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Community consultation for Rotoiti/Rotoma sewerage options

News Release

26 June 2014

____________________________________________

Community consultation for Rotoiti/Rotoma sewerage options

Options for new sewerage schemes for eastern Rotoiti and Rotoma are being explored, as part of Rotorua District Council’s (RDC) programme to deal with sewage from lakeside communities, in more sustainable ways.

Community consultation will get underway shortly with local residents being encouraged to share their views.

The project’s objectives are to help improve lake water quality and reduce public health risks. It is part of the wider Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, a partnership of Rotorua District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust, with support from the Crown through the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Health.

Over the last seven years Rotorua District Council has extended sewerage services around Rotorua’s lakeside communities with an investment of approximately $60 million to date, including servicing the western end of Lake Rotoiti.

Following an Environment Court decision not to grant an earlier RMA consent application, RDC has been working closely with iwi and community groups, and with the regional council and Ministry of Health.

A steering committee has been formed bringing together representatives of residents, iwi and other stakeholders, under the chairmanship of Ian McLean.

Mr McLean said the stakeholders were working well together through the committee and there was a fresh and positive relationship among all parties, and a strong commitment to finding a sustainable sewerage solution for the area.

“With the help of a technical advisory group, all possible options are being considered for effectively disposing of domestic sewage. These options include high quality household septic tank systems under the regional council’s on-site effluent treatment rules.”

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the partnership formed with stakeholders for the project was an example of “the way of the future” for Rotorua District Council.

“Collaboration and genuine community engagement are absolutely critical elements if we’re to identify a sustainable solution to the sewerage needs of these communities. I’m really pleased that all parties have come on board in a partnership that’s forward looking, and focussed on sustainable outcomes for Rotorua district and our wider community.

“One of the key goals of our Rotorua 2030 vision is about enhancing our environment and, in particular, being known globally for our healthy lakes. This is another big step towards achieving that important goal.”

Mr McLean said public meetings would be held to discuss a shortlist of options with residents and other interested parties. Details on the meetings would be publicised soon and also mailed out to residents.

“In due course, and after public consultation, our steering committee will be putting a recommendation to Rotorua District Council on our preferred option.”

Subsidies for a new sewerage scheme are available from the Ministry of Health for Lake Rotoma, and from the Ministry for the Environment for Lake Rotoiti. A preferred option has to be selected by 30 September to qualify for the Ministry of Health subsidy.

Other smaller subsidies are potentially available from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and from Rotorua District Council general rates.

END


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