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    • Amazing Grace 21/01/21
      • 21 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Thu, 21/01/2021 - 17:00 - 20:30 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  2 Total Volunteer Hours:  31 Amazing Grace (modified lifeboat)was used as a tow exercise for pre operational assessment training 1) crew briefed and were to develop an operations plan, this was reviewed by the crews of MR1/MR2. a final plan was approved by the 2 x masters. 2) Plan was completed, pre-event planning included taking mooring rings up to the poles, briefimg the owner, setting the rafting system up. 3) Olan was executed, not hazards developed that were not planned for, event completed with no errors. Vessel Details Length:  12.00m Resources Attendees:  Chris Darch CMFF Jason Hall sarge espi NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer warwick.bayne zanebublitz CRV's Used:  CRV Pelorus Mana Rescue 1
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • tuatara
      • -41.106919, 174.86166


    • Yacht with water pump issues and no wind
      • 15 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Sat, 16/01/2021 - 04:00 - 08:00 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  5 Total Volunteer Hours:  28 A yacht with a family on board (2 adults, 3 children) were motoring from Mana to Marlborough Sounds in light winds for a holiday when their water pump failed. Because there was no wind they were unable to make any headway sailing into the tide. MR1 was dispatched to to them home to Mana Marina. Vessel Details Length:  11.00m Resources Attendees:  Mobiinz CMFF Jake_Presling Jason Hall Mark Presling NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • tuatara
      • -41.0872, 174.735


    • Broken down runabout nestled in the rocks
      • 15 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Fri, 15/01/2021 - 22:45 - Sat, 16/01/2021 - 02:30 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  3 Total Volunteer Hours:  30 Coastguard Radio received a call from the wife/partner of a man who had managed to get a SMS message to her to say they (3 POB, including an 11 year old boy) had broken down and needed assistance from near Pukerua Bay. Vessel Details Length:  5.00m Resources Attendees:  Mobiinz CMFF Mark Presling Neil Cornwell Polarbear NZ Tuatara warwick.bayne zanebublitz CRV's Used:  Mana Rescue 1 read more
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • pukerua-bay
      • tuatara
      • -41.032865, 174.870096


    • Yacht needing assistance into marina
      • 7 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Fri, 01/01/2021 - 12:00 - Thu, 07/01/2021 - 14:50 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  4 Total Volunteer Hours:  1027 32ft yacht with motor issues, 2 pob (inc 2 small children) sailed back across Cook Strait but needed assistance to get into marina. Arranged a rendezvous time just inside north end of Mana Island. Once they got closer to the channel we took them under tow and brought them to their berth in Mana Marina. Vessel Details Length:  10.00m Resources Attendees:  CMFF GregoryJeames Katestewart Mark Presling NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer warwick.bayne CRV's Used:  Mana Rescue 1
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • tuatara
      • -41.077704, 174.804883


    • Overdue diver at Owhiro Bay
      • 5 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Wed, 30/12/2020 - 12:00 - 12:30 Operation Type:  SAROP Cat 1 People Assisted:  1 Total Volunteer Hours:  3 Whilst returning with a tow job to Plimmerton Boating Club we heard a mayday relay on CH16 from MOC advising vessels in the area of Owhiro Bay that there was a missing/overdue diver in the water, requesting assistance to search for them.  We contacted Police to see if they wanted our assistance to search the area. They requested us to respond to Owhiro Bay and we quickly returned to Mana Marina to take on more fuel and pick up some extra crew.  Whilst preparing to depart we were stood down because the diver was located on shore safe and well. Resources Attendees:  CMFF Mark Presling Neil Cornwell NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer warwick.bayne CRV's Used:  Mana Rescue 1
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • tuatara
      • -41.350195, 174.756742


    • Runabout with fuel/engine problems
