Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

MfE Hippo-crapsy at Auckland Zoo

MfE Hippo-crapsy at Auckland Zoo

Green Media Release 5th June 2008

An Environment Ministry “Green Ribbon Award” announced today for Auckland Zoo is a bit of a joke considering the zoo’s bad record for its hippos polluting a local stream, says Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman.

“Ministry officials must have had their eyes closed and nostrils pegged when they checked out the zoo’s effluent disposal into waterways,” Dr Norman said today.

One of 27 nominations in this category in a year when nominations were "exceptionally high", the zoo's second placing recognised “its outstanding efforts to address environmental issues across the board”, according to a press release from the zoo.

“I agree Auckland Zoo does some great work in promoting and protecting endangered species and in recycling waste, but it has a sad record when it comes to the aptly-named Motions Creek,” Dr Norman says. “It isn’t the only polluter – the creek suffers from human sewage too - but surely that’s no basis for a ‘Green Ribbon Award’.”

According to information the Green Party has obtained from the Auckland Regional Council, the main discharge from the zoo is from the “Hippo River”, with effluent containing nutrients, suspended solids and bacteria, principally from hippopotamuses.

An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) due December 2007 to address this has been delayed until September 30, 2008.

Motions Creek empties into Waitemata Harbour near Cox’s Bay which is used regularly by boaties such as the Hawkes Sea Scouts who have their boatshed base there.

“The Environment Ministry is supposed to be working on the Government’s long-promised Sustainable Water Programme of Action,” Dr Norman says. “It’s also tasked with improving “the quality and efficient use of fresh water by building and enhancing partnerships with local government, industry, Māori, science agencies and providers and rural and urban communities”.

“In this context giving a Green Ribbon Award to a stream polluter is a farce. We need some movement on cleaning up Motions Creek.”

--

Q&As about zoo pollution between Green Party and ARC below

Recent questions from the Green Party about zoo effluent into Motions Creek and answers from the Auckland Regional Council:


---What sorts of contaminants are discharged into Motions Creek?

The main discharge from the Zoo is from the ‘Hippo River’. This water flows into the new Hippo enclosure (2 animals) and then drains to the old Hippo pond (Snorkel’s enclosure) and spills into Motions Creek. The water contains nutrients, suspended solids and bacteria, principally from the activities of the Hippo’s. Most of the suspended solids entrained in the flow are sourced from the Hippo wallow in the new Hippo enclosure.

---Are there any treatment processes in place for the discharges of Auckland Zoological Park?

Suspended solids are addressed by a filter which removes hay and coarse solids from the hippo river flow. The final enclosure before the creek (Snorkel’s pond) has no treatment, but is now envisaged as temporary due to the Snorkel’s considerable age. Under normal conditions the Hippo River flows through Snorkel’s pond and overtops into Motions Creek. However, at regular intervals Snorkel’s pond is emptied directly into Motions creek and residual sediment / straw removed.


---What is the current state of Motions Creek?

Motions Creek is subject to considerable contamination from network discharges including an area of combined sewerage, urban runoff, Zoo discharges and drainage from the north-western motorway. The quality of water leaving the Western Springs is generally considered poor. This is thought to be jointly due to avian faecal inputs from the abundant birdlife in the Western Springs Park, and the flow regime within the pond system.

---Have there been consent breaches in regards to Auckland Zoological Park?

The ARC has not yet received information required under the consent, specifically an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) due December 2007. Discussions with Zoo staff during a recent compliance visit have resulted in a revised timeline for provision of the EMP (now due 30 September 2008). Funding for capital works required by the consent has now been confirmed and works are due to be completed August 2008. This delay is considered a breach of consent conditions, but the officers involved consider the delays are being resolved in a timely fashion by the Zoo management team.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election