Archive for October, 2008

Press Release

October 24th, 2008

St Lukes Environmental Protection Society is asking Mt Albert candidates in the 2008 General Election to state their plans to deal with lack of sewerage infrastructure in Auckland, and the threats posed to Meola Creek – the largest catchment on the Auckland isthmus.

Currently Auckland City is making a decision on a Resource Consent application by Housing New Zealand (HNZC) to add another 22 units beside the creek. HNZC plan to move Meola Creek and build a concrete access way over it. In addition, they plan to fence off the existing creek bed behind a secure fence, and limit access for the public.

Meola Creek is an historic waterway running through the heart of the Mt Albert electorate, from Owairaka-Mt Albert to Te Tokaroa-Meola Reef and Waitemata Harbour. The creek and the reef play an important role in Maori oral history and tradition, and are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders.

However many studies show that the creek is highly polluted and a public health risk – especially around its headwaters on the slopes of Mt Albert. The creek itself and the estuary by Meola Reef are continually degraded by zinc contaminated stormwater, and sewage overflows which have already seriously reduced wild life in the creek and aquatic life in Waitemata Harbour beside Meola Reef.

“It seems that many government bodies are ignoring the plight of Meola Creek and other urban creeks in Auckland,” says Pat Prescott, STEPS chair person. “Maori women used to gather watercress here in the 1970s, yet now we are told the creek is too dangerous for our volunteers to plant its banks, or for schools to measure water quality.”

“We want more effective planning protection for the creek, and government support for the urgently needed new waste water interceptor by Watercare Services. We are also very disappointed that Housing Corp have not consulted iwi or local groups, and have ignored the objections of our Kura Kaupapa. At present we see little in the district plan to protect our last few creeks.”

“We think that leadership is needed from central government. Although we are working with Auckland City, Metrowater, ARC and Watercare Services, no one has overall responsibility. We need an integrated plan with some positive long-term actions to counter a century of neglect and damage. We would like to see central government as part of the solution, working with us to restore the creek. All we want is clean water in our creek.”

To the candidates in Mt Albert, and Auckland

Dead and Injured Pukekos in Meola Drain

October 24th, 2008

I have a concern about the safety of both children and wildlife at the sewer outfall behind Haverstock Rd, Mt Albert.

On Tuesday 21 October we saw a young boy (under 10) climbing on the outfall in Kerr-Taylor Reserve which is next to a house. This is the place where the sewer overflows from 96 Haverstock Rd emerge, and the stream here can be highly polluted.

When we reached it there were two young boys climbing down. They were looking at the dead pukeko lying there, and a second pukeko attending to the dead one. The young boy broke a bottle and starting climbing down further with some broken glass in his hand. We told him the water was very dirty, and we said how sad it was the bird was dead. He came back up.

We waited while the bird walked away. We noticed its tail feathers were all removed or cut off. We contacted SPCA – who said they are unable to do much.

We are concerned about this and think we need to see if there is more required to prevent children from going into the sewer outfall. We contacted Metrowater who removed the dead bird. We also asked them whether clearer signs are needed.

Scientists views on Housing NZ development plans on Meola Creek

October 13th, 2008

Hort Research also has an active environmental network. The attached letter was received from some  individuals within that community, and was presented at the  AC Resource Consent Hearings.

Re hnzc Haverstock Road development