Despite budget restraints in the wake of COVID-19, Papakura Local board has committed to several environmental projects in its area.
Board chair Brent Catchpole says the board had to work hard on its budgets but did not want to compromise projects designed to safeguard the environment.
“As a board we were particularly taken by how many of our young people spoke up during consultation about continuing to show leadership for the environment.”
The board has committed to funding:
- Dominion Reserve weed control, $15,000
- Papakura Stream restoration planting, $15,000
- Community Waste Minimisation Papakura, $10,000
- Wai Care Papakura, $20,000
- Manukau Harbour Forum, $1750
- Papakura Stream landowner engagement, $5000.
Catchpole says the board plan has strong outcomes to both protect and improve the environment.
“We want people to be able to enjoy our harbour and streams and to make that happen we have to continue supporting weed control in the Dominion Reserve.
“Funding will be used to undertake weed control so native plants can establish and ultimately we can connect the area of native forest with the Red Hill Scenic Reserve.”
The board will also continue supporting biodiversity and water quality improvements in the Papakura Stream Esplanade Reserve, a project now in its third year, while to help achieve reduced waste it will back community-based awareness and minimisation projects.
“We want to residents to be able to reduce their waste and live sustainably and will fund workshops that give people practical advice on that.”
The board has again backed the Wai Care schools programme, enabling education around water quality monitoring of local streams, and planting and maintenance of existing and new stream restoration sites.
And continuing its work to improve stream water quality, the board will engage with landowners along the Papakura Stream, working with neighbouring Franklin and Manurewa.
“We all share the stream’s catchment, which spans the Hūnua Ranges to the Manukau Harbour,” Catchpole says.
“We will engage landowners to create a shared vision for the stream that will allow us to understand the barriers and benefits to local waterway protection, and help develop an approach for the community to participate in improving them.”
Papakura is one of nine Auckland local boards that funds the Manukau Harbour Forum.
“We border the Manukau and know how important protecting and restoring the mauri of the harbour is to residents, especially the Māori community.”