Ranges should be closed
From Auckland Council Environment and Community Committee:
Committee votes for track closures to fight kauri dieback
Today’s Environment and Community Committee had a comprehensive and diverse programme for what was its final meeting of the year.
The following is a digest of decisions made. The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.
Items 1-8 were administrative items, with the exception of Public Input (Item 5) and Local Board Input (Item 6).
Item 5: Public Input
5.1 Auckland Citizens Advice Bureaux Inc.
Chair, Diane Taylor and colleagues, addressed the committee on the role of the Bureaux in Auckland.
5.2 Waitemata Low Carbon Network
Members Frances Palmer and Dr Grant Hewison addressed the committee.
5.3 Northland Waste – Ray Lambert
Ray Lambert spoke to the committee regarding the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.
5.4 Public Input: Kauri Dieback Management – Waitākere Ranges Regional Park
The following presenters addressed the meeting regarding Item 9:
– Te Warena Taua and Edward Ashby, Te Kawerau a Maki
– Jack Craw, Dr Nick Waipara and Mels Barton
– Pip Mandis (Waitākere Experience Networking Group)
– Tony Dunn and Ben Thornton (Bush and Beach)
Item 6: Local Board Input
Members of the Waitākere Ranges Local Board addressed the committee concerning kauri dieback management (Item 9).
Item 9: Kauri Dieback Management
The committee voted to close several high and medium risk tracks in the WaitākereRanges Regional Park to limit the spread of kauri dieback disease in the area.
A network of initial track closures will be made immediately. The committee will then be reported back to in February 2018, when further options for track improvement and upgrades, public education, enforcement options and effectiveness, effectiveness monitoring, capital and operating costs for consideration in the 10-year Budget 2018-28 will be presented.
Read more on OurAuckland.
Item 11: Proposed Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018
The Council’s first waste management plan was introduced in 2012, and set an aspirational vision for a Zero Waste Auckland by 2040. This plan is now up for review, and a new version needs to be adopted under June 2018 under legislation.
Since the 2012 plan was implemented, household waste has decreased by 10 per cent, and reductions have been achieved by council run waste services.
Today, the committee approved the updated Waste Management and Minimisation Plan: Working Together for Zero Waste for public consultation.
The draft plan endorsed today has a focus not only on council’s own waste services, but also proposes to expand activity to address the 80 per cent of waste that is of commercial and industrial origin.
Public consultation of this plan will happen concurrently to that of the 10-year Budget.
Item 13: Sport and Recreation Strategic Partnership Grant to Aktive Auckland Sport & Recreation for 2017/2018
Auckland Council’s investment programme in sport and recreation is aligned with the Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan and works to encourage Aucklanders to be more active, more often.
This programme includes the formation of strategic partnerships to support the implementation of the Action Plan.
Aktive Auckland Sport & Recreation has received partnership grants over the last two years, and today the committee endorsed a further grant of $552,000 to Aktive for the 2018/19 year, to progress the priority areas of the Action Plan.
Item 14: Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan – Status Report 2017
The 2017 Status Report for the Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan was received, the implementation of the 2017 refreshed version of this Plan was endorsed.
Item 15: Land exchange at Hillary Crescent, Belmont and Northboro Reserve
As part of the proposed Hillary Block development, Ngati Whatua Rawa Limited sought approval from the Council for a land exchange of 3510m2 with 1802m2 of Northboro Reserve.
The Committee recommended that the Finance and Performance Committee approve this exchange.
Item 16: Reserve Revocation Report – Properties Cleared for Sale
The Committee agreed to submit a request to the Minister of Conservation to uplift the reserve status (under s.24 of the Reserve Act 1977) of three properties cleared for sale.
Item 18: 2017/2018 Regional Environmental and Natural Heritage Grant Programme allocation
The Committee endorsed 24 grants for the 2017/2018 funding round of the Regional Environmental and Natural Heritage Grants programme, totalling $525,080.
Item 19: Allocation of Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund Grants – September 2017
The Committee endorsed 30 applications for the September 2017 funding round of the Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund, totalling $615,794.
A procedural motion was then passed to allow public excluded consideration of two further items.
NOTE: Items 10 (Low Carbon Auckland: 2018 Review and Update), 12 (Strategy for Auckland Urban Ngahere (Forest)) and 17 (Fit for the Future Presentation) were deferred until the next Environment and Community Committee meeting.
The bacterium or fungus that is the trigger for Kauri die back does not know tracks and walk-ways – i.e it is indiscriminate in how it travels about given weather and pigs. Simply put a full closure would have removed one of the two culprits in spreading the disease – humans leaving the problem of the pigs to be dealt with.
Simply put for tourism ventures in the Waitakere’s without the Kauri the value of tourism out that way basically hits zero. Kauri also supports the wider eco-system both flora and fauna so the loss of the almighty species has knock on effects.
It is one of the few times of ALL OR NOTHING not something in between.
Next update in the situation is next year and this will be a costly exercise – the price of inaction.