Newsletter No. 213

October 3, 2022

Kia ora koutou,

We are bringing back the newsletter on a when-needed basis, and right now there is definitely a need, so much is happening! So please read on …

Seeds-to-Feeds Wild Spring Lunch

Koha Lunch Sunday October 16t, 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm 

The Seeds-to-Feeds local food festival is starting up again, and locals are keen to participate once again. Houghton Valley offers some great foraging and we would like to celebrate the fresh kai that is already springing up wild in our gardens and on the hillsides. So, we are having a Seeds-to-Feeds meal at the beginning of the festival season as well as one in March!

Come and enjoy a delicious vegan meal, including wild greens soup, local bread (gluten free available), homemade preserves, infused oils and of course our signature foraged salad. The Koha lunch will be held at our community hall. We are looking forward to having everyone to sit down to a meal together after 3 years of various take-out options. Limited to 33 tickets, so book your place now!

Foraging Walk on Sunday October 9, 10 am – 1 pm

There is also a foraging walk happening the week before the lunch, where you can learn about what wild weeds are edible, and help gather native spinach for the wild greens soup. There are only a few spots left, if you are interested be in quick to book your place!

Our community hall needs your help!

Our lovely old community-owned hall in Houghton Valley has had a major setback. Thieves stole the copper spouting on the flat roof extension and tore the edge of the malthoid roofing membrane. Fragments were scattered around the grounds and the Playcentre next door. They were tested and there was asbestos embedded in the bitumen.

The Houghton Valley Progressive Association, who looks after the hall, had funds set aside for re-roofing this part of the hall, but urgent works to clean up the grounds and cover the torn edge with a tarpaulin to make the area safe for hall and Playcentre users has incurred costs of $16,000 already! Our insurance does not cover this, and the re-roofing still needs to be done. We need to pay for removal of the hazardous substance and putting on a new roof membrane and fix the leak damage caused by this event. The Wellington City Council Emergency Welfare fund is helping us, but we need to raise another $15,000 to cover all the potential expenses.

We are still negotiating some final hoops with our Givealittle Page, so we will send out another newsletter next week with the link for your donations.

Many thanks to the community members who have been helping with building advice and moral support, and one member who helped set up the Givealittle page from the other side of the world! Te Ohu o Te Raekaihau have kindly lent us their logo image for the Givealittle page, we will get onto our own when things have settled down a bit more.

Houghton Valley Progressive Association meeting

Sunday October 9, 3 – 4 pm

Houghton Valley Progressive Association is holding its first General Meeting for their new year. The meeting will be on Zoom to accommodate those community members who are still a little cautious. It’s a chance to meet the executive committee, now up to full strength again with all four offices filled.

We will be celebrating the community projects that are happening around the valley, with a few people speaking about their projects. And the Executive Committee will give an update on the hall re-roof mission.

We are using a free account so after 40 minutes you need to click on the link again to continue. See the attached agenda. This also includes the Zoom link.

Community Weeding Sessions

Te Ohu o Te Raekaihau has been busy this year with predator trapping and planting 2,000 plants on Te Raekaihau, the beautiful headland above Princess Bay. And now until May there will be community weeding days on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am – 12 pm. The next one is October 8. For more information on the sessions please sign up to their Newsletter or their Facebook Group.

Proposed playground upgrade

Wellington City Council has advised us that the playground near Hungerford Road is due for an upgrade and has already come up with two schemes that they would like feedback on. It is important that they get feedback from as many residents as possible. So please consider making a submission in the next couple of weeks.

Houghton Bay Playground proposals

As well as commenting on the actual schemes and their functionality, you might like to think about questioning the wider context, such as:

  • How necessary is the upgrade?
  • What happens to the waste?
  • Do the proposed schemes fit in well with the natural surroundings?
  • Have we had enough consultation to be able to share what works and what doesn’t?
  • What opportunities are we missing?
  • What would be your ideas for play in Houghton Valley for our 100 year vision?

Let WCC know your thoughts by emailing them by 5 pm 14 October 2022. See WCC page link for more information.

Plants for the school fair

The School Fair is coming up on November 27. Members of the community have traditionally helped with the plant stall, both on the day and with supplying plants. Now is a good time to plant some vegetable seeds and take herb cuttings. Just make sure they are in a warm place. Swan plants are always asked for, so that’s a good one to try.

If you are rescuing plants from the garden, make sure they have been put in pots well beforehand and are nicely weeded before bringing to the stall. We don’t need karo seedlings, there are plenty already in the valley! If you are divvying up pot plants, please make sure they are not plant pests like purple or variegated tradescantia and aluminium plant. If you want to know more about plant pests have a look at Plant me Instead.

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