Min­istry flouts rules

Il­le­gal con­nec­tion causes $180,000 flood dam­age

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

damp, mould, low morale among staff, stu­dents and par­ents, and a re­sult­ing fall­ing roll.

Dur­ing Porirua Col­lege’s 2008 ex­pan­sion, min­istry con­trac­tors con­nected new stormwa­ter pipes to the city’s al­ready-strug­gling Can­nons Creek mains.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion told Kapi-Mana News the con­nec­tion was ap­proved by Porirua City Coun­cil and com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cates were is­sued, but could not pro­vide copies.

Coun­cil waste and wa­ter ser­vices man­ager Chris Hop­man said there were never any ap­pli­ca­tions or ap­provals given to con­nect to city mains.

Build­ing plans sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil in 2008 showed all the col­lege’s stormwa­ter should have been di­rected to its ex­ist­ing pipe un­der its sports fields, which drains into Can­nons Creek Lakes, he said.

‘‘Th­ese con­nec­tions were car­ried out with­out coun­cil’s knowl­edge or con­sent and have since cre­ated the over­load­ing of the pub­lic sys­tem in Driver Cres, es­ca­lat­ing flood­ing events,’’ Mr Hop­man said.

Since 2009 the coun­cil has been ask­ing the min­istry to pro­vide proof the work was le­gal, but has had no re­sponse.

To en­sure the col­lege’s own pipes can cope with the vol­ume of stormwa­ter it col­lects, a $450,000 up­grade would be re­quired, Mr Hop­man es­ti­mated.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s act­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery man­ager, Jerome Shep­pard, de­nied Maraeroa’s flood­ing has any­thing to do with Porirua Col­lege.

‘‘There were flood­ing in­ci­dents at Maraeroa School in the years be­fore the re­de­vel­op­ment of Porirua Col­lege. This, along with en­gi­neer­ing re­ports of the site, in­di­cate re­de­vel­op­ment work at the col­lege did not con­trib­ute to flood­ing,’’ he said.

How­ever, Maraeroa Staff in­sist the first flood­ing of school build­ings was in 2011.

Mr Hop­man said there might have been sur­face flood­ing on Driver Cres in sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall be­fore 2008, but noth­ing like the sever­ity or fre­quency of flood­ing now.

‘‘ This ad­di­tional flood­ing is solely at­trib­ut­able to the Porirua Col­lege not us­ing their own ded­i­cated stormwa­ter sys­tem to dis­pose of their ad­di­tional stormwa­ter from roofs and sealed sur­faces,’’ he said.

Af­ter Kapi-Mana News pub­li­cised Maraeroa’s plight last week, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry staff vis­ited Maraeroa to in­ves­ti­gate the flood­ing.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata said min­istry engi­neers would pro­pose a so­lu­tion to the school by the end of this week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.