Submission of Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. 26 May 2009
In the matter of the Resource Management Act 1991 and the applications for Regional Resource Consent by Wellington City Council and a Notice of Requirement for Alternation to Designation No 134 – New Road (Westchester Drive) by Wellington City Council.
My name is Claire Bibby. This submission is made on behalf of the Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. I am resident of Glenside and have lived in Glenside for almost 12 years. I hold the position of secretary of the Glenside Streamcare Group. I am President of the Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc, a post I have been elected to hold since 2001. I have written a book about the history of Glenside from which the historical data I refer to can be referenced.
The Glenside Progressive Association Inc. (GPA) was first formed in 1951. It is the body empowered by the Glenside community to act on its behalf in working to maintain its identified core values.
The purpose of the Association is to provide leadership and guidance for the Glenside community in the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of the environment of Glenside. The Association provides a forum for discussion by the Glenside community about issues that impact on the community.
The suburb has a large geographic spread along the back road between Johnsonville and Tawa. The resident population is 336. There is a rural sector of eighteen rural landowners with 21 rural titles and The Glenside Village area which is built around several significant streams. The village area consists of:
Monterey Apartments – there are 91.
A settlement of about 36 houses.
An economic hub with the regional head office of Fletcher Construction, OfficeMax office supplies, Twigland Gardeners World and Herbs Café. The Assn. has a good relationship with the businesses.
I referred in paragraph 2, to the Assn’s. role to act on behalf of the community to maintain identified core values. Our community core values were identified in a community workshop in 2001 and feature on the front page of our website.
Natural tranquil green spaces
Wild places to explore
History and heritage
Enjoying the birds and wildlife
In 2001 the community identified a number of initiatives that guide the Assn. in its representation of the community. These are reported on annually and are supported by projects of considerable significance. The initiatives are;
Getting to know the neighbours
Visibility of Glenside
Retain and enhance Glenside character
Traffic safety and other safety issues
Educating people about Glenside.
Relationship to streams
The locality through which the proposed designation passes, was first subdivided in 1840 for settlement and residents were living in the area on the site of the proposed designation for the link road and on small sections surrounding it as early as 1841. The houses were placed next to water sources, such as freshwater springs or streams. The heritage that will be impacted by the Notice and Applications is discussed under Heritage.
In those early years the area was known as The Halfway because it was halfway between Glenside and Porirua. It was a convenient resting place for travellers halfway through the gorges at each end of the settlement. The Halfway was surrounded by streams and it is these streams that are impacted by the applications. They are:
The stream from Johnsonville, which also carries water from Newlands/Paparangi and merges at Glenside Reserve with -
The Belmont Stream, which drains Newlands, Woodridge, Paraparangi and Grenada Village through Seton Nossiter Park and merges with -
TheStebbings Stream, which carries water from the north and south arm of the Stebbings catchment and merges with -
The Porirua Stream, which carries this water down to Porirua Harbour.
These main streams carry about 30 percent of the water in the Porirua Harbour catchment and collect another 15% of the catchment at Takapu. You can see how small the distance is between the merge points of the streams in Glenside. (Refer to catchment map.) This helps to explain the existence of the Wellington City Council District Plan Flood Hazard Management Area that the proposed designation and consent applications impact on, which I will talk about later in my statement.
In 1928 The Halfway was renamed Glenside under the Public Works Act. This was because a Post Office opened in the community and the Government did not want addressed mail to be confused with the location of Halfway Bush in Dunedin. A competition was held to name the locality and it was won by local resident, Mrs Watt, who provided the name Glenside, because it reminded her of a Scottish glen.
Mrs Watt sub-divided the Town of Glenside, the village area straddling the stream between today’s Glenside Road and Middleton Road, immediately south of the proposed designation in 1930. This is the era in which many houses between Glenside Road and Middleton Road were built. I know the people living at 273 Middleton Road who would be most affected by the proposed development of the road and associated noise. Their house was built by the occupant’s brother. Her parents moved into it in 1963 and when her Dad died, she moved in to care for her mother and has lived there since. Any suggestion that this family should have anticipated the proposed roading is nonsense.
Glenside late fifties - early sixties.
Held: Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. Broderick Collection
Governance and Glenside
From 1908-1965 Glenside was under the governance of Makara County and then from 1965 it was under the management of Hutt County. In 1973 the Hutt County Council (including Glenside) was absorbed in the Wellington County Council. There is no reference to any link road in the Assn. records during these times which is not surprising because Westchester Drive and the motorway interchange had not been built. Even if roading is talked about by Wellington City Council, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the residents of Glenside, then living on the outermost fringe of the City northern boundary, were informed of such discussions.
