Porirua Harbour and Catchment News
This page has news and interesting items about the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Community Trust, with a video showing a Day in the Life of Porirua Harbour which includes Pauatahanui Inlet and Onepoto Arm. It also has a link to our Publications page where you can download and print any of our reports and research documents.
2 May 2013 - Harbour Strategy Wins National Planning Award
The Porirua Harbour Strategy has been announced as the '2013 Best Practice Consultation and Participation Award' winner by the New Zealand Planning Insititute.
At a glitzy Awards dinner held as part of the NZPI's Annual Conference in Hamilton, Porirua City Council, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council were named as joint winners for there collaborative effort and public consultation in the development of the Harbour Strategy.
The NZPI Awards panel considered that, "the outstanding collaborative effort involved in addressing major issues relating to one of New Zealand's iconic harbours to be worthy of this best practice award... [and] believes that the development of the Strategy demonstrates how a best practice consultative approach transcends the limitations that a non-statutory document often has."
Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator, Keith Calder, and Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira Communications Officer, Jenny Smeaton, received the Award on behalf of the councils and Runanga and acknowledged the joint parties, the other agencies and the Porirua and Wellington communities that enabled a successful collaborative process and the development of an aspirational and realistic Strategy to restore the health of Porirua Harbour and catchment.
20 March 2013 - Harbour Trust launches new website
The Porirua Harbour Trust has launched its new website. The site contains information about the Trust, the catchments, activities, educational resources, and links and reports.
22 November 2012 - Harbour Strategy Coordinator Wins 'Welly' Award
At a glitzy Welly's Award dinner held at the Amora Hotel Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator, Keith Calder, was announced as the winner of the Wellingtonian of the Year in the Environment category. After 4-and-a half years coordinating and driving the development of the recently completed Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan this was a fitting recognition and conclusion to the first phase of the Strategy programme. Now Keith is responsible for coordinating Strategy implementation.
Keith Calder receiving his 'Welly Award' on 22 November 2012 from Dr David Prentice, Chief Executive of Opus NZ.
The 'Welly' acknowledges Keith's contribution to the development of the ground-breaking Strategy. This involves new management approaches and use of best practice consultation in the content and development of the Strategy.
The Strategy is a major collaborative effort between Porirua City Council, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Ngati Toa Rangatira and nine other local, regional and national agencies including Pauatahanui Inlet Commmunity Trust, Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet, the new Porirua Harbour Trust, DOC, NZTA and others.
Keith strongly believes his Award is reflection of the commitment of these agencies and the team of people directly involved. "The effort and quality of the work done by the Strategy team have made me look good." says Keith. 'I accept the Award not just for myself, but for a project and a project team that also warrant this recognition."
Keith is very grateful to the three councils and the Runanga that have supported the work of the team. Particular thanks to previous Porirua Mayor, Jenny Brash, current Mayor, Nick Leggett, Greater Wellington Chair, Fran Wilde, and Wellington Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown each of whom has created a significant political and public momentum behind the Strategy.
8 November 2012 - Geok Ling Phang Memorial Award 2012
The Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan has won the Geok Ling Phang Memorial Award for the project's "significant contribution" in the Wellington region.
The Award comes from the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Planning Institute and will be presented to Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator Keith Calder on 8 November 2012. "This is an acknowledgement, on a regional level, of best practice multi-agency partnerships and an integrated approach to catchment and estuary management planning."
The strategy was recognised because it highlights the valuable contribution sound planning makes to the quality of where we work, live and play and it addresses current needs and those of the future, says Phil Gurnsey, Wellington Planning Institute Branch Chairperson. "The Strategy is a worthy recipent of this Award on World Town Planning Day. It demostrates significant community buy-in and the benefits of planned consultation in achieving a shared vision for the Porirua Harbour".
Keith says the strategy is the product of four years of community and multi-agency consultation that provides a framework of action and coordination that will improve the health of the harbour and its streams. "The strategy describes three primary objectives - reduce sedimentation rates, reduce pollutants and restore ecology – and the actions being undertaken or planned to meet those objectives."
Geok Ling Phang (nee Lee) was a Wellington town planner who tragically died in an accident in 2009. She was a cherished wife and loving mother of three children. This is the third year the Memorial Award has been presented.
