PihaBeach homepagePihaBeach homepage
Accommodation, Directions, Eating Out, Piha Cafe, Piha Camp, Weddings


News, Views, Opinions & a bit of Gossip plus Photographs taken in Piha

Readers are welcome to write to Piha's 'Village Voice' with news, views, opinions or photos for publicaton  - Name must be supplied but names withheld on request.  Results of previous polls    Emails may be edited.  

Left: Village Voice Editor

To see the most up to date Village Voice See here



'One of Piha's bright lights' is how a friend described Eldith to me today.

Eldith passed away yesterday, September 30th.

What a pleasure to know you, laugh and joke with you and, yes, even party!

Huge love and support to Keith and family

Left: photo taken at Gabrielle's Piha Xmas Party December 12th '08

Neighbourhood Day : Turning Streets into Neighbourhoods  See 17th Oct here

 Sir Edmund Hillary  1919 - 2008 

New trail honours Sir Ed


Whatipu-Karekare-Piha-Bethells via Anawhata-Muriwai

Mayor Bob Harvey says a just announced West Coast trail is the perfect tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary.

"It's something I talked to Sir Ed about for 20 years. He and I worked hard on this together."   "Finally we are seeing it come to fruition."


The Hillary Trail will span about 100kms of coast and bush, starting at Arataki and finishing at South Kaipara.  It will be a testament to Sir Ed's legacy in New Zealand and the world, says Mayor Harvey.


"Sir Ed's legacy will live on in this magnificent trail. "A great icon deserves a great walk.  This is one to match the world renowned Heaphy and Milford tracks of the South Island.. 


"The West Coast was Sir Ed's second home. Anawhata was his favourite beach; a place he called the most beautiful on the planet."     "He would have loved walking the black sand beaches and native bush of the Hillary Trail".  The Hillary Trail has been 27 years in the making.


Sir Ed's father-in-law Jim Rose first proposed a public walking track from Huia to Muriwai in 1982.


His notes on the history of Anawhata said:   "My family look forward to the time when we will be able to walk from Huia to Muriwai on public walking tracks like the old time Maori could do."


Mayor Harvey revived the proposal this year, developing plans for a three day coastal walk.    He named it 'The Hillary Trail' in memory of Sir Ed.   His concept received support from the Hillary family, local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki and Prime Minister John Key.


Auckland Regional Council chair Mike Lee supported the concept and extended the trail to start at Arataki.


It will be officially opened on the second anniversary of Sir Edmunds's death, January 11, 2010


"It's great to have the Auckland Regional Council on board as they monitor these wonderful tracks," says Mayor Harvey. "The views are stunning and the beach and headlands are rich in history".


"This is a tribute to Sir Ed's unique combination of pioneering adventure and self sacrifice."


Photos Below: Left: Mike Lee, ARC Chair, Bob Harvey, Waitakere Mayor and Sir Ed's son Peter Hillary with Lion Rock , Piha, in the background.  2nd:  Bob Harvery, Mike Lee, Sandra Coney, ARC Chair Parks & Heritage and Peter Hillary.



Photos below: Ted Scott



Untamed coast: The wild West Coast is the backdrop to the Hillary Trail.







Southern beauty: The trail winds past Whatipu at the mouth of the Manukau Harbour.






Stunning sunset: Karekare Beach will be one of the trail highlights. 





Wild west: A storm hits the gannet colony at Muriwai Beach.










For Sir Ed: Mayor Bob Harvey has propelled the Hillary Trail concept in memory of his friend Sir Edmund Hillary. 






Photos Above: 1st Mike Lee, Chair of ARC, Bob Harvey, Mayor of Waitakere and Peter Hillary, Sir Ed's son.  2nd: Shows the new lookout, top left, where the opening of the Hillary Trail was held.  3rd: Mike Lee, Bob Harvey, Peter Hillary and Bobbie Carroll (Editor of Village Voice : I dragged myself out of the stream (see below) for this photo hence the mess I look!!!)


Tramping trail named in Sir Ed's honour in  NZ Herald here 

30/9/09 Tsunami warning in effect
There is a threat of a damaging tsunami impacting on New Zealand coastlines from a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the region of Samoa at 0648. The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is evaluating the situation with support from scientific advisors. Civil Defence updates

DUNES :  The Buffer between the Land and the Sea  The NZ Dunes Restoration Trust


What is Billy-May looking at? 

Have a look here

Reminder:  18th Oct 10 - 3pm: Community Consultation on Piha Beach @ Piha SLSC.  You will be receiving formal notification from Council very soon  Please keep this day free for this important consultation.

Piha Community Open Day Flyer [760kb] pdf

Sponsored by Waitakere City Council

Proudly supported by Piha Coastcare Trust

 The Popdose Interview - Neil Finn

The new benefit album from Neil Finn's 7 Worlds Collide collective, The Sun Came Out doesn't aspire to the sorts of Grand Gestures that mark so many multi-artist charity compilations. Instead, its charms are subdued and homespun, and its songs such as "Learn to Crawl" are intoxicating in their low-key tunefulness. Those same qualities, along with an enormous generosity of spirit, are the ones that have sustained Finn through three decades as a recording artist - perhaps the most underrated artist of his era, as we are prone to suggest frequently here at Popdose. Read whole Popdose Interview with Neil Finn here

Establishing a New Auckland Council and Local Boards John Carter 26/9/09 HERE

Inaugural Piha Coastcare Trustees Meeting 27/9/09  photo on the left you can click to make it bigger) is the new Piha Coastcare Trustees.  We had a great 1st meeting following by a very yummy lunch.

Front Row: Clare Feeney  Yvonne Dufaur,  Pat laRoche. 

Back Row: Bobbie Carroll, Nigel Mark-Brown, Jeff McCauley, and Berend Westera.


  • Chair: Berend Westera
  • Secretary:  Shared by  Clare Feeney and Nigel Mark-Brown
  • Treasurer: Yvonne Dufaur
  • Co-ordinator: Shared by Pat laRoche and Bobbie Carroll
  • Web Mistress: Bobbie Carroll

Celebration details here - ALL welcome

     "  POSTPONED "

 H  E  L  P  Got your attention? 

This Tuesday, September 29th, Piha Coastcare and the Beach Valley Road Project have been given 50 high school students for 3 hours to do some community work for us !!!  Yay

These kids are staying at Stedfast and doing all sorts of great things but part of the deal is they put something back into the Community.  Hey, we like that!

We need some guides and or supervisors please.  We are all meeting between the Art Galley and Firestation at 9:30 am and from there breaking into groups to go to various points to do some cleaning up.

All we need is some local adults that know the difference between a native and a weed that can be with a group of kids and . . . . .  well, just be with them while they work for us . . .  how easy is that.  We don't even have to feed or water them !!!

If you can come, bring strong shoes, some secuteurs, spade etc and see you at the gallery.  It might pay to Email HERE and let us know you can help.

Tree trimming rules in Waitakere - an update September 2009: Trees The new Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 will change the rules around tree trimming and tree removal in urban Waitakere.  For residents living in coastal and rural Waitakere the rules are unchanged. More information on WCC website

Qi Gong On the Beach

7.30am Weekdays

Weather Permitting

South Beach in front of Surf Club

Join me for informal, fun practice, set only takes about 20 minutes.


Contact: Maureen 021 0231 8008

Koha/Dana    More details [98kb].doc

23/9/09 R & R Committee Member spits the dummy ...... phew ! 

You may recall last Sunday the Beach Valley Road (BVR) Project did some pedestrian safety work on the road / Moana Stream side heading toward Piha SLSC. 

You may also recall that we invited the Piha Safe Walkways Group to join us.  You can see photos of all of this here.

Well it would appear that this has really really really annoyed a member of the Piha R&R, who neither lives in Piha nor owns property here.  She, who is spitting the dummy big time, emailed just about every group and person she could think of about this quite unacceptable behaviour. 


 Firstly: it appears that a member of the Beach Valley Road Project and a Member of the Piha Safe Walking Group are in the poo big time with her because they are also on the R & R Committee and, shock and horror, didn't advise the R&R that this work was about to be done.   Ooooooh aaaagh!

  • "I have been alerted to the latest work in Beach Valley Rd done by Coastcare" she writes..  Wrong !  The work was not by Coastcare but rather the Beach Valley Road Project.in partnership with WCC.
  • This person also wants to know if such work (making space for pedestrians) was 'authorised by the Council?'
  • She also wants to know if the safety cones, seen in the photos, belong to WCC?.  (Don't anyone own up to owning those cones for heavens sake! )
  • Another question: 'was there any community consultation before creating this 'new' walkway?' (yes - its been going on and on and on for years - but its not a 'new walkway' its a clearing of flax on the walkway!)
  • "The new walkway is only a meter wide with a steep drop into the Moana stream" she continues.  Gosh, so can we choose our destiny:  fall into Moana Stream or get run over by vehicles on the road?
  • "Aren't plants supposed the grow there to keep the stream shaded, according to Twin Streams best practice?" she asks.   Well, yes, that is best practice BUT streams are usually kept shaded to protect the living things in them.  Moana stream is a concrete waterway lined with plastic!
  • "I'm not a fan of flax on roadsides . . . . . . .  "  I know you're not keen on flax; remember the photographs taken of flax on the side of BVR and the hoo ha about it at the R&R Meeting thinking we had planted it (ooooh again) when in fact it was ARC? 
  •  " . . . but to leave it bare for a path + fence is another thing"  she continues.  Fence? Who is planning a fence?  Do you know something I don't?  Anyone know about a fence ?
  • The main thing (she continues) is, "the creation of this path affects ALL Piha residents and visitors and should have been put out for consultation".  Ah yes of course - silly us!  Now who should we consult with? All of Piha Residents or all of Piha Ratepayers or all of Waitakere or the whole of NZ?  And what should we ask them : "Would you rather drown in a plastic lined concrete waterway or get run over by a vehicle?"  

Now for some comments from me:

  • How long do you think you can 'represent' the people of Piha, on the R&R ,when you neither live here nor own property here?  I know I've asked this before but it just intrigues me . . .
  • Would you think it was OK for someone who lived in Dunedin to be on the Piha R&R if they used to own property here?
  • What mandate did you have to write these emails, I presume, as an R & R Committee member?
  • Are you aware that the President of the R & R has disassociated himself from your communications.
  • Are you aware of the R&R Code of Conduct clause that reads :

Members must act in a manner that encourages and values community involvement in local democracy. The views of members of the public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . must be accorded respect with committee members listening to and deliberating on concerns carefully and patiently. Members must avoid aggressive or abusive behaviour towards any of the above groups.

SOME NEWS FOR YOU:  The Beach Valley Road Project is one of the most successful WCC projects of its ilk in Waitakere.  The ARC has written about it as has WCC and other publications.  Gardening Groups have visited it.  It is a very successful project despite your constant sabotage attempts.  Are you able to  be a part of something so positive? 

This voluntary community work is by the BEACH VALLEY ROAD PROJECT and NOT COASTCARE.  Please stop emailing Coastcare members and everyone else about your baseless and nit picking concerns.

By the way : its not kosher to uplift photos etc from someone's website without permission or a link to the source!!!

Oratia Native Nursery closing ? To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumours of our death are greatly exaggerated.  We've had a few enquiries which suggest that some people have interpreted our sale to mean we are closing down. This is definitely not the case!  Far from closing down, we are now enjoying being able to focus on our core values, having made the conscious decision to step back from the mass revegetation market. Oratia Native Nursery

New Zealand gets ready for the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship : Surfing New Zealand, the National Governing Body (NGB) of New Zealand surfing, the International Surfing Association and Quiksilver began preparations to hold the eighth edition of the biggest junior surfing event on the planet, the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

The event will be held from January 20-28, 2010 in the consistent waves of Piha Beach, 40 km west of the capital Auckland.

The contest will bring together more than 200 junior competitors from about 35 countries that will compete for the Team and Individual Gold medals in the Under 18 Boys, Under 16 Boys and Under 18 Girls categories.

