Author Archives: Mike Swain

A Win for Puhoi Road Safety Group: School Bus Route Extension


We on the Puhoi Road Safety Group have some fantastic news to report. After many, many emails and and even more phone calls we have managed to get one of the school buses to extend their route to Remiger Road. This means that there will be pick ups in the morning and drop offs in the afternoons at the intersections of Ahuroa Road and Bruce Mcgregor, Tunnel and Remiger Roads. This will save kids having to walk home along Ahuroa Road and alleviate congestion in the village centre in the mornings and afternoons when the buses are int he village. Please remember that the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus is 20kms whatever side of the road you are on. And please keep an eye out for the kids waiting for their school bus. Attached is a notice of running times for your information.

Minutes of the Puhoi Forum Community Meeting 18th April 2017


HELD AT PUHOI SPORTS CLUB ON 18 APRIL 2017 commencing at 7.30pm

PRESENT: Paul Manton (Chair), Dustyn O’Leary (Co-Chair), Jenny Schollum (Treasurer), Judith Williams, Sheryll Titford, Brian Titford, Sorrel O’Leary, Kristin Gillies, Gary Wenzlick, Johan Rijnbende, Beth Houlbrooke (Rodney Local Board), Tessa Berger (Rodney Local Board),, Christine Mundell, Terri Ryder, Sarah Churchouse, Martyn smith Wendy Hayton (Secretary, Minutes)

APOLOGIES: Russell Green, Heston Prosper-Smith, Mike Swain, Jenny Neel, Val Smith, Marg Nelson, Pat and Grahamde3 Backley


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2017 had been previously circulated. The minutes were accepted as being a true and accurate record.

Motion 1

THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2017 be confirmed as a true and accurate record.

Moved: Paul Manton

Seconded: Terri Ryder


Matters Arising

Chris Mundell referred to the reference in the minutes to the paddock with hay that was going to be planted out as wetland and reference to a discussion at a previous meeting. Chris had checked and reported that it was said that the issue of wetland or not would be put before the two farmers involved. Minutes of previous years’ meetings had said that if that land were put into wetland, it could never be put back to a hay paddock. However, there appears to have been no motion made regarding any decision. Dustyn said the issue had been discussed with Kevin and representative Forum members, and agreed that he would not cut it and in future when planting the walkway this area would be left as wetland. Dustyn will circulate minutes where this is covered in order to clarify.

Action: Dustyn

  1. TREASURER’S REPORT for MARCH 2017/ End Financial Year – previously circulated

Payments for the month were for the Sports Club meeting venue and a new member subscription. THAT the secretarial payment for $30 was approved. It was noted that the Sport’s Club rental fee has increased as from 1 April 2017. It was agreed that Jenny would send the accounts through to Larry Mitchell to get audited. Subscriptions will be due prior to the AGM in June.

Motion 2

THAT the secretarial payment for $30 was approved, and THAT the Treasurer’s report for March 2017 and the end of the 2106/2017 Financial year was accepted.

Moved: Judith

Seconded: Paul



Paul Manton gave an update on the river walkway. There has been little progress on the fencing because of wet weather. The Council arborists have not yet got involved, although they have visited the site.

The Forum leases from the Council all the land in the River Park (land to the left hand side of the bridge, through the metal gate), including walkways and planting, and sublets a substantial amount of this land to Kevin Jones (farmer) on a 5 year sublease, This lease has currently another 2 years or so to run (half way through). Kevin has indicated a desire to continue leasing the land once the lease comes up for renewal.

Paul Manton reported that the Council have sent documentation for renewal of the River Park land lease by the Forum. He requested approval to send these forms in to the Council. The lease is 10 x 10 years. This lease reflects the changeover from the Rodney Council to the Auckland Council. There is no change otherwise. Discussion took place. There is an income stream to the Forum at the moment from Kevin Jones, lessee of the farmland.

