Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Year End

As the year nears an end its time to reflect on how the local environment has coped with during. 2019. The year began at Christmas 2018 with the  sediment laden settlement pond water flowing into Shoal estuary from the Ngati Whatua development at Rutherford street. It took a while for the Council to respond to our warnings that this had happened. It was also extremely disappointing as we had talked to the developer about the risks and sensitive nature of the nearby estuary edge.

This took time and effort to get some resolution and answers from Auckland Council as to how and why this had been allowed to happen. Mostly their answers were not satisfactory but there was some action to get the developer to lift their game and follow the Council GD05 guidelines to the letter. That included better monitoring and maintenance of sediment management. However we are still left with the over riding issue that these Auckland guidelines seem to favour  developers rather than the environment.

Well that was the bad news but local volunteers plod on with restoration projects and predator control. It was heartening to see the planting project at Bayswater school with the help of RTH
 ( Restoring  Takarunga  to Hauraki) volunteers and schoolchildren and teachers too.

Our Shoal &Ngataringa predator control monitoring continues, now into our fourth year with a keen low key group of wonderful volunteers. They contribute  regular with time and effort  to bait pulse over four months of the year. Bait continues to be completely eaten  in many of the environmentally safe stations that are used.

I continue to regularly  monitor the birds by counting shorebirds sighted at thee locations at High tide roost sites. The Bar-tailed godwits arrived right on time during September and a Welcome to the Godwit community event was held on the shores of Shoal estuary during October. I wasn't able to attend this year as I was back in Western Australia catching up with the Australian Fairy Tern projects and family.