The Moon

The month of November 2016 was meant to be remembered for the super moon – a beautiful big bright full moon at its perigree – the closest point to earth since 1948.

The Earthquake

Instead, at NZ Daylight time on Monday, 14th November, 2016, at 2.56 minutes after midnight, an earthquake struck. Universal Time, it was 13th November, 2016, 11:02:56.

The earthquake was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, located 15 km north east of Culverden, and we felt it here in Glenside.

The Rain

The following day, Tuesday, 15th November, the rains fell. There was flooding, winds, erosion, falling trees and high tides across the Wellington Region. In Glenside, we had already experienced heavy rainfall over the weekend, which had caused small slips along Middleton Road and a few trees to fall into the Porirua Stream. This new dump of rain was a bit of a worry.

The Response

Tucked away in the Glenside Valley, we texted, emailed, and contacted each other to make sure everyone was safe.

We kept a watchful eye on the ever rising height of the stream which flows through our valley down to Tawa and the Porirua Harbour. We reported back to our local City Councillor's and our Regional flood management team.

Our Glenside Progressive Assn. network got active.

  • The Community Patrollers, Jaqs and Hayden patrolled the roads, putting out warning cones and directing traffic and keeping police informed.
  • Our President, Claire, took photographs of the debris arrestor emailed them to Regional Council staff and Councillors.
  • Barry, our Revegetation project lead, took photographs of the Stebbings Stream erosion and emailed them to WCC Council staff.
  • Andrea, our Facebook manager, worked hard to get our shared information online and available for residents to be kept informed.

Here's some photographs of the 'quake, and rain impact in Glenside and at Willowbank.

Erosion. After the rain in Willowbank, 19th November 2016, 2:47pm. Photo: Jonn Ayley.

Erosion. After the rain in Willowbank, 19th November 2016, 2:44pm. Photo: Jonn Ayley.

Stream swirling through gardens, Willowbank, 15th November 2016, 10:57am. Several residents are currently not able to access their sections of land across the stream as their footbridges washed away. Photo: Jonn Ayley.

Stream rushing through Willowbank, 15th November 2016, 10:55am. You can see how high the floodwaters are by cross-referencing this scene with the pictures above, which were taken when the water level had dropped four days later. Photo: Jonn Ayley.

Erosion, Middleton Road rural section in Glenside. Friday, 18th November 2016, 6:36pm.

Debris Arrestor, Glenside, Friday 18th November 2016, 6:34pm. All clear.


Debris Arrestor, Glenside, Wednesday 16th November 2016, 6:17pm.

Erosion alongside Stebbings Stream and the Stebbings Stream walkway up Stebbings Road. Five fence posts and the greater part of the top fence were washed out. Photo: Barry Blackett, Wednesday 16th November 2016, 1:30pm.

Grenada Drive cleanup

The Wellington North Community Patrol managing traffic flow for Downer's on the Grenada Drive slip at 6:25pm on Tuesday 15th November 2016. The Downer's team had been working since 6:00am and did not expect to stop until 10:00pm that evening. 

 Debris Arrestor Glenside

Debris Arrestor, Glenside, Tuesday 15th November 2016, 5:22pm

Entrance to Richmond Hill, Middleton Road, Tuesday 15th November 2016, 5:22pm

Bridge on intersection of Middleton and Rowell's Road in Glenside. Tuesday, 15th November 2016, 6:34am. Our Facebook page advised that the stream was running at slightly higher than usual conditions but nothing untoward, and there was some surface flooding on Middleton Road northbound through the Glenside gorge area due to blocked drains.

The debris arrestor, Tuesday, 15th November 2016, 6:37am. Ten hours later it was packed with logs and branches and fallen trees. There were also household items, most likely dumped down the streambanks illegally, and picked up by rising flood waters.