Archive for the tag 'Auckland Plan'

Auckland Stormwater and Health

August 19th, 2017

This week STEPS joined with Stop Auckland Sewage Overflows Coalition, and Manukau Harbour Restoration Society in speaking with Counicllor Penny Hulse, Chair of Environment & Community Committee, and Councillor Chris Darby, Chair of Planning Committee to  demand Auckland Council action on Auckland isthmus STORMWATER, in the Auckland Plan and the Financial 10 Year plan being prepared this year. If we miss out it will be another 1-3 decades before we have another chance!

STEPS and SASOC are delighted that Cr Hulse appeared in the media today talking about the problem and some solutions.  Coinciding with this it was announced last night that an Auckland public health study is being carried out. “The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has begun a study into why it is seeing the increase in diseases like Cryptosporidium and the potentially serious E coli (VTEC)…Medical officer of health David Sinclair said it ordinarily saw between 60 and 75 cases a week, but after a big storm that number was consistently higher than 80. The public health service would work with Auckland University, NIWA, Auckland Council and Watercare on the study.” And Local Government Minister Anne Tolley launched a ministerial review into three waters – drinking, storm and waste water. Can these really be first steps to Auckland Council and Government acknowledging we have a problem?

Our messages were:

  • Address ecological and human health risks in the “Auckland Plan refresh”, including:
    – A funding stream in the Long Term (10 Year) Plan, committed to improving stormwater
    systems (combined sewers and soakage areas) on the isthmus over no more than 20 years
    – A Chapter on Water in the Auckland Plan, showing the connectedness of people and water                                 as a strong base for action on infrastructure
  • Incorporate community input and ally with interested community groups
    now, before options are fixed in the Healthy Waters  Western Isthmus Water
    Quality Improvement Plans, to increase community support of options in the LTP process

We have been very concerned that AC Healthy Waters and Watercare appear to be working behind closed doors and producing another technical solution before the public is aware. We believe that investing even more Auckland money in extensions/ renewal of the “combined” sewage and stormwater system is taking us back to the 19th century.

Meanwhile

  • the Unitary plan will add 2 sq kilometers of impervious surface to Meola catchment alone
  • we understand that 75% of the polluted stormwater overflows in our parks come from the ROAD system.

More housing and more motorways mean more stormwater loaded with heavy metals off cars and mixed with raw sewage… is this a recipe for “livability” and “swimmability” in 21st Century Auckland?