Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour is home to native species like hectors dolphins, kororā/penguins, whairepo/stingrays, seaweed and, karoro/black-backed gulls. It includes the operational area of Lyttleton Port.
Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour is in a state of change. The upper harbour is filling with sediment and while some of this is natural and part of its lifecycle it is happening quicker than it should due to enhanced erosion on the hills and a lack of stabilising vegetation. Rocky reefs, mainly in the upper harbour, are not as full of life as they used to be. More than 20 fish species and eight marine mammals call Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour home. The people of Lyttelton remain active in the area through fishing, boating, and waka ama.
We want everyone who uses Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour to enhance its health. It should remain a recreational treasure for visitors and locals to swim, fish, and use their boats. We envisage a harbour where the waters are free from high levels of pollutants and marine life is thriving. In the future, the Port will grow but will have the ability to cope with increasing demand.
See how we aim to improve the harbour
The Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour plan will focus on water pollution, sedimentation and marine biodiversity. We will develop and implement an integrated freshwater and marine water quality monitoring programme. We will identify and manage key pollutants and contaminants and improve marine biosecurity.
Key Focus Areas
The Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour plan uses four Key Focus Areas that will restore the ecological and cultural health of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour as mahinga kai. They are erosion and sedimentation, pollution, terrestrial indigenous biodiversity, and marine indigenous biodiversity. The Key Focus Areas were identified based on feedback from the community, consultation with Tangata Tiaki from Rāpaki, and recommendations from a science advisory group.
- (1.6) Develop an integrated, multidisciplinary programme to target erosion and sedimentation in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour. This will include:
- Mapping key sediment sources and erosion hotspots
- Monitoring the locations and rates of erosion
- Monitoring the rates of sedimentation in the streams and the sea
- Supporting landowners with advice and actively addressing hotspots
- Promoting best practice erosion and sediment control techniques (erosion and sediment control toolbox, Builders Pocket Guide) for use in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour for rural, residential, industrial, roading, agricultural, forestry, and construction
Within three years
- (1.9) Implement best practice erosion and sediment control techniques by ensuring they are adopted by all land owners and that all properties greater than 40 ha have an operational Farm Environment Plan (FEP) that addresses erosion and sedimentation.
Four years plus
- (1.12) Review statutory and non-statutory regional/city planning documents, strategies, and bylaws to determine if they appropriately manage erosion and sedimentation for Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour.
Four years plus
- (2.5) Identify and promote pollution control practices that are appropriate for use in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour to manage water quality effects associated with:
- Septic tanks
- Non-consented water takes
- Stormwater and wastewater discharges
- Port operations
- Contaminants from other sources such as roads, roofing, carparks and pest plant control techniques
- Industrial sites
- Rainwater tanks
- (2.7) Review statutory and non-statutory regional/city planning documents, strategies, and bylaws to determine if they appropriately manage discharges into Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour waterbodies and to ensure they are aligned with the Whaka-Ora, Healthy Harbour plan.
- (2.8) Implement a Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour settlement storm water management plan.
- (2.9) Review existing waste management practices within Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour and develop an appropriate catchment-wide waste management programme, including:
- Continuing regular ‘harbour clean-up days’ to remove litter from beaches and waterways
Four years plus
- (3.6) Develop a pā harakeke in an accessible location.
- (3.7) Develop, implement and support new and existing initiatives that improve awareness of the cultural and ecological value of native biodiversity, such as:
- Interpretation panels
- Information leaflets
- School resources
- (3.9) Ensure that appropriate management tools are in place to restore and rehabilitate priority areas for mahinga kai and native biodiversity.
- (3.10) Contribute to making Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour predator free by 2050.
- (3.13) Review statutory and non-statutory regional/city planning documents, strategies, and bylaws to determine if they appropriately manage biodiversity and pests in the Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour catchment and to ensure they are aligned with the Whaka-Ora, Healthy Harbour plan.
- (4.1) Support the implementation of a kaimoana/seafood enhancement plan for the mātaitai/protected area for seafood, in addition to any requirements of resource consents.
