Some events reported

Contents

  1. 1 Oil leaching into Little Shoal Bay from rock wall - 23 August 2017
  2. 2 Presentation to Kaipatiki Local Board - 23 August 2017
  3. 3 Filming undertaken in LSB wetland in different location from that approved  - 1 Aug 2017
  4. 4 Tree fallen on new track - 17 July 2017 (Hotline Ref  8110090535, ​​3100808620 and 8110092322) 
  5. 5 Signage to remind dog walkers that dogs must be on leash (Hotline Ref 8100061063 - 6 June 2017)
  6. 6 Sewage pollution in Valley Road - 2 June 2017
  7. 7 Sewage pollution in Le Roys Bush - Hotline Ref # is .... - 2 May 2017
  8. 8 A member of the public reported on Facebook to Pest Free Kaipatiki that "There is a big sewage overflow coming down the track from Glade Place into the stream. It's a big flow coming out of the manhole. I have reported it to watercare and pollution hotline. Pretty distressing seeing the volume of stuff flowing down. 😟""
  9. 9 Sewage pollution in Le Roys Bush - Hotline Ref # is 820065615 - 2 April 2017
  10. 10 Dumping of rubbish by a landscape contractor living next to Le Roys Bush - Ref # 8110067125 - 27 March 2017
  11. 11 Handrail damaged on new boardwalk 19 Feb 2017
  12. 12 Film of pollution and sewage smell in LRB stream 4 Feb 2017 by sewage trestle bridge (near Enterprise St) 
  13. 13 Eels killed apparently by oil or fat pollution 29 Jan and 3 Feb 2017 at bridge by LSB Bowling Club
  14. 14 Erosion around new walkway below Enterprise Motors - 16 Jan 2017
  15. 15 Proposed track maintenance - Hinemoa Street Entrance by Le Roy Tce
  16. 16 Concrete runoff in a drain leading into Le Roys Bush 19 June 2016
  17. 17 Geogrid mesh on track at junction of 3 streams 16 June 2016
  18. 18 Fallen kanuka - Wernham Ave 15 June 2016
  19. 19 Pampas Grass on council land above Little Shoal Bay reserve 7 May 2016
  20. 20 Wasps
  21. 21 See page from below 241 Hinemoa Street into Le Roys Bush stream 6 March 2016
  22. 22 Pollution spilling into stream from near 48 Enterprise St 23 Feb 2016
  23. 23 Weed waste dumped in Le Roys Bush 19 February 2016
  24. 24 Trees down near 3 track junction 19 Feb 2016
  25. 25 Wasp nest at bottom of new steps at 251 Hinemoa Street - 20 Feb 2016
  26. 26 Tree ferns cut down August 2015
  27. 27 Waterlogged track behind Dudding Park playing field - fixed Sept 2015
  28. 28 Pampas Grass on council land above Little Shoal Bay reserve
  29. 29 Pollution reported in Le Roys Bush Tuesday 23 June 2015
  30. 30 Track Maintenance - Hinemoa Street entrance & by Dudding Park
  31. 31 Ecological Control Programme
  32. 32 Track condition - watch your step! Updated 23 July 2015
  33. 33 Status of streams and kokopu - 11 January 2015
  34. 34 Keeping stormwater drains free of pollutants
  35. 35 Sewage Leak - stream testing - Sunday 14 December 2014
  36. 36 Sewage Leak followup - meeting with WaterCare on Friday 28 November 2014
    1. 36.1 Sewage Leak Alert - Sunday 23 November 2014
  37. 37 Erosion on bank beside the Little Shoal Bay Children's Playground
  38. 38 Thanks to Parks Department - September 2014
  39. 39 Storm damage - June 2014
  40. 40 Earlier incidents and reports
If you would like to report a problem in Le Roys Bush or to assist in helping with maintenance and monitoring, please go to our page Report pests, problems & pollution
    (Note: This page is: tinyurl.com/l9o3h7l)  

Oil leaching into Little Shoal Bay from rock wall - 23 August 2017

A member of the Little Shoal Bay protection Society reports an oil slick that appears to be leaching out from behind the rock wall below the haulout yard. It did not appear to be from the boat yard - but rather coming through the rocks.


Presentation to Kaipatiki Local Board - 23 August 2017

We are presenting on Wednesday 23 August about pollution, erosion and siltation in Le Roys Bush and into Little Shoal Bay.
We'd welcome your support in requesting improved water quality and reduced siltation.

The draft presentation is a bit rough - see Pollution, erosion and silting in Le Roys Bush (v0.1b)  Feedback welcome.

Filming undertaken in LSB wetland in different location from that approved  - 1 Aug 2017

See Facebook post 1 August 2017.  
In future we believe that ATEED should ensure better procedures are put in place for the future:
  • ATEED should confer with reserve management committees or registration groups before granting the consent
  • an ecologist's report should be transparent - the brief paragraph in the approval is inadequate
  • the KLB should seek more lead time so it can confer with relevant parties to ensure no other activities are occurring in the reserve

Report from ATEED following Filming in Little Shoal Bay Mud Flats - received 8 August 2017

It was a last minute decision to change their location to the ditch area and the area right off the end of that land mass which had very little vegetation around that spot but had in framed nicely in the background.

 The location they had originally chosen would of required them to walk 40 odd metres through the mud and reeds to actually reach the spot as scrambling down the bank from the field just wasn’t safe.

 In this location they managed to keep the camera mostly on the grass area. With the addition of the drone it also meant they didn’t have to wade too deep in to the mud area. It also meant they managed to capture ½ their footage in the ditch rather than in the Mudflats themselves.