      • 4 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Wed, 30/12/2020 - 15:00 - 16:30 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  3 Total Volunteer Hours:  9 Small runabout with 3 divers on board had fuel issues. Engine would idle but die under power. At anchor near shore. Towed back to Mana Marina (had launched between the bridges). Vessel Details Length:  4.00m Resources Attendees:  CMFF Mark Presling Neil Cornwell NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer warwick.bayne CRV's Used:  Mana Rescue 1
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • tuatara
      • -41.095794, 174.779915


    • Dinghy caught out by conditions
      • 4 Jan 2021
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Wed, 30/12/2020 - 14:00 - 15:00 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  2 Total Volunteer Hours:  6 Whilst having lunch we heard a radio call with MOC from a dinghy that had nearly capsized crossing from Titahi Bay to Mana Island due to wind increasing unexpectedly. They had lost their kayak, which they were carrying on the dinghy, and had decided to beach it at the ranger station on Mana Island to wait for the conditions to improve before returning. A couple of vessels found the kayak and radioed MOC with the details. One of the vessels recovered it and returned it to Mana Marina. Vessel Details Length:  3.00m Resources Attendees:  CMFF Mark Presling Neil Cornwell NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer warwick.bayne read more
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • titahi-bay
      • tuatara
      • -41.092655, 174.785714


    • Op White Lighning
      • 31 Dec 2020
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Thu, 31/12/2020 - 12:45 - 16:30 Operation Type:  CG Operation (good samaritan) People Assisted:  2 Total Volunteer Hours:  26 17" boat had gearbox problem, would not drive.Called CG for assistance. MR1 responded and located and recovered the vessel.Initial reports had location as Hunter Bank, Located at Tarapunga Shoal 4Nm to the North Vessel Details Length:  6.50m Resources Attendees:  CMFF GregoryJeames Jake espi NZ Tuatara Trevor Farmer warwick.bayne
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • tuatara
      • -40.88731, 174.804665


    • Kaitlyn reports from Conservation Volunteers New Zealand
      • 15 Dec 2020
      • Wellington Zoo
      • Kia ora I'm Kaitlyn Manu and I am one of the Zoo Keepers here at Wellington Zoo. Every year Zoo staff have the opportunity to take an extra week of paid leave to give back to a conservation organisation of their choosing.I have had the pleasure of spending two days of conservation leave with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ). 
      • Accepted from Wellington ZOO 2020 by feedreader
      • Automatically tagged as:
      • zoo
      • Wellington Zoological Gardens, Melrose Crescent, Melrose, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6023, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • Raising money, spatially
      • 7 Dec 2020
      • Wellington Scoop
      • Last week I attended another public meeting about the Draft Spatial Plan, this one organised by Inner City Wellington at St Peter’s on Willis Street. We heard speakers including our Mayor and Councillor Pannet. Through the murky fog of these last few months of public presentations, debates, zoom meetings, submissions, lobbying, etc, all is now crystal clear: It’s About The Money.
      • Accepted from Wellington Scoop features by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • dogs
      • wcc

    • Zoo Keeper Q & A
      • 10 Nov 2020
      • Wellington Zoo
      • Do you have what it takes to be a Zoo Keeper? We asked one of our Animal Care Team Leaders, Harmony Neale about her role at Wellington Zoo and how others can get into Zoo Keeping.
      • Accepted from Zoo news scraper by feedreader
      • Automatically tagged as:
      • zoo
      • Wellington Zoological Gardens, Melrose Crescent, Melrose, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6023, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • Joel and James report from Central Otago
      • 22 Oct 2020
      • Wellington Zoo
      • Every year the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund supports several Zoo staff members to assist fieldwork operations around the world. This year Reptile and Invertebrate Keepers, Joel and James have decided to focus their efforts on three species of reptile, the Grand Skink, Otago Skink and Jewelled Gecko found in the wild of Central Otago.
