Category Archives: Uncategorized

Opawaho Heathcote River Network

The Network is now an Incorporated Society and we have been busy with our action plans for 2018.  Please see the Opawaho Heathcote website for details.

The LCRA is again supporting the Mother of all Cleanups being held on May 12th.  We are responsible for the river area from the top end of Ashgrove Tce along the river to Barrington St.  Please meet at the bridge opposite Zeroe’s at 10am.  We will have rubbish bags available.  Please bring gardening gloves and wear sturdy shoes.  Children are welcome to attend if under the watchful eyes of parents.

Let’s see if we find even less rubbish than last year!  The regular clean-ups see to be helping.  Every little bit counts.


river rubbish1river cleanup1


Busy start to the year

Autumn is here with its mixture of rain and sunshine. Time to prepare for winter.

‘Flu shots are mandatory for those who are vulnerable health-wise.  This year’s flu strains are mixed with one very severe strain from the Northern Hemisphere on its way.  Please consider your family and neighbours and vaccinate yourself.  A family could be very vulnerable if one member becomes ill.   it is important to use scrupulous handwashing and to cover faces when sneezing or coughing.  Use tissues to collect sneezes and nose-blowing, dispose straight away then wash your hands.  Keep safe!


SCERT Hub opening

In March, we opened our new emergency hub at St Mark’s, corner of Barrington & Somerfield Streets.  The Hub has been the work of a joint project between the Somerfield & Lower Cashmere Residents’ Associations.

We had received funding through  ACTIS for a shed and the equipment needed to open a hub if required.  The role of the Hub is to provide support for the community in the event of an emergency.  We have alternative power supply for keeping phones & laptops charged.  We can provide cups of tea, we have emergency water and direct contact with the Civil Defence Emergency Centre.  We can provide current information on the emergency.


Our Hub was opened by MPs Ruth Dyson & Nuk Korako.  We were also supported by Community Board members.  Civil Defence & our local Community Patrol attended with displays for us to peruse.  We had a really good response from our communities.  we were all able to enjoy a sausage sizzle and light refreshments.

The best thing was all the chatting that went on – the community getting together.  IMG_0823

We also welcomed members of the Cashmere and Spreydon emergency hub teams.  together, we are providing our area with support in an emergency.

Emma (Civil Defence Emergency Team), Noel (LCRA), Julie (Somerfield RA), Sue (LCRA) , Andrew (Minister St Mark’s), Rik (Cashmere), Diana & Sonya (Spreydon )IMG_0834

Sue & Julie outside our storage shed.

The shed 1

Welcome to 2018

We have certainly had a summer of contrasts, heralded by a spring that was diverting as well.  Hopefully everyone has had a chance to enjoy the wonderful summer and begin the new year feeling refreshed.

Our LCRA AGM will be held on Monday Feb 12th, 7.30 pm in the Cafeteria at Hohepa in Barrington St.  Our guest speaker will be Ann Newman, the CEO of the Christchurch Adventure Park.  Ann will share some of the challenges the adventure park faced after the devastating port Hills fires early last year in order to be operational late last year.  Do come and join us.

We will also be electing a new committee for the year.  We welcome  anyone who would like to join our small group, working to keep our area the jewel that it is.  Also, at the AGM, we will review the achievements of 2017 as well as looking towards 2018.  We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

Our local elected officials will be present- they are very supportive of our endeavours.  Please join us – bring your neighbours.  Light refreshments will be available.  We look forward to meeting you there.

The latest newsletter has been delivered and will be available on this site soon .  We are also planning to include our meeting minutes on the site starting this year.


“Love this Reserve”- Ashgrove Reserve

On October 2nd, a community meeting was held at Silver backs Cafe to gauge support for setting up a Facebook page to promote our ‘Love this Reserve’ initiative in a public arena.

