The Levin Morning Star *

* The Levin Morning Star......122...... Saturday 4 April 2015

The orange barrel has come to New Zealand

Hi Richard

Some 4 colour pens with fine tip and orange barrel will be heading your way in the next couple of weeks.  I can't be sure when they will arrive as they are coming from the US.


Kim Brown
BIC (NZ) Limited
25 Normanby Road, Mt Eden
Private Bag 92-603, Symonds St
Auckland 1150
New Zealand
p 64-9-630 5970
f  64-9-623 5838
e kim.brown


To see the fine tip BIC 4 colour, orange barrel pen that's not presently available in New Zealand shops. 



Hopefully we'll see it stocked widely in New Zealand soon,  from this site's push via six samples. It was delivered from USA on Friday 3 April 2009. Some advantages of it are that it lasts longer with less ink per metre of line, allows more detail in diagrams and sketch plans, has a cut-away slender tip for eaier ruler lines and allows more words on a small pocket notebook page. 





Today, 31/3/09, the writer hears if the Horowhenua District Council will permit

a trust to look after the mowing of Western Park

Update on reserve status for Western Park:-

HDC Parks Manager Mr Peter Shore says that it may be up to a year before the reserve status registers. This is not a Land Information New Zealand slowness but simply a reluctance by our local HDC to get cracking and do the paper work. He's also said that while it's a shame that the back field of Western Park is unused at present, Council will probably be doing something with it later this year. Does this mean selling it to a retirement village company or even developing a rental housing project in a joint venture with Central Government? The big question is why wait to register the Reserves Act, recreation reserve status? Perhaps it's that these projects may be well into planning and reserve status is stalled before announcing such housing plans. Retirement from mowing is the official policy for Western Park. This allows surplus asset designation that must proceed a sale. The hay mowers were there last week and another load of hay removed. Of course this is stripping the soil of nutriments and the turf is hard and stalky, but walkable, unlike the long sticky paspalum stalk infested state just prior. A mowing trust must have an assurance of security of a future, free of sell-off plans. It's why reserve status is needed first. Otherwise, after a surprise sale or reuse announcement, a ride on mower would need to be sold, perhaps at an embarrassing loss, to reinburse contributors, who would have expected a long term park maintenance  arrangement.

Last edition of 27 January 2009, below.


 Shock Revelation

Enquiries by The Levin Morning Star reveal that Western Park, Levin, is not under reserve status. It is supposed to be. The year 2000 management plan recommended that it should be a recreation reserve. This plan was endorsed by the Council, but reserve status wasn't registered. It could be sold without public consultation, if the recommendation is ignored, as it well could be, without public pressure. It must be urgently given reserve status, considering the current surplus asset approach of the no mow policy there.

The Managemant Plan says:-
4.0 AREA Western Park has an area of 3.693 ha.
(a) Pt Lot 1 DP 24k73    CT 41A/429    1.6316 ha
(b) Pt Lot 2 DP 2473     CT 41A/429     1.7971 ha
(c) Lot 2 DP 23547       CT 41A/429     0.0860 ha
(d) Lot 3 DP 23547                           0.0842 ha
(e) Lot 4 DP 23547 CT 41A/429          0.0974 ha
6.0 CLASSIFICATION/DESIGNATION   Western Park consists of five allotments, all of which have been owned in fee simple by Horowhenua District Council since 1994. Western Park is not classified as a recreation reserve. Public reserves must be classified under the reserves Act 1997 according to their primary purpose. The primary purpose of Western park is recreational, therefore, it should be classified as a recreational reserve persuant to the Reserve Act 1997.

Land Information New Zealand confirmed today that it is not under reserve staus. A council staff member, Mr Peter Shore, said that it may take up to three months to register the reserve status. Why so long, we might reasonably ask.

Levin Parks Are For People 


Western Park Levin, back park area, 

is not as safe from an asset sale cash up

as many would imagine! 

It's officially retired from mowing.

What does that suggest?

History can repeat itself if we don't know it.

