We were wrong, says council
Costs for fixing Maraeroa School’s flooding problem could fall on ratepayers after Porirua City Council admitted it approved a problematic pipe connection in Cannons Creek.
After saying the Ministry of Education illegally connected Porirua College’s stormwater pipe to Driver Cres, the council discovered last week that the connection was consented in 2008.
It now acknowledges a 400-millimetre pipe from Porirua College was allowed to be connected to the city’s 250-millimetre pipe.
‘‘It was assumed that the network would cope with that [volume of water],’’ a council spokeswoman said last week.
Maraeroa School has flooded several times a year since 2011, causing $180,000 worth of damage for the education ministry and putting staff and student health in danger.
Council and ministry staff met last week to discuss who was liable for the resulting floods in Driver Cres. A decision should be made within a fortnight, the spokeswoman said.
Stormwater from Driver Cres flows to Porirua Stream via pipes under dozens of properties in Porirua East, council waste and water manager Chris Hopman told Kapi-Mana News last month.
Widening that pipe could cost millions, he said.
Porirua College has a second pipe flowing to Cannons Creek Lake.
It could be widened at a cost of $450,000, Mr Hopman said.
Apologies had been made for the council’s false accusation, council chief executive Gary Simpson said.
‘‘The council regrets the error and has apologised to the Ministry of Education and Porirua College for any damage to their reputation.’’
Until 2010, private connections to the city network were not recorded by the council, he said.
Since then a model has been drawn of Porirua’s stormwater pipes, but council officers still deemed the college connection illegal last month.
‘‘When the council approved the larger body of works during the redevelopment at the college, they gave consent for all connections applied for by the ministry,’’ Mr Simpson said.
‘‘It is clear there are drainage issues at [Porirua] College and in the local area that also affect Maraeroa School.
‘‘The ministry and Porirua City Council have committed to working together urgently to identify the problems and provide solutions.’’