The concern about the water extraction from the Aupouri aquifer has gained national attention. The Northland Regional Council hearings on this are this coming week, Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th March, in the theatre/cinema at Te Ahu.
We Are Water campaigners are looking at a slot on either Monday or Tuesday to hold their People’s Tribunal – and civic action across the three days.
Please stay tuned to their Facebook page for further details, then show up to witness the proceedings, voice your support…or otherwise!
The Department Of Conservation will be speaking against the extraction due to the potential impact on the Kaimaumau/Motutangi wetlands. The wetland complex covers an area of some 1850 hectares of which 955 hectares is designated as Scientific Reserve and the remaining is Conservation Area. Scientific Reserves afford the highest level of protection of all reserves managed under the Reserves Act 1977.
The wetland is located on the Aupouri Peninsula and extends from just south of Houhora Heads to the mouth of the Rangaunu Harbour, a distance of almost 15 km. It is the only freshwater wetland exceeding 1000 ha in Northland and is nationally recognised for its outstanding natural values.
Evidence suggests there could be a link between the wetlands and the groundwater levels. So any reduction in groundwater could pose a significant threat to a nationally significant site and further investigation is needed before substantial amounts of water are drawn off.
As this article on Stuff reports, wetlands play a hugely enormous part in managing our freshwater and ultimately seawater quality, and also absorbing flood water – an issue that is very much in the minds of those in the ‘Far Far North’ right now who are cut off due to SH1 being swept away. We need to be doing everything we can to protect all our wetland areas, as well as our water supplies.
We have We Are Water’s campaign t-shirts for sale at the EcoCentre if you’d like to show your support that way, whether or not you can tautoko them at or outside the hearing.
by Anna Dunford
Photograph courtesy of We Are Water