Coastal erosion workshop

We had an interesting session this afternoon with coastal researchers, Jim Dahm and Bronwen Gibberd, who are working for Porirua City Council to get information about coastal hazards and erosion, and starting to prepare long-term plans to prevent them getting worse.

We had a small turnout (about 10 locals), but they were mostly people who had lived at the beach for many years and could tell the researchers a lot about the beach and how it has changed over the decades. Continue reading “Coastal erosion workshop”

Community garden progressing well

It’s been a busy month in the community garden — we’ve had three working bees and made a lot of progress.

Today we finished the first phase of planting in the garden for this year. So far, we have:

  • planted feijoa trees between part of the garden and the neighbours as a screen that will also produce delicious fruit
  • planted all the fruit trees — apples, pears, nashis and plums
  • planted the support trees around the fruit trees to provide protection and to help fix nitrogen in the soil for plant growth
  • mulched around all the trees to keep down weeds and help the soil retain water over the driest part of the year.

We still have to put in some wind breaks by the trees to protect them from the wind that comes from the northwest, which can be pretty strong at times. Of course, we’ll need to keep the grass down, but we’ve got a scythe and some keen users so we can do it without disturbing the neighbours with noisy machinery. Spring and summer will be busy with making sure the trees are OK, and well watered during the dry season. Fortunately, the council installed a tap for us when they built the access onto the site, so we have a permanent and reliable water supply.

We also have to start planting the smaller support plants, which will help accumulate minerals for the trees and build up the soil health, and we’d also like to get some berry plants in there, too. We’re trying to follow permaculture principles to create an ecosystem that has a wide range of plants, soil biota and insects that all support each other.

It looks like we have got more funding from Porirua City Council under their Village Planning programme again this year, so we’ll be able to do more planting over the next 12 months. We’ll look at establishing a different range of plants from the pipfruit trees we’ve planted so far — perhaps more stone fruit, or maybe some citrus. We can’t wait!

Coastal hazards and resilience community workshops

Porirua City Council is running workshops on coastal hazards, which includes the erosion the Pukerua Bay beach is suffering. They sent us the following information. If you’re interested in this, head along to St Marks, Rawhiti Road, Saturday 11 August, 2pm–4pm.

As part of the District Plan review, we [PCC] have engaged the Focus Resource Management Group to help us understand the coastal hazard risk in Porirua.  Principal members Jim Dahm and Bronwen Gibberd have a great deal of experience with the assessment and management of coastal hazards in New Zealand, and a long history of consultation with communities. Utilising their experience and local knowledge from those living next to the coast, we are now seeking to engage with those affected by coastal hazards in Porirua.

We will be running a coastal hazard seminar series to provide information about the coastal hazards and provide opportunity for the community to discuss the work in more detail with coastal hazards experts as well as Council staff. We are keen to talk directly with affected residents, and with other members of the community who have an interest. Through robust research and engagement with the community, we hope to ensure that the District Plan assists in building resilience to our coastal hazards.

Coastal hazards community workshops:

Plimmerton School: Saturday 11 August 10.00am – 12.00pm

St Marks Church Pukerua Bay: Saturday 11 August 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Titahi Bay School: Sunday 12 August 10.00am – 12.00pm

Paremata Boating Club: Sunday 12 August 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Pāuatahanui School: Sunday 12 August 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Local knowledge and views are essential to building a thorough understanding of coastal hazards in Porirua. We are interested in changes anywhere on the Porirua Coast and Harbour. Any information you can provide will be helpful and appreciated including:

  • any observed shoreline changes over the last 50-100 years.
  • how your property or the local coast been affected by erosion or flooding.
  • any old photos, early descriptions, old maps, etc.
  • any information on past coastal storms and their impacts (e.g. photos or observations of erosion damage and sea flooding).
  • people or groups who may have useful information (e.g. long-term residents, local historians).

For more information please see the PCC website – https://poriruacity.govt.nz/your-council/city-planning-and-reporting/district-plan/coastal-hazards/

Marking out the garden

Today a small, keen group worked in the community garden to prepare for our working bee tomorrow to get ready for planting the fruit trees arriving this month.

The community garden is really a ‘food forest’ that will eventually include a wonderful mixture of fruit trees, berries, herbs and support trees that will grow into a self-sustaining ecosystem. We’re developing it following permaculture principles to create a diverse and integrated system that is rich in plant, insect and microbe life, and recycles nutrients and doesn’t need many inputs from us. Continue reading “Marking out the garden”

Penguin signs go up in the Bay

Penguins could be one step safer at Pukerua Bay, with a new sign providing tips and information to visitors. Little penguins or kororā are occasionally seen and heard by residents at Pukerua Bay beach. Kororā usually come ashore in the evening and return to the sea in the morning. But when they are breeding or moulting they stay on land all the time. As their name suggests, they are tiny at around 33 centimetres long, and as they are flightless, they can easily be attacked by dogs.

penguin_kids

Children from Pukerua Bay School joined Councillor Dale Williams and local residents to celebrate this initiative on Thursday 14 June. The children planted around the sign and placed hand-painted penguins nearby.

penguin_sign

Designed by Pukerua Bay resident Anne Johnston, the sign has been adapted from a sign placed at Paekakariki by the Kāpiti Coast Biodiversity Project. The Pukerua Bay sign was created with support from the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust, the Department of Conservation, the Kāpiti Coast Biodiversity Project, Porirua City Council and the Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association.

 

New highway pedestrian cross by shops

This Sunday night, 10 June, NZTA contractors will start building a crossing by the shops that pedestrians can use to get across the highway.

This is a proposal NZTA brought to the Residents Association over 18 months ago, and it’s finally being built!

As you can see in the picture, it is at the end of the car park, opposite Reds.

There is a 2.5m wide refuge in the middle of the road where pedestrians can stand, with rails on either side of the refuge, and 4m long islands running north and south.

The work will start 7pm Sunday night, and go until 5:30am. Night work will be spread over five nights, with some finishing work during the day, There will be stop/go traffic management in place during the work.

Once it’s built, vehicles will still be able to turn left out of the car park to go north, but won’t be able to turn right to go south from the toilet end of the car park. We’ll also have to get used to the refuge being in the middle of the road when turning right into Teihaha Road.

We’re pretty pleased, after many years of lobbying, to finally get some sort of safe crossing. It might not be perfect, but it’s better than the nothing we have at the moment!