      • Accepted from Wellington ZOO 2020 by feedreader
      • Automatically tagged as:
      • zoo
      • Wellington Zoological Gardens, Melrose Crescent, Melrose, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6023, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • Titahi Bay Dinghy Capsize
      • 20 Oct 2020
      • Coastguard Mana
      • Operation Details Date/Time:  Fri, 16/10/2020 - 21:00 - Sat, 17/10/2020 - 00:30 Operation Type:  SAROP Cat 1 People Assisted:  1 Total Volunteer Hours:  35 Vessel Details Length:  3.00m Resources Attendees:  Devine CMFF Weedoogie Jake_Presling Jason Hall Katestewart Mark Presling Neil Cornwell Polarbear NZ Tuatara CRV's Used:  CRV Pelorus Attachments Image:  read more
      • Accepted from Coastguard Mana news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • titahi-bay
      • tuatara
      • -41.107291, 174.818514


    • September 2020 Residents’ Association meeting minutes
      • 6 Oct 2020
      • Pukerua Bay Residents Association
      • Tuesday, September 8, 2020Pukerua Bay RSA, 5-7 Wairaka Road Present: Paul FitzGerald (Chair), Nikky Winchester (Secretary), Iain MacLean, Kate Dreaver, Pauline Morum, Jonathan Harker, Margaret Blair, Mel Galletly, Bill Jackson, Nathan Waddle (PCC), Josh Trlin (PCC)Community: Glenda Robb, Whetu Bennett ( WREMO), Moira Lawler, Sara Thomson, Pat Hanley, Alan Clarke, Gillian CandlerApologies: June Penhey, Jenny Brash (GWRC)Approval of previous minutes: moved Iain MacLean, seconded Kate Dreaver, none opposed, carried. Penguin survey Glenda Robb from the Kapiti Coast Biodiversity Project explained that they have received funding to do surveys on little blue penguins in Pukerua Bay. September to December is their nesting time. They use two methods: on sandy beaches, they look for footprints in the sand early in the morning; or they use a specially-trained dog to sniff them out (this is particularly good on non-sandy beaches). Leaflets will be circulated along Ocean Parade, Beach Road and Hanui Road in the next week. There is also a trapping programme along the beach to remove predators such as rats and stoats. The hope is that a large enough population will be found that a programme can be put in place to protect them and ideally increase their numbers over time. The survey will take place in the next few weeks (weather dependent). There are groups elsewhere in the country doing similar work to protect their local korora populations. Gillian pointed out that the dog walking area on the beach is right by where there are penguin nests. Glenda suggested it may be worth lobbying PCC to make it a dog-free area, though it is difficult to get such a status. It was noted that there is still an ongoing problem of enforcement, which is not helped by the fact that there are no signs on the beach asking people to keep dogs on the leash. Action: Iain to contact Brent Tandy at DOC re signage.Action: Glenda to circulate link to a webcam in a nesting box in Paekakariki.Action: Committee to circulate flyers to other parts of the village in October with the AGM notices. Porirua City Council update Nathan explained that the District Plan was activated and is now available for people to feed back on by 20 November. PCC is approaching each Residents Association in the city to invite responses. Josh is on the Climate Change working group, which is looking at updating their terms of reference. The group currently has representatives from each of the GWRC councils plus Mana Whenua. Two big changes are being proposed: bringing in an accountability mechanism to ensure action and follow through; and providing capacity to have Mana Whenua representatives from all six iwi in the region. He noted that PCC is also starting to organise workshops for consultation on the Long Term Plan. Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) Whetu Bennett is the WREMO community resilience adviser in Porirua. He congratulated Pukerua Bay for our village’s response to the Covid-19 lockdown. Whetu focuses on high priority areas in the city (Whitby and Waitangirua) but is available to answer questions and provide support. He can run workshops on planning and preparing for emergencies, as well as earthquake drills. He helps PCC identify areas that they can assist with, and currently he is looking to find a location in Pukerua Bay for a new 25,000 litre water tank. There are already community water tanks at the school and the library. In case of a civil emergency, the local WREMO operations centre is in Elsdon. Emergency Assistance Centres provide support such as a nurse and social worker. However, it is likely to take at least eight days to get those set up. In the meantime, Pukerua Bay would need to be self-sufficient. Kate explained that there is a need to refresh the Civil Defence plan for the village. Whetu is happy to work with a local team to update it and also to help run a workshop to introduce residents to the updated plan. WebsiteAction: Kate/Iain/Paul/Jon to discuss edit requirements for Covid-19 page.Action: Paul to put a tshirt in the noticeboard to encourage sales.Action: Iain to talk to Archway Books about selling tote bags. Financial 00 AccountExpenses: $164.06 Surfers’ Seat $159.28 Muzzy – T-shirtsIncome: $76.70 Teas, cakes, plants at Community Garden Open Day $0.64 Interest 25 AccountIncome: $0.14 Interest Correspondence A message was received from Annette on 27 August regarding composting at the community garden. Paul has since talked to her. Progress on action items Action: Bill/Jon to discuss options for cloud storage.Action: