Technical publications and research

Technical reports 2012

Year of publication/ Report number

 Title of report


TR2012/001 - Biological Traits: Application to the Auckland Council River Ecology Monitoring Programme (PDF 7.2MB)

The Auckland Council’s Freshwater Ecology Programme, uses metrics based on macroinvertebrate taxonomic composition to describe the ecological health of the region’s aquatic resources. An alternative approach is to use the biological traits of macroinvertebrates, as these reflect changes in ecosystem function rather than just changes in macroinvertebrate composition. In this project, we determined the response of both metrics and traits to a gradient of land use intensity (native forest, exotic forest, rural and urban) for Auckland streams.


TR2012/002 - Upper Mangatawhiri Shortjaw Kokopu Survey - 2011 (PDF 1.3MB)

A survey of the Mangatawhiri Reservoir and headwater streams in 2008 recorded two shortjaw kokopu, one fish with otolith microchemistry verifying it had a lacustrine (or land-locked) life history. The presence of shortjaw kokopu above Mangatawhiri Dam is significant as this species is the rarest of the five galaxiid species that comprise New Zealand’s whitebait fishery, and this was the first record of a potential lacustrine population of shortjaw kokopu.

To confirm the existence, and determine the size, of a self-sustaining lacustrine population of shortjaw kokopu upstream of the Mangatawhiri Dam, NIWA and Auckland Council undertook an extensive survey of the headwater tributaries during summer 2011.


 TR2012/003 - Mahurangi Estuary Ecological Monitoring Programme. Report on Data Collected from July 1994 to January 2011 (PDF 2.7MB)

This report presents the findings of monitoring of the soft sediment ecological communities in the Mahurangi Harbour, July 1994 to January 2011. Monitoring is carried out at three-monthly intervals. With two more years of data, previous recommendations concerning the need to investigate and implement improved sediment controls still apply, as declines in abundance of species known to be sensitive to increased sediment loading are still being detected.


TR2012/004 - Manukau Harbour Ecological Monitoring Programme. Report on Data Collected to February 2011 (PDF 1.5MB)

This report updates the results of the Manukau Harbour Ecological Monitoring Programme, established in October 1987. Overall, there is no evidence of detrimental effects on ecosystem health (supported by application of the Benthic Health Model and the NIWACOOBII functional traits index) within the extensive intertidal flats that make up the main body of the Manukau Harbour.


TR2012/005 - Assessment of the Estuarine Ecological Monitoring Programme to 2010 (PDF 845KB)

In 2000, the Auckland Regional Council began monitoring in Okura Estuary intending to capture potential changes in the ecology of the estuary associated with periods of pre-development, development and post-development phases. In August 2002, four other estuaries were added to the monitoring programme: Puhoi, Waiwera, Orewa and Mangemangeroa and in August 2004, Turanga and Waikopua estuaries were added. This report provides an update on monitoring results and reviews some aspects of the monitoring programme.


TR1012/006 - State of the Environment Monitoring - River Water Quality Annual Report 2010 (PDF 1.3MB)

The Auckland Regional Council managed a long-term river water quality monitoring programme, continued by Auckland Council. The monitoring objectives include state of the environment reporting, identification of major environmental issues and the assessment of the efficacy of Council policy initiatives and strategies.

This report documents any changes to the monitoring programme and provides a summary of the data collected in 2010.


WR2012/006 Capacity for Growth Study 2012 Working Report (PDF 11.2MB)

A report on the preliminary results of the 2012 Capacity for Growth Study. The report describes the method used to calculate capacity and provides examples of how capacity information can be used.

For more information on residential, business and rural land availability in Auckland go to Capacity for Growth Study.


TR2012/12 - Health of estuarine soft-sediment habitats: continued testing and refinement of state of the environment indicators (PDF 5.1MB)

A report on a study that tested the compatibility, comparability and complementarity of the macrofaunal benthic health model and traits-based functional index, as indicators for state of the environment reporting.


 TR2012/013 - State of the Environment Monitoring River Water Quality (PDF 1.3MB)

The Auckland Council operates a long-term river water quality monitoring programme throughout the region. The objectives of this monitoring include state of the environment reporting, identification of major environmental issues and the assessment of the efficacy of Council policy initiatives and strategies. This report documents any changes to the monitoring programme and provides a summary of the data collected during 2011.


