A Peek Into the Future for Point Wells

On Saturday, 11th October three HarbourCare members went down to the seaside of the new subdivision at Point Wells. It was 10am, just before the peak of a spring tide. It was a pleasant spring day with a light Southerly breeze and a slight chop on the water. We were very impressed by the volume of seawater covering the area the Council has designated as Esplanade Reserve”.

Esplanade reserve

[Read more…]

Orewa Madness! Trying to Defy Sea Level Rise?

How can Auckland Council have approved this multi-million dollar apartment development on Orewa’s waterfront? These luxury apartments are being built barely twelve metres from an eroding shore, and have the ground floor only about three metres above sea level with a basement below that. With escalating risks from erosion due to rising seas such development surely should be avoided?

Orewa 1

The above artist’s impression on the cover of a recent North Shore Property Press is based on a real oblique aerial photo, which clearly shows the erosion problem on the shore, the public footpath undercut on the right, and a steep erosion scarp with rocks placed in front of the proposed apartments.

[Read more…]

More Concerns About Spread of Marine Invasive Species from Sandspit During Marina Construction

Jon Nicholson from the Sandspit Yacht Club Marina Society has assured us that the various marine invasive species found at Sandspit within the proposed marina footprint will not be spread by dumping the dredged spoil at sea because of the technique they intend to use for dealing with the dredged material (Mahurangi Matters, 19 March 2014, page 7).

Figure 1.  Large quantities of highly invasive Australian droplet tunicate festoon the low tide and shallow sandstone reef in the Sandspit estuary, including the footprint of the proposed marina.  Although tunicates may be killed in the stockpiling and draining process before dredgings are shipped to Great Barrier island, there is still a huge risk of larvae settling on the bottom of the barges themselves while being loaded at Sandspit.  Tunicates attached to the barges would then release larvae all the way across the Hauraki Gulf to the dump site and return. (Photo: 8 April 2014).

Figure 1. Large quantities of highly invasive Australian droplet tunicate festoon the low tide and shallow sandstone reef in the Sandspit estuary, including the footprint of the proposed marina. Although tunicates may be killed in the stockpiling and draining process before dredgings are shipped to Great Barrier island, there is still a huge risk of larvae settling on the bottom of the barges themselves while being loaded at Sandspit. Tunicates attached to the barges would then release larvae all the way across the Hauraki Gulf to the dump site and return. (Photo: 8 April 2014).

[Read more…]

“Houston, we have a problem.” A case of cockle déjà vu.

It’s happening again! Our wonderful cockles in the Whangateau Harbour are dying in what appears to be an event similar to that in 2009 when 80% of our cockles died.

A dead and gaping cockle lies moribund and stinking on the sand surface over the cockle beds off Lew’s Bay in the Whangateau Harbour.

A dead and gaping cockle lies moribund and stinking on the sand surface over the cockle beds off Lew’s Bay in the Whangateau Harbour.

In the summer of 2009 Whangateau Harbour residents noticed an awful smell coming off the harbour flats. It soon became obvious that it was caused by many thousands (in fact millions) of dead cockles rotting in the sun.

[Read more…]

Progress Toward Marine Spatial Plan for the Hauraki Gulf

Hauraki Gulf

Kawau Island – Hauraki Gulf

Following the official  launch of “Sea Change”, the Marine Spatial Planning process proposed for the Hauraki Gulf, at the Hauraki Gulf Forum seminar at the Auckland Museum on 9th September 2013, further progress has been made.

A meeting at the Auckland Museum on Friday 11th October collected a very diverse group of marine-oriented individuals and organizations together in one room.  There were roughly 200 people there.  The day was focused mainly on getting started on procedures to end up with who is on the Stakeholder Working Group, which is really the grass-roots part of the project where individuals and groups effectively produce the plan.

[Read more…]

Matakana Village Development Decisions (Plan Change 64)

Sewerage Works at Jones Road

Sewerage Works at Jones Road


By Elizabeth Foster

We put in a submission (see Sewage Entering Harbour) opposing the pumping of sewage from Matakana to our harbour. The Commissioners acknowledged the issue and declined all submissions which would have resulted in intensification in the village and would have pushed sewage beyond the limit of 2000 people imposed by Watercare.

