Latest News

Hawea people will remember that we lost one of our district’s ‘characters’ in a disastrous fire at Hawea Flat in January.

There will be a community “send-off” for Tom at the Lake Hawea Hotel (restaurant side) on Sunday 29th April starting at 3.00 pm.


Photo: Angelo Georgalli

Tom Jamieson had lived in our Hawea community for many years, initially in a series of caravans, but in more recent years in a cabin built for him by local friends near the Domain at Hawea Flat.

Tom was a familiar face to many as he cycled twice a week into Wanaka from Hawea Flat for his groceries. He was not a very ‘talkative’ person and seemed gruff and unresponsive to many. However, underneath this exterior he was a likeable character who had lived an adventourous, if lonely, life. 

In a media article in January following the fire that took Tom’s life, neighbouring landowner Peter Ward described him as – “an absolute character – but not keen on talking. If you gave him a wave he would say next time, stop waving to me! He was originally from Scotland and I think he has been around about for 40 years. He was originally in the British Army and served in Northern Ireland and the Emirates. He then moved to New Zealand, working on orchards in Cromwell and retired up to this area. He was a bit of a recluse, but he was kind-hearted.”  (‘Stuff’ 24th January 2018)

 

The Hawea Community Association plans to install a portable toilet on the Isthmus Peak walking track soon, as visitor numbers increase.

The track gives walkers and mountain bikers great views of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and the Southern Alps.

Chairman Paul Cunningham said the association was waiting on costing for the installation and was checking with Land Information New Zealand to make sure it was all legal.

If deemed reasonable, “we’ll put it in there”.

The association would cover the cost of running the facility until the council took over, he said.

Association committee member Doug Brenssell said the track, which is about a six-hour return trip, had rapidly increased in popularity in recent years.

“It’s getting popular. On average, there’s 25 cars a day in the car park, so a toilet’s definitely needed.”

While scouting the area, Mr Brenssell spoke to people on the trail who said their reason for hiking the track was because the Roys Peak track had become “too popular”.

He said the portable toilet would be sited near the start of the track, so plumbers could access it easily.

A permanent toilet further up the track was “definitely” planned for the “very near future”, he said, although he was unsure of the cost or where it would be located.

 

It is time the township of Lake Hawea had its own seat on the Queenstown Lakes District Council.That, at least, was the view of 93% of the 101 people who responded to an online survey by a new group in the town called Keep Hawea Beautiful.

The group has been formed in response to a proposal by Wanaka developer Lane Hocking for a Special Housing Area near the town.

Group member Tim Ryan provided the Otago Daily Times with the results of its survey yesterday.

Of those who responded, 89% opposed the proposal for a special housing area, but other questions canvassed views on Lake Hawea’s ability to determine its own future.

Lake Hawea is part of the Wanaka ward and is represented by three councillors: Ross McRobie, Quentin Smith and Deputy Mayor Calum Macleod. None of them are from Lake Hawea.

It is also represented by a seven-member Wanaka Community Board consisting of the three councillors plus Ed Taylor and Ruth Harrison, both from Wanaka, Jude Battson (Lake Hawea) and Rachel Brown (Hawea Flat).

Ms Battson said she backed the idea of Hawea having its own councillor, as Arrowtown did, because she did not believe the three Wanaka councillors had “stood up” for Hawea in the debate over the chlorination of the town’s water supply.

Council statistics show Hawea’s population in 2013 was 2172, just 271 fewer than Arrowtown’s, which has its own ward and own representative, Scott Stevens.

However, Mr Stevens said yesterday Arrowtown’s status as a separate ward was based on more than just population. The town had once been the centre of the Wakatipu region with its own borough council. When it was forced to amalgamate in the 1980s it was guaranteed three councillors but that had been “whittled down” to one, he said.

A six-yearly review of representation in the Queenstown district for the Local Government Commission is about to begin.

Council communications and engagement manager Naell Crosby-Roe said yesterday a report and recommendation was being prepared for the council’s June 14 meeting but creating a Hawea ward was not being closely looked at.

“My current feeling would be, population-wise, they wouldn’t have sufficient population to justify a councillor of their own.”

The report will go out for public consultation for a month from mid-June.

In respect of the special housing area proposal at Hawea, just over 80% of survey respondents believed the township’s boundaries needed to be more clearly defined, in the same way as those in Wanaka and Arrowtown.

The same number believed Cemetery Rd should be one of the boundaries, which would leave the land proposed for the special housing area outside the town.

