New Chairperson takes the reins…

After 10 years, Jacqui Ross stood down as Chairperson of the Riverpark Action Group at their last meeting on 30 June 2020. She had been the Chairperson of the group since its inception in April 2010. Olga Mills, a member of the committee for a number of years, was elected unopposed to the position. Olga is already well known in the area and is also the Treasurer of the Massey Birdwood Settlers Association. Nicole Te Wake was re-elected as Treasurer/Secretary, a role that she has held since 2010. Selina Chan resigned from the committee at the same meeting but will continue to volunteer at Woodside Community Garden. Jacqui remains on the committee and continues to support Woodside Community Garden in the role of joint coordinator, which she shares with Nicole Te Wake. The photo below shows members of the Riverpark Action Group at the Riverpark Reserve playground opening. Incoming Chairperson Olga Mills is at the right of the photo.

Left to right – Nicole Te Wake, Monique Bowring-O’Brien, Jacqui Ross, Olga Mills

Deputation to Henderson-Massey Local Board – Tuesday 16 June 2020

On Tuesday 16 June 2020, Chairperson Jacqui Ross, presented to the Henderson-Massey Local Board by skype. There were 3 main items on our list as below and we only had 8 minutes for the presentation.

  • Riverpark Reserve playground upgrade complete – thanks and future planning
    • Toilet, water fountain, fale/shelter
    • Te reo Māori name for Riverpark Reserve – suggestion that “Taikato” be incorporated as original name was Taikato Domain
  • Riverpark Reserve – Lincoln Scout Hall – removal plans
    • Request for path and water supply to be preserved
  • Pedestrian crossing for Don Buck Road
    • Support requested – Auckland Transport currently investigating

The presentation went well and we received acknowledgements of support from board members. Matt Grey has offered his support. We will continue to work on these initiatives.

Presentation available to view.

Neighbours Day Aotearoa – garden ramble @ Woodside


The original Neighbours Day/Ecofest West event scheduled for 28 March had to be cancelled due to the introduction of the Level 4 lockdown. So, we were delighted when we found out that there was support from Community Waitakere/Henderson Massey Local Board, for us to hold the event later. They had previously awarded us a grant of $150.00 in support. So, we decided to go ahead with our Garden Ramble on Saturday 27 June and welcome visitors to Woodside Community Garden.

The weather forecast was for thunderstorms but we were fortunate that the rain fizzled out and the sun appeared soon after the event started at 10am. Delicious refreshments were provided and free seedlings available for visitors to take home.


Although there were fewer visitors than usual, those who did attend were very interested in the garden and orchard. Our approach to composting and production of compost teas stimulated discussion. The pile of sea grass also attracted our visitors.


As it’s now winter, many of our seedlings are being nurtured under plastic bottles. These also protect the seedlings from slugs and snails. One benefit of winter that we are all enjoying is that we don’t need to water the garden anymore…our water tank is on holiday!



Garden ramble – Saturday 27 June


The Massey Garden Ramble, scheduled for March, had to be cancelled due to the Level 4 lockdown. However, we have decided to run an event for our garden as we’d like the chance to welcome visitors to the garden and community orchard. We’d like to thank Community Waitakere/Henderson-Massey Local Board for Neighbours Day funding of $150.00, which is helping us to run the event.

Walk down the long driveway next to the sign, across a large field and the garden is behind the large trees. Wear gumboots or other sturdy shoes.,+Massey,+Auckland+0614/@-36.8573608,174.6122618,18.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x6d0d4023e185c2a5:0xa467fea84a0e8ada!8m2!3d-36.8572389!4d174.6131074

Playground closed – COVID-19


Now that we are at Level 4, all playgrounds are closed including the one at Riverpark Reserve because the COVID-19 virus can remain on surfaces for up to 72 hours. We know that this will be a huge blow to the kids in our area but it’s absolutely vital that they do not use the play equipment during the lockdown period. The fitness stations and flying fox are also out of bounds and no one should be sitting on the seats either.

Auckland Council provided only one sign (see photo above) and we saw that children were still playing on the equipment after installation last Wednesday. So, we decided to create a few more signs so that it was clearer that the playground was closed. Olga did a fantastic job of including the Unite against COVID-19 logo on the sign and we used a large X to make it even clearer.


We hope that the additional signs will help to warn people who have not heard about the playgrounds being closed.

One of our garden volunteers and neighbour Gilles, had a small amount of “Danger” tape so he donated this to us so that we could put it around the flying fox seat.


We also put tape around the fitness stations. If anyone has more tape similar to this, please feel free to add more… We didn’t have enough to put any more.

Celebration a great success!