The name Glenside describes the community’s relationship with the streams. It was a name provided from the community and endorsed by the Government of the time. This is quite different to the name Churton Park, which was not selected by the community and was imposed on home buyers by a developer. The locality name Glenside is recognised by the NZ Geographical Board, a statutory body of government operating under the NZ Geographic Board (Nga Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008 and reporting to the Minister for Land Information. This is because the name Glenside was published and in usage before 1946, when the Geographic Board Act 1946 became law.
The name Glenside derives from the Scottish Gaelic gleann and refers to a small secluded valley, or a narrow secluded valley, formed naturally, not man made. A valley is a long depression in the surface of the land that usually contains a river. Glen, when used to describe a river, derives from the Welsh “glan” meaning clean, or glein did meaning purity.
There is nothing in the Notice of Requirement or consent applications that suggest Glenside will retain a clean or pure watercourse.
The Assn. submits there are five key reasons this project cannot be allowed to proceed. These are:
It is not an efficient use and development of natural and physical resources (RMA s7(b))
It will not promote the sustainable management of natural and natural and physical resources (RMA s5)
It will have significant adverse effects on the environment, people and our community which cannot be avoided, remedied or mitigated.
Historic heritage would not be protected (RMA s6f and 7c)
The significant habitat of indigenous fauna would be damaged or destroyed (RMAs6c &7c, 7d, 7f) and the proposed works impact on the intrinsic values of the ecosystem (RMA s7c, 7d, 7f).
The Notice of Requirement
The applicant states that the designation for the proposed road has been in place since the 1980’s. I asked for the Wellington City Council for more information about the designation, including:[7
The route proposed and subsequent designated route
Whether it was publicly notified, how it was notified and when the notification took place.
Whether any submissions were made and copies of these.
Whether any appeals were made and copies of subsequent documentation relating to the appeals
The findings of any hearings.
I received four documents from the Council in response. These were:
The Sue Driver report dated 13 March 1991 of a District Scheme Change Hearings Committee decision about an earlier roading designation. This earlier designation appears to have been publicly notified in February 1990 and was subsequently withdrawn by Council in March 1990 and renotified publicly in September 1990. There are no maps attached to the report and it is unclear where the designation route is.
The Judge Treadwell report dated 22 April 1992 that refers to the outcomes of a planning tribunal appeal relating to the Town and Country Planning Act 1977 to “uplift” a road designation. In his report the planning Judge writes that he placed the word “uplift” in quotation marks because the designation merely consists of parallel black lines and is on planning maps as an approximate road line. Again, no maps are provided to explain the findings.
The J MacLachlan report dated 17 July 1992 on a Council District Scheme Change decision to realign the designation of Westchester Drive. The maps accompanying this report refer to a roading alignment that is completely different to an earlier alignment. They are two different roads. It suggests that the publicly notified road alignment was one which flowed between Westchester Drive, Rowells Road and the motorway and is not the one that the Notice of Requirement relates to which is before the Hearing today. (Refer Slide 2).
1990 road map
The Armstrong report dated 1 July 1998 seeking Council reinstate a Westchester Drive Link Road designation after it had been withdrawn in error on 2 March 1998.
This raises questions about:
When the road was first designated and what the route was
Which road alignment/designation the general public have had the opportunity to formally submit on through public notification.
The legality of the current designation (which raises questions about the legality of the proposed changes to the alignment).
Whether the RMA was ever correctly applied to any roading alignment/designation previously.
The possibility that Wellington City Council has slipped a designation in by way of the District Plan or Long Term Council Community planning process and considers this a public notificatio
The fairness and transparency of Wellington City Council’s actions.
Purpose of the proposed road
The purpose of the proposed roading as identified in the Notice of Requirement states the connection will greatly improve access from Northern Churton Park and the proposed development areas in Upper and Lower Stebbings to the motorway. (Wellington City Council, 2008, p 7). The Assn. questions that public funding is used to pay for roading for access to enable private development.
Stebbings Valley is not the only development that will benefit from a publicly funded road. The Northern Growth Development [sic] Framework identified that land the proposed link roading passes through could be sub-divided for growth. Access to this development, locally known as the Reedy development, is provided for off the proposed road.
The Assn. notes that since the Northern Growth Development [sic] Plan was put together, the Stebbings Valley developer has purchased a large block of land off Middleton Road that could provide alternative access into Stebbings Valley. A farm road exists to the top of the ridgeline where it is proposed to put a water reservoir.
The Assn. further notes that the Stebbings Valley developer owns most of the land that would be used for a Stebbings –Tawa link road. In June 2008 the Assn. asked Wellington City Council under the Official Information Act about investigations into the proposed Stebbings/Tawa link road. Council responded that the concept received strong opposition from the local community and was subsequently excluded from further consideration other than possibly being a very minor link in the future. The Assn. contends that this link is more ecologically sound that the Westchester link and has better public transport benefits, linking the Stebbings development directly to Tawa and the Takapu railway station.
