If the water flows in the heart of the city of Auckland, it is the large green spaces that make it beat.
Easy access to beaches and parks is what sets us apart from other cities and offers the laid-back, outdoor lifestyle that Aucklanders pinch themselves in for a living.
And we know that because last year, as part of Auckland Council’s 10-year budget, Aucklanders told us that environment and water were high on their priority list for this. that makes their city special.
To ensure we continue to reap these benefits, Auckland Council has earmarked $ 452 million raised through a targeted water quality rate for projects to secure beaches, streams and waterways. cleaner ports. Another $ 311 million has been set aside under the Targeted Natural Environment Rate to help protect our natural environment and combat the pests, weeds and diseases that threaten our native species.
This week, the Environment and Community Committee received a second quarterly update on the progress of work in progress and future priorities for these two rates.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “With Aucklanders’ support for water quality and environmental target rates, we are protecting kauri, cleaning our beaches 20 years faster than otherwise possible, and working with community groups to achieve our goal of being pest free by 2050.
“Aucklanders care about their environment and their beaches. Targeted rates allow us to address past underinvestment in our environment and ensure that it can be enjoyed for generations to come, ”said Phil Goff.
Councilor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Environment and Community Committee, said, “I want my grandchildren to be able to enjoy this city; experience the pleasures that I have savored living here.
“And that’s the motivation behind using these rates – to improve and accelerate environmental protection for Aucklanders.
“We are now in an exciting phase, completing the many plans to do so due to the target rate. About 50 new or improved environmental projects are underway, and we are building new stormwater assets to reduce sewage overflows in streams and beaches by up to 90% over the next decade.
“We are also committed to working in a spirit of partnership to integrate Maori results into these programs. “
Ms Hulse says staff are providing more environmental activities than in the past, work that is sure to deliver more efficient environmental outcomes for Auckland.
Targeted rate for the natural environment
Significant achievements in the second quarter of 2018/2019 include:
- four tracks around Kitekite Falls in the Waitākere Ranges reopened to the public on Boxing Day 2018 after being upgraded to “kauri-safe” standards
- over 30 Kauri Wilting Ambassadors deployed around Auckland, including nine at ferry terminals; a cleaning station installed at the Waiheke Ferry terminal
- an annual grant of $ 300,000 introduced to increase community collaboration
- $ 200,000 allocated to 29 community conservation projects through the Regional Grant for the Environment and Natural Heritage
- the pest control program in Hunua Ranges Regional Park has been extended to include private land adjacent to the park
- the team of parasite detection dogs has expanded to operate at the departure points of vehicles for the Great Barrier and Waiheke; the stoat dog was recently deployed to respond to an alleged incursion on the Great Barrier.
The full update on the target rate for the natural environment is available here.
Targeted water quality rate
Projects to be carried out under five key work programs:
- Western Isthmus Water Quality Improvement Program ($ 361 million)
- contaminant reduction program ($ 54.3 million)
- urban and rural stream rehabilitation program ($ 22.3 million)
- on-site septic tank and wastewater treatment program ($ 9.4 million)
- secure networks program ($ 5.6 million)
Highlights for this quarter include:
- Upgrade projects on track at St Mary’s Bay and Masefield Beach, Picton Street and Daldy Street, pending approval and procurement
- Major network investigations underway in Laingholm, Takapuna, Red Beach and Meadowbank regions
- Inspections of on-site sanitation systems in the southern lagoon of Piha completed; monitoring in progress to assess the impacts of the pilot project on water quality
- An additional $ 200,000 allocated to the Waterways Protection Fund to support projects in the Wairoa and Papakura watersheds.
The full update on the target water quality rate is available here.