The first-rate tourism and organizational infrastructure, excellent waves and constant growth of surfing at professional and institutional levels, made New Zealand the ideal choice for the 2010 edition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

"New Zealand is an amazing location with perfect waves and a great surfing culture. . . . "  Wow, does a write up get any better? Bobbie   Read more on World Surfing News here

23/9/09 This Week On TV One . . . . . . . .     Local - Piha Rescue, Monday 5 October, 8pm: Thousands of visitors flock to Piha in the summer months to enjoy the sand, surf, and wild terrain. However, many of those who visit the idyllic beach find themselves in desperate need of a lifeguard, as fickle water conditions make for dangerous circumstances.

Now in its sixth season, Piha Rescue (tonight at 8pm on TV ONE) brings the summertime action at Piha, right into viewers' living rooms. This season, the lifeguards are as busy as ever with record numbers of people visiting the beach. When the surf's up and the crowd is huge, it is hard work keeping everyone safe.

The majority of the lifeguards at the beach are volunteers who put in the hard yards to keep Kiwis safe in the water. They are required to have physical and mental strength, good people skills, quick reactions and the ability to cope with extreme levels of stress. The club also hits a milestone this season, reaching 75 years of service, and Piha Rescue was there to join in the celebrations.  Article on voxy here

23/9/09 South African Junior Team for the 2010 ISA World Junior Championships in New Zealand named The Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa has named the surfers who will represent South Africa at the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Championships in New Zealand from January 21 to January 28, 2010.

The Under 18 Boys team is made up of Beyrick de Vries of KZN, Michael February and David Brand of Western Province and Dane Staples of Eastern Province.  Jacob Mellish of Boland is the non traveling reserve.   Full article here

Piha Surf Life Saving Club Fundraiser Otago handpicked Pinot Noir aged for 12 months in oak and with Piha SLSC's own label.  Buy 6 pack $126 or 12 for $234. For queries or to place an order Email them here  or  See flyer here [634kb].pdf 

Sunday 27th Sep:Daylight saving starts clocks should go forward an hour at 2am to become 3am.

REMINDER:   WCC has employed Coastline Consultants to facilitate Community Consultation about Piha Beach

Put October 18th in your diary now for the first Community Consultation Open Day in Piha.

The basis of the excercise is "Taking into account the needs and aspirations of the broad Piha community,   define a process by which dune restoration and protection activities can occur at Piha Beach into the future."

Here is our chance, all of us, to have our say, listen to others and come up with a plan or plans for the management of our dunes into the future facilitated some some of NZ's most qualified and successful professionals in this area. More details

Waitakere City Council will be notifying everyone in Piha by mail out.  This is a pre-notification

This Project is thoroughly supported by Piha CoastCare Trust

Piha Community Library celebrates 10th anniversary of its new building

 Celebrations for the children and the adults . . .   Read about it HERE


When different people or groups have common goals, as the Beach Valley Road Project & the Piha Safe Walking Group does, then why not help each other? 

Find out what's going on HERE



19/9/09 Top racing identity rarely had a punt: . . . . .. . . .For leisure he would at times disappear with his young family to the sanctity of Piha, then a slow, dusty, tortuous drive to the black sand and ti-tree and surfing on flat ironing-board type surfboards. There was no TV and only a partyline at the local store to the outside world. . . . Full story

19/9/09 2009 Infratil-Waitakere City Council Community Awards Celebrated   The United North Piha Lifeguard Service service was supreme winner at the 2009 Infratil-Waitakere City Council Community Awards announced last night.

The annual awards celebrate the work of voluntary groups and organisations throughout Waitakere and were presented at a ceremony in the Council chambers.

The United North Piha Lifeguard Service, which also won the Sport and Leisure category, was described by Culture and Community Committee chair Judy Lawley as "thoroughly deserving" of the recognition that comes with the award.

"I'm extremely pleased to see the United North Piha Lifeguard Service win this award - they are rescuing people and saving lives daily throughout the summer at Piha and this goes some way to showing how much Waitakere appreciates their efforts," Cr Lawley says.  Full fabulous story here

18/9/09  A Milestone for the Beach Valley Road Project  HERE

18/9/09 To Village Voice:

Re your item about Mels Barton's letter to the Herald, I find rather disturbing, the claim by Preserve Piha Heritage, that the Piha Community was split 50/50 on whether it did or did not want a cafe on the old post office site.  One would have thought that if PPH believed this to be true, they would have brought it to the Environment Court as evidence against having a cafe in Piha.  It's interesting that the first time this figure is mentioned (to my knowledge) was in PPH's appeal to the Environment Court Judge, as a reason why they should not be charged costs.  It seems that this fabrication is now being taken as fact, and is being quoted in the public arena as a reason why PPH should not contribute to the huge costs on the ratepayers of Waitakere that they generated by  pursuing and prolonging a case that  they were never going to win.

Piha Coastcare Trust Celebration

To celebrate the formation of the Piha Coastcare Trust, they are organizing a trip to see the wonderful wetlands between Karekare and Whatipu.  If you haven't visited this area for some time, you will be amazed at the changes.  We have arranged for an outstanding group of expert leaders to talk to us about the flora and fauna of the area as we go.


This will be a fabulous day and EVERYONE is welcome.  Invitation Flyer here

17/9/09 Have you got accommodation available 19 January thru 28th?  Accommodation is extremely tight for the Junior World Surfing Champs to be held in Piha during the above dates.  If you have some can you let us know please?  We need to be good 'hosts' and try to accommodate as many as wel can . . .  Email HERE 

Biological gorse control:  A 17-year-old Kerikeri High School student's study on the biological control of gorse has earned him this year's Northland Regional Council 'Excellence Award' at the Top Energy Far North Science and Technology Fair. 

Student David Blucher's project ''Spider mite, Might not'' (Biological Control of Gorse)' was one of 136 science fair entries involving more than 200 students from 10 Far North schools.

The science fair  which began in 1978 - was held over three days recently at The Centre in Kerikeri and is organised by Far North science teachers.  Read about it here

September Water Quality Results   HERE

17/9/08 Letter to Editor NZ Herald from Mels Barton of Titirangi 11th September 

I know Mels Barton and we agree on several issues.  But, as is human, we disagree on some too.  Reading Mel's letter to the NZ Herald there are several issues discussed that I disagree with.

Mels mentions several things in her letter but I shall just deal with one;  "Individuals like Sandra Coney and many other Piha locals put hundreds of hours of volunteer time into their campaign and the Piha community was split 50-50 over the Piha cafe"

        • Going on 700 Westies signed the 'YES' campaign petition
        • There are 900 permanent residents in Piha
        • The 'YES' campaign had an 'information day' on the site and the majority of people that came (heaps) and saw the plans were astonished at what all the fuss was about.

Please don't insult the huge number of people who gave their time to keep people informed, arrange rallies, spent day in and day out in WCC submissions and eventually 6 days in the Environment Court with nothing to gain except a civilised day time place to have a coffee and something to eat by saying the numbers were 50/50! There is no doubt the majority of Piha residents and visitors wanted a Cafe and can't wait for it to open.   Photo left: Piha residents rally to support 'Yes' campaign.

There are always bills to pay and someone has to pay them.  $15,000 is miniscule  compaired to WCC and the Cafe Guys legal bills. 

Cafe in Piha - A journey in photos here   

16/6/09 SH16 interchange improvements unveiled  The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) unveiled plans to complete the Western Route at a meeting with Waitakere City Council today, the same time as potentially-affected property owners were being delivered information about the project.  Read about SH16 here

 Strolling in Queenstown I saw this huge poster in a window and immediately recognised one as a 'Piha Person'.

Do you recognise who is from Piha ? ( You can click and make it bigger )

            • If you don't want to be disappointed?
            • If you want some fun?
            • If you've been waiting . . . .
            • You don't want to miss out ......

Then you MUST keep October 23rd FREE

I am not saying another word - yet!

16/9/09  Is this Michael Laws blogging?  I noticed this on a blog today      

"We planned to go to Piha which is a beach on the west coast where all the surfers hang out. Its black sand and supposedly beautiful. The wheather had been incredible all week long with temps in the high 60s I'd say. ... "

14/9/09 FLASHER - and no, I am not talking about Adobe!

Today at 10:30am at North Piha, on a sand dune just in front of the big cave, in deep shadow the pathetic little Piha Flasher returned.  Usual description: wearing faded blue and grey crew sweat shirt with white circle on the front, light blue surfing shorts, and base ball cap. Yawn yawn - so attention seeking !%!$#*&$#     Police and ARC have been informed.

12/9/09 Those pesky boundaries for Auckland AND caption contest. . .   What the hell! It doesn't make any difference. Aucklanders are not going to be in control of their water. I'm not comfortable with that, I can't think of an Aucklander who would be. . . . .

From this day on this will be the ACT party salute (as well as all Aucklanders) to its leader, delivered with a gutteral Zeig Heil!   Read it all The Standard here

Submit your 'caption' HERE by clicking 'comment' . . . .

10/9/09  Village Voice reporting from Wanaka:  Hi everyone from Wanaka.  I am on holiday but this, brought to my attention, is just too good to leave alone:

An extract from the recently adopted "Code of Conduct" for the Piha Ratepayers & Residents Committee: 

"That we follow the principles of good governance: Public interest; Honesty and integrity; Objectivity; Accountability; Openness; Personal judgement; Respect for others; Duty to uphold the law; Stewardship and Leadership."  

This all sounds great and is further qualified with this:   "Openness: Members must be open about their actions and those of the Committee, and be prepared to justify their actions.."  

Now I want you to keep that in mind while reading this further extract from the same 'Code of Conduct':

"Minutes of meetings to be confidential to the Committee until adopted at the meeting following and uploaded to the R&R website"

So can we discuss what happened in the meeting with a Committee Member?  Can a Committee Member discuss what happened with us?  Or is it just the minutes that are confidential?  Oooh so many questions . . . .

Now I'd like you to go to this following link, on WCC website, and see their Minutes published pretty quickly after meetings with the qualifier  'Unconfirmed Minutes'.  Have a peep here

Queenstown Gay Ski Week:

That Queenstown sure produces some good Queens - as you would expect.

Gay Ski Week is one of the many festivals held over the ski season and draws in plenty of the Australian Dollars . . .


9/9/09 Books in the Wild is back: Are you crazy about reading? Waitakere Libraries' innovative literacy competition, Books in the Wild is back and this year it promises to be bigger, better and wilder than ever.

Now in its third year, the competition has been opened up to all secondary school students (Year 9 to 13) across Waitakere and a question and answer category has also been added.

"Books in the Wild is about generating excitement about reading among teenagers and encouraging them to read and enjoy good quality literature," says Robert Baigent, Children's and Teens' Services Librarian for Waitakere Library and Information Services. Books in the Wild on SCOOP

Do you recognise these 3 folk from Piha photographed on Coronet Peak?

They tell me the powder was wonderful and they were spotted at more than one of the rather nice eating establishments in Queenstown


8/9/09 Rare kokako to sing in the Waitakere Ranges again:   Rare kokako to sing in the Waitakere Ranges once again

The haunting melody of the endangered kokako is returning to the Waitakere Ranges after an absence of more than 60 years.

Intensive pest control efforts by the Ark in the Park project has resulted in the planned release of up to 30 kokako birds into the ranges over the next two years, beginning with the first transfer of birds on Tuesday 8 September 2009.

These kokako are being transferred to the Waitakere Ranges from the Mangatutu and Waipapa Ecological Areas of the Pureora Forest in the central North Island with the aim of creating a new self-sustaining kokako population at this large new site.

Only 750 pairs of kokako remain in the North Island. The Department of Conservation?s (DOC) kokako recovery plan aims to have around 1,000 breeding pairs established by 2020.  This release is supported by DOC and DOC staff have been instrumental in capturing and caring for these birds.  Read about it on scoop

Piha Coastcare is thrilled to announce it is now 'Piha Coastcare Trust' . . . .   We will be publishing our Trust Deed very soon but in the mean time you can see the inaugural Trustees and their details  here

5/9/09 Another car goes off Piha Hill.  Some time over Friday night this car went off Piha Hill.  Not so lucky as the last one, it missed the tree passing it on the right and ended up on its nose, my backup reporter tells me, further down than the last one.

