Are cleaner Waterways on the way for Waitākere?

Publish Date : 02 Mar 2021
Are cleaner Waterways on the way for Waitakere?

Cleaner, greener waterways in Waitākere could be on the way, with several projects to enhance and improve streams and increase monitoring and compliance proposed in the council’s 10-year Budget.

The Budget, out for consultation now, proposes extending the current Water Quality Targeted Rate (WQTR) for three years to 2031 and increasing it annually in line with the general rates increase, enabling funding of several projects.

In addition to wider improvements to Auckland’s water quality, Waitākere residents would see specific projects funded through the rate, and Ward Councillors Shane Henderson and Linda Cooper say that the proposals should be carefully considered.

Water Quality Targeted Rate

“In general, the rate enables lots of really important water quality improvements across the city,” says Councillor Henderson.

“Waitākere has many beautiful watercourses that do need help to improve. Doing so would make a tangible difference to the area for generations to come - so the question we need to weigh up is whether the additional cost is seen to be worthwhile.”

Councillor Cooper says that the proposed compliance and monitoring programmes would also make a difference.

“Ensuring compliance for wastewater systems and improving efforts to stop industrial pollution would play a big role in cleaning up many of the streams and rivers that are currently polluted. Understanding if there is public support for these projects will be really important going forward,” she says.

Local Board areas

There are proposed projects in both Waitākere Ranges Local Board area and the Henderson-Massey Local Board area.

In the Waitākere Ranges, an onsite wastewater system compliance programme would monitor wastewater systems to reduce and respond to failing systems, while stream restoration programmes in Blewitt Gully, Porters and Swanson Streams would receive funding.

Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair, Greg Presland, says the projects are important. “What we want is to stop wastewater seeping into our natural waterways. There’s no doubt a programme to monitor wastewater systems and ensure they work will be beneficial.”

While Henderson-Massey would see an Industrial Pollution Prevention Project and small-site sediment reduction programme, as well as stream restoration programmes for the Manutewhau, Paremuka, Rarawaru, and Waimoko Streams.

Henderson-Massey Local Board Chair, Chris Carter says restoration of streams would enhance the area. “We need to be able to improve the health of our streams and this could potentially significantly improve some of the streams in our area. So please let us know if you think this proposal is worthwhile in the consultation.”

Have your say

You can have your say on the budget at until 22 March.

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