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Harbour project recognised as award finalist

planting streamside

A Porirua City project which aims to restore the health of Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour has been named a finalist in the 2022 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Awards.

Porirua’s Streamside Planting Programme is a transformational project to improve the water quality of the city’s streams and waterways.

It was launched in April, in partnership with Ngāti Toa and Sustainable Coastlines. Over 20 years Porirua City Council, in partnership with the programme, aims to plant more than 6 million plants on the banks of the 588km of streams that run into the harbour.

Central Government has committed $3 million to the project over five years, as part of its Jobs for Nature programme. Council will invest $4.8 million, while Sustainable Coastlines are also financial contributors.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker welcomed the news that the programme had been named as a finalist in the LGNZ awards.

"Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour is a taonga, of great significance to Ngāti Toa and our city as a whole. A healthy harbour is a strategic priority for the council and an aspiration for us all.

"This is truly a community project and we’re delighted to see it recognised in this way."

Nigel Clarke, Manager Harbour and Resource Recovery, said improving the health of the district’s streams will have a direct impact on the health of the harbour by reducing the pathogens, excessive nutrients, and sediment going into it.

As part of the project, Council and partners had co-designed a GIS-based system to gather and analyse large amounts of data, which is then used to prioritise and manage the work programme, he said.

"For every stream in Porirua, we now know exactly what is needed to restore it to health and how much it is going to cost. This is powerful, and an exciting development in actioning this strategic priority.

"A key outcome is that through this approach, and the funding support, we’ve cut the time it’ll take to reach our goal more than in half - from 43 years to 20 years.

"This is great news for the harbour we all hold dear".

The winners of the LGNZ Excellence Awards will be announced on 22 July.

17 Jun 2022