STEPS (St Lukes Environmental Protection Society) was incorporated in 2005 to protect and enhance the environment and amenities in the St Lukes area. At that time increased commercial and residential pressure in St Lukes, Sandringham and Mt Albert had already caused some unfortunate side-effects. Most obvious were frequent overflows from combined sewers and stormwater drains. Auckland Council signs warning of the dangers of pollution in Meola Creek were and are an accepted feature of parks and the landscape.
Waititiko-Meola Creek originates from Mt Albert-Owairaka and runs through Kerr Taylor Reserve and the Roy Clements Treeway. A tributary arises in the nearby Mount Albert Grammar School Farm, and together these three green spaces represent a ‘breathing space’ in the busy St Lukes district.
Waititiko has the largest catchment on the Auckland isthmus, including the suburbs of Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Balmoral, Sandringham and Point Chevalier. It runs through Chamberlain Park and reaches Waitemata Harbour just west of Meola Reef-Te Tokaroa, the longest lava flow in Auckland. Te Tokaroa originates at Mt St John volcano and extends over 10 km, nearly crossing Waitemata Harbour to within 600 m of Kauri Point on the North Shore.
Aims of the Society
- Protect and enhance Waititiko-Meola Creek, the Roy Clements Treeway, Kerr Taylor Park, and the underlying aquifer Te Tatua-a-Riukiuta
- Inform people in the use of Waititiko and its environs in a responsible and sustainable manner
- Promote and encourage community involvement and support in the restoration of Meola Creek
- Consult and work alongside iwi, community groups, schools and other stakeholders
One major achievement has been the plantings in the Roy Clements Treeway (RCT – a significant Ecological area or SEA), where the community joins to plant and weed the rock forest, the flood plain and the wetland every year. The RCT boardwalk is used by hundreds of people every day, and its meanders complement the stream. Over the past decade we have actively worked with the Albert Eden Local Board, Wai Care, AC Healthy Waters team and Watercare Services to support their efforts to tackle water pollution. We have raised public awareness of the problems faced by the area via media and via personal visits from Members of Parliament and from several Auckland Mayors over the last 12 years.
We trust that our efforts to raise the profile of the area benefit the creek and our volcanic landscape. Roy Clements is our patron and an inspiration. We welcome new members particularly those with an interest in the catchments of Waititiko and Waiateao Creeks.