Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Mahurangi harbour under threat

Mahurangi harbour under threat

A decade of harbour monitoring shows that the Mahurangi is filling up with sediment but Auckland Regional and Rodney District Councils are determined to halt the trend.

At Rodney District Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee meeting yesterday the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) released its most recent State of the Environment monitoring information. This shows that the harbour’s environment is under stress, and that sediment is thought to be the cause.

Historical research shows sediment has been entering the harbour at a fast rate for 150 years, since the original forest cover was removed. The inner Mahurangi harbour is full of silt and the outer harbour is silting up rapidly.

“If this rate continues, in a few years the Mahurangi will lose its water clarity, shellfish will die, oyster farming will be less viable, fishing and boating will be affected and it will be harder to find the clear blue water we enjoy swimming in now. Mangrove areas are likely to expand and the harbour will become more shallow and muddy,” said Eddie Grogan, ARC’s Manager Land and Water Quality.

“The good news is that the scientists also predict that the trend can be halted and even reversed, if – and it’s a big if – sediment can be stopped from running off the land at the current rate,” said Mr Grogan.

Rain can wash soil off any surface where the land is bare, including urban areas, farms, forests and roadsides. The bigger the storm, the worse the run-off and the Mahurangi area gets hit with more intense storms than the rest of Auckland region.

There are ways of significantly reducing sediment run-off, which is basically to keep vegetation on land as much as possible and to block sediment from reaching waterways, such as fencing off and planting buffers along stream sides.

“While we can’t stop the rain, we can control what happens on the land. We are deeply concerned about the Mahurangi, but we are also hopeful. We hope that the community will sit up and take notice, and that we can all work together to do everything we can to turn this situation around. The Mahurangi harbour is beautiful, and we want to keep it that way,” said Mr Grogan.

Rodney District Council’s Manager of Environmental Policy and Planning Peter Vari said the District Council was committed to addressing the issue in partnership with the ARC and the Mahurangi communities.

“We are appointing a Natural and Coastal Environment Advisor who will become our key contact person and we will be distributing information on the issue to assist people’s understanding of the issues.”

The ARC will also shortly be appointing a dedicated officer for Mahurangi. The two councils will be establishing a joint project team to co-ordinate various activities with the community.

The ARC and Rodney District Council intend to jointly develop an action plan in the coming months to work together, in partnership with the local community, to save the Mahurangi. The action plan will address not only environmental goals, but also social, cultural and economic goals for the Mahurangi community.

It is also considered that the ‘window’ for obtaining the benefits from improved catchment management is relatively short (a few years) before the situation becomes irreversible in parts of the harbour. The benefits of remedial actions may take some time to deliver the required large scale improvements, so remedial action needs to be taken as an urgent priority.

In its draft regional community plan, the ARC is proposing to put about $600,000 into kicking the project off, from July.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The SFO’s Investigation Of New Zealand First

On one level. New Zealand First has been the agent of its own misfortune. The New Zealand First Foundation handling the donations at the centre of the Serious Fraud Office investigation was reportedly (a) authorised by the NZF party’s board and (b)the money was apparently used to finance the party’s activities. Yet the disclosure trail remained opaque. According to its critics, NZF can’t have it both ways: it can’t claim that the foundation and the party were entirely separate legal entities, and then go to court to try and block the SFO from releasing its findings because of the likely impact on the party’s electoral fortunes... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% More>>


Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>


Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>


Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels