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Auckland: Our failing city

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  • Auckland: Our failing city

    Auckland: Our failing city

    4:00 AM Wednesday Mar 17, 2010
    A warning sign on a beach tells people to stay out of the water due to a sewage overflow. Photo / Dean Purcell

    Auckland's natural environment is in decline and will continue to worsen unless the new Super City council delivers a shake-up, say monitoring officers.
    The region's environment monitors told would-be civic leaders they would inherit a natural environment threatened by ageing and overloaded infrastructure and a rapidly rising population.
    Issuing the final State of the Region report before the Auckland Council takes over, the Auckland Regional Council's general manager of monitoring and research, Grant Barnes, said the region was growing by more than 50 people a day, requiring 21 new homes and bringing 35 new vehicles to the city.
    But environmental management was not keeping up.
    "To a large extent Auckland is extremely fortunate with its harbours, the Waitakeres and the Hunuas," said Mr Barnes.
    "But I don't think we can carry on in the same vein - not in my view and not in the view of the [other] authors of this report."
    Among his concerns are ageing stormwater pipes, which sometimes leave city beaches too polluted by high bacteria levels for swimming.
    The report said there were almost 2500 overflows from stormwater pipes in 2008, most from the old combined stormwater and sewer network.
    Most problems arise when rain overloads the combined stormwater and wastewater pipes, sometimes flushing sewage into the sea.
    It has been estimated that it would cost more than $1 billion to fix the region's stormwater problems.
    Mr Barnes said it was a question of setting an environmental "bottom line".
    "Do we want to be able to go down to the beaches and swim without fear of getting sick?" he asked.
    The pace of repairs has been up to the seven territorial councils. In 2008, Auckland city councillors voted with Mayor John Banks to slash $86 million from the budget to upgrade Victorian-era combined sewer and stormwater systems over 10 years.
    Mr Barnes said creation of the new Auckland Council gave a chance to introduce year-round monitoring of city beaches and integrated upgrades to stormwater pipes that would tackle the decades-old problem.
    The report, the third since 1999, is the result of decades of Auckland Regional Council monitoring of air, soil and water quality.
    It found coastal water was becoming cleaner in many places, swimming beaches were usually safe, and urban streams had been improved by better stormwater management and treatment.
    Urban stream quality was still bad, Mr Barnes said, but was "becoming less bad".
    Other issues identified were increasing use of cars - despite rising use of public transport - and bigger and more expensive houses that were putting pressure on city limits.
    Despite the recent boom in city apartments, Mr Barnes said the average house was getting bigger and more expensive and fewer people were living in it.
    Houses had taken 330ha of the region's most productive soil between 2001 and 2006, said the report.
    The rural economy was shrinking as farms were converted to lifestyle blocks, and productive soil had disappeared under housing developments such as Albany, Flat Bush and Dannemora.
    As well, infill housing and new roads were putting more pressure on streams and stormwater pipes.
    In other positive news, most popular swimming lakes were clean, and seawater had become cleaner in the past 20 years.
    In the Manukau Harbour, Puketutu Point, Mangere Bridge, Shag Point, Graham's Beach, Weymouth and Clarks Beach had improved in quality after the Mangere oxidation ponds were closed in 2002.
    In the Waitemata Harbour, Lucas Creek, Brigham's Creek and Rawawaru Creek became cleaner.
    Aucklanders had become more enthusiastic recyclers, but the amount of rubbish sent to landfills had grown more quickly than the rising population would justify.
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    "said the region was growing by more than 50 people a day, requiring 21 new homes and bringing 35 new vehicles to the city"

    Isn't this a great thing? 50 people a day, and 21 new homes, I presume 'per day' but this sounds a little large.

    If there is demand for this much new housing, then surely Auckland prices must rise. This will also push up the price of surrounding areas, so will be good for the wider Auckland region's house price's and possible northern waikato too.

    What do other people think?

    Last edited by Rosco; 17-03-2010, 08:45 PM. Reason: spelling/grammar
    Book a free chat here
    Ross Barnett - Property Accountant


    • #3
      Well it's a good thing in terms of money, sure. This is why successive governments in most westernized countries around the world are increasing their populations. It's a keeping up with the Jones' thing.

      But it's bad in just about every other measurable way e.g. environmental, happiness etc.

      But yes, good news for landlords! I'm sure there wouldn't be 21 houses getting built each day, probably not even each week at the moment.
      Squadly dinky do!


      • #4
        Lewdy Lenny's legions starting to revolt?

        Bids to secede from Auckland Council open floodgates for more applications
        13 June 2016
        Originally posted by Stuff
        Two bids to break away from the super city have opened the door for all Aucklanders to have their say on a potential split. Any disaffected Auckland communities wishing to go it alone and form their own councils now have until June 24 to apply to the Local Government Commission.

        It follows applications from North Rodney, covering the rural area around the towns of Warkworth and Wellsford, and Waiheke Island to cut ties with Auckland Council. The commission says the North Rodney and Waiheke bids affect all of Auckland, so anyone from Orewa to Pukekohe must also have the opportunity to make an application.
        Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!