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Upper Hutt Leader : September 14th 2011
28 UPPER HUTT LEADER, SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 Don't miss the bus review You will be asked later this year what you think of proposed improvements to Wellington bus services. The proposals come out of an extensive review that was started in 2009. Doug Weir, Greater Wellington's Senior Public Transport Planner, says the changes are more comprehensive than originally planned. "We're proposing to change the network, as opposed to tweaking individual services. We're confident the changes will deliver a much more efficient, user-friendly bus system in Wellington." Californian bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus) is an aquatic plant that can grow up to 2 metres on the edges of saltwater. It has bright green stems that can be rounded or triangular and grow from woody, creeping underground stems. It produces drooping clusters of orange/brown flowers which later turn into nutlike seeds. Californian bulrush is usually found where freshwater and saltwater meet at the mouths of large rivers and estuaries. It forms dense stands that can push out native species and block water courses and drains. Seen it? Contact us: 0800 496 734 email@example.com Welcome to Our Region -- the Greater Wellington Regional Council's quarterly magazine. Your feedback is appreciated -- 0800 496 734 or firstname.lastname@example.org Californian bulrush Photo: Paul Champion (NIWA) GW takes ownership of rail assets Walk in an untouched forest Experience stunning native forest by joining a free guided Wainuiomata Water Walk. See spectacular rata, kahikatea and rimu, and learn about the history of the water catchment and how this beautiful forest has remained pristine. There are nine Wainuiomata Water Walks from October 2011 to June 2012. The walk takes place in the Wainuiomata Water Collection Area, which isn't normally open to the public. Apply for your place now, see: www.gw.govt.nz/events, phone 830 4432 or email email@example.com Signing a historical rail package at the Thorndon train depot in Wellington. (l-r) Kiwirail CEO Jim Quinn, Associate Transport Minister Hon Nathan Guy, Greater Wellington Councillor Prue Lamason, Greater Wellington Chair Fran Wilde and Transport Minister Hon Steven Joyce A historic rail package, giving ownership of significant rail assets to the people of the Wellington region through Greater Wellington, provides certainty for the region's rail network The package, signed in July by KiwiRail, Greater Wellington and Greater Wellington Rail Ltd (a company owned by Greater Wellington), gives Greater Wellington ownership of all Wellington metropolitan passenger trains and stations in the region, except Wellington Railway Station. Greater Wellington now also owns the maintenance depot for electric trains in Thorndon. Councillor Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington, says one of the best things about the package is the certainty it gives. "Up until now we've had to prepare separate business cases and go through the funding hoops for each improvement or upgrade. But this package enables a range of necessary work to be done to further improve reliability and to get on with refurbishing the ageing Ganz Mavag fleet of electric trains." This package give s us an opportunity to manage and future -proof the region's rail assets How should our region be governed? An update... The region's councils have received 155 submissions on how the region should be governed in the future. Earlier this year the Wellington Mayoral Forum asked for the community's views on various ways to improve how the Wellington region is governed. (The Wellington Mayoral Forum is a committee of the region's mayors and Chair of Greater Wellington.) The submissions, along with an independently prepared summary, will be available soon. See Greater Wellington's website for details: www.gw.govt.nz/regional-governance Haven't cycled for a while? Boost your cycling confidence with Bike Buddies Lake Kohangatera in top 10 It's official -- Lake Kohangatera in East Harbour Regional Park's Parangarahu lakes block is one of New Zealand's best... A NIWA aquatic plant survey rates Lake Kohangatera as New Zealand's 10th best lake out of more than 200 assessed to date, describing it as "a nationally outstanding example of a lowland lagoon system". Lake Kohangapiripiri (the second Parangarahu lake) was ranked 47th and its condition rated as "high". The survey found that both Parangarahu lakes support native plants and animals, including several uncommon or endangered plant species. Lake Pounui in the Wairarapa -- another lowland lake -- was ranked 66th (also "high"). However, the survey isn't all good news. It also identified the presence of a pest plant -- Canadian pondweed -- in Lake Kohangatera. Greater Wellington has created exclusion zones around the infestations (walking and cycling along the tracks in the area aren't affected). The survey results will help Greater Wellington decide how the lakes should be managed in the future. Regional cycling maps Coming soon -- new regional cycling maps to make your journey pleasant and safe. The maps show cycle lanes, shared paths, off-road commuter tracks, roads that are high speed but have a generous shoulder and other useful information. There are three maps -- Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa, and Kapiti and Porirua. Available from October at Greater Wellington's Wellington and Wairarapa offices, bike shops and information centres. www.gw.govt.nz/cycling One Ganz Mavag train has been fully renovated. Depending on the successful evaluation of this train, the rest of the fleet will begin to be refurbished within the next six months. "This package gives us an opportunity to manage and future-proof the region's rail assets and we have good proven experience in this, with our ownership of the new Wairarapa trains, the new Matangi trains, and Petone and Waterloo stations," says Chair Wilde. "The package sits easily within our regional rail plan, which aims to provide highly efficient, modern and convenient rail services throughout the region." Bike Buddies matches you with a bike mentor to help with your first few rides. Your mentor will ride with you along the best cycle commuting routes and offer advice about road safety. Greater Wellington's Sustainable Transport Planner Claire Pascoe says Bike Buddies is designed to ease people back into cycling so they can enjoy all the benefits. "Cycling's a cheap, fast way to get around an urban area plus it helps to reduce traffic congestion. And of course cycling is great exercise and heaps of fun." The mentors are a mix of volunteers from around the region -- some are trained instructors but most have learnt their skills from years of riding on the road. Join Bike Buddies: www.gw.govt.nz/bike-buddies Wellington region Cycling's a great way to get around town. But if you haven't cycled for a decade... or three... there's a scheme to make it less daunting Visit two sparkling jewels Tucked away in East Harbour Regional Park between Wainuiomata and Eastbourne, lakes Kohangatera and Kohangapiripiri are a must-see. You can access the lakes by bike or foot from Burdans Gate in Eastbourne. You can also visit by bus on the Lighthouse and Lakes tour as part of the Great Outdoors summer events programme. Look out for a copy in December's Our Region. How to get to the Parangarahu lakes: www.gw.govt.nz/eastharbour Lake Kohangatera is one of New Zealand's best Your mentor will ride with you along the best cycle commuting route s New
September 7th 2011
September 21st 2011