A Slightly Different Approach to Mangroves
Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 11:18AM
Bill Barclay

The Auckland Unitary Plan that has been referred to the full Governing Body of Council as of today. It contains the following recommendastion that now have the full support of the Hearings Panel, and officers. It is therefore almost certain to be adopted.

It is noteworthy because of the far less 'gung-ho' apppoach to the removal of what some consider a 'pest.' Y'all know the arguments - the WRC has been wise in my view to slow down the whole process though it has riled the good folks of Whangamata. I see that today a 2 hectare removal has been approved for the Whangamata Harbour. That should do while assessment is undertaken. In the meantime, take a geek at the Auckland approach:

"The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan seeks to:

• protect mangroves in significant ecological areas where they form an important part of costal ecosystems or where they mitigate against coastal erosion

• outside of these areas provide for the management of mangrove spread through the enabling removal of mangrove seedlings, and mangroves to the extent that they have spread since 1996

• enable mangrove removal to maintain wading bird feeding and roosting areas.

Standards for Removal

There are certain standards that must be met to carry out the above activities without a resource consent, including:

• Removed mangroves must be disposed of outside the Coastal Marine Area

• No discharge of chemical herbicides

• Removal must be done by hand or hand held tools

• Removal must not be in areas where mangroves help to mitigate coastal erosion

• Must not damage or disturb areas or salt marsh or seagrass

Removal of mangroves back to 1996 extent

Removal of mangroves back to 1996 extent:

• In order to determine 1996 extent refer to the Auckland Council GIS Viewer

• If there are no aerial photos of the relevant area in council’s GIS system, an applicant can choose to provide their own evidence that the mangrove were not present in 1996, which will be checked by council officers.

• Written advice must be given to the council at least 10 working days prior and must include:

    1. The location and extent of the mangroves to be removed
    2. The timing and methods of removal
    3.  Evidence that the area was free of mangroves in 1996


During the 11-week informal engagement on the March 2013 draft of the unitary plan, the council received feedback on mangrove removal rules. Much of the feedback was related to the proposed rule enabling removal back to 1996 levels. A range of views were heard, including those supporting mangrove removal back to 1996 levels or earlier, and those who felt the proposed approach is too enabling of removal.

On the balance of views put forward, the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan has retained the mangrove removal rules proposed in the draft Unitary Plan."



Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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