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Kawerau Approves $934,211 In Three Waters Spending

Kawerau District Council has approved a $934,211 spend on its three waters infrastructure.

In a council meeting livestreamed to Facebook on Tuesday, the council approved the spending to refurbish three bores which provide drinking water to the town and to construct stormwater detention basins and culverts to prevent flooding in the town.

Currently, Kawerau's water supply is provided by the Pumphouse and Holland Springs. Neither spring can provide all the water required by the district through the year on their own and for a significant period each year, both springs are required.

In 2018, the council’s former operations and services manager Tom McDowall began to investigate and refurbish the three Tarawera bore holes as a reserve supply.

However, it was found that the pumps were in a worse condition than anticipated and Mr McDowall's original work came in at $80,000, well above the $23,700 budget.

His successor, Hanno van der Merwe, said this year had been "particularly dry" for the district and the council had to impose water restrictions.

He said with the bores there would be more than enough water but the cost to fully refurbish all three bores including new electrical controls would be $220,000 over and above the $80,000 already spent.

Mr van der Merwe said as soon as key staff were back, he would be able to begin work.

Councillors voted unanimously to spend the additional money.

Opotiki Pumps Ltd will be undertaking the work.

Councillors also voted unanimously to spend $153,000 to construct four detention basins on Hardie Avenue, Beattie Road and Valley Road to combat flooding in the area.

The council had been looking at mitigation in the area following a storm in 2017 which saw houses damaged in Beattie Road, Hardie Avenue and the junction of Fenton Mill and Valley Roads.

Councillor Sela Kingi said it had been a lengthy process for residents to get to this point, but the council wanted to be sure it "got it right".

Councillor Carolyn Ion said it had been an "uphill downhill saga" and while the basins wouldn’t completely remove the threat of flooding, they would go some way to mitigate it.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell said when dealing with nature nothing was 100 percent, but the mitigation works should provide some peace to residents who would have had many sleepless nights during periods of rain.

Councillor Aaron Rangihika said it was time the council got in behind and got it done.

The council received tenders from four contractors: Hickey Contractors Limited, $846,520; Schick Civil Construction, $499,782; Crossroads Construction, $457,703; and Waiotahi Contractors, $302,904.

Waiotahi Contractors was awarded the contract.

Waiotahi Contractors was also awarded the contract to construct culverts on River Road after submitting the lowest tender.

During intense rainfalls, debris washes down Maruka Stream blocking two culverts on River Road and causing localised flooding to nearby houses.

The culverts have been evaluated and the design found to be susceptible to blockage requiring the need for a redesign and rebuild.

MAP Projects Limited submitted a tender of $751,413 to do the work, Schick Civil Construction tendered $599,112, Tracks Concrete 2002 Ltd tendered $797,187 and Waiotahi Contractors $561,211.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell said he was pleased Waiotahi Contractors was awarded both contracts for the flood mitigation work as the company had the best price, was the "right team to do the job" and was local.

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