The whole Park is under the Council lease. The building of the Sports Club and surrounding land to the right hand side of the bridge is not included in the Forum’s lease. This is leased to the Sports Club by the Council.

It was agreed that Paul should send in the documents for lease renewal to the Council by a show of hands.

Judith Williams reported that a tree had fallen into the river in the storms. This is on public land. It appeared as if it might dam the river. Judith rang the Council storm water help line and lodged a request for assistance. It was suggested that a contractor be brought in to do the work, in order to avoid delays. To date, nothing has happened. It was agreed that Judith should log the call and get a reference number and email the Council (Tessa Berger).by email with the details.


This is ongoing. Some really good ideas have been received. More time and ideas are needed. Sarah Churchouse carried out a brief survey of Puhoi residents on her own account. She reported that the overwhelming response was that little should be changed. There was very little support for more building or tourist development. Park use included cycling, dog walking and leisure walks. Paul thanked Sarah for this information and welcomed her feedback and contribution.

Judith asked to table information about her views buildings in the Puhoi Memorial Park. This information accompanies the minutes.


  1. Working Groups

Traffic Safety/Walkways

Dustyn reported that Greenways have approached the Forum for a letter of support for their grant to develop a number of pathways. Duistyn proposed giving this support, conditional on Greenways further consultation with the Forum on a number of issues (e.g. planning for parking

etc). This is a long term project. It was agreed in principle by a show of hands, so long as these are multi use pathways

Neighbourhood Support and Civil Defence

Judith reported 21 streets need coordinators. She has about 12.

  1. Village Market

Celebrating ethnicities on 30th April. The pub has ATM facilities for this (not the shop).

  1. ANZAC Day – being organized by the PHS.

  2. Council 3 Year Strategic Plan Consultation.

Beth Houlbrooke reported that the Council is about to do more consultation on the 3 year strategic plan for the Rodney Local Board area – budget allocations are based on community feedback for projects over the next 3 years.

The meeting closed at 8.35pm.


The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 30th May at 7.30pm.

River Park Use Survey

Sarah Churchouse has kindly donated the results of the independent survey she circulated on our use and aspirations for the Puhoi River Park. The survey received a large number of responses (125). Here are the summarized results and the full (anonymized) replies.

The survey by Puhoi Community Forum looking asking for ideas for small, locally resourced projects for the park  is still open. Please take the time to respond to this to help prioritise our community efforts.



Puhoi Village Market, Sunday, 30th April, 9am to 1pm

It will be our Ethnic Day to celebrate Puhoi’s diverse cultures. Feel free to dress up in your national costume and join us. There will be a Samosa cooking demonstration, Bohemian folk dancing, body art demonstration and belly dancing.

Fresh local fruit and veges, eggs, honey, olive oil, Puhoi coffee, cheese, fresh-squeezed juice, pickles, fresh bread and pastries, smoked salmon, jam and pickles, samosa, deli foods, herbs, plants, craft stalls and much more.


Support Local!

Call 0274 27 0440 or email for inquiries or more information.


Next month market: Sunday, 28th May 2017

Weather Warning

Afternoon Aucklanders,

There is a high risk of extreme rainfall today (Wednesday) and tomorrow across the Auckland region prior to the arrival of tropical cyclone Cook.Some residents in parts of Auckland – in particular Gulf Islands, Maraeta, iBeachlands, Kawakawa Bay, , Clevedon, Waiheke and South Auckland are urged to prepare for strong winds in addition to bursts of heavy rain and coastal storm surges over the next two days.

Current forecasts show the cyclone arriving around midday Thursday however, keep an eye on updated forecasts throughout the day as this may change.

If your property is at risk of flooding or slips, consider ahead of time whether you need to stay with friends or family for the duration of this storm event. If there is an immediate risk to life or property at any time, contact emergency services on 111.
Some communities may be isolated due to the impacts of this weather event and the following tropical cyclone Cook.