Our meeting was well attended by some of the long-term residents of Ashgrove Tce, Ruth Dyson MP, Karolin Potter of the Community Board, Kevin Smart who’s family planted the reserve and offered it to the CCC in the 1960s as a native reserve. We also welcomed several local residents.

The meeting reviewed some of the history of the reserve and the comments from the long-term residents and Kevin Smart were very interesting.  We also reviewed the steps taken so far to establish links with the local CCC arborist, Park ranger and the Spreydon/ Cashmere Community Board who are very supportive of the LCRA wish to nurture this reserve.

We have also conducted a ‘weeding bee’ in September and managed to remove a large amount of invasive weeds.  Three of the local children had a treasure hunt finding all the bottles and tins left lying around.  Thanks everyone.

The general consensus of the meeting was that LCRA should continue with the adoption of the reserve as a community project.  This means ‘nurturing’ the reserve as a native planting reserve and not merely to ‘maintain’ it.

We also agreed to the establishment of a Facebook Page (Friends of the Ashgrove Reserve), creating a public avenue to promote our ‘love this reserve’ theme  and to provide updates as time goes by.  So, please join us on Facebook and support us in this community project.  The LCRA sees this as a long-term initiative which will take several years.  Join us on the journey and ‘love this reserve.’

Ashgrove 9

Spring has arrived!

Apologies for the delay in updating this page, the editor has been recovering from knee surgery.  However, much has been happening behind the scenes and we are very pleased to be able to report on that.

Ashgrove Reserve

A weeding bee was held on September 16th and a substantial amount of material was carted off to the green waste. Committee members were joined bu locals and we had an extensive clean up.  Those present felt that a regular schedule of an hour’s work would help keep the weeds and debris (bottles, cans etc) down, without a great deal of effort.  three brothers turned up with Dad James, and they were brilliant at finding hte rubbish in hte undergrowth,  Thanks guys!

Pest control in Ashgrove area

While we were weeding, we met several neighbours.  One remarked on the amount of pests especially rats that frequented the whole lower Ashgrove area.  the LCRA  is signed up for the local pest control initiative and can help with this.  Watch this space – we will keep you posted via the newsletters, on this website and through our Ashgrove reserve contacts.

Ashgrove Reserve community meeting

We are having a community meeting on Oct 2nd at 4.30pm at Silverbacks, Cracroft shops.  There is a great deal of interest in the enhancement of the Reserve and the reduction of pests to make it a more conducive environment for the native plants, ferns and hopefully birds.  our Reserve is one of only three established native planting in urban Christchurch.  We want to join with our friends in the Ernle Clark Reserve to preserve these precious areas.       So please join us!

Emergency Planning

We are continuing to develop our emergency planning initiative through SCERT in conjunction with the Somerfield Residents Association.  We have applied for some local funding that became available tor us on this side of town and are currently waiting for confirmation of funding available to finish the planning for our drop-in centre at St Marks on Barrington St.  We will keep you posted.

Emergency Planning is one of our community initiatives this year.  We have also come across an excellent, comprehensive app that will help everyone in planning for and dealing with an emergency.  Each person in the family can load it onto their devices and develop thier family plan.  We urge you to consider this.

The app can be downloaded from your usual app store and is called Hazard App.  It is a NZ developed app and is very relevant for us.  you may see it listed as the Red Cross App.

It covers background, planning, what to do, for a whole range of emergencies: storms, floods, earthquakes, fire, tsunami and others.  Load it and have a look for yourselves.

hazard app



Liquor Store submission

The LCRA sent in a submission protesting against the opening of a bottle store on the Milton /Barrington corner, with the entrance on Milton St.  This store is being proposed by the Auckland company Bottle-O who have just opened one outlet in the Selwyn St  shops as well as many others throughout Christchurch.   The committee felt that the opening of one on Milton St was totally unnecessary with a Selwyn St store and the off-license place in the mall- both nearby.  Besides that, it is on a major intersection and close to major bus routes. as well as a secondary school.  It is not a good addition to our community!