Levin has had parks sold that were not in registered reserve status, yet previously still referred to in Council documents as having a recreation reserve use. This was at Cambridge Street Park that's now a pensioner village and the spiral track inscribed, Council approved, Families Park at Liverpool street that's now Summerset Retirement Village. There was also a small park at the Wereroa Road end of Graham Street that was sold for two house sites.

We must realize the fact, as strongly as if it was written in gold lettering in the sky, that the only reason why parks are put into registered reserve status, under the Reserves Act, is to ensure that the Local Authority or Government must go through a vigorous public notification and  submissions process, with public consultation and appeals, before they can sell them. However, it's up to a dedicated, community minded public to speak up and have our wonderful local news papers take up our case, if any parks are assumed to be better sold than kept. 

Please remember that a registered, dedicated recreation reserve, only has a set of difficult hurdles for a  local council or the Government to jump, before a sale can be transacted. It's, in effect, a stalling process to give the community time to rally their collective might to halt a proposed sale. Otherwise, without this registered status, an urgent Council meeting can be convened, that will rush through a sale before we realize. This happened over the Families Park site in Liverpool Street.

An urgent Council meeting was advertised in the local Chronicle to consider putting it on the market for sale, after a buyer was found. However, not enough Councillors could come and it was posponed until the next week. At this meeting the Council's General Manager, Rosemary Barrington, had to speak up before the vote to officially put it on the market for sale, to say that before that could happen, it had to be declared a surplus asset. Only declared surplus assets can be considered for sale. This was a huge embarassment to a female Councillor who had told me after my submission with 460 signatures opposing the sale, that Council had already decided to sell the 15 acre site. They hadn't. The vote to declare it a surplus asset was immediately followed by a vote to put it on the market for sale. No time was allocated for discussion, prior to voting it surplus, which in itself was a bolt out of the blue, with the meeting notice in the Chronicle on selling it. Just bang bang gone. 

Cambridge Street Park was made into a pensioner village after a plan was made public that it was going ahead. There was no public consultation, submission and hearings process, just a, this is what is going to happen from the powers that be. History has taught the free world that local and central governments are notorious for selling parklands. They cannot always be trusted.  Reserves Act law is needed to protect parks from being cashed-up in a surprise announcement.

Which five, Horowhenua District Council run parks,

are not yet in  registered reserve status?

The Horowhenua District Council website states that there are eighty eight parks in the District. Eighty three are in reserve status. That leaves five parks and reserves as just Council owned land able to be sold by Council without the full public notification and submission process that dedicated public reserves enjoy. Please click onto the link below to see this position.


 We must ask the Council which ones they are, why they're not under dedicated public reserve status and when formal dedication into reserve status will occur. The word reserve, in this context, means that when pressure to sell might occur through lack of Council funds, such parks are exempt from asset sale. 

Reserves are dedicated to a stated public use and are, in effect, owned by the people of the district.

We deserve answers to this vital question as soon as Council resumes, after the holiday break, on 5 January 2009. Please ask via the Council website's "Contacts" email address, posted mail, or phone for a person to person meeting with a Council officer at the Headquarters, 126 Oxford Street, Levin.



Levin Parks and Reserves Hay Mowing Policy

Does Not Help United Nations Human Right

To Freedom of Movement.

No lawn mowing, but only hay mowing at Western and other Parks, is unhelpful to the % Article 13, Human Right of Freedom of Movement in our nation's borders. Walking in a hay paddock is like wading over an unbridged river.

% = code for UDHR, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Proclaimed in Paris 10 December 1948 or 60 years ago, before the UN moved to New York.

Click for details of  B#B Bonzer Bloom Human Rights Article linker, a segment of which is shown below.



Levin's Overgrown Parks and Reserves ..Why are they?

