grabs hydration in the heat and tips from her NZ high performance coach John Eden. R - Charli with her Australian medal.

Flight of the Godwits

Raised at Clarks Beach, a surveyor by trade and now living in Pukekohe East, David Lawrie has had a lifelong interest in birds and particularly the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa Lappanica baueri), a migratory bird which travels from Alaska to New Zealand.

“Godwits travel enormous distance in pursuit of food. There are some major

distance of about 11,000 km and it takes eight or nine days to complete the trip. They have no food or stops along the way.

“The reason why they go to Alaska for the summer in the north is to breed. On the tundra there is a lot of food once the snow melts, lots of insects. The chicks need to eat a lot in a short amount of time to become ready for the flight back to New Zealand.

“The reason why they don’t stop anywhere like say China on the way back is that the weather is not conducive there as it’s also winter and there are no food sources. We still don’t know why they come to New Zealand though.”

roosting sites in the Manukau Harbour, particularly around Karaka and the Awhitu peninsula,” said David. “They are attracted to coastal sites where they can feed on worms and bivalves in the mud, but during high tide periods they are concentrated on shellbank roosts until the mud is exposed again.

“The Godwits are in New Zealand from September to March. Then about half way through March they fly to the Yellow Sea area around China and South Korea. They stay there for about six week until the middle of May and then they fly on to Alaska.”

“There is another sub-species of godwit which fly to the north west of Australia from Siberia. For a time it was thought the New Zealand and eastern Australia godwits were also flying to Siberia but through tracking, it was found they weren’t.

“In July or August the godwits start to congregate along the coast of Alaska. Then in the first week of September they fly directly to New Zealand. This is a

When asked why he watches birds, David said he just likes them. However, wife Lynne is not so interested and while early on in their relationship she would find a shady spot and read her book, now Lynne is happy for David to go off on his own to do (a lot of) bird watching.

Bird watching isn’t just about watching though. This pass time can involve noting which birds have been tagged in some way to identify them. David recounted the development of how godwits have been tagged or identified over the years.

Due to the number of countries and the route that godwits take (i.e., New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, China, Russia and the US), depending on which sub-species, there is an organisation called the East Asian-Australasian Fly Way Partnership (https://www.eaaflyway.net/the-incredible-godwit-migration/) which aims to ensure the birds have a safe passage along the way.

As David explained, “it’s all very well making sure godwits are being kept safe in New Zealand while they might not have such a warm welcome in other parts

of their travels.”

Godwits are also known to land around at the Ramsar site at Pukorokoro Miranda near the Miranda Shorebird Centre Kaiaua, a small seaside settlement located north of Miranda on the Shorebird Coast. David represents the Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists Trust at the Flyway Partnership meetings.

“Starting in the late 1970s metal tags were placed on some birds’ legs to identify them. However, the only way to read the tag was to re-catch or kill the birds, which was not ideal.

“Then a flagging system was developed in the late 1990s whereby different countries would use a different coloured flag. For example, New Zealand’s colour is white while eastern Australia uses orange and so on.

“However, there was still a problem in that the band could not be used to identify individual birds. So eventually grey letters engraved on the flag were used to help with identification.

“This system only works if there are trained bird watchers. Observers are not so prevalent in some countries, such as China or Alaska, for example, but they are more active in NZ. Therefore, we now use solar powered lightweight backpacks to track birds in real time.”

David also explained that the adult godwits treat their chicks fairly harshly. “Once the chicks hatch they only have about a week with their parents and then they’re left. The parents fly to the Alaskan coast, the Yukon Delta, in preparation for the long trip back to New Zealand.

“The chicks will leave about three weeks behind the adults and have to find their own way here. We still don’t know how they know how to navigate their way without their parents showing them.

“Research has shown that the birds need to eat enough to put on about a third to half more of their body weight


as fat reserves to fuel the flight to New Zealand.”

David said it was hard not to be impressed by their ability to fly and navigate such long distances, which is why he is interested in watching and helping to preserve them.

As with any activity of this nature, tagging and tracking the birds comes at a cost. If you are interested in bird watching not just godwits but other shorebirds, or volunteering or making a donation, you’ll find more information at the https://shorebirds.org.nz/.