The Stebbings developer has consent for nearly 600,000 cubic metres of earthworks and has applied for about 240,000 additional cubic metres. The attached maps show proposed streams that will be filled.
The Wellington City Council advised the Assn. of the link road cost in an e-mail.
“The cost of the road is covered partially by the development contribution policy and that new development would pay their share of the cost. The catchment that will benefit from the new road, existing homes and new users, indicates that the cost will be split 59%/41% (existing households 1955, new households 1360). Therefore of the $8.5million budgeted $3,485k will be paid by new development over the period of developing 1360 new households. The Council will pay the balance on behalf of the existing households. We still have no commitment from the NZTA and we assume that they will not offer any financial assistance.”
The purpose of the road is not about reducing traffic volumes or crashes. It’s about future development. The Council advise that the existing capacity of roading in the area is capable of handling current traffic.
Traffic Safety/Crash reduction
The applicant has failed to properly address traffic safety in the applications and for this reason the designation should not proceed.
An initiative of the Glenside Progressive Assn. is traffic safety. Our Assn. has been working in partnership with Wellington City Council and NZ Police for nine years on traffic safety initiatives in the community. We know and understand the traffic safety issues in the locality and together we have achieved some significant successes.
The Assn. has a traffic safety programme with more than 36 projects to reduce the crash rate on Middleton Road and make the locality safer for all road users i.e. vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. The Assn. received recognition for its traffic safety programme, receiving a merit award from Land Transport New Zealand in the Road Safety Innovation & Achievement Awards 2006.
The applicant considers two policy and planning documents for assessment of the proposed Westchester Drive connection. These are:
Regional Policy statement and Draft Regional Policy statement
Wellington Regional Land Transport Strategy 2007.
Using these documents, the applicant correctly recognises that cycle and pedestrian access are relevant to the proposed Westchester Drive extension. However the applicant fails to properly address it.
The applicant also suggests that reducing the volume of vehicles on Churton Park network streets may potentially diminish the likelihood of accidents (Wellington City Council, 2008, p 19) and pre-supposes that constructing an $8 million dollar road might achieve this without any evidence to support it.
The applicant ignores that the development of the proposed roading link will generate new traffic crash statistics.
The applicant hasn’t supported the supposed reduction in Churton Park street network crashes with a traffic crash analysis. This would be because the Churton Park street network doesn’t have a traffic crash problem.
For example, there were eight recorded crashes on Halswater Drive in the last five years to 18 May 2009 and no variation in the trends per annum. Clearly there is no correlation between increased housing developments in Churton Park and traffic crashes on this road.
Six of the crashes were related to poor application of give way rules and the others related to sun strike. Several crashes were related to the intersection with Middleton Road, which brings me to another point.
The actual traffic safety issues in the area are on Middleton Road and the applicant hasn’t properly addressed these regarding the proposed designation and its connectivity at the intersection of Middleton Road.
In the last five years to 16 April there were 39 crashes on Middleton Road and nearly half these were injury crashes. Three were serious, representing a social cost $717,000 per injury or total $2,151,000. This a great reduction from the 58 crashes in the period 1996-2000 before the Assn. began working with Council (which was achieved without large funding such as that of the proposed Westchester Link road).
Middleton Road is about 5 kms long. The significance of the speed that vehicles travel along Middleton Road is not addressed in this application and should have been, because the applicant is proposing to put an isolated round-about in the middle of a five km stretch of road that has no other physical road obstructions for approximately 2kms in either direction.
The speeding in Middleton Road is so bad that it is one of the few urban streets in Wellington that has a mobile speed camera. It also heads the Wellington Police District list as one of the roads that generates the highest number of speed camera tickets for speeding.
The mobile speed camera zone on Middleton Road passes through the intersections of Halswater Drive, Glenside Road and Westchester Drive East.
In 2005 the Assn. asked NZ Police what the average speed was around the corner at the Glenside intersection and the average speed above 50kph was 68kph. It was approximately the same above average speed in north and south-bound directions.
Mobile Speed Camera Data
Middleton Road Johnsonville (WL0025)
Period 01 October 2004 - 31 Mar 2005
Speed Limit: 50 kph
Average Speed Above Limit: 68 kph
Average Excess Speed: 18 kph
This is high speed in the busiest part of the Middleton Road urban corridor. The Middleton Road traffic crash report for the last five years demonstrates that more than half the crashes are “Bend – Lost Control/Head On", suggesting speed may have been a factor.
