Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Whakapapa Sewage Scheme Launched

13 June 2003 Media Statement

Whakapapa Sewage Scheme Launched

The Minister of Tourism and MP for Taupo Mark Burton today welcomed Minister of Conservation Chris Carter’s decision to grant $4 million in capital funding to enable the Department of Conservation (DOC) to start work next summer on the Whakapapa Ski field and Village Sewage Scheme.

“This is exciting news for all who have worked long and hard over the last ten years to make this a reality,” Mark Burton said.

The sewage problem on Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park has resulted from the establishment of ski lodges in the Whakapapa Ski Field in the 1930s and the growth of ski facilities over the last twenty years. Present sewage systems, septic tanks or holding tanks require considerable effort to empty and always face the risk of leakage or overflow onto the mountain.

Tongariro National Park is a dual World Heritage Area, noted for its natural and cultural values. The large number of septic tanks on the ski field and discharge to water from the existing treatment plant at Whakapapa Village is seen as both offensive to iwi and incompatible with the criteria under which the park was granted its World Heritage status.

“World Heritage status is not given lightly, and to be one of only a handful to receive recognition twice confers special status to Tongariro. Although the government is responsible for management of all our protected areas, the world expects enhanced protection for the elite sites added to the World Heritage listing,” said Chris Carter.

Ngati Tuwharetoa Paramount Chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV Horonuku gifted the central North Island’s sacred peaks to the nation in 1887 as the nucleus of New Zealand’s first national park. The park receives up to one million visitors a year, many of whom make use of the facilities on Whakapapa Ski field or in Whakapapa Village.

“Conservation staff have worked closely with iwi representatives, members of the Ruapehu Mountain Clubs Association, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), the Kah Corporation, Skotel Alpine Resort, and the Ruapehu District Council to develop a practical solution for piping sewage from all lodges and ski field facilities to the existing Whakapapa Village sewage treatment plant. The treated effluent will be discharged underground through an irrigation network,” Mark Burton said.

“I acknowledge the positive support the Department of Conservation has received from all involved, including the assistance of the Ruapehu District Council in the intricate planning detail of a major scheme such as this.”

Resource consents for the work have been granted by Horizons MW, and the initial part of the contract will involve reticulation from the ski field to the Whakapapa Treatment Plant. A further stage of the project will include the upgrading of the treatment plant to cope with the increased inflow. The scheme is being funded on a user pays basis, with costs on the ski field being split between RAL and the lodges, and in Whakapapa Village between the accommodation, concessionaires and DOC.

“The Whakapapa Sewage Scheme has received international attention through a visit from the Japanese Fujisan Club, which is looking for solutions to sewage problems on the iconic Mt Fuji. Fuji receives more than 500,000 visitors to the top of the peak in a two-month period, leaving those seeking World Heritage status for the mountain with a massive sewage headache. Solving their waste problem will take them one step closer to a World Heritage inscription. They are watching our progress very closely,” Mark Burton said today.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages