Kaipara Moana Remediation

An ambitious programme to restore the health and mauri of the mighty Kaipara Moana reached a significant milestone on Friday 9 October with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Waihāua Marae, Arapaoa.

The MOU between the government, councils and Kaipara Uri recognises an equal partnership between Kaipara Uri and councils to undertake the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme, a $300 million, decade-long project that aims to remediate ongoing environmental degradation by halving sediment loss from land to sea.

 

 

 

 

 

The programme is predicted to create around 300 new jobs; 200 for direct farm work such as fencing streams and wetlands, establishing water reticulation systems, preparing and planting land, weeding, and hill country stabilisation, and another 100 in the rural sector for nurseries, fencing manufacture, and farm advisory services. (1) 

Minister for the Environment, The Honorable David Parker signed the agreement with council and Kaipara Uri. Joining them at the signing were Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and guests representing numerous community, conservation, hapū and marae groups, as well as the agricultural sector and philanthropic organisations.

As well as the MOU signing, the day also saw the first meeting of a joint governance committee, made up of six Kaipara Uri representatives and six council representatives (three from Auckland Council and three from Northland Regional Council).  The Joiont Committee's first task was to appoint it's Chair and Deputy Chair, Tame Te Rangi was appointed Chair and Penny Smart appointed Deputy Chair.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff describes the agreement as a turning point for the restoration of the Kaipara Harbour.

“It represents all parties coming together to address the siltation and degradation of the Kaipara and the biggest-ever commitment of funds to remediate that damage.  It’s a shared commitment to stop the erosion of the land which is devastating New Zealand’s largest harbour, and to begin to restore and preserve the harbour as a major fish-spawning and recreational asset,” Phil Goff says.

Northland Regional Council Chair (and deputy chair of the joint committee) Penny Smart says it is important to recognise that landowners and community groups are already working to improve the environment, but resourcing has been a constant struggle. The new government funding of $100 million for the first six years will help bring us together and enable large-scale and targeted progress to be made.

Tame Te Rangi, from the Kaipara Moana Negotiations Reference Group, says the government’s funding “makes an enormous difference to what many have wanted to achieve for years – a healthy and productive harbour, with improved water quality and biodiversity in the more than 10,000 km of streams across the catchment”.

Penny Smart says she recognises the opportunities for job creation and the challenges to achieve this quickly. “We want to grow the rural workforce so people have reliable full-time work, are supported by training, and receive appropriate recognition.”

The business case that clinched government funding was developed in a partnership between Kaipara Uri (Te Uri o Hau, Te Roroa, Ngā Maunga Whakahī o Kaipara, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua), Auckland Council, Northland Regional Council and Kaipara and Whangarei District Councils.

The Crown’s $100 million funding for the first six years of the programme is contingent on matched funding from councils, landowners and potentially other sources. Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council will consult on how council funding will be found through their respective Long-Term Plan processes.

From left to right - the Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee Members at Haranui Marae, 30-10-2020:  Phelan Pirrie - Chair of the Rodney Local Board,  Councillor Greg Sayers, NRC Councillor Joce Yeoman, Malcolm Welsh - Te Uri o Hau, Auckland Council Councillor Daniel Newman, Willie Wright - Te Uri o Hau, Tame Te Rangi - Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua, Jane Sherard - Nga Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara, Penny Smart - NRC Chair, Virginia Warriner - Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua, Sherie Povey - Mga Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara, Kuia Wikitoria Wright - , NRC Councillor Amy MacDonald

Hon David Parker & Mayor Phil Goff signing the historic MOU for the Kaipara Moana Remediation at Waihaua Marae 9th October 2020.

Attendees of the signing the historic MOU for the Kaipara Moana Remediation at Waihaua Marae 9th October 2020.

(1)  Excerpt from Northland Regional Council media release 5 July 2020; https://www.nrc.govt.nz/news/2020/july/kaipara-uri-councils-welcome-government-funding/