WCC Engagement

Sarah Free visited the Houghton Valley Community Gardens in 2013, just before she was elected as Ward Councillor for Wellington City Council. It was there that she first learnt about the Lifting the Creek project. She published a post on her blog about the visit.

Sarah managed to get the WCC staff interested in the project and in August 2014 they asked the Houghton Valley Progressive Association to hold a public meeting to discuss initiatives to eliminate pollution in the Bay from the old tip and lift the creek that currently flows through a pipe under it. As well as 35 locals, Sarah Free, Paul Eagle and four Council staff  also attended. The Council infrastructure director outlined a partnership proposal that would see the community join with staff to work on the feasibility study (using a landfill fund of about $35,000), to be completed by the end of the year.

Later, 10 locals met with Council Staff to agree on a vision, and to produce a high level investigation brief. Once that was done the Council engaged Cardno Consultants to evaluate and develop the proposed remediation. The idea was that the work would be completed in time for the results to be integrated into the Council’s long-term plan. At another meeting at the community garden Cardno Consultants presented a detailed plan for Lifting the Creek.

After one more meeting where we asked about the progress of the project getting into the Long term Plan, the whole thing went quiet. It obviously didn’t get in, and it wasn’t until a long time later that we heard that there were at least two other landfills with a higher priority.

However, in a recent chat with Sarah Free, she said the only thing on her ‘to do’ list that she created back in 2013 that she hadn’t achieved was the Lifting the Creek project. So she may still be keen to see it through, even though she hinted that an entire clean-up of the coast, including Owhiro bay and Moa Point really needed to be addressed.