2014 Residents’ Association AGM minutes

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 7.30 pm
Pukerua Bay Community Hall

Present

Committee members: Iain MacLean, Kate Dreaver, Pauline Morse, Geert van de Vorstenbosch, Ted Coats, Dagmar Pesendorfer, Tia Beaufort

Porirua City Council: Bronwyn Kropp, Anita Baker, Euon Murrell, Peter Bailey.

Community members: Ralph Johnson, Ara Swanney, Pamela Gerrish-Nunn, Gay Hay, Jenny Wrightson, Chris Paice, Jenny Dawson, Karen Apperley, Tony Quayle, Mack Morum, Pauline Morum, Jonathan Harker, Janice Rodenburg, Paul Clegg, Tainui Salzmann.

Apologies: Gill England, Bill Inge, June Penhey, Jonathan Jull
Continue reading “2014 Residents’ Association AGM minutes”

Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association — 2015 Annual Report of the Chair

This year the committee continued to focus its activities on initiatives contained in the Village Plan.

Village planning

Our Village Plan guides much of the work we do in the community, bringing in support and funding from Porirua City Council (PCC) for our projects. This year our priorities with PCC were: the Muri Reserve community garden, road safety, and the Green and Gold trails.

We were very pleased when PCC confirmed its Village Plan 2015–2016 budget for Pukerua Bay would fund the community garden ($5,000), the Green and Gold Trails ($10,000), safety measures on Muri Road ($25,000) and the building of a foot bridge under the road bridge on State Highway 1 ($35,000). The last two items were unexpected and very welcome. Pedestrian safety on Muri Road was made worse in 2011 when the closure on the Muri railway station meant more people were walking on the road to and from the Pukerua Bay station in the dark. We have been asking PCC for years for safety measures on Muri Road, and are very pleased this will be done. In the absence of a safe pedestrian crossing across the main road by the shops, the bridge under the SH1 road bridge will provide a safe crossing option for people coming down Grey’s Road. These projects are expected to be completed by PCC this financial year (ending June 2016).

Unfortunately, one pedestrian safety project on which little progress has been made is the shared footpath and cycle track between the shops and Wairaka Road. We were expecting this to be done in the first half of 2015, and plans are ready for it. It has been held up at PCC by a lack of project management resources, and the Village Planning team is working to make progress on this for us.

The Green and Gold trails have been on hold for some time while we have focussed on other activities. However, the Te Araroa Trust has been funded this year to complete the trail along the escarpment and into Pukerua Bay, and we will work to connect this with the Green and Gold trails.

The resumption of work on the Te Araroa trail has changed our plans for part of our involvement in the trail. When Muri Station was closed, we were given the shelter on the northbound line for use in the community. KiwiRail moved it off the station and put it on a neighbour’s land, and we intended to use it as an shelter and interpretive centre along the trail. However, the Te Araroa Trust no longer needs it, and we now have to find an alternative use for it. Moving and renovating it will be expensive, and we have to decide on a suitable use for it.

We are currently considering a proposal from the Hall Committee to operate under the auspices of the Residents Association, rather than the school Board of Trustees. Our 2011 Village Plan includes support for the Hall Committee to improve the hall as a community resource.

Community garden

This has been the major project we worked on this year, with Jonathan Harker and Geert van de Vorstenbosch leading the work on it. There is a keen group of people wanted to get started on the garden, but we have to negotiate with PCC to get access to the site and the right to use it for a garden. It appears likely that we will be given a licence to use the site for a garden, and we hope to be able to start work on it early in 2016. We have, with PCC’s help, negotiated access along the Muri Station platform to get materials onto the site. PCC has bought the materials needed to build a bridge from the platform onto the site, and will build it once we have the licence to use the site. The next steps are to confirm with Greater Wellington Regional Council that we can take possession of the remaining shelter building on the platform.

Local government amalgamation

This has taken up quite a bit of our time in the past few years, and this year was no exception. The Local Government Commission issued its proposal for the Wellington region, which we responded to. We surveyed the Pukerua Bay community, and included the views we received in our written submission on the proposal. We also appeared before the Commission to support our submission. In general, we supported the proposal, which has been our view for some time, but with a number of reservations to protect the Village Planning process and our access to local representatives. Although it seemed likely that the proposal would not gain enough support in a referendum to succeed, we were disappointed that support for amalgamation was not tested through a referendum.

