June 30, 2021
Slow improvement in Manukau Harbour
Water quality around the Manukau Harbour has improved over the past two decades, but a lot more work is needed to address the ecological degradation of the harbour over many decades.
That’s one of the findings of Auckland Council’s first State of the Environment Monitoring Report for the harbour, released today.
Environment and Climate Change Committee chair Richard Hills says while it will take time to turn the harbour’s degradation around, the monitoring will help the council learn from the past and pinpoint where future investment needs to focus.
He says the council intends to work closely with mana whenua, who are the kaitiaki of the Manukau Harbour.
The report shows coastal water nutrient concentrations are elevated compared to regional reference guidelines.
There are high nitrate levels in surface waters in the southern part of the harbour, caused by high concentrations of nitrate in the shallow volcanic aquifers that feed some of the streams in the southern Manukau Harbour catchment.
On the land, productive rural soils are over-fertilised and compacted, and problematic weeds and pests are only absent where intensive weed and pest control takes place.
The report says 70 per cent of the forest birds and 55 per cent of wetland birds counted were native species.
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