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New harbour dune and wetland area unveiled

News - Porirua Harbour's new dune and wetland unveiled

Above: Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator Keith Calder looks over the new dune and wetland area with Porirua City Councillors  Anita Baker, Greater Wellington Regional Council Deputy Chair Barbara Donaldson and Mayor Mike Tana.

The wraps have come off a new dune and wetland area on the city foreshore of Te Awarua-o-Porirua.

It’s the latest development in a jointly funded project that is restoring, rejuvenating and protecting the harbour edge from the Porirua Stream Mouth, near the city centre, around to Titahi Bay Road.

The project is a partnership between Porirua City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Ngāti Toa and local environmental groups.

“This work is changing perceptions of our harbour. It’s not only attracting interest from our residents but the business community is looking at how it might add value in terms of new development around this popular part of the city foreshore,” says Porirua Mayor Mike Tana. “It’s opening up a whole range of discussions as our city turns to face the harbour.”

“We’ve been working on this with Ngāti Toa, our tangata whenua, to deliver on their vision for a city that treasures and respects its harbour.”

The new dune and wetland have been created over the past ten weeks in a project that has seen local school children help with planting, and erosion prone areas of the foreshore reshaped and protected from further erosion by rock rip rap.

News - Ngāti Toa students plant new harbour dune

The foreshore fences came down this week, opening up views of the new development from the harbour walkway.  The dune will remain roped off while the new plants get established.

Porirua City Councillor and Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchment Joint Committee Chairperson Anita Baker says it’s exciting to see work finish on such an important harbour project.

“Not only has it beautified our harbour foreshore, the new dune and wetland area has created a self-sustaining ecosystem that will attract and support more native wildlife and plant life. It will also help filter stormwater before it goes into the harbour.”

Historically, development has wiped out most of the wetlands in the Onepoto arm of the harbour and this project is helping restore some of that natural balance, says Councillor Baker.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Deputy Chair Barbara Donaldson says the next stage of the project will include thinning and topping vegetation around the Porirua Stream mouth to open up views of it from the city-side walkway. Work will then move around the foreshore to tidy up and protect the Wineera Drive edge of the harbour.

Since it began in 2015 the harbour restoration project has seen woody vegetation cleared from the city side of Porirua Stream and new plants bedded in, the creation of the dune and wetland area, protection of erosion prone areas of the harbour’s city-side foreshore, and the clearing of rubble out of the Wineera Drive foreshore.

“The potential for restoration of this area has been recognised in a number of studies and is a key part of the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan,” says Cr Donaldson.

16 Aug 2017