Neighbourhood support

Security around homes in Pukerua Bay come up as an issue at the end of 2014, with a number of burglaries in the village. Jonathan Harker organised for the Police to come to a community meeting to talk about Neighbourhood Support groups, and support people who wanted to set one up. The outcome of this meeting was that several streets (or sections of streets) now have Neighbourhood Support Groups established. If you are interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Support Group, please contact Senior Constable Simon Bygate (021 190 9637 simon.bygate@police.govt.nz).

Beach bash

Once again, we supported the Beach Bash in early January, paying for publicity materials and helping distribute them around the community. This is still a popular event, and we will continue to support it.

Road safety

This is an ongoing issue in Pukerua Bay, and we continue to look for opportunities to make it safer to travel through and around Pukerua Bay. As well as the initiatives funded through the Village Planning process, we are in communication with NZTA about safety at the southern end of the village. In particular, we want to reduce the speed of many vehicles entering town so they are travelling at the speed limit when they reach the Grey’s Road intersection. We have also had a proposal from a community member to improve pedestrian safety on Rawhiti Road outside the school, and we are pursuing that with PCC.

We are very pleased that work has started on building the Transmission Gully road. This community has fought hard for this for many years, and it will make travelling through Pukerua Bay much safer when it is completed.

The footbridge under the SH1 road bridge will also improve pedestrian safety, especially for people from Grey’s Road, Elizabeth Street and St Mary’s Estate.

Civil defence

The past 12 months have been relatively quiet for Civil Defence (this should be interpreted as a good thing!). There have been two events where Civil Defence was involved. In March the Porirua Emergency Response Team (PERT) carried out a citywide activation exercise. Many of the Civil Defence Centres (CDCs) around Porirua were activated for several hours to test the resources allocated for each CDC and communications with the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Members of the PERT team led the activation of many of the CDCs but some were staffed by either CDEM volunteers (those that have completed the basic training) and one was even run by members of the public. The Pukerua Bay CDC (Pukerua Bay School, Rawhiti Road) was opened and set up and communications with EOC were successfully established. The outcome was that most CDCs operated well and communications by and large are good.

The other event of note was the storm event of May 14th. The Porirua EOC was activated (without a Declaration) and PERT was again involved with manning communications at EOC and out in the field performing reconnaissance and sandbagging. Pukerua Bay was affected in the form of a sinkhole outside 4 Te Kura Rd, surface flooding and people not being able to get to work or get home due to flooding outside Pukerua Bay.

These types of events are good reminders for everyone to make sure their households are prepared to look after themselves if necessary. If you want more information on how to prepare your household have a look at the It’s Easy Prepared Households Edition (download a PDF copy here). If you’d like a hardcopy please feel free to get in touch with the Pukerua Bay Civil Defence Co-ordinators Geert van de Vorstenbosch (021 036 7606, geertvandevorstenbosch@gmail.com) or Robyn Moore (022 652 8608, robyn@j.co.nz). Please also feel free to contact either one of them if you are interested in joining the Pukerua Bay Community Response Team or PERT.

Submissions to councils and other authorities

We made a submission to PCC’s Long Term Plan for 2015–2025, in which we encouraged the Council to make greater use of partnerships with community and groups, such as schools, to achieve their objectives. We also supported a gradual move to balancing the books, rather than a rapid balancing, which could reduce services.

We also submitted on the proposal to restructure local government in the Wellington region, and appeared at the hearings run by the Local Government Commission to explain our views.

We would encourage everyone in the community who is interested in the plans of local councils to review their proposals and make submissions on them, as residents can influence decisions, and councillors appreciate know what people’s view are — it helps them make their decisions.

