The hills and lowlands are intersected by streams and are where many of the people that call Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour home live. Most of the homes, roads, and commercial areas are concentrated around Lyttelton, Governors Bay, Teddington, Charteris Bay to Diamond Harbour, and Purau. Lyttelton Port is also located in this ecological band.
Headwater springs and upper stream reaches in the Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour catchment are largely healthy. But as the streams get closer to the harbour they start to deteriorate. Monitoring shows high levels of sedimentation and phosphorous; E. coli and nitrogen are also present. Many lowland streams within farmland are unplanted and unfenced, meaning stock can enter them. This increases erosion and pollution, via animal effluent. Many interested parties have been working to improve water quality by completing riparian planting on public land, while private owners have sought to do the same.
The hills and lowlands of the catchment will have thriving communities of people. There will be an abundance of birdlife, with many kererū in full flight. Locals will be aware of their environmental footprint and look for ways to reduce it through stormwater management, erosion control, and pest and weed control.
See how we aim to improve hills and lowlands
The Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour plan will focus on developing a plan to target erosion and sedimentation. We will identify key pollution sources and contaminants, developing a biodiversity plan to guide habitat protection, restoration, and planting. Pest and weed management will be an important target.
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.
- (1.1) Continue to support a ki uta ki tai re-vegetation and habitat enhancement initiative on all permanently flowing streams commencing with Te Wharau (Charteris Bay), Purau, Waiake (Teddington), Te Rapu, and Living Springs (Allandale).
- (1.2) Facilitate a workshop of experts to identify short term solutions to reduce the contribution of sediment from erosion at roadside cuttings ahead of the implementation of the outcomes of Action 1.3.
- (1.3) Support, promote and implement the learnings from an erosion and sediment control pilot project on the Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour basin roadside cuttings to identify effective long-term solutions to reduce the contribution of sediment from roading, new subdivisions, and driveways.
- (1.4) Addressing soil erosion from Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) land, including erosion and sediment control plans for all major earthworks projects on LPC land and an ecological masterplan for all of LPC’s non-operational hill slope land.
- (1.5) Develop and implement a programme to engage with foresters in the catchment to inform about sediment issues, enforce regional and national regulations for forestry activities (particularly earthworks and harvesting), and manage erosion and sediment from forests.
- (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
- (1.8) Continue to work with landowners to review the effectiveness of farm and forestry environment plans developed in Actions 1.5 and 1.9.
- (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
- (1.10) Identify Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour as a “sediment sensitive catchment” in all relevant statutory/regulatory plans and strategies (e.g. Resource Management Act and Local Government Act plans and strategies) and programmes of work undertaken by public bodies.
- (1.11) Implement the long-term solutions identified in Action 1.3 to reduce the contribution of sediment from erosion at roadside cuttings.
- (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.
Within three years
- (2.1) Continue to remove wastewater discharges from the harbour and to implement infrastructure upgrades to both storm water systems and waste water systems for harbour communities, including the diversion of wastewater to Bromley.
- (2.2) Develop a stormwater management plan for Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour settlements and public land.
- (2.3) Develop a stormwater management plan for Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour settlements and public land.
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
- (2.6) Encourage on-land treatment of all stormwater before discharging into waterways including 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 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
- (3.2) Publish indigenous planting guides for Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour support the community in increasing native biodiversity.
Within three years
- (3.3) Continue to support a ki uta ki tai re-vegetation and habitat enhancement initiative on permanently flowing streams as set out in Action 1.1, and expand this where appropriate, to capture riparian margins on all streams.
- (3.4) Develop a landscape scale biodiversity plan to guide habitat protection, restoration, planting, and pest management priorities within the catchment for mahinga kai and other species. This should include developing guidelines and education material including:
- A landscape plan identifying existing habitat and potential connections between patches
- Native plant biodiversity, weed control, and other appropriate planting for residential and publicly accessible land
- Sourcing plant stocks and working with local nurseries
- Options to improve protection of mahinga kai and native biodiversity values e.g. covenanting, customary harvest
- Pest plant and animal species management
- (3.5) Encourage new community led planting and pest plant management initiatives in each of Lyttelton, Rāpaki, Governors Bay, and Diamond Harbour.
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
- (3.8) Review support for existing community planting initiatives and pest plant management programmes and seek to support continued momentum.
- (3.9) Ensure that appropriate management tools are in place to restore and rehabilitate priority areas for mahinga kai and native biodiversity.
- (3.11) Provide support for the Lyttelton Pest Management and Biodiversity Improvement Programme aimed at environmental education to connect schools with the community/experts/organisations to develop and implement a monitoring and management programme to eradicate pests and improve biodiversity long-term.
- (3.12) Develop an ethno-botanic planting area in a protected area which is aimed at explaining traditional uses of plants.
- (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.
Within three years
- (5.7) Prepare a mahinga kai and habitat map including terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and update every five years.
- (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.
- (5.13) Develop and pilot new tools, and review and update existing tools to reduce contaminants entering waterways.
- (5.15) Regularly monitor and report on sediment sources and erosion hotspots and track changes to the Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour sediment deposition rates and location over time.
- (5.16) Investigate tools to manage the spread of wilding pines, such as buffer plantings.