Jon to add the information about the 25 memorials around the village to the RA website once Margaret has collected the information.Action:Pauline/Iain/Kate to continue investigating options for organising an art auction in November/December.Action: Margaret to remove Brian Sullivan and Pauline Morse as signatories from the PKBRA bank account as they are no longer committee members.Action: Margaret/Nikky to discuss the process for adding Nikky to the list of signatories.Action: Iain/Paul to ask PCC to send their monthly updates to secretary@ and chair@ and remove all other names from their mailing list.Action: Jon to ask Dave Pepperell about posting information on the website about the Surfers Seat event.Action: Margaret to organise the seat plaque for Ernie Amey and Kath Fowler.Action: Iain to look for name of DOC contact person re the installation of new signage about keeping dogs on a lead at the beach.Action: Bill to investigate possibility of recycling computer equipment. E-Waste Services have recently moved to 1 Prosser Street, 04 564 5464. They accept anything with a plug that is electronic. You can drop off or they will pick up. They also recycle polystyrene. Projects update Muri Platform building The updated lease is sitting in the Kiwirail office in Wellington Station and can’t be accessed until we move into Level 1 lockdown. The opening went well. However, some work is still required to fit the panels accurately. The event was led by representatives from Ngāti Toa who did a significant blessing of the community garden as well as the building. Thanks to Jane Comben for the design work and to Ted Coates for mowing and tidying up along the platform. The community garden group offered hot drinks and sausages, and there was also storytelling. Action: Margaret to provide appropriate details on the event to Jon for website. Village Plan review Kate met with Justine from PCC. While PCC are keen to help with our village planning review; however, with the pause on capital funding and the pause on the village planning programme, it may be difficult to get financial support from them. The Village Plan team need to write a brief explanation of the purpose of the village plan, and how we intend to engage with the community in an ongoing way over the coming decades. The hope is to still get some funding from PCC for the survey, but the timing for launching the survey will be delayed. Community centre Action: Iain to talk to the Diocese about their intentions for St Mark’s building. Annual General Meeting Date: Thursday 22 October, 7.30-9pm at the Community and School Hall. The School Newsletter is going out on 24 September. Action: Paul to ask school to include AGM notice and kororā survey leaflet in newsletter. Programme Glenda – penguin surveyGillian – litter surveyPlimmerton Farm developer?Friends of Taupo Swamp?Village Planning survey There was some discussion about whether to organise a supper. This depends on the Lockdown level at the time, so a decision will need to be made nearer to the date of the meeting. Proposed amendments to Rules There was some discussion about whether the RA should actively be advocating for local businesses. It was suggested that the Village Planning survey include a question, and that the Rules may be reconsidered after the survey has been completed. The other proposed changes were discussed. Action: Paul/Nikky to rewrite and present via email for approval by the Committee so the amendments can be circulated to the community at least 14 days before the AGM. Other business Action: Committee to read through the draft Committee handbook and discuss in more detail at the October meeting. Meeting ended: 9.54pmNext meeting: 13 October 2020 Appendix: Village Planning update from PCC He Are Pukerua The uncovering of the latest heritage panels last Saturday at the former Muri Station Southbound was a great time for celebrating and sharing the history of railways in Pukerua Bay. The research and writing the team has undertaken (especially Ashley and Margaret Blair) is an outstanding commitment to bring this heritage to the community. The final installation within the available remaining village planning budget for this project will be the wide format heritage station along Centennial Highway, celebrating the construction of the road. The structure is now in place and just needs the panels fixed to the frame later in the year. Ara Harakeke shared pathway extension After the success of widening the footpath from the shops to the overbridge, NZTA have asked if PCC could consider widening the section from Haunui Road to SH1 near Ted Coates’ house with 100% funding. PCC’s construction partner Mills & Albert are currently costing the proposal. When the costed proposal has been received, it has to be submitted to NZTA for their internal processes to evaluate and decide if it is a suitable project for funding. PCC will let us know when the costing is submitted. Community food forest It was great to see the renovations now underway again following the COVID 19 lockdown on the former northbound Muri Station building. Please keep all receipts for the materials, as they need to be submitted to Council before 31December for accounting purposes. Pukerua Bay community hub initiatives This project – which focuses on creating opportunities for community connections – has an operational budget allocation of $4,750 to support initial research and a local programme of activities. PCC are looking forward to working on this initiative in a way that aligns with broader village planning objectives.