The scene is set. We have a long stretch of road, on which vehicles travel extremely fast, that has a high crash rate. The crash rate is so significant that Wellington City Council and the Assn. have been working in partnership for about nine years to bring the crash rate down and get a combined walkway/cycle way on rural Middleton Road.
Halfway along the length of this road, in the speed camera zone, the applicant decides to put a round-about. The applicant proposes a round about with a mountable apron because the applicant knows that vehicles are not going to approach this roundabout with a reasonable speed. The mountable apron will enable vehicles to maintain a pace of speed that allows them to flash over the top of it.
Consider the pedestrians that currently use the Middleton Road footpath in this area. They are typically school pupils, walking to and from school, or walking to and from the buses that will take them to school; and two retired residents that have no driver licence and people going to and from work. The bus stops are directly north of the round-about. The applicant proposes that these people (including vulnerable youngsters who currently range in age from about eight years to teenagers) are expected to access public transport by stepping stones on traffic islands across this extremely busy road corridor with its swiftly moving vehicles travelling in four directions.
Under the heading Reducing Road Danger, the Wellington City Council Walking Policy states that communities have the right for their streets to be designed to prevent accidents and to be enjoyable, safe and convenient for people walking – especially children, the elderly and people with limited abilities.
The policy has clear strategic objectives that are designed to facilitate safe walking. A primary focus of the Walking Policy is to promoting walking trips that would otherwise be taken by car, and to make walking to schools more attractive for children.
The objectives of the policy include:
Improving pedestrian safety throughout the city (Objective 2)
Improving the experience of those walking to and from public transport stops (Objective 5)
Increasing the number of walking trips made to and from educational centres (Objective 7).
The proposed round-about with traffic islands does not achieve these objectives. A round-about impedes access for children getting to school. When Churton Park School was consulting on its school zones in 2006, parents living closer to Johnsonville School submitted that it wasn’t safe for their children to walk to Johnsonville school from Middleton Road because they couldn’t negotiate the round-about at the top end of Middleton Road. The proposed Westchester/Middleton round-about will be no more easy to negotiate.
The application also fails to meet the requirements of the Walking Policy to:
Investigate and provide options for new frequent, safe, main road and intersection crossings for pedestrians (p 26)
Provide street improvements as identified to improve routes to and from public transport stops (p 28).
What is proposed is not modern urban design. The so called street improvements actually make it harder for people to access public transport than is current practice. It would be even more difficult during construction with the truck movements and other traffic.
How the applicant proposes to manage this intersection during construction is difficult to comprehend. When travelling south there is only one area of designated roadside parking on the left side of the road between Rowells Road and Churton Park Dairy. This is pocket parking at Fletcher Construction and is highly sought by local business customers.
When travelling north from Churton Park Dairy the only area available for parking on the left hand side of the road is a small stretch of Middleton Road between No’s 249 and 273. The next available roadside parking is opposite the Rowells Road intersection.
Integration of traffic safety, cost reductions and environmental sensibility
The NZ Transport Agency contributes to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system, in support of the New Zealand Transport Strategy. The NZ Transport Agency is focused on delivering four key outcomes. These are:
Value for money.
The Agency works in partnership with regional and local authorities, the transport industry and communities to achieve this. The applicant refers to the Northern Growth Management Framework and attempts to use it justify its road proposal (Wellington City Council, 2008, p24 ) However the proposed designation is not what the Northern Growth Management planning exercise put forward as a result of consultation.
The road proposal submitted in the Community planning week outcomes is more in keeping with NZ Transport Agency outcomes. (Refer slide 3).
Slide 3 is from the document Community Planning Week Outcomes, 18-22 March 2002 for the Northern Growth Area. Supporting information states:
“These diagrams show the proposed Glenside Link road. The road would run alongside the stream mostly on the southern side thus avoiding the major earthworks associated with other proposals. As it will not be a bus route it can use less onerous roading standards, thus making for a lower speed, safer and more attractive drive.”
The planning documentation also said that the Westchester Link and the Ohariu Link had no value for a bus route and limited social interface through development.
I met with Jim Higgs, a transport planning specialist for TMN Consulting of Australia when he prepared and discussed his proposal for the Westchester Drive extension.
As the link road had no public transport benefit, Jim proposed a road that was narrow, to slow the traffic and with significant curves, to slow the traffic. Jim approached his planning with a more wide focus than the narrow one the applicant proposes. He considered the whole length of Middleton Road and beyond. He proposed traffic lights at Halswater/Middleton intersection, the proposed Westchester Drive/Middleton intersection, and the Takapu intersection. Traffic lights stop the traffic. Stopping the traffic enables pedestrians and cyclists to get across the road and enable breathing spaces for vehicles to enter and exit driveways.
The diagram below shows where the traffic lights were proposed. (Refer Slide 5).
