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Government ends funding for small sewerage schemes

Steve Chadwick
List MP based in Rotorua

5 August 2011

Government ends funding for small sewerage schemes

Today’s announcement that Lake Rotoma will join others on a reticulated sewerage scheme, should be cause for pleasure, but sadly also represents the death knell of what was a wonderful Labour initiative to fund small sewerage schemes, says Labour List MP based in Rotorua Steve Chadwick.

“While Labour welcomes the lake’s inclusion, we lament that Lake Rotoma will be the last recipient of the community scheme,” Steve Chadwick said. “Rotorua still has the challenge of managing septic tanks at Lake Tarawera. This community will now go wanting.”

The reticulated sewerage scheme connects homes formerly serviced by conventional septic tank and soakage field systems, with the reticulated sewerage network. It remedied problems with failed septic tanks in areas known to contribute to the contamination of lake water, in turn endangering public health.

“This is the price the scheme is paying for its success. It was over-subscribed due to high demand for funding support from small communities; now Health Minister Tony Ryall has canned the application process.

“This is not going to help those people in the smaller communities, such as Te Whaiti and Minginui, who need proper systems. They will be the ones who miss out on Government funding in the future,” Steve Chadwick said.

“Labour committed $71.3 million long-term to improving the water quality of the lakes. Our funding provided a mix of engineering solutions, like the diversion wall on Lake Rotoiti, and small reticulation schemes which allowed those in small communities with no ability to pay the full cost of a scheme connection, to have waste treated in town treatment plants.

“Rotorua is leading the way in demonstrating how we can work together on fixing freshwater problems. That’s a result of Labour making things happen. The Government and local MP Todd McClay must continue that focus, and ensure funding for Lake Tarawera next,” Steve Chadwick said.

ENDS

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