Auckland Council has a 10-year budget (2018-2028) that puts $311 million raised from rates towards projects tackling pests, weeds and diseases threatening native species and ecosystems.
Another $452 million goes towards the clean-up and better management of beaches, streams and harbours.
Here’s a snapshot of how targeted rates are being put to use for the environment and waterways across Ōrākei.
Natural environment projects
Pest plant and pest animal control in and around public parks is on the increase across Auckland, with work in Ōrākei focused on Kepa Bush Reserve, Roberta Reserve, Wharua Reserve, Waitaramoa Reserve, Martyn Wilson Reserve and Sonia Reserve.
Investigating ways to reduce the risk of spread of plant pathogens that threaten native species, in particular kauri dieback, is continuing. At Dingle Dell Reserve, track access has been temporarily closed near the entrance at Fern Glen Road South to allow for mitigation work. Waiatarua Reserve has seen improvements to track surfaces and drainage as well as buffer planting around single kauri.
Support for community groups to protect their local ecosystems has been increased. Men's Shed East Auckland received $4133 for materials to make rat traps for local residents to use in their backyards.
The Eastern Bays Songbirds Project received $31,477 for pest traps and equipment and $45,000 over three years from the Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Fund. The new natural environment targeted rate-funded Community Coordination and Facilitation Grant also provided $25,000 and Ōrākei Local Board supported the group with $40,000 as part of its 2018/2019 local environment work programme.
Water quality projects
The Western Isthmus Water Quality Improvement Programme will see a $361 million investment in infrastructure over 10 years to reduce overflows into the Waitematā Harbour.
Work in consultation with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is also underway at a cost of $7.7 million to separate wastewater and stormwater pipes for 171 properties and construct 4.5 km of new stormwater network to reduce polluting overflows into the bay and enable future growth.
Outfall at Ōkahu Bay will be diverted to a more suitable location to disperse stormwater-borne contaminants.
Water quality investigations are underway at Safeswim sites to identify potential issues at popular swimming sites like Mission Bay and to provide solutions.
Investigation of water networks and connections is also underway as part of Safe Networks in an effort to stop contamination of beaches like Okahu Bay.
Water quality investigations are underway across the Pourewa West Catchment in Meadowbank with water samples to be taken at stormwater outlets discharging into Pourewa Creek. Initial investigations will be finished in October 2019.
Outlet and stream sampling is underway at Mission Bay, St Heliers, Kohimarama, Ōkahu Bay, and Judges Bay to assess beach water quality. Ongoing investigations into the surrounding drainage network and stormwater outlets will take place.
Ōrākei and Waitematā local boards have been supporting local residents to restore Newmarket Stream. Work is in progress to look at ways the stream restoration efforts can be extended into Newmarket Park.
McArthur Avenue stream in St Heliers is undergoing stabilisation. A flood mitigation project has provided an opportunity to rehabilitate the stream and bring improvements to stream ecosystem and water quality.
Find out more about how targeted rates work and what the rest of your rates bill goes towards, on the Auckland Council website.