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Environment Issues Explored in Manukau City

Media Release 11 February 2005

Historic Cambria House To Stay Put

Papatoetoe's historic Cambria House will be staying exactly where it is on Puhinui Road.

One of the recommendations in the Papatoetoe and Hunters Corner Concept Plan, adopted by Council in 2002, was to move Cambria House into Papatoetoe's town centre.

Chair of Manukau City Council's Environment and Urban Design Committee, Noel Burnside, says the Council after further consideration has decided not to move the house.

"There are more advantages to leaving the house where it is than moving it. There is a very limited amount of land available for development in Papatoetoe. The available land in the town centre should be used for activities that revitalise the town centre in the best possible way such as high density housing."

"There are also significant costs associated with moving the building," he says.

Cambria House and adjacent Historic Gardens were bought by the Council in August 1997 to ensure its protection. The Council has since spent about $400,000 restoring the building.

The Council will soon be calling for expressions of interest regarding the future use of the building. Councilor Burnside says the house should ideally be used for activities that benefit the community.

Cambria house is currently home to a tenant who has rented the building for the last 23 years.

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Over Half Of Manukau's Rubbish Could Be Recylced Or Composted

More than half the household rubbish thrown out each week in Manukau could be recycled or composted, according to Manukau City Council's latest solid waste audit.

The Council regularly conducts an audit of the rubbish put out for the weekly collection by households. This year's audit results revealed that although the amount of rubbish had reduced in weight by 5%, there was still significant room for improvement. Chair of the Environment and Urban Design Committee, Noel Burnside, says this year's results are disappointing.

According to the audit results, each household in the city threw out an average of 12.72 kg of rubbish during the week beginning 4 October 2004. More than 68% of this rubbish could have been either recycled or composted. Recyclable rubbish made up 6.4% and compostable organic material accounted for 52.2% of the total rubbish collected.

"I urge people to think about what they throw away," says Councillor Burnside.

"It's easy to reduce your rubbish by shopping environmentally, composting your kitchen scraps and garden rubbish and recycling." "The disposal of rubbish is an increasing problem not only for Manukau but for the entire country. New Zealanders throw away about 3.6 tonnes of rubbish every year - that's more than 1000 nine ton buses every day.

"While the government and councils are working on ways to address New Zealand's rubbish problem, at the end of the day it's what individuals do that will really make the difference," he says.

Manukau City Council provides a weekly kerbside collection service for recyclable rubbish, free home composting courses are available for residents and Manukau City Council, along with other councils in the Auckland region, is developing food waste collection and composting strategies for the region.

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Historic Church Receives Council Funding

Mangere East's historic Selwyn Anglican Church has received $8,500 from Manukau City Council's Heritage Assistance Fund towards its restoration project.

Chair of the council's Environment and Urban Design Committee, Noel Burnside, says the money will be spent on preparing architectural drawings and survey of existing buildings and surrounding gardens.

"The architectural drawings and survey are the first step in the preparation of a Conservation Plan for the restoration and protection of this valuable heritage building. The Conservation Plan becomes a lot more meaningful when it is supported by records of the buildings as they were originally built and photographs of the building and grounds," he says.

The Church will be applying to the New Zealand Lottery Grant Board for the $10,850 required to complete the plan.

The Selwyn Anglican Church is an important physical landmark at the corner of Hain Avenue and Massey Road. It was designed by Dr Purchas and built in 1852-1853 on its original site in Otahuhu. The Church was relocated to Mangere East in 1928 and its name changed from the Holy Trinity Church to the Selwyn Church.

The Council's Heritage Assistance Fund provides financial help to owners of heritage buildings who undertake work to maintain them for public use. Selwyn Anglican Church received $10,000 from the fund in 2002/2003 towards the cost of painting the outside of the church and a further 2,000 last year for the printing of a book of memories of the people who have worshipped at the Church over the years.

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New Tree Policy Addresses City's Rapid Growth

Manukau City Council's new tree policy will ensure the right trees are planted in the right places on the city's public land. The policy was adopted by the Council's Environment and Urban Design Committee last night, following an extensive public consultation process.

Chair of the Environment and Urban Design Committee, Noel Burnside, says it was important that the issues raised by the people of Manukau were incorporated into the new policy.

"It has been 12 years since the council developed its tree policy and we need to make sure that this new policy meets the opportunities and challenges associated with accommodating the city's rapid urban development," he says.

The policy divides Manukau into 19 character areas, each with its own list of recommended tree species. Fruit and nut trees are recommended for parks and cul-de sacs in Otara, Mangere Heights and Mangere areas.

The Norfolk Island Pine has been removed from the list of trees for Bucklands and Eastern Beach areas. Pigeonwood has been added to the list for Pakuranga and Tarata/Lemonwood introduced as the signature species for the Manukau Coastal Edge Character Area and Airport and Manukau Business Character Areas.

A number of exotic species that pose a potential weed threat or are considered poisonous have also been removed from the Council's tree list.

Councilor Burnside says a large number of submissions received requested the Council place a greater emphasis on the planting of natives over exotic species.

"Giving sole preference to native trees ignores the fact that exotic trees often do better in urban settings and add colour and character to the city. Rather than favouring natives over exotics, the policy supports planting a mix of native and exotic trees on public lands, with the planting of native trees concentrated in areas of ecological value such as next to streams and rivers, estuarine and coastal areas and public areas of significance to Maori."

It also revamps the council's processes rules for the designation, maintenance and removal of protected trees and the process for getting approval to removed trees from council land.

"In most cases resource consent will be required from the council for the removal of protected trees from public land. A resource consent will not be granted if the reason for the work is simply to protect views from a private property," says Councilor Burnside. All trees within the city are maintained at least once every three years. The new maintenance standards for tree planting means that every new tree planted in Manukau will receive three maintenance visits per year for a two year period.

The new tree policy will be reviewed every 18 months to determine what if any changes need to be made.

The policy does not address restorative planting in riparian, coastal edge areas or areas of native bush. A separate native/ecological policy is being prepared by council to address these issues.

ENDS

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