Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 152

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter

Issue Number 152 – and the last?  June 6, 2016

Hi Everyone,

One way and another Grant from Hungerford Rd and Norman from View Rd have been involved with this newsletter for quite a while; Grant was the catalyst for it being established and Norman has served an extended stint as ‘editor.’ They agree it may have run its course but have different ideas about ‘what’s next’, here are their respective perspectives.

Grant writes: There is a season turn, turn, turn: a time to gain, a time to lose; the time has come for our beloved email newsletter to enter into its winter hibernation. It may awaken in the spring, if that’s what the community decrees – but in a different form.

Maybe we do not need the newsletter, because Facebook does it all, or perhaps someone will awaken it and run it in a completely new way, or maybe it is activated only when needed.

Anyway, the newsletter needs to go byebyes now, so….. Stay warm, and if you would like to kiss this toad and transform it into a prince, then pucker-up to Norman to awaken the newsletter from its slumber.

Norman writes: The end of the line. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwqhdRs4jyA. One hundred and fifty one issues at an average of 25 a year add up to something like six years of Houghton Valley Community Newsletters, which currently goes out to around 200 households in the neighbourhood.
Alongside the website page it sought to be all things to all people but, as the person who has coordinated its compilation since 2013 (always with support from Grant from Hungerford Rd) it seems like its time to stop.

Now we have the increasingly used Facebook page which provides both immediate communications and a record of activities; then there is the fantastic website, and Neighbourly, not to mention the school newsletter and other local e-networks such as those created by the local Playcentre and action groups Friends of Houghton Valley and Guardians of the Bays.

The photographs shows one railway track ending but others going on – perhaps as good a metaphor as any for the closure of the newsletter while the journey of creating a healthy and connected community can continue using other means, should people wish.

I’d urge everyone join up the local Facebook page and also take a look at Neighbourly, and think about getting involved with all the other community activities such as the south coast time bank, and …. The plan is to put out one more issue where people can comment on, well anything. Deadline, one week for contributions.

Ma whero ma pango ka oti ai te mahi - With red and black the work will be complete This refers to co-operation where if everyone does their part, the work will be complete. The colours refer to the traditional kowhaiwhai patterns on the inside of the meeting houses.

Ka kite ano, Norman and Grant

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 151

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter

Issue Number 151, May 17, 2016

Hi Everyone,

New possibilities: Carol has been talking with people about new community initiatives to coincide Global Sharing Week, June 4-11 (http://www.globalsharingweek.org/about). These include improving the connections between the Wellington Timebank and the Progressive Association with more people trading time with each other in Houghton Valley. She is proposing a meeting attended by a Timebank member to discusses whether the Association becomes a member (e.g. like Kaibosh http://www.kaibosh.org.nz/) or hold events at the hall involving members with specific skills). To comment and keep up with plans check out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/119811444753435/

Fruit Tree Guardians: Jenny of Houghton Bay Rd reports that on Sunday seven people met to clear weeds to create a space to plant semi-wild community fruit trees. The site for the Houghton Valley Fruit Tree Guardian Project is alongside the track behind the school leading up to Sinclair Park, just before the horse paddock gate.Blackberry and honey suckle were cleared and used to make a low wind barrier. The bush around the other three sides will give good protection. A bit more work is still required to clear the last of the weeds.


We will be applying for some trees under the Council’s Guardian tree programme by 22 May, and planting will be around late June early July. If you are interested in helping (we will be creating more sites as well)  See  https://www.facebook.com/groups/119811444753435/

Something from Coral: http://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/79657967/Wellington-residents-group-to-pay-costs-for-Houghton-Bay-subdivision-case

Cheers, Norman and contributors


Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 150

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter

Issue Number 150, May 3, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Civil Defence: Houghton Bay residents have been invited to attend meetings this month organised by the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office. The Island Bay community is coming together to discuss how a significant earthquake will impact them, where they will be lead through a process to start to develop a community emergency response plan and consider other opportunities to build further resilience along the south coast. These meetings will be on Thursday evenings 5 & 19 May and 2 June at the Island Bay Bowling Club on the Parade, 7.30 – 9.30pm. A similar programme is being discussed for the wider Kilbirnie Lyall Bay area later in the year which could also include Houghton Bay.

