News from Porirua City Council
A new ‘hands on’ governance group that will provide tighter oversight of the implementation of the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan had their first meeting today in Porirua.
The Porirua Harbour and Catchment Joint Committee, including appointed representatives from Porirua City Council, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council, form the 5-person committee that will monitor and review implementation activities for the Harbour Strategy.
Chaired by PCC Councillor Bronwyn Kropp, the other committee members are Cr Anita Baker (PCC, Deputy Chair), Taku Parai (Chair of Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira), Clr Malcolm Sparrow (WCC) and Cr Barbara Donaldson (GWRC). Each member will report back to its respective Council or Runanga.
The Joint Committee has the authority to ask for reports on particular aspect of harbour and catchment issues, strategy implementation or Council activities.
“One of the first decisions we made was to update the committee to recognise the cultural significance of the harbour by naming it Te-Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchment Joint Committee,” says Cr Kropp.
The committee then discussed the Annual Report on the implementation of the Harbour Strategy.
“Highlights from the past year include on-going upgrades of the city’s sewer and stormwater networks in particular the reticulation of Pauatahanui Village and plans to reduce sediment and enhance the Porirua Stream mouth have been completed.”
Several initiatives to better inform and engage the community toward a healthier harbour have been done. Among them a new curriculum-based environmental education programme prepared by the Porirua Harbour Trust.
“We’ve also carried out the first community Environmental Behaviour Survey that will help shape future environmental education programmes and this is now available online at www.pcc.govt.nz,” Cr Kropp says.
Ngati Toa Rangatira completed the first full fish survey of Porirua Harbour, while Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet (GOPI) completed its 20th year of 3-yearly cockle surveys of the Pauatahanui Inlet.
“The results of this latest cockle survey are the first real indication that the health of the Pauatahanui Inlet has steadily improved. There’s been an 85% increase in cockle numbers since the first survey in 1995, including a 21% increase since the previous survey in 2010. GOPI and NIWA attribute the improvement to better land use and catchment management by the Councils. It is certainly an encouragement that things are heading in the right direction.”
The Annual Report also highlights planned Harbour Strategy programmes for the coming year and it also recognises the potential impact a number of upcoming planning processes can have on achieving the objectives of the Harbour Strategy.
Long Term Plans, the Draft Regional Plan and the associated Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua Committee provide opportunities for the community to have their say and ensure appropriate provisions are made for delivering a healthier harbour.