      • Accepted from Pukerua Bay Residents Association feed by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • recycling
      • kapiti
      • porirua
      • penguins
      • consultation
      • covid-19
      • pukerua-bay
      • libraries

    • August 2020 Residents Association meeting minutes
      • 6 Sep 2020
      • Pukerua Bay Residents Association
      • Tuesday, August 11, 2020Pukerua Bay RSA, 5-7 Wairaka Road Present: Paul FitzGerald (Chair), Nikky Winchester (Secretary), Iain McLean, Kate Dreaver, June Penhey, Margaret Blair, Mel Galletly, Bill Jackson, Nathan Waddle (PCC)Community: Pat Hanley, Moira LawlerApologies: Pauline Morum, Jonathan Harker, Jenny Brash (GWRC)Approval of previous minutes: moved Iain McLean, seconded Bill Jackson, none opposed, carried. Porirua City Council update Nathan explained that the District Plan has been approved, and PCC is now taking feedback and submissions on it; it will go into action in early 2021. PCC is about to start running workshops on the Long Term Plan. A workshop is being held tomorrow with NZTA regarding the plans for revocation of SH1 and SH58 post-Transmission Gully. Matters arising Iain, Kate and Nikky met to discuss the Village Planning survey. Kate has since talked to PCC about whether they will pay for design, advertising and printing. The hope is to get the survey circulated soon, and to organise a drop-in session one Saturday at St Mark’s. The intention is to present the results at this year’s AGM. Financial $0.14 interest has been received this month. Correspondence No correspondence has been received. Progress on action items Action: Bill/Jon to discuss options for cloud storage. The Committee confirmed a strong preference to use a free public service, rather than a paid service. Action: Jon to add the information about the 25 memorials around the village to the RA website once Margaret has collected the information.Action:Jon and Pauline will meet as the new Fundraising committee, and present proposals to the Committee.Action:Pauline/Iain/Kate to continue investigating options for organising a silent art auction in November/December.Action:Margaret to remove Brian Sullivan and Pauline Morse as signatories from the PKBRA bank account as they are no longer committee members.Action: Margaret/Nikky to discuss the process for adding Nikky to the list of signatories.Action: Paul to write a proposal about amendments to the RA Constitution.Action: Iain/Paul to ask PCC to send their monthly updates to secretary@ and chair@ and remove all other names from their mailing list.Action: Jon to ask Dave Pepperell about posting information on the website about the Surfers Seat event.Action: Jon to create a page for He Ara Pukerua on the RA website.Action: Margaret to organise the seat plaque for Ernie Amey and Kath Fowler. Projects update Muri Platform building The signed lease papers have not yet been received back from Kiwirail confirming the lease. This should be in hand before the official launch event on 5 September. Action: Iain/Paul to follow up with Kiwirail. Food forest/community garden and He Ara Pukerua The Muri Station platform building and panels will be formally opened by the Mayor on Saturday 5 September at a launch commencing at 10.30am, followed up with tours around the food forest, where entertainment and refreshments will be available. Paul has asked PCC if the trees around the platform can be trimmed in advance of the event. Action: Jon to create a page on the RA website. Penguin survey Pauline Morum forwarded an email from Glenda Robb at the Kapiti Coast Biodiversity Project. A survey will be carried out in late September with a penguin dog, to track the local little blue penguins. Glenda has offered to do a brief talk at the September Committee meeting. Action: Paul to respond to Glenda and invite her to talk at the Committee meeting on 8 September.Action: Jon/Nikky to promote meeting/talk online.Action: Iain to look for name of DOC contact person re the installation of new signage about keeping dogs on a lead at the beach. Waste Free PKB Waste Free PKB’s collections have been extended to include metal beer bottle caps and wine bottle tops, metal jar lids, metal and plastic drink bottle tops, milk bottle caps, bread tags, can tabs, eyeglasses, facial skincare product packaging (plastic and glass containers plus lids, droppers and other complex closures), and writing instruments (including pens, felt tip pens, highlighters, markers, mechanical pencils and correction fluid – but not wooden pencils and chalk). This is in addition to the collections that have been in place since January 2019, which includes oral health products (toothbrushes, clean and