Clean-up River Subsidies Brilliant

Tuesday 6 March 2012, 10:01AM
By Tararua District Council


“Bloody Brilliant” is what Mayor Roly Ellis had to say about the river cleanup subsidy for the Region.

Tararua is currently preparing its draft long-term plan, which includes a proposal to spend $6.5 million over the next three years to improve the treatment and disposal of wastewater in the Tararua. 

Mayor Ellis says, “Ratepayers need this support from Government and Regional Council.  People complain about rates increases and it’s these large projects that are causing the rate increases for our relatively small towns.  This will be loan funded to spread the cost to ratepayers over time.  We certainly would not have been able to address the issues as quickly as we are planning without the Government support”.  
The detail of the subsidy funding is being worked through with the Regional Council and the Ministry of the Environment.  

Tararua District Council has a commitment to the Manawatu River Leader’s Accord and has been discussing the issues with local Iwi for some time. Rangitāne O Tamaki Nui A Rua is supportive of the Tararua District Council efforts to improve the water quality throughout the Tamaki Nui A Rua region and especially the quality of the Manawatū River. Henare Kanai said “we also acknowledge the Councils commitment to a quality consultation process with Rangitāne and their support of the goals of Te Kāuru (the Eastern Hapū Collective on the Manawatū River Accord) and we urge our communities to help one another and apply ourselves to the task of ensuring best water quality now and for the coming generations. The commitment to education, working together and careful planning in relation to water quality will ensure our combined efforts are fruitful.”

Improving sewage treatment plants, land-based effluent disposal are things Council can do with immediate impact on the rivers.  Further gains will be made by the improvements from environmental farm plans and habitat restoration, with improved fencing and tree planting around waterways.

Mayor Ellis wished to thank Horizons Regional Council for their involvement and support throughout the process.  “The staff of both councils have worked together closely on the proposals for some time and Horizons’ support has been superb”.

The inclusion of these sewerage projects in the draft Long Term Plan - when other activity commitments already exist - indicates how seriously Council views the work on sewerage disposal and how committed it is to managing wastewater disposal to reduce adverse effects on the environment.

Peter Wimsett - manager of strategy and district development - noted that many businesses rely on access to council wastewater treatment.  “Businesses need to be confident that we are doing the right thing.”

The mighty Manawatu River starts in the Tararua just North of Norsewood.  Council town treated sewerage outflows puts extra nutrients into rivers at points along the way.  The impacts are most significant during periods of low flows, usually in summer.  At these times land based disposal methods can both irrigate and apply nutrients to the land for horticultural or agricultural purposes.

Mr Wimsett adds, “Dannevirke is particularly suitable for land based disposal because the Dannevirke ‘GE Water’ microfiltration plant is of such a high standard that it enables re-use of human sourced wastewater on farms.”

Council consultation on the Long-Term Plan commences in April 2012 for adoption in late June 2012.