The process we go through is liaising with the stakeholders of that area, and gaining their conditions of use, and then passing on those conditions to production. They in turn have their own Health and Safety officers who advise as to how best to proceed at each location. For example here, they advised the use of a hot shower unit, that they wear special booties, that try and minimise their time in the Mud (which they had already mitigated by changing location) and that they wear ear plugs.

 No warnings had come through for any particular concerns of pollutants or toxins in the area. Unfortunately the sewage aspect is a reality of a lot of our waterways let alone the lingering concerns that Mud Flats retain these pollutants for a longer period of time. That coupled with storm water drainage would sadly no doubt include the majority of Mud Flat in the Auckland area.

 The potential risk to health was mitigated to the best of their ability.

 We have been advised, once hearing about the risk of toxins, that the location manager keeps us informed if any crew develops any stomach bugs or worse a case of gastroenteritis.


ATEED had not consulted with the Le Roys Bush Management Committee as a primary stakeholder responsible for ensuring the management plan is observed. 

Tree fallen on new track - 17 July 2017 (Hotline Ref  8110090535, ​​3100808620 and 8110092322) 

Here's a photo of a kanuka which has fallen across the boardwalk just below Hauraki Panelbeaters at the bottom of Enterprise St - where all the inorganic rubbish is being replanted.  The kanuka damaged a puriri on the way down. It's possible to climb under the fallen tree - no obvious sign of risk but the branches are not fully supported and could move if swung on. 

    
This has been reported to info@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz along with another dead tree leaning diagonally above the steps near the top of the track by 251 Hinemoa Street. This tree is well above the steps but could fall - so as always, be vigilant when going for a walk in the bush.  
Many thanks to the volunteer Dave who removed the kanuka from the walkway over the weekend.   Thanks also to another bush user who phoned Council about the event sometime over the weekend.
We have been in touch with the Council arborists Treescape who had received the second call as an urgent call.  They had visited the site and found the work done, but had not received the request to remove the other dead tree at that time.
We hope to at some point in the future meet with Treescape and Council to refine procedures to avoid duplication of effort.   We suggest in the interim, that if you report a problem in Le Roys Bush to Council's contact centre, you also post a photo/note on https://www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsOfLeRoysBush/ and email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com so we try to reduce the risk of multiple call outs.  It's also very useful when reporting problems to Council to give an accurate address where the problem is located (eg about 400 metres down the wooden walkway from 251 Hinemoa Street) preferably with a photo.  Council had recorded the second report as being at 57 Birkenhead Ave - which used to be the official address of Le Roys Bush - but as anyone who has visited the Junction Cafe at the Kaimataara doesn't yet have an accessway to Le Roys (even probably if you're a basejumper).

Signage to remind dog walkers that dogs must be on leash (Hotline Ref 8100061063 - 6 June 2017)

With the sewage overflow into Le Roys [..., we were] reminded by a dog owner that there are still no "on leash" signs at the entrances to Le Roys Bush and owners are still risking their dogs and native fish by allowing dogs off track into bush streams. Animal Control has passed the enquiry on to the Council signs department. 

Sewage pollution in Valley Road - 2 June 2017

Some of our volunteers report that for the past month, a private sewer had been overflowing into the Valley Road stream and down into Little Shoal Bay wetland.
This situation had been going on for about a month without proper attention. WaterCare can only report the problem to a contact email address they have.
It should now be repaired and an improved alarm system installed. 

Sewage pollution in Le Roys Bush - Hotline Ref # is .... - 2 May 2017

A member of the public reported on Facebook to Pest Free Kaipatiki that "There is a big sewage overflow coming down the track from Glade Place into the stream. It's a big flow coming out of the manhole. I have reported it to watercare and pollution hotline. Pretty distressing seeing the volume of stuff flowing down. 😟""

Sewage pollution in Le Roys Bush - Hotline Ref # is 820065615 - 2 April 2017

On Friday 31 March 2017 we wrote to Downers (who managed the Kaimataara project) as follows:
One of our restoration advisers is working in Le Roys Bush this afternoon and found that sewage if flowing from 43-47 Birkenhead Ave and down into the Le Roys Bush stream.
... one of the owners of the building ... advises ... that it's an issue covered by Downers' use of the property during the construction of the Kaimataara Lookout and that he has been asking you to action this for some time.
As you will be aware, the Friends of Le Roys Bush group has been working to preserve the native biodiversity in the Le Roys Bush stream for many years. The Kaipatiki Local Board is also very concerned about the incidences of pollution into our waterways.
We would be grateful if your company could undertake immediate investigations and interim mitigation rather than leave it yet another day.
I have just reported this to the Pollution Hotline. Our reference from the Pollution Hotline is 820065615.I hope your company will be able to attend to this without delay.

On Sunday 2 April 2017, an independent scientist monitoring the stream took photos of the pollution in the stream. See copies on our Facebook page where the following comment is added:

Here are some photos taken this morning of pollution in the stream just below the lookout Kaimataara o Wai Manawa on Birkenhead Ave. The scientist who took these photos suspects this pollution has been running for some time.

One may wonder why when it was reported to Watercare they simply checked their own sewer lines and then handed the problem back to Downers.

Ideally Watercare should have issued a public warning that raw sewage was running across private land and into the Le Roys Bush Reserve - then down the stream to Little Shoal Bay.

Downers must without delay put in place appropriate mitigation measures to pick up the overflow and re-route it to the sewage system while they fix the problem.


    

       

On Monday 3 April 2017, a tenant in the property concerned reported that the sewage leak was fixed.  

