Work to fill in the duck pond at Aotea Lagoon in Porirua will begin in late January.
The project is expected to take up to six months and will involve the pathways around the duck pond and the miniature railway being closed off, as trucks and heavy machinery are required to carry out the work.
Access to the playground and splash pad will remain open during this time, but there will be a safety fence around the duck pond.
The pond has been an ongoing concern for Porirua City Council for some years, as it has filled with sludge and gets very smelly, especially on warm days. The Council sought, and received, consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2020 to fill it in, but extra time was needed for procurement of the work and getting fine weather.
Funding was granted in PCC’s recent Long-term Plan for the project, and it is a relief that it would be under way soon, says Porirua Mayor Anita Baker.
"This is a very public part of Aotea Lagoon, between the playground and the splash pad, and the situation needs to be rectified," she says.
"It’s something we hear about a lot from residents and visitors, so a solution will be welcomed."
As part of the project to fill it in, 1200 cubic metres of fill will be taken from the back of Porirua Park, off Gear Tce.
The duck pond will be de-watered initially, and eels and other fishlife found in the pond will be relocated safely to nearby streams.
The exposed sludge will be dredged into geo-bags, which are then left to dry before fill is imported from Porirua Park. Finally a naturalised stream will be built, through the new lawn area.
The public toilets beside the duck pond will be unavailable for the duration of the works so portaloos will be provided next to the playground and splash pad.
Parks and City Services Manager Julian Emeny says it has taken a while to get to this point, but Council wants to do the right thing for the park, environment and any wildlife that may inhabit the pond.
"November and December can often be quite wet so the decision was taken to start work early in the new year in anticipation of obtaining the best possible drying weather for the project," he says.
"The landscaped stream will become a welcome addition to this already popular Porirua destination. And we expect the local ducks will find an alternative spot nearby."
The project is tentatively to start 24 January, but this is still weather-dependant. The splash pad and playground will be accessible from the middle Papakowhai Rd entrance while work is under way.
19 Dec 2021