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New plan to safeguard Auckland’s waters

20 May 2004

New plan to safeguard Auckland’s waters from the effects of stormwater pollution

A new approach to protect streams, beaches and estuaries throughout the region is identified in a report released by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and Infrastructure Auckland (IA) The report offers smarter and more cost-effective ways of improving stormwater quality. It is recognised that the price of maintaining, let alone improving stormwater quality under current practices, is probably beyond the region’s ability to pay. Smarter solutions are needed.

“We know that people expect to be able to swim, fish, go boating, and enjoy healthy clean harbours and waterways into the future,” says ARC chair Gwen Bull. “Stormwater pollution is an increasing threat. More people, houses and cars are entering the Auckland region every day, and all of these have environmental consequences.”

“The challenge for the region is to think and act smarter, and to work closely together towards the same goals. The Auckland Region Stormwater Report focuses on solutions that will leverage the remaining stormwater funds to help the region deal with a problem that could cost billions of dollars to address,” says John Robertson, Chairman of IA. The report, released last week, shows that with some relatively low-level investment now, a platform of solutions can be developed that will deliver much better and more cost-effective stormwater outcomes for the region.

Fundamental to the new approach is providing assistance to local councils to complete catchment management plans. These plans are essential for setting the framework for prioritisation and implementation of future stormwater solutions. The plan also proposes to use a range of fresh approaches to stormwater management such as better preventative measures (cheaper in the long term than remediation), improved education and understanding of stormwater issues, increased and better coordinated local authority resources and new funding sources.

The end result will be improved water quality for Aucklanders at lower cost. Co-led by the ARC and IA, funded by IA and prepared by the Boston Consulting Group, the report was presented to mayors and CEOs of the region’s seven councils earlier this month.


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