Asked what their main concerns were about the town’s future, respondents made comments such as “growth”, “overcrowding”, “infrastructure overload”, “pollution”, “decisions made for our community by people not living here”, “rampant ad hoc development sprawl” and “development that encourages people to live in Hawea but not to work in Hawea”.

Several used Wanaka as an example of what they did not want to happen in Hawea, listing their concerns as: “over development that is presently destroying Wanaka”, “that Hawea will become a dumping ground for Wanaka’s housing problem”, and “I fear that [Hawea] will grow as Wanaka is doing now”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Hawea township – showing bare land in the top half of the photograph beyond pine trees, where a special housing area is proposed. Photo: Mark Price

Prominent Upper Clutha developer Allan Dippie has weighed in on the debate over a proposal for a special housing area (SHA) on the outskirts of the Lake Hawea township.

The proposal by developer Lane Hocking, owner of Universal Development, was the subject of a public meeting on Saturday morning attended by 140 residents.

Mr Dippie has been developing sections in the town since 2004 and he questioned the need for the proposal for up to 1000 sections almost directly across Cemetery Rd from his Timsfield subdivision.

Cemetery Rd is considered to be the town’s southern boundary.Mr Dippie said he had been “very careful” to time development with demand.

While Lake Hawea had been growing rapidly, “we can see the demand curve dropping off”.

He expected to have sufficient sections until 2030. “We’re not opposed to, once there is a certain trigger point, and it’s a long, long way away yet, of crossing that boundary. It might not be south. It could be somewhere else. The community has got to decide that.”

He also suggested the proposed development would put a strain on the town’s water and sewerage infrastructure.

Mr Hocking responded by pointing out the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s 10-year plan included $12 million of funding to pipe Lake Hawea sewage to the council’s Project Pure treatment plant next to Wanaka Airport.

The council was also budgeting for improvements to the water supply.

“So we are reasonably confident what we are proposing south of the road will actually be covered, from an infrastructure perspective, from the council, as at today.”

SHAs are intended to speed up house building and encourage affordable housing.

While the council is not required to consult the wider community when considering SHA proposals, councillors and staff attending Saturday’s meeting said the public would be consulted.

The founders of the Keep Hawea Beautiful group opposed to the SHA, Carmen Howell and Tim Ryan, in a joint delivery to the meeting, called for a “2050 plan to guide all future growth for the Hawea region”.

And they called for a moratorium on all large-scale development consents until a plan had been created.

Lesley Burdon was one of those who pointed out previous plans developed between the council and the Lake Hawea community showed Cemetery Rd as the town boundary.

“I think it would be really sad to deviate too far from those plans.”

Lake Hawea Community Association chairman Paul Cunningham said the policy at the moment was that Cemetery Rd was the boundary and “not to go over the road until we are full”.

Other speakers at the meeting gave examples of the need for more affordable housing in Lake Hawea but believed the council should consider means other than giving consent to Mr Hocking’s proposal.

The proposal is due to go to the council within the next month.

HCA Minutes April.2018

In 2015 the HCA commissioned a report to review the District Plan. If you are new to the area or have never read this report, please take some time

To view this report click this link => HCA District Plan Review Report

Tim Rush is a jack of all trades – and master of most of them.

The versatile Oamaru cyclist was at it again last weekend, winning the Contact Epic mountain biking race around Lake Hawea.

Another Oamaru-based rider, professional ironman athlete Dougal Allan, was second.

It might have sneaked under the radar while everyone had eyes on the Commonwealth Games but the Epic is a big deal.

It attracts more than 700 competitors, and the feature race – a gruelling 125km trek – lives up to the “epic” name.

The race started at 7am on Saturday with the temperature gauge showing a balmy -1degC, and with several riverbed crossings along the way, there was no danger of the riders overheating.

Rush, a former New Zealand champion, was one of many regular road racers converting to the fatter-wheeled bikes for the event.

He and brother Kris joined Allan and former Alexandra professional road rider James Williamson in setting a blistering pace over the first 50km.

Steep hill climbs then took their toll and split the field. Tim Rush capitalised, built a handy lead and poured on the power on the hills to increase the buffer, eventually finishing in 4hr 38min.

Allan was 6min behind with Kris Rush claiming third after a sprint finish with Williamson.

Other North Otago cyclists to feature included Coast to Coast competitor Paul Gow (30th in open men 125km), David Rush (40th in masters men 125km) and Brett Stuart (44th in masters men 95km).

You stumble across a stunningly gorgeous spot in New Zealand’s great outdoors. Do you broadcast it on social media and risk a tourist invasion, or do you keep it a secret just for yourself and, maybe, a select few? Mark Price explores a problem of the modern age.

