by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Upper Hutt Leader : June 8th 2011
44 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JUNE 8, 2011 NEWS Council faces opposition to reduce flow in Hutt River By JIM CHIPP ' I can't bring on expert evidence just as they can't bring on the expert evidence to say it won't be adversely affected. ' Submitter Pat van Berkel Objectors are likely to give Greater Wellington Regional Council a torrid time this week as it presents its case for taking more water from the Hutt River. The council wants to reduce the minimum flow in the river at Kaitoke Weir from 600 litres per second to 400 litres per second for three years while Stuart Macas- kill storage lakes are enlarged and earthquake-strengthened, at a budgeted cost of $10 million. However, 14 submitters have objected, saying the river flow is already too low, contributing to toxic algal blooms. They argue the strengthening work could wait until another lake is established and that the council failed to consult with residents. Upper Hutt resident Pat van Berkel lodged an objection on behalf of Transition Towns on three grounds. He said that although the regional council claimed to have consulted with key stakeholders, they never consulted with the real stakeholders, the people of the Hutt Valley who live along the river. It s a very difficult task, I do agree, but this is having an effect on the area which is their play- ground. The second point is that they have claimed that there are no adverse effects. However, the toxic algal blooms that have affected the river in past summers, killing at least half a dozen dogs, are likely to increase in frequency. We want to know for sure what causes algal blooms. It appears to be low flows, warm temperatures and nutrients, but in what com- bination, no-one knows. I can t bring on expert evidence just as they can t bring on the expert evidence to say it won t be adversely affected. The GWRC ought to take a pre- cautionary approach, he said. The Hutt River was among 22 water bodies in which Mark Heath studied the growth of toxic cyanobacteria in for a thesis published in 2009. He found the algae to be widespread in New Zealand. He also found river flow rate was a significant factor in flushing away the algae, and that nutrients in the river, from farm run-off, favour some types of algae over others. Mr van Berkel also said the council has been too hasty. It ought to wait until it has built a third lake proposed for the Kaitoke area, when the work could be done without further lowering the river level. Hutt City councillor Max Shier- law agrees. My view is that they shouldn t be doing this earthquake strengthening. They should build the new lake at Kaitoke and when they have the new lake, do the strength- ening on the Stuart Macaskill lakes after that is built. Among the 11 consent con- ditions that Hutt Mayor Ray Wal- lace will request is that the increased drawoff will immediately stop if it results in more toxic algal blooms. The GWRC report in support of the increased drawoff will result in little or no adverse effects on the river, and only a 22-millimetre drop in the river level. It s a very bold statement that is not supported by the studies that they have done, said Mr Shierlaw. Not a single study that they have presented has been satisfactorily peer-reviewed. GWRC utilities and services development strategy manager Tony Shaw said the purpose of the consent was water supply risk mitigation. If it is not granted, it would not affect the lakes project. But it would put consumers at risk of a supply shortfall of water in a particularly dry summer. The river would only be lowered to the minimum flow level intermittently, as required, depending on how high the river flows are in the next two summers and the water demand from residents and businesses. The three-year consent period allowed for two years for the project s completion with a one- year contingency period in case of construction delays, and the mini- mum flow level would be restored to 600 litres per second immediately after the work is finished, he said. The council has developed a low-flow management plan to take effect during the project. Council-appointed commiss- ioners Christine Foster, Ian Boothroyd and Elizabeth Burge will begin hearing from the coun- cil utilities department and submitters at 9.30am at Wellington Regional Council on Thursday, June 9. Somewhere under the rainbow: Aaron Mahony took this photo Sunday morning from his Akatarawa Rd home. River Trail agreement sets up an outcome of win-win By COLIN WILLIAMS Agreement between the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Royal Wellington Golf Club at Heretaunga has, at last, guaran- teed the public official right of use on the long-established Hutt River Trail. This is the best of outcomes. We have sat down together over the last six months in such a way as to establish a win-win out- come, says Wayne O Donnell, general manger