Morning Tea with the Ministers
By Jenny Lucas
Hon Hekia Parata and Hon Amy Adams visited Pauatahanui on Tuesday 12 August 2014, and enjoyed morning tea at the Lighthouse Cinema with members of the Rotary Club of Plimmerton and other invited guests. Both Hekia and Amy addressed the group telling us of visits they had already made on the way to Pauatahanui.
Environment Minister Amy Adams and Education Minister Hekia Parata had visited Corinna Primary School in Porirua East to see the children enjoying digital literacy and their new chrome books, and Trash Palace at the Spicer Tip where Amy announced funding of $150,000 to support the expansion of a community-based recycling operation there.
Mana Recovery Trust will significantly expand its current operations through the construction of a purpose-built facility to sort and recycle packaging waste from businesses across the lower North Island. Waste materials targeted by the scheme include paper, plastic, cardboard and glass. “Mana Recovery Trust estimates that more than 840 tonnes of waste will be diverted from landfill in the first year of its new operation, as it lifts recycling rates for local businesses. The Trust will also support its goals by running recycling training seminars for businesses,” Ms Adams said. “Recovering materials and getting economic value from waste can also provide social benefits, so I am encouraged that the Mana Recovery Trust aims to create jobs for a number of people in the local community. This project also has the potential to be used as a template for organisations undertaking similar operations.”
The $150,000 for the project comes from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The Fund provides financial support to projects which increase resource efficiency and decrease the amount of waste going to landfill.
Amy spoke to the group about a couple of aspects of her portfolio – New Zealand’s water and the Resource Management Act.
Ensuring an on-going and reliable supply of healthy water is one of the most important environmental and economic issues facing New Zealand today,” Ms Adams said. “It is critical that we protect and improve the water quality that we all care so much about. Fresh water is our greatest natural asset. It is crucial to our way of life, our environment and our economy. We value it for recreation and spiritual wellbeing. Whether you live in the city or the country, water sustains the industries that create our wealth. Water quality matters to all of us. New Zealanders need to know about improving the way we manage our fresh water. “
Then she spoke about the RMA. “There is no doubt that the Resource Management Act is a critical piece of legislation. It must protect our natural environment and the qualities we hold dear as New Zealanders, while encouraging a successful economy and enabling a vibrant built environment. As well as being environmental legislation it is also our key piece of planning legislation and it forms the basis for the decisions that determine what we can do on our land and has a huge impact on whether our communities will get what they need day to day; be that jobs, houses, infrastructure, recreation spaces or other facilities. And I believe that in this respect the system that has developed over the past 22 years is not serving us well.
Instead of enabling a strong housing supply - it is slowing or blocking development when it is desperately needed.
Instead of encouraging investors to create jobs - it is discouraging them with uncertainty, bureaucracy and delays.
Instead of protecting our communities and businesses with strong modern infrastructure - it hinders projects of all sizes with unnecessary costs, delays and process.
The RMA reforms are designed to ensure that we identify what we need and plan for it - and that good decisions can be made more quickly while ensuring we continue to protect New Zealand's natural beauty. They are about ensuring the sustainable management of our resources to better meet the needs of our communities - social, cultural, environmental and economic.”
Before their arrival at the Cinema the Ministers had inspected Te Ara Piko – The Meandering Path, a joint initiative between Porirua City Council and the Rotary Club of Plimmerton, on the north side of Pauatahanui Inlet, and prior to their departure they were shown a video of a flyover of the Pathway showing progress to date.
Ron Lucas, chair of the Pathway Project Group, who is a Land Surveyor has been involved in Land Development and subdivision for the past 40 years, gave an overview of the future plans for the Pathway.
As part of his work he works with the RMA on a daily basis.
Since 1991 the rights of others beyond the application site have been significantly extended. There are now have affected and interested parties to consider. This was brought home with the application for the board-walk part of the first section of the pathway. The Council was about to issue consent but due to the actions of a few and the likelihood of a judicial review further consultation was required. After this was undertaken, consent was finally granted some two years later at an additional cost of $30K.
The point has been reached for getting an application together for the next section of the pathway from Motukaraka Point to Cambourne. Nearly two years ago a walk-over of this section was undertaken with the interested parties to identify areas of concern and differing methods of construction.
Following on from this Christine Foster (Environmental Planner), Paul Blashke (Ecologist), Tonkin and Taylor (Geotech Engineers,) Downers (Roading Engineers) and Rose Armstrong (Landscape Architect) have been engaged to look at various alignment and construction options.
These options are currently being assessed and will soon be made available for for public consultation.
The goal is to have consent by this time next year so that the first stage of construction can get underway the following construction season.
The first section, Motukaraka Pioint to Pauatahanui Village, was recently completed at a cost of just over $1milllion. It is estimated that the cost of the second section is likely to be in the order of $2million due to the construction methodologies being much more challenging and complex. There is likely to be more board-walk, riprap placement and roading works in this section.
A goal hs been set to have this section completed by 2018. During that time Porirua City Council have committed $750,000.00 in their long Term Community Consultation Plan. Rotary will need to fund raise the balance, some $1.25million.
Last year $28K was raised, plus a further $11.8K that will be announced later this month.
There is a task ahead of us and any financial help would be much appreciated.