Newsletter No. 153

December 23, 2017

Your community newsletter is back! Many people have missed our regular community updates, so I have offered to take over sending out newsletters every two three weeks, depending on events in the Valley.

For this quick pre-Christmas newsletter, we have imported into MailChimp the old newsletter list that you originally signed up for. So if you have moved on and don’t want these newsletters, you can now just click on the unsubscribe button below.

However, if you do want to stay on the list, I hope you will enjoy once again finding out what is going on in and around your community. Please feel free to contribute news items to this newsletter, contact me at the email address below. It can be upcoming events, reports of events past, or anything of local interest. If you would like to send a photo for the title banner, it would be good to change it each time.


Ice cream StallIcecream

The ice cream stall back again!

  • Where: 27 View Rd;
  • When: 6.30 – 8 pm, Tuesday December 19 to Saturday December 23;
  • Cost: $1 (not for profit, community run).

Christmas on the Commons

Join neighbours and friends at Te Kawakawa Commons (near 46 Hornsey Road above the bus stop) for a get together on Christmas Day between 11am and 1pm. Bring some food to share and take home some vegies!

Koha Coffee at the Hall Koha

People are keen to start up the coffee mornings again at the hall on Saturday mornings from 9.30 am – 12.00 midday throughout the warmer months. So far we have three people prepared to be the coffee makers for a regular monthly roster, and one casual helper. We need one more person to keep a weekly session going. Any offers? We have some new, smaller and more user friendly coffee machines to get the beans doing their stuff!

(188 recipients, 102 opens)

Newsletter No. 152

Issue Number 152 – and the last?

June 6, 2016

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. (Link not current) 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 it’s 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 show 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

Newsletter No. 151

Issue Number 151

May 17, 2016

New possibilities: Carol [Caroline?] has been talking with people about new community initiatives to coincide Global Sharing Week, (link not current) June 4 – 11. These include improving the connections between the Wellington TimeBank and the Houghton Valley 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 or hold events at the hall involving members with specific skills). To comment and keep up with plans check out our Facebook page.

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

Something from Coral:

Cheers, Norman and contributors


Newsletter No. 150

Issue Number 150

May 3, 2016

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 and 19 May and 2 June at the Island Bay Bowling Club on the Parade, 7.30 – 9.30 pm. 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 – 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 Houghton Valley 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).

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Newsletter No. 149

Issue Number 149

April 19, 2016

Spoiled for Choice?: If you aren’t already joined up, it’s worth considering linking to our local Facebook Page Houghton Valley and Hornsey Road 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 more 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

Newsletter No. 148

Issue Number 148

April 5, 2016

Indian summer gathering: The local Neighbours’ 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 pm. 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 that 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 pm the only time the hall is available. Please contact Julie 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. (no attachment)

Cheers, Norman, Ken and other contributors

Newsletter No. 147

Issue Number 147

March 22, 2016

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 AGM at 7.00pm tonight at the school.

Nearly there: Jo from the Houghton Valley Playcentre 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 our Facebook Group for an offer of cocoa husks for mulch.

Cheers, Norman and contributors

Newsletter No. 146

No date, 2016

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. (no attachment)

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 and 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 am Tuesdays, come in for a free trial session. Enquiries Julie.

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 Association, 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’s 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, 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

Newsletter No. 145

No date, 2016

Rapid Response: Barely had Natasha posted details on our Facebook Group 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!

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 Houghton Valley 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

Newsletter No. 144

No date, 2016

Cafe de Houghton: The first Saturday coffee morning for this year is this Saturday at 11 am. 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.”

Houghton Valley 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: this 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 our Facebook Group that Peter whose house 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 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 Group there are some interesting new items posted this week.

muralLocal 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