We hope that this fix provides a good long term solution.
We recommend that people exercise caution swimming in Little Shoal Bay for a while. The water may only be wadeable for a while. 
Here's a view of the repair work taken from the Kaimataara

Footnote: the original call was passed by the pollution hotline to the Council compliance departments. On Wed 3 April, the Auckland Council compliance officers attended the site, but after some time searching,could detect no sewage overflow or smell. 
Unfortunately, Council's service management systems have no easy communication processes to allow communication between Council and the public (let alone voluntary groups).
In many service management systems, the "customer" is given a reference number when submitting a service request.  They can then use this reference number to follow up the call.
Equally, the officer assigned the service request can easily communicate with the "customer" to check on the location and status of the call.
Auckland Council at one stage appeared to be moving towards this more customer friendly model; but with the reimplementation of the SAP CRM system as part of the NewCore project, the customer relationship management systems mean that if you report something by email, then wish to follow it up by email, the Council's CRM system creates yet another service request. The overheads in staff time and costs must be quite significant compared with a best practice CRM system.  It would be interesting to know why they have chosen this path.

Dumping of rubbish by a landscape contractor living next to Le Roys Bush - Ref # 8110067125 - 27 March 2017

We wrote to council as follows:: "We are advised ... that a landscape contractor who lives [...] has been seen dumping his organic waste over his back fence into the Le Roys Bush Reserve.
Included in that rubbish was a large moth plant . One of our volunteers found around 20 pods ...
Could you please advise as soon as possible if you are able to speak with this person and to require him to retrieve all the rubbish before the moth plant seed pods burst. If he refuses to remove it before the seed pods burst, please advise us without delay, so we can dispose of the seed pods promptly. Each pods contains about 800 seeds which can float up to 30 kilometers across Auckland.
As you may be aware, the Pest Free Kaipatiki Programme, working in association with the Kaipatiki Local Board, is running a campaign to eradicate Moth Plant. I would be very grateful if you could follow up this weed dumping and advise us of the outcome. [...]
Ideally Council should be providing weed control training to landscape contractors."
[Submitted by email 2017-03-27; first level reply received 2017-04-01]

On 2017-04-03, we received a phone call from Recreation Services Ltd the Council Contractor to whom the Council hotline had referred this call.  They advised that they could pick up the organic waste except for the moth plant which they weren't authorised to pick up.  We advised them to refer the call to the compliance department to follow up with the perpetrator.  So they have created a new incident Ref #
3100808620.

Handrail damaged on new boardwalk 19 Feb 2017

​About 30cm of handle rail & 2 palings have been knocked out by a fallen tree fern trunk on the new boardwalk - about 30 metres east of overhead  sewer pipe on the new boardwalk from 251 Hinemoa. This has been fixed by a volunteer.

Film of pollution and sewage smell in LRB stream 4 Feb 2017 by sewage trestle bridge (near Enterprise St) 




The fish monitoring team discovered a widespread film of pollution in a small tributary that runs from Onewa Road properties into the Highbury stream near the  
sewage trestle bridge just downstream from Enterprise St.  This is the stream where there used to be over 400 kokopu several years ago but they disappeared in about January 2014(?). They were starting to come back but on 4 Feb a new pollution event has been discovered. 

It was reported to the Pollution Hotline on 4 Feb 2017. These photos were taken early on 5 Feb 2017.
In the week of 7 - 10 Feb we had two phone calls from Pollution team members - it is great to have this feedback which we've not had in the past for minor events.
See the Le Roys Bush facebook page for ongoing info.






The pool in the photo used to be a shallow pool (5-10 cm deep).  There has been a pulse of water down this tributary, unlike anything seen before.  Don’t know if the orange stuff is iron flouc bacteria or something else.  Smell of sewerage here but that has always been the case.



Slightly upstream of previous pic.  This used to be a deep pool (30+ cm) and where the remaining large fish in the catchment occurred.
Almost completely filled in and max water depth of the much reduced pool probably not more than 10 cm

Siltation if filling up a lot of pools right throughout Le Roys Bush. 
If you have ideas to help control this erosion and siltation, please email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com


Eels killed apparently by oil or fat pollution 29 Jan and 3 Feb 2017 at bridge by LSB Bowling Club

This event has been reported to the Council 24 hour Pollution team yesterday by someone and the job number is INR60064799.  
There's a collection of photos showing the fat/oil and the dead eels at 20170131-Dead eels and oil Little Shoal Bay


A dozen dead eels are strewn along the stream near the Little Shoal Bay stream by the LSB Bowling Club. There appears to be oil or fat in the stream from the Seaview Ave Bridge up past the north side of the bowling club. Many thanks to those who have reported the event to the Auckland Council 24 hour Pollution Hotline. 

On arrival at 8.21am, there was a lot of oil (not sure it's engine oil - in some places it looks slightly like a fat) in the stream either side of the bridge between the LSB Bowling Club and the path to Wilding Ave. The eels were in the stream bed and also stranded on the stream bank or in one case on a stick.

As the tide started coming in the oil started drifting up stream past the bridge.  But down by Rods Island and Little Shoal Bay there was no sign of oil, except a small patch of oil in a dip below the pedestrian bridge on the south west corner of Dudding Park.  People coming down the valley from Glade Place reported no sign of oil up towards Glade Place.

The dead eels were first seen Monday evening - but as one of them had a split in its gut, it's possible the oil spill occurred earlier. 

Some of the early morning walkers were very disappointed by the pollution and deaths as they were enjoying the growing numbers of protected eels in this area. 

Hopefully the Pollution Team will tell us what they think caused this and how to prevent a recurrence.

There are some photos in the following folder of the pollution and also the many weeds in flower around the LSB area: "20170131-Dead eels and oil Little Shoal Bay"

Maybe it's time we had another working bee around LSB? Watch this space?

Erosion around new walkway below Enterprise Motors - 16 Jan 2017

One of our active volunteers has provided photos of erosion around the walkway posts.  This has been sent to Parks Department who will ask their contractors for a response. 16 Jan 2017.
   
