Watercare’s plan to destroy 3.5ha of protected native bush in Titirangi
Watercare intends to develop a new water treatment plant across three sites on Woodlands Park Road/Manuka Road in the west Auckland suburb of Titirangi. The construction of this plant will destroy 3.5 hectares of native bush protected by SEA status – including regenerating kauri forest, bring a huge industrial plant to within 10m of local residents’ properties and put untold strain on roading and other infrastructure in surrounding communities including Titirangi, Woodlands Park, Waima, Laingholm, Glen Eden and beyond.
The Titirangi Protection Group (TPG) was formed in 2017 to oppose this development.
Plan of the proposed development
Have your say on this proposal
Now is your opportunity to tell the Council that you oppose this project! Together, we can really make a difference.
Watercare’s resource consent application to do all of this environmental damage is being publicly notified on Monday 5th August, and we have 20 working days to submit. All submissions must be in by 5pm Monday 2nd September 2019.
The submission process is fairly simple and can be made online through the Auckland Council website. You will also find all Watercare’s final supporting documentation for their application there.
For a quick guide to filling in the online submission form on the council’s website, click the button below.
Think about what you want to say
It is important that the Council hears your views and understands how you feel about it.
You can comment on any issue that is important to you, but particularly in response to the specific consents that Watercare is applying for (if you can). It does not have to be a long or detailed submission (unless you want it to be).
Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the details – most of us don’t. The key is to tell Council how you feel about the proposal, what effects you believe will happen as a result of it and how this will impact on you, your family, the community or the environment.
The TPG have enlisted the services of a very experienced planner who will be helping to guide us through the process. We are working on a template to help you with creating your own submission which we will make available as soon as possible, and we will hold a submissions drop-in session on Saturday 24th August to offer support in person too. We are also posting tips and ideas for submission writing on our Facebook page.
More helpful information about making a submission on a resource consent application can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.
Some of the issues to consider:
- Traffic and the impact of up to 90 heavy trucks per day along our residential streets for the 18mths of vegetation removal and site preparation.
- Vegetation removal across up to 3.5 hectares (an area larger than LynnMall). This vegetation includes protected, mature native bush, including threatened kauri. This site is classed as a significant ecological area (SEA) in the Councils Unitary Plan as well as being in a regional park and under the protection of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Act.
- Impacts on all the wildlife that rely on this native bush for their home or as a connection between their chosen habitats.
- Impacts of construction activity on the surrounding community – from Waima and Woodlands Park to Titirangi and Glen Eden.
- Culverting of streams running from the site. There have been many years of community initiatives to restore these streams with extensive native planting, weed control and pest trapping. This has helped to improvements to water quality and allowed for the return of many native species (even endangered ones) to what is now a thriving waterway. Culverting will severely compromise all this work and set restoration efforts back many years.
- Kauri dieback disease has resulted in almost all of the tracks in Waitakere Ranges being closed, including Clark Bush Track which runs through the site. Young kauri and other species will be lost and mature kauri could also be affected. The soil runoff and soil removal from the site will be enormous and extremely difficult to control. While this disease is still being understood the potential impacts of this development could be disastrous not only for the kauri on site but for any kauri downhill from the site and wherever excavated soil is disposed of.
There are other options
- Use smarter design thinking to utilise more of the footprint of the existing plant to avoid the destruction of 3.5 hectares of SEA native bush.
- Locate the two reservoirs closer to where the water will be used in north-west Auckland.
- Review the original long list of site options. With smarter design thinking to achieve a smaller footprint, more of these options will be feasible.
- Alternative site options could include the use of the existing sludge dump at the end of Exhibition Drive or a large site in Forest Hill Rd, Henderson. Developing either site will not destroy high value, protected native species. Nor would it result in the loss of homes or be as close to neighbouring residential properties.