It was less damaged that the last one and ended up stopping in thick scrub. 

No sign of owners there, but the fire brigade and two tow trucks arrived early afternoon and took about 2 hours to get the car up. At least this time the police put a white tape across so it was obvious that the accident had been attended to earlier unlike the previous one that the fire brigade attended twice!

3/9/09 Piha foes clash again over court costs :

A community group says it is surprised and disappointed that Waitakere City Council is pursuing it for legal costs over the Piha Cafe stoush.

But an angry Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey says the council did it because it had had a gutsful of ratepayers' money going to respond to court appeals by "vexatious individuals".

Last week, the Environment Court ordered cafe opponents Protect Piha Heritage Society to pay $5000 towards the council's costs of defending the society's appeal against resource consents for establishing a cafe.

Judge R. Gordon Whiting also ordered the society to pay $10,000 to Preserve Piha, which is building the cafe with the aim of opening at Labour Weekend. In making the order, Judge Whiting said the consents were upheld by the court last February, and both the city council and the cafe company sought costs awards.

I asked the ARC why they weren't claiming cost on the ratepayers behalf and their reply was it wasn't their policy to claim costs off community groups.  Well, excuse me, but I consider Protect Piha Heritage to be more a 'political group' than community group.  Considering the ginormous costs to the ratepayers and the Cafe guys I consider a total of $15,000 very light especially considering the huge support for a Cafe in PIha which you can see here  To see more details on Judge Gordon Whiting awarding costs Go here Editor 

Full NZ Herald story  That must of been tough for Wayne Thompson to write given his constant biased reporting on the facts over the last couple of years!!!

Judge duct tapes defendant's mouth: A judge unhappy with repeated interruptions from a robbery suspect ordered a deputy to put duct tape over the defendant's mouth.  Know anyone you'd like to do this to?  NZ Herald article

Don't take life so seriously!


31/8/09  Moana Stream / Sylvan Glade / Beach Valley Road Water Quality Testing  WCC test the water quality in Moana Stream above and below the public toilets.  Earlier this year they also decided to test up Sylvan Glade and Beach Valley Road.   See the results here 


Farewell Mrs Dog

Fiona, Luke and others said their farewells to Mrs Dog today as her time is up and the vet visited early this afternoon..  Mrs Dog will be missed by many.


Govt drops plan for at-large councillors:  

The Government has dropped a controversial plan to have councillors elected at large on the Auckland Super City.  This follows widespread opposition to the proposal for eight at-large councillors and 12 ward councillors on the Super Auckland Council.  The main fear was the at-large system would favour the wealthy, celebrities and political blocs who could afford citywide campaigns.  Read on NZ Herald

Secret plan for super city nation-wide roll-out : Secret plan for super city nation-wide roll-out revealed says North Shore Mayor   A hitherto secret Cabinet paper, released under the Official Information Act, reveals the Cabinet is actively considering ways to roll out the super city reforms across the country, North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said today.

"The Cabinet paper requires Local Government Minister Rodney Hide to report back to the Cabinet Economic Growth and Infrastructure Committee by 30 November 2009 on 'whether or not decisions on Auckland governance will have application for the rest of New Zealand', Mayor Williams said. Read full article on Scoop  Wake up NZ - This is no surprise to me!  Bobbie

30/8/09 Car (Audi) goes off Piha Hill 

A trusty Piha Village Voice reader phoned to alert me to a car that had gone off Piha Road.

Late last night, Saturday, this red audi drove off Piha Road.  Lucky for them a rather large tree stopped it going any further than it did.

Left: the yellow circle shows where the car came to rest on the tree.


Left: Shows the car resting on old Pine Tree.  Below 1: Audi huddled in the bush. 2: Tow truck extending down the bank.  3: slowly slowly.  4: Here it comes.  5: read later & 6: Job done.

5: The tow truck drivers had just put a safety chain on the car when one got in to let off the brale and straighten the wheels.  The car door shut and I realised that the towie was no longer in my frame.  But where?  No safety chain on him so down the hill he went.  It was so funny - well it appealed to my sick sense of humour.  This is a photo of him scrambling back up.




Piha Ratepayers & Residents Assn Monthly Meetings: At their last meeting the Committee decided to change their meeting times.  They will now be on the 1st Friday of each month at 7pm (I think that's the right time).  Next meetings details HERE

     - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At the Piha R & R's last meeting they discussed (in no particular order):

  • Latest testing of septic tanks shows the modern ones have the problems, in the main, and the old ones appear to be OK. (Looking forward to seeing the report - can someone get a leaked copy???)
  • The NZ Transport Authority (I think) has done a safety audit of 'Darkies Hill'.  Their recommendations are to do a partial shape correction; some tree prunning, road shoulder adjustment; some additional edge markers and put in some extra safety signage.  This at a cost of $202,000.   It's an 'all or nothing' job and Kubi said he would "hesitate to do nothing"  (I agree).
  • All leases on public land are to be standardised as they roll over.
  • The Reserve Management Plan will be due for review soon but the Committee hasn't been formally advised.
  • A Committee Member asked if the R&R meeting minutes could be more detailed so that new members could get more of a background when reading them. (This comes up all the time)  The majority of the Committee were not in favour of this saying the discussion was not significant only the decision.  (I, and others disagree.  The journey to the decision is as important as the decision and informative for Members)
  • Piha Coastcare becoming a Trust:  The Committee is very concerned about this.  Coastcare's 'memorandum of understanding' with WCC, ARC & Piha R&R was discused.  They believe the relationship between Coastcare and the R&R started to disintegrate about 4-5 years ago.  It was suggested that "you can't just walk out on an agreement" (I thought it was just an understanding?) and they were most concerned that Coastcare would be "accountable to no one" and "answer only to itself" : "self appointed, non democratic and this is a serious matter".  They don't think Coastcare has any structure and would become a 'little group attached to no one'.   Someone was concerned that if you don't like something (the relationship or 'understanding') any more you can't just walk away (no we're not talking about Wet-n-forget! People walk away all the time from things that aren't working!).  Keith, the President, "felt sad" about it and was sure that the 'gripes' could be corrected and he didn't like groups not talking to each other so what could they do?  They are going to do more research and in the meantime "hope that WCC are not encouraging" such a move. (Watch this space:  The New 'Piha CoastCare Trust' has an outstanding Trust Board and Deed which will be public for all to see.)
  • They discussed the 'Code of Conduct' they have been working on for some time.  I haven't seen it but I understand it is a 'code of conduct' for the Committee to follow to have happy happy meetings?    Some weren't happy at progressing this without a full committee present but it was adopted anyway so no doubt we'll see it soon.
  • They discussed the 'pedestrian safety plans' for the area outside the RSA.  One suggestion was to reinstate Mrs Ketterer's Bridge from near the RSA to the Camp Ground. (Great for prams!) Another wasn't too conerned as no one walks at night.  (I walk a lot at night as do many others.!)
  • There was even more discussion about "who put the metal on the Milk Track?"  This seems to be Piha's greatest mystery at the moment.  (Was it The Colonal Mustard or Miss Scarlett or Reverend Green or Professor Plum?)  The Committee seem sure it was a private resident while a member of the Beach Valley Road Project insists it was WCC who are also denying it. It was suggested that if it was a WCC Contractor who did it then it was "inappropriate behaviour by contractors seduced by local residents". (Geez: run for cover whoever did it. There was a suggestion that anarchy is creeping into Piha and it needs to be stopped!)
  • Junior World Surfing Champs:  The R&R Committee are pretty concerned that there has been no consultation with them about this event.  They are asking WCC for a 'proper meeting' so watch this space.  (I understand Auckland City was part of the bid for this event : 'welcome Super City')
  • The Piha Community Library was discussed.  Even though he has been assured by the Library Manager that the valuation and insurance is up-to-date the President, for some reason, isn't so sure so suggested they get a proper valuation done at a cost of $500 - for accounting purposes, you understand..
  • The Committee discussed a 'leaked document' that Piha Village Voice received and published.  The Chair of the Community Board has made enquiries about this supposed 'leak'  but he said it was given to 'too wide a group' within WCC to find out 'who leaked the 'document' so it is not going to be pursued.  Someone suggested that 'Bobbie got a scoop' and another retorted with 'we're not talking about the Press'.  (oooooooohhh,  I could get offended there!).  However it was decided that whoever 'leaked it' it was "inappropriate behaviour" by some employee of WCC.  (You'd think it was the payroll that was leaked with all the fuss!)
  • Discussion on proposed 'consultation'on South Piha Beach.  The Committee are asking for the Terms of Reference, Documents provided and what the Consultants have been asked to do.  They don't want a repeat of what happened with the playground.  (What happened?).

Yes Folks - that's it basically.

29/8/09 WCC Infrastructure & Works Committee receives and considers 'the proposal to permanently relocate the Piha Post Office building and services on the domain' 2/9/09 

  • The Infrastructure & Works Committee Agenda which includes Summary, Recommendation, Background etc can be read HERE [133kb]pdf
  • And the submission by the Piha Ratepayers and Residents Assn can be read HERE [1773kb]pdf

28/8/09  First delivery of Plants for Piha Cafe  Left is a photo of the first delivery of plants, from Oratia Native Nursery, for the Piha Cafe. 

The Cafe Guys are doing things 'best practice'.  All plants are eco-sourced, through Oratia Native Nursery, from Piha where possible and if not then Karekare, Bethells or Waitakere. 

The Environment Court and WCC have, of course, stipulated the vegetation requirements but its gong to be even better.  Oh, and by the way, the guys have employed me to do the job!.  I am thrilled to be on the 'Team'.  I have all the technical and enviro advice I need from Piha CoastCare, WCC and Oratia Natives. . . .  it's going to be a wonderful thing - I promise.  Oratia Native Nursery

27/8/09 Ale and tales as a trio of surfing legends visit: Five North Devon rippers have been called up to represent their country on the world stage. Laura Crane, Beau Bromham, Lucy Campbell, Jobe Harris and Liam Turner were announced as part of the 18-strong British squad from which a team will be picked for the 2010 World Junior Surfing Championships at Piha, near Auckland, New Zealand, in January.  Read here on 'this is north devon'

27/8/09 Piha Village Voice would like to welcome Kim Crawford Wines to Piha. 

Kim Crawford Wines are having a 'work shop' Thursday & Friday at the Piha SLSC.

Some 50 of them are overnighting around Piha and as a part of host responsibility they are using the Surf Shuttle to get to and fro from their dinner to accommodation.

Welcome to Piha guys and gals ................


Watakere Ratepayers and Preserve Piha  Limited (The Piha Cafe guys) get some $$$ back. 

The Environment Court have awarded us, Waitakere City Ratepayers, and The Piha Cafe guys costs against Protect Piha Heritage. 

The Cafe guys are to get $10,000 and WCC $5,000 and if not forthcoming it can be enforced  through the District Court of Auckland.


The Applicant (Cafe guys) submitted (basically)

  • The appellant advanced arguments without substance, and failed at the Council hearing level and the Environment Court to make out any of its grounds.
  • The case the appellant pleaded and conducted lengthened the hearing - in particular in relaton to traffic and landscape issues.
  • A failure to explore the possibility of settlement was also a factor. The applicant referred to a settlement offer dated 8 August '08 to which the appellant did not respond.
  • The appellent took technical points, such as the scope of the applicaton, which was without substance and rejected by the Court.

WCC submitted (basically):

  • The refusal of the appellant to settle at mediation despite the Councils and applicant proposing various changes.
  • The appellant did not wish to narrow the scope of its appeal
  • WCC incurred significant costs defending a decision that the Environment Court upheld and which WCC properly assessed as a non-complying activity
  • The appellant advanced a case without expert evidence in heritage, landscape heritage and conservation architecture, despite these being key areas of the appeal.

