Waikanae weather watch

Weather Watch

Or anywhere else in the country — this website provides what seem to be current details (presumably from gauges via the web) of temperature, rainfall, wind speed, humidity and pressure at different locations, shown by the dots on the map.

The highest temperature we have noted for Waikanae this summer was 31.2°C on 29 January, but we haven’t visited it constantly, only when conditions seem exceptional!

How to test your drinking water and why you should do it

As we have reported before, there is plenty of dissatisfaction about the quality of Waikanae water.  This article is American, but it’s just as relevant here.

Water testing

Source: Nworeport

While we would love to be able to trust the liquid flowing from our faucets, anyone who pays even half-hearted attention to the news knows that we can no longer expect safety in our drinking water unless we confirm it ourselves.

The EPA and Michigan’s Gov. Snyder really added to the list of reasons that I have trust issues. Water is one of the most important survival topics around – it’s so important to me that I wrote an entire book about it.

Flint, Michigan: A Cautionary Tale
Every day for more than a year, new horrors were uncovered in relation to the drinking water in Flint, Michigan. Residents of the city had been drinking water that was presumably safe for the past year without knowing that it was actually contaminated with chemical byproducts, E. coli, Legionnaires’ disease, and lead.

It appears that both the EPA and the governor of Michigan knew the water was unsafe for quite some time, but no one said a word to warn the people of Flint. To heap insult onto injury, the water company had the audacity to bill people for the poisoned water and even sent out shut-off notices.

Where to get a water testing kit

So, do you really think you can trust the water flowing from your own taps? If Flint was the last straw for you, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and test your drinking water for contaminants. Whether your water source is private or municipal, the onus for your family’s safety is on you.

Water testing kits are readily available on Amazon.

  • The Watersafe Well Water Test Kit was specifically designed to help you test quickly and easily for the 10 most common contaminants found in private well water, including iron, copper, lead, bacteria, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, pH and hardness. (order here)
  • The PurTest Home Water Analysis kit is a comprehensive EPA-based test kit that allows you to quickly and easily test your drinking water for various contaminants and conditions. Tests included: 1 test each for bacteria, lead, & pesticide. Two (2) tests each for iron, alkalinity, pH, hardness, chlorine, copper, nitrate & nitrite.  (order here)
  • The Essential Indicators test is the most thorough, but you have to send the water to their lab to get the results. The test checks for 170 health-related contaminants including Volatile Organic Compounds, Essential Elements, Heavy Metals, and Inorganic Chemicals. You simply fill the bottles with your tap water and return them to our lab using the same box you received with the test kit. Within about 6 business days you will receive an email containing the results of your water test along with recommended treatment suggestions if a problem was found. The one family of contaminants that you will test for yourself are pathogenic bacteria, which, if present, can cause infectious diseases. (order here)

From a preparedness perspective, it makes sense to keep a few of these DIY kits on hand in the event you need to test water during a disaster situation. (Obviously, not the one you have to send off to a lab.)

Be sure to also test the pH of your water. Your water’s pH level is very important because if it is too low or too high, it can cause corrosion of lead and copper from household plumbing.  To be safe, drinking water should not have a pH lower than 6.5 or greater than 8.5.

How to test your water
Following, please find an excerpt from my book, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide. Chapter 9 of the book discusses the importance of testing your own water, how to do it, and what to test for.

Full article

Federation of Ratepayer Associations of New Zealand: an invitation to the inaugural meeting

by Alan Preston

Kia ora to all Ratepayers and Residents and their representatives on the Kapiti Coast.

At a conference of representatives of Ratepayers and Residents’ Associations from all around New Zealand held in Nelson over the weekend of 10-11 November 2018, a commitment to establish The Federation of Ratepayers Associations of New Zealand (“Ratepayers NZ”) was confirmed.

The steering committee that was appointed at Nelson is now inviting representatives of Ratepayers and Residents Associations to attend the Inaugural meeting of The Federation of Ratepayer Associations of New Zealand  from 1 p.m. on Saturday 23 March 2019  in north-west Auckland at the Massey Birdwood Settlers Hall at 2 Redhills Road, Massey31 km from Auckland airport.