TR2012/014 Auckland futures growth model 2012 (PDF 1MB)

The Auckland Council growth model is a strategic component of council policy planning. The growth model is based on population projections and comprises two parts, a residential futures model and a business futures model. The outputs of these models provide a probable pattern of development given underlying demand and supply conditions.

This report outlines the inputs and operations of these models, their key assumptions and the limitations and issues arising from them.


TR2012/015 - Meola catchment 2011 environmental monitoring report (PDF 15.3MB)

This report presents the results from sampling undertaken in the Meola catchment by Morphum Environmental Ltd on behalf of the Auckland Council Stormwater
Unit, summer/autumn 2010-2011.


TR2012/016 - Environmental monitoring strategy year 1 Auckland central streams results (PDF 14.3MB)

A report on the ecological monitoring of Auckland streams using stream ecological valuation (SEV) surveys, April to June 2011.


TR2012/023 Walkable catchments analysis at Auckland train stations - 2012 Report (PDF 5.7MB)

In 2010, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA, now Auckland Transport) commissioned a survey to examine if an 800 metre radius from Papatoetoe train station was representative of the walking distance for rail passengers.

The survey results showed that the median walking distance to the train station was 1200 metres, not the assumed 800 metres.

In 2012, Auckland Council’s Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit tested for more evidence if an 800 metre radius walkable catchment area was representative of the walking distance for Glen Innes, New Lynn and Mt Albert train stations.

The 2012 survey results show that an 800 metre radius underestimates the actual walking distance for all three train stations and is not representative of their walkable catchment areas.


TR2012/024 - Understanding the geographic relationships between households and retail/services centres across Auckland's urban structure. Methodology and regional structure analysis (PDF 3.9MB)

This report presents findings on the geographic influence of Auckland's retail and household services sector conducted as part of the spatial efficiency in land use planning evidence base project. It identifies the spatial role of retail and services areas in Auckland through patterns of spend (by origin and destination) in the interaction of household demand and supply across Auckland.


TR2012/026 Kaipara Harbour ecological monitoring programme: 2009 -2012 (PDF1.2MB)

A report on the Kaipara Harbour ecological monitoring programme, established in October 2009 to investigate the health of the harbour and to detect changes associated with development in the catchment.

The programme has collected information concerning intertidal sediment characteristics and benthic macrofaunal communities in the southern Kaipara Harbour. As the programme is still in its early phases, it is not possible to make robust statements regarding temporal trends in the abundance of taxa. However, over 50 per cent of the monitored taxa exhibit seasonality or multi-year patterns or both, which bodes well for the ability of the programme to detect future trends in abundance. State of the environment, intertidal site indicators suggest that the sites are relatively healthy and little change has occurred since the monitoring programme began.


TR 2012/027 Central Waitemata Harbour ecological monitoring: 2000 - 2012 (PDF 5MB)

Reports on the results of the state of the environment monitoring programme for the Central Waitemata Harbour, October 2000 to February 2012. The programme monitors the ecological status and determines trends in macrobenthic communities in the Central Waitemata including:

  • moderate change occurring at Hobsonville and Whau sites relating to variability and cyclic patterns in abundances
  • changes occurring at the Shoal Bay site and potential for further changes. Changes are likely to be anthropogenic in origin due to the increasing mud content associated with higher sedimentation in this embayment.

Future monitoring is necessary to determine whether these changes continue and if future community changes relate to environmental parameters.


TR2012/032 Trends in light duty vehicle emissions 2003 to 2011 (PDF 1MB)

The remote sensing of vehicle emissions has been undertaken for the Auckland Council (and previous Auckland councils) in four campaigns since 2003. The monitoring campaigns focused on measuring the “real world” emissions of the light duty vehicle fleet.

This report presents the results of the May 2011 campaign and notes the vehicle fleet characteristics and emissions trends that have emerged since monitoring began in 2003.


TR2012/033 - Antifouling biocides in marinas: Measurement of copper concentrations and comparison to model predictions for eight Auckland sites (PDF 3.8MB)

The use of copper-based antifouling paints on vessel hulls in New Zealand has increased since organotin based products were banned for use on recreational vessels in 1988. Copper is now found in almost all antifouling paints in New Zealand and antifouling paints are a likely source of copper in the marine environment.

The report includes the results of a study designed to:

  • measure copper concentrations for Auckland marinas and compare them with the predicted environmental concentrations from the marine antifoulant model to predict environmental concentrations (MAMPEC) model
  • investigate the likelihood for environmental effects on aquatic biota from copper in the water column of marinas
  • measure export of copper from marinas to the wider coastal environment. For example, to the Waitemata Harbour.

