Porirua Harbour to get TLC it needs
The future of Porirua Harbour continues positively with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between key organisations involved in its restoration.
Porirua City Council, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira, along with other key agencies signed the Porirua Harbour MOU at Takapuwahia Marae on September 20.
‘‘The MOU signing is a significant milestone in the Porirua Harbour programme,’’ says Porirua Mayor Jenny Brash. ‘‘It concludes 18 months of work lead by PCC to develop and consolidate partnerships fundamental to any effective strategy for the harbour.’’
Porirua Harbour Strategy coordinator Keith Calder says the MOU recognises that any improvement to the health of Porirua Harbour requires a multiagency approach.
‘‘ Fourteen agencies that are part of a Porirua Harbour Interagency Advisory Group are formalising their support for and participation in preparation of a harbour and catchment strategy aimed at cleaning up the harbour.’’
The four key stakeholders – PCC, WCC, GWRC and Te Runa- nga O Toa Rangatira, representing Ngati Toa, were joined by cosignatories Department of Conservation, Fish & Game New Zealand, Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet, New Zealand Transport Agency, Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, and Regional Public Health. Two other signatories, Ministry of Fisheries and Ontrack New Zealand Railway Corporation, were unavailable but will sign the MOU at a later date.
‘‘We see this as a strong commitment from the iwi, statutory agencies, and the community to work together to protect, manage and restore Porirua Harbour,’’ says Riki Wineera, who signed on behalf of Ngati Toa.
Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says her council is committed to working with PCC, Ngati Toa and GWRC to better manage the regionally significant stream and harbour.
‘‘ Wellington needs to be involved in developing strategies to address issues in Porirua Harbour. These issues include pollution from roads, boating activities, agriculture and sedimentation, some of which originates inside Wellington City boundaries,’’ she says.
GWRC chairwoman Fran Wilde says the restoration and revitalisation of Porirua Harbour is a matter of regional importance.
‘‘This beautiful, iconic harbour is also the biggest estuary in the lower North Island. Its significance – environmentally, recreationally and culturally – cannot be overstated. I’m delighted to be signing the Memorandum of Understanding because it gives the community an unequivocal signal that all the key parties are working together to improve the harbour’s future.’’
Mr Calder says the councils and agencies will now work together to produce a draft strategy and an action plan for public comment by mid 2011.