How we're looking after Porirua Harbour

We partner with Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council to protect and restore the harbour. Our Harbour Strategy and Action Plan is key to achieving this.

The key partners, other agencies and the community have an agreed Harbour Strategy and Action Plan for improving the health of the harbour. A joint committee of the partners oversees the implementation of the Harbour Strategy and Action Plan. The Committee provides an annual report to Councils, the Rūnanga and the community about progress we’re making in implementing the strategy.

The Whaitua Committee - a sub-regional advisory group

Greater Wellington Regional Council has set up the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua Committee. The Porirua Whaitua is one of five covering the major catchments of the Wellington region. The Whaitua is a community-led group. It is a fixed-term group that is working with the community to determine water quality and quantity standards for our streams, which will be included in the Regional Plan to recognise local and sub-regional variations in the management of land, water and air. The Porirua Whaitua also recognises the harbour as a significant water body to be protected and water quality to be improved. The Harbour Strategy and Action Plan is accepted as a guiding document in the considerations of the Whaitua Committee.

The Whaitua is consulting and working with the councils and community and will report recommendations back to the regional council. Draft reporting is likely to be completed by mid-2018.

What other work does Council do to protect or improve the harbour?

We’re working to raise public awareness that sediment and stormwater flow untreated into streams and the harbour, and is encouraging people to take a part in reducing these pollutants and to help improve the health of the environment. The Stormwater Bylaw works alongside other bylaws, planning provisions, resource consent conditions and programmes that help protect and improve the harbour:

  • Stormwater Bylaw makes clear the common pollutants that should not be flushed, washed or poured into stormwater (street) drains.
  • Silt and Sediment Control Bylaw targets building and development sites to prevent silt ending up in the harbour (54KB pdf).
  • Wastewater Bylaw seeks to ensure septic tanks and domestic wastewater treatment systems are installed and maintained properly (248KB pdf).
  • Trade Waste Bylaw seeks to ensure liquid waste from commercial and industrial users is disposed of correctly through the wastewater system (242KB pdf).
  • The region's water, stormwater and wastewater networks are managed by Wellington Water who are continuing to repair and upgrade the networks to improve stream and harbour water quality and safety. 
  • Council is currently reviewing the District Plan to give greater protection to streams and harbour through stronger guidance and control over potential or actual environmentally harmful activities, particularly large earthworks.
  • Council is investing in renewal and upgrade of the stormwater and wastewater network that will have a significant positive impact on stream,  harbour and coastal water quality. The draft Long Term Plan for 2018/38 proposes bringing forward infrastructure expenditure to speed up environmental as well as efficiency benefits.
  • Council is considering how management of the city's open spaces - parks and reserves - can contribute to improving stream and harbour water quality. 
  • In a joint project with Greater Wellington Regional Council, the Council has developed an artificial wetland at the foreshore adjacent to the Porirua Stream mouth. As well as tidying-up a neglected area of the harbour, this project provides additional habitat for birdlife. The Councils are looking at other opportunities to develop similar wetlands. 
  • Council partners with local groups to provide materials and technical support for school environmental education programmes.
  • Council liaises closely with manawhenua, Te Rūnanga-o-Toa Rangatira, on all aspects to do with the health and activities in and around the harbour. The Rūnanga is represented in all internal and external groups responsible for addressing harbour and catchment issues. 
  • Council is working with Regional Public Health, Te Rūnanga-o-Toa Rangatira and Greater Wellington Regional Council to improve the public health warning system for the harbour.