If you must travel:

  • Consider postponing non-essential travel
  • Always drive to the weather conditions and never drive through floodwaters.
  • If you get stuck in a flood, get out of your car and move to higher ground immediately, taking great care in the floodwaters.
  • If driving at night, drive slowly, especially through flood-prone areas as you may encounter flooding at short notice.
  • If your property or area may be affected by slips or power outages, prepare for the possibility that your road access may be cut off and ensure you have food and provisions on hand in case of isolation.
  • Never attempt to drive over slips and treat power lines as live at all times.
  • Report blocked drains, flooding and trees down on public land to the council on 09 301 0101.

Check on neighbours and family, especially if they are in at risk areas or might be affected by flooding or slips.

Please take care and keep an eye on your community.

Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management

River Park Project Suggestions

The Puhoi Community Forum will be working with Auckland Council to review the River Park management plan over the next few months. They’d like to canvas some suggestions on projects that the community might like to do in the park over the next few years.

For the best chance of success, these would be small projects, within the scope of community effort and funding, rather than requiring financial input from the Council/Local Board



Some suggestions from a quick brainstorm at the last forum are listed below – please note that these are by no means definite – just to get you thinking

  1. Scouts/Playgroup building. Perhaps using/rebuilding the A&P show shed on the sports field
  2. More walking tracks. To link up with Te Araroa trail etc
  3. Wetland. Re invigorating the existing wetland area
  4. Puhoi Little Village
  5. Horses/Riding – more jumps (as at present) and a further area for riding be drained with sand and flattened off. Such an area could possibly also be used as a sports area.
  6. Music in the Park area.
  7. Mountain bike/informal BMX tracks area to help get the kids of the roads.
  8. Community gardens/orchard  this was a popular suggestion at the workshops last year

Puhoi Community Forum Minutes: 28th March 2017


HELD AT PUHOI SPORTS CLUB ON 28 MARCH 2017 commencing at 7.30pm

PRESENT: Dustyn O’Leary (Chair), Paul Manton (Co-Chair), (Treasurer), Judith Williams, S Peter Straka, Sandra Beagley, Sorrel O’Leary, Larry Mitchell, Pat Backley, Gavin Donaldson, Guinny Sorenson, Torbin Sorensen, Peter Kamphuis, Debbie Kamphuis, Christine Mundell, Mike Swain, Jenny Neel, Val Smith, Terri Ryder, Marg Nelson, Kristin Gillies, Heston Prospere-Smith, Jenny Schollum (Treasurer), Wendy Hayton (Secretary, Minutes)

APOLOGIES: Beth Houlbrooke (Rodney Local Board), Tessa Berger (Rodney Local Board), Sheryll Titford, Brian Titford


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2017 had been previously circulated. Mike Swain requested that more detail about the Saleyards Rd rezoning case be included. It was agreed that this information is included at the end of these minutes. With this comment, the minutes were accepted as being a true and accurate record.

Motion 1

THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2017 be confirmed as a true and accurate record.

Moved: Marg Nelson

Seconded: Gavin Donaldson


  1. TREASURER’S REPORT for FEBRUARY 2017– previously circulated

Motion 2

THAT the secretarial payment for $30 was approved. It was noted that the Sport’s Club rental fee has increased as from 1 April 2017. The Treasurer’s report for February 2017 was accepted.

Moved: Dustyn O’Leary

Seconded: Judith Williams



River Walkway

Paul Manton gave an update on the walkway. The culverts have now been cleared. With the assistance of Kevin Jones (leaseholder) machinery the entrance way to Stage 1 of the walkway will be clear so that the walkway can be used, and the Council will be able to mow the grass there.

Paul and a number of others will be starting the fencing shortly and are currently gathering the appropriate materials. Paul asked that once they had the right materials the Form would grant them to go ahead and use the funds scheduled for this purpose.

Motion 3

That the Forum authorises the funds required for the fencing previously agreed for the River Park walkway and entranceway to be released to Paul Manton, once he and his team have purchased the appropriate materials. The approximate figure is likely to be between $2000-3000.