Wellington City Council advised the Assn. that it wouldn’t consider traffic lights because they were not consistent with the locality. However, traffic light control is used on the rural and urban sectors of Middleton Road whenever works are required, such as clearing landslides and building stream retaining walls and at times are in place for many months.
The Assn. contends that roundabouts are not consistent with the area. Installing sets of traffic lights at the existing Westchester Drive East and Halswater Drive intersections would pay for themselves within two years by reducing the social cost of traffic crashes at those intersections and between those intersections.
The real problem with speed and driver behaviour in the locality is along Middleton Road, not the network streets of Churton Park.
The Assn. notes with interest the reports of ecologist Stephen Fuller accompanying the applications. Mr Fuller was a guest speaker at the environmental session held during the community planning for the Northern Growth area.
An outcome of the Northern Growth planning was the proposed creation of an ecological corridor linking regenerating and indigenous bush. (Refer Slide 6,7,8 not shown here)
The lower Stebbings Stream, which is going to be impacted on by the proposed applications, is meant to be part of that network. In his talk, Mr Fuller produced an ecological overview of the area. This slide from his presentation shows how the area might have once looked.
The red arrows depict areas of special interest that have potential and Glenside is one of these.
Mr Fuller spoke of hot spots and asked his audience to consider these questions:
Is their potential?
What needs protection?
What needs help?
It was from these discussions that the ecological corridor concept was derived. The Westchester link route proposed as a result of the community planning week took into account this ecological corridor. The applicant’s proposal departs so far from that thinking it should not proceed.
Flood Hazard Management & Ecology
The area in which the applicant proposes to undertake significant works is in the Wellington City Council District Plan Flood Hazard Management area.
The documentation for inclusion of the Flood Hazard Management Area in the District Plan went out for consultation in 2001, after the Stebbings Dam was constructed in 1993. The Flood Hazard Management Area recognises that regardless of Stebbings Dam’s presence, the area is vulnerable to flooding and works within five metres of the stream must be managed carefully.
In the consultation documentation supporting the current Flood Hazard Management Area the Council stated:
“New earthworks can have a significant impact on flood risk areas by altering established secondary flow paths and diverting waters to other properties…All earthworks and building development within five metres of the Porirua and Takapu Streams will be a Discretionary Activity (Unrestricted).
The applicant proposes to build a bridges in the flood hazard management area in the District Plan and to carry out extensive works along an 810 metre length through the flood hazard management area, including the removal of more than 47,000 cubic metres of soil from beside the stream, construction of retaining walls in and beside the stream and diverting the stream. The length of the stream will be reduced by 17 metres, hastening its speed through the flood hazard area and impacting downstream.
The application doesn’t include any maps or reference to the consent which is required under its own District Plan rules in Volume 1, Rule 7.4.7.
In determining whether to grant consent and what conditions, if any, to impose, the rules require regard to the following criteria:
22.214.171.124 The effect of the earthworks, building or associated works on the flood hazard.
126.96.36.199 The extent to which the earthworks will affect water quality, or cause or contribute to soil erosion.
188.8.131.52 Whether the potential threat to the health and safety of people, property or the environment from flooding is avoided, remedied or mitigated.
184.108.40.206 Whether any additional flood detention area can be provided on site to mitigate any reduction in the total detention volume for flood waters from the earthworks, building or associated works.
A supporting statement reads:
“Council is concerned that earthworks and buildings within 5 metres of the Porirua and Takapu Streams could impede the flow of flood waters and increase the risk of flooding to other properties in the respective catchments. In addition, contaminants could affect the water quality and erosion could be increased. Earthworks and buildings in this situation have therefore been made a Discretionary Activity (Unrestricted) to ensure that the effects of such development are fully considered. Flood water detention volumes should not be reduced by future development and Council will consider whether any new development should provide on site compensatory flood water storage capacity.”
The Assn believes that the application has not properly considered the effects of the works. The short and long term effect of the proposed works will:
Impede the flow of flood waters
Increase the risk of flooding to other properties
Contaminants would affect the water quality
Erosion would be increased.
The applicant and Greater Wellington Regional Council base their proposed mitigation on situations that no one living has experienced in this part of the catchment.
The 100 year flood.
It is false thinking for the applicant to assume that Stebbings Dam is the solution to flood management issues that occur below the dam. The Applicant and Greater Wellington Council have not considered the impact of unplanned situations impacting on the stream below Stebbings Dam and if they had, this application would not proceed.
Mismanaged storm water
Existing flood management impacts
Other ecological impacts
Climate change anticipates increasing extreme weather experiences.
The motorway storm water systems between Glenside and Tawa is currently being enlarged to respond to increased heavy rainfalls. The existing storm water systems are not capable of carrying the capacity of water that is striking the motorway surface.
