February 2018 Newsletter

PO Box 47376, Auckland 1144. Website: https://www.stmarysbayassociation.nz/

Dear member,

The comments made in our September newsletter, and repeated at the AGM, about the poor quality of water at our beaches have been borne out. A superb early summer hid what was to come, both in this year’s spells of erratic weather causing regular sewage/stormwater overflows into the harbour and the resulting unacceptable numbers of “no swimming” beach alerts.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – the present Council has made Auckland’s water quality one of the main priorities for its coming 10 year Long Term Plan and budget. To add to a pre-existing project whereby Watercare is to build a massive collector pipe to gather combined wastewater and stormwater from the central Auckland isthmus, Council’s Healthy Waters section (which is responsible for stormwater) is seeking a budget of $400 million for infrastructure spending, which is expected to include separation of wastewater from stormwater networks in the St Mary’s Bay/Herne Bay harbour-side catchment.

St Mary’s Bay/Masefield Beach water project

This is on top of approval already in place for the more immediate water quality improvement project in St Mary’s Bay that we reported on last year.

Submissions on Long Term Plan

The stormwater works are vital to improvement of our water – stormwater entering the combined system is over-loading the old and failing combined pipe system, causing the contaminated overflows into our stream and harbours, and thereby polluting our beaches. The Long Term Plan will be announced very soon, and be open for submissions until 28 March. You will recall that the Association has been taking part in the discussions about it as a member of a coalition of community groups (known by the acronym SASOC). There will be more on this in the next two to three weeks.

America’s Cup bases – where should they be?

Another current interest of the Association is the somewhat controversial choice of sites for teams for the next America’s Cup challenge. There is a deadline looming (Wednesday, February 28) for submissions on an application for a resource consent for a plan announced just before Christmas. However, since then four other plans have been proposed. Read more about this: https://www.stmarysbayassociation.nz/submissions-on-americas-cup-bases/

Other issues

Not all of the Association’s current activities are water-related. The harbour bridge has been lit up over summer, the St Mary’s reserve continues to have maintenance issues, the initiative to plant more trees in St Mary’s Road is underway, a large development in College Hill looks out of keeping with its surrounds, and low-flying helicopters are raising noise concerns. Read more about all of these in the articles on our website:

St Mary’s Road tree survey

Reserve weeds still a problem

Over-height apartments get green light

Noisy flights issues

Bridge light shows – your views?

Party time again

Lastly, the Party at Mary’s last year was so well received that the committee has decided to repeat it. We will send you details as soon as they have been worked out. As always, we are grateful for your support in making St Mary’s Bay such a great place to live, and sincere thanks to our generous newsletter and website sponsors, Martin Dobson and Charles Collins of Kellands.

Warm wishes,

David Abbott

For further information, please contact:

SMBA chair, David Abbott dabbott@xtra.co.nz
SMBA secretary, Wendy Moffett wendymof@xtra.co.nz

Thanks to our sponsors: