Just how well is the Wellington region doing?
15 December 2005
Measuring up – just how well is the Wellington region doing?
Is our environment getting better, getting worse, or staying the same? These are all big questions that deserve answers. Measuring up 2005 – a report on the state of the environment in the Wellington region, has just been released by Greater Wellington.
Did you know there is only just enough fresh water in our rivers and aquifers to meet the region’s needs? Air quality is well within health guidelines - well most of the time. Some occasional breaches do happen during the winter. And Wellington residents are among the most enthusiastic users of public transport – although interestingly two thirds still use a car to get to work. As summer approaches, it’s reassuring to know coastal water quality has generally been very good.
Cr Chris Turver, Chairman of the Environment Committee says “We are doing some things well – water quality has improved in the Ngarara Stream in Waikanae and the Wainuiomata River after the sewage discharges were stopped. The shift of dairy shed discharges from streams to land has benefited even more streams”.
“The last five years have seen the protection of 1,130 hectares of lowland forest and wetland. This is especially important as less than 20 percent of our lowland forests and wetlands remain. On the other hand, aquatic life in urban streams is suffering from the effects of stormwater discharges.”
“We know more about air and soil quality than we did six years ago, and we are still building a picture of the health of the region’s ecosystems,” said Cr Turver.
“Community groups continue to play a huge environmental role. We are aware of the enormous amount of restoration work community groups are undertaking in the region.”
Measuring up 2005 is the beginning of a review of objectives we set 10 years ago for managing the region’s environment. The next step is to ask the community for its views on our progress. The information that has been pulled together for Measuring up 2005, along with feedback from the community, is invaluable, keeping us on track and in touch with important environmental issues.
Copies of the full report, and a set of summary cards are on www.gw.govt.nz/ser. Copies are also available from Megan Lucas on P 04 802 0337.