Working bees

We have run a couple of these to weed the garden at the intersection of SH1 and Wairaka Road, which have been sparsely attended by residents. Our latest attempt raised the issue of traffic safety when working next to the state highway, and we are now working with PCC to put in place a process that will allow us to have larger numbers of people working safely close to the state highway. This could result in greater involvement by the Council in these events.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank the committee members — June Penhey, Jonathan Harker, Geert van de Vorstenbosch, Pauline Morse, Kate Dreaver and Dagmar Pesendorfer — for their contribution this year. We hope to recruit some more members this year, as that will allow us to achieve more things for the community.

I also want to thank Porirua City Council for the support they give us. We have good relationships with the Northern Ward councillors (particularly Bronwyn Kropp who is our PCC Liaison Councillor who attends most of our monthly Committee meetings) and officers — particularly those in the Village Planning Programme — and their support allows us to achieve the goals established in our Village Plan. I also want to thank Regional Councillor Jenny Brash for her continued interest in what we are doing.

Iain MacLean, Chairperson
3 November 2015

Muri Reserve consultation results

The results are in from the Residents’ Association community consultation about the Muri Reserve. Great news – 82% of respondents support a community food forest garden in the reserve! Respondents were also in support of building a board-walk across the wetland to join the two halves of the natural zone, using the amenity area as a venue for events such as summer cushion concerts, and a formed path around the edge to connect Sea Vista Drive with the Muri station platform.

The survey questions are listed here in descending order of support.

Q3. Would you support a board-walk across the wetland to join the two halves of the natural zone?

92% Yes

Q6. Do you support a community garden or food forest in the reserve?

82% Yes

Q5. Should people be able to use the amenity area as a venue for events, such as summer cushion concerts?

82% Yes

Q4. Would you use picnic or resting areas in the natural zone if the walking access was better?

72% Yes

Q2. Do you want a formed path around the edge of the amenity zone to connect Sea Vista Drive with the Muri station platform?

62% Yes

Q1. Do you want better, easier walking access to the reserve from Sea Vista Drive, such as a formed path on the existing track?

58% Yes

Q7. Would you like to see a memorial garden in the reserve?

66% No

Q8. Would you or your children use a children’s BMX track in the reserve?

71% No

Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association – 2014 Annual Report of the Chair

This year the committee has focussed its efforts in the environment and recreation area, and has worked with local authorities and other groups to support local residents and the community.

Village Planning

This remains the centre of much of the work we do for the community. Our priorities under Porirua City Council’s Village Planning programme for this year have been the community garden, the Green and Gold trails, and the shared cycle way/footpath between the shops and Wairaka Road.

A keen group of local residents has come together, led by Jonathan Harker, to establish a community garden in Pukerua Bay. Their preference is to establish a “food forest” – a permaculture-style garden. The likely site of this is on Muri Reserve, and its establishment relies on the Residents’ Association making progress on its wider plan for developing the reserve.

We have made less progress on the Green and Gold Trails than we had hoped to make, largely because of the lack of time committee members have had to dedicate to it. Before he left Pukerua Bay, our former chair, Pat Hanley, worked with the other parties to make some progress on the information that would be on the posts at the significant sites. The Te Araroa Trust has not finished the walkway between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay, and this will be integrated with the Green and Gold Trails when it reaches the Bay. Despite its slow progress, this remains a priority for the Residents’ Association.

The shared cycle way/footpath between the shops and Wairaka Road is awaiting approval from NZTA, and is now expected to be built early next year.

We were very pleased with the improvements PCC made to the playground at the skate park. Pukerua Bay is well-served by playgrounds, and we now have two recently refurbished playgrounds for local children.

Muri Reserve Development

Developing Muri Reserve into a more accessible recreation area is one of the projects identified in our 2011 Village Plan. Part of the reserve is used by walkers and as a children’s play area and dog exercise area, however, much of it is inaccessible and not used by locals. It has potential as a soft recreation area, with paths and rest areas. It is the preferred site for a community garden/food forest, and has ecological values that need protecting. We are currently consulting the community on what activities would be suitable there, and intend to make more progress on that in the coming year.

Northern Growth Area Structure Plan

This is a long-term plan PCC has to allow development in the northern parts of Porirua, including possible residential development immediately to the south of Pukerua Bay. Any development would depend on commercial developers being interested in the sites and would not happen until the Transmission Gully road opens, but it does potentially have impacts on Pukerua Bay, and we will monitor any possible changes in this area.