empty toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers), AA and AAA batteries, and a number of different brands of coffee capsules. Action: Bill to investigate possibility of recycling computer equipment. AGM The AGM needs to be held in October, probably after the October committee meeting (scheduled for 13 October). It was suggested that Glenda Robb be asked to present the results of the penguin survey. Action: Paul to investigate a suitable date for using the School and Community Hall. Other business NZTA are keen to further extend Ara Harakeke; the next stage is from Pukerua Beach Road along SH1. A surveyor will be considering a possible route so as to avoid the slope and zigzag. Meeting ended: 8.25pmNext meeting: 8 September 2020
      • Accepted from Pukerua Bay Residents Association feed by tonytw1
      • Tagged as:
      • transmissiongully
      • recycling
      • kapiti
      • porirua
      • penguins
      • pukerua-bay

    • Plimmerton Farm: getting greenfields right
      • 28 Jun 2020
      • Talk Wellington
      • If we’re hellbent on doing more residential development in greenfields, what does “decent” look like in Plimmerton, hilly land near an existing suburb – like most of our region’s greenfields? This post is basically a guide for anyone who cares about Plimmerton, good urban development, or healthy wetlands, streams and coast, but is time-poor and can’t face going through the truckloads of documents they’ve stuck up without any specific meta-guidance (some FAQ are here). Hopefully this will help you pop in a submission! PCC’s “information” pages they suggest you use for submitting. Every one of these is a large PDF document, 90% written in technical language… aargh! The background: what where and how For those who don’t know, Plimmerton Farm’s a big proposed subdivision of hilly farmland draining into the significant Taupō Wetland and to Plimmerton Beach, just over the train line and highway from Plimmerton village (original Ngāti Toa name: Taupō). It’s going through a Streamlined Planning Process, a pre-COVID government scheme for accelerating development. The key step is the requisite change of the land’s zoning in the Porirua District Plan (“rural” zone to “residential” and other “urban” zones) that sets out what kind of stuff can then be built, where. It’s mostly streamlined because there’s just one shot for the public to have input on the plan change. One shot. Why submit? I was born and raised in Plimmerton, live here now, and intend to for the rest of my days. I’d love to see it grow, well. I would love Plimmerton to get more wallets, more hearts and minds, more faces (more diverse ones too!). But not with more traffic, and pointless damage to our environment. Right now, the proposal has some serious flaws which need sorting. I say Sorting because the changes won’t make it crazy innovative, just good enough for a development in the spot it is, being kicked off in 2020. Time matters too: there’a a bunch of good things happening imminently (and some bad Porirua trends that need to be reversed). I cover these in Get it right, below. It’s worth submitting because given the situation, a 1990s-grade development just won’t cut it. So what about Plimmerton Farm needs to change? It boils down to two themes: dial down the driveability and dial up the liveabilitymake Local the logical and easy choice for daily needs I’ll outline what needs to change in each. NOTE: There’s a third – don’t stuff the wetlands and streams. This is really important as Taupō Wetland is regionally significant, and all our streams and harbours have suffered from frankly shameful mismanagement of sediment from earthworks-heavy subdivisions like Aotea and Duck Creek, and from the earthworks-a-rama of Transmission Gully. Friends of Taupo Swamp have an excellent submission guide for you – add in some of their suggested bits to your submission. I: Dial down the driveability, dial up the liveability There aren’t many truly black-and-white things in life, but there’s one for towns: If a street is nice to drive in, it’ll be a crappy place to do anything else in (walk / eat / hang out / have a conversation / play / scoot or cycle / shop / have a pint). If it’s nice to do anything else in, it’ll be a crappy place to drive in. Mostly this is because of the nature of the automobile: big solid things that smash into our soft bodies if someone makes a mistake (75% odds of death if that’s at 50km/hour, 10% odds of death if at 30km/hour) big objects that need lots of space for manoeuvering and especially parking – which offstreet can be crazy expensive and push up the cost of a home, and onstreet hoover up valuable public space. big solid things driven by us real humans (for a while at least) who respond to the environment but also get distracted, and generally aren’t good at wielding these big solid things safely. The transport setup proposed for Plimmerton Farm makes for a much too driveable and poorly liveable place. 