Local Government News
Huia Water Treatment Plant
Watercare is considering the options to replace the Huia Water Treatment Plant, which at nearly 100 years old is reaching the end of its life. The Waitakere Ranges dams provide around 20% of Auckland’s water, so it the treatment plant is a critical piece of infrastructure for Auckland.
Over the summer, the Watercare project team has been investigating potential sites in the area that could be used for the new plant. This has included using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to identify sites that meet the key criteria of size, elevation that enables gravity feeding, proximity to existing infrastructure (e.g. pipelines), land slope and are outside dam catchments.
From this mapping exercise, Watercare have identified a long-list of possible locations and done an initial visit to check for fatal flaws (e.g. complete forest cover, poor access). They are now doing an initial technical assessment of the long-list to identify 3–4 sites to include in a short-list of possible locations.
The Society is on a stakeholder group that is meeting regularly for updates and providing feedback as the project progresses. Look out for updates on our webpage and in newsletters on how this is progressing.
Watercare will also undertake community consultation once it has identified a short-list and preferred site.
Te Henga Quarry Restoration
The Te Henga Quarry is due to close in March 2015 and re vegetation of the site will be undertaken by the quarry operator. Auckland Council Properties Ltd is Auckland Council’s delegated representative for the quarry site and is consulting with the Waitakere Ranges Local Board over a proposal to restore the quarry. As reported in the Western Leader (16 October 2014) David Rankin, Auckland Council Property Ltd chief executive said “The board is best placed to determine the nature of the work to be undertaken…”. For more details read the Te Henga Quarry Restoration.
Waitākere Ranges Local Board
The Waitākere Ranges Local Board is focused on a The Waitakere Ranges Local Board reports number of areas based on delivering tangible improvements for our communities.
The Waitakere Local Board’s Agreement sets out the budget and funding for activities and performance measures for the financial year and puts the local board’s vision into action. Local board agreements are part of the council’s annual plan. The Waitākere Local Board agreement for 2014/2015 is a part of the draft annual plan, which is currently open for consultation.
What’s the plan for Waitākere Ranges?
Following the first round of community consultation received in February and March, the Board is now reviewing feedback and writing the draft local board plan. Local board plans are guiding documents for local boards.
The plans, which are strategic three-year plans for each local board, reflect the priorities and preferences of the community.
This will be open for formal submissions from 7 July to 6 August 2014.
Feedback was requested on:
• working with our communities to protect the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area
• protecting and restoring the unique natural environments of our area, its forests and coasts
• fostering arts and culture, including developing Titirangi as the vibrant arts hub for the west
• supporting sustainable local economic activity, including enabling home-based occupations in the ranges
• revitalising our urban villages and town centres as attractive places to live and do business, connected by green walkways and cycleways
• supporting reliable and frequent public transport with connection to the electrified rail network.
The final plan will be adopted by 31 October 2014. If you have any queries about the local board plan, you can contact the Waitākere Ranges Local Board. or contact the local board office on 09 813 915009 813 9150.
Business stock take
The Waitakere Ranges Local Board has recently overseen a business stock take. It was carried out in May-July 2014 to assess the scope and potential for sustainable economic development within the WRHA.
The Waitakere Ranges Local Board is continuing planning for the proposed ‘foothills walkway”. The walkway will eventually traverse the length of the Waitakere Ranges Foothills from the Swanson Railway Station in the north to the Arataki Visitor Centre and Titirangi in the south. Work is currently being done to capture all the information required to apply for the resource consents for the walkway, and to lodge the application.
Piha Dune Management Plan
The Waitakere Ranges Local Board reports that Coastal specialist Jim Dahm has developed an operational management plan for Piha Beach from the southern side of Lion Rock to the southern end of Marine Parade South.
The plan considered the following:
coastal processes and shoreline trends
review of dune management to date
proposed dune management plan.
This plan was presented to the previous Waitākere Ranges Local Board for adoption at their 9 October 2013 meeting, but the board requested further time be allowed for the community to provide feedback. The consultation closed at the end of April 2014 and the Waitākere Ranges Local Board is now considering all of the feedback that was submitted.
Hard copies of the plan are available at the Piha Community Library.
The environmental health of the Waitākere Ranges
The environmental health of the Waitākere Ranges is an important focus for Waitākere Ranges Local Board.
Protecting and restoring the area’s unique natural environments will be a key priority of the new local board plan, with ecological weed control, animal pests and education around kauri dieback disease high on the agenda.
Auckland Council parks staff have worked with the local board to identify initial high-profile weed-control and restoration sites around the area.
Weeds targeted will include pampas grass, woolly nightshade, climbing asparagus, wild ginger and large stands of the giant reed, arundo grass.
“In the last council term, the local board delivered the first monitoring report required under the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act,” says Waitākere Ranges Local Board Member Saffron Toms, who holds the local board’s environment portfolio.
“We now want to implement the report’s recommendations, with significant focus on increased environmental protection,” she says.
Temporary signage will be erected at the sites to explain the work being carried out, and information highlighting the worst weeds in the heritage area will also be distributed to households.
Did you know?
The Waitākere Ranges Local Board area contains 40 per cent of Auckland’s native vegetation. Over 80 per cent of the local board area is covered in native vegetation.
(Information from the Auckland Council website)