  

Proposed track maintenance - Hinemoa Street Entrance by Le Roy Tce

One of our active volunteers has written the following email which has been forwarded on 3 Dec 2016 to the Parks Department for a response:  
"I'm attaching three photos of the steps at the start of track S5 at Hinemoa St. The steps are concrete and in good condition, but rather steep and have no handrails. Each step is 30cm wide and 20cm high (within a few mm). Because of my age I am trying to discipline myself to always hold a handrail when going down steps because of the number of people I know who have broken limbs due to falls on steps. I think the risk of a serious accident on these steps is actually much greater than on the  paths where barriers are planned because of steep drops beside the paths. 
       
I also took four photos of the boardwalk at the intersection of the three tracks S3-S4-S8.  The boardwalk is quite sound, but the "marsh" or wetland that it traverses has slowly risen over the years due to sediment being deposited here. The result is that the water level rises during heavy downpours and flows over the top or the boardwalk. When this happens it leaves behind a layer of clay or silt on top of the boardwalk.  Also, the vegetation is steadily encroaching onto the boardwalk, and establishing itself on the boardwalk itself.  The gaps between the  planks that form the boardwalk are now mostly blocked full of soil and water no longer flows through them.   
            
I don't think this issue is on the planned works, but I am just letting you know of this situation, as I think it will need attention before long. The simplest solution would be to raise the boardwalk by at least 0.5m but possibly more. This would only  involve raising the existing deck by installing additional height at each of its supports, which I don't think would be a very big job."
Note: the track numbers refer to the Auckland Council's track numbering system. There's a copy of a 2015 map showing the numbering here.  


Concrete runoff in a drain leading into Le Roys Bush 19 June 2016

The urky looking stuff in this drain appears to be concrete or cement runoff from a stormwater drain leading from a private home into a channel that leads into Le Roys Bush.
We appeal to all property owners to check that contractors working on their property understand that stormwater drains around Le Roys lead into fresh water streams that are home to native fish (banded kokopu, inanga), eels and invertebrates.
Please try to ensure that only clean rainwater runs into these streams - this means: no car washing water, swimming pool discharge, cement or paint washings, petrol, oil, weed killer, roof washing water, etc.


Geogrid mesh on track at junction of 3 streams 16 June 2016

A local resident and keen Le Roys Bush supporter has reported to Council  a small section of safety mesh that is lifting and it is a trip hazard / safety issue. It is located at the intersecting of three walking tracks (Onewa Road entrance track, Hinemoa / Le Roys Tce track and the track that heads towards south Valley Road).
Note - if you see sections of mesh (called "geogrid") that need repair, please send an email to the Council contact centre (Call.Centre@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz) with precise details of the location and ideally a photo. And a copy to LeRoysBush@gmail.com if you'd like your report added to this page so that others know the problem has been reported. Ref # 8110002825

Fallen kanuka - Wernham Ave 15 June 2016

If you've walked down Wernham Ave and have noticed a kanuka on a big lean near the bend in the road, there's no need to report it - an neighbour has already done so. Ref # 8110002456

Pampas Grass on council land above Little Shoal Bay reserve 7 May 2016

Update 15 June 2016: we have recently heard that the Council's contract NZ Biosec Ltd is investigating this.
There is still Pampas Grass and other pest plants growing on Auckland Council land between 48 and 61 Seaview Ave, Northcote. We wrote about it last year but large clumps are still in full flower on this steep section used for drainage.  We've raised tens of thousands of dollars to control pampas and other pests in the wetland so we are keen to remove all pampas around the perimeter of the reserve.
It's too difficult for volunteers to work on this land, so we are writing again to Auckland Council to see if they can tackle this again. Incident #Reference: 7000325119
Here's some photos showing the location:
     

Wasps

We reported another wasp infestation below 251 Birkenhead Ave on 3 May 2016 (Reference: 7000323852).  No injuries this time. 
  • A number of wasp infestations in the reserve have been reported to Council this year.  Council generally sends out their specialist the same day - particularly if there is a danger to the public.
  • To report a wasp infestation, please phone the Auckland Council contact centre on 3010101 giving precise location of the infestation within the reserve. The person taking the call is likely to ask you for details of the location and will look it up on a GIS map.  If you have the GIS coordinates please provide them.  Please note that all parts of Le Roys Bush are managed by Council - even though some are legally DoC land.  
  • Wasps on private property can't be dealt with by Council staff - the property owner or tenant must engage a contractor. 
  • Please give your name and contact number so that the contractor can ring you if they can't find the wasps.  

See page from below 241 Hinemoa Street into Le Roys Bush stream 6 March 2016



This weekend (5-6 March 2016), the Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team has found an unusual banded kokopu with a stripe appearing in the kokopu pool this weekend.  It is smaller than the dominant banded kokopu with the usual markings - but no stripe. Apparently the Mahurangi Polytech native fish experts have seen this stripe before - it tends to occur where fish are in a stressed situation.

However, regrettably they also report a new pollutant entering the Le Roys Bush stream just below the kokopu pool.  There is an oily sheen on the surface of the pools and the  sand/silt in the bottom of the pool is showing an elevated ammonia reading pf 1 to 3 ppm. 

The team suspects that the sand is acting as a filter and there is heaps of sewerage etc trapped in it, which is being slowly released into the stream.  This photo here shows a foot print mark which is filling up with this polluted sediment.

A few metres north, nearer the steps from 251 Hinemoa Street,  there is also a small trickle of water which runs constantly.  This trickle had been washing fine sediment into the kokopu pool but the LRB volunteers rearranged the silt socks across the path of this small stream and it appears to be filtering out the silt.  The source of the stream is not known. If it were coming from a swimming pool then it may be introducing chlorine into the kokopu pool? 

