Newsletter No. 234

March 31, 2023

Lots of events on at the moment, and not just weather ones. More views from Dave’s window (above) remind us of the beauty of our weather as well as its sheer force.

Old Man’s Beard Weeding on Te Raekaihau

Saturday 1 April, 10 am – 12 pm: We keep on finding more of this invasive weed on the headland, especially now that it is in flower. Come and join the regulars for a rewarding session in an awesomely beautiful spot. Some tools and gloves will be available but please bring your own if you can.In the event of bad weather it will be postponed to Sunday, in which case you will have to decide between this and the event below. Please check the group Facebook Page for updates.

Koha Coffee

Sunday 2 April, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: Come along to Koha Coffee at the Community Hall and catch up with friends and neighbours. No planning agendas this time, just a social event, but we always welcome community ideas and inspiration! Bring some kai to share, or a koha.

He Korero Haewai Whakatuwhera

Wednesday April 5, 7.45 am: Our ākonga have been working with an artist, Kate Te Ao, on a Creatives in School Project telling the history of Te Whanganui-a-Tara and focusing in on Haewai/Houghton Bay. The community led history hikoi and korero last year conributed a lot of information for the project.

We would love the wider community to come and connect with our kura.

Seeds-to-Feeds Dinner

What an awesome occasion it was! Our hall came alive with gorgeous rugs, flax weaving, fairy lights, and our colourful banners, crockery and food. Children played and drew in the centre, while the adults feasted and chatted around them. DJ Ange from Seeds-to-Feeds provided the music and Sarah from Seeds-to-Feeds and all the volunteers made sure everything came together in time. We even got to meet two of our Rongotai Candidates: Fleur Fitzsimons (Labour) and Julie Anne Genter (Green).

Great fun was had by all, even by the stalwart dish washers. As Sarah commented afterwards:

“How do you best describe a meal that goes deeper than filling your belly? How do you explain the new connections sending buzzing around the room? How do you articulate the feeling of sharing Kai with old friends and new?

The Haewai Harvest dinner was a true community feast. An incredible inclusive menu made by the wonderful Leone, featuring the now infamous foraged salad, vegetable tart and millet stew. The Kai showcased what this mighty area has to offer!”

Soil Remediation Workshop

On March 11 four members of the Houghton Valley Community Garden attended a WCC sponsored seminar on agro-ecology at the Kaicycle Urban Farm in Newtown. Agro-ecology is the application of ecological concepts and principles to farming.

We learned, contrary to common belief, that plants do not compete underground. Rather they develop extensive, complex, cooperative systems and thrive in diversity. We also learned of bacterial quorum-sensing (QS) molecules, one of the primary means of allowing communication between bacterial cells or populations, and how we can feed the bacteria that keep the plants healthy.

The photos show the plot we planned and planted according to these principles (and what it will turn into). The Houghton Valley Community Garden is adjacent to our school and anyone is welcome to become involved in our attempts to improve our gardening skills. Contact Jenny at and we can join you up with the WhatsApp Group to find out what is happening and when people will be there.

If you wish you’d been there to learn about it, have a read of the Agro-Ecology Notes put out by Kaicycle.

HVPA Membership Renewals

Membership subscriptions for the Houghton Valley Progressive Association 2023 – 2024 year are now due as of April 1st 2023. We invite you to consider becoming members of the Association to help support us in our work, which includes:.

  • Providing updates of what has been happening in and around the community and notifications of wider community issues (i.e. this newsletter);
  • Keeping the community owned hall maintained and fit for use by the community and recreational groups, including the InStep Dance Studio;
  • Facilitating the organisation and hosting of community events (i.e. Seeds-to Feeds and Koha Coffee);
  • Providing funding support for approved local projects;
  • Giving you the right to vote on community issues at General Meetings and elections at Annual General Meetings.

The annual membership fee remains at $10, for one person, or for two people in one household at the same address. We need the name, address and email of each member for our records and for voting.

So if you would like to join (or renew your current membership), please reply to Jenny at with your name/s, preferred email address/es and street address once you have paid your subscription online to:

Houghton Valley Progressive Association (BNZ Kilbirnie) 02 0520 0143013 000 with your name and 2023-24 Sub in the payment details. [Now a new bank account]

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