Bruce Graham Russell

Well-known Awhitu personality Bruce Russell died on Sunday 12 February 2023.

Bruce had been a member of the Waiuku-Awhitu Community Board for two terms from 2006-2012. In the latter term Bruce was the deputy chairman.

During the lead up to the formation of Auckland Council while Franklin District Council opposed the amalgamation in the main, Bruce received a mandate from his ward to support the formation of the new council. He brought this to the Waiuku-Awhitu Community Board and their support created angst within Franklin District Council.

Bruce, had a career in pharmaceuticals and property before he retired in the early 2000s. He was a keen campervan owner and had

travelled around the UK, USA and New Zealand. When he was staying at the Ramarama motor camp, he became aware of the Awhitu Peninsula and was immediately drawn to it because of the stunning sea and harbour views. Soon he bought a property at Grahams Beach and he was set to become involved in the peninsular community.

Bruce was appointed project manager of the construction of the iconic Manukau Heads Lighthouse which was opened by the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark in 2006. Since that time Bruce has held the positions of chairman, vice chairman and secretary of the Lighthouse Trust. Last year he was vested the honour of a life membership.

He has also been involved with Awhitu Landcare and was on a sub-committee to establish a recycle shop attached to the Waiuku Transfer Station in 2007.

Until late last year, Bruce was chairman of the Grahams Beach Settlers Association, and member and life member of the Grahams Beach Bowling Club.

Bruce had been a Rotary Club member for many years and transferred to the Waiuku Club after he settled in the district.

The West Franklin community will miss Bruce. A memorial service was held at Grahams Beach Settlers Hall on 5 March and attended by many of his friends and collogues.

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David Lawrie

GVR caught by oods

With the heavy rain that fell overnight on the 26-27 January, while the larger Waiuku area was largely not too badly affected, the Glenbrook Vintage Railway’s Pukeoware depot was hit quite severely.

Water flowed through two of the sheds on the Waiuku side of Pukeoware Road but did not rise too high. It was a different story on the opposite side of Pukeoware Road where the two 1.2 metre diameter culverts under the track were unable to cope with the volume of water. The North Yard and buildings on the northern side of the road saw up to one metre of water flow over the yard and through the buildings.

Most severely affected were the administration office and Car and Wagon depot. The height of the water through Car and Wagon has meant that all the wood working plant has been written off, while in the office they were lucky enough to be able to get computers and files off

the ground to protect them. The track formation suffered from several slips, scouring and subsidence.

Luckily none of the rolling stock and locomotives were damaged and likewise the buildings. The following two weekends saw a huge turnout of the GVR’s team of volunteers cleaning up the Depot site and beginning work on building new retaining walls and clearing the slips along the track. The commitment of this group and the staff of the GVR has meant that just three weeks after the event the line was open again to traffic.

GVR General Manager Tim Kerwin, had nothing but praise for the efforts of all that assisted with the clean-up saying “a huge thank you to all of you that have contributed greatly to the clean-up and track works. Your motivation and efforts reflect our ability to re-commence what we love doing.” See more photos page 6.

New sculpture tells the Tainui story

A striking new sculpture “Tainui” designed by world-famous Waiuku sculptor Fred Graham, 94, was blessed by a gathering of mana whenua on 13 December 2022, celebrates the journey of the Tainui waka.

The stainless steel sculpture was installed just north of Lake Road between the four-lane Hamilton section and the SH1C offramp.

It’s the final piece of taonga in the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway’s cultural symbolism plan.

The sculpture called Wakatu (meaning the standing up (tū) of the canoe (waka) is 16m high and weighs five tonnes.

“Thank you to all those who made such a magnificent contribution to this project. I have a close association with the area and am honoured that our heritage is being recognised in this way,” Fred said.

The artwork tells the story of the Tainui waka – which came from a tree planted on the grave of Tainui, who was the son of a chief Tinirau and his wife Hinerau in Hawaiki.

“Unfortunately the boy whom they wanted to call Tainui, did not survive the birthing process. He was normal from his head to his waist but below that there was nothing there,” explained Fred.

A tree sprung up on the site and many years later, when a new waka was needed, the tree was selected and felled.

The day after it was cut down it was found growing back in place. It was felled again but this time a watch was kept, and they observed a flock of birds fly, pick up the chips, and put the tree back together. The appropriate rituals were performed before the next felling, and the tree revival ceased.