[Read more…]

Mangrove Seedling Removal Trial at Whangateau Harbour

Our band of seven (plus the photographer) with our sacks of seedlings

Our band of seven (plus the photographer) with our sacks of seedlings

Summary

A trial removal of mangrove seedlings was carried out at Whangateau Harbour on 12th October 2012.  An area of approximately two hectares was cleared in the southern arm of the Harbour (Waikokopu Creek) south of the causeway to Omaha and on the eastern side of the Harbour.  Details of the trial area and actual area cleared are shown in the maps below.  The rate of clearance appeared to be approximately one hectare per 10 people per hour.  To effectively clear, and maintain clear, the appropriate area of mangrove seedlings south of the causeway by these methods would take approximately 500 to 700 volunteer hours annually.
[Read more…]

Successful planting day will help harbour health

30 volunteers planting at Big Omaha Valley Road John and Martha Williams property in Omaha Valley Road – Chrissy Henley

On Saturday 19th May about 30 volunteers from Whangateau Harbour Care, Sandspit SOS Inc, Forest and Bird, and Omaha Beach Community helped plant around 1980 native trees and grasses on John and Martha Williams property in Omaha Valley Road.  This is the latest in a series of riparian plantings over the last few years on the property.

[Read more…]

Whangateau Family Planting Day 19th May 2012

A Whangateau Family Planting Day that is coming up supported by Whangateau Harbourcare and Auckland Council.  A flier will be sent in due course but in the meantime please take this as your official invitation.  Details below:

What:  Whangateau Family Planting Day at Williams Farm

When: Saturday 19 May 2012 (rain date is Sunday 20 May 2012)

Where: Williams farm: 109 Omaha Valley Road.  Google map

Why: We will be planting the banks of a small stream that flows into the Whangateau harbour – planting helps to hold the stream banks in place reducing the amount of sediment and runoff that enters the stream and ultimately the harbour.  It’s a great reason to join with us – do some good for the Whangateau catchment, have some fun and meet others!

Omaha River in flood during the rain event of 29 January 2011

Parking: There is parking available at the farm but we encourage you to carpool if you can!

Schedule: Planting from 10am -12, BBQ lunch provided from 12-1pm then afternoon planting from 1-3pm You are welcome to come for part of all of the day (we have split the day into two parts for those who wish to come for a shorter time)

What to bring: gumboots, wet weather gear, spade if you can (some will be provided), warm clothes, sun protection, any medication you need and extra drinks and snacks (some will be provided)

Wet weather: The 20th May is the backup date if the weather is too wet on the Saturday. Watch for postponement information on this site.

Hope to see you at the planting day

Cheers

Family Planting Site Ready to Go!

This event is planned for Saturday 19th May with a bad-weather backup day of 20th May

A beautiful site in the Omaha Valley is fenced, spot-sprayed and ready for planting to help reduce sediment input into the Whangateau Harbour.  Experience in other catchments has shown that siltation in estuaries can be significantly reduced if stock is excluded from water ways, and stream banks are planted with suitable native vegetation.

The beautiful setting for the planting day, against the backdrop of magnificent bush on Mount Tamahunga. The ground has been spot-sprayed and the willows are on their way out

Whangateau HarbourCare Group, in conjunction with Auckland Council and land-owner John Williams, are hosting a public planting day on John’s property in Omaha Valley Road, below the magnificent backdrop of Mount Tamahunga.  John and Martha Williams have already carried out several riparian plantings over an eight-year period, and the earlier plantings are looking really good.

This event is planned for Saturday 19th May with a bad-weather backup day of 20th May.  Starting at 10 am, the first session will run to around midday when barbecue sausages and drinks will be provided.  For those keen to do more, or others who can only make it in the afternoon, a second planting session will begin around 1 pm finishing by around 3 pm. [Read more…]