1. Narrow down all the roads. The current proposal’s roading setup has roads and streets that are too big, and there’s too much of them. Right sized roads for a liveable community The cross-sections for the roads include on-street parking and really wide lane widths. This is really gobsmacking for a consortium that talked a big talk about good practice. For all the reasons that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are good, this is bad. (And it’s especially nuts when you realise that the excessively wide “arterial” roads (11 metres!) will need earthworked platforms built for them where they’re drawn running up the sharp ridges and across the tops of gullies. Expensive, damaging for the environment, and … what were they thinking?) So recommended changes: NARROW DOWN THE ROADS. Seriously. Design all the living-area streets and roads, and the centre, to be self-explaining for an operating traffic speed of 30km or less – that’s the speed where mistakes are rarely fatal. What does that look like? The designers will know and if they don’t they should be fired. Narrower crossing distances; chicanes (great way to incorporate green infrastructure and trees and seating!); narrowed sight-lines (trees! sculpture!) so no-one driving feels inclined to zoom. Reduced trafficked lanes (rori iti on the larger roads!), with properly wide and friendly footpaths. Threshold treatments, humps, modal filters, all the things we know very well are the natural ways to slow us down when driving, and make streets nicer for people. The beauty of all this “restriction” on driving is how much it frees us up for making everything else appealing. Streets become hospitable for kids to walk, scoot, bike to school safely, using the road not the footpath. Older people and those with impairments can walk and wheelchair safely. Teens coming home from town of an evening can scoot or bike home, safely. Popping down to the shops or for a coffee or to the train becomes a pleasure to do on foot, or on a scooter or bike. And you’re moving in a legitimate way – seeing and being seen, not stuck off in the bush on a “recreational” track like what they’ve described. The ordinary streets and roads are walkable, bikeable, scootable, mobility-scootable, and perfectly driveable, equally safe and useable in all weathers and anytime of day or night. Used to be a big, fast road. Now, kids bike to school and old people can chill out on it. (Mark Kerrison) (And in case you’re worried about firetrucks / rubbish trucks / buses, recall that on even Wellington City’s far more winding, narrower hilly streets everyone gets their rubbish collected and fires fought just fine. On public transport, smaller buses, like those that community transport operators use, are the way of the future for less densely-populated areas like this). Don’t build the through and loop roads. You don’t need signs like this when the only people who bother to drive in are those who live there, or who are visiting friends, because you just have to drive out again the way you came. When it’s the place you live, you’re invested in not being a dick far more than if you’re just out for a drive – or worse, out for a bit of a boyrace hoon on a massive loop route through a whole place. So just don’t build those big connector roads that enable people to drive easily from one residential area to the next, especially the ones up in the hilltops (section C) that just say “come for a hoon!” Instead, connect the living spaces heavily with bikeable, walkable, scootable, disability-friendly streets and lanes, and as much as possible, only one way in and out for cars from each living area. II: Make local logical and easy Plimmerton is a true village, with a great little centre (including a train station!) but Plimmerton Farm is ultimately a damn big area. The way to go is to enable people to get the basics of life – like school, groceries, a coffee – with a little local trip on foot, bike or scooter – it’s more of a bother to get in the car. Right now though, it needs two changes: 1. Provide for a second centre “Bumping into” spaces are known to be crucial to a feeling of neighbourhood, and in the (initial) absence of third places (worship places, community hall, sports club, cafe/pub, a supermarket is a vital social centre. Yet the north end of Plimmerton Farm is currently a deadzone for anything except residential. What things will probably look