Protect Piha Heritage (the appellant) submitted (basically):

  • Costs should lie where they fall
  • The proceedings were a matter of public importance and they represented a broad spectrum of interest in the village community which was equally divided over whether the application should be approved or declined.
  • The appellant also submitted that it acted responsibly on the basis of appropriately qualified expert evidence.
  • They did not put the "same" case before the consent authority and the Environment Court.
  • They were careful to seek independance advice from appropriately qualified expert witnesses.
  • They were a responsible litigant.  They agreed to mediation and made its expert witnesses available for caucusing.
  • The award of costs made at the hearing is not relevant to the costs applications currently before the Court
  • The estimated hearing time was not exceeded
  • The settlement offer of 8 August '08 by the applicant was consdiered but rejected in a letter dated 28th August.  The appellant accepts that the applicant did not receive the letter..

In response to WCC's application for cots the appellant (Protect Piha Heritage) submitted:

  • WCC declned to conduct a heritage assessment of the Post Office building prior to the consent authority hearing.
  • WCC chose not to make arrangements for its witnesses to caucus with Sandra Coney, who gave evidence as an expert historian on landscape character and the impact of the proposed activity on the character of the village settlement
  • The appelent was a responsible lititant and agreed to meet with WCC and the applicant regarding settlement.   The appellant made a settlement offer during the course of the hearing but the applicant rejected the offer.

Environment Court Judge R Gordon evaluated:

  • Cost should be awarded against the appellant but on a lesser scale than sought.  The reason I consider costs should be awarded is that a number of unmeritorious point were raised.  The case could have been more focussed.
  • This is not a case that I consider to be past the threshold tests set out in Bielby.  While a number of technical points were taken, I consider the  appellant did have an arguable case with respect to the sustantive issues relating to the effects on the environment.
  • Judge Whiting accepted that no expert evidence was given by the appellant on heritage, archaeology or landscape matters, but the evidence of Ms Coney addressed these matters and she is a person with considerable practical and hands-on experience in relation to these matters.  Expert evidence was called on traffic and wastewater matters.  Again, on these substantive issues, the appellant had an arguable case.


  • In all the circumstances, I consider an appropriate sum by the way of costs to order if $10,000 to the applicant, and $5,000 to the Waitakere City Council.
  • This order may be enforced in the District Court at Auckland, if necessary.

DATED August 26th 2009.                                   Piha Cafe - a journey in photos

26/8/09  Fabulous News for Piha Beach: 

For those of you that were able to attend the NZ Dunes Restoration Conference in March '09 at the Piha SLSC you would have seen these four Piha people, photo left,  on the 'Multiple Aspirations and Uses by Different Groups' panel representing the Piha Surf Lifesaving Clubs, Board Riders, Fishing Club, Coastcare Groups and the general public followed by a discussion.

Unfortunately the conference program didn't allow enough time for this hugely valuable section.  It did however act as a springboard for all the users of Piha Beach to 'have their say'.

GREAT NEWS:  There is going to be a followup by WCC and it will follow this open and inclusive model.  WCC have employed Coastline Consultants  to enable this. 

The basis of the excercise is "Taking into account the needs and aspirations of the broad Piha community,   define a process by which dune restoration and protection activities can occur at Piha Beach into the future."

Here is our chance, all of us, to have our say, listen to others and come up with a plan or plans for the management of our dunes into the future facilitated some some of NZ's most qualified and successful professionals in this area.

So put October 18th in your diary now for the first Community Consultation Open Day in Piha. . . Wow!

Primary Community Consultation will be facilitated by: Harley Spence who has 20 years experience in New Zealand coastal management including research, facilitating and managing community based coastal restoration programmes and in his current position of Director of Coastline Consultants, is involved in a range of coastal management projects and for agencies throughout New Zealand. Harley is one of the founding Trustees of the Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand (formerly the Coastal Dune Restoration Network) and within these roles has spent many years working on research and networking programmes in sites throughout New Zealand.

Supported by Jim Dahm who is one of New Zealand's leading coastal scientists with extensive experience assessing coastal hazards and developing coastal management strategies. Jim's presentation at Piha during the 2009 Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand annual conference was very well received.

This Project is thoroughly supported by Piha CoastCare (soon to be Trust)

26/8/09 Ghastly roadside drain to be fixed:  Most people will be familiar with the open drain on the left hand side of Beach Valley Road just up and opposite the RSA. This is the one, when driving past, it makes it hard to keep left as if ones car wheel went into it damage would probably happen.  Thanks for getting onto it WCC from the Beach Valley Road Project and Piha

26/8/09 Aucklands parks threatened by Super City carve up (or is empathy a lost art?)

Rumoured changes to the Auckland region's northern boundary pose a threat to nine northern regional parks.

"We currently don't know the future of all the regional parks from Wenderholm north, and possibly as far west as Te Rau Puriri on the Kaipara coast, and Muriwai," says Cr Sandra Coney, Chair of the ARC's Parks and Heritage Committee.

"These regional parks were bought by the people of the Auckland region for the people of the Auckland region.

Now before I send you off to the full article a comment or two:

    1. Is empathy a lost art?
    2. If ARC and/or Sandra Coney are slightly upset at the possibility of losing an asset purchased in 1965 maybe they haven't thought about how Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore etc  ratepayers and councils feel about  losing their assets to the mightly Super City ????
    3. 'If the government decides this and that . . . . .  '  against ARC wishes  then ARC join the throngs of people who are mightily peeved at what the government & Mr Hide have decided of late.

  here is the article   ARC article on Schoop

Tonka Toy in Piha

A very lucky little boy has his very own Tonka Truck in Piha 

Click for big photo



26/8/09 Piha's Black Sands FM Radio:  Hi Everyone in South Piha.  Good news for those that can't get Black Sands on their radio.  Mr Black Sands is going to put in a 'booster' something down here so we can get it.  Great because we love their playlist.

26/8/09 Latest Piha Lagoons and Beaches Water Quality Testing Results

24/8/09 "The editor has her facts completely wrong here. She is purposely stirring up ill-feelings towards the R and R committee and she always has done." 

Here is the quote directly from the R&R's own website

Piha R&R Open Forum guidelines:
If you wish to speak at one of the monthly Piha R&R committee meetings, you do not need to give notice to the Committee Secretary, but it is recommended. ˇ You can speak for a maximum of five minutes. ˇ You may not verbally criticise or question or debate with elected members. ˇ Elected members can ask questions after your address. ˇ No resolution will be made on your presentation, unless the presentation is relevant to an Agenda item, upon which it will be considered at the appropriate time. This policy is based on WCC Community Boards Open Forum Policy on WCC's website."

So, Hank, which part of   this  did I get wrong? - please explain , , , ,

Piha R&R Open Forum guidelines:

PHOTOS: The NZ-China Friendship Society filming at Piha

It's not hard to have fun if you grab the opportunities that come your way.  We decided to join the NZ-China Friendshop Society today on Piha Beach and had so much fun - here are some photos

Left: The director looking at things on his monitor


Click on these photo thumbnails for bigger photos and a BIG SMILE

The NZ-China Friendship Society project being filmed at Piha on Sunday morning - they're after another 10-12 people to participate. Singing/lip-synching a friendship song.  If anyone can assist please gather in front of the surf club at 11am  tomorrow Sunday 23rd  

The group are filming a song in "iconic" NZ locations to send to China. This was to have featured the Mayor at Piha but unfortunately he cannot make it.  So if anyone is available Sunday approx 12-4pm there is the opportunity to be part of the fun and possibly find fame (fortune??) in China.

If any lifeguards in particular could make it, kitted out in red and yellows, that would be great and Nippers in their club uniforms - both Piha  and UNP members all welcome.

Jasmine Flower


Phonetic Version


How yee duo may lee da mo lee hwa

How yee duo may lee da mo lee hwa

Fen fung may lee mun gee ya

Yo shan yo bye yen yen kwa

Young wo lie bar nee zai sia

Song gay bee yen jia

Mo lee hwa x 2



What a beautiful Jasmine flower,

What a beautiful Jasmine flower,

Perfumed blossoms fill the branch,

Fragrant & pure that everyone loves,

Let me take you home,

To my dear friend.

Jasmine flower, o Jasmine flower..



          Not another referendum!




20/8/09 I had some photos sent to me today from a reader wondering if anyone else had noticed these beautiful dogs on Piha Beach

The first 2 photos are of Rocky, a lazy aging dog who just seems to enjoy relaxing on the rocks keeping an eye on things from afar.   The 3rd photo is of Drifter; a little more active and prefers the sand to the hard rocks.   Click for bigger images.


18/7/09  Piha Cafe Roof going on

Yip, the roof is going on the Piha Cafe . . . .  won't be long now




Piha Ratepayers and Residents Monthly Meeting 'Open Forum' RULES: 

Goodness, the Piha R & R have introduced some new, and very interesting, rules for the Open Forum part of the monthly meeting.

The Open Forum is where we, the members, get to have a say or ask something.  Given that here they are:

  • If you wish to speak at one of the monthly Piha R&R committee meetings, you do not need to give notice to the Committee Secretary, but it is recommended. ˇ
  • You can speak for a maximum of five minutes. ˇ(Do we get warning bells?) 
  • You may not verbally criticise or question or debate with elected members. (doesn't leave much!)ˇ
  • Elected members can ask questions after your address. ˇ(What about appointed members?) 
  • No resolution will be made on your presentation, unless the presentation is relevant to an Agenda item, upon which it will be considered at the appropriate time. (Do they have 'under urgency?)
  • This policy is based on WCC Community Boards? Open Forum Policy on WCC?s website.

Continuation of this HERE

         CADBURY      or      WHITTAKERS    ?

       Whittakers are winning !!!





    To see what has happened here click on the photo . .

Change of Dates: Nature in your Neighbourhood:  Propagating Plants in Piha Please note that Session Four of this series has changed from Sunday 16th to Saturday 22nd at Barnett Hall @ 2pm.  For more details please go here  HERE

Veteran Surf Life Saver Backs Coroner's Call For Phone   Calls for improved safety at Bethells Beach following the death of Warriors rugby league player Sonny Fai are being supported by Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean recommended an emergency landline phone at the remote beach after an inquest yesterday into the 20-year-old man's drowning.

Mr Harvey, a veteran surf lifesaver, said the phone would be a great safety boost.

Telephone coverage in the area was patchy and many nearby houses did not get regular reception, he said.

"Getting quick help in the surf can be the difference between life and death. As a surf lifesaver of 50 years I know that when you're in trouble in the water, minutes count."

"An emergency phone could stop more tragedies like this," Mr Harvey said.

A total of 22 people have drowned on Auckland's west coast beaches in the past decade, including four in 2008. Waitakere City Council will work with Telecom, Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and the community to establish the emergency phone at Bethells Beach. The council has previously worked with the ARC and community groups to improve safety on the coast.

Signage was put up on every west coast beach in 2005, warning of the danger in the surf.  Lifebuoys were installed at rock fishing spots on beaches including Bethells, Whatipu, Muriwai and Piha in 2008.  Mr Harvey said that people should be able to enjoy the beauty of the wild west coast.

"We are doing our best to make sure it's safe,"  he said.   Full story here on voxy


Join Keisha and thousands of others.  Just click box below

15/8/09 2009 Westpac Waitakere Business Awards
Finalist : Unitec Community and Volunteer Sector Best Practice Award
Rob Wakelin of Piha Surf Lifesaving Club.

History acknowledges the Piha Surf Lifesaving Club as the great innovators and leaders of surf life saving in New Zealand. 

This can be put down to the ever-growing popularity of Piha, the treacherous conditions and a regular stream of colourful and inventive members that have graced the club throughout the years.

The club's surf lifesaving activities also spawned the incredibly popular TV series, Piha Rescue, which captured the skill, dedication and heroism required to be a surf lifesaver at one of the country?s most iconic and dangerous beaches.

Established in 1934 as Auckland?s wild and beautiful west coast became more accessible, the Club offers Junior Surf Lifesaving Training, Lifesaving Patrols, Surf Sport and Surf Boat Training.

