Celebration a great success!

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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.

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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.

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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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GJ Gardner Clean Up Week

September is always a difficult month to recruit volunteers for messy activities. However, we managed to get a valiant group of volunteers together to clean up some of the rubbish around Riverpark Reserve yesterday (Monday 9 September) in spite of the terrible weather forecast. The weight of the rubbish collected was 160kg, which is a great result. The photo shows some of our volunteers together with the collected rubbish.

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Gilles, Nicole and Monique next to the pile of collected rubbish

Te Wai o Pareira River Care meeting

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Report by O A Mills

On 27 February 2019, Ivan and I attended a meeting at Te Atatu Peninsula Community Centre. The meeting was called by the newly formed Te Wai o Pareira River Care Group, a group of residents concerned with pollution in Henderson Creek (Te Wai O Pareira) headed by Chris Ballantyne.

It was appropriate to attend both as a member of the Riverpark Action Group and as a resident who resides on the banks of the Huruhuru Creek which flows into Te Wai o Pareira.

The purpose of the meeting was twofold;  1 – to gain an insight into which local authorities were responsible for the wellbeing of the waterways including Te Wai o Pareira and the tributaries surrounding and feeding into it, and 2 – the organising group wished to gain an idea of the level of support for their group.

Local authorities were well represented; local board members, local councillors, Watercare, SwimSafe, Healthy Waters and Community Waitakere were in attendance and spoke to the subject.

One positive outcome for me was the clarification around who we can call to report incidences of pollution. This useful information is provided below.

  • Stormwater pollution including pollutions being discharged into creeks and streams and air pollution including smoke from fires or odours and dust from building sites and quarries are to be reported to the Pollution Hotline 09 377 3107, this is a 24 hour hotline.
  • To report waste on a beach or park, illegal dumping contact Auckland Council on 09 3010101.
  • To report sewer overflows or faults with the water wains supply contact Watercare Services on 09 442 2222 (Press 1) or free text 3130.
  • To report oil or pollution at sea contact the Harbourmaster on 09 3620397 (Press 1).

The next steps for the Group are to convert interest into action. Future future plans include volunteer water testing and river monitoring, arranging river clean ups, being a strong voice to network and liaise with the authorities, bring the history of the area to life and identify and research contaminated sites. Our group already does some water-testing of the Lower Swanson Stream, which runs behind the location of the Woodside Community Garden.

It was good to make contact with Chris Burton (Community Waitakere – Team Leader Project Twin Streams) who along with his team are visiting the Lower Swanson Stream regularly to check on the breeding ground of the Inanga and his team will meet us at Woodside Community Garden on 23 March to give us an insight into their work.

Since the meeting I have kept in touch with Chris Ballantyne and pledged to support as time and resources permit – I am sure we all agree with Chris “the authorities can’t do it on their own.  The river needs advocacy, and needs guardians.”

To contact the Te Wai o Pareira River Care group, please email info@rivercaregroup.org

Riverpark Reserve playground consultation

Update to this story here

Great news! The consultation process has started. You can complete the survey online here up until 10pm on October 7: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/upgrades-riverpark-reserve/Pages/default.aspx

There will also be the opportunity to meet with Auckland Council staff in person onsite at the existing playground location on Thursday 27 September from 2pm -4pm. Our liaison person is Lucy Ullrich and the designer will also be there so we’re hoping lots of people will come along with their ideas to discuss what can be done. The playground has slowly been shrinking over the years so we’re very excited about finally managing to persuade people that we deserve an upgrade. We are also keen to get fitness stations installed and are working with the Lions Henderson-West Auckland to see how that funding can be obtained. You will notice that there are some questions about fitness stations in the survey. The more positive the responses to these questions, the better support we will have to lend to our funding application. Please have your say!

Riverpark Playground Upgrade