Environment, Local News

Love our Lagoons – Final Report

0 Comments 23 September 2015

The Final Report on Love Our Lagoons program

WestCoastLagoonProject05Love Our Lagoons – Pilot Project – Final Report – Prepared by Dr Dan Ducker

Executive Summary

Auckland’s West Coast contains a number of outstanding natural features which have been highly valued by people for hundreds of years, including beautiful forests, powerful black sand beaches, serene rivers and waterfalls. A particularly significant natural feature of several of the beaches is their lagoons, which drain broad catchments and create a unique environment for wildlife, a safe place for children to swim in compared to the ruggedness of the open coast, a place traditionally used for conducting ceremony, and a visually stunning feature appreciated by locals and visitors alike.

LoveOurLagoons01Unfortunately over the past fifty or so years, water quality in the lagoons has deteriorated to the extent that monitoring by local councils indicates many are unsafe for swimming about half of the  time. The reasons for poor water quality appear highly complex, with some contributions from dogs,  waterfowl, horses, however monitoring information suggests much contaminant input is of human origin, and in particular from poorly performing septic tanks and long drops.

EcoMatters was therefore commissioned by Auckland Council as a bridge organisation, to deliver a waste system support programme aimed at improving water quality. Our approach has been to  recognise the complexity of the problem, the uniqueness of the individual communities along the coast, and the necessity for a community approach to understanding and resolving the problems.  We have sought throughout the project to enhance empathy; to listen closely for hidden gems emerging as a result of our conversations; and overwhelmingly, to provide a means of empowering  local community members, Tangata Whenua and Council.

Love Our Lagoons – Pilot Report 31 July 2015 – Final Print

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