7 November 2012 - 6 Monthly Report - Porirua Harbour Strategy
Work to restore and protect Porirua Harbour is on track, according to the first six-monthly report (4 page pdf) on implementation of the Porirua Harbour Strategy and Action Plan.
Work so far has included infrastructure upgrades, the establishment of special-interest groups and plans for estuary restoration and catchment planting. "There's a lot going on, big and small, that will have a big impact on the harbour. It's going to take time to see the full results, but it will progressively have a huge benefit," says Porirua City Council Harbour Strategy Co-ordinator Keith Calder.
The joint officers' first 6-monthly progress report was presented to Porirua City Council on Wednesday 7 November 2012.
The Porirua Harbour Strategy and Action Plan is a partnership between Porirua City Council, Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Its development was prompted by community calls to clean-up the harbour and the strategy and action plan were officially released in April this year.
Among the highlights of the first six months have been:
- The start of targeted sewer and stormwater infrastructure upgrades by PCC,
- Establishment of a dedicated Porirua Harbour Community Project Team within in Greater Wellington,
- Convening of an agency & community harbour education group and development of an education framework to help better coordinate future environmental education in the catchment,
- Completion of a preliminary 'source-to-sink model' of the catchment/estuary to aid identification of priority erosion prone areas,
- Completion of a seagrass restoration assessment report,
- Preparation of an estuary restoration plan,
- Preparation of a whole-of-catchment planting plan.
14 June 2012 - Greater Wellington 'State of the Environment' Report Released
Greater Wellington Regional Council Chairwoman, Fran Wilde, today released the Council's regional State of the Environment (SOE)report. This included sub-regional reports, including one for the Porirua Harbour which provided no surprises and confirmed problems with stream health, localised bathing-water quality and the already well-documented threat from sediment, nutrients and stormwater contaminants.
Remediation of the issues identified in the SOE are the objective of the recently completed Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan jointly sponsored by Greater Wellington, Porirua and Wellington councils and the local iwa, Ngati Toa Rangatira.
The full State of the Environment report and summary sub-regional reports can be viewed on the Greater Wellington website.
6 June 2012 - Harbour Strategy Pipped at Post at the Green Ribbon Awards
The Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan was a worthy finalist, but pipped at the post by Nelson City's Clean Air Programme at the Green Ribbon Awards dinner held at Parliament last night.
The Minister for the Environment, Hon Amy Adams, announced the Award winners last night including that for the 'Public Sector Leadership' category in which the Strategy was one of three finalists. 284 nominations were originally received, seven of those for the Public Sector category.
“The awards reflect the broad range of environmental challenges that New Zealand faces and the actions being taken to address them,” Ms Adams says.
“Tackling environmental issues is not easy. It takes initiative and dedication. The awards pay homage to the incredible efforts being undertaken in homes, schools, communities and workplaces to address the environmental challenges we face.”
Being an 'Award Finalist' recognised the consultation, education, research and other leading edge work of Porirua City Council, Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council and a host of other local and national agencies in the preparation and production of the Harbour Strategy.
The Harbour Strategy partners were represented at the Award event by Porirua City Mayor Nick Leggett, Runanga Chair Taku Parai, and Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator, Keith Calder.
24 April 2012 - Harbour and Catchment Strategy Launched
The final Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan was publicly released today.
In an event hosted by PCC Mayor, Nick Leggatt, and supported by key partners Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira Chairman, Taku Parai, Greater Wellington Chair, Fran Wilde, and Wellington City Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, and the other local, regional and national agencies party to the Strategy's development, the history and future of the Strategy was highlighted by each speaker.
Four years in the making, the Strategy marks a watershed moment in the management of Porirua Harbour. It provides a framework for multi-agency coordination and cooperation and a wide variety of current, immediate and longer-term activities all geared to improving the health of the harbour and tributary streams. A particular focus of the Strategy implimentation will be reducing sediment inputs to the harbour.
"Sediment reduction provides the greatest co-benefits for the harbour. Excessive sediment reduces the flushing capacity of the harbour, is a key transporter of pollutants and is smothering harbour ecology and therefore critical to long-term improvement in harbour health" says Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator, Keith Calder.
Key activities over the next 12-24 months will include the following:
- Major stormwater and wastewater infrastructure upgrade
- Development and then implementation of a targeted whole-of-catchment revegetation plan
- Development and implementation of an estuary planting plan
- Development and implementation of a community and business-specific education plan
- Review of land management guidelines for both rural and urban development
- Continued dedicated staffing for coordination of the implementation of the Strategy.
