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Portaloos Needed At Gisborne’s New Kāinga Ora Homes

Portaloos are being used at new Kāinga Ora homes after construction debris was found in the wastewater pipes.

Last month, emergency housing residents moved into the 31-home Worsley St development - and after just a few weeks, plumbing issues were found due to leftover debris from cyclones last year.

Kāinga Ora regional director of East North Island Naomi Whitewood (Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) said Cyclone Hale and Cyclone Gabrielle hit during construction of these homes and caused debris to get into the complex drainage network.

The development met all legislative and consenting requirements, and the concerns were unrelated to capacity issues, she said.

“A piece of material was found to be obstructing the drain.

“This has now been removed and the drain repaired.”

Whitewood said the drainage network was being investigated with cameras to ensure no more blockages would occur at any other homes.

As the development was under a warranty period, the problems were being addressed by the developer’s local plumbers, she said.

“We continue to work closely with them throughout this process.”
Gisborne District Council (GDC) lifelines director Tim Barry said that on Saturday, May 5, Fulton Hogan was contacted by the site’s developer TW Group to jet-clean the wastewater pipes, which took over four hours.

“This has enabled residents to use their toilets and bathrooms again,” he said.

Weeks later, however, one resident, who declined to speak to LDR, remains without functional plumbing.

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Residents Lena and William Bennett said they were momentarily affected but called their Kāinga Ora housing manager, who had the development plumbers and construction workers there “within 10 minutes”.

They said the inspectors found a white brick in the water pipe in front of their home.

A portaloo sits outside their home, but “we have not had to use it,” they said.

The Bennetts said their housing manager and Kāinga Ora have been helpful and communicative throughout the process.

The developer of the site, TW Group, has nine offices throughout New Zealand working on range of property development professions, from planning to painting.

TW Group commercial strategic relationship manager Leah MacDonell said GDC approved the work.

“[The] plumbing and drainage works were visibly inspected as per GDC standards and pressure tested to ensure connectivity,” she said.

It was after the pipe sign-off that the issue happened, she said.

“After pipe sign-off, additional building work has been undertaken.

“This is a normal sequence in the construction programme.

“Unfortunately, during construction work, plumbing pipes at two dwellings have been accidentally damaged.

“Upon identification of the issue, TW Group and Kāinga Ora swiftly collaborated to rectify both situations.

“We expect that full repair of both defects will be completed by early next week, which is when the portaloo for the one home will be removed.

“The cost of the repairs sits with us as part of the normal warranty period,” she said.

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