Archive for the 'History' Category

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


1840’s map of Upper Meola Creek

Westfield St Lukes Plan Change – Update October 2010

November 25th, 2010

Westfield St Lukes Plan Change – Update October 2010 (Apologies for this being historical now)

Following the plan change hearings in June 2010, a draft planners report was produced. The report link is

The independent Commissioners for Auckland City recommended in the final weeks of Auckland City existence that the plan change to facilitate the St Lukes expansion should go ahead. STEPS had made a comprehensive submission on the impacts on Meola Creek, and we presented at the hearings. As reported in an earlier Blog, we supported the peer review done by Council officers in respect of water issues. One reason we appeared is that it has been made clear to us at Resource consent time that our only hope for being heard is by influencing the plan. The Commissioners report appeared to rely on the evidence from the developer.

See pages 62-64 in the decision for 1 page on water and lava forest. As we read it:

– Stormwater will all be worked out at the appropriate time. Despite the contradictory evidence – Westfield engineer is happy with soakage. And the commissioners agreed.

– Waste water effects will be no more than minor and anyway though the situation is unsatisfactory, this is beyond the control of the applicant so it would NOT BE REASONABLE FOR A PLAN CHANGE TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE LACK OF AN INTERCEPTOR.

STEPS asks Who would need sewerage infrastructure to increase peak waste water flows by 8 times?

We were pleasantly surprised at the final AC COUncil meeting on 23 September that the council deferred a decision.

STEPS believes that St Lukes Community Association were key to achieving this deferral – see press release at:

Reporter Bob Dey reported on it as follows:

Later the Auckland City Council wisely decided to leave the decision for the new council – see

STEPS is hopeful that the new City COuncil will pay more attention to the very real infrastructure issues faced by the St Lukes area and will consider the interests of local residents when they review this plan change.

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