The key issue is no details of each park and reserve's mowing policy in the Horowhenua District Council's Draft Annual Plan. The Levin Public could make page number referrenced submissions on this document. The first dot point on page 11, below, was sketchy about hay mowing, while the paragraph above assured us that sports grounds would not be mowed for hay. Was Western Park considered a sports ground or reserve? Is it a covenant protected reserve under the Reserves Act or Conservation Act? It had a maintained cricket pitch in 2007/2008. Surely it was reasonably a sports ground to a reasonable person and exempt from hay growth. 

Residents and ratepayers were advised to obtain specific details of variations proposed for facilities they used on a regular basis and to submit their views to Council. Parks and reserves crucial, hay cutting or lawn mowing details weren't in the Draft Annual Plan for relevant  plan document based submissions.   

The Mayor's message on page 9 stated that a new, parks and reserves, levels of  maintenance policy was a key issue for discussion. Such key issues are expected to be found in a comprehensive Draft Annual Plan and not issued on a less formal, ad hoc basis, or even verbally, with no guarantee of uniformity for all submitters. 

The email below shows how the extra, specific details were not in an openly issued, official subsidiary document in the Draft annual plan, for all, but possibly verbal or as an individualized statement for an inquirer. There was no common document suitable for a submission and optional hearing on levels of maintenance of recreation areas.


From: Karen Corkill (
Sent:Tuesday, 9 December 2008 8:56:03 p.m.
To: 'Richard Tingey' (
Cc: Doug Tate (

Good morning, Mr Tingey.


As I understand it, your query relates to the comment at the bottom of page 11 (Executive Summary – Parks and Recreation: Parks and Reserves Maintenance) that “Residents and ratepayers of the District are encouraged to take the opportunity to obtain specific details of variations proposed …………”

On speaking to officers, this was a verbal response to queries from interested parties.  There was no specific documentation prepared for distribution, but each query was dealt with on a case by case basis.




Karen Corkill

Team Secretary

Horowhenua District Council

Private Bag 4002



( 06 366 0999

2 06 366 0977



Below. Email to The Horowhenua Chronicle on the above email from the Horowhenua District Council.

From: Richard Tingey (
Sent:Wednesday, 10 December 2008 10:37:28 a.m.
Frankie webb
The Horowhenua Chronicle
Bristol Street
Dear Frankie
Re:- page 11, bottom right, of the Draft Annual Plan....specific details of variations proposed...
You will see from the forwarded email from Karen Corkill that the details of how each park and reserve was to be maintained, was not in a separate document, as I consider it should have been before the submissions close date for the Draft Annual Plan. 
Who knows whether the details were consistant from one inquirer to another? It was totally unacceptable in an open local government system to not have those details in a separate document. Better still it should have been in a comprehensive Draft Annual, Plan This meant that we could only fully trust the Draft Annual Plan, as I did, in regards Western Park, as a sports ground and so planned to be well maintained. That was via page 11 of the Draft's, sports grounds, assurance of retained high maintenance standards, above the first black dot. 
It seems as if there's a casualness here that suggested that all parks and reserves maintenance statements in the Draft Annual Plan Exucutive summary were unable to be trusted and that only a conversation with a Council officer would have given the true picture.
This means that the process of making a submission on a Draft Annual Plan parks and reserves maintenance statement was a farce. It had to be made on a conversation to get details, as mentioned at the bottom of page 11. How could we have quoted such conversations in our submissions? Would we have had to tape the conversation with the time and date? 
I maintain that this part of the Annual Plan must be put back to the people. We must have a list of all Horowhenua District parks and reserves and their classification as to detailed maintenance standards.
Nevertheless, it may be that such a document exists for each piece of parks and reserves land but that the maintenance details need to be added. This then should be printed and bound for a re-run of the submissions process to address the obvious fiasco of bewildered residents, who want mowing action. Many of them trusted the text of the Draft Annual plan, as I did, when I read that sports grounds would be well maintained as to the Ten Year Plan standards. Since Western Park is a sports ground it will be maintained to prior standards, going on the assurance on page 11. Western Park was a cricket ground last summer.
I consider that I've caught the Council out for a duck here. They will have to be a little realistic and realize that the fuss about the long grass is mostly the reasonable view of reasonable people, who trusted the text of the Draft Annual Plan as final and not needing to be contradicted by the verbal comments of a Council Officer which, it seems, took preference.
Yours sincerely
Richard Tingey
Phone (06)3688587
May Peace Prevail On Earth 
Below. Please note, in the first dotted comment, that Western Park is not mentioned. It's not a detailed enough statement for a submission based on the Draft Annual Plan document. Hay baleage growth areas are equally obscure. It's unfair for the Horowhenua District Council to currently suggest that Western Park and other areas, now left for hay making, were notified in the Draft Annual Plan. We needed to make a special application to Council for details. Would everyone have been given the same information in a separate, bound document, or would it have been by word of mouth from a council officer? Did such a bound document exist and did it have later editions?  