These concerns have been reported to the Pollution Team [2016-03-06]





    


Pollution spilling into stream from near 48 Enterprise St 23 Feb 2016

This event has been reported to the Pollution Team who are investigating.
It appears that the pollution may have been caused by a roof cleaning company waterblasting a large roof and from a plaster spill on the same site.  The Council is considering whether to pursue the persons concerned.  
Here's some photos showing the white pollutants washing into the Le Roys stream, workmen on the roof of 48 Enterprise Street and white pollutants in a stream where banded kokopu used to live amongst kawakawa, parataniwha and ferns.  [Updated 2016-02-27]

        
This is not ok.  Just because a detergent or products like MotoMuck say they're environmentally friendly doesn't mean that they can be washed into waterways.  (The spec sheet for MotoMuck says explicitly that it should not be released into waterways).  Any of these products can make the stream and pools in bush reserves death traps for sensitive wildlife.  We need to renew the signs in Enterprise Street to stop the pollution running from the workplaces there.  We understand that one business has installed proper water filtering equipment - but the others are letting their runoff flow down the street and into Le Roys Bush stream.   Many years Council arranged an evening to talk to property owners in the street - but only one turned up. Another when asked about washing his truck on the street, walked down to the stormwater grate and returned to say that the sign said "Flows to the Sea".  So maybe we need new signs to say "Flows to Le Roys Bush stream where native fish live then to the sea". 

Weed waste dumped in Le Roys Bush 19 February 2016

A volunteer saw a person who appeared to be a contractor dumping privet and blue morning glory trimmings in the bush near the Le Roy Terrace entrance. We have reported this to Council who say they have initiated an investigation. The site where the weed waste was dumped is one of the locations where a Beyond the Fence project has been hand weeding tradescantia and other weeds.

Trees down near 3 track junction 19 Feb 2016

2 pukateas about 10+ metres tall fell after wind at the 3 track junction. They were trimmed by volunteer Laurie. The event was reported to Council and Treescape has contacted us prior to removing the fallen trees.

Wasp nest at bottom of new steps at 251 Hinemoa Street - 20 Feb 2016

One of the fish monitoring team was stung by wasps about 5 metres from the kokopu pool. The nest was reported and dealt to by the Council wasp specialist.[21 Feb 2016]

Tree ferns cut down August 2015

On 23 August we noted that someone had cut down two tree ferns and dumped the trunks in the wetland beside the track near the Fairfax Ave track.
If you know anything about who might have done this, please get in touch. For photos, see 2015 Events and Achievements[Updated 25 August 2015] 

Waterlogged track behind Dudding Park playing field - fixed Sept 2015

A regular walker in Le Roys wrote:
"
Because of rain, the path from behind the playing field along the flat as far as the bush has this week had the common problem of water lying across it, so that it must be avoided off the side in one place and dodged for much of the rest of it. 

I see the scoured out track up to Hinemoa St has been fixed, which is excellent and much appreciated. Two(?) years ago there was also new gravel laid on the path behind the bowling club to the bridge to Wilding Ave, which didn’t need it. But nothing was done on the other side where there was then and still is a problem."


                                              

On 25 August we got a call from a manager from Recreational Services Limited who have the contract for track maintenance in Le Roys.
He obtained Council budgetting approval and his team spread some Gap 50 gravel on the track on Wed 2 September. Things are looking much better.  
Many thanks to Council and to Mark, Zac and their team[Updated 5 September 2015] 
Attached above are some photos from the resident who reported the problems on the track and also with the steps at the Wilding Ave end of the Louisa Wadham walkway. 

Pampas Grass on council land above Little Shoal Bay reserve

Earlier this year, we had a working bee to clear all pampas grass from around the Little Shoal Bay wetland to reduce the risk of this gross weed reinfesting the wetland.  It's cost tens of thousands to have it removed by specialist weed control experts.    There was one patch at the bottom of Seaview Ave which we didn't finish that day, so on Sunday 19 July we visited the site to be told that it's growing on Council land along with a lot of other weeds..  We have dead-headed as much of the pampas as we could reach (it's growing at the top of a steep slope).  And we are writing to the Council stormwater people to ask them if it's possible to replace the weeds with native shrubs that suit the neighbours' wishes - but without causing an erosion risk.

Pollution reported in Le Roys Bush Tuesday 23 June 2015

Around 3.15 Tuesday 23 June 2015 we rang the Auckland Council pollution hotline to pass on a report from a walker in Le Roys about frothy pollution coming down the stream from the waterfall. They said they'd get back to us - but we haven't heard yet. On Sunday 28 June, there was no sign of pollution in the stream where the Onewa Road and Highbury streams meet.  If you have any sightings of pollution, please get in touch with the Pollution Hotline
As at 12 July 2015, we haven't heard back from the pollution hotline.  However more foam has been spotted in the stream coming down from Highbury. Also the water in one of the tributaries to this stream is very murky.  As at 30 July we still haven't received a reply from the Pollution Hotline. It is hard to understand why they don't respond.

Track Maintenance - Hinemoa Street entrance & by Dudding Park

We have had some feedback on the track maintenance at the Hinemoa Street entrance and also by the track leading from Dudding Park up the valley. 
At the Hinemoa Street entry, probably in July 2015, large cabbage trees had been removed and then dumped in the bush. The manager from Recreational Services Ltd believes that this may have been done by contractors building a fence on the track.   