- (4.2) Ensure that at least one new mātaitai/protected area for seafood and kaimoana/seafood species restoration project is initiated annually in addition to any requirements of resource consents.
Within three years
- (4.3) Publish publicly the reports on marine biodiversity arising from Lyttelton Port Company’s baseline and other marine monitoring programmes
- (4.4) Undertake a feasibility study for an experimental dredging project to provide enhanced opportunities for kaimoana/seafood.
Four years plus
- (4.5) Review statutory and non-statutory regional/city planning documents, strategies, and bylaws to determine if they appropriately manage marine indigenous biodiversity and marine biosecurity in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour and to ensure they are aligned with the Whaka-Ora, Healthy Harbour plan. Investigate the inclusion of shellfish food gathering standards into these documents. This will be supporting information for the scheduled review of the Regional Coastal Environment Plan.
- (5.1) Complete a state of the takiwā/state of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour report that brings together all existing marine species and habitat monitoring information in order to understand the state of key kaimoana/seafood, native biodiversity and invasive marine species, by the end of the first year. This will include a whole harbour habitat map for sub-tidal/inter-tidal areas. Continue to report on the state of the takiwā/area.
Within three years
- (5.2) Continue to report on the state of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour combining all existing marine/freshwater science and cultural health information and evolve the report based on the findings of Actions 5.1 and 5.5 to 5.11. Include a ‘health index’ and ‘scorecard’ for the harbour that summarises our current state of knowledge incorporating Mātauranga Māori and scientific knowledge.
- (5.3) Develop a prioritised list of research projects based on the findings of the state of Actions 5.1 and 5.5. to 5.11. These will improve understanding of kaimoana/seafood, native marine biodiversity, and factors affecting cultural and ecological health including:
- The role of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour as a juvenile fish nursery
- Patterns of bivalve distribution (specifically pipi), including the influence of hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics, recruitment and connectivity
- Pulse versus press impacts of sediment on kaimoana/seafood
- The most effective management mechanism(s) to rehabilitate and restore mahinga kai
- Effects of ocean acidification
- Upper harbour sedimentation
- (5.4) Initiate regular monitoring of shellfish flesh for contaminants and growth rates.
- (5.5) Develop and implement an integrated marine species and habitat monitoring programme that includes existing monitoring information and is based on the findings of Actions 5.1 and Actions 5.6-5.11 and, considering the role of community monitoring.
- (5.6) Establish an effective marine indicator species monitoring and reporting framework to monitor long term marine environmental change, with a focus on pāua, pioke (rig), pātiki (flounder), tuaki (cockles) and karengo
- (5.7) Prepare a mahinga kai and habitat map including terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and update every five years.
- (5.8) Develop an agreed, integrated/multi-disciplinary Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour research programme focused on harbour hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes, including:
- Examining historical deposition patterns,
- Effects of coastal development,
- Bathymetry, and establishes a long term monitoring programme to monitor sedimentation rates and patterns, currents and tides, sea level, temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen.
- Facilitate an expert panel review of the hydrodynamic and sediment transport model and review the model at least every five years to ensure it meets the needs of decisions making/future management challenges
- (5.9) Bring together all existing freshwater, harbour, and sediment quality monitoring information, and provide an integrated state of water quality report based on existing monitoring, for integration into a state of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour report.
- (5.10) Develop and implement an integrated freshwater and marine water quality monitoring programme based on the findings of the state of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour report.
- (5.18) Investigate opportunities for and support existing community led monitoring programmes.
Four years plus
- (5.11) Develop a prioritised list of pollutant research projects and actions based on the findings of the state of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour report.
- (5.12) Identify key pollution sources and contaminants, and their relative effects on fresh water and marine water quality.
- (5.15) Regularly monitor and report on sediment sources and erosion hotspots and track changes to the harbour sediment deposition rates and location over time.
- (5.17) Continue to improve understanding of the effects of sedimentation on the cultural and ecological health of freshwater and marine environments.