Archive for March, 2017

Neighbours Day – on Sunday 2 April

March 25th, 2017

All STEPS members and supporters are invited to a picnic on the Kerr Taylor Reserve.   We will have a bouncy castle for kids and a sausage sizzle.   We will also have a guide or two available to walk to the Roy Clements treeway to see wetlands, rock forest and wildlife on Meola Creek.

When: Sunday 2 April at 3pm

Where: Kerr Taylor Reserve, 35 Fergusson Ave, Mt Albert

What to bring: Your family and a small plate of food to share; a water bottle, & picnic rug or chair.


Pat Andrea and Alex

Pat Andrea and Alex

The picnic is always fun;- see the photo of Pat Prescott, STEPS founder with new residents Andrea and Alex in ‘Our Auckland’ from an earlier Neighbours Day picnic.

Thanks to Albert Eden Local Board for their support.

Please watch this site for an update in case of  bad weather.

AlbertEden LB logo

Meola in Flood 11-12 March 2017

March 16th, 2017


Flooding at entrance to Roy Clements Treeway

Meola Creek floods about 80 times a year.  According to Mt Albert Grammar weather station 191mm of rain fell from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon,  while 72mm of it fell between 10:30am and 12:30pm Sunday… that’s nearly a month’s worth of rain in two hours!

See some more dramatic photos of Meola Creek last weekend in our photo gallery on this site.

Our photos show Meola Creek filled to the brim, spilling over into the wetland, the flood plain and lapping the 90cm high boardwalk and bridges. At times the bridges and parts of the walkway were covered. The sign near Megacentre and the sign within the spillway at Lyon Ave/ Edendale branch sewer can be seen partly covered as an indicator of height.


Red silted storm water with MAGS playing fields in background.

The water was bright red from all the silt and soil, especially up at Haverstock outfall. Usually it is grey from a mix of oily road runoff,  human waste, zinc and copper from roofs, metal from car brakes and general rubbish. Nearly 50% of water comes from roads alone.  There is a Government Special Housing Area building about 50 houses on top of the largest sewer outfall at 96 Haverstock Rd. It is reasonable to assume that the red soil in this weekend’s floods come mainly from there, as that area is the original land source of the creek.

While it is expected that by about 2027 the planned Auckland Central Interceptor project will reduce the number of floods in Meola to perhaps 1 per month, large flood events like this one will still occur.  It is good that house inundation has not been reported in our vicinity for this particular event.

Given the Auckland unitary plan for intensification of Mt Albert which has little stormwater infrastructure and has historically relied on natural soakage it seems reasonable to assume that storm water volumes will grow.

Haverstock Rd outfall

Haverstock Rd outfall

What could improve this situation?

  • Auckland Council “Healthy Waters” (formerly stormwater team) can separate the combined sewers in both the Haverstock Rd area and in Pt Chevalier to prevent stormwater mixing with raw sewage and overflowing the sewers
  • Auckland Transport can use roading and footpath surfaces which are more permeable and allow the water to drain naturally into the aquifer, rather than being diverted to creeks as part of the storm water mix -Permeable pavement
  • Auckland planners can check what consideration they have given to flooding with plans for  intensification in areas like Mt Albert which have limited stormwater infrastructure and rely on natural soakage
  • Homeowners can reduce impermeable concrete in back yards and use a permeable surface to manage their own storm water on site and recharge the aquifer.    Here is an example of  permeable concrete

Stormwater entering pipe at Alberton Avenue


Afterwards, STEPS wetland discharged clean water for three weeks so far


Plastic and toilet paper remain in trees 1m above the bank for more than 3 weeks also

See also Links:

Our flood photo gallery is at:

Flood – March 2017


Save water and save the planet!

March 10th, 2017

As of today, Aucklanders have been asked reduce water-use by 20 litres per day.  The extreme storm event this week reduced Watercare Services’ ability to process drinking water from the Hunuas and they need to wait for the dam to settle and the water to clarify over a few weeks before processing water at full capacity.

How do you know how much you normally use?  Take a look on your Watercare bill – on the back it shows how much water you use each day. For instance – our 2-person household uses about 200 litres – well within the band of a ‘normal’ one person household.

How do you make water savings? A bucket of water is about 10 litres, so how can we save 2 buckets per day?  Here are some hints:   Water savings  and Smarter Homes .

Let’s help ourselves by reducing our water bills, and help Auckland to “save the planet” at the same time.