Down by Dudding Park, native grasses we'd planted a couple of years ago have been sprayed along the edge of the track. The manager from Recreational Services Ltd advised us on 25 August 2015, that track maintenance will move away from the spraying and vertical slashing of leaves and branches along the track edge towards moving the plant line back away from the track edge. He is going to meet with LRB Management Committee in September to discuss this approach - it sounds as though it will provide a more attractive track edge than the approach taken previously.  [Updated 25 August 2015] 

Ecological Control Programme

Some years ago the North Shore City Council set in place an Ecological Control Programme which included regular control of pest plants within Le Roys Bush.  This hasn't been done for some time - we are following this up as at 10 May 2015. However with the shrinking Parks Department budget, we will still be running bush care working bees to control weeds.  We hope you will find time to help us out.  We have heard from NZBiosecurity Ltd that ecological control will start in Le Roys from 24 August 2015 with the lower reserve to be covered later in September.  [Updated 25 August 2015] 

Track condition - watch your step! Updated 23 July 2015

We got this report from a supporter who lives near the reserve to say that early one morning a woman was jogging through the reserve and took a nasty tumble on a broken plank in the boardwalk. The damage has been reported to Council.  The issue was reported in January but due to the roadworks on Onewa Road the Council contractor hasn't attended to it yet (as at 28 Feb 2015).  
 
There are quite a lot of dodgy planks and trip hazards all the way along the boardwalks through the reserve as well as large sections of wire + plastic mesh that could be a trip hazard, especially for those people that run through the reserve at a fast pace. We will follow this up with Council. And in the interim, a volunteer is going to mark the spot with fluoro tape.

If you see any areas that are a problem, please report them to Council - see our page Report pests, problems & pollution

Note: on 10 May 2015 we submitted the following on the Parks Department webpage: 
Several boards are cracked in the board walk from Dudding Park up towards the intersection of the 3 tracks  - particularly in the narrow board walk.   It is hard to see the break as the boards are barely deflected. Please let me know if you'd like me to tie tape to the boards so they are easier to identify
Also the GeoGrid has rolled back at the beginning of one section of board walk from Dudding Park. 
If you could supply some boards, geogrid and stainless staples, we are happy to undertake these repairs. 

Update 23 July 2015:  we notice that quite a few boards have been replaced on the wooden walkway between Dudding Park and the Le Roy Terrace entrance.  Many thanks to Council for arranging this. Please remember that if you are a regular walker and notice dangerous boards or steps, please email LeRoysBush@gmail.com with its location and a photo and we'll pass the request on to Council (you can of course report it yourself to Council). 
Also if you walk regularly and would like to help monitor track condition, we can supply you with pink tape to mark dangerous boards.

Status of streams and kokopu - 11 January 2015

The Northcote College team has been checking the stream regularly since the pollution on 23 November. Here's excerpts from an informal report:

Ammonia levels at Enterprise still between 1-3 ppm and there is some ‘grey’ water and a portion of surface scum/sludge about 3m or so long in one section.  The big pool under the pink building, which was completely frothed over and greyed out during the pollution event is now clear, has a 0 ppm ammonia reading and had heaps of fish in it.  ... saw upwards of 20 young ...and at least 7 adult fish between 120-180 mm long.  

For a photo of the fish click here.

Keeping stormwater drains free of pollutants

Following the sewage spill from the Birkenhead shops that polluted the Le Roys Bush stream, we met with two officers from Watercare.  In discussion we mentioned cases where a business had been washing their vehicles down on the road and the detergent was running down into the stormwater and then into the Le Roys Bush stream. 
In discussion with the owner, he noted that the existing sign said "Drains to the sea" and didn't mention freshwater fish. Not that the wording seemed a justification for draining detergents into the sea either. On checking further down the street, we noticed that the stormwater drains at the very bottom had signs so old they were almost illegible.

We'd asked the Watercare people if they were aware of any signs or stencils that could be used by the stormwater drains that passed water into Le Roys so that we could work with local schools to raise awareness. They have passed on the enquiry to an Auckland Council officer and we will liaise with them to see if we can label all the stormwater drains that lead into Le Roys Bush with signage that will discourage people from letting detergent or other pollutants run into the drains. 

The Council compliance officers advise that an officer visited 11 food premises close to Le Roys Bush in the first week of December.  He found that all had "adequate systems in place".  

Sewage Leak - stream testing - Sunday 14 December 2014

On Sunday 14 December, the Northcote College team checked the pools below Enterprise Motors. They report "The stream is a 'sewerage grey’ colour.  
Did ammonia tests using aquarium test kit (1.0 ppm) and dip stick (photo enclosed - for me between 1 - 3 ppm ammonia).  No sign of nitrites.  
Stream water level is up by close to 20 cm and given the amount of rain we’ve had that would be flushing the system, I’m surprised that I detected any ammonia at all. 
So, there is ammonia in this part of the stream. I was surprised to see so much froth and scum on the top of the water still."

        

Sewage Leak followup - meeting with WaterCare on Friday 28 November 2014


Late Monday afternoon we were contacted by a Watercare engineer to say that the sewage leak was caused by a fats blockage in the sewerline from eateries in the Highbury Shops. WaterCare staff had cleared a blockage in the sewer line running from behind 57-63 Birkenhead Ave eastwards down parallel with Onewa Road. This blockage had caused sewage to back up and overflow from under Westpac Bank. The sewage had run down the slope behind the bank and entered Le Roys Bush stream then down the stream all the way to Little Shoal Bay. Watercare staff spread lime powder in the immediate vicinity. To avoid any further disruption to the ecology of the stream they didn't spread lime or disinfectant in or near the stream. 

On Friday we met with the Manager of Network Operations and a Water Quality and Compliance Scientist from WaterCare Services Limited.

WaterCare is investigating various remedies.  They will look at putting an alarm in the sewage manhole under Westpac Bank to detect recurrences.  They will work with Auckland Council compliance staff to improve grease trap management in business around Highbury.  They found that the greasetrap below one of the restaurants on Birkenhead Ave was completely full.  It is not known yet whether other grease traps also suffer from a lack of maintenance.