City Council: There is an opportunity to comment on the Eastern Bays cycleway, with sessions on this as well – http://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultations. The aim is to get more cyclists on the road and the more interested you are in cycles for commuting or recreation, the more important it is to have a say.

Banners to Cards: Jan and Grant of Hungerford Rd have created a set of cards showing the banners created by local people and now hanging in the hall. See attached. These will shortly be for sale as a fundraiser for the Hall.  There are four images with envelopes at $8, but that’s not all….you can have a set free by joining the Progressive Association for the 2016-17 year!  Find out more at Koha Coffee in the hall on Saturday.

Runway Extension: Guardians of the Bays, a residents’ group opposing the Wellington airport runway extension have produced a leaflet explaining the economic, environmental and social grounds on which they oppose the extension. See attached.

Co-chair Sea Rotmann from Moa Point says the group is organising an information evening for all groups interested in the effects of the extension (from increased noise to traffic disruptions to surf and recreational fisheries or marine ecological impacts, to environmental groups concerned about climate change or groups opposing ratepayer handouts to corporate entities). http://guardiansofthebays.org.nz/media-release-local-residents-launch-myth-busters-on-proposed-wellington-runway-extension/

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No149

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter
Issue Number 149,
April 19, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Spoiled for Choice?: If you aren’t already joined up, it’s worth considering linking to the local Facebook page Houghton Valley & Hornsey Rd Community Project. Items complement the Newsletter and the Website. There are also recent posting from people with ideas for local initiatives including linking with Neighbourly and the Localising Food Project and responses to these ideas, exploring if and how they can build on (or replace?) current initiatives.

Report on Neighbours Day: The weather was great and, particularly, Hornsey Rd residents including Ken, Michael, Miranda and Maia made Neighbours Day April 10 a great success. About 40 neighbours visited the garden, helped build the bee and lizard hotels, searched for treasure and generally got to know each other better. Thanks to Wellington City Council who funded the event. See Facebook for photos.

Clearing, clearing: Siobhan (daughter is at Houghton Valley School) has been clearing blackberry and weeds from the rainforest near the school and comments … “I love doing it and seeing the change; there is plenty more to be done both to retain the trees that have been previously planted, and clear new areas. I was wondering if others would be interested in helping out with people. I am in contact with caretaker Dave so he is aware of it. Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 148

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter
Issue Number 148,
April 5, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Indian summer gathering: The local Neighbour’s Day at Te Kawakawa Commons is finally happening this Sunday April 10 (now the reservoir has been drained). Te Kawakawa Commons, up the hill behind the bus stop near 46 Hornsey Road, is a community vegetable garden and native planting project with a micro climate and views out over Lyall Bay.

Activities, including demos on how to build a bee hotel and creative ideas for using pallets, will start at 11 am and wind down about 2. There will be entertainment for the kids and yummy food, plus of course the chance to catch up with neighbours and meet any new arrivals in the community. If the weather is bad we will relocate to the community hall.

Local Economy: Following communications on the community Facebook page Caroline Stone made contact and commented “I’m a member of the Wellington South Timebank and wondering if the Timebank might be able to help with a buy/sell exchange. I’d be happy to talk about Timebank if there was interest in an event at the hall sometime. Let me know what you think? “  [What do YOU think?]

More Coffee? Grant from Hungerford Rd reports two final year design students from the WelTec Creative Technologies course are designing a mobile coffee shop would be suitable for our ? conditions. Their project will take until mid-year to develop a workable design; we will keep you posted and include designs in future newsletters.

Testing the waters: Local people have expressed interest in an evening Yoga class, with Wednesdays at 7.30 the only time the hall is available. Please contact Julie 021714046 so she can determine of there are sufficient numbers.