Environment

A member of our committee, Ted Coats, represents land owners on the Significant Vegetation Consultative Group that was established as a result of the backlash to PCC’s proposal last year to impose tough obligations on land owners with significant vegetation on their properties. PCC is developing a policy on significant vegetation, and we will continue to watch this issue as it could affect many Pukerua Bay landowners.

We are working with PCC on a proposal to give residents choices on how street trees are pruned in the Bay. We are in the early stages of this, and will be developing a consultation method with PCC. This could be a trial for how other communities in Porirua decide how they want street trees maintained.

We were very pleased to see the success Pukerua Bay School had in its Tag Free Kiwi anti-graffiti programme this year. This came about following discussions we had with PCC on how to eliminate graffiti at the skate park, and saw artists working with the school children to develop their own community art and drama, including a new mural at the skate park. Graffiti has been a persistent and expensive problem at the skate park since it was rebuilt, and programmes like this can help to reduce the amount of graffiti in the community. This is a good example of how we can use our networks to be a catalyst for other groups in the community to work together.

This past year has been a bumper year for native tree fruits, and has led to a jump in the local rat population. We have developed a proposal to install rat bait stations across Pukerua Bay to reduce the rat population, and protect the native birds whose populations are increasing. This is being rolled out now.

Submissions To Councils And Other Authorities

The Committee has made a number of submissions on various proposals or represented the community at forums. These included:

  • Draft Local Alcohol Policy for Porirua – we argued for flexibility in the policy so communities could find solutions that suit that community.
  • Place-making events organised by PCC for making the central city area more attractive.

Boxing Day Beach Bash

The committee continued its support for the Boxing Day “Beach Bash” on the foreshore. This was an even more successful community event than last year, and we will continue our support for it.

Civil Defence

This has been an uneventful year for emergencies. As part of its work to build neighbourliness and connectedness in the community, the Pukerua Bay Civil Defence team contributed to the Boxing Day Beach Bash and promoted Neighbours Day. The team is concerned with the changes to regional Civil Defence arrangements that see volunteer groups finding it more difficult to get essential things like safety equipment and advanced first aid training. The local team and the Residents’ Association are concerned that the responsibility for paying for these items appears to have shifted to local volunteer groups, which makes them more difficult to obtain. We are lucky we have a keen group of local resident volunteers, led by Robyn Moore and Geert van de Vorstenbosch, who contribute their time to ensuring the community is prepared for natural disasters and emergencies.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank the members of the executive committee – Ted Coats, June Penhey, Gill England, Kate Dreaver, Geert van de Vorstenbosch, Dagmar Pesendorfer, Pauline Morse, Robyn Moore and Tia Beaufort – for their work this year. In particular, I want to thank the members who are standing down – Ted Coats and Gill England – for their contributions. The committee’s success depends on the members’ efforts and the support we get from other people who help us in our work on behalf of the community. These include Jonathan Harker, Tony Jackman, Margaret Blair, Gay Hay, Cath Pearson and the members of the Civil Defence team.

I want to thank the Porirua City and Greater Wellington Regional Councillors and staff we work closely with. We are grateful for the support we get from the Northern Ward Councillors (Tim Sheppard, Euon Murrell, Anita Baker and Bronwyn Kropp), PCC’s Village Planning Manager Ian Barlow, GWRC Councillor Jenny Brash, and Bill Inge and Richard Witheford-Smith from Porirua City Council. We have very good relationships with them, and they always support our work and the Pukerua Bay community. We greatly value the assistance – in both time and funding – we get from PCC through the Village Planning Programme.

Iain MacLean, Chairperson
18 November 2014

Muri Reserve consultation

Muri Reserve Development Plan with map of Muri Reserve

The Pukerua Bay Residents’ Association is after your ideas for how Muri Reserve can be developed so more of us can use this wonderful space in the heart of Pukerua Bay.

You can complete a survey online.

Map of Muri Reserve.
Map of Muri Reserve.

