Vege­ta­tion, not cows, to blame for smell


Bill Collins says he knows cow ma­nure when he smells it.

The Whitby res­i­dent said the stench from a neigh­bour­ing prop­erty de­vel­op­ment had made his life mis­er­able and he was cer­tain it came from cows.

‘‘You can’t leave the doors open or it will get through the house. It’s not pleas­ant.’’

The smell first wafted into his life about a week ago and was par­tic­u­larly bad dur­ing hot weather, he said.

‘‘I’ve been around farms enough to tell the dif­fer­ence and this smell def­i­nitely came from cows.’’

But de­vel­oper Bob Turner said it was rot­ting vege­ta­tion, not ma­nure, that was stink­ing up the neigh­bour­hood.

De­spite res­i­dent’s sus­pi­cions it was con­tam­i­nated top­soil trucked in to raise the ground above the flood plain, Turner said there was no soil im­ported to the de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘We al­ready have so much top­soil, we’re hop­ing to give it away.’’

Earth­works on the 148-home sub­di­vi­sion, on the for­mer bot­tom nine of the old Duck Creek golf course in Whitby, had un­cov­ered the rot­ted vege­ta­tion and the smell should dis­ap­pear soon, he said.

‘‘It’s just a nor­mal process, but the neigh­bours are very close to the site.’’

Lyn Hick­ling’s prop­erty backs onto the new sub­di­vi­sion and she first no­ticed ‘‘the cow smell’’ about a month ago.

‘‘It’s ab­so­lutely hor­ri­ble, I could gag on it. ‘‘It’s so ab­so­lutely re­pul­sive. ‘‘It smells like be­ing in a cow­shed. You can’t sit out­side or open the win­dows ... it’s not fair and I’m not amused.’’

She had lived there for three years and never no­ticed a smell un­til the trucks be­gan mov­ing soil around, she said.

On Thurs­day, in a writ­ten state­ment, Porirua City Coun­cil chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Tam­sin Evans agreed with Turner.

Coun­cil staff vis­ited the site on Wed­nes­day to in­ves­ti­gate the smell com­plaints and the cul­prit was com­post­ing ma­te­rial in the soil, exposed be­hind Shackle Lane, she said.

‘‘Last week this area was drained to re­lease wa­ter from the soil so it can be re­moved and re­placed with a layer of clay cap­ping soil to cre­ate a sta­ble build­ing sur­face.

‘‘The de­vel­oper is in the process of re­mov­ing the of­fend­ing soil and weather per­mit­ting this will be com­pleted over the next week.’’


Earth­works at Duck Creek, Whitby, Porirua have been blamed for stir­ring up a smell, up­set­ting res­i­dents.

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