Moved: Paul Manton

Seconded: Dustyn O’Leary


Action: Paul Manton

The Arborist from the Council should also be coming to take care of the macrocarpa trees on this site around the end of March, beginning of April.

  1. Little Village Information Day – Update

The Information Day had taken place on 12 March. Marg Nelson reported approximately 60 people attending. She gave a summary of the key points that arose from the day.

It was noted that a survey by Sarah Churchouse was being circulated around the village regarding the Park and its uses. This is not a Forum survey or backed by the Forum.

Paul Manton clarified the point that it is the Forum’s role to air community views, but not to be involved in or form an opinion on local projects. It is possible that once the Council formally requests submissions on the Little Village as part of the consent process, the Forum might submit a majority view if appropriate. Paul stated that the 2008 Park Management Plan is still in place for the area at this stage.

Judith Williams reported that Gillian Seymour had temporarily offered a small section of her land (part of ‘The Oaks’) by Puhoi River Motors to Larry Mitchell and his team for his blacksmith’s shop. This shop is on skids and can easily be removed. This location is at the start of the public walkway and close to public parking. This would facilitate the goal of having the Blacksmith’s shop open for the 29 June Puhoi settlement commemorations.

Larry acknowledged that there was a great deal of process to go through prior to any possibility of the Little Village being granted any place for development. Gillian’s offer could be very helpful at this time. Even with this offer, there will be Council stipulations to meet. Larry is to bring an update on this to the next meeting.

Action: Larry Mitchell

Clarification was made that the Puhoi Historical Society supports the concept of the Little Village, it is not involved in any way with the project team management.


Paul Manton asked for ideas for future projects which might be appropriate to put forward in the review of the River Park management plan which will be occurring in the next few months, in conjunction with the Council.

  1. Scouts/Playgroup building. Judith Williams suggested there will be a need in the not too distant future for buildings to house the growing community, in particular the Scouts and the playgroup (which might free up more space for the PHS museum in its current location). She suggested the shed in the Park which used to house the A&P equipment might be extended and a track established. Dustyn asked Judith to email her with more information around this idea for further discussion.

  1. More walking tracks – Greenways is planning some linking with Warkworth and other places. It is anticipated that the River Park track go right up to meet the current track at the top of the ridge and form a true loop.

  1. Wetland – Gavin Donaldson reminded that Forum that it had been agreed that Kevin (leaseholder) would fence off, not mow and ultimately plant out the wetland area on the Park land. No progress has so far been made. He proposed fencing off this area as a start.

  1. Puhoi Little Village – Larry Mitchell asked that the list include the Puhoi Little Village development on part of the Park land.

  1. Horses/Riding – more jumps (as at present) and a further area for riding se drained with sand and flattened off. Such an area could possibly also be used as a sports area.

  1. Music in the Park area.

  1. Mountain bike/informal BMX tracks area to help get the kids of the roads.

  1. Community gardens/orchard.

Online Survey

It was agreed that Mike Swain would put up a survey on the Puhoi website on behalf of the Forum about possible future projects. Dustyn and Mike to liaise on this.

Action: Dustyn O’Leary

Mike Swain

Paul Manton cautioned that those projects which did not require too much Council input are likely to be the most successful.


  1. Community Response Group (CRG) (was Civil Defence)

Heston Prosper Smith reported that he had had a meeting with the Auckland Council which had clarified most of the issues concerning the change from community Civil Defence to Community Response Groups. The Council might be able to fund a small amount of training but there is a need for more funds for leaflets, changes to the manual and other equipment. Grants can only be obtained from organisations which are Incorporated Societies with charity status. It was agreed that the CRG should come under the umbrella of the Puhoi Community Forum, which has this status and that the Council should be informed of this. Heston is to draft a letter to the Council for the Forum Chairs to sign on behalf of the Forum.

Action: Heston Prosper Smith

Motion 4

That the Puhoi Community Forum, as an Incorporated Society with charity status, officially become the umbrella organisation under which the CRG to can operate.

