Report by O A Mills
On 27 February 2019, Ivan and I attended a meeting at Te Atatu Peninsula Community Centre. The meeting was called by the newly formed Te Wai o Pareira River Care Group, a group of residents concerned with pollution in Henderson Creek (Te Wai O Pareira) headed by Chris Ballantyne.
It was appropriate to attend both as a member of the Riverpark Action Group and as a resident who resides on the banks of the Huruhuru Creek which flows into Te Wai o Pareira.
The purpose of the meeting was twofold; 1 – to gain an insight into which local authorities were responsible for the wellbeing of the waterways including Te Wai o Pareira and the tributaries surrounding and feeding into it, and 2 – the organising group wished to gain an idea of the level of support for their group.
Local authorities were well represented; local board members, local councillors, Watercare, SwimSafe, Healthy Waters and Community Waitakere were in attendance and spoke to the subject.
One positive outcome for me was the clarification around who we can call to report incidences of pollution. This useful information is provided below.
- Stormwater pollution including pollutions being discharged into creeks and streams and air pollution including smoke from fires or odours and dust from building sites and quarries are to be reported to the Pollution Hotline 09 377 3107, this is a 24 hour hotline.
- To report waste on a beach or park, illegal dumping contact Auckland Council on 09 3010101.
- To report sewer overflows or faults with the water wains supply contact Watercare Services on 09 442 2222 (Press 1) or free text 3130.
- To report oil or pollution at sea contact the Harbourmaster on 09 3620397 (Press 1).
The next steps for the Group are to convert interest into action. Future future plans include volunteer water testing and river monitoring, arranging river clean ups, being a strong voice to network and liaise with the authorities, bring the history of the area to life and identify and research contaminated sites. Our group already does some water-testing of the Lower Swanson Stream, which runs behind the location of the Woodside Community Garden.
It was good to make contact with Chris Burton (Community Waitakere – Team Leader Project Twin Streams) who along with his team are visiting the Lower Swanson Stream regularly to check on the breeding ground of the Inanga and his team will meet us at Woodside Community Garden on 23 March to give us an insight into their work.
Since the meeting I have kept in touch with Chris Ballantyne and pledged to support as time and resources permit – I am sure we all agree with Chris “the authorities can’t do it on their own. The river needs advocacy, and needs guardians.”
To contact the Te Wai o Pareira River Care group, please email email@example.com