The waka that was produced from the tree was one of the great ocean-going canoes in which Māori migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand. Fred explained to the Breeze the significance of the sculpture’s features.

“The blackbirds represent the flock of birds who put the tree back together, the pare kawakawa (mourning wreath) is to honour the

infant “Tainui”, and the “Land of Birds” is the place the people are migrating to: Aotearoa.”

“The crew of the Tainui canoe (twenty men and ten women) feature in the form of a kowhai whai pattern known as a puhoro. This design usually features on the underside of the bow of a waka taua. On the other side of the waka, the sacred hoi (paddle) “Hahau Te Rangi” takes a prominent place. On it’s blade features an eight koru design. The korus represent Raka Taura and his seven follow carvers.”

Phone Chris today 020 4089 9939 r e e z e B Advertise your business PAGE 5 MARCH 2023 WESTFRANKLINBREEZE.NZ THE LITTLE S A T 1 8 M A R C H PUKEKOHE ANGLICAN CHURCH GROUNDS 43 QUEEN ST GREEN EXPO Market Stalls Cooking demos Upcycling Gardening tips Clothing Kids Activities 10am to 3pm Sustainability made simple PASTURE RESTORATION For more info call Murray Jamieson MOB: 027 277 1803 A/H: 09 235 9133 NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL • UNDER SOWING
Fred Graham

The “bloody” weather

West Franklin suffered its share of damage and severe injury with the effects of torrential rainfalls 30 January and then the catastrophic events of Cyclone Gabrielle 12-14 February. The saturated soils could not withstand the affect of more rain and hurricane force winds.

At Orua Bay three Australian tourists almost lost their lives as a bach on the shores of the Manukau Harbour they were staying in was hit by a huge avalanche of clay from the cliff above the building. It completely demolished the bach and two people were admitted to hospital, one of which was in a critical condition.

Waiuku man Dave Palmer, who owns a bach a few properties down, said he heard an “almighty crash” and rushed onto the beach shortly before midday.

“I heard another noise and saw this little orange car come flying off the bridge – then the house came off behind it.”

Dave saw a man dragging someone onto the beach, followed by a distraught woman.

“She told us her elderly mother was still inside, so we rushed in to get her. We managed to get her out, but her legs had been crushed. We never thought of the possibility that we were

endangering ourselves: our mission was just to save the trapped lady,” Dave told the Breeze.

The family had only arrived in the area for a holiday from Australia the day before the avalanche.

Some emergency personnel were ferried across the Manukau Harbour aboard the Auckland Airport Emergency Service’s hovercraft to help them access the remote beach. Dozens of local firefighters, police and St John ambulance officers also rushed to Orua Bay.

Dave’s bach was being considered unsafe for now, along with four other properties (some on the clifftop) which had to be evacuated.

“Slips are quite common here, but not usually a whole house,” he said.

The owner of the bach, said he was “very shocked” to learn it had collapsed. He said he had been going to the property for around ten years with his family.

Some other roads into the peninsula were blocked due to slips from the hammering rain, which Waka Kotahi and locals were clearing successfully. Then, two weeks later the catastrophic cyclone caused even more dramatic slips and damage to local properties and roads.

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Left: Manukau Heads Road slip closes road. Below: Kevan Lawrence Park became a swimming pool. Above: Glenbrook Vintage Railway workshop. Left: Aaron Wong from the Glenbrook Vintage Railway points to the level the flood water got to in the GVR workshop. Below: Deep washout below Butchers Bridge Road.
PAGE 6 MARCH 2023 WESTFRANKLINBREEZE.NZ ANDREW BAYLY MP for Port Waikato Port Waikato Electorate Office 7 Wesley Street, Pukekohe 09 238 5977 andrew@baylymp.co.nz AndrewBaylyMP Authorised by Andrew Bayly, Parliament Buildings, Wgtn.
Bottom: Waitangi Falls bridge hangs on by a thread.

Left: Anniversary weekend rain caused a slip on a Kitchener Road property which resulted in a hen house being red stickered — the hens flew the coop and are currently off the lay!

Right: Roadside slip near to Pollok rest stop.

Below: One farm at the Waiuku end of the Otaua Straight was completely under water.

