Riverpark Reserve playground – it’s happening!

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The physical works for the playground are progessing well now that the drainage work has been completed. We’ve been impressed to see people working even on Queen’s Birthday when the weather was very poor. It was great to see the play equipment installed and will be even more exciting when the swings are attached. The contractors are doing their best to look after the grass as instructed by Auckland Council.

See previous stories about this project here

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Greer, our contact at Auckland Council, tells us that the flying fox is very quick to install (one day) so we’re looking forward to seeing that going in. They had to shave a little soil off where this is going to be located and we can’t yet see where it’s going to end but from the plans, it was very close to the playground.

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The spaces for the fitness stations and the seating are currently just designated by the orange mesh fencing but will be installed soon.

 

Drainage costs for this project are very high and we’ve been interested to see that being done. Lots of hosing and a digger was required…

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The digger!

 

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9 July 2019 update

The fitness stations have now been installed so things are going well. Members of our group have already tested them out so you can blame us for the dirty footprints. These fitness stations were funded by The Trusts Community Foundation through a successful grant application by The Lions Club Henderson-West Auckland. Our group worked in partnership with the Lions on this proposal for the benefit of our community.

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Fundraising for water tank support

 

 

 

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The materials for the water tank stand for Woodside Community Garden have cost $827 to date. We were very fortunate to receive a  Humming Gardens Grant of $500 but were left with a shortfall of $327 which cleaned out our bank account. So, we decided to try raising some funds by having a car boot sale. An interesting array of donated goods came our way courtesy of Riverpark Action Group/Woodside Community Garden volunteers and their family members. Our first market was the Night Market at Church of the Good Shepherd in Moire Road Massey on Saturday 4 May. This was followed by the Swanson Station Sunday Market the following morning. We raised $391 in total which was a great result. Riverpark Action Group members Olga, Nicole and Jacqui enjoyed the experience and it was a great way to earn some funds for the garden while also doing a bit of decluttering at home. Grateful thanks go to Bridgestone Kumeu/Westgate, who kindly sponsored our group by paying the car boot charges for each venue and provided the transportation for our goods.

Read about the water tank support construction on the Woodside Garden site…

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Safe pedestrian crossing for Don Buck Road please!

The Swanson Road/Universal Drive/Don Buck Road roundabout is infamous in the area for being dangerous for drivers (Google maps link to location). We previously discussed this in 2013 on this blog and it is also one of the notoriously unsafe roundabouts featured by Greater Auckland on their site here. A pedestrian island (or refuge!) is provided for pedestrians to cross Don Buck Road between the roundabout and Glen Road here. However, when the traffic is flowing, it is very difficult for people to get across. Those of us who need to cross the road during peak hours pray for gridlock so that we can safely get across. Young children often wait for long periods before someone will slow down enough for them to get safely across.

There are a number of schools in the immediate area (Birdwood Primary School, Ranui Primary School, Waitakere College). Massey High School students catch buses from this location so need to cross the road to the bus stops. Other people catching buses or the train also need to cross this road. There are also two businesses located here; a dairy (Lower Don Buck Road) and a takeaway business (Smith and Wong’s). Both rely on local customers, many of whom arrive on foot.

We have approached Auckland Transport in regard to getting a pedestrian crossing here and had a negative response so decided to ask the Henderson-Massey Local Board if they would consider working with Auckland Transport to see if it was possible to build a pedestrian crossing. This proposal was taken to the HMLB meeting on19 September 2017. At the same meeting, it was announced that a pedestrian crossing would be built on Rathgar Road to enable pedestrians to cross safely to the takeaway/dairy on that street.

We want to point out that it is not the fault of car drivers that it is difficult for pedestrians to cross Don Buck Road. In the morning, the main traffic is from cars coming down the Don Buck Road hill and drivers are often unaware of pedestrians waiting to cross to the pedestrian island until they get too close and then it is too late for them to slow down  as the driver following them may not slow in time, thus resulting in a crash.

Our preferred option is to convert the current island to a formal pedestrian crossing with appropriate signage and lighting. However, in the meantime, we have put a request in to Auckland Transport that they install signage to let drivers know that a pedestrian island is coming up and that they should slow down, .e.g. “Slow down, people crossing”. We hope this request will be successful and that we will see such signage installed soon since this is a low cost option. Of course we still hope for a safer solution to be at least considered, i.e. a full pedestrian crossing, which we don’t think has really happened yet. We have heard back from Auckland Transport that they are investigating this issue and will get back to us with some news in May! Watch this space for updates and in the meantime, please give us your views on this topic by participating in our poll!

 

Garden Planet now on air…

Riverpark Action Group member and Woodside Community Garden volunteer Selina has teamed up with fellow Woodside Community Garden volunteer Karyn to provide us all with garden tips and advice through their new radio show Garden Planet on Planet FM. They are keen to answer questions during their show, which runs on Wednesday afternoons and is also available afterwards as a podcast. It’s entertaining and informative. Check it out…

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Humming Gardens application successful!

We are delighted to report that our recent application to EcoMatters’ Humming Gardens Grant/Humingbird Coffee for funding for materials for the water tank support for Woodside Community Garden has been successful. Approval has been given for up to $500.00. We had originally estimated the costs for materials as being up to around $500 but due to the need to add additional supports, the total materials costs are likely to reach almost $1000 so we are very grateful to Hummingbird Coffee and EcoMatters Environment Trust for approving our application. Our group has no regular income and we earn funds through delivering the local Massey Matters Pulse newsletter as well as initiatives like sausage sizzles at Mitre 10. This is usually sufficient for regular expenses for the garden but not enough for this major project! Our skilled volunteers Mark and Gilles will be building the support and we will be posting photos here and on the Woodside Community Garden website as the build progresses. Thank you!

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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 upgrade

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We have an update on the playground upgrade. The landscaping should be starting next week (mid-May) and the play equipment (including a flying fox) is due to be installed in the first week of June. We are now allowed to share with you the final plan for the upgrade – shown above. We are so excited that it is finally happening. Let’s hope the weather stays fine so everything can go ahead as planned.

Please note that there may still be some changes to the design.

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Great news about the playground upgrade. The Henderson-Massey Local Board has approved the budget and the concept plan has already been created. The theme and colour scheme is intended to reflect the location as a foreshore reserve. The design hasn’t yet been finalised but we hope to see the final plan soon and if permitted, we will upload it here soon. There was a great response to the survey and this feedback has been used to inform the plan for the playground. Strong support was expressed for fitness stations.

Greer Clark has taken over from Lucy Ullrich as project manager as the project is now in its delivery phase. Greer has advised us that they are looking to install the playground equipment in May, a bit later than the March date we were hoping for but at least it’s happening. Apparently, it takes a while to deliver. The colour scheme for the equipment is blue and lime green.

Consultation survey report from Auckland Council

See the backstory to this project