Wetland earthwork threatening rare native species, resident says
A Waiheke resident is worried that rare native ducks and eels could suffer from unconsented earthworks in an island wetland.
The owner of the Sea View Rd property, Paul Gradiska, is away, but an associate, Hilton Gilinsky, said no excavations had taken place and Auckland Council consent was not needed.
Auckland Council manager of compliance for resource consents Steve Pearce said it was investigating two complaints about earthworks in a wetland on Sea View Rd in Ostend.
"We are still investigating whether the earthworks are illegal," Pearce said.
"No further works will take place on-site until our investigation is complete.
"No resource consent application has been lodged or granted for this activity."
Resident Annie Spurdle said she was "shocked" when she arrived home to see a trench about eight metres long and two to three metres wide had been dug on the property next door to her home.
Soil from another site has also been dumped on the site, which was upstream of a pond on her property on Erua Rd, she said.
"I'm concerned about the damage to what is re-establishing habitat," Spurdle said.
"There are long-finned eels and brown teal, which are both endangered, in my pond."
Spurdle phoned the council on August 1, immediately after she saw the trench being dug, and rang again when works continued on August 5.
However, she waited a week before a council inspector arrived.
Pearce said the council started investigating on August 2 and inspected the site in seven working days, which was within council guidelines.
Spurdle said she was worried that messing with the wetlands on Sea View Rd could make flooding in the area worse.
However, Gilinsky said the works only involved scraping back indents from horses' hooves and importing clean fill and topsoil to spread on the area.