The Agenda will include:

  • discussing, formalising and adopting  a Constitution or Rules of the Federation,
  • formalising the structure of the organisation as an Incorporated Society
  • the appointment of a governance group / nominations to the officer positions (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) and Committee

Any minor additions or changes to the Agenda will be viewable in the online version and we’ll send out another e-mail if any significant changes are made.

We will have Wifi access so it will be possible for those of you who can not travel to make it to the meeting to participate by Skype. (search for : Ratepayers Residents in Skype or click on https://join.skype.com/invite/pRqZrKanoXf8 in the Google Chrome or Microsoft edge).

A discounted rate for accommodation at the nearby Quality Hotel Lincoln Green can be arranged by calling John Riddell  (who is providing the hall) on 0274 779750.

RSVP: Please let us know by replying by e-mail (ratepayersandresidents@gmail.com) whether your group will be sending a representative and we encourage you to forward this message on through to your members and to others who may be interested.

To see interviews and video of some of the talks given by guest speakers at the conference in Nelson, click here

If you need to print out the pdf files of the Agenda, Draft Constitution and Rules, they are attached to the bottom of the pages on our website which can be accessed by clicking on the links above.

Thank you and look forward to meeting you at the conference.

Alan Preston in Mangawhai for the steering committee. (Mobile: 02102377242)

Death of the gods: The woeful response to kauri dieback disease

kauri treeby Bob Harvey

Kauri survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and the sinking of a continent, yet today stand on the brink of annihilation. Why has the official response to dieback disease been so weak and disorganised?

It’s a cold, crisp July morning in the Karekare Valley. I’ve been walking an hour in icy streams before I leave the track and head up through the dense bush. I’m on a mission to get to a stand of kauri that I’ve been watching for the last 20 years. They are giants. Healthy and strong and perhaps 1000 years old. Thousands like them once stood throughout the Waitākere Ranges, but these are the lucky ones. The cliffs saved them from the axes and saws of the Karekare millers and they have — so far — survived the dreaded kauri dieback.

It’s a new death sentence on these glorious sky-reaching treasures of the New Zealand northern bush. Kauri dieback is sweeping through the northern forests and into the Waitākere Ranges and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. It’s as great a menace as the ruthless millers were in the last 200 years, but unlike them, it cannot be stopped. At least, not with our current knowledge.

Where greed drove the saw blades, now a water mould is devouring the kauri that remain. It has only recently been given a name: Phytophthora agathidicida. The last word translates as “kauri killer”.

Full article


A tourist’s insight into New Zealand tramping conditions — Conservation blog

Ashlyn Oswalt is an American expat who’s been living in New Zealand for a year. She’s noticed that many tourists come to New Zealand without the right tools or amount of preparedness to safely enjoy the outdoors.

via A tourist’s insight into New Zealand tramping conditions — Conservation blog

the palm trees aren’t giving up easily

Mahara Place rooted

Although they were removed from Mahara Place weeks ago, it seems the two iconic phoenix palms are still putting up quite a fight.

As part of the major upgrade of Mahara Place the phoenix palms were removed and temporary stages set up. Now those are being removed and the area excavated. And this is where the phoenix palms are rising from the ashes.

It appears the roots of the trees cover most of Mahara Place, presenting significant problems to the contractors. The photo shows how deep they are at the southern end while it appears the root structure of the larger of the two palms at the northern end may present even more of a challenge.

(From the KC News website)

Summerset group to build a retirement village in Waikanae

Summerset Paraparaumu

Along with Bupa (Winara), Ryman (Charles Fleming) and the Parkwood business, Summerset is the latest property renting group to move into Waikanae with its second retirement village in Kapiti, following the first one in Realm Drive in Paraparaumu (pictured).  The company’s first village opened in 1997 in Wanganui and it now has 24 of them around the country.

According to this article on the NZ Herald website, the new village is on a 25.5 hectare site in Park Avenue and will contain “around 300 homes, including two and three-bedroom villas, serviced and memory care apartments.”

The company’s website, however, states that the land it has bought is 8 hectares.

The land, located with an apparent site address at 32 Park Avenue, borders Waikanae Park and, it seems, NZTA land on the east side of the Ewy.  We will report more as information becomes available.

Summerset Waikanae

The land which appears to be involved with the intended Summerset development, a satellite view taken before the completion of the ‘Ewy’.