On at the Hall: Attached is a snapshot of the kind of activities running at the hall.  The biggest offer is Dance but there are also Yoga classes and Martial Arts. Koha coffee and table tennis runs every Saturday morning and that’s a good time to drop in with any ideas for more activities.

Cheers, Norman, Ken and other contributors

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 147

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter

Issue Number 147, March 22, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Appeal lost: Friends of Houghton Valley (FOHV) have lost their appeal against the 13-house development at 215 Houghton Bay Rd. Some information about this was outlined in an article in the Dominion-Post last week. FOHV are holding their annual general meeting at 7.00 tonight at the school.

Nearly there: Jo from the Houghton Valley Centre reports good progress on the new playground with Seymour Construction hoping to be finished next week. She commented “We have been finalising all the items to complete the project and are hoping to get a bit of help from the community along the way to help push us to the finishing line and finally after so many years have a new playground for our tamariki”

Local Economy: See https://www.facebook.com/groups/119811444753435/, cocoa husks for mulch.

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 146

Hi Everyone,

Going, going, gone: If you haven’t looked down lately on this view of the Houghton Valley Playcentre outdoor space (attached) then it’s too late! A working bee over the weekend began demolition. Its replacement – thanks to $20,000 raised locally matched by funding from the NZ Playcentre Federation – will be completed in about three weeks

Local economy: You can’t get more home grown than local bees gathering local nectar, processing and adding value in Houghton Valley. Jacob of Haewai Meadery & Wind Gardens advises he has harvested 40 kilos of local honey which he will sell in re-cycled jars. He comments “A late season and looks like a good one” [Seriously low food miles too!]

Yoga Reminder: Yoga for all, suitable for beginners, Houghton Valley Hall $10. 9-30 Tuesdays, come in for a free trial session. Enquiries Julie 021714056, julie.gianoutsos@gmail.com

House to rent: Houghton Bay Rd, across from the park. Two Bedroom plus a small room that could be an office or child’s room; 1.5 bath and fenced garden, fully insulated (including walls), wood burner, and double glazed windows downstairs. Looking for a professional couple or small family. Pets welcome, rent $500 per week. More information contact Jessica

Notes from Nick: Nick from View Rd, and for many years a stalwart of the Newtown Residents Assn, has ideas about a geologically-focussed trip by locals to Upper Hutt, using his front lawn as a community orchard or herb garden and the relationship between residents and Council on walking track development.

Old Man’s Beard: Deborah of View Rd reminds us that if Old Man’ Beard gets into Houghton Bay back sections and reserves it will be almost impossible to stop. It strangles trees and shrubs and can rapidly take over large areas and is showing up more than ever this year, is seeding and about to spread everywhere right now with patches seen near bus stops, on private sections, and in the school grounds.

The solution is to clip the flowers (white, similar to convolvulus) or seed heads, better still remove the patch completely. See information and photos on Weedbusters.org.nz, also the community Facebook page. If neighbours have patches within 10 metres of your boundary contact the Wellington Regional Council to get this removed (unless your neighbours are happy to do so of course).

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter Issue No 145

Hi Everyone,

Rapid Response: Barely had Natasha posted details on Facebook about fire-victim Peter’s needs to furnish his new bed-sit and the community had responded. She wrote “ Wow – fast work everyone, we now have everything needed .. thanks again, you have been magnificent! https://www.facebook.com/groups/119811444753435/973340306067207/

 Buy and Sell Group?: On February 15 in the Houghton Valley and Hornsey Rd Community Facebook Rachel posted “I am thinking of setting up a Facebook buy and sell group for Wellington South area. Would anyone be keen?” This newsletter is also used by local people to exchange ‘local economy’ exchanges, perhaps the two media would complement each other.

NZ First in Hall: Kerry-Anne has begun a new ballet class in the hall on Saturdays, see attached. She advises the brand new teaching Curriculum has not been taught before in NZ.

