500 signatures reached
To: Wellington Water, Wellington Regional Council & Porirua City Council
Stop the disposal of untreated wastewater into the Porirua Harbour
Te Awarua o Porirua is a taonga and deserves to be treated as such. All people of Porirua deserve a healthy, flourishing harbour. A place to come back to, pass down traditional mātauranga, to collect kai from, for waka ama, rowing, swimming, and many recreational activities. But ongoing pollution has degraded the health of the moana for over 50 years, meaning we are unable to engage with the moana without health risks. The continuous overflow of raw sewage into our harbour, rivers, and beaches poses a severe threat to public health, the environment, and the quality of life for all residents of Porirua.
Why is this important?
Wastewater in the moana affects many aspects of life in Porirua, from getting an infected cut from going in the harbour to having the smell of sewerage throughout the city at low tide. Within the community there is a deep concern and frustration regarding the persistent and hazardous issue of wastewater overflow into the ocean. Further growth and development planned for Porirua without critical infrastructure updates to accommodate for how this may impact our waterways will lead to further health risks for residents, the environment and ecology of the harbour .
Stop the disposal of untreated sewage into Te Awarua o Porirua.
We acknowledge that Porirua has been facing this issue for an extended period, and despite multiple attempts to address it, the problem remains largely unmitigated. The adverse effects of wastewater overflow are evident and detrimental.
We need a bold plan out of this crisis, not fragmentary change and band aid solutions.
Wastewater overflow affects Porirua in multiple ways.
1) Greenhouse gas emissions: Continuous wastewater overflow is contributing to environmental degradation and climate change. The Porirua Wastewater Treatment Plant produces 13% of Porirua’s GHG emissions. With a number of new housing developments emerging around Porirua our current infrastructure won't be able to sustain a growing population on top of incoming climate change effects. This poses a direct threat to the well-being of our community and future generations.
2) Public Health Risks: Wastewater overflow introduces harmful pathogens and contaminants into our environment, putting our health at risk. Exposure to these pollutants can lead to waterborne diseases, respiratory problems, and other health issues.
3) Environmental Degradation: The continuous discharge of untreated wastewater has detrimental effects on our local ecosystems, polluting water, soil, and air. It harms aquatic life, vegetation, and contributes to the degradation of our environment.
4) Diminished Quality of Life: Residents of Porirua are forced to endure unpleasant odors, unsightly conditions, and leaves us unable to interact with the ocean without anxiety of potential health risks.
5) Long-Term Sustainability: Invest in sustainable wastewater infrastructure and practices that minimize environmental and climate impact and provide a reliable and resilient system for the future in collaboration with Mana Whenua.
6) Impact on mātauranga and cultural practice: Mana whenua, Ngāti Toa have a rich cultural heritage that is deeply intertwined with the moana. The constant overflow of wastewater not only disproportionately affects our physical health but also jeopardizes the cultural practices and mātauranga that reinforce them.
We urge you to take immediate action and allocate the necessary resources to eliminate the threat of wastewater overflow.
Porirua deserves a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment for ourselves and future generations. This issue requires immediate attention and your commitment to finding a lasting, sustainable solution.
“Public urged to stay out of flood, sea waters as Porirua wastewater treatment plant overflows” 1news.
“Sewage spills lead to rāhui for Porirua Harbour” Te Ao Māori News.
“Te Awarua o Porirua” Ngāti Toa Iwi News.
“Wellington region records more than 7000 sewage overflows in five years” NZ Herald.
“Porirua wastewater proposal 'a licence to pollute', critics say” RNZ.