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Central local boards driving a healthier Manukau Harbour

Central local boards driving a healthier Manukau Harbour

Environmentally-focused initiatives from Puketāpapa and Maungakiekie-Tāmaki local boards are helping to restore Manukau Harbour’s wellbeing and accessibility.

The work is under the umbrella of Manukau Harbour Forum, comprising nine local boards leading the engagement and education of those most directly impacting the harbour.

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board has four harbour-focused priority projects, including working with industry and businesses to reduce their potential impact on local waterways, especially around Ann’s Creek at the Mangere Inlet.

“Protecting and enhancing our environment underpins our local board’s plans for the next decade and beyond,” says Bridget Graham, the board’s representative on the Forum.

Projects like the Water-Sensitive Onehunga Project to improve water quality, the Arthur Street Restoration Project, and the provision of tetra traps in shopping areas, to capture litter before it enters the stormwater system and harbour.

“Much improved access to the harbour will be a key benefit from the Onehunga Foreshore Restoration, with newly created parkland, walkways and beaches open to the public before summer,” says Bridget Graham.

Further westward around the harbour, Puketāpapa Local Board is funding and delivering a range of other environmental and recreational improvements along the foreshore, with current attention on the Waikowhai Coastal Walkway project (pictured), linking from Onehunga (and the nationwide Te Araroa trail) through to Lynfield Cove in the west, with the potential to eventually connect through to the Hillary Trail.

The board’s forum representative, David Holm says the walkway and boardwalk will help restore and highlight the forested slopes along the Waikowhai coast and provide important ecological land to harbour linkages.

Michael Wood, alternate forum rep for Puketāpapa Local Board, says the board has also prioritised harbour-facing weed and pest control, planting schemes, wetland restoration, clean up of Pacific Oyster shells, and attention to the small streams which drain into the harbour, including Wairaki Stream.

Manukau Harbour Forum Chairperson Jill Naysmith says Manukau Harbour has great potential but it is neglected and challenged by the city’s past developments, as well as demand for intensive growth.

“We believe that urgent and sustained action is required across a large number of stakeholders.”

The Manukau Harbour is the second-largest harbour in New Zealand – nearly five times bigger than the Waitemata. With a foreshore that hosts vibrant communities, countless flora and fauna, constantly changing sandbars and mudflats, plentiful fish supplies, and fringes of mangrove wetlands.

To find out more about the Manukau Harbour Forum, please visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/manukauharbourforum or email manukauharbourforum@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz to sign up to receive the forum’s updates and newsletters.

ENDS

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