One of the biggest issues that affects all of us is the quality of our water. We’ve seen an enormous push from the Milford and Castor Bay communities to ‘cut the crap’ and work harder to ensure our oceans are swimmable 365 days of the year. There has been a perfect storm of aging and degrading storm water infrastructure, poorly connected waste water systems, hydro-chemicals and pollutants being washed from roads into our storm water drains as well as commercial contaminants from the Wairau Valley industrial area that have fed down the Wairau Estuary and into our oceans. Rightly so, we’ve all called enough and the new Local Board is united in their desire to more rapidly progress the work that is being done to address water quality issues.
To date the following has begun:
A couple of weeks ago the State of the Gulf report was published and the findings are grim. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is overfished and there is now eco-system collapse. Sea Urchins are proliferating because our Crayfish population is almost entirely gone. The snapper population is down to about 20% of what it was pre-fishing. In 2000 4% of seabird species were threatened, today it’s 22%. It’s pretty bleak. And what or who is to blame? Us, of course. It’s always us. It’s the stormwater and sewage overflows. It’s the overfishing. It’s the dredging. It’s the dairy industry on the Hauraki Plains where the rivers still shift fertiliser and effluent into our ocean. It’s intensification, poorly managed building sites where sediments stream into our waste water systems and our rivers get choked.
We all need to change our behaviour, we need strong leadership and a society that is prepared to make genuine and meaningful change to see this trend reverse immediately. It is time to clean up our waters, and it’s time to clean up our act.
Elected member of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for the 2019-2022 Election Term.