It will be some time before we know how many (if any) fish survived the sewage.

WaterCare was very cooperative and keen to work with us to develop education and prevention programmes. Hopefully we might also work with them and Auckland Council to initiate restoration programmes if required.  

Click here for more details and photos of this sewage spill.
The Kaipatiki Local Board will be discussing this issue on Wed 10 December 2014

Sewage Leak Alert - Sunday 23 November 2014


At 10am this morning we were about to start our working bee below the Westpac Bank, when we smelt then found a major sewage leak running from under Westpac Bank into the Le Roys Bush stream. We have alerted Council at about 10.20 am. WaterCare services attended at about noon.

We'd recommend that people and their pets keep out of the Le Roys Bush streams , the Little Shoal Bay Wetland and Little Shoal Bay until WaterCare advises the results of testing in these areas. 
This is a serious setback for the ecology of the stream - particularly the whitebait which breed in the upper reaches towards Highbury. In February 2012 over 400 banded kokopu disappeared from the pools in the upper reaches of the stream. In recent months they had started to return. An inspection by Dr Hustler of Northcote College has not identified any corpses at this stage. Hopefully the damage will not be as great as in 2012.

We look forward to receiving a report from WaterCare (a subsidiary of Auckland Council) advising what the cause was and what they can do to minimise the recurrence of overflows into sensitive ecological areas. Watercare Services were delayed in accessing the location - hopefully the property managers at Westpac or Bayleys can address this in the event of future occurrences.

Late Sunday evening, we have had no further updates from WaterCare. However we have had a response from Ann Hartley, Councillor Darby and Councillor Wood.  The latter asked the COO Dean Kimpton to follow this up and he has just replied to say he has involved a WaterCare and Council officer.



We hope that WaterCare will advise us how they clean up sewage spills like this. One issue we hope to discuss is this:
(a) ... with these sewage ‘clean ups’ is that the sewer workers usually disperse a lot of chemicals to disinfect the spillage area. In natural areas where vulnerable fish are close by, this adding of extra stream polluting chemicals is very unwise on top of the already-spilled effluent. The practice should be stopped.  For such areas, where the public are unlikely to go, it would make more sense to just hose the immediate area to clean it. Nature always biodegrades the effluent, as is happening all through the year in Little Shoal Bay wetland due to the frequent wet weather sewage overflows/
(b) ... we wonder also whether a bund could be constructed under or around the westpac building to reduce the risk of sewage spills and whether improved procedures could be put in place to ensure public reporting of sewage or other pollution in Le Roys and Little Shoal Bay.

Click here for more photos of this sewage spill.


Erosion on bank beside the Little Shoal Bay Children's Playground

 

Local residents on the east side of Little Shoal Bay contacted Council in October raising their concerns about erosion to the Maori Track that runs along the bank on the eastern side of the LSB swings and slides.  
There used to be flax and native shrubs growing on the bank but this was sprayed and now there is bare clay that is eroding from children and adolescents playing on the bank..

While this is not part of the bush proper, it would be good to see the erosion controlled and the erosion controlled.

Maybe natives such as flax or pohuehue could be planted. 

If you have ideas on this please email us.


Thanks to Parks Department - September 2014


Many thanks to the Auckland Council Parks Department - we recently learnt that Council contractors have been through Le Roys and replaced all the old and damaged wirenetting with anti-skid black mesh (known as geo-mesh).  This is great.  We some broken boards have also been mended. 

Possible sewage pollution - August/September 2014

A frequent visitor to Le Roys Bush has detected what smells like sewage near the stream in the upper Le Roys Bush over winter.

More recently he has noted toilet paper in the stream just below where the brown iron oxide bacteria occurs naturally (between Onewa Road and the Waterfall).  

He has also noticed that the brown coloured water has changed course.  We will write to Auckland Council and Watercare about this - but if any other users of Le Roys Bush have noticed sewage leaks in Le Roys, we'd welcome you reporting them as soon as possible (preferably with a photo of the location and a copy to LeRoysBush@gmail.com).  See the reporting contact page link above. 



Storm damage - June 2014


Update 4 July 2014: we learn that the track from Dudding Park up to the junction with the Glade/Valley Track is now open again.  Many thanks to the Auckland Council Parks Department and the Beyond the Fence group for this.

Update 21 June: 
the track from Seaview Ave down to Dudding Park is blocked by a fallen tree. It did not appear possible to get past.

The track from Dudding Park up to the junction with the Glade Place/Valley Road track is blocked by 3 fallen trees. One of the fallen trees has ripped up the board walk (see photo below) and the tree is leaning against other trees - so still poses a possible danger. The council has erected barriers at various entrances to those tracks - but some appear to have been moved - esp the one at the Glade/Valley entrance.  Several people were emerged down the track this afternoon - one jogging, the other on a mountain bike.  They indicated that it is possible to clamber over the trees and around the broken boardwalk.  But there are definite dangers and it appears the Council is fully justified in closing these sections of the track.  We have had no indication when the fallen trees will be removed or the board walk repaired.

18 June 2014: John Gillon - Kaipatiki Local Board added 5 new photos to his Facebook page " ...due to last week's storm, the Le Roys Bush track from Glade Place to Dudding Park/Little Shoal Bay is closed. Part of the Kauri Glen Park track is also closed. Some photos below courtesy of Auckland Council officers."

Earlier incidents and reports

7 June 2014
This week a volunteer reported broken steps in the track going in from Onewa Road. The Council contractor fixed them within a few days. 
Yesterday, a LRB walker reported further broken boards between Valley Rd and Dudding Park - these have been reported. 

