Wellington Scoop

Porirua Harbour getting better but “it will take time;” strategy wins planning award

Press Release – Porirua City Council
Work to restore and protect Porirua Harbour is on track, according to the first six monthly report 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 is to be presented to the Porirua Council on Thursday.

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 and 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.

“One of the keys to the success has been Porirua City Council’s on going commitment to funding a dedicated, full-time Porirua Harbour Strategy Co-ordinator, to coordinate the strategy implementation,” says Mr Calder.

Many of the actions in the strategy are agreed joint ones between the three councils and co-ordination of council activities around the harbour has significantly improved, says Mr Calder.

As well, an internal group of key Porirua City Council managers now meets regularly to coordinate and review Council’s s implementation of the Strategy. “This programme is a long-term investment in securing a healthy future for our harbour.”

Press Release – Porirua City Council
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 Thursday.

“This is an acknowledgement, on a regional level, of best practice multi-agency partnerships and an integrated approach to catchment and estuary management planning.”

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.”

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 recipient of this Award on World Town Planning Day. It demonstrates significant community buy-in and the benefits of planned consultation in achieving a shared vision for the Porirua Harbour.”

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.

Porirua City Council