Auckland Council submissions needed – Long Term Plan

Whakaupoko Landcare have provided their submission for the Auckland Council 10 year budget, Long Term Plan:

General Feedback
Re the AC LTP and RPMP we in general fully support the larger spend on the environment and full implementation of the RPMP. Auckland with only 2% of the total land area of NZ and around 1/3rd of the rate payers should be leading the way with funding care of the environment. We have many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species right on our doorstep with both the off shore islands and the Hunua’s/Waitakere’s. The general environment for these species to spread beyond these borders is currently extremely poor.
This is common sense. It is a growing long term trend that people care more about the environment in which they live. With the NZ ‘Pure’ brand and Auckland striving to be the most liveable city in the world it is clear there should be more focus in this area.

Protecting our Environment / Pest Control
Private Land
With the consultation documents it was difficult to establish much clarity on the level of funding that would be committed to private land. This represents 85% of Auckland’s total land area and if the LTP is to be in line with the likes of Predator Free 2050 then private land needs to be incorporated in the plan. It appeared that the main budget for private land would be just focusing on possum control. Again this seems more in line with the old goal of TB Free NZ rather than a focus on enhancing biodiversity. For enhancing biodiversity our experience has shown that at least the animal pests of rats, mustelids and feral cats need to be targeted with appropriate levels of funding.

Working with Communities
There was little reference as to how the plan would connect and fund community groups. We see this as a key priority. To achieve the goals of improving the environment Auckland wide there has to be considerably more behaviour change by all of us. This requires direct influence of communities. Council can provide funding and technical expertise but when it comes to private landowners then community groups are an important part of a collaborative approach as unlike Council they are the ones with credibility among their community. Jan Wright in her final environment report identified the need to have a more coordinated approach across NZ with working with communities.

The collaborative community approach needs to be clearer. It is well documented throughout the world that community groups consistently deliver environmental outcomes and permanent behaviour change at 1/5th – 1/10th of when paid staff or contractors are used. In our own area we have some great examples with landowners who have been regularly carrying out pest control for over 10 years along AC guidelines of pulse baiting 4 times a year. The annual materials cost is less than $5/ha. The biodiversity outcomes are considerable. Despite ongoing pest reinvasion we have bird monitoring data that shows very high kereru and tui counts. In fact we have properties now averaging double what the kereru counts are at Maungatautari Sanctuary which is a completely predator free environment. Our tui counts are the same as Maungatautari. We had bats monitored by AC and the frequency over the 7 week period of monitoring was as high as the highest bat frequency recorded sites in the middle of the Hunua’s where reinvasion issues are much less etc. We have increasing numbers of kaka visiting each year and staying for longer.

Water
We should at least have all beaches where we can safely swim all year around. Other water quality issues are also important to the wellbeing of people and the environment. An example of the current situation in our local area is we have the Whangamaire stream which is one of the longest waterways in Auckland. The nitrate levels consistently average 15mg/L. This may well be the highest of any stream in NZ. It is way beyond the upper national guideline limit of 6.9 and the WHO safe drinking water limit of 11.3. It compares poorly with the Waikato at over 20x more concentration of nitrates where even in the lower reaches at Mercer the level is only .69mg/L. From our own sampling with Waicare the Mauku stream, also one of Auckland’s longest, is not much better with an estimate of 10mg/L. It is not even regularly sampled by AC as one of the key streams of Auckland despite it being in the top 4 longest waterways. Even the proposed higher funding option with the targeted rate for the environment seemed to ignore funding issues in rural water catchments. This needs to be addressed in our opinion.

Franklin Local Board (FLB)
General Franklin represents 24% of the total area of Auckland which is obviously very significant from the potential biodiversity that can be achieved Auckland wide. It includes the Hunua’s that so far remains free from kauri dieback and where the public access is considerably less than in the likes of the Waitakere’s. There is a considerable amount of privately owned farm land and already there are 3 very active, long established Landcare groups with Awhitu Peninsula Landcare, Whakaupoko Landcare and Te Wairoa Catchment. On top of this DOC is about to provide some initiative funding to help establish a collaborative approach incorporating all the Landcare groups. This provides AC with an ideal cost effective community engagement launch pad for the LTP and fully funded RPMP.
Compatability The higher level of support for environment funding and the RPMP is very much in line with what FLB have proposed for 2018/19. This is especially with point 2 ‘Focus on caring for our natural environment …..’ and point 3 ‘Start on the ground delivery of local trails….. We will support local communities and trail trusts to get routes in place and promote their use’.

Submission guidelines to align with Whakaupoko Landcare:

Environment – Auckland Council Long Term Plan Submissions

Please help. Now is the key time to have your say and really have an impact on funding for the environment. Have your say on the Auckland Long Term Plan and Regional Pest Management Plan and you could really change the funding we have available to enhance our environment. Here is a chance to really increase the size of the pie and this is the priority. We can debate the finer detail later. Please pass this on now to friends and family.