An emerging pattern?: Part of overhanging bank falls onto Hungerford Rd, safety cones installed to divert traffic, council clears away debris, part of overhanging bank falls onto Hungerford Rd, safety cones installed to divert traffic ….

Neighbours Day 2016:  The progressive association was working towards an event at Te Kawakawa Commons next month but because the draining of the Mt Albert reservoir is in progress, we can’t yet set a date. It is likely to be in April, watch this space.

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter, Issue No 143

Hi Everyone, best wishes for 2016

Community at heart and at work: This first issue for 2016 is two weeks earlier than planned. It brings people up to speed and the opportunity to get involved with the current work of a number of locals behind the scenes – helping someone in need. Their efforts make a person appreciate our little community tucked away here on the south coast. Norman

Dave (of everywhere in Houghton Valley) reports – “Many readers of the newsletter are aware that one of our long-term residents of Houghton Valley, Peter Blackwood of Hornsey Road, arrived home recently to find his home destroyed by fire. A faulty fuse may be the cause.

You can read an illustrated article about Peter’s situation at


Many of us are asking how we can best support Peter at the very early stage. Peter’s neighbours have taken the initiative to create a website that enables people to donate money: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/petersetupfund/

Peter is very keen to find short to medium term accommodation in our neighbourhood until the insurance and rebuilding decisions are sorted out. He enjoys an independent life. Please ring Natasha at 0212589580 if you have a sleep-out, out-room or flat that he can rent.

Some people have kindly offered to donate furniture and other items. His immediate needs will not be known until he finds short to medium term accommodation. Please ring Dave  with the details of how you can be contacted and what you can offer.

We will endeavour to keep you informed of what Peter needs as his future becomes clearer.”

Houghton Valley Community Newsletter, Issue No 144

Hi Everyone, 

Cafe de Houghton: The first Saturday coffee morning for this year is this Saturday at 11am. Come to the community hall for a Houghton Valley special coffee and a game of ping pong (or table tennis if you are feeling really energetic). See you there!

Working where I live: Ella of Hungerford Rd writes “I love this community so much that I would like to find work in the area: dog walker, house cleaner, cooking, care or odd jobs for the elderly, car cleaning, ironing, I can do it all and more! I’m a friendly and capable person keen to meet more people in our community.

Progressive Association: HVPA welcomes you all to 2016 and the first meeting for the year in the hall on Sunday 7 February at 4 pm.  President Ken advises they have three funding grants this year from WCC which will be discussed. He will send out an agenda about a week before, let him know this week of any other items you have.

Neighbours Day 2016:  Will see a local event in March with fun events and yummy food.  Among the activities will be building bee hotels for fellow inhabitants, as well as other useful things from recycled materials. If you have skills or interests in this area, please get in touch so we can make use of your creativity!

Doing well: Natasha reports in the Houghton Valley & Hornsey Rd Community Project. Facebook that Peter whose houses was badly damaged by fire is doing well and settling back into his much loved hobbies. He has temporary accommodation covered by insurance but will need to find a place to rent – bed sit/studio etc.

Guardians of the Bays: This group, which is opposing the extension to Wellington Airport in our general direction, is geared up for 2016 with a range of activities and initiatives.  There are a number of ways to get up to speed with their activities including Facebook site, twitter account and their blog. For details contact them on guardiansofthebays@gmail.com. Letters to the editor of the Dom-Post are questioning the need to spend $300m on this extension to attract international carriers when Singapore Airlines has just announced it has accepted a Council subsidy and will fly here anyway.

Our Facebook: If you don’t already keep in touch with local events via our Facebook page there are some interesting new items posted this week – see https://www.facebook.com/Houghton-Valley-Hornsey-Rd-Community-Project-118404768189002/

Local art and artist: Gwil, an artist from View Rd, has just completed his second mural in our community entitled “Chasing your own tail”. Do you know where it is?


Cheers, Norman and contributors