Newsletter No. 236

June 8, 2023

A little bit of blue to keep us going, and plenty of reading as well!

Planting on Te Raekaihau

Every Saturday in June, July and maybe some of August, 10 am – 12 pm: Have a great morning planting a diverse range of native trees on our local headland with Te Ohu o Te Raekaihau. Find out the meet up details and weather postponements on the group Facebook Page, or sign up for their newsletter.

Our group featured on a Greater Wellington Regional Council Te Taiao Webinar for Restoration Week 2023 in the last week of May. Check out Webinar No. 4 on pest plants, but there are several others as well.

Koha Coffee

Sunday 11 June, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: Come along to the Community Hall and chat with friends, neighbours and other locals, and maybe let us know what you would like to do as a community in the next 12 months. Bring some food to share and/or a koha.

WREMO Emergency Preparedness Workshop

We had a good turn out to the workshop held at the school, complete with fish and chips for dinner. Thanks to Katie of WREMO for facilitating it. There were not quite enough people to run a full scenario based workshop, but we can hold one later. We learnt about the basics of the Community Hub and the roles community members can volunteer for to help the community once their own needs are met. The roles include:

  • Supervisor
  • Information co-ordination
  • Public information
  • Needs and offers
  • Community space
  • Communications
  • Facility maintenance

We also brainstormed the strengths and weaknesses of our community, a good way to start developing a community emergency preparedness plan. We are also planning to hold another workshop to focus on what to do at home to be prepared, so we will keep you posted.

Found a problem?

Every so often (or often more-often-than-not) something is wrong with our ageing infrastructure or other things around our community. If you are concerned about something when you are out walking, then there are some options to contact the officials most likely to do something about it.

WCC has three ways of contacting them. For urgent issues you need to contact them on (04) 499 4444. Otherwise take a photo and you can go to their Report a Problem page and go from there, or you can download their FIXiT app for your phone to register it right then and there.

Another thing is to check that divers in our Marine Reserve are just looking and not gathering. Not long ago some out of town people were happily harvesting some magnificent crayfish, but some hotline calls to the Department of Conservation (0800 362 468) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (0800 476 224) saved the day and the crayfish.

Houghton Valley Progressive Association News

The Houghton Valley Progressive Association AGM has resulted in the re-election of Jenny Rattenbury as Chair, Derek LeDayn as Secretary and Brian Fowler as Treasurer. Leone Basher has been elected to the committee to be in charge of Events. The Hall Bookings Manager position remains vacant, but we are happy to accept any late offers!

Here is the AGM slideshow presentation of what we (HVPA and the community) have done over the last year.

Hall roof update: we have been gradually building up funds with $15,000 from the Give-a-little page (i.e. you lovely community people), $15,000 from the Wellington City Council Emergency Fund, and $5,000 from the New Zealand Community Trust. We are still short of what we need, so will be applying for more funds. This will put the repair date back to the summer, but we have fixed the roof leak so the problem is not so urgent.

Climate Change Meeting Report

It was pretty much standing room only at the Coastal Communities and Climate Change meeting at the Wellington South Baptist Church Hall, where speakers included Professor Jonathan Boston, a member of the Expert Working Group on Managed Retreat, Rongotai Candidates Julie Anne Genter, Fleur Fitzsimons and Karuna Muthu, and Jamuna Rotsteina WCC Climate Change Team representative. They reported on progress with how our South Coast Communities can adapt to ever increasing storm surges and eventual sea level rise.

Jonathan’s speech had many sobering points, including how proactive retreat is harder to fund due to no contributions from insurance companies; how little time we have left before we release more carbon than is good for us at current rates (12 years actually); and that climate change is a multi-generational problem – it will be around for a long time. If you missed out you can check out further EDA Resources.

Composting Workshop Notes

Kaicycle and WCC organised and hosted a composting workshop, which was attended by some of our community gardeners. The Workshop Notes they provided are truly awesome so we have attached them here. They cover large as well as small scale composting.

WCC are beginning to provide opportunities to set up community composting hubs, something we would like to achieve sometime in Houghton Valley. If you are interested in being involved in developing one, contact

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