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NZ largest urban wetland wins environmental award

NZ largest urban wetland wins environmental award

A project to enhance Auckland's 41ha Waiatarua Reserve, the country's
largest urban wetland, has won an environmental engineering award.

The prestigious Arthur Mead award from the Auckland branch of the Institute
of Professional Engineers was awarded to engineers Beca Carter with special
mention for resource management planners Andrew Stewart Ltd.

The IPENZ award is for a project which "best exemplifies care of and
consideration for environmental values".

It is made in recognition of the environmental achievements of Arthur Mead,
Auckland City's Chief Water Supply Engineer form 1929 to 1953. Mr Mead was
responsible for the development of the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges water
supply schemes in which environmental protection played a key part.

Andrew Stewart director Duncan Stewart said the firm, which provides
resource management consultancy services for several local bodies, was
honoured to receive recognition for its work on the project.

"Waiatarua was complex and technically challenging not only from an
engineering perspective, but also in terms of planning and public

"In a time when the RMA is being used as the whipping-boy for various
failures, it just goes to show that the right project team can deliver major
public assets, even in densely populated suburban Auckland.

"The wetland is a fantastic asset for the community and achieves a series of
key environmental goals - a testament to the strategic vision of Auckland

The award recognises the technical engineering solution which was developed
for the difficult conditions. Prior to the project, a study found the
Waiatarua catchment contributed more than 70% of sediment and contaminants
in the Orakei Basin.

An ARC catchment discharge consent placed an obligation on Auckland City to
treat stormwater within the reserve. The wetland project was developed to
meet that requirement.


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