Meola Creek The Plight of an Urban Creek

The St Lukes Environmental Protection Society (STEPS) was incorporated in 2005. Its purpose is to act as a body, giving voice and taking action to protect and enhance the environment and amenities in the St Lukes area. Read more ...

STEPS AGM 2014 – 3 July 2014

June 23rd, 2014

STEPS will be holding its AGM on

Thursday July 3, 2014, 7pm, at Alberton (100 Mt Albert Road)

After the AGM, there will be brief updates on several topical issues including: progress of the wetland planting; daylighting of Upper Meola Creek; and Watercare on the Central Interceptor and its impact on the Roy Clements Treeway. Following the updates, there will be a general panel/floor discussion with Stormwater, Local Board Member Graeme Easte, Morphum Environmental, and STEPS Deputy Chair Nick Goldwater for these issues and those raised by the audience. Come along and have your say

Please note this date and pass on the information to anyone who might be interested.

A flyer for distribution or posting can be downloaded here: AGM flyer – July 2014 Final

Hope to see you all there…

Central Interceptor Hearings – Submissions from STEPS, MARA and others

August 25th, 2013

On Friday 2nd August STEPS presented an oral submission to the Hearing (see link below).

We are opposing the use of the Roy Clements Treeway as a site on the basis that it would fragment and diminish one of the few very small natural areas in Mt Albert.

Together with submissions by St Lukes Garden Apartments Body Corporate and MARA (see link below), we asked them to look at possible alternatives which would avoid destruction of so many trees over such a large area.

STEPS submission: STEPS Central Interceptor Hearing 2013 August

MARA submission: MARA Watercare Central Interceptor Summary of Evidence

We were followed by a very thought provoking and informed presentation by Joel Cayford which outlined some of the wider issues.

…  “The overall Central Interceptor project involves further regional consents for the CSO Collector Sewer works … and a network discharge consent…..” … One key question is why the resource consents for this large tunnel project are being considered in advance of the overall network discharge consent.

STEPS notes that according to Watercare’s coloured pictures (though no supporting data) Meola Creek overflows will be significantly reduced but will remain the largest overflow points on the Auckland isthmus after the Central Interceptor is completed. This means we have an ongoing interest and Meola Creek will form part of the sewerage network for probably the next century or more.

Meola Creek & Central Interceptor -> December 2012 STEPS Submission

August 2nd, 2013

Watercare Services applied in 2012 for resource consents for their  sewerage infrastructure project – see

The two largest sewer outfalls in Auckland are on Meola creek, which has  the largest catchment on the Auckland isthmus though it is less than 10km long. So we were keen to assess the impact of this $700 million project on Meola Creek, as it is Watercare’s “only option” for any relief from large volumes of stormwater and sewerage flowing regularly into Waitemata Harbour.  The project was informally labelled “supertunnel”.

The most local impact is that after consulting with Mt Albert Grammar School regarding the site near Lyon Ave, Watercare proposes to largely clear fell an area in the middle of the much loved ‘Roy Clements Treeway’ rather than dig up the edge of the flat sportsfield on the other side of the creek. Clearly such a break in the forest corridor along the creek will be detrimental to the recovering wildlife in the area, let alone the loss of 50 years of growth of totara and other trees, which can never be recovered in our lifetime. All the work done by Roy Clements in the 1980s and by STEPS and the community in replanting this area since 2005 will be lost. STEPS opposes this plan.

We were also shocked to find no assessment of the impacts of the overall sewerage system on the environment.  Unlike the comprehensive 2001 Auckland City Drainage System Resource Consents Assessment of Environmental Effects, this application lacks a view of the creeks which will continue to be affected by overflows AFTER the project is completed.  Instead they provided one small map of 2030 overflows without assumptions, and provided no comparison with current state. We have only a very high level picture of the future predicted flow patterns on Meola Creek.

Further – the project appears to have been applied for as though each site is a small standalone industrial site. Many of these sites are designed to ADD to stormwater runoff (more than minor effects).  The rationale appeared to be that since the “supertunnel” would hold so much runoff, there is no need for Watercre to use Auckland City’s “Best practice”  Low Impact Design approach whereby each Watercare site could be a model example to homebuilders who want to see examples of good design for managing stormwater on site.

Former City Councillor Joel Cayford provides a view on  matters relating to the resource consent application at

The STEPS submission and covering letter can be found here:

STEPS Submission on Watercare Central Interceptor – December 2012

STEPS Submission Form for Watercare Interceptor – December 2012

Lower Meola Creek Planting Day -> 20 July, 10.30am onward

July 14th, 2013

This year, the Albert Eden Local Board offered to fund the restoration of a site in lower Meola near the Moa Reserve in Point Chevalier. STEPS successfully applied for the funding, and will be working with a team run by Katherine Read of Wai Care, including Te Ngahere and local people, to carry out the planting and weed control.

Initially, we have arranged for a joint planting day, and are hoping for a good turnout of STEPS members and supporters to support this initiative downstream from our usual area of focus.

