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Expanding the Kiwi Point quarry – but how will it look?

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council’s City Strategy Committee has today agreed to consult on expansion plans for the Kiwi Point Quarry in the Ngauranga Gorge.

Consultation will take place to get feedback on the options being considered for a District Plan Change, and how the visual and environmental effects can be mitigated during and after quarrying.

Proposed cuts and mitigation

Councillor Andy Foster, the Council’s Urban Development Portfolio Leader, says the quarry is an important strategic resource for economic growth of the city. Based on the current rate of extraction, the existing ‘north face’ of the quarry will be exhausted in a few years

“In Wellington we are very fortunate to have a Council-owned quarry so close to the city. Costs for roading, footpaths, buildings etc are kept down by transporting this bulk, low-cost product as little as possible. If we have to truck in aggregates from outside the city then construction costs, carbon emissions and road maintenance will go up significantly.”

Aggregate demand in the Wellington region is predicted to increase due to general building and rebuilding, roading and infrastructure projects and significant population growth.

Cr Foster says there has been a quarry in the Kiwi Point area since the 1880s. “Given the importance of aggregate to the city’s future growth, expanding our existing, well-managed quarry is the most logical solution.

“We would face a multitude of serious obstacles if we started looking for an alternative quarry site around the city. The only other options available, with the likelihood of the necessary large supply of high quality rock, are in areas with high recreational or ecological value or really difficult transport access.”

Without expansion at Kiwi Point Quarry, aggregate resources from the Horokiwi and Belmont quarries will be depleted faster – leaving the whole region facing significant economic and environmental implications.

Public consultation will start on 30 September with drop-in information sessions and a submissions process planned. We’ll have more details closer to the date.

5 comments:

  1. JC, 14. September 2017, 19:52

    It would be great if this was accompanied by some mitigation measures – landscaping through Ngauranga Gorge (think rows of pohutukawa and native grasses etc) would help. It would certainly make the area feel less bleak. Any prospect of that Andy? [Take a look at this link, to see images which show proposals for mitigation of the quarry.]

     
  2. CC, 14. September 2017, 21:22

    Funny that, none of the visuals on the link show the noxious plants on the site that the owner and contractors will not eradicate. Perhaps, beside the landscape images, we could have successive renders of the Outer Town Belt and nearby Reserves covered in Blackberry, Darwin’s Barberry, Parsnip Palm, Old Man’s Beard and all the other noxious species that are proliferating and spreading from the quarry site.

     
  3. JC, 14. September 2017, 21:34

    I meant mitigation throughout the gorge, not just in the quarry site.

     
  4. Andy Foster, 15. September 2017, 7:17

    Hi CC and JC – I would recommend making a submission detailing what sorts of mitigation you want to see.

    CC – weeds are a huge issue across New Zealand. Council puts several hundreds of thousands of dollars into direct control, a lot of money into supporting community groups working in reserves – weed control is one part of that, and also into research – things like biological control of tradescantia, and looking at Darwin’s barberry ability to survive when in shade spring to mind.

    My plea to everyone is to help out :
    Get to know the weed species – Conservation Week is coming up soon.
    Get involved in a local community group which is working in your favourite reserve (help set one up if there isn’t one). You will end up making new friends and feeling like you are making a positive difference.
    Pull out / cut down weed species when you can (make sure you know what it is so you don’t pull out native species)
    Please please please do not dump garden waste into bush. It will often have seeds in it.

    Warmest regards
    Andy

     
  5. CC, 15. September 2017, 8:20

    Cr. Foster – sounds good but it seems you need to find out a bit more about how things operate on the ground with regard to noxious weed control in Wellington. Volunteers are very limited in what they can do on Council sites such as the quarry. Unfortunately, the Regional Council claim they can’t do to anything much to exert the limited authority on the site.

     

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