Articles tagged 'Development'

Starry night conservation

When Aotea Great Barrier Island was awarded International Dark Sky Sanctuary status last year, it caused quite a stir. It is just one of three places globally to gain the designation and the first island. With off grid power, no street lighting, large areas of conservation land, and being 90 kilometres form central Auckland, it proved to be a winner. Folk on the Barrier have taken to their new status with pride, including seeing it as a piece of the island’s tourism pie.

Nalayini Davies, the scientist who set the island on the road to its new found status, sees access to clear night skies as conservation on a cosmic scale.
She sees dark sky possibilities for Rodney in north Auckland and other areas around the Gulf, but says action needs to be taken before increased development gets underway – so conserving dark night skies is taken into account with council planning.

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Cockle concerns continue

A study on the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of cockles in the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve has found they are environmentally stressed rather than diseased.

Though not conclusive on any one cause, struggling with sediment issues is a possibility the MPI report found on a major die-back that occurred at the reserve in March. Advocates for the reserve have long maintained sediment from large scale development earthworks, backing onto the reserve, are having a serious affect on the health of the reserve.

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Calling big spenders

Increasing the number of visiting cruise ships and targeting passengers is just part of a new tourism strategy for Auckland by Council’s tourism agency ATEED. There are hopes of nearly double the $8 billion coming into the city from tourism by 2025. But rather than massively more tourists, the aim is to attract more higher paying ones, including from conventions and cruise ships. Building the “night-time” economy is a priority as is encouraging local events to attract off-season visitors. There is a focus on “destination management” which concentrates on the quality and sustainability of attractions.

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Marina appeal

The Environment Court is currently hearing an appeal by Waiheke Island residents against an Auckland Council’s consent for a marina at Kennedy Point on the southern coast of the island.

The community group, Save Kennedy Point (SKP), and island resident Ron Walden are campaigning to stop a 186-berth marina being built by Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited.

700 people have expressed interest in a berth in the marina which would occupy 7.3 hectares of Putiki Bay, and would be “an asset to the local community” according to its backers.

SKP has raised more than $200,000 from events and donations to pay for the legal battle against the marina.
Plans for another marina at Matiatia on Waiheke Island were turned down in December 2015, after the community raised more than $430,000 to fight the development.

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Coromandel peak

The summer population of the Thames Coromandel District Council is five times that of its permanent population. The summer population is also expected to grow. The commissioned study will help inform the council’s long term plan and other planning processes. The council is also currently consulting on a coastal management strategy.

Auckland Council is considering a plan to remove cars off Captain Cook Wharf for a cruise ship terminal. Photo by Ted Baghurst

No more port reclamation

Ports of Auckland will not reclaim more land in the Waitemata Harbour.

Port chairwoman Liz Coutts said the port company had listened to the Auckland community about the desire to protect the harbour and the future people want to see for the city centre waterfront.

She said the city had changed around the port and community attitudes have changed.

“To survive as a port and to be a successful business, we have to operate sustainably,” Coutts wrote in the company’s recently released annual report.

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Point England development

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee is currently considered a bill to enable development of housing on public reserve land at Point England. The development would impact on the last remaining shorebird roosting areas on the Tāmaki Estuary. A public petition to “Save Point England” attracted 1848 signatures.

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Sea Change plan available

A Hauraki Gulf / Tikapa Moana marine spatial plan launched in December after three years work by a stakeholder working group is available on the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari project website.

The proposed plan contains five pathways designed to create long-term health and wellbeing for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Transitions to high value wild caught and farmed fisheries, the creation of marine reserves areas and scaled up restoration initiatives, setting load limits and mitigation for sediment and nutrients, local-scale coastal management and ambitious public engagement are outlined in the December issue of the Gulf Journal.

Read it here

International waters edge perspective

Panuku Development Auckland hosted a meeting of global waterfront development leaders in November.

Water Edge 2016 brought together experts from 14 international cities in Europe, the US and Canada, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Panuku Place Shaping Director Rod Marler said such symposiums create valuable relationships and an increased awareness of the complexity involved in creating outstanding urban waterfronts.