 Above. Click

  Later story. Click

Letter to Manawatu Evening Standard December 4 2008 

Story on line published in the Manawatu Evening Standard, page 4,  December 5 2008 .


"They want the parks mowed - immediately. Western park has not been mowed since April, neighbour David stewart said."

Above. Long grass before and after being cut for hay. It was cut on 9 December 2008 and baled up on the 18th.

Grass length at Levin's Western Park back field was

980mm high in many areas. It's unusable. It's now a cash

crop issue. This is a residents' recreation area, not a farm.

Will we see it at one metre?Levin's north western residents

are not being treated fairly.

Certainly, it was not as well used as it could have been,

but  many local folk didn't go there last summer, when

cut short,  because they didn't want to be hit by a cricket

ball. Many possibly think that it's not an open public park

 for everyone to use twenty four seven. There's a chain

at the entrance and no signs about use of the back field.

Above. Four views of 50mm long grass on the front, Tiro Tiro Road part, of Western Park.

Below. Back part of Western Park taken 8pm Friday 28 November 2008




Below. Western Park's reproducing  weeds


This is a word definition matter. The parks that are now with nearly a metre high grass were underdstood by the public to be mown less often this year and allowed to grow perhaps twice as high as was usual or about 150mm maximum, before mowing, but not six times higher, at one metre. Harvesting the grass was not mentioned at the decision time because had the Horowhenua District Council done so, suspicions would have been raised about whether the grass would be allowed to grow to hay paddock height, which wasn't spoken about then. There's much difference between mowing a grass park's lawn turf and harvesting a crop of hay or bailage on a massively overgrown playing field. These are terms that seem to have been introduced after the parks have been left to grow to to 20 times their proper lawn length of 50mm. It's about a hugely misled public, given the massive public response with phone calls to Council staff and Councillors. It's time the matter was put in accurate terms. Lawn parks get mown, not harvested. The grass is not caught in a catcher, as are high quality homestead type lawns, but mulched to improve the turf's health. When grass gets to 1 metre high, the cut material must be removed or else it will kill the grass as it rots. This should have been included in the resolution to let the grass in some parks grow longer. How long is longer and is the length taken from the shortest, longest or average grass length? These vital points were left out of the annual plan's overly brief proposal to leave some parks to grow longer before mowing.

Please email Horowhenua District Council's CEO Mr David Ward to express your outrage at the totally unreasonable long grass for haymowing policy at many of Levin's public parks. Please copy and paste this letter or write your own.

Mr David Ward

Chief Executive Officer

Horowhenua District Council

126 Oxford Street


Levin Public Parks Mowing Policy

Dear Mr Ward

I want you to please ensure that all Levin's public parks are mown to at least 100mm low, immediately. I am totally against the present hay mowing only policy at many Levin parks. I contend that this policy was never put to the public for submissions in the annual plan, as has been suggested by many Councillors, but only a plan to leave some lesser used reserves to grow longer before mowing. I understood that sports grounds would be exempt from any changes to the mowing policy. This mowing was naturally presumed to be with the normal lawn mower, not an agricultural hay mower, as is now necessary in many Levin Parks. Nor was it openly planned to let the grass grow to 20 times its normal cut length of 50mm before mowing in sports grounds and parks, which means such areas become unusable for public activity. Had this been in the annual plan I would have opposed it.

