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Improving North Shore’s waterways

Published: 7 March 2019

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Local Board funds programme to tackle water pollution

Kaipātiki Local Board is encouraged by the response to its board-funded programme aimed at tackling local water pollution issues. 

The board's Industrial Pollution Prevention Programme assists local businesses to reduce their impact on the Wairau Creek and Hauraki Gulf.   

A recent report to the board has demonstrated a positive return on investment in the programme operating across the Wairau Valley – the largest industrial area in the Kaipātiki Local Board area.

Opportunities for change

Reported figures show that in last quarter of 2018, 121 business sites in the industrial area were visited and had their systems and processes assessed for impact on the stormwater network and surrounding waterways.

Of those assessed, 31 were identified as presenting opportunities for improvement and change to reduce water pollution.

The report also stated that 60 per cent of recommendations were adopted and in place within three months of the affected business being informed of the issues and the measures that should be taken.

Positive response from business

Local board chair John Gillon says it has been pleasing to see the positive response from local businesses to respond to the challenge.     

“We are really encouraged by results in the initial reporting,” says Gillon.

“The programme we have funded is ultimately an educational one that informs our local business owners about the impacts their activities may be having on our waterways.”

“We started with pilots in smaller isolated industrial locations in Birkenhead and Beach Haven in early 2018. Based on the results netted there, we committed more funding for the team to move onto our largest industrial area – the Wairau Valley.”

The programme includes a site inspection and discussion with business owners about potential issues around water pollution.

Where issues are identified and changes are recommended, the affected business is provided a step-by-step instructions to help them make the changes necessary to address identified issues impacting the environment.

The programme also involves a GIS mapping exercise to ensure that businesses understand the stormwater network connections in relation to their business operation and the area’s surrounding waterways.

“Ultimately, all water that enters and exits the Wairau Valley finds its way into underground stormwater drains and then flows into the Wairau Creek and then out into the gulf at Milford Beach,” says Gillon.

“What the team are doing, will in time, make measurable improvements to eco-systems and water quality between the industrial valley and Milford's estuary and beach downstream.”

Find out more

If you have a business is in the Wairau Valley area, and you would like support to improve your impact on our waterways, please contact the local board at kaipatikilocalboard@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

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