Newsletter No. 241

September 7, 2023

The photos above show the Houghton Valley community garden being formed back in 2010, and one of the many afternoon teas we had after a working session, where we also plotted and planned many community activities. Although the afternoon teas there are not so regular now, many community activities still get plotted and planned elsewhere.

Afternoon tea in the community garden

Sunday 10 September, 2 – 3.30 pm: Now that spring seems to be on its way, we are planning to have Koha Coffee in the community garden this month. As the garden is best in the afternoon, we will be having it at 2 pm.

So come along for some great food and conversation and see the garden as it is now. We can also help you plan your summer vegetable garden. If you’d like to do a bit of garden maintenance, come a bit earlier, someone will be there from 1 pm, there is alway plenty to do! If it is wet we will retreat to the Community Hall. For how to get to the garden go to: https://houghtonvalley.org.nz/…/garden-how-to-get-there…

Te Mauri O Te Wai  workshop

The workshop on 27 August went well with 14 residents attending, as well as 2 guests: Julie Anne Genter of the Green Party and Yadana Saw of Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Whilst the workshop was primarily intended to be about putting together all our ideas with the aim of creating a brief for the project, in the end we spent more time discussing how we can get the project actually going again.

Julie Anne said that if the Green Party get into government, they will specifically set aside $100 million for projects such as ours, estimating that ours would be about $10 million. There was a possibility of getting a mention in an article in The Post about this policy, but if it was published it wasn’t obvious.

Yadana suggested we contact our Ward Councillors and ask them to put the project into the Long Term Plan, and that WCC had a “Petition” system that forced the Council to look at any approved request with over 20 signatures.

In following up with WCC, Cr Tim Brown said that they had been discussing the project but it sounded like they were nowhere near ready to commit money to it. Hence our original plan of working through the preliminary design solutions to create a workable solution for them, rather than waiting, is more relevant than ever. The petition system (according to a WCC staff member) is greatly disliked, and when you think about it, forcing their hand will only result in an unsatisfactory quick fix such as the “deodourising” of our drains.

We are still putting together all the notes from the workshop and earlier suggestions and will share them when it is done. It will form the basis for our design brief, which we can then use to facilitate the next steps. The workshop resulted in other suggestions such as engineers that have a “give back” system where they give time to communities without charge, and some good skills and connections within the community that we can utilise.

Extension of no-parking zone in Hungerford Rd

WCC has been asked to consider extending the no-parking zone at the top of Hungerford Road on the Houghton Bay side to improve safety in this rather limited visibility area. They have a draft report that you can make a submission on between September 8 and September 21, 2023. The report will be presented to the Koata Hātepe / Regulatory Processes Committee meeting on Thursday 16th November, 2023 for approval and the restrictions will be implemented within the following three months once approved.