September 2012 Newsletter

  • Monitoring sedimentation and run-off
  • Crimson Walkway
  • Heritage Protection Area to public ownership
  • Long Bay Development update
  • Living Legends Planting Day

How we value your continued support. We have been having a much quieter year than previous years, with the development that we wished to contain (we could never prevent it all) well underway.

However, we continue to take a great interest in the development, particularly monitoring such aspects as sedimentation and run-off issues. Bernard Stanley and others continue to take turbidity readings both above and below the development and Bernard talks about this further in this newsletter. We continue to be concerned about the adequacy of monitoring as required by the consent conditions. To this end, we have organized a meeting with a member of the Research Investigations and Monitoring Unit of the Auckland Council to be updated on how the Council’s monitoring plan is progressing and is being implemented. The meeting is to be held on Thursday 13 September, starting at 6.30 pm in the community rooms of the Local Board office at Browns Bay. Several members of the Society and the general public have expressed to us their concerns about the effects of run-off, especially after substantial rain, so we believe this is an issue that the membership wishes be take an active interest in. The meeting will be open to the public, andyou are encouraged to come to hear what is happening in regards to the monitoring of the development, and to bring any concerns you may have.

Kind regards
Chris Bettany

Crimson Walkway

As has been mentioned in a previous newsletter, the Society was delighted to learn that the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board allocated $15,000.00 in its last annual plan for a feasibility study to develop a Crimson Walkway linking the northern end of Long Bay to Okura. This idea was mooted about fifteen years ago by the then North Shore City Council and strongly supportedby our Society which has included recommendations for this in our submissions to the previous North Shore City and Auckland Regional Councils and to the Hibiscus and Bays
Board and Auckland Council. We see this as fitting within the Society’s original objective of enlarging the Long Bay Regional Park.

We are pleased to tell you that a Project Plan for the Crimson Walkway is currently being prepared by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and it is hoped that it will be ready for presentation to the Facilities and Reserves Committee of the Local Board by the end of the month. If approved, this will be an initial step only, and a feasibility study will then need to be undertaken. At this point, we do not know what involvement the Society will have, but we continue to support the concept.

Heritage Protection Area to public ownership

I was thrilled but surprised to be advised by a reporterof the North Shore Times last month that the Heritage Protection Area, the land which you all hadso successfully fought so hard to protect from development through the Environmental Court, was to be transferred to public ownership. We already knew of this decision which was made by the outgoing North Shore City Council, but we did not know when this would occur. Early advice had been that it would occur over a year ago, but the process became more drawn out with the demise of the North Shore Council and the formation of the new Auckland Council. At present, the land remains in the hands of the developer until certain processes, eg, survey, development of a management plan etc, have been completed. While the article in the North Shore Times is technically correct, it is misleading in that it infers that the transfer has occurred. It is anticipated that this will not occur until at least towards the end of this year. We will continue to advocate that acquisition for both the land and the two farm houses within it happens as soon as possible. And when it does, it will be cause for a grand celebration!

Next general meeting

You may have noted that for a rare time over the past ten or so years, the newsletter is not headed with a notice of our next general meeting to which any member of the
public is invited, indeed, welcomed. While we are in a quiet period with little to report other than what is in the newsletter, we have decided to cancel the September general meeting. Instead, members are invited to attend the first half-hour to hour of our regular executive meeting to share any issues, suggestions, questions or concerns they may have.

Generally, the executive committee meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month, but as this date conflicts with the monitoring consultation meeting, the executive meeting will be held at 7.00 pm on Tuesday 18 September at the Vaughan Park Retreat, 1043 Beach Road, Long Bay. Our next general meeting will be the end of year Christmas meeting, Thursday 29 November at the Browns Bay Community Centre, 2 Glen Road, Browns Bay where we can celebrate our achievements for the year. By then we should have further information about monitoring progress on the Long Bay Structure Plan and what role the Society might play in developing the Crimson Walkway. I hope many of you can make it to make it an enjoyable evening.

Long Bay Development update

The Long Bay site continues to be a hive of activity with the finishing touches being made to the Stage I development.

The Beach Road Extension giving access to the site has been completed to the top of the ridge and the bridge over the Awaruku Stream opened to site traffic. A small traffic island has been installed at the entry to the Beach Road Extension. Access roads from the Beach Road extension have also been completed and lamp standards are now appearing on the terraced landscape which will carry the building platforms.

Construction of the Awaruku waste water tunnel continues with a small pumping station having been built in the eastern corner of the site adjacent to Beach Road. Some tidying up earthworks are continuing at the top of the ridge.

We have been informed that the first sections should be on sale later this year with timing of Stage II of the development depending on market response to Stage I.

The extensive planting of the redeveloped Awaruku Wetland is making impressive growth and the first pair of mallards (with its clutch of six ducklings) has taken up residence on the ox-bow lake. We continue to be concerned with the heavy loading of suspended silt fines continuously flowing into the Marine Reserve via the Awaruku Stream. However, as this is outside the requirements of the Environment court decision and Resource consent, we are virtually powerless in seeking redress.

Bernard Stanley
Deputy Convenor

Living Legends Planting Day

Congratulations to members who responded to our appeal to participate in the Living Legends Planting Day in the Vaughan Wetland within the Long Bay Regional Park last month. Despite extremely boggy conditions resulting from the overnight violent electrical storm, approximately 200 stout-hearted souls from the Society, rugby clubs and other community groups planted a total of 4,300 wetland species in two hours – an absolutely stupendous effort. The planting was followed by a very convivial BBQ hosted by the Park rangers. All in all, a wonderful community event.

Although separate from the future urban development in the Vaughan catchment since it is already part of the Regional Park, the redeveloped wetland will play a vital role in mitigating pollution of the Vaughan Stream by run-off from the development. It will also provide enhanced habitat for native flora and flora.

Subscriptions – and an apology

We owe some members an apology. Some of you who had paid your subscription for the year received a reminder notice on your last newsletter that your subscription was due. This was of course incorrect. Unfortunately, we had a glitch in our computer data base, and the mistake was not detected before the newsletter went out. We have corrected this now, and hopefully, this will not happen again. We are sorry for any confusion and inconvenience this may have caused.

Our subscription year runs parallel to the calendaryear so subscriptions paid during the year are counted as covering the year inwhich they are paid (with leeway for payment in December). In spite of several recommendations from members that the price be increased we have deliberately kept our subscription fee at $10.00 per annum so that it remains affordable for as many as possible. Of course we always welcome donations if one thinks the fee is too low!!

Download print version LBOGPS September 2012 newsletter [234KB PDF]