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


Cockle Count Shows Positive Results In Pāuatahanui Inlet

Pāuatahanui Inlet, north of Wellington, has recorded a 32 percent increase in its cockle population according to a three-yearly cockle count undertaken by the Guardians of Pāuatahanui Inlet with the help of Greater Wellington staff.

Known as the longest running citizen science project in New Zealand, the survey uses cockles as an 'indicator species' for harbour health, helping users understand how threats such as sedimentation can affect the ecology of the area.

Conducted over a four hours at low tide the survey relies on a community of around 100 volunteers who give up their time to dig, count and measure each cockle, meticulously recording their findings on sheets of paper.

The latest survey, undertaken late last year with results just published by NIWA, shows the cockle population at its highest level since 1976, with the average density of cockles over the intertidal survey area at 380 per square metre.

The density in 2019 was slightly higher than in 2013, significantly higher than in 2016 and higher than for any previous GOPI survey since 1992. What’s more, the presence of juveniles increased to more than 17 per cent of the entire population.

Greater Wellington senior biodiversity advisor Jo Fagan says the cockles, as an indicator species, can help us understand the overall health of the ecosystems they inhabit. “As filter feeders, their survival and reproduction can be affected by sedimentation levels. By monitoring the health of cockles in the Pāuatahanui Inlet, we can estimate how other species may be faring in the same space.”

Jo cautions that the improvements on the 2016 survey needed to be measured against the difficult circumstances encountered during that year's count. It took place in the aftermath of the Kaikoura earthquake and a large storm the following day that significantly affected the sediment levels and clarity of the inlet.

“Nevertheless, the increase in cockle population in the inlet’s intertidal zone is very encouraging,” she says. “The rising percentage of juveniles is particularly positive, as it indicates successful settlement of larvae and potential migration from subtidal areas.”

Issues remain, however, related to pollution and sedimentation, which not only threaten cockle populations but also affect overall health of the area. ‘While these results are very positive it doesn’t mean that all is well with the inlet’, says GOPI chairperson Lindsay Gow. ‘Sedimentation and pollution continue to be problems and the limitation of the cockle count is that it doesn’t reflect the condition of the inlet below the low tide mark.’

Greater Wellington regional councillor Jenny Brash, who is proud to have taken part in the survey, as she has done for many years, says it is a fantastic initiative that provides valuable information on the health of the inlet and points towards activity that can help manage water quality.

“Local communities can help improve harbour health by doing things like planting trees, which reduces erosion and sediment entering streams, and where they can washing their cars on the grass rather than their driveways so contaminants do not flow through the stormwater drains into the harbour.”

On a broader level, Greater Wellington, in partnership with Ngāti Toa and both Wellington and Porirua City Councils, has been managing harbour health through a joint Strategy for a number of years. The strategy is being updated to incorporate the Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua Implementation Programme and accompanying Ngāti Toa Statement. Supporting this event is one of the many activities in the strategy to improve and monitor the health of the harbour.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Democracy 2.0: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech

NextElection, a technology platform empowering democracy and Government accountability, and Scoop Independent News have partnered to strengthen citizen participation in the 2020 New Zealand General Election, set for September 19th.

Scoop’s ambition for bringing NextElection to NZ is to use it to strengthen and expand Scoop Citizen activities under the auspices of the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism.

The nextelection.nz platform has been populated by the project team with channels for all the 2020 General Election candidates and political parties. It also features up to date geolocation data based on the latest electoral boundaries. More>> Joint Press Release: NextElection, Scoop.co.nz, ScoopCitizen


      National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

      Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


      Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

      The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

      Election 2020: Labour Launch

      E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

      Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

      A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


      Parliament Adjourns: Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard

      The 52 Parliament has sat for the last time before the September Election. It sat for 245 days... More>>


      E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

      Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


      Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

      New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

      Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

      National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

      Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

      Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

      Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

      As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

      Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

      64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

      State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

      Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

      International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

      The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>




      • POLITICS
      • REGIONAL


      InfoPages News Channels