of the regional council s catchment management group. We have a signed heads-of- agreement for an easement, in perpetuity, for access, he says. The agreement is a significant development, Mr O Donnell says. It is, and I really do take my hat off to the golf club for their very good attitude for resolving the matter. For more than 20 years river trail users have been walking on golf club land between the Tren- tham Memorial Park and the St Pat s College farmland, including the area alongside the recently harvested pine tree plantations. The agreement will mean a minor realignment of the trail, running closer to the river edge, as the golf club expands its rec- reational space and brings a fenceline to within 14 metres of the water. Both the council and the club will carry out intensive planting on the boundary with up to 30,000 trees planted during the next few years. Peter Cutfield, chairman of the golf club s development com- mittee, says the agreement will lead to a doubling of the number of trees on the club s pristine grounds. They will be a mix of native and exotic. We are very proud of our environment here and we will be planting constructively and carefully to attract native birds and wading birds, he says. The easement agreement will be a bonus for the 29,000 people who use the trail every year, he says. They didn t really know the land belonged to Royal Wellington but we ve always been uncomfort- able with the anomaly existing. We applaud the idea of having the trail there for people and, of course, at the club here we are all walkers and this is a nice thing for us to do, he says. Marriage course offers tools on having fun, healing hurt Silverstream Retreat will be the venue for an evening series starting next month offering couples tools to building stronger relationships. The non-profit marriage course during eight Thursday evenings will be hosted by Trentham Camp chaplain Jennifer Betham-Lang. A similar series was held in February and March with much success so Ms Betham-Lang hopes to repeat it. Not a counselling programme, it is designed for couples who have been together for a year or more, and suitable for people with or without Christian faith or church background. There will be dinner followed by a DVD presentation and the opportunity for each couple to dis- cuss the night s topic in private. Topics covered include recognis- ing each other s needs, learning to communicate more effectively, resolving conflict, healing past hurt, knowing how to make each other feel loved, relating to parents and in-laws, good sex, making time for each other and having fun together. The cost is $220 per couple which includes dinner each week and two course manuals. For more information or to register phone or text Ms Betham-Lang 027 431 6233; Brenden Jackson 562 9072, 027 660 0214; email: email@example.com Without an enrolment update pack you aren't eligible to vote If you have not received an enrol- ment update pack by now you are not enrolled to vote for this year s general election and referendum on the voting system. Enrolment update packs were sent last week to the three million Kiwis who are enrolled to vote. Everyone who is correctly en- rolled should have received an update pack in the mail by now, says Murray Wicks, national man- ager of the electoral enrolment centre. This information ensures they can vote in the 2011 general elec- tion and referendum. Many people do not receive their packs because they have moved house and not updated their enrolment details. We do get situations where people have changed where they live but not given us their new address. If their pack gets returned to us then we have to remove these people off the elec- toral roll, says Mr Wicks. It s especially important for Christchurch residents who have been displaced as a result of the recent earthquakes to let us know where they are currently staying. They can still be registered for their home address even if they ll be staying somewhere else for a while, but we need them to either update or provide their mailing address. The centre, and its registrars of electors around the country, are making a plea to those who did not receive enrol- ment update packs to enrol. Now is the time to check whe- ther you re enrolled and your de- tails are correct -- it only takes a few minutes to check. Do it now and make it easier to vote on elec- tion day. People can enrol or update their details online at www.elections .org.nz. Enrolment forms are also available by freetexting your name and address to 3676, calling 0800 ENROL NOW (0800 36 76 56) or at any PostShop. CHESS Round two of a four-game round- robin tournament was played on Monday evening at the Upper Hutt Chess Club. On the top board Pat Cunning- ham drew with Gerald Carter. In other games players to win were Richard Catterall, Mike Ste- vens, Bob List and Anton Reid. Cunningham, Carter and Ste- vens head the standings with a win and a draw each.
June 1st 2011
June 15th 2011