24 April 2014
Q. A visitor to Le Roys Bush has reported some moth plant growing in a hedge on the Le Roy Tce entrance to the bush. As every moth plant pod is said to have millions of seeds, there climbers are a real worry.  We have reported this to Council Parks Department. 
A. Great to hear from the Parks Department that the biodiversity co-ordinator has asked the contractor to remove the moth plant.

21 April 2014
A visitor to the reserve reports that Giant Reed (Arundo donax) plants are spreading in the area below the Enterprise Street entrance to Le Roys (between Enterprise Motors and Hauraki Panel and Paint) and that someone has been dumping garden rubbish over the bank by Hauraki Panel and Paint. If you see anyone dumping garden waste or any other rubbish into the reserve, please report it to Auckland Council at info@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and copy us in on the email LeRoysBush@gmail.com.

19 April 2014
Crack willow is reported re-emerging in the Upper LeRoys Wetland. We'll get on to this.
Back in the 1970s the wetland from the 3 track junction down to the raupo was a crack willow swamp.  There were various valiant efforts to rid the reserve of this pest.  But it needs ongoing vigilance. Interesting to see too that there is raupo growing just above the 3 track junction.  
            

1 March 2014
Cement coloured water running down the stream from Hinemoa Street and running under the bridge at the three track junction. Flow had stopped by 2 March. Not reported to Pollution Line as response to 25 Feb report was not encouraging.  
25 February 2014
Strong smell of sewage detected in the lower wetland by the Dudding Park field.
Reported to the Auckland Council Pollution Line.
When someone rang Council to see if it was safe to swim in Little Shoal Bay they were told that there was no record of the pollution being reported.

24 November 2013

Strong smell of sewage detected in the stream below Enterprise Street.
Will report it to pollution line and watercare (see Report pests & pollution )

1 November 2013 - fallen totara on track below Glade Place

LT has reported a fallen totara tree and wonders if it can be rescued. The tree is about 5 metres tall and maybe 70mm diameter.  It is not clear why it has fallen but we are investigating if it can be rescued.

 
Thanks to all those who gave advice and offers of help. It seems the consensus is not to try and rescue the tree.  Totara don't like wet feet - so it may be doomed anyway.  On the other hand, it may put out more roots and continue to grow and in due course send up a new vertical trunk. 

28 July 2013 - what are the "boundary" markers in the lower wetland

Have you seen the "Boundary" markers in the lower wetland on the track by the sewer line that crosses from Maritime Terrace?
   

One is hammered between the roots of a large Kauri.  If you know what they are for, please share this with us - email LeRoysBush@gmail.com.
An enquiry has been sent to ActionLine@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz who have responded to say that they are the boundaries between the different legal titles within the reserve.

28 July 2013 - stormwater scouring of Le Roys Bush track

If you have walked through Le Roys Bush recently, you'll have noticed that a number of the tracks are badly scoured by stormwater.  Some are down to deeply gouged. Some are quite muddy.  Below Hinemoa Street the drain heads under the track are clogged with gravel and mud.
Earlier this year one of the committee members cleared all the drainheads near the Hinemoa Street/Le Roy Terrace entrance. However they have blocked considerably since.

We also noticed that the volume of water coming down through the bush seems to have increased markedly over the years - in some case ripping out native plants that we have put in the upper wetland. We don't know if there has been an increase in paved area drained into the reserve.  

 Track heavily scoured - exposing roots        
 Blocked drain - possible cause of excessive scouring? 
 Tack heavily scoured and exposing mud


An enquiry has been sent to ActionLine@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

12 April 2013 - Large Native Trees felled on private property in Werhnam Place

Local residents were surprised to hear the sound of chainsaws running this week - with the operators calling to each other about which tree to fell next.

The property concerned is possible zoned 6C. We'll need to ask an expert exactly what this zoning means - but thanks to the Property Council and the 2009 RMA Amendment we understand that such mature trees are no longer protected.  If it were Residential Bush Protection Zone 2B we understand that they would have been protected.

Is this what will become common place with the Property Council and the Government pushing for reduced controls in private land?

25 March 2013 - Tree ferns appear to be poisoned - but they weren't
A landscape architect walking along the track between Dudding Park and Glade Place/Valley Road noticed that several tree ferns appeared to have died.
Not sure whether they had been poisoned or suffered natural causes.
We have made some enquiries and it appears that what had happened was that the trees died in the drought and then, separately, the kikuyu around them was sprayed.




28 July 2012
- tree fallen on Valley Road track - reported to Auckland Council Call reference number 7000029050



11 January 2012 - privet trees felled and dropped into native bush below 1 Birkenhead Ave; Christmas tree, demolition and other rubbish dumped into Le Roys Bush.
During a weed patrol for the East of Highbury project, we removed a large number of weeds including scotch thistle, ox tongue, woolly nightshade and moth plant from behind 57-63 Birkenhead Ave and the Westpac Building (29-33 Birkenhead Ave).  Checking down beside Rosella Apartments (1 Birkenhead Ave), we found that the plantings of karaka, kowhai, parataniwha etc are growing well.   However we noticed first that an old Christmas tree had been dumped in the reserve - then saw that all but one of the privet on the Le Roys Bush boundary below Rosella Apartments had been felled. That they had been felled is very welcome - however they have been dropped into Le Roys Bush across mature native palms and trees as well as across the native seedlings that we had planted in 2011.  Some of the privet are significantly large. We have contacted the Auckland Council and hope that the large limbs can be removed without further damage to the bush and without damaging the native seedlings. 
 
 
23 December 2011 - Paint spill in upper stream below 65 Birkenhead Ave - reported to Pollution Hotline

12 December 2011 - Kauri Ricker cut down - end of Fairfax Ave - reported to Council