The details are below – hope to see you there


There will be a lower Meola Planting day on the slopes of MOTAT opposite Moa Reserve on Saturday 20 July from 10:30am onward.

Where: MOTAT – Main entrance off Meola Road. You can park in the MOTAT carpark and  request access from the staff in the hanger if no Wai Care co-ordinator is present at the time of your arrival. Follow the signage to the planting site. See map:

Planting Location 20.07.13

What to bring: Gumboots, old clothes and wet weather gear, gloves, a water bottle and a spade if you have one!

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested…..

Matariki and STEPS – Mt Albert Library

June 23rd, 2013

Colleen Foster has kindly woven a tukutuku panel for STEPS, taking all her materials from the Roy Clements Treeway.

Following her active participation in our recent Ahurangi Festival, Colleen is now displaying the completed panel at the Mt Albert Library for 1 month during Matariki (22 June – 22 July).

For details on time, see “Mt Albert” at the following link:

Please feel free to visit Colleen at the library for an informed explanation by a wonderful local kuia. STEPS is delighted to support her and participate in Matariki.

We are grateful to Colleen for taking the time to produce such a beautiful item, and extended a formal appreciation at our recent AGM.

STEPS AGM 2013 – Details

June 10th, 2013

STEPS will be holding its AGM on

Thursday June 20, 2013, 7pm, at Alberton (100 Mt Albert Road).

After the AGM, there will be presentations from STEPS on the potential of re-introducing threatened and uncommon native plants into areas of established vegetation and recently planted sites along the Roy Clements Treeway; and Morphum Environmental on opportunities for ecological restoration along the upper reaches of Meola Creek. A short update on the Central Interceptor will be provided by Watercare representatives.

Please note this date and pass on the information to anyone who might be interested.

A flyer for distribution or posting can be downloaded here: AGM flyer – June 2013

Hope to see you all there…

AGM 2013

June 3rd, 2013

STEPS will be holding its AGM on Thursday June 20, 2013, 7pm, at Alberton (100 Mt Albert Road).

Please note this date and pass on the information to anyone who might be interested.

As usual, the AGM will be followed by some topical presentations, updates and discussions.

More details to follow shortly.

All welcome


Re: STEPS Ahurangi Festival – Thank You

June 3rd, 2013


On 14 April STEPS held our first Ahurangi Festival.  “Ahurangi” means coming from the sky .  It is the name that our Kaitiaki Dianne Pomare (Principal Kura Kaupapa) told us refers to the upper Meola Creek on the foothills of Owairaka Mt Albert, where the Kura is located.

STEPS was delighted at the turnout of well over 100 people on the day and by the enjoyment of everyone involved.  We are very grateful to all our VIPs for supporting us on the day – especially Roy Clements, Maurice Hall former MAGS Headmaster, and Albert Eden Local Board member Helga Arlington.

Four local schools were key to the success of the event : Te Kura Kaupapa o Nga Maungarongo, Marist School,  Marist College, and Mt Albert Grammar School.

  • The pupils of these schools under the guidance of Arts Teachers Ainsley, Erin, Kylee and Ngarangi along with Arts Co-ordinator Tosh Ahkit produced beautiful art works and hung them before the walk started.
  • Another group of six Senior students from Mt Albert Grammar School and Marist College project managed the event and kept everyone safe under the guidance of Kev Carter from YMCA.
  • A group of Marist College students organized a creek cleanup day before the Arts walk.

We also had fantastic support from organizations including WaiCare, AC Stormwater team with the “Drain Game”, various Auckland Council people and Auckland Transport. We thank Albert Eden Local Board for funding.  Our Meola Creek treasures (Sel Arbuckle, Melissa Marler and Nick Goldwater ) did a great job introducing the walkers to Rock Forest, flood plains and the STEPS wetland.  Finally we thank Colleen Foster who made and discussed her tukutuku panel of Meola Creek which was both beautiful and informative.

Thank you to all our members, supporters and all the participants on the day. We look forward to seeing you at the Ahurangi festival in 2014.

Ahurangi Festival 14 April 2013 (plus flag-making 13 April 2013)

April 11th, 2013

STEPS is delighted to invite you to our Ahurangi Festival on Sunday 14 April at 1.30 pm. (Rain day 21 April)

·         Come and find some “Treasures of Meola Creek”

·         Meet people who have a special connection with Meola Creek and our community

·         Enjoy  beautiful  art works from some local schools

The Treeway Art Walk will start at 1:30pm at the Kerr-Taylor Park and finish around 4pm with refreshments at the YMCA by the Mt Albert Community and Recreation Centre (Rocket Park).

We also invite you to the Flag Making Workshop – Saturday 13th April 12:30pm Sandringham Community Centre – in preparation for the Art walk.

All welcome

Ahurangi Description

STEPS plans end of summer event to celebrate Meola Creek plantings

January 13th, 2013

STEPS is planning a community event at the end of summer to increase the awareness and enjoyment by the community of the beautiful community assets we have in the STEPS wetland, the boardwalk and the plantings associated with  it which are maintained by Auckland Council on Mt Albert Grammar School land. WATCH THIS SPACE

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