Hi folks, it’s really happening! Let’s all catch up tomorrow at 10 am (see event details) and meet and greet. We have our garden plan (PDF) to work from, and we need to mark out where the things will go, who has access to what resources, and what we can get started with first.
Things to do
The council have already mown and mulched the site for us, so that’s the first thing done from the list of tasks in the plan. Likely candidates for things we can start doing are:
- Construct the composting station. There’s a nice easy way to build this out of used pallets.
- Construct some initial allotment beds: 3-4 raised beds, 1.2 – 3 metres, over winter, ready for spring planting. Sleeper timbers or similar (driftwood?) required.
- Minor earthworks, to cut 20-30 cm swale steps along contours in places. I think we’ll need a bobcat for this, or it’s a large amount of manual spade labour. We may be able to engage the council here.
- Plant nursery trees (tagasaste, lavender) to improve the soil, fix nitrogen and shelter later tree plantings.
- Plant some of the orchard tree species that are tolerant of wind and poor soil (feijoa, bamboo, apple varieties “Irish Peach” and “Priscilla”).
We are currently investigating the option to move one of the old shelter buildings from the closed Muri Station onto the site, to use as the potting/tool shed, and the council are willing to provide a water tank for garden and Civil Defence use.
Things to bring
- Gumboots (required),
- enthusiasm (required), and optionally:
- measuring tape,
- a spade,
- pencil and paper,
- any plants you’d like to donate; at this stage we only envisage planting Tagasaste (Cytisus proliferus), Lavender (Lavendula dentata), or Feijoa (Acca sellowiana), and
- if someone could bring a drone so we can get a top-down photograph, that would be super-fantastic and help with mapping and plotting.
Join us in celebrating the new METLINK station shelter (funded and installed by GWRC), and heritage signs at the Pukerua Bay Railway Station on Saturday the 27th of May at 10am. Mayor Mike Tana will present and open the archway and reveal the new Heritage Sign on the platform. All Pukerua Bay residents and visitors are warmly invited to attend.
For further details about the event, please click here.
Background: The Pukerua Bay Residents Association has worked tirelessly in partnership with Porirua City Council to provide a beautiful new wooden archway and historical information sign.
The timbers used in this sign and the others to be installed, come from the Airlie Road over-bridge which was originally built in 1937 and demolished in 2010.
We invite you to share your memories, memorabilia or materials relating to Pukerua Bay. These will complete the research that has been done so the final map can be drawn. Please contact Margaret Blair on 021 1373 263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autumn is definitely with us now – longer, cooler nights means that rats and mice are looking for warmer lodgings. It’s a great time to check your roof cavities and out-buildings for signs of rats and mice and place traps accordingly. We had great success at our house just by moving our trap into the garden shed (previously, it was just outside by the shed door): we caught a mouse and a rat that very night! We have also heard of others putting a little bit of bait at the tunnel entrance as a lure, which has been successful.
March and April’s 2017’s reported catches
March and April’s catch numbers continue to increase.
Total reported catches since 12 November 2016: 262 rats; 375 mice; 10 mustelids (all in the Scientific Reserve); and 32 hedgehogs.
Welcome on board to our newest trappers! At the end of April, we have 102 properties involved in Predator-free Pukerua Bay (about 14 percent of all Pukerua Bay properties). All of the original 90 traps/tunnels provided by the Department of Conservation have now been sponsored – what a great effort from the community! …
Good news! There is now sensible access along the Muri Station platform and a new gate into our new community garden / food forest area on Muri Reserve. The council have provided us with a mains water connection and have mown and mulched the grass on the site ready for planting.
We would like to run an opening and working bee this weekend. There’s plenty to do, and there is an initial list of jobs in our short term annual garden plan. Any and all donations of time, materials, tools or required professional services will be gratefully received.
Iif you are interested in participating please get in touch with the RA secretary via the Contact Us page!
I updated our website’s theme, so it’s a bit nicer to look at, and works better with phones and tablets. The banner image is a photo I took of Pukerua Bay from the air one morning in October 2015, from the Wellington Aero Club Piper MBG (pilot: Chris Forbes). Enjoy!
We have confirmed planting dates for Sunday May 28th, June 25th and July 30th beginning at 9.30am.
It has been a while, perhaps too long; but although it may look like nothing has happened in the last year or two, your intrepid Residents’ Association has navigated a long and complex journey on your behalf, so that we can now, legally, finally, begin our planned community food forest!
Porirua City Council are building vehicle access this month to the community food forest site on Muri Reserve. The access will go from the end of Muri Road, along the station platform, and across the ditch to a new gate in the fence, as shown in yellow on the map.
Getting the green light
To legally establish the community food forest, and to set it up to continue indefinitely as a community-stewarded project, required several things.
Firstly, we needed an organisation to take responsibility for stewarding the project, and maintaining its links to and engagement with the community. Initial discussions were around establishing a charitable trust, but the constitutional principles of the Residents’ Association to act and liaise on behalf of Pukerua Bay community projects was a natural fit.
Second, we needed a licence to garden on the Muri Reserve site from the Porirua City Council. Although this was more straightforward at the beginning, the process got a bit bogged down because of the Muri Reserve site boundary with the KiwiRail main trunk corridor. The licence was further complicated by the fact that the site is on reserve land, governed by The Reserves Act 1977, which requires more regulations and careful considerations of liability than would otherwise be the case. However, in June 2016, Te Komiti approved our application for the issuing of a licence for gardening, and this agreement has now been signed.
Thirdly, we needed to sign a scary-looking legal access agreement with KiwiRail for the vehicle access, which runs alongside the closed Muri Station platform. This arose from the gardening licence negotiations with council, and involved quite a lot of to-and-fro, and a good amount of persistence on our behalf from council staff. However this agreement is now signed and in place, and work to build the vehicle access will be commencing this month.
We also needed to lodge our shorter-term annual garden plan for the community food forest with the council parks department for approval, which is also happening this week. This is to ensure that we are adhering to local by-laws and so on, and not doing anything silly like planting convolvulus, or having a bonfire. (No, we can’t ever have bonfires on Muri Reserve land. Sorry.)
And finally, we needed to agree to pay public liability insurance. This is fairly standard nowadays unfortunately, due to changes in legislation around work safety, occupational health, ACC, local government liability and so on. The RA is now up for an annual insurance bill of a few hundred dollars a year to cover this, and would appreciate any fund-raising ideas or efforts from willing enthusiastic residents!
If you’re still reading this, well done; even more excruciating detail is available in the RA minutes, which you can browse here.