Progress on resolving future hall management

The Pukerua Bay School Board of Trustees (BoT) and the Pukerua Bay Residents Association (PBRA) have met to discuss the future management of our local hall, in an attempt to find a way forward.

We met last Thursday night (22 November) to discuss options for how the hall committee might be involved in the future management of the hall and what role they might have.

The Board outlined its responsibilities as the property manager, and its obligation to develop a policy that reflects those responsibilities and is consistent with the Ministry of Education’s and legal requirements.

The hall committee described the strong feeling of attachment that many people in the community have to the hall, which they have developed over many years of children attending the school, and the hall being the centre of many community events over the past 45 years.

The two groups agreed that everyone in the community shares a guardianship role over the hall and that a relationship between the hall committee and Board should build on that.

We spent quite a bit of time clearing up differences in the interpretation of events in the past 15 months and acknowledged that we could have communicated better over that time.

The administration of the booking system remains a sticking point for the hall committee. They would like to explore other options that reflect their expectations and that would be acceptable to the Board while addressing the Board’s concerns and legal liabilities.

There is genuine goodwill between the two groups to find a way forward. A smaller group of us will continue to meet to find some agreements we can take to the wider group for ratification.

Those present at the meeting were all the members of the BoT, the new school principal Chris Els, deputy principal Andrew Wooster, the Hall Committee and PBRA chair Iain MacLean.

Conor Twyford (BoT) & Iain MacLean (PBRA)

Good turnout for beach clean up

Bags of rubbish collected from beach

A good turnout of locals and friends netted many bags of rubbish from the beach to the south of Pukerua Bay this morning.

The clean up was organised by the Sustainable Coastlines group (thanks Ben, Oliver and the rest of the crew), with the support of Kathmandu.

Around 30 people started from the pou at 10am and heading along towards Wairaka Rock with bags and a determination to strip the beach clear of rubbish.

The group got almost halfway along the coast to Hongoeka and brought back all the rubbish they found, apart from a very long, heavy plastic pipe and a large sheet of plastic that they couldn’t manage along with all the bags. But they did manage to bring back a large plastic float, which took two people to carry.

A lot of the rubbish was small pieces of plastic, often mixed in with the seaweed near the waterline – hard to see, but if you took your time, you could find a lot of it. There were a lot of bottle caps, small wrappers, pieces of string or rope and lids of all sorts. The pieces might seem too small to bother with, but small pieces are the right size for fish and seabirds to try to eat, and therefore dangerous.

Most of it appeared to have washed up on the beach, rather than being dropped there, but it all comes from somewhere – washed down a stormwater drain or blown into the sea from somewhere – so it’s a good reminder that it is just as important to pick up the small pieces of litter as the big pieces.

Well done everyone, and thanks for all the hard work.

Photo of girl signing sheet of paper Signing in before heading out
Photo of gloved hand and piece of green plastic rubbish Some of the pieces of plastic were very small and hard to see
Photo of gloved hand picking up large piece of orange plastic conduit pipe Some of the larger pieces were very obvious
Photo inside bag showing mixture of rubbish Bags filled up quickly with all sizes of rubbish
Photo of two people carrying bags of rubbish by some rocks
Coming back with the booty
Photo of some bags of rubbish, including large plastic items Just some of the rubbish collected
Photo of people sitting on grass and seats eating food The workers enjoying a tasty lunch laid on by the organisers

Repairs starting on SH1 footpath next week

Fantastic news! Repairs will start on the retaining wall under the footpath on State Highway 1 between the shops and pedestrian bridge next week. The footpath will be closed during this time, and you’ll have to go around it (along Te Motu Rd and Rawhiti Road, or cut through the school).

We received the following media statement from Porirua City Council yesterday:

Pukerua Bay work underway

A section of footpath in Pukerua Bay will be closed for six weeks, starting next week, due to retaining wall work.

General Manager City Infrastructure Mike Evans says the work is scheduled to start on Wednesday 21 November.

“Work will be done on the footpath just south of the pedestrian overpass at Pukerua Bay (between the shops at Pukerua Bay and Te Kura Road) and the footpath will be closed while the work is being carried out.

“For safety reasons, pedestrians will not be able to access the footpath and will need to use the Rawhiti Road overbridge instead.

“The contractor will put up signs and barriers, and we are advising cyclists and pedestrians to be cautious when they are in the area and use the overbridge when they are travelling between the shops at Pukerua Bay and Te Kura Road. During this time, the road shoulder will also be closed, so cyclists are also advised to use the overbridge.

The work is weather dependent but is expected to take around six weeks. “We appreciate everyone’s patience while the work is being carried out,” says Mr Evans.

We will issue main updates through the Pukerua Bay Residents Association and the Porirua City Facebook channels and on poriruacity.govt.nz/pukerua-bay-works.

It was thought the speed limit was going to be reduced, but Capital Journeys has told us that isn’t going to happen.

2018 Annual Report of the chair

This has been a very productive year for the Residents Association. The He Ara Pukerua heritage group has installed information boards at heritage sites, the community garden and food forest has plants in the ground, and we have supported a number of community activities. Unfortunately, the year’s achievements were marred by a dispute with the school Board of Trustees over the management of the hall. Continue reading “2018 Annual Report of the chair”

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/