Glenside residents have increasingly experienced high mark freshes and floods. The resulting damage is significant and the effects will be shown later in the submission.
Mis-manged storm water
Whilst Stebbings Dam was constructed to manage the flow of water from future Churton Park development, the Glenside community is very much aware that storm water from new Churton Park developments has been piped in an unmanaged and undisciplined way into underground stream systems that outlet below Stebbings Dam such as at Stebbings Road and Glenside Road. For many years residents on Glenside Road have been complaining in writing and at on site visits about the increased velocity of the water from the Glenside Road outlet impacting on their properties.
Stebbings Dam was built to manage future development in Churton Park, not future development in Glenside. There was no strategy, vision or policy at the time the dam was built that anticipated the intensive development of the last five - six years in Glenside. These developments are removing the riparian soakage areas for run off and increasing the hard surface run-off into the Glenside streams – the same streams that will be affected by the proposed applications. The housing is
91 Monterey Apartments
Infill housing along Glenside Road and Middleton Road
Proprosed Reedy suburban developments.
Loss of stream esplanade and riparian strip
The current stream bank is a natural formation. It has vegetation that slows and soaks surface run off. The northern bank has naturally benched areas, created by the stream, that carry the flow of water in normal and higher than usual flows.
By removing these flexible earthy areas and replacing them with rocks and walls and other hard retaining surfaces, stream water will hit the surface and bounce off it creating a shift in the natural stream flow and creating erosion on adjacent and downstream properties.
Riparian planting and stream esplanades should be on both sides of a stream to prevent this happening and the City Council hasn’t purchased enough land to achieve it.
Lack of understanding of Glenside streams
In the Glenside area, the speed and strength of the water during a fresh is quite different to the effects witnessed and experienced by people residing in Churton Park or downstream in Tawa area. This is because 30 percent of the catchment water connects in Glenside in a constrained area, hidden from view.
The streams are not highly visible and as a result planners and developers don’t fully understand the significance and impact of storm water and freshes. The streams run fast and high. The water rises swiftly, moves fast and does destroy.
The ecologist Stephen Fuller has never met with our Assn. on site to talk about these effects. The principal people Wellington City Council have employed on the designation project are engineers, not people working in the area of bio-diversity, or stream care.
In my role as President of the Assn. I make an effort to visit every new resident and explain the need for them to keep their part of the stream clear. This means:
No damming of the stream
Removing fallen trees, rubbish, and branches
Keeping the stream channel clear.
Our community website warns residents to keep the stream channel clear. The Greater Wellington Regional Council Flood Protection Team provide a flyer asking people to do this as well and walk the stream annually checking for obstructions.
In its report to the hearing committee, Greater Wellington Regional Council proposes that all machinery used for the works shall be removed from the area and placed in an area clear of the floodplain every evening area every night. A similar request is made to avoid placement of excavated material in the flowing channel and keeping machinery out of the actively flowing channel, as far as practicable.
The Assn. has witnessed contractor’s failure to understand the implications of leaving equipment in the floodplain area and has no confidence this condition would be complied with.
Failure to comply with such simple requests could have devastating consequences for those living upstream and downstream of the incident.
Slide 10 After the fresh – equipment washed into stream
Slide 10 is at the site of the proposed bridge connecting Westchester and Middleton Road. The applicant arranged test drilling in the Flood Hazard Management area.
The contractors were warned by myself and the adjacent property owner to remove their equipment each evening due to the flood hazard. The contractors failed to act. One night there was a fresh and the shovels, planks of wood, ropes and other equipment that had been left on the drilling platform was washed down stream.
Seemingly small innocuous items such as strips of plastic, rope, pipe, rocks and shovel handles block the passage of the water and act as a trap, catching other pieces of debris. This causes the stream to dam or divert its passage and creates erosion.
The following images are examples of what happens in the area. These were taken within 100 metres of the proposed Westchester/Middleton bridge. The debris arrestor scenes show the ability of the water to shift heavy rock and demonstrate what could happen with the rip rap rock.
Water rises fast and high - Flood at Rowells Road bridge on Middleton Road
Other Ecological impacts
The applicant refers to the requirement for the proposal to be assessed under the Operative GWRC Regional Soil and Regional Freshwater Plans. (Wellington City Council, 2008 p10).
The applicant states:
“No culverts are proposed, so any fish or freshwater species present in the river should be able to disperse and migrate as they currently do.” (Wellington City Council, 2008, p16).
The applicant is incorrect in assuming that no culverts will be required. The area of land on the north side of Stebbings Stream from the Marshall Ridgeline Trig, down to Stebbings Stream has spring sources with continuously small flowing streams.