Income is gathered from a raft of different avenues, including memberships, club venue hireage, corporate sponsorship, trust funding, grants and non-solicited donations, along with an assortment of regular fundraising activities

Business to Business

14/8/09 Farewell Aunty Sally: Hariata Parearohi Te Haupahi Whareiti Ewe (Nee Taua) other wise known as aunty Sally passed away yesterday in her nineties. Aunty Sally was the head of Te Kawerau a Maki iwi and was the head of Te Wai o hua,

Te Akitai, Ngati Te Ahiwaru and also of the seniors lines of Ngati Whatua, Ngati Te Kahupara, Ngaoho, Te Uringutu me Te Taou.

Her Grandfather Te Rongonui was the leading chief of Te Wai o Hua at Pukaki and he married Kameta Te Utika of Te Kawerau and Ngati Whatua the marriage in the 1870's was aranged to cement peace amongst the tribes of Tamakimakaurau through this union they had a female child who was named Te Ipu Kura a Maki the old name for Tamakimakaurau. Te Ipu kura a Maki was Aunty Sally's mother aunty Sally was an amazing leader for her people and she was a aunty to every tribe in this district.

Aunty Sally is laying in state from this morning at Te Puea Marae Mangere bridge. I will let everyone know of the Tangi once the family has agreed on the day, Aunty Sally's nephew Jack Ewe passed away yesterday at the same time so he will also be there at Te Puea Marae. Noreira e te Puru o Tamaki, te Puhi o Tainui takoto, takoto,takoto ra.

Ma te Atua Tatou e tiaki

11/8/09  Change of Dates: Nature in your Neighbourhood:  Propagating Plants in Piha Please note that Session Four of this series has changed from Sunday 16th to Saturday 22nd at Barnett Hall @ 2pm.  For more details please go here  HERE

11/8/09 Surf life saving clubs are the chosen ones for Farmers staff

Three West Auckland surf life saving clubs will receive a boost to their fundraising efforts this year thanks to a local Farmers store.

Farmers stores are celebrating 100 years and the West City Farmers Henderson branch has chosen Muriwai, Piha and Bethells surf life saving clubs to support throughout winter months.

"Surf lifeguards contribute huge amounts of volunteer hours over the summer to keeping our west coast beaches safe so its been fantastic that Farmers Henderson have chosen surf life saving as their charity to support," says Muriwai Surf Life Saving Club member Pauline Butt.  Full story on stuff here        Piha SLSC

10/8/09 MAF called to Piha.  I had a call mid-afternoon today about two fishing boats apparently very close to our shores.  Left is a photo I took.  MAF got a call from my caller and said they were on their way to check it out.  We shouldn't hesitate to report fishing boats, especially if they look like they are using nets, to contact MAF.

9/8/09  Spiderman & Spiderwoman in Piha?

How do they stay there?  

See here how tricky they are . . . .


8/8/09 Linda Bryder : Unfortunate experiment revisited - Interview with Kim Hill on Radio NZ Associate professor of history at the University of Auckland, and is the author of A History of the 'Unfortunate Experiment' at National Women's Hospital. (duration: 37′46″) Go to 09:05 on Radio NZ here

8/7/09 Piha Community Cemetery . . . . . . . . .  Gee it's hard to keep up sometimes.  I get texts to 'come and photograph this' and phone calls "do you know . . .  .?".  So I get out with my trusty camera and

 At some time, probably under the cover of darkness, someone has built a cemetery in Piha.

Click on these thumbnails, below and left, for a full view of it.




People's comments are very interesting:  One said it was silly to knock this down as people in NZ, still have a right to protest.

Oh well:  the cemetery is dead and entertaining people for a day. 

7/8/09 Friday night BBQ Club a shady looking lot in Piha . . . .

Click on this photo - Can you identify this shady looking lot at the Friday Night BBQ Club?

Try by clicking coment below right . . .


7/8/09 Seems the 'Piha Rock Police' have been caught sleeping . . . . . 

Click on this thumbnail left and you'll see very clearly that the 'Rock Police' in Piha are either asleep or giving up . . . .  how could they possibly miss these?

It wasn't that long ago that it was  Car vs Rock - see here


Dad4Life: Focus on Fathering Week The art of fathering takes centre stage in Waitakere for the annual Focus on Fathering Week.

Coordinated by Violence Free Waitakere and the council, the event runs 31 August to 6 September and features a wide range of fun and information activities to champion the role fathering has in the community

The week kicks off with the author of Essentially Men, Rex McCann, joining other well known Westie personalities on 31 August.

The week aims to provide a forum for dads to talk about the issues they face and to celebrate the successes in their roles as fathers. It's also about introducing men to a range of services and support networks available in the community and highlight the role fathers play in the future of Waitakere.

For details about What's Happening for Fathering Week  Go Here and follow logo on left;

Seems there are some who are not happy with Piha having the ISA World Junior Surf Champs here . . . .

Hit the comment buttom and tell us what you think ........

3/8/09 New Zealand will host the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

It was announced today at the International Surfing Association's Annual General Meeting that the 8th Edition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will be held in the perfect waves of New Zealand.

The dates have been set. The event will begin on January 20 with the Parade of the Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony with the competition starting on the 21st and ending on the 28th.

The event will be held at the famous surfing beach of Piha in Auckland. It will be organized by Surfing New Zealand, the National Governing Body of Surfing in the country, recognized by the ISA and sponsored, of course, by Quiksilver.

"We're really happy to announce that New Zealand will be the 2010 location for the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. It is an amazing location with perfect waves and a great surfing culture. It's really important to notice that this is the first time after more than 25 years that the ISA holds an event of this magnitude in the Australasia zone", said the ISA President, Fernando Aguerre.

"Securing this top ranked world event is fantastic for the city of Auckland, and for the sport of surfing in New Zealand," says, Greg Townsend, CEO of Surfing New Zealand which organized and led the bid process. 

"We are excited to have been given this huge opportunity to showcase our unique culture and our beautiful environment to the world while at the same time giving New Zealanders a taste of the very best the sport of surfing can deliver."

Luke Watson, Marketing Operations Manager of Quiksilver
Australia, said: "We are very excited to have the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in New Zealand. NZ is such and amazing place, great waves and awesome weather that time of the year. Every body involved will have a ball."

The best junior surfing of the world will be in
New Zealand in January 2010.  Enjoy it!

International Surfing Association (ISA)     Surf2Surf    TransWorld Surf 


Staff Wanted for The Piha Cafe   Job Application details here on Piha Trader




Piha CoastCare to form an independent Trust.  

Piha CoastCare has been discussing for some time how they can best move forward into the future.  By forming an independent 'Piha Coastcare Trust', they will be able to apply their own funding which may be required if less support is forthcoming from the new Council.  It also gives opportunities for Coastcare to operate in partnership with the new Council if that turns out to be the best way of carrying out environmental work in Piha. 

They do not see any need to continue to be formally tied to the Piha Ratepayers and Residents Association,  which  is basically a political lobby group for a community, which means that a formal connection is unnecessary, maybe even undesirable.
They will liaise widely with the Piha Community.and neighbours Karekare and Bethells Groups - you will probably hear a lot more news and consultation from them once the new structure in place says the Co-ordinator Pat.
Pat would like anyone to feel free to email her with any questions you may have about the future of Piha Coastcare.

Dance Party - Go Wild

West Coast Gallery Fundraiser:  See the Photos  HERE


PUBLIC NOTIFICATION: Proposed relocation of the Piha Post Office Building onto Piha Domain 

[Someone has been spreading the terrible thought that I got it wrong !!! Not so.  I usually verify most things before I publish.  This document, below, is the final and correct document, not a DRAFT as rumoured]

Early in the coming week all Residents and Ratepayers in Piha should receive a copy of the Public Notification from WCC.  Submissions close 4pm 12 August.  Here is the Public Notificaton [302kb].doc      BLOG

Latest Piha Water Quality Testing Results   HERE
31/7/09 Man rescued after hang-glider accident:  A 40-year-old man has been taken to hospital with minor injuries after crashing in a hang-glider west of Auckland this afternoon.

Emergency services found the hang-glider precariously perched up half way up a cliff face at Whites Beach, about 2km north of Piha on the west coast, Senior Sergeant Anthony Miller said. Full story on Otago Daily Times

31/7/09 In pursuit of happiness: Tania Sunde has her painting of North Piha at The Hardware Cafe in Titirangi Fulltime artist Tania Sunde didn?t let a hearing disability get in the way of her dream.

The former office worker is exhibiting at the New Zealand Affordable Art Show in Wellington this weekend. "Nineteen years ago I dreamed of being an artist. I used to go to a coffee shop at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design and I wanted to be there instead of typing."

Her goal was realised when she graduated in 2006 with a fine arts degree.Tania grew up at Sunny Slope Orchards in Oratia and has been partially deaf since developing tinnitus at 18.  Western Leader story here

29/7/09 Reply to anonymous  See Anonymous's comment here

Hi Bobbie,

My apology to the driver I was "tailgating" After enjoying a wonderful sunny day at Piha I left with 84yr old Mother inlaw in the (unfortunately 2004! but valeted, black SUV and thankyou for noticing whilst driving ahead of me) She told me that she thought my lights were on park so I cranked them up one - sorry. When I'm following someone up the hill who can't drive at a consistent speed and I need to break constantly I will put my hand up and agree I possibly tailgated. I promise to be more careful in future.

Signed not anonymous:  Jennie Dunlop

29/7/09 Locaton of Piha Post Office to be publically notified:  The proposed new site for the old Piha Post Office Building is to be publically notifed.

If all goes to plan the time frame for public submissions will be August 3 - 14th 2009

I am no artist but left is an attempt to draw where it is going. The plan is for those trees in the photo (click for bigger photo) at the top left corner of the building will need to be removed.


29/7/09 The Piha Cafe progress:

The walls go up and I'm told everything is on target for a Labour Weekend opening!


29/7/09 Piha man takes out Surf Lifesaving New Zealand award

Rob Pidgeon, left, a United North Piha Surf Lifeguard has won the prestigious 'NZLGB Lifeguard of the Year' award for his efforts over the past summer season.

As a Patrol Captain and Director of Lifesaving for United North Piha Lifeguard Service, Rob Pidgeon is at the forefront of Surf Life Saving.  During his 114 hours of patrol last summer, Rob could often be found taking members through their paces in surf swims and rock work at one of New Zealand's most beautiful, but dangerous West Coast beaches.  As a volunteer - those 114 hours equate to giving up his time to patrol the beach nearly every weekend throughout summer. 3 News story here

29/7/09 Neighbourhood Watch Report

Flasher at North Piha

Wednesday 22/7/09 about midday, North Piha, sand dunes close to caves, witnessed by a woman visitor.

Wednesday 29/7/09 about 10.30 am North Piha, flasher seen on sand dunes close to first cave.

Description: white male, 20's or 30's, clean shaven, about 5' 10", slim build, possibly late twenties wearing grey sweat shirt with with black stripes, no pants, black cap, with silver rimmed sunglasses.

The witness continued on her run for some metres (to appear normal) before turning back. The flasher was seen walking on a path towards the car park wearing black board shorts.

Police are reacting fast when called.  If you have any information please contact the Henderson Police immediately and also contact Piha Neighbourhood Support Group, email: pihanhwsg@gmail.com  Phone 8128 410 or 8128 123

BURGLARY: recently, Garden Road, computers stolen.

Natural Yoga at Barnett Hall Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri mornings 10:30 -11:30 plus Wed &Thurs nights 6:30 - 7:30 $12 per class or concession 10 classes $100 Teacher is Alisdair 027 737 8220

27/7/09 Local voice at heart of region's concerns 

"Size does matter. The bigger the area and the larger the population, the easier it is for people to be invisible."  - Mike Cohen, Devonport

"Although I support the need for stronger regional governance, the greatest risk is that in doing so the local community identities are drowned in a mega city as grey as any other city of 1.5 million souls."
- Nicola North, Oratia

There is nothing more basic to the success or failure of the Super City than local boards. While there is widespread consensus for replacing eight councils with one Auckland Council to handle regional issues, the hardest part of the Super City design is providing for local democracy.  A very interesting article in NZ Herald here



If nothing else come and have some of my home made soup and warm home made bread an indication of numbers would be nice.  Please Email HERE if you're coming so I make enough.

