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Work to Restore Porirua Harbour Underway

Work to Restore Porirua Harbour Underway

Work is well underway to restore the health of Porirua Harbour according to the first Annual Report to Porirua City Council’s Te Komiti today.

PCC, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira prepared the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan in 2012 and have made great strides in the first year of its implementation to address many of the challenges facing Porirua Harbour.

“Our partnerships with the other councils and Ngati Toa Rangatira is crucial to the successes we are starting to see in turning the tide on the health of our harbour,” says Mayor Nick Leggett.

“Porirua Harbour is beautiful and a special natural resource and we’re really excited about the way the community and organisations are pulling together to take better care of it now and for the future. It’s going to take time – there’s no quick fix – but we can get there,” Mayor Leggett says.

The “big three” challenges are to: reduce sedimentation, reduce pollution and restore the ecology of the harbour, says Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator Keith Calder.

“There are parts of the harbour that have been compromised by urban development over many years so that many people may not want to take kai moana from pockets of the harbour especially after heavy rainfall. But when looking at the whole harbour ecosystem people can aspire to a future when they can safely fish and play as a result the work that’s being carried out now by the three councils, Ngati Toa Rangatira and many active community groups.”

Highlights of the work the councils have completed in the past year include:

• Relining of over 9km of sewer network in the past 3 years

• Replacement or upgrades of pumps at 6 sewer pump stations

• Inspection of 2166 properties for sewer/stormwater faults as part of the annual cross-connection detection programme. 247 properties (11½%) were identified with faults and repaired

• Installed real-time flow monitoring systems on 8 critical pump stations. These enable better sewer network understanding, management and planning.

• Removed 5½ tonnes of general litter and 4 tonnes of tyres from the harbour as part of an improved harbour litter removal programme

• Planted over 29000 plants and installed 2.5km of fencing as part of catchment erosion sediment control programmes

• Installed 500 “Drains to harbour/stream” plaques on street sumps in Porirua CBD and strategic locations in the Tawa and Churton Park areas

• Completed installing and extensive monitoring network

• Completed the establishment of an ongoing environmental survey programme

• Commenced development of an Estuary Restoration Plan for the harbour, a catchment-wide erosion control plan, and ‘Rural Guidelines’ to assist rural landowners in using best practice in their land management activities

• Started regular monthly ‘Harbour Column’ in local newspapers

The three Council’s will soon be running a campaign to attract more community interest and involvement in harbour activities so keep an eye out for how you can get involved.

ENDS

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