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Mayor: Council well-aware of wastewater issues

Column by Mayor Craig Little

We are well aware of the issues of council’s wastewater system and our intention is based around long-term, sustainable and affordable solutions for Wairoa.

A band-aid fix is not enough.

We are very conscious of the discharge consent breaches around the Wairoa River and have spent the past year engaging with our community via the wastewater stakeholder group, community meetings and hui. 

During these processes we have been co-operating with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and the Ministry of Health to ensure there is no significant effect to public health and the environment.

Council acknowledges that where possible it needs to minimise the impact we have on our environment and I commend the work the stakeholder group has done to bring good, practicable options to council.

It is so important that we look at how we manage our wastewater, both now, and into the future. 

If I had a magic wand, I would pour millions of dollars into getting our whole wastewater system upgraded.

Unfortunately, neither myself or the community has that wand, leaving us to all work together for the best outcomes.

I would like to see E.coli tests on our river pin-pointed at different locations. I think we should be testing the river further upstream, even beyond Frasertown, so we can get a better understanding of where these E-coli sources are.

The more information we have the more empowered we are to make improvements.

I know the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is making a real commitment to help us with these issues.

6 June 2018

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