Archive for the 'History' Category

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.

Meola Creek Map – 1842

May 25th, 2009

NZ Historic Places Trust have recently located an 1842 survey map of Meola Creek source on the slopes of Owairaka/ Mt Albert.  Our thanks to Steve Burgess, Craig Humberstone,   Rendell McIntosh and Alberton, NZHPT.

1842 Alberton Map (2.9MB, PDF)

Auckland’s Cones, Creeks and Springs

May 4th, 2009

There are early paintings of the original landscape of Owairaka/ Mt Albert and Maungawhau/ Mt Eden – and the “cabbage tree swamps” in between :

1) ” Cabbage Tree Swamp ” by John Backhouse in the 1880s

held at the Turnbull library and used on the cover of the recent reprint of Dick Scott’s “Old Mt ALbert“.

2) And at Auckland Art gallery:

(Note that Alfred Sharpe painted this in 1889 – after he moved to Australia. John Webster of NZHPT referred to Roger Blackley’s biography, and says since Sharpe did it in NSW for an exhibition, he was obviously doing it as a piece of remembrance, or memories of his NZ life, and cites no specific location. See also )

These paintings illustrate the relationships in the natural landscape between the volcanic cones, and the springs and aquifers surrounding and underlying them. Today some remaining ecological sites of special significance include:- volcanic peaks such as Maungawhau and Owairaka ; lava features such as Meola Reef on Waitemata Harbour – reaching nearly to the North Shore; botanical sites like Withiell Thomas Reserve;  and wetland features such as Gribblehurst Park,  Meola Creek, Western Springs and Motions Creek.

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