Home' Napier Mail : June 21st 2011 Contents 7
NAPIER MAIL, JUNE 22, 2011
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By CLAIRE HAMLIN
There will be no walking access to the Cape
Kidnappers gannet colony until spring
because of storm damage.
Due to major slips during storms in May,
large sections of the walkway to the gannet
colony have been covered in debris. The
Department of Conservation will begin to
repair these sections next month, as they
form the only access to the colony from the
With 800mm of rain falling in a fairly
short time, some sections have been washed
back to bare papa rock, says DOC s prog-
ramme manager, Tom Barr. There is still
the possibility of further slippage, but we
intend to begin repairs within the next
month, then leave it to rest until spring, in
case further rain causes more problems. The
damage in places is monumental, but is
repairable and in some cases nature has actu-
ally done us a favour, as we will be able to
widen the pathway in some areas.
As an iconic visitor attraction, the walkway
is the only way that gannet tour operators,
using tractors along the beach, can get to the
colony. Once it is stabilised, DOC will build a
new reinforced access, as it is a popular path-
way for locals as well as tourists.
Mr Barr says that the gannet colony is in
the top three DOC visitor attractions in
Hawke s Bay and probably among the top 10
DOC attractions in the country.
The thing about the gannets is that they
are usually tolerant of people taking their
photo from only a metre away, he says.
Added to that, they really are a very tenac-
ious and beautiful species, which is why
everyone loves them and their numbers keep
rising, so it s a win-win situation for all.
Another DOC project at the colony in con-
junction with the extensive repairs is the
planting of native trees and shrubs. Many
have been planted below the track already
and have survived the weather bomb
surprisingly well. DOC plans to increase this
planting to above the track too, which will not
only help to stabilise the hillside but provide
a habitat for birds, particularly red crowned
parakeets and saddlebacks in support of the
work being done at the Cape Sanctuary.
Our main aim now is to enhance the habit-
at, visitor experience and the stability of the
site. Right now, we prefer to look at the glass
as being half full and, while it won t be easy,
the end result will again be a wonderful asset
to Hawke s Bay.
Sewage floating on coast?
Nuts and bolts: Sewage under treatment at the Napier sewage treatment station.
Frontline: The treatment station at Awatoto.
Solids to escape
as screen fixed
Napier s coastline could become home to
floating sewage as its milliscreen is taken
out of action for major repairs.
The milliscreen plant would need to be
bypassed for eight weeks, during which
time wastewater would pass through a
35-millimetre screen instead of the usual
The 35mm screen would collect larger
items but a relatively high percentage
of solid material would make it through --
about 6 per cent of which would be buoy-
ant, Napier City Council said in its
resource consent application to Hawke s
Bay Regional Council for a new waste-
It said the screening plant had suffered
extensive corrosion and required signifi-
cant remedial work .
While it is expected that some items
would be more buoyant in seawater, the
agitation of waves etcetera would gener-
ally limit the ability of prolonged floating
to those items comprised wholly or main-
ly of plastic, its application said.
Onshore winds could see these wash
ashore, probably between Ellison St and
the Clive River mouth.
Floatable sewage-related debris would
not pose a significant public health risk
and, although there was a risk that
syringes with needles attached could be
discharged, the risk of infection by needle
puncture was extremely low.
However, council would advise beach-
goers to approach suspicious-looking
debris with caution and signs would be
posted along the coast. Any bypass will
be publicly notified.
There could be some visual unpleasant-
ness for fishermen and boat users.
There was also a risk birds could ingest
the plastic material, but there were
significantly greater risks from other
floating marine debris, the council said.
It would undertake repairs from Octo-
ber to March, when the weather con-
ditions meant flows were at their lowest,
averaging 25,000-35,000 cubic metres a
Repairs could not be done while the
plant was operating and building tempor-
ary milliscreens would take two to three
years and cost more than $1m.
The last time this situation occurred
was in 1995, when the plant shut for
eight weeks for repairs.
Napier City Council has applied to
bypass the milliscreen for 2 per cent of
the total time of the new plant s 25-year
consent to allow for future repairs or
The application was notified on
Saturday, June 11. The submission
period ends on July 8.
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