MIT partners up on pollution
A creative partnership is brewing on the waters of Otara Lake.
Manukau Institute of Technology visual arts students are designing a document, in partnership with the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, that aims to spur the community into action over restoring the polluted lake.
The lake sits at the foot of the Otahuhu power station, owned by Contact Energy.
MIT visual arts boss Grant Thompson is pleased at the chance for students to work on a "real world brief".
"It's designed to get the community excited without overinflating expectations. It's an Auckland Council document that will circulate widely and carry credits for them. They're working with a consultant on a real world brief so there's plenty of positives."
It's another link in the relationship that's growing between the tertiary provider and the local board.
Board chairman John McCracken said the lake is still a priority for the board despite the huge challenge.
"The Otara Lake and tributaries fingering into urban Otara have been considered by many local people, that they could be offering much more as assets to the community.
"Council environmental officers have assembled the many studies and reports on the waterways dating back decades. These show that the challenges environmentally are huge but that we don't want that to stop any effort at all."
Otara resident and long time lake campaigner Jim Sinclair will be adding some historical context to the cause but he's also concerned about "raising expectations" in the community.
"We were promised an aquatic paradise by Tom Shand back when Holyoake's government imposed a power station on us and we've got a toxic cesspit."
"Nobody has come up with a remedy for cleaning it up. Stop the the pollution in the upper catchment and remediate the sediment."
MIT students joined residents and council officers on a tour of the waterway to discuss key features and get inspiration from what people wanted.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Have the new speed limit rules made you change your driving habits?