Frustration mounts over waste proposals

EMMA HORSLEY
Last updated 08:30 13/10/2012

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Patience is becoming a virtue for people hoping to see two district councils resolve consent issues for their respective wastewater treatment plants.

Manawatu and Horowhenua district councils have expired resource consents, with Horowhenua's Shannon wastewater treatment plant consent, approved in August, under appeal.

Manawatu District Council's consent for Feilding's wastewater plant will not be heard until February 2013, and both the regional council and submitters are waiting on extra information to be able to make submissions on the council's proposals.

"We've been waiting a while for this and I've just had a letter saying the information won't be received now until the end of the month," Christina Paton said.

Mrs Paton is also waiting for a progress update on the Shannon appeal after the Water and Environment Care Association, represented by Mrs Paton, laid the only standing appeal.

"It's gone very quiet," she said.

Manawatu District Council's delay in providing additional information that is required for the hearing has meant a deadline for divulging the names of expert witnesses that submitters may wish to call would not be able to be met.

"We would need to see the additional information before we could decide whether we needed to engage an expert witness," said Mrs Paton, who is also a submitter on the Feilding consent.

She said it was frustrating to be waiting.

Time is essential for both councils after Horowhenua District Council received $1.1 million in funding from the Government's Fresh Water Cleanup Fund.

It has 17 months to meet self-imposed deadlines for the plant upgrade or it will lose the funding.

The Water and Environmental Care Association is appealing the decision to allow the council to discharge water into the Manawatu River through a pipeline as it says a pipe should not be needed in two years, when the council needs to come up with other options for the discharge.

The Manawatu District Council received $1.15 million from the same government fund to help it meet treatment standards for its Feilding plant. It is subject to the same deadlines as Horowhenua.

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- Manawatu Standard

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