Bottom right: Hay bales saturated and ruined.

Bottom left: Extensive flooding of the Otaua flats after Anniversary weekend rains. Area shown covers Waiuku-Otaua Road, Neil Road, Bothwell Park Road.

1 Martyn Street Waiuku www.doggy.co.nz

Very busy time for bird minders

The Manukau Harbour beaches are home to several species of wading birds, sea and shore birds, most visiting to feed or roost. At low tide, a good variety of birds can be seen feeding on the mud and sand flats. At this time of year, the godwit/kuaka are often seen, feeding up in preparation for their long migration. To see the godwit in numbers, head to the sand spits and shellbanks where they gather to roost, at high tide. (See article in this edition of the Breeze The flight of the godwits). Other regularly seen species include terns, gulls and herons.

The feisty oystercatchers and smaller, valiant dotterels are doing their best to raise their broods of chicks on our harbour edges. The threats their nests, eggs and chicks face are numerous, sometimes seeming insurmountable, but shorebird minder groups have sprung up around New Zealands’ northern shores, with the heartening result that New Zealand dotterel/tuturiwhatu numbers have been steadily climbing, moving them from “critically endangered” to “threatened . The “Variable” oystercatcher/Torea Pango is mostly black with varying amounts of white plumage, also breeds on our local shores, and although larger, noisier and generally better able to defend nest, eggs and chicks, they also benefit from the shorebird minder teams.

Two legged pests include dog walkers with dogs off-lead in nesting zones; hoons on motorbikes or four wheeled vehicles who can’t resist the challenge driving through streams, on sand, or the dunes. These threats add up to a challenge for birds, and Minders; this season threw up the usual mix of successes and disasters. Very high tides and strong north-westerlies wiped out nine oystercatcher and dotterel nests during November; a pair at Wattle Bay had already raised three chicks, but at Orua, Big Bay and Hudsons beach, all the pairs had to nest again. Meantime, some coincidences lead to a highlight for the season. Two of our Minders are great photographers; Sally Greaves captured a photo of a “flagged” Dotterel, showing the letters clearly. A few days before Adrian Reigen had given a talk to BirdsNZ describing his project – flagging dotterel chicks on his local West Coast beaches – Bethells, Anawhata, Whites, Piha and Karekare, enabling the future movements of these chicks to be followed, as they matured. The Big Bay bird, flagged CHT, was a Bethells graduate. Following on from this- two surviving chicks at a month old, from a Big Bay pair, were perfect candidates for flagging – Adrian Reigen met with the Big Bay team early on a recent Saturday morning – a successful expedition caught and flagged the two chicks, now JAY and JAZ – plus one of

Stoat destroys shorebird nests

Dotterel minders at Orua Bay were upset when a stoat raided a dotterel nest recently and took eggs.

Local resident Diana Emerson who has been trapping pests for four years, managed to trap it. Many peninsular residents continue to trap pest such as stoats, ferrets, possoms and rats with success. This is evident with the increase in bird life and pohutukawa blossoms on the Awhitu peninsula.

Did you know that the Waiuku Lions Club built the town clock?

It was way back in 1987 and the Waiuku Lions were doing what they normally do, thinking of ways to help the local community. The decision was taken to donate a clock to the town in the days before smart phones!

The Lions then set about raising funds and marshalling local resources and goodwill to make the project a reality.

Meetings were held with the Waiuku Borough Council (pre- “Super

City” days) and approval was given to proceed. The design was based on the clock at Mission Bay and the company which built that clock assisted with design and construction of the three pre-cast slabs which form the Waiuku clock.

Many local firms and individuals lent support. Knight and Dickey transported the slabs from East Tamaki, Terry Short contributed diggers, Ready Mix supplied the base concrete at discounted rates and Jim Snedden helped to organise power to the site. It was a true community project.

It took many hours of heavy work to put the clock up, employing a degree of ingenuity and “can do” which would have Health and Safety officials fainting with anxiety today.

But 36 years later it still stands and serves the local community (and occasionally tells the correct time).

the parent birds, now HAE. These birds can now be identified, and their survival and movements tracked. (Adrian Reigen is also the Godwit follower, having initiated the tracking of the Godwits on their epic migrations to and from Alaska). It is great to have a new focus on the Peninsular Dotterels, which should glean more information to assist in the long term care of these special shorebirds. A huge thank you to the caring Minders, from Hudsons to Orua Bay, they get some respite now, until the next cycle begins in spring.