ˇ        Stephen Moore:   Land Research - Auckland.  Presenter at New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Conference, 2008.

  • Tony Miguel:  Deputy Director: City Services WCC - previously head of Ecowater Services, the water section of Waitakere City Council for many years

ˇ        Rachel Griffiths: Wai Care - 'working together for healthy waterways'


Buy an asset today : click on any photo to go straight to the auction to buy Lopdell House, Customs Building or Lower Nihotupu Dam.  Or you might like the New Lynn Library or Auckland Museum . . . take your pick.


Taiji Quan (Tai Chi) Workshop @ Piha's Barnett Hall $25

The workshop will include an introduction to: Yang Style Taiji Short Form : Standing Posture :  Master Huang?s 5 relaxing exercises :    Push Hands (Partner Work)

Aug 21st" The timetable for the morning is:9.20am Arrive and registration. 9.30-11 Morning session.11-11.15 Tea break.11.15 ? 1pm Continue morning session

Please wear loose comfortable clothing and flat, thin soled shoes. Running shoes are not suitable due to the thick soles which disguise the weight distribution at the feet. Bare feet or socks and no shoes are fine. Also feel free to bring pen and paper for your own notes.

It would be good if you could record your interest directly with Maureen  taiji.quan@gmail.com

26/7/09 The Beach Valley Road Project

Left is a photo of the bank in front of Jo and Mike's place opposite the RSA in Beach Valley Road - Yes, we're moving down to this area.  Watch and you'll see lots of wonderul changes this winter at this end of the road   



24/7/09 E-Waste: Organised by Transition Town Titirangi and  Recycling partner CRTNZ

Drop off all your unwanted computers, printers, monitors, laptops, car batteries, mobile phones, old digital alarm clocks, batteries etc. at the E-Waste Action Day.

9:00AM Saturday, July 25th Trusts Stadium Carpark - 86 Central Park Drive, Henderson



Another burglary in Piha yesterday up Glenesk Road : A little careless as DNA was left . . .  but electronics gone. 

Be vigilent and keep an eye on security and strange behaviour HND Police 839 0600

It's a cold winter day in Piha and what do you feel like?

Click on the photo, left, and see all that pink tubing on the floor of what will soon be Piha's Cafe.  That pink tubing is 'underfloor heating' . . . .  oh yum!   A cold winters day, nice hot coffee, the Herald or a friend, whichever, and underfloor heating.  Guys - its going to be soooooooooo good.  Hurry up Duncan . . .  faster

22/7/09 Waiheke Islanders fear 'giant monoculture' - I don't think this just applies just to Waiheke and Great Barrier.  It's one of my bigger concern too! Bobbie

It will be a nightmare if the culture at Auckland City Council gets embedded in the Super City, says Hauraki Gulf Islands city councillor Denise Roche.

The culture and behaviour of the council was a hot topic when MPs travelled to Waiheke Island yesterday to gauge islanders' views on the Super City.

"The worst nightmare would be getting the culture of Auckland City Council - a monoculture dinosaur where the bureaucrats run amok with our local decision-making," Denise Roche said.  Full story



                             Hitler's Surf Trip HERE



Westpac Waitakere Business Awards Finalists Announced.  In this constrained economic environment a number of Waitakere-based businesses are bucking the trend and experiencing high staff morale and record growth.

This year, Waitakere Enterprise together with Westpac is pleased to announce the 30 finalist businesses across 12 categories in the Westpac Waitakere Business Awards. The Awards encourages firms to recognise and celebrate their successes.  
"In today's climate, it is more important than ever to stand out from your competitors," says Waitakere Enterprise chief executive John Wadsworth. "Businesses have recognised the Awards as a valuable way to do this."  Here they are :-)

22/7/09 Cranklock system delivers massive corner speed advantages for racing cyclists: Toal built a crude prototype, welding washers to his bicycle's front sprocket and simply firing a pin in to lock it. To test the pure cornering theory, he got a few riders together and ran a series of timed trials on the twisty downhilll section of road leading to New Zealand's Piha surf beach. The riders coasted all the way down the hill, so there was no advantage for the stronger pedallers, and the tests were repeated many times with the crank locked and unlocked.  Read it here

 21/7/09 WARNING: BREAK-IN AT PIHA   On July 19th, Sunday last, there was a break-in at North Piha while the occupants were asleep.  Computer equipment was stolen before they were disturbed and took off. 

There have been more burglaries with computer equipment being targeted.  Some 'likely suspects' have been seen in Glenesk Road so its eyes wide opening and watching . . .

If you see anything suspicious please note down any details such as descriptions, car registrations etc and email  Piha Neighbourhood Watch HERE after calling the Police 839 0600  Laptop Security Cable @ Dick Smith

Darkie's Hill"  is pretty dangerous at the moment and taking its own share of careless drivers.  Council has been advised that it needs steam cleaning to reduce the moss but nothing beats sloooowwwwing  down and taking it easy.  Let's be really careful overtaking too - some pretty mad driving has been reported.

19/7/09 Results of Piha Ratepayers & Residents Assn Special General Meeting re relocation of Piha Post Office Building

After the presentation at the meeting there was not a lot of discussion about the two motions.  It seems people were just wanting to vote and get away.

There were 38-40 people actually at the meeting but the figures below show 129 votes so that makes 89 proxies or 2.22 votes for each person there - that's higher than the birth rate isn't it?

"That the meeting approves the R&R Committee's recommendation for the relocation of the Piha Post Office building and Postal Services and instructs the R&R Committee to proceed with the implementation of the proposal."

CARRIED: In favour 112  Against 17

"That authority is granted to the R&R Committee to spend up to $26,000 to relocate the Post Office services and that the Committee make every endeavour to reduce the total cost as much as possible by fundraising, community grants, donations, supplier discounts and utilising voluntary labour.' 

CARRIED In favour 115 Against 14

WEST COAST GALLERY presents:   19 Sept. - 11 October
luminescent lanternz @ lion rock 
"Art on the Beach"  in all it's glory - captured by local westie paparazzi
This spectacular event, held in March 09 was the subject of many photographs.
Submit your best work,  for the photographic exhibition at West Coast Gallery, PIHA  
Limit 2 entries per photographer    $10 per entry
Work to be in gallery by Sunday 13 Sept.   enquiries:  Glenys   8128-029

18/7/08 Notice: Wanton Vandalism to Piha SLSC work
I have been very disappointed to see that some of the Spinifex plants that were put in around the Surf Club platform on the South Beach have been vandalised (ie pulled out).
I thought that the Surf Club was held in high regard in our community, and that this high regard would protect them from such wanton vandalism.
The plants were put in by a Community Service worker, organised by the Surf Club, (via Peter Brown and Rob Wakelin).  They recognised that dune plants put in around the platform would  protect the surf club entrance and driveway from being blocked by blown sand, and organised the planting accordingly.  They also recognise the value of dune protection in general.
If anyone knows who is doing this damage, could they please notify Rob Wakelin on  rob.wakelin@pihaslc.com 
Pat La Roche

18/7/09 Email to Village Voice :Piha Post Office Proposed Location

Hi Bobby,  Heres an interesting photo (left) .The sticks in the ground represent the proposed location of the Old Building to be utilised as the Post Office.

These were inserted by the committee?? The measurements are approximate only and are out by approx one metre too small!!  Doesn't include the roof overhang or the rainwater tank.

Note there are only three as the fourth would be through the other side of the native trees!!  Theres a great contradiction in regards to preserving the village hub!!

Anyones thoughts and excuses requested.   Regards Corrie

Article on legalities of Piha Domain HERE

  Heritage Building ?

  Wondered why  'Protect Piha Heritage' has been so quiet?

   Story HERE

                  This could make you smile, even laugh, and feel a sense of joy & happiness 


 Auckland for Sale HERE      

16/7/09 Piha Community News :

Piha Domain History including Reserves Management Act 1977, Piha Reserves Management Plan and Department of Conservation plus the relocation of any building onto the Domain by Helen Pearce.

A number of readers have asked for the full article featured in the  Piha Community News, March 2006 edited by Monique Davis and written by Helen Pearce.

So click on the image on the left and there it is.  Refers to this article


16/7/09 West's team spells out six-ward plan   The Waitakere City Council wants to rebuild the region's city and district councils in a new guise.

The council is proposing six wards for local government in Auckland, with boundaries similar to those of the four present city councils and the Rodney and Franklin district councils.

Councillors to the Super City council would be elected from the six wards, and local boards within each ward would be encouraged to join forces on big projects, such as the New Lynn transport and town centre plan.  NZ Herald full story

15/7/09 Westies warn of losing their identity  West Auckland community groups want the Government to protect the identity of the west in its plans for an Auckland Super City.

Trusts, residents' associations and community organisations were almost unified last night in calling for more power for local boards and criticising the election of at-large councillors.

The Government is proposing eight councillors be elected by voters throughout the region, meaning one councillor is likely to represent about 100,000 residents.

Several groups making submissions to the parliamentary select committee hearing on the Super City plan expressed concern that Waitakere City's green image would be compromised by the Government's proposals for a Super City council.  NZ Herald full story

 15/7/09 Parliamentary Select Committee on Super City.  I spoke to the select committee, left,  today telling them I totally agree that Auckland's infrastructure needs to come under one authority.  But I asked them not to take our WCC away - once the infrastructure is cared for its about people and the environment and WCC do a fine job in my book anyway.  Go West, Go Eco, Go Green,  Go Wild, Go Bush, Go Inspire



16/7/09   Staff Wanted for The Piha Cafe

In October the doors will be opening to the new Piha Cafe. Full time, part time and casual positions for baristas, café and kitchen staff are available so why don't you tell us about yourself? 

For an application form, email Kate at thepihacafe@gmail.com or call 820 8028 for further information. 

Piha Trader - Jobs Offered or Wanted

15/7/09 Keep the Postal Services if you must but . . . . . .   The Piha Postal Service has operated in the past from the 'Old Hotel' (behind the new Cafe site), the Piha Store, the Old Library Building (an old ARC implement shed) and since 1987 an old dental building.


THE COMPLICATIONS: ("Oh, the tangled webs we weave")

The Piha Community News' March 2006, by Helen Pearce page 5   Extracts:


The Piha Domain:   "The Piha Domain is a precious area of land in the heart of Piha, created by the silt . . . . . . . .  As the only large area of publicly owned flat land in Piha, it is sometimes seen by those unaware of its legal designation as a convenient location for a new project. . . . . . . . . . . 


The Reserves Act 1977, which is overseen by the Department of Conservation, provides the legal controls for the use of reserves.  In it, a Recreation Reserve is defined as "providing areas for the recreation and sporting activities and the physical  welfare and enjoymenbt of the public, and for the protection of the natural environment and beauty of the countryside, with emphasis on the retention of open spaces and on outdoor recreational activities. . . . . . . "  


After extensive community consultation, the Piha Reserves Management Plan, covering all Council reserves in Piha, came into effect in 2000, and will be revised in 2010. . . . . .  any activity on the domain must comply with the Piha Reserves Management Plan and the Reserves Act.  The camping ground is also subject to the Camping Ground Regulations attached to the Public Health Act  


. . . . . The present buildings reduce the area of open space for public use, so the Plan states unequivocally, "No further community buildings will be allowed on the Piha Domain."  . . . . . 


. . . . . The present wooden structures attached to caravans are not permitted and are to be removed . . . . . 


. . . . . .The Plan has a set of criteria for approval by WCC of any commercial activity on the Piha reserves, generally regarded as inappropriate for this environment. . . . .