The tourism boom and the rise of social media is spawning a new way of thinking among New Zealanders who like to go bush.

Instead of promoting their favourite scenic landscapes, some New Zealanders are doing their best to keep them secret.

One is Wanaka landscape architect Anne Steven.

“I’m very loathe to publicise where I go now— the special places … because people just latch on to it and suddenly everybody’s there.”

Ms Steven is a well-known conservationist with an intimate knowledge of the Wanaka region.  But she has become more careful about whom she shares her knowledge with and gives an example of a “stunning view” she knows of that is still some distance from the beaten track. “I’m not going to tell anyone about it except for close friends and family.

“It stands to get trampled to death.”

Federated Mountain Clubs president Peter Wilson is another who has places he keeps secret.

“There are places I know, particularly in the high country, where I don’t tell people to go.

“I don’t put photos of my really special places on Facebook and on social media.

“There are a lot of places I go in the high country that have no visitors at all and I sort of want to keep it that way.”

He understood why others felt the same way. “There’s always been a debate about it and I just think the debate’s a wee bit louder at the moment.”

In the Wanaka region, that debate has been driven by the overcrowding of several local landscape features including Roys Peak, just west of Wanaka, which was climbed by 84,000 people in the 2017-18 year.

“Digital influencers” were encouraged to visit Wanaka … and a flood of tourists has followed in their footsteps to the point where the Department of Conservation was forced to build a new car park and install a toilet on the peak.

In an effort to spread the load, Lake Wanaka Tourism has recently created a map showing 24 other “photogenic locations”.

General manager James Helmore says the locations are deliberately spread around to reflect the broader region.  One of the “influencers” who popularised Roys Peak was American Chris Burkard (32) who has almost three million followers.

In a recent post, he acknowledged criticism had come his way but concluded the access track was in better shape now than when he first publicised it.

“Although the secret is out,I think it is better to have these places appreciated by many, rather than a select few,” he posted.

Giving away the location of “secret” places in Australia has caused grief for influencer Madeline Zotter (22) this week.

She was reported by the The New Zealand Herald as being upset over online abuse. “This weekend alone,” she said, “I received four abusive, unkind or negative messages because I wrote the location of a place.

“I am human, your words hurt and I spent a good part of my Easter — and this morning — crying.

“I have been called words such as a brat, told I am the reason for national parks being trashed and was even told to go back and stick my head under the water a little bit longer, purely because I listed the name of the place that others believe should be kept a secret.”

Both Mr Wilson and Ms Steven note the South Island has the advantage of a rugged landscape to protect many of it’s scenic secrets.

“It takes a bit of effort to get to some of the really special places that we like,” Mr Wilson said this week.

“We’re largely protected there.” He believes the “front country” — anything that takes less than a day’s walk to reach — is most at risk from over use. “If it’s a remote track and you

’ve got to cross a river, and it’s going to take two hard days to get in there, I’m not too worried. Publish all the photos you like.”

However, the Walking Access Commission’s newly released South Island High Country Access Report notes a trend that has become evident as popular areas have become overcrowded.

 

“This forces people who want an even quieter experience to push further afield, visiting areas that previously might have only been used by those wanting solitary experiences.

“These people are then forced to go even further into the back country, and so on.

“This displacement runs through three or four tiers, and means that some of our pristine wilderness areas are seeing increased numbers (even off a very small base) that they simply aren’t used to coping with.”

Mr Wilson believes there is a need for a more strategic approach around the marketing of New Zealand’s scenic attractions.

“I don’t think you would get any disagreement from the tourism industry on that.

“It’s just that we don’t have a mechanism to be strategic.

“There’s no plan. There’s not even an agency to do the plan.”

Snow-capped mountains, a glassy Lake Hawea and clear blue skies greeted  more than 700 mountain bike riders when they arrived to compete in the Contact Epic around the lake on Saturday.

Riders chose from  four events: the 160km Centurion, 125km Epic, 95km Classic and the 35km Traverse.

Race organiser Danielle Nicholson said it was an “amazing day”.

The race of the day was the Classic, where the top three riders were split by just four seconds at the finish after they raced for nearly four and a-half hours.

Sixteen-year-old Archie Martinovich, of Christchurch, won the battle, crossing the finish line in 4hr 20min 46sec, beating  Dunedin pair Jeremy Forlong and Andrew Fraser.

“It was very closely fought. We couldn’t tell who was in the lead at various times.”

Ms Nicholson said Martinovich showed great sportsmanship before his event,  scrapping his own race preparation as he helped change a tyre for a woman who had  a puncture on the start line.