Moved: Peter Straka

Seconded: Judith Williams


  1. Neighbourhood Support Group

Judith Williams provided a report to be circulated in the Minutes, as follows.

Judith has continued sending out requests for conveners for Puhoi’s approximately 21 streets and roads, with only a moderate response, but it is clear from some replies that Civil Defence and Neighbourhood Support are becoming confused in some people’s minds.

Three people from the rural and village areas of the Puhoi River catchment have kindly offered their premises as a refuge in time of flood.

Rodney Neighbourhood Support leader Margaret Faed is providing a map of the catchment as those already available on the internet are hard to read and interpret.

The people asked to act as future conveners will look after roughly 10 to 20 households, mainly by collecting the contact details of their residents.


  1. School Buses

Terri Ryder had pursued this issue and her proposals with the Ministry of Education and AT with little success. It appears re-zoning might be creating difficulties. Puhoi children are now out of zone for Warkworth.

It was suggested that she contact local MP Mark Mitchell on behalf of the Forum.

Dustyn reported that she had been talking to Russell Green (Puhoi River Motors), Gillian Seymour (Puhoi Pub) and Nick (village shop) to try to move forward with developing bus turnaround options. AT has been the sticking point with this also.

  1. Village Market Update

The last market experienced poor weather. There has been a suggestion that the present stalls in the Sports Hall which are downstairs move upstairs. There appear to be a number of logistical problems with this.

Judith reminded members that the next market on 30th April is Ethnic Day (there will be a tug of war between the Danes and the Brits among other events).

  1. 84 Krippner Road – potential sale and land use

It appears as though an unconditional offer for the property has been made, and the future owner talked to neighbours about a “noisy factory manufacturing joinery” being sited on the premises. This land is not zoned for this being a Rural and County’ settlement area. Should the new owner wish to pursue the change of land use, the process via Council is prolonged and complex. Discussion took place concerning the impact of noise in the local area. Dustyn reported she has brought the whole issue up with Local Board members Tessa Berger and Beth Houlbrooke and awaits their input.

  1. ANZAC Day arrangements

Jenny Schollum reported that the Puhoi Historical Society will be celebrating ANZAC Day as per last year. Volunteer help is needed to help set up the village hall for refreshments afterwards, and with traffic control.

  1. Inorganic Rubbish Collection date

This is in August and published on the Puhoi web site.

Saleyards Road Information (an addition to the information in the 28.2.17 minutes). In the name of the Puhoi Community Forum we made an attempt to appeal against the rezoning decision which the Council made on the land between Krippner and  Saleyards Rds. The council made the rules for

being able to make an appeal through the Environment Court very hard to meet – basically we were only allowed to appeal on decisions that the council had made which they themselves deemed ‘out of scope’ (not asked for by anyone). The basis of our appeal was that the Council should have deemed the 97 rezoning ‘Out of Scope’ because the submission by the property developer only asked for a fraction of the rezoned land he was actually given, and other changes allowed him to double the density of housing he was asking to be zoned for. 

Following the interjection of Housing New Zealand (for some odd reason), the Council decided to put our case (and a number of others) through a Jurisdictional Hearing first, to test whether we even had a right to actually appeal. Following submissions by the property developer, Housing New Zealand, ourselves and the Council, the Judge this week decided that we couldn’t appeal, irrespective of whether the council made an error in not deeming the rezoning out of scope. So this was the Environment Court Judge’s decision that the Council was within its own (in our opinion, ridiculous) rules in denying us the opportunity to appeal.

The upshot is that we never even had a chance to put our case, or enter mediation; in which we would have been able to at least mitigate the effect of the decision by reducing the density or zoning level. Our only real recourse now would be to take the case to the High Court but that’s likely to be expensive – unfortunately our opponents have far deeper pockets than us!

If anyone wants a copy of our submissions or the court judgement I can supply them.


The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 18 April at 7.30pm. Changed from Tuesday 25 April (ANZAC Day).