Hard copies of the Strategy documents are available at council counters and all libraries within the harbour catchment as well as being available on our Publications page.
15 March 2012 - Public Seminar Reviews Harbour Sediment Problem and Solutions
Scientists researching the excessive sedimentation issues in conjunction with the local councils - PCC, WCC & GWRC - presented findings of the past year's harbour programme. The seminar was attended by over 40 people. The presentatiion was lead by coastal processes scientist Dr Mal Green from NIWA, who described the causes, impacts and range of options for solving harbour sedimentation issues.
Other members of the Harbour Science Group - Marine ecologists Dr Barry Robertson and Dr Leigh Stevens, forest ecologist and rural revegetation specialist Peter Handford, GWRC Science Team Leader Juliet Milne and marine ecologist, Megan Oliver, and Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator Keith Calder - contributed to discussion and answered questions from the public.
Dr Green's presentation outlined:
- Why dealing with sediments provides the greatest 'co-benefits' for the harbour as they are also a key transporter of pollutants and have the most significant impact on harbour ecology
- The natural variability and movement of marine sandbanks within the harbour and that there is almost no further sand coming into the harbour from the outer coast. The current sand associated with the sandbanks is being re-distributed by tidal flows
- The trend for fine sediment or mud from the catchment to continue and increasingly accumulate in the harbour. This has a significant impact on harbour flushing and ecology
- Three options for managing these sediment issues- 1) Do nothing; 2) Dredge; and 3) Reduce sediment inputs from land. Do nothing means more of the same and the premature loss of harbour amenity and ecology. Dredging has significant impacts in ecology, is temporary in nature, will have difficulty getting resource consents, and is very expensive. Sediment input control provides the best medium and long-term benefit for the harbour, and this is the approach that the councils are focusing on. Dr Green and the other scientists support such an approach.
The audience expressed strong apprectiation for the presentation and general support for the approach being taken by the councils. Councils will continue explore other harbour and catchment management options as resources and improved scientific understanding allow.
February 2012 - Draft Strategy Hearing Committee Report Adopted
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the report and recommendations of the joint Hearing Committee that considered submissions on the draft Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan were fully adopted by three councils and the local Runanga.
The 19 page report addresses a range of topics raised by 23 submitters to the draft Strategy – describing each issue, recommendations in response and an explanation for the Committee's decision.
The Hearing Committee comprised delegates from Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira (Rawiri Faulkner, who acted as chair), Porirua City Council (Cllr Liz Kelly), Wellington City Council (Cllr Ngaire Best) and Greater Wellington Regional Council (Cllr Barbara Donaldson). The Committee reported back to councils and the Runanga in November following submissions in September and hearings in October. The report was considered and adopted by councils and the Runanga in separate meetings over December.
The appropriate changes are being made to the Strategy documents and the final Strategy is likely to be released early March.
In the meantime, the councils, community groups and other agencies involved in developing the Strategy continue to progress implementation of the Strategy and associated action plan:
- Current council policy and practice with respect to sediment and pollution control and infrastructure operation and maintenance is being reviewed;
- Critical research activities for the past year are near completion and will enable, in particular, the development of a prioritised whole-of-catchment re-vegetation plan and an estuary re-vegetation plan;
- A community- and business-specific communications plan will be developed in the next few months aimed at helping people to understand issues threatening the harbour and how they can assist its clean-up.
- Additional funding is being sought through the Long-Term Plan process for new key activities identified in the Strategy and Action Plan.
Copies of the Hearing Committee's report have been sent to all submitters to the draft Strategy.
19 January 2012 - Dredging Assessment released
A report on the outcome of investigations assessing the impacts of dredging on harbour flushing has been released by Porirua City and Greater Wellington Regional councils. The investigation by international consultants DHI Water and Environment concludes that localised strategic dredging of the Pauatahanui Inlet would be ineffective and temporary. The results are also applicable to the Onepoto Arm of the harbour.
Separate general estimates for the cost of such dredging and disposal of dredging materials are about $5 million dollars for an estimated cut 100m wide by 400m long by 2m deep (80,000m3) at a cost of $10/m3 to dredge and $50/m3 for transport and disposal to landfill. These costs do not include resource consent application, necessary additional research to support any application, dredge relocation/installation, or ongoing maintenance dredging.
