Enhancing the environment

Looking out for little critters

Skinks are protected animals so we relocate them whenever our environmental teams find them during set up at our construction sites. We catch them, keep them safe, and whenever we can invite children from nearby schools to join us when we release them into a new habitat.
Photo of two of our team looking for critters that need to be relocated from our sites
Photo: We go to great lengths to find and relocate precious critters before construction begins
 

Helping restore our waterways and open spaces

Our Lyon Avenue site, which is due to open in early 2022, is partly located within the Roy Clements Treeway on Mt Albert Grammar School grounds. Our project staff and their families have regularly engaged with the school on environmental projects including two planting days on fine winter days in 2019 and 2020.
 
Our most recent engagement was in August 2021, when we met with the school’s Enviro Club to collect seedlings growing within our construction site. All vegetation will be cleared for our works so this was an opportunity for the students to salvage some self-seeded plants, re-pot them, and use them at other sites.
 
As a bonus, Roy Clements himself attended and spoke about the early days of the Treeway. It was great to join up with the school again and we were supported by members of St Luke’s Environmental Protection Society (STEPS), which undertakes restoration projects in the Treeway and lava forests along Meola Creek.
Photo of plant expert Sel Arbuthnot and members of the MAGS Enviro Club
Photo: STEPS plant expert Sel Arbuthnot and members of the MAGS Enviro Club
 

Fossil shells give a look into our ancient past

Watercare has entered into a partnership with Auckland Museum and Mana Whenua to collect and house taonga discovered during the project. Following the discovery of 3.5-million-year-old fossils in the excavated Kaawa sand at our Māngere site, Auckland Museum was interested in further inspecting the sand stockpiled near our site.
Photo of a 3.5 million year old shell dug up at our Central Interceptor Mangere site
Photo: Two magnificent 3.5m year old finds from our Mangere site

The museum is now developing a programme to educate the public about the taonga, both from scientific and cultural points of view. The museum has provided two paleontologists to sift through the stockpile of shell and sand. We’ve made their task easier by splitting the stockpile, providing a loader and a sorting screen normally used in an aggregate quarry.
 
The museum has now collected more than 100 specimens of shell - from small cockle shells to larger oyster and mollusc shells. Some of these shells had not been seen before in any excavations of Auckland. We’ve also found a whale vertebra, along with various sized logs and wood fragments which are thought to be kauri.
 
This is another example of the journey we are on at the Central Interceptor project by helping expand our understanding of our city’s heritage.

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