Auckland Council funded three members of Awhitu Coast Care to attend an intensive, one day Shorebird Minders’ course at Pukorokoro, Miranda Shorebird Centre, during August to prepare them for the start of spring nesting. There was a crowd of enthusiastic Minders with experience to share; and with the course leader they covered the proven techniques of taping off nesting sites with pigtail standards and electric tape; setting up accompanying signage; lifting and raising nests when storm tides are anticipated, or when nests are set at the wrong side of the high tideline and baiting and trapping the many pests which threaten eggs and chicks. These include rats, possums, ferrets, weasels, stoats and feral cats.



It was given a facelift a few years ago by the Franklin District Council when the town centre was upgraded but the structure itself has stood the test of time.

The old adage “many hands make light work” was never more apt than for this project. Waiuku

Lions Club no longer has quite so many hands, but you could help change that.

The club needs new members to help keep working with and for the local community.

If you want to know more email waiuku@lionsclubs.org.nz, or via a comment on the Waiuku Lions Facebook page, or ring Lion President Ivy on 021 827 938.

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The test of
Adult dotterel tagged at Orua Bay recently. Photo Sally Greaves An amazing photo taken of a stoat carrying a rat across a stream at Orua Bay. Photo Kate Oakley Dotterel on nest at Orua Bay. Photo Kate Oakley

Counties Energy Tariffs


All prices are GST exclusive. Counties Energy prices will be changed on the 1st April 2023 and are disclosed as follows: Summer is from Oct 1 to Apr 30. Winter is from May 1 to Sep 30. Peak is defined as between the periods of 7am and 11am, and, 5pm and 9pm, Monday to Friday (including public holidays). Off-Peak is all other periods.

The total price is a combination of the transmission component and the distribution component. The transmission component represents payment for the use of the national network owned by Transpower New Zealand. The distribution component is for use of the Counties Energy Network.

The Counties Energy’s total consumer discount for FY24 is $11.469m. The size of the discount the customer will receive is based on the usage at the customer’s current address as at the cutoff date in November 2023. Only customers who are connected to our network on the cutoff date are eligible for the discount.

