Hibiscus Matters letters - May 20, 2020

By: Hibiscus Matters readers

Mind-boggling

Shane Bygrave, Tindalls Bay
The apartments shown in your March 18 paper, which Council has allowed to be built by the water in Gulf Harbour are totally unsuited to this location, in my view.
It is not only the height but the lack of a walkway along the harbourside in front of the buildings that is a concern. From an environmental point of view, we can only pray that the sediment controls are 100 percent better than anything the Council has ever come up with before. It boggles the mind that developers are allowed to build an entire 7m higher than the height allowed under the Unitary Plan, and right on the water. Why have these rules, if they are only there to be broken?


Creek causes a stink

Arthur Amis, Red Beach (abridged)
Once again residents backing onto the tidal creek that runs behind Red Beach Surf Club and the entrance to Pine Woods Motor Camp along Walton St and Maria Ave are having to put up with a putrid smell, unable to open back doors or go in the garden without being hit by the stink. Back in 2007, the then Rodney Mayor, John Law, was saying that sediment and weeds needed clearing to encourage a clear clean flow of water.
The last Rodney Mayor, Penny Webster, got a retaining wall built at the bottom of residents’ sections, as erosion of these sections was constantly causing the land to drop away into the creek due to silt and weed build up. In 2010 Penny Webster said that the creek needed dredging and to have weed cleared. Rodney was then gobbled up into Auckland Council and since then not a thing has been done. This creek is tidal and should be in pristine condition – as it was with kids swimming in it back in late 1980s early 90s. Today you wouldn’t let a dog in it for fear of what it may pick up. Now we have the rats that are in the weed on the Pinewoods side of the creek coming across to pay residents a visit. When we all finish our self-isolation, will Council be rushing to clean up this tidal creek? I doubt it.
Auckland Council’s Safeswim programme manager Nick Vigar responds (abridged): Council is aware of the stagnant water in the creek near Red Beach Surf Club. Watercare recently finished remedial works in upstream networks and is awaiting wet weather testing to monitor the extent of water quality improvements and to determine if further sampling or intervention is required. Further remedial work from Healthy Waters was also planned, however it was put on hold due to the lockdown. Once we return to business as usual, those remedial works will be programmed back into the schedule. This creek, like many other waterways in Auckland, has had a pungent smell as there has not been significant rainfall in a while which means the creek has not been flushed out by rain. As a result, organic material such as grass and leaves rot in shallow water. This process uses up the oxygen in the stream and naturally produces sulphur dioxide, which has a strong smell and turns the water a dark colour. Although it looks and smells unpleasant, it is a natural process and will be restored when there is more rain. If harmful substances are suspected to be polluting the creek, call the Pollution Hotline 09 377 3107.

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