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Options for leaking sluice gates

7 April 2005

Options for leaking sluice gates at Orakei Basin going out for consultation

Auckland City’s Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee has recommended that the Orakei Basin sluice gates be fixed to keep water in the Basin and that the public have their say on management options.

The sluice gates, located in the northeastern corner of the Basin near the railway embankment, are leaking with an approximate drop in water level of 3.5 centimetres a day.

The loss of water has a large impact on the usability of the Basin for recreation activity, as well as a negative impact on the appearance of the upper creek.

Resource consent is also required from the Auckland Regional Council to continue to impound the Basin as an area for water based recreation.

As a result of the gates leaking and the need for resource consent, a study was undertaken to assess the effects of various long-term management options for the Basin, including returning the Basin to a tidal environment.

Councillor Penny Sefuiva, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, said that the options for the future management of the Orakei Basin had been carefully looked at.

“As the only fully impounded marine water body in the region, the Orakei Basin is an important and unique feature of our city.

“It’s important that the management option that is selected enhances environmental values while also maintaining the recreational opportunities that the Basin offers,” said Mrs Sefuiva.

Three management options for the gates have been put forward: fixing the sluice gates and undertaking fortnightly flushing (the existing situation) fixing the sluice gates and maximised flushing (increasing flushing while maintaining recreation values) returning the Basin to a fully tidal environment.

“However, we need to be mindful that if the Basin is returned to a fully tidal environment, it would become dominated by mangroves and would be lost for recreational purposes,” said Mrs Sefuiva.

The report presented to the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee said that fortnightly flushing of the Basin provides a reasonable frequency to avoid water quality problems. Maximised flushing would result in only minor improvements to the water quality and ecology.
The public have an opportunity to have their say on the management options. Consultation opens on Friday 22 April 2005. Submissions can be made online at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/orakeibasin or call 379 2020 for an information booklet and submission form.

The information booklet will be distributed to local residents with City Scene between Friday 22 April and Sunday 24 April.

ENDS

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