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Monday, 20 May 2019 12:27 pm

Key players take united stand on saving Porirua harbour

MOU Porirua harbour1

SPRUCE-UP: Improvements to Porirua Harbour include work on the Porirua Stream delta.

WETLANDS have been fenced, native seedlings planted, waterways cleared, and stormwater drains and sewers are under repair.

The Keith Calder 5pace is building towards cleaning up the sediment-polluted Porirua Harbour.

For Keith Calder (right), appointed Porirua Harbour Strategy coordinator in May 2008, the long hours of effort bringing together the ideas of many local organisations are closer to bearing fruit.

He has been working on plans, liaising with local and regional bodies and iwi, as well as co-ordinating a huge amount of research.

A milestone agreement was reached by Porirua City Council, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira, along with other key agencies, in September.

Guided by this memorandum of understanding, the three councils and the runanga are working together on a draft strategy and action plan, which they will release for public comment by mid-2011.

There will be six to eight weeks for people to make submissions.

One of Mr Calder’s roles is to liaise between the councils and the community.

“We won’t have a strategy if we don’t have partnerships,” he says.

“The reality is the problems of Porirua Harbour are not going to go away without serious intervention from the community and councils.”

Porirua City Council has taken the lead in the harbour programme, setting aside $2.6 million in 2008 for the long term restoration of Porirua Harbour.

Improvements on Porirua Harbour to date include a major clean-up of Porirua Stream delta early last year.

Another major issue is the improvement of wastewater systems to reduce contaminant entry into the harbour.

A stormwater and sewer action plan has been prepared and priority areas have been retrofitted this year. with improvements to stream and harbour water quality in the immediate discharge areas.

“Further remedial work is prioritised for coming years,” says Mr Calder.

New trade waste bylaws are being enforced and a trade waste officer has been employed to carry out education and monitoring, he says.

In August, the public were asked to give feedback to a discussion paper to help the council prepare an effective harbour strategy.

Mr Calder received about a dozen responses by letter, emails and calls.

He found the public generally supportive of strategy development though there were various personal and localised observations or suggestions.

People can play their part in cleaning up the harbour by following the tips below.

Help clean up Porirua Harbour

  • Wash vehicles on the grass. That way the detergent and contaminated grime will soak into the ground not into the gutter that leads into a drain that leads to…the harbour!
  • Minimise use of garden fertilisers, herbicides and insecticides.  Certainly don’t apply them just before rain.  It all ends up in…the harbour!
  • Deposit rubbish and litter in the right place.  Otherwise it will eventually be blown or washed into…the harbour!
  • Take leftover paints and other solvents to the tip.  Small amounts, such as when cleaning paint brushes, can be washed using the sink. But don’t flush solvents, soil and other dirt into gutters, down drains or into streams.  They are bad for stream life and all end up in…the harbour!
  • Report any stream and harbour pollution (including sediment) incidents immediately to  Greater Wellington Regional Council using the 24-hour Pollution Hotline 0800 496 734.

Source: Keith Calder

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