Wairoa District Council is awaiting a decision from the Environment Court over whether or not to
uphold an appeal against the Opoutama roading and wastewater project. The case went before
the court in Gisborne earlier this week. More than 100 people from Mahia and the wider Wairoa
District travelled to Gisborne to observe proceedings and support those giving evidence.
Resource consents were granted for the project in September last year, but were appealed.
Wairoa District Council aim to build a new section of road on reserve land at Opoutama to replace a
section of Ormond Drive that crosses the Ruawharawhara Urupa. Trustees of the urupa currently have an
agreement with WDC to keep the road open until Wednesday, August 3 this year.
Road closure has been signaled for some time, meaning motorists face an extra 5km journey travelling
via Mahanga and Kaiwaitau Road to reach Mahia Peninsula until the new proposed alignment is
A new wastewater treatment and disposal system will also be developed in conjunction with the road,
providing Opoutama residents with a sound system that will serve the small community well into the
WDC Engineering Manager Neil Cook said the Environment Court case had delayed the process
considerably, but the project was all set to go ahead pending a decision.
“We realise the inconvenience to motorists of having to travel the extra distance around Kaiwaitau Road.
We are also particularly aware that twice already this year this alternative route to Mahia Peninsula has
been inaccessible due to flooding. This has the potential to cause considerable inconvenience so our best efforts will go towards completing the project in a timely manner.”
“Council has gone through the tender process, with QRS identified as the preferred tenderer. However,
we are unable to award the tender until resource consent is confirmed by the Environment Court,” he
All going well, the road could be built within months of beginning the project.