More than 100 people involved in the building industry have attended a small sites expo designed to protect the city’s waterways.
The first Small Building Sites Demo event was held in Flat Bush, bringing together the Master Builders Association, Auckland Council regulatory staff, Auckland Council's Healthy Waters team, and industry suppliers.
Funded by Howick Local Board, the focus of the day was to educate Chinese-speaking builders on small sites in the Flat Bush area about sediment controls.
Board member Mike Turinsky joined environment portfolio lead John Spiller and councillors Sharon Stewart and Paul Young at the event, organised after insufficient sediment and rubbish controls were identified at building sites in the area.
Mr Spiller says widespread non-compliance is unacceptable.
"We want development to meet the housing shortage, but it cannot be at the expense of the environment."
He was encouraged by the good turnout though.
"Events that educate people on the kinds of controls we need to ensure our environment is safeguarded are a good starting point."
Mr Turinsky says the event reinforces messages being delivered under a small sites ambassadors programme.
"That involves educating builders to ensure sites are tidy and have good sediment control. We can’t ignore things that put the health of our waterways at risk."
More than 13,000 new home consents were issued last year, and inspections revealed widespread compliance failures.
"There is a huge amount of work going on in Howick," Cr Stewart says. "That means the potential for pollutants to reach our waterways is quite high."
Cr Young says language can be a barrier but most in the industry want to comply. "Spreading the message and making it more easily understood is an excellent idea."