Water story on hold
A key chapter in Central Hawke’s Bay’s #thebigwaterstory is now on hold.
A $845,000 upgrade of Otane’s ¯ wastewater treatment plant had recently reached the tender evaluation stage, but Central Hawke’s Bay’s district council has decided to shelve it, saying it does not want to invest in “bandaid” solutions.
A council statement said that the project was on hold until a solution has been found that provides “long-term security of the environmental outcomes that the community and Council are seeking to achieve”.
The project was part of the capital works programme dubbed #thebigwaterstory during recent consultation on CHBDC’s 2018-28 long-term plan.
The Otane ¯ Wastewater Treatment Plant project’s delay provides the Central Hawke’s Bay community with the opportunity to holistically consider wastewater treatment investment options, and solutions that are sustainable and affordable to the Central Hawke’s Bay community long-term.
The delay is subject to the CHBDC receiving approval from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to extend its resource consent application, but the council anticipates that the HBRC will look favourably on the request.
Contingency plans are in place in the event that the consent application extension is not granted.
The delay is possible with council not experiencing the challenges with the O¯ tane Plant of the extent or scale of the Waipukurau or Waipawa plants.
While the Otane ¯ Wastewater Plant work is delayed, work is very much underway to deliver a longterm solution to identify wastewater treatment solutions for Central Hawke’s Bay.
“Delaying the decision is a sensible response to ensure that council makes the very best investment decisions for the future of its Wastewater Treatments Plants,” say Chief Executive Monique Davidson.
“By June 2019, it is anticipated that Council has identified a strategic approach to address the treatment of Central Hawke’s Bay wastewater long-term, including at O¯ tane.”
“We are not prepared to invest in band aid solutions for this community, we need confidence when we invest we are making a long-term sustainable solution that meets the test of durable infrastructure for best environmental outcomes,” says Mrs Davidson.
The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is working proactively to address challenges both in the short and longer term of its wastewater plants. Three Waters, including Wastewater is a significant focus for the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, as noted in the 2018 Long Term Plan and in #thebigwaterstory. It is one of the highest priority areas of focus for council.
A local Wastewater Reference Group has also been developed, with council and the community collectively taking a proactive, farreaching approach on future investment to ensure issues are addressed in a sustainable and affordable way for the CHB Community.
The community will have more opportunities to be involved in options for wastewater solutions, including O¯ tane.
CHB Mayor Alex Walker pictured at the launch of the #thebigwaterstory" in O¯ tane, Central Hawke’s Bay.