South Christchurch Community Patrol

This week the police issued a media statement about the success  our patrol had in detecting suspicious behaviour on a local street and following the person while contacting the police.  The person was arrested and is due to appear in court for interfering with motor vehicles.  The Community Patrol is the ‘eyes and ears of the police’ and we can play a major role in preventing crime.  If you are interested in more information please call David Scott on 021 295 2342.  New patrollers are always welcome.


LCRA committee members are continuing to work on behalf of our wonderful community.  don’t forget we have frequent newsletter with the details of our work.  you can find them from the home page under the Newsletters tag.

Current plans for community consultation

At the moment, there are two initiatives locally that we are invited to comment on.   They are both important for our are so please take the time to consider them.

One has to do with the upgrade of the Hoon Hay Rd/ Cashmere Rd /Worsleys Rd intersection.  Public submissions are invited.  This is a significant intersection for our area so community input is vital.  Public pressure has had this work brought forward so now we must be involved in solving the traffic woes.

The plan involves realigning the Hoon Hay / Worsleys Rd interface with Cashmere Rd, including the installation of traffic lights to help moderate the flows through the intersection.  The details of the plan may be found at the following link:  

There will be a drop-in meeting on Monday 14th August at Silverbacks Cafe on Monday August 14th, drop=in between 5pm – 7pm.

The date for submissions is 28th August 5pm.

The other item for consideration is the Barrington St playground.  Submissions close 4th August.  details of this exciting upgrade can be found at the website: www,ccc,

Community involvement strengthens our community.  Let’s be involved.

Winter Blues

Well, the shortest day has passed and now the days are imperceptibly longer.  The belief that our worst winter weather comes after the shortest day has come true this year.  The storms have arrived!

Some of us love this time of the year, with the cold and the promise of spring.  Others feel the lack of sunshine and become overwhelmed by the continues drab.  Some of us are afraid of the increased power bills and live in temperatures that are too cold to stay well. There are many hazards to consider – icy paths, slippery steps, damp houses, damp clothes, heating hazards eg: burns from heaters of hot water bottles.  This can be a difficult time for many of us. Please look out for each other and yourselves.  Stay warm and stay safe.

Our next committee meeting is this week.  Currently we are focusing on several matters:

  • The Ashgrove reserve: a working bee to be organised for September, an arborist review of the trees.  See in our upcoming Newsletter for further details.
  • The Opawaho/Heathcote River Network is seeking to become an Incorporated Society. The Steering Committee has drafted a constitution to be presented to the next meeting on July 29th.
  • The Red Cross has set up some of their Earthquake Fund money for a South West Christchurch initiative aimed to help communities in this area to be better prepared and better connected.  There are several avenues for this, ranging from group activities and ‘road shows’ to courses for individuals to help with resilience.  We will keep you informed as details become available.
  • SCERT (Somerfield-Lower Cashmere Emergency Response Team) we are continuing our work on the initiative to provide a drop-in centre if needed in an emergency. This will be based at St Mark’s Church on Barrington St.

We will keep you updated as these matters progress.  Details are in our newsletters which are available on this site.  These are our ways of keeping you informed.  Please fell free to read.

Do feel free to contact us with comments or suggestions.  We are proud of our wonderful community.

Opawaho / Heathcote River environs

This river is the jewel in the crown of our area and we are proud to safeguard this special part of our community.  The LCRA is approaching this in two ways: supporting the Opawaho/Heathcote River network and working with our community to enhance the Ashgrove Reserve – another treasure in our area.

We see the two being linked together  – both enhance each other and both have their roots in the history of our area.  The Ashgrove Reserve was planted many years ago and is one of the few native plantings in the suburban Christchurch.  The other two are Deans Bush and the Ernle Clark Reserve, further up Ashgrove Terrace. We have some rare trees in the Reserve, some of the plantings up to 100 years old.

