The community has told us improving the environment is a priority for eastern Porirua. A wetland is a great way to not only improve water quality but also provide different recreational spaces at the bottom (northern end) of Cannons Creek Park.
We are proposing to keep the sports fields on the southern (top end) of the park, and convert the bottom field into a wetland with different recreational opportunities such as walking, cycling, resting or learning.
Following community feedback in late 2021 which supported the proposal of a wetland at the bottom of Cannons Creek Park as a way to improve water quality, we asked for additional feedback in late 2022 on a draft proposal (see draft design below).
Over the coming months we will be reviewing all feedback and the proposed design in preparation to work through the Resource Consent and Reserves Act application process.
Mid 2022 – Community engagement
Mid-late 2022 – Combine community feedback with additional investigation work to finalise design for resource consent application
Late 2022 – File Reserves Act and resource consent applications with Porirua City Council
Early 2023 – Porirua City Council starts review of Reserves Act application and holds public consultation
Mid 2023 – Porirua City Council makes decisions on Reserve Act application
Late 2023 – If wetland design and application approved, construction work to start
Mid 2024 – 1st stage of wetland design and construction complete
Wetland and its benefits
Our waterways are feeling the pressure of a growing population and changes to land use. A review of the quality of freshwater in Porirua (which includes Kenepuru Stream) shows it is in a poor state. We’re looking to change that.
We’ve been investigating ways to improve water quality and better manage stormwater runoff in the area. One way of achieving this is by creating a wetland at the bottom (northern end) of Cannons Creek Park.
The bottom (northern end) of Cannons Creek Park has been identified as a good location for a wetland. It is often waterlogged when it rains and stormwater from the surrounding neighbourhood naturally flows through this location. The proposed wetland could not only help to clean water before it flows downstream into Te Awarua o Porirua Harbour, but also provide opportunities to create different recreational spaces at the bottom of the park.
Below are some great examples of other wetlands.
Wetland frequently asked questions
What is a wetland?
A wetland is an area of land that is covered by water. They act like the kidneys of the earth, cleaning the water that flows into them. A wetland is designed to trap soil, filter out nutrients and remove contaminants.
As well as supporting water management, wetlands can also benefit the community in other ways. Wetlands can be designed to include recreational and community benefits, such as new paths for walking or biking, as well as supporting local wildlife.
Why do we need a wetland?
Our waterways are feeling the pressure of a growing population and changes to land-use. During community engagement in 2019, the management of storm and waste water featured often, with many people expressing concern about the quality of the waterways and the pollution of the Te Awarua-o-Porirua. These concerns were backed up from a 2019 review of the quality of freshwater in Porirua (which included Kenepuru Stream) that found it to be Grade E, which is the lowest water quality grade.
Run off from rain can cause problems for our taiao, our environment. A lot of rain falls on hard surfaces like roofs, driveways and roads and when it runs down into the drain it can carry with it dust and dirt as well as pollutants like heavy metals from old roofs and oil from our cars.
Soil and toxins end up in our streams and harbour polluting our waterways, harming our marine life such as fish and affecting the quality of water we use for recreation like swimming or fishing.
We want to improve water quality for the community by improving the stormwater entering our waterways. One of the best ways to do this is through investing in water management solutions such as wetlands and pipe upgrades.
Why might we need a water management solution in Cannons Creek Park?
The bottom (northern end) of Cannons Creek Park is a great option to create a wetland because it is at the bottom of the catchment, so the runoff from all of the area upstream can flow through the wetland and be treated before it gets into Kenepuru Stream.
As part of the development to the east of Cannons Creek Park, we have constructed a large pipe to divert flows from wider urban area into the wetland. This means that more of the runoff from the urban areas can also be treated through the proposed wetland area.
This timeline may change depending on community and Council feedback, as well as availability of resources.
Will we lose access to Cannons Creek Park?
If resource consent is granted, there will be some temporary disruption during construction, however we will minimise this as much as we can to ensure everyone can still access the main sports areas of the park.
How much will it cost to create a wetland?
The Government announced in July 2021 that they would be allocating $136 Million of the Housing Acceleration Fund to fund key water infrastructure upgrades to support eastern Porirua. This includes funding to create a wetland to help improve water management.
What areas could the community influence through providing their feedback in 2022?
There were two key areas the community could significantly influence:
- An accessway from Castor Crescent into Cannons Creek Park
- The area between the sportsfield and the proposed wetland.
Why were there only two areas that the community could help co-design?
In order for a wetland to be successful there are a list of engineering requirements that must be met. We have contracted specialists to help design and deliver a wetland that will be appropriate for Cannons Creek Park. We have also sought advice from our partners Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Porirua City Council who have knowledge of the area and what can be successfully maintained for generations to enjoy.
The other aspect of the wetland design which requires technical design work in order to meet Porirua City Council standards is the pathways to and around the proposed wetland. In a couple of instances, there are steep banks that the team will need to work on to ensure they are accessible for park users.
The two key areas (mentioned in the previous question) did not have a lot of specific engineering requirements. They could provide opportunities for the community to see their thoughts reflected in the proposed design.
Why are you focusing on a small portion of the park, when further work is needed to be done in Cannons Creek Park?
The creation of a wetland is one piece of work in a larger plan to upgrade the area. The wetland is a great way to help us to quickly address water quality issues in the area and has been funded through the Housing Acceleration Fund.
Before we can talk about what other improvements we can make in the park, we need to finalise a series of plans for Cannons Creek which take a deeper dive into all the things we need to work on or support to enhance the area. These plans are currently underway and Te Rā Nui, Eastern Porirua Development will continue to work alongside our partners to masterplan and share with the community once they’re completed.
Did you look at other options to help improve water management?
We’ve looked into a variety of options that could help improve stormwater management, such as holding and treating stormwater on private properties. We are proposing to create a wetland at the bottom (northern end) of Cannons Creek Park, as this option has more recreational and water quality benefits for the community.