Yours sincerely


Private Citizen. 

May Peace Prevail On Earth










If Western Park and other parks are not  Reserves

under the Reserves Act or Conservation Act, then

selling by Council is a simple process, free of public

notification. All Levin Parks must now be put under

legal reserve status, in light of the meanspirited attitude

towards mowing them. If the Council doesn't want to

maintain and promote Western Park, then it should be

run by a trust to secure independent funds for it's best

enjoyment by the public of Levin.


Western Park's back main field, off Tiro Tiro Road Levin, has been left to

grow, without any mowing, since late autumn. The grass is up to a tall man's

knees. Some other parks are similar. This is outrageous.  It's made more

incideous  from the way this and other  parks are seen  as saving money by not

mowing. Outrageously, it now seems as if the Horowhenua District Council

are waiting for a maximum summer growth for the best cropping return, while

they walk the floors of the new $12 million Council building, built for show,

not sun. Upon talking with the Deputy Mayor, it seems as if the don't mow

policy is really about selling our parks. If protest over the don't mow policy

is light, use is then indicated as light and the park proved to be too little used

to keep. Real estate agents could then even be called to list them as on the

market for sale. We need to be on the defensive here and deluge the

Horowhenua  District Council with our protests at the don't mow policy. They

must hear it loud and clear from us, the people that our parks are not for selling

and that regular mowing for a continuous good usable grass height, is non

negotiable. ↓↓↓↓

The writer has found out that the don't mow policy relates to the annual plan point that some lesser used parks will be left to grow longer before mowing again. There were no public submissions on this issue except for Jubilee Park, also known locally as the Donald Duck Park. The parks cease to become parks if they are too long for walking on, where we would then have a walk in a hay paddock not a park. The Levin public should not have been hoodwinked into being led to believe that, by "longer", the grass would be perhaps twice as long, when Council planned for 20 times longer, at about one metre long or more. There should be openness and honesty in dealing with park mowing, from start to finish. Hiding behind ambiguous terms is childish. We expect accuracy and precision. Left to become hay or bailage, is what the Council had in mind, by longer. Why did they not describe their plans for that, in the annual plan? We now feel cheated upon, because had we known that the plans were to stop mowing some parks altogether, so they could be harvested for hay or bailage then, wow, we would have been more than hopping keen to submit on such an outrageous intention. However, left to grow longer, in Council's annual plan, as with a domestic lawn, means still able to be walked on. Overgrown, is the term for when a property has been neglected, as with Western Park at present. The Council didn't tell us that this was their plan, oh no, they kept us thinking that they were still going to mow them regularly, but on perhaps a four weekly cycle, instead of a two weekly one, but definitely not on a seven monthly cycle. No amount of soft talk about how it's saving rate money or how few have complained, will alter the fact of a deceptive practice where mow hid harvest. Mow was in the context of hay mower, not lawn mower. They should have made that distinction, instead of tricking us so shamefully.  


Pampas Pest

This one is now cut out. Only wirey roots remain. They will be monitored for regrowth.

 Pampas is banned from sale, propogation and distribution in New Zealand. 

Why is pampas grass still seen on many public road sides in the Horowhenua District?                           Do the the Council Officers responsible not realize that seeds can blow onto vehicles and be carried far and wide?

Kawiu Road    Levin        January 2008


Pampas Grass is a plant pest in New Zealand because it dominates native vegetation and establishes a source of wind blown seed that travel two kilometres. Plants thrive when larger from a tangled root mass above ground that stores water over dry spells, as well as having water seeking ground roots. Huge plants are five metres tall and are said by a regional authority to be the size of the D8 bulldozer below.

