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Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Stormwater erosion Print E-mail

Massive erosion caused by the Council 8 April 2010
Severe erosion at Karaka Bay is caused by the Auckland City Council stormwater pipe. A change of attitude is needed.





The Council is the problem, not the solution 8 April 2010For years the Auckland City Council has recklessly piped all the stormwater from the Peacock Street watershed, along with heavy metals and dog shit, straight into Karaka Bay. The Council has simply regarded the harbour as a sewer.







Rather than calling the kettle black it would make sense for the Council to spend some money fixing its own problem.


Eventually we discovered that the Council had no water right, and the whole of the Peacock Street discharge was illegal. However with the typical attitude of a bully they buried their illegal activities under tons of rock. 

If ordinary citizens knew how much illegal activity the Council is involved in they would never apply for a permit for anything. If it is good enough for the Council to ride slip-shod over the law why should it not be good enough for an individual? Of course the Council can use the ratepayer's money to take the ratepayer to court. the injustice goes on compounding.


A letter to the Maritime Planning Authority

Dear Sir/Madam/whatever

Would you kindly advise me whether any water right has been issued which would allow the Auckland City Council to discharge the stormwater, along with all the associated pollutants such as heavy metals etc., from Peacock Street into the Tamaki Estuary.

A second related issue is that at the moment the Auckland City Council is carrying out significant works at the corner of Roberta Avenue and Riddell Road to pipe all the toxic leachate from the old Glendowie tip into the Tamaki Estuary. Has any water right been granted for this toxic discharge?

As a third related issue I would also be interested to know if any water rights exist for toxic discharges from Otara Lake into the Tamaki Estuary. If the Lake was emptied into the Estuary at the present time it would probably kill all the marine life, and as a result all the bird life, in the whole of the Estuary.

In a sense the water right issue is global. I have selected only three areas of immediate concern to make myself quite clear.

I need hardly tell you what is in the ARC Report of June 2008, but at the risk of insulting you I note that "The key metals of concern are copper, lead and zinc. However a range of other metal, non-metallic, microbiological and organic contaminants may also be present in stormwater runoff. These include nutrients, faeces, fuels, hydrocarbons (PAHs) legacy pesticides (long banned such as DDT, lindane, dieldrin etc) and newer emerging contaminants. These metal and other contaminants have a range of toxic effects which can affect the behaviour, reproduction and survival of marine organisms. Thus the range of species is reduced in marine ecosystems adjoining urban catchments." The report also notes that  "Urban stormwater contamination is recognised as the major contributor to estuary pollution. Stormwater washes a range of contaminants (metals and other chemicals) off roads, paved and unpaved areas, buildings and other surfaces and can also carry considerable loads of sediment from developing and re-developing catchments." I could go on, but I feel sure that is enough for you to get the picture.

My concern is with the health of the Tamaki Estuary as a living ecosystem.

I will rest only when the cockle beds at Karaka Bay are teeming with life, and the Auckland City Council takes its stormwater somewhere else far away from the coastline.Yours hopefully

Tony Watkins
(Committee member of the Tamaki Estuary Protection Society)



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