Manukau Harbour Forum Chair’s report: August – September 2021

Manukau Harbour Forum Chair’s report –August 9th – September 24th

  • 11th August – Meeting with new Manukau Harbour Forum Coordinator and MHF Deputy Chair Alan Cole.
  • 20th August – Three Waters Reforms discussion via SKYPE.
  • 30th August – Attended Watercare Board meeting via SKYPE.
  • 30th August – Manukau Harbour Forum executive team meeting via SKYPE.
  • 3rd September – Local Government New Zealand Three Waters reform discussion.
  • 15th September – Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting on the Auckland Water Strategy
  • 22nd September – Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting on the Auckland Water Strategy
  • 24th September – Presenting to the Southern Chairs Forum on behalf of the Forum.

The majority of the period covered by this report was spent in Level 4 Lockdown, reducing the ability to meet in person. I am lucky enough to live close to the Waikōwhai Walkway and have enjoyed numerous bush walks and bird watching over the lockdown period.

The Forum is very lucky to have secured the services of Dr Julie Chambers as the Forum’s new coordinator. Dr Chambers has co-chaired the Tamaki Estuary Environmental Forum and has bought some excellent energy to the role. Julie has five ‘focus areas’ – Strategy and planning to achieve the vision of the Forum, collaboration with friends of the Forum, building the knowledge base of the Forum, building relationships with mana whenua and administration. I look forward to working with her over the next year.

I was pleased to be able to connect members of the community with the correct council staff to get navigation lights in the Harbour fixed. These lights have an interesting list of owners, with a mix of private and public ownership, meaning a fix is not always easy.

I wrote an article discussing the State of the Harbour report for Clarks Beach’s “Greenie” magazine’s August issue. This has been well received, and I have opened up dialogue with several interested community members who share our passion for protecting and restoring the Manukau Harbour.

I was, unfortunately, unable to attend August’s meeting of the Manukau Harbour Forum due to a family emergency. There was a presentation on the excellent youth wananga programme the Forum part-funds and the “closing the gap” programme aimed at reducing sediment into the environment from construction across Tāmaki Makaurau.

I presented an update to the Southern Local Board Chairs Forum on the Forum’s Work Programme and the highlights of the first half of the term.

The Three Waters reform could have big effects on how water is managed around the Harbour, particularly the inclusion of stormwater into the reform. Healthy Waters have been doing some excellent work, and we await more information on the proposed reform. The discussions I attended on it reveal the work that needs to be done to get this to a place I would feel comfortable supporting.

Jon Turner (Puketāpapa Local Board)

Chair of the Manukau Harbour Forum

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