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Raising the Creek in Houghton Valley

October 9, 2013

Many people may not realise that Houghton Valley is  part of the Eastern Ward. Tucked in on our beautiful South Coast, it is in fact a very special community, with strong  social networks and residents that are  advancing some exciting and innovative resilience initiatives.

I had the privilege last Sunday of joining in a Sunday working bee at the lush community gardens, and hearing about some of their latest ventures; not only the community gardens themselves, but regular film evenings, and plans to do much more including restoring the bush around the playing fields, and raising the Creek that still flows under the old landfill site.

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The landfill has been an ongoing concern. It was one of the first in Wellington, and was not set up to modern standards. Hence when it rains, water soaks through the  landfill site, picking up contaminants; and the resulting leachate which smells strongly of petrol/oils or perhaps solvents, arrives at Houghton Bay beach, and eventually ends up in the marine reserve.

The photo below was taken during Conservation week, when we were collecting rubbish from around the beach and noticed the smell. An email sent to Greater Wellington resulted in a visit by an environmental officer who agreed with our concerns. Current measures don’t seem to be sufficient to completely deal to the problem- but it may be that raising the Creek could  be part of an eventual solution.

The Council has recently done some policy work on Water Sensitive Urban Design- the  environmental reference group of which I am co-chair noted that the documents so far focus on flat land, and that better and more innovative storm water management solutions are needed for hilly areas such as Houghton Valley.

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From → Community, Resilience

One Comment
  1. Norman permalink

    Hi Sarah, defining who we are is a ‘work in progress’ but the descriptor which has emerged for the area is Houghton Valley. Houghton Bay is the beach and immediate hinterland, about 100 or so houses, Houghton Valley includes the View and Buckley Rd ridges and beyond that as well, several hundred all up. Regards, Norman

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