The first three days of last week had the hearings on the KCDC Long Term Plan for those who wanted to be heard. Over 90 individuals and groups did; Geoffrey & Eva among them to add extra considerations on the topic above. No councilors asked questions about it, but Bernie Randall wanted to know our thoughts on closing the Green Waste/Recycling facility in Park Road and Gwynn Compton was interested in how much electric power the proposed dam on the Maungakotukutuku Stream could generate. Cr Elliott was solely interested in who copied us with mails to councilors (groan). We effectively told her that as responsible journalists we do not reveal sources when they want remain anonymous.
The River between Waikanae and Reikorangi in summer with low water levels.
Tēnā koutou i tēnei ahiahi
I am here to add supplementary considerations only to the last section in my and my wife’s submission on the Long Term Plan, that relating to an extension of the Waikanae riverbank walkways /cycleways. This is something which the Reikorangi Residents Association also mention in their submission, although they don’t go into specifics.
As stated in our submission, the present paths extend the length of the Waikanae River on both banks for about 5 km between the Main Road and the beach, and are quite close to the river, often within sight of it. Both paths are well used by both walkers and cyclists, including ourselves. It’s a lovely river.
However, to the east of the Main Road, there is no path on either side and it is desirable that there be one.
The network of walking, cycling and bridle paths around Kapiti is something that the council has done very well and are the cause of envy elsewhere. But there are still routes where there should be more, and this is one of them.
When heading towards Reikorangi from Waikanae on the Reikorangi Road, once past the Water Treatment Plant the road becomes rather narrow and largely devoid of shoulders over a significant part of the approximately 5 km route and there is no choice for cyclists but to cycle on the road itself. It would be desirable that there be a side path that connects to a path along the river.
Between Waikanae and Reikorangi on the Reikorangi Road there is the popular swimming hole in summer known as the Devil’s Elbow which is accessed by an approximately 200 metre long path through bushes from the road. That is in the centre-left of the image in the submission. At that point there are short shoulders on both sides of the road for a small number of cars to be parked there; and only a small number.
We suggest that the new riverbank path go as far as the road bridge over the Waikanae river at Reikorangi. From there to the junction of Reikorangi Road and the fork forming Ngatiawa Road and Akatarawa Road and the Anglican church, is about 400 metres and the existing situation could remain.
This is not a potentially big ticket item in terms of cost, and all we propose is that this project be investigated. A close-up drone exploration would be the first thing to, then a foot expedition of what seems most promising. In some places it would be necessary for the construction of bridges to cross from one bank to the other, and this would at least be needed to avoid the Water treatment plant facility on the north bank
The bridges would not need to be elaborate steel structures like Te Arawai footbridge leading to Otaraua Park from the Nimmo Avenue area opened in 2009. Wooden bridges should be sufficient with the obvious requirements that they be durable and able to withstand the flash flooding of the river that occurs from time to time.
Construction of the path itself could be mostly done by periodic detention labour keeping costs low.