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Auckland Conversations

Monday, March 04, 2019

 

It was great to be a part of Auckland Council 'Auckland Conversations' last week at the Maritime Room. A large number of people from a range of industries gathered to hear an expert panel speak about water quality in Auckland, the challenges we face, and what we might be able to do about it.

The evening was facilitated by the wonderful Te Radar, and we had an opening korero by the outstanding and knowledgeable Rereata Makiha.

Rereata has spent his life gathering oral histories to become one of the leading authorities on the Maramataka (Maori Lunar Calendar) and his insightful speech highlighted the cultural version of the water cycle, why water is so sacred, and the cultural values attributed to wai by iwi. These values have served for thousands of years to ensure that water quality remained high for future generations, and Rereata made a good argument that by taking these values and sacred knowledge, we could start improving water quality across an entire city.

We then moved onto the panel of experts who kick started the conversation to help identify challenges and find new strategies and solutions to promote sustainable management of Te Mauri o te wai - the life supporting capacity of Auckland’s water.

The panel took open questions from the audience which were challenging and heartfelt, demonstrating the depth of emotion and how people feel about their local waterways.

The overall theme agreed by the evening was that a value-based approach connects our decisions back to what matters most. When we talk about values, we are describing what is important to us: the deep connections between water, the environment and people. We all have a responsibility and an interest in working together to ensure our decisions are improving our water future, not deferring the problems for future generations to resolve. There are different ideas of how we protect and enhance Te Mauri o te wai, and we believe this opens an exciting space for discussion and collaboration.

At Land Partners we recommend sustainable designs and measures to provide water quality on our sites, as well as ways to minimise flooding. We are doing everything we can to help improve Auckland’s waterways as well as practical advice to our clients on how they can also take part. Come and talk to us if you want to know more about how we can assist your development to be more sustainable. This can lead to lower ongoing operational costs in the long term, and a development that meets a growing market of conscientious consumers.