This is the only area in the whole of the Upper Porirua catchment where water flows naturally from spring sources to the sea without having to pass through a pipe or culvert. At the end of Glenside Road for example, one can see stream sources flowing.
The biodiversity of these streamlets is likely to be high as they are undisturbed streams with good cover. None of these streamlets have been identified by the applicant, or were studied by the applicant’s ecologist and no provision has been made for the protection of these waterways during the road construction. The applications are flawed and should not proceed.
Compliance and monitoring
The Notice of Requirement and other consent applications for this project will impact so severely on the stream that the stream ecology would not recover.
The works rely heavily on works proceeding without problems. There is so much mitigation required that the project has a high risk of failure. Risks are events that could potentially happen. When they do occur they become issues and mitigation and compliance will not resolve these.
The Assn. has no assurance that the applicant will not change their consent conditions should they be approved, putting the community at increased risk.
The following examples demonstrate failed mitigation in the Glenside area and the issues that have impacted on our community.
May 2008. Despite repeated requests to Wellington City Council to clear the Rowells Road stream bed of sediment and rock, it wasn’t done. The stream blocked and sediment washed over the road causing the road to erode. The road collapsed several times before the stream bed was cleared
May 2008. The top slide shows the effects of sediment from earthworks filling up a culvert on Middleton Road. The sediment began to wash across the roading corridor creating a hazard for vehicles. The slide below shows the heavy nature of the sediment.
The original notified application for the Monterey Apartments was for 71 apartments. After the consent was approved, the applicant asked for 20 more houses on the site. This was approved without public notification by WCC. On the same site, the developer moved the stream without consent. The stream from Johnsonville used to flow parallel to Middleton Road. It entered a culvert under Monterey and exited at Twiglands.
The new culvert did not meet the standards required for easy fish passage or provide protection against the opposite bank to the outflow.
The Assn. refers you to the evidence of Mike Joy regarding sediment that is not already covered in this statement. (Refer shell)
This shell is a fresh water mussell, native to New Zealand. Ronnie Pender who used to live on Stebbings Road told me that rare fresh water mussels were in the Stebbings Stream above the dam in the north tributary of the stream.
I found this shell when planting at Stebbings Dam many years ago and asked Murray McClea of Greater Wellington Regional Council to identify it for me. He said that it was a fresh water mussell. The native fresh water mussel is quite rare and vulnerable to sediment.
The RMA also provides for the protection of heritage. The Northern Growth framework also has several underlying principles relating to heritage. These recognise that:
Heritage and culture are important elements of the fabric of the northern suburbs.
Existing sites of heritage and cultural significance should be protected, subject to any limitations imposed by the modified environment they occupy.
Local identity, character and history will be recognised and emphasised.
Opportunities to highlight and/or enhance the area’s heritage should be maximised.
The heritage likely to be impacted by construction and works are:
Hawthorn hedge trees, Glenside Road, planted by the Barrow family.
The Barrow daughter Sarah-Anne is attributed to be the first “white” woman to set foot on Petone shore from the first immigrant ship Aurora in 1840. The Barrow’s were farming on the Glenside Road site in 1843 and are attributed to planting the trees.
The trees are important to the community and should not be damaged or harmed by vehicle movements. The road is about 2 metres wide where the trees are and The Assn. would seek a condition that heavy vehicles are not permitted to use Glenside Road.The corner section of Glenside and Stebbing’s Road.
The site has been subject to an archaeological investigation and must not be driven on by vehicles or damaged by earthworks e.g. road widening.Sites on the land proposed for roading construction work.
These include the gravesite c1841, the Glenugie homestead site and a bench cut area on a ridge.
The sites on the land proposed for roading construction work have been the subject of an archaeological investigation. Mary O’Keeffe’s report refers. There is one error in this report that has been referred back to the author. The word “Walls” should be inserted so that the sentence on page six reads “The location of the Wall’s Halfway House in adjacent Section 23 is considered” etc
The Assn. notes that the archaeologist recommends conditions that the Wellington City Council complies with when applying to the Historic Places Trust for an authority under Section 11. The Assn. seeks that the conditions are part of the consent should one be granted.
The Assn. has held e-mail discussions with Nick Perrin of the Bolton Street Cemetery about the oldest known location of a burial in Wellington. The outcomes of this discussion would suggest that if the gravesite is discovered, it would be the oldest known gravesite in Wellington in situ.
This knowledge wasn’t available when the archaeologist wrote her report.
The extract below is from the O’Keefe report.
It is recommended that Wellington City Council apply to the Historic Places Trust for an authority under Section 11 of the Historic Places Act 1993 to modify, damage or destroy archaeological sites within and beside the Porirua Stream, at Glenside.
