Harbour cleanup moving closer
The strategy for cleaning up Porirua Harbour is on track, with one remaining city council to consider a report before the ‘‘nuts and bolts’’ can be sorted out.
A joint hearing committee on the draft Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan heard seven oral submissions in October at Takapuwahia Marae. Overall, 23 submissions were received from individuals and groups.
The committee’s recommendations and explanations are now being discussed by councils in the Wellington region. Wellington City is the last to do this, next week, while Porirua City Council heard the committee’s report on November 24.
Porirua City councillor Euon Murrell said although the wheels had turned slowly on getting the strategy to this point, this report was ‘‘a big step in the right direction’’. Recommendations include: A public and business-specific education programme, paid for by all the region’s councils.
Establishing a catchment ranger or education officer.
Clarifying the role of ‘‘ community involvement’’ into the future.
Better comment on the current rates of sedimentation.
Improved land management controls.
Better information for the public on the ‘‘complex issues’’ around dredging.
Hearings committee chairman and Ngati Toa representative Rawiri Faulkner said it would be unlikely they will have the final strategy in place before the end of the year.
It had been a thorough process to date, he said. He was pleased they had support for improving the harbour but it was important there were very clear guidelines.
‘‘Everyone is keen to get on and start the development side, so we can implement it soon. That’s going to be a challenge.’’
Each individual council’s relevant officers will get together in the coming months to finalise the strategy.
‘‘We’re nearly into the nuts and bolts, it will come down to individual planning cycles and budgets for the councils. I’m sure there will be plenty of internal debates on how they can achieve their goals. Hopefully this strategy is something that is featuring quite highly in long-term plans.’’
Porirua City Council begin planning for its 2012-22 long-term plan in the first half of next year.