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How Does Your Neighbourhood Measure Up?

How Does Your Neighbourhood Measure Up?

Find out how your local board area measures up with Auckland Council’s second annual State of Auckland report cards, released online today.

The report cards provide up-to-date information on the state of Auckland’s waterways, coastline, air, and land, as well as insight into Auckland’s demographic make-up and how Aucklanders rank their quality of life. The report card can be viewed here:

http//:stateofauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Auckland Council’s Manager of the Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit, Greg Holland, says the report cards help to create a picture of how Auckland is doing, socially, economically and within our built and natural environments.

“The information contained in the report cards provides us with the knowledge to make the right decisions to maintain and protect our environment,” he says.

“The report cards highlight that ongoing informed management of our environment is required in order to consolidate the gains that have been made and make sure there are no further declines,” he says.

Mr Holland says as the region’s population and economy grows, greater pressure is put on the environment. Fortunately, the quality of environmental management has also improved over time, and council has been able to apply better knowledge technology and innovative techniques to meet some of these challenges.

Auckland Council is actively working to maintain and improve Auckland’s environmental status, and to improve public awareness. In addition, the council supports many community-led initiatives such as providing funding to retrofit homes with insulation, helping to reduce air emissions from home heating sources. Wai Care and Enviroschools, and the administration of an Environmental Initiatives Fund also help.

This year, reporting on Auckland’s soil quality has been included in the report card series.

Key findings:

This is the second year that the report cards have been produced. Noticeable change within the environment is only seen over the long term, so there has been little discernable change over the last 12 months. The data is very useful in providing guidance and evidence for decision making, especially when undertaking projects to enhance our natural and built environment.

The demographic and quality of life reports show that Auckland’s population is constantly growing and has a younger population profile than New Zealand as a whole. Overall in 2013, 78 per cent of Aucklanders rated their quality of life as extremely good or good. 

Auckland’s groundwater, lakes and rivers that are monitored are subject to the negative impacts of urbanisation. Many of our rural streams have the potential for dramatic improvement with the right management. The Hibiscus Coast, Great Barrier, and Waitakere Ranges freshwater reporting areas all have the top ‘A’ grade rating for water quality and ecology. Auckland Council has been working on Sustainable Catchment projects that endeavour to identify priority catchments and enhance land management practices to improve water quality.

Land biodiversity is graded using a scale of A to F and is based on the amount of native ecosystems (forest, scrub, freshwater and saltwater wetlands) that exist within each reporting area. Waitakere and Great Barrier come out on top, both with an A grade.

The marine environment grade is based on the water quality, ecology, and sediment contaminants found in each reporting area. Of note is Mahurangi Heads which was the best ranked water quality site this year (B grade). Work is currently progressing on marine spatial planning for the Hauraki Gulf to ensure positive outcomes in the marine area.

Twenty nine per cent of the 154 soil sites across Auckland scored a Grade A. These sites are located across all five reporting areas and the high scores can be attributed to their relatively undisturbed condition.

See PDF top 5 and bottom 5 tables attached

BC2656Top_and_bottom_sites_across_Auckland_2013_FINALf.pdf

ENDS

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