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The DomPost article by Stu Farrant on Water Sensitive Urban Design for Greater Wellington (https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/wellington/127408718/how-we-should-be-creating-a-watersensitive-wellington) is singing PHT’s tune. No surprises there as Stu was the principal author of the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua report. The key point is that it will take a whole new approach to development rather than “business as usual”. Will take courage and foresight by all our leaders – both local and central government – to abandon the habits of the past and implement a water sensitive policy.
Support for Pāuatahanui landowners with streams and wetlands
PHT’s guest speaker at our final meeting of the year was Diane Strugnell, Secretary of the Pāuatahanui Residents Association. Diane is establishing a Water Catchment Group for landowners who have streams running through their properties to share information and learn about freshwater management. Subjects will include matters like riparian planting, wetland management, sediment control, fencing etc. So far around 30 residents have shown an interest. If you have a rural property with water sources or courses that eventually end up in the Inlet why not sign up with Diane to be part of this positive initiative. The email address is: email@example.com
Storage tank ugly but necessary
A giant wastewater storage tank on Porirua City’s front door step will be ugly for the five to seven years it takes to get vegetation established. The Harbour Trust is advocating for a green roof with weeping vines on the structure to aid camouflage as fast as possible. The tank will provide a mechanism to avoid many of the current spills of raw sewage into the harbour so the Trust supports construction of the tank and has said so in a formal planning submission.
October 5 was a great post-rain day to get 3000 more plants into the ground by the Kenepuru Darts club. Thanks to Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Porirua City Council and their sponsors plus the volunteers from the community who helped do the mahi.
We’re looking for a new secretary!
The Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchments Community Trust is looking for a voluntary secretary to help keep the Trust organised. This is an opportunity to join our work advocating for the health of the harbour and its streams. You would be present and involved in many interesting discussions on all manner of issues that impact our mission, preparing agendas and recording minutes for our monthly meetings. The time commitment is self-paced but up to 10 hours a month. A full position description can be found through the PHT secretary link. If you are looking for a way to contribute to the community by using skills and experience please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
AGM and a new chairperson
The Trust held its annual general meeting this month and reflected on a busy year. Two items stood out: The decision in June to formally cease the old trust and transfer its assets to the new Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchments Community Trust. In the same month, the Trust’s Education Coordinator, Rebecca McCormack advised that she was leaving Wellington and consequently relinquishing her role after seven highly productive years. The Trust was truly appreciative of the magnificent contribution Rebecca had made in enabling teachers and students alike to participate in the vital goal of improving the health of the harbour and catchments. The Chair of the Trust for the last three years, Mark Neeson, also stood down at the AGM. Mark was thanked for his significant contribution including overseeing and presenting submissions to Council plans relating to the harbour and its catchments, as well as facilitating the transfer of the original trust to a truly independent community trust. Mark’s talents will not be lost to the Trust, however, as he will continue serving as a trustee. The new Chair elected at the AGM, is Michael Player. Michael, a former public relations and communications specialist and resident of Papakowhai, has served on the old and current trust for the last two years. In the third change of personnel signalled at the AGM, the Trust’s secretary, Lauren James will conclude her service this month. Trust members acknowledged her contribution over several years in helping maintain the efficient conduct of Trust administration. Efforts to recruit a volunteer to fill the secretary role will commence immediately.
For more information on the Trusts’ activities over the last financial year check out the annual report.
Christine Jacobson joins Harbour Trust
Christine Jacobson of Titahi Bay has joined the Harbour Trust as a trustee this month. Christine, who has impeccable credentials for the role had a career in conservation including previous roles in the Department of Conservation and Porirua City Council. A keen photographer of nature, Christine is also an active member of the Friends of Mana Island.
Very “on point” opinion piece by Glen McConnell about science versus the wisdom of mana whenua. He uses the sewage overflows into our harbour and the subsequent rāhui put in place by Ngāti Toa Rangatira as a prime example. https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/300367713/western-science-isnt-keeping-you-safe-from-the-poo-in-porirua
Great news this week when Minister Megan Woods announced significant funding for the redevelopment of Porirua East. This will overhaul the three waters systems in the area, especially replacement of the sewerage pipe in Bothamley Park that regularly overflows into the stream and contributes to ongoing degradation of the harbour. Link to the funding announcement
The Environment Court has delivered a withering criticism of the Gateway Partnership, builders of Transmission Gully, for damage done to the harbour. While the penalties seem modest in the scheme of things, the Judge’s commentary confirms what locals who love and use the Inlet know – sediment has built up as a consequence of the TG build…… Environment Court slaps TG road builder with $70k fine
In February 2020 the Porirua City Council received a report from the consultancy firm KPMG entitled Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy Review. The following month the Council also received a report from Ngāti Toa entitled: Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan. These reports can be found here and here.
Subsequent to receipt of the reports the CE of PCC, Wendy Walker, was made responsible for discussing with all the governance bodies (PCC, GWRC, WCC and Ngāti Toa) a way forward from both reports.
See our statement about lack of progress on improving the health of the harbour and its catchments. 2020 08 26 Independent Herald Press release copy
The Trust made a submission to the Plimmerton Farm planning hearing. A subsequent hearing brought about few changes to the developer’s proposal. The proposal was fast tracked through the planning process and the development has now been approved by the Hon David Parker to proceed. Our submission is attached. 2020 06 30 PHT submission on PCC Proposed Plan Change 18- Plimmerton Farm
The Porirua Harbour catchment includes all of that area of Wellington and Porirua City where water flows via streams, lagoons and lakes into the Porirua Harbour. This includes the Johnsonville, Churton Park and Tawa catchments that flow down Porirua Stream and its many tributaries; the Whitby, Judgeford, Pauatahanui and Paekaeriki Hill catchments that flow into the Pauatahanui Inlet; the streams in Kenepuru, Elsdon, Porirua East, Takapuwahia and Titahi Bay that flow into the Onepoto Arm; Pukerua Bay and Plimmerton that flow into the Harbour Entrance and Aotea, Papakowhai that flow through the lagoons into the harbour.
Tawa School and Tawa Rotary place “Drain to the Sea” plaques to stormwater drains.
Cannons Creek senior class cleaning up Onepoto Arm of the Porirua Harbour as part of Love Your Coast month, November 2013.