TR2012/034 Assessment of Auckland lakes using lakeSPI (PDF 9.2MB)

Auckland Council contracted NIWA to report on the ecological condition of 33 Auckland lakes using LakeSPI (Submerged Plant Indicators). LakeSPI was developed according to Ministry for the Environment agreed criteria for freshwater indicators for the long-term state of the environment monitoring of lakes. Surveys of Auckland's lakes have been undertaken since 2008 and this report collates all available LakeSPI information for Auckland's lakes.


TR2012/035 Towards an economic valuation of the Hauraki Gulf (2.5MB)

This report provides an estimate of the economic impact of the economic and cultural activities supported by the Hauraki Gulf. It also explains the links or interdependencies between environmental services and economic activities in the Gulf.


TR2012/036 Water temperature criteria (PDF 3.5MB)

Water temperature affects all aspects of freshwater ecosystems, from primary producers through to fish. Altered water temperature regimes can change the physical habitat conditions and cause a variety of behavioural and physiological responses.

This report reviews the existing water temperature criteria for aquatic life, with emphasis on setting thresholds for effects.


TR2012/039 Inventory of spatial information for the Manukau Harbour and Auckland west coast (PDF 576KB)

A summary and assessment of spatial information about the marine environment for the Manukau Harbour and Auckland west coast region.


TR2012/040 Assessment of the estuarine ecological monitoring programme (PDF 1.1MB)

A report on the results from a long-term ecological monitoring programme of eight east coast estuaries that are subject to varying levels of catchment change. Trends indicating ecological changes in relation to increased sedimentation were detected.


TR2012/041 Marine sediment contaminants status and trends 1998-2010 (PDF 6.73MB)

Marine sediment contaminant monitoring has been conducted by Auckland Council and the former Auckland Regional Council since 1998 in three complementary programmes:

1. The State of the Environment marine sediment monitoring programme, covering 27 sites monitored every two years since 1998.

2. The Regional Discharges Project , which monitored an additional 51 sites, at 2 to 5 yearly intervals.

3. The upper Waitemata Harbour benthic ecology programme, which has monitored 14 upper Waitemata Harbour sites annually since 2005.

This report collates and analyses sediment chemistry monitoring data collected in the three programmes to evaluate:

  • chemical contamination “status” in Auckland’s estuaries and harbours
  • temporal trends in contaminant concentrations between 1998 and 2010 (inclusive), focusing on changes over time in the concentrations of key indicators of urban contamination – the heavy metals, copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

Single site reports appear in appendix 1, parts 1-7.

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 1 Central Waitemata Harbour single site reports (PDF 15.4MB)

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 2 Upper Waitemata Harbour single site reports (PDF 11.4MB)

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 3 East Coast Bays single site reports (PDF 1.4MB)

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 4 Hibiscus Coast single site reports (PDF 1.4MB)

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 5 Tamaki Estuary single site reports (PDF 4.5MB)

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 6 Tamaki Strait single site reports (PDF 656KB)   

TR2012 041 Marine sediment contaminants Appendix 1 Part 7 Manukau Harbour single site reports (PDF 6.6MB)



TR2012/042 Hydrological estimates for Auckland (PDF 2.3MB)

The report provides the best available estimates of:

  • mean annual low flow (MALF)
  • the 20th percentile of the annual 7-day minima (Q5)
  • mean flow over all time (Qbar)
  • and the shape of the flow duration curve (FDC) at all ungauged locations in Auckland to assist in water planning and management.

TR2012/043 Simulating consequences of water allocation limits for the Auckland region (PDF 2.5MB)

Auckland Council is developing a Unitary Plan that will establish default limits for the allocation of surface water across the Auckland region. The objective of these limits is to provide a specific level of environmental protection, while enabling out-of- channel water use at specified levels of availability and reliability.

The report provides an overview and assessment for developing these water allocation limits for Auckland.


Energy resilience and climate change mitigation (PDF 1.2MB)

This report is a discussion paper explaining recommended options, responding to the findings of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction and energy security studies.

Potential policy options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: technical report (PDF 1.2MB)

Potential policy options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - Appendix A-H (PDF 837KB)

Potential policy options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - Appendix I (PDF 7.3MB)

This report assists with the development of an Auckland Council strategy for achieving a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

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