Image:Seabee using Cat D8T.jpg

The Big Question:- Why is pampas grass not given a vigorous erradication drive now, before it becomes a national environmental crisis, passed the point of no return? Its seeds will blow two kilometers.That's a serious problem for a district. It's time the district upheld the rule of law here. It's wrong that pampas grass free land is showered with millions of windblown seeds if down-wind from a pampas shelter belt of up to 100 metres long. However, there seems to be a view amoungst some local authority weed management staff that only purple pampas or cortaderia jubata, is a windblown seed problem whereas, they claim, pampas grass, or cortaderia selloana, doesn't spread its seed as widely and is not a serious problem. Where is the evidence for this? Certainly, pampas grass seeds disperse because the seed head stalks are bare in November. Pampas grass, was a miracle plant of the 1960's. Myths and legends remaining over its stock rearing abilities, keep it's pest status hidden. A good farm is pampus grass free. 

Is it a question of cost? Some huge pampas grass plants are removed by a bulldozer. Do farmers want to keep their pampas shelter belts that were established when pampas was a buzz word for a miracle plant? Do some people prefer to keep it for the elegant seed plumes in country landscapes?  

The Answer Is:- Pampas is not wanted in New Zealand. It's as bad a weed pest as thistle, with a similar  light seed that blows kilometers in the wind. A farmer's pampas grass shelter belt will send off millions of feathery seeds. That alone, for a plant pest, makes it worth a national eradication programme before it is too late to be effective. The first step is to find a better shelter belt plant and start POFAC, the Pampas Off Farms Action Campaign.There should be no pampus grass in any road reserve area, anywhere in New Zealand. However, Kawiu Road in Levin has many pampas grass clumps between Tiro Tiro Road and the power substation. These must be removed now before they grow huge and develop their woody root ball rods for rapid growth.

The above six photos were taken  to show the terrible effects of letting pampas grass be classed as merely a regional surveillance plant by and not a noxious weed to be always erradicated. It's a noxious weed irrespective of it's official status. It should be given that official status without delay. We have to all accept that it was a mistake to introduce it as a wonderful, money making, self-managing stock feed and windbreak. It's none of these. While pampas is not as infesting as gorse, it's huge size is the problem. Visibility loss on roads is an especially bad effect. The removed roadside example above, is typical. 

Why do we still tolerate pampas grass? Maybe it gets confused with toe toe and that some still think it has ideal farming uses. Good farms do not now have pampas. Seeds carry two kilometers in the wind. On the rare site with goats, they're kept under control, but goats have a wide food preference. Attempts with clippers and saws can be too demanding. Sometimes they keep growing to their maximum five metres high and as wide. Their root mass traps water for droughts. The native toe toe is similar, but keeps to a reasonable size. Pampas grass  is often mistaken for toe toe when smaller. As it grows, pampas becomes harder to trim and finally an hydraulic digger can be required to remove huge root tangled lines of them. Pampas is banned from sale, propogation and distribution in New Zealand.

The main issue is that it's an unwanted plant. Nobody should be protecting them as if they're in some way ideal, special and  beneficial. It should be banned from within 10 metres of any public road in the region, as in other regions. Elswhere in the region, removal should be strongly encouraged.  Pampas is a plant pest, as wasps are an unwanted insect pest. There are good herbicides for it. Toe toe should be promoted to the same degree as pampas grass is condemned. Toe toe seed  plumes  are a special New Zealand style sight, for tourists. Pampas plumes are of South America. To identify pampas grass, try tearing a leaf. If pampas, it will easily tear at right angles to the midrift, while toe toe is flaxlike and tough.

Fine stands of toe toe are growing on the sea side of State Highway One going into Shannon from the south and from the north into Shannon on the mountain side, after the bridge over the stream from the Mangahao power station. It's a more drooping variety than the larger ones found in the sand dunes between  Raumati South and Paekakariki 


Horizons Manawatu Wanganui Regional Council Click



Waikato Regional Council  Click

Bay Of Plenty Regional Council  Click

Northland Regional Council  Click

MAF Click

DOC Click




Every Vote Counted

this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections


♥ Universal Declaration of Human Rights 


Article 21

  1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
  3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.


♦ International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights


Article 25 

Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:

(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;

(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;

(c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.




For More Photos Please See