. . . . . . Lately, there has been suggestion of the possible relocation of the post office building or post boxes on the Domain.  Neither proposal would comply with the Management Plan or the Reserves Act as they involve new buildings for commercial activity.    The ultimate arbiter for any building or development is the Department of Conservation but it is important that the current legal protections for the Piha Domain are understood and respected.  Helen Pearce.  (Helen Pearce is a current member of the Piha Ratepayers & Residents Assn Committee)


THE MEETING:  Special General Meeting this Sunday - Post Office Relocation  (unfortunately timed to clash with this)



  1. "That the meeting approves the R&R Committee's recommendation for the relocation of the Piha Post Office building and Postal Services and instructs the R&R Committee to proceed with the implementation of the proposal."
  2. "That authority is granted to the R&R Committee to spend up to $26,000 to relocate the Post Office services and that the Committee make every endeavour to reduce the total cost as much as possible by fundraising, community grants, donations, supplier discounts and utilising voluntary labour.' 


  • The R&R Committee are asking it's members  to allow them to empty the R&R and Post Office bank accounts.
  • The ASB Fastsaver account with some $28,000 in it is 50% Post Office and 50% R&R General Funds. 
  • "Let us spend up to $26,000" - there is only $28,000 in the bank!
  • Sales income is down, over 8 months to date, 13%.  Box rental is static and NZPO contribution up 11%
  • Costs: Wages are static (at the moment), PAYE & Power up
  • The contract with NZ Post is month by month.



You are not seriously calling this a 'Heritage Building'?  One of NZ's top experts said in the recent Environment Court hearing that it had NO architectual merit. 

Would you treat a Heritage Building like this?


  CLICK full poster       






14/7/09  What is going on here . . . . ?

Coloured dots and their meanings  HERE



Nature in your Neighbourhood . . . The Good, Bad and Ugly

Continues this Sunday 2pm Barnett Hall, North Piha

Have a look at the photos of the first session . . . 

Piha Surf Lifesaving Team -  New Zealand  Introducing the Piha Team for the 2009 Exchange Programme between Huntington Beach, California, and Piha Beach,Waitakere City, Auckland, New Zealand.

Piha Beach is world famous for it?s stunning scenery and it?s surf. It is situated on Auckland?s west coast, and is a dangerous surf beach that must always be respected. Piha is one of the busiest beaches in New Zealand for the amount of rescues and preventative actions undertaken to ensure public safety. We have a proud and enviable reputation of Lifeguarding excellence, and these Junior Lifeguards are an integral part of ensuring this continues.

We are so grateful to the management and staff of the  Huntington Beach Junior Guards Programme for enabling this exchange to take place, and our juniors are looking forward to meeting their awesome new friends from Huntington Beach.   Meet the Team! 

13/7/09 Councils armed and ready:   Waitakere and North Shore councils will wield new poll results at parliamentary committee hearings this week to turn up the heat against Government proposals for the Auckland Super City.

A telephone survey commissioned by Waitakere City of 400 residents, out today, shows 86 per cent support for giving local communities greater decision-making powers and funding than the Government has proposed for 20 to 30 boards sitting below the Super City council.

Waitakere is issuing that and other poll findings before its appearance on Wednesday before the Auckland governance legislation select committee to show it is not "just pulling ideas out of thin air", deputy mayor Penny Hulse said last night. NZ Herald full story

12/7/09 NZ surfing promo under investigation?  The governing body of world professional surfing is investigating a Surfing New Zealand promotion involving two leading international surfers.

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) told Sunday News it regarded The Corona Surf Trips, held last month at Whangamata and Gisborne and featuring current world title leader Joel Parkinson and former world champ Mark Occhilupo, as an '"exhibition'".

ASP boss Brodie Carr said his organisation was '"investigating further'".

The ASP will want to know why Surfing New Zealand (SNZ) did not seek official approval for the promotion and whether it should have paid a sanction fee.

'"The exhibition was not sanctioned by ASP. We are currently reviewing the event and deciding upon actions from there,'" Carr told Sunday News in a written statement.

Sanction fees as high as $US50,000 are payable to the ASP when using its contracted athletes for exhibitions or non-World Championship Tour events.

SNZ has paid ASP $US50,000 sanction fees in the past to gain the services of other world-ranked surfing stars such as Hawaiians Andy Irons and Sunny Garcia to compete in exhibitions.

SNZ executive officer Greg Townsend contradicted Carr by saying he had kept the ASP in the loop and the organisation had no problem with the Corona promotion.

The FULL story here    Surfing NZ    Association of Surfing Professionals   Finale for Corona Surf Trips

10/4/09 Kiwis rip off shirts, do war dance at council meeting  Junior Lifeguards from New Zealand liven up an otherwise staid Huntington Beach council meeting. Yeeeeha! This was not your average City Council meeting.

On Monday night, the Junior Guard Lifeguard Team from Piha, New Zealand - one of Huntington Beach's sister cities - was being honored and team leader Peter Brown was discussing the program at the front of council chambers.

As a reporter sitting in the front row, I was listening with one ear to the bi-weekly accolades and proclamations and getting some work done on my laptop when it all broke loose.

"The mayor has very kindly given me permission for us to do a traditional New Zealand welcome, which you might struggle to call it a welcome," Brown said with an accent.

The next thing I knew, the Kiwis were stripping off their shirts, thumping their chests and performing a war dance - right in front of me.  "That's a welcome?" I thought.  Full article here   Hunting Haka Video Here

June Patricia Fletcher - nee Gilmer; formerly Carroll

Wren, London WW11. Service No: WRNS52308

1924 - 2009

Mother of Village Voice Editor Bobbie



0/7/09 World Junior Surfing Championships to be held at Piha.  I have been told that although the date isn't confirmed yet , probably Jan or Feb 2010, that the World Junior Surf Championships will definately be held in Piha
Piha Library News . . . . .  

07/07/09 The questions is begging to be asked . . . . .


Minutes of  meeting  Piha R&R  Assn held 25 May 2009, at Barnett Hall, North Piha  Elected Members Forum: . . . . .  Kubi Witten-Hannah, chair of the Waitakere Community Board.   "Helen (Pearce) asked Kubi why WCC was unable to remove the metal put by a private individual on the Plantation Reserve track that cuts from Beach Valley Rd to Seaview Rd. The metal has washed down.

Later on in the Meeting:  Further discussion took place regarding the dumbed metal on the Beach Valley Rd shortcut as well as the placing of stones on the Beach Valley Rd verge. Helen circulated photos.   WRONG:  WCC 'dumped' the metal there

Motion 16: That WCC be asked to remove the illegally placed rocks for safety reasons and to investigate safe parking and pedestrian movement in this area. Pearce/Franich  CARRIED
Action: Email letter to Kubi  

The Beach Valley Road Project, at WCC's suggestion, put these rocks here to enhance pedestrian safety until our ideas, put to WCC Roading, are drawn up and consulted with interested parties.  See those ideas HERE

So my question is this:  "Are the R&R Committee, namely Helen Pearce and Keith Franich, concerning themselves with all the other rocks (read hazards) around Piha?  If not why not?   See photos below.


or see Car vs Rock here  or  Rocks in Piha HERE

6/7/09  The Good, The Bad & The Ugly in Piha

Left:  Looking at a map of Piha showing all the reserves and green spaces.

See how it went today . . . . & photos  

$100,000.00 approx:  that is what it has cost Waitakere ratepayers to remove the sand off the roads and parks at Piha over the last 5 years !!!  

The next session of Nature in your Neighbourhood, Water Water Everywhere,  is so important to Piha, given the very worrying pollution in our streams and Lagoons, so CoastCare is working hard to see if our presenters, booking and other details can be changed to another date given that the R&R has chosen same date/time for their SGM.  Session 2  Water Water Everywhere - but what's in it?  An introduction to Piha Streams their importance and how we can help to maintain their health   If we can manage this we'll republish new date.

5/7/09 Soccer: Waitakere reach Chatham quarters   Waitakere City stayed in the hunt for a fourth Chatham Cup soccer title with a 3-2 fourth round win over Central United at Fred Taylor Park today.

The West Auckland side - who won a rare hat-trick of titles between 1994 and 1996 . . . . .  NZ Herald here

3/7/09 West: The History of Waitakere  Finlay Macdonald & Ruth Kerr (ed.) Random House NZ.

Generation after generation of New Zealanders have been fascinated by Auckland's West. Dynamic and distinctive, it's a unique region, ranging from a dramatic and rugged coastline to bush-clad ranges to fertile hill slopes nurturing orchards and vineyards. Its people have always been industrious, from the early timber millers to modern-day boat builders, and from pioneering artists, craftspeople and writers to filmmakers. It's long been a region for the passionate, the determined, the resourceful, the individualistic and the visionary. This book covers it all, from the days of pre-European battles and early land negotiations to contemporary politics and lifestyles.

RRP: $79.99  Random House 

3/7/09  Was there absolutely no other time?

  • Popular swim spots spoiled by bacteria (NZ Herald)   
  • The Council is taking some real action to try and identify the source of pollution at the North Piha Lagoon . . . . . .  (Karekare/Piha Water Quality Group)
  • ". . .  improving water quality in Piha is going to require a high level of local support. (Karekare/Piha Water Quality Group May 09)

It is extremely dissappointing that the Piha R & R have timed their SGM (19/7/09) about the Post Office knowing that a seminar specifically designed around Caring For our Water in Piha was happening..  That is hardly 'high level of local support' called for by the Karekare/Piha Local Water Quality Group!!! 

19th July:  Session 2 Water Water Everywhere - but what's in it?


An introduction to Piha Streams their importance and how we can help to maintain their health 

3/7/09  If you have the time:

Have a read of some of the great presentations at the Dunes Conf held at Piha SLSC HERE 


3/7/09  Increasing numbers of Kaka in Piha

This photo of a Kaka was taken this morning in Beach Valley Road.  I have had several emails from folk in Glenesk Road reporting lots of Kaka but no one has come up with a photo yet!  There are increasing amount of Kaka in Piha now.  It has a very distinctive cry and are often found in pairs.

To find out more about the Kaka

2/7/09 Walkway to Piha Beach  It's amazing how presumptions seem to turn to fact - when the presumption itself was wrong !

The Piha Surf Life Saving Club recently did some spinifex planting around their platform, leaving accessways to the beach in front for their patrollers.  They sourced their plants through Piha CoastCare.

This area, in the photo (click it for a larger image), to the left of the Surf Club platform has been planted on the sides but the centre has not been planted, I have been told, because it has been used as a 'walkway' to the beach and its location seems to be a sensible place so why not facilitate that?

I have been told also, that WCC Maintenance, just happened to come out and 'fix' the fence, in photo, around the same time.   This was not the plan because of course the fence is not condusive to walking and is forcing people to walk over the new plants.   I believe this will be remedied.

2/7/09 Popular swim spots spoiled by bacteria    Popular swimming spots in lakes and rivers have high levels of bacteria that cause diarrhoea or infection, a new report shows.

Of 300 popular swimming spots tested regularly by councils over the past two summers, just 58 per cent were suitable for swimming almost all of the time. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . Piha Lagoon - popular among parents who want to let their children cool down away from treacherous west coast waves - was Auckland's worst spot, meeting health guidelines less than 47 per cent of the time.   

NZ Herald 

The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher 
I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.  She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'  'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.' 

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.  'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!'  Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) 'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.) 'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!) 'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

There is a big hole developing in Auckland.

Click on this photo for details.



1/7/09  One day this access to the Piha Beach and the Surf Club will be something to be proud of.

This is the before photo  GO HERE for the after photo


30/6/09  Hot off the Press:  Piha's Tina Cagwin (Grenville) is to write her autobiography and Harper Collins is the publisher.  Harper Collins, whose head office is in New York, is one of the world's leading English-language publishers. The working title is "Skeletons in the closet" !!!  Congratulations Tina - it'll be a 'must read' for sure.

30/6/09    Waitakere Community Board Meeting tonight Keith Franich presented a 9 page document headed "The proposal to permanently relocate the Piha Post Office Building and Services on the Domain"  to the Community Board Meeting tonight.

