Lake users in the dark on up­grade

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Com­ple­tion of Lake Moana-Nui Re­serve’s mil­lion dol­lar up­grade is in sight but the end of its money drain­ing is not.

Ev­ery five to seven years the newly con­structed silt trap will need clear­ing at an es­ti­mated $50 to $100,000 a pop.

Main­te­nance of the pop­u­lar re­serve will con­tinue to cost ratepay­ers $ 75,000 an­nu­ally and some avid lake users have been left in the dark on what is hap­pen­ing.

Fish­ing club mem­bers Butch Bis­ley and Tony Bald­win were se­lected on the lake’s steer­ing com­mit­tee de­signed to put for­ward sug­ges­tions lead­ing up to the ex­pen­sive up­grade.

But Bis­ley, club pres­i­dent, said plans changed with­out their knowl­edge which left him bewil­dered.

‘‘ We need to un­der­stand pro­to­cols and work­ings of coun­cil be­cause we don’t know,’’ he said.

The ap­point­ment of Bis­ley and Bald­win, club sec­re­tary, came af­ter the club’s 2011 sub­mis­sion to the coun­cil.

Fish and Game helps the club put ‘‘hun­dreds’’ of fish in the lake each year and it is not just fish­ing knowl­edge they have to of­fer.

‘‘We’re not just con­cerned with fish, our whole thing with the lake is the silt con­trol, the weed con­trol, the depths of the lake,’’ he said. One ma­jor de­ci­sion made with­out con­sul­ta­tion was the re­moval of the jetty.

Bis­ley said it was a vi­tal as­set for the club to ac­cess the valve to con­trol lake lev­els.

‘‘ We looked at the [ amended] plans and said ‘where’s the jetty?’.’’

‘‘When we say some­thing there what hap­pens to it?...De­ci­sions at the meet­ings seem to be over­turned by some­body,’’ he said.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Alan Blair be­lieved the group had been run­ning smoothly.

De­spite ap­par­ent com­muni- cation is­sues Blair said it was be­cause they did not need to go to the com­mit­tee.

‘‘ I am un­aware of any mem­bers that are rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­nity groups that have civil engi­neer­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions that would as­sist to the dam re­pair,’’ he said.

He said the com­mit­tee’s pur­pose was to bring to­gether ‘‘in­ter­ested par­ties’’.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber and spokesper­son Kerry Fabrie said the steer­ing com­mit­tee had no power.

‘‘ The com­mit­tee pro­vides guid­ance and dis­cus­sion, the coun­cil is the de­ci­sion mak­ing au­thor­ity,’’ she said.

Fabrie said due to the in­creased cost ‘‘ sev­eral times’’ it was then de­cided the jetty could go.

But that de­ci­sion changed af­ter Biss­ley spoke up.

‘‘ Ad­vice from the Fish­ing Club was that it was nec­es­sary and the club was not happy about the jetty not be­ing re­in­stated so coun­cil made the de­ci­sion to re­in­stall it,’’ she said. The up­grades are ex­pected to be com­plete by the end of Septem­ber.

Al­most there: Lake Moana-Nui is al­most fin­ished with the sluice over­flow lid be­ing put on.

Needed im­prove­ment: Lake Moana-Nui in 2013 be­fore it was emp­tied for the up­grades.

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