The key to reducing sedimentation rates and maintaining the flushing ability of both arms of the harbour remains improved erosion control and earthworks management within the catchment. Both of these actions are being addressed as a key element of the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan.
The final Harbour Strategy document will be released in April (2012) following public submissions last year and councils' and Runanga adoption of recommended modifications from the joint Hearing Committee that considered submissions.
The Dredging Assessment report can be viewed or downloaded here (2MB pdf, 23 pages)
25 August 2011 - Draft Strategic Plan released
On Wednesday 24 August 2011, the Porirua City Council approved a draft Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan for public release and submissions.
The multi-agency Strategy has been 3 years in the making and is intended to provide a framework for and schedule of coordinated and targeted action to restore the health of Porirua Harbour and its contributing streams. Led by Porirua City Council, the other three key stakeholders, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington City Council and local iwi, Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira, along with eight other local, regional and national agencies such a the Department of Conservation, Regional Public Health, NZ Transport Agency, Forest & Bird, Fish & Game, QEII National Trust, the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet, Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust and the recently established Porirua Harbour and Catchment Community Trust, have all been involved in the Strategy development.
A preliminary draft was endorsed by Greater Wellington Regional Council in mid June. Wellington City Council endorsed the Draft Strategy on 18 August 2011. The Strategy was publicly notified at the end of August, with a closing date for submissions of 30 September. Public hearings were held in mid October. It is intended to then review and have joint agency sign-off of the final Strategy in December.
Copies of the Strategy and Action Plan and the Detailed Action Plan supplement and hard copies were available at all three councils' offices and from libraries within the Porirua Harbour catchment.
Copies of the Draft Strategy and a Detailed Action Plan supplement are available online, at council offices and libraries. A mailing list of local and regional interest groups have been sent copies of the Draft Strategy and the Detailed Action Plan supplement. The attractively presented Draft Strategy outlines the history and significance of Porirua Harbour and the Strategy, the approach to Strategy development, the three key objectives for restoring the harbour - reduce sedimentation, reduce pollutants, and ecological restoration - and the key indicators and targets for monitoring restoration progress.
11 March 2011: Establishment of new Harbour Trust
Shortly after 4.30pm on Friday 11 March 2011 a document was signed creating a new community advocate for Porirua Harbour and another milestone in harbour's history.
Eighteen months in the making, the new Porirua Harbour and Catchment Community Trust (PHACCT) came into existence with the signing of the Trust Deed by the eight Founding Trustees.
The founding trustees are:
- Cr Liz Kelly – nominated trustee from Porirua City Council
- Wiremu Wineera – appointee from To Runanga O Toa Rangatira
- Cr Ngaire Best – nominated trustee from Wellington City Council
- Cr Jenny Brash – nominated trustee from Greater Wellington Regional Council
- Grant Baker - Whitby resident & Deputy Director-General with DOC, PICT member, and Whitby resident
- Lindsay Gow - Retired Deputy Chief Executive, Min. for Environment, PICT member, and Whitby Resident
- John Morrison – Retired Greater Wellington engineer and member of Churton Park Residence Assoc
- Dr John Wells - Professor of Biological Sciences, VUW, Chair of Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet, and PICT member.
The Trust can appoint up to another six trustees from the community, as well as engaging non-voting advisory trustees. Grant Baker will act as the interim chair through to the Trust's AGM later this year.
The signing ceremony was held beside the harbour at the Waka Shelter on Wineera Drive and other attendees included Porirua City Mayor, Nick Leggatt; Wellington City Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown; Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair, Barbara Donaldson; Te Runanga representative Taku Parai and others; and representatives of the current Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust (PICT).
Members of the new Porirua Harbour and Catchment Community Trust and dignitaries present for the signing of the Trust Deed beside the harbour. Left to right: Cr Ngaire Best; Cr Jenny Brash; Grant Baker (seated); Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown; Lindsay Gow; Porirua City Mayor, Nick Leggett; Cr Liz Kelly; John Morrison; Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair Barbara Donaldson; Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira Chief Executive Matiu Rei & Kaumatua Taku Parai. (Absent: Wiremu Wineera and John Wells).
