Technical publications and research

Technical reports 2011

Year of publication/ Report number

Title of report


TR2011/003 - Biological Indicators of Contamination in Auckland's Estuaries: An Initial Assessment (PDF 1.0LB)

An ability to identify a specific contaminant or groups of contaminants that are potentially causing adverse effects in the aquatic environment could improve management practices nationally and internationally. The objectives of this initial study were:

  • to conduct a literature review of the potential of biomarkers for assessing the adverse effects of metals in estuarine and coastal environments;
  • to obtain quantitative data on biochemical changes and cellular damage in shellfish and fish sampled along a contaminant gradient that covered eight estuaries in the Auckland region, and
  • to provide recommendations on the possible incorporation of biological assessment tools in existing contaminant monitoring programmes.


TR2011/004 - Suitability of a new functional traits index as a state of the environment indicator (PDF 740KB)

The NIWACOOBII, a functional indicator developed in New Zealand in 2010, was responsive to strong gradients of mud and heavy metal contaminants in the sediments of Auckland estuaries.

The NIWACOOBII performed better than available overseas indices and showed promise as a potential ecological indicator for state of the environment reporting. However, further testing and validation of the NIWACOOBII with independently collected data was required prior to Auckland Council using it.

Adjustments were made to how the NIWACOOBII is calculated after trialling the index at monitoring sites in three harbours and identifying ways in which it could be improved. Although the NIWACOOBI is less sensitive to mud and heavy metal pollution gradients than the previous benthic health model (BHM), the NIWACOOBII provides more information on whether functional redundancy is changing and whether specific functional traits are being affected.

Furthermore, the NIWACOOBII can be validly calculated in places with different regional species pools, whereas the BHM is regionally restricted. Therefore, for state of the environment reporting, the NIWACOOBII and BHM may complement each other well by providing a balance of sensitivity, information content and broad general applicability.


TR2011/006 - Gross pollutant traps as a stormwater management practice literature review (PDF 834KB)

Despite ongoing education, awareness and street cleaning programmes, large amounts of gross pollutants (litter, debris and sediment greater than 5 mm in size) are reaching stormwater systems and degrading receiving water environments.

The current design guidelines (Design guideline manual for stormwater treatment devices, Auckland Regional Council technical publication 10, 2003) provide limited information about the definition of gross pollutants and gross pollutant traps (GPTs). This report:

  • identifies the types of devices and their performance achievements, benefits and limitations
  • provides a literature review of design factors, methodologies low flow and high flow bypass systems for various devices
  • confirms key device selection considerations and criteria
  • outlines specific maintenance requirements for the Auckland region.

TR2011/007 - Stormwater first flush analysis in the Auckland Region (PDF 2.1MB)

The first flush is normally defined as having “a disproportionately high delivery of either concentration or mass of a constituent during the initial portions of a rainfall-runoff event.”

The main objective of this study is to undertake an assessment of existing water quality data in the Auckland region for evidence of contaminant first flush and its characteristics. The first flush analysis was conducted using a comprehensive data set from 16 sites in the Auckland region.

The analysis presented focuses on the first flush analysis for 22 water quality parameters. The results of the first flush analysis confirm the existence of the first flush phenomena in the Auckland region. However, the strength of the first flush varies from site to site and also depends on other factors such as the water quality parameters being analysed.


TR2011/009 - Stream Ecological Valuation (SEV): a method for assessing the ecological functions of Auckland streams (PDF 518KB)

This report details the technical background of the Stream Ecological Valuation (SEV), a method for quantifying the values of streams based on the performance of their key ecological functions. The SEV was developed to quantify the ecological value of streams in a consistent manner to inform resource management decisions.

Historically, such assessments have been inconsistent and therefore of varying, but often limited, value for reliably assessing the ecological value of the resource. Hence, the requirement for a standard approach for assessing the ecological value of streams was recognised and provided the stimulus for the development of the SEV.

To view the Stream Ecological Valuation (SEV)  technical reports, user's guide and supporting documents, see: Technical publications and research > Stream Ecological Valuation (SEV)


TR2011/010 - North Shore Heritage Thematic Review Report - volume  1(pdf 9.3MB)

TR2011/010 - North Shore Heritage Thematic Review Report - volume 1 maps (PDF 8.9MB)

TR2011/010 - North Shore Heritage Thematic Review Report - volume 2 sections 1 and 2 (PDF 9.3MB)

TR2011/010 - North Shore Heritage Thematic Review Report - volume 2 sections 3-5 (PDF 9.4MB)

TR2011/010 - North Shore Heritage Thematic Review Report - volume 2 sections 6-end (PDF 6.6MB)

North Shore City Council (now Auckland Council) commissioned this review in 2009. It represents the successful completion of actions contained in the North Shore City Historic Heritage Strategy 2009: To carry out a thematic assessment framework review of the existing District Plan schedule and systematically identify additional historic heritage items and areas for scheduling.

The review had four broad objectives:

  • To prepare a thematic overview of the historical development of the North Shore.
  • To review the range of buildings, objects and places currently identified in the District Plan, and identify any potential heritage resources (buildings, objects and places) that have previously been overlooked.
  • To identify areas or precincts on the North Shore of distinctive character, and evaluate their potential heritage values.
  • To further research and assess heritage resources that embody identified themes, and make recommendations regarding their sustainable management, particularly in relation to protection under the District Plan.


TR2011/011 - Soil quality of Drystock sites in the Auckland Region in 2010. Changes since 1995-2000 (PDF 282KB)

The Resource Management Act 1991 requires regional councils to report on the “life supporting capacity of soil” and whether current practices will meet the “foreseeable needs of future generations”. Data for the region were available from the Ministry for the Environment’s 500 Soils Project, 1995-1998 and 1999-2001.

This report assesses the 2010 status of selected sample sites from the 500 Soils Project and how soil quality has changed since 1995-2000.


TR2011/012 - Sediment monitoring methods. An appendix to the Auckland region sediment monitoring plan (PDF 1.0MB)

This report provides further detail on strategy and procedures to be used with the suspended sediment monitoring plan for the Auckland region that is set out in
TR2009/125 Sediment monitoring plan for the Auckland region (PDF 697KB)


Potential policy options to address critical energy issues: technical report - Part 1 (PDF 2.8MB)

Potential policy options to address critical energy issues: technical report - Part 2 (PDF 8.3MB)

Potential policy options to address critical energy issues: technical report - Part 3 (PDF 2.0MB)

Potential policy options to address critical energy issues - appendix E - Part 1 (PDF 4.0MB)

Potential policy options to address critical energy issues - Appendix E - Part 2 (PDF 7,7MB)

This report provides an evidence base for the development of Auckland Council’s energy and climate change mitigation strategy.

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