On behalf of Auckland Council, Panuku owns over $550 million worth of assets on the Waitematā Harbour comprising public spaces, marina assets and commercial property. By 2022, it expects to have completed the delivery of $440 million worth of public sector infrastructure investment to leverage what will amount to over NZ$1 billion of private sector investment.

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Do The Right Thing: The 2016 Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar

Do the right thing

The 2016 Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar asks what it takes to Do The Right Thing

  • Can our primary industries reinvent themselves and their relationship with ecosystems?
  • What is people-power unleashing around our islands, reefs and harbours?
  • How can 600 years of indigenous knowledge and culture inform the way?
  • Are fly fishing for kahawai and sailing with whales signs of the times?
  • And where might the government fit in all this?

The Hauraki Gulf Forum has assembled an outstanding line-up of speakers for its seventh annual seminar on Tuesday, September 13 at Auckland Museum.

Book here

Milford Beach

Climate change resource

The New Zealand Coastal Society has published Adapting to the consequences of climate change: Engaging with communities to assist coastal professionals, decision-makers and communities in preparing for sea-level rise and the associated effects of climate change.

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Hauraki Rail Trail

Biking to Kaiaua

Work on the second stage of the popular Hauraki Rail Trail will start this year.
The cycleway extension from Kopu to Kaiaua will be funded through grants by the Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki district councils and by New Zealand Transport Agency for a Piako River bridge clip-on.

Highlights of the new stage will include Chenier plain shell banks, migratory bird habitat and the Miranda Shorebird Centre, Miranda Hot Springs, the Ramsar-listed wetland along the southern Firth of Thames shoreline and a crossing of the Waihou river via Kopu Bridge.

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New approach to marine protection

The submission period on the Government’s proposed new approach to marine protection closed this month.

A consultation document outlines four new forms of protected areas – marine reserves, species-specific sanctuaries, seabed reserves, and recreational fishing parks – to replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971 and proposes a recreational fishing park in the inner Hauraki Gulf.

The Hauraki Gulf Forum recognises a new approach is needed and sees potential in application of the new categories in the Hauraki Gulf/ Tikapa Moana.

Its advocacy for the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial planning process is also consistent with the approach’s emphasis on collaborative process.

Chairman John Tregidga said a carefully integrated package of measures was needed to address the issues of decline identified through recent State of our Gulf assessments and to resolve protection and utilisation needs.

MFE: Marine Protected Areas

New process to determine port future

Port collaboration

Auckland Council has established a collaborative process to determine the future of the city’s port.

A Port Future Study will consider economic, cultural, social and environmental costs and benefits of a range of options for the future longterm strategy of port development, including alternative port locations and reconfigurations.

Mayor Len Brown said a Consensus Working Group “must carefully provide the scope and direction for this complex piece of work, whilst maintaining a strong working relationship with the sector’s stakeholders.”

Rick Boven has been appointed to chair the group, which will make recommendations to the Auckland Council on the way forward.

Auckland Development Committee

Beach-goers send a message

New Chum withdrawal

The latest subdivision application at Coromandel’s iconic New Chum Beach has been withdrawn by its applicants.

Thames Coromandel District Council announced the proposed four-lot subdivision had been withdrawn earlier this month, because of a disagreement among co-owners relating to access arrangements to the beach. 187 submissions had been received with 80 submitters requesting to be heard.

Thames-Coromandel District Council has indicated it does not have the resource to purchase the land. A community group Preserve New Chum has appealed for central and local government funding to help do so.

www.tcdc.govt.nz

Aquaculture

Aquaculture boost

New Space Regional Aquaculture Agreements have been signed with iwi in three regions, including those from Auckland.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said the agreements would help cement the partnership between the Crown and iwi and increase iwi participation and share in New Zealand aquaculture, which contributes 20 per cent of total fisheries production and 15 per cent of revenue.

The agreements are the result of the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004, which requires the Crown to provide iwi aquaculture organisations with 20 percent of new commercial aquaculture space consented since October 2011, or anticipated to occur into the future.

“Through these agreements Māori will have the opportunity to be involved in aquaculture wherever it occurs in New Zealand,” Nathan Guy said.

New Aquaculture Agreements Signed

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Hauraki Gulf Forum