Sys­tem bro­ken, coun­cil­lor says

North Shore Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JAY BOREHAM

Tonnes of sed­i­ment from de­vel­op­ments around coastal Auck­land are land­ing in our wa­ter­ways, and the sys­tem sup­posed to stop the pol­lu­tion is ‘‘bro­ken’’.

Auck­land Coun­cil says it can’t be stopped, only man­aged un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act.

But coun­cil­lor Wayne Walker, deputy chair­man of the coun­cil’s Reg­u­la­tory Com­mit­tee, says the coun­cil’s reg­u­la­tory sys­tem is bro­ken. Con­trols are process, not out­come driven, he said.

‘‘So you can still have enor­mous amounts of sed­i­ment and silt go­ing into the ocean, and a marine re­serve, and still have com­pli­ant sub­di­vi­sions and de­vel­op­ments.’’

Con­sents were also too per­mis­sive, Walker said. Walker’s call came af­ter a dep­u­ta­tion to the Hibis­cus and Bays Lo­cal Board from Okura res­i­dents Lezette and Ge­off Reid, who were con­cerned about sed­i­ment run­ning off WeitiBay de­vel­oper’s land on to Kara­piro Beach and into the Okura Long Bay Marine Re­serve.

The lo­cal board sug­gested tak­ing the is­sue up with the Reg­u­la­tory Com­mit­tee, but Walker said a re­port from it would be a ‘‘white wash’’, and it had al­ready blocked a pre­sen­ta­tion by other Okura res­i­dents.

‘‘The of­fi­cers there are cer­tainly tak­ing steps to block any­thing in that di­rec­tion and say what is oc­cur­ring is com­pli­ant.’’

A re­port on the WeitiBay site by re­source con­sents com­pli­ance man­ager Steve Pearce said of­fi­cers were of the opin­ion the site op­er­ated to a high stan­dard and in­spec­tions re­flected this. Sed­i­ment de­vices are not de­signed to re­move 100 per cent of sed­i­ment, he said.

Silt fences re­move 50 per cent, and sed­i­ment ponds might re­move 90 per cent, but only in ideal con­di­tions. Dur­ing storm events they are less ef­fi­cient, Pearce said.

Long Bay - Okura Great Park So­ci­ety mem­ber Peter Tow­nend be­lieved a lack of un­der­stand­ing of the is­sue led to be­ing blocked from the com­mit­tee.

‘‘I don’t think the chair­woman ac­tu­ally un­der­stands what is go­ing on. There is some re­ally shock­ing stuff go­ing on and it has been go­ing on for over a year.’’

The so­ci­ety have been work­ing to in­ves­ti­gate the pol­lu­tion of wa­ter­ways in the area them­selves by com­mis­sion­ing a year long study.

‘‘We are try­ing to help the coun­cil see the prob­lem and ef­fect change.’’

SAVE OKURA LONG BAY

The sed­i­ment plumes hap­pen like clock­work at Okura af­ter rain events, Pete Tow­nend says.

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