Muri Reserve is a peaceful spot about two hectares in area, which sits between Muri Road, Sea Vista Drive and the old Muri railway station.

It is in two distinct zones. To the west is a large, flat, grassed, “amenity” zone that is surrounded with planting and has views of the hills and sea. The eastern side is an undeveloped, sloping, “natural” zone that includes a wetland, which feeds into Haunui Stream.

The PCC web site has information about the reserve and the restrictions on its use. These two zones are managed differently by PCC and it has different objectives for them. It wants to encourage casual recreation and natural play opportunities in the amenity zone, raise awareness of heritage values, and protect ecological values in the natural zone.

Muri Reserve is part of a popular walking circuit around Pukerua Bay, but access from Sea Vista Drive is down a steep slope. Access directly off Muri Road is very difficult as the ground is very steep in one area. There is good access onto the two zones from the Muri Station platform.

The community identified Muri Reserve in the 2011 Pukerua Bay Village Plan as an area that could be used more for recreation. Suggestions from the community for the reserve included:

  • Further planting with native plants
  • Continued use of the amenity zone as a dog exercise area (dogs can be exercised there at any time)
  • Recreational activities, such as sport areas, picnic area, barbecue, playground, BMX track for young children
  • A board-walk across the wetland to connect the two halves of the natural zone
  • Community garden/heritage orchard
  • Memorial garden
  • Event venue (e.g. cushion concerts)

Community garden/food forest

There is strong support for a community garden or orchard on Muri Reserve. There is a keen group of local people wanting to develop one on the flat area at the eastern side of the reserve, behind the houses at the end of Muri Road. Access to this would be via the old railway station platform.

The group is currently studying whether the site is suitable for a “food forest”. See more information on Pukerua Bay Community Garden here.

Survey

We’ve created an online survey regarding Muri Reserve you can use to give us your suggestions.

Please give us your suggestions by the end of October.

We’ll let you know what ideas people had and what the next steps will be after that.

Thank you for your suggestions.

For more information, contact Iain MacLean at iain@maclean.name, 239 9237 or 027 420 3056.

Minutes from the garden planning meeting

Thanks to those who attended the meeting last Thursday! I’m sorry I’ve left it so late but here are the minutes from the meeting.

There was a lot of lively discussion, and some of the ideas and suggestions follow:

  • A Pukerua Bay garden tour fundraiser event
  • Learn from the Island Bay Community Garden – watch the NZ documentary, Gardening With Soul (see below for the trailer)
  • Allotments produce vegetables quickly, while the food-forest take a few years to establish.
  • Allotments also provide social opportunities
  • All sorts of opportunities to involve the school
  • Start the orchard trees off in the school shade-house and get the kids involved early
  • A school trip to learn from Raumati School’s garden project
  • Use produce from the food forest in school lunches
  • Beehives
  • Heritage varieties – educational opportunities
  • Growing mushrooms in sawdust, logs, compost
  • Erosion and sediment control plan, if we do any earthworks (e.g. building swales)
  • Use the PKB Traders Facebook page

Expertise

Amongst the group here we have: gardening, beekeeping, manual labour, web and graphic design, signwriting, building, and a structural engineer, and probably all sorts of other skills I’m not aware of…!

Actions

  1. There is a “field trip” this Sunday 11 May for anyone keen – we’re going to look at Pauline’s excellent garden at 10am and then go and have a look at the proposed site in Muri Reserve (see map). I’m hoping we can get Richard and/or Tim from Innermost Gardens (Majoribanks Street, Wellington) to come along and help us with ideas.
  2. It’s great to have the RA behind the garden scheme, and it’s part of the village plan. Iain is going to follow up with getting the required official permission from Porirua City Council. This will probably involve some paperwork – some of which will come under the RA banner.
  3. Iain is also going to set up the gardens email list – more about that soon.
  4. Create an A4 poster for the dairy & school notice boards, school shade house, and something to go in the school newsletter.
  5. If we wanted to we could set about getting the long grass on the site under control with a team of mowers and weed-trimmers at any time, without the council’s permission.
  6. Also worth noting there is a Residents Association meeting on Tuesday 13 May for those interested.