The LCRA is working with the local residents, the Parks & Reserves Dept of the City Council  and local experts Alice Shanks & Colin Meurk to develop a holistic management plan for the Reserve through which its native plantings are extended, weeds and pest are reduced.  With river bank enhancement that little corner of Ashgrove Tce will become a true treasure.

Some of the avenues we can pursue is to create a ‘Friends of Ashgrove Reserve’ entity through Facebook, call public meetings to gauge support, publish an inventory of the trees, write a local history of the site and encourage loclas to share their memories of living near there over the years, which is already happening.  Please contact Sue Bye at if you have anything to share.

Several people ave mentioned the water feature that used to be there.  It was spring fed and the spring is still there, so who knows what we might be able to do!

Thank to everyone who has been in contact and attended our preliminary meeting.  Special thanks to Mandy (our park ranger), Alice & Colin.  The precedent has been set by Ernle – let’s see what we can do!

Discussing the options with Colin (left ) and Mandy (centre background)

Mid Winter Musings

We are all aware that winter is here so stay warm and safe.  Keep an eye on neighbours, particularly those who may be older, frail or needing assistance.  Make sure you have had your flu shot for this winter, there are new viruses out there this year. Be careful with fires and heaters, stay warm yet keep safe.

Last weekend, we planted more plants in the Cashmere View park.  We augmented last year’s planting with hebes and taller grasses to fill in some of the gaps.  We also realigned some of the little grassy borders and put in a new border with sturdier grasses.  Lancewoods have been planted in the circular bed to give some height. Our thanks to our neighbours who helped.

Three year old Harry and his sister being good neighbours.

End of May Update

Greetings everyone, apologies for being off-line for so long.  I had some technology issues and am now back in action online.  Thank you for the feedback, it is always good to know that we have readers out there who care about our area as we do.

We have several things to report on as we end May and head into June.  It is said that our worst winter weather comes after the shortest day, so we have lots more cold to come.  Let’s celebrate our winter as it makes Spring so wonderful.  However, it is more important that we stay warm, dry, safe and well.

Opawaho/Heathcote River clean-up

The annual river clean-up was successful again this year.  In our area there was not as much rubbish as last year, but an ironing board and freezer lid was found under a tree.  Again we had an enthusiastic group of volunteers including a Dad and his children who had participated in the Somerfield  RA section and then came to help us.  We also had the support of the South Christchurch Community Patrol SYCP1.  Some of the patrollers came to give us a hand.  Thank you everyone for your time and energy.

Cashmere View St planting

Last year we did a refresh of the planting, with great support from our community.  This year on June 10th at 11am we are getting together again to replace some of the plants that had died or been removed plus add some that we weren’t able to acquire last year.  We have the support of the City Council Parks and reserves department who will provide the plants.  We are appreciative of their support.

We also decided that as we had to twice postpone our community BBQ that we would have a post-planting BBQ.  So, you are welcome to show your support and share with the neighbours, starting at 11am.  BBQ to follow.

Ashgrove Reserve

In the last couple of newsletters we asked for interest in one of our planned community projects for the year, the Ashgrove Reserve.  It was very heartening to receive a good response so a site meeting was arranged. We were very fortunate to have the insights of Alice Shanks and Colin Meurk from the Ernle Clarke Reserve who were very happy to review the trees and the site as we went through it.  Mandy Brown from the CCC Parks & Reserves joined us as well.

The Reserve, is a wonderful collection of native plantings, mostly from the North Island gifted to the city.  A brief stocktake of the site, showed a very interesting collection including rare trees, seldom found in Christchurch.   There was universal agreement that the park needed some TLC.  There is some background work we need to do and then we will call a wider meeting to discuss further.  We are very keen to see this area continued to be preserved and protected as well as enhanced to be the best it can be with more native under plantings and better tree management. It is one of the few remaining native areas in Christchurch.  We will keep you informed.


Included is the file note of the meeting.  File note of Ashgrove Reserve meeting May 12th 2017