Everyone had a great time at the long-awaited celebration for the playground upgrade at Riverpark Reserve yesterday. Families enjoyed the sausage sizzle and facepainting and children made the most of the improved playground and flying fox. People of various ages tried out the fitness stations. There was also the opportunity to try out zumba and 3 members of the Riverpark Action Group did their best to encourage others to participate. The cloudy weather meant we didn’t have to worry as much as usual about getting sunburnt!

Four  members of the Riverpark Action Group were present (Nicole, Olga, Monique and Jacqui) but unfortunately Selina and Roy were not able to make it on the day.

Riverpark Action Group

Left to right – Nicole Te Wake, Monique O’Brien-Bowring, Jacqui Ross, Olga Mills. Absent – Selina Chan, Roy Chalmers

Will Flavell (left-hand side below) from the Henderson-Massey Local Board acted as MC and local kaumatua Reverend Papa Fred Holloway (right-hand side below) blessed the playground with prayer and karakia. We would like to thank them both very much and Auckland Council staff member Genieve for organising the event.

In addition to Will Flavell, three other members of the Henderson-Massey Local Board (Ingrid Papau, Brenda Brady, Brooke Loader and Peter Chan) came to celebrate with us. Shane Henderson was also there to mark the day in his new role as newly elected Waitakere Ward councillor for Auckland. Each Henderson-Massey Local Board member said a few words and Shane Henderson made a speech.


Left to right – Reverend Papa Fred Holloway and Henderson-Massey Local Board members Brenda Brady, Peter Chan, Brooke Loader, Will Flavell, Shane Henderson and Ingrid Papau

Jacqui Ross, Chairperson of the Riverpark Action Group also spoke on behalf of the group. This was followed by the cutting of the ribbon by Jacqui Ross with the assistance of two local children.


Left to right – Shane Henderson (Auckland Council), Jacqui Ross (Riverpark Action Group), WIll Flavell (Henderson-Massey Local Board) and Brooke Loader (Henderson-Massey Local Board)

The photos below show people enjoying the day and the improved playground and flying fox…

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We would like to give our very sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this project including the following people/organisations;

  • Henderson-Massey Local Board – funding and support
  • Auckland Council project managers – Tracey Hodder, Lucy Ullrich, Greer Clark
  • Lions Club Henderson-West Auckland – for working with us to get funding for the fitness stations
  • The Trusts Community Foundation – for funding the application by the Lions Club Henderson-West Auckland to allow purchase of the fitness stations
  • All members of the community who participated in the consultation process and provided ideas and support for the project
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Riverpark Reserve playground complete!


The playground was completed in the middle of winter, when the park was very boggy, so we are still waiting for the official opening to happen which is now scheduled for Saturday 29 February. The increase in numbers of people coming to the playground has been really wonderful to see with families bringing picnics and other activities like volleyball to the park.


The basket swing has been a great hit with teens as well as younger children.


The flying fox isn’t as challenging as some would like but has been a great hit with the younger kids and the string has already had to be replaced once due to the high usage. We did have to ask for the seat to be raised early on when we realised that even intermediate-aged children were skimming the ground when using it.


The fitness stations are growing in popularity and even though our group is very disappointed that our name did not appear on the signage, we know that we played a major part in getting these here and the main thing is that we managed to get the funding and get them installed for the use of our community. Thanks again to the Lions Henderson-West Auckland for agreeing to help us with the application and to The Trusts Community Foundation for funding these.


Update on safe pedestrian crossing for Don Buck Road

After hearing nothing back from Auckland Transport in May 2019 as they had promised, we continued to ask for a pedestrian crossing and/or signage to be investigated by putting requests through the Auckland Transport web portal. This proved fruitless so we sent an email directly to Auckland Transport CEO Shane Ellison on 1 November asking him to forward our request to someone who would take some action.

This was successful and resulted in an email being sent to us with a new case number on 4 November and on 17 December we received an update stating that an investigation has been initiated and we should get a resolution by April 2020. Can’t wait!!!

Further update on this story…

We received a letter from Auckland Transport in February saying that they had realised further investigation was warranted and they would get back to us in 6 months. We realise that this may be somewhat delayed due to the lockdown but will follow up in August to see what is happening.

Our Chairperson, Jacqui Ross, also presented to the Henderson-Massey Local Board by skype on Tuesday 16 June and this project was included in the presentation. We last asked for their support in 2017 and at that time, there wasn’t as much interest. However, it was a different story last week and Matt Grey in particular has expressed interest in helping we we have sent through the latest information to him in the hope that he will be able to assist in progressing this.

Read the back story here…and please participate in our poll!