Awakeri Wetlands Project digs deep to support new community

Publish Date : 01 Feb 2019
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Artist's impression Awakeri Wetlands Project.

Auckland Council is investing around $100 million in unlocking what was once flood-prone, flat, peaty rural land around Takanini and transforming the area into an eco-friendly urban community.

As developers construct thousands of modern homes, the environment is being revitalised as part of the three-stage Awakeri Wetlands Project. The project comes under the council’s strategy to protect people and property from the dangers of flooding and preserve and enhance the health and value of Auckland’s waterways and harbours for future generations.

The Awakeri Wetlands Project is a signature project, creating healthy and connected waterways, shared cycleways and pathways and open green spaces to support restored natural habitats and resolve flooding and stormwater problems in the Takanini area.

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“We have a unique opportunity to create a thriving, connected wetland for residents to truly enjoy, cherish and care for," says Project Manager Carl Hewison from Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters team.

"We will also be applying innovative and environmentally sensitive solutions to manage what have been serious flooding and stormwater overflows."

Having completed two major milestones in 2018, the focus now is on construction of the new 2.3km stormwater channel running from Grove to Cosgrave to Walters roads to support more new housing developments in this area.

To date the equivalent of 45,000 cubic metres, equivalent to 3000 truckloads, of peat has been moved – and there’s at least another 3000 truckloads to go to dig the length and breadth of the channel.

“The T-shaped channel is a massive undertaking and the first large-scale, open stormwater channel in New Zealand,” Carl says.

The channel is scheduled to be fully operational by 2021-2022, but construction of this vital infrastructure is at a point where the team is readying to connect each individual property lot to the main stormwater system as required as part of the consenting process.

The Healthy Waters team will brief developers and landowners in February on proposed installation timings for the first quarter of the New Year, as well as on costs and the location of connection points.

In 2018 the first steps in the massive infrastructure project delivered the Artillery Drive Tunnel and the Grove Road Culvert, engineering feats that opened the way for developing the liveability and appeal of the Papakura-Takanini-Manurewa area in line with the Unitary Plan.

The tunnel, 2.5 metres round and 1.1 kilometres long, extends from the McLennan Wetland to the Pahurehure Inlet at Katavic Park and operates in conjunction with the existing McLennan Wetland and the Grove Road culvert.

Working together with the Te Whangai Trust and the wider community, the area is set to be beautifully landscaped and planted with natives, including 500 specimen tress, 100,000 plants and the reintroduction of two regionally extinct species.  There are boardwalks, shared pathways and a flood-free and ecologically healthy environment for the locals to enjoy, an example of what is coming as the integrated project progresses through its stages.

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