PREVIOUS PRICE COMPONENT 2022 PRICE COMPONENT 2023 PRICE COMPONENT CODE PRICE COMPONENT DESCRIPTION PRICE CATEGORY UNITS CUSTOMERS ON PRICE COMPONENT TOTAL TRANSMISSION DISTRIBUTION TOTAL DELIVERY PRICE AFTER DISCOUNT RESIDENTIAL CONSUMER - LOW FIXED CHARGE (LFC) RLUC 18116 $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit FIXD Daily Price $/day 0.3000 0.3391 0.1109 0.4500 0.3834 PEAK Peak $/kWh 0.2920 0.0000 0.2980 0.2980 0.2539 OFPK Off Peak $/kWh 0.0920 0.0000 0.0916 0.0916 0.0780 CTRL Controlled $/kWh 0.0593 0.0000 0.0620 0.0620 0.0528 DEFT Uncontrolled $/kWh 0.1420 0.0000 0.1432 0.1432 0.1220 INJT Export $/kWh 0.0103 0.0000 0.0103 0.0103 0.0088 Low User price category is only available to a consumers principal place of residence. A customer may only switch between low user and regular residential price categories once per 12 month period. RESIDENTIAL CONSUMER - REGULAR USER RSUC 21753 $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit FIXD Daily Price $/day 1.4000 0.5102 1.1398 1.6500 1.4058 PEAK Peak $/kWh 0.1790 0.0000 0.1827 0.1827 0.1557 OFPK Off Peak $/kWh 0.0602 0.0000 0.0571 0.0571 0.0486 CTRL Controlled $/kWh 0.0120 0.0000 0.0072 0.0072 0.0061 DEFT Uncontrolled $/kWh 0.0899 0.0000 0.0885 0.0885 0.0754 INJT Export $/kWh 0.0103 0.0000 0.0103 0.0103 0.0088 STREET & COMMUNITY LIGHTING STRL 22 $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit SLDI Unmetered Distributed Streetlights $/column/mth 9.4561 1.8110 8.3070 10.1180 8.6206 FIXD Metered Lighting - Daily Price $/day 0.7537 0.1457 0.6608 0.8065 0.6871 CTRL Metered Lighting - kWh $/kWh 0.1195 0.0000 0.1279 0.1279 0.1089 GENERAL MASS MARKET GSUC 7299 $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit FIXD Daily Price $/day 1.5417 0.9547 1.0453 2.0000 1.7040 PEAK Peak $/kWh 0.1932 0.0000 0.1932 0.1932 0.1646 OFPK Off Peak $/kWh 0.0713 0.0000 0.0713 0.0713 0.0607 CTRL Controlled $/kWh 0.0527 0.0000 0.0400 0.0400 0.0341 DEFT Uncontrolled $/kWh 0.1051 0.0000 0.1056 0.1056 0.0900 PWRF Power Factor $/kVArh 0.0571 0.0000 0.0571 0.0571 0.0486 INJT Export $/kWh 0.0103 0.0000 0.0103 0.0103 0.0088 (Customers with appropriate metering will be required to pay a charge for all reactive energy supplied by the distribution network in excess of an average monthly power factor of 0.95 lagging) MAJOR CUSTOMERS (TOU METER) LCTC 181 $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit $/Unit SNIT Summer Night (2400 - 0700) $/kWh 0.0115 0.0000 0.0115 0.0115 0.0098 SPKD Summer Peak (0700 - 1100, 1700 - 2100) $/kWh 0.0284 0.0000 0.0285 0.0285 0.0243 SOPD Summer Off Peak (1100 - 1700, 2100 - 2400) $/kWh 0.0183 0.0000 0.0115 0.0115 0.0098 WNIT Winter Night (2400 - 0700) $/kWh 0.0149 0.0000 0.0149 0.0149 0.0127 WPKD Winter Peak (0700 - 1100, 1700 - 2100) $/kWh 0.0921 0.0000 0.0921 0.0921 0.0785 WOPD Winter Off Peak (1100 - 1700, 2100 - 2400) $/kWh 0.0228 0.0000 0.0149 0.0149 0.0127 DMND Demand $/kVA/mth 10.6361 0.0000 10.6361 10.6361 9.0620 (Monitored 0700-2300 daily and charged at the average of the 3 highest demands per calendar month, with a maximum of one demand per day) DEXA Excess Demand $/kVA/mth 31.9083 0.0000 31.9083 31.9083 27.1859 PWRF Power Factor $/kVArh 0.0571 0.0000 0.0571 0.0571 0.0486 (Applies to all reactive energy supplied by the distribution network in excess of an average monthly power factor of 0.95 lagging) INJT DG Injection $/kWh 0.0103 0.0000 0.0103 0.0103 0.0088 CAPY Connection Capacity Price $/kVA/mth 1.6100 1.6421 1.1079 2.7500 2.3430 TMMP Transformer Monthly Price $/mth 113.459 0.0000 113.4590 113.459 96.6671 TMCP Transformer Capacity Price $/kVA/mth 0.2664 0.0000 0.2664 0.2664 0.2270

Who runs the drains in West Franklin?

In the dark, distant days before pastoral farming, the land in West Franklin was covered with native forest. The rain that fell into the forest was soaked up by the dense undergrowth which slowed the stream to meandering waterways which eventually found their route to the rivers and the sea. When farming claimed and cleared the land, the streams continued to wander.

Fire Brigade open day

anything a lack of the care which farmers have provided in the past. As farmland has become subdivided, and as the division between local authorities ceased to be based on catchments, which happened in Waiuku, the system of farm drains no longer works.

An example is the Awaroa River which flows into the Waikato River at Hood’s Landing. There are two heads, one rising in the north-west and the other from the from the eastern slopes of Mount Pukeoware. These two origins combine to form the definitive river near Hull Road, in the Waikato Region. Nonetheless much of the water comes from across the Auckland border, and anyway, the whole system forms part of the Franklin Drainage Plan, once administered by one district council which inherited it from specialised drainage boards.

