Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Pan Pac cleared over handling of outfall leak

By Gavin Evans

March 20 (BusinessDesk) - Pan Pac Forest Products has been cleared over its handling of damage to its wastewater outfall off the coast north of Napier.

The company has spent six months trying to repair the 2.4 kilometre outfall, which began leaking near the shore in September. The waste water is treated prior to discharge but is not being mixed and diluted as quickly as would usually be the case.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chief executive James Palmer said the council closely considered its own enforcement policy, and the Solicitor-General’s guidelines on prosecution, before deciding not to prosecute the firm.

He said Pan Pac has consistently and regularly monitored the condition of the pipe, and since 2001 has had it inspected by divers 75 times. Previous signs of wear have been quickly repaired.

“No evidence of negligence by Pan Pac in their maintenance or operation of the pipe was identified and the breakage could not have been reasonably foreseen,” Palmer said in a statement.

“We acknowledge that the buried portion of the pipe has not been able to be inspected to date, but new technology means this is now possible and the regional council will be expecting Pan Pac to use that technology in the future to undertake regular inspections. This involves a robotic camera and sensors.”

Pan Pac, owned by Japan’s Oji Group, is one of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest employers. It has operated at Whirinaki for more than 40 years and produces about 830 tonnes of wood pulp a day. The company is also the country’s biggest producer of appearance-grade timber and processes about 430,000 cubic metres annually from Whirinaki about 50,000 cubic metres at Milburn in Otago.

In August, the company said the pipeline was operating normally after dive crews manually removed silt thrown up in storms in June. Almost a third of the outfall’s ports were blocked.

But a month later a leak was reported from a submerged part of the outfall about 70 metres from the road running along Whirinaki beach.

Repairs were attempted in December and January. A third approach is underway while the firm considers long-term options for replacing the original pipe.

The latest work has involved cutting two access points into the pipeline. The pipe will be cleaned internally, fibreglass patches installed over damaged areas, and a special imported liner installed.

Palmer said the council will continue to monitor the work and is keen to see, in the near-future, Pan Pac’s plans for a replacement.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Up 0.5% In June Quarter: Services Lead GDP Growth

“Service industries, which represent about two-thirds of the economy, were the main contributor to GDP growth in the quarter, rising 0.7 percent off the back of a subdued result in the March 2019 quarter.” More>>


Pickers: Letter To Immigration Minister From Early Harvesting Growers

A group of horticultural growers are frustrated by many months of inaction by the Minister who has failed to announce additional immigrant workers from overseas will be allowed into New Zealand to assist with harvesting early stage crops such as asparagus and strawberries. More>>


Non-Giant Fossil Disoveries: Scientists Discover One Of World’s Oldest Bird Species

At 62 million-years-old, the newly-discovered Protodontopteryx ruthae, is one of the oldest named bird species in the world. It lived in New Zealand soon after the dinosaurs died out. More>>

Rural Employers Keen, Migrants Iffy: Employment Visa Changes Announced

“We are committed to ensuring that businesses are able to get the workers they need to fill critical skills shortages, while encouraging employers and regions to work together on long term workforce planning including supporting New Zealanders with the training they need to fill the gaps,” says Iain Lees-Galloway. More>>


Marsden Pipeline Rupture: Report Calls For Supply Improvements, Backs Digger Blame

The report makes several recommendations on how the sector can better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an incident. In particular, we consider it essential that government and industry work together to put in place and regularly practise sector-wide response plans, to improve the response to any future incident… More>>