We have been in contact with many other groups and people across Auckland with developing what we recommend here. Please take a few minutes to support us and have your say. Ideally today with the deadline being March 28th. There is an enclosed file that provides a bit more detail and that you can include in your submission at the end.

Click on this link for the Long Term Plan.

https://engage.ubiquity.co.nz/surveys/mom8LOQAZkiKnAjVaiCmfQ

Scroll to the bottom and click on Start. (You can view consultation document if you wish)

Fill in your details and include Franklin Local Board. Click on next

Q1 Tick support

Q2 Tick support

Q3 Copy and paste the following in the please tell us why. This is in line with Forest & Bird and what other landcare groups are submitting and has been well discussed.

I DO NOT support options A or B. I support OTHER – I want to protect our forests and communities from invading pests like kauri dieback, predators and weeds, therefore I want full funding for the Regional Pest Management Plan and for our natural environment at an estimated $60/year / average rate payer.

Q4 As you wish. (It is very tempting to put in that by now we should be starting to see some of the economies of scale and efficiencies kicking in with the abolition of the ARC and Council amalgamation but not sure if this may be counterproductive to the Environment spend. Couldn’t get any clear feedback from Council people on this).

Q 5 As you wish

Q6 Tick Franklin

Q7 As you wish

Below Q7 there is a tab where you can ‘Upload New File’. You may have to download the attached file onto your computer before you can upload into here. Alternatively copy the attached file and simply paste into the Q3 ‘Please tell us why space’

Complete the rest as you wish.

Now click on this link for the Regional Pest Management Plan

https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/regional-pest-management-plan/Pages/default.aspx

Click on submit feedback

Scroll to bottom and click on ‘Start’

Answer questions as you wish but to keep it simple you can simply go down to the bottom of Q9 and in the ‘Upload New File’ include the same attached document.

Complete the rest of the survey as requested

If you have any questions you are welcome to call Andrew Sinclair on 021 268 1904.

Above is the general feedback information that is the same content as the attached file. You may wish to copy and paste this in the appropriate boxes in Q2 & 3 if you prefer.

Volcano Walk Map

Click on picture to enlarge.
Volcano walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Findlay Rd, Nature Reserve

Mauku Residents  – We need your help for a Growing Community Asset.

Please Release Me.

Who:   Young native trees. (From nasty aggressive foreign invaders such as gorse, inkweed, blackberry, privet and woolly nightshade).

Where:Auckland Council Reserve opposite St Brides on the other side of Mauku Stream.   Access is on Findlay Rd by Mauku bridge via St Brides land.

When: You choose – any time that suits you and your friends or family. All we ask is that you donate a minimum of 2 hours a month starting January through until May.

Bring:  A tool such as a sharp spade, shovel or hoe.

Contact Person:         Deborah  Savill 2363 051 – for further information.

 

For permanent control any weeds must be cut off below ground level – not above. For locals there is absolutely no charge and in return you can be proud of playing a part in establishing a potentially beautiful native bush block for all the community and native birds to enjoy. Also you will receive some upper body strength benefits combined with a pleasant walk along some already formed tracks with the company of tui, fantail and the occasional kereru. The weeds are not yet large so almost anyone is capable of at least dealing to a few.

 

The land was in pines that were harvested. Much of this was replanted in natives 2 – 3 years ago. Whakaupoko Landcare believes it is best to keep the area weed free so that the area can be used as a great community asset for people to enjoy walking through. There are weed seedlings that will dominate for the next 30 – 50 years if we do not act now. In the Mauku area there is limited land where there is public access for all in the community to share. Here is a great opportunity with just a little help from locals to make this space a great place.

 

Auckland Council is assisting where possible despite the Reserve area not high on their priority list. They are helping with funding more native trees, some fencing and may also help with weed control.  This is in line with their mission statement to work collaboratively with communities. Their support is much appreciated.

 

The reserve does have legal paper road access but as yet this is undeveloped. The current access for the purpose of weed control, is for a 6 month period and is via St Brides land by the Mauku Bridge on Findlay Rd. There will be signage at this point and we ask that the community please respect the access for weed control provided by St Brides. Also respect any stock that may be grazing on the land. Ensure that gates are left as they are found.

 

The area is close to 1 ha. It is opposite a site on St Brides where the community recently planted native trees along the Mauku stream on St Brides land that was previously just gorse. It is opposite the Mauku Cemetry where again the community has been planting more native trees along the potentially beautiful Mauku Stream. What has been a non native weed infested area for many years could become a real community asset for all to enjoy in the future with a little help from locals. We welcome your participation.