The following conditions for the authority are recommended:
That an archaeologist monitors all surface clearing, trenching, construction or other invasive subsurface groundwork within the three areas of potential archaeological sites, as defined in section 2.5 of this report, being the Glenugie house site, the potential grave site, and the potential benchcut site. The archaeologist should be given the opportunity to examine any archaeological deposits disturbed by the development work, and to make recommendations for further detailed examination of these deposits where appropriate .
Artefacts and material uncovered and recorded during site clearing work will be lodged with an appropriate repository. The developer will pay for the cost of any conservation required for artefacts or materialArtefacts and material recovered will be given to the Glenside Residents Association, to incorporate into an historical display on the history of the area.
If the burial is located, the bones will be disinterred and reinterred in an appropriate location, to be decided by WCC, the Historic Places Trust and the Glenside Residents Association.
The Assn does not believe that the proposed roading and associated works are an efficient use and development of natural and physical resources. The cost of a road can be considered under the RMA s7(b) relating to efficient use and development of natural and physical resources.
The applicant’s project has a high risk of failure and must not be permitted to proceed. The nature of the proposed works in the tightly constrained area are so tightly inter-related that the failure of the applicant to comply with any one of the consent conditions relating to ecology has a high probability of impacting on the other consent conditions relating to ecology rendering them non compliant.
The stream habitat supports two species in decline and should not be degraded.
Traffic safety has not been properly addressed. The community has been seeking a combined cycleway and walkway along the rural sector of Middleton Road since 2001 which should have priority over the access roading for greenfield developments.
The archaeological sites are of significance to Wellington’s early settler history and should be protected from harm.
Glenside website: www.glenside.wellington.net.nz
Being a good neighbour
Things people do that upset the neighbours
Garden waste and neighbours
Put your garden waste in a compost heap or take it to the landfill. Don’t throw lawnmower clippings and weeds into the stream or on the stream bank. Throwing garden waste in the stream upsets people next door and further downstream.
This is because weeds on stream banks fall into the stream, or get washed into the stream during rainfall. They can block the stream causing water to erode the neighbours stream bank. Weeds washed downstream attach themselves to the neighbours stream bank and grow. Weeds get washed out into the Porirua harbour and harm the natural bio-diversity of the Porirua estuary.
New Residents Fact Sheet
If your house is beside the stream then you need to be mindful of these important factors.
The stream and banks are privately owned. Don’t walk in the neighbour’s part of the stream without permission.
Clear your part of the stream-bed of fallen branches and obstructions to maintain the free flow.
Don’t kill the eels, they are people’s pets.
Don’t throw garden waste and lawn clippings into the stream or leave it close to the stream bank as it causes problems washing onto people’s properties downstream.
 Bibby Claire, 2008 (reprint). The history and heritage of Glenside Vol 32 Nos 1-4. Onslow Historical Society.
 NZ Statistics, 2006 Census
 Bibby Claire, 2005, notes from a history interview with Bernice Taft.
 http://www.elook.org/dictionary/stream.html , http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stream ; www.answers.com/topic/glen; http://www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/glen.htm; http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Glen.
 Wellington City Council, 2008, Notice of Requirement – Alternation to Designation, p 7.
 Bibby Claire, 26 March 2008, e-mail to Garry Poole, CEO of Wellington City Council.
 Michael, Stavros, 2009, e-mail correspondence to Claire Bibby.
 NZ Transport Agency, 18 May 2009 Halswater0409.
 NZ Transport Agency, 16 April 2009. MiddletonRd0409.
 http://www.transport.govt.nz/socialcost/ June 2008 Social Cost of Injuries. The social cost of road crashes and injuries in New Zealand measures the total cost of road crashes to the nation, including loss of life and life quality, loss of productivity, medical, legal, court and property damage costs.
 Dewes, Haydon. (2004, Janaury 26). Surprise factor for speed cameras, Dominion Post.
 Wellington City Council, 2008, Walking Policy p 42.
 Northern Growth Management Plan Display Community Planning Week Outcomes, 18-22 March 2002, CD-ROM p 70.
 Fuller Stephen, 2002. The Breathing Space, ppt 9, 18.
 The slides were prefaced with a disclaimer that the maps were produced for an ecological overview and were not authorative.
 Wellington City Council, 2001, Tawa and Takapu Hazard (Flooding) Areas, p 1.
 See attached Appendix from the Glenside website about maintaining a clear stream.
 Greater Wellington Regional Council, 2009, Westchester Drive Extension WGN090226, Schedule 2, Item 7.
 Wellington City Council Northern Growth Management Framework, p18,19
 O’Keeffe Mary, 2009, Extension of Westchester Drive, Glenside, Wellington. Archaeological Assessment of proposed road extension. p 21.