My surprise is that as a member of the R&R I knew nothing about this.  Apparently we are to be presented with only ONE option when I was under the impression the members were to get THREE (2009 AGM) to evaluate and decide ourselves.

At the Feb R & R Meeting Graham Cleghorn offered to "assist with the writing of the various proposals which could then be taken to the entire community for appraisal"

    The bill for this proposal is $26,000 !  over and above $2,500 already spent on the relocation.

Many issues to think through here . . . . . . .

  "Nature in your Neighbourhood"  Register HERE by email, phone 8128 758


        5th July:  Session 1  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Plants & animals in Piha

30/6/09  Be careful what you ask for !!! 

A couple of members of the R & R Committee have been requesting that Kubi Witten-Hannah (Chair Waitakere Community Board) gets to the bottom of what is happening with the new gravel WCC put on the milk track (Seaview Road to Beach Valley Road walkway)and with these rocks on the corner of the Milk Track and Beach Valley Road. The same people don't like them and consider them a hazard.  They have  been put there to protect pedesrians from traffic.  

Kubi reported that WCC is reluctant to do anything about them but will be doing some consultation in July.  Kubi told the R & R that he would tell WCC he would not tolerate any more delays with Council on this subject..

Today I got an email from WCC to say "They need to be painted white and the grass cleared around them within the next week, otherwise WCC will remove them." 

They already had been been weeded on June 14th,  by the Project, so that's no problem.   So today I charged up there with white paint in hand and did the job.   See photos. 

One problem though.  The rocks in the second photo are on Ben and Helen's property so he is immediately removing the paint.  The boundary of his property is actually on the road!

I know they look absolutely ghastly and dominate the beautiful surrounds we have been working so hard on but some people should 'be careful what you ask for because chances are you'll get it.'

Your comments appreciated: 

30/6/09 Producer 'stoked' by way film was made:  This month marks the end of a long journey for Tom Hern.

The 25-year-old is getting set for the premiere of I'm Not Harry Jenson at the New Zealand Film Festival on July 22.  He produced the movie which was written and directed by longtime friend James Napier-Robertson. Tom also stars in it alongside Gareth Reeves, Renato Bartolomei, Ian Mune and Ilona Rodgers. The Piha resident will be a familiar face to fans of the TV soap Shortland Street ? one of a number of New Zealand shows he has acted in.  stuff.co.nz

Jim Stephenson has a friend staying with him without transport and needs a weekly lift to somewhere to shop for an hour or few then back to Piha.   
Her name is Heather Brown ph 021 0411400 email heather55@gmail.com   She is happy to pay for petrol.   She has a dog which on occassions she would need to take with her.  I can sometimes take her but not always.


Hi Bobbie,  We are now the proud owners of a low allergy dog. He goes by the name  'Barry'...photo supplied. Bet you love the choker collar!!

Loving, child-friendly, house trained, and registered....but not sure whether these new dog control laws apply...please advise before I start my submission. Cheers Skid (gone potty?) Vicious


Manukau submission for Auckland Governance finalised       "Manukau City Council accepts the creation of a unitary council, and we see huge advantages for Auckland in having one rating bill and one district plan.

"Where we differ significantly from the government's view is the role and function of the second tier of local government, - local boards or, as we prefer to call them, community councils.

"We are very keen to see these local boards empowered and the number restricted to between 12 and 17. We also believe that councillors should be elected on a ward basis, and that there should be direct Maori representation on the new Auckland Council."

"As a council we urge the select committee to listen to the many arguments that will be put before it, and take into consideration not only the view of councils like Manukau, but the views of the many organisations, community groups and the general public who have mobilised around this issue.

"There has been a huge up-swell of community involvement and interest as a result of this bill, any many people who have never before been involved in a select committee process have put pen to paper, and are asking to be heard.

28/6/09 What are these two guys doing on a Sunday morning?


And these four : what are they about to do?




28/6/09 A new deal for dogs and their owners: Every 5 years Council reviews our Dog Control Bylaws. It gives us the opportunity to assess what works and what doesn't; what's good and what's not. This is also your chance to tell us what you think our dog policies should be.


Dogs on Beaches

  • Piha Beach South of Lion Rock and Piha Stream   Dogs prohibited 9am to 7pm during daylight saving and allowed on-leash outside these hours and at other times of the year.
  • North of Lion Rock and Piha Stream Dogs allowed on-leash 9am to 7pm during daylight saving within 300 metres each side of the North Piha Surf Club and within 300 metres each side of the surf club flags.
  • Dogs allowed off-leash elsewhere except within 600 metres of the northern end of Piha Beach where dogs are prohibited.

Council reserves

Dogs permitted off-leash on the reserves named below. Dogs permitted on-leash on all other Council reserves.  


Dog exercise areas

Because of the number of off-leash areas for dogs Council does not propose to designate any dedicated dog exercise areas.


Public places

Dogs must be on on-leash when in any public place, except in off-leash areas provided for. When a dog defecates in a public place the person in charge of the dog must remove and dispose of the faeces.


Multi-dog permits

A Council permit is required to keep more than 2 dogs on premises of less than 2000m˛ and for more than 1 dog on premises less than 600m˛ in areas zoned for urban or living environment use.  



A dog control officer may require the owner of a dog to have the dog de-sexed if it is not kept under proper control on more than one occasion.


Bitches in season

The owner of a bitch in season must not allow the bitch to enter any public place.  


Dogs injurious to health

The owner of a dog must ensure that it does not become a nuisance or becoming injurious to the health of any person.


Presenting a dog

Dog owner must present dog when required by a dog control officer.

Reserves where dogs are to be permitted off-leash but under control (affecting Piha): Claude Able Reserve, Karekare Scenic Reserve, Les Waygood Park, North Piha Esplanade, Pendrell Reserve, Piha Domain, Piha Esplanade Reserve, Rayner Road/Sylvan Glade Reserve, Wekatahi Reserve.

Tell us about your views on the proposals and how we can provide for a safe environment for public (including families); allow dog owners reasonable opportunities to exercise and interact with dogs but ensure that those activities do not create unreasonable nuisances. You may also wish to comment on the following

  •  Where should dogs be prohibited
  •  Where a dog defecates in a public place should dog owner be required to remove the faeces
  •  Where should dogs be on-leash?
  •  Should dogs found not to  be under control be neutered?
  •  Where should it be permissible for dogs to be off-leash?
  •  Should bylaws provide for minimum standards  for the
  •  Should all dogs classified as menacing  be neutered accommodation of dogs.
  •  Should the number of dogs be limited on any land or premises?

If you wish to make a submission on the dog policy consultation, you must do so before 30 June 2009.

Submissions should be in writing and sent to:  Dog Bylaw Submissions, Animal Welfare - Waitakere,  Private Bag 92 109, Henderson, Waitakereor by email to animalwelfare@waitakere.govt.nz

From this informal process Council will draft amendments to the Dog Control Bylaws which will be considered by Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee. Any proposed amendments will be made available for public inspection; public submissions will be invited; and there will be an opportunity for people to be heard by the Committee

Piha Community Library:  Did you know the library has 1100 registered members now.  To read their latest news





27/6/09 Colourful past gives West its soul Imagine the West. Noisy cars and Cheryl West. "Proud Westie" and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Local champion and mayor-for-ever Bob Harvey. Piha, potters and plonk.

That is a short and superficial summary. For something longer, and far deeper, a new guide is at hand, West: The History of Waitakere, a hefty and lively account of an idiosyncratic chunk of New Zealand.

From Piha's black sands and turbulent seas, through the brooding botanical riches of the Waitakere Ranges . . . . . . 

26/6/09  Water Quality update from Piha Karekare Local Agenda (?) Group

September this year sees a consent being submitted to WCC for the much needed upgrade to the Piha Domain Camp, Piha's public toilets and the Trees for Children soakage area.   

This upgrade will incorporate an expected increase in flows plus waste from the Piha RSA and Bowling Club should they decide to link to the system.  Both clubs will however have to upgrade their own systems first so that their outflow is acceptable to the WCC facility. The current Piha RSA system is temporary and the Bowler would also need to reduce their outflow in order for the facility to cope.  I understand there will be a charge to the Clubs should they link into the central system.

The Council, at last, is taking some real action to try and identify the source of pollution at the North Piha Lagoon and the Moana Stream at South Piha.    

A product called SeptiCure has been trialled with pleasing results.  You can read about the product - it looks good to me:

Signs are going to be erected for campervans owners to know where pumpout facilities, is on the agenda too. (that's a no brainer!)

WCC is prepared to use the Health Act where necessary to enforce compliance . . . . . 

Media Release  (VERY IMPORTANT)


Avoid Disappointment, Order your Local Government before it's too Late


The government must be getting concerned, as someone prematurely closed off the submission on a government website today, according to a Community Coalition for Auckland spokesperson.


"An announcement was posted that the submission period for the Auckland Bill closed today, but thankfully the jittery  person responsible has now realise the embarrassing mistake", said Pat Watson, as the Coalition sent out a last call for communities in Auckland to send in their submissions.


The closing date is Friday 26th June at 5pm. Email submissions are acceptable, emailed to AGL@parliament.govt.nz


"Everyone needs to realise, it literally is nearly too late. After this stage, the broad outlines of regional governance, particularly on the second tier, will become a done deal. This is it, to have a real say on the functions, size and number of the second tier, currently called Local Boards."


The Coalition for Auckland- Voices of Tamaki Makaurau is supported by over 70 organisations. It  is calling for Community Councils to be established, fewer in number, but with much greater powers than the government model. It has put in a comprehensive submission, and will continue to campaign for a wider and more inclusive consultation process for the next stages of Auckland?s reform.


"There is an ever growing anger out there over this, communities are fed up with the rushed timeline, and this will only continue to increase unless the approach changes" according to Ms Watson.  


 The Coalition has also congratulated Waitakere City Council for its stance on Maori representation. The Council has supported Maori representation on the new Auckland Council, and challenged Government to deal with the issue for all local government on a national basis, by negotiation with Maori.


 NO TIME LEFT? Submission template HERE  You can email it!

For further information on the Coalition, go to www.cc4a.net.nz  

 For further comment:  Pat Watson:  ph. 0276838958  Tony Mayow: ph 021 1309794

25/6/09 STOP THE CAR!!! I said to Ju.  "Go back,  you're not going to believe what I saw."  So back we went and yip, it wasn't a black labrador it was  a PIG on the side of Piha Road.  We moved the car to a safe place and then it was gone, damn so I couldn't photograph it,  but we heard it clear as day in the bush as did our good samaritan who had stopped and walked back to see if we needed help - thanks Jamie

24/6/09  This 'bendy bus' was photographed at the end of Glenesk Road Yesterday

It must of had to do a number of manoeuvres to get out of there and I'm glad I didn't have to pass it on Piha Hill  :-)


OUT OF THE ARCHIVES: NEW BUS TIMETABLE: An extension of the city/Piha Sunday bus run to include a stop at Arataki Visitor Centre means an improved weekend service for Piha - though only from Labour weekend through to Easter.  Planed as a shuttle service for visitors to the scenic viewing centre, the 10am Sunday bus will drop people off at Arataki, continue onto Piha, then return to Arataki by 12.15pm to pick up passengers and deliver them back to New Lynn with a transfer ticket to the city.  An afternoon Sunday bus will leave New Lynn at 1.00pm for Piha and depart again at 4pm. Piha Community News November 1993 Editor Monique Davis-Olivier

23/6/09 Hi Bobbie,

I am a regular reader of your website, and i just want to say thank you for the time and effort you must put in to it. It's a great source of local information, and really contributes to piha's sense of being a community.

Nice one!

Mike and Carolin, Piha Rd

If anyone has some old photos or history of Barnett Hall I would appreciate please.  Email HERE



Website by AboutIT
 Top | Back | Home | Print | Save | Email | Site Policies | WebMaster | Contact Us  
Beach Valley Road, Piha, Waitakere 0772, New Zealand, Ph: (64) (0)21 969924