Rocky outcrops and indigenous forests

About

The rocky outcrops and indigenous forests spread from the summits of the Port Hills to the gully heads of the Te Ahu Pātiki/Mt Herbert area. The area is populated by a number of important species including the kāhu/harrier hawk/, the pipit, copper butterfly, pōhuehue/muhlenbeckia, thin-barked tōtara, kārearea/falcon, Canterbury tree weta, prostrate kowhai, and native tussocks.

Current state

There are large tracts of exotic species, such as grasses, populating the rocky outcrops. While there are some native plants and grasses, particularly along the upper Port Hills, weeds such as gorse and bone seed are common. This means there aren’t as many places for native birds, reptiles and insects to reside. There are only small areas of regenerating native vegetation providing homes for native and introduced bird populations.

Our vision

In the future, we want to see native plants and trees prosper in a sustainably managed environment. We envisage increased vegetation, strong predator control measures, and improved birdlife.

Actions

See how we aim to improve rocky outcrops and indigenous forests

The Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour plan will focus on developing a programme to target erosion and sedimentation to combat the lack of indigenous terrestrial biodiversity. The plan will also focus on identifying and managing key pollution sources and contaminants. This will lead to the development of a biodiversity plan to guide habitat protection, restoration, and planting.

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.

Priority project

  • (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
  • (1.7) Promote Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour as a “sediment sensitive catchment”.

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.
  • (1.12) 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
    • Vessels
    • 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.

Priority Project

  • (3.2) Publish indigenous planting guides for Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour to support community in increasing native biodiversity.

Within three years

  • (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

Four years plus

  • (3.5) Encourage new community led planting and pest plant management initiatives in each of Lyttelton, Rāpaki, Governors Bay, and Diamond Harbour.
  • (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..
  • (3.10) Contribute to predator free Whakaraupō 2050.
  • (3.11) Provide support for the Lyttelton Pest Management and Biodiversity Improvement Programme aimed at environmental education to connect schools with community/experts/organisations to develop and implement a monitoring and management programme to eradicate pests and improve biodiversity long-term.
  • (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 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

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 Harbour Sediment deposition rates and location over time.
  • (5.16) Investigate tools to manage the spread of wilding pines, such as buffer plantings.

What is being done?

Check out projects that are already contributing to fulfilling the vision of Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour.

More info

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