The new Trust is a development and expansion of PICT, which has been running for over 10 years. The establishment of PHACCT means that formal interest expands to the whole harbour and catchment, and also the formal involvement of Wellington City Council in the Porirua Harbour catchment.
The Trust will act as a community advocate for Porirua Harbour, particularly focused on improving its condition and public enjoyment. The Trust will also be involved in education and awareness-raising. It will develop its own priorities and activity plan. It is anticipated the new Trust will provide input to the upcoming Harbour Strategy and Action Plan being developed by the joint councils and other agencies.
Harbour Mini Documentary Series
A beautifully crafted and inspiring 12-part mini documentary series on Porirua Harbour was launched as part of 6 February 2011 Waitangi Day celebrations. It was standing room only at the Te Rauparaha Arena theatrette as family, friends and public came to see the first two episodes of Cheryl Cameron's epic diary, 'LIVING WATERS: Tiakina Nga Taonga - Protect the Treasure'. They were not disappointed.
Two years in the making, the series will tell the environmental history ... andd future of Porirua Harbour. Commissioned by the Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust, Cheryl Cameron shines an amazing cinematographic vista on the estuary and uses local people to tell the harbour's story.
As a recreational, cultural and ecological resource, the harbour sits at the centre of a city and catchment housing 70,000 people. Treasured on the one hand, historic and current abuse of the estuary and streams provides many challenges to the effort to clean up the harbour.
Each episode in the series is 5-10 minutes long and a new episode is released every month of 2011. Five episodes are now available.
The series represents a significant resource for public education and awareness of harbour values, the challenges facing the harbour and how public authorities and the wider community can help in the task of cleaning up this local and regional treasure.
This is a 'must see' resource - both inspiring... and challenging. The first two episodes and future episodes can be viewed on www.livingwatersdoco.co.nz.
20 September 2010: A Significant Milestone - Porirua Harbour Memorandum of Understanding signed
A major milestone was reached in the Porirua Harbour programme with the signing of a multi-agency Memorandum of Understanding on 20th September 2010. Lead by Porirua City Council and manawhenua Ngati Toa, 12 local, regional and national agencies signed an MOU formalising commitment to support and develop a strategy and action plan for protecting and cleaning up Porirua Harbour. Two further agencies - the Ministry of Fisheries and Kiwi Rail - are currently processing authorisations for signing the MOU, and their support has so far been favourable.
Jenny Brash, in one of her last acts before leaving Mayoral office, signed the MOU on behalf of Porirua City Council. As the driving force and representing the lead agency, it was poignant that Mayor Brash participated in the fruits of a networking and partnership-building process that started over a decade ago.
The MOU represents a serious commitment to redress the degradation of Porirua Harbour that has occurred over 150 years of European settlement. While it does not do 'work on the ground' the cooperation and partnership represented by the MOU has always been seen as fundamental to ensuring an effective and long-term improvement and maintenance of the harbour. Any sustainable solution to problems and potential within the harbour and catchment require a comprehensive integrated approach and the kind of multi agency, cross-boundary 'buy-in' consolidated by the MOU. The development of a harbour and catchment strategy now has a firm basis to proceed, knowing that key stakeholders are part of the strategy development process.
Image - Parties at the MOU signing: Front Row: Ariki WiNeera as Chair of Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira; Dame Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council; Kerry Prendergast, Mayor of Wellington City; Jenny Brash, Mayor of Porirua City Council; Jenny Chetwynd, Regional Manager for New Zealand Transport Agency; and Hekia Parata, National List MP. Back Row: Liz Kelly, Takapuwahia Marae; Peter Gush, Service Manager Regional Public Health; Mike Britton, General Manager Forest & Bird; Alan Mckenzie, DOC Regional Conservator; Dave Banks, Field Operations Manager, QEII National Trust; Richard Moore, National Board of Fish & Game NZ; Grant Baker, acting Chair for Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust; and John Wells, Chair of Guardians of Pauatahnui Inlet.
Video - A Day in the Life of Porirua Harbour
View a short video showing a Day in the Life of Porirua Harbour (3.37mins via YouTube) produced by Keith Calder, Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator at Porirua City Council.
For enquiries or more information about the Harbour programme, please contact:
Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator
Strategy and Planning
Porirua City Council
PO Box 50-218
Porirua City 5240
Phone: (04) 237 3598
Fax: (04) 237 1445