Coastal walkway for Manukau Harbour
Last updated 13:54, July 27 2015
Puketapapa Local Board members Michael Wood and David Holm are hoping to see the Manukau Harbour in a different light.
Alastair Lynn/Fairfax NZ
A history of neglect is being rewritten.
The Manukau Harbour has long been seen as a dirty inlet but times have changed. Nine local boards including Puketapapa and Maungakiekie-Tamaki are leading the changes with several harbour-focused projects. The $28 million Onehunga Foreshore restoration is to be opened in November and construction on the Waikowhai Coastal Walkway will be under way before the end of 2015. Puketapapa Local Board member Michael Wood says the $1.2 million walkway project will “plug the gaps” in the new network. “Once this is in place you’ll be able to walk between Onehunga and Blockhouse Bay, about 80 per cent of it off-road through the bush,” he says. “There’s been a big community perception issue that it’s a dirty harbour so we’re trying to do some positive things to get people back here.” The Manukau Harbour has a history of neglect with freezing works, rubbish tips and sewage plants polluting the water. Puketapapa Local Board member David Holm says the “glamour harbours” have historically stolen the show.”The Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata have tended to get all the limelight over coastal issues,” he says. “The walkway is a good way of introducing a lot of people who don’t know much about the harbour.” Working with industry and business will be a significant step to reducing the potential impact on waterways .”The sewage plant has been subject to massive changes,” Holm says. “In fact, surveys have tended to show that the beaches near the works are some of the cleanest in the harbour.” Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chairman Simon Randall says Aucklanders have slowly developed a greater appreciation for the harbour. “The harbour has been misused considerably over the years,” he says. “We have received really strong feedback from the community that the harbour and water quality are really important. “Wood says making the area more accessible is the beginning of changing the area for the better. “If something is hidden away then it is more likely to be neglected and abused but if we have more people down here enjoying and experiencing the harbour they’ll be far more likely to care for it.”