like under current layout. Like in Edwards Scissorhands without the interest of a castle. There’s no provision for a place to do your household groceries, so people will drive to Mana New World – more car trips – and less opportunity to bump into people who live nearby. (There’ll be no school in Plimmerton Farm for a while, because Ministry of Education isn’t allowed by the Education Act to build a school somewhere until there’s a certain population density of kids to fill it. A shitty Catch-22 for developments which is hopefully going to be fixed … sometime. Just another reason to make walking, biking and scooting really kid-friendly, as extra dropoff traffic for kids going to St Theresa’s, Plimmerton School, Paremata and Pukerua Bay schools will be a nightmare.) So they should provide for an additional centre in the north, including a groceries place of some kind. 2. Intensify within walking distance of Plimmerton proper. We should intensify properly, with lots of medium and even some high density (6 storeys of nicely laid-out density done well!) in the area that’s within a 5-minute walk of Plimmerton Village. The more people can live and work with access to all its many amenities, and its rail station (10 min to Porirua, 30 min to Wellington), the better. But there’s not enough density provided for there. Plimmerton Railway station: buzzing in 1916 and has only got bigger. (Photo: Pātaka Porirua Museum) So they should add another zone – E – of higher density in that 5-minute walking catchment of Plimmerton Village. What could it look like? A good example is 3333 Main, Vancouver . Submission tips On the site they ask you to fill in a Word or PDF form, saying which specific bit of the gazillion proposals you are talking about and the specific changes you want. This is a BS way to treat the vast majority of people submitting: normal non-professionals, just regular people who care about good development and liveable places. So just don’t worry about that. In those question 6 column boxes just put “Transport” and “Layout”. It’s the professional planners’ job to figure out specifically how to change a planning document. Just be specific enough that they know what you want to see. The text above is worth copying and pasting – it’ll be enough. And don’t forget the Friends of Taupo Swamp and Catchment advice is essential – definitely go read and use. That’s all you really need – just go submit! But if you’re keen to know more reasons why they should be doing this better, here’s some… Get it right, now Once this plan change is through, traditional developers like Gillies like to whack in all the infrastructure – hello, massive earthworks. And yet the place will take decades to fill with actual people – those hearts and minds and wallets. (Note even before COVID, Porirua’s growth rate was 0.1% per year. Yep, one tenth of one percent.) And extra pressure’s on to do this better because all these things are features of the next one to three years: the One Network Road Classification (sets the design specs for roads of different types) is being updated right now to be more people-friendly in the specs for roads in residential and centre areas, so designs like Plimmerton Farm’s will soon be Officially Bad Practice Sales and riding of e-bikes and e-scooters are going through the roof, continuing through and beyond COVID – this shows no signs of slowing, and prices are dropping. E-power flattens the hills of Plimmerton Farm and makes wheely active travel a breeze for the middle-class people who’ll be living here, if the streets and roads are hospitablePlimmerton Railway Station (on the most popular Wellington train line) is being upgraded to be a terminus station – i.e. better servicesThe Wellington Regional Growth Framework is setting a bunch of directions for councils on how to grow well, including well-known but often well-ignored issues like intensifying around public transport hubs Councils will soon be required to do to a bunch of a bunch of international good practice including get rid of many minimum parking requirements (in the news lately), and to upzone (enable intensification) of landuse in the walking catchment of public transport hubs. (5 min walk = approx 400 metres, 10 min = 800m).Bad trends we need to stop: Porirua’s really high car-dependency (we own cars a lot and drive a lot) is continuing, due to car-dependent urban form [PDF]– despite nice words in council’s strategic intentions.People living outside Wellington City are mostly to blame for our region’s 14% increase in emissions from transport in just 10 years. OK go submit now – and share with anyone who you think might care!
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