“It’s great to see a kid like that in our sport,” Ms Nicholson said.

Clinton’s Jo McKenzie won the women’s title in 5hr 28min 34sec, followed by Kara Wandless of Invercargill and Shelley Alexander of Hawea Flat.

In the Epic, Oamaru’s Tim Rush beat home three-times champion Dougal Allan, of Wanaka, in 4hr 38min 49sec. Rush’s brother Kris  was  third.

In the women’s event, Wanaka’s Simone Maier beat  seven-times champion Kath Kelly, of Roxburgh, crossing the line in  5hr 29min 37sec. Auckland’s Harriet Beaven was  third.

Alexandra’s Mike Sangster won the gruelling 160km Centurion race in  6hr 43min 26sec.

Mark Williams, of Queenstown, was second ahead of John Mezger, of Wanaka.

Ronel Cook, of Dunedin, won the women’s 160km race  in 8hr 17min 06sec, ahead of Cromwell’s Teresa Noble and Christchurch’s Hannah Johnston.

Finally in the shortest race, the Traverse, Mitch Tawera, of Wanaka, defended the men’s title in 1hr 20min 09sec, followed by Tane Tawera, of Wanaka, and Jamie Henderson, of Christchurch.

Kim Cadzow (16), of Tauranga, won the women’s race in 1hr 31min 43sec ahead of Kaiapoi’s Sjaan Lykles and Christchurch’s Jane McDonald.

Hawea Community Association Membership

By becoming a member of the Hawea Community Association you are: helping support the development of the Hawea community in many different areas are able to have a voice in these matters.   Only $20 per household.   Membership subs can be paid in 3 ways: Post cheque to Secretary HCA, 179 Cemetery Road, Lake Hawea, 9382 Bank Account: Hawea Community Associat read more »

AGM Saturday 6th October 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the Hawea Community Association will be held on Saturday 6th October 2018 at the Lake Hawea Community Centre, Myra Street. Doors open at 9am and the meeting will start 9.30am. All welcome. read more »

Hawea SHA – Strategic planning for lobbying and protesting – Saturday 7th July

Meeting 3.00 pm this Saturday 7th July, at the Lake Hawea Community Centre for those people who want to work on a strategic plan for the implementation of concerted efforts to continue to lobby and protest against the approval for the SHA development and subdivision on Cemetery Road. Some ideas are: Lobbying MPs Continuing petitions Direct action Legal Challenges A read more »

read more »

Farewell to Tom Jamieson – Sunday 29th April

Hawea people will remember that we lost one of our district's 'characters' in a disastrous fire at Hawea Flat in January. There will be a community "send-off" for Tom at the Lake Hawea Hotel (restaurant side) on Sunday 29th April starting at 3.00 pm. Photo: Angelo Georgalli Tom Jamieson had lived in our Hawea community for many years, initially in a series of caravans, but in more re read more »

Toilet planned for popular walking track

  The Hawea Community Association plans to install a portable toilet on the Isthmus Peak walking track soon, as visitor numbers increase. The track gives walkers and mountain bikers great views of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and the Southern Alps. Chairman Paul Cunningham said the association was waiting on costing for the installation and was checking with Land Information New read more »

Council seat wanted for Hawea: survey

It is time the township of Lake Hawea had its own seat on the Queenstown Lakes District Council.That, at least, was the view of 93% of the 101 people who responded to an online survey by a new group in the town called Keep Hawea Beautiful. The group has been formed in response to a proposal by Wanaka developer Lane Hocking for a Special Housing Area near the town. Group member Tim read more »

1000-section proposal questioned

                            Lake Hawea township - showing bare land in the top half of the photograph beyond pine trees, where a special housing area is proposed. Photo: Mark Price Prominent Upper Clutha developer Allan Dippie has weighed in on the debate over a proposal for a spe read more »

Minutes of the HCA Executive Meeting April 2018

HCA Minutes April.2018 read more »

HCA District Plan Review 2015 commissioned by HCA

In 2015 the HCA commissioned a report to review the District Plan. If you are new to the area or have never read this report, please take some time To view this report click this link => HCA District Plan Review Report read more »

Rush continues epic form

Tim Rush is a jack of all trades – and master of most of them. The versatile Oamaru cyclist was at it again last weekend, winning the Contact Epic mountain biking race around Lake Hawea. Another Oamaru-based rider, professional ironman athlete Dougal Allan, was second. It might have sneaked under the radar while everyone had eyes on the Commonwealth Games but the Epic is a big deal. read more »