As far as I can tell the role of these Boards has now been devolved to council committees which do not appear to meet very often. In recent years, residential development along the Awaroa River has resulted in multiple crossings using culverts, many of them far too small to carry the flow of the river in flood.

As agriculture became organised the streams became drains which were straightened so they could be maintained. Now the water which fell on the paddocks and could not be absorbed by the pasture would run off, into the drains, still finding its way to the streams and rivers. No longer was the sponge of the forest and it’s understory to hold back the rush of water into the drains.

Farmers realised the importance of keeping the drains clear, which they did, by regular cleaning, and so long as the waterways downstream were also kept clear, essentially a cooperative effort between a line of farmers until the stormwater reached a big enough river which took care of itself. or at least was somebody else’s problem. An unintended consequence was gradual silting up of waterways and of the marine inlets where the rivers ran to the sea.

This month, we have seen the massive downpours of rain in February and the absolute inability of some waterways to carry water away to the rivers. The cause of this is not only the inadequacy of the old farm drains, its more than

InDeed We Can

Good engineering practice could solve the problem by providing overland flow paths for every culvert which should give the floodwater direction during overflow. But not all of them are consented and they are rarely inspected.

The official view appears to be that if they are on private land they are not a council responsibility. If the drains and streams are not maintained and culverts become blocked the result can be a backup of powerfully moving water which, if it meets an obstacle, may release enough stored energy to climb up over a bank, well above the river level. That has happened in the recent floods, in my opinion, as a direct consequence of inadequate maintenance, undersized sized culverts and, in particular, a lack of proper overland flow paths.

In the case of the Awaroa, overall responsibility for maintaining the waterway is no longer clear. Much of the surrounding land is no longer in the hands of farmers and the waterways are arguably administered by three local authorities, Auckland Council, Waikato District Council and Waikato Regional Council. Something will have to be done.

Waipipi bowls results

Waipipi Bowling Club hosted a Bowls tournament 19 January 2023 with special thanks to Waiuku Bowling Club for the use of their greens and facilities.

Teams entered from Pukekohe, Waiuku, Buckland, Clarks Beach, Patumahoe and Waipipi, a great day for playing bowls and enjoying the comradeship of other players.

Winners were 1st Pukekohe: Terry Lister, Glenda Allen, Margaret Crispe 2nd Buckland: Shane Fleming, Leonie Fleming, Liz Whiteway. 3rd Waiuku: Richard Sheehan, Murry Fowlie, Wayne Dixon.

Next Waipipi tournament to be held Thursday 20 April.

Waiuku Fire Brigade are holding an open day on March 18. They will be demonstrating how they cut someone out of a car after a serious accident and how to make your place as fire safe as possible.

Surf Lifesaving Karioatahi and Coast Guard members will also be giving advice on water safety. The day starts at 10am and the brigade members will be cooking up a sausage sizzle for hungry visitors. (Gold coin donation).

21st National Veteran Rally

Sunday 26 February saw a gathering of 50 vintage cars all built before 1919 gathered in the Kentish Hotel car park. The 21st National Veteran Rally of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand was the largest gathering of very early seen in Auckland in the recent decades. The last was in 2007 and based in Pukekohe and this event was based in Tuakau and marks the 50 year anniversary of the Auckland annual veteran runs and participants have come from throughout the North Island.



They were a very popular vehicle before World War 1 and the car was a reliable and good choice at the time.  Cadillac built their single cylinder cars from 1903 to 1908, the four-cylinder car until 1914 and manufactured the V/8 from 1915.

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The Awaroa River in flood, where it has been restored to original profile, showing large capacity for flood retention Above: A French military truck that participated in the first world war. It came to New Zealand in 1920. truck was purchased from a farmer in 1967 for 1 penny and was restored by Barry Robert. is the only one of its kind in the world and is a regular at Santa Parade on Auckland’s Queen Street. Left: 1906- Cadillac. The wheel spokes are made of Mahoney wood. The car is owned by Philip and Caroline Henley from Auckland.
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PROUDLY LOCAL Locally owned and operated, we are proud to call Waiuku our home and help you find yours. Contact us today for your real estate sales or property management needs. Ray White Waiuku 23 Queen Street, Waiuku 09 235 2940 | waiuku.nz@raywhite.com Southern Corridor Realty Limited Licensed (REAA 2008)
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