Go to the new Waikawa News site.
Sign up for the monthly Waikawa Newsletter.

Recent Items

Grants for environment available

Horizons Regional Council is offering the Kanorau Koiora Taketake - Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant for community groups who are helping to make this region a healthy environment where people are thriving. Applications for 2022 open 11 April and close 9 May 1pm. Grant applications are sought annually from community led projects that: Unfortunately Waikawa Beach doesn’t have a community organisation…

Red dot on a map shows Waikawa River at the footbridge has a very poor longterm score for human health.

What future for Waikawa River water quality?

Horizons Regional Council wants to hear from you about freshwater quality before 5pm Tuesday 24 May 2022. Have your say: Long-term visions for freshwater | Oranga Wai. (See below.) Waikawa River has some pretty poor scores on various water quality and health measures, so we really need Horizons to put in the work to improve them. Visit Waiopehu Freshwater Management…

Eleven-Armed Sea Star, with one arm broken and two missing, on sand.

Eleven-Armed Sea Star

We don’t often see starfish on our beach which doesn’t have the rockpools they may more usually be found in. This morning though (10-Apr-22) I saw one (or maybe two — the photos came from different stages of my walk and birds may have eaten a couple more arms). They are the native Eleven-Armed Sea Star, Coscinasterias Calamaria.

Screenshot from interactive tutorial.

Learn about bird feathers

You may have noticed shags ‘sunbathing’ at the beach with their wings spread out. [Shags] are often seen sitting on a perch with their wings spread out, drying their feathers. This is because a shag’s feathers are not waterproof, making it easier for them to dive and stay underwater for an average of 20 to 30 seconds per dive. But…

Horizons Community Climate Response Fund closes 31 May

Information today from Horizons Regional Council, who presumably should have written 2022 not 2021 for the closing dates: Pūtea Hapori Urupare Āhuarangi - Community Climate Response Fund - Horizons Regional Council Note that in their email about the fund they mentioned: Need some inspiration? Just some ideas that you could think about include: Investing in technology to help with predator…

Float with advanced optical sensor.

River nutrient study

Back in December 2021 sharp-eyed folks crossing the footbridge would have noticed this mystery device. It appeared to be monitoring river flow. It wasn’t though. Instead it’s been continuously monitoring the height of the river and sending the data back to Horizons Regional Council as part of a project. On Thursday 31 March 2022 a small team from Horizons Regional…

Screenshot from the PDF.

Brown foam on the beach

Sometimes the foam on the beach is brown which may lead us to think there’s pollution around. A Horizons Regional Council PDF explains though that it isn’t pollution but an algal growth: The brown foam seen on our beaches from time to time is surf algae, also known locally as surf scum. Surf algae are always present in the surf-zone…

Screenshot showing the planets and crescent moon.

4 Planets and the crescent Moon

At 0644 on 31 March 2022 the Eastern sky brought us an unusual sight: low in the sky a crescent Moon, right beside mighty Jupiter. Arrayed above them, Venus, Saturn and Mars. My photos don’t do them justice. To keep an eye on the sky, you might find Stellarium Web Online Star Map very useful. Set your location in the…

Sparrow-like bird with bright yellow head on a flax spear.

The Yellowhammer

There are plenty of Yellowhammers to be seen around Waikawa Beach. The bright yellow head is a real giveaway. Length: 16 - 16.5 cm; Weight: 18 - 30 g Similar species: Cirl bunting, Yellowhead, New Zealand pipit, Eurasian skylark, Chaffinch A small relatively long-tailed songbird with a grey-black bill and pinkish legs in which the male has a mostly bright…