Did you know that part of the rates you pay are targeted to enhance and protect the environment and waterways across Auckland and in your local area?
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 cleaning and managing beaches, streams and harbours.
Here’s a snapshot of how targeted rates are being put to use for the environment and waterways across Waitematā.
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.
The $15.6 million Picton Street Stormwater Network Extension underway in Freemans Bay will significantly reduce overflows and flooding in the area.
An upgrade of the outfall at Daldy Street will improve water quality in the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Wharf areas at a cost of $34 million. Construction has started and is expected to be completed by December 2020.
A joint project between Auckland Council and Watercare will reduce overflows at St Marys Bay and Masefield Beaches into the Waitematā Harbour, from over 200 to approximately 20 times a year.
The St Marys Bay Separation Project, led by Watercare, will separate the St Marys Bay catchment by installing new wastewater networks and separating the private drainage of between 370 and 460 dwellings. Construction is due to start in November 2019. The total cost for separation is $29.9 million including $4.9 million for stormwater treatment.
Waitematā and Ōrākei 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.
Water quality investigations are underway at Safeswim sites to identify potential issues at popular swimming sites like Judges 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 Cox’s Bay.
Natural environment projects
Pest plant and pest animal control in and around public parks have been increased with a focus on Western Springs Lakeside Te Wai Ōrea Park in Waitematā.
Reducing the spread of plant pathogens threatening native species, in particular kauri dieback, continues to be a major focus. A kauri dieback passenger cleaning station has been set up at Pier 2 at the downtown ferry terminal to prevent pathogen spread to the islands.
Ambassadors also worked at ferry departure points over summer 2018/2019 to provide public education to help reduce the spread of pests and pathogens to the islands.
Find out more about how targeted rates work and what the rest of your rates bill goes towards, on the Auckland Council website.