St Lukes Environmental Protection Society Protecting Meola Creek's environs since 2005

St Lukes Environmental Protection Society (STEPS) was incorporated in 2005. Its purpose is to protect and enhance the environment and amenities in the St Lukes area. Read more ...

Proposed Waitītiko public space and daylighting opportunity

June 7th, 2024

Tāmaki Makaurau has an opportunity for an ara or path along a potentially daylighted section of Waitītiko from source puna (springs) on Ōwairaka Mt Albert foothills to the upper creek at Ahurangi, site of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Maungarongo.

For many years, STEPS has advocated improvement on a Mountain to Sea Walkway – from Ōwairaka to Te Tokaroa (Meola Reef).
More recently a plan for this linking ara and daylighting 500 meters of creek on the Mountain to Sea Walkway was proposed. This has been enabled by the work of the Watercare Central Interceptor (CI) project at Haverstock Road. Led by Andrew (Mac) Mackintosh, it has been presented to Auckland Council Healthy Waters, Albert Eden Local Board, Watercare, Plant and Food, STEPS Members AGM, and other groups.

The location below Plant and Food Crown Research Institute (CRI), and behind Haverstock Rd forms a vital link in Waitītiko-Meola Creek Mountain to Sea Walkway, freeing the source of the awa or creek, and making it available to rate payers and tax payers. All the land is owned by the Crown. Watercare is a Council Controlled Organisation, and part of Auckland Council. Watercare have opened up the link from Haverstock Road right of way, through to Camden Road for the first time in fifty years, for their trucks to go through it.

As Watercare complete community infrastructure work on Crown Land, both Watercare and the CRI have an immutable plan to again close the potential community link to Waitītiko-Meola Creek behind high security fences. Why would our governing bodies continue on a direction of concrete and security fences in this era when in most parts of the world Sustainability is key, and streams form a vital part of our natural world for people to connect to? They claim that $1-2 Billion will improve water quality and reduce overflows – so surely providing this short path connecting to the stream is one way of demonstrating the value of work out of sight, 50 meters below the earth.

This specific situation also provides a chance to daylight 500 meters of the creek with very little physical work needing to be done, and therefore at very low cost.

STEPS continues to ask Auckland Council, AELB, Watercare, and Plant and Food to open public green space, recover a lost section of awa, and to create some more community walking space.

Here is the full proposal

We ask for public support

  • come on the STEPS heritage walk – to be advertised for late September 2024…
  • talk to your local Board Member, or Councillors Julie Feary and Christine Fletcher.

Join our facebook page @STEPSNZ now

Planting Season

May 30th, 2024

The last few weekends have seen a few planting and weeding activities up and down the creek.

STEPS is very grateful for funding from the Albert-Eden and Waitematā Local Boards to get these projects up and running. Local board members Margi Watson, Alex Bonham and Christina Robertson all turned up on various days, rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in to get the actual work done.

Planting at Roy Clements Treeway

A couple of Saturdays were spent putting in some enrichment plants at Roy Clement Treeway. Including the wetland, and on the true left bank of the creek where the creek is not shaded, which affects stream temperature.

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand Weeding

CVNZ came in to give us a hand fighting back privet at Norwood Reserve. We spent a couple of hours cutting it back to allow light in on the planting we did last year and the seedlings which are springing up.

Planting at Kanuka St site

370 plants went in behind Motat at the Kanuka St site. If you’d like to have a look you can walk down to the end of Moa Reserve and look across the creek. A mixture of tarairi, manuka, puriri psuedopanax, titoki, mahoe, and other species suitable for lava flow forest and also for the wetland area.

The Pt Chevalier Air Scouts will shortly be planting out the last remaining block which will join up their existing plantings and STEPS plantings. A historic moment!

Ingana eggs in the creek

May 2nd, 2024

Kate McKessar from Whitebait Connection paid the Motat Lava Flow Forest site a visit and searched her way through clumps of oioi and grasses with bravery and enthusiasm. With success! She found inanga eggs in the grasses. We hadn’t realised the breeding area for inanga extended so far towards the sea. It’s encouraging to see this native fauna in this habitat and will influence the species we plant on the riverbank. We’ve also moved some traps closer around the area as rats and mice are partial to inanga caviar.

It’s great to work more closely with other groups who care for the environment, have specialist knowledge and are working region-wide.

Look closely; those little drops are eggs
Kate finds inanga eggs

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