Archive for August, 2019

NZ Water Sector Reform Proposals

August 1st, 2019

On 31 July 2019 NZ Government announced proposals for water sector reform.  A primary interest of STEPS and many Aucklanders may be stormwater, but drinking water will be the first to come under the authority of a proposed new water regulator. We understand this is likely to be followed by wastewater.  Most Aucklanders receive drinking water and waste water treatment services from Watercare Services Limited, an Auckland Council controlled organisation.

Below is some information provided by Water NZ.

“The first stages of the long-awaited proposals for water sector reform have just been announced by the Government. These signal important and ground-breaking changes to the regulatory environment around drinking water. Take a look at our media release and the Cabinet papers.

View Pipeline for 1 August online here. 

Cabinet Paper on the 3 Waters Review

Please find below the Cabinet Paper and press statement from the Minister of Local Government announcing the establishment of a new drinking water regulator. An analysis of this announcement will be included in the next issue of the Water Journal.

  • Cabinet paper, minute, and Regulatory Impact Assessment – Strengthening the regulation of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater – July 2019
  • Cabinet paper and minute – A plan for three waters reform – July 2019
  • Dedicated watchdog for water quality
  • Three waters: Regulatory roles of Central vs Regional Government

Water NZ Media release

Water NZ Media release and commentary on the Government’s announcement is here.

[Water New Zealand is the principal voice for the water sector, focusing on the sustainable management and promotion of the water environment and encompassing the three waters : drinking water, waste and storm waters.]

Waitītiko Meola Creek and Chamberlain Park

August 1st, 2019

Albert Eden Local Board (AELB) has a Master Plan for Chamberlain Park and a Naturalisation Plan for Waitītiko Meola Creek.

AELB has been communicating with Board Members, Councillors and some Albert Eden ratepayers in relation to Chamberlain Park. STEPS yesterday contributed the perspective below. We welcome comment from our members.

Tena Koe,

Peter we thank Albert Eden Local Board for supporting the restoration of Waitītiko Meola Creek and once again congratulate you on gaining the support of the Governing Body for the board’s selected project.

We look forward to improved biodiversity and ecological restoration of the creek, along with improved public access to our awa, and enrichment of the bird corridor. History shows us that these kinds of restoration projects can in fact forge stronger community bonds. We are of course pleased that you gained iwi support for the ecological aspects during your consultation.

STEPS is as you say actively working with Auckland Council,  Albert Eden Local Board and Watercare for the restoration of the entire creek. We are indeed disappointed that our weeding project has been halted because of legal issues.

I found the range of views during the Auckland Council debate very interesting, and while I was delighted by the degree of enthusiasm for the aquifer, Waititiko and biodiversity we should state that at this point the awa still hosts annually approximately 1 million cubic meters of stormwater driven waste-water overflows – half the total overflow amount estimated to pour into Waitemata Harbour down one much overused and valuable spring fed creek.  Over the past 15 years STEPS has often felt like a very lonely voice in our advocacy and is pleased that Healthy Waters and Watercare are now collaborating to come up with some possible stormwater and sedimentation reduction options. Without this work, our community projects and our awa will never reach their full potential, and any improvements will be constrained. We look forward to understanding how wetlands will be used to enhance the value of the creek and fully support any such local stormwater treatment.

As you know Watercare hold regular public meetings about the Central Interceptor. The Meola Community Liaison Group has an extensive list of stakeholders and attendees. Local residents near the Meola Central Interceptor sites can be advised of meetings by contacting the secretary aldshanks@gmail.com

We invite all those who support Waitītiko Meola Creek restoration to an upcoming wetland planting funded by AELB and AC in a week or two:

https://www.meolacreek.org.nz/2019/07/28/join-us-for-the-august-planting-on-the-roy-clements-treeway/

Nāku iti noa, nā

Liz

Elizabeth Walker

Chair,  STEPS

St Lukes Environmental Protection Society Inc

+64-9-815-3539   www.meolacreek.org.nz

https://www.facebook.com/STEPSNZ/

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