Positive Start for Huia Watercare Community Liaison Group
Positive Start for Watercare Liaison Group
A West Auckland community liaison group says its meetings have made progress with moves to have robust and independent ecological reports undertaken at the site of the proposed Huia Water Treatment plant in Titirangi.
The independent chair of the Huia Water Treatment Plant Community Liaison Group (CLG), Paul Walbran, says Watercare’s decision to fund two reports - one by a well- known environmental science company and the other by a very experienced independent researcher selected by and reporting to the CLG, has ‘changed the whole tone of the meeting’.
“Now I would describe the attitude as co-operative” says Walbran, a Titirangi resident.
The surveys are to begin before the end of the month, with the scientists looking at all aspects of fauna and flora on the proposed sites, one of which lies adjacent to the existing water treatment plant and the other across the road, where two reservoirs are planned to be constructed, plus the existing site.
Reports are expected by the end of the year, or early 2018, to take in seasonal factors. No decisions regarding the design footprint for the water treatment plant or the reservoirs will be taken until the results of the ecological surveys have been assessed by the CLG.
The liaison group respectfully asks people to refrain from entering the sites to prevent damage to the flora and fauna before it can be assessed by the specialists and to reduce the likelihood of spreading kauri dieback.
Other topics also being considered by the CLG relating to the treatment plant include archaeological surveys, historical buildings and infrastructure, construction planning, traffic management, kauri dieback, chlorine and chemical storage, Clarks Bush Track/Reserve, effect of earthworks, Mana Whenua, effects on adjoining properties, future of infrastructure, weeds and pests, geotechnical and Exhibition Drive. These matters will be considered over the following months.
The next meeting of the CLG is to take place on September 7. The CLG has 12-15 members made up of Watercare staff and representatives from local community organisations and meets every 2-3 weeks. Minutes are regularly uploaded on Watercare’s website and the Terms of Reference for the CLG can also be viewed online.